As per the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, the U.S. government requires institutions offering U.S. Direct Loans (Title IV) to disclose the following consumer information.
Maintaining Your Eligibility
The U.S. government regulations (Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility, Federal Regulation – 34 CFR 668.34) stipulate that students must maintain certain academic standards in order to remain eligible for all types of U.S. Direct Loans.
The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) applies to all students applying for U.S. Direct Loans under Title IV of the U.S. Higher Education Act. These types of loans include Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Direct Parent PLUS and Direct Grad PLUS loans.
All students will have their academic progress reviewed at the end of each academic year. Students who have not fulfilled the SAP requirements will not be eligible for U.S. Direct Loan funds for the subsequent academic year(s).
It is a student’s responsibility to read and understand the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.
Evaluation of U.S. Direct Loans Eligibility
Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated once each year, at the end of the winter term. To maintain U.S. Direct Loans eligibility, students must fulfill these 3 requirements:
- complete 67% of all credits attempted, and
- maintain a cumulative average of 60% or higher, and
- complete your degree within 150% (as measured in credits) of the published length of your degree completion time.
Incomplete and Deferred Grades
- are considered attempted but not included in the cumulative average calculation until being replaced by a final grade.
- are counted in the pace calculation. Withdrawals are counted towards the attempted credits. Dropped courses are not counted towards attempted credits.
Repeated courses grades are included in the cumulative average as per faculty regulations.
Credits transferred from other programs or degrees are included in the SAP evaluation as per faculty regulations.
Examples of 67% Completion Rate Chart for Successful Progression toward a Degree:
|Credits attempted||Earned credits needed (passed with CUMULATIVE AVERAGE of 60% or greater)|
Completion rate calculation formula
Students who are not meeting SAP requirements:
|What happens||Student financial aid status||What student needs to do|
|If your CUMULATIVE AVERAGE drops below 60%||All types of U.S. Direct Loan denied||Raise CUMULATIVE AVERAGE to required standards. A student may appeal if you have extenuating circumstances.|
|If you do not have an overall completion rate of 67% or more||All types of U.S. Direct Loan denied||Raise your completion rate to 67% or higher. You may appeal if you have extenuating circumstances.|
|If your CUMULATIVE AVERAGE drops below 60% AND your overall completion rate of under 67%||All types of U.S. Direct Loan denied||Raise your completion rate to 67% and raise your CUMULATIVE AVERAGE to 60% or higher. You may appeal if you have mitigating circumstances.|
|If you take more than 150% of the published length of time to finish your degree||Ineligible for all types of U.S. Direct Loans||No action can be taken. You must complete your studies without U.S. Direct Loans.|
Students not fulfilling SAP requirements will receive an e-mail at their Brock e-mail address only. Upon receiving notification, a student may appeal within ten business days from the date of the e-mail based on the following reasons:
- the death of a relative,
- an injury or illness of the student,
- or other extraordinary circumstance.
The appeal submission must include:
- A letter from the student explaining:
- the student’s circumstances/reason(s) for not meeting SAP requirements;
- what will change that will allow the student to satisfy SAP requirements in the future;
- any other relevant information.
- Supporting documentation relevant to the appeal (doctor’s note, obituary stating relationship to the deceased, etc.)
The appeal must be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Only complete files will be reviewed. The decision made by the SAP Appeal Committee will be sent to the student’s Brock email address. The appeal decision may be:
- a reinstatement of eligibility (on probationary status) for U.S. Direct Loans, or
- a financial probationary period with conditions, or
- a denial of U.S. Direct Loans.
Any conditions pertaining to the financial probation status will also be listed in the email. Examples of conditions may include raising the cumulative average by the end of the following semester, meeting with an Academic Advisor to develop an academic plan to ensure future academic success, etc. At the end of the subsequent semester, SAP will be re-evaluated according to the SAP policy and any conditions stipulated in the appeal decision. Failure to meet the SAP requirements or any appeal conditions will result in denial of U.S. Direct Loans.
Students cannot appeal SAP in the same year on different grounds if eligibility was not re-established after the first appeal.
Students may submit an appeal each time they are notified they have lost eligibility for U.S. Direct Loans for reasons of SAP.
Students Denied U.S. Direct Loan
If a student is denied U.S. Direct Loans after an appeal but in subsequent years meets SAP requirements, it is the student’s responsibility to notify Brock via email (email@example.com) to verify SAP requirements have been met prior to originating any U.S. Direct Loans.
Students must remain on pace to complete their degree program within 150% of the published length. Students who have taken more than 150% of the published length of degree completion time are not considered to have fulfilled SAP requirements; therefore, are ineligible for U.S. Direct Subsidized Loans at Brock University.
The 150% Subsidized Loan Limit has no effect on eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans.
|Published program length||Maximum time frame|
|3 years||4.5 years|
|4 years||6 years|
|4.5 years||7 years|
|5 years||7.5 years|
|6 years||9 years|
U.S. federal aid regulations mandate a Return to Title IV Funds (R2T4) calculation when a student receiving Title IV financial aid [US Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), Parent PLUS loans or Grad PLUS loans] withdraws from the University. If a student never attends, ceases enrollment, or withdraws from all courses in the semester and the student received U.S. federal financial aid, Brock must determine if these funds are required to be returned to the U.S. government within 45 days of the date of withdrawal.
