FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID ADMINISTERED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
FIU is designated as an eligible institution by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for participation in the following programs of federal student aid (FSA):
Federal Pell Grant: This federally funded grant is based upon financial need and is limited to students enrolled at least half-time in their first undergraduate degree program.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan: Direct loans are made by the U.S. Department of Education. Subsidized loans are need based and are available to students enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate degree program. Unsubsidized loans are non-need-based and are available to students enrolled at least half-time in either undergraduate or graduate degree programs.
Loan limits and eligibility are determined by Federal guidelines. Repayment begins six months after graduation, when a borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, or when a student ceases to make satisfactory academic progress.
To apply for federal student aid under the above programs, a student needs to complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.
For Washington State residents seeking information and resources about student loan repayment or seeking to submit a complaint relating to your student loans or student loan servicer, please visit https://www.wsac.wa.gov/loan-advocacy or contact the Student Loan Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEP 1: Complete the FAFSA
Complete the FAFSA for the academic year in which you plan to begin enrollment. The financial aid academic year runs from July 1 to June 30, so if you plan to enroll Fall quarter 2023, complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA.
Be sure to enter the Faith International University School Code 036894 when prompted on the FAFSA. One of our former names may pop up in the box with this code (Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, or Faith Evangelical College and Seminary). You may select any name that pops up with this code.
You will also need to refer to your prior-prior year’s IRS Tax Return (for example, you will need to refer to your 2021 tax return for the 2023-2024 FAFSA.
First Time Users
You will first need to create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), which consists of an applicant-created username and password. The FSA ID is used to sign your FAFSA electronically. If you are under age 24, the Department of Education considers you a dependent and one of your parents (or both) will need to apply for a FSA ID. PLEASE KEEP YOUR FSA ID IN A SAFE PLACE FOR FUTURE USE.
Students Who Have Previously Applied for Financial Aid
Use the same FSA ID you created previously when filing your renewal FAFSA. If you forgot your FSA ID, you may request a duplicate or a new FSA ID at https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/sign-in/landing.
The FSA ID login is used not only for completion of the FAFSA, but also for all Dept of Education student and borrower-based websites.
STEP 2: Complete “Entrance Counseling” and “Master Promissory Note” (MPN)
This step is for subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, only. If you want only Pell Grant, you do not need to complete this step. Go to https://studentaid.gov/ and select these two items from the drop-down menu of the “Loans and Grants” tab.
Note: If you are a dependent student, your parents may authorize a credit check if they wish to apply for Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). If approved, they must complete the PLUS Entrance Counseling and MPN at https://studentaid.gov/. If your parent’s credit is declined, the Financial Aid Office will determine your unsubsidized loans based on independent status.
STEP 3: Complete “Verification” (if required) and Provide Needed Documents Through Your Student Portal at RegentEducation.net
AFTER you have registered for your first classes at Faith International University, you will receive email notification from the school’s financial aid servicer on how to set up your financial aid student portal at RegentEducation.net (VPN), where you can complete or upload required documentation.
Students and parents of students are advised that if they enter into a Title IV, HEA loan, the loan data will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system (HEOA 489 amended HEA Sec. 485B). This disclosure information is publicly disclosed and made available through appropriate publications, mailings or electronic media.
The NSLDS Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) may be accessed at https://www2.ed.gov/notices/pia/pia-nslds-new.pdf.
A school’s cost of attendance (COA) sets a limit on the total aid that a student may receive for purposes of the Direct or Direct PLUS Loans, and is one of the basic components of the Pell Grant calculation.
The types of costs that may be included in the COA are the same for all FSA programs. These include:
- The tuition and fees normally assessed for students carrying the same academic workload
- Materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study
- Allowance for books, supplies, transportation
- Miscellaneous personal expenses
- Allowance for housing and food allowance (off campus or living with parents)
- For a student with dependents, an allowance for costs expected to be incurred for dependent care that will allow the student to attend school
- For students receiving loans, the fees required to receive them (for example, the loan fee for a Direct Loan)
ESTIMATED QUARTERLY EXPENSES (STANDARD TUITION)
The table below shows the COA for a typical full-time student for one quarter of attendance.
