Office of Student Financial Services
The Office of Student Financial Services has three main service functions. They are:
Financial Aid: Student Financial Services Counselors evaluate results from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional need-based funds.
Student Employment: Although positions are not guaranteed, Student Financial Services staff are available to assist students seeking work. The Redhawk Network is an on-line site that lists jobs that are funded through the need-based work study programs that are included in eligible students’ financial aid awards as well as those that are funded by the employer and open to any interested student—not just those with work study awards.
Student Accounts: Student Accounts prepares and distributes bills for tuition and fees, room and board and insurance. The office takes payments, assesses late charges, sets up payment plans and distributes aid.
The office is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
About Financial Aid
Seattle University offers a variety of strategies and resources to assist eligible students in meeting the costs of their education. More than 86 percent of undergraduate students receive assistance through grants and scholarships, work-study opportunities and low-interest student loans. Although most financial aid comes from the state and federal governments, Seattle University also contributes. To be eligible for state and federal aid programs, and most Seattle University institutional aid, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
The amount and types of financial aid a student receives are based on several criteria, including financial need, academic achievement and leadership accomplishments. There are primarily two types of financial aid: need-based and non-need-based. Need-based aid is awarded after a comprehensive review of the family’s income and assets as submitted by the family on the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and may be a combination of grant, work-study and/or loans.
Non-need-based aid is awarded to a student based on various criteria including academic performance, overall achievements and/or extracurricular activities.
In order to be considered for financial aid, students must first apply and be admitted as degree- or certificate-seeking students. In order to receive financial aid priority for fall quarter, freshmen applicants should submit all admission materials by Jan. 15. Transfer applicants should submit all admission materials by March 1.
Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov on or after Jan. 1 and before Feb. 1. Student Financial Services encourages both the student and a parent to apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN), which can then be used to sign the FAFSA electronically. A PIN should be secured prior to completing the FAFSA by going to pin.ed.gov or from within the FAFSA application. Indicate the FAFSA processor should send results to Seattle University by entering our Federal School Code—003790—in the appropriate section.
- To be considered for institutional gift aid, new freshmen must submit the FAFSA by Feb. 1 or within 30 days of being admitted.
- Students must reapply each year for need-based financial aid by filing a FAFSA.
- Some new students, and their parents if required to provide information on the student’s FAFSA, will be selected by the Federal FAFSA processor for a process called verification. Students will be notified if additional information will be required to determine their eligibility to receive need-based aid.
- Based on a review of submitted materials, some students may be asked to provide additional information.
- New students may receive a financial aid award indicating the types and amounts of financial aid they appear eligible to receive before all materials have been submitted and reviewed. In these cases, the award is tentative until all materials have been received and reviewed. If that review results in a change in the expected family contribution that is large enough to change the student’s aid eligibility, a revised award letter will be sent to the student.
- Continuing students will not receive an award notification until all required documents have been received and reviewed. To help facilitate the process, students and parents are encouraged to keep copies of all relevant information including a copy of the FAFSA, tax returns and any supporting documentation.
NOTE: New freshmen are required to provide a $200 enrollment deposit to the Admissions Office by May 1 to accept their offer of admission and secure their place in the incoming class.
Eligibility for Federal Student Aid
Applicants for federal financial aid including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan or any other federal aid must meet all federal aid program requirements including the following criteria:
- Demonstrate financial need* based on information provided by the student and family on the FAFSA.
- Have a high school diploma or a GED
- Enroll as a regular student in a degree program
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid recipients as described elsewhere in this text
- Not be in default on a student loan or under obligation to repay federal or state aid
- Be registered with Selective Service, if required
- Not be disqualified for assistance due to conviction for possession or sale of illegal substances.
*With the exception of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan programs that are based on total cost less other aid rather than on need
Students with bachelor’s degrees are not eligible to receive the federal grants listed above. Because funding sources are limited, students enrolled in an undergraduate program for fewer than half-time (six) credits generally only receive Federal Pell Grants and Washington State Need Grants (if eligible).
Summer Financial Aid
Undergraduate students who elect to attend Seattle University during the summer and who will graduate by the end of winter quarter during the academic year that immediately follows that summer quarter will be considered for Pell Grant, loans and/or work study. Institutional gift aid is not available for stummer quarter.
In general, students who will not graduate early, will not be considered for financial aid but may apply for a private educational loan to help cover summer costs.
For financial aid consideration, students must complete the FAFSA for the upcoming year because the summer quarter is the first term of each financial aid award year. An Seattle University Summer Aid Application must be submitted electronically by logging on to SUOnline and selecting Summer Financial Aid Application in the Financial Information section of the main student menu. The summer aid application becomes available when advance summer registration opens during mid-May and should be completed as soon as summer registration is completed.
