Tuition & Aid FAQs

FAQ Answers for Traditional Students

The Bethel University Financial Aid Team is here to answer your questions.

How much does it cost to attend Bethel University?

Find a complete list of Bethel’s direct costs in our catalog.

In addition, we know that families will incur additional expenses that are not paid directly to Bethel; these expenses may include transportation costs, books and supplies. We estimate those expenses based on average costs for our region and include those with a student’s direct costs, to determine a student’s overall cost of attendance.

How and when do I apply for financial aid?

You can complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming year as early as Oct. 1. The filing deadline to be considered for Indiana state grants is April 15. We recommend that you file as soon after Oct. 1 as possible, as some scholarship and grant funds can be exhausted.

What types of financial aid are offered at Bethel?

Federal Aid – financial aid from the federal government is available to help you pay for education expenses. Grants (Pell, TEACH, SEOG), loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, PLUS) and work-study are types of federal student aid; you must complete the FAFSA to apply for this aid. 
Federal Aid

State Aid – Indiana residents may be eligible for grants from the state of Indiana to be applied to their direct tuition costs. These grants are need-based and the FAFSA must be completed by April 15 in order to be considered for any applicable state grants.
State Aid

Institutional Awards – Bethel University awards many types of institutional scholarships and grants to full-time undergraduate students. Awards may be based on merit or need and may be restricted to tuition costs only. Financial aid awards and policies are subject to change. 
Institutional Awards

Students can apply for an alternative loan to cover remaining educational expenses, but most will need a credit-worthy cosigner. 
Alternative Loan Options

How do I apply for a federal TEACH grant?

TEACH grants are available to students who agree to teach for four years in an approved school and/or field. To be eligible, you must meet certain requirements as indicated on the FAFSA. If you qualify and would like to utilize the TEACH grant, complete this form and someone from the Financial Aid Office will contact you in 2-3 business days to verify your application and create your award. Once your award has been created and you have signed your Agreement to Serve, the funds will post to your student account.

How does the EFC affect my financial aid?

EFC stands for Expected Family Contribution, and it is determined by a formula that evaluates the information you submit on your FAFSA. Bethel University and the federal Department of Education assume that families will contribute to the educational expenses of their students. The Department of Education determines the EFC as an indicator of the family’s ability to help cover educational costs. Bethel will work to fill in any remaining gap after the EFC is applied to the student’s costs.

What is verification?

Based on criteria established by the federal government, students who receive federal financial aid may be selected for verification. This process is designed to verify the financial information provided on the FAFSA. A verification worksheet and federal tax information is required to complete the process; additional information may also be requested. In order to be considered for all financial aid, information must be submitted within 30 days of the college’s written request. In no instance will verification information be processed beyond the student’s enrollment period. You will receive this from the Financial Aid office.

When will my financial aid show on my bill?

All federal, state and institutional grants and scholarships will post to your student account at the start of each semester, once all requirements have been met. Some grants or scholarships may have minimum enrollment or housing requirements; endowed scholarships often require a thank-you note from the recipient to be sent to the donor. Some federal programs require additional steps to be completed prior to funds being released, such as the direct loan and TEACH grant.

What if the FAFSA does not accurately reflect my family’s circumstances?

We realize that the FAFSA portrays a snapshot of your specific circumstances. If you feel there are details to your financial situation that are not accurately explained with the FAFSA information, such as job loss, extraordinarily high medical expenses, or similar situations, please contact our office to explain your situation. While we cannot guarantee additional funds will become available, we will walk through the process with you,  clarifying your information to help provide any possible resources.

Is there any possible way I can qualify for more aid?

Bethel makes every attempt to make your college education affordable. If you find that you have exhausted all possible resources and still need additional help, we have an appeal process that students can complete to provide us with more information to help seek out any further resources. 

Where do I go to find scholarships?

We recommend students search for outside scholarships throughout their educational career. Information for outside scholarships sent to the Financial Aid office is posted in the Office of Student Financial Services.

What do I need to do to apply for a loan?

For federal direct loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), students must complete entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). This must be completed before loan funds are first disbursed for a student and will remain valid for 10 years following. Both requirements can be completed online at

For federal PLUS loans, parents must complete the PLUS Request and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The PLUS MPN only needs to be completed once in most cases, but the PLUS Request must be completed annually. Both requirements can be completed online at

Students can apply for an alternative loan to cover remaining educational expenses, but most will need a credit-worthy cosigner. Learn more about your alternative loan options.

