General Policy Notice:
Alma College reserves the right to change its scholarship and aid policies at any time. Written or verbal representations by anyone contradictory to the policies stated here and in the Alma College academic catalog are not binding.
|Alma Graduation Commitment|
As part of the Alma Commitment for on-time graduation, students may qualify for up to a term of free tuition if, through no fault of their own, they are unable to graduate on time, based on the degree and major they are pursuing. Depending upon the major selected, the college’s commitment to on-time graduation may apply to either a 4-year or a 4.5-year academic program.
The first students eligible under the Alma College Graduation Commitment are those who entered as first-time students in the fall of 2013.
|Living Off Campus|
Financial aid is calculated on the total cost of attending Alma College, including the cost of room and meals. A portion of every student’s merit award is applied to tuition and the remainder to room and meal costs. Any change in status including credit standing and residential living policies will impact the total amount of aid received to lower the overall cost of attendance at Alma College. Merit awards are adjusted for living off campus per the chart below.
2023 - 2024 Academic Year
Full or Partial Tuition Awards
Students receiving full or partial tuition merit awards are required to live on campus. If a student was approved by housing to live off campus they would see an adjustment of $6,564 for the 2023-2024 academic year as this portion of the award was designated for room and board expenses. This will adjust annually.
Policy applies to: ACES Alma College Community Engagement Scholarship, Tuition Exchange programs, Detroit Future Scholarship, and Distinguished Presidential Scholarship.
Exempt from Adjustment
How Financial Need/Aid is Calculated
Independent and Married Students
Students 23 years of age or less applying as independents must submit additional documentation to verify independent status claims.
Disbursement of College Aid and Billing Procedures
Other Important Notes:
|Satisfactory Academic Progress|
Federal regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the completion of their degree and further for the student to sustain good academic standing. Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, risk losing their eligibility for federal and state financial aid, and external scholarships/grants/loans.
SAP is assessed both qualitatively (by cumulative grade point average) and quantitatively (by earned credit hours). Progress is assessed at the end of each semester to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility for future enrollment periods. Students not meeting these SAP standards are notified by the Office of Financial Aid (both by mail using their self-reported permanent address and through their Alma College email account) that they have become ineligible for future financial aid eligibility and the process for appeal.
Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of (undergraduate students):
Progress toward degree completion is measured by two components: (1) maximum time frame and (2) completion percentage. Both are necessary components to ensuring that the student is making progress toward degree completion and both standards must be met to be making satisfactory academic progress. Both standards and guidelines are provided below:
The first time a student does not meet SAP standards they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester. This means they are one term away from losing their financial aid eligibility but are still eligible for financial aid for the subsequent semester. Failure to meet SAP standards in the semester in which the student is on Financial Aid Warning will result in Financial Aid Denied.
If after a semester on Financial Aid Warning and the student still does not meet SAP standards, they are immediately placed on Financial Aid Denied status. The student will not receive federal or institutional financial aid.
If you are denied, the student may appeal this status by completing the SAP Petition Form submitting necessary documents.
SAP Petition Form PDF (Deadline: 1/3/2023)
Financial Aid Probation
If the student has successfully appealed a Financial Aid Denied status, they will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one term. This means the student can then receive financial aid for the next semester. If the student does meet the SAP standards at the end of the Probation term, their SAP Status will reset back to meets SAP. If they do not meet the SAP standards at the end of the Probation term, they will be placed back into Denied status.
Students on Financial Aid Warning and Financial Aid Probation will be expected to obtain a 2.0 grade point average for the following semester and take a minimum of 12 credit hours without withdrawing from any courses by the end of that semester OR if necessary, be placed on an individualized academic plan that ensures SAP is met and that the student gets back on track toward graduation. Failure to meet the academic plan standards and/or SAP standards the student will be placed back into Financial Aid Denied status.
View the full SAP policy for complete details.
|Withdrawing and Your Financial Aid|
In the event you withdraw officially or unofficially (see Return of Funds Policy for definitions), we will determine the amount of Alma Aid and Federal Aid (Title IV Aid) you have earned up to that point in the term. See the chart below to determine how much your Alma Aid will be reduced:
The requirements for federal Title IV aid when you withdraw are separate from Alma College’s institutional refund policy. Therefore, you may still owe funds to Alma College to cover unpaid institutional charges. Alma College may also charge you for any Title IV aid that we were required to return. Also view the Return of Funds Policy here. Alma College’s institutional Student Account Refund Signature Page is available on the Financial Services Office page.
|Return of Funds (R2T4)|
The Alma College Financial Aid Office encourages all financial aid recipients to read this policy carefully. Any student thinking about withdrawing from all classes in one term should contact our office to determine how withdrawing will affect their financial aid for that term and what the impact will be for future eligibility. Withdrawing can affect students academically as well as financially.
DEFINITION OF R2T4
According to Section 484B of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) students who withdraw or are withdrawn from all classes in a term may be required to return all or part of their Title IV aid * received for that term. These policies apply only to students who completely terminate their enrollment or stop attending classes before completing more than 60 percent of the enrollment period (term). This policy does not apply to students who withdraw from individual courses, unless all courses are eventually dropped.
*Title IV Aid Includes:
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Return of Title IV Funds regulation does not dictate the institutional refund policy . The calculation of Title IV funds earned by the student has NO relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges.
(Institutional policy can be found at https://www.alma.edu/live/files/600-2014-15-academic-catalog under “Academic Policies” section, this policy is only applied to institutional grants, scholarships, awards, and charges)
WITHDRAWAL AND RETURN PROCESS
1. Determining the withdrawal date:
A student’s withdrawal date is used to calculate the amount of financial aid to be returned. The withdrawal date is defined as the earlier of 1) the date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified the institution of the intent to withdraw or 2) the student’s last date of documented attendance at an academically related activity.
Official Withdrawal - The withdrawal date used in the return calculation of a student’s federal financial aid is the actual date indicated on the withdrawal form. If this date is in question the financial aid office will then reach out to faculty to verify last class activity/attendance.
Unofficial Withdrawal - If a student stops attending, and fails to officially withdraw from classes, the student is considered to be unofficially withdrawn.
Section 484B (c) of the HEA makes it clear that the determination of a student’s withdrawal date is the responsibility of the institution. Therefore, the institution, not the student, must document a student’s attendance at an academically related activity. A student’s certification of attendance that is not supported by documentation by the institution would not be acceptable documentation for the student’s last date of attendance at an academically related activity.” (section 668.22 (c) in the Discussion, Federal Register 34 CFR Part 668, 6682, and 685, Student Assistance General Provisions and FFELP and Direct Loan Program, Final Rule)
2. Refunds on all institutional charges, including tuition and fees, will be calculated using the refund policy published in the Alma College Catalog and will be calculated and determined by the Student Financial Services Office.
3. Title IV aid earned is prorated up to and including the 60% point in the semester. After that point in time Title IV aid is considered 100% earned.
4. It is Alma College’s responsibility to return to the appropriate Title IV fund(s). If the student did not earn 100% of their Title IV aid, the returned amount will be billed to their student account.
Please review the full R2T4 policy and understand how a complete withdrawal affects eligibility for Title IV aid.
|Your Rights and Responsibilities and Your Financial Aid Package|
|Experiential Learning & Off Campus Study|
Alma College grants, scholarship, and awards CANNOT be applied to these programs unless the student is paying Alma College tuition*. (*exchange programs and WLC majors completing language programs, per the criteria below)
Any external aid, including federal aid or external (non-Alma) scholarships, may be used for off-campus study with the exception of state aid. State aid may only be applied for those students paying Alma College tuition (exchange programs and WLC majors completing language programs, per the criteria below).
For the purposes of state and federal financial aid, you will continue to be enrolled as a full-time student at Alma while you are off-campus on an approved program. Alma College scholarships and grants (including tuition exchange) may only be applied to a declared Modern Language major - see below for details.
World Languages and Cultures Majors:
If you have declared a language major and you are planning to study off-campus to fulfill your program’s off-campus study requirement, you may opt to either:
Federal financial aid, may be applied to off-campus study in either case.Experiential Learning Opportunities
|Terms & Conditions of Your Aid|
Alma Aid Programs
|The Tax Reform Act of 1986 requires that scholarships and fellowships exceeding the amount of tuition, fees and books will be subject to tax reporting for degree candidates. Detailed information may be obtained from the IRS .|