2016-2017 Graduate Catalog

Financial Aid

Introduction

Financial assistance is available to graduate and credential students who have been officially admitted into their programs and maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree. To qualify for assistance, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CLU Graduate Financial Aid Application each academic year.

Minimum Enrollment Requirements

The minimum enrollment requirements for financial aid include at least half-time enrollment for student loans and half-time enrollment, with financial need, for CLU graduate/credential scholarships. To be eligible for financial assistance, students must also be enrolled for the specified semesters (terms) they have been awarded for in order to receive aid for those terms. The following guidelines apply to the graduate/credential programs at CLU.

Credential Programs

Full-time 12 Credits
Half-time 6 Credits

Graduate Programs

Full-time 6 Credits
Half-time 3 Credits

Graduate Scholarships

Graduate scholarships are offered to graduate/credential students based on financial need, GPA, and at least half-time enrollment.  In order to qualify for priority consideration, students must be officially admitted and have all required financial aid applications and documentation submitted prior to April 30th for the upcoming academic year.

Graduate Assistantships

Each semester, a limited number of assistantships are offered to qualified graduate/credential students. The program was established as a method to provide qualified graduate/credential students with professional development experience, while completing their graduate/credential program.

A graduate assistantship provides a tuition remission award (or hourly pay, in very limited circumstances).  Tuition remission of up to five credits per semester may be awarded in exchange for the student’s assistance in an academic area or administrative office. Students are required to work 40 hours for each credit earned. Assistants are under direct and assigned supervision of regular faculty members or administrators. Typical duties include educational research and administrative responsibilities. Because of the time required to perform this service, students who are employed full time usually do not qualify for the award.

Information about all requirements and the application process for graduate assistantships is available on the CLU website at: 

http://www.callutheran.edu/financial_aid/scholarships-assistance/assistantships.php#graduate.

Congregational Partnerships in Education (CPE) Award

This award allows any religious congregation to assist outstanding full-time graduate/credential students who have demonstrated a commitment to the life and work of their church. CLU will match gifts from the congregation in support of a student up to $2,500 per academic year. More information about the CPE Award is available on the CLU website at: 

http://www.callutheran.edu/financial_aid/scholarships-assistance/cpe.php.

Assumption Program of Loans for Education

As a result of the 2012-13 Budget Act, the California Student Aid Commission did not accept 2012-13 applications for the APLE program. The Commission will continue to accept and process other forms and documentation to administer program benefits for existing participants who are already in the program. Please refer to www.csac.ca.gov for future updates regarding the APLE program for the 2013-14 academic year.

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

This fixed interest rate loan is available to students as determined by the FAFSA. The loan is certified by the school and funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  The borrower is responsible for interest that accrues while in school.  Borrowers may not exceed the total Federal Stafford limits set by the federal government.  A student must be enrolled at least half time to receive student loans.  After the loan has been applied to charges owed, any remaining proceeds from the Stafford Loan will be issued as a refund after the end of the add/drop period or later for students who do not meet the priority deadline.

Veterans’ Benefits and Responsibilities

Veterans or their eligible dependents may be entitled to education benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs to be used at California Lutheran University. Students who receive VA benefits are responsible for promptly notifying the VA Coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid of changes in academic program, course load, address, marital or dependent status, and of withdrawal from one or more courses. For more information about benefits, contact Veterans Affairs.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must meet three components of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to retain eligibility for financial aid:

1.  GPA of at least 3.0

2.  A 67 percent completion (PACE) rate of their coursework.  This is measured in terms of: Cumulative  hours completed/Cumulative hours attempted = PACE rate

3.  Program completion prior to reaching 150 percent of the established program length. 

The complete Graduate SAP policy is available on the CLU website at: http://www.callutheran.edu/financial_aid/policies-eligibility/documents/Graduate-SatisfactoryAcademicProgress.pdf.

