Graduate Financial Aid
Ashland University provides financial assistance to qualified, eligible Graduate and Bachelor’s Plus students who have been accepted for admission to the University, are not on disciplinary probation, and meet the standards of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Graduate & Bachelor’s Plus Students provided in this section of the catalog. Students must apply for financial aid each year and meet the necessary criteria required for renewal.
Federal regulations require that institutions receiving Title IV funding provide specific consumer information about the school to students. Visit ashland.edu/consumer-information for more details and web links.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
Applications for financial aid are processed on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to those applications submitted by March 15. Students should complete the following steps to apply for financial aid:
Apply for admission to Ashland University.
Create an FSA ID made up of a username and password at studentaid.gov/fsa-id if you plan to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are a dependent Bachelor’s Plus student, both you and a parent must create FSA IDs to sign your FAFSA.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov/fafsa.
Register for classes. The Financial Aid Office will not package financial aid for graduate or bachelor’s plus students until they are officially registered for classes.
Review your Ashland University financial aid offer. An email will be sent to you when your offer is available on Self-Service Financial Aid. The email will be sent to either your ashland.edu email address or the preferred email provided on your admissions application.
Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) and Self-Service Financial Aid portal to confirm if there are any outstanding requirements that need completed.
All first-time federal loan borrowers must complete loan entrance counseling and a master promissory note at studentaid.gov prior to the disbursement of federal loan funds.
Occasionally, students may enroll simultaneously at Ashland University and another college/university with enrollment combined for financial aid purposes. There are also times when students need to enroll at another college/university only (not at AU) for a particular semester. In both situations, a consortium agreement may be necessary. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Types of Financial Aid
It is the responsibility of the student to secure the funds necessary to pay for all direct and indirect expenses incurred at Ashland University. Financial assistance such as federal or private loans may be available to those who qualify.
Federal Direct Loans - Students must submit a FAFSA to be considered for Federal Direct Loans. The maximum amount a graduate student may borrow each semester is up to $10,250, depending on their cost of attendance. The maximum amount a bachelor’s plus student may borrow ranges from $3,750 to $6,250 per semester, depending on their dependency status and cost of attendance. Students must be enrolled at least half time to borrow federal loans. Direct loan interest rates can be found at studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/interest-rates.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan - More information and the link to apply for this loan are available at studentaid.gov/plus-app/grad/landing.
Private Loans - Students can apply for a loan through a private lender. Funding may be secured up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance received by the student. Interest rates, loan terms and conditions vary. Students may start their search for a private educational loan lender by visiting here This is not a full list of possible lenders, but is a great place to start your search.
Financial Aid Refund Repayment Policy
Refer to the refund policy in the Graduate Finance & Administration section of this catalog. Financial aid questions related to the policy may be directed to the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Graduate and Bachelor's Plus Students
Federal regulations require that an institution develop and enforce a satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy for all Ashland University students. This policy is administered by the Financial Aid Office and pertains to all graduate students (including Pre-Doctor of Ministry and bachelor exempt) and Bachelor’s Plus students enrolled at Ashland University.
This is a separate policy and appeal process from the academic policy administered by the Academic Standards and Graduation Committee. Therefore, students may be permitted to enroll at Ashland University, but may not be financial aid eligible due to not meeting the standards in the SAP policy.
STANDARDS OF MEASUREMENT
Ashland University is required to monitor academic progress based upon the qualitative and quantitative standards in this SAP policy. It is the recipient's responsibility to ensure they are meeting these standards to maintain financial aid eligibility. Annual reviews take place at the conclusion of the spring semester.
Standard of Measurement
Cumulative grade point average (GPA)
Pace of Completion
Maximum Time Frame
Grade Point Average (GPA) – Students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA). Students who do not meet GPA standards will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.
