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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions about the status of your Financial Aid and FAFSA:

1. Are there items missing that may delay my financial aid process?
2. How can I check the status of my FAFSA?
3. What are "active messages"?
4. How do I or my parent(s) use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA? 
5. Do I need to submit the IRS Tax Return Transcript if I am successful in using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?
6. How do I or my parent(s) request an IRS Tax Return Transcript?

Questions about your Financial Aid award:

1. How can I view my financial aid award?
2. How can I accept my financial aid award?
3. How do I accept my PELL Grant?
4. Once I receive my award letter, is there any reason it could change later?
5. How will I know if my financial aid award changes?
6. Will my Financial Aid package be the same every year?
7. Can I print my award?

Pacific's Academic Scholarship Questions:

Freshmen Awards: Powell, Regent's, President's, Provost's, or Dean's

Transfer Awards: Tri-County, Distinguished, or Commended

1. I was selected for an academic merit scholarship. Can I qualify for any other financial aid?
2. Is there a minimum course load required for the scholarship?
3. Is there a minimum GPA to retain my scholarship?
4. How often is my GPA reviewed?
5. What happens if my overall GPA doesn't meet the renewal requirement of 3.0?
6. Is there an appeal process if I have extenuating circumstances?
7. Can I get my scholarship back by attending summer school?
8. Will my need based financial aid be adjusted if I lose my academic scholarship?
9. How many years may I renew the scholarship?
10. How often will I be evaluated for an academic scholarship?

Outside scholarship (non-Pacific) related questions:

1. How do I apply for outside (non-Pacific) scholarships?
2. How can I report an outside scholarship?

Loan related questions:

1. How can I accept a lesser loan amount than offered?
2. How can I decline a loan?
3. Can I accept a loan if I previously declined the loan?
4. Can my loan amount be increased once I accept a lesser amount?
5. I've accepted my loans, is there anything else I need to do?
6. How can my parent apply for a Parent PLUS loan?
7. How can I apply for a Grad PLUS loan as a Graduate student?
8. Is there a limit on the amount of time I can receive Direct Subsidized Loans?

General questions about Work-Study:

1. Will I be able to get a job through the Federal Work-Study program?
2. If I decline Work-Study, may I accept it later?

General Financial Aid questions:

1. Do I need to re-apply for Financial Aid each year?
2. What if my housing plans are different than shown on my award?
3. As an undergraduate student, what if I plan to be enrolled less than full-time?
4. I missed the priority deadline. Can I still apply for financial aid? Is my eligibility impacted?
5. I currently have a Cal Grant, do I need to do a GPA verification form each year?
6. How does the Office of Financial Aid communicate with students?

Special programs that may create changes in packaging:

1. Is aid available for Study Abroad?
2. I am going on Engineering Co-op. How does this affect my aid?
3. I am going to be an RA (Resident Assistant). How does this affect my aid?

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Are items missing that may delay my financial aid process?  

Follow these steps to see if there are any items we are waiting to receive:

Step 1. Click on "Financial Aid" tab 
Step 2. Click on "Eligibility"
Step 3. Click on "Student Requirements"

Note: Requirements that are missing and/or incomplete are located in the "Unsatisfied Requirements" section with the status of Established and/or Incomplete.



What are "active messages"?
Active messages are informational messages which are associated with your financial aid award and would generally appear on your award letter.


How do I or my parent(s) use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA?

  1. To use the DRT, log on to the FAFSA website and proceed to the parent and/or student financial section where there will be a box labeled IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  2. Provide the requested information and you will be directed to the IRS website, where you will authorize the IRS to submit your tax information to FAFSA.
  3. You will then be directed back to the FAFSA website, where you will sign and resubmit your FAFSA with Pacific's school code, 001329.
  4. If the FAFSA is not resubmitted after the DRT is used, the tax information will not transfer to Pacific.
  5. You do NOT need to order IRS Tax Return Transcripts if the DRT was successful.
  6. Submit copies of all W2's to the Financial Aid Office.

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Do I need to submit the IRS Tax Return Transcript if I am successful in using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

No, if you are sucessful in using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) located on the FAFSA you are not required to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript. However, you are required to submit copies of your W2s to the Financial Aid Office.


How do I or my parent(s) request an IRS Tax Return Transcript?

Step 1.  Go to  http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript 

     Option 1:  Click on "Get Transcript Online" (view and print transcript immediately)

    • Create an account or sign in.

     Option 2:  Click on "Get Transcript by Mail" (takes 5 to 10 business days to arrive)

    • Use the Social Security Number and date of birth of the first person listed on the 2013 IRS income tax return, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used on the 2013 IRS Income Tax Return).
    • Request/select the "IRS Tax Return Transcript" and NOT the "IRS Tax Account Transcript".


 How do I accept my PELL Grant or why can't I accept it on insidePacific?

