General Information Brenau University offers financial aid in the form of federal and state student loans for graduate students. Any student who wishes to apply must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Any new student must complete all Brenau University graduate admissions requirements and be fully accepted for admission before financial aid can be processed. A student who is allowed conditional enrollment is not eligible for financial aid for that term.
Deadlines Applications for financial aid are generally processed on a rolling basis year round. Processing for each new academic year (beginning with the fall semester) starts the previous January. Graduate students who plan to apply for federal student loans should complete a FAFSA as early as possible after January 1st for enrollment beginning with the following fall semester. However, generally students 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 A graduate student enrolled three (3) to five (5) semester hours is considered a half-time student; graduate students taking six (6) or more hours will be considered at full-time status. For students who receive VA education benefits, it is important to note that even though six (6) semester hours (two courses) is considered full-time status for academic purposes, if one course is taken in each of the two evening or online sessions within a typical semester, VA will not pay benefits at a full-time rate because the courses are not being taken concurrently.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Federal and state regulations require institutions to establish standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for recipients of financial aid. The purpose of SAP is to measure students’ progress toward completion of the specific educational program in which they are enrolled. The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for ensuring that all financial aid recipients are meeting these standards. This requirement is accomplished through an evaluation that occurs at the end of each semester.
Any graduate student receiving financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress as outlined in the Academic and Records Information section of the graduate section of this Catalog. A graduate student who fails to meet the academic requirements of his or her degree program will result in the student being placed on financial aid probation for one semester. Failure to correct any deficiency within the probationary semester will result in financial aid suspension. A student may appeal this suspension in writing to the Financial Aid Committee. The committee will notify the student in writing of their decision.
TEACH Grant The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is a federal student aid program that provides 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. In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, recipients must sign an a document in which they agree to serve as a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low-income students. Failure to fulfill the teaching service requirements will cause the TEACH GRANT to convert to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest charged from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.
The TEACH Grant is available to qualified graduate students enrolled in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) programs. Applicants must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Brenau TEACH Grant Request Form. Interested students are strongly encouraged to carefully review the details of this program online at https://teach-ats.ed.gov/ats/images/ gen/factsheet.pdf prior to applying.
Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate Students Students pursuing a graduate degree can borrow from the Federal PLUS Loan program. A graduate student must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to have eligibility for the Federal Stafford Loan determined prior to applying for PLUS. An applicant with an adverse credit history cannot be awarded a PLUS Loan. The maximum amount a graduate student may borrow is the student’s cost of attendance as determined by Brenau University, minus any other financial aid the student receives.
Subsidized Federal Direct Loan This loan program allows students who demonstrate financial need to borrow educational funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education with no interest accruing as long as they are enrolled at least half-time. A graduate student may borrow up to $8,500 per academic year. 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 who do not demonstrate financial need. Interest will accrue during periods of enrollment. The annual loan limit is the same as for the Subsidized Direct Loan; however, students may be eligible to borrow additional funds up to $12,000, but can not exceed the annual cost of attendance as determined by the Office of Financial Aid.
Veterans Administration Educational Benefits Any veteran, veteran’s dependent, or active duty serviceperson 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 educational 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 education objectives, and other matters affecting benefits. All benefits except for the Post-9/11 GI bill are paid directly to the student.