Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid and Scholarships Office Handbook of Student Financial Aid

Index

  1. What is Financial Aid
  2. Completing the FAFSA
  3. What Financial Aid is Available at SUU
  4. Student Rights and Responsibilities
  5. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  6. How do I withdraw and how does it affect my Financial Aid (R2T4)
  7. Study Abroad

1) What is Financial Aid?

Financial Aid is a general term used to define several types of federal, state, and institutional assistance provided to help students fund their education.

This handbook provides detailed information on a variety of topics including the FAFSA Application, Federal and State Aid, private and institutional scholarships.

If you have questions, the Southern Utah University Financial Aid Office is available to answer additional questions or provide further clarification on your personal situation.

2) Completing the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application will open up on October 1st each year. Students will want to complete this application prior to the first semester that they will attend.

When filling out the FAFSA application it is important to remember that it will utilize prior-prior tax year information. For example, students attending in Fall 2019 will be required to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA application which will require the 2017 tax information.

Students may complete the FAFSA application to qualify for specific types of aid which can be needs based and non-needs based.

The FAFSA application will evaluate the financial and household information that students and/or their parents report on the application to determine 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. This number is typically how financial need for grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships is evaluated.

In addition, students and parents will be required to create an FSA ID (username and password for federal systems) that they will use to access and sign the FAFSA. The FSA ID can be the most complex part of the FAFSA application.

Follow these steps to create a new FSA ID:

You can create an FSA ID when logging into certain ED websites, including this one. Create an FSA ID now.

The FSA ID process consists of three main steps:

  1. Enter your log-in information.
    • Provide your email address, a unique username, and a password.
  2. Enter your personal and profile information.
    • Provide your name, date of birth, and Social Security number (SSN).
    • Enter your mailing address.
    • Select whether or not you would like to register your mobile phone number for account recovery using text messages.
    • Provide your mobile phone number.
    • Select your language preference.
    • For security purposes, complete the four challenge questions and answers.
  3. Submit your FSA ID information.
    • Agree to the terms and conditions.
    • Verify either your email address, your mobile phone number, or both.
  4. Check the email account that was used to create your FSA ID. You can add fsa-id@ed.gov to your address book to make sure the emails get delivered to your inbox. Look for a message that contains a secure code you can use to verify your email address on the FSA ID site. You will then have the option of using this email address instead of your username to access the various U.S. Department of Education websites. If you change your email address, you will need re-verify it.

The FSA ID may be used to file a FAFSA immediately. There may be a delay of a few days before the FSA ID can be used to login to other U.S. Department of Education websites.

A general overview of the types of aid that student can receive include:

  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Work-study Eligibility
  • Pell Grant Funding
  • Other Federal Grants

Follow these steps to complete a FAFSA application:

Completing the FAFSA application consists of the following steps:

  1. Follow the instructions above to create an FSA ID for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
    • If you already have an FSA ID, skip this step.
    • If you have forgotten your FSA ID, you can go to https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm and click "Manage My FSA ID" followed by "Forgot My Username/Password"
    • **If you are required to use parent information, one of your parents will also need to apply for an FSA ID.
  2. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov
    • Click the blue button that says "Start a New FAFSA"
    • Enter the information requested by logging in with your FSA ID
    • Make sure you request to have your FAFSA information sent to SUU
    • SUU's school code is 003678
    • You will need to complete the FAFSA with 2017 tax information
    • We recommend that you upload your tax information directly from the IRS using the "Data Retrieval Tool" located on the application itself. If you are unable to upload your tax information, you will be required to order a tax transcript to submit to our office as part of the verification process.
    • At the end of your FAFSA, be sure to click on "Sign This FAFSA" and then "Submit My FAFSA" to process your application.
    • Print the confirmation page for your records
    • Some students are required to send us additional paperwork. If we need additional paperwork from you, we'll email you to request the additional paperwork.

FAFSA Verification

Verification is the process SUU completes based on Federal requirements to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA form is accurate. If you're selected for verification, SUU will notify you via email and request additional documentation that supports the information you reported. There will be instructions included in the email.

Don't assume you're being accused of doing anything wrong. Many people are selected for verification at random. All you need to do is provide the documentation SUU requests and be sure to do so as soon as possible, so as to avoid delays in payment or eligilbity of your federal financial aid.

3) What Financial Aid is Available At SUU

In order to receive Federal Financial Aid, you will be required to meet certain eligibility requirements such as Satisfactory Academic Progress, lawful permanent residency/U.S. citizenship.

