2015-2016 Academic Catalog: Financial Aid

Anne-Marie Caruso, Director

Student Service Center, Williston Hall, Room 101
Phone: 617-989-4174

Students whose financial resources are limited should not be deterred from seeking admission to Wentworth Institute of Technology. While the cost of attending college is rising, Wentworth is committed to offering support to those who qualify for assistance. We encourage all students to apply for financial aid. Wentworth Institute of Technology believes that the primary responsibility for meeting your cost of education rests with you and your family. Financial assistance is intended to supplement your own resources.

HOW TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID

Financial assistance decisions are made on the basis of financial need, satisfactory academic progress, and the availability of funds. In order to determine your financial need, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to determine eligibility. This form can be completed on line athttps://fafsa.ed.gov any time after January 1. In order to complete this form a student must apply for a PIN number and in the case of a dependent student the parent completing the FAFSA must apply for a PIN number as well. Students who applied for financial aid the previous year can complete a renewal form for the next academic year. The renewal form has most of the information preprinted from the previous year. Students must update the information that has changed such as income, assets and other related changes if necessary. Wentworth’s priority filing date is May 1 for returning students; and March 1 for new students.

The federal application (FAFSA) is used to determine your eligibility for all need-based and merit-based financial aid offered by Wentworth. New students who meet Wentworth’s priority filing date can expect to receive a financial aid package in the months of March and April. Returning students who meet their priority filing date will receive a financial aid package in the months of May and June.

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

In order to be eligible for any of the Federal Aid programs a student must:

  • Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be admitted to an eligible program
  • Be registered with The Selected Services if male between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Not owe a refund or a grant or be in default status on any federal student loan
  • Not have borrowed in excess of the annual aggregate loan limits
  • Have financial need as determined by the federal formulas and need analysis guidelines
  • Be Enrolled at least half time (6 credits) for Federal Direct loans per semester
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). See requirements listed in this catalog.

International Students

International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but may be eligible for a limited number of merit scholarships.

TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID

Federal Programs

Wentworth Institute of Technology is approved by the US Department of Education for the following aid

Programs:

Direct Federal PLUS Loan

This is a federal loan available for the parents of dependent undergraduate students and for graduate and professional students. Parent PLUS loans are not based on financial need. A credit check is performed to determine the borrowers’ eligibility. A parent may borrow any amount up to the dependent student’s cost of attendance minus the student’s financial assistance. The Direct PLUS loan interest rate is fixed at 7.21% for 2014-15. The repayment period for the PLUS loan begins the day the loan is fully disbursed. PLUS borrowers may defer repayment while student is enrolled at least half time and for an additional six months after you graduate, withdraw or drop below half time. The first payment will be due within 45 days after your deferment ends.

Direct Stafford Loan Program

Federal Stafford Loans are either subsidized (the government pays the interest while the student is in school) or unsubsidized (the student pays all the interest, although the payments can be deferred until after graduation). Direct Stafford loans have annual and aggregate loan limits. There are instances when a first time borrower may lose eligibility for a Subsidized Stafford Loan if he/she has received loans for 150% of their current academic program.

The interest rate for Direct Stafford loans is fixed at 4.66% for 2014-15. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, withdraws or ceases to be enrolled on a half-time basis. To receive a subsidized Federal Direct Loan, the student must be able to demonstrate financial need. Students who are borrowing for the first time through the Direct Loan Program (subsidized and/or unsubsidized) must complete a Federal Stafford Master Promissory Note (MPN) online and complete an Entrance Interview in order to receive their Federal Stafford Loan funds at Federal Student Aid Graduate Students are not eligible for the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford loan.

Federal Pell Grant

This is a federal grant that does not have to be repaid. Eligibility for this grant is determined by the federal government and is based on financial need. The grant amounts range from $600 to $5,730 yearly.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

A federal grant that does not have to be repaid, the amount of the award is based on financial need, and is determined by a financial formula.

Federal Work Study

This work program provides access to employment on Wentworth’s campus during the academic year and is awarded based on financial need. A student’s total allotment will be outlined on the award letter. A student will receive a bi-weekly pay check for the hours that the student actually works. Although the student is awarded federal work-study, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain a position on campus.

Perkins Loan Program

This is a federal low interest loan (5%) that must be repaid. Repayment is deferred until nine months after the student ceases to be at least a half-time student. All students who borrow through this loan program are required to complete a promissory note.

Veterans Benefits

Veterans planning on enrolling full-time or part-time in credit courses (day, evening or Saturday) and who are eligible to receive benefits at Wentworth must work closely with the VA representative, who is located in the Student Service Center on the first floor of Williston Hall. The representative will provide the procedural details for receiving veteran’s benefits.

The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows degree granting institutions in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution can contribute up to $5,000 of those expenses and VA will also contribute a portion of the tuition.

