General Financial Aid Information

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for knowing and understanding the criteria for financial aid eligibility. This includes, but is not limited to, enrollment status, continuation of institutional scholarships, Satisfactory Academic Progress status, the Return of Title IV Funds and complete withdrawal policy, student loan history and repayment options/plans, etc. We strongly encourage students to carefully read all correspondence. Important documents such as tax returns, scholarship agreements, financial aid offers, loan paperwork, etc. should be stored in a safe and easily accessible location. Students are encouraged to ask questions of and visit with the Financial Aid Office directly regarding matters of financial aid. Students are expected to monitor their Science & Arts student email account. The student email account is the primary method of contact regarding financial aid correspondence. Keep all sensitive information such as user IDs, passwords, and security questions private. Do not disclose personal information to other individuals, including the FSA ID for federal student aid.

Class Attendance Policy for Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

Class attendance is essential for student success and federal financial aid eligibility. Federal, State, and Institutional aid eligibility is based on final enrollment at the end of the designated add/drop period of each term. Federal aid and cost of attendance calculations also require that the courses be degree eligible. A student who does not begin attendance in some or all classes may result in a change in enrollment status. Aid eligibility is adjusted accordingly and may be reduced or canceled. A student is considered to have begun attendance in all classes if the student attends at least one day of class for each degree eligible course. A student is considered not to have begun attendance in any class in which the school is unable to document that attendance. Faculty monitors and reports attendance and non-attendance for all classes to the Financial Aid Office at the end of the first two weeks of each term. Federal Pell Grant is adjusted for and is not disbursed for non-attended classes. Attendance in online courses requires active engagement in the course and is not satisfied by signing in only. It is the student’s responsibility to attend class and/or contact the professor regarding arranged courses or extenuating circumstances that prohibit attendance within the first two weeks of each term to establish proof of attendance.

Financial Aid Disbursements

The process of disbursing financial aid varies for each program. Science & Arts Financial Aid begins this process as soon as possible after the designated last day to drop classes for each term.

After an enrollment audit is complete and verification of eligibility is confirmed, the first type of aid applied is scholarship waivers. This includes tuition, student fee, room, and meal plan waivers. Waivers are not the same as cash scholarships funded by Foundation or Alumni Scholarship resources. Completion of waiver disbursements is usually within 3-4 weeks, or earlier, after the start of each term.

Federal Direct Loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, and PLUS) for most students are disbursed after scholarship waivers. Completion of Master Promissory Notes and appropriate Loan Counseling are required for Direct Loan disbursements. First time freshmen borrowers will not receive a Federal Direct Loan disbursement until 30 days of their first term are completed. See also “William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program”.

Federal Grants require confirmation of attendance from faculty. See also “Class Attendance Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility”. Disbursement of federal Pell, IASG, CFHS, and SEOG is made after faculty attendance reports are reviewed, usually 2-4 weeks, or earlier, after the start of each term. Disbursement of state OTAG is also within this time frame.

Oklahoma’s Promise requires an eligibility claim to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. This claim is submitted by the end of the third week of classes. Disbursement is made after Science & Arts receives the approved funding from the State for the submitted eligibility claim. Processing time for the State varies, but is usually available 6-7 weeks, or earlier, after the start of each term.

Institutional Foundation and Alumni Scholarships require purchase order requests to the appropriate offices. These scholarships are disbursed after the appropriate offices provide the requested funding to the Bursar’s Office. These scholarships are normally available 6-7 weeks, or earlier, after the start of each term.

Federal Work-Study pay is processed on a bi-weekly basis and is issued directly to the student. See also “Federal Work-Study Program”.

Outside aid (private sector scholarships, tribal funds, etc.) disbursements are made as soon as possible after the receipt of the funds from the source, after the designated last day to drop classes for each term.

Students eligible for a refund from any aid program, except Federal Work-Study, will receive payments according to how they request refunds within their MyUSAO preferences. Questions regarding billing and refund eligibility should be directed to the Bursar’s Office.

