Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Financial Aid, Scholarships & Veterans Education Benefits


 

 

 

 

SFA & VEB Contact Information

 

Office of Student Financial Aid
Ellington Building, Room 216
P.O. Box 4546
Clarksville TN 37044
Phone: (931) 221-7907
Toll-Free: (877) 508-0057
Fax: (931) 221-6329
sfao@apsu.edu
 
Office of Veterans Education Benefits
Ellington Building, Room 202
P.O. Box 4546
Clarksville, TN 37044
(931) 221-7760
Toll Free Number:
1-877-508-0057
Fax Number:
(931) 221-6305
ova@apsu.edu

 

Student Financial Aid, Scholarships & Veterans Education Benefits

Austin Peay State University believes that an education should be accessible to assist students in obtaining the resources needed to pay for their education. All students of are encouraged to apply for financial assistance. Students applying for financial assistance must be enrolled at least half time in degree-seeking programs and not be considered special or transient students. The terms and conditions for receiving financial aid can be reviewed online at https://www.apsu.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-process/terms-and-conditions.php.
 

How to Apply for Financial Aid

To apply for federal financial aid, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov each year of planned attendance. Information on the entire financial aid process can be reviewed online at https://www.apsu.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-process/.

 

For further information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Veterans Education Benefits, located in Ellington 216, by mail to P.O. Box 4546, Clarksville, Tennessee, 37044, by telephone at (931) 221-7907, toll-free (877) 508-0057, or by email at sfao@apsu.edu.

 

Student Loan Awards

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Graduate students can apply for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan. Students must be enrolled for at least half-time status. The maximum amount a graduate student can borrow is $20,500 for each academic year, not to exceed a combined aggregate limit of $138,500, which is a combination of the student’s undergraduate loans and graduate loans.

The unsubsidized loan does accrue interest while the student is enrolled. The student may elect to pay the interest while enrolled or choose to let the interest accrue. Repayment of the principal and interest begins when the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Loan amounts are restricted by the cost of education, resources available, and state and federal regulations.

With Direct Loans, you:

• Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact—your loan servicer—for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.

• Have online access to your Direct Loan account information via your servicer’s website.

• Can choose from several repayment plans and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.

To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov. Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students to help pay for the cost of education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, though most of the contact will be with your loan servicer.

 

Grad PLUS Loan

Graduate and professional degree students can apply for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan to help cover educational expenses. Students are eligible to borrow up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial aid. Estimated financial aid includes federal/state grants, scholarships, federal work-study, federal student loans, tuition discounts, or any other aid paid by a third-party. The borrower must have a sufficient credit standing for credit approval, as determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Full details can be reviewed online at https://www.apsu.edu/financialaid/types-of-aid-scholarships/loans/grad-plus-loans.php.

 

Merit-Based Awards

Online Scholarship Application

Austin Peay offers numerous scholarships that are available to Graduate students which can be applied for through the online scholarship application, located at https://www.apsu.edu/scholarships/index.php. The application is only available during certain times of year.

 

Disbursement of Funds

Disbursement involves financial aid funds being credited to the student account. If the credit results in a refund due to the student, the refund will be released by Student Account Services. Refund dates can be reviewed on the Student Account Services web site at https://www.apsu.edu/student-account-services/.

  • Financial aid funds are generally disbursed 10 calendar days prior to the start of a Clarksville campus term as long as the student has completed all financial aid requirements and funds were accepted.
  • For students who complete financial aid requirements or accept aid after the disbursement date indicated above, disbursement of funds generally occurs within three business days of offer acceptance and completion of all related requirements.

 

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

The University receives federal funding to employ students on campus while they pursue their education.  Funds are limited and need-based. Students may work a maximum of 20 hours per week depending on the amount of their awards. FWS is awarded based on FAFSA data and submission date; there is not a separate application. Eligibility criteria may be reviewed at https://www.apsu.edu/financialaid/fws.php.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All students receiving Title IV aid are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress each year as outlined in policy online at  http://apsu.edu/financialaid/sat_prog.php. If a student is not meeting the minimum guidelines and their aid is cancelled, they have the option to appeal.

 

Withdrawal and Allocation of Refunds for Return of Title IV

General Information
Students are awarded grants, loans, scholarships and other types of financial assistance for the purpose of completing a degree. Students who receive federal, state, institutional and other forms of financial assistance may be penalized for not completing the courses in which they are scheduled to attend.

 

If a student never attends, stops attending, or withdraws on or after the scheduled start date of their registered courses, their financial aid may be adjusted. This adjustment may have a serious financial impact that results in the student owing money to the University.

