Apply for Summer 2016 Session
In order to receive financial aid during the summer session, students must be enrolled at least half time in an approved program of study. Half-time enrollment is at least six credit hours for undergraduate students and at least five credit hours for graduate students; exceptions to the half-time enrollment requirement are possible for undergraduate students receiving Pell Grants.
Eligibility for summer financial aid is based on the information on the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) along with the student’s financial aid history. Summer aid applications will not be processed until the VCU Office of Financial Aid has received the results of the student’s 2015-2016 FAFSA. Financial aid awards cannot be added or increased once the Summer Financial Aid Application has been submitted (exceptions possible for the Federal Pell Grant).
Limited Summer Financial Aid
Students enrolled at least half time during the summer session may be eligible for a Federal Direct Loan if they did not borrow the maximum allowed by their academic grade level during the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). Students should inform a financial aid counselor if they received a Federal Direct Stafford Loan from another school during the academic year.
Federal Pell Grant
Students may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant for the summer session only. The Pell Grant award will be based on the 2015-2016 FAFSA data. You should inform a financial aid counselor if you received a Pell Grant from another school during the academic year. Please contact the VCU Office of Financial Aid if you have questions.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
Students who have borrowed the annual loan limit for Federal Directs may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
Private Alternative Loans
Private alternative loans are available; information about these types of loans can be found online.
Summer Financial Aid Award Notification (FAAN)
Notice that a FAAN has been posted to eServices and is ready for review will be sent to a student’s VCU email address. Because VCU uses email as an official method of communication, students should regularly check their VCU email account. The VCU Office of Financial Aid assumes students will accept all aid offered unless the student completes and submits a Change Form requesting aid to be reduced or declined. Financial aid not listed on the FAAN, including scholarships awarded by other VCU departments, must be reported to the VCU Office of Financial on the Financial Aid Award Change Form. Receipt of such aid requires a review of financial aid eligibility.
Loan Fees and Master Promissory Note
A federal loan origination fee will be deducted from each Federal Direct Loan, Federal Direct PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loan disbursement.
Students who have been awarded a Federal Direct Loan and have not already signed a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note will need to go to www.studentloans.gov and electronically sign their Master Promissory Note. Parents borrowing a Federal Direct PLUS Loan who have not already signed a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note also must sign their note electronically at www.studentloans.gov.
Disbursement of Financial Aid
Federal financial aid is credited to the student’s account after half-time enrollment begins. Half-time enrollment is considered 6 credit hours for undergraduates and 5 credit hours for graduate students. When financial aid funds exceed university charges, students receive refunds to assist with the purchases of books, supplies, and other educational or living expenses. Direct deposit of a refund is faster, easier, and more secure than mail delivery of a paper check. Students who have not already signed up for direct deposit may wish to do so. Direct deposit applications are available online. Note that students who already have direct deposit with VCU do not need to complete another form unless there have been changes to their bank account information.
The VCU Office of Financial Aid will conduct an eligibility audit after the last summer session has started. If a student has dropped below half-time enrollment, all federal loans for the summer session will be canceled; if the student received a Federal Pell Grant, it also may be reduced or canceled. The student will have to repay all reduced or canceled financial aid that has been credited to their VCU student bill.
If a student withdraws from all classes before completing 60 percent of the session (as measured in calendar days), financial aid eligibility must be recalculated based on the federal Return of Title IV Funds formula. Federal regulations stipulate that financial aid is “earned” based on the calendar days completed for the semester. Any “unearned” financial aid must be returned to the appropriate federal program(s). The student will have to repay any reduced or canceled financial aid that had already been credited to their VCU student bill. For more details, see the Title IV Refund Policy.