Questions about Receiving Financial Aid?
When can I expect to get my financial aid award letter and is there any way to speed up the process?
Once you have completed your admissions application, financial aid application, it can take two to four weeks to receive your award letter, depending on the time of year. Spring and summer are peak processing times when delays are generally longer. We review applications in the order they are completed. The best thing you can do is complete all required forms correctly at least four weeks prior to your enrollment date. The earlier you apply for aid, the sooner you will get your award.
My award letter indicated that to keep my financial aid I need to make satisfactory academic progress. What does that mean?
Federal regulations require us to track your “satisfactory academic progress” in both qualitative and quantitative ways to make sure you are making adequate progress toward earning your degree. We measure your GPA; undergraduates must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and graduate students must have a cumulative GPA or 3.0 or higher. If your GPA falls below those levels, you may be placed on financial aid probation or financial aid suspension. You also must complete the credits for which you receive financial aid. If you don’t complete the number of credits for which you received aid in any given term (e.g., you were awarded aid for 6 credits and only completed 3 credits), you may receive a financial aid warning or a financial aid suspension. We review these combined factors at the end of each term for which you are receiving aid to make sure you are making “satisfactory academic progress.” Learn more about Satisfactory Academic Progress in maintaining financial aid.
My award letter says I have to complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note. What does that mean?
All new borrowers at Marylhurst need to complete this note, even if you have completed it at another school. You only need to complete the MPN at Marylhurst once; any future money you borrow through the direct loan program will be added to the MPN you previously completed. To complete your Direct Loan MPN, go to our Secure Your Loans information, choose the type of loan you are taking out, and follow the instructions from there for filling out the note. If you are eligible for Stafford and/or Graduate PLUS loans and wish to activate both, please follow the links from the Secure Your Loans page to complete that paperwork.
What is “loan entrance counseling” and how do I complete it?
If you receive federal student loans and are a new borrower at Marylhurst, federal regulations require you to complete loan entrance counseling prior to receiving your loan funds. This is to ensure you understand all terms of the loans you are taking out and must eventually repay. You only need to complete loan entrance counseling once, prior to borrowing federal money for the first time.
Please note: We generally ask students to wait to complete their loan counseling and master promissory note until after we’ve determined what type of loan and loan amount they qualify for. If you complete these steps prior to receiving your loan award, the master promissory note you sign may expire prior to our being able to certify your eligibility. This would mean you would have to re-do the counseling or re-sign the note. It’s better to wait and complete the process in order.
To complete your loan entrance counseling, go to the “Secure Your Loans” information in the Apply for Financial Aid section, choose the type of loan you are taking out, and follow the instructions from there for completing your counseling.
When will my loan be certified?
After you have accepted your loans in FinAidOnline (in My Marylhurst), we can certify your loans. Generally, we certify student loans within a week of the time you accept your aid.
Can I do my loan entrance counseling and complete the loan master promissory note before I am awarded aid?
We generally ask students to wait to complete their loan counseling and master promissory note until after we’ve determined what type of loan and loan amount they qualify for. If you complete these steps prior to receiving your loan award, the master promissory note you sign may expire prior to our being able to certify your eligibility. This would mean you would have to re-do the counseling or re-sign the note. It’s better to wait and complete the process in order.
How do I know that my application for a Stafford or PLUS loan has been approved? Is there a possibility of it being rejected?
Federal Stafford loans are guaranteed. Once the Financial Aid Office determines your eligibility for the Stafford loan programs, you will qualify as long as you remain enrolled at least half-time. There is no credit check and no co-signer requirement. Federal PLUS loans (for graduate students or parents of undergraduate students) do require a credit check and could be denied for adverse credit.
What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized federal Stafford loan?
The subsidized Stafford loan is interest-free while you are enrolled at least half-time and during your grace period. With unsubsidized Stafford loans, interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed. Both loans can be deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time. Both also assume a standard repayment period of 10 years once you are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
What are the Stafford loan limits?
Stafford loans have annual and cumulative limits based on a student’s grade level. For example, juniors can borrow more per term than sophomores. There is a cumulative limit for both undergraduate and graduate students.
What are “alternative loans”?
Private alternative education loans are offered by lenders to students for education expenses not covered by other federal aid. These loans are not guaranteed and they generally require good credit and/or a co-signer to qualify. The amount you can borrow is limited by Marylhurst’s defined cost of attendance.
Is any more financial aid available?
The award letter you receive from the Office of Financial Aid lists the maximum financial aid resources available to you. If you believe you have special circumstances, you should complete the Request for Re-Evaluation form. A revised award letter will be sent to you if additional assistance is found.
I only want to take one class this term. Can I still receive financial aid for that class?
Financial aid regulations require students in a degree-seeking program to register at least half-time (6+ credits for undergraduates, 5+ credits for graduates through summer, 2016, 4+ credits for graduates starting in fall, 2016) to receive most financial aid resources. If you register for fewer credits than these minimums, you won’t be eligible for most forms of financial aid. Please note that federal financial aid requirements also require students receiving financial aid to enroll in classes that fulfill unmet degree requirements.
If I only have one class left to take toward my degree, should I register for additional classes to get up to half-time enrollment so I can receive financial aid?
No. In addition to minimum credit requirements, federal financial aid regulations require students receiving financial aid to enroll in classes that fulfill unmet degree requirements. If you are taking classes that don’t fulfill unmet degree requirements, those classes can’t count toward your enrollment for financial aid purposes.
For example: You have one 3-credit class to complete to receive your degree. You register for this class and another 3-credit class that doesn’t fulfill a degree requirement for you to be eligible for financial aid. Although you’re registered for 6 credits, for financial aid purposes, you’re only registered for 3 credits, as those are the only credits you are taking to fulfill an unmet degree requirement. At a 3-credit enrollment, you would not be eligible to receive most forms of financial aid.
We strongly encourage students to work with an academic adviser to develop an academic plan that avoids this type of situation.
Contact Us – Office of Financial Aid
Not finding what you need? We’re here to help. Contact the Financial Aid team and we’re happy to answer your questions.
503.699.6253 (real humans do answer the phone, M – F from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PDT)