Financial Aid for Online Programs

Financial Aid for the Online Program at St. Louis Christian College is available in the form of federal grants and loans.  The amount available depends on the student’s enrollment for an academic year.

Click here to download the Student Loan Request Form for online students. After completing the form, you may email it to Cathi Wilhoit, Financial Aid Director via email (finaid@stlchristian.edu), or fax (837-8291).

Types of Aid Available

SLCC participates in the following Title IV (federal) programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG Grant
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan (for parents of dependent students)
  • Federal Work Study (for on-campus students only)

SLCC is not eligible for Missouri State Grants or Scholarships.  (Missouri has a policy that prohibits students in theology programs from receiving Missouri financial aid.)

Federal Financial Aid Availability

To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must be accepted as a degree-seeking student at SLCC, must be making satisfactory academic progress, must not be in default on a student loan or owe a repayment, must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, must meet the Selective Service requirements (if male), must have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent.

Academic Year

The Online Program academic year is July through June; however, a student can enroll at the beginning of any eight-week module. The Online Program academic year consists of two 24-week semesters as follows: Fall Semester with three eight-week modules and Spring Semester with three eight-week modules. Your financial aid will be based on your projected enrollment for the academic year.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Students must complete a  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. This can be done online at www.fafsa.gov. SLCC’s School Code is 012580.  For example, a student applying to begin in July or the fall of 2017 will complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA. This FAFSA will be in effect through the Spring, 2018, semester. For the Fall 2018 term and the Spring 2019 term, a 2018-2019 FAFSA will be required. Be sure to list the school (School Code 012580); SLCC will receive a Student Aid Report from the Department of Education within two business days of submission of the FAFSA.  SLCC cannot award financial aid without this report.  To complete the FAFSA you will need a FSA ID (can be obtained during the FAFSA process). If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need a FSA ID.  The FSA ID is needed each year as you create your FAFSA.  Keep this ID in a secure and familiar place for you.

The Pell Grant

The FAFSA will determine a student’s eligibility for a Pell Grant and SEOG Grant; however, it is also necessary to submit a FAFSA for all federal loans, including the PLUS Loan for parents. The FAFSA should be submitted, if possible, at least four weeks before a student’s enrollment is expected to begin. If the Department of Education selects the student’s FAFSA for verification (and around 30% are so selected), then additional documentation will be required. A student will be notified by the SLCC Financial Aid Office if his/her FAFSA is selected for verification and what documentation is required. Students are urged to submit this documentation in a timely manner.

In 2017-2018, Pell Grants range from $5,920 to $593 a year depending on the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC)  and enrollment status. The EFC is a number computed by a Department of Education formula that takes into consideration numerous variables, such as income, number in family, assets, etc. An EFC of over 5329 makes a student ineligible for a Pell Grant. An EFC of 0 means the maximum eligibility. Students are limited to an equivalent of six years of full-time Pell Grant (600%).

The Pell Grant for a student who is eligible for the maximum will not cover the full tuition at SLCC.  Tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year is $360 per credit hour. Student loans are available for the remaining cost.

A Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant may be awarded to an online student who has an EFC of 0. The amount is $200 per semester. The amount of funding SLCC receives for this grant is limited; consequently not all students with an EFC of 0 will receive this grant.

Pell Grant eligibility is limited to six full-time years (600%) of a student’s entire academic enrollment.

The Federal Direct Loan (Stafford Loan)

The Direct Loan is a federal loan program for students and has the most favorable terms and rates of any educational loan.  To be eligible, you must first submit the FAFSA and meet the other eligibility requirements for Title IV (federal) financial aid. The Stafford Loan is a loan in the name of the student does not require a credit check. However, there are Stafford loan limits, depending on your grade level and dependency status. The Stafford Loan has two components:  a subsidized portion and an unsubsidized portion. You must be enrolled at least half time in a semester (6 hours or more).

  • Subsidized: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by the results of your FAFSA. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods. Interest rate: 4.276%
  • Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. Interest rate: 4.276%.

There is also an up-front origination fee of 1.069% that is deducted from the loan by the Department of Education upon disbursement.

There are certain loan limits that apply to all students, depending on grade level and dependency status:

Yearly Limits

(See following note regarding borrower based academic years.)

Grade Level

Dependent

Independent

Freshman (0-29 hours completed)

$5,500 ($3,500)*

$9,500 ($3,500)*

Sophomore (30-59 hours completed)

$6,500 ($4,500)*

$10,500 ($4,500)*

Junior and Senior

$7,500 ($5,500)*

$12,500 ($5,500)*

*The numbers in parentheses represent the maximum amount that may be subsidized.  For example, a freshman may receive no more than $3,500 a year as subsidized.  A new regulation also limits the subsidized loan to 150% of a student’s program length.

