Financial Aid Awarding Policy
A student who is admitted in an undergraduate degree program who applies for financial will be awarded based on 15 credit hours per quarter. A student who is admitted in a master’s degree program who applies for financial aid will be awarded based on 12 credit hours per quarter. A student who is admitted in the doctor of chiropractic program who applies for financial aid will be awarded based on 25 hours per quarter.
A student needs to be registered for at least half-time status in a degree program to receive their financial aid funds. You cannot combine credits from more than one degree program to meet the half-time status. If your program/enrollment changes from when you were awarded, you must complete a financial aid adjustment form. Call, email or make an appointment with your FA counselor if you are unsure of your financial aid status.
Merit scholarships are applied for annually. To apply and review the different scholarships offered by Life University, visit LIFE.edu/FinancialAid.
Grants, Loans and Work-Study
These funds are available to assist Life University students with their educational expenses. To apply for this assistance, a student must annually submit:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- If selected for verification, then you will be required to submit additional documentation. You will be notified by email what information is required.
Undergraduate Status: If a student has earned a four-year degree, there is no eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Any student who is in the undergraduate program, regardless of any previous degrees earned, may still qualify for other types of financial aid.
Graduate Status: Any student in the graduate program or any student in the Doctor of Chiropractic with at least 135 quarter hours and/or four-year degree may qualify for loans, scholarships and/or Work-Study.
The following is a brief description of the various Financial Aid programs: (for further information, visit LIFE.edu/FinancialAid)
Grants available include (for first degree undergraduate students only):
- Federal Pell Grant: Awarded only to students with the most financial need, using Congressional System of Need Analysis.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: (SEOG) Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients. These grants are awarded by the college, from funds given annually by the federal government. Funds are limited and are awarded to the earliest, highest need applicants.
- Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant: (GTEG) Georgia residents in UG program at a Private Institution and full-time status.
- Zell Miller Scholarship: Georgia residents in a UG program must have graduated high school with a 3.70 or higher GPA and received a minimum score of 1200 combined critical reading and math on the SAT or scored a 26 on the ACT, or graduated high school being named the Valedictorian or Salutatorian.
Loans Available Include:
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program: Program provides loans to student and parent borrowers directly through the U.S. Department of Education rather than through a bank or other lender.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (Only UG Students): These loans are need-based loans and provide additional funding to students.
Federal Unsubsidized Loan: These loans are non-need-based loans and provide additional funding to students. Borrower is responsible for interest while in school.
Repayment Terms: Repayment generally begins six months after graduation or after dropping below half-time status. The minimum monthly payment is $50 per month. However, the standard loan repayment term is 10 years; therefore, your monthly payment may be higher. The repayment term can be longer depending on the repayment type chosen. Both principal and interest payments will be deferred while you are in school at least half-time. You do have the option to pay your interest while in school. This option will reduce your overall debt by eliminating the accrued interest.
For Dependent Students
- $5,500 — first-year students
- $6,500 — second-year students
- $7,500 — other undergraduates
For Independent Students
- $9,500 — first-year students
- $10,500 — second-year students
- $12,500 — other undergraduates
Aggregate Loan Limits
- $31,000 — undergraduates (dependent)
- $57,500 — undergraduates (independent)
- $138,500 — graduate
- $224,000 — health professions (DC students only)
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
These loans are available to parents of undergraduate students.
The maximum amount on this program is the cost of education minus estimated financial aid. Borrowers (parents or guardians) must meet established credit criteria. There is an origination fee which will be deducted proportionately from the loan proceeds. Repayment Terms: Repayment of principal and interest begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. Parents have the option to request a deferment on payments based on the student’s enrollment status of at least half-time. Interest charges begin when the check is produced.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan (Grad PLUS)
Graduate/Professional students will be allowed to borrow additional federal funds that do not affect the aggregate limit ($224,000 DC). Students are not allowed to borrow more than their Cost of Attendance (COA) or student budget.
The maximum amount on this program is the cost of education minus estimated financial aid. Borrowers must meet established credit criteria. Students must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan. There is an origination fee that will be deducted proportionately from the loan proceeds.
Repayment Terms: Repayment of principal and interest begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. (Interest charges begin when the check is produced.) Students maintaining six or more credit hours will quality for an “in-school” deferment.
