Federal 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. Students may not receive aid for courses in a degree program for which they have already received a degree.

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.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is a term used to describe a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a degree. 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.

All students receiving financial aid must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree or certificate. SAP is measured in two ways: by achievement of a satisfactory grade point average and by progressing in credit hours toward the degree or diploma. Under the federal SAP policy: A student must attain a grade point average of at least a 2.0 or higher by the end of the second year of studies. • A student must complete his or her degree or diploma within 150% of the time normally allocated to complete the program. 

  • A student must make incremental progress toward the degree, completing at least two thirds of the credits for which they enroll in at least one of the two regular academic year semesters, with at least a 2.0 average. 
  • A student's SAP will be reviewed once each year. Students who do not meet the SAP policy will be notified by letter, and will be put on probation for the next academic term. Probation and Appeals If placed on probation, students will be required to meet with their academic advisors for guidance in selecting a program of study that will assist them in meeting the SAP requirements. 

Financial aid will continue during the probationary semester, providing all requirements for receiving aid are met. When students successfully complete the probationary semester, they will be removed from SAP probation. If requirements of the probationary semester are not completed, financial aid will be discontinued until such time as the student meets the SAP policy requirements. These requirements can be met at SHMS or at another college or university. 

Students who do not successfully complete their probationary semester and are notified of discontinuance of their financial aid may appeal the decision in writing. This correspondence should note any special circumstances that may have prevented them from making SAP and how these circumstances have been resolved in order to permit the student to be successful in future semesters. Appeals will be reviewed by at least three professionals, and the decision of these individuals will be final. Appeals for Term II of each year must be received in the Registrar's Office no later than the end of the second week of classes. The SAP policy shows minimum achievement standards required for continuation of federal financial aid. Requirements of individual degrees/diploma programs may be higher.   

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.


View "Return of Title IV Aid (R2T4)"

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