Jul 23, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Student Financial Assistance

Undergraduate Financial Assistance

To be considered for all types of assistance, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to the academic year for which aid is being requested. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available to complete online at www.fafsa.gov. All required documentation requested by the University must be submitted to the Student Financial Assistance office by June 14 for timely processing. Applications and files completed after prescribed deadlines (while the student is still enrolled in the required number of credit hours) will be considered on a funds-available basis throughout the academic year.

New Freshmen

To be eligible for federal student aid, all new freshmen must submit an eighth-semester high school transcript or General Education Development (GED) certificate to USI Undergraduate Admissions.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must have their academic transcripts from prior colleges evaluated by the USI Registrar’s Office before student loans can be processed. Transfer students with less than 30 credit hours of acceptable transfer credit also must submit an official high school transcript or GED certificate to USI Undergraduate Admissions.

Name, Social Security Number, and Date of Birth

Financial aid applicants must use the same name, Social Security number, and date of birth in all official government records. Name changes must be on file with the Social Security Administration before financial aid applications can be processed. Applicants must use their full legal name, correct Social Security number, and date of birth on the FAFSA. Note that other agencies such as Selective Service and Immigration will be checked to see if the student is in compliance with all federal regulations. Proof of draft registration compliance with Selective Service may be required for male students who have reached age 18. The Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, must verify the alien registration number of all immigrants who are not naturalized citizens. An incorrect name, Social Security number, date of birth, or alien registration number will cause significant delays in aid processing.

Enrollment Status/Credit Level

For undergraduate financial aid purposes, the following minimums apply in determining eligibility for assistance:

Time status Minimum credit hours require
Full-time 12 credit hours
3/4-time 9 credit hours
1/2-time 6 credit hours

NOTE: Assistance may be reduced or withdrawn for less than full-time enrollment. Only credits that are required for successful completion of the student’s degree program may be counted in the determination of enrollment status. Students who receive aid for courses not required for graduation will be directed to repay all or a portion of such aid. Some financial aid programs require continuous full-time enrollment. Scholarship recipients are responsible for knowing and complying with the rules specific to each scholarship program.

Financial Responsibility

Students must be prepared to pay that portion of their tuition and fees not covered by financial aid. The Bursar’s Office offers an installment payment plan that utilizes multiple payments during an extended time period. An additional processing fee may be assessed.

Most types of aid will appear as a credit against tuition and fees on the bill sent prior to the start of classes. Some aid types, such as Work Study, require special procedures and will not appear on the tuition bill. Memo aid that appears on the bill, may be deducted from total tuition and fees. Students should contact their Student Financial Assistance counselor if they have questions about these procedures.

General Eligibility Requirements for Federal Student Aid

To receive Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study, Direct (Student) Loans, and Direct (Parent) PLUS Loans, a student must meet the following general requirements and additional program-specific requirements.

Basic eligibility requirements:

  • Demonstrate financial need (except for unsubsidized Direct loans and Direct PLUS loans)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (for most programs) with a valid Social Security number (SSN)
  • Be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate
  • Register (if you haven’t already) with the Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages 18 and 25
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Not be in default on a Title IV or HEA student loan or owe a repayment of a Title IV or HEA grant received for attendance at any institution
  • Complete and submit all requested forms/documents (such as Verification) to the Student Financial Assistance office; check your myUSI to see what forms/documents have been requested

Federal Financial Aid Programs

Federal Pell Grant. This is the largest federal student aid program for undergraduate students. It provides grants to the neediest students. These grants are gift aid and therefore do not have to be repaid. Pell Grants provide a foundation of financial aid to which other types of assistance may be added.

Students apply for Pell Grants by completing the FAFSA. As a result of applying for the Pell Grant, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR must be checked by the student for accuracy and any errors reported to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. As with Pell Grants, the SEOG program is limited to undergraduate students. Students who have met requirements for a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for either the Pell Grant or SEOG.

Supplemental Grants are available to exceptionally needy students who complete the FAFSA and submit all required documentation before the published deadline.

Federal Work Study (FWS). This program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who need financial aid. Students are paid at least minimum wage and work between five and 20 hours per week when school is in session. During periods of non-enrollment, eligible students may work full time, if funds are available. A portion of the earnings from non-enrollment periods is used to meet the student’s academic year expenses and, therefore, may reduce a student’s need for other assistance. Summer work study funding is limited by available federal aid.