 

Federal regulations require all student financial aid recipients to make satisfactory academic progress toward achieving a degree. Attempting and not completing courses will impact a students’ completion rate, which in turn, may impact eligibility for future financial aid. For more information regarding the financial impact of dropping courses as well as other important dates, visit our website at www.apsu.edu/financialaid.
 

Veterans Education Benefits 

Veterans Affairs Education Benefits & Programs

All degree programs offered by Austin Peay State University, as listed in this Bulletin, are deemed approved for VA education benefit training. The Office of Veterans Education Benefits (VEBO) must certify each VA benefit recipient’s training to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) before any payments will be made. VA education benefits are paid only for courses that are needed to fulfill graduation requirements for the recipient’s program of study. APSU VEBO is located on the Clarksville Campus in Ellington Building, Room 202.  The VEBO maintains all necessary forms for active-duty service persons, reservists, Guardsmen, dependents, and veterans to apply for VA education benefits. Any questions relating to VA training at APSU should be directed to the VEBO. However, the VEBO does not make decisions on eligibility for VA education benefits, or on the amount and length of entitlement for which a student is eligible under those benefits. To receive a formal decision, the student must file a claim with the VA, who makes initial determination on eligibility and payment amount. All claims should be filed through the appropriate APSU VEBO so that copies are maintained in the student’s APSU file. The programs under which the student may be eligible for VA education benefits are listed below. To determine specific eligibility requirements, you should direct your questions to the VEBO or the VA at 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).  (GI Bill® is a federally registered trademark of by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.)

  1. Montgomery GI Bill® - Active Duty (MGIB-AD) - Chapter 30
  2. Veteran Readiness and Employment - Chapter 31
  3. Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) - Chapter 32
  4. Post-9/11 GI Bill® - Chapter 33
  5. Transfer of Entitlement Option - Post 9/11 GI Bill® - Chapter 33 TOE
  6. Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship - FRY
  7. Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) - Chapter 35
  8. Montgomery GI Bill® - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) - Chapter 1606
  9. Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship (Post 9/11 GI Bill® STEM)
  10. National Call to Service Program
  11. Tuition Assistance Top Up (TA Top-up)

*NOTE:  For first time students utilizing VA education benefits at APSU, you must contact one of the APSU’s Office of Veterans Education Benefits to complete your VA education benefit packet.

 

Public Law 115-407 (Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018)

Austin Peay State University adheres to Public Law 115-407 and does not have any active policies inconsistent with section 103 of the law. The university ensures efficient processing of benefits and successful transition for our veterans and family members in the following ways:

  1. Upon submission of a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or VR&E Authorization, the Office of Veterans Education Benefits processes a student’s certification and authorizes a fee deferment, if requested.
  2. Students receiving VA education benefits or VA Veteran Readiness as well as financial aid are permitted use of a book voucher to purchase necessary books and supplies.
  3. If financial aid processes to a student’s account prior to receipt of VA education benefits or VA Veteran Readiness from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the university credits the student’s account in the amount of the anticipated VA payment. The university then processes a refund of excess financial aid to the student.
  4. In the event a student is eligible and certified for payment, but VA’s payment is significantly delayed, Student Account Services will remove a balance due hold to allow registration for subsequent semesters.
  5. No penalty is imposed on a student whose disbursement of benefits is delayed.
     

Admission to the University Is Required for Receiving VA Benefits and VR&E

Students must be fully admitted and seeking a degree at APSU in order to qualify for VA education benefits and VR&E. Non-degree seeking students do not qualify for VA benefits. Admission application is made through the APSU Office of Admissions in the Ellington Student Services Building and online at www.apsu.edu/Admissions.  Fort Campbell applicants may apply through APSU Center @ Fort Campbell Enrollment Services Office. Visiting students must be in good standing and have a parent institution approval letter.  Active duty service members, Guardsmen and Army reservists will apply for Admissions through their branch’s portal.


Applying for VA Education Benefits/Initial Tuition Requirements

Application for VA education benefits is made through the appropriate APSU VEBO. For veterans, Guardsmen and reservists, a copy of the DD-214 discharge certificate is required with both the application for admission and the application for VA education benefits. Reservists and Guardsmen must also submit a copy of the DD Form 2384 (Notice of Basic Eligibility) to the appropriate APSU VEBO. Application for VA education benefits, or VR&E does not constitute an application for admission to the University.
 

