You may come across some unfamiliar terms as you start looking into and applying for
financial aid. Let this glossary help you make sense of it all.
The award year begins in August and extends through July of the next year. Funding
for the Federal Pell Grant and campus-based programs (ex. Federal Work Study and SEOG)
is provided on the basis of the award year.
These programs are: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal
Work Study. These two programs are administered directly by Fairmont State using federal
Central Processing System (CPS or Federal Processor)
The CPS is the Department's processing facility for the FAFSA application.
Cost of Attendance
The student's cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, books, room and board, miscellaneous
personal expenses, and transportation allowance. The cost of attendance is determined
by the school using student surveys and guidelines established by federal law and
regulation. A student's cost of attendance is compared to the expected family contribution
to determine their need for aid.
Failure to repay a loan in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.
The determination of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicant
as dependent or independent.
A check that a student will receive if their financial aid exceeds their institutional
charges. These funds can be used for books, transportation, and personal expenses.
If the student is not living in a residence hall, the funds can also be used for
room and board.
Costs charged by the institution for which students will receive a billing notification.
These costs include tuition and fees, room and board if living in a residence hall
and books if charged at the Fairmont State bookstore.
A federal student loan, made through the Federal Direct Loan Program, for which eligible
students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating
schools. Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans and
Direct Consolidation Loans are types of Direct Loans.
Direct PLUS Loan
A loan made by the U.S. Department of Education to graduate or professional students
and parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible
for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.
Payment of federal student aid funds to the student by the school. Students generally
receive their federal student funds in two or more disbursements.
Abbreviation for the U.S. Department of Education
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The EFC is determined by U.S. Department of Education using the information reported
on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is based on family income,
assets, the number of family members in the household, and the number of members attending
college. It does not represent the amount you owe the institution.
The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected
Family Contribution (EFC). While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not
change based on the school.
FIPS (Fairmont Installment Payment Services)
Fairmont State's installment plan to assist students and parents in paying the remaining
of their direct costs. The payment plan is by semester (fall and spring) and consists
of up to six equal monthly payments per semester. Payments begin one month prior
to the term beginning.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The federal aid application used to collect household and financial information from
students that are used to determine the students need for campus based programs, need
based programs, grants, and non-need based programs.
Financial aid, often based on financial need, that does not need to be repaid (unless,
for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund).
A period of time after borrowers graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment
where they are not required to make payments on certain federal student loans. Some
federal student loans will accrue interest during the grace period, and if the interest
is unpaid, it will be added to the principal balance of the loan when the repayment
Half-time enrollment requirement for federal loans
Undergraduate students are considered to be half-time as long as they are enrolled
for at least 6 credit hours during any term for which they are requesting federal
loans. Graduate students are considered to be half-time as long as they are enrolled
for at least 5 credit hours during any term for which they are requesting federal
Costs for which are not directly billed by the institution and for which the student
will not receive a billing notification. Costs typically vary and range from personal
expenses, transportation expenses, and books if not charged to the student's account.
A loan expense charged for the use of borrowed money. Interest is paid by a borrower
to a lender. The expense is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount
of the loan.
The organization that made the loan initially; the lender could be the borrower's
school; a bank, credit union, or other lending institution; or the U.S. Department
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
A legal document which a borrower must sign detailing the terms of a loan. By signing
a note, the borrower promises to repay the loan, with interest, in specified installments.
The promissory note includes information about the grace period, deferment or cancellation
provisions, and the student's rights and responsibilities. Master promissory notes
are signed electronically at studentloans.gov.
A nonfederal loan made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Measure of a student's success with their overall GPA and completion rate as defined
by the SAP policy.
Money awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for
education expenses. Scholarships generally do not have to be repaid.
Student Services Center
Fairmont State provides students with a one stop Student Services Center that enables
students to check on financial aid, billing information, student records, disability
services, work opportunities, veteran services, and international programs.
A loan based on financial need for which the federal government pays the interest
that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status.
A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless
of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement
and continues throughout the life of the loan.
A process whereby schools check the information the student reported on the financial
aid application. Schools must verify information provided by students who are selected
by the Federal Central Processing System. If your application is selected, you will
receive notification requesting the completion of a verification form, parental tax
transcripts (if necessary) and student transcripts from the previous year.
