Financial Aid Important Dates and Deadlines
October 1 - Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online at www.fafsa.gov and is recommended for all students interested in federal aid and/or state aid, including the HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarships.
Late November - Mid-May - "Early Estimate" Awards for all students that have completed the FAFSA application process. Look for an "Early Estimate" Award email from the GC Financial Aid Office. Instructions for accessing the award information and explanations will be included.
Early December - President's Scholarship Competition at Georgia College.
Middle of February – Georgia College Scholarship application for returning students must be submitted. Access the application from the Scholarship Application System within Unify. Emails will also be sent to students' Bobcat email account notifying them of the final deadline.
March 1 – FAFSA application must be received by Georgia College Financial Aid Office in order to receive priority consideration.
Mid-May – Official Award Notifications will be made and students will be notified via e-mail. The Office of Financial Aid will begin processing Parent PLUS loan applications.
July 1 – Fall semester "soft" deadline for completion of all financial aid forms to guarantee fund availability for the Fall payment deadline. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.
November 1 - Spring semester "soft" deadline for completion of all financial aid forms to guarantee fund availability for the Spring payment deadline. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.
April 1 - Summer semester "soft" deadline for completion of all financial aid forms to guarantee fund availability for the Summer payment deadline. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds awarded.
Prior to the End of Each Term for the HOPE or ZELL Miller Scholarship - The deadline to be reviewed for Georgia’s HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships is the last day of class for the semester the student is seeking payment from these funds. Students who think they may be eligible for either HOPE or Zell Miller MUST email the Financial Aid Office PRIOR to the last day of the semester they are seeking potential payment from either of these scholarship programs. Please be aware that the GC Financial Aid office makes every effort to identify possible candidates based on academic history but it is the student’s responsibility if they have not been awarded these funds to initiate a review of their eligibility prior to the end of the semester they are seeking payment. This policy is necessary due to imposed state-mandated deadlines for universities to finalize reconciliation of all payments.
- Students must submit complete financial aid applications to be considered for aid. Some programs have a limited supply of funds. Please note that this is not a guarantee of funds availability but rather a timeframe based on previous history. All limited-funded programs are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Students must submit complete financial aid applications by these dates in order to use financial aid funds to pay for the semester's bill. Students whose files are not complete by this date should be prepared to pay costs until applications are processed and eligibility is determined.
- Particular programs may have stricter deadlines. Examples would be HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship and Move On When Ready (MOWR). Specific dates and/or deadlines for various aid types that deviate from the above timeline are denoted on our website in the explanation of those particular programs.
1. Apply and be accepted for admission to Georgia College.
2. Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.gov/. (Students who have previously applied for aid and have supplied the Department of Education with an email address, will be sent notifications electronically via e-mail)
3. When completing the FAFSA, be sure to list Georgia College in the school section of the application using our Federal School Code of 001602. This will allow us to receive an electronic copy of the application.(Students should also be certain that all necessary signatures are included.)
4. In no more than four weeks, the student will receive an e-mail notification with a direct link to the student's online Student Aid Report (SAR). If an e-mail address was not provided on the application, the information will be mailed to the student. An electronic copy will also be sent to GC if so indicated. Please carefully read the comment section on the SAR to determine if any further action is required to complete the application process. If any information is incorrect, follow the instructions provided on the SAR.
5. Please verify online information in PAWS to see that an electronic copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) has been received.
6. Verification is the process by which the U.S. Department of Education requires schools to check a certain percentage of their financial aid applications for accuracy. If the application is selected, the student will be asked to submit additional information to the Financial Aid Office. (At a minimum, possible documentation will include a completed verification worksheet, student's federal tax transcript, and if applicable, the parent's or spouse's tax transcript).
7. A student is awarded their maximum annual loan eligibility when the Financial Aid Office determines financial aid eligibility. Students can then cancel or lower the amount of Stafford loan funds offered. Students who have not borrowed their annual loan limits, may apply for additional Stafford loans funds. A student may also be eligible for additional loan funds once they change class levels during the academic year. Students can request Stafford loan funds by completing the Stafford Loan Application.
