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Financial Aid Policies

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    General Policies

    Colorado State University-Pueblo Online makes every attempt to inform students about important policies related to financial aid. We want to make sure you know all of your rights and responsibilities. Please become very familiar with these policies so that you are well informed about how your academic decisions will impact your financial aid.

    As an institutional member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), CSU-Pueblo Online follows the NASFAA Code of Conduct.

    At Colorado State University-Pueblo Online, we strive to meet the financial need of students by maximizing the use of our federal, state, and institutional funding. Our office explores funding sources in the following priority:

    1. Grants and scholarships
    2. Work study programs
    3. Low interest loans
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    Student’s Rights and Responsibilities

    As a student at CSU-Pueblo Online you have the right to:

    • Know all the types of financial assistance available to our students - including federal, state, and institutional sources.
    • Change or decline any financial aid awarded.
    • Appeal financial aid eligibility, including a financial aid award.

    As a student at CSU-Pueblo Online you have the responsibility to:

    • Accurately and honestly complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • Use financial aid solely for expenses related to attendance at CSU-Pueblo Online.
    • Be admitted in a degree-seeking program in order to receive financial aid.
    • Maintain at least 6 credit hours of enrollment per semester to receive financial aid.
    • Keep all contact information up to date with CSU-Pueblo Online.
    • Notify Financial Aid if you are attending two schools at the same time (you may not receive financial aid at two schools at the same time).
    • Read and understand the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, the Withdrawal Policy and other general policies related to financial aid.
    • Officially withdraw from CSU-Pueblo Online if you are unable to attend classes.
    • Report all scholarships that you receive to Financial Aid (all scholarships are counted as part of your financial aid and may impact other financial aid).
    • Review and be aware of all Student Billing policies.
    • Monitor your CSU-Pueblo Online e-mail account for important Financial Aid information.
    • View your financial aid, balance due, and other individual student information via PAWS.
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    GRANTS

    All grants are listed on the Financial Aid webpage: https://www.csupueblo.edu/financial-aid/grants.html
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    STUDENT LOANS

    Prior to any federal education loan being processed by CSU-Pueblo Online, the applicant must complete the financial aid application process. Federal Direct Loans

    The U.S. Department of Education administers several loan programs designed to offer low-interest funding to students and their parents who need to borrow money to cover the costs of education. Below is a summary of the loans available:

    Direct loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The federal government pays the interest while the student is in school.

    An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You’ll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it’s paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue while you’re in school or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized—that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.

    The Federal Direct Loan Program is intended solely to aid students pursuing a degree in higher education. Students should borrow only the amount they believe is necessary to pay for educational costs. Keeping the amount of a loan at a minimum will ease repayment.

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    Student Loan Amounts

    The unsubsidized loan interest rate is fixed. You’ll be notified of interest rate changes throughout the life of your loans.

    You’ll pay a fee of up to 4% of the loan, deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement.

    For more information on Student Loan Amounts and Limits, click here.

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    Financial Aid Appeal Procedure

    Although the formula used to determine eligibility for financial aid is generally the same for all applicants, there are certain instances where some flexibility may be employed. Examples include special circumstances that might affect a student’s dependency status, missed deadlines, an award which may not meet your cost of education, a significant change in your family’s income due to unemployment or change of employment, or significant medical expenses. Contact Financial Aid and discuss your situation with a Financial Aid Counselor, who will determine the best solution. This may include completing a Financial Aid Appeal form, to be provided by a Financial Aid Counselor. Financial Aid Appeals must include a written explanation accompanied by any supporting documentation. Please be advised that we cannot adjust your EFC due to lifestyle choices or consumer decisions which are generally within your control and/or are not directly associated with going to school (e.g., automobile loan payments, individual leases or mortgages, insurance, utility payments, pet expenses, etc.).
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    Financial Aid Committee

    The state of Colorado requires that each institution receiving state-funded student aid have a Financial Aid Committee to advise the Financial Aid Director regarding institution policies. In addition to those duties, at CSU-Pueblo Online the Financial Aid Committee also acts on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeals, some scholarship award decisions and appeals, and serves in an advisory capacity on general financial aid policies and procedures. The Financial Aid Committee consists of two students, two faculty, two staff, and two Financial Aid Counselors.
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    Merit Policy

    Financial aid awards are based primarily on need, but also merit as funding allows. The merit awards may include funding from the State of Colorado, CSU-Pueblo Online or both. Academic performance is the chief consideration for merit awards, although other factors may be considered.
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    Other General Policies

    Students may elect to charge to their student account for the purchase of textbooks if they choose to purchase through the CSU-Pueblo Online Bookstore. Please note, however, that charging books to the student account does not in any way guarantee that financial aid awarded will be enough to pay for them - and students could incur late charges on any unpaid portion of their bill. It is the student's responsibility to monitor their account through PAWS to make sure their bill is paid in full, including any book charges.

