Financial Aid Policies

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible and continue to receive Federal Student Aid (FSA), students must make satisfactory academic progress toward achieving and completing their program of study through measurement of qualitative (grade-based) and quantitative (time-based) standards.

Qualitative Standard:
  1. Students enrolled in campus and online undergraduate degree programs must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. A grade of credit (CR) does not carry any GPA calculation at this time.
  2. Students enrolled in campus and online graduate degree programs must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. A grade of CR does not carry any GPA calculation at this time.
Quantitative Standard:

A student must have successfully completed at least 67% of all the credits they have attempted at Prescott College during the entire period of enrollment. This is calculated by dividing the total credits earned by the total credits attempted.

To ensure pace towards program completion, each program within the college has a defined number of credit hours required for completion (see academic listings). Students must complete their program within 150% of the published credits which is defined as the maximum timeframe. All credits attempted will count towards this timeframe including transfer credits, unless excluded through Financial Aid SAP appeal for inapplicability to the student’s current program of study (see Transfer Credit section below). A student will be ineligible for financial aid when it becomes mathematically impossible for them to complete their program within this maximum timeframe.

  1. Bachelor degree candidates may attempt a maximum of 180 credits. For example, if the student is pursuing a double competency and their degree plan requires more than 120 credits, then the student must still satisfy all requirements of their program without having to attempt more than 180 credits.
  2. All courses attempted toward a student’s graduate program must be completed prior to 8 calendar years from the start date of the student’s initial term of admission. Exceptions to this policy will be considered for re-admitted students on a case-by-case basis and require program director and dean approval. Requests of consideration for exception to this policy must be submitted to the Exceptions Committee.
Coursework Results Used to Measure Standards:

Attempted credits: are credits that a student has enrolled in as of the end of the add/drop or standard registration period. This includes courses graded as a W – withdrawn after the drop/add deadline until the withdrawal period has ended. After the withdrawal period has ended, student will be graded with a "NC" (no credit) grade.

Successfully completed credits: are considered “earned credits” and are defined through the assignment of a passing grade to the courses attempted and equates to the number of credits earned. Successful grades include CR-credit.

Unsuccessfully completed credits: are defined through the assignment of a grade that constitutes failure and non-earned credits which include F-Fail and NC-No Credit. These grades negatively affect both GPA (quantitative standard) and completion rate and maximum time frame (qualitative standards).

Withdrawal grades: Credits assigned a W-Withdrawal grade do not count toward a student’s cumulative GPA (qualitative standard), however, they do count as attempted but not completed courses and thus do negatively affect a student’s completion rate and maximum time frame calculation (quantitative standards).

Incompletes: Credits assigned an I-Incomplete count as attempted but not earned credits until the course is completed by receiving a passing grade. Incompletes do not affect a student’s GPA (qualitative standard), do affect SAP, and will be excluded from the calculation of a student’s program completion rate and maximum time frame calculation (quantitative standards), until the course is completed by receiving a passing grade.

Repeated coursework: Previously passed courses can be repeated once and be eligible for Federal Financial Aid. Students may repeat unsuccessful course attempts as many times as necessary as long as the student otherwise remains in good financial aid satisfactory academic progress standing, however, only the first course attempt may be excluded from the calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Grade Point Average (GPA) per this following policy: SAP GPA will follow the method used by Prescott College to calculate academic GPA, specifically with reference to repeating of the same course to improve a grade. The lowest course grade will not be computed into the total GPA; instead, the highest grade will be used. Similarly, lowest graded course attempts will be excluded from total attempted credits in the calculation of completion percentage and maximum time frame.

Transfer credits: are considered to be credits attempted and earned toward the completion of the student’s program and therefore are counted toward the maximum time frame. Students may submit a Financial Aid SAP Appeal to request exclusion of transfer credits which are not applicable to the student’s current program of study once per program of study. This policy is also applicable if a student transfers between programs of study at Prescott College at the graduate level. A completed degree plan and support from the student’s faculty advisor are required for this appeal.

Audited courses and remedial coursework: Prescott College does not permit auditing courses, nor does it provide remedial coursework and thus no provision is made for audited or remedial courses within the SAP financial aid standards.

Satisfactory Academic Progress reviews: SAP is reviewed for financial aid eligibility purposes at the end of each academic term. Both the quantitative (pace) and qualitative (grade-based) standards are reviewed at each evaluation point. Standard rounding rules are used when applicable for both qualitative and quantitative components (i.e. .5 and higher is rounded up, and if below .5, then measure is rounded down.)

Satisfactory Academic Progress statuses and appeal process:

The following definitions apply to the terms used in this section:

Appeal: Appeal means a process by which a student who is not meeting the institution’s SAP standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of the student’s eligibility for Title IV, HEA program assistance.

Financial aid probation: Financial aid probation means a status assigned by an institution to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated.

Financial aid warning: Financial aid warning means a status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at an institution that evaluates academic progress at the end of each payment period.

Students who fall below SAP standards will be placed on financial aid warning for one term and may continue to receive financial aid during this warning term. At the end of this warning term, students who are still below standards will be placed on financial aid suspension and will lose financial aid eligibility. Students may appeal financial aid suspension by submitting a Financial Aid SAP petition to the financial aid office if they have extenuating circumstances such as the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or another special circumstance. A financial aid SAP petition will also be reviewed by the student's dean or designated committee for appeal for academic probation if applicable. Appeals must include supporting documentation including at least one letter of support from a professional not related to the student regarding why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate future success in meeting the SAP standards. Approved appeals may result in being placed on financial aid probation status with or without an academic plan during which a student may receive financial aid. If no academic plan is approved, students are only permitted probation status for one term. Academic plans, including the length of the plan, are determined on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with the student’s academic advisor, the student advising office, and/or the students’ academic dean and may include enrollment level restrictions, mandatory tutoring, or other provisions designed to support the student’s academic success. Academic plans must span a minimum of one full term and may span multiple terms if the academic plan specifies this and the student meets all other conditions of the academic plan. 

Re-establishing aid eligibility: Students may regain financial aid eligibility after financial aid suspension at the next regular review of SAP standards at the end of each academic term if the student’s academic record shows that they are meeting all qualitative and quantitative standards listed above. In the case of a grade change, students may also request the financial aid office review their academic record for compliance to SAP standards. Upon this review, if the student is meeting SAP standards, the student re-gains aid eligibility even if the student was on Financial Aid SAP probation with an academic plan is not otherwise meeting the conditions of that academic plan.

Grade Level and Financial Aid (undergraduates only)

Grade level is used in determining eligibility and amounts for certain financial aid awards. The College uses the following scale, based on semester credits, to determine grade level:

0 to 29 credits = First Year

30 to 59 credits = Sophomore

60 to 89 credits = Junior

90 credits or greater = Senior

Proration of Grants & Scholarships

Most institutionally awarded grants and scholarships may be prorated based on enrollment at less than full time. For financial aid purposes, enrollment status is evaluated as follows:

Full Time 12 or more credits 100%

Three Quarter Time 9 – 11 credits 75%

Half Time 6-8 credits 50%

With the exception of the Federal Pell Grant and Federal TEACH Grant, financial aid is not available to students enrolled in fewer than 6 credits during a payment period, expect for students in their final term of enrollment who have fewer than 6 credits required for degree completion, in which case they may qualify for up to 25% of their full-time institutional aid for one term.

Financial Aid Returns Due to Drops, Withdrawal, or Non-Participation

Failure to attend or complete classes and/or withdrawing or dropping courses may result in a recalculation of financial aid eligibility levels and a possible return of financial aid as described below. Thus, prior to formally dropping or withdrawing from courses, students are strongly urged to contact the Financial Aid office (928- 3501111) to discuss the potential financial ramifications.

Financial Aid Returns when a Student Fails to Begin Courses

When it is determined that a student fails to begin a course or courses, and/or a student chooses to drop or is otherwise dropped from a course or courses for administrative reasons, Prescott College will re-determine the student’s enrollment level for financial aid purposes and their financial aid eligibility accordingly. As a result, students may lose full or partial financial aid eligibility which may result in a financial obligation for the student if their financial aid previously disbursed. Such financial obligations may include immediate repayment of student loan funds to their lender/bank, a balance owed to Prescott College, and/or a debt owed to the US Department of Education. For federal grant funds, this enrollment level and financial aid re-determination is completed prior to any R2T4 calculation described below for courses for which the student began attendance and then withdrew.

