A student's course schedule including credit hours and progress toward degree impact the student's eligibility for federal and state financial aid as well as institutional scholarships. What follows is important information for academic advisors concerning the student financial assistance process and the impact of decisions made regarding coursework for which aid has been (or will be) received.

  1. Students may receive full-time financial aid for 12 or more credit hours. Students may receive part-time financial aid for 6 to 11 credit hours.
  2. All correspondence from the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) will come via email through the students GUS mail account - once this has been established.  Please make sure that this address is set-up and reviewed weekly to stay current on office requests and shared information.
  3. If a student is awarded loan funds, and declines these funds, they may be able to add them back to their aid package, later, if they are needed.  Encourage students to borrow ONLY the amount that they need to pay their educational expenses...loans can add up very quickly, and they will have to repay them upon graduation or when they drop below 6 hours of enrollment (not including summers).
  4. Each semester, a student is required to maintain SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS.  If they are enrolled in 12 + hours - they MUST pass at least 9 hours each semester to avoid going into a Warning status.  Aid is available only one additional semester at Warning status.  If they are enrolled in 9-11 hours, they must pass at least 7 hours to avoid Warning status.  If they are enrolled in 6-8 hours, they must pass at least 6 hours.
  5. Any full-time student who passes 5 or fewer hours each semester is AUTOMATICALLY placed on Financial Aid Suspension status.  The first time they are put on this status, they are eligible to appeal their Suspension through a Mentoring process.  They should contact the OSFA to get more detail regarding this process.
  6. If a student receives a grade of "D" or better, they cannot receive funds for that repeated course - unless that grade is from a Nursing course, in which case they can repeat it ONE additional time using financial aid funds.  If a student receives a grade of "NC" in Eng 101, 190 or 299 or Comm 207, they are not allowed to graduate with their Bachelors Degree, so these courses may be repeated ONE additional time using financial aid funds.  The same "NC" rule applies to College Algebra for students earning their Bachelor of Science in Education degree.
  7. The most times a student can retake a course receiving financial assistance is twice. If a course must be repeated a third time, then the full-time student must be enrolled in 12 credit hours or more in addition to the repeated in order to receive full-time aid.
  8. Financial assistance will not be paid toward audited courses or CLEP hours.
  9. Students often misunderstand the Return to Title IV (R2T4) process.  This process is described as follows: students receiving any type of federal funds (i.e. Pell Grant/Student Loans/SEOG Grants/etc.), who do not complete at least 60% of the semester, WILL be required to repay a portion of their funds back to the federal programs if they will withdraw from the university.  Typically, these dates fall during the semester as follows:  Fall semester (mid-to-late October); Spring semester (mid-to-late March); Summer session (too variable to calculate due to the many options available). 
  10. Students also get the university repayment back to R2T4 for the student (in which case, the student has a balance due to PSU) and the student's responsibility for repayment back to R2T4 confused.  In many cases, both the university and the student must make payments back to the federal programs.  They also get confused how the university refund (during the first few weeks of the semester) applies to this refund.  They can come into the OSFA for additional explanation.
  11. Any student who receives all "F" or "W" grades during a semester will have their financial aid recalculated with a 50% R2T4 refund unless they can prove that they attended past 60% of the semester.  All students who fit this category will be notified of the appeal process immediately following the semester end.
  12. Students who received Federal Pell Grant funding during the Fall and Spring semesters may have additional eligibility funds available for the Summer session, beginning Summer 2010.  Please see OSFA for additional details.
  13. Students who are not doing well in a course are encouraged to withdraw from that course, if they feel that they will earn an "F" grade.  Financial status is calculated on "earned" hours, and the grades of "F" and "W" do not have any earned hours associated with them.  We encourage the student to take the "W", to salvage their GPA.
  14. Students do not qualify for loans at enrollment less than 6 hours.
  15. Students who drop below 6 hours of enrollment should visit OSFA for a counseling session.  They are at risk of losing their eligibility for the next semester, and may begin the grace period for student loan repayment.
  16. A minimum of 12 enrolled hours must be applicable toward the full-time student's degree to receive full-time federal aid funds.
  17. Previous terms must be paid in full prior to enrollment or enrollment changes.
  18. If a student has a university hold, they can still accept financial awards online - they just won't roll into the student's account until those holds are lifted.
  19. A student must verify their enrollment status during the "window" to sweep funds to their student account.  This window is open approximately one week prior to the beginning of the semester.

For more detailed information about this process, please or contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance in 103 Horace Mann, at extension 4240 or visit our web site at http://www.pittstate.edu/office/financial_aid/.