Attendance Policy

Waldorf University will verify your attendance in each registered course at the end of the first week. The discussion board posting or Unit I Assessment must be submitted to verify attendance and all Unit I assignments are due by the end of week one to receive credit. Students who choose not to attend the first week will be institutionally dropped from the course.

Enrollment Status Requirements

The number of semester hours a student is enrolled during a term affects the amount of FSA the student will receive. Students must be enrolled on at least a half-time status in consecutive terms. Students not meeting the attendance standard indicated above in one or all of their courses will receive a reduction in their enrollment status. If a student does not meet the minimum enrollment status, FSA will not be disbursed. Please refer to the chart below for enrollment status classifications.

Enrollment Status Requirements
Enrollment Status Credits
Full-Time (Undergraduate) 6+
Full-Time (Graduate) 3
3/4 Time 5
Half-Time 3-4
Less than Half-Time 1-2

Dropping or Withdrawing From Courses

Dropping or withdrawing from courses can affect a student’s enrollment status, which in turn affects eligibility for FSA. If a student’s status drops below half-time as a result of a drop or withdrawal during the term, the student may become ineligible for Federal Student Loans including funds that may have already been disbursed for the term. See the Term Enrollment Policies page for more information.

Incomplete Course Policy

Students may request a single 45-day extension for each course. Please visit the Term Enrollment Policies section of our website for more details about this policy. Students on extension will receive an "I" (incomplete) grade in their course until the extension ends or course is completed. A grade of “I” is equal to a grade of “F” for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculations. Therefore, grades of "I" may affect a student's future registrations, grade point average and eligibility for FSA.

Academic Year

Students receiving FSA must follow an academic calendar consisting of an “academic year” that is made up of four terms; each term is nine weeks in length. The academic year begins on the start date of the first term in which FSA is used. The academic year must be at least 32 weeks of instructional time for financial aid purposes. A full-time undergraduate student must be expected to complete at least 24 semester hours (six hours each term) within the weeks defined in the academic year.

Course Load Policy

The program advisor must approve all course loads over seven semester hours. Students requesting course loads over seven hours must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. The maximum course load allowed for undergraduate students is nine semester hours (three courses). A student may not take courses in overlapping terms. Course grade reports will be issued at the end of the term. Please see graduate catalog for graduate course load policy.

Note: A full-time load in a nine-week term is six hours for undergraduate programs.

Leave of Absence Policy

Students unable to enroll in one or more terms may apply for a temporary Leave of Absence (LOA) from the university. This policy is designed to allow a student the flexibility to take a temporary break from their academic program and, upon return, a student will not be required to apply for readmission to the university. A student will not be granted an LOA in the middle of a term; therefore, for purposes of Title IV, a student granted a temporary LOA will be considered withdrawn from the university during this time. A student is expected to complete all courses if currently enrolled in a term and apply for an LOA to begin at the start of the next term in the academic program. If a student is having difficulty or unable to complete all courses in the term, the student may apply for an “Incomplete” or an “Incomplete for Special Circumstances,” or the student may withdraw, in which case a Return of Title IV calculation may be required.

A student may apply for an LOA by submitting the Leave of Absence Request Form located in myWaldorf Student Portal. All requests must be submitted a minimum of three weeks prior to the start of the term that the student will be unable to attend. A temporary LOA from the university will only be granted to a student planning to return to their academic program at the end of the LOA. In addition, the LOA request may not exceed more than two consecutive terms within a 12 month period. A student may request more than one LOA during the student’s academic program not to exceed two terms within a 12 month period. A student may return from an LOA early and resume enrollment in the next available term or enrollment period.

Important facts concerning a Leave of Absence:

  • For purposes of Title IV, a student will be considered withdrawn from the university while on a LOA; therefore federal student loans are not eligible for an in-school deferment;
  • A student will not be eligible to receive federal student aid while on an LOA;
  • A student who fails to return from a LOA will be required to reapply for admissions to the university after a period of 12 months of inactivity in their academic program.

