Federal Student Financial Aid Refund Policy

Students who receive federal student aid are subject to both the general Northland College refund policy and a separate federal Title IV funds refund policy. Mandatory class attendance is required when receiving federal financial aid. If you withdraw, stop attending, or never attend all of your classes before completing 60% of the term, you may be required to repay a portion or ALL of the federal aid that you have received, excluding federal work-study earnings.

The amount of federal aid that you must repay is determined by the Federal Formula for Return of Title IV funds, Section 484B of the Higher Education Act. This law also specifies the order in which funds are to be returned to the financial aid programs from which they were awarded, starting with loan programs.

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
  • Federal Pell
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants
  • Other assistance under this Title for which a Return of funds is required

You may be required to make a repayment when financial aid funds have been disbursed from financial aid funds, in excess of the amount of aid that you earned (based on the date of your total withdrawal) during the term. The amount of Title IV aid earned is determined by multiplying the total Title IV aid (other than federal work study) for which you qualified by the percentage of time during the term that you were enrolled.

View Northland Refund Policies

Financial Aid Code of Conduct

Northland College, as a participant in federal loan programs, is required to have a code of conduct applicable to the institution’s officers, employees, and agents. The code of conduct requirements are set forth in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) signed into law on August 14, 2008. The Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities is a requirement specific to certain transactions and activities related to financial aid matters. In addition, the law includes requirements related to publication of the code and annual disclosures.

Reason for Policy

The HEOA program participation agreement, which must be executed by all institutions participating in Title IV financial aid programs including student loan programs, requires a code of conduct with which the institution’s officers, employees, and agents shall comply. Such code must prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an officer, employee, or agent of an institution with respect to such loans, and include the provisions set forth in the HEOA related to conflicts. The law further specifies that the code shall be displayed prominently on the institution’s website and that all institutional officers, employees and agents with responsibilities related to such loans be annually informed of the provisions of the code of conduct.

Code of Conduct

Northland College hereby adopts the following provisions from the HEOA, Section 493 as its Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities and will annually inform all institutional officers, employees, and agents with responsibilities for student loan activities and decisions of the provisions of this code.

  1. Ban on revenue-sharing agreement
    1. Prohibition — The institution shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender.
    2. Definition — For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘revenue-sharing arrangement’ means an arrangement between an institution and a lender under which
      1. a lender provides or issues a loan that is made, insured, or guaranteed under this title to students attending the institution or to the families of such students; and
      2. the institution recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and in exchange, the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit sharing, to the institution, an officer or employee of the institution, or an agent.
  2. Gift ban
    1. Prohibition — No officer or employee of the institution who is employed in the Office of Financial Aid, or an individual who has been assigned by the Northland College President with supervisory authority over the Director of Financial Aid, or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans.
    2. Definition of gift
      1. In General — In this paragraph, the term ‘gift’ means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, stock,or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount ($25 per year). The term includes a gift of services, transportation, lodging, or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, computer hardware, printing costs or services for which the recipient pays below-market value, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.
      2. Exceptions — The term ‘gift’ shall not include any of the following:
        1. Standard material, activities, or programs on issues related to a loan, default aversion, default prevention, or financial literacy, such as a brochure, a workshop, or training.
        2. Food, refreshments, training, or informational material furnished to an officer or employee of an institution, or to an agent, as an integral part of a training session that is designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans to the institution, if such training contributes to the professional development of the officer, employee, or agent. Reimbursement of expenses to a covered institutional employee for serving on the board of bona-fide professional association recognized by the Commissioner of NYS Education Dept., related to student financial aid.
        3. Favorable terms, conditions, and borrower benefits on an education loan provided to a student employed by the institution if such terms, conditions, or benefits are comparable to those provided to all students of the institution.
        4. Entrance and exit counseling services provided to borrowers to meet the institution’s responsibilities for entrance and exit counseling as required by subsections (b) and (l) of section 485, as long as:
          1. the institution’s staff are in control of the counseling, (whether in person or via electronic capabilities); and
          2. such counseling does not promote the products or services of any specific lender.
        5. Philanthropic contributions to an institution from a lender, servicer, or guarantor of education loans that are unrelated to education loans or any contribution from any lender, guarantor, or servicer that is not made in exchange for any advantage related to education loans.
        6. State education grants, scholarships, or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of a State.
      3. Rule for Gifts for Family Members: For purposes of this paragraph, a gift to a family member of an officer or employee of an institution, to a family member of an agent, or to any other individual based on that individual’s relationship with the officer, employee, or agent, shall be considered a gift to the officer, employee, or agent if:
        1. the gift is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the officer, employee, or agent; and
        2. the officer, employee, or agent has reason to believe the gift was given because of the official position of the officer, employee, or agent.
  3. Contracting arrangements prohibited
    1. Prohibition — An officer or employee who is employed in the Office of Financial Aid or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
    2. Exceptions — Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting:
      1. an officer or employee of an institution who is not employed in the institution’s Office of Financial Aid and who does not otherwise have responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who does not have responsibilities with respect to education loans, from performing paid or unpaid service on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans;
      2. an officer or employee of the institution who is not employed in the Office of Financial Aid but who has responsibility with respect to education loans as a result of a position held at the institution, or an agent who has responsibility with respect to education loans, from performing paid or unpaid service on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans, if the institution has a written conflict of interest policy that clearly sets forth that officers, employees, or agents must excuse themselves from participating in any decision of the board regarding education loans at the institution; or
      3. an officer, employee, or contractor of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans from serving on a board of directors, or serving as a trustee, of an institution, if the institution has an interest policy that the board member or trustee must excuse themselves from any education loans at the institution.

