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New Student Frequently Asked Questions

Download Orientation Guide to Assist New Students/FAQs


Financial Aid FAQs

Question Answer
1. How do I apply for financial aid?  Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We recommend students complete the online application at  www.fafsa.gov. Students and parents will need an FSA ID to complete the application.  
2. What is a FSA ID? The FSA ID a username and password you use to log in to certain US Department of Education websites, such as fafsa.gov. You should get an FSA ID before you start the FAFSA. If you are required to provide parent information on your FAFSA, one of your parents needs an FSA ID too. Parents should not make an FSA ID for their child or vice versa. 
3. What is Shaw University’s school code? The school code is 002962.
4. Who is my 'Parent' when I fill out my FAFSA?

Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/who-is-my-parent.png for information on how 'Parent' is defined.

5. I was selected for “verification.” What does this mean? This means the Financial Aid Office must verify or confirm the accuracy of the information submitted on your FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office will contact you to let you know what documents you need to provide. You should submit all requested documents promptly to avoid delays in processing your aid application.
6. What forms can I turn in to verify my tax information? You will need to submit a Tax Return Transcript to verify tax information submitted on your FAFSA. Tax Return Transcripts can be requested at  irs.gov.  As of June 2012 we can no longer accept a signed 1040 Tax Form to verify tax information.
7. What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?  The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is a quick and accurate way to import federal tax return data directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. In most cases, applicants who use the IRS DRT and are selected for verification will not have to submit an IRS tax transcript to the Office of Scholarships and Financial.
8. I don’t live with my parents and my parents no longer claim me on their tax form. Am I independent for financial aid?  No. Whether your parents claim you on their taxes has no bearing on your financial aid. Financial aid dependency is determined by questions asked on the FAFSA. (See https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/dependency)
9. What is a financial aid package? A financial aid package is the combination of federal, state, and institutional aid (grants, scholarships, work study, and loans) a student is eligible to receive. It will also include any scholarship funding received from sources outside the University.  
10. How do my parents apply for a PLUS loan? Parents will need to go to the  StudentLoans.gov website and click the green "Sign In" button.    
11. How and when will my aid be disbursed? Shaw University will receive the federal, state and institutional funds after the add/drop period is over each semester. Outside scholarships are split into two equal disbursements, half for each semester, unless your donor requests a single disbursement. If your financial aid award exceeds your institutional charges, you will have a credit balance. If you have a credit balance, you should expect those funds to be available within 14 days of a credit being generated on your student account.    
12. How do I apply for a Federal Pell Grant? When you complete a FAFSA, you are automatically considered for a Pell Grant.         
13. How do I apply for Federal Work- Study, and can I keep the money I earn through the Federal Work-Study Program? When you complete the FAFSA, you should indicate that you are interested in the Federal Work Study program.  Federal Work Study funds are paid on a monthly basis.  
14. When do I start repaying my student loans? You begin repaying most federal student loans after a six month grace period from the date you complete your degree, leave college, or drop below half-time enrollment. Your loan servicer will provide you with loan repayment information. It is your responsibility to stay in touch with your servicer and make payments, even if you do not receive a bill (see  https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand).

Office of the Registrar FAQs

Question Answer
1. How do I set up my Shaw Bears email account? Please visit www.shawu.edu/Students/Email.aspxfor information on how to setup your account.
2. How do I access BearsNet?

Visit  https://bearsnet.shawu.edu/icsto access BearsNet. The user name is your student ID number and the PIN number you were given is your password. If you have lost or forgotten your password, please visit the Office of the Registrar on the second floor of Debnam Hall or call 919-546-8414.

3. Who is my advisor? Your advisor is listed in BearsNeton the 'Student' tab. The box with academic information lists your academic advisors.

Residence Life FAQs

Question Answer
1. What should I bring with me?

Space is limited. Always talk to your roommate before making any decision about what to bring.   View Suggested List

2. What are the dimensions of the room?

Generally, all double rooms are approximately 12 feet by 16 feet. Triple rooms are approximately 15 feet by 16 feet and located only in the freshman halls (Dimple Newsome  and Fleming-Kee  residence halls)

3. How is the room furnished? Each double and triple room is furnished with:
  • Single twin size bed and mattress
  • Dressers
  • Desks
  • Desk chairs
  • Closets or wardrobes
  • Bookshelves
4. Do you have any decorating tips? Simple, inexpensive  items can make the room more comfortable and add storage spaces.
  • Small trunks, foot lockers and colorful crates can be stacked in various ways to serve as storage for books and other items, under-bed containers serve as great storage tools.
  • Carpet samples can be sewn together to make attractive and inexpensive scatter rugs.
  • Throw pillows can add an inexpensive  splash of color.
  • Posters - images of travels, entertainers, movies and sports figures can brighten a room.
  • Favorite items like pictures of family and friends and stuffed animals can make your room feel like home.

Writing Center FAQs

Question Answer
1. Do I need to make an appointment?

You are always welcome in the center without an appointment, but especially during busy times of the semester, it's a good idea to make an appointment a few days in advance to make sure someone is available to help when you come in.

2. How do I make an appointment? Visit www.shawu.edu/WritingCenterto learn more about the center and make an appointment. Once you click 'Schedule a Consultation,' use your student ID and Shaw issued password to login. You might be prompted to create an account. If so, fill in your information. After that, you will see our appointment calendar. White spaces are available for appointments. If you have further questions, there is additional information on our website.
3. What can the Writing Center help me with?

The Writing Center is a FREE and open resource for the entire Shaw University community. Our job is to make you a stronger writer by giving you choices that will help you transform your draft to a polished final product. We can help with any step in the writing process, assisting with papers, presentations, and assignments for all classes.

The Honors College FAQs

Question Answer
1. What is the Honors College? The Honors College of Shaw University is an academic enrichment program that nurtures excellence in select students who are highly motivated, talented and gifted, and who demonstrate a commitment to the learning process in reaching their potential to become scholars, leaders and role models. The Honors College is NOT a club or honor society, résumé filler or something you drop into and out of when you feel like it. The Honors College is select, demanding, work, and has high expectations of you.
2. What are the responsibilities of membership? Students in the Honors College are expected to:
  • Take at least 15 credit hours each semester
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.25 grade point average
  • Take the appropriate honors seminar each semester
  • Perform 15 hours of community service each semester
  • Participate in at least 2 Honors College-sponsored group service activities each semester
  • Regularly attend Honors Scholars Association meetings
  • Have active involvement in at least one campus organization other than the Honors Scholars Association
  • Apply for at least two internships or co-op each year
  • Apply for at least two scholarship each semester
  • Serve on at least two committees of the Honors Scholars Association
3. What are the benefits?
  • A custom designed Honors College lapel pin
  • Priority in course selection at each semester's registration
  • Individualized advising
  • Eligibility for scholarships and internships
  • Participation in special events, field trips, and social activities
  • Some priority in housing selection
  • Individualized assistance in preparing resumes and/or applications for fellowships and postgraduate study
  • Recognition during Awards Day ceremony
  • A custom designed medallion to be worn with graduation regalia
  • Subsidized honors program and honors conference expenses (based on funding availability)
4. How do I apply?

The application can be found online at www.shawu.edu/honors, in the 'resources and forms' section.