Rights and Responsibilities

Rights

  • Have all records and data submitted with your application for financial aid treated as confidential information, as prescribed by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Have an explanation of the award process.
  • Be notified of changes in your financial aid status and the reasons for those changes.
  • Know the conditions of any loan you accept.

 

Responsibilities

  • Complete and submit application materials to the appropriate agencies within required or recommended timeframes.
  • Read all materials sent to you from the Financial Aid Office. Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms you sign.
  • Know and comply with the rules governing the aid you receive. These rules include but are not limited to:
  • *You must not be in default on any prior educational loan.
    *You must not owe a refund on a Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant due to repayment.
  • Provide additional documentation, and any additional information if requested by the Financial Aid Office.
  • Comply with the provisions of any promissory note and all other agreements you sign including repaying your student loans.
  • Complete the registration process each year in order to ensure availability of all student aid funds you have been awarded.
  • Use student financial aid proceeds solely for direct educational costs and related living expenses.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Report private sources of student financial aid to the Financial Aid Office.
  • Report any changes in your status: marital, academic, enrollment, residential, or name status.
  • Keep your local and permanent addresses current with your School and the Student Services Centre

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The University has a responsibility to report to any lender that you are in attendance at the University and you are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for the Purposes of Assessing Continuing Eligibility for US Financial Aid for Students

US Federal regulations (34CFR 668.16, 668.32, 668.34, 446.42) require that all students, who

are in receipt of US Federal Student Aid (FSA), must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

(SAP). Failure to do so can result in the loss of eligibility to receive further funding Programs governed by these regulations are:

  • Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Direct Unsubsidized
  • Direct PLUS Loans

Satisfactory Academic Progression and Continued Eligibility

To remain eligible for funding you must be enrolled on an eligible course, and be making satisfactory academic progress.

Satisfactory progress will be checked at regular intervals prior to disbursement of each instalment of your Federal loans. during any one academic year. In the case of continuing students SAP will be checked prior to certification of further loans for the new academic year and at regular intervals thereafter.

The University’s Financial Aid office requires written attendance and progress reports for each individual student. It is the responsibility of each individual student to ensure that a satisfactory progress report is completed by their School and submitted to the Financial Aid office. Loan instalments will be withheld if the Financial Aid office are not in receipt of the relevant SAP paperwork.

 

The following policies and guidelines have been established to encourage students to complete successfully academic programs for which aid is received

  •  SAP policies consist of two main components…

 

Qualitative (e.g., grades)

 

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students are expected to maintain satisfactory progression through their course of study.  If a student’s average marks drop below an equivalent of 2.0 GPA (C-) the Student will be given a Financial Aid Warning until the next disbursement by which time their grades will be expected to be at the required level. If the student achieves the required standard they will be placed in good standing for financial aid.  If the marks do not meet the required standard at the next attempt the student will be suspended for the purpose of financial aid. If the student fails at the next attempt and does not proceed on his course of study then Financial Aid will be suspended.  If the student meets the requirements for progression on the course of study they will be placed in good standing for financial aid.

Providing the student has not exceeded 150% of the normal duration, an Examination Result of ‘Progress’ (equivalent to a ‘C’) is sufficient for disbursements made after results have been published and for the first disbursement of the following academic year. No Progress confirmation is required for the first disbursement for a student’s programme of study.

 

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate students are expected to maintain satisfactory progression through their course of study. Enquires will be made with the School to check they are progressing towards a good pass in the required time frame and verify attendance before Financial Aid instalments are due. An Examination Result of ‘Progress’ is sufficient for disbursements made after results have been published and for the first disbursement of the following year. No Progress confirmation is required for the first disbursement for a student’s programme of study.  If the student is not progressing, then the student will be given a ‘Financial Aid Warning’.  At the time of the next request if the student is not progressing then the student’s Financial Aid will be suspended.

 

Quantitative (e.g., completion timeframe)

Students may not receive aid once they have taken more than 150% of the normal duration of the program to complete their studies. This applies to both Undergraduate and Graduate students. Periods of interruption will not count towards this calculation.

 

 

Financial Aid Warning

Students that fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress will firstly be issued with a ‘Financial Aid Warning’. This warning will last for 1 payment period (ie until the next disbursement), during which time a student can still receive Financial Aid. Students that fail to regain Satisfactory Academic Progress by the next disbursement will no longer be eligible for Aid, unless they are successful in an appeal (see below).

