Student Aid Rights and Responsibilities

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Understanding Financial Aid Policies and Procedures

Students and families who meet certain eligibility requirements have a right to receive financial aid.  With those rights, however, come certain policies and responsibilities.  The following information is provided to help students understand these various aspects of financial aid.  If you have any questions regarding information provided here, please contact Student Financial Services.

Applying for, Accepting, and Renewing Aid

Merit scholarships are offered at the point of admission, and the admission application is the only form required for consideration of merit scholarships.  In subsequent years, undergraduate students may be considered for endowed scholarship support in late June provided they have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (using UD's school code of 001431).  University scholarships do not require repayment and students do not need to do anything to accept these funds.  Scholarships automatically pay to the students' accounts around the start of the semester.

The FAFSA is the only financial aid application required for students to be considered for University and federal need-based financial aid (grants and loans). Students who have file the FAFSA by April 15 each year will have financial aid award notices available on My Finances in early July (August for graduate students) and are notified as part of the initial billing email notification.  Grants do not require repayment, and these funds are automatically accepted on behalf of the students and pay to student accounts around the start of the semester.  Student loans require repayment, and students accept these loans through the completion of the FAFSA and any other loan requirements, e.g., Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling.  Assuming these requirements are completed in a timely manner, loans will pay to the student account around the start of the semester as well.

Continuing students must reapply for financial aid each academic year by completing a new FAFSA yearly.  Student Financial Services emails reminders to students each spring.  Students who file their FAFSAs by the recommended deadline of April 15 will have financial aid award notices available for review on My Finances in early July after official tuition/fee rates are announced (early August for graduate students).  Students can expect to have similar financial aid packages each academic year at UD provided the following:

  • Awards are not limited to one year. (see My Finances for award conditions.)
  • Financial situation of the family stays consistent. (Changes in income, marital status, number of family members, or a change in the number of siblings enrolled in college will affect aid eligibility.)
  • Federal, institutional, and state financial aid programs remain similar.
  • Required application deadlines are met.
  • Students report accurate information, including income and assets, on the FAFSA.
  • Students continue to meet the enrollment level and Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements (see below for additional details).

Students are encouraged to review the financial aid terms and conditions below for additional information related to financial aid eligibility.

Financial aid has certain terms and conditions that must be met in order for the aid to be offered and maintained.  The following information is offered to assist students in understanding these.  Please review the carefully:

