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Frequently Asked Questions


What are some important deadlines of which I should be aware?

  • October – FAFSA should be completed
  • August 15 – Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Notes (MPN) should be completed
  • First Day of Class – All financial aid processes should be completed. You must pay your bill or enroll in the tuition payment plan.

What is the course cancellation date? How can I avoid being cancelled?

Course schedules will be cancelled for students who have not completed ALL financial aid processes AND paid the balance due on their accounts before the first day of class. Students will not be able to eat in the cafeteria or grill using their meal plans after course schedules are cancelled. Meals can be purchased with cash from Pioneer during this time.

A $100 re-enrollment fee will be assessed to all students whose registrations are cancelled and who must re-register for classes. All financial issues will have to be addressed satisfactorily before a student will be able to re-register for classes. It will be the student’s responsibility to ensure their financial aid and student account balance have been addressed before the first day of class.

How certain can I be that I will receive some type of financial aid?

Approximately 90% of our students receive some type of financial aid, including merit and need-based scholarships, grants, loans, and employment.

When will I hear from the financial aid office?

The Student Financial Services Office begins to process financial aid awards in early December for new incoming students and February for returning stuents. Please read, complete, and return award notices as quickly as possible.

My family's financial circumstances have changed and I need more money. What do I do?

Talk to a financial aid counselor about Professional Judgment. Milligan University uses every resource and opportunity to assist students financially. Though the financial aid offer cannot be “negotiated,” special situations (such as death of a parent, loss of a job, severe illness, natural disaster, etc.) can be taken into consideration.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Any student wishing to receive federal, state, and/or need-based Milligan aid must file the FAFSA each year. No additional financial aid application for Milligan is required.

How many semesters can I receive financial aid?

You may receive federal financial aid for up to 6 years or 150% of the normal time frame it takes to complete a degree program.

Am I eligible to file as an independent student without my parents information?

According to the federal government, a student is considered independent if he/she is at least one of the following:

  • 24 years old
  • A veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • An orphan or ward of the court
  • A student with legal dependents other than a spouse
  • A married student
  • A graduate student

If a student does not meet at least one of these criteria, he or she must be considered a dependent student, even if the student is not living with his or her parents.

How do outside scholarships affect my aid?

Outside scholarships will be counted as a resource as required by federal law, but will not affect the amount of institutional aid you receive.

What is verification?

The federal government requires some students to verify the information reported on their FAFSA. Colleges are responsible for performing this verification and must do so before federal funds can be disbursed.

What is a Direct Stafford subsidized vs. unsubsidized loan?

Federal Direct Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. Your total award may include subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans for the same enrollment period.

A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government “subsidizes” the interest during the periods.

An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized; that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount.

Federal Stafford Loan annual limits are based on enrollment status

What is the federal Course Program of Study regulation, and how will it affect my financial aid?

Course Program of Study

What is the federal Course Program of Study regulation, and how will it affect my financial aid?

Course Program of Study (CPoS) is a federal requirement that allows only courses that count toward a student’s “program of study” to be considered when determining federal financial aid eligibility. CPoS does not affect Milligan institutional scholarships or Milligan grants, although full-time enrollment is required for Milligan financial aid. At this time, CPoS does not affect state financial aid such as HOPE scholarships and TSAC scholarships and grants.

Federal financial aid includes federal student loans and grants:

  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal SEOG Grants
  • Federal Work Study

The following credits are considered part of a student’s program of study for federal financial aid eligibility:

  • General Education Requirements (GER)
  • Major requirements
  • Minor requirements
  • Teacher licensure requirements
  • *General elective hours that are required to meet the minimum number of hours for graduation

*In most instances, students must earn a total of 128 hours to graduate. Students who have completed developmental studies courses, transfer students who transferred large numbers of elective hours, and students with multiple majors or minors may need more than 128 hours for graduation.

The following credits are NOT considered part of a student’s program of study for federal financial aid eligibility:

  • General elective hours that are not required to meet degree requirements (hours beyond 128 or the student’s required number of hours for graduation)

Undergraduate

FAQs

I receive federal financial aid. What impact will CPoS have on my class scheduling?

Because federal financial aid eligibility is based on the number of REQUIRED hours you take each semester, you should include a balanced number of required hours (GER, major, minor, teacher licensure, and required general electives) in each semester’s schedule.