Withdrawal Policy as it applies to Return of Title IV Aid

Students should refer to the official academic withdrawal policy described in the current course catalog (undergraduate: http://catalog.callutheran.edu/undergraduate/academicpolicies/, graduate: http://catalog.callutheran.edu/grad/academicpolicies/). Students are considered to be recipients of Title IV federal financial aid if they are eligible to receive or have received funds from one or more of the following programs for the academic term in questions: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan,  Federal Direct Plus Loan, Federal Pell Grant, and TEACH Grant. Students should be aware that federal aid is earned on a prorata basis determined by the amount of time that they are enrolled in their courses for a given academic period. For students who are receiving federal aid who withdraw from all courses before attending at least 60 percent of the semester, CLU is required by federal regulations to calculate how much federal aid funds the student has earned and how much of the aid must be returned. The amount of the federal aid 'earned' is determined by the withdrawal date provided by the Registrar’s Office and is plugged into a federal formula.

The portion of federal aid that was not earned by a student will be returned to the federal government. To satisfy federal regulations, return to Title IV financial aid programs must be made in the following order: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Plus Loan, Federal Pell Grant,  and TEACH Grant. Please contact the Student Accounts Office to determine the amount that the student will be charged for the time they were enrolled, students will also be charged for any amounts that must be returned due to the calculation and these balances must be paid by the student.

If the calculation produces a credit to the student account (when the amount of aid earned is greater than the amount that has disbursed to the student's account) any grant funds will be applied to the account without notification. However, please note that if Stafford or Plus Loan funds are eligible to disburse under these conditions the borrower will be notified via email informing them of their eligibility and the borrower must confirm in writing that they want the loan to be disbursed. If no confirmation is received by the Office of Financial Aid within 30 days, the loan will be cancelled.

Non-Title IV programs (such as scholarships, grants, Cal Grant, and Alternative Loans) are not part of the Return of Title IV aid calculation; however they may be subject to reduction in cases of withdrawal based on institutional policy.

Important Note: Do Not Leave School With Out Officially Withdrawing.

If you 'walk away' from your courses and fail all of the classes you were enrolled in you will be considered 'unofficially withdrawn'. Federal regulations require that the Office of Financial Aid complete a Return of Title IV calculation based on the midpoint of the term, which will significantly affect the amount of aid you will retain for the term. Please note it pertinent that you complete a Separation Form with the Registrar's Office.

Students who receive federal aid are subject to Federal Return of Title IV funds policies. These policies state that a student is only eligible for the percentage of aid that corresponds to the percentage of the term in which a student was enrolled. Students who withdraw prior to the end of the term will have their financial aid adjusted accordingly and may owe funds depending on the date of withdrawal.

Falsification of Information

The types of information covered by this policy include all documentation and information submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. A school must report any credible information indicating that an applicant for Federal Student Aid may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application. These documents and information include, but are not limited to the following:

·         Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA)

·         Student Aid Report (SAR)

·         Student and/or Parent Federal Tax Forms

·         Documentation of U.S. Citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen Status

·         Formal forms of identification (i.e. driver’s license, social security cards, etc.)

·         Academic documents relating to high school diploma or college course work

·         Loan applications, Promissory Notes

·         Scholarship applications

·         Work Study authorization forms

·         Work Study timesheets

·         Any university financial aid forms and related documentation

·         Any written, electronic, or verbal statements sent to or made to a university employee regarding the student's financial aid application or financially related documents.

The integrity of the information presented in the financial aid process is of the utmost importance. Students should be aware that they will be held responsible for the validity of the information that is submitted by them or on their behalf to the Office of Financial Aid. If the University determines that a student or parent has provided falsified information, or has submitted forged documents or signatures, the following steps may be taken without prior notification to the student or parent.

The Office of Financial Aid will review the infraction and if a violation of this policy has occurred, the consequences may include but are not limited to:

·         The student will be required to make full restitution of any and all federal, state, grant, and loan or work funds to which he or she was not entitled to.

·         If the student is determined to be ineligible for financial aid because of a basic eligibility criterion, no further federal, state, or university funds will be awarded to the student for the academic period in question.

·         The student may be ineligible for future participation in some or all financial aid programs for a minimum of one year or longer.

·         The student will not be awarded funds to replace those lost because the student is considered to be ineligible due to dishonesty.

