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BYU Financial Aid and Scholarships Guide

Bachelor of General Studies (BGS): Financial Aid for Independent Study Courses

 

BGS and Financial Aid Requirements

In order to be eligible for financial aid for Independent Study courses, one must:

  • Be formally admitted into the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) Program. Before formal admittance, ST DEV 100 must be completed at your own expense. After you have successfully completed ST DEV 100, and are subsequently officially admitted to the BGS program, you may apply for federal financial aid.
  • Register and pay for Independent Study courses on or after the first day of on-campus classes for Fall Semester. (Fall semester 2013 classes begin September 3, 2013.) Courses purchased before this date will not be covered. All courses are purchased out of pocket. 
  • Request the final in all courses for which financial aid is received by August 31 (at the end of the academic year for which you received aid). Any finals not requested by this date will receive a failing grade for the course.

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How Much Pell Grant Will I Receive?

For Independent Study courses:

  • BGS students cannot be paid for more than 12.0 credit hours of Independent Study per academic year. Awards are made as if enrolled in 24 credit hours, like a regularly enrolled student, so students can only receive half of the annual award amount.
    • Example: If the annual award is $5,000, the maximum received is $2,500, based on an enrollment of 12.0 or more credit hours.

Pell Grant eligibility is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA. Use your EFC to look up your disbursement breakdown.

How is Pell Disbursed?

For Independent Study courses:

Pell payments are made in two disbursements.

  • First disbursement: when 25% of the lessons of each course are submitted
  • Second disbursement: when 75% of the lessons of each course are submitted

All awarding is manual. Awards will not appear on your awards page until aid is requested. You must notify the Financial Aid Office of completion of coursework by sending a message via the message center, with the regarding subject of "BGS".  

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Stafford Loans and Independent Study

In order to apply for a Stafford Loan, 12.0 credits of Independent Study must be purchased at one time. 

  • Only direct costs, minus other financial aid, can be borrowed. If the Pell Grant covers the cost of tuition and books, a Stafford Loan may not be taken. Internet fees may be included with direct costs, but documentation must be provided. 

Loan payments are made in two disbursements:

  • First half of loan: when 25% of the lessons of all 12 credits are submitted
  • Second half of loan: when 75% of the lessons of all 12 credits are submitted 

All awarding is manual. Awards will not appear on your awards page until aid is requested. You must notify the Financial Aid Office of completion of coursework by sending a message via the message center. 

If you are interested in using BGS credits to defer the repayment of a loan, please message in via the Message Center (MyBYU > School > My Financial Center > Message Center), with the regarding subject of "BGS", for more details. 

 

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For On-site Courses

BGS students enrolled in on-site courses through Evening School or the Salt Lake Center need to personally register and pay tuition for those courses by the tuition deadline. Federal financial aid payments will be processed after the add/drop deadline for the semester. Short term loans to defer tuition payment are available for BGS students taking on-site courses.

Pell Grants

  • Students are only eligible for up to a half-time payment. (Half-time enrollment is 6.0 credit hours per semester. Half-time enrollment for spring and summer terms is a total of 6.0 credits combined between spring and summer terms.)
  • On-site courses are not under the 25 percent and 75 percent limitation (see above).
  • If combining on-site and Independent Study courses, the 25 percent and 75 percent limitations still apply to all Independent Study courses.

Stafford Loans

  • Must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits for a semester/term).
  • If all classes are on-site, you may receive a Stafford Loan up to the amount of the University's Cost of Attendance.
  • You cannot use a combination of on-site and Independent Study classes for Stafford Loans.

 

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Withdrawing from Financial Aid

If you have received financial aid for a BGS Independent Study course, you have 60 days from the date you purchased the course to return the funds to BYU; therefore not having to finish the course by August 31. 

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