Financial Aid Policies

Appeal Process

St. John’s believes the college should be affordable for all admitted students, and the Financial Aid Office makes every effort to provide generous financial aid awards that address a student’s need. In some cases, the Financial Aid process may not reflect the current financial realities of a family applying for aid. The Financial Aid appeal process is designed to allow students the opportunity to explain a change in circumstance or an inconsistency in the submitted information. Appeal funds are limited.

If the Financial Aid award does not reflect your current fiscal reality, please contact the Financial Aid office for further information about what to submit in order to either document a change of circumstance or appeal for additional institutional funds. Some common appeals are job loss or substantial salary reduction, unusually high medical costs not covered by insurance, or a wage earner dies. For additional appeal guidelines and directions about what you need to submit, contact the Annapolis Financial Aid Office at annapolis.financialaid(at) or the Santa Fe Financial Aid Office at santafe.financialaid(at)

Deadlines for Appeals

Fall Semester

New student appeals are reviewed beginning April 1.

Returning student appeals are reviewed after April 15.

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 information to the Financial Aid Office by updating the FAFSA 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 replace a portion of the family contribution or reduce the self-help portion (loans or work-study) of the student’s award. Outside need-based awards will reduce eligibility for St. John’s Grant funds.


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 policy 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. Satisfactory Academic Progress is determined at the end of the school year.

Qualitative Standard

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.

Quantitative Standard

All students must complete at least two-thirds of attempted credits. All attempted credit hours are counted whether or not financial aid was received. 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:

  • A personal statement, explaining the extenuating circumstances that prevented Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • 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.

Refund Policy

Determination Of Date Of Withdrawal

Official Withdrawal

A student considering withdrawal prior to the end of the semester may initiate the withdrawal process by notifying the appropriate office of the intention to withdraw. Undergraduate students provide this notification to the Registrar’s Office and graduate students contact the Graduate Institute Office. When a student notifies the Registrar or Director of the Graduate Institute of an intention to withdraw, the student will be given a form entitled "Official Notice of Withdrawal." At this point the student has officially indicated his or her intent to withdraw, and the day the “Official Notice of Withdrawal” form is obtained will be the date of withdrawal used for the calculation of Return of Title IV Federal Student Aid funds and institutional refunds.

Unofficial Withdrawal

If a student does not notify the registrar or the director of the Graduate Institute of the intention to withdraw, the date of withdrawal used for the calculation of Return of Title IV Federal Student Aid Funds and institutional refunds will be the midpoint of the semester. A date earlier or later than the midpoint may be used if the college has documentation of the last day the student attended class or handed in an assignment. If a student withdraws because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, the college will determine the date of withdrawal.

Institutional Refunds

If a student withdraws prior to the end of the semester, a refund of tuition will be made according to the following schedule. The student’s withdrawal date is established as outlined in Section I of the Refund Policy.

Institutional Refund Schedule
Days Enrolled
Days Enrolled
Refund Amount Amount Charged
1–21 1–14 80% 20%
22 and after 15 and after No refund 100%

The same schedule will be used to calculate the cancellation of non-Federal financial aid: the “refund amount” percentage provides the percentage of aid to be cancelled and the “amount charged” percentage corresponds to the revised aid the student will receive. For example, a student withdrawing within the first 21 days of school would keep 20% of non-Federal aid that had been awarded.

A student who is expelled or asked to withdraw for academic or disciplinary reasons will receive no refund of tuition, room, and board.

Return of Title IV Funds

If a student who has received Title IV Federal Student Aid Funds leaves the institution prior to completion of 60% of the semester, a calculation must be performed to determine the amount of unearned aid that must go back to the Title IV programs. No Return of Title IV funds is required after 60% (approximately 9 weeks of a 16-week semester). The withdrawal date will be established as described in Section I of the Refund Policy.

The percentage of Title IV aid that is earned by the student (i.e., the amount of Federal Student Aid the student is permitted to keep) is the same as the percentage of the semester completed. The college is responsible for returning to the U.S. Department of Education the lesser of the amount of unearned Title IV aid or institutional charges that the student incurred multiplied by the unearned aid percentage.

Federal Work-Study funds are not involved in this determination: a student may keep money earned through the Federal Work-Study Program.

If the total amount of unearned aid exceeds the amount the school is required to return, a student may need to return Federal grant funds that have been received for off-campus living expenses, up to 50% of the amount received for the semester. The Financial Aid Office will notify a student if a return of Federal grant funds is required.