North Dakota University System
Policies and Procedures

NDUS Procedures

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SUBJECT: 500s: Student affairs EFFECTIVE: August 1, 2017
Section: 500.1 ND Student Financial Assistance Program

The following procedures are intended to clarify rules governing the administration and allocation of North Dakota Student Financial Assistance Program funds, consistent with applicable state and federal laws.

Section 1 - Terms and Definitions

Applicant: A student who completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and indicates on the FAFSA that they are a resident of North Dakota. Applicants must have graduated from a high school in this state; graduated from a high school in a bordering state, pursuant to N.D.C.C. chapter 15.1-29; graduated from a nonpublic high school in a bordering state while residing with a custodial parent in this state; completed a program of home education supervised in accordance with N.D.C.C. chapter 15.1-23; or received a general educational development high school diploma from the North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Award Year: An award year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 and may include, fall, spring, and summer semesters or fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters.

Central Processing System: The U.S. Department of Education's processing facility for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Cost of Education: The cost of education includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and other expenses incidental to attending an eligible institution, or, the average costs of those expenses for a group of institutions of the same class.

Eligible Institution: An accredited public or private postsecondary institution in this state that offers a program of instruction at least equal in length to two academic years. An accredited institution of higher education outside of North Dakota which offers applicants with a medically certifiable disability special services or facilities not available in this state, provided the institution offers a program of instruction equal to at least two academic years, may also qualify.

Eligible Program: An undergraduate program of study leading to a degree or certificate as currently defined by the U. S. Department of Education Federal Title IV student financial aid programs. The program of study must be eligible for Title IV aid as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Enrollment Status: Students must be pursuing an eligible program at an eligible institution and be enrolled at least quarter-time.

Financial Aid Census Date: A date, occurring each semester or quarter as determined by an eligible institution, on which enrollment status is determined for the purposes of the administration of Title IV financial aid and the State Grant Award.

Financial Aid Package: An offer of student financial aid made to a current or prospective student which may include funds from any of the federal student assistance programs, other State-funded programs, private donors, or the institution making the award offer.

North Dakota Student Financial Assistance Program (North Dakota State Grant): A grant awarded to a North Dakota resident student from funds made available pursuant to N.D.C.C. chapter 15-62.4.

Over award: As currently defined for federal Title IV student aid programs based on federal methodology to determine an applicant's unmet need.

Overpayment: As currently defined for federal Title IV student aid programs.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):A standard of academic standing, defined by each institution for the purpose of the administration of Title IV financial aid funds. Students must maintain academic progress from semester to semester or from quarter to quarter to continue receiving disbursements throughout the award year.

Section 2 - Student Eligibility

  1. To be eligible for receipt of a State Grant, all of the following conditions must be met:

    1. The applicant must be either a citizen or national of the United States, a U.S. permanent resident or an eligible non-citizen;

    2. The applicant must be a resident of the State of North Dakota. The applicant must also be a first-time undergraduate student (defined as a student who has not yet received a baccalaureate or graduate degree). Further, the applicant must have graduated from a high school in this state; graduated from a high school in a bordering state pursuant to N.D.C.C. chapter 15.1-29; graduated from a nonpublic school in a bordering state while residing with a custodial parent in this state; completed a program of home education supervised in accordance with N.D.C.C. chapter 15.1-23, or received a general educational development high school diploma from the superintendent of public instruction;

    3. The applicant must demonstrate unmet need based on federal methodology. Initial need shall be calculated as shown in Section 4 - Amount of Grant. Unmet need must be further substantiated by the need analysis performed by each institution for an eligible applicant according to the federal methodology in order to prevent over-awarding of need-based aid;

    4. The applicant must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program at an eligible institution as of the financial aid census date. Provided accreditation and program length requirements are met, eligible institutions include: North Dakota State University, University of North Dakota, Dickinson State University, Mayville State University, Minot State University, Valley City State University, Bismarck State College, Lake Region State College, North Dakota State College of Science, Dakota College Bottineau, Williston State College, Trinity Bible College, University of Jamestown, University of Mary, Rasmussen College (Fargo site), Sitting Bull College, Turtle Mountain Community College, United Tribes Technical College, Nueta Hidatsa Community College, Cankdeska Cikana Community College;

    5. The applicant must be in compliance with the educational institution's satisfactory academic progress policy used for Federal Title IV student financial aid administration;

    6. The applicant must have a valid FAFSA completed. This includes required signatures, verification processes complete and all Title IV aid eligibility flags resolved with the student's institution;

  2. Grants may be awarded to an eligible student for not more than the equivalent of eight semesters or twelve quarters of full-time equivalent undergraduate education or until the attainment of the students' baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first.

  3. Part-time awards are permitted provided the student maintains unmet need and all other eligibility criteria are met. Part-time awards will be determined as follows based on enrollment. Award may be downward adjusted based on unmet need.

    Enrollment Status Credits/Semester % of Full-time Award
    Less than time0-2.990%

Section 3 - Application Procedures

Students apply for the State Grant by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The State Grant Program receives data through the Federal Central Processing System for students who (1) indicate their state of legal residence as North Dakota; and (2) indicate the release of their data to a North Dakota educational institution that is eligible for participation in the State Grant Program. The North Dakota University System will begin awarding as soon as possible after the annual FAFSA application period opens. Awards will be made until funds are depleted.

Section 4 - Amount of Grant

The maximum amount of the State Grant may not exceed nine hundred seventy-five dollars per semester or six hundred fifty dollars per quarter. Eligible students showing unmet need based on the initial eligibility calculation performed by the North Dakota University System will be awarded the maximum fulltime award. The student's institution is responsible for substantiating the maximum fulltime award by performing need analysis according to the federal methodology in order to prevent over-award of need-based aid.