Federal Aid Return Policy when a student withdraws

The U.S. Department of Education’s financial aid return policy, known as the Return to Title IV Aid (R2T4) policy, applies when a student received federal aid (not including federal work study) and then ceases to academically participate in their courses after beginning attendance. Logging in to on-line courses without completing assignments or coursework does not count as academic participation. These rules apply even if a student is enrolled to attend a future course or courses within the same term unless the student confirms in writing (by e-mailing finaid@prescott.edu from their student.prescott.edu e-mail account) their intention to attend their future course(s) after the date the student officially withdraws or stops attending their current course(s).

The R2T4 calculation compares the amount of federal funding the student received or could have received to the amount of aid the student actually earned based on the percentage of the enrollment period the student completed. This percentage is based on the effective date of the student’s official withdrawal (if an official withdrawal or leave of absence form is filed with the registrar’s office) or if known, the last date of an academically related activity (known as the last date of attendance) in a course. Prescott College does not require attendance to be taken in each course and thus, if the last date of attendance is unknown, the midpoint date of the student’s scheduled dates of attendance may be used.

If the student has received more financial aid than the R2T4 calculation determines they have earned, the result may be a financial obligation for the student. Such financial obligations may include repayment of student loan funds to their lender/bank, and/or a debt owed to the U.S. Department of Education for unearned grant funds. The R2T4 calculation also determines if the school is obligated to return a portion of the student’s financial aid directly to the US Department of Education. If so, and this financial aid was previously credited toward the student’s tuition and fees for the term, and if the student is not eligible for a full tuition and fees refund (see Refund policy), the return may also result in a student balance due to the school.

Upon withdrawal, the financial aid office will complete the necessary calculations and notify the student in writing of any obligations within 45 days of the school's date of determination that the student withdrew. The R2T4 policy is mandated by federal regulation and cannot be appealed. It applies regardless of the reason for the student’s withdrawal.

Institutional Aid Return Policy

Prescott College will prorate the amount of institutional financial aid earned to the amount of tuition charged per the school's Refund Policy. For instance, if a student drops a course during the time period where they are permitted to receive a 75% refund on tuition, this means the student will still be charged for 25% of the tuition for those courses. In this case, the student will also be allowed to keep 25% of their institutional financial aid for that course. The remaining 75% must be returned.

Disbursements and Refunds

The "disbursement date" is the earliest possible date funds may be applied to your student account.

All course contracts must be reviewed and approved by faculty and accepted by the Registrar prior to releasing any financial aid funds to Student Accounts. Aid is released no sooner than the Friday prior to the start day of the classes for which the student is enrolled. While Student Accounts will wait on your financial aid funds to cover your charges, students and families should plan appropriately for other expenses.

When funds arrive, your eligibility will be re-verified and the payment will be posted to your account. (Third party funding [i.e. outside scholarship checks] will be paid according to sponsor instructions.) Once your charges are paid in full, Student Accounts will generate a refund for any excess. Parents who are using a Federal Direct PLUS Loan have the option on the PLUS application to direct any excess loan proceeds to either the parent borrower or directly to the student. Refunds are processed through a third-party service. Students may choose between ACH or paper check by logging into the Student Account Center via My Academic Services/Finance/Make or Manage Online Payments.

Deployment and Recall to Active Duty Policy

Prescott College recognizes that students who are currently serving active duty in the United States Armed Forces, National Guard, Military Reserves and veterans may be called for mandatory deployment or recalled to active duty while engaged in studies at Prescott College. This policy is intended to assist students falling into these categories with continued educational success while fulfilling their service commitments.

This policy applies to students deployed or recalled after the start of the term.

Students are encouraged to continue course work while on deployment if the situation allows. Students who are unable to continue coursework may elect one of the following options upon receiving deployment or recall orders:

  • Drop or Withdrawal from all courses, depending on the effective date. Drop will result in a full refund* regardless of refund policy. A withdrawal from all courses will result in a prorated refund*. Courses will remain on the student’s transcript with a notation that the ‘W’ grade is due to deployment. Courses awarded ‘W’ will NOT be counted in Satisfactory Academic Progress. The student will be made aware of any retroactive loss of VA benefits such as Basic Housing Allowance (BHA).
  • Incomplete grade (I)** awarded regardless of the 75% completion normally required for incomplete courses. Completion of coursework must be completed within one calendar year of the end of deployment.
  • Award of CR (credit, no letter grade) providing the student is 75% (undergraduates) or 85% (graduates) through the course.

