Jul 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Graduate Financial Assistance

Graduate student financial assistance includes scholarships, loans, assistantships, and student employment under the Work Study program.

Application for Financial Assistance

To have financial assistance processed in a timely manner and 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 academic year begins in fall and ends in summer.

While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) covers fall through the following summer, summer aid requires special processing. Summer is of similar length as a regular semester and has the same enrollment requirements. Half-time is a minimum of three credit hours. Direct loans and many private loans require at least half-time enrollment.

A separate Direct Loan request form is required for summer. Since eligibility for most programs depends on how much aid was used during the past academic year, it is recommended that students meet with their Student Financial Assistance counselor to determine summer eligibility for financial assistance before summer registration.

Summer Work Study is available for both enrolled and non-enrolled students, if funding is available. Non-enrolled students must be registered for the upcoming fall semester. Students may work full-time, as determined by the employer, during periods of non-enrollment but a percentage of earnings from these periods will be used to meet students’ need in the upcoming academic year. Thus summer employment can reduce students’ eligibility for certain programs during the academic year.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online at studentaid.gov. For more information, contact:

Student Financial Assistance
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712-3597
Email: finaid@usi.edu
800-467-1965 (option #2)

Transfer Students

Students who have attended another college within a three-month period prior to enrolling at USI must have their records checked on the National Student Loan Data System by USI staff before aid may be disbursed. All transfer students must have final academic transcripts evaluated. Mid-year transfers can expect delays in Direct Loan processing due to final transcripts arriving after the start of the semester.

Enrollment Status/Credit Hour Level

To be considered a full-time graduate student for the purpose of receiving most financial aid requires that the student be enrolled in required graduate courses totaling at least six credit hours during each semester including summer. A load of three credit hours of graduate course work during a semester is the minimum amount for consideration as a half-time graduate student.

NOTE: Assistance may be reduced for less than full-time enrollment. Assistance may be withdrawn for less than halftime enrollment. Only credits which 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 which are not required for graduation will be directed to repay all or a portion of such aid. 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 is 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, such as student loans, may be deducted from total tuition and fees. Students should contact their Student Financial Assistance counselor if they have questions about these procedures.

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’s Office 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 Required USI cumulative GPA
1-59 1.800
60+ 2.000


Graduate Student Requirements:
Overall Attempted Hours   Required USI cumulative GPA   
Any 3.000    



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 during the term will be included in the number of financial assistance attempted hours for the term. Note that for completion rate purposes, attempted and earned hours used in the calculation also include transfer hours that have been accepted by USI from other institutions.

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 prior enrollment periods are considered including those in which students did not receive federal or state financial assistance. 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 the normal standards, see appropriate program information listed in the 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 percent 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 percent 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 two 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.

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.     

Institutional Refund Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

This policy applies to students who completely withdraw from the semester, either officially or unofficially, stop attending all courses before completing the semester, do not complete all modules (courses which do not span the entire payment period for which he/she has registered at the time the module(s) began), or are administratively dismissed.:

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 loans, subsidized Direct loans, Federal PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

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 of 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.

3) 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;
  • health services fees;
  • charges for non-returnable supplies and equipment;
  • 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 be 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, please 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.

General Eligibility Requirements for Federal Student Aid

To receive Federal Work Study and Direct Loans, a student must meet the following general requirements and additional

program-specific requirements.

  • Demonstrate financial need (except for unsubsidized Direct Loans and graduate 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.
  • 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 Office of Student Financial Assistance. Check your MyUSI to see what forms/documents have been requested.

Federal Financial Aid Programs

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 up to 28 hours per week, if funds are available. A portion of the earnings from non-enrollment periods is used to meet the student’s academic year expenses in the upcoming year 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.  Paper resumes are available in the Office of Student Financial Assistance or online at www.usi.edu/financial-aid/forms. Preferred filing deadlines should be observed to ensure consideration of the student for these limited funds.

Direct (Student) Loan (unsubsidized interest)

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students to help pay for the cost of a student’s education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department), though most of the contact will be with your loan servicer. 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.

Students may apply for a loan by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and accepting the loan on myUSI. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required each year and recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (unsubsidized interest)

Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are low-interest loans for graduate students to help pay for the cost of a student’s education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department), though most of the contact will be with your loan servicer. It is recommended that students apply for the Direct Loan first. Since the Direct Loan provides up to $20,500 per year, most students will cover their cost of attendance with the Direct Loan and not be eligible for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. USI Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Request Forms are available from the USI Student Financial Assistance Office, or you may apply online at StudentAid.gov. For more information, or to receive an application packet for financial assistance, contact:

Student Financial Assistance
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712-3597
800-467-1965 (option #2)
Email: finaid@usi.edu
Web: www.usi.edu/financial-aid

University Scholarships, Grants, and Enrollment Reciprocity

Thanks to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, a reciprocal agreement between Kentucky and Indiana provides an opportunity for the residents of Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, and Union counties in Kentucky to attend the University of Southern Indiana while paying “in-state” tuition and fees. Students who begin a program under the Reciprocity Agreement will be permitted to complete the program after the agreement expires contingent upon continuous enrollment in all regular terms.

An eligible student:

  • must be accepted and enrolled at USI;
  • may enroll in any undergraduate or graduate degree program;
  • may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis;
  • shall be subject to the same admission standards as resident students; and
  • shall be assessed tuition and fees at resident student rates.
Child of Veteran and Public Safety Officer Supplemental Grant 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, and certain Indiana public safety officers killed in the line of duty. As a supplement to other state financial aid, the grant pays up to 100% of tuition and regularly assessed fees at the undergraduate rate; 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.

  • Children of Veteran – covers eligible children of veterans who are Purple Heart Recipients, wounded, deceased, disabled.
  • 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
Graduate Assistantship

Students admitted to a graduate program and enrolled in a minimum of six graduate credit hours per semester may qualify for a limited number of graduate assistantships. In addition to pursuing a formal program of graduate study, a graduate assistant performs professional duties and assumes responsibilities commensurate with his/her educational background and experience. A graduate assistant receives a fee waiver and is paid wages for work performed. Applications are available in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Student Employment

In addition to Federal Work Study, the University employs students as part-time employees. Contact the Career Services and Placement Office in the Orr Center for information about non-Work Study student employment as well as off-campus opportunities.

Limitation on Participation

When institutional and/or state programs provide for payment of the same fees (e.g., tuition), the Student Financial Assistance Office will coordinate the assistance so that it does not exceed the charges that are to be paid. Tuition-specific financial aid may not be applied to other charges or refunded to students.

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 of Southern Indiana’s good faith effort to interpret federal regulations that have a bearing on such matters.