Financial Aid Summaries

Grants

  • Grants are awarded based on financial need. Repayment is not required unless a recipient withdraws from class prior to the end of the semester. Grants are available for undergraduate students only, and are only available to students who qualify for federal financial aid.
    • Federal Pell Grants: This is need-based money from the federal government that generally does not need to be repaid. The amount awarded is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the US Department of Education using information provided by you on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It does not need to be repaid unless you do not complete the requirements for the semester. Repayment requirements will be determined by the Financial Aid Office. The Pell grant can be prorated to accommodate full-time or part-time enrollment. A minimum 2.0 GPA is required to maintain eligibility. Students who have exceeded 150% of the amount of time it takes to earn a bachelors degree will no longer be eligible for the Pell grant. Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Education by filling out the FAFSA.
    • FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants): This is need-based money from the federal government that generally does not need to be repaid. The amount offered is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in the same manner, but not amounts, as the Pell grant. It does not need to be repaid unless you do not complete the requirements for the semester. Repayment requirements will be determined by the Financial Aid Office. The FSEOG grant generally requires at least half-time enrollment (six credits) but special consideration may be given on a case-by-case basis. Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Education by filling out the FAFSA.
    • HESSP (Higher Education Success Grant): This is need-based money from the state government awarded to Utah residents. It generally does not need to be repaid. It is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, with discretionary amounts set aside for consideration on a case-by-case basis. Funds are very limited. It does not need to be repaid unless you do not complete the requirements for the semester. Repayment requirements will be determined by the Financial Aid Office. The HESSP grant generally requires half-time enrollment (six credits) but special consideration may be given on a case-by-case basis. Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Education by filling out the FAFSA and by your Financial Aid Counselor.

Loans

  • Federal Direct Loans: This is money you can borrow from the federal government. It must be repaid beginning six months after you graduate or drop below six credits. Federal Direct loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized means that interest will not begin to accrue until six months after you graduate or drop below six credits. Unsubsidized means that interest begins accruing immediately upon disbursement. You will receive a quarterly statement from your lender indicating how much interest has accrued on your unsubsidized loan. The current interest rate is fixed at 4.53% for undergraduate students (both subsidized and unsubsidized) and 6.08% for graduate unsubsidized loans. You are not required to pay the interest while you are in school, but if you don't, it will be capitalized onto the principle balance of your loan. Federal Direct loans require at least half-time enrollment (six credits for undergraduates, five credits for graduates). Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Education by filling out the FAFSA. Available to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Perkins Loans: The Federal Perkins loan program ended Sept. 30, 2017, and final disbursements were permitted through June 30, 2018. As a result, students can no longer receive Perkins Loans.
  • Parent PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student): This is a loan requested by your parent(s) and borrowed from the federal government. Repayment begins six weeks after the last disbursement of the loan, or when the student graduates or drops below six credits, whichever comes first. Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Education by filling out the FAFSA, and based on a credit check. Interest begins to accrue immediately upon disbursement. The current interest rate is 7.08%. The PLUS loan require at least half-time enrollment (six credits).

To apply, complete the FAFSA, fill out an SUU PLUS loan request form and turn it in to the Financial Aid Office. We will contact you with the final steps in the process.

  • Graduate PLUS Loans: Graduate and professional degree students can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help cover education expenses. The terms and conditions applicable to PLUS Loans for parents also apply to PLUS Loans for graduate and professional students. These terms and conditions include a determination that you (the applicant) do not have an adverse credit history. The Graduate PLUS loan requires at least halt-time enrollment (five credits for graduate students).

To apply, fill out the SUU Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form and turn it in to the financial aid office.

  • Alternative (Private) Loans: We recommend that you research all private and federal student loan options (and any others you may find) and determine which loan best suits your needs. Always consider things like origination fees, interest rates, and repayment benefits such as interest reduction for on-time payments. If you need additional information on what these terms mean, please contact your financial aid counselor. Available to undergraduate and graduate students.

To help you find a private lender that may be right for you, check out our FASTChoice Portal. Please note, this is not a preferred lender list, but a comparison site of the most commonly used lenders by students attending SUU. SUU does not have a preferred lender list.

Federal Direct Loans: Loan Eligibility

Loan Amounts

Subsidized

-Dep & Indep

Unsubsidized

-Dependent

Unsubsidized

-Independent

Total -Dependent

Total

-Independent

Freshmen

0-29 credits

$3,500

$2,000

$6,000

$5,500

$9,500

Sophomore

30-59 credits

$4,500

$2,000

$6,000

$6,500

$10,500

Junior

60-89 credits

$5,500

$2,000

$7,000

$7,500

$12,500

Senior

90+ credits

$5,500

$2,000

$7,000

$7,500

$12,500

You may ask whether or not you should take out loans. In Utah, students are extremely hesitant to take out loans due to misperception or fear. Some students will do everything to avoid loans, but delivering relevant information to help you understand them better is important. You can consider the key points below to gain more information about the loan process:

  1. Nationwide, the costs of a Bachelor's Degree can range from $35-38K.
  2. Utah has the lowest student debt at approximately $20,000 upon graduation.
  3. If a student took out $3,500 in subsidized loans each year (Freshman loan amount) over the course of 4 years, they would have $14,000 by the time the graduated, staying below the national and state average.
  4. Taking time off to work instead of attending could hinder earning potential since the government is providing an opportunity to invest in education.
  5. You have a six months grace period once you drop below 6 credits hours (excluding summers between years) before you have to start paying back your loans.
  6. You can specify how much of your loans you want when accepting them each year, and you can make early payments without penalty.
  7. Most importantly, loans are an investment into one's self.