Aggregate Limits

Aggregate limits for undergraduates:

$31,000 ($23,000)*

$57,570 ($23,000)*

How to Apply for a Loan

To borrow a Direct Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and loan entrance counseling. Both of these are done electronically by following the link provided to the student loans.gov website.  Click here to begin. The FSA ID will be required.   These two items usually need to be completed only once (the MPN is good for 10 years). For example, if you transfer from another college where you had a Direct loan after 2010, your MPN is already on file and you do not need to complete a new one. If you completed loan counseling online previously, the Financial Aid Office can confirm that you met this requirement also. However, each year you will need to submit a Direct Loan Request Form to the SLCC Financial Aid Office. This form should be submitted at least two weeks before the beginning of the first semester of the year in which you plan to enroll. In lieu of the official form, you can submit an email loan request to the Financial Aid Office.

The PLUS Loan

The Plus Loan is a loan for parents of dependent students. Although most students in the Online Program will be independent students (as determined by the FAFSA), there may be occasional instances where a student is dependent. For those students, in addition to the Stafford Loan, a parent (PLUS) loan may be an option to supplement the student loan, especially in those cases where the student is not eligible for a Pell Grant. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you are a dependent student and your parent wants to consider a PLUS loan.

Alternative Education Loans

Alternative Education Loans are loans offered through private lenders and are not sponsored by the federal government. Students will have to demonstrate credit worthiness or secure a cosigner who is credit worthy. SLCC does not recommend any particular lender; you can find a lender through an Internet search engine under “alternative education loans.” These loans have less favorable rates and terms than the Direct Loan or PLUS Loan. You should discuss with your financial aid office your eligibility for federal loans before you apply for an alternative loan.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid

A student can never receive more financial aid than his cost of attendance. The cost of attendance used in the Online Program follows the Department of Education’s cost elements, which includes tuition and fees, books, living expenses, and some miscellaneous personal expenses including a limited amount for transportation. A Cost of Attendance is established for each student depending on the number of semesters they expect to enroll in an academic year and their enrollment status during those semesters. This Cost of Attendance will appear on the student’s financial aid award letter. The Cost of Attendance (and anticipated financial aid) will be revised if a student does not attend all modules anticipated or drops classes before beginning attendance in those classes.

Withdrawals

To withdraw from a class, you will need to submit a withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office. You may be administratively withdrawn from a class, however, if you do not meet the attendance policy.

Institutional Refund Policy

Dropping/Withdrawing from Courses. The refund schedule and consequences for student transcripts for students who withdraw from a class are as follows:

  • Withdraw prior to first day of class:  100% refund; course does not appear on transcript.
  • Withdraw from start of class to seven calendar days afterward:  75% refund; grade of “W” entered on transcript.
  • Withdraw after first seven calendar days of class:  no refund; grade of “F” entered on transcript.

Attendance and Financial Aid

Consult the academic attendance policy for the specifics about attendance. 

Your attendance in online classes is important with respect to your financial aid (see the following Return of Title IV Funds Policy). The Department of Education has stated that “In a distance education context, documenting that a student has logged into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate academic attendance by the student. A school must demonstrate that a student participated in class or was otherwise engaged in an academically related activity, such as by contributing to an online discussion or initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course-related question.”

Return of Title IV Funds Policy (Online Program)

The Department of Education has established a policy determining how Title IV Funds (Pell Grants, SEOG, Stafford Loans) are to be handled when a student receiving any of those funds ceases to be enrolled prior to the end of a term. This policy is called the Return of Title IV Funds policy. The Department of Education has a section in its regulations for those programs that are offered using modules (sequential courses) within a term. For Online Students at SLCC, a module is an eight-week period  in which two courses are normally taken. The number of hours you enroll for each term establishes your initial enrollment for the semester. Your Pell Grant is based on that enrollment status. However, if you later drop classes that you never begin attending, your Pell Grant must be revised to the lower enrollment status. Example: You enroll for 4 classes (12 hours) and complete 6 hours the first module; you do not begin attending the second module. Your Pell Grant is revised to the half-time amount.

Student loans are contingent upon a student being enrolled at least half time (6 hours) a term. If you enroll and later drop classes that you have never begun so that your enrollment status falls below 6 hours, you technically are not eligible for a student loan that semester. If a loan disbursement was made before you dropped below half time, that disbursement can remain. However, subsequent disbursements must be canceled. 

For financial aid purposes, a student who officially withdraws or who stops attendance (see note earlier on what determines “attendance”) at any point within an Online Program semester is considered to have withdrawn, even if one or more classes have been completed with a passing grade; i.e., a student is considered to have withdrawn if he does not complete all days scheduled to complete within the term. If the student provides the Registrar with written confirmation that he/she will return in a subsequent module, it is not considered a withdrawal. Similarly, if a student is enrolled simultaneously in two courses within an eight-week module and stops attending only one of those courses, it is not considered a withdrawal.   

