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 programs and policies please visit westfield.ma.edu/financialaid.
For additional information, call (413) 579-3080, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Policies And Criteria
The policies and criteria for awarding financial aid are as follows:
- 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.
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available October 1st and the priority deadline date is March 1st. Financial aid resources are limited. FAFSA’s submitted after the deadline will be processed on a funds available basis. To complete the FAFSA, go to https://studentaid.gov. The student and parent will need to create a FSA ID which serves as a legal signature. You can obtain an FSA ID at https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch.
- In addition to the FAFSA, students may be required to submit appropriate parent and student income verification to the Financial Aid Office.
- Financial aid awards are not renewed automatically. Students must reapply for aid each year.
- Students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits each semester to be considered full-time. This determination is made at the of the ADD/DROP period. Financial aid awards are adjusted proportionately for students enrolled less than full-time.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and Financial Aid
Federal regulations require that Westfield State University develop guidelines to measure a student’s academic progress. All schools are required to measure Satisfactory Academic Progress by evaluating both qualitative (grade point average) and quantitative (credits attempted) measures. The Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are cumulative and include all periods of a student’s enrollment (including periods in which a student did not receive financial aid).
In order to meet the qualitative measure, students must maintain the minimum GPA indicated below:
||Minimum Cumulative GPA
In order to meet the quantitative measure, students must successfully complete at least 67% of the courses all credits attempted during the academic year. Credits attempted include repeated courses, dropped courses, withdrawals, and incomplete courses.
The maximum timeframe 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 timeframe in which to complete the program cannot exceed 180 attempted credit hours (120 x 1.5).
The qualitative and quantitative measures are checked at the end of the Spring semester. Students who fail to meet the requirements will be notified by the Financial Aid Office and will be ineligible for financial aid for the next academic year.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process
Students who do not make Satisfactory Academic Progress may appeal their status to the Financial Aid Office. Students must demonstrate they had extenuating circumstances beyond the normal demands of student life, and may submit an appeal which must include the following elements:
- A narrative of the circumstances the student faced
- Why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress
- What has changed that will allow the student to demonstrate Satisfacroty Academic Progress at the next evaluation
If the appeal in 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 a plan for overcoming whatever is preventing them from progressing academically.
At the conclusion of the probationary period, the Financial Aid office will evaluate the student’s academic record to determine if the student has made Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students must have made Satisfactory Academic Progress or have an approved plan in place in order to receive financial aid in subsequent terms.
A student who has lost their eligibility may regain the ability to earn financial aid once they have raised their GPA to meet the standard set based on their credits attempted, or by earning credits that will allow the student to reestablish their ability to complete their program within the maximum timeframe allowed.