2015-2016 Graduate Academic Catalogue 
    May 28, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Academic Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistants provide research, instructional, and administrative support to Loyola's faculty and administration. Most spend between seven and 15 hours per week in their assistantship or fellowship role and devote the remainder of their time to their academic pursuits. This combination of service, study, research, and teaching (when applicable) constitutes a full-time commitment. Assistantships and fellowships are competitive positions that are highly sought after. They present a rewarding opportunity for students to participate in a vibrant academic community.

Loyola offers a number of assistantships to new and continuing graduate students in a wide range of professional areas. Each opportunity provides a stipend (paid biweekly) and a scholarship which is applied at the start of the assistantship contract. This combination of stipend and scholarship is typically split 50/50 to provide students with the greatest pretax benefit.

Only those graduate students who are in a degree-seeking program are eligible to apply for a graduate assistantship. Assistantships become available at the end of the current term as students holding positions complete their academic programs. Candidates interested in submitting an application for consideration are encouraged to contact the sponsoring department. For a full listing of positions, descriptions and availability, visit www.loyola.edu/department/graduateassistantships/positions.

Federal Student Loan Programs

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

This program allows all students, regardless of financial need, who are enrolled for at least six credits per term (fall and spring semesters) or three credits per term (summer sessions) to borrow up to $20,500 per academic year. New borrowers must complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an online Entrance Counseling Session to borrow funds through this program.

The interest rate and origination fee for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are established on July 1 each year. The interest rate established for each loan is fixed and applies for the life of the loan. Interest accrual begins immediately during in-school and deferment periods. Interest accruing during those periods may be paid or capitalized. Current interest rate and origination fee information can be found on the Office of Financial Aid website, www.loyola.edu/financialaid.

Federal Direct Loan borrowers who graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment must complete an online Exit Counseling session.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

This program allows graduate students who do not have an adverse credit history to borrow up to the full cost of attendance, less other financial aid received, including Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Schools determine eligibility for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan before determining any remaining eligibility for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. The Office of Financial Aid calculates the maximum a student may borrow through the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program after completion of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan application process. Students may apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan online at StudentLoans.gov. New borrowers must complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an online Entrance Counseling Session to borrow funds through this program.

The interest rate and origination fee for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are established on July 1 each year. The interest rate established applies for the life of the loan. Interest accrual begins on the date of the first disbursement; the first payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement, or students may defer payment while they are enrolled as at least half-time.

Federal Direct Loan borrowers who graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment must complete an online Exit Counseling session.

Application Procedures

All new and renewal applicants for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit the Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan Information Sheet. In some cases, additional documentation may be required. Students will be notified via their Loyola e-mail account if additional documentation is needed to complete their application.

All application materials for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan must be completed and received by the Financial Aid Office four weeks prior to registration to ensure the loan proceeds are available for payment of University charges. Late applicants must pay all tuition and fee charges when registering for courses. Students will be reimbursed by the University upon receipt of the loan proceeds.

Student Loan Processing Deadline

The proceeds of student loans (federal and private) must be disbursed to Loyola University Maryland and credited to a student's account no later than May 1. Therefore, all loan application procedures, including completion of the loan promissory note and final approval, should be completed at least two weeks prior to the May 1 processing deadline.

Teach Grant Program

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year in non-need-based grants for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low income families. Students may receive up to $16,000 for undergraduate study and up to $8,000 for graduate study. Part-time students are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced.

In exchange for TEACH Grant assistance, recipients must agree to serve as a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low income students. Current legislation has identified the following as meeting the definition of a high-need subject area for the TEACH Grant Program: bilingual education and English language acquisition, foreign language, mathematics, reading specialist, science, and special education. Failure to complete the teaching obligation will cause the TEACH Grant to be permanently converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed. Once a grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.

To learn more about the TEACH Grant Program, visit www.teachgrant.ed.gov. To apply for a TEACH Grant, please contact the graduate financial aid counselor at 410‑617‑2576.

State Programs

Maryland State Senatorial and Delegate Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded by Maryland state senators and delegates to residents of their legislative districts. Contact your legislative representatives for the preferred application procedure.

Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grants: This program includes grants for critical shortage areas throughout the state of Maryland. For a complete list of shortage areas, visit www.mhec.state.md.us.

Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP): This program assists Maryland residents who work for state or local government or nonprofit agencies in paying back student loans. For more information, contact: Maryland Higher Education Commission, Office of Student Financial Assistance; 410‑767‑3300; website: www.mhec.state.md.us.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require students who are receiving financial aid to make deliberate and measurable progress toward their degree in order to continue to receive financial aid. This requirement is referred to as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Loyola will monitor academic progress to ensure that students maintain a minimum cumulative GPA and make steady progress toward degree completion. This policy applies to federal, state, and institutional aid. Students who do not meet the SAP requirements may lose their financial aid eligibility. Students who do not meet the SAP requirements may lose their financial aid eligibility. If extenuating circumstances led to noncompliance, students may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office for consideration.

Only students with a current year FAFSA on file will be evaluated. If a current FAFSA is not on file, students will not be evaluated until a FAFSA is received for the upcoming academic year. The SAP review is based on the entire academic record, even if the student did not receive financial aid for previous semesters of enrollment.

Qualitative and Quantitative Standards

The University measures academic performance based on three standards: grade point average (GPA), pace, and maximum time frame. To be eligible for financial aid, graduate students must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA):
    Maintain a 3.000 minimum cumulative grade average. In the event that the program of study requires a higher GPA, it will supersede this policy.
    Limit grades of C.
    No more than one grade of C in graduate programs in Loyola College or the School of Education.
    No more than two grades of C in graduate programs in the Sellinger School of Business and Management.
    No grades of F.
  2. Completion Rate (Pace):
    Complete at least 67 percent of all attempted credits per semester. This calculation is performed by dividing the number of credits earned by the number of credit hours attempted.
    Attempted credit hours include the following, whether or not paid for with financial aid: Earned hours; grades of F, I, P, S, U, W, NG, NR, GL; transfer credits; and courses taken from a change in major. Repeated courses for grade improvement count as hours attempted but only count once if passed as hours earned. Audit and noncredit classes are not eligible for financial aid and are not counted in SAP calculations. Note: Federal financial aid will pay for only one repeat of a previously passed course.
  3. Maximum Time Frame: Earn the degree within the time frame specified under Academic Regulations and Policies.

Evaluations and Notifications

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is evaluated annually at the end of each spring term (after grades are posted). Students enrolled in a certificate program are evaluated at the end of each term. SAP is also reviewed at the end of each probationary period, if applicable. Students who fail to meet the minimum SAP standards will be notified electronically via their Loyola e-mail account.

The SAP policy applies to financial aid eligibility; it does not impact registration or academic standing. It is separate from the academic standard required by the University for continued enrollment. Students failing SAP are ineligible for financial aid for subsequent enrollment periods. Students are permitted to attend Loyola, but at their own expense until they demonstrate academic progress toward their degree. Federal student aid may only be used toward courses required to complete a graduate degree.

Appeal Process

Students not meeting the minimum SAP requirements have the right to petition the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee to have their aid reinstated when extenuating circumstances exist. Circumstances which are considered extenuating are those which are unusual or unforeseen at the beginning of the enrollment period, such as the death of a relative, injury, illness, and family or financial difficulties. An appeal may not be based upon the need for assistance or lack of knowledge that assistance was in jeopardy. The committee will review the appeal and notify the student of its decision in writing via the student's Loyola e-mail account.

Appeals must be in writing and include an explanation of why the student was unable to meet the SAP requirements, and the circumstances that have changed which would allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation. Students may include supporting documents. Written appeals must be filed within 30 days of notification or prior to the last day of add/drop for the semester in which aid is desired, whichever comes first. Appeal documentation can be scanned and emailed to dballantyne@loyola.edu or faxed to 410-617-1855.

Students must also meet with their academic advisor to create an academic plan. This plan must demonstrate that, if followed, the student will be meeting SAP standards at the next evaluation or by a specified point in time. This plan must be presented with the appeal letter.

Students should not assume that a SAP appeal will be approved and must accept responsibility for paying tuition and fees if the appeal is denied. SAP Appeals Committee decisions are final and may not be appealed to another source. Students may submit one appeal.

