Frequently Asked Questions
While the process of applying for financial aid and paying for college may be daunting, we're here to help. We've compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below, but don't hesitate to contact us. Please email questions and we will reply as soon as possible. Please note that students must have a completed FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) release for us to disclose information to anyone other than the student.
When emailing the Financial Aid office, DO NOT include any sensitive data such as social security numbers, date of birth, etc. If you are a current student or an applicant, please include your university ID number in your email.
Financial aid helps students and families/supporters pay for college. It may consist of grants, scholarships, work study and even loans. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
FAFSA Simplification for 2024-2025 Academic Year
Due to the passing of the Free Applicaiton for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act on December 27, 2020, as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FAFSA is changing for the 2024-2025 aid year.
You can expect the following changes:
- The 2024-2025 FAFSA will not be available until December 2023.
- The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for summer 2024, fall 2024 and spring 2025 terms.
- The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
- New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available.
FAFSA for 2023-2024 Academic Year
The 2023-2024 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) opens October 1, 2022, and we recommend completing it as soon as possible. If you are a PA State resident, the deadline for the Pennsylvania State Grant is May 1, 2023.
Please use your first-choice campus Federal Title IV Code on the FAFSA:
Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg: 003315
Commonwealth University - Lock Haven: 003323
Commonwealth University - Mansfield: 003324
YES! Eligibility for federal student aid does not carry over from one award year to the next. You will need to complete the FAFSA for each award year for which you plan to be a student, including summer. Keep in mind that financial circumstances change from year to year and we get that. If something substantial changes please contact us at 570-389-4297 or via email.
If at any time during the year your family has a major change in their/your financial or family circumstances, be sure to contact us! We can’t always increase your aid but we’re happy to consider new information if things have significantly changed.
This process is mandated by the U.S. Department of Education to confirm the accuracy of the information reported on the FAFSA. It does not mean that you did anything wrong but is simply a data check that our office must conduct. We will send emails to your university email address if information is required from you. Generally, you'll be required to upload supporting documentation to our secure portal such as federal taxes, household size, number of students from your family in college, etc. Financial aid cannot be paid until the verification requirements have been completed. If you don't submit the items requested, it will result in failure of funds being released.
Students are always awarded with their maximum eligibility based on their qualification from the FAFSA. However, based on federal loan limits, you may not have enough funds to cover all of your educational costs. If you need additional funding beyond the aid you were awarded, you may consider a tuition payment plan, Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan, state loan, or a private educational alternative loan. We do not recommend who to use for private loan borrowing.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS is a federal loan available to parents to borrow for their dependent, undergraduate student to help pay for educational expenses. It is based on a credit check with the interest rate predetermined by the federal government. It is important to note; the parent is the borrower of the loan and is responsible for repayment of the loan. Learn More
You are not required to pay towards the principal of your federal student loans while you are in school as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. There are no prepayment penalties for paying your federal student loans. Interest will accrue on any non-subsidized loans while enrolled. You can always make interest-only payments or pay on any portion of your loans while attending school if you choose.
If you have private or state loans, check with your loan servicer as to repayment obligations.
The COA is basically your budget. It is the total average amount it will cost you to attend in an academic year and includes things like tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, course materials, supplies and equipment, transportation and personal expenses. The COA does not equal your actual tuition bill and varies from student to student.
In order to continue receiving federal student aid, you need to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Essentially, you need to maintain a certain grade point average and complete enough classes in order to successfully complete your degree/certificate in the required time frame established by the university. Federal student aid includes: grants, loans, and work-study.
Financial aid will be disbursed once the drop/add period has ended for the semester.
If your financial aid exceeds your university charges you may.
If your financial aid exceeds your university charges you may. Please remember that refunds of excess financial aid do not occur until after the semester has started. If your rent is due before this, you will need to work with your landlord.