Financial Aid

Approximately 91 percent of our students finance their educational dreams with some form of financial aid.

Financial assistance is available to students in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment. Freshmen and first-time Pennsylvania state grant applicants must complete the PA State Grant application at www.pheaa.org. If you are selected for federal verification (an audit), submit the appropriate form as soon as you can.

Prior to applying for financial aid, Clarion's Net Cost Calculator, or the federal financial aid Forecaster, can give you an idea of how much and what types of aid you might be eligible to receive.

Clarion urges all students to complete an annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to May 1 each year via the federal website: www.fafsa.ed.gov. Please indicate Clarion's Title IV code (003318) on the FAFSA form. Please note: The FSA ID (a username and password) has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN. If you have not created your FSA ID yet, you can read additional information and create your ID here.

Note: At Clarion University, an academic year is comprised of a fall and spring semester, during which time a full-time student is expected to complete at least 24 credits. The period of time school is in session consists of 30 weeks of instruction.

Conditions for Financial Aid

In order to continue receiving financial aid following initial enrollment at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, students must meet certain conditions each year.

  • Students must enroll at least part-time (six credits) for every aid program, except the federal Pell Grant program. Also, all federal and state aid applicants must reapply for aid using the FAFSA form each year.
  • Full-time baccalaureate students may receive assistance from most federal Title IV programs for up to six years of attendance or 180 semester hours; full-time associate degree students are limited to three years of attendance or 90 semester hours.
  • The Pennsylvania state grant program provides baccalaureate students with up to four years of potential funding and associate degree students with a maximum of two years of funding.  
  • Full-time PHEAA state grant recipients must successfully complete at least 24 new semester hours each year to be eligible for additional state grant monies for the upcoming award year. Part-time PHEAA grant recipients must successfully complete at least six credits during each semester in which they received a grant to maintain future award year eligibility.
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan recipients must successfully complete a cumulative total of 30 credit hours to qualify for second year loan limits. In order to qualify for third, fourth, or fifth year level loans, recipients must successfully earn a cumulative total of 60 or more credit hours.
  • Federal and state regulations require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to retain eligibility for financial aid in subsequent years. In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, students must successfully complete at least 67 percent of all cumulatively attempted credits over the course of their career at Clarion. This percentage is calculated and reviewed each academic year at the end of the spring term, prior to the student's receipt of any additional federal financial aid monies for the future academic year.  Clarion University's complete SAP policy can be accessed here.
  • Undergraduate students, regardless of enrollment status, who fail to achieve a cumulative QPA of at least a 2.0, are normally placed on probation or suspension by the Office of Academic Affairs. If a student is suspended by the Office of Academic Affairs, they do not qualify for additional federal aid until they are reinstated to the university. If the student appeals the suspension action and is permitted to return to Clarion, he/she will receive additional federal financial aid ONLY if he/she also has successfully earned 67 percent of all cumulatively attempted credits.  
  • Graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 QPA.
Financial Aid Refunds

Refunds from excess financial aid are not available to students each semester until after the drop/add period is over. The quickest way to gain access to any financial aid refunds you may receive from excess financial aid disbursements is to sign up for direct deposit on the MyClarion portal. You can get step-by-step directions on how to sign up for direct deposit here.

Return of Federal Aid Monies Due to University Withdrawal

Federal Title IV regulations dictate the return of federal aid monies. If a recipient of Title IV funds (Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, Direct Stafford Loan) withdraws from school after beginning attendance, a portion of the Title IV funds may have to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of the Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

Students, who are considering withdrawing after the semester begins or reducing their credit hour load, should contact the Student Financial Services Office first to determine the impact on their financial aid awards. 

If a student withdraws before completing 60 percent of the semester, the percentage of Title IV funds earned is equal to the percentage of the semester completed. The university is required to return the unearned portion to the U.S. Department of Education. If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution is required to return a portion of the funds and the student is then required to return a portion of the funds. When Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a balance to the institution. The institution must return the amount of the Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 30 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student's withdrawal.

The percentage of payment period or term completed up to the withdrawal date is determined by dividing the total number of days enrolled by the total days in the standard payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: aid to be returned = (100 percent of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period of the term.

Returns are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal SEOG Grants

If a student withdraws after completing more than 60 percent of the semester, the percentage of Title IV funds earned is 100, and neither the student nor the school return any funds to USDE.

If a student earns more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution owes the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student's withdrawal.

Medical Withdrawal: Students who request a medical withdrawal are required to repay all refund amounts they received from excess financial aid during the term in question. In order to fully (100%) credit the tuition and fees, the university must return all aid. Any refunds of excess financial aid given to the student must be repaid to the university before the withdrawal request is finalized.

Please note: The university refund policy for tuition and fees is very different from the Federal Title IV regulations for returning financial aid. For example:  If a student withdraws after the end of the university refund period, the student will be charged for 100 percent of his/her tuition and fees.  If the student withdraws before completing more than 60 percent of the semester, the university is required to return a portion of his/her Title IV funds.  In most cases, the student will owe the university for the Title IV funds returned.  If not repaid to the university, the student will not be able to return in future semesters or receive official transcripts.

View Financial Aid

To view the financial aid you are receiving, log into your MyClarion account, the student information system for Clarion University.  Students, faculty, and staff utilize MyClarion for registration, grades, financial aid, billing, and many other services. Here's a quick reference guide for using MyClarion to access financial aid information:

  1. Login to your MyClarion account.
  2. Click the Student Center link.
  3. In the Student Center, scroll to the Finances area.
  4. Select "View Financial Aid."
  5. Select the appropriate aid year (ex. aid year 2015-2016).
  6. A summary of your financial aid will be displayed. You can view your aid awards for the year or by specific term (summer/fall/spring).
Appeal Procedure

Students denied financial aid for any reason may appeal the denial as follows:

  1. Write to the Student Financial Services Office (SFS), Clarion University, 840 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214, noting the denial and stating the reasons why financial aid should not be denied.  Note: If the student is appealing a lack of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) determination, specific directions on the appeal process are available here.
  2. SFS Office staff will review the denial in terms of information provided by the student.
  3. Following the review, the SFS Office staff will inform the student of the status of the appeal (granted/declined).

 

Last Updated 7/23/15