Nov 27, 2020  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Academic Catalog

Financial Aid



Tusculum University offers a wide range of student financial assistance composed of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study employment. Information regarding application procedures, eligibility criteria, types of student financial aid available, alternative financing options and other general information is available at www.tusculum.edu/faid or from the Office of Financial Aid. Program regulations are subject to change without notification, and all awards are subject to funding availability.

Students wishing to apply for any type of assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This information is used in a formula established by the U.S. Congress to calculate the expected family contribution, known as the EFC. The EFC is an amount that students and families are expected to contribute towards the student’s educational costs. Many types of assistance are based upon financial need, which is defined as the student’s educational cost minus the EFC. The FAFSA should be completed even if students think they will not qualify, are requesting merit only awards, or are requesting loan or work-study employment. In addition, to receive assistance from federal student aid programs, students must also be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens; be admitted into a degree program; and continue to make Satisfactory Academic Progress. International students, or ineligible United States non-citizens, cannot receive federal or state financial assistance, and therefore, do not need to complete the FAFSA.

Types of Aid Available

Tusculum University participates in all Federal Title IV programs, including grant, work and loan programs. Most grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. Typically, grants do not have to be repaid. Subsidized, unsubsidized, and PLUS loans are borrowed funds and must be repaid. They are processed through the Direct Loan Program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Students must be registered and attending at least 6 credit hours in order to be eligible for federal loans.

Tusculum University also participates in the State Scholarship and Grant programs administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. Student must be enrolled in at least 6 hours to receive any type of grant or scholarship assistance from TSAC. Additional details about individual grant or scholarships can be found at https://www.tn.gov/collegepays/.

Institutional aid is designated for institutional charges. Academic-based aid is guaranteed and will only be reduced in certain circumstances (i.e. tuition remission, U.S.S. Greeneville, fully funded outside scholarship, etc.). Tusculum University Scholarships and Grants awarded to commuter students are designated for tuition only. Student commuter awards and student Traditional awards will differ due to on-campus room and board charges. The additional financial aid in the Traditional awards may be used towards any institutional charge. If a student falls below full-time or withdraws from the University, the institutional award may be reduced on a pro-rated schedule. Tusculum Opportunity Grant and Vice Presidential Opportunity Grant may be used for any institutional charges that will be at the University’s discretion. Each award is an annual award and will therefore be divided equally between fall and spring.

Many Tusculum University scholarship and grant awards are provided by alumni and other donors. These awards may be partially or fully funded through the generosity of the University’s donors. Depending on the source of the scholarship or grant received, students may be required to write a thank-you letter to the donor(s) and may be invited to attend a scholarship banquet. Institutional aid is considered the last gift dollars applied to the student charges. The University reserves the right to reduce, modify, or cancel awards when aid limits are exceeded, and/or the University determines at any time you are no longer eligible for the assistance. No cash credit balance refunds will be generated from University funds as the last resource.

Study Abroad

Students wishing to study abroad must consult with the Office of Financial Aid regarding their aid eligibility. In general, Federal and State funds may be used for study abroad. Determination will be made on an individual basis, and consultation from the Office of Financial Aid is advised. Institutional funds (scholarships, grants, athletic aid and some work-study funds) are for expenses incurred at Tusculum University and are not applicable to study abroad. Private scholarship and outside aid must have prior approval from the donor or granting agency in order to be used for study abroad. Upon completion of study abroad, student institutional aid will be re-instated for enrollment at Tusculum University.

Veterans Administration (VA) Programs

 Various VA education assistance programs are available to eligible military veterans and, in some cases, their family members.  These include the Post 911 VA education benefit programs, Montgomery VA education benefit programs, Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab), and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance.   In addition, Tusculum University participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.  When using the Post 911 VA education benefit programs, institutional scholarships and grants that cover tuition are required to be reported to the VA. Tusculum University will report the following for Post 911 VA education benefit programs recipients residing on campus: Tusculum Scholarship. Other forms of institutional aid such as the Vice-President Opportunity Grant, Returner Vice President Opportunity Grant, Band or Cheerleading Scholarships can be applied toward the cost of room and board. For additional information or guidance, please contact the Veteran Service Office (423-636-7371) or visit https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/

Vocational Rehabilitation

Students with a disability may be eligible for educational financial assistance through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for more details.

Classification of Students

For administrative purposes, financial aid utilizes the same criteria that are used in determining the class in which a student is placed:

Credit Hours Completed Class
0 - 29 Freshman
30 - 59 Sophomore
60 - 89 Junior
90 or more Senior

Enrollment Status

Undergraduate Credit Hours Enrolled
Full Time 12 or more
Three-Quarter Time 9 - 11
Half Time 6 - 8
Less than Half Time 5 or less

 

Graduate Credit Hours Enrolled
Full Time 9 or more
Three-Quarter Time 7 - 8
Half Time 6
Less than Half Time 5 or less

Academic Calendar

Tusculum develops its academic calendar in accordance with Federal Regulation (CFR) 34 Section 600.2 which mandates accredited institutions comply with the established definition of a credit hour.