The priority deadline for applying for need-based financial aid funding is February 1. Students must submit the FAFSA on or after Jan. 1 and by Feb. 1 in order to be considered in the first round of financial aid awards. Funding is awarded on a rolling basis and students who submit the FAFSA after Feb. 1 will be awarded any remaining funding, on a funds-available basis, after those students who met the Feb. 1 deadline have been awarded.
To be considered for institutional gift aid, new student must complete the FAFSA by Feb. 1 or within 30 days of being admitted.
To ensure funding will be available at the start of the quarter, students should complete the documentation required to support their application for financial aid by these dates:
To receive any funding during the quarter, students must complete the documentation required to support their application for financial aid by these dates:
Financial Aid Programs
The university is required by law to coordinate the various resources a student may receive from all federal, state, private and institutional sources. The strategies used to award financial aid are based on the fundamental premise that the primary responsibility for financing an education rests with the student and the family.
To the extent possible, based on both a student’s eligibility and the availability of funding, Student Financial Services combines different types of financial aid programs to create a financial aid award that meets as much of the student’s need as possible. Need is defined as the difference between the cost of education and the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is calculated using a congressionally-mandated formula that is applied to the information the student and family report on the student’s FAFSA.
Generally, the maximum amount of all resources may not exceed the cost of education established by the university. The cost of education is revised annually and includes tuition, room and board, books, supplies, transportation and various personal expenses. Students with unusual additional, educational expenses may qualify for an adjustment to the standard cost of attendance.
Institutional Gift Aid Guarantee
Seattle University guarantees the amount of institutional gift aid (grants and/or scholarships) incoming undergraduate students will receive each year over the course of their attendance at the university. Once any documents and/or information Student Financial Services requests have been submitted and the student’s initial year’s institutional gift aid award has been finalized, that amount will remain constant for each year of eligibility as long as the student is continuously enrolled and continues to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid recipients (completes a minimum number of credits with a minimum grade point average).
While the names of the grants and/or scholarships that make up a student’s institutional gift aid may change from year-to-year, the total dollar amount of those grants and scholarships will be no less than that received in the student’s incoming year. Institutional gift aid is only awarded for fall, winter and spring quarters. It is not available during summer quarters.
For incoming freshmen institutional gift aid is guaranteed for four years (12 quarters) and covers one degree with one major. For transfer students, institutional gift aid is guaranteed for the years remaining to expected degree completion based on the class standing assigned by the Office of the Registrar when students are admitted. If a student is admitted as a junior, for instance, the gift aid will be guaranteed for two years (six quarters).
Students must be continuously enrolled at Seattle University to retain the institutional gift aid guarantee. If, for example, a student leaves Seattle University for two quarters and then returns, the student will lose the guarantee made to them when they were first admitted.
Because institutional gift aid is guaranteed at the same level for each year a student maintains eligibility, and tuition often increases from year to year, it is important to have a financial plan in place for the entire span of the student’s anticipated attendance.
The institutional gift aid guarantee includes awards from these funds:
- Seattle University Academic Scholarships: Trustee, Campion, Bellarmine, Arrupe, Ignatian, McGoldrick, Messina, Xavier and certain donor scholarships
- Chardin Scholarship, Seattle University Grant and most endowed and restricted scholarships given to the university by alumni and friends
The institutional gift aid guarantee does not include awards from these funds:
- Federal and state grants
- Student loans
- ROTC Scholarships, Athletic Scholarships, Honors Scholarships, room waivers, Bannan Scholarships, Naef Scholarships, Sperry Goodman Scholarships, Fostering Scholar awards, Ellison Family Rainier Scholars Fund and outside scholarships.
Grants for Undergraduate Students
Grants are funds that do not need to be repaid and, at Seattle University, include the following:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
- Washington State Need Grant
- Seattle University Grants
- Chardin Scholarships
Students participating in Army, Air Force, or Navy ROTC may receive ROTC grants.
Generally, grants are applied directly to the student’s account. Some grants or scholarships may require the student to endorse a check before Student Financial Services can apply the funds to the student’s account. Student Financial Services will notify the student via their Seattle University e-mail address if a check is received that the student needs to endorse.
Scholarships for Undergraduate Students
Seattle University scholarships are provided in recognition of the student’s ability to enhance the Seattle University educational community. Trustee, Campion, Bellarmine, Arrupe, Ignatian, McGoldrick, Messina and Xavier recipients are selected at the time of admission based on information presented with the admissions application.
Chardin Scholarships are awarded during the financial aid award process based on the information presented with the admissions application plus the information reported on the FAFSA.
Institutional scholarship renewal is based on scholarship specifics, satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid recipients and, in some cases, continued need. Students must be continuously enrolled at Seattle University and meet satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid recipients to retain these scholarships.
In addition to the academic scholarships discussed above, undergraduate students at Seattle University receive scholarships from several sources. They include:
Donor Scholarships for Undergraduate Students
These institutional scholarships are generally need-based and are given to the university by alumni and friends. Students with demonstrated academic excellence and financial need will automatically be considered for these funds that are included as part of their guaranteed institutional gift aid.