As required by federal and state law, the CLU Office of Financial Aid will report any infraction to the appropriate office or agency. These include but are not limited to: the US Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General, state agencies, or other entities that may take whatever action is required by law.

The above is in accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulation 668.16(g).

Student Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

Education is a significant investment. To help students make good choices and decisions, CLU provides a variety of information on academic programs, facilities, dropout rates, full cost of attendance, refund policies and financial aid programs.

Student Rights

Students have the right to ask:

  • What financial assistance is available, including information on all federal, state and institutional financial aid programs.
  • What the deadlines are for submitting applications for each of the financial aid programs available.
  • What the costs and refund policies are.
  • What criteria are used to select financial aid recipients.
  • How the University determines student financial need. This process includes how costs for tuition and fees, housing, food, books and supplies, personal and miscellaneous expenses, etc., are considered in establishing the budget.
  • What resources (such as other financial aid, assets, etc.) are considered in the calculation of student need.
  • How much of a student’s financial need, as determined by the University, has been met.
  • For an explanation of the various programs in the student aid package. If a student believes he or she has been treated unfairly, reconsideration of the award may be requested.
  • What portion of the financial aid received must be repaid and what portion is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, students have the right to know the interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, the payback procedures, the length of time they have to repay the loan, and when repayment is to begin.
  • How the University determines whether students are making satisfactory academic progress and what happens if they are not.

Student Responsibilities

Students have the following responsibilities:

  • To review and consider all information about the University’s programs before enrolling at CLU.
  • To pay special attention to the application for student financial aid. It should be completed accurately and submitted on time. Errors can result in delays in the receipt of financial aid. Intentional misreporting of information on application forms for federal financial aid is a violation of law and is considered a criminal offense subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  • To return all additional documentation, verification, corrections and/or new information requested by either the Financial Aid Office or the agency to which the application was submitted.
  • To read, understand and keep copies of all forms they are asked to sign.
  • To accept responsibility for all signed agreements.
  • To notify the institution of changes in the student’s name, address, or school status, if the student has a loan.
  • To know and comply with the University’s refund procedures.
  • To report any change in status or resources while receiving aid. Failure to do so may result in denial of further financial aid. If receipt of additional resources results in a determination of less financial eligibility than was computed when the award for the year was originally made, then the award will be adjusted. If funds in excess of the revised eligibility figure have already been received, then the student is responsible for the immediate repayment of those funds. Similarly, if circumstances change to increase financial need, consideration will be given for an increased award if funds are available.

For further information, contact the CLU Office of Financial Aid at (805) 493-3115.

PLTS Financial Aid

(For a complete description please refer to the PLTS website at: http://www.plts.edu/

The primary purpose of the seminary’s financial aid program is to assist qualified women and men in obtaining a theological education at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.  The seminary’s financial aid program is designed to augment the seminarian’s efforts.  Seminarians are responsible for their own educational and living expenses and for seeking financial aid. 

Aid is awarded on the basis of need, availability of funds and satisfactory program progress.  Aid sources include government guaranteed loans, government-funded employment, PLTS-funded employment, and PLTS Tuition Assistance and scholarships.

Most synods and districts and some congregations offer grants and/or loans for theological education.  Seminarians should apply for such grants and/or loans directly to the respective agencies.  Seminarians are also encouraged to seek assistance from civic organizations, trust funds, and foundations.  Information on such scholarships may be sought through the Financial Aid section of the GTU website: http://www.gtu.edu/admissions/financial-aid.

All seminarians are encouraged to apply for financial aid.  PLTS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious affiliation, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability in administering its financial aid programs.

Financial Aid is administered through the GTU Consortial Financial Aid Office located at 2465 LeConte Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709.  The office is open to seminarians between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00pm, Monday through Thursday.  Tel: 510-649-2469.  E-mail: finaid@gtu.edu.

I.  PLTS Tuition Assistance and Scholarships

PLTS Tuition Assistance is available to seminarians on the basis of need, availability of funds, and satisfactory program progress.  The Financial Aid Office awards Tuition Assistance based on the information provided in the seminarian’s financial aid application.  Awards are disbursed at the beginning of each semester and applied first to tuition and other seminary charges.  PLTS Scholarships are awarded by the PLTS Admissions Office on the basis of merit, financial need, and availability of funds. Recipients of PLTS Tuition Assistance and/or Scholarship aid who also elect to borrow Federal Seminarian Aid (loans) must satisfy the requirements of the PLTS Student Loan Borrowing Policy.  The PLTS Student Loan Borrowing Policy can be found online.

