Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid Policies

There are a variety of policies (including Federal, State and Institutional) that may impact students' eligibility to receive certain types of financial aid. Detailed information regarding these policies is available below.

Federal law protects the confidentiality of your financial aid file. You need to provide written consent if you wish your parents, spouse, or others, to discuss your file or the details of your financial aid award with staff in our office.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) exists to protect your right to confidentiality and places limitations on student record information that may be released to third parties (which includes parents, guardians, spouse, and/or caregivers) without the student’s written permission unless it is considered directory information.  Protected information includes grades, billing, tuition and fee assessments, financial aid, and other student record information.

We want you to know that we strictly adhere to FERPA. Although it does limit what we can share, it protects you.  You can authorize the release of your information via the Registrar’s Office. For more information regarding FERPA, please see the Registrar’s Office website.

Students may grant the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships permission to release information about their financial aid to a third party (including parents, step-parents, spouse, etc.) by submitting a Confidentiality Release Form / FERPA Authorize e-form, which is available from the Registrar’s Office website.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is responsible for coordinating student resources for the campus. Federal and state regulations require the coordination of all financial aid awards with all resources, including internal and outside (private) scholarships and grants, fellowships, stipends, fee waivers (including the Cal-Vet fee waiver), and vocational rehabilitation and other educational benefits.

The total amount of assistance from all sources cannot exceed the Cal Poly Pomona yearly Cost of Attendance (COA). In addition, almost all federal, state, and Cal Poly Pomona grant programs require unmet financial need. All forms of financial aid, including outside scholarships, third-party payments, and tuition & fee waivers must be coordinated with a student’s aid package to ensure that these conditions are met.

All financial aid programs must be monitored in conjunction with available information on student resources to avoid financial aid overawards. An overaward occurs when the total of a student's financial aid and certain resources exceeds the student’s cost of attendance or, in the case of need-based aid, exceeds the student’s unmet need.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has established procedures for need analysis, financial aid  review, verification, disbursements, and overaward monitoring which ensure compliance with the financial aid and student resource coordination requirements. We do all we can to prevent overawards because they can result in a student having to repay aid for which they are ineligible.

Students are required to report any outside assistance to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. When the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships becomes aware of additional aid or resources, the funding will be added to the student's financial aid record and any necessary adjustments to existing aid will be made accordingly. If a reduction in an aid program(s) is necessary, aid reductions will be done in the most advantageous way for the student.

Aid Exceeds COA

Aid will be reduced in the following program order until the student’s total aid does not exceed the COA:

  • Private/ Direct Plus Loan
  • Unearned Portion of Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Student Loan
  • Institutional Grants
  • Cal Grant
  • Federal SEOG Grant
  • Cal Poly Pomona Scholarships

Aid Exceeds Need

Aid will be reduced in the following program order until student’s unmet need is not exceeded:

  • Unearned Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Cal Poly Pomona need-based grants (including State University Grant)
  • Cal Grants
  • Federal SEOG Grant

In cases where both conditions exist, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will follow the Aid Exceeds Need list until the student's unmet need is not exceeded and then will follow the Aid Exceeds COA list until the student total aid package does not exceed the COA.

If you have any questions about the coordination of outside resources with your financial aid, please contact us at finaid@cpp.edu or 909-869-3700.

Payment of Tuition and Fees is due each semester, typically before financial aid is able to be released. Information on Payment Dates & Deadlines is available from Student Accounting and Cashiering Services.

Eligible students are able to temporarily defer (or delay) payment of their tuition and fees until their  financial aid is available.

Eligibility for a deferment of payment is based on the expectation tuition and fees will be paid, either partially or in full, by financial aid.  This deferment allows students with unpaid charges to remain registered for classes on the fee payment deadline. Students granted a deferment of payment are still responsible for all charges on their account if financial aid is not issued or does not cover all costs. 

Please Note: 

  • If you are issued a deferment of payment but your eligibility changes and you no longer meet the criteria listed below, you will be responsible for paying your own tuition and fees and meeting the fee payment deadlines or you will be subject to disenrollment from classes. 
  • If you decide not to attend Cal Poly Pomona, it is your responsibility to drop all of your classes.  If you do not drop all of your classes you will be responsible for all fees charged - even if payment of your tuition and fees was originally deferred.

Deferment of Tuition & Fees Criteria

To receive and remain eligible for a financial aid deferment of tuition and fees, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You are currently enrolled as a degree-seeking student at Cal Poly Pomona (Undergraduate, Graduate, or Teaching Credential).
  • Dream Students must have an approved AB540 Affidavit on file with Cal Poly Pomona
  • Your most recent financial aid application must have a valid EFC (a status other than “Rejected”). If your application has a status of “Rejected”, noted items must be corrected before you will be considered for a deferment of your fee payment.
  • You have completed all financial aid-related “To Do” list items listed on your Student Center by the document submission due date.
  • You have an Official Financial Aid Package
  • Your current SAP Status is one of the following:
    • Meets
    • Financial Aid Warning
    • Financial Aid Probation

Impact of Filing Aid Application After March 2nd Priority Filing Deadline

If you file your aid application (FAFSA or California Dream) after the March 2nd Priority Filing Deadline, you will still be considered for financial aid; however, you may not have your eligibility determined in time to receive a deferment of payment for the Fall semester.  You will need to plan to pay your registration fees by the published Cal Poly Pomona Fall payment deadline (release of any financial aid may then result in a refund of your payment) in the event you have not been packaged with financial aid by the fee payment deadline.

Impact of Missing Document Submission Deadline

If you fail to complete your file by the document submission deadline, you run the risk of not having your file reviewed and aid eligibility finalized prior to the fee payment deadline.  As such, you will be responsible for paying your fees by the published Cal Poly Pomona fee payment deadlines.

If you turn in your documents after the document submission deadline, you will still be considered for financial aid; however you may not have your eligibility determined in time to receive a deferment of payment for the Fall semester.  You will need to pay your registration fees by the published Cal Poly Pomona Fall payment deadline (release of any financial aid may then result in a refund of your payment).

The release (or disbursement) of financial aid is the process in which financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) are applied to the charges on a student’s account. Students must complete and submit all required promissory notes, entrance counseling and verification documents and have registered for classes before financial aid can be credited to their account.  

Release of funds begins on a nightly basis (Monday through Friday), starting 10 days before the first day of classes for the semester.  In general, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in order for their financial aid to be released.  Units from classes a student is waitlisted for are not included in the student’s enrollment status for disbursement of aid.

Most sources of financial aid are credited directly to a student's account for payment of tuition, fees, and on-campus housing (room and meals), and related costs. These sources of aid include:

  • Federal Pell and SEOG Grants
  • Education Opportunity Grant
  • Cal Grant Grant (Tuition & Access)
  • State University Grant
  • Federal Direct Student Loans and PLUS Loans
  • CA Dream Loans
  • Cal Poly Pomona Scholarships
  • Certain private outside scholarships and certain private or alternative loans

For students receiving a Cal Grant Access Grant, the funds will be used to pay university charges not covered by other aid.  If there are no other charges remaining, the remaining funds will be issued to the student as a refund.

Several other aid sources are released in the form of checks and require student endorsement each term. Students will be notified when checks are available for endorsement. Those sources include certain private or alternative loans, certain private outside scholarships and employment earnings paid directly to the student in the form of a monthly paycheck.

If the student's financial aid does not cover the term charges or the financial aid is not available, students and/or families must pay the difference through one of the options detailed by Student Accounting & Cashiering Services.  Students are responsible for completing all paperwork and steps required to finalize their aid so it pays onto the student's account. Conversely, if the financial aid exceeds the term charges, the student may be eligible for a refund. Students will be contacted by Student Accounting & Cashiering Services via their @cpp.edu e-mail account.

Note: Financial Aid funds cannot be applied to prior academic year charges. Students must pay charges billed in prior academic years independently from the financial aid disbursement processes.

