Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions. For more detailed information, or for information specific to your situation, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Complete the Free Application for Federal Students Aid (FAFSA) on-line at www.fafsa.gov. You (and your parent if you are dependent) must also sign the FAFSA electronically with a FSA ID which you can apply by clicking here. The first day you can file is October 1st of the preceding year for which are applying for (e.g. Oct. 1, 2016 for the 2017-18 academic year). To assure maximum consideration for all forms of aid, the FAFSA must be processed by the Central Processing System (CPS) on or before HPU’s priority deadline of March 1. The FAFSA school code for Hawai'i Pacific University is 007279. Please allow up to two weeks for processing of the FAFSA.
What are the minimum requirements for financial aid?
- You must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- You must be degree seeking (Special Status and Certificate Programs do not qualify)
What is a FAFSA Pin Code and how do I get one?
The FAFSA PIN is no longer used. Due to updated security standards, the Department of Education has now established the FSA ID for electronic signatures. Go to https://fsaid.ed.gov to sign-up for a FSA ID. A distinct email address is needed for a FSA ID. If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need a FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA application and to apply for a Parent PLUS loan.
How does the Financial Aid process work?
Upong listing HPU as a school on your FAFSA, we will receive your FAFSA application information electronically.
We will mail you a request for any additional documents/requirements if necessary. Please note, these documents must be reviewed by a counselor once received and it may be determined that additional documents need to be submitted.
Upon completion of the review, you will receive an award letter by mail or e-mail to your Campus Pipeline e-mail account. An award offer may be sent prior to the review of additional documents but no funds will be disbursed until the review is complete and adjustments have been made if necessary.
You can accept or decline award amounts offered using your Pipeline account and complete any additional documents required for loan funds.
The Financial Aid Office will process your loans and disburse the appropriate funds at the start of the term.
What is the deadline to process Financial Aid?
We recommend you complete all documents prior to the start of the term to ensure timely processing and payment of federal funds. Students should follow up with our office to ensure all documents have been received and processed prior to any pending deadlines. The last day to process aid is 3 weeks prior to the last day of the term/semester for which you are enrolled. If funds have not disbursed to your account by this deadline, please contact us immediately. Please communicate with our office at least 5 weeks prior to the end of the term/semester if you will have difficulties meeting the deadline.
What is an EFC?
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year.
The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your EFC. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.
Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by the school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.
What is Verification?
Verification means that HPU is required to review the accuracy of the information you have provided on your FAFSA application. The Federal Government randomly selects student applications for schools to review. If you have an asterisk next to your EFC figure on your Student Aid Report (SAR), this means that you have been selected for verification. You can also read through your SAR comment section to see if other issues may need to be resolved.
Students will be notified by mail/email if we are requesting verification forms from you and/or your parents. We will require that you submit a verification worksheet and may request a copy of your federal tax transcripts and/or any other documents we deem necessary to resolve any discrepancies.
Through verification, if there are differences between your application information and your financial documents, HPU will need to make corrections to your FAFSA.
How do I accept/decline my Financial Aid award?
Log in to HPU Pipeline.
Go to “My Quick Links” and click on “Accept Financial Aid”.
Choose the aid year you wish to review.
- Click on the "Resources/Additional Information" tab and answer the 2 questions.
Click on the “Accept Award Offer” tab.
What are my options if I need more funding?
Private Loans are funded by banks and private lending institutions. These loans are credit based and are not federally regulated so their terms will vary depending on the lender. Private Loans that require certification by the Financial Aid Office can be certified up to a student's Cost of Attendance minus other aid received for the period. To find out more about private loans or for direct links to some lenders, please click here.
When will my financial aid disburse?
Financial aid funds are disbursed at the start of the semester. Early applicants (those who apply by March 1) should have their accounts paid and remaining funds disbursed to them on time. Late applicants will be processed as completed and may not have their accounts paid or funds disbursed until several weeks into the semester/term. You must come prepared to meet your financial obligations (to pay account balances and to cover your book and other living expenses) during the first several weeks of school, as all funds may not be ready for disbursement at the start of the semester/term.
Students enrolled in courses less than the full 15-week semester may not receive their full aid until later in the term, and may be subject to reduction or repayment of aid for courses they have not completed. Students will not receive a disbursement until they have begun attendance in all courses for which they are awarded. Call the Financial Aid Office for details on your specific situation.
Will I get a refund and when will I receive it?
Your financial aid award will be used first to pay your tuition, residence hall charges (if you are living on campus) and any other charges outstanding on your student account. After these payments are made, any funds remaining will be refunded by check to you (or your parent) for use in paying your off-campus housing or other educational expenses. Financial aid refunds are not released until after the first week of school and will be mailed to your current mailing address. For those who completed all of their aid requirements early, refunds are usually mailed by the second week of the term. If you are late in completing your requirements, payment of your tuition will be held in abeyance pending completion of your award. Please plan to have sufficient funds to sustain you until your financial aid refund is received.
How do I complete my Federal Stafford loan or Federal PLUS loan application?
Sign in to www.studentloans.gov.
First time Stafford Loan Borrower:
Student should sign in using student information and FSA ID.
Select appropriate tab for the type of student you are (Undergraduate or Graduate).
Select “Complete Entrance Counseling”.
Next select “Complete Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN)”.
Parent PLUS Loan Borrower:
Parent should sign in using borrowing parent personal information and the parent's FSA ID.
Select "Parent Borrowers" tab.
Select “Apply for a PLUS Loan”. Select "Parent PLUS".
If approved, select “Complete Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN)”.
