2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

The mission of Financial Aid and Scholarships is to support the goals of the University by assisting students and parents in identifying possible sources of financial assistance to meet the cost of education at Coastal Carolina University that will encourage economic, social, cultural, and academic diversity in the student body.

Financial Aid and Scholarships administers and coordinates various types of undergraduate and graduate financial aid administered by Coastal Carolina University: institutional awards, institutional and external scholarships, loans, grants and work-study employment. The office works jointly with the Office of Graduate Studies.

Students are eligible to receive federal financial assistance through submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available October 1 for students to apply for the upcoming academic year. A student must submit a FAFSA annually to be eligible for federal and some institutional financial assistance.

The FAFSA priority date is January 1 for Federal Work-Study. March 1 is the suggested deadline for FAFSA submission for the Federal Direct Loan eligibility.

June 15 is the suggested deadline for FAFSA submission for the Federal PLUS Loan and private/alternative loans. PLUS and private loans require a separate online application. Students are encouraged to have all loan applications and needed documents in by July 15th to guarantee processing for fall payment deadlines.

Information regarding financial aid programs at Coastal Carolina University is available at www.coastal.edu/financialaid, from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, 219 Baxley Hall, 100 Chanticleer Drive East, Conway, SC 29526-6054, by calling 800-277-7000 or 843-349-2313 or via email at finaid@coastal.edu.

Operating Principles

Coastal Carolina University supports the following principles:

  1. The primary purpose of a financial aid program should be to help provide financial assistance to students who, without such aid, would be unable to attend college.
  2. The student (and spouse when applicable) is expected to make a maximum effort to assist with college expenses. Financial assistance from colleges and other sources should be viewed only as supplementary to the efforts of the student and/or spouse.
  3. The student who receives federal financial assistance must maintain satisfactory academic progress as outlined in the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy to remain eligible for Federal financial aid.

Student Status

For graduate students, full-time is defined as nine (9) hours in major semesters (Fall and Spring). Half-time is defined as five (5) hours. During the Summer, full-time is defined as five (5) hours, while half-time is defined as three (3) hours.

For certain graduate students, typically those completing thesis or dissertation work, the number of credits to be considered full-time and half-time by the institution may be reduced. Please note that Direct Loan eligibility requires half-time status as defined above, even if the institution determines a student to be full-time or half-time at a reduced rate of credit hours.

Student Loans

Federal Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Loan is a low interest college loan designed to assist students with funding their education after high school. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible to receive these loans.

  • All Graduate-level Direct Loans are unsubsidized and are not awarded on the basis of financial need. They will accrue interest while the student is in school. Interest-only payments may be made while the student is in school to avoid having the interest added to the original loan amount. The interest rate for these loans is determined annually by the Department of Education. These loans have a six-month grace period before repayment begins.

To determine if you are eligible, complete the following items at http://studentaid.gov:

  • Free Application for Federal Direct Student Aid (FAFSA)Application and
  • Master Promissory Note
  • Entrance Loan Counseling
  • Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Graduate PLUS Program was created to give graduate students an additional financial resource after all Direct loan eligibility has been used. The interest rate is determined annually by the Department of Education and there is no interest subsidy. Need is not a factor in determining eligibility for the Graduate PLUS Loan although borrowers will be submitted for a credit check. Repayment of the loan begins within 60 days of the final disbursement. Loans may be made up to the total cost of your education minus other estimated financial aid.

To determine if you are eligible, complete the following items at http://studentaid.gov:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Master Promissory Note for Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
  • Grad PLUS Entrance Loan Counseling
  • Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

Federal TEACH Grant

Requires completion of the FAFSA
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to graduate students who intend to teach full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Full-time students may receive up to $8,000 for graduate study. Part-time graduate students who are enrolled less than full-time are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced. A percentage reduction from statutory award amount may occur each year.


In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see the Financial Aid website for more information). As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four (4) academic years within eight (8) calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.

IMPORTANT: If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of the TEACH Grant that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the original grant was disbursed. 

