Answers to frequently asked financial aid questions are particularly helpful for families applying for aid for the first time.

Financial Aid FAQ

Regent University has provided resources to simplify the process of applying for financial aid. You may be going through the application process for the first time and thus have financial aid questions. In that case, you will find the answers to financial aid FAQ below particularly helpful. For clear explanations of many of the terms used in describing federal financial aid programs, review the Federal Student Aid’s Glossary.


Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis. You’ll need to complete a new FAFSA and scholarship applications each year to determine your eligibility.

It is usually in your best interest to complete the FAFSA even if you think you may not qualify for aid. The FAFSA is required for all federal aid (including loans), and it is also required for the Stallings Endowment Scholarship and some school-based awards. Students at the School of Divinity and School of Law are required to complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA is not required if you plan to pay out-of-pocket or use a private loan; however, having your FAFSA on file allows us to have your information in the event additional aid becomes available.

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . The information from the FAFSA will help us determine the type of federal financial aid you are eligible to receive. Virginia undergraduate students interested in applying for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG) should submit this form to the Student Financial Aid Office. You can also apply for university endowed or school-based scholarships and grants.

Do you have financial aid questions regarding the documents you will need? We have the answers. You will need the following:

  • The FAFSA on the Web Worksheet
  • Your most recent Federal Tax Return and all W-2 forms (for the 2019-20 year, you must use your 2017 tax returns)
  • Your spouse’s most recent Federal Tax Returns and all W-2 forms (if applicable)
  • Your parents’ most recent Federal Tax Returns and all W-2 forms (if you are a dependent)
  • Bank statements for checking, savings and investment accounts

NOTE: You can complete the FAFSA using “estimated data.” If you choose this option, you will need to send us a copy of all tax forms when they are completed and submitted to the Internal Revenue Service.

There is no deadline for submitting the FAFSA. You just want to make sure your FAFSA and all additional required documents are submitted prior to the payment deadline in order to avoid late-payment fees and interruption of your courses.

Students who are eligible for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant must submit their completed application by July 31 for priority processing. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed for eligibility based on availability of funds.

Please refer to your school of enrollment to determine the deadlines for school-based scholarships and awards.

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the number that’s used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. While the EFC is considered the amount of money a family is expected to contribute toward a student’s college costs, the EFC is not the amount of money that your family must provide. Rather, you should think of the EFC as an index that colleges use to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend their school. The Student Financial Aid Office uses your EFC to determine the need for aid for the following types of federal student financial aid: Federal Pell Grant, TEACH Grant and Stafford Subsidized Loans.

All data used to calculate your EFC comes from the information you provide on the FAFSA. A variety of factors affect your EFC from the FAFSA: household size, number of people in college in your household, household income levels, state of residence, etc. Once you have completed your FAFSA, it is processed by the Department of Education’s Central Processing System. Once processed, you will receive an output document containing a summary of your FAFSA as well as your results (Student Aid Report).

The Department of Education has provided a document that provides additional information about the EFC Formula.

The Student Financial Aid Office attempts to process your financial aid documents in a timely manner to allow you opportunity to review your aid and accept your awards prior to the beginning of each academic year. However, some factors may prevent a quick processing time:

  • Admission application on file (undergraduate students must be accepted for admission and all final transcripts from previous colleges/universities must be reviewed)
  • Evaluated for school-based merit awards
  • Has submitted a processed FAFSA to our office
  • Completed all additional financial aid requirements (found in Genisys)

Typically, our office begins processing financial aid award packages for the upcoming academic year in mid-March.

Once the Student Financial Aid Office has received a processed FAFSA, we will send a notification letter to you with instructions on your next step. This letter will include your Regent University Genisys/Student ID, a temporary PIN (if you are a new student), and a list of your satisfied and unsatisfied requirements. You can also look in Genisys to determine what requirements are still outstanding. Once in Genisys, click on the following menu items: Financial Aid -> Select Aid Year -> Step 2: Financial Aid Requirements.

The Central Processing System (CPS) randomly selects applications to undergo the verification process each year. Approximately 30 percent of all applications are picked for verification. This means that your aid award cannot be finalized until your counselor reviews your submitted verification documents. If your application is chosen for verification, you and your parents/spouse (if applicable) will need to submit complete, signed copies of your most recent Federal 1040 Tax Returns, including any Schedule Cs and all W-2 forms. Learn more about required verification documents. You will also need to submit a completed Federal Verification Worksheet (independent | dependent ).

Verification Process

A student’s application for federal financial aid may be selected for review by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in a process called “Verification.” Financial aid regulations say that schools have the right to ask for financial information and other information, as it applies to your application, before awarding federal aid.

