Financial AidThe financial aid program at Susquehanna seeks to put educational expenses within the reach of qualified admitted students. Although the family is considered the first resource, financial aid is often available from a variety of sources. In comparing colleges, families should carefully consider the long-term benefit of their educational and financial investments.
Most financial aid goes to full-time students who do not have adequate resources to meet university expenses. The university awards funds on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Susquehanna also awards scholarships, which recognize the outstanding academic achievement and special talent of students regardless of their financial need.
The university uses a standard and consistent method to measure the ability of families to pay for educational costs. Federal and state programs, developed to equalize educational opportunity, also require that a student's financial need be determined in a systematic manner.
Application Procedures. To apply for financial aid, all applicants complete the College Scholarship Service Profile form and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All forms should be completed as early as possible, noting that the FAFSA can only be filed after January 1. The FAFSA can be filed electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov or by hard copy. The Profile is available only in electronic form at www.collegeboard.com/parents/pay. Susquehanna’s school codes for financial aid applications are: FAFSA – 003369; and CSS Profile – 2820.
Susquehanna will not make financial aid awards prior to admission; however, students should not wait for an admission decision to begin the financial aid application process. Financial aid applicants are also required to provide a signed copy of the student’s and parents’ federal income tax returns. The Office of Financial Aid will request other supplemental information as needed. For further information about financial aid procedures, please refer to the university’s financial aid brochure or Web site, or contact the Office of Financial Aid, 570-372-4450.
Financial Aid Awards. Susquehanna awards financial aid in packages. Combinations may include scholarships, grants, loans and employment. The university expects students to help pay educational costs through savings, work, borrowing and scholarships from outside sources. Financial aid is awarded on a yearly basis; students need to reapply every year to be considered for aid administered by the university. Financial aid is ordinarily limited to a maximum of eight academic semesters.
Eligibility. Most types of financial aid are only available to full-time degree candidates. Certain federal and state grant and loan programs are available to degree students enrolled at least half-time. Students who receive state aid typically are required to earn at least 24 semester hours of credit toward graduation each academic year. To remain eligible for aid from federal and institutional sources, students must also meet minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress as defined by the university and the appropriate loan- or grant-awarding agency.
Minimum satisfactory academic progress for receiving financial aid at Susquehanna is defined as:
- Earning credit in increments that will permit the student to graduate in no more than 12 semesters of full-time study. Note: Susquehanna University-funded aid is available for a maximum of eight semesters.
- Demonstrating the minimum cumulative GPA levels as follows:
End of Semester Minimum
# 2 1.50 22 # 4 1.60 44 # 6 1.70 66 # 8 1.80 88 #10 1.90 110 #12 2.00 130
The Office of Financial Aid measures academic progress annually and cumulatively. Students who do not complete successfully the minimum number of credits or who do not achieve the minimum cumulative grade point average will be placed on financial aid probation. (Repeated courses do not count in the total number of credits completed.) This allows one semester of additional work to bring the academic record up to the minimum standards. Failure to meet the minimums stated above after the probation semester will result in a suspension of further assistance until these standards are met.
The Office of Financial Aid will notify students of probation status or suspension of aid. Students wishing to appeal these decisions, and who have legitimate reasons for doing so (e.g., illness), should put their requests in writing to the vice president of enrollment services at least two weeks prior to the term for which the exception is sought.
Students already enrolled and seeking financial assistance must also meet eligibility standards before receiving financial aid.
Grants and Scholarships
Grants and scholarships are gift aid and do not require repayment. Application information can be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid.
- Susquehanna University Grants: This program of institutional financial aid is funded by the university and awarded on the basis of financial need.
- University Assistantships: : Susquehanna's most prestigious academic scholarships, these $15,000 awards include a professional work experience (ten hours a week on average) with a member of the university faculty or administrative staff. Renewable annually for a total award of $60,000 over four years.
- Valedictorian/Salutatorian Scholarships: These awards are given to students who rank first or second in their high school classes in a demanding academic program. The value is $15,000 per year.
- The following three scholarships are valued at up to $14,000 annually:
- Degenstein Scholarships: The Charles B. Degenstein Scholars Program provides annual scholarships to exceptionally able new students. Preference is given to students intending to major or minor in programs within Susquehanna's Sigmund Weis School of Business. Renewable annually.
- Scholarships for Distinguished Achievement in Science and Mathematics: These annual awards go to students planning majors in the sciences, computer science or mathematics. Recipients are chosen on the basis of outstanding academic achievement.
- Presidential Scholarships: These scholarships, renewable annually, are awarded on a competitive basis to new students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement and personal promise.
- Other Susquehanna scholarship awards include:
- Alumni Scholarships: Five awards of $2,500 annually are available each year to first-time enrolling children, stepchildren or grandchildren of alumni of the university. Recipients are selected by the Alumni Association Executive Board. Renewable for a total of eight semesters.
- Richard R. Green Memorial Scholarships: Awarded to academically talented students to create a more diverse student body, these scholarships range from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on academic ability and financial need. Renewable annually.
- The Lawrence M. and Louise Kresge Isaacs Endowment for Music: This endowment provides a $12,500 award to an outstanding music major on the basis of an audition with the music faculty and demonstrated academic achievement. Renewable.
- Susquehanna Scholars: These scholarships, renewable annually, are awarded to new students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and personal promise. Awards are up to $11,500 annually.
