Financial Aid Information & Policies
Ashley Ann Reich, M.A., Ed.S.
Vice President of Student Financial Services
The Financial Aid Office coordinates and administers the financial aid programs for the University. The Financial Aid Office provides financial assistance to students who have a financial need and who would otherwise be unable to attend Liberty University. The student and the student’s family are primarily responsible for the cost of higher education. A student who needs financial assistance is expected to contribute by working or borrowing a reasonable portion of the funds needed for educational expenses. The student’s family, as applicable, is expected to make a maximum effort to assist in the payment of the expenses involved.
Financial aid is available to eligible students to help meet education-related expenses. The types of financial aid available include grants, scholarships, employment, loans and external aid sources. Grants and scholarships are “gift aid” and do not need to be repaid. Employment offered as a type of financial aid is paid at a pre-determined rate for work actually performed. Loans must be repaid to the lender based on the terms of the signed master promissory note and agreed repayment plan, typically after the student leaves school. The Financial Aid Office processes several different forms of external aid for both Online and Residential students. The Financial Aid Office does not approve or deny any form of external aid, but will process what has already been approved by a donor or funding entity.
All applicants for financial aid are required to:
- Apply for admission to the University;
- Be degree candidates. Student auditors, dually enrolled high school students and special non-degree students are not eligible for federal financial aid; and
- Complete, electronically sign, and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) by the Fall priority deadline of January 15th each year in which federal and institutional financial aid is desired. Students are urged to apply early for optimum financial aid benefits. Complete the FAFSA on the web at https://studentaid.gov/. The student must add Liberty University, onto the FAFSA under the “School Selection” tab for the Liberty to receive the student’s FAFSA record. Liberty’s school code is 010392. Applicants should use the I.R.S. Data Retrieval Tool to transfer the requested tax information onto the FAFSA to ensure information on the FAFSA is accurate and to save time when completing the FAFSA. If unavailable, the applicant’s I.R.S. Tax Return or Tax Return Transcript can be used to manually input the requested income information. If needed, a copy of the Tax Return Transcript can be obtained by going to https://www.irs.gov and selecting “Get a Tax Transcript” under Tools. Lastly, select “Get Transcript Online”, as available.
For new students entering in the Spring semester, the preferred date to file the FAFSA is by October 1.
- Complete verification or any other aid reviews when required.
Once the completed FAFSA is received by ED, information provided by the student on the FAFSA is used to generate a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR indicates the amount of money the student and/or the student’s family is expected to contribute towards the student’s education. This is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and is used to determine the student’s financial need.
The student’s financial 'need' is the difference between the Cost of Attendance and the EFC. The Cost of Attendance, regardless of the student’s dependency status, includes the educational expenses of:
- Room and board (for students living on and off campus);
- Required fees;
- Books and supplies;
- Transportation; and
- Miscellaneous expenses.
The amounts for these six educational expenses are the student’s estimated Cost of Attendance at Liberty University, and they become the student’s budget for financial aid purposes. Only the actual tuition, fees, and room and board (for resident students living in campus housing) are charged on the student’s University bill.
Financial aid recipients are selected on the basis of demonstrated financial need, academic success, and other merits. Most Liberty financial aid awards are based on full time enrollment, which is a minimum of 12 credit hours for an undergraduate student per semester. Federal student loans and federal grants usually require a minimum of half-time enrollment. Please note that normally 15 hours per semester is required to complete a 120 credit hour bachelor’s degree within four years. Each financial aid recipient is issued an Award Notification Letter, which is the University’s official estimate of financial aid. Award Notification Letters are emailed to the student’s Liberty email account. It is the student’s responsibility to review the award letter and notify the Financial Aid Office of any additional aid being received and of any desired reduction or cancellation of the aid offered. Students who want to reduce or decline federal loans that are awarded automatically to eligible students can complete a Loan Change Form in the Student Checklist.
In order for a Liberty University student to continue to receive institutional or federal student aid, the student must maintain Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress. The link to Liberty University’s policy for determining satisfactory academic progress is listed below in the Appeal and Complaint Policies section.
For more information on financial aid, visit the Financial Aid Office located in the Student Service Center at Green Hall or on the Internet web site at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/.
Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy
When students cease attendance in all classes in a given semester, they will be subject to a proration of all federal, state, and institutional aid. This proration takes into account the total number of days that the student was enrolled. Dropping a course reduces the number of sub-terms for which a student is enrolled and will result in a recalculation of all components that make up the cost of attendance. Lastly, if a student registers full-time and subsequently withdraws from one or more courses which results in his or her remaining enrollment changing from full-time to part-time, the student will be charged the part-time tuition rate for the remaining courses in that semester. If the new tuition rate results in a balance, the student is responsible for paying this balance.
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/126.96.36.199+2020-21+Financial+Aid+Withdrawal+Policy.
Financial Aid Repeat Policy
Federal regulations limit the amount of federal aid that can be used when repeating a course that has previously been passed with any grade higher than an “F”.
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/188.8.131.52+2020-21+Financial+Aid+Repeat+Coursework+Policy.
