Federal Aid

Title IV Aid Eligibility

To receive federal funds, you must be considered Title IV Eligible. Section 484 of the Higher Education Act states that Title IV eligible students must:

  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program.
  • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school.
  • For currently enrolled students, be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans.
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan.
  • File “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification that includes
    • A statement of educational purpose.
    • Student’s SSN.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen.
  • Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges.
  • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
  • Have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently.
  • Have Social Security Number verified.

Mercer University requires the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be completed to determine Title IV eligibility.


A student is INDEPENDENT if he/she meets any of the following criteria:

  • Was born before January 1, 1999 (for 2022-2023 Academic Year)
  • Is married as of the date the FAFSA is completed
  • Is a graduate or professional student
  • Is currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training
  • Is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Has dependents other than a spouse who live with you and receive more than half their support from you at the time you complete the FAFSA
  • Was an orphan, foster child, or ward/dependent of the court at any time since the age of 13
  • Is an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship or was when he reached the age of majority in his state
  • Was determined at any time since July 1, 2022, to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

If you can only answer “yes” to the italicized criteria, additional documentation is required to be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Planning.  Please contact the Office of Student Financial Planning for additional information.

For more information on determining your dependency status, go online to www.studentaid.gov.

Direct Loan Counseling

Entrance Counseling

You must complete your entrance counseling before you receive funds from the Federal Direct Student Loan Program.   Entrance Counseling covers important information regarding your loan obligations.  The information includes your repayment schedule, disclosure, your borrower rights and responsibilities, and your personal information form.  Entrance counseling can be completed online at studentaid.gov.

Exit Counseling

If you are a Federal Loan recipient when you leave, withdraw, or graduate from Mercer, you will receive instructions for completing Loan Exit Counseling that covers important information regarding your loan obligations. This information includes your repayment schedule, disclosure, your borrower rights and responsibilities, and your personal and confidential information form. Exit Counseling can be completed online at studentaid.gov.