Release of Federal (Title IV) Funds for Books and Supplies

All authorized financial aid funds, including the Federal Pell Grant, are released to each student's Cal Poly Pomona account approximately 10 days prior to the first day of classes, with any remainder amount issued as a refund. This disbursement schedule ensures students have access to obtain and purchase required books and supplies by the seventh day classes, or in this case the term for which financial aid is disbursed.

Students are encouraged to enroll in Direct Deposit for faster delivery of refunds. Information on how to sign-up is found on the Student Accounting and Cashiering Services website, under Direct Deposit.  You may also contact Student Accounting and Cashiering Services for more information.

Federal Student Aid regulations require that a student who is receiving Federal Student Aid in excess of their university charges be provided access to the excess funds no later than the 7th day of classes for the term in order to purchase books and supplies.

If a student has not yet established eligibility to receive federal financial aid funds at least 10 days before the beginning of a semester due to outstanding verification requirements, unresolved or conflicting information, or has not completed required steps for federal loans (Master Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling), this requirement does not apply.

Disbursement Delays

There are a number of reasons why a student’s financial aid may not have been disbursed to their account.  These include but are not limited to the following:

  • The student failed to submit all requested documents
  • The student is not actively enrolled in at least one course
  • The student is not actively enrolled at least half-time
  • The student is not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress for Aid Applicants
  • For Cal Grant:
    • The student has not submitted required documents to the California Student Aid Commission
  • For Direct Student Loans:
    • The student has not accepted their loan
    • The student has not completed necessary steps for a Direct Student Loan (Master Promissory Note and/or Entrance Counseling).
    • The student has not completed the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

Changes to Enrollment After Aid Has Been Released

Financial Aid is released on a nightly basis, Monday through Friday, throughout the semester.  Prior to each disbursement, the number of units a student is enrolled in will be verified, and grants will be adjusted accordingly.

Changes in enrollment may result in a decrease in eligibility.  Students may be required to repay a portion, or all, of their financial aid if units are dropped or are not at the minimum unit level of financial aid eligibility.  Federal and state regulations do not permit students to receive aid which exceeds their financial aid eligibility. The repayment amount will be determined after Census for the semester. Students are required to repay aid for which they are determined to be ineligible.

  • Example: Aid was packaged and released at 12 units, but a student reduced their enrollment to 9 units (after aid had been released).  The student would be required to return / repay the difference in any grants received at the 12 unit amount.
Students enrolled and NOT ATTENDING CLASSES must return aid received to the Student Accounting & Cashiering Services and officially withdraw from those classes.

Initial Federal, State, and Cal Poly Pomona financial aid awards are based on the expectation of full-time enrollment.  Financial Aid funds are released (disbursed) beginning 10 days prior to the first day of  classes for the Fall & Spring semesters and continue nightly, Monday through Friday, thereafter.

Prior to each disbursement, a student’s enrollment is verified and aid is recalculated according to their enrollment status. Dropping units after receiving financial aid may require repayment of some or all of the aid a student received.

Enrollment Statuses Defined:

Credential Student Earned Unit Maximum
Degree Program Full Time Three Quarter Time Half-Time Less than Half-Time
Undergraduate 12+ Units 9 – 11.9 Units 6 – 8.9 Units Less than 6 Units
Credential 12+ Units 9 – 11.9 Units 6 – 8.9 Units Less than 6 Units
Graduate 6+ Units 4.5 – 5.9 Units 3 – 4.4 Units Less than 3 Units

 

Financial Aid amounts are finalized based on enrollment at Census – and are not recalculated thereafter unless a student fully withdraws from the semester, in which case a Return to Title IV calculation may be required to determine the amount of federal student aid the student earned.

  • Students enrolled in a Teacher Credential Program, must have course enrollment verified for all federal aid programs (Federal Pell Grant, Direct Student Loans, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Work Study) and California Aid Programs (Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship) at Census. Only courses that are required by the state of California for the Teaching Credential can be included in the student’s eligibility for aid.
  • Eligibility for most financial aid programs is prorated based on enrollment at the time of the disbursement.
  • At University Census for the semester, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will freeze your enrollment status and adjust your grant aid to the correct amount based on actual units enrolled.

Aid Adjustments based on Enrollment Status

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average
Financial Aid Program Eligibility at
Full Time Status
Eligibility at
3/4 Time Status
Eligibility at
1/2 Time Status
Eligibility at Less than ½ Time Status
Federal Pell Grant (Undergraduate Students) 100% 75% 50% 25%
Federal Pell Grant (Credential Students) 100% 75% 50% 0%
Cal Grant Tuition 100% 75% 50% 0%
Cal Grant Access 100% 75% 50% 0%
Education Opportunity Grant (EOP) 100% 0% 0% 0%
Federal SEOG Grant 100% 100% 100% 0%
TEACH Grant 100% 75% 50% 0%

State University Grant Eligibility

Eligibility for the State University Grant is adjusted to the actual Tuition Fee charged.  Students must be enrolled at least half-time at Census in order to be eligible to receive funds from the State University Grant.

Cancelling a Federal TEACH Grant or Federal Direct Loan

To cancel all or a portion of Teach Grant or Federal Direct Loan Funds after they are disbursed, a student must provide the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships with a cancellation request no later than 14 days from the date of the disbursement.

If a student is no longer planning to attend for the semester, it is their responsibility to withdraw from all classes.  Charges will begin to accrue as of the 1st day of instruction.  

The State University Grant (SUG) Program is an important source of financial assistance for CSU students. Since its inception in 1982-83, the SUG program assists students with the greatest financial need. Each campus within the CSU is responsible for awarding these need-based grants to eligible California residents and DREAM applicants who enroll in undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, credential and graduate programs.

The SUG provides need-based grant funding to eligible undergraduate, credential, and graduate students who are California residents or otherwise determined as eligible, such as AB 540-eligible students.  Financial need is determined by the expected family contribution based on the FAFSA application; when you apply for financial aid via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act application you are considered for a State University Grant.

Funding for the State University Grant is limited each year, and all awards are conditional based on the availability of funds from the state. Funds may be delayed or reduced, depending on action of the Governor or the California State Legislature.

SUG Eligibility

Each CSU campus has established local awarding policies and priorities for these funds. 

At Cal Poly Pomona, the priority is to award a State University Grant equal to the amount of the Systemwide Tuition Fee ($5,742 for undergraduates; $6,660 for students in teaching credential programs; and $7,176 for graduate students) to eligible students who meet the following:

  • Apply for financial aid by the March 2 Priority Filing deadline
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that falls within the Pell Grant eligibility range (for 2020 – 2021 EFC of $5,711 or less)
  • Are classified as either a California Resident, or have an approved AB540 status with Cal Poly Pomona, at the time of packaging
  • Enrolled in a program that is eligible for State University Grant funding and is assessed the Systemwide Tuition Fee (Open University, programs offered through the College of the Extended University, and the Education Doctorate (EdD) program are not eligible for SUG funding)
  • Are not receiving a Cal Grant or other award or waiver designated to cover fees
    • Students receiving other aid specifically dedicated for the tuition fee (e.g., Cal Grant, Athletic Grant Fee Awards, Fee Waivers, etc.) will have their SUG reduced or canceled accordingly.

Students are encouraged to complete their aid application and submit all requested documentation as soon as possible. All applicants will be considered automatically, but not all eligible students will receive SUG due to limited funds.

Grant Amount

The SUG is designated specifically for the systemwide tuition fee.