If a student officially drops classes that he has never begun attending before his withdrawal, those classes are not counted in the “days scheduled to complete.”  The school must document completion of all courses with a passing grade. If there is no passing grade in the last scheduled course, the school must demonstrate the student completed the period (such as by attendance records).

Important Note: If a student obtains an “F” in a course and it is determined he did not attend the final class session, the student will be considered a withdrawal (and his last day of attendance will be the last documented class session he attended) unless he submitted an “intent to return” form before he ceased attendance.   

The following questions and examples may help clarify this:

  1. Did the student cease to attend before completing or fail to begin attendance in a course scheduled to attend?  If yes, go to question 2. If no, it is not a withdrawal.
  2.  When ceased to attend or failed to begin attendance in an enrolled course, was the student attending other courses?  If yes, not a withdrawal. If no, go to question 3.
  3.  Did student confirm in writing attendance in a later module in the term? If no, student is a withdrawal.  If yes, not a withdrawal if attendance is resumed in the later module.

Example 1:

School with three 8-week modules within a semester. A student is scheduled to complete two courses in each of the three 8-week modules. The student begins attendance in both courses in the first module but stops attending both after a few weeks. No written confirmation of intent to attend Module 2 is received. 

This student is a withdrawal and a Return of Title IV Funds calculation must be performed.

Example 2:

Same scenario as above, but student stops attending only one of the two courses in the first module. This student is not a withdrawal.

Example 3: 

Same scenario as above. During the first module, the student withdraws from both courses in the second module, and he completes both courses in the first module with a passing grade. The student has not ceased to attend a course he was scheduled to attend because the courses were dropped before they began. So the student is not a withdrawal. However, recalculation of a Pell Grant is required if the enrollment change results in a change in enrollment status (e.g., from full time to ¾ time). Any subsequent loan disbursements depend on whether a recalculation of the student’s need for the shorter period of enrollment results in his being eligible for the second disbursement.

Example 4:

Same scenario as above. The student begins attendance in both courses in the first module but stops attending both after six weeks. However, he provides a written confirmation of intent to attend Module 2. The student is not a withdrawal unless he fails to begin Module 2. If he fails to begin Module 2, the withdrawal date and days of attendance are determined as if the confirmation of future attendance was never provided.

Example 5

Same scenario as above.The student begins attendance in both courses in the first module but stops attending both after two weeks. He provides a written confirmation of intent to attend Module 2; however, he does not begin Module 2. The student is a withdrawal, and the Return of Title IV funds calculation must be performed.

When a Return of Title IV funds calculation is required, the total calendar days used in the calculation include all days on which the student was scheduled to attend but does not count days of courses officially dropped prior to complete cessation of attendance  (IMPORTANT NOTE: Since a shorter time period will result in more aid being “earned,” it is advisable for an Online student to contact the Registrar and officially drop subsequent courses before withdrawing!)

What Determines Withdrawal Date?

 SLCC is considered to be a school that is required to take attendance; therefore, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance (see note on what determines “attendance” in an Online program).

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Department of Education requires a student who is receiving federal financial aid to be making satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress is measured both by a student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and by the successful completion of a certain percentage of coursework attempted. Successful completion means credits earned by receiving a grade above F.  Satisfactory progress will be checked at the end of each semester.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) Requirement

The CGPA requirement takes into account only courses attempted at SLCC (not transfer credits).

  • After one semester: must have a cumulative 1.75 or better CGPA
  • After two semesters: must have a cumulative 1.85 or better CGPA
  • After three semesters: must have a cumulative 1.95 or better CGPA
  • After four semesters: must have a cumulative 2.0 or better CGPA

A student whose CGPA fails to meet the minimum standards noted above will be placed on one semester of financial aid warning. Failure to bring the CGPA up to the required minimum shown above by the end of the probationary semester will result in financial aid probation (no further financial aid can be received until the CGPA again reaches the required level). 

Example: John Q. finishes his first semester with a 1.3 CGPA. He is placed on one semester of financial aid warning and can continue to receive financial aid at for the next semester. At the end of his next semester, if his CGPA is not 1.85, he will be placed on financial aid probation and cannot receive further financial aid. He can appeal this probation (see note below).

Completion Requirement

The student is also expected to make quantitative academic progress towards the completion of his/her degree. The quantitative measure of academic progress consists of two parts. The total hours attempted may be no greater than 150% of the total hours required by the degree program in which the student is enrolled. Transfer credits accepted towards the student’s degree program will count toward this maximum. A change of major does not extend the number of credit hours that may be attempted. The second part involves the completion of at least 67% of the courses attempted.  If less than 67% of the courses attempted have been completed, the student will be placed on one semester of financial aid warning. Two consecutive semesters of less than 67% completion will result in loss of financial aid. Transfer hours accepted for credit will be counted in this percentage.  Withdrawals affect the completion rate only if a “W” appears on the student’s transcript.  If a course is dropped before ever beginning attendance, the course is removed from the student’s record and no “W” appears. 

