Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer
Westminster awards merit-based and need-based financial aid to support new and continuing students. The college makes every effort to determine each student’s personal needs and abilities to create an individually tailored financial aid package which is appropriate to the student’s own unique situation. Merit- or talent-based aid is available to students who have excelled in their studies or extracurricular activities.
Need-based aid is available and awarded to students after completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. These funds are awarded in the form of grants, loans, and work-study. Students eligible for need-based aid will be notified via their financial aid offer.
Cost of Attendance
A student’s cost of attendance varies depending upon where they live and the number of credit hours for which they enroll. Sample cost of attendance figures are shown below and are based on 2020-2021 amounts.
Dependent/Independent Undergraduate living On-Campus
|Tuition & Fees||$37,960|
|Books & Supplies||$1,000|
|Room & Board||$11,097|
|Stafford Loan Fees||$80|
Dependent/Independent Undergraduate living Off-Campus
|Tuition & Fees||$37,960|
|Books & Supplies||$1,000|
|Room & Board||$14,351|
|Stafford Loan Fees||$80|
Dependent/Independent Undergraduate living with parents
|Tuition & Fees||$37,960|
|Books & Supplies||$1,000|
|Room & Board||$4,064|
|Stafford Loan Fees||$80|
Expected Family Contribution
Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an index number that the Financial Aid Office uses to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend Westminster College. The information you report on your FAFSA, including specific tax information and family income, is used to calculate your EFC.
Determination of Need
Financial need is calculated by subtracting the EFC from the cost of attendance. If the Family Contribution is less than the Cost of Attendance, financial need is established.
Academic Standards and Criteria for Institutional Scholarship and Grant Renewal
All Westminster scholarship and grant funds require a student to maintain good academic standing and satisfactory academic progress as outlined in the Academic Catalog. The student’s academic standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress will be measured at the end of each Spring Term. This will be used to determine whether the student is eligible for institutional funds in the next academic year. Both the May and Summer semesters may be used by a student to regain institutional fund eligibility. Eligibility for restricted and endowed scholarship funds will be determined by the specific donor agreements for each scholarship.
To receive merit-based aid, a student must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 semester credit hours), except where otherwise specified by the individual award. To read all of the Terms and Conditions of your Merit-Based Aid, visit https://westminstercollege.edu/merit-based-scholarships-terms-and-conditions.
All admitted applicants will be considered for merit-based scholarships automatically upon submission of the admissions application. .
To be considered for need-based financial aid, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The FAFSA form may be filed October 1 for the following academic year. The FAFSA opens October 1 for the following academic year. Westminster College’s school code used on the FAFSA is 003681.
Scholarship funds are provided by individuals and/or organizations to support qualified students on a year-to-year basis. Click here for more information regarding scholarships.
A student may apply with ROTC to be considered for scholarships funded by Air Force, Army or Navy ROTC. Each military branch selects the recipients for the awards each year. The ROTC scholarships have their own application and approval process directly from the branch.
Air Force ROTC Scholarship—Available on a competitive basis for 2 to 4 years. Provides partial to full tuition, reimbursement for textbooks, and a monthly allowance. In addition, Westminster College awards a housing grant.
Army ROTC Scholarship—Available on a competitive basis for 2 to 4 years. Provides full tuition, reimbursement for textbooks, and a monthly allowance. In addition, Westminster College awards a housing grant.
Navy ROTC Scholarship—Available on a competitive basis for 2 to 4 years. Provides full tuition, reimbursement for textbooks, and a monthly allowance. In addition, Westminster College awards a housing grant.
Direct Loans Terms and Conditions
Federal Direct Loan Program
Degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible to apply for Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan funds. The Direct Stafford Loan limits can be found below:
|Dependent Students||Independent Students|
|Subsidized||Total Loan||Subsidized||Total Loan|
Loan eligibility is determined using information from the FAFSA and number of credits earned. Students have the ability to accept the full amount of loans offered or specify a lower dollar amount.
