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University Catalog

Scholarships and Student Financial Aid

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid coordinates all student financial assistance available at UW. Available aid includes scholarships, grants (Hathaway Scholarships, Federal Pell, Federal ACG-Smart, Federal SEOG), loans (Federal Direct, Federal PLUS and private) and employment (Federal Work-Study).

The Student Financial Aid office will help all qualified applicants to secure aid, but resources are limited. Aid is offered first to those applicants whose materials are completed and received by March 1 prior to the academic year for which aid is sought. Federal Pell Grants and Federal Direct Loans are available to qualified applicants throughout the year.

Unless another deadline is specified, prospective students seeking scholarships should send an application for admission, the nonrefundable application fee and a copy of their current high school or college transcript to the UW Admissions Office by December 1. Students who have attended another college must have that college submit an academic transcript to the UW Admissions Office.

Students seeking federal aid or assistance based on their financial need must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants may do so at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Allow one week for processing. UW recommends using IRS Data Retrieval (available two weeks after filing taxes) when completing the FAFSA. Final responsibility for ensuring that all required documents are received in a timely manner rests with the applicant. The FAFSA will be available October 1 for completion.

Eligibility Requirements

To receive federal financial aid (such as Federal Pell, Federal ACG-Smart, and Federal SEOG grants, Federal Work Study, Federal Direct [subsidized or unsubsidized], and Federal Direct PLUS loans) you must meet the following conditions and provide supporting documentation when requested to do so: have a high school diploma or its equivalent, be enrolled or accepted for admission as a regular student at UW, not be concurrently enrolled in an elementary or a secondary school, be enrolled in a degree program, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a demonstrated financial need if required, not exceeded lifetime Pell grant eligibility, if a Pell grant student, be prepared to prove attendance, maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP), not be in default on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment of a federal grant at any institution (or, if so, have made satisfactory arrangements to repay or otherwise resolve the overpayment or default), not have borrowed in excess of the annual or aggregate loan limits of a federal loan program (loan borrowers only), agree to use funds received only for educational costs, register with the Selective Service if required, and not have had federal financial aid benefits suspended as result of a drug conviction.

Enrollment Requirements

Students must attend classes to be eligible for federal financial aid or be prepared to pay all the money back. Most scholarships require the recipient to be enrolled full time. Hathaway Scholarships, Federal Pell Grants, and veteran's benefits may be pro-rated for part-time enrollment and Federal Direct Loans may only be borrowed by students enrolled for at least half time (a minimum of 6 hours for undergraduate and pharmacy students; a minimum of 4.5 hours for graduate and law students). Federal Pell Grants and Federal SEOG Grants are available to undergraduate students who have not completed the requirements for their first undergraduate degree. Classes for audit are not acceptable for any kind of financial aid. Generally, Federal aid is not available for UW Flexible Enrollment (correspondence) courses, for continuous registration hours, or for audit hours. For details, ask a financial aid adviser.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The University Of Wyoming Office Of Student Financial Aid is responsible for ensuring that all students receiving federal financial aid meet minimum standards.  The University of Wyoming standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) measures all students' academic performance.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed at the end of each payment period (fall, spring, summer) and the following three areas are measured:

  1. Qualitative -- UW cumulative grade point average (Cum GPA) earned
  2. Quantitative (Pace)-- completion rate for coursework enrolled
  3. Timeframe- maximum time frame to complete a degree

Minimum Standard Requirements
Qualitative Standard

A student must successfully meet the following minimum UW cumulative GPA for their program:

  • Undergraduate programs - 2.0
  • Professional programs - 2.0
  • Graduate programs - 3.0

Quantitative Standard (Pace)

A student must successfully complete 67% of the cumulative hours attempted.

Pace = Cumulative # of credit hours successfully completed

Cumulative # of credit hours attempted

The following courses do count as attempted and completed in the SAP calculation.

  • Successfully completed courses with grades of A, B, C, D, or S
  • Transfer hours accepted toward completion of the student's program
  • Academic Renewal hours earned through previous enrollment
  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • Incomplete grades that are now completed
  • Experiential Learning Credits
  • Summer Session credits successfully completed
  • Credits earned through Study Abroad and Consortium agreements

The following courses do count as attempted and not completed in the SAP calculation:

  • Failed
  • Withdrawn
  • Incomplete
  • Repeat
  • Unsatisfactory

The following courses do not count as attempted or completed in the SAP calculation:

  • Correspondence
  • Audit
  • Credit by exam
  • Remedial
  • Enrichment

Timeframe Standard

A student must be making progress toward a degree.  The University of Wyoming sets the following maximum timeframe for student degrees:

  • Undergraduate- 180 hours (150% of 120 hours)
  • Master's Program- 45 hours (150% of 30 hours)
  • Doctorate Program- 108 hours (150% of 72 hours)
  • Law- 135 hours (150% of 90 hours)
  • Pharmacy- 213 hours (150% of 146 hours)

Transfer hours accepted toward completion of the student's program are used in the calculation of the Timeframe Standard.

