Financial Aid

‚Äč

Financial Aid

Financial Assistance - Storm Lake Campus

Buena Vista University provides financial assistance to promising and qualified students through scholarships, grants, loans, and work opportunities. Over 99 percent of our domestic students receive financial aid. The university awards and disburses money from the federal government, the state of Iowa, private donors, and Buena Vista University.

This financial aid comes in three forms:

  1. Gifts are called grants or scholarships and do not have to be repaid.
  2. Loans are made to students at low interest rates and must be repaid, but generally after the student has completed his or her education.
  3. Work opportunities are often awarded to students through special programs that provide jobs on or off-campus during times of enrollment. A financial aid award may include any or all of these types of assistance. For more information on any aid program, request one of the following publications from the Office of Admissions or Office of Financial Assistance: 1) Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid; 2) 10 Points to Remember.

Specific information concerning financial aid for BVU Graduate & Professional Studies students may be found in the BVU Graduate & Professional Studies section.

Financial Assistance Application

To apply for financial assistance:

  1. Complete and submit the application for admission to Buena Vista University (new students only).
  2. Submit your official high school transcript and test scores (ACT or SAT) to Buena Vista University’s Office of Admissions. Any student who has transfer hours should also submit transcripts from all previous colleges and universities attended.
  3. As soon after Jan.1 as possible, complete and file an application for financial aid. The application can be found at www.fafsa.gov. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) correctly, students are applying for most federal, state, and institutional aid sources available. Some forms of aid may require additional information or an application or are offered through competition.
  4. Students must reapply for financial aid each year they expect to attend Buena Vista University and request consideration for need-based aid.

General Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible to receive federal aid, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have financial need, unless otherwise indicated. Financial need will be determined using the information reported on a free needs analysis document (FAFSA) and the following formula: cost of education – family contribution = financial need
  2. Have a high school diploma or it's equivalent, or have been home-schooled in accordance with current regulation.
  3. Be enrolled as a regular student (transients and other students who are not degree seeking are not regular students).
  4. Be enrolled at least half-time, although some aid sources require full-time enrollment, and others will provide aid for less than half-time enrollment.
  5. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  6. Make satisfactory academic progress.
  7. Be current on all previously borrowed educational loans.
  8. Release the FAFSA information to BVU while still enrolled. Some forms of federal aid require a June 1 application receipt date to be eligible for consideration. Other verification items may be needed before aid may be provided.

To be eligible to receive state aid, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Demonstrate financial need unless otherwise noted in the program description.
  2. Meet Iowa residency standards and be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  3. Make satisfactory academic progress.
  4. Apply by the July deadline, when applicable.
  5. Be current on all previously borrowed educational loans.

Enrollment Status

Enrollment status in the undergraduate program will be determined by actual enrollment each semester. Full-time = 12 or more hours/semester; three-quarter time = 9-11 hours/semester; half-time = 6-8 hours/ semester; and less than half time = less than 6 hours/ semester. 

If you plan to travel abroad, you can normally use any federal or state aid you are eligible to receive for an approved travel opportunity, as enrollment in an approved study abroad program may be considered the same as if enrolled on campus.  In addition, aid awarded to you from BVU may also be available. 

Awarding and Billing

All scholarships, grants and loan received (as indicated on an award notification) are deducted from each semester's billing statement.  If enrollment plans or living arrangements change after awarding, aid eligibility could change.  If you qualify for Federal College Work-Study, your earnings will be paid by check from the Business Office every two weeks.

Before the beginning of each semester, you will receive a bill for your remaining charges.  Payment is normally due in August for the first semester and in January for the second semester.

If you have been awarded a Federal Perkins Loan, Mabel E. Sherman Loan, BV Loan, or McElroy Loan, you must sign a promissory note at the Business Office before credit will be granted.  You will receive disclosures concerning your rights and responsibilities regarding these loans at that time.

If you plan to enroll in summer classes and wish to use any federal aid eligibility you may have, please notify the Office of Financial Assistance.  There is no institutional gift aid available for summer courses.  You may receive Federal Pell Grant or Direct Loan for summer if enrolled at least 6 hours, but any amount used may reduce the amount available for the standard school year.

