Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This office is also responsible for developing and enforcing the following regulations and policies.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Federal, State, and Institutional Aid
The federal government requires that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of academic success for students to remain eligible to receive federal and state financial aid (Federal Pell Grant, F.S.E.O.G., Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Nebraska Opportunity Grant). Nebraska Wesleyan University will follow these same guidelines for the awarding of institutional aid as well.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is maintained by meeting the following standards:
- Qualitative – a student must have the following cumulative grade point average as follows:
1-25 attempted credits – 1.60
26-57 attempted credits – 1.80
58 or more attempted credits – 2.00
- Incremental – the total number of credit hours earned divided by the total number of credit hours attempted (including transfer hours) must be at least 67%.
- Overall – the maximum time for a student to complete their degree is 150% of the standard. Candidates for all baccalaureate degrees must complete 126 credit hours, meaning the maximum time frame a student is eligible to receive financial aid is 189 credit hours.
The guidelines are established to encourage students to successfully complete courses for which financial aid is awarded and received. Successful completion is defined as receiving a passing grade (not an “F”). Courses transferred from other institutions will be included in the number of semester hours earned and attempted. Courses with grades of “W”, “I”, or “F” are counted as hours attempted.
Nebraska Wesleyan University will check SAP for students in the University College (UC) at the conclusion of the academic year (spring semester).
If at the end of the academic year a student does not meet the SAP requirements, the student will have their financial aid suspended. The Financial Aid Office will notify the student by NWU email. A notice may also be mailed to the student’s most recent permanent mailing address.
Students in suspension may appeal their status by submitting a letter of explanation, and any supporting documentation, to the Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid by NWU email or postal mail. The letter of appeal should contain what the significant mitigating circumstances were that impacted the student’s ability to succeed (i.e. – serious illness or injury of the student, death or illness of a close relative or friend, etc.) The appeal should also contain what the student learned from the situation, steps they have taken to make sure the circumstances will no longer impact the student’s academic success, and an academic plan of how they will regain satisfactory academic progress by the next evaluation. A letter of support from their academic advisor or other faculty member concerning the student’s ability to succeed would be beneficial as part of the appeal process. Filing a letter of appeal does not guarantee continued eligibility for federal, state, or institutional financial aid.
If a student’s appeal is granted, the student will be notified by NWU email and given a probationary semester. For the probationary semester the student may be considered academically eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
If an appeal is denied, the student will be notified by NWU email. A notice may also be mailed to the student’s most recent permanent mailing address. The decision is final for that semester. The student may re-establish eligibility once they meet satisfactory academic progress requirements.
Policy for Charging Books
Nebraska Wesleyan Pell Grant recipients and students with a credit balance will be eligible to purchase books using their NWU student account—up to the amount approved by the NWU Business Office. A credit balance is created when financial aid funds exceed allowable charges (tuition, fees, etc.) for the semester.
Who is eligible to charge their books?
To be eligible, students:
- Must have completed the financial aid process
- Must have received the Pell Grant
- Must have a credit balance for the session
- Must have met all requirements for an early disbursement
If a qualifying Nebraska Wesleyan Pell Grant recipient does not want a book credit, they do not need to submit a receipt to the business office for approval.
Federal Aid Policy for Repeating Classes
Passed courses may be repeated only once for Federal Aid. The Department of Education has recently published new regulations which impact students who repeat courses. Beginning July 1, 2011, students may only receive federal financial aid for one repetition (repeat) of a previously passed course. This means that students who have already passed a course with a grade of a D or better may only repeat the class one additional time and receive financial aid for that course. No student may repeat a course a third time and receive financial aid for the course. This federal regulation applies to students who receive federal financial aid regardless if they received financial aid for the previous attempts.
Example 1: Suzie takes Anatomy and passes the course with a D. She may choose to take the class again for a better grade. If she does that, she would qualify for federal financial aid on the second attempt. If she attempts the class again a third time, she would not be eligible for federal funds.
Example 2: John enrolled in 15 hours with one 3-hour course being repeated. John’s federal aid will not be affected because John will still be enrolled in 12 hours excluding the repeated course; however, if John was enrolled in 12 hours initially with a 3-hour repeated course, John’s financial aid must be adjusted to reflect less than full-time status. John’s federal financial aid would be based on 9 hours instead of 12 hours.
Return of Title IV Funds Calculations (R2T4) Policy
When a financial aid recipient does not complete a payment period as scheduled, NWU is required to assess each student’s ‘earned aid’ and compare it to the student’s ‘awarded aid’ as dictated by federal regulations.
R2T4 calculations are made using the student’s payment period which is the semester. The start date of the first session in the semester and the end date is the last date of the last session they were originally enrolled. The calculation excludes any scheduled breaks of at least five (5) consecutive days, sessions and days when the student was not scheduled to attend a session during that semester.
If a student receives more financial aid than they earned based on the R2T4 calculation, aid may require NWU to return funds to the federal program required. This could create a balance for the student on their NWU account.
Dropping or Withdrawing Impact on Your Federal Aid
Withdrawing from a Nebraska Wesleyan session in a semester can be partial or complete.
- When a student does not complete all the sessions in a semester, the university is federally required to review the aid the student received and compare it to what the student earned and determine if R2T4 calculations are required (see R2T4 policy above).
- New regulations effective July 1, 2011 state that a student is considered withdrawn when he or she has not completed all the days he or she was scheduled to attend in the semester.
- Partial or complete withdrawal could result in repayment of federal funds by the student.
Title IV Student Loan Code of Conduct
Read the Student Loan Code of Conduct to learn more about Nebraska Wesleyan University policies and student rights.