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  Jul 26, 2017
 
 
    
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2011-2012 Walden University Student Handbook (March 2012) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Federal Programs


Return to: Tuition, Payment Policies, and Financial Aid 

Walden University is certified by the U.S. Department of Education as being eligible to participate in the Pell Grant program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program (FSEOG), the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH), and the Federal Direct Loan Program.

The following section details the policies related to financial aid programs. Federal regulations that govern the administration of federal programs are subject to change. Notification of any change will be provided to all students prior to the effective date of the new or revised policy.

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are generally awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. All recipients are limited to a lifetime eligibility of 6 years of full-time Pell Grants.The Department of Education, using a standard formula established by Congress, determines eligibility. The Pell Grant range for the 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 award years (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 and July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013), is $200–$5,550. How much students receive depends on their expected family contribution (EFC), cost of attendance, whether they are enrolled full time or part time, and whether they are attending for a full academic year or less. Students may only receive one Pell Grant award in an award year and may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

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Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates who are enrolled in their first undergraduate program of study and who have exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFC) will be considered first for an FSEOG. The FSEOG does not have to be repaid. 

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Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 

The Federal TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) Grant Program is a non-need-based program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to graduate students enrolled in an eligible program, as defined by Walden University, and who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas at schools that serve students from low-income families. Recipients of a TEACH Grant must teach for at least 4 years within 8 years of completing the college program for which the TEACH Grant was awarded (or otherwise ceasing enrollment or losing eligibility). Graduate students may receive up to 2 years of grant funding for a total of $8,000.
 

Students enrolled less than full time will have their TEACH Grant award reduced according to a schedule established by the U.S. Department of Education. The amount of the TEACH Grant awarded when combined with other student aid cannot exceed a student’s cost of attendance. Because total financial aid received must not exceed the cost of attendance, receiving a TEACH Grant may reduce the recipient’s eligibility for other sources of financial aid.
 

If a student awarded a TEACH Grant either (1) fails to complete the teaching service obligation, (2) ceases enrollment in an eligible program for which the TEACH Grant was received, or (3) does not meet any other requirement as defined by the Department of Education, his or her grant will convert into a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (Direct Unsubsidized Loan), with interest accrued from the date the grant was disbursed.

It is the student’s responsibility to understand all requirements and rules for the TEACH Grant Program.

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Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans—both subsidized or unsubsidized loans—are available to graduate and undergraduate students through June 30, 2012. Only undergraduate students will be eligible for subsidized loans for loan periods that begin on or after July 1, 2012. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to receive a Direct Loan. Federal Direct Loans borrowed while enrolled at another institution may impact a student’s loan eligibility at Walden University.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are need-based loans. The federal government pays the interest on this loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time in school. For subsidized loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2011, the interest rates are 3.4% for undergraduates and 6.80% for graduate students. For all subsidized loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, the interest rate is 6.8%.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans require that the student pay the interest while enrolled, unless the student arranges to postpone the interest payment by checking the appropriate box indicated on the Master Promissory Note. Students should be careful when choosing this option: It means that the interest will be capitalized (the accrued interest will be added to the principal amount), increasing the amount of the debt. Unsubsidized loans will carry an interest rate of 6.8% for undergraduate and graduate students.

Both the subsidized and unsubsidized loans have a 1% processing fee deducted from each disbursement of the loan.

Students typically have a 6-month repayment grace period after graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time status. After this time, payments must be made. During the grace period, interest is not charged on subsidized loans but continues to be charged on unsubsidized loans. Payments are usually due on a monthly basis.

Creditworthiness is not a requirement to obtain a Direct Loan. Under this program, students may borrow up to their maximum loan limit every award year (i.e., 9 months for quarter-based, 12 months for semester-based). Loan funds can be used to cover direct education costs, such as tuition and fees and room and board, as well as indirect costs, such as books and other education-related expenses.

Entrance Counseling

First-time borrowers are required to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling prior to receiving the first disbursement of a Direct Loan. Counseling is completed online at www.studentloans.gov to help students understand their rights and obligations as student loan borrowers. Loan counseling must be completed before students can receive loan funds.

Exit Counseling

To help students manage their student loans after graduation, federal regulations also require completion of exit loan counseling, available online at www.studentloans.gov or http://www.nslds.ed.gov:

The timing to complete an Exit Counseling form is:

  • Before graduation
  • Before transferring to another institution
  • Before withdrawal and leaves of absence
  • If a student is enrolled less than half-time

Undergraduate Students: Direct Loan Maximums*
 

Grade Level Dependent Undergraduate Student† Independent Undergraduate Student
Year 1* (0–44 cr.) $5,500—Only $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $9,500—Only $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Year 2* (45–89 cr.) $6,500—Only $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $10,500—Only $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Years 3–4* (90+ cr.) $7,500—Only $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500—Only $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Lifetime Maximum
Total Debt from Stafford Loans and Direct Loans (in each status)
$31,000—Only $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500—Only $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized loans.

* Dependent undergraduate students whose parents have been denied a Federal Parent Loan are eligible to borrow at the independent undergraduate level.
* Students in undergraduate certificate programs or who are in the last two terms of their academic program may be eligible for reduced amounts due to required pro-rating.

Graduate Students: Direct Loan Maximums

Important: as of July 1, 2012, all Direct Loans for graduate students will be unsubsidized.

