2018–2019 Walden University Student Handbook (September 2018) 
    
    Apr 08, 2020  
2018–2019 Walden University Student Handbook (September 2018) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Enrollment Policy for Financial Aid


Return to: Federal Programs   

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

Course-Based Programs: 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.

Tempo Learning® Programs: Financial aid is offered based on the assumption that students will agree to at least 4.25 semester credit equivalencies per subscription period.

Courses or competencies that do not count toward the degree or certificate: Generally speaking, in order to receive financial aid, students must be taking classes or working on competencies that count toward a degree or certificate offered at Walden. If students are enrolled in courses or competencies that do not count toward their degree or certificate, they cannot be used to determine enrollment status. For additional information, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Enrollment Statuses for Financial Aid 

Enrollment Status

Course-Based* Graduate Students (Graduate Certificate, Master’s, EdS, Doctoral, Post-Doctoral) 

Undergraduate Students

Students Enrolled 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

5 credits per term

9–11 credits per term

9–11 credits per term

Half time

3–4 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

*All students enrolled in the Tempo Learning® competency-based program are classified as full-time.

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. Students will be notified by e-mail if an adjustment is made to their financial aid award. 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).
  • Student receives 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.
  • Student enrolls in only one course, which may require an adjustment of federal aid. (Most students are awarded based on the assumption of enrollment in two classes per quarter/semester.)
  • Change of program.

Note: 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 a student’s previous registration if he or she withdraws from the first course. If the student indicates that he or she will return, and he or she does not return, a federal Return of Title IV funds calculation will be processed using the earlier withdrawal date.

Withdrawal From a Term for Course-Based Programs

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.

Please note withdrawal is different from drop. Dropping is when a student enrolls in a course and decides not to stay enrolled any time before it starts or within the first 7 days. If a student discontinues taking a course after the 7th day, then the student will be considered having withdrawn from that point on. Prior to withdrawing from all courses in the term or ceasing to engage in academically related activities, students should 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.

Withdrawal from Tempo®-Based Programs

Students who officially withdraw from the Tempo Learning® program will be subject to the return of Title IV funds calculation on a payment period basis. The withdrawal date for students who officially withdraw from the program will be the last date of participation as documented within the learning platform.

Student engagement in the learning platform is continually tracked and monitored on a weekly basis. If a student has failed to demonstrate engagement in the learning platform for thirty (30) consecutive days, the student will be considered an unofficial withdrawal and will be administratively withdrawn from the program.

Every student is required to submit an academic plan by day fourteen (14) of each 3-month subscription period. This submission signifies the start of academic engagement for the period. If a student does not submit an academic plan by day 14, the student is considered an unofficial withdrawal, and the student will be administratively withdrawn from the university.

Students who are administratively withdrawn will be subject to the return of Title IV funds using the last date of participation as the withdrawal date.

Leave of Absence for Course-Based Programs

A student who takes a university-approved leave of absence is considered, for financial aid purposes, to have withdrawn from the school. The Return to Title IV refund calculation applies to both university-approved leaves of absence and withdrawals for recipients of Title IV aid. When a student loan borrower begins a university-approved leave of absence, the student’s repayment begins after the grace period is over. Students are advised that once a grace period is utilized, there is no provision for allowing an additional grace period, and students will go into repayment. Students with federal financial aid or federal loan obligations are advised to contact their servicer to ascertain their loan repayment status during the leave of absence.   

Leave of Absence for Tempo Learning® Programs

The Tempo Learning® leave of absence (LOA) policy permits students to request a leave of absence if the student is experiencing hardships that make effective academic progress unusually difficult. A leave of absence is defined as a temporary break (30–180 calendar days) for students from their program with a clear intent to return to the program of study. Students who enter into an approved leave of absence (LOA) will not be considered a withdrawal unless they fail to return from leave as scheduled. In such cases, students will be subject to the return of Title IV funds using the last date of participation as the withdrawal date.

Students may be approved for multiple LOAs, but the total of all LOAs may not exceed 180 calendar days in a 12-month period. Students on an approved LOA will not be assessed any additional institutional charges and will not receive federal financial disbursements.

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 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.

Federal Return of Title IV Funds

Course-based students who withdraw, drop, or do not otherwise complete all of the courses that they are scheduled to attend in the term and Tempo Learning® students who withdrawa officially or unofficially, may have disbursed funds returned to the federal government. This includes students who stop engaging in academically related activities in any or all courses or competencies during the term or payment period.

Federal regulations established by the United States Department of Education require the Office of Financial Aid to apply a formula, entitled Return to Title IV (R2T4), to determine the amount of federal financial aid a student has earned up through the last date of academically related activity in any or all courses  or competencies during the term or payment period.

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

The following enrollment changes may trigger an R2T4 in Course-Based Programs:

  • Withdrawal to zero credits (official withdrawal through the university policy).
  • University-approved Leave of Absence during the term.
  • Lack of engagement in academically related activities for at least 14 consecutive days in the term.
  • 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 earn a passing grade in the last course in the term, even after passing an earlier course.
  • Failure to earn a passing grade in all courses attempted in the term.

The following enrollment changes in Tempo Learning® programs that may trigger an R2T4:

  • Official withdrawal from the program.
  • Administrative withdrawal due to lack of participation for thirty (30) consecutive days.
  • Administrative withdrawal for not submitting an academic plan by day fourteen (14) of the subscription period.
  • Administrative withdrawal for failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements.
  • Failure to return from a Leave of Absence.

The last date of academically related activity, as determined by the university, is used as the financial aid withdrawal date to determine the completion percentage for R2T4. Students who complete more than 60% of the term or payment period are considered to have earned 100% of the federal financial aid disbursed to them for the term. Students who do not complete more than 60% of the term or payment period will have all or a portion of disbursed funds returned to the federal government.

The withdrawal date for federal financial aid purposes is not the same as the withdrawal date processed by the Registrar to determine tuition adjustments. Federal student aid may not cover all charges due to the university that result from the return of funds upon the student’s withdrawal.

Prior to withdrawing, students should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine if the change will result in a return of funds and to understand the financial options to get back on track for future terms.