Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions
Become familiar with the financial aid process.
How often must I complete the FAFSA?
A FAFSA must be completed every year to determine eligibility. You can complete the FAFSA online.
Why was I awarded a full Pell Grant but only received a portion of it?
Pell Grants are offered based on the number of hours you are enrolled in each semester. As you enroll in courses, the amount of your Pell Grant award may change. Full time = 12 or more credit hours, Three-Fourths time = 7 - 9 credit hours, Half-time = 4 - 6 credit hours and Less than half-time = 1-5 credit hours.
If a student is close to their Lifetime Pell Grant eligibility (600% which equals 6 years), the full amount of Pell may not be received.
What is the difference between Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans?
Subsidized loans are need-based loans. The interest is paid by the federal government while you are attending school at least half time (six credits). Unsubsidized loans are not need-based, and you are responsible for the interest while attending school.
How much can I borrow in student loans?
The amount that is offered to a student by Delgado Community College is determined by grade level and dependency status:
- First Year Undergraduate = Earned at least 24 hours
- Second Year Undergraduate = Earned at least 48 hours
- Review the annual loan limits set by the Department of Education
I accepted both loans; why haven’t I received them yet?
There are a few reasons that a student may not have received loan funding:
- Student did not complete Entrance Counseling and/or Master Promissory Note at Studentloans.gov
- Not enrolled in at least 6 credit hours eligble for financial aid
- Student is a first-time borrower (must wait 30 days before loans are disbursed)
- Student has reached his/her undergraduate loan limit (Status can be viewed at the National Student Loan Data System website).
What is the difference between disbursement and refund?
Disbursement is the process of applying funds to a student's account to cover tuition, fees and bookstore charges (if applicable). If the account shows a credit balance (negative amount), it will then move to the refund phase.
Is the disbursement date and the refund date the same?
No, funds disburse after the semester/session’s Census date. The Census date is the official 14th class day for the Spring & Fall Semesters and the 7th class day for the Summer Session.
Once funds disburse, the refund process begins. This process can take approximately 14 days from the date the credit posted. Refer to the refund schedule for more information.
Why did 1/2 of my loan disburse instead of the full amount that I accepted?
Regulations regarding students who attend only one semester: Federal regulations require that student loans awarded for one semester (fall only, spring only, or summer only) must be disbursed in two installments. Loan disbursements will be credited to student accounts at the beginning of the semester and at the mid-point of the semester.
Can I repeat coursework and still receive Financial Aid?
Repetitive (repeated) courses will count toward a student’s hours attempted. Repeated courses that were previously failed are counted in hours pursued and, if successfully completed, hours earned.
Students are allowed to retake a previously passed course. A passed course is any course in which a student earns a grade of “D,” “C,” “B,” or “A.” however, financial aid will not cover the cost of re-taking any previously passed course. Example: if a student receives a grade of “D” in the fall and receives a “C” in the spring for the same course, the student cannot retake the course for the third time AND receive financial aid for the same course. If a student withdraws before completing the course, the federal student aid funding may not be counted as his/her allowed retake course.
How do I apply for scholarships?
A listing of Delgado scholarships as well as external scholarships is available here.
What is the 150% subsidized loan limit policy?
Students may borrow Direct subsidized loans to no more than 150 percent of the published length of the students educational program.
My classes are secured. What's next?
Learn about the SAP policy and how it affects your financial aid eligibility.
What is SAP?
SAP or Satisfactory Academic Progress, is a set of standards that is measured each semester and determines your financial aid eligibility status.
Why is meeting SAP important?
Meeting SAP standards each semester ensures you stay on track towards completing your program of study and allows you to remain eligible for financial aid. See eligibility criteria.
How can I check my Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
When is my financial aid SAP status updated?
Your academic progress is reviewed and your status is updated each semester after final grades are posted. SAP will also be reviewed before aid is initially awarded.
Why does my SAP status reflect Academic Plan?
If you submitted an appeal and it was approved, your SAP status will reflect Academic Plan. The Academic Plan requires all students to meet two standards: earning a 2.0 semester GPA and passing 75 percent of hours attempted. Meeting these standards allow you to progress towards completing your degree or certificate program within a reasonable time frame. Students will need to meet the requirements of the Academic Plan each payment period until meeting the SAP standards. Not enrolling in college for a period of time then re-enrolling will not bring the student into compliance with the SAP policy.
At the end of each semester, your academic performance will be reviewed and your SAP status updated accordingly. If you have met the requirements of the Academic Plan, your status will be updated to continue on an Academic Plan.
What is my next step if I do not meet the SAP requirements?
