Federal Aid Processes

Terms and Conditions

To apply for federal and state student aid, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually, to be considered for each academic year. A student has the right to decline all or a portion of any aid offered. By accepting financial aid, the student agrees to comply with the terms and conditions listed in the Student Aid Office Terms and Conditions information.

The terms and conditions information is subject to change as a result of action by Federal and/or State governments, the Board of Trustees of the University of Montevallo, and the Administration of UM. Questions concerning the content of the terms and conditions information should be directed to the Student Aid Office.

Financial Aid Definitions
(What does that mean?)

UM has a strong tradition of helping students finance their education. The following definitions should help students/families understand some of the terms used in financial aid programs.

Types of Aid

Scholarships and Grants: Referred to as “gift aid”, scholarships and grants are financial aid that does not have to be repaid or earned through employment and is awarded on the basis of merit, special talent/ability, and/or need.

Educational Loans: A type of “self-help” aid that is borrowed to help cover the costs of attending college and must be repaid. Student loan programs offer low interest rates and are not repaid until after students graduate, drop below half-time status, or withdraw. Parent loan programs offer the parents the opportunity to borrow to assist with educational expenses as well.

Federal Work Study (FWS): Is a federal funded aid program designed to help students offset some education costs through part-time employment opportunities. Student Employment is considered another “self-help” type of financial aid.

Cost of Attendance

Estimated Cost of Attendance: is used to determine your need for financial aid and to prepare an aid package budget. This includes estimates for fixed costs such as tuition and fees and allowances for variable costs such as housing and food, transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses (including expenses that are not billed by UM).

Tuition/Fees: amount for tuition/fees paid directly to UM. You will receive a bill for the amount due from the Office of Student Accounts after you register for classes. Electronic bills are emailed to students through UM email.

Housing and Food: amount for housing and food while living on campus, off campus or commuting from home during the period of enrollment. Expenses for housing and food and how they are paid will vary depending on where you will live. Charges for UM housing are assessed by UM according to the residence hall and meal plan selected and are billed by the Office of Student Accounts.

Transportation: amount for travel back and forth from permanent place of residence and campus.

Books and Supplies: amount for the materials required for class.

Personal Expenses: amount for miscellaneous expenses for personal hygiene, health, parking fee, fridge fee and loan fees, etc.

Loan Fees: amount based on fees charged to the loan borrower by the Department of Education.

Dependent Care or Disability Related Expenses: allowance for students with dependents or disabilities who may incur dependent care or disability related expenses to enable them to attend classes. Contact the Student Aid Office if you anticipate incurring these expenses.

Calculating Aid Eligibility

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): represents the amount you and your parents (if classified as a dependent student), or you (if classified as an independent student) and your spouse (if married) are expected to be able to provide to help meet your expenses for the enrollment period. You will not receive a bill for the EFC. Your EFC was calculated by the Department of Education using a federal formula based on information you and your family provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other documents submitted to our office.

Total Financial Aid Eligibility: is the sum of the assistance for which you are eligible.

Total Financial Need: is calculated by subtracting the EFC, total financial aid eligibility, and estimated other aid from the estimated cost of attendance.

Unmet Financial Need: is the difference between your need and total aid that is considered in meeting your financial need.

Aid Messages: provide information and/or conditions of a particular type of aid, assumptions we have made in determining your eligibility, actions you need to take, reasons for revisions, etc. Read these messages carefully and take any action that may be required. These messages are found in Banner Self Service under the Financial Aid tab.

Financial Aid Conditions

By accepting your financial aid, you agree to comply with the terms and conditions listed below and within the Financial Aid Package.

