Financial Aid FAQ

The FSA ID, implemented on May 10, 2015 as a replacement to the Federal Student Aid PIN, is now being successfully used by millions of students, parents, and borrowers to access personal financial aid information online and to electronically sign and submit certain documents.

Important Reminder:
Only the FSA ID owner should create and use an FSA ID. Just as was the case with the Federal Student Aid PIN, the FSA ID is the legal signature that can be used to electronically sign important federal student aid documents, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and Direct Loan promissory notes. The FSA ID also allows online access to private and confidential information, including data from a student's FAFSA and loan information from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®). For these reasons, maintaining the security of the FSA ID is critical to the integrity of student aid information and systems.

It is important that every FSA ID Owner:

  • Create their own FSA ID by selecting their own username and password;
  • Provide their own challenge questions and responses; and
  • Have access to the e-mail account associated with the FSA ID account. The e-mail address associated with one FSA ID account cannot be used by another FSA ID account.

Do you need help with your FSA ID - resetting ID or Password:

  • Updated information and tips available at StudentAid.gov/fsaid
  • Contact FSA Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Web chat is also available from the FAFSA.gov 'Help' page under 'Contact Us.'

Financial aid consists of the following three types of assistance:

Employment

Generally, students of the USF Morsani College of Medicine are not permitted to work during their enrollment; therefore employment will not be a part of any student's financial aid package.

Scholarships/Grants

This type of financial aid is in very short supply in graduate schools and especially limited in medical schools. It is recommended that all students look for possible scholarships that are provided by outside organizations and/or businesses.

The internet is an excellent place to look. A popular and recommended web page is www.finaid.org. This web page provides information about the Federal programs and has free scholarship search databases that include federal and private organizations who offer scholarships and grants. The scholarships/grants that are available to USF Health Morsani College of Medicine students are institutional funds and most are based on financial need. All of these programs are explained in detail in the Sources of Financial Aid section.

Loans

The majority of the financial aid you will receive will be in the form of loans. Some loans are based on financial need and some are non-need based. Some are federal funds, some are institutional funds and some are outside agency funds. These are explained in the Sources of Financial Aid section.

With few exceptions, financial aid programs through the Morsani College of Medicine Office of Financial Aid are awarded based on financial need. Financial need is the difference between the cost of education and the amount of money you and/or your family are expected to provide for your education. Financial aid is intended to provide for payment of the following costs for the student:

Tuition and Fees
Books and Supplies
Transportation Costs
Rooms (housing)
Board (food)
Personal Expenses

  1. Financial aid guidelines are formulated by the Morsani College of Medicine Student Affairs Committee. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs is responsible for ensuring compliance with these guidelines.

  2. The goal of the Medical School Student Affairs Committee is to prevent attrition from school solely for financial reasons.

  3. The primary responsibility for meeting educational costs rests with the student and/or the student's family. The Morsani College of Medicine aid sources and other sources are viewed as secondary.

  4. Federal funds are awarded by following the federally established procedures for each individual fund. Students who meet the federal criteria of an independent student are evaluated as such for the federal programs that do not require parental financial data.

  5. The final responsibility for the distribution of financial aid rests with the Morsani College of Medicine, following analysis of each student's total economic circumstance.

  6. The committee recognizes that the majority of students wish to be independent of parental financial assistance. However, students cannot be "independent" if they are actually transferring their dependence from their families to the school.

  7. Financial aid from the Morsani College of Medicine is awarded to help meet direct educational expenses and, when possible, a portion of maintenance costs.

  8. The total amount of aid awarded from the Morsani College of Medicine cannot exceed the calculated "Funding Level" for each student. "Funding Level" is defined as the cost of education minus the student's available resources. Funding level and budget are the same as Cost of Attendance (COA).

  9. Students who withdraw, transfer, take a leave of absence exceeding 180 days, or who are dismissed from the Morsani College of Medicine must attend a Financial Aid counseling session at the time of such action.

