Financial Aid is made available for those who qualify through federal, state, and University programs.
All students who are interested in financial aid should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is used to determine a student’s eligibility for grants, loans, work-study, and OCU institutional aid. In order to qualify for Indiana state aid, Indiana residents’ FAFSAs must be received by the Central Processing Center before
April 15. Filing for financial aid is an annual process. File online for free at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
If a student or a family member has had a loss of income, the Financial Aid Office should be notified. The form that the student would need to file is a Special Circumstances Form. This form is only available in the Financial Aid Office. The Director of Financial Aid will notify the student if additional information is needed.
- For most federal and state student aid, you must have financial need. Unsubsidized loans and parent loans are non-need based loans.
- You must be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- You must have equivalence, such as a high school diploma or GED.
- You must have a valid Social Security number. Your name on financial aid applications must exactly match the name on your Social Security card.
- You must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
- If you are a male, you must register with the Selective Service. If you are a male age 18 through 25 who has not yet registered with Selective Service, you can register at www.sss.gov you can give Selective Service permission to register you by checking a box on the FAFSA.
- If you are in default on a federal student loan, you will not be eligible for any federal assistance until your default has been resolved.
- You must be admitted to an eligible program as a regular student working toward a degree. (You may not receive aid if you are enrolled as a guest or non-degree seeking student.)
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
At the end of each semester/payment period, the Office of Financial Aid reviews Satisfactory Academic Progress. Failing to meet SAP may impact a student’s access to financial aid.
Students who do not meet SAP will receive an email as well as written notification at the end of the term/payment period.
This policy applies only to financial aid awards, and is separate from the academic policy regarding satisfactory progress.
The United States Department of Education (Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended) requires that students maintain satisfactory progress toward completing their degree in order to receive financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid is required to check three standards: quantitative (pace of progression), qualitative (GPA), and maximum time frame for receiving aid.
These standards, known as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), govern eligibility for students who want to establish or continue aid eligibility for all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs including grants, scholarships, work-study, and student and parent loans. Many private loans also require SAP.
SAP applies to a student’s entire degree program, including terms (fall, spring, and summer)/payment period (25 instructional weeks) in which financial aid was not applied for or disbursed.
Quantitative (Pace of Progression): Students must, at a minimum, successfully complete 67% of all credit hours attempted. Every semester, after grades are posted, a student’s total credit hours successfully completed (earned) will be divided by the credit hours attempted to determine whether the 67% completion rate requirement has been met.
Qualitative Standards (GPA): Qualitative standards refer to cumulative GPA with respect to year in college. The table below outlines the minimum requirements students must meet to remain eligible for federal and state financial aid:
|Year in College||Earned Credit Hours||Cumulative GPA*|
|Junior & Senior||60 or more||2.00|
*The minimum cumulative GPA requirements vary for other programs such as university grants and scholarships. Students can contact the Office of Financial Aid to verify minimum requirements for all non-federal and state programs.
Maximum Time Frame for Eligibility:
- Federal Aid Standards: Federal regulations govern the maximum length of time a student may receive federal aid. For students pursuing a bachelor’s degree, this timeframe is defined as 150% of the scheduled length of the program. For example, students in an academic program requiring 120 credit hours may attempt up to 180 credit hours (150 % of 120 is 180 hours). Students pursuing an associate’s degree requiring seventy-two (72) credits may attempt up to 108 credit hours (150 % of 72 is 108 hours). Other degree programs with differing credit hour requirements will have up to 150 % of the required hours as their maximum. All OCU attempted hours, including hours taken in a change from one major to another will apply toward the 150% total. For transfer students, the number of transfer credit hours accepted at the point of admission to OCU will be used to calculate the student’s remaining eligibility for the 150% maximum time frame calculation. Second undergraduate degree students are only eligible to receive loan funds. Students enrolled in a degree program which is equal to or lower than a degree already earned, will have the previous degree’s accepted credit hours applied toward the student’s current certificate or degree. The accepted credit hours will be counted toward the 150 % maximum time frame calculation.
- State of Indiana Grants: Full-time students in four-year degree programs may receive Indiana grant aid for a maximum of eight (8) semesters or until the first bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever comes first.
