A Question and Answer Guide to Help You Successfully Navigate

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					Student
Financial aid
A Question and
Answer Guide
to Help You
Successfully
Navigate
the Financial Aid
Process


Charleston Southern University
It is easy for students and parents to feel overwhelmed by the
financial aid process, but we want this experience to be as
straightforward for you as possible. The key to having a good
financial aid experience is communication! The Enrollment Services
team at Charleston Southern University wants you to be well
informed. We have designed a reference guide to answer your
financial aid questions that lists the different types of aid that may
be available to you.

In this reference guide, you will find information on the FAFSA, the
financial aid awarding process, and probably most importantly,
federal, state, and institutional aid programs. This guide is designed
to be a quick look reference when that financial aid question stumps
you. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact
your Enrollment Counselor: contact information is provided on the
back of this reference guide. Remember: good information is the
key to good and timely decision making!

Welcome to Charleston Southern University!

Sincerely,




Jenna D. Parish
Director of Financial Aid
                                                                    0109
                                   Table of ConTenTs

Helpful Terms ......................................................................................................................................... 2

Financial Aid Process........................................................................................................................... 3

Completing the FAFSA ....................................................................................................................... 3

Verification .............................................................................................................................................. 5

Award Letters ......................................................................................................................................... 5

Financial Need ....................................................................................................................................... 6

Dependency Status ............................................................................................................................. 6

Unusual Circumstances...................................................................................................................... 7

Change in Financial Aid ..................................................................................................................... 8

Satisfactory Academic Progress ...................................................................................................... 9

Part-time Enrollment .......................................................................................................................... 9

Foundation Studies Program .........................................................................................................10

Stafford Loans......................................................................................................................................10

Alternative Funding...........................................................................................................................11

Bill Payment..........................................................................................................................................11

Financial Aid Online ..........................................................................................................................12

Enrollment Office Information ......................................................................................................12

State of S.C. Scholarships ................................................................................................................13

CSU Scholarships ................................................................................................................................17

Federal Grants and Programs ........................................................................................................17

Payment Plan Option ........................................................................................................................21

Veterans and Military Programs....................................................................................................21

Financial Aid Checklist .....................................................................................................................22

CSU Contact Information ................................................................................................................23

Frequently Asked Questions ..........................................................................................................24




                                                                          –1–
Helpful Terms
Cost of attendance (Coa) - Combination of tuition/fees, room/board, books/
supplies, personal/miscellaneous allowance, and transportation allowance.
expected family Contribution (efC) - The EFC is determined by the information
provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once your EFC is
determined, the same contribution will then be used by each college to calculate
your need.
financial need - Cost of Attendance (COA) less Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
equals Financial Need. Need will be different at each college since the COA varies
with each college.
flat-Rate Tuition - Students enrolled in 12-18 credit hours at Charleston Southern
University will be charged flat-rate tuition.
full-Time enrollment - At Charleston Southern University, full time is defined as 12
hours per major semester (fall or spring) for financial aid. In order to be considered for
the maximum aid possible, students must be enrolled full time or a minimum of 12
hours per semester.
Grants and scholarships - Aid that does not have to be repaid and is usually
determined on academic merit, musical talent, athletic ability or church-related
vocation. There are also need-based grants and scholarships. Available to full-time
students, if eligible.
Half-Time enrollment - Students enrolled for 6 – 8 hours are considered half-time
status for financial aid. Aid is usually limited to prorated Pell Grant (if eligible) and
student loans.
Institutional aid - Aid from CSU. For example, this may include Jairy C. Hunter, Jr.
Scholarship, University Scholarship, CSU Student Success Award, CSU Opportunity
Grant, athletic scholarships, music scholarships, etc. Available to full-time students, if
eligible.
less Than Half-Time enrollment - Pell Grant recipients who are enrolled for less than
six hours (minimum 3 hours) may qualify for a prorated Pell Grant. Some alternative
loans are available for less than half-time enrollment.
loans - Aid that does have to be repaid usually after graduation or by working off
the debt in the case of cancellation provisions. Most of these low-interest loans are
in the student’s name. However, there are also low-interest parent loans available
for assistance. Available to students enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours per
semester, if eligible.
Max free aid (CSU Policy) - Students can only receive free aid up to tuition, academic
fees and books (off campus) and tuition, academic fees, room/board and books (on
campus). Books are estimated to be $1,000 per year.
satisfactory academic Progress (saP) - Defined as successful completion of a
minimum of 24 hours per academic year with the appropriate grade point average
(GPA) depending on the cumulative hours attempted for students who are full time.
Part-time students must complete the hours attempted during the fall and spring.
Students have through the end of the second summer session to earn their needed
hours or GPA for the year.

                                          –2–
Three-Quarter-Time enrollment - Students enrolled for 9 – 11 hours are
considered in the three-quarter-time status for financial aid purposes. Aid is usually
limited to a prorated Pell Grant (if eligible) and student loans.
Work-study - CSU offers both the Federal Work-Study Program and an Institutional
Work-Study Program. Both are designed to help the student earn a portion of his/her
funds to cover cost. Available to full-time students, if eligible. Limited funds are available.

What is financial aid?
Financial aid is a combination of scholarships, grants, low-interest loans and work-
study. If you are eligible, your financial aid package will consist of aid provided by
the federal government, the state of South Carolina, outside organizations and CSU.
With contributions from students and parents, we all work together to make higher
education possible for all students who desire one!

How do I qualify for financial aid?
In order to qualify for financial aid at CSU, all students must first apply for admission
and be accepted to the University. You can apply for admission to CSU either online
at www.charlestonsouthern.edu or by contacting the Enrollment Services Office
at 843-863-7050 or 800-947-7474. You will then be sent an admissions packet,
information on Charleston Southern University and financial aid.

Once you’ve been accepted to CSU, you must complete the online Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Remember to add CSU to your list of colleges on
the application! Our federal code is 003419.

Complete the fafsa at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Finally, we will create a financial aid package for you and send you an award letter
detailing all of your financial aid for the upcoming academic year. The aid in this
package will be based on several criteria — academic merit, financial need, residency,
athletic qualifications, and enrolled number of credit hours, just to name a few.

