All students who wish to be considered for financial assistance must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by May 1 of each award year. (Although the official deadline date is May 1, incoming freshmen are encouraged to submit the application as soon as possible after January 1 in order to expedite processing of financial aid notifications).
The university uses the information collected on the FAFSA form to determine eligibility for university administered need-based programs, including University Mission Awards, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Nursing and Perkins Loans, and Work-study. Out-of-state students should check with their high school guidance office or state agency to determine eligibility for grant assistance from their home state.
Misericordia University no longer requires students to submit an institution specific application for financial aid to be considered for a University Mission Award (a university grant based upon financial need). Likewise, eligibility for academic scholarships are automatically evaluated by a scholarship committee with no special applications required. However, incoming freshmen must submit a McAuley Application in order to be considered for a McAuley Award (described later in this section). Outside of the FAFSA form, the McAuley Application is the only formal aid application required by the university for a student applying for grant assistance.
Veterans: Misericordia University welcomes the opportunity to provide education to veterans of the armed services. The university is approved by the Veterans Administration for the education and training of veterans.
Veterans enrolling at the institution for the first time should contact their local veterans administration office to apply for educational benefits. This application should be filed six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. Students must contact the Student Financial Services Office to initiate the process.
Definition of an Academic Year
Financial aid is awarded for one academic year. Misericordia University defines its academic year as the period of at least 30 weeks of instructional time that begins on the first day of classes in the fall semester and ends on the last day of examinations in the spring semester. During this period, a full-time undergraduate student would be expected to complete a minimum of 24 credits.
Renewal of Aid
Academic scholarships are renewed annually provided the student maintains a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. McAuley Awards are renewed annually provided the student demonstrates satisfactory academic progress.
Need based financial aid is re-evaluated and renewed each year providing the student:
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
To receive or continue to receive federal, state, or university financial aid, all students must meet the following progress requirements:
Academic scholarship requirements are more stringent. Recipients of these awards must refer to the scholarship notification letter for grade point requirements.
This measurement ensures that a student is completing their program(s) within the maximum time frame allowed. PACE is calculated by dividing total credits earned by total credits attempted and includes accepted transfer and advanced standing credits in both the numerator and denominator. PACE is measured annually at the conclusion of the spring semester.
A student may not exceed a maximum number of attempted credits in any program(s), even if aid was not received during all periods of enrollment.The maximum number of credits is 150% of a student's program(s) required credits. Once a student reaches the maximum amount of credits attempted as specified by the program(s), the student will be ineligible to receive further Title IV aid.
Any deficiencies in academic progress must be made up at the student’s expense by successfully completing courses at Misericordia University or another accredited institution. Permission to take credits at another institution requires the permission of the registrar. Once the deficiency has been remedied, students must request that aid be reinstated for subsequent periods of enrollment. In the case of enrollment at another institution, the financial aid office will take into consideration the number of credits completed and the grades obtained. This financial aid policy differs from the institutional policy that accepts credits in transfer only, not grades obtained.
For purposes of financial aid, satisfactory progress is defined using the following classifications:
Right to Appeal
If a student feels that satisfactory progress was impossible to attain because of extenuating circumstances, i.e. death in the family, extended illness, etc., the student may complete a "Review of Financial Aid Eligibility Form". This form can be obtained from the Student Financial Services Office.
Additional Requirements and Rights
Students may take coursework outside the academic requirements for their degree; however, he/she should be aware that Title IV financial aid, PHEAA grants, and Veterans Administration aid may not be used to cover the costs associated with such courses. The Student Financial Services Office should be consulted on the impact of taking coursework outside the degree requirements prior to finalizing his/her registration.
A student applying for aid must supply all required information as described above. The student’s enrollment status is then verified, and the student financial services office will determine the student’s financial aid in accordance with school policy. The student will then receive an award letter.
Aid from outside sources must be reported to the student financial services office. Such outside aid may result in a change in eligibility status.
Aid will vary according to enrollment status (full or part-time) and housing status (resident, off-campus, or commuter). Students must inform the student financial services office of any status changes after their aid is packaged. Students may request an appointment with the student financial services office to review the information that determines their aid for the year, and the amount of their financial aid package.
Students have the right to request that their aid be re-evaluated if conditions arise which change their ability to meet the expenses of their education.
Sources of financial aid are described below. More information may be obtained from the Student Financial Services Office at 570-674-6222.
This federal program provides grants that currently range from $563–$5,550 depending on financial need and educational costs. Students who have not yet completed their first undergraduate degree may apply. Application is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
This federal program is available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. Application is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) Grant
The PHEAA Grant is a Pennsylvania State Grant. All Pennsylvania residents are expected to apply for the PHEAA Grant. Application is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Eligibility and grant amounts are determined by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). The deadline for application is May 1 prior to the start of the academic year for which aid is requested.
