Financial Aid Policies

Enrollment Policy

Full-time enrollment is defined as 12 or more units per semester for undergraduate and 6 or more units for graduate students. The Pell and Cal Grants are prorated based on actual unit load for part-time students. At least half-time enrollment is required for the Cal Grant, as well as for the Direct Loan programs and for most private loan programs.  Students who drop from full-time to part-time status during the add/drop period will have their financial aid revised as follows:

  • Institutional Grants and Scholarships will be withdrawn for all students
  • Federal Pell Grant will be prorated as determined by the federal payment schedule based on their actual enrollment
  • Cal Grant will be prorated based on enrollment status
  • Federal Loans will be reviewed for eligibility based on enrollment status.  A student must maintain at least half-time enrollment for loan eligibility
  • FSEOG may be withdrawn
  • FWS may be withdrawn

Verification Policy

Once students complete and submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Central Processing System (CPS), there is a possibility that the application will be selected for a process called verification.  Verification is a process MCU uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA form is accurate.  CPS usually select the application for verification based on conflicting data, a change from the prior year or due to random selection process.  MCU Office of Financial Aid is also authorized to require additional documentation in cases with conflicting information.

Disbursement Policy

Students must accept and/or decline their financial aid awards thru My Marymount portal in order for the funds to apply towards to students’ account.  Financial aid funds are credited to students’ account as they are received and after the student’s enrollment level and residence have been confirmed.  Most funds are credited directly to the students’ account.  If there are funds in the students’ financial aid package that exceeds students’ charges, the funds will refunded to the student.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal law to monitor the academic progress of federal financial aid recipients.  When accepting financial aid, the student acknowledges his/her obligation to maintain SAP according to the standard established below. If a student fails to meet these standards, the student will be placed on financial aid warning or suspension.

  1. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
    • Qualitative Standards: Undergraduate students must maintain the cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above. Graduate students must maintain the cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.  Transfer units are not included in this calculation.
    • Quantitative Standards: Both undergraduate and graduate students must complete 67% of units attempted.  Transfer units are not included in this calculation. Grades of F, IN, NC and W count as units attempted with zero units earned. All attempted units at MCU are counted whether or not financial aid was received.
    • Maximum Timeframe Standards: Both undergraduate and graduate students must complete their degree program within 150% timeframe, meaning 150% of the specific degree program’s published length (1.5 x number of credits)
  2. Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses
    • Financial Aid Warning: When a student does not meet SAP standards for the first time, he/she will be placed on ‘one semester Financial Aid Warning.’ Once a student is placed on a warning, student must complete at least 67% of attempted units and earn cumulative GPA of 2.0 (3.0 for graduate) or above otherwise student will be disqualified from receiving financial aid in the subsequent term.
    • Financial Aid Suspension:  When a student does not meet SAP standards during warning or probation period student will become ineligible for financial aid.  Later in the time when student is able to meet SAP standards, student may regain eligibility.
    • Financial Aid Probation: When a student is placed on suspension, student can submit an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid if there was a legitimate reason that student was unable to meet SAP standards.  If the appeal is approved, aid may be reinstated for the semester and student will be placed on probation.  Student must show SAP progress at the end of the probation term in order for students to regain the eligibility to receive aid for the subsequent term.

Repeat Coursework

The Department of Education has established regulations that impact the financial aid eligibility of students who repeat courses. The federal regulation on repeat coursework include:

  • A student may receive aid to repeat a previously passed course one time. A “passing” grade for federal aid purposes means any grade higher than a F.  If a student fails the course on the second attempt no more financial aid will be given to repeat the course for the third time.
  • A student may receive aid when repeating a coursework that was previously failed or withdrawn from regardless of number of times the course was attempted and failed.  However, Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy will apply to such cases.
  • Once a student has completed any course twice with a grade; student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid for that course.  Additionally, if a student retakes a course that is not aid eligible, the credit hours will be excluded from the financial aid enrollment hours for that semester.

Withdrawal and Leave of Absence

When a student withdraws, the amount of financial aid earned by the student must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount earned, unearned funds must be returned. If a student decides to withdraw or take a Leave of Absence from MCU, the student must contact the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Financial Aid regarding the official withdrawal procedure. Failure to do so can result in serious academic consequences and/or an unresolved financial obligation. Students who withdraw or take a leave of absence may be required to return all, or part of any, Title IV aid received.

Students who fail to earn a passing grade in at least one class will be evaluated to determine if they withdrew unofficially. Students who stopped attending classes will be presumed to have withdrawn unofficially unless they prove they participated in an academically related activity past the 60% point of the payment period. The University will use the last date of attendance reported by faculty or the mid-point of the semester as the last date of attendance for calculation purposes if the students cannot prove they were in attendance past the 60% point of the payment period. Examples of academically related activities are: exams; quizzes; completing an academic assignment, paper or project; participating in an online discussion thread or other computer-based instruction.

Cal Grant A or B recipients must complete a Leave of Absence or Deferment of Enrollment form and obtain approval from the California Student Aid Commission. Without this approval, the Cal Grant may be canceled. Recipients of state awards from outside California should contact their state’s scholarship agency to see what procedures are necessary.

Federal Stafford Loan recipients are required to complete exit loan counseling at www.studentloans.gov. A calculation called “Return to Title IV Funds” will be completed upon finalization of any required adjustments by the Office of Student Accounts. Office of Financial Aid will complete the calculation within 30 days of the date of withdrawal or the end of the semester and will notify the student of any federal funds being returned.

Return of Title IV Funds

Students who are receiving financial aid and who withdraw from all classes prior to completing 60% of the semester will have their eligibility for federal aid recalculated based on the percentage of the term completed.  This adjustment will be calculated using the number of days completed divided by the number of days in the period of enrollment (POE).  Any unearned federal aid will be return to the Department of Education based on this calculation.

Calculation is based on the percentage of the terms completed:
Number of days completed / Number of days in the term = Percentage completed

Federal Title IV financial aid is returned in the order mandated by the U.S. Department of Education, in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Other Title IV Aid