Sanctions

Violations of university policies, including the failure to avoid a prohibited activity or disclose a conflict of interest in timely manner, will be dealt with in accordance with applicable college policies and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination from the institution.

Requirements for Consideration

Full-time student eligibility

Federal, state, and Northland College financial aid regulations require a full-time student to be enrolled with at least 12 credits in each of the fall and winter sessions and to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Part-time student eligibility

Students who are enrolled with less than 12 credits may qualify for federal or state financial aid if they maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. A student cannot receive Northland College grants or scholarships unless he or she is enrolled on a full-time basis.

Application procedures for prospective students

Students in need of financial assistance must follow the application procedures outlined below:

  1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the U.S. Department of Education by March 15;
  2. Obtain a Supplemental Achievement Scholarship Application from the Admission Office (the Achievement Scholarship application includes music, art and other special scholarships).

Each prospective student should also submit the following documents to Northland College: Application for Admission, college aptitude test scores (ACT or SAT), and high school transcript. These documents have a priority deadline of February 15 for fall admission and November 1 for winter admission.

Application Procedures for Returning Students

Returning students must apply for financial aid every year, preferably no later than March 15, by filing a FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov. Students applying after March 15 will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to remain eligible for financial assistance, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress and be enrolled full-time.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Requirement and Definition

Federal and state regulations require Northland College to establish and apply reasonable satisfactory academic progress standards and to review applicable student records to ensure students receiving financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act or Wisconsin state law are complying with these standards. Northland College students who wish to receive financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress in their selected course of study as set forth in this policy.

Students are notified of the SAP policy on the Northland College website. In addition, the SAP policy is sent to students’ NC email account and letters are mailed to the home address. Further, the SAP policy, and the SAP Appeal Form are available in the College’s Financial Aid Office and on our website. Student can access the SAP GPA calculator (student’s must use their MyNorthland login information). The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for evaluating satisfactory academic progress of students receiving financial assistance from all federal and state programs, and certain alternative loan programs.

Institutional SAP Policy

Financial aid standards of satisfactory progress for students are evaluated on the basis of grade point average (GPA), credit hour completion (PACE), and maximum time frame (MAX). These standards will be checked at the end of each semester, i.e., at the end of Fall, Spring, and Summer terms (if the student is enrolled for Summer).

