A-to-Z Index

Financial Aid Award Notice Messages

Congratulations on receiving a financial aid award notice! Please select the program of interest below to learn more about the type of aid you have been offered, as well as to complete any forms or steps necessary to accept the aid. We are utilizing an on-line financial aid award process. Please log into your MyMadison account to view your financial aid package, accept or decline offered awards.

For a detailed explanation of financial aid policies, and to learn more about how financial aid eligibility is determined, please see “JMU Terms and Conditions for Financial Aid – Consumer Information”.

Select the program of interest below to learn more about the type of aid listed on your Financial Aid Award Notice.

Supplemental Information Sheet (complete if you are receiving a scholarship or other form of financial aid not listed on your award notice)

Grants from your school

    Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

    Centennial Scholarship

    University Grant PJ

    University Grant/OS

    University Grant/IS

    JMU Grant

Federal Pell Grant

Grants from your state

    Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)

    Commonwealth Award (CA)

Other scholarships you can use

Federal Work Study Program (FWSP)

Loan Options

    Federal Perkins Loan

    Federal Subsidized Direct Loan

    Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan

    Federal Grad PLUS Direct Loan

    Federal Parent PLUS Direct Loan

    Private Education Loans

Grants from your school

This total could include one or more of the grants below. Page 3 of the Official Award Notice will specify any of these grants a student may be eligible to receive.

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FSEOG

This federal undergraduate grant may be renewed, but it is not automatically renewed. An FSEOG does not have to be repaid or accepted on e-campus. Awards will be made to undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree with a $0 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) prior to any other student group. Funds are limited in this account, so awards will be made as long as funds remain available. You can learn more about this aid program at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml.

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Centennial Scholarship

The Centennial Scholarship is an award given by JMU. This award is a grant, which does not have to be repaid or accepted on e-campus. The combination of any grants, scholarships, and the Centennial Scholarship you may receive as an undergraduate student is designed to provide enough funds to pay 100% of your in-state, full-time, tuition, mandatory fees, room, and board costs. Students accepted into the Centennial Scholars Program are eligible for this grant.

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University Grant PJ

This university grant may be awarded based on a variety of reasons that are determined annually based on the needs of the student body. This award is a grant, which does not have to be repaid or accepted on MyMadison. Funds are limited in this account, so awards will be made as long as funds remain available.

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University Grant/OS

You are an out-of-state undergraduate who is Pell Grant eligible and has an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number greater than $0. Funds are limited in this account, so awards will be made as long as funds remain available.

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University Grant/IS

You qualify for a Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP) award, but due to a shortfall in the funding JMU received from the Commonwealth of Virginia and an increase in the number of students eligible for this grant, there are no funds available to provide this award to you. As a result, JMU is awarding you this University Grant to replace the VGAP award. In most cases, this award is a dollar for dollar replacement of the VGAP award. While the VGAP formula is used to determine the dollar amount, there is no requirement that this award be used for tuition/fees and books only. It may be used for any qualifying educationally related expenses.

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JMU Grant

You qualify for a Commonwealth Award, but due to a shortfall in the funding JMU received from the Commonwealth of Virginia and an increase in the number of students eligible for this grant, there are no funds available to provide this award to you. As a result, JMU is awarding you this JMU Grant to replace the Commonwealth Award. In most cases, this award is a dollar for dollar replacement of the Commonwealth Award. While the Commonwealth Award formula is used to determine the dollar amount, there is no requirement that this award be used for tuition/fees. It may be used for any qualifying educationally related expenses.

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Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants are undergraduate grant funds from the federal government that do not need to be repaid or accepted on MyMadison. This award may be renewed, but not automatically, each year based on your FAFSA eligibility. Students working on their first bachelor’s degree with a qualifying Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and who are meeting the general eligibility requirements for Title IV financial aid may be considered for this grant. You can learn more about this aid program at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml.

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Grants from your state

This total could include one of the grants below. The Official Award Notice e-mailed to the JMU e-mail address of students around the end of June will specify the grants students receive. If you are eligible for VGAP, you will be awarded VGAP before the Commonwealth Award.