  • I understand that the University of Delaware makes available financial aid terms and conditions for my review at any time.
  • I also understand that federally-required disclosures can be found on the University’s consumer information page.
  • I understand that my financial aid award, once eligibility is determined, if available on My Finances for my viewing at any time and that term and conditions of the awards I receive can be found on the financial aid award notice.
  • I understand that the financial aid award notice does not represent actual or guaranteed payment but is an estimate of the aid I may receive if I meet all requirements stipulated by that aid program.
  • I understand that my financial aid award is contingent upon my continued enrollment and attendance in each class upon which my financial aid eligibility was calculated. If I drop any class before completion, I understand that my financial aid eligibility may decrease and some or all of the financial aid awarded to me may be revoked.
  • If some or all of my financial aid is revoked because I dropped or failed to attend class, I agree to repay all revoked aid that was disbursed to my account and resulted in a credit balance that was refunded to me.
  • I acknowledge I will receive financial aid for the standard fall/spring academic year in two installments (one half will disburse for fall semester; the second half for spring semester), unless otherwise noted. I understand disbursements will be made directly to my student account.
  • I agree to allow financial aid from my award to pay any and all charges assessed to my account at the University of Delaware, such as tuition, fees, campus housing and meal plans, student health insurance, parking permits, service fees, fines, bookstore charges, or any other amount, in accordance with the terms of the aid.
  • I understand that any federal Title IV financial aid I receive, except for Federal Work-Study wages, will first be applied to any outstanding balance on my account for tuition, fees, room and board. Title IV financial aid includes aid from the Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Direct Loan, PLUS Loan, Perkins Loan, and TEACH Grant programs. I authorize the University of Delaware to apply my Title IV financial aid to other charges assessed to my student account, such as student health insurance, parking permits, bookstore charges, service fees and fines, and any other education related charges. I further understand that this authorization will remain in effect until I rescind it.
  • I understand that all prizes, awards, scholarships, and grants awarded to me by the University of Delaware will be credited to my student account and applied toward any outstanding balance.
  • I agree that a financial aid refund from one semester can be used to cover any prior semester’s outstanding charges. If I wish to decline the crediting of one semester’s aid refund to a prior semester’s charges, I must decline by contacting SFS.
  • I will be responsible for repaying any funds I receive that exceed my financial need or, if for any reason, I become ineligible for the financial aid. If I drop classes, withdraw, or make other academic changes, my financial aid awards may be adjusted and repayment may be required.
  • I must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen to receive federal or state funds.
  • I understand that my receipt of a University prize, award, scholarship, or grant is considered a financial resource according to federal Title IV financial aid regulations and, therefore, may reduce my eligibility for other federal and/or state financial aid (e.g., loans, grants, or Federal Work-Study) which, if already disbursed to my student account, must be reversed and returned to the aid source.
  • I must be classified as a degree-seeking student at the University of Delaware to be eligible for financial aid. I understand that limited graduate certificate programs may be eligible, and I should check with Student Financial Services (SFS) to determine if I would be eligible and to find out what limitations might exist. I also acknowledge that provisionally-admitted graduate students are not eligible for financial assistance.
  • My financial assistance is awarded based on merit and/or calculated need as determined from the information provided on my admission and financial aid application forms. Further, my financial aid awards are subject to adjustments or cancellations due to changes in laws, regulations, appropriations, financial situation, verification, discovery of data errors, enrollment status, or residency status, to name a few examples where adjustments may be necessary.
  • If I am working toward a second bachelor’s degree, I may be only eligible for Federal Direct Loan(s).
  • I understand I am not eligible for aid restricted to undergraduate students, such as the Federal Pell Grant or Federal SEOG, if I have a bachelor’s degree or I am a graduate/professional student.
  • I understand that I must reapply for need-based aid each year by completing the FAFSA and demonstrate the same equivalent need (in addition to meeting other aid requirements) to have my financial aid renewed for the next year.
  • I must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours minimum as an undergraduate student for all semesters or 4.5 credit hours minimum as a graduate student for the fall and spring semesters; and 6 credit hours minimum for the summer session, with a few exceptions for our Graduate online programs) to be eligible for Federal Direct Loan(s). If I am a Pell Grant recipient, I may be allowed to receive the Pell at a reduced rate if I enroll less than half time.
  • Undergraduates must be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours per semester) to receive most types of financial aid. If I enroll less than full-time, my financial aid awards (including Federal Direct Loans, University of Delaware grants/scholarships, Federal Perkins Loan, and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)) will be reduced or cancelled.
  • I must only be enrolled in classes required to complete degree requirements in my specified program of study as specified in the University Catalog. I understand I should work with my academic advisor to determine that the coursework I am enrolled in is required to meet graduation requirements in my program.
  • I understand that classes taken for audit are not eligible for financial assistance and do not count toward enrollment for purposes of financial assistance. I also acknowledge that it can affect renewing of future awards/scholarships if I do not complete a full-time course load (12 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters).
  • If I stop attending classes without officially withdrawing (unofficial withdrawal), I understand my financial aid awards may be adjusted and repayment may be required.
  • If I receive any financial assistance from an outside source (e.g., a private scholarship) that is not processed through Student Financial Services, I must inform SFS.
  • I agree to notify SFS if I have been awarded financial aid for a semester in which I do not plan to enroll.
  • I certify that any federal student aid funds received during the award year will be used solely for educational expenses related to attendance during the year.
  • I agree to repay to UD any financial aid funds disbursed to me in error. If a mistake was made, whether by myself, SFS or another agency, I understand that federal regulations require that the mistake be corrected and funds be billed back as necessary.
  • I agree that my financial aid will be used to pay any and all University charges that accrue to my account. If I wish to limit aid to pay only tuition, fees, and on-campus housing charges, I understand I must notify SFS in writing.
  • If requested, I agree to provide documents to verify the accuracy of information reported on the FAFSA before financial aid can be awarded or disbursed.
  • I agree to respond promptly to all requests from SFS for additional information. If I do not respond, I understand I may be billed for a portion or all of the financial aid disbursed to me.
  • I understand I must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • I acknowledge that I must work in a Federal Work-Study (FWS) position to earn the FWS amount shown on my financial aid award notice, as FWS funds are not disbursed into my University student account. Rather, I will receive a pay check every two weeks, just as in any other form of employment.
  • I agree to contact Student Financial Services prior to dropping or withdrawing from the University, as it may impact my current or future aid eligibility.
  • If I have been previously incarcerated, am currently incarcerated or might be incarcerated during my current term of attendance, I must identify myself to Student Financial Services to determine my financial aid eligibility.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order for students to receive federal financial aid (including grants and loans), regulations require they maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree, or, more simply put, be on track to complete their degrees in a reasonable time period with acceptable grades.

Student Financial Services monitors the SAP process for UD and advises students on SAP policies and procedures. The types of federal aid affected by SAP include the following:

SAP includes both qualitative and quantitative measures of the student's progress.

  • The qualitative measure establishes a minimum grade point index (Grade Point Average, or GPA) standard of 2.0.
  • The quantitative measure establishes
    • a maximum time frame for students to complete their programs of 6 years for undergraduates with no more than 180 earned credits (graduate students may differ, and
    • a minimum number of credits a student must satisfactorily complete each year equal to 67% of all attempted coursework.

Student Financial Services reviews each student's academic record at the end of every spring term. The academic record is then compared against the following qualitative and quantitative requirements of the University of Delaware's SAP Standards.

A student must have a cumulative grade point average of a 'C' (a 2.0 grade point index) at the end of the second year of study (defined as 60 credit hours attempted). A student may be placed on probation or dismissed for academic deficiency when the index for any semester is less than 1.23 or the quality-point deficit is more than 12.99 points. Graduate students must maintain good standing as defined in the Graduate Catalog.

For financial aid purposes, satisfactory grades are defined as A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, P, and S. Unsatisfactory grades are defined as F, L, LW, N, X, Z, W, WF, I, and U.

Degrees must be earned based on one of the following schedules:

  • Undergraduate – First bachelor's degree must be completed within 6 years of full-time attendance or its equivalent, regardless of whether student has received financial aid. In all cases, the bachelor's degree should be earned while attempting no more than 180 credit hours.
  • Graduate – Students must complete degrees within 5 years (10 semesters). During this 5-year period, students have 3 years of full-time attendance or its equivalent to complete required course work (does not include UNIV 868, 869, or 969). A 7-year limit is provided for doctoral students entering without a master's degree.

To meet the time limits defined above, all students must complete for credit 67% of total credit hours attempted. This completion rate is defined as the number of earned hours divided by the number of attempted hours, where earned hours are courses in which a student has received a grade of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-. D+, D, D-, P, and S. Attempted hours include all satisfactory letter grades and unsatisfactory letter grades previously listed, including listener or audited classes, withdrawals and incompletes. Transfer credits are counted in both attempted hours and completed hours in this calculation. Repeated courses are also included in the calculation. If a class is repeated, all of the attempted hours are counted, but only the credit hours from the highest grade for the repeated course are counted as completed. Grades for all repeated courses are counted in the grade point average calculation.

Academic dismissal will result in automatic suspension of all types of financial aid.

SFS reviews academic progress for all students at the end of the Spring Semester. Students who have not met all SAP requirements (regardless of whether they received financial aid) will be notified in writing that they have lost eligibility for financial aid.

