Students are required to submit aid applications on an annual basis. Priority consideration for receipt of financial aid funds administered by the FAO shall be given to students who submit all required documentation by the assigned priority deadline.
There are many forms which may be required to evaluate student aid eligibility. However, a student need only submit the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for admission to begin the first step in applying for aid.
Additional documents may be requested to complete processing of the aid request. Notification of these additional required documents are sent to students through a missing information letter. Below are documents which may be required.
- Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - a need analysis document published by the Department of Education. Information is sent to the Central Processing Center (CPS) for an analysis of the expected family contribution (EFC). Students receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) which shows the results of the analysis. Federal aid may only be awarded based on the official results of the FASFA.
- Federal Direct Stafford Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN) – first-time loan recipients must sign a master promissory note.
- Federal Tax Return Transcript - Tax transcripts may be requested if a student is selected for verification, or if the aid administrator deems it necessary to verify conflicting information. Dependent students must submit their tax transcript and the transcript of their parents. Independent students must submit their tax transcript and their spouse's, if applicable. Tax transcripts can be requested directly from the IRS.
- Verification Worksheet - a document which collects updated information previously submitted on the FAFSA. Students who are selected for verification must submit this worksheet. Dependent students must obtain their parents' signature. An aid administrator may request a Verification Worksheet to resolve conflicting documentation .
- Citizenship Verification - a document which collects proof that the student has citizenship status eligible for financial aid purposes, which may include, but is not limited to, a birth certificate, alien registration card.
- Request for Professional Judgment due to Special Circumstances - a document that verifies a student, spouse, or parents' special circumstances. This document also is used for out of pocket medical expense and private school tuition.
- Student Loan Entrance Interview – a document verifying that the student understands his rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower.
Students begin the application process by applying for admission and submitting any piece of documentation. This submission informs the FAO that the student wishes to apply for financial aid. Once the FAFSA is received, tracking letters are sent to students informing the student of documents or information which must be submitted. If a student submits an incomplete document, it is returned for completion. If the aid administrator requires additional information, a letter and any appropriate forms will be sent to the student. If the student does not submit the requested information, the file will be considered inactive. Once the requested information is received and verified, it is forwarded to the director for packaging.
Fall May 1, Spring December 1 and Summer May 1, preceding the academic year for which aid is applied, are the priority deadlines at Centenary College.
Independent Student Status
The EFC from an independent student takes into account only the income and asset value of the student and spouse, if applicable; the parents’ financial information is not included. Students are automatically considered independent if they meet the following criteria:
- Born before January 1, 1991 (for the 2014-15 processing year),
- Enrolled in a graduate or professional course of study,
- Are an orphan or a ward of the court or were a ward of the court until age 18,
- Have legal dependents (other than a spouse) or have children of which they provide more than 50% of their financial support, or
- Are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.
- Are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Aid administrators have the authority to make students who do not meet the above criteria independent under special circumstances using Professional Judgment. Special circumstances must be documented and a copy of the documentation must be maintained in the student's file. Examples of special circumstances include, but are not limited to:
- An estranged relationship with the family,
- A student under the age of 24 who is divorced.
Aid administrators adjust the student's dependency status by completing the Dependency Override School Use Only section of the FAFSA or FAFSA Correction application.