General Information

Important Dates and Deadlines

Financial Aid Important Dates and Deadlines

October 1 - Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online at and is recommended for all incoming college freshmen. This application also serves as the HOPE Scholarship application.

October 15 – Early Action admissions deadline.

October/November - Qualifying students should submit President's Scholarship Competition Interest Form and other materials as soon as possible.

Late November – Mid-May - "Early Estimate" financial aid offers for all students that have completed the FAFSA application process. Look for an “Early Estimate" financial aid offer email from the GCSU Financial Aid Office. Instructions for accessing the financial aid offer information and explanations will be included.

Early December - President's Scholarship Completion at Georgia College & State University.

January 1 - FAFSA "priority" deadline for certain need-based types of aid.

Middle of February – Georgia College Scholarship application for returning students must be submitted. Access the application from the Scholarship Application System within Unify.  Emails will also be sent to students' Bobcat email account notifying them of the final deadline.

Mid-May – Official financial aid offer notifications will be made and students will be notified via e-mail.  The Office of Financial Aid will begin processing Parent PLUS loan applications.

July 1 - Fall semester "soft" deadline for completion of all financial aid forms. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds offered.

November 1 - Spring Semester "soft" deadline for completion of all financial aid forms. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds offered.

April 1 - Summer Semester "soft" deadline for completion of all financial aid forms. Files completed after this date will be processed as time permits, and students will be reimbursed any funds offered.

Prior to the End of Each Term for the HOPE or ZELL Miller Scholarship - The deadline to be reviewed for Georgia’s HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships is the last day of class for the semester the student is seeking payment from these funds.  Students who think they may be eligible for either HOPE or Zell Miller MUST email the Financial Aid Office PRIOR to the last day of the semester they are seeking potential payment from either of these scholarship programs.  Please be aware that the GCSU Financial Aid office makes every effort to identify possible candidates based on academic history but it is the student’s responsibility if they have not been awarded these funds to initiate a review of their eligibility prior to the end of the semester they are seeking payment.  This policy is necessary due to imposed state-mandated deadlines for universities to finalize reconciliation of all payments.

Please Note

  • Students must submit complete financial aid applications to be considered for aid.  Some programs have a limited supply of funds.   Please note that this is not a guarantee of funds availability but rather a time frame based on previous history.  All limited-funded programs are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Students must submit complete financial aid applications by these dates in order to use financial aid funds to pay for the semester's bill. Students whose files are not complete by this date should be prepared to pay costs until applications are processed and eligibility is determined.
  • Particular programs may have stricter deadlines.  Examples would be HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship and Dual Enrollment.  Specific dates and/or deadlines for various aid types that deviate from the above timeline are denoted on our website in the explanation of those particular programs.
  • Students who have already completed the FAFSA application process and would like to borrow additional loan funds, must do so three weeks prior to the last day of class.
  • Students and parents must submit all documents prior to the last day of the term the student is last enrolled to be considered for financial aid eligibility. For example, Stafford Loans, GRAD PLUS Loans and Parent PLUS Loan applications must be received prior to the last day of the term the student is enrolled for any consideration of possible loan disbursements. Three weeks prior to the last day of the term is the standard deadline for these applications to be submitted for review, however applications will not be processed if submitted after the last day of the term the student is enrolled.
  • Pell Grant recipients and other students with financial aid funds exceeding their direct costs to GCSU, may use those excess funds up to $1000 per semester to purchase books and supplies at the GCSU Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Authorization through the students PAWS account is required to opt in. Students can email to opt out if an authorization has been completed. Students can also choose to purchase their books and supplies elsewhere without notifying Financial Aid. 
Steps to Apply

1. Apply and be accepted for admission to Georgia College & State University.

2. Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA online at (Students who have previously applied for aid and have supplied the Department of Education with an email address, will be sent notifications electronically via e-mail)

3. When completing the FAFSA, be sure to list Georgia College in the school section of the application using our Federal School Code of 001602. This will allow us to receive an electronic copy of the application. (Students should also be certain that all necessary signatures are included.)

