Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows you to be automatically considered for federal, state, and university financial aid programs. Find out more at our FAFSA information page.

Bethune-Cookman School Code 001467

Before you start, it’s important to gather some financial information. Make sure you have access to the following items:

W-2 forms

Tax returns

Records of untaxed income and benefits

Fill out the FAFSA

If you’re not ready to apply for federal student aid, but you’d like to estimate your aid, check out the Estimator. The Estimator is an early eligibility estimator that can help you plan ahead when it comes to paying for college.

Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded for a variety of reasons including academic achievement, financial need, campus and community involvement, and leadership experience, and in general they do not need to be repaid. There are countless public and private scholarships available to college students, and many colleges and departments at B-CU offer scholarships that are specific to an area of specialization. Be sure to check out Scholarship Universe, where a one-time application will have you considered for more than 100 scholarships.

Grants

Grants are awarded on the basis of need and do not have to be repaid. The Federal Pell Grant is the largest grant program offered. B-CU offers several one-time and renewable grants to students who demonstrate financial need.

Loans

Loans are a type of financial aid where students or parents of dependent students borrow money to pay for college. B-CU participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program, which offers low-interest educational loans administered through the U.S. Department of Education and includes the Federal Stafford, PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans. Loans are required to be repaid, usually with interest.

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study is an employment program designed to provide college students a chance to earn money while pursuing their degrees. FWS provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students on and off campus.

In order to receive financial aid you must also maintain B-CU’s Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy:

Federal regulations require all schools participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) 34.CFR600, and 34 CFR 668 policy that conforms to specific grade-basedand time-based requirements.  These requirements apply to all students asone determinant of eligibility for financial aid and include three components:

  • GPA (2.0 undergraduate, 3.0 graduate) 
  • Pace 67% completion ratio 
  • Maximum Time 150% of the program of study

Financial Aid Statuses

The Financial Aid SAP statuses are Good, Warning, Suspended, and Termination.

Status Review Conditions
Good Meets quantitative and qualitative standards (see pages 1-3) Eligible to receive federally-funded financial aid.
Warning Does not meet quantitative (GPA) OR qualitative (PACE) standards at the end of one semester. Eligible to receive federally-funded financial aid for one additional semester.  Students must develop an academic plan with the assistance of a retention specialist or success coach.
Suspended Does not meet the quantitative OR qualitative standard for two consecutive semesters or more. No longer eligible to receive federally-funded financial aid.  Students must pay out of pocket for B-CU expenses or submit an appeal and be approved to receive financial aid.
Termination The student has exceeded the maximum timeframe of 180 attempted hours.  No longer eligible to receive federally-funded financial aid.  Students must pay out of pocket for B-CU expenses or submit an appeal and be approved to receive financial aid.

Requirements to Appeal for Financial Aid Eligibility

  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards required to receive federal aid as stated in the Financial Aid Eligibility Policy. Your appeal form can be found at student forms.
  • Complete the FAFSA and provided all required documentation.
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 1.85 or pre-approval from the Retention Center in the College of Undergraduate Studies. For further assistance email bcu.asap@cookman.edu.

Financial Aid Eligibility Appeals

GPA and/or Pace of Progression Appeal

1. Maximum Time Frame Appeal (Can only be appealed once. Only classes required to complete the degree program will be eligible.)

1. A typed statement that has been proofread and is free of grammatical errors, signed and dated, from the student (not written by someone else on the student’s behalf)

2. Submit a detailed letter answering the following questions:

a. Why you did not meet the SAP standard(s)?

b. What circumstances beyond your control caused you to not meet SAP standard(s)? Provide a detailed explanation of the factors which contributed to your lack of academic progress

For example, all terms in which you withdrew (W) from a class or received a grade of F. All                  academic history (including previous institutions)

c. What has changed in your situation?

3. Documentation of the extenuating circumstance(s) that occurred during the review period (dropped, failed, incomplete, missing grades). (Financial Aid Eligibility Appeals with no documentation submitted will be considered incomplete and will NOT be reviewed).

Federal Title IV regulations (34CFR 668.22) require repayment ofall or a portion of funds received by students unless certain conditions are met. A student who withdraws from or stops attending all courses before completing at least 60% of an enrollment period (i.e., asemester/term) must repay the unearned portion of the funds received. This rule applies to all federal grant and loan funds received as a disbursement by a student. 

The funds that are required to be returned will be returned within 45 days of the withdrawal date. The funds will be returned in this order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  3. Federal PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Once a student has completed more than 60% of the term, the student will not incur repayment of financial aid funds; however, future financial aid could be affected due to not meeting Satisfactory academic progress.

Total amount unearned– amount returned by school = $ amount the student is required to return toTitle IV funds.

Until overpayments are repaid or satisfactory repayment arrangements have been made, students willbe ineligible for further Title IV aid at any institution.