II.  Direct Student Loans

PLTS participates in the federal Direct student loan program. Eligibility is determined annually and is based on information provided on a seminarian’s application for financial aid and on satisfactory academic progress.

A seminarian is not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.   The Financial Aid Office will determine the amount a seminarian can borrow up to the annual maximum of $20,500.   The aggregate loan limit for a graduate student, inclusive of outstanding Stafford Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans, is $138,500.

Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidized loan from the time it is first paid out.  The interest may be paid while the borrower is in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or the interest may accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of the loan).  Choosing not to pay the interest as it accrues will increase the total amount a borrower will have to repay as interest will eventually be charged on a higher principal amount, once that interest is capitalized.  Accrued interest is capitalized once the loan enters repayment.  For information on the current unsubsidized direct loan interest rate, please visit: http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#what-are-the-current

An additional loan provided under the Direct Loan Program is the Direct PLUS Loan for graduate and professional degree students.   The terms and conditions include a determination that the applicant does not have an adverse credit history.  Before a seminarian will be considered for a PLUS Loan, the Financial Aid Office must have determined the maximum eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.  The maximum PLUS Loan amount an eligible seminarian can borrow is the cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received.  For information on the current Graduate PLUS loan interest rate, please visit: http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#what-are-the-current.

The U.S. Department of Education charges a loan fee for a portion of the principal amount of the Unsubsidized loan and Direct PLUS loan.  For Direct Unsubsidized loans disbursements made after December 1, 2013, and before October 1, 2014, the loan fee will be 1.072 percent of the amount of each disbursement (1.073% after October 1, 2014).  For Direct PLUS Loans made after December 1, 2013 and before October 1, 2014, the loan fee will be 4.288 percent of the amount of each disbursement (4.292% after October 1, 2014).

The Direct Loan Program offers several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. Generally, borrowers have 10 to 25 years to repay a loan, depending on the repayment plan that is chosen.  A borrower will receive more detailed information on repayment options during the required student loan entrance and exit counseling sessions.  More information about Direct Loan programs and repayment options may be found online at http://studentloans.gov.

III.  Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) may be available to those who demonstrate financial need. A Federal Work-Study award grants a seminarian priority consideration for on-campus hourly employment. Work-study awards may also be utilized off campus with a non-profit employer. To apply for Federal Work-Study a seminarian must apply for financial aid as outlined later in this section.

PLTS offers seminarian employment to work-study and non work-study seminarians.  For a listing of on-campus employment opportunities, please contact the PLTS Business Office. Information on off-campus FWS employment opportunities may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.

IV.  Enrollment Requirements

To qualify for financial aid, a seminarian must be enrolled at least half-time in a PLTS degree or eligible certificate program.  Changes in enrollment may result in an adjustment to or loss of PLTS aid.  Grants and scholarships awarded by PLTS are applied to tuition paid to PLTS, only.  Seminarians studying away and paying tuition at another institution are not eligible for PLTS aid. (Federal seminarian aid eligibility may be arranged for study away programs.)

V.  Academic Standards

Federal regulations require that institutions of higher education establish and implement a policy to measure if a financial aid recipient is making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress must be maintained in order for a seminarian to retain eligibility for institutional and federal financial aid.  At PLTS, this policy is referred to as the Satisfactory Program Progress (SPP) policy. 

The following information provides an overview of the effect of an Unsatisfactory Program Progress determination on a seminarian’s eligibility for institutional and federal financial aid. Refer to Part III, Section Two IV:B of the Handbook for complete information.

At the end of each semester, a seminarian’s academic record will be reviewed.  If a seminarian does not meet SPP standards in a given semester, the seminarian will be notified by the Office of the Dean and will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester.  During the semester of Warning the seminarian may continue to receive institutional and federal financial aid.