4. In no more than four weeks, the student will receive an e-mail notification with a direct link to the student's online Student Aid Report (SAR). If an e-mail address was not provided on the application, the information will be mailed to the student. An electronic copy will also be sent to GCSU if so indicated. Please carefully read the comment section on the SAR to determine if any further action is required to complete the application process. If any information is incorrect, follow the instructions provided on the SAR.

5. Please verify online information in PAWS to see that an electronic copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) has been received.

6. Verification is the process by which the U.S. Department of Education requires schools to check a certain percentage of their financial aid applications for accuracy. If the application is selected, the student will be asked to submit additional information to the Financial Aid Office. (At a minimum, possible documentation will include a completed verification worksheet, student's federal tax transcript, and if applicable, the parent's or spouse's tax transcript).

7. A student is awarded their maximum annual loan eligibility when the Financial Aid Office determines financial aid eligibility. Students can then cancel or lower the amount of Stafford loan funds offered. Students who have not borrowed their annual loan limits, may apply for additional Stafford loans funds. A student may also be eligible for additional loan funds once they change class levels during the academic year. Students can request Stafford loan funds by completing the Stafford Loan Application.

8. Parents of dependent students, may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, online at  Parents will start the Federal Direct PLUS application process and sign the master promissory note online using the parent's FSA ID.

9. Students will be notified via their school email of their eligibility for financial aid through either an electronic financial aid offer or explanation of ineligibility.  This notification is typically sent within a few weeks. However, it will take longer during peak processing times.

10. Be sure to report to the Financial Aid Office, in writing, any pending outside scholarships.

 If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Status of Financial Aid Application

The Georgia College Office of Financial Aid will contact newly admitted students via U.S. mail if verification documents are needed to complete the financial aid file.  Returning students will be sent an e-mail of needed documents, but we encourage you to follow the steps described below to check the status of your FAFSA application:

Check Status of Financial Aid

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your campus credentials and login.
  3. Select PAWS Service App from the list of Service Apps.
  4. Select” Financial Aid” tab
  5. Select “Check Financial Aid Status”
  6. Select the appropriate aid year
  7. Review the status of your financial aid

Students will receive an e-mail notification detailing how to check their Financial Aid awards once their complete file has been reviewed for aid.

View Your Financial Aid Offers

To view your online financial aid offer letter, please follow the steps described below:

      1.  Go to
      2.  Enter your campus credentials and login.
      3.  Select PAWS Service App from the list of Service Apps.
      3.  Select "Financial Aid" tab.
      4.  Enter the Bobcat DEN (Detailed Eligibility Notification)

View or Pay Your Bill Online

To view your bill, or pay your bill online, please follow the steps described below:

      1.  Go to
      2.  Enter your campus credentials and login.
      3.  Select PAWS Service App from the list of Service Apps.
      4.  Select Student Account tab
      5.  Select Make a Payment
      6.  Select Pay option
      7.  Select Payment Method

Students may check the status of the FAFSA online at FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid or by using the Department of Education's automated system (touch tone phone required) at 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and selecting option #1. Students who do not wish to use the automated system or who have a rotary phone should call 319-337-5665.

 If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

How Financial Aid is Determined

Financial need is the difference between the Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) at Georgia College and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

           Estimated Cost of Attendance

minus  Expected Family Contribution

equals Financial Need

The Cost of Attendance  (COA), which is determined by GCSU, is an estimate of tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, personal and miscellaneous expenses. This estimate is used in financial aid calculations and is prepared in advance of actual fees being established. The financial aid Cost of Attendance includes cost paid directly to GC and also indirect cost that the student may incur associated with attending school.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC), is derived from a congressional formula that is applied to a student's family income as reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for the federal student aid programs.  

Determining Eligibility

Basic Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible permanent resident.
  • Be in compliance with the Academic Requirements for receiving Aid.
  • Be fully accepted for admission at Georgia College in a degree-seeking program.  Georgia College does not offer aid to students enrolled in certificate programs.
  • Non-degree, transient, conditional graduate, enrichment, post bacc, certificate and/or unclassified students are not eligible for Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct PLUS.  See more information under "Enrollment Status".
  • Transient students may receive HOPE Scholarship or Zell Miller Scholarship funds, if eligible. Eligibility is determined by the students "home" institution. Payment is made by the "visiting" institution in accordance with HOPE regulations.
  • Not be in default on any loan or have borrowed in excess of loan limits at any institution.
  • Not owe a refund on any grant at any institution.
  • Certify registration with Selective Service, if required.
  • Demonstrate financial need for need-based programs.