Military/Special Services Leave of Absence Provision

Students requiring a military or special services deployment may request a provisional LOA for the designated deployment period up to 12 consecutive months. A student may apply for a provisional LOA by submitting the Leave of Absence Request Form located in myWaldorf Student Portal. In addition, a student must provide supporting documentation regarding the nature and period of deployment from their commanding officer or supervisor. If the military or special services deployment occurs during a course, the student should contact his or her Academic Advisor to discuss the options provided by the Military Deployment Policy and Incomplete for Special Circumstances Policy.

Academic and Financial Considerations

Students should contact their Academic Advisor and the Financial Aid Office to discuss potential academic and financial implications prior to taking an LOA from their academic program.

Military Deployment Policy

Waldorf University will offer the following options to a student who is a member, or the spouse of a member if the member has a dependent child, of the Iowa National Guard or reserve forces of the United States and who is ordered to state military service or federal service or duty:

  1. Withdraw from the student’s entire registration and receive a full refund of tuition and mandatory fees.
  2. Make arrangements with the student’s instructors for course grades, or for Incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the student’s registration shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for the courses in full.
  3. Make arrangements with only some of the student’s instructors for grades, or for Incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the registration for those courses shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for those courses. Any course for which arrangements cannot be made for grades or incompletes shall be considered dropped, and the tuition and mandatory fees for the course shall be refunded.

Unofficial Withdrawal Policy

If no assignments are submitted in the last 21 days of the term and the student receives a failing grade, the student will be withdrawn from the course and a grade of "WF" will be assigned. Grades of "WF" count in the calculation of the student's GPA the same as a grade of "F." "WF" also is counted in attempted hours. A charge will be posted to the student's account if the text was supplied through the Waldorf Book Grant. An email will be sent to the student providing a link to the Course Drop/Textbook Return Form.

If an assignment has been submitted in the last 21 days of the term, the student will not be withdrawn and no action will be taken. The grade calculation will automatically occur as follows: Any non-submitted assignments will be given a grade of "0" and the final grade calculated.

When determining "Last Day of Attendance" for financial aid purposes, the course mid-point or last assignment date, whichever is later, will be used.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

View Waldorf's Academic Progress Policy.


Students who do not submit any coursework within a 12 month period will be considered inactive and any tuition being held by the college will be forfeited. Students desiring to return to their studies must be reevaluated and will be subject to any changed academic requirements, tuition increases, and policy changes in force at the time of reenrollment.

Verification Process and Procedures

Waldorf must check the accuracy of all applications the Central Processing System (CPS) selects for verification, up to 30 percent of its total number of federal aid applicants. The CPS will select applicants for verification due to edit checks which identify inconsistencies or potential errors, as well as randomly select applicants for verification. Waldorf University must also verify any application information that it has reason to believe is incorrect or discrepant. If the CPS selects an application for verification, it is required that Waldorf verifies five major data elements:

  • Adjusted gross income (AGI)
  • Household size
  • Number enrolled in college
  • U.S. income tax paid
  • Certain untaxed income and benefits
    • Child support received
    • Earned income credit
    • Foreign income exclusion
    • Interest on tax-free bonds
    • IRA/Keogh deductions
    • Social security benefits
    • Welfare benefits (including TANF)

Students selected for verification are sent a letter including instructions regarding the documents that should be submitted to Waldorf within 10 days. The file is held on a pending status and no award will be made until the requested documentation has been received and reviewed. Exceptions are granted for students that are only eligible for unsubsidized Stafford loans and PLUS loans (as these applications do not have to be verified).

The data reported on the verification worksheet, federal tax returns and other supporting documentation provided is checked against the appropriate data elements on the Institutional Student Information Record. Generally speaking, when the new information conflicts with the original information presented on the FAFSA, corrections, updates, and adjustments may need to be made and a new Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated. The new EFC can be calculated by the school and only needs to be submitted to CPS for students eligible for Federal Pell Grants.

Undergraduate Grade Level Determination

Any student pursuing an undergraduate degree must be classified by grade level, as well as meet grade level progression in order to comply with the requirements of FSA and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL). Graduate students do not have grade level requirements.

Please refer to the table below to determine the grade level or the progression rate of an undergraduate student.