Gift Assistance

Federal Grants/Scholarships

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who meet certain financial need qualifications. These grants are expected to range from $605 to $5,645, for eligible full-time students in 2013-2014. Eligibility and the amount awarded each year is determined by a federal formula. Students automatically apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. If eligible, a student must release the FAFSA information electronically, while still enrolled, to receive the grant; other documentation may also be required.  See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements.  Students with prior baccalaureate degrees are not eligible.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are federally funded grants awarded by BVU in varying amounts. They are given to full and some part-time students who show extreme financial need and, normally, who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients. To be considered for this limited funding, students should complete the FAFSA by June 1 and list BVU. Awards for eligible students normally range from $200 to $2,000 per year. Request a copy of the FSEOG Awarding Policy for additional information. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements.

The TEACH Grant is a federally-funded program created to help college students who plan to teach, pay for college. These grants are available to eligible students who agree to serve as full-time teachers in high need fields at schools that serve students from low income families. Eligible students are those that are US citizens or eligible non-citizens enrolled in teacher education, who have scored above the 75th percentile on at least one of the batteries in an admissions test or who have earned and maintained a cumulative 3.25 GPA. Up to $4,000 is available per year; subject to change. The grant could become a loan if all the employment conditions are not met. For more information, please see the Office of Financial Assistance.

State Grants/Scholarships

These gift sources are available to Iowa residents. If any of these resources are listed on your financial aid award, they should not be viewed as official awards until your eligibility has been approved by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. To renew any of the gift sources listed, you must normally apply by the state’s deadline, currently July 1, and meet other eligibility requirements. In the event that available state funds are insufficient to pay the full amount of each approved grant, the Iowa College Student Aid Commission has the authority to administratively reduce the award to an amount less than the statutory maximum. State awards may include federal LEAP/ GAP funds.  Students from states other than Iowa should check with the proper agency in their state to receive information on availability of state-sponsored scholarships or grants.

Iowa Tuition Grants are awarded, based on need, to Iowa residents who attend Iowa private colleges and universities and file by the deadline, which is currently July 1. Seventy percent of Buena Vista University’s Storm Lake full-time students who reside in Iowa qualified for the $4,110 grant in 2013-2014.   Iowa residents will automatically be considered by listing Buena Vista University on an application for financial aid (FAFSA). See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements.

Iowa Grants of up to $1,000 a year will be provided by the State of Iowa to needy Iowa students attending Iowa colleges and universities. Funding is limited. Buena Vista University will select the recipients, with priority going to the neediest applicants. The award may be renewable. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements.

Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grants are available to Iowa residents who are members of an Iowa Army or Air National Guard unit while enrolled in higher education. The individual award amount will not exceed the average tuition rate for full-time students at Iowa Regents Universities.

Other gift aid programs, such as the Iowa Education & Training Voucher Grant, All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant and the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship, are available from the State of Iowa in limited amounts. These funds currently help Iowa students who have been in foster care, TRIO programs, alternative high schools or are homeless.

Note: A student who lives outside of Iowa should apply for funds available from his or her home state.

BVU Grants/Scholarships

Academic Merit Awards

The Trustee Scholarship is Buena Vista's most prestigious scholarship offered through competition to up to five freshmen each year.

Applicants for this scholarship must meet two of the following criteria: 3.85 CGPA, 29 ACT or a high school class rank in the top 5 percent. Recipients must enroll full-time and may renew a Trustee Scholarship by maintaining a 3.25 CGPA and full-time status. Financial need is not required, but FAFSA completion is encouraged. However, an individual’s financial need and direct charges may limit total gift aid (including outside scholarships).

Multicultural Scholarships will be award through competition to up to four multicultural students each year. Students with a strong academic and leadership background would be eligible to complete the scholarship application and interview with the director of intercultural programs and the director of admissions. Recipients will be eligible to renew a BVU Multicultural Scholarship by maintaining a 2.5 CGPA and full-time status.
Any federal or state gift funds a Multicultural Scholarship recipient receives will be subtracted from the Multicultural Scholarship. The total of all gift aid will be limited to direct costs.