State Programs

Many states, including Massachusetts, offer state grants which may be applied to your educational expenses at Wentworth. These grants are based on eligibility which is determined by the state based on the information provided to them by your FAFSA. Below are the eligibility requirements for the common state grant programs at Wentworth. Please note that, if eligible, these grants will not be added to the student’s account until September, 2014. If you do not see your state listed and would like further information, please reach out to that State Grant office. Below are the eligibility requirements for participating states:

Massachusetts:

  • FAFSA must be completed by May 1st, 2014
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) between 0 and 5157
  • Student must be a Massachusetts resident
  • Must be a full-time student receiving a first bachelor’s degree

Rhode Island:

  • FAFSA must be completed by March 1st, 2014
  • Student must be a Rhode Island resident
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time

Vermont:

  • FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible as funds are awarded on first come, first serve basis
  • Student must be a Vermont resident
  • Student must fill out Vermont State Grant application

Institutional Aid

Arioch and President’s Scholarships

The Arioch and President’s Scholarships are awarded each year to a premier group of incoming students. These awards are granted to those students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievements, and have actively involved themselves in both their school and extended community. The aim of these scholarships is to assist meritorious individuals in their study at Wentworth and to recognize in a tangible way the leadership potential which these students demonstrate.

Scholarships may be renewed and applied toward tuition as long as the recipient maintains a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and is a full-time student. Arioch scholars must also live in Wentworth’s residence halls. (Please note for tax purposes that the Arioch Scholarship is a tuition scholarship.)

Visit Wentworth’s website athttp://www.wit.edu/ssc/financial/Scholarships%20and%20Grants.html for additional information.

Female STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Scholarship

Wentworth offers two of these merit-based scholarships annually to deserving new female students.

In order to be considered for this scholarship, students must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a female student entering Wentworth as a newly enrolled fulltime student for the 2014-2015 academic year
  • Be accepted into one of Wentworth’s seven STEM academic majors: Civil Engineering Technology, Computer Science, Computer Networking, Computer Engineering Technology, Electromechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering Technology, or Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.5

All female STEM applicants are automatically considered for this scholarship, no additional application is necessary. This is a full-tuition scholarship after the applicant has applied for federal need-based aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The scholarship evaluation is determined by the Admissions Office and begins in mid-January. The scholarship may be renewed for up to five years, depending on the length of the recipient’s bachelor’s degree program.

Graduate Fellowships

This merit-based fellowship is awarded to graduate students upon admission to the Master’s degree in Architecture program. No separate application is required. Fellowships are applied toward tuition charges only. The fellowship cannot be combined with any past institutional scholarships received (such as Arioch, Merit Award and President’s scholarships) during undergraduate study.

Merit Award Scholarships

This scholarship is available to all new (freshman and transfer) applicants. Admitted students are automatically considered for this merit-based scholarship. No separate application is required. Eligibility is based on a combination of factors: SAT scores and grades. Students must maintain a 2.5 institutional cumulative GPA as determined by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy to retain eligibility for these scholarships in subsequent years and be enrolled full-time. If conditions are not met in any year, the scholarship is no longer renewable. Merit award scholarships are applied toward tuition charges.

Visit Wentworth’s website at http://www.wit.edu/ssc/financial/Scholarships%20and%20Grants for information on scholarships.

Wentworth Community Scholarship

Applicants must have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to the Wentworth community through involvement in social, administrative, charitable, and athletic activities while excelling in academics. Students who have completed four (4) semesters and earned 60 semester credit hours with a GPA of 3.0 or better are eligible to apply for this $2,500 per year scholarship. Students need to reapply each year and be enrolled full time. Funds from this scholarship are applied toward tuition charges. Visit Wentworth’s website at http://www.wit.edu/ssc/financial/Scholarships%20and%20Grants.html for information on scholarships.

WIT Works

The program is designed to give students access to employment that will help them meet living expenses such as books, supplies and transportation. To receive a WIT Works award, a student must file their FAFSA and demonstrate financial need according to federal guidelines. They must also be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program, maintain satisfactory academic progress and be either a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. WIT Work-Study follows all of the same guidelines and policies as Federal Work Study and is need-based.

Endowment Scholarships

Additional endowed scholarships are offered at Wentworth through the generosity of donors. Students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Wentworth Endowed Scholarship application to apply. The application is available in June and is due in September. Students are automatically considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible. Some scholarships have a separate application; information on these scholarships, including application information and deadlines, is available on LConnect.

FINANCIAL AID SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY

The Financial Aid office is required by federal regulations to periodically review the academic progress of financial aid recipients to ensure that they are moving towards the completion of their program of study. A student is considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) if the student meets both qualitative and quantitative standards described below.

Qualitative Standard

A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average as noted below to be considered as making satisfactory academic progress.

Total Credits Earned

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required For SAP

 

Undergraduate Associate/Baccalaureate

Graduate

0-31

1.75

3.0

32+

2.0

3.0

Quantitative Standard

A student must successfully complete more than two-thirds (66.66%) of the total credits attempted for the semester. All attempted credits resulting in either an academic grade or administrative transcript notation will be included in the quantitative calculation.

For example, a student who enrolled and attempted 18 credits in the semester must earn at least 12 credits in order to be making satisfactory academic progress.

In general, coursework that is taken while in attendance at Wentworth Institute of Technology and applies to the student's academic program is taken into account when reviewing satisfactory academic progress (SAP). However, there are some exceptions. Please refer to the table below for a breakdown of how each type of course or credit is treated in the review.

 

Cumulative GPA

Completion Rate

Maximum Timeframe

Regular courses in program of study

Y

Y

Y

Repeat Courses

Y

Y

Y

Transfer Credits

N

Y

Y

Consortium Credits

N

Y

Y

Incompletes

Y

Y

Y

Maximum Timeframe

A student may receive student federal aid for any attempted credits towards their program of study as long as those credits do not exceed 150% of the published length of the student's program of study. For example, a student enrolled in an eligible 138 credit baccalaureate program can receive financial aid for up to 207 credits attempted.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Review Process

Question

Answer

When is my academic progress reviewed?

At the end of each semester

Are there warning periods?

Yes, there is one warning period

Is there an appeal process?

Yes

Can I regain financial aid eligibility once I lose it?

Yes

Academic Periods Included in the Review

A student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be evaluated each semester at the end of the payment period and for all periods of enrollment regardless of whether or not Financial Aid was received. Students who meet SAP standards will be coded as making satisfactory academic progress and will retain eligibility for financial assistance funds for the following semester.

Students who do not meet SAP standards will be placed on SAP Warning for one semester. Students placed on SAP Warning will retain their eligibility for Student Federal Aid during the warning semester. The student will be notified of a SAP warning by letter to their permanent mailing address.

At the end of the warning period, SAP standards will be reviewed. If the student meets SAP standards, they will once again be coded as making satisfactory academic progress and will retain eligibility for Student Federal Aid for the following semester

If the student is unable to meet the standards for SAP, they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will no longer be eligible to receive financial assistance funds at the institution until such time that they are able to meet the standards of SAP. The student will be notified of a SAP suspension by letter to their permanent mailing address.

Appeal Process

Students who become ineligible for federal student aid due to not meeting the financial assistance standards of satisfactory academic progress may appeal for a review of that determination. A student who believes he or she has extenuating circumstances that affected his or her ability to progress satisfactorily should appeal utilizing the appeal application within 30 days of the date of the letter indicating a loss of financial aid eligibility. Examples of cases that may be considered are as follows:

  • Student becomes seriously ill
  • Student’s relative dies
  • Student is severely injured

Other cases may be considered and is reviewed on a case-by case basis. The appeal should be addressed to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and be submitted to the Financial Aid office. The appeal should include a completed appeal form, a letter to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee requesting a re-evaluation of the student’s aid eligibility, and an unofficial copy of the student’s transcript. The letter should include an explanation of the student’s past academic performance and the reason the student’s aid eligibility should be reinstated. Also, the student may be required to submit an approved academic plan from their academic advisor.

An appeal may be approved only if

  • the institute determines that the student will be able to meet SAP standards after the subsequent semester; or
  • the student has an approved academic plan that will ensure that the student will be able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.

Other Important Considerations

Change of Program
A student who changes their academic program may request an appeal in that determination if he or she has changed programs while enrolled at their current school. If this appeal is taken up, then only those courses applicable to the new program will be evaluated for the Completion Rate and cumulative GPA components. However, all courses attempted will be evaluated for the Maximum Timeframe component. If, under these circumstances, the student is making satisfactory academic progress, the student will regain eligibility for financial assistance funds. If, under these circumstances, the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, the student will not regain eligibility for financial assistance funds at that time.

Consortium Credits
All courses taken at an institution other than the home institution through an official consortium are included in the calculation for completion rate and maximum timeframe components, but are excluded from the student's cumulative GPA component.

Course Withdrawal
Course withdrawal may affect a student’s eligibility for financial assistance funds.

Incompletes
All incompletes must be resolved by the midpoint of the semester following the receipt of the incomplete grade. If not resolved, the grade is either automatically changed to an F or is considered to be an F for all components of the satisfactory academic progress review. Financial assistance funds can be withheld until Incompletes are resolved.

Repeat Courses
Only the most recent grade for a course that has been repeated will count towards a student's cumulative GPA. Therefore, grades from prior attempts will be excluded from the student's cumulative GPA. However, all attempts including the most current will be included in the calculation for the completion rate and maximum timeframe components. Financial assistance funds will cover a repeated course only when it is repeated to replace an unacceptable grade as determined by a specific course and/or major.

Transfer Credits
Credits that are transferred in from another institution and apply to the most current major will be excluded from the student’s cumulative GPA. However, they will be included in the calculation for the maximum timeframe component and the completion rate components

Zero Credits Earned

Students who earned zero credits (all grades of WA and/or F) during a semester may be subject to the return of 50% of their federal aid. The college assumes the student has ceased participation in academic activities at the midpoint in the semester. The student will be responsible for any balance from the loss of funding.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

All students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress will be denied financial aid by Wentworth. Students have the right to appeal this decision in writing one time only. Appeals will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for reconsideration based on extenuating circumstances presented by the student. Decisions by this Committee are considered final.