Applying for Aid

If you are a working adult (age 23 and older), seeking our Program for Experienced Learners adult degree, please click here.

Applying for Aid

The application process for financial aid is simplified at Eckerd College. Students applying for need based funds or student loans only need to complete The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The easiest way to submit this application is through the internet at www.fafsa.gov. Be certain to request that Eckerd College receive your FAFSA results by listing our institutional code of 001487 on your FAFSA. Your information will usually be sent to Eckerd College within two weeks.

Applying for financial aid is FREE. Make sure you go to www.fafsa.gov (fafsa.com is a business, which charges a fee for filing the application).

By obtaining a PIN number, which can be used in subsequent years, you can also electronically sign your application, make changes to your information and update personal data. A PIN number is easily attainable here online.

Helpful Hints

  • Don't wait until your taxes are completed to file your FAFSA. Estimate your income information. Early filing increases your opportunity to receive funds. You can make corrections later.
  • Include all colleges you are considering on your FAFSA. Waiting to apply for aid until after you have been admitted may lessen your chances of receiving aid.
  • Let us decide your eligibility. Some people incorrectly assume that they won't be eligible, so they do not apply. Let our aid professionals assess what funds you are qualified to receive.
  • Some applications are chosen for verification, check out the Verification tab above for more information. The verification process requires that Eckerd College confirm the information reported on the FAFSA by reviewing the IRS 1040 tax transcript or for you to use the IRS tax retrieval tool on your FAFSA as well as a Verification Worksheet. Eckerd College will notify you if your application is subject to verification. Award notifications may be delayed if verification has not been completed.
  • Financial aid is not automatically renewed. A FAFSA must be completed every year.
  • Read all letters or e-mails from the financial aid office. There may be more information that we need from you or your parents. Not providing this to us may delay the review of your application.

The Priority Deadline for FAFSA application is March 1st. Applications are accepted throughout the academic year. However, applications received prior to March 1st will receive maximum consideration for all federal, state and institutional funds.

The financial information analyzed from the FAFSA provides a foundation for the equitable treatment of all financial aid applicants. This data is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is subtracted from the annual cost of attendance to determine your financial need. The Central Processor electronically sends this information to Eckerd College. Click here to estimate your EFC.

The Office of Financial Aid reviews the results and notifies students of their financial aid award. All awards are made on the assumption that the student will attend Eckerd College as a full time student, at least 12 credit houses a semester. Awards may be adjusted for enrollment of less than full time. The financial aid award includes all funds that the student is eligible to receive. Any questions, concerns or appeals of financial aid decisions should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.

Verification

2013-2014 Academic Year

For the 2013-2014 Academic Year, the Department of Education has introduced customized verification. The verification requirements will differ based upon the category assigned to the applicant when the FAFSA is processed. If your application has been selected, the Office of Financial Aid will inform you of the documents need to be submitted. Since requirements vary depending upon the verification category, the forms will not be posted on our website but will be sent to you.

Deadlines for Submitting Documentation
Pell eligible students must submit the required documents no later than 120 days after the student’s last day of enrollment or the deadline published in the Federal Register, which is earlier.

Students receiving Federal campus based aid, Federal direct subsidized or unsubsidized loans or state need based aid must provide these documents prior to the last date of attendance during the award year. Verification must be completed before a loan may be certified.

FRESHMEN AND TRANSFER RESIDENTIAL APPLICANTS
Estimated awards are made to Freshmen and Transfer Residential applicants, who will begin attendance in the Autumn Term or Fall Semester. Students, who have not completed verification, will not receive any federal aid disbursements and are not allowed to begin work study employment. Eckerd College requests that required documents be received no later than September 30th, unless the individual has been granted a tax extension. After this date, Federal Pell Grant and Federal campus based financial aid as well as need based state grants will be canceled.

The Federal Pell Grant will be reinstated upon the completion of verification. Federal campus based and state need based awards will be reinstated if funds are available.

Consequences of not Meeting Deadlines
With the exception of Freshmen and Transfer Residential Applicants, no federal or need based financial aid will be awarded to a student until verification has been completed. Federal campus based funds and state need based funds are limited. Funds will not be set aside for applicants who have not completed verification.