Time Frame Graduate (Master’s, Ed.S., Doctoral, Post-Doctoral, Graduate Certificate) Students Teacher Preparation Students or Endorsement Students Who Do Not Choose the M.S. Degree Option Students Enrolled in Preparatory Courses for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Dependent Students* Independent Students Dependent Students Independent Students
Per Academic Year $20,500—Only $8,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $7,500—Only $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500—Only $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $7,500—Only $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. Note: Students are eligible for this loan for one consecutive 12-month period. $12,500—Only $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. Note: Students are eligible for this loan for one consecutive 12-month period.
Lifetime Maximum
Total Debt from Direct Loans 
$138,500—Only $65,500 of this amount may be subsidized loans. Note: The graduate debt limit includes Stafford Loans and Direct Loans received for undergraduate study. $31,000—Only $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized loans. $57,500—Only $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized loans. $31,000—Only $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized loans. $57,500—Only $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized loans.


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Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans

There are six repayment plan options for Federal Direct and Stafford Loans. Some of the options carry a lower monthly payment than the Standard Repayment plan. Choosing these options extends the term of the loan and increases the total amount of interest paid during the life of the loan. Learn about the various options and the ability to move between plans by visiting https://studentloans.gov.

  1. Standard Repayment. On standard repayment, a borrower pays a fixed monthly amount for a loan term of up to 10 years. There is a $50 minimum monthly payment.
  2. Extended Repayment. Extended repayment is like standard repayment, but allows a loan term of 12–30 years depending on the amount borrowed. Stretching out the payments over a longer term reduces the size of the monthly payment, but increases the total amount repaid during the life of the loan.
  3. Graduated Repayment. Graduated repayment starts off with lower monthly payments, which gradually increase every 2 years. The loan term is 12–30 years, depending on the amount borrowed. The monthly payment must be at least $25 and will amount to at least the interest accruing.
  4. Income-Based Repayment. A new plan started in 2009 for all federal loan borrowers. Income-based repayment extends the loan term for up to 25 years. The monthly amount is based on the borrower’s income and resets annually. It caps the monthly payments at a lower percentage of income than income contingent repayment. If income is low enough, the interest that accrues is waived for a fixed period of time. At the end of 25 years, any remaining balance on the loan will be cancelled and the amount cancelled is taxable.
  5. Income-Contingent Repayment. This plan is only for Direct Loans. Monthly payments are based on the borrower’s income and total amount of debt. Payments are adjusted each year as the borrower’s income changes. The loan term is up to 25 years. At the end of 25 years, the remaining balance on the loan will be cancelled and the amount cancelled is taxable. There is a $5 minimum monthly payment.
  6. Income-Sensitive Repayment. You may qualify for income-sensitive repayment if you do not have any Direct Loans. This payment plan ties the monthly payment to a percentage of gross monthly income.
     

Loan Deferments

Under certain circumstances, an enrolled borrower is entitled to have the repayment of a loan deferred. During deferment, the borrower is not required to pay loan principal and interest on subsidized loans does not accrue. After the in-school deferment, the borrower may be entitled to one grace period of 6 consecutive months. The date that the deferment starts may affect the length of the grace period.

Students who have a valid social security number on file at Walden will have their enrollment here reported and updated monthly with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). The NSC communicates electronically with the federal and non-federal loan servicers to ensure that students who remain enrolled maintain the in-school deferments for which they are eligible.

Students who seek to defer repayment of their prior student loans and do not want to rely on the electronic exchange with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) must fill out forms to have their enrollment status verified. Students must get the forms from their lender(s) and send them directly to Walden University, Office of the Registrar, Attn: Loan Deferment, 650 S. Exeter Street, Baltimore, MD 21202; fax: 1-410-843-6416. At the top of the form, students should include their enrollment start date and the term for which they are requesting an in-school deferment.

Note: Any deferment paperwork sent to Walden’s registrar’s office for enrollment verification is forwarded to the National Student Clearinghouse on a weekly basis.

Annual Loan Limits vs. Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limits

Annual Loan Limits

The federal government limits the annual amount of Federal Direct Loan(s) that students can borrow. Walden University defines its annual award year as three quarters or three semesters. Students cannot exceed the annual Direct Loan maximums in the award year. Loans borrowed at a prior institution can impact the student’s eligibility at Walden. Walden’s office may ask students to provide additional information about prior loans in order to process new loans at Walden.

Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Undergraduate annual borrowing ranges from $3,500–$5,500 depending on year in school.
  • Graduate student annual borrowing maximum is $8,500 through June 30, 2012. All graduate student loans will be unsubsidized for loan periods that begin on or after July 1, 2012.
     
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Undergraduate annual borrowing ranges from $5,500-$12,500 (less Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility) depending on year in school and dependency status.
  • Graduate student annual borrowing maximum is $20,500 (less Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility through June 30, 2012).
  • Graduate PLUS Loans and Parent PLUS Loans are also processed based on three quarters or three semesters per award year. They are limited annually by the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received.
     

Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limits

The federal government limits the aggregate amount of Federal Direct Loan that students can borrow in their lifetime. The lifetime aggregate limits for Federal Student Loans (FFELP and Direct) are as follows:

  • Graduate students: $138,500 combined (only $65,500 may be subsidized; includes amounts borrowed as an undergraduate student).
  • Dependent undergraduate students: $31,000 combined (only $23,000 may be subsidized).
     
  • Independent undergraduate students: $57,500 combined (only $23,000 may be subsidized).
     
  • Parent PLUS Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans do not have a lifetime maximum.
     

As a loan borrower, students are responsible for knowing the total amount of federal loans they have borrowed. Having sufficient remaining eligibility is important to a student’s ability to successfully complete his or her academic program. A summary of each student’s federal loan debt is available via the National Student Loan Data System at www.nslds.ed.gov.

