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Home » Financial Aid & Scholarships » Financial Aid Q & A

1. How affordable is Williams?
Basic costs per semester for the 2013-2014 academic year are as follows:
Tuition: $6,450
Room & Board: $3,160 (with roommate and includes $60 dorm activity fee)
Fees*: $425
Total (per semester) $10,035

*There may be other fees not listed above.


2. Can I make payments on my account?
Williams Baptist College realizes that all students cannot pay the entire balance of their student account at the time of registration. Therefore, Williams offers a deferred payment plan. Under the deferred payment plan, one-fourth of the student’s total account is due and payable at registration. This can be paid through a combination of grants, scholarships, or loans. However, the necessary documents (FAFSA, scholarship letter, taxes, Challenge notification, etc.) must be on file in the Financial Aid Office prior to registration.

The remaining balance will be divided into three equal payments, due at monthly intervals. Due dates are October 10, November 10, and December 1 for the Fall semester, and February 10, March 10, and April 10 for the Spring semester. A finance charge at the rate of .833% per month will be levied on any unpaid balance on October 31st for the fall semester and February 28th for the spring semester.

3. What financial aid is available to me?
There are two different kinds of financial aid: merit-based and need-based.
    Merit-Based: These scholarships are based on the student’s skills and not family income. Academic, performance, and athletic are some of the most common scholarships.
    Need-Based: These scholarships are based on family income and the results of the FAFSA. Pell Grants, work-study and loans (must be paid back) are examples of need-based financial aid.

4. What is meant by "financial aid package"?
A financial aid package will consist of all the merit-based and need-based financial aid you are eligible to receive. Your financial aid package will be mailed to you when the Financial Aid Office has received notice that:
     1. You have been accepted by Admissions;
     2. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is on file;
     3. All additional information requested for FAFSA completion is on file;
     4. All scholarship (academic, athletic, etc.) letters are on file.

Williams will begin mailing awards packages to admitted students with complete financial aid files in February for the fall semester.

5. What do I need to do to apply for financial aid?
A completed Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) is the first step in determining your eligibility for any of the federal aid programs. Williams has a priority deadline of March 1 for federal aid applicants. The Admissions Office will award academic scholarships based on your ACT, GPA, and class rank.

6. After I complete the FAFSA, how will I know if I qualify for any aid?
Approximately three to five days after you have completed the FAFSA online, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) either by mail or email.   Williams receives the same information electronically. If additional documents are needed, the Financial Aid Office will notify you. Once all documents have been received and corrections made (if necessary), an awards letter will be mailed to you listing all of your financial aid.

7. What is meant by "expected family contribution (EFC)" and how does this pertain to me?
The FAFSA uses a formula established by Congress to calculate the amount a family can reasonably be expected to pay toward a child's education. This is not the amount that you will be required to pay to Williams. It is however, used to determine eligibility for certain federal aid programs such as Pell Grants, work-study and loans.

8. What are the factors that determine how much financial aid I will receive?
Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on the eligibility criteria (GPA, music skills, athletic ability, etc.) of the award. Federal aid is determined based on the cost of attendance at Williams and your expected family contribution (EFC).

9. Is there a certain income cutoff in eligibility of a Pell Grant?
There is not a maximum amount that a family can earn and not be eligible for a Pell Grant because a number of things other than income (i.e. household size and number of household members in college) are used in determining eligibility for a grant. As a result, there is no official cutoff. Therefore, we encourage anyone who is interested in any kind of financial assistance to complete a FAFSA.

10. Since my parent's income is too high to qualify for any grants, what other forms of aid can we apply for?
The majority of institutional scholarships awarded by Williams do not take family income into account. Plus, you can receive a student loan that is not dependent on your family's income. You will need to complete a FAFSA in order to apply for an Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loan and/or the Parent PLUS loan. Williams also has a payment plan available to spread out the payments.

11. What if my family's financial situation is different from what was reported on the previous years taxes?
The process of determining a student’s eligibility for federal student aid is basically the same for all applicants. However, in some cases, your expected family contribution can be adjusted due to extenuating circumstances. Possible circumstances may include: unusual medical or dental expenses (expenses exceeding 11% of adjusted gross income); tuition expenses for dependent children attending a private elementary or secondary institution; unemployment or reduction in work income; or daycare expenses for a child or other dependent family member. There must be good reason for the financial aid administrator to make an adjustment and adequate proof must be submitted to support any adjustments made.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office about a Special Circumstances application.

12. Are there certain deadlines I need to keep in mind?
At Williams, our priority deadline is March 1 for federal aid applicants. Priority is given to students who file for financial aid early because some funds are very limited (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) and Work-study).

13. Do I have to update my financial aid from year-to-year?
Academic scholarships are renewable if you continue to meet the eligibility criteria. You must fill out a FAFSA each year to be eligible for federal aid (Pell Grants, work-study, loans, etc.). Further, the amount of federal aid may change from year to year due to changes in a family's income and availability of funds.