When a student is chosen for verification after an award has been made, the undisbursed amount of the award will be canceled until verification has been completed.

Freshmen and Transfer Residential students, who do not provide the verification documents, will have awards canceled on September 30th. Students will be responsible for any balance due to the college.

Correction Procedures for Students
Upon completing of verification, the Office of Financial Aid will send all corrections to the Central Processing System. Students are not required to make these corrections.

Renewal Requirements

Financial aid awards may be renewed based upon academic progress or continued financial need. A FAFSA application is required annually for need based financial aid.

Eckerd College Merit Awards and Eckerd College Grants

Renewable for up to four years. Students must maintain a 2.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average.

Florida Resident Access Grant

Renewable for up to 9 semesters. Students must have earned 24 credit hours during the prior year and maintain a 2.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average.

Florida Bright Futures Scholarships

Renewable for up to 132 credit hours. A student enrolled full time for the entire academic year must earn at least 24 credit hours and maintain the minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for a Florida Academic Scholar Award and 2.75 for the Florida Medallion Award or Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award. If a student is enrolled part time for any part of the academic year, the student must earn a prorated number of credit hours.

Florida Student Assistance Grant

Renewable for up to 9 semesters. Students must have earned 24 credit hours during the prior year and maintain a 2.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average.

Federal Financial Aid and Grants

Federal funds are renewable if a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). There are two components to Satisfactory Academic Progress, a Quantitative Requirement and a Qualitative Requirement. The requirements for determining satisfactory academic progress for financial aid have changed. These standards will be used in determining Eligibility for financial aid for the 2011-2012 Academic Year.

Quantitative Requirement:

Two components are reviewed: 1) the maximum completion time and 2) the required completion ratio.

Maximum Completion Time – Federal regulations allow a student to attempt 150% of the credit hours required to complete the academic program. The average student will meet the graduation requirements by completing 126 credit hours. A student may attempt up to 189 credit hours, including transfer credit hours, to be eligible to receive federal financial aid.

Completion Ratio – A student must earn 67% of the hours attempted at Eckerd College. Transfer hours accepted toward the completion of your Eckerd College degree will be included in the number of attempted and completed hours.

At the time of review, an INC (INCOMPLETE), W (WITHDRAWN), Missing, or F Grades will be counted as attempted courses that have not been completed. Courses that are repeated courses are included as both attempted and completed courses and are included in your maximum completion time. 

Qualitative Requirement:

You must meet the minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average for your degree level to meet this requirement. The Cumulative Grade Point Average is calculated for courses taken at Eckerd College only and do not include grades from another college.

Cumulative GPA Minimum Standard by Class Standing:
Freshmen 1.6
Sophomores 1.8
Juniors  2.0
Seniors 2.0

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review:

Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed at the end of the academic year. Students not making satisfactory academic progress will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for the upcoming academic year. The student is not eligible for any federal financial aid while on Financial Aid Probation. After a year of Financial Aid Probation, the student will be reviewed to determine if satisfactory academic progress has been met. If the standards of satisfactory academic progress are met, the student will be eligible for financial aid during the next academic year.

Students may submit a written appeal. The appeal should state:

  1. Why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, and
  2. What has changed that will allow a student to make Satisfactory Academic Progress during the upcoming academic year.

If the appeal is approved, the student's status will be Federal Financial Aid Probation – Appeal Approved and will be eligible for federal financial aid. If satisfactory academic progress is not attained at the end of this Probationary Period, the student's Eligibility for federal financial aid will be terminated. A student terminated from federal financial aid must request a review by the Office of Financial Aid to determine if federal financial aid will be reinstated.

This can be very confusing, so here are some examples.

Example 1: During the 2010-2011 Academic Year, Megan (a freshman) attempted 28 credit hours. She withdrew from one class (3.5 credit hours) during the fall and failed one class (3.5 credit hours) in the spring. For the 2010-2011 Academic Year, she has completed 21 credit hours and has a 1.8 Cumulative GPA. Eligibility – For the 2011-2012 Academic Year, Megan is eligible because she completed 75% of the classes she attempted and had at least a 1.6 Cumulative GPA.

