Jul 15, 2024  
2022 - 2023 Catalog 
2022 - 2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is available to eligible students. It is the goal of the University of Mary to provide adequate financial aid to all students who apply. The primary responsibility for funding a college education rests with the student and family. Assistance offered by the college, the government, and other sources is viewed as supplemental to the efforts of the student and family.

Questions on the financial aid application process can be directed to the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@umary.edu or (701) 355-8142.

Am I Eligible to Receive Federal Financial Aid?

Students applying for federal financial aid must:

  1. Be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
  2. Have a valid Social Security Number.
  3. Have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  4. Be accepted and enrolled in an eligible degree-granting program.
  5. Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  6. Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
  7. If male, register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System.
  8. Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs that occurred while receiving federal financial aid.

How to Apply?

In order to determine eligibility for most types of financial aid, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA applications must be completed annually online at www.fafsa.gov. Both the student and, if dependent, the parent will need a FSA ID, which can be applied for at https://fsaid.ed.gov.

When completing the FAFSA, applicants must list the University of Mary as a college they plan to attend. University of Mary’s school code is 002992. To be considered for the maximum financial aid, students are encouraged to complete a FAFSA application annually after October 1.

Prior to receiving an award offer and financial aid, students must be accepted and enrolled in an eligible degree-granting program from the University of Mary.

How Is Eligibility Determined?

Financial Aid eligibility is determined based on financial need. Financial need is determined by a federal formula using the results of a student’s FAFSA application. Items such as income and assets, the number of dependents in the household, the number of family members currently enrolled in college, and the cost of the educational program, as well as other factors, are used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Need is the difference between a student’s cost of attendance and their estimated family contribution as determined based on the results of their annual FAFSA application. A student’s cost of attendance will include not only direct costs, such as tuition and fees and room and board, but also indirect costs such as books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous educational expenses. The Office of Financial Aid will build a realistic cost of attendance, or budget, per eligible program of study to reflect a student’s total cost of attending the University of Mary.

Enrollment Status

Undergraduate Students*

Full-time 12 or more credits
Three-quarter time 9-11 credits
Half-time 6-8 credits
Less than half-time 5 or fewer credits




*Undergraduate students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to be considered eligible for federal loans.

Graduate Students*

Full-time 9 or more credits
Three-quarter time 7-8 credits
Half-time 5-6 credits
Less than half-time 4 or fewer credits

*Graduate students must be enrolled at least half-time (5 credits) to be considered eligible for federal financial loans.

Financial Aid Disbursements and Refunds

All the financial aid students accept, including federal and non-federal, grants and loans, will be directly credited to a student’s account. The financial aid disbursement date is the day funds are applied to a student’s account. Depending on program of study, financial aid will be disbursed either once per semester or over the course of the semester. Students can view semester disbursement dates online through the financial aid portal at finaid.umary.edu/student.

Financial aid refunds (excess aid) will not be made available to students until the last day to add/drop courses each semester, as noted on the University of Mary Academic Calendar, and after all semester charges are paid in full. Refunds are issued in the form of a check mailed by the Office of Student Accounts. Students can view their student account anytime online through the student portal located at my.umary.edu.

Financial Aid Sources

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for information on any of the following programs. Students should apply for as many aid options as possible.

Grant Programs

Federal Pell Grant: A Federal Pell grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. The amount depends on financial need, costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

SEOG Grant: SEOG grant funding, like the Pell Grant, does not have to be repaid. Funding depends on need and availability of funds at the school. Pell Grant recipients receive priority consideration for SEOG funding.

Teach Grant: The TEACH Grant Program provides grants up to $4,000 a year to students who agree to teach for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families. Specific requirements and application steps apply. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional eligibility information.


Federal Work Study (FWS): The Federal Work Study program provides funds earned through part-time employment either on or off-campus. FWS funding depends on student’s eligibility and availability of funds at the school, so early completion of the FASFA is important.

Loan Programs

The University of Mary participates in all major federal student loan programs. To receive a federal loan, students will need to complete both a loan agreement (MPN) and entrance counseling online at www.studentloans.gov. Additional requirements may be needed dependent on the loan program. Students should visit with the Office of Financial Aid for loan program specifics.

