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Frequently Asked Questions

 Below are some commonly asked questions.  If you don't find your question below, please email us at .

Q. Am I eligible for aid when taking less than 12 hours each semester?

       A: Yes, you are eligible for limited/prorated aid.  However, you will not be eligible for CN forms of assistance such as merit aid or grant aid.  Our office will audit each file at the census date (the date in which your credit hours are frozen) to determine eligible aid before the disbursement date.  Different aid requires different eligibility rules.  Therefore, if you think you will be enrolled for less than 12 credit hours, you should email our office at so that we may correctly reflect your eligibility before the start of term.  If you are a TN TELS HOPE recipient and drop less than 12 hours AFTER the census date, you will become ineligible for TN TELS HOPE unless you first seek permission from our office to drop less than 12 hours after the census date.

Q. What is the census date?

      A: The census date is the date specified in the catalog as the last day for a tuition refund for dropping a course.  Hours on that date at business close are the frozen hours that financial aid eligibility will be based on for disbursement to your student account.

Q. I filed my FAFSA as planning to live on-campus and now my plans have changed.  What will that mean for my financial aid?

    A:  Financial aid eligibility is based upon your cost of attendance.  The on-campus cost of attendance is higher than the off-campus or living at home with parents.  As such, your cost of attendance must be re-calculated.  This could lower your financial need, thus having an effect on your need based assistance.  In addition, any specific scholarships that you have received that have special renewal guidelines that require on-campus living, you will no longer be eligible to receive.  It is important to review prior letters before making a decision to move off campus.  We will process your initial award letter based upon your housing indication as listed on the FAFSA.  If after you receive your initial award letter, you decide a different housing arrangement, you will need to email our office at

Q.   When will my funds disburse to my student account?

    A:  Once we reach the census date, we will review eligibility for disbursement on assistance that you have accepted on your award letter or e-award letter.  Disbursement happens one week after the census date on aid that you have accepted.  

Q. I have a Perkins Loan and a Stafford Loan on my award letter.  I don't need to borrow both of them, so which one should I borrow?

     A: As a consumer borrower, you would need to compare the terms of each loan and make your decision.  The interest rate and repayment terms vary with each program.  More information on each is available at It is best to use a calculator to determine which loan is best for you to borrow.  Simply enter the amount of your loan, the interest from above, a 10 year repayment term, and click calculate.  It may also be helpful to review our CashCourse on Repaying Student Loans.

Q. I am seeking my second degree.  Am I eligible for Carson-Newman grants and scholarships?

    A.  No.  Carson-Newman grants and scholarships are only awarded to students seeking their first degree.

Q. Is it possible my aid would ever be reduced or cancelled?

     A:  Yes.  Carson-Newman reserves the right to reduce, modify, or cancel awards when aid limits are exceeded, and/or we determine at any time a student is no longer eligible for the assistance.


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