Effective July 1, 2000, students are ineligible for Title IV federal financial aid funds if convicted of an offense involving the possession of an illegal substance that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the students were receiving federal student aid (grants, loans and/or work-study).

The ineligibility period is:

  • First Offense = 1 year
  • Second Offense = 2 years
  • Third Offense = Indefinite

For convictions involving sale of an illegal substance, the ineligibility period is:

  • First Offense = 2 years
  • Second Offense = Indefinite

A student may regain eligibility by successfully completing a drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Financial Aid Office for further details. Report any convictions involving an illegal substance on question #23 of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you have any additional questions please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Change in Information

Financial Aid Change in Information

Awards are based on the information students provide on applications for aid. Changes to that information (marital status, number of dependents, place of residence, withdrawal from period of enrollment, reduction in the number of hours carried, change in academic program, Social Security or Veteran's Benefits, etc.) must be reported promptly in writing to the Financial Aid Office for a determination of the impact, if any, on the amount of funds awarded to the student. It is often necessary to revise awards, especially if federal or state funds are a part of the award, in order to avoid exceeding your demonstrated financial eligibility.

The Financial Aid Office must, therefore, reserve and/or modify the student's award at any time. Failure to contact the Financial Aid Office may jeopardize continuation of aid, cause cancellation of aid, or require repayment of funds already disbursed to the student. All awards are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Office of Financial Aid 
Campus Box 30 
Milledgeville, GA 31061 
FAX: 478-445-0729

Enrollment Status

Requirements for the number of semester hours of credit the student must maintain for loans, scholarships, grants, and work may vary. At GCSU, most financial aid is packaged based upon anticipated full-time enrollment: 12 hours for undergraduate, 9 hours for graduates.  Only courses required for a student's degree program will be considered when determining eligibility for Federal Aid programs.  For more information, please see Course Program of Study FAQ.


Students who register, then withdraw, drop out, are expelled, or change enrollment status are subject to the Department of Education's regulations regarding return of Title IV Federal Aid, and may have to repay a portion or all of the aid received to the University.

Non-degree Seeking Students

Under federal regulations, students must be fully admitted into a degree program without stipulation before consideration can be given for financial aid.   Please note: Graduate students that have been classified as “conditional” admissions may receive consideration for current term eligibility ONLY if the necessary requirements have been satisfied and updated by the Graduate Admissions office no later than 14 days after the official start date of the current semester.  If requirements have been satisfied after this time period, no aid will be administered for the current term.

If you have been admitted into a degree program for which you have already received this particular degree, you are not eligible for federal financial aid.  For example, if you have obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in History and are now enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science, this is a second major or concentration, therefore; you would not be eligible for financial aid.

Graduate students admitted for post-masters certificate programs do not qualify to receive federal aid which includes student loans. 

Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any additional questions.

No Show

During the first week of classes, professors report attendance to the Registrar’s Office. If a student is reported as not attending (no show) in their courses the first week of classes, Financial Aid must consider that in their eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will reach out to the professor that reported the student as not attending to confirm their attendance, this communication happens in the weeks after drop/add is over. If the professor cannot confirm that the student has participated in academically related activities (attending class, sitting for an exam, submitting assignments, etc.) then the Financial Aid office must assume that the student is not actively enrolled in that course and reduce their Federal Aid to not include the course(s). This can create a balance on the student’s account which then must be paid as soon as possible.

Course Program of Study Requirements

Only courses required for degree completion can be used to determine your aid eligibility for Federal financial aid programs such as grants, work-study, and loans and does not include HOPE or Zell Miller scholarships.  This means that a course must fulfill a core, major, or degree requirement or be necessary to help you earn the total hours required for your degree. Courses required for your minor do not count toward federal aid eligibility. Taking courses that are not required to complete your degree could result in your receiving less or no federal aid or in owing money back to Georgia College.  You are responsible for registering for appropriate coursework and for notifying the Office of Financial Aid if you choose to enroll in courses that are not necessary for your degree.  For more information, please see Course Program of Study FAQ.

