Oct 19, 2021  
2021 Graduate Catalog 1.2 (SUMMER-FALL) 
    
2021 Graduate Catalog 1.2 (SUMMER-FALL)

Financial Policies and Procedures


Financial Aid Payment Options
Repayment Institutional Refund Policy
Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Tuition and Expenses
Return to Title IV Federal Refund  
 

Financial Aid

There is one form of financial assistance: loans. Federal loans usually are guaranteed and offered at low-interest; repayment usually is due 6 months after the student graduates, leaves college, or drops below half-time. All forms of aid are awarded on an annual basis. Students are responsible for reapplying each academic year.

Students applying for financial aid at Utica College are treated with fairness and confidentiality. A counselor from our Center for Student Success will work closely with each student to help them take full advantage of the resources available to them.

Federal Aid Application Processes

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loans: Students make application by filing a FAFSA, completing a promissory note, and completing entrance counseling at https://studentloans.gov
    • Selection of Recipients and Allocation of Awards: To be eligible for a Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan, a student must be: (1) a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien; and (2) enrolled in or admitted as a matriculated student at Utica College at-least half-time.
    • Loan Schedule: Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year. Borrowers are responsible for payment of the interest that accrues on unsubsidized loans while they are in school. The rate is subject to change annually. Interest may be capitalized.  Loan fees are deducted from the loan prior to disbursement of funds. The interest rate is fixed and changes annually on July 1.
    • Rights and Responsibilities of Recipients: Students may borrow at a relatively low-interest rate, with no repayments as long as they remain enrolled at least half-time.  Refer to the statement of borrower’s rights and responsibilities on the promissory note for further details.
  • Application procedures for financial aid:
    • Students must file FAFSA at https://fafsa.gov.
    • Students must provide documentation of all income by the deadline, if requested, to the Center for Student Success. Documentation includes, but is not limited to, IRS tax transcripts, 1099 forms, and letters from sources such as social security, welfare, pension, etc.
    • Students must actively accept or decline offered awards through their Bannerweb account.

Federal Direct Loans for Graduate Students

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    • Eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is determined using the FAFSA.
    • This type of loan accrues interest while the student is enrolled. Students may choose to pay the interest each month while in school, or allow the interest to accumulate. 
    • Borrowing limits are a maximum of $20,500 per academic year.
    • The interest rate for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is fixed for the life of the loan, and it is effective each year on July 1.  Each loan disbursement will have a net loan origination fee deducted. The net fee changes annually on October 1.
    • No credit check is required. If a student is not in default on a prior educational loan, does not owe a repayment of federal grant funds, and meets federal aid eligibility requirements, a student will be approved to borrow the Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
  • Graduate PLUS Loan
    • Eligibility for Graduate PLUS loans is determined using the PLUS loan application found on https://studentaid.gov/.
    • The Graduate PLUS loan is based on a credit check and the student may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other aid received. 
    • Graduate students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to use the Direct Graduate PLUS loan program.
    • This type of loan accrues interest while the student is enrolled. Students can choose to pay the interest each month while in school or allow the interest to accumulate.
    • The interest rate for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is fixed for the life of the loan and is effective each year on July 1.  Each loan disbursement will have a net loan origination fee deducted. The net fee percentage changes annually on October 1.
    • A credit check is required for this loan. If adverse credit history is present, a credit-worthy co-signer is needed.

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress

Policy for Graduate Financial Aid Applicants

Federal regulations (General Provision CRF 668.1) require that Utica College review the academic progress of students who apply for and/or receive financial assistance. Satisfactory academic progress is comprised of three areas as required by federal regulations. Students (1) must complete their degree within a specified period; (2) demonstrate they are making progress towards the completion of their degree by earning a minimum number of credits hours each semester; and (3) achieve a GPA that is consistent with meeting graduation requirements. This regulation applies to each financial aid applicant, whether a previous recipient or not.

This policy on satisfactory academic progress relates specifically to graduate students who apply for and/or receive federal financial aid and/or Utica College scholarships and grants. In addition to meeting the standard for receiving financial aid, students must also meet the academic standards of Utica College. 

