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Undergraduate Catalog

Financial Aid

Need-Based Scholarships and Grants

State and Federal Aid

Student Loans

Student Employment

Need-Based Scholarships and Grants

General Information
Eligibility
Federal Verification Process

General Information
For most students, a financial aid package consists of gift assistance (grant or scholarship) and a student loan. In addition, work-study is offered to most students who have demonstrated financial need and reside on campus. Recipients may accept or reject any portion of the offer.

Financial aid is renewed on the basis of need and satisfactory academic progress. A financial aid application must be filed each year in which renewal is requested, and priority for Mills scholarship consideration is given to those applicants who meet the published application deadlines. The amount of a student's financial aid will be reviewed annually and may be adjusted to reflect any significant change in financial circumstances.

The number of semesters of eligibility for entering first-year students is limited to eight semesters. For transfer students, the number of semesters of eligibility is established by the initial graduation date defined by the M Center upon entrance to Mills. Financial aid eligibility continues only to this expected date of graduation.

Mills offers need-based scholarships supported in large part by the Marie Dawn Simms Scholarship Fund.

Eligibility
Eligibility for need-based financial aid depends on a student's financial need, which is defined as the difference between estimated expenses and estimated resources. Financial need for each applicant is determined after a careful review of the information submitted as part of the financial aid application (see required forms under Aid Application Forms and Deadlines).

In establishing eligibility, expenses related to attendance are considered: tuition, fees, room, and board payable to the College, plus allowances for books, supplies, personal expenses, and loan fees. Living expenses, such as rent, food, and transportation, are considered in determining financial need for commuters. Expenses are also considered for students who live at home with parents or relatives, but the cost of attendance is lower than for those living elsewhere. Since many of the elements in the cost of attendance are estimates, it is possible for a student to spend more or less than anticipated during any given year.

If no award is made, it could be because the financial information indicates that it would be possible for all the expenses to be met by the student and her family, because a student's overall academic and personal record was not competitive with other applicants, or because the student did not meet the appropriate financial aid application deadlines. Academic achievement and promise as well as financial need may be considered in the awarding process. All factors that have influenced a student's record are carefully considered.

Need-based institutional funds (scholarship, loan, and work-study) are awarded only to full-time students pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Although institutional financial aid is not available for part-time study, students may apply for government financial assistance.

Students pursuing a second baccalaureate degree are eligible to apply for merit scholarships and government student loans.

Federal Verification Process
Federal verification is a process mandated by the federal government in which students and/or parents are required to provide documentation to support data reported on the FAFSA. Approximately 30 percent of students are selected by the federal government for this verification review and are notified of their selection on their Student Aid Reports.

Students selected for federal verification must complete and submit to the M Center at Mills either a dependent or independent verification worksheet based on their status as determined upon completion of the FAFSA. These forms are available on the Mills College financial aid website. In most instances, students selected for federal verification also are required to submit to the M Center at Mills IRS Tax Return Transcripts for the student and/or parent(s) unless the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA is used to transfer tax data from the IRS to the FAFSA.  The verification requirements should be completed/submitted within 30 days of the request date. Failure to complete the verification requirements will result in the withdrawal of the student's financial aid award for the academic year. Students will be notified by letter or email if their financial aid award changes as a result of the verification process.

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State and Federal Student Aid

Federal Grants
California State Grants

Federal Grants

Federal Pell Grant
This is a federal program for undergraduates with exceptional financial need who have not received a baccalaureate degree. A student's eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant is determined by the information provided on the student's FAFSA each year. To qualify, a student must be a US citizen or an eligible noncitizen.

Award amounts are estimated and are subject to changes in federal legislation. The amount of Federal Pell Grant funding a student may receive over her lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. The six-year maximum applies to all students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant. Additional information regarding the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding students may receive over their lifetime is available at www.studentaid.ed.gov

Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
This is a federally funded grant program for undergraduates who have not received a baccalaureate degree. Funding is very limited. Applicants with exceptional financial need who apply for financial aid at Mills are considered. These federal grants range from $100 to $4,000 per year. To qualify, a student must be a US citizen or an eligible noncitizen.

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California State Grants
A California resident who intends to apply for financial aid should also apply for a Cal Grant. The current deadline for the Cal Grant application is March 2 in order to be considered for the following academic year. The application for a Cal Grant consists of two documents: the FAFSA and the Cal Grant GPA Verification form. The postmark filing deadline for both documents is March 2 preceding the academic year in which the student is applying.

Cal Grant A
These grants are available to California residents from middle-income and low-income families to assist with tuition. Cal Grant A recipients are selected on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, and other criteria. Recipients whose computed financial need exceeds the state grant will be considered for other types of aid.

Cal Grant B
These grants are available to California residents from very low-income families. The program is designed generally for disadvantaged students but is not entirely so restricted.

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Student Loans

Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Mills College Loan
Private Loans

Funds for the loan programs described below come from the federal government or from private lending institutions. All applications are made through the M Center, which must certify to the lender a student's enrollment and eligibility for the loan.

