The mission of Financial Aid and Scholarships is to support the goals of the University by assisting students in identifying possible sources of financial assistance to meet the cost of education at Coastal Carolina University.
Financial aid available for Coastal students is derived from federal and state government sources such as scholarships, grants, work-study, and student loans. To determine whether or not a student is eligible for federal student financial aid programs, the student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. As applicants, Financial Aid files are completed, funds are awarded, and the students are notified via email. The University expects students to share in the responsibility to meet the costs of a graduate degree.
Coastal Carolina University supports the following principles:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 may be reduced.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans
The Federal Direct Loan is a low interest college loan designed to assist students and parents with funding a student’s education after high school. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible to receive these loans.
- All Graduate-level Stafford 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 currently fixed at 6.0%.These loans have a six-month grace period before repayment begins.
- To determine if you are eligible, complete:
- Free Application for Federal Direct Student Aid (FAFSA)Application and
- Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Loan
- Entrance Loan Counseling
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
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 currently fixed at 7.0% 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 must begin within 60 days of the final disbursement. For this reason, a PLUS Loan is used primarily to help with cash demands of large tuition bills. Loans may be made up to the total cost of your education minus other estimated financial aid.
To determine if you are eligible, complete:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Master Promissory Note for Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
- Grad PLUS Entrance Loan Counseling
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 undergraduate and 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 and $16,000 for undergraduate study. Part-time undergraduate or 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 below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). 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.
High-need fields are the specific areas identified below:
- Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
- Foreign Language
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
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
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 and 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. To receive benefits for an Independent Study or Distance Learning course, approval must be obtained from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education prior to certification for the term.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs determines eligibility and awards this benefit. The contact number for the VA Regional Office is 1-800-827-1000. The student will submit an application to use a VA benefit through the GI Bill® website. The website is http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/.
The student should contact the Veteran Services Office located in the Lib Jackson Student Union Building, room B204 if planning to use a VA benefit and request certification of enrollment. Once enrollment has been certified by the certifying official in the Veteran Services Office, 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 VA Program Chapters. Approval to receive benefits through any of these programs is determined by the Department of Veteran Affairs:
Chapter 30: The Montgomery G.I. Bill (“New” G.I. Bill). This program provides educational benefits to individuals entering military service after June 30, 1985. A certified copy of your DD 214 is required. Those with remaining entitlement under Chapter 34 (“Old” G.I. Bill) may be eligible under Chapter 30.
Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation for Service-Disabled Veterans. This program is for individuals who have a compensable service connected disability, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs determines that training and rehabilitation services are needed to overcome an employment handicap.
Chapter 32: Non-contributory VEAP; Service January 1, 1977 through June 30, 1985
Chapter 33: Post 9/11 GI Bill. This program is for individuals who have served on Active Duty since 9/11/01. This program also allows for transfer of benefits to dependents. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a component of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
Chapter 35: Dependents Educational Assistance Program. This program is for dependents (spouse or children) of individuals who die or are permanently disabled from service connected causes.
Chapter 1606: Montgomery G.I. Bill - Selected Reserve. This program is available to members of the Selected Reserve.
Chapter 1607: National Guard or Selected Reserve having served active duty.
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.
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:
- A graduate student must be admitted and enrolled as a degree-seeking student.
- A graduate student must meet the University’s standards for continued enrollment which means being enrolled each major semester (Fall and Spring).
- A graduate student must achieve or maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Graduate students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of fifty percent (50%) of the course 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.
- 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.
A student who has earned a previous graduate degree and is now seeking a second graduate degree is required to submit an appeal for Federal Financial Aid consideration. These students must submit documentation to explain why a second graduate degree or career change is required, a signed academic plan detailing the coursework required to complete his/her goal, and an anticipated completion date determined by the faculty adviser. If the student’s plan is deemed reasonable, a conditional approval for Federal Financial Aid will be issued one semester at a time until the student successfully completes his/her goal or fails to meet the stipulations of his/her conditional approval.
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 following mandated priorities:
- Unsubsidized FFEL/Direct Loan
- Direct Graduate PLUS loan
- Federal Teach Grant
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.