Non-Term Financial Aid Delivery

ISFAA Spring Conference 2014
Thomas Ratliff & Craig Kirkwood
Indiana Wesleyan University
The Normal Financial Aid World
 Fall, Spring, Summer
 Perhaps Quarters, a May Term or a J-Term
 Identical start and end dates
 Generally black and white with a mix of gray
A Different Financial Aid World
 Student driven – everything
 Unpredictability
 Special rules
 Yet limited guidance
 A similar mission and purpose,
but requires a different way
of looking at the world
Term-based Academic Year
Generally two semesters (fall / spring) or
three quarters (fall / winter / spring)
 All student’s academic calendars are
said to start and end on the same dates,
even if their actual classes begin after
the designated start or their last final is
before the term end date
 This offers consistency between
Non-term Academic Year
Academic Year must be defined by the
 Can differ per academic program
 The minimum definition for
undergraduate students is 24 credits
earned over 30 weeks of instruction or
900 clock hours in 26 weeks
Non-term Academic Year
In practice, the academic year is unique for
each student based upon their academic plan
 Both the minimum credit hours and the
minimum number of weeks must be met
before a new academic year starts
 Exception: If the student has less credit hours
remaining before earning their degree than the
minimum definition of an academic year for
that program of study, the remaining portion is
their final academic year
Term Course Structure
Terms – Set start and ending dates that
generally apply to all students
 However, courses that overlap the start
or end dates can change the character
of the term
 Although some overlap is explicitly
allowed by the US Dept. of Education
Non-term Course Structure
Payment Periods rather than set Terms
 Two payment periods make an
academic year
 Payment periods must be fully
completed before a student can move
on to a new payment period
 Students must earn half the credit or
clock hours over at least half the weeks
of instruction before receiving
subsequent aid disbursements
Non-term Course Structure
For example: Students must earn 12
credits over at least 15 weeks of
instruction before receiving subsequent
aid disbursements
Non-term Aid Awarding
Can use either FAFSA for academic
years that cross over July 1
 Pell Formula 4 is required
 Full-time Pell disbursement schedule is
 Direct Loans – Borrower-based
Academic Years (BBAY) is necessary
Non-term Aid Awarding
Students cannot be given loan increases
within an academic year due to gradelevel progression
 Overlapping academic years are a very
common issue for students transferring
in to non-term programs
 This might limit the student’s loan
eligibility during their first academic year
Direct Loans - more
Minimum loan period for term-based programs
is the term
 Minimum loan period for non-term programs is
the academic year
Direct Loans – and more
150% Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA)
 Full AY: Loan period and academic year dates
 Remaining portion: Loan period matches
enrollment, however, their academic year end
date is projected out for the purpose of
determining their Subsidized usage calculation
 See GEN-13-13 examples 9-13 (12 and 13 are
examples of projecting out)
Satisfactory Academic Progress
For term-based programs, SAP must be
checked at the end of either every term or
 SAP is checked for non-term programs at the
end of each payment period
 SAP calculations are needed much more often
with student-centric calendars
 A delay is needed after the end of a payment
period to ensure the student passed all their
Modular rules apply for non-term
 The Intent to Return notification process
has a 45-day limitation that term-based
programs do not have
 The dates for payment periods, breaks
and university charges will all be
student-centric, making programming
R2T4 calculations very challenging
If the university requires faculty to take
attendance, you must use the student’s
last date of attendance as the
withdrawal date
Re-entry within 180 days
Students who withdraw from a non-term
program and later return to the same
program within 180 days return to the
same payment period
 Students who create lengthy gaps
between classes can stretch a single
academic year to span multiple years
 This often requires schools to re-open
closed years with the US Dept. of ED
Federal policies and regulations are
primarily written for term-based programs
and, to a lesser degree, for non-standard
term academic programs
 Often it seems these rules are then
adapted to non-term programs
 Sometimes rules are not referenced for
non-term situations so the administrator
must interpret what they think is expected
Non-term Financial Aid Delivery
 Flexible time frames
 Unique rule applications
 Extra administrative requirements
 Significant manual processing steps are
necessary due to the individualistic
characteristics of the academic

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