  • The amount of a student's SUG award cannot exceed the cost of tuition when combined with other financial assistance designated to pay your tuition fee (such as Cal Grant Tuition Grant, Vocational Rehabilitation, Fee Waiver, etc.)
  • The amount of SUG awarded is:

SUG Limitations on Eligibility (Program Limits)

The number of units a student has earned also affects SUG eligibility. Effective with the Fall 2013 semester, the California State University has established eligibility limitations on a student’s ability to receive a State University Grant. These limitations are designed to ensure that students receiving state funding develop and maintain a timely path toward the completion of program/degree requirements

Undergraduate Student Earned Unit Maximum

Students pursuing their initial Undergraduate degree are eligible to receive a SUG for a maximum number of earned semester units (or the equivalent).  The maximum number of units for Undergraduates:

  • Freshman Admits: 150 - Total Earned units*
  • Transfer students with less than 75 transfer units: 150 Total Earned units (CPP + Transfer)*
  • Transfer students with 75 or more transfer units: 75 earned CPP Units

For Undergraduate programs that have a published length of more than 120 semester units, the Earned Unit maximum will be adjusted based on 125% of the published program length.

* The following types of units are not considered against the Undergraduate Student Earned Unit Maximum:

  • Pre-Baccalaureate or Remedial Coursework that does not carry baccalaureate credit
  • Test Credit (AP, IB, etc.) and Military Credit

Please note that the SUG Unit Maximum is based upon earned units while the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for the Receipt of Financial Aid is based upon attempted units.

Undergraduate students who may have exceeded the SUG unit limit (150 earned semester units or quarter unit equivalent) may appeal for a one-term extension of SUG eligibility if they are able to document a plan to finish a degree program within one term. An appeal must include supporting documentation indicating the remaining courses required.

Credential Student Earned Unit Maximum

Students pursuing their initial Credential are eligible to receive a SUG award for a maximum of 30 total earned semester units (or the equivalent) while enrolled as a Post-Baccalaureate Credential student. This maximum is based solely on those courses required by the state of California to earn the Credential.  The unit maximum includes all earned units from a prior credential program (that was not completed) and any applicable transfer units.

The maximum does not include any units completed in a non-credential post-baccalaureate degree program (Master’s; Doctorate).

The following Credential Programs at Cal Poly Pomona have an expanded Earned Unit Maximum for SUG, based upon the required units for program completion:

Aid Adjustments based on Enrollment Status
Credential Program  SUG Earned Unit Limitation (125% of Required Units)
Single Subject Credential   36 total earned units
Intern Credential Program  36 total earned units
Multiple Subject Credential   42 total earned units
Preliminary Education Specialist Credential – Mild/Moderate Disabilities  45 total earned units
Preliminary Education Specialist Credential – Moderate/Severe Disabilities  48 total earned units

 

Note: Students pursuing a credential that have previously completed a credential program at Cal Poly Pomona or any other university are not eligible to receive a SUG.

Master’s Student Earned Unit Maximum

Students pursuing their initial Master’s degree have an earned unit maximum of 125% of the published unit requirement for their degree. To calculate 125% of your degree units, multiply the total units required for your degree by 1.25.

Master’s Student Earned Unit Maximum
Degree Units Required SUG Earned Unit Limitation (125% of Required Units)
30 units required 38 units
36 units required 45 units
45 units required 56 units

 

This maximum includes all earned units from the term of admission to a graduate degree program and any applicable transfer units. The maximum does not include units earned while classified as a Credential or Second-baccalaureate student.

Note: Students pursuing a second Master’s or any Doctorate degree are not eligible to receive a SUG award.

Students Pursuing Second Degrees and Certificate Programs

The CSU provides SUG funding only for the completion of a student’s initial degree/credential at the following educational level (initial Bachelor’s; initial Credential; initial Master’s). Students pursuing a second Bachelors, second Credential, second Masters, or any Doctoral degree are not eligible to receive a SUG award.

Note: This limitation applies to the completion of a previous degree received at Cal Poly Pomona or any other college/ university.

Additionally, students enrolled in a stand-alone Certificate Program are not eligible to receive SUG funding.

Federal and State regulations governing student financial aid require that students receiving financial aid must maintain specific standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.  The regulations provided by the U.S. Department of Education are geared toward improving program integrity.  Cal Poly Pomona has established its own policy to adhere to these guidelines while ensuring student success.

Although the academic progress standards are similar to those set by the university or academic departments for all students, the financial aid standards for SAP are not exactly the same due to the specific requirements of the legislation. In addition to meeting the academic standards for registration, a student must also meet the requirements of the financial aid SAP policy below to be eligible to receive federal, state and need-based institutional financial aid assistance. Scholarships and other awards may also require students to meet this standard.

Financial Aid regulations (federal and state) are continuously updated and Cal Poly Pomona is required to verify that our policy meets any changes.  If any changes occur, our website will be updated and notifications will be sent to those students affected.

All coursework is evaluated against these standards, including coursework completed during a period when the student did not receive financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at the end of each semester once grades have been finalized and posted.  Students that are included in this review include all aid applicants – regardless of program of study or enrollment status.  This is a cumulative review of all semesters regardless of whether or not the student received financial aid during a particular academic year.  The evaluation is based on the student meeting three criteria, which are described below:

  1. Meeting a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  2. Earning a minimum number of credits (Pace of Completion)
  3. Cumulative attempted hours not exceeding program requirements (Maximum Time-Frame)

Students who fail to meet any one of the criteria are considered ineligible for financial aid.  The information below will explain each standard in more detail as well as provide information on regaining eligibility.

Standard 1:  Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

The first SAP Standard is a qualitative measure of progress as measured by the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA). The cumulative GPA includes all Cal Poly Pomona courses that have been graded as well as any courses from other institutions that have been accepted and posted to the student’s record. Cal Poly Pomona academic policies determine how the GPA is calculated including which grades count in the GPA calculation and the effect of course repeats on GPA. Students and advisors can see the current cumulative GPA on the student’s unofficial transcript and Academic Advising reports.

To meet the GPA Standard, students must meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement as listed in the chart below:

Enrollment Statuses Defined
Academic Level Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirement
Undergraduate (1st Bachelors) 2.0
Teaching Credential 3.0
Masters & Doctorate 3.0
Other Post Baccalaureate Programs (Certificate, 2nd Bachelors) 3.0

 

The Minimum GPA Requirement listed for SAP for Financial Aid Applicants is consistent with the CPP Satisfactory Progress (academic) policy for all students.

Remedial or Pre-Baccalaureate Coursework – Courses defined as Remedial Coursework are not factored into a student’s GPA at Cal Poly Pomona (courses with a number of 1 – 999), as these courses cannot be applied to a student’s degree program.

Satisfactory Progress in Remedial Coursework is measured as defined in Executive Order 665.

Standard 2:  Pace of Completion

Satisfactorily complete at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted.

The second SAP Standard is a quantitative measure which calculates the pace at which a student is progressing toward program completion. Pace is measured by the cumulative percentage of courses attempted that are successfully completed for credit. There are two steps in performing this calculation.

Step 1:

Not all credit posted to the student’s academic record is a good indication of the ‘pace’ at which they are completing their program. As a result, the various types of academic credit within the same academic career (undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) are evaluated based on the following:

Types of courses and credit that are included in this calculation:

  • All Cal Poly Pomona courses
  • All transferable courses from other colleges and universities
  • Repeated coursework
  • Consortium coursework
  • Coursework from Study Abroad programs
  • Pre-Requisite coursework
  • Credit by Examination credit (grades)

Types of courses and credit that are not included in this calculation:

  • Audited coursework
  • Military credit
  • Credit earned through examination (AP, IB credit)
Step 2:

Based on the courses that are included above, the student’s pace is then calculated by dividing the total number of credit hours successfully completed (passed with units earned) by the total number of credit hours actually attempted.

  • Total Hours Earned/Completed= all course work where credit is earned with a grade of A, B, C, D, RP, or CR.
  • Total Hours Attempted= Total Hours Earned/Completed PLUS all course work with a grade of W, WU, F, RD, I, and NC.

To meet Standard 2, students must satisfactorily complete at least 67% of all cumulative credit hours attempted - as calculated above.  The 67% completion rate maintains a pace of progression toward completion of the academic objective within the maximum time frame allowed.

