Undergrad Policies Master of Education Policies Master of Science in Education Policies

Additional information on our policies and procedures can be found on the the consumer information page.

Undergraduate Degree Completion Policies and Procedures

A student is considered to have completed a degree when all degree requirements have been met. Students are not eligible to receive federal/state aid for coursework which will not count towards degree completion requirements.  Students should carefully monitor each semester's/term's course selection, as some electives may not be required for degree completion and, thus, cannot be included in that semester's/term's enrollment status for federal/state aid eligibility.

The following will be Buena Vista University's policy when use of professional judgment is requested to change dependency status from dependent to independent.

Background

Currently, federal law states that a self-supporting student is one who:

  • Is (or will be) 24 years old by a pre-determined date
  • Is a veteran of the armed forces
  • Is a ward of the court or whose parents have died
  • Has a legal dependent (other than a spouse)
  • Is married at the time of application
  • Is a graduate or professional student
  • Is a court identified emancipated minor
  • Is or was in a legal guardianship as determined by a court
  • Is identified as an unaccompanied youth or homeless 

It is felt that the philosophy behind this definition is this: the parent has the primary responsibility to pay for their dependent child's education to the extent they are able. Their ability to contribute is determined by the federal needs analysis process. That parent responsibility is not eliminated by parent/student choice. Only in those situations where the student has met the federal definition does that responsibility shift from the parent to the student. Buena Vista University abides by and believes in this definition and philosophy. However, we do recognize that unusual situations do occur and individual consideration may be necessary to assess dependency status.

Policy/Procedures

Financial aid professionals have been granted the right to override the federal definition of self-supporting status, provided documentation to support the decision is collected and kept in the student's file. The financial aid official (and the school he/she represents) then becomes responsible for the action taken. The following will be the general policy/procedures followed by Buena Vista University when a student has appealed the federal definition.

It is almost always necessary for an interested, objective third party to become involved in the requirement for documentation. Examples of acceptable resource people that may be called on to assist in documentation may include, but are not limited to:

  • High school guidance counselors or other school personnel who would be familiar with the specifics of the case
  • Pastor, priest, or other church associations
  • Lawyer
  • Officers of the court - this may include Department of Human Services personnel
  • Unacceptable sources include the student and/or the parent(s).

Please provide two letters as documentation.

The written documents should include the specifics of the case. It will be necessary to illustrate why it is not feasible that the parent(s)' should be expected to contribute towards college costs, to the extent of their ability. Examples of acceptable situations in the past include cases where the student had been withdrawn from the parent(s) home and placed in a foster home or where there has been self-induced (by either party) estrangement between the student and parent(s). A student's own prior level of income is not an acceptable reason to eliminate the parent(s) expected responsibility. Additional unusual situations not included in this policy will be reviewed and a response made on a case-by case basis.

Students who withdraw completely will have their tuition reduced on a percentage basis based on the schedule below. Correspondingly, a student’s institutional and state aid will be returned based on their official date of withdrawal and the same percentage.The Business Office will notify the student of their final billing information after all of the appropriate adjustments have been made. Any additional fees a student accrues will not be adjusted and the student will be fully charged.

The following schedules will determine the calculation for students’ tuition for the particular courses the withdrawal applies to. Refunds are based on the official start date of the term and not the first day of class.

Face to Face GPS T1 – T6 courses:

  • Prior to the end of the 4th calendar day of the term: 95% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 8th calendar day of the term: 75% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 11th calendar day of the term: 50% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 15th calendar day of the term: 25% return of charges & institutional and state aid

Online (Undergraduate & Graduate courses) GPS T1 – T6 courses:

  • Prior to the end of the 4th calendar day of the term: 95% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 10th calendar day of the term: 75% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 15th calendar day of the term: 50% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 18th calendar day of the term: 25% return of charges & institutional and state aid

GPS CO-OP T1 – T3 courses:

  • Prior to the end of the 4th calendar day of the term: 95% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 15th calendar day of the term: 75% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 20th calendar day of the term: 50% return of charges & institutional and state aid
  • Prior to the end of the 25th calendar day of the term: 25% return of charges & institutional and state aid

Saturday Courses

  • Prior to the end of the 3rd calendar day of the term: 95% return of tuition charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 6th calendar day of the term: 75% return of tuition charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 9th calendar day of the term: 50% return of tuition charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 11th calendar day of the term: 25% return of tuition charges & institutional aid

All students taking courses that do not fall into one of the above course categories will be fully charged on the first day of class and charges will not be reduced in the event of a withdrawal.

Military Deployment Policy – Buena Vista University

The following options are applicable to a student who is a member or the spouse of a member if the member has a dependent child, of the Iowa National Guard or Reserve Forces of the United States and who is ordered to National Guard duty or federal active duty:

  1. Withdraw from the student’s entire registration and receive a full refund of tuition and mandatory fees.
  2. Make arrangements with the student’s instructors for course grades, or for incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the student’s registration shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for the courses in full.
  3. Make arrangements with only some of the student’s instructors for grades or for incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the registration for those courses shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for those courses.

Any course for which arrangements cannot be made for grades or incompletes shall be considered dropped and the tuition and mandatory fees for the course refunded.

As used in this lettered paragraph, “dependent child” means the same as defined in section 260C.14, subsection 14, paragraph ‘b’, subparagraph (2), subparagraph division (a).

Readmission following Call to Active Duty and/or Deployment

  • Upon receipt of notice from students of their intent to return to Buena Vista University, they will be promptly readmitted with the same academic status they had when last attending or when accepted for admission.
  • Additionally, students will retain the catalog rights that were in place at the time of their deployment as long as readmission is within seven years of the initial admission. If after the seven year window, current catalog requirements will be followed.

SOURCE: Iowa College Student Aid Commission, Payment Certification for the 2015-16 Academic Year Accredited Private Institution

The FAFSA asks parents for the number of family members that will be enrolled in college at least half time. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 exclude parents from being included in the response to this question.

Because we are aware that this could cause undue hardship for certain families, Buena Vista University may be willing to use professional judgment to include a parent in the number to be reported. However, all of the following conditions must be met. If you do not meet all of the conditions, do not submit this form.

Policy on Federal Aid Restrictions for Students Convicted of a Drug Violation If a student is convicted of a federal or state drug offense that occurred while receiving federal aid, he/she will become ineligible for such aid for the length of time indicated in the chart below. A conviction that is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when the student was a juvenile, unless he/she was tried as an adult. If a student is convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.

