2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Financial Aid

Fayetteville State University seeks to ensure that qualified students will not be denied the opportunity to attend this university because of a lack of financial resources. The Office of Financial Aid, located on the lower floor of the Lilly Building, provides information and assistance to students applying for financial aid. Inquiries about financial aid should be directed to:

Office of Financial Aid
Fayetteville State University
1200 Murchison Road
Fayetteville, NC 28301-4298
910- 672-1325

All applicants should be aware that the financial aid application review process is lengthy. Applicants can avoid unnecessary delays in the processing of their applications by submitting all application materials by the published deadlines and making sure that all information provided on the application is correct and complete (this includes, but is not limited to, verification documents, if applicable). Since financial aid funds are limited, students are encouraged to apply for Early FAFSA immediately after October 1.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to receive financial aid assistance by the Office of Financial Aid, the applicant must:

  1. Be admitted and currently enrolled in at least half-time status as an undergraduate or graduate student;
  2. Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at Fayetteville State University;
  3. Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen;
  4. Make satisfactory academic progress (See “Satisfactory Academic Progress,”) toward the completion of his or her academic program;
  5. Not be in default status on any Title IV aid from a previous enrollment period;
  6. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline of December 15.

Eligibility for most financial aid programs administered by the Office of Financial Aid is based on “Financial Eligibility” as demonstrated on the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). Eligibility need is the difference between the costs to attend college and what the applicant and his or her family can reasonably afford to contribute toward the student’s education. Graduate students are eligible for unsubsidized student loans.

Total Educational Cost - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (Based on congressional calculation) = Eligibility (Need)

A student’s eligibility for financial aid is determined by the U.S. Department of Education from information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is often referred to as the need analysis document. A need analysis is a systematic method of measuring a student’s ability to pay for educational costs, and the student’s eligibility to receive funds from federal, state, institutional, and/or other financial aid programs.


Students submitting an initial application for aid from federal or state sources, as well as students seeking renewal of financial aid from these sources, must submit completed applications by the priority deadlines below to ensure funding notification prior to the anticipated enrollment period. To be complete, an application must include accurate data and all supporting documentation, including all required materials if the application is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education.

Term for which aid is requested Priority Deadline for FAFSA filing
Academic Year December 15
Summer School March 15

To apply for Federal Loans and/or Plus Loans, you must have a completed Financial Aid file by the applicable Deadline date.

Term for which loan is requested Deadline
Fall Semester November 1
Spring Semester March 15
Summer Session I June 1
You must complete a Renewal or New Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each Academic year immediately after October 1

Default Policy

Students whose financial aid has been terminated because they have defaulted on a student loan at a previous institution(s) or at Fayetteville State University may become eligible for reinstatement of financial aid when the U.S. Department of Education submits, in writing, to the Office of Financial Aid at Fayetteville State University that the student is “No Longer in Default.”

A student whose default status is cleared by the U.S. Department of Education will be eligible to receive funding for which that student qualifies.

Warning to All Financial Aid Applicants

Information provided by applicants may be verified by the university, the state, or by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants may be asked to provide U.S. Income Tax returns, non-filing documents, untaxed income verification, and other requested documents. Applicants who do not provide these records to the university will not be awarded federal student aid. If federal student aid is awarded based on incorrect information provided on the FAFSA by the student and/or documentation submitted to the Office of Financial Aid, the applicant will have to pay it back, in addition to fines and fees. If an applicant gives false or misleading information on the application, the applicant may be fined $10,000, sent to prison, or both.

