Paying For College

O’More College of Design recognizes that, in many instances, students and their families are not able to meet the entire cost of their education. That is why we go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that your college education is not only memorable and valuable – but also affordable. O’More is committed to working with students and parents to reach the shared goal of preparing and educating creative individuals who aspire to make a meaningful contribution to the world. By providing student aid through grants, scholarships, work study, and loans, O’More helps make it possible for talented students with limited personal financial resources to attend and benefit from the incredible resources we have to offer.

Financial aid is available to qualified students to assist them in paying for their O’More education. Information such as the types and amounts of financial aid available, the process to apply for aid, policies and procedures related to the awarding of financial aid, and disbursement information for each program is updated annually. O’More supports a comprehensive program of student financial assistance based on both need and merit. We are committed to transparency, fairness, and efficiency in communicating with students and families.

 

Once students have been admitted and are attending to O’More, all official communication relating to financial aid will be sent to their O’More email address. It is the student’s responsibility to check the email account and respond to emails in a timely manner. 

 

Contact Sara Martin, Director of Financial Aid by email or by calling 615.794.4254 x. 226.

 

How to Apply for Financial Aid

O’More College of Design participates in U.S. and state government grant, loan, and work study programs. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and entering our school code: 014663. Students must reapply each year in order to receive aid. Whenever possible, we recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your tax return information directly into the FAFSA. This decreases processing time significantly.

Once you have been admitted to O’More College, we will determine what types of federal and state aid for which you are eligible using this application.

 

Recommended Deadlines

  • New students entering fall semester should complete the FAFSA between January 1 and June 30. Our priority date for incoming students is March 1.
  • New students entering spring semester may file the FAFSA at any time during the preceding year. Our priority deadline is November 1.
  • Returning students should submit the FAFSA by April 15 of each year.

Those who miss the priority deadlines may still qualify for financial assistance. Please keep in mind that some federal and state grant programs have limited budgets, so those that file early are more likely to receive those funds.

 

What to Do Next

  1. Read and respond to all correspondence from the Office of Financial Aid. Sometimes we will require additional documents from you and/or your parent in order to complete your financial aid award package.
  2. Review your award letter carefully. Ask questions if you don’t understand. We are here to help you understand the financial aid process
  3. Sign and return a copy of your award letter indicating which awards you would like to accept. O’More will automatically assume that you would like to accept all grant and gift aid.
  4. Complete all required loan counseling and promissory note requirements, if you have chosen to accept a student loan.

 

Verification 

Your FAFSA may be selected for a process called Verification, either randomly or due to conflicting data reported on your FAFSA. The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to request verification of any data submitted by parents or applicants. Students selected for verification will be sent a request and/or steps required to complete this process. It is very important for you to comply with this request immediately, as it will delay your financial aid processing. If you are selected for verification, you may be required to submit a copy of a prior year’s IRS tax transcript. You can submit a request for a transcript here.

If the data is found to be incorrect, the data may be corrected and the award revised. If the applicant is determined ineligible for financial aid, the applicant’s award can be withdrawn. The applicant will then be responsible for payment of all expenses incurred.

 

Other Requirements 

Loan entrance counseling is required for all first-time borrowers of the student loan program. Its purpose is to inform students of their rights and responsibilities with borrowing from the federal loan program. Loan exit interviews are required for students who graduate, transfer, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment status. Failure to complete loan exit counseling may result in a delay or withholding a transcript or diploma.

 

Types of Financial Assistance

 

Federal and State Grant and Scholarship Aid (determined by the FAFSA) 

Eligibility for these funds is determined by completing the FAFSA:

  • Federal Pell Grant: for students and families with low incomes. Available only to first-time undergraduate students. For the 2015-2016 academic year, the maximum annual Pell Grant award is $5,445.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): for students with exceptional need. These grant amounts may range from $100 to $2,000 per year.
  • Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA): Students who file the FAFSA by February 1 and meet certain need requirements may be eligible for this grant from the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC). Funding is extremely limited and funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Award amounts range from $2,000 to $4,000 per year.
  • Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program (TELS): These scholarships include all Tennessee Hope, Aspire, General Assembly Merit, and other awards overseen by TSAC. The FAFSA filing deadline for fall term is September 1 and February 1 for spring term. For more information on TELS programs, visit the TSAC website.
  • Other State Grants and Scholarships: These require additional information and/or a separate application. Dual Enrollment, Helping Heroes Grants, Ned McWherter Scholarship, and Dependent Children Scholarships fall under this category. More information can be found at www.CollegePaysTN.com

 

Self-Help Aid (determined by the FAFSA) 

  • Federal Work Study: Eligible undergraduate students may work up to 20 hours per week on campus or at approved off-campus jobs. There are a variety of work locations and settings. Hourly pay begins at $10 per hour, but may increase dependent upon student skill. Annual award amounts average $2,100. Students receive these funds via paycheck. Students may view open positions here.
  • Subsidized Stafford Loan: Federal subsidized Stafford Loans are based on financial need as well as annual and lifetime loan limits. Interest on this loan does not accrue during eligible periods of enrolment. Interest accrual will begin during the designated grace period (usually 6 months) and repayment begins 6 months after graduation or when a student is no longer enrolled at least half time (6 hours). Once repayment begins, the interest rate for subsidized loans is 6.8%.
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: Federal unsubsidized Stafford Loans are based on annual and lifetime loan limits and are not need-based. Interest on this loan begins to accrue upon the first disbursement. Repayment begins 6 months after graduation or when a student is no longer enrolled at least half-time (6 hours). The interest rate for unsubsidized loans is 6.8%.
  • Parent PLUS Loan: Direct PLUS loans are loans parents take out on behalf of the student, to cover a student’s education expenses. The parent does have to complete an application and pass a credit check to receive this loan. Should the parent apply for a PLUS loan and be denied, the student may receive additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds in their name. Parents apply for PLUS Loans at www.studentloans.gov
  • Alternative/Private Loans: Alternative loans are private loans made through lending institutions, based upon the student or parent’s level of creditworthiness as determined by the lender. These loans are more expensive than federal loans and cannot be part of a federal consolidation repayment. We discourage students from pursuing alternative loans unless all other alternatives have been explored. We have compiled a list of most frequently used lenders but cannot endorse or recommend one particular lender. We suggest doing research and contacting more than one lender before making your decision. View our frequently used lender list here.

First time federal student loan borrowers must complete both a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling before loan funds will be sent to the school. First-time Parent PLUS loan borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note as well. All students graduating, withdrawing, or dropping below half-time enrollment must complete Loan Exit Counseling. All of these steps can be completed at www.studentloans.gov

 

Loan Amounts 

Annual Loan Limits (combined maximum for subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford):

  • Dependent Undergraduate Students
    • Freshmen:   $5,500
    • Sophomores:   $6,500
    • Juniors and Seniors: $7,500

The aggregate (lifetime) limit is $31,000, with no more than $23,000 in subsidized loans.

  • Independent Undergraduate Students
    • Freshmen:  $9,500
    • Sophomores:  $10,500
    • Juniors and Seniors: $12,500

The aggregate limit is $57,500, with no more than $23,000 in subsidized loans.

 

Financial Aid Refunds

If your financial aid is greater than your outstanding balance owed to O’More for the current semester, the Business Office will issue you a refund of all aid in excess of your bill. This refund will not be processed before all aid is applied and no refund will be issued sooner than the 14th day of classes.

 

Monthly Payment Plan

Students who have a remaining balance will need to make payments toward their bill. They may opt to enroll in the interest-free monthly payment plan, administered through Tuition Management Systems. For more information call 1-888-713-7234 or visit www.afford.com/options