Exception:  If you are taking preparatory coursework that is required for another eligible program and enrolled in at least half time in these courses, you may qualify to receive Federal Direct Loans for one consecutive 12-month period beginning on the first day of the loan period.  For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 478-445-5149.

Students taking both Undergraduate and Graduate level courses simultaneously can only receive federal aid for those that are required for their degree.

Policy - Satisfactory Academic Progress

Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Program Integrity regulations passed on October 29, 2010, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive financial aid. This standard must apply to the student’s entire academic history, whether Title IV financial aid was received or not. In order to remain eligible to receive aid at Georgia College, students must meet the standards specified for acceptable academic performance and for satisfactory progress toward the completion of their program of study. The standards are established within the framework of applicable federal regulations specifically for the purpose of determining the eligibility of students to receive aid under the generally funded Title IV programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Georgia’s HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship, and Federal Direct Loan Programs (Stafford, PLUS, and Grad PLUS). These standards should not be confused with Good Standing, Warning, Probation, Dismissal, or Exclusion as defined by Georgia College’s academic policies.

*Please note that all transfer hours, as well as, all attempts of courses repeated are included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress(SAP) calculations.


The Georgia College definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for receiving financial aid includes the following components:

Qualitative (GPA) Standards

Georgia College uses the 4.0 grade point average and numerical code:

4.0 = A                        1.0 = D

3.0 = B                        0.0 = F

2.0 = C                        0.0 = WF

Students are required to maintain the following overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) as indicated below:

Undergraduate Students
Have 0-29 earned hours AND have not reached the end of the second academic year (measured in time not grade level) 1.75
Have 30 or more earned hours OR have passed the end of the second academic year (measured in time not grade level)2.00
Graduate Students
Every Term3.00

Quantitative (Incremental Progress) Standards

Students are expected to successfully complete 67% of all attempted coursework. This cumulative calculation includes all Georgia College and any transfer coursework attempted. Attempted hours and successful completed hours are based on all courses included on the students’ official academic history. Further, all attempts of repeated coursework and non-credit coursework are included. The formula of this calculation is:

Cumulative Hours Successfully Completed
-------------------------------------------------------------             =     Percent Completed
Cumulative Hours Attempted                                             

The following will be considered as hours successfully completed:
*Any below grades with % are considered Learning Support and will be considered as successfully completed.

Grades A, B, C or D            
“S” (Satisfactory)                                                                                                                                    

Likewise, the following will be considered as hours not successfully completed:
*Any below grades with % are considered Learning Support and will not be considered as successfully completed.

“WF” (Withdrew Failing)
“W” (Withdrew)
“U” (Unsatisfactory)
“I” (Incomplete)
“IP” (In Progress)

Any credit received by examination (denoted with a grade of K) is EXCLUDED from all aspects of the three SAP components.

Maximum Time Frame Standards

Students will have a maximum of 150% of the average of comparable categorized programs to complete their degree requirements while continuing to qualify for federal and state aid. The maximum time frame allowed will consist of all attempted hours inclusive of hours described in the Quantitative Standards section of this policy. Students that have Learning Support courses will have a maximum of 30 hours excluded for the maximum time frame standard calculation. The allowable time frames at Georgia College are as follows:

Undergraduate Students180 Attempted Hours
Graduate Students55 Attempted Hours
Specialist Degree47 Attempted Hours

Allowances For 2nd Bachelor degree and Doctoral degree will be made for eligible aid recipients.


At the end of each academic term (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters), the Financial Aid Office staff will determine whether students are meeting the minimum standards for each of the components (qualitative, quantitative and time frame). Students not meeting the Time Frame standard will immediately, without a Warning Semester, become ineligible for all federal and state aid programs. The Financial Aid Office has the authority to cancel aid and request immediate repayment of federal and state aid programs at any time that a student is deemed ineligible. This may occur when access to the student’s academic history is not fully available due to the short amount of time between semesters, as well as, receipt of final transcripts from transfer institutions.