Undergraduate Grade Level Determination
Number of Credits Completed Grade Level
0-24 Credits Freshman
25-45 Credits Sophomore
49-72 Credits Junior
73 or More Credits Senior

Grade level progression occurs after 24 semester hours are successfully completed. This is based off of the federal requirement that an academic year must meet minimum requirements. At Waldorf, this means a minimum of 24 semester hours and a minimum of 32 weeks of instruction.

Any new student entering Waldorf who wishes to use FSA must first be fully accepted into an approved program. The results of the evaluation will determine what credit will transfer into Waldorf, which will also determine the student’s current grade level. While attending Waldorf, the student will need to submit a course transfer request form if subsequent coursework is completed outside of Waldorf. Then the student’s grade level would be recalculated using the additional transfer credit to ensure that the student’s account and grade level will be accurate. Regarding loan limits associated with a student’s grade level, a student will only progress to a higher grade level once he/she begins a new academic year.

Loan Entrance/Exit Counseling (Required)

The U.S. Department of Education requires that any student receiving a FFEL complete loan entrance and exit counseling. Loan entrance counseling provides information to students concerning how to manage student loans, both during and after college. Exit counseling is generally required once a student drops below half-time enrollment status, withdraws or graduates. The student must notify the Waldorf Office of Financial Aid prior to withdrawal or graduation for loan counseling. The purpose of loan exit counseling is to inform the student of their tentative total loans received while in attendance at Waldorf and to provide the student with an estimated payment schedule.

Borrower Rights & Responsibilities

When a student takes on a student loan, he/she has certain rights and responsibilities.

The borrower has the right to receive the following information before the first loan disbursement.

  • The full amount of the loan.
  • The interest rate.
  • When the student must start repaying the loan.
  • The effect borrowing will have on the student's eligibility for other types of financial aid.
  • A complete list of any charges the student must pay (loan fees) and information on how those charges are collected.
  • The yearly and total amounts the student can borrow.
  • The maximum repayment periods and the minimum repayment amount.
  • An explanation of default and its consequences.
  • An explanation of available options for consolidating or refinancing the student loan.
  • A statement that the student can prepay the loan at any time without penalty.

The borrower has the right to receive the following information before leaving school.

  • The amount of the student's total debt (principal and estimated interest), what the student's interest late is, and the total interest charges on the loan(s).
  • A loan repayment schedule that lets the student know when his/her first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment.
  • If the student has FFEL Program Loans, the name of the lender or agency that holds the student's loan(s), where to send the student's payments, and where to write or call if the student has questions.
  • The fees the student should expect during the repayment period, such as late charges and collection or litigation costs if delinquent or in default.
  • An explanation of available options for consolidating or refinancing the student's loan.
  • A statement that the student can repay his/her loan without penalty at any time.
  • The borrower has a responsibility to do the following.
  • Understand that by signing the promissory note, the student is agreeing to repay the loan according to the terms of the note.
  • Make payments on the student loan even if the student does not receive a bill or repayment notice.
  • If the student applies for a deferment or forbearance, he/she must still continue to make payments until notification that the request has been granted.
  • Notify the appropriate representative (institution, agency or lender) that manages the student's loan when the student graduates, withdraws from school, or drops below half-time status; changes his/her name, address, or social security number, or transfers to another institution.
  • Receive entrance counseling before being given the first loan disbursement and to receive exit counseling before leaving school.

FSA Disbursements

When a student applies for financial aid, the package awarded is based on an academic year. The academic year consist of four terms (32 weeks). FSA awarded for the academic year will be divided into four payment periods that will cover each term.

Pell Grant disbursements will not post to a student’s account until after day 14 of the term. Excess Pell funds will be refunded to the student no sooner than 21 days after the term starts. After the first week of the term has ended, Waldorf will verify that first week of assignments have been completed in all courses enrolled for that term. It is very important that a student completes the first week of instructional requirements; otherwise it will result in the student being institutionally dropped from the course(s). Any Pell eligible student institutionally dropped from a course(s) will have an adjustment to their award.

Federal loans for students will also not be disbursed to Waldorf until attendance has been confirmed. Excess loan funds will be refunded to the student (or lender if designated by the student) within 14 days of receipt by Waldorf or no sooner than 21 days after the term starts.

