Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for federal financial aid, please file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can file a FAFSA online. Pacific's school code is 003212. Step-by-step instructions are provided on the this website. It is very important to submit this form to the federal government as soon as possible after Oct 1 . Do not wait to be accepted into a program to apply for financial aid.

I've already submitted my FAFSA to Pacific. When will I receive a financial aid award?

Before you can be awarded financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid needs to receive your academic calendar and official notification of your admission from the College of Education. Once we receive this information from the College of Education and a valid FAFSA from you, we can award financial aid to you.

What kind of financial aid does Pacific offer?

The following sources of financial aid are available to education students who file a FAFSA in a timely basis. Not all students are eligible for every category of aid. Please note: To qualify for federal financial aid, you must be enrolled for at least six credit hours and meet federal eligibility requirements.

Sources of financial aid for undergraduate students:

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans: Federal Stafford loans can be awarded up to $12,500 per academic year for independent students and $7,500 for dependent students. Depending on federally determined eligibility and academic standing, up to $5,500 can be subsidized. Please note that all Federal Stafford loans carry a 1.066% loan fee. The current interest rate (valid July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018) is 4.45%. In most cases, repayment begins six (6) months after graduation.
  • Pell Grant: A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. The amount you receive will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
  • SEOG Grant: Like a Federal Pell Grant, a SEOG grant does not have to be repaid. The amount you receive will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school and your status as a full-time student.

Sources of financial aid for graduate students :

Federal Direct Stafford Loans: Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans can be awarded up to $20,500 per academic year. Please note that all Federal Stafford loans carry a 1.066% loan origination fee. The current interest rate (valid July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018) is 6.0%. In most cases, repayment begins six (6) months after graduation.

Sources of financial aid for both graduate and undergraduate students:

Work Study: Federal Work Study (FWS) is not automatically awarded to eligible student as there are few FWS positions available at the Eugene campus. If you are offered a work study position please contact Jama Kelch (jama.kelch@pacificu.edu) to see if you are eligible. She will revise your award and replace some of your loan award with work study funds.

What is the difference between a Subsidized and an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?

Subsidized Stafford loans are awarded to students based on financial need. Interest does not accrue on the principle balance of your loan while you are in school.

Unsubsidized Stafford loans are not awarded on the basis of financial need. Interest accrues on the principle balance of your loan while you are in school.

Are there other kinds of loans available?

Most students in graduate programs require additional resources above Federal Direct loans to cover living expenses. Realistically assessing your income and expenses while you are in school will help you plan and borrow as conservatively as possible.

Federal Direct PLUS graduate student loans are available to graduate students. Students must apply for the funding through the U.S. Department of Education at https://studentloans.gov/. The U.S. Department of Education will run a basic credit check to determine if you qualify. If your credit is denied you can appeal the denial or obtain a co-signer. The current loan origination fee is 4.264% and the interest rate is 7.0% (valid July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018).

Alternative loans are more expensive than federal student loans. If you wish to seek an alternative loan, the Financial Aid Office can provide a comparison brochure to help you select the right loan for you. In order to qualify for an alternative student loan, you must complete an application process separate from the FAFSA and complete a credit check.

My financial aid award is larger than my tuition charges. Why?

Your financial aid award is based on a budget created for students in your program. This budget is based on estimated costs for books, rent, food, loan fees, travel and miscellaneous expenses in addition to your tuition costs. As such, your award may be in excess of charges to your student account.

If I receive a financial aid award in excess of the charges to my student account, will I be issued a refund?

The Business Office will issue you a refund check if there are funds left in your student account after all charges have cleared.

Can I buy my books with my refund?

You can use your refund for any educational or living expenses. Please note: your refund check will not be prepared on or before the first day of classes. You should be prepared to purchase books with your own funds when you arrive on campus or make arrangements with the Business Office prior to the start of classes.

I'm taking classes at Lane Community College that count toward my Pacific degree. Will I receive financial aid from Pacific for these classes?

If you are taking additional courses at Lane Community College that count toward your Pacific degree, we can increase your cost of attendance to include the tuition costs for these classes. You will need to provide documentation of those costs to the Office of Financial Aid, after which you would then be eligible for additional loan funds. These classes will not count as part of your enrollment status however (full-time vs. part-time), so you would not be eligible for additional grant money. It is highly recommended that all aid be applied for through Pacific University. If you request your additional financial aid through LCC instead of Pacific, we will have to reduce your aid here to compensate for federal regulations.

I heard I don't have to pay on my undergraduate student loans while I pursue my graduate degree. Is this true?

Yes, this is true. If you received student loans as an undergraduate, make sure that you have submitted all necessary deferral paperwork to the Registrar's Office so that they can notify your lender(s) that you have returned to school. Do not assume that "it's all taken care of" just by having registered for classes.

What if I don't want to use the loans? Will this hurt my opportunity for using them in the future?

You can adjust the loan amount through your Financial Aid Self-Service account. Be sure to make adjustments to the Direct PLUS loan before adjusting the unsubsidized loan. If you need additional funds at a later date, contact Jama Kelch, your financial aid counselor, and she will assist you in making the changes.