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Graduate Financial Aid

 

Current Costs of Enrollment

Students should refer to the Clarion University Student Financial Services (SFS) website at: www.clarion.ed/finaid for current costs of enrollment and detailed billing/payment information.

Student Invoices

Student Invoices (bills) are not mailed to students. Students are billed each term (i.e. summer, fall and spring) and payment is expected by the first day of class each semester. Students can view and print their electronic invoices (bills) via the Student Service Center (https://myclarion.clarion.edu) approximately 30 days prior to the start of the semester. Winter and summer session invoices are available approximately 10 days prior to the start of these sessions.

Monthly Payment Plan

Clarion University offers an alternative to paying your bill in full via our interest free monthly payment plan. There are 12-month and 10-month payment plan options available to choose from at https://clarion.afford.com. A small enrollment fee is the only cost and no credit approval is required. Interested students may obtain additional information about the payment plan on the SFS website: www.clarion.edu/finaid.

Financial aid Refunds

Refunds from excess financial aid are not available to students until after drop/add is over each semester. The quickest way to gain access to any financial aid refunds you may receive from excess financial aid disbursements is to sign up for direct deposit online on the MyClarion portal. You can get step-by-step directions on how to do this at www.clarion.edu/267166.pdf.

Financial Aid Application

Financial assistance is available to students in the form of scholarships, loans and student employment. Detailed information and application forms may be secured from the SFS Office. Clarion urges all students to complete an annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to May 1 each year via the federal website www.fafsa.ed.gov. Please indicate Clarion’s Title IV code (003318) on the FAFSA form.

Academic Year

At Clarion University, an academic year is comprised of a Fall and Spring semester, during which time a fulltime graduate student is expected to complete at least 18 credits. The period of time school is in session consists of 30 weeks of instruction.

Financial Aid Programs

In addition to graduate assistantships, the following financial aid may be available to graduate students:


Federal TEACH Grant
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants are based on program of study and cumulative grade point average (3.25 is required) rather than financial need. In order to qualify for this grant at Clarion, students must be enrolled in a bilingual education, foreign language, mathematics, reading specialist, science or special education degree program.

Interested students should complete a TEACH Grant Preliminary Application (available in the SFS Office). Once approved for the grant, students must complete an annual Agreement To Serve document in which they agree to teach for at least four academic years within the
first eight calendar years of completing their TEACH eligible degree. NOTE: TEACH recipients who fail to complete this service obligation will have their TEACH grants convert to 6.8 percent Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Interest will be assessed retroactive to the
date the first TEACH grant disbursed to their account.

Federal Perkins Loan Program
Perkins is a need-based, campus-based loan program for students enrolled at least half-time who demonstrate considerable unmet need. Students must have the current year FAFSA form on file and must also complete a Perkins Loan Application, available in the SFS Office
each year after April 15. Perkins loan amounts may vary, but $1000 per semester is the maximum award for most Clarion students.

The 5 percent interest loan is non-interest bearing while the student is enrolled at least half-time at the university. Borrowers have a one-time-only 9-month “grace” period, during which no payment is required, after they leave Clarion. The standard repayment period
of 10 years requires borrowers to make quarterly (four times per year) payments with interest accruing at five percent.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program
Stafford Loans provide a maximum of $20,500 per academic year for eligible students. Graduate students cannot exceed an aggregate loan limit of $138,500 for both undergraduate and graduate loans.

Students must have a current year FAFSA on file, as well as a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling. The one-time-only MPN and entrance counseling are completed online at www.studentloans.gov.

Stafford loan interest rates vary by year and type of loan. However, there is an 8.25 percent maximum interest rate cap on all Direct Stafford Loan programs. Please check the SFS website at www.clarion.edu/finaid to determine the current interest rate for these loans.

Repayment for Direct Stafford Loans begins six months after the student ceases at least half-time enrollment at the university. During this six month “grace” period, no payment is required. However, monthly repayments start at the end of the one-time-only grace period and extend over a 10-year repayment period.

Loan deferments are available to eligible students--students should contact their federal loan servicer to obtain additional information if they experience financial hardships during their 10 year repayment period.

Federal Direct GradPLUS
Grad PLUS loans are available to graduate students and are not based on financial need. Students may choose to borrow up to their cost of education minus any other financial aid awarded for the year. There are no aggregate loan limits for this program.

Students must have a current year FAFSA on file and complete both a GradPLUS loan application and a GradPLUS loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) on the www.studentloans.gov website. Eligible students must be enrolled at least half time to qualify for this loan and demonstrate no adverse credit history in order to qualify for the loan.

GradPLUS loan interest rates may vary but there is a 9 percent maximum cap. Please check the SFS website at www.clarion.edu/finaid to determine the current interest rate for the GradPLUS loan.

Students may request an in-school deferment during the GradPLUS application process. This permits them to waive the requirement to begin repayment no later than 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed to their account. Students have 10 years in which to repay the loan once
their deferment expires and/or the loan is fully disbursed to the student.

