Types of Aid


GRANTS AND Scholarships

Ursinus College offers financial assistance based both on merit and on financial circumstances.  The College's scholarship, loan, and student employment programs total more than $35 million for 2013-2014. Approximately 95 percent of our students receive some form of financial assistance, whether it be through student employment, loans, or college funds.  Every student who submits the FAFSA and PROFILE will be considered for all aid programs administered by the College.

Merit scholarships are awarded by the Office of Admission. All applicants to the college are automatically considered for any eligible scholarships. With the exception of the Creative Writing Award, no extra submissions or actions are required for scholarship consideration.

Ursinus College Merit Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to full-time students on the basis of their academic achievements and leadership potential. Students awarded Ursinus College Scholarships must maintain a yearly grade point average of 2.0 to be eligible for renewal of the scholarships. Students must re-apply each year for scholarship renewal by completing the Ursinus College Annual Institutional Verification Form. The scholarship retains its original value for a maximum of eight semesters – no increases are given.

URSINUS COLLEGE FUND

These funds are available to full time students who demonstrate financial need by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Ursinus College Annual Institutional Verification Form. The funds are provided by gifts to the Ursinus endowment from alumni and other friends of the College. A student must apply annually to be considered for this fund. Please note: a change in family circumstances may impact the amount of aid received each year. This award is a grant to the student and does not have to be repaid. This fund is awarded for a maximum of eight semesters.

Tower Scholarships

College opportunities for student achievement are enhanced by interactions between racial and ethnic groups. To raise awareness of the value of a multicultural education and to help bring students from different backgrounds together, Ursinus awards the Tower Scholarship to students who have demonstrated meaningful impact on intercultural issues in their high schools and/or communities, evidence of commitment to enhancing the Ursinus community, strong communication skills, and top achievement in a rigorous high school academic program. The Tower Scholarship offers up to $30,000 annually and is renewable for four years.

The Steinbright and Zacharias National Scholarships

Each year, Ursinus chooses up to twelve candidates as most outstanding from the total pool of national applicants.  The Steinbright and Zacharias National Scholarships are $30,000 per year, renewable for four years.  These students have demonstrated superior high school academic achievement, intellectual gifts and the potential for becoming leaders in their chosen fields.  Seriousness of purpose, a record of independence and credentials such as National Merit Finalist selection or other national and state recognitions weigh heavily in the selection process.

 

PENNSYLVANIA STATE GRANT (PHEAA)

These funds are awarded by the State of Pennsylvania on the basis of its financial need formula. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed prior to May 1 and students must be enrolled at least part time (six credit hours) to be considered. This is a grant that does not have to be repaid. Please note state grant awards are an estimate until the state’s budget is approved.  The amount of the final award is determined by the state.

NON-PENNSYLVANIA STATE GRANTS

These funds are awarded by your state on the basis of their financial need formula. You will receive a confirmation notice from your state. This is a grant or scholarship that does not have to be repaid. These grants are not listed as a credit on the student account until funds are received by the College.

FEDERAL PELL GRANT

These are grants awarded by the federal government on the basis of its financial need formula. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each year to be considered for this grant. This grant is from the federal government and does not need to be repaid.

FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN

These limited loan funds are provided by the federal government and are awarded at the discretion of Ursinus to the neediest students based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The repayment of this loan is deferred while the student is enrolled at least part-time and currently has a fixed interest rate of 5%.  Renewal of this loan is not automatic.  Eligibility for the loan will be based on financial need and availability of the funds.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)

These grants are need-based awards that are federally funded and granted through Ursinus College. These grants are given to federal Pell Grant eligible students with extremely high financial need and do not have to be repaid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each year to be considered for this grant.

TUITION EXCHANGE SCHOLARSHIP

Ursinus College is a member of the Tuition Exchange Program.  Children of employees of schools participating in the program may apply.  Requests are considered upon application.  Those students who receive aid through the Tuition Exchange Program are not eligible for additional Ursinus funds.  The Tuition Exchange award can be the minimum required by the Tuition Exchange Program and up to full tuition.   The scholarship will be renewed for eight semesters as long as satisfactory academic progress is maintained.  Students must re-apply for renewal of this scholarship by completing the Ursinus College Annual Institutional Verification Form and by contacting the host institution to complete the Tuition Exchange Renewal Form.

VETERANS AND OVR BENEFITS

VA and OVR benefit possibilities are determined by contacting your local Veterans Administration and/or regional Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. These awards are not listed as a credit on the student account until the check is received.

