2014–15 Undergraduate Catalog
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Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Costs and Financial Aid
2014-15 Tuition and Fees
Financial Arrangements and Services
Refunds and Account Adjustments
Financial Aid



Seattle Pacific University is pleased to work with students and parents in meeting educational costs. Scholarship programs, grants, loans, and employment opportunities are available at SPU to supplement familiesí financial resources for students who could not otherwise attend.

For need-based financial assistance, the contribution toward college costs expected from the student and his or her parents is calculated according to a federally mandated system called federal-need analysis, which takes into account many factors representing the familyís financial situation.

  1. To the extent funds are available, the University will supplement the amount expected from the family with scholarships, grants, loans, or employment (singly or in various combinations) not to exceed the amount of the student’s documented financial need.
  2. The amount and source of assistance will be determined on the basis of available funding, the type of degree, and eligibility criteria for the various financial aid programs.
  3. The total offer of institutional gift aid (tuition discounts, grants, and scholarships) is limited to the cost of tuition. (SPU Scholars and students invited into the University Scholars program may receive institutional aid up to the cost of tuition, and room and board as defined in the financial aid cost of attendance (PDF) found in Expenses for 2014-15 Full-time Undergraduates; athletes and peer advisors are covered under separate policies that allow institutional gift aid above tuition costs). Private College 529 Plan and Institutional Gift Aid: Student and families who are Private College 529 holders may redeem tuition plan certificates at Seattle Pacific according to the Plan’s stipulations. It is important to note that the total of institutional gift aid (grants and scholarships), plus the redeemed tuition certificate value, will be limited to the total cost of tuition, room, and board charged by SPU.
  4. Total student gift aid eligibility may be comprised of federal, state, or institutional grants/scholarships (includes endowed/gift awards). Gift aid is considered in this order: governmental grants, institutional scholarships, institutional grants. If a student is determined eligible for federal grants, state grants, and/or institutional scholarships post-awarding, those awards will be considered first to have met gift aid eligibility and may replace institutional grants.
  5. To receive financial aid, a student must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits (courses numbered 0100Ė4999) per term in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or teacher certification from SPU. Media courses and courses numbered 5000Ė5999 are not eligible.
  6. Full-time enrollment (12 credits per quarter) is required for scholarship eligibility.
  7. To receive financial aid, a student must not have a default on a federal loan or owe repayment on federal grants.

Please review information about the financial aid process and deadlines, as well as criteria for maintaining eligibility.

Application Process
To apply for need-based financial aid through SPU, the student must:

  1. Complete the admissions process and be admitted to the University.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it to the central processor. The FAFSA may also be completed via paper (a form can be obtained at a secondary school or a college financial aid office).

If requested to do so, the student and his or her family must also provide additional documentation required to verify eligibility. The student must reapply for financial aid by completing a FAFSA each year.

To apply for scholarships through SPU, the student must complete the admissions process, as the admission application also serves as the scholarship application.

Application Deadlines
It is recommended that the FAFSA be processed as soon as possible after January 1 and that the student complete the admission process as soon possible after October 1. Since funding for most programs is limited and applications are processed in the order of their completion, it is to the studentís advantage to apply as early as possible.

To be considered for SPU Merit Scholarships, all admission application materials must be received by February 1 for high school students and by July 1 for transfer students.

The Financial Aid Offer
Generally, students qualifying for financial aid receive a financial aid package containing one or more of the following types of aid: grants, scholarships, loans, and student employment. The proportion of each type of aid varies from student to student and year to year depending upon student eligibility, the amount of funds available in the various programs, and the type of degree. The student must validate that they understand and will comply with all regulations, responsibilities, and obligations by completing one Master Conditions of Financial Assistance (PDF).

The student will receive one initial paper offer of financial aid, called the Offer of Financial Assistance; all subsequent revisions to it and future offers will be communicated by email notification and accessed through the Banner Info System.

If a student wishes to reduce or cancel any part or his or her entire offer, the student must contact Student Financial Services. The student must inform Student Financial Services of additional resources not reported on the FAFSA during the period of the award.

Disbursement of Financial Aid
Once a student has completed the financial aid application/award process, has fulfilled all the requirements listed with the studentís Offer of Financial Assistance, and is enrolled for the required number of credits, grants and loans are disbursed by Student Financial Services 10 days prior to the start of the term. Financial aid, with the exception of earnings from employment, and grants and scholarships funded by the state, will be applied to the studentís tuition and room and board account in the following ways:

  1. SPU grants and scholarships and federal grants: This aid is automatically applied to the studentís account.
  2. Federal Perkins loans, Nursing loans, and SPU Institutional loans: Once the student has completed all disbursement requirements including a signed promissory note and completion of the disclosure process, the loans may be applied to his or her account.
  3. Federal Direct Stafford loan (subsidized and unsubsidized): The student must complete a Direct loan master promissory note (MPN) and loan entrance counseling with Direct Lending. The funds will be automatically applied to the studentís account.
  4. All Washington state aid programs, exluding state work-study. The student may select through the State of Washington Student Directive form to have the funds disbursed to them directly or to pay down their student account balance. If a student selects electronic disbursement the funds are automatically credited to the student's account at the beginning of each quarter. If the student selects check disbursement, the funds will be available by mail or direct deposit at the beginning of each quarter, but will not directly pay a student’s account; the student is responsible for any owing balance.

The remaining balance due on a studentís account can be paid from student employment, student contribution, summer savings, parent contribution (if a dependent), and other resources.

Satisfactory Progress
To remain eligible for financial assistance, a student is expected to meet qualitative and quantitative academic requirements. 

  • Qualitative: Students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA for all financial aid and minimum GPAs for SPU merit-based aid. 
  • Quantitative: The students must complete a minimum number of credits each academic year, and students are to complete their degrees within a specified period of time.

Satisfactory progress is evaluated annually at the end of the academic year (Spring Quarter) and applies to all students (current, past, or first-time financial aid applicants).

Minimum Grade Point Average
A financial aid recipient must be in good academic standing at the University. At the completion of the second year (sophomore standing), the student must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA to remain eligible for financial assistance, including Title IV (federal) funding. 

Students who do not achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be ineligible for further financial assistance until the cumulative GPA is achieved.  (Note: A higher minimum GPA may be required for scholarship recipients. Refer to the Scholarship/Grant section for specific renewal criteria).

Minimum Credit Requirement
Students must complete at least 80 percent of all attempted credits to be eligible for financial assistance. Each accepted transfer credit will be considered both an attempted and completed credit. The calculated percentage will be rounded up to the nearest full-credit hour. Completed credits are defined as coursework that has received a grade of A, B, C, D, or “P” at the end of the academic term. Grades of E, W, G, I, or N do not receive any credit; therefore they do not count as completed credits each quarter.

Maximum Time Frame
A student receiving financial aid must complete a degree within a reasonable period of time. Financial aid will be awarded to students in an eligible undergraduate program for a maximum of 270 total attempted credit hours, including transfer credits accepted toward the degree.

Consequences of Unsatisfactory Progress
A student who does not maintain satisfactory progress (minimum GPA and completed credit requirements and complete his or her degree within the maximum time frame) will be ineligible for financial assistance.

Appeals for Reinstatement of Eligibility
Students have the right to appeal their eligibility for financial aid. Written appeals due to extenuating circumstances e.g., (death of a relative, illness or injury of the student, or other special circumstances) should be submitted to the student’s Financial Services Counselor. Please note that some financial-aid programs may have criteria that vary from the above-stated progress standards. Detailed information about these programs is included in Managing Your Financial Aid.

Results of Appeals (Probation)

Appeals will be approved only if the student will be able to meet satisfactory progress after the next quarter or Student Financial Services has approved an academic plan with the student that, if followed, will ensure the student is able to make satisfactory progress by a designated point in time.

Students with an approved appeal will be considered to be on financial aid probation; students on probation may receive aid for one probationary quarter. After the probation quarter, students must meet the satisfactory progress standards or the requirements of their academic plan, failure to do so will mean a forfeit of eligibility for financial assistance.

Return of Funds
In the event that a student leaves school during a quarter for which he or she has received financial aid, all or part of the funds that have been disbursed may have to be repaid. The amount of the repayment will be determined according to the length of time the student was in school. See Refunds and Account Adjustments for details.

Veteransí Benefits
Seattle Pacific Universityís academic programs of study are approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Boardís State Approving Agency (HECB/SAA) for enrollment of persons eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, U.S. Code. To obtain information on these benefits, contact the veteransí coordinator in Student Academic Services.

Unless otherwise stated, scholarships and grants are available only to students pursuing their first undergraduate degree.  Continous SPU full-time enrollment (12 credits per quarter) is required for scholarship eligibility. University funded scholarships and grants are not available during Summer Sessions. In some cases federal and state programs are available. Complete information about these programs is available in Student Financial Services or by visiting the online list of Scholarships/Grants.