Example: John Q., who has no transfer credits, withdraws from one course in the semester after attending the first two sessions; he completes the other three courses but receives an F in one of them. His completion rate is 50%. He is placed on one semester of financial aid warning. If his completion rate continues to be below 67% after a second semester, he lose his financial aid and cannot continue to receive financial aid (unless he successfully appeals; see note below).

Students may repeat a previously passed course one time only and maintain financial aid eligibility for that course repeat.  Students may retake failed courses as many times as necessary in order to receive a passing grade and still receive financial aid for the repeated courses; however, the failed courses will still affect the student’s completion rate. Although academic bankruptcy (see the school catalog) may be granted to improve a student’s cumulative GPA, it will not discount courses attempted in determining the CGPA or completion rate for financial aid academic progress purposes.

Appeals

A student who loses his financial aid but who feels he or she has circumstances which warrant an exemption to this policy should request an appeal form from the Financial Aid Office or the Dean of Student’s Office and submit the completed form to Chris Cable, Dean of Students. Reasons for acceptable appeal may be (1) serious illness or accident to the student, (2) death or serious illness in the immediate family, (3) other extenuating circumstances. The letter of appeal must include a statement as to (1) why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and (2) what has changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. If the appeal is granted, the student will be notified in writing of the decision, will be on probation for one semester, and must complete the requirements set by the committee in order to continue receiving aid past the probationary semester.

Disbursement Policy

If you are enrolled for an entire academic year (2 semesters, 6 modules), your Pell Grant and loan will be divided into six equal disbursements. If you plan to be enrolled for less than three consecutive terms, your disbursements will equal the number of the anticipated modules. If you are a first-time student, see the note below regarding a 30-day disbursement delay.

If you have financial aid that exceeds a term’s institutional charges, you will receive a refund. However, the refund will not be forthcoming until you show a credit balance on your account. Your total institutional charges for a term must be satisfied before you can receive a refund. To calculate when you might expect a refund, subtract your Pell Grant and the appropriate portion of your student loan from your charges; if a negative number results, you will receive a refund during Module 1. If a positive number results, you will not receive a refund until the beginning of Module 2 or Module 3, depending on when there is a negative number.

30-DAY DISBURSEMENT DELAY

For all new students, the first loan disbursement will be subject to a 30-day disbursement delay.  This occurs only during your first term of enrollment.

Consumer Information

1. Financial aid available, how to apply - Catalog, pages 102-103; Financial Aid Information Brochure

2. How eligibility is determined; how and when aid is disbursed – Financial Aid Information brochure; cover letter to  award letter

3. Names of associations that accredit the school – Catalog, p. 13

4. Cost of attendance – Website, Financial Aid Brochure

5. Procedures for withdrawal – Catalog, p. 28-29

6. Institution’s refund policy – Catalog, pp. 101-102; Refund Brochure

7. Degree programs offered – Catalog, pp. 47-78

8. List of faculty/personnel – Catalog, pp. 106-110

9. Facilities (and facilities for disabled students) – Catalog, pp. 13, 19

10. Code of conduct – College website under Financial Aid.

 11. Security policies and procedures – college website -  Academics/ Campus Security; Fire Safety Report: http://ope.ed.gov /security

12. Campus crime statistics – http://ope.ed.gov/security

13. Prevention of drug and alcohol abuse – Catalog, p. 19

14. Leave of absence policy – SLCC does not allow leaves of absence.  The policy on incomplete grades is in the College Catalog,  page 37

15. Student diversity, completion and graduation rates – website under “Consumer Information”; also http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator.

16. Satisfactory academic progress – Catalog, pp. 40-41; Satisfactory Academic Progress brochure

17. Equity in Athletics Report  – http://ope.ed.govathletics

18. FERPA – Catalog, pp. 36-37

19. Transfer of credits policy – Catalog, page 25

20. Textbook  prices  – College website, “Bookstore”

21.  Drug Violations – statement on Financial Aid Award Letter.

22. Net Price Calculator – college website

23.  Copyright infringement regulations – Library patrons handbook; College website, “”Academics/Library Resources.”

24.  Financial Aid for Study Abroad Programs – If SLCC contracts with a study abroad program, students may be eligible for financial aid. 

25.  Gainful employment programs – SLCC has no gainful employment programs.  The certificate program is not eligible for financial aid.

26. Diversity, completion and graduation rates – College website, “Academics/Consumer Information”

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