Federal Nursing Student Loan (NSL): The Federal Nursing Student Loan (NSL) is a federal loan available to undergraduate Nursing students who demonstrate need. Interest is fixed at five percent (5%). No interest is charged while a student is enrolled at least half-time in school. Full payments of principal and interest begin nine months after a student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment.

Subsidized Loan: This loan is for students who demonstrate financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during grace period, and during deferment periods. Full payments of principal and interest begin six months after a student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment.

Unsubsidized Loan: This loan is not based on financial need. Interest begins accruing from the time of disbursement. Interest payments are billed quarterly while a student is in school. Full payments of principal and interest begin six months after a student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment.

University of Mary Scholarships

Most University of Mary scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters. Student enrolled as full-time Year-Round Campus (YRC) students or in undergraduate or graduate non-traditional programs may be eligible to receive scholarship awards for consecutive enrollment (fall, spring, and summer) dependent on scholarship criteria. Most institutional scholarships are renewable up to a maximum of 8 semesters.

Merit Based Scholarships: Students prior academic performance in high school or college is rewarded through either the Blessed John Henry Newman or Sr. Thomas Welder academic scholarships. Scholarship awards are either made for the fall and spring semesters for traditional undergraduate students or up to eight consecutive semesters for Year-Round Campus (YRC). Students must maintain full-time enrollment to qualify.

ELA Seasonal Scholarship Competition: Qualifying incoming freshmen can compete in seasonal scholarship competitions to earn scholarship exceeding their merit-based scholarship amounts. Selection criteria vary by event, but can include a portfolio presentation, professor interview, and written essay. Competition scholarship awards are the Trustee’s Scholarship, Founder’s Scholarship, and the Dean’s Scholarship.

Activity Scholarship: Scholarships are available for participation in designated campus activities. Activity scholarships are awarded on an annual basis to full-time traditional undergraduate students. Specific scholarship information can be obtained from the sponsoring campus organization or the Office of Financial Aid.

Catholic Scholars: The Catholic Scholars award is given to qualifying incoming, first-time freshman based on specified criteria. This scholarship is valued based on actual campus room and board costs. Award caps exist.

State Programs

North Dakota State Grant: The North Dakota State Grant provides need-based grants for North Dakota first-time undergraduate college students. Student’s FAFSA application serves as their application for the North Dakota State Grant. FAFSA applications should be submitted as soon as student is able for priority consideration.

North Dakota Indian Scholarship: Based on scholastic ability and financial need, the North Dakota Indian Scholarship assists American Indian students in obtaining a college education. Application can be made through the North Dakota University System (www.ndus.edu). Annual priority application deadline is July 15.

North Dakota Scholars Program: High school juniors who score in the upper ninety-fifth percentile of all state test takers will be considered as candidates for the Scholars award. To be considered, students must complete the ACT assessment between October 1 and July 1 of their junior year of high school. No additional application is required.

North Dakota Academic Scholarship and North Dakota Career & Technical Education Scholarship: These merit scholarship opportunities are available for North Dakota high school seniors. To apply students must complete either the ACT or WorkKeys assessments on or before February 12 and complete the application form found on the North Dakota Department of Public Instructions website, https://www.nd.gov/dpi/SchoolStaff/SAO/grantscholar/.

Other Payment Options

Parent PLUS Loan: This loan is for parents of dependent undergraduate students. Students must be enrolled half-time. Parent borrowers enter repayment 60 days after final loan disbursement.  Parent borrowers are required to sign a PLUS loan master promissory note (MPN) agreeing to the terms of the loan. Interest rate information can found online at www.studentaid.gov/interest.

Graduate PLUS Loan: This non-need based federal student loan is available to graduate students enrolled at least part-time. Graduate students who haven’t previously received a PLUS loan are required to complete a PLUS Loan master promissory note (MPN) and loan entrance counseling. Interest rate information can be found online at www.studentaid.gov/interest.

Private Education Loan: Private education loans are private student loans that help supplement federal financing. These are private loans that students must apply for and qualify for based on lender requirements. Federal funding sources should be pursued first.