Warning Semester

Students that are not meeting the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term are automatically given one (1) Warning semester. During this Warning semester, students are allowed to receive federal and state aid. Students must be fully in compliance with all components by the end of the Warning semester to regain eligibility and receive funds for future semesters. Only one (1) Warning semester is allowed for a student’s entire degree program at Georgia College. Further, the Warning semester allowance is not applicable for the Time Frame standard.

Denial/Loss of Eligibility

Students that are not meeting the minimum Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term review and have received aid during a Warning semester will lose their eligibility for the upcoming and future terms. Students that are not meeting the maximum Time Frame standard at the end of a term review will immediately, without a Warning semester, become ineligible for aid.

Students will receive an email in addition to a paper notification mailed to their current address on file with the Registrar’s Office. Students may receive consideration for aid reinstatement at the time they have satisfied all deficiencies with the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards.

Appeal (Probation Period)

Students who experienced extenuating circumstances that attributed to their inability to meet the minimum standards or caused them to exceed maximum allowed timeframe have the option to submit an appeal. An extenuating circumstance must be due to situations beyond their control such as serious injury, illness or mental health condition involving the student or their immediate family, or death of an immediate family member. In an appeal to the Director of Financial Aid, a student must:

  • provide a description for the extenuating circumstance that caused student not to meet SAP standards;
  • indicate on the appeal form what changes have occurred that will now allow the student to meet SAP standards;
  • upload an attachment of any supporting documents for the extenuating circumstance.

Examples of what constitutes as supporting documentation to be uploaded may include but is not limited to medical documentation, a police report, an obituary, a copy of student’s graduation plan, documentation from the student's Academic Advisor, etc.  If a supporting document is not uploaded, the appeal will not be submitted to the Director for review.  This means that all appeals must be submitted with a supporting document and this cannot be a statement from the student.  The appeal form and the required supporting document should be submitted online using the link below:


Appeals approved will require that the student be in compliance with all standards by the next evaluation (term). In some instances, a SAP Academic Plan will be created to ensure compliance with the standards at a specific point in time may be utilized in needed situations. An approved appeal will allow students to receive aid for a Probationary period (usually one term).  The academic plan must ensure that the student is able to meet the satisfactory progress standards by a specific time, which must occur before the student reaches successful program completion or maximum time frame unless the timeframe is extended due to an approved appeal.  Appeals in which a student cannot be in compliance prior to earning their degree will automatically be denied and cannot be appealed.  If an appeal is approved for Maximum Timeframe standards, the length of time that the student's timeframe will be extended will depend upon the extenuating circumstances and documentation provided.

Students that have an appeal denied by the Director of Financial Aid or have had an appeal approved but did not meet the stipulations of that appeal and have additional extenuating circumstances for not meeting those stipulations may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Internal Review (FAIR) Committee. The FAIR Committee’s decision should be considered final. Appeals in which a student cannot be in compliance prior to earning their degree will automatically be denied and cannot be appealed.  If an appeal is approved for Maximum Timeframe standards, the length of time that the student's timeframe will be extended will depend upon the extenuating circumstances and documentation provided. New appeal documentation must be submitted online to the FAIR Committee using the link below:


If a student is denied by the FAIR Committee or have had an appeal approved by the FAIR Committee but did not meet the stipulations of that appeal and have additional extenuating circumstances for not meeting those stipulations they may submit a final appeal to the Senior Associate Vice President, Division of Enrollment Management who has the final authority. Appeals in which a student cannot be in compliance prior to earning their degree will automatically be denied and cannot be appealed.  If an appeal is approved for Maximum Timeframe standards, the length of time that the student's timeframe will be extended will depend upon the extenuating circumstances and documentation provided.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any additional questions.

Policy - Disbursement of Financial Aid

General Information 

1.  Student must be enrolled before funds may be disbursed.  For more rules regarding Federal Aid program requirements, please refer to Course Program of Study FAQ.

