General Financial Aid Information
Applying for Financial Aid
Financial aid is federal, state, or institutional financial assistance that comes in the form of (1) grants, which do not have to be paid back, (2) scholarships, which do not have to be paid back, (3) work-study, wages for a part-time job on campus and (3) student loans, which are required to be repaid starting six months after you leave school or otherwise go below half-time status. Students must be enrolled and attending classes in a financial aid-eligible program.
You can begin applying for financial aid October 1 of every year. FAFSA is now based on tax information from two years prior, allowing students and their families to complete the application earlier. The earlier you apply, the better, as some resources are limited and may run out. All WV residents are encouraged to apply prior to the April 15 state deadline. Any student who files their FAFSA prior to February 28 will be eligible to apply for WVU at Parkersburg Foundation Scholarships and the WV PROMISE Scholarship.
The sooner you apply, the more likely your funding will be available when you start school. The Priority Deadline is one month prior to the start date of the first term or your award year. However, in order to ensure your eligibility to apply for WVU at Parkersburg Foundation Scholarships the deadline for completing your FAFSA is February 28 of the year you plan to start. If this has already passed, the Financial Aid Office will continue to process your financial aid until the start of classes each semester. In order to know your award and get your books in advance, apply as early as possible – don’t wait for deadlines.
Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents and had the same legal status as a written signature. It also allows the student or parent to use one username and password for multiple Department of Education websites. This will be required to complete your FAFSA, sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN), a legal document agreeing to repay all loans made under the MPN, complete Entrance and Exit Counseling, view information on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and more.
If you have applied for financial aid this past year, you may be able to fill out a renewal FAFSA rather than a new FAFSA. The renewal FAFSA will include all of last year’s information – you just need to update your (and your family’s) income information and any data that has changed. You will need your FSA ID to access your renewal FAFSA.
No, parents cannot be included in the “Number in College.”
Unless you are over the age of 24, in graduate school, married, have children or other dependents that you financially support, are an orphan or in foster care, a legal ward of the court, homeless or a veteran or active duty member of the military, you are a dependent student. You are required to submit both your and your parents’ tax information. If you have any questions about a possible special circumstance, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 304-424-8310.
Living on your own does not automatically qualify you as an independent student. The Federal Government requires parents to complete their information and considers you a dependent until you are 24-years-old, married, have children of your own that you provide more than 50% support for, are pursuing a graduate degree, an orphan or ward of the court, homeless, or are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. If there are unusual circumstances, please discuss them with our Financial Aid staff by calling 304-424-8310, and they will determine the best way for you to complete your FAFSA.
You are required to use the tax information from two years prior on your FAFSA. If your (and/or your family’s) income information has changed significantly in the current year due to unemployment, death, divorce, medical expenses or other special circumstances, you may be eligible to be considered for a special circumstance or re-evaluation. You can request a special circumstance form by emailing our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we determine if you are eligible to apply, we will provide you with the application which includes a list of documentation that has to be provided. Once you submit your application, the Financial Aid Office will then consider your current situation to determine if you will be eligible for more financial aid.
If you need to make a correction to your FAFSA before you receive your award notice, you can do so by making a correction online. If you have already received your award letter, contact the Financial Aid Office at 304-424-8310 to determine if the correction is necessary.
If you are selected for a verification process, or the Financial Aid Office needs additional documentation to complete your file, you will need to submit additional forms to receive financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will inform you of any documentation you need to submit. Students can also go their OLSIS account and check their award status under the financial aid tab. Most financial aid forms requested can be downloaded and printed from your OLSIS account. Please make sure all documentation is labeled with your name and student ID number before turning it in. All verification documentation must be received and verified by the Financial Aid Office before any financial aid award can be distributed.
Financial Aid Eligibility
Never assume you will not be eligible! The only way to know what types of financial aid for which you are eligible is to apply by completing the FAFSA. When you complete the FAFSA application process, you will be considered for Federal and State grants, work-study and loans. In addition, you will have the opportunity to apply for a number of scholarships offered by the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation.
