2016-2017 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 at https://fafsa.ed.gov  any time after October 1st. In order to complete this form a student must apply for an FSA ID and in the case of a dependent student the parent completing the FAFSA must apply for an FSA ID as well. Students who applied for financial aid the previous year can complete a Renewal FAFSA for the next academic year.  The Renewal FAFSA 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 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 6.31% for 2016-17. There is a 4.272% loan origination fee (fee for loans originated after October 1, 2016 will be 4.276%). 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 3.76% for undergraduate students and 5.31% for graduate students for 2016-17. There is a 1.068% loan origination fee (fee for loans originated after October 1, 2016 will be 1.069%). 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 http://www.studentloans.gov. 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 $591 to $5,815 yearly for 2016-17.

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 Certifying Official, who is located in the Student Service Center on the first floor of Williston Hall. The official 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 of each year. 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 of each year
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) between 0 and 5234
  • Student must be a Massachusetts resident
  • Must be a full-time student receiving a first bachelor’s degree

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 at http://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 2016-2017 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 only. Therefore, any semester in which tuition charges are covered by another scholarship such as ROTC, the MERIT award scholarship will be cancelled for that semester.

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: 0-31
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required For SAP Undergraduate Associate/Baccalaureate CPCE: 1.85

Total credits Earned: 0-31
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required For SAP Undergraduate Baccalaureate Day: 1.75

Total credits Earned: 0-31
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required For SAP Graduate: 3.0

Total credits Earned: 32+
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required For SAP Undergraduate Associate/Baccalaureate CPCE: 2.0

Total credits Earned: 32+
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required For SAP Undergraduate – Baccalaureate Day: 2.0

Total credits Earned: 32+
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Required For SAP Graduate: 3.0

Quantitative Standard
A student must successfully complete at least 66.67% 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 information below for a breakdown of how each type of course or credit is treated in the review.

  • Regular courses in a program of study:
    Cumulative GPA – Y
    Completion Rate – Y
    Maximum Timeframe – Y
  • Repeat Courses:
    Cumulative GPA – Y
    Completion Rate – Y
    Maximum Timeframe – Y
  • Transfer Credits:
    Cumulative GPA – N
    Completion Rate – Y
    Maximum Timeframe – Y
  • Consortium Credits:
    Cumulative GPA – N
    Completion Rate – Y
    Maximum Timeframe – Y
  • Incompletes:
    Cumulative GPA – N
    Completion Rate – Y
    Maximum Timeframe – Y

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

  • 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 email to their WIT email address followed by a letter to their permanent 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 email to their WIT email address followed by a letter to their permanent 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 must 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 or successfully complete their academic program.

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. If the appeal is approved the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will have one semester (or time as specified by the approved academic plan) to meet SAP requirements and remain eligible for financial aid.

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.

Co-op

Unsuccessfully completion of a required Co-op impacts SAP, whether the student withdraws from the Co-op or receives a ‘U’ grade.  A student who does not successfully complete a required Co-op will be placed on SAP Warning or SAP Suspension depending upon the SAP standing with which the student started the semester.

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 W, U, WA and/or F) during a semester may be subject to the return of 50% of their federal aid. Barring the availability of information to ascertain the student’s last day of attendance at an academically related event, the college may assume 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.

Remedial Course Credits

Remedial course credits approved by the student's academic department and attempted are included in the calculation for completion rate, cumulative GPA and maximum timeframe components.

Treatment of Federal Financial Aid When a Student Withdraws

The US Department of Education requires Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) to maintain and disseminate a written policy regarding federal financial aid recipients who withdraw or otherwise fail to complete the term for which their financial aid was disbursed.

Federal financial aid funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a Federal financial aid student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Federal financial aid funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

Up through the 60% point in each semester, a prorata schedule is used to determine the amount of Federal financial aid funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60% point of the semester, federal regulations affirm that a student has earned 100% of the Federal financial aid funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the semester. For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, all funds are earned.

If the recipient of a Federal grant or Federal loan withdraws from school after beginning attendance, the amount of the Federal grant or Federal loan assistance earned by the student must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, unearned funds must be returned.

Withdrawal Procedure

Students who wish to withdraw from Wentworth are required to submit a completed the Voluntary Withdrawal Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. If you live in a residence hall, you must meet with the Resident Life Staff and submit the appropriate forms.

Withdrawal Date and Calculation of Earned and Unearned Federal Financial Aid

For purposes of this policy, the date of withdrawal will be the date the student begins the withdrawal process or the date, as determined by WIT, that the student otherwise notified WIT in writing or verbally, of their intent to withdraw to zero credits.

The amount of aid earned is calculated by dividing the number of calendar days from the beginning of the term of the point of withdrawal by the total number of days in the term. This percentage is multiplied by the amount of federal financial aid that was awarded and accepted for the term and becomes the amount of aid that was earned. This amount is subtracted from the amount of aid disbursed and the balance becomes the amount of unearned aid that must be returned.

Responsibility for repayment of these funds will be shared by WIT and the student, according to policies and procedures contained within the federal formula for proration of refunds of unearned Federal Financial Aid.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

A student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement if the amount of earned aid is more than the disbursed aid. Students will be notified at the point of withdrawal if they are eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement as determined by the Financial Aid Office.

Distribution of Unearned Federal Financial Aid

In compliance with federal regulations, a school must return Federal financial aid funds to the programs from which the student received federal aid during the payment period as applicable, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct loans
  • Subsidized Federal Direct loans
  • Federal Perkins loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

Federal Work-Study funds paid to recipients will not be included in the computation of earned Federal financial aid, nor will these funds be refunded to the federal account from which they were paid.

Unearned Federal grant and Federal loan funds due from WIT will be repaid to the federal accounts for the specified semester. Unearned portions of Federal grant aid due from the student will also be repaid to the federal accounts by WIT. All repayments made by WIT pursuant to this policy will be charged to your student account. Any refund amount above the amount of unearned aid will be returned to the federal aid programs according to the distribution of Unearned Federal Financial Aid schedule.

Unofficial Withdrawals

Federal Regulations require that an institution must have a procedure in place for determining whether a Federal financial aid recipient who began attendance during a payment period completed the period.

For students enrolled in 15 week courses, if a student earns a passing grade in one or more of his or her classes offered over an entire period, for that class, WIT will presume that the student completed the course and thus completed the period of enrollment.

For students enrolled in 7 week courses, the student is considered to have withdrawn from a payment period in which the student began enrollment if the student ceased attendance without completing all of the days the student was scheduled to complete in the period

The determination of unofficial withdrawals will occur after grades are posted at the end of each semester. For unofficial withdrawals, the withdrawal date that WIT will use is either the midpoint of the payment period or the last date of an academically related activity the student participated in.