Visit the Office of Financial Aid online.
The Office of Financial Aid at Valparaiso University is committed to providing resources necessary to help students complete their education. As such, we place primary emphasis on the student’s academic achievement and financial need. Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment, which may be offered to a student singly or in various combinations. The family of a student is expected to make a maximum effort to assist with college expenses. For more information about financial aid programs, contact the Office of Financial Aid.
Method of Application
The following procedure should be followed by any student entering the University for the first time who wishes to apply for financial aid:
- File an Application for Admission with the Office of Admission. No student will be considered for assistance until they are admitted to the University.
- Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA requires no fee and can be completed online at studentaid.gov. All students should file the FAFSA before March 1 for priority consideration. (For Indiana residents, the FAFSA must be received by the federal processor by April 15 to be eligible for Indiana awards.) The filing of the FAFSA may be completed after October 1.
All need-based financial assistance requires the annual filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students should file by March 1 for priority consideration. Renewal depends on continued need, the availability of funds, and eligibility as described below, including meeting the requirements for satisfactory academic progress. The policy can be found in the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy section.
Financial Aid Programs
Financial aid awards may include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and/or self-help (loans and employment).
Financial Aid Eligibility
To be eligible for most federal, state, and Valparaiso University assistance, undergraduate students must be enrolled full-time (some federal and state assistance is available to part-time students) in a degree program with at least twelve credits per semester; maintain satisfactory academic progress; demonstrate financial need as determined by filing the FAFSA; be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen; not be in default on a federal loan or owe a refund or repayment on any federal or state program.
Graduate students also must meet the above requirements. However, they must be enrolled in a degree program with at least four and one half credits per semester.
Initial financial aid awards are based on the assumption that the recipient will be enrolled as a full-time student. Students who enroll for less than full time or who withdraw during a semester could have their financial aid award reduced or canceled. Enrollment status is determined at the beginning of each semester. For federal aid, enrollment status is determined when the aid is disbursed.
Scholarships and Special Awards
Valparaiso University makes available to new students a variety of scholarships and awards based on academic and other qualifications. Eligibility for all scholarships and awards is determined by the University Scholarship Committee whose decision is final. Scholarships and awards are offered in good faith by the University with the intent they will be renewed under the conditions specified. Specific renewal requirements for scholarships and awards are stated in the scholarship letter sent to each recipient upon admission. Annual scholarships awarded for four years are to be evenly divided each year between fall and spring semesters. If a student recipient graduates after only seven semesters of enrollment, the eighth semester of the scholarship is no longer available. Some exceptions are possible for students who enroll in summer terms with the express purpose of graduating early. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid as soon as they begin to consider graduating in less than four years to review how their financial aid awards will be affected. If an award is not renewed because the cumulative grade point average falls below the standard, the award may be restored if the student’s cumulative grade point average meets the standard at a later time. The student should contact the Office of Financial Aid to request restoration of the award.
The University does reserve the right to alter any scholarship or award should circumstances dictate. Some scholarships and awards may not be offered in combination with each other. Please refer to our website at valpo.edu/student-financial-services/planning for a list of scholarships and for more information.
Need-Based Aid Grant Programs
Valpo Fund Alumni Awards are institutional awards that are not repaid. All students who file the FAFSA will be considered. These awards are funded, in large part, by the endowed and donated scholarships listed on Scholarships .
Federal Pell Grants are available to all students who have demonstrated financial need according to a federal formula. The FAFSA is required. Award amounts vary based on federal guidelines; may be enrolled full-time or part-time.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are federal grants, awarded to Valparaiso University students with the greatest financial need with first preference to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Although by regulation the awards can range from $200 to $4,000, the actual awards determined by Valparaiso University are dependent upon the amount of funding provided by the federal government and the number of Pell Grant recipients. Recipients may be enrolled either full-time or part-time.
State Grants (Freedom of Choice Award and 21st Century Award) are for eligible Indiana residents and may be used at Valparaiso University. Non-Indiana residents should contact their state agencies for information and application procedures for any state grants for which they may be eligible. The FAFSA must be received by the federal processor by April 15 to be eligible for Indiana Awards. Awards are based on need, and are determined annually by state formula. Students must be enrolled full-time for the standard grant programs.