2.  Student eligibility must be confirmed by the Financial Aid Office before funds are disbursed.

3.  Students are expected to have sufficient funds for miscellaneous expenses when they arrive on campus.

4.  Students who are eligible for Federal financial aid must have submitted a valid Student Aid Report in electronic form to the Financial Aid Office before funds are disbursed.

5.  Students must be fully accepted for admission to GCSU before funds may be disbursed.

6.  Specific questions on individual cases should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office at 478-445-5149.


(Students must be enrolled at least half-time.)

1.  Federal Stafford Loans - Under Federal Law: Students must complete Loan Entrance Counseling session and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before funds may be disbursed.

2.  Federal PLUS Loan - Parents who are awarded this loan must receive an approved credit decision from the lending agency and complete a promissory note before funds may be disbursed.  Remaining proceeds from the PLUS loan after the student's bill is paid in full, will be disbursed in a check payable to the parent, or check/direct deposit made payable to student as indicated on PLUS application, approximately seven days after the end of the drop/add period each semester.

3.  Federal Stafford, Federal PLUS Loans - Borrowers who use these funds to finalize Business Office bills may elect to cancel their loans and use another form of payment within 14 days of disbursement.  The Financial Aid Office must be notified in writing of the cancellation within 14 days of disbursement.

Disbursement Procedures

Once all requirements have been met:

  1. 1.  Funds awarded from the following may be applied directly to the student's Business Office account:


  • Federal Pell
  • Federal SEOG
  • HOPE Scholarship
  • Zell Miller Scholarship


  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans

2.  These awards will be authorized to the student's Business Office account once classes have been reserved.

3.  Any remaining balance to the student's account must be paid to the GCSU Business Office prior to the published deadline in order to reserve classes.

4.  Eligibility is reviewed again at the end of the drop/add period (census date), and appropriate funds are disbursed to the student's Business Office account.

5.  Once the Business Office bill has been settled, remaining aid may be used toward the purchase of books at our bookstore, Barnes & Noble at Georgia College, beginning approximately 3 days prior to the first day of classes through the end of the drop/add period.

6.  If the amount of financial aid awarded exceeds tuition and fees due at registration, the difference will be disbursed by check by the GCSU Business Office, 111 Parks Hall, approximately 7 days after the end of the drop/add period. Direct Deposit is also available for student refunds. Instructions for this procedure are located in the Student Accounts information on the Business Office web site.

7.  Students who use personal funds to pay for tuition and fees may receive reimbursement checks from the GCSU Business Office approximately 7 days after the end of the drop/add period.

8.  Financial aid awards made after the student's bill is satisfied will be disbursed within 10 days after awards are made.

9.  If student has enrolled in Direct Deposit, all refunds will be electronically deposited into the checking/savings account entered at time of enrollment.  If student has not enrolled in direct deposit, refund checks will be mailed to the current mailing address listed in PAWS.

Policy - Refund Policy and Procedures

Refund Policy and Procedures


Students who are entitled to a refund for withdrawal and are receiving student financial aid (SFA) are subject to having all or part of the refund returned to the appropriate financial aid programs. For those students who withdrew prior to 60 percent of the enrollment period elapsing, a pro-rated schedule is used to determine how much SFA funds were earned at the time of withdrawal.

The university must return to SFA Programs the lesser of:
-The amount of SFA Program funds that the students do not earn; or

 -The amount of institutional costs that students incurred for the period of enrollment multiplied by the percentage of funds unearned.

SFA funds must be returned in the following order:

• Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
• Subsidized Stafford Loans
• Federal PLUS Loans
• Federal Pell Grants
• Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grants
• State Scholarships

If more aid is received that could have been reasonably spent for non-institutional costs, the unearned portion must be returned to SFA Programs.

Per federal regulations, students who fail to earn a passing grade in any course and received federal aid are considered to have unofficially withdrawn from Georgia College.  At the end of each semester, the Financial Aid Office will identify any such students and will notify them with further explanation denoting any calculated financial obligations of unearned aid.  A student’s failure to respond to this notification within the specified time frame will result in the university imposing its due diligence procedures regarding outstanding balances.

