The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 requires disclosure of policies that can affect students in colleges and universities. The following information about Financial Aid is disclosed to you as a student at Saint Martin’s University in compliance with federal law. It is also intended to help you understand your Rights and Responsibilities as a student receiving financial aid.
The U.S. Department of Education requires that certain financial aid applications be verified. Saint Martin’s University verifies all applications selected by the U.S. Department of Education, as well as institutionally selected applications. In addition, the College is required to clarify any unclear or conflicting information in a financial aid application. If additional documentation is necessary, the College will notify the student directly. Please respond to the request for documentation within the deadlines indicated.
NOTE: For incoming students, your Financial Aid Award is a tentative award until such time as verification documents are received and reviewed. If you are aware of discrepancies in income or assets, please make necessary corrections to your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Any adjustments to aid due to Verification will be indicated on a revised award letter.
Appeal Process / Change in Circumstance
Occasionally students may find that the financial circumstances reported on the FAFSA do not accurately reflect their current situation. In these cases students have an opportunity to submit an appeal for reconsideration of their financial aid eligibility. In most circumstances, these requests will require supporting documentation.
Students are required by the federal government to update the Financial Aid Office regarding certain changes that occur during the academic year. The following changes MUST be reported:
- Number of family members in the household
- Number of siblings attending college
- Student’s enrollment status
- Student’s housing status
* A change to any of the above factors could result in an adjustment to the financial aid award.
Disbursement of Aid
Aid is disbursed and posted to the individual student account after the published add/drop period each semester. Should a student receive assistance in excess of their balance, the Student Financial Services Center will issue a refund for the credit due the student or parent.
Credit balances are reviewed weekly to determine student refund eligibility. Refunds are processed on a weekly basis for eligible students from a credit report generated from PowerCAMPUS. This ensures timely refunding of any potential Title IV credit balances.
Refunds to students are processed through BankMobile or via SMU check depending on the option selected by the student. Students authorizing BankMobile for their refund but have not set up a preference with BankMobile, will have their refund default to an SMU check to avoid delays in receiving an eligible refund.
Refunds to parents are processed by check directly from the University. International student refunds that have not selected BankMobile will have refunds processed by SMU check or wire transfer if information is provided.
Refunds to third party payers are processed by check directly from the University or by EFT based on agreement.
To have your aid disbursed, you must have been awarded aid, not have any holds on your aid, if you are borrowing loans have completed required entrance counseling and signed promissory notes, and are registered for the minimum required credits.
We encourage all students to pursue outside scholarships. Students are required to inform the College of any grants, scholarships, or benefits received from outside sources. Please provide a copy of the award notification as soon as possible.
The total amount of outside scholarship is divided equally between the Fall and the Spring semesters unless the scholarship organization requests otherwise. Outside scholarships must be reported to the College annually. We will not automatically renew an award from a previous year without an annual notice from the agency indicating renewal.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal regulations require that students receiving financial assistance meet certain standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. This means that the student is making progress toward completing their degree in a manner determined by the school. Please visit our Maintaining Eligibility information page to review our SAP policy and other information pertaining to eligibility.
Direct Loan Borrowers
The Department of Education has developed a comprehensive website at StudentAid.gov to provide consumer information to students and parent borrowers.
- Student Loan Master Promissory Note Terms and Conditions
- Parent Loan Master Promissory Note Terms and Conditions
Students who are borrowing through the Federal Direct Loan program are required to complete Entrance Counseling to advise them of their Rights and Responsibilities with regard to borrowing a student loan. Entrance Counseling must be completed prior to the first disbursement of your student loan. Students and Parents are also required to complete the online Direct Loan Master Promissory Note or the online PLUS Promissory Note.
Student borrowers are also required to complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement at Student Aid.gov. If this is your first time accepting a federal student loan, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan. If you have existing loans, you are acknowledging that you understand how much you owe and how much more you can borrow.
Exit Counseling is also required and completed upon graduation and/or less than half-time enrollment. Borrowers must visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for comprehensive information regarding their individual student loan history and servicing information. Borrowers who withdraw from the College must complete this requirement as part of the withdrawal process.
Students and parents with an executed Master Promissory Note (MPN) should note that the loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible to guaranty agencies lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.
Requirements for Return of Title IV and State Financial Aid
Students who withdraw from Saint Martin’s University must complete an online or in-person Withdrawal Form with the Registrar’s Office. Students who withdraw from all classes before the 60% point in a semester may be required to repay all or a portion of the Title IV financial aid they received for that semester. The exact amount to be returned will vary depending on the amount of aid received and at what point during the semester the student withdraws from the college.
If a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws after beginning attendance in a term, the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined. The amount earned is calculated by taking into consideration the percentage of the semester completed and the amount of aid the student was eligible to receive. This is known as the Return to Title IV calculation. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, the unearned funds must be returned. If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, he or she is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received.
Students who withdraw after the 60% point of the semester will have fully earned their Title IV aid and no funds will be returned.
Note that this refund policy applies to Title IV funds, both Institutional charges and Institutional financial aid will be subject to the refund schedule provided by the Student Financial Services Office. Students owing a balance to the college due to the return of funds will receive a revised statement of account. Please review Saint Martin’s University Return of Title IV Funds Policy and Return of State Aid Funds Policy.
Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
A conviction for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which a student received Title IV, HEA program funds, under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work study assistance (HEA Sec.484(r)(1);(20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(1)). Students convicted for such offenses may regain the eligibility according to the following schedule: Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations. Students can read about drug convictions and federal aid at StudentAid.gov.
Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals:
As an Institutional member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Saint Martin’s University supports and adheres to the Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct established by NASFAA in November 2017 and November 2019 respectively.