Academic Year:  As Defined for Purposes of Need-Based Financial Aid

The academic year is defined as no fewer than 30 weeks which encompass the fall semester and spring semester, generally beginning in late August/early September through mid-December and mid-January through mid-May. The specific dates of the academic year are indicated by our Registrar's Office.

 

Award Notification:  When and How Your Aid Award is Disbursed

Disbursable financial aid awarded to students will disburse within the first few weeks of the fall semester and the first few weeks of the spring semester. It will disburse from the Federal agency, lending agency, or the College itself as an electronic funds transfer (EFT) or paper check to the College's Business Office.

 

​Campus Employment and Incomplete Financial Aid Files

Full-time, enrolled students who 1) have indicated that they will be applying for need-based financial aid for the academic year, 2) have begun the financial aid application process, 3) have been in communication with/notified by the Office of Financial Aid about outstanding information needed to complete their file, 4) have logged on to MyAid, or 5) have not completed their financial aid file before the beginning of the academic year (first day of the fall semester employment period) will not be eligible to be hired for or begin work in any campus-based (College Funded) job.

Students applying for financial aid who complete their financial aid file after the beginning of the academic year will be considered for campus-based employment on a case by case basis.

 

Dependent to Independent Status Change

Students who enter the College as traditional full-time, degree seeking dependent students will remain as dependent students (in terms of institutional financial aid) throughout their enrollment to graduation, regardless of what age that may occur.  

Students who enter as dependent students whose enrollment is prolonged (and approved as such by the College) beyond the age of federally determined independent student status may be considered for federal aid via the FAFSA as an independent student; however, these students will remain as dependent students for institutionally determined financial aid and will need to include their parent(s) information as part of the application process for institutional financial aid via the College Board/CSS Profile.

One general example:  A dependent student who entered the college as a full-time, degree seeking, first-year student at age 18 who applies for full consideration of financial aid would, in that year, need to include his/her parent(s)' information as part of the FAFSA and the Profile.  If this student were to take a College-approved extended leave of absence and return with approval to the College to complete his/her degree at, say, age 27, the student would be directed to submit the FAFSA as an indepedent student without parental information; however, the student, should he/she wish to apply for institutional aid would be required to submit parental information as part of the Profile application.


Documents Received

The Office of Financial Aid will receive requested/required documents via IDOC.  Documents submitted to the Office of Financial Aid otherwise may be acceptable if sent as a clear, non-photo PDF via email, a clear fax transmission, or, of course, standard copies by surface mail.

Photographs of documents are unacceptable.


Drug and Alcohol Policy Notification: Required of Institutions That Disburse Federal Aid

A school that participates in any FSA program must annually distribute the following information to its students, faculty and employees to prevent drug and alcohol abuse:

  • information on preventing drug and alcohol abuse:
  • standards of conduct that clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the unlawful possession, use or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on the school’s property, or as part of the school’s activities;
  • a description of the sanctions under local, state and federal law for unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol;
  • a description of any drug and alcohol counseling, treatment or rehabilitation programs available to students and employees;
  • a description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol; and
  • a clear statement that the school will impose sanctions on students and employees for violations of the standards of conduct (consistent with local, state and federal law) and a description of these sanctions, up to and including expulsion, termination of employment and referral for prosecution.

If new students enroll or new employees are hired after the initial distribution for the year, the school must make sure that they also receive the materials.

Reference: 34 CFR 668.14(c); The Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook, Volume 2, Chapter 6; Common Manual, Chapter 4.

 

Employee Benefits

Employee tuition benefits that travel with a dependent student whose parents work at other institutions of higher education or organization may be included in the student's financial aid package.  These benefits are beneficial to the student regardless of how they interact with other aspects of the need-based financial aid package.

For students who qualify for need-based financial aid, the employee tuition benefit will be added on top of the package up to meeting full Federal demonstrated need; similarly to the way we include Outside Scholarships in packaging.  Any amount of the benefit that exceeds Federal demonstrated need will reduce other components of the financial aid package by the overage amount.

The College will first reduce the self-help portion (loans and/or job) of the need-based aid package that has already been awarded to the student. The order of the reduction will be Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan.

After reducing all eligible, awarded self-help aid, any remaining outside scholarship amount in excess would reduce Franklin & Marshall grant.