A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled
in school to help pay your education expenses.
Officially apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal
Student Aid after October 1 for the year prior to which you plan to attend. Submit
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov.
Apply for your Federal Student Aid ID at studentaid.gov. The FSA ID is used to electronically sign the FAFSA on the Web, complete Master
Promissory Notes (MPN), Entrance Counseling and the PLUS Request Process for federal
educational loans. You and your parent(s) must apply for separate FSA IDs.
Apply for Foundation Scholarships. Please visit the scholarship page to access the
If selected for verification by the federal processor, you will be notified and begin
to submit requested documents. These documents may include verification forms, your
IRS Tax Transcripts, and W2’s for the tax year information being provided on the FAFSA.
Opportunity Scholarship and Out of State Neighbors Scholarship awarding begins.
Apply for institutional and private scholarships.
First Time Freshman award notifications will be sent to the student's permanent address
as recorded in the institutions system at time of application. The award notification
will detail the cost of attendance, the various types of aid that the student is eligible
for, and how to accept/decline the financial aid offer.
To be considered for all aid programs, the FAFSA must be received by the federal processor
by March 1. If your application is received after March 1, you may only receive consideration
for a Federal Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loans.
If you are interested in any state or private aid programs, check with the agency
for application and deadline information.
McClain Presidential Scholarship Application Deadline: February 1st.
March 1, priority deadline filing date for the FAFSA (studentaid.gov).
Foundation Scholarship Awarding Begins. Please visit the scholarship page for awarding
To be considered for Summer financial aid, students must be registered for Summer
classes. Financial Aid is based on summer enrollment. No application required.
Parents who are interested in obtaining a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan must complete
an online request at studentloans.gov.
Graduate level students who are interested in obtaining a Federal Direct Graduate
PLUS Loan must complete an online request at studentloans.gov.
Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed for all students and notifications
will be sent by email and hardcopy letter if not meeting the minimum requirements
for financial aid eligibility. Visit the Satisfactory Academic Progress page for
Upperclass, continuing students, will begin receiving award notifications through
their institutional email. Be sure to check your email to avoid missing any notifications
and delaying the acceptance of your award offer.
First-time Direct Loan borrowers complete online Master Promissory Note (MPN) and
Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov.
Award notifications are mailed to Promise Scholars from the West Virginia Higher Education
Award notifications are mailed to WV Higher Education Grant recipients from the West
Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
Monthly payment plan begins. Check out the FIPS payment plan.
Billing and payment information is sent one month before the start of the semester.
The notification will be sent by the Fairmont State University Office of Student Accounts
to the student’s institutional email account.
Payment for the fall term is due on the first day of classes to avoid a late payment
fee. For additional information on this exact date and other important dates visit Student Accounts.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), developed by the U.S. Department
of Education, should be completed and submitted after October 1st prior to the year
in which you are applying for financial aid. This will assure receipt by the processing
center before March 1 for first round consideration for federal and state grants,
work-study and loans.
Be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when providing requested tax information. If
you cannot access your tax information through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, be sure
to have a copy of your completed taxes on hand in order to provide the requested tax
information. Tax information requested will be from 2 years prior to the application
year, for example, 2023-2024 FAFSA requires 2021 federal tax information.
In addition to the FAFSA, graduating West Virginia high school students must also
complete the Common Application for consideration of the PROMISE Scholarship. For
further information, go to:
Fairmont State University's School Code number is 003812.
Using the Department of Education’s FAFSA ON THE WEB worksheet will help to insure the FAFSA is completed with fewer or no errors. There
is not cost to complete this application.
In order to electronically sign the FAFSA, you must have set up a FSA ID. If you are a dependent student according to the Department of Education, one of
your parents must also set up a FSA ID. If you do not have a FSA ID, you (and your parent) can apply for one now by going
to FSA ID.
Once you have submitted the FAFSA, the Department of Education processing center will
calculate a figure that represents the expected family contribution (EFC) toward meeting
your college expenses. You will receive an e-mail from the processing center when
your FAFSA has been processed. Review the data carefully and if corrections are required,
please make them accordingly at the FAFSA website or contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance.