Failure to meet SPP standards after the semester of Financial Aid Warning will result in the loss of continued financial aid eligibility unless the seminarian successfully appeals. A successful appeal will result in the seminarian being placed on Financial Aid Probation for the period of one semester.  During a semester of Financial Aid Probation the seminarian may continue to receive institutional and federal financial aid.  Failure to meet SPP standards after a semester of Probation may result in the loss of continued financial aid eligibility.

VI.  How to Apply

Seminarians seeking PLTS Tuition Assistance or Federal Seminarian Aid (Direct loans or work-study) must apply for financial aid each year for the following academic year as outlined:

  • Domestic applicants must submit a Free Application for Federal Seminarian Aid (FAFSA) and a Domestic Seminarian Financial Aid Application no later than March 15 to receive priority consideration for need-based, limited aid funds, namely PLTS Tuition Assistance and federal work-study.  International applicants must submit an International Seminarian Financial Aid Application by March 15 to receive priority consideration for PLTS Tuition Assistance.
  • Entering seminarians/Admissions applicants are asked to submit a complete financial aid application by March 1.  After March 1, entering seminarians are encouraged to apply for financial aid as early in the enrollment process as possible.
  • Applicants should visit the Financial Aid pages of the GTU website (http://www.gtu.edu/admissions/financial-aid) for each year’s application and instructions. Domestic and International seminarian applications are available online starting in December of each year. The FAFSA may be completed online as early as January 1 of each year.
  • To encourage early and on-time application submission, the Financial Aid Office will send periodic e-mail reminders after the beginning of each calendar year.  However, it is the responsibility of the seminarian to complete each year’s application on time.
  • Seminarians who submit an application for financial aid after the priority deadline will be considered for need-based aid (PLTS Tuition Assistance and work-study) as funds allow. 

VII.  Financial Aid for GTU Common M.A. Seminarians affiliated with PLTS

GTU MA seminarians affiliated with PLTS pay their tuition and continuing fees to PLTS and, accordingly, apply for PLTS Tuition Assistance and Federal Seminarian Aid as described above.

VIII.  Veterans’ Benefits

For information and the application for Veterans’ Benefits, contact the Consortial Registrar at the Graduate Theological Union.

IX. Return of Title IV Funds Policy

Federal regulations require a school to have a written tuition and fees refund policy (above) and a Return of Title IV (Federal Seminarian Aid) Funds policy to be applied to seminarians who withdraw during the term for which federal aid has been received. This policy addresses how Title IV funds are handled if the recipient of those funds completely terminates enrollment (i.e., cancels his/her registration, withdraws, or is dismissed) or stops attending classes prior to the end of a term.

When a seminarian terminates enrollment after beginning attendance, that seminarian may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that she or he was originally scheduled to receive.  In this case, the amount of Title IV loan assistance earned by the seminarian must be determined.  If the seminarian does not complete more than 60% of the enrollment period and the amount of Title IV aid disbursed to the seminarian is determined to be greater than the amount the seminarian earned, the unearned funds must be returned.  If the amount disbursed to the seminarian is less than the amount the seminarian earned, and for which the seminarian is otherwise eligible, she or he may receive a Post-withdrawal disbursement.  After the 60% point in the period of enrollment, a seminarian has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period and a return is not required.

The Return of Title IV funds calculation is completed by the Financial Aid Office in accordance with the federal regulations set forth in the Higher Education Act of 1965 (http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea98/sec485.html) and the Return worksheet (http://www.ifap.ed.gov/aidworksheets/attachments/2010IASGCreditHourFinal.pdf) provided by the Department of Education.  To determine the amount of earned and unearned aid, the Financial Aid Office will calculate the percentage of the enrollment period the seminarian completed.  If any amount of aid is determined to be unearned, institutional charges are used to determine the portion of the unearned Title IV aid that the school is responsible for returning. The Financial Aid Office will include all appropriate PLTS fees in the Return calculation.  The institutional charges used in the calculation usually are the charges that were initially assessed for the entire period of enrollment. Initial charges may only be adjusted by those changes the Business Office made prior to the seminarian’s withdrawal (for example, for a change in enrollment status unrelated to the withdrawal).

