Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

Financial aid is the money that helps cover the difference between what is costs to attend college and what your family may be expected to contribute based on a formula established by the U.S. Congress. The difference can be met with grants, scholarships, work-study, and/or student loans.

Applying for aid can take a few months. You should apply as soon as possible to guarantee that the aid will be available when you start classes. If a you are applying for a student loan, this will take additional time. Disbursement at Southwestern happens the third week of each term and by Friday of each week thereafter for late applicants. Student loan checks are disbursed 30-days into the first term of enrollment per federal regulations. Subsequent loan disbursements are made at the same time as all other aid.

Apply as soon after January 1st for the next school year. Complete your income taxes as soon as possible because it makes it easier to fill out the FAFSA with actual figures. A student can file the FAFSA on estimated income information. You only need to apply for financial aid once a year. Remember some funds are limited so apply early!

There are many resources for scholarships. Here are just a few:

Almost all student's are eligible for some type of financial aid. If a student is not eligible for grants, this does not mean that s/he is ineligible for any financial aid. This student could be eligible for Federal Work-Study and/or loans. The least that a student could be eligible for is an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

If you need to drop a class or believe you are not doing well in a class, you should refer to Southwestern's Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines for information. If you have ever filed an Appeal or Request for Reinstatement, you must uphold any decision stated on the appeal or request.

***If a you fail to complete all of your classes for a term or complete zero credits in a term, then you will be placed on aid withheld status immediately and you may have to pay back funds that you have already received based on the Return of Title IV Funds Policy.

If a student is in default on a loan or owes a repayment, s/he will not be eligible for any Title IV funding until the status is cleared up. In order to clear it up, the student must contact the Department of Education's Debt Collection Service (1-800-621-3115) and provide Financial Aid with documentation that he/she is no longer in default or owe a repayment.

If you answer "NO" to ALL of the dependency questions on the FAFSA, you WILL have to report parent information on the FAFSA regardless of whether they provide financial support to you or you are not living with your parent(s).

***If you answer "NO" to all of the above questions, but you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from obtaining parent information, you may be eligible for an Independent Student Appeal. Independent Student Appeals are reserved for the students who may fit the following criteria:

  1. an abusive home situation which is detrimental to your physical or mental well-being
  2. abandonment by both parents
  3. incarceration of the custodial parent
  4. your parents live in a foreign country and cannot be contacted by normal means of communication.

If you feel you may have an unusual circumstance, contact our office before sending in the FAFSA and ask for the Independent Student Appeal forms.