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Financial aid policies

 

Adjustments to Aid

Student Financial Services (SFS) may review and possibly revise financial aid awards throughout the year. Therefore, applicants should notify SFS immediately of any change in either their or their families' financial situation and housing status.

Most financial aid awards are based originally upon the assumption that students will enroll full time (12 or more credits per semester for undergraduates; 9 for graduate students) unless they have notified our office to the contrary. Thus, if students change their status from full- to part-time enrollment, an aid adjustment may result.

If a student withdraws from Temple University, an aid adjustment may result. See Conditions of Award section below.

 

Conditions of Award

General

The granting of any federal aid (Pell, SEOG, Perkins & Direct Loans, Work-Study) is contingent upon:

a. The authorization and appropriation of funds for each program by the federal government;

b. The receipt by Temple University of anticipated funding levels in each program;

c. Any changes in federal regulations that affect your eligibility status;

d. Final approval of the University budget at projected funding levels.

You will be notified only if it is necessary to revise your aid as explained above.

Your financial aid award is based on information you and your family submitted on the application materials. It is your responsibility to notify the Student Financial Services Office of any change in your or your family's circumstances. This includes the receipt of any additional financial aid or other resources not indicated on your award letter. If such a change does take place, we reserve the privilege of reviewing and possibly revising your aid.

Use of Aid

Unless you have received a specific, written statement to the contrary, this financial aid may only be used if you are enrolled in a degree program or approved teacher certificate program at Temple University.

Enrolled Credit Requirement

Unless noted otherwise on your award letter, your award is based upon full-time enrollment for both semesters of the academic year (12 credits per semester for an undergraduate student and 9 credits per semester for a graduate student). If you are enrolled less than full-time, your aid will be adjusted accordingly (including possible cancellation of aid).

It is your responsibility to notify the Student Financial Services Office of any change in enrollment status per semester.

Graduate Students

If you will be receiving a tuition scholarship, assistantship or any other aid from your department or the Graduate School, you should inform the Student Financial Services Office in writing immediately. An adjustment to your loan eligibility may be necessary.

Return of Funds

Students receiving federal aid should be aware that U.S. Department of Education regulations govern the refund and repayment of aid when a student withdraws before completion of the semester for which aid has been received.

Federal student aid is based on the percentage of time you are enrolled for the semester. Depending on when you withdraw, your student aid will be adjusted according to the Federal Return of Title IV formula, state grant refund calculation and institutional policy. Tuition may be adjusted and you will most likely owe money to the University if you withdraw. 

For more information, see the following. 

For student financial aid purposes, 12 or more credits is considered full-time enrollment for undergraduate students; 9 or more credits is considered full-time for graduate students.

Withdrawing from the University will cancel your financial aid for future semesters. If you process a re-enrollment request for an upcoming semester, please contact the Student Financial Services office to request consideration for reinstatement of your aid.

Unofficial Withdrawal

An unofficial withdrawal occurs when a student does not successfully complete any of their courses (received all F grades), stopped attending classes and did not complete any of the coursework as of the 60% point of the semester or term without officially withdrawing from the university, as required. A student who has unofficially withdrawn may be required to repay up to 50% of the total financial aid received for that semester or term.

Students who never attended any of their classes and did not complete any coursework are required to repay 100% of the financial aid received for the semester or term.  

Duration and Renewal of Aid

Students are required to re-apply annually for financial aid by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA priority filing deadline is March 1 for the following academic year.

 

Deadline

The FAFSA priority filing deadline is March 1 of each year. Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be RECEIVED at the Federal Processing Center by this date.  The importance of meeting this deadline cannot be overstated. While there are some types of aid (e.g., Pell Grants and Direct Loans) for which you may apply after this deadline, it is likely that you will receive substantially less total aid if your application is late.

It is the University's position that the student applicant is accountable for the accurate and timely submission of the FAFSA/Renewal Application. We make the application deadline known and available to all students in many different ways and through a variety of communication methods.