While it is important to take enough required hours to make adequate progress toward the degree, taking too many required hours early in the degree program may leave you needing too few required hours to qualify for federal aid later in your degree program. Work with your academic advisor(s) to ensure that you are making adequate progress toward your degree while still leaving enough required hours for your last few semesters.

Milligan offers a broad range of majors and minors, and students often have room to add a double major and/or a minor to their program of study.

What constitutes half-time, ¾-time, and full-time required hours for an undergraduate student?

  • Half-time = 6-8 hours
  • ¾-time = 9-11 hours
  • Full-time = 12 or more hours

What steps can I take to ensure that I will meet CPoS requirements for federal financial aid?

  • Understand your financial aid so you will know if you receive federal financial aid. Your Financial Aid Offer lists the types and amounts of aid you receive.
  • Check your online transcript in Self-Service to ensure that your major(s) and minor(s) (and, if applicable, concentrations and licensure areas) are listed correctly. If changes need to be made, submit a Declaration/Change of Program of Study form to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Meet with your academic advisor(s) each semester to be sure you are completing GER courses, major, minor (if applicable), and teacher licensure (if applicable) courses at a balanced rate. Guidance from your advisor(s) is an important component of your academic progress, but you are ultimately responsible for understanding your financial aid and the academic requirements for your degree.
  • During the fall semester of your junior year (four semesters prior to your anticipated graduation date; ex. Fall 2020 for a May 2022 graduate), meet with one of the registrars for a “junior check.” You will receive an email message inviting you to schedule this appointment. The registrars will also meet with students at any time upon request.

I will be enrolled in 12 hours during my final semester, but only nine of those hours are required for my degree. Should I assume that this WILL have an adverse effect on my federal financial aid?

While you should most definitely inquire about the impact that enrolling in fewer than twelve hours will have on your federal financial aid eligibility, talk with your Student Financial Services Counselor before assuming that it would present a problem. Students for whom student loans are the only form of federal financial aid might not be adversely affected by taking only half-time or ¾-time required hours, but the impact could be more significant for students who receive several forms of federal financial aid (loans, grants, etc.). Only Student Financial Services staff have the expertise to talk with you about your federal financial aid eligibility.

Do general elective hours count as required hours for federal financial aid eligibility?

Sometimes. If general elective hours are required for your degree program (i.e. necessary to obtain your required number of hours for graduation), they will count as required hours for federal financial aid eligibility. In most instances, students must earn a total of 128 hours to graduate. Students who have completed developmental studies courses, transfer students who transferred in having completed large numbers of elective hours, and students with multiple majors or minors may need more than 128 hours for graduation.

General elective hours that not required for the degree (hours above 128 or the student’s required number of hours for graduation) do not count as required hours for federal financial aid eligibility.

To ensure that I meet CPoS requirements, should I take only the minimum number of general elective hours needed for my degree?

Not necessarily. Milligan students are encouraged to take general elective hours in a variety of disciplines. You may take 18 hours per semester, including general elective hours that are not required for your degree. The key is to schedule your required hours in a way that distributes them throughout your semesters of enrollment.

Once you enroll in enough credits to meet federal financial aid requirements (six hours for half-time eligibility, nine hours for ¾-time eligibility, or 12 hours for full-time eligibility) the remainder of that semester’s hours can consist of non-required general electives.

Students who entered Milligan with large amounts of dual enrollment, AP, or transfer credit may need to give particular attention to the distribution of required hours each semester.

Will adding a second major or a minor to my program of study mean that I am less likely to run out of required hours late in my degree program?

Generally speaking, the more hours that are required for your degree, the less likely you are to have a semester when you run short on hours that are considered required hours for federal financial aid eligibility. If you would like to add a major or minor that you will be able to complete by the time you graduate, feel free to do so.

Adding majors or minors that you will NOT be able to complete by the time you graduate is not an acceptable solution. During the graduation check conducted by the Registrar’s Office in your senior year, any majors or minors that you will not have time to complete will be removed from your record, which means that those hours will not be considered required hours for financial aid eligibility.

One of the courses I am taking is not listed in the Catalog as a required course for my major, but my academic advisor approved it as a substitution. Will these hours be considered required hours for federal financial aid purposes?

