The cost of a college education is of vital concern to students, their parents, and the educational institutions they attend. This section identifies many sources of financial aid and information about university programs and policies that are designed to help students finance a college education at St. Thomas. Whenever possible, students will want to take advantage of opportunities such as federal and state grants, loans, and student employment programs. It is important that proper application for aid be made by the deadlines noted.
The University of St. Thomas participates in all Federal and State financial aid programs. These programs include scholarships and grants, loans and work-study. In addition, the university offers institutional merit-based scholarships and grants to those students who have excelled academically and/or made contributions to their school, community or church.
Financial Aid Information on the Web
For the most current information regarding the application process, scholarships, grants, student employment, student loans and financial aid policies at the University of St. Thomas, visit the undergraduate financial aid website at www.stthomas.edu/financialaid/undergraduate.
To be considered for financial aid, a student must be admitted to the university as a degree-seeking student.
Students wishing to apply for need-based financial aid or federal student loans must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA collects information about the student and his/her family, considers that data in light of the federal financial aid formula and determines financial need.
Students are strongly encouraged to complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov. A paper form may also be obtained on this website listed under “FAFSA Filing Options”.
Awards and Renewals
Need-based financial aid is awarded annually unless specified otherwise.
Students must reapply by filing the FAFSA each year. All financial aid is disbursed to the student’s account to pay tuition, fees or other charges for each semester. Awards will be adjusted if the student withdraws from the university before the end of the semester or year, or if the student is enrolled less than full-time (12 credits or more per semester). Students must be in compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy to be eligible for financial assistance.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
To remain in compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, a student must:
- Successfully complete 75 percent of all attempted credits.
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 after his/ her fourth term of attendance.
All students meeting the above conditions are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 176 attempted credits. A detailed copy of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is available from the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Policy Regarding Withdrawal from the University
If a student withdraws from the University of St. Thomas during a semester, January or summer term, a calculation of “earned” vs. “unearned” federal aid must be determined. This federal policy assumes the student earns his or her aid based on how much time has elapsed in the term. If a student receives federal financial aid, that aid may be reduced as a result of the withdrawal.
There are three steps that St. Thomas must complete to comply with the federal policy: 1) Determine the withdrawal date, 2) Determine the amount of earned federal aid, 3) Return unearned federal funds to the appropriate program(s). However, in order to ensure that the student is eligible to receive financial aid, St. Thomas must first verify with their student’s instructor(s) that they have attended or participated in academic activities related to the class(es) for the term. Students must withdraw officially in one of two ways: Murphy Online, or through the Registrar’s Office, which is open from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The withdrawal date is the date the student begins the withdrawal process. If the student fails to withdraw officially, the withdrawal date will become the midpoint of the term, unless the university can document a later date. In certain circumstances if an earlier date of last academic activity is determined, this date may be used in the calculation of “earned” federal aid. If the student withdraws after completing 60 percent of the term, they earn all federal financial aid for the term. The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by the institution (St. Thomas) and the student. The institution’s share is the lesser of the unearned aid or unearned institutional charges. The institution’s share must be repaid to the federal aid programs in the following order before the student’s share is considered:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS/Grad PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Other Title IV Aid
If the student is required to repay a portion of their loan through the student’s share calculation, they will not be expected to return those funds immediately, but rather when repayment begins according to the terms and conditions of the promissory note. If the student’s share includes grant funds, federal rules allow the grant to be reduced by 50 percent. In such cases, St. Thomas repays the grant programs on the student’s behalf and the student is then responsible for repaying St. Thomas. If this causes undue hardships, a satisfactory payment arrangement can be made with St. Thomas.
Institutional Charges and State Aid Refund Policy
The Return of Title IV Aid calculation, as cited above, only considers federal funds – not institutional, state or outside funding sources that may be included in the student’s financial aid package. St. Thomas offers tuition refunds if a student withdraws from the university according to the following schedule for fall and spring semesters:
The first 14 calendar days of the semester 100%
On the 15th through 21st calendar days 80%
On the 22nd through 28th calendar days 60%
On the 29th through 35th calendar days 40%
On the 36th through 42nd calendar days 20%
After the 42nd calendar day 0%
If a student withdraws during a period of time that allows for a tuition refund, a portion or all of the student’s institutional, state and/or outside funding may need to be reduced or cancelled. If a student receives a 100 percent tuition refund on all courses for a particular term, all institutional, state and outside funding must be returned to the appropriate aid program(s). If the student’s tuition refund was not used to fully repay the Return of Title IV Aid, a proportional share of the remaining tuition refund must be returned to the appropriate aid program(s).