 

Enrollment Status and College Funds

Enrollment Status and College-based Funds:  College-based funds, need-based and non-based, is limited only to students with full-time enrollment status.  Students who drop below full-time enrollment status, fewer than three (3) F&M credits (full-time enrollment) in a semester, are no longer eligible to receive College-based funds.  Should students change enrollment status to below full-time, the Office of Financial Aid will make the appropriate changes to financial aid packages following notification from the Dean's Office.

Student Employment:  Campus-based employment is available only to full-time enrolled students.  Should student employees change enrollment status to below full-time, they should notify their campus employer/supervisor, resign from their campus employment, and contact the Office of Financial Aid.


GRE Fee Reduction

1.  Students inquiring regarding a fee reduction for the GRE should contact Mr. Clarke Paine, Director of Financial Aid.

2.  Students may qualify if they are a dependent senior with a parent contribution (per the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)) of no more than $1500 (or whatever the threshold amount as indicated by ETS).

3.  Please visit the GRE website for additional information prior to contacting the Director of Financial Aid: http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/fees/reduction/

 

Institutional Aid

Returning students must apply for financial aid for each academic year by completing the financial aid process by April 30 of the prior academic year.  Students with demonstrated need can receive institutional aid for up to eight (8) semesters as long as they remain in good academic standing and submit the required documents (FAFSA, Profile, federal tax return and schedules, and W-2s) by the required deadlines.

 

Music Lessons

Full-time enrolled students who receive institutional need-based financial aid may be eligible to receive a reimbursement for Music (or Voice) Lessons for up to $600 per semester. 

1.  Students should inquire with the Music Department.

2.  The student must pay the Artist-Teacher fee of $600 to the Music Department Coordinator (Debbie Joseph, 105 Meyran), receiving a receipt.  Checks should be made payable to "Franklin & Marshall College."  The deadline is prior to the first lesson.

3. The student must complete the "appeal for need-based aid" form.  This form is available when the student pays for the lesson.  The receipt of payment must be attached to this form.  The form must then be returned the Office of Financial Aid.

4. If the student is receiving institutional need-based aid, the Office of Financial Aid will credit the student's account $600. 

 

Off Campus Study

All need-based financial aid recipient wishing to study off campus must have completed their financial aid file prior to the April deadline.

Students who receive need-based financial aid and who study off campus will receive the same amount of financial aid they would have otherwise received had they remained on campus.  More simply, financial aid pacakges are not adjusted, increased or decreased, due to a student's intention to study off campus.

For all off campus study programs, students are charged by the College the regular F&M tuition.  Students are not charged by the College for room, health service fees, or meal plan (board) costs.   However, those costs, at standard F&M rates, are included in the cost of attendance budget used to determine a student's demonstrated need.  Therefore, those costs are also used to determine a student's eligibility for need-based financial aid.

Students must pay directly to the off campus study site/institution any room, meal plan (board), program fees, or miscellaneous charges.  These charges will be billed directly to the student by the off campus study site institution.  Students who receive financial aid in the form of grants or loans above the cost of F&M's tuition (for the time period spent abroad) will be able to utilize the overage of aid toward those costs at their site institution. 

If the student needs a Payment Deferral Form completed or a Payment Deferral Letter written to verify the amount of financial aid s/he has in order to defer the payment to the program, please contact Ms. Tonya Hsiung, Assistant Director of Financial Aid. If a Payment Deferral Form or Payment Deferral Letter is completed on the student’s behalf, the student will also be required to complete a Refund Request Form with the Business Office and then send a copy of the program’s invoice (once received) to the Business Office. 

If the invoice from the program is more than the anticipated refund, the student would be responsible for paying that difference. If the invoice from the program is less than the anticipated refund, s/he should make arrangements with the Business Office prior to departure for how to handle the additional refund check since it will be made out to the student. Typically it will be mailed to the student’s home address.

International Students

International students are eligible for only one semester of financial aid for off-campus study, and no financial aid will be granted for study in the student's home country.       

An international student receiving Franklin & Marshall financial aid who does not return to campus in the semester immediately following a semester or year-long off-campus study experience, is required to reimburse the College for the institutional aid received during the off-campus study period of time.

 

Outside Scholarships

Outside Scholarships:  Outside scholarships awarded to F&M students will benefit students to the greatest extent possible.  Outside scholarship awards will be added on top of a student's financial aid award package, dollar by dollar, up to meeting full Federal aid eligibility - the maximum limit of all financial aid awards that a student may receive from any source.  Should any outside scholarship dollars exceed a student's maximum Federal aid eligibility, the College does not reduce its own institutional grant aid that has already been awarded. 

