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.
Benedict College participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program. At Benedict College, students are automatically awarded federal direct subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans as part of our financial aid offer to students. As the student, you have the choice to accept or decline a loan.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans that are meant to help with the cost of college. There are two types of direct loans available for undergraduate students: subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The financial aid office automatically considers students for a loan through the awarding process.
Federal Subsidized Loans are offered based on financial need. Interest on a subsidized loan is deferred as long as you are enrolled at least half-time.
As a result of legislation enacted in July 2012, eligibility for the Direct Loan interest subsidy will be limited for new borrowers (no student loans prior to July 1, 2013). New borrowers may only receive subsidized loans, up to 150 percent of the published length of the student’s current educational program. Once the student reaches that limit, he or she may borrow only unsubsidized loans, and interest begins to accrue on the student’s outstanding subsidized loan.
Federal Unsubsidized Loans are offered if you do not show financial need, or if you find you need additional loan funding to help in covering cost of attendance. Interest will begin to accrue on a Federal Unsubsidized Loan once you receive it.
Interest rates vary depending on when the loan is disbursed. Visit the Federal Student Aid Website for the most up to date interest rates and fees.
Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note
To receive your loans, you will need to complete loan requirements, such as loan entrance counseling and signing of a master promissory note.
If you have never received a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL),you are required to complete entrance counseling. Entrance counseling explains your responsibilities and obligations as a loan borrower.
The MPN for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).
You may receive more than one loan under an MPN over a period of up to 10 years to pay for your educational costs, as long as the school is authorized to use the MPN in this way and chooses to do so.
Complete a Master Promissory Note (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans)
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.
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 Federal Student Aid Website (Studentaid.gov)
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Through this program, parents of dependent undergraduate students can borrow up to the student’s cost of attendance minus any other aid the student receives.
General Eligibility Requirements
Student on whose behalf the parent is borrowing must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.
Student must be enrolled at least half-time in a program that leads to a degree.
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.
Borrower does not have adverse credit history.
Borrower can not be in default on a federal student loan
Neither parent borrower nor student has property subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the United States.
Parent borrower is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen.
To continue to receive PLUS Loans, you must reapply each academic year.
The parent borrower is responsible for repayment. Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan.
Parents can postpone repayment if the student is enrolled at least half-time.
Summary of PLUS Loan Process
At the end of the application, parent borrowers receive their credit check result. Here is a list of results and explanations of your result.
If the credit decision is approved, our office will be notified and the loan will be processed.
If the credit decision is denied, our office will be notified and the student may become eligible for additional unsubsidized loan funds. The amount of the unsubsidized loan is limited by cost of attendance and annual loan limits.
Parents with an adverse credit decision have the option to appeal or get an endorser. If your credit decision is changed, you are required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling to receive 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.
Continuing Student Eligibility
PLUS Loans cannot be automatically renewed each year. Returning students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and meet the PLUS Loan awarding requirements each academic year.
Private student loans are loans funded by banks, credit unions or state agencies. Private loans should be used to fill in any gaps in the cost of college after all federal options have been used.
Private loans are offered to all students in a degree eligible program or an approved certificate program. Parents may be eligible to borrow a loan too. Before you borrow a private loan, do your research. Look at interest rates, repayment terms and fees. After you explore all options, apply directly with your lender of choice. Your lender will do a credit inquiry and share your options.
Previous Loan Providers
Below is a list of private student loan lenders our students have used over the past five years. There is no significance attached to where a lender falls on the list, so please research all options available to make an informed decision. You are not limited to the lenders from this listing and may use any lender of your choosing.
College Avenue (https://www.collegeavestudentloans.com)
South Carolina Student Loan Corporation (https://www.scstudentloan.org)
New Jersey Class (https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/NJCLASSHome.aspx)
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. Federal Pell Grant eligibility is determined according to federal law and is based on the financial information you and your family provided on your FASFA. Eligibility is determined using a standard formula to produce an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number based on FAFSA information. Pell Grant amounts depend on a student’s EFC, enrollment status, and length of time attended during the academic year.
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. 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. Returning students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and meet the FSEOG awarding requirements each academic year.
Students must be enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours) to receive FSEOG. Once all award requirements have been met, your financial aid will be credited to your student account.
South Carolina Tuition Grant
South Carolina residents who attend Benedict College may be eligible up to $4,390 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 a 900 SAT score, 19 ACT score, top 75 percent of their graduating class, or 2.7 GPA.
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.
Get more information about scholarships we offer at Benedict College, key external scholarship opportunities, and scholarships for South Carolina residents on our scholarship page. Benedict College Scholarships
Submitting Scholarship Checks to Benedict College
Where and when should scholarship checks be mailed? Mail checks to:
Benedict College 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.
Additional Financial Resources
The Student Freedom Agreement is a component of Student Freedom Initiative’s program. The Student Freedom Agreement provides a funding alternative for eligible students for up to $20,000 per academic year to cover the remaining cost of attendance at the institution. The Student Freedom Agreement is being offered for students as a potential alternative to private student loans and Parent PLUS loans. The Student Freedom Agreement should be considered just one part of a student’s overall financial aid package. The Student Freedom Agreement is not intended to replace available state and institutional aid, as well as federal grants, work-study and Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans.
Mrs. Monique Rickenbaker, Director for Financial AidMs. Ashley Pickett, Assistant Director for Financial Aid
Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033- 4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Benedict College.
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy Benedict College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.