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Section III

Financial Aid

114 Deputy Hall
218-755-2034

Bemidji State University provides a comprehensive program of financial assistance to students totaling approximately $30 million annually. Scholarship, grant, employment, and loan programs are available from federal, state, institutional, and private sources.

Federal and state financial aid requires demonstrated financial need through the federal need analysis process. All grant, loan, and work-study applicants need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid programs. A financial aid application is not necessary if applying for a scholarship only. Please refer to the scholarship section for application procedures and types of scholarships available.

Application Procedure

The U.S. Department of Education will mail or e-mail renewal application information to most students who applied for aid the previous year. Application forms for new applicants and those who did not receive a renewal application are available at the BSU Financial Aid Office starting approximately January 1 for the next school year.

To apply for financial aid, please complete the following:

(1) an Application for Admission,

(2) a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and

(3) a BSU Financial Aid Application.

In addition

(4) Transfer students must have academic transcripts sent to the BSU Admissions Office from all prior institutions attended. Formal admission to the University as a regular student is a prerequisite to awarding financial aid.

(5) Other forms and certifications may be required of students who are selected for verification by the U. S. Department of Education.

Financial aid eligibility is determined first for fall and spring semesters. Summer aid eligibility is determined later in the spring on a separate Summer Supplement form. Summer applicants may request a Summer Supplement form in March for the coming summer.

All of the forms necessary to apply for financial aid may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN 56601-2699.

Important Deadlines

It is strongly recommended that students complete the entire financial aid application process early in Spring Semester (February and March) each year. Funds for Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) normally are fully expended by mid-May.

The 2005 Minnesota Legislature has established a new policy regarding Minnesota State Grant eligibility. A completed FAFSA must be received by the Federal Application Processing Center no later than 30 days after the start of the first term for which a student is applying for a State Grant.

Federal Pell Grant recipients who withdraw from one or more courses within the first 30 days of the semester will have Pell Grant awards reduced to the adjusted level of enrollment.

Tuition and fees should be paid in full no later than the first class session or the student will be dropped from all classes. However, a student will not be dropped for non-payment if any one of the criteria listed under Tuition and Fees in this section is met.

Types of Financial Aid

SCHOLARSHIPS

The Office of Admissions and Scholarships administers scholarships at Bemidji State University. See the Scholarships section of the catalog for detailed information.

GRANTS

Grants are monetary awards to students which do not have to be repaid unless through a correction or withdrawal process.

Athletic Grants: The individual coaches of men's and women's athletics administer athletic grants. Grants are available for participation in most men's and women's sports. All awards become a part of the total financial aid package of the student and are subject to the satisfactory academic progress standard of the institution. Interested students should see the coach in their particular sport.

Federal Pell Grant: A Pell Grant Program award is determined when a student completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. All students requesting financial aid, including work and loan assistance, are first reviewed for a Pell Grant. Directions for applying for a Pell Grant, as well as other types of grants, loans, and work may be found in the application material.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): FSEOG is a grant for exceptionally needy undergraduate students. The grant consists of 75 percent federal and 25 percent Bemidji State University funds. Awards are restricted to undergraduate students who have the "lowest family contribution" resulting from the Federal Need Analysis, with Pell Grant recipients receiving awards first.

Minnesota State Grant: Undergraduate Minnesota residents may apply for this need-based grant if they have not attended more than four years of postsecondary education, including trade schools, technical colleges, and all other types of higher education institutions. All applicants are automatically reviewed for Minnesota State Grant eligibility in the processing of the financial aid application.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT

Bemidji State University provides employment opportunities to approximately 1,500 students annually. The $2 million student payroll consists of funds from Federal College Work-Study, Minnesota State Work-Study, and the Regular BSU Payroll. The Financial Aid Office awards work-study as part of the needy student's financial aid package until funds are exhausted. Priority is given to returning student employees. Regular Payroll positions, however, are awarded by the various departments on campus and do not require a student to apply for financial aid. Students should review the Student Employment Bulletin Board, near the main lobby of Deputy Hall or on the BSU Web site, for the departments with vacancies and the name of the person to contact.

LOANS

Student loans are available for students who demonstrate financial need, as well as for those who need help in meeting the student and/or parent contribution resulting from the Federal Need Analysis. Federal Direct and State of Minnesota Student Educational Loan Fund (SELF) loans require an entrance interview prior to the disbursement of the first check. In addition, an exit counseling session is required for all federal loans.

