Financial Aid Policies
To receive certain types of aid, individuals must meet certain requirements. TLU has specific eligibility requirements regarding students' rights and responsibilities, enrollment status, satisfactory academic progress, appeals, maximum gift aid, consequences of withdrawing, refunds, penalties for drug convictions, study abroad, and summer. All of these areas can affect your eligibility for aid.
Financial Aid Refund Policies
FINANCIAL AID REFUND POLICY
Students are encouraged to meet with the Office of Student Financial Services before changing enrollment by dropping a class or starting the withdrawal process so that they can be informed of the financial impact of withdrawing from college. Students who wish to drop a class or begin the official withdrawal process during the first week of class may do so on MyTLU. After the first week of class, students must contact the Office of Registration and Records to obtain either a drop/add slip or a withdrawal form. A student is considered to have officially dropped a class or withdrawn from TLU once the student has obtained all the required signatures and has returned the completed form to the Office of Registration and Records.
Note: The withdrawal date is determined by the date the student signs the withdrawal form, indicating his or her intent to withdraw from TLU. Should the student decide not to withdraw at that point in the semester but later withdraws or fails all of his or her classes, the official withdrawal date reverts back to the date on the first form that was completed.
A student’s enrollment status will be determined based on enrollment on the census date each term. Once enrollment status has been determined, financial aid will be reviewed. If a student’s enrollment status is different than that at which he or she was awarded, his/her financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. For example: Institutional aid and state grants requiring full-time enrollment will be cancelled and Federal Pell Grants will be adjusted for the new enrollment status. Loans will be cancelled if the student is enrolled less than half-time (6 credit hours).
Note: A student awarded a Federal Pell Grant MUST begin attendance in all classes to be eligible for disbursement of the Pell Grant award.
If a student drops a class after the census date, institutional aid may be reduced – see Institutional Aid Policy – but federal and state grants will not be adjusted. However, Federal Direct loans require at least half-time enrollment to be re-certified at the time of disbursement. As a result, students who drop below 6 credit hours (half-time) before the loan is disbursed will not be eligible for the loan disbursement.
Below are definitions that will help you understand the financial aid refund policy:
- Census Date: The 12th class day of a fall or spring term and the third day of the term for May and summer sessions.
- Drop: Student completes official paperwork to cancel enrollment in a class.
- Drop Fail: Professor completes paperwork to cancel enrollment in a class for a student due to the student no longer attending the class.
- EFC: Expected Family Contribution
- Official Withdrawal: The student officially notifies the Office of Registration and Records that s/he is cancelling enrollment in all of the classes for which s/he has registered for in a given semester.
- Unofficial Withdrawal: The student stops attending classes, receives all F’s in his/her courses, is Drop Failed from all of his/her classes or a combination of the above.
- Withdrawal Date: The date the student officially began the withdrawal process in the Office of Registration and Records OR in the case of an unofficial withdrawal, the last date of attendance or the 50% point of the semester, whichever is later.
- Last Date of Attendance: • For students who officially withdraw, this will be the date of withdrawal.
- For students that fail all classes due to non-attendance, this will be the date recorded by the professor for the class. If a date is not provided by the professor, the last date of attendance will be the 50% point of the semester.
The student’s official enrollment status will be determined based on the 12th official class day (census date) of a long term. Once enrollment status has been determined, financial aid will be reviewed. If the student’s enrollment status is different than when initially awarded, financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. Institutional aid and state grants requiring full-time enrollment will be cancelled. Federal Pell Grants will be adjusted according to the new enrollment status.
If a student drops a class after census date, institutional aid may be reduced (see Institutional Aid Policy), but federal and state grants will not be adjusted. However, federal loans require enrollment to be recertified at time of disbursement. Federal regulations state that if a student drops below half time or withdraws prior to loan disbursement, the loan may not be disbursed.
Institutional Aid Policy
When a student withdraws from the university, adjustments to a student's financial aid may be required according to the university's institutional refund policy. Students who completely withdraw from all classes prior to the 16th day of class, may be eligible for a partial refund of tuition charges. TLU institutional aid is adjusted according to the percentage refund schedule set by the Registrar's Office. In no case will a student receive institutional funds in cash. Scholarships and other institutional aid may be rescinded.
Federal Aid Policy (R2T4)
Federal regulations require Texas Lutheran University to have a Return to Title IV (R2T4) policy to address the treatment of federal financial aid in instances of a student's complete withdrawal from the university. Under the R2T4 policy, Student Financial Services is required to perform a R2T4 calculation to determine the amount of federal funds that a student may be eligible to retain due to the student's complete withdrawal.
Students who withdraw from all classes prior to the 60 percent point of the term and who receive Title IV federal financial aid may owe a refund of aid received.
Federal financial aid is earned on a proportional basis for each day of the term that the student has completed. If a student completes 30 percent of the term, then 30 percent of the federal financial aid has been earned. If the financial aid has been credited to the student’s account and has paid institutional charges only, 70 percent of the aid must be returned to the federal financial aid programs. Federal funds are returned to the programs in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Federal Loan
- Subsidized Federal Loan
- Federal PLUS Loan (Parent or Graduate Student)
- Federal Pell Grant
- Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG).
- TEACH Grant
If financial aid created a credit on the student’s account that was then refunded to the student, the student will be required to repay 50 percent of any unearned grant amount. If the credit balance was created by a loan disbursement, the student will be required to repay the lender the amount of the loan as per the terms of the signed promissory note.
Example 1: Joe was awarded federal grants totaling $3,000 and received Federal Direct Loan funds of $2,500. Joe was registered full time, lived in Seguin Hall and had meal plan B. His total institutional charges are $21,985 for the semester.
If Joe withdraws at the 30 percent point in the semester, he will have earned $1,650 of the $5,500 awarded. 70 percent of the $5,500 or $3,850 must be returned to the federal programs. TLU will return the $2,500 Federal Direct Loan to the lender and $1,350 of the federal grants.
Because Joe withdrew during week five of the term, he does not get a refund of tuition, room or board.
Assuming Joe had a zero balance on his student account at the time of withdrawal, he will be required to pay TLU $3,850.
Example 2: Joe was awarded federal grants totaling $3,000 and received Federal Direct Loan funds of $2,500. Joe was registered full time, lived in Seguin Hall and had meal plan B. His total institutional charges are $21,895. Joe withdrew at the 50 percent point of the term. Only 50 percent of the $5,500 or $2,750 is considered earned. TLU would return the $2,500 Federal Direct loan to the lender and $250 of the federal grants. Assuming Joe had a zero balance on his student account at the time of withdrawal, he will be required to repay to TLU $2,750.
Although financial aid must be returned to the federal programs as prescribed by federal regulations, the TLU Institutional Charges Refund Policy does not refund institutional charges at the same percentages. Students will be required to pay TLU for any balances owed after the institutional charges, refunds, and financial aid refunds have been calculated.
If part of the balance owed to TLU is the repayment of a federal grant, TLU has 30 days to notify the student of the balance owed. The student has 45 days to either repay the funds or make satisfactory payment arrangements with Student Financial Services. Students who fail to repay the funds within 45 days will have a hold placed on their student account. Student will not be allowed to register or received financial aid until the hold is cleared or satisfactory payment arrangements have been made.
TLU will notify the student after an R2T4 calculation has been completed if there is a change in their federal financial aid.
TLU must return funds to the federal programs within 45 days after determining the student has withdrawn.
If a student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement, that disbursement will be made within 14 days of the calculation.
If after the R2T4 calculation is completed the student has a credit balance remaining on their account, TLU will disburse the credit within 14 days of the calculation being completed.
Students are encouraged to meet with Student Financial Services before the withdrawal process has started so that they can be informed of the financial impact of withdrawing from college.
State Grant Aid Policy
When a student withdraws from all classes tuition will be refunded according to the university’s institutional charges refund policy. The Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) is tuition restricted. If a student withdraws or drops a class after census date, TEG will only be adjusted if TEG plus institutional grants and scholarship are greater than tuition.
Employee Tuition Exchange Policy
TLU participates in both the Tuition Exchange, Inc. and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) tuition exchange programs.
Dependent children of full-time employees at participating institutions may qualify for either of these programs.
To be eligible for either of these exchange programs, the student must be admitted as a full-time, degree seeking student at TLU.
Visit the Office of Student Financial Services to review a list of participating ELCA schools.
Tuition Exchange, Inc.
Employees at participating institutions must complete a Tuition Exchange application each academic year at the institution at which they are employed. Since all applications should be processed through both TLU and the employing institution and submitted to Tuition Exchange, Inc by April 1st each year for the next award year, it is recommended that the application be completed and submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services by March 1. Applications received on or after April 1st will not be processed.
Tuition Exchange is highly competitive and space is limited. We recommend that the student applies for both admission and tuition exchange as early as possible.
TLU must keep a balance between those students imported to TLU and those exported to other institutions each year through this program. As a result of this requirement, the number of students accepted into this program each academic year may change. Priority will be given first to continuing students previously accepted into this program with new applications being processed on a first-come, first-served basis. TLU reserves the right to go to an application further down on the priority list should the student not be accepted to TLU by March 15.
Eligibility: Students are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year for which they wish to participate in this program. Students are also encouraged to apply for other non-institutional grants and scholarships. Support from these sources may be added to the tuition benefit according to institutional policy at the institution the student will attend.
Dependent children of faculty and staff are eligible, subject to the following qualifications:
- Participants must meet the definitions of dependency at both the parent’s employing institution and TLU.
- TLU is not obligated to provide tuition for more than the actual amount of tuition. TLU does not award tuition exchange scholarship for housing and food.
Limits: Participants may utilize the program for tuition only for a maximum of eight full-time semesters at the undergraduate level. Summer school may be included in the program but will be counted as one full-time semester regardless of whether the student attends summer session full-time. The student is responsible for all fees, books, room, board and any other expenses required to attend college.
TLU reserves the right to make admissions decisions in accordance with regular policies. Continuing enrollment is also subject to TLU policies for good conduct and academic standing.
Renewal: Renewal of this award is contingent upon the student maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress at TLU and the student’s remaining eligibility in the program. Students should meet all application deadlines set by TLU.
Eligible employees must maintain full-time employment at the employing institution for the student to continue receiving this benefit at TLU.
Employees at participating institutions must complete an ELCA Tuition Exchange application each academic year their dependent children participate in this program. These applications must be completed and sent to the parents’ institution’s financial aid office no later than April 15th and their financial aid office must submit the application to the Office of Student Financial Services no later than May 1st. Applications received after May 1st will not be processed.
TLU is limited to four students per year through this program. Priority will be given first to continuing students previously accepted into this program with new applications being processed on a first-come, first-served basis. TLU reserves the right to go to an application further down on the priority list should the student not be accepted to TLU by May 1st.
Eligibility: Students are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year for which they wish to participate in this program. Students are also encouraged to apply for other non-institutional grants and scholarships. Support from these sources will be added to the tuition benefit according to institutional policy at the institution the student will attend.
Dependent children of faculty and staff from participating institutions are eligible, subject to the following qualifications:
- Participants must meet the definitions of dependency at both the parents’ employee institution and TLU.
- Participants are not entitled to receive any benefits from TLU which they would not be entitled to receive from their parents’ employing institutions. For example, if the student is eligible for 75% tuition remission at the parent’s employing institution; he/she is only eligible for 75% of tuition at TLU.
- TLU is not obligated to provide any benefit under this program which it does not provide to its own employees in a comparable classification.
- Dependent children of retired employees are eligible according to the limits of #2 and #3 above.
Eligible employees wanting their dependent children to participate in this program must contact the ELCA tuition exchange liaison at their employing institution to complete an ELCA Tuition Exchange application.
Limits: Participants may utilize the program for tuition only for a maximum of four full-time academic years at the undergraduate level. Summer school may be included in the program. The student is responsible for all fees, books, housing, food, and any other expenses required to attend TLU.
TLU reserves the right to make admissions decisions in accordance with regular policies. Continuing enrollment is also subject to TLU policies regarding good conduct and academic standing. Should employment cease, TLU reserves the right to recalculate the financial aid package and/or discontinue the benefit.
Renewal: Renewal of this award is contingent upon the student maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress at TLU. Students should meet all application deadlines set by the importing institution.
Eligible employees must maintain full-time employment at their employing institution for the student to continue receiving this benefit.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
To view TLU's Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, please click on the following link:
TEG Hardship Policy
State regulations require the student to meet certain conditions for the renewal of his/her Tuition Equalization Grants (TEG). These conditions are as follows:
- The student must earn a minimum of 24 credit hours during the academic year.
- The student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and minimum 75 percent completion rate.
- The student must continue to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) requires colleges to have a hardship policy in place for the TEG program. When a student does not meet the above conditions due to unusual circumstances or a situation exists which creates a hardship for the student, the student may appeal for continuation of their TEG award.
TLU has determined the following hardships that may prevent a student from meeting either the cumulative GPA or cumulative hours earned renewal requirements.
The hardships listed below will require the student to submit an appeal explaining their situation and providing documentation when appropriate.
A student who experiences a serious accident, illness or medical condition that prevents the student from attending class and/or completing a semester which results in the student not being able to meet renewal requirements.
A student who experiences a serious accident, illness or death in the immediate family that prevents the student from attending class and/or completing a semester which results in the student no being able to meet renewal requirements.
Other situations determined by the financial aid office as documented by the student. Examples may include military deferments and other situations unforeseen at this time.
The following hardships are automatic and do not require an appeal.
- December graduate from high school who immediately enrolls in college. TLU has determined it is a hardship for a student who graduates from high school in December immediately preceding spring enrollment at TLU to earn a minimum of 24 credit hours by the end of the academic year. For example, a student graduates from high school in December 2017 and begins enrollment at TLU in January 2018 (Spring 2018). Students who graduate in December but postpone college until another academic year are not included as part of this hardship based on state policy.
- A graduating senior enrolled less than full-time during their final regular semester. This pertains to a student in their graduating semester that enrolls at least half-time but is not required to enroll full-time to graduate. This student would be eligible to receive a prorated award.
- Academic Year: Includes Fall, Spring and Summer. At TLU, the academic year for financial aid runs from August to July.
- First-time freshman: A student who has not attended college after graduating high school before attending TLU.
- Regular semester: A regular semester includes a Fall or Spring semester.
- Immediate family: include biological or stepparent, grandparent and siblings.
- Immediate family: may include another person not previously mentioned, such as a legal guardian, if the student lives with this person.
2022-2023 Verification Policy
TLU Student Financial Services will follow the guidelines set out in the Federal Student Aid Verification Guide for verification purposes. Please refer to the following 2022-2023 Verification Policy document.