Guidelines

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Apply: Submit the FAFSA each year by March 15

To receive consideration for all available need-based financial aid and scholarships, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted each year. Miami's priority deadline for current students is March 15. Miami's Federal School Code is 003077. Remember you (and parents if dependent student) must electronically sign the FAFSA with your PIN. You may file the FAFSA at a later date, however you risk losing consideration for some awards. Due to the limits of some of the available funds, awarding priority is given to applicants who file by March 15.

Basic Federal Financial Aid Eligibility Criteria:

Award Notification and Cost for Next Year

If you filed the FAFSA and listed Miami as a recipient in the school section, you will receive an e-mail notifying you that your awards are available to view in BannerWeb by June 15. Awards are packaged the early part of June to allow for the posting of the current academic year's grades.

Generally, Miami's Board of Trustees approves the tuition and fees for the next academic year at their June meeting. The budget you receive on your award notification will be an estimate.

Factors that affect your financial aid package include the following:

Enrollment Change or Withdrawal from the University

When we develop your financial aid package, we assume that you will attend Miami as a full-time student for the fall and spring semesters. If you drop from full-time enrollment to less than full-time, your eligibility for aid may be reduced. Typically, you must be enrolled for at least six hours to be considered for any type of aid. You need to notify our office of your enrollment change in writing or via the "Resources/Additional Information" tab on BannerWeb.

Enrollment Change Affects Financial Aid

If you change your enrollment prior to the end of the Change of Schedule (drop/add) period, your grant and loan eligibility will be recalculated based on the information you submit.

After the end of the Change of Schedule (drop/add) period, your enrollment will be frozen and your financial aid for the semester will be based on the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled at that time. Be sure you are enrolled for all the classes you intend to take for the semester by this date, as adjustments to your aid will be made based on the number of credit hours you have at that time.

Official Withdrawal

If you withdraw from Miami prior to the 40th day of any semester of attendance, the Office of the Bursar calculates a refund of your fees. However, you may be required to repay your financial aid and/or owe money to the university as a result of your withdrawal.

Miami University is required to determine the federal aid a student has earned as of the date the student ceased attendance based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance. The withdrawal date will be the date that official notification was provided to Miami of the student's intent to withdraw. The percent of federal aid that was earned by the student is equal to the percent of the semester that was completed, as of the withdrawal date, if this date occurs on or before completion of 60% of the semester. If the withdrawal date is after completion of 60% of the semester, the student will have earned 100% of the federal aid.

Regulations governing federal financial aid may require you to return a portion of your financial aid to the U.S. Department of Education if you withdraw. Withdrawing will also affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress and may jeopardize federal financial aid eligibility. To make sure you understand the possible impact on financial aid, you should consult with a financial assistance counselor before you withdraw from the university.

Unofficial Withdrawal

If a student stops attending classes and does not notify the Office of the Registrar that they are withdrawing, they are considered an unofficial withdrawal and a Return of Title IV withdrawal calculation must be done to determine the amount of federal financial aid the student has earned and the amount that must be returned to the federal government. This takes place once grades have been posted (usually at the end of the term) and the record shows that the student received a combination of F, I, N, W, and/or Y grades. The Office of the Registrar will attempt to determine the last date of attendance so that a federal withdrawal calculation can be based on the last date the student attended. If a date is not determined, the withdrawal calculation is based on the midpoint (50%) of the semester. Once the withdrawal calculation is performed, a portion of federal aid may be rescinded from the student's account and returned to the federal government. This typically results in the student owing money to the University. Written notification is sent to the student after the adjustments have been made. Adjustments may also be made to the student's state and/or university awards.

Financial Aid for Summer Session

Summer aid awards are based on any remaining financial aid eligibility from the current academic year. Aid eligibility will be determined once a student registers for summer courses, has a FAFSA on file, and has completed all outstanding requirements. Generally, students are only eligible for additional federal student loan funds if they have the number of hours required to advance in grade level by the end of the spring semester. If all federal student loan eligibility has been exhausted, the student may want to consider a Federal Direct PLUS loan or a private loan. Students who received a Federal Pell Grant for the fall and/or spring semester may be eligible for an additional Pell Grant for summer study, depending on their enrollment status during the fall and spring semester. If a student attended full-time for the fall and spring semesters, it is unlikely that additional Pell Grant funds will be granted for summer study. Students cannot use their Miami scholarships for a summer session. Starting in April each year, students are notified of their eligibility for summer financial aid upon registering for summer classes.

Aid Disbursed to Your Bursar Account

All financial aid on your Financial Aid Award Notice, other than loans and the TEACH grant (if you are eligible), will be accepted automatically and applied to your bursar account unless you notify our office in writing to the contrary.

Federal loans upon your acceptance will disburse (pay to) to your bursar account in accordance with federal regulations and Miami's disbursement schedule.

