Step 1: Complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) and Hartford Seminary Financial Aid Application (optional)
1. You will need to complete a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Advice on how to apply can be found at www.studentaid.ed.gov. It is extremely important for you to fill out your FAFSA accurately. Every year up to 30% of applicants are randomly selected for verification by the US Department of Education. The Financial Aid office will notify you in writing if you have been selected, and you will be required to submit your Federal Income Tax Return, W2 Forms, and other documentation before your FAFSA can be processed. Your FAFSA is a legal document, and its content can be checked and verified, so please input your data carefully and accurately.
2. To sign your application, you will need to apply for a pin number. This can also be completed at the www.fafsa.ed.gov site.
The School Code for Hartford Seminary is G01387.
If you have previously applied for a Federal Stafford Loan, you should complete a Renewal FAFSA.
The online application process will work out your borrowing requirements and calculate any expected family contribution (EFC).
3. (optional) If you are interested in applying for Hartford Seminary’s Need-Based or Merit-Based Scholarships and Grants, please complete the corresponding applications. See full details including how to apply above.
Step 2: Inform Financial Aid Office/Submit Documentation
In order for Hartford Seminary to offer a student an accurate Financial Aid package, you must inform the Financial Aid Coordinator, Pat Hickey at firstname.lastname@example.org of any outside scholarships or grants that you are receiving for the academic year for which you are submitting your FAFSA. Contacting the Financial Aid Coordinator at this juncture is also an opportunity to discuss any concerns that you may have concerning your Financial Aid, and to ensure you receive a Financial Aid Package that best suits your needs.
The Financial Aid office may also contact you by mail or email to request additional documentation if you have been selected for verification, or to reconcile any conflicting information found on your FAFSA application.
Step 3: Electronically Sign and Complete the Master Promissory Note (eMPN)
1. Go to http://studentloans.gov
2. On top left under Manager My Direct Loan, click on the green “sign in” tab and use your DOE pin number to sign in.
Step 4: Complete Entrance Counseling
The US Department of Education requires all Direct Loan Borrowers to complete a loan counseling session before they can receive their loan funds.
1. Go to http://studentloans.gov
2. Click on the “Welcome to Direct Loan Servicing Online, Entrance and Exit Counseling’ Image on the front and center of the webpage.
3. Click on the “Start” button in the box titled “Entrance Counseling” on the left side of the page.
4. Select school name and student type as “Graduate or Professional” and continue.
Step 5: Origination Process
Once the Seminary has received all the necessary documents required from you, we will begin to process your application. In order to originate your loan, the Seminary must ensure that you and the program you wish to study are eligible for the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.
Eligible Programs include:
- Master of the Arts Program- any concentration
- Cooperative Master of Divinity
- Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy
- Doctor of Ministry
Hartford Seminary must also confirm the amount you are eligible to borrow based on several additional criteria as determined by the US Department of Education.
Some of the eligibility criteria include:
- US Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status
- Not in default on any previous Federal Student Loans
- Enrolled in courses at least half-time (minimum of 6 credits in every Fall and Spring Semester)
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Performance
For more information on student eligibility, please go to www.studentaid.ed.gov or contact the Financial Aid Office at Hartford Seminary.
The student’s Cost of Attendance is used in calculating your Financial Aid package. The Cost of Attendance is the total of:
- Tuition and fees for the relevant program for the relevant mode of attendance, for the relevant academic year, plus an allowance for living, transportation, and books and supplies.
- Other (specific and justifiable additional costs of attending, permissible within the US Federal regulations) can be included in the Cost of Attendance. Examples might include special health or medical costs or special costs arising from disability needs etc. If you have incurred any of these additional costs, you should contact the Hartford Seminary’s Financial Aid Administrator for more information.
The Cost of Attendance must be reasonable. Students may not receive in Federal Direct Loan funding more than their Cost of Attendance. After the Cost of Attendance is calculated, adjustments are made to reflect the Expected Family Contribution and any other funding received (e.g. grants and scholarships from Step 2) in accordance with the origination rules.
Step 6: Sign and Return the Offer Letter
After your Financial Aid has been calculated, you will receive an offer letter from the Hartford Seminary Financial Aid office detailing your award amounts.
This letter must be signed and returned to Hartford Seminary’s Financial Aid Office in order to proceed. You will be given the option to accept the full amount of financial aid offered, or any portion thereof.
Signed letters can be mailed to:
Financial Aid Office
Attn : Pat Hickey
77 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105 USA
Step 7: Loan Disbursement
Once the loan(s) have been originated, the US Department of Education will approve the amounts previously agreed upon and release the funds to Hartford Seminary. The Federal Loan proceeds will come in a minimum of two installments per academic year, which traditionally will occur at the beginning of each semester.
If your loans proceeds exceed the amount you owe to Hartford Seminary for that term, the resulting credit balance can be maintained on your student account, with your written authorization. If no authorization is received, the credit balance will be refunded in accordance with the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program guidelines. Refund checks should be picked up in person at the Business Office, and signed for upon receipt. Arrangements for this can be made directly with the Business Office.
Step 8: Exit Counseling
The US Department of Education requires that all student loan borrowers complete an exit counseling session whenever they drop below half-time enrolment status, withdraw, or graduate. This must be completed within the final term of your studies.
- Go to http://studentloans.gov
- Click on the “Welcome to Direct Loan Servicing Online, Entrance and Exit Counseling” Image on the front and center of the webpage.
- Click on the “Go” button in the box titled “Exit Counseling” on the right side of the page.
- Log In, and complete the “Exit Counseling” quiz and tutorial.
A summary of the responsibilities of a student borrower under the Federal Aid scheme are as follows:
- The loan proceeds must be used immediately and primarily to pay tuition and accommodation fees at Hartford Seminary. If the loan is not used for this purpose it can be recalled by the lender.
- The student must notify FAFSA if any of the following change for a reason other than a change in marital status: dependency status; household size and/ or number of people in the household enrolled in a degree or certificate program. ALL loans have to be repaid to the US Department of Education. (The only exceptions occur if the student never earns any money or dies.)
Use of the Loan Funding
All students with loans under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program must have used their loan in the first instance for the payment of Hartford Seminary tuition, fees and accommodation. In the event that there is a shortfall for any reason, the funds will be used towards tuition fees first and any University accommodation charges thereafter.
Student Academic Progress and Change of Circumstance
All students who leave their course or change mode of attendance, or fail to make satisfactory academic progress must be reported to the US Department of Education. Students may not take more than 150% of the normal duration to complete their program – they become ineligible for Federal Direct Loan funding in the excess years.
Hartford Seminary has a responsibility to ensure that all students in receipt of William D. Ford Direct Loan funding are making satisfactory academic progress. Where a student falls below the minimum standard of satisfactory academic progress, Federal Direct Loan funding will be suspended.
Return of Title IV Funds
The Seminary is required by federal law to recalculate financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term.
If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds on behalf of the student. This would result in a debit balance owed by the student to the Seminary.
If any of your questions about Federal Financial Aid have not been addressed by the information presented, please contact Pat Hickey, the federal financial aid coordinator, at email@example.com or 860-509-9545.