The College will first reduce the self-help portion (loans and/or job) of the need-based aid package that has already been awarded to the student.  The order of the reduction will be Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan. 

After reducing all eligible, awarded self-help aid, any remaining outside scholarship amount in excess will not reduce Franklin & Marshall grant. 

Students must notify the Office of Financial Aid upon receipt of all outside scholarships/awards. The College strongly encourages students to pursue outside scholarships. Information on potential sources of outside funding can be found on the Office of Financial Aid’s website, www.fandm.edu/financial-aid, in most high school guidance offices or on websites such as www.fastweb.com.

Organizations awarding Outside Scholarships to F&M students are advised to make checks payable to Franklin & Marshall College with the student's name listed in the check memo. This serves students better than making the check payable to the student; as doing so will require the student to report the check amount as untaxed income in the subsequent year's financial aid application(s).

 

Return of Federal Financial Aid: Returning Title IV Aid to the Federal Government

The 1998 amendments to the Higher Education Act made substantial changes to the way an institution will treat a student who fails to complete a period of attendance for which he or she has been charged.

A student who withdraws from all classes may only keep the financial aid they have earned up to the time of withdrawal. Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amounts must be returned. 

The Return of Title IV Funds policy states that a student has earned the portion of Title IV aid which directly corresponds to the percentage of days completed within an academic term up to and including 60% of the term. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the term, the student has earned 100% of his/her Title IV aid. All calendar days within an academic term are counted except for periods of five days or longer when the school is not in session.

If a refund is due by the school, it will be made to the appropriate Title IV fund within 45 days of the date of official withdrawal or within 45 days of the date of determination of withdrawal if the student does not officially withdraw.

 The order of refunds is as follows:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  4. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  5. Federal Perkins Loan
  6. Federal Plus Loans
  7. Direct PLUS Loans
  8. Federal PELL Grant
  9. Federal SEOG

Examples of Title IV funds calculations are available upon request from the Financial Aid office.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress - Download PDF

Federal Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policies

Effective July 1, 2011

The Office of Financial Aid has established the following policies and procedures stated to fulfill the requirements expressed in the Higher Education Act (HEA) as revised for the 2011-12 academic year. The College’s Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy and procedures are reviewed when changes at the federal or institutional level require review to ensure compliance with Federal Regulations. All Franklin & Marshall College students applying for Title IV federal financial aid must meet the criteria stated hereafter regardless of whether or not they previously received federal financial aid.

Policy Requirements – The HEA revised section 668 contains updated regulations concerning Satisfactory Academic Progress. Section 668 requires that an institution establish, publish, and enforce reasonable standards for measuring a student’s ability to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Such standards must meet the following qualifications: 

  • Contain standards that are the same as or stricter than the institution’s standards for a student enrolled in the same educational program who is not receiving assistance under a Title IV, HEA program.
  • Include both a qualitative (grade-based) element and a quantitative (time-based) element.
  • Evaluate student progress in both elements annually, at a minimum.
  • Provide specific procedures under which a student may appeal a determination that the student is not making satisfactory progress including documentation of extenuating circumstances.
  • Provide specific procedures for a student to re-establish that he or she is maintaining “satisfactory progress.”
  • Describe the pace at which a student must progress toward a degree to complete degree requirements within the allowed timeframe providing measurement at each evaluation.
  • Describe how GPA and pace of completion are affected by transfer credits.
  • Require that if the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, the student is no longer eligible to receive aid.
  • Notify students of the results of the evaluation at the end of each increment as to whether the student has met the qualitative and quantitative components if it impacts their eligibility for Title IV, HEA program funds.
  • Define terms used in discussing the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress including the terms appeal, probation, academic plan, and maximum timeframe.
  • Provide for consistent application of standards to all students within categories of students, e.g., full-time, part-time.

 The federal programs governed by these regulations are:

Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).

SAP Components

Satisfactory Academic Progress standards include three components:

  • Maximum Time Frame (MTF) within which a degree must be granted
  • Pace – Quantitative (time based) Measure
  • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) – Qualitative (grade based) Measure

The following provide detailed information regarding the evaluation of the three components required in the review of SAP.

Maximum Time Frame (MTF)

Maximum Time Frame is defined as the required length of time it will take a student to complete a degree program based on the appropriate enrollment status. Federal regulations allow a student to be eligible to receive federal aid up to 150% of the time that it would normally take to complete a degree. All course credits in which a student enrolls or transfers to the College are included in the maximum time frame calculation, regardless of the number of degrees a student chooses to obtain. Grades that are considered course credit hours attempted and completed in the calculation of maximum time frame include: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F,NP,W,NG.