Once federal funds have been disbursed, students will receive a disbursement notice via email from the Waldorf University Office of Financial Aid.

Loss of Financial Aid Eligibility

Federal regulations require Waldorf to establish and apply reasonable standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for eligible students to receive financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Waldorf students who wish to be considered for financial aid must:

  1. Be in good standing at the university and
  2. Maintain satisfactory academic progress in their program of study as set forth in this policy.

SAP is an FSA eligibility requirement and is administered by the university in addition to the academic standards of performance required under the Waldorf Academic Progress Policy. The SAP policy is reviewed annually by the Waldorf Financial Aid Committee. For more information, please visit the Term Enrollment System Policies page.

Suspension of Federal Student Aid

By statute, students on Financial Aid Probation who do not meet SAP requirements after the probationary period are ineligible for Title IV Federal Student Aid programs. Students who do not maintain SAP or fail to meet the conditions of their Financial Aid Probation will be notified by Waldorf and suspended from receiving Title IV Federal student aid. Students may appeal suspensions by completing the SAP Appeal Petition. Requests for reinstatement of eligibility must be made to the Waldorf Office of Financial Aid no later than one month prior to the term in which the student desires to enroll. Reinstatement following suspension is not automatic.

Undue Hardship

Students may appeal their suspension under SAP if they were unable to maintain SAP as a direct result of hardship or special circumstances, as provided by federal regulations. Personal situations such as the death of a student's relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstance may prevent a student from achieving satisfactory academic progress. As a result, a student may appeal his or her suspension of FSA by completing the SAP Appeal Petition and submitting the Petition to the Financial Aid Office. If the appeal is approved, a student will have a probationary period of 12 semester hours (attempted hours) during which he or she will receive financial aid and re-establish eligibility under SAP.

The financial aid director will submit completed SAP appeal petitions to the Financial Aid Appeal Board for review. The Appeal Board will make the final determination on all Appeal Petitions and forward all decisions to the Financial Aid Director for action. The Financial Aid Director will notify students of their appeal results.

Financial Aid Appeal Procedure

Students may appeal their suspension of financial aid if the student were unable to meet SAP requirements as a direct result of undue hardship or special circumstances, as stated in the federal regulations. Situations such as the death of a student’s relative, personal injury or illness sustained by the student, or other unusual circumstances may prevent a student from achieving SAP. As a result, students have the right to appeal their financial aid suspension by completing the SAP Appeal Form. The appeal will be reviewed by a committee and, if approved, the student will be notified in writing and granted an additional probationary period of one term in which they will receive financial aid and reestablish eligibility under SAP.

Reestablishing Financial Aid Eligibility

A student not making SAP may re-establish eligibility on his or her own, either because an appeal was denied or because he or she did not submit an appeal. A student can re-establish SAP on his or her own by completing enough hours with an acceptable GPA to bring their statistics back to an acceptable level.

Return of Federal Title IV Student Aid Funds Policy

As part of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, Congress passed new provisions governing what must happen to your federal financial assistance if you completely withdraw from school in any term. This change of policy went into effect at Waldorf University beginning with the fall 2000 term. The policy governs all Federal grant and loan programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal SEOG, Federal TEACH Grant and Federal Direct Loans, but doesn't affect Federal Work-Study.

In general, the new law assumes that you earn your federal student aid awards directly in proportion to the number of days of the term you attend. If you completely withdraw from school during a term, the school must calculate according to a specific formula the portion of the total scheduled financial assistance you have earned and are therefore entitled to receive up to the time you withdrew. If you receive (or the university receives on your behalf) more assistance than you earn, the unearned excess funds must be returned to the Department of Education. If, on the other hand, you receive (or the university receives on your behalf) less assistance than the amount you have earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds.

The portion of your federal grants and loans you are entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total number of calendar days in the term to the number of calendar days you completed before you withdrew. (The total number of calendar days in a term shall exclude any scheduled breaks of more than five days.) For example, if you complete 30 percent of the term, you earn 30 percent of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. This means that 70 percent of your scheduled awards remain unearned and must be returned to the federal government.

