The ULM Office of Financial Aid Services supports the mission of the University by assisting students in reducing or eliminating financial obstacles which might prohibit them from attaining an education. At ULM, we understand the financial burdens placed on students and their parents when pursuing a college education. The Office of Financial Aid Services is designed to help students and parents find the type of aid that best suits their needs.
Financial aid programs offered through ULM are scholarships, grants, loans, and employment. For additional information or questions, visit our website at http://finaid.ulm.edu. The Financial Aid Office is located in George T. Walker Hall 1-122.
Financial Aid is intended to assist students in financing their education when family and personal resources are not adequate to meet their total educational cost. There are three types of direct aid:
- Grants - no repayment necessary. Based on financial need, students must apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Loans - financial awards with a low interest rate. Repayments usually begin 6-12 months after graduation or withdrawal from school.
- Employment - provides federal work study jobs for students while attending school. ULM has two employment programs – on-campus and off-campus opportunities.
For a detailed explanation of the federal programs and how they are processed, consult the ULM Financial Aid Guide on our website at http://finaid.ulm.edu.
THREE STEPS TO APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID
NOTE: Apply early for admission to ULM. You may obtain an Application for Admission from the Office of Recruitment and Admissions (University Library, Room 202, Phone 318-342-5430) or on-line at www.ulm.edu. You must be admitted to ULM before aid can be awarded.
||Apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the U.S. Department of Education. The PIN is required to complete your financial aid application on-line. Parents should also apply for a PIN. To apply for a PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov
||Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA begins the process for financial assistance. The 2012-2013 FAFSA became available on-line after January 1st at www.fafsa.ed.gov. It is recommended to file your FAFSA on-line. The electronic completion will take approximately 2-4 weeks for a response, where paper applications will take four to six weeks. When completing the application, make certain you list ULM’s Title IV school code (002020) so that your results can be electronically transmitted to ULM.
||After filing your FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) either by mail or on-line. The Department of Education sends this to you after your FAFSA has been analyzed. Read it carefully. Make certain that everything is correct and complete. The Office of Financial Aid Services will receive your information electronically and will notify you if further documentation is necessary for processing.
- If you are a Pharmacy student requesting a Health Professions Loan, you must complete the parental section of the FAFSA even if you are independent. Federal law requires parental information must be provided to determine eligibility for this loan.
- You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)
Federal regulations require all schools participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress policy that conforms to the requirements listed below. These requirements apply to all students receiving Title IV federal aid.
- Your SAP status is based on your entire academic record, at all schools attended, regardless of whether you received financial aid.
- SAP is calculated each semester (including summer) after grades have been posted to academic history by the Registrar’s Office.
- At the conclusion of the first term that SAP is not met, you will be placed on a WARNING status and allowed to receive financial aid for one semester.
- Students who fail to meet SAP requirements by the end of the WARNING semester will be placed on FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION. Students on suspension are no longer eligible for financial aid.
- A notice will be sent to your university email at the completion of each semester SAP review.
- Status of your academic progress and reasons for loss of financial aid eligibility can be viewed on your Banner account under Financial Aid Status.
- A good time for you to check your status is one week after the last day of final exams.
- It is your responsibility to monitor your academic progress status and understand all requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
- Transfer students must meet all requirements of ULM’s SAP Policy to qualify for financial aid.
- Your SAP status will be based on all attempted hours from all schools attended.
- You will not be awarded financial aid until all official transcripts from all previous institutions have been received and reviewed by ULM>
- If your SAP status is incomplete, you must still pay your bill by the payment deadline, or your classes will be dropped for non-payment.
The following are considered when evaluating a student’s SAP:
- Grades of A, B, C or D are considered attempted and earned hours.
- W, I, F, NC, and IP grades are considered attempted but not earned hours.
- Audited courses are considered attempted but not earned hours.
- Remedial courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
- The federal government does not exempt hours included in academic renewal. Therefore, these hours are included as attempted hours in calculation of the completion rate and the maximum time requirements.
There are three SAP requirements. Failure to comply with one or more of the following requirements will result in the loss of financial aid eligibility.
- GPA Requirement: The GPA requirement sets a minimum cumulative grade point average for your classification.
||Undergraduate Students: 2.0
||Graduate Students: 3.0
||Doctor of Pharmacy: Must meet academic requirements specified by the ULM College of Pharmacy to advance within the professional program.
- Credit Hour Completion Rate (Pace) Requirement: The credit hour completion requirement sets an expected progression in your degree program.
- All students must earn a minimum 67% of all hours attempted. Completion rate is determined by dividing the total number of hours earned by the total number of credit hours attempted.
- The completion rate for graduate students is calculated using only credits attempted and earned at the graduate level.
- The completion rate for Pharmacy students is calculated using only credits attempted and earned at the professional level.
- Maximum Time Limit Requirement
- As you get close to your maximum time requirement your academic progress status, located on your Banner Self Service account, under Financial Aid Status, will remind you that you are getting close to the maximum time allowed for your degree.