Why should I fill out the fafsa if I know I do not qualify for
financial aid?
All students receiving financial awards from CSU must complete the federal aid
application. The only way to be sure that you do not qualify for federal aid is to not apply
for it! You must also complete the FAFSA to receive state aid and student loans. If you feel
your situation is unique, please notify the Enrollment Services Office to discuss it.

What if I miss the deadline for applying for aid?
You can apply for financial aid as early as January 1 for the year you intend to enroll.
Though most families wait until they have filed their income taxes, you can use an
estimate of the prior year’s income taxes to complete the FAFSA and simply correct
the data after you have filed your current year’s taxes. Remember, financial aid is
awarded on a first-come basis – the later you apply, the less aid you may receive!
And if you wait too late, you may miss the deadline! Complete the FAFSA by March
1 for the fall semester you intend to enroll for priority consideration.

                                            –3–
What is fafsa on the Web?
FAFSA on the Web is a great online resource devoted to students! Students apply
for financial aid by completing the FAFSA on the web at
www.fafsa.ed.gov. You will need to apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN)
from the U.S. Department of Education, which allows you to electronically sign your
FAFSA online. You can also watch a demo of the online process to make sure you
understand how to fill out the application. This site also allows you to go back and
make corrections to any mistakes that you have made on the application. FAFSA on
the Web is a comprehensive, multifunctional site that makes the FAFSA application
process easy, more accurate and, most important, quick!

Do I need a PIn to
complete my fafsa?
Yes. Apply for a Personal Identification
Number (PIN) when completing your
FAFSA (www.pin.ed.gov). This number
confirms your identity with the U.S.
Department of Education and allows
you to electronically sign your FAFSA
application. It also allows you to go in
and make changes, request a Student
Aid Report (SAR) or fill out an online
renewal application in subsequent
years. This number has replaced a physical signature and makes processing much
quicker. PINs do not expire, so you can use the same PIN for years. Parents will use
their own PINs to electronically sign FAFSAs for all their children who apply for
student aid.

once I’ve completed the fafsa process,
do I ever have to do it again?
Yes! The FAFSA must be filled out every year. Many changes can occur within a year
that may affect your financial situation. For example, you may have another sibling
who enrolls in college, a drastic change in household income, or you may get
married — all of these changes affect your financial situation and your eligibility,
and should be included on your FAFSA each year.

What is a saR?
SAR is an acronym for Student Aid Report. Once you have completed the FAFSA and
the U.S. Department of Education has processed it, they will send you a report to
confirm all of the information on your FAFSA. You will make corrections to your SAR
online. If the Student Aid Report is accurate, file it — you may need it later. Usually,
the report is printed in a color that coordinates with the color of the actual FAFSA
form — to identify the academic year it was filed.




                                         –4–
I have been chosen for verification.
Why was I chosen, and what does that mean?
Each year the U.S. Department of Education selects a group of applications for
verification. The applicants selected must submit certain documents to the
financial aid office at CSU. These documents may include, but are not limited to, a
signed copy of your and your parents’ U.S. federal tax returns and the verification
worksheet, which will be provided to you by our financial aid office. These
documents are used to ensure that the information on your FAFSA is accurate and
that you are getting the aid for which you are eligible. If there are discrepancies
between your verification documents and your FAFSA, the CSU Financial Aid Office
will make the corrections. THIs Can CHanGe YoUR fInanCIal aID PaCKaGe.
Important points to remember about verification:
    •	 Provide	honest	and	accurate	information	to	prevent	becoming	ineligible	for	
       any financial aid.
    •	 Submit	your	verification	documents	immediately	—	until	you	complete	this	
       process, you will not receive any financial aid!

When will I receive an award package?
Once you have filed your FAFSA and the U.S. Department of Education has
processed it, they will send us your FAFSA information electronically. It could be
processed in two weeks or less. Once we have received your information from
the U.S. Department of Education and you have been accepted, we then create a
financial aid package for you and send you notification of your financial aid award
package. Please review your award package and notify our office if you would like
to decline any aid. Also be sure to submit any additional documents needed to
complete your financial aid.

If you would like to borrow a Federal Stafford Loan (see page 10-11 for details),
please return the Federal Stafford Request Form to the Financial Aid Office with
your choice of lender. To assist you in choosing a lender for your Stafford loan, we
have created a preferred lender list, but you may choose to borrow from any lender
participating in the Federal Family Education Loan Program, even if the lender is
not listed on the preferred lender list.




                                       –5–
What is financial need?
Most sources of financial aid, particularly federal aid, are awarded based on your
financial need. The Department of Education takes the information that you provide
on your FAFSA and puts that information into a formula. This formula calculates an
Expected Family Contribution, or an EFC. This EFC represents what your family can
comfortably contribute to your education based on the income, asset and household
information provided. From there, it’s simple. What your education will cost minus what
your family can contribute will yield what you “need” to finish paying for your education.
                                  Cost of Attendance
                            – Expected Family Contribution
                                   = Financial NEED

The higher your need, the more need-based aid you will be eligible to receive — for
example, a Pell Grant. However, if your financial need is low, you will not qualify for
need-based aid, but you may still qualify for other nonneed-based aid.

What is need-based aid?
Need-based aid requires that you have some amount of “financial need.” Examples of
need-based aid are Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Subsidized Stafford Loan,
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and the South Carolina Tuition Grant.

What determines my dependency status?
Your dependency status is determined through a series of questions on the FAFSA
listed in Section 2 – Student Dependency Status.
                           feDeRal DePenDenCY sTaTUs
  A. Independent
     An independent student is an individual who meets one of the following
     criteria:
     1. An individual age 24 before January 1 of the FAFSA award year.
     2. An orphan or ward of the court, or were until the age of 18.
     3. A veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States.
     4. An individual with legal dependents other than a spouse. This includes
         children born during the award year.
     5. A graduate or professional student.
     6. An individual who is married at the time of application for federal student aid.