Pell Grants stay in "offered" status until approximately the first week of school. At that time, the Financial Aid Office will change the status to "accept" if the student is registered, all Financial Aid requirements are complete, and classes have begun.



Once I recieve my award letter, is there any reason it could change later?
There are a number of circumstances that could have an effect on your original award letter:

  • Verification of your application
  • Change in your family's financial situtation
  • Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) or an acceptable GPA
  • Notification after you were packaged of "outside" aid (i.e. a scholarship)
  • Not enrolling for the required number of units to receive aid through programs



How will I know if my financial aid award changes?
The Office of Financial Aid will send an email to your u.pacific.edu address.



Will my financial aid package be the same every year? 

In order to maintain aid, students must reapply every year to renew their financial aid amount. Your aid amount will not change unless there are significant financial changes in your household and you no longer fit the eligibility requirements for Federal, State, and Institutional financial aid.

Any automatic increases in aid will be in the form of a Federal Loan. Federal Loan eligibility increases along with your class standng.

In order to renew merit scholarships, you must meet the minimum enrollment and GPA criteria. Should your merit award be revoked, you may have part of your scholarship replaced be a need-based grant. Your replacement grant will be noted on your award letter. 

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Can I print my award?
Step 1. Click on "View Your Financial Aid Award" 
Step 2. Click on "Award By Aid Year"
Step 3. Click on "Award Overview" tab
Step 4. Click on the orange Print located under the "General Information" tab


I was selected for an academic merit scholarship. Can I qualify for any other financial aid?
To find out, please file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have your FAFSA information sent to Pacific. Pacific's FAFSA school code is 001329. Many scholarship winners who apply for financial aid find they qualify for aid in addition to their academic awards.


Is there a minimum course load required for the scholarship?
Yes, scholarship recipients must enroll full-time (12 units or more each semester) to receive the scholarship.


Is there a minimum GPA to retain my scholarship?
Yes, Regent's, President's, and Provost's recipients must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA, Powell Scholar recipients must maintain an overall 3.5 GPA to remain eligible for the scholarship.


How often is my GPA reviewed?
Scholarship review is done annually after spring semester to determine eligibility for the upcoming academic year.

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What happens if my overall GPA doesn't meet the renewal requirement of 3.0 or 3.5 for Powell Scholars?
You will be notified by the Financial Aid Office (USPS-letter and u.pacific email) in June that your scholarship will not be renewed for the upcoming year.


Is there an appeal process if I have extenuating circumstances?
No.  If, after any future semester, your overall GPA is 3.0 or higher, or 3.5 for Powell Scholars, you may contact a member of the financial aid counseling staff and ask that your scholarship eligibility be reviewed and reinstated for the subsequent term.  Please note that you must request the review; scholarship reinstatement is  not automatic if you meet the GPA requirement in the future. 


Can I get my scholarship back by attending summer school?
Yes, but only courses at Pacific will be included in your GPA. While you may be able to transfer units from a community college or a college closer to your home during summer, a GPA is not calculated.


Will my need-based financial aid be adjusted if I lose my academic scholarship?
Every financial aid package is individual.  Please contact a member of the counseling staff to determine if you're eligible for other need-based aid from Pacific if your scholarship is not renewed.


How many years may I renew the scholarship?
In general, academic scholarships received in the freshman year are renewable in a bachelor's degree program for up to a total of four years (eight semesters).   Students pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree may use the scholarship during the pre-professional years of study; the scholarship is not renewable for professional study in the School of Pharmacy, Dentistry or Law.

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How often will I be evaluated for an academic scholarship?
Eligibility for an academic scholarship is calculated one time and that's at the point of admission to Pacific.  


Do I need to report an outside scholarship, if so how do I report it?
Yes, any outside scholarship you receive must be taken into consideration as part of your total financial aid package. An outside scholarship cannot be counted as part of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

If your financial aid package must be revised to accommodate an outside scholarship, the outside award will be used first to replace an equal amount of loan or work-study. Other grants or scholarships will be reduced only as a last resort. To report an outside scholarship, follow these steps:

Step 1. Click on "View Your Financial Aid Award"
Step 2. Click on "Award by Aid Year", select aid year and click Submit
Step 3. Click on "Resources/Additional Information" tab
Step 4. Enter outside scholarship information including Resource Description, Term, and Amount.


How do I apply for Outside (non-Pacific) scholarships?
Admitted freshmen and transfer students are automatically considered for Pacific's merit-based scholarships and there is no separate scholarship application that needs to be submitted. The exception is the Powell Scholars Program, which requires a special application and interview.