Minimum Cumulative GPA
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Master of Arts in American History & Govt
Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership
Master of Arts in Teaching American History & Govt
Master of Business Administration
Master of Education
Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies
*ATS Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counsel (CMHC)
*ATS Master of Arts (non-CMHC program)
*ATS Master of Divinity
*ATS Doctor of Ministry (including Pre-DMin)
*ATS = Ashland Theological Seminary
Students in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program must demonstrate reasonable progress towards annual completion of credit hours of relevant coursework as determined by the Financial Aid Office and the MFA department. A grade of “S” is assigned a 3.00 grade value in order to generate a cumulative GPA for satisfactory academic progress review purposes. Students who receive a “U” are required to retake the course and cannot proceed to the next course until they pass. Students academically dismissed from the MFA program are ineligible for aid at Ashland University.
Pace of Completion – Students must successfully complete at least 66.67% of their cumulative attempted credits. Attempted credits are determined by the number of credits a student is registered for at the end of the drop date for any registered course. This percentage will be calculated by taking the number of completed credits divided by the number of attempted credits. Students who do not meet this standard at the time of review will immediately be ineligible for financial aid. Reinstatement of aid may occur through the appeal process or once the student attains the required percentage of completed credits at Ashland University, provided the student meets all other policy standards.
Maximum Time Frame – The maximum time frame for Graduate and Bachelor Plus students to complete their program of study is 150% of the minimum degree/licensure requirements rounded up to the nearest full credit hour. After exceeding the 150% maximum time frame restriction, the student is no longer eligible for financial aid. Classes withdrawn after the drop deadline for that semester will be considered attempted credits for maximum time frame purposes. A chart showing the maximum time frame hours for all AU Graduate and Bachelor Plus programs is available on our website at http://www.ashland.edu/sap-max-credits.
Additionally, a student who cannot mathematically complete a degree within the allotted maximum credits is also ineligible for aid. Affected students who have reached or exceeded the credit hours allowed due to academic program changes, changes in major, transfer hours accepted from other schools, or pursuit of a second degree (e.g., a second Master of Education degree) can have their status reviewed by submitting an appeal.
ADDITIONAL FACTORS IMPACTING SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
Repeated Coursework – A student who repeats a failed course will receive financial aid for the repeated course each time it is attempted. A student who repeats a previously passed course in order to receive a higher grade can only receive financial aid for the repeated course one time. Repeat coursework will count towards the number of attempted hours for pace of completion and maximum time frame purposes; however, only the highest grade will be used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average.
Transfer Credits – Transfer credits do not impact a student’s Ashland University GPA, and thus are not included when evaluating the grade point average (GPA) standard in this policy. In addition, the number of semesters attended at another school will not be considered when determining the minimum cumulative GPA required. Transfer credits will impact a student’s pace of completion and maximum time frame calculation, regardless if courses are relevant or not to the student’s current major or program.
Incomplete Grades or Approved Extensions – A course assigned a grade of “I” or “E” is considered an “F” until the course is completed. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office once the course has been assigned another grade.
S, P, and U Grades – A course assigned a grade of “S” or “P” is assigned a 3.00 grade value and is factored into the cumulative GPA for satisfactory academic progress purposes only. A grade of “U” is not assigned a grade value and is not factored into the cumulative GPA.
Course Withdrawals – Financial aid eligibility may be affected if a student elects to remove a class from their schedule after the semester drop date and a “W” grade is assigned on their transcript. These courses will be considered attempted courses for pace of completion and maximum time frame purposes.
SAP APPEALS AND FINANCIAL AID PROBATION
Students not meeting the minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress are ineligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid (e.g. grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans). However, students may request reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility by submitting a written appeal to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must explain the unusual or extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from meeting satisfactory academic progress standards. The committee will consider any unusual or extenuating circumstances, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Death of a relative
Family difficulties, such as divorce or illness
Injury or illness of the student
Severe mental or emotional stress
Physical or mental hardship
The Financial Aid Office will review appeals and make a final determination as to whether financial aid eligibility will be approved for another semester. The student will be notified of the committee’s decision in writing, and the decision will be notated in the student’s file.