Federal Perkins Loan
This long-term federal loan program is funded jointly by the federal government and Mills College. The borrower must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program. Funds are very limited and are awarded to students with the highest financial need. The maximum annual loan limit for individual undergraduate students is $5,500. No interest accumulates on this loan as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half time in an eligible degree or certificate program. Repayment, with a 5 percent interest rate, begins nine months after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half time in an eligible degree or certificate program. Depending on the amount of the loan, repayment may extend up to 10 years.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
This government program provides loans of up to $3,500 a year for first-year students, up to $4,500 a year for sophomores, and up to $5,500 a year for juniors and seniors, with an undergraduate aggregate limit of $23,000. Students must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program and must demonstrate financial need for federal student aid in order to qualify. An origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. The federal government will pay the in-school interest which accrues on this loan as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half time. Repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates or drops below half time, and payments are made in installments over a period of up to 10 years with a standard repayment plan. Students who plan to borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program must complete all Federal Direct Stafford Loan requirements no later than November 15 for the fall semester and no later than April 15 for the spring semester.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available to students who do not qualify for the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, or to students who want an additional loan to supplement the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan. An origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. Unlike the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. The borrower is responsible for the interest from the time the unsubsidized loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (added to the loan principal) when the loan enters repayment. No repayment of the principal is required when the student is in school and enrolled at least half time, or during grace or deferment periods.

Repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates or drops below half time. A student does not have to demonstrate need for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan except to the extent that total financial aid (including the unsubsidized loan) cannot exceed the student's cost of attendance for the given academic year. Undergraduate annual borrowing limits for this program, including any Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans, are as follows:

Dependent first-year students: $5,500
Dependent sophomores: $6,500
Dependent juniors and seniors: $7,500
Independent first-year students: $9,500
Independent sophomores: $10,500
Independent juniors and seniors: $12,500

The aggregate borrowing limit is $31,000 for dependent undergraduates (including Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan amounts) and $57,500 for independent undergraduates (including Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan amounts). Students who plan to borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program must complete all Federal Direct Stafford Loan requirements no later than November 15 for the fall semester and no later than April 15 for the spring semester.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
This federal loan program enables parents of dependent students to borrow for what they find to be an unrealistic family contribution or to cover a student's need (which may not have been met by other financial aid). Parents who have no adverse credit history may borrow up to the full cost of attendance minus other financial aid.  An origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. Repayment typically begins after the final disbursement of the loan, and payments are made in installments over a period of up to 10 years. Parents who plan to borrow through the Federal Direct PLUS program must complete all Federal Direct PLUS requirements no later than November 15 for the fall semester and no later than April 15 for the spring semester.

Mills College Loan
This long-term student loan program, funded by Mills College, is designed for students with financial need who have exhausted their borrowing eligibility through government student loan programs. Borrowers must be registered full time and be in good financial standing with the College.

No interest accumulates on this loan while the borrower is enrolled full time at Mills or, subsequently, in a degree program at another institution of higher education. Repayment with an 8.5 percent interest rate begins nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled full time. The annual borrowing limit is $2,500. Depending on the amount of the loan, repayment may extend up to five years.

Private Loans
Private loans may assist with college expenses that may not be covered by federal loan programs or other financial aid. Private loans are offered by a number of lenders but typically are credit based and often have higher interest rates and fees than federal loans. Private loans which must be certified by the College can be certified for a maximum of the student's estimated cost of attendance, as indicated on the student's financial aid award letter, minus other aid the student will be receiving for the academic year.

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Student Employment

General Information
Applications for Student Employment
Resident Assistants
Off-Campus Employment

General Information
Students who live on campus and have demonstrated financial need are given priority for part-time employment on campus. A work-study award does not guarantee employment but enables students to apply for an on-campus job through listings available at Career Services. Payment for hours worked is funded through the Federal College Work-Study Program and/or institutional funds. Typically, students offered on-campus jobs work 4 to 12 hours a week. The wide range of part-time jobs includes office work, data entry, reception and library duties, computer support, lifeguarding, and instructor assistant opportunities. Students who obtain on-campus employment are paid for hours actually worked. The amount that can be earned will depend upon individual eligibility and program funding. All employment is contingent upon the student's job performance, and all student employees must meet the standards established by the employer.

Applications for Student Employment
All students seeking employment on campus must file a financial aid application. If work-study is awarded, the student must pick up her student employment agreement from the M Center and present this form to prospective employers as proof of eligibility to work on campus. Students may use the campus job listings at Career Services to contact potential employers regarding job application requirements.

Resident Assistants
Resident assistants are paraprofessional staff members who work in the residential community to promote responsible community living. Hiring preference is given to students who have completed one full semester. Applications and information are available through the Division of Student Life.

Off-Campus Employment
Off-campus employers also offer part-time job opportunities. Off-campus listings are posted at Career Services. 

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Undergraduate Catalog
Table of Contents

About Mills

Academic Requirements

Academic Regulations

Transfer Credit

Graduation

Advising and Registration

Course Descriptions

Majors and Minors

Graduate Degree and Certifcate Programs

Student Life

Admission

Expenses

Financial Aid

Last Updated: 6/4/13