The R2T4 calculation may result in a reduction of the student’s U.S. federal loan(s) if the student attended less than 60 percent of the semester. The R2T4 calculation is based on the following:
- number of days the student attended
- number of days in the semester
- institutional charges assessed
- total amount of U.S. Direct Loan aid awarded, accepted and/or disbursed
As a result, Brock and the student may be required to return any “unearned” U.S. federal aid received. Brock may be obligated to return funds on behalf of a student. If the amount of the loan funds returned exceed any existing credit on the student’s account, the student will owe the funds to Brock. The student should repay the outstanding amount to the University as soon as possible.
An email from firstname.lastname@example.org will be sent to the student’s Brock email address indicating the type and amount of aid returned to the U.S. Department of Education on their behalf.
Funds returned to the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of a student are used to repay the current year’s loans in the following order:
- Unsubsidized US Direct Loan
- Subsidized US Direct Loan
- Parent PLUS for Undergraduate students
- Grad PLUS for Graduate students
U.S. Department of Education regulations state that a school must return loan funds if a student has not completed a minimum of 60% of the payment/enrollment period. If a student received more loan funding than was “earned,” the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or the student. The amount of money to be returned is determined by a calculation that includes the number of school days completed and the amount of institutional charges fees paid (“Return to Title IV” Calculation).
If you withdraw from Brock, you will:
- repay Brock any “unearned” U.S. Direct Loan funds that the University returned on your behalf (as stipulated by U.S. Department of Education regulations), and/or
- repay part or all of your loan(s) to the designated servicer
*If the student did not receive all of the funds that were earned, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
Determining the Amount of Title IV Funds Earned
For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, even though a return is not required, a school may have to complete a R2T4 calculation in order to determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
Brock will notify a student, or parent for a parent PLUS loan, in writing prior to making any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds within 30 days of the date of a school’s determination that a student has withdrawn. The notice will identify the type and amount of the loan funds to be credited to the student’s account and will advise the student, or parent for a parent PLUS loan, they may accept or decline all or a portion of the funds. The notice will also advise the student, or parent for a parent PLUS loan, of the obligation to repay the loan funds should they choose to accept all or a portion of the funds.
If the student, or parent for a parent PLUS loan, does not wish to accept some or all of the loan funds that the institution wishes to credit to the student’s account, the institution will not disburse those funds. The student, or parent for a parent PLUS loan, will be advised in this correspondence that they have 30 days from the date of notification to respond to Brock. Failure to respond, or a late response may result in a return post-withdrawal funds to the lender. If authorization from a student (or parent for a PLUS loan) is received after the deadline, the school is not obligated to make a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds.
If a student or parent submits a timely response accepting all or a portion of a post-withdrawal disbursement, per the student’s or parent’s instructions, the school will disburse the loan funds within 180 days of the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew.
Enrollment Status Change
If a student drops from Full-time (minimum 80% of a full course load) to Half-time (60% of a full course load) enrollment, the student’s Direct Loan eligibility must be reassessed, taking into consideration any changes to tuition and fees charged. If it is determined that an overaward exists, the student may be required to return a portion of Direct Loan funding to the Department of Education. If your enrollment status changes after receiving your Direct Loan funds, please email email@example.com.
Exit Counselling provides students with information about repayment plans. It is mandatory for all graduating students with subsidized, unsubsidized and GRAD PLUS loans.
Online Exit Counselling must be completed during the final semester of studies and prior to graduation. An acknowledgement must be sent to Brock University upon completion (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you withdraw from Brock, you are obligated to fulfill this requirement.
Study Abroad, Exchange and Research
Students participating in a Study Abroad Program are NOT eligible to receive subsidized/unsubsidized/PLUS or alternative loans through Brock. You will be paying your tuition fees to the other school (abroad). You must therefore make arrangements with that school (not Brock) for financial aid. Please note: Brock does NOT participate in consortium agreements.
U.S. students studying on an official Brock exchange are considered to be Brock students for subsidized/unsubsidized/PLUS and alternative loans. This means that:
- you pay tuition and fees to Brock
- you apply for U.S. loans following Brock procedures
IMPORTANT! U.S. Department of Education regulations stipulate that you can receive U.S. Direct Loans while on exchange only if:
- you attend a school that participates in the U.S. Direct Loan Program, and
- the school attended is located outside of the U.S.
The U.S. Federal School Code List (updated quarterly) will determine whether your intended international exchange school participates in Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs.
According to U.S. government regulation, Brock students are not eligible for U.S. Direct Loans if research, work, internship, externship or special study is performed in the U.S. The only exception to this regulation includes PhD students conducting independent research that is:
- only able to be performed in the U.S., and
- not greater than one academic year, and
- during the dissertation phase, and
- under the guidance of the faculty.
Brock students intending to pursue any portion of their program in the U.S. or a foreign country should email email@example.com