Financial Aid Policies and Procedures

Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy – Withdrawals

If a student cancels their Saint Paul College registration by dropping all courses before the add/drop date published for a term, they will not receive financial aid funds because there is no course registration. Withdrawing from course(s) after the published add/drop date will be reported with a grade of W and charges will remain on the student’s account. Courses that begin after the first week of the semester will have a different drop date and is published in the course schedule. Students who drop from late start courses before the published date will not receive financial aid funds for the dropped course and any previously paid funds may be reversed. Students who receive financial aid and later withdraw/drop all courses are subject to a Federal Return of Title IV policy. The policy states that if you withdraw/drop all courses for the semester prior to completing 60% of the term, a proportional amount of financial aid received or that was applied to your student account must be refunded to the federal government.

A student is considered to be withdrawn if either of the following occurs:

  1. Student logs into their student account and withdraws from all registered courses. The student will receive a grade of W and the date this is completed becomes the Official Date of Withdrawal used for R2T4 calculation.
  2. A student who after beginning attendance subsequently abandons the course by failing to turn in required course assignments or completing scheduled tests and for whom the faculty post a grade of FW will be considered an Unofficial withdrawal. Per policy at the time faculty reports the FW grade an LDA is assigned to determine the withdrawal date used for the R2T4 calculation. If a student fails to begin the course a grade of FN is assigned. If an FN grade is assigned any grant aid received for that course will be reversed per Federal policy and is not used in the Title IV calculation.

When a student withdraws during the payment period, the amount of Title IV program assistance that they have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If the student received (or the school or parent received on the student’s behalf) less assistance than the amount earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. If the student received more assistance than they earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or student. Any unearned aid must be returned accordingly. The financial aid office and tuition office use the online R2T4 calculator provided by the Department of Education to calculate the potential refunds. If the R2T4 calculation results in an amount to be returned that exceeds the school’s portion, the student must repay some funds. The student sent a letter in informing them of the process and the amount they must repay. The letter also informs students that they can set up a payment plan and must contact the Tuition Office within 14 days.

Credit Balances after Withdrawal

Title IV credit balances due to the student that are calculated as a result of R2T4 calculations will be disbursed to the student within 14 days of the R2T4 calculation

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

In some cases, a student may withdraw from all courses before aid has disbursed. A post withdraw disbursement is done with a student shows they have withdrawn from all of their classes prior to financial aid disbursement but begin attendance in all courses and are qualified for some (earned) aid.

If a student has a total withdrawal before eligible Title IV aid is disbursed, Saint Paul College will determine if the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. Any Title IV grant aid due to the student will be applied directly to the student account within 45 days of the calculation. If student is eligible for a Federal loan disbursement as part of a post-withdrawal the Financial Aid Office will contact student within 30 days. The student will be given 14 days to respond to Saint Paul College if they accept/decline the funds. If they accept the funds, disbursements will be applied their account balance and if there is a credit as a result, the credit will be disbursed to the student.

Any unearned Title IV funds (such as grants) must be returned to Federal Student Aid within 45 days of the withdrawal determination date. Funds returned to the federal government are used to reduce the federal program amount from which funds were disbursed. Funds are returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
  3. Federal PLUS Loan
  4. Additional Pell Grant
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. SEOG Grant
  7. Other assistance under Title IV for which a Return of Funds is required

Minnesota State Financial Aid Refund Calculation

When it is determined that a Return of Title IV calculation be completed for a student, Saint Paul College also reviews student accounts and calculates any return aid for Minnesota State programs according to the MinnState Office of Higher Education refund policy.

Consortium Agreements for Financial Aid

If you are taking classes required for your program at Saint Paul College at another college, you must complete a consortium agreement if you would like those courses considered for financial aid eligibility.  The Consortium Agreement form is available online on the Financial Aid Forms page and also in the Financial Aid Office, and must be completed with an attached registration form from the host school and submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the add/drop deadline. If a consortium agreement is not submitted, financial aid calculations cannot consider courses taken at the host school, as you cannot receive financial aid at two different schools during the same semester of enrollment.

Tuition and Fee Deferments

Tuition and fees will be deferred provided the following has been met by the posted tuition deadline for the term.

  1. Student has received an Award Letter with financial aid eligibility equal to or greater than the tuition/fee charge. (Loan only eligibility requires a submitted Promissory Note).
  2. An electronic Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) is received resulting from submission of a FAFSA.

Any tuition/fee balance not covered by Financial Aid is the student’s payment responsibility.

Financial Aid Book Charging Process

The Financial Aid Book Charging allows students to charge books and supplies at the Saint Paul College Bookstore and is administered by the Tuition Office

Special Circumstances/Income Review

Federal laws governing financial aid allow the Saint Paul College Financial Aid Office to recalculate financial need in cases of special circumstances not taken into consideration by the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To ensure fairness and compliance with federal regulations, there are limits to which circumstances can be considered. Special Circumstances are considered on a case by case basis.

Dependency Override Appeal

Federal Student Aid determines a student’s status as dependent or independent by the answers the student provides on the thirteen questions listed in Step 3 of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are classified as dependent or independent because federal student aid programs are based on the principle that students (and their parents or spouse) are considered the primary source of support for postsecondary education. The Dependency Override process is used to address on a case-by-case basis a student who claims to be independent but does not meet the federal criteria. The student must demonstrate unique and extenuating circumstance.

Education Tax Credits

The Taxpayer Relief Act (TRA) of 1997 provides for two tax credits that students may be eligible to claim: The Hope Scholarship Tax Credit and the Life-Long Learning Tax Credit. The Hope Scholarship Tax Credit is a tax credit and not a scholarship. If you do not pay federal income tax, this credit will not apply to you. The credit applies to students enrolled at least half-time for at least one term during the calendar year. The credit applies only to citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The credit applies only to tuition and academic fees paid for by the taxpayer (not by grants or third party sponsors). If your grant or other payment will pay for books or other living costs and you pay for tuition and academic fees yourself, you may claim the credit; however, you must report the grant or other payment as income.

Many details surround the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit and the Life-Long Learning Tax Credit. Saint Paul College does not provide Income Tax Counseling. We recommend that you consult with a tax professional to see if you qualify. Information on the Hope Tax Credit is available in the Tuition Office. Tax Credit brochures are available in the Financial Aid Office.