A SAP appeal may be filed if mitigating circumstances prevented a student from meeting the requirements. The appeal must be submitted with supporting documentation and a completed academic plan. All supporting documents will be retained in the student's financial aid file.
What information must be submitted with my SAP appeal?
Each student must submit the appeal form, and attach:
- A statement detailing the mitigating circumstances that caused you to perform poorly or not complete your degree in the time-frame allowed and how it affected your performance.
- A statement explaining the steps you have taken to remove your mitigating circumstances and explain whether the circumstances have been removed.
- A document that supports or backs up the statement above. This can be a birth or death certificate, doctor's statement, fire or police records, hospital bills, a letter from a 3rd party or relative, letter from an employer, an obituary notice or any other legal or 3rd party document that supports the written statement attached.
How long does it take for my appeal to be read?
This depends on the time of the semester the appeal is submitted and the volume of appeals that are coming into the Financial Aid office. During the 3-4 weeks before and during registration, we receive an incredibly large number of appeals, and we do our best to read them in the order in which they are received.
If I change my major will my old courses still count in the SAP calculation?
Yes. All attempted coursework from a prior major will be included in the calculation of the SAP components - GPA, PACE and Maximum Time-Frame.
I am a transfer student and this is my first semester at Delgado. How does SAP affect me?
All transfer students are given a SAP status of transfer. At the end of the semester, any transfer credits accepted by Delgado will be counted in the cumulative GPA, pace of progression and maximum allowable hours when determining SAP.
Are you selected for verification and not sure where to begin? Here are the answers you need to help you through the process.
What is verification?
The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects FAFSA applications for verification. If you are selected, the information on your FAFSA will be reviewed for accuracy.
What are some reasons a student is selected for verification?
- You were selected randomly
- The FAFSA submitted was incomplete.
- The data on your FAFSA appears to contradict itself.
- You provided estimated information on the FAFSA.
Will verification stop me from receiving a financial aid award?
You will not receive an award until the verification process has been successfully completed. Keep in mind that once you submit the necessary requirements, your file will be reviewed and you will be notified of your next step. If additional information is needed or corrections to your FAFSA need to be made by Inceptia, you need to allow time for processing.
Your classes will not be secured by financial aid if you are still in the verification process.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and should I use it?
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is an option offered on the FAFSA that allows the transfer of tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA. It is recommended to use this secure tool so that the information provided on your FAFSA is accurate.
More information on the IRS DRT can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
What tax information is acceptable to submit for verification?
If you were not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you may be required to submit your tax return information. You have the option to submit a signed copy of your return or you can request a free copy of your tax return transcript from the IRS by visiting the transcript request page on IRS.gov.
Will my financial aid change due to verification?
If the information provided for verification does not match your FAFSA, corrections will be made on your behalf. These corrections may decrease or increase your EFC, or it may not change at all. Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education and determines what type of aid you qualify for and how much, which is based on your enrollment status.
Do I still have to complete verification if I did not work or file taxes?
If you are selected for verification, then you must complete the process. Each student and parent (if applicable) has their own specific requirements which is determined by the Department of Education.
Who is Incepita?
We have partnered with Inceptia for the processing of students verification files. You will receive an introductory email inviting you to setup your secure account so you can get started on your task list requirements.
Do you offer assistance with this process?
You can also call Inceptia at 1-888-374-8427.
Hours: Monday - 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. CST and Tuesday through Friday - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
Take advantage of Year-Round Pell to achieve your academic goals. To benefit from this, we recommend that you come up with a financial plan and meet with your advisor.
What is the Year-Round Pell Grant?
The US Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2017, allows a student to receive Federal Pell Grant funds for up to 150 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award for an award year. This provision is effective beginning with the 2017-2018 award year.
How do I request use of my Pell Grant in the Summer?
Students must complete the Summer Financial Aid Request Form. If you have aid available, you will need to accept the award package in LoLA (Delgado’s online student portal).
Will I be eligible for Year-Round Pell?
To be eligible for the additional Pell Grant funds, the student must be eligible to receive a Pell Grant and must be enrolled at least half-time for the payment period(s) for which the student receives the additional Pell Grant funds in excess of 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award.
When will I know if I am eligible for Year-Round Pell?
Students must complete the request for summer financial aid. Once processed, the available amount will be calculated based on your Pell Grant usage and remaining eligibility at the 100% scheduled award plus the additional 50%.
How does this affect my lifetime Pell Grant?
It is deducted from your 600% Pell Lifetime Eligibility Usage (LEU). Visit NSLDS to see your complete financial aid history.