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Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)

This undergraduate state grant may be renewed, but it is not automatically renewed. This award is a grant that does not have to be repaid or accepted on MyMadison and you may not receive it for more than eight semesters. To remain eligible for this state grant, you must be a Virginia resident, be pursuing your first bachelor’s degree, maintain continuous full-time enrollment in the fall and spring semesters, keep a 2.0 cumulative GPA, pass at least 24 hours each year, have a qualifying Expected Family Contribution (EFC), meet the March 1st FAFSA priority filing date, and meet the general eligibility requirements for aid as defined by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Funds are limited in this account, so awards will be made as long as funds remain available.

Students may not receive a VGAP award, when combined with other tuition/fee only assistance (e.g., tuition waiver, tuition scholarship, or employer tuition reimbursement), which exceeds the student’s charges for tuition/fees and the standard book allowance in the financial aid Cost of Attendance. The fees portion of the “tuition/fee” figure includes the basic required fees included in tuition, not additional course fees. Therefore, if a student is awarded VGAP and then receives another tuition/fee only award, the VGAP will be canceled or prorated accordingly.

You can learn more about this aid program at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml.

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Commonwealth Award

This state grant may be renewed, but it is not automatically renewed. This award is a grant, which does not have to be repaid or accepted on MyMadison. Meeting the March 1st FAFSA priority filing date, being a Virginia resident, and having a qualifying Expected Family Contribution (EFC) are also critical components of determining a student’s eligibility for this grant. Priority is given to undergraduate students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. Funds are limited in this account, so awards will be made as long as funds remain available.

Students may not receive a Commonwealth Award, when combined with other tuition/fee only assistance (e.g., tuition waiver, tuition scholarship, or employer tuition reimbursement), which exceeds the student’s charges for tuition/fees. The fees portion of the “tuition/fee” figure includes the basic required fees included in tuition, not additional course fees. Therefore, if a student is awarded Commonwealth Award and then receives another tuition/fee only award, the Commonwealth Award will be canceled or prorated accordingly.

You can learn more about this aid program at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml.

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Other scholarships you can use

This will include any scholarship that the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships is aware a student is receiving at the time the Official Financial Aid Award Notice is generated. If a scholarship is not listed on this notice, but is received later, the student’s financial aid award will be updated on MyMadison.

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Federal Work Study Program

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships may award FWS to eligible students as part of their financial aid package. In addition to establishing financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), eligible students must be degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at least on a half time basis who are maintaining good academic standing. An offer of Federal Work Study does not guarantee employment.

FWS eligible students are not limited to applying for FWS jobs only. Many additional employment opportunities are offered through the non-Work Study program (Institutional Employment – IE). Job vacancies and application instructions are posted on the student employment web page under "Job Announcements – On Campus" at http://www.jmu.edu/stuemploy which will connect students with the JobLink system in which students can submit an online application to the available student job postings.

On campus FWS positions typically have a rate of pay of minimum wage in such positions as office assistants, peer counselors, graphic designers, video projectionists, etc. for an average of 10 hours per week. At the end of the academic year, a FWS student’s earnings should not be greater than their award. A FWS student’s earnings are paid on a bi-monthly basis and direct deposited into a designated checking account. Earnings are not directly applied to tuition.

Community Based Federal Work Study

The Community Based Federal Work Study program places eligible JMU students in community based agencies (Nursing Homes, Day Care Centers, Legal Agencies, Clinics, Retirement Communities, and more). Eligible students identify community agencies they would like to serve and arrange for an interview. Agencies select students they feel are best qualified for their needs. Once the selection is made, the student is assigned to the agency.

The Community Based Federal Work Study program pays the student to serve in the agency and students can work a maximum of eight to nine hours weekly unless approved for additional hours through the Financial Aid Office. The agencies participate in the training, supervising, and mentoring of the students that are employed. Most agencies are accessible by the Harrisonburg Transit Bus System. To learn more about this program, go to http://info.jmu.edu/csl/community-Based_federal_work-Study.php.

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Loan Options

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Perkins Loan

A Federal Perkins Loan has a fixed interest rate of 5%. Federal Perkins Loan funds are limited and are distributed in the order applications are received each year. When the Perkins Loan funds are depleted, subsequent Perkins Loan Applications will not be processed. The Federal Perkins Loan award listed on this notice indicates student eligibility, but is not a guarantee that Federal Perkins Loan funds will be available.

