Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need to apply for admission before filing the FAFSA?
No, you do not. You should file the FAFSA as soon as you think about attending Salem College (but not before January 1).
- My parents need help coming up with funds to pay my bill after all my financial aid has been applied. What do I do?
If parents need additional help to offset the parent contribution, Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans and tuition payments are available. You can obtain PLUS loan information from the Financial Aid Office, and tuition payment plan information is available from the Business Office.
- What is your financial aid policy in cases of divorce or separation?
In cases of separation or divorce, the custodial parent is responsible for completing the aid application. If there is a joint custody arrangement, the parent with whom the student resides is to complete the application. If a custodial parent is remarried, the stepparent’s income and assets must be included on the FAFSA form since the household unit must be considered as a whole, even if the stepparent does not accept a financial obligation for the student.
- What happens if I decline all or part of my award and then decide I really do want it?
You need to notify the Financial Aid Office in writing in order to reinstate your award. We will review the file to make sure you still qualify for the funds and notify you of the reinstatement.
- Is the deadline on the award letter really a deadline?
The date is a suggested date of return. We will assume you want everything on your award letter unless you notify us otherwise. However, we cannot process a loan or assign you to a work-study job unless you return all of the necessary paperwork.
- How are outside scholarships handled?
If you receive an outside scholarship, we will evaluate the award to determine if we need to make any adjustments. We will mail a new award letter to notify you of any changes.
- Is work-study applied to my bill?
No. Work-study is an opportunity for you to earn money while you attend Salem College. You are paid as you earn money, just as in any job. Because the Business Office has no guarantee that you will earn this money or that earnings will be turned over to pay charges, the work-study eligibility is not subtracted from your bill. You and your parents will need to be prepared to pay this difference. If you work regularly, you can expect to earn money on a monthly basis. From these earnings, you may choose to pay your parents back.
- Is my financial aid package renewable?
Merit scholarships are renewable based on the terms outlined in the scholarship letter sent by the Admissions Office. Renewal of need-based financial aid each year depends on you filing a Renewal FAFSA. Aid packages are subject to change each year depending upon the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated on the FAFSA. Renewal FAFSAs can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. January 1 is the earliest a FAFSA can be completed, but renewal FAFSAs completed by the beginning of March will be considered first priority. Salem recommends that FAFSAs be completed as early as possible each year to avoid problems with late processing. Loan limits also change from year to year, depending on federal limits. Work-study awards are always the same amount and will only change if the minimum wage rates increase. Estimated awards are not made for returning students who have outstanding documents; awards will be made when the entire file is complete.
- Do you have any tips for special situations such as ward of the courts, foster care, single parents, etc.?
Click here for tips regarding special situations.
- Do you have any tips for adult learners and nontraditional students?
Click here for tips regarding adult learners and nontraditional students.
- Do you have any tips for current and former members of the military?
Click here for tips regarding the military.
- Do you have any tips for undocumented students?
Click here for tips regarding undocumented students.