Jump to Frequently Asked Questions about:
Q: When is the Drop/Add period?
A: The official Drop/Add period extends through the first week of classes each semester (check college calendar for official dates).
Q: How does a student drop a course he does not want to take, and add a new one?
A: During the Drop/Add period, a student may drop or add any open course online using my.sbu.edu just as he did at initial registration. All new students will have to use the drop/add form available from the Registrar’s Office.
Q: What if the class my student wants to add is closed?
A: 1.) Direct your student to talk to the department chair of the class he/she wants to add. 2.) If the department chair agrees, your student must complete the add form with the course number, section, and days and times and then sign it. 3.) The form must be brought to the Registrar's office to be processed. You should be mindful that the course is may be full and that your student may have to wait until another semester to take the course.
Q: What is the maximum credit load per semester?
A: The maximum credit load is 18 academic credit hours per semester. Students will be charged $650 per credit hour in excess of 18.
Q: When can a student withdraw from a course?
A: The date set for withdrawal from undergraduate courses is to be determined by the Registrar according to the following procedure: the deadline for withdrawal shall be set for the close of business hours on the first business day following the completion of approximately 2/3 of the class meetings scheduled for the course, excluding the final examination. The Registrar’s decision is final. All 5 week courses will follow the 2/3 policy. (Check college calendar for official dates.)
Q: How can my student withdraw from a course?
A: Withdrawal from a class may be made at the Registrar’s office by the individual student only through the published withdrawal date for each academic term. The student must fill out a Withdrawal Form. Both the student’s academic adviser and the faculty member teaching the class must be asked to sign the form. The adviser’s signature indicates that the student has been informed of the consequences of his/her decision to withdraw. The instructor’s signature indicates awareness of the withdrawal request. Neither signature constitutes permission.
Q: What are the consequences of withdrawing from a course?
A: A “W” grade will not be counted in determining semester or cumulative GPA. No academic penalty attaches to a grade of “W.” A student, however, who prior to the published withdrawal date is notified of an alleged violation of the Academic Honesty Policy that would result in an automatic failure of the course, may withdraw from the course but the withdrawal is not effective until and unless the student has been cleared of the charge. If the student admits to or is found guilty of the alleged violation of the Academic Honesty Policy, that student is prohibited from withdrawing from the class in question. All things to the contrary notwithstanding.
Q: What is FERPA?
A: FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, is the federal law that governs the release of education records and access to those records for all educational institutions.
Q: What is an educational record?
A: Under FERPA educational records are defined as records that are: directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. This includes but is not limited to: grades, midterm reports, disciplinary proceedings, and directory information.
Q: Will the college disclose grades to a parent/guardian upon request?
A: FERPA permits the disclosure of educational records to the parents of a dependent student. However, the staff of the University will first suggest that the parents or guardians have conversations directly with their students about their concerns. Students who wish to have their information released to their parents/guardians must sign a FERPA form available at freshmen orientation and at the Registrar’s Office.
Q: What is directory information, and to whom will it be given?
A: Directory information is information contained in a student’s educational record which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The University has designated the following types of information as directory information: student name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams. Unlike educational records, directory information shall be released freely unless the student requests that certain directory information not be released. Requesting confidentiality means, among other things, that friends or relatives may not be able to reach you and information will not be released to potential employers.
Q: Who can access Student Educational Records?
A: Educational records will be released to:
· Parents of a dependent student
· School officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records
· Appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
· Parents/legal guardians when their children (under age 21) are found to have violated the SBU alcohol or drug policy
· Schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
· An alleged victim of a crime of violence of the results of a disciplinary hearing regarding the alleged perpetrators of that crime with respect to that crime
· Comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
· Anyone who is providing financial aid to the student ("financial aid" does not include any payments made by parents)
Q: How will St. Bonaventure University notify me about FERPA information?
A: The policies of St. Bonaventure University regarding FERPA are made available to students in the following ways:
· At orientation, when a student first enters the college
· In the St. Bonaventure college catalog, which offers a complete description of college policies regarding FERPA.