Foundation Scholarships/Grants of up to $18,000 are awarded upon acceptance to Buena Vista University. Individual award amounts are based on meeting certain academic requirements. Students enrolled full-time are eligible to renew their individual foundation scholarship/grant based on the renewal requirements presented at the time the award was made (normally a 2.5 CPGA and full time attendance). For more information on the eligibility or renewal requirements for a specific award, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance. There is no limit on the number of awards available, but only students awarded a foundation scholarship as a new student are eligible to renew that amount in subsequent years.

Eligible students may receive only one academic merit award per year and are able to renew the scholarship/grant amount they received at the time they entered BVU based on the renewal requirements indicated.

Recognition Awards

Dean’s Fellowship Awards were offered through competition prior to enrolling as a freshman.
A Dean’s Fellowship is renewable for those who qualified with full-time enrollment and upon approval by the appropriate school. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance for CGPA requirements. The number of awards is limited.

Fine and Media Arts Awards are available to recognize and reward students who demonstrate talent and wish to participate at the college level. Students will be required to audition or provide a portfolio for specific art, theatre, performance theatre, vocal music or instrumental music or Media Arts awards. Students are eligible to renew these awards by meeting participation criteria.

Other Scholarships and Grants

Founders Awards of $1,000 per academic year will be given to any student who visits campus prior to the February deadline.

Loyal Hays Scholarships of $3,000 per year were awarded beginning in the 2008-09 school year and prior to 2010-11 to new freshmen or transfer students who graduated from high school in one of the following counties in Iowa: Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Harrison, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth, Lyon, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, Webster, or Woodbury. Financial need is not required.

National Presbyterian Scholarships of up to $1,500 per year are available to students who show need and apply to the National Presbyterian Church prior to the freshman year, by the yearly deadline. The student’s first year award may be renewed provided the student continues to show financial need and maintains the required CGPA. The number of awards available is limited.

Buena Vista Grants are issued to some full-time students. Financial need and/or the total of other BVU gift aid awarded will determine if an award is made. Students must continue to make satisfactory academic progress to renew the award. The number of awards available is limited.

In addition, gifts from friends of BVU, organizations and special endowments help support BVU Scholarships. A complete list of benefactors may be found on the BVU Office of Institutional Advancement web page.

Any awards made from institutional funds will not change mid-year unless enrollment or living arrangements change.

If you plan to enroll in summer classes and wish to use any federal aid eligibility you may have, you must notify the Office of Financial Assistance.

Institutional gift aid is not available for summer courses or part time enrollment. Institutional gift aid may also not be available in some consortium agreements.

Private/Outside Scholarships are awards made to students by an outside source. Students are responsible for contacting these private organization. High school guidance counselors, churches and parents’ employers may be good information sources. Help locating outside scholarships can also be found on the Office of Financial Assistance web page at www.bvu.edu/financialassistance.

Your financial assistance from these scholarships must be packaged into your aid award so your financial need is not exceeded.

Buena Vista University is a Collegiate Partner of Citizen’s Scholarship Foundation of America and the Dollars for Scholars family of community scholarship foundations. BVU has agreed to match Dollars for Scholars awards, of up to $100 for freshmen who meet one of the following criteria: high school class rank in the top 50 percent or a minimum ACT score of 20. The Office of Financial Assistance must be notified prior to the spring semester to receive matching funds.

Vocational Rehabilitation benefits are available for students with physical disabilities or handicaps which impede pursuit of gainful employment or threaten continued employment. Requests for information should be made to the local Office of the Vocational Rehabilitation Bureau. Financial need is not a determining factor.

Availability of Study Abroad Funds

Students who are interested in study abroad opportunities may receive financial assistance if eligible. The study abroad program must be approved by the study abroad coordinator and the Registrar’s Office. Options for aid will be determined by the specific program selected.

Work Opportunities

The university’s work-study program provides employment opportunities normally to students who show financial need. Funds are provided by the federal government and BVU, and are awarded as part of the financial aid package. Most student work contracts call for four to ten hours of work per week. Work schedules are arranged after the student’s class schedule has been determined to avoid conflict with classes. Currently, positions are available both on and off-campus. Students will be paid, by check, at two-week intervals. See the satisfactory academic progress policy for academic renewal requirements. Priority deadline date for FAFSA filing is June 1. For additional eligibility requirements, please request a copy of the Federal CWS Awarding Policy.