PRIVATE SCHOLARSHIP SOURCES

If you have received an outside scholarship from a private organization, you must notify the Student Financial Services Office. Complete the enclosed notice to inform the College of the source and amount of any outside scholarship you receive. Outside scholarship awards are credited to the student’s account when the funds are received by the College.

*NOTE:  THE DEADLINE FOR RENEWAL OF ALL AID (Scholarships as well as grants) is May 1st.  Failure to meet the reapplication deadline will result in reduction of aid.


Federal Direct Stafford Loan 

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is the cornerstone to any borrowing that takes place at Ursinus College. There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans-subsidized and unsubsidized. 

The subsidized loan is a need-based loan with the accruing interest paid by the federal government during your in-school, deferment and grace periods. The principal is also deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time. The fixed interest rate on the subsidized loan first disbursed between 7/1/13 – 6/30/14 is 3.86%.  The rate is effective 7/1/13.  

The unsubsidized loan is available to students who do not demonstrate need to qualify for the subsidized loan or whose parents do not qualify for the Federal PLUS Program. The principal payment is deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time however the interest which begins accruing at disbursement is the responsibility of the borrower. The fixed interest rate on the unsubsidized loan first disbursed between 7/1/13 – 6/30/14 is 3.86%.  The rate is effective 7/1/13.

The chart below indicates the level of borrowing by class under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. Repayment of Stafford Loans begins six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. (Note:  Full-time enrollment equals twelve credit hours per semester and half-time enrollment equals six credit hours per semester).

Academic Level

Dependent Student Base Amount

Independent Student Base Amount

Additional *Unsubsidized Loan Amount

Freshman

$3,500

$7,500

 + $2,000

Sophomore

$4,500

$8,500

 + $2,000

Junior or Senior

$5,500

$10,000

 + $2,000
      *All students regardless of need are eligible for the additional $2000 Unsubsidized Loan

Dependent undergraduate students whose parents are not deemed credit worthy for the Direct PLUS loan program are eligible to borrow an additional $4000 Unsubsidized Stafford Loan as a freshmen and sophomore, and an additional $5000 Unsubsidized Stafford Loan as a junior and senior.  The Direct PLUS loan credit pre-approval form can be found on our Ursinus College financial aid website. 

Please note that you pay a loan origination fee that is approximately 1% of the principal amount of your Direct Stafford Loan. The fee is deducted from each loan disbursement, so the loan amount that is actually credited to your account is less than the amount you have borrowed. 

How to apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan 
 

First Time Borrowers:

You must complete both a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling to get credit on your bill for your Stafford loans.

Master Promissory Note 

  1. Begin by going to www.studentloans.gov.  Click on “Sign-In”
  2. Enter all information required (NOTE:  You will need your Federal Pin #)
  3. Once signed in, click on “Complete Master Promissory Note”
  4. Click on “Subsidized/Unsubsidized”
  5. Follow on-screen instructions

Entrance Counseling 

  1. Begin by going to www.studentloans.gov.  Click on “Sign-In”
  2. Enter all information required (NOTE:  You will need your Federal Pin #)
  3. Once signed in, click on “Complete Entrance Counseling”
  4. Follow on-screen instructions

Once these documents are completed, Ursinus College will be notified electronically.  

Our office will certify your Direct Loans once all steps are completed and you will receive a notification from the Department of Education that your loans were sent to them from us. 

All loan funds will be credited to your student account in two equal disbursements, one for each semester. 

Please note that you pay a loan origination fee that is approximately 1% of the principal amount of your Direct Stafford Loan. The fee is deducted from each loan disbursement, so the loan amount that is actually credited to your account is less than the amount you have borrowed.  

Returning Borrowers:

Your Federal Direct Stafford Loan will be pre-certified electronically when we prepare your financial aid package.  You will receive a loan approval notice from the Department of Education. 