Pro rated refunds are calculated by weeks of enrollment within a given academic year. If a refund is due a student and the student received Title IV funds, the refund will be paid directly to the Title IV financial aid program(s) from which the student received assistance. Payment will be made in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
  2. Graduate/Professional PLUS
  3. Other Federal, State, private or institutional sources
  4. the student

A student may appeal a decision of the Financial Aid Office to Student Affairs Committee. In the event that an appeal of a financial aid decision cannot be resolved between the student and the Student Affairs Committee, the student may appeal directly to the Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.

Who May Apply

All students enrolled in the USF Morsani College of Medicine are eligible to apply for financial assistance. The analysis of each student's financial strength will determine the best source of aid for each individual and achieve equity in its distribution. For instance, students whose families have limited income and no collateral will receive as much scholarship and low interest loans as we can manage. Students from families with high income and assets generally will not be eligible for scholarships or low interest loans, but will have other sources of loans available to them.

When to Apply

Morsani College of Medicine Funds: The Office of Financial Aid makes final commitments of the Morsani College of Medicine funds in July of each year. Students who submit the FAFSA and MorsaniCollege of Medicine Financial Aid Application by March 1st will receive priority for awards for that academic year. Applications received after the deadline will receive an award from the Morsani College of Medicine only if funds are available.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loans/Private Alternative Loans (ALP):
Our office will accept applications for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized, GradPLUS and ALP loans up to thirty days before the end of the loan period. The Office of Financial Aid will process your application materials whenever you submit them to the office. Keep in mind that it usually takes two weeks for total processing time. The goal of the Office of Financial Aid is to prepare financial aid requests in order to forward them to be funded within one week of receipt. This will vary during peak workload periods during the year.

If you have established credit with anyone (student loans, credit cards, auto loans, etc.) it would be wise to check your credit report in order to ensure the accuracy of credit bureau records. A credit check is currently done for students applying for Alternative and Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan Programs. There is a possibility that credit checks will be required for Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans (USFL) in the future. Reviewing your credit history for accuracy and completeness could save you a great deal of time and energy at a later date.

You are entitled to one free credit report per year and you may request a copy of your credit report by going to http://www.annualcreditreport.com or to the web sites of any of the following credit bureaus:

TRANS Union Corp
Experian
Equifax

The University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine cannot be responsible for funding any student who has a loan application denied due to a negative credit history.

Your monthly loan payments are based on the total amount of the principal outstanding at the time you enter repayment, the length of the repayment term and the actual interest rate. The following table illustrates the repayment terms and estimated monthly payment amounts at various levels of indebtedness for SFSL, UFSL, GradPLUS, and ALP programs. The payment amounts for UFSL, GradPLUS, and ALP loans do not account for any accrued interest.

Online Loan Payment Calculator

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Eligibility for Morsani College of Medicine Students

For purposes of determining student eligibility assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, an institution must establish reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. On October 29, 2010, the Secretary of Education published final rules aimed at improving the integrity of programs authorized under Title IV of the HEA, as amended.

Effective July 1, 2011, institutions must comply with the published regulations that impact satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The USF Morsani College of Medicine (USFMCOM) Financial Aid Office has revised its satisfactory academic progress policy to comply with the new regulations and will implement the new satisfactory academic progress standards beginning with the 2011/2012 academic year.

It is important to note that satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid purposes may differ from the academic progress policies for your respective academic program (MD, DPT, PA).

Policy

The Morsani College of Medicine does not measure academic progress by means of a cumulative grade point average. For a student to maintain financial aid eligibility, they must successfully complete all the required courses, clerkships or electives with a grade not less than "P" or "S" in order to graduate. Therefore, grade performance as a measure of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility must be reviewed in the context of each course for which the student registers. The progress of each student is monitored carefully by the USF MCOM academic performance review committee of each program at the end of each block, clerkship and elective.

The following standards for financial aid eligibility have been established.