Financial Aid Disbursement Policy
Disbursing aid is the process in which the school pays funds directly to the student's school account from either internal or external aid sources, which is different from a refund. Financial aid is disbursed 21 days after the student becomes eligible.
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/10.0.0.0+Financial+Aid+Disbursement+Policy.
Additional information regarding how disbursements work including examples can be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/payments/financial-aid-disbursement/.
Consumer Information Statements
Liberty University, as permitted by federal regulation [34 CFR 668.41], electronically disseminates consumer information, including the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act information. Upon request, the institution will provide a free paper copy. Anyone signing or processing financial aid forms or seeking information or assistance at Liberty University must read, understand, and comply with the requirements disclosed.
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/184.108.40.206+Liberty+University+Financial+Aid+Consumer+Information
Examples of Important Consumer Information
- Campus Crime Reporting and Statistics including:
- Emergency Notification Procedures
- Fire Safety Reporting
- Hate Crimes Reporting
- Missing Student Reporting Procedures
- Completion and Persistence Rates Information
- Constitution and Citizenship Day Information
- Drug Abuse and Prevention Program Information
- Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act Information
- Peer-2-Peer File Sharing Policy
- “Red-Flag” Rule (Identity Theft) Information
- Returning Service Members Policy
- Textbook Price and Cost Calculator Information
- Voter Registration Information
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Information about a student’s rights and responsibilities regarding financial aid eligibility may be found in the Financial Aid Consumer Information Policy, which is published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/220.127.116.11+Liberty+University+Financial+Aid+Consumer+Information
Award Terms and Conditions
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/18.104.22.168+2020-21+Award+Terms+and+Conditions
Enrollment Levels and Types
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/22.214.171.124+Enrollment+Levels+and+Types+Policy.
Federal Title IV Student Aid Programs
Eligibility for Federal Aid
To receive federal aid, a student must:
- Be a United States Citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans);
- Have a high school diploma, a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed a federal aid eligible homeschool program;
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program;
- Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant;
- Have a valid Social Security Number;
- Register with the Selective Service if required. You can use the paper or electronic FAFSASM to register, you can register at https://www.sss.gov, or you can call 1-847-688-6888. (TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567.);
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school;
- Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Pell Grant awards range from $639 to $6,345 for 2020-2021 and vary from year-to-year. Award amounts are based on cost of attendance, enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and need analysis information provided on the Student Aid Report (SAR). Up to an additional 50% of Pell Grant aid may be available to students in the summer who use their entire Pell Grant in Fall and Spring, known as ‘Year-Round Pell’. To receive Year-Round Pell, students must enroll at least half-time in the summer term and meet all other eligibility requirements. Summer Pell Grants, which are different from Year-Round Pell, may be available to students who did not use their entire Pell Grant in the Fall and Spring terms. Additional information may be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/grants/.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is available for undergraduate students with an Expected Family Contribution of zero. In 2020-2021, the maximum award amount is $1,000 and can vary year to year. Students are required to be enrolled at least half-time, which is six credit hours for an undergraduate student, to maintain eligibility for this award. Additional information may be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/grants/.
Federal Teach Grant Summary
The Federal TEACH grant program is the first federal grant program that requires a service agreement and has the potential of converting to an unsubsidized loan with compounded interest from the original disbursement date. The full policy and statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/126.96.36.199+Federal+TEACH+Grant+Policy.
Federal Direct Student Loans
Federal Direct Student Loans are low interest loans available to students who are enrolled at least half-time. Students demonstrating sufficient need, based on the FAFSA, may be eligible for subsidized loan funds, in which the government pays interest accrued while they are in school and during the grace period. Students who do not have sufficient demonstrated need may be eligible for unsubsidized loan funds, in which the student pays the interest. Students have the option of capitalizing the interest (adding it to the principal) while attending school or making payments on the interest while in school. Repayment begins six (6) months after students graduate, withdraw, break enrollment, or drop below half-time status. We encourage all borrowers to only borrow what is needed to cover educational expenses. Additional information regarding the Federal Direct Student loans can be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/loans/ and https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/consumer-information/loans/.
Federal Direct Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time. The Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan is a credit-based loan and, if eligible, parents may borrow up to the full cost of attendance minus all other aid. We encourage all borrowers to only borrow what is needed to cover educational expenses.
Additional information regarding the Federal Direct PLUS loans can be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/loans/ and https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/consumer-information/loans/.
Federal Work Study (FWS)
The Federal Work Study program provides part-time employment opportunities for students who have a demonstrated financial need based on the FAFSA. Students are paid on an hourly basis; pay will be at least the current federal minimum wage. The total amount of aid a student receives from both federal and non-federal sources cannot exceed financial need. The $4,000 Federal Work Study funds cannot be applied toward the student’s account balance during initial Financial Check-In. Federal Work Study is awarded to eligible students with remaining federally defined unmet need. Awards are made until projected program funds are depleted. Students who earn Federal Work Study wages will not have this income count against them in their EFC on the following year’s FAFSA.
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/188.8.131.52+Federal+Work+Study+Program+Policy.
