Receiving & Maintaining Aid
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal regulations require the University to establish Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a course of study regardless of whether you previously received financial aid at the University. Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured both in terms of quality and quantity. You must maintain a minimum grade point average and complete a minimum number of credits each term you are enrolled. The programs affected by the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress include: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, FRAG, FSAG, Federal Work Study, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans. Institutional Scholarships and/or Grants are subject to the same standards. For more details please click on the links below.
Terms and Conditions
Your Financial Aid Award is prepared in accordance with federal, state, and institutional regulations for the purpose of assisting with your educational costs. As per Federal regulations, you must enroll in courses which count towards your degree, credential or certificate with the only exception being remedial courses for undergraduate degrees. Your award is contingent upon actual receipt of funds from the appropriate agencies (federal, state, private), and you meeting all necessary requirements. The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to revise or cancel your award due to changes in your financial or academic status.
Disbursing Financial Aid
Financial aid funds are generally credited to your account in September for the Fall semester and January for the Spring semester, provided you have submitted all required documents and your file has been processed. Tuition and all other allowable charges will be deducted from your scheduled financial aid (including Stafford Loans). Refunds are issued by the Business Office after the drop/add period for the term has ended and all allowable charges have been deducted, provided you meet the enrollment requirements for each term. It is recommended that you set aside sufficient funds to cover expenses such as books, meals, living expenses, etc. for the first month of classes while financial aid funds are being disbursed.
After receiving your initial award letter, you may request an award adjustment by submitting a written request within 30 days of the date on the award letter or two weeks prior to the last day of class of each semester.
Awards are Subject to Change
A financial aid award may be reduced or canceled. The most common reasons for an award adjustment include changes in enrollment, residency status or housing arrangements and over-awards due to receipt of aid from other sources. An award may also be adjusted due to changes or inaccuracies in the information on which the award was based.
Changes in Circumstances
Federal and State regulations require that we revise your award when changes occur which may affect your eligibility for financial assistance (e.g. receipt of additional assistance, loss of employment, failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, etc.). If this occurs, your eligibility will be reassessed and a revised award letter may be issued reflecting the appropriate changes.
Renewal of Financial Aid
Financial aid awards are not automatically renewed. The applications for the new academic year will be available on or after October 1st each year
The funds you are awarded are intended to help meet your educational expenses while attending the University. If you withdraw, drop out of school, drop below half-time, or change enrollment status, your financial aid award may be reduced or canceled, and may be required to return a portion of the aid awarded to you. If you are entitled to a refund of your tuition, all or part of the refund may be applied to the financial aid fund from which your aid was awarded. You may also be required to repay a portion of the funds disbursed directly to you. The amount of the refund is based on formulas established by the U.S. Department of Education. You should consult with an advisor at Student Success Services prior to dropping or withdrawing to avoid an unnecessary financial hardship. Financial aid is refunded based on the date of withdrawal from St. Thomas University. Title IV aid is earned in a prorated manner on a per diem basis up to the 60% point in the semester. After this point in time, Title IV aid is viewed as 100% earned. Refunds to the federal student financial aid programs must be made prior to issuing a refund to the student. STU will complete the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for these students and will return any Title IV funds that are due to the Title IV programs. Students will be notified in writing of balance owed to STU and have 45 days from the date of the letter to arrange payment with the Business Office. Failure to pay within this deadline will result in your student account being reported to the collection agency. Student will be responsible for any fees access by the collection agency
If the student is convicted on drug-related charges while receiving federal aid, his/her financial aid award offered will be canceled. The student will receive a written notice to contact an Advisor at Student Success Center on procedures to regain eligibility for financial aid.
Tuition payments will be deferred provided the total amount of your financial aid award meets or exceeds the cost of your tuition. If your award does not meet or exceed your current fees due, you must pay the difference or your courses will be dropped for non-payment. If earnings from the Federal Work Study (FWS) will be used as payment for tuition, you must submit written authorization to Student Success Center. If you intend on dropping any or all of your classes you must do so during the initial drop/add period of the semester. You must drop unwanted classes to avoid liability.
Florida Prepaid Tuition Program
If you are a participant in the Florida Prepaid Program, you must inform the Student Success Center. You are responsible for the balance not covered by the Florida Prepaid Program and will be required to submit payment to the Student Success Center.
If you are receiving tuition reimbursement from your employer, you must inform Financial Aid and the Business Office. You are responsible for the balance not covered by the reimbursement. The tuition and fee portion of your financial aid budget will be adjusted to reflect this benefit.
Hope Tax Credit
The 1998 Congress approved the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit. If you pay your tuition with loans or personal funds, you or your parents may be eligible for a tax credit. Keep receipts of the tuition paid and financial aids received and consult a tax advisor for specific information on tax credits.
Taxable Financial Aid
Under the law, certain types of financial assistance (grants, scholarships, fellowships) may be subject to federal income tax. Keep accurate records of the aid you receive and consult the IRS publications or your tax advisor for specific information on tax liability.
State Complaint Process
The State of Florida Authorizes the Commission for Independent Education with the statutory responsibilities in matters relating to nonpublic, postsecondary, educational institutions. In keeping with the Florida Department of Education’s goal of producing a seamless educational system, some of these functions include consumer protection, program improvement, institutional policies and administration, data management, and the licensure of independent schools, colleges and universities.
To file a complaint please visit http://www.fldoe.org/policy/cie and click on “File a complaint”.
To file a complaint against any nonpublic postsecondary institution in Florida, please write a letter or send an e-mail containing the following information:
- Name of Student (or Complainant)
- Complainant Address
- Phone Number
- Name of Institution
- Location of the Institution (City)
- Dates of Attendance
- A full description of the problem and any other documentation that will support your claim such as enrollment agreements, correspondence, etc.
Send Letter To:
Commission for Independent Education 325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414
Tallahassee, FL. 32399-0400
Or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org cieinfo at fldoe dot org
Or Fax: 850-245-3238
View Your Loan Information
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) allows you to access information on loan and/or federal grant amounts, your loan status (including outstanding balances), and disbursements made. Go to nslds.ed.gov.
Repaying Your Loans
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This “grace period” will be:
- six months for a Federal (FFEL) or Direct Stafford Loan.
- nine months for Federal Perkins Loans
The repayment period for all PLUS loans begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days of the final disbursement. However, a graduate student PLUS loan borrower (as well as a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student) can defer repayment while the borrower is enrolled at least half time.
Additional Repayment Loan information
For more information regarding repayment of your loans, click here.
Student Loan Code of Conduct:
- University employees should receive no personal benefit.
No employee of the University shall accept anything of more than nominal value on his or her behalf or on behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution in exchange for being included on a lender list or in exchange for any special treatment.
- University employees should not serve on lender advisory boards for remuneration.
No employee of the University who makes financial aid decisions for the University or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over the University’s financial aid office shall receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant of a student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution or any reimbursement of expenses for such service.
- The University prohibits any agent employee of a lender from staffing the financial aid office at any time, or communicating with the University’s students or their parents in such a manner as to create the impression that the Lending Institution is an employee or agent of the University.
Florida Residency Requirements for State Aid
In order to qualify for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants you must prove Florida residency for state awarding purposes. Please click on the following link to learn about the acceptable documents you will need to provide St. Thomas University in order to be considered eligible for these awards.