Columbia, SC 29204
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Welcome to the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships of Benedict College. We recognize that a college education is a significant financial undertaking, and we want to assist you in finding the right combination of resources to enable you to study at Benedict. Our Financial Aid Office is well staffed and provides expert advice to students and parents or guardians on the best way of financing the entire four-year program at Benedict. The college also maintains a Student Financial Counseling Service that offers advice on budgeting and loan management. The Financial Aid Office is located in Bacoats Hall. We welcome consultations with students and parents.
Financial aid consists of three basic types: federal, state, and institutional aid. To be eligible for any type of institutional aid, a student must be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours of credit. (Some federal aid is available to those registered for less than a full load.) Institutional aid is limited to a maximum of 128 hours of graduation-credit work attempted; developmental courses give institutional (non-graduation) credit only and may be covered on a one-time basis, as well.
In federally-funded student aid programs, adjustments will be made to comply with any new regulations.
To apply for financial aid, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after October 1 as possible.
Types of Financial Aid
Federal Direct Student Loans
Federal Direct Stafford Loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours for undergraduates) in a degree-seeking program who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Loans have to be repaid, so you are encouraged to only borrow the amount of loan that you actually need to cover your educational expenses. The maximum loan amounts for an academic year are $5,500 for first-year undergraduates, $6,500 for second-year undergraduates, and $7,500 for third- and fourth-year undergraduates. Students considered independent of parental support for financial aid purposes or whose parents cannot borrow a Federal Direct PLUS Loan may be eligible for additional loan amounts. The maximum aggregate (total) loan amounts are $31,000 for dependent students ($23,000 of this may be in subsidized loans), $57,500 for independent students ($23,000 of this may be in subsidized loans).
The U.S. Department of Education charges a loan fee on the principal amount of each Stafford loan, deducted proportionately from each disbursement of the loan. For loans disbursing after 9/30/2018 and before 10/1/2019, the loan fee is 1.062%. Begin the process by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). First-time loan borrowers will need to complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at the StudentLoans.gov. Benedict College will receive electronic notification when these requirements have been completed. You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours for undergraduates to receive a Direct Loan disbursement. Once all award requirements have been met, your financial aid will be credited to your student account.
Returning students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, have remaining loan eligibility, and meet the Stafford Loan awarding requirements each academic year to continue eligibility for the Stafford Loan program.
Repayment: You will receive a six-month grace period before beginning loan repayment after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. During this period, you should receive repayment information from your loan servicer and be notified of when your first payment is due. However, you are responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if you do not receive this information. You may create a sample loan repayment schedule and review loan repayment options online. Students must complete exit counseling whenever his/her enrollment drops below half-time. Benedict College will receive electronic notification when exit counseling has been completed. To view data on the federal student loans and grants you have received, visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are for undergraduate students with financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The federal government pays the interest on the loan (‘subsidizes’ the loan) while you are attending school at least half-time. For 2018-2019, the fixed rate is 5.05%. The interest rate will apply for the life of the loan. As a result, if you borrow loans each year, it is likely that each loan will have a different fixed interest rate. You may choose to begin payments on the loan while you are in school. Contact the Federal Student Aid for further information.
150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit (SULA)
There is a new provision that limits a first-time borrower’s eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower’s educational program (“the 150% limit”).
- A Subsidized Direct loan is a loan for students with financial need as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while you are in school at least half-time, during your grace period, and during deferment periods.
- Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150 percent limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans.
- The 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit provision applies only to “first-time borrowers” on or after July 1, 2013:
- The Department of Education will determine whether borrowers are “first-time borrowers” for purposes of the 150% limit.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are non-need based federal loans. If you qualify for an unsubsidized loan, you will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. For 2018-2019, the fixed interest rate is 5.05% (undergraduate students). The interest rate will apply for the life of the loan. As a result, if you borrow loans each year, it is likely that each loan will have a different fixed interest rate. While attending school, you may choose to begin payments on the loan, pay just the interest, or allow interest to accrue. Students make this decision during the loan application process; however, the decision can be changed at any time by contacting Federal Student Aid.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Parents of dependent students are able to apply for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to supplement the student’s award package. PLUS Loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student.
If you are considering applying for a PLUS Loan, there are several things you need to know:
- You will need to complete a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan application at StudentLoans.gov. Your loan application will be electronically submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. See Instructions for Applying for Loans and Entrance Counseling.
- You and your student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online if you have not already done so.
- For Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2019, the interest rate is 7.6%. This is a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.
- If you have PLUS Loans from various sources, you can apply to consolidate all your PLUS Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan using an on-line or a paper application.
- Approval of a PLUS Loan requires a credit check for the borrower.
- All borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note.
- Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
General Eligibility Requirements
Student on whose behalf the parent is borrowing must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.
Borrower is a natural or adoptive parent of a dependent student who has been accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student; enrolled at least half-time; is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen; and is making satisfactory academic progress.
Note: Grandparents (unless they have legally adopted the dependent student) and legal guardians are not eligible to receive parent PLUS loans, even if they have had primary responsibility for raising the student.
Borrower does not have adverse credit history.
Neither parent borrower nor student has property subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the United States.
To continue to receive PLUS Loans, you must reapply each academic year.
Interest Rates and Loan Fees
For Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2019, the interest rate is 7.6%. This is a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.
As a result, if you borrow loans each year, it is likely that each loan will have a different fixed interest rate.
The U. S. Department of Education charges a loan fee on the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan. For loans disbursing after 9/30/18 and before 10/01/2019, the loan fee is 4.248%. This fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of the loan
Crediting of Parent PLUS Loan Funds
PLUS Loan funds are credited directly to the student’s account and will be applied to outstanding charges, such as tuition, fees, room and board. Any credit balance will be issued to the parent borrower via paper check, which will be mailed to the address provided on the Parent PLUS application.