Private Student Loans

Private loans can only be used to pay for educational expenses, such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. We strongly recommend that you begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and apply for a Direct Student loan, then use private loans to complete your financial aid needs. For more information on private loans please see the Financial Aid website: www.coastal.edu/financialaid/loans.  

South Carolina Teachers Loan

The South Carolina Teachers Loan Program was established by the State of South Carolina through the Education Improvement Act of 1984 to attract talented and qualified students to the teaching profession. This loan is cancelled by teaching in South Carolina public schools in an area of critical need.

The loan is cancelled at the rate of 20 percent for each full year of teaching in a critical subject or a critical geographic area within South Carolina. If you teach in both a critical subject and geographic area, your loan will be cancelled at the rate of 33 1/3 percent for each year of full-time teaching. The subject areas deemed critical at the time you apply will be honored when you begin teaching; critical geographic areas must be deemed critical at the time of your employment. If you decide not to teach, the interest rate on the loan is determined by the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation.

Graduate students may borrow up to $5,000 per year and a lifetime maximum of $20,000. This loan has limited funding and is awarded on a first come, first served basis. It is recommended that the applications be submitted no later than June 1.

For more information and to determine if you are eligible please visit www.scstudentloan.org .

Veteran Education Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs determines eligibility for and awards this benefit. You can determine if you are eligible by calling the GI Bill® hotline at 1-888-442-4551. The student can apply to use a VA education benefit through the GI Bill® website. The website is www.va.gov/education/. Contact the Military and Veteran Services Office located in the Lib Jackson Student Union Building, room B203, for information on how to obtain the appropriate certification request form.

Students receiving VA educational benefits are expected to maintain satisfactory progress towards a degree. Normal standards of progress, as stated in the University Graduate Studies Catalog, are applicable to VA students. Veterans or eligible persons must take courses that are essential to their degree program. They cannot receive VA benefits for courses that are not essential to their program of study, or for repeating courses in which they have earned a satisfactory grade.

The student should contact the Military and Veteran Services Office if planning to use a VA benefit and request certification of enrollment. Once enrollment has been certified by the school official, the student is responsible for reporting any updates or changes to his/her enrollment status. These include the dropping and/or adding of classes and complete withdrawal from the University. Failure to do so may result in the termination of benefits and possibly an overpayment situation.

The following is a synopsis of GI Bill® Chapters:

Chapter 30: Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty (MGIB). Persons who entered active duty after July 1, 1985, and had their military pay reduced by $100 per month for 12 months qualify for this program. This is a non-refundable contribution. These persons also must have served a minimum of two years, earned a high school diploma or its equivalent either prior to or during the qualifying enlistment and must have an honorable discharge.

Chapter 31: Veteran Readiness and Employment Program. Provides services to eligible Servicemembers and Veterans with service-connected disabilities to help them prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment or achieve independence in daily living.

Chapter 32: Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) This program provides benefits to persons who initially entered the service after Dec. 31, 1976, and before July 1, 1985. These persons volunteered to contribute money to the Post-Vietnam Era Veteran Educational Assistance Program. Participants receive monthly payments for the number of months they contributed or for 36 months, whichever is less.

Chapter 33: Post 9/11 GI Bill® This program provides benefits for individuals who have at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September, 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. For detailed information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, please go to www.gibill.va.gov.

Chapter 35: Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA). This program provides benefits for dependents and spouses of veterans who died or are 100 percent permanently disabled due to service-connected causes.

Chapter 1606: Montgomery GI Bill® - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). This program provides benefits for members of the Reserve/National Guard who enlisted, re-enlisted or extended their enlistment for a period of six years after July 1, 1985.

Work Opportunities

There are two graduate student employment opportunities at Coastal Carolina University: the Institutional Employment Program (IEP), and through Graduate Assistantships.

Institutional Employment Program (IEP)

The Institutional Employment Program is a Coastal Carolina program that provides part-time jobs on campus for students who may or may not have financial need. Students apply for positions through the Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity.