Critical Areas of Concern for Continuing VA Enrollment Certification for Benefits

  1. Matriculation: VA considers a student to have matriculated when he/she has been fully admitted to the University as pursuing an approved degree. This means that all documents necessary to be admitted as a regular, degree-seeking student must be received by the Office of Admissions before matriculation is complete. Students who have not been officially admitted into a degree program are not eligible for VA education benefits. The requirements for full admission must be completed prior to enrollment (see General Requirements for Admissions). Certification for VA education benefits will not be submitted beyond one term of enrollment for non-matriculated students. The following documents are required for matriculation:
    1. Application for Admission;
    2. High-school transcript with date of graduation, passing GED, or External Diploma Program; 
    3. All Higher education transcripts from other schools (includes Community College of the Air Force) and non-traditional college credits; and
    4. All applicable test scores (refer to Admissions Requirements)/
    5. All military personnel (active duty, reservists, Guardsmen, and veterans) must submit documents for military credit.
  2. Proper Degree Pursuit: In order to be certified to receive VA education benefits, students are required to be degree-seeking and enrolled in an approved degree program of study as listed in this Bulletin. Benefit payments will only be made for those courses required in the program of study which count for graduation credit. Students must enroll in and attend the degree-granting institution in order to receive VA education benefits. If a change of program is desired, the VA must be notified by submitting the appropriate notification forms through the VEBO.
  3. Audited, Repeated or Excessive Courses: VA education benefit payment will not be made for courses which have been previously passed, whether at APSU or accepted as transfer credit. Courses taken under the Fresh Start and CARE Policy programs fall into this category, as they are taken to increase GPA. Conversely, the student may repeat a course for which a failing (punitive) grade has been assigned once without penalty. However, electives will not be considered for certification purposes, unless the prior credit evaluation is on file with the appropriate APSU VEBO and clearly states the number of electives required. Excessive courses are those courses that will not be used in computing hour requirements for graduation. Excessive courses will not be certified to VA for payment.
  4. Repeat Failed or Unacceptable Courses: APSU honors a “forgiveness” policy that allows students to report a failed or unacceptable grade for a course. If the student receives a passing grade, the original grade is “forgiven” (excluded) and becomes a non-punitive grade (no longer counts in the GPA). Once this course has been “forgiven”, the school is required to report this to VA which may result in an over payment. For more details, visit www.apsu.edu/veterans-affairs/course-requirements/repeat-course-policy.php.
  5. Certification Request Form:  The enrollment certification request is to be used by active duty service persons, veterans, reservists, Guardsmen and dependents to request that their enrollment be certified to the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs for education benefits.  This process must be completed every term of enrollment (i.e., Fall I term, Fall semester, Summer sessions).  For additional information, please visit our website at www.apsu.edu/veterans-affairs/online-resources/enrollment-certification-process.php.
  6. Military Credit: Students are eligible to receive non-traditional credit for military experiences. Students who have completed Basic Training are generally awarded PHED 1310 (2 credit hours) and HHP 1250 (3 credit hours). Please refer to the Transfer Credit Policy with the Office of the Registrar for more details.
  7. Accelerated, Independent or Hybrid Courses: Accelerated, independent and hybrid courses may affect your VA monthly benefit. VA considers accelerated courses as non-standard terms and training time will be based on the actual dates of enrollment.  VA considers independent and hybrid courses as distance learning which may impact the Post 9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance.

 

Federal Tuition Assistance, ROTC and VA Education Benefits

Students utilizing federal Tuition Assistance (TA) might be able to utilize the Montgomery GI Bill® or Post 9/11 GI Bill® for the same term. You must submit a copy of your TA breakdown from branch’s portal to APSU VEBO. The TA breakdown will show which courses have been covered by TA and which courses have not.

If ROTC pays for your tuition and fees such as LDAC, then the VA will not pay for the same courses. This could constitute a duplication of benefits which is not permitted by the Department of Defense and the VA.

 

Attendance Policy

Students must inform APSU VEBO of any change in enrollment status (drops, adds, withdrawals, etc.) in order to prevent or reduce over payment of VA education benefits. When the VEBO is notified that a student’s attendance is unsatisfactory, the benefits for that class will be terminated from the last recorded date of attendance as provided by the faculty member. If no recorded last date of attendance is provided, benefits will be terminated effective the first day of the term.

A grade of FN (student has never attended class and reported within the first 14 days of class) results in the termination of benefits from the first day of the term; a grade of FA (student has stopped attending class and reported within 14 days of the last date of attendance) results in termination from the last recorded date of attendance.  FN and FA are punitive grades and will be reported to VA immediately.

