Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Catalog

Financial Aid


   

Financial Aid & Scholarships: finaid@sou.edu

sou.edu/financial-aid/

541-552-6600   Fax 541-552-6614
 

SOU provides a strong financial aid and scholarship program that annually administers more than $60 million to eligible students. Financial aid is based on the philosophy that the responsibility for financing a student’s education rests primarily with the student and student’s family. Students and families unable to pay the full cost of attending SOU may apply for grants, loans and/or part-time employment to supplement their resources.

For detailed information about the financial aid application process and aid programs, go to sou.edu/financial-aid/.

Applying for aid

To be considered for federal and state financial aid and many SOU scholarships, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are encouraged to submit their FAFSAs annually as soon after October 1 as possible as some funds are limited and are awarded on a first come, first served basis. The FAFSA is completed online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The SOU school code is 003219.

To apply for SOU scholarships, students must fill out the Southern Oregon Scholarship Application (SOSA). Consult https://sou.edu/admissions/afford/scholarships/ for information about the scholarship application and information.

SOU participates in numerous federal, state and institutional programs including:

 

Grants

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

Federal TEACH Grant

SOU Affordability Grant

Oregon Opportunity Grant

 

Federal Work-Study

For available work-study jobs, go to: https://inside.sou.edu/hrs/workday-student-employees-internal-career-site.html

 

Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Direct PLUS Loans for parents

Federal Direct PLUS Loans for graduate students

 

Scholarships

SOU Merit/Talent Scholarships

SOU General/Foundation Scholarships

SOU Diversity Scholarships

For more information about available types of aid visit: https://sou.edu/financial-aid/aid-types/

To remain eligible for financial aid each term students must meet the terms and conditions for financial aid. Renewal of merit scholarship criteria is also in these conditions. This covers SOU scholarships, Federal Aid, State aid, etc. and can be reviewed at: https://sou.edu/financial-aid/checklist/accept-loans/terms-and-conditions/

Federal and state regulations are subject to change and may affect current policies, procedures, and programs.

State of Oregon Opportunity Grants

Oregon Opportunity Grants are awarded to eligible undergraduate Oregon residents who complete the FAFSA or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA).

A grant may be renewed for a total of 12 terms if the student applies each year, demonstrates financial need, is enrolled at least half time (6 credits a term) in a program leading to a degree, and has not completed a bachelor’s degree. In addition, the State of Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) may require that a student receive the Oregon Opportunity Grant during the fall term in order to have any eligibility for the remainder of the year.

OSAC determines eligibility and notifies the university. The funds are provided by the state and disbursed by the university.

Financial Aid Offers

Students will receive notification of their offer after their financial aid eligibility has been established via their SOU email. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships attempts to offer financial aid to students up to their estimated cost of education, which could include scholarship and grant money, work study, and loan eligibility.

A student may not receive assistance from any financial aid (Title IV) program if:

  1. The student is in default on any educational (Title IV) loan

  2. The student has borrowed in excess of federal (Title IV) loan limits

  3. The student owes a refund on federal or state grants or a Federal Perkins Loan due to an overpayment 

A parent may not borrow from the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Parent PLUS) if the parent or student is in default on any educational loan or owes a refund on an educational grant as described above.

There may be other conditions when a student would be ineligible for financial aid-for example, when a student is not maintaining satisfactory academic progress or when not enrolled in an eligible program.

Undergraduates

Federal Pell Grants, Oregon Opportunity Grants, and foundation scholarships are considered to be part of the student’s financial aid package, even though the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships may not determine eligibility for these programs.

The office determines the student’s eligibility for and the amount of assistance from the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and the Federal Work-Study Program.

Financial aid offers are made in accordance with federal and state regulations, as well as university policies. Some offers are tentative if selected for verification and may be revised after verification has been completed.

Graduate Students

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships determines eligibility and the amount of assistance that may be received from the Federal Work-Study Program, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Offers are made in accordance with federal regulations and university policies.

Financial Aid Enrollment Requirements

Financial Aid is offered based on full-time enrollment. Review your status below to determine your enrollment requirement.

Enrollment Status:

Undergraduate
Full-time - 12 or more credits
3/4 time - 9-11 credits
1/2 time - 6-8 credits

Graduate
Full-time - 9 or more credits
3/4 time - 7-8 credits
1/2 time - 5-6 credits

Census Date

The census date is the 100% add/drop date of the term. At midnight on the census, your enrollment is frozen and your financial aid is adjusted to reflect your credit level prior to disbursement for the term. Dropping all of your courses or not attending a course, may result in a reduction of your financial aid.

You can find the 100% add/drop date (census date for financial aid) of the term on the 11 week term calendar.

Repeat Course Work

When a student repeats a previously passed course (any grade higher than a “D”), that course will be included in the enrollment status for financial aid purposes for the first repeat only (i.e. one repetition per class). After that, if a student enrolls for the same course again, the student’s enrollment level and eligibility for financial aid will be calculated in a way that excludes the credit hours of the repeated course. Repeat courses still count towards Satisfactory Academic Progress.

https://sou.edu/financial-aid/checklist/eligibility/enrollment/

Return of Title IV (Federal) Funds

The Return of Title IV (R2T4) policy is below. If a student completely withdraws by officially withdrawing or they stop attending their courses, they will be subject to the policy below.

