Sep 28, 2020  
2020-2021 Springfield College Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Springfield College Catalog

Financial Aid


Financial Aid

This document contains information about the following topics:

Introduction

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Springfield College offers a comprehensive financing program to students who have matriculated in an eligible degree or certificate program. We know that financing a Springfield College education is a challenging task. Our staff is prepared to assist and advise students and family members involved in the financing process on a variety of financing options and application procedures.

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 cannot discuss details of the student’s application with persons other than the student and/or responsible parent. If a student would like someone to have access to their information, a confidential release form, available upon request, must be on file with the Financial Aid Office. Students and families are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office at any time to discuss concerns, questions, or major changes to their family’s financial circumstances.

The Financial Aid Office is a resource for educational financing options beyond need-based financial aid programs. Students and family members involved in the financing process are encouraged to contact financial aid staff for information and application procedures. 

Springfield College Grant and Institutional Grants

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Springfield College undergraduate awards institutional grant funding primarily on the basis of financial need. Academic achievement, co-curricular/community activities, and leadership potential are also occasionally considered when making grant eligibility decisions. Funding is limited and generally provided by endowment earnings, the annual operating budget, and gifts from alumnae, parents, and friends.

All U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens who have been accepted into a degree or eligible certificate program may apply for assistance.

Unless otherwise indicated, aid is awarded on the basis of full-time enrollment.  Awards may be subject to adjustment and/or cancellation if a student’s enrollment status is less than full-time.

Financial need is determined a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Nearly all need-based grant programs are limited to undergraduate students only.  Graduate grant programs for students attending Main Campus programs are outlined online at https://springfield.edu/admissions/graduate-admissions/fellowships-asssociateships-scholarships.  Scholarship and grant programs available to graduate students include Fellowship and Associateship Programs, merit scholarships for incoming and returning graduate students, and grant programs for legacy students and students that have completed their undergraduate degree at Springfield College.  More information regarding funding amounts, limitations and eligibility is found online.

 

 

Application Process

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All applicants for need-based financial aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.gov. Verification of data on the application forms may be required. Additional documents will be requested as needed.

Students and their families are expected to take responsibility for the financial aid application process by filing a FAFSA for each academic year in which a student would like to be considered for need-based financial assistance.

 

Federal and State Aid Programs  

 

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Federal Grants

Pell Grant: Undergraduate students with high demonstrated financial need, as determined by the FAFSA, are eligible for the Pell grant. More information on the Pell Grant is available online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/pell

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): Limited SEOG funding is available to undergraduate students that demonstrate the highest level of need per their FAFSA.  More information on the FSEOG is available online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/fseog

State Grants

Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Vermont offer scholarship and grant programs for undergraduate students who reside in those states and attend school in Massachusetts.  

Applicants for the Massachusetts State Grant must reside in Massachusetts for at least one year prior to receiving the grant. High school counselors or state scholarship offices can provide eligibility and deadline information. For the telephone number and address of a state’s scholarship office, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at
800-433-3243.

Eligible undergraduate students attending the regional campus in Vermont may also be eligible for Vermont scholarships and grant programs.   

Eligible undergraduate students attending the regional campus in Delaware may be eligible for Delaware and Pennsylvania scholarship and grant programs if the student is a resident of either state.   

Eligible undergraduate students who are Florida residents attending the regional campus in Florida may be eligible for Florida scholarships and grant programs.  

Please note that a student’s federal or state grant aid eligibility may affect their eligibility for other financial aid resources, including institutional grant funding.  Also, if a student does not meet any deadlines or complete all requisite documents in order to receive federal or state grants, Springfield College grant may not be used to make up the loss of government funding.

