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Financial Aid

Federal and State Programs and Guidelines

The federal government and several state governments have established a number of grant and loan programs to assist students in paying for college expenses. Application for these programs is made by filing the FAFSA.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for financial aid, the applicant must:  

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress according to the institution’s policy
  • Be accepted in a degree-seeking program and enrolled at least half-time:
    • Undergraduate: 6 or more credits (summer — 5 or more)
    • Graduate: 4 or more credits (summer — 4 or more)
  • Register with the Selective Service if male and between the ages of 18 and 25.
  • Not be in default on prior student loans

Federal Programs

Federal Grants

Pell Grant - A grant, based on need, awarded to eligible undergraduate students. A student who filed a FAFSA will receive a three- or four-page Student Aid Report (SAR) which must be signed and returned to the Financial Aid Office. Award values are based upon enrollment status. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to The Student Guide.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) - As the name implies, this grant is intended to "supplement" other forms of assistance for undergraduate students with significant financial need. The selection of recipients is made by the college in accordance with federal guidelines. The value of this award varies based upon availability of appropriations from Congress. Priority for awarding is given to Pell Grant recipients who complete a valid FAFSA by the college priority date of March 1st. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to The Student Guide.

Federal Loans

Perkins Loan - Awarded to undergraduate and graduate students, this award is given to students with significant financial need. The maximum amount awarded is $2,000 per year. Applications and promissory notes for this loan are completed online. Repayment begins after graduation or withdrawal from college. The current interest rate is 5% and is deferred while in school. Individual award amounts vary. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to The Student Guide.

Federal Stafford Loan - A low interest loan made to students attending school at least half time. Loans are made by a bank or credit union and are repaid upon graduation or withdrawal from college. A separate application is required for this program. The application process is initiated by completing the paperwork that is included with the financial award package. These forms need to be returned to the college at least six weeks before the beginning of the academic year. There are currently two categories of Stafford Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to The Student Guide.

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) - Available to parents of dependent students who need to borrow additional funds for college expenses. Applications for this low interest loan are available from your bank, credit union or from the college. As with the Stafford Loan, the appropriate paperwork must be completed and submitted to the college at least six weeks before the beginning of the academic term. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to The Student Guide.

State Programs

State Grants

Indiana 

The State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI) has established several grant programs for residents of Indiana who are seeking first-time undergraduate degrees and are enrolled in school on a full-time basis. Additionally, several programs are available based upon enrollment in specific academic degrees.

Frank O'Bannon Grant Program (Higher Education and Freedom of Choice Awards) - These awards are given to students who are attending school on a full-time basis. SSACI will notify you of the exact dollar amount of these awards. If Bethel College is not listed on the notification from SSACI, it is your responsibility to contact SSACI and request that your awards be transferred to Bethel. This must be done within 30 days from the beginning of the semester.

Minority Teacher Scholarship - Awarded to minority students who have indicated a desire to teach and are enrolled in the School of Education. This award is competitive and a separate application, available from the Financial Aid Office, is required. Award values range from $500 to $1,000 per year.

Indiana Nursing Scholarships - Awarded to students enrolled in the School of Nursing, this competitive award requires the recipient to work in the nursing field upon graduation from college. This award is competitive, and a separate application, available from the Financial Aid Office is required. Award values range up to $1,000 per year.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania students can receive limited grants through PHEAA, renewable yearly.