Financial Aid Policies
A learner may not participate in graduation ceremonies, register for further sessions, or receive any diploma, certificate, transcripts, or Degree Verification Letter until all financial obligations have been satisfied with a zero balance. The university, as a security interest, shall retain any diploma, certificate, transcripts, or letter of recommendation until all such obligations are satisfied. The release of any such security interest prior to, or subsequent to, any default by the debtors shall not be considered a binding precedent or modification of this policy.
The university reserves the right to make any changes in costs, payment plans, and refund policies without notice.
Financial Aid Packaging
LAPU offers financial aid in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships. In order to serve the large number of learners needing financial assistance, LAPU coordinates various elements of each learner’s financial aid program. This packaging approach may include assistance from two or more sources of financial aid. The university’s goal is to award all applicants the maximum scholarship, grant, and loan for which they qualify, within the restrictions of federal and state guidelines and institutional policies.
Keeping in Touch
The university will attempt to inform learners about deadlines and procedures, but the final responsibility for the timely filing of the FAFSA and related documents is the learner’s.
The learner must notify the Office of Student Financial Services regarding changes in financial situation, marriage, loss of a job, change in class load, withdrawal from school, or change of address. In order to contact the Office of Student Financial Services, a student may email, call, or visit in person.
Loan Code of Conduct
As a part of the Program Participation Agreement for participating in Title IV financial aid programs, institutions are required to develop and comply with a loan code of conduct that prohibits conflicts of interest for financial aid personnel with respect to all student loans. Any LAPU employee who has responsibilities with respect to student educational loans must annually be reminded to comply with this code of conduct. The following provisions bring LAPU at Azusa Pacific University into compliance with the federal law [CFR 34 601.21 and HEOA 487].
- Neither LAPU as an institution nor any individual or financial aid employee shall enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender that makes loans to learners attending the institution.
- No financial aid employee of LAPU who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or any of their family members, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans.
- For purposes of this prohibition, the term “gift” means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item having a monetary value of more than a nominal value.
- Gifts and favorable terms and benefits do not include a brochure, workshop or training using standard materials relating to a loan, default aversion, or financial literacy, such as a part of a training session. Entrance and exit counseling as long as the institution’s staff are in control of the counseling and the counseling do not promote the services of a specific lender.
- An employee at LAPU who has responsibilities with respect to education loans shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- LAPU shall not:
- assign a lender to a first-time borrower through award packaging or any other method; or
- refuse to certify or delay certification of any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
- LAPU shall not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for the institution providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with:
- a specific loan volume of such loans; or
- a preferred lender arrangement for such loans.
- an “opportunity pool loan” is defined as a private education loan made by a lender to a learner (or the learner’s family) that involves a payment by the institution to the lender for extending credit to the learner.
- LAPU shall not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.
- Any financial aid office employee who has any responsibilities with respect to education loans or other student financial aid, and who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, except that the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on such an advisory board, commission, or group.
Student Financial Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures.
Federal ‘Return to Title IV’ (R2T4) Policy
It is important to note that the federal government awards financial aid with the assumption that a student will complete the courses for which one is receiving the aid. If a student receives a federal aid disbursement but fails to begin at least half-time attendance for the term, the student is not eligible for the aid. If a student does not complete all the sessions of a modular (sequential) course schedule, in some cases the student only earns a portion of the financial aid already received. LAPU is required by federal regulations to use a prescribed formula to calculate the unearned portion of the financial aid received and return it to the Title IV programs.
Modular Term R2T4 Policy
The U.S. Department of Education has specific regulations that govern the R2T4 calculation for students enrolled in modular courses. Modular courses are defined as those that do not span the entire length of the term and are offered sequentially rather than concurrently (although it is possible for modules to overlap). At LAPU, Session 1 and Session 2 sessions would be considered modules for financial aid purposes.
Regulations require the entire period and combination of modular courses to be considered when determining the portion of financial aid that has been earned by a student who withdraws. The student is considered withdrawn when he fails to complete the scheduled enrollment. At this point, the percentage of completion is calculated by dividing the number of completed days by the number of days the student was scheduled to attend. (Scheduled breaks of at least five days are omitted from the calculation.) The fact that a student completes at least one course is no longer a valid reason for not doing the calculation.
