Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students are required to be maintaining SAP in order to remain eligible for their Federal and Institutional financial aid funds.  

Download Federal/Institutional SAP Policy

Policies and Procedures

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.


​Campus Employment and Incomplete Financial Aid Files

Full-time, enrolled students who have not completed their financial aid file, will not be eligible to be hired for or begin work in any campus-based (College Funded) job.


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 independent 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 - How to Submit Required Documents

When you file the CSS/PROFILE, College Board will notify you on how to submit specific required documents via IDOC.  Other documents may be submitted directly to the Office of Financial Aid but must be sent as a clear, non-photo PDF via email, a clear fax transmission, or 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 Tuition 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 Institutional Aid

Enrollment Status and Institutional Aid:  Institutional aid, both need-based and non-need based, is limited to students who are enrolled full-time - three (3) or more F&M credits per semester. Students who drop below three (3) F&M credits (full-time enrollment) in a semester, are no longer eligible to receive institutional aid.  When a student reduces their enrollment status to less than full-time,  the Office of Financial Aid will make the appropriate changes to the student's financial aid package following notification from the Dean's Office.

Student Employment:  Campus-based employment is available only to full-time enrolled students.  When a student employee reduces their enrollment status to less than full-time, they are required to notify their campus employer/supervisor, resign from their campus employment, and contact the Office of Financial Aid.


Financial Aid and Your eBill

Financial aid is applied to your bill with the first two (2) weeks of the fall semester and the first two (2) 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.


GRE Fee Reduction

Students may qualify if they are a dependent senior with a parent contribution (per the FAFSA) of no more than $1500 or whatever the threshold amount as indicated by ETS. Here is what you should do:

  1. Visit the GRE website:
  2.  Contact Mr. Clarke Paine, Director of Financial Aid.


Institutional Aid - 8 Semester Limit

Returning 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, CSS/PROFILE, federal tax documents (tax return, all schedules, and all W-2s) by APRIL 30th.


Leave of Absence/Withdrawal from all Classes and Its Impact on Federal Financial Aid.

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. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  5. Federal PELL Grant
  6. Federal SEOG

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


Music Lessons

Students who have a need-based financial aid package may have the Artist-Teacher fee credited to their account if they have remaining need-based aid eligibility.

Instructions – Complete the following prior to your first lesson:

  1. Submit your $600 check made payable to “Franklin & Marshall College” to Ms. Debbie Joseph, Music Department Coordinator, at 105 Meyran. You will be given a receipt for payment.
  2. Complete the “Financial Aid Appeal for Non-Credit Artist Teacher Program Lessons.”
  3. Staple your receipt in the area on the form.
  4. Submit both your receipt and appeal to the Office of Financial Aid located at 617 College Ave.

The Office of Financial Aid will credit $600 to your account if you have remaining eligibility for need-based aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at 717.358.3991, should you have any questions regarding this process.


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 packages are not adjusted, increased or decreased, due to a student's intention to study off campus. (download Off Campus Study Financial Aid Handout)

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 will not reduce its own institutional grant aid that has already been awarded until total gift aid reaches the student's Cost of Attendance.

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 /F&M Loan, and Federal Direct Loan. 

After reducing all eligible, awarded self-help aid, any remaining outside scholarship amount in excess will 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 in most high school guidance offices or on websites such as

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 and send to the Business Office/Cashier. 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 on the financial aid application(s).


PHEAA State Grant - Summer Session

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 (you can create an account if you do not already have an one) and complete the “Summer State Grant Application.”


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 credits in which student enrolls.  Taking at least two (2) 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 a student eligibility for Federal Direct Student Loan.

A student may be eligible to borrow a Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loan amount appropriate for their grade level.  Should a student require additional loan funds, 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 a student is only taking one summer course, their only option would be to borrow a private student loan.  Students should apply with a lender that does not require half-time enrollment. Refer to this list of private loans.

All students who will be borrowing a any type of loan for Summer coursework should contact 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 (Federal 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) 358-3991.


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, if required, will be available for you to download from IDOC.
  • Signed copies of parents’ and student’s Federal Income Tax documents (tax return, all schedules and all W-2s). (If a copy was not retained, contact your local IRS Office for additional information call 1-800-829- 1040 or complete form 4506-T).
  • Any parent or student who did NOT file a federal tax return MUST provide a confirmation from the IRS that they did not file a tax return. A confirmation of nonfiling can be obtained from the IRS using form 4506-T and checking box 7.
  • 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.