Financial Aid

Types of Aid

There are four types of financial aid available to all students who meet the eligibility requirements. Financial Aid comes in the form of federal and state grants, scholarships, work study, and student loans.

Grants

Grants are classified as forms of financial assistance that does not have to be repaid. Grants are often based upon funding availability, financial need, merit, and academic progress. Federal and state grants are the two types of grant opportunities.

Scholarships

Scholarships are also classified as forms of financial assistance that does not have to be repaid. Scholarships are often based upon criteria set by the donor, unmet need, merit, and funding availability. Scholarship inquiries for new students should be directed to the Office of Admission and inquiries for continuing students should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid. The scholarship committee meets frequently to determine recipients when applicable.

Work Study

Work Study is a form of financial assistance awarded through on or off campus student employment opportunities. Interested students should complete the FAFSA as early as possible. Work Study is awarded based on eligibility and availability of funds.

Loans

Student loans are forms of self-help financial assistance that must be repaid. Student loans are completely optional and are often used to aid in meeting the cost to attend college. Federal loans are available regardless of income level or credit history. Students and parents should always exhaust federal loan options first before considering a private loan.

Federal & State Grants

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant program is a federal grant funded through the United States government made available to all undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Eligibility and financial need are determined through successful completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Federal Pell Grants are considered to be the “foundation” upon which all other financial aid is awarded. The maximum annual amount for aid depends on the federal budget approved by Congress. For the 2013/14 school year, the maximum Pell will be $5,645. Students must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens either enrolled or planning to enroll for the upcoming term. There is a standard formula established by Congress used to evaluate the information reported on the FAFSA. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number recorded on the FAFSA determines the award amount. Federal Pell grants are a source of financial assistance that does not have to be repaid. New federal guidelines prohibit Pell grant recipients from exceeding 600% of their lifetime eligibility or the equivalent of 6 years.

Federal SEOG Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program is a form of campus-based aid funded through the United States government awarded to colleges and universities for students who meet the same eligibility requirements as the Pell Grant program. Students must demonstrate need and are required to complete the FAFSA. Funding is limited with this program. SEOG grants at Bennett College are awarded up to $800 annually. SEOG grants are also a form of financial assistance that does not have to be repaid.

Federal TEACH Grant

Through the College Cost and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low income families. Interested students must complete the FAFSA, be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.25, and sign a TEACH agreement to serve. If the student fails to complete the service obligation, the TEACH grant will be converted into a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The loan will then have to be repaid and interest will be charged from the disbursement date of the grant. Students must also complete an electronic counseling session and remain in the field of education throughout their course of studies.

North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NBS)

The NBS scholarship is available to North Carolina residents, who are enrolled or planning to enroll in college. The NBS program is a need based scholarship contingent upon funding availability and early completion of the FAFSA. Students must complete a NBS application (short form or long form) and be enrolled at least half-time. Awards usually arrange from $3,900 to $7,500 annually. The amount will be prorated for students who are three quarter time enrolled.

DC TAG Grant

The DCTAG grant is available to students from the District of Columbia in the amount of $2,500 annually at private colleges. The deadline is June 30 each year. The D.C. application process is enforced. For more information, please visit the Web site made available by the Office of the State Superintendant at www.osse.dc.gov.

DC Achievers (Success) Scholarship

The DC Achievers Scholarship Program is a multifaceted scholarship program that supports students from six high schools in Washington, DC with a high percentage of low-income students. It is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The first cohort of applicants was selected in 2007 and entered college in 2008. Achievers Scholars receive support services while in high school and through their college career. The DC Achievers Scholarship supported up to $11,400 in scholarships per student this year. For more information, please visit www.collegesuccessfoundation.org.

DC CAP Grant

The DC CAP grant is available in the amount of $2,070 to students who graduated from a D.C. public high school. There are situations where the amount can vary due to funding availability. The high school guidance counselor coordinates the process.

Rhode Island Grant

The Rhode Island grant is available in the amount of $700 annually to students whose permanent residence is Rhode Island. The amount may change pending state legislation.

PHEA Grant

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Authority grant is a program available to students from Pennsylvania who demonstrate unmet financial need. The amount of the PHEAA grant is $370 annually. The amount may change pending state legislation.

Scholarships

Scholarships are forms of money that do not have to be repaid. Bennett College currently offers four types of scholarships: Institutional (Discounted) Scholarship, Endowed Scholarships, Restricted Scholarships and Non-Endowed/External Scholarships. Bennett College division of Student Affairs offers activity related scholarships for Resident Assistants, Student Government President and Miss Bennett College equating to the cost of room and board annually. Scholarships at Bennett College are donor specific and are awarded to students based on criteria, merit and/or unmet need.

Prospective student recruitment scholarships awarded through Bennett College are determined by the Office of Admission where your SAT/ACT scores are recorded and your grade point average from high school is on file. The Admission Director uses an approved matrix to determine eligibility. You may call 1-800-413-5323 for further information regarding the process. If you are deemed eligible for a scholarship, the Office of Admission will forward your scholarship award to Financial Aid for inclusion in your award letter. If it is determined that you are a recipient, the scholarship award will be included in your financial aid offer letter or in some cases, a revised award offer letter.