8. Parents of dependent students, may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, online at www.studentloans.gov. Parents will start the Federal Direct PLUS application process and sign the master promissory note online using the parent's FSA ID.
9. Students will be notified via their school email of their eligibility for financial aid through either an electronic Award Letter or explanation of ineligibility. This notification is typically sent within a few weeks. However, it will take longer during peak processing times.
10. Be sure to report to the Financial Aid Office, in writing, any pending outside scholarships.
If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
The Georgia College Office of Financial Aid will contact newly admitted students via U.S. mail if verification documents are needed to complete the financial aid file. Returning students will be sent an e-mail of needed documents, but we encourage you to follow the steps described below to check the status of your FAFSA application:
Check Status of Financial Aid
- Go to http://unify.gcsu.edu.
- Enter Unify/PAWS login.
- Select PAWS icon.
- Select” Financial Aid” tab
- Select “Check Financial Aid Status”
- Select the appropriate aid year
- Review the status of your financial aid
Students will receive an e-mail notification detailing how to check their Financial Aid awards once their complete file has been reviewed for aid.
View Your Awards
To view your online award letter, please follow the steps described below:
1. Go to http://unify.gcsu.edu.
2. Enter Unify/PAWS login.
3. Select PAWS icon.
3. Select "Financial Aid" tab.
4. Enter the Bobcat DEN (Detailed Eligibility Notification)
View or Pay Your Bill Online
To view your bill, or pay your bill online, please follow the steps described below:
1. Go to http://unify.gcsu.edu.
2. Enter Unify/PAWS login.
3. Select PAWS icon.
4. Select Student Account tab
5. Select Make a Payment
6. Select Pay option
7. Select Payment Method
Students may check the status of the FAFSA online at FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid or by using the Department of Education's automated system (touch tone phone required) at 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and selecting option #1. Students who do not wish to use the automated system or who have a rotary phone should call 319-337-5665.
If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
equals Financial Need
The Cost of Attendance (COA), which is determined by GC, is an estimate of tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, personal and miscellaneous expenses. This estimate is used in financial aid calculations and is prepared in advance of actual fees being established. The financial aid Cost of Attendance includes cost paid directly to GC and also indirect cost that the student may incur associated with attending school.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC), is derived from a congressional formula that is applied to a student's family income as reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for the federal student aid programs.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible permanent resident.
- Be in compliance with the Academic Requirements for receiving Aid.
- Be fully accepted for admission at Georgia College in a degree-seeking program. Georgia College does not offer aid to students enrolled in certificate programs.
- Non-degree, transient, conditional and/or unclassified students are not eligible for Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct PLUS.
- Transient students may receive HOPE Scholarship funds, if eligible. Eligibility is determined by the students "home" institution. Payment is made by the "visiting" institution in accordance with HOPE regulations.
- Not be in default on any loan or have borrowed in excess of loan limits at any institution.
- Not owe a refund on any grant at any institution.
- Certify registration with Selective Service, if required.
- Demonstrate financial need for need-based programs.
Effective July 1, 2000, students are ineligible for Title IV federal financial aid funds if convicted of an offense involving the possession of an illegal substance that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the students were receiving federal student aid (grants, loans and/or work-study).
The ineligibility period is:
• First Offense = 1 year
• Second Offense = 2 years
• Third Offense = Indefinite
For convictions involving sale of an illegal substance, the ineligibility period is:
• First Offense = 2 years
• Second Offense = Indefinite
A student may regain eligibility by successfully completing a drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Financial Aid Office for further details. Report any convictions involving an illegal substance on question #23 of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If you have any additional questions please contact the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Change in Information
Awards are based on the information students provide on applications for aid. Changes to that information (marital status, number of dependents, place of residence, withdrawal from period of enrollment, reduction in the number of hours carried, change in academic program, Social Security or Veteran's Benefits, etc.) must be reported promptly in writing to the Financial Aid Office for a determination of the impact, if any, on the amount of funds awarded to the student. It is often necessary to revise awards, especially if federal or state funds are a part of the award, in order to avoid exceeding your demonstrated financial eligibility.