Federal Pell Grants
The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to undergraduate students earning their first bachelor’s degree who meet the federal government’s eligibility formula. To determine eligibility, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted for each school year. The Pell Grant does not have to be repaid. Begin the process by completing the FAFSA online. Eligibility is determined using a standard formula to produce an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number based on FAFSA information. Students must have an EFC of 5576 or less to potentially qualify for a Pell Grant. Pell Grant amounts depend on a student’s EFC, enrollment status, and length of time attended during the academic year.
The Federal Government provides individual grants of up to $6,195 per year, based on family need, for educational expenses.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The FSEOG is a federal government grant that does not have to be repaid. FSEOG is awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need who are earning their first bachelor’s degree. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Begin the process by completing the FAFSA online. While the Department of Education guarantees that participating schools will receive funds to pay the Federal Pell Grants for its eligible students, there is no guarantee every eligible student will receive a FSEOG. Award amounts depend on when you submit your FAFSA, your financial need, the amount of funding allocated to Benedict College, and the number of potentially eligible students.
FSEOG cannot be automatically renewed each year
Once all award requirements have been met, your financial aid will be credited to your student account.
SC Teachers Loan
Up to $5000 per year. S.C. resident majoring in education and meeting specific requirements. Contact Benedict’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. You should apply by March 15th.
South Carolina Tuition Grant
South Carolina residents who attend Benedict College may be eligible up to $3,300 per year in tuition aid. The specific amount of aid is determined by the state each year. Benedict students who have been legal residents of South Carolina for at least one year must submit the Free Application for FSA so that it may be electronically submitted and received by the state by June 30 to determine eligibility. Incoming freshmen must have an SAT score of 900 or higher or be in the upper 75 percent of their graduating class. Returning students must file the FAFSA and make satisfactory academic progress in order to qualify for continuing grants. All students must have their FAFSA completed on or before June 30th of the current year.
The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship available only to a student who is a resident of South Carolina at the time of high school graduation and at the time of college enrollment. Students must meet two of these criteria: score 1100 on SAT (24 on ACT), have a GPA of at least 3.0, or ranking in upper 30 percent of graduating class. Eligible students attending a private institution will receive up to $4,700 plus a $300 book allowance.
Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program
Open only to graduates of a South Carolina high school, this state-funded scholarship is available up to $6,700 during the first year. The amount increases to $7500 for the second year through the fourth year and is maintainable with satisfactory academic progress. Recipients are chosen by the state. Application details are available from high school guidance counselors.
The South Carolina HOPE Scholarship Program is a merit-based scholarship created for eligible students attending a four-year institution who do not qualify for the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. The HOPE scholarship is available only to a student who is a South Carolina resident at the time of high school graduation and at the time of enrollment. Eligible students attending a private institution will receive up to $2,800 (including a $300 book allowance) during the first year of attendance only. To qualify for the S.C. HOPE Scholarship, first-time entering freshmen must have a high school cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Submitting Scholarship Checks to Benedict College
Where and when should scholarship checks be mailed?
Mail checks to:
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Attention: Monique Rickenbaker
1600 Harden Street
Columbia, SC 29204
The Office of Student Financial Aid is responsible for receiving, recording, and entering scholarship check into the College’s awarding system. Once entered, the checks are routed to the Benedict’s cashier’s for disbursement to the student’s account.
It is preferable that the checks be sent from the donor directly to the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. If the donor provides the check directly to the student, the student should submit the check to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Do not mail checks to Benedict College Billing Office.
If students must send a copy of their bill to a donor/agency, the student can request that an invoice be sent to the donor or agency from the Office of Student Accounts.
What information is needed on the checks and/or correspondence?
The student’s full name and Jenzabar ID or last four ssn number, and Personal Information should be included on the check and/or any correspondence. Indicate if the check is to cover academic year expenses or expenses for a particular semester (fall or spring or summer session). If there is no indication for the time period the check is to cover, the funds will automatically be used for the academic year (half for the fall semester, half for the spring semester.)
It is preferable that checks be made payable only to the Benedict College. If the check is made payable to the student or co-payable to the student and the College, additional time may be needed to obtain the student’s endorsement on the check this could cause a delay in the student receiving the scholarship funds. The donor’s name, address, and phone number should be included on the check or with the correspondence in case the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships needs to contact the donor.
Are students required to enroll full-time?
It is assumed that the student will be enrolled full-time (12 or more hours per semester). If the scholarship does not require full-time enrollment, indicate this on the check or in the correspondence that accompanies the check.
How can students get verification of their enrollment?
After students have registered for courses, they can go to the Office of the Registrar to obtain an enrollment verification letter and, if required submit it to the donor or agency.
Who to contact if there are questions:
Call Mrs. Monique Rickenbaker, Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at (803) 705-4655 or e-mail her at monique.rickenbaker@Benedict.edu.
Mrs. Monique Rickenbaker, Interim Director for Financial Aid
Ms. Ashley Pickett, Assistant Director for Financial Aid
Mrs. Vareva Harris, Assistant Director for Scholarships
(803) 705-4418 | (803) 705-6629 (Fax)
Please adhere to the below alphabetical assignments and office hours for Student Financial Aid Administrators.
|Ashley Pickett (Ho-Mc, T-Z)||Ashley.Pickett@Benedict.edu||803-705-4337|
|Monique Rickenbaker (Me-S)||Monique.Rickenbaker@Benedict.edu||803-705-4859|
|Vareva Harris - Assistant Director For Scholarships||Vareva.Harris@Benedict.edu||803-705-4616|
|Diane Wade - Administrative Assistant||Diane.Wade@Benedict.edu||803-705-4418|