  B. Dependent
     If a student fails to meet the criterion outlined under independent, that
     student is dependent. Students who do not meet the automatic federal
     independency criteria but claim to be independent, should read the following
     section on Dependency Status Reviews. If a student fails to provide acceptable
     documentation to the Financial Aid Office to prove his/her dependency status,
     he/she will be considered dependent and will be required to provide parents’
     information for the FAFSA. Parents will need to submit signed federal tax returns
     to the CSU Financial Aid Office, along with the CSU Verification Worksheet.


                                          –6–
  federal Dependency Review Guidelines
  The federal processor utilizes parental information in the calculation of federal
  student aid if the applicant does not meet any of the criteria (age, veteran
  status, graduate student status, marital status, ward of the court status, or have
  dependent children) that automatically qualifies a student as an independent
  student. The criteria for independence was placed into law by Congress in the
  Higher Education Amendments of July 23, 1993.

  Federal regulations do grant financial aid offices discretion under sections
  480(d) and 479A of the Higher Education Amendments of July 23, 1993, in
  the determination of a student's independent student status. However, the
  regulations also state that a dependency override can only be made on the basis
  of unusual circumstances.
    The Higher Education Act allows the financial aid office to make dependency
    overrides on a case-by-case basis for students with unusual circumstances. If an
    override is appropriate, the student must document the unusual circumstances.
    However, none of the conditions listed below, singly or in combination, qualify
    as unusual circumstances or merit a dependency override:
    1. Parents refuse to contribute to the student's education;
    2. Parents are unwilling to provide information on the application or for
       verification;
    3. Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes;
    4. Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.
  Unusual circumstances do include an abusive family environment or
  abandonment by parents and may cause any of the above conditions. In such
  cases a dependency override might be warranted.
  Important: Changes resulting from this review do not guarantee an increase in aid.
  Since student is claiming independence, the Parent(s) Information on the
  FAFSA was not completed. If it is determined that student does not meet the
  independence criteria after review, student will be required to make corrections on
  the FAFSA to submit Parent(s) Information. Additional documents that will need to
  be submitted are the CSU Verification Worksheet and Parents' Federal Tax Return.
  The student’s financial aid file is not complete until this information is provided.

What can I do if I have an unusual circumstance and would
like to be reviewed for independent status?
Dependent students requesting review for unusual circumstance for independency
status must submit the following documentation to the CSU Financial Aid Office for
consideration.
    o Letter from student indicating request for independent status and reason
      for consideration. Documentation must include -
            1. Documentation of student’s source and amount of income
            2. Explanation of how student supports self
            3. Living arrangements of student



                                        –7–
    o Letter from person that student is residing with verifying student’s request
      for independency consideration.
    o Letter from student’s parent verifying student’s request.
    o Letter from reliable third-party source (nonrelative) that explains the
      detail of student’s unusual circumstance that warrants changing his /
      her dependency status. Pastor, physician, counselor, etc. must provide
      documentation on letterhead. Third-party documentation must include -
        1. Detailed reasons why student is not dependent upon parents
        2. In addition to explaining student’s unusual circumstance in detail, the
           letter should also indicate the length of time the student has been
           living independently and how student supported themselves in 2
           consecutive years prior to current year. It must include an estimate for
           the current year.
    o CSU Verification Worksheet. This document may be downloaded from the
      financial aid website at www.charlestonsouthern.edu.
    o Signed copies of Student Federal Tax Return.
Upon receipt of all required documentation and valid FAFSA, student’s file will be
reviewed by the CSU Financial Aid Office. Additional information will be requested
as necessary.

Do other non-CsU scholarships affect CsU financial aid?
Outside scholarships and grants can affect the amount of your CSU institutional
aid. CSU has an institutional policy called the Maximum Free Aid Policy which limits
the amount of free aid a student gets to the direct cost + books. For example, as
an on-campus student, if you have free aid that exceeds tuition, room & board and
books ($500/semester), the amount of your CSU institutional aid will be decreased.
As an off-campus student, if you have free aid that exceeds tuition and books
($500/semester), the amount of your institutional aid will be decreased.

What if my family’s financial status
changes after the award year begins?
If your family financial situation changes, for example,
a parent loses a job or is hospitalized and cannot work,
your financial aid package may change. Your parents
should submit a letter of unusual circumstances
explaining how the change has impacted your
financial situation. The letter should include specific
changes in income — numeric estimations of what the income was before the
change and what it will be for the remainder of the academic year. Supporting
documents must be included with the letter. The CSU Verification Worksheet and
signed copies of student and parent taxes will be required as well. These changes
may or may not positively affect your EFC. We will let you know of any adjustments
by sending you a revised award letter. This form can be given to you by a financial
aid staff member.



                                       –8–
Will my financial aid package change from year to year?
Your financial aid package may vary from year to year. Each year, your loan
eligibility increases — for example, as a freshman you qualify for $3,500, and as a
sophomore you qualify for $4,500. Also, if your Expected Financial Contribution
(EFC) varies, then your financial need will change — this will cause your Pell Grant
amount (if you qualify for it) to vary over the course of your education. Depending
on what types of scholarship and grants you have, you may have to maintain a
certain GPA to renew them each year. To qualify for financial aid each year, you must
meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). All of these situations may affect your
financial aid package each year.

What is saP?
SAP is an acronym for Satisfactory Academic Progress. It is our goal that all of our
students graduate in a timely manner. In order to do this, we have to make sure that
each year you are progressing toward graduation by earning the minimum number
of academic hours and GPA. Each student enrolled full time must earn a minimum
of 24 hours each year. Part-time students must earn the number of hours that they
attempt. You must also earn the GPA necessary for the cumulative amount of hours
you have earned:
      Year in school           attempted Hours*            Minimum GPa
      Freshmen                       1-30                      1.40
      Sophomores                    31-60                      1.60
      Juniors                       61-90                      1.80
      Seniors                        91+                       2.00
*Note: Hours attempted for SAP purposes includes all credit attempted at CSU, all
transfer credit and all nontraditional credit awarded.
If you do not earn the necessary hours or GPA, there is an appeal process. You will
be required to submit a Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Appeal Form prior to the
beginning of the semester for financial aid to be considered. You will have to meet
academic progress during your probationary period in order to receive financial aid
for the whole year. If your appeal is denied, you will be required to earn a minimum
of 12 hours, and the appropriate GPA, without the assistance of financial aid. See
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid in the CSU Undergraduate Catalog
for more information.

