Financial Aid Policies

Federal financial aid must be earned each semester. You earn your aid by completing more than 60% of the term. If you complete less than 60% of the semester, your aid will be prorated based on the Federal Government's calculation. Although your aid will be prorated, you will still be responsible for the tuition charged based on the drop schedule of the Registrar's Office which may be found on their website. This may result in the student owing a balance to the school and/or federal government and/or lender. For more information, please refer to the Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) Policy below.

Federal financial aid is only awarded for classes that apply to your degree or eligible certificate program. It does not apply to continuing education courses, American Language and Culture Program, courses you take after completing degree requirements, etc. 

Students may not receive aid for courses in a degree program for which they have already received a degree. For instance, if a student receives a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, the student is not eligible for financial aid for further courses in the Master’s in Criminal Justice program.

Students who are academically dismissed from their college are automatically ineligible for federal financial aid, as federal regulations require that the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy be as strict as the college policy. Students who are re-admitted may receive aid if they are reviewed for SAP and are deemed eligible.

Once a student has completed degree requirements, whether or not the degree has been conferred, the student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid. For example, if a student has completed 126 credit hours toward a 126-credit hour degree program, but the degree cannot be conferred because the student’s Grade Point Average is less than a 2.0, the student cannot receive federal financial aid to take classes to increase the GPA. Further, any class for which the student received credit should be a class that applies to the student’s degree or certificate program. Students who have earned the number of credits required for a degree or certificate are considered to have finished the degree or certificate program, and are generally ineligible for further federal aid.

Policies

Satisfactory Academic Policies

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is a term used to describe a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a degree or certificate. SAP is required to receive all federal and state financial aid. Federal regulations require the Financial Aid Office to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is making progress toward a degree. This is to ensure that students receiving funds are successfully progressing through their program of study.

Financial Aid Professionals Code of Conduct

The purpose of this policy is to prohibit conflicts of interest in situations involving student financial aid and to establish standards of conduct for employees with responsibility for student financial aid. This Policy applies to all employees who work in the Office of Financial Aid and all other University employees who have responsibilities related to education loans or other forms of student financial aid.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

Federal Financial Aid (Title IV Funds) is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the aid is awarded. The term “Title IV Funds” refers to the Federal Financial Aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Verification

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  • Verification Policy

    Verification is a federal process used to confirm the accuracy of the information provided on the FAFSA. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, additional information will be required to complete your financial aid file.

    Students may be provided with a financial aid award before submitting all the required documentation to complete the verification process. Verification documents should be submitted to our office as soon as possible. Financial aid will not be disbursed until federal verification is complete. Should the verified financial information differ significantly from the original information provided on your FAFSA  there may be a change in your financial aid eligibility.

    Verification must be completed no later than 120 days after the last date of enrollment for the academic year in order to be considered for a late disbursement.

    Required Documentation

    The documentation required for the verification process can vary. Students can confirm what information is needed by checking their online portal which will indicate the information needed to complete your financial aid file. Typically students selected for verification will have to submit the following documents:

    • Verification Worksheet
    • Signed copies of federal/foreign tax returns or IRS Tax Return Transcripts for the student and parent. 
      If the student or parent is not required to file a tax return, a non-filer statement is required along with copies of your W2 forms. The IRS Verification of Non-Filing letter is required from parents of dependent students who did not file a tax return as well as independent students (and spouse, if applicable) who did not file a tax return. Dependent students are not required to submit an IRS Verification of Non-Filing letter. 
    • Additional documentation may be required for some to verify:
      • Untaxed Income
      • High School Completion Status
      • Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose​ 

    IRS Data Retrieval Tool

    The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) allows students and parents to electronically transfer their IRS tax return information into the FAFSA. The IRS DRT, if successfully matched, is one method used to complete the FAFSA Verification process.

    We strongly encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool during the initial filing of your FAFSA. Families must actively choose to utilize the IRS DRT by clicking "Link to IRS" on the FAFSA. If they choose to do so, they will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service website. There, the FAFSA Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. In order to enhance the security and privacy of personal data transferred into the FAFSA from the IRS, the IRS DRT will encrypt the student applicant and parent transferred tax data and hide it from view on both the IRS DRT website and on the FAFSA web pages. The words "Transferred from the IRS" will display in the data entry fields throughout the FAFSA form and on the Student Aid Report (SAR).

    Eligibility

    You and your parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you:

    • Filed your federal tax return with the IRS
    • Have a valid social security number
    • Have a Federal Student Aid ID
    You and your parents are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:
    • Your parents are married and filed as "Married Filing Separately"
    • Your parents are married and filed as "Head of Household"
    • You filed an amended tax return
    • You filed a foreign tax return
    • You filed a 1040NR tax return using a Tax Number (TIN)