Federal and State financial aid help students pay for most kinds of education after high school. Federal financial aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grant), Federal College Work-Study, and Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Grants are awarded based on need and income and do not have to be repaid. The Stafford Subsidized Loan is also based on need and income, but must be repaid once the recipient graduates or withdraws from the university. However, payments do not have to begin until six months following graduation or if the student withdrawals or goes below half time at the school, during which time no interest is accrued.
The Stafford Unsubsidized loan accrues interest as soon as the student receives the loan and will continue to accrue the same interest percentage for the life of the loan. Like the Stafford Subsidized Loan, payments for the unsubsidized loan will not begin until six months after graduation, or if the student withdrawals or goes below half time at the university. Interest is set by the federal government. The recipient of all loans is responsible for making payments until the loan is fully repaid. Only undergraduates are available to receive Pell Grants, subsidized, and unsubsidized loans. Graduate or Professional students can only receive Unsubsidized loans. Financial Aid is available to assist those qualified students wishing to attend Bethesda, but not having the means to do so.
The primary responsibility for financing an education belongs to the student and his/her family. The Board of Trustees has made a major commitment to assisting all students by keeping tuition and fees at a low rate. Financial Aid at Bethesda is based upon need. Need is defined as the difference between the cost of attending Bethesda and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward the cost. The Federal "Free Application for Federal Student Aid" (FAFSA) is the form from which EFC is calculated. Bethesda does administer several Federal Title IV aid programs:
Federal Pell Grant: Federal Pell Grant is based upon financial need and cost of attendance that eligible for full-time students. The maximum Federal Pell Grant Award is $5,920 per year (2017-2018). Pell Grant is available to college students who have not previously earned a bachelor's degree.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunities Grant (SEOG): Awarded to Pell-eligible college students with exceptional demonstrated financial need. Priority is given to students with 0 (zero) EFC.
Federal Work-Study Program: Provides employment opportunities for students to assist them in earning the funds necessary to meet college expenses. The student normally works 10-15 units a week.
Federal Family Education Loan Program (Stafford Loan Program): Under this program, private lenders provided loans to students that were guaranteed by the federal government. These loans included Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, FFEL Plus Loan, and FFEL Consolidation Loans. Federal Student Loans under the FFEL Program are no longer made by private lenders. Instead, all new federal student loans come directly from the U.S Department of Education under the direct loan program.
Institutional funds are granted only to full-time students and all applicants must file a FAFSA.
I. Apply for Aid
(1) How to apply for Federal Title IV (Pell, FSEOG, FWS, Sub/Unsub Loans)
Step1: Check Basic Federal Financial Aid requirements
To qualify for federal financial aid, students must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen (Permanent Resident)
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Earned a High School Diploma or equivalent
- If male between ages 18-26, be registered for the Selective Service
o Be enrolled in an eligible program at BU for the purpose of obtaining a certificate or degree
- Demonstrate financial need; maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) every semester
- Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal education loan
- Not have been convicted of drug-related offenses or crimes.
If students do not meet the above criteria for federal financial aid, there are alternative loan programs and scholarships for which they may qualify.
Step2: File the FAFSA (School code: 032663)
Students begin the application process by submitting FAFSA. This submission informs the Financial Aid Department that the student wishes to apply for financial aid. The FAFSA is available every year starting on or after October 1.
You will need to go to https://studentaid.gov and create an FSA ID. If you are a dependent student, you will also need your parents to create one in order for them to sign your FAFSA.
When you complete the FAFSA, you will need to provide personal and tax information. It is highly recommended to use IRS DATA Retrieval Tool which automatically retrieves your tax information from the IRS. After you submit your FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) which summarizes the information in your FAFSA.
** Financial Aid is re-determined each year based on a number of criteria. Eligibility for one school year does not guarantee future eligibility. The FAFSA must be renewed each year in order to be eligible for financial aid.
Step3: Complete your File/ Verification
The Central Processing System (CPS) selects which applications are to be verified, but the school also has the authority to verify additional students. Verification is not required for students who are only eligible for unsubsidized student financial assistance.
Verification is the process used to verify the accuracy of the information a student provides when applying for federal student aid. In this process, we are required by federal law to compare the information from the FAFSA application with the information provided via the Verification Worksheet, IRS tax transcripts, and other required documentation.
How will I know I have been selected?
Not every student will be asked to submit forms. When additional information is needed, students will be notified by email letting a student know there is additional information that is needed. If we are asking for any information, get this information submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. If the student does not submit the requested information, the file will be considered inactive.
