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General Bulletin 2006-2008

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid

There are many programs of assistance available from private, state, federal, and university funds. We are committed to helping you—within the limits of available funds—gain a college education even if your resources are limited. To receive consideration for most programs, you and your family must complete the appropriate forms. All information you provide remains confidential.

Understanding which programs are available to you is complicated by many state, federal, and local agencies that set regulations for the use of the funds. You, as a consumer of these funds, have the right under law to receive clear, accurate information concerning aid programs.

For more information, you may contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance or check online at www.muohio.edu/financialaid/. A brochure, Financing Your Miami Education, is available from the Office of Student Financial Assistance and the Office of Admission.

Need-Based Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Assistance can assist you in obtaining need-based financial aid including: grants, awards based on financial need that do not require repayment; loans, awards that require repayment; federal work-study, part-time employment; and scholarships, in which some consider financial need as a secondary factor. Any awarded aid is combined to meet your financial need. The total amount of aid you receive is based on your family’s financial circumstances. To be considered for all need-based financial aid, new first-year and new transfer students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15 (for returning students, the deadline is March 15). A new or renewal FAFSA must be completed every year.

Grant Programs

Students from low-income families are typically eligible for grants. Generally, you receive grant funds in combination with loans and/or federal work-study jobs. If you have a disability, you may also be eligible for grants from the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation.

The following grant programs are awarded on the basis of your family’s financial circumstances; no repayment is required.

Federal Pell Grant — A federal grant for undergraduate students. The maximum grant in 2005-2006 was $4,050 per year for full-time students.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) — Federal grant administered by Miami University for high-need students who are also eligible for Pell Grants. A limited number of these grants are given in combination with Pell Grant, loan, and/or federal work-study money.

Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) (formerly the Ohio Instructional Grant) — State grant assistance for Ohio resident undergraduate students pursuing a first degree at an eligible Ohio school. You must be enrolled for at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive an OCOG. The OCOG award amounts for 2006-2007 will range from $300-$2,496. Beginning in 2006-2007, Miami will match an OCOG award with a Miami Grant.

Multicultural Grant — Special need-based grants available to ethnically diverse students who are enrolled full-time. This grant is awarded as a renewable award prior to the student's freshman year.

BVR/Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation-Bureau of Services for the Blind — Federal and state grant program for undergraduate students with disabilities. Eligibility for funding is determined by the Rehabilitation Service Commission in the student’s state of residence. Contact the state office in your state capital in order to begin the agency’s application process as early as possible.

Loan Programs

Miami University realizes that managing the cost of education is a challenge for many families. In addition to grants, scholarships, and federal work-study funds that may be awarded to students, several loan options are available. Loans may make it possible for you and/or your family to borrow now and defer repayment until after you leave the university.

Federal Perkins Loan — Eligible undergraduate students filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be considered for a Federal Perkins Loan. First priority is given to students who file their FAFSA application by Miami's priority filing deadline of February 15 for new freshmen and March 15 for returning students. A Federal Perkins Loan is a low interest (5 percent), fixed rate, subsidized, deferred payment loan for students with financial need. You are required to begin making payments on your Perkins Loan nine (9) months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time (6 hours) enrollment. The amount borrowed must be repaid within ten (10) years after the date repayment begins.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans—All students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are eligible for a William D. Ford Direct Student Loan. You may receive a Direct Subsidized Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, or both for the same academic year.

The Direct Subsidized Loans are awarded based on your financial need. With a Direct Subsidized Loan, the federal government does not charge interest on the loan before repayment begins or during authorized periods of deferment (postponement of repayment).

The Direct Unsubsidized Loans are awarded based on the cost of education less any other financial aid received. The federal government charges interest on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until the loan is paid in full.

Annual borrowing limits (as defined by federal needs analysis formulas) for both the Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are $2,625 for freshmen, $3,500 for sophomores, and $5,500 for the remaining years of undergraduate study. Independent students may also qualify for an additional unsubsidized loan of $4,000 or $5,000 depending on your undergraduate status. The graduate annual loan limit is $18,500. (only $8,500 may be in subsidized loans). Aggregate loan limits exist for both undergraduate and graduate study. The maximum variable interest rate on both loans is 8.5 percent and is adjusted once a year on July 1.