Possession of illegal drugs Sale of illegal drugs
First Offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years of date of conviction
Second Offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
Third + Offense Indefinite period
A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends, or when he/she successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program, as described below. Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain eligibility only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program or if the conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. It is the student’s responsibility to certify that he/she has successfully completed the rehabilitation program. Standards for a qualified drug rehabilitation program A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements: • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state or local government program • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state or local government agency or court • Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor

You must reapply for financial aid each year you expect to attend Buena Vista University. Financial aid is not automatically renewable and may fluctuate from one year to the next. It is important to be aware of all deadline dates.

More than one repeat of any previously passed course will be excluded from enrollment status.

To calculate the amount of federal assistance earned by a student who has withdrawn, BVU will first determine the percentage of assistance the student earned. The percentage of assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the period of enrollment that was completed as of and including the day the student withdrew, up to and including the 60 percent point in time. The percentage will be calculated using calendar days completed as of the day the student withdraws divided by the number of days in the enrollment/payment period. Interim will be included with the spring semester when appropriate. All scheduled breaks of five or more days, including Saturdays and Sundays, will be taken out of the calculation. The calculated earned percentage is applied to the total amount of assistance that was disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student (allowable post withdrawal disbursements included), or on the student's behalf, for the period of enrollment, as of the withdrawal date. If the withdrawal occurs after the 60 percent point, then the percentage of federal aid earned is 100 percent.

BVU must return the lesser of the unearned amount of Title IV (federal) aid, or an amount equal to the total institutional charges the student incurred for the enrollment period, multiplied by the unearned percentage of Title IV assistance (which is the complement of the earned percentage).

Institutional fees assessed on a student's bill will be considered an institutional charge, unless they were taken off the account prior to withdrawal.  Example of fees that would be included are:  single room fees, lab fees (if assessed to all students in certain programs), student teaching fees, graduation fees and technology fees (if assessed to all students in certain programs).  In addition, book charges would be included as an institutional charge if the student uses excess aid to pay for them and doesn't have a reasonable opportunity to purchase books elsewhere with a credit voucher.  Discretionary charges like parking, library and computer damage fines or the charge for health insurance would not be considered an institutional charge and would not be included in the calculation.

The student is required to return federal funds when the total amount of unearned assistance exceeds the amount the school must return. The student returns the difference between the total amount of unearned assistance minus what BVU returns. However, a student is not required to return 50 percent of Title IV grant assistance received. Although BVU will normally return any unearned Federal Pell Grant so an overpayment does not exist, if it is determined that a student must return federal grant assistance, the student will be given 45 days from the day the calculation is performed to submit the owed amount to, or make satisfactory arrangements with, the Buena Vista University Business Office. If payment or an arrangement for payment is not made within 45 days, the Department of Education will be notified of the overpayment and the student may face losing consideration for future financial assistance until payment is received.

The order of the return of Title IV funds will be as follows:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Subsidized Direct Loans
  • Perkins Loan
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Pell Grants
  • FSEOG
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Other Title IV assistance for which return of funds is required

If a student or parent feels that individual circumstances warrant exceptions from stated policy, the following appeal order can be followed:

  1. Accounts Receivable Manager
  2. Director of Financial Assistance
  3. Assistant Controller
  4. Director of Business Services/Controller
  5. Vice President for Business Services
  6. President of Buena Vista University

Contact the Office of Student Affairs for a copy of BVU's Leave of Absence Policy. Contact the Office of Financial Assistance for an example of a refund calculation.

Undergraduate Students

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that all federal financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress towards degree completion. In addition to receiving financial aid from one or more of the various federal funds, receipt of state or institutional funds will also rely on a student meeting these standards. These standards apply to a student’s entire degree program including terms in which financial aid was not received. Specific aid programs or departmental standards may require more than the minimum standards described below.

The Standards

Financial assistance satisfactory academic progress will be measured by the student’s cumulative grade point average (cgpa) and the percentage of hours earned in relation to those attempted (pace).

1. Cumulative grade point average

Because the transition to university learning is challenging, first and second year students are allowed time to build their CGPA to a 2.0 as they accumulate credits. A student is considered to be making financial assistance satisfactory academic progress by earning a cgpa above the ranges detailed below. A student’s cgpa will include those grades associated with BVU credits only; grades earned at other institutions are not included.  The second and any subsequent grade(s) for repeated coursework will be used in the CGPA computation.  Only the first grade will be omitted from the grade point average.

CREDITS EARNED CGPA
Less than 24 Less than 1.75 cpga
24-55.99 Less than 1.9 cpga
56+ or 2 years of enrollment, whichever comes first Less than 2.0 cpga

2. Pace

Adequate progress towards degree completion is measured by an appropriate ratio of credit hours earned in relationship with credit hours attempted. Students must complete 67% of the hours attempted to be making satisfactory academic progress. Withdrawing from courses, earning NC (no credit) and/or failing courses may ultimately result in not achieving the necessary completion rate which would allow a student to graduate in the time allowed (see Maximum Timeframe for Financial Assistance below). A student is considered to be making adequate pace towards degree completion if the 67% is met.

Upon admission, transfer students are assumed to be making satisfactory academic progress. Courses successfully completed at another institution that fulfill degree requirements at BVU will be included in pace calculations.

All courses completed at BVU are included in the analysis of academic standing. BVU does not use incompletes as a grading option. If a course is repeated, the repeat(s) will count in attempted hours for pace calculation purposes.

Review Process

The Academic Standing Committee will review students’ progress three times each academic year (following fall, spring and summer semesters), with the exception of the GPS Co-Op Program which will be reviewed following each term. The Associate Dean of Faculty will notify, in writing, those students whose academic record falls short of the standards for both continued enrollment and financial assistance eligibility, as detailed above. Based on the results of that review, a student may be placed on financial aid warning, probation, or be allowed to return on an academic plan, or financial assistance may be suspended.

Financial aid warning would be the result during the first review period after which a student fails either of the standards mentioned above. If a student is placed on warning, financial aid eligibility will continue for that warning period.

A student who fails to achieve good academic standing after a warning period will be suspended from the University unless an appeal is submitted and approved. Appeals may be granted in cases of extenuating circumstances such as illness, family emergencies, etc., that may affect a student’s ability to achieve SAP.

Following a successful appeal, a student may be placed on probation for the next semester, or on an academic plan, which may encompass more than one semester. If placed on probation, the student must achieve good academic standing following the probationary semester. A student placed on an academic plan may continue to receive financial assistance as long as the terms of the plan are being met.

A student without a successful appeal will be suspended.

Appeal Process

All appeals should be in writing and received by the Associate Dean of Faculty in sufficient time for processing. The written appeal must include and document the extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from meeting SAP, what has changed in the student’s situation, and the specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken, when those classes will be taken, and at which locations.