  1. I understand that my financial aid eligibility is determined in accordance with laws, regulations and appropriations (existing or anticipated) of the U.S. Congress, the U. S. Department of Education, the Alabama State Legislature or the state legislature of your state of residency, UM, and other donors.
  2. I understand that my financial aid eligibility is subject to adjustment or cancellation in the event changes occur in laws, regulations or appropriations during the period of my award.
  3. I agree to notify the Student Aid Office of the sources and amount of my financial assistance that I may receive from other sources including scholarships, tuition waivers, educational benefits, fellowships, assistantships, loans, etc., which do not appear on my Financial Aid Package. I further understand that if additional assistance reduces my eligibility, an adjustment in my awards may be necessary. This adjustment may include the return of loan funds to my lender/servicer or the necessity to repay other types of assistance already received.
  4. I understand that my aid eligibility is based on the financial information provided by me and/or my family, and that it is subject to adjustment or cancellation if changes occur or if errors are subsequently discovered.
  5. I understand that in order to receive financial aid I must be making satisfactory academic progress toward my degree as described in the satisfactory academic progress policy.
  6. I understand Pell Grant eligibility is limited to the equivalent of 12 full-time (12 or more credit hours) semesters.
  7. Unless otherwise communicated to me, I understand that I must be enrolled full-time to receive all of my financial aid awards (12 credit hours each semester as an undergraduate; 9 credit hours each semester as a graduate or professional student). Student loans require at least half-time enrollment (6 hours for undergraduate or 5 hours for graduate students).
  8. If I withdraw from UM, stop attending classes before the end of the term or do not initiate course participation in any classes, I understand that I may be expected to repay all or a portion of my aid funds. Contact the Student Aid Office before leaving school. See Consequences of Withdrawal for more information. I agree to follow the University of Montevallo withdrawal procedures available from the Registrar’s Office.
  9. I understand that I must meet repayment obligations on any educational loan and repay any financial aid funds due as a result of withdrawal or an over award situation, or I will not be eligible for future financial aid, and I may have a hold placed on my UM records.
  10. I understand that I may have to take additional action before my aid will be finalized, on my Financial Aid Package, if an award is listed as “offered” or “estimated.” Furthermore, I understand that no funds will be disbursed from these aid types until all required actions and documents are completed.
  11. I understand that if I am a transfer student my aid eligibility is subject to adjustment or cancellation based on information received regarding aid usage at my previous institution.
  12. If I am offered and accept Federal Work Study (FWS), I understand it is my responsibility to secure a FWS position and turn in a Student Personnel Action Form to my employer within the first 30 days of the initial term for my award. Further I understand I earn my award money in wages paid by my employer and will receive a payroll check, as described on the Federal Work Study page.
  13. If I accept a loan, I understand that I am required to complete loan entrance counseling and sign a promissory note. I understand I am fully responsible for repaying the loan and meeting all other terms and conditions of the loan, including notifying the lender or loan servicer if I move or change my address or name.
  14. I understand that I must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe any refunds on federal funds that I have received at UM or any other post-secondary institution.
  15. I understand that if I want to borrow from the Federal Direct Sub/Unsub or PLUS Loan programs, I must follow the instructions provided on the Federal Direct Loan Checklist. I also understand that Federal PLUS and private loans require a credit check and approval before any application will be processed and that I am responsible for any balance owed if a loan is denied.
  16. I understand that I must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year that I wish to be considered for financial aid. UM requires the FAFSA to be filed by March 1 for priority consideration.
  17. I understand that eligibility for Federal and State of Alabama student aid will be based on the number of credit hours in which I am enrolled as of the census date, generally the end of the first week of classes of each semester.
  18. I understand that the Student Aid Office communicates updates and important reminders via email to a student’s UM email account. It is important to read any email from finaid@montevallo.edu, as this is the listed sender for most student aid email contacts.

As a student loan borrower I have the right to:

  • Written information about my loan obligations and information on my rights and responsibilities as a borrower
  • A payment grace period and explanation of what this term means
  • A disclosure statement received before I begin to repay my loan that includes information about interest rates, fees, the balance I owe and the number of payments
  • Deferment of repayment for certain defined periods, if I qualify and if I request it
  • Forbearance if I qualify and if I request it
  • Prepayment of my loan in whole or in part any time without an early-repayment penalty
  • A copy of my promissory note either before or at the time my loan is disbursed
  • Documentation that my loan is paid in full

Important Student and Parent Consumer Information should be reviewed.

By accepting your aid, you are authorizing the Student Aid Office to release information about the amount and type of aid you are receiving to other offices and agencies as it may be needed to administer the financial aid programs. This includes the release of information for collection of student loans in the event repayment obligations are not met. You also agree to allow the release of your major, grade point average, and general biographical information to donors of any scholarship or special funds which you may receive.

Textbooks may be purchased by students eligible for Federal Student Aid and who have a credit balance prior to the book charge deadline each semester at UM’s affiliated campus bookstore.

Summer Federal Student Aid is based on the total hours for which you enroll during the summer (May, Summer I, and Summer II, Combined, or Full Summer Term) and any remaining eligibility you may have for the year. Summer eligibility is reviewed automatically after you register for classes. Summer awards are subject to change if enrollment changes throughout any of the summer term modules.

Billing and Disbursement Process

By accepting your financial aid, you agree to comply with the terms and conditions listed above and below.

