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City Vision University: Financial Aid, Federal Loans & Grants

For all Financial Aid questions, contact Ann Marie Cameron-Thompson at (617) 282-9798 x108 or financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu.

Federal Student Aid: Loans & Pell Grants Procedures

City Vision University has been approved by the US Department of Education to participate in Title IV federal student aid programs.  Eligible students in these programs may qualify for Pell grants and/or federal loans. The full eligibility requirements are described below.

Requirements: Since Title IV funds (both Pell grants and loans) are a US government program, you must be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen (typically the holder of a Permanent Resident Card - green card). See this FAQ for more on eligible non-citizens.

Also note that the Pell grant has the following requirements:

  • There is no age limit for federal student aid
  • Students must be pursuing their first bachelor's degree. 
  • Males must be registered with Selective Service.
  • Individuals with a student loan in default or have a balance at another school that is past due will not qualify.
  • Lifetime Pell Eligibility: The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding (i.e., 600% of one year's maximum Pell award). See more details here.

Step 1: Complete FAFSA Application

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the school year in which you plan to attend.

If you have already completed a FAFSA, update it to add "City Vision University" to your list of colleges. Our School Code is 041191 

After completing the FAFSA, you will be given the amount for the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Please note: if your EFC is above 5328 you will not qualify for the Pell grant. Anything above 0 but less than 5328 means that you will receive a partial Pell grant and will be expected to contribute some of your own funds toward your tuition expenses.

Also note that you will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note if you wish to receive federal student loans. This is available at http://studentloans.gov.

Students can estimate their financial aid at: http://web.cityvision.edu/np-calc-step-1/. Some students use the following estimates for other expenses for their estimate: off-campus room and board $7,000; other $500.

Step 2: Complete Financial Aid Interview

Once you have completed your FAFSA, please visit our Virtual Financial Aid Office (VFAO) to complete your financial aid interview for the 17-18 financial aid year.

This interview will ask you several questions about your financial situation as a student, including your EFC, which you will get from your FAFSA.

It will then ask you to indicate the terms in which you expect to be enrolled. Unless you are sure you will only be enrolled for part of the year, or for part-time, just indicate full-time for all terms from Fall 1 to Summer of the 2017-2018 aid year. Do not include Summer 2017 if you already were enrolled in terms in the 2016-2017 aid year.

After that, it will give you an estimate of your financial aid. Note that this is only an estimate, and it may change later when we have received more information about your financial situation and your previous financial aid history (if any).

You will be asked to accept the loan entrance counseling terms, even if you do not plan to accept loans. City Vision University advises students to not accept loans if they are not needed for your financial situation, since they must be repaid later and can't be discharged through bankruptcy. (See Step 5, below, for more on this.)

To complete the form, you will be asked whether you want to accept either Pell or both Pell & loans, and then you will sign off that the information is accurate and you accept the estimate.

Step 3: Submit Required Documents (if selected for verification)

After completing your FAFSA and the financial aid entrance interview, you will be notified whether there are additional documents will be required or you will receive a financial aid award email letter. If you receive an award letter, you can skip to step 3. If additional documents are required, you can download them from the City Vision Virtual Financial Aid Office. Once you have downloaded the required documents, you can submit them following one of the following options:

  1. Upload through the Virtual Financial Aid Office.
  2. Scan and email to financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu (subject: Financial%20Aid%20Documents)  or
  3. Fax to (816) 256-8471 or
  4. Mail to City Vision Financial Aid, 48 Pleasant Street, Dorchester, MA 02125.

Instructions for Specific Documents

  1. Tax Documents. If selected for verification, you must provide your tax transcript(s) and your spouse's tax transcript, if married.

    If available for you in the FAFSA site, we highly recommend that you submit this using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

    Alternatively, you may order a copy of your Tax documents from the IRS. To request a copy of your IRS Tax Transcript, please go to www.irs.gov or call the IRS directly at 800-908-9946 or 800-829-1040. If you have amended your tax return, you will also need to submit an IRS Account Transcript. You must always have your latest tax return for a given year, for example for the 2014-15 financial aid year, you must submit your 2013 Taxes.
     
  2. Determining Independent Student vs. Dependent Student. If you are older than 24 you are considered an independent student. If you are under 24, see the section below to determine if you are an independent or dependent student. Dependency is a technical category determined by the government, not by City Vision University.

    Students are considered dependent of their parents unless they meet at least one of the criteria listed in this page. Note that parental income is factored into the student’s estimated family contribution for dependent students. Below is a summary of the most common criteria to be an independent student, but there are a few others. 
  • Being born before January 1, 1994 (for 2017-2018 aid year)
  • Married or separated (but not divorced)
  • Student has a child and the child receives more than half of their support from the student
  • In foster care, ward of the state, or both parents were deceased any time after the age of 13.
  • Student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces (See link for full definition)

If you have questions please refer to the linked document and/or contact the financial aid department. 

Please note that students who have been selected for verification will not be determined to be eligible for financial aid until the review process is complete.

Step 4. Receiving Award 

To receive your financial aid award, you must enroll in City Vision University and register for courses.  

