In order for our CIIS students to be eligible for their federal aid, they must meet these terms & conditions:
You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
You must be fully admitted to an eligible degree program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Provisionally admitted students are not eligible for financial aid.
Financial aid awards are subject to adjustments or cancellations due to changes in laws, regulations, appropriations, and changes in your financial situation, verification, discovery of data errors or changes in your enrollment.
Students who have been previously incarcerated or are currently incarcerated or who might be incarcerated during their current term of attendance must identify themselves to the Financial Aid Office to determine their financial aid eligibility.
If you receive any financial assistance from an outside source (e.g., a private scholarship) that is not included on your Award Letter, you must inform the Financial Aid Office.
You must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for the Federal Direct Loan(s).
If you enroll or drop less than full-time, your Federal Pell Grant and scholarships may be reduced or cancelled.
If you are a scholarship recipient, you must enroll full-time. By accepting these terms and conditions, you agree you read your scholarship contract and regulations.
Classes taken as Audit are not eligible for financial aid and do not count toward enrollment for purposes of financial aid.
Financial aid applies to courses that are required for your current degree.
If requested, you must provide documents to verify the accuracy of information reported on the FAFSA before financial aid can be awarded or disbursed.
You will be responsible for repaying any loan funds you borrow, or if for any reason, you become ineligible for the financial aid.
If you drop classes, withdraw, or make other academic changes, your financial aid awards may be adjusted and repayment may be required. Please contact the Financial Aid Office prior to dropping or withdrawing from the Institute. It may impact your current or future aid eligibility.
If you stop attending classes without officially withdrawing, your financial aid awards may be adjusted and repayment may be required.
You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal Work Study on your award letter does NOT guarantee a job. You must work in a Federal Work-Study (FWS) position to earn the FWS amount shown on your Award Letter. FWS funds are not disbursed into your student account. You receive a pay check every two weeks, just as in any other form of employment.
You will receive financial aid in two installments (one half is disbursed for fall semester; the second half for spring semester), unless otherwise noted. Disbursements are made directly to your student account.
are awarded by the California Student Aid Commission
(CSAC). There are two different Cal Grants processed at our Institution:
- Cal Grant A is awarded to students based on financial need and GPA.
- Cal Grant B is intended to help students from disadvantaged or low-income families.
To apply/renew for a Cal Grant, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 2nd every year. Cal Grants are automatically renewed until eligibility is exhausted or the student is no longer eligible based on the results of a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).General Cal Grant Eligibility
Initial eligibility for a Cal Grant award is based on information from the FAFSA.
To be eligible for and receive payment for any Cal Grant award, a student must meet the following requirements:
Disbursement of Cal Grant Funds
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
- Be a California resident
- Attend a Cal Grant participating California college or university
- Demonstrate financial need at his or her college
- Have family income and assets bellow the ceilings
- Have met U.S. selective service requirements
- Be in a program leading to an undergraduate degree.
- Not have a bachelors or professional degree
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Not owe a refund on any state or federal education grant
- Not be in default on any student loan
- Not be incarcerated.
After each add/drop deadline period, the financial aid office will review each Cal Grant student from the Cal Grant database roster to verify eligibility requirements and enrollment. The financial aid office will process the award payments for those eligible students. See Class Schedule for more details on when is the official Financial Aid refunds are ready for the student. The office will also contact those students who didn’t meet the requirements.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 415-575-6122
Funds are typically sent by the U.S. Department of Education to CIIS electronically and will be posted to your account after the Financial Aid Office verifies your enrollment and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Excess grant and scholarship aid is usually disbursed to you during the refund period. You can check MyCIIS to confirm that your aid has been disbursed to your account.
Aid is disbursed for a use in a specific term. If your account has charges from a prior term, and you receive aid for the current term, only eligible charges for the current term are paid automatically.
If your financial aid results in funds in excess of the amount required for your tuition and fees, you can retrieve these funds via Direct Deposit. You have to set it up from MyCIIS.
The steps are as follow:
Log onto MyCIIS at my.ciis.edu
Click on the eBiz tab
Click ‘here to enroll in eRefund
’. If you have previously enrolled, click on ‘Edit’ to make changes.
If you opt out of Direct Deposit, you will have 14 days to pick up and cash your check from the moment it is posted in your student account. If you do not pick up and cash your check on time, we will cancel your excess funds without further notice.
