Banking Relationship Disclosures
See Banking Relationship Disclosures at www.missouriwestern.edu/businessoffice/banking-relationship-disclosures/.
Code of Conduct
The purpose of this policy is to prohibit conflicts of interest in situations involving student financial aid and to establish standards of conduct for employees with responsibility for student financial aid.
This Policy applies to all employees who work in the Office of Financial Aid and all other University employees who have responsibilities related to education loans or other forms of student financial aid.
No officer, trustee, employee or agent who has responsibilities with respect to student financial aid or education loans shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans.
Gifts include any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a nominal amount, including services, transportation, lodging, or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.
Gifts to a family member of an officer or employee or agent shall be considered a gift to the officer, employee or agent if the gift is given with the knowledge, and acquiescence of the officer, employee or agent, and the officer, employee or agent has reason to believe the gift was given because of his or her official capacity.
Interaction with Borrowers
The University shall not assign, through award packaging or other methods, the borrower’s loan to a particular lender, or refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
Preferred Lender List
The University will participate in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program which provides student loans directly from the United States Department of Education. The University will not publish a preferred lender list that gives any lender an advantage in securing student loans from University students.
No University officer, employee or agent who has responsibilities with respect to student financial aid or education loans shall 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.
The University shall not enter into revenue-sharing arrangements with lenders or guarantors.
The term “revenue-sharing arrangement” means an arrangement between an institution and a lender under which (a) a lender provides or issues a loan that is made, insured, or guaranteed to students attending the institution or to the families of such students, and (b) the institution recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and in exchange, the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit sharing, to the institution or an officer, employee or agent.
The University shall not request or accept from a lender or guarantor any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with (a) a specified number of loans made, insured, or guaranteed, (b) a specified loan volume of such loans, or (c) a preferred lender arrangement for such loans. The term “opportunity pool” means a private education loan made by a lender to a student attending the institution or the family member of such a student that involves a payment, directly or indirectly, by the institution of points, premiums, additional interest, or financial support to such lender for the purpose of such lender extending credit to the student or the family.
The University shall not request or accept from any lender or guarantor any assistance with staffing of the financial aid office or student loan processing. The University shall not accept any computer hardware from a lender or guarantor for which the University pays below-market prices or offers to print financial aid materials from a lender or guarantor.
No officer, trustee, employee or agent who has responsibilities with respect to student financial aid or education loans and who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, shall accept anything of value, including reimbursement for expenses, from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors for such service. For additional guidance regarding board service, refer to the University’s Gift Policy.
Conflict of Interest Policy
Officers, employees and agents who have responsibilities with respect to student financial aid
and education loans shall also comply with the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
Communication to Students
Incoming students will be issued a Missouri Western email and Goldlink account upon acceptance to the University. Students are encouraged to activate these accounts as soon as possible after receiving access instructions.
The Office of Financial Aid communicates with enrolled and prospective students using the student’s Missouri Western email and Goldlink accounts. As a general rule, financial aid notices will not be sent by postal mail. Students are responsible for monitoring their status online through Goldlink and for ALL communications sent to their Missouri Western email account. Students who do not elect to receive electronic communication from Missouri Western should contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional information.
Examples of communications sent from the Office of Financial Aid include:
- Application Procedures and Deadlines
- Outstanding Application Requirements
- Award Information
- Student Loan Certification Information
- Financial Aid Eligibility Status
- Need Based Aid Adjustment Information
See Consumer Information Disclosures at www.missouriwestern.edu/about/sci/.
Dependency Override Appeal
Federal Financial Aid regulations indicate that an individual who does not automatically qualify as an independent student for FAFSA purposes may be reclassified as independent if a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of unusual circumstances. This determination is commonly referred to as a Dependency Override.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has provided guidance to assist financial aid administrators in making consistent and reasonable Dependency Override decisions.
In accordance with DOE guidance, Missouri Western State University adheres to the policy that a dependency override cannot be approved for an otherwise dependent FAFSA applicant if one, or more, following conditions is the ONLY circumstance cited by the applicant:
- the student simply states that he/she is financially self-sufficient or does not live with parent(s);
- the parent is not willing to contribute financially toward the student’s educational and living expenses, or simply elects not to assist the student financially;
- the parent isn’t willing to provide the information required on the FAFSA or to assist in completing the verification process; or
- the student is not claimed by a parent as a federal income tax exemption.
