Applying & Eligibility
Three steps to help make sure your family is able to receive full consideration of aid:
- Families can begin filing the FAFSA in October for the next academic year. You and your student will need to have your FSA ID to begin the process of filing for aid at www.fafsa.gov. Priority packaging of financial aid at Otterbein will be given to students who file by Feb. 15.
- IMPORTANT: When completing the FAFSA, make sure you list Otterbein with our federal school code(#003110).
- If you need assistance in filing the FAFSA, please go to www.fafsahelpoh.org to find FAFSA completion events. Financial Aid professionals will be available to help you get your FAFSA filed.
*All aid is disbursed by Otterbein University the first day of classes each semester, as long as all requirements are complete.
Questions or concerns, please contact the Otterbein Office of Student Financial Services at 614-823-1502.
Financial Aid Timeline
- Oct. 1: File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA.
- Feb. 15: FAFSA priority filing deadline for all students.
- March 1-Sept. 1: Notify the Office of Financial Aid about non-Otterbein scholarships received by the student.
- May 15: Begin application process for Parent PLUS/Graduate preferred time frame for completing applications due to the timing of credit-check process.
- July 1: First-time direct loan borrowers need to web accept loans in Banner, complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) for both loan types. Repeat borrowers web accept loans in Banner.
- July 1: Begin payment plan through ePay, if you wish to participate in this program.
- July 1: Priority application deadline for ensuring Parent PLUS/Graduate PLUS/Private loans are on account for fall semester.
- Aug. 1: Entrance Counseling and MPN completion deadline to ensure funds are on account for Fall semester.
*The Office of Student Accounts sends bills approximately six weeks prior to the start of the term. The payment of the bill is due 14 days prior to the start of the academic term.
*All aid is disbursed by Otterbein University beginning the first day of classes, as long as all requirements are complete.
**Follow this link to view Seven Easy Steps to the FAFSA an online tutorial about the FAFSA filing process.
How to Apply
- Read the requirements for admission and complete the application for admission to Otterbein University here.
- Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the first step in the financial aid process. You can fill out and submit your application through FAFSA. Electronic filing is the fastest and easiest way to apply for financial aid. Be sure to list Otterbein University and our Title IV school code 003110.
- You will receive a report called a Student Aid Report, or SAR, through the mail or the internet. The SAR lists the information you reported on your FAFSA, and will tell you your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Review your SAR when you receive it and make sure all your information is correct. Make any necessary corrections or provide additional information.
- Receipt of your SAR is your “signal” that the colleges and universities you listed on your FAFSA have received your results and are working to put together your financial aid package.
- If requested, please submit documentation to the Office of Student Financial Services.
After we receive your FAFSA results and any other requested documentation and you have been accepted for admission, we will send you a financial aid award. First-time students receive a paper award letter packet via U.S. mail. Returning students view their financial aid eligibility online using Banner.
We encourage you to apply for aid, regardless of your family’s financial situation. Please do not assume you will not qualify for assistance. Last year more than 95 percent of our students qualified for assistance.
- Cost of Attendance (COA)
Three basic budgets are developed for determining financial aid eligibility. Need-based financial aid eligibility varies depending on the housing option the student chooses. On-campus housing for financial aid purposes means living in traditional residence halls, suite style halls, Commons housing and Theme houses. Off-campus housing budgets are used for students living in off-campus houses or apartments as well as Greek housing at Otterbein. Commuter cost of attendance means living with parents or (with permission) a relative for financial purposes.
Students may be required to verify the accuracy of the information provided on the FAFSA for financial assistance. Appropriate documents will be requested by our office. Regulations require the verification process be completed before financial aid can be credited to the student’s account. If verification is requested, the student is responsible for submitting all required documents to our office within two weeks of the request. Failure to meet this deadline could impact their financial aid eligibility.
- Enrollment and Eligibility
To be eligible for aid, you must meet the requirements of each program. For example, a student must be enrolled full-time to be eligible for institutional assistance. Federal Pell Grant program and Ohio College Opportunity Grant eligibility will be determined for any enrollment level. Any change in enrollment may cause changes in your award. To qualify for federal student aid (grants, loans, and work-study funds), you have to meet certain eligibility requirements. In general, you must:
- demonstrate financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)process (for most programs);
- be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
- have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
- be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
- be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Federal Direct Loan and Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (FPLUS) funds;
- maintain satisfactory academic progress;
- show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by
- having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent or
- completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law;
- sign statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that
- you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
- you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
- Funds from Other Sources
Otterbein University encourages students to explore the possibility of aid from foundations, companies, civic groups and professional organizations. Report additional funds received from any other source promptly to our office. Should any adjustment be necessary, the student’s loan and work eligibility will be reduced first.
Renewing Your Assistance
All students receiving need-based financial aid must submit the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA each year for determination of continued eligibility. Financial aid is renewed annually on the basis of continued financial need and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined in the Otterbein University catalog. Since a family’s financial strength is subject to change, financial need and the amount of aid awarded may increase or decrease each year. Other factors may change a student’s award. Examples would include a change in housing status, enrolling at less than a full-time status, failure to maintain SAP and changes to the family size.
Withdrawal from the University
Please be aware that financial aid funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive. Students must attend at least 60% of the semester to fully earn their federal financial assistance. A statutory schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds a student has earned as of the date he or she ceases attendance.
Official withdrawls are recorded in the Banner student record by the Office of the Registrar. The offices of financial aid, student accounts and student affairs are subsequently notified. Students are notified once earned financial aid has been determined due to withdrawal by paper notification to the permanent address. Visit the registrar’s page for instructions on how to officially withdraw from the university.
Return of Unearned Funds
Federal regulations require Otterbein to return unearned funds for which the institution is responsible to return as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the determination of the student’s withdrawal.
Return of Federal Title IV Funds
A statutory schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds a student has earned as of the date he or she ceases attendance. The amount of Title IV program assistance earned is based on the amount of time the student spent in academic attendance and has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges. Up through the 60% point in each payment period or period of enrollment, a pro rata schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60% point in the payment period or period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds.If a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws from the University after beginning attendance, the amount of grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the students earned, unearned funds must be returned. If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, he or she is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received.Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive. The University will determine the appropriate refund calculation within thirty (30) days of the date Otterbein determined the student withdrew. Federal regulations require Otterbein to return unearned funds for which the institution is responsible to return as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the date Otterbein determined the student withdrew.
Example: The percentage of financial aid that is due to the student (“earned financial aid”) is equal to the period of enrollment that the student completed as of the student’s date of withdrawal from Otterbein University, if this date occurs on or before completion of 60% of the period of enrollment. If the student’s withdrawal date occurs after the completion of 60% of the period of enrollment, the aid due to the student (“earned financial aid”) is calculated at 100%.