The Financial Aid Office must, therefore, reserve and/or modify the student's award at any time. Failure to contact the Financial Aid Office may jeopardize continuation of aid, cause cancellation of aid, or require repayment of funds already disbursed to the student. All awards are contingent upon the availability of funds.
Office of Financial Aid
Campus Box 30
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Students who register, then withdraw, drop out, are expelled, or change enrollment status are subject to the Department of Education's regulations regarding return of Title IV Federal Aid, and may have to repay a portion or all of the aid received to the University.
Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any additional questions.
Exception: If you are taking preparatory coursework that is required for another eligible program and enrolled in at least half time in these courses, you may qualify to receive Federal Direct Loans for one consecutive 12-month period beginning on the first day of the loan period. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 478-445-5149.
Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Program Integrity regulations passed on October 29, 2010, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive financial aid. This standard must apply to the student’s entire academic history, whether Title IV financial aid was received or not. In order to remain eligible to receive aid at Georgia College, students must meet the standards specified for acceptable academic performance and for satisfactory progress toward the completion of their program of study. The standards are established within the framework of applicable federal regulations specifically for the purpose of determining the eligibility of students to receive aid under the generally funded Title IV programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Georgia’s HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship, and Federal Direct Loan Programs (Stafford, PLUS, and Grad PLUS). These standards should not be confused with Good Standing, Warning, Probation, Dismissal, or Exclusion as defined by Georgia College’s academic policies.
*Please note that all transfer hours as well as all attempts of courses repeated are included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress(SAP) calculations.
The Georgia College definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for receiving financial aid includes the following components:
Qualitative (GPA) Standards
Georgia College uses the 4.0 grade point average and numerical code:
4.0 = A 1.0 = D
3.0 = B 0.0 = F
2.0 = C 0.0 = WF
Students are required to maintain the following overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) as indicated below:
Cumulative hours Successfully Completed = % Completed
Quantitative (Incremental Progress) Standards
Students are expected to successfully complete 67% of all attempted coursework. This cumulative calculation includes all Georgia College and any transfer coursework attempted. Attempted hours and successful completed hours are based on all courses included on the students’ official academic history. Further, all attempts of repeated coursework and non-credit coursework are included. The formula of this calculation is:
Cumulative hours Attempted
The following will be considered as hours successfully completed:
Grades A, B, C or D “S” (Satisfactory)
Likewise, the following will be considered as hours not successfully completed:
“WF” (Withdrew Failing)
“IP” (In Progress)
Maximum Time Frame Standards
Students will have a maximum of 150% of the average program to complete their degree requirements while continuing to qualify for federal and state aid. The maximum time frame allowed will consist of all attempted hours inclusive of hours described in the Quantitative Standards section of this policy. Students who have Learning Support courses will have these hours excluded for the maximum time frame standard calculation. The allowable time frames at Georgia College are as follows:
Allowances For 2nd Bachelor degree and Specialist degree will be made for eligible aid recipients.
Any credit received by examination (denoted with a grade of K) is EXCLUDED from all aspects of the three SAP components explained above.
At the end of each academic term (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters), the Financial Aid Office staff will determine whether students are meeting the minimum standards for each of the components (qualitative, quantitative and time frame). Students not meeting the Time Frame standard will immediately, without a Warning Semester, become ineligible for all federal and state aid programs. The Financial Aid Office has the authority to cancel aid and request immediate repayment of federal and state aid programs at any time that a student is deemed ineligible. This may occur when access to the student’s academic history is not fully available due to the short amount of time between semesters as well as receipt of final transcripts from transfer institutions.
Students that are not meeting the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term are automatically given one (1) Warning semester. During this Warning semester, students are allowed to receive federal and state aid. Students must be fully in compliance with all components by the end of the Warning semester to regain eligibility and receive funds for future semesters. Only one (1) Warning semester is allowed for a student’s entire degree program at Georgia College. Further, the Warning semester allowance is not applicable to the Time Frame standard.
Denial/Loss of Eligibility
Students that are not meeting the minimum Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term review and have received aid during a Warning semester will lose their eligibility for the upcoming and future terms. Students that are not meeting the maximum Time Frame standard at the end of a term review will immediately, without a Warning semester, become ineligible for aid.