Graduate Assistantships

See Graduate Assistantship section of the catalog.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Federal Financial Aid

Institutions participating in Title IV Federal Aid programs are required by the United States Department of Education to establish institutional policies which define and measure the quantitative and qualitative progress of eligible students. Each student who receives Federal financial aid at Coastal Carolina University is required to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of his/her program of study.

Coastal Carolina University’s Graduate Studies Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy:

  1. A graduate student must be admitted and enrolled as a degree-seeking student.
  2. A graduate student must meet the University’s standards for continued enrollment which means being enrolled each major semester (Fall and Spring).
  3. A graduate student must achieve or maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Graduate students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of sixty-seven percent (67%) of the courses that he/she attempts at the institution. Please note that courses dropped from a student’s schedule after the published drop/add period are included in the completion percentage.
  4. A graduate student must complete requirements for a single master’s degree within 6 years of beginning the program.

If mitigating circumstances were a factor in the student’s unsatisfactory academic performance, a separate appeal process is required for Federal Financial Aid consideration.

Transfer students unconditionally admitted to the University will be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for Federal Financial Aid at the time of enrollment. Students with excessive transfer credits are encouraged to see a Financial Aid Counselor in reference to their maximum time frame of eligibility for Federal Financial Aid.

If a student’s ability to meet the University’s standards of satisfactory academic progress was affected by mitigating circumstances, he/she may appeal the denial of Federal Financial assistance with Financial Aid and Scholarships. Examples of mitigating circumstances include but are not limited to: mental or physical illness, death of a loved one, divorce or separation. Written documentation, in addition to that required by the established appeal process, is encouraged to validate the mitigating circumstance(s).

A student’s unsatisfactory academic progress standing for federal student aid does not affect his/her ability to seek or receive private financial assistance to attend the institution. A student who does not have mitigating circumstances to warrant an appeal for Federal Aid is encouraged to explore alternative or private funding to continue his/her enrollment. Please see a Financial Aid Counselor if you need assistance with obtaining private funding.


Students are academically and financially responsible for their course registration and must terminate enrollment in classes which they do not intend to complete. To drop a course, the student must complete a Registration Form available from their adviser. To completely withdraw , the student should follow University procedures. Refund refers to the amount of money used to pay institutional charges that the institution must return to the student and/or to the financial aid programs after the student has withdrawn or dropped courses. Repayment refers to the amount of any cash disbursement made to the student that the student must repay to the school after the student has withdrawn or dropped courses. For students who receive Title IV Federal Funds, a copy of the Return of Title IV Funds Policy worksheet is available in Financial Aid and Scholarships. The student should refer to the Fees and Expenses section of this catalog for specific refund schedules.

Policy for Withdrawal Refunds

Refunds for students who withdraw from the institution are calculated on the basis of either 1) University refund calculation (students who do not receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid), or 2) University refund calculation and Return of Title IV Funds Policy (students who receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid). Both refund calculations conform to federal regulations set forth by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (Public Law 105-244 approved on Nov. 1, 1999).

The Return of Title IV Federal Funds Policy applies only to students at the University who are recipients of Title IV Federal Financial Aid. A copy of the Return of Title IV Funds Policy worksheet is available in Financial Aid and Scholarships. The University policy applies to all other students who withdraw from the institution.

Any financial aid for which the student was eligible prior to withdrawal, but which has not been disbursed, will be cancelled and returned to the source. Students who stop attending and fail to withdraw from the University may be subject to the repayment of any Title IV Federal funds received.

Distribution of Refunds/Return of Funds

If a student receives Title IV (Federal) funds from more than one source, the University will distribute the refund based on the mandated priorities as listed in CCU’s Return of Title IV Federal Fund Policy. Information can be found at http://coastal.edu/financialaid.

Repayments for Withdrawals

Repayment refers to the amount of any cash disbursement made to the student that the student must repay to the school after the student has withdrawn.

Any student who owes a repayment will be billed by Coastal Carolina University’s Office of Student Accounts, and have a hold placed on the academic record which prohibits graduating, obtaining a transcript, or registering for classes. The student is also prohibited from receipt of any further disbursement of Title IV aid at any institution.