Need-based student loans feature subsidized interest and deferred payments. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. Repayment of these loans does not begin until six months after graduation or after dropping below half-time status. Payments may be deferred for attending graduate school or for a variety of special circumstances. Repayments usually extend over a period of ten years although extended terms and income-based plans are also offered. There is no penalty in student loan programs for prepaying interest and principal. Many Valparaiso University students receive loans as part of their financial aid packages.
In addition to the loans listed below, there are other private lenders who specialize in educational loans that are not based upon financial need.
The following federal need-based educational loans are available through Valparaiso University. To be eligible, you must complete and submit the FAFSA. Valparaiso University notifies the student of eligibility via an Award Notification.
Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans
Undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time who demonstrate financial need. Monies come from the federal government. The federal government pays interest while the borrower is in school. Repayment begins six (6) months after the borrower is no longer enrolled in college at least half-time. Students should complete and submit the FAFSA to apply, and all first-time borrowers must complete entrance counseling, sign a promissory note, and complete an Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement online at studentaid.gov.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
These loans are available to students who are enrolled at least half-time and who are not eligible for or were partially eligible for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan. Terms and limits are the same as Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, except the student is charged interest on the loan from the date funds are disbursed.
Federal Direct Loan Limits
- Freshmen = $5,500 ($3,500 max in a subsidized loan)
- Sophomore = $6,500 ($4,500 max in a subsidized loan)
- Junior = $7,500 ($5,500 max in a subsidized loan)
- Senior = $7,500 ($5,500 max in a subsidized loan)
For independent undergraduates, the loan limits are higher than the Federal Direct Loan maximums. Freshmen/sophomore independent students may receive up to $6,000 in additional unsubsidized loans and juniors/seniors up to $7,000 more per academic year.
Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
These loans are for parents of dependent students enrolled in at least six semester hours. Monies come from the federal government. This loan is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required.
The loan limits are up to the cost of education, less other aid, per student. Repayment of the principal and interest may begin 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or the parent may request deferred repayment.
The filing of the FAFSA is required. Parents may apply for the Parent PLUS at studentaid.gov.
Available from a variety of private lenders. Principal and interest may be deferred while in school, and a co-signer is usually required.
Valparaiso University Loans
Limited, low interest loans are administered by Valparaiso University. The amounts vary. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for details.
- The Garland Loan Fund
Loans for students majoring in the sciences or mathematics. These will be non-interest bearing loans.
- Garman Loan Fund
A loan fund has been established by Benjamin L. Garman to help students who cannot qualify for a scholarship but who must have financial assistance or those with scholarships who need more help.
- Nellie Winifred Cheney Overton Memorial Loan Fund
This fund was established by Mr. William J. Overton as a memorial to Mrs. Overton. The income from the fund is available for loans to students from Lake County, Indiana.
- Schell Loan
This loan is funded by the Schell Foundation and is available to undergraduate students from select states.
- Henry Strong Educational Foundation
Provides loans to qualified full-time upper class students under thirty years of age.
Loan Repayment Terms
Each of the loan programs contains specific repayment terms and conditions which are a part of the promissory note the student signs upon receipt of the loan fund. Students are responsible for being aware of the various loan provisions and thus should review the terms of the repayment obligation prior to accepting funds under these loan programs.
Loan Repayment Information
Sensible borrowing cannot only help pay for college but also help establish a good credit history. Similarly, not making regular payments can result in a poor credit rating or even default status on student loans.
To estimate future repayment obligations, go to studentaid.gov and use their repayment calculators. For example, monthly payment on $20,000 in Direct Loans at 6.8% interest will be $230.16 per month for ten years.
Federal Direct Loan borrowers will be notified by their loan servicer about repayment of loans. There are a variety of repayment options and options for deferring repayment.
Alternative Sources of Aid
The following sources are not based on financial need. Non-need based loans are limited to the cost of education less other financial aid, or the annual loan limits, whichever is less.
Under the provision of Public Law 565, the federal government and the State of Indiana jointly provide funds for scholarship grants-in-aid to students who have a physical or mental impairment which constitutes a vocational handicap. The State Vocational Rehabilitation Division is responsible for the determination of the grants.
In addition to working with the Veterans’ Administration (VA), military veterans should consult with the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible when preparing to enroll at Valparaiso University. The University does participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program under the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, otherwise known as Chapter 33. The University awards the Patriot Award which in conjunction with the base Chapter 33 benefit and the additional Yellow Ribbon benefit will cover 100% of tuition and general fee for undergraduate students. Graduate students should refer to their schools’ respective policies. The University does limit the number of Yellow Ribbon recipients it funds and priority goes to returning students already in the program and then on a first come, first-served basis for new students. Veterans are asked to meet with Office of Financial Aid staff to discuss their options before enrolling.