Once the Financial Aid Office determines the amount of unearned aid that the school is responsible for returning, the seminarian and the Business Office will be notified.  The e-mail and/or written letter to the seminarian will specify the amount of aid that must be returned to the Title IV loan program by the school and the amount that must be repaid by the seminarian in accordance with the terms outlined on her or his federal Master Promissory Note.  If the school’s portion of the funds to be returned creates a balance due on the seminarian’s account, the seminarian will be billed for the amount due.

Minimum Enrollment Requirements

Half-Time            6 Credits
Full-Time             12 Credits

Satisfactory Program Progress Policy

Satisfactory Program Progress (SPP) is the PLTS equivalent of Satisfactory Academic Process (SAP) required by The Higher Education Act and California state government in order to receive Title IV Aid (federal financial aid).   The PLTS Satisfactory Program Progress (SPP) Policy is designed to take into consideration course requirements, contextual education, and formational requirements appropriate to the certificate and degree programs of a theological seminary.  This policy is designed to increase the possibility of a stepped procedure.

A seminarian must maintain Satisfactory Program Progress (SPP) toward certificate or degree completion in order to be eligible for and receive any institutional aid and Title IV Aid (federal financial aid).  The standards of The Higher Education Act apply to all seminarians.  All sessions and semesters are considered in determining SPP for institutional aid and Title IV Aid (federal financial aid) eligibility whether or not aid was received.

PLTS strongly encourages seminarians to maintain a 3.0 or above cumulative GPA.  Maintaining Satisfactory Program Progress (SPP) at PLTS requires:

1) Satisfactory Course Grades and Cumulative GPA: Completion of all courses receiving academic credits with a C or better/P/CR in each course and/or maintaining a 2.5 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA);

2) Satisfactory Contextual Education and Formation Requirements Completion: Completion of contextual education and formation requirements of the program with a CR;

3) Satisfactory Enrollment and Completion of Course Load: Enrollment and completion of the expected course load per semester: Full-time is twelve (12) credit hours per semester; half-time is six (6) credit hours per semester; and,

4) Satisfactory Advancement in the Program: Completion of the certificate or degree in the maximum time allotted to complete the program:  MDiv: 6 years plus internship; MTS and MCM: 4 years; CTS and CATS: 2 years.

At the end of each semester, the Office of the Registrar reviews the records of progress for each seminarian to determine if the seminarian made Satisfactory Program Progress (SPP).

Satisfactory Program Progress Procedure

The PLTS Satisfactory Program Progress (SPP) Procedure is designed to encourage success by making provision for and proceeding in steps in order to maximize the possibility of seminarian improvement through additional personal effort and increased institutional support.   

Notice: When the progress of a seminarian approaches toward becoming unsatisfactory, the Offices of the Associate Deans proceed as follows in what ordinarily would constitute a step one:

1)  A seminarian receiving 1) one or more F’s/Fail/NC’s in any term, and/or 2) whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) has fallen below a 3.0 average but remains above 2.5, and/or 3) who will exceed the maximum time allotted to complete a program in the next academic year is given a Satisfactory Program Progress Notice.  With being placed on notice, the Offices of the Associate Deans may advise the seminarian to follow up with a campus pastoral care team member about vocational discernment. 

2)  The notice will be communicated to the GTU Financial Aid Office.   During the semester a seminarian is on notice, she or he will remain eligible to receive both institutional and federal financial aid.  The notice will include written notification to the seminarian that failure to meet SPP in the following semester will result in a warning that will place the seminarian on Financial Aid Warning (see Warning below).

3)  The seminarian’s academic advisor is notified and a Formation for Ministry Consultation is scheduled to prepare a Program Success Plan that includes a course of action for improvement or completion in the time remaining.  The course of action will be placed on file.

Note: In any semester, should a seminarian receive a grade of NC in a contextual education or formation requirement, fall below the GPA threshold of 2.5, or fail to complete of the full-time or half-time course load requirements for study (see second paragraph under Warning), the seminarian would be placed directly on Warning (see next).