  1. A student who has one deficient grade (F, U, or R) at any given time or receives an academic warning from each respective program's review committee will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning Status. The Financial Aid Warning Status and will remain in place for one payment period or until the deficiency is corrected whichever is less. Once a student has been placed in a Financial Aid Warning Status, any further academic deficiency may result in the student being placed on Financial Aid Probation.
  2. A student who has more than one deficient grade (F, U, or R) at any given time or placed on academic probation by each respective program's review committee will be placed in Financial Aid Probation status and financial aid eligibility suspended.
  3. A student who is required to repeat a course will be placed on financial aid probation and financial aid eligibility will be suspended.

A student who has been placed on financial aid probation will remain in a probationary status until deficiencies are removed.

Time limits for financial aid eligibility

A student must complete the program within 150% of the academic program length.

Appeals

A student who has their financial aid eligibility suspended for failure to meet the above satisfactory academic progress requirements has the right to submit a written appeal. Please note, being permitted to continue your studies by the each respective program's review committee does not automatically reinstate your financial aid eligibility.

A student may submit a written appeal within seven (7) calendar days of the determination of SAP. Appeals should be sent to the USF MCOM Financial Aid Office and will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The student will receive notification of the committee's decision within seven (7) calendar days.

Appeals should be submitted to the USF MCOM Financial Aid Office and must include:

  1. A written statement documenting the reasons for failure to meet the standards of academic progress for financial aid eligibility. (Required by the U.S. Department of Education)

  2. A written statement explaining what has changed in the student's situation that would allow the student to bring their academic progress up to satisfactory standards. (Required by the U.S. Department of Education)

  3. A written academic plan that is equal to or exceeds the academic plan provided to the student by each respective program's review committee. The academic plan must ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.

An approved appeal will permit the student to receive financial aid for one payment period. At the end of that payment period the student must be progressing successfully to attain satisfactory academic progress or they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not receive financial aid.

  1. Application materials for entering students are processed only after admission is final. Our priority deadline is January 1st of each year.

  2. Read and follow all instructions. Incomplete or incorrect information will delay the application process and could cause the applicant to be ineligible for financial aid for which he/she may have otherwise been eligible.

  3. You must reapply for financial aid each year.

  4. All correspondence must include your name and University ID number (aka U number) on each page of every document.

  5. Federal Direct (Unsubsidized), Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS, and ALP financial aid funds will be released to you by way of direct deposit or the mailing of a paper check. Always be sure that your contact/banking information is current in your financial aid OASIS.

If, after discussing with your family their ability to help with your school costs, you determined you will need to apply for a high interest loan (i.e. ALP), we suggest you request disbursements dates for these checks as late during the term as possible. The longer you delay receiving these funds, the longer you delay the beginning of interest accrual.

Acronyms

SFL - Subsidized Federal Direct Loan

USFL - Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

Grad PLUS - Graduate Professional Plus Loan

ALP - Private Alternative Loan Program

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

EFC - Expected Family Contribution

COA - Cost of Attendance

DOEd - Department of Education

SAR - Student Aid Report

MPN - Master Promissory Note

PCL - Primary Care Loan* MD only

SMA - Standard Maintenance Allowance

NHSC - National Health Service Corps

Glossary of Financial Terms

Academic Period - The period of time necessary to complete one academic level.

Accrued Interest - Interest that is accumulated for payment in installments later (usually when the principal is due).

Balloon Note - Monthly or quarterly loan payments do not fully cover this type of loan. A larger lump sum is due at the end of the loan period. This type of loan is not available in all states.

Balloon Payment - The last payment is much larger than the preceding payments on a loan.

Borrower - An individual who has obtained something (in your case, money) on the promise to return it.

Cancellation - Some student loans may be canceled if the borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled.

Capitalization - The addition of unpaid accrued interest to the principal balance of a loan. Capitalization of interest results in a higher principal balance and additional finance charges over the course of repayment and may cause your monthly payment amount to increase.

Commercial Bank - An institution that has a primary function of making loans to individuals and businesses.