14. Is there a limit on the number of semesters that I may receive financial aid?
You can receive academic scholarships for up to eight semesters. Eligibility for federal financial aid is generally limited to one and one-half times the published time frame required to complete the academic program. Example: Students enrolled in a four-year degree program will be allowed to receive federal financial aid for up to 6 years. Students attending less than full time will have required credit earned pro-rated and their length of eligibility extended respectively.

15. Should I expect my financial aid to be affected by my grades?
Yes. All Williams academic scholarships have a minimum cumulative GPA. Your scholarship letter will indicate the minimum cumulative GPA. Students enrolled full-time must maintain and successfully complete each academic year with the following respective credit hours earned and cumulative grade point averages:
        1st year - 18 credit hours earned with a 1.25 CGPA
        2nd year - 39 credit hours earned with a 1.65 CGPA
        3rd year - 60 credit hours earned with a 2.00 CGPA
        4th year - 81 credit hours earned with a  2.00 CGPA
        5th year - 105 credit hours earned with a 2.00 CGPA
        6th year - 129 credit hours earned with a 2.00 CGPA

16. Is there a required amount of hours for me to enroll and complete each semester in order to keep my financial aid?
Yes. Students are required to attend full time (12 hours or more) to be eligible for academic scholarships. Federal aid is available for students who attend half time (6 hours) or more.  Requirements for state scholarships can be found at www.adhe.edu.

17. If I drop a class, will my financial aid be affected?
If a student drops below full time (12 hours) during a semester, his/her financial aid will be affected. Please check with the Financial Aid Office before dropping a class that will bring your total hours below 12.

18. How and when should I expect to receive my money?
Your financial aid will be credited to your student account when all the appropriate paperwork is complete. Outside scholarships are not credited to your account until the college receives the funds (state grants, hometown scholarships, etc.). Your file must be complete and an award letter processed by August 31st, for federal and institutional aid to be applied to your account the second week of school.

19. Can I use my financial aid to buy my books? 
Students should plan to pay for all books at the time of purchase. Since the school does not own the bookstore, book vouchers are only given to students with financial aid in excess of their direct college costs (tuition, fees, room and board). The bookstore accepts all major credit cards, debit cards, and personal checks.

20. What is work-study? 
Federal work-study is a federally funded program that allows a student to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Federal work-study is based on the student’s need, the amount of money the college has for the program, and the amount of aid that the student receives from other programs. Unlike a scholarship, grant, or loan, work-study will not be paid to your account in a lump sum. The student earns minimum wage and is paid monthly on the hours that are turned in on a time card.

21. How do I obtain a job through the work-study program?
Anyone looking for a job should fill out the Work-Study Questionnnaire and mail it to the Financial Aid Office. A questionnaire must be in your file before you will be considered for a position. If you are not placed in a work-study position before school starts, a list of open positions is available in the Financial Aid Office beginning the first Friday after school begins.

22. What are the steps for me to take to receive a loan?
The first step to receive a loan is to complete the FAFSA and other required forms. Your awards letter will list your loan eligibility. If you accept your loan, you will be mailed instructions directing you to the proper websites to complete the online paperwork.  First time loan borrowers are required to complete online entrance counseling and a master promissory note (MPN).

23. What is the interest rate on student loans?
A Stafford Loan has a fixed interest rate (as of July 1, 2006) of 6.8%. A Parent loan (PLUS) has a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.

24. When will I have to pay my loans back?
You will start paying back your loan six months after you stop going to school on at least a half time basis (6 credit hours). Minimum payments start at $50 per month, but could be more depending on your total loan debt. An on-line link to a loan calculator is http://www.ed.gov/DirectLoan/RepayCalc/dlentry1.html.

25. Is there a difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?
A subsidized loan is one where the government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school. An unsubsidized loan is one where the student is responsible for the interest while in school.

26. If I have to get a loan every year, what should I expect my debt to be when I graduate?
Around $19,000.

27. Will scholarships that I receive outside of Williams affect my financial aid?
Scholarships from outside sources must be considered part of your financial aid package. These can affect your eligibility for federal aid. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you are going to receive an outside scholarship.

28. If I transfer to another college, will my financial aid transfer with me?
Financial aid does not technically transfer from one college to another. Each college must determine your eligibility for financial aid.

29. Since I don't live with my parents and they do not plan to help me with my college expenses, can I file for financial aid by only reporting my income?
Probably not. The federal aid program was designed around the belief that educating a child is a family responsibility. It is unfortunate that your parents do not support you in this effort. The FAFSA gives specific conditions to determine if a student is independent and does not need parental information. An application for dependency override is available in the Financial Aid Office, but none of the factors listed above would warrant changing a student’s dependency classification.

30. If I am planning to get married before classes begin, would it be better for me to wait until after I am married to file?
Several factors need to be taken into account. You should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the specifics of your situation.

31. What are some of the most common errors people make when applying for financial aid?
We frequently see the following problems:
    * Not filing early enough
    * Not reading the instructions
    * Using the wrong student social security number
    * Leaving answers blank
    * Missing signatures
    * Incorrect date of birth