Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to common questions regarding financial aid.

You may also find assistance with our glossary of common financial aid terms.


How do I apply for financial aid?
You must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can complete a paper FAFSA or complete it online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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What is the College of Saint Elizabeth Federal School Code?
002600

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What is Financial Aid?

  • Financial aid can include grants, scholarships, loans and Federal Work Study.
  • Grants and scholarships normally do not have to be paid back but the student may have to meet certain criteria to continue to be eligible for these each year (maintain a certain GPA, continue to play a sport). Loans are borrowed funds and must be paid back under the conditions of the loan program. Work Study is a job – students are paid for hours they work.

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What happens after you apply?
You will receive a federal Student Aid Report (SAR). You can expect the SAR to be mailed to your home in two to six weeks after you mail or transmit your SAR to the federal processor. You must review this report for accuracy. We recommend that if corrections are necessary, that you bring the SAR to the Financial Aid Office immediately for assistance in making corrections to the SAR. If you are selected for verification, you will also be required to provide copies of the tax returns for individuals whose income was included on the application. The College of St. Elizabeth Financial Aid office will notify the selected students of additional documents required.

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What will the College receive?
CSE will receive your Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). The federal processor will transmit an electronic eligibility file called an ISIR to the College if you correctly listed CSE's code number 002600 when you filed your FAFSA. CSE will review the ISIR for accuracy and request missing documents if you are selected for verification or if corrections are needed. You will receive a follow-up letter for missing documents and missing forms that are required to make your file complete.

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Are there any deadlines for financial aid that I need to meet?
New applicants, in order to be eligible for TAG for the upcoming academic year, must complete their FAFSA no later than October 1st. If they are a spring admit for the upcoming year they must complete the FAFSA no later than March 1st. Returning New Jersey residents must have filed their FAFSA in order for the State of NJ to have received it, by June 1st, in order to be eligible for TAG for the upcoming year. For Stafford and NJ Class Loans only, students must have completed their FAFSAs and loan applications must be received from the student and certified by the Student Financial Aid Office, before the end of the term the loan is to be used for.

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How many credits must I take to be eligible for financial aid?
In order to be eligible for federal (exception: Pell), state (exception TAG) or institutional financial aid, a student must be enrolled at least on a half-time basis, a minimum of 6 credits per semester.). A student can receive private educational loans if they are enrolled less than half-time (3 credits), per term. In addition, a student must be matriculated into a program leading to a degree or certificate. In order to be eligible for TAG a student must be a NJ resident and enrolled full-time, 12 credits per semester.

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In order to receive financial aid do I have to apply every year?
Yes. In order to receive consideration for as many programs as possible you should file the FAFSA by April 1 each year.

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If my parents are separated or divorced, whose income is reported on the FAFSA?
The parent you live with or who has custody of you should complete the FAFSA. If your parent has remarried, the stepparent's income is also required to be reported. However, child and household support from the non-custodial parent is required on the FAFSA.

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Do I need to submit tax returns?
Only if the Office of Financial Aid sends you a letter requesting that you submit them. This may happen if you are selected for Federal Verification.

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Is there an income level cutoff to qualify for financial aid?
There is no set income cut-off for financial aid eligibility. Though grants and scholarships may be contingent on financial need there are many factors in addition to income which are used to determine eligibility for need based aid. In addition to income, things such as family size, number of people in college, assets, and parents age are considered when determining a family's ability to pay. In addition to grants and scholarships, there are various educational loans and payment plans available to assist with paying college expenses.

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Will my aid change if I move off-campus?
Possibly. Your grants should remain, however, your loans can be increased (or transferred) if need be. Please contact our office to determine how your aid will be affected.

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When will I get my award letter?
For each academic year, if you are a prospective freshman and upon receipt of your FAFSA, you will receive your award letter starting March 15th. For returning students, upon receipt of your FAFSA, award letters will begin to be mailed out May 15th.

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Why has my award been reduced?
There are many reasons why your financial aid award can be reduced. First, if there is a change to the information supplied on the FAFSA, it may change the EFC (estimated family contribution). If the EFC is lowered, it can result in revisions to scholarships and/or grants. Factors that may affect the EFC are # in college, # in family, income and assets. In addition, other factors that can determine eligibility are SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress), less than full-time enrollment, availability of funds, etc.. If you have questions regarding your award letter, you should contact the Financial Aid Office (973) 290-4445 and speak with your counselor.

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What types of aid are available to Graduate students?
Graduate students are eligible for federal Stafford Loans and private educational loans.

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What determines eligibility for loans?
Students are eligible for Federal Stafford loans during the academic year, if they are enrolled on at least a half-time basis (6 credits) per semester and matriculated in a degree or certificate program. Stafford Loans are processed for the summer terms if there is remaining eligibility for the prior academic year. In addition, a student cannot be in default of a Federal Student Loan. Default, as cited by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that the student has failed to make payments of previous loan debt. Private alternative loans are available and have varying requirements for eligibility. See College of St. Elizabeth Financial Aid webpage for suggested lenders.

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What is the maximum amount I can borrow?
Under the Federal Stafford Loan program and effective for the 2009-2010 academic year, students are eligible to borrow up to:

  • Freshman $3,500 **
  • Sophomores $4,500**
  • Juniors/Seniors $5,500**
  • Graduate students up to a maximum of $20,500.**

**Starting July 1, 2008 students are allowed to borrow an extra $2,000 of Unsubsidized Stafford Loan on top of the Stafford Loan students are eligible to get.

PLUS (dependent students), NJCLASS Loans and Alternative Loans, eligible to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any aid received.

*In addition, undergraduate students whose parents are denied a PLUS loan can borrow an additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan of $4,000.

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What is the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans?
The federal government provides two types of Stafford Loans to students to assist them in paying their educational expenses. One type, Subsidized Stafford Loan is a need-based loan determined by the FAFSA. The federal government guarantees this loan and no interest accrues and no payments are made, until after the student completes his/her program. The other type is a Unsubsidized Stafford Loan which is a non-need based loan. Interest does accrue on this loan while the student is enrolled, but no payments are made until after the student completes his/her degree.

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What is an MPN or Master Promissory Note?
This is the application that you submit if you want to apply for a Federal Student Loan. By signing this MPN you promise to pay your loans back six months after graduation. You have up to 10 years to pay your loans back.

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