Students may apply for the FWS program by completing the FAFSA and indicating Work Study as a type of aid requested. A Federal Work Study resume is also required. Preferred filing deadlines should be observed to ensure consideration of the student for these limited funds. Paper resumes are available in the Student Financial Assistance Office or at www.usi.edu/financial-aid/forms

Direct (Student) Loan. These are low-interest loans made to students through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. Direct Loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates, withdraws from USI, or drops below half-time status. All students must complete the FAFSA before the Direct Loan is offered by the University. Students should accept/ decline/reduce the amount of their Direct loan on myUSI on or after July 1. First-time Direct Loan recipients will be required to complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note prior to disbursement.

Direct (Parent) PLUS Loan. Direct PLUS Loans are available to parents of dependent students through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. The interest rate is fixed, but may vary annually. Repayment begins within 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed. For a full year loan, repayment will begin in the spring. The loan can be deferred until six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops enrollment below half-time status. The parent borrower may request this deferment option by contacting Direct Loans at 800-848-0979. Parents may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan online at studentloans.gov. Paper applications are available in the Student Financial Assistance office or the form may be downloaded at www.usi.edu/financial-aid/forms

State of Indiana Student Aid Eligibility

General Eligibility Requirements:

  • the student and parent(s), if the student is dependent, must have been legal residents of Indiana by December 31 of the year prior to the academic year for which aid is requested and remain residents during the academic year;
  • a U.S. Citizen or eligible noncitizen;
  • a high school graduate of an approved secondary institution or hold a GED;
  • a qualified Indiana resident who has not been convicted of a felony, illegal use of force or violence during a public demonstration, or a crime involving narcotics or dangerous drugs;
  • a full-time student (12 or more credit hours) through the end of the tuition-refund period, earning credits toward the first undergraduate degree;
  • most Indiana programs require that the FAFSA be filed early enough to be received by April 15 each year;
  • may not be in default or in overpayment of a federal grant or loan and
  • must show financial need according to program rules.

State of Indiana Financial Aid Programs

For a complete listing of Indiana Awards and Scholarships, visit www.in.gov/che. The state’s site will also include complete details and renewal requirements for the programs below.  Some programs require a separate application using the state’s system, ScholarTrack.

Higher Education Award (HEA). Part of the Frank O’Bannon Grant Program, HEAs are awarded based on need and are restricted to payment of academic year tuition. Full-time enrollment is required. An eligible Indiana institution’s school code, such as USI (001808), must be listed on the FAFSA. The FAFSA is filed online at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA must be received by the processor on or before April 15 annually. 

Twenty-First Century Scholarship. The 21st Century Scholarship is a needs- and performance-based program that provides students the opportunity to earn up to a four-year tuition scholarship for undergraduate study at an Indiana college or university. Students would have had to enroll into the program during their 7th- or 8th-grade year of middle school and fulfill the 21st Century Scholars pledge. Full-time enrollment is required.  The FAFSA must be received by the processor on or before April 15 annually.

Indiana National Guard Supplemental Grant. A grant that guarantees up to 100% of certain tuition costs will be met by the State of Indiana for eligible members of the Indiana Air and Army National Guard; the National Guard Supplemental Grant (NGSG) covers only certain tuition charges and does not cover other expenses such as room and board or textbooks. It is subject to available funds and restricted to fall and spring terms. Students must be enrolled at least part-time (taking at least 3 credit hours) in order to receive the NGSG. To be eligible an applicant must met the eligibility requirements of both the Indiana National Guard (ING), the Division of Student Financial Aid (SFA) and attend a state funded college or university. The FAFSA is required. The FAFSA is filed online at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA must be received by the processor on or before April 15 annually. 

Adult Student Grant. The Adult Student Grant is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of working adults. It is designed to help those undergraduates who are taking at least 6 credit hours per term, in a course of study leading to an associate or first bachelor’s degree. The students must meet State residency requirements, have filed a FAFSA and otherwise qualify for state aid. The Adult Student grant is a need-based award.

Minority Teacher Scholarship. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding black or Hispanic students majoring in education. Recipients must file a FAFSA and be Indiana residents who are enrolled or will enroll full-time and completing their first undergraduate degree. Applications and scholarship requirements are available online at www.in.gov/che.

Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship. The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship provides 200 high-achieving high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in education the opportunity to earn a renewable scholarship of up to $7,500 each year for four academic years. Recipients must file a FAFSA and a separate scholarship application. Full details can be found at www.in.gov/che.

Student Teaching Stipends for Minorities and High-Need fields. A stipend is given for minority students (defined as black and Hispanic individuals) who will participate in student teaching or a school administration internship as part of the students’ degree requirements. A stipend is also given for students planning to teach in a “high-need” field. The Commission defines “high-need” as middle or high school level math, science or special education. A FAFSA and Stipend application must be completed by the appropriate deadline. Application and stipend requirements are available online at www.in.gov/che.

Vocational Rehabilitation Education Assistance. Indiana Rehabilitation Services provide educational assistance to eligible Indiana residents through the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. The Student Financial Assistance office will coordinate this assistance with other types of aid that may be available.

Students should contact the Vocational Rehabilitation Division Office in their region if they think they might qualify for rehabilitative services. Vocational Rehabilitation is listed under Family and Social Services in the State Offices section of the phone directory. Information is also available online at http://in.gov/fssa/ddrs/2636.htm.

Child of Veteran and Public Safety Officer Supplemental Grant (CVO) Program. The CVO Program provides tuition and fee assistance at public colleges for eligible children (and spouses, if applicable) of disabled Indiana veterans, certain members of the Indiana National Guard killed while on active duty, certain Indiana public safety officers killed in the line of duty. As a supplement to other state financial aid, the grant pays 100% of tuition and regularly assessed fees; it does not cover other fees such as room and board. Applications and complete program requirements are available online at www.in.gov/che/4498.htm. The application and supporting documentation must be certified by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs in Indianapolis. The FAFSA is required each year. Students may be covered under one of the five areas below:

  • Children of Veteran – covers eligible children of veterans who are wounded, deceased, disabled, Purple Heart Recipients, or Prisoner of War/Person Missing in Action (POW/MIA).
  • Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home - covers students who are former students and/or graduates of Morton Memorial High School or who are former residents of the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home (ISSCH)
  • Children and Spouse of Indiana National Guard Member - covers students who are the child or spouse of a member of the Indiana National Guard who suffered a service connected death while serving on state active duty
  • Children and Spouse of Public Safety Officer - covers eligible children and spouses of certain Indiana public safety officers (PSO) killed in the line of duty or permanently disabled state troopers
  • Indiana Purple Heart Recipient Veteran

University Scholarships, Grants, and Employment

New students are encouraged to apply for admission no later than March 1 prior to their initial fall semester to ensure consideration for all scholarships. Many scholarships also require completion of the FAFSA by April 15 each year. Some scholarships require a separate application. For a complete list of USI scholarships, rules, and renewal criteria, visit www.usi.edu/financial-aid/policies/scholarship

David L. Rice Merit Scholarship. This is the primary scholarship offered by the University of Southern Indiana to all eligible applicants (in state and out-of-state) with permanent residency in the U.S. To qualify, students must achieve a minimum 3.0 cumulative high school GPA and one of the following scores: a combined Evidence-Based Reading/Writing + Math SAT score of 1020 or an ACT composite score of 20. Award amounts vary based upon academic merit and are renewable.  Qualified students who apply by March 1 of their senior year automatically receive the Rice Scholarship based upon their application for admission.

Deans Scholarship. Deans Scholarships are available to students nationwide. The scholarship is renewable for four years and is valued at $2,000 annually. To qualify, initially matriculating freshmen must earn a minimum SAT score of 1290 or a composite ACT score of 27 and meet one of the following criteria: meet all the application requirements for the USI Presidential Scholarship.

Baccalaureate/Doctor of Medicine Scholarship. The B/MD Scholarship is a competitive award for Indiana residents who plan to pursue medical school. Through an interview process, USI awards full tuition scholarships for four years of undergraduate study as well as provisional acceptance into the Indiana University School of Medicine. To apply for the scholarship, students must have a minimum 3.5/4.0 cumulative high school GPA and a combined composite SAT score of a 1290 (Evidence-Based Reading/Writing + Math) or an ACT composite score of 27. The B/MD application deadline is December 1.

Presidential Scholarship. Students ranked first or second in their senior class (or students who achieve a 4.0 GPA at a non-ranking high school) may qualify to compete for Presidential Scholarships, which cover full tuition, room and board and provide book stipends. Applicants must attend an accredited high school and earn a combined SAT score of a 1290 (Evidence-Based Reading/Writing + Math) or an ACT composite score of 27. Eligible students receive instructions on how to access the Presidential Scholarship application with their initial acceptance. The Presidential Scholar application deadline is December 2.

Provost Scholarship. USI offers a number of Provost Scholarships to attract and retain students who meet all requirements for the Presidential Scholarship but are not selected to receive the highly competitive Presidential Scholarship. The Provost Scholarship covers 100 percent of the student’s instructional fees (tuition) and is renewable while maintaining academic excellence. To be considered for this award, scholars must complete all steps listed for the Presidential Scholarship application according to published deadlines.

Indiana-Kentucky Reciprocal Tuition Program. Permanent legal residents of Henderson, Daviess, Hancock, and Union counties in Kentucky may pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at USI and pay Indiana tuition rates. Students who begin their education under this program will be permitted to complete their degree with full program benefits as long they remain continually enrolled in all regular (fall/spring) terms.

Music Performance Scholarship. Music performance scholarships are available for members of USI Chamber Singers. Contact the director of USI Chamber Singers in the College of Liberal Arts at 812-464-1736 or email dcraig@usi.edu for audition information.

Theatre/Drama Scholarship. Individuals interested in assisting with the production of theatrical events may contact the director of theatre in the Performing Arts department at 812-465-1614 for information concerning theatre/drama scholarships.

Athletic Scholarship. Women’s sports include basketball, softball, volleyball, soccer, cross country, golf, and tennis. Men’s sports include basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, tennis, and cross country. Student athletes desiring information on athletic grant-in-aid scholarships may contact the director of Athletics at 812-464-1846.

Multicultural Leadership Scholarship. TThe Harolyn Torain Multicultural Leadership Scholarship is a competitive award that provides an annual scholarship of $5,000 and is renewable for 4 years. Recipients also participate in an Inclusive Excellence Program that incorporates leadership, community service and cultural experiences throughout the academic year. Students who have a 3.0/4.0 cumulative high school GPA and have demonstrated leadership in multicultural school or community activities or organizations are eligible to apply. The application deadline is December 1 of each year. For a copy of the application visit www.usi.edu/admissions/scholarships-and-financial-aid/freshman-scholarships.

Out-of-State Top Scholars Award. University provides awards, which pay the difference between non-resident and Indiana resident tuition. The current value is approximately $11,087 annually for students taking 30 credit hours per year. To be eligible applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Achieve a minimum 3.5/4.0 cumulative high school GPA
  • Rank in the top 25% of their class
  • Attain a minimum ACT composite score of 24 or a combined critical reading and math SAT score of 1090

Out-of-State Scholarship. Provides a tuition discount for out-of-state students equal to 120% of the in-state tuition rate. The current value is approximately $9,534 annually for students taking 30 credit hours per year. To be eligible, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Achieve a cumulative high school GPA in the range of 2.75-3.49/4.0
  • Rank in the top 26-50%
  • Attain an ACT composite score of 21-23 or a combined critical reading and math SAT score of 990-1080

Out-of-State Transfer Top Scholar Award. University provides awards, which pay the difference between non-resident and Indiana resident tuition. Non-resident students must have at minimum of 24 transferrable credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 to be considered eligible for this award (currently valued at 9,340, based on 30 credit hours of enrollment).

Out-of-State Transfer Scholarship. Provides a tuition discount for non-resident students equal to 120% of the in-state tuition rate who complete at least 24 transferrable credit hours with a cumulative GPA in the range of 2.75-3.24 (currently valued at $8,013, based on 30 credit hours of enrollment).

Provost Transfer Scholarship. Students who complete a minimum of 42 transferrable credit hours from a community college with at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA are eligible for this renewable award of $2,000 per year.

Transfer Academic Scholarship. Students who complete a minimum of 42 transferrable credit hours from a community college with a cumulate GPA between 3.0-3.49 are eligible for this renewable award of $1,000 per year.

Twenty-First Century Scholars Textbook Award. Students who are eligible for the Twenty-First Century Scholars award from the State of Indiana are also eligible for a $200 per year textbook award from the University of Southern Indiana beginning in the second year of attendance. These awards are renewable and may be received for a total of three years as long as student eligibility for the Twenty-First Century Scholars program continues and the student is continuously enrolled at USI. (Note: This award is only available to first time, full-time, incoming freshmen.)

Continuing the Tradition Award Program. Provides tuition waiver, which will net out-of-state tuition down to in-state tuition rates.  Non-Indiana residents who are admissible to USI and have a parent (biological or adopted) or grandparent that has earned a Bachelor’s, Masters or Doctorate degree from USI are eligible for this waiver.

One-Course Plan. Persons eligible for the One-Course Plan include retired individuals and spouses of eligible full-time USI students. Retired persons include anyone over the age of 60. Spouses of full-time students are eligible if the full-time student has a minimum 2.0 cumulative USI grade point average. When the One-Course Plan is used in the fall or spring, the full-time student must be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in the same term. For any summer session, the full-time student must have been enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in the preceding spring term or be pre-registered for 12 or more credit hours in the following fall term. Exceptions are made for graduate students who are defined as full-time when enrolled in six or more credit hours.

Individuals in the One-Course Plan who are new to the University may enroll in the first USI course for total instructional fees of $25 plus applicable incidental fees. Incidental fees may include lab fees, refundable breakage deposits, distance education material charges, and parking fees. When institutional and/or state programs provide for payment of the same fees (e.g. tuition), such aid will be coordinated to ensure that the aid does not exceed actual charges. There are no cash refunds of tuition specific aid.  Course enrollment is on a space available basis.

Students enrolled in the One-Course Plan are limited to one course in the semester or summer session in which they participate in this plan. The plan may be used only once and may not be repeated.

Student Employment. In addition to Federal Work Study, the University employs students as part-time employees. Contact the Career Services and Internships office in the Orr Center for information about non-Work Study student employment both on and off campus.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Statement of Purpose - Students who apply for federal and state financial assistance (including student and/or parent loans) are required by federal regulations to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree or certificate program. Failure to meet the minimum standards outlined in this policy will result in a loss of financial aid eligibility.

Minimum Requirements

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average - Cumulative grade point average is calculated by the Registrar at the end of Fall, Spring, and Summer terms using all credits attempted at USI in which a letter grade of A through F is earned. Students must meet the following GPA requirements for the degree level at which they are classified:
          Undergraduate Student Requirements:    
               Overall Attempted Hours (including transfer hours) 1-59      60+
               Required USI Cumulative GPA   1.80 2.00
          Graduate Student Requirements:    
               Required USI Cumulative GPA     3.00

Note: students who are academically dismissed are ineligible for financial assistance

  • Successful Completion Rate – Completion rate reflects the pace at which students must progress to ensure they are able to complete their degree/certificate program within the maximum timeframe allowed. It is calculated by taking the total number of credit hours a student successfully completes (passes) divided by the total number of credit hours a student has attempted. All students must earn at least 67% of all hours attempted. This cumulative calculation includes all hours that a student is enrolled in at the end of the 100% refund period. Hours added after the end of the 100% refund period will be included in the number of financial assistance attempted hours for the term.  Transfer hours that have been accepted by USI from other institutions are included as attempted and earned hours for determining completion rate.

Note: A student who applies for financial assistance and fails to earn any academic credit for a term will have aid eligibility suspended at the end of the term.  This includes students who withdraw from a term after applying for financial assistance.

  • Maximum Timeframe for Completion of Degree/Certificate The maximum timeframe for a student to complete their degree/certificate and receive federal aid cannot exceed 150% of the published length of their academic program. Note: Indiana State grant programs are an exception to the 150% rule. State grant programs are limited to four years or eight semesters of full-time enrollment. All enrollment periods are considered including those in which students did not receive federal or state financial assistance. Transfer hours that have been accepted by USI from other institutions are included in determining maximum timeframe. Normal standards for maximum timeframe attempted hour limits are:     
          Most Baccalaureate Degree Programs    180 Attempted Hours
          Most Associate Degree Programs 90 Attempted Hours
          Dental Assisting Certificate Program  67 Attempted Hours
  • For programs that deviate from normal standards, see appropriate program information listed in Bulletin.
  • An evaluation will be required for students seeking BA/BS degrees once they have reached 160 attempted hours to ensure degree completion.
  • Students working on their second undergraduate degree/certificate or teacher certification are limited to 150% of their remaining required coursework, not to exceed 231 attempted credit hours including all previously attempted credit hours. 
  • Maximum timeframe limits for graduate students are calculated by taking 150% of the published length of your program. Students pursuing subsequent graduate degrees are limited to 120 attempted hours, including hours attempted for prior graduate studies.

Additional Information You Need To Know

  • Incompletes Grades - At the time of evaluation, incompletes (grade/s of “IN”) do not influence a student’s cumulative GPA but do count as credit hours attempted for both Completion Rate and Maximum Timeframe calculations. Incomplete grades do not count as earned. Students are responsible for notifying Student Financial Assistance of any grade changes, including the receipt of a grade for a previous incomplete grade.
  • Withdrawals - Courses a student withdraws from outside the 100% refund period are counted as attempted hours for the determination of both Completion Rate and Maximum Timeframe.
  • Repeated Coursework - Students are allowed to repeat a previously passed course and have it count toward their enrollment status for financial aid eligibility only once. There is no limit on the number of times a student may retake a course that has not been successfully completed, however, regardless of whether the student received financial aid or not, all occurrences of a repeated course must be counted as attempted credits for completion rate and maximum timeframe calculations.
  • Remedial Coursework – Non-credit developmental courses that are recommended or required by USI are included in determining completion rate and maximum timeframe.
  • Summer Terms – Summer classes are offered by USI in multiple sessions but evaluated by financial aid as one semester. All hours attempted in summer are evaluated for Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the combined summer period even if no financial assistance is received in summer.
  • Enrollment in Degree or Certificate Program - Financial aid recipients may only receive financial aid for courses that apply to their degree/certificate program. An exception is made for non-credit developmental courses that are recommended or required by USI. Courses which are audited and credits which are earned through CLEP testing do not count toward students’ enrollment status for financial assistance. After earning 60 or more cumulative hours (including transfer credits), students must have a declared major and be admitted to the appropriate college at USI.  Please note that while students may choose to work towards two degrees, only one degree will be considered in the maximum attempted hours component. Students may choose to change majors before completing the original degree, it will not change the formula for calculating compliance. Compliance with this policy will be checked at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters.

Note: Graduate students enrolled in prerequisite undergraduate courses may qualify for financial aid at the senior class, undergraduate level Direct loan limit for a maximum of 12 months. Undergraduate courses must be approved by the student’s graduate advisor and a copy of the approval be submitted to Student Financial Assistance.

  • Fresh Start Program - Financial assistance is not available to students currently in the Fresh Start Program. A student may submit an appeal to request reinstatement of financial aid eligibility upon successful completion of the Fresh Start Program. ALL hours, even those taken prior to the student’s Fresh Start participation WILL count in the number of attempted hours used in the financial aid maximum timeframe and completion rate calculations. Reinstatement of aid is not guaranteed.

Evaluation and Notification of Eligibility - Satisfactory progress is evaluated at the end of each fall and spring term and at the end of the combined summer period. Students who do not meet the above standards will be placed on financial aid warning status for one term. Failure to be in compliance with this policy by the end of the warning term will result in financial aid suspension. Students’ eligibility status is posted on their myUSI accounts and those with a warning or suspension/terminated status are sent a letter notifying them of their status.

Regaining Financial Aid EligibilityStudents may make up a deficiency in earned hours and/or GPA at their own expense. Transfer coursework accepted into a student’s USI programs can be used to make up completion rate deficits; however, cumulative GPA deficits can only be made up by taking USI coursework.