However, loans may not be the best or only option for you to consider. Please make sure to set up a meeting with your Financial Aid Counselor to review your options in greater detail.

Work-Study Eligibility

Work-Study eligibility is a needs-based award that students may potentially qualify for. When completing the FAFSA application you are able to select 'yes' or 'no' if you are interested in work-study. If you have enough need, expressed through the EFC and cost of attendance, work-study will be packaged automatically once your file has been processed.

At SUU, students will receive a $2,000 allocation on their account that allows them to apply for on-campus work-study eligible positions. Essentially, it allows students to apply for additional on-campus jobs that not every student is eligible for which helps them become more marketable to on-campus employers.

These positions can only be worked for up to 20 hours each week, and employers are extremely flexible with class schedules. The added bonus is that the government provides the majority of the $2,000 work-study allocation for the student which lessens the financial burden on departments at SUU.

A student awarded Work-Study eligibility is not guaranteed to receive the award (they have to apply for positions through T-Bird Campus Jobs in their Portal), and the award will not disburse to a student in a lump sum. Instead, students will receive regular paychecks that they can use towards any educational expenses.

Tips that you can provide to students awarded work-study:

  • Stay persistent in applying for positions.
  • You don't always need experience to apply.
  • Be ready for interviews.

For help applying for on-campus positions feel free to get in contact with the Career Center at (435) 586-5420 or at careercenter@suu.edu.

Pell Grant Funding & SEOG/HESSP

The Pell Grant is also a needs based award that students can potentially qualify for. The maximum award for the 2019-2020 academic year will be $6,195. This amount will vary depending upon your EFC.

The award is an entitlement award if you receive it, and it does not have to be repaid. Students who are Pell Grant eligible and complete the FAFSA application early may potentially qualify for the additional grant opportunities below:

  1. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Non-residents and residents
  2. Higher Education Success Stipend (HESSP), Residents only

You may receive up to a $400 award for the year, so it is important to recommend that student's complete the application as close to October 1st as possible.

What should you do for students who have faced financial changes?

The FAFSA application looks at information that might be outdated for some families. In addition, families may have experienced situations that have led to major financial shifts in their income suddenly. If you have concerns about your ability to pay for college as expressed through the EFC, it may indicate that you are eligible for a Professional Judgment Reevaluation.

The Professional Judgement Reevaluation is a process that allows the financial aid administrator to help you better reflect your families ability to pay for school by updating FAFSA data to your current financial and household situation.

Many of the cases that we will encounter will be a simple switch of income, but if you are curious to see if you would be eligible, schedule an appointment with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to go over options.

Academic Scholarship Appeals

You may apply to SUU late or don't qualify for a scholarship. Students that have extenuating circumstances can complete the appeal

(Located towards the bottom of the page)

Make sure that you complete the online scholarship appeal form at this link, and to include as much information as possible in the appeal letter. If you have specific questions about your situation then you can email the Financial Aid Office to follow up with the Scholarship Coordinator.

Student Aid Reports (SAR)

A helpful way for you to understand what you will be eligible for is through examining the student aid report. A student aid report is an estimate of your award after you have completed the FAFSA. The FAFSA system will send you an email with the SAR within two days of completing the FAFSA. An example of the SAR for 2018-2019 can be viewed

SARs are fairly accurate as long as you input all of your information correctly on the FAFSA application.

Although, it should be emphasized that they are estimates provided by the government. One way to help eliminate a potential change of awards is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool(DRT) which will upload student/parent tax information into the FAFSA.

In order for the DRT to work properly for students/parents, you will need to have your taxes for 2017 in front of you since the IRS will require the exact information reported in their system. The use of the DRT will help you to obtain more accurate SARs, and if you are selected for FAFSA Verification it will only help to expedite the award process.

One quick way to determine if a student is selected for verification is by analyzing the SAR. If the student's EFC has an asterisks next to it then a student will be selected for verification. Which lead us to Studentforms.

StudentForms

Students who have completed a FAFSA application will now be able to use our mobile and paperless system that allows them to complete documents faster. Students will receive an email once they have submitted their FAFSA application to SUU (and have a T-number) instructing them to create an account through the product.

If you are selected for verification and are unable to locate the email you can navigate to suu.edu/finaid, and select 'FAFSA Verification' under the featured links section to create an account.