Standard 3:  Maximum Time Frame

Complete a degree or certificate program within 150% of the published length of the program, measured in credit hours.

The third Standard is also a quantitative measure to determine if the student is actually completing the academic program within a reasonable overall time frame based on units attempted. Students may not continue to receive financial aid once they have reached this standard.  It is important to emphasize that once the maximum time frame is reached the student is considered ineligible for further financial aid and must complete their program without the benefit of these financial assistance programs. There are two steps in performing this calculation:

Step 1:

First the maximum units allowed for the academic program must be determined.  This is calculated by multiplying the minimum units required for the academic program by 150% to determine the maximum number of units a student can attempt before becoming ineligible for financial aid.

For undergraduate students:  
Most baccalaureate programs require 120 units so the maximum time frame is 180 attempted units (120 units times 150%). Higher unit majors are adjusted based on the minimum units required.  Undergraduate students can pursue additional academic objectives (majors, minors, certificates) and receive financial aid as long as they do so within the units allowed for the 'primary' academic major. In other words, extra attempted units are not granted so that students can pursue additional objectives with the baccalaureate degree.  This approach is consistent with the Cal Poly Pomona Undergraduate Timely Graduation Policy; however, this financial aid standard measures units attempted whereas the Timely Graduation policy measures units completed.
 

For post-baccalaureate students:
The maximum attempted units allowed is also calculated by multiplying the minimum units required for the academic program by 150%. For students that are officially pursuing a financial aid eligible credential or certificate concurrently with a Master's program, the minimum units required of each program will be added together and then multiplied by 150%.

Step 2:

The total number of units attempted by the student in that academic career (undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) is calculated and compared to the maximum allowed in Step 1.  As not all credit posted to the student's academic record can count toward the degree program requirements, the following exclusions/adjustments are made:

  1. Remedial course work is excluded as it does not carry baccalaureate credit.
  2. A maximum of 70 units of transferable credit from a 2-year institution is counted based on CSU and Cal Poly Pomona policy.
  3. Test credit (AP, IB, etc.) and Military credit are excluded.
  4. Additional transfer credit may be excluded by request if it cannot be used to meet any Cal Poly Pomona degree requirements including general electives.

To meet Standard 3, students must have attempted less than 150% of units required for the academic program as calculated above.

Graduate Students:  Impact of Undergraduate Level Courses

Graduate students may be required to complete undergraduate level coursework to resolve pre-requisites or other necessary activities to complete their program of study. Graduate students should be aware of how undergraduate courses impact the three SAP Standards:

  • Impact on Standard 1 - GPA
    Graduate GPAs are calculated based upon 3000-level or higher coursework taken after completion of the baccalaureate degree.  Any coursework taken as a Graduate student that is below the 3000 level will be excluded from the student’s GPA. 
  • Impact on Standard 2 - Pace
    Graduate students receive degree credit on their transcript for completing coursework at the 3000-level or higher. For determining your PACE calculation, any courses attempted that are below the 3000-level will be considered "attempted" units, but not "completed" irrespective of your final grade. This will negatively impact your PACE calculation.
  • Impact on Standard 3 - Maximum Time Frame
    The maximum timeframe is calculated using the published minimum degree requirements. If undergraduate coursework is required to satisfy pre-requisites or program requirements, it is expected that it will be accomplished within the 150% maximum timeframe.

Be Aware: To receive graduate level financial aid in any term, students must be enrolled at least half-time (3 units for graduate degree students) in courses designated to meet the graduate degree requirements as specified in the catalog.

SAP Evaluation Frequency

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at the end of each semester – which includes Fall, Spring, and Summer.  The evaluation includes any student who has completed a FAFSA or California Dream Application, and is a cumulative review of all semesters regardless of whether or not the student received financial aid during a particular academic year. 

Students who fully meet all three standards are considered to be Meeting SAP.  Students who are not meeting the standards will lose their eligibility to receive financial aid.  A student who has lost eligibility may submit an appeal.

Students who have reached the Maximum Time Frame are immediately ineligible to receive additional financial aid assistance.  Students may appeal this ineligible status.  In addition, students who have been academically disqualified or suspended are not eligible to receive financial aid until formally reinstated to the University (and either meet the SAP Standards, or have an appeal of their status approved).

SAP Progress Definitions

The following definitions apply to terms used in this policy.

Financial Aid Warning status

Financial Aid Warning is a status assigned to a student the first time she fails to make satisfactory academic progress (under either the GPA or Pace Standard).  Students who are not meeting the GPA and/or Pace standard are first placed on Financial Aid Warning if their status was Meets SAP in the prior term.  A student on Financial Aid Warning will continue to receive financial aid for the next period of enrollment despite the determination that she was not making satisfactory academic progress.

At the end of the next period of enrollment, a student on Financial Aid Warning must meet all three SAP Standards to be deemed eligible for continued assistance.  A student who remedies her deficiency and is fully meeting the SAP Standards will be considered to be Meeting SAP again.  If the GPA or Pace Standard is still deficient, the student becomes ineligible for financial aid.  The student may appeal her ineligible status.  A student whose appeal is approved will be defined as on Financial Aid Probation, and may receive aid for the next term of enrollment.

Financial Aid Probation status

Probation Status is assigned to a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic progress and who successfully appeals.  Eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one semester/payment period only.

At the end of the financial aid probation semester the student must be meeting all three SAP Standards to be deemed eligible for continued assistance, or must successfully appeal the status – with the inclusion of an academic plan.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

A Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal is a process by which a student who is not meeting SAP Standards petitions for reconsideration of eligibility for financial aid funds.

Academic Plan

An Academic Plan, when followed, will ensure that you will meet SAP Standards by a specific time. 

If an appeal that includes an academic plan is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and continued aid eligibility will be monitored each semester based on the details of the plan. 

  • If the student continues to make progress based on the approved plan he will be considered to be Meeting SAP.
  • Failure to fully satisfy the approved plan will make the student ineligible for financial aid.

Once a student has failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress based on an approved plan, no further appeal opportunity is allowed.  Students can only regain financial aid eligibility if they complete additional coursework without the benefit of financial assistance which brings them in full compliance with the SAP Standards or the approved academic plan.

Notification of Status

All students are notified of the results of the Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation – regardless of their status.  In addition, students can view their SAP status at any time in Bronco Direct.

Regaining Eligibility

A student in an Ineligible status may regain eligibility as follows:

  • For students not meeting the GPA and/or Pace Standards, enroll without the benefit of financial aid assistance and complete coursework that improves your cumulative GPA and/or Pace of Completion rate to bring them in full compliance with the SAP Standards or the approved academic plan.
  • Submit a written appeal that is approved by CPP’s Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships SAP Committee.

Request to Have Satisfactory Academic Progress Recalculated

If adjustments have been made to the student’s academic record after their SAP status has been calculated, the student may request in writing that his or her SAP status be re-reviewed.  This may be necessary when:

  • Grades for the term were posted after SAP was calculated
  • Grade changes occur, including the resolution of a course incomplete
  • Transfer credit has been posted
  • A change of Academic Objective has occurred

SAP Appeal

When a student loses financial aid eligibility for failing to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, he or she may appeal the status.  An appeal must be based on extenuating circumstances.  Supporting documentation may be requested and/or required as part of a student’s appeal (depending on her circumstances).  Circumstances for appeals include, but are not limited to:

  • Illness, accident, or injury experienced by the student or a significant person in her life.
  • Death of a family member or significant person in the student’s life.
  • Divorce experienced by the student or her parent.
  • Significant trauma in the student’s life that impaired her emotional and/or physical health.
  • Other significant unexpected and documented circumstances beyond the student’s control.
  • Courses with a Grade of WX are included in the SAP calculation; however, course withdrawals for extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control (illness or other problems or a serious nature beyond the student’s control) can be excluded – if requested & documented in the student’s SAP Appeal.

