Financial Aid: Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid: Frequently Asked Questions

HOW CERTAIN CAN I BE THAT I WILL RECEIVE SOME TYPE OF FINANCIAL AID? 

Of the freshmen aid applicants who were enrolled for the fall semester, 95% were offered funding from University scholarships and/ or need-based grants.

WHAT IS SCRANTON’S CODE FOR THE FAFSA?

Be sure to include Scranton's code number (003384) on the FAFSA form. 

WHAT IS VERIFICATION? 

Because students sometimes make errors on their FAFSA, there is a process for verifying applications and making corrections. The Central Processing System (CPS) selects which applications are to be verified, but schools also have the authority to verify additional students. Verification is simply a process of documenting your FAFSA data. In many cases this verification process helps families receive more financial aid. If you are selected for verification, you cannot receive any of your federal aid until verification is completed.

WHEN WILL I HEAR FROM THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE?

You may view your financial aid status beginning in mid-December in your my.scranton portal.

  • The Financial Aid office begins to notify students of financial aid awards the week of January 15.
  • We notify students of their financial aid package via the student's email account that was provided on the FAFSA. Parents are also notified via the parent email address provided on the FAFSA. 
  • The Financial Aid office typically processes FAFSA data within two weeks of when you submit it to the Department of Education.
  • Please read and return any notices as quickly as possible.

AM I A DEPENDENT STUDENT?

To determine whether or not you are considered a dependent student, please refer to the website of the Department of Education. 

WHAT IS A SUBSIDIZED VS. UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN?

Federal Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. Your total award may include subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans for the same enrollment period.

  • A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest while enrolled at least half time or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government "subsidizes" the interest during the periods.
  • An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized; that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount.
  • Federal Stafford Loan annual limits are based on enrollment status (Freshmen $5,500; Sophomores $6,500; Juniors $7,500; Seniors $7,500).

WHAT IS A 529 PLAN?

A 529 plan is a college savings plan which operates as a qualified tuition program under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. Parents, grandparents, and other interested parties may lock in today's tuition rates, and the program will pay out future college tuition at any of the state's eligible colleges or universities (or an equal payment to private and out-of-state institutions). Amounts of tuition (units) may be purchased through a one-time lump sum purchase or monthly installment payments. The program pools the money and makes long-range investments so that the earnings meet or exceed college tuition increases in the state.

ARE THERE TAX BENEFITS RELATED TO EDUCATION? 

You may be eligible for tax benefits that can save you additional money when paying for education. Examples include the Hope Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Student Loan Interest Deductions, Tuition and Fees Deductions, the Coverdell ESA, Qualified Tuition Programs (QTP), Early IRA Distributions, and Education Savings Bond Programs. Generally, you may not claim more than one benefit for the same education experience.