Jun 21, 2024  
Undergraduate Evening and Online Catalog 2021-2022 
Undergraduate Evening and Online Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

Palm Beach Atlantic University makes every effort to offer financial assistance through a variety of programs (federal, state, and institutional) to deserving students. In addition to providing funds on the basis of demonstrated financial need in the form of grants, work study awards, and loans, the University may offer scholarships to recognize and reward talent, academic achievement, and meritorious performance. Students must apply for need-based financial assistance each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Financial assistance to help defray educational-related expenses, including tuition and fees, books and supplies, housing, meals, transportation, personal items, health insurance, international, and other special programs of study may be provided in the form of scholarships and grants (gift monies that are not repaid) and self-help (loans and work-study employment). Loans must be repaid, usually after 6 months of the day the recipient has graduated or discontinued studies with at least half-time enrollment. Under the federal work-study program, students are provided employment and paid monthly based on the number of hours worked.

A student receiving aid at the time of admission may expect to continue receiving assistance during subsequent years, provided:

  1. The student makes satisfactory academic progress as defined in this Catalog;
  2. The need for aid continues;
  3. The student meets the specific requirements of the various scholarship/grant programs;
  4. The University continues to receive adequate federal and/or state aid funds; and
  5. The student files the proper applications. In the event the student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress and is denied such assistance, he or she may reestablish student financial assistance by enrolling at his or her own expense and subsequently raising his or her PBA cumulative GPA* to meet the required standard.

*The PBA cumulative grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of semester credit hours earned at PBA. Before an entering freshman, a transfer student, or a student who is seeking readmission may be considered for a financial assistance award, the University must first accept him or her for admission/readmission. All University transcripts must be received and evaluated by the University before a student will be presented with a financial aid award package.

Transfer Students

Credit will be awarded for courses completed at regionally accredited institutions if they approximately correspond to PBA courses and if the student has earned a grade of “C-” or better. All official college transcripts must be submitted directly to Palm Beach Atlantic University from every institution previously attended before registration for the subsequent term begins. This includes institutions where courses were attempted and credit was not earned (failing grades or withdrawals). If the transcripts are not submitted, financial aid and class registration will be frozen. We will make an effort to encourage official transcripts prior to the student enrolling for their respective term. For Financial Aid, FAFSA self-certify will verify high school completion. PBA reserves the right to research previous institutions attended through the National Student Clearinghouse database.

Applying for Need-Based Financial Assistance

Each academic year, students may apply for need-based financial assistance (federal, state, or institutional) by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid/FAFSA or the Renewal FAFSA on or after October 1. Students may apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

The Financial Aid Office is committed to serving and guiding students through the process of applying for aid. Assistance with completing the FAFSA and financial aid documents is available from professional financial aid counselors located in Hood Hall. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are not necessary.

FAFSA applications and all other required information submitted after March 1 will be given consideration to the extent of availability of funds. Financial aid documents may be required to finalize aid eligibility. To view the financial aid award package and pending documents, students may log in to the financial aid system online at http://my.pba.edu.

State of Florida Programs

Florida Residency

A Florida resident is:

  • An independent student who has established and maintained legal residence in Florida for at least 12 months prior to attending college;
  • A dependent student of someone who has established and maintained residence in Florida for at least 12 months prior to attending college;
  • A U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a legal alien granted indefinite stay by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Note: Moving for the sole purpose of attending school does not establish residency.

Effective Access to Student Education Program

The Effective Access to Student Education Grant provides a tuition grant to full-time undergraduate Floridians enrolled in private, accredited colleges in Florida. The grant is not based on need. The student is required to:

  1. Be enrolled full time (minimum 12 credit hours per semester);
  2. Complete a FAFSA;
  3. Earn 12 credit hours for each fall or spring semester the award was received;
  4. Maintain satisfactory progress as defined by the State and PBA (generally, 2.0 GPA);
  5. Have for at least 12 months prior to registration in a Florida school, exclusive of temporary absences due to vacation or study abroad;
  6. Meet all other conditions as required by the Florida Legislature;
  7. Provide final academic transcripts by September 15 for fall semester award or February 15 for spring semester award; and
  8. Each year the Effective Access to Student Education application must be completed by September 15 for fall semester award or February 15 for spring semester award.

Florida Student Assistance Grant

The Florida Student Assistance Grant is a need-based program available to eligible Florida residents who demonstrate financial need as evidenced by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The grant has limited funding and is awarded to students in the order of which each eligible student’s FAFSA is received. In addition, the student must meet all conditions as outlined in 1-6 above.

Federal (Title IV) Programs

Eligibility Requirements

Students applying for assistance from any federal program must file either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal FAFSA prior to each academic year. Students need not be full-time to be eligible for federal assistance, but must be at least half-time for federal student loans. In addition, students must meet general eligibility requirements which include:

  1. U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen status;
  2. Enrollment in a degree-seeking program;
  3. Ability to benefit (being academically qualified);
  4. Having earned a high school diploma or the GED or having passed an independently administered exam approved by the Department of Education;
  5. Making satisfactory academic progress;
  6. Not being in default on a student loan or owing a grant overpayment;
  7. Having a valid Social Security Number; and
  8. Being registered with the Selective Service, as required.

