Financial Aid Handbook
- In order to be eligible for federal and state financial aid, you must have a high school diploma or GED.
- Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined in our Financial Aid Handbook in order to be eligible for any aid at Butler University.
- Butler gift aid is available to full time undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. Butler gift aid is available for tuition only, unless noted otherwise.
- Students with a bachelor’s degree are eligible for the Federal Direct Loan only.
- Students must be pursuing a degree or certificate and enrolled at least half time to receive the Federal Direct Loan.
- To receive the maximum consideration of all Butler gift aid each year, returning students must:
- Complete the FAFSA by March 1
- Submit all requested documents to complete their financial aid file by May 1
- Be registered full-time (12 hours or more) by May 15
Financial Aid Programs
- Merit and talent awards consist of scholarships or awards based on academic achievement or performance ability. These tuition specific awards are awarded to incoming first-year students and available for four years of full-time undergraduate enrollment and may carry specific requirements such as GPA.
- Need-based aid, such as federal, state and Butler Grants, is based on the family’s financial aid eligibility. The information reported on the FAFSA determines a family’s financial strength or ability to contribute. The formula for determining financial aid eligibility is the total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, books, transportation and miscellaneous expenses) minus the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Self-help is a type of financial aid that includes federal student loans and student employment. Student loans must be repaid and federal work study must be earned. Students must complete the FAFSA to apply for this type of aid.
- Financing options are available to help all families, regardless of financial need, finance educational expenses. These options include a payment plan administered through the University, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, and Private Education Loans.
Financial Aid Guidelines
- The combination of all financial aid may not exceed the total cost of attendance for any given year. Tuition-specific awards cannot exceed the tuition charges and certain combinations of aid programs cannot exceed the student’s financial aid eligibility.
- Your eligibility for financial aid and the programs for which you qualify may vary each year as your family’s financial situation fluctuates, college costs increase, funding levels change, and your academic standing changes. Therefore, families are encouraged to file the FAFSA each year.
- Verification is a federal requirement which requires Butler University to obtain documentation that supports the information provided on the FAFSA. Financial aid will be offered after the Office of Financial Aid receives and processes all requested documents.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requires financial aid recipients maintain a 2.0 GPA. In addition to the GPA, progress is measured by credits earned in relation to those attempted and the length of the academic program. The complete SAP policy is included in this Financial Aid Handbook.
Financial Aid Notification
- Once the financial aid offer has been determined, you will be notified through your Butler email account. Your Financial Aid Notification will be available to view in Student Financial Planning via your my.butler.edu portal.
- When you review your financial aid, you must accept/decline each award offered, sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete entrance counseling if you are accepting a student loan for the first time, and report any outside scholarships you may be receiving for the academic year.
- You will be notified if revisions to your aid are made due to new information such as outside scholarships. In addition to outside scholarships, you should report changes in enrollment status or major as they may also affect your aid eligibility.
Financial Aid Disbursement
- Federal, state, and institutional funds are automatically credited to your student account; however, funds cannot be authorized for disbursement until you have accepted the awards offered and completed all required documents.
- Financial aid will appear as “Anticipated Aid” on your billing statement until the funds actually disburse to your student account on the fifth day of classes each semester.
- Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans will not disburse to the student account until the MPN and entrance counseling are complete. Indiana state grants (Frank O’Bannon Grant and Twenty-First Century Scholars) will be credited when the Office of Financial Aid received confirmation of your eligibility from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE).
- Receiving a Financial Aid Notification does not mean your bill is paid in full. It is your responsibility to compare your financial aid with your bill from the Office of Student Accounts.
- The last day you may submit a complete application for an education loan (federal and private) is one week prior to the end of the semester. Applications received after this date cannot be processed.
- Students who officially or unofficially withdraw from the University before completing at least 60 percent of the semester are subject to the return of a prorated portion of the federal funds disbursed to their student account. This loss of funds may cause a balance on the student’s account.
Federal regulations require that all student financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress toward achieving a certificate or degree. The standards apply to all terms regardless of whether or not the student received financial aid. In addition, students must also meet the retention standards of the university as outlined in the Butler University Handbook. Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured by three components:
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
- Quantitative (Pace): Total of all credit hours attempted versus credit hours earned measured cumulatively throughout the student’s enrollment at Butler University (includes accepted transfer credit hours).
- Qualitative: Cumulative Grade Point Average.
- Maximum timeframe: The maximum time to complete a program.
Progress will be measured at the end of each term. Students on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Warning have one semester to earn credit hours to meet the standards of satisfactory progress.
- Pace is measured by total Earned Hours divided by all Attempted Hours. A student may not fall below 67%.
- Example: A student who attempts 15 credit hours for a semester and earns 12 credit hours has a percentage of 12/15 (80%). However the next term the student enrolls in 15 credit hours and only earns 6 credit hours. The overall attempted hours have now increased (accumulated) to 30 and the earned hours are 18. The calculation is 18/30 (60%). The student is no longer making progress.
- Courses completed with grades of A, B, C, and D count toward earned credit hours. Courses completed with grades of F, W, I, X, NC or any other grade that does not result in credit hours completed will not count in earned hours. A few academic programs require coursework (“Z courses”) that is assigned a grade but for which the credit hours are not counted toward the minimum required for a degree. Credit hours for these courses are measured as successfully completed if a letter grade of A, B, C, or D is assigned.
- Quantitative progress is reviewed every term to determine if the student has completed sufficient total credit hours to maintain a pace of 67% or greater.
- Students must have a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher at the end of their first two years (or four terms) at Butler University and continue to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for all subsequent terms.
- Maximum Timeframe
- Students in an academic program with a program length of 120 hours who have attempted 180 credit hours toward a degree will be ineligible for student financial aid. All other programs with different lengths must not exceed 150% of the program length. Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 credit hours of Remedial/Developmental coursework.
- Graduate students in a program length of 30 credit hours have 5 years and a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours to complete their degree. Graduate programs of longer than 30 credit hours have a maximum timeframe; the number of attempted credit hours cannot exceed 150% of the program length.
- Note: A student will be considered to have reached the credit hour maximum when the SAP review makes it clear that the student cannot mathematically finish the program within the maximum credit limit. At that time the student will become ineligible.
- Withdrawals (W): Courses that are recorded on the student’s permanent academic transcript will be included as credit hours attempted. These will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the credit hour progression schedule for financial aid.
- Incomplete grades (I): Courses that are assigned an incomplete grade are included in the cumulative credit hours attempted. These cannot be used as credit hours earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned.
- Pass/Fail: No more than seven credit hours of regular, non-developmental courses taken will be counted as satisfactorily completed credit hours under this policy.
- Repeated Courses: Retaking courses in which the student either received a passing or failing grade, adversely affects the student’s ability to meet the progress requirements. All attempted credit hours are counted in the quantitative standard. Students are allowed only one time to repeat a course in which they achieved a passing grade. After one allowable time, the student will not earn federal financial assistance for future repeats. For example: a student earns a “D” in a course and wants to repeat the class (the student has already repeated a passing grade course one other time). If the repeat course makes the enrollment full-time (9 credits + 3 credit hour repeat) then the federal aid will be adjusted to ¾ time enrollment for 9 credit hours. If the course is added to full-time enrollment of 12 or more credit hours, the student can receive federal aid based on full-time status.
- Transfer Credits: Only transfer credit hours officially accepted will be counted in the maximum number of attempted (and completed) credit hours for financial aid eligibility. If the student is required to take additional hours that would exceed the maximum cumulative allowable hours, the student must submit a written appeal to the Office of Financial Aid. If the appeal is approved, the student may continue to receive financial aid.
- Second Degree Students: Students who are enrolled in a degree program, which is equal to or lower than a degree already earned, will have the previous degree’s accepted credit hours applied toward the student’s current certificate or degree program. The accepted credit hours will be counted in the maximum number of allowable credit hours for financial aid eligibility.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning (Financial Aid Warning)
Students will be placed on financial aid warning if they fail to meet either the qualitative or quantitative standard at the time of review. Students placed on warning are then reviewed at the end of each academic term.
Students will be removed from financial aid warning in the following term if they meet or exceed SAP standards.
Disqualification from Financial Aid (Loss of Financial Aid Eligibility)
Students on financial aid warning who fail to meet the stated standards of progress in their next semester of enrollment will be ineligible for financial aid. This period of ineligibility is called Financial Aid Hold.
Students that are not keeping pace and fall below 67% or are not meeting the qualitative cumulative GPA standard may find that it will take more than one semester to meet the minimum requirements for progress. In either of these cases an Educational Plan in collaboration with the Center for Academic Success and Exploration will need to be implemented to measure progress for multiple semesters (see next section for appeal process).
Students who pre-register for a subsequent semester before grades are evaluated and who use financial aid to defer tuition and fees may owe a financial aid repayment if they do not maintain satisfactory academic progress and are placed on Financial Aid Hold after grades are posted and reviewed.
Disqualification from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment. Students should consult with a Financial Aid Counselor to determine how to regain eligibility for financial aid.
Tuition Remission is an employee benefit and is not affected by a student’s SAP standing.
Appeals to Regain Eligibility
Students who fail to meet these standards and have lost eligibility for financial aid may appeal.
