Important Information for You to Know
Like any other type of investment, studying abroad requires advance planning, careful management, creativity, and perseverance. Students may use financial aid funds to study abroad; however careful planning is essential. Most St. Catherine’s financial aid is awarded on a semester basis.
Applying for Financial Aid for Study Abroad
Carefully review the following information and feel free to visit with a Financial Aid counselor.
- Apply for financial aid for the year you wish to study abroad. All applicants must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for federal and state financial aid and a St. Catherine University Financial Aid Application to be considered for institutional aid. The FAFSA is available each October. Please apply by April 1 for priority consideration for funding for the following school year and promptly respond to any request for additional information.
- Indicate your enrollment plans for each term on the St. Catherine Financial Aid Application. A semester student should indicate the term(s) she will be abroad as well as her anticipated credit load for Fall semester, January term, and Spring semester. If you decide to study abroad AFTER you have submitted your financial aid application to the University, notify the financial aid office, in writing, of the changes.
- Inform the Financial Aid Office, in writing, of your anticipated expenses for each term. Obtain this form from the Financial Aid Office.
- Accept or Decline the funds awarded to you on the Financial Aid Award Notice and follow the instructions to obtain each type of fund that you accept. Awards are prepared in late spring and continue on a rolling basis throughout the summer. Allow 8 to 12 weeks after your completed application is received for your award to be prepared. If you decide to study abroad AFTER you've received your award, you must request that the Financial Aid office review your application for a revision. They will prepare a revision 4-6 weeks after receiving your request and your note informing them of the changes in your enrollment plans for the year.
- Inform the Financial Aid Office of the receipt of any external scholarship funds you have received from your study abroad program.
- Meet with a Financial Aid counselor to discuss the specific steps you must take to receive each fund awarded to you.
- Tuition Remission and Student Employment funds are not portable and cannot be used to defray the costs of a study abroad program.
- Meet with the Student Accounts Office to make arrangements where to send any funds that will be directly credited to your student account. Funds can be sent to your program, to you, or to your parents.
- Financial aid packets for the following school year will be available in December. Remember to re-apply by the April 1 priority date.
Steps to Take to Receive Funding
After you receive your financial aid award you must meet with a Financial Aid counselor to review the steps you take to receive all funds offered to you. You will be considered for federal, state, and institutional funds Complete the loan application process at least 3 months before you leave the country. You must make arrangements to sign your check(s) or grant power of attorney to someone else to do this for you.
Federal Perkins and/or Nursing Loan
Contact Trina Bartok in the Student Accounts Office to sign the required promissory note BEFORE you leave the country.
Student Educational Loan Fund (SELF)
Complete the loan application process at least 3 months before you leave the country. You must leave a signed, notarized SELF Power of Attorney form with the Financial Aid Office.
Working abroad under no circumstances should students plan on earning essential income while studying abroad. While it may be legally possible to work for pay in some countries with a student visa, there is virtually no way of ensuring a position before departure or once abroad.
Tuition Remission The employee benefit of tuition remission does not apply to abroad programs, including: • All St. Kate’s semester, short term and summer programs • All affiliate semester, yearlong and summer programs • All UMAIE sponsored programs. Exception: For semester embedded short term programs, tuition remission is only applicable to the on campus portion of tuition.
Students must pay the program fee which is in addition to tuition. If a student attends St. Catherine’s on tuition remission as the result of participation in the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC) or Catholic College Cooperative Tuition Exchange Program (CCCTE) [i.e, a parent works at one of the eligible institutions], the same rules of tuition remission apply: it does not apply to study abroad. Students who study abroad on an overseas program sponsored by the tuition remission exchange institution where their parents work (i.e., ACTC or CCCTE) may be able to make arrangements directly with the sponsoring institution to receive tuition remission. The granting of tuition remission is up to the sponsoring institution.
Students are responsible for reviewing individual program information to know exactly what is and what is not included in the program fee. Students are responsible for paying all program fees, including application fee, initial deposit, and all onsite costs. Students may apply financial aid to affiliate program fees.
- Application fee (if required): students pay the program application fee at the time of application
- Initial program deposit (if required): students pay this deposit directly to the affiliate program once they are accepted to the program. A deposit is usually required to hold a student’s place in the program, and is often non-refundable. Deposits are usually in the range of $300-$500.
- Program fee balance: students are responsible for making payment to their program by the program’s payment deadlines. For using financial aid funds, a student must give the Office of Student Accounts a copy of the program invoice plus completed copy of the “Financial Aid/Student Billing Agreement” in order for Student Accounts to forward applicable financial aid to the program on the students’ behalf.
St. Catherine University Fees
The following fees will be charged to all students applying for affiliate programs. Students participating in affiliate programs do not pay any tuition fees to St. Catherine University.
All students will pay a $30 non-refundable application fee, due at the time of application.
Study Abroad Administrative Fee
A study abroad administrative fee is charged for all study abroad programs, guaranteeing the posting of credit, keeping a student’s records up-to-date, and allowing St. Catherine’s to forward financial aid funds to the program and to bill the student’s account. The fee is $250 for the first semester; $100 for the second consecutive semester; and $150 for summer programs. The study abroad administrative fee will be forfeited for any student who cancels or returns early from their program after their account has been billed.