The Seattle University Costco Scholarship is a need-based award made to first-time freshmen entering fall quarter. U.S. citizens who are African-American, Latino or Native American are considered for this award based on information from their application for admission and FAFSA. Funding for the scholarship is based upon an annual fundraising event sponsored by the chief executives of Costco. To the extent that funding continues to be available, the scholarship is renewable for three additional years for a maximum of 12 quarters. Students who receive this scholarship as freshmen must remain continuously enrolled at Seattle University during the regular academic year (fall, winter and spring quarters), maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid recipients and complete the FAFSA each year to continue to be eligible to receive it in subsequent years.
To let Seattle University donors know that their contributions make a difference to Seattle University students, Student Financial Services will ask each recipient to write a thank you letter to the scholarship’s donor in appreciation for helping to make their Seattle University education affordable. Letters will be submitted to the Development Office in University Advancement. That office will then share the letters with the scholarship donor.
Service Scholarships for Undergraduate Students
Various university departments and organizations award service scholarships for services students perform for the university. The student’s award letter will confirm the award about which the student should already have been notified by the awarding department or organization.
Athletic Scholarships for Undergraduate Students
Athletic Scholarships are determined and awarded by the Athletics Department and are subject to NCAA individual and team limits. Students should contact the Athletics Department with any questions they have about these scholarships and how they may affect the rest of their financial aid.
Grants and Scholarships for International Students
International students entering Seattle University from a high school in the United States or an American school abroad will, based on the information they provide during the admission process, be considered for these scholarships: President’s Scholarship for International Students, Provost’s Scholarship for International Students and Dean’s Scholarship for International Students.
International students transferring from a college or university in the United States will be considered for Seattle University’s Xavier and Messina Scholarships unless admitted through the Seattle University Culture Language and Bridge program, in which case they are not eligible.
Outside scholarships are scholarships students bring with them to Seattle University. Students must inform Student Financial Services if they are receiving outside scholarships because they must be included in the resources available to meet costs. These scholarships then are listed as Private Outside Scholarships on the Seattle University Award Letter.
Outside scholarships that have been announced by their donors and for which Seattle University students may be eligible are posted at on the scholarship search page on the SFS web site where the search feature allows students to narrow their search to scholarships that are relevant to their interests.
Veterans’ Education Benefits
Selected academic programs at Seattle University are approved by the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board’s State Approving Agency for enrollment of persons eligible to receive educational benefits.
Students eligible for Veterans Education Benefits must see the VA Certifying Official in Student Financial Services prior to their first quarter of attendance to set up those benefits.
The official source for Information about all VA educational benefits is www.GIBILL.va.gov. The Veterans Administration may also be contacted at (888) GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551).
Work study positions are available on campus and in the community to help students earn funds to meet their educational expenses. Students are awarded work study as part of their need-based financial aid award and select jobs from the listings available by clicking Student Employment Opportunities (Redhawk Network) in the Financial Information section of the Student Menu at suonline.seattleu.edu. Although positions are not guaranteed, Student Financial Services staff are available to assist students seeking work. Students receive their pay for hours worked after the start of the quarter; therefore these awards are not used to reduce the balance due on a student’s student account at the start of the quarter.
Federal work study provides part-time employment—up to 20 hours per week—in on-campus positions and off-campus community service positions. This need-based employment opportunity is awarded based on information provided on the student’s FAFSA and the availability of funding.
Washington State work study provides part-time, off-campus employment—up to 19 hours per week—to upper-division students who are permanent residents of Washington State. This need-based employment opportunity is awarded based on information provided on the student’s FAFSA and the availability of funding.
These are low-interest student loans that must be repaid.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Stafford loan limits vary by academic level and repayment begins 6 months after a student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Within each class level, a student is limited in the amount of subsidized Stafford loan he or she can borrow.
A Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford loan is limited by the student’s financial need and does not accrue interest during enrollment or the 6-month grace period. The interest rate for 2012-13 Stafford Loans with loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012 is 6.8 percent. A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is limited by the program’s annual and lifetime limits and by the student’s cost of attendance. The unsubsidized loan begins to accrue interest after the first disbursement.
Stafford Loan terms and benefits are discussed during the student’s required entrance counseling session and are also included on the master promissory note the student signs before loan proceeds are disbursed.
First-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session and a Master Promissory Note before their loan proceeds can be disbursed. The Missing Documents Letter sent in the student’s award letter packet has additional details concerning these two documents. This information is also available at My Documents in the Communication section of the student menu at SUOnline. Students are strongly encouraged to complete both documents online. Students who are unable to do so should contact Student Financial Services to request a paper version of these documents.
