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Terms and Conditions for Federal Financial Aid

Federal Financial aid comes with strings attached. Please read the following items carefully so that you are more fully informed about your responsibilities when receiving financial aid. Additional information about financial aid can be found on this website as well as You are accountable for knowing your responsibilities and obligations when receiving federal financial aid.

1. Tuition Payment, Refunds, and Deadlines

  • Tuition is due before the start of each term. Financial aid accepted on MyUSU will count as payment before it disburses.
  • You are solely responsible for paying any remaining university charges beyond your financial aid payment before fee payment deadline.
  • University charges including tuition, fees, housing, meal plans, etc. will be deducted from your financial aid.
  • Your financial aid payment may adjust as you drop and add classes at the beginning of the term.
  • Leftover financial aid, if any, is generally sent to you at the beginning of the semester by direct deposit or USPS mail.
  • New: Federal aid cannot be disbursed until the week before you begin attending classes. If you do not have any courses that start on the first day of the semester, your refund will be postponed until your classes begin. 
  • There are established federal and school deadlines for accepting and receiving financial aid. Missing deadlines will make you ineligible for financial aid.

2. Enrollment Affects Federal Aid Eligibility

  • Eligibility for Federal Pell Grants, federal or private student loans, Federal Work-Study, Federal TEACH and supplemental grants will be based on your enrollment each term.
  • Undergraduates taking 12 or more credits will generally receive the full amounts of aid they were offered on MyUSU/Banner.
  • Undergraduates taking less than 12 credits each term may have their aid adjusted (including student loans) to account for lower tuition costs.
  • Graduates taking 5 or more credits will generally receive the full amounts of aid they were offered on MyUSU/Banner.
  • Graduates taking less than 5 credits each term may have their future aid adjusted to account for lower than estimated tuition costs.
  • Students will be notified of any changes in their eligibility and may need to pay back a portion of their federal aid.

3. Federal Pell Grants

  • Grants adjust or prorate as you add or drop classes during the first three weeks of the term (to full-time 3/4-time, half-time, or less than half-time depending on eligibility).
  • Summer semester grants adjust or prorate until the last day to add of the last session.
  • Grants may not adjust for any classes added after the first three weeks of fall and spring semesters even if the class has not started. More Information.
  • If you are eligible, Federal Pell and Supplemental Grants are automatically accepted for you at the time you receive your financial aid award notification.
  • You must notify us in writing if you want to decline your Federal Pell Grant.
  • The amount of Federal Pell Grant you may receive over your lifetime is the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters. More Information.

4. Federal Student Loans Have Additional Requirements

  • Please be aware of annual and lifetime student loan limits. You may be eligible for additional loan funds that do not appear on MyUSU/Banner. 
  • Undergraduate federal student loans at USU require half-time enrollment (at least six credits) for disbursement and loan deferment regardless of grade level or semester.
  • Graduate federal student loans at USU generally require half-time enrollment (at least five credits) for disbursement and loan deferment.
  • You are fully responsible for repaying your student loans, all accrued interest, and meeting all other terms and conditions of the loan.
  • To receive a student loan, you must also sign an online promissory note and complete online loan counseling before your funds can be disbursed.
  • Starting July 1, 2017, Federal Direct Student Loans will be charged 1.066% in origination and guarantee fees. These fees are deducted from the loan before disbursement.
  • Dropping below half-time enrollment any time during the semester will initiate the six-month grace period before Federal Direct Loan repayment begins.
  • Dropping below half-time enrollment any time during the semester will initiate the nine-month grace period before Federal Perkins Loan repayment begins.

