Financial aid recipients must meet certain policies and standards to receive financial aid. Please familiarize yourself with the following policies.
Under section 483(a)(3)(E) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended, FAFSA data, which includes information related to expected family contributions (EFCs) and awards, “shall be used only for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under federal student aid programs, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions….” The Consolidated Appropriation's Act, 2018 (FY 2018 spending bill) allows schools to share FAFSA data with scholarship providers and tribal organizations, also with the student’s written consent. The Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 (FY 2019 spending bill) expands that language to also allow an institution to share FAFSA data—with the student's written consent—with an organization "assisting the applicant in applying for and receiving Federal, State, local, or tribal assistance that is designated by the applicant to assist the applicant in applying for and receiving financial assistance for any component of the applicant's cost of attendance."
CSS has implemented the following procedures in which to release student data:
Scholarship-granting organizations,tribal organizations, 3rd party or federal/state/county benefits programs (private scholarship foundations, military, Vocational Rehabilitative Services, Job training (JTPA), Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Department of Rehabilitative Services Funding (DRSFU), all tribal/state scholarship organizations, employer reimbursement, federal/state/county benefit programs such as section 8 housing, MNSURE health insurance, food stamps, heating vouchers)
With a student signed release, CSS can share information directly with the organization including enrollment, ISIR data, EFC, award history and the award letter
Revised January 16, 2019
The College of St. Scholastica uses electronic transactions to communicate with recipients of Federal Student Aid funds. Voluntary consent is collected at the time of admission.
The College of St. Scholastica uses an electronic process to provide notices, make disclosures, and direct students to a secure website to view financial aid award eligibility. An annual notice is provided each year to students via their CSS account when a financial aid award letter is generated. The annual individual notice informs the student of the following:
• Identifies the information required to be disclosed that year,
• Provides the exact web address for the information,
• States that persons are entitled to a paper copy upon request, and
• Informs students how to request a paper copy
A student may request a paper copy of an award letter or award guide, by emailing email@example.com or by calling OneStop at (877) 287-8716.
Revised April, 2019
The College of St. Scholastica Financial Aid Office two separate Pell recalculation policies as allowed per federal regulation 34 CFR 690.80(b)(2)(i)) for the two separate and distinct undergraduate educational programs our students enroll in. For both student populations, CSS chooses to use a single fixed date option for Pell recalculation purposes. The Pell recalculation policy and single date used for each population is detailed below. CSS performs mandatory recalculations in the following situations:
*Pell Grant funds are awarded in whole dollars rather than cents.
Revised July 15, 2019
The Financial Aid office at The College of St. Scholastica seeks to support the mission of the College by providing services that assist students in identifying resources — federal, state, institutional and others — to finance their education. St. Scholastica's institutional philosophy on student aid places primary responsibility on the student to provide funds for educational expenses; however, the institution's commitment to a diverse and representative student body is reflected in the fact that nine out of every 10 St. Scholastica students are recipients of some form of aid. Students interested in receiving need-based financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The College participates in all federal and state financial aid programs. These include:
There is also a substantial amount of institutional aid invested in financial aid programs. In addition to the $3.1 million in St. Scholastica grants, the College awards need-based scholarships provided by over 130 donors. The generosity of these people and foundations is essential in helping to meet the financial needs of our students.
Academic/leadership scholarships are awarded by the Admissions Office to incoming students. Incoming students can receive information about the following scholarships from the Admissions Office: Access Scholarship, Benedictine Scholarship, the Raymond Prebilic Scholarship, Summit Scholarship, and the Transfer Achievement Grant. Financial aid is awarded in the form of scholarships, grants, loans or student employment.
A student must:
Designated scholarships are offered by many organizations such as labor unions, fraternal orders and religious organizations. Students may obtain information concerning these scholarship opportunities from these groups. Special application forms are usually required.
High School seniors should be in close contact with their guidance office to become aware of scholarships for their high school and/or area graduates.
The Financial Aid Office operates a scholarship directory service (free of charge) to assist students in locating funding from outside sources. Students can access this directory on the College website.
Students with physical handicaps who wish to further their education or expand their area of employability may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits. Students should check their home state Division of Rehabilitation Services to determine the amount of financial aid which may be available under this program.
The Veterans Administration pays veteran's benefits directly to qualified students. The College veteran's coordinator will answer questions concerning the G.I. Bill, Dependent Educational Assistance Program Benefits and V.A. Contributory Benefits. The College veteran's coordinator may be contacted through the Registrar's Office.
War orphans Education Assistance Act (Ch. 35, Title 38, U. S. Code) provides benefits to sons, daughters, wives, and husbands of deceased veterans and of living veterans who have disabilities considered to be total and permanent in nature. The veteran must have died or become disabled as a result of service in the armed forces and must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Generally a young person must be between 12 and 23 years of age to attend school under this program. The eligible young person may receive up to 36 months of education. Applications and further information may be obtained from any county veteran's office or college veteran's coordinator.
Indian scholarship funding may be available from the Minnesota State Indian Scholarship Program and/or the tribe in which the student is enrolled. Students are encouraged to apply early as there may be limited funding. Either contact these organizations directly or consult with the Financial Aid Office.
St. Scholastica students are invited to apply for Air Force ROTC college scholarships. Air Force ROTC offers high schools seniors and college students five-four-three-two-and sometimes one year scholarships which over tuition, fees, and a book allowance. Awards are based on the applicant's potential as an Air Force officer, as demonstrated by a combination of the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test score, academic achievement and recommendation of an AFROTC scholarship committee. Application for 4-year scholarships must be made early in the senior year of high school. Students seeking scholarships should contact the Department of Aerospace Studies: University of Minnesota-Duluth, 1049 University Drive, Duluth MN 55812-3011, (218) 726-8159.
The College of St. Scholastica Financial Aid Office uses two separate Minnesota State Grant recalculation policies as allowed per the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Handbook (2016-2017 Handbook, Section 1, page 65) for the two separate and distinct undergraduate educational programs our students enroll in. The two educational programs and the Minnesota State Grant recalculation policy used for each student population are detailed below.
Revised March 15, 2019
The Department of Education has published regulations (34 CFR 668.2) which impact students who repeat courses. These repeat courses may impact a student’s financial aid eligibility and awards for Federal Title IV financial aid. This same policy has been implemented for students receiving State financial aid as well (MN Office of Higher Education 2016-17 State Grant manual, pg. 32). In order for a repeated course to count toward a student’s financial aid enrollment status for aid purposes, a student may only repeat a previously passed course once (a total of two attempts). If the student enrolls in a previously repeated course for a third time, this course will not count towards the student’s enrollment for financial aid purposes. This rule applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course. The College of St. Scholastica (CSS) Financial Aid Office has developed the following policy statements for financial aid eligibility purposes. A separate academic repeat course policy is found at www.css.edu within the CSS Catalog/Academic Policies and Services.
Revised January, 2019
In accordance with federal and state regulations, all financial aid recipients must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to be eligible for financial aid. The Financial Aid office reviews academic performance at the end of each semester and enforces SAP standards to ensure that financial aid recipients progress toward completion of their degree or certificate program. Students who fail to meet these standards become ineligible to receive financial aid until compliant with all the requirements detailed in this policy.
To demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress, a student's academic performance must meet two main SAP components. The first is a qualitative component, represented by grade point average (GPA). The second is a quantitative component measured by credit completion (the ratio between attempted and completed credits) and the maximum timeframe to complete the degree or certificate program.
Freshmen must obtain at least a cumulative GPA of 1.75 at the end of the first semester and a cumulative GPA of 2.00 after the second semester. Sophomores, juniors and seniors must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00. Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
Students must complete 67 percent of all credits attempted. A completed credit has a grade of A, B, C, D, or P. Withdrawals, incomplete courses and repeated courses are included in attempted credits.
All students are expected to finish their degree or certificate within an acceptable period of time. Financial aid recipients who are maintaining SAP may continue to receive aid through their cumulative attempted credit that equals 150 percent of the required number of credits needed to complete their program, including transfer credits from another college that apply to The College of St. Scholastica or it is determined that they can not graduate within the 150% maximum time frame. The maximum timeframe to obtain a first baccalaureate degree is 192 attempted hours. Students become ineligible for financial aid after it is determined that they cannot graduate within the maximum timeframe.
An attempted credit includes all credits for which you are registered at the beginning of each semester.
Cumulative credits represent the total number of credits evaluated (attempted and earned) for all periods of enrollment at The College of St. Scholastica.
Earned credits are those that are successfully completed with a grade of A, B, C, D, P and all plus or minus variations of these grades. Grades of F, T, IP, W, N, or drops are not counted as earned credits. Audit credits are not counted as attempted or earned credits.
The GPA is calculated using a grade point value outlined in the catalog for grades A, B, C, D, and F and all plus or minus variations. Although a grade of P will count as credit earned, it carries no grade point value.
Grades of I or IP are assigned as temporary marks for pending course completion, and count against the completion rate.
Repeats may be allowed to improve a grade or meet program requirements, and they are included in calculations for the SAP grade point average, credit completion, and maximum timeframe standards. The most recent grade will become the grade calculated for GPA.
All transfer credits accepted at The College of St. Scholastica will be included as attempted and earned credits in the completion ratio and maximum timeframe calculation.
Only attempted credits eligible for application toward the student's current certificate or degree at The College of St. Scholastica will count toward the maximum timeframe of that certificate or degree. Attempted and earned credits under all majors will be included in the calculation of GPA and credit completion. Students who change majors or seek a dual degree may appeal for an extension of the maximum timeframe provision of this policy. Appeals will be evaluated on an individual, case-by-case basis.
Credits earned while a PSEO student at The College of St. Scholastica will be included in the cumulative credit completion standard, GPA, and maximum timeframe calculation. PSEO credits earned at another postsecondary institution will be treated as transfer credits.
Academic progress for every financial aid applicant will be monitored at the end of each semester. All of a student's academic coursework is considered in the review process, whether the student received aid that semester or not. The assessment will be based on the student's entire academic record, including all transfer credit hours accepted.
If the student does not meet either the GPA or credit completion standard, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next registered semester. While on warning, students are eligible to receive financial aid. Students on warning are encouraged to use the many academic support services on campus to improve their academic standing. This status is for one semester. To be removed from financial aid warning, the student must obtain both the GPA and Credit Completion standards. Students who fail to meet these standards will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
A student who has reached the maximum timeframe before completing the program, or it is determined that they can not graduate within the 150% maximum time frame will be suspended from financial aid. There is no probation for the maximum timeframe requirement.
Students who do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA and/or credit completion ratio or do not meet the terms of financial aid academic plan will be placed on financial aid suspension. While on suspension, students are not eligible for most financial aid programs. (Exceptions include institutional aid, private loan programs and outside assistance that does not require SAP.)
Provided the student is allowed to register by the academic department, s/he may attend The College of St. Scholastica at his or her own expense until the minimum cumulative GPA and credit completion requirement has been met. Students who fail to meet these standards due to unusual circumstances may appeal the financial aid SAP suspension status.
Students who have been suspended by The College of St. Scholastica are no longer eligible for financial aid. If a student is re-admitted, s/he must complete the SAP appeal process. Eligibility for financial aid will be determined based on financial aid SAP standards through a review of the academic record.
A student who is unable to achieve satisfactory academic progress and is suspended from financial aid has the right to appeal based on unusual or extenuating circumstances, such as medical or personal problems. The student may appeal the financial aid suspension status at any time during the year by completing the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Suspension Appeal Form. On this form the student will demonstrate:
To appeal, students must submit this form to the Financial Aid Office within 10 days. If approved, the student will be placed on an academic plan and regain eligibility for financial aid. To remain on an academic plan, the student must meet the term GPA ( 2.0 undergraduate; 3.0 graduate) and complete 100% of attempted coursework. After obtaining the cumulative GPA (2.0 undergraduate; 3.0 graduate) and cumulative 67% completion ratio, this status will be expired.
This policy applies to all federal and state financial aid programs.
The U.S. Department of Education or The College of St. Scholastica may select a financial aid application (FAFSA) for verification (34 CFR 668.51-61). This would require the College to obtain additional documentation in order to verify the information that the student and/or the parent provided on the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) prior to the disbursement of non-merit based financial aid funds. In most cases, the student and/or parent will be required to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool through the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov that will populate the income fields on the FAFSA directly from IRS data. Another option is for the student and/or parent to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS at www.irs.gov. A photocopy of a student and/or parent Federal tax return is also sufficient for verification of income for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 award years effective 1/9/19 (Electronic Announcement dated 1/9/19). Additionally, a “Verification of Non-filing letter” may be required from an independent student or dependent student’s parent(s) to prove non-filing status.
Verification may also require documentation of non-taxable income, information on household size, the number of people in college, etc. The Financial Aid Office will notify students of the specific forms, worksheets and/or documentation that will be required in order to complete verification.
All applicants for whom the College has received a valid Student Aid Report (SAR or ISIR) while the student was enrolled must submit all required documentation by the deadline date. The deadline date for completing the verification process is no later than 120 days after the student’s last day of enrollment for the award year or August 31st (at the end the of award year), whichever is the earlier date. Students who complete verification while enrolled and attending classes will be reviewed for all types of aid eligibility. Students completing verification after ceasing enrollment can generally only be considered for Federal Pell Grant funds they may be eligible for. Any student who does not complete the verification process by the deadline date will forfeit all rights to payment.
When a FAFSA is selected for verification, the CSS Financial Aid Office will determine and then notify the student of the documentation and forms required to complete the verification process. These requirements may vary by student. Verification of the following information may be required:
All applicants selected:
When a student's financial aid application has been selected for verification, the student will receive weekly emails to the student’s CSS email account as to what documentation is needed to satisfy the verification requirements. The weekly email continues until all documents have been submitted. The student may also view required documentation in Banner.
Tax Return Transcripts Students and/or parents who filed Federal tax returns will generally use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval or IRS Tax Return Transcript options for verification. Photocopies of parent/student Federal tax returns can be accepted starting 1/9/19 for verification for both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years (Electronic Announcement dated 1/9/19). The first preference is for students and parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval option. If a student/parent is not able to use or is not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval, the student/parent will need to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS or supply a signed copy of the Federal tax return (2018-19 or 2019-20 aid years only). A student or parent who filed an amended federal tax return or was/is a victim of identity theft should contact CSS OneStop for assistance.
If no errors are discovered during the verification review, the College will award federal, state, and institutional aid for which the student is eligible. The student will be sent a letter or email indicating that the verification process has been completed and that an initial or revised award letter will be processed shortly or that the award letter already sent prior to completing verification is still correct. If errors on the FAFSA are discovered as a result of verification, the College will make the necessary corrections on the student or parent’s behalf.
The College must refer to the Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) any credible information indicating that a student who applied for federal student aid may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with the FAFSA application or verification documentation. Common misconduct includes false claims of independent student status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures of certifications, and false statements of income. Suspected intent on the part of a student to commit fraud will be reported to the OIG by phoning 1-800-MIS-USED.
The verification policy and procedural requirements listed here are published on the College website and found in the student’s award letter guide which is mailed to incoming traditional students and provided in the forms web page for all other students.
Students who withdraw from classes or drop out of school after the term has begun may be eligible for a refund of institutional charges and/or may have some or all of their financial aid returned. View the withdrawal policies page for more information.