Our staff in the Office of Financial Aid has put together this Q&A page to help answer questions you may have about your FAFSA application.
If your questions are not answered here, our staff is always happy to help you find the answers to any FAFSA questions, assist with a financial aid application, or provide FAFSA help of any kind. Call us, stop by while you are on campus, or simply contact us by mail or email and use “FAFSA questions” in the subject line. We will get back to you as soon as we can! You may also find answers at the main FAFSA Website. Remember that you will also need to apply for a FSA ID to be able to digitally sign your online FAFSA submission.
Office of Financial Aid
Wayland Baptist University
1900 W. 7th
Plainview, TX 79072
M-T 8:15 AM-5PM
F 8:15 AM-4PM
What is an EFC and what determines financial need?
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year. The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or your FAFSA4caster is used to calculate your EFC. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.
Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.
Am I considered an independent student if my parents don’t claim me on their federal
tax return and I do not live in their home?
According the Department of Education, the following questions determine a student’s dependency status. A student must be able answer yes to at least one of the following questions in order to be considered an independent:
• Were you born before January 1, (year)?
• At the beginning of the school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
• As of today, are you married? (Answer “yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
• Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
• Do you have dependents other than your children or spouse who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you?
• Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
• Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
• At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
• Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
• Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
• At any time on or after July 1, (year), did your high school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
• At any time on or after July 1, (year), did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
• At any time on or after July 1, (year), did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
Why does Wayland require submission of tax documents when I have already submitted
the information on the FAFSA?
In order to benefit the student and accurately award each student’s aid according to federal guidelines, it is University policy that the WBU Financial Aid staff verify those student files selected by the Department of Education. WBU also reserves the right to verify files not chosen by the Department of Education. In order to complete such verification process, all supporting documentation must be supplied. This includes signed copies of most recent 1040s, SSA 1099, etc.
I think I have some special circumstances in my family. Are these considered in determining
my financial need?
The EFC formula is basically the same for all applicants, but there is some flexibility. Your financial aid administrator can adjust the cost of attendance or the information used to calculate your EFC to take into account your special circumstances. These circumstances could include your family’s unusual medical expenses, tuition expenses or unemployment.
In order for a Special Circumstance document to be approved, the document must be fully completed and supporting documents must be provided to uphold mitigating circumstances. If a student currently has a 0 EFC, this request will not benefit them as they are currently receiving the maximum benefits within their calculated budget and aid. Graduate students generally will not benefit from completing a special circumstance as they are not eligible for Pell Funds.
Can international students work on campus with the Student Employment program?
Yes, international students are federally eligible to work in the US (according to visa) and are eligible to work on campus through the Work-Study program. Since they are not eligible for federal funds they will to be considered “Institutional” meaning that a department must have the funds to pay the student without using funds provided by the federal government.
Is the FAFSA all I have to do to be awarded federal and non-federal aid?
Students are instructed individually about what information must be submitted, either by means of a tracking letter or personal notification. For federal and state aid, the electronic version of the Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Federal Processing Center is required. The Department of Education randomly selects student files for "verification" and those students are required to submit parent and/or student and/or spouse signed IRS tax form 1040, verification documents, and other pertinent documents deemed necessary to verify information submitted on the FAFSA. Students are urged to respond promptly to requests for additional information.
WBU reserves the right to verify files not chosen by the Department of Education.
Is there a deadline on submitting WBU financial aid forms and documents?
Deadline dates are different for federal, state, and college aid. The federal deadline is published each year on the title page of that year’s FAFSA. In order to receive student financial aid, a valid SAR must be received by Wayland no later than the published federal deadline of the award year aid is sought, or the student’s last day of enrollment, whichever comes first. Some forms of federal aid have limited funding, and awards are based upon the availability of funds at the time a student’s financial aid file is completed. Therefore, students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA and all forms requested by the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.
Check the current academic catalog for verification.
How long does it generally take for my financial aid form and paperwork to be processed?