Georgia Student Access Loan (SAL)
The Georgia Student Access Loan (SAL) is a limited resource loan program that is designed to assist undergraduate students who have a gap in meeting their educational costs. The program is also designed to provide interest rate and repayment incentives to those who complete their program of study within the designed program length, work in select public service sectors or STEM fields.
In order to receive the Student Access Loan, students must:
- Be considered Georgia residents and United States citizens or eligible non-citizens.
- Complete a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to apply for this program.
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with the SAP policy at your college or university.
- Have first applied for and exhausted all other student financial aid programs including federal and state student loans, scholarship and grant programs.
- Be randomly selected to participate in the program (Note: Selection does not guarantee approval and applicants may or may not be selected each application year).
- Meet all eligibility requirements.
Private educational loans may be an important funding source for students who need more loan funds than the federal programs can provide. Terms of private loans vary significantly. These loans can be more expensive than federal loans because the federal government does not guarantee them. They require a credit check and/or debt-to-income ratio on the borrower and/or co-borrower. A co-borrower may be required; lower interest rates may be available to students who choose to have a co-borrower. Each time a student wishes to borrow a private loan, a new loan application is required by the lender.
Before a dependent, undergraduate student borrows a private loan, parents should consider applying for a PLUS loan. Payments on a PLUS loan, like some private loans, may be deferred until a student graduates. Some restrictions could apply. Please check with your lender for specific details.
Private Educational Loan Application Process
You must initiate the loan application process by selecting a private student loan lender of your choice. Apply online at the lender’s website, or contact the lender by phone. It is a good idea to apply early, as processing may take several weeks.
Once the borrower and/or co-borrower’s credit is approved, Life University will receive a request from the lender to certify the loan. We will certify the loan for the lesser of the amount you request on your application or the maximum amount allowed by your financial aid budget (total cost minus other financial aid). Funds received at Life University will be applied first to your student account, and in the event of a credit balance, refunded to you by Student Accounts.
Life University Private Loan Lenders
In an effort to assist students and families in choosing a lender, the Office of Financial Aid has compiled a list of institutions we consider to offer competitive products, solid customer service, electronic payment of loan funds and a variety of savings programs during loan repayment. Reasons for selecting a particular lender will vary from person to person, so this list should only be used as a guide or starting point for analysis. Some choose a lender based on name recognition, immediate benefit of lower origination fees or the long-term advantage of repayment savings programs, like an interest rate reduction as a reward for making payments on time.
Please note that you are not required to use any of these lenders – the choice of lender is yours. The Office of Financial Aid will process your loan with any lender you choose. Further, the list of lenders is not in any order of preference. Choose your lender carefully with the intent that you will remain with that lender throughout your studies at Life University.
These loans from Private lenders are for graduate and undergraduate students who qualify based on credit. A co-borrower is required if you are a freshman, a foreign student, have no credit history or have a low credit score. Interest rates and fees are variable. Students apply directly to a lender of their choosing; once approved, the lender will contact the school for processing.
Federal Work Study
Students may be eligible for part-time, on-campus and off-campus (community service) employment. Students can work up to 20 hours per week. Limited funding is available. Submission of the FAFSA by the priority deadline is required to be reviewed for eligibility.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)
In order to receive approval for any form of Title IV financial assistance, reasonable academic progress must be made toward graduation. To demonstrate progress, a student must comply with the following requirements:
Effective 7/1/2011 (supersedes all former policies)
The United States Department of Education and most agencies providing financial assistance require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their course of study to continue receiving funding. Failure to maintain SAP will result in the loss of Federal Title IV financial aid as well as State and other aid. Federal Title IV financial aid includes Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Graduate PLUS loan, and Federal work-study. State aid includes Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG), HOPE Scholarship and Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grant (LEAP). The student’s entire academic history is evaluated to determine whether or not he/she is maintaining SAP. This evaluation is not affected by whether or not aid was previously received or whether a student has changed programs. The Federal Student Aid program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty or grade forgiveness.
Doctor of Chiropractic and Undergraduate Program
Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) and Undergraduate (UG) students will be evaluated annually at the end of each spring quarter. Students in the DC and UG programs are expected to complete at least 67 percent of all attempted hours with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. When students are evaluated and are not meeting SAP requirements, they will become ineligible for Federal financial aid. Students may regain federal eligibility by enrolling using their own resources or alternative funding sources until they have met a cumulative 2.0 GPA and completed 67 percent of their courses.