Once the student’s financial aid file is complete and the appropriate documents have been submitted, loan funds will automatically be disbursed to the student’s account each quarter, provided they are registered at least half-time. For undergraduate students this means at least 6 credits each term.
A 1 percent origination fee will be charged for each Direct Stafford Loan before it is disbursed to a student’s account. For example, if a student’s loan is for $1,000, $990 will be disbursed to their student account.
Annual and aggregate loan limits based on the student’s academic class level are as follows:
|First Year: 0-44 credits
|Second Year: 45-89 credits
|Third Year & Beyond:
|90 credits or more
|First Year: 0-44 credits
|Second Year: 45-89 credits
|Third Year & Beyond:
|90 credits or more
Graduate & Professional Students
|All Years of Study
||After 7/1/2012, graduate and provessional students are no longer eligible for subsidized Stafford Loans
After 7/1/2012, total will all be unsubsidized
After 7/1/2012, all remaining eligibility will be unsubsidized Stafford
|Defined by the U.S. Department of Education
Federal Perkins Loan
This need-based loan is awarded based on the information provides on the FAFSA and the availability of funding. It has a fixed interest rate of 5 percent. Interest does not begin to accrue until repayment begins nine months after leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment. Since Seattle University is the lender, no separate application is required. However first time borrowers will receive instructions from the Student Financial Services Office about completing an entrance counseling session, loan questionnaire and a master promissory note. Because funding is limited, first priority is given to undergraduate students with the highest need.
Federal Nursing Student Loan for Undergraduate Students
This need-based loan is awarded to undergraduate nursing students who have completed two years of study based on the information provided on the FAFSA and the availability of funding. It has a fixed interest rate of 5 percent and interest does not accrue until repayment begins nine months leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment. Since Seattle University is the lender, no separate application is required. However first time borrowers will receive a letter from the Student Financial Services Office with instructions about how to complete the required entrance counseling session, loan questionnaire and master promissory note that.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents of Dependent Undergraduates (Parent PLUS)
This non-need based loan is available to the eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students who have filed a FAFSA. The parent, who is the borrower, may borrow up to the amount of the student’s total cost of education (as certified by the Student Financial Services Office) less any financial aid the student has been awarded.
The interest rate is fixed at 7.9 percent. The lender will charge a fee of 4.0 percent that will be deducted from the awarded amount before the loan is disbursed. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed for the academic year. For instance, for an academic year loan for three quarters, repayment begins 60 days after the spring quarter disbursement in March. However, the parent may defer payments while the student is in school by calling the Direct Loan Service Center at (800) 848-0979 to request a deferment.
If interested in this loan, the student’s parents will apply by going on-line to the Department of Education’s loan website at www.studentloans.gov. The parent borrower is required to sign a Master Promissory Note, which they can do electronically using their FAFSA PIN, before funds will be disbursed to the student’s account. If unable to complete the Master Promissory Note online, the parent should contact the Student Financial Services Office to request a paper copy of the note.
If the parent’s Parent PLUS Loan application is not approved, the student may be eligible to receive a limited amount of additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
Private Educational Loans
For students who find they have need of more financial assistance, there are several private educational loan programs available for consideration. Eligibility is based on credit-worthiness as determined by the specific lender. Private educational loan considerations:
- Students should contact the Student Financial Services Offices if they have questions about how much they are eligible to borrow.
- Unless specifically instructed otherwise, Student Financial Services will certify loans to be evenly distributed over the quarters the student indicates on the loan application.
- If the student applies for an amount that is more than the total due on their student account, the remaining balance will be refunded to the student.
- Because it can take up to three weeks after the loan is approved to actually receive the loan proceeds, students should apply as early as possible, making application for the entire academic year if possible.
Student Financial Services will certify private educational loans from any lender the student selects, regardless of whether the student has chosen to apply for federal loans or other financial aid. However, Student Financial Services recommends that students look at the federal loans first and carefully compare rates, terms and benefits offered with any private loan being considered because the federal loans generally have better repayment terms and conditions.
Private Educational Continuing Education Loans
A few lenders provide loans for students who are not seeking a degree (non-matriculated) or students who are enrolled less than half-time. These loans are generally called Continuing Education Loans and can be researched on the Web using any standard search engine.
Private Lender Direct to Consumer (DTC) Loans
Some private lenders will make loans directly to students without contacting Student Financial Services to verify that the amount being requested will not affect other existing financial aid. Student Financial Services strongly encourages students to talk with them before taking out one of these loans because they may be eligible for other financial aid, including additional federal loans or certified private educational loans with better repayment terms and conditions, which might make it possible to reduce the amount of the DTC loan, or even eliminate the need for it altogether. The student must report the amount of this loan to Student Financial Services where it must be considered as a resource in combination with any other aid being received. If the student has not coordinated with the Student Financial Services Office ahead of time, the amount of the DTC Loan could result in a reduction or required repayment of other aid.
