The Financial Aid Office is located on the main floor of the Wood Student Services Center and includes Financial Aid, Student Employment and Veterans Affairs. The Office also retains a website https://www.easternct.edu/financial-aid/index.html that specifies policies, procedures, and helps with frequently asked questions. Additional questions from students and their families can be directed to the staff at the office's windows, email, or phone as follows:
All communication must include the student's full name and Eastern ID number.
Once students enroll in classes at the University, they can determine whom our staff is able to speak with about several matters including financial aid. Students do this through the FERPA waiver on their self-service account. Our staff cannot speak to anyone, other than the student, unless noted on this waiver.
Consideration for Need-Based Aid
Need-Based Aid is financial aid funds students qualify for through completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Most funds provided to students require completion of this form. The FAFSA is completed online at https://studentaid.gov. Students could qualify for grants, scholarships, loans, and Federal Work-Study (FWS). The FAFSA must be filed every year between October 1 and March 1 to receive maximum consideration for the limited funds available.
These are funds provided to students external or outside of the Financial Aid Office. Sources include Admission Scholarships, private scholarships, room and board waivers, tuition waivers, etc. The Office highly recommends students seek out these opportunities and has links on our website to get started. If a student receives an award from one of these sources and it is not noted on the Financial Aid Offer Notice, the student should notify the Office in writing as soon as possible because it could impact the financial aid they have received.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Students are required to progress at a specific pace towards graduation. This is called Satisfactory Academic Progress and is reflected in both a quantitative (credits attempted) and qualitative (grade point average/GPA) measure. The quantitative component requires completion of at least 67% of credits attempted each semester and undergraduate degree completion by the time 180 credits have been attempted. The qualitative component requires students to meet a specific GPA standard dependent upon credits attempted. The full SAP policy is available on the Financial Aid website at https://www.easternct.edu/financial-aid/policies/satisfactoryprogress.html.
Failure to maintain SAP could result in cancellation of and an inability to receive financial aid in the future. Students need to understand this policy is separate and apart from other Eastern academic policies.
Master Promissory Notices and Student Loan Entrance Counseling
The first time a student accepts a Federal Direct Loan at Eastern, the student must complete a Master Promissory Notice (MPN) and Student Loan Entrance Counseling online at https://studentaid.gov. The MPN requires an electronic signature and is an agreement between the student and Federal Government that the student will repay the loan. Entrance Counseling is an educational course on the ins and outs of borrowing a Federal Direct Loan. Both must be finalized before these loans will pay to the student account.
Changes in Credit Load and/or Housing Status
A student's credit load and housing status are both used to determine eligibility for financial aid. The Office should be contacted immediately upon consideration of changes to these two items to ensure understanding of how those changes could impact the financial aid award.
The Financial Aid Office will review all files at the end of add/drop each term making updates to financial aid awards where appropriate when changes have been noted.
Verification requires the request of sometimes several different documents and comparing those documents to the FAFSA making updates where appropriate. The Financial Aid Office has partnered with Inceptia for this process. Changes to the FAFSA because of verification sometimes results in changes to a student's financial aid award. To limit these changes, students should complete the FAFSA as accurately as possible utilizing the link between the FAFSA and IRS whenever able.
If the student is selected for verification, they will be notified through their university email and through email from Inceptia. Students must respond within two weeks of notification. Failure to respond in a timely manner could result in a reduction in financial aid awarded. Financial aid will not pay to a student's account if the verification process has not been completed.
Sometimes there are changes to a student or family's financial situation not accounted for on the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office has the ability to review these situations to determine if additional aid assistance can be offered. Circumstances are narrow and aid is limited. The Special Circumstances Application on the Financial Aid website offers further details.
Student Employment Opportunities
Jobs are available for both Federal Work-Study (FWS) recipients and those that do not have this award. The rate of pay for FWS and other jobs is the same and based on level of complexity of the job. All vacant student employment positions are advertised through Student Employment at https://www.ecsujobs.org/ beginning in August. Students work an average of 10-12 hours per week on campus and in the greater Willimantic community. To qualify for employment, student must be:
Finding a position is easy through the JobQuest site. Students can search 24/7. Online applications are accepted for all on-campus positions with departments responding through University email. Students can post a Resume Brief viewed by employers searching for qualified candidates. Students can sign up for JobMail, a system that automatically emails jobs that match criteria selected. Students should apply early because the number of open positions are limited. Once a student has found a position and been hired, they cannot begin work until they have received their work authorization. Students can contact Student Employment for more details.
Veterans Educational Benefits
Assistance is offered to veterans obtaining their educational benefits through the G.I. Bill. Veterans are encouraged to keep the Office updated on any changes in their education programs. Veterans with difficulty maintaining their academic performance may not be eligible for tutorial assistance through the Veterans Administration.
All veterans are encouraged to request information about the Connecticut Veterans Tuition Waiver, even those no longer eligible for G.I. Bill benefits, to determine if they are eligible for financial assistance.
Students considering withdrawing from the University should speak to financial aid before doing so. Financial aid is awarded based on continued attendance. Withdrawal often requires the University to prorate the amount of financial aid a student has been given to reflect actual time enrolled. This proration can result in a balance due to the University. The full withdrawal policy is available at https://www.easternct.edu/financial-aid/policies/federalwithdrawalpolicy.html. This policy is separate and apart from the University tuition and fee refund policy.
Exit Loan Counseling
All students who have borrowed a Federal Direct Loan are required to complete Exit Counseling. This will need to be done after you have separated from the University (graduated/withdrawn) or are taking less than 6 credits in a semester. This is completed on https://studentaid.gov and must be finalized before transcripts are given or future enrollment is allowed.
Article ID: 272
Last updated: 06 Aug, 2020