Tusculum offers a 16 week fall and 15 spring semester with a 12 week summer term. Within the fall and spring semester, there are two mini seven week terms. Within the summer term, there are two mini 6 week terms. Tusculum’s academic year is 31 weeks and 30 credit hours.

Financial Aid Withdrawal and Non-Attendance Policies

Per Department of Education Federal Regulations, Title IV funds (Pell, SEOG, TEACH Grants, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans, and Plus loans) are awarded to a student with the expectation that the student will attend the classes for which they enrolled. Part of the awarding criteria for Financial Aid is the number of credit hours a student is enrolled for (enrollment status) along with the duration of enrollment (semester). Attendance will be taken through census date. Only classes that a student has confirmed attendance through census will be used to determine enrollment status for financial aid purposes.

When a student changes their class schedule by dropping a course prior to census date, or by dropping more credit hours than what is added back (i.e. drop 3 credit hour course but only add a 1 credit hour course) then the aid must be refigured on the REVISED enrollment status. This could mean a change from full-time to part-time and result in a reduction of the amount of aid that a student can receive for the semester.

When a student withdraws before completing the semester, our office is required to complete a recalculation, for all Title IV funds, as of the date the student ceased attendance. State regulations also require a recalculation of state aid such as the Tennessee Student Assistance Award and the HOPE Scholarship if a student withdraws or changes their schedule. The Tennessee Student Assistance Award and HOPE scholarship will be paid based upon enrollment as of census.

Tusculum University is not required to monitor student attendance. Instructors must record attendance for all face-to-face courses through census. Online, hybrid, student teaching, internships and clinical courses will have a course enrollment agreement that students must complete to confirm beginning attendance in the course.

If a student receives a failing grade in a course, an instructor will be required to enter a last date of academically related activity for that course. If a student fails all courses, the last date of attendance provided by instructors will be used for Return to Title IV recalculations. A student is considered to earn the F if student participated in an academically related activity at least 60% of the semester for the purposes of institutional, state and federal aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that students receiving financial aid must be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree and comply with all federal, state, and institutional policies and standards applying to financial aid programs. To ensure that recipients of federal, state, and/or institutional funds make qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (Pace) academic progress, as well as the completion of their degrees within the Maximum Time Limit, Tusculum University has set forth a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy as explained in this document.  A review of SAP will be completed at the end of every semester.

Initial Eligibility: 

  • FIRST TIME students who are enrolled in an eligible program will considered meeting SAP.
  • TRANSFER students will be assessed immediately upon acceptance and registration for Maximum Time Frame of Degree Completion only.
  • READMIT students will be immediately assessed upon acceptance and registration for Qualitative, Quantitative, and Maximum Time Frame of Degree Completion.

Note: All periods of enrollment are reviewed regardless of whether or not federal and/or state aid was received or if Tusculum University was/was not attended. A break in continuous enrollment does not negate a student from meeting SAP requirements.

 

Quantitative Calculation

Quantitative Calculation- the percent at which a student is progressing towards degree completion.

Students must pass and/or successfully complete 67% of all credit hours attempted. This is known as PACE.

The PACE calculation is determined by:

  • Dividing total number of hours successfully completed by the total number of attempted hours. Total hours completed is the cumulative hours earned as determined by the Registrar’s Office. Total hours attempted is the total number of attempted hours for all courses attempted.
  • Exception Remedial/Developmental coursework is included in the Registrar’s calculation of attempted coursework. Remedial/Developmental coursework will be removed from the Total Hours attempted prior to performing the PACE calculation.
  1. Exception (Not counted in Registrar’s calculation): Incomplete courses, courses that were given Academic Amnesty via Academic Fresh Start, and repeats for each course repeated. The hours for these courses will be manually added back in as they count toward attempted hours for financial aid purposes.

Qualitative Calculation

Students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) as outlined in the chart below:

           Undergraduate

         GPA Credit Hours

(excludes Remedial/Developmental Courses)

    GPA

 Minimum

             Graduate

     GPA Credit Hours

     GPA

Minimum

                0 -  30.99

     1.80

                 0 - 18

     2.75

              31 +

     2.00

               19 +

     2.75

 

 

The GPA Calculation is determined by the Registrar’s Office with a few exceptions:

  • Any grade of an “I” will be calculated as a “F” until an official grade change is processed. If the student wishes for SAP to be recalculated with the new grade, the student is responsible for contacting the Financial Aid Office.
  • All grades received in coursework forgiven via academic amnesty (Academic Fresh Start) will be used in the GPA calculation and in hours attempted.
  • For Pass/Fail classes -
    • if passed, the grade of “P” is NOT calculated into the GPA but will count toward hours attempted and successfully earned/completed.
    • if failed, the grade of “F” will be included in the GPA calculation and cannot count as hours being successfully earned/completed, but do count toward hours attempted.