Federal aid funds are returned in the following order, both by the university and the student:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans;
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans;
  3. Federal Perkins Loans;
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loans;
  5. Federal Pell Grants;
  6. Federal SEOG Grants;
  7. Federal TEACH Grant;
  8. Other Federal aid programs

Once you have completed more than 60 percent of the term, you can be said to have earned all (100 percent) of your assistance. If you withdraw from the university (either officially or unofficially) before completing 60 percent of the term, you may have to repay any unearned federal funds that were already disbursed to you.

Your withdrawal date will be determined by the university as (1) the date you began the university withdrawal process or the date you officially notified the Registrar of your intent to withdraw; (2) the midpoint of the term if you withdraw without notifying the university; or (3) your last date of attendance at an academically-related activity as documented by the university.

If you have received excess funds that must be returned to the government, the university shares with you the responsibility of returning those excess funds. The university’s portion of the excess funds to be returned is equal to the lesser of:

  • The entire amount of the excess funds, or
  • Your total tuition and fee charges multiplied by the percentage of unearned funds.

If the university is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return must be repaid according to the terms of your promissory note. If you must return any grant funds, the law provides that the amount you must repay is to be reduced by 50 percent. This means that you only have to return half of any excess funds you receive.

If the return of unearned federal assistance causes any portion of your tuition and fees to become uncovered, you will be billed by the university. In such cases, you will be required to make arrangements with the business office to pay the balance. Refunds and adjusted bills will be sent to the student's home address on file in the Office of the Registrar following withdrawal. Students are responsible for any portion of the institutional charges that are left outstanding after Title IV and other funds are returned.

Any award money you do have to return is considered a federal grant overpayment. You must either repay the amount due in full or make satisfactory arrangements with the Department of Education to repay the amount. You must complete these arrangements within 45 days of the date of the university’s notifying you of your overpayment status or risk losing your eligibility for further federal financial assistance. You may contact the U.S. Department of Education Claims Division at 800.621.3115.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

The requirements for a post-withdrawal disbursement are similar in many ways to the requirements under Subpart K – Cash Management of the Student Assistance General Provisions regulations. However, in some cases, the post-withdrawal disbursement requirements differ from the cash management requirements. Any post-withdrawal disbursement due must meet the current required conditions for late disbursements. For example, the U.S. Department of Education must have processed a Student Aid Report (SAR) or Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) with an official EFC prior to the student’s loss of eligibility. These conditions are listed in a chart on Late Disbursements in Volume 4 – Processing Aid and Managing Federal Student Aid Funds. A school is required to make (or offer as appropriate) post-withdrawal disbursements. A post withdrawal disbursement must be made within 180 days of the date the institution determines that the student withdrew. The amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement is determined by following the requirements for calculating earned FSA, and has no relationship to incurred educational costs.


  • If a student is eligible for a post withdrawal of a federal grant, it will be disbursed within 45 days of the date of determination of withdrawal.
  • A student/parent is notified of eligibility for a post-withdrawal disbursement of a federal loan within 30 days of the withdrawal date by email and must respond within 14 days.
  • If student/parent accepts the post-withdrawal disbursement of a federal loan, it must be made as soon as possible but no later than 180 days of the withdrawal date.
  • GFS will track this notification and make appropriate updates in the system as necessary.
  • When the student/ parent’s response is received by GFS it will be updated in the system.
  • The priorities for disbursement are grants first; paid to outstanding institutional charges before being paid directly to student.

Returning Unearned Funds

Waldorf and the student could both be responsible for returning unearned funds to the appropriate programs in specific loan/grant order, depending on the result of the R2T4 calculation. Waldorf must return the lesser of:

  • The total amount of unearned aid; or
  • Institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage.

Amounts that must be returned will first be applied to federal loans and then to grants. Loan borrowers will be permitted to repay loans based on the terms of the promissory note.

The student will also be billed for any amount due to Waldorf resulting from Waldorf return of federal aid funds. For example, if Waldorf is required to return federal aid which was used to pay a portion of the student’s charges for the enrollment period, the student is required to pay Waldorf University for the unpaid portion of the charges.

If a student owes any money to Waldorf University resulting from the return of federal funds, the student will receive a bill from the business office.