The student will be placed on Approved Leave of Absence during deployment for all terms falling into estimated deployment dates.

*Full refund does NOT include non-refundable course fees for courses in progress nor non-tuition based College fees. Non-refundable course fees for courses that have not started may be refunded under this policy.

**For a student who can complete the course but needs additional time beyond the term end date.

On-campus housing

Students living in on-campus housing will be released from their contract without penalty. Housing fees will be refunded on a prorated basis. Deposits may not be refunded if damage to the unit has occurred.

Meal Cards

Refund on balance.

Returning after Deployment

Students returning from deployment will NOT be required to reapply for admission. A written petition for reinstatement and copy of release orders (or other verification documentation) will need to be provided for reinstatement. Reinstatement must occur within one year of the end of deployment. After the one-year grace period, students desiring to return to Prescott College must reapply.

Exception: Any student who officially withdrawals from the College must reapply for admission.

Obligations of the Student

To enable the College to support deployed or recalled students, the student must complete the following:

  • Contact the College VA Certification Officer with deployment orders.
  • Submission of request for Approved Leave of Absence or Withdrawal from College with deployment/recall orders.
  • Notify faculty advisor, course instructors and or mentors of deployment/recall and the associated dates.
  • Request the chosen course option (outlined above) for withdrawal, drop, incomplete or CR from the instructor.

Submit appropriate documents for the option chosen:

  • Drop form
  • Withdrawal notice with Drop form
  • Incomplete Course contract***
  • Written request for CR

Upon return from deployment the student must contact the College VA Certification Office and any instructors who have granted incomplete grades.

***Incomplete (I) grades will have one year after the end of deployment for completion. After the one-year grace period any courses still graded ‘I’ will automatically be regraded to F.

The faculty, staff and administration of Prescott College are committed to our service members of all classifications. In support of the Prescott College Mission the College will work to support service members and this policy.

Consortium Agreements

Prescott College students may use an individually arranged Consortium Agreement when attending another accredited institution for a short period of time (i.e. one term or one year) provided:

Student Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must obtain approval of the transferability of coursework before the course is taken at another institution in order for the work to be applied toward a Prescott College degree.
  • Students must provide a copy of the course description(s) from the college/university catalog or schedule for review, include a statement as to how it fits in your degree plan, and why it cannot be taken at Prescott College.
  •  If you wish to use financial aid while enrolled, you must be simultaneously enrolled for a minimum of six credits at Prescott College for the term in which you wish to receive financial aid.
  • For study abroad courses/programs, students will not be required to be simultaneously enrolled at Prescott College.
  • If you wish to receive financial aid through Prescott College, the host school of your choice must be regionally accredited and approved for Title IV Aid funding.
  • Approval forms must be signed by the student’s faculty advisor prior to students’ attendance at the host school. Relevant forms are available on the website or from the Financial Aid and Registrar’s offices.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Student must be in, and maintain, Satisfactory Academic Progress (Good Standing) as outlined in the College Catalog for the relevant academic year. (See Academic Standing.)
  • If using financial aid through a consortium agreement, you must be enrolled in the number of credit hours approved in the agreement at the time of financial aid disbursement.
  • You must complete a Transcript Request form at the Host School. Be sure to check the option on the Transcript Request Form for “Hold for Current Grades” for the consortium term. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to have official transcripts sent to Prescott College. Failure to do so will result in a hold being placed on your financial aid for the following term.

Failure to inform the Prescott College Financial Aid Office of any changes to this agreement may result in a cancellation of the Consortium Agreement. It may also lead to immediate repayment of any financial aid received and suspension of future financial aid.

Financial Aid Disbursement Authorization for Study Abroad Participants

Students must use the Disbursement Authorization form to provide financial aid and payment arrangement information between the home school (Prescott College) and the host school through which you are going on a study abroad program. This form must be used in conjunction with an approved consortium agreement and authorization to take courses off campus. Provided you meet all eligibility criteria, Prescott College may process any federal and/or state aid for which you may qualify while on the study abroad program. Prescott College resources, including Prescott College grants, scholarships and campus-based funds such as SEOG and Work Study, do not apply to other school’s programs. You must clearly identify where any financial aid payments should be mailed, and you are responsible for ensuring that satisfactory payment arrangements are made with your host school.