Steps for Applying for Financial Aid

To be eligible for scholarships, grants, work-study, and/or loans, students must complete each of the following steps.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - This form can be obtained at studentaid.gov. The FAFSA must be filed to determine a student’s financial need and eligibility for financial aid at Fayetteville State University. This form should be completed at studentaid.gov or mailed to the Federal Government Central Processing System (CPS) in accordance with instructions on the FAFSA. Based on the FAFSA, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), and the student’s Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) will be sent directly from the federal agency to the Office of Financial Aid at FSU.
  2. Verification - The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects a certain percentage of financial aid applications for verification. Students whose applications are selected for verification will be contacted by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. For questions regarding the verification process, please call the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at 910-672-1325 or email at finaid@uncfsu.edu. If you do not submit the requested documents in a timely manner, your offer notification email will be delayed.
  3. Offer Notification - When the review process is complete, the student will receive an offer notification email. The offer information is available in Banner Self Service. Students who receive an offer notification email should go to Banner Self Service at https://ssbprod-fsu.uncecs.edu/pls/FSUPROD/twbkwbis.P_WWWLogin to accept the terms and conditions of their financial aid, and to accept, reduce, or decline their federal student loans. Loan funds will not pay to student accounts unless they are accepted on Banner Self Service. In Banner, students can view their financial aid status at any time. They can also view any outstanding requirements, view their student account summary, and view and pay bills. Students are required to accept the terms and conditions of their financial aid. To do so, students can visit the Terms and Conditions tab on Banner Self-Service.

Federal Financial Aid Available

Students who meet all eligibility requirements for financial aid will be awarded a financial aid package that combines funds from one or more of the following funds:

Federal Pell Grants

The Pell Grant Program provides federal grant funds for needy students who have not completed a first bachelor’s degree. To be eligible, the student must demonstrate financial eligibility as determined by the U.S. Department of Education. At Fayetteville State University, these grants range from $639 - $6,345 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74), was passed into law limiting the number of semesters a student may receive Federal Pell Grant funding from eighteen (18) semesters or 900% to twelve (12) semesters or 600%. Students may not appeal their Pell Grant eligibility; the Federal Pell Grant limits have been set by the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

These federal grant funds administered by the university are awarded to students who have not completed degree requirements for a bachelor’s degree, and who demonstrate exceptional financial need on the FAFSA. The grants can range from $100 to $4,000 per award year and are awarded to the neediest students (ordinarily students with a zero EFC) as allowable based on the availability of funds.

Federal TEACH Grant Program (TEACH)

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Each grant recipient agrees 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. Grant recipients must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which they received a TEACH Grant. IMPORTANT: If a grant recipient fails to complete this service obligation, all amounts of TEACH Grants received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan which must then be repaid to the U.S. Department of Education. In this event, recipients will be charged interest from the date the grant(s) was disbursed. Note: TEACH Grant recipients will be given a 6-month grace period prior to entering repayment if a TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Federal Work Study Program (FWSP)

This federally funded employment program is administered by the university and provides part-time jobs on the Fayetteville State University campus for students who have financial eligibility as demonstrated on the FAFSA. Students normally work eight to ten hours per week in a University facility. Wages paid are at least at the minimum wage rate and are used to assist the student in meeting educational expenses. If there is an unpaid bill reflected on the student’s account, federal work study funds should be used to pay the balance.

Federal Perkins Loan Program (Formerly the National Direct/Defense Student Loan - NDSL)

The Perkins Loan Program is a federal loan program administered by the university to provide students with exceptional financial need long-term, low interest (5%) loan funds for educational expenses. Under this program students may borrow up to $5,500 per year as undergraduates and $8,000 per year as graduate students to finance their education and must repay the loan after leaving school.

Repayment begins nine months after graduation or after the student ceases to be enrolled at least on a half-time basis. The student may take up to ten years to repay the loan. Interest on the loan does not begin to accrue until the end of the nine-month grace period. All or a portion of the loan can be canceled by teaching in certain approved areas, by specified military service, by working in the law enforcement field, or by service as a Peace Corps or VISTA volunteer. The student must demonstrate financial need on the FAFSA to qualify for this program. A promissory note must be signed in the Perkins Loans Office for each academic period for which Perkins funds are received. Perkins funding is based on availability of funds.

