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: 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.

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.

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.

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

State Student Complaint Process