Students who participate in the Air Force or Army ROTC programs may receive scholarship assistance through ROTC. Army or Air Force ROTC students who receive full tuition scholarships along with ROTC living and book stipends will also be guaranteed additional scholarships/grants from the University such that the total of all aid will equal at least the tuition, general fees, on campus room and meal plans appropriate for the students’ academic grade levels, and books. Air Force ROTC students who receive partial tuition scholarships through ROTC will also receive University scholarship/grants at least in the amount of on campus room and meal plans appropriate for the students’ academic grade levels. A student must live in University-owned or controlled housing and be enrolled in a full-time meal plan in order to receive the additional University funding. If University scholarships/grants are part of the ROTC student’s award, then total resources including ROTC scholarships and stipends may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. ROTC students may elect to decline University scholarship/grant aid in order to utilize federal student loan assistance which allows the students to receive aid in excess of the cost of attendance. ROTC students are asked to meet with the Office of Financial Aid staff to discuss their options before enrolling.
Valparaiso University Lilly Community Award
Indiana students selected by their local Lilly Community Foundation to receive its full tuition and fees scholarship will also be guaranteed University scholarship/grant aid such that the total of all aid will cover tuition, general fee, on-campus room and meal plan appropriate to the student’s grade level, and books. A student must live in University-owned or controlled housing and be enrolled in a full-time meal plan in order to receive the additional University funding.
Students are employed in a variety of positions on campus. Open positions are posted on Valparaiso University’s “Handshake” web site at valpo.joinhandshake.com/login. Students should contact the individual departments with job openings to apply for positions. Students with demonstrated financial need may work under the Federal Work Study Program (FWS). FWS students may also apply for off-campus jobs in the Community Service component of the program. Students may work on campus under the Valparaiso University Work Study Program regardless of financial need.
Payment of Financial Aid
Most aid is divided and credited to student accounts in equal amounts for each semester. Most aid is ready to disburse at the beginning of each semester, although the actual date that funds are disbursed varies and no aid can be disbursed until all requested documentation has been submitted to and reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid. Aid is credited regularly throughout the semester. Students must be enrolled for the sufficient number of credits (according to the requirements of each program) in a semester to receive financial aid.
Students whose financial aid exceeds the University charges for the semester, may request a refund from the Office of Student Accounts. It is each student’s responsibility to verify semester charges, financial aid credits, and refunds for accuracy.
Students receive work-study awards as a direct deposit to their financial institution every two weeks for hours worked in the previous pay period, not as a credit on their student account.
Financial aid for students who withdraw from Valparaiso University will be adjusted based on the University’s refund policy. Specific information may be found in the Refund Policy section of this catalog (beginning on page 402).
Students enrolled in an off-campus program, including study abroad programs, which are approved for credit by Valparaiso University, are eligible to apply for financial aid. University grants and scholarships are available only for selected Valparaiso University programs.
Prior to graduation, leaves of absence, or withdrawal from the University, students who have accepted loans must complete separate exit interviews for Federal Direct Loans.
A review of any decision concerning a financial aid package may be requested. First, contact the Office of Financial Aid. If the outcome of the initial review is unsatisfactory, then an appeal may be presented to the vice president for Enrollment Management. The decision of the vice president is final.
Financial Aid Refund Policy
If a student is due a refund under the Valparaiso University refund policy, and the student has received any financial aid other than Federal Work-Study, part of the refund must be returned to the sponsoring aid programs. The amount of refund is determined in accordance with the University refund policy listed in the catalog (see page 402). Policies for returning a portion of that refund to sponsoring aid programs are as follows.
Valparaiso University Awards and Scholarships
If a refund balance remains after funds have been returned to the federal programs, a prorated percentage of Valparaiso University funds will be refunded.
Privately Funded Grants and Scholarships
Some students will be recipients of funds from private donors such as churches, civic groups, foundations, etc. Many of these organizations will provide specific instructions concerning disbursement of their funds to students who withdraw. In the absence of specific instructions, the full scholarship will be applied to one semester. Funds on deposit with the University that the donor designated for future terms of enrollment within the academic year will be returned to the donor.
Title IV Programs (Federal)
Federal law determines the total amount of refund due, if any, when a student withdraws and how much of that refund must be returned to the federal programs. See page 402.