Other State Grants
Many states provide grants to their residents that may be used at colleges or universities in other states. These states include Ohio, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Delaware, Washington D.C., and Vermont. Prospective students should contact their high school guidance office or their state higher education office to learn more about their state programs and obtain applications.
To demonstrate its commitment to academic excellence, the university awards financial assistance to incoming full-time first-year and transfer students who have attained outstanding academic records. All applicants are screened for scholarship eligibility upon formal admission to the university. Awards range from $2,500–$18,000 annually. Scholarships are renewable until graduation, provided minimum grade point averages are maintained. The minimum averages required for retention of the award are outlined in the scholarship notification letter.
The nature and type of activities in which a student participates in high school, including involvement in extra-curricular activities, are indicative of a student’s potential success at Misericordia University. Full-time students who have served as volunteers in the community, demonstrated leadership, and have been active in extracurricular activities in high school may be eligible for a McAuley Award. These awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 and are renewable provided the student maintains satisfactory academic progress.
Children and grandchildren of Misericordia University’s alumni are eligible for an annual $1,000 legacy grant; stepchildren of Misericordia University‘s alumni are eligible provided they reside with the parent who is the alumnus and they are full-time students. The admissions office will screen applicants. Awards are renewable provided the student maintains satisfactory academic progress.
Through its own fund raising effort, Misericordia University provides substantial financial assistance to needy students through Mission Awards. These awards help over 65 percent of Misericordia students meet their university costs. These awards are available to undergraduate full-time students with demonstrated financial need. Awards range from $900–$6,500 yearly depending on need, available funds and other aid received by the student. Students who receive the Mission Awards must maintain satisfactory academic progress and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form each year.
Non-Pennsylvania Resident Grants
Out-of-state students who reside on campus are eligible for non-Pennsylvania resident grants. These $1,000 awards are renewable provided on-campus residency is maintained and satisfactory academic progress is maintained.
Full-time upperclassmen whose sibling is also enrolled full-time at Misericordia University are eligible for a $1,000 sibling grant. The award is renewable provided the student maintains sufficient academic progress, and both siblings are enrolled full-time.
Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized)
This loan program allows financially eligible full- and half-time students to borrow money to help meet educational expenses. The borrowing limits are as follows:
The interest rate, which is set annually by the federal government, varies but will not exceed 8.25%. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, withdraws, or enrolls in fewer than six credits. Repayment may extend for up to 10 years. The exact amount of loan eligibility is determined by the following formula: educational costs minus financial aid, minus expected family contribution as calculated from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Federal Direct Loan (Unsubsidized)
This loan program provides assistance to dependent students in addition to the Subsidized Stafford up to the loan limits described below.
This loan program also provides assistance to independent undergraduates and graduate students up to the following limits:
Like the Direct subsidized loan, repayment of principal may be deferred until after the student graduates, withdraws, or enrolls for fewer than six credits. However, interest must be paid on the loan while the student is enrolled, or capitalized upon repayment.
Aggregate Maximum Loan Limits
Dependent undergraduate students may borrow up to $31,000 in Stafford Loan funds. Independent undergraduate students may borrow up to $57,500. Graduate students may borrow up to $138, 500.
Federal PLUS Loan
This program allows credit-worthy parents of full- or half-time dependent undergraduates to borrow up to the total of university costs minus other financial aid. The interest on the PLUS loan varies but will not exceed 9%. Although limited deferment provisions may be applicable to some borrowers, repayment normally begins within 60 days of disbursement with up to 10 years to repay.
This program provides low-interest loan assistance to students who demonstrate financial need. Students who properly complete the aid application process as previously described will be automatically evaluated for eligibility for Perkins Loan assistance. If eligible, the student will receive notification from the Student Financial Services Office. The current interest rate on a Perkins Loan is 5% with repayment deferred until nine months after the student graduates, withdraws, or drops below six credits. Additional provisions for deferment of repayment are available from the Student Financial Services Office.
This program makes low interest funds available to nursing majors who demonstrate financial need. The application and awarding process, as well as the interest rate and repayment terms are the same as for the Perkins Loan.
Funded by the federal government, this program provides part-time jobs for eligible students during the academic year and the summer. Jobs are available on campus and in the local community. Students must demonstrate financial need to be eligible. Whenever possible, students will be assigned jobs related to their educational interests.
The university maintains this work-study program through its own funding. It assists students who are not eligible to participate in the federal program, but who need to earn part of their university expenses through employment.
Some part-time employment is available in the community for students. Students who are interested in part-time employment opportunities should inquire at the Insalaco Center for Career Development.
Refunds of Overpayments
Refunds of credit balances on student accounts caused by overpayment (either from financial aid or personal transaction) will be processed in the Student Financial Services Office within 10 days from the date on which the credit balance occurs. The 10 days gives the university time to verify the amount of refund, to check on any other charges, and to confer with the Director of Student Financial Services.
Student refund requests must be approved by the Director of Student Financial Services. Students are advised to begin the academic year with sufficient funds to pay for books and living expenses until refund checks are issued.