Clarkson College Student Financial Services professionals (including anyone working in the offices of Financial Aid, Student Accounts or Fiscal Services) is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in Student Financial Services, regardless of whether such entities are involved in government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity. In doing so, Student Financial Services professionals will ensure that:
- No action will be taken by Student Financial Services staff that is for their personal benefit or could be perceived to be a conflict of interest.
- Employees within the Student Financial Services department will not award aid to themselves or their immediate family members. Staff will reserve this task to an institutionally designated person, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
- If a preferred lender list is provided, it will be compiled without prejudice and for the sole benefit of the students attending the institution. The information included about lenders and loan terms will be transparent, complete and accurate. The complete process through which preferred lenders are selected will be fully and publically disclosed. Borrowers will not be auto-assigned to any particular lender.
- A borrower’s choice of a lender will not be denied, impeded, or unnecessarily delayed by the institution, even if that lender is not included on the institutions preferred lender list.
- No amount of cash, gift or benefit in excess of a de minimis amount shall be accepted by a Student Financial Services staff member from any financial aid applicant (or his/her family), or from any entity doing business with or seeking to do business with the institution (including service on advisory committees or boards beyond reimbursement for reasonable expenses directly associated with such service).
- Information provided by the Student Financial Services department is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
- Institutional award notification and/or other instructionally provided materials shall include the following:
- A breakdown of individual components of the institution’s Cost of Attendance, designating all potential billable charges.
- Clear identification of each award, indicating type of aid, i.e. gift aid (grant, scholarship), work or loan.
- Standard terminology and definitions, using NASFAA’s glossary of award letter terms.
- Renewal requirement for each award.
- All required consumer information is displayed in a prominent location on the institutional web site and in any printed materials easily identified and found, and labeled as “Consumer Information.”
- Student Financial Services professionals will disclose to Clarkson College any involvement, interest in, or potential conflict of interest with any entity with which the institution as a business relationship.
When a student withdraws, or ceases to attend, from all Clarkson College courses, the student may be required to return/repay a certain percentage of federal financial aid that has been or could have been disbursed. The amount of repayment required is based on formulas mandated by the U.S. Federal Government. Federal funds that may have to be returned, in order of their required return are Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Federal Subsidized Direct Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant and Federal SEOG Grant.
When a student graduates, transfers or is no longer enrolled half time at Clarkson College, the student will be responsible for repayment of all Direct loans and Federal Nursing loans. Payments will start within six (6) months of leaving for direct loans and nine (9) months for Federal Nursing Loans. A student reenrolling in another college within six (6) months after attending Clarkson who is at least a half time student may qualify for deferment of his loans while he is a student at the other college.
Federal regulations require that students attending an educational institution maintains satisfactory academic progress in the degree program s/he is pursuing in order to receive federal financial assistance. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that limited federal financial assistance is disbursed only to those students sincere about pursuing and obtaining their educational objectives. In order to comply with these federal regulations, Clarkson College has established certain standards of satisfactory academic progress. All continuing and former students who apply for financial aid must meet the academic standards listed below before federal assistance is certified and disbursed to the student. The progress for each student will be verified with official Clarkson College enrollment records at the completion of each semester. To meet satisfactory academic progress, students must comply with the following requirements, showing progression toward graduation:
Undergraduate Qualitative Standard
- An undergraduate student must maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Undergraduate Pace Standards
- An undergraduate student must successfully complete at least 66 percent of total credit hours attempted. Grades of D, F, Incomplete (I), Withdrawal (W, WF, WP) and No Pass (NP) are not considered successful. A student's transfer hours will count toward the student's program as both hours attempted and hours successfully completed.
- A student pursuing an undergraduate degree at Clarkson College may not receive financial assistance when the student has attempted more than 150 percent of the required number of credit hours to complete the degree. The total number of credit hours includes courses taken at other institutions, which are applied to Clarkson College degree requirements. For example, if the undergraduate degree requires 130 credit hours for completion, the student may receive financial aid for up to 195 credit hours (150 percent of the credit hours required).
Graduate Qualitative Standard
- A graduate student must maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Graduate Pace Standards
- A graduate student must successfully complete at least 75 percent of the total semester hours attempted. Grades C, D, F, Incomplete (I), Withdraw (W, WF, WP) and No Pass (NP) are not considered successful. A student's transfer hours will count toward the student's program as both hours attempted and hours successfully completed.
- A student pursuing a graduate degree at Clarkson College may not receive financial assistance when the student has attempted more than 150 percent of the required number of credit hours to complete the degree. The total number of credit hours includes courses taken at other institutions, which are applied to Clarkson College degree requirements. For example, if the graduate degree requires 40 credit hours for completion, the student may receive financial aid for up to 60 credit hours (150 percent of the credit hours required).
