Prospective Students

How are awards made?

Financial aid funds are always limited. To guarantee fairness in awarding institutional funds, Sewanee combines three factors when determining how to allocate institutional need-based aid:

  1. A student must have need-based aid eligibility, computed on the basis of family financial information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile.
  2. Priority consideration will be given to students whose complete applications are received or postmarked by December 1.
  3. A student’s academic potential or performance will be considered in the composition and extent of the aid award.

The University has different award criteria for the current undergraduate population, depending upon when students entered Sewanee. The different criteria, though, contain some common elements:

  1. All students are first considered for federal, state, and institutional grant eligibility. 
  2. Students with significant need beyond the initial grant funding will be considered for work eligibility. Currently, the maximum work award is $1,650 per academic year; as the federal minimum wage changes, this amount could also change in future years.
  3. Student loan options are reflected for all FAFSA filers. 

Continuing eligibility for all funding is contingent on maintaining appropriate satisfactory academic progress standards.

Should fiscal considerations warrant, the University reserves the right to adjust the work and/or loan expectation to more fully utilize its institutional grant and scholarship funds in any academic year.

The Award Notice

Prior to April 15, prospective students eligible for need-based aid, with a complete actionable application, will receive an award notice. This award will indicate the financial assistance for which these students are eligible at that time. This award may be “contingent” because, in order to credit aid to the student’s bill, the prospective student and his/her parents must complete any and all verification materials required by either the federal government or the Office of Financial Aid. Completion of verification materials must take place within the time frame specified on the materials.

Aid cannot be credited to bills until (a) Sewanee is notified of its federal allocation under the applicable aid programs and (b) the verification process is completed.  Additionally, prospective students must submit their reservation deposit before aid will be credited. Continuing students begin receiving Award Notices after grades are issued for the Easter Semester.

The Award Notice is for your information, and need not be returned to the Office of Financial Aid. You may accept all or part of the financial aid award package.

While the amounts shown on an Award Notice are usually fixed, the award amounts are subject to revision due to changes in Pell Grant eligibility, receipt of additional funds, changes in family circumstances, changes in the number of family members in college, federal reductions in prior appropriations, etc.

Terms of the Award

The acceptance of financial assistance carries with it certain conditions and expectations:

  • The offer of aid assumes truthful and correct information. If an individual deliberately falsifies information, that individual will be denied all aid and is subject to potential legal consequences.
  • Should you receive any other assistance not awarded by the Office of Financial Aid, whether it be from private, state, or federal sources, you must inform the Office of Financial Aid. Such assistance is considered an additional resource and will result in the adjustment of your aid award.
  • If your aid award is based upon the assumption that other dependent siblings will be attending college during the award year, this assumption will be verified through the sibling's home institution. Should other dependent siblings not enroll as planned or as defined by federal regulations, or not meet the conditions to be considered a dependent sibling, your award will be revised accordingly.
  • To receive aid you must agree to enroll as at least a half-time, degree-seeking student during each semester covered by the aid award. Pell Grant funding is available for degree-seeking students enrolled less than half-time.
  • If you are a male student who has reached eighteen (18) years of age, you must have registered with the Selective Service or provide proof of why you are not required to be registered.
  • You must use all funds received solely for the purpose of meeting your educational expenses.
  • You must not be in default on a federal student loan, or owe any refund on a previously-received federal student grant.
  • You must make satisfactory progress toward attaining a degree.

How Do I Actually Receive My Aid?

With the exception of Federal Work-Study and Work Scholarships, aid at Sewanee is received through a voucher system; that is, aid is credited to the student’s account by the Office of the Treasurer to help offset the charges for tuition, fees, room and board. Should the aid amount credited exceed these charges, a refund is issued by Student Accounts in the amount of the credit balance in the account.

Federal Work-Study and Work Scholarship earnings are paid directly to the student in the form of a monthly check or direct deposit based upon actual hours worked, and are to be used to meet ongoing student costs, such as travel costs and day-to-day living expenses.

The student and his/her family should plan to have funds available from the family to pay for books and other indirect costs when school begins as earnings from work will not be available until later in the semester.

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