Federal Direct PLUS Loans and Private (Alternative) Loans

Over the next few months, you and your family will be finalizing the way you plan to finance your college education. You may be awarded scholarships, grants, and/or federal loans.  Increasingly, families find that, even after all these means are exhausted, additional funding is still needed.  There are several options that could be explored.  Three common ones are briefly compared below: 

Feature

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Private Loan

Home Equity Loan


Borrower Eligibility

Parent with dependent student

Student (co-signer is often recommended or required)

Homeowner

Loan Payments

Typically, a shorter repayment which means less finance charges (10 year term)

Typically, a longer repayment term which means smaller monthly payments, but greater finance charges

Monthly payments for 10 years – comparable to PLUS payments

Payment Insurance

Discharged in the event of total and permanent disability or death

None

None

Interest

Fixed rate - 7.9%

Variable rate

Fixed or variable rates available

Approval Criteria

Borrower credit history

Credit history and debt-to-income ratio

Credit history, debt-to-income ratio and equity in home

Application

Master Promissory Note is good for 10 years.  Borrower must pass annual credit check

Must apply for each loan

Must apply for each loan or obtain adequate line-of-credit

In-school Deferment

Yes

Yes

No

Prepayment Penalty

No

Most lenders have no penalty

Penalty may apply

It is important to compare these and other options to insure that you choose the best option(s) for your family.  You may select one financing source or a combination of sources to close the funding gap.  NOTE:  When applying for a PLUS, it is strongly recommended to request funds for the full academic year.

To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan you apply online at www.studentloans.gov. 

To apply for a Private loan you can refer to the website www.elmselect.com for further information. 

Student Financial Services does not offer specific guidance on Home Equity Loans.  If you wish to utilize this option you should contact a reputable mortgage lender or use one of the helpful online comparison tools.

How to Apply for Federal Direct Plus Loan

The Federal Direct Plus loan application is a two step process for Parents.  It requires the Parent to complete the request (credit check) and the Master Promissory Note.  These two steps MUST be completed before the loan will be certified by Ursinus College.  Our office recommends applying for the academic year as opposed to semester, as the loan amount will be split into two equal disbursements. 

NOTE: All students who are interested in a PLUS loan must complete a FAFSA form and hand in required documentation as listed on the Ursinus Annual Institutional Verification Form. 

The steps to apply for the Plus Loan are: 

  1. Begin by going to www.studentloans.gov, Click on “Sign-In”
  2. Enter all required information (NOTE: You will need your Federal Pin #)
  3. Click on “Request Plus Loan”
  4. Click on “Parent Plus”
  5. Complete all required information to run the credit check 

* If the credit check is approved, it will inform you that you must complete an MPN in order for the loan to be certified and disbursed.  The MPN can be completed by: 

  1. Click on the home button
  2. Click on “Complete Master Promissory Note”
  3. Click on “Parent Plus”
  4. Complete all required information

NOTE: It is extremely important to make sure that you submit the Master Promissory Note and print out a copy for yourself confirming that it has been submitted.

Ursinus will be notified electronically that you completed the credit check and MPN.  Once our office receives the information, we will certify your loan electronically and you will receive an approval notice from the Department of Education.

All loan funds will be sent via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to Ursinus College in two equal disbursements, one for each semester.

Please note that you pay a loan origination fee that is approximately 4% of the principal amount of your Direct PLUS Loan. The fee is deducted from each loan disbursement, so the loan amount that is actually credited to your account is less than the amount you have borrowed.  Be sure to take this into consideration when deciding on what amount you need to cover the balance due on your student account.


Loan Practices for Private (Alternative) 

Loans 

The educational lending market is saturated with numerous lenders and loan products for students and parents.  It can be an overwhelming task for a family to navigate through the numerous options and loan offers.  It can be even more difficult to feel comfortable that you have made the best decision.  In an effort to provide guidance, Student Financial Services has researched multiple lenders in order to narrow your search down to a list of lenders who possess excellent products and services. In order to maintain the integrity of the process, we developed the following Code of Conduct and Lender Guidelines to provide the framework for identifying lenders. 

Lender Principle

The lenders that we suggest to students will always be selected solely on the basis of being in the best interests of the student and/or parent.  Selection will be without regard to any financial interest of the College. 

Lender Guidelines 

Our suggested lenders are selected using the following criteria: 

  • The loan terms, rates and benefits will be reasonable and competitive.
  • The lender will have a reputation of providing quality customer service to the student, parent and Institution.
  • The lender will possess effective and efficient systems and processes to approve, certify and deliver educational loans.
  • The lender will operate at the regional or national level and retain high student/parent recognition. 

Gift/Trip Prohibition 

All College employees must refrain from accepting any personal gift, meal or trip from a lender that exceeds a nominal value.  The College may accept gifts on behalf of students in the form of scholarships or grants as long as the gift is disclosed and does not result in preferential treatment. 

Revenue Sharing Prohibition 

The College will not receive anything of any value from a lender in exchange for preferential treatment or a competitive advantage of any kind.

Our Suggested Lender List can be reviewed and the lenders can be compared using an interactive loan product comparison tool at www.elmselect.com.