Student rights and responsibilities

Verification process

The U.S. Department of Education requires that certain financial aid applications be verified. Olin College verifies all applications selected by the U.S. Department of Education, as well as institutionally selected applications. In addition, the Financial Aid Office is required to clarify any unclear or conflicting information in a financial aid application. If additional documentation is necessary, you will receive notification from the Financial Aid Office. Please respond to the request for documentation within the deadlines indicated.

NOTE: For incoming students, your Financial Aid Award is a tentative award until such time as verification documents are received and reviewed. If you are aware of discrepancies in income or assets, please make necessary corrections to your FAFSA. Any adjustments to aid due to Verification will be indicated on a revised award letter.

Appeal process/change in circumstance

Occasionally students may find that the financial circumstances reported on the FAFSA do not accurately reflect their current situation. In these cases students have an opportunity to submit an appeal letter for reconsideration of their financial aid eligibility. In most circumstances these requests will require supporting documentation.

Students are required by the federal government to update the Financial Aid Office regarding certain changes that occur during the academic year. The following changes MUST be reported:

  • Number of family members in the household
  • Number of siblings attending college
  • Student’s enrollment status
  • Student’s housing status

NOTE: A change to any of the above factors could result in an adjustment to the financial aid award.

Outside scholarship policy

We encourage all students to pursue outside scholarships to help meet their annual student contribution. Students are required to inform the Financial Aid Office of any grants, scholarships, or benefits received from sources outside the college. Please provide a copy of the award notification as soon as possible. An outside award that is restricted to tuition will reduce your Olin Tuition Scholarship only if it exceeds the remaining tuition.

It is our policy to use the first $3500 of outside scholarships received to meet your student contribution and reduce the amount you may need to borrow. If you receive need-based grants from Olin and receive outside aid in excess of $3500, we will be required to reduce your Olin Need-Based Grant so that the total amount of aid does not exceed your financial need. The total amount of outside scholarship is divided equally between the Fall and Spring semesters. Outside scholarships must be reported to the Financial Aid Office annually. We will not automatically renew an award from a previous year without an annual notice from the agency indicating renewal.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that students receiving financial assistance meet certain standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. This means that the student is making progress toward completing their degree in a manner determined by the school. Financial Aid follows the same academic criteria as the Committee on Student Academic Performance (COSAP) and the standard applies to both Federal and Institutional funding received by the student. In addition to this COSAP review, the Financial Aid Office will review pace of progression in cooperation with the Registrar. The quantitative calculation of pace of progression differs from the college quantitative measure in the treatment of transfer credits. Both standards must be met for continued financial aid eligibility. Specific criteria may also exist for particular awards. Students who are not in Good Academic Standing will be placed on financial aid warning. During this warning period students continue to receive financial assistance. If at the end of the warning period the student is not meeting the required standard, they may be placed on financial aid suspension until such time as they are meeting the required standard. During financial aid suspension, students are not eligible for Federal and Institutional funding — this includes the Olin Tuition Scholarship and any other applicable merit funding. Appeals to these decisions may be directed to the Director of Financial Aid and will be reviewed by the Appeals Committee.  The SAP Policy contains specifics regarding the review and appeals process. 

Direct loan borrowers

The Department of Education has developed a comprehensive website at StudentLoans.Gov to provide Consumer Information to student and parent borrowers.

Students who are borrowing through the Federal Direct Loan program are also required to complete Entrance Counseling to advise of their Rights and Responsibilities with regard to borrowing a student loan. This is completed at Entrance Counseling must be completed prior to the first disbursement of your student loan.

Exit Counseling is completed upon graduation and/or less than half-time enrollment. Students can visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for comprehensive information regarding their student loan history and servicing information. Exit Counseling is also completed at the StudentLoans.Gov website. Borrowers who withdraw or take an academic leave of absence from the college prior to completing degree requirements MUST complete this requirement as part of the withdrawal process. Students who fail to complete this requirement will be subject to a hold on their student record.

Students and parents with an executed Master Promissory Note (MPN) should note that the loan will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible to guaranty agencies lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Requirements for return of Title IV, HEA grant or loan

Students who withdraw from Olin College must file a College Withdrawal Form with the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Advising. Students who withdraw from all classes before the 60% point in a semester may be required to repay all or a portion of the Title IV financial aid they received for that semester. The exact amount to be returned will vary depending on the amount of aid received and at what point during the semester the student withdraws from the college.

If a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws after beginning attendance in a term, the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined. The amount earned is calculated by taking into consideration the percentage of the semester completed and the amount of aid the student was eligible to receive. This is known as the Return to Title IV calculation. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, the unearned funds must be returned. If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, he or she is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. Students who withdraw after the 60% point of the semester will have fully earned their Title IV aid and no funds will be returned.

Students owing a balance to the college will receive a revised statement of account.

Notice of federal student financial aid penalties for drug law violations

A conviction for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which a student received Title IV, HEA program funds, under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work study assistance (HEA Sec.484(r)(1);(20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(1)).

Study away

Students who are planning to study away should meet with financial aid staff to discuss options and eligibility prior to submitting their study away plan for approval. A Consortium Agreement is required of all students who study away who receive need-based aid and Federal loans.

Statement of ethical principles and code of conduct for institutional financial aid professionals

Department of Education regulation requires a school that participates in an FSA loan program to establish and enforce a code of conduct that includes bans on:

  • Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
  • Steering borrowers to particular lenders or delaying loan certifications
  • Offers of 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

This code of conduct applies to the officers, employees and agents of the school and must also prohibit employees of the financial aid office from receiving gifts from a lender, guaranty agency or loan servicer.

This code also prohibits financial aid office staff (or other employees or agents with responsibilities with respect to education loans) from accepting compensations for:

  • Any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans; and
  • Service on an advisory board, commission, or group established by lenders or guarantors, except for reimbursement for reasonable expenses.

As an Institutional member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Olin College supports and adheres to the Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct established by NASFAA in March 2014.