It is the mission of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to increase opportunities and access to monetary assistance by helping students and their families seek, obtain and make best use to all financial resources. Our primary purpose is to provide financial assistance to all students who, without such aid, would be unable to attend college. Through literacy and guidance, we support students with their transition to college and continue to make their academic aspirations attainable. While complying with all required regulations and guidelines we ensure equitable and consistent administration of over 70 million dollars annually from Federal, State, Institutional and Outside sources.
Forms and Deadlines
To apply for financial aid at The Citadel and to best demonstrate eligibility for need-based scholarships, all students should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1 of each year. These forms are available online at http://FAFSA.ed.gov. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships may request additional information. Students are responsible for checking their e-mail account, online Citadel financial aid account, completing all requested paperwork, and submitting financial aid requirements in a timely manner. Funds are limited, so late applications are considered for aid only if resources are available.
Priority deadline dates are as follows:
Academic year (fall and spring): February 28
Fall only: February 28
Spring only: October 15
Summer: April 15
Applicants who have not completed all financial aid paperwork by June 30 should not expect to receive notification of awards prior to the beginning of fall semester. These applicants should be prepared to pay for their tuition, fees, and other costs at the established fee payment deadlines. Students will be reimbursed if they are subsequently determined to be eligible for financial aid.
Determining Financial Need
The amount of financial aid is determined based on the FAFSA form the applicant files after October each year. This form solicits information about the applicant’s family’s current financial situation and produces an “expected family contribution” (EFC). Adjusted gross income data from tax forms is used along with current asset information to determine family resources. Allowances are made for federal and state taxes, social security, employment (when both parents work), unusual medical and dental expenses, and family size. Other factors considered are any unusual expenses and the number of family members in college. In its simplest definition, financial need is the difference between the cost to attend college and the expected family contribution, as determined by the need analysis. If costs exceed the amount of family contribution, then the applicant has “demonstrated” financial need.
Dependent or Independent Status
Federal student aid programs are based on the premise that parents have the primary responsibility of financing their dependent children’s education. However, independent students are not required to submit parental data. Students who fall into at least one of the following categories are automatically considered independent:
- 24 years old or older by December 31 of the award year,
- Master’s or doctorate student,
- Have children and provide more than half of their support,
- Have legal dependents (other than a spouse),
- Dependent or ward of the court or were in foster care or both parents were deceased since turning age 13,
- On active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training,
- Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces,
- Homeless or at risk of being homeless, or
- Is/was an emancipated minor.
Federal Eligibility Requirements
Any student who is accepted for admission is eligible to request financial assistance. However, there are several general eligibility requirements a student must meet to receive federal financial aid:
- A student must be admitted to The Citadel as a regular or provisional student,
- A student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen,
- A student may not receive aid if he or she is in default on any federal student loan program with any institution,
- Generally, a student must be enrolled at least half-time. This is defined as 3 hours/semester for graduate students and 6 hours/semester for undergraduate students,
- A student may not receive aid if he or she owes a repayment on a Pell Grant, Supplemental Grant, or state Student Incentive Grant at any institution,
- A student must have the minimum grade point ratio and must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree to continue to receive federal financial aid.
Types of Financial Aid
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant program provides federal grants for eligible undergraduate students. Eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using a nationally mandated formula applied uniformly to all applicants. Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward a degree each year to receive a Pell Grant in the next academic term. The Citadel participates in the Department of Education’s Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) program, which provides the student and the institution with faster processing of applications. When a student completes the FAFSA, the eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant is determined by the processor, and an electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) is available for applicants who provide a valid e-mail address. At the same time, an electronic ISIR is generated to the school. If corrections need to be made on the application, the institution can send the corrections electronically and have the results within four business days.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
The SEOG program provides aid to students who qualify for Pell Grants and who show exceptional financial need. These grants range in value from $300 to $4,000 per academic year, with the average award being $1,000.
