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Financial Aid

Federal Student Aid Policies

Return of Title IV Funds

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. The Federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.

If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the Financial Aid Office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:

Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number the days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term. This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.

The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.

Refunds are allocated in the following order:

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who receive Federal Student Financial Aid (federal loans and work-study) must, in accordance with federal, state and institutional requirements, be in good standing and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward obtaining their degree or certificate. Under Federal Title IV law, the school’s SAP requirements must meet certain minimum requirements, and be at least as strict as the college’s standards for Good Academic Standing. This policy applies to students applying for financial aid for terms/periods of enrollment that begin on July 1, 2014 or after.

The Federal government requires that an institution use three measurements to determine SAP: qualitative, quantitative and maximum timeframe. The student must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of credits attempted, and complete a degree or certificate within a maximum timeframe set by law. The standards use to evaluate academic progress are cumulative and, therefore must include all terms of the student’s enrollment (even periods during which the student did not receive SFA funds).

What is Our Financial Aid SAP Policy?

To be able to receive financial aid at the School of Public Health, students must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward their academic objectives, as measured by:

Master Degree and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program Students

  1. Minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) – Qualitatively, on a scale of 4.0, students receiving federal financial aid must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.
  2. Minimum cumulative completion rate – Quantitatively, financial aid recipients must maintain a cumulative completion rate equal to or exceeding two-thirds (67%) of the credits attempted.
  3. Maximum timeframe to completion of degree or certificate – The maximum timeframe is the maximum amount of time it takes to complete the degree or certificate.  Full-time students must complete the required course work within 2 calendar years from the date of matriculation. Part-time students must complete the required course work with 4 calendar years from the date of matriculation.

Doctoral Program Students

  1. Minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) – Qualitatively, on a scale of 4.0 students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students must earn a grade of B or better in all core coursework.
  2. Minimum cumulative completion rate – Quantitatively, financial aid recipients must maintain a completion rate equal to or exceeding 67% of the credits attempted.
  3. Maximum timeframe to completion of degree – The maximum timeframe is the maximum amount of time it takes to complete the degree or certificate. Full-time students must complete the required coursework within 7 calendar years from the date of matriculation. Part-time student must complete the required coursework within 9 calendar years from the date of matriculation.

Treatment of W, I, AU, F, S, P, MT, MR and X Grades, No Grade Reported and Repeated Coursework

How do classes taken at another institution and transferred to our school affect a student's SAP?

The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health does not accept transfer credit.  

How does a change of major impact a student’s SAP evaluation?

For students who change majors within their degree program, only those credits attempted which apply to their new major are included in evaluation of SAP status. All coursework is included in the calculation of GPA as required under federal law.

How often is a student’s SAP reviewed and how are students notified?

With the exception of the programs noted below, financial aid recipients are reviewed for SAP annually at the end of the 4th term. SAP will be evaluated at the end of each term for students in the following programs:

Students who fail to meet the required Financial Aid SAP standards (qualitative and/or time frame) will be ineligible for continued financial aid funding beginning with the term immediately following the term in which the SAP requirements were not met. The Financial Aid Office will notify the student in writing of their aid status and the appeal process.

Financial Aid Warning Status

Students who fail to meet the minimum Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent term enrollment. Students are still eligible for financial aid during the “Warning” term.

Students receiving financial aid for the first time will be placed on Financial Aid Warning as applicable if they did not meet the minimum grade point average or course completion standards as noted in this policy based the previous period or enrollment prior to applying for financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension – Losing Title IV Eligibility

Students who, while on Financial Aid Warning, fail to maintain the minimum completion rate and/or fail to maintain the minimum cumulative GPA requirement will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension status for subsequent terms of enrollment. No financial aid will be disbursed during subsequent terms of enrollment until the student regains financial aid eligibility.

Students applying for financial aid for the first time will not be eligible for financial aid and will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension status as applicable if they did not meet the minimum grade point average of course completion standards as noted in this policy based the two previous consecutive terms prior to applying for financial aid.

Students who do not complete their program within the maximum timeframe lose eligibility for financial aid and are placed on Financial Aid Suspension Status.

Financial Aid Probation and Reinstatement of Aid After Financial Aid Suspended Status

Reinstatement of financial aid eligibility after a student is placed in a Financial Aid Suspended status is achieved in one of the following ways:

*Students who are beyond the maximum timeframe to completion may only regain financial aid eligibility on a term-by-term basis through the appeal process.

Appeal Process

Students who wish to appeal must submit an appeal of Financial Aid Suspended status in writing to the financial aid office no later than 2 weeks  after the start of the next term. The committee will review the appeal and notify students (in writing) of the decision within 14 working days after the Appeals Committee meets and makes its determination. Appeals should include:

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal and consult with the academic advisers and other involved parties as warranted. If it is determined that student will not be able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the next term/period of enrollment but the committee is in agreement that the student’s grounds for appeal are reasonable and the student has reasonable chance to succeed and graduate, then if the appeal is approved the student will also be placed on an Academic Plan. Students will receive written notification of the decision. All decisions on such appeals are final. Students who lose eligibility for financial aid due to not meeting the minimum SAP standards more than one time during their program may submit an appeal each time.

Academic Plan

Students who lose eligibility and submit an appeal may be placed on an Academic Plan if the appeal is approved. The purpose of an academic plan is to support the student in bringing himself or herself back into compliance with the financial aid SAP standards by a specific point in time in order to ensure that the student will be able to successfully complete the degree or certificate program. The academic plan will be specifically tailored to the student and may include milestones and specific requirements such as a reduced course load, specific courses or tutoring. Students on an academic plan are still responsible to meet the SAP requirements in the subsequent period of enrollment and will lose eligibility if the SAP standards are not met, and need to go through the appeal process in order to regain eligibility. The student’s progress in the academic plan will be taken into account in any subsequent appeal process of financial aid eligibility.

Is financial aid probation the same as academic probation?  

No. Financial aid recipients must meet the financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards, which is at least as stringent as the schools' academic policy standards, in accordance with Federal Title IV law. Students should consult the Standards for Good Academic Standing for more information on that standard. Students on academic probation may also be on Financial Aid Suspension or Financial Aid Probation status, or they may not be. 

Where can students get more information?

Contact the Financial Aid Office at 410-955-3004 or e-mail at JHSPH.finaid@jhu.edu.