Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Columbia, SC 29204
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.
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 9/30/17, the loan fee is 1.066%. For loans disbursing after 9/30/18, 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).
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 2017-2018, the fixed rate is 4.45%. 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.
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.
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 2017-2018, the fixed interest rate is 4.45% (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.
Please adhere to the below alphabetical assignments and office hours for Student Financial Aid Administrators.