If a refund is due and the student received HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship funds only (no federal aid), then such amounts must be refunded to HOPE/Zell Miller, rounded based on the HOPE rate for that year, by applying the institution's refund policy to the student's original HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship award for tuition.

If the student received Federal Title IV funds in addition to HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship funds, the school must follow the Title IV Return of Funds policy for any federal aid received. To determine the refund to HOPE/Zell Miller, the school must then follow their institutional refund policy, if different from Title IV Return of Funds. If all or part of the student's Title IV aid was disbursed directly to the student, the school may not have funds on hand to refund HOPE/Zell Miller. In this case, the school must bill the student for the refund. The school must notify the Authority of the amount of refund due HOPE/Zell Miller, and the Authority will put a refund due on the student's record. This will prevent the student from receiving any additional scholarships or grants from the Authority until the refund is paid.

GCSU Financial Aid Office will not calculate refund amounts until after a student has actually withdrawn. Manual calculations may not be accurate, therefore this will not be a service provided based on a possible date a student may withdraw. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Transient Status

Outgoing Transient Students

Georgia College students who are planning on taking transient coursework with another institution and have been approved to do so by the Georgia College Registrar’s Office may qualify for financial aid.  Students are required to pay all costs at the host institution by the host institution's payment deadline and receive any aid eligibility through Georgia College as reimbursement.  If students are enrolled at GCSU and at a host institution, students may be required to pay out of pocket at Georgia College, if their enrollment at GCSU does not allow for disbursement of aid. 

It is recommended that all transient students contact their host institution to inquire about procedures that must be followed for eligibility. All outgoing transient students are required to submit an academic transcript to Georgia College from their host institution once courses have been completed. 

HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship eligible students may receive HOPE/Zell Miller if attending an eligible institution.  HOPE/Zell Miller funds must be paid by the host institution and not paid by GCSU.  The GCSU Financial Aid Office will send eligible outgoing transient students a short questionnaire to complete via their bobcat email.  Once the questionnaire has been completed, GCSU Financial Aid will review student’s eligibility for HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarships and will notify the host institution of student’s eligibility.  The host institution may then award and disburse these funds based on their policies and based on the student's enrollment status at the host institution. Private institutions have a minimum number of hours that students must be enrolled in order to be eligible for these scholarships.  Students can only be paid for a maximum of 15 semester hours per semester between institutions. Students should keep in mind that if they choose to enroll at a Private Institution and pay out of pocket without the HOPE or Zell Miller due to their enrollment not being enough, the hours that the student enrolls in at that institution will count toward the students 127 attempted hours although the student may not be eligible for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships at that institution.  

In order for students to receive federal funds for transient coursework, a Consortium Agreement (pdf) must be completed by the host institution.  Please note that some institutions will not participate in the consortium process which may cause student aid ineligibility.

  • Students enrolled at GCSU and another institution (host institution)
    Once a completed Consortium Agreement is received by GCSU from the host institution, GCSU Financial Aid will review the courses enrolled at both institutions to determine aid eligibility based on courses required for the student’s degree program, hours at GCSU and the host institution will be totaled and aid eligibility will be disbursed accordingly. 
  • Students enrolled at another institution (host institution)
    Once a completed Consortium Agreement is received by GCSU from the host institution, GCSU Financial Aid will review the courses enrolled at the host institution to determine aid eligibility based on courses required for the student’s degree program at GCSU and aid eligibility will be disbursed accordingly.

Incoming Transient Students

Students admitted as transient status are not eligible for federal financial aid through Georgia College. Students in a transient status may be eligible for federal aid through their home institutions. Students MUST pay all costs at Georgia College by the payment deadline. They will receive a reimbursement from their home institution if they are determined to be eligible.  Please note that many institutions will not participate in the consortium process therefore causing student aid ineligibility.  In order for students to be reviewed for financial aid by their home institution, the transient student should complete the following:

  1. Contact the Financial Aid Office at Home Institution to determine if student has remaining federal aid eligibility for the term student is transient at GCSU for the number of hours student wants to enroll at GCSU for term
  2. Obtain a Consortium Agreement from home institution, if student has remaining aid eligibility
  3. Submit the Consortium Agreement to GCSU Financial Aid Office to be completed by GCSU Financial Aid after the drop/add period for the term the transient student is enrolled at GCSU
  4. Home institution will award and disburse student’s aid eligibility once the completed Consortium Agreement has been received by the Financial Aid Office at home institution
    *If the Home Institution does not have a Consortium Agreement form, GC Financial Aid will send an email to the Financial Aid Office at the home institution including the necessary information to be reviewed for aid eligibility.

