FAQs

What are the sources of financial aid?

Students typically receive financial aid from Federal and/or State government agencies, colleges, and private sources.

What kinds of financial aid are available from Lyon?

Lyon administers a full range of federal financial aid programs as well as state grants (for Arkansas residents).  It also makes institutional awards from its own resources.  In addition, students often qualify for aid from private sources (we'll help you identify possibilities).  More than 90% of Lyon students receive some form of aid.

Are merit-based scholarships available?

Freshman and transfer students may apply for a wide range of merit-based awards. The admission application form serves as an application for these scholarships. For more information, please feel free to contact any one of our Admission Representatives.

What are the different kinds of aid that are available? 

Financial aid typically comes in three forms:  grants (which need not be paid back), loans (which must be paid back - though typically this is available at very favorable interest rates), and work study. Aid awards are made on the basis of demonstrated need (need-based aid) and academic achievement (merit-based aid).

How and when do I apply for federal aid?

To apply for federal aid, including grants, work-study and loans, you will need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can access FAFSA via the Internet at www.FAFSA.ed.gov, or you can submit an application by mail. You must file as soon after January 1 as possible. However, because you need your income tax information, most applicants file as soon as possible after January 1. FAFSA applications should be submitted after January 1 and before March 1 to meet the priority funding date for Lyon College’s need-based funds. Lyon College's FAFSA code number is 001088. If you would like assistance, please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office.

I know I’m not going to qualify for federal need based aid. Do you still want me to file the FAFSA?

Yes. Many families think they won’t qualify for assistance and miss out on receiving financial aid by failing to apply. There are some sources of aid such as the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), and Alternative loans that are available regardless of need.

Is there a maximum income level that will make me ineligible for financial aid?

No. Income level does not automatically disqualify you for financial aid. Other variables such as the number in the family and the number of family members (excluding parents) attending college are taken into consideration. We strongly encourage all applicants to Lyon to file for federal aid (and state aid if they are Arkansas residents).

How is eligibility for federal financial aid determined?

All applicants for federal financial aid (grants, loans, work-study) must submit the FAFSA. Information gathered from the FAFSA is used by the U.S. Department of Education to assess each applicants "need" using methodology that is the same for all applicants.

How much financial aid can I receive?

The total financial aid a student receives can include funds from more than one source or financial aid program. Normally, though, the total financial aid received will not exceed the financial need, or in some cases, the cost of attendance. For the best chance of getting the aid you need, apply as early as possible for each financial aid program for which you might be eligible.

Will my financial aid package change from year to year?

If your financial situation stays the same and you maintain satisfactory academic progress, your total amount of aid should stay about the same (though the blend of grants and loans may change). You must re-apply for need-based aid each year. Changes in your household size, in the number in college, or in your or your parents’ income or assets can have an effect, either positive or negative, on your financial aid award.

I am an Arkansas resident.  What state financial aid programs are available to me?  How do I apply and how do I qualify?  What are the deadlines?

The following are some of the state financial aid programs available to Arkansas residents:

  • Academic Challenge Scholarship - $2,000 first year, $3,000 second year, $4,000 third year, and $5,000 fourth year for graduating high school seniors who complete the SMART core curriculum and have the 2.5 grade point average in those courses or achieve at least a 19 on the ACT.
  • Governor’s Scholars Program - up to $4,000 annually for graduating high school seniors based on academic achievement, test score and leadership. The Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship for those scoring 32 on the ACT or 1410 on the SAT, and a 3.50 academic grade point average, or are named National Merit Finalists or National Achievement Scholar pays tuition, mandatory fees, room and board up to $10,000 per year.
  • Workforce Improvement Grant - awards up to $2000 annually to students at least 24 years old. Awards are based on financial need. Students apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Awards are made by the institutions. Students may be enrolled part time.

For eligibility criteria, rules, regulations and deadlines for the above programs, visit the Arkansas Department of Education website.

To apply, you may download an application at the Arkansas Department of Education website.

Do I need to be admitted to Lyon College before I can apply for federal and/or state financial aid?

No. You can apply for financial aid any time after January 1st of the year you will be entering college (though you will not receive a formal offer of financial aid until you have been admitted to Lyon). To apply for federal aid, you will need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can access FAFSA via the Internet.