- It is your responsibility to monitor your academic progress status and know the number of hours allowed for your degree.
- Your maximum time requirement will not be extended to include major changes, double majors or minors.
- You are no longer eligible for financial aid (including federal student loans) beyond the following number of attempted hours:
Associate Degree: 90 hours
OTA Degree: 111 hours
Bachelor Degree: 180 hours
Graduate Degree: To determine maximum time frame, multiply the total hours required for the degree by 150%. For example, if your program requires 33 hours, the maximum time limit would be 49 hours (33 x 15% = 49).
Doctor of Pharmacy: A student must earn his/her professional degree within the time limitations set by the ULM College of Pharmacy, as defined in the student handbook for a professional program.
Financial aid eligibility can be re-established automatically after you raise your Completion Rate and Cumulative GPA to the required level and you have not exceeded the maximum time allowed for your degree.
- Financial aid eligibility cannot be re-established by non-attendance or paying out of pocket for a semester.
Appeals will not be reviewed for summer.
There is an appeal process for the Completion Rate and GPA Requirement and a separate process to appeal the Maximum Time Frame allowed for your degree.
Completion Rate and GPA Appeal Process
You may appeal your financial aid if there were extenuating circumstances that prevented you from meeting the 67% completion rate and/or the minimum GPA requirement.
Submit a letter outlining the following items:
- Describe in detail your extenuating circumstances for each semester you failed to meet SAP and how your performance was affected.
- Describe how the documentation you are attaching supports your appeal.
- Explain the steps you have taken to ensure academic progress in the future.
Examples of extenuating circumstances that will be considered include but are not limited to:
- Unexpected serious illness or injury
- Death or extended illness of an immediate family member during the time period in which you did not meet SAP requirements
- Significant trauma in your life that impaired your emotional or physical health
Federal regulations are clear that students may not make subsequent appeals for the same reason as a previous appeal. This also includes known chronic medical conditions. Students are expected to balance school with these conditions.
Examples of extenuating circumstances not considered for an appeal include but are not limited to:
- Loss of internet service
- Books not ordered on time
- Books not available in time
- Personality conflicts with instructor
- Car broke down
- Loss of child’s daycare provider
- Lack of funding to cover travel expenses
You must submit supporting documentation for your extenuating circumstances, such as:
- A letter from a healthcare provider who has treated you and can certify that the medical condition impaired your ability to successfully complete the coursework attempted. This medical documentation should coincide with the time period you failed to make academic progress.
- Written verification of the family member’s death and relationship to you, such as a death certificate or obituary. Verification documentation should coincide with the time period you failed to make academic progress.
- Documentation that supports your extenuating circumstances. Such as a letter from a third party professional (healthcare, legal, clergy, etc.), police reports, or other pertinent documentation that you feel supports your appeal.
Maximum Time Frame Appeal Process
You may appeal for an extension for the time allowed for your degree. You must be meeting both the 67% completion rate and the minimum GPA requirements to qualify for an extension.
- You may appeal the maximum time frame allowed for your degree if there were circumstances that prevented you from completing your degree within the time allowed.
- Multiple changes in major, repeating classes and/or excessive grades of F, I, NC, or W are not adequate reasons for exceeding the maximum time frame. Appeals submitted for these reasons alone will not be approved.
1. Complete Maximum Time Frame Appeal Form and have the form signed by an advisor from your Department or College.
2. Attach a degree plan confirming the classes listing hours required for the completion of your degree. Your degree plan can be provided to you by your Department or College. A print out from Flight Path cannot be substituted for a current degree plan.
3. Type a letter explaining the circumstances that prevented you from graduating within the maximum time allowed for your degree. You will need to submit documentation to support the circumstances explained in your letter.
4. Appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case situation.
Submit the appropriate Appeal Form, letter and required documentation as a complete packet to the Office of Financial Aid Services, University Library, Room 228, Monroe, LA 71209 or Fax to (318) 342-3539. Include your CWID on all information submitted. Your letter and documentation must be attached to the Financial Aid Appeal Form; incomplete appeals will not be reviewed.
Please allow ample time for the decision of your financial aid appeal. Your classes will not be held based on a pending appeal decision. You must be prepared to make payment arrangements before the fee payment deadline. If your appeal is denied, you will be responsible for any remaining balance owed the University.
You can view your appeal decision on your Banner account by going to Financial Aid Status, and then double click academic progress status within 2-4 weeks.
Your appeal will result in one of the following decisions:
- Appeal approved for one semester. You will be awarded financial aid for one semester and must be meeting SAP requirements by the completion of the semester in order to receive financial aid for the following semester.
- Appeal approved on an academic plan. You will be awarded financial aid and be held to specific requirements each semester until meeting SAP requirements.
- Appeal approved for a time frame extension. Coursework will be limited to the courses required on your Time Frame Appeal. In addition, you must earn a minimum 2.0 each semester and successfully complete all courses enrolled while on extension.
- Appeal approved for a second degree. Coursework will be limited to the courses required for your second degree.
- Appeal denied.
