Financial Aid Guide
Financial aid is any grant or scholarship, loan, work study, or combination of the three offered to students to make college expenses affordable. While grants, scholarships, and work study positions do not require students to make repayments, students must repay loans. Financial aid varies by school and is awarded to students based on the cost of attendance, family contribution, and financial need. For more information on financial aid, use this guide.
A note to undocumented students:
For low-income survivors, it’s very important to understand how financial aid packages work and in order to make financially sound decisions after an assault. Due to the variation of financial aid packages and rules by each school, it is important for survivors to speak with a financial aid advisor before making any decisions about withdrawing from school, transitioning to part time status, or making any additional changes to your student status. Also, speak with a financial aid advisor if your experiences with sexual assault jeopardize your academics and prevent you from keeping your grants and scholarships. Sexual violence and its financial impact should not hinder a person’s access to education, jeopardize financial aid, or cause someone to drop out.
Some questions to ask financial aid advisors:
Are you a responsible employee, meaning are you a mandatory reporter required to report any sexual assault cases made to you?
It is important to know if a faculty or staff member of your school is a responsible employee because they are required to report any instance of sexual violence to the school. This could include a survivor disclosing their experiences informally to a financial aid advisor if they are a responsible employee of the school.
How would my financial package be altered if I took a semester off? Transitioned to a part time student status?
Survivors should not have to bear any additional financial costs for changing their student status after an assault. It is important to ask a financial aid advisor this question to ensure that no additional fees will be charged, or if tuition could be returned.
How does GPA affect my financial aid package, if at all?
Many survivors suffer a drop in their GPA due to the aftermath of sexual violence, however this should not result in a survivor’s financial aid package being taken from them. A school that limits a person’s financial aid package because of their GPA after an assault is in violation of Title IX.
How can Title IX help me adjust my academics and/or financial aid to best accommodate my educational needs?
It is important to note that a school must remain in compliance with Title IX when making accommodations for students. Under no circumstances should survivors be asked to come out of pocket for educational support after an assault. Some accommodations for survivors a school should offer includes:
Dropping classes without negative impact on transcripts (ie. receiving a W or withdrawal)
Allowing survivors to take incompletes for classes
Providing additional tutoring for classes a survivor may have fell behind in
Granting survivors more time to complete tests, quizzes, and homework assignments for class