Policy Regarding the Integrity of Information
In order to distribute institutional aid funds in an equitable manner, we must be able to count on the integrity of information contained in financial aid applications. Due to early filing deadlines, aid offers may be based initially on estimated or projected information. In these cases we expect families to submit their actual federal tax returns to the Financial Aid Office as soon as they are available. This may result in an adjustment to the estimated award.
If the Financial Aid Committee has reason to believe that a family has intentionally misrepresented its circumstances in order to qualify for aid, the student may be disqualified from receiving financial assistance.
Treatment of Outside Scholarships and Grants
Students applying for and receiving financial aid from St. John's are required to notify the Financial Aid Office of any other loans, scholarships, grants, gifts, employment, or other financial benefits for which they become eligible.
If a student is awarded a Pell Grant or state scholarship after he or she has received the initial financial aid offer, eligibility for the St. John's Grant will be recalculated. In these cases, the St. John's Grant is usually reduced dollar for dollar by the amount of the state scholarship or Pell Grant.
If a student is awarded a scholarship by a private outside agency or organization based on merit, the funds may be used to reduce the self-help portion (loans or work-study) of the student's award. Outside merit awards in excess of assigned self-help may reduce a student's institutional grant. Outside awards cannot be used to cover or replace the parent contribution.
Federal regulations require that approximately one-third of financial aid applicants complete a process known as verification. Verification checks the accuracy of information provided on a student's financial aid application. The Department of Education selects applications for verification, and selected applicants may need to provide additional information to the College. Some applications are selected for verification on a random basis, and some may be selected because of inconsistent information on the FAFSA.
The Financial Aid Office notifies students selected for verification if they must provide additional information. Failure to complete the verification process by the date as requested may result in the cancellation of aid. The College is required to complete the verification process prior to certifying student loans or disbursing financial aid funds to a student’s account.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
In accordance with federal regulations, St. John's College is required to have a polcy and a procedure for measuring the academic progress of students in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid. Student academic progress is reviewed at the end of each academic year. The three components of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy are explained below.
To make satisfactory academic progress, undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0; graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. These standards apply to both full-time and part-time students.
All students must complete at least two-thirds of attempted credits. All attempted credit hours are counted whether or not financial aid was reviewed. This calculation includes all hours in which a student is registered at the time of withdrawal. If a student registers for a class in which he or she was previously enrolled for more than three weeks, the class will be considered as repeated work and the student will not be eligible for institutional financial assistance. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Dean in the case of involuntary withdrawal due to illness or other mitigating circumstances.
Maximum Time Frame
Federal regulations require that an institution set a maximum time frame in which students must complete their educational objectives. St. John's has set six years as the maximum time frame in which students who receive federal funds must earn their degree. Years in which a student is not enrolled at St. John's College will not count in the six-year limitation.
Because of the fully prescribed curriculum, students with Incompletes will not be allowed to move forward to the next term until those courses are completed. Course withdrawals will need to be repeated in a subsequent term before a student is allowed to continue with their academic program.
The Financial Aid Office will provide information about the appeal process to the affected students. Students may request an exception when failing satisfactory standards by submitting a petition/appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Petitions/Appeals must contain the following:
1. A personal statement, explaining the extenuating circumstances which prevented Satisfactory Academic Progress.
2. Documentation: For example, if you had an illness that prevented you from attending classes, you must provide a statement from your physician or photocopies of medical bills during the semester in question.
There are various circumstances in which a student might want to use the appeal process: to present a request for increased financial assistance, to question financial aid policy or procedure, or to request that a policy or procedure be waived due to extenuating circumstances.
If you have discussed your situation with a member of the Financial Aid office staff and feel that a formal appeal is appropriate, you must submit a letter of appeal, all supporting documentation, and a completed Appeal Request Form to the Director of Financial Aid for presentation to the Financial Aid Committee. The Committee will respond to the appeal in writing. The Director of Financial Aid will act in accordance with the decision of the Financial Aid Committee.
Deadlines for Appeals:
These deadlines do not apply to requests for recalculation of eligibility based on unanticipated catastrophic circumstances such as disability, death, or loss of employment. These cases should be discussed with the Director of Financial Aid when they occur.