The SAP Policy is separate from the policies of the Registrar’s office regarding Academic Standing along with separate appeal processes. All grades previously received will be considered when determining financial aid eligibility, as stated in this policy.

Northland College’s SAP policy requires maintaining academic standards based on the following three criteria:

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students will be evaluated at the end of each term on the basis of their cumulative GPA. The cumulative GPA required to maintain SAP for the total number of attempted hours is 2.0.

Post Baccalaureate Students

Post baccalaureate students will be evaluated at the end of each term on the basis of cumulative GPA. The cumulative GPA required to maintain SAP for the total number of attempted hours is 2.0.

Noncredit Remedial Student

Northland College does not offer noncredit remedial courses.

Credit Hour Completion (PACE of Progression)

Undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum of sixty-seven percent (67%) of the credit hours attempted at Northland College. To determine your PACE divide your successfully completed credit hours by your attempted credit hours. If the resulting percentage is 67% or greater, then you have met the 67% completion standard for financial aid. For example, 19 Successfully Completed Hours ÷ 27 Attempted Credit Hours = .703 or 70% (Note: Do not round numbers up or down.)

Courses with a grade of “D” or higher count as completed. Credit hours attempted include audits, incompletes, withdrawals, and repeated or failed classes. A student who does not complete a minimum of sixty-seven percent (67%) of credit hours attempted will be placed on SAP Warning and will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid. If the student does not raise his or her completion rate to at least sixty-seven percent (67%) in the following semester of attendance, the student is placed on SAP Suspension and loses financial aid eligibility. The student is able to appeal SAP Suspension based on extenuating circumstances. If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on SAP Probation.

Maximum Time Frame (MAX)

Students must progress through their educational programs at a rate that will allow the student to complete the program within the timeframe allowed for their program.

Undergraduate

Undergraduate students must be projected to complete their program in a period of time that is not longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program, as measured in credit hours. For example, students in a 4-year, 126-credit program who have attempted more than 189 semester credit hours will become ineligible to receive financial aid. Degree programs that require more than 126 hours for graduation will have the 189 hours maximum timeframe increased proportionally by the number of hours above 126 required to receive the degree. A student must have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and be projected to receive his/her degree the term immediately after earning the 189 hour maximum (or proportionally increased maximum) to be considered making satisfactory academic progress.

Institutional SAP Status

Students not maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress are notified of their SAP status and related consequences in writing by the Financial Aid Office. At the end of each SAP evaluation period, one of the following SAP statuses will be assigned:

Satisfactory

Student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress as measured by all of the following requirements: GPA, Pace of Progression, and/or Maximum Time Frame. Student is eligible to continue receiving financial aid.

Financial Aid Warning

Student is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress as measured by one or more of the following requirements: GPA, Pace of Progression, and/or Maximum Time Frame. For the next term in which the student is enrolled, the student remains eligible to continue receiving financial aid. The student must make SAP at the time of the next SAP evaluation period, or the student will be deemed ineligible to receive financial aid and will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension (unless and until he or she appeals that determination successfully and is placed subsequently on Financial Aid Probation).

Financial Aid Suspension

Student is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress based on one or more of the requirements (i.e., GPA, Pace of Progression and/or Maximum Time Frame) after (1) being on Financial Aid Warning status for one term and failing to meet the required SAP standards, or (2) not satisfying the requirements of the academic plan developed for the student when he or she was placed on Financial Aid Probation. Financial aid eligibility is terminated until the student has achieved the required minimum standards to make SAP, or the student has obtained an approved appeal.

Financial Aid Probation

A student on Financial Aid Suspension has the right to appeal to have financial aid reinstated. If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation. Students with approved SAP appeals are monitored by the Financial Aid Office every term of enrollment to determine if they have achieved the goals of their academic plan. Failure to make progress as set out in the academic plan will result in the loss of eligibility to receive financial aid (i.e., Financial Aid Suspension).