5. Dropping, Failing, and Repeating Courses

  • You can only receive federal aid for a single repeat of a class you have already passed. More Information.
  • Grants adjust or prorate as you add or drop classes during the first three weeks of the term (to full-time 3/4-time, half-time status, or less than half-time status depending on eligibility.)
  • If you drop classes during the first three weeks, you may be required to repay a portion of your grant funds immediately.
  • Summer semester grants adjust or prorate until the last day to add of the last session.
  • You must begin attendance in every class while receiving Federal Pell Grants.
  • If you withdraw from or fail a class and you are not able to verify class participation, you may be required to repay the grant you received for that class. Please note that grants cannot be reinstated for NF grades without a grade change and verification of participation.
  • You may be required to immediately repay USU all or a portion of your financial aid if you completely withdraw from your classes during the semester. Full policy.
  • You may be required to immediately repay USU all or a portion of your financial aid if you receive failing grades in all your classes after receiving financial aid funds. Full policy.
  • If you don't plan on attending any courses for which you are already enrolled, you are responsible for dropping those courses.

6. Warning: Don't Lose Your Aid! Your Academic Responsibility

  • Financial aid comes with standards and limitations to encourage you to graduate in a timely manner.
  • To receive federal financial aid, federal law requires you to make "satisfactory academic progress" toward a degree. Full policy.
  • Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 USU GPA after each term.
  • Undergraduate students must also earn passing grades in at least 67 percent of the courses on their transcript - including all transfer credits.
  • Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 USU GPA after each term.
  • Federal aid recipients can attempt a limited number of credits before their federal financial aid is discontinued: Full policy.
    • Certificate Program - 45 credits
    • Associate Degree - 90 credits
    • First Bachelor's Degree - 180 credits
    • Second Bachelor's Degree - 60 credits
    • Graduate Program - 60 credits
  • Appeals are available by request for students who have extenuating circumstances.

7. Other Requirements and Responsibilities

  • Financial aid may only be used for education-related expenses, including tuition, books, fees, transportation, and room & board.
  • Federal Work-Study comes with additional Terms & Conditions.
  • Audited and year-long independent study classes do not qualify for financial aid including loans.
  • You must notify the Financial Aid Office with the amounts of any financial assistance which you may receive from other sources which do not appear on your application or MyUSU/Banner. This includes any scholarships, rehabilitation assistance, veterans educational benefits, assistantships, fellowships, stipends etc. Notify Financial Aid Office.
  • According to federal regulations, financial aid including student loans must be adjusted to make room for scholarships, waivers, third-party tuition assistance etc. This may result in a reduction of financial aid that must be returned immediately.
  • You cannot receive Federal Pell Grants from more than one school during the same or overlapping periods of enrollment.
  • Any loans received from more than one school may require adjustment to fit within federal loan limits.
  • You must notify the USU Financial Aid Office about any financial aid that you are receiving from another school. Notify Financial Aid Office.

8. Federal Financial Aid Is Awarded and Disbursed to You Provisionally

Important: Federal financial aid is subject to adjustment, cancellation, or immediate repayment for the following reasons, even if it has already disbursed. 

  • Any errors or conflicting information found during the application, verification, quality control, awarding, auditing, processing or disbursing of your aid.
  • Any changes you make to your FAFSA that result in the verification of your application data.
  • Failure to submit any requested documentation after federal aid has been offered or disbursed.
  • The addition or adjustment of scholarships, waivers, fellowships, stipends, outside financial assistance, living allowances, etc. at any time during the award year.
  • Changes in enrollment.
  • Complete withdrawal, unofficial withdrawal (0.0 GPA), suspension from the university, or leave of absence during the term.
  • Insufficient academic progress including low GPA, excessive credits, or frequent dropping, failing, or repeating classes.
  • Changes in residency, tuition costs, program costs, etc.
  • Changes in your admission status, matriculation or degree/certificate program, grade level, or graduation status.
  • Changes made to your academic transcript, such as the late inclusion of transfer credits.
  • Changes made to your financial aid awards from other schools you have attended.
  • Notifications from the United States Department of Education about federal grant and student loan limits, default, overpayment, change or loss of eligibility, etc.
  • Changes in federal and state laws, regulations, or funding appropriations.

You will be notified by mail or email if you are required to immediately repay any financial aid that was adjusted for the reasons above. Payment plans can be arranged to accommodate your ability to repay federal financial aid.