Students will have a letter mailed to their current address on file with the Registrar’s Office. Students may receive consideration for aid reinstatement at the time they have satisfied all deficiencies with the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards.
Appeal (Probation Period)
Students that experienced extenuating circumstances that attributed to their inability to meet the minimum standards have the option to submit a letter of appeal. An extenuating circumstance must be due to situations beyond their control such as serious injury, illness or mental health condition involving the student or their immediate family, or death of an immediate family member. The letter should be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid and must include a description of the situation with accompanying documentation as well as a summary of what has changed that will allow them to meet the minimum standards at the next evaluation.
Appeals approved will require that the student be in compliance with all standards by the next evaluation (term). In some instances, an academic plan designed to ensure compliance with the standards at a specific point in time may be utilized in needed situations. An approved appeal will allow students to receive aid for a Probationary period (usually one term).
Students that have an appeal denied by the Director of Financial Aid may appeal the Financial Aid Internal Review (FAIR) Committee. The same type appeal documentation must be submitted c/o FAIR to the GC Financial Aid Office. The FAIR Committee’s decision should be considered final.
In instances where the student has additional information or documentation related to a denied appeal, they may appeal the decision to the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management who has the final authority.
Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any additional questions.
1. Student must be enrolled before funds may be disbursed. For more rules regarding Federal Aid program requirements, please refer to Course Program of Study FAQ.
2. Student eligibility must be confirmed by the Financial Aid Office before funds are disbursed.
3. Students are expected to have sufficient funds for miscellaneous expenses when they arrive on campus.
4. Students who are eligible for Federal financial aid must have submitted a valid Student Aid Report in electronic form to the Financial Aid Office before funds are disbursed.
5. Students must be fully accepted for admission to GC before funds may be disbursed.
6. Specific questions on individual cases should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office at 478-445-5149.
Loans (Students must be enrolled at least half-time.)
1. Federal Stafford Loans - Under Federal Law: Students must complete Loan Entrance Counseling session and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before funds may be disbursed.
2. Federal PLUS Loan - Parents who are awarded this loan must receive an approved credit decision from the lending agency and complete a promissory note before funds may be disbursed. Remaining proceeds from the PLUS loan after the student's bill is paid in full, will be disbursed in a check payable to the parent, or check/direct deposit made payable to student as indicated on PLUS application, approximately seven days after the end of the drop/add period each semester.
3. Federal Stafford, Federal PLUS Loans - Borrowers who use these funds to finalize Business Office bills may elect to cancel their loans and use another form of payment within 14 days of disbursement. The Financial Aid Office must be notified in writing of the cancellation within 14 days of disbursement.
Once all requirements have been met:
1. Funds awarded from the following may be applied directly to the student's Business Office account:
Zell Miller Scholarship
Federal Direct Stafford Loans
Federal Direct PLUS Loans
2. These awards will be authorized to the student's Business Office account once classes have been reserved.
3. Any remaining balance to the student's account must be paid to the GC Business Office prior to the published deadline in order to reserve classes.
4. Eligibility is reviewed again at the end of the drop/add period (census date), and appropriate funds are disbursed to the student's Business Office account.
5. Once the Business Office bill has been settled, remaining aid which is released in a check, may be used toward the purchase of books at our bookstore, Box Office Books beginning approximately 3 days prior to the first day of classes through the end of the drop/add period.
6. If the amount of financial aid awarded exceeds tuition and fees due at registration, the difference will be disbursed in the form of a check by the GC Business Office, 111 Parks Hall, approximately 7 days after the end of the drop/add period. Direct Deposit is also available for student refunds. Instructions for this procedure are located in the Student Accounts information on the Business Office web site.
7. Students who use personal funds to pay for tuition and fees may receive reimbursement checks from the GC Business Office approximately 7 days after the end of the drop/add period.
8. Financial aid awards made after the student's bill is satisfied will be disbursed within 10 days after awards are made.
9. All refund checks can be picked up at the Business Office with Bobcat Card Identification. Request forms for mailing checks are also available through the Business Office.