Exceeding Annual or Aggregate Loan Limits

The Student Aid Report (SAR) may indicate that a student have inadvertently borrowed in excess of the Federal Direct Loan limits. For example, it is possible that a student was inadvertently allowed to borrow federal undergraduate loans in excess of undergraduate limits at a prior institution while not exceeding the graduate loan limits. Before Walden can award graduate-level Direct Loans to the student, the student must reaffirm the debt by either consolidating the prior loans that exceed the limits or by obtaining a reaffirmation letter from the holder of the loan(s). Another example would be if a student was inadvertently allowed to exceed graduate loan limits at a prior institution. Before Walden can award Federal Graduate PLUS Loans, the student must reaffirm the debt by either consolidating the prior loans that exceed the limits or by obtaining a reaffirmation letter from the holder of the loan(s).

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Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans are available to graduate students enrolled at least half- time who do not have an adverse credit history. Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid. The total education cost may include tuition, living allowance, books and supplies, and transportation. The interest rate is 7.9% for Direct Graduate PLUS Loans. A federal fee of up to 4% may be deducted from the loan disbursement. Students can defer payments while in school and there is no prepayment penalty. Interest accrues during in-school periods and may be paid or added to the principal at repayment.

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Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are available to all parents of dependent undergraduate students regardless of income. Qualification is based solely on good credit. There are no debt-to-income ratio guidelines or employment verification requirements. Parents may borrow up to the total education cost for the year, minus any other financial aid that the student is receiving. The total education cost can include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and living allowance. The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is 7.9%. A federal fee of up to 4% may be deducted from the loan disbursement. Disbursement is usually done in three equal amounts at the beginning of each semester/quarter and sent directly to the university. PLUS loan repayment normally begins within 60 calendar days after the loan has been fully disbursed. In certain circumstances, parents may elect to repay the loan on a graduated repayment schedule, making interest-only payments (the minimum amount is based on the term of the loan, but at least $50 per month) for a portion of the repayment term.

Department of Education Student Loan Ombudsman

The Walden Office of Financial Aid is always ready to assist with any questions or concerns regarding student loans. If a student’s loan issues cannot be resolved, the Department of Education’s Office of the Ombudsman for student loan issues is available. An ombudsman resolves disputes from a neutral, independent viewpoint. The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman will informally research a borrower problem and suggest solutions to resolve the problem. Student borrowers can contact the department’s Office of the Ombudsman via the following:

Online assistance: www.ombudsman.ed.gov
Toll-free telephone: 1-877-557-2575
Fax: 1-202-275-0549
Mail: U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman
830 First Street, NE
Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20202-5144 

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Private Education Loans

Comparing Private Loans and Federal Loans

Private education loans may have significant disadvantages when compared with federal education loans. Walden strongly encourages students to first borrow any federal loans for which they may be eligible. The chart below will help students in understanding the differences between Federal and Private Loan funds.

Comparison Chart of Federal and Private Education Loans

 

Topic

Federal Loans

Private Loans

Credit Check Required?

Direct Loan: No
PLUS/GradPLUS: Yes (limited)

Yes

Credit Score or Debt-to-Income considered?

Direct Loan: No
PLUS/GradPLUS: No 

Yes

Co-Signer Required?

Direct Loan: No
PLUS/GradPLUS: Usually no

Usually yes

Deferment Options

Several options  

Depends on lender

Grace Period

Direct Loan: 6 months

Depends on lender

Interest Rate

Fixed

Usually variable 

Loan Fees

Direct Loan: up to 1%
PLUS/GradPLUS: up to 4%

Depends on lender  

Flexible Repayment options

Many options available

Generally none

Loan Forgiveness Options

Several options available

Generally none

Penalties for Early Repayment

None

Depends on lender  

Choosing a Private Loan

When choosing a private education loan, you should compare the loan terms offered by several lenders in order to choose the best fit for your situation. A resource for finding active private education loan programs is http://www.finaid.org/loans/privateloan.phtml. When a student chooses a lender they must make sure that Walden students are eligible for their loan programs.

Here are several points you should research when considering a private loan:

  • What is the interest rate; is it fixed or variable; is the rate capped? 
  • What fees must be paid for this loan and when are they paid? 
  • How will the student receive his or her loan funds? 
  • When does repayment begin and is there a grace period? 
  • What will the monthly payment be? 
  • What will be the total cost if the student uses the full repayment period? 
  • Are there penalties for early repayment? 
  • Are there deferment, forbearance, or cancellation options?

Most private loan programs require Walden’s office to certify the student’s eligibility before approving the loan. If a student receives financial aid, he or she must notify Walden’s office of any private loans the student borrows as it may affect his or her aid eligibility.
 

Truth in Lending Act

Under the Federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the lender must provide the student with the following documents:

Self-Certification Form 
     Students must complete this form and return it to the lender before receiving their first disbursement of loan funds.
Final Disclosure and Right-to-Cancel Period
     After a student signs the promissory note, the Final Disclosure Statement confirms the terms and conditions of the student’s loan. At the time that this final disclosure is delivered, the student’s “right-to-cancel” period begins. During this period of 3-6 days, the student may cancel the loan by contacting the lender. The lender cannot release the first disbursement of the student’s loan funds until the end of the right-to-cancel period.

State Grant Aid 

Some states have grant programs that they permit their state residents to use to attend Walden. Check with the appropriate state agency as indicated here: http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/org_list.cfm?category_ID=SHE.

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Financial Aid Application Process

Applying for federal financial assistance is a two-part process consisting of (1) application and notification of eligibility, and (2) completion of the Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Counseling, and online Financial Aid Data Request (FADR) information. This process takes approximately 2–4 weeks from the initial application through the receipt of funds. Students are strongly encouraged to begin the application process at least 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the start/renewal date to ensure the following deadlines are met.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the student’s effective start date, as well as prior to each subsequent loan renewal date.