If your aid has disbursed prior to the beginning of school and you have received a check or a direct deposit for the excess financial aid, you can use those funds to buy your books. If your aid exceeds university charges, but has not disbursed prior to the beginning of the semester, you may be able to charge your books against your excess financial aid. Charge privileges are only available at an on-campus bookstore during the first week of school. Contact your campus financial aid office to determine if you are eligible.

Change in Your Financial Situation

A student may request a review of aid eligibility if the family's financial situation changed after the student filed the FAFSA. Counselors may use professional judgement to re-evaluate a student's financial need by adjusting figures reported on the FAFSA when either of the two following situations apply:

  1. A family's financial situation has changed since they submitted the FAFSA, including a loss of earnings and/or a loss of untaxed income or benefits that were originally included on the FAFSA.
  2. The family has paid eligible expenses during the tax year that are not reflected on the FAFSA, including medical expenses not covered by insurance and/or educational loan payments that cannot be deferred.

To see if circumstances qualify for review, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance to speak with a counselor.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

If you are a student receiving federal financial aid, you are expected to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress  toward completing your degree.  To measure your progress, the Office of Student Financial Assistance will evaluate your academic record annually by reviewing the credit hours you have attempted and earned, your cumulative GPA, and the number of hours you have earned compared to the published length of your academic program.  To maintain satisfactory academic progress, you must meet both of the following two requirements:

  1. Grades/Grade Point Average (GPA) and Credit Hours Attempted vs. Earned
  2. You must meet the academic requirements necessary to remain at Miami University as a student as outlined in The Miami Bulletin, General Edition in the sections titled “Other Requirements,” “Course Registration and Other Regulations,” and “Grades.”

    If you are an Undergraduate student you must achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA or greater after attending Miami University four semesters regardless of your enrollment status.  If you are a Graduate student, you must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA at all times.

    You must pass at least 67% of the cumulative credit hours you attempt.

  3. Maximum Time Frame for Completion of Degree Program
  4. We measure your progress toward your degree by calculating the number of hours you earn compared to the published length of your academic program to determine a percentage.  Federal regulations require us to establish a maximum time frame, which Miami University defines as 150% of the published length of an academic program, by which you must complete your degree program as a federal financial aid recipient.  The maximum time frame includes all prior terms of attendance at Miami and any other college or university whether or not you received federal financial aid.  If you repeat courses, those hours will be included as additional attempted hours.

    We base our calculation using the maximum time frame of the published program lengths as defined in the Miami Bulletin, General Edition as detailed below:

 

Type of Degree

University Requirement

Maximum Attempted Hours

Certificate Programs

30 credit hours required

The maximum number of hours a student seeking a Certificate can attempt is 45 credit hours.

Associate’s
Degree

64 credit hours required

The maximum number of hours a student seeking an Associate’s Degree can attempt is 96 credit hours.

Bachelor’s
Degree

128 credit hours required

The maximum number of hours a student seeking a Bachelor’s Degree can attempt is 192 credit hours.

Master’s
Degree

Varies by degree program, not to exceed five years

The maximum number of hours a student seeking a Master’s Degree can attempt is 90 credit hours.

Doctoral
Degree

Varies by program, not to exceed five years

The maximum number of hours a student seeking a Doctoral Degree is 90 Credit Hours (or 180 Credit Hours if earning a Master’s Degree and a Doctoral Degree at Miami University).


Annual Academic Progress Review

We review academic progress each academic year by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours you earned by the total number attempted.  The review process occurs at the end of spring semester for those students who have submitted a FAFSA.  If you submit a FAFSA at a later date, your academic progress review will be done at the time your FAFSA is received by Miami University.  This review is based on your entire enrollment history at Miami and includes all transfer hours accepted.  Transfer hours will also count towards your maximum time frame.  If you earn a minimum of 67% of the cumulative credit hours you attempt, your progress is satisfactory.  If you earn less than 67% of the cumulative credit hours you attempted, your progress is unsatisfactory. We also check to make sure you meet the required GPA and have not exceeded the maximum time frame as described above.

Please note:  For the purposes of satisfactory academic progress, hours attempted are hours taken at Miami University which you have taken to earn credit. If you received an academic fresh start, all hours attempted prior to the fresh start are considered in the SAP calculation.

Appeal Process

You may request a reevaluation of your federal financial aid suspension or termination if extenuating circumstances prevented you from making satisfactory progress. Examples of extenuating circumstances include:

  • Serious personal illness or injury that required extended recovery time
  • Death or serious illness of an immediate family member
  • Significant trauma that impaired your emotional and/or physical health
  • Other documented circumstances

To appeal, complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and return it with all required documentation to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Third party documentation may be required as part of an approved appeal. Please do not submit original documents as they cannot be returned. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form is available at www.MiamiOH.edu/financialaid/forms. Submission of an appeal is not a guarantee of approval or reinstatement of financial aid.

You should file your appeal within three weeks of the date we notify you that your aid is suspended or terminated.  You must submit your appeal by the published deadline for the term in which you are appealing to receive Federal financial aid.  We will notify you of our decision approximately three weeks after we receive your complete appeal via postal mail/in writing.