The appeal must be in writing on the SAP Appeal Form provided by the Office of Financial Aid. This may require an Educational Plan to be completed with the Center for Academic Success and Exploration if the SAP standards cannot be met by the end of the subsequent semester. Appeals should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid within two weeks of the date of notification. Appeals are then reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee. Reasons that may be acceptable for appeal are: (1) serious illness or accident on the part of the student; (2) death, accident or serious illness in the immediate family; (3) change in academic program; and, (4) other extenuating circumstances. The written appeal and the student’s circumstances will be taken into consideration when determining the student’s ability to meet the appropriate standards for the certificate or degree program in which the student is enrolled. The student is limited to two appeals during their enrollment at Butler University. Successful appeals will be approved with a probationary status not to exceed one semester. Students on an Educational Plan may have increased timeframes based on their evaluation. Denied appeals must meet SAP standards before regaining eligibility. SAP Appeal Form
Students who failed to meet these Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may request a review of their academic record after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of financial aid. If the standards are met at the time of review, eligibility may be regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year.
If a significant loss of income is projected resulting in circumstances that restrict your parents’ ability to contribute to your education, please write a letter explaining the circumstances and the Office of Financial Aid will review your situation. Special circumstances are defined as situations that the family has minimal control over: death, disability, loss of income due to lay-off and unemployment. Voluntary circumstances are not eligible for consideration. Such voluntary items would include: consumer debt, voluntary leave of employment, loss of income due to change in job or school attendance.
A financial aid counselor will review your letter and determine if a formal review is warranted. If a formal review is necessary, you will receive a Request for Review Form from the Office of Financial Aid. Documentation may be needed to support your request. Additional aid for special circumstances will consist of increased loan eligibility. Only in some instances will it increase gift assistance to an existing financial aid package. You should continue to judge your ability to afford the cost of your education based on your original aid eligibility. Application for loans and payment plans must not be delayed while waiting for a decision on a special circumstance.
As a Butler University student, you are entitled to certain rights pertaining to your financial aid. However, you also must take on the responsibility as a student financial aid applicant.
You have the right to ask:
- What financial assistance is available, including federal, state and institutional financial aid programs?
- What the deadlines are for submitting financial aid applications?
- What the cost of attendance is and what the policy is on refunds if you withdraw?
- What criteria are used to select financial aid recipients and how it determines your financial aid eligibility? This process includes how costs for tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal and miscellaneous expenses are considered in your budget.
- What resources (such as parental contribution, other financial aid and your assets, etc.) are considered in calculating your aid eligibility?
- How much of your financial aid eligibility has been sent?
- For an explanation of the various programs in your financial aid package.
- What financial aid must be repaid and what is grant aid? If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know what the interest rate is, the amount that must be repaid, payback procedures and the length of time you have to repay the loan and when repayment begins.
- What the policy is on satisfactory academic progress?
It is your responsibility to:
- Read all documents you are sent regarding your application for assistance and contact the Office of Financial Aid in writing if corrections are needed.
- Review and consider all information about a school’s program before you enroll.
- Pay special attention to your application for student financial aid, complete it accurately and submit it on time to the right place. (Intentional misreporting of information on application forms for federal financial aid is a violation of the law and is considered a criminal offense subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.)
- Return all requested documentation in a reasonable length of time.
- Know and comply with the deadlines for application or reapplication for financial aid.
- Accept or decline the financial aid offered within three weeks of notification.
- Read and understand all forms you are asked to sign and keep copies of them.
- Accept responsibility for all agreements you sign.
- Notify your lender of changes in your name, address or school status.
- Perform in a satisfactory manner the work that is agreed upon in accepting a Federal Work-Study Award.
- Know and comply with your school’s refund procedures.
Butler University supports students who wish to include the study abroad experience in their education. Students must select a study abroad program from the approved list of programs available from the Center for Global Education (CGE) in order to retain financial aid eligibility.
Students studying through an exchange program either with International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) or one of the Butler University Exchange Programs will be able to apply ALL financial aid to program costs. Actual award amounts will be available after the student has received a Financial Aid Notification (FAN) for the year in question and as soon as the Office of Financial Aid has been notified of the program in which the student plans to study.
Students studying abroad in approved IFSA and consortium programs with other universities are eligible for one-half (50%) of their Butler University awards and ALL federal and state aid. Butler University awards include, but are not limited to: Academic Scholarships, Audition Awards, Butler University Grants and endowed and departmental scholarships. Students participating in a 50% program who wish to continue studying abroad for an additional semester will only be eligible to use 25% of Butler University awards during that additional semester. Butler University awards are for two semesters abroad.
In order to receive Butler University funds for study abroad programs, the student must complete one full academic year at Butler University prior to the beginning of the study abroad term.
Since students are billed directly by the program and must submit payment directly to the program sponsor for non-Butler programs during the summer, students are not eligible for federal or institutional financial aid. Students should discuss their options with the Office of Financial Aid before registering for the program.
Procedures for Study Abroad Students using Financial Aid
- Students who plan to study abroad are required to complete Study Abroad pre-departure forms, available from CGE.
- Students need to schedule an appointment with their financial aid counselor to review estimated financial aid and costs for the selected program. Students should bring their completed Study Abroad pre-departure forms to that appointment.
- Students should plan well in advance of given deadlines to complete the requirements to study abroad.
- Students should meet with the Office of Student Accounts for any billing issues/concerns.