Student Technology Fee
All students are also charged a St. Catherine University technology fee of $175 each semester and during the summer if registered for summer credit.
Cancellation Fees and Refunds
Students are responsible for knowing the cancellation policies for their programs. Review carefully any program information on cancellation and refund policies. Students are responsible for financial aid payments made to the program on their behalf. Notice of cancellation from a program must be submitted in writing to the Office of Global Studies, 305 Derham Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org. Students are subject to the cancellation policy of their program sponsor. Depending on the date of cancellation, and especially if cancellation occurs near the departure date or after the program begins, the entire program fee may be forfeited. Cancellations due to medical emergencies or U.S. government shut down (such as passport offices) do not guarantee a full refund, and in some cases, may involve no refund.
Federal Refund Policy (Title IV Funds 34 CFR 668.22)
The Return of Title IV Funds Policy applies to any student who receives federal Title IV funding and withdraws or ceases to be enrolled prior to the end of a payment period. The withdrawal process is defined as occurring when a student notifies the school, in written or oral form, of his or her intent to withdraw. Whether or not notification is given or whether or not the student begins the withdrawal process, the school will determine the date of withdrawal as the date the student ceased attendance. The Return of Title IV formula determines the amount of Title IV funds a student has earned at the time the student ceases attendance and the amount of Title IV funds a student must return.
The amount of Title IV funds earned by a student is based on the amount of time spent in attendance by the student for that term. The amount of Title IV funds a student earns is a proportional calculation based on the amount of time the student attends school through 60% of the term. If a student ceases to attend school after 60% of the term, the student earns 100% of the Title IV funds. If an unofficial withdrawal is determined (all failing and/or non credit grades), the 50% date of the term is used as the last date of attendance to calculate refunds. The University does not require that faculty take attendance, but in lieu of the 50% date, the University may use the last date of reported attendance when available, according to federal policy.
If the amount of Title IV grant or loan funds disbursed is greater than the amount a student earned, unearned funds must be returned. If the amount the student was disbursed is less than the amount the student earned, the student is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement in the amount of the earned aid not received but otherwise eligible.
If it is determined that unearned Title IV funds must be returned, the responsibility is allocated between the school and the student. The responsibility as to who will return the unearned Title IV funds is determined according to the portion of the Title IV aid that could have been directly disbursed to the student once institutional charges were covered.
Return of Title IV Funds calculations are subject to a 45 day deadline to return funds once a student has officially withdrawn or fails to earn a passing grade for any course in a term.
In addition to student notifications, Financial Aid staff review weekly reports to identify students who have withdrawn and end-of-term reports to identify students who do not achieve a passing grade in any class.
Once identified, the calculation is performed by the Office of Financial Aid. Using the Department of Education’s Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system, staff members enter required key data including term dates, withdrawal date, institutional charges, and federal aid funds received and/or that could have been disbursed. Financial Aid and Student Account records are updated, funds are returned according to the calculation, and the student is notified. Student records are reviewed for Satisfactory Academic Progress and students are notified as necessary. Student loan borrowers are routed for exit counseling. Common Origination and Disbursement reporting occurs to reflect record changes.
Title IV Funds Distribution
1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
3. Federal Direct PLUS Loans (including Grad PLUS)
4. Federal Pell Grants
5. Federal SEOG
6. Federal TEACH Grant
7. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
Non-Federal Refund Policy
Refunds for state aid programs and non-state aid programs are calculated on a proportional basis using the state mandated or institutional refund policy. To calculate the minimum refund due to the Minnesota State Grant Program, the SELF Loan Program, and other Aid Programs (with the exception of the State Work Study Program), the MOHE Refund Calculation Worksheet is used.
Institutional Refund Policy
Refunds for private aid funds will be processed according to the donor’s intent. Absent explicit criteria regarding withdrawals and refunds, aid will be refunded on a proportional basis according to the date of withdrawal. Refunds for college grants and scholarships will be reviewed on an individual basis, according to the date of and reason for withdrawal, and with consideration of the financial impact on the student and University.
Flexibilities authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act may impact return of funds calculations on a temporary basis. The University approves and encourages use of regulatory flexibilities to support students.
Below are guidelines for students who have been selected for verification based upon application data.
What is verification?
Verification is the process schools use to review a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for accuracy. This is done by collecting and comparing documents used to complete the FAFSA.
The federal government randomly selects applicants for the verification process. St. Catherine University may select additional students for verification.
If you are selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office sends you a notification explaining what additional documents are needed, including tax and income forms. Once you have submitted all required documentation, your file will be reviewed. If our office has additional questions, we may contact you for further information. Based on the review of your information, our office will make the necessary corrections to your FAFSA. Should the corrections result in a change to eligibility for aid, you will receive an award or revision notice within 4-12 weeks, depending on application volume.
St. Catherine University may select additional students for Verification. Selection is based on a number of considerations, including but not limited to, conflicting data between aid years, significant changes to data elements from year to year, incomplete or missing data, or other factors which affect the calculation of the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). You may be asked to provide documentation to verify any data element(s) on the FAFSA, such as household size, number of dependents in college, taxable and untaxed income, high school completion, or personal information.
