Frequently Asked Questions

TELEPHONE 765-285-5600

Questions & Answers about the Teacher Education Program Laptop Requirement

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) makes every effort to meet the needs of all eligible aid applicants. The cost of purchasing the Teacher Education Program laptop can be added to the cost of attendance used to determine financial aid eligibility. Since there are no special grant or scholarship funds available to cover the purchase of a laptop, funding is provided through federal or private loans.

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is determined annually and is normally made up of the following components: tuition and mandatory fees; room & board/rent and food; books & supplies; personal/miscellaneous expenses; and transportation expenses. Additional items, such as the purchase of a required computer, can be added to the cost of attendance one time during the student's enrollment at the university.

Q. I have already received my financial aid award letter, so how do I add the cost of the laptop to my cost of attendance?
Complete the "Request for Additional Financial Aid for Purchase of Computer" form available from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid Web site. Go to the last item listed under “For the 2008-09 Academic Year.” Print, complete and submit this form to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, Lucina Hall, Room 245. Forms are also available in Lucina Hall, Room 245.

Q. Am I able to receive a grant or scholarship instead of a loan to purchase the laptop?
No, only federal or private loans are available for this purpose. Based on your financial need and the funds available, you have already received the maximum federal, state, and institutional grants and scholarships for which you are eligible.

Q. What type of federal financial aid is available to use in purchasing the laptop computer?

A. If you have remaining grade level eligibility for the federal Stafford loan (subsidized or unsubsidized), you can borrow additional funds up to your maximum eligibility. If you have already borrowed your grade level maximum, then additional funding must be obtained through the federal parent (PLUS) loan program.

Q. When must these loans be repaid?

A. Federal Direct Stafford Loans are normally not due and payable until after you leave school. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will award you the Subsidized Stafford Loan up to your maximum eligibility based on your need, grade level, and the amount previously borrowed. This loan is interest free while you are enrolled. You should be aware that if a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is part of your aid package, interest begins to accrue immediately even though the loan does not need to be repaid until after you are out of school.

Q. Can/should parents borrow from the PLUS loan program to help finance the cost of a laptop?

A. Undergraduate students who are considered financially dependent on their parents may need to fund these costs through the PLUS loan. PLUS loans are low-cost loans for parents to assist with their child's educational expenses. Parents of graduate students and self-supporting undergraduate students cannot borrow through the PLUS program. The decision to borrow though PLUS for a dependent student is a parent's option. In many cases, we cannot meet the student's financial need if the parent elects not to borrow from this program. Graduate students are able to borrow through the federal Graduate PLUS loan program.

Q. Are there any other options for students whose need is not met or who need additional funds for the laptop purchase?
If we cannot meet a student's need, and the PLUS loan is not an option, there are several sources of private loans through private lenders. Each lender has different eligibility, interest and repayment requirements, so you should evaluate these options very carefully. Click here for more information regarding private loans.

Q. Can I get the money now so I can purchase the laptop before classes start?

A. No, federal regulations prohibit advances of financial aid. For students who have applied in a timely manner, completed all required paperwork, and paid all direct university charges, a refund check will usually be mailed approximately four days prior to the start of the academic term.

Q. If I want to apply for Stafford or PLUS loan, what process do I follow?

A. Obtain the loan application from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, Lucina Hall, Room 245, or go to the financial aid Web site at

Q. I still have questions or need additional information, what should I do?

A. Contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid either in person at Lucina Hall, Room 245, or by telephone at 765-285-5600.

OSFA 4/24/08

Office of the Dean
Teachers College (TC), Room 1005
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306-0625

Phone: 765-285-5251
Fax: 765-285-5455
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