What if I decide to go to school only part time?
Part-time students (less than 12 hours) do not qualify for institutional scholarships
or state funding. If eligible, part-time (minimum 3 hours) students may receive a
prorated Federal Pell Grant. You may also use loans to pay for your education if you
enroll in a minimum of 6 hours per semester. Part-time students must also meet
Satisfactory Academic Progress. As a part-time student, you must earn every hour
that you attempt and make the necessary GPA, or you will have to go through the
appeal process to receive aid the next year.




                                        –9–
What is the foundations studies Program, and how does it
affect my financial aid?
The Foundations Studies Program, or FSP, is a comprehensive developmental
program designed for students who are unprepared to enroll in freshman Algebra
and English courses. These students are required to master basic-level skills before
enrolling in the freshman courses. Students enrolled in Foundations courses may
receive financial aid during the academic year. Therefore, all students must pay
close attention to the SAP requirements in regards to CSU academic requirements,
CSU financial aid renewal requirements, and state and federal regulations for
scholarship/financial aid renewal. FSP students who are receiving the S.C. HOPE
Scholarship or S.C. LIFE Scholarship must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per
semester excluding FSP courses to meet federal requirements. FSP courses will not
count toward the 30 credit hours needed yearly for scholarship renewal eligibility.

What is the difference between a subsidized and
unsubsidized stafford loan?
Both of these loans are federal loans and are only awarded to students who meet
the federal requirements. The subsidized loan (sub) is a need-based loan that the
federal government pays the interest on while the student is enrolled at least
half-time in an eligible degree program. The unsubsidized loan (unsub) is not
need-based and begins to accrue interest when the loan is disbursed. A dependent
student cannot get an additional unsubsidized loan unless the parent PLUS loan
is denied by the lender each year. All federally eligible students qualify for student
loans — whether they will get a sub or an unsub depends on their financial need.
Both of these loans go into repayment six months after graduation, after a student
drops to below half-time status, or after the student withdraws from an academic
program.

Year in school        loan amount         additional if PlUs denied Total amount
Freshman                $5,500                    $4,000                 $9,500
Sophomore               $6,500                    $4,000               $10,500
Junior                  $7,500                    $5,000               $12,500
Senior                  $7,500                    $5,000               $12,500

All independent students can receive the total amount of both loans without
going through the parent loan application process if they request it. The federal
government has limited the amount of loans that students can borrow as
undergraduates. Dependent students are restricted to $31,000, and independent
students are limited to $54,000 total. These amounts cannot be exceeded.

Why don’t I qualify for a subsidized stafford loan?
Subsidized Stafford loans are need-based loans. If you have a very high EFC and
therefore do not have any need, you will not qualify for a sub Stafford loan. You will
still qualify for the same amount — that amount will be awarded to you in the form
of an unsubsidized loan. It is possible to have your loan amount split between sub
and unsub depending on your financial need.


                                       – 10 –
How do I choose a lender for my federal stafford loan?
Choosing a lender for your Federal Stafford Loan or for your parents a Federal PLUS
Loan can be a daunting task. To assist you in choosing a lender, we have gathered a
list of lenders who we consider excellent institutions in the education lending field.
Please visit our website to see the list of lenders and a description on how those
lenders were chosen. Take time to consider the different benefits and options each
lender provides and determine which lender is best for you. Please note that you
are not required to use one of the lenders on the list. You can choose to borrow
from any lender participating in the Federal Family Education Loan Program, even
if the lender is not listed on the preferred lender list. Once you have chosen your
lender for your Federal Stafford Loan, please indicate your choice on the Stafford
Loan Request Form and return to the Financial Aid Office. Your loan cannot be
certified until we receive written notification of your choice.

What happens if I don’t have enough money to pay for school?
If your financial aid – grants, scholarships, work-study and student loans – does not
cover your direct costs (tuition for off-campus students or tuition and room and
board for on-campus students), you may want to consider other payment options.

The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) allows a parent with good
credit history to help pay for his/her dependent’s college education by taking out
a loan in the parent’s name. The PLUS has a variable interest rate, and it goes into
repayment 60 days after disbursement. Remember, if the PLUS is not approved, the
dependent qualifies for additional unsubsidized funds.

In addition to the PLUS, students can apply for alternative loans to help cover their
educational costs. These are private loans that are approved or denied based on credit
and work history. Students may require a co-signer. An alternative loan may replace a
PLUS if a parent prefers to co-sign for a student and wants a later repayment period.
Most alternative loans go into repayment six months after graduation, if the student
is enrolled below half time or after student withdraws from school. Alternative loan
websites are available on the inside back cover of this booklet.

CSU also offers a monthly payment plan through Tuition Management Systems
(TMS). This plan allows you to divide the balance owed per academic year over 9 or
10 monthly payments. To set up a payment plan, call TMS at 888-713-7234 or enroll
at their website at www.afford.com. Enrollment fee is $60/year.

Where do I pay my bill?
Once you have registered for classes, the CSU Student Accounts Office accepts
payments online at www.charlestonsouthern.edu or you may send your payment to:

         Charleston Southern University
         Attn: Student Accounts Office
         P.O. Box 118087
         Charleston, SC 29423-8087



                                       – 11 –
The CSU Student Accounts Office is located on the second floor of the Strom
Thurmond Center. You may send your e-inquiries to studentaccounts@csuniv.edu.
You can also call toll-free at 866-248-0445 or 843-863-8058.