Failure to meet Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FA SAP) will result in a hold being placed on the student’s account in one of the following areas:
- Financial Aid SAP Warning: This hold is assigned to a student who has failed to meet FA SAP upon the first infraction. Students will be eligible to receive FA during the warning term. If SAP is not met in the following term, the student will be placed on FA Suspension or FA Probation based on the appeal process. If the student successfully meets FA SAP requirements by the end of the warning period, the hold will be removed and the student will retain financial aid eligibility.
- Financial Aid SAP Suspension: If a student on FA SAP Warning does not meet SAP requirements by the end of the warning period, the student is placed on FA Suspension pending the appeal process. A suspension hold is then placed in the student’s account, and the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid. This means he or she will be required to pay out-of-pocket for expenses incurred at the university. Students may appeal this status; however, if an appeal is not submitted by the deadline or the appeal is denied, the suspension hold will remain on the student’s account.
- Financial Aid SAP Probation: A student on FA SAP Suspension may appeal his or her status. A student’s whose appeal is approved and who submits an Academic Improvement Plan may be placed on FA SAP Probation. Students on FA SAP Probation have a hold placed on their account, but remain eligible to receive financial aid throughout the payment period for which the appeal was granted and for subsequent payment periods, provided the student continues to stipulations outlined in the Academic Improvement Plan.
Financial Aid Denial Notification: Both a letter and an e-mail will be sent at the end of each semester notifying students who are ineligible for further financial aid until deficiencies are rectified. Students are responsible for maintaining awareness of their SAP status for aid renewal whether or not they receive the official notifications. The Office of Financial Aid is not responsible for address changes that are not reported or for other problems with postal mail or e-mail delivery of financial aid notifications.
Correcting Academic Deficiencies: Students who fail to meet the above standards will be ineligible for financial aid. They may enroll at their own expense in courses in a subsequent term to correct deficiencies. Grade or GPA deficiencies can only be corrected at OCU, but credits to correct a deficiency in the number of earned credit hours can be taken elsewhere and transferred to OCU through arrangement with the Office of Academic Affairs. Students may request a review of their progress when a grade is changed, regardless of when that change occurs.
Appeals to Regain Eligibility: A student who fails to meet these standards and has lost eligibility for financial aid may appeal this decision. Appeals must be submitted in writing and must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documents. In the appeal, the student must explain why he or she was not making SAP and changes indicating how he or she will begin making progress. Appeals should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid at least three (3) weeks before the beginning of the student’s next semester of attendance to allow time for processing.
Acceptable rationales for appeals may be: 1) serious illness or accident affecting the student; 2) death, accident, or serious illness in the student’s immediate family; 3) change in academic program; 4) or other serious extenuating circumstances. The reasonableness and likelihood of the student’s ability for improvement to meet the appropriate standards for the degree will be taken into consideration.
Once submitted, appeals are reviewed by the Appeals Committee. The student will receive written notification of the committee’s decision within two (2) weeks of submitting the appeal for review. Letters approving an appeal also contain academic expectations and next steps. When an appeal is approved, the student is be placed on FA SAP Probation for one semester and aid will be granted. If the student does not meet SAP by the end of the probationary period, the student must complete and submit a SAP academic plan indicating when the student expects to meet SAP to the Office of Financial Aid.
If the appeal for aid is denied, the student may choose to enroll without using financial aid in an effort to repair SAP deficiencies. Students may request a review of their record following any term. If the SAP standards are met at the time of review, financial aid eligibility may be regained for subsequent terms of enrollment that year.
For more information about Oakland City University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP), contact the Office of Financial Aid.
State Financial Aid SAP Appeals: If the student is failing to meet the State of Indiana’s standards for academic progress he/she must complete and submit the State’s appeal form. The State will inform the student and Oakland City University if an appeal is granted. For more information on the State of Indiana’s appeal process visit http://www.in.gov/ssaci/2565.htm
Penalties for Drug Law Violations For Currently Enrolled Students
If a student, prior to enrollment, was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, the student must complete the FAFSA Drug Worksheet to determine eligibility with the Director of Financial Aid. A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for FSA funds. Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid.