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General Bulletin 2008-2010

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 students—within the limits of available funds—gain a college education even if their resources are limited. To receive consideration for most programs, students and parents must complete the appropriate forms. All information provided remains confidential.

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

For more information, 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 students 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, for which some consider financial need as a secondary factor. Any awarded aid is combined to meet a student's financial need. The total amount of aid a student receives is based on their family's financial circumstances. To be considered for all need-based financial aid, new first-year students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15 (for returning and new transfer students, the deadline is March 15). A new or renewal FAFSA must be completed every year.

A student cannot receive any combination of aid, including loans, grants, federal work-study, and scholarships, that exceeds the cost of attendance. If the total amount of financial aid exceeds the cost of attendance, the amount of aid will be reduced.

Grant Programs

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

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

Federal Pell Grant — A federal grant for undergraduate students. The maximum grant in 2008-2009 was $4,731 per year for full-time students.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) — Federal grant administered by Miami University for high financialneed 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 students with financial need. The OCOG award amounts for 2008-2009 ranged from $300-$2,496. For incoming first-year Oxford campus students who filed their FAFSA by our priority deadline, Miami provides an award that matches the OCOG amount.

Miami Grant — Beginning fall 2008, the Miami Grant will be awarded to Ohio residents admitted as new first-year Oxford campus students. This is strictly a need-based grant, no academic criteria are considered. Students must file the FAFSA by February 15.

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, 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. Students are required to begin making payments on their Perkins Loan nine (9) months after they 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. Students 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 a student's financial need. With a Direct Subsidized Loan, the federal government pays any interest that accrues on the loan 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 $3,500 for freshmen, $4,500 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 their undergraduate status. Aggregate loan limits exist for both undergraduate and graduate study. The interest rate on both loans is fixed at the time the loan disburses. New loan interest rates for subsequent years are adjusted once a year on July 1. See www.muohio.edu/loans for the current interest rate.

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

Federal Direct Plus Loans (for parents) —Direct PLUS loans help parents pay their dependent child's educational expenses. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid that the student receives. The federal government charges interest from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full. The interest rate on the loan is fixed at the time the loan disburses. New loan interest rates are adjusted once a year on July 1. See www.muohio.edu/loans for the current interest rate. 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 the student's 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.

Private Loans — 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. Private loans require a good credit rating and/or a creditworthy co-signer; they do not require the submission of a FAFSA. To inquire about 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

Federal Work-Study is a federal financial aid program that provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay for education expenses. It is awarded based on financial need computed from information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As a financial aid recipient, a student may be offered FWS as part of the financial aid package. FWS earnings are not calculated in the expected family contribution on the 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

Summer aid awards are based on any remaining financial aid eligibility from the current academic year. Aid eligibility will be determined once a student registers for summer courses, has a FAFSA on file, and has completed all requirements. Students are only eligible for additional loan funds if they have the number of hours required to advance in grade level by the end of the spring term. Generally, students cannot use their Miami scholarships for summer semester. If all federal student loan eligibility has been exhausted, the student may want to consider a private loan.

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

State 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 information and certification of attendance forms are available at www.muohio.edu/financialaid/veterans. Veterans must immediately report any changes of their program (adds, drops, or withdrawal) to the Office of Student Financial Assistance while receiving education benefits from the VA. For further information about the GI Bill, visit www.gibill.va.gov. To determine GI Bill eligibility, contact the Department of Veteran Affairs at 1-888-442-4551.

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

Student 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 students 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.

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 as defined on the FAFSA.*
  • Be registered for Selective Service, if required.
  • Be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • Be able to demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans); see Applying for Assistance below.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Certify that you are not in default on any federal student loan or owe a refund on a federal grant.
  • Have a valid Social Security number (unless you are from the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  • Certify that you have not been convicted of an offense involving either the possession or sale of illegal drugs that occurred while receiving Title IV aid.
  • Certify that you will use federal student financial aid only for educational purposes.

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

Applying for Assistance

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

Determining Your Financial Aid Package

A student's financial aid package is processed in this order:

First, we estimate the student's Cost of Attendance (COA) based on his or her residency status, the campus that will be attended, and the student's enrollment status. The COA includes instructional and general fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.

Second, after receiving the FAFSA data from the Department of Education, we use the reported Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that reflects the family's ability to contribute to educational costs to calculate the student's eligibility for need-based aid. We then subtract the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Cost of Attendance (COA) to determine the student's financial need.

Finally, once financial need is determined, the student is considered initially for grant eligibility, then for loan and federal work-study, depending on the student's indicated preference on the FAFSA. Students who submit the FAFSA to the Federal Processing Center by February 15 for new first-year students 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.

Students who are awarded scholarships will be sent a separate Scholarship Award Notification.

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 Academic Progress (SAP)

Basic Requirements

A student receiving federal financial aid is expected to maintain satisfactory progress toward their degree. Miami's Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy has the following components:

  • A student must meet the academic requirements necessary to remain at Miami as a student as outlined in The Miami Bulletin, General Edition in the sections titled "Other Requirements," "Registering for Courses," and "Grades."
  • A student must pass at least 67 percent of the cumulative credit hours attempted.
  • Undergraduate students are expected to complete their Bachelor's degree program in twelve (12) semesters. This maximum time frame includes all prior terms of attendance at Miami and any other college or university whether or not they received financial aid.
  • Graduate students are expected to complete their Master's degree program in ten (10) semesters.

How We Measure Progress

We review a student's academic progress at the end of each academic year by dividing the total number of credit hours passed by the total number attempted. Our review is based on a student's entire enrollment history at Miami. If a student passed at least 67 percent of the cumulative credit hours attempted, their progress is satisfactory. If a student passed less than 67 percent of the cumulative credit hours attempted at Miami University, their progress is unsatisfactory.