State Grants and Scholarships
Refunding proration is done according to specific regulations of the sponsoring state.
Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Financial Aid recipients must maintain minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for receipt of federal, state, and most Valparaiso University aid programs. All students receiving financial assistance must maintain an active status in a degree program. Regulations require a maximum time frame for degree completion, a quantitative measurement (credits earned toward a degree), and a qualitative measurement (cumulative grade point average). These three criteria are checked at the end of each academic year in May to determine whether students are maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Graduate students should refer to the GRADUATE CATALOG for specific policy requirements.
Time Frame Measurement
Students may attempt up to 150 percent of the hours required for a bachelor’s degree. The 150 percent cap is the maximum limit according to federal regulations. The actual credit hour limit may vary depending on the requirements of each degree program. Most programs require 124 hours: for those programs the maximum attempted hours allowed is 186. Other programs, including music, engineering, nursing, and business degrees require more than 124 hours; therefore the maximum number of attempted hours allowed would be greater.
All attempted hours at Valparaiso University, including regular semesters and summer sessions, as well as any credits transferred from other schools, will apply toward the 150 percent.
To comply with the 150 percent time frame requirement, students must complete at least two thirds (2/3) of all Valparaiso University hours attempted with a passing grade. At the end of each academic year, each student’s Valparaiso University total hours completed will be compared to the Valparaiso University total hours attempted to determine whether they are meeting this requirement.
Minimum cumulative grade point average standards are as follows:
|Freshmen (less than 24 hours completed)
|Sophomores (24 to 55 hours completed)
|Junior and above (56 or more hours completed)
Incompletes, Withdrawals, Repeated Courses, and Non-Credit Remedial Courses
Incompletes and withdrawals will count as hours attempted but not completed. If incompletes are later completed, they will be reflected when progress is again checked, or sooner if the student appeals. Repeated courses will add to total hours attempted and hours completed. The new grade will be included in the grade point average calculation, which will be considered when progress is again checked, or sooner if the student appeals. Valparaiso University does not offer noncredit remedial courses.
Appeals and Reinstatement
Students whose academic progress is not in compliance with these standards will be notified in writing after the spring semester that their eligibility for aid has been terminated. They will also be advised of the appeal and reinstatement policy at that time.
Students may appeal termination of their financial aid eligibility based on extenuating circumstances, which may include illness, death in the family, other circumstances beyond the student’s control, or special academic circumstances. If the appeal is approved, the student will normally have one semester to attain grade point average and completed credit hour standards specified by the appeals committee. Students who do not appeal, or whose appeal is denied, will not regain financial aid eligibility until the semester after they have attained the appropriate grade point average and completed credit hour standards. The student should contact the Office of Financial Aid to initiate reinstatement.
Appeals should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid Appeals Committee.
Summer school credits may be considered in evaluating attainment of the academic progress standards on an appeal basis.
Certain aid programs have shorter timeframe limits, and different grade point average requirements. Recipients of Valparaiso University Scholarships and other merit awards should refer to their scholarship award letter for the terms and conditions for renewal. In addition, federal loan programs have cumulative limits that may be reached before the maximum time-frame limits are reached.
Student Financial Aid Responsibilities
Students have the following responsibilities regarding financial aid assistance:
- To pay special attention to their application for financial aid, complete it accurately, and submit it on time to the proper place.
- To know and meet all deadline dates for applying or reapplying for aid.
- To provide all documentation, corrections, and new information requested by the Office of Financial Aid or the agency to which the application is submitted.
- To notify the institution of any information that has changed since first applying for financial aid.
- To read, understand, and keep copies of all forms that they are asked to sign.
- To repay student loans on a timely basis and keep the University informed of current address.
- To attend any necessary interview sessions related to the loan.
- To be aware of all published financial aid policies, understand them, and comply with these policies.
Student Financial Aid Rights
- To know what financial assistance is available, including information on all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
- To know the procedures and deadlines for submitting applications for each available financial aid program.
- To know how the institution selects aid recipients.
- To know how and when payments will be made and to know the refund policy for students who withdraw.
- To request a review of the financial aid package should there be changes in the family’s ability to meet costs of attendance.
- To know how the institution determines whether the student is making satisfactory progress and what happens if he or she is not.
- To be fully informed of the terms and provisions of loan payments, including typical repayment schedules.
- To appeal any decisions relating to the determination of financial aid eligibility.