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Self-Paced Degree Program Financial Aid

SPDP Handbook

View the SPDP handbook.  

What is the Self-Paced Degree Program (SPDP)?

Upper Iowa University (UIU) offers self-paced correspondence courses as an option for students pursuing a college education. These courses are offered through UIU's Self-Paced Degree Program (SPDP). A correspondence course is a home-study course under which UIU provides instructional material, including examinations on the material to students who are not physically attending classes in a UIU classroom. Correspondence courses are self-paced. When you complete a portion of the instructional materials, examinations are provided that relate to that portion of the material. 

Is the SPDP eligible for financial aid funds?

Yes, students seeking financial aid must be officially accepted to Upper Iowa University, be degree seeking, and be enrolled at least half-time for Federal Student Aid (FSA) purposes.

What does half-time mean?

Students must be registered in 2 courses (6 credits) per each 6 month enrollment.  FSA funding covers the cost of tuition and book allowance for each course for half-time students meeting eligibility requirements. The FAFSA must be completed each year a student attends for eligibility to be determined

How long is the SPDP academic year?   

The defined academic year for SPDP is 2 calendar years (24 months) of enrollment. Courses for the SPDP program are 6 months in length. Students have the option of registering for additional courses, having 12 different start dates each calendar year.

What is the academic year start date for SPDP?

For financial aid purposes, the start of the financial aid year begins with classes starting May 1. For instance, classes starting on May 1, 2016, will be considered part of the 2016-2017 school year for financial aid purposes only. 

Self-Paced Degree Program Chart

Can I enroll in other classes that are not considered SPDP?

Yes, but you can only receive financial aid in one program of choice per enrollment period.  For example:  

Student A is enrolled in 6 credits of self-paced study and 3 credits at one of the center locations.  Student A would receive aid for the 6 credits self-paced, but not for the 3 credits at the center location. 

Student B is enrolled in 6 credits at one of the center locations and 3 credits of self-paced study. Student B would receive aid for the 6 credits taken at the center location, but not for the 3 credits of self-paced study.

How will I receive my Financial Aid funds?

Financial aid funds will be credited to your UIU student account for each 6 month enrollment once completion standards are verified. Funding will be applied toward your charges. Funding that is applied to your account for each enrollment during the payment period will be based off the incurred charges for the year (payment period).

When will I receive my financial aid?

Students who qualify for financial aid in the Self-Paced Degree Study Program will be awarded for a payment period of 12 months of instructional time (2 sets of classes – 6 months in length). Aid will disburse for each 6 month enrollment to eligible students who meet the successful completion standards* for the courses. Students taking more than 2 classes during a 6 month enrollment must notify the financial aid office to have their award adjusted to reflect additional eligibility. Below are the completion standards that must be met to qualify for aid awarded:

Pell Funds will disburse as follows:

    • After successful completion of 25% of the academic year (1st set of classes/6 months) eligible students will have earned the first half of Pell Grant funds. All assignments must be completed/submitted by the end of the 6 month enrollment for your first set of classes.
    • After successful completion of 75% of the academic year (3rd set of classes/18 months) eligible students will have earned the second half of Pell Grant funds. All assignments must be completed/submitted by the end of the 6 month enrollment for your third set of classes.

Loan Funds will disburse as follows:

    • After successful completion of 25% of the academic year (1st set of classes/6 months) eligible students will have earned the first disbursement of loan funds in the first payment period. All assignments must be completed/submitted for your first set of courses by the end of your first 6 month enrollment.
    • After successful completion of 50% of the academic year (2nd set of classes/12 months) eligible students will have earned the second disbursement of loan funds. All assignments must be completed/submitted for the set of courses by the end of the 6 month enrollment.
    • After successful completion of 75% of the academic year (3rd set of classes/18 months) eligible students will have earned the first disbursement of loan funds in the second payment period. All assignments must be completed/submitted for your first set of courses by the end of your first 6 month enrollment.
    • After successful completion of 100% of the academic year (4th set of classes/24 months) eligible students will have earned the second disbursement of loan funds. All assignments must be completed/submitted for your first set of courses by the end of your first 6 month enrollment.

*Failure to meet the above completion standards could result in the loss of the funding you were awarded. An extension for courses in the Self-Paced Degree Program does not apply to your financial aid eligibility, as successful completion is measured for each 6 month enrollment. The coursework must be graded by the instructor and returned to the Self-Paced Degree Program office by the end of the each 6 month enrollment.  Your financial aid will be delayed if successful completion is not met.

Withdrawals

A withdrawal calculation will be required for students who do not successfully complete the assignments within each 6 month enrollment. For financial aid purposes, students must take 2 sets of classes (6 month enrollment per set) and successfully complete the coursework prior to the end date of each 6 month enrollment to qualify for awarded eligibility. Students who successfully complete all assignments during the first 6 month enrollment in the 12 month payment period, but are not re-enrolled in the second set of courses within 45 days of completing the first set of courses (6 month enrollment), will be considered withdrawn and a financial aid calculation will be required. This could affect current and future eligibility.

Please contact your advisor to register for the next set of courses prior to completing your current courses. Otherwise, please notify the Financial Aid Office of your intent to not re-enroll.

For additional information, please refer to the Self-Paced Degree Program Financial Aid Handbook

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