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

Degree requirements must be completed within a maximum timeframe. This is generally determined by multiplying the credit hours required to complete the program by 150%. A student becomes ineligible for Title IV funds once it is determined that it is mathematically impossible to obtain the credits needed for degree completion without exceeding the maximum hours. Federal regulations require no federal and/or state aid to be released when a student has exceeded 150% of the published length of his/her program.

Program Length

150% of Program Length

Undergraduate - Associate Degree

        60 credit hours

              90 credit hours

Undergraduate - Bachelor Degree

      120 credit hours

            180 credit hours

Graduate Degree (See Catalog for program requirements)

   30-63 credit hours

      45-94.5 credit hours

 

 

The maximum time frame calculation above will include all hours attempted. This will also include any hours forgiven via academic amnesty (Academic Fresh Start) that are listed on the Tusculum transcript being granted.  However, students may appeal to exclude courses that are not applicable to their current major as determined by the Registrar’s Office.  Note: Remedial/Developmental coursework will automatically be excluded from the 150% computation of attempted credit hours since Tusculum does not award college credit for completion of these courses.

Financial Aid Warning- At the end of the SAP review period, if a student is not successfully meeting SAP Qualitative or Quantitative, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning and would have one semester to increase his or her GPA and/or PACE.

Financial Aid Denied- Students not maintaining the above minimum SAP requirements will be denied all forms of federal, state, and institutional aid by the Office of Financial Aid.  In order to regain eligibility, students will need to meet each of the requirements shown above for PACE, GPA, and the Maximum Timeframe for Degree Completion. Students can submit an Appeal to the SAP Appeals Committee as outlined below.

SAP Appeal Process

Students may appeal, within 30 days of the notification of Unsatisfactory Academic Progress- Denial of Financial Aid, to try to reinstate their Financial Aid.  The appeal form must be submitted in writing to the SAP APPEALS COMMITTEE (forms are available online at http://www.tusculum.edu/faid/forms.html). Submitting an appeal is not a guarantee that Financial Aid will be reinstated. Your appeal must state the reason(s) for having unsatisfactory progress, what has changed about that situation that will allow academic progress, and supporting documentation. It is the student’s responsibility to submit the appeal form and all necessary documentation supporting the circumstances of the appeal within the above timeframe. Any appeal received after the 30 day period is not guaranteed to be heard by the committee.

The terms for re-establishing eligibility will be set forth in the committee’s response. The decision may impose limitations upon aid eligibility, duration of aid eligibility, and/or future minimum academic standards.

  • If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on Probationary Status and is eligible for aid for one semester; during which time the student must make use of the Tusculum University Academic Resource Center and/or the Tutoring Center.  After completion of the one semester of allowable aid, the student’s SAP will be re-evaluated. A student will be eligible to receive aid for future semesters if they are meeting SAP standards at the time of being re-evaluated or if they are following the academic plan, utilizing resources, and showing successful progress toward regaining eligibility.
  • If the appeal is denied, the student is not eligible for federal and state assistance until such time that they meet each of the requirements shown above for PACE, GPA, and Maximum Timeframe. The Committee will offer the student optional payment arrangements via the College’s payment plan and the student can pursue private outside educational loans.

It is recommended that students consult with the Office of Financial Aid Staff prior to submitting any appeal. Reasonable appeals may include, but are not limited to:

  • Maximum time frame appeals resulting from Concurrent Majors/Change of Major/Change of Degree Program/Transfer credits that do not apply to degree program. If approved, a maximum number of remaining terms of eligibility will be determined and aid eligibility will cease after those defined terms.
  • Serious Illness/Accident/Injury - acceptable documentation could include a doctor’s note (on letterhead), hospital bills, insurance statements, police accident reports, etc.
  • Death of Immediate Family Member - acceptable documentation could include a copy of the death certificate or published obituary.

Serious Impediments to Study Habits - acceptable documentation could include doctor’s or counselor’s notes (on letterhead), description of circumstances from faculty or staff member, and/or statements from family members; the student should include a statement explaining an established plan to address the concerns and/or improve study habits.

Academic Plan

When it has been determined that a student has been unable to meet the SAP requirements, in addition to the appeal an “Academic Plan” is required.  The “Academic Plan” will be developed by the student’s Academic Advisor with any needed guidance from the Office of the Registrar.  If the student’s appeal is approved, the “Academic Plan” must be followed each semester to maintain financial aid eligibility. 

If the student does NOT meet the SAP policy requirements and the “Academic Plan” is NOT being followed the student becomes ineligible for federal and state aid.

Repeated Coursework

Students may repeat courses. All attempts will be recorded on the permanent transcript record along with the grades received. For all repeated courses, only the last attempt will be used to determine GPA and hours earned for graduation. An “R” will be placed on the transcript by all courses that have been repeated. Students must indicate to the Registrar’s Office at registration that they are repeating a course.

Federal Aid - If a student receives an “F” in a course and repeats the class, only two repetitions will be included for aid (if eligible) as long as the student never passes the course. Any additional repetition will not be included for purposes of federal aid and enrollment status. However, if the student passes the class, only one repetition after receiving a passing grade may be included in aid eligibility. Any additional repetition will not be included for purposes of federal aid and enrollment status.