The university also provides referrals for a variety of part-time jobs in the community. These jobs are available to all students and financial need is not a factor. Employment may also be available for the summer.

Academic Assistantships are awarded to academically exceptional full-time students without regard to financial need and are designed to provide academic experience outside of the classroom. If you have been selected for one of these positions, you may receive valuable experience working closely with faculty on teaching, research or other projects. A 3.2 or better CGPA is required for consideration.

Low-Interest Loans

Loans provide students with an opportunity to defer part of the cost of education by borrowing now and repaying later at a reduced rate of interest. However, before deciding whether to accept or pursue a loan, you should carefully read the following section. We urge you not to take a loan for an amount larger than necessary. We also encourage you to consider both part-time employment and cutting down on expenses as ways of keeping your aggregate loan debt to a minimum.  When you sign a promissory note for any loan program, you are agreeing to repay the loan.

Federal Perkins Loans are available at BVU to students who apply for financial assistance and show exceptional financial need. Funding is provided by both the federal government and Buena Vista University, with the university acting as the lender. These loans vary in amount and are interest-free while the student is in college. Repayment with five percent interest begins nine months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time in college. Students may take up to 10 years to repay. Eligible students will be asked to sign a promissory note and will be given information about their rights and responsibilities at that time. Full- and part-time students who show exceptional financial need will be considered for an award. Priority deadline date for FAFSA filing is June 1. See the satisfactory academic progress policy for academic renewal requirements. For additional eligibility requirements, please request a copy of the Federal Perkins Loan Awarding Policy. Additional information, including cancellation, forgiveness or deferment options, is available from the Business Office.

Federal Direct Loans are federally funded and are available to students enrolled at least half-time in college. The federal government offers loans with an interest subsidy, for those students who show financial need, and loans without an interest subsidy. If eligible for the interest subsidy, the government will pay the interest on the loan for the student borrower until the student graduates, withdraws from college or enrolls less than half-time. If eligible for an unsubsidized loan, the student will be responsible for interest accrual while in college as well as principal and interest after they are no longer enrolled at least half-time. An application for financial aid (FAFSA) must be submitted to determine eligibility for either loan source. Interested students must also complete a Federal Direct Loan master promissory note, prior to the first semester of borrowing, regardless of the type of Direct Loan for which the student is eligible. After signing the master promissory note for the first time, a subsequent signature will normally not be required for additional borrowing. Loan proceeds, minus an origination fee, will be received by the university and credited to the student’s account each semester. Freshmen will be eligible for a total of $5,500 a year, sophomores $6,500 a year, and juniors and seniors $7,500 a year. These totals represent the maximum that can be borrowed in a combination of the subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The interest rate for new loans is 3.86% for Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans.  Additional information, including cancellation, forgiveness, or deferment options, including those available for Peace Corps and volunteer services, is available from the Office of Financial Assistance. Since this is a loan, any amount borrowed will have to be repaid with future earnings. The aggregate subsidized maximum that may be borrowed for a undergraduate program is $23,000. As evidenced by the repayment schedule, monthly repayment can be affordable. See the satisfactory academic progress policy for academic renewal requirements.

Additional Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans of up to $4,000 a year may be available to first- or second-year self-supporting students or first- or second-year dependent students whose parents have been denied a Federal Parent Loan (PLUS). Up to $5,000 is available for similar students who have completed two or more years. Students must be enrolled at least part-time. Financial need is not required. Monthly repayment of interest normally begins within 60 days after the loan is made. Repayment of principle and interest will begin once the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. The interest rate is 3.86 percent.  Interested students can receive more information from our Office of Financial Assistance. See the satisfactory academic progress policy for academic renewal requirements.

Buena Vista University Loans, Mabel E. Sherman Loans, and McElroy Loans are available to full-time students to supplement or replace the loan options mentioned above. Funding is limited. Financial need may be a factor in eligibility. Students must sign a promissory note at the Business Office. At this time, students will receive an explanation of their rights and responsibilities regarding the loan. See the satisfactory academic progress policy for academic renewal requirements.