Students with exceptionally high need may be eligible for a Pell Grant as a less-than-half-time student. Complete the FAFSA and your eligibility will be determined based on the results of the FAFSA and based on your enrollment status of full time (12 or more credits), three-quarter time (9-11 credits), half time (6-8 credits) or less than half time (1-5 credits). The Financial Aid Office will automatically consider you for the Pell Grant and any other type of financial aid for which you may be eligible. Students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours to be considered for Federal Direct Student Loans.
Yes, when determining the amount of financial aid for which you are eligible, the Financial Aid Office assigns each student a budget, which includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous other personal expenses.
Yes. All types of financial assistance, scholarships, other community agency grants, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation grants, Dislocated Worker benefits, etc. must be reported to the Financial Aid Office to be coordinated with your federal and state aid.
The “150% subsidized loan limit” (SULA) went into effect in 2013. The rule, which applies to first-time borrowers after July 1, 2013, limits subsidized loan eligibility to 150% of (or 1.5 times) the length of your academic program. Once eligibility has lapsed, if students wish to borrow further, they would have to borrow unsubsidized loans.
Financial Aid Awards and Disbursements
You can see your financial aid award package by logging into your OLSIS account. Amounts awarded as well as details of the individual award types can be accessed after your financial aid package has been created.
Yes. When you log into your OLSIS account and view your financial aid award, you can accept or decline any financial aid that has been offered to you. Grants and Scholarships will automatically show as accepted, but for student loans, you may accept or decline a type of loan (Subsidized or unsubsidized) or accept or decline a portion of the loan offered. You cannot decline a subsidized loan and then try to accept an unsubsidized loan; the system does not allow this because subsidized loans are a much better option. If you have questions about this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Financial Aid Office.
Financial aid is applied directly to the student’s account in order to pay tuition, fees, and any other charges that may have been assessed for that student. Excess funds are processed as student refunds by the Business Office and are electronically submitted to Bank Mobile, our refund processor. During the first 3 weeks of the semester, students receive a letter in the mail from Bank Mobile with instructions for how to select a method to receive a refund from West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Students can choose to either set up a Vibe account with Bank Mobile or choose direct deposit into an account they have already established. For any questions about Bank Mobile, students can contact the WVU Parkersburg Business Office (304-424-8223) for assistance.
In order to ensure compliance with Department of Education Requirements pertaining to separation of duties for disbursement of financial aid the following is established The Executive Vice President of Finance & Administration and/or designee shall be responsible for disbursing financial aid funds as outlined in the Blue Book published by the U.S. Department of Education and other generally accepted accounting procedures
After your financial aid is disbursed to your student account, the funds applied will go towards paying the charges on your account (tuition, fees, books, etc.). If your financial aid award is more than your student bill, you will receive a difference in a refund. If your financial aid award is not enough to cover your student bill, you will owe a bill to WVU Parkersburg. This bill will need to be paid and payment arrangements will need to be made in order to remain enrolled and before you would be eligible to register for future semesters. For questions about payment arrangements or holds related to owing a balance, students should contact the WVU Parkersburg Business Office at 304-424-8223 for assistance.
After financial aid disbursements are made, the Business Office will process the information. If you are eligible for a refund, you will see the term Refund” on your OLSIS account. Refund distribution is determined by the Business Office (not the Financial Aid Office). Estimated dates for financial aid disbursements may be located in the WVU Parkersburg academic calendar.
Paybacks and Satisfactory Academic Progress
If a student completely withdraws from school (drops all classes) or quits attending before the 60% point in the semester, the student will be required to repay a portion of the aid he/she received for that semester. A federal Return of Title IV worksheet is completed using the amount of aid received and the withdrawal date to determine if any repayment is due. This is a federal formula and is not determined by WVU Parkersburg. Students are notified by mail of the repayment amount if necessary, and a hold is placed on the student’s record.
NOTE: It is important to consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawal or dropping to determine how your financial aid eligibility will be affected.