The student is also responsible for uncollected tuition to Bethune-Cookman University.

There are also financial consequences for Bright Futures recipients who receive a grade of “W” or “WF”.

Students are required to pay back Bright Futures funds paid to them for the course(s) that were dropped or withdrawn after the add/drop period is over. Students' accounts will be reduced by the appropriate amount and a hold placed on their account. Correspondence will be sent to the students via email from Wildcat Web to notify them of their obligation to repay funds to the school. Repayment for the cost of dropped or withdrawn courses is required to renew a Bright Futures award for a subsequent academic year.

Requesting a reconsideration of your financial aid offer through Professional Judgment.

To determine your eligibility for financial aid, we rely on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that takes into account the financial information from two years prior to estimate your current household's circumstances. However, we understand that your financial situation may have undergone changes that are not reflected in the information from two years ago. Rest assured that we are here to help you navigate the process and address any concerns you may have.

In certain cases, it may be feasible to reassess a student's qualification for financial aid by taking into account their present-day circumstances through the Professional Judgment (PJ) procedure. For this process, it is essential to provide a comprehensive letter of explanation and supporting documentation. Please note that if you have been chosen for Federal Verification, alterations cannot be made through Professional Judgment until verification is finalized.

To be considered for a Professional Judgment, there needs to be a significant change in the household finances.

Non-applicable Circumstances

  • Standard living expenses (utilities, car payments, etc)
  • Mortgage payments
  • Credit card/other personal debts
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Vacation expenses
  • All other discretionary expenses

To request a Professional Judgment review, please review the list of documentation required below.

Types of Professional Judgment

Change to Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

  • Loss or change of employment
    • Note: A change in student’s aid eligibility will likely not occur if:
      • The person who lost employment has currently been rehired and is earning a similar or higher salary than two years prior
      • The loss or change to income was not significant
  • Child Support reduction or change
  • Divorce/Separation of parents/spouse
  • Change of marital status for dependent students
  • Death of parent(s) or spouse
  • Excessive out of pocket medical and/or dental expenses
    that exceed 11% of household’s Adjusted Gross Income
  • One-time taxable income (IRA disbursement, pension distribution, etc)

A change to the EFC could,but is not guaranteed to, result in a change of eligibility for need based awards.

Note: Funds will only disburse for courses required for your degree or certificate.

If you do not plan to attend B-CU it is your responsibility to drop your classes by the end of the drop/refund period or you will be responsible for the tuition and fees.

Documentation Required for Professional Judgment

In each case, you must complete our Professional Judgment Request Form and provide the documentation listed on the form before we can review your request.

Please see details regarding the Professional Judgment Request Form

The FAFSA Simplification Act has made it easier for FAAs to help applicants with unique circumstances adjust their dependency status on the FAFSA form to better reflect their individual situations. Similar to other forms of professional judgments, institutions are required to inform students of their right to request an adjustment for unusual circumstances by publicly posting the option on their website. For the 2023-24 Award Year, applicants are still required to indicate an unusual circumstance and request adetermination of independence with their school to enable us to process their FAFSA form.

Starting with the 2024-25 Award Year, both initial and renewal applicants who indicate they have an unusual circumstance on their FAFSA form will submit their application under a provisional independent status. This will allow such applicants to receive a Student Aid Index (SAI) with an estimate of their Federal student aid eligibility, subject to a final determination by their school.

Requesting a reconsideration of your dependent status through Dependency Override.

Your eligibility for financial aid is assessed through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which takes into account your financial information and that of your parents unless you qualify for any of the independent statuses. However, we understand that there may be unusual circumstances in your household that warrant further evaluation. Beginning in the 2024-25 Award Year, applicants who indicate an unusual circumstance on their FAFSA form, whether it's their first or renewed application, will be granted provisional independent status. It's important to ensure that you receive the appropriate amount of federal student aid, which is why we're hereto help. In certain cases, you may be experiencing unusual circumstances that affect your household's financial information, and thus your eligibility foraid. If this is the case, you can indicate this on your FAFSA form and begranted provisional independent status. This status provides a preliminary Student Aid Index (SAI) that estimates your eligibility, with the final determination to be made by your school. In the event that you need further evaluation, you can re-evaluate your eligibility through the Dependency Override process. This process requires a detailed letter of explanation and supporting documentation and is only available if there are unusual circumstances in your household.

Unusual circumstances do not include:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education.
  • Parents will not provide information for the FAFSA or verification.
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

Documentation Required for Dependency Override

  • In each case, you must complete our Petition for Dependency Override Form and provide the documentation listed on the form before we can review your request
  • Please view your Wildcat web to access the Dependency Override form.

Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program, which provides a range of loan options to students seeking financial assistance for their education. These options include the Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. As a participating institution, we work closely with the U.S. Department of Education, which acts as the lender and disburses loan proceeds through our school. Once we have processed and approved your loan application, we will disburse the funds once classes have commenced. During repayment, you (or your parents) can remit all payments to the federal loan servicer without difficulty. We take our role in the Federal Direct Loan Program seriously and are committed to providing the highest level of service to our students.

Loans are available to students and parent(s) to help meet the cost of education after all other funding options have been exhausted. Student loans can be used to cover the cost of tuition andfees, books and supplies, housing, food, and transportation. Unlike scholarships, loans must be repaid so students should only borrow what is necessary to cover these expenses. Your eligibility for a Direct Loan is part of your Financial Aid Offer. You are not required to take out all or any of the Direct Loans offered to you. You can accept, decrease or decline your Direct Loan offer through your Wildcat Web account.

Please note all loans will be refunded in 2 separate disbursements regardless if the student opts to receive their loans within one semester.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan - Direct Unsubsidized loans are loans for students that are not based on financial need, as determined by your cost of attendance minus other financial aid (such as grants or scholarships). Interest is charged during in-school, deferment, and grace periods. Unlike a subsidized loan, youare responsible for the interest from the time the unsubsidized loan is disbursed until it's paid in full. You can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). Capitalizing the interest will increase the amount you have to repay.

Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan - Direct Subsidized Loans are loans for students with financial need, as determined by your cost of attendance minus expected family contribution and other financial aid (such as grants or scholarships). Subsidized Loans do not accrue interest while you are in school at least half-time or during grace and deferment periods.

Year
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 per year-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 Student Annual Loan Limit
Not Applicable (all graduate and professional degree 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.

Stafford loan awards are based one ligibility, 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.

To Apply for a Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loan:

Complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

To be Eligible You Must:

  1. be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident;
  2. be enrolled at least half-time in compliant courses;
  3. not have defaulted or owe a refund to any previous aid program;
  4. maintain satisfactory academic progress;

To Receive Your Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan You Need to Complete the Following Steps:

  1. Complete Entrance Counseling and sign the master promissory note
  2. Accepting your loan award on Wildcat Web may also cancel or reduce the amount of your loan.

Parent PLUS Loans are loans for parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow up to the student's cost of attendance, minus other financial aid. Interest is charged during in-school, deferment, and grace periods. The borrower is responsible for the interest from the time the PLUS Loan is disbursed until it's paid in full. You can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). Capitalizing the interest will increase the amount you have to repay.

To Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan:

  1. Completea FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  2. Submit a completed PLUS Loan Application
  3. Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Parent PLUS Loans at master promissory note

To be Eligible You Must:

  1. Be a parent or eligible step-parent of a dependent undergraduate student and listed on the FAFSA application;
  2. The student must be enrolled at least half-time;
  3. The borrower and student must not have defaulted or owe a refund to any previous aid program;
  4. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress;
  5. The parent borrower and student must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents; and
  6. The parent borrower must have no adverse credit history.

Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or After July 1, 2023, and Before July 1, 2024

Loan Type
Borrower Type
Fixed Interest Rate
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Undergraduate
5.50%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Graduate or Professional
7.05%
Direct PLUS Loans
Parents and Graduate or Professional Students
8.05%

All interest rates shown in the chart above are fixed rates. A fixed rate will not change for the life of the loan.

If your loan was disbursed before July 1, 2023, you likely have a different interest rate.

View interest rates for loans disbursed earlier

Before you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment, it's important to complete the mandatory exit counseling requirement. This counseling session will help you gain a better understanding of your student loan obligations and make sure you're ready for repayment. During the session, you'll receive valuable information about your federal student loan payments after graduation. You can also expect to receive personalized recommendations for a repayment strategy that aligns with your future goals and plans.

Did you know that many borrowers default on their loans because they withdrew from college before completing their program? However, with proactive identification and timely intervention, we can significantly increase student retention and decrease the number of defaulted loans. It is a regulatory requirement to provide exit counseling to students. By providing exit counseling to students, we can equip them with the tools they need to succeed and prevent them from becoming part of the default statistics. 

Please note that Bethune-Cookman University tuition is not based on your Florida residency status.

A Florida “resident for tuition purposes” is an independent person who has (or a dependent person whose parent or legal guardian has) established and maintained legal residency in Florida for at least twelve (12) consecutive months preceding the first day of classes of the term for which Florida residency is sought.

Residency requires the establishment of legal ties to the state of Florida, and living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence. Students who depend upon out-of-state parents for support are presumed to be legal residents of the same state as their parents.

Maintaining a legal residence in Florida requires a substantial physical presence, and students claiming Florida Residency must submit proof, in compliance with Section 1009.21, Florida Statutes, and State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.044.

Please log into your Wildcat Web account to submit your Florida residency documents. Click here for more information about Florida Residency.