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Award notices contain information about a student's eligibility for state of Indiana financial aid awards. Eligibility is based on the data disclosed on your 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the approved tuition and regularly assessed fees at the college you will be attending and the type of high school diploma you earned. State financial aid awards may be applied only to tuition and regularly assessed fees. The financial aid office of a student's choice institution also is notified of the student's state financial aid status. STUDENTS DO NOT NEED TO CONTACT SFA TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THESE AWARDS.
SFA must have the correct institution on file to process an award. Awards will be calculated for only the first eligible institutions listed on the student's FAFSA. Failure to provide the correct college will result in the loss of your state financial aid award. If the incorrect institution is listed on the student's award letter, he or she should visit www.ssaci.IN.gov/estudent/ to correct it immediately (also make sure that the chosen institution is listed on the FAFSA at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/). SFA will not accept institution correction requests by fax, phone or e-mail. All corrections must be received through the eStudent website allowing enough time for SFA to generate an award and the correct institution to claim the award on the student's behalf. Once a student submits the institution change, a revised award notification will be made available via the student's eStudent account and will be sent to the institution electronically. Changes made near the end of the term may not be received in time and a student's financial aid award could be lost. IT IS THE STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THE CORRECT INSTITUTION IS LISTED.
General Eligibility Requirements (GERS)
There are four general eligibility requirements (GERS) for most full-time state financial aid awards and scholarships: (1) a student must show financial need according to program rules; (2) each and every year the federal processor must receive the student's FAFSA by March 10 and it must be edit/error-free by the SFA Correction Receipt Date Deadline of May 15; (3) the student–and his or her parent(s), if the student is a dependent student–must have been legal residents of Indiana by December 31, 2012 and remain so during the academic year; (4) the student must be a full-time undergraduate studying toward an associate or first bachelor degree, maintaining satisfactory academic progress and applicable grade point average (GPA) standards. If first attending college after June 30, 2012, the student must maintain GPA standards as outlined in chapters 3, 4 and 6 of Indiana Code 21-12 and chapter 4 of Indiana Code 21-14.The student may not be in default or overpayment of a federal grant or loan and must meet the specific requirements of his or her chosen institution. If the student is considered a professional degree student (such as veterinary medicine, pharmacy, optometry or law), he or she may be eligible for state aid depending on the specific program specifications.
Award Amount Variation
The award amounts provided on a student's award notification are based on approved tuition and regularly assessed fees at the chosen institution, which may be less than actual charges and may be different for students enrolled in evening, accelerated, adult, state-wide technology or similar programs. Since tuition varies from one institution to another, the student's award will be adjusted to reflect such variations if he or she changes the chosen institution. Award amounts listed on the award notification are the maximum the student can receive at the chosen college. Awards may change as a result of verification performed by the institution or SFA, enrollment or other tuition specific funding the student may be receiving. All awards are subject to the availability of state and federal funds and may be reduced at any time.
Annual Awards by Term
The award amounts listed on a student's award notification are annual amounts and may be used during the fall, winter, spring or summer terms of the academic year. Annual awards are split into term awards, which are paid directly to the institution. Some awards may be for one term only due to prior award usage (see Eligibility Period).
Required Enrollment (Tuition by Credit Hour)
The award amounts listed on a student's award notification are based on 30 hours of enrollment per academic year or 15 hours per semester (or the equivalent at trimester and quarter institutions). At institutions that charge by the credit hour, students enrolled in at least 12 but less than 15 credit hours per semester will have their awards reduced if the actual tuition falls below the approved tuition used to calculate the award. For example, if the student's term award at 15 hours is $3,000, the term award at 12 hours could be reduced to $2,400. The student's institution will make the adjustment. Students enrolled full-time at colleges that charge a flat fee for enrollment in 12 credit hours to 15 credit hours will receive the maximum award amount. Some institutions charge a flat fee but others charge by the credit hour if students enroll in evening, accelerated, adult, state-wide technology or similar programs.
Dropping/Withdrawing from Classes (SFA Refund Period)
State financial aid awards are awarded to eligible students based on the assumption that they will attend college full-time for the entire term. If a student is enrolled less than full-time, he or she cannot receive any of the state grants listed on the award notification (see NGSG for exception). If a student drops classes or withdraws from college, the state award can be reduced or taken away, even after the college has credited it to the student's bill. The measure of whether or not a student is enrolled full-time is taken at the end of the SFA refund period, which is the first four weeks of classes or the institution’s refund period, whichever is shorter. If a student drops classes resulting in less than full-time enrollment or withdraws completely before the end of the SFA refund period, he or she cannot receive any state grant listed on the award notification. A student must be officially enrolled full-time at the end of the SFA refund period. If after the shorter of the SFA refund period or institution refund period, a student drops one or more classes so as to be enrolled less than full-time or if the student withdraws completely, the state aid must be reduced to reflect the new reduced tuition if the institution refunds money based on the change in enrollment. Students should contact the chosen institution for information about its refund period and policy.