Can I check on the status of my financial aid online?
Check on your financial aid status online – anytime!
  CsU financial aid online
  step 1: Go to www.charlestonsouthern.edu
  step 2: Click on "MY CSU" icon
  step 3: Log in using your CSU ID number and your Web PIN to access your CSU
          Financial Aid Online
Bookmark this online page to access your CSU Financial Aid Online anytime -
24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

What if I have questions? Who can I contact?
Assisting you in your career at CSU is our highest priority. The Enrollment Services
Office is located in the Hunter Reception Center. The office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday. Appointments may be made Monday through Friday,
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Our phone numbers are 843-863-7050 or 800-947-7474. Fax number
is 843-863-7070. In addition, you may e-mail us at financialaid@csuniv.edu.




                                        – 12 –
            Types of financial aid
south Carolina Commission on Higher education
The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education will promote quality and
efficiency in the State system of higher education with the goal of fostering
economic growth and human development in South Carolina.

The Student Services Division of the Commission is responsible for coordinating
activities including:

    •	 Palmetto	Fellows	Scholarship	         •	 Palmetto	Fellows	Enhancement
    •	 S.C.	LIFE	Scholarship	                •	 S.C.	LIFE	Enhancement
    •	 S.C.	HOPE	Scholarship

    General Eligibility Criteria for All Scholarship Programs
    •	 Must	be	a	South	Carolina	resident;
    •	 Must	be	a	U.S.	citizen	or	permanent	resident;
    •	 Must	be	enrolled	as	a	degree-seeking	student	at	an	eligible	South	Carolina	
       public or private institution;
    •	 Must	not	owe	a	refund	or	repayment	on	a	State	Grant,	Pell	Grant,	or	a	
       Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and not be in default on a
       loan under the Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Stafford Loan Program; and
    •	 Must	have	never	been	convicted	of	any	felonies	and	have	not	been	convicted	
       of any second alcohol or other drug-related misdemeanor convictions within
       the past academic year (excluding Lottery Tuition Assistance).

    south Carolina Palmetto fellows
    s.C. Commission on Higher education – www.che.sc.gov
    The South Carolina General Assembly established the Palmetto Fellows
    Scholarship Program in 1988 to retain academically talented high school
    graduates in the State through awards based on merit. Eligible full-time students
    may receive up to the following award amount: $6,700 for freshmen and $7,500
    for sophomores, juniors, and seniors towards the cost of attendance at an
    eligible senior institution in South Carolina.

    Initial eligibility Requirements
    Application for early awards must be submitted to the Commission on Higher
    Education for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship by the date established in
    December each academic year. Students must meet the following three
    academic criteria in order to be eligible to apply for the early awards:
    •	 Score	at	least	1200*	on	the	SAT	or	27	on	the	ACT.	Test	scores	must	be	
       submitted to the Commission on Higher Education by no later than the
       established deadline in December;

                                       – 13 –
•	 Earn	a	cumulative	3.50	GPA	on	the	UGS	at	the	end	of	the	junior	year;	and
•	 Rank	in	the	top	six	percent	of	the	class	at	the	end	of	either	the	sophomore	
   or the junior year.
Applications for final awards must be submitted to the Commission on Higher
Education for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship by the date established in June
each academic year. Students must meet the following three academic criteria
in order to be eligible to apply for the final awards:
•	 Score	at	least	1200*	on	the	SAT	or	27	on	the	ACT.		Test	scores	will	be	
   accepted through June of the senior year;
•	 Earn	a	cumulative	3.50	GPA	on	the	UGS	at	the	end	of	the	senior	year;
•	 Rank	in	the	top	six	percent	of	the	class	at	the	end	of	the	senior	year.
Students must not be a recipient of the LIFE Scholarship or S.C. HOPE Scholarship.

All applicants, including home schooled students, are required to provide
class rank order to be eligible to apply. For home school students, class rank
is available through either the home school association or through the high
school within the student’s required attendance zone.

For application information, please contact the high school guidance
counselor if you meet the above criteria.

* Total SAT requirement of 1200 consists of Math and Critical Reading sections
only. It does not include the Writing section.

Palmetto fellows enhancement
Math and science majors who receive the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship may be
eligible to receive the Palmetto Fellows Enhancement for their second, third, and
fourth years of college. The Palmetto Fellows Enhancement may be awarded
up to $2,500 per year. In order to qualify, students must receive the Palmetto
Fellows Scholarship, be in an eligible math or science major by the first day of
classes for their second, third, and fourth years, and have taken 14 hours of math
or science courses during their first year of college enrollment.

south Carolina lIfe scholarship Program
s.C. Commission on Higher education – www.che.sc.gov
The South Carolina General Assembly established the Legislative Incentives for
Future Excellence (LIFE) Program in 1998 to increase access to higher education,
improve employability of South Carolina’s students, provide incentives for
students to be better prepared for college, and to encourage students to
graduate from college on time. Eligible full-time students may receive up to the
following award amounts:
•	 Up	to	$5,000	
This amount is based on the previous year’s funding and is determined each
year by the S.C. General Assembly.


                                   – 14 –
Initial eligibility at a four-year institution
Students must meet two of the following three criteria:
1. Cumulative 3.0 GPA based on the Uniform Grading Scale;
2. Rank in the top 30 percent of graduating class; or
3. Score an 1100* SAT or 24 ACT.
* Total SAT requirement of 1100 consists of Math and Critical Reading sections
only. It does not include the Writing section.
all students must also:
•	 Be	a	South	Carolina	resident	at	the	time	of	high	school	graduation	and	
   college enrollment;
•	 Not	be	a	recipient	of	the	Palmetto	Fellows	Scholarship	or	S.C.	HOPE	
   Scholarship; and
•	 Meet	all	general	eligibility	criteria.	
There is no application required for the LIFE Scholarship. The participating institution
will determine eligibility and will notify the student if eligible for the scholarship.

s.C. lIfe enhancement
Math and science majors who receive the S.C. LIFE Scholarship may be eligible
to receive the S.C. LIFE Enhancement for their second, third, and fourth years
of college. The S.C. LIFE Enhancement may be awarded up to $2,500 per year.
This amount is based on the previous year’s funding and is determined each
year by the S.C. General Assembly. In order to qualify, students must receive
the S.C. LIFE Scholarship, be in an eligible math or science major by the first
day of classes for their second, third, and fourth years, and have taken 14 hours
of math or science courses during their first year of college enrollment.

