Catalog • 2012-2013

Financial Aid

Cedar Crest College provides and administers need-based and merit-based assistance to enable students to finance the costs of higher education. Each student’s situation is evaluated individually. Students must be accepted, matriculated (or enrolled in a program determined eligible for financial aid), remain in good academic standing and meet individual requirements to qualify for federal, state and institutionally funded financial aid.

All students are encouraged to meet with Student Financial Services upon entering the College and throughout their enrollment at the College. It is a student’s responsibility to notify Student Financial Services of any change in degree program, semester enrollment or other circumstances which may change their eligibility for financial aid programs.

Financial Aid Academic Year

The academic year for all tuition, room and board as well as institutional, federal and state financial aid is defined as two fifteen-week Fall (includes Fall 1/Fall 2) and Spring (includes Spring 1/Spring 2) semesters followed by an optional trailing fifteen-week Summer semester which includes a May/Summer I and Summer II session. The Spring semester includes an optional 2-3 week Winter session.

This same academic year applies to students enrolled in programs which require attendance in the Winter and Summer sessions; however, depending upon sequence of entrance and/or semester course enrollment, a trimester policy for federal and state financial aid may be required. Students must contact Student Financial Services to determine which federal and state requirements apply to their program of study.

A traditional student must be enrolled full-time (minimum 12 credits) during the regular Fall and Spring semesters to qualify for institutional grant or scholarship assistance. Winter and Summer courses do not count toward the full-time requirement for Fall and Spring and traditional students are assessed a separate per credit tuition charge for courses taken in Winter and/or Summer session.

For payment periods crossing two academic years, federal financial aid funds will be awarded using the leading academic year FAFSA application.

All Students Applying for Financial Aid

Estimated awards will be provided to new traditional and traditional age transfer students after acceptance to the College and receipt of the FAFSA. These estimated awards are finalized after completion of the FAFSA and submission of additional documentation as requested by Student Financial Services. All students applying for financial aid must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) between January 1st and May 1st for the following academic year. Student can complete the FAFSA application online at www.fafsa.gov. A federal PIN number (available through a link from the FAFSA website) is required for students and parents(s), if applicable, to file and sign the FAFSA application online. Filers should obtain a PIN number prior to completing the FAFSA application, as the PIN serves as an electronic signature. Assistance with the FAFSA filing process is available through Student Financial Services.

Additional Documentation Required for Financial Aid

The results of your FAFSA Application may indicate that the Department of Education has selected a FAFSA for verification, or the College may select a student's FAFSA for verification of information. Student Financial Services will notify students in writing and/or email to their College email account who are selected for verification and are required to submit additional documentation upon review of a processed FAFSA application.

Applicants selected for federal FAFSA verification are required to submit:

  • An IRS tax return transcript (you may obtain one at www.IRS.gov or call 1-800-908-9946) for the student, spouse (if student is married) and parents (if student is dependent); if you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool on your FAFSA.
  • A copy of all W-2 forms for student, spouse (if student is married) and parents (if student is dependent) if you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool on your FAFSA.
  • Department of Education Verification Worksheet (this form is available from the Student Financial Services page of the my.cedarcrest.edu portal)

If your tax return has not been filed, or if an extension to file has been submitted, contact Student Financial Services for further instructions.

If the College finds discrepancies between information on the IRS tax return transcript and your FAFSA, we will report the corrections to the federal processor and you will receive a corrected Student Aid Report. The corrected FAFSA will be used to process or finalize your financial aid and you will be notified in writing of required adjustments to the financial aid award.

Students must submit requested verification items within 15 days of the College’s notice of the requirement. No financial aid will be awarded and/or disbursed prior to completion of the verification process.

The College will report to the Department of Education and National Student Loan Database any overpayment of federal funds resulting from a student who has received a disbursement of funds and is subsequently selected for verification. It is the student’s responsibility to repay any funds received if determined to be ineligible upon completion of the verification process.

Traditional Student Merit Scholarships and Awards:

Since financial need is not a requirement for scholarships and awards, all entering traditional and transfer students applying to the College are considered for merit scholarships and awards. A separate application is not required. Students must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 credits per semester) to be eligible.

The following merit scholarships and awards are available to full-time first-year traditional students entering the College in Fall 2012. Merit Scholarships are based on academic criteria, including but not limited to high school grade point average (GPA), SAT or ACT scores, and class rank. For merit scholarships and awards and renewal criteria prior to the 2012-2013 academic year, please visit the corresponding college catalog.

