The basics of financial aid

Applying for financial aid can be confusing, and often messy, for inexperienced freshmen, students and even upperclassmen. However, with the right information, students can easily get the aid that they need to pay for their tuition and fees.

The most important aspect of financial aid to take note of is the recent change of requirements that students must uphold to receive federal aid.

“Students should be familiar with the Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to ensure eligibility, should the need for federal financial aid occur,” said Director of the Office of Financial Aid Mary Lacour. “The policy can be found at”  

The new policy was adopted on July 1 and states that students must now maintain a 2.0 grade point average to receive tier IV financial aid. Also, aid providers now consider the number of classes dropped and failed more seriously than before. Once students become familiar with the policy, they should begin the process of applying for aid.

“The best way to apply is via the web at,” said Lacour.  “Paper applications are no longer available for bulk order as they once were. Some students have difficulty in completing the FAFSA, but can visit the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) in North Campus B, Room 171 for assistance.”

The priority deadline for financial aid (May 1) has already passed, but the office of financial aid is still accepting and processing paperwork applications. Students can still apply for and receive aid for the fall and spring terms, though receiving aid after applications takes time. Students applying now may need to apply for emergency aid to cover their tuition until they can receive their funds. If a student wishes to have priority processing for the Spring 2012 semester they must submit their paperwork by Oct. 15, 2011.

It’s important to recognize that a student’s eligibility for financial aid is greatly influenced by their parents, especially if they are claimed as dependents. Lacour advises that parents should file their taxes early and use the information from the filed tax return to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.

If students or parents have any questions, they can seek guidance from Southeastern’s Office of Financial Aid or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).