There are many policies by which the awarding and disbursement of financial aid are governed. The Office of Financial Aid strives to abide by those policies in every transaction made for each student receiving aid at the University. Below are several policies with which you should familiarize yourself.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress
The ability to receive any financial aid at Samford begins with each student making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Every student is measured against the SAP policy every May for the upcoming summer terms and the subsequent new year. Students who do not meet the minimum SAP requirements are notified by Samford email of their unsatisfactory status and the steps necessary to appeal the decision to remove aid eligibility.
There are three standards that must be met each May in order to qualify for student aid.
- First, a student cannot have attempted more than 150% of the hours necessary to earn their degree. (ex. 128 hours are needed for most undergraduate degrees. A student who has attempted 192 hours or more has failed SAP.) There is no appealing this standard.
- Second, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative Samford grade point average (GPA). For undergraduate, law, pharmacy, and divinity students the standard is a 2.0 cumulative Samford GPA. For all other graduate students the standard is a 3.0 cumulative Samford GPA. It is the University’s policy to not round up GPAs. (ex. A 1.99 GPA is not rounded up to a 2.0)
- Third, a student must earn 80% of the credits/hours attempted during the previous fall semester, jan term, and spring semester combined. For example, if a student earns 12 of 16 credits in the fall semester, 2 of 2 in jan term, and 11 of 14 in the spring semester, she will have earned a total of 25 credits out of 32 attempted credits. This is a 78.1% completion rate. This student would not be making SAP.
Students who are notified of their inability to meet the SAP standards will be offered the opportunity to appeal the decision, unless they are in violation of the 150% rule. The SAP appeal form is available on the Forms page of this website. The deadline for submitting an appeal for fall is August 10. The Jan term/spring deadline is December 10. The summer deadline is June 25. Please submit the form and all necessary documentation to the Office of Financial Aid by these deadlines.
- Grade Point Averages
- As discussed in the SAP section, the Office of Financial Aid does not round grade point averages when determining eligibility for certain types of aid. Receipt of any aid requires that a student have at least a 2.0 cumulative Samford GPA. Some pieces of aid require a higher standard such as a 2.5, 3.0 or even a 3.3. Please review your award messages in your student web portal for specifics concerning your aid.
- Financial Policies (Bursar's Office)
- Although we work very closely together in awarding and disbursing aid, the Bursar’s Office is separate from the Office of Financial Aid. The Bursar website has a listing of University Financial Policies. Any concerns or questions about paying your bill or receiving refunds should be directed to the Bursar’s Office.
- All official communication will take place through one mode of communication – your Samford email address. While we will send some things to you through regular mail, we will always make sure a copy of everything we send goes through your Samford email as well. Please check your Samford email often for updates, requests, and announcements concerning your financial aid at Samford.
- Loan Cancellations and/or Reductions
Loans will be cancelled at the request of the borrower up to the point of disbursement. Once a Stafford, Parent PLUS, or Grad PLUS loan has been disbursed, it is the responsibility of the borrower to work with the loan servicer to cancel the loan. For those wishing to cancel a loan prior to disbursement, our loan cancellation form may be found on the Forms page of our website.
Loans may be reduced before or after disbursement. Once a loan has disbursed, the borrower has up to fourteen (14) days to ask for a reduction. The loan reduction form may be found on the Forms page of our website.
- Glossary of Terms
- The financial aid process can be confusing and many of the terms used in this arena are not very familiar. For your convenience we have provided links to two different glossaries for financial aid. The Project on Student Debt and Finaid.org provide exhaustive listings of financial aid terms. Please refer to these sites for plenty of other information relative to financial aid.
- Student Loan Code of Conduct