Policies and Procedures

To remain eligible for financial aid at MSU-Northern, you must make satisfactory academic progress toward your degree objective. Satisfactory Progress is a condition for continued eligibility and is measured by the following factors:

  1. Students who receive financial aid assistance must successfully complete no less than 67% of cumulative credits attempted. Failure to do so will result in one of two financial aid statuses: Warning or TERMINATION. See the "Satisfactory Academic Progress" policy below.
  2. A student's eligibility is terminated at the point when maximum time frame parameters have been met. Generally limitations are: 98 semester credits for an Associate degree, 186 semester credits for a Bachelor's degree, or 45 semester credits for an undecided degree seeking student. Graduate student eligibility expires at 72 semester credits. Transfer credits will affect these time frames.
  3. Students must meet a Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) and percentage of cumulative credits attempted (usually 67%) requirement to continue their eligibility. Minimum Cumulative GPA is 2.00 for undergraduates and 3.00 for graduates. Satisfactory completion means a student has received a minimum grade of D or P (Pass). Grades other than A, B, C, D do not represent Satisfactory Progress
  4. Students whose status is "Termination" will not be considered for aid while in the "Termination" status.
  5. This policy is applicable to all students receiving institutionally administered aid. Any federal, state, institutional aid (including scholarships, fee waivers, work-study and loans) are included in this policy. MSUN Staff waivers are the only exception. The eligibility of applicants may be reviewed at any time during the semester.
  6. Students declared ineligible for financial aid under this policy will have the opportunity to appeal. The procedure must be initiated by the student by completing an appeal form and returning the form with appropriate documentation to the Financial Aid Office (Cowan Hall, Room 213).

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid policy. You are responsible for knowing and understanding this policy thoroughly. The information in this policy provides more detailed instructions on how the institution monitors progress and on how to exercise the appeal process.

When an award letter is prepared for you, the Financial Aid Office has reviewed what you reported on the FAFSA (application) and the Student Data Form and funded you at the level you indicated. At the time of disbursement, your credit load and Satisfactory Progress status is reviewed. Coordination with the Office of Student Records, Business Office and Financial Aid Office will dictate whether or not aid can be released or needs to be adjusted. Not all award amounts are affected by changes in enrollment. If your award is affected, you will be notified.

Disbursement of your aid is based upon the number of credits for which you are enrolled at the time your aid is disbursed. Your award letter will indicate this information. If you add credits after your financial aid has been disbursed, you may be entitled to additional funds. You should check with the Financial Aid Office for a review of your funding level.

If you drop credits after all your financial aid funds have been disbursed, including a retroactive drop of credits, you may have received funds that you were not entitled to receive. You will receive a bill for any overpayments that may occur.

Dropping credits after the 15th class day

If you drop credits after the 15th day of classes, you may not be required to repay aid funds. You may, however, have deficient credits at the end of the semester. Please refer to "Satisfactory Progress Requirements" on this page.

  • You have the right to privacy. All records and data submitted with your application for financial aid are treated as confidential information.
  • You have the right to a complete explanation of the award process. If you do not understand your financial aid award, or feel your application has not been evaluated fairly, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • You have the right to be notified of cancellation or withdrawal of aid and to be informed of why this action is being taken.
  • You have the right to appeal. You may request a review of any decision concerning your financial aid eligibility. Please contact the Financial Aid Office and make an appointment. If necessary you may be directed to submit a written appeal and supporting documentation.
  • You have the responsibility to report funds or benefits from any source (such as outside scholarships) that you receive or are promised (before and after you are awarded financial aid).
  • The Financial Aid Office is required BY LAW to make adjustments to prevent or correct over awards. We take this responsibility seriously. You will save yourself frustration, inconvenience, and possible financial penalty by reporting any changes in your financial status promptly.
  • You have the responsibility to report any change in your student status immediately. If you move, change your name, drop credits, withdraw from school, or do anything else that may affect your financial situation, please report that information to the Financial Aid Office and your student loan lender/servicer.
  • You have the responsibility to keep copies of all correspondence regarding your financial aid, whether it is from the Financial Aid Office, governmental agencies, or outside lenders.
  • You have the responsibility to use financial aid funds for educationally related expenses only such as tuition and fees, books, supplies, and reasonable living costs.
  • You have the responsibility to repay loans on time. Acceptance of any loan carries the serious obligation to repay. Failure to meet this obligation affects the availability of loans to future students. Before you accept any loans for financing your education, you should carefully consider the total amount and repayment requirements for which you will be responsible when you terminate your educational objectives.
  • You have the responsibility to understand how the Financial Aid Office determines if you are making satisfactory academic progress and what happens if you do not maintain satisfactory progress.

If you stop attending classes, you should officially withdraw to prevent assignment of grades of "F". If you don't withdraw, your status will be "TERMINATION", and you will not be eligible for aid until you reinstate your eligibility. In order to reinstate your eligibility, you must re-enroll and earn a GPA of 2.00 with no funding assistance from any federal or institutional aid. You must complete 67% of any credits attempted during your reinstatement period with a minimum GPA of 2.00 in order to regain eligibility. For more information on withdrawal procedures, contact the Registrar's Office in Cowan Hall.

If you withdraw from all courses either officially or unofficially, a withdrawal calculation will be performed by the Business Office to determine whether you received funding for which you were not eligible. A copy of this refund/return of Title IV funds is available in the Business Services office located in Cowan Hall.

If you received funds for which you were not eligible, you will receive a bill from the institution for repayment of those funds.

If you are eligible for a refund of your registration or housing fees from MSU-Northern, Federal regulations require that the refund first be applied to any student loan disbursed to you during the current loan period and then to repay any other financial aid for which you were billed. Any remaining amount will be refunded to you.

If you have any student loans, your lender or servicer will be notified of your enrollment status change and you may enter a "grace period" or repayment status. In keeping with the terms of your loans, you are required to inform your lenders of changes in your enrollment status.

If you plan to return to MSU-Northern and apply for assistance, please refer to the Satisfactory Progress policy to determine your eligibility status for future applications for aid.

If you or your parent(s) have had a substantial change in family income or assets due to unemployment, disaster, disability, divorce, or the loss of other compensation or benefits since applying for financial aid, you and/or your parent(s) may be eligible for special consideration. In addition, if you have non-discretionary expenses which may affect your ability to meet educational expenses, you may ask for reconsideration to increase your eligibility. As in any special consideration, all requests must follow the "Appeals" process outlined in the Satisfactory Progress policy. All requests must be documented and reasons for the exception must be provided.

If you or your parent(s) have special circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance with the "Appeal" process.

If your residency or student classification status changes, your aid eligibility may be affected. If you receive any new or additional aid from any source, your eligibility may be affected, Report these changes in writing to the Financial Aid Office as soon as you know of them. If these changes do not appear on your Award Letter, it is your responsibility to report them when you sign and return the office copy of the Award Letter.

The Financial Aid office will follow up on changes made and, if necessary, recalculate your eligibility. If you are no longer eligible for any part of the aid you have been offered, the we will work with you to resolve the over-award. If, however, it is necessary that you repay a portion of your financial aid, you must repay it before you are eligible to receive further aid.