Note: For the purpose of satisfactory academic progress, hours attempted are those hours for which a student received a grade of A, B, C, D, F, I, U, W, S, X, and Y. If the student received the academic fresh start, all hours attempted prior to the fresh start are considered in the SAP calculation. If the student repeated courses, those hours will be included as additional attempted hours. If the student's grade changed, their eligibility for aid could be re-calculated based on an increase in earned hours. This would include having an "I" changed to a passing grade.

At the end of each academic year, we also check to make sure the student has not exceeded the maximum term limit described above.

Denial of Aid

If a student's progress is unsatisfactory, their federal financial aid will be denied. Students will also be denied federal financial aid if they fail to complete their degree program within the maximum time frame. Students will receive written notification of the denial from the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal
Students may appeal their suspended or terminated financial aid if they believe extenuating circumstances prevented them from making satisfactory progress.

To appeal, complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and return it with all the required documentation to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Students should file their appeal within three weeks of the date they are notified that their aid is suspended or terminated. Students must submit appeals by the published date for the term in which they are appealing. We will notify a student of our decision within approximately three weeks after we receive the appeal and all documentation.

Regaining Eligibility

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

Students may complete course work at Miami or at another institution, provided the credits can be transferred to Miami and they 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 financial aid was denied.

When completing course work to regain eligibility, students may not repeat a course previously passed and may not test out of requirements in order to improve their completion percentage. However, any prior Incomplete (I) grade that is made up will count toward improving the student's completion percentage.

Change in Enrollment

A student's initial award is based on full-time, full-year enrollment. Students must inform the Office of Financial Assistance in writing if their intended enrollment is less than full time or less than a full year. Adjustments to aid must be made before funds will disburse to a student's Bursar account. Usually, a student must be enrolled for at least six hours to be eligible for any type of aid.

In the case of students who change their enrollment prior to the end of the drop/add period, their grants and/or loans will be recalculated based on the enrollment information submitted. Students will receive a revised award notification listing any changes in their aid package.

At the end of the last day to drop a course without a grade, the student's financial aid will be frozen to reflect their enrollment as of that date. Students should make sure they are enrolled for all the classes they intend to take for the semester.

Withdrawal from the University

If a student received federal assistance from any Federal Aid Program (the Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant, National SMART Grant, SEOG, or TEACH Grant programs) and withdraws from the university during the semester that they began attendance, Miami is required to determine the amount of federal aid that they have earned as of their withdrawal date.

The withdraw date will be the date that official notification was provided to Miami, in writing or orally, of the student's intent to withdraw. If the student ceases attendance without providing official notification of withdrawal, the withdrawal date will be the mid-point of the semester.

The percent of federal aid that was earned by the student is equal to the percent of the semester that was completed, as of the withdrawal date, if this date occurs on or before completion of 60 percent of the semester. If the withdrawal date is after completion of 60 percent of the semester, the student will have earned 100 percent of their federal aid.

The percentage of the semester completed is determined by dividing the total number of calendar days in the semester into the number of calendar days that the student completed as of the withdrawal date. Scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days are excluded from the total number of calendar days in the semester.

If the total amount of federal aid earned by the student is less than the amount of federal aid that was disbursed to the student, the difference between these amounts will be returned to the government.

Miami will return the total amount of unearned aid to the government for the student. These unearned funds will be credited to the outstanding balances on federal loans made to the student or on behalf of the student for the semester in which the return was required. The order for return of funds is as follows: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct PLUS (received on behalf of the student), Federal Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant, National SMART Grant, SEOG, TEACH Grant.

Withdrawing will also affect the student's Satisfactory Academic Progress and may jeopardize federal financial aid eligibility. To make sure that the possible impact on financial aid is understood, the student should consult with a financial assistance counselor prior to withdrawing from the university.

Academic Suspension or Dismissal

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

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. While all scholarships are based on academic merit, some scholarships also have financial need as a requirement.

Students cannot receive a combination of aid, including loans, grants, federal work-study, and scholarships, which exceeds their cost of attendance. If the total amount of financial aid exceeds the cost of attendance, the amount of aid will be reduced.

All students who apply for admission by January 31 and are admitted to Miami as freshman, are automatically considered for university scholarships. Those students filing the FAFSA by the February 15 deadline will also be considered for the Miami Grant and other need-based 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 March 15. Applications can be obtained from www.muohio.edu/financialaid or from the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

A renewable scholarship is also available for transfer students who have demonstrated academic merit and significant need. A student must have submitted a FAFSA and also have a 3.50 g.p.a. based on 12 credit hours from an accredited school. Students enrolled less than full time, attending the regional campuses, or have a previous Bachelor's degree are not eligible. Transfer students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa, International Honor Society of the Two Year College, will be offered a $2500 renewable scholarship. Members must provide membership documentation.

To be considered for need-based scholarships, returning and new transfer students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 15.

Criteria for Awards

Most scholarships awarded to incoming freshman are awarded to recipients who have scored 30 or better on the ACT (1320 on SAT I) and rank in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Returning Student Scholarship recipients normally earn at least a 3.80 cumulative grade point average and are active in and contribute to campus and community life. To be eligible for scholarship consideration, students must plan to be a full-time student during the award period.

Awards

Incoming freshmen are notified of their scholarship awards at or near 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.

Special Scholarships

Within the scholarship program, there are special award opportunities for eligible students. For information about these scholarships, go to www.muohio.edu/financialaid and click on "Scholarships."


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