Brenau University offers a comprehensive financial aid program for qualified students. A student’s eligibility for scholarships and financial aid is determined from documents submitted by the student to both the Office of Admissions and the Office of Financial Aid. Any undergraduate student who is a United States citizen or permanent resident may apply for need-based financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Any new student must complete all Brenau University admissions requirements and be fully accepted for admission before financial aid can be awarded.
Applications for financial aid are generally processed on a rolling basis year round. Processing for each new academic year begins in January. Students who plan to apply for need-based financial aid programs should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st in order to ensure consideration for federal and institutional programs that typically have limited funds. It is advisable to submit all required financial aid documents no later than April 1st for the upcoming academic year. Students who wish to apply only for continuously funded financial aid programs such as Federal Pell Grants and Direct Loans should have a completed financial aid file a minimum of one month prior to the beginning date of the first semester for which financial aid is needed.
Enrollment Status. An undergraduate student enrolled for at least six (6) credit hours but fewer than twelve (12) credit hours per semester is considered a half-time student, while an undergraduate student enrolled for twelve (12) or more credit hours per semester is considered full time.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require institutions participating in Title IV student financial aid programs to establish standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for recipients of financial aid. In general, these SAP standards also apply to financial aid programs authorized and funded by the State of Georgia, as well as Brenau’s own institutional aid programs.
The purpose of SAP is to measure a student’s progress toward completion of the specific educational program in which he or she is enrolled. The policy is used to determine if an enrolled financial aid recipient is making satisfactory academic progress, regardless of whether or not financial aid was applied for or received during the term or enrollment period under review. The SAP policy is consistently applied to all students, ensuring both the quality of academic work and the completion of a program within the maximum time frame. A student’s academic performance will be evaluated at the end of each semester (fall, spring, and summer) if the student is enrolled in a traditional term-based program. For students enrolled in non-term cohort programs, academic performance will be evaluated at the end of each established full-time enrollment period.
The SAP policy will measure both qualitative and quantitative standards, as students must meet both standards to remain eligible for aid.
Qualitative Standard. This standard measures grade point average (GPA).
Brenau requires an undergraduate student to maintain a cumulative institutional grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better to remain eligible for financial aid. This GPA is calculated on all courses taken for academic credit at Brenau University as well as those accepted for transfer from other eligible postsecondary institutions. In addition, federal regulations stipulate that at the end of the second academic year of enrollment, a federal student aid recipient must have at least a “C” (or 2.0) average, or an academic standing that will allow the student to meet the requirements for graduating from his/her academic program.
Note: The minimum undergraduate GPA requirement referred to above does not apply to the renewal of academic scholarships, HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, or other grant or scholarship programs that require a higher GPA for renewal or continuation of eligibility.
Quantitative Standard. This standard establishes the rate at which a student must progress to ensure completion of his/her degree program within the allowable maximum time frame.
- Rate of Progress. A student receiving financial aid must demonstrate measurable progress toward the completion of his/her degree program by maintaining a minimum overall completion rate of 67 percent. This applies to both full-time and part-time financial aid recipients. The rate of progress is calculated using the following formula:
Hours Successfully Completed or Earned ÷ Hours Attempted
Attempted hours are those credit hours that remain on a student’s transcript after the last date on which classes can be totally eliminated from a student’s registration as published by the Brenau Registrar. Earned hours represent successfully completed courses in which grades of A, B, C, D or P are awarded, as long as credit is earned. Withdrawals (W), incompletes (I) and failed courses (F or WF) are considered attempted hours but not earned hours.
The following points should be noted with regard to the rate-of-progress calculations:
- If a course with an incomplete grade (I) impacts a student’s satisfactory academic progress standing, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when a final grade has been earned.
- Audited courses are considered neither attempted nor earned hours.
- Credits transferred to Brenau University, including those taken as a transient student while enrolled at Brenau, are included in attempted hours and earned hours, and are subject to the maximum time frame standards below.
- Repeated courses, for which a passing grade was previously received, are included in attempted hours and GPA calculations, but are not included in earned hours.