The verification process requires that a student’s application be reviewed based on specific pre-determined criteria set by the Department of Education. The federal verification process is a random selection process. It is usually a more in-depth review of the student’s application data, as set according to the Department of Education’s Student Aid Handbook.

Application Review

The verification process requires that information from the student’s application be compared with copies of the student’s, spouse’s (if married) and parents’ (if dependent) federal tax forms or financial documents. Other documentation may be required as it applies to the information on the application. Notification to students is sent via email stating that there are outstanding requirements. The student’s Genisys account will also list the document requirements and the status.

Verification Selection

Each year about 30 percent of students’ financial aid applications nationwide are chosen for verification. The main reasons for being selected for verification include that you were chosen randomly, the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, your FAFSA contains estimated information or the data you provided on the FAFSA is inconsistent. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified.

Verification Items

If you are selected for verification, the Student Financial Aid Office is required to verify the accuracy of some or all of the following items found on the FAFSA:

  • Household size
  • Number enrolled in college
  • Adjusted gross income (AGI)
  • S. income tax paid
  • Certain untaxed income and benefits
  • Child Support
  • Educational Purpose
  • Household Resources

Verification Document Requirements

To assist in the verification of the items above, the following documents are required. You should only provide tax documents if we request them.

  • Current year Verification Worksheet
  • Federal Income Tax Return Transcript for prior prior tax year, if filed
  • Student W2s for prior prior tax year
  • Spouse’s Federal Income Tax Return Transcript for prior prior tax (if married)
  • Spouse W2s for prior prior tax year (if married)
  • Parent federal Income Tax Return Transcripts for prior prior tax year (if dependent student), if filed
  • Parent W2s for prior prior tax year (if dependent student)
  • Schedule C/CEZ for prior prior tax year (if self-employed)

Private loans are credit-based loans offered to students to assist in covering their educational expenses. These loans are not administered by the U.S. Department of Education. As a result, each lender can set the interest rates, loan fees and terms of his/her programs based on his/her own parameters. Undergraduate students who are not eligible for the Parent PLUS Loan can apply for a private loan. Most lenders have an online application to expedite the process. Once the student is approved, your lender will require the university to certify the student’s eligibility for the private loan. The amount a student is eligible for is based on the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) minus other aid received for the period. Find out more information about private loans.

You are eligible for a student refund if your term balance in Genisys reflects a credit balance. Once in Genisys, click on the following menu items: Bill and Payment Center tab > Continue > My Account. If the “Term Balance” line shows a negative amount, you have a credit balance and are due a refund.


Example of Credit Balance in Genisys

You can see if your refund has been created by looking at your “Account Summary by Term.” If the page lists one of the following codes, your refund is ready:

RFL – Student Refund
RFLA – Student Refund-Direct Deposit


Your total amount owed includes your tuition and any related fees. Your tuition and fees rate is based on your school of enrollment. If you are not using financial aid to cover your tuition and fees expenses, you can view your account balance in Genisys within the “Bill and Payment Center” tab. You can also view your remaining account balance in Genisys if your financial aid does not cover your total tuition and fees.

If you have questions that require personal attention or situations that you wish to discuss with someone in depth, please contact us at 757.352.4385.

In general, your school-based scholarships and grants are awarded for the entire year; fall/spring/summer. However, for programs not designed as year-round, aid is initially entered for only the fall/spring semesters. For students in these programs, school-based scholarships and grants are entered onto the system in late January.

There are a number of reasons why your scholarship may not have posted to your account.

  • Check Genisys for unsatisfied financial aid requirements: Financial Aid -> Select Aid Year -> Step 2: Financial Aid Requirements.
  • You may not be enrolled in the required number of credits to receive the scholarship.
  • Your GPA may not meet the scholarship requirements, or you may not be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Your scholarship may not cover classes outside of your major or program.

If a loan for the summer term was not included in your original aid package, you may be eligible for a summer loan. You must complete the Summer Aid Request Form in Genisys. The form is available in late February. If you have received the annual Stafford Loan maximum during the fall and spring semesters, you will only qualify for either a Parent Plus Loan (dependent students), private loan (independent students) or Graduate Plus Loan (graduate students). Each loan, in this instance, requires a credit review. Approval is not guaranteed.

You have a six-month grace period on your federal loans. If you have prior loans for which you had already begun repayment, there is no additional grace period. Contact your lender(s) to determine if you qualify for a deferment or forbearance.

You will receive your refund according to the regular schedule. The Bookstore Credit program simply allows students to purchase their books early through the bookstore without having to pay out of pocket. Student refunds are in no way affected if you choose not to use the credit.

We hope you found the financial aid help provided above useful. For further assistance, please contact us at 757.352.4385.