- Music Scholarships: These $1,000 to $5,000 scholarships, renewable annually, are awarded to new students on the basis of competitive music scholarship auditions. They are awarded in three categories - keyboard, voice and band/orchestral instruments - to music majors and selected non-majors.
- Dean's Scholarships: Awarded in recognition of strong academic achievement combined with outstanding extracurricular achievement, leadership or volunteer service. These $5,000-$9,000 awards are renewable annually.
- Transfer Student Scholarships: Awarded to students transferring to Susquehanna. These renewable awards range from $7,500 to $10,000 annually. Recipients are chosen on the basis of outstanding academic achievement.
- Susquehanna International Student Scholarships: Awarded to international students on the basis of academic ability and potential for contribution to campus life, these scholarships are renewable on an annual basis.
- Tuition Exchange: Susquehanna participates in this program along with more than 400 other private colleges and universities. Through Tuition Exchange, children of employees at participating institutions may be eligible to receive a partial tuition waiver at Susquehanna. If either parent is a full-time faculty or staff member at a four-year college or university, the student should contact the school's personnel office for further information about eligibility. Five new scholarships are available each year.
- Ministerial Grants: Dependent children of ordained Lutheran clergy are awarded $2,500 per year regardless of need. Those who demonstrate need are also considered for other types of financial aid.
- Other Endowed and Restricted Awards: Interest income from the university's endowment provides other grants and loans for Susquehanna students. These funds are thoughtfully and generously provided by alumni and other friends of the university. Unless otherwise indicated, all awards are based on demonstrated need, in combination with other criteria as listed, and are awarded through the Office of Financial Aid. A complete list appears in the Endowment section of this catalog.
State and Federal Grant and Loan Programs
All financial aid applicants are required to apply for state and federal grants in addition to applying for Susquehanna financial aid.
- State Grants: The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) makes available to Pennsylvania residents annual awards up to $4,700. Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia also make grant aid available to their residents attending out-of-state colleges. Information can be obtained by writing the State Scholarship Agency in the capital city of each state. State grants are based on demonstrated need. Recipients must complete 24 semester hours annually to be eligible for renewal. Available for a maximum of eight semesters.
- Federal Pell Grants: This student aid source takes the form of grants ranging up to $4,310 per year. Awards are based on demonstrated need and are available up to a maximum of 12 semesters.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG): This program was established by the federal government to provide grants for students with exceptional financial need.
Loans to Students and Parents
Loans to students and parents are a form of self-help with low interest rates and extended repayment periods. Loans made directly to students are usually payable after leaving the university.
- Federal Perkins Loans: In cooperation with the federal government, Susquehanna has established a Perkins Loan fund. Borrowers are required to repay the loan, plus 5% per annum simple interest on the unpaid balance, over a period beginning nine months after the date on which the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. No interest accrues until repayment begins. Based on need.
- The Federal Stafford Loan Program enables students to borrow directly from a participating lender. First-year students may borrow a maximum of $3,500 annually. Sophomores may borrow up to $4,500. Juniors and seniors may be eligible to borrow as much as $5,500 per year. The federal government pays the interest while the student is enrolled. The student begins to repay the loan plus interest six months after leaving school. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8%. Based on need.
- Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: Students who are not eligible for the federally-subsidized, need-based Stafford Loan may be eligible to borrow up to the Stafford annual maximums from this program. The interest rate on this loan is fixed at 6.8%. There is no payment due on the principal amount until six months after the borrower is no longer enrolled at least half-time. However, borrowers are obligated to make quarterly interest payments throughout the in-school period or add accumulated interest to the principal balance at the time repayment begins.
- Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): Parents and step-parents may apply directly to a participating lender to borrow an amount up to the cost of attendance less financial aid. The interest rate is fixed at 8.5%. Not need based. Interest may be tax deductible, based on income level.
- Alternative Education Loans: There are a variety of private loans for education which are available to Susquehanna students. Students and their families are always best advised to pursue federal education loans first (Stafford and PLUS) since they carry lower and often tax-deductible interest. However, for families who wish to handle additional borrowing through a private program, university staff is available to help sort through the options and evaluate which loan may make sense for a particular situation. Since these loans are non-federal, in most cases* there is no cap on interest rates which currently range between 7.75% and 12% and are subject to quarterly interest adjustments. Information and application materials are available by contacting the financial aid office or visiting www.susqu.edu/finaid. It is strongly recommended that students and their families refrain from responding to solicitations without conferring with the university’s financial aid staff.
* An exception is the New Jersey Class Loan (available only to New Jersey residents) which carries a fixed rate of 6.4%.
Campus employment provides a form of self-help which allows students to earn a portion of their educational expenses. The Office of Financial Aid works individually with students desiring to secure on-campus or local off-campus employment.
- Federal Work Study (FWS) provides on-campus jobs for qualified students. Students receive paychecks for work performed in the previous pay period. Based on demonstrated need and awarded by the Office of Financial Aid.
- Campus Student Employment is a program in which a more limited number of students are employed on the basis of special skills. Not based on need. Students should contact the financial aid office for additional information.
The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps
The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps offers financial aid in several forms to Susquehanna students.
- Scholarships: Scholarships are available on a competitive basis to qualified freshmen and sophomores. Scholarships pay up to the full cost of tuition and fees, plus up to $900 for books and a monthly stipend (monthly amount depending on class year) during the academic year.