Jul 12, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

Financial aid at Shaw University consists of scholarships, grants, loans, and jobs awarded singly or in the form of a “package” to meet a student’s financial need. The factor of need is considered for all forms of financial assistance. The financial aid program is designed to provide financial assistance to qualified and deserving students who, without it, would not be able to attend or remain in school.

A student must be enrolled as at least a half-time matriculated student and must be in good academic standing to be eligible for most financial assistance. However, certain programs require a student to maintain a full-time status.

Financial aid is awarded for one-year only, upon reapplication and continued eligibility. 

An entering student must be accepted for admission before receiving an award letter regarding financial aid. Offer notification for applicants are normally emailed to the applicant by Jan 15.

Questions pertaining to financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office, George C. Debnam Hall at (800) 475-6190.

Sources of Financial Aid

Financial assistance is provided through any one or a combination of the following:

Federal Pell Grants (PELL)

Pell grants are available to eligible Undergraduate students who are attending college on a full-or part-time basis and have completed the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) by applying on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov beginning Oct 1.  They are based on a federal formula that measures the ability of students’ families to meet their educational expenses. An application for a Pell Grant must be submitted for the academic year for which the student is applying. A processed Student Aid Report (SAR) should be received by email within three to five business days.  The University receives an electronic copy as long as Shaw University’s school code (002962) is listed.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG)

FSEOG awards are made to the students with greatest need, with priority given to students who receive a Pell Grant. The grant ranges from $250 to $2,000 per academic year, depending upon the student’s need and the availability of funds.

North Carolina Need-based Scholarship (NBS)

This scholarship is funded by the North Carolina State Legislature for eligible students who attend private institutions. Students must be a legal resident of the state of North Carolina for tuition purposes. Students must be admitted and enrolled in an undergraduate program in a matriculated status. A student must file a FAFSA form and have an Expected Family Contribution under the federal methodology that does not exceed $15,000. A student must be enrolled for no less than (9) credit hours and must not be in default, nor owe a refund, under any federal or state loan or grant program. A student must also meet all other eligibility requirements for a Federal Pell Grant, except the EFC requirement, and has complied with the registration requirements of the Military Service Act or is exempt from the registration requirements. A student cannot receive a need-based scholarship for more than (9) full-time academic semesters, or the equivalent if enrolled part-time or if the student is enrolled in a program of study that is a five-year degree program that requires eleven (11) full-time academic semesters, or the equivalent if enrolled part-time. The award amounts for this scholarship varies based a student’s EFC and enrollment status.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

The Work-study program provides part-time employment to eligible students who are enrolled. Students earn at least the minimum wage. Work-study gives students a chance to earn money to help meet their educational expenses. Students are employed on campus by a variety of departments and offices, or at an off-campus community service location with the typical student working approximately 8 to 12 hours per week. Federal Work-Study is a need based program. Funds are awarded on a first come, first serve basis to eligible students according to fund availability.

Scholarships and University Grant-in-Aid

Scholarships are awarded to students for participation in various organizations, such as band and choir. Students are also awarded various grant-in-aid awards for participation in various sports. Recommendations for such scholarships and grant-in-aid awards are made by the program directors, or coaches respectively. The scholarships vary in amount and are renewable each year provided the student continues to maintain satisfactory academic progress and receives the requisite recommendation from his/her director/coach. Other scholarships are awarded according to criteria set by each donor.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program

The Federal Direct Loan is a low-interest loan made to eligible students by the federal government. This loan is made for the purpose of helping a student meet his/her educational expenses. Students who demonstrate need may borrow up to $3,500 a year as first-year students, $4,500 a year as second-year students, and $5,500 a year after the completion of the first two years of undergraduate study. Repayment begins six-months after graduation, withdrawal or after the student cease to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. 

William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

These are Direct Loans that are not based on need and are available to students who do not qualify for the loan subsidy. The borrower is responsible for paying the interest during in-school and deferment periods. However, the borrower may defer the interest while enrolled. The loan limits are the same as the Federal Direct Stafford Loan for dependent students. This loan also provides additional funds for educational expenses.

