Federal Policies & Procedures

In accordance with federal regulations under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) Norwich University is required to publish several policies and guidelines for students both current and prospective.

Qualifying for Aid / Applying for Aid

To be eligible for federal, state and institutional aid students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrate need on the FASFA (may not be required for some loan and institutional programs).
  2. Have a standard high school diploma or its equivalent, GED or ATB (Ability to Benefit) on file.
  3. Be enrolled in a degree seeking program.
  4. Federal regulations require that students may only receive financial aid if they are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (see additional details in SAP policy ). Norwich University aid eligibility adheres to the same qualitative and quantitative measures of SAP for both domestic and international students.
  5. Must have all requested documents on file and processed before disbursements will be made.

FAFSA Filers must also meet the following 

  1. Not be in default or owe an overpayment of Title IV funds.
  2. Have a valid Social Security number.
  3. Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen with permanent residency status and an alien registration identification number.
  4. Have not borrowed in excess of aggregate loan limits under Title IV programs.

To apply for financial assistance, domestic students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The FAFSA form is available at https://studentaid.gov/. Students must also provide any required forms and documentation deemed necessary by the Office of Financial Aid. The priority filing deadline is December 15.

Expand Sections Below for Continued Federal Policies & Procedures:

As part of the Financial Aid Process, a student may be selected for Verification by the Department of Education. This is a random selection by the federal processor, or Norwich University may also select additional files to verify. If a student is selected for verification, it means that Financial Aid must collect required documents to verify information supplied on the FAFSA form is correct. When the FAFSA is received by Norwich, an email is sent indicating the documents needed to complete the verification process. Documents that are often requested include, but are not limited to IRS Tax Transcripts, W-2 forms, Verification Worksheet, proof of child support received or paid, schedules from your tax return or proof of other untaxed income. Documents can be completed and additional documentation may be uploaded safely and securely, through the students online portal. It is important that these documents are complete as soon as possible. No aid will be disbursed to your student account until the documents are received and your file has been verified. Verification requires that the university verify that the following information supplied on the FAFSA is correct:

  • Household size
  • Number in college
  • Adjusted gross income
  • U.S. income tax paid
  • Education credits
  • Untaxed individual retirement account distributions
  • Untaxed pensions
  • IRA deductions
  • Tax exempt interest
  • Income earned from work

If, during the verification process any amounts previously reported on the FAFSA need to be adjusted, Norwich University will make those corrections and send them electronically to the federal processor. Students are notified when changes are made. If these changes result in a change in award eligibility, students are sent a new financial aid award letter. It’s a federal crime to deliberately falsify any information on the FAFSA form to receive federal financial aid inappropriately. If it is determined that tampering with FAFSA information occurred deliberately, the Financial Aid Office is required to inform the Inspector General’s Office.

Federal regulations require schools to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy to enforce the statutory requirement that a student must be meeting satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid funding. Specific rules for state and institutional programs will vary.

The policy is based on cumulative outcomes and includes transfer credits and all periods of enrollment during which the student is enrolled in Norwich University courses. These outcomes will be measured for all students regardless of whether they are seeking or currently receiving Federal Financial Aid.  This policy is fully separate from the Norwich University Academic Probation and Suspension process. (Please see Academic Standing, Class Levels, Readmission section for more details)

The Norwich University SAP policy applies to all Norwich University Students and includes the following:

  • Qualitative measure – Students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher by the time they reach their third year. See chart in Undergraduate programs for specific measures.
  • Quantitative measure of progress – 67% percentage of attempted credit hours applicable to the students’ degree are completed
  • Maximum time frame — Students are given 150% of the published program length of the student’s current degree program to complete all degree requirements 

The SAP policy at Norwich University has been developed to ensure that the financial aid program at Norwich University adheres to the requirements set forth by federal aid regulations. An assessment of SAP will be made after each term of enrollment for all students.

Qualitative Measures - Required GPA

Course withdrawals, incomplete courses, and pass/fail graded courses are not counted in the student’s grade point average and are not counted in the qualitative measure of the SAP policy.  Incomplete grades will be counted as failed grades for financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress review purposes after 30 days from the end of each term. If a grade is changed before the start of the next term, the student may be reevaluated.

Undergraduate programs require the following grade point average to be considered in good standing, based on the progression of credits earned by the student.

Number of credits earnedMinimum cumulative GPA

Graduate program students must achieve and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement to remain eligible for financial aid.  Students may be expected to achieve and maintain a higher cumulative GPA (3.0 in most majors) to be considered eligible for continued enrollment in their academic program. Students who become ineligible for enrollment as a degree-seeking student also become ineligible for financial aid funding regardless of cumulative GPA.

Quantitative Measures – Attempted/Earned Credits

The quantitative measurement of SAP is monitored according to the following guidelines:

  • Pace of Progress:  Students must complete at least 67% of their attempted courses throughout enrollment to sustain a proper “pace of progress” toward degree attainment. This measurement includes withdrawals, incomplete courses, and failed graded courses. This measurement indicates whether or not the student's academic outcome trajectory makes it possible for them to complete their degree requirements prior to attempting 150% of the total credits needed for program degree requirements (also see Maximum Time Frame).
    • Example: For a program requiring 124 credits, the student must complete their program by the time they have attempted 186 credits. If a student in this program has completed only 80 credits of the first 150 attempted, they would no longer be eligible for aid because they have 44 required credits remaining (124 minus 80) but only 36 remaining credits of financial aid eligibility.
    • Undergraduate students must maintain the 67% “Pace of Progress” throughout enrollment.
    • Graduate students must meet the 67% Pace of Progress after attempting 18 credit hours and they must maintain the 67% Pace of Progress throughout the remainder of enrollment beyond 18 attempted credit hours.   
  • Course withdrawals and incomplete courses are counted in the credit hours attempted, but not credit hours earned.
  • Credit hours that are accepted from another institution toward the student's educational program will be counted as both attempted and completed hours.
  • An attempted credit is any credit hour that remains on the student's registration transcript at the end of the scheduled add/drop timeframe for a term.
  • A completed credit indicates that the student attended the full term and received a grade other than Incomplete or fail. A completed credit can be either a pass/fail grade or an A through F letter grade
  • Pass/Fail graded courses count as attempted and/or completed credits for quantitative measurement purposes.

Maximum Timeframe

  • Maximum Time-frame: Students are eligible for Federal Student Aid Program funding for maximum time-frame lasting 150% of the normal time needed to complete their program of study.   This measurement is based on a comparison of the number of credit hours completed in relation to the number of credits attempted toward degree requirements, quantitative measures.  The measurements are not based on calendar dates.
    • General examples:  Undergraduate students may receive aid for up to six years of enrollment toward attainment of a four-year degree and graduate students may receive aid for up to three years toward attainment of a two-year degree.
    • Specific example:   Undergraduate students in programs requiring 120 credits to graduate are eligible for aid for up to 180 attempted credits.
  • Students with Pace of Progress trajectories indicating it is no longer mathematically possible to complete their degree within the 150% maximum time-frame requirement become ineligible for financial aid regardless of GPA at the time it is discovered degree attainment is no longer mathematically possible within the maximum timeframe.

Good Standing

To be considered in good standing for financial aid SAP, students must be meeting both the qualitative and the quantitative SAP requirements for their academic program within the maximum timeframe requirements.  

When Students Fall Below Standards

To be considered in good standing for financial aid SAP, students must be meeting both the qualitative and the quantitative SAP requirements for their academic program within the maximum timeframe requirements.

Maximum Timeframe – 150%

Once the institution becomes aware that a student will not complete their degree requirements within 150% of the published program length, the student becomes ineligible to receive Federal Student Aid funding.


After the first semester not meeting the standard on either qualitative or quantitative measurements, the student receives a warning letter. The letter’s purpose is reminding the student of Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and providing information about the campus-based resources available to help them succeed in the classroom. The student is not required to submit any documentation at this stage. Funds for the next term are disbursed at the scheduled times.


A student in Warning status that does not return to Good Standing in both the cumulative qualitative and quantitative measurements, and is not outside of the maximum timeframe requirement, after enrollment in a subsequent term, the student is ineligible for financial aid and is placed in suspension status.  This may be due to not meeting either the cumulative qualitative or quantitative measurement for the 150% maximum timeframe requirement.

Financial aid SAP suspension status is effective immediately. For example, if a student is ineligible based on the review at the end of fall semester, aid is suspended for financial aid for the next term of enrollment (typically Spring) and moving forward until the student is meeting SAP again.

Students placed in suspension status are notified of the reason they are ineligible to receive aid.  The suspension letter includes information related to academic progress expectations and describes the process for filing a petition/appeal for reinstatement if unusual circumstances have impacted the student’s ability to succeed in class.

Students ineligible for financial aid in suspension status are considered to be self-pay students for any period of enrollment they attend prior to receiving approval of their Petition for Reinstatement.

Petition for Reinstatement

Students placed into SAP suspension status who have unusual circumstances are encouraged to file their appeal immediately after being notified of their suspension status.

The petition form directs the student to provide a signed statement indicating the reasons that impacted their inability to remain in good standing and what they have done to eliminate the barriers to success. The student must meet with their Academic Advisor or the Academic Achievement Center to discuss their academic support needs. An adviser/Academic Achievement Center signature is required on the form. The student must also obtain and provide a copy of an updated academic plan which describes the remaining required courses and other academic requirements for their degree.

If the student's petition is approved, the approval may be effective immediately. This means that the student could be eligible for funding for the term during which the petition is approved or for their next term of enrollment.

Not all petitions are approved. Students cannot receive approval for multiple petitions which are based on the same rationale or circumstance. Petitions must be received and processed before the end of the term in which the student is appealing.

Probationary Period

Students with approved petitions receive financial aid on a probationary basis and are placed in a probation status.   Part of the appeal process is providing individual outcome requirements that must be met each term in order to remain eligible for aid until returning to good standing, meeting SAP. Students who do not meet the documented expectations by the end of their probationary term, are then ineligible for aid moving forward and placed back in suspension status. An example of an individual probationary expectation is that a student may be expected to complete all of their attempted credits and receive at least a 2.0 undergraduate, or 3.0 graduate, GPA for each semester of enrollment until the student returns to “good standing” levels.

Regaining Eligibility

In addition to successfully appealing for reinstatement, students may regain eligibility for federal aid when they return to good standing based on attendance as a self-pay student.

Students demonstrating the ability to meet good standing expectations through completion of courses taken at another school which are transferable to their Norwich University degree may also request a reinstatement review, even if the student has had two prior petition approvals as allowed by the SAP policy. These students are also encouraged to discuss their remaining eligibility with Financial Aid as it relates to maximum timeframe eligibility (150% of program) concepts.

In the event that a student leaves Norwich University during an academic term, either voluntarily or involuntary, they are subject to the university's refund policies. Students should review all financial policies as outlined by the Bursar's Office. The withdrawal date that is used in determining a student's refund or repayment will be defined as the actual date that the student begins the withdrawal process, the student's last day of academically related activity, or the midpoint of the period of enrollment for a student who leaves without notifying the institution. The U.S. Department of Education requires Norwich University to use the Return to Title IV funds policy for students who withdraw from school and who are receiving Federal Financial Aid. Title IV funds refer to federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and includes the following programs: Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal Parent PLUS Loans for Undergraduate Students, Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants, and SMART Grants.

The U.S. Department of Education stipulates the way Federal Student Aid (FSA) Funds applied toward a student's education are to be handled should the student’s enrollment change. Up through the 60-percent point in each period of enrollment, a pro-rata schedule is used to determine the amount of FSA funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60-percent point in the period of enrollment, a student may keep 100 percent of the FSA funds that had disbursed. Any FSA funds the student has not earned eligibility to keep must be returned to the Department of Education using the following criteria:

  • If a student completes more than 60 percent of the period of enrollment, they may keep 100 percent of the FSA funds disbursed on their account. If the withdraw occurs before 60 percent of period of enrollment for which assistance was awarded, the percentage earned is calculated by dividing the total number of days in the period of enrollment by the total number of days the student completed.
  • If the student is considered an unofficial withdrawal at the end of term (stopped participating or received an FN grade) and it is determined that the withdrawal date occurred on or before the student completed 60 percent of the period of enrollment for which assistance was awarded, the percentage earned is calculated by dividing the total number of days in the period of enrollment by the total number of days it was determined the student completed.
  • Norwich will return funds no later than 45 days after determining the student has withdrawn.
  • If aid has been finalized but not disbursed at the time of withdrawal, the student may be eligible for a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement. Norwich will contact the student within 30 days with the option to accept or decline the additional aid. Post-Withdrawal Disbursements must be accepted and disbursed within 180 days of the withdrawal date. After 180 days, funds will be returned to the Department of Education.
  • If a student participates during their last week of class and receives only F and/or FN grades, it is assumed the student has completed the term and is not withdrawn. However, if a student does not participate in the last week of scheduled classes and has F and/or FN grades, they are considered to have unofficially withdrawn. All F and FN grades require the faculty to submit a last date of participation which becomes the unofficial withdrawal date.

If the Return to Title IV calculation shows there are FSA funds that the student has not earned, Norwich must return the unearned portion of funds back to the Department of Education. Norwich must return the lesser of:

  • The amount of FSA funds that the student did not earn; or
  • The amount of institutional costs that the student has incurred for the period of enrollment multiplied by the percentage of the funds that were not earned.

The student (or parent, if a Federal Parent PLUS loan) must return or repay as appropriate, the remaining unearned FSA grant and loan funds. However, a student is not required to return 50 percent of the grant assistance received by the student that would be the responsibility of the student to repay. The student (or parent) must return the unearned funds to the appropriate programs in accordance with the terms of that program, including overpayment of grants. Grant overpayments are subject to repayment arrangements satisfactory to the school or overpayment collection procedures prescribed by the Secretary of the Department of Education. FSA funds for period of enrollment for which a return of funds is required must be returned in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants.
  • Academic Competitiveness Grants
  • National SMART Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants
  • Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Other assistance under Title IV regulations

The student will be issued the larger of the institutional refund or the federal refunds. Any questions should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid at (802) 485-2850 or nufinaid@norwich.edu.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires all educational institutions who participate in Title IV programs to develop, publish, administer and enforce a code of conduct prohibiting conflicts of interest for its financial aid personnel for the institution to remain in compliance [HEOA § 487(a)(25)]. All Norwich employees and agents are required to comply with the Student Loan Code of Conduct.

1. Norwich University nor any individual officer, employee or agent shall enter into any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender

2. No officer, employee or agent of Norwich University who has responsibilities with respect to education loans will steer borrowers to particular lenders or delaying loan certifications

3. An officer or employee of Norwich University who is employed in the Office of Financial Aid or any agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans; may offer funds for private loans to students in exchange for providing concessions or promises to the lender for a specific number of FSA loans, a specified loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement

4. Norwich University, its officers, employees, and agents (or other employees or agents with responsibilities with respect to education loans) are prohibited from the following: 

a. receiving gifts from a lender, guaranty agency, or loan servicer 

b. accepting compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans 

c. service on an advisory board, commission, or group established by lenders or guarantors, except for reimbursement for reasonable expenses

Students may utilize their Federal Student Aid (Pell Grant, Direct Loans, PLUS Loans, etc.) and State Grant funding to help pay for study abroad/away experiences that fill either required credits or free elective credits for their degree program. Study Abroad/Away programs are offered by Norwich University and other host colleges and universities in locations in and outside of the United States. Norwich University aid is only provided to students in study abroad/away programs when the experience is required for the student’s degree program or students are enrolled in one of Norwich University’s abroad/away expedition programs. Online degree completion students are not eligible.

As of Fall 2018, the only academic programs requiring study abroad, are International Studies, International Business, Spanish and Chinese. Norwich does not currently require study away for their degree programs. Students falling outside the above mentioned programs are eligible for federal or state aid funding only based on enrollment.

ROTC and other full tuition and fee scholarship students do not receive the I.D. White/room and board scholarship for room and board unless ROTC funding is also approved for the study abroad/away program.