Frequently Asked Questions

Explore the answers below. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us.

Beacon College School Code: FAFSA 033733

College Procedures

  • Do I need a certain GPA to retain my financial aid?
    Beacon College complies with federal statutes that require students to make satisfactory academic progress in order to retain their financial aid package. The three measures used to determine satisfactory academic progress include: grade point average (GPA); pace of progress (credit hours completed); and maximum timeframe to earn degree (credit hour limit). Learn more about the exact
  • How do I know how much financial aid I am getting?
    Your financial aid “package” is determined after you file a FAFSA and we receive the electronic record from the Federal Department of Education. The final product, your financial aid award letter, will be sent to you by e-mail. Normally we begin sending award letters to freshmen and transfer students by the first week in April, sooner if the new federal regulatory changes are available to update our data system. For returning students, we generally must wait for the updated tuition schedule and spring grades to be posted before preparing award letters.
  • When will I receive my financial aid?

    If you are registered for a full-time class load and have satisfied all outstanding financial aid requirements, all your aid should pay into your student account the following Tuesday after the first week of the start of Fall (and Spring) semester classes. Florida student aid will not pay if you have not registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours; federal loans will pay with a half-time class load. If you are a returning student whose grades did not pass Beacon satisfactory academic progress standards last semester, your appeal letter must be reviewed and approved before financial aid will pay into your student account.

    Normally, Fall semester is when most problems occur because it is the first semester in the new FAFSA aid year; there are more students with documents to review. Take care of financial aid requirements early and avoid the extra stress when classes begin!

    Note: Even if financial aid was deposited in your account to pay for tuition, you will not have access to any remaining balance until after the second week of classes. The first week of each semester is the period when students can drop classes or withdraw and receive a full tuition refund. Consequently, you must plan for funds other than financial aid during that week to cover any expenses that are not charged directly to your student account.

FAFSA & Verification

  • Do I have to file for federal student aid every year? When are the deadlines?

    Yes, you must apply each year! The priority date is March 1st each year. FAFSA applications are available starting in January for the upcoming year.

    The Federal Financial Aid Year runs from July 1st through June 30th. A new FAFSA must be filed for each Aid Year in which you wish to be considered for federal student financial aid. You can determine which FAFSA to file based on your first scheduled day of class. For example, if you are registering for a term that begins after July 1, 2019, you would file the 2019-2020 FAFSA.

  • Why have I been selected for verification and what do I do now?

    The Federal Department of Education selects approximately a third of all FAFSA’s for the process of verification. To satisfy the verification requirement, the student must provide the Beacon College Financial Aid Office with tax records (tax transcript) that verify the tax information submitted on the FAFSA. In addition, the student must provide a signed copy of the appropriate Federal Dependent (or Independent) Verification Worksheet.
  • Why is the amount I received from my loans not exactly what I asked to borrow?


    Federal regulations specify the upfront fees on federal student loans. Private student loans are also subject to upfront fees, but these fees are not regulated by the federal government. That is one reason it is normally best to take advantage of federal student loans before considering a private loan.

    Students must pay for dropped classes (“W” grades) so it is important to stay on top of your classes. Seek help immediately if you have a problem class.

    Note: Bright Futures includes three award programs: Florida Academic Scholars Award, Florida Medallion Scholars Award, and Academic Top Scholars Award. IS THIS ACCURATE??

  • How will my Effective Access to Student Education (EASE) be affected by changes from the Florida Legislature?

    
The legislature made two changes to the EASE Grant:
    The annual maximum decreased for 2019-2020 to $ 2,841.
    The legislature continued the requirement that you must be a full-time student.

Federal Aid

  • How do I apply for a federal student loan?

