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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

To assist you in achieving your dreams, Regent University encourages you to follow our step-by-step financial aid process. In addition, this page can be bookmarked to assist you with answers to our most frequently asked financial aid questions. If you don’t find an answer to your questions, please contact us at 757.352.4385 for further assistance.

For clear explanations of many of the terms used in describing federal financial aid programs, review the Federal Student Aid’s Glossary.

Federal Student Aid

Students interested in receiving federal student aid should complete the FAFSA. Once completed for 2023-2024, the Department of Education will review the information received and provide the student with a Student Aid Report (SAR) and the school with a corresponding Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). These records house the information you submitted on your FAFSA plus comments from the Department of Education. Though they are widely the same, their readability is targeted for the different appropriate audiences (school vs. student). The ISIR will notify the school of any additional financial aid requirements that should be completed before the school can package a student with federal student aid. After all requirements are completed, the Student Financial Aid Office will create an award package specific to each student. This may take 2-3 business to create after all requirements have been reviewed the Student Financial Aid Office and confirmed complete.

Starting in the 2024-2025 aid year, instead of a SAR, students will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary. For students, this change is mostly in name-only. The FAFSA Submission Summary will still show the information submitted on the FAFSA.

2024-25 FAFSA: The Department of Education is aware that some students are experiencing issues with the newly redesigned FAFSA for 2024-25. If you experience issues when attempting to complete the application, we encourage you to alert the Department of Education using their toll-free number, 1.800.433.3253, or the email submission or live chat tool within the FAFSA website.

Should you choose to postpone filing your FAFSA for a few weeks while the Department of Education continues to refine it, your eligibility for financial aid at Regent University will not be negatively impacted. We do, however, encourage students to plan to file their FAFSA as soon as possible.

Submitting the FAFSA online is the fastest and easiest way to apply. Follow the steps here to learn more about the application process.

No. All letters will be converted to uppercase when you submit your FAFSA.

If a financial question doesn’t apply to you, you can either leave it blank or enter 0 (zero). Do not type N/A into the answer field.

No. Do not enter a decimal point or cents. Instead, round off your answer to the nearest dollar and type in this amount. Do not enter commas.

Federal loans and grants are aid-year-specific. This means a new FAFSA must be completed for each aid year in which you need federal aid. The FAFSA application typically opens on October 1st of the year prior to the start of the fall semester. This means that most months of a calendar year will have two FAFSA applications open: one for the active aid year and one for the next aid year.

In November 2023, a student enrolls in courses that will start in January 2024. When the student goes to the FAFSA website, they notice there are two applications: 2023-2024 and 2024-2025.

For the student’s January 2024 courses, they will need to complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA application, as the aid year runs from August 2023 to August 2024.

If they intend to remain in courses in the next aid year (August 2024 to August 2025) they will need to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA application.

In September 2024, a student enrolls in courses that will start in January 2025. When the student goes to the FAFSA website, the only open application is 2024-2025. For the student’s January 2025 courses, they will need to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA application, as the aid year runs from August 2024 to August 2025.

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is used to determine the need for aid for the following types of federal student financial aid: Federal Pell Grant, TEACH Grant and Stafford Subsidized Loans.

All data used to calculate your EFC comes from the information you provide on the FAFSA. A variety of factors affect your EFC from the FAFSA: household size, number of people in college in your household, household income levels, state of residence, etc. Once you have completed your FAFSA, it is processed by the Department of Education’s Central Processing System. Once processed, you will receive an output document containing a summary of your FAFSA as well as your results (Student Aid Report).

The Department of Education has provided a document that provides additional information about the EFC Formula.

Like the EFC, the Student Aid Index (SAI) helps determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Beginning in the 2024-2025 aid year, the SAI replaced the EFC on the FAFSA. This number can range from negative to positive numbers but is not a dollar amount of aid eligibility or what your family is estimated to contribute financially. It is an eligibility index number calculated based on your tax return and the net worth of your assets. For most students, this information is transferred directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to your FAFSA.

The Student Financial Aid Office uses the SAI to determine your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant, TEACH Grant and Stafford Subsidized Loans. To determine your eligibility for need-based aid, your SAI is subtracted from your cost of attendance (COA).

Once the Student Financial Aid Office has received a processed FAFSA, we will send a notification letter to you with instructions on your next steps. This letter will include your Regent University Genisys/Student ID, a temporary PIN (if you are a new student), and a list of your satisfied and unsatisfied requirements. You can also look in Genisys to determine what requirements are still outstanding.

Once in Genisys, click on the following menu items: Financial Aid -> Select Aid Year -> Step 2: Financial Aid Requirements.

The Department of Education randomly selects applications to undergo the verification process each year. Approximately 18 percent of all applications are selected for verification. The information needed to complete verification may vary from student to student. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather verification prevents ineligible students from erroneously receiving aid and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified. This means that your aid package cannot be finalized until verification is completed.

To better understand the verification process, visit our FAFSA Verification page.

The Student Financial Aid Office works diligently to process your financial aid documents within 2-3 business days from the time your FAFSA record has been received. However, some factors may prevent a quick processing time:

  • Admission application on file (undergraduate students must be accepted for admission and all final transcripts from previous colleges/universities must be reviewed)
  • Evaluated for school-based merit awards
  • Has submitted a processed FAFSA to our office
  • Completed all additional financial aid requirements (found in Genisys)

Typically, our office begins processing financial aid award packages for the upcoming academic year in mid-March.

The Department of Education began processing FAFSA applications in March 2024, but additional issues have been discovered during the processing phase. The Department of Education will continue working to resolve known issues, but this may take several weeks.

At the end of March, universities began receiving FAFSA files from the Department of Education. Regent University will work as quickly as possible to process FAFSA records as they are received. However, because of the known issues, Regent University is taking extra care to create your aid package to ensure your aid is as accurate as possible. You will receive an email notification with next steps once your FAFSA has been received and processed by Student Financial Aid.

The Department of Education has three loan types: Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and PLUS Loan. Upon completion of the FAFSA and all subsequent requirements, the Student Financial Aid Office will determine your loan eligibility. If eligible, loans can be accepted within Genisys.

Once in Genisys, click on the following menu items: Financial Aid -> Select Aid Year -> Step 3: Financial Aid Award Status.

If you have never received a federal loan, you are required to complete Student Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note.

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are federal student loans offered by the Department of Education. These loans have both annual and lifetime aggregate limits. Loan limits can be viewed here. Loans should only be taken when necessary to limit your financial burden when you enter your repayment period.

Direct Loans are subject to loan origination fees and varying interest rates. The origination fee is a percentage of the loan to cover the cost associated with the loan servicer creating the loan. Current interest rates and origination fee percentages can be viewed here.

Direct Subsidized Loans are only available to undergraduate students with existing financial need. If you are eligible for this loan, the Department of Education will pay the loan’s accruing interest as long as you are enrolled at least half-time, are in a period of deferment, or within your six-month grace period.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. These loans are not based on financial need and the student is responsible for paying all interest accrued during the lifetime of the loan.

A Direct PLUS Loan assists graduate students or parents of dependent undergraduate students with paying for education expenses that the student’s other financial aid does not cover. Unlike Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, PLUS loans are based on a review of the graduate student’s or parent’s adverse credit and often offer a lower interest rate than most private educational loans. Graduates can visit our Graduate PLUS Loan webpage, and parents can visit our Parent PLUS Loan webpage for additional details.

You have a six-month grace period on your federal loans. If you have prior loans for which you had already begun repayment, there is no additional grace period. Contact your lender(s) to determine if you qualify for a deferment or forbearance.

The Department of Education offers several different grants: Federal Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Federal grants are need-based and each grant may have slightly different terms and conditions. Unlike loans, grants do not typically need to be repaid. Visit this link for information about why your grant may need to be repaid.

The Federal Pell Grant is intended for undergraduate students who have not received a previous bachelor’s (or above) degree. If eligible, Federal Pell Grant amounts may vary from student to student and year to year based on each individual’s specific financial need within an aid year. Current Federal Pell Grant amounts can be viewed here.

Similar to loans, there is a lifetime aggregate limit for the Federal Pell Grant. More information about the Federal Pell Grant’s lifetime limit can be viewed here.  

The TEACH Grant is only awarded to students intending to teach. A student must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a school serving low-income students for at least four academic years within eight years of completing the program of study for which you received the grant. If you do not complete your service as a teacher, the grant will convert to a loan. Only certain programs will qualify for the TEACH Grant. For a list of eligible programs and more information TEACH requirements, visit our TEACH Grant page.

Similar to other federal grants, TEACH Grant amounts may vary from student to student and year to year. Current TEACH Grant amounts can be viewed here.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is intended to provide additional federal aid to students not receiving the maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant due to their EFC (or, beginning 2024-2025, SAI), but are otherwise eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, and who had a parent or guardian in the U.S. armed forces die as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 and who were under 24 years old or enrolled at least half-time at the time of their parent’s/guardian’s death.

