Nov 18, 2019  
2018-2019 Springfield College Graduate Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Springfield College Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid


Many students require financial assistance to meet the challenge of paying for a graduate program. All applicants for admission are sent financial aid information. Financial need has no bearing on the admission decision. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid at any time to discuss application procedures, financing options, or changes to their financial status. Students are advised that financing options at the graduate level are highly loan dependent.

All information in the student financial aid application file is considered confidential. Disclosure of family financial information is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The financial aid staff does not discuss details of the student’s application with persons other than the student. If other individuals acting on behalf of the student are to have access to this information, a confidential release form, available upon request, must be on file with the Office of Financial Aid.

Financial aid staff work closely with the Bursar in the management of student accounts.

The following pages contain information about these topics:

Programs Available to Graduate Students

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Loan Programs

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Eligibility for federal loan programs is determined by evaluating the student’s income and assets as declared on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Need based awards are subject to the federally defined data verification process which requires some students to submit an IRS Tax Transcript and other supporting documentation.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program

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Students may borrow up to $20,500, each academic year, through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program.  Eligibility for the federal loans is contingent upon a review by the Office of Financial Aid, in accordance with federal regulations.  Your projected costs for the academic year, prior borrowing at the graduate level, and prior defaults on student loans can impact eligibility.  The interest rate is fixed at 6.21%.  Repayment of principal of the Direct Loan begins six months after either graduation, withdrawal from school, or less than half-time enrollment.  Interest repayment on the Direct unsubsidized loan begins shortly after the first disbursement.  A variety of repayment options are available.

 

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

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Graduate students are eligible to apply for this supplemental federal loan. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is an additional financial resource to supplement the Direct Unsubsidized loans. It offers credit worthy graduate students the option to borrow up to the total cost of education minus other financial assistance.  The interest rate is a fixed 7.21%.  Borrowers can defer repayment while enrolled at least half-time.  Interest that accrues during this period will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower.

Other Loan Options

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There are a variety of private loan options.  Some families have secured loans through refinancing homes, taking out home equity loans, applying for a tuition credit line, or taking out a loan against their life insurance.  Borrowers are advised to compare rate and repayment benefits and schedules with the federal education loans described before choosing one of the private options.

Graduate students enrolled less than half time (5 credits per semester), or as non-matriculated (non-degree) students, are not eligible for federal loans.  Students may also make payment arrangements with the College’s Business Office at the time of registration.

Additional Programs

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All-College Graduate Scholarships

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The All-College Graduate Scholarship is awarded to graduate students through a selection criteria which includes both academic accomplishment and professional promise. Financial need is not an influencing factor. Applications for All-College Graduate Scholarships are available from the Office of Graduate Admissions after January 1. The application deadline is April 1 for the following academic year. New and returning students are eligible to apply.

Springfield College Grants

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Springfield College Grants are available on a very limited basis. Factors taken into consideration are the student’s program of study and level of need. The College does not guarantee funding to all eligible applicants. Applicants must complete the financial aid application process for consideration.

Residence Hall Directorships

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A limited number of positions as residence hall directors are available at Springfield College each year. These positions are held in conjunction with full-time graduate study. Directorships include a furnished apartment in the assigned residence hall, tuition waiver (not to exceed twenty-four semester hours per year), and a stipend. Inquiry and application should be made directly to the Office of Residence Life. Applicants for positions should check with the Residence Life office regarding application dates and deadlines.

Rehabilitation Traineeships

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Another scholarship program, supported by federal funds when available, is known as Rehabilitation Service Administration Traineeships (stipend accompanied by full or partial tuition). Further information can be obtained from the Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Department.

Graduate Fellowships and Graduate Assistantships

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Graduate Fellowships and Graduate Assistantships are available within the Colleges schools and departments for a limited number of qualified graduate students. In addition to providing remuneration up to $4,000 per academic year, a full graduate fellowship enables a student to register for courses without charge for tuition up to a maximum of twenty-four semester hours per year. A graduate assistantship is paid on an hourly basis. Persons interested in applying for graduate fellowships or graduate assistantships should complete the Graduate Fellowship/Graduate Assistantship Interest Identification Form (found in the graduate application packet) and submit it to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The departmental fellowship application will then be forwarded by appropriate departments. Applications must be returned to the department by February 15.