south Carolina HoPe scholarship
s.C. Commission on Higher education – www.che.sc.gov
The S.C. HOPE Scholarship Program was established under the S.C. Education
Lottery Act in 2001. It is a one-year merit-based scholarship created for eligible
first-time entering freshmen attending a four-year institution. Eligible full-time
students may receive up to the following award amount:
•	 Up	to	$2,800
This amount is based on the previous year’s funding and is determined each
year by the S.C. General Assembly.
Initial eligibility Requirements
•	 Must	earn	a	cumulative	3.0	GPA	on	Uniform	Grading	Scale	upon	high	school	
   graduation;
•	 Must	be	a	South	Carolina	resident	at	the	time	of	high	school	graduation	and	
   college enrollment;
•	 Must	not	be	a	recipient	of	the	Palmetto	Fellows	Scholarship	or	LIFE	
   Scholarship; and
•	 Must	meet	all	general	eligibility	criteria.	

                                      – 15 –
    There is no application required for the S.C. HOPE Scholarship. The
    participating institution will determine eligibility and will notify the student if
    eligible for the scholarship.

    Contact Information
    For detailed information about the scholarship programs administered by the
    S.C. Commission on Higher Education:
    •	 Visit	the	South	Carolina	Commission	on	Higher	Education’s	Web	site	at	
       www.che.sc.gov.
    •	 Call	SCCHE	at	803-737-2260	or	toll-free	at	877-349-7183.


south Carolina Teaching fellows
s.C. Center for Teacher Recruitment – www.cerra.org
The South Carolina Teaching Fellows program is administered by the South Carolina
Center for Teaching Recruitment. The program provides scholarship funds for high
school students who have exhibited academic achievement, community service
and a desire to teach in South Carolina. Fellows must:
    •	   Enroll	full	time	
    •	   Pursue	a	degree	in	education
    •	   Attend	summer	enrichment	programs
    •	   Commit	to	teach	in	South	Carolina	one	year	for	every	year	they	receive	the	
         fellowship
This scholarship is renewable each year by maintaining 2.75 GPA, earning at least
30 credit hours and fulfilling the summer program obligations. Upon college
graduation, must teach in public school for 4 years, or repayment is required.

south Carolina Tuition Grant
www.sctuitiongrants.com
This grant program is administered by the South Carolina Tuition Grants
Commission. The S.C. Tuition Grant is a need-based award given to South Carolina
residents who enroll full time in undergraduate programs at one of the 20 private
colleges in South Carolina, and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA) prior to the deadline of June 30. Freshmen must finish high school with
a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a uniform grading scale, rank in the top 75 percent of
their high school class, or score at least a 900* on the SAT or a 19 on the ACT.

*Total SAT requirement of 900 consists of Math and Critical Reading sections only. It
does not include the Writing section.

This grant is available for fall and spring semesters and is renewable every year
for 8 semesters with the completion of the FAFSA if the student earns 24 credit
hours and maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students who do not
meet SAP can express their extenuating circumstances in a letter of appeal to the
Commission. You will also need to check CSU's SAP requirements. The FAFSA must
be received by the Federal Processor no later than June 30 each year.


                                        – 16 –
Jairy C. Hunter, Jr. scholarship
University scholarship
Charleston southern University student success award
Merit-based scholarships are given by Charleston Southern University to degree-
seeking students who will be enrolling full time. The scholarship amount is
determined by the student’s GPA, SAT score, financial need, and residency status.

These awards can be renewed each year by maintaining satisfactory academic
progress and an on-campus residency status. If a student decides to move off-
campus in a subsequent year, the CSU grant may be reduced.

Also, different departments at CSU offer their own scholarships based on performance
— for example, athletic scholarships, music scholarships, band stipends and AFROTC
scholarships.

Charleston southern endowed & funded scholarships
These scholarships are made possible by caring friends of the University who
established them with the desire to help students who, without their monetary help,
may not be able to attend college. Unless otherwise indicated, these scholarships are
awarded to students enrolled full time. Often, these scholarships come with stipulated
criteria set by the donors themselves. Students are automatically considered for these
scholarships upon acceptance to CSU and completion of the FAFSA.

federal Pell Grant
The federally funded program is designed to assist students with a high level
of financial need in acquiring an education. Students who fill out the FAFSA are
automatically considered for a Federal Pell Grant. The amount of this grant can
vary each year depending on the family’s size, income and asset information, and
student enrollment.

federal supplemental educational opportunity Grant
This is also a federally funded program geared toward students with very low
EFCs. The amount for the SEOG is always a percentage of the Pell Grant amount;
therefore, only students who have been awarded Pell qualify for SEOG. Because
these funds are limited, this award is on a first-come basis!

federal academic Competitiveness Grant (aCG)
If you are a Federal Pell Grant recipient, your student record will be evaluated for
an award of up to $750 for the first academic year of study and up to $1,300 for the
second academic year of study from this federally-funded gift program.
In addition to being a Federal Pell Grant recipient, you must meet the following
eligibility criteria:
    •	 U.S.	citizen	
    •	 Enrolled	full	time	in	a	degree	program	



                                       – 17 –
     •	 Entering	freshmen	who	have	completed	a	rigorous	secondary	school	
        program, as designated by the state in which the student resided when
        completing the program
     •	 Sophomores	who	have	completed	a	rigorous	secondary	school	program,	
        and have earned a cumulative 3.0 GPA and 31 hours during freshman year
Annual award amounts may be reduced by the U.S. Department of Education, if
sufficient funds are not available for all eligible students in an award year.

Potentially eligible students will be contacted by the U.S. Department of Education.
Students will be directed to a website to determine if they have completed a
rigorous secondary school program to possibly qualify.

The amount of ACG, in combination with Federal Pell Grant and other financial aid
cannot exceed demonstrated financial need.

federal sMaRT (science and Mathematics access
to Retain Talent) Grant
If you are a Federal Pell Grant recipient, your student record will be evaluated for
this federally funded gift program that awards $4,000 for each of the third and
fourth academic years of study.