Example 2: Steve (a sophomore) has attempted 59 credit hours – 28 in his freshmen year and 31 in his sophomore year. At the end of the 2010-2011 Academic Year, Steve has completed only 30 of the 59 credit hours attempted and has a 3.0 Cumulative GPA.Eligibility – For the 2011-2012 Academic Year, Steve is NOT eligible. Although he has met the minimum cumulative GPA, he has only completed 51% of the credit hours he has attempted. Steve does not appeal. During the 2011-2012 Academic Year, he attempts another 30 credit hours and completes all of them. At the end of the 2011-2012 Academic Year, Steve has completed 60 of the 89 credit hours attempted (67%) and has a 2.75 Cumulative GPA. Steve would regain Eligibility for federal financial aid for the 2012-2013 Academic Year.

Example 3: Andrea is a junior. At the end of the 2010-2011 Academic Year, Andrea has completed 50 of the 90 credit hours attempted (55%) with a 1.9 Cumulative GPA. Eligibility – For the 2010-2011 Academic Year, Andrea is NOT eligible. She has not met either the quantitative or the qualitative requirements. Andrea submits an appeal in writing to the Office of Financial Aid explaining why she was not able to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements and what she will do during the 2011-2012 Academic Year to meet the requirements. Her appeal is approved and she receives financial aid for the 2011-2012 Academic Year. At the end of the 2011-2012 Academic Year, Andrea has completed 60 of the 100 credit hours attempted (60%) and has a 2.0 cumulative GPA. For the 2012-2013 Academic Year, Andrea is not eligible for federal financial aid since she has not completed 67% of the attempted hours. Her Eligibility for federal financial aid has been terminated. If Andrea wishes to receive federal financial aid for the 2013-2014 Academic Year, she must request a review of her progress by the Office of Financial Aid.

Drug Conviction and Financial Aid

Students convicted of violating any federal or state drug possession or sale law while enrolled in school and receiving federal financial aid funds were received will become ineligible for Federal Title IV financial aid.

Title IV aid includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Stafford, PLUS and Perkins Loans and Federal Work-Study programs.

If you have answered "YES" to question 23 on the FAFSA, please complete the Student Eligibility Worksheet for Question 23

This worksheet determines your eligibility date for Federal Student Financial Aid.

You can become eligible earlier in the school year if you complete an acceptable drug rehabilitation program or pass two unannounced drug tests administered by an acceptable drug rehabilitation program.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Appeal for Reinstatement

Eckerd College realizes that unusual circumstances, such as illness, a family crisis or unforeseen problems may result in a student not meeting the renewal requirements for financial aid. Students, who have not met the academic requirements for renewal, may appeal for reinstatement. Appeals based on medical reasons must include documentation from a physician.

All Appeals for Reinstatement should be directed to:

Dr. Pat Watkins
Eckerd College Director of Financial Aid
4200 54th Avenue S
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
727-864-8334 or 1-800-456-9009
finaid@eckerd.edu

Adult Degree Program (PEL)

Financial aid is not limited to students attending the Residential Program. It is available to all students enrolled in a degree program, who meet the eligibility requirements.

Financial aid is a comprehensive term and refers to any type of assistance used to meet educational expenses. This includes scholarships, grants, loans and work programs.

When Eckerd College started the Program for Experience Learners, the PEL tuition rate was set considerably lower than the tuition rate charged to Residential Program students. Because of this reduced tuition rate, the college is not able to offer the same scholarship opportunities as the Residential Program. Through the generosity of our donors, we are able to offer a limited number of institutional scholarships to students attending the PEL program.

I didn't apply for admission until August. The deadline for financial aid was March 1st. Is it too late to apply for financial aid?

The March 1st date is a priority deadline. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and the Florida Student Assistance Grant funds are limited. There is not enough funding to award all eligible students. This is why a priority deadline was established. You can still complete the Free Application for Financial Aid. If you are applying for the 2010-2011, Eckerd College must receive a valid FAFSA from the FAFSA Processor no later than the last date of your attendance or June 30, 2011 whichever comes first.