Changes in major and double majors are not viewed as extenuating circumstances, since the standard is quite generous in the time frame allowed to complete a degree.

Taking Pre-Requisites for a program (classes required in order to be fully admitted to a program) is not viewed as an extenuating circumstance – as a student’s financial aid eligibility is tied to the published length of the program only – and students are only eligible to receive financial aid for those courses required as part of their program of study.

To appeal her failure to meet SAP due to any of these or similar personal issues, a student submits the Cal Poly Pomona SAP Appeal form (a direct link is provided in her email notification from our office). 

Appeals are reviewed by the SAP Committee (which consists of the Financial Aid Counseling Team) on a weekly basis.  Based on the volume of appeals received, the Committee may at times meet 2 – 3 times per week (typically during the first 2 – 3 weeks after SAP Notifications are sent out).

Appeal for Not Meeting GPA and/or Pace

When a student has not met the GPA and/or Pace Standard, his SAP Appeal must include an explanation statement which must contain the following:

  • Explanation of What Happened: Why the student was unable to make Satisfactory Progress
  • Explanation of What Has Changed: What has changed / what corrective measures the student has taken – or will take – to achieve and make satisfactory academic progress.

If the appeal occurs following a Financial Aid Probation semester, you must also include an Academic Plan which you will be required to adhere to.

Appeal for Exceeding Maximum Time Frame

When a student has exceeded the Maximum Time Frame, his SAP Appeal must include an explanation statement which must contain the following:

  • Explanation of What Happened: Why the student was unable to make Satisfactory Progress
  • Explanation of What Has Changed: What has changed / what corrective measures the student has taken – or will take – to achieve and make satisfactory academic progress.

In addition, the student must include a detailed plan showing how he will meet remaining program requirements.

When to Appeal

A student may submit a SAP Appeal and Academic Plan at any time, up to four weeks after the date they received their notification of financial aid disqualification (due to not meeting SAP).  Students are responsible for checking their email and responding to any additional requests for information / incomplete appeals by the stated deadline in the email.

If An Appeal Is Approved

If a SAP appeal is approved, the student will be put on Financial Aid Probation for one semester / payment period.  A student on Financial Aid Probation must meet all SAP Standards by the end of the probationary term, or will need to follow the specific details of an approved Academic Plan as specified in the approval communication.

Impact on the Disbursement of Financial Aid

Financial Aid regulations do not allow for the disbursement of any financial assistance for the next semester of enrollment until the campus can ensure that the student will be eligible to receive financial aid under the established SAP Standards.  As a result, a hold will be placed on the disbursement of financial aid for those students who are at risk of becoming ineligible.  This includes:

  • Students who are on Financial Aid Warning
  • Students who are on Financial Aid Probation
  • Students who are being monitored based on an Approved Academic Plan
  • Students who are approaching the Maximum Timeframe

Once grades are posted and SAP can be evaluated, the hold will be released for those deemed eligible.  The hold will not be released for those deemed ineligible until such time as an appeal is approved.

Due to the timing of grade submission for Spring and Summer terms, this will mean a delay in the release of funds past the beginning of the next term.  As a result, students in one of the statuses above during a spring term who are enrolled in the Summer term will have their Summer financial aid held until at least mid-June.  Students in one of the above statuses during a summer term will have their Fall financial aid held until at least mid-September.

If An Appeal is Denied

If a SAP Appeal is denied, the student will be eligible to continue to enroll and attend classes at Cal Poly Pomona; however she will be responsible for all charges, as she will not be eligible to receive financial aid (until meeting the SAP Standards).

Appeal of Denial

If a student’s appeal was denied and the student wishes to challenge the denial, they must provide a clearly written (typed) rationale for the challenge to the Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships.  The Associate Director will consult with the Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships, the Senior AVP of Enrollment Management & Services, and/or the Provost, as appropriate in responding to the appeal.

The deadline to submit a second level appeal is 14 calendar days from the date of the SAP ineligibility communication.

Students will receive a response from the Associate Director by email.  Be aware that this decision is final.  If the Associate Director renders a decision to uphold the denial, the student is not permitted to submit additional appeals until the next academic year.  The student may also regain eligibility for financial aid if their progress allows them to meet all three Satisfactory Academic Standards.

Treatment of Specific Courses in Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Repeat Coursework

If you repeat a course, credit hours for each registration will be added to a student’s attempted credit hours total.  However, only the most recent grade received in the course will be included in the calculation of the cumulative GPA/qualitative measure.

Note:  Federal Financial Aid will pay for only one repeat of a previously passed course.

Withdrawal from Courses (W)

If a student withdraws from a course during the semester, after the add/drop period (when a grade of W begins to be assigned), the course credit hours will be added to his attempted credit hours total.

Unofficial Withdrawal from Courses (WU)

If a student unofficially withdraws from a course during the semester, the course credit hours will be added to his attempted credit hours total.  Additionally, per CPP academic policy, the grade of WU is included in the calculation of the students GPA (as the equivalent of an F).

Retroactive Withdrawals (WX)

Courses with a Grade of WX are included in the SAP calculation; however, course withdrawals for extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control (illness or other problems or a serious nature beyond the student’s control) can be excluded – if requested & documented in the student’s SAP Appeal.   

Remedial (or Pre-Baccalaureatte) Courses

Credit hours for each remedial course a student takes are included in the calculation of attempted credit hours total in determining pace.  Remedial courses are not included in the calculation of the GPA nor the Maximum Time Frame standards. 

Incomplete Courses

Credit hours for incomplete courses are included in the calculation of a student’s attempted credit hours total, but not in the calculation of her GPA.  When a grade is updated, it will be included in the GPA calculation and passing grades will be counted as completed hours.

Transfer Credits

Credit hours transferred from other schools that are accepted toward completion of the Cal Poly Pomona program count as hours attempted and hours completed.  These are also factored into the Maximum Time Frame.

A maximum of 70 units of transferable credit from a 2-year institution will be counted based on CSU and CPP Policy.

Units from a 4 year institution are not limited to 70; however, transfer credit may be excluded by request if it cannot be used to meet any CPP Degree requirements (including general electives).

Audited Courses

Credits are not earned for audited courses.  Therefore they are not included in the calculation of a student’s attempted credit hours total or the GPA Standard.

Pass/Fail Courses

Credit hours for pass/fail courses are included in the calculation of a student’s attempted credit hours total, but not in the calculation of the GPA.

Report In Progress (RP)

The "RP" symbol is used in connection with courses that extend beyond one academic semester. The symbol indicates that work in progress has been evaluated as satisfactory to date but that the assignment of a precise grade must await the completion of additional coursework. 

Courses with a grade of RP will be treated as units attempted and completed in the student’s Pace Standard, but not in the calculation of the GPA.

Report Delayed (RD)

The "RD" symbol may be used where a delay in the reporting of a grade is due to circumstances beyond the control of the student. The symbol may be assigned by the Registrar's Office only and, if assigned, shall be replaced by a substantive grading symbol as soon as possible upon submission of a Grade Change Form.

Since no evaluation has been done as to the status of the coursework (satisfactory vs. unsatisfactory), courses with a grade of RD will be included in the calculation of a student’s attempted credit hours total (attempted but not completed), but not in the calculation of the GPA.

Undergraduate Courses at the Graduate Level

Undergraduate courses taken by graduate students do not earn graduate credit, and therefore, they are not included in the calculation of the GPA.  However, credit hours for the courses are included in the calculation of the student’s attempted credit hours total (counted as attempted but not completed).

Changing Majors

If a student changes majors, the credit hours taken under all majors will be included in the calculation of the attempted credit hours total, the GPA calculation and the maximum timeframe for degree completion.  The SAP Standards are not re-set due to a change in major.

