Sep 27, 2022  
2021-2022 College Catalog 
  
2021-2022 College Catalog

Financial Aid Operations


INTRODUCTION

LOAN DEFERMENTS

COST OF ATTENDANCE AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE 

STUDENT FINANCIAL AID RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

FEDERAL PELL GRANT

VERIFICATION POLICY

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)

ATTENDED ANOTHER SCHOOL/OVERLAPPING FINANCIAL AID

FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS)

MILITARY EDUCATION BENEFITS

FEDERAL SUBSIDIZED DIRECT LOAN

YELLOW RIBBON

FEDERAL UNSUBSIDIZED DIRECT LOAN

INSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS

FEDERAL DIRECT PARENT PLUS LOAN

PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS

STATE AWARDS

RESIDENCY IN STATES OTHER THAN MASSACHUSETTS

TREATMENT OF STUDENT FEDERAL AID WHEN A STUDENT WITHDRAWS 

STIPENDS/CREDIT BALANCES

ENTRANCE COUNSELING

STUDY AT ANOTHER INSTITUTION OR STUDY ABROAD

EXIT COUNSELING

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)

FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT PLANS

 

 

 

 


Financial Aid Operations

INTRODUCTION

Bay State College is certified by the U.S. Department of Education as being eligible to participate in the Federal Pell Grant program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program, the Federal Direct Loan program, and the Federal Work Study program. The following sections detail the policies related to financial aid programs. Federal regulations that govern the administration of federal aid programs are subject to change. Notification of any regulatory changes will be provided to all students prior to the effective date of the new or revised policy.

COST OF ATTENDANCE AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE 

The mission of the Office of Student Financial Services is to assist students and their families in affording the cost of a college education. This is accomplished through the awarding of various federal, state, and institutional scholarships, grants, loans, and student work-study. The goal of this office is to provide students with a supportive and comfortable environment where counselors are willing to work with students and families to obtain the necessary funds needed to attend the College. Regardless of family income, students are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Many factors are taken into consideration in the awarding process, including financial need, academic achievement, and filing deadlines. Both need-based and merit-based aid are awarded. It is the intent of the College to meet as much of a student’s financial need as available funds will permit. 

To determine eligibility, a student should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. 

The financial information reported on the FAFSA determines the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an index number that colleges use to determine how much financial aid you’re eligible to receive. Your EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law and the information from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

The EFC factors in your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security). Your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year are also considered. 

Your EFC isn’t the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, and it isn’t the amount of federal student aid you’ll receive. 

Bay State College institutional funds are available to students enrolled in at least nine credits and are prorated if enrollment is less than full-time. Most Bay State funds are adjusted to reflect the student’s enrollment status on the 60th day of each semester. The student’s account must be in good financial standing to be eligible. Due to limited institutional funds, students are asked to meet the annual priority deadline of March 31st.  

All Financial Aid Awards are subject to change based on Federal, State, and Institutional guidelines and cannot be used for courses that are not a part of a student’s program flow sheet. For more information, including a list of all available funding sources and a breakdown of tuition and fees, please visit the College’s website or Student Portal. 

FEDERAL PELL GRANT

A Federal Pell Grant is gift assistance that does not have to be repaid. A Federal Pell Grant is offered to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.

Annually, the US Department of Education determines student eligibility for this grant. For the 2021-22 years, the minimum grant for a full academic year for an eligible student is $650 and the maximum grant is $6,495.

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years (12 semesters) of Federal Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant funding, you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Federal Pell Grant. Students may view their percentage of Federal Pell Grant used by logging on to StudentAid.gov. The “Lifetime Eligibility Used” percentage will be displayed in the “Grants” section under “Pell Grant History”. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) determined and keeps track of your Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility percentage used.

If you have additional questions regarding your Federal Pell Grant eligibility or the remainder you have left, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is gift assistance that does not have to be repaid. FSEOG may be offered from limited funds to undergraduate students in their first and final year who have an exceptional financial need as determined by the US Department of Education. Students with an EFC of zero and Pell-eligible recipients may be offered FSEOG. The maximum annual financial aid offer varies based on available funding which varies year to year.

FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS)

Federal Work-Study provides subsidized part-time employment for undergraduate students with financial need, giving them an opportunity to earn money to help cover their education expenses, such as tuition and books and transportation, as well as providing them with positions that complement their education programs or career goals, whenever possible. To be eligible for work-study employment, students must be in good academic standing and enrolled or accepted for enrollment.  The Office of Financial Aid provides as many work-study positions as funding allows. Please note that students cannot earn federal work-study funds during their scheduled class hours.