  • In order to remain eligible for federal student aid, you must comply with the university's policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Students who are eligible for federal student aid (i.e., have completed all requirements) will be issued an award letter. Receipt of the award letter is considered to be acceptance of the funds offered, if no reply is made requesting a change in the award. Students can decline funds offered or request a change in offered amounts by emailing financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu.
  • If a student has submitted all required items in their financial aid file and been determined to be eligible and completed the first 5 weeks of their term, their financial aid will be disbursed on the first day of the seventh week of the term. Students will not be billed until the first day of the seventh week of the term. City Vision then has 14 days to issue a check. Students meeting these requirements can expect to have their check sent to them by the end of the term. 
  • Half-time students will only receive half of their Pell grant award. To be considered full-time in a term, a student must participate in 2 courses (or more). Students who participate in one course are counted as half-time.
  • Once you have enrolled and registered for courses, the charges for uition will be automatically credited to your balance with the university. If you have a credit balance after these charges are applied, it will be refunded as per our Credit Balance Policy.

For any questions, please contact Ann Marie Cameron-Thompson (617) 282-9798 x108, financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu

Disclosure of Loan Information

Anyone who enters into an agreement regarding a Title IV loan (i.e., a federal loan), whether the student or a parent is the borrower, should be aware that the loan information will be submitted to NSLDS (the federal government’s tracking system) where it will be accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions.

Step 5: For Students Receiving Federal Loans Only

City Vision University strongly discourages students from taking student loans for the following reasons:

  1. Loans often become a significant barrier for people working in the most meaningful jobs such as those working in nonprofits and serving the poor.
  2. Most students do not realize that federal student loans will be with you for the rest of your life even if you declare bankruptcy. In other words, you should use the same caution in being offered a loan from a "loan shark" as you would a federal student loan because it will be with you for the rest of your life until you pay it off.  
  3. We have seen too many students not count the cost of the impact on loans later in life and abuse loans as if it were an addiction. Because of our focus on addiction recovery, we take this very seriously, and encourage that only students in the most extreme circumstances take student loans.  
  4. If a significant number of City Vision students do not pay back their student loans on time, then future City Vision University students may lose access to all student aid.

Having said all that, we do offer federal student loans to students in circumstances that require them, and any student may request a loan. Students who wish to receive a Federal Student Loan should:

  1. Complete the online Financial Aid Interview from Step 2 and indicate that you wish to receive loans on it. We strongly suggest that only request the loan amount to the point that is needed to cover your expenses.
  2. Sign your master promissory note at https://studentloans.gov
  3. After leaving the school, complete Exit Counseling at the Federal Direct Loans website (https://studentloans.gov)
    • You must complete Exit Counseling before you can receive your diploma.
    • Note that even if you leave for a term, and later plan on coming back, you must complete Exit Counseling, unless you are approved for a Leave of Absence.

Note that your Entrance Counseling requirement will have been completed by the financial aid interview from Step 2, above.

If you have disputes with lenders related to repaying your federal student loans, you may contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group.

Interest rates for federal student loans in 2017-18 may be found here.

If you have student loans, the following financial literacy resources may be helpful:

Veterans and Military Benefits and Discount

City Vision University is certified to receive veterans benefits and provides a 25% discount to all military and veterans and their dependents who are currently using VA benefits. Beginning in June 2016, City Vision is also a member of the VA's Yellow Ribbon program, which means that the VA will match the veterans' discount dollar-for-dollar. See our veterans and military benefits page for more information.


Other Forms of Financial Aid

Payment Plans - In certain circumstances, students may arrange a payment plan with the business office.  Normally, this involves paying half of tuition at the beginning of the term and, then, paying the second half in the middle of the term. Contact the university for more information.

Internship Program -  We have a network of over seventy ministries throughout North America that host student interns. This includes many urban missions and youth programs. During their time of service and learning, these ministries provide housing free of charge and pay for students' City Vision University tuition for up to one year. Follow this link to learn more about the Internship Program.

Veteran's Educational Benefits -  The degree program is approved for educational assistance benefits for qualified veterans and their dependents under programs administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). City Vision University is also a certified Yellow Ribbon provider as of June 2016, which means that the VA will match our 25% veteran's discount dollar-for-dollar. For application and enrollment procedures, call toll free at 1-888-GIBILL1 or visit the VA educational web site. Because it is a four-year educational institution, City Vision University does not participate in the V-RAP program for veterans.

Workforce Investment Act  - WIA is the nation’s principal workforce development program providing funds to address the employment and training needs of dislocated workers, low income adults and youth. The funding for WIA comes from the Federal Department of Labor. WIA provides support to participants to increase their education, training, employment, job retention. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of the workforce, reduce dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the nation. Contact your local office to apply for WIA educational funding.

Vocational Rehabilitation  - City Vision University is a qualified institution for vocational rehabilitation in many states. Our admissions staff can work with your vocational counselor to have City Vision approved as a vendor in your state if we are not yet in their system. Contact your local agency for more information.

AmeriCorps Education Award - AmeriCorps Members who choose to take the education award can see instructions on how to use it to pay for City Vision University classes.

Third-Party Scholarships for Students with Disabilities - Students with disabilities may review this guide to financial aid for students with disabilities.

Institutional Scholarships - We also offer various tuition discounts / institutional scholarships to qualified individuals, including students from rescue missions, City Vision internship sites, and students from developing countries. See our tuition discounts and scholarships page for more information.


Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Students who take out federal direct student loans may receive loan forgiveness of their remaining loan balance if they work at a 501c(3) registered nonprofit or a governmental institution for 10 years and make 120 on-time, full, scheduled, monthly payments. To maximize loan forgiveness under the PSLF Program, students should repay their loans on the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) PlanPay As You Earn Repayment Plan, or the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan, which are three of the repayment plans that qualify for PSLF, and which generally require lower amounts to be paid back each month.

For more information about this program, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/public-service. Since many of our graduates work at urban ministries, addiction recovery programs, or rescue missions, this program could be a valuable asset for long-term financial stability.