Appealing The Loss of Financial Aid Eligibility - If a student’s failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress is a result of illness, family circumstances, or other mitigating conditions beyond the student’s control, students may appeal to the Financial Assistance Appeals Committee for a waiver of this policy. The appeal form, a typewritten letter explaining the circumstances that prevented the student from meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, and all other supporting documentation should be submitted to the Student Financial Assistance Office. Students must also meet with their academic advisor to develop an academic plan to regain eligibility. The appeal must address the following: 1) what the problem was; 2) when did the problem occur; 3) how long did the problem last; 4) how did this affect his/her ability to complete coursework and; 5) the steps taken to ensure your academic plan is successful and will meet minimum standards at the next evaluation. All appeals must be submitted before sixty percent (60%) of the term has elapsed. For fall and spring terms, the end of the ninth week marks the 60% point of the semester. Appeals received after the 60% point will be evaluated for the following term of enrollment. Appeals will NOT be considered for a term that has already ended. Students will receive a written response to their appeal within 45 days. If your appeal is approved, you may be placed on financial aid probation. During your probation period, you are eligible to receive financial aid provided you meet the terms of the academic plan during your probationary period. If your appeal is not approved, students may request at the time of appeal that their full class schedule (in term following suspension of aid eligibility) be canceled at the 100 percent refund rate.

Return of Title IV Federal Funds Institutional Refund Policy

This policy applies to students who withdraw from the semester, either officially or unofficially, or are administratively dismissed and received Title IV Federal Funds as defined below. Tuition and fee refunds for these students are determined according to the following policy:

  1. The term “Title IV Funds” refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and at USI includes the following programs: unsubsidized Direct (Student) loans, subsidized Direct loans, Direct (Parent) PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal (FSEOG) Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.
  2. A student’s withdrawal date is the earlier of:
  • the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process (as described in the University bulletin) or officially notified the University’s Registrar of intent to withdraw; or
  • the midpoint of the period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution; or
  • the student’s last date of attendance at a documented academically related activity.

Note: Medical Withdrawals and the Return of Title IV Funds - Students who are granted medical withdrawal are treated in the same manner as students who withdraw from the college.

  1. The Return of Federal Funds Calculation
  • Title IV federal aid is earned in a prorated manner on a per diem basis based on the semester calendar up to the 60% point in the semester or summer as a whole. Title IV federal aid is viewed as 100% earned after that point in time.
  • The Return of Title IV Funds Calculation is a federally mandated process that requires USI to calculate the amount of federal aid to be returned for Title IV recipients that withdraw or cease attendance before the 60% point of the semester or payment period. As a result of the calculation, a student’s Title IV aid may be reduced to reflect the percent of the term attended and any unearned aid may have to be returned.
  • The calculation is performed by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the term or payment period (less any scheduled breaks of 5 days or longer) to find the percent of the period completed. If this is greater than 60% without rounding, no Title IV aid is returned. The percent completed is then multiplied times the total Title IV disbursable aid to find the amount of aid earned in the period. The amount earned is then subtracted from the total disbursable aid to determine the amount of unearned aid to be returned.
  • For students enrolled in modules (courses that do not span the entire length of a term or payment period, usually in summer), a student is considered withdrawn, if after they begin attendance they fail to complete all of the days in the payment period they were scheduled to attend. If a student drops courses in a later module while still attending a current module, they are not considered withdrawn but aid may be recalculated based on a change in enrollment status.
  • Students enrolled in modules, who at the time they cease attendance, provide written confirmation of their intent to attend a later course in the same payment period are not considered withdrawn. If written confirmation is not provided, the student is considered withdrawn and the return calculation will be performed immediately. If they provide written confirmation and fail to begin attendance in a later course or drop the later course after beginning attendance, the return calculation will then have to be performed. If the student doesn’t provide written confirmation of intent to attend a later course in the same payment period but does return in the same period, the student is not considered withdrawn and the return calculation is reversed and the student is eligible to receive the Title IV funds they were eligible for before originally ceasing attendance.
  • Charges that are excluded from return calculations under this policy include:
    • institutional charges for prior terms;
    • munch money;
    • admission fees;
    • enrollment fees;
    • matriculation (orientation) fees;
    • charges for non-returnable supplies and equipment;
    • health services fee;
    • penalty charges such as parking, housing damages, library, and video fines; and
    • charges (besides book purchases in the USI Bookstore) incurred after the student’s first date of attendance for the term of the withdrawal.