Compound Interest - Interest calculated on interest accumulated as well as on the principal amount of the loan.

Credit bureau - An agency that complies and distributes credit and personal information to creditors. You have the right to examine your credit file, and to explain or correct information.

Debt - Something owed; an obligation or liability to pay or render something to someone else.

Debtor - One who owes something to another.

Default - Failure to make loan payments at stipulated times; defaults are recorded on your permanent record and can result in prosecution.

Deferment - A specified and limited time period during which payments on your loan do not have to be made; deferments may be extended for unemployment, studying in an approved graduate fellowship or rehabilitation programs for the disabled and economic hardship.

Deferred Interest - Interest payments that are delayed while a borrower is not gainfully employed; when the borrower again becomes a wage earner, the interest payments are resumed.

Demand Note - A written, signed promise to pay (I.O.U.) where interest payments are due on a schedule basis and the principal is due in a lump sum at a specified date.

Endorser - A person who signs a promise to pay (Promissory Note) as guarantor for the repayment in the case you become delinquent or in default.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - The amount of financial support a student and/or the student's family is expected to contribute to the educational and living costs of the student. The EFC is calculated by completion of the FAFSA and is required to determine eligibility for all financial aid programs.

Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA) - The federal document used to collect family financial data for the purpose of conducting needs analysis to calculate an expected family contribution (EFC).

Fixed Interest - A rate of interest that does not change during the life of the loan; it is determined when the loan is negotiated.

Forbearance - A period of time when principal payments are not due. When you are willing but unable to make such payments.

Grace Period - A length of time sometimes allowed, i.e. after graduation, for postponed payment of loans; the borrower incurs no penalty or loss during this period.

Installment Note - A loan that is to be repaid in equal installments (usually due monthly or quarterly) over a set period of time (one to ten years is most common).

Interest - The price paid for the use of borrowed money.

Lender - One who provides money temporarily on the condition that the amount borrowed will be returned, together with an interest fee.

Liability - Something for which one is liable; an obligation of debt.

Line of Credit - Similar to a "charge account" at the bank. Your credit limit is set and as your expenses come due, you draw on your line of credit to pay them. All charges are consolidated into one loan and a repayment method is determined.

Loan Consolidation - The Re-authorization Bill created a loan consolidation program effective 10/17/86. This bill allows borrowers to consolidate Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized) FSLS, Grad PLUS, NDSL, HPSL and HEAL loans into one debt at a weighted average interest rate of the loans consolidated and may extend repayment time to a maximum of 30 years.

Loan Disclosure Statement - A document that lists details of the repayment agreement, where, when, and what size installments will be owed, interest terms, types of credit insurance, and other items relevant to the loan.

Loan Servicing - Most lending institutions contract with loan servicing organizations to take responsibility for tracking and collecting your loans.

Maturity Date - The date a Promissory Note becomes due.

Needs Analysis - The process of analyzing the student and family's financial data to determine an expected family contribution. The formula for needs analysis calculations are established by the Federal Government.

Primary Rate - The interest rate that the banks charge their customers. Loans whose interest rates are tied to the prime rate cost more because the interest fluctuates. Prime is usually determined by a large banking institution; other banks follow suit.

Principal - The "face value" of a loan; the amount upon which interest is charged.

Promissory Note - A contract between the lender and the borrower that includes all the terms of the loan and is signed by both parties when the loan is made.

SAR - Student Aid Report - the output document resulting from completion of the FAFSA. The SAR indicates the student's EFC and is sent to the student for verification. It must be maintained by the borrower in the event the school requests a copy.

Simple Interest - Interest calculated only on the original principal.

Variable Interest - Rates of interest that are tied to a certain index and change as the index changes.

Verification - The process of requiring a student to verify financial data submitted on a FAFSA. Students selected for verification must complete a verification worksheet, attaching required documents and return it to the MCOM Financial Aid Office before financial aid checks can be disbursed.

Estimated Monthly Payments Based on 10-year Repayment Period