Policies and Consumer Information

Below, you will find 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 Consumer Information Guide.

Contents

Please note: DigiPen does not currently offer any study abroad or intercollegiate athletics programs eligible for Federal Student Aid.

Contact Information

Financial Aid Administrators are available to speak with current and prospective students and families via email, phone, and in person at DigiPen's campus. If you are planning on visiting the campus for a Student Shadow or Admissions meeting, contact the Office of Financial Aid in advance to make arrangements to meet on the same day.

Financial Aid Office Hours

The Office of Financial Aid is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Pacific) to assist enrolled and prospective students in obtaining financial aid.

Location and Mailing Address

DigiPen Institute of Technology (map and directions)
9931 Willows Road NE
Redmond, WA 98052

To request a hard copy of the financial aid policies and student consumer information, email financialaid[at]digipen[dot]edu or stop by the Office of Financial Aid.

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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.

As a student, you have the following rights:

  • The right for the financial aid information submitted with your application to remain confidential.
  • The right to request to cancel or reduce your Federal Direct Loan at any time. However, if a refund of your financial aid loan has been disbursed to the student and/or parent, it is at the discretion of the Office of Financial Aid to fulfill the request.
  • The right to know what financial aid funds are available, including all Federal and State programs.
  • The right to know how the financial aid process works, including deadlines for submitting application(s) for each individual financial aid program.
  • The right to know how your 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 your estimated cost of attendance, as well as how much of your financial need, as determined by the institution, has been met.
  • The right to know what resources are considered in the calculation of your 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 disbursements.
  • The right to receive a breakdown of the different federal and state programs in the studentís financial aid award offer letter. You also have the right to request for reconsideration of your financial aid award if you feel that you were treated unfairly.
  • The right to know what portion of your financial aid you received must be repaid, and what portion is grant aid that does not need to be repaid. If you received a loan, you 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.

As a student, you have the following responsibilities:

  • To review all information regarding the institutionís 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, you must meet the institutionís SAP policy. In order to maintain eligibility for the State Need Grant program, you must meet the Washington State Need Grant SAP policy.
  • To understand the institutionís refund policy procedure.
  • To adhere to the deadlines for financial aid application or reapplication for federal financial aid.
  • To always keep your personal information updated with your lender, including your name, address, and school enrollment status.
  • To understand and comply with all the forms that you sign and agree to. Please keep all copies for your own protection.
  • To inform the institution if there are any changes in your personal information, such as your mailing address or name.
  • To complete and submit the most accurate and correct information on your 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 your student email account.
  • To keep your 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 you are awarded any outside sources of funding such as scholarships from a third party.
  • To understand and comply with the institutionís attendance policy.
  • To understand and comply with the institutionís refund and repayment policy.

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DigiPen's Financial Aid Code of Conduct

In response to the enactment of the Higher Education Opportunity Act in August of 2008, DigiPenís 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

NASFAAís 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:

  1. Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
  2. 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.
  3. Ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
  4. Be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Refrain from directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications.
  8. Refrain from offering funds for private loans.
  9. Refrain from participating in contracting arrangements providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender.
  10. Refrain from having a call center or providing financial aid staffing assistance.
  11. 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
  12. Refrain from receiving compensation for service on an advisory board, commission, or group established by lenders or guarantors, except for reimbursement for reasonable expenses.
  13. Refrain from receiving gifts from a lender, guaranty agency, or loan servicer.
  14. Ban on revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender,
  15. Ban on steering borrowers to particular lenders or delaying loan certifications, and
  16. 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.

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How to Apply for Financial Aid

It is easy to apply for financial aid. Students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at http://www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA collects financial data and other information that is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that ultimately determines a student's eligibility for aid. The Federal School Code for DigiPen Institute of Technology is 037243.

More information is available at https://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/applying-for-financial-aid/.

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Types of Aid Available

The following types of financial assistance are available for those who qualify at DigiPen:

Federal Loans

Federal Loans are funds that you must repay. The Federal Loan programs offer a secure, government-regulated, and reasonably affordable way to invest in yourself and your goal of a higher education. Even though some loans are based on financial need, there are programs available to all federally eligible students regardless of income. Types of loans include Subsidized and Unsubsized Direct Loans and PLUS Loans (for Graduate Students or Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students). More information is available at https://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/loan-and-grants/.