If you have questions about documents or may need loans adjusted please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Quick Information to Remember

  1. The verification process can take up to two weeks. In some instances where incorrect documentation or additional documentation is needed it can take longer.
  2. SUU's priority deadline for the FAFSA application is May 1st. This allows you to have enough time for paperwork to be processed on your account.
  3. The FASFA application is required for certain private scholarships and institutional scholarships so it is important to complete it.
  4. Families can use the FAFSA4caster to determine if they will qualify for grants (Keep in mind the tool is not 100% accurate).
  5. FAFSA encompasses different types of aid, not just the Pell Grant (Often referred to as the FAFSA scholarship,etc.)
  6. Make sure to keep all FAFSA information and FSA IDs in a safe place that is easily accessible to those who will need it.

FAFSA Completion Appointments

Completing the FAFSA over the phone is extremely difficult. The most effective way for Counselors to complete the application over a distance is to schedule a phone appointment with you or to come into our office . At that point, we can best pinpoint where you may be falling short or if there is any confusion when completing the application.

The hardest part for parents will probably be completing the FSA ID. The best thing we can do is show you how to complete the FSA ID, and get you to fully understand the process so they can show their parents how to do it. However, we can still guide you and your family through the process!

Students who need additional assistance completing the application will need to have the following for setting up an appointment to complete the FAFSA:

  • Their parents 2018 taxes (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ)
  • Their own 2018 taxes (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ)
  • Both FSA IDs if possible (They can sign at a later point if necessary)
  • W-2s for parents/students if they did not file taxes for 2017.

We can still help create the FSA IDs with the student if they haven't begun yet.

Eligibility

Only an "Eligible Student" may apply for and receive Federal financial aid. Federal regulations and institutional policy define an eligible student as one who:

  • Is a citizen, a national, or an eligible permanent resident non-citizen of the United States, and
  • Is admitted to Southern Utah University with a high school diploma, or with a GED certificate, and
  • Has been accepted for enrollment or is enrolled in an eligible program, seeking a degree or certificate, and
  • Is in good standing at the Institution and maintaining satisfactory academic progress, and
  • Has completed the FAFSA and received a calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number, and
  • Is not in default on any Federal Perkins, National Direct/Defense, Guaranteed, or Federal Family Education Loan, and does not owe a payment on any Federal grants previously received, and
  • Is registered with the Selective Service if a male at least 18 years old, and
  • For loans, you must be enrolled at least half time, and
  • Meets all other federally prescribed eligibility criteria.

Eligible Non-Citizen

Students who are in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa, a B1 or B2 visitor visa, a J1 or J2 exchanges visitor visa, and other series visa are NOT eligible for Federal student aid. To be eligible for federal and most college financial aid, a student must be a U.S. citizen, national, or eligible permanent resident non-citizen. An eligible non-citizen is one who:

  • Is a conditional permanent resident (I-151C);
  • Has an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service showing any one of the following designations:
    • Refugee
    • Asylum Granted
    • Cuban-Haitian Entrant
    • Indefinite Parole
  • Is a citizen of the Freely Associated States--Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau (may receive only Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG and FWS); or provide acceptable documentation from DHS that he or she is in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident.

Eligible non-citizens must clear the Department of Homeland Security/Social Security Number matching system or will be required to document their status with the Financial Aid and Scholarship. A copy of the documentation papers will be sent to the DHS for confirmation and clearance before the application for aid will be processed.

Students who fall under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) DO NOT qualify for federal or state financial aid programs.

State - All Scholarships/Aid

  • HB144 Waiver(DACA)
  • New Century
  • Regents
  • Promise
    • Institutional Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Freshman Scholarships
    • Freshman Resident Academic Scholarships
    • Freshman Non-Resident Academic Scholarships
    • Alumni Legacy Non-Resident Scholarship
  • Transfer Student Scholarships
    • Transfer In-State Academic Scholarships
    • Transfer Out-of State Academic Scholarships
  • Current Student Scholarships
  • Graduate Student Scholarships
  • International Student Scholarships
  • Scholarship Housing
  • Athletic
  • Thunder Bird Rise
  • Thunder Bird Persistence
  • Thunder Bird Promise
  • Aviation Scholarships
  • Departmental
    • Endowments
    • General
  • Staff/Faculty Waiver
  • Spouse Waiver
  • Dependent Waiver
  • Retention Grants
  • Finish Line Scholarship
  • Summer Scholarship
    • Private Scholarships
    • Other
  • ROTC
  • Girls State Leadership Scholarship
  • Talent
  • Native American
  • Sterling Scholar
  • TH Bell (Terrel H. Bell Teaching Incentive Loans)
  • Honor Societies
  • Americorp
  • Purple Heart Waiver
  • National Guard Waiver

