Frequently Asked Questions for Online Counseling Students
- Is Financial Aid available for the Online Counseling program?
Yes. Financial aid is available in the form of federal or private loans for graduate students, but there are no institutional scholarships available for the Online Master of Arts in Counseling program. Financial aid is available in the form of federal loans—the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan or the Direct Graduate PLUS loan. A student may also borrow through a private educational loan program of his or her choosing. Please notify Student Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org of any private loan applications.
- What is the cost of attendance for the program?
The Cost of Attendance (COA) is the estimated cost of enrollment at 6 hours for one semester in the Online Master of Arts in Counseling program. These costs include direct billed expenses, such as tuition and fees, as well as indirect expenses that will not be charged to the student, but are basic living and educational allowances, such as housing and food allowances, books and supplies and personal expenses. Student Financial Aid will use these costs to develop student budgets for awarding financial aid funds. The current cost of attendance at 6 hours per semester during the 2015-2016 academic year (fall, spring, summer) follows:
Room and Board: $5583
Personal Expenses: $750
Health Insurance: $850
Loan Fees: $67
There will be 3 semesters where a student will be enrolled in more than 6 hours and incur a higher direct tuition cost.
- What is the direct cost of the program per semester?
- What applications are required for me to be considered for financial aid?
To be considered for federal loan eligibility, a student must complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov using your previous year’s tax information.
- How can I receive a federal loan?
A student must complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov to determine federal loan eligibility. The Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences FAFSA school code is E00429. Once submitted, the school will review and determine a student’s loan eligibility. An email award notification will be sent to your Wake Forest University email address with specific instructions on how to view and accept aid eligibility through WIN (Wake Information Network).
- How do I accept my financial aid award?
Once a student is admitted into the program, the student will receive access to his or her Wake Forest email account. Students will receive an award notification to their WFU email accounts with specific instructions for viewing their financial aid award in WIN.
- Will I have to pay back my financial aid if I withdraw from my program?
A student’s withdrawal from the program may necessitate a return of federal aid. The return of funds will be based on the percentage of the semester completed. For more information on the impact of withdrawal on tuition charges and federal aid, a student should contact their enrollment advisor.
- What is a Master Promissory Note?
The MPN is a promissory note that can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). There are two types of MPNs in the Direct Loan Program: one for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and one for Direct PLUS Loans.
- When is payment due?
Payment for tuition and any fees is due before the first day of classes.
- How much can I borrow through the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan?
A graduate student can borrow up to $20,500 per academic year in Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan.
- Where can I find information on scholarships?
You can explore the scholarship searches page of the WFU site at: http://www.wfu.edu/finaid/scholarshipsearches.html , also look into local civic organizations, current employer’s human resource department and any support through one’s congregation.
- What happens to my previous educational loans?
Educational loan deferment is based on at least half-time enrollment (half time for a graduate student is 4.5 credit hours, full-time is 9 credit hours) in a degree-seeking program. This is not based on acceptance or anticipated enrollment, but actual enrollment that begins on the first day of classes. After the first day of classes, Wake Forest’s Registrar’s Office sends a monthly report called the Clearinghouse Report to the National Student Loan Data Service that will update your enrollment status. Lenders will update your deferment status based on your enrollment in the National Student Loan Data Service. A student should anticipate making loan payments until they verify their status has been updated, which is approximately 2-4 weeks after the first day of classes.
- What is the interest rate on the unsubsidized Direct Stafford loan for graduate students?
The unsubsidized Direct Stafford loan has an interest rate of 5.31% for loans disbursed on/after July 1, 2016.
- How soon will I receive my financial aid award after the submission of my FAFSA?
Financial aid award notifications are emailed, usually, within a week to WFU email accounts after a student has been admitted into the program and the FAFSA has been completed. If there is additional documentation needed to complete the review of the FAFSA then it could take longer than a week. Aid disburses to a student’s account during the first week of class.
- How often is funding disbursed?
Funding is disbursed at the start of each semester for students in the Online Master of Arts in Counseling program.
- Why hasn’t my loan arrived yet?
A student must complete three steps for a Stafford loan to disburse to his or her account.
1) The loan must be accepted in WIN
2) Upon entering a new degree program, the student must complete federal loan entrance counseling at www.studentloans.gov
3) Complete & E-Sign Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov
For a Graduate PLUS loan to disburse, a student must:
1) Complete a PLUS credit request at www.studentloans.gov
2) Complete & E-Sign Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov
- Can I get more loans than I was awarded?
No. Students can only be awarded loans up to the cost of attendance for the program.
- When do I pay back my loan?
Loan repayment begins after a student completes the program of study or withdraws from the program. Students will coordinate loan repayment with their Direct Loan Servicer. More information on a student’s federal loans can be found at the National Student Loan Data Service, www.nslds.ed.gov, or FedLoan Servicing, http://www.myfedloan.org.
- I wasn’t eligible for financial aid as an undergraduate student, should I apply as a graduate student?
Yes. Undergraduate financial aid eligibility assesses the parents’ ability to contribute to educational expenses. Graduate students are considered independent and parents’ income and assets are not assessed.
- Should I report an outside scholarship to the financial aid office?
Outside scholarships are to be included with a student’s file as early as possible in order to create a more accurate financial aid package. Donors should send a cover letter and on the memo line of the check include the name and Wake Forest student identification number of the intended recipient. Checks should be made payable to Wake Forest University (or co-payable to Wake Forest University and the student) and sent to the Office of Student Financial Aid, PO Box 7246, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7246.
- What benefits am I eligible for as an active duty service member or veteran?
A student who is the dependent of a veteran or active duty service member may qualify for governmental aid from the Armed Forces towards graduate program costs. Students will need to visit http://gibill.va.gov/benefits/index.html and contact Student Financial Aid once eligibility of benefits has been determined.
- What are the minimum academic requirements to maintain my federal aid eligibility in the online MA in Counseling program?
To maintain federal eligibility, a student must be enrolled at least half time (minimum 4.5 hours) and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirement. The minimum GPA required for graduation in the MA in Counseling program is 3.0. GPAs are reviewed at the end of each semester and if a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be sent a warning notification that the GPA must rise above a 3.0 to ensure continued eligibility. If the student does not raise his or her GPA above a 3.0 after the warning semester, he or she will be ineligible for federal aid until the GPA required for graduation is met. A student can appeal the SAP policy and request an additional probationary semester of federal aid to bring the GPA to the required minimum. For more information on the federal SAP requirement, students can view the policy at: Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.