Before a decision is made, the student’s progress-along with details in the appeal-will be reviewed by the SAP Committee to determine if and how the student can regain good academic standing.

Re-establishing SAP

Other than in situations where an appeal is granted, a student who has lost eligibility for federal or state aid can only regain eligibility by taking action that brings them back into satisfactory academic progress. Neither paying for classes nor sitting out any length of time affects a student’s academic standing so neither is sufficient to re-establish eligibility.  However, if a previously suspended student applies for readmission to BVU (which would include a new reason for appeal) after an academic suspension, that student may be allowed to return, with the benefit of financial assistance, if an academic plan is created to assist the student in attaining satisfactory progress.  The student would continue to be eligible for financial assistance as long as the plan specifics are being met.

Maximum Timeframe for Financial Assistance

Undergraduate students will be allowed to attempt up to 192 total credit hours, or for transfer students, 150% of the hours it is determined are needed to complete the attempted BVU degree/program at the time the student enrolls. If the attempted program is not completed within this time frame, even in situations where there has been a change of course of study, financial aid eligibility will be terminated. Appeals will be allowed on a case-by-case basis and should be made to the Office of Financial Assistance.

Students are not eligible to receive federal aid for courses which will not count towards degree completion requirements.

Students who enroll in a second degree or teacher certification may be eligible for aid and will have their academic progress calculated from the credit hours attempted beyond the first degree.

Students returning only to complete a major are not eligible for financial assistance.

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year in grants for graduate and undergraduate students to students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Graduate students are also eligible for $4,000 per year ($8,000 total). Students may receive up to $16,000 for undergraduate study and up to $8,000 for graduate study. Part-time students are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced. Students in the post-baccalaureate program are not eligible for a TEACH Grant.

If you fail to complete the four year teaching obligation you will have to repay the grant with interest. Please see a repayment chart to determine what your payments would be if you don't maintain eligibility for the grant. Interest will be charged from the date of disbursement if you do not fulfill the requirements as described.

Student Eligibility Requirements

To receive a TEACH Grant you must:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the yearly deadline, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for federal student aid.
  • Be enrolled in a program of study designated as TEACH Grant-eligible. Eligible programs are those that prepare a student to teach in a high-need area. For example, a bachelor's program with a math major could qualify for a student who intends to be a math teacher.
  • Meet one of the following academic achievement requirements
    • Score above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test (e.g. SAT, ACT, GRE, or
    • Graduate from high school with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) to receive a grant as a freshman, or
    • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) on your college coursework to receive a grant for each subsequent term. (A transfer student's cumulative college GPA will be used to determine initial eligibility. Renewal will be based on a cumulative BVU GPA.).  There is no grade point requirement for students who are current teachers or retirees from another occupation with expertise in a high-need field who are seeking a Master's Degree, as well as current or former teachers who are completing a high-quality alternative certification, such as Teach for America.
  • Complete TEACH Grant counseling
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and respond to requests by the U.S. Department of Education confirming your continuing intention to meet the teaching obligation.

TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay

Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) that will be available electronically on a Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.

Teaching Obligation

To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant with interest you must be a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low-income students. You must complete the four years of teaching within eight years of finishing the program for which you received the grant. You incur a four-year teaching obligation for each educational program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, although you may work off multiple four-year obligations simultaneously under certain circumstances. Specific definitions of these terms are included below.

Highly-Qualified Teacher

You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law.

Full-Time Teacher

You must meet the state's definition of a full time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.

High-Need Subject Areas, as we understand

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Other teacher shortage areas listed in the Department of Education's Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.

Schools Serving Low-Income Students

Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.

Documentation

You must respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation from the U.S. Department of Education, even if they seem repetitive. These requests will be sent to you while you are still in school as well as once you are out of school. You will be asked regularly to confirm that you either still intend to teach or that you are teaching as required. You must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education at the end of each year of teaching.

If you temporarily cease enrollment in your program of study or if you encounter situations that affect your ability to begin or continue teaching, you will need to stay in touch with the U.S. Department of Education to avoid your grants being converted to loans before you are able to complete your teaching obligation.

Important Reminder

Failure to complete the teaching obligation, respond to requests for information, or properly documentyour teaching service will cause the TEACH Grant to be permanently converted to a loan with interest.

Once a grant is converted to a loan it can't be converted back to a grant.

For More Information

For more information about pursuing a TEACH Grant-eligible program, contact the Registrar's Office.

For more information about receiving a TEACH Grant, contact the Office of Financial Assistance.

BVU Process to Receive Funding

These steps must be completed each year you would like to be considered for the grant.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  2. Check your academic information to ensure you are eligible
  3. Complete the Undergraduate career plans form or the Graduate career plans form letting us know what you plan to teach and that you have carefully read through the informational provided here and that you have carefully considered whether or not to pursue a TEACH Grant.
  4. Complete a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve
  5. Complete the online TEACH Grant counseling

Registration for each course must be validated by attending at least one of the first two class sessions for face-to-face courses. Validation of enrollment for hybrid courses must occur within the first week of the course. For online courses, students must be logged into the course and actively participating (including, but not limited to, submitting an academic assignment whether graded or ungraded; taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction; participating in an online discussion about academic matters; or initiating contact with an instructor to ask a question about the academic subject matter of the course) within the first seven calendar days of the start of the course. To validate enrollment for directed studies, internships, or other non-classroom experiences, students are expected to communicate with the site office and the instructor within the first week of the course. If a student is not planning on completing the requirements for directed studies, internships, or other non-classroom experiences, the student must contact the site office in writing via email or by completing an add/drop form within the first week of the term. Permission to start or add a class late requires submission of a special academic action form, which must be signed by the instructor, advisor, and enrollment manager.

Failure to obtain permission for an intentional late start or to validate enrollment in the time frame described above, will result in a student being administratively dropped from the course(s). Being administratively dropped means that no tuition charges will be accrued, and all financial aid will be returned according to regulations and policies.

Students are expected to make payment or make payment arrangements for each term prior to the first day of class.

Verification procedures are governed by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and subpart E of 34 CFR part 668. Follow this link to read a description of Buena Vista University’s procedures based on our interpretation of the regulations.

This policy will assist students who feel the need to completely withdraw from the university after a semester has begun but before its conclusion. A student is considered to be withdrawn from a credit hour program if the student does not complete all of the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete; the days in the payment period would include all the days in both terms in a semester made up of modules if the student is registered for both at the time of withdrawal.