Federal Student Loans

Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loan

A subsidized federal direct student loan is need-based and a student’s eligibility for it is determined the student’s FAFSA and academic program each academic year. Only undergraduate students are eligible to receive it.  The US Department of Education pays the loan’s interest (in effect, the loan will not accrue interest):

  • while you’re in school at least half-time,
  • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and
  • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan

All U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizen students are eligible for an unsubsidized federal direct student loan regardless of need. The total amount of eligibility depends on the year in school. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to borrow through the unsubsidized federal direct student loan program. A FAFSA must be filed in order to receive an unsubsidized federal direct student loan. The federal government charges interest on the unsubsidized loan from the time the loan is disbursed until the loan is paid in full. There is an option to defer payment of interest during school; that interest is capitalized (added to the principal) at repayment.

Repayment on any federal student loan begins six months after a student graduates or ceases to be enrolled with at least half-time student status.

Interest rates for federal direct student loans are fixed and determined by the US Department of Education.  Federal student loans are subject to an origination fee imposed by the US Department of Education.  The fee is taken from the gross amount borrowed through the loan program and the remaining net amount is credited to the student’s account.  In order for students to be eligible to borrow through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, they must have at least half-time student status in their degree program.  Borrowers through the federal direct student loan program may be required to accept certain kinds of loan, complete master promissory notes and counseling sessions before receiving funding.  More information on the federal direct student loan program is found online:

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Students Loans

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan

 

Merit Scholarships 

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Trustee, Presidential, Dean, Director’s, Distinguished, Honors, Achiever’s

Springfield College is committed to educating talented students who will enrich our learning environment. We seek students who have demonstrated academic excellence. Scholarships serve to recognize and encourage those qualities as demonstrated by students in our incoming class. Scholarships are determined by the Admissions Office after the comprehensive assessment of their academic record and admission application materials. Scholarships are not based on financial need and are renewable for continuing students who meet the renewal criteria listed below.

For undergraduate students other than regional and online:

  • Awards are available for a maximum of four years of undergraduate study. (Eight consecutive full-time semesters)
  • Renewal is based on the following criteria:
    • Upon completion of Freshman year: Earn 24 credits with a cumulative average of 2.5
    • Upon completion of Sophomore year: Earn 48 credits with a cumulative average of 2.7
    • Upon completion of Junior year: Earn 72 credits with a cumulative average of 2.9 or higher
    • Director’s Award requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.3 or higher with the same credit completion rate indicated above based on year-in-school

Scholarships may be revoked if a student does not meet the behavioral standards of the college as established by the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Scholarships are disbursed by semester pending the student’s full-time enrollment for the fall and spring semesters only.  Merit scholarships are not applied to the summer semester.

Scholarship award funds may not be available for study abroad programs.  Only exchange programs where tuition charges are assessed directly by Springfield College (partnered programs) are eligible.

Scholarships that are not renewed due to academic and/or behavioral conduct may not be restored. Although a student may be concerned for college grants, based on financial need, after losing merit scholarship eligibility, other grants may not be adjusted or awarded due to loss of merit scholarship.

Scholarships will be revoked if the student is part of a tuition exchange or tuition remission program. Students who are receiving these tuition programs may not eligible for Springfield College grants or scholarships.

 

Academic Eligibility

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Recipients of financial aid (including most loan programs) must make satisfactory academic progress toward their degrees. Satisfactory progress is defined by the college and is reviewed each semester. The evaluation consists of a review of quantitative progress (semester hours earned per year) and qualitative achievement (cumulative GPA), (see Academic Progress Policy).

Financial Aid Policy

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The College makes admissions decisions without regard for ability to pay educational expenses. All information in a student’s financial aid file is treated in accordance with the Federal Family Rights and Privacy Act. Unless otherwise indicated, aid is awarded on the basis of full-time enrollment (minimum of twelve credit hours per semester). Aid awards are subject to adjustment and/or cancellation if the student does not enroll full time.

The total financial assistance one can receive cannot exceed need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Students are required to advise the Office of Financial Aid of outside scholarship aid. If there is a gap between calculated need and the amount of aid in the student’s financial aid package, the outside scholarship is allowed to fill that unmet need. If the need has been met, outside aid may reduce the loan component of the financial aid package first.