Financial Assistance Programs Affected

Federal Programs

Institutional Programs

  • Direct Loan
  • Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Utica College Endowed Scholarships

Annual Evaluation

Annual financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) evaluations will be completed at the end of each academic year and cannot take place until final grades have been posted. This review will determine academic eligibility for the upcoming summer, fall, and/or spring terms. Every student who applies for financial aid must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress, regardless of whether they are a first-time applicant or have received financial aid in the past. Any financial assistance offered for the year ahead is subject to cancellation if the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress were not met in the year prior.

Incoming graduate students will be considered for financial aid for one academic year prior to the evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress. At the end of the first academic year of attendance at Utica College, all students will be evaluated based on the standards of their designated academic level. They will then be reviewed annually until graduation. 

Each student’s record will be reviewed under the direction of the Director of Financial Aid. Students will be notified of their failure to meet the SAP guidelines via a letter from the Center for Student Success.

Federal/Institutional Standards

Students must earn 67% of attempted credits by the end of each academic year in order to continue to receive federal and/or institutional aid. An academic year is defined as the fall and spring semesters. Summer may be used to make up deficiencies, but students will receive no aid consideration for summer.  If a student has successfully appealed SAP for the summer semester, they will be eligible for federal financial aid.

Standards for Receiving Federal Financial Aid:

a. All graduate students must earn 67% credits attempted per year and;
b. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better after their first academic year and beyond; and
c. Complete a master’s program within three (3) academic years of initiation to recieve consideration for Federal Loans.

Earned credit hours include:

Grades of A through C or S (with credit)

Transferred credits - provided they meet degree requirements

Credits earned from a Consortium Agreement or Study Abroad Program

Attempted credit hours include:

Completed credits - Passed (A through C), Satisfactory (S)

Billed course hours

Repeated courses - both attempts

Withdrawals

Failures - Failed (F), Unsatisfactory (U)

Incompletes (It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Center for Student Success when the incomplete grade is changed to a letter grade.)

All accepted transfer credits (including consortium agreements and Study Abroad courses) toward the degree program

If a student decides to change their academic major or add a second major they are still responsible for meeting SAP for their program. Only credits that count towards the completion of their new degree can be used in determining whether or not a student has successfully obtained the passing level of 67% successful courses completed out of courses attempted.

Note that withdrawing from a class may affect your financial aid. Withdrawals count as hours attempted and will affect the pace component of SAP. A “W” counts towards pace, and a “WF” counts towards pace and GPA.  You should consult with the Center for Student Success before withdrawing.

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

Federal law limits the maximum timeframe for which a student can receive federal financial aid, including student loans. All graduate and professional students are expected to complete their degree program within the maximum time frame of 3 academic years. 

Failure to Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students failing to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will lose their financial aid eligibility. They will be notified in writing of their status by the Center for Student Success.

Students terminated from receiving financial aid can re-establish eligibility by successfully completing the required number of credit hours and by attaining the overall required grade point average by the end of the next semester. Neither paying for one’s classes nor sitting out a semester is sufficient to re-establish the financial aid eligibility of a student who has failed to meet SAP. If an unusual or extraordinary circumstance contributed to a student’s lack of satisfactory academic progress, the student may appeal the denial of financial aid.

Students terminated from receiving financial aid can re-establish eligibility. This is accomplished by successfully completing the required number of credit hours and attaining the cumulative required grade point average by the end of the next semester. Neither paying for one’s classes nor sitting out a semester is sufficient to re-establish the financial aid eligibility of a student who has failed to meet SAP. If an unusual or extraordinary circumstance contributed to a student’s lack of satisfactory academic progress, the student may appeal the denial of financial aid.

Appeal Process

The letter of denial from the Center for Student Success will describe the appeal process and a SAP appeal application will be provided. Examples of unusual or extraordinary circumstances are a personal injury or illness, death of a relative, or other personal circumstances. Unusual or extraordinary circumstances do not include: withdrawing from classes to avoid failing grades, not buying books and/or supplies, pursuing a second major or degree, etc. The appeal must explain how the unusual or extraordinary circumstances have been resolved so that the student will now be able to complete the required number of credit hours or attain the required grade point average.