Master’s students (GR) will be evaluated at the end of each quarter. Students in the GR program are expected to complete at least 67 percent of all attempted hours with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Graduate students will be evaluated after their first (and subsequent) quarter in the program because of the short duration of the master’s program. Students not meeting SAP will be placed on financial aid warning for one quarter. If at the end of their warning quarter the students are not meeting SAP, they will become ineligible. Students may regain federal eligibility by enrolling using their own resources or alternative funding sources until they have met a cumulative 3.0 GPA and completed 67 percent of their courses.
SAP is measured in three ways:
- Qualitative Standard (grade point average – GPA):
The cumulative GPA provided by the Registrar’s Office; it is listed at the bottom of the student’s transcript.
DC and UG students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher.
GR students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.
- Quantitative Standard
All students (UG, GR, DC) are expected to complete at least 67 percent of all courses attempted.
Attempted courses are defined as those for which one has registered and been charged in which grades of A, B, C, D, F, W, WF, I, P, SP, NP, WNP or IP are given.
Completed courses are defined as those in which grades of A, B, C, D (in some UG courses only) SP, or P are given.
Example of Meeting the SAP Requirements: At the end of spring quarter 2011, Kevin Smith, an undergraduate student, has attempted 45 credit hours. He has earned grades of “C” in all 45 hours. He has met the qualitative standard because his cumulative GPA is 2.00. He has successfully completed all of the courses he attempted. He has met the quantitative standard because his completion rate is 100 percent.
Example of Not Meeting the SAP Requirements: At the end of spring quarter 2011, Susan Moore, a DC student, has attempted 95 credit hours and completed 70 of those 95 credits. Her cumulative GPA is a 1.90, she did not meet the qualitative standard since her GPA is below a 2.00. She met the quantitative standard because her completion rate is 73 percent.
- Time Frame: All students (UG, GR and DC) are expected to finish their degrees after having attempted coursework not to exceed 150 percent of their program requirements (measured in credit hours attempted).
UG: Students seeking an Associate degree may not receive financial aid after having attempted 147 credit hours. Students seeking a Bachelor’s degree may not receive financial aid after having attempted 282 credit hours.
GR: Students seeking a Master’s degree may not receive financial aid after having attempted 78 credit hours.
DC: Students seeking a Doctor of Chiropractic degree may not receive financial aid after having attempted 525 credit hours.
Warnings: It is an academic policy of the University that DC students have a maximum of eight calendar years to complete their programs. Please be advised that, should DC students average less than 12 earned hours per quarter, they will be unable to complete the program in eight calendar years.
Full-time DC students are eligible to borrow no more than $224,000 in Federal Loans. Please be advised that, should DC students average less than 19 earned hours per quarter while receiving the maximum Federal loans for all quarters, they will exhaust their Federal Loan eligibility prior to completion of the program.
- Repeating Courses: Students who receive an F, W, WF, WNP, NP or an SP for any given course(s) that is required toward graduation must repeat this/these course(s).
The College of Chiropractic requires that this/these course(s) be repeated the student’s next quarter of attendance in which it is offered.
Students in the Undergraduate Program (and College of Chiropractic prior winter 2006) who repeat courses will have their grade from their “last attempt” calculated toward their cumulative GPA.
A prior grade is not removed from the permanent record when the course is repeated, but the prior grade is removed from the calculated cumulative average. Specifically, a grade of F, W, WF, WNP or NP is not removed from the permanent record when the course is repeated, but the previous F and WF will be removed from the cumulative average calculation (This applies only to those students as described above, but not to any new College of Chiropractic nor to any Graduate Program students).
All College of Chiropractic and Graduate Program students whom repeat courses will have their all grades attempted calculated toward their cumulative GPA.
If there are extenuating circumstances beyond their control, students have the right to appeal their SAP determination. The appeal must be directly relatable to the academic period for which the student is being evaluated and cannot have been previously submitted for review. Appeals must be submitted in writing using the SAP appeal form obtained by speaking with the Financial Aid Counselor and MUST include supporting third party documentation. Appeals without supporting documentation will not be accepted. Students are required to submit a statement regarding why the student failed to make SAP, and what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.
Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval, and if the appeal is denied, students will be responsible for paying the Institution any balance owed without Federal funds. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee (FAAC) will consider each appeal on its own merits, and the decision of the FAAC committee is final.
During the FAAC review, it will be determined if the student can or cannot meet SAP after the next quarter of enrollment. This will be done by looking at the student’s current transcript of completed classes and GPA for all quarters attended at Life University in the appropriate program. Any student who has their SAP decision successfully appealed and cannot meet SAP after the next quarter of enrollment will receive an Academic plan and be placed on Financial Aid probation. The Academic plan will be individualized and specific to each student in order to put the student on track to successful academic progress in no more than four quarters. If at any time during an Academic plan students do not meet the terms of their plan, they will lose their federal aid and will not be eligible to appeal. If, when presented with the Academic plan, the student chooses not to accept it, the student will need to pay using other resources until meeting the minimum requirements for SAP.
Students who choose not to appeal or have their appeal denied may regain their eligibility for financial aid by enrolling using their own resources or alternative non-federal funding and bringing their academic performance into compliance with this policy.
Students who separate from the Institution without appealing when not meeting SAP lose their right to appeal the decision. If students return to the Institution and are not meeting SAP upon return, they will be responsible for using their own resources or using Private loans. Once the students are meeting SAP, they must self-identify to the Financial Aid Office and request to be reevaluated for Federal Aid.
Financial Aid Probation: A status assigned to a student who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated. Probation can only be granted if the school determines the student should be able to meet the school’s SAP standards by the end of the subsequent quarter. A student on financial aid probation may receive Title IV funds for one quarter.
Financial Aid Warning (GR only): A status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and has their academic progress evaluated at the end of each payment period, and chooses to allow students who fail its progress standards to continue to receive aid. (At LIFE, this status only applies to graduate students, i.e., Master’s.)
Obtaining a Second Degree at LIFE: For SAP purposes, students who have earned one degree at LIFE and wish to work toward a second degree will start over again, just as if they were new students.
Transfer Courses: For SAP purposes, transfer courses accepted as credit toward the Life University degree will be counted in the quantitative standard, but not the qualitative standard.
Check Total Loan Indebtedness
You may check your total loan indebtedness by going to www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need to use your FSA ID to log in. Select the “Financial Aid Review” tab.
Veterans Eligibility Information
If you are eligible for benefits, please see the Veterans’ Coordinator, located in the Registrar Office as soon as you arrive on campus.
V.A. Credit/Quarter Hour
Course loads as defined by the Veterans Administration (V.A.):
- Full Load — 12 or more credit/quarter hours
- 3/4 Load — 9-11 credit/quarter hours
- 1/2 Load — 6-8 credit/quarter hours
- 1/4 Load — 1-5 credit/quarter hours
Financial Aid Budget Increase Policy
In compliance with federal guidelines, the Office of Financial Aid has determined a cost of attendance that includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, living expenses, personal expenses, loan fees and transportation. While you may submit a budget adjustment request to increase your cost of attendance beyond standard allowances, the decision to approve or deny the adjustment is guided by professional judgment and federal guidelines.
Budget adjustments are for special and unusual expenses that differentiate the student from other students. Submitting a request does not automatically ensure that your budget will be increased. Each submission is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to deny any and all budget increases. A denial of some or all future types of budget adjustment requests may be made on a blanket basis based upon a student’s individual circumstances.
This policy is for the purpose of documenting unusual, non-discretionary expenses that are directly related to your education. The institution will take into account whether these expenses are special circumstances that differentiate you from the other students enrolled in the program. If approved, a revision to your budget will not result in additional gift assistance but will increase your eligibility for loans. An increase to your established student budget means you will be borrowing additional funds to cover the approved expenses. The loans borrowed would be in the form of additional Grad PLUS or private educational loans above the standard cost of attendance taking into account the special circumstances minus other estimated financial assistance. These are credit-based loans and must be approved by the Department of Education or a private lender before Life University can process your request. Requests can be submitted Week 2 of each quarter through the end of Week 10. Requests submitted before Week 2 or after Week 10 will not be accepted.