To insure the majority of FAFSAs are completed correctly, some applications are selected
by the Department of Education for a process called "verification." If selected, the
Financial Aid Office is required to collect certain documentation to insure the information provided
on the FAFSA is accurate. Students and/or parents can use the IRS DATA RETRIEVAL PROCESS to transfer tax data to the FAFSA which simplifies the completion of the FAFSA and
also reduces paperwork to be submitted for verification. To verify the financial amounts
submitted, the Financial Aid Office will request certain documentation including an
IRS Tax Return Transcript if the IRS DATA Retreival process was not used, a completed verification
worksheet, and other items as needed according to the requirements of the Departmen
of Education. Make certain to sign and date all documentation, put your student ID
or F number on each document and submit to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.
An award package is designed to help with the cost of your education. Please review
the financial aid package thoroughly. Failure to respond to an award package offer
within 30 days from the post mark date of the award letter may result in the aid package
being cancelled and not reinstated.
Understanding the Determination of Your Cost
The ‘Estimated Yearly Budget’ is an average cost that is calculated by the Financial Aid Office.
Your Estimated Yearly Budget consists of Direct Costs and Indirect Costs.
Direct Costs are those expenses charged by the school such as: Tuition and Fees, Room and Board
(if living on campus) and Books (if charged to your student account at the school
Indirect costs refers to expenses you may incur while enrolled in school but not charged by the school
such as: Transportation and Personal allowances.
The ‘Expected Family Contribution’ (EFC) is an amount determined by the federal government based on the information you
provided in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is used to determine
eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid and does not represent
your actual payment to the university.
‘Other Resources’ include expected private scholarships, employer financial assistance, vocational
rehabilitation, etc. that will be paid toward your educational expenses on your behalf.
Understanding Your Aid Package
All awards are based on full time enrollment and may change if your enrollment changes.
Awards are subject to change as more information becomes available. If new information
affects your eligibility we will make any necessary adjustments. You will be notified
by email to check your awards on your FELiX account. This notice includes adjustments
made to your awards, budget, and any change in enrollment.
Financial aid award(s) shall be void under the following conditions:
If incorrect information is reported on the FAFSA.
If for any reason, you withdraw from the institution or are not permitted to return
to the institution.
If verification results in corrections that affect aid eligibility.
Your financial aid offer could include several types of aid.
Grants-- based on expected family contribution (EFC) and do not have to be repaid.
Scholarships--based on academic merit, expected family contribution (EFC) and do not have to be
Outside Resources – monies not already listed in your award package that you are expecting to receive
to pay from non-institutional organizations to assist with educational expenses
Federal Work-Study – part-time employment opportunity for students while completing their degree program.
Loans – money borrowed that must be repaid with interest.
You should periodically check for changes to your financial status at myFairmontState.edu.
All future communications from the Financial Aid Office will be sent to your college
email account. Be sure to check your college email account frequently.
How to Accept Your Award Package
Once you have carefully reviewed the award package information, you must respond to
the award package within 30 days from the post mark date of the award notification. Failure to respond to the offer could result in an aid package being cancelled. Due to some funding limitations, most awards cannot be reinstated after being cancelled
All students must accept or decline their award(s) online at myFairmontState.edu by
following the necessary steps:
NOTE: Aid listed as estimated or pending cannot be accepted via FELiX.
Parents who are interested in applying for the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate
Students (PLUS) must complete an application at studentloans.gov after May 1st.
Graduate students who are interested in applying for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS
Loan must complete an application at studentloans.gov after May 1st.
NOTE: Failure to accept or decline all funds may cause a delay in timely disbursements
being made to your student account and any refunds expected to cover additional college
Financial aid is paid out in two disbursements, half for the fall semester and half
for the spring semester.
First Time Student Loan Borrowers
All first time loan borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master
Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov before the loans can be disbursed. Additional
information can be found on our Loan page.
Crediting Aid & Refunds
All federal, state and institutional awards are received by the institution and credited
to the student's school account to pay tuition and fees, room and board, and other
authorized charges. If the disbursement amount exceeds school charges, the remaining
balance is issued as a refund and checks are mailed to students' mailing address if
there is one on file, otherwise the check will be mailed to the student's permanent
address. Students are not permitted to pick up refund checks in person. Mailing
addresses can be updated by the student by logging into their FELiX account.