In addition to withdrawing from a course(s), a student also has the opportunity to drop a course. It is possible to drop a course in which there has been no academic activity. It is possible for a student to drop a course(s) or for staff to drop a student through validation. There will be no charges for a dropped course. However, if a student in a modular program drops all hours in a term after having completed a prior term (all in the same semester), a Return to Title IV calculation will be required and all days in the semester will be used in the Return to Title IV calculation. If a student drops all hours in a subsequent term in a semester during the current term and completes that current term, this is not considered a withdrawal and no Return to Title IV calculation will be required.

If, on the same day, a student withdraws from all courses in the first term of a modular semester and drops all courses in a subsequent term in the same semester, all of the days in the semester will be used in the Return to Title IV calculation.

If a student who is registered for both terms in a modular semester withdraws from the first term, we will request documentation of the student’s intent to return for the second term. If the student fails to indicate their intent or indicates they will not return for the second term in that semester, the student will be considered to have withdrawn from the semester as of the withdrawal date and a return of funds calculation will be performed. If the student indicates that they will return for the second term, the student will not be considered to have withdrawn. A return of federal aid calculation will only be required if the student later does not return as indicated.

For a student who officially withdraws, the withdrawal date will be the earlier of the following (unless a later date can be documented):

  • The date the student begins the official process mentioned below, or
  • The date the student officially notifies the institution of intent to withdraw.

If a student triggers both definitions above of official withdrawal on different dates, we will use the earlier date, unless we can document academically related activity later. Academically related activity is defined as one that has been confirmed by an employee of BVU, such as taking an exam, actively logging into the coursework, turning in a class assignment, attending a study group or class, etc.

Official notification can come in written form, via telephone, in person, or through e-mail and should be made with the appropriate  BVU Site Office. This process must also be followed for withdrawal from online courses.

If a student begins but does not complete coursework for a term/semester, but does not officially withdraw as described above, they will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn. The withdrawal date for a federal aid recipient who unofficially withdraws will be the midpoint of the payment period unless a later last day of academic related activity can be documented; this date will be used in determining how much federal aid must be returned. No refund of federal aid will be required for a withdrawal that occurs after sixty percent of the payment period (which could be based on one term or two, depending on enrollment at the time of withdrawal). If an unofficial withdrawal is calculated using the 50% point of a term/semester, the date associated with the 50% point will be communicated to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS); this date will be used to determine loan repayment when necessary.

If a student unofficially withdraws, the student will be fully charged for tuition, regardless of the aid that is returned. If a student left without notification, because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as those mentioned below, the BVU  site staff might determine a withdrawal date related to those circumstances.

  • Illness
  • Accident
  • Grievous personal loss
  • Or other circumstances beyond the student's control

The appeal request should be made through the OSG site.  The student or an interested party can initiate this process.

The withdrawal date for a student that withdraws (officially or unofficially) from both terms in a modular semester will be calculated using the actual days of attendance in each term. The withdrawal date communicated to the NSLDS will be the last withdrawal date/last documented day of academic related activity. A student can rescind a withdrawal by providing a written request to a site office.

Students who cease to be academically engaged may also be administratively withdrawn.  Administrative withdrawals will be treated as an unofficial withdrawal.  The full administrative withdrawal policy can be found under the academic program policies & particulars section of the catalog.

If a student wishes to request a leave of absence instead of withdrawing, he/she should contact his/her OSG site office to begin the process.  Under this policy, a leave of absence will be treated as an official withdrawal.

If disciplinary action results in the loss of any college or college-contracted service for the student, there will be no refund of charges. Federal aid may be returned based on the Return of Title IV Funds Policy. The Office of Financial Assistance can be contacted with questions concerning the withdrawal process or the refund calculation. A copy of the Return of Title IV Funds Policy can be found in the financial assistance section of this catalog and our web site, or can be requested from the Office of Financial Assistance or the Business Office.

Master of Education Financial Aid Policies

Since your financial aid eligibility is determined by the number of hours you enroll per term/semester, you should report any change in enrollment to your graduate office. You are not eligible for Federal Direct Loan funds unless you take at least 3 hours per semester. Life experience, audit, or CLEP credit will not be acknowledged in determining financial aid eligibility.

If you plan to “skip” one or more terms and enroll for a later term during the year, be sure to notify your program director or the Office of Financial Assistance so that your aid for the later term(s) may be reserved for you. Please keep in mind that if you have a previous federal loan, your lender and/or the Department of Education will be notified that you were not a Buena Vista student for any term/semester you were not enrolled.

Federally Funded Programs

  • Be enrolled at least half-time* and as a regular student.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Sign various educational statements and submit any 
    required documentation.
  • Be current on all previously-borrowed educational loans 
  • Release FAFSA data to BVU while still enrolled

Students who withdraw completely from a course at BVU will have their tuition reduced on a percentage basis. Correspondingly, a student’s institutional aid will be returned based on their official date of withdrawal and the same percentage. The Business Office will notify the student of their final billing information after all of the appropriate adjustments have been made. Any additional fees a student accrues will not be adjusted and the student will be fully charged.

The following schedules will determine the calculation for students’ tuition for the particular courses the withdrawal applies to. Refunds are based on the official start date of the term and not the first day of class.

GPS T1 – T6 courses:

  • Prior to the end of the 4th calendar day of the term: 95% return of charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 10th calendar day of the term: 75% return of charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 15th calendar day of the term: 50% return of charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 18th calendar day of the term: 25% return of charges & institutional aid

Military Deployment Policy – Buena Vista University

The following options are applicable to a student who is a member or the spouse of a member if the member has a dependent child, of the Iowa National Guard or Reserve Forces of the United States and who is ordered to National Guard duty or federal active duty:

  1. Withdraw from the student’s entire registration and receive a full refund of tuition and mandatory fees.
  2. Make arrangements with the student’s instructors for course grades, or for incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the student’s registration shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for the courses in full.
  3. Make arrangements with only some of the student’s instructors for grades or for incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the registration for those courses shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for those courses.

Any course for which arrangements cannot be made for grades or incompletes shall be considered dropped and the tuition and mandatory fees for the course refunded.

As used in this lettered paragraph, “dependent child” means the same as defined in section 260C.14, subsection 14, paragraph ‘b’, subparagraph (2), subparagraph division (a).

Readmission following Call to Active Duty and/or Deployment

  • Upon receipt of notice from students of their intent to return to Buena Vista University, they will be promptly readmitted with the same academic status they had when last attending or when accepted for admission.
  • Additionally, students will retain the catalog rights that were in place at the time of their deployment as long as readmission is within seven years of the initial admission. If after the seven year window, current catalog requirements will be followed.