    Additionally, to charge books, students must not have a previous outstanding balance with the University, and must not be enrolling in correspondence or Independent Study courses.

    Students are not required to utilize this option to purchase textbooks through the CSU-Pueblo Online Bookstore. Waiting until disbursement and using any excess funds received to purchase books, or simply purchasing books "out-of-pocket" without the use of financial aid are options also available to students. The method of textbook purchase plays no role in a student's financial aid award.

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    Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

    As a standard for participating in any federal student aid program, CSU-Pueblo Online is required by the U.S. Department of Education to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is making progress toward a degree. The state of Colorado also requires that students meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to receive any state-funded student assistance. Both of these requirements are met and apply to CSU-Pueblo Online institutional financial aid eligibility by measuring student academic performance at the end of each payment period (period of enrollment) against the following qualitative and quantitative standards:

    • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): 2.0 for undergraduate programs, 3.0 for graduate programs Completion Percentage (Pace)
    • At least 67%* of all credit hours attempted must have successfully passing grades (all students must complete coursework with successfully passing grades by the end of each period of enrollment or put both current and future financial aid eligibility at risk). Successfully passing grades are S or D- and higher; all others (U, F, W, IN, IP, NC, and repeated coursework – see below) count as unsuccessful credit hours attempted.

    Please note that for the 2013 / 2014 academic year (through Summer session 2014), the Completion Percentage (Pace) requirement is 75%.

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    Course repetition

    Students are allowed to repeat a course and have it count toward enrollment for financial aid eligibility only once. Each attempt at the course, however, will count toward a student’s pace, and all prior attempts with lower grades will count as unsuccessful credit hours attempted. Please note this is specifically in reference to repeating identical coursework at CSU-Pueblo Online. Credits accepted as transfer credits that may count as equivalent to coursework offered here at CSU-Pueblo Online do not count as course repetition.
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    Withdrawals

    Withdrawals do not affect a student’s cumulative GPA for SAP, but count as credit hours attempted toward both pace and maximum time frame. Please note that a withdrawal (grade of “W”) has great distinction from courses which are simply dropped (no grade and no record of attempt).
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    Unofficial Withdrawals

    Students who do not earn any passing grades for the period of enrollment (the grade point average for the semester is 0.0) and do not complete the Official Withdrawal process are placed on Financial Aid Suspension (see Evaluation below for more details on Financial Aid Suspension).

    Please note that this portion of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy becomes effective with the Fall 2014 semester.

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    Incomplete

    At the time of evaluation (the end of each period of enrollment), Incomplete (grade of “I”) do not affect a student’s cumulative GPA for SAP, but count as credit hours attempted toward both pace and maximum time frame. Students with grades of Incomplete which become new letter grades prior to or during a subsequent period of enrollment and that may affect financial aid eligibility for that period of enrollment can contact Financial Aid for further evaluation.
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    Transfer credit

    Transfer credit does not count toward a student’s cumulative GPA for SAP, but does count as both attempted and completed credit hours (100%) toward pace and maximum time frame.
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    Maximum time frame

    Undergraduate students - attempted credit hours may not exceed 150% of the educational program

    Note that both Pace and Maximum time frame are measured in credit hours only, regardless of full time or part time attendance. Evaluation

    All students enrolled at CSU-Pueblo Online are evaluated for SAP at the end of each period of enrollment, after the Records office has released official grades. Students can find their SAP status within the Financial Aid menu on PAWS.

    Listed below are each status and definition:

    • Eligible: Student is eligible for financial aid. This category may include students with no SAP issue at all, students who have appealed successfully and have successfully completed their Probation period of enrollment, students who have successfully completed their Probation period of enrollment and are following their Academic Plan, and students who have met SAP after being Ineligible previously.
       
    • Warning: Failure to make SAP, but student is financial aid eligible for one more period of enrollment and must make SAP by the end of that period of enrollment or student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Warning status is not appealable.
       
    • Suspension: Failure to make SAP after a Warning period or students who Unofficially Withdrawal from a period of enrollment (earn no passing grades for the period of enrollment - see Unofficial Withdrawals above), but student is eligible to appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student can continue financial aid eligibility for another period of enrollment under a Probation status. Students may also choose not to appeal and attempt to regain financial aid eligibility by meeting SAP while paying out of pocket (without any financial aid).
       
    • Probation: Failure to make SAP, but appeal is approved and student is financial aid eligible for one more period of enrollment, or possibly more if following required Academic Plan (which may include documentation requirements not directly related to academic performance).
       