For information about scholarships from other sources, check with your high school or community college counselor and access one of the free online scholarship search sites, such as:

» FastWeb » College Board (Fund Finder)
» Club Scholarship » International Education Financial Aid
» GoCollege Scholarship Search » Scholarships.com

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How can I accept a lesser loan amount than offered?
Step 1. Click on "View Your Financial Aid Award" 
Step 2. Click on "Award By Aid Year"
Step 3. Click on "Accept Award Offer" tab
Step 4. Click the arrow on the dropdown box by the loan you want to accept and select "Accept"
Step 5. Specify the amount you want to borrow in the "Accept Partial Amount" area
Step 6. Click on the "Submit Decision" button



How can I decline a loan?
Step 1. Click on "View Financial Aid Award" 
Step 2. Click on "Award By Aid Year", select the aid year and click Submit
Step 3. Click on "Accept Award Offer" tab
Step 4. Click the arrow on the drop-down box by the loan you want to decline and select "Decline"
Step 5. Click on the "Submit Decision" button



Can my loan amount be increased once I accept a lesser amount?
Yes, if you have eligibility for the increased amount.  Contact the counseling staff in the Office of Financial Aid .



Can I accept a loan if I previously declined the loan?
Yes, if you have eligibility for the loan.  Contact the counseling staff in the Financial Aid Office to reset your previous loan eligibility.



I've accepted my loans, is there anything else I need to do?
After July 15th, all new Direct Loan borrowers must complete the Master Promissory Note and Federal Direct Online Entrance Counseling at  Student Loans (FAFSA PIN required). For additional information, refer to the  Loan Instructions form.

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How can my parent apply for a Parent PLUS loan?
Your parent applies for the Parent PLUS loan at www.StudentLoans.gov indicating the amount they want to borrow for the academic year.


 
As a Graduate Student how can I accept my Grad PLUS loan?
Step 1. Click on "View Your Financial Aid Award"
Step 2. Click on "Award By Aid Year" and select the aid year.
Step 3. Click on "Accept Award Offer" tab
Step 4. Click the arrow on the drop-down box by the Federal Grad PLUS and select "Accept" (if you want to accept full amount) or indicate the lesser amount you plan to borrow in the "Accept Partial Amount" area
Step 5. Click "Submit Decision" button



Is there a limit on the amount of time I can receive Direct Subsidized Student Loans?

Yes, starting July 1, 2013, new borrowers may receive the interest subsidy for up to 150% of the published length of their program (6 years for most students at the University of the Pacific; varies by program and student type). In addition to the 150% regulation, students have annual subsidized loan limits according to their class standing.

Class Standing Maximum Subsidized Loan Limit
1st Year Undergraduate $3,500.00
2nd Year Undergraduate $4,500.00
3rd and 4th Year Undergraduate $5,500.00

Students should be mindful that in addition to the above restrictions on subsidized loans, there are aggregate loan limits. The Undergraduate lifetime subsidized loan limit is $23,000.00, students may not access more than this amount even if they have not completed their degree program.


What if my housing plans are different than shown on my award?
A change in your residential situation may affect your cost of attendance and, subsequently, your financial aid package. Contact the counseling staff in the Office of Financial Aid; they can help you determine any changes in your aid eligibility.


As an undergraduate student, what if I plan to be enrolled less than full-time?
A change in your registration may affect your cost of attendance and, subsequently, your financial aid package/ eligibility. Contact the counseling staff in the Office of Financial Aid , they can help you determine any changes in your aid eligibility.



I missed the priority deadline. Can I still apply for financial aid? Is my eligibility impacted?
Yes, you may apply for aid throughout the academic year; however, your award may be less favorable due to limited funding in the federal campus-based programs (i.e., Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work-Study or Federal Perkins loan).


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I currently have a Cal Grant, do I need to do a GPA verification form each year?
No, however, annually you must meet California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) income and asset guidelines to remain eligible for the Cal Grant.


How does the Office of Financial Aid communicate with students?
The Office of Financial Aid communicates with students through a variety of formats. Like other offices on campus, Financial Aid's most common form of communication is email utilizing students' personal u.pacific.edu email address. Students are expected to check their u.pacific.edu email accounts regularly. Information sent/ received via email is considered official University communication and should be treated as such. Pacific strongly urges students to use their u.pacific.edu email because of it's secure nature but understands not all students will utilize it as their primary email account. Students who will not be regularly checking their Pacific email should forward their Pacific email to their preferred email account.


Is aid available for Study Abroad?
Yes, as long as you are charged Pacific Tuition for your semester abroad. Contact the Financial Aid counseling staff for additional information.



I am going on Engineering Co-op. How does this affect my aid?
Federal aid awarded to you for the year is disbursed equally between the semesters of enrollment. University tuition specific aid may be adjusted and distributed unequally, if necessary. Since students going on Co-Op receive a waiver for half the value of a standard semester's tuition rate, costs will most likely be lower during a Co-Op semester. Contact the Financial Aid Counseling staff for additional information.



I am going to be an RA (Resident Assistant). How does this affect my aid?
Resident Assistant awards are awarded and disbursed on a semester basis. In some cases, the award will be incorporated into the overall award need (i.e. reduce loans); however, if financial need has been met, it may impact University tuition-specific aid. Contact the Financial Aid counseling staff for more information.

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