The appeal must be submitted to the Office of Student Success for evaluation. The Director of Financial Aid will respond to the appeal in writing, within two weeks after date of receipt. All SAP decisions are final, and students cannot appeal the decision.

If the appeal is approved and the college determines that the student should be able to meet cumulative SAP standards by the end of the fall semester, the student may receive aid during the fall semester while on financial aid probation. Students who fail to make SAP by the end of the fall semester will have their future financial aid eligibility terminated, and they will be notified in writing by the Office of Student Success. If the appeal is approved and the college determines that the student will require more than one semester to meet cumulative SAP standards, the college may develop an academic plan specifically for the student. The student may also receive aid during the fall semester while on financial aid probation. All students on financial aid probation during the fall semester will have their SAP re-evaluated before the spring semester.  To remain eligible for financial aid during the spring semester, the student must be meeting cumulative SAP standards, or the standards specified in their individual academic plan.  As stated previously, students terminated from receiving financial aid can re-establish eligibility by successfully earning the cumulative credits and GPA required for SAP at their own expense.

There is no limit to the number of appeals a student can submit if they can document there are new circumstances preventing the student from meeting SAP standards.

SAP appeals must be received by the last date of the semester for which they are appealing their eligibility. If a student does not submit an appeal by the deadline they will lose their eligibility for federal and institutional aid and will be responsible for any charges remaining on their account.

Glossary of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Terms

  • Attempted credits -  any hours attempted by the student (includes completed credits, billed course hours, repeated courses, withdrawals, failures, incompletes, and all accepted transfer credits)
  • Billed course hours - most billable course hours can be considered attempted of hours if not retaking a course with a passing grade.
  • Credits completed - hours completed with a grade of A, B, C, F, or Pass.
  • Credits accrued - hours completed with a passing grade of A, B, C, or Pass over the student’s college career.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average - grade point average over the student’s career at Utica College.
  • Withdrawals - are considered in the charts as attempted, completed, or accrued credits.
  • Repeated courses - are considered as the credits enrolled and completed for a course previously failed. A withdrawal from the repeated course will increase the accrued credit hours.
  • Retaken courses - are considered as the credits enrolled and completed for a course previously passed. The retaken course will not increase the accrued credit hours.
  • Non-credit courses - are not evaluated on the academic progress charts.
  • Incomplete - are not considered hours completed and are assumed to be an F until requirements are met.

Repayment

For graduate students, your Federal Direct Loan will be placed into deferment while you are enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. 

Students need to contact their private lenders for each lender’s policy on loan repayment for alternative educational loans.

Return to Title IV Federal Refund Policy

This policy is for all students receiving federal and institutional aid who completely withdraw from classes. This includes students who complete the official withdrawal process and students who unofficially withdraw by ceasing to attend classes.

Federal financial aid (Title IV funds) is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws or stops attending all of their classes before completing more than 60% of the enrollment period, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of federal financial aid the student was originally awarded.

A student who withdraws or stops attending a class that only meets for part of the term and is not attending another class at that time may provide a written statement to the college indicating their intent to attend the future class within that term. If the student does not submit the statement or submits the statement and doesn’t actually attend, the student is considered a withdrawal and a Return to Title IV calculation must be completed.

A student’s federal aid must be recalculated based on the number of days the student actually attended classes. This return calculation is not the same as the College’s tuition refund policy.

A simple equation to explain the process is:

(% of term completed) x (total aid awarded) = earned   aid

(Total aid awarded) ­ (earned aid) = unearned aid to be returned to federal government

The College is required to return unearned financial aid to the federal government for all withdrawals.

If there are any outstanding financial obligations to the College, a hold will be placed on your student account. This will prevent all requests for transcripts, registration, and graduation. 

If you are considering dropping or withdrawing from your courses, please contact the Center for Student Success immediately regarding the financial implications of this decision.

Return to Title IV funds are processed as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the school determined that the student withdrew.