Late applications or students requiring additional documentation for the aid program will not receive disbursement of that program’s funds until all required documentation is received and processed, and eligibility is confirmed. Late aid disbursements are processed as soon as possible. Applications still incomplete at the end of each term may not be eligible for late disbursements after the last day of the term.

Study Abroad

A student’s enrollment in a program of study abroad, that is approved for credit by Science & Arts, may be considered as enrollment at Science & Arts for the purpose of applying for Title IV assistance.

Consortium Agreements

Science & Arts does not participate as the home school in consortium agreements with other institutions regarding student enrollment for federal financial aid eligibility unless there is an established shared program between the institutions for a specific degree program.

Scholarship Eligibility Exception Requests

Students at Science & Arts must meet certain conditions and/or requirements to receive and maintain institutional scholarships. These requirements differ for each scholarship and may require the student to sign a scholarship agreement acknowledging they have received and understand the conditions and/or maintenance requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to know and understand all requirements associated with their scholarship.

Eligibility for the continuation of scholarships is evaluated at the end of each spring and/or summer term. If a student is unable to meet the continuation and/or maintenance requirements, the scholarship is not included in or is removed from the aid package. If this occurs, the student may request an exception for reinstatement. To request an exception, complete the Scholarship Exception Form and submit it with documentation of extenuating circumstances to the Science & Arts Financial Aid Office. The request must be received in the Financial Aid Office no later than the last day to add for the term a request for exception is for.

Examples of possible extenuating circumstances:

1. Being called to active military service.

2. Health conditions or events beyond the control of the student which prevent a student from attending or completing classes.

3. Selection for an educational program off-campus that enhances the student’s education beyond what is available at Science & Arts. Examples may include international study through a consortium agreement; internships; research opportunities; etc.

4. A need to receive meal plan portion of scholarship while commuting to campus (only for academic scholarships that include meal plan benefits for on campus living).

5. Other extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Requests for scholarship exceptions are reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. All approved exceptions will be for one term, unless otherwise specified. The student will be expected to maintain and achieve scholarship requirements and conditions in the approved term. If after the approved term the student still does not meet expected eligibility, the student will need to appeal for each additional term in which they wish to have an exception made for them. Students will be notified within 30 days of submitting all requested documentation if their request for an exemption is approved or denied.

Scholarship exception forms can be downloaded on the Financial Aid Policies & Procedures Page or obtained from the Financial Aid Office.

Student Employment

A student employee (or “student worker”) is an individual admitted and attending the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma (Science & Arts) and whose primary goal and function is to be a student. Individuals who do not meet these criteria are not student employees. Example: An individual whose primary role is a worker (full- time or full-time/part-time) but is also a student, does not fall into the category of student worker.

The following are not eligible to be student employees:

• Incoming students who have not yet begun classes, expelled and non-degree seeking students.

• Suspended students may not be student employees during the period of suspension.

• Student athletes may be student employees outside of the context of their participation in their intercollegiate sport. They are not student employees as intercollegiate athletes.

• Students who are ineligible for federal financial aid are prohibited from working through federal work-study under any circumstance.

Termination of student status automatically terminates student employment

Types of Employment

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

The Federal Work-Study Program or “Work-Study” is a federally funded work program which provides employment to eligible students with financial need, helping them to earn money to pay educational expenses. To be considered for work-study, students must have a valid FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file, have demonstrated financial need, and be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Student workers who are eligible for work-study will receive an updated Financial Aid offer from the Financial Aid Office once they have been hired by a work-study supervisor.

Additional information on work-study can be found by visiting

Part-Time as Needed

Part-Time as Needed (part time) positions are funded by the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma individual departments budgets. These positions are available to student employees who are either not eligible for work-study or for which there is no work-study position available.

Additional information about Part-Time as Needed positions can be found by visiting