A student who withdraws from a current module but provides written confirmation of plans to return and attend a future module that begins within 45 days of the end of the current module is considered to still be enrolled.
If the student provides written confirmation but then fails to attend a future module, the student is considered withdrawn from the initial date of the original module.
If the student withdraws without a written confirmation to attend in the future but returns during the same period, the student is able to receive all funds for which the student has eligibility according to their current enrollment status.
LAPU wishes to provide a flexible and fair refund policy while adhering to federal student financial aid regulations. When determining an individual learner’s aid eligibility, the offered financial aid package is based on the assumption that the learner will complete the entire term for which he or she is registered (and the corresponding number of units required to complete the term).
If the learner must withdraw completely at some point during the term, the learner must complete the withdrawal procedure in writing. The learner’s aid package will also be adjusted per federal regulations.
The institutional policy for learners withdrawing is, in keeping with federal policy guidelines concerning refunds and withdrawals, as follows:
In the event a learner withdraws or drops from all units within a term, institutional charges, financial aid, and refunds will be calculated on a per diem basis. If this calculates to 60 percent or greater of the term, then NO adjustments will be made.
- Learners who do not log in during Week 1 (online learners) or do not attend the first night of class (face-to-face learners) are administratively dropped and refunded 100 percent.
- Learners who log in or attend during Week 1 and also drop during Week 1 are refunded 100 percent. Drop requests must be received by 12 p.m. (PT) on Friday of Week 1.
- Learners who withdraw after 12 p.m. on Friday of Week 1 will receive no refund and a W grade is issued. All learners are subject to a proration of federal financial aid per the regulations for all federal aid. Withdrawal requests will be processed on the date received through Sunday of Week 5 for undergraduate programs and Monday of Week 5 for graduate programs.
Any learner dismissed by the university will receive refunds at the administration’s discretion. If a learner feels that individual circumstances warrant exceptions, an academic petition may be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
Refund Policy Exceptions
Any exception to the stated policy must be requested in writing (using the Academic Petition form) to the Office of the Registrar. Learners receiving federal aid are subject to a proration of federal financial aid per the regulations for all federal aid.
Release of Records
It is understood that by applying for financial aid, the learner grants the Office of Student Financial Services the right to release the learner’s grades and enrollment records to scholarship, state, federal, and loan agencies as needed.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Learners attending LAPU who wish to receive financial aid, in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria, must be in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress in their degree or certificate program.
Learners are evaluated at the end of each semester (fall, spring, and summer). The following minimum academic standards must be met:
Learners must maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 to be eligible for federal, state, and institutional funds.
Learners are expected to complete a minimum of 67 percent of units in which they enroll from the beginning of their program. The policy applies to cumulative units only. Thus, a learner who successfully completes 18 units without withdrawing from any classes, and then enrolls in 6 units but withdraws from all units would still make satisfactory progress. The student would have completed 18 out of 24 total units (18/24 total units = 75 percent), which is greater than 67 percent.
Time Limit for Receiving Federal Financial Aid
Federal financial aid for all programs cannot exceed 150 percent of the total units in the program, including units that result from transfer units and repeated courses. Learners will not be eligible to receive aid after completing the number of units listed below:
- Certificate programs: 24
- A.A./A.S. programs: 90
- B.A./B.S. programs: 180
- All other graduate programs: 50
- M.A. in Psychology program: 54
- Undeclared (NDS): 60
The only grades that meet satisfactory academic progress completion standards are grades for which credit is awarded; A, B, C, D, P, and CR (credit). Withdrawal and incomplete grades are not passing grades but they are included in attempted units. Challenge exams and audited courses are not considered.
Transfer Credits and Remedial Coursework
Transfer credits that have been officially accepted to complete program requirements will count for qualitative (GPA requirement) and quantitative (pace requirement) measures of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
A learner may take one academic year’s worth of remedial courses for financial aid. Remedial coursework for learners who are admitted into an eligible program and taken within that program will be counted toward all three progress measures for SAP.
