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 was 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 detailed 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

1.75 gpa

 2nd Semester

1.90 gpa

 All Remaining Semesters

2.0 gpa


Adequate progress towards degree completion is measured by a ratio of 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. Remedial and 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 pace calculations.

Review Process

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review students' progress at the end of fall and spring semesters. 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 Time Frame 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 time frame (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 time frame 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).

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 2.0 cumulative grade point average each semester to be in good standing.

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 head resident at CSB or the Campus Life Office at SJU. The withdrawal date is the date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified the school of their intent to withdraw; or the last date of class attendance.

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: Financial aid recipients who withdraw during the semester and have completed 60% or less of the term are subject to the policies listed below. Students who complete over 60% of the semester prior to withdrawal may retain all of the financial aid disbursed for the semester of withdrawal. Students should be aware that federal, state and institutional financial aid may not cover all unpaid institutional charges due to the institution upon the student’s withdrawal.

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 Title IV Funds is done in this order:

  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG
  • TEACH Grant
  • Other (if applicable)

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.

Procedure for returning Title IV and non-Title IV aid: The financial aid staff at CSB/SJU will take responsibility for returning all required Title IV and non-Title IV aid to the proper fund. The student’s account will be charged for any return of title IV and non-Title IV financial aid.

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:

  • 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