Estimate your cost of attendance for one academic year with the Net Price Calculator: https://netprice.simpleapply.com/Faith/NPC/Summary.
Awards for each of the Federal Student Aid programs are based on some form of financial need. Need is determined by considering Faith International University’s cost of attendance minus the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by federal methodology, minus any other form of gift aid the student may receive, including institutional tuition reduction awards.
PELL DISTRIBUTION CHART
To view how your FAFSA EFC and enrollment status may influence your Pell eligibility, please click here to see the distribution chart for 2023-2024:
FEDERAL LOAN LIMITS
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans have both annual and lifetime aggregate limits determined by federal regulation.
By institutional policy Federal Student Aid disbursements normally occur within 30 days after a quarter start date.
Per student’s authorization (or parent’s if the student is a dependent), Faith International University will use Federal Student Aid proceeds to credit the student’s account to pay all educational charges at the institution by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) at the beginning of each quarter in which the student is enrolled.
After all the institutional charges have been paid, any credit balance will be issued to the student by paper-check no later than 14 days from the date the credit balance occurred.
You can request that the entire amount of your financial aid be cancelled for an upcoming quarter or quarters. To request this, it is advisable to email the Financial Aid Office (email@example.com) at least two weeks prior to the start of the quarter for which you wish to cancel your financial aid.
Financial aid must be renewed once your current loan period has ended. A loan period represents the quarters included in your financial aid award package, and is usually awarded for three or four quarters at a time. Faith International University has an academic year that runs concurrent with the Department of Education’s FSA award year, which is from July 1 of any given year through June 30 of the following year. Loan periods are generally contained within an award year. If you attend school year-round, your loan period will typically be for all four quarters of the award year. For example, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters may represent one loan period. You will not need to renew your financial aid during this time.
Be aware of the dates of your current loan period so you can reapply for financial aid before the loan period ends.
If you are renewing your federal financial aid application from one award year to the next, you can do so by choosing the FAFSA Renewal on the FAFSA website. Selecting this option will speed up the application process by populating certain fields of the form with information from your previous year’s FAFSA.
Each year the US Department of Education randomly selects students for a process called “Verification” to check the accuracy of information submitted on the FAFSA, with the information contained in official documents i.e. federal income tax returns, Social Security statements, Driver’s License, and/or any other necessary documents.
Students selected for verification must submit requested documentation in order for official financial aid eligibility to be determined. When a student is selected for verification, the student will be notified as follows:
- The financial aid office of Faith International University will notify the student via email. The email will outline what documents are required for the student to submit, one of which will be a Verification Worksheet (which will be provided).
- All documents submitted must be hand signed, or electronically signed if completed online through the student’s financial aid portal.
- Please upload all verification documents directly to your student financial aid portal or mail them to Faith International University, 3504 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, WA 98407. The financial aid office will check the documents for accuracy.
- The student will continue to receive email requests from the financial aid office until the documents have been received.
- Verification documents must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office within 45 days from the date the request was submitted, otherwise the Financial Aid Application may be cancelled.
- No Financial Aid Funds will be disbursed until verification is complete.
Faith International University will report any suspected fraud or falsified information (on the part of the student, parent, or related parties) to the US Department of Education and all other related parties for immediate action.
Federal Financial Aid will fund up to 150% of the number of “attempted” credits required for a degree program, with the approval of the registrar. If you change programs, your attempted credit count will not start over. All previously attempted credits will count toward the maximum allowed for your new program of study. Transfer credits from other colleges that are accepted for use toward the Faith International University degree will also be counted.
To receive Federal Financial Aid under the programs authorized by the Department of Education guidelines, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) during the course of study they are pursuing.
SAP will be monitored after each quarter for all students. All periods of enrollment count toward SAP including when a student does not receive further Title IV payments. Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured by three components:
· The student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA)
· The students rate of progress toward completion (ROP)
· The maximum time frame (MTF) allowed to complete the academic program (150% for all programs)
1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)
Undergraduate students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 to be eligible for federal financial aid, Graduate students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, and Post-Graduate students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 to be eligible. Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured for all students after each quarter. If a student falls below the minimum cumulative GPA for their program of study, the student will receive a written warning from the financial aid office. After one quarter of failing to meet the minimum CGPA requirement, a student will be placed on financial aid or academic warning for one quarter. If the student fails to raise his/her CGPA to the minimum standard after one quarter of warning, the student will lose financial aid eligibility and will be placed on probation.