Yes, if your advisor has notified one of the registrars of the substitution.

Will CPoS affect my eligibility for TN state financial aid such as HOPE scholarships, TSAC grants, and TN Student Assistance Awards?

At this time, Course Program of Study requirements do not apply to state financial aid. Generally speaking, full-time enrollment is sufficient, even if some of the hours are not required for your degree.

I have federal student loans, but no federal grants. How many required hours must I take to qualify for the student loans?

To qualify for federal student loans, undergraduate students must be enrolled at least half-time (a minimum of six required hours). As with any financial aid eligibility, your total financial aid may not exceed your cost of attendance. While there is no automatic pro-rating of the student loan award for students who are enrolled in half-time or 3/4-time required hours, your cost of attendance is based on your number of required hours each semester. Consequently, if you are enrolled half-time or ¾-time, the amount of funds for which you are eligible might be reduced to avoid an over-award. Only Student Financial Services staff have the expertise to talk with you about your financial aid.

I receive the Pell Grant each semester. How many required hours must I take to keep the grant?

Award amounts for federal grants differ based on half-time, ¾-time, and full-time required hours. Contact your Student Financial Services Counselor to determine how enrolling in fewer than twelve required hours would affect your Federal Pell Grant.

Will study abroad courses count as required hours for federal financial aid eligibility?

Study abroad courses will count as required hours for federal financial aid eligibility if they are needed for a student’s degree program (major, minor, or required general electives).

I am repeating a course this semester. Are the hours for this class considered required hours for federal financial aid eligibility?

If you earned a grade of “F” in the first taking of the course, you may re-take the course as many times as necessary to earn a passing grade. The repeat hours will count as required hours for federal financial aid eligibility.

If you earned a grade of “D” or higher in the first taking of the course, you may repeat the course one time and have the hours count as required hours for federal financial aid eligibility. Hours from any subsequent re-takes of the course will not count as required hours. Even if a “D” is not considered a passing grade for progression in your major, the federal REPEAT rule considers “D” a passing grade.

If you repeat a course previously passed with a grade of “D” or higher and earn an “F” in the second taking, any future re-takes will not count toward federal financial aid eligibility.

Grades of “W” do not apply to the REPEAT rule. If you withdraw from a course the first time you take it, re-enrolling in that course is not considered a repeat. Similarly, if you withdraw from a re-take of a course, that re-take will not count as your one allowable repeat for federal financial aid eligibility.

Example Scenarios

Example #1: A student’s 12-hour schedule includes the following courses:

  • A three-hour GER course
  • A three-hour major course
  • A three-hour general elective course needed to satisfy degree requirements
  • A three-hour general elective not needed to satisfy degree requirements

The student in Example #1 would qualify for federal financial aid at the ¾-time enrollment status for students enrolled in at least nine required hours.

Example #2: A student’s six-hour schedule includes the following courses:

  • A three-hour major course
  • A three-hour general elective course not needed to satisfy degree requirements.

The student in Example #2 would not qualify for federal financial aid because fewer than six of the hours are required for the degree.

Example #3: A student’s 18-hour schedule includes the following courses:

  • A three-hour GER course
  • Two three-hour major courses
  • Three hours of general elective course work needed to satisfy graduation requirements
  • Six hours of general elective course work not needed to satisfy graduation requirements

The student in Example #3 would qualify for federal financial aid at the full-time enrollment status for students enrolled in at least twelve required hours.

Example #4: A student’s 12-hour study abroad semester schedule includes the following courses:

  • A three-hour GER course
  • Two three-hour courses that are substituting for courses in the major
  • One three-hour general elective course not needed to satisfy graduation requirements

The student in Example #4 would qualify for federal financial aid at the ¾-time enrollment status for students enrolled in at least nine required hours.

Questions

For questions involving whether or not a course is required for your degree program:

For questions involving how a semester with half-time or ¾-time required hours would affect your financial aid:

Graduate

To qualify for federal student loans each semester, graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 4.5 required hours. Any additional hours in that semester may be elective hours that are not required for the degree. The cost of attendance for a graduate student is based on the total number of enrolled hours each semester.

Graduate students are not eligible for federal grants.

For questions involving whether or not a course is required for your graduate degree:

  • Consult the Catalog 
  • Contact your academic advisor

For questions involving graduate student loans: