Policies & Procedures


CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

Walk-in Customer Service Policy: Students requesting specific information about their financial aid records must present their JagCard. This information may also be accessed by visiting POUNCE. Other forms of photo identification will be accepted for new students applying to Augusta University.

Telephone Customer Service Policy: Only general information (forms required to complete financial aid file) will be released via telephone. Information concerning a student's file will not be released to a parent, spouse or any other relative without written consent from the student. Students must complete the Student Consent Form. Note: If the Student Consent Form is not completed in the Office of Student Financial Aid, the form must be notarized. The student; however, may obtain specific information regarding their financial file by visiting POUNCE.

Student Consent Form: Students who complete the Student Consent Form may designate individuals to whom the financial aid office can release their financial aid information. This form is effective from the day it is submitted until the financial aid office is notified otherwise in writing. Information concerning a student's file will not be released to parents or a spouse without a Student Consent Form on file.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY

In addition to maintaining all general aid requirements, all students receiving Federal Title IV (federal) and state aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to continue receiving these funds. The U.S. Department of Education requires Augusta University to evaluate all students' academic progress at the end of each semester. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) evaluations must take into consideration all periods of enrollment, including enrollment at other institutions and periods in which the student did not receive financial aid. SAP measures grade point average (GPA) and Pace (rate of progression), and it necessitates progression in both.

Review the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form

Academic Plan

VERIFICATION PROCESS

The verification process ensures the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate. The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to verify the information by comparing it to the students' (and/or parents') federal tax return transcripts, W-2s and other required documents. It assures eligible students receive the federal aid for which they qualify and prevents ineligible students from receiving aid for which they do not qualify.

Students may be selected for verification by the federal processor or the Augusta University Office of Student Financial Aid. If selected by the federal processor, the student will see an asterisk next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on their Student Aid Report (SAR). The student also will be informed on the FAFSA Confirmation page. Students may view and print their Student Aid Report from the FAFSA website. Students selected by the Office of Student Financial Aid will receive notification via their Augusta University email address. The outstanding verification requirements will be listed on POUNCE.

Possible reasons students are selected for verification:

  • Random selection by processor
  • Incomplete information on FAFSA
  • Estimated information on FAFSA
  • Inconsistent information on FAFSA

Documents required to be submitted for verification may include but are not limited to:

  • Verification Worksheet (Independent or Dependent)
  • Student's (and/or parent's or spouse's) Federal Tax Return Transcript from the previous calendar year
  • Student's (and/or parent's or spouse's) W-2s
  • Student's (and/or parent's or spouse's) proof of Non-Filer Tax Return status
  • Student's (and/or parent's or spouse's) Military Leave and Earnings Statement

It is important to note that additional documentation may be requested to complete the verification process. The Office of Student Financial Aid will notify the student via Pounce, email, and/or telephone as applicable.

Once all required documents are submitted, our staff will complete verification by comparing the information provided on your FAFSA to your documents. If discrepancies exist, our staff will correct them electronically. Once the corrected FAFSA is received by our office, the awarding process will begin.

ACCEPTING OR DECLINING AWARDS

Students will receive an Award Letter via Institutional email once their financial aid is processed. The award letter will state the type of aid and award amounts. Award amounts are typically divided between two semesters (Fall and Spring) but can vary depending upon student enrollment. The email will include an Award Letter Certification which must be signed and returned to the financial aid office before aid disbursement.

Grants, Scholarships, and Federal Work Study are automatically accepted for the student. Loans are listed as "Offered" and must be either "Accepted" or "Declined" in POUNCE.

Loans are listed as offered and must be either accepted or declined in POUNCE. Loans will not be processed unless the student accepts the award in POUNCE and meets all other requirements. Students receiving a Direct Loan or Direct PLUS Loan must complete Entrance Counseling, Financial Awareness Counseling, and a Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov.

REQUESTING AID ADJUSTMENTS

Students wanting to adjust an award amount or cancel their financial aid must complete the Financial Aid Adjustment Form and submit it to the financial aid office. Students may cancel aid, decline a previously accepted student loan within 30 days of disbursement, reinstate a previously declined loan, or increase loan amount (up to limit allowed).

Students are unable to decline aid that has been accepted in POUNCE. Student must submit a Financial Aid Adjustment Form.

REPEAT COURSEWORK POLICY

The Office of Student Financial Aid has implemented a new federal mandate regarding Repeated Coursework. The definition of “Full-Time” enrollment has been changed in accordance with the July 1, 2011 regulation outlined in Section 668.2, 34 CFR. Institutions are now required to track all repeated courses taken by students receiving Title IV aid. Repeated courses now count toward a student's enrollment status thus possibly changing eligibility for federal aid based on enrollment criteria. An institution can pay a student for only one retake of any previously passed course or its equivalency.

The following example describes this situation:

FULL-TIME ELIGIBILITY STATUS

Spring 2011

English 1101

Fail

Eligible

Summer 2011

English 1101

Pass

Eligible

Fall 2011

English 1101

Pass

Eligible (1st repeat of a previously passed course)

Spring 2012

English 1101

 

Not Eligible (2nd repeat of a previously passed course)

An institution can pay a student when repeating a course (or its equivalency) an infinite number of times if all previous attempts were failures. The following example describes this situation:

FULL-TIME ELIGIBILITY STATUS

Spring 2011

Math 1108

Fail

Eligible

Summer 2011

Math 1108

Fail

Eligible

Fall 2011

Math 1108

Fail

Eligible

Spring 2012

Math 1108

 

Eligible to count toward full-time enrollment status

As a result of any repeated coursework, a student may be enrolled full-time based on institutional policy but can be ¾ time or less based on this new regulation regarding repeated coursework.

WITHDRAWAL & RETURN TO TITLE IV POLICY

Students must follow the Withdrawal Policy as issued by the Registrar's Office. Students receiving financial aid are required to visit the Office of Student Financial Aid to be cleared before submitting their withdrawal forms to the Registrar. During this visit, the student's financial aid and course load will be reviewed. Students receiving Direct Loans and withdrawing to less than half time will be required to complete Loan Exit Counseling before the withdrawal form is approved. Half-time enrollment may vary depending on a student’s program of study.

The Return of Title IV Funds Policy applies to all students who have, or could have been, disbursed federal funds. In accordance with federal regulations, the institution and the student are required to return unearned portions of Title IV assistance (federal grants and/or federal student loans). This return of unearned funds only applies to students who have completely withdrawn. The return of funds is based upon the percentage of time the student attended the institution. The percentage of time completed is determined by dividing the number of days prior to complete withdrawal by the total days of the semester. The earned percentage (rounded) is then subtracted from 100 percent, which then gives the unearned percentage.

If a student withdraws after 60 percent of the semester has been completed, no funds will be returned.

Any funds received from the HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, or ACCEL will also be included in the institutional refund calculation. A student receiving these funds may owe money to the institution and the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC).

RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL BE IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Stafford Direct Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal PELL Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Federal Teach Grants
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

The Financial Aid Office performs all calculations for Return to Title IV funds. Once these calculations are performed, the Office of Student Financial Aid then reduces awards and notifies students of funds owed to the U.S. Department of Education. Students will be notified by the Business Office if money is owed to the university. Failure to repay the federal government could jeopardize eligibility for future financial assistance at Augusta University and other institutions. Failure to repay the institution could jeopardize eligibility to return to the school and/or receive official academic transcripts.

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