Financial Aid

In order to be eligible for William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Programs, students must be enrolled in a program leading to a degree or certificate and must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), listing Bluffton as one of the recipients.  The federal school code for Bluffton University is 003016.

All first-time Direct Loan borrowers at Bluffton must complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note at Studentloans.gov.

Preparing for your future and investing in your education is one of the most important steps in your life. The Bluffton University Financial Aid Staff is here to provide personal attention to your financial needs and we are here to guide you every step of the way. Financial aid funds are intended to help cover the costs of your education. This guide will explain the different types of financial aid, the steps to apply for financial aid and key eligibility factors.

Types of Financial Aid:

Employer Assistance
An increasing number of employers provide educational assistance benefits to their employees. Students should check to see if their employer provides educational assistance. Students must notify the Bluffton University Financial Aid Office of any employer assistance that they receive.

Federal Direct Student Loans
Federal Direct Loans are guaranteed low-interest loans for students attending school at least half time. Subsidized loans are available to students who qualify based on need. Unsubsidized loans are not based on need or income. Therefore, students and families of all income levels have access to federally guaranteed funds for college. Eligibility is determined both by need and the number of transfer credit hours a student brings into the program. Fixed interest rates are recalculated annually effective July 1 st based on the 10-yr Treasury note index plus 2.05%. Loan fees are deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. Current loan fees are1.068% (subject to change).

It is important to note that students are subject to aggregate loan limits (see below 1 ). Students who have borrowed at previous institutions must be aware of remaining eligibility according to these aggregates. To obtain your current student loan debt, logon to your account at: www.nslds.ed.gov.

Annual and Aggregate loan limits are as follows:
annual and aggregate loan limitDependent students are only eligible for subsidized and unsubsidized loan amounts, not the Additional Unsubsidized.
Additional Unsubsidized is for independent students and dependent PB students whose parents cannot get PLUS.

Private Education Loans
Students may find that they need resources in addition to those listed on the award letter. There are private education loan programs available to students which are not based on need. Additional information about private loans is available from the Financial Aid Office or on-line at: www.bluffton.edu/admission/financialaid/loans . Select the FASTChoice link under private education loans.

Alternative Resources
Students are welcome and encouraged to search for scholarships and grants. A good search to use is www.fastweb.com. Scholarship information can be found on the Bluffton University financial aid web page. Information about grants or scholarships is also easily attainable at your local library. Be sure to ask if they know of any local grants or scholarships that may be available.

Steps to apply for Financial Aid:

1. Create an FSA ID https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm

2. Complete the FAFSA (www.fafsa.gov)

3. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN)  www.studentloans.gov

4. Complete the Entrance Loan Counseling (required for first time borrowers only) www.studentloans.gov

5. Complete appropriate Verification Request (if selected)

If selected, students (and parents of dependent students/spouses of independent students) will be required to submit a verification worksheet, an IRS tax return transcript and/or other documentation. Aid will not be finalized or credited to a student's account until all requested documentation is submitted to verify the accuracy of data submitted on the FAFSA.

 

Key Financial Aid Eligibility Factors
Financial Aid Standards of Progress

-You must maintain a specific grade point average.
-You must maintain continuous progress towards a degree within a specific time frame.

Schedule Changes
Alterations to your academic schedule, additions and/or deletions, may affect your financial aid eligibility and necessitate a revised award notice.

Withdrawal
If you withdraw or are withdrawn from the university, the Financial Aid Office will complete a return of funds calculation to determine what financial aid funds you are eligible to keep. Based on the calculation, grant and loan funds may need to be returned. The financial aid office has 45 days to complete a return of funds calculation. Once the calculation is complete, you will be contacted in regards to your current account status.

Previous Student Loans
If you are currently in repayment on Stafford loans that you previously borrowed, you may continue to repay those loans or have them placed in deferment. You must be at least at a half-time status to have your loans in a deferment status. Contact your loan servicer for further information on this option.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Bluffton programs are approved for Veteran's Benefits with the Bluffton Registrar appointed as certifying officer. Contact the Registrar's Office for application forms and for more information.

Students with questions concerning financial assistance should contact the Financial Aid Office at (419) 358-3266. Personnel in the Financial Aid Office are available to provide an estimate of your financial aid eligibility. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Meeting times other than regular business hours can be arranged. The Financial Aid Office can also be contacted via email at: finaid@bluffton.edu

Students have access to financial information from many, many sources. Some of this information is helpful; some of it can be misleading and confusing. For an accurate and current understanding of the financial aid process and for helpful information, the Bluffton Financial Aid Office recommends the following web sites: