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.

On-Campus and Off-Campus Housing

Financial aid offers are based on costs associated with on-campus housing and a college/university meal plan.  Students living off-campus or at home will see a reduction to their need-based financial aid.

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 (SAP)

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.


Cumulative GPA

 1st Semester

1.80 gpa

 All Remaining Semesters

2.0 gpa


Adequate progress towards degree completion is measured by a ratio of cumulative credits earned in relation to credits attempted.  Students must complete 67% of the credits 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


Warning: A student who has not met SAP requirements at the end of a semester will be placed on financial aid warning. The following enrolled semester serves as the warning period to improve GPA and/or credit completion rate (pace). Eligible for financial aid: YES

Suspension: A student who fails to appeal, whose appeal is unsuccessful, or who does not meet the conditions of their probationary semester or academic plan will be placed on financial aid suspension. Students on suspension are ineligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Eligible for financial aid: NO

Probation: A status assigned to a student who fails to make SAP following a semester on a Warning status and successfully appeals a financial aid suspension. Eligible for financial aid: YES

When a student will need more than one semester to return to good academic standing, they are placed on an academic plan, which outlines goals that must be met each probationary semester until SAP requirements are met. 

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, normally within 10 days of the end of the semester, 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.

On the condition of a successful appeal, a student that is determined to be able to meet SAP standards by the end of the subsequent semester will be placed on probation. Should the appeal determine that a student will require multiple semesters to meet SAP requirements, the student will also be placed on an academic plan, which may encompass multiple semesters.  If placed on probation, the student must achieve good academic standing following the probationary semester.   

A student without a successful appeal will have financial aid suspended. In addition, a student will have financial aid suspended should it be determined that, based on a review of student progress, it is impossible to complete their program within 150% of the normal timeframe to complete a degree. Students who are determined to be unable to complete their degree within 150% timeframe cannot be placed on an academic plan to avoid losing aid eligibility. 

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 two weeks 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. Decisions on SAP appeals are communicated via email to the student within 7 days from date appeal is received. 

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 dismissed student  applies for readmission to CSB/SJU (which would include a new reason for an appeal) after an academic dismissal, 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. Such a probationary status will last for one payment period (semester), during which the student may receive federal student aid funds.

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. A student has until the end of the subsequent semester for an incomplete grade to be changed to a letter grade. If there is a 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 or failed course only once.

Withdrawing from a course:  Courses a student withdraws from after the first 20 class days of the semester are considered in “credits 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.

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.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy: Student recipients of any federal aid may lose a portion of their federal aid if they withdraw prior to completing more than 60% of the semester. The following aid could be reduced in this situation: Federal Pell Grants, TEACH Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford (subsidized), Federal Stafford (unsubsidized) and Federal PLUS Loan.

The institutions use a federal formula to determine how much federal aid must be returned when the student withdraws. In general, federal and state regulations assume that a student “earns” federal and state financial aid in proportion to the number of days of the term the student attended.

Return of Institutional Aid

Returns of institutional aid correspond with the refund of tuition, fees, room, and board schedule provided by student accounts.

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 the semester begins), all their institutional 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. 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

The CSB/SJU financial aid office reviews academic progress within 30 days of the end of 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 revised 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.

Determining the Withdrawal Date

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

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 from the date of determination.

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:

Procedure for returning Title IV and non-Title IV aid: The financial aid staff at CSB/SJU are responsible for returning all required Title IV and non-Title IV aid to the proper fund.  Federal Title IV aid will be returned as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days, after determining the student has withdrawn.  The student’s account will subsequently reflect any return of Title IV and non-Title IV financial aid.

Step 1: Student’s Title IV Information

Our office will determine:

*Students who withdraw prior to completing verification will be notified via email of missing documentation, and provided a final opportunity to complete this. The student will have one week to submit accurate and complete documentation required for verification. If documents are not recieved, the financial aid office will proceed with the institutional aid refund.*

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), less any breaks of 5 days or longer.

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

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

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 PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grants
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. SEOG
  7. 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.”

For students with an existing federal aid credit balance prior to the R2T4 calculation, the credit balance shall be held (not released to student and/or parent for Parent PLUS) until the R2T4 calculation is completed. 

After completion of the R2T4 calculation and any required returns of federal or state aid, any remaining credit balance shall be sent via a mailed check to the permanent address on file within 30 days of the completion of the R2T4, or sooner if requested by the student. Students with concerns about the address for credit balance returns should contact the student accounts office. 

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),  institutional grants and scholarships. Private aid may also be reduced, if a refund of tuition occurs. 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.

If the calculation results in funds that create a credit balance on the student’s account, the funds will be disbursed to the student as soon as possible, but no later than 14 days from the calculation.

Sample Calculation:

David was beginning his second year at SJU. Several weeks into the semester, he became ill and needed to withdraw from school. He was officially enrolled for 35 days of the 113 days in the fall semester. Since he was enrolled for less than 60% of the term (31%), he is subject to the Return of Title IV policy and part of his financial aid must be returned. Here was the award at the start of the semester:

Dean’s Scholarship $3,000

Federal Pell Grant $1,000

MN Grant $2,420

Federal Perkins Loan $1,000

Federal Stafford (subsidized) $1,750

College Work Study (Federal) $1,300

According to the refund policy, David is eligible for a 50% refund of his tuition, fees, room and board. The refund totaled $7,437. David’s federal aid subject to return is:

Federal Pell Grant $1,000

Federal Perkins Loan $1,000

Federal Stafford (subsidized) $1,750

Total $3,750

Note: Student employment earnings are not subject to Title IV refund.

The “unearned” portion of David’s federal aid is 69%; as such 69% or $2,588 of the aid he received must be returned. The following aid would need to be returned:

Federal Stafford (subsidized) $1,750

Federal Perkins Loan $ 838

Federal Pell Grant $ 0

Non-Title IV financial aid is also subject to refund in this example. To calculate the amount of the refund, take the total payments made to David’s account. (He had paid $1,500 cash in addition to the financial aid.)

Total payments: $10,670

Institutional charges school can retain: -$ 7,437

Gross Refund $ 3,233

Return of Title IV funds -$ 2,588

Remaining Refund $ 645

The $645 is returned to the Dean’s Scholarship fund and MN Grant program in proportion to their amount. Dean’s Scholarship receives 55.3% or $357; the MN Grant program receives $288.


Code of Conduct

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

State Student Complaint Process