If you meet the above requirements, the Student Financial Aid Office will be notified to review your account for eligibility after you have completed the FAFSA. Current Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant amounts can be viewed here. The same lifetime aggregate limits for the Federal Pell Grant apply to the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

FSEOG is intended for undergraduate students demonstrating exceptional financial need. Unlike the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Currently, Regent University does not participate in the FSEOG program.

Beginning in the 2024-2025 aid year, Regent University will offer Federal Work Student (FWS) positions. When available, FWS job postings will be listed our Employment page.

Students who have completed the financial aid process and are awaiting the arrival of their aid may be eligible to use a portion of their anticipated aid to purchase textbooks prior to the start of the term. To be eligible for this bookstore credit, a student must have financial aid funds scheduled for disbursement greater than their current tuition and fees for the semester. *If you chose to use a refund credit, you are authorizing Title IV funds to pay for your books.

Visit this link for more information on the federal bookstore credit process.

State Aid

Each state is different; however, most states offer a variety of aid programs. Use our interactive map to visit the website for your home state’s higher education agency.

Regent University participates in two of Virginia’s grant programs and one loan program: Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG), Virginia Community College Transfer Grant, and Virginia Teaching Scholarship Loan Program (VTSLP).

VTAG is available to all Virginia residents who attend private institutions in the Commonwealth and provide sufficient information on their intent to remain in Virginia after the completion of their degree. Certain programs are ineligible for VTAG and awards amounts may vary from year to year. Similar to some federal programs, there is a limit on the how long a student may receive VTAG. Visit our VTAG webpage for additional information on the application and eligibility process.

If you graduated from a Virginia Community College, you may be eligible. Like VTAG, some programs are ineligible for the Virginia Community College Transfer Grant and award amounts may vary from year to  year.  Visit our Virginia Community College Transfer Grant webpage for information on the grant application and eligibility process.

VTSLP is a program funded by the State of Virginia to support students who are interested in pursuing a teaching career in one of the top ten critical shortage teaching areas. VTSLP does not have an application process and funding amounts may vary from year to year. Teacher candidates must be nominated by the School of Education in early May each year for the upcoming fall semester. Visit our VTSLP webpage for more information.

Private Aid

Private aid is aid funded by an external organization. This aid can be in the form of scholarships, loans or grants to help pay for college. For more resources and information on private aid, visit this link.

Regent Scholarships & Grants

Many Regent-funded scholarships, discounts, and grants are eligible to be received year-round (fall/spring/summer). However, some programs are not traditionally designed to include summer enrollment. If you are enrolled in one of these programs, your institutional aid will only be applied to those intended semesters.

You can review the full terms and conditions of each of your awards anytime within your Genisys account: Financial Aid tab -> Select Aid Year -> Award Overview tab -> Click on the award name.

All scholarship related requirements must be completed before your award can pay to your account. Check Genisys for unsatisfied financial aid requirements: Financial Aid -> Select Aid Year -> Step 2: Financial Aid Requirements.

If your requirements have been completed, one of the following reasons may be preventing your aid from paying:

  • You may not be enrolled in the required number of credits to receive the scholarship.
  • Your GPA may not meet the scholarship requirements, or you may not be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Your scholarship may not cover classes outside of your major or program.

You can review the full terms and conditions of each of your awards anytime within your Genisys account: Financial Aid tab -> Select Aid Year -> Award Overview tab -> Click on the award name.

Additional Questions

It is usually in your best interest to complete the FAFSA even if you think you may not qualify for aid. The FAFSA is required for all federal aid (including loans), and it is also required for the some donor-funded and school-based awards. The FAFSA is not required if you plan to pay out-of-pocket or use a private loan; however, having your FAFSA on file allows us to have your information in the event additional aid becomes available.

There are several in which you may be eligible for a refund. One of the most common reasons is when your federal aid (federal grants and loans) exceeds charges posted to your student account. The resulting credit balance will automatically be issued as a refund as long as you have a current permanent address set up in Genisys. If a Parent PLUS Loan is creating your credit balance, the refund will be issued to the student or parent borrower as selected on the Parent PLUS Request Form.

It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of the student charges and refund policies, all credit amounts on his or her account, and to maintain current address and contact information with Regent University. Please visit our Student Charges & Refunds Policies page to review more information.

Your total amount owed includes your tuition and any related fees. Your tuition and fee charges are based on your school of enrollment. You can view a breakdown of your charges, aid or payment credits, and your subsequent account balance in Genisys within the “Bill and Payment Center” tab.

Please note that changes to your enrollment, courses with fees, and your individual aid eligibility may change your account balance before, during, or after your semester of enrollment.

If you have questions that require personal attention or situations that you wish to discuss with someone in depth, please contact us at 757.352.4385.