If you wish to reinstate returned aid, you would have to sign up for Direct Deposit. Please know that there are deadlines for when we could reinstate aid. If that date passes, we would not be able to reinstate any funds.
If you met the Financial Aid priority deadlines, then your excess funds would be available according to the official disbursement dates which could be found in each semester's schedule of classes.
If you are eligible for financial aid in excess of tuition, you may be eligible for a book credit for necessary books and supplies. There are two forms of Book Vouchers available to students:
Physical book vouchers - request may be made in-person at the Financial Aid Office.
Online book vouchers - request may be sent to email@example.com.
Book vouchers (physical or online) will be available if your aid has been approved (awarded), fully admitted, and you've registered for the term. Vouchers are typically available one week before the start of classes and stop a week before disbursements.
If you purchase books with a voucher and it was not deducted from your financial aid excess funds, you are responsible for the book voucher charges. You may need to contact the Business Office (firstname.lastname@example.org
, 415-575-6132) for payment.
Return of Federal Funds
Return of federal funds are processed as a result of one or more of the following reasons:
(1) A student requests to return funds
(2) An over award of funds
(3) A student has withdrawn completely from their courses after receiving Title IV funds (see below)
(4) A student did not cash a refund check (which included federal funds) within 14 days of when it was issued
Withdrawing/Dropping from ALL Classes (After you have received funds)
According to federal guidelines, (Section 668.22 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998), withdrawing students who've received Title IV (i.e. federal) financial aid will have their financial aid recalculated according to the following guidelines:
Only the amount of financial aid that has been earned (disbursed or could have been disbursed) based on the prorated amount of time the student has been in school for the semester will be retained on the student's behalf. Any aid that is not earned (based on the prorated amount of time) must be returned to the appropriated federal account/lender.
The date of withdrawal is the date the Institute receives notification (formally, e.g. submitting a withdrawal request form, or informally, e.g. notifying by conversation, phone call, or email) from the student on her/his intent to withdraw.
The amount of refundable institutional charges (tuition and fees) will be set by school policy. CIIS's treatment of tuition and other fees related to student withdrawal may be found in the Schedule of Classes. If there is a balance due resulting from the calculation of unearned aid, the student may be responsible for payment.
For students who have received federal financial aid, any refundable portion of tuition and fee costs that has been covered by a Federal Stafford Loan will be refunded directly to the Department of Education, who will credit it against the student's outstanding balance (Unsubsidized loans will be offset before subsidized loans). Any portion of federal grants (e.g. Pell, FSEOG) that have not been earned will be returned to the appropriate fund; if this results in an "overpayment" situation (i.e., the student has received a federal grant that has not been fully earned) the student may be required to return those funds. The Financial Aid Office determines specific amounts according to applicable federal and state regulations.
To remain eligible for financial aid, you must meet all of these academic requirements (please note that these requirements are in addition to the academic requirements of CIIS). There are two methods of measuring your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):
I. Time Frame and Quantitative (Pace) Analysis
II. Qualitative Analysis
I. TIME FRAME AND QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS
You may not exceed 150 percent of your program-required units. 150 percent Formula: Required Units x 150%.
You may not exceed the time to degree completion.
Your program requires 36 units in coursework.
You completed 55 units and you are at 152% completion rate. Exceeds the 150% limit; financial aid is compromised. No corrective resolution available for Time Frame issues.
Your program requires 60 units in coursework.
You completed 90 units and you are at 150% completion rate. At the 150% limit; financial aid is compromised. No corrective resolution available for Time Frame issues.
All Doctoral Students must graduate ten years after starting their programs, except for Clinical Psychology students who need to graduate within eight years.
Clinical Psychology students must advance to candidacy within two years of starting their program. If you can not meet these guidelines, extensions may be approved by the Dean of Academics, Registrar and Financial Aid Office.
"Coursework" includes all classroom coursework, practicum, internships, comprehensive exams, proposal writing, and proposal writing completion courses (as applicable). These limits begin accumulating from the first day of the semester to which the student is admitted.
"Thesis or Dissertation" includes all work done on the thesis or dissertation, the oral defense (required for dissertation only), and technical edits. These limits begin accumulating from the first day of the semester in which the student advances to candidacy.