NOTE: Multiple degree students (i.e., pursuing an Associate’s Degree simultaneously with a Bachelor’s Degree) and students with transfer hours must provide the Office of Student Financial Assistance a copy of their Degree Audit Report (DAR).  In addition, a supporting letter must be submitted from an Academic Advisor stating how many of your credit hours (transfer hours or hours from a previous degree earned from Miami University) apply to your current degree program.

Second Bachelor's Degree

To be eligible for financial aid when you are seeking a second bachelor's degree from Miami University you must be enrolled in a different degree program than the one that you previously completed. A Second Undergraduate Degree form will need to be completed by your academic adviser. This form is available in the Office of Student Financial Assistance or downloadable from BannerWeb. The information needed to complete this form: type of degree previously earned and the date granted; type of degree you are currently seeking; and the number of hours from the first bachelor's degree that will count towards the second degree according to a DARS audit.

Study Abroad or at Another University

If you are a degree-seeking student at Miami University and you plan to attend a study abroad program during the fall or spring semester or summer session, you must complete a Study Abroad Consortium/Contractual Agreement in order to receive your financial aid and/or scholarships. Your financial aid eligibility may be affected by the type of study abroad program in which you are enrolled. This can be a very long process; and, if at all possible, should be started at least two months prior to leaving the country. Also, you may want to grant power of attorney to one of your parents so that they may sign documents for you while you are out of the country.

If you are a degree-seeking student at Miami University and you plan to attend another university during the fall or spring semester or summer session, or you are simultaneously enrolled at Miami and another institution and wish to obtain aid, you must complete a Consortium/Contractual Agreement in order to receive your financial aid. Allow four weeks prior to the beginning of the program to complete the agreement.

Teacher Certification/Licensure

If you are not seeking a degree but are pursuing a Teacher Certification/Licensure, you will need to have your academic advisor complete the Alternative Programs form  and attach your specific plan of coursework by academic semester. The Teacher Certification/Licensure yearly student loan limit is $12,500 of which $5,500 may be in a subsidized loan.

Verification Process

Verification is a process in which the Office of Student Financial Assistance is mandated by the U.S. Department of Education to confirm the information reported on the FAFSA. All schools that disburse federal funds are required to participate in the verification process. To read more about the federal verification process and acceptable documentation, access MiamiOH.edu/verification

Exit Counseling for Students Graduating with Federal Loans

Prior to graduating or leaving college, Federal Direct Stafford Loan student borrowers are required to complete an Exit Counseling session. This Exit Counseling session has been created to make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a federal student loan borrower. Federal Perkins Loan student borrowers complete the Exit Interview process with Educational Computer Systems, Inc.

Federal Tax Issues

Each January, students are sent a Form 1098-T from the Office of the Bursar. This form should be used by students and parents to determine eligibility for the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. This form has nothing to do with whether or not any aid received by the student is taxable income.

Tax code requires all educational benefits be counted as income unless they are excluded by law. Educational benefits include any scholarship (need, merit-based, or received from an outside source), fellowships, need-based educational grants (federal or state), and any tuition reductions such as given to university employees. Loans are not taxable. To determine if the educational benefits you received are taxable and/or to also determine what tax deductions (credits) you are eligible for, refer to IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education (PDF).

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) was recently extended for two years as part of the Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010. Parents and students could qualify for a maximum tax credit of $2,500 for qualified tuition and related expenses for the first four years of post-secondary education. The new credit modifies the existing Hope Tuition Credit. Information about the tax credit is available at the IRS website.

Living Off Campus

When we calculate your eligibility for need-based financial aid we use the same estimated expenses for living costs whether you are living on campus or off campus, as long as you are not living with your parents. If you are receiving financial aid in excess of your tuition charges, a check will be mailed to your local address or a direct deposit made for the excess financial aid.

If you have been awarded scholarships from Miami University for your Miami room and board charges and choose to live off campus, you will not receive the portion of your scholarship which would have paid your Miami room costs. In addition, if you do not purchase a university meal plan, you will not receive the portion of your scholarship which would have paid your Miami board costs.

If you need to provide proof to your landlord of the financial assistance that you will be receiving for the semester to sufficiently cover your rent, you may submit a copy of your Account Summary by Term from BannerWeb or provide copies of your Bursar eBill and award letter indicating an overage amount. Your Account Summary by Term shows current charges and disbursed financial aid. If you have a private loan, you can provide documentation directly from the lender verifying the loan amount and the loan period. The landlord reserves the right not to accept these documents.

Loan Consolidation

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to combine one or more of your federal student education loans into a new loan that offers you several advantages. A Direct Consolidation Loan may offer you a lower rate than your current loans. You will find it is easier to manage debt; the current interest rate on the loans being consolidated is rounded to the nearest higher 1/8th of one percent with only one lender and one monthly bill. Your one lender will be the U.S. Department of Education. Private loans and Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans cannot be consolidated with federal student education loans. For more information, see our frequently asked questions regarding consolidation.