A limited number of doctoral fellowships are also available each year. These carry a stipend of $5,000 to $7,000 for an academic year as well as waiver of tuition. Application for such positions should be made to the Dean of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. A detailed resume of teaching and/or research competencies, as well as academic accomplishments and professional experience, should be included with the completed application form.

Student Employment

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Part-Time Job Opportunities

The Career Center coordinates part time, on and off-campus job opportunities. A wide variety of positions are available in departments throughout the campus. Available positions are posted by the Career Center. The student is responsible for securing employment. Each department is responsible for its own hiring decisions. Preference is given to students who are eligible for federal work study.  Graduate students who complete the FAFSA may request consideration for federal work study.

Graduate Associateship packages

Special Graduate Associateship packages are available on a limited basis to qualified graduate students. The position benefits provide a stipend of $4,500 per student per year to fund 15 hours per week of work for 30 weeks a year. Contact the Office of the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs for additional information (413-748-3959).

Career-Related positions

The Career Center and its Cooperative Education staff develop off campus, career related positions for students. These placements give students the opportunity to earn money while gaining valuable career related experience.

America Reads tutorial program

The America Reads tutorial program is coordinated by the Office of Financial Aid and the Career Center. Students in this program are trained as literacy tutors and work in Springfield agencies and schools. Students must be eligible for the federal work study program to participate in America Reads.

Students are encouraged to research the availability of programs from organizations outside of the college. The Office of Financial Aid provides a list of Internet web sites to assist students in this search.

AmeriCorps

The mission of Springfield College is to educate students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others. Through service in Springfield College’s Massachusetts Reading Corps and School Turnaround Initiative AmeriCorps programs, students and community members live and share this mission, engaging in service that meets the critical educational and social-emotional needs of Springfield youth.

Eighty-two AmeriCorps members are recruited to serve as Literacy Tutors, Academic Coaches, School Counselors, and Academic Support Specialists in high-need Springfield Public Schools and private and public pre-K classrooms. Members serve children in grades pre-K through 12, where they implement targeted interventions based on risk factors related to dropping out of high school, including poor early literacy skills, low attendance, behavioral/disciplinary issues, and course failure in English and math.

Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for half-time (900 hours) or quarter-time (450 hours) positions and are placed based on their academic program, prior experiences, and skills. Members receive extensive training and support from the AmeriCorps staff and from experts in education, counseling, and literacy, resulting in an enriched educational experience and a lifelong commitment to community engagement. In addition, AmeriCorps member receive a living allowance (half-time: $6,050; quarter-time: $3,024) and, upon completion of the program, an Education Award (half-time $2,822; quarter-time: $1,411), which can be used to pay back qualified students loans or for future tuition.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are available at www.springfieldcollege.edu/AmeriCorps. For more information, contact the AmeriCorps Program Office at (413) 748-3403.

Traditional Undergraduate Students (Non-PCS)

Recipients of financial aid, including most loan programs, must make satisfactory academic progress toward their degree.   The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy contains three components:  Qualitative, Quantitative and Maximum Time.    Students will be reviewed for progress at the end of each semesters.

Qualitative measure (CGPA):

To maintain the Qualitative component of Satisfactory Academic Progress a student must achieve a certain Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) based on the number of credits attempted.

Credits Attempted

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average needed

0.5-30

1.750

30.5-60

1.850

60.5-90

1.950

90.5 or more

2.000

 

Qualitative Measure: 

All students are expected to successfully complete at least 70.0% of all credits attempted per semester in order to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.  For example if you attempt 15 (non-repeated) credits in a semester you must have a passing grade and earned 10.5 credits (15 x .70 = 10.5).  

Maximum Time:

In no case may a student take more than 150% of the published program credits.  There is no appeal for exceeding 150% of the published program credits.

Please note these are general financial aid eligibility requirements.  Requirements to renew academic scholarships and athletic eligibility may be different. 