A fully executed master promissory note (MPN), entrance counseling, and online Financial Aid Data Request (FADR) information must be on file in the financial aid office no later than 14 calendar days after the student is notified of the award.

The 2011–2012 FAFSA is for award periods from June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012. The 2012–2013 FAFSA is for award periods that begin on or after June 1, 2012.

NEW FOR 2012–2013: Walden University strongly suggests that all students who are eligible and who filed a 2011 Federal Tax Return use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when filling out their 2012–2013 FAFSA on the Web. This process may expedite the verification and awarding process that began on or after June 1, 2011.

Note: Walden University’s Title IV code is 025042.

Verification Policy

In accordance with United States Department of Education regulations, Walden University is required to verify the accuracy of financial aid application information on selected students. Walden University strongly suggests that all students who are eligible and who filed a 2011 Federal Tax Return use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when filling out their 2012-2013 FAFSA on the Web. This process may expedite the verification and awarding process. Students who do not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool or who change the data imported from the IRS may be selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. Students may also be randomly selected for verification or may be selected on the basis of predetermined criteria by United States Department of Education and/or Walden University. Students selected for verification may be required to submit additional information.
 

Financial aid awards cannot be determined until verification is complete. Failure to complete the verification process by the end of the period of enrollment will result in a student’s inability to utilize federal financial assistance for that award year. Students intentionally misreporting information and/or altering documentation for the purpose of increasing aid eligibility or fraudulently obtaining federal funds will be reported to the United States Department of Education Office of the Inspector General or to local law enforcement officials.
 

Financial Aid Deadlines

The Office of Financial Aid processes awards on a rolling basis. It is recommended that students have a complete Financial Aid Application at least 4 weeks prior to the start of a term, but students must have a complete Financial Aid Application 30 days prior to the end of the term in order for funds to be processed for that term. A complete Financial Aid Application includes all documents required for the awarding and disbursing of funds. Required documents may include, but are not limited to:

  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of legal name
  • Proof of date of birth
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of registration with the Selective Service
  • IRS tax transcript (personal copies of tax returns are not accepted for 2012-2013)
  • Copies of W-2 forms
  • Documentation of SNAP benefits
  • Documentation of federal student loan default resolution
  • Documentation of federal student grant overpayment resolution

Students must also maintain all federal aid eligibility requirements for the entire term.

New students: Award notifications will be made to students with completed financial aid files. However, Walden cannot process the student’s financial aid until all official transcripts are received by the Office of Admissions.

Current students: If students are beginning a new Walden program within a term after completing a Walden program, financial aid for the new program cannot be disbursed until the degree/certificate is conferred by the Office of the Registrar.

The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) will continue to accept applications, offer awards, and process disbursements in the last 30 days of the term, but the OFA cannot be held responsible if funds are not able to disburse for the term. Delays can occur that are outside of the control of the OFA. For example, a student may not be able to obtain timely third-party documentation, such as selective service letters, overlapping financial aid forms, and Graduate PLUS endorsers.
 

Financial Aid Notifications

The myFinAid web portal is the student’s 24/7 source for financial aid information for students who complete the FAFSA. The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student when updates including award notifications and changes are made to financial aid information on myFinAid; however, financial aid recipients are responsible for checking their myFinAid page periodically for any updates. Students may contact the Office of Financial Aid via email (finaid@waldenu.edu) or telephone 1-800-925-3368.

Students who complete the FAFSA will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Students should read the SAR carefully as it contains important information about the student’s eligibility.
 

Student Eligibility Requirements

To receive aid from any of the federal student aid programs administered by Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid, a student must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen. 
  • Have a high-school diploma or a GED certificate.
  • Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate. 
  • Register (or have registered) with the Selective Service if required. 
  • Have a valid Social Security number. 
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress standards.
  • Not be in default on any federal student loan nor owe an overpayment on a federal student grant. 
  • Have not exceeded the lifetime aggregate or annual loan limits without documentation that the debt has been reaffirmed.
  • Be advised that a conviction for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which a student is receiving Title IV financial aid, under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV grant, loan, or work assistance.
     

Attended Another School? Overlapping Financial Aid

Federal aid received at another institution can impact the amount of federal aid that a student may receive at Walden. As required by federal regulations, Walden participates in the federal transfer monitoring process whereby the U.S. Department of Education may take up to 90 days into the start of the first term to notify Walden that the student has federal aid awarded at another institution that overlaps into the student’s enrollment dates at Walden. The Office of Financial Aid may not be able to make an initial award offer to the student or may have to cancel aid that has already been awarded if Walden receives information that the student has applied for and/or received federal aid at another institution for an overlapping period. For example, if the loan period at the prior institution ends even one day after the student’s start quarter/semester at Walden, there is an overlapping period and Walden must deduct aid received at the other institution from the student’s annual eligibility at Walden. The student may be asked by this office to have his or her prior institution complete an Overlapping Financial Aid Form to confirm the student’s last date of attendance and disbursed loan amounts at the prior institution.

When processing an overlapping loan period Walden will cap the total loan at 1/3 of a student’s annual loan limit, while maximizing any remaining subsidized loan eligibility(in 2012–2013, subsidized loans are applicable to undergraduates only). To prevent duplication of living allowance between schools, Walden must remove the living allowance from the student’s cost of attendance at Walden during periods of overlap. Students must make alternative arrangements for payment if they become ineligible for federal aid based on aid received at another institution.