Your financial aid eligibility is determined by the requirements of your program. You will not be eligible for aid for courses in excess of the requirements stated in the CIIS catalog unless there is a revised academic program plan approved by the Dean of Academics, Registrar and Financial Aid Office.
II. QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS
To remain eligible for aid, you may have no more than two unsatisfactory grades in your transcripts.
Graduate students may not have more than two unsatisfactory grades (e.g.: Incompletes (I-IN), Not Pass (NP), Not Satisfactory (NS), Administrative Withdraw (AW), B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, or F)
Undergraduate students may not receive more than 2 unsatisfactory grades (e.g.: Incompletes (I-IN), Not Pass (NP), Not Satisfactory (NS), Administrative Withdraw (AW), D+, D, D-, or F)
If the student not making SAP is in the Community Mental Health program (Cohort model), the student would need to submit an academic plan to the Registrar’s Office and be approved by the Dean of Academics Planning and Registrar.
For further details on grading policy, refer to the current CIIS Catalog.
Financial Aid Warning
Students who do not make satisfactory academic progress would be placed on financial aid warning for one semester. During this time, financial aid funds would be released. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress after the warning period lose their aid eligibility.
Undergraduate students do not have any warning periods. If an undergraduate student does not make progress, he or she would lose aid eligibility.
Note: If you are not enrolled during the warning semester, your warning may roll-over to the following enrolled semester.
Laura is an undergraduate student. She has three bad grades and since there are no Warnings for this program; she is not eligible for further financial aid until she reduces her unsatisfactory grades to two or less.
Laura covers her tuition with her savings while repairing her SAP status thereby re-attaining SAP and financial aid eligibility for the subsequent semesters.
Neil, a graduate student, was placed on SAP Warning in the fall semester because he had 3 incomplete grades.
Neil completed all 3 incomplete grades at the end of his Warning period. SAP is re-attained and therefore eligible to continue receiving financial aid for subsequent semesters.
Jorge, a graduate student, was placed on SAP Warning in the fall semester because he had four bad grades. Jorge was not enrolled in the fall semester. He enrolls in spring semester instead. Jorge's SAP Warning period is rolled over to the spring semester, his next enrolled semester. Jorge has spring semester to resolve his SAP issues.
When a student has been placed on academic probation by the Registrar’s Office, the student must secure a new academic plan to return to good academic standing. During this academic probation period, a student may remain eligible to receive financial aid. The new academic probation plan must be approved by the Dean of Academic Planning.
Academic Standards Committee (ASC)
Students who fail to meet the requirement(s) of their academic probation plan to return to good academic standing would be sent before the Academic Standards Committee. The ASC may extend the student’s academic probation, but during this period the student is not eligible to receive further financial aid.
Re-establishing Aid Eligibility
When a student loses aid eligibility because he or she failed to meet the requirements of the academic plan, the student may appeal that result on the basis of: an injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances.
The appeal must explain why he or she failed to meet the plan and how they will be able to make academic progress.
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee (FAAC) would review your case and determine if you qualify for an extension. The FAAC would complete the review within 15 business days from receiving all the complete paperwork from the student.
You can contact us at:
If there are any "extenuating circumstances" to your situation and you feel that the Financial Aid Office should review for consideration, you may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee (FAAC). Here are the steps for appealing:
- Write a letter to demonstrate your extenuating circumstance detailing how you would re-attain your Satisfactory Academic Progress. Letter should include hand-written signature and date, and statement of your case (e.g.: explain why you are appealing and why you feel your case warrants an extenuating circumstance).
- Provide copies of your supporting documents (i.e.: documents that support the appeal). These documents may be doctor's notes, legal documents, invoices, etc. - all should have letterheads.
- Submit your appeal letter & copies of the supporting documents to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee via mail (CIIS, Financial Aid Office, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103) or e-mail (email@example.com).
Allow 15 business days for the FAAC to respond with a decision. If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Financial Aid Appeal Committee, you may choose to undergo a secondary appeal. Your second appeal will be addressed to the Director of Financial Aid. The decision of the Director is final.
The following information is based on Federal Regulations (CFR 668.22 (h)(2)(j)(B)(2) governing the rights and responsibilities of student loan holders who request a leave of absence from school.
- A student who has been granted one leave of absence by the school in accordance with the following paragraphs is NOT considered withdrawn from school.