All incomplete grades will be counted against a student’s cumulative GPA at the end of the quarter when the SAP Committee performs the process of determining SAP. When the incomplete grade is changed to an actual grade the student’s file will be re-evaluated. Transfer credits are not included in the calculation of the cumulative GPA but are included in the student’s rate of progress (ROP).
When retaking a class, only the most recent attempt at the course is used to calculate the cumulative GPA. All classes taken, however, whether they are first attempts or retakes, will count toward the ROP calculation. This includes classes that are taken during periods when no federal financial aid is received.
GPA Maintenance & Requirements
Program: Bachelor of Arts / Satisfactory Progess: 2.0 / Graduation: 2.0
Program: Master of Arts / Satisfactory Progess: 2.5 / Graduation: 2.5
Program: Master of Divinity / Satisfactory Progess: 2.5 / Graduation: 2.7
Program: Doctor of Strategic Leadership / Satisfactory Progess: 2.5 / Graduation: 3.0
Program: Doctor of Ministry / Satisfactory Progess: 2.5 / Graduation: 3.0
2. Cumulative 67% Rate of Progress (ROP) Rule
This component measures the rate of progress (ROP) towards completion. Students must complete and satisfactorily pass 67% of all credit hours attempted at Faith International University. Students must complete enough hours to finish their program within the maximum time frame. Quantitative progress is determined by dividing the number of credit hours completed by the number of credit hours attempted. Credit hours attempted include completed hours, transfer credits, W’s, WX’s, F’s and repeated courses. After one quarter of failing to meet the minimum ROP requirement, a student will be placed on financial aid or academic warning for one quarter. If the student fails to raise his/her ROP to the minimum standard after one quarter of warning, the student will lose financial aid eligibility and will be placed on probation.
Dropping classes after the first week of each quarter will affect the completion rate. Dropping a class during the first week census add-drop period does not affect the completion rate.
3. Cumulative 150% Rule or PACE
The maximum time frame (MTF) for completion of all programs below the master’s level is limited by federal regulations to 150%. To remain eligible for Federal Financial Aid, the maximum time frame (MTF) needed to complete a program of study cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted. For example, if the published length of required credit hours for a program is 180 hours, the maximum period must not exceed 270 (180 x 1.5) attempted credit hours. If the published length of required credit hours is 72 hours, the maximum period must not exceed 108 (72 x 1.5) attempted credit hours. Students must complete enough hours to finish their program of study within the maximum time frame. Maximum time frame pace must be measured at each evaluation. Remedial courses are not to be included when determining pace. To determine the pace progress, divide the cumulative number of credit hours completed by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted. When calculating pace, transfer credits will be counted that apply toward the current program.
Program: Bachelor of Arts / Regular Hours: 180 / Max. Hours: 270 / Max. Years: 6
Program: Master of Arts / Regular Hours: 72 / Max. Hours: 108 / Max. Years: 4
Program: Master of Divinity / Regular Hours: 136 / Max. Hours: 204 / Max. Years: 6
Program: Doctor of Strategic Leadership / Regular Hours: 80 / Max. Hours: 120 / Max. Years: 5
Program: Doctor of Ministry / Regular Hours: 48 / Max. Hours: 72 / Max. Years: 5
Substantive Online Interaction Guidelines
The institution requires students to participate by regularly logging into their enrolled course(s), substantively interacting with fellow students and instructors through group discussions, and submitting all course work in a timely fashion. Substantive interaction involves a sustained, interactive communication usually of three or more posts to the course Discussion Forum, consisting of one initial post to a question(s) in the course content and two posts to fellow students and/or the course instructor. It is a written answer to a discussion question/response that contains a central idea, independent response or opinion that is presented or communicated in a meaningful way. The purpose of substantive interaction on the Discussion Forum is to promote understanding of a topic and its relevant themes to all participants and to promote a deeper understanding of the topics and themes discussed in courses, which will enrich the educational experience. In addition, it opens the lines of communication with fellow classmates and instructors.
