Financial Assistance – General

POLICY STATEMENT
 
Delta State University provides opportunities to students for financial assistance through federal grant, loans, and work programs in accordance with the procedures outlined by the grantee and as contained in this policy.  Students who receive financial aid must conform to the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress set by the University and outlined within this policy. This policy identifies financial aid opportunities, outlines application procedures, and outlines student responsibilities.
 
DEFINITIONS
 
Full Time Student: Undergraduate students taking 12 or more hours and graduate students with 9 or more hours.
 
PROCEDURES and RESPONSIBILITIES
 
General
Delta State University grants financial assistance to students on two bases: financial need and academic excellence.
 
Delta State will endeavor to meet demonstrated need of all who apply. The University, however, expects the student and his or her family to assume as much of the financial expense as possible. Delta State provides counseling for all students who would like assistance in determining the best method of financing their education. Financial Aid at Delta State is available without regard to race, sex, color, creed, or national origin.
 
Major Types of Student Financial Aid
 
Grants
Federal Pell Grant
A Federal Pell Grant is an award to help first-time undergraduates pay for their education after high school. Federal Pell Grants provide a "foundation" of financial aid, to which aid from other Federal and non-Federal sources may be added. The Pell Grant does not have to be paid back.
 
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
A Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is an award to help first-time undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. A FSEOG requires no pay back. Funds are extremely limited
 
Work Programs
Federal Work Study
The Federal Work Study Program provides jobs for first-time undergraduates and for graduate students who need financial aid. FWS lets you earn money to help pay your educational expenses.
 
Regular Student Employment 
Student employment is available at DSU. The Regular Student Employment (RSE) program is not a need-based program. Information on RSE jobs may be found at individual departments.
 
Loans
Federal Perkins Loan
A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5 percent) loan. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. These loans are made through a school’s financial aid office–your school is your lender. You must repay this loan.
 
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans are loans with an interest rate of 6.8% made to students attending school at least half-time. This loan does not accrue interest as long as you are continually enrolled in 6 or more credit hours per semester.   Loans are made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, or savings and loan association. These loans are insured by the guarantee agency in each state and reinsured by the Federal Government. You must repay this loan. 
 
Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
This loan program is available to eligible students, regardless of family income. The term unsubsidized means that interest is not paid for you while you are enrolled. These are loans with an interest rate of 6.8%. Unlike the regular Stafford and Perkins loan, interest begins accumulating immediately. You must repay this loan.
 
Federal Parent PLUS Loan
This loan program is available to parents or legal guardians of dependent students. Interest and repayment of this loan begins shortly after disbursement. This loan has an interest rate of 8.5%.
 
Flight Operations Major
For commercial aviation major students receiving financial assistance funds from loans funds may be applied to the flight account after all tuition and room/board charges have been paid. Students must contact the Student Business Services to have these funds deposited to the flight account. Student loan amounts may be increased based on the flight course in which one is enrolled.
  
Student Refund
All payments of financial aid awards, with the exception of the federal work study program, are credited to the student’s account at the beginning of each semester. If a credit exists on the student’s account after all charges are paid, a refund will be given to the student. If a student owes money to the University after all financial aid funds are applied, the student must settle the account with Student Business Services.
 
Mid-Year Transfer Student Information
To transfer financial aid (including Pell Grant and student loans) from one school to another, a second federal financial aid application must be completed. The Office of Student Financial Assistance may require additional documents.
 
Academic Standards
Students who receive financial aid at Delta State University must conform to the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress set by the University and outlined here. These standards encourage students to successfully complete their educational goals in a timely manner. It is important to remember that this SAP policy is administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance and is separate from the Scholastic Standards administered by the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
 
These guidelines apply to all Title IV aid: Federal Pell Grants, Federal supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Grants, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Work Study, Federal Stafford Loans, and Federal PLUS Loans.
 
The minimum academic standards an Undergraduate student must meet in order to receive financial assistance are illustrated in this chart:
   
Minimum Qualitative Academic Standards
Minimum Quantitative Standards
Overall hours attempted
DSU Grade Point Average
Hours attempted
Ratio of hours passed
0 – 29
1.60
0 – 29
50%
30 – 59
1.80
30 – 59
60%
60+
2.00
60 – 89
70%
 
 
90+
75%
 
The minimum academic standards a Graduate student must meet in order to receive financial assistance are illustrated below:
 
Minimum Qualitative Academic Standards
Minimum Quantitative Standards
Overall hours attempted
DSU Grade Point Average
Hours attempted
Ratio of hours passed
0 – 6
2.50
0 – 6
100%
7 – 11
2.75
6 – 9
100%
12+
3.00
12+
100%

