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VSU streamlines financial aid program, adds online summer classes

Published date: January 17, 2013

In an effort to reduce student debt and increase retention, Virginia State University is changing how students can use financial aid to pay for summer school.  The University will also offer Local Open Online Courses (LOOCs) to help students make progress during the summer.


Effective January 1, 2013, students will only be allowed to use the borrowed-funds portion of their financial aid package to pay for summer school if they have loan eligibility remaining from the current academic year.  For example, students receiving loans in the 2013-2014 academic year cannot use the funds for summer school 2013. They can use these funds for summer school in 2014 if they have remaining eligibility for that academic year. Otherwise, students will have to apply for an Outside Alternative Loan or Parent Loan to pay for summer school.  This new practice will allow students to use their maximum loan amount for the fall and spring semesters, when the funds can pay for more credit hours, and provide better loan management and awareness.

VSU will introduce LOOCs for all students during the summer 2013 semester.  These are VSU instructor-led classes through which students can receive credit hours and grades toward their GPA.  Each class is three credit hours and will cost under $200.  This offers an affordable alternative to students wishing to enroll in summer courses. Some of the courses to be offered are: art, biology, history and sociology.  Registration for classes offered through LOOCs begins in February.  More information on specific classes offered through LOOCs will be forthcoming. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found at


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding
Financial Aid , Summer School  & Local Open Online Courses (LOOCs)

  • What type of financial aid can I use for summer classes?

    If you have eligibility left, you may use federal direct loans and federal Pell grant.  You may also apply for Outside Alternative Loans (based on credit) or the federal Parent Loan (based on parent’s credit).

  • What are my alternatives?

    You may pay for summer classes out of pocket or by applying for an Outside Alternative Loan or Parent Loan.

  • I used loans last summer, why is VSU changing?

    This new change will allow students to utilize their maximum loan amount for the fall and spring semesters, when funds can pay for more credit hours and better loan management and awareness. 

  • If I have loan funds available that I received this year, can I used them for Summer 2013 classes?

    If you have eligibility left, you may use federal direct loans.  Please refer to the chart below for loan limits.




    Combined Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Limits


    Unsubsidized Loan

    (If PLUS loan denied or Independent Student)





    $ 4,000

    $  9,500



    $ 4,000




    $ 5,000


    Graduate/Professional Student




  • Is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process the same with the change?

    Yes, the FAFSA process will be the same; please visit .

  • What is a LOOC?

    Local Open Online Courses

  • What LOOC classes will be offered?

    Art, Biology, History and Sociology: Specific class numbers will be released in late February

  • Will these affect my GPA and credit hours earned?

    Yes, these LOOC courses will affect your GPA and credit hours.

  • How many LOOC classes can I take?

    No more than two (2) during the Summer Term.

  • Where are the LOOCs held?  Can I take them online at home?

    Yes, these courses can be taken anywhere online.

  • Can I pay for LOOCs with financial aid?

    No, financial aid cannot be used to pay for the LOOCs.

  • Will other courses be offered during the summer other than LOOCs?

    Yes, other courses will be offered; please go online for Summer School Registration.

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