Changing Programs of Study
A student transferring from one program to another must withdraw from one program first and then enroll in the second program. A student may be awarded transfer credits for the common courses among the program a student has withdrawn from and the program a student will be joining. In-house transfer credits are included in the calculation of the cumulative GPA and are included in the rate of progress. Additionally, the transfer-in hours are counted toward the 150% Maximum Time Frame.
The process requires the student to submit a completed “academic program change” form with all appropriate signatures. If a student changes their program after add/drop weeks it will only take effect the following quarter.
Enrolling in a Second Program of Study
If students wish to obtain a second degree of the same level (e.g. a second Bachelor of Arts after completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree), they will have eligibility so long as the time and credits needed do not exceed any remaining eligibility unused by the first degree. Pell Grant is not available for a second bachelor’s degree. If students wish to obtain a degree of a greater level (e.g. a Master of Arts degree after completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree), they shall be treated as transfer students for determination of remaining eligibility. All Faith International University courses, regardless of when they were attempted, will be used to calculate students’ GPA. All course work will be reflected on the academic transcript. SAP-status will be applied in continuation, but maximum time frame (150%) of each program will be counted separately.
Warning Letter, Probation, Suspension of Financial Aid, and the Appeal Process
When a student does not meet the standards as stated above, the following process will take place:
1. Financial Aid and Academic Warning
After the first quarter of not meeting the minimum standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), a warning notification will be sent to the student from the Financial Aid Office. The notification will inform the student that he/she is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, and is therefore in danger of losing financial aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Warning status will continue through the following quarter of enrollment. The student can continue to receive federal aid while on Financial Aid Warning status. All students who receive an initial warning notification are encouraged to seek help academically from the Dean of Students and their class professors.
2. Financial Aid Probation
If after one quarter of Financial Aid Warning the student is still not meeting SAP standards, the student will lose his/her financial aid eligibility and a letter of explanation will be sent to the student. Loss of federal aid due to not making SAP will also result in the loss of all FIU funded scholarships. The student is now on Financial Aid Probation status. This loss of eligibility will be for at least the following quarter, with the student not regaining eligibility until it is determined that he/she is once again meeting the minimum SAP standards. If the student earns the status of Financial Aid Probation due to mitigating circumstances, or if the student feels that he/she has been unfairly placed under that status, the student may file an appeal and submit it to the Office of the Dean of Students. The appeal will be reviewed by the school’s SAP Committee and if approved, the student will be required to meet with an academic counselor or the Dean of Students to establish a new academic plan, with the goal of helping the student re-establish minimum academic standards. The Academic Affairs office will communicate with the Financial Aid Office and financial aid can be re-established on a quarter by quarter basis, as long as the student is continuing to make progress toward meeting SAP on the new academic plan. No financial aid disbursement will be made, however, until it is determined that the student is actively following the new academic plan.
An example of student earning a probationary status might be as follows: a student has a 1.93 Cumulative GPA at the end of the Fall quarter, whereas SAP standards require a minimum CGPA of 2.0. A warning notification will be sent to the student. The student will be on Financial Aid Warning status for the whole of Winter quarter. At the end of the Winter quarter, the cumulative GPA has fallen to a 1.85. The student will then lose eligibility for receiving any more federal financial aid and FIU funded scholarships. For the following Spring quarter, the student will be required to follow an Academic Plan established by the Academic Affairs office and must be meeting the requirements of the plan throughout the Spring quarter. The student pays the charges for Spring quarter without financial aid, and brings his/her GPA back up to a 2.0. In the following quarter, after re-establishing SAP, the student’s financial aid is restored.
3. SAP Appeal Process
Along with the letter of probation, an appeal form will be sent to the student giving them the opportunity to appeal for one quarter of continued financial aid. An appeal will only be granted for mitigating circumstances such as a death in the immediate family, a prolonged illness that is documented by a physician, or an equally serious circumstance that interfered with the student’s ability to meet the standards of SAP. The appeal form must be completed and turned in to the Dean of Students, along with supporting documentation if appropriate, so that the SAP committee can determine if the appeal should be granted. If an appeal for continued financial aid is granted, the appeal will only be valid for one quarter. The student must meet with the Academic Affairs office to complete a well-documented written plan stating the student’s goals for the quarter. This academic plan must ensure that the student can meet SAP standards by a specific point in time. A copy of the plan will be on file in both the Academic Affairs office and the Financial Aid office. All decisions of the SAP committee are final. SAP will be checked again at the end of that quarter to determine if the student is once again making adequate progress.