South Carolina Need-Based Grant
South Carolina Need-Based Grants are awarded to South Carolina residents, on a first-come basis, who demonstrate financial need. A student may receive up to $2,500 annually for full time status and up to $1,250 annually for part-time status. Visit the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education web site for eligibility requirements.
These grants are awarded to qualified students selected by members of the coaching staff. Additional information may be obtained by writing to the Director of Athletics.
The Federal Work-Study Program
This federally funded program provides part-time employment to qualifying students. Students are paid on an hourly basis, not less than the federal minimum wage. Paychecks are issued twice a month directly to students for hours worked. The Human Resources Office makes assignments after a student has qualified for work-study.
The Institutional Work Program
This non-federally funded program makes a variety of student jobs available in academic and administrative offices on campus. A student does not need to demonstrate financial need. Inquiries and applications are made in the Human Resources office.
The Federal Direct Loan Program
The Federal Direct Loan Program provides students with long-term, low interest subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The federal government pays the interest of the subsidized loan while the student is enrolled in school, whereas the interest accrues on the unsubsidized loan. The FAFSA contribution is taken into consideration when determining eligibility for any subsidized student loans. The maximum loan amount for a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans is $5,500 for a first year student; $6,500 for a second year student; and $7,500 for remaining years of study. During their academic careers, undergraduate dependent students may borrow up to a maximum of $31,000 (only $23,000 can be subsidized). Independent undergraduate students may borrow up to a maximum of $57,500 (only $23,000 can be subsidized). The interest rates are set each year. Please check current rates online at citadel.edu/finaid. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or after enrollment drops below half-time status.
The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Under the Federal Direct PLUS program, parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow annually up to the difference between the student’s cost of attendance and the estimated amount of financial assistance for each dependent student. There is no aggregate maximum under this program. The interest rate is set each year. Please check current rates online at citadel.edu/finaid. Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement or can be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time.
South Carolina Teacher Loan Program
This South Carolina Teacher Loan Program is intended to attract and maintain the residency of talented teachers through the offer of student loan cancellation. Loan recipients who become certified to teach in critical need subject areas or who choose to teach in a designated school district will have their loans cancelled up to 100% at the rate of 20% for each full year of teaching. To qualify for this program, students must be South Carolina residents who attend college for the purpose of becoming a certified teacher. Employment must be in the state’s public school system in an area of critical need as defined by the State Board of Education. Loan recipients who fail to become certified or who do not teach in a critical need area must repay the entire amount of the loan plus interest. Funds are limited; the priority filing deadline is April 30.
The Citadel Scholars Programs
The Citadel’s scholarship programs are designed to attract outstanding high school graduates to the college, reward undergraduate academic excellence, and help those worthy students who desire financial assistance to pay for their college education. Annually, The Citadel awards more than 3 million dollars in academic scholarships to entering freshmen and enrolled upperclassmen. The college offers a number of full academic scholarships covering catalog costs to incoming freshmen each year.
Incoming freshmen cadets are automatically considered for the majority of the college’s merit scholarships. Consideration is based on the standard application for admission and provided high school credentials. Prospective cadets do not complete a separate scholarship application in most cases. Recipients of scholarships are notified by April 30th in most cases.
There are three categories or tiers of scholarship that do require additional information. Candidates are identified by a wholistic review of their high school credentials and extracurricular activities. Candidates are contacted by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships and invited to apply. This competitive process determines the recipients for the following scholarship awards:
Full Academic Scholarships
The Citadel Honors Program
1842 Scholars Program
Full academic scholarships cover catalog costs (including tuition, room/board, quartermaster charges) and are the most prestigious of The Citadel’s awards to incoming freshmen based on academic merit.
The Citadel Honors Program is the college’s premier program for intellectually and academically gifted students who demonstrate a love of learning and wish to participate in rich intellectual discourse over their four-year college career. Special benefits include small classes, discussion-style instruction and competing for national-level post-graduate scholarships or fellowships.
