Policies and Code of Conduct

Financial Aid Mission Statement

The mission of the Financial Aid Office is to provide financial aid opportunities in an atmosphere of fairness, sensitivity, stewardship and cooperation so that students will be able to enroll and complete their education at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University.

Enrollment Requirements

Students are required to be enrolled for 12 or more credits per semester to receive federal and institutional financial aid as a full-time student. Students enrolled for less than full-time may be eligible for federal grants and loans at a reduced level. For CSB/SJU grants and scholarships, students enrolled in less than 12 credits are eligible for a pro-rated amount of institutional scholarship and/or grant aid. For example, if a student is charged 75% of tuition, based on enrollment in nine credits, they are eligible for 75% of their normal scholarship and grant assistance. This policy applies only to students who have not reached their 9th semester at CSB/SJU and excludes continuing education students.

The Minnesota Grant program requires eligible students to be enrolled in 15 or more credits per semester to receive a full-time MN Grant. MN Grant recipients enrolled for less than 15 credits will see a reduction in the amount of MN Grant awarded.

Students considering changing their credit load to less than full-time (12 credits per semester) are encouraged to consult with the financial aid staff for assistance in determining the exact changes in their financial aid package.

FAFSA Verification

Students whose FAFSA is selected for verification must complete the CSB/SJU Financial Aid Application and Certification Page to satisfy the verification requirement.  The FAFSA processor notifies students if they are selected via their Student Aid Report (SAR), which is sent by the FAFSA processor to a student's email account.  CSB/SJU will also notify students of the verification requirement, so please monitor the email account you provided on the FAFSA, as well as your campus email account.  

Appeals for Special Circumstances

In preparing the financial aid award, CSB/SJU consider students for all federal, state and institutional programs for which they may be eligible. If a family determines that more funds are needed, they may pursue additional financing through private alternative loan programs such as the ones listed on our loan site.

If a change in the family’s financial circumstances occurs after the student has received the initial financial aid award, the student or parent may contact the Financial Aid Office to request a review of the financial aid award. Examples of circumstances that may change a student’s initial financial aid would be a parent losing a job or changing jobs which results in a lower family income; unexpected medical expenses, or divorce or separation of the parents.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Financial Aid Eligibility

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that all federal aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress towards degree completion.  Satisfactory Academic Progress is also required of recipients of state  and  institutional funds.   These standards apply to a student's entire degree program including terms in which financial aid is not received.

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be measured  by grade point average (qualitatively)  and by the percentage of credits earned in relation to those attempted (quantitatively), also referred to as "Pace".

Cumulative grade point average

Because the transition to university learning can be challenging, first year students are allowed to build their grade point average to a 2.0 as they accumulate credits.  A student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress by earning a grade point average at or above the ranges outlined below.  A student's grade point average will include those grades associated with CSB/SJU credits only; grades earned at other institutions are not included.  In the event that a student repeats a course, both grades will appear on the transcript, but only the higher grade will be used in computing the student's grade point average.



 1st Semester

1.80 gpa

 All Remaining Semesters

2.0 gpa


Adequate progress towards degree completion is measured by a ratio of cumulative credit hours earned in relation to credit hours attempted.  Students must complete 67% of the hours attempted to be making satisfactory academic progress. Incompletes, repeated courses and withdrawal from courses (where a student has received a grade of "W") are not counted as completed credits in the calculation. ESL courses taken for credit are acceptable toward degree completion.  Upon admission, transfer students are assumed to be making satisfactory academic progress. Courses successfully completed at another institution that fulfill degree requirements at CSB/SJU will be included in the pace calculation.

Review Process

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review students' progress at the end of fall and spring semesters, and summer term. The Director of Financial Aid notifies via email those students whose academic record falls short of the standards as detailed above. If a student is placed on warning, financial aid eligibility will continue for that warning period.

A student who fails to achieve good academic standing after a warning period will be suspended from financial aid eligibility unless an appeal is submitted and approved.  Appeals may be granted in cases of extenuating circumstances (eg... illness, family emergencies, etc) that may affect a student's ability to achieve SAP.

Following a successful appeal, a student may be placed on probation for the next semester, or an academic plan, which may encompass more than one semester.   If placed on probation, the student must achieve good academic standing following the probationary semester.  A student placed on an academic plan may continue to receive financial assistance as long as the terms of the plan are being met.  A student without a successful appeal will be suspended.

Appeal Process

All appeals should be in writing and sent to Director of Financial Aid at CSB for CSB students, or  the Director of Financial Aid at SJU for SJU students. Students on suspension will be given a time frame to complete the appeal.  The written appeal must include and document extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from meeting SAP, what has changed in their situation, and specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success.  Before a decision is made, the  student's progress -along with details in the appeals-will be reviewed by the SAP Committee to determine if and how the student can regain good academic standing.

Re-establishing SAP

Other than in situations when an appeal is granted, a student who has lost eligibility for federal or state aid can only regain eligibility by earning credits/grades that brings them back to Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Neither paying for classes nor sitting out any length of time affects a student's academic standing so neither is sufficient to re-establish eligibility.  However, if a previously suspended  student  applies for readmission to CSB/SJU (which would include a new reason for an appeal) after an academic suspension, that student may be allowed to return, with the benefit of financial assistance, if an academic plan is created to assist the student in attaining satisfactory progress.  The student would continue to be eligible for financial assistance as long as the plan specifics are being met.

Maximum Timeframe for Financial Assistance

Undergraduate students will be allowed to attempt up to 186 total credit hours or 6 years to complete a degree.  This represents 150% of the normal timeframe (4 years) to complete a degree. Students who remain at CSB/SJU beyond the 180 hours or 6 years are ineligible for financial aid. The maximum timeframe for a part-time student is the full time equivalent of six years. (For example, a student who registers each semester as a half time student has a maximum time frame of 12 years).

Transfer students:  transfer coursework accepted for credit count toward the maximum timeframe (186 credit hours). 

Change of majors:  If the student changes majors, the credits earned under all majors will be included in the calculation of attempted, earned, and maximum timeframe credits, as well as your GPA calculation.  The same policy applies in the case of a student changing from a B.A. degree to a B.S. degree (Nursing majors).

Second Degrees:  The 150% timeframe also applies to students seeking a second degree.  For example, a student who has obtained a degree, earning 126 credits, and decides to return for a second degree, the student will have 60 credits of eligibility to obtain the second degree.  Students seeking a second bachelor’s are eligible for loans (not grants).

Incomplete Grades:  Credits for which an incomplete grade is received count toward attempted and earned hours in the end-of-semester GPA and credit completion (pace) calculations.  If there is a subsequent change to an incomplete grade, the student’s SAP status will be reviewed and updated as appropriate when SAP is next monitored, or sooner if the student notifies the financial aid office of the new grade.

Repeated Coursework:  A student may choose to repeat a course to improve a grade.  While repeating a course may improve the GPA, all credits are counted as attempted regardless of whether the credits are the initial or repeated course.  The highest grade earned for a course is used in the calculation of GPA and earned credits.  A student can receive federal aid for a previously passed course only once.

Withdrawing from a course:  Courses a student withdraws from after the first 20 class days are considered in “hours attempted” for the maximum timeframe, and they are given a grade of “W”.   All withdrawals are treated in this manner, regardless of whether the student is passing or failing the course.

Noncredit remedial courses:  No noncredit remedial coursework is offered.

Graduate Students SAP Policy

Two years is the normal time allowed for the completion of graduate papers, thesis, and/or comprehensives after coursework has been completed. Students whose work on the MA degree extends 8 years beyond matriculation are subject to the degree policies in effect at the time they resume their work. Additional credits beyond the stated degree requirements may be required at the discretion of the Associate Dean. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average each year to remain in good standing. A student who has a cumulative grade point average of below 3.0 will be first placed on financial aid warning. If the graduate student has two consecutive semesters under a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, they will be placed on financial aid suspension. The appeal process is the same as for undergraduate students.