If you are expecting assistance from sources (e.g. Vocational Rehabilitation, Americorp,
SMART 529, private scholarships) outside Fairmont State University, those funds may
arrive at a later time. You will want to make contact with the agency providing the
funds to assure that you have provided all necessary documents and information for
them to process the payment to be sent to Fairmont State University.
It is the student’s responsibility to monitor their FELiX account for billing information,
application of financial aid, and receipt of outside resources. If you need an additional
payment option, check out FIPS.
A. How do I apply for financial assistance?
The financial aid staff uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
to determine financial need and to distribute limited funds to those who have the
fewest financial resources. To increase your chances of getting the maximum aid for
which you are eligible, be sure to file by our priority deadline. Fairmont State University's
FAFSA priority deadline is March 1.
B. What is financial need?
The formula that defines a student's financial need is: Cost of Education - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
You'll find that your financial need may make you eligible for some programs and not
for others. For instance, you may be eligible for a scholarship but not for the Federal
Pell Grant. There are financial aid programs for which you can be considered for when
you have no financial need; the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct
Graduate PLUS Loan or Parent PLUS Loan. Please note that it is not always possible
for Fairmont State University to cover every student's full financial need and that
it is then up to the student's family either to provide personal resources or to secure
additional loans to cover the difference between costs and aid awarded.
C. Is there a maximum income level that will make me ineligible for financial aid?
No. Income level does not automatically disqualify you for financial aid. Other variables
are considered such as: family size, number of family members in college, age of older
parent, savings, investments, and various allowances to income and assets.
D. In order to receive financial aid do I have to apply every year?
Yes. In order to receive consideration for all programs you must file a Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. File the FAFSA in the month of January.
If necessary, you may estimate your taxes to complete the form.
E. What is Fairmont State's Title IV federal school code?
Our federal school code is: 003812.
F. Am I selected for verification?
Your myFairmontState account should always be the first thing you check. If you are
selected for verification, you will be able to access the documents you will need
to submit. When verification is being requested, you will receive a letter notification
directing you to the forms necessary for completing your file. All forms are available
online. Make sure all documents are received by the Financial Aid Office as soon as
possible in order to be considered for maximum financial aid. The federal FAFSA processor
does not review verification documentation; therefore, please do not submit actual
tax documents to the processor.
G. What should I do if my family's financial circumstances change after I apply for
If the financial circumstances in your family have changed substantially, you may
have your financial aid eligibility reviewed. Such changes may involve you or members
of your immediate family. They include but are not limited to:
Loss of employment
Death or disability of a family wage earner
Divorce or separation
Substantial reduction of current year income, loss of nontaxable income, etc.
Please contact the Financial Aid Office and speak with a financial aid counselor regarding
your circumstances. Keep in mind that a review of your current circumstances does
not guarantee any changes to your financial aid package. In some cases, a change in
your circumstances may be processed but may not result in any additional aid.
H. What is the difference between a grant, a scholarship, and a loan?
A grant is a gift. It does not have to be repaid and it is based on the student's
A scholarship is an achievement award which is usually based on academic grades, abilities,
skills, test scores, class rank, etc.
Loans are funds borrowed by the student and/or parent. In most cases, loans must be
repaid with an interest charge and a specified repayment period.
I. Should I pay for a Scholarship Search Service?
We do not recommend the use of these companies. Many are misleading or even fraudulent.
Don't be fooled by the money back guarantee promised by many of these companies. It
is virtually impossible to get your money back. The Fina ncial Aid Information Page provides information regarding Scholarship Scam Alerts. The services provided by
these companies can be accomplished on your own by researching scholarship publications
at the library, or by using a number of free scholarship searches available on the Internet.
J. Has my award notification been sent?
You will receive an award notification from Student Financial Aid if you are admitted
to Fairmont State University and your Financial Aid file is complete. You will not
receive an award notification if any of the following pertain to you:
You are currently in default on previous loans
You are not making satisfactory academic progress
You have been selected for verification and have not returned all requested documentation.
You have been awarded merit-based aid but have not completed a FAFSA
Incoming freshman will receive a paper award notification beginning mid-March. Upperclass
students will be notified by e-mail to check their award status on their myFairmontState
account by mid-April. Be sure to check your myFairmontState email regularly for notifications
from Financial Aid and other offices on campus. Follow instructions on Student Self
Service for any applicable acceptance of aid and necessary paperwork.