VA will not pay benefits to an individual for a course from which the individual withdraws or receives a non-punitive grade (I or W) which is not used in computing the requirements for graduation.

 

Attending Another Institution While Receiving VA Benefits at Austin Peay State University

Students who plan to attend another institution (in a transient status) while attending and receiving VA benefits at APSU MUST see the appropriate VEBO prior to registering/enrolling at the other institution, or VA education benefits for the enrollment at the other institution will be significantly delayed or disallowed. A copy of the approved coursework approval form must be submitted with the transient enrollment request. The student must be in good standing. (www.apsu.edu/veterans-affairs/applicant-checklists/guest-student-supplemental-and-concurrent-enrollments.php).

 

Change of Program

The VEBO must be informed if a student wishes to change his/her program of study (major/concentration), and the proper request form submitted to the VA. Upon making a program change, all previous coursework at APSU or other institutions must be applied to the new program as prior credit. Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment students may not change their degree programs without prior written approval from the VA VR&E counselor.

*NOTE: You will be required to submit a new prior credit evaluation at the end of the first term of changing your program of study. 

 

Changing VA Education Benefits

You must submit the appropriate VA forms and a written letter of intent that you are electing to change your VA education benefit.  This paperwork must be submitted to our office prior to the submission of your enrollment certification request.  If you submit your paperwork afterwards, then the change of VA education benefit will not take effect until the next term.  The only exception is if your previous benefit is exhausted.

 

Prior Credit Evaluation

Both the law and the regulations require schools to grant appropriate credit for prior training and experience. The current procedure provides for termination of VA education benefits if the school does not furnish an evaluation of prior credit within one (1) term (38 U.S.C. 3675(b)(2) and 3676(c)(4), and §21.4253(d)(3) and 4254(c)(4)).

Prior credit is defined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as “the amount of credit allowed for previous education, training, and experience; including military training and experience”. The portion of a student’s military experience, AP credit, transfer credit, and so forth; which, when applied to the student’s specific degree program, shortens that program.

  • Ensure all previous education, training, and experience documents are received
  • Evaluation of credit is processed by the Office of the Registrar
  • Program of Study listed in your declared Bulletin, transcript evaluation, and initial Degree Works will serve as your Prior Credit Evaluation. Any previously passed courses that either the Care or Fresh Start has been applied will still count on the Prior Credit Evaluation and cannot be certified for VA funding.
     

Deferment of Tuition and Fees

Eligibility for Deferment of Payment of Tuition and Fees for Certain Eligible Students Receiving U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or Other Governmentally Funded Educational Assistance Benefits Service members, Veterans, and dependents of veterans who are eligible beneficiaries of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits or other governmentally funded educational assistance, subject to the conditions and guidelines set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated 49-7-104 as amended, may elect, upon formal application, to defer payment of required tuition and fees until the final day of the term for which the deferment has been requested. Application for the deferment must be made no later than 14 days after the beginning of the term, and the amount of the deferment shall not exceed the total monetary benefits to be received for the term. Students who have been granted deferments are expected to make timely payments on their outstanding tuition and fees balance once VA education benefits are being delivered, and eligibility for such deferment shall terminate if the student fails to abide by any applicable rule or regulation, or to act in good faith in making timely payments. This notice is published pursuant to Public Chapter 279, Acts of 2003, effective July 1, 2003.

*NOTE: Students who have a VA education benefits over payment are not eligible for a deferment.

 

Avoiding VA Education Overpayment

As a VA education benefits recipient, you should understand what you can do to prevent an over payment:

  1. Report Changes in Enrollment: Promptly report any changes in your enrollment to APSU VEBO and the VA. If you notify APSU, and not VA, it may take longer to correct your payments. Please take note: VA payment for a month of school attendance is normally made during the following month; that is, you are paid on a reimbursable basis. If you receive a payment during a month following a change in enrollment status, make sure you are entitled to that payment before negotiating it. If the amount has not changed from your previous payment and you have reduced the rate of your training, the chances are good that you are not entitled to this payment.
  2. Understand the Consequences of Changes:
    1. You should understand the University’s grading system. If you receive a “non-punitive” grade of “W” or “I,” reduce or terminate your enrollment, VA will be notified. Upon receipt of the notice, VA will reduce or terminate your benefits. The payment of VA education benefits will not be made for any course that is not computed in the graduation requirements of the program.
    2. If you change your enrollment after the regular drop/add period, the VEBO will ask for a statement explaining the events surrounding the change. The law states that no payments will be made for a course from which you drop, or for which you receive a “non-punitive” grade of “W” or “I,” unless there are “mitigating circumstances” surrounding the change. VA defines “mitigating circumstances” as unanticipated and unavoidable events which interfere with a student’s pursuit of a course. If you fail to provide a statement of supporting evidence or the reasons you give are not accepted as “mitigating circumstances,” VA will reduce or terminate your benefits from the start of the term. Examples of unacceptable “mitigating circumstances” include withdrawal to avoid a failing grade, dislike of instructor and too many courses attempted. The VEBO can advise you on acceptable “mitigating circumstances.”
    3. You must report changes in dependency to VA including your own, if you are receiving an additional allowance for family members.
  3. If an Education Overpayment Is Created: VA is required to take prompt and aggressive action to recover the over payment. The VA Regional Office or Debt Management Center will notify you of the overpayment. The following actions may be taken if an over payment is not promptly liquidated:
    1. Adding interest and collection fees to your debt;
    2. Withholding future benefits to apply to your debt;
    3. Referring your debt to a private collection agency;
    4. Offsetting the debt from your federal tax refund;
    5. Offsetting the debt from your salary if you are a federal employee;
    6. Filing a lawsuit in federal court to collect the debt; and/or
    7. Withholding approval of a VA home loan guarantee pending payment of the debt.
  4. If you owe VA: Contact the VA Debt Management Center at 1-800-827-0648 or dmc.ops@va.gov (7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., CST) for payment options.
  5. If the VA charges APSU for an overpayment of tuition and fees:
    1. The VA Regional Office will notify you of the over payment;
    2. May result in a billing with the University;
      1. APSU has multiple ways to make a payment
      2. Contact Student Account Services at 931-221-6285 or SAS@apsu.edu (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, Mon-Fri) for payment options.
         

 

*NOTE: Section 1019 of the Isakson-Roe Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (Public Law 116-315) made schools financially liable for tuition and fees payments directly paid to a school for Chapter 33, TOE, FRY, and Yellow Ribbon.  If the school has to repay tuition and fees to the VA, then you may owe the school money and have a balance on your account.

 

Satisfactory Progress

The VEBO must report the student’s unsatisfactory progress (academic suspension) and terminate VA education benefits, at such time he or she no longer meets APSU’s standards of progress. All grades, no matter when earned, are part of the permanent transcript and are factored into your academic progress.  If benefits are terminated for unsatisfactory academic progress (academic suspension), a written request on VA Form 22-8873 must be submitted by the student to VA for benefits to be reinstated.

 

Verification of Enrollment for Montgomery GI Bill® and Post 9/11 GI Bill®


Montgomery GI Bill®

You must verify your enrollment on the last day of each month for which benefits are to be paid.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will not issue payment until you verify.

You can verify through a touch-tone phone or VA’s WAVE application:

  • Touch-tone Phone at 1-877-823-2378
  • WAVE at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do


Post 9/11 GI Bill®

Public Law 116-315, Section 1010 requires verification of enrollment status to continue to receive a monthly housing allowance (MHA) and/or kickers. If you fail to verify your enrollment status for two consecutive months, the VA will withhold your MHA and/or kicker payments until VA receives your verification.

You can verify through text message, email, or phone:

  • Text Message – you must opt-in for VA to send you a text message each month asking if you are still enrolled. If you do not receive the automated text message, you will have to contact VA at 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to manually opt-in.
  • Email – when you opt-out of VA’s text messaging, VA will automatically enroll you in VA’s email system.  If you do not receive the automated text message, you will have to contact VA at 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to manually opt-in.
  • Phone - call VA at 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) on the last day of the month and ask a VA representative to verify your enrollment.

 

Correspondence

APSU student email account is the official and primary correspondence method. Once admitted at APSU, you will be assigned an APSU student email account. The VEBO will utilize the APSU student email for VA announcements, reminders and notifications.

Students may use AP OneStop (https://onestop.apsu.edu) to view all their APSU VA information. This website will inform the VA student of his/her approved certified courses as well as possible missing requirements.

 

 

Other Financial Services 


Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation - Students with physical disabilities may obtain grants-in-aid, providing assistance with college-related costs through the Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation Service. Tennessee residents should request information from their high school guidance counselor or write to the Coordinator, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, 1808 West End Building, Nashville, Tennessee 37203. Students residing in other states should contact similar agencies in their states. This program is different from VA Chapter 31-Veteran Readiness and Employment.