Below are questions and answers to common questions, such as filing FAFSA, general financial aid questions, and scholarships questions. Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions!
Should I file a FAFSA application annually?
Each academic year a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application must be on file. This is to determine eligibility for federal and need-based financial aid. There are need-based funds that are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The FAFSA opens on October 1st each year, allowing you to file early. The FAFSA priority filing deadline is November 1 for incoming freshmen and March 1 for all other students. Applications completed after the deadline can still be considered for federal and other aid.
How do I access my financial aid information?
All of your financial aid is available by logging into Lesesne Gateway or by clicking here.
How can I be considered for Citadel scholarships?
Incoming freshmen do not need to complete a separate scholarship application for Citadel scholarships consideration. Evaluation of admissions applications and FAFSA determine scholarship awards. Current cadets should file a FAFSA and complete the electronic Upper-class Scholarship Application in March. Follow (‘like’) the Financial Aid Facebook Page and check the Financial Aid website for periodic scholarship application announcements. Check with your academic department about any departmental scholarship applications.
How does the college manage scholarship funds I receive from an outside provider?
Please provide a copy of the scholarship letter, certificate, etc. to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships via mail, fax (843-953-6759), or e-mail (email@example.com). Awarded scholarship estimates are posted after the paperwork is received. Forward the scholarship check to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships or Treasurer’s Office for credit.
If my award package does not cover my expenses, how can I pay the difference?
Awards are based on your FAFSA application. Student loans are the maximum amount allowed for your current grade level. There are other options you and your parent(s) may use to cover your expenses: Federal PLUS Loan, alternative loans, the tuition payment plan option, or paying out of pocket directly to the Treasurer’s Office.
If your award notice does not include federal funds, complete a FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov or make the necessary corrections if you’ve already completed an application.
Why is the amount noted on the award notice different from the tuition and fees reported on the website & my bill?
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships can offer financial aid up to the cost of attendance (COA) for the academic year. The COA allows you to receive financial aid above the mandatory tuition and fees, the actual amount that you are responsible for paying to the school. If you receive financial aid up to the cost of attendance, you could receive a refund for the difference each semester.
Is there a maximum amount of federal loans I can borrow each academic year? (See chart below)
|Year in School||Dependent students (except those whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)||Independent students (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)|
|Freshmen||$5,500 – up to $3,500 of this amount may be subsidized loans||$9,500 – up to $3,500 of this amount may be subsidized loans|
|Sophomore||$6,500 – up to $4,500 of this amount may be subsidized loans||$10,500 – up to $4,500 of this amount may be subsidized loans|
|Junior/Senior||$7,500 – up to $5,500 of this amount may be subsidized loans||$12,500 – up to $5,500 of this amount may be subsidized loans|
|Graduate Students (amount based on full-time status)||N/A||$20,500 – only eligible for unsubsidized loans|
The federal government publishes additional information about loan limits.
Is my child considered independent since I no longer claim him/her on my taxes?
No. Students that are not claimed on a parent’s tax return can still be considered dependent for federal financial aid purposes. The answers provided to the questions in the ‘dependency status’ section of the FAFSA determine dependency.
I have adverse credit and I may not qualify for a PLUS loan. Will my student automatically qualify for the additional federal loan amount?
Your student will not automatically qualify for the additional federal loan amount. Parents must apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan by going to https://studentaid.gov/. Students that receive denial must submit a loan adjustment form or a request in writing to increase the loan amount to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.
Does initially accepting the award offered obligate me to the student loan? Can I refuse aid offered?
No, accepting the award offered does not obligate you to the loan. You have the option to accept or decline a partial amount or the full amount of Stafford loans. You can cancel your Stafford loan up to 14 days after the loan has posted to your account. After that time you must pay directly to the loan servicer. You can decide later to decrease the amount of the aid by completing the financial aid adjustment form on our website or by notifying our office in writing via e-mail.
Can my financial aid award change?
Yes, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships reserves the right to revise or cancel the financial aid award based on changes in your financial or academic status. Students receive an email titled “Financial Aid Award Notice” for updated financial aid awards. You are responsible for using Lesesne Gateway to REGULARLY review your Citadel financial aid account and Treasurer’s Office account balance.
How am I notified if I need to complete paperwork or provide additional information?
You will receive an e-mail titled “Missing Information” each time our office needs paperwork or additional information. Please do not ignore any e-mails from the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. You can always check the status of your financial aid paperwork online through Lesesne Gateway. Submit completed paperwork to our office for the dispersal of financial aid.
