Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Federal Financial Aid?
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen with a valid Social Security number.
- Demonstrate financial need. Please note, that not everyone who applies for Federal Financial Aid is automatically eligible. Students must meet very specific criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education and the College of Southern Idaho.
- Be enrolled as a regular student taking credits in an eligible degree or certificate program.
- Not be in default on a student loan or owe an overpayment or repayment to a financial aid program.
- Meet additional eligibility requirements if you have ever been convicted of sale or possession of illegal drugs while you were receiving federal student aid.
- Be registered with Selective Service if you are a male who was born on or after January 1, 1960.
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
- Be academically ready for study at the college level by-
- Having a high school diploma (this can be from a foreign school if it is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma);
- Having the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma, such as a general education development or GED certificate;
- Having completed homeschooling at the secondary level.
How to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA and ordering a Tax Transcript
The Data Retrieval Tool is currently unavailable for use on 2017-2018 FAFSA applications. We will update you on its availability here once we have more information.
To order a Tax Return Transcript you may go to the IRS website to order a copy by mail or create an account to download a copy of your tax return transcript online. The online option is not available to everyone. Several pieces of identifying information are required to create an account and those items are listed at the link above.
If you did not file taxes or if your address has changed from the time that you filed your taxes please use the 4506-t form to request either your Verification of Non-Filing letter or a copy of your tax return transcript to be sent to another address.
General Information about Federal Financial Aid
Availability of Funds:The college will not have enough money from SEOG, Work-study, and SSIG funds to meet the requirements of all students who show financial need. Students who meet the priority date applications requirements and who enrolled on a full-time basis will receive priority (first) consideration. Students who do not meet the priority date and/or who enroll on a less than full-time basis will be considered for these funds as available.
Types of Aid Offered:
- Grants are educational funding that does not have to be repaid after graduation. Federal Pell Grants are awarded through participating institutions to students with financial need who have not received their first bachelor's degree. More information about Federal Grants can be found online at http://www.csi.edu/financialaid/grants.asp
- A student loan is money for educational expenses that must be paid back with interest. Student loans can help you meet today's education expenses, but they will also bind you to a future of financial commitment that can last as long as 10 years. That's why it's important to fully understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower before you take out a loan. More information about student loans can be found online at http://www.csi.edu/financialaid/loans.asp
- College Work-Study is a federal and state funded need-based program for those students who have applied for and are determined to be eligible for this program. More information about the College Work-Study program can be found online at http://www.csi.edu/financialaid/workstudy.asp
Financial Aid Disbursement
All Financial Aid awards are automatically applied towards tuition and fees, room and board. CSI disburses financial aid funds in excess of these charges to the student (or borrowing parent in case of Plus loans). With the student's permission, CSI can apply excess Federal Financial Aid funds (amount left over after paying tuition/fees and room/board) towards other educationally related charges. These charges may include: traffic/parking fines, child care fees, library fines, Student Health fees, late fees, reinstatement fees, and returned check charges, etc. Students can fill out an Authorization for the Deduction of Miscellaneous Charges form to have miscellaneous charges deducted from their Federal Financial Aid.
What is Verification?
Verification is a federal process that selects approximately 30% of all students who file for federal financial aid to verify or prove the accuracy of the information that was reported on the FAFSA form. When a student is selected for Verification the College of Southern Idaho will require the Verification Worksheet be completed (if the student is a dependent student, at least one parent must sign this form along with the student), a signed copy of the federal tax form, and a copy of all W-2's. If the student is considered a dependent for Federal financial aid purposes, the student will also need to provide a signed copy of the parent's federal tax form and W-2's.
Revisions: Making Your Award Fit Your Circumstances
Revisions to Federal financial aid awards are not uncommon. Sometimes your family may have a change in circumstances, such as a parental change of employment, additional expenses, or emergency situations. Or you may wish to tailor your award to suit your individual needs, as with higher work-study and less loan money.
We recognize that each student's situation is unique, so please communicate your special requests to our office so we may determine the appropriate documentation that must be submitted to take your special circumstances into consideration. Once the appropriate documentation is received and processed, we will make every attempt to grant your request, provided funds are available.
Who can be considered an Independent Student?
By the federal definition, a student is allowed to apply for Federal financial aid without reporting parental income or other information and who does not need to have their parental signatures on the financial aid forms if-
- You are 24 years of age or older OR
- You are married when you apply OR
- At the beginning of the upcoming school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program OR
- You have children that receive more than half of their support from you OR
- You have dependents other than your children or spouse that live with you and receive more than half of their support from you, now and through the end of the upcoming school year
- Both parents are deceased or if you are/were (until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court OR
- You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces OR
- At any time since you turned age 13, both of your parents became deceased, you were in foster care or you were a dependent or ward of the court OR
- You are an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence OR
- You are in a legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence OR
- At any time on or after 7/1/2008 your high school or district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless OR
- At any time on or after 7/1/2008 the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless OR
- At any time on or after 7/1/2008 the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or are at risk of being homeless
When is a Student No Longer Eligible for Federal Financial Aid?
