Financial Aid Policies
Students who receive financial aid need to follow certain policies to ensure they continue receiving aid.
Academic performance and conduct both can affect a student's ability to receive or continue receiving financial assistance.
Terms and Regulations of your financial aid award are on the Cost and Aid page under 'Award Letter.'
Read these policies regarding your financial aid
Iowa Code Section 261E.2 and Sections 487(a)(25) and 487(e) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, require the development, administration, and enforcement of a code of conduct governing educational loan activities. Officers, employees, trustees and agents–including the alumni association, booster club and other organizations associated with St. Ambrose University–agree to the provisions of this Code of Conduct and will refrain from:
- Denying a Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) borrower his or her choice of a FFELP lender or guarantor. Loans issued under the FFELP are the federal Stafford, parent PLUS, Grad PLUS and Consolidation loans.
- Packaging private educational loans in a student's financial aid award, except under certain conditions.
- Accepting impermissible gifts, goods, or services from a lender, lender servicer, or guarantor. St. Ambrose University may accept certain services, materials or other items of a nominal value
- Accepting philanthropic contributions from a lender, lender servicer, or guarantor that are related to the educational loans provided by the lender, lender servicer, or guarantor.
- Serving on or otherwise participating as a member of an advisory council for a lender, lender affiliate, or lender servicer.
- Accepting from a lender or its affiliate any fee, payment, or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide education loan-related services to or on behalf of the lender.
- Accepting fees or other benefits in exchange for endorsing a lender or the lender's loan products.
- Requesting or accepting competitive rates on private educational loans in exchange for a specified amount of loan activity, or in exchange for endorsing the lender's FFELP loans.
St. Ambrose University is committed to providing the information and resources necessary to help every student achieve educational success. To accomplish this goal, the financial aid staff will consider each student's individual needs.
In order for students to receive financial aid, they must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree.
Students are required to complete 67% of the credit hours attempted, as well as to maintain a minimum GPA as listed in the table below:
|Hours Earned||Cumulative GPA|
Attempted hours include:
Incompletes: which are treated as Fs.
Course repetitions: when a course is repeated, the most recent grade will be used in the calculation of GPA but the credits are counted as attempted for each course taken; and remedial coursework. Credits are counted even if financial aid was not being received at the time. The 67% completion rate ensures that a student will complete their degree within the maximum time frame allowed, and still be eligible for Federal student aid, which is 180 credits. Federal aid eligibility ends at 180 credits if they have not earned their first bachelor's degree. This does not guarantee receipt of institutional scholarships.
Note - academic scholarships require a minimum GPA of 2.0 at all times and premier academic scholarships (Ambrose, Honors, and Presidential scholars) require a minimum GPA of 3.25 at all times and eligibility lasts up to four academic years.
All transfer credits accepted and applied towards an SAU degree plan are counted at 100% completed. A maximum of 90 credits will be counted for a student enrolling who has a prior bachelor's degree. We do not count transfer GPA in our calculation.
If a student changes majors, all credits attempted at the University are counted towards SAP.
Most Graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA by their respective departments. The exception for graduate work holds that a GPA of 2.8-2.99 shall be deemed satisfactory progress provided the GPA is raised to 3.0 after no more than two consecutive semesters. This equates to no more than 2 C grades, which are then offset by 2 A grades. Students will be monitored both by the Financial Aid Office and by their departments.
SAP is monitored after each semester. If a student fails to maintain SAP, he/she will be given a warning and allowed to receive financial aid for one term immediately following the term in question. If, by the end of the warning period, the student is still not meeting SAP, financial aid will be suspended for future terms, including Summer term.
A student may appeal the financial aid suspension by submitting a letter, along with the SAP Appeal Form to the SAP Appeals Committee, comprised of Financial Aid Office staff members. The letter must include an explanation as to why Satisfactory Progress was not maintained and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation at the end of the upcoming term. Documentation to support the appeal must accompany the letter and SAP Appeal Form. Appeals will be considered for pertinent situations that were beyond the student's control. For example, a health issue that prohibited class attendance or a documented, work-related interruption. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for the SAP form or further guidance at 563-333-6314.
The SAP Appeals Committee will approve an appeal if it is determined that the student will be able to make SAP standards by the end of the next term OR the student will be placed on an Academic Plan that will ensure the ability to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time which will be determined. An Academic Plan will involve an Academic Advisor.