The Financial Aid Office may approve a student to receive aid for one additional semester under a Financial Aid Probation or for a longer period of time under an Academic Plan. The student's academic progress will be reevaluated each semester to determine if appeal conditions were met. Students who meet all appeal conditions for the semester will be approved to receive aid for the next semester. If SAP conditions are not met at the time of review, the student will become ineligible for financial aid in the next semester. Students can submit another financial aid appeal explaining why they were unable to meet appeal conditions. There is no limit to the number of appeals a student may submit, and appeals must be turned in by the published deadlines. New documentation supporting the extenuating circumstance must accompany subsequent appeal requests.
INTERPRETATION AND ENFORCEMENT
The Executive Director of Financial Aid will have primary responsibility for the interpretation and enforcement of this policy. Unusual issues related to this policy may be directed to the Financial Aid Office.
APPENDIX (Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy)
The following definitions apply to this financial aid SAP policy only. Please refer to other aspects of this academic catalog for the specific academic requirements for the University or your program of study.
Academic Plan: A guided plan of action assigned to students who are mathematically unable to meet SAP standards after one semester.
Enrollment Status: Based on the number of credits enrolled during a regular semester:
Bachelor Plus and *Pre-Dmin
<90 Cr Hrs
90+ Cr Hrs
*Eligibility for financial aid is limited to one year for Pre-Doctor of Ministry students.
**Also applicable to Doctorate of Education and Doctorate of Nurse Practitioner students.
Financial Aid: Title IV federal, state, and/or institutional aid. Institutional aid includes any grant, scholarship, or discount including tuition waiver or tuition exchange.
Grade Point Average (GPA): A measure of a student’s academic achievement at an institution, calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours completed.
Grade of Incomplete (I) or Extension (E): A grade assigned by a professor allowing the student more time to complete course requirements.
Graduate Student: A student attending Ashland University or Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS) who has earned a Bachelor’s degree and is pursuing additional education in a specific field. Students designated as bachelor’s exempt may be considered undergraduate students for financial aid purposes until specific criteria are met. Pre-Doctor of Ministry and Bachelor Plus students are not considered graduate students, but must meet the academic standards included in the Graduate and Bachelor’s Plus SAP policy.
Maximum Time Frame: An institution must establish a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete degree requirements for each program of study. The maximum time frame is 150% of the minimum degree/licensure requirements rounded up to the nearest full credit hour.
Preparatory Coursework: A student not enrolled in a degree program is eligible for Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans for up to one consecutive 12-month period beginning on the first day of the loan period if the coursework taken is necessary for enrollment in an eligible program. The courses must be part of an eligible program otherwise offered by the school, though the student does not have to be in that program.
Repeated Course: Any courses a student has completed and is now enrolling in again either due to failure to meet program requirements or to obtain a better grade.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): There are minimum standards for GPA, pace of completion, and maximum time frame that a student must meet in order to be eligible for financial aid as outlined in this SAP policy.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Statuses
Satisfactory – student is eligible to receive financial aid.
Unsatisfactory – student is not eligible for financial aid since SAP standards are not met.
Maximum Time Frame Exceeded – student is not eligible for financial aid since the 150% maximum time frame restriction has been reached.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Statuses: a student not meeting satisfactory academic progress standards can request the reinstatement of financial aid through an appeal process. Possible appeal results may include:
Approved under a one-semester probation – the student has been granted one additional semester of financial aid eligibility to reach SAP standards.
Approved under an academic plan – the student has been granted one or more semesters of financial aid eligibility to reach the standards outlined in this policy.
Approved maximum time frame extension – the student can receive financial aid to complete their degree up to the number of semesters specified in their approved appeal.
Denied – the student cannot receive financial aid based on the appeal submitted.
Denied Forever – the student cannot receive financial aid and is not eligible to re-appeal.
Transfer Credits: Courses taken at another institution that are accepted by Ashland University. Transfer credits count toward the student’s pace of completion and maximum time frame calculation.