The maximum time frame is calculated for aid applicants regardless of whether or not they previously received federal financial aid. All hours attempted are considered when determining the maximum time frame calculation for earning a degree. Proper withdrawal from classes or a class during the Drop/Add (“withdraw-without-record” period which is typically 13 calendar days after the start of the semester) will not affect maximum time frame.

For a student, 150% of the course credit hours that it would normally take to complete a Baccalaureate Degree is 48 course credit hours. This is determined by multiplying 32 course credit hours required for graduation by 150%. For a student seeking a degree, the student may remain eligible through 48 course credit hours attempted of enrollment. If the 48 course credit hours maximum time frame limit is exceeded while pursuing a degree, a student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid.

Required Pace (Quantitative Measure)

Cumulative Course Credits Hours Attempted

% Completion Rate of Course Credit Hours Attempted

Less than or equal to 8

60%

9-16

63%

Greater than 16

66%

Definition of Attempted Hours:

  • The hours for which the student is registered at the end of the Drop/Add period.
  • All transfer hours
  • All hours are included, even if the student did not receive financial assistance during these time periods.

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average GPA (Qualitative Measure)

Students must also satisfy the qualitative portion of the Federal SAP regulations by maintaining the minimum cumulative GPA accepted by Franklin & Marshall as described below. The award year begins with the fall semester and ends with the spring semester.

Cumulative Course Credits Earned

Minimum Cumulative GPA

0-4

1.50

More than 4 to 8

1.60

More than 8-12

1.70

More than 12 to 16

1.80

More than 16-20

1.90

Greater than 20

2.00

When calculating grade point average and credits attempted vs. credits earned, the following conditions apply:

  • Transfer credits will be included in course credits attempted and earned. Grades received for transfer credits will not be computed in the cumulative grade point average.
  • Progress will be reviewed once the temporary grade of I (Incomplete) or NG (No Grade) has been replaced with an official grade.
  • Repeated courses will count as attempted – the higher grade will be used to calculate the GPA.
  • A grade of P (Pass) counts toward credits attempted and earned, but is not calculated in the GPA.
  • A grade of NP counts toward credits attempted, but is not calculated in the GPA.
  • A grade of W (Withdrawal) counts as credits attempted, but is not calculated in the GPA.
  • A grade of WF (Withdrawal with a grade of F) counts as credits attempted and will count as an F when calculating the GPA.
  • Proper withdrawal from a class prior to the end of the Drop/Add period will not affect the cumulative GPA.

SAP Notification

Students will be notified at a minimum once a year of the results of the annual SAP review if their eligibility for Title IV program funds has been impacted and will be sent the following letter via email.

A letter will be sent to students who have failed to meet, at least, one component of SAP. Students found to be deficient in GPA, Pace, and/or MTF after the annual review are considered ineligible for all forms of federal financial aid during the subsequent award year. Aid can only be reinstated through a successful, documented appeal or by resolving all deficiencies.

SAP Appeal

Federal regulations do not require that a school allow students an opportunity to appeal an unsatisfactory status. Franklin & Marshall College has chosen to exercise the ability to use professional judgment and entertain appeals for reinstatement of aid for no more than one term of probation during their education.

The SAP Appeal process provides for a student who is not meeting the College’s Federal financial aid academic progress policy to petition the College for reconsideration of their federal financial aid eligibility. Students are evaluated annually at the close of the spring semester. At this time, any student not meeting any of the Federal SAP components will be ineligible for further federal financial aid. Students may submit an appeal to be considered for reinstatement of federal financial aid on a probationary status of no more than one semester in order to resolve all deficiencies. Per Federal Regulations, Franklin & Marshall College may only consider appeals based on the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other extreme circumstance. Appeals must provide documentation detailing the circumstances on which the appeal is based. Appeals must also specify why the student failed to satisfy federal SAP requirements and their plan to satisfy SAP requirements by the end of their next semester.

A students whose appeal is accepted, but for whom it would be mathematically impossible to resolve all SAP deficiencies after one semester of attendance, will be placed on an Academic Plan which gives more flexibility in federal financial aid reinstatement and with the end goal being to resolve all SAP deficiencies. An academic plan varies in length and is determined by the Financial Aid SAP Committee. It does not have to equate to the exact number of terms it would take a student to resolve all deficiencies. Students granted aid eligibility through an academic plan may receive aid for up to one year before conducting a review of the student’s performance. If the student is meeting the criteria identified in the SAP appeal approval at the annual review, the student’s academic plan may be extended.