Students who elect to take out a DTC loan must complete and submit a loan self-certification form to their lender. Both the lender and Student Financial Services can provide a self-certification form upon request.
Dropping or Withdrawing from Some, But Not All, Classes
Adjustments may need to be made to the financial aid awards of students who drop or withdraw from some, but not all, of their classes at Seattle University, depending on several factors. Therefore, while general information about dropping or withdrawing from classes is given below, Student Financial Services strongly encourages students to contact a Student Financial Services Counselor before actually dropping or withdrawing from any classes.
In general, after classes begin and federal and/or state financial aid has been transmitted, withdrawing from some classes but remaining enrolled for at least one credit will not affect aid for the quarter in progress as long as the student met the original eligibility requirements to receive the aid. However, if the student drops one or more classes during the add/drop period, institutional aid for the quarter will be withdrawn if enrollment drops below full-time. Thereafter, institutional aid will be reduced proportionally to the reduction in credits and the tuition refund level in effect at the time the student withdraws.
In general, for students who drop or withdraw from some some of their classes before they have established eligibility for aid, but are still enrolled at least half-time (six credits or more as an undergraduate student), financial aid will be revised based on the student’s new enrollment status. Because eligibility to receive financial aid in subsequent quarters may depend on the number of credits successfully completed in the current quarter—and classes from which a student withdraws do not count as successfully completed—dropping or withdrawing from classes may affect eligibility to receive financial aid in the future.
In general, most or all financial aid will be canceled for students who drop below half-time enrollment (less than six credits as an undergraduate student) before they have established eligibility for aid. Students are srongly encouraged to talk with Student Financial Services Counselor before dropping to less than half-time to confirm the consequences of reducing their enrollment.
Credit balances resulting from withdrawing from classes are refunded to the student. Adding classes after a refund has been processed may result in the student owing additional tuition for the current quarter.
Students who withdraw from all classes after financial aid has been transmitted to their student account, should refer to Dropping or Withdrawing From All Classes below.
Dropping or Withdrawing From All Classes
General information about the affect on financial aid of dropping or withdrawing from all courses for the quarter—the amount of aid received, the amount that will be withdrawn and returned and future eligibility—follows. Because additional, individual circumstances and information vary widely from student to student, and because dropping or withdrawing from all classes may have different consequences for financial aid purposes than for academic purposes, Student Financial Services strongly encourages financial aid recipients to see a Student Financial Services Counselor before actually dropping or withdrawing from all classes for the quarter.
Aid for subsequent quarters will be canceled unless the student notifies Student Financial Services that they plan to return. Refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Financial Aid Recipients Policy for more information.
The official withdrawal date will be the date of the first signature of a university official on the withdrawal form unless the form is not received by the Office of the Registrar within five days of that signature in which case the official date of withdrawal becomes the date the form is received by the Office of the Registrar. If a student begins attendance but ceases to attend classes without notifying the University and the last date of attendance cannot be documented, the required return of financial aid will be based on attendance for 50 percent of the quarter and the student will not be eligible for a tuition refund.
The Student Financial Services Office will determine a student’s eligibility for a refund of charges for the quarter based on their official date of withdrawal as described above. Tuition refund periods and amounts are available in the Tuition and Fees section of this catalog.
According to federal regulations, federal funds must be returned to federal programs based on the percent of the term remaining after the student is no longer enrolled unless the student has completed more than 60 percent of the term. If the student has completed more than 60 percent of the term, no return of federal funds is required. If the student has completed less than 60 percent of the term, the Student Financial Services Office will determine how much federal aid was unearned as defined in federal regulations, and then return the unearned aid in the following order:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Parent PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
- Other Title IV Programs
Seattle University is required to return, on the student’s behalf, the balance of unearned aid to the federal programs. Work study funding is not included in the calculation that determines the student’s return amount and the student will not be required to repay any work study payments received for hours worked. The student will be responsible for repaying, in accordance with the terms of the master promissory note, any balance owed on the federal student loans disbursed to them that is not required to be returned by the university.
Federal law requires students who have received federal student loans while attending Seattle University to complete loan exit counseling through Seattle University. That counseling provides information about the student’s rights and responsibilities for loan repayment. Loan repayment will begin at the end of the student’s grace period(s) as defined by the promissory note(s) the student completed to receive the loans.
Based on the university’s refund policy and calendar, Seattle University grants and scholarships and Washington State grants awarded to students who withdraw during a tuition refund period (100 percent, 90 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent or 0) may be reduced based on the applicable refund percentage.
If most of a student’s tuition costs were covered by financial aid, most of their refund will be returned to those financial aid programs. This does not apply to any private educational loans received. Repayment of these loans is solely the responsibility of the borrower once the funds have been applied to the student’s account.
If payments were made with cash, check or credit card, the amount refunded will be based on the applicable refund percentage at the time the student withdrew.