A Dependency Override generally may be considered for an otherwise dependent FAFSA applicant if one or more of the following conditions are cited by the applicant in his/her written appeal and supported by additional documentation:
- an abusive (emotionally or physically), unhealthy, or unsafe family environment;
- abandonment of the student by the parent(s);
- incarceration of the custodial parent(s);
- removal or relocation of the student from the parent(s)’ residence by court order; and/or
- other unusual or extraordinary circumstances, events, or incidents, particularly those related to any of the conditions for independency.
Dependency Override Appeal
The student’s appeal should provide convincing justification that he/she is truly independent based on at least one of the above conditions.
The Dependency Override Appeal (available in Goldlink) should include an explanation of the following:
- the student’s current circumstances and reason for appeal;
- the student’s current living arrangements, particularly how often (summers, weekends, etc.) the student resides with parent(s);
- the student’s personal relationship with parent(s) – how often the student visits parent(s), has contact with parent(s), etc.;
- what kind and amount of financial support the parent(s) provide to the student (money, food and housing, payment of bills, purchase of a vehicle, insurance payments, medical insurance, etc.); and
- what kind and amount of financial support is received from other family members, friends, or relatives.
In addition, the student should provide:
- letters of support from at least two other adults (only one of which may be a family member or relative) who are familiar with the situation and can confirm the validity of the appeal. Examples of such individuals include, but are not limited to, a high school guidance counselor, religious leader, family services officer, guardian, court representative, social worker, etc.;
- a copy of the student’s most recent IRS tax return and W2 forms; and
- a complete Verification Worksheet (Goldlink).
Approval of a Dependency Override cannot be based solely on the fact that the student was approved for a Dependency Override for the previous award year. However, the previous year’s determination may be a factor in the Dependency Override decision.
In addition, approval of a Dependency Override by a financial aid administrator at another college or university does not guarantee that a similar determination will be made by Missouri Western State University. However, the other school’s decision may be a factor in the Dependency Override determination.
Dependency Override determinations are always made by the Missouri Western State University Office of Financial Aid on an individual, case-by-case basis.
Disbursement of Financial Aid
Financial aid funds will be released to student accounts in two equal disbursements and will first be applied to outstanding charges for tuition, fees, room, board and other eligible University expenses. Remaining funds will be issued to the student. By Federal regulation, excess funds MUST be used for educational expenses.
Students graduating in December should be aware that loan funds must be issued in two disbursements – the first during the third week of class and the second at the midpoint of the semester.
NOTE: If a student’s aid package includes PLUS loan funds, credit balance checks will be made payable to the student or parent and will be mailed to the parent’s home address.
The Financial Aid Office will disburse funds each Friday beginning the 2nd Friday of each semester*. Students who are eligible for credit balance refunds are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit on Goldlink. This is the preferred method for refunds.
- Students who elect to receive credit balance refunds by direct deposit, should allow five (5) additional business days for the transfer of funds to a personal bank account.
- Students who do not elect direct deposit, should allow ten (10) additional business days for the check to be mailed to the student’s permanent address of record.
*Federal regulations prohibit the disbursement of Federal Stafford Loan proceeds to first-time, freshman borrowers until 30 days after classes begin. Students should be prepared to cover expenses, such as books, until loan funds are released to the school.
Disclosure of Banking Relationships
Universities that disburse Title IV credit balance refunds and have a relationship with a bank that offers accounts directly to students are required to post their contracts for viewing by consumers. More information.
|Disbursement||Financial Aid||Business Office Refund|
|1st Time Freshman Borrower 30 Day Delay||09-18-2020||09-25-2020|
|Federal Work-Study (Employed Students)||Monthly on the 10th||NA|
|1st Time Freshman Borrower 30 Day Delay||02-19-2021||02-26-2021|
|Federal Work-Study (Employed Students)||Monthly on the 10th||NA|
Financial Aid Advance to Purchase Books and Supplies
If a student is scheduled to receive more financial assistance than his or her current charges, Missouri Western will notify the campus bookstore of the student’s eligibility to apply up to $750 of pending financial assistance to purchase required books and supplies. The bookstore is located in the Blum Student Union.
Eligible students will receive an email notification and instructions 10 days prior to the first day of classes each semester. Students who do not elect to receive electronic communication from Missouri Western should contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.
Students who purchase books and supplies through this program must authorize the campus bookstore to submit the actual value of his or her purchases to Missouri Western State University to be deducted from pending financial aid, regardless of its source. Only the amount of actual purchases will be deducted from the student’s pending financial aid. Any additional funds will be issued to the student in the form of a credit balance refund.
Should the student’s financial aid be reduced for any reason the student’s account must be paid within thirty (30) days. Students who default on their account, will be responsible for all attorneys’ fees, other costs and charges necessary for the collection of the unpaid balance.
If a student needs to return books or supplies purchased through this program, the items must be returned to the campus bookstore. The bookstore will forward the return amount to Missouri Western State University and the student’s account will be credited. All refunds will be issued within two weeks.
Only textbooks and school supplies may be purchased. Clothing, emblematic gifts and convenience items may not be purchased.
To participate in the program, students must present a valid Missouri Western student ID card at the time of purchase. Student may elect to opt out simply by not presenting his or her ID at the campus bookstore.
Financial Aid Awards
Students may view and accept offered awards on Goldlink. Regulations require students to report any external sources of monetary assistance that are not reflected on the award notification.
Financial aid awards are based the student’s demonstrated financial need, enrollment status, achievement, and other criteria. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office when there is a change in enrollment status, or if there is a change in family, or financial situation that may affect eligibility to receive financial assistance.
Financial aid awards may be reduced or cancelled if aid received from ALL sources causes the student to exceed unmet need or cost of attendance or if the student does not meet eligibility criteria. Adjustments made to financial aid awards or in a student’s eligibility to receive financial assistance will be posted on Goldlink.
Financial Aid File Review (Verification)
The federal Central Processing System (CPS) selects approximately 30% of all FAFSA filers for the verification review process. Missouri Western may also select additional filers for review to ensure accuracy and consistency.
During the review, the Financial Aid Office will verify all mandatory items identified by the U.S. Department of Education (adjusted gross income, income earned from work, taxes paid, untaxed portions of IRA distributions and pensions, IRA deductions and payments, tax exempt interest income, education credits, household size, and number in college). In addition, the Financial Aid Office may verify discretionary items.
Notification of Selection
Students who are selected for a verification review, by either the CPS or by Missouri Western, will be notified via their Missouri Western email account and will see all required documents listed on Goldlink. Students who do not elect to receive electronic communication from Missouri Western should contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional information.
Documentation Required to Complete Verification
The Financial Aid Office must collect all required documents and resolve any conflicting information before awarding aid.
Required Documents for Dependent Students
- A copy of the most recent federal tax return for both the student and parent(s) including the step-parent (if applicable).
- A complete Verification Worksheet.
- Copies of all W-2 forms for the tax year if the student and/or parent:
- did not and were not required to file a tax return, or
- elect to submit a paper Tax Return rather than using the Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA application.
Additional documents and forms may be required depending upon the individual student, spouse or parent information provided.
Required Documents for Independent Students
- A copy of the most recent federal tax return for the student and spouse (if applicable).
- A complete Verification Worksheet.
- Copies of all W-2 forms for the tax year if the student and/or spouse:
- did not and were not required to file a tax return, or
- elect to submit a paper Tax Return rather than using the Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA application.
Additional documents and forms may be required depending upon the individual student, spouse or parent information provided.
Applicants whose FAFSA information requires correction will have those corrections electronically processed by the Financial Aid Office. The corrections will generate an updated Student Aid Report (SAR) which will be sent to the student by the federal Central Processing System (CPS). The student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) may change based on corrections made.
If conflicting information is discovered after aid is awarded or disbursed, the Financial Aid Office must resolve the conflicting information and the student will be required to repay aid received in excess of his/her eligibility. All conflicts must be resolved regardless of whether the student was selected for verification.
Over-Payments of Aid
If it is determined that a student has received funds for which he or she is not eligible, the student must repay the amount to Missouri Western.
Missouri Western’s priority deadline for completion of the Verification process is February 1st each year. Completing the Verification process after this date, may result in you not being considered for Missouri Western competitive scholarships and other aid opportunities including Federal SEOG. You may also be required to make payments towards your account balance until your aid eligibility can be determined.
The final deadline to complete the Verification process will be established by the U.S. Department of Education and published in the Federal Register on an annual basis – www.federalregister.gov/.
Financial Aid Statistical Information
Fiscal Year 2020
|TOTAL AID RECEIVED (All Sources)||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|All Aid Sources (Unduplicated HCT)||4071||$43,327,014||89.87%|
|Need-Based Aid (Unduplicated HCT)||2689||$18,138,893||59.36%|
|Total Enrollment (Degree Seeking Students)||4530|
|TOTAL SCHOL/GRANTS (All Sources)||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total Scholarships/Grants (Unduplicated HCT)||3514||$22,602,652||77.57%|
|Average Scholarships/Grants Per Recipient||$6,432|
|Total Scholarships (All Sources)||$10,448,526|
|Total Grants (All Sources)||$12,154,126|
|FEDERAL PELL GRANT||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total Federal Pell Grants Received||1894||$8,203,732||41.81%|
|Average Pell Award Per Recipient||$4,331|
|Total Students Eligible for Full Pell (0 EFC) /Avg Award971||971||$5,128|
|Total FT Students (Full Year) Receiving Full Pell/Award||584||$6,195|
|OTHER FEDERAL GRANTS||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total Other Federal Grants (Number of Awards)||557||$881,537||12.30%|
|Federal SMART Grant||0||$0|
|Federal Armed Forces/Veterans Benefits||109||$616,434|
|Workforce Investment Act (WIA)||13||$44,942|
|Trade Readjustment Act (TRA)||0||$0|
|STATE of MISSOURI SCHOL/GRANTS||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total State Grants (Number of Awards)||1538||$3,188,857||33.95%|
|Access Missouri Grant Program||1300||$2,327,530|
|College Guarantee Grant||0||$0|
|Charles Gallager Grant||0||$0|
|A Plus Program||0||$0|
|Higher Ed Academic Sch (Bright Flight)||43||$120,000|
|Public Service Employee’s Survivor Grants||0||$0|
|Marguerite Ross Barnett Scholarship||0||$0|
|Missouri Teacher Education Scholarship||0||$0|
|Missouri Minority Teacher Education Scholarship||0||$0|
|Vietnam Veteran Survivor Grant||0||$0|
|Robert Byrd Scholarship||0||$0|
|Other State Grants||65||$271,454|
|MISSOURI WESTERN UNDERGRAD SCHOLARSHIPS||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total Undergraduate Scholarships (Number of Awards)||2600||$8,735,130||57.40%|
|Merit Based Scholarships||1941||$5,968,992|
|MISSOURI WESTERN GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total Graduate Scholarships (Number of Awards)||112||$218,738||2.47%|
|Merit Based Scholarships||104||$161,494|
|PRIVATE SCHOLARSHIPS / GRANTS||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total Private Scholarships / Grants (Number of Awards)637||612||$1,374,658||13.51%|
|TUITION WAIVERS||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total Tuition Waivers (Unduplicated HCT)||717||$3,456,540||15.83%|
|Graduate Tuition and Fee Waivers||71||$361,883|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fee Waivers||646||$3,094,657|
|Average Waiver Per Recipient||$4,821|
|LOAN FUNDS||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Total Loan Funds (Unduplicated HCT)||2239||$16,332,693||49.43%|
|Federal Stafford Subsidized||1627||$5,793,444|
|Federal Stafford Unsubsidized||1805||$7,715,163|
|Alternative Loan Programs||158||$1,186,558|
|Health Professional (HPSL)||0||$0|
|Average Borrowed Per Recipient||$7,295|
|STUDENT EMPLOYMENT||HCT||Dollars||% of Students|
|Institutional Employment (Need Based)||0||$0||0.00%|
|Institutional Employment (Non-Need Based)||502||$586,516||11.08%|
General Student Eligibility and Enrollment Requirements
To be eligible for financial assistance, students must:
- be accepted for admission to Missouri Western and enroll as a degree-seeking student in an eligible program;
- have earned a high school diploma or recognized equivalent (GED) or completed a home school program;
- be a U.S. citizen or national, U.S. permanent resident, citizen of the freely Associated States or other eligible non-citizen;
- have a valid Social Security Number;
- be registered for Selective Service (if applicable);
- not be in default on a Federal loan or owe an overpayment of Federal grant funds;
- be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
High school students taking dual credit coursework, visiting college students who are not seeking a degree from Missouri Western, and self-enrichment students will not be eligible to receive federal or state financial assistance.
Otherwise eligible undergraduate students who have already received a bachelor’s degree may only receive loan funds while pursuing an additional major or bachelor’s degree. This includes students in double major or dual degree programs who have already met the requirements for one major or degree.
General Enrollment Requirements
- For financial aid purposes, a student’s enrollment status will be determined at the end of the official add/drop period each semester.
- Only classes that count toward a degree or certificate may be used in calculating financial aid eligibility. Audited classes and most continuing education classes do not count toward a degree or certificate, and may not be used in calculating eligibility for financial aid.
- Financial assistance may be prorated or cancelled if the student is enrolled in less than 12 credit hours at the end of the official add/drop period (see program specific requirements).
- Only Missouri Western State University credit hours will be included when determining a student’s enrollment status for Missouri Western scholarships.
- Students must enroll in a minimum of six (6) credit hours to be eligible for student loan funds (5 credit hours for graduate students).
- Financial assistance will be recalculated for students who do not begin attendance, withdraw, are administratively withdrawn or who stop attending and receive a failing or incomplete grade in all courses during a term.
Students Enrolled at More Than One Institution
Students who are enrolled at more than one college or university at the same time may receive financial aid from only one of the institutions. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
Missouri Western Scholarship Guidelines
General Requirements and Guidelines
- To be eligible for scholarships, students must be seeking a degree from Missouri Western State University.
- The deadline to apply for Missouri Western and Foundation competitive scholarships is February 1st each year.
- Incoming students must be admitted to the University by July 1st to be eligible for non-competitive renewable scholarships. Scholarships may be awarded after July 1st on a competitive basis if funding is available.
- The University determines the number of scholarships awarded each year by scholarship category. All awards are contingent upon the availability of funds. When the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of scholarships to be awarded, recipients will be selected on a competitive basis at the discretion of the University.
- Application for non-renewable scholarships must be made annually to the University.
Enrollment Requirements and Guidelines
- Unless noted otherwise in the scholarship description, institutional and foundation scholarships are awarded only to students who are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours per semester at Missouri Western excluding CED and audited courses (9 credit hours for graduate students).
- Students enrolled at another institution through an authorized consortium agreement will be required to submit a letter of appeal to the Executive Scholarship Committee. If the Executive Scholarship Committee deems it appropriate to approve the appeal due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, the scholarship award will be prorated based upon the student’s enrollment at Missouri Western.
- A student in his or her final year of study may be allowed to enroll on a part-time basis. Students seeking consideration must submit a letter of appeal to the Executive Scholarship Committee. If the Executive Scholarship Committee approves the appeal, the scholarship award will be prorated based upon the student’s enrollment.
Renewable Scholarship Requirements and Guidelines
- Renewable scholarships awarded to incoming freshmen are valid for eight semesters provided all requirements are met each semester. Renewable scholarships awarded to transfer students are valid for six semesters (unless otherwise stated in the scholarship description).
- Eligibility for renewable scholarships will be reviewed in May each year.
- Scholarship GPA criterion is based on a 4.0 scale.
|Scholarship||Renewable GPA||Semesters Eligible|
|Missouri Western A Plus Scholarship||3.25||8|
|Phi Theta Kappa||3.5||6|
Scholarship Total Value Limitations
Direct Cost Rule Limitation
The combined total of Missouri Western and Foundation scholarships may not exceed the recipient’s actual charges for tuition and related fees, course-related fees, admissions fees, campus housing and meal plan costs. No portion of Missouri Western and Foundation scholarship funds may be disbursed to the recipient in the form of cash or a ‘credit balance’ check. Scholarships specifically allocated for the payment of book costs will be exempt from this policy. A student with documentable circumstances beyond his or her control or personal choice will have the option to appeal this rule. Contact the Financial Aid Office of additional information.
Cost of Attendance Limitation
The total value of grant and scholarship aid from all sources may not exceed the student’s Cost of Attendance as determined by Federal Regulation.