    • Ineligible: Failure to make SAP and/or failure to follow required Academic Plan. This status also applies to appeals that are not approved - the student is not eligible for financial aid until cumulative SAP standards are met and may not appeal.
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    Appeal Procedure

    All students who have their financial aid eligibility suspended may appeal to the Financial Aid Committee to receive financial aid in a subsequent period of enrollment. GPA, Pace, and Maximum time frame are all appealable. Appeals must be in a written format, and:

    • Have student printed name, PID, daytime contact information, and signature
    • Have Academic Advisor name, department, and contact information
    • Include information describing why SAP minimum standards have not been met and how the situation has changed so that SAP will be met at next evaluation
    • Detail any extenuating circumstances, including supporting documentation from a 3rd party (e.g. police reports, detailed hospital bill or physician’s statement, death certificate, etc.)
    • Include enrollment plans for next period of enrollment (e.g. number of credit hours, change in major, Academic Improvement Plan details, any other academic-related documentation, etc.)
    • Be complete and turned in to Financial Aid by the following priority deadlines for each period of enrollment: -- July 1 for Fall semester -- Monday before classes begin for Spring semester

    Absolutely no appeals will be reviewed after the first Friday of courses for a given period of enrollment.

    Students are notified of their SAP appeal decision via their PAWS account. Financial Aid Committee decisions are final. Students whose appeals are not approved may reestablish financial aid eligibility only by meeting the SAP cumulative standards. Students may appeal SAP only once during their entire enrollment at CSU-Pueblo Online.

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    Academic Plans

    All students who appeal successfully and are subsequently placed on Probation will automatically have a minimum Academic Plan consisting of at least 2.0 GPA and 75% completion rate (3.0 GPA and 100% completion rates for graduate students) within subsequent periods of enrollment. The Financial Aid Committee will further develop Academic Plans for individual students based on the particular situation and content of appeal on a case by case basis. The requirements of these more rigorous plans will be made in writing and signed by the student prior to a subsequent financial aid disbursement, and the Academic Plans will be monitored by the Financial Aid Committee or designee.

    Note that the SAP policy differs from CSU-Pueblo Online's Good Academic Standing policy (see Catalog), and in particular the difference between a SAP Academic Plan and a Center for Academic Enrichment Academic Improvement Plan. The SAP policy reviews both Pace and Maximum time frame, in addition to GPA, and all attempted credit hours are included in reviewing student eligibility, including those excluded by the Records office in Academic Renewal situations. These two policies also have separate appeal procedures. This SAP policy is effective Fall 2014, and supersedes all other CSU-Pueblo Online SAP policies published on the web and/or in prior catalogs.

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    Withdrawal Policy

    Students who wish to withdraw from the University, for any reason must initiate the Official Withdrawal process by contacting their Student Advisor. A withdrawal from the University is not considered official until a completed University Withdrawal form has been submitted to the University through the secure Student Portal.

    Please note that Official Withdrawals will affect the degree Completion Rate (pace) of the student and may affect their eligibility for financial aid.

    Students who are withdrawn from the University after the drop/add period through 60 percent of the semester will have their tuition prorated. A federal formula is used to determine the amount of federal financial aid earned by the student, which will be calculated for students who withdraw within 60 percent of the semester based on the percentage of the semester completed. If the student received less assistance than the amount earned, the student may be able to receive those funds. If the student received more assistance than earned, the excess funds must be returned. The amount of federal financial aid unearned will be deducted from the adjusted tuition amount credited to the student’s account; however, there may be additional institutional charges that were not covered by federal financial aid and will be reflected in the total amount owed by the student. Students may use the following calculation to estimate the amount of Title IV aid he or she earned prior to the withdrawal date.

    Number of days student completed / total number of days in period of enrollment = percentage of aid earned

    Scheduled breaks of five or more days will be excluded from calculation. Students who complete an Official Withdrawal after 60 percent of the period of enrollment will not have their tuition adjusted or the federal financial aid received adjusted. Please note that federal financial aid received may not cover the total amount of institutional charges owed by the student.

    Students can review their account balance through their student portal. Students who complete official withdrawals within 60 percent of the period of enrollment and did not receive federal financial aid will have their tuition prorated based on the day the official withdrawal was submitted to the University.

    Students who cease attendance from the University during the drop/add period, drop all courses, will receive a 100 percent tuition refund. A return to Title IV calculation will be completed to determine the percentage of earned aid the student was eligible to receive. Students will be responsible for repaying all of their federal financial aid funds received back to the University. The student is not eligible to receive federal financial aid when they have dropped all courses and no longer attend. Please review the Financial Aid Policies for more information.

    Students who do not earn any passing grades for the semester (the grade point average for the semester is 0.0) and do not complete the Official Withdrawal process are subject to repayment of the unearned financial aid received. Students will be notified by letter advising them of the opportunity to prove their attendance after 60 percent of the semester and that any failing grades were earned by providing acceptable documentation before the stated deadline.