Direct Stafford loans have a government origination fee deducted prior to loan disbursement.
Repayment of Direct Stafford loans can be deferred for up to six months after the student graduates or drops below part-time enrollment.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
This loan is available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. Applicants are subject to a governmental credit history review and may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received. The Direct PLUS loan is a fixed rate loan based on the first disbursement date. Interest rates will be revised annually. PLUS loans have a government origination fee deducted prior to loan disbursement. PLUS loan payments can be deferred for up to six months after the student graduates or drops below part-time enrollment. If a parent is ineligible for a PLUS loan, the dependent undergraduate student may be eligible to borrow an additional Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. For further information concerning this program, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Student Employment (Work-Study)
The Federal Work-Study program makes awards based on financial need. Students are given the opportunity to work part-time on-campus while attending school. They can work full-time during the summer and other vacation periods. Under this program, the college pays a portion of the student wages and the government pays the remainder.
Students with Federal Work-Study eligibility have the opportunity to apply for a position from a listing of job openings on campus. Students are paid every two weeks for work performed until they have earned the total amount of their Federal Work -Study award for the academic year. There are also positions available for summer work.
Student employment is offered on campus in addition to Federal Work-Study.
Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their program in order to receive Title IV (federal) and institutionally funded financial aid. Title IV (Federal) student financial aid includes the following programs:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
- Federal Work Study (FWS)
- Federal Direct Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan
- Federal TEACH Grant
Even if a student is not receiving federal financial aid, any course or term a student is enrolled will count toward the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy standards.
The Qualitative Measure of a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress is based on meeting a minimum GPA requirement. Full-time and part-time students must maintain at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. This requirement does not take transfer credits into consideration.
The Quantitative Measure of a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress is based on the completion of at least 70 percent of the credit hours for which students attempt to be making satisfactory progress. Any class that appears on the academic transcript will be counted toward total credit hours.Transcript grades include the following:
|A, A- Excellent||I Incomplete||CR Credit|
|B+, B, B- Above Averate||T Temporary||NC No Credit|
|C+, C, C- Average||W Withdrawn||X Repeat|
|D+, D, D- Poor||WF WIthdrawn Failing||R Repeated|
|F Failure||UW Unofficial Withdrawal||AU Audit credit|
The following will not be counted as credit hours completed:
|F Failure||UW Unofficial Withdrawal|
|I Incomplete||NC No Credit|
|T Temporary||X Repeat|
|W Withdrawn||WF Withdrawn Failing|
Note: Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Program will be reviewed for compliance with the Satisfactory Progress Policy using grade or grade equivalencies.
- Grades of “EX” (Exceeds Project Standards) are regarded as equivalent to “A” level work.
- Grades of “M” (Meets Project Standards) are regarded as equivalent to “B” or “C” level work.
- Grades of “DN” (Does Not Meet Project Standards) are regarded as equivalent to “D” or “F” level work.
Grades of “EX” and “M” will be counted as credit hours completed. grades of “DN” will not be counted as credit hours completed.
Program Length Requirement
In addition, the quantitative measure is based on completion in a time frame less than 150% of the program length to continue to receive federal financial aid. An example would be an undergraduate program that requires 124 credit hours to complete. In this case, a student may receive federal financial aid up to 186 hours or 150% of the entire program length, as long as a student meets grade and completion requirements.
Transfer credits taken prior to attending Westminster College are counted as completed hours. Transfer students will have a GPA based only on courses completed at Westminster College. A student that transfers must take 36 credit hours at Westminster College. A maximum of 88 external undergraduate credit hours can be accepted toward a degree.
If a student has a bachelor’s degree and is earning a second bachelor’s degree, the student would be automatically awarded 88 hours of transfer credit. This will also count toward the maximum time frame for completion. If a student changes majors, the coursework will still be counted in the Satisfactory Academic Progress and part of the 150% program length time frame. If a student pursues a second degree, the time frame will be evaluated for the 150% program length.
