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Because the determination of Financial Need is a pre-requisite for all federal aid, you are required to file your FAFSA before we can award any type of loan or grant assistance. Because several programs have limited funding, it is extremely important that you file your FAFSA as soon after October 1st as possible each year. Lander University's priority filing deadline is November 1 each year. After filing the FAFSA, be sure to follow up immediately to complete any outstanding requirements so your application will be complete and ready for awarding. Lander's School Code is 003435.


Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

Step 1: File the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed for every academic year that you wish to receive assistance. Each academic year begins with the fall semester and it ends with the following summer session.

The first step in the financial aid process is the completion of the FAFSA. The fastest and most accurate way to file is online by using FAFSA on the Web. Filers may sign with a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) available from the Department of Education. Lander's School Code is 003435.

If the parent's information is required on the FAFSA, the parent must also have an FSA ID to sign with the student. If you choose not to sign electronically, a signature page is available to print out. This page must be signed and mailed within a few days of transmission.

Please remember that the results of this analysis indicate the difference between what can be expected from the family and the cost of education. It shows the ability, not the willingness, of the student and their family to pay for their education.

The Financial Aid Office receives your FAFSA information through an electronic process. We review the application information and other required forms before making a financial aid decision. This decision is offered as a notification of a financial aid award. Awards are communicated in writing to new students after students are admitted to a degree or certificate program and have completed all required documents. Continuing students are sent an email notification to their official Lander email address.

Step 2: FAFSA Submission Summary & REview

Within one to two weeks of submitting the FAFSA, you should receive an e-mail from the U.S. Department of Education notifying you that it has been processed and giving you a link to review the results on the web. Review your SAR carefully to make certain that all data is correct and make any necessary corrections online.

If you listed Lander University on your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will contact you to advise you of the next steps. The correspondence you will receive from the Financial Aid Office will let you know that your FAFSA information has been received by Lander University and will advise you of any financial assistance awarded to you.

After processing, we may have to ask you for additional information, and we may request some documents that you will need to complete and return.

Students who have a financial aid record will be able to access Bearcat Web to review the status of their aid, view/print any documents we need to continue processing aid, or see their financial aid awards. We will send notifications of requirements and/or awards posted to Bearcat Web to the Lander email address whenever we post an award or requirement. For prospective or new students who don't yet have a Lander email address, notification will be sent through postal mail. Students will receive instructions on how to login to Bearcat Web with each notification from us.

Once all necessary documents have been received and your file is complete, you will receive an Award Notice. This Award Notice may also have some documents that you must sign and return before any aid may be awarded. For example, students who are identified as LIFE Scholars, or who are awarded the SC Need-Based Grant must sign an affidavit before they may actually receive these funds.

Step 3: Departmental Scholarship Application

Many academic departments provide scholarships for students studying in a particular discipline. An application is required to determine eligibility. Departmental scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the academic department. Departmental scholarships may reduce other Lander institutional aid. Scholarship applications open November 1 to continuing students and October 1 to new students.

Apply for scholarships

Step 4: Award Notice

Once your application is complete, you will receive an Award Notice with instructions to receive grants and/or scholarships and apply for additional financial aid in the form of loans. The notice will direct you to Bearcat Web where you can view all of your financial assistance eligibility (scholarships, grants, loans).

Federal Direct Student Loans will be offered to you automatically. There may also be some documents that you must complete and/or sign and return to the Financial Aid Office. They will be listed on your "Student Requirements" and may be accessed by clicking the link. No financial aid (including scholarships or grants) will be disbursed to a student's account until all requested documents are received (complete) and have been reviewed by our office.

Once awarded, you must accept or decline your financial aid awards. Most scholarships and grants are automatically accepted. Anytime you accept or decline awards, check your Student Requirements. Requirements sometimes change depending on your awards.

Certification of your Federal Direct Student Loan eligibility will be electronically transmitted to the Department of Education by the Financial Aid Office about one week after you accept your loans online and complete your Entrance Counseling online. You must sign your Master Promissory Note so that there is no delay in your loan disbursement. You can electronically sign your Master Promissory Note on-line using your FSA ID. The lender will notify you of your loan eligibility, the amount of the loan, what fees will be deducted from the loan proceeds, and when your loan will be disbursed to Lander University. Usually, Federal Direct Student Loans are disbursed in two equal payments, at the beginning of each semester. You will receive this information in the form of a Disclosure Statement from your lender. You should keep this important document for your records.

Just before classes begin, your loan funds will be posted to your student account. The loan amounts (the net proceeds after the fees have been deducted) will be entered into the Lander University computer system, and will be deducted from your fees. If there is a credit after all financial aid is applied to fees, you may be eligible to receive a check for the aid in excess of your charges.