The Department of Education has published regulations which impact students who repeat courses. Beginning July 1, 2011, students may only receive federal financial aid funding for one repetition of a previously passed course.

The Academic Senate Policy on Repetition of Coursework and the Financial Aid Policy differ in application. The Cal Poly Pomona Repetition of Courses Policy and Grade Forgiveness Policy do not apply when determining if the repeat coursework is eligible for financial aid.  The financial aid Repeat Coursework and Federal Financial Aid Eligibility policy is generally more restrictive, allowing less course repetition than the academic policy does.

Repeat Coursework and Federal Financial Aid Eligibility Policy

The Repeat Coursework & Federal Aid Eligibility policy applies to all schools in the nation whose students receive federal financial aid, including Cal Poly Pomona. Per the policy, students may only receive federal student financial aid for one repeat of a course they have already taken and passed. It is important to understand that in terms of this federal policy, a passing grade is considered to be a D- or higher, regardless of whether a student’s major requires him or her to pass the course with a grade of C or higher.

Units associated with courses students have not yet passed are included in the semester units eligible for financial aid consideration.

Students should remember, however, that failed coursework is calculated in the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) review at the end of each semester (payment period), and students are required to meet SAP standards to remain eligible for financial aid.

Repeat Policy Conditions

  • If a student repeats a course that is not eligible for financial aid, a recalculation of aid is completed at Census (after the Drop Period) to exclude the credits for the repeated course 
  • The policy applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course
  • All repeated courses are counted as attempted units for Satisfactory Academic Progress

What is a Passing Grade?

For financial aid, any grade higher than an “F” will be considered to have passed the course.
NOTE: This is regardless of any university or major program policy requiring a higher grade or measure for academic purposes.

  • Passing grades are: “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “CR” (Credit) or “Pass”
  • Not passing grades are: “NC” (No Credit), “I,” “W,” “WU,” “F”

Examples of repeated coursework that may, or may not, count for financial aid eligibility

 

Examples of repeated coursework that may, or may not, count for financial aid eligibility
Scenario 1st Attempt - Grade Received 2nd Attempt - Grade Received 3rd Attempt Is the 3rd Attempt Eligible for Federal Aid
Scenario 1 W D Enrolled Yes
Scenario 2 F D- Enrolled Yes
Scenario 3 D- C- Enrolled No
Scenario 4 D- F Enrolled No

Effect on Financial Aid Eligibility

A recalculation of financial aid eligibility is completed at Census.  A student’s eligibility for federal financial aid will be adjusted at Census if they are enrolled in a course that is not aid eligible.  A student may be required to repay a portion or all of their financial aid if it is determined that they are repeating a course for which they have already received a passing grade. Students are responsible for meeting payment deadlines established by the University whenever there is a balance due after recalculation.

All repeated courses affect financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations. A repeated course along with the original attempt must be counted as attempted units.

If, at any time during a semester, a student remains enrolled in only courses that are not eligible for federal financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will be required to perform a Return to Title IV aid (R2T4) calculation to determine the amount of federal aid the student earned, and the portion that must be returned to the federal student aid programs.

Each year the U.S. Department of Education (and California Student Aid Commission) selects a group of financial aid applicants for a process called Verification. This process requires each institution to verify (or confirm) the accuracy of specific information submitted on the financial aid application (FAFSA or California Dream Application). Not all students selected for verification will be requested to verify the same items.

In addition to those students selected by the U.S. Department of Education and the California Student Aid Commission, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at Cal Poly Pomona reserves the right to select additional students for verification at its discretion. This discretionary selection may be due to conflicting information or due to concerns that data may not be accurate or complete. The following policies and procedures for verifying information contained in a student aid application are in accordance with federal regulations 34 CFR 668.51-61 and the Federal Application and Verification Guide for Title IV Financial Aid Programs.

Notification and Communication 

When a student is selected for verification, they will be notified of the items required, acceptable documentation, a requested time frame to comply, and the consequences for not completing verification or submitting the documentation by the date specified.  The notification process follows: 

  1. The U.S. Department of Education (or California Student Aid Commission) will notify the student on their Student Aid Report if the student was selected by the governing agency. With this notification, the student is informed that the school will follow up with them for necessary documents.
  2. Cal Poly Pomona will provide email notification to the student that additional documents are required before their aid eligibility can be determined and their aid package finalized; the email contains information regarding the document submission deadline and the ramifications of missing the deadline. The student is prompted to refer to their MyCPP Self-Service To-Do List. The email notification to the student is generally sent within three business days from the time that notification is received from the application processor or selection is determined (the timeframe may be longer at the beginning of the processing cycle, October-December). 
  3. Cal Poly Pomona also provides secure 24/7 access to information showing verification documents requested for each student on the Financial Aid Student Forms Portal.
  4. As a courtesy, Cal Poly Pomona may contact students by email with an additional request for any outstanding documentation thirty days after the initial request.

Commonly Requested Verification Items & Documents 

The student aid agency (Federal Student Aid or California Student Aid Commission) will determine the type of verification for each student who is chosen. Based on which verification category a student falls into, documents required may include one, or more items.  Each student selected for verification will be notified of the specific requirements for him; commonly requested items include: 

  • Household size
  • Number enrolled in college (siblings or spouse; does not include parents in college)
  • Adjusted gross income (AGI)
  • U.S. income tax paid
  • Income earned from work
  • Tax Filing status
  • High school completion status
  • Identity and Educational Purpose
  • Assets
  • Additional Documents as determined by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships as part of the review process

Time Period for Providing Documents 

The priority deadline to submit verification documentation is April 26th for fall term and December 1st for students enrolled in the spring term only.  Submitting the required documentation by the priority deadline facilitates the office’s ability to verify all information, process financial aid, and post financial aid to the student’s account in a timely manner – prior to the beginning of the semester.  We cannot guarantee an on-time disbursement of aid for students who submit documentation after the priority deadline. If a student does not submit documentation by the published deadlines, they will be required to adhere to the University’s published tuition & fee payment deadlines. 

If a student provides verification documents after these due dates, the student’s eligibility will be reviewed, and financial aid will be awarded based on funds available at that time.  However, all verification documents must be submitted prior to the last day of the aid year in order to receive financial aid funds for that year.

All verification items must be submitted by whichever date is sooner:

  • within 120 days of the student’s last date of enrollment
  • by September 10, 2022 (for the 2021 – 2022 aid year)

Failure to provide required verification documents and all other supporting documents will result in forfeiture of aid for that award period.  If aid was previously released, it will be canceled and the student will owe back the funds.

Submitting documents after the student’s last date of enrollment may limit eligibility to only the Federal Pell Grant.

Consequences of Not Submitting Verification Information in a Timely Manner 

Funds from the financial aid programs will not be disbursed to a student’s account if the student is selected for verification and the verification process is not complete.   We cannot guarantee an on-time disbursement of aid for students who submit documentation after the stated deadline. If a student does not submit documentation by the published deadlines, they will be required to adhere to the University’s published tuition & fee payment deadlines. 

If a student provides verification documents after the deadline, the student’s eligibility will be reviewed, and financial aid will be awarded based on funds available at that time.  However, all verification documents must be submitted prior to the last day of the aid year in order to receive financial aid funds for that year.

If financial aid has already been disbursed and the student is subsequently selected for verification, any future disbursements are placed on hold until the documents are received and the process is complete. Failure to submit the required documentation will cause the student to lose eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid funds – including any funds that have already been released. 

Submitting documents after the student’s last date of enrollment may limit eligibility to only the Federal Pell Grant.

Conflicting Information 

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at Cal Poly Pomona may seek additional information whenever there is conflicting information in a student’s application for financial aid. Conflicting information must be resolved before financial aid funds may be processed and/or disbursed. The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will notify the student by email if there is a need for further documentation, in addition to adding the requested item(s) to the student’s To Do List.  A student who does not provide the requested documentation may lose financial aid eligibility.  Overpayments of federal and state aid, if they occur, are resolved with subsequent adjustments to the student’s account. If an adjustment cannot be made, Cal Poly Pomona will refer the overpayment to the appropriate federal agency. 

