Financial Aid: Policies
|Important Financial Aid Deadlines|
|March 1||Institutional deadline to submit the FAFSA application to the federal government for next year's financial aid|
|April 15||Verification students submit IRS tax transcripts and W-2 forms to Student Financial Services|
|May 1||Priority loan application deadline for the summer term|
|July 1||Priority loan application deadline for the upcoming academic year|
FAFSA applications may be chosen by the federal government for verification. Students selected for verification are notified on their FAFSA results or Student Aid Report (SAR) by the federal government. Students should review the comment section of their SAR three to five days after filing their FAFSA to determine if they have been chosen for the federal verification process. SAIC also notifies students by sending a letter and lists the requirements on the student’s “To Do List” in SAIC Self-Service. Loans and work-study cannot be processed, and aid may not be disbursed to a student’s account until verification is complete and any data conflicts are resolved.
Students chosen for verification must submit to the Student Financial Services office a Verification Worksheet and submitted with IRS tax transcripts and W-2 forms as applicable.
Incomplete forms cannot be processed. Verification must be completed by June 30 of the award year or 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment, whichever is earlier. A student who fails to submit a copy of the filed tax return or alternative documents before the documentation deadline is ineligible for federal student aid (FSA) funds and is required to repay any aid disbursed.
Return to Title IV Funds (R2T4)—Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy
(fall, spring, and 12-week summer session)
The Student Financial Services office recalculates federal* financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a semester.
Recalculation is based on the percent of earned aid using the following formula:
Percent earned = Number of days completed up to the withdrawal date**/total days in the semester
Federal financial aid is returned to the federal government based on the percent of unearned aid using the following formula:
Aid to be returned = (100 percent – percent earned) X the amount of aid disbursed toward institutional charges.
When aid is returned, the student may owe a balance to SAIC. The student should contact Student Financial Services to make arrangements to pay the balance.
* Federal financial aid includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized, and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans.
** “Withdrawal Date” is defined as the actual date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process, the student’s last date of recorded attendance, or the midpoint of the semester for a student who leaves without notifying the institution.
Return To Title IV Funds (R2T4)—Summer Module Session Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy
(For Module Sessions other than 12 weeks in length)
New regulations known as the Program Integrity Rules, issued October 29, 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education have changed the circumstances under which we must consider an SAIC student to have withdrawn from the summer term for purposes of federal Title IV financial aid. This policy addresses those circumstances and related rules. The summer term is subject to federal Title IV financial aid withdrawal rules that differ from those rules for other terms because the summer term is offered in modules. A module is a course that does not span the entire length of a term. The summer term is 12 weeks long, and summer term course are offered in sessions that are three weeks, six weeks, nine weeks and twelve weeks long. For purposes of this policy, three-, six-, and nine-week sessions are referred to as module sessions. If a student enrolls in at least one module session during the summer term, then the student is subject to this policy. If a student enrolls only in courses in the 12-week session, i.e., enrolls in no module sessions, the student is subject to the same Return To Title IV Funds Policy that applies during the fall and spring terms and is not subject to this policy.
Federal Title IV financial aid includes the following programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loan. This policy is separate from the academic withdrawal policy related to tuition adjustment. This policy is also separate from the Return To Title IV Funds—Student Withdrawal Policy that applies to the fall and spring terms.
For purposes of this policy, the withdrawal date is defined as the actual date the student began SAIC's withdrawal process. If the student does not officially withdraw, then the withdrawal date is the student’s last date of documented attendance in an academically related activity or the midpoint of the semester.
a student who is enrolled in at least one module session during the summer term will be considered to have withdrawn for R2T4 purposes and to require a withdrawal calculation if the student does not complete all the days in the summer term that the student was scheduled to complete based on course registrations. For example, the following scenarios would require SAIC to treat a student as a R2T4 withdrawal except as explained further below:
- A student begins attendance in one or more courses in a Module Session, but ceases to attend or fails to begin to attend all courses that the student was scheduled to attend in that module session
- A student completes attendance in one or more courses in a module session in the summer term but drops all courses in a future module session in that summer term after completion of the earlier module session courses.
SAIC will not treat a student as a R2T4 withdrawal for purposes of this policy if the student provides to SAIC at the time of withdrawal a written confirmation that the student will attend a course in a module session that begins later in the summer term. Please contact Student Financial Services for information about how to provide such written confirmation.
If SAIC determines that a student has withdrawn for purposes of this policy, SAIC must perform a calculation that determines a withdrawal date and what percentage of the summer term up until that withdrawal date had occurred. that percentage is equal to the same percentage of federal title iv financial aid that the student remains eligible to receive.
By way of example, the following scenarios will not require a R2T4 withdrawal calculation:
- A student drops courses in module sessions that are scheduled to begin later in the summer term while still attending an earlier module session course.
- A student withdraws from all module session courses in progress and the student submits to SAIC at the time of withdrawal from the courses in progress written confirmation of intent to attend future course(s) in module sessions in the same summer term. Note: if written confirmation is not received from the student, a withdrawal calculation will be performed within 14 days of completion of the module session course(s) in progress at the time of withdrawal.
Even if SAIC is not required to treat a student as withdrawn for academic purposes, SAIC may be required to recalculate a student’s federal Title IV financial aid eligibility based on any changes in enrollment since the student’s original aid award was made. In addition, if a withdrawn student, as outlined above, returns to SAIC during one of the remaining module session courses, the student is treated as though he or she did not cease attendance and SAIC will undo the R2T4 withdrawal calculation and review and adjust financial aid as necessary. SAIC may be required to adjust the student’s federal Title IV financial aid award based on any changes in enrollment since the student’s original award was made.
Listed below is the formula for calculating R2T4 withdrawals.
The amount to be returned to the Title IV financial aid programs is based on the percent of earned aid using the following formula:
- Percent earned = Number of calendar days competed in the summer term up to the withdrawal date divided by the total number of calendar days in the summer term.
Federal aid is returned to the federal government based on the percent of unearned aid using the following formula:
- Aid to be returned = (100 percent minus the percent earned) multiplied by the original amount of federal aid award.
When aid is returned the student may owe a balance to SAIC. The student should contact Student Financial Services to make arrangements to pay the balance.
SAIC recommends that students meet with Student Financial Services before dropping or withdrawing from any summer term courses once the term has begun to determine the affect such action may have on eligibility for federal Title IV financial aid.
Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Student Financial Services office.
Students are encouraged to officially withdraw per the SAIC policies listed in the Bulletin in order to have their records processed as accurately as possible. In such cases where students do not officially withdraw, they may be considered an unofficial withdrawal.
Federal financial aid regulations state that a student who has federal aid and receives failing grades in all courses for a semester must be considered an unofficial withdrawal unless the institution can document that the student engaged in some academic activity beyond the 60 percent point of that semester.
Each semester, the Registration and Records office will review these students to determine if they must be considered an unofficial withdrawal. Final determination must be made within 30 days after the last day of the semester.
If the student is determined to be an unofficial withdrawal, the Student Financial Services office is required to perform a repayment calculation to ascertain the amount of federal financial aid which was “unearned” by that student for the period for which no activity can be documented and, therefore, must be returned to the federal aid programs (excluding Federal Work-Study).
This is documented in the Return of Funds Policy listed in the Bulletin. For any student for whom the last date of academic activity cannot be documented as occurring on or after the 60 percent point of semester, the withdrawal date will be considered the midpoint (50 percent) of the semester unless documented otherwise. The result is 50 percent of their federal aid is unearned and must be returned to the federal aid programs. This may result in a balance due on the student’s account and is the student’s responsibility. Any adjustments made will appear on their next invoice.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Program Integrity Regulations passed on October 29, 2010, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive federal financial aid.
Therefore, to be eligible to receive Title IV financial aid funds, including Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Direct Loan Programs (Stafford, PLUS, and Grad PLUS), students must meet SAIC's financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards (FASAP).
SAIC will also use FASAP to determine a student's eligibility to receive SAIC need-based financial aid. Below you will find SAIC's Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress plans for undergraduate students and graduate and certificate students. It is important to note that FASAP is calculated separately from academic good standing. Students are responsible for being familiar with both of these policies. Students who do are not in good standing and are placed on suspension are ineligible to receive financial aid but may, however, appeal their status as in written in the FASAP Policy. Questions can be directed to Academic Advising or Student Financial Services as appropriate.
Degree-seeking students who are recipients of need-based financial aid should note the following:
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires institutions of higher education participating in the administration of educational loan programs to develop and publish a code of conduct that prohibits conflicts of interest for financial aid personnel. In compliance with this law, the Art Institute of Chicago d/b/a the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) adopted this Financial Aid Code of Conduct. Any SAIC officer, employee, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to student financial aid must comply with this Financial Aid Code of Conduct as set forth below.
- Ban on revenue sharing arrangements
SAIC shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender. SAIC shall not accept any fee or other material benefit in exchange for recommending a lender to its students.
- Gift ban
No SAIC officer, employee or agent with student financial aid responsibilities shall solicit or accept a gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of educational loans. For purposes of this prohibition, the term "gift" means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount, but does not include:
- standard materials, activities or programs on issues related to a loan or financial literacy, such as a brochure, a workshop or training;
- food, refreshments, training or informational materials furnished to an SAIC officer, employee or agent as an integral part of a training session that is designed to improve SAIC's services;
- favorable terms, conditions or borrower benefits provided to a student employed by SAIC if comparable terms are provided to all SAIC students;
- entrance and exit counseling services provided to borrowers as long as SAIC's staff is in control of the counseling and the counseling does not promote one specific lender;
- philanthropic contributions to an institution unrelated to educational loans; and
- state educational grants, scholarships or financial funds administered on behalf of a state.
- Contracting arrangements prohibited
A SAIC officer, employee or agent with student financial aid responsibilities shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender any fee, payment, other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to educational loans.
- Interaction with borrowers
SAIC shall not automatically assign a particular lender to any first-time borrower and shall not refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrower's selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
- Prohibition on offers of funds for private loans
SAIC shall not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private educational loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, in exchange for SAIC providing the lender with a specified number or volume of federal loans or a preferred lender arrangement for such loans.
- Ban on staffing assistance
SAIC shall not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or Student Financial services Office staffing. Lenders, however, may provide professional development training to financial aid administrators, educational advising materials to borrowers provided that the materials disclose that the lender prepared them, or assistance in short-term, non-recurring state or federally-declared natural disasters.
- Advisory board compensation
All employees with financial aid responsibilities shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from a lender or guarantor in return for service on its advisory board except that an employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in such service.
Violations of this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action, up to and including, termination of employment.
- Complaints and concerns
Any person may submit a complaint or concern about matters covered by this Code of Conduct by:
- Leaving a message on the complaints hotline at 443.3320; or
- Writing to SAIC's General Counsel at the following address: General Counsel – Attn: Complaints, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603; or
- Writing to the Chairman of the Art Institute's Audit Committee at the following address: Chair, Audit Committee – Attn: Complaints, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603
Any complaint or concern received will be handled as set forth in the Art Institute of Chicago's Whistleblower Policy.