A student may appeal eligibility decisions if there were extenuating circumstances which may have affected the ability to meet academic requirements.  Examples of extenuating circumstances include personal or family critical illness (physical or mental), natural disaster impacts on student or family home, assault, and other circumstances outside student's control.  Students looking to appeal will log in to My SFS Docs using UDelNetID and password, then complete the appeal form, explaining the situations, documenting circumstances, and developing an Academic Recovery Plan with an academic advisor.  SFS will review appeals to determine whether SAP exceptions can be made.

Students whose SAP appeals are approved will be placed on SAP financial aid probation.

Those students will be allowed one semester to meet SAP requirements and remain eligible for financial aid (unless otherwise specified in the Academic Recovery Plan).  Students should contact SFS prior to the start of the following semester after grades have been posted to be considered for the following term. Students will be reviewed term-by-term until SAP requirements are met to ensure progress according to the Academic Recovery Plan. In the meantime, students on financial aid probation may continue to receive aid.

In addition to the Academic Recovery Plan, undergraduate students on probation are required to achieve a semester grade point average of 2.0 or above, not receive an "I" in any coursework, and receive a "P" in each Pass/Fail course. (For graduate-level students, the minimum GPA requirement is determined by the academic unit.)

Students will be removed from SAP financial aid probation once successfully completing the Academic Recovery Plan. This is demonstrated by obtaining a GPA consistent with the minimum requirement for the relevant academic level and in completing an aggregate of 67 percent or more of all attempted credit hours.

Students who are placed on academic probation by their Schools or Colleges are also considered to be on financial aid probation under SAP.  Students are expected to comply with the requirements of both the college or department and Student Financial Services. See note below regarding academic holds.

Failure to Meet SAP Probation Requirements

Students who do not meet the terms of financial aid probation are not eligible for aid in any subsequent semester. A written notification is sent to all students who fail to comply with the terms of the probation.

A student can regain eligibility by doing the following and notifying Student Financial Services once the following have been accomplished:

  • Complete a minimum of 12 credit hours or 8 credit hours for graduate students at the University of Delaware (or as specified in the Academic Recovery Plan) without the benefit of financial aid.  Students may take the credits at another institution of higher education if approved by their academic advisor; and
  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates (for graduate students, the GPA requirements of their academic unit); and
  • Complete 100 percent of attempted credit hours.

Note: A student who has lost eligibility cannot regain it by paying out-of-pocket for the enrolled classes or sitting out (not attending) for a semester.

Students who feel SAP status and aid eligibility were affected by special circumstances can appeal through My SFS Docs with proper documentation of those circumstances (i.e,. doctor's notice, letter from academic advisor, etc.).  Students filing appeals may be required to work with the academic advisor to develop a plan for achieving good academic standing.

Grades

For financial aid purposes, satisfactory grades are defined as A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, P, and S.  Unsatisfactory grades are defined as F, L, LW, N, X, Z, W, WF, I, and U.  Students who fail to complete at least 67% of attempted credit hours because of incomplete grades or who withdraw from all classes will have financial aid terminated.  A student may receive financial assistance for a course that was repeated.

Repeated and Not-for-Credit Courses

A student repeating a course may receive aid for that course, and both instances of the course will count toward attempted hours, though only the instance receiving the better grade will count toward completed hours.  Not-for-credit courses are not eligible for financial aid so students should be sure that repeated courses are not designated as not-for-credit.  Any aid disbursed toward a not-for-credit course may require repayment.

Terms with All Failing Grades

Students will be asked to verify attendance during a term in which all grades received are unacceptable (as defined above).  Failure to verify attendance in each class will result in cancellation of all aid for the term.

 

 

The University has a range of holds, including financial, that prevent future registration by students who need to resolve various issues.  SFS will not determine financial aid eligibility or release funds of students with an academic hold until that hold is removed by the School or College.  Students can refer to UDSIS for additional information on any holds on their accounts.