Correction of Information 

Cal Poly Pomona will submit the verified corrections to the U.S. Department of Education (or California Student Aid Commission) electronically. This will ensure that corrections are made accurately and that the student is notified of the appropriate corrections.  The student is responsible for updating any related applications such as private scholarship agencies. 

Referral Process 

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at Cal Poly Pomona will report any suspected fraud or falsified information on the part of the student, parent, or preparer of the FAFSA to the U.S. Department of Education (or California Student Aid Commission) as instructed in the Federal Financial Aid Handbook. 

Notification of Award Change 

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at Cal Poly Pomona will notify a student of the results of verification by preparing an Award Summary or a revised Award Summary and email notice that the Award Summary is ready to be viewed on MyCPP Self-Service. If corrections or changes to the students’ application have been sent electronically to either the U.S. Department of Education or the California Student Aid Commission, the student is notified of the changes by receiving a new Student Aid Report (SAR) from the application processor.

A federal or state drug conviction for possession, sale, or conspiring to sell illegal drugs can affect your eligibility to receive federal student financial aid (including grants, loans, and work study). The student self-certifies when applying for aid that they are eligible on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Convictions only count against student eligibility if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid.   Convictions that occur while a student is NOT receiving federal student aid do not count - unless the student was denied federal benefits for drug trafficking by a federal or state judge. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when a juvenile, unless tried as an adult.

If the offense occurs while you are receiving federal student financial aid, you will lose eligibility for federal student aid for a certain time period, depending on the conviction and whether you have previous convictions.

Penalties for Drug Convictions

The following outlines the periods of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for the sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses.  (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

Possession of Illegal Drugs:

  • First Offense: Ineligible to receive aid for 1 year from the date of conviction
  • Second Offense: Ineligible to receive aid for 2 years from the date of conviction
  • Third and Subsequent Offenses: Indefinite ineligibility from the date of conviction

Sale of Illegal Drugs:

  • First Offense: Ineligible to receive aid for 2 years from the date of conviction
  • Second and Subsequent Offenses: Indefinite ineligibility from the date of conviction

Possession AND Sale of illegal drugs

If convicted of both possessing and selling drugs, you will be ineligible for the longer of the time periods previously indicated.

Convictions that do not count

  • Unless tried as an adult, convictions received while a juvenile are not considered
  • Convictions that are reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record are not considered
  • Convictions that occur during periods when the student is not receiving federal student financial aid are not considered.

How to Regain Eligibility

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when they successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program that includes passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain eligibility after completing any of the following 3 options:

  • Successfully completing a rehabilitation program (as described below), which includes passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program
  • Successfully completing two unannounced drug tests which are part of a rehab program (the student does not have to complete the rest of the program).
  • Having the conviction 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 to Cal Poly Pomona that they have successfully completed the rehabilitation program.

When a student regains eligibility during the award year, Cal Poly Pomona may award the Pell Grant and Campus-based aid for the current payment period and Direct Loans for the period of enrollment.

Standards for a 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 require­ments:

  • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government program.
  • 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.

Convictions During Enrollment

According to the United States Department of Education, if you are convicted of a drug offense after receiving Federal aid, you must notify the Financial Aid Department immediately and you will be ineligible for further aid and required to pay back all aid received after the conviction.

A federal or state drug conviction for possession, sale, or conspiring to sell illegal drugs can affect your eligibility to receive federal student financial aid (including loans, grants, and work study).

If the offense occurs while you are receiving federal student financial aid, you will lose eligibility for federal student aid for a certain time period, depending on the conviction and whether you have previous convictions.

Drug and Alcohol Policy at Cal Poly Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona’s  policies on alcohol and other drugs can be found on the Cal Poly Pomona Administrative Policies website, as well as on the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) Advisory Council website.

Additional Resources

Because we administer federal financial aid funds, we must have a written policy regarding financial aid recipients who withdraw or otherwise fail to complete the term for which they received financial aid.

Federal financial aid is governed by Chapter IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and administered by the U.S. Department of Education. This federal law, also known as Title IV, holds Cal Poly Pomona accountable for the funds it disburses. According to regulations, the University must have a written policy regarding Title IV recipients who withdraw or otherwise fail to complete the term for which their financial aid was disbursed. This policy addresses the establishment of a withdrawal date, post-withdrawal disbursements, and the calculation of the amount of funds to be returned to the federal government by Cal Poly Pomona and by you, the student.

The following provides a full explanation of the terms and policies regarding withdrawal, refunds, and repayment.

Date of Withdrawal

The date of withdrawal is determined by the date the student began the official withdrawal process by notifying Student Records and Registration of their intent to withdraw, or the verifiable date the student attempted to drop all classes, or was administratively withdrawn by the University.  The official withdrawal process begins with the Registrar’s Office; details and forms are available through their website.  Students are encouraged to review the information on withdrawals from the Office of Student Success and to speak with the Bronco Advising Center prior to initiating the withdrawal process.  Cal Poly Pomona’s official withdrawal policy is fully stated under Enrollment Services Policies in the University Catalog.

Unofficial Withdrawal

A student who ceases to attend without officially withdrawing is considered an unofficial withdrawal. In the absence of an official withdrawal date, the midpoint of the semester will be used to calculate earned and unearned Title IV aid. Financial aid recipients who are unofficial withdrawals may reduce or eliminate the amount owed to the University if they can provide documentation of a later withdrawal date.

According to the University’s grading policy, the WU grade symbol represents “withdrawal unauthorized,” and indicates that an enrolled student did not officially withdraw from the course and also failed to complete course requirements. The WU grade is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities, or both, are insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. It is also used to identify students who did not officially withdraw from the course, but ceased attending class and doing class work prior to the deadline date for official withdrawals, which is the end of the 12th week. For the purpose of GPA computation, this symbol is equivalent to an F.  In cases of documented emergency withdrawal, this unofficial withdrawal procedure may be waived. 

Institutional Refund Policy

The state refund policy maintains that students must officially drop all classes before the first day of classes for the term, to receive full financial credit of their registration fees and tuition (if applicable) and a full refund (less an administrative fee). A student who drops all classes on or after the first day of the term up to the 60 percent point of the semester will receive a pro-rata financial credit of registration fees and tuition (if applicable). If classes are dropped or a student withdraws after the 60 percent point of the semester, there will be no financial credit of fees. Students who are unable to continue a class due to compulsory military service are granted exception to this policy. Financial Aid students who withdraw prior to the first day of classes are not eligible for any financial aid and will be required to repay any aid received. 

Review the full Cal Poly Pomona policy regarding Refund of Tuition and Mandatory Fees, Including Nonresident Tuition.

Calculation of Earned and Unearned Title IV Aid

Both Title IV aid recipients who complete the official withdrawal process or have decided to unofficially withdraw from Cal Poly Pomona, will be subject to a pro-rata calculation of earned federal aid based on the withdrawal date and the requisite return of Title IV funds to the appropriate accounts. Responsibility for repayment of these funds will be shared by Cal Poly Pomona and the student according to the federal formula for pro-rata refunds of unearned Title IV aid.

The portion of unearned Title IV funds that the student and Cal Poly Pomona must repay is calculated by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The percentage of earned Title IV funds, excluding Federal Work-Study, is based on the number of calendar days you completed before withdrawing, divided by the number of calendar days in the semester. Official breaks in enrollment of five consecutive calendar days or more are excluded from the number of calendar days in the semester. No repayment of Title IV funds will be required for withdrawals occurring after the 60 percent point of the semester. After this point, Title IV aid is considered 100 percent earned.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

Determination of eligible post-withdrawal disbursement will be made by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Treatment of Unearned Title IV Aid

Unearned Title IV funds will be returned to their source in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal SEOG Grant
  7. Other Title IV programs, as applicable

Federal Work-Study funds paid to recipients will not be included in the computation of earned Title IV aid, nor will these funds be refunded to the federal account from which they were paid.