There are reasons a student would have to pay back a Pell Grant. A student will be required to pay back a Pell Grant if they drop courses that impact their enrollment status (for example, full time to three-quarter time, etc.). If the student withdrawals from a class before it starts and receives 100% refund or if a student drops courses and the only classes left on their schedule are short-term courses, they are also subject to repayment. If the student has not received their funds yet, the award will be recalculated, and the student will be notified. If a student withdrawal occurs after Pell funds have been credited to their student account or disbursed; the student will be required to repay a portion of the Pell Grant. If a student withdraws from school (drops all classes) before the 60% point in the semester or quits attending, a Return of Title IV worksheet is completed using the amount of aid received and the last date attended to determine if any repayment is due. You will be notified by mail with the repayment amount if necessary.
Title IV of Federal Financial Aid policies require that students maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to continue to qualify to receive federal financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress has three basic requirements:
- Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) of 2.0.
- Student must complete at least 67% of their cumulative attempted credits. For example, if a student is registered for 12 credit hours and drops 3, that student has completed 75% of their credit hours and will still be eligible for aid.
- Complete their program of study within 150% of the required number of credit hours. We measure cumulative hours (all college credits ever attempted, including dropped classes).
- Certificate programs are 30 credit hours in length, so students need to complete these programs before they have attempted 45 credit hours.
- Associate degree programs are 60 credit hours in length, so students need to complete before they have attempted 90 credit hours.
- Bachelor’s degree programs are 120 credit hours in length, so students need to complete before they have attempted 180 credit hours.
A Student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Students that do not meet any of the three requirements listed above will be placed on First Financial Aid Probation. Students on Financial Aid Probation must sign a contract agreeing to maintain a certain level of academic performance in order to continue receiving aid. If the student fails to comply with the contract requirements at the end of the first semester, they will be placed on Second Financial Aid Probation. During the Second Financial Aid Probation period students must sign a contract agreeing to maintain a 2.5 GPA on courses taken, agree not to drop or fail any classes, and will be limited to registering for no more than eight credit hours. Failure to comply with the terms of Second Financial Aid Probation will result in the student being suspended the following semester. If the student’s lack of progress was due to extenuating circumstances, the student can submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the Financial Aid Office by filling out a brief appeal form online.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards require students to complete their program before attempting more than 150% of the credits required for their graduation. Example: a program that requires 60 credits for graduation is eligible for financial aid for a maximum of 90 credit hours. (60 x 150% = 90.) Students are no longer eligible for financial aid after they have surpassed 150% of credit hours required for graduation.
If you received financial aid at West Virginia University at Parkersburg during the first semester and now want to transfer to another college at the end of the semester, it is important to notify the Financial Aid Office to cancel your funds for second semester. You will need to add your new college to the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov so your new college has the information they need to make a financial aid award determination. Financial aid awards are not always transferrable exactly as they are from school to school, as each school determines its own tuition and fee costs, and cost of attendance.
You may only get financial aid at one college for each semester. You should request financial aid through your home college (the school you intend to graduate from). A Consortium Agreement can be used to include the credits from both schools. If West Virginia University at Parkersburg is considered your home school (where you intend to graduate from), you should request your Consortium Agreement through the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Financial Aid Office. If you are pursuing a degree at your other college, contact their Financial Aid Office to initiate a Consortium Agreement. Credits taken must apply toward graduation for your program of study.
Federal Work Study
The Federal College Work-Study program provides jobs to eligible financial aid students. It gives them the opportunity to earn money in a part-time job and gain valuable work experience. Most jobs are on campus and can offer more flexibility than a traditional part-time job in that your class schedule is always considered when setting up your work hours. We are developing some off-campus jobs as well.
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be offered work-study as part of their Financial Aid award. If you are interested in work-study but were not offered it, contact the Financial Aid Office to review your eligibility for the program. After determining eligibility for FWS funds, you will need to apply for a position through the WVU Parkersburg Financial Aid Office.
Positions start at $8.75 per hour but can vary based on the department and the type of position. Please see the individual job postings for more details.