WBU financial aid staff takes priority in processing student information in a timely manner. Time in processing a student’s financial aid paperwork is determined upon several factors. Student files are processed in date order; therefore, periods in which our offices are processing a great volume of documents can delay the verification process. If the documentation received is incomplete for some reason, (i.e. blank responses, supporting documents, etc), the verification process will be delayed until the proper documentation is received.
It is recommended that a student submit all financial aid paperwork at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of a term in order for their aid to be awarded in advance of the term.
Once I complete the financial aid application process and I am awarded aid, how long
will it be before my funds come in?
Disbursement of all student aid is scheduled to occur immediately following the census date of the term or upon receipt of funds in the case of late awarding. After verification of enrollment and confirmation of eligibility, aid is electronically released to the Business Office for posting to student accounts. Loan disbursements are released for posting to student accounts within an initial period of three (3) business days after funds are received, as prescribed by the Department of Education. Aid disbursements in excess of term charges are released to the student in the form of a University credit check or direct deposit within fourteen (14) days of the creation of such credit, according to the time frame prescribed by the Department of Education. Federal and state aid will not be disbursed to students conditionally admitted to the University.
What are the rights and responsibilities of a student at Wayland Baptist University?
Federal guidelines require that all universities provide information to prospective students concerning the institution’s programs and performance. Each student should consider this information carefully.
The student has the right to know:
• The financial aid programs available at Wayland.
• The deadline for submitting applications for each of the programs.
• How financial aid is distributed, how decisions on distributions are made, and the basis for these decisions.
• How a financial aid award was determined. (costs for tuition, fees, room/ board, travel, books, supplies, personal and miscellaneous expenses are considered in the student’s education expense budget.)
• Which resources (their current assets, parental contribution, other financial aid, etc.) were considered in the financial need calculation.
• How much of the financial need, as determined by the Department of Education, has been met.
• The details of the various programs in a financial aid package.
• Wayland’s refund policy if enrollment ceases before a term ends.
• What portion of the financial aid received must be repaid, and what portion is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, the student has the right to know the interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, and when the repayment is to begin.
• How Wayland determines satisfactory academic progress and the financial aid penalties for unsatisfactory progress.
When accepting a financial aid package, a student also accepts the responsibility to:
• Complete application forms accurately and submit them on time to the proper places.
• Provide correct information. In most instances reporting erroneous information on financial aid application forms is a violation of law, possibly a criminal offense, resulting in indictment under the U.S. Criminal Code.
• Return promptly additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Financial Aid Office or the agency to which the application was submitted.
• Read and understand all forms signed, and keep copies of the forms.
• Fulfill the terms of all agreements signed.
• Perform the work agreed upon when accepting a university work-study award.
• Understand and comply with the deadlines for application and reapplication for aid.
• Understand Wayland refund procedures if enrollment ceases before a term ends.
• Report changes in name, address, and telephone numbers to the proper offices.
• The student is responsible for using his/her Wayland e-mail address for all electronic communications with financial aid.
What information will I need in order to complete my loan award?
Students will first access NetPartner in order to accept or decline aid eligibility. If choosing to accept a loan, the student will need to follow through and complete the loan award at www.studentloans.gov. Here the student will provide references and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
It is recommended that prior to beginning the process, the student gather three references (name, address and phone numbers). Also, it is recommended that students have their FAFSA PIN number available in order to e-sign the MPN. This provides for more timely and efficient processing.
What happens to my loan awards if I change my enrollment status?
If a student is awarded at a specific enrollment status (full time, half-time, less than half time), and drops or does not enroll in the appropriate course load, this will likely result in required adjustments to the award.
When a student withdraws, is expelled, or ceases to be a student at WBU before the regular end of the academic session for which he/she received financial aid, there is sometimes a refund due, in accordance with the University’s refund policy. However, if the student has received financial aid for the semester during which he/she withdraws, federal law and University policy dictate that calculated amounts be returned to the respective Financial Aid program (s). Early withdrawal may mean the loss of part or all of a student’s institutional grants or scholarships and the loss of part or all of a student’s federal or state aid. Policies and formulas for determining the amounts to be returned to the individual programs are available in the University catalog.