Special Circumstances Affecting SAP Criteria

Dropped and Repeated Courses: (see below for complete withdrawals)

All credit hours attempted during each term in which a student is enrolled and receives aid will count toward the maximum time frame and minimum credit hours completion. A student is considered enrolled based on the number of credit hours registered after the drop/add period of each academic term. Students who drop courses during the drop/add period will not have those hours considered in determining total hours registered. Students who drop courses after the drop/add period will have those hours considered in determining total hours registered, which will count toward the calculation of maximum timeframe and credit hour completion.

Repeated courses will count in the calculation of attempted hours. All grades earned in repeated courses will be used to calculate the GPA for purposes of satisfactory academic progress.

Grades of A, B, C, D, or S represent satisfactory completion of a course. Grades of F, I, W, U, or Audit represent unsatisfactory completion of a course.

Withdrawal from School

A financial aid student who withdraws from school during the 100% refund period of any term, which runs through the first day of classes, will not have their registered hours included in the maximum time frame calculation nor be required to meet the minimum credit hour completion percentage. However, any student withdrawing from school after the 100% refund period (after the first day of classes) will have their registered hours included in the maximum time frame calculation and be required to meet the minimum credit hour completion percentage.

Effect of Grades on GPA

Grades of A, B, C, D, or F are included in determination of GPA for purposes of satisfactory academic progress. Grades of AU, I, IP, NG, NR, S, TR, U, W or WF are not included in this calculation. Appeals will not be reviewed until “I” (incomplete) grades have been changed.

Transfer Credits

Credits transferred from other institutions will count toward maximum time frame, credit hour completion percentage, and the cumulative GPA calculation for SAP evaluation purposes.

Consortium Agreements

Credit hours earned through consortium or contractual agreements (contracts with other higher education institutions) will count toward maximum time frame, credit hour completion percentage, and cumulative GPA.

Reestablish Financial Aid Eligibility

A student seeking to reestablish eligibility of financial aid may do so by:

  • Achieving satisfactory academic progress standards towards their course of study, as set forth in this policy, at the time of a future SAP evaluation
  • Acquiring a successful appeal through the appeal process and being placed on Financial Aid Probation status

The Appeal Process

Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Suspension due to failure to progress toward academic degree completion have a right to appeal to have their financial aid reinstated. The appeal process is as follows:

  • Students must complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form.
    Deadlines to appeal is 5th day of the semester appealing for aid.
  • The completed SAP Appeal Form along with all appropriate documentation must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid as early as possible for review. The documentation submitted must include:
    • A statement explaining the circumstance(s) which prevented the student from making satisfactory academic progress (e.g., serious injury, illness, or mental health condition of student or immediate family member; birth or adoption of a child; death of an immediate family member; divorce/separation; military service; personal difficulties; academic difficulties; or other circumstances related to exceeding maximum timeframe).
    • Documentation that supports the student’s statement (e.g., physician’s statement, birth or death certificate, divorce decree, military papers, letter of support from someone aware of the student’s academic difficulties).
    • Information about what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.
    • Confirmation that the student has met with the academic advisor to create a plan to succeed.
  • Students completing the SAP appeal process are required to pay current term fees by the fee payment deadline to avoid class cancellation. Classes will not be held while an appeal is being reviewed.
  • Notification of the appeal decision will be sent by mail to the address on file and/or by email to the student’s NC email.

Students Convicted of Possession & Sale of Drugs

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for FSA funds. Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid; they do not count if the offense was not during such a period.

Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when she/he was a juvenile, unless she/he was tried as an adult. The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

First Offense

  • Possession of illegal drugs: 1 year ineligibility from date of conviction
  • Sale of illegal drugs: 2 years ineligibility from date of conviction

Second Offense

  • Possession of illegal drugs: 2 years ineligibility from date of conviction
  • Sale of illegal drugs: Indefinite ineligibility

Three or More Offenses

  • Possession of illegal drugs: Indefinite ineligibility
  • Sale of illegal drugs: Indefinite ineligibility

If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when she/he successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make him or her ineligible again.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record.