Financial Assistance One-Stop Shop

Stratford University Financial Assistance

Your One-Stop Shop

Welcome to Stratford University and the Student Accounts Office.

We are here to help you through this financial assistance process. We will walk you through each step, help you complete your paperwork, and answer any questions that you may have. We will continue to help you all the way through college — from your first class right through graduation.

All students applying for Financial Aid will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you wish to finance your education, and you are a dependent student, we will need your parent’s permission to administer a credit check to determine their eligibility for Parent Loan programs. Our goal is to eliminate your financial barriers so that you can concentrate on your studies and your future.

On the next few pages, we have outlined the five steps used by those who wish to finance their education using Federal or non-Federal programs.

  1. Completing the FAFSA
  2. Awarding Your Federal Financial Aid
  3. Determining Eligibility for Payment Plans and Private Financing
  4. Finishing the Paperwork
  5. Checking Back with Financial Planning

On the last two pages, we list other forms of assistance which students may qualify for. Let us also help you navigate these programs.

  1. Corporate Reimbursement
  2. Military Tuition Assistance
  3. VA Educational Benefits
  4. Vocational Rehabilitation Grants
  5. Workforce Development Grants
  6. Scholarship Applications

Congratulations on taking your first step in advancing your career through education.

Part A: Financing Your Education

Federal and Non-Federal Programs

Step 1: Completing the FAFSA

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for Federal Financial Student Assistance. Your Student Account Officer will assist you with any questions regarding how to complete this application.

In order to complete this application online, go to the Department of Education website (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/). Stratford’s School Code is 017053 (all campuses use the Falls Church address for FAFSA processing). Using this code will ensure that we receive your application.

Before you can complete your FAFSA, you will need to set up an FSA ID. You will use the FSA ID as your electronic signature when completing your FAFSA, Entrance Counseling, and Master Promissory Note. Please see Part C of this document for instructions for creating your FSA ID.

In order to complete this application, you will need the following documents:

  1. Your Social Security Number
  2. Your driver's license (if any)
  3. Your W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
  4. Your (and your spouse's, if you are married) Federal Income Tax Return - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico,

Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau.

  1. Your parents' Federal Income Tax Return (if you are a dependent student)
  2. Your untaxed income records – payments to tax-deferred pension and retirement savings, child support received, housing allowances, or any other untaxed income
  3. Your alien registration number or permanent residence card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

Step 2: Awarding Your Federal Financial Aid

After completing your FAFSA, within 2 business days, the school will be electronically sent your Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR). The ISIR is the name of the electronic version of the Student Aid Report (SAR).

Stratford University will use the ISIR report and your cost of attendance (tuition, books, room & board, transportation cost, and other expenses) to determine your eligibility for:

  1. Federal Pell Grants
  2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  3. Federal College Work Study (FWS)
  4. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans.
  5. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loans (independent students)
  6. Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loan (dependent students)

Please note that it is the policy of Stratford University to initially award for direct tuition and fees costs only. If you would like information on additional funding for other educationally related expenses, please contact the Student Accounts Office.

Step 3: Determining Eligibility for Private Financing

After eligibility for Federal Financial aid has been established, private financing options will be used to meet your unmet need. Most of these options are designed so that your payments while still in school are kept to a minimum.

Stratford University participates in the following private financial programs:

  1. Sallie Mae Loan Program
  2. Stratford University Payment Plan

The Sallie Mae Private Loan program eligibility is based on your credit score. For students that do not qualify for a Private Educational Loan, Stratford University has quarterly and monthly payment plans.

Special Note for International Students: International students with a Student Visa can qualify for Sallie Mae loans if they can obtain a valid cosigner. A valid cosigner must be either a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder.

Step 4: Finishing the Paperwork and Receiving Aid

At this point, you will be fully packaged with Financial Assistance. You will know the sources of loans and grants to pay for your education. You will also know the required in-school payments on the private loan or payment plan portion of the package. Most students qualify for low in-school payments.

Now you must actually apply for your Federal and Non-Federal Loans. No additional paperwork is needed for your grants.

Complete Loan Entrance Counseling at http://www.studentloans.gov

  1. Log in by clicking on the “Sign In” button using your FSA ID and password.
  2. From the welcome screen, select “Complete Counseling”
  3. Select “Entrance Counseling”
  4. Under “Add School to Notify,” select Virginia in the school state drop down menu and select Stratford University in the school name drop down menu (regardless of your campus, the school address displayed will be the Falls Church campus address as all applications are processed through our Falls Church school code)
  5. Click on “Notify this School”
  6. Under “Select Student Type”, select your appropriate grade level (undergraduate or graduate)
  7. Click the “Continue” button at the bottom of the page
  8. Follow the instructions on the next pages to complete Loan Entrance Counseling

Complete your Master Promissory Note at http://www.studentloans.gov

  1. Login using your FSA and password
  2. From the welcome screen, select “Complete Master Promissory Note”
  3. Select “Subsidized/Unsubsidized” and click “Continue“
  4. Input your “personal information”
  5. Input “School and Loan Information” and click “continue”

School State: Virginia
School Name: Stratford University (all campuses use the Falls Church address for FAFSA processing)

  1. Input the names, full addresses, and relationships of your two references (please note that the references should have two different addresses) and click “continue”
  2. Review all sections of the “terms and conditions” and continue until you have electronically signed your Master Promissory Note (MPN) with your FSA ID and password
  3. Print and save the finalized Master Promissory Note. (We will need a copy of this page)

Step 5: Checking Back with Financial Aid

After you complete and sign these promissory notes, Stratford University will process the loans and apply the proceeds to your account. Finally, if you have opted for the Stratford University Payment Plan, you may authorize automatic debit of your bank or credit card account.