Financial Aid Probation and Reinstatement

When an appeal is approved, eligibility for aid will be reinstated on a probationary basis for one semester. The student's academic performance in that probationary semester will be reviewed to determine the status for the upcoming semester.

If the requirements for satisfactory academic progress are now being met, the student's eligibility will be reinstated.

If the student is successfully following an academic plan but still not meeting the SAP standards, the student will be permitted aid for the upcoming semester. The next review will take place at the annual SAP evaluation period or according to the terms of the student's plan, whichever comes first. As long as the student continues to meet the requirements of the academic plan at each scheduled review period, the student is eligible to receive financial aid.

If it becomes mathematically impossible to meet degree completion and/or grade point requirements prior to the maximum time frame, the student immediately becomes ineligible for future financial aid.

All information is subject to change based on changes to federal law, regulation, or University policy and procedure. If changes are made, students must abide by the new policy.

Student Status Changes

Recipients of any type of federal, state, institutional, or private sources of financial aid must notify the Financial Aid Office, in writing, of any changes in their enrollment status including: failure to maintain half-time enrollment; withdrawal; transfer to another college or university; or change in anticipated graduation/completion date.

Federal legislation also requires Federal Direct Stafford Loan recipients to notify their lenders (or any subsequent holder of their loans) in writing if any of the following events occur before a loan is repaid:

  • change of address;
  • name change (e.g., maiden to married);
  • failure to enroll at least half-time for the loan period certified, or at the school that certified the loan application;
  • withdrawal from school or attendance on less than a half-time basis;
  • transfer to another college or university;
  • change of employer or address of an employer;
  • academic leave of absence
  • any other changes in status that would affect the status of a loan.

Note: For federal aid purposes, a student who takes an academic leave of absence is considered to have withdrawn from the school and the federal refund requirements apply (see Return of Title IV Funds Policy under Fees ). An academic leave of absence will affect a student's in-school status for the purposes of deferring student loans. The student's grace period begins on the date the student was last enrolled as at least half-time.

Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Under the Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), students who are convicted for any offense related to any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will lose eligibility for any type of Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work-study assistance. When filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students are required to report if they have ever been convicted of any drug-related offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs. Failure to answer this question will automatically disqualify the student from eligibility for federal student aid programs. Knowingly providing false or misleading information on the FAFSA is considered a crime and can carry a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment. If a student is convicted while receiving assistance through any federal student aid program, the student must notify the University's Financial Aid Office immediately. The student will be ineligible for further aid and required to repay all aid received after the conviction.

National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)

Loyola University Maryland uses the services of the NSC to process enrollment verification requests received from lenders, guaranty agencies, servicers, and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education has ruled that a school's release of personally identifiable information from student education records to the Clearinghouse is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. It receives data from schools, agencies that guaranty loans, the Direct Loan program, and other U.S. Department of Education programs. In general, the agency that authorized the aid award is responsible for reporting aid information to NSLDS: specifically, Stafford Loans are reported by guaranty agencies; Direct Loans are reported by the Direct Loan Servicing Center; Perkins Loans are reported by schools (or their agents); and grants are reported by the U.S. Department of Education Common Origination and Disbursement System.

NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants that are tracked through their entire cycle, from aid approval through closure. The NSLDS Student Access website (www.nslds.ed.gov) allows recipients of Title IV aid to access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data. The site displays information on loan and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses, disbursements, and loan servicers. This data is protected under federal privacy laws; detailed information governing its access can be found on the website.

Financial Aid Office Code of Conduct

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 requires institutions of higher education to develop and enforce a code of conduct that prohibits conflicts of interest for financial aid personnel. Additionally, as members of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Loyola University Maryland financial aid personnel adhere to the NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct which contains principles specific to the financial aid profession.

Consistent with the requirements of the HEOA and the NASFAA Statement, Loyola University Maryland has adopted a Code of Conduct for its financial aid professionals. Other University employees, officers, and agents with responsibilities in respect to education loans must also comply with this policy. For detailed information, visit www.loyola.edu/financialaid.

All federal, state, and institutional financial aid recipients must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or eligible noncitizens with a valid Social Security number. An eligible noncitizen is a U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I551C (Permanent Resident Card).