Oct 17, 2019  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin

Financial Assistance



 

Financial Aid Office

The Financial Aid Office provides year round assistance to students and their families who are seeking resources to cover educational expenses. 

Staff members will help answer any questions you have about the application process, what types of aid may be available, and how to maintain eligibility so you can make the best choices for your educational funding. 

Applying For Aid

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov every year to determine your eligibility for aid. Be sure to check with the Financial Aid Office or Self-Service in Access Stout to ensure you have completed all the necessary materials. 

Receiving Aid

After your FAFSA has been reviewed and processed by the Financial Aid Office, you will receive an email notifying that your award is available for you to view in Access Stout.

Basic Types of Financial Aid

Scholarships 

Scholarships vary in amount and criteria for award. Scholarships may be based on academic performance, financial need, program of study, year in school, or many other factors. Students are generally responsible for their application process.

Stout University Foundation Scholarships

Stout University Foundation scholarships are awarded based on an overall student profile, including participation in academic organizations and other groups, students’ interest areas or financial need. Awards range from $250 to $8,500. Scholarship applications are due the first Monday of February.  

Other Scholarship Opportunities 

By investing a little time and energy, you can conduct your own scholarship search. The Financial Aid Office provides information on its website to help get you started.

Federal Work Study 

The Federal Work Study Program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Please note that these funds are typically used to pay for smaller expenses throughout the semester and will not be available to pay for tuition, housing and other charges due at the beginning of each term.

The maximum amount a student can earn while a work study student will be limited to the student’s work study award. The awards are based on the student’s need, timing of application, FAFSA information and fund limits.

Loans

Loans are financial assistance that must be repaid. There are education loans available through the federal government and through private lenders. Each loan program has specific eligibility criteria, repayment, cancellation, and deferment conditions. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed to be considered for all federal education loans.

In Access Stout you will need to respond to the financial aid awards given to you. You will accept or decline federal work study and loans.

If you accepted any loans, you will need to complete loan processing. You will have checklist items on your “To Do List” in Access Stout that will indicate you must complete Loan Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Financial Aid Policies

Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

Students have a right to know:

  • What financial aid is available, including federal, state and institutional aid
  • That the information they give to the Financial Aid Office will be treated confidentially
  • The cost of attendance and the policies for students who withdraw
  • How their financial aid budget and financial need was determined (including how other resources affect their need)
  • How their aid was calculated and awarded
  • What types of aid they were awarded and the criteria used to award each financial aid program
  • Which financial aid programs must be repaid and which do not
  • They can have their financial need reviewed through the re-evaluation process if their family circumstances have changed
  • How satisfactory academic progress is determined and how it might affect their financial aid eligibility

Students have the responsibility to:

  • Provide the Financial Aid Office with accurate information in a timely manner
  • Provide any additional information requested for the processing of their financial aid file (such as Federal tax returns, verification worksheets, or other documentation)
  • Read and understand all forms that they are asked to sign and keep a copy of such forms for their record
  • Make satisfactory academic progress as determined by the Financial Aid Office
  • Inform the Financial Aid Office of any additional financial aid they receive such as scholarships, outside grants, assistantship or other educational/tuition assistance
  • Repay all loans according to the payment schedule. Students who default on a loan are not eligible for additional financial aid
  • Perform their Federal Work-Study job in a satisfactory manner
  • Know and comply with any refund procedures
  • Inform the Financial Aid Office if their personal information changes such as:
    • Their permanent or local address
    • Their residency status
    • Their enrollment status (credit load)
    • Their classification (Undergraduate, graduate, second degree, special student)
    • Change in governmental benefits (veterans)

Withdrawal and Return to Title IV (R2T4) Policy

Federal Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that he/she will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws from all of his/her courses, for any reason including medical withdrawals, he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that he/she was originally scheduled to receive.

A student that withdraws from all courses prior to completing more than 60 percent of a semester may be required to repay a portion of the federal financial aid received for that term. A prorated schedule is used to determine the amount of federal student aid funds the student will have earned at the time of the withdrawal.

The return of funds is based upon the concept that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled. Under this reasoning, a student who withdraws in the second week of classes has earned less of his/her financial aid than a student who withdraws in the seventh week. Once 60 percent of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have earned all of his/her financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.

The Student Business Services Office, in accordance with 34CFR Sec. 668.22 calculates the Return of Title IV Funds for any student receiving Title IV Aid and subsequently withdraws before the end of the enrollment period (i.e. term).

Official Withdrawal

Students intending to officially withdraw should contact the Registration and Records Office. Students planning to enroll for the next semester will need to contact the Financial Aid Office to re-apply for financial aid for the following semester.

The official withdrawal date used to determine the return of funds calculation is maintained in the Registration and Records Office as well as within the PeopleSoft system. The “Student’s Withdrawal Date” will be the date the student provides official notification of their intent to withdraw. The “Date of the Institution’s Determination that the Student has Withdrawn” will be the date the Registration and Records office posts at the top of each Withdrawal list.

Unofficial Withdrawal

The Financial Aid Office will assume that students that fail to earn a single grade in any of their classes for a term have unofficially withdrawn. Students that receive all grades of “FS” “FN”, “WU”, “WS” or a combination will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn from the University. If all grades are “FN” (never attended) the student is ineligible for Title IV aid and all aid will be returned. The Financial Aid Office will process an R2T4 using the 50 percent point as the student’s “Withdrawal Date”.

The university has initiated a grading policy that will be used to distinguish between a student who earned a grade of “F” (awarded to students who complete the course but fail to achieve the course objectives) or a grade of “FS” (awarded to students who stopped attending) or “FN” (awarded to students who never attended). A student that earns at least one grade including an “F” grade will be considered to have completed the term and no R2T4 calculation would be required or performed. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require UW-Stout to establish reasonable standards for measuring satisfactory academic progress (SAP) of financial aid applications.  The SAP standards are reviewed at the end of every Fall, Spring, and Summer semester, after grades have been posted, for every financial aid applicant.  This policy is separate from the University’s Standards of Academic  Probation and Suspension, which means you could be in good standing academically with the University but still be ineligible to receive financial aid.  To continue to be eligibile for financial aid, you must comply with the following SAP standards: 

Standard for Grade Point Average

You are required to maintain a satisfacory cumulative GPA throughout your enrollment until you graduate:

  • Graduate students are required to maintain at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA

Standard for Minimum Credits Completed

For graduate students, you must successfully complete at least 67% of all the credits you attempt to remain eligible for financial aid.  To determine if you are meeting the requirement, divide you cumulative completed credits by your cumulative attempted credits.  For example, if you enrolled in 15 credits at the beginning of your first semester and only sussessfully completed 9 of those credits (9 divided by 15 is 60%), you would not meet the SAP standards.  Another example:  if you are at the end of your third semester, have 39 credits attempted previously with 30 of those completed successfully, and in your fourth semester took 15 credits but only completed 3 credits, you would not meet the standard since 33 divided by 54 is only 61%.

Your “attempted credits” is the number of credits you were enrolled in on the 10th day of class each semester.  In reviewing for mimum credits completed, a grade of “D-” or better is considered successful completion.  Incomplete grades (“I” and “IP”), failing grades (“F”, “FN” and “FS”), withdrawn grades (“W”, “WS” and “WU”), unreported grades, “no credit”, or “audit” grades are counted as attempted credits, but not as completed credits.  Transfer credits are not included in the calculation.

Standard for Maximum Time Frame

If you attempt more credits than is required for your degree, you will no longer be eligible to receive fnancial aid.  “Attempted credits” are defined above.  Credits transferred in are counted.  If you add additional majors or minors beyond what is required for your degree or if you change your major, you are still held to the maximum time frame for financial aid eligibility.

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid up to 125% of the minimum credit requirement of your program.  For example, if your graduate program requires 40 credits, you would no longer be eligible for financial aid when you attempt more than 50 credits (40 x 125% = 50).

If you fall below the SAP Standards:

Financial Aid Warning Status

The first time you fall below either the GPA or Minimum Credits Completed SAP standards, you are placed on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent semester and notified by email.  On Financial Aid Warning, you may continue to receive financial aid for that one semester.  At the completion of that semester on Financial Aid Warning, you must meet the standards or you will be placed on Ineligible Status for the subsequent semester.

Financial Aid Ineligible Status

There are two ways in which you can be placed on Ineligible Status:

  • If you were on Financial Aid Warning and did not meet the SAP standards after your Warning semester, you will be ineligible for financial aid for your subsequent semester.  In order to regain eligibility for aid, you must meet the standards again OR successfully appeal your Ineligible Status.
  • If you do not meet the SAP Standards for Maximum Time Frame, you will be placed on Ineligible Status.

When you are on Ineligible Status, you will be notified by email with the instructions on how to appeal.

Approved SAP Appeal:  Probation or Academic Plan

If you were placed on Ineligible Status, you can appeal this by documenting the following:

  • Extenuating, non-academic circumstances which prevented you from meeting the SAP standards
  • Information regarding why you failed to meet the SAP standards, and what has changed in your situtation that will allow you to improve the academic progress

If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on Probation or an Academic Plan:

  • If it is possible for you to meet the SAP standards after one semester, you will be placed on Probation.  You can receive financial aid during this probationary semester.
  • If it is not possible for you to meet the SAP standards after one semester, you will be placed on Academic Plan.  Your Financial Aid Counselor will communicate the terms of your Academic Plan or may ask you to provide a program plan that is signed by your academic advisor.  You must meet the terms of the plan each semester to remain eligible for financial aid, otherwise you will return to Ineligible Status.

The appeal policy is to grant no more than one appeal for the extenuating circumstance and not to approve more than three appeals in a student’s career.

Regaining Eligiblity

If you cannot appeal because you did not have exenuating circumstances, you can regain eligibility for financial aid by improving your academic progress and meeting the SAP standards.  You will be reviewed against the SAP standards at the end of each Fall, Spring, and Summer semester.

UW System Code of Conduct

UW-Stout participates in federal student loan programs. We also certify private loans for students who need to borrow beyond the federal loan limits. We abide by the UW Regent Code of Conduct related to student loan borrowing.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships provide stipends in return for a designated amount of professional service. Graduate teaching assistantships provide stipends in return for time spent teaching a laboratory or discussion session. Assistantships range from one-eighth time to one-half time. Graduate assistantships of one-third or more time may include a partial or full waiver of the non-resident portion of tuition. Non-resident tuition waivers are subject to availability of funds. Students with a waiver for two consecutive semesters, or a waiver for spring semester, may also receive the award of a tuition waiver for the regular summer session. A graduate assistant must carry a minimum of six credits per semester or three credits per summer session while on the assistantship. The maximum credit hour load may also be limited during the term of the assistantship. Graduate assistantships are controlled by the various departments, units and/or research grants of the university.

To become eligible for an assistantship, a student must be admitted to a graduate degree program (graduate special and dual level students are not eligible). Students who have made application for graduate assistantship, and have been admitted to the Graduate School, generally have the best opportunity to make their qualifications known to the various supervisors who employ graduate assistants. Detailed information on how to view, search and apply for assistantships is available on the Graduate School website. Early application is essential. It is the responsibility of the student to make contact with the supervisor indicated on the list for more information on the position and setting up an interview. The department offering the position makes a recommendation to Human Resources concerning the graduate assistant to be hired. Human Resources officially offers the position to the prospective applicant by sending them a written contract that should be signed and returned before work begins. An application is valid for one academic year.

Assistantships are normally filled on an academic year basis, although some assistantships can be for one semester only. A one-fourth time assistantship requires 10 hours work per week (320 hours per year).