Financial Aid Terms

  • Cost of Attendance – The cost of attendance is a comprehensive estimate of a family’s educational costs for an academic year. It includes costs paid directly to the institution (Direct Costs) as well as additional expenses, like transportation, books and other supplies.
  • Direct Costs – The direct costs are determined by the institution annually, and includes the university costs for tuition, room, board and mandatory fees.
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – The expected family contribution is determined by the information that is provided on the FAFSA. The US Department of Education processes the FAFSA and determines the EFC; once completed, the information is sent to the financial aid office.
  • Financial Need – Financial need is calculated by subtracting the expected family contribution (EFC) from the cost of attendance. Financial need can help determine eligibility for certain financial aid programs.
  • Verification – Based on criteria established by the federal government, students who receive federal or state financial aid may be selected for verification. This process is designed to confirm the financial information provided when applying for financial aid. A verification worksheet and the parent’s and student’s federal tax information is required to complete the process. Additional information may also be required. In order to be considered for all financial aid, requested information must be submitted within 30 days of the university’s written request. In no instance will verification information be processed beyond the student’s enrollment period.
  • Appeal Policy – Any questions or appeals concerning financial aid policy must be made in writing to the university Financial Aid Committee and submitted to the office of financial aid with a complete Financial Aid Appeal form.
  • Final Semester Policy – Students who are in their final semester of enrollment prior to graduation and are enrolled less than full time (12 hours) may be eligible to receive institutional scholarships at a pro-rated amount. In general, the equivalent percentage of discount created by institutional awards toward full-time tuition is applied toward part-time tuition charges.
  • Maximum Award Policy – In no case will the combination of scholarship and grant assistance (institutional, state and other tuition-restricted programs) exceed full-time (12-17 credit hours) direct tuition costs. If the total of tuition-restricted scholarships and grants exceeds direct tuition costs, Bethel funding may be reduced to not exceed tuition costs.
  • Outside/Private Scholarships Policy – Any financial assistance that is received from sources other than federal, state or the university must be reported to the office of financial aid. This includes private scholarships, veterans’ benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits and fee reduction remission benefits. Adjustments may be made to your institutional financial awards if the additional grant and scholarship assistance causes you to receive more financial assistance than direct costs. (See Maximum Award Policy).

Financial Aid Policies

Scholarship Guidelines

  1. No formal scholarship application is required for new students to Bethel University, as the awards are determined from high school transcripts and SAT/ACT scores submitted with the application for admission. The highest composite score submitted prior to enrollment will be used.
  2. Prior to enrollment at Bethel University, if a scholarship is upgraded on the basis of an improved GPA or SAT/ACT scores, the lesser scholarship is dropped.
  3. Transfer student awards are determined by prior academic performance at an accredited college or university. Official transcripts from every institution previously attended should be sent directly from that institution to the Bethel University admission office.
  4. Only one academic scholarship/award may be received by a student in a given year. Renewal of the scholarship is automatic if the student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. If satisfactory academic progress for continued enrollment is not being met, awards are lost at that time, not at the end of the academic year. Summer term credits and grades will be applicable in calculating scholarship eligibility.
  5. Awards are applied to direct tuition costs for traditional full-time undergraduate students only. In no case will the combination of scholarship and grant assistance (institutional, state and other tuition-restricted programs) exceed full-time (12-17 credit hours) tuition costs. If the total of tuition-restricted scholarships and grants exceed tuition costs, Bethel funding may be reduced to bring the total back to the direct tuition costs. Scholarships and grants are applied to the school bill first. Bethel funds may not be used for off-campus living expenses or textbooks.
  6. These awards may be used for a maximum of eight semesters of continuous full-time enrollment. A student is no longer eligible for Bethel funding if they drop below full-time enrollment.
  7. To continue receiving funding, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to avoid being placed on financial aid suspension. Appeals for the loss of funding may be made to Bethel’s office of financial aid.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

A student has the right to know:

  • What financial aid is available, including information on all Federal and State programs.
  • The deadlines for submitting applications for each of the financial aid programs available.
  • The cost of attending the programs and the school’s refund policy.
  • The criteria used by the institution to select the financial aid recipients.
  • How the school determines your financial need. This process includes how costs for tuition and fees, books, and living expenses are considered in your budget.
  • What resources (such as employer reimbursement, other financial aid, etc.) are considered in the calculation of your need.
  • How much of your financial need, as determined by the institution, has been met.
  • An explanation of the various programs in your student aid package. If you believe you have been treated unfairly, you may request reconsideration of the award which was made to you.
  • What portion of the financial aid you received must be repaid, and what portion is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know what the interest rate is, the total amount that must be repaid, the payback procedures, the length of time you have to repay the loan and when the repayment is to begin.