Students must make satisfactory academic progress toward their degrees to continue to receive financial aid (see the section on “Academic Eligibility”). An award can be canceled during the academic year for failure to meet the academic requirements of the award, for failure to submit required documentation, for conduct inconsistent with the standards of the College, for failure to enroll, or if incorrect information was provided in the application process.

Students must complete the financial aid application process for each academic year in which assistance is needed. Renewal of awards is contingent upon the continued demonstration of financial need and availability of funds. Springfield College cannot guarantee the availability of College funds to all needy students.

Students are responsible for filing properly completed forms by the published priority dates. Failure to complete the process in the required time may jeopardize eligibility for assistance. Students must also provide all documentation requested by the College’s Office of Financial Aid. Failure to comply may result in a denial of assistance. All applicants should apply to their home state scholarship program. Aid is awarded on the basis of financial need and academic standing and is subject to federal, state, and College policies. Any change in a student’s enrollment, financial, marital, or residential status must be reported promptly to the Office of Financial Aid. The financial aid award shall be void if and when incorrect or inconsistent information is revealed on forms or other documentation submitted in the application process. All awards are subject to verification. Cases of fraud are reported to the appropriate authorities. Student’s accounts are credited when all documentation has been submitted and verification is complete. Students receiving tuition remission/tuition exchange are not eligible for Springfield College grants or scholarships.

Institutional Aid 

Institutional Aid such as grants and scholarships awarded by Springfield College cannot exceed tuition and is reduced by the amount of tuition specific grant awarded by another source.



Treatment of Federal Student Aid When a Student Withdraws (R2T4)

 

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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 than 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 scheduled to receive.  Once you have completed more than 60% of the payments period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled 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 of 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.

If the college returns federal funds on a student’s behalf to avoid a federal overpayment, the amount returned may result in a balance due to the college.

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 website www.springfieldcollege.edu.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress 

 

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Undergraduate Students

 

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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 semester.

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

0.5-29.5

1.80

30-59.5

1.90

60.0 and above

2.00

 

Quantitative Measure:

To maintain the Quantitative component of Satisfactory Academic Progress a student must achieve a certain course completion rate based on the number of credits attempted.

Credits Attempted

Minimum Course Completion Ratio

0.5-29.5

65.00%

30-59.5

70.00%

60.0 and above

75.00%

 

Note: First year, first semester students (non-transfer), regardless of credits attempted, who fall below a 1.800 CGPA but are at or above 1.650%, and/or fall below the 65% completion rate but are at or above 60.00%, are placed on Academic Warning for one semester. The student must meet the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the second semester or he or she will be placed on Academic Probation.

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 a term of 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 Probation and Suspension

Students who continuously fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards after one semester of Financial Aid Warning will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.  Financial Aid Probation 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.  The explanation is called an SAP appeal.  Reasons for appeal must indicate the exceptional circumstances that caused the student to fail to meet the standards and must also indicate the student’s plan to meet the standards in the future.  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 if they show progress toward meeting the standard.

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.
  • Repeat courses are all counted as credits attempted and only credits from a passed course are counted as credits earned.  Federal aid is only allowed to pay for one repeat of a course previously passed.

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.

 

Graduate Students

Full-time graduate students are expected to complete 18 credit hours per academic year.  Satisfactory Academic Progress reviews are conducted at the end of the 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 a term of 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 Probation and Suspension

Students who continuously fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards after one semester of Financial Aid Warning will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.  Financial Aid Probation 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.  The explanation is called an SAP appeal.  Reasons for appeal must indicate the exceptional circumstances that caused the student to fail to meet the standards and must also indicate the student’s plan to meet the standards in the future.  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 if they show progress toward meeting the standard.

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.
  • Repeat courses are all counted as credits attempted and only credits from a passed course are counted as credits earned.  Federal aid is only allowed to pay for one repeat of a course previously passed.

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.