· In the student handbook, which is available to each student at the beginning of each academic year and outlines the university's FERPA policies.
Q: What if a student wants to take a course over the summer at another institution?
A: Before the student leaves SBU for the summer, s/he must complete a Transfer of Credit Permission Form. Each student must take a course description to the department chair and have him/her approve the course by signing the form. The completed form must then be returned to the Registrar’s Office. In order to receive transfer credit only, each student must earn a grade of “C” or better and have an official transcript sent directly to the Registrar at SBU.
Q: What is the Residency Requirement?
A: The Residency Requirement has nothing to do with living on campus. Rather, it refers to the number and level of courses that must be completed at St. Bonaventure University in order to earn our degree. To be certified for a baccalaureate degree, candidates must have satisfied the residence requirement. This specifies that the candidates MUST SUCCESSFULLY complete at SBU: 1.) The final 36 credit hours for the degree. 2.) A minimum of four upper division courses (junior-senior level), approved by his or her major department head in a declared major, and 3.) At least one-half of the number of courses, as shown under departmental requirements, and no less than 60 undergraduate credit hours at SBU.
Q: What are the requirements for University Honors List (Dean's List)?
A: All full-time students who have an academic index of 3.25 or better in the previous semester may be included in the University Honors List.
Q: How can my son/daughter apply for need-based financial aid?
A: Your student needs to complete the FAFSA to be considered for all of our need-based programs. These include: St. Bonaventure Grant-in-Aid, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan, and the New York State Tuition Assistance Program. The FAFSA can be completed on-line at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
Q: How does my son/daughter know if he/she is eligible for the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?
A: TAP is administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). All New York State residents who complete the FAFSA will be notified of their TAP eligibility directly from HESC. For more information on the TAP program, including calculating a TAP award, changing a school code, and/or checking an award status encourage your student to visit the HESC site at http://www.hesc.com
Q: Will my son/daughter’s financial aid package change next year?
A: Award amounts may change from year to year for various reasons. Calculated family contributions, costs, and award limits can change and can affect your student’s package. Eligibility for the Federal Stafford Loan will increase as your student advances from freshman to senior levels. Merit scholarships are renewed for the same amount as long as your student maintains the required academic requirements. Please note that your son/daughter must file the FAFSA every year in order to receive any need-based funding.
Q: What if there is a change in the family’s financial situation?
A: Special circumstances should be brought to the attention of the Office of Financial Aid. You should put your request in writing, outlining your special circumstance. You may be asked to complete a Special Condition Application, which will be reviewed. Your son/daughter will be notified if additional funding is awarded.
Q: What types of financial aid must be paid back and what types do not have to be paid back?
A: Scholarship and grants (Federal, State and institutional) do not have to be paid back. Federal Stafford, Perkins, and PLUS, and Alternative loans must be paid back.
Q: If my son/daughter received an academic scholarship/grant this year will it be renewed?
A: For your student to continue to receive an academic scholarship/grant, he/she must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) depending on the type of scholarship/grant that he/she received. Encourage your student to review the information on the back of the award letter that he/she received. The cum GPA is reviewed each year at the end of the Spring semester and your student will be notified if his/her scholarship/grant has been reduced or revoked.
Q: If my son/daughter does well academically, will his/her scholarship/grant be increased to a higher level award?
A: No. Institutional awards are awarded to your son/daughter in his/her freshman year. The value will not increase in subsequent years.
Q: What is Federal Work-Study?
A: Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally funded financial aid employment program for students who demonstrate financial need. If your son/daughter is eligible, he/she is awarded a specific dollar amount that can be earned during the academic year. Unlike other types of financial aid, a FWS award is not applied to the student’s bill. Instead, your son/daughter will receive a paycheck for the hours that he/she worked. Your student may work on-campus as well as off-campus in an approved agency site. Your son/daughter should be encouraged to visit the financial aid office or visit my.sbu.edu to view available job opportunities.
Q: If my son/daughter does not have a Federal Work Study award, can they still work on campus?