- A school may approve a leave of absence to a student provided:
- The student has made a written request to be granted a leave of absence, signed and approved by their advisor (Leave of Absence form available from the Financial Aid Office).
- The leave of absence involves no additional charges by the school to the student.
- In any 12 months, the student can have no more than one leave of absence, and the leave of absence can not exceed 6 months.
- The Leave of absence is authorized under these stipulations: medical reasons, job crisis, significant family sickness or death and other extenuating circumstances.
- The student has completed a Loan Exit counseling online with the Department of Education: www.nslds.ed.gov
- If a student does not return at the expiration of an approved leave of absence, the Institute will notify the lender/guarantor that the student has withdrawn as of the last date of half-time enrollment.
- Students who need to be away from school for longer than 6 months (e.g. for medical reasons, etc.) should contact their lender for the appropriate forms (e.g. forbearance).
- The borrower MUST notify the lender when the borrower resumes schooling. Otherwise the borrower will enter re-payment. Upon returning to school, the student must request the appropriate deferment form(s) from the lender, complete the student portion, and submit the form(s) in a timely manner to the Registrar's Office.
- No financial aid will be disbursed while the student is on leave.
The lender may not grant students deferment during an approved leave of absence. If the lender does not grant a deferment, the student should request a forbearance to prevent entering repayment after their 6 month grace period expires. A forbearance acts like a deferment with the difference being that Subsidized Stafford loans will accrue interest during any forbearance period.
It is the responsibility of the student to maintain contact with the lender regarding deferment policies and necessary forms to complete. The Financial Aid office has forms which may be used to notify most lenders. It is the student's responsibility to request these forms (either from the lender or the Financial Aid office), complete the student's section or give the form to the Registrar's office for school certification.
Typically, students enrolled at least half-time and have not used their six month grace period can qualify for an in-school deferment on payments to their student loans.
For students newly admitted to CIIS, with outstanding prior student loans, you can qualify to have those loans put on deferment from payment. It is important that you notify your lender that you are returning to school and request the appropriate enrollment verification forms.
Students who have had prior loans and who have exhausted their grace period (e.g., been out of school for more than six months) should contact their lender or loan holder to determine if they need to maintain full or half-time status. Students who have not exhausted their grace periods (i.e., have not been required to begin repayment on their loans), need only be enrolled as half-time in order to get those loans deferred.
The Registrar's office reports enrollments electronically to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) three times throughout the semester (after add/drop, mid way through the term, and at the end of the term).
If the student fails to enroll for any semester, except the summer semester, or enrolls at less than half-time status, the Registrar will notify the student's lender to begin the student's grace period; the student's separation date will be listed as the last date that classes were held in which the student was enrolled on at least half-time basis. If the student resumes study after this period, but before the grace period has expired, the student must notify the lender of this fact.
Students must notify the Department of Education of any change in their enrollment status.
The following definitions are used by the Financial Aid Office and the Registrar's Office for the purposes of verifying financial aid eligibility and enrollment status for 2013-2014 and forward:
- Graduate Full-Time: 9 units Course work (6 in summer)
- Graduate Half-Time: 6 to 8 units of coursework (3 in summer)
- Undergraduate Full-time: 12 or more units per term
- Undergraduate Half-time: 6 to 8 units per term
- Undergrad & Grad Part-time: 5 or less units per term - Not eligible for federal aid
The federal verification process ensures the information you reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA)is accurate. This process is required by federal regulations on selected applications for the Federal Pell Grants, Federal Stafford Subsidized Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and Federal Work-Study programs. If you are selected for verification you will, at a minimum, be required to document the following application items: adjusted gross income (AGI), untaxed income (if any), federal income taxes paid, household size of your family, and the number of household members enrolled in a degree program.
1. Who is selected for verification?
The federal government selects students whose applications must be verified. At least 30 percent of all federal aid applications are selected by the U.S. Department of Education for the federal verification process. After you have submitted your FAFSA to the federal processor, you will receive a student aid report (SAR). In addition to providing a summary of your application data, the SAR will tell you if your application has been selected by the federal government for the verification process. The Financial Aid Office may also select individuals for verification if a FAFSA contains inconsistent information.
2. What am I supposed to do if I am selected?
If you are selected for verification, you need to fill out a form. The form you fill out depends on whether you are considered a dependent student or an independent student and what type of income you reported.