Withdrawals and Return of Financial Aid

Withdrawal procedures: A student who decides to discontinue from school during the semester must complete the proper withdrawal form with the Residential Life Office. The withdrawal date is the date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified the school of their intent to withdraw, and normally aligns with the last date of class attendance.  See below for unofficial withdrawals.

Refunds: If a student completely withdraws from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, the student may be eligible for a partial refund of tuition, fees, room and board charges for the semester. The refund schedule is posted on the Student Accounts websites:

Financial Aid: Federal aid recipients who withdraw during the semester, but haven’t  completed 60% of the term, are subject to the policies outlined below. Students who complete over 60% of the semester prior to withdrawal may retain the federal financial aid disbursed for the semester. Students should be aware that federal, state and institutional financial aid may not cover all unpaid institutional charges.

IMPORTANT:  The following Return of Title IV Federal Funds Policy applies to the 2020-21 academic year:

Return of Title IV Funds Policy: This policy--known as Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)--applies to anyone who receives federal financial aid, confirms their enrollment in, or begins, one or more registered classes, and then subsequently withdraws or fails to earn a grade during the term. This includes suspensions during the semester. It is recommended that any student who is considering dropping a class contact the CSB/SJU Financial Aid office to set up a Zoom meeting, phone conversation, or appointment to discuss what impact the change in enrollment will have on their financial aid.

Important Definition 

Withdraw(n)(al): When a student does not maintain attendance/enrollment during the payment period (semester) for which they were awarded financial aid, and the student does not provide a written statement to the CSB/SJU Dean of Students Office or Academic Advising before the day they ceased attendance/dropped the class confirming they plan to attend a course during a future block in the same payment period.

Confirming enrollment in a future block will not be accepted as valid if the student is in fact not registered for a future block in the semester when their confirmation statement is reviewed. Such students will be considered as withdrawn for financial aid purposes.

R2T4 Policy Overview

Title IV (Federal) funds are awarded to CSB/SJU students under the assumption that they will attend classes for the entire payment period (semester) for which the assistance is awarded. If a student withdraws for any reason, he or she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of financial aid they were originally scheduled to receive.

If a student withdraws prior to attending at least 60% of the total calendar days that comprise their initially-scheduled enrollment period a portion of their federal aid for the semester must be returned.  The federal student aid programs covered by this requirement include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and other Title IV Programs.

A pro rata schedule is used to determine the amount of federal aid funds a student has earned at the time of their withdrawal.  Generally, the more days attended the more federal aid “earned”.

Institutional aid (CSB/SJU scholarships and grants) is prorated based on any reduction to the student’s tuition for that term.  For example, if a student withdraws during the 100% refund period (before block 1 begins), all their financial aid for that term will be cancelled.  If a student withdraws and is charged 25% of tuition, corresponding to a 75% refund/reduction, they keep 25% of their CSB/SJU funds for that semester.  

Withdrawal Process

A student who decides to withdraw from CSB/SJU is responsible for initiating the withdrawal process. The official withdrawal process is initiated with the CSB or SJU Residential Life Office. If a student is contemplating, prior to the start of a semester, not enrolling for one or more blocks, it is recommended that they setup a Zoom meeting, phone call or appointment to speak with a Financial Aid staff member about what effect their time away from the classroom may have on their financial aid eligibility.

At CSB, the student must obtain the withdrawal form and then get signatures from the required offices.  At SJU, the student must complete an on-line form named, “SJU Request for Leave of Absence/Notice of Withdraw” available by logging into Forms Manager.  The required information will then be circulated to all pertinent SJU offices. 

If a student is unable to complete the official withdrawal process, an intent to withdraw must be communicated to the Residential Life in writing (email or letter).

Unofficial Withdrawal

There are three potential instances of unofficial withdrawal for a student.

(1) If a student ceases attending a scheduled class without completing the official withdrawal process, they will have the grade of IF recorded for that course. Students assigned a grade of IF that do not begin attendance in the next block in the same semester, as confirmed by their professor or Academic Advising, will be considered unofficially withdrawn for the semester. 

(2) If a student does not attend classes for 60 calendar days and has not submitted a request to take a block off, they will be treated as an unofficial withdrawal.

(3) If a student does not complete any courses he/she was scheduled to attend in a given term and does not officially withdraw or otherwise provide notice of their intent to withdraw, they will be considered “unofficially withdrawn”.

In all three cases, federal regulations mandate a federal Return of Title IV funds calculation.

Determining the Withdrawal Date

A student’s withdrawal date is determined by one of the following:

  • The date the student began the official withdrawal process
  • The date the student otherwise notified a designated office of his or her intent to withdraw
  • The date that the school determines is related to circumstances beyond the student’s control
  • The date the student ceased attendance without providing official notification
  • The mid-point of the semester

For an official withdrawal, the effective withdrawal date is the day a student notifies the Residential Life Office or other designated office of their intent to withdrawal.

For an unofficial withdrawal due to the student not completing a class or classes, the effective withdrawal date could be the midpoint of the term or last date of documented academically-related activity, whichever Financial Aid Office determines best reflects the student's term enrollment.

CSB and SJU do not normally accept a student's self-reported last date of attendance for R2T4 purposes.

Regulations require schools to perform R2T4 calculations within 30 days of the date the school determines a student has withdrawn, and to return unearned funds within 45 days of the calculation.

Please note: if you have work-study, the withdrawal date is also the last day you may work in your work-study position.

Federal Title IV Refund Calculation Policy

The CSB/SJU Financial Aid Office determines, based on the federally mandated formula, the amount of Federal Student Aid/Title IV assistance a withdrawn student has earned, based on their withdrawal date. The Return of Title IV Funding (R2T4) calculation policy is outlined below:

Step 1: Student’s Title IV Information

Our office will determine:

  • The total amount of Title IV aid disbursed (if any) for the term from which a student withdrew.
  • The total amount of aid that could have disbursed (if any) for the term from which a student withdrew.

Step 2: Percentage of Title IV Aid Earned

We will calculate the percentage of aid earned as follows:

The number of calendar days completed by the student divided by the total number of calendar days in their initially scheduled enrollment period (semester).

Days Attended / Days in Enrollment Period = Percentage Completed

If a student’s calculated percentage exceeds 60%, then that student has "earned" 100% of their federal aid for the semester. An R2T4 calculation must be completed for the student, but they will not be required to repay or return any federal funding. Institutional and state aid may be adjusted down based on reductions to charges.

Step 3: Amount of Title IV Aid Earned

We will calculate the amount of aid earned as follows:

The percentage of Title IV aid earned (step 2) multiplied by the total amount of Title IV aid disbursed or that could have disbursed for the term in which the student withdrew (Step 1).

Total Aid Disbursed x Percentage of Title IV Aid Earned = Amount of Aid Earned

Step 4: Amount of Title IV Aid to be Returned, Repaid, or to be disbursed Post-Withdrawal

  • If the aid already disbursed equals the amount of earned aid, no further action is required.
  • If the aid already disbursed is greater than the amount of earned aid, the difference must be returned to the appropriate Title IV program.  When these funds are removed from a student’s account, it might result in a balance due to CSB/SJU.  You would be billed and responsible for paying these remaining charges.

Total Disbursed Aid for Semester – Amount of Earned Aid = Unearned Aid to be Returned or Repaid

  • If the aid already disbursed is less than the earned aid, and a student has aid for that term that could have disbursed[1], we will calculate a post-withdrawal disbursement. If this post-withdrawal disbursement contains loan funds, you may elect to decline these funds so you do not incur additional debt. You will be notified and able to view any additional disbursements on your student account. Students have fourteen days to respond and either accept or cancel a Post-Withdrawal Loan Disbursement.

Please note: We may automatically apply all or a portion of a student’s post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds) to tuition, fees, or room and board charges. Some types of Title IV aid (Direct Loans) may not be available to you once you have withdrawn because of other eligibility requirements.

Step 5: Order of Funds Returned

Any funds returned to the federal government, including loan funds, may result in a balance due and owing to the Student Accounts office. Once the amount of funds to be returned is determined, a student’s Title IV aid will be returned in the order below as prescribed by the federal Department of Education:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
  3. Direct Parent PLUS Loans
  4. Pell Grant
  5. SEOG
  6. TEACH Grant

A student’s grace period for loan repayment of federal Direct Student Loans will begin on the day it is determined they withdrew. Students should contact their loan servicer directly if they have questions regarding their loans’ grace period or repayment status.

 Federal regulations define what it means for a student to have “Title IV funding that could have disbursed.”

Non-Title IV financial aid refunds:

If a student withdraws before completing more than 60% of the semester, a portion of the non-Title IV financial aid may also need to be returned. Non-title IV aid includes all state financial aid (MN State Grant, SELF and other state aid) and all institutional grants and scholarships. Outside scholarships are not subject to return. However, CSB/SJU will notify the organization should a student withdraw during the term and allow the organization to determine if they wish to have part or all of the scholarship returned. For state financial aid, CSB/SJU utilizes a state worksheet found in Section III, appendix 14 of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Financial Aid Manual. In general, any remaining refund after taking the total amount of funds paid to the student’s account (cash, financial aid) and subtracting the amount of charges the school can retain for tuition, fees, room, board and other charges and the institutional share of Title IV refund is prorated between Minnesota financial aid programs and institutional financial aid programs.

Late or Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

Students may be eligible for a late or post-withdrawal disbursement if they have accepted aid that did not disburse at the time of withdrawal from CSB/SJU.

If the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds, CSB/SJU will disburse the funds to the student’s account.  If the student or parent is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV loan funds, the financial aid office will send notification to the student to either accept or decline a portion, or all, of the late disbursement.  If no response is received within approximately two weeks of notification, the loan(s) will be canceled.

Unofficial Withdrawal

The CSB/SJU financial aid office reviews academic progress after each semester. If a student receives all non-passing grades, an effort is made to determine the student’s attendance record.   If attendance in the term cannot be verified the student is determined to have unofficially withdrawn. Students are notified via CSB/SJU email if they are considered an unofficial withdrawal. Per Federal Return to Title IV regulations, federal financial aid is cancelled and state and institutional funds is adjusted using the 50% point of the term as the withdrawal date.

In order to reevaluate this determination, a student must submit documentation supporting attendance in all courses for the term. For example, a complete screenshot (including ID number) of Banner Web Self Service.

Students who “walk away” without notifying the institution or completing withdrawal paperwork will have their financial aid reduced based on a withdrawal date at the midpoint of the semester, per federal regulations.

R2T4 Sample Calculation #1

Federal Aid Received:

$990 unsubsidized Direct Loan

$1,732 subsidized Direct Loan


Term Start Date: 8/31/20 

Term End Date:  12/18/2020 

Withdrawal Date: 9/18/2020


Completed Days:  19, representing 17% of term calendar days

Title IV aid earned by student:  17% x $2,722 = $463

Title IV Aid to be returned to federal government:  $2,722 - $463 = $2,259

Return:  $990 of unsubsidized and $1,269 of subsidized Direct Loan


Remainder of subsidized Direct Loan, or $463, remains on student’s account

R2T4 Sample Calculation #2

Federal Aid Received:

$1,000 Pell Grant

$990 unsubsidized Direct Loan

$1,732 subsidized Direct Loan


Term Start Date: 8/31/20

Term End Date:  12/18/2020

Withdrawal Date: 9/18/2020


Completed Days:  19, representing 17% of term calendar days

Title IV Aid earned by student:  17% x $3,722 = $633

Title IV Aid to be returned to federal government:  $3,722 - $633 = $3,089

Return:  $990 of unsubsidized, $1,732 of subsidized Direct Loan, and $367 of Pell Grant

Remainder of Pell Grant, or $633, remains on student’s account

Code of Conduct

CSB/SJU abide by the following Code of Conduct with regard to private student lenders:

  • We do not engage in revenue sharing
  • We do not accept gifts
  • We are prohibited from entering consulting/contractual arrangements
  • We are prohibited from accepting offers of funds for private loans
  • We do not accept staffing assistance
  • We are prohibited from receiving compensation for advisory board service

State Student Complaint Process