State financial aid award recipients are restricted to eight (8) semesters, twelve (12) trimesters or twelve (12) quarters of any combination of state awards. A student is not permitted to receive grants from the state once he or she reaches these limits or if the student fails to meet the General Eligibility Requirements (GERS). To view award history, student's should visit www.ssaci.in.gov/estudent and click the “Award History” tab. For students first enrolled for the 2011-2012 academic year or thereafter, students must use their state financial aid within eight (8) years of their first use of the aid. For example, if a student first uses state aid in 2012, after 2020, he or she will no longer be eligible.
Higher Education Awards and Freedom of Choice Grants
The Frank O’Bannon Grant program includes several awards. Award funds for students attending public or proprietary colleges are called the Frank O’Bannon Higher Education Award. For those enrolled at private colleges, award funds are called the Frank O’Bannon Freedom of Choice Award. Students must meet the GERS and remain enrolled full-time to receive funding.
Academic Honors and Core 40 Diploma Grants
Frank O’Bannon Grant with Academic Honors Diploma (AHD) and Frank O’Bannon Grant with Core 40 Technical Honors Diploma (TH) are offered only to Frank O’Bannon Grant recipients who, based on their FAFSA information, have financial need (as determined by the state) and graduate from an eligible Indiana high school with an Academic Honors or Core 40 Technical Honors Diploma. Those students who graduated before 2011 and received a Core 40 Diploma with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may still be eligible for a Frank O’Bannon Grant with Core 40 diploma designation. Graduating from high school with these diploma type designations does not guarantee financial aid. If a student thinks his or her award should have the AHD or TH Honors designation or the Core 40 with GPA stipulation designation but do not see it on the award notification, students should first check www.ssaci.in.gov/estudent. Students will want to view the “Application History” tab for AHD, TH or Core 40 Recipient noted. If the student does not have the appropriate AH, TH or Core 40 designation but should, or if the student has been awarded one of these designations without meeting the qualifications, he or she should go to www.in.gov/ssaci/2390.htm and follow the instructions. Claiming an award for which the student is not eligible will permanently disqualify the student from receiving state financial aid awards.
21st Century Scholars Scholarship
Affirmed 21st Century Scholars must graduate from an eligible Indiana high school with a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. In addition to the GERS, students must abstain from criminal activity and the illegal use of controlled substances including alcohol. Students graduating from high school prior to 2012 must enroll full-time at an eligible Indiana college within two (2) years of graduation. Those graduating in 2012 and thereafter must enroll full-time at an eligible Indiana college within one (1) year of graduation. A FAFSA must be filed each year, even if the student is not attending college. Failure to meet these requirements will result in loss of the scholarship. Claiming an award for which the student is not eligible will permanently disqualify the student from receiving state financial aid awards.
NGSG: National Guard Supplemental Grant
In addition to meeting the GERS and being within the Eligibility Period, National Guard Supplemental Grant students must be on active drilling status in the Indiana Air or Army National Guard (Guard) and must not have been absent without leave during the twelve (12) months prior to their enrollment. The Guard must certify students as “eligible” prior to the start of classes each term before the grant can be applied to students’ financial aid awards. Grants can be applied toward certain tuition and fees only at Indiana public colleges (see the SFA eligible institution list at www.in.gov/ssaci/2334.htm). It can be used for full-time or part-time enrollment.
Associate Degree Supplement
Students who earned an associate degree from a SFA-eligible Indiana institution prior to enrolling in a baccalaureate degree program may be eligible to receive an additional 20 percent supplement to the base Frank O’Bannon Grant. The institution the student is attending to pursue a baccalaureate degree must report receipt of the associate degree to SFA. The supplement will be added to the award amount if the student is eligible.
Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship
Students graduating at least one (1) year early from an Indiana publicly-supported high school (defined in IC 21-12-10-1) may be eligible to receive a one-time, $4,000 scholarship to attend a SFA-approved eligible higher education institution. The money may be used toward tuition and regularly assessed fees.
State Part-time Grant Program
At some institutions, students enrolled less than full-time may be eligible for a Part-time Grant. Restrictions apply. Students should contact the insitution's financial aid office for more information on this program.
EARN Indiana Program
If a student is awarded the Frank O’Bannon Higher Education Award, Frank O'Bannon Freedom of Choice Award or 21st Century Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year, he or she may be eligible to participate in the EARN Indiana program. EARN Indiana provides students with financial need with resume-building, experiential, paid internships while employers receive state matching funds in exchange for hiring these students. More information about this program is available HERE.
Change College, Address, or E-mail
To change his or her college, address or e-mail or to look up his or her state financial aid award history, students should visit to http://www.ssaci.IN.gov/estudent/.
Want Aid For 2014-2015?
The 2014-2015 FAFSA must be received at the federal processor no later than March 10, 2014 and must be error free by May 15, 2014.