Payment Plan: The University of Mary offers a convenient payment plan offered through Nelnet Business Solutions. A small enrolment fee is required to enroll in this no-interest plan. More information can be obtained from the Student Accounts Office.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid

Federal regulations require institutions participating in Title IV student financial aid programs to have in place a satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standard which contains both a qualitative and quantitative measure, defines the maximum timeframe for degree completion which cannot exceed 150% of the credits required for graduation, and which is at least as stringent as the criteria used to measure satisfactory progress for students who are not receiving federal aid. The academic record of all students, regardless of receipt of financial aid, will be monitored to ensure compliance with financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards.

In accordance with federal regulation, the University of Mary has established the following policy regarding satisfactory academic progress:

Quantitative Standard

  • 1st year undergraduate students (0-29 credits earned) must maintain a 1.8 cumulative GPA.
  • 2nd year undergraduate students and beyond (30+ credits earned) must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Graduate students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
  • For repeated courses, the highest grade earned is used in the cumulative GPA calculation.

Qualitative Standard

  • Undergraduate and graduate students must successfully compete at least 67% of all attempted credits.
  • The grades W, WP, WF, F, PI, and I are considered attempted and will be considered as unsuccessful completion.
  • Transfer credits will be factored into completion ratio as both attempted and completed.
  • All repeated courses will be considered as attempted credits.
  • Courses dropped during the University’s official add/drop will not be considered as attempted.
  • Credits for courses with pass/fail grades are counted toward attempted credits. Passing grades count as earned grades in the completion ratio but have no effect on GPA.

Maximum Time Frame

  • Undergraduate students must obtain a first bachelor’s degree within 150% of the published number of credits required to complete their program of study. Generally, 186 credits is the standard for most University of Mary undergraduate degrees.
  • The maximum timeframe for graduate students is 150% of the credits required to complete their program of study.
  • Maximum time frame includes all prior credits attempted at University of Mary as well as any credit attempted at other college or universities regardless of the receipt of financial aid.

SAP is reviewed for all students, undergraduate and graduate, at the end of each semester (fall, spring, and summer). Assessment is based on a student’s cumulative academic record, including all transfer credit hours accepted toward their current degree.

Students who fail to maintain SAP standards (quantitative or qualitative) will be placed on financial aid warning for the next semester of enrollment. While on warning, students may receive financial aid; however, they must bring performance up to an acceptable SAP standard in the next term of enrollment or they will be suspended from financial aid until eligibility has been reestablished.

Students within 125%-149% of maximum time frame will receive a notification letter informing them of the maximum time frame requirement. Students are eligible to receive federal financial aid until they have attempted 150% of the credits required for graduation. Students will be place on financial aid suspension once they exceed 150% of the credits required for graduation or it is determined the student cannot mathematically complete their program of study without exceeding maximum time frame.

Right to Appeal

Students have the right to appeal their financial aid suspension. Appeals must be in writing and must accompany the SAP appeal form. Appeal forms can be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid. Appeals should be submitted within 30 days of the student’s notification letter for consideration. Late appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Generally, appeals will be granted for extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s ability to control, such as illness or death of an immediate family member or personal injury or illness.

As a minimum, a student’s SAP appeal must include the following:

  • A signed SAP appeal form.
  • A detailed statement, plus documentation as appropriate, explaining the circumstances that have led to failure to meet the established SAP standards.
  • A statement as to how the student will improve and maintain SAP standards.

Students appealing a suspension due to maximum time frame should provide a detailed letter explaining the reason for failing to graduate in the allotted time, and a planner signed by both the student and academic advisor showing the courses remaining and the semesters in which the courses will be completed to reach graduation.

Students who successfully appeal their Financial Aid Suspension are placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester if it is realistic to assume the student could return to good standing in that timeframe. At the end of the probation semester, students must be meeting SAP, or they will be suspended from receiving Financial Aid. Students who successfully appeal suspension but are not realistically able to return to good standing in one semester are placed on a specific academic plan which is monitored each semester and will allow them to return to good standing prior to completion of their program. Those students approved for a maximum time frame extension will be monitored for course completion as outlined by the appeal and planner.

Students will immediately be placed on Financial Aid Suspension if it is apparent that a student will not be able to meet the qualitative or quantitative standards prior to reaching maximum hours allowed for the degree enrolled, and no further Federal Aid will be authorized.

Students may request an appeal once for any given circumstance. All financial aid appeal decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Students who are suspended may regain eligibility for financial aid by reestablishing their GPA and completion ratio using their own resources.