4) Student Rights and Responsibilities

AS A STUDENT, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW:

  • What financial aid programs are available and how to apply for them;
  • Procedures and deadlines for submitting the FAFSA and any additional forms for financial aid;
  • All records and information submitted with your application for financial aid are confidential, and is subject to legal requirements (FERPA) concerning disclosure of such information;
  • Cost of attendance and how financial need is determined;
  • The type and amount of assistance you will receive, and how and when you will be paid;
  • The eligibility criteria for awarding aid;
  • The terms and conditions of any loan you accept;
  • The job description and starting pay rate for any student job you accept;
  • How Satisfactory Academic Progress is determined;
  • That you can appeal your Satisfactory Academic Progress status;
  • Requirements in the case of withdrawal, refunds, and repayment of financial aid;
  • Your financial aid package can be reviewed upon your request if you or your family's financial circumstances have changed or there is change in your family do to death or divorce;

AS A STUDENT, YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO:

  • Establish plans to meet your educational and living expenses;
  • Obtain and complete any necessary financial aid application forms and submit them in a timely manner;
  • Read, understand, and retain copies of all information and/or forms that are sent to you and all other documents you sign;
  • To regularly check your mySUUPortal account for correspondence from SUU and the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office;
  • To provide complete and correct information. Reporting false or misleading information may result in you being fined up to $20,000, sent to prison, or both;
  • To contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office if you want your loan reduced or canceled. Once you have completed the Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note, and completed Loan Entrance Counseling if you are a first-time borrower, the semester portion of the requested loan amount will disburse to your selected refund preference. You must contact our office in writing within 14 days of the disbursement if you want the loan reduced or canceled, unless a refund of loan funds has already been disbursed by SUU
  • To meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policies and standards of SUUin order to maintain financial aid eligibility;
  • To report to the SUU Financial Aid & Scholarships Office any money you receive from sources outside of SUU(i.e. Rotary Scholarships, employee reimbursement. other scholarships, etc.);
  • Read, understand, and retain copies of all information and/or forms that are sent to you and all other documents you sign;
  • Comply with the provisions of any aid received, as well as any promissory note(s) and all other agreements you sign;
  • Keep SUU informed of any change of address, name or marital status while you are a student, and until all student loans have been repaid in full;
  • Use aid only for educational expenses related to attending SUU;
  • Register and attend classes for the number of hours required for your aid disbursement;
  • Perform satisfactorily in any work assignments accepted through student employment programs.

5) What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

The Higher Education Amendment Act of 1965, as amended, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a minimum standard of "Satisfactory Academic Progress" for students receiving financial aid. SUU makes this standard applicable to all federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs for the purpose of maintaining a consistent policy for all students receiving financial aid.

To be eligible to receive financial assistance while attending Southern Utah University, a student must be enrolled at least half-time (with the exception of the Pell Grant program, which currently allows less than half-time enrollment), be in good standing, and maintain satisfactory academic progress through a course of study toward a certificate or degree. A student must also be a citizen of the United States or an eligible non-citizen.

Review Period

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed at the end of each semester for all students who were enrolled during that term. Failure to make Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of that payment period will affect financial aid eligibility for the following semester. Please note that if students did not attend SUU during the term being reviewed, their prior SAP status will still apply.

If a student is not in good standing after being reviewed, they may receive a 'warning' status for the following semester, but only if they were in good standing the prior semester. For example, if a student is in good standing at the end of summer, but failed to maintain an eligible GPA by the end of the Fall, he or she will receive a warning for the Spring semester. During a warning period, students are eligible to receive Title IV funds. The warning period is for one semester only, and does not require the student to submit an appeal form. If their SAP standing is ineligible the next time they are reviewed, they may submit an appeal at that time to request a possible probationary period for one additional semester. An appeal can be approved for one semester only. If more than one semester would be required to regain good standing, the student may submit an Academic Plan to request a probationary period that is longer than one semester. All students in a 'probation' or 'warning' status will be reviewed at the end of each payment period, along with all other students who were enrolled.

To make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), students must meet all of the following standards:

  1. Academic Standards
  2. Maximum Time Frames
  3. Enrollment Status

1. Academic Standards (GPA)

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA minimum requirement, reviewed at the end of each payment period. For all credit hours attempted: undergraduate students must have a 2.0, or higher, cumulative GPA; graduate students must have a 3.0, or higher, cumulative GPA. If the cumulative GPA drops below the minimum requirement, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid, although they may appeal based on extenuating circumstances.

2. Maximum Time Frames

Undergraduates: The number of credit hours an undergraduate student attempts may not exceed 150% of the number of credit hours required for graduation in his or her program of study, as published in the University catalog. For example, if the published number of hours required for graduation is 122, a student may not attempt more than 183 credit hours (122 x 150% = 183) and continue to receive financial aid. All periods of enrollment must be considered, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid as well as hours transferred in from another school. If the number of attempted hours reaches 150% of the hours required for graduation, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid. Upon reaching 160 earned credit hours, students are advised to meet with their academic advisor to review the remaining courses they must take to complete their degree within the 183 credit hour limit.