In some cases, students may be required to repay federal and/or state grant aid and/or the changes in the amount of financial aid earned prior to their complete withdrawal. This may, in turn, result in a balance due from from the student to the university. In these cases, the Student Financial Services Office mails a revised student account invoice to inform the student of the amount owed as a result of their complete withdrawal. The student’s future registration will be blocked and transcripts will be withheld until this balance is paid.
Sample Return of Funds calculations can be found on the Student financial Services web site at the bottom of the section titled Complete Withdrawal from All Classes under the Important Info tab on the horizontal menu across the top of the home page.
Students granted a hardship withdrawal by their dean should keep in mind that this withdrawal is for academic purposes only; tuition refunds follow the standard refund policy and are based on the official withdrawal date. A separate petition is required to request an exception to the standard refund policy. These requests are typically approved only if there was a death in the student’s immediate family or the student had an illness or injury that required three or more days of hospitalization.
2012-13 Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients
Students receiving financial aid must:
- Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) and
- Complete their degrees within the maximum time frame allowed and
- Maintain progress toward their degrees at a minimum cumulative pace.
These requirements apply to a student’s entire period of attendance at Seattle University, and in some instances may include enrollment at other institutions before transferring to Seattle University, even though the student may not have received financial aid for all the terms in which they were enrolled.
It is important for financial aid recipients to understand that satisfactory academic progress requirements and enrollment standards for financial aid purposes may not be the same as those for academic purposes. It is possible to be making satisfactory academic progress for academic purposes while at the same time not making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes. Therefore, it is important that students contact Student Financial Services to talk with a counselor when considering reducing the number of credits for which they are enrolled.
Satisfactory academic progress for eligibility to receive federal and institutional aid is reviewed at the end of each spring quarter. For state aid, progress is reviewed at the end of each quarter of enrollment for which state aid is received. While students will be notified via email if they have not maintained satisfactory academic progress, it is their responsibility to monitor their own progress.
Financial aid will be suspended for students who do not make satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes as outlined briefly above and explained in detail below. That suspension may be appealed as explained in the Appeals section below.
GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)
Federal regulations require that students maintain GPAs that are consistent with successful completion of their program:
- Undergraduate students. Undergraduate students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 or the minimum cumulative GPA required by their program, whichever is higher.
- Graduate students. Graduate students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 or the minimum cumulative GPA required by their program, whichever is higher.
MAXIMUM TIME FRAME
Federal regulations require that the institution establish the standard length of time that students can receive aid while pursuing a degree. This requirement is called the “maximum time frame” for aid eligibility and, for undergraduate students, includes all applicable credits earned from all institutions attended since high school.
Undergraduate students. For its undergraduate students, Seattle University has established a maximum time frame for the receipt of financial aid as the earlier of:
- Attempting 125% of the minimum number of credits required for a student’s degree, or
- Completing all courses required to earn a degree, regardless of whether or not the student chooses to receive a diploma at that point. For instance, even though the student’s intent is to earn two degrees, eligibility for financial aid ends when the coursework necessary to receive one of those degrees has been completed.
For undergraduate students, the maximum period of eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid is calculated as follows:
- Federal aid: 125% of the published number of credits required to earn the student’s degree.
- State Aid: Washington State Need Grant eligibility is limited to
- 15 full-time quarters or equivalent enrollment at less than full-time, not to exceed
- 125% of the published number of credits required to earn the student’s degree.
- Institutional gift aid is awarded to eligible, full-time undergraduates for the number of quarters needed to complete program requirements based on the student’s classification upon admission:
- Four years (12 quarters) for undergraduate students who are classified as freshmen (0-44 credits completed) upon admission.
- Three years (9 quarters) for undergraduate students who are classified by the Registrar’s Office as sophomores (45 to 89 credits) upon admission.
- Two years (6 quarters) for undergraduate students who are classified by the registrar’s office as juniors (90 to 134 credits) upon admission.
- One year (3 quarters) for undergraduate students who are classified by the Registrar’s Office as seniors (135 or more credits) upon admission.
This policy applies to all institutional aid including grants and scholarships. Institutional aid is not available for extending a program to complete more than one major, minor or degree. To complete the undergraduate program within the institutional funding period, students are encouraged to enroll for 15 credits per quarter.
Graduate Students. For graduate students, the maximum time frame of eligibility to receive federal financial aid is 6 years (24 quarters) as long as the minimum, cumulative GPA and pace requirements continue to be met.
Pace measures progress toward a student’s degree within the maximum time frame and is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits the student has completed by the cumulative number of credits the student has attempted at the end of any review period.
Seattle University has established the minimum acceptable cumulative pace to be 80%. Pace considerations:
- For students with transfer credits, all accepted credits count as both attempted and completed for the purpose of evaluating pace.
- A passing grade includes A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, CR and P. A passing grade for financial aid considerations may not allow progression in the major and may not be accepted to fulfill a degree requirement.
