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Assistance FAQ

Financial Aid FAQ

What is financial aid?

Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants, loans and employment opportunities to assist you in financing a post secondary education.

If you apply for financial assistance through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you will receive a PIN number. This is used to reapply for assistance. You must apply for assistance every year during the month of January.

Approximately three weeks after your application is received, you will receive a student aid report (SAR), this is the result of the review of your application. Review this information carefully, do not return it to the processing center unless corrections are required. Check the schools that received your information. Only the schools listed will receive a copy of your SAR.  Please insure that our school code is listed on your applilcation, Southern's school code is 003816.

The school(s) that you listed will contact you if other documents are required.

An award letter from the school containing the cost of attendance and the actual amount you could receive must be received prior to enrollment.

Types of financial aid

Merit-based aid - funds awarded based on academic ability, generally in the form of scholarships or tuition waivers.

Need -based aid - funds awarded as a result of filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determination of a financial need. Aid in the form of grants does not have to be repaid. Self-help aid consists of loans which must be repaid or employment through the Federal College Work Study Program.

Eligibility for need-based aid is determined by the difference between the cost of attendance (student budget) and the family's ability to pay (Expected Family Contribution.)

Sources of Financial Aid

Institutional aid is provided by the institution. You can find out about Southern's scholarships here.

Private aid is provided by community organizations, foundations, and professional associations.

State aid is funded through the state and includes grants and scholarships.Federal Aid is aid administered through the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education is the largest provider of financial aid.

Federal Aid Programs

  • Federal Pell Grant - current maximum of $5350.
  • Federal College Work Study (earned).
  • Federal Supplemental Grant (does not require employment or repayment).
  • Federal Family Educational Loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized.

Currently, eligibility for federal assistance is limited to undergraduates without a first baccalaureate or professional degree. Eligible students may receive Pell Grants for a period of time necessary to complete a first undergraduate baccalaureate degree, provided they are making normal progress toward the completion of that degree program. You must must complete your program of study within 150% of the published length of the educational program. You should be aware that a change in enrollment (adding/dropping courses), may affect your eligibility to receive assistance in future semesters. You must apply for aid every year. However, you do not have to attend school on a full time basis to receive some types of federal/state aid.