Graduate Bulletin

X. Financial Assistance

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The University of the Incarnate Word has developed a program of financial assistance that enables you to obtain the small class environment, personalized instruction, and quality academic programs that distinguish us as a private university.

The primary purpose of student financial assistance is to provide resources to students who would otherwise be unable to pursue a post-secondary education. Financial assistance programs are designed to supplement a family’s efforts to meet educational costs. The financial assistance philosophy at the University is to meet the direct costs or financial need of all eligible students until funds are exhausted.

To be considered for most types of financial assistance at the University of the Incarnate Word, a student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a University of the Incarnate Word Student Information Form, and other documents as required by the office of Financial Assistance for every year that you want to be considered. A student must also be accepted by the University and be enrolled in a degree-seeking program. In most cases, only students who are citizens or eligible non-citizens can apply for financial assistance.

Students applying for financial assistance are considered for all programs for which they are eligible, including federal, state, and institutional programs. Financial Assistance is awarded on a first come, first serve basis (April 1st priority deadline); therefore it is important to begin the application process as early as possible. Copies of the FAFSA and the Student Information forms may be obtained at the Office of Financial Assistance, located in the bottom floor of the Chapel Building on main campus.

Non-degree status students are not eligible for financial aid.

Types of Financial Assistance Available

Three basic categories of financial support are offered through the Office of Financial Assistance: (1) scholarships, (2) loans, and (3) employment. In our attempts to meet a student’s financial need, they may be awarded individually or in combination with other programs in the form of a financial assistance package.

SCHOLARSHIPS

Graduate and Doctoral students may be eligible for scholarships from private and government sources. Most of these are designed for particular personal characteristics, career objectives, or programs of study. For further details, contact the Office of Financial Assistance.

LOANS

Federal Unsubsidized Loan

  • Terms and conditions are the same as the Federal Stafford Loan
  • Borrower is responsible for interest that accrues during deferment periods (including time in school) and during 6-month grace period
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time
  • Fixed interest rate of 6.8%*
  • Repayment begins 6 months after graduation or when student is no longer enrolled at least half-time
  • Borrower is responsible for interest that accrues during deferment periods (including time in school) and during 6-month grace period
  • Not need-based, but FAFSA must be filed before application
  • No credit check required
  • Funded directly through the Department of Education

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

  • Must be enrolled at least half-time
  • Fixed interest rate of 7.9%*
  • Repayment begins 6 months after graduation or when student is no longer enrolled at least half-time
  • Borrower is responsible for interest that accrues during deferment periods (including time in school) and during 6-month grace period
  • Not need-based, but FAFSA must be filed before application
  • Modest credit check required, option to add endorser if credit denied

*Interest rates are fixed unless new federal legislation is enacted to change them.

EMPLOYMENT

  • Federal Work-Study Program
  • Must be enrolled half-time
  • Positions available are on campus
  • Based on demonstrated financial need

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of “Satisfactory Academic Progress” for students receiving financial aid. UIW makes its standard applicable to all federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs for the purpose of maintaining a consistent policy for all students receiving financial aid.

To make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), students must meet all of the following standards:

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA minimum requirement at the end of each academic year for all credit hours attempted at UIW (Undergraduates 2.0; Graduate students 3.0). If the cumulative GPA drops below the minimum requirement, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

MAXIMUM TIME FRAMES

The number of credit hours a student attempts may not exceed 125% of the number of credit hours required for graduation in his or her program of study, as published in the University Bulletin.

That is, if the published number of hours required for graduation is 128, a student may not attempt more than 160 credit hours (128 x 1.25 = 160) and continue to receive financial aid. All periods of enrollment must be considered, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid, as well as hours transferred in from another school. If the number of attempted hours reaches 125% of the hours required for graduation, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

Attempted hours include all registered hours per semester whether or not the student earns a grade or receives credit. The following are considered hours attempted, but not completed:

  • “F” grades for undergraduate students, “D” or “F” grades for graduate students
  • “AU” Audited courses
  • “W” or “IP” grades

Completed hours include all semester hours for which the student earns a grade:

  • “A” through “D” grades for undergraduate students
  • "A” through “C” grades for graduate students
  • “P” passing with credit
  • All transfer hours accepted for credit

ENROLLMENT STATUS

During the academic year (Fall and Spring) a student who receives financial aid must successfully complete a minimum of 75% of all attempted coursework. If the number of completed hours drops below 75% of attempted hours, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid. (See completion definitions above).

Examples:

  1. If a student attempts (registers for) 30 credit hours in an academic year, he or she must complete a minimum of 22 credit hours (75% x 30 = 22.5 = 22) in order to make SAP for the year. NOTE: All partial credit hours will be rounded down to the nearest hour.
  2. If a student attempts 36 credit hours, he or she must complete a minimum of 27 credit hours (75% x 36 = 27) to be making SAP.
  3. If at the end of the second year a student has attempted 60 credit hours, he or she must have completed a minimum of 45 credit hours (75% x 60 = 45) to be making SAP.

 

REVIEW POLICY

At the end of each Academic Year (Spring semester), the Office of Financial Assistance will review the progress of each financial aid recipient for SAP. Students will be reviewed to ensure that they are meeting the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (undergraduates) or, cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate students).
  • Successful completion of at least 75% of all attempted coursework for all periods of enrollment (cumulative), even those for which the student did not receive financial aid.
  • Total attempted hours not to exceed 125% of the published length of the program of study.

FINANCIAL AID TERMINATION

In the event that the student does not meet the requirements for SAP, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Termination. This means that the student will not be eligible for any type of federal, state, or institutional aid until he or she has returned to Satisfactory Academic Progress or submitted an appeal to the Office of Financial Assistance for possible reinstatement.

CONDITIONS FOR REINSTATEMENT

Students whose eligibility for financial aid has been terminated may appeal the decision in writing to the Office of Financial Assistance if they believe that they had extenuating circumstances which led to their unsatisfactory progress. The Office of Financial Assistance will notify the student in writing of the decision.

Appeals for the reinstatement of financial aid eligibility must include:

    1. The student must complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form available in the Office of Financial Assistance.

  1. A letter from the student documenting the extenuating circumstances; for example, personal illness, medical problems, or death in the family. This letter should provide a detailed explanation of the situation. If the student has exceeded the maximum time frame and is appealing based on a change of major, he or she should state the reason for the change and submit a new program of study or degree plan which indicates the number of hours remaining to be taken in the new major. The student must also provide a statement from his or her academic advisor indicating the number of credit hours from the previous major that will apply to the new major. This information can be included on the Termination Review Form.

Students whose appeals are approved will be required to agree to an academic plan and must meet with the SAP requirements or be meeting the requirements of the academic plan by the end of the following semester in order to continue receiving financial assistance. Students who are meeting neither requirement by the end of the next semester will be placed on Financial Aid Termination and will not be eligible for further aid until they are once again meeting the initial SAP requirements.

Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Termination because they do not meet the GPA or Enrollment Status requirement may do the following if they decide not to appeal, or if their appeal is not approved:

  1. Students may attend UIW without financial assistance until they meet the SAP requirements for both cumulative GPA and cumulative completion requirements.
  2. Apply for various alternative loan programs available to help meet the costs of tuition.