K. Do I need a separate form to apply for a Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan?
No. You need only file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
L. How do my parents apply for the Parent (PLUS) Loan?
Your parents will complete an on-line application directly with the Department of
Education by logging into studentloans.gov and following the prompts for the application.
The application is not complete until your parents receive a credit acceptance or
M. How can I apply for work study?
Students must file a FAFSA before March 1 and have financial need to receive Work
Study. However, other jobs may still be available on campus through non need based
employment. Students can visit the Work Programs website for additional information.
N. What does it take to be considered an independent student?
When you apply for federal student aid, your answers to questions on the FAFSA determine
whether you are considered a dependent or independent student. To be considered an
independent student, you must meet the criteria to answer 'Yes' to at least one of
the questions listed in that part of the FAFSA. You can view those questions at the FAFSA website.
Also, the Financial Aid Office can override a student's dependent status but to do
so requires some very unusual family situations. These situations require documented
evidence from third-party witnesses (police reports, clergy, counselors, etc.). To
determine if your situation would meet the criteria for an override, contact the Financial
Aid Office and speak to a financial aid counselor.
P. I have a credit on my bill. When and how do I get the money?
If the disbursement amount exceeds school charges, the remaining balance is issued
as a refund and checks are mailed to students' local mailing address. Students are
no longer permitted to pick up refund checks in person. Students should update their
local mailing address by logging into their FELiX account to assure their local address
is current; therefore, avoiding any delays in receiving the refund check.
Q. Why hasn't my aid posted to my Student Account?
There could be many reasons why your financial aid has not been posted to your student
account. Some of the most common items are listed below:
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) - If you are on Suspension Status, your aid will
be held until you regain eligibility or an appeal is filed and approved.
Promissory note and other paperwork - A master promissory note and/or entrance counseling
will be needed for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. For a PLUS Loan,
both a Master Promissory Note and the application resulting in a credit check approval
have to be in place for a disbursement to occur. For you to receive a Perkins Loan,
a master promissory note must be on file.
Entrance Counseling - First-time Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan borrowers
are required to successfully complete this online counseling to have the loan(s) disbursed.
It typically takes up to 2 business days for the results to be downloaded to our system.
For most scholarships and some grants, students are required to maintain a full-time
status. Loan programs require at least half-time enrollment.
R. Is there any aid available if I decide to attend summer school?
For summer sessions, students may only receive remaining federal aid eligibility not
used during Fall & Spring terms (Federal Pell Grant and/or Direct Loans for students).
Funding may or may not be available for a full- or part-time job through the Federal
Work Study program. The majority of students attending Summer term, will need to seek
a private loan or have a parent qualify for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Graduate
or Professional students can seek a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.
S. Why am I on Suspension Status?
All undergraduate and graduate students are monitored for Satisfactory Academic Progress
Your "completion rate" reflects the ratio between the credit hours you have attempted
and the credit hours you have successfully completed. Withdrawals, failing grades,
and incompletes can affect your SAP status or eligibility for financial aid, as can
a low grade point average.
If you do not meet the cumulative GPA and/or completion percentage requirements, you
will be suspended and notified accordingly. Students on suspended status will not
be eligible for aid.
If you have almost reached your maximum time-frame, you will be notified. If you reach
your maximum time frame, you will be put on Suspension Status and will no longer be
eligible to receive aid.
You can read a more detailed description of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy online. If your eligibility has been suspended, you may file an appeal with our
office if extenuating circumstances exist.
T. What is the status of my appeal?
Our goal is to have students notified of the appeal decision prior to the term beginning
for which they are appealing. Please refer to the deadline dates on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy page. The student will be sent an email notice of the appeal outcome.
Fairmont State is pleased to provide the student aid calculator to assist you in estimating your costs to attend. Results are based on 2023-2024
Estimated Cost of Attendance figures and student aid eligibility requirements which
are subject to change. These results should assist you in determining an estimate
of your out-of-pocket expense to attend Fairmont State.
Visit us at the Turley Center
Office of Financial Aid Services Turley Student Services Center Room 303 Phone: (800) 641-5678, Opt. 2 (304) 367-4141 Fax: (304) 367-4789 FinancialAid@FairmontState.edu