If an appeal is approved and the student still does not make SAP by the end of the term or Academic Plan period, whichever the case may be, the student's financial aid will be suspended. At that time, the student may appeal in person to the SAP Appeals Committee. Further eligibility for financial aid will be determined at that time.
Students are obligated for the full amount of tuition for the courses for which they are registered, subject to the refund schedule.
Tuition Refund Policy (Fall and Spring Terms)
- You will have 10 days to make changes to your enrollment without penalty.
- You will be charged 50 percent of tuition through the 20th day if you drop below 12 credit hours (full-time); or, if you are already a part-time student and you drop below your original enrolled credits. Any changes made after the 20th day, will result in a full charge of tuition.
- This rule does not apply to MBA/MOL or Adult Learning students.
- This rule does not apply if you fully withdraw from the university. In that case, your tuition will be prorated based on the number of days attended.
Tuition Refund Policy (Summer Term)
Due to the short nature of summer courses, once a summer course has commenced students are responsible for 100% of the tuition charges. There will be no refunds of tuition or fees.
Upon withdrawing from the University, a refund for room and board will be made on a pro rated basis dating from the day the student has successfully completed the check out procedure with Student Affairs. Fees are non-refundable.
Information on this page also can be found in the Course Catalog.
Important considerations before dropping a class or withdrawing from school:
· Students should consider consulting with an advisor or counselor.
· Students should consider a possible reduction of financial aid.
To initiate the withdrawal process, a student must contact the Office of the Registrar office and complete the Official Withdraw form.
Student refunds are computed by using:
1. The date the Office of the Registrar receives a formal drop form from the student or
2. The date the Office of the Registrar receives a phone call from the student requesting a drop.
Students who do not go through the "official" withdrawal process (i.e. leave campus without filing withdrawal papers, or fail to earn any passing grades in their registered courses) will be deemed to have attended through the mid-point in the semester unless the last date of attendance at an academically related activity can be documented. They will have their charges and financial aid adjusted accordingly.
Return of Title IV Aid Refund Policy
The law specifies how St. Ambrose must determine the amount of student financial aid program assistance that you earn if you withdraw. The law requires that when you withdraw during a payment period, the amount of student Financial Aid program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or St. Ambrose University received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you will be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned.
The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a prorated basis. That is, if you complete 10 percent of the payment period, you earn 10 percent of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more that 60 percent of the payment period, you earn all of your assistance. If a student has earned more than the 60 percent, then no return of funds is necessary.
If you received excess funds that must be returned, St. Ambrose University must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
· Your institution charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds,
· The entire amount of the excess funds.
St. Ambrose University is required to return all of the excess funds; you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a Plus Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
If you are responsible for returning grant funds, the law provides that you are required to return 50 percent of the grant assistance that you receive. Any amount that you do have to return is a grant overpayment, and you must make arrangements with St. Ambrose University or the Department of Education to return the funds.
Example of an Official Withdrawal
Joe Student had to withdraw during the semester due to personal reasons. Joe had been awarded and credited to his student account, a Pell Grant for $998, FSEOG for $250 and a subsidized loan for $1,261. Joe completed only 11 days of the semester or 10 percent of the payment period. Joe was assessed $951 in tuition and fees.
Amount and Order of Return
The school must return the lesser of:
· The unearned amount of the financial aid;
· An amount equal to the student's total institutional charges for the period multiplied by the unearned percentage (Example: $951 X 90% = $855.90)
Amount the student returns:
· The student must return the unearned amount of Title IV assistance minus any funds the school has returned (Example: $1261-$855.90 = $405.10). In effect, a student whose financial aid exceeded institutional charges will have to return funds. However, if the amount the student is required to repay is to a grant program, the student is required to only pay half of the amount.
In this example, both SAU and Joe will return loan proceeds. After initiating the withdrawal process, it was determined that $855.90 of the loan proceeds were to be returned by SAU and $405.10 of the loan proceeds returned to the loan program by Joe, in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.
Based upon the calculation, the Pell Grant amount to be returned was $997.10; however, because the Pell is to be repaid by the student, only 50% or $498.55 must be repaid. ($997.10 X 50% = 498.55) In this case, no FSEOG funds are returned as the loan and Pell repayments cover the excess award. Joe is now in a Pell Grant overpayment situation.