A student’s responsibilities:

  • Review all information about the school’s program before you enroll.
  • Complete all application forms accurately and in a timely manner and send to correct address.
  • Pay special attention to, and accurately complete, your application for student aid. Errors can result in delays of receipt of your financial aid. Intentional reporting of false information on application forms for federal financial aid is a violation of law and is considered a criminal offense subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  • Return all additional information, verification, corrections and/or new information requested by the Bethel University Financial Aid Office, your state financial aid authority or the agency to which you submitted your FAFSA.
  • Read and understand all the forms that you are asked to sign and keep copies of them.
  • Accept responsibility for all agreements you sign.
  • If you have a loan, notify the lender of changes in your name, address or school status.
  • Know and comply with the deadlines for application or reapplication for aid.
  • Know and comply with Bethel University’s refund policy procedure.
  • Know and comply with Bethel University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Return of Title IV Aid Policy and Procedures

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws from Bethel, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

The financial aid office is required to calculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing a payment period or term. The federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated when the student has not completed more than 60% of a payment period.

If the student leaves the university prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the financial aid office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Return of Title IV Funds formula:

Percentage of payment period or term completed = number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term). This percentage is also the percentage of aid earned.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

Bethel University must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.

Official Withdrawals

For a withdrawal to be considered an official withdrawal, a student must complete a withdrawal form or provide notification to the university of an intent to withdraw. A student is considered withdrawn as of the date he/she begins the withdrawal process or the date the student provides notification of the intent to withdraw, whichever is earlier.

If a student does not provide notification of withdrawal either because of circumstances beyond the student’s control or other instances, he/she is considered to have unofficially withdrawn. In these cases, the student’s withdrawal date is the midpoint (50%) of the payment period (or period of enrollment) if the last date of attendance cannot be determined. If the last date of attendance can be determined, it will be used instead.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, Bethel would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student may owe a debit balance to the university.

When students fail to earn a passing grade in any class: If a student receives all Fs at the end of a semester, the university will determine whether those students with failing grades have unofficially withdrawn. If a student who began attendance and has not officially withdrawn fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course offered over an entire period, the institution must assume, for Title IV purposes, that the student has unofficially withdrawn unless the institution can document that the student completed the period (or more than 60% of the period) based on the last date of a student’s documented academic activity.

Post-withdrawal disbursements: If a does not receive all the funds he/she has earned, the student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the school must get the student’s permission before it can disburse them. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that additional debt is not incurred. The school may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). The school needs a student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give permission, you will be offered the funds.

However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school. Bethel will send notification as soon as possible, but no later than 30 calendar days after the date that the school determines the student withdrew. Bethel must disburse any Title IV grant funds a student is due as part of a post-withdrawal disbursement within 45 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew. The school must disburse any loan funds the student accepts as soon as possible but no later than 180 days after the date the school determined the student withdrew.

Overpayments (overawards): An overpayment, or overaward, occurs when the student receives more aid than he/she was eligible to receive. An overpayment can occur when a student withdraws.

Regulations limit the amount of grant funds a student must repay to one-half of the grant funds the student received or could have received during the applicable period. Within 30 days of determining that a student who withdrew must repay all or part of a Title IV grant, Bethel will notify the student that he/she must repay the overpayment or make satisfactory arrangements to repay it. A student’s eligibility for additional Title IV funds may end if the student fails to take action in one of the following ways:

  • The student may repay the overpayment in full to Bethel.
  • The student may sign a repayment agreement with the Department of Education.

The student should contact Bethel to discuss his/her options.

Unearned Title IV financial aid will be returned to the appropriate programs in the order listed below. The Title IV portion of a refund is repaid to various programs from which the funds were awarded. The repayment is allocated, using the following fixed priority:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  • Direct Subsidized Direct Loan
  • Perkins Loan
  • Direct PLUS Loan
  • Pell Grant

If the Title IV portion of the refund is large enough, the entire amount of an award received is first returned to the highest priority program from which an award was made. The full amounts are similarly returned.