SAP Definitions for Financial Aid

What does WARNING mean?

Students are placed on warning if they fail to meet one or more of the minimum SAP standards. While on warning, students may continue to receive financial aid, but must meet all SAP minimum standards at the end of the term of enrollment to maintain future financial aid eligibility.

No appeal is required. However, students are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisor and utilize all institutional services including but not limited to counseling, tutoring, writing lab, and accessibility to ensure they will meet all minimum SAP standards at the end of the financial aid warning term. Failure to meet all minimum SAP standards will result in financial aid suspension.

What does SUSPENSION mean?

Students placed on suspension have failed to meet minimum SAP standards two semesters in a row and are no longer eligible to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid. All institutional charges incurred while on suspension will be the personal responsibility of the student to pay.

Suspension will remain in place until the student has completed additional coursework to bring their academic record in compliance with all SAP standards or until their SAP appeal has been approved.

What does PROBATION mean?

Students who have successfully appealed their financial aid suspension, will be placed on probation for one semester. Students are eligible to receive financial aid probation. If the student fails to meet all financial aid SAP standards at the end of their probation term, they will be placed on financial aid suspension.

What does ACADEMIC PLAN mean?

Students will be placed on academic plan should it not be possible for them to meet SAP within one semester and/or the student has exceeded the maximum credit limit for their program of study. Students placed on academic plan will be expected to follow the conditions of their academic plan each semester to continue financial aid eligibility. Failure to follow the conditions of a student’s academic plan will result in the student being placed on suspension.

Grade Changes

If a grade change occurs after the SAP evaluation process is completed, students may contact the University of Mary Office of Financial Aid to review their status with the inclusion of the new grade(s). If inclusion of the updated grade changes the students SAP status, the status will be updated to reflect the new evaluation for the current term and a status change notice will be sent to the student.

Changes of Major and Second Degrees

Students who change majors or pursue a second degree are still expected to meet SAP standards for maximum time frame. If the student has previously completed courses that are not applicable to the current degree plan, he or she is encouraged to file an appeal of their financial aid status.

Aid Affected by Financial Aid Suspension

All federal, state, and most institutional financial aid programs are subject to financial aid SAP standards. Also, some outside sources of financial aid such as private scholarships and private education loans are subject to financial aid SAP as well.

Reestablishing Eligibility for Financial Aid

Students who have become ineligible for financial aid can reestablish eligibility by doing the following:

  1. Successfully completing coursework without federal, state, or institutional resources to bring their cumulative GPA and completion rate to minimum standards.

    If it is not possible for a student to reach minimum SAP standards within one semester, they may consider filing an appeal based upon their improved academic record after successful completion of a semester in which the student did not benefit from federal, state, or institutional aid.
  2. By filing an appeal of the financial aid suspension for consideration of reinstatement of eligibility. See section titled Right to Appeal.

Changes in Enrollment

Adding or dropping courses at any point in the semester may or may not affect a student’s financial aid and institutional charges. Students should contact either the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@umary.edu or the Office of Student Accounts at staccts@umary.edu to determine if a change in enrollment will affect them

Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Funds

If a student withdraws or is expelled from the University of Mary prior to the end of the semester, a federal return calculation known as Return of Title IV funds must be completed. The amount of financial aid earned is calculated based on the number of days completed in the semester on a prorated basis. The percentage is then applied to the financial aid received to determine how much aid a student has earned. If a student has received more aid than he or she earned, the financial aid funds will be returned to the appropriate issuing agency. If a student has earned more aid than what was disbursed, a possible post-withdrawal disbursement of financial aid can be made to help cover tuition, fees, and other charges. Return of Title IV financial aid are done in the manner prescribed by law.

The institutional Return to Tile IV policy, which prorates eligibility based on attendance, applies to all financial aid programs, federal, state, and institutional. Adjustments to a student’s institutional charges for tuition, fees, room and board for a student who withdraws or is expelled is outlined in the Tuition and Fees  section of the catalog.

A student who has received financial aid, who withdraws or is expelled may be required to repay some or all the financial aid award funds received. Any institutional charges resulting from the university will be the responsibility of the student to pay in full.