4. Academic Suspension
A student who does not reach the program minimum standard after a quarter of academic probation may be placed on academic suspension for two quarters. The student will be notified of academic suspension status by letter.
5. Re-admittance and Dismissal
The student may reapply for admission after the suspension period. To do so, the student is required to make an appointment with a designated counselor for appropriate advising. A new application form is required along with a substantive letter outlining a corrective academic action plan. This letter can be composed with the assistance of the student’s academic counselor. If reinstatement occurs, the student will be issued a letter of probational reinstatement. Special conditions may be established by the dean of students. If the student fails to meet those conditions during the probationary quarter(s) following the suspension, the student may be dismissed from the institution.
6. Suspension/Dismissal Appeals
A student placed on an Academic Suspension or Academic Dismissal may appeal such action by filing a written appeal with the dean of students no later than 10 working days after the date of the written (or email) suspension or dismissal notice. The appeal shall include a brief outline of the reasons why the appeal should be granted. The decision of the dean of students shall be final.
Note: When a student has been placed on Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, or Academic Dismissal, such action may be permanently indicated on the student’s academic (transcript) record.
Immediate Academic Discipline
The academic warning and/or probation steps may be bypassed for any one or more of the following reasons: if a student’s quarterly GPA falls below 1.0; if the student receives more than one “F” during any quarter; or if the student is placed on academic warning or is administratively withdrawn more than one time over a four-quarter period. Such students are subject to immediate academic discipline or suspension.
Administrative Withdrawal (WX)
A student who is inactive the first two weeks of a quarter or who is inactive for three consecutive weeks during a quarter is subject to Administrative Withdrawal (WX). If a student receives a WX for all courses during a single quarter, the student will be automatically placed on academic and/or financial aid probation and is required to submit an appeal for approval from the SAP committee to continue his/her studies (see above). The letter of appeal must include the reasons why the student was inactive and what has changed in the student’s circumstances to allow successful completion of the quarter. Any subsequent, similar occurrence may result in dismissal from the institution.
Only those grade changes that are processed prior to the SAP appeal deadline shall affect students’ satisfactory academic progress status. Students who replace a course grade by transferring in credits shall not be able to alter their satisfactory academic progress status.
International Students Satisfactory Academic Progress
Nonimmigrant/international students having F-1 Visa status who do not maintain the minimum PACE and cumulative GPA will be subject to Academic Warning and Academic Probation but will not be allowed a period of Academic Suspension. This is an academic policy, not a federal financial aid policy.
SAP Monitoring Procedures
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) monitoring is an institution-wide activity. The first line of defense is the professor. Professors are asked to contact individual students who seem to be lagging behind. It is an institution requirement that professors ask for some kind of class participation from students within the first two weeks of each quarter. It is also required that professors of distance education classes document at least four (4) substantive interactions with each of their students within the first seven (7) weeks of the quarter.
The school has designated compliance officers who check the academic activity of each individual student on Canvas, using the Analytics and Gradebook features. All students will be checked in Canvas at least once by the end of the third week of the quarter. The officer will record activity for each week of the quarter up to the point that a check is done. Students who have not participated in their classes by the third week of the quarter run the risk of Administrative Withdrawal. Inactive students will receive an email notification from the Compliance Officer and possibly a phone call from the Dean of Students to communicate this risk and to offer assistance. In addition, students who are under-active in their classes will also receive an email from the Compliance Officer. Sample contents of the email are as follows:
From: Compliance Office
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 5:15 PM
Subject: Satisfactory Academic Progress Compliance – TH5311
To: John Doe
Cc: Professor Steward, Dean of Students, Registrar’s Office
Upon reviewing your academic progress for this quarter, I noticed that you have not been regularly interacting with your professor according to the syllabus requirements for the following course TH5311 (lack of activity). It is vital that you stay consistently active during the quarter.
