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 studentaid.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.
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 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:
||Minimum credit hours require
||12 credit hours
||9 credit hours
||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NOTE: Assistance may be reduced or withdrawn for less than full-time enrollment.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.
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
Types of Financial Aid
There are many ways to make attending college more affordable. Grants, loans, scholarships, work study or a combination of these types of aid help students with the costs of pursuing a degree at the University of Southern Indiana.
Grants – State and federal grants, which do not have to be paid back, are available on the basis of financial need and other situations. Some grants require that you file the FAFSA by April 15 to qualify. Visit www.usi.edu/financial-aid/aid/grants for more information.
State of Indiana 21st Century Scholars Grant – Income-eligible 7th- and 8th-graders who enroll in the program and fulfill a pledge of good citizenship to the state are guaranteed the cost of four years of college tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana. Visit www.usi.edu/financial-aid/aid/21st-century-scholars for more information.
Loans – A loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid. Loans come in three major categories: Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans and Private Education Loans (also called alternative student loans). Visit www.usi.edu/financial-aid/aid/loans for more information.
Scholarships – Scholarships are merit-based and need-based forms of aid which do not have to be paid back. Scholarships are available from several sources, including the state of Indiana, USI, and outside sources. Visit www.usi.edu/financial-aid/aid/scholarships for more information, including a list of available institutional scholarships.
Work Study – This program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who need financial aid. Students are paid at least minimum wage and work between 5 and 20 hours per week when school is in session. Visit www.usi.edu/financial-aid/aid/work-study for more information.
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.
- 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)
| Required USI Cumulative GPA
| Graduate Student Requirements:
| Required USI Cumulative GPA
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 Eligibility – Students 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Campus Store) 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.