Can I use my financial aid to defer my tuition?

Students who have been awarded financial aid can use their financial aid to defer the payment of tuition. A financial aid award is made after a student:

  1. Been admitted to Eckerd College and
  2. Has a valid FAFSA on file with the Eckerd College Office of Financial Aid. A valid FAFSA is a completed application containing an estimated family contribution (EFC) and
  3. Has completed verification. (If your application was chosen for verification, Eckerd College must confirm the accuracy of the information reported )and
  4. Has resolved any conflicting information with the Office of Financial Aid.

To be eligible for a deferment, you must be awarded financial aid that equals to or exceeds your tuition.

How can I receive the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG)?

To be eligible for the FRAG, a student must be a permanent resident of Florida for one year prior to the beginning of the academic semester. To receive the FRAG, a student must be enrolled as a full time student during the semester. Awards are not based on financial need. The FRAG is awarded to students who have a completed FAFSA on file with Eckerd College no later than October 1st for Fall Semester consideration and no later than February 1st for Spring Semester consideration.

The FAFSA is required to confirm additional grant requirements. Students, who did not receive a FRAG in 2009-2010, must also complete the FLORIDA RESIDENCY AFFADAVIT and return it with the required documentation. Students who receive 100% of their tuition and fees paid through an outside source (such as an employer or other agency) are not eligible for the FRAG.

On the FAFSA, last year's income was reported. My income is now less. Is there anything I can do?

If you have lost your job or have had a reduction in wages or benefits, you may be eligible for Special Condition Consideration. Professional judgment allows the financial aid administrator to reassess you need based on your projected income. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at 727-864-8334 to get the Special Condition Consideration form.

How is financial aid awarded?

Eckerd College awards financial aid based on full-time enrollment in a semester. For example, the Fall I and Fall II Terms combine to make the Fall Semester. All financial aid is awarded on the assumption that a student will be full time. Financial aid programs have different enrollment requirements. Here are the requirements:

Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG)

  • Must be at least 12 credit hours in a semester. FRAG is not available for the summer.

Florida Student Assistant Grant (FSAG)

  • Must be at least 12 credit hours in a semester

Federal Pell Grant - These amounts are subject to the minimum award requirement.

  • 12 credit hours or more equal 100% of the semester award
  • 9-11 credit hours equal 75% of the semester award
  • 6-8 credit hours equal 50% of the semester award
  • 3-5 credit hours equal 25% of the semester award

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

  • 12 credit hours or more equal 100% of the semester award
  • 9-11 credit hours equal 75% of the semester award
  • 6-8 credit hours equal 50% of the semester award

Federal Direct Loans

  • Must be at least 6 credit hours in a semester

I don't need to borrow the amount of federal loans listed on my award letter. How do I change this?

You are not required to accept all or any of your federal student loans. Please e-mail the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@eckerd.edu and indicate that you are declining all of your loans; declining a specific loan (such as the unsubsidized loan) or wish to reduce your loan amount.

When are financial aid funds paid?

Funds are paid to students after the second term of the semester add/drop period. This is known as the 'freeze date'. Your enrollment is determined as of that date and adjustments are made for less than full time enrollment. Financial aid is disbursed into a student's account in November for Fall enrollment, in April for Spring enrollment, and in July for Summer enrollment. If your financial aid exceeds your charges, you will receive a refund from the Student Accounts Office.

Federal regulations require that the college confirm your attendance in class before any financial aid can be paid. If you are enrolled in a Directed Study or an Independent Study class, to meet this requirement attendance is confirmed when a student has submitted an assignment. If enrollment cannot be confirmed by the freeze date, financial aid hours will be adjusted. Financial aid funds will be disbursed based upon the adjusted hours.

PLEASE NOTE: The adjustment of financial aid hours is not to be construed as an academic withdrawal. The student will not be withdrawn from the course and may continue and complete the course. Financial aid will not, however, be changed to reflect the completion of the course.

Are emergency loans available?

The Mary Miller Emergency Loan Program allows students facing an unexpected emergency to receive up to $500. This emergency loan will be repaid automatically when the financial aid is disbursed.

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