- Incomplete (I’s), suspended (N’s), in progress (IP’s), missing grades (M’s), withdrawals (W’s), hardship withdrawals (HW’s) and failed classes (F’s) count as attempted credits but not completed credits.
- At the time incomplete, no grade, and missing grades are converted to a passing grade, they are considered in the calculation as completed credits.
- If a class is repeated, successfully completed credits count only once; but each enrollment will count as credits attempted. Additionally:
- Students who repeat a class they have previously failed may receive financial aid for each time the class is repeated until they receive a passing grade.
- Students may only receive financial aid for one re-take of a class for which they’ve previously received a passing grade.
- Coursework that may not apply to the degree, such as Culture and Language Bridge courses, will be counted toward the qualitative (GPA) component of satisfactory progress, although will not be included in the cumulative GPA on the student’s transcript. This coursework will not be counted toward satisfactory academic progress’s pace quantitative component.
- Audit grades (Y’s) and audit withdrawal grades (YW) have no impact on pace as they are not included in either attempted or earned credits.
- Credits earned by means other than by completing a college level course at another institution do not count as either attempted or completed credits.
Students must complete the minimum number of credits based on:
- The higher of their actual enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time or less than half-time) or
- The enrollment status for which they received financial aid, as noted on the Enrollment Status line of their award letter.
For example, if a student receives aid for initial enrollment of half-time (6-8 credits at the undergraduate level) but adds credits later in the term resulting in full-time enrollment, progress will be evaluated based on that full-time enrollment.
Enrollment status is defined as:
12 credits minimum
15 credits strongly recommended
6 credits per quarter
9 credits per quarter
4 or 5 credits per quarter
6 credits per quarter
3 credits per quarter
Less Than Half-time
The # of credits for which the student enrolls
The # of credits for which the student enrolls
Less than full time enrollment. To be eligible for financial aid for less than full-time enrollment, federal, state and/or institutional aid may require proration based on the reduced enrollment level which may, in turn, result in a reduction in the financial aid.
Institutional Aid. Institutional aid includes aid awarded through Student Financial Services and other offices at Seattle University which originates from the institution’s general fund, departmental funds, the financial aid budget, gifts to the university, and endowed scholarship funds.
Considerations for receiving institutional aid:
- Students must maintain full-time enrollment fall, winter and spring terms to receive their institutional aid.
- Institutional aid will be pro-rated, rather than withdrawn, if a student isn’t required to enroll full-time in their final quarter in order to complete their degree requirements.
- Institutional aid is not available during summer term.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC INSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS
All institutional gift aid is limited to the student’s class standing when they are admitted to Seattle University as outlined above in the “Maximum Time Frame” section.
All scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative pace of 80% as outlined above in the “Pace” section.
It may be possible for students who have met the maximum time frame and pace requirements, but who did not maintain the required cumulative GPA (see specifics below), to improve their GPA by taking classes in the summer (without aid). For more information about this option, students should contact Student Financial Services to talk with a counselor.
In addition to the named scholarships below, there are other institutional scholarships which come with specific requirements. Those requirements are disclosed in the offer letter associated with those scholarships.
3.0 Minimum Cumulative GPA Required for Certain Institutional Scholarship Recipients
Students who received a Sullivan Leadership Award or a Presidential, Trustee, Campion, Messina, Xavier, Bannan or Honors Scholarship when entering Seattle University must meet all the standard satisfactory academic progress requirements outlined above and maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) requirement of at least 3.0. Failure to meet this standard for the Sullivan Leadership Award, Bannan or Honors Scholarship at the spring review may result in suspension of these awards.
Failure to meet this standard for the other scholarships listed in the paragraph above will result in a year of scholarship probation. Failure to meet the 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA requirement by the end of the probation year will result in the replacement of the scholarship by the next lower scholarship (if minimum GPA requirements are met for that level scholarship) in the year in which the student entered. For recipients of the lowest scholarship, failure to meet the minimum GPA requirement in the probation year will result in a fifty percent reduction of that scholarship for subsequent years.
ADDITIONAL STATE-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
Washington Financial Aid Programs. The progress of Washington State Need Grant and/or Washington State Work Study recipients is monitored at the end of each quarter:
- Failure to complete at least 50% of the credits attempted in a quarter will result in the cancellation of a student’s subsequent eligibility.
- Students who complete at least 50%, but not all of the credits they attempt for a quarter, will be placed on state aid probation.
- Receipt of state aid while on state aid probation is only permitted for two consecutive quarters.
- If eligibility for state aid is suspended, but a student had special circumstances that prevented satisfactory progress, such as a serious illness or injury or a death in the family, the student may submit an appeal to request continued state eligibility
- There is no appeal of the maximum number of quarters for which a student may receive State Need Grant funding as described in the “Maximum Time Frame” section above.