It is a federal regulation that our institution receives the required verification documents no later than 90 days after their last date of enrollment for the award year. Financial aid cannot be awarded after a term for which you are enrolled has ended. Failure to provide the documentation will prevent a financial aid award from being processed.
If a student’s FAFSA is selected for verification after already receiving an award and the student fails to complete the verification, financial aid will be retracted and the student will be billed.
What happens if there are discrepancies in the application?
The Financial Aid Office will compare all required documents to your information from the FAFSA. If necessary, corrections will be made. If corrections to a student’s FAFSA result in a change in the amount of financial aid that was initially awarded, our office will generate a revised financial aid award.
** Please monitor your student email account for communications from the Office of Financial Aid.
Step5: View your Financial Aid Awards on Populi
Enter your Populi username and password
Select the tab labeled “My Profile”
Select the tab labeled “Financial”
Select the tab labeled “Financial Aid”
Step6: Accept/Decline Financial Aid Awards
After you are notified by email that you have an estimated award offer, you must access your Populi account and accept or decline each financial aid award item. If you have been awarded a federal, state, or institutional grant, these awards will be placed on “accept” status for you “automatically”.
If you do not accept any aid, funds will not disburse unless aid is accepted. If aid is not accepted within 30 days of the offer, your award may be canceled.
Select academic year from the “Aid Year”
Select “Accept Award” or “Decline Award” for each fund.
If you wish to select a partial amount, you may do so by selecting “Accept Award” and entering the amount in the “Accept Partial Amount” field.
Click on the “Accept Aid”
Step7: Monitoring your student email
Office of Financial Aid communicates with students using student email account on Populi account. Please monitor your student email regularly in order not to miss any messages associated with your Financial Aid Award.
Step8: Receiving your money
The financial aid award is based on the assumption that you attend and participate in academically related activities for all of your enrolled classes. If you do not begin attending classes, we are not able to disburse your financial aids. Enrollment will be checked beginning the first day of class.
1. Initial Financial Aid Awards are based on full-time enrollment. Financial Aid will disburse at the beginning of each semester after the drop/add period for students whose registration matches their award and who have met all other aid eligibility requirements.
2. If you are enrolled in fewer than 12 credits, your Pell Grant will be adjusted based on the actual number of enrolled units as of the Census date (the last date of drop/add period)
Step9: Refund of Financial Aid
All institutional charges owed to the University will be automatically deducted from your financial aid disbursement before determining your refund. BU requires that all excess financial aid refunds and all other credit balances from the student account be deposited to the financial institution account of the student’s choice. Bethesda University’s preferred method for refunding funds is via electronic transfer, known as EFT. Students need to complete and return the Direct Deposit Authorization form.
If students do not provide the Direct Deposit Authorization form, BU will issue a check to the students if all appropriate papers have been signed and the student is registered for the correct number of units. The disbursement check needs to be picked up by the owner of the check only within 15 days. Otherwise, checks will be mailed to the address of the student on file with the Office of Admissions and Records.
(2) How to apply for Cal Grant/ Dream Act
To qualify for a Cal Grant, you must be a California resident and meet other eligibility, financial, and GPA requirements. All Cal Grant Recipients are responsible to review their Cal Grant on https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/ to complete any requirements needed as it can delay your Cal Grant from processing at Bethesda University.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
- Be a California resident
- Be a U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen or be exempt from nonresident tuition
- Be enrolled at least half time
- Not be in default on any federal or state education loan or owe a grant refund
- Meet U.S. Selective Service requirements
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the school
- Not have completed a prior baccalaureate degree
As a Cal Grant recipient, you may receive up to the equivalent of four years of full time grant payments. The duration of your eligibility will be based on your education level at the time you receive your first Cal Grant payment. Your eligibility will be reduced by each term that you receive payment.
Bethesda University determines education level (EL) at the time of initial payment based on the number of units completed. The EL is based on all accepted transfer units at the institution and established institutional policy.
1. EL 1 = 0 to 29.9 semester units
2. EL 2 = 30 to 59.9 semester units
3. EL 3 = 60 to 89.9 semester units
4. EL 4 = 90 or more semester units
<Cal Grant for New Student>
You need to submit the FAFSA or Dream Act Application by March 2nd.
2. GPA verification
You need to submit a GPA to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2nd.
3. WebGrants Account
You need to create an account at Webgrants for Students after you submit your FAFSA or Dream Act application.
<Cal Grant for Transfer Student>
You need to submit the FAFSA or Dream Act Application by March 2nd.
