The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) is under the direct supervision of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The prime objective of the OSFA is to assist the students in reaching their educational career goals by providing information and technical assistance on the various sources of student financial assistance programs.
Technical assistance is provided in the completion and processing of all relevant financial aid applications for the federal and/or local government, as well as any private funding sources.
The staff of the OSFA, works as a team, to offer the following basic technical services to the students: information about the diverse federal financial aid programs; information about the scholarship/grants available at PHSU; technical assistance in the completion of all forms/applications; application and verification process of Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and loans applications; electronic application for original FAFSA and FAFSA RENEWAL; electronic loan application system of students’ loans;; entrance counseling for new borrowers; exit counseling for students graduating and/or withdrawing; debt Management and Financial Counseling.
Financial Needs Analysis
The amount of funds allocated to the student depends upon the economic need that is determined by a process known as “needs analysis”. This procedure has two steps:
- STEP I involves the evaluation of the data presented in the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) by the U.S. Federal Government to determine the “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC). The EFC is the amount that the student should contribute towards his/her cost of education.
- STEP II consists of the following basic calculation: “Cost of Education” minus “EFC” equals Financial Need.
The student cannot receive financial assistance in excess of the determined “Financial Need”. If according to this formula, the student does not demonstrate financial need, the student may only qualify for non-need based programs of financial aid. The total need based and non-need based funds allocated cannot exceed the total educational budget as approved by PHSU.
Awarding Funds: Upon the review of the application and documents received, the Staff of OSFA determines the educational need of each applicant. The next task becomes awarding of loan amounts and preparing the award notification for each student. Those applicants that will be considered for scholarships are presented to the Scholarship Committee chaired by the Vice President of Student Affairs.
Notification of Award: As soon as the awarding process is completed, a “Notification of Award” is forwarded to each student. This Notification indicates the award allocated, the total educational budget amount utilized in the awarding process and the “Expected Family Contribution”. No response is required if the student accepts the awards. There is a ten-day period for response to the Notification of Award.
Disbursement of Funds: The student is requested to authorize PHSU to credit the student’s account with any funds received on their behalf. Subsequently, the student receives any disbursement either as a check or, if requested, an electronic deposit to a checking or saving account.
Disbursement of funds for semester programs is at least once per semester. For trimester programs, disbursement is at least once per trimester. Certification Programs receive disbursement at commencement and mid-point of program year.