For specifics on qualifying, contact the Financial Aid Office, 103 Parks Hall, 478-445-5149.

Repeat Coursework

Repeat Coursework

Federal regulations only allow for a student to retake a previously passed course one time and receive federal aid for that course.  For this purpose, passed means any grade higher than "F," regardless of any school or program policy requiring a higher qualitative grade or measure to have been considered to have passed the course.  This retaken course may be counted toward a student's enrollment status and the student may be awarded Title IV aid for the enrollment status based on inclusion of the class.

Below are examples of grades earned in repeated courses taken and how it affects financial aid:

Repeat Coursework - Examples of Grades Chart

If a student gets a 'W' or an 'F' in a course, that student is allowed to repeat the course and receive financial aid (assuming he/she is meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress) until he/she receives a 'D' or better. Once the student has received a 'D' grade or better, he/she can repeat the course a second time and still receive federal aid. The third time the student repeats a course in which he/she has earned a 'D' or better, this becomes an illegal repeat and the Office of Financial Aid cannot provide federal funding for that repeated course.

This rule applies regardless of the minimum grade required by the program. Because a “D” is a passing grade in the Academic Catalog, it is considered passing for federal aid.
This rule applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course.  If a student retakes a course that is not aid eligible, a recalculation of aid is completed to exclude the credits for the repeated course.

All repeated courses affect financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.  A repeated course, along with the original attempt, must be counted as attempted credit hours. All students must successfully complete 67% of cumulative attempted hours by the end of each term.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office, 103 Parks Hall, 478-445-5149.

Special Conditions

Special Circumstances/EFC Calculation:

The tax information on a FAFSA is from 2 year’s prior tax return, because we are using older tax information there could be circumstances that have caused a family’s tax and income situation to change. In this case, the Financial Aid Office may adjust the FAFSA to be based on a more recent income or tax year. See below for examples of situations in which this review is performed. In order to request a review of a student’s FAFSA you would need to email with an explanation of the circumstances, a brief timeline of what occurred including months and years (i.e. if a parent had a job termination what month and year did that occur). The Verification Coordinator will review the situation and determine what documentation would be required for this review. Those documents required would be posted on and the student will receive an email with instructions on how to log in to that portal to upload those documents. After all documents have been submitted, the review will be done to see if the student has any additional financial aid eligibility. This process takes several weeks after the documents are submitted. We suggest that a Professional Judgement is sought as soon as possible after completing the FAFSA or as soon as a situation arises that would require a review.

Unusual Circumstances/Dependency Override:

Students who are unable to put parental information on the FAFSA due to certain circumstances can appeal for a Dependency Override. These reviews will require that the student have circumstances in which they cannot access parental information, see below for specific reasons we CANNOT do review for Unusual Circumstances.  Students who want to request a review should fill out the FAFSA first with no parental information on it. You will have the option to submit an unofficial FAFSA with no parental information and have your school review it. Students who would like to pursue a review for Unusual Circumstances will receive an email after the Financial Aid Office receives their incomplete FAFSA with further instructions on what is needed for the appeal. The first step would be for the student to email with a brief explanation of why they are unable to include their parent(s) information on the FAFSA.  That situation will be reviewed and the required documents will be posted in Student Forms for students to upload. After all requested documents are uploaded to Student Forms, the review of those documents may take up to 2 weeks, after the review should the appeal be approved a correction will be made to the FAFSA to make the student independent. This correction may take up to 2 weeks to be made by the Department of Education and be loaded back into our system to review for awards. Due to the amount of time this process takes it is recommended that students fill out their FAFSA early and begin this process as soon as possible.

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.

If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.