Eligibility for financial need is determined upon a complete review of the student’s application. Financial need for assistance is the mathematical difference between the Average Cost of Attendance and the student’s Expected Family Contribution. Once financial need is determined, a financial aid package is created combining grants, scholarships, work opportunities, loans, and any other external assistance. An award letter is issued explaining the cost of attendance, resources, and the financial aid that UGF is able to offer.
Upon acceptance and receipt of financial assistance of any kind, it becomes the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office in writing of changes in Financial Aid and/or enrollment status. Changes include
- Change in the number of enrolled credits
- Change in name, address, or telephone number
- Change in financial status, including any additional scholarships, grants, or other benefits received
- Withdrawal from the University. A student who withdraws from UGF during the semester may be responsible for repayment of all or a portion of any financial aid received for the semester. Return of Federal Fund procedures are federally regulated. Contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.
All institutions participating in the Federal Student Aid Program must have in place a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standard which contains both a qualitative and quantitative measure, defines the maximum timeframe for degree completion which cannot exceed 150% of the credits required for graduation, and which is at least as stringent as the criteria used to measure satisfactory progress for students who are not receiving federal aid.
In accordance with federal regulation, the University of Great Falls has established the following policy regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress:
- Undergraduate Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA
- Graduate Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA
- Students transferring into the University of Great Falls with a GPA of less than 2.0 will be placed immediately on warning
- Student must successfully complete at least 67% of courses attempted
- Grades of W, WP, WF, I, RD, and F are all included in the computation used to determine completion ratio
- Transfer credits will be factored into completion ratio as both attempted and completed
Maximum Time Frame:
- For an associate degree the maximum allowable attempted credits is 96
- For a bachelor degree the maximum allowable attempted credits is 192
- The maximum timeframe for graduate students is 150% of the credits required by program.
SAP is reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who fail to maintain SAP will be placed on financial aid warning for the next semester enrolled. Students on warning may receive financial aid; however, they must bring performance up to an acceptable SAP level in the next term enrolled or they will be suspended from further financial aid eligibility at the University.
Students who receive a semester GPA of less than 1.0 in their first semester will be placed on financial aid suspension and must appeal to be considered for future financial aid. This is to ensure a new student is placed on an academic plan which will assist the student in being successful.
Financial Aid suspension may be appealed in writing. The appeals should be addressed to the Financial Aid Department and will be reviewed by the Suspension Appeal Committee. Appeals must be received by the requested date of the suspension letter to be considered for the next semester. Appeals after that date will be considered on a case by case basis. Generally, appeals will be granted for extraordinary circumstances beyond the student's ability to control, such as illness or death of an immediate family member or personal injury or illness. As a minimum, the appeal must include the following:
- A detailed statement, plus documentation as appropriate, explaining the circumstances that have led to failure to meet the established SAP standards.
- A statement as to how the student will again conform to SAP standards.
Students who successfully appeal a Financial Aid suspension are placed on Financial Aid probation for one term if it is realistic to assume the student could return to good standing in that timeframe. At the end of the probation term, students must be meeting SAP or they will be suspended from receiving Financial Aid. Students who successfully appeal suspension but are not realistically able to return to good standing in one term are placed on a specific academic plan which is monitored each term and that will allow them to return to good standing prior to completion of their program.
If it is apparent that a student will not be able to meet the qualitative requirements prior to reaching the maximum hours allowed for the degree enrolled, the student will immediately be placed on Financial Aid Suspension, and no further federal aid will be authorized.
Students who have appeals that are denied may not appeal that decision, as the Suspension Appeals Committee decisions are final.
Students who are suspended may regain eligibility for financial aid by reestablishing their GPA and completion ratio using their own resources.