NOTE: There is a reference on the FAFSA/Renewal Application to "State Aid Deadlines." Do not be misled by these dates. These dates are when the FAFSA must be filed to be considered for aid from your home state. It is NOT the financial aid application deadline at Temple University or most other colleges.

NOTE: In order to be reviewed for Federal Financial Aid, Temple University must have your correct, complete FAFSA by your last day of enrollment for the academic year.

 

Dependency Override Appeal Process

Students that are unable to complete the FAFSA with parental information can submit a Dependency Override Request to the Student Financial Services office. Include any and all documentation you feel will support your appeal for independent status; for example, court orders of permanent status (not temporary), death certificates and letters from a third party (school counselors, clergy or family physicians) may be appropriate. You must also submit a copy of your IRS tax return transcript, W2 and a completed Independent Verification Worksheet.   

The Student Financial Services office will review the Dependency Override request once all documentation has been received. You will then be contacted by the office if additional information is needed as well as once the review is completed. 

The Student Financial Services office reviews each request for Dependency Override on a case-by-case basis and students are required to complete the request on an annual basis since the override is not able to be automatically renewed each year.

 

Disbursement of Financial Aid

Registered student's financial aid disburses to the account at the beginning of each semester. All financial aid will disburse directly to the Temple University student account to pay all direct charges on the account first. If there is a credit balance on your account after disbursement, the excess will be refunded. 

2016-2017 Disbursement dates

Listed below are the tentative disbursement dates for the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters. Please keep in mind that the dates listed are the earliest possible dates the funds will be released to the student accounts. It is not guaranteed that the financial aid will arrive on the exact date. In order for any student to be eligible for loan funds, he/she must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduate students and 4.5 credits for graduate students) at the time the funds are disbursed to the account.

Pennsylvania State funding (PHEAA grant) doesn't have a specific date for disbursement listed, because the Student Financial Services office must verify eligibility (i.e. enrollment, degree program, academic progress) before the funds are released to the student account. The review process occurs once the semester begins and is done throughout the semester.

Semester

Pell Grants

Loans

SEOG

State Funding

Institutional Funding

Undergraduate Students

 

 

 

 

 

Fall 2016

8/24/16

8/24/16

8/24/16

n/a

8/24/16

Spring 2017

1/11/17

1/11/17

1/11/17

n/a

1/11/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduate Students

 

 

 

 

 

Fall 2016

n/a

8/24/16

n/a

n/a

n/a

Spring 2017

n/a

1/11/17

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identity Confirmation Practices

Confidentiality:   In order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our students (as federally required under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act—FERPA), SFS Staff members cannot disclose any non-directory student information to anyone other than the student unless the student has given specific written consent.

  1. Student Identify Confirmation in Person: The preferred method for confirming student identity is the student’s personal presentation of a valid Temple University Identification card (TUid/Owl Card), driver’s license, or passport (picture ID).
  2. Student Identify Confirmation on Telephone: Over the phone, student identity will be verified by asking a series of questions: full name, date of birth, and student identification number (TUid).  To preserve the privacy of student records, SFS reserves the right to deny telephone service to a caller if the identity of the caller cannot be confirmed or is in doubt.
  3. Dependent Student Custodial Parent Confirmation in Person: Custodial parent identity will be verified by asking a series of questions: full name of student and parent, student identification number (TUid), and parent date of birth as reported on the FAFSA.
  4. Dependent Student Custodial Parent Confirmation on Telephone: Custodial parent identity will be verified by asking a series of questions: full name of student and parent, student identification number (TUid), and parent date of birth as reported on the FAFSA. To preserve the privacy of student records, SFS reserves the right to deny telephone service to a caller if the identity of the caller cannot be confirmed or is in doubt.
  5. Independent Student Parent(s) on Telephone or In-Person: No student-specific financial aid information will be released to the parents of students considered independent for financial aid purposes, including parents that are required to provide information on the FAFSA for Health Professions Loan Program purposes.
  6. Email: Identity is verified via email being generated by a student’s Temple University email address. If the student has not yet established a Temple University email account, the request must be generated from the email address listed on the student’s FAFSA application.

