Understanding Your Aid Offer and the Bill

A student working on her laptopNow that you've received your financial aid offer, you have a few things to consider. We've gathered some helpful information for you. Check it out, and contact us if you have questions.

Step 1: Understand Your Offer

Your financial aid offer comes by mail (if you are an incoming freshman) or email (if you are a current student) and is also available through your MyIUP account. You can find it in MyIUP under Finances, then Financial Aid Offer Letter. It's important you understand your offer completely. If your family encounters circumstances leading to a reduction in income after filing the FAFSA, you can contact our office to request a Special Circumstances Appeal form.

Did You File Your FAFSA?

If you haven't filed your Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) yet, your offer won't include several major types of aid that you could be eligible for. If you didn't submit the FAFSA yet, see our website for directions for filing your FAFSA. After you submit it, check your MyIUP for any changes to your aid offer.

Learn How the Types of Aid Are Different

You'll want to understand each type of financial aid you've been offered, so we've included some helpful pages. You can also find information on the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website. See our Financial Aid Glossary to help you understand frequently used financial aid terms and common acronyms.

Step 2: Know the Rules—You Might Have to Maintain Full-time Credits or a Certain Grade Point Average to Keep Your Aid

Bear in mind that loans, grants, and scholarships might come with conditions. To keep your aid, you might have to maintain a certain grade point average or keep your schedule at 12 or more credits each semester. Be sure you understand your obligations for each type of aid in your offer.

Step 3: Compare Your Aid to Your Costs

The cost estimator tool will help you estimate how much you will owe IUP after your aid has been deducted from your charges. If your financial aid offer does not fully cover your costs, you and your parents might consider a federal Parent PLUS loan or alternative/private student loans.

Step 4: It's an Offer—You Decide How Much Aid You Accept

Consider Your Future Payments

You won't need to pay back grants and scholarships, but you will need to repay loans. You are not obligated to accept a loan in your offer. You can choose to decline or reduce your loan(s). Carefully consider your future obligations for repaying your loans. Know when and how the loans are scheduled to be repaid before you accept them.

Reduce or Decline Your Loans

  • If you decide to accept a loan as presented in your offer, go to step 5.

  • If you wish to decline or reduce the amount of your loan, see the options in the electronic version of your financial aid offer, which you can find in your MyIUP account.

Usually, you have until about August 30 to decline or reduce your loan. If you miss the deadline, you can complete the Financial Aid Adjustment Form and return it to the Financial Aid Office in Clark Hall. (See contact information below.)

Reduce or Decline Federal Work-Study Funds

The Federal Work-Study Program enables you to work on campus and in some community agencies. If your offer indicates you are eligible for Federal Work-Study, you'll need to find employment to receive funds. Visit IUP's Student Employment page to find job opportunities.

If you do not wish to find a job through the program or want to reduce the amount offered, please indicate that on your offer in MyIUP or send an email to financial-aid@iup.edu to make that adjustment on your aid package. Do this by the deadline, which is usually near the start of the fall semester.

Step 5: For Direct Student Loans—Don't Forget the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling

If this is the first year that you will receive a Federal Direct Student Loan, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Loan Counseling, and the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement at studentaid.gov, so that the loan funds can be disbursed to your IUP account. Mid-July, parents can apply for the Parent Plus Loan on this page, too.

Step 6: What to Do If You Receive a Scholarship from a Non-IUP Source

If you receive a scholarship from a source other than IUP, you must notify the Financial Aid Office. Please complete the Financial Aid Adjustment Form and return the document to the Financial Aid Office in Clark Hall. (See contact information below.)

You should also complete this form if you decide not to enroll at IUP or need to make adjustments to your financial aid offer.

Step 7: If We Ask for Verification Documents, Respond ASAP

We might need additional information from you about your FAFSA. If that's the case, we will reach out to you for verification. If you hear from us regarding your FAFSA, please respond as soon as possible to prevent any delays in receiving your financial aid.

Please do not send in documents unless requested to do so from our office.