   4. Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

  • A Post-withdrawal disbursement may be made when the amount of Title IV aid earned is more than the Title IV aid disbursed. Post-withdrawal disbursements must be made as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the school’s determination that the student withdrew.
  • Students must meet the conditions of a late disbursement such as: having a processed Student Aid Report (SAR) or Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) with an official expected family contribution (EFC), may not owe a prior year balance, must meet both the USI and federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies, must have accepted the aid by the date of withdrawal and for loans, we must have student/parent (for PLUS loan funds) permission.
  • If a post-withdrawal includes federal loan funds, USI must send notification of eligibility to students/parents (for PLUS loans) within 30 days after the determination that the student withdrew. Students/parents must respond within 14 days from the date of the letter to accept or decline any portion of the loan post-withdrawal disbursement. If no response is received within 14 days, USI is not required to disburse the loan funds. Because these are loan funds that have to be repaid, students/parents should consider whether it is beneficial to accept loan post-withdrawal funds.

   5. The University’s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds include:

  • providing each federal financial aid recipient with the information given in this policy;
  • identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Federal Funds calculation for those students;
  • making required returns of Title IV federal funds that are due the Title IV programs within 45 days of the determination of a student’s withdrawal; and
  • notifying the student and/or parent borrower by mail within 30 days of eligibility of a loan post-withdrawal disbursement, if applicable.

   6. The student’s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds include:

  • notifying the University’s Registrar of intent to withdraw (must provide proof of identity);
  • following the University’s prescribed procedures for officially withdrawing from the semester; and
  • returning to the Title IV federal programs any funds that were disbursed directly to the student for which the student was determined to be ineligible.

   7. Non-Attendance Procedure

Students who receive financial aid and do not attend classes will be required to promptly repay all funds received. Non-attending recipients of student loans will have their loans cancelled and all disbursed loan amounts will be due and payable in full within 30 days. Failure to repay this debt will result in an adverse report on the student’s credit history and eligibility to enroll at USI will be revoked.

   8. Tuition and Fee Refunds

  • Refunds of tuition, campus service fees, parking fees, and special fees will be prorated on a weekly basis through the fourth week of the fall and spring semesters (eighth day of a summer session). There are no refunds of tuition and fees to students or to non-federal entities after that point in time.
  • In accordance with federal regulations, when federal financial aid is involved, refunds are allocated in the following order: unsubsidized Direct Loans, subsidized Direct Loans, Federal PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG, other Title IV federal assistance, other federal sources of aid, other state, private and institutional aid, and finally, the student. Note: Generally, all semester charges must have been paid in full at the time of withdrawal for a student to receive a refund.
  • The University reserves the right to apply any refund due a student to the repayment of institutional loans or book charges.
  • For further information about tuition and fees refunds contact the Office of the Bursar (Orr Center lower level) or view the University Bulletin under fees and expenses at bulletin.usi.edu/.
  • Contact Housing & Residence Life (O’Daniel north) to properly check out of housing or for information about refunds of University housing payments.
  • If you have a meal plan, contact Food Services (UC lower level) to cancel your plan.

   9. Schedule Changes

Refunds of tuition and instructional fees resulting from a change in enrollment status (for example, from full-time to half-time) will be returned to the financial aid program(s) which originally paid the tuition/fees. Other refunds will be made by check to the student or other payee through the fourth week of the semester or eighth day of a summer session.

Note: Student accounts which are not paid in full at the time of withdrawal may not receive a refund or may receive only a partial refund.

Any notification of a withdrawal or cancellation of class schedule should be in writing, signed, and addressed to the University’s Registrar. University withdrawal procedures are located on the Registrar’s Office website at www.usi.edu/registrar/schedule-changes.

Cancellation of admission applications (prior to enrollment in classes) should be in writing, signed, and addressed to the University’s Director of Admission.

If you believe that your individual circumstances warrant that your charges or refund should be determined in a manner other than described in USI’s published policies, contact the Bursar’s Office in writing to explain your circumstances or justification for an exception. The outcomes of application of the institutional refund policy may be appealed in writing to the University’s Administrative Appeals Committee.

Disclaimer: The fees, procedures, and policies listed above supersede those published previously and are subject to change at any time when required by changes in federal regulations. This policy reflects the University’s good faith effort to interpret federal regulations that have a bearing on such matters.