Financial Aid FAQs

What happens if you leave Claflin? How do you obtain financial aid funds? Get answers to your questions here.

  • What happens with my Federal Aid if I withdraw from the University?
    When a student who has received federal financial aid funds (Title IV funds) leaves a school before the end of the semester or enrollment period, federal law requires Claflin University to calculate the percentage and amount of “unearned” financial aid funds that must be returned to the federal government.

    Once a student has completed more than 60 percent of enrollment, students are considered to have earned all funds received. The federal formula requires a return of Title IV aid if the student received federal financial aid in the form of Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Stafford loans or Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students and withdrawal on or before completing 60 percent of the semester.

    The calculation for the return of Title IV funds may have the effect of requiring a student to repay the federal government, in cash, funds (grants) that have been disbursed to the student. Students deciding to withdraw are encouraged to meet with the Enrollment Office and Financial Aid Office.

    Students who leave the college and do not complete the official withdrawal process may be eligible for a refund of charges and return of Title IV financial aid if the last date of attendance can be verified by other means, such as class attendance records or other documents that will indicate the student’s last day of class attendance

    If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.4.FED.AID. TTY users may call 1.800.730.8913. Information is also available on “Student Aid on the Web” at www.studentaid.ed.gov. The Office of Financial Aid and the Bursar at Claflin are also available to assist you.

    Read more about Financial Effects of Withdrawal from the University
  • What is the student loan code of conduct?
    Claflin University supports and complies with the Higher Education Opportunity Act’s (HEOA) provisions regarding the Code of Conduct required to be adopted and enforced by institutions participating in the Title IV loan program. All Claflin University employees with responsibilities for the administration of student educational loans are informed annually of the provisions of the Student Loan Code of Conduct.

    STUDENT LOAN CODE OF CONDUCT PURPOSE

    Claflin University recognizes that ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process is critical to providing fair and affordable access to higher education. Therefore, the University has formalized the following guiding principles that shall be effective immediately. These guidelines are designed to avoid any potential for a conflict of interest between the University and its students or their parents in the student financial aid process. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, a “Lending Institution” is any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. or S.C. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans.


    POLICY

    1. University employees shall receive no personal benefit

    No employee or officer of the University shall accept or solicit anything of more than nominal value on his or her behalf or on behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution. Specifically, no employee or officer of Claflin University shall accept or solicit, from any Lending Institution: (i) payment for entertainment expenses or any lodging, rental, transportation or other gratuities related to lender-sponsored activities; (ii) payments for registration, transportation or lodging at lender-sponsored conferences and trainings; and (iii) solicitations or invitations to serve on lender advisory boards and/or payments related to such service. Additionally, Claflin University employees and officers shall not accept or solicit, from any student loan guarantee agency: (i) payments for entertainment expenses or any lodging, rental transportation or other gratuities related to activities sponsored by the guarantee agency.

    2. University employees shall not serve on lender advisory board for remuneration

    No officer or employee of the University who makes financial aid decisions for the University or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over the University’s financial aid office shall receive any remuneration for consulting services and/or serving as a member or participant of a student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution or any reimbursement of expenses for such service. Any officer or employee of the University who serves as a member or participant of a Lending Institutions board shall recuse himself or herself from any board discussions regarding the University’s financial aid operations.

    3. University shall not provide any advantage to a Lending Institution.

    The University shall not accept anything of value from any Lending Institution in exchange for any advantage or consideration provided to the Lending Institution related to its student loan activities, including but not limited to revenue-sharing, printing costs or below-cost computer hardware or software.1 Likewise, the University shall not allow any Lending Institution to: (a) staff the University's financial aid office at any time; or (b) communicate with the University's students or their parents in such a manner as to create the impression that the Lending Institution is an employee or agent of the University in connection with the University's student financial aid operations, including through the use of mascots, logos, and other marks. Finally, the University shall not enter into any agreement with a Lending Institution to provide alternative (i.e., private, non-federal or "opportunity") student loan programs if the provision of such alternative loan programs prejudices other students or parents, or if the acceptance of such funds by the University is conditioned on the University providing concessions to the Lending Institution.

    4. The University shall make appropriate use of any Preferred Lender Lists.

    If the University decides to promulgate a list or lists of preferred or recommended lenders for student loans or similar ranking or designation ("Preferred Lender List"), the selection of Lending Institutions for inclusion on the Preferred Lender List shall be based on the best interests of the University's students and their parents without regard to the financial interests of the University. In addition, any Preferred Lender List shall clearly indicate:

    • That the University shall not steer borrowers to particular lenders. Nor shall it refuse to certify, or delay the certification, of any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency. Students and their parents are free to select the Lending Institution of their choice and will suffer no penalty imposed by the University for using a Lending Institution that is not a “preferred lender. Further, for any first-time borrower, the University shall not assign, through the award packaging or other methods, the borrower’s loan to a particular lender;
    • That students and their parents are not required to use any of the “preferred lenders”;
    • Where to find information on their Lending Institutions for student loans;
    • That the University will promptly certify any loan from any Lending Institution selected by a borrower, in accordance with U.S. Department of Education Regulations;
    • The process the University utilized to select “preferred lenders,” including but not limited to the criteria used and the relative importance of such criteria.

    The University shall review any Preferred Lender List on an annual basis to determine that the information appearing on the list is accurate and that any website links are still available.

  • How do I resolve disputes with my federal student loans?
    The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman of the Department of Education helps resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans. The FSA Ombudsman encourages borrowers to make every effort to resolve their student loan problems. When a solution cannot be reached, the FSA Ombudsman has a process and the resources to assist borrowers.

    Contact Information: FSA Student Loan Ombudsman’s Office: U.S. Department of Education

    FSA Ombudsman 830 First Street
    N.E. Washington
    D.C. 20202-514
    Telephone: 202.377.3800
    Toll free: 877.557.2575
    Fax: 202.275.0549 

  • What happens to my federal aid if I am convicted of possession or sale of drugs?

    The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (HEA) suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study). The student self-certifies in applying for aid that he is eligible.

    Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid—they do not count if the offense was not during such a period. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when she was a juvenile, unless she was tried as an adult.

    The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

    Possession of Sale of Illegal Drugs

    1st offense - 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
    2nd offense - 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
    3+ offenses - Indefinite period

    If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.

    The Higher Education Opportunity Act established the requirement for schools to provide each student who becomes ineligible for Title IV aid due to a drug conviction a clear and conspicuous written notice of his loss of eligibility and the methods whereby he can become eligible again.
    A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when he successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program or passes two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make him ineligible again.

    Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program as described below, passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program, or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid that she has successfully completed the rehabilitation program.

    When a student regains eligibility during the award year, students may be awarded Pell, TEACH, and Campus-based aid for the current payment period and Direct loans for the period of enrollment.

    Standards for a Qualified Drug Rehabilitation Program

    A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

    • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government program
    • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company
    • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court
    • Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor
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