Procedures­

Per federal regulations, only appeals documenting specific circumstances will be considered for approval. Only appeals that document the following reasons will be considered:

  • Serious physical or mental illness of the student
  • Serious physical or mental illness of the student’s immediate family member
  • Death of the student’s immediate family member
  • Other extreme circumstances

If the appeal is not submitted for one of these reasons, it will automatically be denied and will not be heard by the Financial Aid SAP Committee. If the appeal is submitted based on an approved circumstance, but does not provide documentation of said circumstance(s), the student will be contacted and requested to provide the documentation. If the appeal is complete and all necessary documentation is provided, the appeal will be received by the Financial Aid SAP Committee. Students may only submit one appeal per academic career.

There is no secondary appeal process. If an appeal is denied, students can only be reinstated for federal financial aid eligibility if they satisfy all SAP deficiencies. If an appeal is approved and the student does not fulfill the conditions of his or her probation or academic plan, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid for any future semesters during their academic career unless the student satisfies all SAP deficiencies.

SAP Probation is the status assigned to a student who fails to satisfy SAP requirements and who has successfully appealed and had their academic eligibility for federal financial aid reinstated.  Reinstatement of aid during this probationary period may be no longer than one semester. Future semesters of probation will be determined based on the student’s performance during each probationary term. Unless otherwise specified, students must maintain the minimum cumulative GPA required (as noted above) and must meet the PACE (quantitative standards) to be extended for the subsequent semester. Students on SAP Probation for timeframe will be reviewed to determine if the academic plan (timetable) is currently being followed and future enrollment is following this plan.

At the end of each semester, all students who were on probation or an academic plan during their most recent semester of attendance will be reviewed to determine whether or not the student maintained the minimum cumulative GPA and MCP and/or the MTF academic plan is being followed. If a student fails to meet the criteria, the student loses federal financial aid eligibility. It will not be reinstated unless the student satisfies all SAP deficiencies at the end of the evaluation period. Notification of the semester probation review will be sent to students.

Reinstatement occurs when a student has removed all SAP deficiencies acquired during all periods of enrollment or caused by transfer credits and their federal financial aid eligibility for academic reasons is restored. Reinstatement is not a status granted in regard to an appeal. Students who regain eligibility by resolving all deficiencies will be identified during the annual SAP review. After eligibility has been established, any aid will depend upon the availability of funds and other aid eligibility criteria.

 

Student Marriage

Students who receive need-based financial aid from the Federal government and from the College who enter the College with the status of unmarried, single, and dependent will remain in that status regardless of whether or not they choose to marry post-enrollment.  F&M students who marry post-enrollment may see an adjustment to their Federal need-based aid, provided they file their FAFSA on time and as a married student at the time of application, but no change to marital status will affect institutional aid from the College, per the College Board/CSS Profile.

 

Summer Coursework

Financial resources for Summer coursework taken at Franklin & Marshall will depend upon the number of course credits in which students enroll at F&M for the summer.  Taking at least two course credits during the Summer sessions, either two credits in one summer session or one credit in each of the two summer sessions, is considered half-time enrollment and may give students eligibility for Federal Direct Student Loan.

Students may be eligible to borrow a subsidized and/or unsubsidized amount of Federal Direct Student Loan appropriate for their grade level.  Should students require additional loan aid, they are advised to ask their parent(s) to borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan for parents or a private student loan for themselves.  Students who borrow a private student loan will require a credit worthy cosigner.

If students are only taking one summer course then their only option would be to borrow a private student loan.  Students should apply with a lender that does not require half-time enrollment.  Please refer to our list of private loans for Summer term.

All students who will be borrowing a loan of any type for Summer coursework will need to complete and return a Summer School Expense Form  to the Office of Financial Aid well before classes begin.  

When you register for summer courses at Franklin & Marshall you will be expected to pay the cost of tuition at time of registration.  Therefore you should plan ahead if you are borrowing loans to cover the cost of tuition.

If  you are taking courses at another institution, a Consortium Agreement will be required.  This agreement is between F&M (home campus) and the school where you will be taking courses (host campus) certifying that only one school will be administering Title IV financial aid (Direct loans).  You will most likely be expected to pay up front for the cost of tuition and reimburse yourself when the loan funds become available.

For more information about taking summer courses and loan options please contact the Financial Aid Office at (717) 291-3991.

 

Summer PHEAA State Grant

Franklin & Marshall College offers two Summer Sessions of coursework.  For dates, please visit the Registrar's Office website.

In order to qualify for the Pennsylvania State Grant (PHEAA) for the Summer term, you must meet the State Grant eligibility requirements, as well as be enrolled in at least 2 credits across both summer sessions.  That is, you must be enrolled in a minimum of at least one course per Summer session.  You cannot qualify for PHEAA if you are only enrolled in one course or only enrolled during one Summer session.  Please also note that using PHEAA during the Summer will count toward the maximum of eight full-time awards of PHEAA.

If you will meet the requirements listed above for PHEAA and wish to apply for the summer term, please log into your PHEAA account at www.pheaa.org (you can create an account if you do not already have an one) and complete the “Summer State Grant Application.”

 

Verification of Information: Required Process of Verifying the Information Families Submit on the FAFSA

The section below explains your rights and responsibilities. Please read carefully.

Submission of Requested Documentation

All requested information must be provided to the Franklin & Marshall College Office of Financial Aid within six weeks of the notification date. If the requested documentation is unavailable at the time of the request, an extension can be granted provided the Office of Financial Aid receives a written request explaining the reason the documentation is not provided and an estimated date the information will be available. Please note, however, that Federal and institutional aid cannot be finalized until such time as all requested documentation is provided. Failure to satisfy all requests will result in the cancellation of all Federal aid and Franklin & Marshall College need-based grant aid.

Documentation Required
  • A completed Verification form (available from the Office of Financial Aid).
  • Signed copies of parents’ and student’s most recent, base year Federal Income Tax Returns and Schedules. (If a copy was not retained, contact your local IRS Office for additional information call 1-800-829- 1040 or complete form 4506-T). Non tax filers must complete the Non-tax Filers section of the Verification Form (available from the Office of Financial Aid), or complete all questions in sections C and/or section D on the Verification Worksheet, and attach any W-2 forms.
  • Any other verification forms provided by the Office of Financial Aid such as asset verification forms, medical expense forms, household size verification form, etc.....
Review of Information

After all requested information is submitted, application data will be verified. If all application information is accurate or within Federally approved tolerances, aid will be processed and/or finalized. If corrections are required, the Office of Financial Aid will correct the data electronically with the Federal Student Aid Program and process your aid request.

Notification of Verification Results

Notification of your award eligibility and/or certification of Federal loans will indicate your eli­gibility for Federal and institutional funds. In cases where aid had been previously awarded, notification will only be sent when program eligibility changes.

Overpayment of Federal Funds

In cases where corrections result in an overpayment of Federal funds, you will receive notice on steps required to repay the Federal programs and the consequences of not making proper repayment.

Reporting Fraud

In cases where intent to commit fraud to obtain federal funds is suspected, the College will refer the case to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General for review and resolu­tion, and no further processing of financial aid will occur until the case is resolved.

Any questions concerning these policies and procedures should be directed to the Franklin & Marshall College Office of Financial Aid.

 

Veterans Benefits

Students who receive Veterans Benefits will have those funds applied to their financial aid package at F&M.  Provided that total funds from all sources (Veterans Benefits and awarded aid from the Federal government, the State, the College and private organizations) do not exceed the total cost of annual attendance, the funds themselves will neither displace already awarded aid, nor will the funds impact the family's demonstrated need or the family's calculated expected family contribution, i.e., receipt of Veterans Benefits will not adversely affect a student's financial aid package.  This applies to dependent students of Veterans and Veteran students.

Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policies Effective July 1, 2011 The Office of Financial Aid has established the following policies and procedures stated to fulfill the requirements expressed in the Higher Education Act (HEA) as revised for the 2011-12 academic year. The College’s Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory...

Download SAP Policy into PDF

Federal Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policies

Effective July 1, 2011

The Office of Financial Aid has established the following policies and procedures stated to fulfill the requirements expressed in the Higher Education Act (HEA) as revised for the 2011-12 academic year. The College’s Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy and procedures are reviewed when changes at the federal or institutional level require review to ensure compliance with Federal Regulations. All Franklin & Marshall College students applying for Title IV federal financial aid must meet the criteria stated hereafter regardless of whether or not they previously received federal financial aid.

Policy Requirements – The HEA revised section 668 contains updated regulations concerning Satisfactory Academic Progress. Section 668 requires that an institution establish, publish, and enforce reasonable standards for measuring a student’s ability to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Such standards must meet the following qualifications: 

·         Contain standards that are the same as or stricter than the institution’s standards for a student enrolled in the same educational program who is not receiving assistance under a Title IV, HEA program.

·         Include both a qualitative (grade-based) element and a quantitative (time-based) element.

·         Evaluate student progress in both elements annually, at a minimum.

·         Provide specific procedures under which a student may appeal a determination that the student is not making satisfactory progress including documentation of extenuating circumstances.

·         Provide specific procedures for a student to re-establish that he or she is maintaining “satisfactory progress.”

·         Describe the pace at which a student must progress toward a degree to complete degree requirements within the allowed timeframe providing measurement at each evaluation.

·         Describe how GPA and pace of completion are affected by transfer credits.

·         Require that if the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, the student is no longer eligible to receive aid.

·         Notify students of the results of the evaluation at the end of each increment as to whether the student has met the qualitative and quantitative components if it impacts their eligibility for Title IV, HEA program funds.

·         Define terms used in discussing the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress including the terms appeal, probation, academic plan, and maximum timeframe.

·         Provide for consistent application of standards to all students within categories of students, e.g., full-time, part-time.

 The federal programs governed by these regulations are:

Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).

SAP Components

Satisfactory Academic Progress standards include three components:

·          Maximum Time Frame (MTF) within which a degree must be granted

·          Pace – Quantitative (time based) Measure

·          Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) – Qualitative (grade based) Measure

The following provide detailed information regarding the evaluation of the three components required in the review of SAP.

Maximum Time Frame (MTF)

Maximum Time Frame is defined as the required length of time it will take a student to complete a degree program based on the appropriate enrollment status. Federal regulations allow a student to be eligible to receive federal aid up to 150% of the time that it would normally take to complete a degree. All course credits in which a student enrolls or transfers to the College are included in the maximum time frame calculation, regardless of the number of degrees a student chooses to obtain. Grades that are considered course credit hours attempted and completed in the calculation of maximum time frame include: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F,NP,W,NG.

The maximum time frame is calculated for aid applicants regardless of whether or not they previously received federal financial aid. All hours attempted are considered when determining the maximum time frame calculation for earning a degree. Proper withdrawal from classes or a class during the Drop/Add (“withdraw-without-record” period which is typically 13 calendar days after the start of the semester) will not affect maximum time frame.

For a student, 150% of the course credit hours that it would normally take to complete a Baccalaureate Degree is 48 course credit hours. This is determined by multiplying 32 course credit hours required for graduation by 150%. For a student seeking a degree, the student may remain eligible through 48 course credit hours attempted of enrollment. If the 48 course credit hours maximum time frame limit is exceeded while pursuing a degree, a student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid.

Required Pace (Quantitative Measure)

Cumulative Course Credits Hours Attempted

% Completion Rate of Course Credit Hours Attempted

Less than or equal to 8

60%

9-16

63%

Greater than 16

66%

Definition of Attempted Hours:

·         The hours for which the student is registered at the end of the Drop/Add period.

·         All transfer hours

·         All hours are included, even if the student did not receive financial assistance during these time periods.

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average GPA (Qualitative Measure)

Students must also satisfy the qualitative portion of the Federal SAP regulations by maintaining the minimum cumulative GPA accepted by Franklin & Marshall as described below. The award year begins with the fall semester and ends with the spring semester.

Cumulative Course Credits Earned

Minimum Cumulative GPA

0-4

1.50

More than 4 to 8

1.60

More than 8-12

1.70

More than 12 to 16

1.80

More than 16-20

1.90

Greater than 20

2.00

 

When calculating grade point average and credits attempted vs. credits earned, the following conditions apply:

·         Transfer credits will be included in course credits attempted and earned. Grades received for transfer credits will not be computed in the cumulative grade point average.

·         Progress will be reviewed once the temporary grade of I (Incomplete) or NG (No Grade) has been replaced with an official grade.

·         Repeated courses will count as attempted – the higher grade will be used to calculate the GPA.

·         A grade of P (Pass) counts toward credits attempted and earned, but is not calculated in the GPA.

·         A grade of NP counts toward credits attempted, but is not calculated in the GPA.

·         A grade of W (Withdrawal) counts as credits attempted, but is not calculated in the GPA.

·         A grade of WF (Withdrawal with a grade of F) counts as credits attempted and will count as an F when calculating the GPA.