You are required to begin making payments on your Direct Loans six (6) months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time (6 hours) enrollment.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) —Direct PLUS loans help parents pay their dependent child's educational expenses. Your parents may borrow up to the cost of attendence minus any other financial aid that you receive. The federal government charges interest from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full. The maximum variable interest rate is 9 percent and is adjusted once a year on July 1. The parent is responsible for repayment of this loan. Repayment begins sixty (60) days after disbursement of all loan proceeds for the academic year are applied to your Bursar account. To apply for the PLUS, a FAFSA must be submitted and a PLUS application must be provided to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Alternative Loans — Alternative or private loan programs are designed to help bridge the gap between the student's financial needs and the amount of funding provided through scholarships, grants, federal loans, or other resources. Most loans require a good credit rating and/or a creditworthy co-signer. To inquire about alternative loans and accepted private loan lenders, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance or visit www.muohio.edu/loans/ for additional information.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) Employment

The Federal Work-Study Program is a federal financial aid program that is based on financial need computed from information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are a financial aid recipient, you may be offered FWS as part of your financial aid package. FWS earnings are not calculated in the expected family contribution on your upcoming year's FAFSA. Employers often prefer hiring FWS students since a portion of the employee's wage is drawn from federal funds.

Summer Aid

If funds are available, financial aid may be awarded for summer sessions. Applications for summer aid are usually available by February in the Office of Student Financial Assistance. You must also file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance to determine the appropriate FAFSA application to file for summer aid.

Aid for Another University or Study Abroad Program

Students planning to enroll in programs at other universities or study abroad programs that transfer academic credit back to Miami may receive consideration for financial assistance. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance as early as possible to learn about your financial aid options for these programs.

Other Sources of Aid

Assistance for Non-Ohio Residents

Most states have student assistance programs. Contact the student assistance agency in your state for information on what aid is available and how to apply.

Assistance for Veterans

Veterans Administration GI Bill eligibility and certification of attendance forms are available in the Office of Student Financial Assistance. You must report immediately any changes of your program (adds, drops, or withdrawal) to the Office of Student Financial Assistance and to the Registrar’s office while receiving education benefits from the VA. Further information about Federal GI Bill eligibility is available online at www.muohio.edu/financialaid/veterans.

Additional financial assistance through programs described in this section is available to most veterans.

Campus Employment

The Office of Student Financial Assistance, coordinates all student employment and student payroll registration. The two types of student employment at Miami are Federal Work-Study (FWS) and regular wage employment. Job classifications and wage rates are the same for each, but they are financed differently. University employers do their own hiring and you are responsible for finding a job. Information about campus employers, job postings, job classifications, and wage rates, is available online at www.muohio.edu/studentemployment/. A brochure, Working On Campus, is available in the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Eligibility for Financial Assistance

Programs based on financial need, funded by state and federal aid programs, are administered by Miami. To be eligible for these programs, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.*
  • Be registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after January 1, 1960 and are at least 18 years old.
  • Be at least a half-time student enrolled in an eligible program as an undergraduate, graduate, or professional program student.
  • Be able to demonstrate financial need; see Applying for Assistance below.
  • Maintain satisfactory progress in your course of study according to standard practices of the institution (explained below).
  • Not owe a refund on a Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Grant, or State Student Incentive Grant.
  • Not be in default on any Federal Perkins/National Defense/Direct Student Loan, or Stafford/Guaranteed Student Loan or owe a refund to an institution for previous overpayment from financial aid.

*Note: Most international students do not meet citizenship requirements for aid programs administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Contact the Director of International Education Services for information about financial assistance.

Applying for Assistance

You must apply for financial assistance annually. For need-based aid and scholarships, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online (www.fafsa.ed.gov/) or request a FAFSA from the Office of Student Financial Assistance. To be considered a priority applicant for all need-based financial aid, new first-year and new transfer students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15 (for returning students, the deadline is March 15). A new or renewal FAFSA must be completed every year.

Determining Your Financial Aid Package

The Office of Student Financial Assistance assesses the amount of your financial need and determines the programs for which you are eligible. To do this, we follow these steps:

First, we assign a budget that reflects factors such as your place of residence, the campus you will be attending, and your enrollment status. The budget includes tuition, fees, board, books, and living and personal expenses.

Second, after receiving your FAFSA data from the Department of Education, we use the calculated family contribution that reflects family income and assets as well as such resources as private scholarships, Social Security education benefits, veterans benefits, etc.

Third, we subtract the family contribution from the school year budget that applies to you. The remaining amount is your financial need and is the maximum amount you can receive from state and federal need-based programs.

Finally, once financial need is determined, your application is considered initially for grant eligibility, then for loan or federal work-study, depending on your indicated preference. Students who submit the FAFSA to the Federal Processing Center by February 15 for new freshmen and March 15 for returning students are the first groups for packaging.