If you are considered a dependent student on your FAFSA (you are dependent if you were required to report parents' income on your FAFSA), you are required to submit (1) an IRS tax return transcript of your previous year's federal tax return and W-2 forms (2) an IRS tax return transcript of your parent(s) previous year's federal tax return and W-2 forms, and (3) a Dependent Verification Form (you can obtain this at finaid.ciis.edu). Based on the documentation you provide, the Financial Aid Office will verify the household size of your family, the number of family members enrolled in a degree-seeking program, adjusted gross income, federal income tax paid, and any untaxed income and benefits. Depending on the type of income reported on the tax forms you submitted to the IRS, you may be asked to provide some additional documentation.
If you are considered an independent student on your FAFSA, you are required to submit (1) an IRS tax return transcript of your and your spouse's (if married) previous year's federal tax return and W-2 forms and (2) an Independent Verification Form (you can obtain this at finaid.ciis.edu). Based on the documentation you provide, the Financial Aid Office will verify the household size of your family, the number of family members enrolled in a degree-seeking program, adjusted gross income, federal income tax paid, and any untaxed income and benefits. Depending on the type of income reported on the tax forms you submitted to the IRS, you may be asked to provide some additional documentation.
Note : If you were not required to file taxes per IRS regulations, the Financial Aid Office may ask you to provide other forms/documents in lieu of a signed tax return.
3. What happens if there are corrections to be made?
If corrections are necessary after reviewing your submitted information, the Financial Aid Office will electronically submit the corrections to the federal processor. You should receive a revised student aid report (SAR) from the federal processor listing the corrections made to your application. At the same time, the Financial Aid Office will mark your record as having successfully completed verification. If corrections are not necessary after reviewing your submitted information, the Financial Aid Office will mark your record as having successfully completed verification.
4. What if my financial situation changes during the award year?
If your situation changes (income decreases, divorce or separation, death of spouse/parent, excessive medical expenses paid out of pocket, etc.), you should contact the Financial Aid Office regarding you and/or your family's special circumstances. If you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then subsequently marry, you cannot update this question on the FAFSA.
5. What if I do not supply the verification documentation?
Federal regulations prohibit the disbursement of certain federal financial aid prior to the successful completion of the verification process. Federal aid programs affected include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Stafford Subsidized Loans. Consequently, requested verification documents should be submitted prior to the end of the semester in which you wish to receive federal financial aid.
If you do not submit all required documents by the following dates, the Financial Aid Office will close your file for the current term:
Fall Semester November 15
Spring Semester April 15
Summer Semester July 1
You will need to contact the Business Office to make payment arrangements immediately at 415-575-6132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drug Conviction Policy Disclosure
Federal regulations require that we provide this information to all students who enroll at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Although penalties are only imposed when students are receiving Federal Title IV student financial aid, including student loans, we must make this notification to all students.
Please take a moment to read and understand this information. You may direct any questions to the Financial Aid Office email@example.com.
Students convicted of possession or sale of drugs
A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student from receiving financial aid. Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid—they do not count if the offense was not during such a period. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when they were a juvenile, unless they were tried as an adult.
The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for financial aid, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)
Period of Ineligibility for Financial Aid
Possession of Illegal Drugs Sale of Illegal Drugs
1st Offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
2nd Offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite
3+ Offenses Indefinite --
If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.
For questions please contact the Financial Aid Office at (415-575-6122) or finaid.@ciis.edu
Notice after loss of eligibility
After loss of eligibility, you are no longer eligible for Title IV financial aid due to a federal or state drug conviction.
How to Regain Eligibility
The information that follows describes the methods by which you may regain eligibility:
A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when they successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make them ineligible again.
Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to certify they have successfully completed the rehabilitation program.
Qualified Drug Rehabilitation Program
A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following:
Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state or local government progra
Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company
Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court
Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor
If you still have questions about this law, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
If you want to find out if a drug rehabilitation program meets the described standards, you need to contact the rehabilitation program.
Students electing to increase their Cost of Attendance (e.g.: Therapy, EXA art supplies, computer, other special circumstances) is required to submit a proof of payment.