Presidential Scholarships: Presidential Scholarships of $15,000 per academic year are awarded to full-time first year traditional students who have a minimum highest combined SAT (Math/Critical Reading only) of 1200 who also demonstrate a record of outstanding high school achievement and participation in high school leadership activities. Renewal requires a 3.0 cumulative annual grade point average and complete one annual leadership opportunity.

Dean's Scholarship: Dean's Scholarships of $9,000 per academic year are awarded to full-time first year traditional students who have a record of outstanding high school achievement and participation in high school leadership activities and highest combined SAT (Math/Critical Reading only) of 1050-1199. Renewal requires a 2.8 cumulative annual grade point average and complete one annual leadership opportunity.

High School Achievement Scholarship: High School Achievement Scholarships of $7,500 per academic year are awarded to full-time first year traditional students. Renewal requires a 2.8 cumulative annual grade point average for each year they receive the award.

Trustee Scholarship: Trustee Scholarships of $13,000 per academic year are awarded to full-time first year traditional students. Renewal requires a 3.0 cumulative annual grade point average for each year they receive the award.

Founders Scholarship: Founders Scholarships of $11,000 per academic year are awarded to full-time first year traditional students. Renewal requires a 3.0 cumulative annual grade point average for each year they receive the award.

Cedar Crest Scholarship: A full-tuition scholarship awarded to the first-year students who are winners of our annual Scholarship Competition. Awarded $29,710* per year with a renewal requirement of 3.0 cumulative annual grad point average for each year they receive the award.
*Based on annual full-time tuition fee. Scholarship covers full-time tuition minus any additional grants or scholarships.

Departmental Scholarships: Departmental scholarships of $1,500 are awarded to full-time first year traditional students in the following areas: Art, Communications, Literature and Writing, Performing Arts – Dance and Performing Arts – Theatre Scholarship (Performance or Technical) and Forensic Speech. Students may receive a departmental scholarship in addition to other Cedar Crest College merit scholarships.

Art Scholarships of $1,500 per year are awarded to full-time first year traditional with a strong commitment to the creative process both in making art and in looking at historical and contemporary works of art. A portfolio review is required. To renew the scholarship, recipients are required to complete a minimum of 3 credits in studio or art history courses each semester.

Communications Scholarships of $1,500 per year are awarded to full-time first year traditional students with an interest in any area in the field of Communication. Portfolio review is required. To renew the scholarship, recipients are required to complete a minimum of 3 credits in communications courses each semester.

English Scholarships of $1,500 per year are awarded to full-time first year traditional students with an interest in literature and/or creative writing. A writing portfolio is required. To renew the scholarship, recipients are required to complete a minimum of 3 credits in literature or creative writing courses per semester.

Performing Arts Scholarships (Dance, Theatre, & Technical Theatre) of $1,500 per year are awarded to full-time first year traditional students who plan to participate in Cedar Crest Stage Company performances, serve in technical production areas, or perform with the college Dance Company. A performance audition is required. Dance Scholarship recipients must complete a minimum of one course in dance or one technical crew for a dance production or be a member of at least one of the Cedar Crest Dance Company’s dance ensembles per semester. A minimum of one performance in Dance Company or one technical crew for dance must be included each year. Theatre Scholarship recipients must participate each semester in a faculty-supervised production or a theater/speech class. A minimum of one faculty-supervised production must be included each year. Students must audition for a faculty-directed play or sign up for a technical crew with the technical director in order to receive credit. Contact the department chair for details.

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships: Full-time traditional transfer students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year college students, are eligible to receive a $4,000 scholarship. Students must have a 3.50 GPA, have completed 24 transferable credit hours and plan to enroll as full-time students at Cedar Crest. Students must enroll immediately following the two-year college. The Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship is renewable for two years provided a 3.00 GPA is maintained and the member completes 24 credits a year.

Transfer Scholarships: Awarded to transfer students based on their cumulative transfer GPA from all transfer institutions. The Presidential, Trustee, and Founders Scholarships are automatically renewed each year provided the student maintains a 3.0 cumulative GPA. The Dean’s Scholarship and Achievement Award are automatically renewed each year provided the student maintains a 2.8 cumulative GPA.