Applicants are ranked in order of greatest need and awards are made on the basis of the amount of financial need. If funds are still available after these students are awarded assistance, additional students are aided.

Students with significant changes in family income (death, disability, divorce, or other extreme circumstances) after filing their FAFSA may request a re-evaluation of their application. Additional assistance may be awarded on the basis of available funds. Special Circumstance(s) Appeal Forms are available at the Office of Student Financial Assistance or online at www.muohio.edu/financialaid/ under "forms."

Standards of Satisfactory Progress

Basic Requirements

If you receive federal financial aid you are expected to maintain satisfactory progress toward your degree. Miami’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy has the following components:

  • You must meet the academic requirements necessary to remain at Miami as a student as outlined in The Miami Bulletin, General Edition in the chapters titled “Other Requirements,” “Registering for Courses,” and “Grades.”
  • You must pass at least 67 percent of the credit hours you attempt in any academic year in which you enroll and/or receive financial aid from any federal financial aid program.
  • Undergraduate students are expected to complete their degree program in six full-time academic years. This maximum time frame includes all prior terms of attendance at Miami and any other college or university whether or not you received financial aid.
  • Graduate students are expected to complete their degree program in five calendar years.

How We Measure Progress

We review your academic progress at the end of each academic year by comparing the number of credit hours you passed with the number you attempted at Miami University. If you passed at least 67 percent of the cumulative credit hours you attempted, your progress is satisfactory. If you passed less than 67 percent of the cumulative credit hours you attempted at Miami University, your progress is unsatisfactory.

Note: For the purpose of satisfactory academic progress, hours attempted are those hours for which you have received a grade of A, B, C, D, F, I, U, W, S, X, and Y.

At the end of each semester, we also check to make sure you have not exceeded the maximum term limit described above.

Denial of Aid

If your progress is unsatisfactory, you will be denied federal financial aid. You will also be denied federal financial aid if you fail to complete your degree program within the maximum time frame. You will receive written notification of the denial from the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Satisfactory Progress Appeal

You may appeal the decision to deny financial aid if you believe extenuating circumstances prevented you from making satisfactory progress.

To appeal, write to the Office of Student Financial Assistance and explain the circumstances that prevented you from making progress. Include any pertinent materials or written documentation to support your appeal, as well as your plans to meet progress requirements if you are allowed to continue receiving aid.

You should file your appeal within three weeks of the date you are notified that your aid is denied. You must submit your appeal no later than the last day to drop a class without a grade for the term in which you appeal. We will notify you of our decision within approximately three weeks after we receive your appeal.

Regaining Eligibility

If you do not submit a written appeal or if your appeal is denied, you must complete course work at your own expense until you are once again maintaining a 67 percent completion rate.

You may complete course work at Miami or at another institution, provided the credits can be transferred to Miami and you did not receive federal financial aid at the other institution while taking those courses. Any credits earned and transferred to Miami must have been earned after the Miami term(s) in which your financial aid was denied.

When completing course work to regain eligibility, you may not repeat a course you previously passed and you may not test out of requirements in order to improve your completion percentage. However, any prior Incomplete (I) grade that you make up will count toward improving your completion percentage.

Change in Enrollment

You must inform the Office of Student Financial Assistance in writing of any change in your enrollment. If you drop from full time enrollment to less than full time your eligibility for aid may be reduced. Usually, you must be enrolled for at least six hours to be considered for any type of aid.

If you change your enrollment prior to the end of the drop/add period, your grant and loan eligibility will be recalculated based on the information you submit. You will receive a revised award notification listing any changes in your aid package.

At the end of the drop/add period, your financial aid will be frozen to reflect your enrollment as of that date. Be sure you are enrolled for all the classes you intend to take for the semester. Your financial aid will not be adjusted after the end of the drop/add period.

Withdrawal from the University

If you receive aid from federal programs and withdraw during a semester, some of your aid may be used to pay the bill for the portion of the semester you attended. As a result, you may fail to make satisfactory academic progress and jeopardize your federal financial aid eligibility. To make sure you understand the possible impact on your financial aid, you should consult with a financial assistance counselor prior to withdrawing from the university.

Note: Recent changes to regulations governing federal financial aid may require you to return a portion of your financial aid to the federal government if you withdraw. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more information.

Academic Suspension or Dismissal

If you are suspended or dismissed for academic reasons, you may not receive financial aid until you are re-enrolled. When you apply for re-enrollment, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for information about applying for aid.

Scholarships

Each year, Miami University receives contributions from alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends in support of the Miami University Scholarship Program. This is a comprehensive program of merit scholarships.

Administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance, the scholarship program is designed to recognize outstanding undergraduates demonstrating high scholastic aptitude and attainment and personal characteristics of leadership, creativity, and motivation. Some scholarships also consider financial need.

Students cannot receive a combination of aid, including loans and all Miami scholarships, which exceed their cost of attendance. If the total amount of financial aid exceeds the cost of attendance, the amount of aid may be lowered so that the total aid no longer exceeds the cost of attendance.

All students who apply for admission by January 31 and are admitted to Miami as freshman, are automatically considered for University scholarships.

Returning students who wish to be considered for scholarships must complete a Returning Student Scholarship Application. The Returning Student Scholarship Application is available in November and the deadline to submit an application is January 31. Applications can be obtained from www.muohio.edu/financialaid or from the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

If you think you could qualify for a scholarship with financial need as a factor, you should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 15 in addition to the scholarship application.

Criteria for Awards

Most scholarships awarded to incoming freshman are awarded to recipients who have scored 31 or better on the ACT (1380 on SAT I) and rank in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Returning Student Scholarship recipients normally earn at least a 3.8 cumulative grade point average and are active in and contribute to campus and community life.To be eligible for scholarship consideration, you must plan to be a full-time student during the award period.

Transfer students may be considered for scholarships after completion of at least one year at Miami provided they complete a Returning Student Scholarship application. Transfer students may apply for the Returning Student Scholarship during their first term of enrollment at Miami in order to receive scholarships for the following year.

Awards

Incoming freshmen are notified of their scholarship awards by the end of March; returning students will be notified by mail prior to July 1. Awards are normally made for the academic year, starting with the fall semester. Scholarship amounts are determined by your success in the competition, your personal and academic record, and at times, your financial need.

Special Scholarships

Within the scholarship program, there are special award opportunities for eligible students.

Athletic Scholarships. Miami offers athletic scholarships in the following women's sports: basketball, cross country, field hockey, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Miami also offers athletic scholarships in the following men's sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, swimming & diving, and track & field. Interested students should contact the team coach for more information.

Benjamin Harrison Scholarship. This scholarship program for incoming freshmen provides four-year renewable awards covering either tuition and fees or tuition and fees plus on-campus room and board. Harrison Scholar candidates typically achieve between a 33-36 ACT or over, between 1470-1600 SAT I score, rank in the top 1-3% of their class, and have strong records of extracurricular involvement. For more information about the Harrison Scholarship, including the Harrison Scholarship application, visit the Honors Web site at www.muohio.edu/honors.

Honors Award. Students admitted to the University Honors Program are eligible to receive the Honor Scholarship. This $2,000 scholarship is renewable for four years. The total four year value of this scholarship is $8,000. For more information about the Honor Scholarship, including the application for the Honors program, visit www.muohio.edu/honors.

Ohio Resident and Ohio Leader Scholarships. Ohio residents enrolled as undergraduates at either the Oxford or Luxembourg campuses (with the exception of students in the Junior Scholars Program) will be awarded an Ohio Resident Scholarship and an Ohio Leader Scholarship. To be eligible for the largest possible award, Ohio resident students are strongly encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15 for new freshmen (for returning students the deadline is March 15). A new or renewal FAFSA must be completed every year. Scholarships will be renewable until graduation (up to six years).

Oxford Scholars. Students admitted to the Oxford Scholars Program are eligible to receive the Oxford Scholars Scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship is renewable for four years. The total four year value of this scholarship is $4,000. For more information about the Oxford Scholarship, including admission to the Oxford Scholars Program, visit www.muohio.edu/honors.

Scholar Leader Program. The Scholar Leader Program is a residential living-learning program involving a one-year residence in Elliott or Stoddard Halls. Every student chosen as a Scholar Leader receives a special Scholar Leader scholarship. If you are interested in applying for a Scholar Leader scholarship, contact the Office of Student Affairs for the application deadline. For more information on the Scholar Leader Program and to obtain an application, contact the Office of Student Affairs, 112 Warfield Hall, 513-529-3435, or visit www.muohio.edu/saf/mlc.

National Merit Program. Miami is a sponsoring institution for the National Merit Program. Finalists who select Miami as their first choice institution and who have their Merit Scholarship sponsored by Miami will receive a Miami National Merit Scholarship ranging from $750 to $2,000, depending on financial need.

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Scholarships are available for high potential applicants in the Naval and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Separate applications are required for these scholarships. Contact the Naval ROTC at www.muohio.edu/nrotc or the Air Force ROTC at www.muohio.edu/aerospace for more information.


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