Jul 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate 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 provides 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 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 November 15.

Questions pertaining to financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid, George C. Debnam Hall, at (919) 546-8565 or toll free at (800) 475-6190.

Sources of Financial Aid for Graduate Students

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

William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a low-interest loan made to eligible students by the U.S. Department of Education. This loan is made for the purpose of helping a student meet his/her educational expenses.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized LoansEffective July 1, 2012, the federal government no longer offers interest subsidies on graduate level loans. All graduate level loans for periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012, are unsubsidized. Unsubsidized loans are not based on need. Students are required to maintain half-time enrollment in order to qualify. The annual maximum for graduate students is $20,500. The borrower is responsible for paying the interest during in-school and deferment periods. However, the borrower has the option to pay or defer interest payments while enrolled.

The total combined annual loan limit for subsidized and unsubsidized loans is $20,500. The aggregate subsidized loan is $65,500 and $73,000 for the unsubsidized loan. The combined aggregate is $138,500. Loan repayment begins six months after graduation, withdrawal or after the student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.

Alternative/Private Loans

A number of major lenders offer credit-worthy students the opportunity to borrow privately in order to meet educational costs not covered by their financial aid awards. In most cases a credit worthy co-signer is required unless the student has significant income. Some require a minimum of half-time enrollment and some require satisfactory academic progress. 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. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Requirements for Federal Student Aid Recipients:

1. 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.

2. Complete a degree program in a maximum time frame of no more than 150 percent of the average length of the program. 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.

3. 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).

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.

Withdrawal: 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 WarningStudents placed on financial aid warning will not need an appeal; however, these students are strongly encouraged to seek the assistance provided by the their academic advisor. 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 University Graduate Council by the established deadline (see Appeals Procedures). The council will review the appeal and supporting documentation to determine if the student’s financial aid should be reinstated or remain in suspension.


Appeal Denial: All decisions regarding financial aid that are rendered by the University Graduate Council will be final and not subject to further review. Students will remain on Financial Aid Suspension until he/she is back in good standing.

  1. Appeal Approval: If the University Graduate Council 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 his/her academic advisor. 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 (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:

  1. Students must submit a completed SAP Appeal form to the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@shawu.edu. A copy of the Appeal Form and all supporting documentation must also be submitted to the Dean (Divinity) or Graduate Coordinator (Education) by the date noted in the sanction letter.
  2. 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 change that will lead to improved academic performance from the prior semester.
    3. Supporting documentation (proof of grade change, current academic transcript, doctor’s statement, death certificate, accident report, etc.)
  3. After the review by the Graduate Academic Standards Committee 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.

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 grant 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 Grants and Federal Loans have been exhausted.


Buckley Amendment

The University policy for the administration of student educational records is in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-380). Personally identifiable information contained in student educational records will not be disclosed to persons outside the University without the prior consent of the student. Under this policy, the student also has the right of access to student educational records maintained by the University or any department within the University. A copy of the University policy dealing with the privacy of student educational records is maintained in the Office of Records and Registration.

For the purposes of this Regulation, “student” means an individual who is or has been in attendance at the university. It does not include persons who have been admitted but did not attend the university or individuals enrolled solely in non-credit courses. “Attendance” starts when the individual matriculates or declares their intention to enroll at the university, whichever comes first.