Tips and Suggestions

Things you can do to make your application process flow smoothly
  • Submit a Final High School Transcript. While estimated financial aid may be awarded based on a transcript after your junior year of high school, official payments cannot be made until a final transcript documenting actual grades and graduation date is received.
  • Submit your FAFSA early! Apply for financial aid as early as possible each year. Make every effort to complete your FAFSA using FAFSA on the Web as soon as possible after October 1.
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities. Be sure to understand your rights and responsibilities as a student receiving financial aid, as well as implications of all forms that you sign. To ensure yourself the most aid possible, be organized and take an active role in your financial aid processing.
  • Read materials carefully that are provided by the Office of Financial Aid. All paperwork is sent for a purpose and generally requires some action be taken on the part of the student. If you don't understand the information or what is required of you, please call or drop by. When referencing your paperwork, have it nearby or bring the information with you when you visit our office. It helps us to help you more quickly and accurately.
  • Respond to electronic and postal correspondence. Please respond promptly to all requests for additional information from our office. Please do not ignore requests for additional information. Your financial aid processing will be stopped until the requested paperwork is provided. Also, be sure to include your full name and Lander ID (L#) on all correspondence submitted to our office. If you phone our office for information about your financial aid, please have your L# ready so that we can help you specifically. When helping via the telephone, we cannot access a student's information without the student's L#.
  • Check your official Lander student email! Students who have a financial aid record are able to access Bearcat Web to review the status of their aid, view and print any documents we need to continue processing aid, or see their financial aid awards. We send notifications of requirements and/or awards posted to Bearcat Web to the Lander email address whenever we post an award or requirement. For prospective students who don't yet have a Lander email address, notification is sent through postal mail until an official Lander University email address is established.
  • Keep your address(es) current. Make sure your address(es) are current with the University. Both your home and local address should be kept current. If they are not correct, you run the risk of not receiving communication from us. This can slow down or stop the processing of your financial aid. To change your address(es), visit the Registrar's Office.
  • Keep Copies! Try to keep copies of documents submitted to the Financial Aid Office and note the dates you submitted them. While it rarely happens, documents sometimes get lost in the mail and never make it to our office. By keeping copies of submitted documents, it allows you to reference and re-submit them if necessary.
  • Cooperation is important. The financial aid process is a cooperative effort between the Office of Financial Aid and the students. We want students to succeed at Lander University and in getting their financial aid. Please remember - We're here to help!

Dates and Deadlines

Help us to help you by adhering to all deadlines and following our application process. You should complete the required forms as early as possible to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of aid for which you are eligible.

November 1st is our priority date to receive the results of the FAFSA and any required documents in order to award aid each year. Remember that November 1 is not an absolute deadline, it is a priority deadline. This simply means you will be considered for several of the financial aid programs that have limited funds and be included in the first round of aid packages. Some funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been expended. Therefore, the earlier you are able to submit your FAFSA to the federal processor, the better your chances are to receive these limited funds. FAFSAs submitted after the priority deadline will be processed upon receipt but availability of funds will be limited.

Incoming Freshmen:

Lander Academic scholarships are awarded to high school seniors who have been accepted for admission and demonstrate academic merit. Students are encouraged to complete their application for admission by November 1 as awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis beginning with students who are admitted to Lander by November 15. Funding is limited so please apply early. More information about scholarships may be obtained on our Scholarships Page.


Continuing and New Students:

Departmental Scholarship application procedures and deadlines vary by academic area. You can find additional information about Departmental Scholarships on the Scholarships Page or by contacting the respective department.

Award notices are provided to students who have been awarded any merit or need-based financial aid. All requirements needed to complete the aid package must be submitted as posted on the Bearcat Web.
Summer Aid Applications are available in the Financial Aid Office by March 1 or on the Forms section of our website. Students must enroll in at least six hours total to qualify for most types of summer aid. For example, 3 hours Summer Session I and 3 hours Summer Session II.

Students applying for summer aid must submit the following by April 1st.

  • a summer aid application
  • a FAFSA for the prior academic year available at (ex. 2023-2024 FAFSA for the summer 2024 term)
  • any required documents and all final official transcripts from every institution attended

Students who have not all requirements must make other arrangements for payment of bills (payment plan, etc.). We will continue to process your aid application but cannot guarantee aid will be complete by the billing due date.

This application must be received at S.C. Student Loan as soon as possible beginning in early February. The priority deadline for applications is April 15. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be guaranteed. There are sections on this application to be completed by the student, by the College of Education at Lander, and by the Financial Aid Office before it is sent to the lender. Please allow Lander at least two weeks to complete our certifications and to mail the application to S.C. Student Loan. You may find this application online via the SCSL website.
A limited number of scholarships may be awarded to transfer students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or better, between 30 and 90 hours earned hours, and have completed 67% of all hours attempted. Recipients must enroll full-time. Students must be admitted and have all final transcripts submitted by June 15. Awards are contingent upon fund availability.
Review your bill and aid package. If you have enough aid to cover your bill you can validate (apply your financial aid to your bill and save your classes) on-line. If you still have a balance due, the Business Office will provide you information on how to make a payment or sign up for the semester payment plan.