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Graduate Catalog
Financial Aid

Departmental Assistance | Federal and State Aid 
  Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

Return of Federal, State, and Institutional Financial Aid (for financial aid recipients only)
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Return of Federal, State, and Institutional Financial Aid (for financial aid recipients only)
If a student withdraws before 60 percent of the enrollment period (semester) has passed, federal regulations require that Title IV funds be returned to the programs according to a prorated schedule. Title IV funds include Direct Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Perkins Loans, and TEACH Grants.  The withdrawal date used to determine the return of federal funds is the date the student notifies the M Center of her/his intent to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the College. However, if a student leaves without beginning the Mills official withdrawal process or providing notification of her/his intent to withdraw, the withdrawal date will be the 50 percent point in the semester unless Mills determines the last date of an academically related activity of the student.

The percentage of Title IV funds to be returned is calculated by the number of calendar days not completed within a semester, as defined by the withdrawal dates above, divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester (from the first day of classes for the semester to the last day of finals). For example, if there are 100 calendar days in a semester and the student withdraws on the 25th day, 75 days have not been completed. This may result in the return of 75 percent of Title IV funds received by the student. However, if a student withdraws after 60 percent of the enrollment period has passed, no Title IV funds need to be returned.

Both Mills and the student may be responsible for returning federal funds to their source. Mills will return the lesser of the institutional charges times the percentage of unearned Title IV aid or the total of Title IV aid disbursed minus the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student. The student is responsible for returning the difference between the amount of Title IV aid returned by Mills and the total amount of unearned Title IV aid. In each case, funds must be repaid to the following sources, in order, up to the amount received from each source:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  5. Federal TEACH Grant
  6. Other Title IV programs

Although Mills will return loan amounts directly to the lender, amounts to be returned by the student are repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note, i.e., a student would begin making payments on her/his student loan after the grace period, if applicable, has expired.  Students must repay only 50 percent of any federal grant amounts scheduled for return by the student. 

The percentage of Mills College scholarship/grant funds returned to the Mills College Scholarship/Grant Program will reflect, at a minimum, the same percentage used to determine the tuition adjustment for which a student may be eligible. However, up to 100 percent of a student's Mills College scholarship/grant funds may be returned to the Mills College Scholarship/Grant Program if a student takes a leave of absence or withdraws from the College during the first two weeks of the semester, or if the student has a credit balance after the adjustment for tuition and/or room and board is made and the amount of unearned Title IV aid due from Mills is returned to the Title IV aid programs. If there is a credit balance on the student's account, any institutional or state funds received by the student will be returned to the aid programs in the order listed below, up to the amounts received for each source and for as long as there is an amount to refund:

  1. Mills College Loan
  2. Institutional scholarships/grants and/or state grants

If there is a credit balance remaining on the student's account after institutional and state funds have been returned, a refund for the remaining credit balance will be issued to the student.

If there is a balance remaining on the student's account after all aid is returned, a billing statement will be issued. Payment is due upon receipt.

The federal formula for the return of Title IV funds is available upon request from the M Center.

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Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In keeping with government regulations and Mills policy, financial aid recipients must make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate in order to receive institutional, federal, and/or state aid.  Progress is monitored each semester in accordance with the policy outlined below. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

Credit and GPA Requirements
Full-time graduate degree students are expected to complete a minimum of 2 credits per semester and maintain a minimum 3.0 semester and cumulative grade point average (GPA). Part-time graduate students are expected to complete all credits for which they are enrolled and maintain a minimum 3.0 semester and cumulative GPA.

Post-baccalaureate certificate students are expected to complete a minimum of 2 credits per semester and maintain a minimum 3.0 (2.75 in their first semester) semester and cumulative GPA.   

Dropped, failed, and incomplete courses cannot be counted when determining the total number of credits completed. A repeated course may be counted when determining the total number of credits completed as long as it is not the result of more than one repetition of a previously passed course or the result of any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework.

Students who are planning to take a reduced course load due to disability will need to submit an academic plan (forms are available in the Division of Student Life) to the M Center before the end of the second week of classes for the semester, complete the number of credits indicated in the academic plan, and maintain the appropriate minimum semester and cumulative GPA to be making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. Any changes to the academic plan for a given semester should be submitted before the end of the second week of classes, as changes made to the academic plan after the second week of classes will not be considered in determining the number of credits which must be completed by the end of that semester.

Other issues, such as leaves of absence during a semester, will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee upon receipt of a petition from the student.

Duration of Student Aid Eligibility
Master’s and doctoral degree candidates and certificate students are eligible for financial aid through their original anticipated degree date, which is established by the M Center upon entrance to Mills. Full-time students enrolled in a master’s degree program or the Post-baccalaureate Pre-Medical Certificate Program may receive federal financial aid for a maximum of four semesters. Full-time students enrolled in other eligible certificate programs may receive federal financial aid for a maximum of two semesters. Students pursuing a doctorate in education may receive federal financial aid for a maximum of six semesters.

Financial Aid Warning, Probation, and Disqualification

Aid recipients who are placed on academic probation by the College or who fail to meet the financial aid credit and/or GPA benchmarks during a given semester will be placed on “Financial Aid Warning” status for the upcoming semester. Students may continue to receive financial aid during the semester in which they are placed on “Financial Aid Warning” status but will lose their eligibility for financial aid if they have not restored themselves to the financial aid credit and GPA benchmarks by the end of that semester.  Exception: Students who fail to complete a given semester and/or fail to receive at least one passing grade in a given semester will be disqualified from financial aid eligibility for subsequent semesters without first being placed on “Financial Aid Warning” status.

Students who fail to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks at the end of a semester in which they have been placed on "Financial Aid Warning" status are subject to "Financial Aid Disqualification." Students who have been disqualified for financial aid purposes are no longer eligible to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid.

Students denied financial aid due to lack of satisfactory academic progress will not be considered for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility until minimum GPA and credit completion standards have been met.  Students also must meet satisfactory academic progress standards during semesters in which they do not receive aid. 

Students requesting reinstatement of financial aid eligibility after a period of ineligibility must submit to the M Center a written request for a review of their progress in meeting the financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards.  Students should include in this request the total number of credits completed, their semester GPA, and their cumulative GPA to demonstrate that they have restored themselves to the credit and GPA benchmarks.  Students must outline any extenuating circumstances which affected their ability to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks in the previous semester(s).  They must also explain how the circumstances have changed and indicate how the current circumstances will enable them to meet satisfactory academic progress standards in the upcoming semester. 

Appeals regarding decisions made according to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy should be addressed to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and submitted to the M Center.  Circumstances which may warrant an exception to the satisfactory academic progress standards include serious illness, injury, or death of a family member.  The appeal must include a written statement from the student outlining the extenuating circumstances which affected the student's ability to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks and documentation in support of the appeal, i.e., a letter from a medical professional for medical circumstances.  The appeal must also include an explanation of how the circumstances have changed and how the current circumstances will enable the student to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards in the upcoming semester.  The deadline to appeal decisions made according to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is the end of the second week of the semester.

Students for whom an appeal has been approved will be placed on “Financial Aid Probation” status.  Students may continue to receive financial aid during the semester in which they are placed on “Financial Aid Probation” status but will lose their eligibility for financial aid if they have not restored themselves by the end of that semester to the financial aid credit and GPA benchmarks outlined in the terms of their probation.   

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Last Updated: 6/4/13