Federal Parent Loans, called Federal PLUS Loans, are available to parents who have dependent children in college. Parents can borrow up to an amount equal to the cost of education minus other financial aid, at an interest rate of 6.41 percent. Financial need is not required. An origination fee will be taken out before the funds are disbursed. Monthly repayment normally begins no later than 60 days after the loan proceeds are disbursed. Our Office of Financial Assistance has additional information about this federal loan program.

Alternative Loans, are available to students or parents of students attending Buena Vista University. Loan eligibility is determined by the borrower’s credit worthiness. Loan amounts range from $500 to over $40,000 annually. The interest rates are variable. Repayment generally begins within 30 to 60 days after the loan money is received, although the loan may be deferrable while the student is enrolled. The borrower may take up from 10-20 years to repay. Financial need is not a prerequisite. For more information on any alternative loan source, including information on our Preferred Lender list, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance.

Standards For Financial Assistance

Satisfactory Academic Progress
The satisfactory academic progress policy describes the criteria to be used for assessing the academic standing of students at Buena Vista University and will also be used to access a student’s eligibility for financial assistance. This policy will be used to assess academic standing for all students, not just those receiving financial aid. A student must maintain both a specific cumulative grade point average and proceed through the degree at a specific minimum rate (pace). The full policy can be found at www.bvu.edu/academicstanding.
A federal or state aid recipient will be allowed to attempt 150% of the hours it is determined are needed to complete the chosen BVU degree/program at the time the student first enrolls. If the attempted program is not completed within this time frame, even in situations where there has been a change in the course of study, financial aid eligibility will be terminated.

Reporting Other Financial Aid
Any financial aid which you may receive from sources not listed on your aid award, such as a scholarship or loan from a local or private organization, military benefits, or Vocational Rehabilitation benefits, must be reported to the BVU Office of Financial Assistance. Financial assistance which has been awarded through the University is subject to change upon receipt of other assistance. The receipt of aid/benefits that pay all or a large portion of a student’s charges will affect institutional gift aid awarded. When notifying the Office of Financial Assistance of any outside aid, please list the name and total amount of the award, and the anticipated disbursement date(s).

Verifying Family Income
If a question arises concerning information reported on your confidential application for financial aid or your application is selected for verification by the Department of Education, BVU reserves the right to verify such information by requesting copies of income tax documents and/or other data. Your financial aid award is subject to change if verification procedures result in a different calculation of need or if other conditions exist which change your aid eligibility. No aid will be disbursed until the required documentation is received.

In general, federal aid recipients must submit required/requested documentation no later than 120 days after the last day of enrollment or the last day allowed by law (normally a date in September), whichever is earlier.  However, earlier deadlines may apply to specific aid programs, as detailed below.

If the deadline is met and changes in the information reported are needed, we will send those changes to the Department of Education and the student will receive a revised Student Aid Report (SAR) which will reflect the changes made.  If eligibility for aid should change, a revised award will be sent.  For a student whose application is being verified, if we receive a corrected valid SAR/ISIR after the last day of enrollment, BVU must award and pay Pell Grant on the higher EFC calculated.

A student will not be allowed to begin employment in the federal work study program until requested documents are received nor will credit be given for any aid.  For Federal Direct Loan or Federal PLUS consideration, verification requirements must be met before we can certify a loan application and the loan must be certified on or before the last day of attendance.  For Campus-based and Direct Loan funds, we must have an ISIR with an official EFC that shows the application data was processed through the CPS at least once while the student was enrolled.

If a student’s application is selected after federal aid has been disbursed, the student is entitled to keep any work study payments made (but the student will be asked to cease working until requested materials are received) and any Direct Loan funds disbursed.  All other federal aid will be removed from the student’s account until the verification process is completed.

For funds from the State of Iowa, verification requirements must be met before final payment rosters are due. 

A student will forfeit eligibility for federal and state aid if the verification process isn’t completed by these deadlines.

