The Financial Aid Office directly reports to the Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing. The Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing reports directly to the President of the College.
Division of Responsibility Between Financial Aid and Fiscal Offices
There exists a clear and separate division of responsibility for the administration of financial aid programs which are divided between the FAO and the Business Office. In order to maintain this division, each office is accountable for the following responsibilities.
The Financial Aid Office is responsible for the following:
- Collects supporting documentation for the determination of aid eligibility.
- Determines student eligibility for financial assistance.
- Awards federal, state, and college aid in compliance with laws, regulations, and policies.
- Notifies students of aid eligibility.
- Compiles and completes all institutional, state, and federal reports.
The Business Office is responsible for the following:
- Disburses aid to student account.
- Maintains accurate billing.
- Collects payments for student accounts.
General Financial Aid Office Administration
The FAO is open and available to serve students from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
General administrative correspondence is routed by the Financial Aid Assistant. If an appropriate recipient is not identifiable, the correspondence should be given to the Assistant Director for evaluation and delegation.
Where appropriate, correspondence should be responded to within one week. If a staff member is responding to a specific complaint, it is typical procedure for the staff member to have the Director overview the correspondence. This allows the Director to be aware of potential problems.
Telephone calls are answered in a friendly and professional manner. Typically, the Financial Aid Assistant and student workers answer incoming calls. If the caller requires general information, the Financial Aid Assistant should respond. If the caller requires specific information, the staff member should screen the call thoroughly and transfer the information and caller to the appropriate individual.
General financial aid forms are distributed from the front desk of the FAO which is located in Room 132 of Hamilton Hall.
All students, prospective and returning, are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The personnel policies of staff members are outlined in the Centenary College Staff Handbook which is kept on file and available through the Human Resource Office.
Performance evaluations are conducted on an annual basis. Forms must be completed by the director; however, input from co-workers should be solicited.
Students and parents are encouraged, but not required to make appointments.
Confidentiality of Records
All records and conversations between an aid applicant, his/her family and the staff of the FAO are confidential and entitled to the protection ordinarily given a counseling relationship. Centenary assures the confidentiality of student educational records in accordance with Centenary rules and state and federal laws including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (The Buckley Amendment - whose primary intent is to provide students access to their educational records and to limit dissemination of personally identifiable information without a student's written consent) as amended. As a rule, all currently enrolled and former students have the right to review their records to determine their content and accuracy. A student who wishes to obtain access to his/her financial aid record is able to do so in the presence of an FAO employee.
The following information, considered “directory information” may be disclosed to the public by any Centenary employee unless the student has specifically requested in writing to Student Life that this information be withheld:
- Local address
- Local telephone number
- Birthdate and place of birth
- Year in school
- Enrollment status
- Dates of enrollment
- Degrees and awards received
- Most recent attendance of previous educational institution
- Anticipated graduation date
A student’s consent is required for the disclosure or publication of any non-directory information with the following exceptions:
- Another College employee
- Representatives of federal and state agencies
- Accrediting organizations
A student must submit a written release of information for any additional information to be released to any other person or agency. The student’s release must contain:
- Date of request
- Student's Social Security Number
- Student's signature
- Specific contact name or agency
- Summary of information which may be released.
The FAO maintains a master record for each student receiving financial assistance. All financial aid folders are retained for the appropriate retention required by SFA regulations. Any records involved in any claim or expenditure which has been questioned by federal audit are retained until the question is resolved.
The FAO keeps inactive records for three years from the last date of enrollment or longer depending on college policy. After the appropriate time period, records are shredded.
Automated Program Files
The FAO maintains the Banner Financial Aid Module. Federal eligibility information is received electronically from the Department of Education. This information is loaded and maintained by the FAO.