If you pay by: THEN the "proof of payment" or statement must show the...
a) Cash Copy of the receipt (invoice) with: amount, payee's
name/organization /company, transaction date
b) Check Financial institution (i.e.: bank) statement with your legal name
Copy of your cashed check (front & back)
c) Credit card Financial institution (i.e.: bank) statement with your legal name - the monthly downloadable statement (not the screen shot)
d) Debit card Financial institution (i.e.: bank) statement with your legal name - the monthly downloadable statement (not the screen shot)
Note: "Proof of Payment" as defined by the Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service, publication 552.
Student workers may earn a free audit voucher (for one free class) after working 180 hours (not including sick hours) within a semester. It is the responsibility of the student worker to email firstname.lastname@example.org
to request for their voucher.
This generally takes two to three weeks to process
. The hours are earned within a single semester and do not rollover to subsequent semesters.
If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) states that you have to provide U.S. Citizenship documentation to our office the following applies to you.
Before the financial aid office can disburse aid, the student must present original documentation that verifies U.S. Citizenship. The financial aid office will make a copy and sign it as received by a CIIS financial aid officer in front of the original document and keep a copy in the student's file.
Eligible documentation as follows:
- A copy of your birth certificate showing that you were born in the United States.
- A U.S. passport, current or expired. The State Department issues a wallet-sized passport card that can only be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. It is adjudicated to the same standards as the passport book and is therefore a fully valid attestation of the U.S. citizenship and identity of the bearer.
- A copy of Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad), FS-545 (Certificate of birth issued by a foreign service post), or DS-1350 (Certification of Report of Birth). These are State Department documents.
- A Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561), issued by USCIS to individuals who derive U.S. citizenship through a parent.
- A Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570), issued by USCIS through a federal or state court, or through administrative naturalization after December 1990 to those who are individually naturalized.
Older versions of the Certificate of Citizenship and of the Certificate of Naturalization instruct the holder not to photocopy them. The USCIS has advised the Department of Education that these documents (and others) may be photocopied for lawful purposes such as documenting eligibility for FSA funds. The student should also contact the Social Security Administration to have it updated in their database.
If you are unable to provide the original document because you do not live near San Francisco, you can bring the original document to the financial aid office during your semester retreat.
Per federal regulations, the financial aid aid officer must see the original document and only the financial aid officer can make a copy of the original to keep in your financial aid file.
Beginning with the 2013-2014 award year, the U.S. Department of Education added the Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) Flag to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The purpose of the UEH Flag is to identify instances of potential fraud and abuse of the Federal Pell Grant Program.
While some students have legitimate reasons for unusual enrollment histories, other students may enroll in post-secondary schools long enough to receive credit balance payments, leave the institutions, and repeat the process at other schools.
Students with an unusual enrollment history, based on the Department’s edit criteria, will have a UEH flag and C codes on their FAFSAs.
In such instances, the student must provide an explanation and demonstrate that he or she did not enroll only to receive a Title IV credit balance payment to the school. The financial aid office must document its decision in the student’s file, and the student cannot appeal the decision to the U.S. Department of Education.
If the documentation supports an assertion that the student did not enroll in multiple schools/programs solely to obtain the credit balance payment, then the student is eligible for additional Title IV funds. The financial aid office must document its determination in the student’s file and process the student’s Title IV aid accordingly. The financial aid office may take the following additional actions:
1-Place the student on an academic plan, similar to those for satisfactory academic progress appeals.
2-Counsel the student about the implications of the student’s enrollment history on Pell Grant lifetime eligibility provisions.
The student loses eligibility for all Title IV aid if both of the following are true:
1-The student did not earn academic credit at one or more of the prior schools.
2-The financial aid office determines that the documentation fails to disprove that the student enrolled in multiple programs solely to obtain the credit balance payment.
The financial aid office must document its determination in the student’s file and provide the student with an opportunity to question and appeal the decision. This requirement is similar to provisions for satisfactory academic progress.
In some cases, the student may present personal reasons to explain the failure to earn academic credit. The reasons could include illness, a family emergency, a change in where the student is living, and military obligations. For any cases, supporting documentation must be provided.
Reinstatement of Eligibility
If the student loses eligibility for all Title IV aid, the student is required to successfully complete one academic semester without financial aid. The financial aid office will verify that the student completed all courses successfully during the financial aid suspension term.
When the student regains eligibility, federal grants and work study begins in the payment period during which the student regained that eligibility. For Direct Loans, eligibility begins with the period of enrollment during which the student regained eligibility.