Federal policies & procedures

In accordance with federal regulations under the Title IV of Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) Norwich University is required to publish several policies and guidelines for its students both undergraduate and graduate. Below are explanations of policies and procedures that we believe our students need to be familiar with:

Qualifying for Aid/Applying for Aid

To be eligible for federal, state and institutional aid students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrate federal need (may not be required for some loan and institutional programs)
  2. Have a standard high school diploma, GED or ATB (Ability to Benefit) on file.
  3. Be enrolled in a college credit program.
  4. Not be in default or owe a repayment of Title IV funds.
  5. Have a valid Social Security number.
  6. Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen with permanent residency status and an alien registration identification number (may not be required for some institutional programs).
  7. Be registered with the Selective Service (males between the ages of 18-25).
  8. Have not borrowed in excess of loan limits under the Title IV program.
  9. Federal regulations require that students may only receive financial aid if they are maintaining satisfactory academic progress (see details below).
  10. Must have all requested documents on file before disbursements can be made.

To apply for financial assistance it is the student’s responsibility to annually apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is available at www.fafsa.gov. The students must also provide any required forms and documentation deemed necessary by the Office of Student Financial Planning. The priority filing deadline is February 1.

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As part of the Financial Aid Process, a student may be selected for Verification. This is usually a random selection by the federal processor. Norwich University also may select additional files to verify.

If you are selected for verification, it means that we must request certain documents from you in order to verify that certain information that you supplied on the FAFSA form is correct.

Once the FAFSA form is received by Norwich University, and it is determined that you have been selected for verification, you will receive a letter indicating the documents needed from you in order for us to complete the verification process. These documents usually include IRS Tax Transcripts, W-2 forms, and the Verification Worksheet. Other documents may be needed as well. Examples of additional documents include, but are not limited to, proof of child support received or paid, schedules from your tax return or proof of other untaxed income. You will always be notified via letter, phone call, or email of documents that are needed. It is important that these documents are turned in as soon as possible. No aid will be disbursed to your tuition account until the documents are received and your file has been verified.

Verification requires that the University verify that the following information supplied on the FAFSA is correct:

  • Household Size
  • Number in College
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Child support paid
  • Adjusted Gross Income
  • US income tax paid
  • Education credits
  • Untaxed IRA distributions
  • Untaxed pensions
  • IRA deductions
  • Tax exempt interest
  • Income earned from work

If, during the verification process any amounts previously reported on the FAFSA need to be changed, Norwich University will make those corrections and send them electronically to the federal processor. You will be notified that we made those changes by the federal processor. If any resulting changes occur to your financial aid award, you will be sent a new financial aid award letter.

It is a federal crime to deliberately falsify any information on the FAFSA form in order to receive federal financial aid inappropriately. Any cases where it is determined that deliberate tampering with FAFSA information occurred will be referred to the Office of Inspector General as required by the institution’s Program Participation Agreement.

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Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal regulations require schools to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress policy to enforce the statutory requirement that a student must be making satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion to be eligible for Federal Student Aid Program funding. The same measurements are used to determine eligibility for institutional grants and funds received through the student’s state, although specific rules may vary by state.

The policy must be cumulative and it must include any periods of enrollment in which the student did not receive aid from the Federal Student Aid Programs. Students applying for aid or receiving aid are subject to the regulations. The Norwich University Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy includes the following:

  • Qualitative measure – the cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Quantitative measure of progress – the percentage of degree required attempted credit hours which are completed and a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete their program.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy at Norwich University has been developed to ensure that the financial aid program at Norwich University adheres to the requirements set forth by federal aid regulations. An assessment of the student academic progress will be made after each term of enrollment.

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Qualitative Measures – Required GPA

Undergraduate programs require the following grade point average to be considered in good standing, based on progression of credits earned by the student.

Number of credits earned Minimum cumulative GPA
0-17 1.60
18-34 1.80
35+ 2.00

Graduate program students must achieve and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid Program funding. Students may be expected to achieve and maintain a higher GPA to be considered eligible for enrollment in their academic program and they are not eligible for financial aid funding if they are not meeting the GPA expectations for their program of study.