SOURCE: Iowa College Student Aid Commission, Payment Certification for the 2015-16 Academic Year Accredited Private Institution

You must reapply for financial aid each year you expect to attend Buena Vista University. Financial aid is not automatically renewable and may fluctuate from one year to the next. It is important to be aware of all deadline dates.

To calculate the amount of assistance earned by a student, BVU will first determine the percentage of assistance the student earned. The percentage of assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the period of enrollment that was completed as of and including the day the student withdrew, up to the 60 percent point in time. The percentage will be calculated using calendar days completed as of the day the student withdraws divided by the number of days in the enrollment/payment period.  All scheduled breaks of five or more days, including Saturdays and Sundays, will be taken out of the calculation. The calculated earned percentage is applied to the total amount of assistance that was disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student (allowable post withdrawal disbursements included), or on the student’s behalf, for the period of enrollment, as of the withdrawal date. If the withdrawal occurs after the 60 percent point, then the percentage of aid earned is 100 percent.

BVU must return the lesser of the unearned amount of Title IV (federal) and state aid, or an amount equal to the total institutional charges the student incurred for the enrollment period, multiplied by the unearned percentage of Title IV and state assistance (which is the complement of the earned percentage). The student is required to return federal funds when the total amount of unearned assistance exceeds the amount the school must return. The student returns the difference between the total amount of unearned assistance minus what BVU returns. However, a student is not required to return 50 percent of Title IV grant assistance received. If it is determined that a student must return federal grant assistance, the student will be given 45 days from the day the calculation is performed to submit the owed amount to, or make satisfactory arrangements with, the Buena Vista University Business Office. If payment or an arrangement for payment is not made within 45 days, the Department of Education will be notified of the overpayment and the student may face losing consideration for future financial assistance until payment is received.

The order of the return of Title IV funds will be as follows:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Other Title IV assistance for which return of funds is required

If a student or parent feels that individual circumstances warrant exceptions from stated policy, the following appeal order can be followed:

1. Accounts Receivable Manager

2. Director of Financial Assistance

3. Assistant Controller

4. Director of Business Services/Controller

5. Vice President for Business Services

6. President of Buena Vista University

Contact the Office of Student Affairs for a copy of BVU’s Leave of Absence Policy. Contact the Office of Financial Assistance for an example of a refund calculation.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS IN GRADUATE PROGRAMS 

Graduate students are required to establish and maintain an overall program cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0.  To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), graduate students must also continue to complete courses at an appropriate pace.  For full-time students in GPS the normal pace of course completion is one course per term or 6 courses (18 credits) per year. 

The Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress

  1. Cumulative grade point average

All courses completed in a graduate program at BVU are included in the analysis of academic standing. Incompletes are not a grading option. If a course is repeated, the repeat(s) will count in the CGPA calculation and the attempted hours for pace calculation. The same is true for courses from which the student withdraws. Up to 9 credits of graduate work may be transferred from other accredited institutions. Only course work with an obtained grade of B- (2.7) or better may be transferred. The student’s CGPA will not include the grades for courses completed elsewhere. 

  1. Pace and Duration of Eligibility for Financial Assistance

Full-time students who fail to complete at least 66.667% of their attempted hours will be deemed to be progressing at an unsatisfactory pace and will lose eligibility for financial aid, pending a decision on an appeal (see Appeal Process, below). Credits transferred into the BVU program will be included in the SAP pace analysis when the transfer credits are recorded in the Office of the Registrar. 

 Review Process 

  1. Academic Standing

The Committee on Graduate Academic Standing (CGAS) is composed of the Associate Dean of the Faculty as Chair, the Registrar, the Director of Financial Assistance, one Dean of a school with graduate courses, and one faculty member with Graduate Faculty status.   This committee will review students’ progress at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer or Terms 2,4,6).  Students with a CGPA lower than 3.0 will be placed on academic probation for the next semester.  Failure to achieve a CGPA of at least 3.0 by the end of the next semester will result in suspension from the program.  Students in this situation will be notified in writing by the Academic Standing Committee, as will the Office of Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office.  An appeal of suspension process is described below. 

At the end of each semester (Terms 2,4,6) the CGAS will also notify, in writing, students who are failing to meet the expected pace of course completion (66.667% of attempted courses) in their graduate program that they are in danger of being suspended if they fail to meet the required pace by the end of the next semester of attendance.  It will direct those students to their academic advisor to develop a written plan to come into full compliance with requirements for SAP. 

  1. Financial Aid Eligibility

  The committee will complete its annual review for Financial Aid Eligibility following the end of the summer semester (Term 6).  All students, including those who have been enrolled in a program for less than a full year, will be evaluated based on an analysis of courses attempted and completed to date, along with CGPA progress.  Graduate students who fail to meet the pace requirements will be suspended from their graduate program.  Students in this situation will be notified in writing by the CGAS, as will the Office of Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office.  An appeal of suspension process is described below.

Appeals Process

A student who has been suspended and has faced extenuating circumstances such as his/her injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances may appeal a suspension.  A student who wishes to appeal a suspension must consult with her/his academic advisor and/or a financial aid advisor to develop an appeal.    All appeals must be in writing and received by the chair of the CGAS within one week of notification of suspension because of an unsatisfactory CGPA or failure to maintain a satisfactory pace.  The written appeal must include and document the extenuating circumstance(s) that prevented the student from meeting the CGPA and/or pace requirements, what has changed in the student’s situation, and a plan with specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken, where those classes will be taken, what grades must be earned, and if there will be transfer work.

If the appeal with its plan is approved, the student will be allowed to continue to take classes and receive financial assistance. Students in this situation will continue to be eligible for financial assistance and to continue to take courses as long as they are meeting the standards in the plan. A student whose appeal is unsuccessful will be suspended from the academic program and will have financial aid suspended.

If a student does not appeal or an appeal is not approved, the student will be dropped, without financial liability or academic record, from any class(es) in which he/she is currently enrolled. 

If the appeal is not approved and the student has evidence of failure to follow policies or procedures or of arbitrary or capricious treatment in the appeals process, the student may further appeal to the VPAA and Dean of the Faculty.  The decision of the VPAA and Dean of the Faculty is final.

Re-establishing SAP

A previously suspended student may apply for readmission to BVU.  The application will be reviewed by the CGAS.  For an application to be successful it must include documentation of actions the student has taken to assure success upon re-entry into a program.   Neither paying for classes nor sitting out any length of time affects a student’s academic standing, so neither is sufficient to re-establish eligibility.  The appeal must also include an academic plan that would bring the student back into SAP if it were successfully followed.  The previously suspended student is strongly encouraged to consult with an academic program advisor when developing an application for readmission.

If a previously suspended student is readmitted to a graduate program, the student will be allowed to resume taking classes and will be eligible for financial assistance. The readmitted student will be on financial aid probation. The student will continue to be eligible to take classes and receive financial assistance as long as the conditions of the academic plan are being met.   Should the student fail to meet the conditions of the academic plan, the review process, above, will determine the student’s standing.

Registration for each course must be validated by attending at least one of the first two class sessions for face-to-face courses. Validation of enrollment for hybrid courses must occur within the first week of the course. For online courses, students must be logged into the course and actively participating (including, but not limited to, submitting an academic assignment whether graded or ungraded; taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction; participating in an online discussion about academic matters; or initiating contact with an instructor to ask a question about the academic subject matter of the course) within the first seven calendar days of the start of the course. To validate enrollment for directed studies, internships, or other non-classroom experiences, students are expected to communicate with the site office and the instructor within the first week of the course. If a student is not planning on completing the requirements for directed studies, internships, or other non-classroom experiences, the student must contact the site office in writing via email or by completing an add/drop form within the first week of the term. Permission to start or add a class late requires submission of a special academic action form, which must be signed by the instructor, advisor, and enrollment manager.

Failure to obtain permission for an intentional late start or to validate enrollment in the time frame described above, will result in a student being administratively dropped from the course(s). Being administratively dropped means that no tuition charges will be accrued, and all financial aid will be returned according to regulations and policies.

Students are expected to make payment or make payment arrangements for each term prior to the first day of class.

This policy will assist students who feel the need to completely withdraw from the university after a semester has begun but before its conclusion. A student is considered to be withdrawn from a credit hour program if the student does not complete all of the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete.

For a student who officially withdraws, the withdrawal date will be the earlier of the following (unless a later date can be documented):

• The date the student begins the official process mentioned below, or

• The date the student officially notifies the institution of intent to withdraw.

If a student triggers both definitions above of official withdrawal on different dates, we will use the earlier date, unless we can document academically related activity later. Academically related activity is defined as one that has been confirmed by an employee of BVU, such as taking an exam, actively logging into the coursework, turning in a class assignment, attending a study group or class, etc.

Official notification can come in written form, via telephone, in person, or through e-mail and should be made with the BVU Graduate Studies Office. This process must also be followed for withdrawal from online courses.

If a student begins but does not complete coursework for a term/semester, but does not officially withdraw as described above, they will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn. The withdrawal date for a federal aid recipient who unofficially withdraws will be the midpoint of the payment period or the last documented day of academically related activity, whichever is later. No federal aid will be returned for a withdrawal that occurs after sixty percent of the payment period (which could be based on one term or two, depending on enrollment at the time of withdrawal).  The withdrawal date will be communicated to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  This date will be used to determine loan repayment when necessary.  If an unofficial withdrawal is calculated using the 50% point of a term/semester, the date associated with the 50% point will be communicated to NSLDS.

If a student unofficially withdraws, the student will be fully charged for tuition. If a student left without notification because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as those mentioned below, the BVU Graduate Studies program staff might determine a withdrawal date related to those circumstances.

  • Illness
  • Accident
  • Grievous personal loss
  • Or other circumstances beyond the student's control

The appeal request should be made through Graduate Program staff.  The student or an interested party can initiate this process.

A student can rescind a withdrawal by providing a written request to the Graduate Program office.

The withdrawal date for a student that withdraws (officially or unofficially) from both terms in a modular semester will be calculated using the actual days of documented attendance in each term.  The withdrawal date communicated to the NSLDS will be the last withdrawal date/last documented day of academic related activity.

Students who cease to be academically engaged may also be administratively withdrawn.  Administrative withdrawals will be treated as an unofficial withdrawal.  The full administrative withdrawal policy can be found under the academic program policies and particulars section of the catalog.

If a student wishes to request a leave of absence instead of withdrawing, he/she should contact the Graduate Program office to begin the process.  Under this policy, a leave of absence will be treated as an official withdrawal.

If disciplinary action results in the loss of any college or college-contracted service for the student, there will be no refund of charges. Federal aid may be returned based on the Return of Title IV Funds/State Aid Policy. The Office of Financial Assistance can be contacted with questions concerning the withdrawal process or the refund calculation. A copy of the Return of Title IV Funds/State Aid Policy can be found in the financial assistance section of this catalog and our web site, or can be requested from the Office of Financial Assistance or the Business Office.

Master of Science in Education Financial Aid Policies

Since your financial aid eligibility is determined by the number of hours you enroll per term/semester, you should report any change in enrollment to your graduate office. You are not eligible for Federal Direct Loan funds unless you take at least 3 hours per semester. Life experience, audit, or CLEP credit will not be acknowledged in determining financial aid eligibility.

If you plan to “skip” one or more terms and enroll for a later term during the year, be sure to notify your program director or the Office of Financial Assistance so that your aid for the later term(s) may be reserved for you. Please keep in mind that if you have a previous federal loan, your lender and/or the Department of Education will be notified that you were not a Buena Vista student for any term/semester you were not enrolled.

Federally Funded Programs

  • Be enrolled at least half-time* and as a regular student.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Sign various educational statements and submit any 
    required documentation.
  • Be current on all previously-borrowed educational loans 
  • Release FAFSA data to BVU while still enrolled

Students who withdraw completely from a course at BVU will have their tuition reduced on a percentage basis. Correspondingly, a student’s institutional aid will be returned based on their official date of withdrawal and the same percentage. The Business Office will notify the student of their final billing information after all of the appropriate adjustments have been made. Any additional fees a student accrues will not be adjusted and the student will be fully charged.

The following schedules will determine the calculation for students’ tuition for the particular courses the withdrawal applies to. Refunds are based on the official start date of the term and not the first day of class.

GPS T1 – T6 courses:

  • Prior to the end of the 4th calendar day of the term: 95% return of charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 10th calendar day of the term: 75% return of charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 15th calendar day of the term: 50% return of charges & institutional aid
  • Prior to the end of the 18th calendar day of the term: 25% return of charges & institutional aid

Military Deployment Policy – Buena Vista University

The following options are applicable to a student who is a member or the spouse of a member if the member has a dependent child, of the Iowa National Guard or Reserve Forces of the United States and who is ordered to National Guard duty or federal active duty:

  1. Withdraw from the student’s entire registration and receive a full refund of tuition and mandatory fees.
  2. Make arrangements with the student’s instructors for course grades, or for incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the student’s registration shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for the courses in full.
  3. Make arrangements with only some of the student’s instructors for grades or for incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the registration for those courses shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for those courses.

Any course for which arrangements cannot be made for grades or incompletes shall be considered dropped and the tuition and mandatory fees for the course refunded.

As used in this lettered paragraph, “dependent child” means the same as defined in section 260C.14, subsection 14, paragraph ‘b’, subparagraph (2), subparagraph division (a).

Readmission following Call to Active Duty and/or Deployment

  • Upon receipt of notice from students of their intent to return to Buena Vista University, they will be promptly readmitted with the same academic status they had when last attending or when accepted for admission.
  • Additionally, students will retain the catalog rights that were in place at the time of their deployment as long as readmission is within seven years of the initial admission. If after the seven year window, current catalog requirements will be followed.

SOURCE: Iowa College Student Aid Commission, Payment Certification for the 2015-16 Academic Year Accredited Private Institution

You must reapply for financial aid each year you expect to attend Buena Vista University. Financial aid is not automatically renewable and may fluctuate from one year to the next. It is important to be aware of all deadline dates.

To calculate the amount of assistance earned by a student, BVU will first determine the percentage of assistance the student earned. The percentage of assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the period of enrollment that was completed as of and including the day the student withdrew, up to the 60 percent point in time. The percentage will be calculated using calendar days completed as of the day the student withdraws divided by the number of days in the enrollment/payment period. Interim will be included with the Spring semester when appropriate. All scheduled breaks of five or more days, including Saturdays and Sundays, will be taken out of the calculation. The calculated earned percentage is applied to the total amount of assistance that was disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student (allowable post withdrawal disbursements included), or on the student’s behalf, for the period of enrollment, as of the withdrawal date. If the withdrawal occurs after the 60 percent point, then the percentage of aid earned is 100 percent.

BVU must return the lesser of the unearned amount of Title IV (federal) and state aid, or an amount equal to the total institutional charges the student incurred for the enrollment period, multiplied by the unearned percentage of Title IV and state assistance (which is the complement of the earned percentage). The student is required to return federal funds when the total amount of unearned assistance exceeds the amount the school must return. The student returns the difference between the total amount of unearned assistance minus what BVU returns. However, a student is not required to return 50 percent of Title IV grant assistance received. If it is determined that a student must return federal grant assistance, the student will be given 45 days from the day the calculation is performed to submit the owed amount to, or make satisfactory arrangements with, the Buena Vista University Business Office. If payment or an arrangement for payment is not made within 45 days, the Department of Education will be notified of the overpayment and the student may face losing consideration for future financial assistance until payment is received.

The order of the return of Title IV funds will be as follows:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Subsidized Direct Loans
  • Perkins Loan
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Pell Grants
  • FSEOG
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Other Title IV assistance for which return of funds is required

If a student or parent feels that individual circumstances warrant exceptions from stated policy, the following appeal order can be followed:

1. Accounts Receivable Manager

2. Director of Financial Assistance

3. Assistant Controller

4. Director of Business Services/Controller

5. Vice President for Business Services

6. President of Buena Vista University

Contact the Office of Student Affairs for a copy of BVU’s Leave of Absence Policy. Contact the Office of Financial Assistance for an example of a refund calculation.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS IN GRADUATE PROGRAMS 

Graduate students are required to establish and maintain an overall program cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0.  To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), graduate students must also continue to complete courses at an appropriate pace.  For full-time students in GPS the normal pace of course completion is one course per term or 6 courses (18 credits) per year. 

The Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress

  1. Cumulative grade point average

All courses completed in a graduate program at BVU are included in the analysis of academic standing. Incompletes are not a grading option. If a course is repeated, the repeat(s) will count in the CGPA calculation and the attempted hours for pace calculation. The same is true for courses from which the student withdraws. Up to 9 credits of graduate work may be transferred from other accredited institutions. Only course work with an obtained grade of B- (2.7) or better may be transferred. The student’s CGPA will not include the grades for courses completed elsewhere. 

  1. Pace and Duration of Eligibility for Financial Assistance

Full-time students who fail to complete at least 66.667% of their attempted hours will be deemed to be progressing at an unsatisfactory pace and will lose eligibility for financial aid, pending a decision on an appeal (see Appeal Process, below). Credits transferred into the BVU program will be included in the SAP pace analysis when the transfer credits are recorded in the Office of the Registrar. 

 Review Process

  1. Academic Standing

The Committee on Graduate Academic Standing (CGAS) is composed of the Associate Dean of the Faculty as Chair, the Registrar, the Director of Financial Assistance, one Dean of a school with graduate courses, and one faculty member with Graduate Faculty status.   This committee will review students’ progress at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer or Terms 2,4,6).  Students with a CGPA lower than 3.0 will be placed on academic probation for the next semester.  Failure to achieve a CGPA of at least 3.0 by the end of the next semester will result in suspension from the program.  Students in this situation will be notified in writing by the Academic Standing Committee, as will the Office of Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office.  An appeal of suspension process is described below. 

At the end of each semester (Terms 2,4,6) the CGAS will also notify, in writing, students who are failing to meet the expected pace of course completion (66.667% of attempted courses) in their graduate program that they are in danger of being suspended if they fail to meet the required pace by the end of the next semester of attendance.  It will direct those students to their academic advisor to develop a written plan to come into full compliance with requirements for SAP. 

  1. Financial Aid Eligibility

  The committee will complete its annual review for Financial Aid Eligibility following the end of the summer semester (Term 6).  All students, including those who have been enrolled in a program for less than a full year, will be evaluated based on an analysis of courses attempted and completed to date, along with CGPA progress.  Graduate students who fail to meet the pace requirements will be suspended from their graduate program.  Students in this situation will be notified in writing by the CGAS, as will the Office of Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office.  An appeal of suspension process is described below.

Appeals Process

A student who has been suspended and has faced extenuating circumstances such as his/her injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances may appeal a suspension.  A student who wishes to appeal a suspension must consult with her/his academic advisor and/or a financial aid advisor to develop an appeal.    All appeals must be in writing and received by the chair of the CGAS within one week of notification of suspension because of an unsatisfactory CGPA or failure to maintain a satisfactory pace.  The written appeal must include and document the extenuating circumstance(s) that prevented the student from meeting the CGPA and/or pace requirements, what has changed in the student’s situation, and a plan with specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken, where those classes will be taken, what grades must be earned, and if there will be transfer work.

If the appeal with its plan is approved, the student will be allowed to continue to take classes and receive financial assistance. Students in this situation will continue to be eligible for financial assistance and to continue to take courses as long as they are meeting the standards in the plan. A student whose appeal is unsuccessful will be suspended from the academic program and will have financial aid suspended.

If a student does not appeal or an appeal is not approved, the student will be dropped, without financial liability or academic record, from any class(es) in which he/she is currently enrolled. 

If the appeal is not approved and the student has evidence of failure to follow policies or procedures or of arbitrary or capricious treatment in the appeals process, the student may further appeal to the VPAA and Dean of the Faculty.  The decision of the VPAA and Dean of the Faculty is final.

Re-establishing SAP

A previously suspended student may apply for readmission to BVU.  The application will be reviewed by the CGAS.  For an application to be successful it must include documentation of actions the student has taken to assure success upon re-entry into a program.   Neither paying for classes nor sitting out any length of time affects a student’s academic standing, so neither is sufficient to re-establish eligibility.  The appeal must also include an academic plan that would bring the student back into SAP if it were successfully followed.  The previously suspended student is strongly encouraged to consult with an academic program advisor when developing an application for readmission.

If a previously suspended student is readmitted to a graduate program, the student will be allowed to resume taking classes and will be eligible for financial assistance. The readmitted student will be on financial aid probation. The student will continue to be eligible to take classes and receive financial assistance as long as the conditions of the academic plan are being met.   Should the student fail to meet the conditions of the academic plan, the review process, above, will determine the student’s standing.

Registration for each course must be validated by attending at least one of the first two class sessions for face-to-face courses. Validation of enrollment for hybrid courses must occur within the first week of the course. For online courses, students must be logged into the course and actively participating (including, but not limited to, submitting an academic assignment whether graded or ungraded; taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction; participating in an online discussion about academic matters; or initiating contact with an instructor to ask a question about the academic subject matter of the course) within the first seven calendar days of the start of the course. To validate enrollment for directed studies, internships, or other non-classroom experiences, students are expected to communicate with the site office and the instructor within the first week of the course. If a student is not planning on completing the requirements for directed studies, internships, or other non-classroom experiences, the student must contact the site office in writing via email or by completing an add/drop form within the first week of the term. Permission to start or add a class late requires submission of a special academic action form, which must be signed by the instructor, advisor, and enrollment manager.

Failure to obtain permission for an intentional late start or to validate enrollment in the time frame described above, will result in a student being administratively dropped from the course(s). Being administratively dropped means that no tuition charges will be accrued, and all financial aid will be returned according to regulations and policies.

Students are expected to make payment or make payment arrangements for each term prior to the first day of class.

This policy will assist students who feel the need to completely withdraw from the university after a semester has begun but before its conclusion.A student is considered to be withdrawn from a credit hour program if the student does not complete all of the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete; the days in the payment period would include all the days in both terms in a semester made up of modules if the student is registered for both at the time of withdrawal.

In addition to withdrawing from a course(s), a student also has the opportunity to drop a course.  It is possible to drop a course in which there has been no academic activity.  It is possible for a student to drop a course(s) or for staff to drop a student through validation.  There will no charges for a dropped course.  However, if a student in a modular program drops all hours in a term after having completed a prior term (all in the same semester), a Return to Title IV calculation will be required and all days in the semester will be used in the Return to calculation.  If a student drops all hours in a subsequent term in a semester during the current term and completes that current term, this is not considered a withdrawal and no Return to Title IV calculation will be required.

If, on the same day, a student withdraws from all courses in the first term of a modular semester and drops all courses in a subsequent term in the same semester, all of the days in the semester will be used in the Return to Title IV calculation.

If a student who is registered for both terms in a modular semester withdraws from the first term, we will request documentation of the student's intent to return for the second term.  If the student fails to indicate their intent or indicates they will not return for the second term in that semester, the student will be considered to have withdrawn from the semester as of the withdrawal date and a return of funds calculation will be performed.  If the student indicates that they will return for the second term, the student will not be considered to have withdrawn.  A return of federal aid calculation will only be required if the student later does not return as indicated.

For a student who officially withdraws, the withdrawal date will be the earlier of the following (unless a later date can be documented):

• The date the student begins the official process mentioned below, or

• The date the student officially notifies the institution of intent to withdraw

If a student triggers both definitions above of official withdrawal on different dates, the university will use the earlier date, unless a later academically related activity can be documented. An academically related activity is defined as one that has been confirmed by an employee of BVU, such as taking an exam, actively logging into the coursework, turning in a class assignment, attending a study group, etc.

Official notification can come in written form, via telephone, in person, or through e-mail. If a graduate student finds the need to completely withdraw within a semester, the withdrawal process should be initiated with the Office of Graduate Studies.  This process must also be followed for withdrawal from online courses.

If a student begins but does not complete coursework for a term/semester, but does not officially withdraw as described above, they will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn.  The withdrawal date for a federal aid recipient who unofficially withdraws will be the midpoint of the payment period unless a later last day of academic related activity can be documented; this date will be used in determining how much federal aid must be returned.  No refund of federal aid will be required for a withdrawal that occurs after sixty percent of the payment period (which could be based on one term or two, depending on enrollment at the time of withdrawal).  The withdrawal date will be communicated to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  This date will be used to determine loan repayment when necessary.  If an unofficial withdrawal is calculated using the 50% point of a term/semester, the date associated with the 50% point will be communicated to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

If a student unofficially withdraws, he/she will be fully charged for tuition, regardless of any aid that is returned. If a student left without notification because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as those mentioned below, BVU might determine a withdrawal date related to those circumstances. In addition, a withdrawal date determination can be appealed for extenuating circumstances such as:

• Illness.

• Accident.

• Grievous personal loss.

• Or other circumstances beyond the student’s control.

The appeal request should be made through, and will be approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. The student or an interested party can initiate this process.

A student can rescind a withdrawal by providing a written request to the Office of Graduate Studies.

The withdrawal date for a student that withdraws (officially or unofficially) from both modules in a modular semester will be calculated using the actual days of attendance in each term.  The withdrawal date communicated the the NSLDS will be the last withdrawal date/last documented day of academic related activity in the semester.

Students who cease to be academically engaged may also be administratively withdrawn. Administrative withdrawals will be treated as an unofficial withdrawal. The full administrative withdrawal policy can be found under the academic program policies & particulars section of the catalog.

If a student wishes to request a leave of absence instead of withdrawing, he/she should contact the Office of Graduate Studies to begin that process. Under this policy, a leave of absence will be treated as an official withdrawal.

If disciplinary action results in the loss of any college or college-contracted service for the student, there will be no refund of charges.  Federal aid may be returned based on the Return of Title IV Funds Policy. 

The Office of Financial Assistance can be contacted with questions concerning the withdrawal process or the refund calculation.