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Glossary of Financial Aid Terms

We understand that the technicalities and jargon of Financial Aid can be tricky. Below you will find definitions of commonly used terms we hope you will find valuable.


Institutional Scholarships, Grants and Loans: Scholarships, grants or loans provided by Bellarmine University

Federal Scholarships, Grants and Loans: Scholarships, grants or loans provided by the Federal Government

State Scholarships, Grants and Loans: Scholarships, grants or loans provided by the Federal Government


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Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that the technicalities and jargon of Financial Aid can be tricky. Below you will find definitions of commonly used terms we hope you will find valuable.

When will I find out my scholarship amount?

Students will begin receiving scholarship award notices shortly after they are admitted to Bellarmine.

When should I apply for other financial aid?

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at as soon as possible after October 1 of your senior year in high school. List Bellarmine as a school to receive your information. Bellarmine’s school code is 001954. There will be opportunities to make adjustments if your circumstances change.

Should I participate in commercial scholarship or aid searches?

We discourage our students from participating in any search that requires a fee for an agency to find scholarships or grants. Applying for need-based aid is free, and in our experience these search agencies only tend to turn up federal sources you could locate on your own.

How do I receive the Bellarmine Scholar and the Bellarmine Fellow Award?

The Bellarmine Scholar and Bellarmine Fellow scholarships, awarded to entering first-year students, are Bellarmine’s most prestigious academic scholar-ships. The Bellarmine Scholar Award includes full tuition, fees, room and board with a study abroad stipend. The Bellarmine Fellow Award includes full tuition with a study abroad stipend. The application deadline is December 1 and an essay with the topic “Describe an incident or situation in your life which piqued your intellectual curiosity” is required. Essays are reviewed and students are invited to interview with faculty. After the interviews, five students are selected to receive each award.

Will scholarships from agencies other than Bellarmine affect my aid award?

This depends on the amount of the outside scholarships and on whether we have been able to meet your need with other aid. Please notify us when you find out you have received an outside scholarship, and we will notify you of any changes to your existing aid award by sending you a revised aid award. Outside scholarships do not replace the Expected Family Contribution. Instead, they must be counted as financial aid and deducted from the amount of aid eligibility. Bellarmine encourages students to pursue scholarships from other agencies.

Can international students apply for aid?

Only United States citizens and eligible non-citizens can file the FAFSA to apply for federal and state need-based aid. All other students, including those in the U.S. on an F1 or F2 student visa, are ineligible. Merit scholarships are available to international students through Bellarmine's Office of Admission. How much are and how can I pay for my books? The average Bellarmine student will spend $788 per year on books. If you have enough financial aid to cover tuition, mandatory fees, room and board, and books, contact the Student Accounts Office for a book voucher to use at the Bellarmine Bookstore. Otherwise, books cannot be charged to your student account. My parents’ income may be too high.

Should I still apply for aid?

We encourage all students to complete a FAFSA for their first year in college. Parental income is not the only factor that determines aid eligibility, and some people are surprised to find that they qualify for aid. Keep in mind that families who do not receive other need-based aid can still borrow a Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan, but you must file the FAFSA first. Will my financial aid package vary year to year? You must re-apply for need-based aid each year. Assuming that your financial situation stays the same and you maintain satisfactory academic progress, your aid should stay about the same from year to year. Changes in household size, number of children in college or your parents’ income and assets can have an effect on your financial aid award. Merit scholarships are automatically renewed each year provided you maintain the requirements.

What are my payment options if I owe any money after my scholarships and financial aid?

At Bellarmine we offer several payment options to fit your need and financial situation. You can pay your bill off all at once or at the beginning of each semester. We also offer monthly plan options spreading the balance out over the course of as many as ten months and as few as five.

What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Additional considerations include your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year. The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your EFC. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award. Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.

The Bellarmine Blog

Bellarmine University educates students – mind body and spirit – for meaningful lives, rewarding careers, ethical leadership and service to improve the human condition. Read about our mission in action on our blog.

Design, Art and Technology (DAT) program ranks 9th in the nation

Mar 24, 2021, 17:55 PM by Carla Carlton
Bellarmine University’s Design, Art and Technology (DAT) major ranks ninth in the nation in a recent list of multimedia design degrees from Bachelor’s Degree Center.
To compile their list of the 25 Best Bachelor’s in Multimedia Design for 2021, the independent center’s editors looked for accredited, reputable institutions offering the best opportunities for design professionals. Programs were ranked by data from IPEDS and Niche, including tuition rate, student satisfaction and potential salary.
“This degree program is very diverse and allows the student to explore many different types of media.”
“In the 21st century, designers need to be able to do it all. That means there are several reasons to earn a degree in multimedia design,” Bachelor’s Degree Center said in announcing the rankings. “This type of degree program is very diverse and allows the student to explore many different types of media.”
Dr. Shawn Apostel, director of Bellarmine’s DAT program, agrees, calling it a “choose your own adventure” degree. With its multiple electives, “it’s broad and creative, and that’s what I love about it,” he says.
The DAT program integrates the fine and applied arts with digital technology. It is a secondary major that must be paired with a complementary primary major of Art, Business, Communication, Computer Science, English or Music. Students develop skills in areas including website development, film and video production, sound editing and audio production, multimedia art, graphic design, 2D animation and communications technology while doing projects with actual clients and complete a three-hour internship.
The DAT program “gives you a vehicle to really propel you into your career field,” Apostel says.
Bachelor’s Degree Center, an independent organization, has been providing resources and rankings of traditional and online bachelor’s degree programs since 2014.