Understanding Your Award


Student Rights & Responsibilities

As a Student you have the Right to:

  • Information regarding application procedures, cost of attendance, aid availability, financial need, awarding criteria, and disbursement information.
  • Information regarding tuition and fees as well as refund policies and procedures (available in the Business Office Handbook).
  • Information regarding the terms and conditions of student loans (provided by your student loan lender).
  • Information regarding how academic progress is determined (available in the school’s catalog or website).
  • Make Inquiries regarding the status of your financial aid application.
  • Accept or decline all or any portion of the financial aid being offered to you.

As a Student you are Responsible for:

  • Submitting valid financial aid applications in a timely manner for each academic year for which you are seeking financial assistance.
  • Providing all documentation, verification information and corrections as requested by the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Reading and responding, if necessary, to all materials sent to you from the Office of Financial Aid, Federal Processor or your lender/servicer.
  • Knowing and complying with rules governing the aid you are receiving including enrollment requirements and satisfactory academic progress.
  • Knowing the conditions and repayment terms of any loans you borrow as well as completing the Loan Entrance Counseling prior to receiving any disbursements of a Federal Direct Student Loan.
  • Completing a Loan Exit Counseling prior to graduation or separation from school.
  • Paying any tuition, fees, room and board, or other expenses not covered by your financial aid.

Terms & Conditions of Your Award

Award Notification

Your Financial Aid Award is prepared in accordance with federal, state, and institutional regulations for the purpose of assisting with your educational costs. 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. 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.

Award Adjustments

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. changes in enrollment, receipt of additional assistance, 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. It is your responsibility to apply for financial aid and adhere to application deadlines.

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.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be reviewed at the end of each semester. To maintain satisfactory academic progress, students must achieve both a minimum grade point average (GPA) and complete a minimum number of credit hours as defined below.

  • Qualitative Measures: All Law Students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Quantitative Measure: Law Students are required to complete a minimum of 67% of all credits attempted
  • Maximum Time Frame: Law Students are eligible to receive financial aid up to 50% over and above the maximum number of credit hours to obtain their law degree as defined in the University Catalog

View our Standards of Academic Progress policy

Dropping & Withdrawing

Federal student aid is subject to the U.S. Department of Education’s Return of Title IV funds policy which states that when a student completely drops or withdraws from school during a semester in which he/she received federal student aid (including loans), the school must calculate, according to formulas defined by the U.S. Department of Education, the portion of aid the student earned for the time he/she was enrolled in school. If you completely drop or withdraw from school prior to completing at least 60% of the semester, you and/or the school may be required to return all or a portion of the aid awarded to you, and you may incur a balance with the University. To avoid any unnecessary financial hardship, you should consult with your Financial Aid Advisor prior to dropping or withdrawing.

Financial aid is refunded based on the date of withdrawal from St. Thomas University.

Refunds to the federal student financial aid programs must be made prior to issuing a refund to the student. The order of distribution of refunds is as follows:

  1. Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate/Professional Students
  5. Other Title IV Programs
  6. Other non-federal financial aid
  7. Student

Refund Policy

The effective date of withdrawal is the date on which a completed official withdrawal form is received by the St. Thomas College of Law Registrar; the percentage of credit will be determined by this date. The term begins on the first day of classes for that session, not the student’s first day of attendance. Refunds for students who have withdrawn are based on tuition only. Fees and deposits are non-refundable. If a student has been awarded financial aid, the financial aid programs from which the funds were disbursed will be refunded in accordance with the formula required by federal law. Tuition refunds are calculated as follows:

Fall & Spring Term % Deducted From Account % You Owe
Up to the 5th day of term 100% 0%
No refunds after the 5th day of term 0% 100%
Summer Term % Deducted From Account % You Owe
Up to the 3rd day of term 100% 0%
No refunds after 3rd day of term 0% 100%

Refunds of room and board charges for resident students who withdraw (or are dismissed) from the law school are calculated by the Office of Campus Life. Unused portions of security deposits will be refunded upon the approval of the Housing Office. If the student owes a balance to the University, the deposit will be applied to the outstanding balance.

Refunds will be processed within 14 business days after credit appears on student accounts pursuant to the Federal Department of Education regulations. Refund checks will be directly deposited to students’ checking or savings accounts. All law students are expected to enroll in the University’s direct deposit program.

Important Loan Terms

Borrowing student loans can seem confusing when you are not familiar with the terminology. Use our glossary of most commonly used terms within the financial lending industry to better understand the terms and conditions of your student loans.

View our Glossary of Important Loan Terms you should know

View Your Award

Once St. Thomas University’s Office of Financial Aid receives the results of your FAFSA and you have submitted ALL required documents to process your file, an estimated Financial Aid Award notification will be sent to you. Your award may include Scholarships awarded to you by the College of Law as well as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct Graduate PLUS Loan and/or a Private Loan. Keep in mind this is only an estimated award notice, final eligibility for loans will be determined by the U.S. Dept. of Education or your lender. By accepting a loan as part of your financial aid package, you incur a binding obligation to repay the loan in full, including interest and any applicable fees. It is essential when you plan your educational costs that you also plan for future repayment of any amounts borrowed. You can view your award online below (MyBobcat login required), and following the Financial Aid tab to Award Letter.

View your Award

How to Navigate the Student Self Service Portal

This video explains how to navigate the Financial Aid Self Service Portal to accept, change, and view your financial aid award package.