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Financial Aid Consumer Information

 

                                                 Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy(SAP)
 
All applicants/recipients of financial aid have certain rights and responsibilities regarding the receipt of federal student aid. There are two primary areas of concentration; they are Satisfactory Academic Progress and the Refund and Return of federal aid.
Federal regulations require that students maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (S.A.P.) in their course of study to continue receiving Federal Title IV Financial Aid.  Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress results in the cancellation of a student’s Title IV financial aid, but does not prohibit the student from continuing enrollment with his/her own resources or non-federal financial aid.                      
Federal Title IV Financial Aid includes:                        
·        Federal Pell Grant                                                                        
·        Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
·        Federal Work Study Program       
·        Federal Direct Loans 
                
The Financial Aid Office is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive financial aid at WTAMU, meet these standards before they can receive their Title IV, HEA aid. However all students at WTAMU will have to abide by these standards, regardless if the student is not eligible/receiving Title IV assistance. SAP standards apply for all federal, state and institutional grants.
 
The student’s entire academic record is reviewed annually after the spring semester of each academic year as required by federal regulations before awards for the ensuing academic year are made. (S.A.P. standards apply to both full-time and less than full-time students in both undergraduate and graduate programs.) Acceptable standards are a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students. Undergraduate student must complete at least 75% of their attempted hours for an academic year. This is the same standard as the university qualitatively but is stricter quantitatively. Additionally, an undergraduate’s aid eligibility has a maximum of 150% of the total hours needed for completion of his/her program of study. The student is ineligible at the end of the payment period (SAP evaluation checkpoint) where indicated the maximum timeframe not the point when the maximum timeframe will actually be reached. For example, at the end of the payment period (SAP evaluation checkpoint) the student has attempted 160 credit hours out of a possible 180 credit hours allowed under the maximum time frame but has 25 hours left to earn to complete his degree. The student is not meeting SAP due to exceeding the maximum timeframe because he has more hours to earn than what is allowed to graduate within the maximum timeframe.  After that point the student may continue to pursue his or her degree but does not have any federal aid eligibility. The hours attempted include all hours, including those that may have been attempted and/or completed at other institutions and accepted by WTAMU. Incompletes and repetitions are included in the 150% attempted hours. Withdrawals done prior to the census date of the semester are not included in the calculation. The hours required for the degree are determined by the hours listed for that degree in the pertinent university catalog under which the student enrolled. Students pursuing second baccalaureate degrees or teacher certification must complete their programs within 60 hours. The Graduate School at WTAMU requires a completion rate of at least 75% for the entire program.
Students who fail to meet minimum requirements (75% completion and 2.0 GPA) for attendance and academic progress at the end of an academic year (Fall and Spring) will be placed on “Suspension of Eligibility” (which will be displayed as "Unsatisfactory" in the Ellucien/ Datatel system). This standard is the same qualitatively as the University but stricter quantitatively. A student on Financial Aid suspension is not eligible to receive assistance under the Title IV HEA programs. However, a student can appeal the loss of Title IV eligibility providing they meet the requirement to file an appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on “Probation” for one payment period. A student on “Probation” may not receive Title IV funds for the subsequent payment period unless the student is now making satisfactory progress. State rules may apply to reinstatement of various types of state aid. 
 
Students pursuing second baccalaureate degrees or teacher certification must complete their programs within 60 credit hours and maintain a 2.0 GPA (grade point average).
The Graduate School at WTAMU requires a completion rate of at least 75% for the entire program. The qualitative standard is a 3.0 GPA for the Graduate School.
 
For academic purposes, at WTAMU a grade of “C” is equivalent to 2.0 and “B” is equivalent to 3.0.
 
REINSTATEMENT OF AID
 
Reinstatement of aid is limited to the period under evaluation. A student who successfully appeals his/her loss of aid from being placed on “Academic Probation” regains Title IV eligibility for the next period of enrollment. A student who is ineligible to appeal can regain Title IV eligibility after bringing their standing back to Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements (cumulative GPA (2.0 undergrad/3.0 grad) and cumulative completion rate of 75% (graduate students must complete 75% from the beginning of the grad program).
 
APPEAL PROCESS
 
A student who loses his/her financial aid eligibility due to his/her inability to make SAP will have the right to appeal.
 
A student, who wishes to appeal Academic Probation Status and loss of Title IV eligibility, must submit a written Appeal Form with proper documentation, to the Financial Aid Office within fifteen (15) days of being notified that they are in a non-satisfactory progress status.
The student must provide documentation and information as to why they did not make SAP and what has changed that will allow them to make SAP by the next evaluation point.
 
Federal guidelines specify that appealable circumstances are 1) the death of an immediate family member 2) the hospitalization or confining illness of the student or 3) other highly unusual circumstances. Items such as divorce/separation, normal illness, or personal problems are not deemed by the Department to be highly unusual. Students who believe they qualify to appeal may contact the FAO to obtain a written appeal form which must be returned, with proper documentation, to the FAO within thirty days for current enrollees and as requested for students with no enrollment within the past academic year. 
 
Once the Financial Aid Office receives the appeal with documentation, they will evaluate the appeal and provide a decision within ten (10) business days. The Financial Aid Office will notify the student in writing of the decision and all decisions are final.
 
