Athens State University financial aid professionals are expected to always maintain professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities. In doing so, the Athens State University financial aid professional:

  • Ensures that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
  • Refrains from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the students’ best interests and parents he or she serves.
  • Is objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
  • Refrains from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
  • Refrains from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating, or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity.
  • Discloses to his or her institution, in such manner as his or her institution may prescribe, any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.

It is the responsibility of the student to:

  1. Review and consider all information about a school’s program BEFORE enrolling.
  2. Pay special attention to the application for student financial aid, complete it accurately, and submit it on time to the right place. Errors can delay or prevent receiving aid.
  3. Know all the deadlines for applying or reapplying for aid and meet them.
  4. Provide all documentation, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Student Financial Aid or the agency to which the application was submitted.
  5. Notify the university of any information that has changed since the application was made for financial aid.
  6. Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms requiring a signature.
  7. Repay any student loans he/she has. When a student signs a promissory note, he/she is agreeing to repay the loan.
  8. Attend an entrance and exit interview at the university if you have a Federal Direct Student Loan.
  9. Notify the university of any change in name, address, or attendance status. If a student has a loan, the student must also notify the lender of any changes.
  10. Satisfactorily perform the work agreed upon, if employed for a federal work-study job.
  11. Understand the university’s refund policy as outlined in this publication.

The student has the right to ask a university:

  1. The names of the university’s accrediting and licensing organizations.
  2. A copy of the documents describing the institution’s accreditation or licensing.
  3. About its programs, its instructional, laboratory, and other physical facilities, and its faculty.
  4. What the cost of attending is, and what its policy is on refunds to students who drop out.
  5. What financial assistance is available, including information on all Federal, state, local, private, and institutional financial aid programs.
  6. Who its financial aid personnel is, where they’re located, and how to contact them for information.
  7. What the procedures and deadlines are for submitting applications for each available financial aid program.
  8. How it selects financial aid recipients.
  9. How it determines the financial need, including the cost of education and resources available.
  10. How much of one’s need, as determined by the university, had been met.
  11. How and when one receives financial aid.
  12. To explain each type and amount of assistance in the financial aid package.
  13. What the interest rate is on any student loan, the total amount to be repaid, when the length of time for repayment and when
  14. Repayment must start, and what cancellation or deferment provisions apply.
  15. If offered a federal work-study job – what kind of job it is, what hours are to be worked, what the duties will be, what the rate of pay will be, and how and when wages will be paid.
  16. To reconsider an aid package, if the student believes a mistake has been made, or if enrollment or financial circumstances have changed.
  17. How the university determines whether a student is making satisfactory progress, and outcomes of unsatisfactory progress.
  18. What special facilities and services are available to persons with disabilities.

Additional Student Rights

Title IV funds are awarded to students under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student fails to complete the term, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive.

The Title IV Programs included in this regulation are Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, TEACH Grant, or Federal Direct Loans. Federal Work-Study funds are not included in this regulation. The federal refund regulations require Athens State University to determine the amount of aid “earned” by each Financial Aid Student receiving title IV aid and withdrawing from all of his or her classes prior to the 60% point in the term. Students completing 60% of the term are considered to have “earned” 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period.

Students earning a passing grade in at least one course for the term are not subject to the Return to Title IV Funds regulations.

Students are encouraged to check with the Office of Student Financial Aid prior to withdrawing or dropping out of the term.

Calculations are performed based on the student’s official withdrawal date or for unofficial withdrawals, the last date of an academically related activity that the student participated in, the midpoint of the term, or the date the school determines the student ceased attendance due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other circumstances beyond the student’s control. Unofficial withdrawal dates are determined by the faculty, identifying the last date of the activity for courses where a student earned an ‘F’, ‘I’, or ‘W’.

The withdrawal date must be determined within 30 days of the end of the term, academic year or student’s program, whichever is earlier.

The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal. Athens State University offers all degree programs in a credit hour, term based format. As a credit hour, term based degree program, the following formula is used to compute aid to be returned:

(Days Enrolled/ Days in Term) x Title IV Aid Awarded and Disbursed = Aid Earned

Aid Disbursed – Aid Earned = Aid to be Returned (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.)

Order of Funds to Return

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  3. Federal PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal TEACH Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower will owe a debit balance to the institution.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution will owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement, to be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.

This regulation does not limit the University’s Refund Policy.

Additional Withdrawal Implications Information

Federal Regulations limit the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive financial aid for that course. These rules apply whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course.

A student can repeat and receive Title IV aid for a previously passed course only once as long as (1) the course the student is repeating applies towards the student’s degree completion requirements and (2) the institution will be awarding additional credits to the student for the repeated course.

Once a student has completed any course twice with a passing grade, they are no longer eligible to receive aid for that course. The Department of Education considers a passing grade as any grade great than a failing, or “F”, grade. 

If a student chooses to retake a course, and that course is not eligible for aid, the Office of Financial Aid will recalculate the student’s aid to exclude the credits for the repeated course from eligibility. 

A student may receive aid when repeating a course that was previously failed (received a 0.0), regardless of the number of times the course was attempted and failed.

Athens State University has approved the following standards defining satisfactory academic progress (SAP), in accordance with regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education. Students will be notified by the financial aid office at the end of each semester if they are placed on Warning, Suspension, or become ineligible due to attempted hours.

In December, 2020, the FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The FAFSA Simplification Act amended Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), making several important changes to student eligibility criteria. One of these is the elimination of the prohibition on receiving Title IV aid for students with drug-related convictions.

For the 2021-2022 award year, the Selective Service and drug conviction questions (as well as the option to register with the Selective Service via the FAFSA) will remain on the FAFSA. However, failing to register with the Selective Service or having a drug conviction while receiving federal Title IV aid will no longer impact a student’s Title IV aid eligibility, and a student who fails to register or has a drug conviction may be eligible to receive Title IV aid if they meet all other eligibility criteria.


800-4 FED-AID (800-433-3243)
TTY users may call 800-730-8913
Foreign callers without 800 access: 319-337-5665
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TDD – 800-848-0983 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf)
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TDD – 800-557-7395 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf)
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8:00 am – 8:00 pm Eastern, Monday through Friday