FERPA Waiver: A student may consent to the release of information from education records (including financial aid records) to parents, guardians or other appropriate persons. The students may provide the university with their consent by completing the FERPA waiver online via the TUPortal – Students log-in, select the “Self-Service Banner” link, then select “Student” tab, under “Main Menu” select “FERPA”. 

Parents, Guardians and Relatives of Temple Students: SFS staff members cannot disclose specific financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to anyone other than the Parent whose data is reported on the student’s FAFSA. (Even if you are named on the FERPA waiver)

Income Reduction Reviews

Temple University strives to offer our families the best financial aid awards possible within the boundaries of federal, state, and university funding. However, we understand the FAFSA doesn’t always capture the most accurate financial snapshot of your household and that certain circumstances may present your family with unique financial challenges. If your family’s finances have changed drastically since filing the 2017-18 FAFSA, your family may submit a typed, signed appeal so that our office can determine if the circumstances result in a change to financial aid eligibility. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee an adjustment can be made to the financial aid award and the review process will require our office to request additional documentation and will take several weeks to complete. 

Income reduction appeals (must include the Special Conditions Worksheet) may be submitted beginning in mid-March. The 2017-18 Income Reduction appeal deadline for submitting an initial request is 7/1/17. 

Listed below are the circumstances our office can consider when reviewing appeals:

  • Death of a principal wage earner (i.e. father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, spouse, etc.) since filing the FAFSA- The Special Condition/Reduction in Family Resources Worksheet is not required.
  • Loss of full-time employment prior to June 30th - We are unable to review until the wage earner has been unemployed for at least ten (10) weeks.
  • Permanent reduction in full-time employment- Generally, only a significant reduction in employment/salary will make an impact to the student's financial aid award. We cannot consider a reduction in commission, bonus or seasonal employment.   
  • Marital separation prior to June 30th or Divorce-  The Special Condition/Reduction in Family Resources Worksheet is not required. Please refer to the Who is My Parent? guidelines when determining which parent's information must be reported on the FAFSA.
    • Businesses and/or rental properties jointly owned by both parents will further complicate the appeal and may not be able to be excluded.
    • Parents that continue to file as 'married' on their Federal Income Tax Return and received an approved appeal in a prior year are not guarantted to be considered separated for purposes of financial aid awarding for subsequent financial aid years. 
    • Our office may request additional documentation, such as a copy of the signed 1040, after reviewing the initial documentation submitted.
    • If the biological parents are divorced and the custodial parent is remarried, the stepparent's information must be included on the FAFSA.
  • Significant out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred in 2016 or 2017- The FAFSA already makes an allowance for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Our office will consider this when determining the amount of expenses we can include in the appeal. If there are itemized medical deductions on the federal taxes, we will take that into account when processing the appeal. We cannot consider unpaid bills without proof that a payment arrangement has been established with the creditor.
  • Loss of child support payments received in the current year
  • Other circumstances causing significant decrease in family resources from 2016 to 2017.

Listed below are some of the circumstances our office cannot consider when reviewing appeals:

  • Debts incurred due to outstanding tax liability, credit cards, mortgage(s), student loans, and/or parent PLUS loans
  • Utilities, household incidentals, and/or home improvement expenses
  • Withdrawals from a retirement fund
  • Reduction in income due to lack of commission, bonus or seasonal employment
  • Reduction in income due to lifestyle choice(s) 
  • Cost of college tuition and/or private elementary or high school tuition
  • Bankruptcy
  • Unemployment that ended prior to 2016

If any of the circumstances apply, our office will begin accepting signed, detailed personal statements explaining the situation, along with the completed “Special Condition/Reduction in Family Resources Worksheet” in late February. Our office is unable to review appeals that are submitted without the worksheet. 

After reviewing your appeal letter and Special Conditions Worksheet, our office will determine whether or not your appeal is likely to make an impact to you financial aid award. If so, we will reach out to you to request additional documentation. 

Please note: If you have incorrectly reported information on the FAFSA application, this review could negatively impact your EFC resulting in a loss/reduction of your current financial aid. Please review the information on your FAFSA application for accuracy before submitting an appeal. One way to help ensure that you have reported accurate tax information is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your taxes directly from the IRS. If your EFC is already between 0 and 1000, this appeal will have no impact on your eligibility as you have already been given the maximum aid available.

Note for perspective students: Our office recommends that you make your decision to attend Temple University based on your current financial aid award. Submitting an appeal does not extend the deadline for making your tuition and/or housing deposit, nor does it guarantee additional aid. 

Outside Scholarships

If you receive a scholarship from your high school or an outside organization, you must submit a copy of your award letter and/or check as soon as you receive it to the SFS office. The SFS office will apply all scholarship awards to the student account for the year (evenly split between the fall and spring terms).

If you are receiving federal aid, regulations state that a student's resources cannot exceed a student's need. If you already have an aid package and your need is fully being met, your scholarship may require a reduction to your need-based award. In many cases, this will reduce the amount of the loans or federal work-study which you were awarded. Check with our office for specific information.

 

Professional Judgment (Special Circumstances) 

Sometimes special circumstances can impact a student’s financial aid situation, including a change in family circumstances, traumatic events or reductions in income that may occur while you're at Temple. This may result in the need to clarify your situation with the Student Financial Services office. 

  • Students that require information regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) should review the Temple University SAP standards and appeal forms available. All deadlines are listed on the appropriate SAP appeal form.
  • Students that require information regarding the Dependency Override process should review the Student Financial Service office process and appeal request form available.
  • Students/Parents that require information regarding the Income Reduction Review Process should review the published policy. Please be prepared to itemize the change in income and provide copies of all applicable documentation (IRS tax return transcripts, W2 forms, proof of marital separation, letter from former employer, etc...). The deadline to submit an income reduction appeal for the 2016-17 aid year is September 1st 2016.    

Please note that a request for Professional Judgment (Special Circumstances) consideration does not guarantee the receipt of new or additional financial aid. Our ability to help will depend on the unique circumstances of the request, the strength of the documentation provided and the availability of financial aid funding at the time of the result.

Repeated Coursework

The US Department of Education repeated coursework regulation affect students who repeat courses. The regulation may impact your financial aid eligibility and awards, including Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Direct Loans, Federal Work-Study and institutional funding. The regulation prevents financial aid from paying for a course that has been passed and repeated more than one time. In order for a repeated course to be counted towards your enrollment status for financial aid purposes, you may only repeat a previously passed course once (a total of two attempts). If you enroll in a previously repeated and passed course for a third time, this course will not count towards your enrollment for financial aid purposes. Examples of repeated courses: 

  • Allowable: Repeated courses may be included if the student received an 'F' or 'NC' grade. There is no limit on the number of attempts allowable if the student does not receive a passing grade. Grades of A, B, C, D, P or CR (Credit) are considered passing grades.
  • Allowable: Student is enrolled in 15 credit hours which includes 3 credits repeating a previously passed course. Because the student is enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits which are not repeats, the student's financial aid eligibility is not impacted by the repeat.
  • Not permissible: Student receives a D in a course and decides to repeat the course to improve his/her GPA. The student may repeat this passed course one time, but if the student wants to repeat it a second time, the second repeat would not count for financial aid eligibility.

Examples:

When counting credits to determine aid eligibility for that semester, many repeated classes will be excluded from the financial aid eligible credit count. This may mean less Pell Grant if the eligible credits are less than 12 credits, or no subsidized/unsubsidized loans if the financial aid eligible credits are less than 6 credits for undergraduate students (less than 5 for graduate students). Repeated credits that are determined to be ineligible for financial aid will also impact eligibility for scholarships and work-study positions.

  • A student can be paid on a repeated course IF the class was never previously passed.
  • A student can also be paid for repeating a previously passed course as long it is the first repeat of the course.
 

1st Attempt

2nd Attempt/first repeat

3rd Attempt/second repeat

Is Class eligible for FA for the Enrolled Semester

Course 1

F

D

Enrolled

No

Course 2

C

Enrolled

 

Yes

Course 3

D

C

Enrolled

No

Course 4

D

F

Enrolled

No

Course 5

W

F

Enrolled

Yes

Explanation of the Above Examples:

  1. Credits are excluded from the financial aid eligible credits because it is the second time the course is being repeated and it was previously passed. 
  2. Yes, these credits may be counted, even though it was previously passed, because it is the first time the course is being repeated.
  3. No, this course was previously passed and this is the third attempt. Two attempts is the maximum attempts these credits can count towards financial aid eligibility, because the course has been passed.
  4. No, the class credits are no longer considered for financial aid eligibility because it has been previously passed and this is the second time it is being repeated.
  5. Yes, because this course has never been passed so may still be counted towards financial aid eligible credits.

Details of the regulation:

  • Repeated enrollment that is not aid eligible will be excluded from the student's enrollment status for the term.  
  • Federal Title IV financial aid will be recalculated based on the student's adjusted enrollment status.
  • This recalculation will be applied regardless of whether a student received aid for previous course enrollments.
  • Some courses are repeatable per institution policy such as continuing research, thesis hours etc. and are not restricted by these regulations. 
  • Wait-listed courses do not count toward official enrollment status for financial aid purposes.
  • All repeated courses do affect financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations. A repeated course along with the original attempt must be counted as attempted credits.

Financial aid will not pay for repeat classes for which an incomplete grade (‘I’) or missing grade ('MG') was previously assigned. All enrollments of a class will count toward the total number of attempted credit hours when calculating completion ratios and maximum time frames as they relate to satisfactory academic progress (refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for additional information).

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Student Financial Services (SFS) is required by federal regulation to monitor student progression toward completion of degree and certificate programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standard includes a quantitative (time-based) and qualitative (grade-based) measure of progress.

The quantitative measure states that the student must maintain a specific "earned credit" percentage rate of credits to remain eligible for financial aid. The qualitative measure requires maintaining a GPA that meets the minimum standard necessary to maintain Academic Good Standing according to Temple University policy (refer to the Undergraduate Academic Warning, Probation and Dismissal Policy information). Graduate students refer to your college for GPA requirements.  

Undergraduate Academic Warning, Probation, Dismissal Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Eligibility Review:

Academic records are reviewed by the Office of Student Financial Services once the Office of the University Registrar completes the end of semester processing review (this can be 3-4 weeks after finals week). The SFS review will determine current academic progress and future student financial aid eligibility. Students who have met the minimum percentage requirement, and who are in good academic standing according to University policy (GPA requirement), and who have not exceeded the maximum time frame to complete their degree programs (see the SAP policy PDF link above), are considered to have maintained satisfactory academic progress and are eligible for financial aid.

Appeal Process:

Students that have lost eligibility for financial aid, may submit a written appeal in order to regain financial aid eligibility. The SAP appeal will become available in the Forms section of this website once the eligibility reviews are completed. The SFS office will make every effort possible to process appeals received by the priority deadline so that we may notify student of the decision before the end of the semester's drop/add period (see Office of the University Registrar Academic Calendar for deadline date). However, please be aware that students may not receive a decision before the drop/add period. All students are financially responsible for semester charges regardless of financial aid eligibility. 

The priority deadline for submitting a SAP appeal is Wednesday 1/25/17 for spring 2017 consideration. The final deadline for submitting a SAP appeal after the drop/add period is Wednesday 2/8/17. Appeals received after the final deadline will not be considered. Appeals incomplete will be automatically denied. All appeals will be considered by a committee and their decision is final.

Because of the short time period between the end of the spring semester and the start of the summer session(s), appeals for summer will not be considered.