Below are information and resources related to financial aid at DigiPen. For more information about DigiPen’s programs and policies, including graduation and employment rates, see the Student Disclosures and Consumer Information Guide.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
It is important for students to be aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding applying for and receiving financial aid funds from DigiPen. Please also note that financial aid eligibility is determined in accordance with federal, state, and institutional regulations, and is subject to adjustment or cancellation in the event of changes to these regulations.
Students have the following rights:
- The right for the financial aid information submitted with their application to remain confidential.
- The right to request to cancel or reduce their Federal Direct Loan at any time. However, if it has been more than 14 days since the disbursement of funds, it is at the discretion of the Office of Financial Aid to fulfill the request.
- The right to know the criteria for continued eligibility for each financial aid program and how the financial aid process works, including deadlines for submitting application(s) for each individual financial aid program.
- The right to know how their financial aid eligibility is determined, including how costs for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, and travel expenses were calculated in their estimated cost of attendance, as well as how much of their financial need, as determined by the institution, has been met.
- The right to know what resources are considered in the calculation of their financial aid eligibility/need.
- The right to know the criteria used by the institution to select financial aid recipients.
- The right to information regarding financial aid disbursement methods and frequency.
- The right to receive a breakdown of the different federal and state programs in their financial aid award offer letter. They also have the right to request for reconsideration of their financial aid award if they feel that they were treated unfairly.
- The right to know what exit counseling information the school provides and collects, as well as what portion of their financial aid they received must be repaid, and what portion is grant aid that does not need to be repaid. If they received a loan, they have the right to know the interest rates, total amount to be repaid, and repayment information including the process and the length of the repayment and when the repayment begins.
- The right to know the terms and conditions of student loans received as a part of the financial aid award offer, as well as sample repayment schedules.
- The right to know the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards they must meet.
- The right to know the terms and conditions applicable to Federal Work-Study funds offered as a part of the financial-aid offer award.
- The right to know how Pell-eligible students obtain or purchase supplies by the seventh day of the semester.
Students have the following responsibilities:
- To review all information regarding the institution’s programs prior to making a decision on enrollment.
- To understand and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policies on both the Federal and State levels. Please note that each policy acts independently from one another. In order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid, students must meet the institution’s SAP policy. In order to maintain eligibility for the State Need Grant program, students must meet the Washington State Need Grant SAP policy.
- To understand the institution’s refund policy procedure.
- To adhere to the deadlines for financial aid application or reapplication for federal financial aid.
- To always keep personal information updated with their lender, including their name, address, and school enrollment status.
- To understand and comply with all the forms that they sign and agree to, keeping all copies for their own protection.
- To inform the institution if there are any changes in their personal information, such as their mailing address or name.
- To complete and submit the most accurate and correct information on their financial aid forms/applications. Falsifying information is a criminal offense that is subject to penalties.
- To submit any additional information requested by the Office of Financial Aid or through the FAFSA.
- To understand the financial aid process and submit any forms and/or applications in a timely manner and to the correct address.
- To stay abreast of the latest information regarding financial aid by checking their student email account.
- To keep their parents informed of all the financial aid requirements and deadlines regarding all financial aid programs.
- To notify the Office of Financial Aid at the point that they are awarded any outside sources of funding such as scholarships from a third party.
- To understand and comply with the institution’s attendance policy.
- To understand and comply with the institution’s refund and repayment policy.
DigiPen’s Financial Aid Code of Conduct
In response to the enactment of the Higher Education Opportunity Act in August of 2008, DigiPen’s Office of Financial Aid has adopted the following NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Code of Conduct to help ensure ethical behavior and the highest level of professional practices. All DigiPen staff members responsible for the administration of federal and private educational loans are subject to these guidelines.
NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles
NASFAA’s Statement of Ethical Principles provides that the primary goal of the institutional financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational goals through financial support and resources. To this end, this statement provides that the financial aid administrators shall:
Advocate for students
- Remain aware of issues affecting students and continually advocate for their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
- Support federal, state and institutional efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
Manifest the highest level of integrity
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- Deal with others honestly and fairly, abiding by our commitments and always acting in a manner that merits the trust and confidence others have placed in us.
- Protect the privacy of individual student financial records.
- Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
Support student access and success
- Commit to removing financial barriers for those who want to pursue postsecondary learning and support each student admitted to our institution.
- Without charge, assist students in applying for financial aid funds.
- Provide services and apply principles that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
- Understand the need for financial education and commit to educate students and families on how to responsibly manage expenses and debt.
Comply with federal and state laws
- Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations governing federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
- Actively participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education programs to ensure ample understanding of statutes, regulations, and best practices governing the financial aid programs.
- Encourage colleagues to participate in the financial aid professional associations available to them at the state, regional, or national level and offer assistance to other aid professionals as needed.
Strive for transparency and clarity
- Provide our students and parents with the information they need to make good decisions about attending and paying for college.
- Educate students and families through quality information that is consumer-tested when possible. This includes (but is not limited to) transparency and full disclosure on award notices.
- Ensure equity by applying all need-analysis formulas consistently across the institution’s full population of student financial aid applicants.
- Inform institutions, students, and parents of any changes in financial aid programs that could affect their student aid eligibility.
Protect the privacy of financial aid applicants
- Ensure that student and parent private information provided to the office of financial aid by financial aid applicants is protected in accordance with all state and federal statutes and regulations, including FERPA and the Higher Education Act, Section 483(a)(3)(E) (20 U.S.C. 1090).
- Protect the information on the FAFSA from inappropriate use by ensuring that this information is only used for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions.
DigiPen Institute of Technology’s Code of Conduct for Our Financial Aid Staff
An institutional financial aid professional is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity. In doing so, a financial aid professional should:
- Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
- Refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves.
- Ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
- Be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
- Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity.
- Disclose to his or her institution, in such manner as his or her institution may prescribe, any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
- Refrain from directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications.
- Refrain from offering funds for private loans.
- Refrain from participating in contracting arrangements providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender.
- Refrain from having a call center or providing financial aid staffing assistance. Refrain from having any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans; and
- Refrain from receiving compensation for service on an advisory board, commission, or group established by lenders or guarantors, except for reimbursement for reasonable expenses.
- Refrain from receiving gifts from a lender, guaranty agency, or loan servicer.
- Ban on revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender,
- Ban on steering borrowers to particular lenders or delaying loan certifications, and
- Ban on 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.
Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for Federal Student Aid funds. Convictions count against a student for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Federal Student Aid. They do not count if the offense was not during such a period, unless the student was denied federal benefits for drug trafficking by a federal or state judge.
The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for Federal Student Aid funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses.
Period of Ineligibility for Federal Student Aid Funds
|Possession of Illegal Drugs
|Sale of Illegal Drugs
|1 year from date of conviction
|2 years from date of conviction
|2 years from date of conviction
A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends. A student may also regain eligibility upon completion of a qualified drug rehabilitation program or by passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program.
Awarding Title IV: HEA Program and Policy
The Office of Financial Aid assists students and their parents in meeting basic educational costs. The Department’s goal is to deliver student assistance in a timely manner and to seek financial aid for those who qualify.
The primary objective of the Office of Financial Aid is to provide adequate financial assistance to the maximum number of eligible students through coordination with and full utilization of all governmental, community, and on-campus resources. DigiPen administers all financial aid programs in accordance with established state, federal, and institutional regulations and policies.
The Office of Financial Aid endeavors to fund students to the maximums provided under the law and eliminate unnecessary steps by simplifying the aid process. It also acts as a liaison between students and financial aid organizations, and intervenes when necessary to resolve problems related to an individual student’s award.
Financial Aid Award Package Policy
The Financial Aid Offer Letter lists the amount of aid a student is eligible to receive and will be emailed to the student. The award may be a combination of scholarships, grants, and loans.
Financial Aid Offers are made on a first-come, first-served basis, and some types of aid, such as State Grants and institutional scholarships, are limited. Students who send or transmit their FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA by February 1 may receive greater access to financial aid than students who do so after February 1.
Students are awarded financial aid based on their actual per-credit enrollment if they are registered; otherwise, financial aid funds are based on the student’s projected course load. In order for funds to disburse, students must be registered for the same number of credits that they were awarded aid for prior to the third week of the term.
Enrollment will be recorded on the first day of the third week of the term, and students’ financial aid award offer letters will be revised accordingly (i.e. if a student is awarded financial aid to study full time, but the student’s enrollment is half time on the first day of the third week of the term, the student’s financial aid will be reduced to half time). This includes the Federal Pell Grant. Any student not enrolled at DigiPen by the third week into the term will have his or her financial aid canceled.
The Office of Financial Aid will automatically assume that the student accepts any grants and scholarships, however loans must be accepted or declined. If the student would like to decline an award or make adjustments, the student may do so directly on the award offer letter. If subsequent award offer letters reduce the loan amounts being offered, the Office of Financial Aid will automatically assume that the student accepts the loan. Once loans are originated, students will need to complete a Loan Change Form in order to make changes to their loan funds. The award offer letter along with any financial aid documents may be scanned and emailed to the Office of Financial Aid.
The aid awarded is divided equally between two semesters.
When the Office of Financial Aid prepares the student’s disbursement, the student’s aid will be applied towards the student’s account for all allowable institutional charges. Any funds remaining will be issued to the student in the form of a check.