An applicant's eligibility is initially determined by the following calculation by the NDUS:

-Parent/student expected family contribution
-Federal Pell Grant

Applicants are ranked in descending order according to "unmet need." State Grant funds are awarded, provided other eligibility requirements are met, to those applicants with the highest unmet need, continuing down the list until no grant funds remain or all eligible students have been funded.

Section 5 - Institutional Requirements

A student's final eligibility for State Grant will be confirmed by an institutional representative. If the institution has reason to believe that the student does not meet the eligibility criteria as set forth in Section 2, the State Grant Program administrator should be contacted immediately to review the student's award. Additionally, the institution is responsible to notify the State Grant Program administrator of any changes to eligibility information prior to disbursement or during the award year. The State Grant Program administrator may make changes to awards on the basis of information received subsequent to the initial award, including revisions and corrections of the FAFSA resulting from changes initiated by the student, the institution, or the Department of Education.

Institutional financial aid representatives must consider a student's need to prevent an over award of need-based aid as indicated in Section 2 - Student Eligibility. State Grants must be considered as part of a student's financial aid package, and as need-based financial aid. Funds received for students through the State Grant Program are to be administered in the same way as need-based Title IV program funds for the purposes of packaging and need analysis. If a student's cost of education minus available resources, including internal and external scholarships/grants, puts a student in an over-award situation, State Grant funds must be returned to the administrating agency. Student loans should be reduced prior to State Grant funds.

Section 6 - Disbursement Procedures

Upon verification of enrollment at an institution each semester or quarter, the North Dakota University System will disburse to the appropriate institution state grant for eligible students. Eligibility and amount is based on enrollment as of the institution's financial aid census date.

Upon receipt of a ND State Grant disbursement, the authorized institutional representative is responsible for verifying eligibility and initiating the necessary accounting procedures to transfer the appropriate disbursement amounts into individual student accounts or to issue individual student checks, whichever is appropriate for the educational institution. Any non-disbursed funds for ineligible students must be returned to the North Dakota University System

Section 7 - General Provisions

Fiscal Records. Appropriate fiscal records must be maintained by all participating institutions and the North Dakota State Grant Program administrator.

Refunds/Institutional Liability. It is the responsibility of the institutional representatives to report to the State Grant Program administrator any awards that the institution is aware of that are based on inaccurate application data. If funds have been disbursed to a student, and the student reported erroneous data unknown to the institution at the time of eligibility certification, the student is responsible for the return of any funds which he/she is not eligible to receive. All refunds will be coordinated by the appropriate institutional representative on campus. Refunds must be submitted to the North Dakota University System by the appropriate institution. The educational institution is expected to place holds as allowed on other financial aid disbursements, future enrollments, release of transcripts, etc., in an effort to collect refunds if necessary.

In the event State Grant Program funds are disbursed to a student as a result of erroneous action by the institution, and the student is not at fault in the error, the institution is financially liable for the return of the funds to the North Dakota University System.

Students who are in modular classes and who have been paid the state grant for enrollment in these classes and who subsequently drop the course(s) prior to the course(s) starting must have their state grant reviewed by the institution. If it is determined that dropping the modular course(s) changes enrollment status and if the student will not be billed for these courses, the state grant must be recalculated and the award modified in accordance with the recalculation.

Transfer of original award. A State Grant recipient may transfer their grant from one North Dakota institution to another eligible North Dakota institution provided that the recipient's cost of education remains sufficient to create eligibility for an award and provided all eligibility criteria as defined in Section 2 - Student Eligibility are maintained. The institution that the student is transferring to must be listed on the FAFSA. All transfer requests will be based not only on program eligibility requirements but also on the availability of funds.

Late-Year Awards:In the event that the ND State Grant Program has additional funds which have not been expended, late-year awards may be made. Students who meet the eligibility criteria and who are offered a late-year award may receive a state grant disbursement if eligibility is confirmed by an authorized institutional representative. Enrollment status for the purpose of late-year awards will be based on enrollment at the financial aid census date in the semester or quarter that the student is being offered the award for. To qualify for a late-year award disbursement, the student must still be enrolled at the institution and meet all eligibility requirements for the program. Students in modular programs may require a recalculation of the late-year award if courses are dropped after census.

Communication regarding changes in eligibility: If adjustments are made to an individual student award based on an institutional verification and as a result, a student is certified ineligible, it is the institutional representative's responsibility to advise the awardee of their ineligibility. However, if it is later determined that a student is eligible, the award may be reinstated, provided sufficient funds are available, upon receipt from the eligible institution authorizing reinstatement.

Unusual Circumstances or Interpretations. Any unusual circumstances relating to the State Grant Program administration or interpretations of regulations should be referred to the North Dakota University System, 600 E. Boulevard Ave. Dept. 21, Bismarck, ND 58505-0602.

Reference: N.D.C.C. 15-62.4

SBHE approved, September 1997.
Revised June 1998 (Section 3 - Application Procedures).
Revised January 2000 (Section 3 - Application Procedures).
Chancellor's Cabinet, June 2001.
Chancellor's Cabinet, March 27, 2003.
Chancellor's Cabinet, August 18, 2005.
Chancellor's Cabinet, June 6, 2007.
Chancellor's Cabinet, September 3, 2008.
Chancellor's Cabinet, March 24, 2010.
Chancellor's Cabinet, November 7, 2011.
Chancellor approved, August 1, 2012.
Chancellor's Cabinet, April 9, 2014.
Interim Chancellor approved, May 27, 2015.
Chancellor approved, August 24, 2015.
Chancellor approved, March 9, 2016.
Chancellor approved, August 8, 2017.

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