Grants

Grants are available on the basis of financial need and do not have to be repaid. Grant funds are available through the Federal Government, the State of Washington, the Washington Student Achievement Council, and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Grants are awarded to students who demonstrate the greatest financial need. More information is available at https://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/loan-and-grants/.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study provides part-time job opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing a student to earn money to help pay educational expenses.

Outside Scholarships

Scholarships are usually monetary awards given to students by an organization or donor to help pay for the studentsí education. Students must meet the organization or donorís criteria, which may entail pursuing a certain program of study, demonstrating financial need, or being an exemplary student. You do not have to repay scholarship funds. Each scholarship usually requires a separate application. More information is available at http://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/scholarship-information.

Institutional Scholarships

DigiPen is committed to helping students attain their academic goals and has various need- and merit-based scholarships available for graduate and undergraduate students who qualify. Like outside scholarships, you do not have to repay scholarship funds. More information at https://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/scholarship-information.

Private Loans

Private loans are often referred to as private educational loans and/or alternative loans. Alternative loans are credit-based loans that can assist in bridging the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount of your other financial aid funds. Private loans are offered by private lenders and should only be considered after exhausting all other sources of funding, including federal loans and grants. More information is available at https://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/loans-and-grants/.

Please note: DigiPen does not have any preferred lender arrangements.

Veteran Affairs Educational Benefits

It is part of the mission of DigiPen's Office of Financial Aid to serve the needs of individuals who are eligible for Veterans Affairs educational benefits. Staff members are available to assist veterans, veterans' dependents, and others eligible for educational benefits in addressing problems or answering questions regarding benefits, certification, or other matters relating to VA benefits. To be eligible for VA education benefits, you must be a degree-seeking student with a declared major at DigiPen. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid or visit https://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/veterans-benefits.

State Grant Assistance From Other States

There may be state grants available to students who attend college out of state. Please check your state's local authorizing agency.

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Cost of Attendance and Budgets

As with most institutions, at DigiPen the responsibility for funding education rests first with students and their families. Students are expected to meet a portion of their expenses from earnings and savings, while parents are expected to contribute according to their financial responsibility as determined by federal formula. To assist you and your family with the planning process, DigiPen provides budgets showing undergraduate and graduate students' estimated educational costs.

Budgets include the following:

  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Allowances for books and supplies, room and board (or rent), food, and utilities
  • Personal, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses

Except tuition and fees, all costs are based upon average expenses for most students. Each student's lifestyle determines how much his or her cost of attendance will be. DigiPen uses a modest, adequate living allowance to provide for reasonable expenditures.

Additional information and downloadable PDF versions of the budgets are available at https://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/tuition-and-budgets.

Tuition

At DigiPen, each student's tuition is calculated based on the number of credits per semester. The average number of credits per semester for a full-time DigiPen student is about 17Ė20. Undergraduate students typically carry a heavier course load during the first two years at DigiPen. See Current Tuition for more information.

See ďCost of Attendance by Degree ProgramĒ under ďStudent Outcomes and Disclosures for Gainful EmploymentĒ in the Student Consumer Information Guide (www.digipen.edu/disclosures/) for more information.

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Net Price Calculator

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) defines net price as the net price for first-time, full-time degree- or certificate-seeking students. A Net Price Calculator is available on DigiPenís website.

In addition, net price information for DigiPen is available on DigiPenís College Navigator profile on the U.S. Department of Education website.

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Financial Aid Eligibility

All financial aid recipients must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or an eligible non-citizen
  • Have a high-school diploma or GED
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Be enrolled in an eligible degree program with at least 6 or more credits
  • Not owe a repayment on a grant or be in default on a student loan
  • Have financial need as determined by the Federal Need Analysis ó this comes from your processed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if required and if male
  • Attend a Title IV approved institution
  • Working towards a degree or a certification program
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress

Proof of Citizenship

The U.S. Department of Education will attempt to match your immigration status verification with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If there is a match, your Student Aid Report (SAR) will reveal that your claim of an eligible immigration status has been confirmed. If there is no match, the Office of Financial Aid will need to further obtain confirmation of your immigration status. A decision determination about your financial aid eligibility will not be made until you have submitted your immigration documents and they have been confirmed. For additional information, please contact DigiPen's Office of Financial Aid.