Financial Aid Warning

When a student fails to meet Qualitative and/or Quantitative measure they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  Financial aid eligibility will continue for one semester while the student works toward meeting the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Financial Aid Suspension and Probation

Students who continue fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards after one semester of Financial Aid Warning will be place on Financial Aid Suspension and ineligible for additional financial aid.  Financial Aid Suspension may be appealed and students may receive one additional semester of financial aid with an explanation of the circumstances and an approved plan to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards.  Students who make progress toward meeting the standards but have not yet met the minimum standards may have financial aid eligibility renewed one semester at a time. 

Other Notes:

  • Courses graded with a W, I, F, IE, IC, FN, NR, or CP are counted as credits attempted but not successfully completed.
  • Courses dropped before the published add/drop date each term do not count as credits attempted.
  • Transfer credits are neutral for the Qualitative measure (CGPA), but transfer credits do count as credits attempted.

Process for Evaluation and Notification

At the end of each semester the Financial Aid Office will determine if a student is meeting all three standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Students who are failing to meet any of the standards will be notified by letter.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Traditional Graduate Students (non-PCS)

Full-time graduate students are expected to complete 18 credit hours per academic year.  Satisfactory Academic Progress reviews are conducted at the end of fall and spring semesters.

Qualitative Measure (CGPA)

Graduate students are expected to maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 or better. 

Quantitative measure

Graduate students are expected to complete at least 70% of all credits attempted.

Maximum Time

In no case may a student take more than 150% of the published program credits.  There is no appeal for exceeding 150% of the published program credits.

Please note these are general financial aid eligibility requirements.  Requirements to renew academic scholarships and athletic eligibility may be different. 

Financial Aid Warning

When a student fails to meet Qualitative and/or Quantitative measure they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  Financial aid eligibility will continue for one semester while the student works toward meeting the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Financial Aid Suspension and Probation

Students who continue fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards after one semester of Financial Aid Warning will be place on Financial Aid Suspension and ineligible for additional financial aid.  Financial Aid Suspension may be appealed and students may receive one additional semester of financial aid with an explanation of the circumstances and an approved plan to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards.  Students who make progress toward meeting the standards but have not yet met the minimum standards may have financial aid eligibility renewed one semester at a time. 

Other Notes:

  • Courses graded with a W, I, F, IE, IC, FN, NR, or CP are counted as credits attempted but not successfully completed.
  • Courses dropped before the published add/drop date each term do not count as credits attempted.
  • Transfer credits are neutral for the Qualitative measure (CGPA), but transfer credits do count as credits attempted.

Process for Evaluation and Notification

At the end of each semester the Financial Aid Office will determine if a student is meeting all three standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Students who are failing to meet any of the standards will be notified by letter.

Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws

The law specifies how Springfield College must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school.  The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and Federal Perkins Loans.

Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each period, you earn the funds as you complete the period.  If you withdraw during your period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula.  If you received (or your school or parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds.  If you received more assistance that you earned, the excess funds must be returned by Springfield College and/or you.

The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis.  For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earned 30% of the assistance you were originally schedule to receive.  Once you have completed more that 60% of the payments period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were schedule to receive.

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement.  If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, your school must get your permission before it can disburse them.  You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt.  Springfield College may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school).  Springfield College needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other institutional charges.  If you do not give permission, you will be offered the funds.  However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.

There are some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements.  For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you have not completed the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not receive any Direct Loans funds that you would have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.

If you received (or Springfield College or parent perceived on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of…

  • your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  • the entire amount excess funds.

Springfield College must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.

If your school is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. 

For any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for PLUS loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.  That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive.  You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less.  You must make arrangements with the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that your school may have.  Therefore, you may still owe funds to Springfield College to cover unpaid institutional charges.  Springfield College may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return.  If you don’t already know Springfield College’s refund policy, you should ask for a copy.  Springfield College can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.4.FEDAID (1.800.433.3243).  TTY users may call 1.800.730.8913.  Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at www.studentaid.ed.gov and/or contacting Springfield College Financial Aid Office at 413.748.3108 or our web-site www.springfieldcollege.edu.