FEDERAL SUBSIDIZED DIRECT LOAN

The Federal Subsidized Direct Loan program provides low-interest loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program. Eligibility for this need-based loan is determined by the federal formula as calculated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for undergraduate students who are attending at least half time (six credits per SEMESTER).

·   The maximum annual loan amount for the first academic year (grade level 01) is $3,500, less the loan fee and other fees (if applicable).

·   The maximum Federal Subsidized Direct Loan for grade level 02 is $4,500.

·   This loan is capped at $5,500 each for undergraduate grade levels 03, 04, and 05.

·   Interest does not accrue during periods of enrollment and grace.

·   Payments are not required while enrolled at least half time or during the grace period, which is six months after the student leaves school.

·   The minimum payment amount is $50 per month if the loan can be paid in full in 10 years.

·   Federal Subsidized Direct Loans provide many flexible repayment plans, including a plan which takes into consideration the student’s ability to make payments.

·   Interest rates are determined each spring for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

·   Borrowers who have other outstanding Federal Direct Loans may be eligible to consolidate these into one loan payment.

·   Aggregate (lifetime) Federal Subsidized Direct Loan limits are $23,000 for undergraduate loans.

All Undergraduate Programs

Grade Level           Units

1                              0 to 30

2                              31 to 60

3                              61 to 90

4                              91 to 120

On July 6, 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Public Law 112-141) was enacted. MAP-21 added a new provision to the Federal Direct Loan statutory requirements (see HEA section 455(q)) that limits a first-time borrower’s eligibility for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower’s educational program. Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150 percent limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans. Note: Only first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, are subject to the new provision. Generally, a first-time borrower is one who did not have an outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or on a FFEL Program Loan on July 1, 2013.

The student loan borrower is responsible for knowing the total amount of federal loans borrowed. All information submitted for the purpose of securing a Title IV, HEA loan, will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions. Go to  StudentAid.gov to view your aid summary.

FEDERAL UNSUBSIDIZED DIRECT LOAN

The Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan program provides William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan eligibility for students in addition to their subsidized loans and those who do not qualify for a full or partial Federal Subsidized Direct Loan based on their calculated financial need and who are attending at least half time (6 credits per semester). Additionally:

·   All undergraduate eligible students may qualify for a $2,000 Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan.

·   Independent undergraduate students and certain dependent undergraduate students may borrow additional unsubsidized amounts up to $4,000 per year for the first and second academic years (grade levels 01 and 02) and $5,000 per year for undergraduate grade levels 03, 04, and 05.

·   Aggregate (lifetime) Federal Direct Loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans combined are $31,000 for dependent undergraduates and $57,500 for independent undergraduates (only $23,000 may be subsidized).

·   Interest rates are determined each spring for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

Interest accrued during in-school and deferment periods is not subsidized for these loans, and the borrower is responsible to pay the interest. However, these interest payments can be added to the principal and repaid when the loan enters repayment. Students who are interested in making interest payments while in school should contact the Federal Direct Loan servicer. Repayment semesters are the same as the Federal Subsidized Direct Loan except as noted above for in-school and deferment periods.

Creditworthiness is not a requirement to obtain a Federal Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized). Under this program, students may borrow up to their maximum annual loan limit every award year. Loan funds can be used to cover direct education costs such as tuition and fees, room, and board, as well as indirect costs such as travel to and from school, books, and other education-related expenses. Federal Direct Loans borrowed while enrolled at another institute may impact a student’s loan eligibility at Bay State College. Before any funds are disbursed, students must read important disclosure information regarding their student loan(s). The disclosure statement provides information about the Direct Subsidized Loan and/or Direct Unsubsidized Loan that Bay State College plans to disburse (pay out) by crediting the student’s school account, paying the student directly, or both. There is also a Plain Language Disclosure that will explain the semesters of the loan(s).

Students are encouraged to keep a copy of all disclosures for their records. All information submitted for the purpose of securing a federal student loan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions. The student loan borrower is responsible for knowing the total amount of federal loans borrowed. A summary of an individual’s federal loan debt is available via the StudentAid.gov.

FEDERAL DIRECT PARENT PLUS LOAN

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan available to parents who wish to apply for additional assistance for their undergraduate dependent’s education. The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are made through the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program. The amount of the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance less other financial aid. The parent may begin making interest and principal payments 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or may contact the Federal Direct Loan servicer to defer payments until six months after the student ceases eligible enrollment. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan eligibility requires that the student be attending at least half time (6 credits per semester). Interest rates are determined each spring for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

The student loan borrower is responsible for knowing the total amount of federal loans borrowed. All information submitted for the purpose of securing a Title IV, HEA loan, will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions. Go to StudentAid.gov to view your aid summary.

