Undergraduate Financial Aid FAQ

Are there financing options available?
Is Saint Mary's affordable for my family?
What is the typical cost of a Saint Mary's education for the 2015-16 academic year for a resident student?
How is financial need determined?
My EFC figure doesn't seem like what we can actually afford to pay. Is this the amount we will be billed for this year?
What kinds of assistance will be available to me, if I am eligible?
Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
Will I receive the same amounts and types of aid every year?
When will I receive my final award letter for 2016-2017?
I was selected for verification. What do I need to do?
When will I be billed?
How and when do I apply for a Federal Direct Loan?
Are part-time jobs available on campus?
How do I get a job on-campus?
Are students required to live on-campus?
Will my financial aid change if I move off-campus?
Will my financial aid change if I receive an outside scholarship?
I am filling out a form requiring my Saint Mary's student ID number. Where do I find that?
Do I have to take all the loans offered to me? How do I accept, decline, or reduce my financial aid?
My Indiana State Grants (ICHE) are not coded for the correct school. What should I do?

1. Are there financing options available?

In 2014-2015, 97% of Saint Mary’s students received more than $42 million in financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work opportunities. Of these funds, over $27 million were from Saint Mary’s College, in the form of grants and scholarships.

Academic Merit Scholarships and Awards are granted to qualifying undergraduate students at the time of admission to the College; there is no additional application required. Need-based Saint Mary's grants, federal and state aid is awarded based on eligibility after completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Saint Mary's FAFSA code is 001836.

Help is also available for families seeking tuition payment plans and parental loans.


2. Is Saint Mary's affordable for my family?

Saint Mary's is an exceptional value -- as well as a sound investment in your future. We understand that affordability is a concern. This is why we offer academic scholarships, need-based grants, campus employment, and loans to our students.

We encourage all students to apply for financial assistance, so we may help identify all available financing options for you and your family.


3. What is the typical cost of a Saint Mary's education for the 2015-16 academic year for a resident student?

In addition to the 2015-2016 information below, more detailed information is available here.

Tuition & Fees

$37,400

Room & Board (Double Room-average)

$11,320

Fixed Expenses

$48,720


Books

$1,000

Misc. Expenses

$950

Travel

$450

Estimated Expenses

$2,400


  • Tuition charges cover a full-time academic program of 12-18 credit hours per semester, fall and spring.
  • Additional tuition charges may apply if the student enrolls in more than 18 credit hours.
  • Additional charges may apply if the student enrolls in a science course with a lab component.
  • Room charges vary according to living arrangements.
  • All fees are subject to change. Families should anticipate annual increases to tuition, fees, room and/or board costs.

 


4. How is financial need determined?

The Financial Aid Office at Saint Mary's uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to collect information about a family's financial situation and determine their ability to contribute toward college costs.

 The following characteristics, unique to each student, are factored into the family’s overall financial profile:

  • reported parents’ income
  • family size
  • number of children in college
  • personal assets
  • unusual family expenses
  • student's savings
  • student’s base-year earnings

Financial need is the difference between the cost of your education and what your family might reasonably be expected to contribute to meet college costs. These contributions are determined using Federal Methodology, the federally approved system utilized by post-secondary institutions across the nation, and are called the Estimated Family Contribution, or EFC.

The formula is simple:

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need


5. My EFC figure doesn't seem like what we can actually afford to pay. Is this the amount we will be billed for this year?

No. The EFC is a budgetary figure used to determine financial need and eligibility for federal, state, and institutional funding. It does not necessarily reflect the actual amount you will be billed for the academic year.


6. What kinds of assistance will be available to me, if I am eligible?

Several kinds of financial aid programs help students attend Saint Mary's College. In 2014-2015, more than 97% of our students received financial aid.

  • Gift Aid is not subject to mandatory repayment. Gift aid may include scholarships and/or grants.
  • Academic scholarships are determined by the scholarship committee at the time of admission to Saint Mary's College, based on academic achievement and potential for success.
  • Grants are based on the results of the FAFSA, and if applicable, other financial aid documents.