Other Scholarship Funds
A number of scholarship funds have been established by interested individuals and groups for use by the University in its financial aid program. Unless otherwise noted, for priority consideration new students must be admitted to the University by February 1 and have filed all necessary application materials by that date. Scholarship amounts vary from year to year.

Other Scholarship Funds.


Federal Perkins Loan. This program combines funds from the U.S. Department of Education and SPU. The loan fund is limited and targets the neediest students. The borrower must satisfy eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Education and demonstrate financial need.

  • Perkins loans carry a simple interest rate of 5 percent and are repayable over a 10-year period following graduation, or dropping below a half-time credit load, or withdrawing from school.
  • No interest is charged while students are enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution and during a nine-month grace period thereafter.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Parents of dependent undergraduates enrolled at least half-time can borrow money through the U.S. Department of Education to help supplement educational costs.

  • Direct PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent determined annually.  Information about interest rates is available at StudentAid.gov.  Eligibility depends on a credit check to determine whether the borrower has an adverse credit history. 
  • Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. 
  • Parents may borrow up to the difference between the Cost of Attendance and any other financial aid received.

Additional information regarding repayment is available on the loan master promissory note and from the Direct Loan Program.

Federal Nursing Student Loan Program. Nursing students with at least sophomore standing may be eligible for loans to assist in meeting their educational expenses.

  • Eligible Nursing majors may be awarded up to $5,200 in the final two years of their program.
  • Nursing loans carry a simple interest rate of 5 percent and are repayable over a 10-year period, beginning nine months after completion of the course of study, or dropping below half-time credit load, or withdrawing from school.
  • No interest is charged while students are in enrolled at least half-time in a Nursing degree-seeking program and during a nine-month grace period thereafter.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized). Dependent undergraduate students may borrow up to $5,500 the first year, $6,500 the second year, and $7,500 the remaining years in subsidized Stafford loans. Independent students, or dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan, may borrow up to $9,500, $10,500, and $12,500.

These loans are made through the U.S. Department of Education. Any student is eligible to apply who satisfies the eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Department of Education. The federal subsidized Stafford loan interest rate varies depending on when the student borrows the funds.

  • Interest rates are determined annually. Information about interest rates is available at StudentAid.gov.
  • No interest is charged on subsidized loans while students are enrolled at least half-time at an eligible postsecondary school and during eligible grace periods.

Additional information regarding origination and default prevention fees, repayment and deferment is available on the loan master promissory note and from the Direct Loan Program.

SPU Institutional Loan Program. This program, sponsored by SPU, provides assistance to needy undergraduate students. Specific information about the program and student eligibility criteria are available in Student Financial Services.

Emergency Advance of Pending Financial Aid Credit Balance. Loan funds exist from which, under emergency conditions, limited amounts of money may be borrowed for up to 30 days. Application forms are available in Student Financial Services.


The University supports a strong student-employment program through which it provides information regarding part-time employment opportunities. This job service is available to all SPU students, regardless of financial aid eligibility.

Part-time, on-campus, community service, and state work-study jobs are posted at the Office of Student Employment. Once employed, students will complete time sheets and receive payment from the Student Payroll Office if they work on campus, or directly from their employer if they work off campus. It is the studentís responsibility to make payment on his or her student account from these funds if needed.

Four Types of Student Employment
On-Campus Employment. Several hundred jobs are available on campus for SPU students. All of these positions are available for students enrolled half-time or more, regardless of their financial aid eligibility. For those students who have been awarded work study, as funding allows, they will be paid out of work-study funds. For those students who have not applied for financial aid, or who have not been awarded work study, they will be paid from non-work-study funds. Therefore, any on-campus job is available to any student and Student Financial Services will determine, after the student is hired, if the job should be classified as a work-study or as a non-work-study job.

Community Service Employment, Off Campus. These jobs are designed to assist our local community. Current positions are targeted to help at-risk youth, the homeless, and the elderly. There are a limited number of positions available through this program and the student must have applied for financial aid and been awarded work study.

State Work-Study Employment, Off Campus. Students must have applied for financial aid, be Washington state residents, and been awarded work study to be employed in the state work-study program. This program is sponsored by the state of Washington, and the participating employers are reimbursed by the state for a portion of the wages they pay work-study students.

Off-Campus Employment, Regular Part-Time Jobs. There are many part-time jobs from local employers. These jobs are available for any SPU student regardless of financial aid eligibility.

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