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is divided between subsidized and unsubsidized loans. These loans provide assistance to students in meeting educational expenses. Interest is deferred on the principal of the subsidized loan while the student maintains continuous enrollment. Depending on eligibility or unmet cost of attendance, a student may borrow up to:

  • $5,500 a year during the first year;
  • $6,500 a year during the second year of undergraduate study;
  • $7,500 a year for students with junior or senior status.

To apply for William D. Ford Direct Loans, the student must have completed the Financial Aid process by the applicable deadline dates:

Fall Semester October 1
Spring Semester March 1
Summer Session I June 1

Students must complete a Renewal or FAFSA each academic year by March 1 to be considered for loans.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Plus Loans

Direct Plus Loans are loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/ professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. The student must complete a FAFSA to determine eligibility for financial aid funds prior to the completion of the PLUS promissory note and a credit check will be performed.

To apply for Direct Plus Loans, the student must have completed the Financial Aid process by the applicable deadline dates:

Fall Semester: November 1
Spring Semester: April 15
Summer Session I: June 1

Students must complete a Renewal or FAFSA each academic year by March 1 to be considered for loans.

State Scholarships and Grants for NC Residents

The State of North Carolina offers a variety of aid for NC residents. A current and complete list of grants, scholarships, and application criteria is available at http://www.cfnc.org/paying/schol/info_schol.jsp.

Institutional Scholarships and Grants

Fayetteville State University offers a variety of institutional scholarships and grants. A current and complete list of scholarships, selection criteria, and application materials is available at the Fayetteville State University website at https://www.uncfsu.edu/paying-for-college/financial-aid-overview.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In addition to all other federal and state eligibility criteria for financial aid, a student must demonstrate that they are making timely progress toward completing their stated academic objective. Fayetteville State University is required to monitor that students are meeting certain academic standards to receive financial aid, which is commonly referred to as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). FSU’s SAP Policy applies only to students applying for federal and state financial aid. SAP is cumulative in nature and considers all degree and certificate eligible classes attempted at FSU, as well as any transfer hours and military credit accepted by FSU.

SAP assessments are performed at the end of each term of enrollment for students in degree or certificate programs. Students must meet the standards outlined below to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

Effective Fall 2023, the SAP standards are as follows.

1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) – A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. 

2. Completion Rate – A student must complete at least 67% of the cumulative credits attempted.

Note: Completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of credit hours the student has attempted into the number the student has completed.

3. Maximum Timeframe – Additionally, a student must be on track to complete their academic program within 150% of the published length of the program.

SAP Warning

If a student starts the semester in good SAP standing and fails to meet the cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or completion rate of at least 67% of SAP standards at the end of any term, the student will be placed on SAP Warning.

SAP students who improve performance at the conclusion of the next term of enrollment and are again meeting the SAP standards will be placed back in good standing and may continue to receive financial aid if otherwise eligible.

SAP Warning students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress at the conclusion of the next term of enrollment will be placed on a SAP Hold).

Students are eligible for financial aid during their warning semester.

SAP Hold

Students on a SAP Warning who fail to meet the cumulative GPA of 3.0 and/or completion rate of at least 67% of SAP standards will be placed on a SAP Hold, which cancels the student’s financial aid until submitting a successful SAP Appeal.

Basis for SAP Appeal

In order to appeal a SAP Hold, the student must demonstrate that they experienced mitigating circumstances that prevented the achievement of SAP. The student must also document what changes have occurred to remedy the mitigating circumstance that led to inadequate academic progress. The student must demonstrate that the mitigating circumstance(s) directly contributed to poor academic progress in the term that they did not meet standards. Mitigating circumstances are defined as events that are outside of the student’s control that interfere with their academic progress and could not have been remedied by the student at the time they occurred. Additionally, a student cannot use the same mitigating circumstance or any variation of that circumstance in multiple appeals.