STATE AWARDS

Bay State College is approved to participate in programs funded through the Massachusetts Student Aid Commission (MSAC). These grants are offered on the basis of academic achievement and financial need and can only be used at an approved Massachusetts college or university. Both programs, Mass Grant, and Part-Time Mass Grant, are renewable for up to 4 years of undergraduate study. A student must submit a FAFSA by March 2 of each applicant year to be considered for Massachusetts grants.

·   Mass Grants are offered to eligible financially needy students for tuition and fees.

·   College to apply these funds directly to any institutional charges on the Mass grant Subsistence Authorization Form.

·   Students selected for Transfer Entitlement Verification may be asked to provide proof of High School Graduation and Massachusetts residency prior to disbursement of funds.

·   The disbursed amount of a Mass tuition award in the Mass A and B programs cannot exceed the amount of tuition charged to the student per payment period/semester.

To be considered for a new Mass, a student must submit a GPA Verification Form that has been certified by a high school or college official no later than March 2 of each application year.

Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement 

The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is an online session that will allow students and parents to see how much they have borrowed, preview what their monthly payments might be, and explain concepts such as capitalization and the difference between federal and private loans.  If this is your first time accepting a federal student loan, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan. 

TREATMENT OF STUDENT FEDERAL AID WHEN A STUDENT WITHDRAWS 

The law specifies how a school must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that a student earns if he or she withdraws from the school. The Title IV programs provided at Bay State College that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs) and Federal Perkins Loans. 

When a student withdraws during a payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that the student has earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If the student received (or the school or parent received on the student’s behalf) less assistance than the amount he or she earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. If the student received more assistance than was earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or student. Approximately two weeks after his or her withdrawal, the student will receive a written statement from the College indicating which funds are impacted. This statement will identify any funds the school is required to return, funds the student may be required to return, any post-withdrawal funds for which the student may be eligible, and how to request them. It will also indicate the balance now owed to the College, if any. 

The amount of assistance that the student has earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if the student completed 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, he or she will earn 30% of the assistance originally scheduled to be received. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, he or she earns all of the assistance scheduled to be received for that period. The amount of earned assistance is determined by actual attendance. Bay State College requires all instructors to take attendance through the end of each course. The last day of positive attendance posted determines the student’s last date of attendance. This holds true for both voluntary and administrative withdrawals. 

Bay State College disburses Title IV funds approximately two weeks after the start of each semester. However, there are instances when this does not happen. Funds may be delayed due to late applications, 30-day holds for new borrowers, and other miscellaneous reasons. If a student did not receive all of the earned funds, he or she may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the College must get the student’s permission before the funds can be disbursed. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that additional debt is not incurred. The student will receive a post-withdrawal disbursement notification in writing, outlining which funds and amounts are eligible to be received. The student has 14 days from the date on the post-withdrawal disbursement notification to respond, in writing, if he or she wishes to have the federal loan funds disbursed. If the College does not receive such a response, the federal loan funds will be forfeited. In some cases, these funds may be more than what is owed on the student’s Bay State College account. It may be in the student’s best interest not to authorize a portion or all of a post-withdrawal disbursement of federal loan funds, as it may result in a refund to the student, thus increasing his or her overall student debt. The College may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges. The College needs permission from the student to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not grant permission when signing the authorization form, the funds will be returned to the student within 14 days of the post-withdrawal disbursement. However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the College to keep the funds to reduce his or her account balance with the College. There are some Title IV funds that may be scheduled that cannot be disbursed to the student once he or she withdraws due to other eligibility requirements. For example, if a student is a first-time, first-year undergraduate and has not completed the first 30 days of his or her program before withdrawing, the student will not receive any Direct Loan funds that would have been received had he or she remained enrolled past the 30th day.  

If the student (or parent on his/her behalf) receives excess Title IV funds that must be returned, the College must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of funds, or the entire amount of excess funds. 

The College must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of the student’s Title IV program funds. For example, the student’s original disbursement may have been more than what was owed on his/her account, resulting in a refund made directly to the student. After performing the calculation to determine the student’s earned eligibility after withdrawing, the school may be required to return funds that may have been initially refunded to him/her. This will create a balance that the student will owe the College. Approximately two weeks after a voluntary or administrative withdrawal from the College, this calculation is computed and the student is notified in writing. Unearned funds received by the student will be returned by the College at the same time the calculation is completed.  

If the College is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student must return the remaining amount. Bay State College returns these funds on the student’s behalf. This creates a debt owed to the College, rather than to the Department of Education. Unearned funds are returned in the following order: 

Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan 

Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan 

Direct PLUS (Parent Loan) 

Pell Grant 

FSEOG 

Any loan funds that the student must return are repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note signed by the student (or parent for a PLUS Loan). That is, the student will make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time. 

Any amount of unearned grant funds that the student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that the student must repay is half of the grant funds he or she received or was scheduled to receive. The student does not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. Bay State College returns these funds on the student’s behalf, thus resulting in a debt owed to the College.  

The requirements for the Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from the College’s general refund policy. Therefore, the student may still owe the College in order to cover unpaid charges. The College may also charge the student for any Title IV program funds that it was required to return or returned on the student’s behalf. Students are eligible for prorated tuition and fee refunds when their withdrawal dates fall within a specific time frame. This refund policy is based on the Date of Determination rather than the date the actual withdrawal is processed. The Date of Determination is the earliest date the College became aware of the student’s withdrawal. This could be 14 days after no positive attendance, or the date of an email from a student wishing to withdraw, for example. Please see the refund section of this Handbook for more information on the College’s refund policy. The requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from the College are also explained in this Handbook. A notice is sent electronically to all students annually notifying them that this Handbook has been updated. Students are also provided with the URL and the link to the Student Portal where the Handbook is located. Printed copies are available from the Student Business Center.  

If a student has any questions about his/her Title IV program funds, he or she should contact the Office of Financial Aid. Students can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TYY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available online at www.studentaid.ed.gov.  

ENTRANCE COUNSELING

First-time borrowers are required to complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling prior to receiving the first disbursement of a Federal Direct Loan. Counseling is completed online at StudentAid.gov and will help the student understand his/her rights and obligations as a student loan borrower. Loan counseling must be completed before the student can receive loan funds.

EXIT COUNSELING

Federal regulations require that students complete Exit Counseling to help them to understand the responsibilities and repayment obligation for their student loans. The US Department of Education has compiled the Exit Counseling Guide to provide a general overview of information to successfully repay the Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. For more detailed information about any of the topics covered in this guide, students should review their Master Promissory Note (MPN). Exit Counseling is also available online at StudentAid.gov or in the Office of Financial Aid. This process should be completed:

·   Before graduation

·   Before transferring to another institution

·   Before withdrawal and leaves of absence

·   If enrolled less than half time

Students should regularly check with StudentAid.gov to manage their student loan portfolio. This database shows the status of loans during repayment, the servicer of the loans, interest rates, and Outstanding Principal Balance (OPB). This database is accessible 24 hours a day and requires access with the student’s FSA ID.

FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT PLANS

Federal Direct PLUS and Stafford Loans offer several repayment plan options. Some of the options carry a lower monthly payment than standard repayment but choosing these other options extends the semester of the loan and increases the total amount of interest paid during the life of the loan.

Loan Simulator is a new tool that William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program borrowers can use to obtain preliminary repayment plan eligibility information and estimated repayment amounts. This easy-to-use tool offers borrowers the opportunity to obtain preliminary repayment information across all of the repayment plans. Its advantage over repayment plan-specific calculators is that it provides side- by-side results for all plans and information about the total cost of a loan over time. 

LOAN DEFERMENTS

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

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

Bay State College Policy: Students who seek to defer repayment of their prior student loans and do not want to rely on the electronic exchange with the NSC must fill out forms to have their enrollment status verified. Students must get the forms from their lender(s) and send them directly to:

Bay State College

Office of the Registrar

31 St. James Avenue

Boston, MA 02116

At the top of the form, students should include their enrollment start date and the semester for which they are requesting an in-school deferment.

Note: Any deferment paperwork sent to Bay State College and Office of the Registrar for enrollment verification is forwarded to the National Student Clearinghouse on a weekly basis.

STUDENT FINANCIAL AID RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Student Rights

·   Students may decline all or any part of a financial aid offer. This must be done in writing or through the student portal.

·   Students may cancel a federal loan disbursement within 14 days of the date of disbursement notification and assume responsibility for any resulting tuition account balance.

·   Students will be notified in writing of any changes to financial aid eligibility and/or offers.

·   Students may request a review of a financial aid application due to special or unusual circumstances that would change the family’s ability to pay and/or the cost of attendance. All such requests should be submitted in writing. The Request for Review of Special Circumstances Form is available from the Office of Financial Aid. Supporting documentation is required.

·   Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Bay State College will not release specific information about a financial aid offer to third parties without the student’s permission.

·   Students have the right to contact the Federal Student Financial Aid (FSA) Ombudsman to resolve issues related to student loans. More information on problem resolution and the FSA Ombudsman is provided later in this section.

·   Students may contact the Director of Financial Aid with any unresolved financial aid concerns.

Student Responsibilities

·   Students must be admitted by the Office of Admissions to a course of study leading to a degree or certificate.

·   Students must promptly attend scheduled financial aid appointments.

·   Students must provide all documentation as requested by the Office of Financial Aid to complete the file. All requested verification or confirmation documents (such as signed copies of tax returns or proof of citizenship) must be provided before Bay State College will finalize the financial aid offers.

·   Failure to provide timely documentation may jeopardize the student’s ability to start the next semester (unless cash payment is made) or may result in access to limited financial aid funds.

·   While the intent is to complete all documentation in time to receive financial aid disbursements for the immediate semester, all federally required documentation must be completed no later than the last date of attendance for that academic year. The student must report to the Office of Financial Aid any additional resources, scholarships, tuition waivers, and funding from outside agencies, etc., that may also apply.

·   Students must accept or change the offered loan amounts through their student portal.

·   Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as described in this publication.

·   Students must immediately inform Bay State College of any address changes.

·   Students must complete loan entrance counseling as requested, and loan exit counseling upon graduation, withdrawal, or enrollment in fewer than half time credits for a semester, if student is a federal loan recipient.

If a student obtains a loan to pay for an educational program, the student will have the responsibility to repaythefullamountoftheloanplusinterest,lesstheamountofanyrefund,andthat,ifthestudenthas received federal student financial aid funds, the student is entitled to a refund of the money not paid from federal student financial aid programfunds.

Student Eligibility Requirements

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

·   Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen

·   Have a high-school diploma or a GED certificate, or pass an approved ability-to-benefit (ATB) test

·   Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree

·   Register (or have registered) with the Selective Service if a male between the ages of 18 and 25

·   Have a valid social security number

·   Meet satisfactory academic progress standards

·   Not be in default on a federal student loan nor owe money on a federal student grant

·   Not exceed the lifetime aggregate or annual loan limits without documentation that the debt has been reaffirmed

A conviction for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which a student is receiving Title IV financial aid, under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV grant, loan, or work assistance.

VERIFICATION POLICY

In accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations, Bay State College is required to verify the accuracy of financial aid application information on selected students. Bay State College strongly suggests that all students who are eligible and who filed a federal tax return use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when filling out their FAFSA on the Web. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool may expedite the verification and financial aid offer process. Additional information for the verification process may include but is not limited to the following: 1040 tax returns (signed) and all schedules/ IRS tax return transcripts, W-2s, IRS verification of non-filing, official proof of High School Completion Status, identification documents, and a signed Statement of Educational Purpose.  If you are selected for verification, the documents that you will need to submit to the Office of Financial Aid will be scheduled on your myFinAid portal.  If students are required to submit their tax information, Bay State College will accept a signed 1040 tax return. If you did not retain a copy of your 1040 tax return, you can obtain an official IRS Tax Return Transcript, free of charge, through: (1) Get your tax record at www.irs.gov; (2)You’re your tax record by MAIL at www.irs.gov; (3) automated telephone request 1-800-908-9946; or (4) paper request IRS Form 4506T-EZ  www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf.  Students can obtain an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter by paper request IRS Form 4506T www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf. Once the required documents are received in the Office of Financial Aid, the normal processing time is 7-14 business days.  Participation in the verification process is not optional. If students do not complete the verification process by the end of the enrollment period, they will not be able to receive federal financial assistance for that award year.

Upon reviewing the verification documentation, Bay State College will submit corrections to the Central Processing System (CPS) if any information on the FAFSA is determined to be incorrect.  Students will be notified by their Bay State College email account if they must make a correction to their FAFSA or, as a result of completing the verification process, their expected family contribution (EFC) changes and results in a change to their financial aid offer amount.  A student whose FAFSA information is selected for verification by the Department of Education must complete the verification process before the Office of Financial Aid can make any changes to their cost of attendance (COA) or to the values of the data items required to calculate their EFC. 

Please be aware that if students intentionally misreport information and/or alter documentation for the purpose of increasing aid eligibility or fraudulently obtaining federal funds, they will be reported to the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General or to local law enforcement officials.

ATTENDED ANOTHER SCHOOL/OVERLAPPING FINANCIAL AID

Federal aid received at another institution can impact the amount of federal aid that a student may receive at Bay State College. As required by federal regulations, Bay State College participates in the federal transfer monitoring process whereby the U.S. Department of Education may take up to 90 days into the start of a student’s first semester to notify Bay State College that the student has federal aid received at another institution that overlaps into his or her enrollment dates at Bay State College.

The Office of Financial Aid may not be able to make an initial financial aid offer to a student or may have to cancel aid that has already been offered if we receive information that the student has applied for and/or received federal aid at another institution for an overlapping period. For example, if the loan period at a student’s prior institution ends even one day after his or her starting semester/semester at Bay State College the student has an overlapping period, and we must deduct aid received at the other institution from the student’s annual eligibility at Bay State College. If the loan information is not already updated on the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Origination & Disbursement (COD) website, the student may be asked by this office to have the student’s prior institution complete an Overlapping Financial Aid Form to confirm the last date of attendance and disbursed loan amounts at the prior institution.

MILITARY EDUCATION BENEFITS

Bay State College is approved to train veterans and other eligible persons under Title 38, United States Code. Bay State College follows Veteran’s Administration (VA) regulations and related military regulations in administering student financial and academic affairs for veteran and military students.

Eligible veterans and dependents as defined by the VA can be accepted for education. Eligible veterans and dependents may file an application either with Bay State College or the VA.

Veterans are subject to the same rules and regulations that govern other students. Absences and tardiness will be reported to the VA in accordance with current VA directives. The tuition and refund policies of the school are detailed later in this publication. Rules governing VA benefits/veterans and Title IV funding from the Department of Education may not be the same. Please see your VA Certifier for more details.

Bay State College maintains a written record of previous education and training of the veteran or eligible person, grants appropriate credit for equivalent coursework, clearly indicates the credit granted for transfer credits on the student record, shortens the training period proportionately, and notifies the student. Current VA directives prohibit the payment of benefits for any period of training designated as “make-up time.”

Bay State College honors the following education benefits for active-duty service members, reservists, veterans of the armed forces, spouses, and their dependents:

·   The Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB) reimburses tuition costs through an educational assistance allowance.

·   The Post-9/11 GI Bill® applies direct funds to cover a portion of costs for tuition, fees, and books.

·   Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship provides up to nine months of additional Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits (to a maximum of $30,000) to qualifying Veterans and Fry Scholars seeking an undergraduate STEM degree.

·   Active Military Tuition Assistance gives a portion of funds to cover costs of tuition and fees. This program is sponsored by the specific branch of the military you serve.

·   The Tuition Assistance Top-Up Program provides supplemental funds for tuition costs that are not covered under the Tuition Assistance program.

·   The VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program offers benefits to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

·   The Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA) offers benefits to dependents of service members who are permanently disabled due to a service-related condition or who died while on active duty.

·   The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) provides benefits to members of the Reserve called to active duty in response to a war or natural disaster.

*Only one tuition-reduction benefit may be applied to tuition at a time. For more detailed information regarding benefit programs please contact the Office of Financial Aid or visit https://www.gibill.va.gov

·   GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA).

YELLOW RIBBON

For the 2021-22 school year, Bay State College has committed to an unlimited dollar amount and an unlimited number of students in the Yellow Ribbon program. The Yellow Ribbon program is designed to assist students whose tuition and fee costs exceed the annual Post 9/11 GI Bill® limit. The VA will match Bay State College’s contribution dollar for dollar per student.

Only Veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate, as determined by service requirements, or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active-duty service members and their spouses are not eligible for this program. Child transferees of active-duty service members may be eligible if the service member is qualified at the 100 percent rate.

INSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS

All scholarships require students to be in full-time status. Renewals require good academic standing. 
Institutional aid is applied after external aid and may not exceed the total financial need. Institutional awards may be stacked for domestic students if they do not exceed a student’s financial need, with the exception of some esports scholar awards.

International students are not eligible to stack Institutional awards. Awards for International students need to be awarded after Academic Acceptance to inform the I-20 process. 

Bay State College provides merit and need-based scholarships and discounts. Please visit Bay State Scholarships-Grants to see a full active list.

PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS

The Office of Financial Aid will assist borrowers with applications for credit-based private education loan programs utilized by Bay State College students and their families. Under no circumstances does Bay State College or the Office of Financial Aid recommend one lending institution over another. It is the sole responsibility of students and their families to research and choose the loan product that best suits their needs. Students and their families may also consider other consumer loan options available through their current lending institutions. We strongly encourage students and their families to ensure that all federal educational aid program eligibility has been exhausted before considering private education loans, as these are generally more expensive and have less generous repayment semesters.

CHOOSING A PRIVATE EDUCATION LOAN

When choosing a private education loan, students should compare the loan semesters offered by several lenders to choose the best fit for their situation. A resource for finding an active private education loan

program is FastChoice. When choosing a lender, the student should make sure that Bay State College is eligible for their loan programs.

COMPARING PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS AND FEDERAL LOANS

Private education loans may have significant disadvantages when compared with federal education loans. We strongly encourage you to first borrow any federal loans for which you are eligible. Visit StudentAid.gov to review the difference between federal and private education loans.

TRUTH IN LENDING ACT (TILA)

Under the federal TILA, the lender must provide the student with the following documents: Self-Certification Form: The student must complete this form and return it to the lender before receiving the first disbursement of loan funds.

Private Education Loan Right-to-Cancel Period

After signing the promissory note, the private lender will deliver a disclosure statement to confirm the semesters and conditions of the private loan. At the time that this disclosure is delivered, the “right-to-cancel” period begins. The student may cancel a private education loan, without penalty, until midnight of the third business day following the date on which the student receives the disclosure. The student may cancel the loan by contacting the lender. The lender cannot release the first disbursement of the loan funds until the end of the right-to-cancel period.

RESIDENCY IN STATES OTHER THAN MASSACHUSETTS

Students with residency in states other than Massachusetts may contact their state education agency for additional information. Telephone numbers and links to state agency websites can be found at: https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html

STIPENDS/CREDIT BALANCES

Stipends are student refund checks issued to students showing a credit balance on their account ledger after financial aid has been posted. Post-census stipends generally become available after the add/drop period to ensure that all charges have been posted correctly to the student account. Any changes the student makes to their registered units, whether before the end of the add/drop period or through appeals after the close of

census can affect the amount of aid they receive. This can include the loss of funding and the creation of a balance the student will owe the school.

STUDY AT ANOTHER INSTITUTION OR STUDY ABROAD

Enrollment in certain programs of study at another school or study abroad approved for credit by Bay State College may be considered enrollment at the university for the purpose of applying for assistance under the Federal Title IV financial aid programs. However, students may not be eligible for some institutional funds during a semester of study abroad.

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

Students must also meet all other federal eligibility requirements. If the student is approved for a consortium agreement by Bay State College, Bay State College will disburse federal aid to the Bay State College student account and the Bursar’s Office will issue the refund to the student. The student is responsible for meeting payment deadlines set by the host school. Bay State College does not pay the host school on behalf of the student unless special arrangements are made in advance, and Bay State College does not alter the financial aid disbursement schedule to meet deadlines set by the host school.

Satisfactory Academic Progress- SAP  

Bay State College has established the following policies and procedures to fulfill the requirements outlined in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) as revised for the 2011-12 academic year. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies and procedures of Bay State College are reviewed and updated when changes at the Federal level require review to ensure compliance with Federal regulations. This policy applies to all Bay State College students. Any Bay State College students applying for Title IV Federal and other types of assistance must meet the criteria stated below regardless of whether or not they previously received any financial assistance. 

Academic progress at Bay State College is measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. To remain in good academic standing, a student must satisfy the requirements of both standards as detailed below. 

Quantitative Measurement - Academic Credits Earned by Semester 

At the end of each academic semester, students are evaluated to determine the rate of course completion, which is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits attempted. To remain in good standing a student must complete two-thirds of his/her cumulative attempted credits. Grades that are considered in the credits attempted and completed calculation of maximum credits include: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, I, IF, P, W, WF. Repeated courses are included in the evaluation. Courses completed at other institutions that have been accepted for transfer credit at Bay State College are included in this calculation as both credits earned and credits attempted. 

Students are also required to complete their academic program within a maximum timeframe defined as a period no longer than 150% of the length the program measured in credit hours.  

Qualitative Measurement - Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) 

Students are evaluated at the end of each academic semester in which they are enrolled. Students must maintain a required cumulative GPA to remain in good standing, as outlined below. Satisfactory Academic Progress is determined based on a student’s GPA for the current enrollment record, not the student’s overall cumulative GPA. Official final course grades are recorded in the Portal; grades posted in Canvas or other course websites are not considered official final grades. Students, with their Academic Advisors, monitor their cumulative GPAs to ensure that progress toward degree completion requirements is being met as follows: 

  

Cumulative Credits Attempted*  Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Met  Warning Status  Suspension Withdrawal 
0-15 credits  Cumulative GPA 1.25 or greater and attempted credits completed 67% or greater 

Cumulative GPA less than 1.25 but greater than or equal to 1.00  

OR 

Attempted credits completed less than 67% 

First semester student and cumulative GPA less than 1.0 

OR 

Prior semester in Warning status and cumulative GPA less than 1.25 

OR 

Prior semester in Warning status and attempted credits completed less than 67% 

Failure to meet requirements of Academic Plan 
16-30 credits  Cumulative GPA 1.50 or greater and attempted credits completed 67% or greater 

Prior semester in SAP Met status and cumulative GPA less than 1.50 

OR 

Prior semester in SAP Met status and attempted credits completed less than 67% 

Prior semester in Warning status and cumulative GPA less than 1.50 

OR 

Prior semester in Warning status and attempted credits completed less than 67% 

Failure to meet requirements of Academic Plan 
31-45 credits  Cumulative GPA 1.75 or greater and attempted credits completed 67% or greater 

Prior semester in SAP Met status and cumulative GPA less than 1.75 

OR 

Prior semester in SAP Met status and attempted credits completed less than 67% 

Prior semester in Warning status and cumulative GPA less than 1.75 

OR 

Prior semester in Warning status and attempted credits completed less than 67% 

Failure to meet requirements of Academic Plan 
46 credits and above  Cumulative GPA 2.00 or greater and attempted credits completed 67% or greater 

Prior semester in SAP Met status and cumulative GPA less than 2.00  

OR 

Prior semester in SAP Met status and attempted credits completed less than 67% 

Prior semester in Warning status and cumulative GPA less than 2.00 

OR 

Prior semester in Warning status and attempted credits completed less than 67% 

Failure to meet requirements of Academic Plan 

*Number of Credits attempted includes courses accepted at Bay State College as transfer credits from other institutions. 

SAP Met  

Students assigned to this status have met the quantitative and qualitative SAP requirements based on cumulative credits, as outlined in the chart above. 

Warning Status 

A student placed on Warning status, based on the qualitative and quantitative requirements outlined in the above chart, will be allowed to retain funding (Title IV, veterans’, state, institutional) for the academic semester during which the status is assigned. The student has this same time period to meet satisfactory academic progress standards.  

Suspension 

A student is assigned to this status if he/she has not met the qualitative and/or quantitative SAP requirements outlined in the chart. This policy applies to all Bay State College students. Any student placed in this category will not be eligible for any funding (Title IV, veterans’, state, institutional) during the subsequent award year unless a successful appeal is submitted and approved by the Academic Standing and Integrity Committee (ASIC). See the Appeal Process section for more information.  

Probation 

A student in Probation status has successfully appealed a suspension or administrative withdrawal to the Academic Standing and Integrity Committee and has been approved to retain funding (Title IV, veterans’, state, institutional) for the academic semester during which the status is assigned. The student has this same time period to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Students in Probation status must complete an Academic Plan with their Academic Advisor to ensure that academic deficiencies will be addressed and resolved within the timeframe specified by the plan.  

Appeal Process - SAP 

A student who was placed in Suspension status will not be allowed to return to the College without successfully appealing this academic status. Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards and have documented extenuating circumstances beyond their control may submit an SAP appeal.

Conditions that would be considered during an appeal:

·   Death of a family member - parent, guardian, spouse, sibling, or child during the academic year.

·   Serious illness or injury of student which led to a complete or partial withdrawal from course(s). The serious illness or injury of a family member (parent, guardian, spouse, sibling, or child) that required the student to be the primary caregiver and prevented the student from passing course(s).

·   Documented Extreme personal hardship or trauma in your life that impaired your emotional and/or physical health.

·   Compulsory military duty.

Appeals that will NOT be considered:

·   Appeals submitted after the established deadlines

·   Encountering a situation that could have been anticipated

·   Change of major or addition of a major or minor are not viewed as extenuating circumstances, since the standard is quite

generous in the time frame allowed to complete a degree

·   Dissatisfaction with course material, instructor, instructional method, and/or class intensity.

·   Lack of motivation

·   Participation in extracurricular activities.

·   Academic/unit overload

·  Documentation is required to be submitted in support of the appeal request. The appeal should be submitted to the Academic Standing and Integrity Committee (ASIC). The decision of the ASIC is final. The ASIC will review the appeal and if approved, the Academic Advisor or Department/Program Chair will provide the student with an Academic Plan to which the student will be bound during the next semester. The Academic Plan may require a reduced course load and/or retaking of failed courses. If the appeal is granted, the student will be reinstated in a Probationary status for the semester.