Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Am I eligible for Federal Student Aid?

The FAFSA4caster makes it easy for you to understand your options by giving you the opportunity to provide some basic information to determine your eligibility for financial aid. The tool follows the U.S. Department of Education has basic eligibility criteria that you must meet in order to qualify for Federal Student Aid which we will review in this section.

First you must demonstrate financial need (for most programs) and be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security number. Proof of a high school diploma or recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or homeschool setting approved under state law is also required before you apply.

You must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program and maintain satisfactory academic progress in college.  If you are interested in taking out Direct Loan Program funds, you must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible. At Brandman University, you would be considered a half-time student if you take only one class per eight week session, or six credits per trimester. If you are male you must also be registered with Selective Service in order to apply for aid.

All applications filing for Federal Financial Aid must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM) online document stating that you are not currently in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant. The agreement also confirms that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

When completing your FAFSA you will be asked to include your institution’s federal school code. Brandman’s federal school code is 041618.

Q: Am I eligible for a Direct Subsidized Loan or a Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

You may be eligible for a direct subsidized loan or direct unsubsidized loan if you are an undergraduate student who is enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program leading to a degree or certificate.  If you are a graduate or professional degree student, you may be eligible to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

At Brandman University, you would be considered a half-time student if you take only one class per eight week session, or six credits per trimester and enrolled in one of the following programs: California Teacher of English Learning (CTEL) and Autism Authorization Certificates.

Q: How do I obtain tax transcripts for filing?

As you complete your FAFSA you may be asked to provide your federal tax information or tax returns, including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse if you are married, and for your parents (if you are a dependent student). You may obtain your tax transcript using the Data Retrieval Tool when you complete the online application, or collect it in PDF format directly from the IRS website at www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript.

The website is fully secure and a warning notifies users of the federal penalties for fraud for any misuse of the system. You will need to create an account if you do not already have one and a security code will be sent to your provided email address which you will need to enter before proceeding to the secured site.

Q: Are there limits to how much I can borrow?

Yes. There are limits on the maximum amount in subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you are eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limit) and over your academic career (total loan limits). These limits depend on what year you are in school and whether you are a dependent or independent student. If you are a dependent student whose parents are not eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan, you may be able to receive additional funds. The chart below outlines the maximum annual and total loan limits for each type of loan as of July 1, 2012

Year

Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)

First-Year Undergraduate

$5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Second-Year Undergraduate

$6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Third-Year and Beyond  Undergraduate

$7,500 per year—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$12,500 per year—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Graduate or Professional Degree Students

Not Applicable

$20,500

Maximum Total Debt from Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

$31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$57,500 for undergraduates—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$138,500 for graduate or professional students—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate debt limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

If you have reached your aggregate borrowing limit, you may not receive additional loans. However, once those loans are repaid, in full or in part, you may apply for additional Stafford Loans. The maximum outstanding total subsidized Stafford Loan debt is:

  • $31,000 for a dependent undergraduate student
  • $57,500 for an independent undergraduate student (or a dependent undergraduate student whose parents do not qualify for PLUS loans). No more than $23,000 of this aggregate amount may be in the form of subsidized loans.
  • $138,500 for a graduate or professional student (including loans for undergraduate study. No more than $65,000 of this aggregate amount may be in the form of subsidized loans.

Q: What if I have already been receiving loans when I apply for aid?

This is a common question for students who are transferring into Brandman from a community college or other institution. Since the annual loan limits are based on an academic year, if you transfer from another school into Brandman there will be an overlap in academic years. This overlap may affect the amount that you are eligible to borrow at Brandman or for your new program.

An overlap in academic years exists if the academic year at Brandman begins before the calendar end date of the academic year at the prior school. Brandman may obtain documentation from your prior school of the specific beginning and ending dates for the prior academic year. Alternatively Brandman may consider the prior academic year to have begun with the starting date your most recent loan period (as shown in NSLDS) and had to have ended 30 calendar weeks later. If the most recent loan period was more than 30 calendar weeks in length, Brandman must consider the academic year at your prior school to have ended on the last date of the prior loan period.

Although the explanation here applies primarily to transfer students, the same principles apply in the case of current students who change programs within Brandman.

Q: Who decides how much Financial Student Aid money I receive?

The financial aid office at your school will determine how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. At Brandman University, your One Stop Specialist will assist you through the process.

The two major factors of determining your award amount are your cost of attendance (COA) and your expected family contribution (EFC). Your COA is estimated by adding up the cost of tuition and fees, room and board if you live on campus (as a nontraditional university focused on busy students, Brandman does not have on-site living options), cost of supplies, transportation, an allowance for child or dependent care if needed, costs related to a disability, and other miscellaneous expenses. Your EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. Factors considered in the formula include your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, benefits, family size and the number of members who will be attending college during the year.

Once these two factors are estimated, Brandman will determine how much need-based aid you can receive by subtracting your EFC from your COA. The final step is to add in how much non-need based aid you are eligible for by taking your COA and subtracting any financial aid you have already been awarded. The product of these outcomes will determine how much money you will receive.

You can always get a head start on estimating your investment by taking advantage of Brandman’s Financial Aid Net Calculator that is based on the university’s current academic year costs.

Q: Where can I find answers about admissions?

Please visit the Admission FAQ's page