Reapplying for Financial Aid
You must reapply for financial aid each academic year. Unless specifically awarded for more than one year, the financial aid which you receive is not automatically renewable. Because financial need depends on variable factors, such as college cost, family income, assets, etc., your aid award may fluctuate from year to year. However, the University does its part to help you in obtaining as much aid as possible each year.

Rights and Responsibilities

In addition to the information provided here and our web site, you may also ask for and receive information on any of the following by contacting the
Office of Financial Assistance:

  1. How your financial need was calculated and the percentage of your need that has been met with financial assistance
  2. Each type and amount of assistance in your Financial Aid Award and how you were selected as a recipient
  3. How to receive a review or reconsideration of your aid award if you feel an error has been made or if your financial situation changes

In addition, there are a variety of policies and reports available on our website at bvu.edu/about/consumer_information. These reports will give you some additional insight into your BVU experience. In addition to those policies already mentioned, a partial list of what you will find is listed below:

  • Academic Honesty/Copyright Infringement Policy
  • Athletic Program Participation Rates and Financial Support Data
  • Completion/Graduation Rate
  • Drug Awareness and Abuse Prevention Strategies
  • Policy on Financial Aid Eligibility Following a Drug Conviction
  • Family Rights and Privacy Act
  • BVU Code of Conduct for Educational Loans
  • Job Placement Information
  • Campus Security and Crime Report
  • Student Body Diversity Report
  • Transfer of Credit Policy
  • Preferred Lender List Policy
  • Book Voucher Policy

As a student, you also have the following responsibilities:

  1. Review and consider all information about Buena Vista University before you enroll
  2. Pay special attention to your application for financial aid, being sure to complete it accurately and submit it on time and to the correct place
  3. Know all the deadlines for applying or reapplying for aid and meet them
  4. Provide all documentation, corrections and/or new information requested
  5. Notify us of any changes in your original application information
  6. Read, understand and keep copies of all forms you’re asked to sign 
  7. Repay any student loans you have: When you sign a promissory note, you are agreeing to repay the loan
  8. Complete both an entrance and exit interview if you have Federal Direct Loan, a Federal Perkins Loan, any institutional loan or a TEACH Grant
  9. Notify Buena Vista University of a change in your name, address or enrollment status: If you have a loan, you must also notify your lender
  10. Understand the Buena Vista University Refund Policy
  11. Understand the BVU Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Eligibility Requirements

Federally Funded Programs

  1. Demonstrate financial need*
  2. Have a high school diploma, or a recognized equivalent.
  3. Be enrolled at least half-time* and as a regular student
  4. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  5. Make satisfactory academic progress
  6. Sign various educational statements
  7. Be current on all previously borrowed educational loans
  8. Release FAFSA data to BVU while still enrolled

State Funded Programs

  1. Demonstrate financial need*
  2. Meet Iowa residency standards and be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  3. Make satisfactory academic progress
  4. Apply by the July 1 deadline*
  5. Be current on all previously borrowed educational loans

*Unless otherwise noted in the program description

For Further Information

You may contact the director of financial assistance at the following address to obtain answers to any questions you may have: Buena Vista University, Office of Financial Assistance, 610 W. Fourth Street, Storm Lake, Iowa 50588, 1.800.383.2821 or 712.749.2164. You may also find additional information on our web page at www.bvu.edu/financialassistance or e-mail us at finaid@bvu.edu.


Financial Assistance - Graduate & Professional Studies (Undergraduate Students)

Fees and refunds

All charges for tuition, fees, books, and supplies are due and payable at the first class meeting of each term/semester. Travel and living costs will vary. To ascertain the amount used to determine your aid eligibility, contact the Office of Financial Assistance at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake.

Withdrawal Policy

This policy will assist students who feel the need to completely withdraw from the university after a term/ semester has begun but before its conclusion. A student is considered to be withdrawn from a credit hour program if the student does not complete all of the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete.
For a student who officially withdraws, the withdrawal date will be the earlier of the following (unless a later date can be documented):

  • The date the student begins the official process mentioned below, or
  • The date the student officially notifies the institution of intent to withdraw.

If a student triggers both definitions above of official withdrawal on different dates, we will use the earlier date, unless we can document academically related activity later. Academically related activity is defined as one that has been confirmed by an employee of BVU, such as taking an exam, actively logging into the coursework, turning in a class assignment, attending a study group, etc.

