Samford University

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FAQ

Financial Aid can be confusing as it's governed by federal, state, and institutional rules and regulations. In an effort to assist you better, below are some answers to frequently asked questions:
Who do I contact to get financial aid help in the Office of Financial Aid; who is my advisor?

The Office of Financial Aid at Samford University wants to help and assist you in receiving aid for your academic endeavors. Using the alphabetical list below, you can email the appropriate person who advises athletic, graduate, and undergraduate students. If you still do not know, email us at ofa@samford.edu and we will direct your inquiry to the correct person. We may also be contacted by calling (205) 726-2905.

  •  Melissa Belflower - Graduate Financial Aid Advisor
     Advises Law and Pharmacy students
  •  Jennifer Epperson - Associate Director of Financial Aid
  •  Marcie Harchuck - Graduate Financial Aid Advisor
     Advises graduate students not in Pharmacy or Law
  •  Theresa Kanute - Undergraduate Financial Aid Advisor
     Advises all athletes and undergraduate day students whose last names begin with A - F
  •  Elizabeth Martin - Undergraduate Financial Aid Advisor
     Advises undergraduate day students whose last names begin with G - K and Evening College students
  •  Patty Roark - Undergraduate Financial Aid Advisor
     Advises undergraduate day students whose last names begin with L - Z
  •  Lane Smith - Director of Student Financial Services
  •  Karen Stinnett - Assistant Director of Financial Aid
How do I receive summer and Jan term aid?
Students attending Summer and/or Jan term and wish to receive financial aid, must have a valid FAFSA on file and complete the SUMMER ASSISTANCE FORM and/or JAN TERM ASSISTANCE FORM. The forms of aid available will be based on the remaining annual amounts the student has not used for that aid year. The Federal PLUS and private loans do not have an annual limit, other than the cost of attendance.
How do I know if I’m a citizen or eligible noncitizen in regards to receiving federal financial aid?

If you are an eligible noncitizen, write in your eight- or nine-digit Alien Registration Number (INS# from your Certificate of Citizenship) on your FAFSA. Generally, you are an eligible noncitizen if you are:

  1. a U.S. permanent resident with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551);
  2. a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or
  3. the holder of an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations:
    • "Refugee," "Asylum Granted,"
    • "Parolee" (I-94 confirms paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired), or
    • "Cuban-Haitian Entrant."

If you are in the US on an F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa (pertaining to international organizations), you are neither a citizen nor an eligible noncitizen, you are not eligible for federal student aid.

How do I register or check my selective service registration?
It's easy. Click on the following link and follow their instructions: Selective Service
What is a tax credit and how can it help me?
The federal government has many rules and regulations, one of which deals with tax benefits for education. Click the following link and see if you qualify for the Hope Credit, Life Learning Credit, or Loan Interest: Tax Benefits from IRS
I love reading about financial aid. Are there some other links that will explain financial aid in depth for me?

There's always more info out there on the World Wide Web. The following links may be of use to you, too:

How do I apply for scholarships and other aid at Samford?

Any entering freshman who wants to be considered for merit scholarships must complete his or her application for admission by December 15 preceding their first fall semester of enrollment. Students who miss this deadline will not be considered for merit scholarships. Some scholarships at Samford will require an additional application. For a list and description of possible programs requiring such an application, check out the Scholarships & Grants section of this site. Need based aid will be determined based on the Office of Financial Aid receiving your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) results on or before March 1 preceding the fall semester for which you are applying.

Are there any financial aid deadlines I should be aware of?
  • Prospective students
    In order to be considered for merit scholarships, an application for admission must be completed on or by December 15 preceding the first fall semester of enrollment.
  • All students
    A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted by March 1 preceding the fall semester for which you are applying in order to be eligible for Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, and/or the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant.

    In order to receive any aid based on the FAFSA, a student must file the FAFSA before the end of the term for which they want the aid. It is recommended that a FAFSA be completed at least one month before the end of the term for which aid is desired. If a student waits too long to file a FAFSA, they may not be able to receive aid for that term. It is certainly better to be early than late when it comes to filing the FAFSA.
Do I have to reapply for my aid every year?

Most Samford funded scholarships do not require a student to reapply each year. There are certain GPA requirements and other requirements that might have to be met in order to retain aid. However, students typically do not have to apply for a renewal of institutional scholarships. Check your student web portal for award messages associated with your aid, or check with your academic department chair or dean for requirements associated with aid awarded through them.

With that said, the FAFSA must be resubmitted each year. It is available on January 1 of each year and remains available throughout the academic year. The FAFSA may be accessed at www.fafsa.gov.

How do I know what my financial aid offer is?

A financial aid award letter is mailed to all prospective students during the spring preceding their initial fall enrollment. Award letters are also emailed to all students and available in the student web portal. You may access the portal at any time. We will notify you through email when updates have been made to your financial aid account and are available for viewing in the portal.

I think I have completed all requirements to receive financial aid, but nothing has posted to my account. How can I find out what is going on?

More than likely there is a requirement that has not been fulfilled. Before contacting the Office of Financial Aid, you should log on to your student web portal and review any messages or requirements listed there. This information should guide you towards rectifying the situation. For further assistance, please contact our office at ofa@samford.edu or (205) 726-2905.

How do I request a refund from my Bursar account?

For any information related to your Bursar account, please review the information found on the Bursar website.

How many hours must I enroll for in order to receive aid?

Federal regulations state that an undergraduate student is considered to be a full time student with 12 hours of enrollment per semester. In order to receive the full amount of aid for which you are eligible, you must be enrolled in at least 12 hours of undergraduate classes. Some aid may be disbursed for enrollment as low as 6 hours per semester. All Samford aid requires 12 hours of enrollment for it to be disbursed.

What happens to my aid if I drop a class?
Depending on when you drop or withdraw from the class, your aid may be adjusted. Likewise, the amount of tuition and other fees may be adjusted when enrollment is reduced. One thing to keep in mind is drops will affect your ability to meet minimum standards for making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
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