Limestone University is committed to helping our graduate students find ways to finance their education.  Graduate students are eligible to receive Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and can also apply for the Grad Plus Loan.  In order for us to consider you for these funds and to determine eligibility, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than May 1st of each year.  The FAFSA can be completed at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Be sure to indicate on the FAFSA that you are seeking a Master’s Degree.  Students can apply for the Grad Plus Loan online at www.studentloans.gov.  You will need your 4 digit FAFSA PIN to log in.   
 
Graduate students can also apply for private education loans to help with the costs of the program. We have compiled a list of preferred lenders, which can be accessed via the Financial Aid Webpage under the “Quick Links” tab.  From there, select the “Preferred Lenders” tab and follow the prompts.  

Graduate students are not eligible for institutional scholarships, or for federal or state grants. 

Graduate students may also be eligible for certain Veterans Benefits to help with the costs of tuition.

Graduate programs at Limestone University are designed to allow students to take courses each term (each term consists of one 7.5-week period). To be eligible for full-time VA benefits, students must enroll in 9 credit hours per semester which equates to one class each term. By following this format, students receiving VA benefits must be able to register for classes for the entire semester (July 1 – December 31 and/or January 2 – June 30). By registering, students may be eligible to receive VA benefits to cover tuition expenses.  Students receiving VA benefits must sign a waiver, allowing Limestone University to re-evaluate their eligibility each term. 

Failure to enroll in a sequential course each term may result in a loss of full-time VA benefits. 

If you have questions regarding your eligibility for Veterans Benefits please contact the Veteran’s Benefits Coordinator at 864-488-7151 or via email at va@limestone.edu.

  • Limestone University is required to establish minimum academic standards that students must meet to be eligible, or maintain eligibility, for Federal financial aid
  • Students who are receiving financial aid or who seek financial aid in the future are required to meet these minimum standards.
  • Financial aid recipients are required to be in good standing and to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree requirements for each semester/term in which they are enrolled.
  • SAP, as described below, is evaluated at the end of each semester.
  • Failure to maintain SAP, as described below, will result in Financial Aid Suspension (loss of eligibility).
  • Transfer credits accepted by the institution towards the student’s program will be included in the total hours earned.

Meeting the Quantitative Requirement (Pace of Progression)

Regulations allow a student to maintain eligibility for attempting credit hours that are 150% of the credit hours required to receive a degree. In order to meet this quantitative standard, students must complete and earn 67% of courses attempted each academic semester. The 67% criteria will be checked at the end of each semester. If a student has not completed 67% of the cumulative attempted hours at the end of the semester, the student is placed on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent semester. During the Financial Aid Warning period, the student may continue to receive financial aid. If the student has not completed 67% of the cumulative attempted hours at the end of the subsequent semester, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. While on Financial Aid Suspension, the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid.

Hours Attempted Hours earned to meet 67% requirement
3 2
6 4
9 6
12 8
  • In addition, any student that fails to make progress by receiving all Fs or WFs (or combination of both) in any given semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose eligibility for financial aid beginning the next semester regardless of the students’ GPA.
  • Students receiving all Ws will be placed on Financial Aid Warning beginning the following semester regardless of the students' GPA.
  • Financial aid eligibility may be regained when 67% of the cumulative attempted hours have been completed.
  • Students who unofficially withdraw (no formal notification) from the University in any given semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose eligibility for financial aid beginning the next semester regardless of the students’ GPA.

Meeting the Qualitative Requirement

            In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid with the qualitative standard, a student must maintain the academic standing necessary to remain in the Graduate Program. The qualitative policy is the same as the academic policies is consistent with the Graduate Programs graduation requirements. The grade point average will be used to determine good academic standing, probation, suspension, and eligibility for financial aid. The GPA will be checked at the end of each semester for SAP. The student on good academic standing will remain eligible. A student on Academic Probation will be on Financial Aid Warning. A student on Academic Suspension will be on Financial Aid Suspension.

Graduate students are required to have a GPA of the equivalent of 3.0 or consistent with the graduate school’s graduation requirement.

Maximum Timeframe to Completion

            A reasonable length of time for the completion of a degree program is defined as no more than 150 percent of the normal time required to complete a degree program, as measured by credits attempted and including transfer credits.
Example: If your degree requires that you complete 36 credit hours, your maximum time frame would be 36 hours x 150% = 54. Your maximum time frame to complete your degree would be 54 hrs of attempted course work.
There is no Financial Aid Warning semester for students who exceed the maximum time frame requirement. Students will be suspended from financial aid eligibility the semester following the semester their attempted hours exceed 54 hrs.

Appeals

Any student on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal to the SAP Appeals Committee. An appeal must be based on specific extenuating circumstances. Examples may include but are not limited to death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other extenuating circumstances. There is a formal request form that must be completed along with a statement explaining the extenuating circumstances. You will be required to complete Financial Awareness Modules. You must also meet with your academic advisor to create an academic plan.  This plan must demonstrate that, if followed, you will be meeting SAP standards at the next evaluation or by a specified point in time. This plan must be presented with your appeal letter.

The required Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form, along with all supporting documentation, must be sent to the Assistant Director of Financial Aid.

The determination of the appeal will be made available to the student to their Limestone email address within 14 business days.

If a Financial Aid Suspension appeal is approved, then the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester, and eligibility reinstated for financial aid during that semester. The student must make Satisfactory Academic Progress within the probationary semester in order to continue their eligibility for financial aid in subsequent semesters.

  • Students withdrawing from school within the refund period will have institutional and state aid refunded according to the general refund policy of the University.
  • Federal assistance will be refunded as outlined in the Federal guidelines of each program. Students enrolling who do not complete 60% of the semester will have their federal aid prorated for a refund according to the Federal Government Return of Title IV Funds Policy
  • The financial aid office recalculates federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of the payment period.
  • Limestone must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew.

Federal regulations specify how Limestone must determine the amount of federal (Title IV) financial aid that you earn if you withdraw from school. The federal programs at Limestone included under these regulations are: Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Graduate PLUS Loans, Federal Parent PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.

When you withdraw, the amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

If you received less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds as a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement. For a post-withdrawal of loan funds, you will receive a written notification within 30 days of the date we determined you withdrew and you will be required to confirm you want the disbursement (or your parent for a Parent PLUS Loan).

If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned to the government by Limestone and/or you. This is called a Return to Title IV (or R2T4). If you received excess federal financial aid that must be returned, the University must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  2. the entire amount of excess funds.

This return of funds may create a significant indebtedness for you if this aid was used to pay for charges for which you are still responsible or if you received these funds as a refund.

If Limestone is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a Parent PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time. Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with Limestone to return the unearned grant funds.

Unofficial Withdrawal

An unofficial withdrawal is when official notification is not received from the student.

Examples of an unofficial withdrawal include:  a student does not successfully complete any of their courses (receives all F grades or WF grades); stops attending classes; or did not complete any course work as of the 60% point of the semester- without officially withdrawing from Limestone, as required.

Upon determination of the student's last date of attendance, the Return of Title IV funds calculation will apply. The withdrawal date is your last documented date of attendance, as determined by instructors.

Students who unofficially withdraw will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension effective the next term of attendance.