If denied, your parent can choose to apply with an endorser or appeal the credit decision. The endorser will need to log in and have the loan number for the denied application. OR, if you choose not to pursue an endorser, you can request an unsubsidized loan increase with the Financial Aid Office.
Graduate PLUS Loan Borrower:
Student should sign in using graduate student information and FSA ID.
Select "Graduate/Professional Students" tab.
Select “Apply for a PLUS Loan”. Select “Graduate PLUS”.
If approved, select “Complete Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN)”.
Continuing Direct Loan Borrowers:
Continuing HPU students: If you have applied for a Stafford Loan with HPU prior to the 10-11 school year, your loans were borrowed through the Federal Family Loan Program (FFELP). If you have not done so already, you will be required to complete a new MPN for your Direct Loan. Your Direct Loan MPN, once completed, will be valid for 10 years and will not have to be resubmitted each year.
Transfer Student: If you completed a Direct Loan MPN or borrowed a Direct Loan at another school within the last 10 years, you do not have to complete a new MPN. However, we may require you complete a new Entrance Counseling.
My situation has changed. Do I need to report this to the Financial Aid Office?
Yes. The following is a partial list of things that may affect your award amounts or eligibility for Federal Aid.
Enrollment changes (i.e. Full-time to Half-time)
Living arrangements ( i.e. Living on-campus to living off-campus)
Changing your major (I.e. undergraduate to graduate, nursing to psychology)
Receiving additional resources (i.e. scholarships, tuition waivers, contract payments)
Changing grade level
Cancelling aid for a semester
Withdrawing from class or HPU
Changing to upper level nursing (paying higher tuition)
Please complete a Revision Request Form online and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.
What is a book voucher and how does it work?
Book vouchers allow you to charge your books in advance of your federal aid disbursements. They are only for students who have completed ALL of their required documents AND will have enough funding remaining after tuition and other charges are cleared. Students with excess aid who have completed all required documentation and are enrolled at the proper credit level will have book voucher information available at the bookstore up to 4 weeks in advance of the term and up until the date financial aid funds disburse to your student account. A student or photo ID will be required to use the book voucher.
Is there any financial aid available for the summer and the winter sessions?
Summer financial aid eligibility will vary by student. In general, students who have not used all of their Stafford Loan eligibility for the current school year may apply to use their remaining eligibility. Pell eligible students can also request that they be reviewed for additional Pell grant eligibility. All students may apply for credit based alternative/private loans, graduate students may apply for Graduate PLUS loans, and dependent students may have parents apply for additional Parent PLUS loans. Students who are interested in receiving loans must be registered for a minimum of 6 credits over the combined three summer terms.
The Financial Aid Office does not award any federal funding for the winter term.
Define Full-time, ¾-time, and Half-time.
For Federal Financial aid purposes, the following information is a general summary of credits required for eligibility in each category.
Full-time: 12 or more credtis
3/4-time: 9-11 credits
1/2-time: 6-8 credits
Less than 1/2-time: 5 or fewer credits
Full-time: 9 or more credits
1/2-time: 6 - 8 credits
Enrollment requirements for your specific academic program or outside funding source may differ from the enrollment levels required for financial aid eligibility.
I need to withdraw from classes. What is going to happen to my financial aid?
Complete withdrawal: All students attending the University on financial aid who withdraw completely from all classes are covered by one uniform federal refund schedule. If a student completely withdraws from school, he or she will be required to return the unused portion of all federal financial aid funds granted for that semester/term.
The unused portion to be returned is based on the number of calendar days completed in the period of enrollment (excluding scheduled breaks of five or more days, and days a student was on approved leave of absence). For example, if a student has attended 30 percent of the semester, 70 percent of the funds must be returned. Once a student has attended 60 percent of the semester/term, he or she is considered to have earned the full amount of financial aid and is not required to return the funds.
Students receiving federal financial aid who are considering a withdrawal are required to go to the University's Financial Aid office and discuss their options with a counselor.
*A full or partial withdrawal may result in suspension from all future financial aid until the student files and is granted a successful appeal. Appeals are not guaranteed under any circumstances.
Partial withdrawal: All students are reviewed at the end of each term and must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree objective in order to be eligible to receive financial aid. Students who do not complete all of the credits they are registered for risk failing SAP standards and may be placed on financial aid warning or suspension. See SAP page for more information.
I plan to take some classes during the 10 week or 8 week terms during the Fall and Spring semesters. Does this affect my financial aid?
Yes, it may affect your aid. Students will be awarded for the Fall and Spring semesters only. For the Fall and Spring semesters, students enrolled in any courses less than the full 15-week semester may not receive their full aid until later in the term, and may be subject to reduction or repayment of aid for courses in which they registered but did not complete. Students will not receive their full disbursement until beginning attendance in all courses for which they are awarded. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions regarding your specific situation.
I’m a military student or military dependent. What do I need to know about applying for Financial Aid?
All military students and military dependents are required to complete the Military Supplemental Form.
BAS and/or COLA amounts may be requested so please retain paystubs/LES statements for the prior year should verification be required.
If you are a dependent/spouse of a deployed service member, we recommend you obtain a General Power of Attorney to allow you to complete any financial aid forms required.
Please report any resources you may be receiving as this will affect your financial aid amounts.
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
Financial aid recipients must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree objective in order to be eligible to receive financial aid at Hawai'i Pacific University. The SAP policy at the University is based on standards established by Federal regulations governing student financial aid. These standards are cumulative and include all periods of a student’s enrollment, including periods in which the student did not receive financial aid. Please see SAP page for more information.