Interest does not accrue on the Perkins until nine months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status. Each year you receive a Perkins Loan, you must complete a "Rights and Responsibilities" statement and "Entrance Questionnaire." These forms are available for downloading from the Web at the following URL: http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/forms.shtml.

Each form must have your original signature. You must submit the required paperwork for your loan(s) within 30 days of the date of the Financial Aid Award Notice. We cannot guarantee the availability of loan funds for students who submit information after this period. Before we release your loan, the University Business Office will contact you to complete a promissory note.

Perkins Loan funds are limited, so if you are offered a Perkins Loan and wish to accept, please do so quickly. For information about program requirements, review the Perkins Loan fact sheet at the following URL: http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml.

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Subsidized Federal Direct Loan

Subsidized Federal Direct Loans are long-term, need-based loans available to undergraduate students enrolled for at least a half-time basis in a degree or qualifying certificate program. Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, graduate students are not eligible for the Subsidized Federal Direct Loan. The federal government pays the interest on these loans while the borrower is in school, during the borrower’s grace period and during authorized periods of deferment. Repayment begins six months after you drop below half time enrollment. The basic repayment period for a Direct Loan is ten years; however, in some cases you can extend this.

However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 temporarily eliminates the interest subsidy provided on Direct Subsidized Loans during the six month grace period provided to students when they are no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis. This change will be effective for new Direct Stafford Loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014.

The government restricts borrowing by setting annual loan limits based on grade level and lifetime loan limits. First time Direct Loan borrowers at JMU must complete a Master Loan Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling, which can be done at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/forms.shtml.

The interest rate for a Subsidized Direct Loan is set on an award year basis. The award year is July 1st – June 30th.  All loans disbursed during this period carry that rate, which is fixed over the life of the loan.  For example, a Subsidized Direct Loan disbursed July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 has a fixed interest rate of 4.66%. The rate on all new loans is subject to change the following July 1st.  Refer to www.jmu.edu/finaid for the current interest rate.

You can learn more about this aid program at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml.

First Time JMU Borrowers:

Students applying for a Direct Loan for the first time at JMU:

Returning JMU Borrowers:

  • If you have not already done so at JMU, complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note per the instructions you will receive once you “Submit” your loan acceptance on MyMadison.

If you one of the following scenarios applies, you also need to submit a Financial Aid Loan Change Form, which can be found at www.jmu.edu/finaid/forms.shtml notifying us of your situation.

  • Graduating in December of the current award year
  • Need loan for one semester

Students will receive notice from the government when the Direct Loan is approved. The University Business Office will notify the student by electronic mail when the loan funds have been credited to the student account each semester. Students have 14 days from the time a Direct Loan has been credited to request it to be cancelled.

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Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans are long-term loans available to students enrolled for at least a half-time basis in a degree or qualifying certificate program. Unlike subsidized loans, the federal government does NOT pay the interest on these loans while the borrower is in school, during the borrower’s grace period and during authorized periods of deferment. Students can make interest only payments while they are in school or opt to have the interest added into the loan and defer all payments until the regular repayment period begins, which is six months after you drop below half time enrollment. The basic repayment period for a Direct Loan is ten years; however, in some cases you can extend this.

The government restricts borrowing by setting annual loan limits based on grade level and lifetime loan limits based on career (undergraduate and graduate).  First time Direct Loan borrowers at JMU must complete a Master Loan Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling, which can be done at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/forms.shtml

The interest rate for an Unsubsidized Direct Loan is set on an award year basis. The award year is July 1st – June 30th.  All loans disbursed during this period carry that rate, which is fixed over the life of the loan.  For example, an undergraduate Unsubsidized Direct Loan disbursed July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 has a fixed interest rate of 4.66%.  Graduate unsubsidized loans during the same period have a rate of 6.21%. The rate on all new loans is subject to change the following July 1st.  Refer to www.jmu.edu/finaid for the current interest rate.

You can learn more about this aid program at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml.

First Time JMU Borrowers:

Students applying for a Direct Loan for the first time at JMU:

Returning JMU Borrowers:

  • If you have not already done so at JMU, complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note per the instructions you will receive once you “Submit” your loan acceptance on MyMadison.

If you one of the following scenarios applies, you also need to submit a Financial Aid Loan Change Form, which can be found at www.jmu.edu/finaid/forms.shtml notifying us of your situation.