All students are required to meet CSI's Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to receive and maintain eligibility for financial aid funds. Students must meet all standards (General Requirements, GPA Requirements, Completion Rate Requirements, and Maximum Credit Hour Requirements) in order to initially be eligible for, and maintain eligibility for financial aid. The standards of eligibility for some scholarships or awards may differ as defined by the awarding agency or department from which the award was made. Students lose their federal financial aid eligibility when: They fail to make/maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Once placed on suspension, there are several options for a student to re-establish eligibility for financial aid.
- If your suspension is due to “Incomplete (I)” grades, work with your instructors to complete the classes in a timely fashion and notify the CSI financial aid office when your grades have been posted. We will then re-evaluate your Satisfactory Academic Progress status.
- You may attend classes by paying your own costs or through means other than Federal Financial Aid until you have met all of the following requirements-
- GPA Requirement Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 (computed using a 4.00 scale).
- Pace of Completion Students must progress toward completion of their declared degree/certificate while maintaining a minimum 67% completion rate. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours a student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credit hours a student has attempted. Remedial courses (classes with course numbers below 100) are excluded from the completion rate calculation.
- Maximum Timeframe Requirement Students must be able to complete their declared degree/certificate program within 150% of the published number of credit hours required to complete the program. For example, if the published length of an Associate of Arts degree is 64 credit hours; students must be able to complete their degree within 96 attempted credit hours.
- You may appeal for reinstatement of financial aid only if there were extenuating circumstances which led to your academic difficulties. Extenuating circumstances are those over which the student has no control and may include death in the student's immediate family, hospitalization, accidents, and illness. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal is a two part process.
- In order to appeal you must first present the Satisfactory Progress Appeal including a detailed statement explaining your extenuating circumstances along with third party documentation verifying your claim. The Satisfactory Progress Appeal can be found online at http://www.csi.edu/forms/FinancialAid/Satisfactory%20Progress%20Appeal.pdf. The Financial Aid office will review your statement and documentation to determine if your extenuating circumstances have merit. If your extenuating circumstances are deemed to have merit, you will be granted the ability to complete step two of the appeal. If it is determined that your extenuating circumstances and/or documentation is invalid your appeal will be denied.
- Step two of the appeal requires that you complete an academic plan with your major advisor. Access to the online academic plan is granted by the Financial Aid Office pending review of the student's extenuating circumstances. Approval/denial of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal will be dependent on your academic plan and your ability to meet the terms of Satisfactory Academic Progress therefore receiving initial approval of extenuating circumstances does not guarantee that your appeal will be approved. Incomplete appeals/documentation will be denied.
Additionally, students who are found to owe a repayment of Federal financial aid and/or are not in good standing on a previous student loan will lose their eligibility for the current year and all proceeding years until the repayment and/or default are satisfactorily resolved.
Are there lifetime limits on the Federal Pell Grant?
Yes, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 reduced the duration of a student's eligibility to receive Federal Pell Grant from 18 full time semesters (or its equivalent), to 12 full time semesters (or its equivalent). This change is effective with the 2012-2013 Award year and applies to all Federal Pell Grant eligible students.
Are there limits on the total amount of student loans I can receive for undergraduate classes?
Yes, Undergraduate students (students working on a degree below a Master's) are held to the following lifetime limits-
Dependent Students=$31,000 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized)
Independent Students=$57,000 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized).
With this information in mind, it's very important for students to budget and plan appropriately for continuing their studies beyond CSI. Additionally, graduate and professional students (those working on a degree beyond a bachelors) are ineligible for Federal Direct Subsidized Loan under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Satisfactory Academic Progress: For Federal financial aid purposes students are expected to meet a satisfactory academic progress each year in order to initially establish and maintain their future eligibility for Federal financial aid. This standard is outlined on the satisfactory academic policy page online at http://www.csi.edu/financialaid/sap.asp
Entrance Counseling: All Direct Loan borrowers receiving student loans through the College of Southern Idaho, for the first time, must complete the online Entrance Counseling before their student loans can be disbursed. Students who have completed an entrance counseling session at CSI previously do not need to repeat an entrance counseling session. The Entrance Counseling can be completed online at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
Loan Repayment: Contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979 or visit the Direct Loans Website online at http://www.myedaccount.com for Direct Loan repayment information.
The link provided will help you track your loans, loan servicers, amount owed, repayment amount, due dates, and account information.