  • Financial Aid funds are returned to the Federal Department of Education in the following order:
    • Unsubsidized Direct Loans (other than Direct PLUS Loans)
    • Subsidized Direct Loans
    • Direct PLUS Loans
    • Federal Pell Grants for which a return of Title IV funds is required
    • FSEOG for which a return of Title IV funds is required

If a student is subject to an over-award of federal financial aid funds, they will only become overpayments if Utica College cannot correct them before funds are disbursed to a student. An overpayment exists when some or all of the funds that make up an over-award have been disbursed to the student.

If a student is responsible for repaying the overpayment, Utica College will attempt to collect the overpayment from the student by issuing a student bill for immediate payment.  If the college is unable to collect the over-award from the student, the student will be reported to the Department’s Default Resolution Group for future collection actions.

Return to Title IV Federal Refund Policy for Programs Offered in Modules

A program is considered to be offered in modules if a course, or courses, in the program do not span the entire length of the payment period or period of enrollment.  Online programs at Utica College are an example, each semester is 16 weeks but each course is only 8 weeks. These classes are considered modular programs.

As defined in the October, 29, 2010 final regulations, for all programs offered in modules, a student is a withdrawal for Title IV purposes if the student ceases attendance at any point prior to completing the payment period or period of enrollment. An exception is if the institution has written confirmation from the student that they will attend a module that begins later in the same enrollment period.

The regulations require the institution to determine whether Title IV funds must be returned based on the number of days actually completed and/or actively participated versus the number of days the student was scheduled to attend during the payment period. When a student withdraws or stops attending all of their classes before completing more than 49% of the enrollment period, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of federal financial aid the student was originally awarded.

The regulations prevent students from enrolling in modules spanning the period, completing a portion of the period, and retaining all aid for the period. 

Schools can determine whether a student enrolled in a series of modules is a withdrawal by asking the following questions:

1. After beginning attendance in the payment period or period of enrollment, did the student ceases to attend, or fail to begin attendance in a course s/he was scheduled to attend?

If the answer is NO, this is not a withdrawal.

If the answer is YES, go to question 2.

2. When the student ceased to attend or failed to begin attendance in a course s/he was scheduled to attend, was the student still attending any other courses?

If the answer is YES, this is not a withdrawal; however other regulatory provisions concerning recalculation may apply.

If the answer is NO, go to question 3.

3. Did the student confirm attendance in a course in a module beginning later in the period (for non-term and nonstandard term programs, this must be no later than 45 calendar days after the end of the module the student ceased attending)?

If the answer is YES, this is not a withdrawal, unless the student does not return.

If the answer is NO, this is a withdrawal and the Return to Title IV Funds requirements apply.

Please note: Dropping and withdrawing from all courses on the same day results in a negative impact on Return to Title IV calculations.

Military Tuition Assistance Program

When you enroll in a Utica College graduate degree program your military tuition assistance (TA) may help cover the cost of your tuition. Eligible military-connected students must obtain TA approval from your commander in order to receive the benefit. Eligible students should also contact their Education Services Officer (ESO) prior to finalizing their enrollment. Tuition Assistance is NOT a loan. It is a special incentive for current military which you have earned for service to your country. For more information please contact your ESO, call or email the Financial Aid Office, or visit: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/education-employment/for-service-members/preparing-for-higher-education/how-to-use-the-military-tuition-assistance-program/

Payment Options

Grad (PLUS) Loan

A Grad (PLUS) Loan is a federal loan that is available to graduate students. The Grad (PLUS) Loan is taken out for the entire academic year (Summer/Fall/Spring, if applicable).

If you would like to apply for a Grad (PLUS) Loan, please visit https://studentloans.gov to complete an application. Please be advised, only one application may be submitted and changes cannot be made to an application after its submission. If you would like to make changes to the Grad (PLUS) Loan, please contact your Financial Aid Counselor.