  1. Students must be officially registered for the semester and meet enrollment criteria (i.e., full-time enrollment) before any financial aid funds will be disbursed. Federal and other financial aid funds will be credited to the student’s account in the following sequence; a) fees and tuition; b) campus housing and meal plan (if applicable) c) authorized miscellaneous charges such as bookstore charges in the UM affiliated campus bookstore with student authorization.
  2. If a credit balance remains after all authorized charges are paid for the semester, the Office of Student Accounts will issue a refund to the student no earlier than the third week of each semester.
  3. Montevallo estimates your award for the Federal Pell Grant based on full time enrollment. IMPORTANT: Students seeking to drop classes below 12 semester hours for undergraduates or 9 semester hours for graduate students at or before the census date, generally the end of the first week of classes, should speak to a financial aid representative; the reduced hours could result in a loss or reduction of their aid package.
  4. Student loans accepted through the Banner Self Service portal will not appear as “authorized aid” and credit toward the bill until the student completes all requirements and the loan is approved by the Department of Education. Funds cannot be disbursed until the Office of Student Accounts receives the funds from the Department of Education.
  5. PLUS loan funds will be reflected on the student’s account as a credit toward tuition/fees, UM housing (if applicable), meal plan, and any authorized miscellaneous charges.
  6. Private loans will not show as authorized aid and will only disburse to a student’s UM account once funds are received from the lender. Once processed, prior to actual disbursement to the student’s UM account, the funds will be reflected as memoed.
  7. Academic year Federal Direct and PLUS funds will be disbursed in two equal installments; however, a student may make a request to the Student Aid Office to change an academic year Direct loan to a one-semester loan. The loan will be disbursed in two equal installments during the semester. If the loan period on the student’s Federal Stafford or Federal PLUS application is for the academic year, the loan funds will be disbursed at the beginning of each semester. If the loan period is for one term the funds will be disbursed ½ at the beginning of the term and ½ at the mid-point of the term. First time, first year borrowers will receive payment of loan funds approximately 30 days after classes start.
  8. UM offers electronic funds transfer (EFT) of student credit balances (portion not applied to tuition, fees, housing, meal plan or authorized miscellaneous charges) directly to the student’s U.S. checking or savings account. This is the safest and quickest way to have excess funds deposited, and students are notified via email when their deposit has been made. Approximately 7 to 14 days after the credit appears on your student account a refund will be issued either via direct deposit, or a paper check will be mailed to the current mailing or permanent address on file in Banner Self Service. To sign up for direct deposit for student account refunds students must obtain a form from the Office of Student Accounts and return it to the Office of Student Accounts with a voided check. A photo ID must be shown when the form is turned in by the student.
  9. Federal Work Study funds are not disbursed or paid to a student account; these funds are earned and paid for hours worked on a biweekly basis through a payroll direct deposit or physical check.
  10. If a student’s aid is increased for any reason after the initial disbursement, subsequent payments are refunded by the Office of Student Accounts if the current balance is $0.00. If aid is decreased, a bill may be created listing the current amount due. Failure to pay the amount due will result in a hold placed upon the student account, which can affect future aid eligibility, and the student’s UM records and registration.
  11. Actual scholarship funds from a donor outside UM will be disbursed to a student’s account in the same manner as noted in item 3. Funds from scholarship donors outside UM will not apply to Montevallo charges prior to the receipt of funds. Federal and State aid disbursements are subject to Federal and State refund policies; See the Office of Student Accounts Refund Policy  for more information.

Students/parents borrowing Federal Direct Sub/Unsub or Direct PLUS loans have the right to cancel or reduce the loan. Students can contact the Student Aid Office to cancel or reduce a loan disbursement.

Direct Cost Worksheet

The Student Aid Office recommends students complete a worksheet to estimate how much they will be billed by UM and to estimate a balance due or refund amount after aid assignment and disbursement.

Step 1: Estimate your expected bills for tuition and fees and campus housing:

Tuition/Fees Estimate $____________
Campus Housing/Meal Plan Estimate +$____________
Other Billed Miscellaneous Fees
Total Estimated Billing =$____________ (A)

Step 2: List total expected financial aid you plan to receive as listed on your Financial Aid Package:

Grants and Scholarships Total (outside/private scholarships cannot be counted until actual funds are received) $_____________
Student Loan Total (if you plan to apply for student loans) +$_____________
Parent Loan Total (if you plan to apply for parent loans) +$_____________
Private Loan Total (if you plan to apply for private loans) +$_____________  
Total Estimated Financial Aid =$_____________ (B)

Step 3: Subtract Total Estimated Financial Aid (B) from Total Estimated Billing (A) to determine estimated balance due or refund amount from Office of Student Accounts:

Total Estimated Billing $_____________ (A)
Total Estimated Financial Aid -$_____________ (B)
Estimated Balance Due or Excess Funds (Refund Amount) =$_____________ *

*If academic year figures are used, you will need to divide by two (2) to determine balance due or excess funds per semester. A positive amount reflects the estimated balance due, and a negative number reflects the estimated excess funds (refund) credit.