Pell Grant

This federally funded grant is awarded to high-need students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree. Eligibility is determined by the U.S. Department of Education upon submissions of the FAFSA. The amount of the award is pro-rated based on the student’s expected family contribution and enrollment status. The student may receive a maximum 600% during their pursuit of an undergraduate degree. This includes all awards from any institution attended.

Institutional Programs

Palm Beach Atlantic administers federally funded, campus-based programs: the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, and the Federal Work-Study Program. To be eligible to participate, PBA applies each year for funding, a portion of which must be matched by the University.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

This grant is for undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need, and is generally reserved for out-of-state students. FSEOG recipients must be eligible to receive the Pell Grant.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Eligibility for the Federal Work-Study Program is determined by the FAFSA. Students interested in this program will need to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility, obtain a listing of FWS positions at https://pba.joinhandshake.com/register, and complete the necessary paperwork to begin a position.

Students are generally employed five to fifteen hours per week. In addition, a number of positions are available off campus with non-profit agencies in the community. The student’s need, class schedule, work skills, and academic progress are considered when offering work-study awards.

Direct Loan Program

Students who have submitted the FAFSA and are enrolled in a degree seeking curriculum with a minimum of 6 credit hours may be eligible for direct loans. Award amount is determined by the student’s academic grade level and dependency status, and the annual loan limits set by the government. Students apply for direct loans by submitting the FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA (the results of which determine what portion of the money borrowed is subsidized and/or unsubsidized). A Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be submitted along with Entrance Counselling and Informed Borrower Confirmation.  Students can submit documents at www.studentaid.gov.

On subsidized (need-based) loans, the government pays the interest while the student is enrolled at least half time. On unsubsidized (non-need based) loans, the student can elect to pay the interest while in school, or, if not paid, it will be capitalized (added to the principal balance) by the lender. Repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time.

Yearly Loan Limits

Student Type (earned credits) Dependent Students Independent Students
Freshman (1-29 credits) $5500 (no more than $3,500 can be subsidized)
extra $4,000 with PLUS denial
$9,500 (no more than $3,500 can be subsidized)
Sophomore  (30-59 credits) $6,500 (no more than $4,500 can be subsidized)
extra $4,000 with PLUS denial
$10,500 (no more than $4,500 can be subsidized) 
Junior/Senior (60+ credits) $7,500 (no more than $5,500 can be subsidized)
extra $5,000 with PLUS denial
$12,500 (no more than $5,500 can be subsidized) 

NOTE: If a dependent student’s parent is denied a Parent PLUS loan, they are eligible for the independent unsubsidized loan amounts. This “additional” unsubsidized loan (4K or 5K depending on grade level is awarded as a separate loan from the regular unsubsidized loan (DL UNSUBPX) and it does not count against the student’s lifetime loan limits when they are dependent.

Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note Sessions

Federal regulations require all students receiving a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan to participate in a loan entrance counseling session and complete a Master Promissory Note prior to receiving the first distribution of the loan. No Federal student loan can be disbursed until these requirements are met. A student accepting a loan award for the first time at PBA can complete these requirements at www.studentloans.gov.

Informed Borrowing Confirmation

An active confirmation process requires a student or parent to take action to accept a loan made under an MPN before the school can disburse any loan funds. All MPN confirmation processes will now require student and parent borrowers to view how much they currently owe in federal student loans, and to acknowledge that they have seen this amount before a school can make a first disbursement of the first Direct Loan that a student or parent borrower receives for each new award year. This can be completed each year by going to https://studentaid.gov/.

Other Programs

Veterans Benefits

Veterans may qualify for educational assistance according to their length of military service. Widows and children of veterans who died or were disabled as a result of service, connected injury or disease may also be eligible for educational benefits. Information may be obtained from the Veterans Administration or from PBA’s Office of the Registrar. Veterans receiving benefits under chapter 31 and 33 have their tuition and fees paid directly to the school by the government. Veterans enrolled under all other chapters receive their allowances directly from the government and pay tuition and fees as required by all students.

WARNING: Students who drop or withdraw from a course may not be paid for the course unless the circumstances for having to drop the course are considered to be mitigating circumstances by the Veterans Administration (i.e., circumstances beyond the control of the student).

Vocational Rehabilitation

Physically disabled students may be approved to receive financial assistance to attend college for the purpose of vocational rehabilitation. Those who wish to consult with a representative regarding vocational rehabilitation should contact their local district office of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

Note: The Student Accounts Office coordinates the process.