Coursework completed during Summer term will be counted in the overall completion rate and entered into the 150% program length. Noncredit remedial courses are not offered at Westminster College and will not count as a transfer credit.
Incompletes, Noncredit, or Withdrawals
Incompletes, noncredit, or withdrawal grades (F, I, NC, W, T, WF) will be counted as attempted and not completed courses.
Timetable for Review
Students’ records will be reviewed at the end of each academic year to determine whether they are in compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. The review process will take place annually after all grades have been recorded for the spring semester.
Students who have grade changes that affect academic progress after it has been reviewed are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office so their progress may be re-reviewed for compliance. Grade changes, including incomplete grade updates, affecting student eligibility for financial aid must be on file with the Registrar’s Office prior to the first date of classes in the next semester of enrollment in order for the student’s record to be re-reviewed for satisfactory academic progress in that semester.
Enrollment Status for Student Financial Aid Funds
Full-time undergraduate students taking twelve (12) credit hours or more are eligible to receive financial aid funds. Students less than 12 credit hours may not be eligible for Westminster Institutional funds. Part-time student status is taking between 6 credit hours through 11 credit hours and aid will be awarded based on enrollment status.
Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree may be awarded additional financial aid but are not eligible for Federal Pell Grant funds. Financial aid offers will be adjusted based on an enrollment status of full-time or part-time.
Retaking Courses and Student Financial Aid
Retaken coursework may count toward enrollment status and federal financial aid eligibility for a student who is repeating, for the first time only, a previously passed course. This retaken class may be counted toward a student’s enrollment status and the student may be awarded Title IV aid for the enrollment status based on inclusion of the class. A student may be paid for repeatedly failing the same course as long as satisfactory academic progress requirements are met.
After becoming ineligible for student financial aid funds, a student can be considered for receipt of financial aid only when the completion percentage and grade point average requirements have been met.
On an annual basis at the end of Spring term, the Financial Aid Office will notify by email any student receiving financial assistance who does not meet the satisfactory academic progress requirement and has been determined to be ineligible for financial aid. The notice will be addressed to the student’s most Westminster College email address.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy/Appeal/Academic Plan
Any student who has been determined to be ineligible for financial aid has the right to appeal and be placed on probation. The following appeal process will be utilized: The student appealing the satisfactory academic progress decision will submit a written appeal to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what has changed in their situation that will allow them to make satisfactory academic progress in the future. The Financial Aid Office will give a decision to the student's Westminster email account within five working days of receipt of the appeal.
If an appeal is granted, the student will develop an Academic Plan with an academic advisor. Once the Academic Plan has been submitted, the student must complete 100% of the coursework outlined in the plan each term. Students who meet the conditions of their academic plan will continue to meet with an academic advisor to develop Academic Plans until Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements have been met. Students who do not meet the conditions outlined in their academic plan will lose all aid eligibility until they meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
If the appeal is not approved, and the student wishes to proceed further with the appeal, the student can submit an additional appeal to the Director of Financial Aid. The Director of Financial Aid will give a decision, in writing, within five working days of receipt of the appeal.
Return of Title IV Funds
Federal regulations govern the return of Title IV (federal) financial aid funds that have been disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from college during a term or period of enrollment.The Title IV programs included under these regulations are for undergraduate students:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Direct Stafford Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).
- Federal Teach Grant
Earning Financial Aid
The regulations operate under the principle that a student “earns” financial aid based on the period of time enrolled.
During the first 60% of the enrollment period, a student “earns” Title IV federal financial aid funds in direct proportion to the length of time he/she remains enrolled (for example, a student attending 45 days, of 102 days in the semester, would earn 44% of their scheduled financial aid). A student who withdraws from college beyond the 60% point has “earned” all Title IV federal financial aid for the period.