How often do I need to complete the financial aid application process?
Each WBU Student must complete the Financial Aid application process on a yearly basis in order to be awarded University or Federal funds. Although the school year runs from August to July it is recommended that each student begin the reapplication in January of each year (or as soon as tax return is filed) in order that their awards may be processed prior to the new school year (next Fall term). If you are renewing a FAFSA, a student will generally receive a reminder from the Department of Education to begin the renewal FAFSA.
How does SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) affect my student aid?
Students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree or certificate to continue receiving financial assistance from federal, state, and institutional sources. Satisfactory progress is measured both qualitatively (cumulative GPA), and quantitatively (number of hours completed). Progress must be evident in both areas. Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress may result in either financial aid "warning" or suspension.
Academic progress is evaluated each term. Students not maintaining satisfactory progress are notified of their standing and necessary action to retain, or regain eligibility for financial aid. A detailed explanation of the Financial Aid Office's policy on SAP may be found in the University Catalog.
How do withdrawals or “F’s” affect my loans and grants, and could they cause me to
When a student withdraws from the university or fails all courses in a given term, the financial aid office is required to complete a "Return to Title IV calculation" in order to determine what portion of the federal funds the student earned. If the calculation determines a refund of aid is required, the school must return any Title IV funds to the programs from which the student received aid.
If any refunds are completed by the university, the student will be required to pay the university for any balance that results from the refund of aid. The balance must be paid in full before future enrollment is permitted or the release of other official documents from the university, including the transcript. To ensure compliance with all applicable laws, the refund policy will be determined by the federal guidelines in effect at the time of the refund.
All students withdrawing from the university, dropping to zero hours, will be processed through the Return to Title IV software provided by the U.S. Department of Education. When calculating Return to Title IV aid, a student should have completed at least 60% of the enrollment period. When determining the financial aid impact of withdrawing from classes, students should consider that if they have attended more than 60% of the enrollment period, no Title IV funds will have to be returned.
Am I eligible for the Tuition Equalization Grant?
• Students must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for TEG funds:
• Students must enroll on a full-time basis (minimum of 12 hrs per semester for Plainview students and a minimum of 9 hrs per term at the extension campuses).
Must be Texas resident attending a campus located in Texas.
• These students cannot be receiving an athletic scholarship.
• Tuition Equalization Grants may not be awarded to students seeking a career in the full time ministry field.
• Only students seeking a 1st Bachelor’s degree or 1st Masters degree may receive TEG funds. Such funds are not available for those enrolled as graduate non-degree seeking students seeking teacher certification.
• Other items considered for eligibility include Selective Service registration as well as level of financial "need".
• Students must meet satisfactory academic progress as follows:
• First year will follow Wayland's satisfactory academic progress policy which is completing 65% of attempted hours.
• Undergraduates must complete 24 hrs per year with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and complete 75 percent of attempted hours.
• Graduate students must complete 18 hrs per year and continue meeting the grade point average required by the graduate program of 3.0.
• At the end of each academic year, your progress will be evaluated. If you fail to meet all the criteria established for your classification, you will not be eligible for future awards. TEG is not awarded for summer term enrollment.
• The financial aid office would like to stress the importance of maintaining satisfactory academic progress to insure your continued benefit of this program.
Can I receive aid to study abroad?
Students wishing to study abroad may be eligible to receive Title IV funds. Wayland Baptist University (known as the home school) can enter an agreement or consortium with another school (known as the host school) to provide eligible students with Title IV funds to attend the other school for a specific period of time.
What if federal and/or state aid is not enough to cover my educational costs?
When federal loans and other aid do not cover your cost of education, private or alternative educational loans are available. Private educational loan programs vary by lender. Please contact specific lenders to find out about terms and conditions.