Additional Standards for Financial Aid
  1. Students who receive financial assistance, but do not successfully complete all hours attempted, may be placed on financial aid hold/suspension. W’s and F’s are not considered successful completions.
  2. Students who receive financial assistance and then withdraw from school will be placed on financial aid suspension. Students on suspension are not eligible to receive financial aid. W’s and F’s are not considered successful completions.
  3. Students who have earned I’s are ineligible for financial aid the following term because an I is not considered a passing grade. Financial aid will be reinstated once the student completes the course requirements and receives a grade. Should the student fail to obtain grades in the courses in question, he will be responsible for all fees.
  4. Financial aid is not awarded for audits; therefore, a student may be required to repay any financial aid awarded for a course that is changed to an audit at a later time during the term if that change results in the student’s enrollment being less than full-time.
  5. Students may use financial aid funds to cover the first repeat of a course. Up to 12 hours may be repeated during the undergraduate career under these financial aid guidelines. Ineligibility for all or a portion of financial aid funds based on this policy cannot be appealed. A class that a student registers for and subsequently drops is included in the number of repeats of a course.
  6. Students who have been granted full admission with academic deficiencies must participate in a Summer Developmental Program to remove those academic deficiencies. Financial assistance is available for this program. If deficiencies are still evident after completion of the Summer Developmental Program, a student will not be eligible for re-admission and any financial assistance offered for an up-coming term will be cancelled.
  7. Students admitted to Delta State University in the Over 21 program are not eligible for federal financial aid until they have successfully completed twelve (12) semester hours with at least a 2.0 grade point average at Delta State. Additional information about this program can be obtained in the Admissions office and the Over 21 Program policy.
  8. Federal regulations require that a student complete the requirements for one undergraduate degree within a 150% time frame. For purposes of monitoring satisfactory academic progress within this 150% period, we have assumed that 130 hours are required for an undergraduate degree; therefore, 195 hours attempted would constitute the maximum (150%) allowable hours in pursuit of an undergraduate degree. Aid may be granted for up to 195 hours of course work provided those courses are required for completion of a degree. Students who have attempted more than 160 hours will be required to complete an appeal and attach a copy of the Application for Degree from the Dean of their school and a Transcript Evaluation from the Registrar’s office.
  9. Students who are pursuing a second undergraduate degree must submit a list of courses required to complete their second undergraduate degree.   This can be obtained from their advisor or Dean.
  10. A student’s financial aid may be suspended if their enrollment record indicates to the financial aid staff/director a recurring pattern. This may include, but is not limited to: course drops, withdrawal from school, degree progress.
  11. Students whose Delta State grade point average for any one semester is a 1.00 or less may be placed on financial aid probation or suspension.
Academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester. Students will be notified in writing of any action taken regarding their loss of eligibility for financial assistance. The hours attempted and GPA as reported in the computer database of Delta State University will be the only official record accepted for all satisfactory academic progress determinations. If there is an error discovered, the student should contact the Registrar’s office before notifying the Student Financial Assistance Office.
 
Students may be placed on financial aid probation for one academic semester. Students may receive aid during their probation status after signing and returning their financial aid probation letter. 
 
Students may be placed on financial aid suspension for one or more academic semesters. Students on financial aid suspension cannot receive financial assistance.
 
Appeals
All students have the right to appeal decisions regarding holds/suspensions of financial assistance. A student may file an appeal by completing a “Request for Reinstatement of Financial Aid” form with appropriate documentation. Requests for reinstatement should be submitted at least ten (10) working days prior to the last day to register. All requests will be reviewed within ten working days of submission to the SFA office provided they are properly completed and documented.
 
Acceptable reasons for filing an appeal may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Death of an immediate family member. Immediate family members include mother, father, spouse, sibling, dependent child, or legal guardian.
  • The extended illness of the student. Extended illness is defined as a documented chronic or recurring medical or emotional illness that causes the student to be unable to successfully complete the enrollment period. (Students who have experienced a long term illness but are now able to successfully complete their course of study are usually eligible for appeal with proper documentation. The student should submit documentation that clearly indicates that he or she was unable to satisfactorily complete the course work and that he or she is now able to continue. Pregnancy is not considered an illness unless the student has encountered unusual difficulties. Students who register at six/seven months pregnant obviously know that they cannot complete the term without delivery.)  The appeal should include statements from physicians, counselors, or health care workers.
  • The extended illness of an immediate family member that places a hardship on the student.  Students whose immediately family members have suffered some unusual medical or other emergency that will no longer limit his/her ability to successfully complete course work may be eligible for appeal.
  • Natural or catastrophic disaster that has caused a hardship on a student or his/her immediate family. Students who have experienced unusual or mitigating circumstances that were beyond their control and that will no longer limit their ability to successfully complete course work may be eligible to appeal.
Students who are denied reinstatement of financial aid funds may be reinstated to good standing for financial aid purposes as soon as they are once again making satisfactory progress as outlined in this policy. Those students who attempt to reinstate eligibility after being denied must do so without benefit of financial assistance from any of the Title IV funds and must improve their standing while attending Delta State unless otherwise advised by the DSU Financial Aid staff/director.
 
Responsibility
Students:
It is your responsibility:
  • to complete all application forms accurately and truthfully and submit them on time to the proper location
  • to re-apply each year that you want financial assistance
  • to return all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by the Office of Student Financial Assistance
  • to read and understand all forms that you are asked to sign
  • to inform the Office of Student Financial Assistance of any outside resources
  • to notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of any change in your financial resources
  • to accept the responsibility for all agreements that you sign
  • to perform the work that is agreed upon in accepting a work study award
  • to inform the Office of Student Financial Assistance if you withdraw from Delta State, drop any courses, or change your name or address
  • if you have a loan, to inform the Office of Student Financial Assistance of any name or address change and to answer any inquiry from them concerning your loan, now and after you leave school
  • if you have a Federal Perkins loan, to go to the Perkins loan officer during your last semester of attendance at Delta State and arrange an exit interview concerning the terms of your repayment
  • if you have a Federal Stafford loan to take part in the required entrance and exit interviews offered by Delta State.  
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