Independent students may borrow unsubsidized loans up to $4,000 per year as first- and second-year undergraduates and $5,000 per year as third- and fourth-year undergraduates (not to exceed the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid), to help meet educational expenses. Repayment begins six-months after graduation, withdrawal or after the student ceases to be enrolled on at least half-time basis. 

William D. Ford Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

PLUS loans are for parents of dependent students enrolled in college. These loans provide additional funds for educational expenses. Borrowers begin repayment of principal and interest at a variable interest rate within 60 days of the receipt of the loan funds, unless they are eligible for a deferment. Parents of dependent students may borrow up to the student’s cost of attendance minus any financial aid received. PLUS loans are subject to credit approval.

Dependent students whose parents are denied a PLUS loan may borrow at the same loan limits established for independent students. 

Private/Alternative loans

These loans are credit based loans that require a good credit history. Families are encouraged to carefully review and consider the terms of any private loans prior to applying. Shaw University will receives notification from the lender before the Financial Aid Office will certify your alternative loan. Shaw University uses ELM to certify all alternative loans.  However, a student may use any other private lender of their choice.  Please visit http://elmselect.com/#/ for some private/alternative loan options. 

Loan Limits

There are limits on the amount of subsidized and unsubsidized loans that students are eligble to receive each academic year(annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study(aggregate limits). These limits vary depending on

  • Classification
  • Dependency status


The following chart shows the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.


Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit

$5,500-No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$9,500-No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit

$6,500-No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$10,500-No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Third-Year and Beyond  Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit

$7,500-No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$12,500-No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Graduate or Professional Students Annual Loan Limit

Not Applicable (all graduate and professional students are considered independent)

$20,500 (unsubsidized only)

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit

$31,000-No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$57,500 for undergraduates-No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$138,500 for graduate or professional students-No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

Transfer Students and Financial Aid

In order to be considered for aid, transfer students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and include Shaw University’s school code (002962).

Students transferring after only one semester from another institution may still be eligible for any aid as long as the full amount of federal aid was not used at the previous institution, including Pell Grants and Federal Loans.

Shaw University will not make a final decision on the aid package until there is a check by way of the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to determine if previous Pell Grant and Federal Loans have been exhausted.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Requirements for Federal Student Aid Recipients:

  1. An undergraduate student’s cumulative grade point average must meet the criteria specified in the table below, and a 2.0 cumulative grade point average for Divinity students and a 3.0 for Education Graduate students is required. GPA’s will be reviewed at the end of each semester and summer term.
    Credit Hours
    0 - 29 1.5
    30 - 59 1.8
    60 - 89 2.0
    90 and above 2.0
  2. Complete at least 67 percent of all attempted credit hours - This will be reviewed at the end of each semester and the aggregate percentage of coursework attempted and passed must equal 67 percent or greater at each review. (For example: a student who has attempted a total of 12 credit hours and only earns 8 credit hours has completed 67 percent of attempted credit hours).
  3. Complete a degree program in a maximum time frame of no more than 150 percent of the average length of the program. The maximum number of attempted hours for an undergraduate student is 180 hours. For example in a graduate program that requires 42 credit hours to complete the maximum number of attempted hours for students in that program is 63 hours.

For Transfer Students 

The number of transfer hours accepted at the point of admission will be used to calculate the student’s remaining eligibility under the 150 percent rule and will be included in the quantitative calculation.

For Second Undergraduate Degree Students

Second-degree students will be given 150 percent of stated credit hours required to complete for the second-degree program. If a student is required to complete 30 additional credit hours the maximum number of attempted hours will be 45.


A “W” grade which is recorded on the student’s transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to maintain SAP. Students who officially withdraw from the University must make up the deficit hours and are encouraged to attend summer school to remove the deficient hours. The successful completion of a course is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, B, C or D. Courses with grades of F, I, U, and W will not qualify in meeting the minimum standard.

Incomplete (I) Grade

An incomplete grade indicates that a student has not finished all course-work required for a grade and is included in the cumulative credits attempted. An incomplete will count toward maximum attempted hours but not as hours passed until a final grade is posted in the Registrar’s Office. Students are required to submit all required coursework within six weeks of the following period of enrollment. All grade change forms must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar before the end of this same term unless an extension is granted by the Office of Academic Affairs. If this is not successfully accomplished within the term, the I grade will become a F with the next GPA evaluation.   