Official notification can come in written form, via telephone, in person, or through e-mail and should be made with the BVU Graduate & Professional Studies Office. This process must also be followed for withdrawal from online courses.

If a student begins but does not complete coursework for a term/semester, but does not officially withdraw as described above, they will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn. The withdrawal date for a federal or state aid recipient who unofficially withdraws will be the midpoint of the payment period or the last day of academically related activity, whichever is later. No refund will be granted for a withdrawal that occurs after sixty percent of the payment period (which could be based on one term or two, depending on enrollment at the time of withdrawal). If a student without federal or state aid unofficially withdraws, no refund will be given. If a student left without notification because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, the BVU Graduate & Professional Studies program might determine a withdrawal date related to those circumstances.

If disciplinary action results in the loss of any college or college-contracted service for the student, there will be no refund, unless required by federal, state or other regulations.

The Office of Financial Assistance can be contacted with questions concerning the withdrawal process or the refund calculation. A copy of the Return of Title IV Funds/Institutional Refund Policy can be found in the financial assistance section of this catalog and our web site, or can be requested from the Office of Financial Assistance or the Business Office.

To Apply for Financial Assistance

If you would like to apply for financial assistance, including grants and student loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov.

Financial Assistance Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible to receive aid, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have financial need, unless otherwise indicated. Financial need will be determined using the information reported on a needs analysis document (FAFSA) and the following formula: cost of education – family contribution = financial need.
  2. Have a high school diploma, a GED, or demonstrated ability to benefit from the program of interest.
  3. Be enrolled as a regular student.
  4. Be enrolled at least half-time, although some aid sources require full-time enrollment and others will provide less aid for less than part time attendance.
  5. Be a U.S. citizen.
  6. Make satisfactory academic progress. See policy.
  7. Be current on all previously borrowed educational loans.
  8. Release your FAFSA information to BVU while still enrolled.
  9. Submit academic transcript(s) to BVU Graduate & Professional Studies locations for all previous colleges/universities attended.

Enrollment Status

Enrollment status in the undergraduate program will be determined by actual enrollment each semester. Full-time = 12 or more hours/semester; three-quarter time = 9-11 hours/semester; half-time = 6-8 hours/ semester; and less than half time = less than 6 hours/semester.

Awarding

Any available Federal Pell Grant or Federal Direct Loan funds will be disbursed by the semester.  Iowa Tuition Grant will be awarded by the term.  Any changes in enrollment could affect aid already awarded.

Gift Assistance

Federal grants/scholarships

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who meet certain financial need qualifications. These grants are expected to range from $605 to $5,550 for the 2012-13 school year for full-time attendance. Eligibility and the amount awarded each year are determined by federal formula. Students automatically apply by completing an application for financial aid (FAFSA). If a student is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, his or her account will be credited. Students with a prior degree are not eligible. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements of this aid source.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are federally funded grants awarded by BVU in varying amounts. They are given to some full and part-time students who show extreme financial need and, normally, who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients. To be considered for this limited funding, students must complete an application for aid by June 1 and list BVU. Request a copy of the FSEOG awarding policy for additional information. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements. Funding is limited.

Iowa Tuition Grants are awarded, based on need, to Iowa residents who attend Iowa private colleges and universities. Iowa residents will be automatically considered by listing Buena Vista University on the FAFSA. To be eligible, Iowa students must apply by the July 1 deadline. Students may receive the equivalent of up to eight full-time semesters of this grant. If a student is eligible for an Iowa Tuition Grant, his or her account will be credited each term/semester of attendance. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements of this aid source.

Students from states other than Iowa should check with their home state on scholarship opportunities.

In the event that available state funds are insufficient to pay the full amount of each approved grant, the Iowa College Student Aid Commission has the authority to administratively reduce the award.

Low-Interest Loans
Low-interest loans provide students with an opportunity to defer part of the cost of their education by borrowing now and repaying later at a reduced rate of interest. However, before deciding whether to pursue a loan, students should carefully read the following section. We urge students not to apply for a loan amount larger than necessary. Repaying loan obligations is a serious financial responsibility.