Warning: When the progress of a seminarian becomes unsatisfactory, the Offices of the Associate Deans proceed as follows in what ordinarily, but not always, would constitute a step two, following giving notice (with the exceptions Noted above or see paragraph two below):

1)  If in the semester following a notice, 1) a seminarian receives one or more F’s/Fail/NC’s, and/or 2) a seminarian’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) has fallen below 2.5 average, and/or 3) a seminarian does not complete the course load required for full-time or half-time study respectively, and/or 4) a seminarian will exceed the maximum time allotted to complete a program in the following term, the seminarian is given an Unsatisfactory Program Progress Warning

2)  Or in any semester if 1) a seminarian receives a grade of NC in a contextual education or formation requirement, 2) a seminarian’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) has fallen below a 2.5 average, and/or 3) a seminarian does not complete the course load required for full-time or half-time study respectively, the seminarian is given an Unsatisfactory Program Progress Warning.  With being placed on warning, the Offices of the Associate Deans may advise the seminarian to follow up with a campus pastoral care team member about vocational discernment.

The warning will be communicated to the GTU Financial Aid Office, and the seminarian will receive a Financial Aid Warning to coincide with the Unsatisfactory Program Progress Warning.   During the semester a seminarian is on warning, she or he will remain eligible to receive both institutional and federal financial aid.  The warning will include written notification to the seminarian that failure to meet SPP in the following semester will result in being ineligible for institutional and federal financial aid unless an appeal is made (see Probation below). 

The seminarian’s academic advisor is notified that the seminarian has been placed on warning, and a Formation for Ministry Consultation is scheduled to determine or revise a Program Success Plan that includes a course of action for improvement or completion in the next term.  The course of action will be placed on file.

Probation: When the progress of a seminarian remains unsatisfactory, the Offices of the Associate Deans procees as follows in what ordinarily, but not always, would constitute a step three, following giving a warning (see above):

1)  If in the semester following a warning, 1) a seminarian receives one or more F’s/Fails/NC’s, and/or 2) a seminarian’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) remains below 2.5 average, and/or 3) a seminarian does not complete the course load required for full-time or half-time study respectively, and/or 4) a seminarian has exceeded the maximum time allotted to complete a program, the seminarian is placed on Unsatisfactory Program Progress Probation.  With being placed on probation, the Offices of the Associate Deans may advise the seminarian to follow up with a campus pastoral care team member about vocational discernment.

The probation will be communicated to the GTU Financial Aid Office, and a seminarian on probation must successfully appeal to receive institutional and federal financial aid as follows:

The written appeal must include the reasons for a seminarian’s failure to make satisfactory program progress, including injury, illness, death of a family member, or other extenuating circumstances.  The appeal must also include an update on the seminarian’s circumstances about what has changed in her or his situation that will allow her or him to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation.

The appeal should be addressed to the Offices of the Associate Deans with a copy to be submitted to the GTU Financial Aid Office.  Appeals must be submitted no later than 1 August for Fall Semester and 15 January for Spring Semester.

The appeal will be reviewed and considered by an Executive Session of the Faculty on a case-by-case basis. 

If an appeal is approved, the seminarian will also be placed on Financial Aid Probation.  Financial Aid Probation is only for one semester and will be reviewed at the end of the semester to determine SPP and future institutional and federal financial aid eligibility.

The probation will include written notification to the seminarian that failure to meet SPP in the following semester will require a second appeal in order to be eligible for institutional and federal financial aid, and may result in dismissal from or suspension of the program (see Dismissal and Suspension below).

Appeal cannot be made more than two (2) times.

The decision of the Executive Session of the Faculty is final.

The seminarian’s academic advisor is notified that the seminarian is on probation, and a Formation for Ministry Consultation is scheduled to determine or revise a Program Success Plan that includes a course of action for improvement or completion in the next term.  The course of action will be placed on file.   

Notes: If a seminarian does not make SPP following one semester of probation, she or he will not be eligible for federal financial aid unless she or he makes a second appeal using the process above.

All internship prerequisites must be completed prior to beginning internship with a removal probation and return to SPP unless permission is given otherwise by the faculty in Executive Session using the appeal process outlined under Probation (see above) as part of approval of internship placement. 

