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Eligibility and policies for financial aid

To be eligible for federal, state and/or institutional need-based aid you must:

  • File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree-seeking or eligible certificate program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • If male, be registered with Selective Service
  • Have a high school diploma or GED certificate, or pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or have completed a high school education in a home school setting approved under state law. 
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Not be in default on any federal loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Federal Direct Loan Program funds.

To be an eligible non-citizen, you must be:

A U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swains Island), U.S. permanent resident (who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C [Permanent Resident Card]), or an individual who has an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:

  • "Refugee" 
  • "Asylum Granted" 
  • "Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)"
  • "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980) 
  • Victims of human trafficking, T-visa (T-2, T-3, or T-4, etc.) holder 
  • "Parolee" (You must be paroled into the United States for at least one year and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)

Determining financial need and awarding aid

A student's financial need is determined once a student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Using the information provided on the FAFSA, an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated using a standardized formula mandated by the federal government. The EFC and Cost of Attendance are used to calculate a student's demonstrated financial need:

COA (Cost of Attendance)  includes tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, transportation and personal expenses. This figure, minus the Expected Family Contribution, results in the total Demonstrated Financial Need.

Once demonstrated need has been established, the Office of Financial Aid will determine the various aid programs and amounts that can be offered to the student. When federal funds are awarded, federal regulations require aid from all sources to be considered when meeting demonstrated financial need.

The total of aid/resources from all sources, including loans, work, scholarships and grants, cannot exceed the students COA. If total aid/resources exceed COA, aid will be reduced beginning with work, followed by loans, institutional grants and finally scholarships.

Augie Choice and Board of Trustees Fellowship funds are considered a resource when calculating eligibility for loans and Federal Work Study. Use of Augie Choice and Board of Trustees Fellowship funds may result in an adjustment to student and parent loans and/or Federal Work Study.

Augustana's institutional policy does not allow for the total of state, federal and institutional funds to exceed tuition. Institutional funds may be applied to tuition only.

All aid is subject to change based on institutional, state and federal funding.

Credit hour requirements and eligibility

A student must be enrolled full-time (12 or more credit hours per semester) to be eligible for all institutional financial aid, and institutional aid is available for up to eight semesters of enrollment or completion of the degree.

Students must be enrolled full-time to receive their full aid eligibility. Financial aid is awarded based on full-time enrollment unless the student has notified the Office of Financial Aid of an intention to enroll in fewer than 12 credits in a semester. 

  • Full-time status for full institutional funds is 12 or more credit hours per semester.
  • Full-time status for full federal funds is 12 or more credit hours per semester.
  • Full-time status for full state grant funds is 15 or more credit hours per semester.

Financial aid will be adjusted based on enrollment in fewer than 12 credits for federal and institutional funds and 15 credits for state funds.

  • 12 or more credits per semester (full-time) = full aid (15 for full state grant eligibility)
  • Nine to 11.99 credits per semester (3/4 time) = no institutional funds; state and federal funds adjusted per state and federal regulations
  • Six to 8.99 credits per semester (half-time) = no institutional funds; state and federal funds adjusted per state and federal regulations
  • Fewer than six credits per semester (less than half-time) = no institutional funds; state and federal funds adjusted per state and federal regulations

A student must be enrolled on a full-time basis (12 or more credit hours per semester) to be eligible for all institutional financial aid. Institutional aid is available for up to eight semesters of enrollment or completion of the degree. A student who is enrolled less than full-time for a semester without institutional aid counts towards the 8 semesters.

Class attendance requirements and eligibility

Students who fail to begin attendance in a class or classes, causing their enrollment to drop to part-time, will no longer qualify for institutional funds for that semester. All financial aid will be recalculated based on part-time enrollment. It is the student's obligation to notify the Office of Financial Aid of enrollment changes at any point in the semester.

Repeated coursework and eligibility

Although the college's Repeat Course policy allows for repeat of courses, the following policy applies when determining financial aid eligibility.

Federal regulations state that a student can receive Title IV aid for a previously passed course (grades other than F) only once. For students deemed to have taken a passed course twice, financial aid award will be recalculated accordingly.