- Maximum Time Frame. Federal student aid regulations stipulate that an undergraduate student must complete his or her academic program within 150 percent of the published program length. The measurement is cumulative and includes all periods with or without federal student aid. Frequent withdrawals from individual courses or from school, changes of major, and failed or repeated courses could jeopardize financial aid eligibility. A student who has completed sufficient hours and courses to complete his or her degree program is no longer eligible for financial aid even if there is some other obstacle, such as required GPA, that is preventing graduation
Important Note: A recipient of federal student aid may not enroll in courses generally not required for his/her specific educational program. This includes enrolling in unneeded courses for the sole purpose of attaining a higher cumulative GPA or to simply maintain a specific enrollment status (i.e. half-time to establish federal loan eligibility or full-time to maintain eligibility for health insurance). However, a student is allowed to repeat a course that was previously passed in order to obtain a higher grade, but can receive financial aid to repeat that course only one time. The intent of this repeat policy is to allow a student to try to earn a higher grade and an improved GPA when, on the advice of the student’s academic advisor, the student needs to take that action to gain admission into a specific Brenau major. Students will not be allowed to repeat previously passed courses for the sole purpose of obtaining a desired financial aid package or disbursement.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP) EVALUATION PROCESS
The financial aid recipient’s academic performance records maintained by the Registrar’s office will be reviewed at the end of each semester or non-term enrollment period to determine if the student is maintaining the standards established in the SAP policy. A student who fails to meet the SAP standards, qualitative and/or quantitative, will be assigned one of the following SAP statuses, and will be notified in writing.
- Financial Aid Warning is the status assigned to a student who has not achieved the required GPA and/or has not met the rate of progress standards of the SAP policy. A student on financial aid warning is eligible for financial aid for one additional semester or non-term enrollment period. No appeal is necessary. However, it is recommended that during the Financial Aid Warning term, the student meet with his or her academic advisor, and take the following preventive measures to avoid the loss of Title IV eligibility:
- Identify the obstacle(s) encountered during the last semester or enrollment period;
- Develop and commit to workable and achievable solutions for overcoming the obstacles identified.
- Financial Aid Suspension is the status assigned to a student who, after one semester or enrollment period on financial aid warning, still has a deficient GPA and/or has not met the rate of progress standards. Financial aid warning status also applies to a student who has exceeded the 150% time frame for completing his/her degree program. A student on financial aid suspension will be notified of his/her ineligibility for future financial aid, as well as how to submit an appeal. (Appeal process outlined below).
- Financial Aid Probation is the status assigned to a student who failed to make satisfactory academic progress, but submitted a qualifying appeal, and had eligibility for financial aid reinstated. A student placed on financial aid probation is eligible for financial aid for one semester or enrollment period in which he/she must fully meet the requirements of Brenau’s satisfactory academic progress policy. Or he/she may be placed on an academic plan designed to ensure compliance with SAP by a specific point in time.
If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent a student from making SAP for two semesters or enrollment periods, resulting in a status of Financial Aid Suspension, it is possible to appeal to the Office of Financial Aid for a review of those circumstances as they relate to the student’s academic standing. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form and a typewritten explanation of the extenuating circumstance(s) must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid within two weeks of being notified of the Financial Aid Suspension status.
In addition to the SAP Appeal Form, a written financial aid appeal MUST include these two components:
- The extenuating circumstances that resulted in the student’s failure to make SAP. Acceptable circumstances on which a student could base an appeal are those that could not have been foreseen at the beginning of the semester or enrollment period, and that were completely beyond the students’ control. They could include serious injury, illness (physical or mental) of the student or an immediate family member, death of an immediate family member, or other extenuating circumstances. Appeals should include a detailed description of the applicable circumstances, along with related documentation (i.e., statement from physician or other health care provider, report from law enforcement or social services agency, copy of death certificate, etc.) that supports those circumstances.
- The positive changes that have occurred that will ensure the student can achieve SAP by the next evaluation. The student must include information regarding extenuating circumstances that will no longer exist or be an issue, as well as any additional measures that will be taken to ensure he/she will make SAP during the probationary semester or enrollment period, if granted.
The Director of Financial Aid, or another designated senior member of the Financial Aid Office will review each written appeal, along with relevant academic history. The student will be notified via his/her Brenau email account of the appeal decision. A student whose appeal is approved may receive financial aid for one probationary semester or enrollment period, after which another SAP review will be conducted. A student who fails to meet the academic requirements outlined in the Financial Aid Probation email notification will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for a second and final time, after which there is no option for appeal.
Restoring Financial Aid Eligibility. A student whose appeal is not granted, or a student who cannot document qualifying extenuating circumstances, can only regain eligibility by meeting the requirements of Brenau’s SAP policy as stated above. Taking courses at the student’s expense (without financial aid), sitting out a semester, or successfully completing courses at another institution does not automatically restore financial aid eligibility. When a student has resolved the academic deficiencies that resulted in the termination of eligibility, he or she should contact the Office of Financial Aid and request a new SAP evaluation.