  • Presidential Scholarship
    $12,000, 3.7 - 4.0 cumulative GPA
  • Trustee Scholarship
    $11,000, 3.5 – 3.69 cumulative GPA
  • Founders Scholarship
    $10,000, 3.3 – 3.49 cumulative GPA
  • Dean's Scholarship
    $9,000, 3.0 – 3.29 cumulative GPA
  • Achievement Award
    No less than $3,000, 2.0 – 2.99 cumulative GPA
  • Psi Beta Scholarship Award
    $500, Psi Beta members transferring to Cedar Crest College

Study Abroad Scholarships: Preference is given to full-time undergraduate students, but part-time students may also apply. Awards may range from $250 to $2,500. Length of program, financial need, minimum GPA of 2.8 and other criteria deemed relevant by the committee are all criteria the scholarship committee uses to award scholarships. To apply, students must meet with the Director of Global Initiatives and International Programs and Director of Student Financial Services and complete the Application for Study Abroad. The deadline to apply is April 15th for the following Fall semester, or by November 15th for the following Spring semester. Students are notified in writing if they are awarded a Study Abroad Scholarship.

Sibling Award: Cedar Crest awards a $2,000 annual award per student to siblings who are concurrently attending Cedar Crest as full-time traditional or traditional transfer students.

Heritage Award: Heritage Awards of $2,000 per year are reserved for children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren of Cedar Crest degree program graduates, provided the children/grandchildren are full-time traditional or traditional transfer students.

Traditional Student Need-Based Grants, Loans and Other Resources

Cedar Crest Grants: Cedar Crest Grants are awarded to full-time traditional and traditional transfer students based on financial need (assessed through the FAFSA application) and are made possible through the generosity of friends and alumnae of the College. Students must complete the FAFSA and provide any additional requested documentation to be considered for a Cedar Crest College grant.

Federal Pell Grants: The Pell Grant is a federal grant awarded on the basis of need and the cost of the individual college. The maximum annual full-time award for 2012/2013 is $5,550. Federal Pell Grants are available to eligible students enrolled for at least three credits per semester and are automatically awarded to qualifying students who have completed the FAFSA and submitted all subsequently requested documentation.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG): These federal grants are awarded in varying amounts to federal Pell Grant-eligible students with exceptional financial need from low-income families. Since SEOG is a federal allocation, funds are limited. Application is made by completing the FAFSA.

Pennsylvania State Grants (administered by PHEAA): Available to eligible Pennsylvania residents taking at least six credits per semester, PA State Grants are awarded according to demonstrated financial need. Students must complete the FAFSA by the PHEAA State Grant Deadline of May 1 to be considered for this grant.

Other State Grants: Students who live outside of Pennsylvania, should contact their state's higher education agency for information on grants available in their state. The following states permit transfer of their educational grants to students attending out-of-state colleges: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Federal Perkins Loans: Federal Perkins Loans are federally funded need-based loans made by Cedar Crest, and funding is limited. The interest rate is fixed at 5%. Students make no payments and no interest accrues while enrolled in college. Students must complete the FAFSA to be considered and awards are made through the College’s office of Student Financial Services.

Federal Nursing Loans: Federal Nursing Loans are need-based and limited to nursing students enrolled in NUR courses. The interest rate is 5%. Students must complete the FAFSA to be considered and awards are made through the College’s office of Student Financial Services.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans: These are federally subsidized and guaranteed loans through the federal government. For students who qualify based on demonstrated financial need, no interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school. Standard repayment term is ten years and begins six months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. The annual loan limit is $3,500 per year for freshmen; $4,500 per year for sophomores; and $5,500 per year for juniors and seniors. To apply, students must complete the FAFSA. Determination of eligibility is made by Student Financial Services upon review of the processed FAFSA and all requested documentation.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: These loans are available to students regardless of need, however interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school. Principal is deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time and options are available to pay interest monthly, quarterly or to allow capitalization upon repayment. To apply, students must complete the FAFSA.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans: These are federal loans made to parents of dependent undergraduate students. The parent is the Borrower and may apply to borrow an amount up to the student’s cost of education minus financial aid for each academic year. Borrowers must be credit-qualified. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%, and for loans after July 1, 2008, repayment can be made while the student is enrolled, or deferred until six months after the student ceases to be enrolled half-time. The College requires a student whose parent is applying for the federal Parent PLUS Loan to complete the FAFSA application.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans: Graduate students may apply for a federal Graduate PLUS Loan up to the cost of attendance for an academic year, less all other grant, scholarship and loan resources. The student is the Borrower and must be credit-qualified to obtain a federal Graduate PLUS Loan. Students should be certain they have exhausted all other Stafford Loan resources prior to applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan.