A: Yes. Many offices/departments will hire students under the Bona Work program who do not qualify for Federal Work Study. Students are encouraged to visit the financial aid office or visit my.sbu.edu to view available job opportunities under the Bona Work program.
Q: Does my son/daughter have to use their Federal Work Study award?
A: No. It is not mandatory that your student obtain work study employment. Work study earnings are intended to help your son/daughter pay for books, supplies and personal expenses during the academic year. Work study earnings also have the advantage of being excluded when applying for financial aid in subsequent years. Your son/daughter may have earnings from a summer job or have financial help from the family that will help meet all educational expenses without utilizing the work study award. However if your student does not obtain a work study position he/she will not receive the work study award. The student will only receive a paycheck for the hours that he/she works.
Q: What is the difference between a Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan and an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan?
A: The government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while your son/daughter is enrolled at least half time in college. The government does not pay the interest on an unsubsidized loan. Your son/daughter will need to make interest payments while he/she is still enrolled in school or defer the interest payments to begin after leaving/graduating from college. For more information about the loans and how to apply check here.
Q: Are fees deducted from Stafford Loan?
A: There is a 2% origination fee that is withheld from most loans. When calculating how much of the Stafford Loan will be credited to your student’s account, multiply the amount that appears on the award letter by 98%. For example, from a typical freshman loan of $2,625, a total of $2,572.50 will be credited to your student’s account.
Q: What should I do if my student is selected for Verification?
A: If your student is selected for Verification of information by either St. Bonaventure or the federal processor, the Office of Financial Aid will send you a request for additional, missing or incomplete documents. Please respond to these requests as soon as possible since awards are not final until the verification process is complete and the results of verification may revise your eligibility and financial aid package.
Q: Is it possible to appeal the financial aid award?
A: Yes. If you experience a change in financial circumstances, it is possible to appeal the award. This appeal needs to be done in writing and sent with documentation to the Office of Financial Aid for consideration.
Q: When do I pay my bill?
A: Tuition bills are sent on a semester basis. You will receive the tuition bill prior to the beginning of each semester. In July and December, the Business Office will send the bill, which will list approved financial aid if all necessary paperwork has been completed. Payment for the Fall semester is due in August, and the Spring semester bill is due mid-December. The bill you receive will list the exact due date. This date is very important, as you may be assessed a late payment fee or be held from registration if the bill is not paid on time.
Q: Are payment plans available?
A: Yes. The Business Office offers plans that enable you to pay your balance due in monthly installments. The plans do not charge interest, but do charge enrollment fees. For some plans a down payment is required. You will receive specific information about the plans in a separate mailing from the Business Office. If you have any questions you can contact the Business Office at (716) 375-2100 or click here for more information.
Q: Are there any additional financing options available beyond those listed on the financial aid award letter?
A: Your son/daughter may consider applying for an Alternative Loan. This is a loan borrowed through a major lender. Generally, the student must have a credit-worthy co-signer. Parents may wish to consider a PLUS loan. For additional information on Alternative and PLUS loans, including instructions on how to apply, click here.
Q: How will moving off-campus affect my son/daughter’s financial aid?
A: If your student is receiving an institutional award with a resident component, then he/she must reside in on-campus housing. If your student elects to move off-campus, the resident portion of the award will be removed from his/her package.
Q: If my son/daughter receives an outside scholarship will his/her financial aid be adjusted?
A: Generally outside scholarships, those scholarships received from sources outside the university, will be used to meet your student’s remaining unmet need, if there is any. If your son/daughter does not have a remaining unmet need, it may be necessary to adjust the self-help (loans or work) portion of the financial aid award. You should encourage your student to contact the Office of Financial Aid with specific questions in this regard.
Q: What about scholarship search services that I keep reading about? They make it sound so easy and often guarantee finding scholarships for which my son/daughter will qualify.
A: Caution your son/daughter of any scholarship services that guarantee results, especially if there is a fee involved. Make sure they use caution with unsolicited offers of assistance and read all the fine print carefully. Remember, scholarships are free money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.