The 1842 Scholars Program offers students the opportunity to engage with like-minded cadets through professional development, mentorship, study abroad programs, and more. The goal of the program is to identify and recruit highly motivated students, immerse them in a cohort community where they can explore their academic passions, provide them with opportunities to take intellectual risks, and develop them as thinkers and leaders.
Most incoming freshman scholarship recipients will be notified of their standing by April 30th. All scholarships must be applied for on an annual basis, except for full academic scholarships and scholarships for which the deeds of trust specify multi-year awards.
Numerous corporations, employers, professional organizations, foundations, local civic organizations, churches, and high schools make scholarships available to Citadel cadets. Outside scholarship assistance has been a rapidly growing source of financial aid at The Citadel. Students should consult high school counselors, employers, civic leaders or public officials and use the local library to obtain information on educational foundations which offer scholarships. Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, and HOPE Scholarships are available to residents of South Carolina. Complete information concerning these state programs can be found on the website for the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.
ROTC Scholarships provide significant financial assistance to Citadel students. The Army, Navy, or Air Force each has its own criteria and time tables for application and acceptance. SAT or ACT scores should be submitted to the respective service usually by December during the senior year of high school. Enrolled Citadel students can also apply for two- or three-year ROTC Army and Navy scholarships that cover all tuition costs and academic fees, but do not pay the room and board and book and supplies components of the bill. Air Force ROTC scholarships pay according to the type of contract awarded. Every ROTC scholarship student also receives a monthly stipend that could be used to offset the cost of books. Nearly 10% of the Corps of Cadets hold ROTC scholarships. Students interested in ROTC scholarships should contact the head of the appropriate Citadel ROTC unit for additional information and application assistance.
Vocational Rehabilitation Scholarships: This program provides for education and training if the student has a physical or mental disability which is a substantial handicap to employment and if there exists reasonable expectation that vocational rehabilitation services may lead to gainful employment. Additional information is available through the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in the student’s home state.
Veterans Benefits: Veterans benefits are administered under the umbrella of the Veteran Student Success Center at The Citadel. Veterans benefits are intended to meet the needs of students receiving benefits under the following programs:
- Ch. 30 - Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty, Veterans
- Ch. 31 - Veterans Readiness and Employment
- Ch. 35 - Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program
- Ch. 33 - Post-9/11 G.I. Bill®
- Ch. 1606 - Montgomery GI Bill®-Selected Reserve
Students who believe they have an entitlement should check with their local VA Office, the regional office in Columbia (1-800-827-1000), or the School Certifying Official at The Citadel. An applicant should contact the School Certifying Official at The Citadel well in advance of the anticipated matriculation date so that the necessary documents may be obtained in order to certify attendance with the VA. All students receiving VA Educational Benefits are required to complete an on-line request for VA Enrollment Certification. Any changes in a student’s course of study should be cleared with the School Certifying Official to ensure continuation of benefits. Any reduction in course load should be reported immediately to avoid overpayment. Transfer students are reminded that the office must have copies of all transcript evaluations made by the Registrar’s Office before certification can be made to the Veterans Benefits Administration for payment.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
In compliance with regulations governing federal and/or state financial aid programs, The Citadel is required to monitor each student to be certain that he or she is maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his or her course of study. SAP standards are separate from The Citadel’s academic policies and are reviewed annually at the end of each spring semester.
How the Policy Works
Students who fail to meet published SAP standards will be ineligible to receive federal or state financial aid funds. However, those students failing to meet the minimum standards, as prescribed in this policy, may appeal their status by following outlined conditions.
The academic year for SAP determination is comprised of the fall, spring, and summer terms.
Unsatisfactory academic progress is defined as a failure to meet any of the following standards:
- Academic Progression
- Full-time students (enrolled in at least 12 hours/semester) must earn 24 credit hours in an academic year. Full-time students enrolled in one semester are considered to be meeting progression standards by earning at least 12 hours.
- Part-time students (enrolled in less than 12 hours/semester) must earn at least 66% of the credit hours attempted in an academic year.