Virginia Student Aid Programs
Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (VTAG)
Established in 1972, the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (VTAG) is designed to assist Virginia residents who attend accredited private, non-profit colleges and universities in Virginia excluding religious training or theological education. The VTAG is authorized in Chapter 4.1 Section 23-38.11 through 18 of the Code of Virginia as the Tuition Assistance Grant Act.
Applications must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office before the published annual deadline of July 31 in order to be considered for the maximum award amount. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the maximum VTAG award amount is $3,400 for eligible undergraduate students and $1,700 for eligible graduate students. Award amounts for the 2020-2021 academic year have not yet been finalized. Additional information about VTAG can be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/vtag/.
Virginia Two-year College Transfer Grant (CTG) and CTG Plus Programs
Up to $1,000 can be awarded to students who received an Associate’s degree at a Virginia two-year public institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale who are enrolled at a participating four-year institution. Virginia Two Year College Transfer Grant award projections will always be estimated awards until a final State budget is passed and a final roster of students is collected. Please keep in mind that this grant is subject to change based on State budgetary needs. Additional information regarding CTG can be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/grants/.
State and federal education benefits may be available to assist eligible students with varying degrees of physical disability (paralysis, sight, hearing, etc.). Eligibility requirements differ from agency to agency. For more information, contact the appropriate agency or the Financial Aid Office.
Liberty University Scholarships
General Scholarship Regulations
All recipients of Liberty University institutional scholarships, institutional aid, or any type of federal aid must complete and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the U.S. Department of Education and complete verification, if selected. Virginia residents should also apply for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG) Program through the Financial Aid Office. Annual application is not required for VTAG unless a student is starting a program at a new level or the student does not use their VTAG eligibility in an academic year. In addition, each Liberty University scholarship recipient must accept all federal and state grants for which they are eligible as a condition of awarding the Liberty University scholarships. All scholarships are awarded for a period of one year, unless otherwise noted. Most resident scholarships are for prospective, full-time undergraduate students unless stated. For details regarding institutional scholarships and eligibility guidelines, please go to https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/scholarships/.
The General Scholarship Rule (GSR)
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/184.108.40.206+2020-21+General+Scholarship+Rule+Policy.
Outside scholarships are scholarships that students will use as additional funding. Scholarships may be awarded from foundations, churches, retail businesses, etc. Additional information about outside scholarships can be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/external-aid-processing/.
Standard Corporate Tuition Assistance
Standard Corporate Tuition Assistance is when an employer pays Liberty University directly for classes during the semester. The student must contact his Human Resources department for information concerning continuing education benefits. Details about eligibility requirements and processing Standard Corporate Tuition Assistance can be found at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/external-aid-processing/.
Students who receive tuition benefits after they have completed their courses should request a receipt from the Student Accounts Office at the end of the semester.
Appeal and Complaint Policies
Policies and processes for residential and online students who wish to file a complaint or appeal their financial aid awards are published online at https://www.liberty.edu/student-financial-services/account-appeals-complaints/.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)
This policy describes the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and is in addition to and operates separately from the Academic Satisfactory Progress requirements for each academic program.
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/220.127.116.11+2020-21+Financial+Aid+Satisfactory+Academic+Progress+Policy.
Institutional Scholarship Appeal Process
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/18.104.22.168+Institutional+Scholarship+Appeal+Process.
Financial Aid General Appeal for Assistance
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/22.214.171.124+Financial+Aid+General+Appeal+for+Assistance.
Virginia State Grant Appeal Process
A formal appeal concerning the decision to deny approval for state grant eligibility may be filed by contacting the State Grants Supervisor in the Liberty University Financial Aid Office. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/126.96.36.199+Virginia+State+Grant+Appeal+Policy.
Federal Student Loan Appeal Process
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/188.8.131.52+Federal+Student+Loan+Appeal+Process.
Submitting Complaints of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse to The Office of Inspector General
Anyone suspecting fraud, waste or abuse involving ED funds or programs should contact the Inspector General's Office. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/184.108.40.206+Submitting+Complaints+of+Fraud,+Waste,+and+Abuse+to+the+Office+of+Inspector+General.
Student Complaint Resolution Process
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/220.127.116.11+Student+Complaint+Resolution+Process.
Athletic Scholarship Appeal
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/18.104.22.168+Athletic+Scholarship+Appeal.
Continuing Education (CE) Appeal
Employees who are not eligible to receive a portion of their CE benefits due to an unusual credit hour count, such as 5 hours, may appeal the denial of their eligibility for the first three credit hours of the five hour course, if eligible, and pay for the remaining two out-of-pocket. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/22.214.171.124+Continuing+Education+Appeal.
State Consumer Complaint Contact Information
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/126.96.36.199+State+Consumer+Complaint+Contact+Information.
Resident Complaint Reporting
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://wiki.os.liberty.edu/display/IE/188.8.131.52+Resident+Complaint+Reporting.
Online Student Complaint Reporting
Online students may submit a complaint by completing the form available at this link: https://www.liberty.edu/beacon.