Please contact your professor-of-record as soon as possible and let them know what is happening. We truly want you to succeed. Faith International University requires all students to participate regularly and actively in
online courses. Failure to comply may result in an Administrative Withdrawal from the course.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Compliance Officers will re-check all students’ class activity within the next three weeks of the quarter, meaning that all students will receive at least two (2) activity monitoring checks within the first six (6) weeks of the quarter. Students will receive one more monitoring check before the end of the quarter. Any student who consistently lags behind in class participation should be brought to the attention of the Registrar.
If a student is Administratively Withdrawn due to non-participation, they will receive a notification letter from the Dean of Students with the date of and the reason for the forced withdrawal, along with instructions on how the student can appeal this decision. If the student has received Federal Financial Aid, an R2T4 shall be completed to determine if any funds need to be returned to ED. If so, funds shall be returned within 45 days of the date of the Administrative Withdrawal.
The Financial Aid Office or the Compliance Officers will give all students a SAP review at the end of each payment period (quarter) to determine if the student has successfully met minimum SAP standards. If not, the student shall be notified with either an Academic Warning letter, an Academic Probation letter, or a Suspension notification (see Academic Progress Policy). If it is determined at the end of a quarter that has a student who received Federal Financial Aid did not complete at least 60% of the class requirements (regardless of the grades received on assignments), or attend at least 60% of class sessions during the quarter, an R2T4 shall be completed to determine if any funds need to be returned to ED. If necessary, any funds due to ED will be returned within 45 days of the end of the quarter.
Federal regulations require Title IV financial aid funds (grant or loan) to be awarded under the assumption that a student will attend the institution for the entire period in which federal assistance was awarded. When a student withdraws from all courses for any reason, including medical withdrawals, he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that he/she was originally scheduled to receive. The return of Title IV funds (R2T4) is based upon the premise that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled. A pro-rated schedule is used to determine the amount of federal student aid funds he/she will have earned at the time of the withdrawal. Once 60% of the quarter is completed, a student is considered to have earned all his/her financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.
FIU is required to determine the earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid as of the date the student ceased attendance based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance.
Federal law requires schools to calculate how much federal financial aid a student has earned if that student:
- Completely withdraws
- Stops attending before completing the quarter, or
- Drops below ½-time enrollment status during the payment period
Based on this calculation, FIU students who receive federal financial aid and do not complete their classes during a quarter could be responsible for repaying a portion of the aid they received. Students who do not begin attendance must repay all financial aid disbursed for the quarter.
- Academic policies on official withdrawal procedures are available online in the Academic Catalog.
- The FIU’s tuition/fee refund policy is separate from the federal regulations to repay unearned aid. Whether a student receives a tuition/fee refund has no bearing on the amount he/she must repay to the federal aid programs.
How the Earned Credit is Calculated
Students who receive federal financial aid must “earn” the aid they receive by staying enrolled and participating in classes. The amount of federal financial aid assistance the student earns is on a pro-rated basis. Students who withdraw or do not complete all registered FIU classes during the quarter may be required to return some of the financial aid they were awarded.
FIU is required to determine the percentage of Title IV aid ‘’earned” by the student and to return the unearned portion to the appropriate aid programs. Regulations require schools to perform calculations within 30 days from the date the school determines a student’s complete withdrawal. The school must return the funds within 45 days of the withdrawal. The R2T4 calculation process and return of funds is completed by the Financial Aid Office.
The following formula is used to determine the percentage of unearned aid that must be returned to the federal government:
- The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period (less any scheduled breaks that are at least 5 days long).
- The payment period for students is the entire quarter.
- The percent unearned is equal to 100 percent minus the percent earned.
Determining Institutional Charges
Institutional charges are used to determine the portion of unearned Federal Student Aid that FIU is responsible for returning. Title IV program funds are used to pay institutional charges ahead of all other sources of aid. The institutional charges used in the calculation are always the charges that were assessed the student for the quarter prior to the student’s withdrawal. Application fees are excluded from institutional charges because they are not an educational cost. Student’s institutional charges are generally defined as charges for tuition and fees, room and board and other educational expenses that are paid to the school directly.
FIU does not include books, supplies, equipment, and materials as institutional charges because students can purchase these materials at convenient locations not affiliated with FIU and FIU provides financial aid funds in a way and at a time that makes it possible for students to purchase the materials in a timely manner.