Continuing student retention scholarships awarded through Bennett College will become available after final grades have been submitted and clasfications have been confirmed through the Office of the Registrar. Please note that your academic progress and funding availability will determine your eligibility for “Institutional” scholarships. Institutional scholarships are also pro-rated for students who choose to live off-campus. On Campus students receive the full-amount of eligibility. All Institutional awards are considered “discounted” scholarships that are based on funding availability. Institutional discounted scholarships can be adjusted at the discretion of the college. Students are required to complete an agreement form to accept Institutional discounted scholarships. Please check your Bennett e-mail as we will send electronic announcements regarding scholarship opportunities that require an application.

Scholarship Committee

Bennett College has a scholarship committee that consists of faculty and staff persons representing various areas on campus. The Scholarship Committee reviews applicants, student profiles, institutional, endowed, restricted and donor specific programs for awarding throughout the year.

Work Study

Federal Work Study (FWS) consists of student employment opportunities throughout the campus. Work Study at Bennett College is a form of campus-based financial aid where funding availability and FAFSA eligibility determines the recipients. Federal Work Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient's course of study. The FAFSA serves as the application. Student recipients are compensated once each month at a rate of $7.00 per hour, on campus, and $8.00 per hour, off campus.

All Federal Work Study recipients must have a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and notifications are confirmed through the financial aid award offer letter. Further contact will be made from the Work Study Coordinator to complete the necessary forms prior to participating in the program.

Federal Loans

Federal loans allow students and their parents the opportunity to borrow money to help pay for college through programs supported by the federal government. Bennett College currently participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Federal loans offer borrowers benefits that are not typically found in private loans, which includes low, fixed interest rates, income based repayment plans, loan forgiveness, deferment, and forbearance options.

Federal loans are available regardless of income level or credit history. Students and parents should always exhaust federal loan options first before considering a private loan. Completion of the FAFSA is required to apply for federal loans.

There are currently four types of federal loans available to assist students with paying for college. The four types of loans consists of Federal Stafford Subsidized Loans, the Federal Unsubsidized loan, the Federal Perkins loan, and the Federal PLUS loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students). Each student is required to complete a loan entrance counseling session upon accepting a federal loan as a first-time borrower. In addition, prior to separating from the college through withdrawal, transfer, or graduation, the student is required to complete a loan exit counseling session.

Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan

The Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan program is a need-based loan made available to students as a means of financial aid to help cover the cost of attendance. Federal Stafford loan amounts are determined based upon student enrollment and classification. The current interest rate is 6.8% and repayment begins six months after separation or graduation from college and if the student falls below half-time status. The government pays the interest on the subsidized loan while the student is enrolled. A credit check is not required for this loan, however, completion of the FAFSA serves as the application.

Year In School 1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year
Classification Freshwoman Sophomore Junior Senior
Earned Credit Hours 0–2526–57 58–9192 +
Subsidized Loan Amounts $3,500 $4,500 $5,500 $5,500
Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan

The Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan program is a loan made available to students as a means of financial aid to help cover the cost of attendance. Federal Stafford loan amounts are determined based upon student enrollment and classification. The current interest rate is 6.8% and repayment begins six months after separation or graduation from college. The student is responsible for the interest, which may be paid while the student is in school or accrued and then added to the principal balance when the student enters repayment. A credit check is not required for this loan, however completion of the FAFSA serves as the application.

Year In School 1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year
Classification Freshwoman Sophomore Junior Senior
Earned Credit Hours 0–25 26–57 58–91 92 +
Unsubsidized Loan Amounts $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000
Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins loan program is a need-based loan made available to students as a means of financial aid to help cover the cost of attendance. The current interest rate is 5% and repayment begins nine months after separation or graduation from college. At Bennett College, the loan amounts range between $1,000 and $4,000 within a school year. The college is the lender, the FAFSA is required as the application, and the student must demonstrate exceptional need. The amount of Federal Perkins loan award is contingent upon enrollment, annual funding availability, collection efforts, and the colleges default rate.

Federal PLUS Loan

The Federal Plus Loan program is a Parent Loan program for Undergraduate dependent Students. PLUS loans are means of financial aid that allow the parent to borrow money to help the student pay the cost of attending college. PLUS loans require a credit check and in some instances an eligible cosigner. The interest rate is currently 7.9% and repayment begins following the final disbursement for the year. Parents have the option to defer payment on the loan until after the student graduates. Interested parents must initiate the deferment request with Direct Loans. The amount of the PLUS loan cannot exceed the annual cost of attendance. If the parent is denied the parent plus loan due to credit, the student will become eligible to receive an additional unsubsidized loan in her name.

Year In School 1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year
Classification Freshwoman Sophomore Junior Senior
Earned Credit Hours 0–25 26–57 58–91 92 +
Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amounts $4,000 $4,000 $5,000 $5,000

The financial aid office must confirm the parents credit denial from the lender before an additional unsubsidized loan is offered to the student. The additional unsubsidized loan amounts are $4,000 for first- and second-year students and $5,000 for third- and fourth-year students.

Additional unsubsidized loans are available only to dependent students whose parent is denied the parent plus loan due to adverse credit or independent students.