In addition to being a Federal Pell Grant recipient, you must meet the following
eligibility criteria:
     •	 U.S.	citizen	
     •	 Enrolled	full	time	
     •	 Have	at	least	a	cumulative	3.0	GPA	
     •	 Be	majoring	in	one	of	the	following:	
        •	 physical,	life,	or	computer	science	
        •	 engineering	
        •	 mathematics	
        •	 technology	
        •	 a	critical	foreign	language	
        •	 natural	resources	and	conservation
        •	 physiological	psychology,	psychobiology
     •	 Show progression towards successful completion of a degree in the declared major

Annual award amounts may be reduced by the U.S. Department of Education if
sufficient funds are not available for all eligible students in an award year.

The amount of SMART Grant in combination with Federal Pell Grant and other
financial aid cannot exceed demonstrated financial need.

federal Work-study Program
This is a federally funded, need-based program that allows students to pay a
portion of their educational costs by working part-time on campus. Students must
have demonstrated need, as determined by the federal government, in order
to qualify for Federal Work-Study. Work-Study is considered part-time student
employment, and therefore the wages earned are taxed.

                                        – 18 –
How does the federal Work-study Program work?
Available on-campus positions are posted online at www.charlestonsouthern.edu/
careers and at the Student Employment Office in the Strom Thurmond Center. You
can set up an interview for the positions you select. If hired, you will be responsible
for working approximately 10-14 hours each week, and your paychecks can be
applied toward your tuition and room & board charges. FWSP is considered taxable
income. Please be aware that Work-Study award funds are limited, so if you are
interested, submit your FAFSA early!

federal subsidized stafford loan
This is a need-based federal loan program implemented as self-help for students
enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program. The interest rate for a Stafford
loan is variable, but the federal government pays the interest on a subsidized Stafford
loan while the student is enrolled in school. Each year, the amounts that students can
borrow vary depending on the number of credit hours earned. These loans go into
repayment six months after graduation, dropping below half time (6 hrs.), or withdrawal.

federal Unsubsidized stafford loan
This is a nonneed-based federal loan program implemented as self-help for
students enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program. The interest
on an unsubsidized Stafford loan accrues while the student is enrolled in school.
Each year, the amounts that students can borrow vary depending on the number
of credit hours earned. These loans also go into repayment six months after
graduation, dropping below half time (6 hrs.), or withdrawal.


federal PlUs loan
This is a federal loan program for parents to help with the educational costs of their
dependents. Parents with a good credit history can borrow up to the student’s total
budget for the current academic year. This loan goes into repayment 60 days after
it is disbursed with payments starting at about $50/month. The interest rate on this
loan is also variable.

federal Perkins loan
This is a federally funded loan program for students with extremely high need.
Students must be enrolled full time, with at least a 2.0 GPA and not in the
Foundation Studies Program to qualify for the Perkins loan. The interest on this
loan is fixed at 5 percent, and it does not accrue while the student is enrolled.
Repayment for the Perkins begins nine months after separation from school.




                                        – 19 –
outside scholarships
Outside Scholarships are given to students by outside organizations not necessarily
affiliated with Charleston Southern University. Students often receive scholarships
from their local churches, places of employment, social and community
organizations. Many of these scholarships are renewable by maintaining full-time
status and a specified minimum GPA. These criteria are communicated to the
student by the donor upon notification of the award.

Where can I find more information on outside scholarships?
                            www.collegeboard.com
              The College Scholarship Service and The College Board
                                 www.nasfaa.org
            National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
                             www.studentaid.ed.gov
                       Financial Aid for Students Home Page
                             www.collegeanswer.com
                              Free scholarship search
                              www.brokescholar.com
                              Free scholarship search
                                 www.fastweb.com
                               Free scholarship search

These are just a few of the scholarship sources that are available. It would also be
advantageous to contact local churches, businesses and nonprofit organizations —
they have scholarship programs too!

alternative loans
Campus Door • www.campusdoor.com
CitiAssist Loan • www.studentloan.com
Preferred Select Loan • www.chasestudentloans.com
Signature Loan • www.salliemae.com
Alternative loans are available to degree-seeking students who need additional
funds to meet the Cost of Attendance. They are only awarded after the student has
received a Stafford loan. Students applying for an alternative loan may borrow up to
the total budget for the current academic year. These loans are in the student’s name
and approved based on the borrower’s credit and work history. A co-signer may be
required when applying for an alternative loan. The interest rates on these loans are
variable and most go into repayment six months after the separation date.




                                       – 20 –
Tuition Management systems (TMs)
www.afford.com
CSU offers a monthly payment plan through an outside agency called Tuition
Management Systems (TMS). This option allows you to divide the balance owed
per academic year into 9 or 10 monthly payments. You can begin as early as July of
this year! The last opportunity to participate in TMS is in August, with payment due
by August 15. Annual enrollment fee is required. You may also contact CSU Student
Accounts & Loan Office via e-mail at studentaccounts@csuniv.edu or call toll-free
888-713-7234 or 843-863-8058.

Veterans and Military Programs
www.gibill.va.gov
Any student who plans to use VA Educational Benefits should contact the campus
Military Services Coordinator. Active duty personnel eligible to use tuition
assistance should contact the Education Services Office at the military base
where they are stationed. The CSU Military Services Coordinator assists students
in areas including Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Ch 30) and Selected Reserve
(Ch 1606), Vocational Rehabilitation (Ch 31), and Survivors' and Dependents'
Educational Assistance Program (DEA) (Ch 35). For more information contact our
VA Coordinator located in the Strom Thurmond Center, Student Success Center at
843-863-8035.




                                      – 21 –
           financial aid Checklist
It’s important to make sure your Financial Aid file is complete to disburse your
financial aid to your Student Account each semester!