If a seminarian makes a successful second appeal prior to the start of internship, she or he will not be eligible for federal financial aid while on internship unless arrangements can be made with the GTU Financial Aid Office.  Eligibility for aid is reserved for any coursework following internship.

Dismissal or Suspension: Unless a second appeal is granted, when the progress of a seminarian remains unsatisfactory, the Offices of the Associate Deans proceed as follows in what ordinarily, but not always, would constitute a step four, following probation (see above):

Dismissal is the termination of a program.  One or more Fs or NC’s in the following term and/or failure to raise the cumulative GPA to 2.5 or above by the end of the following term and/or failure to complete the course load required for full-time or half-time study will result in dismissal from the seminary by an Executive Session of the Faculty.

Suspension places a program on hold.  Failure to meet schedule deadlines for completing the outstanding program requirements that exceeds one term of the maximum time allotted will result in the suspension of program by an Executive Session of the Faculty.

Prior to dismissal or suspension, a seminarian will be informed by the Offices of the Associate Deans about her or his options, including the option to voluntarily go on leave or withdraw from the program with the possibility of reapplying to the program at a future date (see Leave of Absence from the Program and Withdrawal from the Program below) and the option to make a case to an Executive Session of the Faculty as part of the dismissal or suspension proceedings. 

With being notified of impending dismissal or suspension, the Offices of the Associate Dean may advise the seminarian to follow up with a campus pastoral care team member about vocational discernment. 

An Executive Session of the Faculty dismisses or suspends a seminarian from the program as follows:

The seminarian will be asked to provide a written case to the Faculty in advance of the Executive Session of the Faculty.  The written case must include the reasons for a seminarian’s failure to make satisfactory program progress, including injury, illness, death of a family member, or other extenuating circumstances.  The case must also include an update on the seminarian’s circumstances about what has changed.[1]

The case should be addressed to the Offices of the Associate Deans, which will distribute the case to an Executive Session of the Faculty. 

The case will be reviewed and considered by an Executive Session of the Faculty on a case-by-case basis.  

The Faculty may elect to waive dismissal from a program on grounds of extenuating circumstances and may provide for another course of action for the seminarian to take to avoid dismissal. 

If dismissed, the faculty’s decision with respect to dismissal shall be final.

The Faculty may elect to waive suspension of a program on grounds of extenuating circumstances and may provide for another course of action for the seminarian to take to avoid suspension. 

If suspended, the faculty may provide a recommendation for a course of action to lift suspension.  Upon completion of this required course of action, the seminarian may be reinstated in the program by the faculty upon written request to the Office of the Dean and submission of an updated schedule for completing the outstanding program requirements.

Rather than suspend a seminarian’s program, the faculty may elect to dismiss the seminarian from the program if improvement is determined to be unlikely.  The faculty’s decision with respect to dismissal shall be final.

Reestablishing SPP

Should the faculty provide a recommendation for the seminarian to continue in the program or to reapply to a program at a future date and the seminarian is admitted, the seminarian may reestablish institutional and federal financial aid eligibility by repeating and passing failed courses to reestablish SPP.  A course may only be repeated once to be counted toward completion.

Academic Amnesty    

Additionally, a seminarian may request academic amnesty to make her or him eligible for institutional financial aid.  To receive academic amnesty, a seminarian can petition the faculty to have credits at­tempted and grades earned in previous semesters excluded from the calcula­tion of the seminarian’s cumulative GPA.  This can only apply to institutional aid as federal financial aid regulations make no similar provision.

 

[1] Should the faculty request a face-to-face meeting with the seminarian, the meeting will occur during an Executive Session of the Faculty.  The meeting will be structured as follows: Preparation(faculty members will be informed of the seminarian’s circumstances and determine questions or areas of concern to pursue with the seminarian), Invitation (the seminarian and accompanier will be invited into the meeting), Conversation (the faculty members will have conversation with the seminarian), Deliberation (the seminarian and accompanier will leave the meeting to wait for a decision, and faculty members will deliberate in order to come to a decision), Decision (a decision will be made during deliberation, and the decision will be communicated to the seminarian waiting outside the meeting).