Alaska State Loan Borrowers.
- Undergraduate Alaska State Loan borrowers must enroll for at least 12 credits per quarter and achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
- Graduate Student Alaska State Loan borrowers, must enroll for a minimum of 6 credits per quarter and achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
Appeals for reinstatement of Alaska loan eligibility are made to the Alaska Student Loan Commission.
Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes is reviewed annually at the end of spring quarter. Student Financial Services notifies students via their Seattle University email account if it appears that they have not made satisfactory academic progress. Students who failed to make satisfactory progress due to unanticipated circumstances beyond their control that prevented regular progress, such as illness or injury, a serious illness or death in the student’s family, may appeal to have their aid reinstated.
Students begin the appeal process by contacting a Student Financial Services Counselor by phone at 206-220-8020, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by coming to the Student Financial Services Office in the University Services Building, Room 105 to see a counselor during that office’s walk-in appointment hours which are posted on the Student Financial Services web site: www.seattleu.edu/sfs. Counselors work with students to determine the best course of action based on each student’s specific circumstances.
If the student and counselor determine that submitting an appeal is the best next step, the student will provide the following information, in writing, on the “Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Appeal Form,” available from the counselor or on the Student Financial Services web site on the “Forms” tab:
- An explanation of the special circumstances that prevented the student from meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid and
- What has changed in the student’s situation that will allow them to regain satisfactory academic progress in the future and
- Any supplemental documentation that supports the student’s case. In the case of maximum time frame, students must provide an academic plan as described in the next paragraph.
Appeals are due by June 30 so it’s important that students contact a Student Financial Services Counselor within a week of the date of the notification that satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid recipients weren’t met.
The Student Financial Services Counselor will review the student’s appeal and make one of the following determinations:
If it appears possible and likely that the student will be able to resume progress within the next quarter:
- The student will be placed on probation for that quarter,
- The student’s progress will be monitored at the end of that quarter,
- If the student is successful, the probationary status will be lifted and the student will again be considered to be making satisfactory progress
- If the student is not successful, eligibility will again be suspended and the student will again have the right to appeal that suspension
- Each appeal will be considered on its own merit. However, while there is no limit to the number of appeals a student may submit, repeat appeals must generally be for reasons different than those of previous appeal to be approved and will take longer to process because they will be reviewed by a committee of Student Financial Services Counselors.
If it appears unlikely that the student will be able to resume progress within the next quarter and/or the request is that eligibility to receive institutional gift aid be extended, the student will be required to work with an academic advisor to develop an academic plan that, when followed, will
- Set the requirements the student will be required to meet to ensure that they are able to meet the institution’s satisfactory academic progress standards by a designated point within the maximum time frame, or
- Indicate the courses required for completion of the student’s degree in support of their request that their eligibility to receive institutional aid be extended.
- The plan will designate, quarter-by-quarter, the courses, number of credits of enrollment and GPA that must be earned in order to regain progress.
- The student’s progress will be monitored each quarter.
- If the student successfully follows the academic plan, they will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for the following quarter.
- If the student is not able to successfully follow the academic plan, their eligibility to receive financial aid will be suspended and the student will again have the right to appeal that suspension.
Each appeal will be considered on its own merit. However, while there is no limit to the number of appeals a student may submit, repeat appeals must generally be for reasons different than those of previous appeal to be approved and will take longer to process because they will be reviewed by a committee of Student Financial Services Counselors.
Readmitted students who were not making satisfactory academic progress as financial aid recipients when they left Seattle University must resolve that deficiency under the policy in place when they re-enter. Readmitted students should make an appointment with a Student Financial Services Counselor who will make a determination about how the student needs to proceed using the options outlined above for continuing students.
If the student’s appeal is denied, they will be notified of that decision via their Seattle University email address. A student may appeal that decision by sending an email or letter to the Director of Student Financial Services, explaining in as much detail as possible why they’re asking that the decision be reversed.
REGAINING ELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID
If a student’s aid eligibility is suspended due to failure to make satisfactory academic progress, they may be able to regain eligibility by pursuing their education without the benefit of financial assistance from Seattle University. This may involve taking additional classes at Seattle University to raise their cumulative GPA to an acceptable level, or taking credits at Seattle University or another institution to regain “pace.” Please note that taking credits from another institution will require official transcripts and evaluation of transfer credit, and sometimes an application for readmission, before eligibility can be restored.
Because regaining eligibility is generally difficult to do, Student Financial Services highly recommends that students meet with a Student Financial Services Counselor to ensure that they understand what is required to regain eligibility. When a student believes they have regained satisfactory progress and are again eligible to receive financial aid at Seattle University, they must submit a request to the Student Financial Services office to confirm that they have regained eligibility. If additional courses were taken, that request must be submitted after the student’s courses have been evaluated and posted to their Seattle University transcript by the Office of the Registrar.