SAP Appeal Process

Students on a SAP Hold must submit a SAP Appeal by the published deadline of each semester for the term in which they are seeking financial aid. Students must complete the SAP Appeal Form and submit all corresponding documentation according to the instructions provided by the university. Late appeals will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. The appeal committee will review the SAP Appeal packet and notify the student of the decision in writing through the student’s FSU email account within 15 business days from the date of submission. A prescriptive Academic Success Plan is required as a part of the approval process. Students must meet with their advisor to complete an Academic Success Plan before the first day of classes for the appealed semester.

Failure to meet with an advisor will result in your student aid not being awarded.

Note: Per federal financial aid regulations, appeals are not automatically approved and may be denied based on the student’s failure to maintain SAP standards, academic and financial aid history at both FSU and other colleges, failure to follow a prior Academic Success Plan, and any perceived pattern of SAP-related issues. If a student’s appeal is denied, the student does not have the right to re-appeal unless they can provide new information on documented mitigating circumstances that contributed to poor academic progress. If the student is permitted to re-appeal due to new information, the appeal will be resubmitted to the committee. A student can regain financial aid eligibility if the student enrolls in classes without the assistance of financial aid and performs well enough academically to again meet the cumulative GPA of 3.0 and pace percentage of at least 67% of SAP standards.

Being placed on a SAP Hold will not prevent registration related activity; however it will prevent a student from receiving financial aid if the student does not successfully appeal their status.

SAP Probation

Students who successfully appeal their SAP Hold will have their financial aid eligibility reinstated and will be placed on SAP Probation. During the probationary period, students must make progress under their Academic Success Plan. Students who do not achieve the cumulative GPA of 3.0 or completion rate of at least 67% of SAP standards will be placed back on SAP Hold and are required to complete a SAP Appeal for each subsequent term until all SAP standards are met.

Successfully meeting standards for a student on SAP Probation includes the following:

  • Passing all classes with a C or better—3 “C” grades or 1 “F” or “U” grade will cause termination from the program;
  • Taking courses within the program of study;
  • Avoiding withdrawing from a course or courses; and
  • Earning a 3.0 or higher term GPA.

The student is responsible for meeting the SAP standards. It is important for the student to have ownership of their current situation and the resulting Academic Success Plan, with the understanding of the consequences the student faces if the student fails to follow the Academic Success Plan. Students must meet with their advisor to complete an Academic Success Plan before the first day of classes for the appealed semester.

Students are recommended to complete at least two (2) financial literacy courses. Students should complete the Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) financial literacy courses by the end of the appealed semester. ECMC is one of FSU’s partnering agencies which helps facilitate a financial literacy platform to our students. ECMC also conducts outreach to our students regarding successful strategies for entering repayment on student loans.

Maximum Timeframe

A student must be on track to complete their academic program within 150% of the published length of the program in credit hours. Once a student is not on track to complete their academic program within 150% of the published length of the program in credit hours, a SAP Hold will be placed to prevent further financial aid disbursements until the student successfully appeals the hold.

Maximum Timeframe is based on total credit hours attempted in the student’s academic career, even if financial aid was not received while enrolled in those credit hours. The calculation includes all attempted credit hours, including transfer credit hours, military credit hours, and repeated courses.

How to Calculate Maximum Timeframe

A student’s maximum timeframe is calculated by multiplying the length of their academic program in credit hours by 150%. For example: 36 credit hours x 150% = 54 credit hours for a 36-hour graduate program.

Student Notification

Students who are meeting all SAP standards will not receive a communication regarding their standing. If a student is placed on a SAP Warning or SAP Hold, the student will receive a notification through their FSU email account. If a student submits a SAP Appeal, they will be notified of the outcome of the appeal through their FSU email account.

How Course Designations Impact SAP

· Incompletes: Incompletes (“I” grades) are not included in the cumulative GPA calculation until they are later converted to a letter grade of F or higher. However, incompletes do lower the student’s pace percentage until they are changed to an earned letter grade of “C” or higher. Incompletes are included in the maximum timeframe calculation.