Resignation Policy for Students Receiving Federal Financial Aid
Students who receive Title IV Financial Aid, excluding the Federal Work-Study Program, will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy if the student withdraws before completing 60% of the semester in which the student was disbursed Title IV Aid.
The current policy, as a result of the Reauthorization of Higher Education Act of 1965, went into effect during Fall 2000 semester. Students must return unearned portions of the Title IV Funds to the Title IV Program.
- The student’s withdrawal is used to determine the student’s percentage of earned aid. The withdrawal date also is used to determine what percentage of the enrollment period the student actually completed.
- The percentage of earned aid is subtracted from 100% to determine the amount of Title IV Aid the student has earned. (This is the student’s percentage of unearned aid).
- The percentage of unearned aid is multiplied by the amount of Title IV Aid that has been disbursed to the student to determine the amount of aid that the student must return.
- The amount of Title IV Funds that the school must return to the Title IV Program is calculated by multiplying the total institutional cost by the percentage of unearned aid.
If the percentage of earned aid is greater than 60%, the student does not have to return Title IV Aid.
Resignation Withdrawal Policy
After enrolling in classes, a student who wants to resign must:
- Consult the ULM Schedule of Classes for dates and times to drop classes and notify the Residential Life Office to cancel a Room and Meal Contract if such contract was requested by the student.
- After the registration period, notify the Registrar’s Office in writing to cancel classes and notify the Residential Life Office in writing to cancel a Room and Meal Contract.
- Merely discontinuing class attendance is not considered to be a formal resignation from the University. Students who discontinue class attendance who fail to follow the established resignation procedure will be held responsible for all tuition and fees.
- Students who receive Federal Financial Aid and who stop attending classes without officially resigning are subject to the Return of Title IV Funds (see above). The student’s professors will be contacted to verify the last date of class attendance.
Applicants for all loan programs must complete the FAFSA.
The HEALTH PROFESSIONS LOAN PROGRAM is available to full-time students enrolled in Pharmacy. Students determined to have exceptional financial need and who are making satisfactory progress toward graduation are eligible for this program. The interest rate on the loan is 5% and repayment of the loan begins 12 months after the student graduates, drops below full-time, changes his/her major, or withdraws from the University.
THE DIRECT SUBSIDIZED LOAN PROGRAM provides affordable loans to students that are enrolled at least half-time, are meeting the minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, and have been determined to have unmet financial need as defined by federal guidelines. The amount of eligibility varies depending on the amount of the student’s unmet need and the number of academic hours earned to date. The interest accrued on the loan is paid by the government and principal payments are deferred as long as the student remains enrolled on at least a half-time basis and meets certain other pertinent criteria. Repayment of the loan begins 6 months after the student graduates, drops below half-time, or withdraws from the University.
THE DIRECT UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN PROGRAM. Loans are available to students on a non-need basis. While appropriately enrolled in school, the student has the option of paying the accrued interest on the loan while or allowing the interest to be capitalized into the balance of the loan. Principle and interest payments begin six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment status.
THE ALTERNATIVE LOAN PROGRAM is offered to students by lenders; however, the interest rates and loan terms vary from lender to lender. Therefore, it is a good idea to research these alternative loan programs before you apply. The loan amount awarded is not to exceed the Cost of Attendance (less other aid received). Students must apply on-line for this loan at http://finaid.ulm.edu. Click on Financial Aid for Fall 2012/Spring 2013 to see information concerning this type of loan. (Note: This loan should only be considered when your loan options for the Direct Loan program have been exhausted. A FAFSA must be completed before an alternative loan can be awarded.)
The student employment program provides a large number of students with the opportunity to earn part of their expenses by working in the Library, Post Office, academic and administrative offices, and many other areas on campus. Student workers devote ten to twenty hours per week to their campus jobs. Each department coordinates a work schedule for the assigned student workers based in part on the total amount each student is allowed to earn. Campus employment is coordinated with all other forms of financial aid available to a student. Federal applications may be obtained from high school principals, counselors, or on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Student workers earn federal minimum wages.
The Office of Financial Aid Services, along with various academic departments, assists students in obtaining off-campus employment. Businesses in Monroe and West Monroe employ hundreds of students in part-time and full-time jobs. Applicants for all federal work programs must complete the FAFSA.
Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Applicants for all grant programs must complete the FAFSA.
The FEDERAL PELL GRANT PROGRAM was established by the Higher Education Act of 1972 to provide needy students with financial assistance in meeting the costs of a college education. They are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree and who are making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. The amount awarded to a student varies depending upon the amount of financial need determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The federal government determines the maximum Pell Grant award.
The FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG) is available on a limited basis to undergraduate students that are eligible for the Pell Grant and have exceptional remaining financial need. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, and be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. Funding is limited and priority is given to full-time students.
The LOUISIANA GO GRANT is available to those undergraduate students who entered college as a first-time freshman or is age 24 or younger that entered college as a first-time freshman or is age 25 or older and who has had a break in enrollment of at least two consecutive semesters. Students must be a Louisiana resident, be enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis, be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree and a Federal Pell Grant recipient.