Federal regulations allow a student to receive financial aid from federal sources (Title IV aid) for only one repeat of a previously passed course (grades other than F). Therefore, financial aid eligibility will be reviewed if a student is repeating for the third time a course for which the student previously earned a passing grade. Depending on the results of that review, financial aid award amounts may require adjustment (e.g., if discounting the repeated course results in a change from full time enrollment). Exceptions cannot be made for circumstances in which a student has not attained a required grade upon their second attempt for a given class or in order to meet grade point average requirements for graduation (e.g., prerequisite requirements or for courses which require a C grade or better).

Students repeating failed coursework may receive aid for multiple attempts.

See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy for repeat courses and financial aid satisfactory progress decisions.

Satisfactory academic progress and eligibility

Federal and state regulations require Augustana College to maintain a Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. These requirements are established to ensure that students who receive financial aid are progressing toward degree completion.

All students must meet the minimum SAP requirements in order to qualify for financial aid in the following programs:

  • Federal grants, loans and work-study
  • State scholarship and grant programs
  • Institutional scholarship and grant programs
  • Other outside scholarship, grant and loan programs could also be affected

Note that this policy pertains only to the requirements for continued eligibility for financial aid. A separate review for academic standing is performed by the Dean of Student's Office.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy

Special provision for books and supplies for Pell Grant recipients

Beginning Day 1 of a payment period, Pell Grant-eligible students may obtain books and supplies required for the payment period through a book voucher if:

  • By Day 1 of a payment period the student meets all student eligibility requirements. For example, a student who has not completed the verification process, has an unresolved "C" code on the Student Aid Report (SAR), or has unresolved conflicting information is not covered by this policy and
  • Disbursement of Pell Grant funds would have created a credit balance in federal student aid funds and
  • The student has no restrictions placed on their billing account from prior to overdue account balances from a previous payment period or academic year.

Ability to obtain required books and supplies during subsequent payments periods will be restricted by the Business Office for students with prior or overdue balances. Please note that in regard to policy No. 2, credit balances created by federal student aid funds occur very infrequently.

Aid eligibility for approved off-campus study

A student’s enrollment in an approved off-campus program may be considered enrollment at Augustana College for the purpose of applying for federal and institutional aid. Students make application for approved off-campus enrollment through the International and Off-Campus Programs Office (IOP). Approved off-campus enrollment only will be available for students enrolling in a program included on the list of approved programs available in the IOP Office. 

Students selecting a non-approved program will have a withdrawn status at Augustana and be required to re-apply to the college using the Special Student Application. No financial aid is available for non-approved programs.

Students enrolled in an approved off-campus programs are eligible for both federal and institutional grants, scholarships, and loans. Students are not granted additional gift aid to cover extra costs associated with an approved off-campus program. However, extra costs are included in a student’s cost of attendance for the purpose of determining maximum loan eligibility. 

Disbursement of aid

Financial aid will be disbursed approximately 10 days before the start of each semester and weekly throughout the semester. In general, awards are split evenly between the two semesters.  

However, many programs have specific enrollment requirements and some programs disburse at lower amounts if you enroll in less than 12 credit hours per semester. Your aid will be recalculated if you enroll in fewer than 12 credit hours in a semester. Aid also will be recalculated based on a failure to begin attendance in a class, or classes, and you may no longer be eligible for the financial aid disbursed to you.

NOTE: If you were selected for verification, funds will not be credited to your account until verification is complete.

Funds credited directly to your student account:

  • Institutional, state and federal funds - scholarships and grants
  • Outside scholarships when the funds are received in the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Federal Direct and Augustana loans if the loan has not been rejected and when both the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling are complete.

Funds not credited directly to your student account:

  • Federal Work Study: Students receive a paycheck or direct deposit on a biweekly basis for the hours they have worked.

Should you have funds in excess of your charges, you should contact the Business Office regarding a refund of the excess amount.


Each year, the Department of Education selects student FAFSAs to be reviewed in a process called verification. Augustana's Office of Financial Aid will compare information from your FAFSA with IRS data, W-2 information, and information you provide on a Verification Form.

See the complete Verification policy.

Withdrawing from Augustana, refunds, return of federal financial aid

Students who wish to withdraw from all courses during the semester must take formal action to do so by contacting the Office of Student Life, Founders Hall 104.

Federal Title IV funds are awarded and disbursed to students under the assumption that the student will attend the school for the entire period for which the funds are awarded.  When a student leaves the institution before completing the semester, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds. 

See the withdrawal policies:

Withdrawal - Refund of Institutional Charges

Withdrawal - Return of Title IV Federal Student Aid

Withdrawal - Return of Unearned Military Tuition Assistance Fund