Upon reaching 160 attempted hours, students may receive a warning period for one semester. If they cannot complete the following payment period without exceeding the maximum time frame, they will be assigned the SAP status which indicates they have already reached the maximum time frame. For an undergraduate student, this is when they have attempted 172 hours, since it is not mathematically possible to complete one more semester without exceeding the 150% permitted. If students will only attend part-time during that payment period, they may submit an appeal for review by the SAP Committee. If it is determined that they can complete the term without exceeding 183 hours, they will be placed on probation for the semester, during which time they may receive Title IV funds.

Graduate Students: The number of credit hours a graduate student attempts also may not exceed 150% of the number of credit hours required for graduation in his or her program of study, as published in the University catalog. For example, if the published number of hours required for graduation is 36, a student may not attempt more than 54 credit hours (36 x 150% = 54) and continue to receive financial aid. (Thirty-six credit hours is the average number of credits required for the various graduate programs, which range from 30 to 42). All periods of enrollment as a graduate student will be considered, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid as well as hours transferred in from another school. If the credits required for a specific program are greater than 36, because the students' program require additional coursework, exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

3. Enrollment Status

Students must successfully complete a minimum of 70% of all attempted course work. If the number of completed hours (cumulative) drops below 70% of attempted hours, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid. They will receive one warning period to attempt to right themselves, after that they may submit an appeal for review of a possible probationary period for one more semester.

Examples:

  1. If a student attempts (registers for) 30 credit hours in an academic year, he or she must complete a minimum of 21 credit hours for the year.
    Note: All partial credit hours will be rounded down to the nearest hour.
  2. If at the end of the second year a student has attempted 60 credit hours, he or she must have completed a minimum of 42 credit hours (60 x 70% = 42) to be making SAP.

Attempted hours include all registered hours per semester whether or not the student earns a grade or receives credit. The following are considered hours attempted, but not completed:

  1. a) "F" grades for undergraduate students
  2. b) "D" or "F" grades for graduate students
  3. c) "W" or withdrawal from courses
  4. d) "UW" or unofficial withdrawals from courses
  5. e) "I" or incomplete

Completed hours include all semester hours for which the student earns a grade:

  1. a) "A" through "D" grades for undergraduate students
  2. b) "A" through "C" grades for graduate students
  3. c) All transfer hours completed
  4. d) Remedial courses count as earned if passed, but the grade does not count toward the calculation of GPA.

Repeat courses that have been passed and retaken may not count as earned credits for financial aid purposes and should be taken in addition to the number of credits used to determine a student's financial aid award. Audited courses are not considered enrolled hours when determining financial aid eligibility.

In accordance with federal regulations, the standard is "cumulative" and credits earned without the receipt of financial aid or at other institutions must be counted. These policies may be appealed on a case-by-case basis for students with extenuating circumstances or a qualifying disability. Disabilities must be documented with the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities in the Student Support Center (ST 206F). Each request for appeal, and the supporting documentation, will be carefully considered by the Financial Aid Review Committee.

Review Policy

After grades are posted at the end of each semester, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will review the SAP progress of every enrolled student, regardless of whether or not they received financial aid. Students will be reviewed to ensure that they are meeting the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (undergraduates) or Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduates).
  2. Successful completion of at least 70% of all attempted course work for all periods of enrollment (cumulative), even those for which the student did not receive financial aid.
  3. Total attempted hours does not exceed 150% of the published length of the program of study.

Financial Aid Warning and Financial Aid Probation

A student will be placed on financial aid warning for one semester immediately following a payment period when they are determined to be in an ineligible SAP status for the first time. Students on financial aid warning may continue to receive assistance under the Title IV programs for one payment period despite a determination that the they are not making SAP. Financial Aid Warning Status may be assigned without an appeal or other action by the student, and should be used by the student to attempt to correct their ineligible status.

Students may be placed on financial aid probation as a result of an appeal. An appeal may only be approved for one semester. A student on Financial Aid Probation may receive Title IV program funds for one payment period. Further, while students are on financial aid probation, the SAP Committee may require the them to fulfill specific terms and conditions such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses. At the end of one payment period on financial aid probation, they must meet the SAP standards to qualify for further Title IV program funds. If students would be unable to correct their ineligible status by the end of a one semester probation, they may complete an Academic Plan to extend the time they are allowed to be on financial aid probation. They must meet the requirements of the academic plan by the end of the approved time frame. Students may not request a second probationary period based on the same extenuating circumstance.