New, Changed, or Added Programs
If a learner changes or adds programs, it will not reset the current qualitative (GPA) or quantitative (pace) measures of SAP. Cumulative GPA and completion rate will be used for all programs in which the student enrolls at LAPU. If the learner changes or adds a program, the maximum time frame will be reset from the date of initial enrollment in the new degree program.
If a learner repeats a failed or a previously passed class, it will replace the grade to recalculate into the new cumulative GPA. The units will still count toward the completion rate and maximum time frame. Learners who pass a class (A, B, C, D) and choose to repeat it for a higher grade may receive financial aid only once (a total of two attempts) for that repeated class. Learners may receive financial aid for a failed class (F) that they repeat until they pass.
Note: A D grade is considered a passing grade by the U.S. Department of Education.
Financial Aid SAP Statuses
Learners who fail to maintain SAP for the first time will be placed on Financial Aid Warning and will be given one semester of financial aid eligibility to correct their SAP deficiencies. If the learner does not make up the deficiencies in that one semester, they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible for all federal, state, and most institutional financial aid. Finally, if the learner appeals and is approved, they will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.
Learners may appeal for reinstatement of financial aid if they, a spouse, or dependent children have experienced illness that prevented class attendance for an extended period of time, they have experienced a death in the immediate family (parents, siblings, spouse, or dependent children), or they have experienced some extraordinary situation that prevented them from meeting the minimum standards. Such a situation must be exceptional and nonrecurring in nature. The appeal for reinstatement must explain the cause of the academic difficulty and how the situation has been resolved.
An SAP Appeal form and Academic Plan is available on the Learner Portal and must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services within 30 days of notification of financial aid ineligibility. The student must work with their success coach to develop an academic plan that outlines what needs to take place in order to clear the SAP. If SAP cannot be cleared with just one semester, the appeal can be extended one additional semester if the success coach indicates as such on the academic plan. The academic plan that is submitted with the appeal should be created and signed by both the student and the student’s success coach. The appeal will be reviewed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee.
Learners regain financial aid eligibility when they meet all three measures of progress for SAP. It is possible for learners to be placed on a warning status multiple times in their academic career.
Each year, the federal government randomly chooses about 30 percent of all FAFSA applications for a process that’s called “verification.” The law requires colleges to obtain information from the family that confirms the accuracy of the information that was reported on the FAFSA (e.g. tax transcripts, verification worksheets, etc.).
Beyond those applications selected for verification, the law requires colleges to also request further documentation when a FAFSA application and/or subsequent paperwork appears incomplete or inaccurate.
A student is not eligible to receive federal, state, and/or institutional need-based aid until all required paperwork has been submitted. We realize that these requests may sometimes seem a bit intrusive, but LAPU is merely following the requirements set forth in the law.
Outside Aid Resources
Learners are required to report all resources known or expected to be available to them during the period for which they seek financial assistance. These resources include, but are not limited to: veterans’ benefits, scholarships, fellowships, stipends, and unemployment earnings (including spouse’s, where applicable). Failure to report these resources can result in delays in receiving aid funds for which the learner may be eligible, cancellation of the award, or even the return of funds already received.
Should any new resources become available, the learner is required to report this fact. Withholding or concealing information about these resources may constitute fraud, as the learner would be receiving financial aid to which he or she is not entitled.
Each year a number of financial aid recipients are distressed to learn that their aid package is being reduced due to an over-award. As required, learners must inform the Office of Student Financial Services of any outside aid awards or changes in their class load. This will save the frustration and inconvenience that may result from an over-award.
A learner’s budget, as determined by LAPU using federal and state calculations, could reduce the total aid package. All institutional aid is subject to coordination with federal, state, and all other aid sources. All institutional aid is subject to the policies printed in the catalog and any other printed materials. Availability of all aid is subject to federal, state, institutional, and private funding.
Treatment of Unofficial Withdrawals
If a student fails to officially withdraw and receives all FNs as grades for the semester, the Department of Education considers the student to have unofficially withdrawn from classes. LAPU is required to investigate and determine when the student actually last attended class and then perform the required R2T4 calculation. If the date of withdrawal cannot be confirmed, the R2T4 calculation is done using a 50 percent completion rate. This process is usually completed well after the end of the semester, once grades are submitted.