There are two types of budget adjustment requests:
Exceptional Circumstances are reviewed by a committee made up of the FA Director and two counselors (not the requestor’s counselor). $600 minimum cost for each of the following:
- Emergency Healthcare Costs (Medical, Dental, Psychological)
- Emergency Automobile Repair Costs
Other costs not included in the standard cost of attendance are reviewed by the FA Director. $600 minimum cost, although exceptions may be made for less, for the following:
- Dependent care costs
- Board examination costs
- One-time cost to purchase a computer
Required for all Budget Adjustment Requests:
- Budget Increase Request Form
- A narrative statement regarding the reason for the request
- Detailed monthly budget
- Receipts and documentation showing a paid expense incurred with the student’s name
- Copies of last 3 months bank statements
- Completion of TG debt counseling modules and quizzes. Instructions under “Additional Documentation Required” section.
- If you have private educational loans, statement(s) from your lender showing current balance(s)
Additional Documentation Required
Dependent care costs:
- Signed letter on dependent care center letterhead indicating dependent’s name(s), the parent’s name and receipt showing the amount paid per month per child.
- For a private provider, copies of 3 months most recent paid receipts from provider or 3 cancelled checks made out to provider. Letter from provider listing the name(s) of the dependents and that they are enrolled. Letter must be signed with the provider’s name and telephone number and it must be notarized.
- Copy of National Board receipt, certified check or money order made out to NBCE.
- Amounts allowed are equal to the actual costs of each part.
- Retakes are not allowed.
- Must be receiving financial aid in the DC program when adjustment is submitted.
Emergency auto repair costs:
- Emergency Auto repairs allowed on one student vehicle only, the vehicle must be in the student’s name.
- Requests for routine or standard maintenance in order for the car to continue to run in working condition are not accepted.
- A statement/bill detailing the work performed, costs of the repairs and the amount paid.
- The statement/bill must have the student’s name as the customer; spouse’s names are not acceptable.
- If the repair is the result of an accident, then the student must submit information on how much of the costs will be covered by insurance.
- Receipts paid for in cash will not be accepted unless the receipt has been signed by the company/person who performed the work and is notarized.
- Emergency out-of-pocket expenses for medical, dental, vision and prescriptions costs not covered by insurance.
- This category is not meant to supplement a student who does not carry insurance or a health condition that is ongoing.
- Normal pregnancy, birth control and related expenses are not covered under this policy.
- Cosmetic, diagnostic and elective procedures are not covered under this policy.
- Contacts and glasses are not covered under this policy.
- Routine medical/dental visits are not covered under this policy.
- Medical/dental receipt(s) must detail emergency procedure with the amount the student paid and the date the service was received.
- Receipts paid for in cash will not be accepted unless the receipt has been signed by the doctor or hospital and is notarized.
Psychological Testing/Disability Accommodations:
- Cost of disability testing.
- Cost of special services, personal assistance, transportation, equipment and supplies whose need is documented by a disability professional that are not provided by other agencies.
- Written documentation of disability and/or need for equipment, assistance, testing or supplies provided by disability professional.
- A one-time purchase of a computer is allowed while attending Life University.
- The University has developed a standard reasonable cost for such purchase.
- Related items such as iPods, computer software and warranties are not covered. Tax not included.
- A receipt including the student’s name, the items purchased, date of expense and the amount paid.
- Receipts paid for in cash will not be accepted unless the receipt has been signed by the company/person through which the computer was purchased and is notarized.
Federal/State Aid Eligibility for Students Convicted of Possession or Sale of Drugs
A federal or state drug conviction (but not a local or municipal conviction) can disqualify a student for FSA funds. The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses:
||Possession of Illegal Drugs
||Sale of Illegal Drugs
||1 year from date of conviction
||2 years from date of conviction
||2 years from date of conviction
|3rd + Offense
Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid. They do not count if the offense was not during such a period. A conviction that was reversed, set aside or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when he/she was a juvenile, unless he/she was tried as an adult.
A student whose eligibility has been suspended can resume eligibility if at least one of the following has been met:
- The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program.
- The student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program.
- The conviction is reversed, set aside or removed from a student’s record.
For additional information regarding this policy, students may reference the Federal Student Handbook (2015-2016) Volume 1, 1-12 at www.ifap.ed.gov or contact The Office of Financial Aid.