You will need to apply for additional loans every three terms (30 weeks) and to fill out another FAFSA prior to the next Financial Aid award year that begins every July 1st.


Part B: Financing Your Education

Corporate Reimbursement - Many of our undergraduate and graduate students are already employed and qualify for corporate educational programs. Stratford University can bill your employer directly once all of your approval documents are in place. We can also provide you with the documentation you need to be reimbursed for payments made to Stratford University.

Military Tuition Assistance - Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services. Your approved Tuition Assistance Application must be submitted to your supporting Education Center for processing prior to the start of class. You may also apply online through your service’s online portal. Stratford University can bill the government directly for your TA once all of your approval documents are in place.

VA Educational Benefits - Eligible students who have served in the armed services may qualify to receive VA education benefits, which provide financial assistance to pay for tuition, fees, books, equipment, tools, or other supplies you need to succeed in your program. Stratford University is approved for the training of veterans and eligible dependents under Chapter 30, 31, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607. Stratford University is also a Yellow Ribbon School and will provide matching contributions as a Direct Grant towards the unmet established charges.

VA Form 22-1990 must be submitted to the Department of Veteran Services and a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) must be obtained in order to determine eligibility. Applications can be submitted by accessing: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/.Please visit the School Certifying Official for more information on the process.

Vocational Rehabilitation Grants - Stratford University works with a number of vocational rehabilitation agencies (federal, state, local, and private) to help students develop the skills needed for a new occupation. We will bill your agency directly once all of your approval documents are in place.

Workforce Development Grants - Stratford University works with a number of Workforce Development Commissions in the area. We can bill those agencies directly once all of the approval paperwork is in place. You must qualify for these grant programs prior to the start of classes.

Scholarship Applications - Each year thousands of scholarships are not awarded simply because no one applied. The key is to actually apply for them. Two of the largest scholarship websites are http://www.petersons.com and http://www.fastweb.com.

Students who are most successful submit multiple applications and continue to do so while in school. Seeking many small scholarships, rather than one large one, is the best strategy. The good news is that applying often helps you to hone your writing skills.


Special Note to International Students

Since international students with student visas do not qualify for most financial assistance programs, they must demonstrate the ability to pay their tuition using the Affidavit of Support document. They may also be required to authorize automatic debiting of their credit card or bank account.

International students can, however, obtain private loans for their education if they can obtain a valid cosigner. A valid cosigner is a resident of the United States with good credit who is either a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder. Normally the student’s sponsor is the valid cosigner. Ask your Student Account Officer about this option.

If international students do not make their tuition payment in the timely manner, the International Student Advisor is required to place them Out of Status with the Department of Homeland Security. All students who are Out of Status must return immediately to their country of origin.


Part C: FSA ID Instructions

  1. Go to https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm
  2. Select “CREATE AN FSA ID”
  3. Enter your email address. Example: johnsmith@gmail.com
  4. Choose a username, this should be something you can easily recall. We suggest having a piece of paper available to write down your information.
  5. Choose a password. This password must have one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, a number, a symbol, and be at least 8 characters. Example: Stratford1#
  6. On the next screen please enter the following information:
    • Social Security Number
    • Date of Birth
    • Full Name
    Example: SSN: 123-45-6789, DOB: 05182015, Name: John D Smith
  7. Next you will verify your PIN, if you remember your PIN this will speed up the process. A PIN is an older version of an online signature. If you never applied for a PIN before, you will be able to continue without a PIN. If you do not remember your PIN you may be able to select “Forgot My PIN.” If you do not know your PIN and do not have the option to select “Forgot My PIN” you can continue without a PIN.
  8. On the next screen please enter the required information. If you were able to use your PIN the information on this page may pre-populate with information that was previously in the system. PLEASE ensure your most up to date information is in the system.
  9. The next screen you will set up 5 challenge questions.
    • The first 2 challenge questions you will select from the preset questions provided in the drop down menu.
    • Challenge questions 3 and 4 you must create yourself. PLEASE REMEMBER to choose questions and answers you will easily remember.
    • The fifth challenge question will be a significant date that the federal government could reference with you if necessary.
  10. Select the box to certify all of your information is correct. Once you click the box you will receive at least two emails (below is an example of one of the emails you will receive).
  11. Open and read the emails. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Accounts Office.
  12. Use the secure code in the email to validate your account.
  13. Select the continue button. Once this is completed it may take up to 3 business days for your username and password to work. If you were able to use your PIN to verify during this process you should be able to access everything on the same day.

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