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Quantitative Measures

Students’ quantitative measure of Satisfactory Progress is monitored by the Financial Aid Office using the following guidelines:

  • Students are eligible for financial aid for a maximum of twelve semesters of attendance or 150% of the normal 4 year program of study.
  • Students must complete at least 67% of the total number of courses that they attempt. This is based on cumulative attempted credits, not term-by-term attempted credits.
  • Students must maintain the 67% “Pace of Progress” throughout enrollment so their academic outcome trajectory indicates they will complete their degree requirements prior to attempting 150% of the total credits needed for program degree requirements.
  • Students with Pace of Progress trajectories indicating it is no longer mathematically possible to complete their degree within this 150% timeframe requirement become ineligible financial aid regardless of GPA.
  • Example: For a program requiring 124 credits, the student must complete their program by the time they have attempted 186 credits. If a student in this program has completed only 80 credits of the first 150 attempted, they would no longer be eligible for aid because they have 44 required credits remaining (124 minus 80) but only 36 remaining credits of financial aid eligibility.
  • EN005, MA005, course withdrawals, “remedial courses”, and incomplete courses are counted in the hours attempted and are counted towards the quantitative measure of Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
  • Because ROTC courses that are not required for academic degree completion are not qualified for Federal Student Aid Program funding, they are not included in the total number of attempted or completed credits for financial aid SAP reviews. These same ROTC classes are eligible for funding from Norwich University grants and scholarships.
  • Course withdrawals and incompletes are not counted in the student’s grade point average and are not counted in the qualitative measure of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
  • Transfer credits earned prior to the student’s enrollment at Norwich will be used for quantitative purposes to determine the minimum required grade point average based upon hours earned.
  • Transfer hours earned while a student is enrolled at Norwich will be counted in quantitative determination of satisfactory academic progress.
  • An “Attempted Credit” is any credit on the transcript for a term of enrollment that is not dropped within the established drop timeframe for the term of enrollment, even if the student withdraws before receiving a formal grade in the class.
  • A “Completed Credit” indicates that the student attended the full term and received a grade other than “Incomplete”. A Completed Credit can be either a pass or a fail grade.

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When Students Fall Below Standards

Students not meeting the qualitative or quantitative measurements receive information describing how their academic status impacts their eligibility for funding. Here are key terms related to our academic progress policy and procedures.

Good Standing

To be considered in Good Standing for financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), students must:

  • Complete 67% or more of all attempted academic credits throughout enrollment.
  • Demonstrate a sufficient “Pace of Progress” toward their degree, meaning they are on track to receive their degree prior to attempting 150% of the total number of credits needed for the degree. Example: Students in an 80 credit program must complete the program with required GPA within a maximum of 120 attempted credits.
  • Meet their program-specific cumulative GPA expectation.


After the first semester below standard on either qualitative or quantitative measurements, the student receives a “Warning Letter”. The purpose of this letter is to remind the student of Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and to provide information about the campus-based resources available to help them succeed in the classroom. The student is not required to submit any documentation at this stage. Funds for the next term are disbursed at the standard times.


After the second consecutive semester below standard on either qualitative or quantitative measurements (does not have to be same reason for both occurrences), the student is notified that their financial aid eligibility is suspended. Suspensions are effective immediately. For example, if a student is suspended based on the review at the end of Fall Semester, their financial aid for the next term of enrollment (typically Spring) will not be disbursed.

The Suspension Letter provides information to remind the student of the academic progress expectations. It also includes information related to the process for filing a Petition for Reinstatement if unusual circumstances have impacted the student’s ability to succeed in class.

Students in suspended financial aid status are considered to be “self pay” students for any period of enrollment they attend prior to receiving approval of their Petition for Reinstatement.

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Petition for Reinstatement

Students placed into Financial Aid Suspension are encouraged to file a Petition for Reinstatement as soon as possible after being notified of their status.

The Petition form directs the student to provide a signed statement indicating the reasons why they feel they are not meeting Good Standing expectations and what they have done to eliminate the barriers to success. The student must meet with their Academic Advisor or the Academic Achievement Center to discuss their academic support needs: an “advisor signature” is required on the form. The student must also obtain and provide a copy of an updated academic plan which describes the remaining required courses and other academic requirements for their degree.

If the student Petition is approved, the approval is effective immediately. This means that the student will be eligible for funding for the term during which the Petition is approved or for their next term of enrollment if they do not attend the term during which they file their Petition.

Not all Petitions are approved and our policy is to approve no more than two Petitions for any student throughout their enrollment. Students may not receive approvals for multiple Petitions which are based on the same rationale.

Probationary Period

Students with approved Petitions receive financial aid on a probationary basis and are provided individual outcome requirements that must be met each term in order to remain eligible for aid until returning fully to Good Standing. Students who do not meet the Probationary Period expectations are re-suspended and may submit an additional Petition for Reinstatement. An example of an individual probationary expectation is that a student may be expected to complete all of their attempted credits and receive at least a 2.0 undergraduate, or 3.0 graduate, GPA for each semester they are enrolled until the student returns to “Good Standing” levels.

Regaining Eligibility

In addition to Petition for Reinstatement reviews, students may request reinstatement of eligibility when they return fully to Good Standing based on attendance as a self-pay student at Norwich University.

Students demonstrating ability to meet Good Standing expectations through completion of courses taken at another school which are transferable to their Norwich University degree may also request a reinstatement review, even if the student has had two prior Petition approvals as allowed by the SAP policy. These students are encouraged to discuss their remaining eligibility with Student Financial Planning as it relates to maximum eligibility (150% of program) concepts.

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Student Withdrawals and Refunds

In the event that a student leaves Norwich University during an academic term either voluntarily or involuntary they are subject to the university’s refund policies. Students should review all financial policies as outlined by the Bursar’s Office. The withdrawal date that is used in determining a student’s refund or repayment will be defined as the actual date that the student begins the withdrawal process, the student’s last day of academically related activity or the midpoint of the payment period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution.

The U.S. Department of Education requires Norwich University to use the Return of Title IV funds policy for students who withdraw from school and who are receiving Federal Title IV student financial aid. Title IV funds refer to federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and includes the following programs: Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants, and SMART Grants.

The U.S. Department of Education stipulates the way funds paid toward a student’s education are to be handled when a recipient of Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds withdraws from Norwich University. A statutory schedule is used to determine the amount of FSA funds a student has earned when he or she ceases attendance based on the period the student was in attendance. Up through the 60-percent point in each payment period or period of enrollment, a pro-rata schedule is used to determine how much FSA funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60-percent point in the payment period or period of enrollment, a student has earned 100 percent of the FSA funds.

In general, the Amendments require that if a recipient of FSA assistance withdraws from a school during a payment period or period of enrollment in which the recipient began attendance, the school must calculate the amount of FSA assistance the student did not earn and those funds must be returned. The percentage earned is one of the following:

  • If the day the student withdrew occurs on or before the student completed 60 percent of the payment period or period of enrollment for which assistance was awarded, the percentage earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment for which assistance was awarded was completed.
  • If the day the student withdrew occurs after the student has completed 60 percent of the payment period or period of enrollment, the percentage earned is 100 percent.

The percentage and amount not earned is the complement of the percentage of FSA assistance earned multiplied by the total amount of FSA assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed) to the student, or on the student’s behalf, for the payment period or period of enrollment, as of the day the student withdrew, or the date the institution determined that they withdrew.

If the student receives less FSA assistance than the amount earned, the school must comply with the procedures for post-withdrawal disbursement specified by the department in regulations. If the student receives more FSA assistance than the amount earned, the school, the student, or both must return the unearned funds as required, and in the order specified. The school must return the lesser of:

  • The amount of FSA funds that the student does not earn; or
  • The amount of institutional costs that the student has incurred for the payment period or period of enrollment multiplied by the percentage of the funds that were not earned.

The student (or parent, if a Federal PLUS loan) must return or repay as appropriate, the remaining unearned FSA grant and loan funds. However, a student is not required to return 50 percent of the grant assistance received by the student that would be the responsibility of the student to repay.

The student (or parent, if a Federal PLUS loan) must return the unearned funds for which they are responsible to loan programs in accordance with the terms of the loan, and to grant programs as an overpayment. Grant overpayments are subject to repayment arrangements satisfactory to the school or overpayment collection procedures prescribed by the Secretary of the Department of Education.

FSA funds for the payment period or period of enrollment for which a return of funds is required must be returned in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal/Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Federal/Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal/Direct Grad PLUS Loans
  • Federal/Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a return of funds is required.
  • Academic Competitiveness Grants for which a return of funds is required.
  • National SMART Grants for which a return of funds is required.
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for which a refund is required.
  • Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant for which a return is required.
  • Other assistance under Title IV regulations for which a refund of funds is required.

The student will be issued the larger of the institutional refund or the federal refunds. Any questions should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Planning at 802.485.2015 or nufinaid@norwich.edu.

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