The following policy and procedures apply to Title IV recipients who officially or unofficially withdraw from all courses in a payment period/term. This policy is not applicable to students who drop some of their classes but remain enrolled in others. Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds are not included in any of the calculations for the return of funds. Calculations are rounded to the nearest dollar for all federal direct loans, federal grants and institutional aid sources. If a student does not fully withdraw but meets the following requirements, a Return of Title IV calculation must be performed:

  • Student receives federal aid. 

  • Student is simultaneously enrolled in courses applicable and not applicable to a degree program then subsequently drops all courses applicable to aid.

 In this scenario, a Return of Title IV calculation is performed according to our policy.

For more information about the return of Title IV process visit: https://sou.edu/financial-aid/checklist/eligibility/return-of-financial-aid/

Earning Financial Aid

Financial aid is “earned” for each day that a student participates (attends class, posts in an online course discussion, etc.). Just simply logging in to a course is not considered participation. Students who receive non-passing grades (F, NP, or W ) at SOU will be verified with their professor on the student’s last date of attendance (LDA). The LDA will be used to determine if any financial aid will need to be returned.

I and M grades will be monitored by the financial aid office. If they are updated to a non-passing grade, the financial aid office will proceed with verifying attendance for the term. I grades have one term to be completed. If the I grade is changed to a failing grade after that year, financial aid may still be adjusted per Federal Regulations.

Proof of Participation

Since F, NP, and W grades do not confirm participation, students who receive these grades are required to have their participation verified.

Proof of participation is generally provided by the professor of the course.

Proof of participation does not include: living in institutional housing, participating in the school’s meal plan, logging into an online class without active participation, or participating in academic counseling or advisement.

Loss of Eligibility

If it is reported that a student did not participate and has an LDA that does not extend to the end of the term, the funds will then be returned to the federal student aid programs, and the student will have a bill at SOU.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Southern Oregon University is required to establish and monitor academic progress standards for students who are Federal and state financial aid applicants. This policy ensures that any student who receives or applies for financial aid is making progress toward a degree. The student’s total academic history is monitored regardless of whether he has previously received financial aid. In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, a student must meet the Standard Requirements; two quantitative measures and one qualitative measure. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the loss of aid.

Programs affected by the Standards Requirements are:

  • Federal Pell Grant

  • Federal SEOG

  • Federal Direct Loan

  • Federal Work Study

  • Designated Southern Oregon University Foundation Scholarships

  • Designated State Scholarships

Satisfactory completion means that a student has received a minimum grade of “D” or “P.” Grades of “I” (Incomplete), “F” (Failure), NC (No Credit), and “W” (Withdrawal) are not considered successfully completed classes. Students who receive an updated grade change to a passing grade will have SAP recalculated. Grades of I (Incomplete) are not counted in the GPA calculation but are counted in the Attempted Credits Calculation. Repeat courses will be counted in attempted and completed credits. The Office of Financial Aid has the right to refuse aid to students who abuse the inclusion of repeat courses to obtain funding. Inappropriate selection of courses is not an acceptable reason for not maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Students should contact an SSC located within their major.

Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed prior to the awarding of any Federal Financial Aid, institutional awards, and foundation scholarships. It will also be reviewed and monitored at the end of fall, winter, spring and summer terms, and prior to the disbursement of aid for the following term.

Students are considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress and will be eligible for Federal Financial Aid at Southern Oregon University as long as all three of the following requirements are met at the end of each term:

  • Completion Rate (67% Pace Rule) - Students must, at a minimum receive a satisfactory grade in courses attempted by completing 67% of all the credit for which they enrolled. The calculation is performed by dividing the number of credits earned by the number of credits attempted (Withdrawals, audits, and grades of “F” and “NC” are not considered successful completions for financial aid purposes). The Office of Financial Aid will consider a pace of 66.67 as 67%, due to rounding.

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) - Students must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative and term grade point average; withdrawal will not affect GPA, but will affect completion rate. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 term and cumulative GPA.

  • Maximum Time Frame - Per Federal Student Aid Regulations, students must complete a degree or certificate program in not more than 150% of the minimum length of their program. Time frame limitations include all credits pursued, earned, dropped, repeated and failed. All applicable transfer hours are counted regardless if the student did or did not receive financial aid; students pursuing additional degrees are likely to reach maximum time frame.

  • The maximum time frame may be adjusted upon receipt of an appeal.

Students may appeal their SAP status. For more information about maintaining SAP and the appeal process at SOU visit: https://sou.edu/financial-aid/checklist/eligibility/satisfactory-academic-progress/

Allowing Veterans to Attend or Participate in Courses Pending VA Payment

Background

Section 103 of Public Law (PL) 115-407, ‘Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018,’ amends Title 38 US Code 3679 by adding a new subsection (e) that requires disapproval of courses of education, beginning August 1, 2019, at any educational institution that does not have a policy in place that will allow an individual to attend or participate in a course of education, pending VA payment, providing the individual submits a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under Chapter 31 or 33.

Pending Payment Compliance

In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679(e), Southern Oregon University adopts the following additional provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from VA.  Southern Oregon University will not:

  • Prevent the student’s enrollment;

  • Assess a late penalty fee to the student (any late fees will be immediately reversed once benefits are paid to student account);

  • Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding;

  • Deny the student access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.

However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:

  • Produce the VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by the first day of class;

  • Provide a written request to be certified;

  • Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

For more information about VA Benefits at SOU, contact the Veteran & Military Families Center at: https://socialjustice.sou.edu/veterans/connect/