·         Proper withdrawal from a class prior to the end of the Drop/Add period will not affect the cumulative GPA.

 

SAP Notification

Students will be notified at a minimum once a year of the results of the annual SAP review if their eligibility for Title IV program funds has been impacted and will be sent the following letter via email.

A letter will be sent to students who have failed to meet, at least, one component of SAP. Students found to be deficient in GPA, Pace, and/or MTF after the annual review are considered ineligible for all forms of federal financial aid during the subsequent award year. Aid can only be reinstated through a successful, documented appeal or by resolving all deficiencies.

SAP Appeal

Federal regulations do not require that a school allow students an opportunity to appeal an unsatisfactory status. Franklin & Marshall College has chosen to exercise the ability to use professional judgment and entertain appeals for reinstatement of aid for no more than one term of probation during their education.

The SAP Appeal process provides for a student who is not meeting the College’s Federal financial aid academic progress policy to petition the College for reconsideration of their federal financial aid eligibility. Students are evaluated annually at the close of the spring semester. At this time, any student not meeting any of the Federal SAP components will be ineligible for further federal financial aid. Students may submit an appeal to be considered for reinstatement of federal financial aid on a probationary status of no more than one semester in order to resolve all deficiencies. Per Federal Regulations, Franklin & Marshall College may only consider appeals based on the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other extreme circumstance. Appeals must provide documentation detailing the circumstances on which the appeal is based. Appeals must also specify why the student failed to satisfy federal SAP requirements and their plan to satisfy SAP requirements by the end of their next semester.

A students whose appeal is accepted, but for whom it would be mathematically impossible to resolve all SAP deficiencies after one semester of attendance, will be placed on an Academic Plan which gives more flexibility in federal financial aid reinstatement and with the end goal being to resolve all SAP deficiencies. An academic plan varies in length and is determined by the Financial Aid SAP Committee. It does not have to equate to the exact number of terms it would take a student to resolve all deficiencies. Students granted aid eligibility through an academic plan may receive aid for up to one year before conducting a review of the student’s performance. If the student is meeting the criteria identified in the SAP appeal approval at the annual review, the student’s academic plan may be extended.

Procedures­

Per federal regulations, only appeals documenting specific circumstances will be considered for approval. Only appeals that document the following reasons will be considered:

·         Serious physical or mental illness of the student

·         Serious physical or mental illness of the student’s immediate family member

·         Death of the student’s immediate family member

·         Other extreme circumstances

If the appeal is not submitted for one of these reasons, it will automatically be denied and will not be heard by the Financial Aid SAP Committee. If the appeal is submitted based on an approved circumstance, but does not provide documentation of said circumstance(s), the student will be contacted and requested to provide the documentation. If the appeal is complete and all necessary documentation is provided, the appeal will be received by the Financial Aid SAP Committee. Students may only submit one appeal per academic career.

There is no secondary appeal process. If an appeal is denied, students can only be reinstated for federal financial aid eligibility if they satisfy all SAP deficiencies. If an appeal is approved and the student does not fulfill the conditions of his or her probation or academic plan, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid for any future semesters during their academic career unless the student satisfies all SAP deficiencies.

SAP Probation is the status assigned to a student who fails to satisfy SAP requirements and who has successfully appealed and had their academic eligibility for federal financial aid reinstated.  Reinstatement of aid during this probationary period may be no longer than one semester. Future semesters of probation will be determined based on the student’s performance during each probationary term. Unless otherwise specified, students must maintain the minimum cumulative GPA required (as noted above) and must meet the PACE (quantitative standards) to be extended for the subsequent semester. Students on SAP Probation for timeframe will be reviewed to determine if the academic plan (timetable) is currently being followed and future enrollment is following this plan.

At the end of each semester, all students who were on probation or an academic plan during their most recent semester of attendance will be reviewed to determine whether or not the student maintained the minimum cumulative GPA and MCP and/or the MTF academic plan is being followed. If a student fails to meet the criteria, the student loses federal financial aid eligibility. It will not be reinstated unless the student satisfies all SAP deficiencies at the end of the evaluation period. Notification of the semester probation review will be sent to students.

Reinstatement occurs when a student has removed all SAP deficiencies acquired during all periods of enrollment or caused by transfer credits and their federal financial aid eligibility for academic reasons is restored. Reinstatement is not a status granted in regard to an appeal. Students who regain eligibility by resolving all deficiencies will be identified during the annual SAP review. After eligibility has been established, any aid will depend upon the availability of funds and other aid eligibility criteria.