General Regulations In order to receive federal student financial aid at Brenau University a student must be a United States citizen or permanent resident, must be seeking a degree or certificate, must be enrolled at least half-time (except for Pell Grant) and must maintain satisfactory academic progress. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is the required application.
Federal Pell Grant. The Pell Grant is a need-based grant for eligible students who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree. This grant often provides a foundation of financial aid to which other types of aid may be added. Grant amounts vary. Pell Grant eligibility is limited to the equivalent of six full-time academic years.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. SEOG grants are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need, with priority given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Grant amounts vary.
Subsidized Federal Direct Loan. This loan program allows students who demonstrate financial need to borrow educational funds from the U.S. Department of Education with no interest accruing as long as they are enrolled at least half time. A freshman may borrow up to $3,500 per academic year; a sophomore, up to $4,500; a student at the junior level or above may borrow a maximum of $5,500. Repayment of principal and interest begins six months after the student graduates or is no longer at least a half-time student.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. This loan is available to students without regard to financial need in addition to the Subsidized Federal Direct Loan. Interest will accrue during periods of enrollment. Dependent students may borrow $2000 in addition to the amount of eligibility established for their year in college, however, independent students may be eligible to borrow additional funds up to the following annual limits: freshmen and sophomores up to $6,000; juniors and above up to $7,000.
Federal Parent PLUS Loan. The PLUS Loan program is available for parents of dependent students. A parent may obtain a PLUS Loan without demonstrating financial need and may borrow up to the entire annual cost of attendance as certified by the Office of Financial Aid. PLUS borrowers must have a satisfactory credit record.
Federal Perkins Loan. A student with exceptional financial need may borrow up to $4,000 per academic year through this loan program. Interest at the rate of 5% will accrue beginning nine months after graduation or after a drop to less than half-time enrollment. Repayment will also begin at that time. Loan cancellation provisions are included for certain teaching fields, nursing and public service. The availability of Perkins Loan funds is dependent on payments received from previous borrowers and reimbursements of amounts cancelled by service. Funds are very limited in this program.
Federal Work-Study. This program provides jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Jobs are assigned by Brenau’s Office of Career Services. Students employed through the Federal Work-Study program earn the current minimum wage, with the possibility of a pay increase in subsequent years.
Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant. The purpose of this grant is to provide tuition assistance to Georgia residents who wish to pursue a college education at a private college or university within Georgia. Eligible students must be enrolled full time in an undergraduate degree program. The grant amount varies according to state appropriations.
HOPE Scholarship. Funded by proceeds from the Georgia Lottery for Education, the HOPE Scholarship is available for students who graduated from an eligible Georgia high school with a 3.0 average in a college preparatory curriculum and meet specific academic rigor requirements. Other students may be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship if they meet specific Georgia residency requirements and earn a 3.0 cumulative grade point average at 30, 60 or 90 attempted semester hours. Eligible students will receive up to $1,968 per semester as long as they maintain a 3.0 grade point average and enroll as full-time students. Eligible half-time students will receive $900 per semester. A student who has earned a previous bachelor’s degree or who has attempted more than 127 semester hours is no longer eligible for HOPE Scholarship.
Zell Miller Scholarship. The Zell Miller Scholarship is available for students graduating from an eligible Georgia high school in 2011 or later, who have a 3.7 average in the core academic curriculum and a combined SAT score (critical reading and math) of 1200 or higher, or an ACT composite score of 26 or higher, from a single test administration. Zell Miller Scholarship recipients are required to maintain a 3.3 cumulative grade point average in college, to be assessed in the same manner as the HOPE Scholarship. Current undergraduate students who have not attempted more than 127 semester hours of college degree credit and who have a 3.3 or higher cumulative GPA as of the most recent required checkpoint, may be eligible to receive the Zell Miller Scholarship only if they met the required high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores at the time of high school graduation. The Zell Miller Scholarship provides $2174 per semester for full-time students and $1087 per semester for half-time students.
Student Access Loan (SAL). The Georgia Student Finance Authority offers the Student Access Loan (SAL) Program for eligible students attending an eligible postsecondary institution in Georgia. The SAL is a 1% fixed rate loan, designed to assist undergraduate students who have a gap in meeting their educational costs. Applicants must have first applied for and exhausted all other student financial aid options including federal and state student loans, scholarship, and grant programs and Veterans Education Benefits. The maximum annual loan amount if $8,000, with a maximum of $4,000 per term. The SAL program is also designed to provide service cancellation opportunities to qualified students who work in select public service sectors or STEM fields. Applications may be submitted during a pre-designated and published application cycle. Current HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship recipients are given preference in the first selection round; after that, applications are selected at random until all available funds are committed
Institutional Scholarships and Aid
The Women’s College
The Brenau Scholars Program. This scholarship program recognizes and assists outstanding students with demonstrated academic and leadership strengths. It is designed for those students who desire to develop these qualities to their fullest potential in a stimulating and challenging university environment. Students are selected based on their past and potential academic success, leadership achievement and personal qualities as exemplified in the Brenau Ideal. Brenau Scholars must have an SAT score of 1200 or better, or ACT composite score of 29 or better and a 3.2 grade point average in a college preparatory curriculum. Each recipient must be a residential student. Recipients of the Brenau Scholar Award will receive an amount equal to tuition charges for 120 semester hours of academic coursework (the equivalent of four academic years or eight semesters). Georgia residents who are eligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship, the Zell Miller Scholarship, and/or the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant must maintain eligibility for those awards. Funds from those state programs will be applied first toward tuition charges, with the Brenau Scholar Award covering the remainder of tuition cost. Technology fees and other incidental fees, along with room and board charges, will not be covered by the Brenau Scholar Award. However, students who are eligible to receive funds from other federal and state student aid programs may apply those funds against the cost of fees and room and board. Recipients of the Brenau Scholar Award may be eligible to receive additional scholarships or grants funded by Brenau University, including athletic grants and fine arts scholarships. Renewal of the scholarship is contingent upon the student meeting the qualifying criteria outlined in the scholarship contract. Eligibility for renewal will be assessed at the end of each academic year.
Trustee and Faculty Excellence Scholarships. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and merit at the high school level (freshman) or college level (transfers). The Brenau Office of Admissions will determine award types and amounts for freshman based on a combination of the applicant’s test scores, high school GPA, and academic rigor of course work. A transfer student’s cumulative college GPA will be the basis for award determination. These awards are renewable as long as the recipient maintains a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for the Trustee Scholarship and a 2.8 cumulative grade point average for the Faculty Excellence Scholarship. Eligibility for renewal will be assessed at the end of each academic year. Scholarship amounts generally range from $4,800 to $12,250 per academic year.
Merit Scholarships and Achievement Grants. These grants are awarded to students who have a record of academic success, but do not meet the academic requirements for either the Trustee Scholarship or the Faculty Excellence Scholarship. Achievement Grants are renewable as long as the recipient remains in good academic standing at Brenau University. Eligibility for renewal will be assessed at the end of each academic year. Scholarship amounts generally range from $4,200 to $11,000 per academic year.
Opportunity Grants. These grants are awarded to students who are not eligible for any of the four academic awards previously mentioned, but, in the opinion of the Scholarship Committee, have the potential to be academically successful at Brenau University. Opportunity Grants are renewable as long as the recipient remains in good academic standing at Brenau University. Eligibility for renewal will be assessed at the end of each semester. Award amounts will vary.
Legacy Scholarship. The Brenau University Legacy Scholarship encourages daughters and sisters of Brenau alumni to enroll as freshmen in the Women’s College. A Legacy Scholarship applicant must an incoming, first-time freshman in the Women’s College, whose mother, father, sister or brother is a Brenau alumnus. (An alumnus is defined as anyone who completed at least 30 semester hours at Brenau in any program.) The scholarship is renewable for up to four years or 120 semester hours, whichever comes first. Recipients must also enroll as full-time students and maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, as defined in Brenau’s institutional policies. The scholarship deadline is February 1st for freshmen planning to enroll the following fall. Scholarships are $2,500 per year for Women’s College residential students and $2,000 per year for Women’s College students who commute.
Full-time Gainesville Day Program (Non-Women’s College)
Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship. Scholarships are available for students who transfer to Brenau from a 2-year institution where they were invited to join or actually became a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. An $8,000 annual scholarship will be awarded to any full-time student enrolling in Brenau’s Gainesville Day Program who presents proof of invitation to join, or membership in, Phi Theta Kappa.
Edward Schrader Presidential Scholarship. Male students with a combined SAT score of 1200 (critical reading and math) and a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher, who plan to study in the areas of theatre, music, dance, nursing, pre-physical therapy, or pre-occupational therapy, may be invited to campus to compete in a series of interviews for the Presidential Scholarship. A limited number of students will be selected to receive this scholarship, which covers the annual cost of full-time tuition, when combined with applicable state financial aid programs (i.e., HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, Tuition Equalization Grant).
Other Scholarships and Sources of Financial Aid
The following scholarships and grants are awarded annually and are made possible through the generosity of donors to Brenau University.
Amy Andrews Memorial Scholarship
Art or Design Scholarships
Athletic Scholarships (Basketball, Competition Cheerleading, Cross Country, Dance Team, Golf, Soccer,
Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball)
Grace W. Ball Scholarship
Bank of America Scholarship
Jane and Rafe Banks, Jr. Scholarship
Kimberly and David Barnett Scholarship
Sara Brayman OT Graduate Student Endowed Scholarship
Brenau Alumnae Association Scholarship
Brenau Alumni Association Scholarship
Katherine McKenna Brothers Scholarship
Burd Endowed Scholarship
Mary Castle Scholarships
Ed Daniel Endowed Scholarship
Joyce and Harold Dick Teacher Education Scholarships
Robin Dudley Nursing Scholarship
April Durham Endowed Scholarship
Carter Estes Endowed Scholarship
Grace Estes Endowed Scholarship
Ethicon Nursing Scholarship
Dorothy Ezzard Endowed Scholarship
Eliza Holmes Feldmann Scholarship
Fieldale Endowed Scholarship
Beth Bridges Fisher Scholarship
Foothills of GA SHRM Scholarship
Valworth McMillan Foscue Music Scholarship
Margaret Hill Gaus Endowed Scholarship
Lee and Eloise Gilmer Memorial Scholarship
Girl Scout Gold Scholarship
Thelma Mauldin Green Scholarship
Furman Greer Memorial Scholarship
Hall School of Nursing Scholarships
Elizabeth Hancock Endowed Scholarship
Rebecca Bowles Hawkins Scholarship
Hearst Foundation Scholarship
Heathman 40 & 8 Scholarships
Lois Miller Schroggs Scholarship
Jacie L. Hyatt Academic Sports Scholarship
International Merit Scholarships
Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Scholarship
Kay and Douglas Ivester Scholarships
Willie Bolding Johnson Scholarship
Kiwanis Endowed Scholarship
Imogene Lemex Scholarships
Helen E. Lilly Scholarship
Ada Little Endowed Scholarships
Denyse Marchesseau Scholarship
Clara Martin Endowed Journalism Scholarship
Massey Journalism Scholarship
William S. and Mary C. May Scholarship
Jean Watkins McRae Endowed Scholarship
Mintz Family Scholarship
Birdie L. Moore Scholarship
Nancy W. Moore Scholarship
Roy C. Moore Foundation Scholarships
Gwen Mundy Endowed Scholarship
Northridge Medical Center Auxiliary
Norton Family Memorial Scholarship
Lisha Page Nursing Scholarship
Parr Music Scholarships
Julia and Brooks Pearson Scholarship
Annette Pitt Memorial Theatre Scholarship
Josephine Winter Rainey Alumnae Scholarship
Randolph Family Scholarship
Georgine Riley Nursing Scholarships
Rotary International Scholarships
Roth Foundation Nursing Scholarships
Augusta & William Schrage Scholarship
Carol Smiarowski Dance Scholarship
Smith Memorial Music Scholarship
Sidney O. Smith Scholarships
Algernon Sydney Sullivan
Foundation Endowed Scholarship
Bob Swoszowski Scholarship
Joe K. Telford Scholarship
George & Anne Thomas Scholarship
Charles J. Thurmond Endowed Scholarship
UPS Foundation Scholarship
Dorothy VanGiesen Endowed Scholarship
Harvey Watts Scholarship
Betty Weems Scholarship
Margaret M. Whalen-Warren
Featherbone Foundation Scholarship
Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarships
Frances Wood Wilson Foundation Scholarships
Veterans Administration Education Benefits
Any veteran, veteran’s dependent or active duty service person who qualifies for VA educational benefits may apply for those benefits through the Office of Financial Aid. The necessary forms should be obtained from that office, completed and returned prior to the beginning of the semester the student plans to initially enroll. All students who receive VA education benefits are expected to comply with the following Brenau University requirements:
- Students must comply with attendance regulations of Brenau University and the Veterans Administration and may not drop courses or stop attending classes without executing formal withdrawal procedures.
- Any change in a student’s semester course load should be reported to the Office of Financial Aid immediately.
- Students should notify the Office of Financial Aid when changing academic programs.
- Students must enroll in only those courses outlined on academic program plans prepared by Brenau University officials.
- Students can only be certified for benefits for two semesters pending their official acceptance by Brenau University.
- Courses for which college credit has been granted by Brenau University cannot be repeated unless required by academic policy.
Brenau University is required to report to the Veterans Administration on attendance, progress toward educational objectives, and other matters affecting benefits. All benefits except for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are paid directly to the student.
Brenau participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, in which we partner with the VA to cover a portion of tuition expenses above and beyond the amount covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.