Refund Policy and Procedures
FEDERAL TITLE IV REFUNDS
Students who are entitled to a refund for withdrawal and are receiving student financial aid (SFA) are subject to having all or part of the refund returned to the appropriate financial aid programs. For those students who withdrew prior to 60 percent of the enrollment period elapsing, a pro-rated schedule is used to determine how much SFA funds were earned at the time of withdrawal.
The university must return to SFA Programs the lesser of:
-The amount of SFA Program funds that the students do not earn; or
-The amount of institutional costs that students incurred for the period of enrollment multiplied by the percentage of funds unearned.
However, students are not required to return 50 percent of the grant assistance received.
SFA funds must be returned in the following order:
• Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
• Subsidized Stafford Loans
• Federal PLUS Loans
• Federal Pell Grants
• Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grants
• State Scholarships
If more aid is received that could have been reasonably spent for non-institutional costs (excluding Federal Family Loan Programs), the unearned portion must be returned to SFA Programs.
Per federal regulations, students who fail to earn a passing grade in any course and received federal aid are considered to have unofficially withdrawn from Georgia College. At the end of each semester, the Financial Aid Office will identify any such students and will notify them with further explanation denoting any calculated financial obligations of unearned aid. A student’s failure to respond to this notification within the specified time frame will result in the university imposing its due diligence procedures regarding outstanding balances.
If a refund is due and the student received HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship funds only (no federal aid), then such amounts must be refunded to HOPE, rounded to the nearest dollar, by applying the institution's refund policy to the student's original HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship award for tuition.
TITLE IV and HOPE REFUND
If the student received Federal Title IV funds in addition to HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship funds, the school must follow the Title IV Return of Funds policy for any federal aid received. To determine the refund to HOPE, the school must then follow their institutional refund policy, if different from Title IV Return of Funds. If all or part of the student's Title IV aid was disbursed directly to the student, the school may not have funds on hand to refund HOPE. In this case, the school must bill the student for the refund. The school must notify the Authority of the amount of refund due HOPE, and the Authority will put a refund due on the student's record. This will prevent the student from receiving any additional scholarships or grants from the Authority until the refund is paid.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
Georgia College students who are planning on taking transient coursework with another institution may qualify for financial aid. In order for students to receive federal funds or other aid for transient coursework, a Consortium Agreement (pdf) must be obtained from the GC Financial Aid Office and completed by the host institution. Please note that many institutions will not participate in the consortium process therefore causing student aid ineligibility.
Students are required to pay all costs at the host institution by the host institution's payment deadline and receive any aid eligibility as reimbursement. All transient students are required to submit an academic transcript to Georgia College from their host institution once courses have been completed.
HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship eligible students may receive HOPE/Zell Miller if attending an eligible institution. HOPE/Zell Miller funds are paid by the host institution. Some institutions may choose not to process financial aid for transient students. Please check with the financial aid office of the school you wish to attend.
For specifics on qualifying, contact the Financial Aid Office,103 Parks Hall, 478-445-5149.
A new federal regulation limits the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive financial aid for that course.
If a student gets a 'W' or an 'F' in a course, that student is allowed to repeat the course and receive financial aid (assuming he/she is meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress) until he/she receives a 'D' or better. Once the student has received a 'D' grade or better, he/she can repeat the course a second time and still receive federal aid. The third time the student repeats a course in which he/she has earned a 'D' or better, this becomes an illegal repeat and the Office of Financial Aid cannot provide federal funding for that repeated course.
Listed below are a few scenarios for example purposes:
D, C If the student repeats the course again, that course is now an illegal repeat.
F, F, D, W, B If the student repeats the course again, that course is now an illegal repeat.
F, F, D, B If the student repeats the course again, that course is now an illegal repeat.
If a student retakes a course that is not aid eligible, a recalculation of aid is completed to exclude the credits for the repeated course.
This rule applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course.
This rule applies regardless of the minimum grade required by the program. Because a “D” is a passing grade in the Academic Catalog, it is considered passing for federal aid.
All repeated courses affect financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. A repeated course, along with the original attempt, must be counted as attempted credit hours. All students must successfully complete 67% of cumulative attempted hours by the end of each term.
For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office, 103 Parks Hall, 478-445-5149.