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Financial Aid Policies

Satisfactory Progress Policy

Refund Policy

1. Satisfactory Progress Policy

Satisfactory academic standing is required in order for a student to maintain eligibility for financial assistance. At the end of each semester, after final grades have been issued, the Director of Financial Aid will verify the academic standing of each student.

Once a student has reached the point in time when they have registered for their 15th course credit, both qualitative and quantitative standards must be met and measured each semester. “Registered Course Credits” include all transfer credits and all credits for which a student has officially enrolled (excluding audit classes) at Monmouth College. Official enrollment is defined as the credits for which a student is registered at the end of the period for adding a course.

Qualitative Standard:

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00. A student will immediately lose eligibility for all Federal and State financial assistance if the student’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.00. No advance warning of pending loss of financial assistance can be given.

In the case of a student who receives a grade equal to “I” (Incomplete) or “IP” (In-progress), the eligibility for financial assistance for the next semester will be determined without regard for the “I” or “IP” grade. Subsequent removal of an “I” or “IP” grade and replacement of those grades with final grades may have an impact on future semesters and the eligibility for financial assistance, but it will not have a retroactive affect on semesters for which assistance has already been granted.

Quantitative Standard:

Students must also be making incremental progress (consistently earning credits) towards a degree. According to Federal requirements a student may take up to 150% of the time needed to achieve and obtain a degree. For example, a student may take up to six years to obtain a four year bachelor’s degree and still remain eligible to receive financial assistance. If however, the student is not making incremental progress towards the degree, a loss of eligibility for Federal and State financial assistance will occur. No advance warning of pending loss of financial assistance can be given.

In any semester where a student has lost eligibility of financial assistance, the student may appeal to the Director of Financial Aid for the reinstatement of eligibility. The student must show that their cumulative GPA fell to less 2.00 or they failed to make incremental progress towards a degree during the semester as the result of 1) the death of an immediate relative of the student, 2) a severe injury to the student, 3) a severe illness of the student, or 4)other unusual circumstances that interrupted their ability to perform academically.

If an appeal is granted and the financial aid eligibility is restored, the student will be placed on financial aid probation and will be eligible to receive financial assistance for one semester. If, at the end of the semester on financial aid probation, a student does not 1) establish a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 or 2) make incremental progress towards the degree, no further aid eligibility can be allowed.

2. Refund Policy

When a student withdraws from all classes during a semester, it is the College’s responsibility to determine the student’s withdrawal date for the purposes of the return of Title IV (federal) financial aid and the refund/cancellation of charges and non-federal financial assistance.

Official Withdrawal

For a student to be considered officially withdrawn, he/she must notify the college in writing or orally of his/her intent to withdraw by contacting the Office of Student Affairs. The withdrawal date is the date that the student notifies the Office of Student Affairs of his/her intent to withdraw and/or begins the withdrawal process by completing a withdrawal form.

Unofficial Withdrawal

If a student ceases attendance without providing official notification to the College, the withdrawal date will be the mid-point of the semester, except that the College may use as the withdrawal date the student’s last date of attendance at an academically-related activity, as documented by the College.

Special Circumstances

If the College determines that a student did not provide official notification because of illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control, the Dean of Students may determine a withdrawal date related to that circumstance.

Return of Title IV (Federal) Financial Aid

When a student withdraws during a semester, the amount of federal financial aid earned by the student is determined on a pro-rata basis. Once a student has completed 60 percent of the semester, he/she is considered to have earned all of his/her federal financial aid. If the student has completed less than 60 percent of the semester, he/she is considered to have earned an equal percentage of the aid originally scheduled to be received. (Federal Work Study funds are excluded from the return of Title IV funds requirements.)

If a student has received excess funds, the College must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

(A) the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of funds, or

(B) the entire amount of the excess funds.

If the aid to be returned is in the form of a loan that has been released to the student (or parent) borrower, the student (or parent) can repay the loan in accordance with the terms of the promissory note over a period of time.

If the aid to be returned is in the form of grant funds, the law provides that the student may repay 50 percent of the grant rather than 100 percent.

The Title IV funds must be credited to outstanding loan balances or to any amount awarded for the semester in which a return of funds is required in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Federal Parent PLUS Loans received on behalf of the student
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants
  7. National SMART Grants
  8. Federal SEOG Grants
  9. Federal TEACH Grants
  10. Other Title IV assistance

Refund of Charges

A student who withdraws prior to completing 60% of the semester is entitled to a pro-rata cancellation of that semester’s direct costs for tuition, room and board. Indirect costs such as parking permits, insurance, books, class fees, etc., will not be pro-rated. After completion of 60% of the semester, there is no refund of charges.

A student who withdraws before the first day of classes of any semester, is not considered to have been enrolled for that semester and is therefore entitled to a 100% cancellation of charges. If a student remains on campus beyond his/her withdrawal date, he/she will be assessed room and meal costs based on actual period of residency on campus.

Program fees, housing fees and all other fees assessed to a student’s account to cover additional charges by a host institution for an off-campus program will be refunded in accordance with refunds made by the host institution. Any special travel arrangements or incidental costs due to a program cancellation will be at the student’s own expense. Monmouth College may require students to return from an off-campus program at any time, regardless of whether its sponsor or host institution has officially cancelled a program.

Refund of Funds from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission Monetary Award Program (MAP)

Per the rules of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, if a MAP recipient withdraws after the end of the second week of the semester, the student may receive MAP grant payment for costs incurred up to the semester award provided the college’s tuition refund policy indicates that the student has incurred charges in the amount of the claim.

Refund of Institutional Financial Aid

Institutional financial aid may consist of Monmouth Grant, Monmouth Scholarships and Monmouth Loans. The refund/cancellation of institutional financial aid follows the pro-rata policy for the cancellation of institutional charges. When a student withdraws prior to completing 60% of a semester, a pro-rated portion of his/her institutional financial aid will be returned to the program(s) from which the student received funds. After completing 60% of the semester, there is no cancellation of financial aid.

A student who withdraws before the first day of classes of any semester is not considered to have been enrolled for that semester and therefore 100% of the student’s institutional aid will be cancelled.

Refund of Private Scholarships, Grants and Loans

Unless otherwise requested by the donor or a private scholarship or grant award, the funds will be retained to cover the costs incurred by the student. Excess funds will be returned to the donor. Private/alternative loans will be the last item retained to cover the costs incurred by the student. Excess loans proceeds will be returned to the lender.

Summary

In summary, the financial assistance a student is entitled to retain from each source (federal, state, institutional & private) will be calculated and kept in the order described below up to the total costs incurred by the student. When the total assistance a student is entitled to retain is less than the costs incurred, the student will be billed for the difference.

  1. Private grants/scholarships/loan
  2. Other Title IV assistance
  3. Federal TEACH Grant
  4. Federal SEOG grant
  5. National SMART Grants
  6. Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants
  7. Federal Pell Grants
  8. Illinois MAP Grants
  9. Illinois Scholarships
  10. Monmouth College Grants/Scholarships
  11. Illinois Teacher Scholarships with service requirements
  12. Federal PLUS Loan
  13. Federal Perkins Loan
  14. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  15. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  16. Private/Alternative Loan

Loan Exit Interview Required

Perkins Loan and Stafford Loan borrowers are required to have an exit interview with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid before leaving campus to ensure that they fully understand their commitments and obligations under this federally-funded program.

Appeal Process

An appeal process exists for students or parents who believe that individual circumstances warrant exception from published College charges and refund policies. Persons wishing to appeal for special consideration should address such an appeal in writing to the Vice President for Finance and Business at Monmouth College.

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