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Eligibility for Financial Assistance

Students receiving certain types of financial assistance must demonstrate each year that they are progressing satisfactorily towards completion of their degree program in order to maintain their eligibility for that assistance. This is in addition to any renewal criteria required for specific state or institutional awards. A course withdrawal, a course repetition, a course incomplete, and/or academic bankruptcy are counted in the total credit hours attempted. At the end of each semester the Financial Aid Office evaluates the academic progress of each student who received financial assistance. In order to maintain eligibility for all federal aid a student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Maintain a Palm Beach Atlantic University cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 for undergraduates.
  2. Complete at least two thirds of their attempted credits to date.
  3. Attempted credits include credits transferred from another institution that have been accepted towards their degree program at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
  4. Attempted credits include course withdrawals and repeated courses.
  5. Attempted credits include all courses in which the student has earned a grade including a grade of incomplete.
  6. Attempted credits include credit hours forgiven under the Palm Beach Atlantic University Academic Policy for bankruptcy.
  7. Completed courses include all courses that the Office of the Registrar has determined will be credited towards completion of the student’s degree program.
  8. Students will become ineligible for any federal, state and institutional assistance after attempting 180 credits.

Warning Period

Subsequent to a determination that satisfactory academic progress has not been made, students will automatically be placed on warning for a period of one semester. If at the end of the warning period the student still does not meet the criteria set forth in this policy, eligibility to receive federal financial aid and those state and institutional awards governed by this policy will be suspended. A student whose eligibility has been suspended will regain eligibility at the end of any Satisfactory Academic Progress review after which they meet the above criteria.

Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension

A student whose eligibility has been suspended for failure to meet the criteria above because of special circumstances may submit an appeal application to the Office of Financial Aid. Special circumstances would be events like becoming very ill or severely injured, a relative dies, becomes very ill or severely injured a documented mental illness, divorce or family abuse, a work conflict or having to drop due to a PBA error or other similar events. The appeal process includes the following steps:

  1. The student contacts the Financial Aid Office to receive the application for appeal.
  2. The student submits the appeal application to the Financial Aid Office detailing the mitigating circumstances and providing supporting documentation of the circumstances.
  3. The Financial Aid Office will review the appeal and determine if the appeal should be approved.
  4. If the appeal is approved, the Financial Aid Office may limit the approval to a single semester or place other conditions on the approval.

Note: Approval of an appeal does not override GPA or earned credit hour requirements for eligibility specific to certain state, institutional or other awards.

Note: The Financial Aid Office cannot accept appeals to Financial Aid after the first day of classes for the term the student is suspended for.

Enrollment Status Requirements

To receive institutional and most forms of state assistance, students must enroll full-time. At least half-time enrollment is required for direct loans. For financial assistance purposes, PBA has established the following enrollment categories:

Full-time at least 12 credit hours per semester
Half- time 6 credit hours per semester
Below half-time 1 -5 credit hour(s) per semester

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

For a student who receives federal student financial assistance (Title IV funds, including PLUS loan proceeds) or who is entitled to receive a late disbursement of federal aid and who withdraws from the college or otherwise fails to complete the period of enrollment for which he or she was charged, the Student Financial Assistance (SFA) refund and repayment requirements apply.

Important Note: Under the SFA refund and repayment policy, the terms “refund” and “repayment” have very specific meanings. “Refund” refers to that unearned portion institutional charges that must be returned to financial assistance program(s) for a student who received Title IV funds. “Repayment” refers to that unearned portion of financial aid funds (excluding federal work-study and Direct Loan proceeds) disbursed as cash to a student receiving Title IV funds that the student must pay back.

Refunds of allowable institutional charges and repayments of funds disbursed to cover non-institutional charges will be calculated in accordance with federal regulations and according to the particular status of the individual student, as follows:

A Return of Title IV Refund must be made if a student withdraws from all of his classes on or before the 60% point in time of the enrollment period for which the student was charged, since PBA has neither applicable state nor accrediting agency refund policies to consider in determining which calculation provides the largest refund. Allowable institutional charges are refunded to Title IV programs based on the Return of Title IV Refund percentage of the enrollment period that remains. Starting July 1, 2011 evening and graduate students in module courses must complete at least 60% of the semester even if they complete a course prior to the day that marks the 60% point of the semester.

  1. Determine the Title IV Refund percentage of the enrollment period that remains by dividing the remaining weeks in the period for which the student is enrolled/charged by the number of weeks in the enrollment period.
  2. Calculate unpaid charges by subtracting from the total allowable institutional charges the total aid paid to institutional costs and the scheduled cash payments from the student

Repayment Calculation

Should a repayment calculation result in an overpayment to the student, the student’s account will be charged accordingly within 45 days of the determined withdrawal date, and the repayment owed will be distributed as follows:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan Program
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal SEOG
  7. Federal TEACH Grant
  8. Other private or institutional sources of aid

Example: Student receives a Federal Pell Grant for $2,000 and a Federal Direct Stafford Loan for $1,930 for the semester. Student attends three weeks into the term. This represents only 20 percent of attendance of the term. Therefore, a Return of Title IV Calculation must be computed. Student would lose $1,930 for their Federal Direct Stafford Loan and $1,214 of their Federal Pell Grant. The student will owe this amount to the university as charges would not be adjusted after the third week of classes.

Note: In the event that a student does owe an overpayment of Title IV funds, PBA will be responsible for notifying the student, for billing the student, and for collecting the overpayment. Furthermore, immediately upon discovery of the overpayment, PBA will flag the student’s record to indicate that the student is ineligible for further Title IV funds until the overpayment has been repaid.