Repeated Courses

A student who has received a failing grade in a course may repeat the course and receive financial aid. Students (undergraduate and graduate) may only receive federal financial aid for one repetition (repeat) of a previously passed course. Students who have already passed a course with a grade of D or better may only repeat the class one additional time and receive financial aid for that course. All repeated courses are included in the total maximum attempted hours for SAP evaluation.

Change of Major 

A student may change from one major to another during attendance at the University. Students who change from one major to another are still expected to maintain SAP and complete the coursework within the time frame or hour limitation stated unless an appeal is approved. All attempted hours from a prior major that are requirements for the new major are included in the total maximum attempted hours.

Audited Courses

Courses audited are not eligible for financial aid and are not counted as either attempted or earned hours.

Consequences of failing to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students receiving federal aid who fail to meet the qualitative, quantitative, and completion rate requirements after each semester will result in the following:

Financial Aid Warning

Students who fail to meet SAP requirements for the first time at the end of a semester will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students placed on financial aid warning will not need an appeal; however, these students are strongly encouraged to seek the assistance provided by the staff in the Office of Academic Success. Failure to make satisfactory academic progress by the end of the Financial Aid Warning period will result in Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension 

Students who are placed on Financial Aid Suspension have the option to appeal to receive Title IV funding. At the end of the semester, students are notified of financial aid suspension and have the option to submit a typed-written letter of appeal along with all supporting documentation to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee by the established deadline (see Appeals Procedures). The committee will review the appeal and supporting documentation to determine if the student’s financial aid should be reinstated or remain in suspension. Late Appeals will not be reviewed

Appeal Denial

All decisions regarding financial aid that are rendered by Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will be final and not subject to further review. Students will remain on Financial Aid Suspension until he/she is back in good standing.

Appeal Approval

If the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee determines the student is eligible for reinstatement of financial aid, he/she will be considered for aid available at the time of reinstatement and will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.

Financial Aid Probation

During the Financial Aid Probation period, the student will be required to sign an Academic Recovery Plan with the Office of Academic Success. A copy of the completed form must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid before federal aid is reinstated for the semester. After completing and submitting the Academic Recovery Plan, the student will be required to meet all stipulations within the academic plan. Failure to do so will result in suspension of financial aid until the student is back in good standing.

Probation Requirements

Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 (Undergraduate or Divinity) or 3.0 (Graduate) for the semester.

NOTE: If the student does not enroll for the semester of financial aid probation, the approval stands for the following semester.

Appeal Procedures

Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress may appeal the suspension of their student financial aid. Letters of appeal should be based on a mitigating circumstance that negatively impacted the student’s ability to meet the minimum required standards. Examples of such circumstance may include, but are not limited to:

  • Death or prolonged illness of an immediate family member
  • Medical illness by the student that created undue hardship
  • Natural disasters beyond the control of the student or other personal or family matters/situations that may have negatively impacted the students’ ability to meet the minimum required standards.
  • If applicable, documentation that supports any [1]retroactive grade changes that may have occurred.

Steps in the Appeal Process:

Students must submit a completed SAP Appeal form to the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@shawu.edu.

Student must include the following in order to be considered for an appeal review:

  1. SAP Appeal Form
  2. A typed statement of circumstance of why satisfactory academic progress was not met. This statement MUST include specific information that outlines a mitigated change from the prior semester.
  3. Supporting documentation (proof of grade change, current academic transcript, doctor’s statement, death certificate, accident report, etc.)
  4. After the committee review, the student will be notified via their Shaw Bears University email of the appeal decision.

[1] Retroactive Change

If errors are made within the grading process and the student is eligible for a grade change that affects satisfactory academic progress, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will allow restoration of federal aid. Students will be allowed one semester of federal aid while the grade change process occurs provided a letter from the Department Head certifying that a grade change has been approved and submitted to the Office of the Registrar.


Withdrawals, Incompletes, and Repeats

Withdrawals, incompletes, “Z” grade, and repeated courses will not be exempt from the calculation of attempted hours. Students will be required to complete the minimum number of credits as outlined in the above chart.