Grants (Free Money) - There are both Federal and State funded grants, and every grant has it’s own eligibility requirements. Grants are awarded based on many factors, but the most common are your level of “need” (your EFC) and if you completed your aid application early. The most common grants are the Pell grant (Federal), FSEOG (Federal), and Access Missouri (State) - but there are others you may be awarded.
Scholarships (Free Money) - Scholarships are a great way to fund an education, but they usually require a little work on your part. There are three categories of scholarships: Merit, Endowed, and Private. Merit scholarships are awarded based on your performance in high school and require you to apply to Southeast by the appropriate deadlines. Endowed scholarships (money given to the university to establish a scholarship fund) have a separate application, which must be completed annually, by March 1st. Private scholarships are not awarded by Southeast, but require you to do some research, find scholarships, and apply (which may require an essay, but it's totally worth it).
Student Loans (Borrowed Money) - Unlike grants and scholarships, student loans are not free money and must be repaid with interest. While not ideal, loans can be used to fund your college education if no other options exist. There are different types of loans, each with their own terms, and it is important to review the specifics before borrowing. The decision to borrow should not be taken lightly, and you should only borrow what you absolutely need!
Parent Loans (Borrowed Money) - There may be a time where all of your student aid (grants, scholarships, and student loans) does not cover all expenses. If this happens, chances are that your parent would have the option to apply for a Parent PLUS loan in their name. They are responsible for repayment on a parent loan and must be approved through a credit check. We can work with you on this step if that time comes!
There may come a time when you believe that it is in your best interest to drop a
course. This is not a decision to take lightly, as there are many factors to consider.
In most instances, dropping a class or changing your schedule is permitted through
the end of the first Friday of the semester (fall & spring) without much impact. However,
if you are a full time student dropping below 12 hours, there could be more significant
changes to your financial aid. After the first week, your hours/classes are considered
“frozen” and making changes may impact your financial aid and/or your bill.
Depending on when you drop a course, a fee adjustment may or may not be applied to your Southeast account. Every class has a scheduled refund period, and dropping a course may create a credit balance owed to the student (a refund) or a balance owed to Southeast if charges remain. Specific refund periods can be found on our Student Financial Calendar.
Additionally, if you drop all of your classes (withdrawal from Southeast) and have received any Title IV funding (i.e. Pell, Federal Student Loans, etc.), you must go through the Return to Title IV process. Make sure to talk to us before dropping all classes!
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):
In order to continue receiving Federal & State Financial Aid, students must continue to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). At Southeast, SAP is reviewed after each semester (fall, spring, and summer) and has 3 primary requirements - GPA, PACE, & total attempted hours.
Dropping classes can impact your SAP status and could cause you to lose financial aid eligibility. Please make sure and familiarize yourself with the SAP policy early so that you do not accidentally disqualify yourself. If you are considering dropping a course during the semester, just contact us to discuss any impact.
You will receive a refund check when an overpayment has been made to your account.
This is called a "credit balance" and will show as a negative number on your bill
or Account Summary. Refunds are processed beginning the second week of the semester,
and continue weekly. Refund checks will be mailed to your permanent address or you
can sign up for direct deposit using the Southeast portal. Check out Refund of Credit Balance for more information on this process.
Refunds if Loans were borrowed:
Remember, your credit balance may be a result of excess loan funds, that will need to be paid back. Borrow only what you need! If this is the case, you can always return the refund check (or directly deposited funds) and cancel a portion of the loans you borrowed (highly recommended).
Refunds as a result of dropped classes:
A credit balance can also be a result of dropping a class during its scheduled refund period. If you drop a class after the scheduled refund period, you will still be responsible for the cost of that course. Additionally, before dropping a class, make sure you know the SAP policy as a drop may affect your financial aid eligibility.
If you drop all of your classes (withdrawal from Southeast) and have received any Title IV funding (i.e. Pell, Federal Student Loans, etc.), credit balances will not be refunded immediately as you must go through the Return to Title IV process.