Unearned Title IV grant and loan funds due from Cal Poly Pomona will be repaid to the federal accounts for the specified semester. Unearned portions of Title IV grant aid due from you will also be repaid to the federal accounts by Cal Poly Pomona. According to this policy, all repayments made by Cal Poly Pomona will be charged to your student account for collection from you.

Treatment of Non-Title IV Aid

Recipients of non-Title IV financial aid who withdraw from all their classes prior to the completion of 60 percent of the term will have a prorated portion of the total amount of aid received from those sources applied back to the accounts from which they were awarded. The prorated portion of aid to be credited back will be determined according to the same policy used within the institutional refund policy.

Refunds to the accounts will be made in the following order:

  1. Cal Grants
  2. State University Grant (SUG)
  3. Educational Opportunity Program Grant (EOPG)
  4. Institutional Scholarships including Grants-in-Aid

Aid received from private sources external to the University will not be subject to this policy. Also see Student Accounting & Cashiering Services for additional information on refunds.

Federal and state regulations require that you have the right to know certain information as a financial aid recipient. We are also required to inform you of your responsibilities in applying for and accepting aid.

You have the right to know

  • What financial aid programs are available at Cal Poly Pomona.
  • The application deadlines for each of the available programs.
  • The cost to attend Cal Poly Pomona (including fees, books, room/board, personal expenses, and transportation).
  • Your application will be evaluated using the same system of need analysis applied to all students.
  • How your financial aid was determined, including what resources (such as assets, earnings, parental contribution, etc.) were considered in the calculation of your expected family contribution (EFC).
  • What portion of your calculated financial need will be met.
  • How much of your financial aid is loan and how much is grant. If the award is a loan, you have the right to know the amount which must be repaid, the interest rate, the amount of each payment, the length of time you have to repay, and when repayment will begin.
  • How your financial aid will be disbursed.
  • The financial aid refund and repayment policy.
  • How the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress, and what happens if you are not.
  • There are lifetime limits on various aid sources.
  • The information pertaining to your financial aid is kept confidential.
  • You have the right to receive a full and clear explanation of financial aid decisions. You may appeal decisions if you disagree with them.

You have the responsibility to

  • Complete all applications and forms
  • Comply with all financial aid application deadlines.
  • Provide correct information. Misrepresented information on financial aid applications and forms is a violation of federal law and may be considered a criminal offense.
  • Read and understand all documents you are asked to sign and keep copies for your records.
  • Accept responsibility for all agreements you sign.
  • Return any additional documentation and new information requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
  • Notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships if you drop below full-time enrollment during any semester. Full-time enrollment is 12 units for undergraduates & credential students and 6 units for graduates.
  • Notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of increases in resources available to you, including scholarships, income, assets, parental contribution, and other benefits.
  • Seek advice from a tax professional to determine if any portion of grants, fellowships, or scholarships are considered taxable income.
  • Register with Selective Service when required to do so.
  • Complete Loan Entrance Counselingand an electronic Master Promissory Note if you are a first-time borrower of a Federal Direct Student Loan at Cal Poly Pomona.
  • Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement each year you wish to borrow a federal student loan.
  • Complete on–line Loan Exit Counselingbefore you graduate, transfer, or withdraw from Cal Poly Pomona, if you have borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan.

When you accept Federal Work-Study (FWS), it is your responsibility to

When you are hired for a FWS job you must

  • Be sure the necessary employee hiring forms are completed.
  • Adhere to the arranged work schedule.
  • Correctly report the hours you work.
  • Keep track of your fall semester earnings to be sure you do not earn more than half of your academic year award in the fall semester.
  • Carefully monitor your earnings so you don’t exceed your award for the academic year.

The Cal Poly Pomona Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships is a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).  Additionally, members of our staff belong to the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA) and the California Associated of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA).

Staff in the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships have always attempted to act in the best interest of our students and their families. In response to mandates outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, we have adopted the CSU Code of Conduct to define our relationship with student loan providers.  Additionally, all of our actions are bound by NASFAA's Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals:

NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles

The primary goal of the financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational goals through financial support and resources. NASFAA members are required to exemplify the highest level of ethical behavior and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism. The following guidelines were last updated by NASFAA's Board of Directors in November 2017.

We, financial aid professionals, declare our commitment to the following Statement of Ethical Principles.

Financial aid administrators shall:

Advocate for students 

  • Remain aware of issues affecting students and continually advocate for their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
  • Support federal, state and institutional efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school. 

Manifest the highest level of integrity 

  • Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
  • Deal with others honestly and fairly, abiding by our commitments and always acting in a manner that merits the trust and confidence others have placed in us.
  • Protect the privacy of individual student financial records.
  • Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.

Support student access and success 

  • Commit to removing financial barriers for those who want to pursue postsecondary learning and support each student admitted to our institution.
  • Without charge, assist students in applying for financial aid funds.
  • Provide services and apply principles that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
  • Understand the need for financial education and commit to educate students and families on how to responsibly manage expenses and debt.

Comply with federal and state laws 

  • Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations governing federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
  • Actively participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education programs to ensure ample understanding of statutes, regulations, and best practices governing the financial aid programs.
  • Encourage colleagues to participate in the financial aid professional associations available to them at the state, regional, or national level and offer assistance to other aid professionals as needed.

Strive for transparency and clarity  

  • Provide our students and parents with the information they need to make good decisions about attending and paying for college.
  • Educate students and families through quality information that is consumer-tested when possible. This includes (but is not limited to) transparency and full disclosure on award notices.
  • Ensure equity by applying all need-analysis formulas consistently across the institution's full population of student financial aid applicants.
  • Inform institutions, students, and parents of any changes in financial aid programs that could affect their student aid eligibility.
  • Strive to ensure that cost of attendance components are developed using resources that represent realistic expenses.

Protect the privacy of financial aid applicants 

  • Ensure that student and parent private information provided to the financial aid office by financial aid applicants is protected in accordance with all state and federal statutes and regulations, including FERPA and the Higher Education Act, Section 483(a)(3)(E) (20 U.S.C. 1090).
  • Protect the information on the FAFSA from inappropriate use by ensuring that this information is only used for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions.

Refer to NASFAA's Code of ConductEnforcement Procedures, as well as the Ethical Principles, Code of Conduct and Enforcement Procedures Q&A for more information about NASFAA's ethical guidelines and how they are enforced. 

NASFAA Publication Date: 11/21/2017

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of August 14, 2008 includes provisions that campuses participating in Title IV programs publish a code of conduct which describes prohibited practices related to loan programs.

To avoid any conflict of interest in the area of student lending, all staff members of the Cal Poly Pomona Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships adhere to the guidelines outlined in the CSU Code of Conduct. 

The CSU Code of Conduct prohibits the following:

  • Revenue sharing arrangements with any lender.
  • The solicitation or acceptance of gifts from a lender, guarantor or servicer by anyone with responsibilities with respect to loans at the institution.
  • Receipt of any fees, payments or other financial benefits (including a stock purchase option) by anyone with responsibilities with respect to loans from a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  • The assignment of a first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender or refusing to certify or otherwise delay certification of any loan regardless of the lender or guaranty agency the borrower selects.
  • The acceptance of any funds to be used for private education loans in exchange for the institution providing concessions to the private lender. 
  • Requesting or accepting assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing from any lender.
  • Any employee with responsibilities with respect to financial assistance at the institution who serves on an advisory board or commission of a lender or guarantor may not accept anything of value from the lender or guarantor except reimbursement for the reasonable expenses of serving on the board or commission.

For detailed information please refer to the Student Lending Code of Conduct (pdf) that applies to all CSU campuses.