Financial Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Department of Education requires institutions participating in the Title IV Federal Financial Aid programs to maintain a written policy regarding federal financial aid recipients who withdraw or otherwise fail to complete the semester for which their financial aid was disbursed.

Title IV Federal financial aid is awarded to students under the assumption the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is offered. When a student withdraws, they may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds they were originally scheduled to receive. Title IV funds include Pell grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant, TEACH Grant, and Federal Direct Loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, parent PLUS, and grad PLUS)

For Return of Title IV (R2T4) and institutional purposes, a student is considered enrolled until he or she has completed and submitted an Add/Drop/Withdrawal or Stop Out form, UMary exit survey, or until the end of the semester has been reached, whichever comes first. Students who wish to withdraw from all semester courses (fall, spring, or summer) must submit a completed Add/Drop/Withdrawal or Stop Out form to the Office of Registrar or complete a UMary exit survey. Failure to attend scheduled courses does not constitute an official withdrawal.

Upon receiving notification of a student’s complete withdrawal from the Office of Registrar, the Office of Financial Aid will complete an R2T4 calculation as soon as possible, and within 45 days from the date of withdrawal. The financial aid office will confirm date of withdrawal with the Registrar’s Office and use this date as the return date.

Students whose program of study or course work does not span the entire length of the payment period are considered to be enrolled in course offered in modules. Students enrolled in modules are considered withdrawn if they do not complete all the scheduled days in a module that was used to determine eligibility for federal aid. Students are not considered withdrawn if:

  • The student successfully completes one module of a combination of modules that contain at least 49% of days within the semester. Successful completion is defined as earning a letter grade or A, B, C, or D.
  • The student successfully completes coursework that represents half time enrollment (6 credits undergraduate/ 5 credits graduate).
  • The student provides written confirmation of their intent to return to a later module within the same semester.

Students enrolled in modules, who meet at least one of the above criteria will be granted a R2T4 exception and no adjustments to their federal aid will occur.

Unearned funds will be returned as required by the school. When funds are returned from a student’s account, the student will be responsible for any balance due. The Office of Student Accounts will bill for any unpaid charges.

If a student has completed all requirements for disbursement of aid prior to complete withdrawal and before receiving a federal aid disbursement, they are eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement to their student account. Post-withdrawal funds will be included in the return calculation.

  • If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes federal direct loan funds, a notice will be sent to the student requiring acceptance of loan funds. Students must respond to the post-withdrawal notice within 14 business days. No post-withdrawal federal loan funds will be disbursed without student acceptance.
  • If the post withdrawal disbursement includes federal grant funds, such as a Federal Pell Grant, the funds will be disbursed to the student account without additional acceptance.

All post withdrawal disbursements, whether comprised of grants or loans, must be disbursed to a student’s account within 180 days of the date of withdrawal determination.

Students completing 60.01% or more of the payment period (a.k.a. semester) are considered to have earned all funds disbursed. 

Students who fail all semester courses attempted are assumed to have ceased attendance and a return calculation is required. The University of Mary is not required to take attendance. In order to benefit our students, the Office of Financial Aid checks with instructors for last date of academically related activity when completing a review of all failing courses.

The Office of Financial Aid notifies students when a federal return calculation is performed, the amount of and programs federal funds were returned to, and their obligation to repay any account balance incurred as a result of the federal return calculation. This notification is mailed to the student’s legal, permanent address on file with the Office of Registrar.

This policy does not apply to students who cancel their registration prior to the first day of classes or students who drop some but not all their classes. In these cases, the Office of Financial Aid may have to recalculate a student’s financial aid offer based on their revised enrollment status.

Federal Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) Calculation

The amount of federal Title IV funds earned is based upon the percentage of the period of enrollment (semester) completed. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of days completed (as of the date the student discontinues enrollment) by the total number of days in the semesters as determined by the Office of Financial Aid in compliance with federal regulations. The percentage is applied to the aid received to determine earned and unearned aid. If any aid is determined to be unearned, it must be returned to the appropriate financial aid program within 45 days of calculation. The amount returned cannot exceed the amount the student received from that aid program.

Federal aid will be returned in the following order, up to the total net amount disbursed form each source:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Parent or Graduate PLUS Loans
  4. Pell Grant
  5. SEOG
  6. Other Title IV programs such as TEACH Grant or Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant