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Westfield State University    
 
    
 
  Oct 17, 2017
 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog/Handbook

Financial Aid


 

The primary purpose of the Financial Aid office at Westfield State University is to assist eligible students in meeting their educational expenses through a variety of federal, state, institutional and private programs. Assistance can be in the form of gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help programs (loans and work-study). The Financial Aid Office serves to assist students throughout the financial aid process.  For a full understanding of financial aid porgrams and policies please visit westfield.ma.edu/financialaid.

For additional information, call (413) 572-5218, e-mail financialaid@westfield.ma.edu.

Policies And Criteria

The policies and criteria for awarding financial aid are as follows:

  1. The philosophy of financial aid is that the family has the responsibility to meet as much of the educational costs of their children as is reasonably possible. Financial Aid is a supplement to the family resources.
  2. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed before March 1st in order to receive priority consideration. FAFSAs submitted after the deadline will be considered on a funds-available basis. The most efficient way to file the FAFSA is electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Before you complete the FAFSA, it is important to obtain an FSA ID. You can obtain an FSA ID at https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm and at certain ED websites. Your FSA username will never expire, but your username will expire every 18 months.
  3. In addition to the FAFSA, students may be required to submit appropriate parent and student income verification to the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Financial aid awards are not renewed automatically. Students must reapply for aid each year.

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid

Westfield State University has developed guidelines for students to maintain or re-establish eligibility to receive financial aid. Federal regulations require that Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) measure a student’s academic progress using both quantitative and qualitative measures.

  • Undergraduate students with 0-23 attempted credits must maintain a minimum gpa of 1.25.
  • Undergraduate students with 24-47 attempted credits must maintain a minimum gpa of 1.50.
  • Undergraduate students with 48+ credits must maintain a minimum gpa of 1.75.

Full-time, Day Division students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits each semester. This determination is made at the end of the ADD/DROP period. Financial aid awards are adjusted proportionately by credits carried for those in part-time attendance through the College of Graduate and Continuing Education.

Students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward an undergraduate degree by successfully completing at least 21 credits each academic year (or 10.5 credits if enrolled for one semester). The maximum time frame to complete an undergraduate degree cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program. For instance, if the published length of an academic program is 120 credit hours, the maximum time frame in which to complete the program could not exceed 180 attempted credit hours (120 x 1.5). These standards are adjusted proportionately for those students in part-time attendance through the College of Graduate and Continuing Education. Students enrolled through the College of Graduate and Continuing Education must complete 75% of enrolled credits. Students who fail to meet this requirement at the end of the spring semester will be notified by the Financial Aid Office and will be ineligible for financial aid for the next academic year. Students who are deficient in credits may use the summer following the academic year to earn additional credits in order to meet the satisfactory progress standard.

Westfield State University has two special admissions opportunities, the Learning Disabilities Program, and the Urban Education Program. Student enrolled through either program are held to a standard of 18 credits each year, or 9 credits for one semester of enrollment.

Appeal Process

Students who experience extenuating circumstances, beyond the normal demands of student life, may submit a letter of appeal. The letter must include the following:

Basis of appeal

  1. Why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress
  2. What has changed that will allow the student to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation

Appeals regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress and financial aid eligibility may be submitted in writing to the Satisfactory Academic Status Committee, attention Catherine Ryan, Director of Financial Aid. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on SAP probation for one semester and will be awarded financial aid. The financial aid award will be made on a funds-available basis. The student may be required to work with staff to develop an approach for overcoming whatever is preventing him or her from progressing academically. At the conclusion of the probationary period, the student must have regained Satisfactory Academic Progress, or have an approved plan in place, in order to receive financial aid in the subsequent term.