Financial Aid Annual Award Year Definition


Walden defines the annual award year as three 12-week quarters or three 16-week semesters.

Enrollment Policy

Undergraduate Students: Financial aid is offered based on the assumption that undergraduate students will be enrolled for 9–11 credits per 12-week quarter for the entire period of the award. When students enroll for fewer credits in a term, their aid may be adjusted at the end of the “add/drop” period to reflect their current enrollment status. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to remain eligible for federal student loans. Undergraduate students enroll in two sequential courses over the 12-week quarter. Students should register for both courses before the start of the 12-week quarter to avoid disbursement delays. Please note that if both courses are in the second 6 weeks of the quarter, the disbursement will be delayed until day 12 of the course.

Graduate Students: Financial aid is offered for most programs based on the assumption that students will be enrolled in at least 6 credits per term for the entire period of the award. When students enroll for fewer credits in a term, their aid may be adjusted at the end of the “add/drop” period to reflect their current enrollment status. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to remain eligible for federal student aid.
 

Enrollment Statuses for Financial Aid

 

Enrollment Status

Graduate Students (Graduate Certificate, Master’s, Ed.S., Doctoral, Post-Doctoral)

Undergraduate Students

Students Enrolled in Teacher Preparation or Endorsement Programs or in Preparatory Courses for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Full-time

6 credits per term

12 or more credits per term

12 credits per term

Three-quarter time

n/a

9–11 credits per term

9–11 credits per term

Half-time

3–5 credits per term

6–8 credits per term

6–8 credits per term

Less than half-time

1–2 credits per term

1–5 credits per term

1–5 credits per term

 

Residency Policy

Students cannot receive federal financial aid for any term for which they register only for a residency. The financial aid office reviews registrations at the start of each term and cancels federal aid for any students registered only for a residency. Students who cannot register for a regular course along with the residency are responsible for managing their student loan refunds to be sure they can pay for residency travel expenses when they arise.

Study at Another Institution or Study Abroad

Enrollment in certain programs of study at another school or study abroad approved for credit by Walden may be considered enrollment at Walden for the purpose of applying for assistance under the Federal Title IV financial aid programs.

To access federal financial aid, a consortium agreement is required between the schools whereby the home school disburses federal aid for courses taken at a host school. The host school agrees not to disburse federal aid and to monitor the student’s enrollment for the home school. Consortium agreements may be made between Walden University (home school) and a host school if the student has been approved by Walden to take coursework at the host institution that will fully transfer toward the Walden degree program. Walden degree-seeking students must submit a copy of the Walden University “Permission to Take a Course at Another Institution” form that is signed by Walden’s Admissions Office and a “Consortium Agreement” form signed by the host school’s financial aid office to the Walden Office of Financial Aid.

Students must also meet all other federal eligibility requirements. If the student is approved for a consortium agreement by Walden, Walden University will disburse federal aid to the Walden student account and the Bursar’s Office will issue the refund to the student. The student is responsible for meeting payment deadlines set by the host school. Walden University does not typically pay the host school on behalf of the student and Walden University does not alter the financial aid disbursement schedule to meet deadlines set by the host school.
 

Adjustments to Financial Aid

Federal financial aid is awarded based on an estimate of the student’s eligibility. The Office of Financial Aid may have to cancel or reduce financial aid before or after disbursement, based on new information that becomes available after the time of awarding or disbursement. Examples of changes that would require adjustments to aid:

  • Student does not begin attendance in any courses.
  • Pell recipient does not begin attendance in all courses of the term.
  • Student withdraws from all courses in the term (officially or unofficially).
  • Receipt of other resources not reported at the time of awarding or disbursement.
  • Student becomes federally ineligible based on the receipt of updated information from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Student does not meet course participation requirements.
  • Most students are awarded based on the assumption of enrollment in two classes per quarter/semester. Students who enroll in only one course may require an adjustment of federal aid.
  • In some instances, a federal Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation will be required. Details may be found in a later section of this document.

     

Confirmation of Return Enrollment After Withdrawal From Part of a Term

Students who withdraw from a course in the first part of a term, and remain registered for a course in the second part of a term will be asked to confirm that they plan to return. Federal rules do not allow Walden to rely on the student’s previous registration if the student withdraws from the first course. If the student indicates that he or she will return, and the student does not return, a Return of Title IV funds calculation will be processed using the earlier withdrawal date.

Withdrawal From a Term

Students withdrawing from any or all courses in the term prior to the completion of 60% of the quarter or semester may find that funds are owed to the university as a result of the required Return to Title IV process (R2T4).

Students who stop engaging in academically -related activities during the term, without officially withdrawing from the courses, are subject to the R2T4 calculation. In such cases, the last date of academically-related activity, as determined by the university, is used as the withdrawal date for the term.

Prior to withdrawing from all courses in the term, it is suggested that students contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine the amount of federal aid that must be returned. Federal student aid may not cover all unpaid charges due to the university upon the student’s withdrawal.

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 Leave of Absence

A student who takes an approved leave of absence is considered, for financial aid purposes, to have withdrawn from the school. A leave of absence is approved if the following criteria are met:

  • The student has made a written request for the leave of absence. 
  • The leave of absence does not exceed 180 calendar days. 
  • The student has had only one leave of absence in a 12-month period.
     

The Federal Return of Title IV (R2T4) refund calculation applies to leaves of absence and withdrawals for recipients of Title IV aid.

Loan Deferments During Leave of Absence

Leave of absence also affects students’ in-school status for the purposes of deferring payment of Federal Direct Loans. Students on an approved leave of absence are considered to be enrolled less than half-time and are not eligible for an in-school deferment for their Federal Direct Loans.
 

Students who take an unapproved leave of absence or fail to return to the school at the end of an approved leave of absence are no longer enrolled at the school and are not eligible for an in-school deferment of their loans.
 

Overaward of Federal Aid

The receipt of additional estimated financial assistance and/or a reduction in the cost of attendance that was not accounted for at the time of initial awarding may cause an overaward of federal funds (the term “overaward” refers to any estimated aid that exceeds a student’s financial need and/or cost of attendance). Estimated financial assistance includes but is not limited to the following: scholarships, Graduate PLUS Loans, third party payments, and/or other resources. In such instances, the Office of Financial Aid will correct the overaward by adjusting the federal financial aid. Federal aid may be adjusted by reducing or reallocating funds prior to disbursement or returning funds to federal programs if disbursement has already occurred. The highest cost loans will be reduced before any reduction is made to scholarship or grant awards.

Financial Aid Disbursement Process and Requests for Excess Funds

Most financial aid is disbursed in three equal payments over the award period. Students in good standing may have any excess balance in their account returned to them to pay for indirect education expenses. Any time financial aid proceeds credited to a student’s account exceed direct charges, the bursar’s office will automatically forward the credit balance directly to the student, no later than 14 calendar days after the credit balance occurs.

If you are not subject to Adequate Academic Progress (AAP) as a first time undergraduate student, you receive a Pell Grant, and your financial aid will create a credit balance, you may request a book voucher here: https://inside.waldenu.edu/c/Student_Faculty/OnlineForm_BookLoan.aspx

Students are responsible for payment of tuition and fees incurred after a full credit balance refund has been released (e.g., added courses and residencies fees). Credit balance refund distributions are made in accordance with applicable federal guidelines. Any outstanding debt to the university as a result of a required credit balance refund is the responsibility of the student.

Except for students subject to the Adequate Academic Progress (AAP) process outlined below,  financial aid generally begins disbursing on the 12th day of the term and refunds are released to eligible students by day 26 of the term (14 days after funds have disbursed to the student’s account). Students must participate in their online coursework to establish eligibility and remain eligible for federal aid. Failure to participate in academically-related activity will result in loss of eligibility for all or part of the term.
 

If two sequential courses make up the quarter or semester and the student does not register for the first half of the quarter or semester, federal aid cannot disburse until day 12 of the second half of the term. Disbursements may be delayed if the student is subject to a Satisfactory Academic Progress review for a prior term.
 

Adequate Academic Progress (AAP)

All new undergraduate students are conditionally admitted to Walden University until they demonstrate adequate academic progress. Financial aid cannot be disbursed to the Walden student’s account until he or she has met the adequate academic progress requirements as set forth in the Walden University Student Handbook. Once the conditions and all other eligibility requirements have been met, federal financial aid will be disbursed. Disbursements to a new undergraduate student’s Walden account can be expected to occur by the close of the 4th week of the term. Students will receive a notice of disbursement. The Bursar’s Office releases refunds to eligible students 14 days after the date of disbursement. Please note: should the student not meet the minimum requirements for AAP, his or her financial aid offer will be cancelled.

Federal Return of Title IV Funds

Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to apply a formula established by the United States Department of Education, entitled “Return of Title IV Aid,” (R2T4) to determine the amount of federal financial aid a student has earned as of the student’s official or unofficial withdrawal date. The amount of the federal financial aid returned to federal aid programs is determined by the amount of time a student spends in academically-related activity. After 60% of the term has passed, students who have continued academic participation up to that point in the term will have earned 100% of the federal financial aid disbursed to them.

Students withdrawing from any course(s) in the term prior to the completion of 60% of the quarter/semester may find that funds are owed to the university as a result of the R2T4.

Students who stop engaging in academically related activities during the term, without officially withdrawing from the courses, are subject to the R2T4 calculation. In such cases, the last date of academically related activity, as determined by the university, is used as the withdrawal date for the term. Other enrollment changes that may trigger an R2T4:

  • Withdrawal to zero credits.
  • For consecutive enrollment within a term, withdrawal from an earlier course with no confirmation of return in a later course.
  • For consecutive enrollment within a term, dropping, not attending, or withdrawing from a later course, even after the completion of an earlier course.
  • For consecutive enrollment, failure to participate in more than 60% of the term along with the failure to earn a passing grade in the last course in the term.
  • Failure to participate in more than 60% of the term along with failure to earn a passing grade in all courses attempted in the term.
  • Lack of active participation for at least 14 consecutive days in a term as determined by Walden University.
  • Official leave of absence during the term.

Prior to withdrawing, it is suggested that students contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine the amount of federal aid that must be returned. Federal student aid may not cover all unpaid charges due to university upon the student’s withdrawal.


Examples of Title IV Calculations

Example 1- Enrollment in Modules:
Allyssa is an undergraduate student enrolled in the Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems program. Her fall term enrollment is from September 6 through November 27. She is enrolled in two back-to-back classes for the term. The first class is from September 6 through October 16. The second class is from October 17 through November 27. Allyssa successfully completes the first class but decides on October 20th to drop her second class.

Allyssa’s cost of attendance is as follows: Cost
Tuition $2,800
Fees $70
Total $2,870
   
Allyssa’s financial aid package consists of:  
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $1,162
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $1,990
Total $3,152
   
Allyssa completed 41 days of the term (September 6 through October 16).  
Walden is required to return to the government the following:  
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $0
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $1452
After Walden refunds the $1452 to the government, Alyssa will owe Walden: $52


Allyssa received a tuition cancellation of $1400 for dropping the class. When funds were returned to reduce her federal student loan, it left Allyssa with a balance of $52.

 

Example 2- Failing all classes or the last class:

Fred is a master’s degree student. His fall term is from September 6 through November 27. He is enrolled in two classes for the fall. The first class is from September 6 through October 2 and the second class begins September 6 and ends on November 27. Fred receives an F in both classes. The latest day that Fred actively participated in either class is September 22.

Fred’s cost of attendance is as follows: Cost
Tuition $2,520
Fees $70
Total $2,590
Fred’s financial aid package consists of: Cost
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $2,820
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $3,980
Total $6,800

 Fred completed 17 days of the term (September 6 through September 22).

Walden is required to return to the government the following:  
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $0
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $2059
After Walden returns the $2059 to the government, Fred owes Walden: $531
A Bursar hold is placed on Fred’s account at the time the funds are returned to the government, which prevents Fred from registering for any additional classes and from receiving transcripts until he repays Walden what he owes.  

Example 3- Withdrawal from Term

Susie Sweetwater is a doctoral degree student in public policy. Her quarter term begins on December 6 and ends on February 27. On January 16 (42 days into the term), she drops her classes. 

 

Susie’s cost of attendance is as follows: Cost
Tuition $4,550
Fees $40
Total $4,590
Susie’s financial aid package consists of: Cost
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $3,980
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $2,820
Total $6,800

As Susie has completed 42 days of her semester, she earned 50% of the $6800. According to the federally mandated calculation, 50% of the unearned portion of her aid, equaling $3,400, must be returned.

Walden is required to return to the government the following: Cost
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $580
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $2,820
After Walden refunds the $3,400 to the government, Susie will owe Walden: $1,190

Susie is not eligible to receive a tuition refund because she dropped her classes after the refund period. A Bursar hold is placed on Susie’s account at the time the funds are returned to the government, which prevents Susie from registering for any additional classes, and from receiving transcripts until she repays Walden what she owes.

 

Example 4-Participation for more than 60% of the term:

Ernie Smith is a master’s degree student in the teaching program. His semester begins January 3 and ends April 24. On March 11 (68 days into the term), Ernie accepts a full-time job and drops his classes.

Ernie’s cost of attendance is as follows:

Cost

Tuition

$3,300

Fees

$40

Total

$3,340

 

His financial aid package consists of:

Cost

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

$2,820

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

$3,980

Total

$6,800

Based on Ernie’s participation (61% of the term), he has “earned” all of his financial aid for the term and will not have to return any funds.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards (for periods of enrollment prior to August 28, 2011)

Walden University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for receipt of Title IV student financial assistance comply with U.S. Department of Education regulations. These standards are intended to establish minimum, reasonable levels of advancement toward degree completion and to guard against abuse of aid programs. Satisfactory progress requirements for receipt of federal financial aid are separate and distinct from the university’s academic progress requirements for academic continuance.

Financial aid academic progress requirements are reviewed each quarter/semester, and adjustments are made accordingly. Students will receive e-mail notification in their Walden University e-mail accounts if they are placed on financial aid probation or become ineligible for federal aid. However, it is the student’s responsibility to know these requirements, and failure to receive notification will not nullify the financial aid status.
 

 

 

Program Type

Minimum Financial Aid Course Completion Rate

Minimum Cumulative Financial Aid GPA

Maximum Time Frame to Receive Federal Aid

Bachelor’s degree 

67%

2.0

272 financial aid attempted credits

Master’s degree 

67%

3.0

20 quarters or 15 semesters

Doctoral degree 

67%

3.0

32 quarters or 24 semesters

Certificate 

67%

3.0

4 quarters or 6 semesters 

Education Specialist 

67%

3.0

20 quarters or 15 semesters 

Teacher Preparation (without Master’s degree option) 

67%

3.0

56 financial aid attempted credits 

Endorsement (without Master’s degree option) 

67%

3.0

32 financial aid attempted credits

Preparatory coursework 

67%

2.0

12 consecutive months

For periods of enrollment after August 29, 2011, see below.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (effective for periods of enrollment on or after August 29, 2011)

Walden University’s satisfactory academic progress requirements to receive Title IV student financial aid comply with U.S. Department of Education regulations. These standards are intended to establish minimum, reasonable levels of advancement toward degree completion and to guard against abuse of federal financial aid programs. Satisfactory progress requirements for receipt of federal financial aid are separate and distinct from the university’s academic progress requirements for academic continuance.

Satisfactory academic progress for all students is reviewed after each period of enrollment. Students receive written notification to their Walden University e-mail account if they are placed on financial aid warning status. Upon receiving this status, a student has one period of enrollment to return to the requirements standards listed below. If students do not meet these standards, they may appeal for a period of financial aid probation. If the appeal is not granted, students become ineligible for federal financial aid.

It is the student’s responsibility to know the requirements for meeting satisfactory academic progress. Failure to receive notification will not nullify a student’s financial aid status with Walden University.

Minimum Standards for Federal Financial Aid

 

Program Type

Minimum Financial Aid Course Completion Rate (Pace)

Minimum Cumulative Financial Aid GPA

Maximum Time Frame to Receive Federal Aid

Bachelor’s degree 

67%        

2.0

272 financial-aid-attempted credits

Master’s degree 

67%

3.0

20 quarters or 15 semesters

Doctoral degree 

67%

3.0

32 quarters or 24 semesters

Certificate 

67%

3.0

4 quarters or 6 semesters 

Education specialist 

67%

3.0

20 quarters or 15 semesters 

Teacher preparation (without master’s degree option) 

67%

3.0

56 financial-aid-attempted credits 

Endorsement (without master’s degree option) 

67%

3.0

32 financial-aid-attempted credits

Preparatory coursework 

67%

2.0

12 consecutive months

Treatment of Courses and Credits

  • Course Repetitions: Only the most recent grade is counted in the cumulative GPA, but the most recent credits are counted as completed credits. The credits from all attempts must be counted in the course completion rate and maximum time frame.
  • Drops: Courses dropped before the end of the “add/drop” period are not included in the financial aid satisfactory progress calculations.
  • Incompletes: Incomplete grades count as credits attempted and not completed, but do not impact GPA.
  • No Credit: No credit grades count as credits attempted and not completed but do not impact GPA.
  • Periods with No Financial Aid: Financial aid progress requirements include all periods of enrollment including periods in which the student did not receive federal aid. 
  • Second Program: The maximum time frame will be reset for students who complete one program or degree at Walden University and begin a subsequent program or degree. 
  • Transfer Credits: All transfer credits are considered as both attempted and completed when calculating the minimum course completion rate and maximum time frame.
  • Unsatisfactory: The grade of ‘unsatisfactory” counts as credits attempted and not completed, but does not impact the GPA.
  • Withdrawals: Courses dropped after the “add/drop” periods are considered to be attempted but not completed.

Policy and Definitions

Appeal: Occasionally, a student’s academic progress may be impacted by unusual circumstances that are beyond the student’s control. A student may appeal for an extension of financial aid after a period of financial aid warning if the student successfully completes the warning term and can document that unexpected, unusual, and temporary circumstances affected the student’s ability to progress at the required rate. See the “Right to Appeal” section in this policy for details.

 

Right to Appeal

Occasionally, a student’s academic progress may be impacted by unusual circumstances that are beyond the student’s control. A student may appeal for an extension of financial aid after a period of financial aid warning, if the student successfully completes the warning term and if the student can document that unexpected, unusual, and temporary circumstances affected the student’s ability to progress at the required rate. Examples of such mitigating circumstances are a death in the immediate family, illness, or other significant life change.

  • Students may appeal to the Office of Financial Aid no later than 15 calendar days following the end of the financial aid warning period.
  • Students who wish to appeal must complete the Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeal Form and provide the Office of Financial Aid with supporting documentation for review. 
  • Failure to provide supporting documentation will result in an automatic denial.  If the appeal is accepted, the student must meet the requirements outlined in the written approval of the appeal. 
  • A pre-existing condition (a condition or illness that the student had before the beginning any Walden University program) is not cause for appeal unless there was an unexpected change in that condition. 
  • Students may not use the same circumstances in a subsequent appeal, although a student may submit an appeal for a future period of difficulty for different mitigating circumstances.
  • Decisions by the Office of Financial Aid are final.

Maximum Time Frame:

Federal financial aid eligibility expires without warning when the student reaches the maximum time frame or if the financial aid academic progress review makes it clear that the student cannot mathematically finish the current program within the maximum time frame.

  • The maximum time frame will be reset for students completing a second or further degree at Walden. 
  • The maximum time frame for students who change programs without earning a Walden degree is cumulative for all programs attempted and is measured against the maximum time frame for the current program. 
  • The maximum time frame excludes quarters or semesters of non-enrollment and quarters or semesters in which all courses are dropped before the start of the term or during the drop period.
  • Financial aid eligibility for an academic program ceases as soon as all academic requirements for graduation have been met regardless of maximum time frame standing.
     

Minimum Course Completion Rate (Pace): A percentage calculated by dividing cumulative successfully completed credits by total credits attempted. For example, a student who has successfully completed 27 credits at Walden University of a total of 40 attempted credits at the university has a course completion rate of 67%. This rate includes credits transferred in to Walden.

Minimum GPA: Cumulative: The grade point average (GPA) for all coursework pertaining to the current program of study.

Minimum GPA: Period of Enrollment: The grade point average (GPA) for all courses attempted during the most recent period of enrollment.

Period of Enrollment: One semester or one quarter.

Status–Financial Aid Warning: This status is assigned to a student who failed to make satisfactory academic progress during the most recent period of enrollment during which the student was in attendance. The student has one period of enrollment to return to standard during which the student is eligible for financial aid.

Status–Financial Aid Probation: This status is assigned to a student who failed to make satisfactory academic progress during a period of enrollment, failed to return to standards during one term of financial aid warning, completed a successful appeal for mitigating circumstances, and has eligibility for financial aid reinstated.

Financial aid probation will be for one period of enrollment or will be accompanied by an academic plan.

Academic Plan: This status is assigned to bring the student back to standard by a specified date. The option for extended probation with an academic plan is only available if it is not reasonable to expect the student to return to standard during the next period of enrollment. An academic plan may be a course-by-course plan for degree completion, a specification for number of credits and/or grade requirements for particular periods of enrollment, and/or requirements for the student to get academic support or to use other academic resources. A student must comply with an academic plan in order to retain eligibility for financial aid.

Status–Financial Aid Ineligibility: This status is assigned to a student who failed to return to the required standards during the period of financial aid warning. Students who do not complete a successful appeal, who do not return to standards during a single term financial aid probation, or who do not comply with an academic plan for an extended period of financial aid probation will lose all federal financial aid eligibility. A student in financial aid ineligibility status is not eligible for federal financial aid until the student returns to meeting the requirements. Simply sitting out a term, paying cash, or changing academic programs will not return a student to satisfactory academic progress standards.
 

Loss of Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who become ineligible to receive financial aid but remain in compliance with the academic progress standards for continuance in their program are not withdrawn from the program but must arrange for alternative payment with the Office of the Bursar by the appropriate tuition due date. Students may still be eligible for private educational loans if federal aid eligibility is lost.