Self-help aid is either repaid or earned.

  • Earned aid is part-time work through the campus employment program.
  • Aid that must be repaid includes low-interest, repayable loans, with repayment deferred until after graduation (in most cases).

7. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application is needed every year to determine your eligibility for aid. The deadline for the FAFSA is March 1st, and Saint Mary's code for the FAFSA is 001836.

In addition, you must:

  • meet federal guidelines pertaining to the receipt of federal aid.
  • continue to meet any special conditions noted on your Award Letter.
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward your degree.

8. Will I receive the same amounts and types of aid every year?

Financial need is re-evaluated based on each year's new information; therefore, your aid award may change. Congress also occasionally changes federal aid programs, so federal aid amounts may fluctuate. Other factors can affect your aid eligibility, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • You may have more financial need, so your award may increase if another sibling enrolls in college and/or your family's income decreases.
  • You may have less financial need, so your financial aid would likely decrease if another sibling graduates from college or is no longer eligible to be counted as part of your parent's household, and/or your family's income increases.
  • Your financial aid awards should be fairly similar each year if your family's circumstances remain stable AND you re-apply each year before the established priority deadline.

Remember, these are general guidelines. Your actual award will be based on your specific financial information and the availability of aid programs each year. Questions about any changes in your award should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.


9. When will I receive my final award letter for 2016-2017?

We understand that students need to know of any financial aid changes as soon as possible, and we will do our best to provide information about your aid package in a timely manner.

Submitting your applications and supplemental documents on time will help expedite processing.

  • For incoming first-year or transfer students (those beginning enrollment in fall 2016): We begin mailing award letters within two weeks of when the student has been admitted AND the FAFSA has been received. Please note that every effort is made to create an initial award that is as accurate as possible, though some changes may be necessary if a student is selected for verification and after verification is complete. Deadline for verification paperwork is May 15.

         *Awards under appeal for special circumstances may take longer.

  • For returning students: If all your requested paperwork (verification and/or other documents) is submitted prior to the May 15th deadline, our goal is to begin sending out financial award letters to upper class students in the second week of June. PRISM will not display your financial award prior to the second week of June.

         *Awards under appeal, for special circumstances or other reviews, may take longer.

         **Grades from spring or year-long study abroad programs are sometimes delayed in reaching the College. This may delay our ability to review your Satisfactory Academic Progress status, thus postponing the release of your financial aid information for the upcoming academic year.

Please note that these are our goals for estimated release dates.


10. I was selected for verification. What do I need to do?

Verification is a process that requires additional documentation from you before finalizing your financial aid award, to verify the information submitted in the FAFSA. Once the verification review has been finalized, we will send you your final aid offer.

In order to complete the verification process, you will need to:

  • submit a completed verification statement
  • submit copies of parent(s) and student W2 statements and/or K1 statements and Schedule C from the federal tax return
  • complete the IRS Data Retrieval Process or request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.

For more information on these items, click here.


11. When will I be billed?

The bill for fall semester is typically emailed to the student's Saint Mary's email address in July and is due prior to the start of fall classes in August. The spring semester bill is typically emailed in December and is due prior to the start of spring classes in January.


12. How and when do I apply for a Federal Direct Loan?

If your financial aid award includes a Federal Direct loan and you plan on taking advantage of this opportunity, you must complete both the Master Promissory Note and Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. Please do not complete either of these steps prior to May 1.

For expedited processing and accurate reflection of your aid on your July tuition bill, we recommend completing these requirements prior to June 1st.


13. Are part-time jobs available on campus?

Saint Mary's offers students employment opportunities that are supervised directly by our faculty and administrators. Until Labor Day, most campus jobs are limited to students who are eligible for Federal Work Study. To view the jobs available, refer to the job listings on our student employment website.

