Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for financial aid?
The most important step is to file a FAFSA. FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.”
Before I apply to Chaminade, I'd like to get an estimate of how much it will cost me with my aid and scholarships. How can I do that?
New, incoming first-year students in our undergraduate program can estimate their financial aid by filling out our College Costs Estimator to understand how much it will cost to attend Chaminade.
What documents do I need in order to file the FAFSA?
You will need the following in order to complete your FAFSA:
- Your Federal Student Aid ID (FAS ID) – this will be used each year so make it something memorable! Apply for a Federal Student Aid Username and Password
- The Chaminade University school code: 001605
- Your Social Security Number and your parents’ numbers (if you are a dependent student)
- Your most current tax information. We recommend all eligible students use the IRS data retrieval tool. Dependent students must provide their parents’ tax information. If you have not filed taxes for the current year, you can estimate your tax information and make corrections later.
- Current bank statements (checking & savings)
- Any information pertaining to the value of any owned businesses and investments.
- Any information pertaining to the value of non-taxable income that is not reported on the tax return, i.e. social security benefits, etc.
Log in to the FAFSA site at www.fafsa.ed.gov
What is a SAR? What is an ISIR?
After you submit the FAFSA, two reports are generated. The SAR (Student Aid Report) is the report that the students receive. The ISIR (Institutional Student Information Record) is the report that the educational institutions will receive.
The SAR: The Student Aid Report, or SAR, will commonly be returned back to you within four weeks after you submit it (either through the mail or online). The SAR is a multi-paged document that will provide confirmation of the specific information you filed and the results of the review process. The report will give you an EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) amount. The report may also indicate specific problems that you may need to correct.
Make corrections if needed. Check to see that a copy of the report was electronically forwarded to Chaminade.
The ISIR: The version of the report sent to educational institutions is called the Institutional Student Information Record, or ISIR, and should reach our office within 2 weeks. Once your ISIR reaches our office, we will begin reviewing your application as soon as possible.
When do I know that you have received my ISIR and you are processing my package?
We should receive your ISIR within about two weeks after submitting the FAFSA, provided that:
- You indicated Chaminade University on the FAFSA, and you entered our six digit institutional code number, 001605.
- You have applied for admission to Chaminade and given us your social security number on the application for admission, and that your name matches exactly the name on your FAFSA.
After we have received your ISIR, expect another 1-2 weeks before your award letter is finalized.
To request that an ISIR be sent to Chaminade or another institution, or to obtain a duplicate SAR, call the federal processor (at 1-800-4FED-AID, or 1-800-433-3243). You will need the PIN number you used on your FAFSA.
If you have not heard from us when you expect to, be sure to contact the Financial Aid Office so we can check to make sure that the information on your application for admission and the information on your FAFSA are matched correctly, and that we are processing your award.
What should I do if I am selected for verification?
If your FAFSA results are selected for verification, you are required to submit additional documentation to verify the accuracy of the information you initially provided on your FAFSA. This means submitting an IRS Tax Transcript for your previous year’s federal tax return, which can be requested free of charge from the IRS.
In the case of an independent student, a copy of only the student’s (and spouse’s, if applicable) federal tax transcript is needed. For a dependent student, a copy of both the student’s, and parent(s)’ federal income tax returns must be submitted. If either a student or parent will not file a federal tax return, then a statement certifying both that a tax return will not be filed, and also declaring other sources of income, must be completed and returned in lieu of the tax return. Verification documents may also include forms completed to verify household size, number in college, child support received and other forms of non-taxable income.
How will verification affect my financial aid?
If the documentation provided results in changes made to your original responses to the FAFSA, it may require that your ISIR be re-filed electronically. If this is the case, our office will process this re-filing automatically. While you do not need to do anything, this process may cause a delay in the eventual finalization of your aid offer since we will have to await the federal processor re-processing such changes.
Why was my FAFSA selected for verification?
Verification is triggered by certain kinds of information reported on the FAFSA. It may be because your income seems unusually low considering the number in your household, or it could be because your assets are now considerably different from your previous year’s application, or it could be because the number in your household attending college seems a bit excessive.
Whatever the reason, you are not alone as verification happens to approximately one-third of all applicants. You will know that you have been selected for verification if you see an asterisk (*) next to your EFC number on the upper right portion of the first page of your SAR.
Why do I need to accept the loans in my award?
In order for your financial aid to be processed, you must notify the Financial Aid Office of which awards you would like to accept. The Financial Aid Office will award you the maximum amount of aid you may qualify for; however, you may not require the full financial aid package. In order to ensure your receive the right amount of financial aid you would like to use, you must communicate with your financial aid counselor which types of aid and the full or partial amount you would like to accept.
To accept or reject the full amount of an award that is listed on your award letter, you may complete the online accept/reject financial aid form in WebAdvisor. If you wish to accept only partial values awarded to you, you must contact your counselor at the Financial Aid Office.
Please note that you must accept your financial aid every year, as your financial aid package and need may vary.
Note: Accepting your financial aid is not a guarantee that you will receive all forms of aid accepted. If you make changes to your FAFSA or your eligibility status changes, the Financial Aid Office will adjust your award values.
How do I renew my loans each year?
