Frequently Asked Questions
Incoming freshman and first-time applicants
How should I apply for financial aid?
Apply using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.FAFSA.gov.
You can use the IRS Data Retrieval tool on FAFSA. This tool will allow you to pull your/your parents’ tax information directly from the IRS into your on-line FAFSA application. We highly recommend that you and your parents file taxes as early as possible so you can use this tool. Using the IRS data retrieval system will benefit you by reducing your chances of being selected for Verification.
Eastern has a priority date of March 1st. Students who file their FAFSA by this date place themselves in the best position to receive limited gift aid resources available through Eastern.
Can I use financial aid to pay for my books?
Students are eligible to receive a short-term loan of up to $750 if the student has financial aid in excess of their direct charges for tuition, fees, room and board and will be receiving a refund check. Short term loans are also issued for transportation costs, rent, child care and other living expenses.
I was awarded financial aid by Eastern. How do I accept my aid?
Your package can be reviewed and accepted through your eWeb online account. Instructions for how to log in and accept your award are available on our site.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?
The SAP Policy at Eastern applies to financial aid recipients only. The policy is based on federal guidelines that require each university to ensure that student aid recipients are progressing through their academic programs at an acceptable pace while maintaining an acceptable cumulative grade point average. This policy is separate and apart from other academic policies at the university.
I received a letter indicating that I failed to achieve SAP. What are my options?
If there are extenuating circumstances that caused you to fail to meet one of the SAP standards, you may submit an appeal describing these circumstances and outlining what has changed that will allow you to be successful going forward. Your appeal will be reviewed by the SAP Appeals Committee and decision about the continuation of your aid will be communicated to you. You may find the SAP Appeal Form here.
If you do not have extenuating circumstances or your appeal is denied, you may re-enroll without financial aid and strive to achieve the standard(s) you failed to meet.
How might I have my parent’s recent loss of employment or another recent financial set- back be considered in determining my financial aid?
A student can complete a Special Circumstances Application. Applications are reviewed weekly in order to determine if the circumstances described can result in any additional financial aid.
What types of grants are offered by your school?
The Federal Pell Grant – Students may be eligible to receive up to $5815.00 per year based upon financial need. A grant is financial aid that does not need to be repaid.
Various state-funded grants (Governor’s Scholarships and CT State University Grant) – These grants are awarded on the basis of financial need and, in some cases, academic merit. State funding for these grants is subject to change, and therefore, so are the amounts awarded to students.
I received a CT or Pell grant last year. Why did I not receive it this year?
There could be several reasons for this happening:
- Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) increased based on an increase in family resources described on your FAFSA, or,
- The CT based grant fund was depleted by the time your Verification documents or your FAFSA was received, or,
- the grant funds were depleted by the time your application was awarded.
I received a Pell or CT grant but the whole award was not disbursed. Why did this happen?
Your total award is based on full-time registration and is always disbursed in equal payments across fall and spring semester. Reducing the number of credits for which a student is registered can also reduce the value of the disbursed amount.
What is a Direct Loan and how can I go about applying for one?
Federal Direct Loans are guaranteed student loans available to both undergraduate and graduate students. These loans are packaged when you demonstrate need by filing the FAFSA. If you wish to accept a Federal Direct Student Loan, you must complete on-line Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and submit an on-line Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov.
Subsidized loans currently carry a 3.29% interest rate and do not accumulate interest until graduation.
Unsubsidized loans currently carry a 6.84% interest rate; however, they do accumulate interest from the time of the first disbursement.
Why were some of my loans returned?
Your full loan disbursement depends on your registration status (full or part-time) and whether you have achieved your lifetime limit for student loans. If you reduce your credit hours and/or have approached your maximum lifetime limit, your loan disbursement may have to be reduced.
Students may monitor their borrowing against their life-time limits by clicking on www.nslds.ed.gov and using their FAFSA pin number to access their account.
After accepting my loans, what else must I do to complete the process?
When any Direct Loan is accepted, a first time borrower must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note, both of which can be completed at www.studentloans.gov. This is done once and only once, even if you transfer schools.
What are other loan options that I might use for educational expenses?
PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student) – The application for this loan can be found at www.studentloans.gov. A parent must sign in with their FAFSA pin number to apply. Once completed, the parent will be prompted to finish a Master Promissory Note on the same website. If the parent is declined, the student is eligible for an additional unsubsidized Direct Loan depending on the number of credits completed.
Alternative Loan – This is a private loan available through a bank or lender. If needed, you would apply for this loan after you receive your financial aid package and exhaust your eligibility for other student loans.
How long does it take before my Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Direct Loan Entrance Counseling completion are communicated to Eastern?
Please allow at least one week for this communication to occur. You may check the status of your MPN and Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
Do I qualify for scholarship from ECSU?
Merit Scholarships are awarded as students enter the University and target both new first-year and transfer students of high ability and achievement. Filing both your admission and FAFSA applications by the Priority Dates outlined under “Dates To Remember” on this website is critical.
If I am not eligible for a merit scholarship, what other scholarships are possible?
There are several websites that allow students to create profiles which match them with scholarships for which they may be eligible. www.FASTWEB.com and www.scholarships.com are two such websites, neither of which charge a fee to apply. Students should never pay a fee to search for scholarships.
Is there any financial aid available for summer classes?
Summer aid may be available providing that the student submits a summer aid application to the Office of Financial Aid. In most cases, summer aid is in the form of loans. The student must be enrolled in at least three (3) credits or more to qualify.