Financial Aid and Scholarships

Definitions

Academic Suspension If you become academically suspended from MSU Billings, you will immediately lose eligibility for financial assistance. Academic reinstatement does not in and of itself justify reinstatement of financial aid. (See "Appeal Requirements,")

Accept Charges Once you have registered for your classes, you must finalize the process by accepting the charges assessed by the University each semester. Students who fail to accept charges will be dropped for non-payment.

Appeal Requirements If you are denied financial assistance because of failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress, you may appeal in writing. Under certain circumstances, such as medical, emotional, or legal reasons, it may be possible for the Financial Aid Office to certify that a student who was unable to complete the credit requirements or has reached the maximum time limit is making satisfactory academic progress. Appeal forms explaining the requirements and any necessary documentation are available in the Financial Aid Office and from the Financial Aid web page under Financial Aid Forms On Line.

Baker Grants Students who are considered for Baker Grants must meet the following criteria: on time applicants, undergraduate, enrolled full-time, MT residents, earned at least $2500 in wages during the tax year reported on the FAFSA.

Canceled Classes When the university cancels a class due to low enrollment (more apt to occur during summer term) your financial aid eligibility will be re-calculated to determine if there is an overaward. If an overaward exists, you will be billed.

Continuing Education Classes are not eligible for financial aid.

Dropping Classes You must complete the credits for which you are funded. Before you drop any classes, review what the consequences will be. If you drop credits before the 16th class day any refund will be applied back to your financial aid and you may be billed.

Enrollment Status You must enroll for six or more credits per semester to receive most types of financial aid. Only some Pell Grants and statutory fee waivers (i.e. Veterans', Senior Citizens', MT Indian) may be awarded for less than six credits.

Incomplete means no credit has been earned for a course. "I" grades are not considered passing grades and could jeopardize your future financial aid.

Loan Counseling All student loan borrowers (Federal Stafford and Unsubsidized Loans) must complete on-line loan counseling every award year they accept a loan as part of their awards. Loan counseling must be completed before any funds will be credited to a student's Business Office account. Click for On-line loan counseling site.

Non-Degree status students are not eligible for financial aid. To receive grants, workstudy, loans, and most fee waivers, you must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program that is offered by MSU Billings. Financial aid can be given to undergraduate students who are in a general studies program until the student has earned 60 credits. Once you earn 60 credits, you must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program offered by this university. College of Technology students must declare a degree or certificate program.

Graduate students must be admitted to a graduate degree program to be considered for graduate financial aid. Students who are enrolled for the purpose of obtaining additional teaching endorsements are not eligible for financial aid. Students who are seeking initial teacher certification or re-certification are eligible for financial aid for a limited time period.

Ombudsman For help resolving student loan problems after you have tried all other avenues, go to the Ombudsman Website, or call 1-877-557-2575.

Pre-professional Programs that are acceptable for financial aid for bachelor degree seeking students who have attended less than 6 semesters are Pre-Art Therapy, Pre-Architecture, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Home Economics, Pre-Law, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Medicine, and Pre-Pharmacy. Students in these programs are eligible for freshman and sophomore loan levels only.

Provisional Graduate students are eligible for financial aid for one calendar year. After one calendar year, the student must be fully accepted into a regular (not provisional) graduate program.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy If you withdraw from college, officially or unofficially, or drop classes during the first 15 days you may be required to REPAY all or part of the financial aid you received. Refunds will be used to repay your financial aid before any refund will be made to you. (Refer to Refund Policy in the "General Bulletin")

Refund/Repayment Policy If you withdraw from college, officially or unofficially, or drop classes during the refund period you may be required to REPAY part of the financial aid you received, in addition to having any refunds applied to repay your financial aid. Refunds are applied toward loans first, then grants, before any refund would be made to you. (refer to Refund Policy in the "General Bulletin")

Repeated Courses are courses which were previously attempted. Courses you repeat count as attempted credits each time you enroll in them. Eligibility for financial aid for repeated courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Second Bachelor's Degree students are eligible for Stafford Loans at undergraduate loan maximums, provided you have not reached the undergraduate aggregate limit of $23,000. A second degree means that the student will be awarded an additional undergraduate degree, not just an additional major or minor to an existing degree.

Self Support Classes are eligible for financial aid with the exception of fee waivers. These are not the same as Continuing Education courses which are not eligible for funding. If a class is canceled, you could be billed for an overaward unless you replace the cancelled class with another class.

Suspension/Termination will occur if you do not make satisfactory academic progress. For example, if you withdraw or otherwise earn less than 67% of the credits you attempted, your financial aid for the next semester will be canceled. Financial aid suspension will also occur if your cumulative MSU Billings grade point drops below the required minimum (2.00 for undergraduates, 3.0 for graduate students).

Teacher Certification and Re-certification Financial aid is limited to the Federal Stafford Loan and Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for initial teacher certification or re-certification if your original certification has lapsed.

Transfer Students who were not eligible to receive financial aid at their prior institutions for failure to maintain satisfactory progress will be evaluated for financial aid eligibility at MSU Billings according to the standards at this institution.

Withdrawing from college will result in financial aid suspension. If you withdraw due to circumstances beyond your control (i.e., illness or death in the immediate family), refer to the appeal requirements explained in the satisfactory academic progress section of this publication. You could be required to repay part or all financial aid you received for the semester you withdraw. Unofficial withdrawals occur when students receive no passing grades (all F's, I's, W's, X's, etc.) during a semester. In these circumstances, students will be suspended from financial aid. In addition, the University is required by law to return part of the federal funding and the students are billed for the returned amounts.


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