 

Appeals

To appeal the financial aid suspension, a student must, within 14 calendar days of notification, submit to the Financial Aid Office a signed and dated letter of appeal explaining why he or she shouldn't have Financial Aid suspended. A student may appeal due to an emergency condition (e.g., health, family, catastrophe, etc.) and state what has changed in their situation that will allow them to meet Satisfactory Progress at the next evaluation date. Documentation verifying the situation may be requested.

The Financial Aid Committee will consider the appeal and give a decision, which the Director of Financial Aid will convey in writing to the student within two weeks of the student’s appeal.

Please send your appeal to:

Patrick Ryan
Student Services Manager
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester
M13 9PL

Email: patrick.ryan@manchester.ac.uk

The outcome of the appeal decision is final.

 

Financial Aid Probation and/or suspension

If a student’s appeal against suspension is successful then the student’s good standing will be placed on probation for the payment period.

A student that has their Federal Aid suspended but continues the course under their own means and subsequently meets Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will be entitled to regain a probationary status and apply for, or receive loans.

 

Students that fail SAP after a period of probation cannot receive aid unless they are successful in a further appeal and develop an academic plan approved by their supervisor.

 

Important information

 

Please note that Students undertaking any part of their course in the USA or drop below 50% FTE are not entitled to Federal Aid. This regulation is not covered by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy above and therefore is not subject to a Financial Aid Warning, Probation or Appeal.

 

Financial Aid warnings, probation and suspensions related solely to students’ eligibility to receive Federal Student Aid from the US Department of Education and will not affect enrolment status.

Return of Title IV Funds

If a student who receives Title IV funding withdraws from their undergraduate or postgraduate studies or interrupt for more than 180 consecutive days, the University of Manchester will follow the requirements of returning funds laid down by the US Dept of Education and is applied alongside the University’s withdrawal and refund policy. The Office of Financial Aid will use the worksheets as provided by the US Department of Education to determine how much of the loan may be retained and how much must be returned.

See information on withdrawing from your course:  https://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/study-support/interruption-or-withdrawal/ .

It is the responsibility of the University to ensure the following:

  • Using the R2T4 Return of Funds Calculator provided by the US Department of Education within 30 days of determining a student’s withdrawal calculate the total amount of Title IV Funds the student has ‘earned’ within the specific payment period or period of enrolment
  • Return any ‘unearned’ Title IV Funds to the US Department of Education
  • Inform the student if they are required to return any Title IV Funds directly to the US Department of Education
  • It is also important to note here that if students take an approved scheduled break from study of 5 or more consecutive days, then these days are excluded from the numerator and denominator of the R2T4 calculation. Scheduled breaks of less than 5 consecutive days are included in the R2T4 calculation.

 

Calculating Earned Financial Aid

General

Students ‘earn’ Direct Title IV funds by engaging in their programme. The amount of federal financial aid assistance the student earns is on a pro-rated basis. And if they are not registered for long enough to earn all the financial aid within the specific payment period or period of enrolment, the ‘unearned’ percentage will need to be returned to the US Department of Education.

The US Department of Education has specific regulations in place which set out how the University must calculate the entitled funding that a student has earned within the payment/enrolment period up to the student’s withdrawal date.

The University is required to determine the percentage of Title IV aid ‘’earned” by the student and to return to the appropriate aid programs any unearned aid that has not been disbursed. The excess of any disbursements received over the amount earned must be returned to the US Department of Education by the student.

Credit balance refund for withdrawn student must be put on hold until R2T4 is calculated. Regulatory timeframe for any credit balance resets to 14 days from the day you perform an R2T4 calculation.

 

Timing of calculation

Under federal regulations, the University must return the funds within 45 days of the calculation and the calculation must be performed within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal.

Calculation method

When a student withdraws from the University, a calculation will be carried out by the University to determine the amount of financial aid that has been earned, and hence the amount (if any) to be returned. The calculation will be using the R2T4 worksheets from the US Department of Education. The earned financial aid will be determined by applying the total value of aid for the student’s enrolment for that academic year to the percentage of the course which has been attended. The percentage of attendance will be calculated as follows:

Percentage of attendance =        Number of calendar days enrolled in a payment period *

                                                                Total number of calendar days in the payment period *

 * These periods are adjusted for any scheduled breaks that are at least 5 days long

The action to be taken will be as follows:

 

Percentage of attendance

Comparison of disbursed aid to earned aid

Action

Less than or equal to 60%

Aid already disbursed to student exceeds ‘earned aid’

Student must return the excess to the US Department of Education

Aid already disbursed to student equals ‘earned aid’

No further action required

Aid already disbursed to student is less than ‘earned aid’

A post-withdrawal disbursement may be applied

Greater than 60%

All cases

Student is deemed to have ‘earned’ all of the federal aid for the enrolment period and no repayment is required

The University’s Office of Financial Aid will retain records of any calculations from the R2T4 worksheets and these will be placed on the student’s record.

 

Returning Unearned Title IV Funds

The University will retain the earned percentage of all Title IV Funds that cover any tuition fee charges for the payment period. The University is required to return all unearned Title IV Funds held towards tuition fee charges for the payment period to the US Department of Education within 45 days of the date the University deems that the student has officially withdrawn from their studies.

Title IV funds will be returned in the following order to repay the current academic year’s loans:

  • Direct Unsubsidised Loans
  • Direct Subsidised Loans
  • Direct PLUS (Parent/Graduate) Loans

The student is responsible for repaying the unearned (enrolment time) percentage of Title IV Funds they have received directly to the US Department of Education. The outstanding balance will be calculated by the University. The University will provide the R2T4 Form as part of the Return of Title IV Funds requirements, and this will be communicated to the student in writing.

There are some Title IV funds that students were scheduled to receive that cannot be earned once a student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, in certain circumstances, if a first-time, first-year undergraduate student has not completed the first 30 days of the program before withdrawal, the student will not earn any Direct loan funds that he or she would have received had the student remained enrolled past the 30th day.

A first year undergraduate, receiving Aid for the first time who withdraws within the first 30 days of a programme will be deemed not to have earned any aid.

As this policy uses a different calculation to that of the University of Manchester’s withdrawal policy it may mean that the student owes the University of Manchester, once the money has been returned to the lender. Students will be notified if this is the case.

 

Withdrawal Types

Official withdrawal

All US students wishing to officially withdraw from their course must refer to https://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/study-support/interruption-or-withdrawal/ .

The official withdrawal date for students will be the student’s last date of engagement. This is determined and recorded on the University systems by the School/Faculty in conjunction with UKVI requirements at the University. The University will then report the withdrawal via the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS).

 

Unofficial withdrawal

Students who have suddenly stopped engaging in classes and did not follow the official withdrawal process of the University are considered as ‘Unofficially Withdrawn’ from their studies. At this stage and in conjunction with US Federal regulations, a calculation of Return to Title IV funds will be undertaken using the last date of engagement during the payment period. Therefore, students may be billed for the loans that were unearned during that term.

 

Leave Of Absence

A Leave of Absence (LOA) is defined as temporary interruption of studies. If a student interrupts it is important that they also speak to the Student Finance Team (funding@manchester.ac.uk) in order for the correct loan status to be determined. As long as a student returns at the exact point they leave the programme, an Approved Leave of Absence can last for 180 days before a student goes into repayment or has to return funds. Once the LOA is approved, the student is not considered as withdrawn and no Return of Title IV calculation is required. 

If the student does not return after 180 days the last date of actual attendance will be used to calculate the ‘earned’ loan amount and the date a student enters repayment.

In addition to current academic regulations at the University, the borrower of financial aid will be deemed to be withdrawn from studies for loan repayment purposes if the student does not resume studies within 180 days (6 months). However, students are informed of this rule at the point of LOA approval.

At this stage, the University is required to calculate the amount of federal aid earned and the total amount of ‘unearned’ aid that must be returned .The withdrawal date for students who fail to return is the commencement date of the approved LOA.

In additional to the existing University process for withdrawals, if a student does not meet the LOA criteria, the student is considered to have ceased attendance from the University. If they proceed with an unofficial LOA a Return to Title IV funds calculation is required, based on the last date of actual attendance or engagement on the programme.

The University policy on interruptions can be viewed at https://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=26092 .

 

Post Withdrawal Disbursement

When a student withdraws from the University, they usually become ineligible to receive further disbursements of US financial aid. However, there are some cases where any funds earned prior to withdrawal can be offered to the student through a post-withdrawal disbursement (PWD).

When the total amount of Title IV loan funds earned as of the official withdrawal date is more than the amount that was disbursed to the student, the difference between the two amounts may be treated as post-withdrawal disbursement.

If the student is eligible for a post withdrawal disbursement, or after an approved leave of absence of more than 180 days, the University will send a written notification within 30 days of the action that includes the following:

  • Must identify type and amount
  • Must explain option to accept or decline some or all funds
  • Must explain obligation to repay any loan fund disbursed
  • Must provide a deadline to respond of at least 14 days.

In response the University must receive a confirmation from the student or parent borrower prior to disbursement:

  • Does not have to be in writing but must be documented
  • If received after the deadline the University may choose to honour late response, but it will be deemd too late if it is later than 180 days after date of determination.