Financial Aid Suspension

In the event students do not meet the requirements for SAP after one warning period, or a probationary period resulting from appeal, they will be placed on financial aid suspension for the following semester. This means that the student will not be eligible for any type of federal, state or institutional aid until he or she returns to satisfactory academic progress.

Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Suspension, because they do not meet the GPA or Enrollment Status requirements, may do the following if they decide not to appeal, or if their appeal is not approved:

Students may attend the next semester without Title IV aid or apply for alternative loans to cover their balance.

  • If at the end of that semester the student meets the SAP requirements, they may submit an appeal to have their aid reinstated for the following semester.
  • Students will be reviewed again at the end of each semester to determine if they meet the SAP requirements and eligibility for aid will be reviewed during the regular review process.

Conditions for Reinstatement and Appeal Process

Students whose eligibility for financial aid has been terminated may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships if they believe that they had extenuating circumstances that led to their unsatisfactory progress. The student must fully complete and submit the signed Suspension Appeal form explaining the reasons they failed to make SAP. Students must also describe what has changed in their situation that will allow them to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation. The SAP Review Committee will review each appeal and notify students in writing of the decision. A completed form must include:

  1. A letter from the student documenting the extenuating circumstances. For example, personal illness or medical problems, death in the family, etc. This letter should provide a detailed explanation of the situation.
  2. If the student has exceeded the maximum time frame and is appealing based on a change of major, a second major or an additional degree, he or she should state the reason for the change and indicate the number of hours remaining to be taken in the new major. The student must also have his or her academic advisor complete the advisor section of the form indicating the number of credit hours required for the major or degree and the number of hours remaining.
  3. The student's name, T Number and email address.

The status of each aid recipient will be monitored for satisfactory academic progress and a written notification or email will be sent to the last known address of those students who are placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Students who fail to complete the requirements for a degree or certificate within 150% of the normal, published timeframe are entitled to submit an appeal for an extension. The SAP Review Committee may grant timeframe extensions under certain circumstances.

A student may request an exception to any of the above policies, due to extenuating circumstances, including disability, by submitting an appeal to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office. The appeal must include a letter of explanation with supporting documentation and the completed Suspension Appeal form. Documentation for a low GPA should include a letter from the appropriate academic advisor. Documentation for low percentage of completion (at least 70%) should be in line with the cause of the low hours. An appeal may be approved for one semester only. If it will take longer than one semester for students to meet the SAP requirements, an Academic Plan will be required.

Examples of exceptions that may be made on a case-by-case basis include situations such as: a documented disability or serious illness, death in the family, change of major, remedial courses taken as preparatory coursework, or other unexpected and extenuating circumstances that can be appropriately documented. Verification of disability should be provided to the Committee by the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities. The Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities may recommend that the Committee grant an extension if such is among the reasonable accommodations that would be appropriate for the student.

Each request for an exception is reviewed anonymously by the SAP Review Committee, and will be carefully considered based solely on the individual situation presented by the student and the supporting documentation provided. Before the appeal is presented to the Committee, it is stripped of all personally identifying information about the student who has appealed. The Committee will make its decision based solely on the information presented. It is the intent of the Committee to review each appeal fairly and justly, and the committee will not use information presented in the appeal to discriminate in any way on age, national origin, disability, sex, religion, or any other legally recognized category.

Students will be notified in writing of the status of their appeal, including an explanation that supports the determination of the committee.

FAQ Items

Students will have different levels of eligibility based upon their completed credit hours. In order to fully understand eligibility, it is important to properly define "Dependent" and "Independent".

In general, individuals become independent once they become 18. However, the FAFSA analyzes dependency differently. When students complete the FAFSA application they will have a dependency section that asks specific questions.

To simplify whether or not you would be classified as dependent or independent, review the following:

  1. Is the student homeless or at risk of homelessness?
  2. Is the student in an abusive relationship that warrants an override?
  3. Does the student have any legal dependents that they support for more than 50% of all of their living expenses?
  4. Has the student been in foster care or a ward of the court at any time since they turned 13?
  5. Is the student serving as active duty in the military?
  6. Is the student married?
  7. Is the student 24 years of age or older?

If you are able to answer yes to any of these questions it may indicate that you can qualify as an independent student for federal aid purposes. The main takeaway from this is that even when a student is self-supporting and 18, it does not automatically classify them as independent.

6) How do I withdraw and how does it affect my Financial Aid (Return of Title IV)

Dropping vs. Withdrawing?

Drop: Refers to removing one or more individual courses from your schedule; remaining enrolled in other courses for the same term.

Withdraw: Refers to removing all courses from your schedule; no longer attending the university for a specific term.

Students may drop individual courses from their schedules through their portal for a limited time each semester. The online registration calendar indicates deadlines for course drops. The deadlines can be accessed in the portal main page by clicking Class Schedule/Registration Calendar.