- GPA - A student’s GPA must meet the required minimum for their grade level according to The Citadel’s academic policies for continuance.
- 1.3 with < 39 attempted hours
- 1.5 with 40-69 attempted hours
- 1.7 with 70-99 attempted hours
- 2.0 with > 99 attempted hours
- Attempted credit hours cannot exceed 207 hours (more than 150% of program length.
- Academic Progression
- Full-time students (enrolled in at least 6 hours/semester) must earn 12 credit hours in an academic year. Full-time students enrolled in one semester are considered to be meeting progression standards by earning at least 6 hours.
- Part-time students (enrolled in less than 9 hours/semester) must earn at least 66% of the credit hours attempted in an academic year.
- GPA - A student must earn at least a 3.0 grade point average.
- Attempted credit hours cannot exceed 150% of the student’s program length.
Students who have not met SAP have the opportunity to complete an appeal to regain eligibility for federal aid. Completion of this process does not guarantee reinstatement of federal financial aid. Students are responsible for full payment of tuition/fees regardless of financial aid status. It is also the student’s responsibility to be aware of and to meet all fee payment and financial aid deadlines. The SAP Appeal Packet is available on the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarship’s webpage at citadel.edu.
The SAP Appeal must include:
- A completed SAP Appeal Form and Academic Improvement Plan approved by the Student Success Center and signed by both the advisor and the student, and
- A letter written by the student that defines why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed that enables the student to meet SAP at the next evaluation.
If a student fails to either regain regular SAP eligibility after one semester or meet the conditions of the Academic Improvement Plan, the student is ineligible to receive federal financial aid (Title IV aid).
Completed appeal forms must be turned in two weeks before the end of the term for which the appeal is filed.
Only letter grades are given to evaluate a student’s progress. The following definitions of letter grades are applicable:
“B” Very Good
“C” Satisfactory; Acceptable
“D” Marginal; Passing
“P” Grade assigned in pass/fail courses that do not carry credit hours to designate passing performance.
“S” Grade assigned in pass/fail courses that carry credit hours to designate that a grade of “A”, “B” or “C” has been earned and credit has been awarded.
“U” Grade assigned in pass/fail courses and in ENGL 101 to designate that a grade of “D” or “F” has been earned and no credit has been awarded.
“W” Withdrawal from a course prior to the official deadline.
“I” An Incomplete is awarded when course requirements have been very nearly met but for authorized reasons (illness, injury, family emergency, etc.) cannot be completed during the current semester.
“IP” Grade assigned for courses in which requirements are not expected to be met in one academic term. The grade of “IP” must be removed in the next full semester, or the “IP” becomes an “F.” The summer session will not be considered a semester in this case. Under extenuating circumstances, an extension may be awarded by the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs with the recommendation of the instructor. The removal of the “IP” is the responsibility of the student. Students may not enroll in a course in which they currently have an “IP.”
Students who are enrolled in audit courses will not receive financial aid for these courses.
Students can access midterm progress and semester grade reports online by using BANNER Self-Service through the Lesesne Gateway portal.
Taking or Repeating Courses to Improve the GPA/Grade Replacement
The regulatory definition for full-time enrollment status (for undergraduates) has been revised to allow a student to retake (one time only per previously passed course) any previously passed course. For this purpose, passed means any grade higher than an “F”, regardless of any school or program policy requiring a higher qualitative grade or measure to have been considered to have passed the course. This retaken class may be counted towards a student’s enrollment status, and the student may be awarded Title IV aid for the enrollment status based on inclusion of the class. A student may be repeatedly paid for repeatedly failing the same course (normal SAP policy still applies to such cases), and if a student withdraws before completing the course that he or she is being paid Title IV funds for retaking, then that is not counted as his or her one allowed retake for that course. However, if a student passed a class once, then is repaid for retaking it, and fails the second time, that failure counts as their paid retake, and the student may not be paid for retaking the class a third time.