Clarion University Revolving Loan
This loan fund may only be utilized for educational purposes (books, etc.) and is available to Clarion students who are enrolled on campus at least half time (six credits) and do not currently have a financial hold on their account. On-line students are not eligible to participate in this loan program. Students who wish to borrow money from this fund to purchase books at the University Book Store must complete a Promissory Note at the Book store within the first two weeks of the semester. Students who need funds for other educational related costs should contact the
Director of Student Financial Services in B-16 Carrier Hall to request funds and/or complete a Promissory Note.

Loan amounts may vary, but are typically restricted to no more than $350. The loan is interest-free but must be repaid in its entirety no later than 30 days from the date of issue. Financial aid funds can be utilized to cover this outstanding balance. However, if a borrower does not
repay the loan within this time period, the outstanding balance of any unpaid portion will be posted to the student’s university account, along with a $25 late fee. Also, a registration hold will be placed on the student’s account until such time as the loan balance is paid in full.

Employment
Employment on a part-time basis is available to the extent that funds are provided by the federal government and the institution. The assignment of students to on or off-campus positions is generally based on financial need. Students interested in student employment should
review the university’s Career Services website at www.clarion.edu/career to identify employment opportunities.

All student employment programs require eligible students to maintain a least half-time enrollment (six credits) during the academic year. Participating students must be paid at least the current federal minimum wage rate and receive their pay on a bi-weekly basis.

Federal Work-Study Program
The university participates in the Federal Work-Study Program which permits students with unmet financial need to work while classes are in session. Eligible students must have a current year FAFSA on file. Participating students typically work no more than 10-15 hours per week (as determined by the employer) during the academic year.

State (Institutional) Employment Program
Students participating in this program do not need to demonstrate unmet financial need nor is a current year FAFSA required. Hours are typically limited to no more than 10-15 hours per week during the academic year (as determined by the employer).

Veterans’ Benefts
Clarion University is approved to offer training under the various GI Bills. Students who are entitled under one of these bills should contact the Veterans’ Counselor, in the SFS Office, immediately after being accepted for admission to the university in order to secure additional instruction. This procedure is necessary to ensure students receive their monthly benefits. Please contact the SFS Office, B-16 Carrier Hall, at 1-800-672-7171,opt#2 for additional information.

Conditions Which Accompany Financial Aid
In order to continue receiving financial aid following initial enrollment at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, students must meet certain conditions each year. One such condition requires students to enroll at least parttime (six credits) for the federal aid programs. Also, all
federal aid applicants must reapply for aid using the FAFSA form each year. Full time graduate students may receive assistance from the federal Title IV programs for up to 150 percent of the published length of their educational program.

Federal aid regulations require students to maintain “satisfactory academic progress”. In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, part-time and full-time students must successfully complete at least 67 percent of all cumulative attempted credits to date as measured on an annual basis. This percentage is calculated and reviewed each academic year at the end of the spring term, prior to the student’s receipt of any additional federal financial aid monies for the future academic year.

Students, regardless of enrollment status, who fail to achieve a cumulative QPA of at least a 3.00 are not eligible to receive additional federal aid, even if they meet the 67 percent cumulative completion requirement.

Appeal Procedure
Students denied financial aid for any reason may appeal the denial as follows:

  1. Write to the Student Financial Services Office (SFS), Clarion University, 840 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214, noting the denial and stating the reasons why financial aid should not be denied. NOTE: If the student is appealing a lack of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) determination, specific directions on the appeal process are available at www.clarion.edu/104683.pdf

  2. FS Office staff will review the denial in terms of information provided by the student.

  3. Following the review, the SFS Office staff will inform the student of the status of the appeal (granted/declined).

Refund Policy
Students receiving financial assistance from Clarion University are subject to the same refund policies as those who are not aid recipients.
Federal Title IV Regulations dictate the return of federal aid monies. If a recipient of Title IV funds (TEACH Grant, Direct Stafford Loan, Direct GradPlus Loan) withdraws from school after beginning attendance, a portion of the Title IV funds may have to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of the Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

If a student withdraws before completing 60 percent of the semester, the percentage of Title IV funds earned is equal to the percentage of the semester completed. The university is required to return the unearned portion to USDE. The percentage of payment period or term completed
up to the withdrawal date is determined by dividing the total number of days enrolled up to the date of withdrawal, by the total days in the “standard” payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: aid to be returned = (100 percent of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period of the term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Please note, when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a postwithdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal. The institution must return the amount of the Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.

Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans

  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans

  • Federal Perkins Loans

  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans

  • Federal Pell Grants

  • Federal SEOG Grants


If a student withdraws after completing 60 percent of the semester, the percentage of Title IV funds earned is 100 percent.


NOTE: Students who request a 100 percent withdrawal after the term is completed, will be required to repay all refund amounts they received from excess financial aid during the term in question. This repayment must happen before the withdrawal request is finalized. Students who withdraw after the semester begins or reduce their credit hour load should contact the Student Financial Services Office to determine the impact on their financial aid awards.


NOTE: The university refund policy for tuition and fees is different from the Federal Title IV regulations.