To renew a federal student loan:
Be sure to accept your loan: Students who have applied for financial aid after their first academic year and have been issued an award letter must contact their financial aid counselor to notify them of the value they would like to accept (all or partial). Students do not need to resubmit any additional forms such as Master Promissory Notes or Entrance Interviews.
To renew a Parent PLUS or Graduate-PLUS Loan:
PLUS Loans must be renewed every year. Parents/students must apply for the PLUS loan and be approved to receive funds. Approval for prior years does not guarantee PLUS loan funding will be approved each year. Loan recipients can complete the PLUS loan application at StudentLoans.gov.
To renew an Alternative Loan:
Students who are receiving an Alternative loan must reapply for their loan every year. Just like the PLUS loan, alternative loans are credit approved loans, so they are not guaranteed each year. Students receiving an alternative loan must complete an application with their preferred vendor.
When will I get funds from my loan?
Your Chaminade invoice will arrive BEFORE your financial aid is disbursed to your account. Your bill may show a large amount due, because aid you are eligible for cannot be disbursed until the start of school.
If you’ve followed through on all the prior steps, your financial aid should be ready by the start of school. Federal regulations prohibit federal aid from being disbursed to students’ accounts any sooner than 10 days before the start of school.
What is satisfactory academic progress and how does it affect my financial aid?
The most important thing you can do stay eligible for financial aid is to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Several elements are used by financial aid administrators to evaluate your progress including your cumulative GPA, the percentage of courses you pass and a maximum timeframe/credit limit.
For more detailed information, see the satisfactory academic progress page.
Will I get a different package if I am a full-time or a part-time student?
Financial Aid is available for part-time and full-time students. Only full-time students are eligible to receive all forms of financial aid.
Full-time students (12 semester credits or more) may receive:
- Full Federal Pell Grant
- Institutional Aid & Scholarships
- Federal Direct Loans
Part-time students (3/4 (7-11 credits) or 1/2 (6 credits) time students) may receive:
- Partial Federal Pell Grant; grant value is calculated by the credit average for 3/4 and 1/2 time status (9 or 6 credits)
- Federal Direct Loans
Less-than-half-time students (5 credits or less) may receive:
- Partial Federal Pell Grant; grant value is calculated by the credit average for less than half time status (3 credits)
- Note: If a student drops below part-time status after receiving loans at Chaminade, the student must complete Exit Counseling and begin the process of repaying their loans.
All Federal Financial Aid is determined by a student’s financial need. Students interested in receiving financial aid must complete a FAFSA to determine their eligibility for specific programs. Any questions about financial aid eligibility can be directed to your financial aid counselor.
Am I a dependent student or an independent student?
Generally speaking, a dependent student is one who still must depend on parent(s) for support. Those students who are declared to be dependent according to federal regulations are those who have answered “no” to all of the criteria questions listed in the FAFSA. These are:
- If the student will be age 24 (a specific date is required);
- If the student is, or will be, a graduate student;
- If the student is married;
- If the student has dependent(s) for which he/she provides more than half support;
- If the student is an orphan or ward of the court, or was one until age 18;
- If the student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
A student not meeting any one of these conditions is considered dependent and must have his/her parent(s) complete the FAFSA as well, providing relevant income, asset, and household information. The student’s EFC, as a result, will reflect both the student’s ability to contribute as well as the parent(s)’ ability to contribute towards the student’s educational costs.
An independent student is one who does not depend on parent(s) for support. A student that can legitimately answer yes to any one of these conditions is considered independent and can file the FAFSA without parental information having to be supplied. The student’s EFC, as a result, will only reflect the student’s ability to contribute.
What happens if my circumstances change?
Please see the financial aid office if you need assistance because your circumstances have changed, such as your family’s income was reduced due to loss of a job, or other unforseen issues have arisen, or your status changes in any way.
In some of these circumstances, your financial aid counselor may excercise Professional Judgement based on your unique situation. Professional Judgement is the phrase associated with the federally approved discretion afforded to financial aid administrators in in certain areas of the financial aid review process.
What is the EFC amount on my award?
EFC stands for “Expected Family Contribution.” It is an amount determined by information entered on the FAFSA. It is a product of a formula intended to measure both a student’s ability to contribute to their own education as well as the parent’s contribution. The EFC is the amount the family is expected to be able to contribute that year towards your education. If the family has no available funds to contribute, (such as a portion of income or savings,) it represents the amount the family should be able to borrow in order to contribute.
It is our philosophy to provide you with the maximum aid offer possible. This means, we do not presume that your family will be able to afford to pay the EFC. We generally provide an aid offer that is exactly what we have determined is your budget. This usually will result in the recommendation of a variety of loans, both need-based and non-need based.
Please note, the EFC is not an amount that you are expected to pay directly to Chaminade.
For more information, see Understanding Your Award.
What does "Cost of Attendance" cover?
Your bill from Chaminade for the semester will be less than the cost of attendance.
Cost of attendance is an estimate of the funds needed for your support while you are a full-time student. In determining the costs of attending, financial aid offices will always consider both your direct and indirect costs for attending school. Direct costs are those charges owed to the school itself, like tuition and fees. Indirect costs reflect other necessary costs that should be factored in the student budget which would not be owed to the school, such as transportation, personal expenses, and rent for off-campus housing (if you live off-campus).
For a detailed look at your estimated cost of attendance, please see the budgets matrixes.