· Withdrawals: Student-initiated course withdrawals (“W”) or university/term withdrawals (“WU”) are not included in the cumulative GPA calculation. However, these withdrawals do lower the student’s completion rate percentage and are included in the maximum timeframe calculation.

· Audited Courses: Audited (“AU”) courses are not included in the GPA, pace percentage, or maximum time-frame calculations.

· Repeated Courses: When a student repeats a course for any reason, the highest grade earned will be used in the GPA calculation in accordance with the Course Repeat Policy. All attempts will be calculated into the pace percentage.

· Earned Letter Grades: Earned letter grades of “A,” “B,” and “C” positively impact a student’s pace percentage and bring the student closer to completing his or her program within the maximum timeframe of the program. Earning a “F” letter grade will negatively impact both the student’s pace percentage and GPA (semester and cumulative). All earned letter grades are included in the maximum timeframe calculation.

· Dropped Courses: If a course is dropped for the reason of non-payment, non-attendance, or failure to meet the prerequisites, the course is not included in the calculation of GPA, pace percentage, or maximum timeframe, unless the course is approved for reinstatement.

· Cancelled Courses: If a course is cancelled, it is not included in the calculation of GPA, pace percentage, or maximum timeframe.

 · Transfer Credits: Although transferring credit hours to FSU will not impact the student’s GPA, any credit hours accepted for transfer will be included in the pace percentage and maximum timeframe calculations.


Appeal Procedure

Students whose financial aid is cancelled as a result of not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress must appeal financial aid ineligibility as part of their suspension appeal by submitting the online Letter of Appeal form.

Letters of appeal of academic suspension must be submitted by May 15 for summer, June 20 for the fall semester, and October 30 for the spring semester, and must address each of the following:

  1. The special or unusual circumstances, with documentation, that contributed to the student’s academic suspension;
  2. Actions the student has taken to change the circumstances so that they will not contribute again to poor academic performance;
  3. Specific steps the students will take to improve his or her academic status in the upcoming semester;
  4. An address and phone number at which the student may be notified of the committee’s decision.

The Academic Appeals Committee’s response will indicate one of the following: 1) approval for student to re-enroll with reinstatement of financial aid; 2) approval for student to re-enroll without reinstatement of financial aid; 3) denial of the appeal. Appeals will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances that are appropriately documented. Student appeals submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Students suspended more than two times will be permitted to re-enroll only under the provisions of the Academic Fresh Start Policy.

Students who meet the academic standards for re-enrollment, but fail to meet the standards for continued financial aid must submit a letter of appeal that addresses the items outlined above.

Appeals will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances that are appropriately documented.

Financial Aid Withdrawal Refunds/Repayments

Refunds to Programs

When a student withdraws from the university, refunds will be returned to the programs from which the student received aid. The date of withdrawal is determined by the Registrar’s Office and is based upon the date the student began the withdrawal process. Refunds are determined by using the Withdrawal/Refund Calculation Sheet that is based upon Federal Rules and Regulations #484B, #682.606, and #682.607 in the Federal Register.

If the student does not complete the university’s official withdrawal form, the student will be responsible for 100% of the semester’s charges. If the student secures documentation from each of his professors attesting to his last date of attendance in their classes and completes a Withdrawal Form, a refund may be calculated based upon the normal withdrawal/refund processing policy. (The Registrar determines if the documentation is sufficient. If the Registrar changes the date of withdrawal, the student should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine if a recalculation is appropriate.)

Repayments to Programs When a Return of Title IV Calculation is Completed

If a return of federal funds is applicable based on the calculation of a withdrawal, the funds will be returned in the following order to the United States Department of Education:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Perkins Loan
  4. Direct PLUS (Graduate Students)
  5. Direct PLUS (Parent)
  6. Pell Grant
  7. FSEOG
  8. Other Title IV Grant Funds
  9. NC State Funds