For students selected for verification: unless a student subject to verification has provided all required verification documents in time for the school to meet return deadlines, the school includes as aid disbursed or aid that could have been disbursed in the return calculation only those Title IV funds not subject to verification.

If the student who failed to provide all required verification documents in time for the school to meet the return deadline later provides those documents prior to the application verification deadline, the school must perform a new return calculation on all of the aid the student qualified for based on the completed verification documents and make appropriate adjustments.

When a student fails to return from a leave of absence (LOA): If a student does not return to Bethel at the expiration of an approved LOA (or a student takes an unapproved LOA), the student’s withdrawal date is the date the student began the LOA.

Because a student who is granted an approved LOA remains in an in-school status for Title IV loan repayment purposes, the school must report to the loan holder the student’s change in enrollment status as of the withdrawal date.

For more information about Title IV program funds contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students receiving financial aid must maintain good academic standing with the university in order to qualify for continued financial aid awards. This policy applies to all undergraduate students enrolled in all programs. To maintain eligibility for Federal Title IV and/or other university-administered financial aid assistance, the following conditions must be met (students must meet both the quantitative and qualitative progress standards):

Qualitative Progress Standards

The student must maintain satisfactory academic grades, which is a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Failure to earn satisfactory academic grades may place the student on academic probation. Being placed on academic probation will result in a SAP Warning. The student may receive financial aid for one semester while on SAP Warning. If, after a semester on SAP Warning, the student does not make SAP, he or she will lose any Title IV eligibility and must submit a SAP Appeal. With an approved appeal, the student will be placed on SAP Probation and can receive Title IV aid, but not for more than two such semesters during the normal 8 to 10 semester university career.

Quantitative Progress Standards

Students must earn at least 67% of credits attempted. Students must complete their program within 150% of the published program length. (For example, a student enrolled in a 120 credit hour, four-year program has six years of full-time enrollment in which to complete the degree program.) A student enrolled in a program with a program length of 120-140 hours may not attempt more than 180 credit hours. A student enrolled full-time (12 hours per semester) must earn at least 24 credit hours per 12 month period. A student enrolled three-quarter time (9-11.5 hours per semester) must earn at least 18 hours per 12-month period. A student enrolled half-time (6-8.5 credits per semester) must earn at least 12 credit hours per 12-month period. Credit hours completed during summer enrollment are counted toward fulfillment of the above requirements.

A student who changes status within the 12-month period will have his/her status average (e.g., in the fall semester the student is full-time, then in the spring semester the student enrolls for half-time hours. The student would be considered a three-quarter time student for the year and would need to have completed the appropriate number of hours for that status).

The normal time to complete a bachelor’s degree is 8 to 10 semesters of full-time enrollment. A student is allowed a maximum of 12 semesters of full-time study and may receive financial aid up to this maximum. Students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours per semester, but at least 6 hours per semester, are expected to complete their degree requirements in proportion to the full-time requirements. Students in an academic program with a program length of 120-140 hours who have attempted 180 credit hours toward a degree will be ineligible for student financial aid.

Graduate Students

Graduate students in a program length of 30 credit hours have 5 years to complete their degree and a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours. Graduate programs of longer than 30 credit hours have a maximum of 7 years to complete and maximum attempted credit hours not to exceed 150% of the program length. Students who are enrolled in a second degree program which is equal to or lower than a degree already earned, will have officially accepted credit hours which are specifically applied toward the student’s current certificate or degree program counted in the maximum number of the allowable credit hours for financial aid eligibility. Note: A student will not be considered to have reached the credit hour maximum until the semester following the one in which the student reaches or exceeds the maximum semester hours attempted.

Periods of Enrollment

The periods included in the review include all terms in which the student was enrolled, even those during which the student did not receive Title IV aid.


As the purpose of the SAP policy is to determine whether or not a student is progressing in order to complete his or her degree program within the maximum time frame, only those credits applicable to the degree program in which the student is enrolled is considered in the SAP review. Any credits taken at the school, or transfer credits accepted which are not applicable to the degree program are not considered in the SAP process.

Repeated courses: When an “F” is received for a course, that course may be repeated. Courses that are repeated will count in the calculation of hours attempted and completed hours earned if the student receives a passing grade. Only repeated courses taken at Bethel University will affect the grade point average (GPA) and will include the new grade on the transcript. If a course is repeated at another institution, only the actual credit(s) earned will transfer. A maximum of 5 noncredit remedial courses will be considered as successful completions unless enrollment in additional courses is approved by the vice-president of academic services.