Treatment of Scholarships When a Student Withdraws During the Semester
- Missouri Western scholarships will be prorated or cancelled if a student completely withdraws and receives a refund in accordance with the University’s refund policy.
Penalties for Drug Law Violation
Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving financial aid shall not be eligible to receive any federal or institutional grant, loan, or work assistance during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table.
If convicted of an offense involving:
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Sale of a Controlled Substance
- the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that:
- complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; and
- includes two unannounced drug tests;
- the student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; or
- the conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require institutions to establish reasonable standards to ensure that recipients of Title IV financial aid are making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a degree program. These standards must establish the maximum timeframe for degree completion and include minimum standards for rate of completion (pace) and cumulative GPA.
Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) will be evaluated at the end of each semester based on each of the standards outlined below. A student who fails to meet satisfactory academic progress standards will lose eligibility for federal financial assistance the following semester. Federal financial assistance consists of the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Parent Loans, Federal SEOG, and Federal TEACH Grant.
|Completion Rate (Pace)||SAP Requirement||Regaining Eligibility|
|The pace at which a student must progress through an educational program to ensure completion within the maximum timeframe. Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours attempted.||Students must successfully complete 67% of all courses attempted to remain eligible for federal financial assistance.||A student who loses financial aid eligibility based on rate of completion must attend, and successfully complete, a sufficient number of credit hours to raise his or her completion rate (pace) to the required 67%.The student will be required to use his or her own financial resources until he or she is again meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.|
|Maximum Timeframe||SAP Requirement||Regaining Eligibility|
|The maximum timeframe allowed for completion of a degree program should not exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in hours attempted.If it is determined that a student cannot complete his or her program of study within this timeframe, he or she will become ineligible for federal financial assistance. (See additional information under Approaching the Maximum Timeframe.)||
||A student who has exceeded the maximum timeframe for degree completion is no longer eligible to receive federal financial assistance.The student will be required to use his or her own financial resources to cover the cost of education.|
|Minimum Cumulative GPA||SAP Requirement||Regaining Eligibility|
|The calculation of cumulative GPA will include grades earned from all coursework, including transfer coursework that is accepted toward the student’s educational program as well as any remedial coursework.||Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 (3.00 if pursuing a master’s degree) to remain eligible for federal financial assistance.||A student who loses financial aid eligibility based on GPA must receive grades sufficient to increase his or her cumulative GPA to the required 2.00 (3.00 if pursuing a master’s degree).The student will be required to use his or her own financial resources until he or she is again meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.|
Attempted and Completed Hours
Attempted hours consist of any hours the student is enrolled in at the end of the official add/drop period including those hours that are earned, withdrawn from, audited, repeated, failed, taken as pass/fail or are incomplete. Hours for which the student did not receive financial aid and those waived under an academic renewal policy must be included as attempted hours.
Successful Completion is defined as the absence of failing or incomplete grades and voluntary/involuntary withdrawals.
Remedial coursework will count as both attempted and completed hours. Transfer hours that are accepted toward the student’s educational program will count as both attempted and completed hours.
A current student who falls below satisfactory academic progress standards for the 1st time may be granted a one (1) semester warning period to improve his or her progress. The warning semester must occur during the student’s next period of enrollment – fall, spring or summer. During the warning period the student may continue to receive federal financial assistance.
If the student fails to meet satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of the warning period, he or she will lose eligibility for federal financial aid the following semester.
Students who have exceeded the maximum timeframe for degree completion or have lost eligibility under the standards of a previous satisfactory academic progress policy will not be eligible for a warning period.
In addition, transfer students who are not meeting Missouri Western’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will be required to submit a letter of appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee.
Approaching the Maximum Timeframe
Federal regulations require Missouri Western to ensure that each recipient of Federal financial assistance is able to complete degree requirements within 150% of the published length of the program as measured in attempted hours. In compliance with this regulation, Missouri Western will conduct an evaluation of each student’s degree progress each semester as indicated below.
|AS, Certificate, Undeclared Program||
60 to 92 Hours
|AS, Certificate (with a Pre-Major as Program 2)||
93 to 179 Hours
|Declared Bachelor’s||135 to 179 Hours||
195 to 239 Hours
35 to 51 Hours
If it is determined that a student cannot complete his or her program of study within this timeframe, he or she will become ineligible for federal financial assistance.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process
A student may submit a written appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee if documentable extenuating circumstances caused the student to fall below satisfactory academic progress standards or exceed the maximum timeframe allowed for degree completion.
