Funding your education
There are a variety of ways you can pay for your college education and receive financial assistance. You can explore scholarship opportunities and learn what options fit you. Our scholarship application deadline is April 1. To apply for CU scholarships, complete the scholarship application.
Financial Aid Terms You Should Know
There are several terms you will hear throughout the financial aid process. To help prepare you for those important conversations and decisions we’ve compiled a list of terms you will want to know.
Sources of Aid
Academic scholarships may be awarded to qualified students who have excelled in their previous academic work. Awards are based on your GPA and standardized test scores.
Performance scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the coach or program director based on proven performance and future potential.
You can earn a scholarship for your participation in either athletics or any of our fine arts programs.
- Athletic Scholarships support intercollegiate athletic teams in various sports for men and women. Athletic Scholarships are available for some, but not all, of the sports depending on the division in which the university participates. Awards are based on need and/or talent. Students must meet the NAIA requirements, as well as the Cumberland requirement of a 2.00 cumulative GPA.
- Fine Arts Scholarships support several areas of fine arts. Areas include band, chorus, art, theatre and dance. Scholarships are awarded by the directors of the area of interest with the direction of the department chairperson. Awards are based upon need and/or talent and participation.
Cumberland has over 100 endowed and annual scholarships established by dedicated alumni and friends to help CU students pay for their education. We award over $300,000 in private and endowed scholarships every year. Be sure to apply April 1.
There are several forms of federal aid available to you. Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need and/or talent and generally do not require repayment unless an over-award has occurred or incorrect information has been provided. To learn what you can receive, submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid at FAFSA.gov.
- The Federal Pell Grant Program is the largest Federal student aid program. The purpose of the program is to ensure that all eligible students have at least a portion of the necessary money to meet college expenses. The amount of each Federal Pell Grant depends on the student’s financial need, the cost of education, and the enrollment status of the student.
- A Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is an award to help undergraduates pay for their education. The amount that a student receives depends upon financial need, the amount of money the school has for the program, and the amount of aid the student receives from other programs. Federal Pell Grant recipients receive priority in FSEOG awards.
- Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA) is a need-based grant provided by the State of Tennessee. Any Tennessee resident who is or will be enrolled as an undergraduate is eligible, and the actual amount of time the student will be enrolled during the year. Students are encouraged to apply early.
Loans do require repayment with interest six months after leaving college. Loans allow students to defer the cost of their education by borrowing now and paying later. Loans are often included in the award package. Cumberland University is a borrower-based institution.
- Federal Perkins Loans, formerly National Direct Student Loans, are low-interest (5%) loans available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Repayment and interest charges begin after the student drops below half-time status. All Perkins Loan recipients must participate in an exit interview if they do not plan to return to Cumberland University the following academic year. Pell Grant recipients receive priority in Perkins Loan awards.
- The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan Program allows undergraduate and graduate students to borrow money to help pay for college expenses. These low-interest rate loans are usually insured by the guarantee agency in the student’s resident state and reinsured by the Federal Government. Repayment does not begin, nor does interest accrue, until six months after the student ceases to be enrolled as at least a half-time student. As of October 1986, the Federal Stafford Loan program became a need-based program.
- The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan allows students who do not qualify for Federal interest subsidies under the Federal Stafford Loan Program to borrow money for college expenses. The combination of subsidized and unsubsidized Federal loans for a borrower may not exceed the annual and aggregate limits for loans under the Federal Stafford Loan Program.
- The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program offers parents of dependent students another option in financing their students’ education. Repayment begins immediately.
- Alternative Loans are available for students from a number of different lenders who participate with the University. These loans generally do not require the completion of the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), may be based upon ability to repay and may carry a slightly higher rate of interest than Federal Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
To learn what federal loan programs best fit your needs, submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid at FAFSA.gov.
Federal Work Study
This Work Scholarship program jointly funded by the university and the Federal Government is intended to encourage and promote the part-time employment of students with demonstrated financial need, as well as assist the university and its surrounding community. Students work part-time jobs on or off campus and earn between $8.00 to $12.00 per hour. The amount of money a student earns may be applied toward his/her charges at the university. Receipt of work study funds is contingent upon the fulfillment of the assigned work responsibilities. Due to funding restrictions, there is no guarantee that FWS will be awarded to all eligible students. Students must maintain a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA.
Other Federal funds are available through such programs as Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Security, and the Veteran’s Administration. For more information, applicants should contact the appropriate agency in their community. Other private sources may be available in the student’s community. Students should check with their parents’ employers, guidance counselors, civic organizations, and/or local businesses.