When evaluating SAP, a student’s transfer credits, accepted by The Citadel toward completion of the student’s degree program, will count as both credit hours attempted and hours earned.
Change of Major
Students who have changed majors and earn more than the maximum allowable number of credit hours toward graduation will be required to submit a SAP Appeal.
Students who are completing a second degree will be required to submit a SAP Appeal to explain the reason behind earning more than 150% of allowable credit hours.
Financial Aid Funds Covered by SAP Standards
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Federal Work Study
Federal Direct Loan, subsidized and unsubsidized
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
South Carolina Teachers Loan
South Carolina Palmetto Fellows Scholarship
South Carolina LIFE Scholarship
South Carolina Need-Based Grant
Other federal/state programs as required
Some Private Educational Loans (as required by the lender)
Financial Aid Refund and Repayment Policy
The Higher Education Act of 1998, Public Law 105-244, substantially changed the way funds paid toward a student’s education are managed should the student, as a recipient of federal financial aid, withdraw from school. If a student who was awarded financial aid withdraws from school, he/she is eligible for the “institutionally-determined-refund” that remains after the immediate repayment of the financial aid award to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships (please see the Expenses Section of this catalog). This policy also applies to students on whose behalf a parent has borrowed a Title IV loan. Refunds are returned to the programs that awarded the student aid. In the case of federal funds, a statutory schedule is used to determine the amount of Federal Financial Aid that has been earned based on the period the student was in attendance. Up through the 60% point, in each payment period of enrollment, a pro rata schedule is used to determine how much Federal Financial Aid the student will receive. After the 60% point in the payment period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the federal funds awarded for the period.
The percentage earned will be calculated based on the following schedule:
Week 1 - 6 percent
Week 2 - 12 percent
Week 3 - 18 percent
Week 4 - 25 percent
Week 5 - 31 percent
Week 6 - 37 percent
Week 7 - 43 percent
Week 8 - 50 percent
Week 9 - 56 percent
Week 10 - 60 percent
Week 11-16 - 100 percent
For example, if a student has received $1,000 in Federal Financial Aid and withdraws within the first week of classes, that student will receive 6 percent ($60) of the aid award applied to total charges. The remaining $940 will be returned to the Federal Financial Aid programs in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Student Loans
- Subsidized Student Loans
- PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal SEOG Grants
- Other Assistance under Title IV
The refund and repayment provisions mandated by the Federal government for Federal Aid Recipients apply when a student receives financial aid funds and withdraws, drops out, takes an unapproved leave of absence, fails to return from an approved leave of absence, is expelled, or otherwise fails to complete the period of enrollment for which he or she was charged. The refund and repayment requirements DO NOT APPLY to a student who:
- Withdraws, drops out, or is expelled before his or her first day of class, or
- Withdraws from some classes, but continues to be enrolled in other classes, or
- Does not receive funds for the period in question. (Students whose parents received a PLUS Loan are considered to have received funds and fall under the stated refund and repayment requirements.)
If a student’s non-instructional educational expenses (allowances as prescribed below) incurred up to the time of withdrawal exceed the amount of cash disbursement, the student does not owe a repayment. If cash disbursed exceeds the non-instructional costs of education incurred up to the time of withdrawal, the student does owe a repayment. This repayment is the difference between costs incurred and the actual cash refund received. Non-instructional expenses are determined by calculating the percentage of room, board, books, supplies, travel, and personal expenses incurred during the portion of the term a student is enrolled. Off-campus board and personal expenses are prorated on a weekly basis. There is no proration of on-campus room charges. A percentage of books, supplies, and travel costs is allowed based on length of enrollment.
Student aid accounts to be refunded and repaid
Once the amounts to be refunded and/or repaid are determined, the aid programs from which the student received funds will be reimbursed in the following order:
- Federal Direct/Stafford loans
- Federal PLUS loans received on behalf of the student
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal SEOG Grants
- Other Title IV programs
- Federal, state, private, or institutional student financial assistance received by the student for which refunds are required
- The student