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 the ULM Office of Financial Aid are grants, loans, and employment. For additional information or questions, visit our website at www.ulm.edu/financialaid/. The Financial Aid Office is located in University Library 228.
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 Federal 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 website at www.ulm.edu/financialaid/.
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 FAFSA PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. The PIN is required to complete your financial aid application on-line. Dependent students will also need a parent to apply for a PIN.
||Complete the 2015-2016 FAFSA to begin the process for financial assistance. The 2015-2016 FAFSA became available on-line after January 1st at www.fafsa.ed.gov. 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, the Office of Financial Aid Services will contact you via email and will notify you if further documentation is necessary for processing.
- You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
2015-2016 Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
Federal regulations require all schools participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy that meets the minimum federal requirements. This policy defines Satisfactory Academic Progress, the process by which financial aid is revoked for failure to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, and the process by which students may appeal Satisfactory Academic Progress decisions. This policy applies to all federal, state, and institutional aid, and applies to all students, regardless of status as a financial aid recipient.
The purpose of these standards is to ensure financial aid recipients are progressing toward their degree in an adequate and timely manner. These standards govern financial aid and do not have any bearing on academic standing, as the Academic Progress Status is a separate policy. A student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress status does not affect the ability to enroll in classes, but it can affect their ability to receive aid to cover expenses. All financial aid recipients will be evaluated for Satisfactory Academic Progress at the conclusion of each term, including summer.
Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured by three standards:
Minimum GPA (Qualitative Standard):
All undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 term and cumulative GPA, and graduate students must maintain a 3.0 term and cumulative GPA. Pharmacy students must meet academic requirements specified to advance within the professional program.
Pace/Completion Rate (Quantitative Standard):
All students must successfully complete a minimum of 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.
Example: 9 earned hours ÷ 13 attempted hours = 69% completion rate (meets minimum standard of 67%)
Maximum Time Frame (Quantitative Standard):
Students are eligible for financial aid for a maximum of 150% of the required length of a program. The maximum time is determined based on the number of credits required for the student’s degree and major. The 150% threshold for ULM degrees are as follows:
- Associate’s Degree 90 hours
- OTA Degree 111 hours
- Bachelor’s Degree 180 hours
- Graduate Degree varies (multiply the number of hours for your degree by 150%)
The following information is taken into consideration when determining a student’s SAP status:
- A student’s entire academic record at all schools attended, regardless of whether financial aid was utilized
- Grades of A, B, C, or D are counted as both attempted and earned hours.
- Remedial courses and grades of F, W, I, NC, and IP are counted as attempted hours, but not earned hours.
Note: Even if a student is granted “Academic Renewal” by ULM, the SAP Appeals Committee must still consider these hours in the student’s completion rate and in the total hours attempted.
FINANCIAL AID WARNING AND RESOLUTION
Students who fail to meet one of the three standards above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning status. Students who are on Warning may still receive financial aid for one term. To resolve Warning status and be moved back to Good Standing, students must complete the Warning term by meeting all three standards successfully.
FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION
Students who are on Warning status and do not meet one or more of the three standards successfully will be placed on Suspension status. Suspension status halts all federal, state, and institutional aid, and most outside scholarships and private loans.
There are special circumstances when a student may be placed on Suspension status:
- Undergraduates with less than 2.0 GPA who have reached Junior status Undergraduate students who have reached junior status (60 credits) with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 cannot appeal their SAP Suspension status. Students can only regain eligibility once they earn a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. This is a federal regulation and cannot be appealed to the SAP Appeals Committee or the ULM Administration.
- Transfer students All transfer students must provide official transcripts for all prior institutions, and must successfully meet all SAP standards upon entering ULM. Any transfer student not meeting a standard will be placed on Suspension status and must appeal to receive financial aid.
RE-ESTABLISHING FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY
Students placed on Suspension status and denied financial aid have two options for re-establishing financial aid eligibility:
- Appeal the Suspension status Students placed on Suspension status and denied financial aid have the right to appeal their status if there were extenuating circumstances. Once a student has been placed on Suspension status, the SAP Appeal form will be listed as an unsatisfied student requirement on Banner. The student must submit the appeal and all necessary documentation to be reviewed by the SAP Appeals Committee. If the student successfully appeals the Suspension status, the student will be placed on Probation status. If the student is denied, the student has the right to continue their enrollment at ULM but must find other means to pay their Fee Bill.
- Meet all SAP standards while paying for a term out-of-pocket If the student unsuccessfully appeals the Suspension status or chooses not to appeal, the student has the right to pay for a term out-of-pocket to continue enrollment at ULM. If the student successfully meets all SAP standards, the student has the right to re-appeal. If the student re-appeals successfully, the student will be placed on Probation status.
FINANCIAL AID PROBATION STATUS AND RESOLUTION
Students who have successfully appealed Suspension status and have been granted Probation status must complete 100% of their courses of the Probation term(s) with a 2.3 GPA (graduate students must complete the term(s) with a 3.3 GPA), and successfully follow the academic plan outlined in their appeal. Failure to complete the criteria outlined on the Appeal Agreement will result in being downgraded to Suspension status.
Students have the right to appeal multiple suspensions, however they must have a DIFFERENT reason for not being successful. Federal regulations do not allow multiple suspension appeals due to the same reason.
All appeal decisions are final.
Resignation Policy for Students Receiving Federal Financial 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.
- A student’s withdrawal date, as provided by the instructors, 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%, ULM and the student does not have to return any Title IV Aid.
Resignation Withdrawal Policy
(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.)
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 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 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). More information regarding private education loans is available at http://ulm.edu/financialaid/privateloans.html. (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 PERKINS LOAN PROGRAM is available to students who are enrolled in at least half-time, and are majoring in certain qualifying fields. Students determined to have 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 9 months after the student graduates, drops below half-time, changes his/her major, or withdraws from the University.
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 up 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. Student workers earn at least federal minimum wages.
The Office of Financial Aid Services, along with various academic departments, assists students in obtaining on-campus and 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 awarded to students who are Louisiana residents, file a FAFSA, qualify for and receive a Pell grant, and enrolled in an eligible Louisiana institution on at least a half-time basis. The allocation of funds to eligible institutions is based on the annual legislative appropriation. Award amounts are based on the institution’s allocations and their packaging policy. Awards may vary each academic year.