Rights & Responsibilities

Be enrolled as a student in an eligible program of study

  • You must be an accepted student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program of study.
  • A student must be enrolled at least half time to receive aid from the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS Loan programs. The Pell, TEACH Grant, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs don’t require half-time enrollment.

No concurrent elementary or secondary enrollment

A student enrolled in elementary or secondary school is not eligible for aid from the Federal Student Aid programs, even if she is simultaneously enrolled in an eligible college program.

Meet the Academic Qualifications

  • High school diploma (this can be from a foreign school if it is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma);
  • GED (General Educational Development) certificate;
  • Completed homeschooling at the secondary level as defined by state law; or Completed secondary school education in a homeschool setting which qualifies for an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law, if state law does not require a home-schooled student to receive a credential for their education.
  • Alternate qualifications include Ability-to-Benefit Alternatives and an academic transcript of a student who has successfully completed at least a two-year program.

Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

  • U.S. Citizen (born or naturalized)
  • A permanent U.S. resident with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551) A conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
  • Or the holder of an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing the designations of Refugee, Asylum Granted, Parolee (I-94 confirms that you were paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired), Victim of Human Trafficking, T-Visa Holder (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc.), or Cuban-Haitian Entrant.

Be registered with selective service (if male)

Male citizens and male immigrants residing in the U.S. aged 18 through 25 are required to register with the Selective Service System at www.sss.gov, with limited exceptions. This requirement applies to any person assigned the sex of male at birth.

Female students and male immigrants who entered the country at age 26 or older are exempted.

Meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements as a degree student

  • Please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. Students must meet the requirements of the SAP policy to be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Every school's SAP standards include 3 components:
    1. Qualitative measurement component such as a grade point average (GPA): West Chester University requires a cumulative GPA of 2.0 by the end of the student's second year.
    2. Quantitative measurement component referred to as the student's pace: West Chester University's pace requirement is 67% of all attempted credits must be earned.
    3. Maximum time frame of program completion: West Chester University's undergraduate program completion maximum is 180 cumulative credits; graduate program completion maximum is 72 cumulative credits.

Not be in default on a student loan or owe any repayment to a financial aid program

  • Contact your loan servicer. The servicer may be able to work with you to develop a more flexible payment plan to get out of default as quickly as possible.

Not have a felony drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid

  • Your eligibility might be suspended if the offense occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, or work-study). Preview the drug eligibility worksheet.
  • If suspended due to a drug conviction, you can regain eligibility early.

Incarcerated students

A student is considered to be incarcerated if she is serving a criminal sentence in a federal, state, or local penitentiary, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, or similar correctional institution (whether it is operated by the government or a contractor). A student is not considered to be incarcerated if she is in a halfway house or home detention or is sentenced to serve only weekends.

Incarcerated students are not eligible for FSA loans but are eligible for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs) and Federal Work-Study (FWS). They are also eligible for Pell Grants if not incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution.


Student Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

You have the right to ask a school:

  • The names of its accrediting organizations.
  • About its programs; its instructional, laboratory, and other physical facilities; and its faculty.
  • What the cost of attending is and what its policies are on refunds to students who drop out.
  • What financial assistance is available, including information on all federal, state, local, private, and institutional financial aid programs.
  • What the procedures and deadlines are for submitting applications for each available financial aid program.
  • What criteria it uses to select financial aid recipients.
  • How it determines your financial need. This process includes how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, personal and miscellaneous expenses, etc. are considered in your budget. It also includes what resources (such as parental contribution, other financial aid, your assets, etc.) are considered in the calculation of your need.
  • If you have a loan, what the interest rate is, the total amount that must be repaid, the length of time you have to repay the loan, when payments are to begin, and any cancellation and deferment provisions that apply.
  • If you are offered a work study job, what kind of job it is, what hours you must work, what your duties will be, what the rate of pay will be, and how and when you will be paid.
  • To reconsider your aid package, if you believe a mistake has been made.
  • How the school determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress, and what happens if you are not.
  • What special facilities and services are available to the disabled.

You have the responsibility to:

  • Review and consider all information about a school's program before you enroll.
  • Pay special attention to your application for student financial aid, complete it accurately, and submit it on time to the right place. Errors can delay your receipt of financial aid.
  • Provide all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Office of Financial Aid or the agency to which you submitted your application.
  • Read and understand all forms that you are asked to sign and keep copies of them.
  • Accept responsibility for the promissory note and all other agreements that you sign.
  • If you have a loan, notify the lender of changes in your name, address, or enrollment status.
  • Perform in a satisfactory manner the work that is agreed upon in accepting a college work study job.
  • Know and comply with the deadlines for application for aid.
  • Know and comply with your school's refund procedures.

Visit the page on Financial Aid in the University Catalog.