Return of Title IV Aid

By Federal regulations, financial aid recipients who withdraw from all courses or stop attending classes before the last day of class have not "earned" all of the financial aid received for that semester. Consequently, these students must return the unearned percentage of aid. The higher the number of class days completed, the lower the amount of financial aid that must be returned.

The Return of Title IV Processor must calculate and return your unearned percentage of financial aid within 45 days of the student's withdrawal. The student will be sent a letter detailing what was returned, and what, if any, balance is owed to SUU.

Note: If you get a refund of tuition and fees, you may still owe SUU money after the Return of Title IV Calculation has been processed. Refunds of tuition and fees, if completed before the Return of Title IV may result in first receiving a refund and then owing a balance. You should not cash your refund until you know what your final Return of Title IV balance will be.

Withdrawal from the Academic Term

Withdrawing is the formal discontinuance of a student's enrollment at SUU and involves the student dropping all classes after the semester begins.

Students are permitted to withdraw totally from the academic term any time prior to finals for the semester.

A student withdrawing after the 14th class day of the Fall/Spring semesters will have a "W" recorded for each course for which he/she registered. For Summer term, please contact the Registrar's Office for more information.

To withdraw from the University for the semester, complete the withdrawal process online:

  1. Log In online:
    Username [ Don't know your username?]
    Password [Forgot password?]
  2. Then Select:
    1. Registration
    2. Online University Withdrawal
  3. Log In:
    • Use the same username and password that you use to log into campus computers, email, WebCT, etc.
  4. Select a term
  5. Click on: "Start online withdrawal"

This online process will guide you through the withdrawal process. It must be completed in its entirety to withdraw from the semester.

What will happen if I withdraw?

There are several considerations to keep in mind if you are withdrawing or thinking about withdrawing from all of your classes.

At certain periods in an academic term, students may be eligible for a full or partial refund for tuition and fees when they drop or withdraw from courses. SUU may refund tuition, fees, and charges paid by a sponsor, donor, scholarship, or Financial Aid to the source rather than directly to the student who has withdrawn. In the case of Scholarships the refund amount will be determined by the Scholarships Coordinator with input from the donor or organization.

Refund Information

Students who withdraw from college before the end of a term may be entitled to a refund of a portion of their tuition and fees. For more information contact the Cashier's Office online or call (435) 586-7720.

Admission and late-payment fees are not refundable.

The day class instruction begins is counted as the first day of the refund period in determining the refund percentage.

Complete withdrawals may result in a financial obligation by the student to return the unearned portion of any federal aid disbursed. If you are considering withdrawing from the University, we strongly recommend that you first discuss the financial consequences of this action with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

The following list presents the descending scale of refund amounts for tuition and returnable fees and charges for students withdrawing from SUU.

Tuition and Fee Refund Schedule per semester

Note: This is the institutional policy on tuition and fee refunds, which is not the same as the Federal policy on Return of Title IV Funds.

Before the end of the 14th calendar day after commencement of classes 100%

Before the end of the 21st calendar day after commencement of classes 50%

After the end of the 21st calendar day after commencement of classes No refund

Admission and late-payment fees are not refundable.

*The 1st day of the term is counted as the first day of the refund period in determining the refund percentage. A shortened refund schedule is used for summer terms and Maymester.

Withdrawing and Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a minimum standard of "Satisfactory Academic Progress" for students receiving financial aid. SUU makes its standard applicable to all federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs for the purpose of maintaining a consistent policy for all students receiving financial aid.

Withdrawing from a semester after the census date WILL affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) because it will decrease your percentage of courses completed. In addition to maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA (3.0 for Graduate students), you must complete at least 70% of your attempted coursework. If your completion percentage drops below 70%, your financial aid will be terminated and you will need to appeal. Withdrawing from coursework will also increase the number of hours required to finish your degree, which affects the "Maximum Hours" limit. More information on SAP can be found on our Financial Aid Tools webpage .

What Else Should I Know?

If you withdraw or stop attending in the Fall term, we may cancel the Spring disbursements of your loans and any grants you were receiving. If you plan to return in the Spring, please let the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office know at the time you withdraw. You may need to fill out a Student Loan Change Request form to request that your Spring aid be reinstated.

If you have had Federal loans as part of your financial aid, either this year or in previous years, you are required to complete Loan Exit Counseling. Please complete Online Exit Counseling (www.studentloans.gov) to clear your Exit Requirement. If you have taken out loans for the semester in which you withdrew, these loans will still count toward your aggregate limit (the total amount of loans you are allowed to borrow while you are a student).

7) Study Abroad

Student's enrollment in a program of study approved for credit by the home institution (USA) may be considered enrollment at the home institution (USA) for the purpose of applying for federal student aid. Students should contact our office for more information regarding their federal aid eligibility.