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Refund & Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policies

If it becomes necessary for a student to withdraw from the College, tuition refunds are based upon the time elapsed between the first day of the semester and the last date of attendance.

Institutional Refund Policy

100% tuition refund if the student withdraws during the first week of classes; 80% tuition refund if the student withdraws during the second week of classes; 40% tuition refund if the student withdraws during the third or fourth week of classes.  No refund if the student withdraws after the fourth week of classes.  Fees are not refundable.

Refunds of federal aid are set by federal guidelines.  Refunds will be distributed among the Federal Direct Loan Programs, the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Federal Pell Grant Program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program, and other Financial Aid Programs.

Recipients of federal financial aid loan and/or grant programs who withdraw within 60% of the start of the semester will be required to return all or a portion of Title IV funds to the federal government according to federal regulations.  The required calculation of the return of these funds may result in the student owing a balance to MICA and/or the federal government.

Federal Refund Policy Example

When a student withdraws from MICA and is receiving federal student aid, the Financial Aid Office must determine what portion of the semester's federal aid (not including federal work-study) must be returned to the federal government.  The Financial Aid Office must use the federal refund formula required by the U.S. Department of Education.

The federal refund formula requires the Financial Aid Office to determine what portion of federal aid that was received for the semester has been "earned" and what portion must be considered "unearned."

MICA must first determine the percentage of aid earned by the student.  Up through the 60% point in time, the percentage of aid earned is equal to the percentage of the semester completed as of the date of withdrawal.  If the withdrawal occurs after the 60% point, the percentage of aid earned is 100%.  Differences between federal aid received and federal aid earned is the unearned aid and is the amount that must be returned to the federal government.  For example, if a student attended classes for 25% of the semester, the student would have earned 25% of their federal financial aid.  Consequently, 75% of the student's aid would be unearned and must be returned.  Unearned aid will be returned by MICA or the student, or both.  After the return of unearned aid, it is possible that students may owe a balance to MICA.

Aid to be returned to the federal aid programs is calculated to be the lesser of the following: 1) The unearned amount of federal aid; or 2) The institutional charges for the semester multiplied by the unearned percentage of federal aid.

If it is determined that federal aid funds must be returned, the amount that will be returned will be applied to the following programs in the following order until all unearned funds have been repaid: Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, PLUS Loan, Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Other Title IV aid program.  Example, the unearned amount of aid which must be returned for the semester is $2,800; the student received a Subsidized Stafford Loan for $2,500 and a Perkins Loan for $500; $2,500 would be returned on the Subsidized Stafford Loan and $300 returned on the Perkins Loan.

The Financial Aid staff is available to meet with students and parents to review these federal regulations regarding return of federal aid funds and the consequences and to answer any questions about the process.

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policies

Federal regulations require students who are receiving  federal financial aid to make academic progress toward their degree in order to continue to receive federal aid.  These regulations are referred to as Satisfactory Academic Progress.  MICA must monitor federal aid recipient's academic progress to ensure that you maintain a minimum cumulative GPA and complete a minimum number of credits each academic year.  Satisfactory Academic progress for financial aid eligibility should not be confused with the College's academic progress policy.  These are two distinct and totally separate policies.  It is entirely possible to fail to meet minimum standards of one policy and pass the minimum standard of the other.

FEDERAL POLICY

The Federal Office of Student Financial Aid has established the following policies and procedures required for all federal aid recipients.  Students receiving any of the following awards are required to meet the federal SAP policies:  Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG Grants, Federal Workstudy, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal PLUS Loans.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards include three elements: 1. Maximum time frame within which your degree or certificate must be achieved; 2. Minimum cumulative grade point average and 3. Minimum credit completion percentage.

Federal regulations define the maximum allowable time frame for program completion as 150% of the credits required to complete your degree or certificate program.  For example, a typical BFA degree requires 126 credits for completion.  The maximum number of credits that may be attempted over the course of your enrollment at MICA is 189 (126 x 150% = 189).  All transfer credits accepted toward your degree must be included in the 189 credit maximum.  Students are no longer eligible for federal aid after 189 credits have been attempted.

Students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

Students must successfully complete a minimum of 67% of all credits attempted each academic year.  Grades of withdrawal "W" or incompletes "I" are counted in credits attemped but not completed.

Student transcripts will be evaluated at the end of the academic year for SAP component requirements.  Students who have not met SAP requirements will be notified in writing that they are no longer eligible to receive federal student aid.  Federal aid eligibility can only be reinstated through a successful, documented appeal or by resolving all deficiencies (i.e. completion of incomplete "I" grades, registering for summer classes, etc.).

SAP APPEAL 

Students may submit an appeal to be considered for reinstatement on a probationary status of no more than one semester to resolve all deficiencies.  Students who have an acceptable appeal, but for whom it would be impossible to resolve all deficiencies in one semester, will be placed on an academic plan.

Appeals can only be considered for extenuating circumstances such as injury or illness, death of a relative, or other special circumstances.  Appeals must include documentation of circumstances on which the appeal is based.  Appeals must also specify why the student failed to satisfy SAP requirements and what has changed in the student's situation.  Appeal letters and supporting documentation are submitted to the Financial Aid Office and will be reviewed by a committee.

SAP PROBATION

Students who have appeals approved are placed on SAP Probation for one semester.  Federal aid will be available for the probationary semester.  If the student successfully meets the requirements during the probationary semester, SAP probation will be lifted.  If the student fails to meet the requrements of the probationary semester, the student will be ineligible for further federal financial aid.

ACADEMIC PLAN

Students may be placed on an academic plan upon submission of a successful appeal.  If it is mathematically impossible for a student to resolve all deficiencies during one semester of probation, the student will be placed on an academic plan with the end goal being to resolve all deficiencies.  An academic plan can vary in length and will be determined by Academic Advising.  The student's academic plan will be reviewed annually and the student must meet the terms outlined in the plan to continue receiving federal aid.