For all need-based financial aid programs, any tuition assistance received by the student must be considered. The SWU Financial Aid Application asks whether assistance of this type is to be received by the student and if so, how much and under any specific conditions. It is imperative that the student report these types of assistance completely and accurately. Failure to do so may affect some state and/or federal funding.
South Carolina Tuition Grant
To apply for the South Carolina Grant, you must list Southern Wesleyan University first in Step Six of the FAFSA. Your information will automatically be forwarded to the SC Tuition Grants Commission. You might receive a tentative eligibility letter from the Tuition Grant Commission informing you of the potential maximum SCTG award. Do not mistake this for the actual award letter. The actual amount of the award is certified by SWU and is based on the number of credit hours you complete per term. You must be enrolled in at least 12 hours in the Fall and 12 hours in the Spring to receive Tuition Grant. This will require taking additional courses outside the recommended schedule (Fall 9 hours, Spring 9 hours, Summer 6 hours); therefore, not all students will be eligible. Your FAFSA must be processed by June 30 to be eligible for this grant.
If you meet the basic qualifications, you will be notified by the Commission that you are potentially eligible, pending verification of satisfactory academic progress and confirmation of full-time enrollment by the Financial Aid Office at SWU. When SWU receives that list of those potentially eligible students from the Commission, it is required to verify that the student has completed at least 24 credit hours during the previous qualifying year, is enrolled full-time and has made a satisfactory grade point average during the fall and spring terms. We also provide the Commission with information about any Pell grant received and/or any tuition assistance received. The Commission then calculates need and eligibility based on these factors and notifies SWU of the amount of tuition grant that a student will receive. SWU will then notify the student in writing of the amount of grant and when the disbursements may be expected.
Online and graduate students who change their schedules during or after tuition grant certification may face return of funds for hours not completed. When the roster for the second disbursement arrives, the Financial Aid Office will check hours completed against hours certified and make adjustments where necessary. If additional hours have been taken or are scheduled, the Financial Aid Office may request additional funding from the Commission. The Commission will determine whether such requests may be granted.
Appeals: The South Carolina Tuition Grant Commission will consider appeals when students face unusual circumstances which have hindered achievement of satisfactory academic progress during a previous year. Such conditions might include catastrophic events, unforeseen and unavoidable to the student. Information about appeals is available from the assistant director of financial aid.
LIFE Scholarship –up to $5,000
Awarded to South Carolina residents who meet two of the following three requirements: 1) 1100 SAT or 24 ACT, 2) 3.0 GPA, or 3) rank in top 30 percent of graduating class. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and earn an average 30 hours per academic year in order to remain eligible.
HOPE Scholarship – up to $2,800
Awarded for the first year of attendance to South Carolina residents with a cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA who do not qualify for the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship.
Based on family need, the Federal Government provides individual grants of up to $5920 per year for educational expenses. The FAFSA provides the needed information about eligibility. When the electronic information is transmitted to the Financial Aid Office, eligibility is noted based on FAFSA data and scheduled enrollment hours and SWU schedules the Pell grant award. The student will be notified and disbursements will be handled by the Financial Aid Office. Before disbursements are processed, the Financial Aid Office will check the student’s current schedule against the original Pell award. This may result in an adjustment from the originally scheduled award to accommodate for a change in enrollment hours. Adjustments will be made where necessary, and the student may be responsible to repay any Pell monies which were received for coursework not taken. Students may receive Pell Grants for up to 12 semesters.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – up to $500
Available to undergraduate students seeking their first undergraduate degree with demonstrated financial need. Funds are limited.
Federal Stafford Loans
Several important notes regarding the Direct Student Loan Programs.
- Direct Loans for graduate and professional students will only be unsubsidized.
- Subsidized Loans for undergraduate students will accrue interest during the six month "grace period" after graduation.
Independent students enrolled in the University may borrow up to $9,500 for the first year (up to 29 credit hours), $10,500 for the second year (up to 59 credit hours), and $12,500 for the third (up to 89 credit hours) and fourth years. Dependent students, under age 24, have lower annual loan limits and may contact their Financial Aid Counselor for details. Eligibility is determined through the FAFSA, and certification is based on a student’s expected schedule. Information about interest rates, deferments, and qualifications for subsidized or unsubsidized monies is available from the Financial Aid Office. The first disbursement will not be made until the student has actually begun the program. Loans are certified for an academic year. When the time for the second disbursement arrives, the student’s schedule is compared to the schedule which was originally certified, and any adjustments that are necessary will be made. If students schedule breaks (for whatever reasons), then disbursements may be delayed until at least half of the credits for which the loan has been certified have been earned. Students should budget carefully to allow necessary funding for the hours of the loan period.
Deferments: Repayment of federal loans will begin six months after termination of enrollment. AGS deferments are handled by the associate registrar; contact her for questions about individual situations.
Federal Perkins Loan (NDSL) – up to $27,500 total
Eligible students may borrow up to $5,500 per year. Repayment begins nine months after termination of enrollment. Funds are awarded based on availability, time of application, and financial need.
Parent PLUS Loan – up to full cost
Parents of eligible students may borrow up to the full cost of attendance at a flat interest rate. Although flat for a given year, the flat rate does change each academic year.
Certain armed forces veterans and dependents who qualify under Federal laws administered by the Veteran’s Administration are eligible to receive educational benefits. Information about these programs is available through state or county VA offices or from the Academic Records Office. Students who receive veteran’s benefits must report expected benefits on their FAFSA when submitting it to the Financial Aid Office.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Individuals with a handicap which directly impedes employment may apply to the Vocational Rehabilitation Services to determine eligibility for assistance (including education) toward a goal of employment.
In addition to the above programs, many companies, corporations, and foundations offer aid to students based upon a variety of criteria. Students should investigate policies and programs of employers and foundations within their fields of study.
Satisfactory academic progress (generally measured by institutional standards) and continuous enrollment must be maintained for continued consideration for assistance.