Policies
The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to establish policies relating to the processing of U.S. Federal Aid.

Admissions Policies and Procedures
Queen Margaret University's Admissions and Registration regulations can be found via the link below:

Admission requirements vary depending on the course. Please check the relevant entry requirements via the course specific page:

Undergraduate courses: http://www.qmu.ac.uk/prospective_students/undergraduate/undergraduate_list.cfm

Postgraduate courses: http://www.qmu.ac.uk/prospective_students/postgraduate/postgraduate_list.cfm

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients
Queen Margaret University has clear Assessment Guidelines for all undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research degrees and these can be found on our Quality Website at –

http://www.qmu.ac.uk/quality/documents/Assessment_Regulations.pdf

US Federal regulations state that a student is required to be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to be eligible to receive federal aid from the US Department of Education.

 

Evaluation Process
Students receiving financial aid will be evaluated prior to each disbursement of federal aid (with the exception of the first disbursement). This evaluation process will consider the student’s progress as per the requirements stipulated in the guidelines applicable to their degree and level, in order to determine their eligibility for continued awards of aid.

Where students are enrolled in a programme of more than two academic years, at the end of second year the student must have an average grade of at least a "D", consistent with requirements for graduation to maintain eligibility for Financial Aid. Programmes which meet professional registration requirements (such as MSc Speech & Language Therapy) require students to have an average grade of at least a "C" at the end of second year to maintain eligibility for Financial Aid.

In addition, the evaluation process will consider the maximum timeframe for completion of a degree program. In order to maintain eligibility for federal aid the maximum timeframe for completion of a degree programme may not exceed 150% of the published ordinary length of a programme. Periods when a student doesn’t receive federal aid must be included in the maximum timeframe of 150%. Students who transfer from the same programme at another institution will have the time spent at the first institution included in the maximum timeframe of 150%. Periods of suspension from a course will not be included in the maximum timeframe.

 

Financial Aid Warning Status
In order to receive continued loan funding, students must meet the minumum requirements for both academic progress and course duration. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be assessed at the start of every payment period. Where the academic progress requirement has not been met, the student will be advised in writing by the Student Finance Adviser. The student will be placed on ‘financial aid warning’ status and can receive one more disbursement funding for that period. Students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements before further disbursements will be made.

Students who have been placed on warning status and subsequently meet the academic progress requirement will return to a good financial aid standing. Students who have been placed on warning status and have not attained the normal academic progress requirement will have their financial aid suspended. The University does not have the right to waive the satisfactory academic progress requirement for any student.

 

Appeals
A student can make an appeal to the Student Finance Adviser if they can demonstrate exceptional circumstances. These circumstances may include –

  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Extended illness of an immediate family member
  • Extended illness or injury of the student
  • Other exceptional circumstances as determined by the Student Finance Adviser

The letter of appeal should address in detail the extenuating circumstances and must be submitted within 10 days of receipt of the notice of financial aid suspension along with all of the evidence to support the appeal.

Students should submit an appeal to:

Bill StronachStudent Finance AdviserStudent ServicesQueen Margaret UniversityQueen Margaret University DriveMusselburgh EH21 6UU  

 

Withdrawal Process, Institutional Refund Policy and Return of Title IV (R2T4) Policy
Procedures for withdrawal can be found on the QMU website:

http://www.qmu.ac.uk/thinkingofleaving/withdrawprocess.htm

 

Institutional Refund Policy
If you leave your programme of study early, you must ensure that you inform your Head of Subject and the Student Records department. The date of withdrawal will be deemed to be the date that the Student Records department receives written confirmation of withdrawal. You will be liable for all or part of the fee for the full academic year as follows:

If you leave within 28 days of the start of your programme of study, you will be liable for an administration fee of £250.

If you leave more than 28 days after the start of your programme of study, you will be liable for the appropriate proportion of the fee based on the semesters attended wholly or in part.

If you are making payment of fees by instalments and withdraw from your programme of study, you must still meet any shortfall between the full fee determined by the University and the total amount of the instalments already paid.

http://www.qmu.ac.uk/registry/fees_charges.htm

Any overpayment of fees will be refunded to the payer.

 

Return of Title IV (R2T4) Policy
The law specifies how the University must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance (Direct Loans) that students earn if they withdraw or interrupt. The University is responsible for calculating R2T4 and the Finance Office is responsible for transferring the funds. The University uses worksheets provided by the US Department of Education to calculate the R2T4 funds. All funds must be returned to the lender within 45 days of the date of when the University determined that a student withdrew. If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, students can call the Federal Student Aid Information Centre at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web.

When a student withdraws during a payment period, the amount of Title IV program assistance that has been earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. The date of withdrawal is determined by the Registry and will be the last day the student attended. If the student received more assistance than was earned, the excess funds must be returned by the University and/or the student.

Where a student does not officially withdraw the date of withdrawal will be determined to be the mid-point of the education related activity.

The amount of assistance earned is determined on a pro rata basis. The payment period is the semester for which the loan was certified and the per cent of attendance is calculated by dividing the number of days attended by the total number of days in the payment period. For example, if the student completes 30% of the payment period or period of enrolment, the student has earned 30% of the assistance they were originally scheduled to receive. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrolment, all the assistance that the student was scheduled to receive for that period is considered to have been earned. The University will use the R2T4 worksheets as provided by the US Department of Education to determine how much of the loan may be retained and how much must be returned.

There are some Title IV funds that students are scheduled to receive that cannot be earned once a student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. If the student receives (or the University receives on behalf of the student) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, the University must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  • The institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of the funds, or
  • The entire amount of excess funds

The University must return this amount even if it didn't keep this amount of the Title IV program funds. If the University is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that must be returned, the student must repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, scheduled payments are made to the holder of the loan over a period of time. Students who have received a refund of their loan proceeds before withdrawing may be required to return part or all of those funds to the lender.

Title IV funds will be returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct loans
  3. PLUS Loan Funds

The requirements for Title IV program funds when students withdraw are separate from any refund policy that the University may have. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to the University to cover unpaid institutional charges. The University may also attempt to collect from the student any Title IV program funds that the University was required to return.

There are some Title IV funds, that students may have been scheduled to receive, that cannot be earned once a student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, a first year undergraduate, receiving Aid for the first time, who withdraws within the first 30 days of a programme, will be deemed not to have earned any aid. As this policy uses a different calculation to University policies, it may mean that the student owes the University once funds have been returned to the US Department of Education. Students will be notified if this is the case.

Students receiving Aid for the first time will have the first disbursement of their Aid scheduled at least 30 days after the start of a programme.

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Centre at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web.

Institutional Attendance Policy
http://www.qmu.ac.uk/quality/gr/Student%20Attendance%20Policy%20-%202015.pdf

 

Default Prevention and Management
QMU has adopted the US Department of Education's Default Management Plan. Information on this can be found via the following link.

http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attachments/GEN0514Attach.pdf