When pursuing multiple degrees or changing majors the maximum time frame may be adjusted based on a student generated appeal that includes a degree audit.

SAP Statuses

Financial Aid Warning

Students who have not met the minimum standard requirements for the previous semester will be placed on a Warning status. Students on Warning status are eligible for financial aid for one additional payment period. Students who do not meet Minimum Standard Requirements at the end of their Warning semester will be placed on Suspension for the next term. Note: Students who receive all failing grades in a semester are immediately placed on financial aid suspension. Students who fail the timeline standard will also be placed on immediate suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who have not met the minimum standard requirements (after being placed on Warning)  are placed on Suspension. Students who are on Suspension are not eligible for financial aid unless a SAP appeal with academic plan is approved by the SAP Committee. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval. Students awaiting a decision on their SAP appeal are responsible for paying their tuition and fees by the payment deadline. Students having met the maximum timeframe are not eligible for a "Warning" period.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who have successfully appealed a financial aid suspension are placed on probation and are eligible to receive federal aid for one more payment period. After Probation, the student must be making SAP or successfully following their academic plan. Students are reviewed each term for compliance with their Academic Plan and SAP Standards.

Reinstatement

If a student loses federal financial aid eligibility due to not meeting SAP standards, they can regain eligibility in one of the following ways:

  1. Completing courses using their own resources that will satisfy the deficient SAP area.
  2. Successfully appealing by submitting a SAP Appeal Form with supporting documentation.

SAP Appeal Process

Students who have been suspended can appeal their status by submitting the SAP Appeal Form (one semester or multi semesters) and a formal written request with supporting documentation to the financial aid office no later than the conclusion of the "Drop/Add" period for the current semester.  The appropriate appeal form is available to the student once they have met with a SAP counselor.  The SAP Appeal Form must include the following:

  • an explanation with supporting documentation of any extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from maintaining satisfactory academic progress,
  • an explanation of what has changed that will allow the student to succeed academically,
  • an academic plan signed by academic advisor that will enable student success, and
  • a degree audit for those students who have reached their maximum timeframe.

All appeals are reviewed by a Financial Aid SAP committee. The review time for appeals may take a minimum of 2 weeks. Students will be notified of the results by email and/or mail. If the appeal is denied, students may request an additional review by the Director of Financial Aid. Students must submit new information with supporting documentation for a secondary review. The Director's decision is final.

Financial Aid Federal Return of Funds Policy

A student who receives federal financial aid (other than Federal Work Study pay checks) and chooses to complete less than 60% of an academic term is considered not to have earned all the federal aid he or she has been awarded.

  • If aid already disbursed is equal to earned aid, no further action is required.
  • If aid already disbursed is less than earned aid, additional aid may be offered to the student after he or she withdraws.
  • If aid already disbursed is greater than earned aid, UW and/or the student must return some federal funds.

To determine whether federal funds have been earned or must be returned, UW follows this procedure:

  1. Determine the percentage of the term the student completed. This is calculated by dividing the number of calendar days (including weekends) in a term into the number of calendar days that the student was in attendance for that term.
  2. Apply the percentage of time attended to the total amount of federal aid the student was eligible to receive for the term. This is the student’s “earned aid.”
  3. Subtract the amount of earned aid from the amount of aid actually disbursed to the student. A positive remainder is the student’s “unearned aid.” A negative remainder is the student’s “earned aid” that may still be offered to the student.
  4. Determine the amount of unearned aid remaining that must be repaid by the student. Subtract the amount of unearned aid repaid by the institution from the total amount of unearned aid.

All unearned aid will be returned to the federal student loan lender or federal aid accounts in the following order: (1) Unsubsidized Stafford Loan; (2) Subsidized Student Loan; (3) Federal Perkins Loan; (4) Federal PLUS (Parent) Loan; (5) Federal Pell Grant; (6) ACG-Smart; (7) Federal SEOG Grant. Any amount owed by the student on a grant will be reduced by 50%.

The date of a student’s withdrawal from UW will be the date of the student’s notification to the Dean of Students Office of an intent to withdraw if the student has no federal aid. For students who have received federal aid, the withdrawal date will be the last date of an academically related activity as reported by their instructors. When a student fails to officially withdraw from UW and has all F’s at the end of the semester, the withdrawal date will be the latest date of an academically related activity as reported by their instructors.

UW will repay the lesser of (1) the total amount of unearned aid or (2) an amount equal to the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of unearned aid. “Institutional charges” is defined as charges for tuition and fees, plus room and board charges for students living in UW residence halls and apartments. It does not include such charges as bookstore charges, student health insurance premiums, parking citations, or library fines.

The amount of unearned aid owed by the student on a loan may be repaid under the normal repayment terms of the loan. The amount of unearned aid owed by the student on a grant must be repaid immediately.

Any amount of earned aid not yet disbursed to the student will be offered to the student. Such offers will cover any undisbursed grants first, followed by the undisbursed loans.

