Know all the policies related to your eligibility for aid, including GPA requirements, unit requirements, and more.
The Policy Guide contains all important information regarding your eligibility for financial aid. You should keep your Financial Aid Policy Guide to reference throughout your four years at Oxy.
Student Financial Aid Agreement
By accepting financial aid, you agree to the following:
- I have the responsibility to re-apply for financial aid by March 2nd of every year.
- I have the right to an explanation of my financial aid eligibility.
- I agree to report, in writing, to the Financial Aid Office any changes in my financial, marital, academic, or residential status, or funds and support I receive from any source.
- I understand that any change in my status may result in a reduction of my aid offer and may require repayment of any financial aid.
- I understand that Occidental College reserves the right to modify my financial aid offer(s) at any time due to changes in my federal, state, or institutional eligibility.
- I have the responsibility to use financial aid funds for education-related expenses only.
- I am aware that to continue to receive assistance, I must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined in the Financial Aid Policy Guide and the Occidental College Course Catalog.
- I agree to complete all procedures for any loans that have been offered. I also agree to complete exit counseling for loans advanced to me, prior to graduation or withdrawal. Failure to do so will allow Occidental College to withhold records and/or my diploma.
- I have the responsibility to repay student loans. Failure to do so will allow Occidental College to withhold my student records and/or diploma.
- I understand that the College may directly apply awards to my student account.
- I agree to have my Cal Grant B Stipend (if eligible) credited to my student account. I understand that if I need assistance with room, board, books, or living expenses, I should consult with the Financial Aid Office.
- I have a responsibility to respond to requests from the Financial Aid Office, federal, state, and college auditors in a timely manner.
- I have the right to privacy. All information submitted to the Financial Aid Office will be treated as confidential as prescribed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Consent for Release of Information
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and to ensure your privacy, no account will be discussed with another person (this includes non-custodial parents, guardians, or other family members), without written consent from the student and (if applicable) the custodial parent.
It is the policy of Occidental College that all applicants will receive equal consideration and treatment without regard to race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, or sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission and access to, treatment of, and employment in, College programs and activities, including but not limited to, academic admission, financial aid, educational services, and student employment.
Release of Financial Aid History Policy
Once you leave/graduate from the College, the Financial Aid Office will store your financial aid file for seven years after the date you cease to be enrolled. Electronic records of your file will remain in our computer database. Our computer database dates back to academic year 2004-2005.
Financial aid history will only be released:
- To the student, if the student has provided a written request and proof of identity
- To a third party (often an FBI Special Agent), if they have a written request from the student. In this case the third party’s credentials (badge/shield and/or photo identification) are also verified before information is released.
These requests will be reviewed by an assigned member of the Financial Aid Office staff. If the FAO staff member needs to determine whether the student has defaulted on any federal loan or owes a repayment on a federal grant, the FAO will need to access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Due to the privacy issues involved with NSLDS, access is limited to three people at Occidental College:
- Assistant Controller for Student Business Services (Federal Perkins Loan Coordinator)
- Assistant Director Financial Aid (Loan Coordinator)
- Director of Financial Aid (as back-up)
Access to NSLDS is limited to the release of a financial aid history as is noted above. It is never to be used for personal reasons. Due to the privacy issues involved with this database, users must limit their use to an “as needed" basis and never share NSLDS User IDs or passwords. Violating any section of this policy is a serious system security offense. Repeated system security violations will cause a permanent user revocation on the NSLDS System. In addition, a notice will be put in the Occidental College staff member’s employment file and repeated violation could lead to termination of employment.
|Federal SAP Policy||Institutional SAP Policy|
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Federal Work Study
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Oxy Need-Based Scholarships
Oxy Opportunity Grants
Occidental Merit Scholarships
Occidental Donor Funded Scholarships
Oxy Work Award
Oxy No Interest Loan
Oxy Low Interest Loan
*The Cal Grant program is a state funded grant that follows federal SAP requirements unless when specifically stated.
Qualitative and Quantitative Requirements
Both the federal and institutional policies require that a student make qualitative (grade-based) and quantitative (time-based) progress toward their degree each semester.
|Requirement||Federal SAP Policy||Institutional SAP Policy|
|Qualitative (grade-based) Requirement||
Must earn a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of each semester
|Must earn a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of each semester|
|Quantitative (time-based) Requirement||
Must complete a total of 12 units each semester.
Must complete a total of 16 units each semester.
Pace of Progression & Maximum Timeframe Requirements
|Federal SAP Policy||Institutional SAP Policy|
|Maximum Semesters of Eligibility||12 semesters*||8 semesters|
|Maximum Timeframe Requirement||
Must complete a minimum of 12 units per semester and 128 units by the end of your 12th semester.
|Must complete a minimum of 16 units each semester and earn a total of 128 units by the end of your 8th semester.|
|Pace of Progression Requirement||
Must have a cumulative pace of progression rate of 67%.
|Must have a cumulative pace of progression rate of 67%.|
|Transfer Student Eligibility||
Transfer student eligibility is based on the total number of semesters used by all institutions. This means that a student who used federal aid for 4 semesters at another institution can only receive 8 semesters of federal aid at Occidental.
In addition, the Federal Pell Grant & Federal Direct Loan programs each have maximum eligibility criteria separate from the 12 semester timeframe. For more information, please visit www.studentaid.gov
Transfer student eligibility is pro-rated based on the number of units transferred at the time of admission. This means that a student who enters as a first semester sophomore is eligible for 6 semesters of institutional aid.
*For Cal Grant eligibility, a student can receive a maximum of 8 semesters. Cal Grant eligibility will be pro-rated for transfer students based on the year-in-school certified by Occidental at the time of admission.
How Courses are Counted
The following outlines how certain courses and grades affect the SAP requirements listed above.
- Attempted courses are those for which you are officially enrolled after the last date to drop courses.
- All attempted course count toward the maximum timeframe.
- All courses count in calculating a student’s academic progress, including any for which the student did not receive financial aid.
- Audited courses do not count in the calculation of attempted courses as no units are earned.
- Courses taken on a credit/no credit basis count toward the total number of attempted courses.
- Course credit by examination is counted as an attempted course.
- Credit for incomplete courses will not count as an attempted course until the course has been completed or the Occidental College Registrar has posted a grade.
- Withdrawals showing as a W on your academic transcript are counted as attempted courses.
- If a student does not receive a passing grade for a course and chooses to repeat the course, the course may be repeated for credit. Both the original course and the repeated course will be considered as attempted for the purposes of determining SAP.
- If a student receives a passing grade for a course and chooses to repeat the course, the repeated course does not count as course completed and does not contribute to maintaining SAP. The units for the repeated course are not counted, unless the repeated course is identified as “repeatable" on the Course Catalog.
- Repeating a course does not remove the original course from the academic transcript.
- Both the grade for the original course and the repeated course will be posted and will calculate into the student’s GPA.
- Transfer credits from another institution accepted by Occidental College are counted when measuring the maximum timeframe to complete the degree.
- Occidental does not accept for credit any transfer grades lower than 2.0. Consult the Occidental College Course Catalog for information on how transfer credits are evaluated.
Frequency of SAP Notice
Failure to Meet SAP
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