Federal Subsidized Direct Loan: (Federal government pays the interest during the in-school period on this need-based loan.) The program charges a fee which is subtracted from the face value of the loan prior to disbursement. Loans are awarded after all scholarships, educational monetary awards (including non-institutional), grants, and work-study have been packaged.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan: (Student pays the interest during the in-school period or allows it to accumulate.) A student whose need has been met with other aid or who demonstrates no financial need through the Federal Need Analysis test is not eligible for a subsidized loan but may be considered for an Unsubsidized Direct Loan. The loan may be taken to fund the student's or parents' contribution expected by the Federal Need Analysis.

Mandatory loan counseling is required of all Federal Direct Loan recipients. This may be done on the Web, at www.dl.ed.gov. Mandatory exit counseling for Federal Direct Loan recipients is also required.

Federal Perkins Loan: This low interest federal loan is awarded to a limited number of early applicants who have the lowest family contribution. Available funds are primarily through the collection of prior loans to Bemidji State University students and are limited to high need applicants.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): assists parents who wish to borrow to meet educational needs of their dependent children. The loans are fixed 7.9 percent interest loans and require a credit check by the lender. To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the separate PLUS application form available at the Financial Aid Office.

Student Educational Loan Fund (SELF): The State of Minnesota has implemented the variable interest SELF loan for students from any state who enroll in a Minnesota higher education institution. A student may utilize this loan to assist with the student and parent contribution resulting from the need analysis. Interest is variable and is paid quarterly by the student. A credit check of the cosigner is conducted by the program. To receive a SELF loan, a student must apply for other financial aid first. A separate online SELF loan application form is also required. Mandatory SELF loan counseling must also be completed on the Web, at www.selfloan.org.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

To be continued on financial aid, a student must meet all of the following satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of each term. All credits indicated are semester credits.

  1. Qualitative Standard: The Financial Aid Office utilizes the institution's cumulative Grade Point Average, probation, suspension, and readmission policies, until 64 (inclusive) total credits are attempted. Students with 65 or more attempted credits, including transfer credits accepted at BSU, must have a 2.00 ("C") cumulative GPA to meet the qualitative standard for continued financial aid.
  2. Quantitative Standard: A student must successfully complete 67 percent of the total course work attempted at Bemidji State University.
  3. Maximum Time Frame: Credits attempted at BSU and credits accepted from other institutions are counted for determining this standard. A student who reaches or exceeds the maximum number of credits below will have aid terminated at the end of that term.
    1. First baccalaureate degree: 192 total undergraduate credits
    2. Second baccalaureate degree, certification, or licensure: 42 additional undergraduate credits
    3. First master's degree: 45 graduate credits

Appeal: A student terminated from financial aid for failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards may appeal the decision. Reasons for an appeal include undue hardship based on the death of a relative, injury or illness, or special circumstances as determined by the Financial Aid Review Committee and the documentation provided by the student.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

Repayment requirements for students who cease attending all of their classes: Financial aid recipients, who withdraw or cease attending all of their classes prior to 60 percent of the term being completed (including courses with a grade of “F” for non-attendance), are subject to the federal rules for the Return of Title IV Funds for any federal aid not earned. The percentage of unearned aid is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the term divided by the total number of calendar days in the term. The calculation of Title IV funds unearned has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges as determined by the university’s refund schedule for students that officially withdraw from a term. The Records Office is the university’s designated office to accept notification of official withdrawals. In the event that the last date of attendance cannot be determined, the mid-date (50 percent) of the semester will be used.

The Business Office will determine the repayment based upon federal and state procedures, the last date of attendance, type of aid awarded, and charges for tuition, fees and residence hall. The repayment amount is considered unearned aid that a student was not eligible to receive because of not completing the term, necessitating the repayment of funds. The university may have an obligation to return funds to an aid program that was previously applied to the student’s account. The student may have an obligation to repay funds that were paid directly to him/her. If the university returns funds that were applied to the student’s account, a balance due the university by the student will result. Federal student aid may not cover all unpaid institutional charges due to the university upon withdrawal. Failure to repay will prevent future registration at the university and initiate delinquent collection procedures, which will adversely affect the student’s credit rating.

Actual Sample Withdrawal Case: (1) Student received $1,970 Federal Direct Loan and $2,025 Federal Pell Grant. (2) Student completed only 27 percent of the semester. (3) Student was required to repay $2,535 of the $3,995 total aid received. A student may contact the Accounting Office in Deputy Hall 202 to receive an estimation of the required financial aid repayment, if any.
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