Warning, Suspension, Appeal & Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility
Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning: A student who fails to meet one or more of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards will be placed on financial aid warning for one academic term (semester/quarter/term). This means that the student may receive financial assistance during the warning period. The student’s academic progress will be verified at the end of the warning period.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Suspension (Loss of Financial Aid Eligibility): If the student fails to meet the SAP standards at the end of the warning period, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension. This means the student is ineligible to receive funding from federal and non-federal financial aid programs at Clarkson College.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Suspension Appeal: A student whose financial aid eligibility has been suspended may submit a written appeal to his or her Financial Aid counselor. The appeal must be typed or written clearly, must provide a full explanation why SAP standards were not met and how the student will ensure the standards will be met in the future if his or her eligibility for financial assistance is reinstated. The appeal must explain any special or extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control that may have prevented all standards from being met. The student must sign and date the appeal. Supporting documentation from a physician, counselor, academic advisor or faculty member may be included with the written appeal but is not required.
The Financial Aid counselor will present the student’s appeal for reinstatement of financial assistance to the Financial Aid Committee for review. The student will be notified by mail whether or not the appeal has been approved.
An appeal denied by the Financial Aid Committee may, at the student’s request, be forwarded to the Director of Student Financial Services for further review. The Director’s decision will be final.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Probation: A student whose SAP appeal is approved will be placed on SAP probation for one semester. This means the student may receive financial assistance during the probationary period and may continue to receive financial assistance as long as SAP standards are maintained. A probationary status may require the student to enter into an academic plan that, when followed, will ensure the student will meet SAP standards by a specific time.
A student who fails to meet SAP standards by the end of the probationary period will no longer be eligible to receive funding from federal and non-federal financial aid programs at Clarkson College, and the student is no longer eligible to file an appeal.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Reinstatement: A student who has failed to maintain SAP standards may reinstate his or her financial aid eligibility by successfully completing sufficient semester hours and/or attaining the required cumulative grade point average. A student remains ineligible for financial assistance until the semester following his or her attainment of the SAP standards.
When a student has attempted 150 percent of the required number of credit hours to complete the degree, the student is ineligible for federal and non-federal financial aid from Clarkson College. There is no appeal or reinstatement process for this SAP requirement.
The primary goal of Student Financial Services professional is to assist students in achieving their educational goals through financial support and resources. Student Financial Services professionals are required to exemplify the highest level of ethical behavior and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and shall:
Advocate for Students
- Remain aware of issues affecting students and continually advocate for their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
- Support federal, state and institutional efforts to encourage students to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
Manifest the highest level of integrity
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- Deal with others honestly and fairly, abiding by our commitments and always acting in a manner that merits the trust and confidence others have placed in us.
- Protect the privacy of individual student financial records.
- Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
Support student access and success
- Commit to removing financial barriers for those who want to pursue postsecondary learning and support each student admitted to our institution.
- Without charge, assist students in applying for financial aid funds.
- Provide services and apply principles that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
- Understand the need for financial education and commit to educate students and families on how to responsibly manage expenses and debt.
Comply with federal and state laws
- Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations governing federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
- Actively participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education programs to ensure ample understanding of statutes, regulations, and best practices governing the financial aid programs.
- Encourage colleagues to participate in the financial aid professional associations available to them at the state, regional, or national level and offer assistance to other aid professionals.
Strive for transparency and clarity
- Provide our students and parents with the information they need to make good decisions about attending and paying for college.
- Educate students and families through quality information that is consumer-tested when possible. This includes (but is not limited to) transparency and full disclosure on award notices.
- Ensure equity by applying all need-analysis formulas consistently across the institution’s full population of student financial aid applicants.
- Inform institutions, students, and parents of any changes in financial aid programs that could affect their student aid eligibility.
Protect the privacy of financial aid applicants
- Ensure that student and parent private information provided to the Student Financial Services department by financial aid applicants is protected in accordance with all state and federal statutes and regulations, including FERPA and the Higher Education Act, Section 483(a)(3)(E) (20 U.S.C. 1090).
- Protect the information on the FAFSA from inappropriate use by ensuring that this information is only used for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions.
The purpose of this policy is to comply with a new federal mandate relating to identity theft. It requires creditors who have entered into business arrangements that meet the definition of “covered account” to establish an identity theft prevention program. Although we believe the risk of identity theft is low at Clarkson College, we believe implementation of a prevention program is in the best interest of our students and those that we serve. Review the complete Identity Theft Prevention policy