    You must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for any federal student aid. You must also be accepted to a degree seeking academic program at Beacon College. Once we receive the electronic FAFSA record for a new or transferring undergraduate and confirm admission status, our counselors prepare the student’s financial aid “package.” If eligible for a subsidized and/or unsubsidized loan, the maximum eligible loan amounts will be offered to the student in the financial aid “package.” The student must then accept the offered loan and complete Entrance Counseling and complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).Parents of undergraduate students can also take a federal education loan known as the Parent PLUS loan. This loan is subject to an annual application and credit check, but if the parent cannot pass the credit check, their student will become eligible for an increased unsubsidized loan.

    For particulars about a Parent PLUS loan application, see the information on Federal PLUS Loans on the Federal Student Aid website. First-time PLUS borrowers must also complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

  • What is the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans?

    The federal government offers two different loans. The subsidized loan is need-based and eligibility is based on information provided in the FAFSA. The government pays the loan interest while the student remains in school and maintains at least a half-time class load. The unsubsidized loan is available to students who do not meet the FAFSA needs test. The student is responsible for all interest on unsubsidized loans beginning on the date of each incremental loan disbursement. When the student signs a Master Promissory Note with Department of Education (DOE), the options of paying the interest while in school or adding the in-school interest to the loan principle will be offered to the student.
  • I have been offered a certain amount in loans but I only want to take a portion of what I have been offered. Can I do that?

    Yes, however keep in mind that the amount offered is normally for both the Fall and Spring semesters. Federal regulations dictate that the amount be disbursed in two payments, one for the Fall and one for the Spring. Those disbursements will occur at the beginning of each semester.If you choose a lesser amount and later find that you need more, just ask the Financial Aid Office to make an application for your remaining eligibility. Another option is to obtain the whole amount for Fall and then reassess your needs for the Spring semester. If you find you will not need all of the scheduled Spring amount, just ask the Financial Aid Office to reduce your Spring disbursement. It is best to do such changes soon after the Thanksgiving break.

  • Why is the amount I received from my loans not exactly what I asked to borrow?

    Private student loans are also subject to upfront fees, but these fees are not regulated by the Federal government. That is one reason it is always best to take full advantage of Federal student loans before considering a private loan.The Federal Government, instead of a commercial bank or credit union, is the lender for loans made under the Federal Direct Loan program. These loans also have a Loan Origination Fee that may vary from year to year.

  • What is entrance counseling?
    Entrance counseling is a requirement associated with each type of federal student loan. The process provides the student with information about legal financial obligations that many students will undertake for the first time in their lives. You must complete this requirement before your loan will be disbursed. The good news is that you can conveniently satisfy your requirement on the Web. For federal direct loans, go to StudentLoans.gov.
  • What is exit counseling?

    Exit counseling is another federal student loan requirement that applies when you withdraw from school or graduate. It is a refresher course about the student’s legal financial obligation. Exit counseling also provides information about the student’s rights and options and it seeks updated contact information from the student.

Florida Aid

  • How do I verify my Florida residency?
    The Florida Department of Education requires institutions to verify student claims of Florida residency before disbursing Florida financial aid to students. Proof of Florida residency consists of signing a certification, such as Beacon College’s Florida Residency Form, and providing an official state document to establish that legal residence has been maintained for 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of classes of the academic term for which assistance is requested.Dependent students must provide an official state document for one of their parents or a legal guardian. Acceptable state documents include two of the following:

    • Florida driver’s license
    • Florida voter registration card
    • Florida vehicle registration
    • Proof of purchase of a permanent home in Florida that is occupied as a primary residence of the claimant (e.g. warranty deed) OR rental lease/agreement or official letter from landlord/property manager on letterhead with move-in dates.
    • Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years – if Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12-months
    • Proof of permanent full time employment in Florida for at least 12-month period. This may include payment stubs from the previous 12 consecutive months of work in Florida OR a letter on official company letterhead from the employer verifying the previous 12 months of employment in Florida.
    • Proof of homestead exemption in Florida

    If you are a new student who was awarded Florida student financial aid, you should have received with your award letter a Florida Residency Form. Download the form. Once Florida residency is established, students are not required to resubmit documents each year.