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The Financial Aid Office is located on the main floor of the Wood Student Services Center and includes Financial Aid, Student Employment and Veterans Educational Benefits. The Office also retains a website http://www.eaternct.edu/finaid/ 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. Students are required to complete the FERPA Waiver through eWeb in order for our staff to speak to anyone, including parents, about specific information in their records.
Consideration for Need-Based Aid
Need-based financial aid are funds a student qualifies for based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be completed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.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.
On campus jobs are available for both Federal Work-Study recipients and those that do not have this award. The rate of pay for FWS and other jobs is the same and based on the level of complexity of the job. All vacant student employment positions are advertised through Student Employment JobQuest https://www.ecsujobs.org/cmx_content.aspx?cpID=60 beginning in August.
Aid awarded from sources other than the Financial Aid office must be reported and/or considered by the Financial Aid Office. These sources include Admission Scholarships, external scholarships, room and board waivers, tuition waivers, etc. As each source is treated differently, please contact the Office to understand how your financial aid award might be impacted through receipt of one of these kinds of awards.
If a student is aware of an award that does not appear on the Financial Aid Notification Letter, the student should notify the Office in writing as soon as possible so any necessary adjustments can be made.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Satisfactory Academic Progress reflects both a quantitative and qualitative measure of a student’s progress towards graduation. 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 graduated GPA standard. The full SAP policy is available on the Financial Aid website at http://www1.easternct.edu/finaid/satisfactory-progress/.
Failure to maintain SAP could result in cancelation of and an inability to receive financial aid in the future.
Master Promissory Notices and Student Loan Entrance Counseling
The first time a student accepts a Federal Direct Loan or Federal Perkins Loan at Eastern, the student must complete a Master Promissory Notice (MPN) and Student Loan Entrance Counseling. Perkins recipients must also complete Responsibilities and Disclosures. Federal Direct Loan requirements can be completed online at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action. Perkins Loan requirements are completed in person at the Financial Aid Office. The MPN and Counseling 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 need-based financial aid and some merit aid awarded through the admission process. 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. The Financial Aid Office is required to compare these documents or verify them against the information reported on the FAFSA. That process 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 must respond within two weeks of notification. Failure to respond in a timely manner could result in a reduction of or cancelation of 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
Students can review all employment opportunities through the Student Employment JobQuest website https://www.ecsujobs.org/cmx_content.aspx?cpId=60. 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.
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 on the Financial Aid Office website.
Exit Loan Counseling
All students having borrowed a Federal Loan through Eastern and separating from the University or falling below half-time (6 credits per term) status, are required to complete Exit Loan Counseling. This can be completed online and must be finalized before transcripts are given or future enrollment is allowed.