A credit check is required for a Grad (PLUS) loan. You will receive notification of approval shortly after you submit the application. If the Grad (PLUS) Loan is not approved, you have the option to appeal this decision to the Direct Loan Program Center or obtain a credit-worthy endorser. If you chose the endorser option, they will need to complete an addendum online at https://studentloans.gov

Private/Alternative Education Loan

An Alternative Education Loan is an education loan in the student’s name. It is not a guaranteed federal loan and must go through an approval process that usually requires a credit-worthy co-signer. We encourage you to research various private loans. New York State provides a useful private loan comparison tool at www.utica.edu/loan-compare. 

Once you have decided on a loan product you should apply directly through the lender. Borrowers will be required to submit several time-sensitive disclosures back to lenders as part of the loan process. It is important to carefully read all of the communication sent to you electronically or by mail from Utica College and your alternative loan lender. Like the (PLUS) Loan, the Private/Alternative Education Loan is taken out for the entire academic year (Summer/Fall/Spring, if applicable). 

Direct Payments 

If after viewing your billing statement, you would prefer to make a payment directly to Utica College, we offer two payment options. To view your billing statement and access our payment site, please visit the website bannerweb.utica.edu and Enter Secure Area to log in. Then navigate to your account settings through Student Services > Student Account > Access My Account.

If you choose to pay your balance in full, please click on Make Payment located the first box on the left side of your payment screen. 

A payment plan is the other option available. If you are a main campus student, enrolling in our payment plan allows you to pay the semester balance in five (5) installments.  When you enroll in the payment plan, you will be required to make an initial down payment of 1/5 of the total amount due plus a $75 enrollment fee. Online student enrolling in our payment plan allows you to pay in four (4) installments. When you enroll in the payment plan, you will be required to make an initial down payment of 25% of the total amount by the due date. If the balance is not completely paid on or before the last installment, a $50 late fee will be charged to the student’s account.
 

Institutional Refund Policy

Refund Policy for Main Campus Students

The date on which a student notifies the Office of the Registrar of his or her complete withdrawal in writing will be used as the basis for determining tuition refund. There is no rebate applicable to deferred fees or other fees. (See also “Housing Policy” in the student handbook). The following refund schedule applies only to the standard fall and spring terms for complete withdrawal from the college.

Please be aware ­ Programs with earlier start dates will not follow this refund schedule. Please refer to your department for exact dates. This may affect any financial aid and the billing statements. Any concerns, please contact a Financial Aid Counselor in the Center for Student Success at 315.792.3179 or  sfs@utica.edu .

Refund Schedule:

Tuition
On or before the scheduled drop/add deadline for the term: 100%
through the 7 days following drop/add deadline for the term: 90%
through the 14 days following drop/add deadline for the term: 50%
through the 24 days following drop/add deadline for the term: 25%

Thereafter, no refund will be given.

Room
100% Refund through the end of week 2

Board
100% prior to 1st meal offered.

Pro-rated through end of week 9

Students who partially drop but are still in attendance for one or more classes at the College will receive a 100% refund for the first week only (fall and spring terms).  Thereafter, no refund will be given.

During any term, there are no refunds for partial withdrawals after the drop/add period.
 

Refund Policy for Online Students

The date on which a student notifies the Office of the Registrar of his or her complete withdrawal in writing will be used as the basis for determining tuition refund. Please refer to your department for exact dates. The student will need to contact his or her Financial Aid Counselor to discuss the financial implications of the withdrawal. The student will need to complete a withdrawal form to complete the process. Complete Withdrawal: https://www.utica.edu/forms/complete-withdrawal

Please note that this may affect any financial aid and the billing statements.  Any concerns, please contact a Financial Aid Counselor in the Center for Student Success at 315.792.3179 or sfs@utica.edu

Refund Schedule:

  • Tuition (complete withdrawal)
    • 100% refund on or before the scheduled drop/add deadline for the period of enrollment (up until midnight EST)
    • Thereafter, no refund will be given

Tuition and Expenses

For a list of current tuition rates, fees, and other expenses, please visit the following link: https://www.utica.edu/tuition-and-financial-aid/tuition-and-fees/tuition-and-fees-graduate  

* Tuition charges and fees are subject to change.