Financial Planning

Financial Aid Options and Policies for Assisting with Educational Expenses

Each year a majority of graduate students attending John Brown University benefit from federal loans. Students enrolled at least half-time and seeking financial aid are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. For additional information, visit the web at jbu.edu/grad/financial_aid/. To ensure that financial aid eligibility is determined in a timely manner, submit the FAFSA at least eight weeks prior to registration. Only eligible US citizens or non-citizens pursuing master's degrees or certificates are eligible for aid.

Based on information supplied by a student's FAFSA results, the Financial Aid Office will determine each student's financial aid award offer. Consideration for financial assistance will occur only after the student has received a tentative or final acceptance through the Admissions Office. Returning students will be awarded assistance if they are making satisfactory academic progress. To continue to receive financial aid, application for aid must be made each year.

Financial Aid Policy

All students enrolled at John Brown University who receive financial aid through JBU or the federal Title IV Assistance Programs must meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements as defined below in order to be eligible for further aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to be eligible to apply for financial assistance, a student must meet the qualitative and quantitative SAP standards.

  1. The GPA Standard (Qualitative)

  • Undergraduate students must achieve and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.0 (“C” average) or must have an academic standing consistent with JBU’s requirements for graduation.
  • Graduate students must achieve and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.85 to continue in the JBU Graduate Program and be eligible to receive aid.
  1. The Pace of Progress Standard (Quantitative)

  • Students must pass a minimum of 67% of the credits attempted during their academic career.
    • In accordance with Federal Student Aid requirements, the Financial Aid Office allows the student the opportunity to receive federal aid for only one retake of a class. A repeated course is counted as attempted and successfully completed if a passing grade is earned.
  • Undergraduate students cannot attempt more than 150% of the credits required for completion of the student’s degree.
    • In the case of a transfer student who may have earned credits at another institution, only the credits that apply to the student’s degree will be considered as part of the 150% degree maximum.

Appeal Process

If a student does not successfully meet the satisfactory academic progress standards, the Financial Aid Office will notify the students in writing of his or her suspension of financial aid. The Financial Aid office will email students with this notification and the email will additionally contain the institutional policy regarding appeals procedures. The student may submit a written appeal to the Associate Vice President of Financial Aid within 30 calendar days of the notification of their financial aid status suspension. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee that probationary status will be granted to a student who does not meet SAP requirements. The Associate Vice President reviews appeals on a case-by-case basis and upon completion of the appeal review, the student will be notified by the Financial Aid Office of the decision.

While the Associate Vice President may allow for other mitigating circumstances depending on the merit of the appeal, some examples where the university makes allowances for mitigating circumstances include:

a) Death in the family or death of a close friend

b) Serious illness of a family member

c) Medical complications or prolonged illness of the student

d) Inability to attend classes due to unexpected lack of transportation

e) Serious financial problems requiring excessive hours of employment

Upon successful appeal, a student is allowed a probation period of one year to meet the SAP requirements in which the student will continue to receive assistance. If a student does not meet SAP requirements upon completion of their probation period, they are ineligible to receive financial aid under the Title IV, HEA program requirements.

Additionally, if a student has extenuating circumstances that require an extension of time to complete a degree, the student may submit a written appeal to the Financial Aid Committee for review of the Pace of Progress Standard.

An appeal for financial aid eligibility is a separate process from the appeal process for academic suspension conducted through the Office of the Registrar. A successful appeal with the Office of the Registrar after academic suspension does not necessarily reinstate a student’s financial aid.

Additional SAP Considerations

  • Incompletes: An incomplete (I) is counted as an attempted class that was not successfully completed.
  • Per traditional undergraduate academic policy, an incomplete grade must be made up within 30 days after the official grade reporting date. After the 30 days, the incomplete grade will be changed to the grade of an “F” and can only be changed upon approval of the instructor and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. In extenuating circumstances, the instructor may request an extension date from the Associate Dean of Academic Services.
  • Withdrawals: a withdrawal (W) is counted as an attempted class that was not successfully completed.
  • For semester-based JBU Degree Completion students, a withdrawal is counted as an attempted class that was not successfully completed. However, for term-based JBU Degree Completion students, a withdrawal received during the add/drop period does not factor into the SAP calculation; withdrawals after the add/drop period immediately incur an “F” and count as an attempted class that was not successfully completed.
  • Not-for-credit remedial coursework and audited courses are not counted in SAP calculations.
  • Transfer hours: Transfer hours that apply to a student’s degree count as hours attempted and completed, but they are not considered in the calculation of cumulative GPA.
  • Students pursuing a second degree: Students pursuing a second degree are not eligible for the Pell Grant. Students are only eligible for loans up to 150% of the hours required to obtain their degree. Students who have completed a degree, but who have not enrolled in a new degree program are not eligible for financial aid.
  • Determining official or unofficial withdrawal: JBU has several procedures in place for determining whether or not a student officially withdrew for students who received all F’s or I’s in a term.
    • Undergraduate: Professors and Advisors initially monitor students for absences, though they are not required to take attendance. If a lengthy absence is observed by either the professor, Advisor, or other faculty or staff members, the student is reported to the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar then notifies the student with a letter indicating that the student will be officially withdrawn unless they begin to consistently attend classes. If a student does not respond to the Registrar’s contact, the student is removed from classes and is officially withdrawn. At this time, the Financial Aid Office is notified by the Registrar of the student’s official withdrawal.

Graduate/Degree Completion:

When a graduate or degree completion student fails to attend classes and fails to notify proper administrators that they wish to withdraw, the university utilizes one of two methods to address these situations. First, the professor notifies the administration that a student failed to attend or, in the case of an online class, failed to submit assignments. After the administration appropriately reviews the situation to confirm that the student will not continue in the class, the administration sends a withdrawal form to each of the campus offices affected, including the Financial Aid Office. 

In the second method, the Degree Completion professor includes a complete attendance record for the class with the submission of final grades. The administration then distributes this information via email/fax to each of the campus offices affected, including the Financial Aid Office. For the JBU Degree Completion Program students, the administration is the JBU center that oversees the student’s campus (JBU Rogers Center for the Rogers campus; JBU Fort Smith Center for the Fort Smith Campus; JBU Little Rock for the Little Rock campus). For graduate students, the administration is either the administrative assistant in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies or the administrative assistant in the respective Division of Graduate Studies.

Veterans Administration Benefits

John Brown University is an approved institution for veterans and veterans' beneficiaries training. Veterans, widows, and children of veterans who lost their lives in service, or veterans who are now disabled as a result of service should contact the nearest Veterans Administration Regional Office as far in advance of enrollment date as possible for assistance in securing VA benefits. Information regarding this program may be obtained from JBU’s VA Certifying Official at registrar@jbu.edu.

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