Unearned Title IV funds, other than Federal Work-Study earnings, must be returned to the federal financial aid programs. Unearned aid is the amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned under the formula. Returns of unearned Title IV program funds are processed no later than 45 days after the date of the school’s determination that the student withdrew.
Repayment of Unearned Title IV Aid
The responsibility to repay unearned Title IV aid is shared by the institution and the student.
The institution’s share is the lesser of: the total amount of unearned aid; or institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of unearned aid.
The student’s share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution’s share.
Westminster College will return the unearned aid for which the school is responsible, by repaying the Department of Education to the following sources, in order, up to the total net amount disbursed from each source.
Title IV programs order of federal funds returned:
- Unsubsidized Direct Loan
- Subsidized Direct Loan
- Direct Parent PLUS Loan
- Pell Grant
- Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant
Return of Institutional Funds
When withdrawing, a student should keep in mind that the requirements for Title IV federal financial aid program funds are separate from the college policy on institutional funds. A student withdrawing from the college during a term in which he or she is receiving a college-funded scholarship or grant may forfeit the scholarship or grant. Students withdrawing after the end of the college’s refund period are liable for all charges even when their financial aid is decreased.
Students considering withdrawal or dropping courses affecting enrollment status of less than full-time status should call or visit the Financial Aid Office to determine the specific implications.
Official withdrawal notification should be provided to the Registrar’s Office. For official withdrawals, a student’s last date of attendance from the withdrawal form is used to determine the amount of aid earned.
In addition, students who do not successfully complete any coursework during a semester will be reviewed to determine whether or not they may have unofficially withdrawn during the course of the semester. Faculty report a last date of attendance for any student receiving a failing grade. That last date of attendance is determined by faculty for academically related activities. Academically related activities include:
- physically attending a class,
- submitting an academic assignment
- taking an exam
- completing an interactive tutorial
- participating in computer-assisted instruction
- attending a study group assigned by the instructor
- participating in an online discussion about academics
- initiating contact with a faculty member about academic subject matter in the course
That last date of attendance is used to calculate Title IV aid eligibility. If the Financial Aid Office cannot document a student’s attendance through 60% or more of the semester, a student is considered to have unofficially withdrawn and the student’s federal financial aid will be subject to the Return of Title IV Aid calculation described above. A student found to have unofficially withdrawn will have the calculation performed using the 50% point in the semester, unless the last date of attendance can be documented.
Further information, worksheets, and examples of return of federal funds calculations can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.
Institutional Refund Policy
Institutional refunds are determined on the date that add/drop or withdrawal forms are completed and processed in the Registrar’s Office. Refer to the appropriate class schedule for the specific refund schedule for each semester. All institutional charges (tuition, fees, and room and board) are refunded based on the tuition refund schedule. Please check the Student Accounts Services web page for the Tuition Refund Schedule.
Notification of Award—Students submitting applications and other supporting documentation are notified of aid awarded electronically or by mail.
Changes in Financial Status—Students are responsible for reporting any change in family financial resources from extra income, gifts, or outside aid. If the additions reduce the financial need, the award may be reduced. Failure to report additional resources may result in total cancellation of all financial aid. If resources decrease, students may request additional funds. The college makes every effort to assist students in securing the financial aid they need to be successful in their studies and career goals, based on the availability of funds.
Employer Reimbursement—Students receiving reimbursement from their employers who apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are required to notify the Financial Aid Office and submit documentation of the amounts to be received. Employer reimbursement is considered estimated financial aid and may reduce some forms of financial aid once added.
Incoming students are encouraged to apply for financial aid at the time they apply for admission to the college. Continuing students are reminded to reapply for financial aid each academic year. Financial Aid awards are made on a first-come, first-serve basis; therefore, it is in each student’s best interest to submit application materials as early as possible. Regulations and policies for many of the Federal Financial Aid Programs change periodically. For additional information about any type of financial aid, contact the Financial Aid Office.