All steps may not be necessary for some students, and additional follow-up may be
required for students in certain situations. If you have questions about a particular
item on the checklist, please contact the CSU Enrollment Services Office (Financial Aid).

o Complete the free application for federal student aid (fafsa)
  Complete your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov
  FAFSA Federal School Code: 003419

o Check student aid Report for accuracy
  Your SAR is valid if you have an EFC#, located on the right side of the first page.
  If you do not have an EFC #, please read all instructions carefully and correct.
  If you have a statement on your SAR such as: “Your application has been selected
  for a process called verification.” - please contact the CSU Financial Aid Office to
  complete this important step.

o Return award letter only If You Want to Decline any awards
  Promptly return your signed award letter for any aid you want to decline.

o Complete the s.C. Certification form
  South Carolina residents must complete the State Certification form for
  purposes of eligibility for any state aid programs. i.e. S.C. Tuition Grant, HOPE/
  LIFE Scholarship, Palmetto Fellows Scholarship

o stafford loan Request form
  Please return the Stafford Loan Request Form with your choice of lender for
  your Federal Stafford Loan.

o entrance loan Counseling
  All first time Stafford borrowers must complete entrance counseling at
  www.mapping-your-future.org

o Complete Promissory note(s)
  If you are a first time Stafford Loan borrower or a PLUS loan borrower, complete
  the promissory note for any loans you have been offered and wish to accept.

o notify CsU of all outside funding sources
  Any outside scholarships that the student receives must be reported to the CSU
  Financial Aid Office and funds sent to the CSU Student Accounts Office in order
  to ensure that it is credited to your student account.
  If the outside scholarship agency requires a bill sent to them before they can release
  funds, contact the CSU Student Accounts Office to have this arranged.




                                         – 22 –
o student account Must be Paid Prior to start of semester
  Preliminary bills are mailed to registered students prior to the start of the
  semester. Payment due date for each semester is Registration Day for the term (the
  day before the first day of classes). Payment may be made online by credit card at
  www.charlestonsouthern.edu.

o Check on Your financial aid status online – anytime!
  step 1: Go to www.charlestonsouthern.edu
  step 2: Click on "MY CSU" icon
  step 3: Log in using your CSU ID number and your Web PIN to access your CSU
          Financial Aid Online

o CsU student financial aid Guide online
  Download the Question & Answer guide to help you successfully navigate the
  financial aid process. Go to Quick Links > Financial Aid > Forms & Downloads >
  Financial Aid Questions & Answers

If you have any questions we are here to assist you! Please give us a call at
843-863-7050. You can also e-mail us at financialaid@csuniv.edu .

                  CsU enrollment services office – financial aid
                         Charleston Southern University
                             Hunter Reception Center
                         843-863-7050 or 800-947-7474
                             financialaid@csuniv.edu

                     CsU business office – student accounts
                         Charleston Southern University
                        Strom Thurmond Center, 2nd Floor
                          843-863-8058 or 866-248-0445
                           studentaccounts@csuniv.edu

                            CsU Veterans affairs office
                          Charleston Southern University
                          Strom Thurmond Center, 1st Floor
                              (in Student Success Center)
                           843-863-8035 or 843-863-8063
                                  rodom@csuniv.edu




                                        – 23 –
                     frequently asked Questions
What is financial aid? .......................................................................................................................... 3
How do I qualify for financial aid?.................................................................................................. 3
How do I apply for admission and for financial aid? ............................................................... 3
Why should I fill out the FAFSA if I know I do not qualify for Financial Aid? ................. 3
What if I miss the deadline for applying for aid? ...................................................................... 3
What is FAFSA on the Web?.............................................................................................................. 4
Do I need a PIN to complete my FAFSA? ..................................................................................... 4
Once I’ve completed the FAFSA process, do I ever have to do it again? ......................... 4
What is a SAR? ....................................................................................................................................... 4
I have been chosen for verification. Why was I chosen, and what does that mean? ..... 5
When will I receive an award package? ....................................................................................... 5
What is financial need? ...................................................................................................................... 6
What is need-based aid? ................................................................................................................... 6
What determines my dependency status? ................................................................................. 6
What can I do if I have an unusual circumstance? ................................................................... 7
Do other non-CSU scholarships affect CSU financial aid? .................................................... 8
What if my family's financial status changes after the award year begins? ................... 8
Will my financial aid package change from year to year?..................................................... 9
What is SAP? ........................................................................................................................................... 9
What if I decide to go to school only part time? ...................................................................... 9
What is the Foundations Studies Program, and how does it affect my financial aid? ......10
What is the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loan? ........10
Why don’t I qualify for a subsidized Stafford loan? ...............................................................10
How do I choose a lender for my Federal Stafford Loans? .................................................11
What happens if I don’t have enough money to pay for school? ....................................11
Where do I pay my bill?....................................................................................................................11
Can I check on the status of my financial aid online? ..........................................................12
What if I have questions? Who can I contact? .........................................................................12
What types of aid are offered to S.C. residents? .....................................................................13
Does CSU offer scholarships? ........................................................................................................17
What types of federal grants and programs are available? ................................................17
Are there outside scholarships available? .................................................................................20
What if I need more money to pay for college? .....................................................................20
Is there a payment plan option?...................................................................................................21
How do I find out information on veterans benefits? ..........................................................21
Is there a checklist available for financial aid responsibilities? .........................................22


                                                                       – 24 –
Important Financial Aid Web Sites
      Charleston Southern University
         www.charlestonsouthern.edu

             CSU Financial Aid
      www.csuniv.edu/admissions/fa.asp

       Federal Work Study Program
     www.charlestonsouthern.edu/careers

      S.C. Tuition Grant Commission
           www.sctuitiongrants.com

   S.C. Commission on Higher Education
               www.che.sc.gov
  Student and Parents > Scholarships & Grants

       Tuition Management Systems
               www.afford.com

     The Guide to Federal Student Aid
         www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs



  Alternative Loans Web Sites
               CitiAssist Loan
            www.studentloan.com

           Preferred Select Loan
         www.chasestudentloans.com

         Sallie Mae Signature Loan
             www.salliemae.com
             Preparing Graduates.
             Transforming Lives.




                 843-863-7050 or 800-947-7474
         P. O. Box 118087 Charleston, SC 29423-8087
                   www.charlestonsouthern.edu
    AffiliAted with the SOuth CArOlinA BAPtiSt COnventiOn




Promoting Academic excellence in a Christian environment

				
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