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The Financial Aid Office at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia is located in Griffith Hall, Room 172. The office staff is available to assist students in applying for federal, state, and University grant and loan funds.
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A student is eligible for federal, state, and University financial aid if he/she:
- Is a high school graduate or holds a GED.
- Is regularly admitted and matriculated in a degree-granting program of study at the University.
- Is making satisfactory academic progress.
- Is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
- Is taking at least six credits per semester as an undergraduate student or five credits per semester as a graduate student (some financial aid programs require full-time enrollment, which is defined as 12 credits per semester for undergraduate and 9 credits for graduate students).
- Meets the eligibility criteria for each specific financial aid program.
With the exception of merit awards, eligibility for most programs is based on financial need, which a student demonstrates by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
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The FAFSA may be filed online (www.FAFSA.ed.gov) or on paper. Online submission is highly recommended. Awards are made by the Financial Aid Office on a first-come, first-served basis, starting on or about March 15 of the prior academic year. Students should allow 4–5 weeks for FAFSA processing by the Federal Processing Center; however, FAFSAs may NOT be completed or signed before January 1 of the prior academic year.
Federal Financial Aid
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Federal Pell Grant
Federal Pell Grants are determined by the Financial Aid Office based on the information provided on the FAFSA. The number of credits a student takes per semester may affect the amount of a Federal Pell Grant.
Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
Students must be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant in order to be considered for the Federal ACG Grant. Federal ACG awards are processed by the Financial Aid Office. Awards are determined for students through a combination of significant need as demonstrated on the FAFSA form and the completion of a rigorous secondary school program of study.
- Student is a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- Student is a high school graduate on/after January 1, 2006 (1st-year student), on/after January 1, 2005 (2nd-year student).
- Student is Pell-eligible and has been awarded a Federal Pell Grant.
- Student is registered for at least 12 credits.
- 2nd-year student—has a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA.
Federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART Grant)
Students must be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant in order to be considered for the Federal SMART Grant. Federal SMART Grants are processed by the Financial Aid Office. Awards are determined for students through a combination of significant need as demonstrated on the FAFSA form and matriculation in an eligible math, science, foreign language, or computer program of study.
- Student is a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- Student is a high school graduate on/after January 1, 2006.
- Student is Federal Pell-eligible and has been awarded a Federal Pell Grant.
- Student is registered for at least 12 credits.
- Student is matriculated in an undergraduate pharmacology & toxicology, biology, bioinformatics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, computer science, or microbiology program.
- Student has at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA at the end of each semester.
- Student is taking courses as required by the matriculated program.
- Student is pursuing his/her first undergraduate degree.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
Federal SEOG Grants are determined by the Financial Aid Office, based on a combination of significant need as demonstrated on the FAFSA and by availability of funds. Students who are eligible for Federal Pell Grants are considered first for this award.
Federal Stafford Loans
Federal Stafford Loans are low-interest loans administered by the Financial Aid Office based on financial need demonstrated on the FAFSA. The loans carry a fixed interest rate, which is based on the 10-year Federal Treasury bond plus 1%. First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling either online at www.aessuccess.org or with a paper Entrance Interview Form, signed and returned to the Financial Aid Office. This will finalize the loan application process.
There are two types of Stafford Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized.
Subsidized Stafford Loans
These loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.6% for undergraduates and 6.8% for graduate students and allow a deferment of principal payments and include interest subsidy payments by the federal government.
Annual borrowing limits:
$3,500 for first-year undergraduate students
$4,500 for second-year undergraduate students
$5,500 for third-, fourth-, and fifth-year undergraduate students
$8,500 for graduate students
The aggregate limit for subsidized Stafford Loans (for undergraduate students) is $23,000.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available at a fixed interest rate of 6.8% to all students who do not qualify for the Subsidized Stafford Loan. It can be issued for the full amount of eligibility or in combination with a Subsidized Stafford Loan. These loans require that responsibility for interest only payments be assumed by the student, not the federal government, during the grace period and other periods of deferment.
All undergraduate students can borrow $2,000 annually. In addition, independent students and, in special circumstances, dependent students may borrow up to $4,000 per year for the first two years of undergraduate study, and up to $5,000 per year for the third, fourth, and fifth years of undergraduate study. Fourth- and fifth-year independent PharmD students may borrow $17,500. Sixth-year PharmD students may borrow $26,667. Other graduate students may borrow up to $12,000 per year. The aggregate limit for undergraduate unsubsidized Stafford Loans is $31,000.
Federal Perkins Loans
Perkins Loans are determined by the Financial Aid Office, based on a combination of significant need as demonstrated on the FAFSA and availability of funds. The interest rate for the Perkins Loan is 5%, and no interest or principal payments are due until nine months after the student graduates or drops below half-time status.
Health Professions Student Loans (HPL)
Health Professions Loans are determined through a combination of significant need as demonstrated on the FAFSA and availability of funds. The interest rate on the loan is 5%, and no interest or principal payments are due until one year after a student graduates or drops below half-time status. This program is only for dependent undergraduate PharmD students.
Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
Loans for Disadvantaged Students are determined through a combination of significant need as demonstrated on the FAFSA and specific parameters determined by the Department of Health and Human Services. Awards are also based on availability of funds. This program is only for dependent undergraduate PharmD students. The interest rate is 5%, and no interest or principal payments are due until one year after a student graduates or drops below half-time status.
Federal Parent PLUS Loans (Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)
This program allows parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow up to the cost of education, minus financial aid. The interest rate is fixed at 8.5%. Repayment begins 60 days after the second disbursement is issued. The program is limited to parents who do not have an adverse credit history. The PLUS loan allows parents to capitalize interest and principal payments until after graduation under a process called forbearance.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
Graduate students are now eligible to borrow under the PLUS loan program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance including other loans. The terms and conditions applicable to Parent PLUS loans also apply to Graduate PLUS loans. These requirements include a determination that the applicant does not have an adverse credit history, repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan, and a fixed interest rate of 8.5% is fixed. Applicants for these loans are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program before applying for a Federal Graduate PLUS loan.
Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students (SDS)
These scholarships are determined through a combination of significant need as demonstrated on the FAFSA and specific parameters determined by the Department of Health and Human Services. Awards are also based on availability of funds. These funds are not necessarily renewable.
Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)
This program provides the opportunity for students to work part-time and earn money. The basic pay scale is at the prevailing minimum hourly wage. Awards are based on a determination of need demonstrated on the FAFSA. Jobs are offered on and off campus and offer excellent scheduling flexibility.
Pennsylvania State Grant Program (PHEAA Grant)
This grant provides awards for four academic years, five years for some pharmacy students, based on student need; the funds are to be used for the payment of tuition, fees, books, and room and board only.
To be eligible, students must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States and must have been residents of Pennsylvania for a period of at least 12 months prior to their first term of enrollment.
To apply for a Pennsylvania state grant, a FAFSA must be filed prior to May 1 annually.
Delaware State Scholarship Program
Delaware students seeking a state scholarship must apply while in high school and have good academic standing and financial need. Contact the Delaware Higher Education Commission at 302.577.5240 for filing information.
Aid from Other States
Students who reside in states other than those mentioned should contact the Department of Education in their states for applicable state scholarships.
A student who is auditing classes can not receive any USP, federal, or state aid to assist in the payment of audited courses.
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid
Students who receive financial aid while attending the University must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue to be eligible for financial aid funding. Progress is measured at the end of each academic year or its equivalent. This measure, and the rules of academic probation for financial aid, may be different from the rules of academic progress and probation imposed by individual academic departments. For financial aid purposes, a student maintains satisfactory academic progress if he/she:
- Maintains at least 2.00 cumulative GPA for undergraduates and at least a 2.50 for graduate students.
- Completes at least 75% of the total hours attempted each semester.
- Does not exceed 150% of the normal number of credits needed to complete his/her academic program.
Financial Aid Probation
For financial aid purposes, a student who does not maintain satisfactory academic progress may be put on financial aid probation for the next semester of enrollment and may continue to receive financial aid for that semester. At the end of that semester, if the student has not raised his/her academic performance to meet the measure of satisfactory academic progress as described above, all further disbursements of financial aid will be withheld until such time as the student does make satisfactory academic progress once again. When the student does make satisfactory academic progress, he/she may resume financial aid eligibility, though such eligibility begins with future semesters and cannot be retroactive for the semester in which the student brought up his/her academic performance to meet the satisfactory progress standard. A students can appeal a denial status by writing to the Director of Financial Aid.
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Funds
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University of the Sciences in Philadelphia funds are a combination of endowed institutional funds, the income from which is allocated exclusively for support of students, and University funds in the form of grants and loans for students who require supplemental financial assistance.
Merit awards are available to entering students and are awarded on the basis of academic excellence in high school and comparative scores on the SAT or the ACT. The determination of these merit awards is made by the Admission Office. University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) is grateful to its many contributors and benefactors who value the educational opportunities that we offer. In order to provide the maximum financial support to all of our students, USP provides a generous merit award program. It is USP practice to acknowledge the generosity of our donors by attaching the name of the donor who provided the funds. (See the USP website for a listing of these donors.) Consideration for awards from these programs is determined by the Office of Financial Aid on an individual basis, thereby allowing maximum flexibility in judging students’ eligibility and the amounts to be awarded. There is no formal application process.
A number of scholarship grants are available to students entering the University as transfer students from another educational institution. The admission file of each transfer applicant accepted into any entry-level degree program is reviewed and considered for scholarship assignment.
In addition, a number of scholarship grants are awarded each year to students who have been in attendance for at least one academic year. (See the USP website for a listing of these donors.) Decisions on these scholarship grant awards are made by the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Scholarships based upon academic performance and financial need, if required by the donor. All enrolled students are considered for the assignment of these awards. Students are encouraged to submit a FAFSA prior to March 15 annually.
If a student, to whom a scholarship grant is awarded, fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, or is found guilty of improper conduct by the Conduct Committee and is assigned an action of Disciplinary Probation, Suspension, or Expulsion, such award shall be canceled.