Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Apply For Financial Aid?
What is Southwestern’s School Code?
The FAFSA will ask you to enter a Federal School Code. Southwestern’s code is: 003620
Will I Need To Submit My Tax Forms?
Copies of tax returns are not required unless the Financial Aid Office specifically requests that you submit the forms. Tax information is collected during the verification process. While you may not be asked for your tax information, it is advised that you use the FAFSA’s Data Retrieval Tool once your taxes have been submitted to the IRS. This will ensure that your tax information is available if needed.
Do I Have To Apply For Financial Aid Every Year?
Yes, you must reapply for need-based financial aid every year by completing the FAFSA.
Can My Financial Aid Change From Year To Year?
You can expect a similar financial aid package from year to year if your demonstrated need remains the same.
Do I Need To File The FAFSA If I Don’t Receive Need-Based Aid?
No. If you are currently participating in any loan programs, we will automatically send you application information. If you are interested in participating in any loan program, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance. If you wish to borrow through the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program, you will need to submit the FAFSA. The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not based on need.
How Do You Handle Financial Aid For Summer School At Southwestern?
For summer school financial aid, which includes May and June terms, students must complete the Request for Financial Aid for Summer (pdf). The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must already be on file. No SU scholarships or grants are available for the summer terms. Students mainly rely upon student loans to fund educational costs for these terms.
Qualifying For Need-Based Aid
What Determines Whether Or Not I Will Receive Need-Based Financial Aid?
Demonstrating financial need determines your eligibility for financial aid. Financial need is determined by subtracting the family contribution (based on federal and institutional formulas) from the educational cost of attendance (tuition, average room and board, books/supplies, travel and a personal allowance) The difference between these is the demonstrated need for financial aid.
How Do I Appeal My Financial Aid Award?
Financial aid awards are based on the information as of the time of application. If you experience a change of circumstance, and wish to appeal for consideration of additional assistance, you will need to notify the Financial Aid Office of the new information in writing. You will receive written notification of the decision of the Appeals Committee.
Will My Son’s/Daughter’s Financial Aid Award Continue In Subsequent Years?
Need-based financial aid is evaluated on an annual basis. As a family’s financial circumstances change, so does the family’s eligibility for need-based financial aid. If the family’s financial circumstances remain the same from year to year, then the financial assistance a family receives should remain at the same level. If the family’s resources increase, then the amount of financial aid may decrease. Should the family’s resources decrease, then the amount of financial aid may increase. All students on need-based financial assistance are required to file Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 of each year to be considered for need-based assistance in the following year. Students receiving merit scholarships from Southwestern are subject to the grade point average (GPA) requirements of the particular award to determine whether the scholarship will continue in future semesters. The merit scholarship award letter contains information about the minimum GPA required to retain the scholarship.
When Will I Receive My Financial Aid Award Letter?
New First-Year Students - available via student portal by February 19.
New Transfer Students - available via student portal on rolling basis.
Returning Students - available via student portal by June 30.
Can I Borrow Less On A Particular Loan Program Than What Is Listed On My Financial Aid Award Letter?
Yes, you may borrow up to the loan amount listed on your financial aid award letter.
What Is The Schedule Of Tuition Payments?
Twice per year: end of July for fall term; mid-December for spring term. Financial aid is disbursed on a similar schedule.
Who Do I Ask About Billing Questions?
The Business Office mails statements and collects payments. Bills are mailed prior to the start of each semester. If you have questions relating to a source of financial aid (loan, grant, scholarship) please contact the Financial Aid Office.
What Scholarships Are Available?
Merit-based scholarships are determined by the Admission Office at the time of application to Southwestern University.
How Will Outside Scholarships Impact My Financial Aid Package?
Federal, State and Southwestern University policies require that a student notify Southwestern University of any scholarships that he or she will receive from groups or organizations that are external to Southwestern i.e., “outside scholarships.” If you are a first-year student, you will receive an Outside Scholarship Declaration form to be used in declaring the outside scholarships you will receive in the coming academic year. If you are not a first-year student, or if you do not receive the form, please contact the Financial Aid Office with this information as soon as it becomes available to you, or complete and return this form.
Federal regulations require that the university use outside scholarships as a source of financial aid. Where a financial aid award already exists, outside scholarships must replace a form of financial aid previously awarded. University policy allows a student to use an outside scholarship to replace Perkins Loans, Subsidized Stafford Loans, and Work Study prior to replacing any gift assistance previously awarded. An external scholarship may be used to reduce the parental contribution only when the outside scholarships are such that they cancel all other forms of need-based financial aid previously awarded.
In addition, students who are only receiving a merit, fine arts, or other non-need based scholarship from Southwestern and/or receive no other type of gift assistance are also required to complete and submit the Outside Scholarship Declaration form. Submitting this information will not change the amount of your merit scholarship unless the total amount of scholarships exceeds the cost of attendance at Southwestern. However, it may affect the amount of your loan eligibility. Upon receipt of this information we will review your eligibility and return a revised notice to you.
How much does the Post 9/11 GI Bill cover?
The benefits under the new Post 9/11 GI Bill vary greatly state-by-state. The bill covers the entire in-state
undergraduate tuition and fees in all states, but in Texas, it also currently will pay $19,198.31 of tuition for private schools. Southwestern will also aim to cover the cost of tuition through institutional awards and the yellow ribbon benefits.
Veterans may also transfer all or part of their benefits to a dependent or spouse, although there are different rules for how these benefits can be used. For more information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill, visit: http://www.gibill.va.gov/. Veterans must turn in all certification paperwork in order to receive their GI Bill benefits.
What other expenses are covered by the GI Bill?
In addition to tuition and fees, veterans may also receive a book stipend of $1,000/year and a monthly living stipend. The living allowance is based on the military Basic Allowance for Housing ranging from $667-2,500 per month.
If my BAH is disbursed monthly, how do I pay for residence halls billed by semester?
You can sign up for our payment plan which will assist you in monthly payments. The payment plan breaks the bill into a 10-month cycle with the first payment due in June.
Who is the VA Representative on campus?
Nadia Mahannah, in our registrar’s office, can help with the Veterans benefits and the certification paperwork. You must submit all of your paperwork in order to be certified.
What other on campus resources do you provide?
Southwestern offers academic and outside assistance to all of our students. Our Center for Academic Success,
Health and Counseling Services, and Student Life all provide services to help you transition into your role as a fulltime student.
Are other types of financial aid available?
Nadia Mahannah in our Office of Student Financial Assistance can help you with eligibility of other types of aid. Students receiving merit-based scholarships may find their award reduced as to not exceed the cost of attendance.
Does SU participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?
Yellow Ribbon Application (14-15 application coming soon)
Yes, SU is a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon program is a matching scholarship
program between private schools and the VA. It exists to make attendance at private schools a possibility for Post
9/11 GI Bill recipients. Institutions that voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with VA choose the
amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA will match that amount and issue payment directly to the
Does SU accept any military credit?
We will award veterans with one upper-level FRA (fitness and recreational activity) credit and one lower-level FRA credit.
Other VA related links:
*Southwestern Veteran Association: contact Nadia Mahannah