    Acceptable documentation includes: graded course work dated passed the 60 percent point of the semester, a letter from a class instructor stating that the student was in attendance after 60 percent of the semester and the failing grade was earned, computer-assisted instruction, and/or other course documentation that clearly states the student’s name and last date of attendance which is passed 60 percent of the semester.

    It is the responsibility of the student to provide the requested documentation. Any documentation received after the deadline will not be accepted unless other written arrangements have been made with a Financial Aid Counselor and it is received five days prior to the deadline established by federal regulations for the return of the federal funds. Financial Aid is required to return federal financial aid within 45 days from the date the school determined the student may have unofficially withdrawn. If a student is unable to provide any documentation, an unofficial withdrawal will be processed and a return of federal financial aid received will be based on the midpoint of the period of enrollment.

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    Exit Counseling

    For students who are totally withdrawing or dropping below 6 credits of enrollment from the University, you must also complete Exit Counseling if you have ever borrowed a Stafford or Federal Direct Loan, a Perkins loan, or a TEACH Grant from any educational institution. Please visit Financial Aid and speak with a Financial Aid Counselor if you are required to complete Perkins Exit Counseling. (Students seeking information about repayment options, grace periods, and consequences of not repaying your student loan can visit Student Aid on the Web).
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    Verification Policy

    As part of the FAFSA process, the U.S. Department of Education randomly selects a percentage of applications for the verification process. In addition, Financial Aid has the authority to select applications for verification. If selected, students are notified in their Student Aid Report and notified by Financial Aid, either by letter for new students or CSU-Pueblo Online email for continuing students.

    Documentation needed to complete the verification process could include a verification worksheet and proof of income for the most recent tax year. There may be further documentation required upon initial review, and students are notified of such. Please note that corrections to a FAFSA as a result of verification are made by Financial Aid, and therefore it is not necessary for students to make these same corrections.

    There is no specific time limit, but since financial aid is awarded first come, first served, it is in the student’s best interests to complete the process as quickly as possible. Once all required information is received, students will receive a financial aid award.

    If the verification process results in a change to financial aid which has already been disbursed to a student, then the student is notified by Financial Aid and is responsible for paying back the overpayment. If not completed within a reasonable timeframe, the overpayment may be reported to the U.S. Department of Education.

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    IRS Data Retrieval Tool

    The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of FAFSA on the Web. If you have not already used the tool, go to www.FAFSA.gov, login to your FAFSA, select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer the IRS income tax information into your FAFSA. It can take up to two weeks for the IRS income information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for electronic IRS return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers.

    If you need more information about when, or how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, contact Financial Aid at 719.549.2753.

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    Requesting Tax Transcripts

    If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, please submit an IRS tax return transcript. Please note that photocopies of the income tax return will not suffice to meet this requirement. To obtain an IRS tax return transcript, go towww.IRS.gov and click on the “Order a Return or Account Transcript” link or call 1-800-908-9946. Make sure to request the “IRS tax return transcript” and not the “IRS tax account transcript.” You will need your Social Security Number, date of birth, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used when your IRS tax return was filed). It takes up to two weeks for the IRS income information to be available for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers. If you are married and you and your spouse filed separate tax returns, you must submit tax return transcripts for both you and your spouse.
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    Award Schedule

    New students are awarded prior to the beginning of each term in which they plan to enroll, and will receive a financial aid award letter once all Admissions and financial aid application requirements are completed. The award notification contains instructions on how to acknowledge the terms and conditions of your award online through the student portal.
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    Disbursement

    Financial aid awards are scheduled each term within the semester to coincide with financial charges. Disbursement amounts and dates are subject to change based on changes to a student’s enrollment status, credit load, and/or cost of attendance. Disbursements will not occur until after the census date each term. A student will not receive a disbursement during any term of the trimester unless they are attending that term.

    In order for a student to be eligible for a term disbursement of Federal Direct and Federal Direct PLUS loans, the student must have a valid ISIR on file; have completed a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling; be attending at least half-time for the trimester (determined for each term based on all courses completed within that period as long as the student received a grade other than W or F); and be attending at least one course during the term of disbursement. If a student decides to take a term off, the aid scheduled will be canceled.

    In order for a student to qualify for a Federal Pell Grant disbursement, the student must have a valid ISIR on file, have submitted all required verification or clearance documents, and meet the enrollment status based on courses attended each term.

    Your financial aid funds will be used to pay for your tuition, fees, and books as applicable. If any funds remain, a stipend will be issued in the form of a check and sent to the address on file. If you would like to receive Direct Deposit to your personal account, you may complete a Direct Deposit form and mail it to the Student Accounts Office at the following address:

    CSU-Pueblo Online
    Student Accounts
    2200 Bonforte Blvd.
    Pueblo, CO 81001

Construction Management Online

Juliette Mogenson

Staff

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