Examples of circumstances that may warrant an appeal include: lengthy hospitalization or illness; death of a parent, spouse or child at a critical time during the semester; lengthy illness of a child or spouse; or other mitigating circumstance.
Appeals should include the following documentation:
- A complete Statement in Support of Appeal (Goldlink);
- A letter of explanation describing how extenuating circumstances resulted in the student’s inability to maintain satisfactory academic progress;
- Sufficient documented evidence that the extenuating circumstance clearly caused the student to fall below the required standards or exceed the maximum timeframe; and
- An explanation of what has changed that will allow the student to maintain satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.
Examples of documentation supporting the extenuating circumstance include: medical documentation; notice of death; accident reports; court documentation; or other relevant documentation.
Appeal deadlines for each term should be posted on the financial aid website. Students may also contact the Financial Aid Office for deadline dates. The decision of the University Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee is final.
A probationary period may be granted only after a student has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated based on the appeal. Students who are granted a one (1) semester probationary period will be required to adhere to an academic plan that, if followed, will ensure the student will complete his or her degree program within the maximum timeframe.
As a general rule, a student on an academic plan will be required to successfully complete all attempted courses with a grade of C or higher and not audit or withdraw from any course. In addition, the student may be required to enroll in only those courses required for completion of his or her degree program and may not be allowed to change his or her major without approval from the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee. An individual academic plan may also include additional requirements as deemed appropriate by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee.
A student on financial aid probation may receive Title IV funds for one semester. At that point, the student must meet satisfactory academic progress standards or the requirements of the established individual academic plan to maintain eligibility for federal financial assistance.
Additional Degree Programs and Degree Completion
A student, who is pursuing an additional undergraduate degree, after completion of the first undergraduate program, should be able to complete degree requirements within 200% of the published length of the program as measured by the student’s overall attempted hours.
Students enrolled in both an associate’s and baccalaureate degree program simultaneously, who have attempted greater than 92 hours, must be enrolled in coursework relevant to the baccalaureate degree program to receive federal financial aid. In this situation, students may be required to appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.
A student who has completed all required coursework for his or her degree program but has not yet received the degree, may not receive further financial aid for that program.
Remedial and Repeated Coursework
Federal regulations allow students to receive financial aid for up to 30 credit hours of remedial coursework. Remedial coursework taken in excess of this limitation must be excluded from the student’s financial aid enrollment status.
Federal financial aid regulations allow students to repeat any coursework previously taken in the program as long as it is not a result of more than one repetition of a previously passed course, or any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework.
Repeating coursework can affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress status in the following manner: the repeated course and the original attempt will be counted in the calculation of overall attempted hours; and the most recent grade received for the course will be included in the calculation of GPA.
Communication of Satisfactory Academic Progress Status
Although students will be notified in writing should they fall below satisfactory academic progress standards, it is the student’s responsibility to know his or her academic standing in regard to this policy. Failure to receive notification does not dispute or reverse the termination of a student’s eligibility to receive financial assistance.
Special Circumstances Appeal
The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) provides the authority for the financial aid administrator to exercise discretion in a number of areas when a student has special or unusual circumstances. This authority is known as professional judgment. It allows the financial aid administrator to treat a student individually when conditions exist that differentiate that student from a class of students.
Financial Aid Administrators have the discretion to exercise professional judgment to adjust student reported information to account for special circumstances. Professional Judgment can also be exercised in the areas of:
- cost of attendance;
- unsubsidized Direct loan eligibility for dependent students whose parents have refused to help support the student financially and refuse to complete the FAFSA;
- additional unsubsidized Direct loan eligibility for dependent students whose parents were approved for a PLUS loan but have demonstrated inability to take/repay the loan; and/or
- other unusual circumstance.
An appeal for Professional Judgment based on special circumstances should include:
- a COMPLETE Special Circumstances Appeal (Goldlink);
- copies of student and parent (if applicable) most recent Federal tax return(s);
- student and parent (if applicable) most recent W2 forms;
- a Verification Worksheet (Goldlink); and
- any other documentation required to complete Verification.
