Maintaining Your Aid

Need-based financial aid awards are not automatically renewed each year. To maintain eligibility, students must continue to:

  • File the FAFSA
  • Have a complete file by April 1st
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Make satisfactory progress toward degree requirements
  • Remain in good academic standing

Grade Levels Used to Determine Eligibility

Grade levels are used to determine the amount of money students are eligible to borrow under the Federal Stafford Student Loan program. The chart below demonstrates how grade level is determined at Georgia State University.

 Class  Quarter credits  Grade level
 Freshman year  0–29  1
 Sophomore year  30–59  2
 Junior year  60–89  3
 Senior Year  90 and above  4

Enrollment Requirements

Generally, University-administered aid is awarded to full-time students. Students must register for a minimum of 12 credits per term to be considered full-time as undergraduate and 9 credits for graduate students.

Part-time students (enrolled at least half-time) may be eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan or a Federal PLUS Loan, but they must also maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Withdrawing from Courses

Withdrawing from courses may impact your financial aid awards. Before withdrawing from class, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine the consequences.

Withdrawing from the University

Students who totally withdraw and receive aid may owe the University money if federal funds must be returned. Before withdrawing from the University, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine the consequences.

Federal Verification

Some students are required by the federal government to document certain requirements with the Financial Aid Office. Funds cannot be disbursed until these are satisfied. Initially these will be requested by e-mail, but you can monitor what is needed as well as your status via PAWS.

Return of Title IV Funds

This policy applies to students who complete 60% or less of the enrollment period (i.e., Fall, Spring or Summer session) for which they received Federal Title IV aid. A student who drops a class but still completes one or more classes does not qualify for the Return of Title IV Funds policy. The term “Title IV aid” refers to the following Federal financial aid programs: Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford loans, Federal Perkins loans, Federal PLUS (Parent) loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant).

To conform to the policy, Georgia State University must determine the student’s withdrawal date. The withdrawal date is defined as:

  1. The date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified Georgia State University of their intent to withdraw; or 
  2. The last date of attendance at an academically-related activity by a student who does not notify Georgia State University.

The calculation required determines a student’s earned and unearned Title IV aid based on the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the student. The percentage of the period that the student remained enrolled is derived by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the period. Calendar days (including weekends) are used, but breaks of at least 5 days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator.

Until a student has passed the 60% point of an enrollment period, only a portion of the student’s aid has been earned. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point is considered to have earned all awarded aid for the enrollment period.

Earned aid is not related in any way to institutional charges. In addition, the University’s refund policy and Return of Title IV Funds procedures are independent of one another. A student who withdraws from a course may be required to return unearned aid and still owe the University for the course. For more information on the Georgia State University withdrawal and institutional charges’ policies, please consult the Georgia State University catalog.

The responsibility to repay unearned Title IV aid is shared by Georgia State University and the student. For example, the calculation may require Georgia State University to return a portion of Federal funds to the Federal Title IV programs. In addition, the student may also be required to return funds based on the calculation. A student returns funds to the Federal Stafford loan programs based on the terms and conditions of the promissory note of the loan. A student who receives a Federal Pell Grant may be required to repay 50% of the funds received. The return of Federal aid is in the following order: Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford loans, Federal Perkins loans, Federal PLUS (Parent) loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant).

How to Handle an Overpayment

Students who owe funds to a grant program are required to make payment of those funds within 45 days of being notified that they owe this overpayment. During the 45 day period students will remain eligible for Title IV funds. If no positive action is taken by the student within 45 days of being notified, Georgia State University will notify the U.S. Department of Education of the student’s overpayment situation. The student will no longer be eligible for Title IV funds until they enter into a satisfactory repayment agreement with the U.S. Department of Education.

During the 45-day period, the student can make full payment to Georgia State University of the overpayment. The University will forward the payment to the U.S. Department of Education and the student will remain eligible for Title IV funds. Please make check payable to Georgia State University.

If a student is unable to pay their overpayment in full, they can set up a repayment plan with the U.S. Department of Education. Before doing this please contact the Georgia State University Financial Aid Office. You will need to make sure we have referred your situation to the U.S. Department of Education before any repayment plan can be set up.

For examples of the Return of Title IV Funds calculations or questions regarding the overpayment policy, please contact the Financial Aid Office.