 

Financial Aid Appeals

Students who have experienced extenuating circumstances which impacted progress or financial aid eligibility may submit appeals to have eligibility reviewed.  The types of appeals are as follows:

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Financial Hardship (Professional Judgment, EFC, or FAFSA Appeal)
  • Scholarship Renewal

Student Financial Services will review appeals and notify students of the results.  Review times may vary based on time of year the appeal is submitted.  Students are responsible for keeping current with any University billing while awaiting appeal results.


 

Withdrawals / Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

Students who receive financial aid must successfully complete the term(s) for which financial aid is received.  Withdrawals can affect students’ current and future financial aid eligibility, as well as students’ personal finances.

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 defines withdrawal as failure to complete the period of attendance on which federal aid eligibility was based. Therefore, this policy affects not only those individuals who complete the formal withdrawal notification process, but also those students who simply stop attending classes.

Student should review the following information in advance of deciding to withdraw from the University.

For financial aid purposes, there are two types of withdrawals:  Official and Unofficial.

Official withdrawal involves leaving the University by dropping all classes for the term.

Unofficial withdrawals occur when a student receives all failing (F/Z) grades or a combination of fail (F/Z) and withdraw (W) grades for the term.

When determining the withdrawal date for an unofficial withdrawal, the last date of an academic related activity might be used. Examples of UD academic-related activities include, but are not limited to, physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students.  Following are some examples of what is considered acceptable and non-acceptable academic related activities:

Acceptable

  • Exams, quizzes, or tutorials
  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Completion of an academic assignment, paper or project
  • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters
  • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course
  • Required study group where attendance is taken

Not Acceptable

  • Student's self-certification of attendance that is not supported by school documentation
  • Verification of Enrollment form issued by the Registrar's Office
  • Living in UD housing
  • Participating in the school’s meal plan
  • Participating in academic counseling or advising

Students are responsible for all tuition and fee charges for classes not dropped before the end of the free drop/add period.  Students withdrawing for medical reasons may be entitled to a partial tuition rebate, depending on the number of weeks completed in the term.  Approval for medical withdrawals require approval by the Dean of Students Office.

Students who withdraw from classes are not eligible for University scholarships and grants, and those will be removed from students’ accounts.  Students who return to UD after withdrawing from a semester may not be eligible for automatic renewal of University grants and scholarship aid but may have to appeal to have it reinstated.

Special refund provisions apply for students who withdraw after receiving financial aid for a specific term of enrollment from any of the following Title IV programs:

Changes to enrollment, including termination through official withdrawal, can cause adjustments to the above Title IV federal financial aid funds.  Federal regulations mandate that the Title IV aid of students who withdraw be reviewed for any possible adjustments. If the University determines students did not earn all of their financial aid, the University is required to return the unearned portion back to the federal aid programs. 

Eligibility is based on the cost of education for any individual semester (or special session) to which federal aid is applied, and it is contingent upon students completing that term.  The actual percentage of aid students earn is based on the date of withdrawal divided by the total number of days in the session.  Students who complete at least 60% of the calendar days in any given term will be determined to have earned 100% of their Title IV aid eligibility. Anything less than 60% may result in returning federal aid to the government.

Students are required to adhere to the University’s official withdrawal policy when terminating their enrollment prior to the end of a given term.  Failure to officially withdraw can result in the cancellation of any federal financial aid funds previously awarded that term.

Note that any federal aid returned to the government may result in balances due on the student accounts, and it is the student's responsibility to make sure the bill is addressed in a timely manner.

In compliance with federal regulations, an evaluation will be done to determine if all eligible aid had been disbursed (or paid) to the student’s accounts as of the withdrawal date. If not, and the students meet the federal criteria for a PWD, the students will be notified of eligibility within 30 days of determining dates of withdrawal. After being notified of PWD eligibility, students must reply if they wish to accept the post withdrawal disbursement. PWDs would first be used toward any outstanding charges before any funds are returned to students. If no responses are received within approximately two weeks of notification, the awards will be canceled.