Incompletes: Students who enroll in a course and are given an incomplete grade must complete the course requirements no later than the time grades are due the following semester. If the course is not completed, it is counted as hours attempted but not passed (attempted & unearned).

Withdrawals: Classes that a student enrolls in and withdraws from, receiving an authorized grade of “W,” are not counted as hours attempted. After the last date to
withdraw has passed, the student may not withdraw from classes regardless of when they last attended. The student will receive the grade earned.


SAP is checked at the end of each term, or payment period. If a late notification of grade change is received for the previous term, SAP must be rechecked using the new information.

Treatment of Grades


Qualitative Treatment

Quantitative Treatment

A, B, C, D


Attempted & Earned



Attempted & Unearned


Not Calculated

Attempted & Unearned

Pass (P)

Not Calculated

Attempted & Earned

No Pass (NP)

Not Calculated

Attempted & Unearned

Withdrawal (W)

Not Calculated

Not Attempted & Unearned

Repeat A, B, C, D


Attempted & Earned

Repeat F

Calculated (but original grade)

Attempted & Unearned

Transfer Credits

Not Calculated

Attempted & Earned

Remedial Courses

Not Calculated

Not Attempted & Unearned


SAP Appeal

A student who fails to make SAP is automatically placed on SAP Financial Aid Warning (SAP Warning) for the following term. If the student fails to make SAP at the conclusion of the Warning term, the student loses Title IV eligibility. In order to regain eligibility the student must submit an SAP Appeal and it must be approved/granted by the financial aid committee. Prior to submitting the appeal the student should have met with his or her academic advisor to determine whether or not the student can meet the SAP requirements within one term or if an academic plan covering multiple terms needs to be created.

A student is limited to two appeals of the SAP policy. Appeals must be presented in writing, addressed to the Financial Aid Committee, stating the reasons that justify the request. Reasons that will be considered include:

  • Severe illness, medical condition, or injury
  • Death of a family member
  • Traumatic life-altering event such as fire, tornado, etc.
  • Other circumstance (must clearly state circumstance and provide supporting documentation)

If it is determined that the student cannot meet SAP requirements within one term, the student must also submit an Academic Plan to accompany his/her appeal letter. The Financial Aid Committee will review the request and will respond through the Director of Financial Aid within two weeks of receipt of the appeal. Students are notified via letter of the Committee’s decision.

A student whose appeal is granted is placed on SAP Probation for one term. If at the end of the probation term SAP is met, either because the student meets the regular SAP standards or because the student has met the criteria outlined in the Academic Plan, the status is SAP Met. If the student fails to meet SAP, either because there was no Academic Plan and the student did not meet regular SAP standards or because the student did not meet the criteria in the Academic Plan, the student’s SAP status is SAP Unmet and the student loses Title IV eligibility.

A student whose appeal is not granted will not be eligible for Title IV aid for the semester indicated on the appeal request. The financial aid office will notify the student of the adverse determination in writing and instruct the student to contact the student account office to discuss the status of his or her student account.

Any student who is not eligible for Title IV aid, based on SAP, can regain Title IV eligibility by meeting all necessary SAP requirements at the end of a semester. If a student meets both the qualitative and quantitative standards during a semester of ineligibility, Title IV eligibility will be restored for the next semester of enrollment. If a student reenrolls at Bethel University after a status of SAP Unmet, he or she has the option to submit a SAP appeal, if the limit of two appeals has not been reached. If granted, the student can regain Title IV eligibility for the applicable semester. If the appeal is not granted or an appeal cannot be submitted, the student must meet SAP requirements before Title IV eligibility can be reinstated. 

Students who have unsatisfactory grades at midterm may be at risk for academic probation. In an effort to assist these students in maintaining SAP, the financial aid office will send an email regarding their grades and the potential impact academic probation will have on their ability to receive future financial aid.

SAP Status

Status Description Duration Title IV Eligibility Notification
SAP Met Qualitative and quantitative  measure met Applicable as long as standards are met Yes None
SAP Warning Qualitative and/or quantitative measure not met One term Yes Letter
SAP Probation Appeal submitted and after review, approved One term Yes Letter
SAP Unmet Qualitative and/or quantitative measure not met Applicable as long as standards are NOT met No Letter

Still have questions? Contact our Financial Aid team.

Bethel University
Office of Student Financial Services
1001 Bethel Circle, Mishawaka IN 46545
Phone: 574.807.7415
Fax: 574.807.7122

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