Students, employees, or other individuals who are suspected of misreporting or altering documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds will be reported to the Office of Inspector General (OIG).
It is the student’s responsibility to reply to our requests for information. We are unable to provide you with a financial aid award letter until all documents have been received and reviewed. Failure to respond to our requests will result in a delay in awarding and paying financial aid and possible loss of certain types of aid, especially institutional grant.
The following options will walk you through the verification process. Your paper or electronic notification of incomplete financial aid requirements sent to you from our office lists the appropriate aid year (the academic year for which you are receiving financial aid). Please refer to this aid year when selecting your verification documents for completion.
Verification Tips and Deadlines
Your paper or electronic notification of incomplete financial aid requirements sent to you from our office lists the appropriate aid year (the academic year for which you are receiving financial aid). Please refer to this aid year when selecting your verification documents for completion. Continuing students can view required documents using the My Financial Aid link (which can also be found in the Student Self Service column on the student page).
- Make sure to submit your application for financial aid by the April 15 priority deadline.
- When you are completing verification, review your requirements list to determine which forms and documents you will need to submit. Only submit the documents requested.
- Make sure all required verification forms are completed fully-- if a value is a zero, enter a zero.
- Sign all required verification worksheets, and return to the Financial Aid Office within four weeks of your initial notification along with any supplemental documentation requested by your counselor.
- The tax return transcript requirement is waived if you use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically complete tax return data elements on your FAFSA and do not subsequently change those values (view IRS Data Retrieval Information below).
- If a tax return transcript is required, submit to the Financial Aid Office within four weeks of your initial notification.
- If you have been granted an extension for filing your tax return, you should submit all other verification documents requested, documentation of income, and your extension form.
- Other documents could be requested as determined by the Financial Aid Office in order to verify the FAFSA data. For example, this could include W-2 forms, certain tax schedules or investment statements upon request.
- If documents are submitted after the requested deadlines listed above, you may jeopardize your priority consideration for maximum aid eligibility and may delay disbursement of loans or other funding until after the start of the academic year.
- If documents are submitted after the period of your enrollment has ended, your aid eligibility may be limited or you may be ineligible for financial aid funds.
- Keep copies of all the documents you submitted for your records.
When submitting information, write your St. Catherine student ID number on the documents.
Below is a guideline on using IRS Data Retrieval when entering FAFSA application data.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is currently available for tax filers. The FAFSA will provide filers with the option of retrieving certain relevant data elements (such as adjusted gross income) directly from the IRS tax database.
How to Use Data Retrieval
If you are eligible, you can execute the retrieval from within the FAFSA website while completing an initial application, renewal application, or correction to an existing application. FAFSA will ask questions to help you determine if you are able to use the Data Retrieval Tool and walk you through the data match process. If you are correcting an existing application, be sure to always make updates to the most recent transaction. At this time, students and parent(s) who use the Data Retrieval Tool and do not make subsequent changes to the transferred information reduce the likelihood of being selected for verification, and will not be selected to verify their tax-related information or be required to submit tax transcripts for verification purposes if they are selected. (You may still be required to submit documentation of non-tax data elements, such as amount of child support paid or food stamp eligibility.)
If you are unable to use the IRS DRT, you may request a copy of your tax transcript online:
More information is available on the FAFSA website.
Most students and parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if they have already filed their taxes. However, there are a few scenarios in which students and parents are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, such as:
- The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Married Filing Separately.
- The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Head of Household.
- The parents' marital status is "Unmarried and both parents living together."
- The student/parent filed an amended tax return.
- The student/parent filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.
- Any students or parents who meet the above criteria will need to enter their tax return information manually.
Additionally, there may be a delay between the time of your tax return filing and the availability of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. You then have the option to enter tax return information manually or return at a later date to transfer tax return information into the FAFSA.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) signed August, 14, 2008 requires an institution participating in a Title IV program to publish a code of conduct [HEOA 487 (a) (25)]. This code of conduct prohibits conflicts of interest for its financial aid personnel. St. Catherine University’s officers, employees and agents are required to comply with this code of conduct. The following provisions bring the St. Catherine University into compliance with the federal law [HEOA 487 (e)]. Where applicable, this code is superseded by the St. Catherine University’s Employee Handbook, if more restrictive.
St. Catherine University employees are prohibited from:
- Revenue sharing arrangements,
- Receiving most lender gifts, including those to family members, with certain minimal exceptions,
- Receiving fees or other compensation for consulting with lenders,
- Using the award packaging or other methods to assign first-time borrowers to certain lenders,
- Delaying or refusing to certify any loan based on the borrower’s choice of lender,
- Accepting any funds for private education loans in exchange for benefits to the lenders such as a preferred lender arrangement,
- Requesting or accepting assistance from any lender for call-center staffing or financial aid office staffing, and
- Receiving any compensation or financial benefit for service other than reasonable reimbursement of expenses for any financial aid office employee who serves on a lender’s advisory board.