Examples of requested documentation include:
- Unemployment Benefit Statement
- Last Pay Stub
- Social Security Benefit Statement
- Severance Benefits
- Workman’s Compensation Received
- Paid Receipts, Cancelled Checks
- Official Court Documentation
- Statement from Parent(s)
- Other documentation to substantiate the request
An appeal regarding a parent loan (PLUS) approval should include:
- a complete Parent Loan Approval Appeal (Goldlink);
- a complete Verification Worksheet (Goldlink);
- a copy of parent(s) most recent Federal tax return (if not previously submitted) or an official IRS transcript of parent(s) non-filing status if parent(s) did not file a tax return (Form 3); and
- a copy of student’s most recent Federal tax return (if not previously submitted).
A Professional Judgment determination cannot be based solely on the fact that the student was approved the previous award year. However, the previous year’s determination may be a factor in the decision.
In addition, approval of an appeal by a financial aid administrator at another college or university does not mean that a similar determination will automatically be made by Missouri Western. However, the other school’s decision may be a factor in the determination.
Professional Judgment determinations are always made by the Missouri Western Office of Financial Aid on an individual, case-by-case basis.
Transfer Students (Eligibility)
Official transcripts from all college level coursework must be received and evaluated prior to determining a student’s final eligibility for federal financial assistance. No financial assistance will be disbursed until it has been determined that the student is maintaining the academic standards outlined in Missouri Western’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Students should be aware that it can take up to 30 days to complete an evaluation once all transcripts have been received. Students who submit official transcripts after the midpoint of the semester will not be guaranteed financial aid for that semester.
A transfer student who has earned a cumulative GPA that is below a 2.00 or who has not successfully completed at least 67% of the courses he or she has attempted will not be eligible for federal financial assistance. Please refer to Missouri Western’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for information regarding the student’s right to appeal.
A student seeking a first bachelor’s degree, who has attempted greater than 134 hours (60 attempted hours for associate’s degree seeking students), will be required to submit a letter of appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee.
If it is determined that the student cannot complete degree requirements within the maximum timeframe outlined in Missouri Western’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, he or she will become ineligible for federal financial assistance.
Transfer students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.
Treatment of Federal Aid When a Student Withdraws or Stops Attending
Federal regulations specify how Missouri Western must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that a student has earned if he or she officially withdraws or stops attending. The Title IV programs that are governed by this law are the Federal Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, Direct Loan, PLUS Loan and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).
When a student withdraws or stops attending, the amount of assistance that the student has earned is determined on a prorata basis. For example, if the student has completed 30% of the semester, he or she has earned 30% of the assistance that was scheduled for the period. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the semester, he or she has earned all scheduled assistance for the period. If the student did not receive all of the assistance that was earned, a post-withdrawal disbursement may be due.
If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, Missouri Western must receive the student’s permission before these funds may be disbursed. The student may choose to decline some, or all, of the loan funds so that additional debt is not incurred.
Missouri Western may automatically use all, or a portion of the student’s post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges, however, will require permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other charges. It may be in the student’s best interest to allow Missouri Western to keep the funds to reduce debt with the institution.
There may be Title IV funds that cannot be disbursed once a student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if the student is a first-time, first-year undergraduate and has not completed the first 30 days of the semester before withdrawing, he or she will not be eligible to receive the loan funds that would have been received had the student remained enrolled past the 30th day.
If a student has received unearned Title IV program funds, Missouri Western MUST return a portion of the excess that is equal to the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of funds or the entire amount of unearned funds, whichever is less.
If Missouri Western is not required to return all of the unearned funds, the student must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that the student must return may be repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, the student may make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that a student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that the student must repay is half of the grant funds he or she received or was scheduled to receive. The student must make arrangements with the Missouri Western Business Office to return unearned grant funds.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws or stops attending are separate from Missouri Western’s Refund Policy. Therefore, a student may still owe funds to Missouri Western to cover unpaid institutional charges. The student will also be responsible for any Title IV program funds that Missouri Western was required to return on his or her behalf.
Missouri Western’s complete withdrawal policy in available online at https://intranet.missouriwestern.edu/registrar/withdrawal/.
If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at studentaid.gov.