Managing Your Aid—and Avoiding Pitfalls

  • Students Studying Outside in the Sun

    Receiving financial aid is just the first step.

    To keep your aid, you need to learn how to manage it. We’re here to help you understand the rules, so you can take charge of your aid—and avoid pitfalls that could take it away.

    First, File Your FAFSA

    Apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study aid with one form.

    Submit the FAFSA online

    IUP’s School Code is 003277.

    What Does Managing Your Aid Mean?

    Managing your financial aid may sound hard, but it’s really not as difficult as you might think. It comes down to a few main things:

    • Deciding if you want to give someone, like a parent or guardian, permission to discuss your aid
    • Understanding the eligibility requirements to keep each type of aid you have
    • Getting help early if you can’t meet those requirements—before you lose any funds!
    • Keeping track of your aid each year and planning ahead
    • Knowing your rights and responsibilities if you receive financial aid

    You Can Choose to Give Parents or Guardians Permission to Discuss Your Aid

    Many students find it helpful to give a parent, guardian, or family member permission to talk to the Financial Aid Office about their aid. It’s your choice. We don’t give out any information unless you have officially set up permission for that person. Learn more about how to set this up.

    Know the Basics—Your Grades, the Number of Credits You’re Taking, and Missing Classes Can Affect Your Aid

    Financial aid usually comes with a few conditions you must meet to remain eligible for the funding.

    These conditions often relate to your grades and the number of credits you are taking—especially when withdrawing from classes. Participation in class is also required and checked by some aid programs at certain times in the semester.

    Know the Rules for Each Type of Aid You Have

    You should check the rules or conditions you need to follow for each type of financial aid you have accepted. Take the time to understand what you need to do.

    To help you, we’ve pulled together some key requirements for the most common types of aid. Check out these helpful pages to learn more and possibly avoid serious problems:

    Be Alert at These Key Times—Check the Rules or Ask for Help

    It’s especially important to know the rules for your aid programs at these critical times, when the wrong move could cause you to lose funding:

    • Before you drop or withdraw from a class that brings you below full-time status (12 credits for undergraduate and nine credits for graduate students) 
    • If you are struggling with your grades and might not meet the minimum grades your financial aid program requires
    • If you are thinking of leaving college mid-semester
    • If you think you might miss the first week or two of classes (including online classes), when participation is required for some aid programs
    • If you are missing classes later in the semester (some aid programs require professors to monitor that you are attending and/or participating at points later in the term)
    • If you are scheduling a class you have taken before and passed twice (taking it a third time will not count toward enrollment credits for aid purposes)

    If you find yourself in these situations or have questions at any time, talk with your advisor about the academic aspects and the Financial Aid Office for help with your aid. The earlier you seek advice, the more we can probably do to help you keep your financial aid on track.

    You can also reach out to the Academic Success Center if you need any help in planning your class attendance or academic workload.

    Some Good Things to Know When Managing Your Aid