Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) Frequently Asked Questions


My file says I have missing documents. I submitted that document already.

If you submitted the document recently, please be aware that documents take 2 to 3 days to process. During PEAK processing times documents may take up to 21 business days to be updated. If you have submitted your document(s) and they now show as “incomplete” you will receive an email from the OSFA regarding the correction or missing information that is required on the “incomplete” document(s).

I don’t live with my parents. Why can’t I be an independent student?

The federal government requires that you meet one of the following qualifications to be an independent student: 24 years of age, married, providing 51% support to a minor child, a veteran, an active duty military member, or in a graduate program. If you do not meet one of these qualifications, you are classified as a dependent student and your parent(s) information must be provided in your FAFSA.

Why am I getting a bill? I thought my financial aid covered it.

Financial aid is meant to assist student with their educational costs. Based on a student’s individual eligibility for the different financial aid programs, this may affect the amount of aid a student may receive to help them with their costs. If a student’s financial aid award is less than the cost of Tuition and fees and/or housing the student would need to contact the Bursar’s Office for balance and payment options for any remaining costs.

Does Bethune-Cookman offer a monthly payment plan to help pay for tuition/fees?

Yes, as a special service to students and their families, the University offers the option to make tuition and room & board payments on a monthly basis through Tuition Management Systems. The Tuition Management Systems Payment Plan is an interest-free alternative to having to make lump-sum payments. The cost of books is not included in the Tuition Management Payment Plan. For further information or to enroll, call Tuition Management Systems at (800) 722-4867 to speak with a consultant. You may also review the Tuition Management Systems website at www.cookman.afford.com. The Tuition Management Systems Payment Plan is not available during summer sessions.

When will my funds disburse?

Student's available financial aid disbursements begin after the end of the add/drop period of each semester, and continue throughout a given semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All required documents must be submitted and processed, and your enrollments in your classes must be confirmed by your instructors in order for the OSFA to be able to disburse your funds. Any outstanding documents or hold could delay the release of your financial aid to your student account. You can access your online financial aid file on the wildcat web to view document status or hold information.

Why did only part of my funds disburse?

If only a portion of your funds show disbursed, your aid is very likely in processing currently. The number of hours you are enrolled in may also affect your award and/or disbursement(s). Students must be enrolled full time to receive the full amount of federal/state grants and at least half time to receive Stafford loans. The OSFA is required to adjust awards based on enrollment and eligibility of the student.

I am enrolled for one semester only. Why can't you disburse the rest of my loans?

If your loans are in one semester only, federal regulations require that the disbursement of those loans be split into two disbursements, the first disbursement at the beginning of the semester and the second disbursement at the mid-point of the semester.

When will I get my refund?

The Bursar's Office processes refunds for students who have financial aid that exceeds their direct educational costs to attend Bethune-Cookman University. Please see the Bursar's page for more detailed refund information and institutional policy.

How do I get an emergency refund?

The Bursar's Office does not issue emergency refunds.

Can I get an increase in my loans?

Stafford loan awards for students are based on grade level (number of earned credit hours).

Dependent Students

Year Credit
Hours
Subsidized
loans
Unsubsidized
loans
Parent
Plus Denial
Freshman 00 - 27 $3,500 $2,000 $4,000
Sophomore 28 - 57 $4,500 $2,000 $4,000
Junior 58 - 89 $5,500 $2,000 $5,000
Senior 92 - + $5,500 $2,000 $5,000

Independent undergraduate students

Year Credit
Hours
Subsidized
loans
Unsubsidized
loans
Freshman 00 - 27 $3,500 $6,000
Sophomore 28 - 57 $4,500 $6,000
Junior 58 - 89 $5,500 $7,000
Senior 92 - + $5,500 $7,000

Stafford loan awards are based on eligibility, student's must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours for Undergraduates and 5 credit hours for graduate (masters level), and may not exceed the annual and aggregate loan level limits. ****

How do I get a Parent Plus Loan?

Your parent must go to www.studentloans.gov, sign in with their personal information and their FAFSA PIN, and select Request a Direct Plus Loan from the menu. Once they have completed and submitted the application, it will tell them immediately whether they are approved or denied. If they are approved, they will see a screen that congratulates them and lets them know they need to complete the Master Promissory Note. If they are denied, the screen will ask them what they would like to do next, including using a co-signer. The OSFA will receive the information from the Department of Education electronically within 24 to 48 hours and is updated daily in the student's financial aid file.

How do I get an increase in my Parent Plus Loan?

The parent will need to submit a request to increase the Plus loan. The request must contain the student ID, and parent contact information and the amount they wish to increase the loan. We are UNABLE to take requests from students in any form to increase the Parent Plus Loan.

Why do I not get my refund until October (March)?

If your loans are in one semester only, federal regulations require that the disbursement of those loans be split into two disbursements, the first disbursement at the beginning of the semester and the second disbursement at the mid-point of the semester. Because of this, one half of your loans will be disbursed this month and the second half will disburse in March.  The Bursar’s Office is unable to issue a refund until all direct educational costs have been paid.