FAQs on Awards
- How can I access my financial assistance award?
The Office of Student Financial Assistance is proud to offer each student the ability to gain full access to their financial assistance file by utilizing our online system, SHUAwards. Accepted students can do the following via SHUAwards: view and accept/decline their financial aid award(s), access missing/incomplete documents, review messages from the Office of SFA relating to their award(s), and view their loan history from the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS).
To create your account, please go to
- 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. Students awarded University funds must maintain full-time status to remain 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.
Merit scholarship recipients are selected on the strength of their academic record; this includes high school GPA from college preparatory coursework (as determined by the Office of Admissions), rank in class, and SAT scores. For annual scholarship renewal, Merit scholarship recipients must be full-time, in good academic standing and must maintain the required minimum cumulative GPA for their particular scholarship program. Please check your award letter and the Messages tab on SHUAwards for scholarship requirements. If a student is concerned they are not meeting the required GPA, they should contact their financial assistance counselor.
- 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 either the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Need-Based Award or the Roberta B. Willis Need & Merit-Based Award. Information regarding State of Connecticut Financial Aid programs can be found here. 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 the 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 potentially earn throughout the course of the academic year if you participate in the work-study program. Work-study is typically minimum wage. Payment is bi-weekly and is based on the hours worked during the pay period. Once you have been awarded work-study, you must submit a Work Application 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?
Many organizations do not exhaust their scholarship funds each year because students do not apply for them! Be resolute in your outside scholarship search, consider asking your parent's employer, clubs your family may belong to and your local library about their scholarship offerings. Students should also seek out their high school guidance counselors to direct them to local organizations that offer scholarship opportunities. We also encourage students to visit online sources for outside scholarships such as College Board and Fastweb.
- What happens if I receive an outside scholarship?
Per federal regulations, the total amount of financial aid a student receives cannot exceed their financial need or the cost of education. If the University has met a student's aid eligibility and the student then receives an outside award, we are required to reduce the aid package by the outside award amount. If possible, the self-help (i.e. a loan) is what gets reduced by the outside scholarhip amount. Fortunately, if a student subsequently loses their outside scholarship, the original award package will be restored. In order to apply an outside scholarship to a student’s account, the check must be sent to Student Accounts 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, reduce, or decline your award(s), please access the Accept Awards tab on your SHUAwards account. Please note that work-study funds will not be credited to your student account, instead, students are paid directly via check or direct deposit. Federal and state financial aid will remain 'estimated' if the student has missing/incomplete documentation on file with the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
- If my family or I have a problem and feel that the current financial aid is not enough, can I appeal?
You may request a reevaluation. For more information on the circumstances that qualify for a reevaluation and how to submit your request please visit our webpage.
- Are there any reasons why my award would change?
There are some cases in which the Office of SFA may need to recalculate your award package 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 the end of the semester; (federal regulations may require repayment of funds).
- Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
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 first reduce your loan debt.
- What happens if my award letter is updated or changed?
Anytime your financial aid award package is adjusted, a revised award letter will be uploaded to your SHUAwards account. Remember you must go back into your SHUAwards account to accept, reduce, or decline your updated award(s).