Federal Direct Loans are federally funded and are available to students enrolled at least half-time in college. The federal government offers loans with an interest subsidy for those students who show financial need, and loans without an interest subsidy. If eligible for the interest subsidy, the government will pay the interest on the loan for the student borrower until the student graduates, withdraws from college, or enrolls less than half-time. If eligible for an unsubsidized loan, the student will be responsible for interest accrual while in college as well as interest and principal after they are no longer enrolled at least half-time. An application for financial aid must be submitted to determine eligibility for either loan source. Interested students must also complete a Federal Direct Loan master promissory note before the first term of borrowing, regardless of the type of loan for which the student is eligible. After submitting the master promissory note for the first time, a subsequent signature will normally not be required for borrowing. Freshmen will be eligible for a total of $5,500 a year, sophomores $6,500 a year, and juniors and seniors $7,500 a year. These totals represent the maximum that can be borrowed in a combination of the subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The undergraduate subsidized aggregate total cannot exceed $23,000. The interest rate for new loans is 6.8% for Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan and 3.4% for Federal Subsidized Direct Loan. Loan proceeds, minus a possible origination fee, will be received by the university and credited to the student’s account.
Additional information, including cancellation, forgiveness, or deferment options, including those available for Peace Corps and volunteer services, is available from the lender or the Office of Financial Assistance. Since this is a loan, any amount borrowed will have to be repaid. However, the monthly repayment can be very affordable. See the schedule in the academic catalog. Also see the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements.

Additional Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans of up to $4,000 a year may be available to first- or second-year self-supporting students or first- or second-year dependent students whose parents have been denied a Federal Parent Loan (PLUS). Up to $5,000 is available for similar students who have completed two or more years. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. Financial need is not required. Monthly repayment of interest normally begins within 60 days after the loan is made. Repayment of principle and interest will begin once the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. The interest rate is 6.8%. Interested students can receive more information from the Office of Financial Assistance. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for academic renewal requirements.

Federal Parent Loans (PLUS) are available to parents who have a dependent child in college. These loans are guaranteed by the federal government. Individual eligibility is determined by subtracting other financial aid from the cost of education. Financial need is not a prerequisite. Monthly repayment, with an annual interest rate of 7.9%, begins within 60 days after the loan is disbursed. The borrower may usually take 10 years to repay the loan. For additional information including application materials, contact the Office of Financial Assistance, your site office, or visit www.bvu.edu/loans.

Alternative loans are available to students, or parents of students attending BVU. Loan eligibility is determined by the borrower’s credit worthiness and out-of-pocket expenses. The interest rates vary. The borrower may take up to 20 years to repay. Principle payments may be deferred, in most cases, while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Financial need is not a prerequisite. For more information on loan options, including our Preferred Lenders List Policy, please contact our Office of Financial Assistance, or go to: www.bvu.edu/loans.

Other Sources of Aid
Agency support is available to many of our Graduate & Professional Studies students through Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Services, Veterans Administration, Commission for the Blind, Bureau of Indian Affairs and others. For more information, contact the agency counselors directly.

Any financial aid which you may receive from sources not listed on your aid award, such as scholarship or loan from a local or private organization, military benefits, or vocational rehabilitation benefits, must be reported to the BVU Office of Financial Assistance. We encourage you to investigate and apply for such aid. We will help you in any way we can. Financial assistance which has been awarded through the university in response to your financial need is subject to change upon receipt of other assistance. When notifying the Office of Financial Assistance of any outside aid, please list the name and total amount of the award, and anticipated disbursement date(s).


Financial Assistance - Graduate Programs

Financial support for graduate education is limited in comparison to undergraduate education. Graduate financial aid in the form of student loans is available to students enrolled in at least three credits per semester. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) must be filed annually to apply for financial aid. Students can apply online at www.FAFSA.gov. At this time, there is one potential source for loans for graduate education available through Buena Vista University:

  • The Federal Direct Loan Program; Awards are restricted to students who are enrolled at least as a half-time student. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at Buena Vista University, 800.383.2821, ext. 2164, for additional information.

Please contact your specific program administrator to determine other aid sources which may be available.