Students will be offered a prorated loan if they are completing the remainder of a program in a period of enrollment that is shorter than an academic year, such as fall term graduation. If a student withdraws from or ceases to attend all of his or her classes, or a student falls below full-time status, he or she may be required to repay some or all of the funds received.
DigiPen reserves the right to review, adjust, or cancel financial aid awards at any time because of changes to federal, state, or institutional availability of funds.
Summer Financial Aid Award Policy
Financial aid is extremely limited during the summer term, and there is no guarantee of summer financial aid unless the student has remaining Federal Pell Grant and/or scholarship funds. Currently there is no State Grant assistance available for the summer term.
Institutional Withdrawal and Refund Policy
DigiPen’s Institutional Refund Policy operates independently from the Return of Title IV Funds Policy requirements for all financial aid recipients. When a recipient of a Title IV grant and/or loan withdraws from the Institute during any payment period in which the recipient began attendance, the Institute must determine the amount of Title IV grant and/or loan that the recipient earned as of the student’s withdrawal date. Unearned funds must be returned to the Title IV programs.
To officially withdraw from DigiPen Institute of Technology, please refer to the Course Catalog.
Institutional Cancellation and Refund Policies
- Applicants who have not visited the school prior to enrollment will have the opportunity to withdraw without penalty within three business days following either the regularly scheduled orientation procedures or following a tour of the school facilities and inspection of equipment where training and services are provided.
- All monies paid by an applicant who cancels will be refunded if requested within three days after signing an enrollment agreement and making an initial payment.
- An applicant requesting cancellation more than three days after signing an enrollment agreement and making an initial payment, but prior to entering the school (i.e. prior to attending classes on or after the start date as noted on the enrollment agreement), is entitled to a refund of all monies paid minus an enrollment fee of $150.
Tuition Refund Schedule
A student who drops a course, who submits an official withdrawal in writing, or who is determined by the Administration to have withdrawn from the institute shall be refunded as follows:
- Before the close of the 11th calendar day from the beginning of the semester: Students receive a 100% tuition refund.
- Before the close of the 12th calendar day through the 30th calendar day from the beginning of the semester: Students receive a 50% tuition refund.
- After the 30th calendar day from the beginning of the semester: Students are required to pay 100% of the tuition and no refund is available.
Except for the registration fee, all other assessed fees are refunded on the same schedule as tuition payments.
Withdrawal from the Institution
Students withdrawing from DigiPen who borrowed federal student loans while attending DigiPen are required to complete Loan Exit Counseling. This applies to students who are withdrawing and/or transferring to another institution. Failure to meet for an exit interview may increase the risk of defaulting on student loans. Students who withdraw may be subject to the return of Title IV Funds.
Tuition Account Reimbursement
Except for excess Title IV federal funds, any credit balance left on a student account is applied to future charges unless the student requests a reimbursement check by signing a Reimbursement Request Form. Excess Title IV federal funds are automatically released to the student and/or parent borrower under federal student aid regulations.
A reimbursement check is made payable to the student, unless otherwise instructed by the student on the Reimbursement Request Form. A reimbursement check may be picked up from the Office of Accounting or mailed to the address specified on the Reimbursement Request Form. A reimbursement check may be issued within two to four weeks from the date the request was received or the credit balance appeared on the student account, whichever is later.
Inactive Student Accounts
Except for excess Title IX funds, any credit balance left on a student account that becomes inactive through graduation, withdrawal, or any other event is automatically reimbursed to the student within 60 days of the account’s change of status. A reimbursement check is made to the student and mailed to the student’s last-known billing address. If a student wishes to have the Institute return the credit balance to a lender of a federal or alternative student loan, the student must complete the appropriate paperwork with the Office of Financial Aid at the time of graduation or withdrawal from the Institute.
For refund purposes, the termination date for institutional withdrawal is the last date of actual attendance at the Institute by the student or the date of determination in accordance with the Institute’s withdrawal policy. Similarly, the termination date for withdrawal from individual classes is the date of receipt of the appropriate withdrawal form. Notice of cancellation or withdrawal should be given by completing the appropriate withdrawal form, whether it is withdrawal from the Institute or from specific classes for which the student registered.
If the student’s account remains delinquent for over 30 days, the Institute reserves the right to cancel the student’s registration.
In the documented event of prolonged illness or accident, death in the family, or other special circumstances that make it impractical to complete the program in which the student is enrolled, the Institute shall make a settlement that is reasonable and fair to both parties. These will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Application of Policy
Any monies due to the student shall be refunded within 60 days of the account’s change of status (i.e., the date when the Registrar changes the status of the student’s account) or within 60 days from the date of receipt of payment, in the event that the date of such receipt is after the student’s last date of attendance.
If a student’s financial obligation is not fulfilled, the Institute is authorized to do the following until the owed monies are paid:
- Withhold the release of the student’s academic records or any information based upon the records.
- Withhold the issuance of the student’s transcripts.