Generally, the higher the institutional charges, the greater the amount of unearned aid that is to be returned by the school in the event of an R2T4.
Example of a R2T4
In the following example, the student’s institutional charges will be adjusted by the amounts that must be returned to the Title IV programs. Please note that charges used in these examples may not reflect true University charges.
Example: Student A is a dependent student who started in the Fall Quarter. Quarter start is 09/26 to 12/9. Student’s withdrawal date is 11/1. Her financial aid package consists of:
- Pell: $1,938.00
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan: $2,000.00
- Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan: $1,167.00
- Total Aid: $5,105.00
- Amount refunded to student: $0.00
Student “A” withdraws on 11/1. This is day 36 out of 68 days in the quarter.
- 36/68 = 0.53% of Title IV funds earned by the student
- Title IV funds = $5,105.00
- $5105.00 X 0.53% = $2,705.65 in Title IV funds earned
- Title IV funds to be returned: $5105.00 – $2705.65 = $2,399.35
The school would return $2,000.00 to Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program and the remaining $399.35 to the Subsidized Direct Loan Program.
Section 479A of the Higher Education Act (HEA) gives Financial Aid Administrators (FAAs) the authority to make case-by-case adjustments of the data items used to calculate a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), based on adequate documentation to address current circumstances not reflected on a student’s FAFSA. A Professional Judgment (PJ) adjustment may be warranted if a family member experienced a significant change of income, either upward or downward. For example, for an individual who has lost a job or has taken a significant salary cut since January 2020, the FAA may use the income for the 12-month period following the reduction in income (2020) instead of the prior-prior year income (2019) that was initially used in the EFC calculation. Alternatively, the FAA may choose to use more recent income that the FAA believes more accurately reflects the family’s current financial circumstances.
This notice is to remind students that they may request a Professional Judgment to adjust financial aid eligibility based on the student’s special circumstances, including for recently unemployed individuals who may not know that their changed circumstances could make them eligible for Federal Pell Grants and other need-based student aid.
Who May Benefit from PJ?
Undergraduate students who have an EFC higher than 100 may benefit from PJ to increase their need-based aid eligibility. Students with EFC of 0-100 need not apply. Graduate students will likewise not benefit from PJ.
How to Request PJ
Students must request professional judgment adjustments in writing, and the request must be fully documented.
For example, to document a decrease in income, a student may present a copy of a termination letter from an employer and unemployment income pay stubs. A confirmation stating that the student has applied for unemployment is NOT sufficient.
Areas Where PJ May Apply
Special circumstances where a PJ request may be appropriate shall be conditions that differentiate an individual student from a class of students rather than conditions that exist across a class of students. Adequate documentation for such adjustments shall substantiate such special circumstances of individual students.
Special circumstances may include:
- Recent unemployment of a family member or an independent student;
- A student or family member who is a dislocated worker (as defined in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998);
- Tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school;
- Medical, dental, or nursing home expenses not covered by insurance;
- Unusually high child care or dependent care costs;
- The number of parents enrolled at least half-time in a degree, certificate, or other program leading to a recognized educational credential at an institution with a program participation agreement under section 487 of the HEA;
- A change in housing status that results in an individual being homeless (as defined in section 103 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act); or
- Other changes in a family’s income, a family’s assets, or a student’s status.
Areas Where PJ Does Not Apply
Financial aid administrators are not allowed to use PJ in certain areas. A financial aid administrator cannot use PJ to:
- Change a student’s dependency status from independent to dependent;
- Create a new category of costs in the cost of attendance (COA);
- Make a “bottom-line” adjustment directly to the EFC;
- Change the Federal Methodology (FM) formula itself or the values in the tables used to calculate the EFC;
- Make across-the-board changes;
- Make an otherwise ineligible student eligible for Title IV aid, such as using PJ to waive general student eligibility requirements;
- Circumvent the intent of the law or regulations;
- Include expenses related to post-enrollment activities in the student’s COA, except on a onetime basis for the cost of obtaining a first professional credential for a student in a program requiring credential or license.
How to Contact Your FAA for a PJ Request Form
If you feel you have special circumstances that may qualify you for a professional judgment adjustment on your 2021-2022 FAFSA, please contact your financial aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call 253-752-2020, ext. 134 or ext. 138.