 
COURSE INCOMPLETES, WITHDRAWALS, ALL “F”s/INCOMPLETES
Students who withdraw from all classes are considered withdrawn unless the withdrawal occurred prior to the semester’s census date. WTAMU does not have a Leave of Absence policy.
Course incompletes and repetitions apply to this institution’s SAP policy. WTAMU does not offer non-credit remedial courses. All hours attended are considered attempted. Students who repeat courses to improve their grade have both courses counted as attempted and completed.
 
 
 
Return of Title IV Funds
This policy applies to students who withdraw (official or unofficially) or are dismissed from enrollment at West Texas A&M University. The R2TIV process is separate and distinct from the West Texas A&M Refund Policy (refer to Refund Policy in the school catalog). The calculated amount of the "Return of Title IV Funds" that is required for students affected by this policy are determined according to the following definitions and procedures, as prescribed by regulation.
The Institution has 45 days from the date the institution determines that the student withdrew to return all unearned funds for which it is responsible. The school is required to notify the student if they owe a repayment via written notice. The school must advise the student or parent that they have 14 calendar days from the date the school sent the notification to accept a post-withdrawal disbursement. If a response is not received from the student or parent within the permitted time frame or the student declines the funds, the school will return any earned funds that the school is holding to the Title IV programs. Post-withdrawal disbursement must occur within 180 days of the date the student withdrew.
The Return of Title IV Funds (R2TIV) regulation does not dictate the institutional refund policy. The calculation of Title IV funds earned by the student has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges.
A school is required to determine the earned and unearned Title IV aid a student has earned as of the date the student ceased attendance based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance.
 
Withdrawal before 60%:
The institution must perform a R2TIV to determine the amount of earned aid up through the 60% point in each payment period or period of enrollment. The institution will use the Department of Education’s prorate schedule to determine the amount of R2TIV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60% point in the payment period or period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period. The institution must still perform a R2TIV to determine the amount of aid that the student has earned.
 
Withdrawal after 60%:
For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there are no unearned funds. However, a school must still determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
 
Example of Calculation: - CREDIT HOUR SCHOOL
 
  1. Determined the percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student by taking the calendar days completed in the payment period, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period (excluding breaks of 5 days or more)18(completed days) = 15.3% (% of completed calendar days) 118 (total days)
  2. Determine the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student by multiplying the percentage of Title IV aid earned times the total of the Title IV aid disbursed plus the Title IV aid that could have been disbursed for the payment period.15.3 % X $2805.00 = 429.17 (Amount of aid earned by student)
  3. If this percentage is greater than 60%, the student earns 100% of the disbursed Title IV funds or aid that could have been disbursed.
  4. If this percentage is less than 60%, then the percentage earned is equal to the calculated value.
  5. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of aid earned = the number of scheduled hours in the payment period completed unearned aid using the following formula:
  6. Aid to be returned = (100% minus the percent earned) multiplied by the amount of aid disbursed toward institutional charges. If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds. All Title IV funds that the institution must return will be made no later than 45 calendar days after the date the school determines that the student withdrew.
  7. When Title IV funds are returned, the student may owe a balance to the institution. If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution must send written notification to the student (or parent for PLUS loan funds) to offer a post-withdrawal disbursement for any amount not credited to the student’s account no later than 30 calendar days after the date that the school determines that the student withdrew . The institution is required to make a post-withdrawal disbursement within 45 days of the student's date of determination that they withdrew for grants and 180 days of the student’s date of determination that they withdrew for loans.
 
Official Withdrawals
An Official Withdrawal occurs when the student notifies the Registrar in person, by mail, or by fax of their withdrawal;
· Completes a Withdrawal Form.
· If a student notifies the school of a withdrawal in writing or by fax then the date of withdrawal will be the date on the written notification.
 
Unofficial Withdrawals
An Unofficial Withdrawal occurs when the student ceases to attend and participate in classes. West Texas A&M University does not have Leave of Absence Policy, therefore, all students ceasing to attend are considered to have withdrawn.
· “Participated” means to have submitted work, taken a quiz/test, or been directly involved in a required class activity. For students taking on-line classes, logging into the class is not considered as a participatory activity.
· Since the University is not required to take attendance, a student who unofficially withdraws may not come to the attention of the FAO until the end of the semester. Students with all F’s, drops, or incompletes are assumed to have unofficially withdrawn.
· Any unearned funds will be returned as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the day the school determined the student withdrew from the University.
 
Return of Funds:
In accordance with federal regulations, when Title IV financial aid is involved, the calculated amount of the R2TIV Funds" is allocated in the following order:
Institution’s Responsibility:
WTAMU’s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV Funds:
· Providing student with the information given in this policy;
· Identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for those students;
· Returning any Title IV funds that are due the Title IV programs.
 
Student’s Responsibility
The student's responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds include:
If you would like examples of the worksheets for this Return of Title IV Funds policy, contact the Financial Aid Office at 806-651-2055.
 
Post Withdrawal:
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the institution must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. The school may automatically use all or a portion of your Post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds, if you accept them) for tuition and fees. For all other school charges, the school needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
If WTAMU is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that your school may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. Your school may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you don’t already know what your school’s refund policy is, you may ask your Financial Aid Office for a copy of the refund policy.
 
West Texas A&M University can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.
 
If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at:
1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243)
TTY users may call:
1-800-730-8913
 
You may also contact your Financial Aid Office at:
806-651-2055.
 
Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at www.studentaid.ed.gov
 
*This policy is subject to change at any time, and without prior notice