Nicholls State University

FINANCIAL AID

GRANTS

Grants are free money to help pay for school. Almost all of our grants (listed below) are awarded to students with financial need. To determine your eligibility for a grant, you must complete the FAFSA.

The Federal Pell Grant is a federal grant awarded to undergraduate students with no prior bachelor’s or professional degree. The student must meet satisfactory academic progress standards and all eligibility requirements for admittance to the University. Eligibility for the Pell Grant is determined by the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Cost of Attendance (COA). The amount of money awarded is prorated based on the number of hours enrolled. The EFC is determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Pell Grant is gift aid that does not have to be repaid.

The SEOG is a federal grant available to undergraduate students with exceptional need. Students with the lowest Expected Family Contribution, who are also receiving a Federal Pell Grant, may be eligible to receive this grant. Not all recipients of the Federal Pell Grant will receive the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant due to the availability of funds. The SEOG is gift aid that does not have to be repaid.

The Louisiana Go Grant is a need-based state grant for students aimed at bridging the gap between the amount of financial aid a student is awarded through the Federal Pell Grant program and the actual cost of attending a Louisiana college or university. A student must meet specific program requirements to be eligible to receive this grant.

To be eligible for the Go Grant, a student must:

  • Be a Louisiana Resident
  • Receive a Federal Pell Grant
  • Have remaining need after deducting the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and all federal, state, institutional grant or scholarship aid from the student’s cost of attendance
  • Be enrolled at least half-time

Selection Criteria:

Beginning with the 2013-2014 Award Year, priority consideration will be given to students who meet the eligibility requirements established by the Louisiana Office of Financial Assistance (LOSFA) and have completed the FAFSA and any requirements necessary for packaging on a first-come first-serve basis.

If the number of eligible students exceeds the program appropriations, then students who completed the financial aid process earliest are given priority consideration.

In the event of a funding surplus due to a decrease or cancellation of awards, funds may be reallocated to eligible students who demonstrate substantial financial need.

Award Amounts:

The University is concerned about students with financial hardships being able to pay for tuition and fees. For this reason, the University has established a Go Grant award structure to best fit our student population and allocation of funding. As such, the institutionally set annual maximum award may not exceed $2,000. The minimum award amount that a student may receive is $300.

Award Calculations:

Operating under the proposed guidelines provided by LOSFA, the Office of Financial Aid has established a packaging procedure to ensure equitable distribution of funding among our student populations in a manner to reduce the most students’ overall unmet need.  Specifically, our office will attempt to reach students with the most financial need and award the Lousiana Go Grant to bring their maximum financial need met with gift aid to sixty percent.

All gift aid, inclusive of the Go Grant, may not exceed sixty percent of a student’s need, as calculated by using a students cost of attendance and subtracting the expected family contribution.

Packaging Policy:

Student awards are calculated as explained in the “Award Calculations” section and the award amount is based on a full-time student attending the fall and spring semesters.

For students who do not or will not be attending both fall and spring semesters of the academic year, the annual award amount shall be reduced by fifty percent.

For students with less than full-time enrollment during the fall or spring semesters of the academic year, the awards will be prorated according to their enrollment status.

We have developed a mechanism for ensuring consideration of awards for reentry and transfer students on the same basis as continuing students. Specifically, our office reviews the master payment roster provided by the state to identify students who may have received the award in the past.

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year in grants for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Students may receive up to $16,000 for undergraduate study and up to $8,000 for graduate study. Part-time students are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced.

IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLETE THE FOUR-YEAR TEACHING OBLIGATION YOU WILL HAVE TO REPAY THE GRANT AS A FEDERAL DIRECT UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN WITH INTEREST ACCRUING FROM THE DATE OF INITIAL DISBURSEMENT!

Student Eligibility Requirements
To receive a TEACH Grant you must:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need;
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for Federal Title IV Aid;
  • Enroll in a TEACH Grant program at Nicholls. The grant is to help pay for a program of study leading to a first baccalaureate degree or a master’s degree in one of the following majors: English Education – Primary Certification (EPED), French Education Certification (FRED), Birth – 5 Early Interventionist/Special Education (BFED), Elementary Education 1-5 Certification (15ED), General Science Education Primary Certification (GSPE), Math Education Primary Certification (MPED), Master of Education-Curriculum and Instruction Elementary Education (MCEE), Master of Education-Curriculum and Instruction Secondary Education (MCSE), Master of Education-Curriculum and Instruction High Incidence Disabilities (MCLD), Master of Education-Curriculum and Instruction Reading Education (MCRE), or Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Eligible programs are those that prepare a student to teach in a high-need area. The high need subject areas are: Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition; Foreign Language; Mathematics; Reading Specialist; Science; Special Education; and other teacher shortage areas listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.doc;
  • Meet one of the following academic achievement requirements:
    • Score above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test (e.g. SAT or ACT) or
    • Graduate from high school with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) to receive a grant as a freshman, or
    • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) on your college coursework to receive a grant for each subsequent term;
  • Complete TEACH Grant counseling online at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/launchTeach.action;
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and respond to requests by the U.S. Department of Education confirming your continuing intention to meet the teaching obligation. The Agreement to Serve can be completed at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/launchTeach.action.

Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) electronically on the Department of Education’s web site. The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.

Teaching Obligation
To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant with interest you must be a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low-income students. You must complete the four years of teaching within eight years of finishing the program for which you received the grant. You incur a four-year teaching obligation for each educational program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, although you may work off multiple four-year obligations simultaneously under certain circumstances. Specific definitions of these terms are included below.

Highly-Qualified Teacher
You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law. The definition of a highly-qualified teacher can be found at http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg107.html.

Full-Time Teacher
You must meet the state’s definition of a full time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary teachers who teach many subjects are responsible for ensuring they are meeting all requirements set forth in their service agreement.

Schools Serving Low-Income Students 
Elementary and secondary schools (public and private) and educational service agencies serving low-income students are listed in the annual Teacher Cancellation Low-Income Directory.

Documentation
You must respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation from the U.S. Department of Education, even if they seem repetitive. These requests will be sent to you while you are still in school as well as once you are out of school. You will be asked regularly to confirm that you either still intend to teach or that you are teaching as required. You must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education at the end of each year of teaching.

If you temporarily cease enrollment in your program of study or if you encounter situations that affect your ability to begin or continue teaching, you will need to stay in touch with the U.S. Department of Education to avoid your grants being converted to loans before you are able to complete your teaching obligation.

IMPORTANT REMINDER
Failure to complete the teaching obligation, respond to requests for information, or properly document your teaching service will cause the TEACH Grant to be permanently converted to a loan with interest. Once a grant is converted to a loan it can’t be converted back to a grant!

STAFFORD LOANS

There are two types of Federal Stafford Loans – subsidized and unsubsidized.

The Subsidized Stafford Loan is awarded to undergraduate students on the basis of financial need determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The federal government pays the interest on this loan while you are enrolled in school. Repayment of this loan will begin six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment (6 hours). This loan must be repaid. Graduate and professional students may NOT receive subsidized stafford loans.

First-time borrowers may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of his or her program. This is called the “maximum eligibility period” and is based on the published length of a student’s current program. For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years). For additional information regarding this regulation, please contact our office or visit www.studentaid.ed.gov.

The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students. It is not based on need. The federal government does not pay the interest while you are in school. Interest will be charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is repaid in full. If you decide to capitalize or defer the interest, it will be added to the principle amount of your loan and this will increase the amount you have to repay. If you choose the option of paying the interest as it accumulates, then you will pay less in the long run. Repayment of the interest and principle will begin six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment (6 hours). This loan must be repaid.

PARENT PLUS LOANS

The Parent PLUS Loan is a loan for parents to help pay the cost of education for dependent undergraduate students. Parents may borrow up to the full cost of attendance less any other financial assistance the student receives. Parents must be able to pass a credit check or obtain a ‘co-signer’ who is able to pass the credit check. Both the parent and student must meet general eligibility requirements for federal financial assistance.