Federal Work Study: Federal Work Study jobs are awarded based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA application. Students work an average of five to eight hours per week and are eligible to earn up to a maximum of $1,500 per academic year. Students who qualify for federal work study will be notified as part of their financial aid award and all employment payroll requirements are administered through Student Financial Services. Federal Work Study students are paid bi-weekly by check or direct deposit. Federal Work Study earnings are treated separately from other student income when applying for federal financial aid.

Campus Employment: Currently enrolled students are eligible to apply for positions through the campus employment program. Campus employment is not part of a student’s financial aid. Current employment opportunities are maintained by the Human Resources Office. Earnings through this program are considered regular income for students and are reportable as earned income for tax and financial aid purposes.

Outside Scholarships

Students are encouraged to investigate outside scholarship opportunities from hometown civic clubs, high schools, parents’ employers, churches and other organizations. Students are required to notify Student Financial Services and provide written documentation if they receive any outside scholarships, as federal regulations required these to be considered a resource in determining aid eligibility. If adjustments to the aid package are necessary due to outside scholarships, Cedar Crest reduces self-help aid first (student loans) and adjusts grants only if necessary to prevent an over-award.

Tuition Payment Plans: The College offers the option to pay Fall or Spring semester bills through the EZ Payment Plan installment payment plan option which allows the semester balance due to be paid online in five monthly installments. Students enrolled in nursing clinical rotations can enroll for a four month payment plan by semester. A $25 enrollment fee is charged per semester plan. Students can self-enroll for an installment payment plan through the Student Financial Services link on my.cedarcrest.edu or contact Student Financial Services for assistance.

Tuition Exchange Program: Cedar Crest College participates in the Council of Independent Colleges Tuition Exchange Program and the Tuition Exchange Program, which enable dependent students from employee families to attend one of many participating colleges on a tuition-free basis. Information is available through Student Financial Services.

Medical Disability Benefits: Students with a medical disability may be eligible for financial assistance from their local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation or Bureau of Visual Services.

Veterans Benefits: Veterans and children of deceased or disabled veterans may be eligible for educational benefits from the Veterans Administration. Contact the local Veterans Administration Office. Veteran educational benefits are handled through the Registrar’s office.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Statement of Policy

Federal and state regulations, as well as institutional policy, require that a student maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards their degree in order to receive financial aid. 

To measure progress, Student Financial Services evaluates a student’s academic record at the completion of each academic year, reviewing both the quantitative (the maximum time frame and completion rate) and the qualitative (cumulative grade point average) as a student pursues her/his degree.  Failure to meet these standards will result in the suspension of financial aid eligibility, which may include federal, state and institutional aid.

*Summer Semester:  Credit hours attempted during the summer semester will be included in the calculation of SAP standards just as any other period of enrollment.

Quantitative Standards

Completion Rate:  Students must maintain a minimum course completion percentage for progress each academic year of at least 67%. This is calculated by dividing the number of credits earned by the credits attempted. Credits transferred from another institution count towards attempted and earned credits.

Maximum Time Frame:   Per federal guidelines, the maximum time frame for program completion for federal Title IV funds is defined as 150% of the credits required to complete the degree or certificate program as defined by Cedar Crest. (For example: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice= 120 credits x 150%= 180 credits. 180 credits is the maximum that can be attempted with federal Title IV funds.)  The maximum credit standard for graduate degree programs are based upon the minimum program credit requirements published in the Cedar Crest College Graduate Catalog.  Cedar Crest College funded aid is limited to a maximum of 10 full-time semesters.  The maximum number of credits allowed will be based upon the credit maximums for a single degree, even when a student is pursing more than one major at one time or there is a change of academic major.

  • Repeated Coursework:  Students may repeat a previously passed course one time if a better grade is required for the major/minor and maintain financial eligibility, assuming all other academic progress requirements have been met.  Repeated course work counts toward the 150% completion time frame.

  • Transfer Credits:  Credits transferred from another institution count towards attempted and earned credits.

  • Audited Courses:  Students do not earn any academic credit for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of attempted credits.

  • Pass/Fail Courses:  These courses count in attempted and earned credits. 