Some of the position options that could be available at any given time are:

  • academic departments: office assistants, lab supervisors, tutors
  • administrative offices: office assistants
  • a variety of opportunities are also available in: athletic programs, admission, campus ministry, food services and residence life
  • paid community service opportunities are also available, in a limited number, to interested students who demonstrate financial need

Federal Work Study generally requires the student to work between 5 and 15 hours per week during academic periods. Students can generally choose whether work earnings will be applied toward the tuition bill, paid out to the student (via paycheck or direct deposit into a bank account), or a combination of both.


14. How do I get a job on-campus?

Check our website for current job listings. When you find a position that interests you and that you qualify for, contact the supervisor noted. If you are offered a position, you must fill out payroll documents before you can receive a time card and begin working.

Note: If a job requires a student to be eligible for Federal Work Study you can only apply for the job if Federal Work Study was part of your financial aid package. You can refer to your financial aid award letter or sign onto PRISM to confirm whether you were awarded Federal Work Study.


15. Are students required to live on-campus?

Generally, students are required to live on campus for six semesters, unless they live at home with family within a specific mileage from campus. Some exceptions apply. Please refer to the information provided by Residence Life regarding living on campus and room selection and assignment.


16. Will my financial aid change if I move off-campus?

Yes. Your aid will likely change if your housing situation changes. Students who choose to live in off-campus housing are awarded institutional aid using a differentiated policy.

If you are approved and chose to live off-campus:

  • Eligibility for all assistance is based on an off-campus cost of attendance rather than that of a residential (on-campus) student.
  • Eligibility for institutional grant aid (including endowed scholarships, Saint Mary's Grant, and Holy Cross grant) will likely be reduced.
  • Need-based federal assistance may also be affected.
  • The Holy Cross Grant is only available to students who live on campus.

Because of these potential changes, careful analysis of on-campus versus off-campus net costs should be done before your final decision is made. A member of the Financial Aid team can assist you with a detailed calculation for this analysis.

If you are changing your housing status, please notify the Financial Aid Office.


17. Will my financial aid change if I receive an outside scholarship?

Not always. The receipt of any scholarship, grant, or loan not listed on the original award letter must be reported to Financial Aid as soon as you are aware of the award. Some adjustment to your existing aid may be necessary, depending on the amount of the new funding and whether it is restricted to tuition, or if it can be applied to other costs. If an adjustment to your existing aid is necessary, you will be notified.

As a general guide, you may see an adjustment if you have:

  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Work-Study/Work-Study Community Service
  • Federal Subsidized Loan
  • Saint Mary's Grant, Holy Cross Grant, and/or Endowed Scholarships

 


18. I am filling out a form requiring my Saint Mary's student ID number. Where do I find that?

Your student ID number begins with "980." It can be found on your Saint Mary's College ID card, Student Accounts billing statement, transcript, or PRISM account. ID numbers for incoming students are at the bottom of the Financial Aid Award Letter.

If you are still unable to locate your ID number after checking these sources, you may substitute your Social Security number (in most cases).


 

19. Do I have to take all the loans offered to me? How do I accept, decline, or reduce my financial aid?

  • Access PRISM
  • Your user ID is your Saint Mary's student ID number, which begins with "980..."
  • Enter your PIN number. If you can't remember your PIN, click on the "Forgot PIN?" link.
  • You should now see the main menu. Click on either the "Financial Aid" tab or the link for "Financial Aid"
  • Select "My Award Information."
  • Select "Award for Aid Year."
  • Select the appropriate aid year.
  • Review your aid by clicking on the "Award Overview" tab.
  • Read and accept the information on the "Terms and Conditions" tab.
  • Go to the "Accept Award Offer" tab and either accept or decline the aid offered to you.

20. My Indiana State Grants (ICHE) are not coded for the correct school. What should I do?

Saint Mary's College needs to be listed as the first school on your FAFSA. Our school code is 001836.

Go to the ICHE (Indiana Commission for Higher Education) web site, www.in.gov/ssaci/estudent/ to make Saint Mary's College your first school choice.

If you are changing schools during the academic year, follow the same instructions to update your school choice on the FAFSA .


Comments, suggestions, & questions email: finaid@saintmarys.edu

For questions regarding billing, please contact the Student Accounts Office: student.accounts@saintmarys.edu