Why does my award package include an estimated LIFE or HOPE Scholarship?
Award letters with an estimated LIFE or Hope Scholarship are not an official award until The Citadel receives students’ final high school transcripts. Then, a complete review of your eligibility occurs. Awards for returning or transfer students remain estimated until receival of all transcripts from courses taken at other colleges or universities.
Why does my award package include a LIFE or HOPE Scholarship if I am a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Recipient?
An incoming student receives the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship once we receive a list from The SC Commission on Higher Education. The student’s award will then reflect the new scholarship.
When will my ROTC Scholarship be listed?
Students’ financial aid award include ROTC scholarships. This occurs once the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships receives a list from the ROTC branch. You may, however, forward a copy of the letter you receive from the military, and we will place an estimated award in your account. The ROTC scholarship is an estimate until students meet all requirements.
How do I use my Federal Work Study award?
Under the provisions of the Federal Work Study (FWS) program, the amount shown on your award notice is the amount of money you may earn for work performed during the academic year. Your charges do not include the award amount. Students directly receive money earned through this program. You must meet with the FWS Coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to start the employment process for work-study. Knobs (first year cadets) cannot work on campus because of their rigorous schedule.
Why haven’t I received my Veterans Benefits payment?
You should contact the Veterans Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-953-9824 to make sure all initial paperwork has been submitted to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs does not notify schools of a students’ intent to use benefits, the student must notify the Office of Veterans Services. For additional information please view the Veterans Services webpage or call 843-953-9824.
What happens to my financial aid if I am called to active duty?
Citadel cadets and students in the National Guard and Reserves and with some prior active duty personnel may be called/recalled to active duty.
The Citadel recognizes and appreciates the important contributions made by these men and women to our country. In support of these students, The Citadel has developed the following procedures to provide each college with maximum flexibility in assisting these students. Students who are activated for full time military service during a time of national crisis (SC Code of Law 59-101-395), with activation orders or other official documentation will be provided the following options:
- Withdraw from all classes and 100% of the tuition and mandatory fees would be refunded and the students will be awarded “W” grades for each course. In addition, cadets would be given a pro-rated refund of all auxiliary fees.
- Student arranges with his/her instructor(s) for a grade and/or an incomplete (to be made up in the specified time period) in the course(s). The registration would remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees would be assessed in full.
If arrangements are made with only some of the student’s instructors for a grade and/or an incomplete, the registration for those courses would remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees would be assessed for those courses. Any courses for which arrangements cannot be made for a grade and/or an incomplete could be dropped and the tuition and mandatory fees for those courses would be refunded.
To be eligible for any of the above options, a copy of activation orders or other official documentation must be provided to the Office of the Registrar.
Financial aid is refunded in accordance with existing Citadel and Federal policies for each of the above situations. Inquiries should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.
These procedures do not apply to national guardsmen or reservists who are fulfilling their annual two-week active duty training, or to students that enlist into active duty during the semester/term.
Questions regarding this policy or for assistance in withdrawing may reach out to the Office of the Registrar or the Veteran Student Success Center.
Do I need to be enrolled in a degree program with a minimum number of credit hours and maintain a specific GPA each semester to process federal student aid?
All students at The Citadel must be in a degree program to be eligible for federal aid. Consideration for federal financial aid programs require undergraduates enroll in at least 6 credit hours each semester. Consideration for federal financial aid programs require graduate students to enroll in at least 4.5 credit hours each semester. You must maintain a minimum grade point average and make satisfactory progress toward a degree to maintain your eligibility for financial aid. Please review The Citadel’s satisfactory academic progress policy for additional information.
Can I be non-degree and receive federal financial aid?
Federal financial aid regulations provide direct unsubsidized loans during a one-time preparatory coursework period. Students provisionally accepted into a Citadel graduate degree program receive these loans. The Citadel Graduate College must approve these students as non-degree. Non-degree students can use up to $12,500 in a direct unsubsidized loan for three consecutive semesters once approved. to complete their preparatory requirements while working toward full acceptance into their graduate program.
What happens if I withdraw during the semester?
A portion of the financial aid award may require compensation. Please review the college catalog for information concerning repayment and refunds.
When will I receive my refund check?
Typically, students receive refunds the first day of class each semester. Refunds are financial aid in excess of any Citadel charges. Please review your Lesesne Gateway account for updates to your account and refund information.
How do I reach the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships?
The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships is located at 138 Bond Hall. Office hours during the academic year are 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. You may stop by the office or contact us by phone at (843) 953-5187 or 1-800-868-1842, or by email at email@example.com.