  • Withdrawals:   These are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame. 

Qualitative Standards

The qualitative requirement establishes a minimum cumulative grade point average for all students to reasonably progress through their program of study. The following chart identifies the minimum standards required for students to achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress for undergraduate and certificate programs.  Graduate programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Undergraduate and Certificate Programs

Credits Attempted (Including Transfer Credits)

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

1-23

1.8

24-54

1.9

55+

2.0

Cedar Crest Academic Scholarship Recipients:  Students who are recipients of Cedar Crest College merit scholarships and awards must maintain full-time enrollment and GPA standards of the specific scholarship to maintain award eligibility.  Students should refer to the merit scholarship and awards section of the specific Cedar Crest Course Catalog they enrolled under (year admitted to the College) for more details.

Failure to Meet the Satisfactory Academic Process Standards

Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards will lose their financial aid eligibility immediately.  They will be notified in writing by Student Financial Services.  Students may re-establish eligibility by successfully completing the required number of credits and/or by attaining the overall required grade point average by the end of the next semester without receiving financial aid.  If the student fails to meet the maximum time frame standards, the student will not receive any additional financial aid for the remainder of their degree. 

Appeal Process
A student may appeal her/his failure to maintain SAP standards for financial aid if extenuating or mitigating circumstances exist. Appeals will be considered for circumstances that include but are not limited to, death or illness of an immediate family member, medical condition, hospitalization, documented emotional distress, or any other situation beyond the student’s control. All appeals must be in written format and include the following information:

  • Name, student ID and program of study
  • Details of the situation resulting in the financial aid suspension
  • Documentation supporting the details of the letter (e.g. death certificate, doctor’s note, hospital bill, police report, letter from academic advisor or 3rd party)
  • Plans for next term of enrollment (e.g. number of credits, change of major, academic improvement plan details, etc)

As a part of the appeals process, the student must provide information about why she/he failed to maintain SAP standards, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow her/him to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.  Meeting with an academic advisor (Academic Services) to create an academic plan may be required. 

Appeals are evaluated by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee.  Students should make payment arrangements if necessary while waiting on the Committee’s decision if necessary.  The student will be notified of the Committee’s decision in writing. The decision of the Committee is final.  There is no secondary or director appeal process.  If an appeal is denied, students can only be reinstated for aid eligibility if they satisfy all deficiencies.  If an appeal is approved and the student does not fulfill the conditions of his or her probation or academic plan, the student will not be eligible for aid for any future semesters during their academic career unless the student satisfies all academic deficiencies. 

*Please note that any appeal granted by Cedar Crest College to its Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is not applicable to the Pennsylvania State Grant program.  A separate appeal process must be completed directly with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency State Grant Division.

Financial Aid Probation
Students who have had an appeal approved will be placed on probation for one semester and will have their financial aid reinstated for the probation semester. If the student fails to maintain the SAP standards at the end of the semester, she/he will lose financial aid eligibility until SAP standards are met.

If a student on financial aid probation meets the terms of the probation, the student will be permitted to continue to receive financial aid for a subsequent semester.  If a student does not meet the terms of the probation, the student will lose eligibility for financial aid at that time. 

Reinstatement of Eligibility
Financial aid eligibility may be re-instated after a student meets the SAP standards, quantitative and qualitative, as defined above. Students who retain eligibility by completing required coursework must notify the Student Financial Services in order to have their progress re-evaluated, and financial aid re-instated.

Description of Grades and their effect on SAP Standards:

Letter Grade

Attempted Credits

Earned Credits

Grade Point Average

Maximum Time Frame

A

Y

Y

Y

Y

 A-

Y

Y

Y

Y

 B+

Y

Y

Y

Y

B

Y

Y

Y

Y

B-

Y

Y

Y

Y

C+

Y

Y

Y

Y

C

Y

Y

Y

Y

C-

Y

Y

Y

Y

D+

Y

Y

Y

Y

D

Y

Y

Y

Y

D-

Y

Y

Y

Y

F

Y

N

Y

Y

PN

Y

Y

N

Y

P

Y

Y

N

Y

I*

Y

N

N

Y

W

Y

N

N

Y

NG

Y

N

N

Y

AU

N

N

N

N

*It is the student’s responsibility to inform Student Financial Services of all grade changes (ex. From “I” to “B”) to ensure that the SAP status is reviewed.