Examples of how the amount of unearned federal aid a student must return is calculated are available from a professional adviser in the office of Student Financial Aid. A chart detailing the percentage of earned and unearned aid, by calendar day of the semester, is provided in the term’s class schedule. In brief, to determine the percentage of earned federal aid, the calculation will use the total number of calendar days in the term divided by the total number of calendar days the student attended.

Funds Distribution

Each student who registers has his or her own student account with the university. Once a qualified student has registered for classes and accepted their awards on WyoRecords, the Office of Student Financial Aid will authorize the electronic transfer of funds from UW financial aid accounts to the student's individual account at the university.

First-time borrowers of federal student loans must participate in entrance loan counseling (view a web presentation). All student loan borrowers must participate in an exit loan interview (in person or on the web) prior to leaving UW.

Federal Work-Study funds are paid as payroll checks or direct deposit on the 15th and last working day of the month. Payroll checks may be direct deposited or mailed to the student.

The university will automatically charge a student's account for tuition and fees based on the student's enrollment. Likewise, if the student is living in a university residence hall, room and board charges will be placed on the student's account.

Any financial aid credited to a student's account will automatically pay tuition and fees first and then charges for room and board in UW residence halls. Unless directed otherwise in writing by the student, any remainder will be applied to other university charges. If a negative balance results, a credit balance will be prepared by the university and will be refunded to the student through the University's electronic refunding process. 

Scholarships awarded for the academic year will be split into two equal payments to the recipient's student account with one to be paid at the beginning of each semester. Most non-UW scholarships are paid in the fall semester unless the donor or selection committee specifically directs that it be paid differently.

Students enrolled in a domestic or international exchange program or a study abroad program approved by UW for academic credit are eligible to apply for federal student financial assistance. Likewise, students concurrently enrolled in classes at two or more eligible institutions of post-secondary education may apply for federal aid. A special consortium agreement between institutions must be completed prior to each semester a concurrently enrolled student seeks aid. Those granted a Federal Work-Study allocation have opportunities to perform community services to earn their allocation.

Information describing available aid, award criteria, rights and responsibilities of aid recipients, costs of attendance or refund and repayment policies and schedules is available by writing to Office of Student Financial Aid, Dept. 3335, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071, or viewing the financial aid website at www.uwyo.edu/SFA/.

Important: Students are assumed to be full-time when their initial financial aid is determined. If you plan to attend less than full-time in any semester, your financial aid will be adjusted to reflect your true tuition costs. It is always best to make the Office of Student Financial Aid aware of your intended enrollment prior to the start of a semester so that accurate amounts of financial aid may be applied to your account.

Financial aid policies are subject to change without notice to reflect modifications in federal, state and institutional laws and regulations.

Veterans Educational Benefits

Students who have served in the armed forces may be allowed credit for courses taken in some military schools. Students who desire to apply for credit on the basis of the military schools should submit a copy of the DD-214 Form or its equivalent to the Office of the Registrar. Individual colleges will determine whether such courses will be applicable to degree programs.

All veterans seeking educational benefits must register with the veterans' certification specialist in the Office of Student Financial Aid, 174 Knight Hall, (307) 766-2525. This includes completing a veteran's registration card each semester. Those veterans not completing a veteran's registration card by the last day of the late registration period will be dropped from VA educational assistance at the university. Class load requirements for veterans are as follows:

Undergraduate and Pharm.D. Veterans:

  • Full-time 12 or more credit hours
  • 3/4 time at least 9, but fewer than 12 hours
  • 1/2 time at least 6, but fewer than 9 hours
  • Less than 1/2 registration credit hour fee reimbursement only

Graduate and Law Veterans:

  • Full-time 9 or more graduate credit hours or certification by the Office of the Registrar*
  • 3/4 time at least 7, but fewer than 9 graduate credit hours or certification by the Office of the Registrar*
  • 1/2 time at least 4.5, but fewer than 7 graduate credit hours or certification by dean of the Graduate School*
  • Less than 1/2 registration credit hour fee reimbursement only

*The final responsibility for seeing that the veterans' certification specialist has a certification from the Office of the Registrar rests with the student. It must be received by the last day of scheduled registration.

If any portion of a veteran's schedule is composed of courses which are less than the full semester in length (i.e., short courses, workshops, "blocked" courses, etc.), the rate of benefit payment may be affected. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the veteran's certification specialist in the Office of Student Financial Aid, 174 Knight Hall, (307) 766-2525.

Withdrawal from a class or classes could reduce a veteran's benefits for that term. For details, contact the veteran's certification specialist in the Office of Student Financial Aid.

National Guard Benefit

Active Wyoming National Guard members in good standing and considered to be satisfactory participants may apply to participate in the Guard's Education Assistance Plan. The Plan provides 100 percent tuition and mandatory fee payment for all courses (except repeated courses) leading to one degree at UW, as long as the recipient continues to meet academic and service commitment requirements. Recipients must agree to serve in the Guard for at least two years after earning their degrees. This benefit may be used concurrently with Veterans Educational (GI Bill) Benefits. For information and application packets, please contact the Wyoming National Guard at 800-832-1959, ext. 5262, the UW Outreach School at 800-448-7801, or the UW financial aid office at 307-766-3016.

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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