2. GPA verification
You need to submit a GPA to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2nd. Students who plan to transfer directly from a CA Community College to Bethesda University should request CA Community College GPA from prior college based on 24 completed units to the California Student Aid Commission.
3. G6 form
Transfer Students should complete the G6 Form and submit it to the CSAC.
<Cal Grant for Current Students>
1. Renewal Notification
You should receive your notification for renewal by mid-July from the Commission. If you are a renewal Cal Grant student and you have not heard from the Commission by August 1, please contact CSAC.
You need to submit the FAFSA or Dream Act application. If you did not receive a Cal Grant last year and are applying for one this year, completion of a FAFSA and GPA verification is required by March 2nd.
3. Satisfactory Academic Progress
Renewal Students are not required to file a new GPA Verification form. However, You should maintain satisfactory academic progress standards.
4. Meet financial requirements and outstanding requirements
You should meet the required income and asset ceilings and minimum need criteria.
A student who is denied a Cal Grant their first year may be eligible for the Cal Grant in subsequent years, but must file a FAFSA and submit a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form by the March 2nd deadline.
Students are required to submit their financial aid applications on an annual basis. Priority considered for financial aid funds administered by the Financial Aid Officer shall be given to students who submit all required documentation by the assigned deadline. Students must also pass verification if required.
Please visit www.calgrants.org for more information
How can I track my Cal Grant?
You can track the status of your Cal Grant at https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov
(3) How to apply for Veterans Benefits
If you are a veteran or a dependent intending to use your Veterans Benefits Administration benefits to cover tuition expenses or to help with other costs as you attend school, it is your responsibility to apply for benefits with the VA and request benefits at Bethesda University.
Step1: Apply for Benefits with the VA
** New Students**
If you are using VA education benefits for the first time, you can begin the application process in one of the following ways:
- Apply online if you know which benefits you want to use at https://gibill.va.gov/apply-for-benefits/
- Visit your nearest VA regional office to apply in person
- Call 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to have the application mailed to you
** Transfer Students**
Students who have received benefits previously at another institution and who are applying for benefits at Bethesda University for the first time, you must submit a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (VA Form 22-1995) to the VA Regional Processing Office* and to the Office of Financial Aid.
* VA Regional Processing Office: PO BOX 8888 Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
Step2: Request benefits at Bethesda University
If you’ve applied for benefits with the VA, you will be issued a Certificate of Eligibility letter from the VA. Please submit the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to the Office of Financial Aid. Once enrolled in classes, the office of financial aid will certify your number of registered units, degree program, and tuition and fees, if applicable to the VA.
Step3: Changes in Enrollment
All changes made after your initial certification should be notified to the Office of Financial aid immediately so the change can be reported. The amount of your benefits may be affected. The most common changes include:
● changes in units registered (dropping or adding classes)
● changes in courses/enrollment
● changes in major
● withdrawal from school
● changes in previously reported or incomplete grade
Failure to report changes may result in termination of benefits, delays in future certifications, delays in receiving benefit payments and underpayment/overpayment with the VA.
What classes will the VA pay for?
The VA will pay only for classes that are degree-applicable. Anything outside the degree program will not be eligible for benefits.
If you fail a course or did not receive the minimum grade considered “passing”, credits to repeat the class can be re-certified. They will not pay for repeated courses in order to get a better grade if you already passed the course.
Grading system and Grade period
The VA uses the same grading system and grade period listed in the Bethesda University Catalog.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
The VA uses the same SAP requirements listed in the Bethesda University Catalog. Any student who does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements will be placed on financial aid warning or Financial aid probation. The Financial aid probation will be reported to the VA.
Veterans Benefits and Transition Act
Bethesda University will adhere to the requirements of and comply with the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, specifically S2248 PL 115-407 Section 103.
Bethesda University permits any covered individual utilizing VA Chapter 31 or 33 to attend or participate in their course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance.
Bethesda University does not impose any penalties due to the delayed disbursement of funding from the VA under chapters 31 or 33. Students with payment delays will not be charged late fees, prevented from enrolling, or denied access to courses, libraries, or other institutional facilities. Nor are students required to borrow additional funds due to the delayed disbursement of funding from the VA under chapters 31 or 33.
The financial aid funds are disbursed in two payments for the academic year, half for the fall semester, and half for the spring semester. The enrollment status of the student at the time that funds are prepared for disbursement will be used to determine the payment amount. However, loans are not prorated and the full amount of loan amounts for the semester will be disbursed as long as the student is enrolled in a minimum of six units.
Pell Grant/ Cal Grant Disbursement Requirement
FSEOG/ Sub/ Unsub/ Plus loan Disbursement Requirement