FAQ's on Awards
- How can I access my financial assistance award?
The Sacred Heart University Office of Student Financial Assistance is proud to offer each student the ability to gain full V.I.P. access to their financial assistance file by utilizing our online system SHUawards. Not only are students able to monitor the status of their financial assistance but they are also able to print out relative forms by clicking on the “Forms” tab. To create your account, please go to
- How do I get my SHUawards PIN?
Once you are accepted into Sacred Heart University, please go to SHUawards and click on "First Time User" in the "Log In" box. To activate your account, enter your seven digit Student ID number found at the top of your letter and follow the prompts to create your PIN. This will allow you to monitor your award, review required information and pending documents or forms.
- How was my award determined?
Your financial assistance award was based on an estimated calculation of your family’s ability to pay the expected total college costs. The total family contribution combines an expected contribution from the student and parent(s), and is calculated from the information you provided on the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE forms. Your financial need is determined by deducting this contribution from your expected total college costs.
- What are the types of financial assistance offered directly from the University?
Sacred Heart University is committed to offering a variety of scholarships and grants based on merit, leadership, and financial need. Awards listed in your financial assistance award package will identify the program(s) for which you qualify. Academic Scholarship recipients are selected on the strength of their academic record. This includes high school Grade Point Average (GPA from college preparatory coursework as determined by the Office of Admissions), rank in class, and SAT scores. For annual scholarship renewal, University Scholar recipients must be full-time, in good academic standing and must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA. Please check your award letter and SHUawards "Message" page for scholarship and GPA requirements. If the student is concerned they are not meeting the required GPA, he/she should contact their financial assistance counselor. Students awarded University funds must maintain full-time status to be eligible. Students who drop below 12 credits per semester will have awards canceled and/or reduced. If a student stops participating in a program for which they are receiving funds, i.e., honors, athletics, band, etc., they will forfeit their award.
- Are any awards in my package from my state of legal residence?
Students who are Connecticut residents and demonstrate financial need may be eligible for the Connecticut Independent College Student Grant Program. The Connecticut Capitol Scholarship Program recipients must present an award letter from the State of Connecticut Department of Higher Education to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Other states offer awards to their state residents based on merit and/or financial need. If eligible, students must present a copy of a commitment letter from their state. If you have any questions regarding eligibility, contact the State Board or Commission for Education within your legal state of residence.
- Part of my award includes work-study. Now what?
The amount on your award indicates the maximum you may earn under the Federal or University Work-Study Program for the academic year. Work-study is typically minimum wage. You will receive a biweekly paycheck based on the hours worked during the pay period. Once you have been awarded work-study you must submit a Work Application followed by a referral letter from your Supervisor to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Remember: This amount will not be deducted from the charges billed to you by the University Student Accounts Office.
- What outside sources of assistance are available to students?
Surprisingly enough, many organizations do not exhaust scholarships every year because students do not apply for them! Be aggressive and ask people if they know of any private scholarships you could apply for to help reduce your college tuition. Ask your parent’s employer, clubs your family may belong to and don’t forget the local library. Be imaginative! Students should also seek out their high school guidance counselors so that they can direct them to local agencies and organizations if they have not already done so. We also encourage you to visit various websites for outside scholarships including http://www.collegeboard.com/ and http://www.fastweb.com/.
- What happens if I receive an outside scholarship?
There is a federal regulation that says aid cannot exceed a student’s financial need or the cost of education. So, when students whose aid eligibility is met by SHU receive outside aid, we are required to reduce the aid package. Right now, we reduce the self-help, primarily a loan, by the scholarship amount. On the upside, if students subsequently lose their outside scholarship, for whatever reason, SHU will restore the original package. In order to apply an outside scholarship to a student’s account, the check must be sent to the Bursar’s Office and a copy of the scholarship letter should be sent to the office of Student Financial Assistance.
- How will my financial assistance awards be applied to my bill?
Financial assistance awards are divided into fall and spring disbursements. To accept or decline your awards, please log into your SHUawards account and click the “Accept Awards” tab. All types of financial assistance except work-study and outside alternative loan programs are credited directly to your student account. Federal assistance in the form of grant and loan programs in addition to state grant programs will remain estimated if our office requires additional information such as tax returns, loan certifications and applications.
- If my family or I have a problem and feel that the financial assistance is not enough, can I appeal?
You can request a reevaluation. Often changes occur during the academic year that affects the family’s ability to provide its contribution. If you would like to request a reevaluation of your file, please provide a letter detailing the reason for the review. Please document circumstances you feel deserve consideration that result in a reduction of income. Examples of these conditions include: medical bills, unemployment, divorce/separation, death of a spouse or parent, disability of family members, change in employment earnings, loss of untaxed income or benefits. Your letter should outline the anticipated income for the year. Attach documents that support your appeal, such as year-to-date pay stubs, verification of untaxed income-to-date, unemployment benefits-to-date, AFDC/TANF benefit history and projection, statement from employer in a case where hours are reduced or a salary changed. Please note how long the condition has existed and why. Institutional adjustments can be made in a relatively short time. Changes to federal or state awards usually take longer.
- Are there any reasons why my award would change?
There are cases in which our office may need to recalculate your financial assistance offer based upon information received after the original award is made.
- Receipt of additional aid from outside sources.
- Changes in family contributions due to updated information.
- Changes in enrollment status.
- Changes in housing plans.
- Withdrawal from the University prior to semesters end. Federal regulations may require repayment of funds.
- Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Sacred Heart University attempts to make maximum use of its funds in order to assist as many students as possible. When adjustments become necessary we will make every attempt to reduce your loan debt.
- What happens if my award letter is updated or changed?
Anytime your financial assistance has been adjusted, whether an addition of an award (i.e., outside scholarship or a private loan) or an increase or decrease in funds (i.e., verification of tax information or appeal for more aid), any new revised award letter will be uploaded to your SHUawards account. Remember you must go back into your SHUawards account and click accept or decline your updated awards.