  • Graduating in December of the current award year
  • Need loan for one semester

Students will receive notice from the government when the Direct Loan is approved. The University Business Office will notify the student by electronic mail when the loan funds have been credited to the student account each semester. Students have 14 days from the time a Direct Loan has been credited to request it to be cancelled.

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Federal Grad PLUS Direct Loan

These federal loans for graduates are based on the borrower’s credit history, which is checked at the time the borrower applies for the loan.  The repayment period for a Grad PLUS Direct Loan begins on the date of the final disbursement of the loan, and the first payment is due within 60 days after the date the loan is fully disbursed; however, a borrower may receive a deferment while he or she is enrolled on at least a half-time basis at an eligible school by contacting the Direct Loan Servicing Center. 

The interest rate for Grad PLUS Direct Loans is set on an award year basis. The award year is July 1st – June 30th.  All loans disbursed during this period carry that rate, which is fixed over the life of the loan.  For example, Grad PLUS Direct Loans disbursed July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 have a fixed interest rate of 7.21%.  The rate on all new loans is subject to change the following July 1st.  Refer to www.jmu.edu/finaid for the current interest rate.

First time Grad PLUS borrowers must complete a Master Loan Promissory Note and Grad PLUS Direct Loan Entrance Loan Counseling, which can be done at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/forms.shtml. You can learn more about this aid program at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml

All students applying for a Grad PLUS Direct Loan at JMU needs to complete the following documents:

  1. Submit the FAFSA. If you received a Financial Aid Award Notice, then you already completed the FAFSA.
  2. Grad PLUS Direct Loan Application
  3. Grad PLUS Direct Loan Master Promissory Note

Students will receive notice from the government when the loan is approved. The University Business Office will notify the student by electronic mail when the loan funds have been credited to the student account each semester. Students have 14 days from the time a Grad PLUS Direct Loan has been credited to request it to be cancelled.

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Parent PLUS Direct Loan

Parents of students who are classified as dependent by the FAFSA can apply for the Federal Parent PLUS Direct Loan. Financial need is not a requirement; however, the student for whom the Parent PLUS Direct Loan is borrowed must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis and making Satisfactory Academic Progress in a degree or qualifying certificate program.

Parents are not guaranteed these funds upon application.  The government will perform a credit check on the parent, and if the parent is NOT deemed “credit worthy” the loan will be denied.  If the loan is denied, then the student can apply for additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan funds. 

The interest rate for Parent PLUS Direct Loans is set on an award year basis. The award year is July 1st – June 30th.  All loans disbursed during this period carry that rate, which is fixed over the life of the loan.  For example, Parent PLUS Direct Loans disbursed July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 have a fixed interest rate of 7.21%.  The rate on all new loans is subject to change the following July 1st.  Refer to www.jmu.edu/finaid for the current interest rate.

First time Parent PLUS borrowers must complete a Master Loan Promissory Note, which can be done at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/forms.shtml.  You can learn more about this aid program at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/aidprog.shtml.

All parents applying for a Parent PLUS Direct Loan needs to complete the following documents:

  1. Submit the FAFSA. If your student received a Financial Aid Award Notice, then you already completed the FAFSA.
  2. Parent PLUS Direct Loan Application
  3. Parent PLUS Direct Loan Master Promissory Note

Parents will receive notice from the government when the Parent PLUS Direct Loan is approved for disbursement.  Parents also have 14 days from the time a Parent PLUS Direct Loan has been credited to the student's account to request it to be cancelled.

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Private Educational Loans

Private educational loan programs vary by lender. For your convenience, James Madison University has compiled a list of preferred lenders. This preferred lender list can be found at https://choice.fastproducts.org/FastChoice/Welcome.do?configId=1258470979834. Please contact specific lenders for applicable loan terms and conditions. Borrowers may select any lender offering private educational loans even if that lender is not on this preferred lender list.

Private educational loans are not backed by the federal government and therefore may have terms and conditions less favorable than federally funded student and parent loans. We encourage all students and parents to first consider applying for federal education loans before private loans. You can view a chart comparing these two loan programs at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/wm_library/DirectLoanvsPrivateCompChart.pdf. If you choose to apply for a private educational loan, you will do so with your lender, not through the Financial Aid office or your MyMadison account. The lender will coordinate the certification, approval, and disbursement of the loan with JMU.

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