Deadlines

In order to obtain federal financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid must have confirmation that you have completed and finalized your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and that your FAFSA has been approved by the last day of enrollment. You will not be able to receive any disbursement of federal funding until the Office of Financial Aid has determined that your application information, including confirmation of your immigration status, is complete and correct. If you do not meet the above deadlines, you will lose your eligibility to receive federal funding for the current award period.

Minimum Enrollment Requirements

Full-time enrollment for traditional undergraduate students consists of 12 credits per semester; for graduate students, it is 9 credits per semester. At a minimum, an undergraduate student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in order to be eligible for federal financial aid; half-time graduate student enrollment is 6-8 credits. Changes in a student's enrollment may require an adjustment and/or repayment of financial aid funds awarded.

Less than Half-time Status

Students who are less than half-time (i.e., taking fewer than 6 credits) will not be eligible to receive any federal loans. This means that any federal loans you might have been eligible for while registered for 6 or more credits will be returned or cancelled. Federal regulations mandate that if you are less than half-time as of the date of disbursements the Office of Financial Aid is required to return the funds immediately.

Auditing a Class

If you are auditing a course, you will not be eligible to receive financial aid for that course, nor will that course's credits be figured into your regular course load. This could potentially reduce your status to less than full-time. Please be aware that auditing courses may change your enrollment status and note the aforementioned policy for students with less than full-time status. If this describes your situation, please see the Office of Financial Aid immediately for assistance.

Financial Aid Eligibility Policy for Study Abroad

DigiPen does not offer study abroad programs that are eligible for Federal Student Aid at this time.

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Drug Convictions and Financial Aid Eligibility

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.

 

Possession of illegal drugs

Sale of illegal drugs

1st offense

1 year from date of conviction

2 years from date of conviction

2nd offense

2 years from date of conviction

Indefinite period

3+ offenses

Indefinite period

 

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.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Warning

The history of the studentís academics from all periods of enrollment, in spite of enrollment status, will be reviewed at the end of each semester to determine if the student is maintaining the standards established in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. This includes all courses attempted regardless of whether financial aid was received. Students who fail to meet the SAP standards will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester. Students placed on Financial Aid Warning are eligible for financial aid during the warning term. If the student does not meet the SAP standards by the next SAP evaluation, future financial aid will be terminated effective with the next term of enrollment. Students whose financial aid is terminated may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for reinstatement of financial aid.

Appeals for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

A student who loses eligibility for financial aid may have an opportunity to appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, aside from the loss of eligibility due to time frame. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Director of Financial Aid outlining any extenuating circumstance(s) that influenced the studentís academic performance. Extenuating circumstances are those events that are beyond the studentís control, e.g. serious injury, illness or mental health condition, death of an immediate family member, and other extenuating circumstances beyond the studentís control. The appeal should include a description of the extenuating circumstance, documentation of circumstance, and the manner by which the deficiency will be resolved. Each appeal will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Individual cases will not be considered as precedent. Financial aid cannot be reinstated for a prior semester. Your appeal should be submitted within 21 days of the beginning of the semester you want aid reinstated.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal within two weeks of its receipt to determine whether the financial aid disqualification or suspension is justified. Students filing an appeal will be advised in writing of the decision at the studentís home address. The committeeís decision is final, and it cannot be appealed to a higher level. If your appeal is approved, reinstatement of aid is dependent on availability of funds.  In addition, a student whose appeal is approved will receive financial aid on probationary status for the next term of enrollment. The student is encouraged to take advantage of counseling, tutoring, and the Academic Support Center. 

Reestablishing Financial Aid Eligibility

A student whose appeal has been denied for reinstatement of their Financial Aid or a student who does not have an extenuating circumstance that warrants an appeal can only regain eligibility by complying with the SAP policy. If the student has resolved the SAP deficiencies that resulted in the termination of Financial Aid eligibility, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office and request a SAP evaluation. The SAP evaluation will be documented and placed in the studentís Financial Aid file.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Washington State Need Grant Program

Please note that the SAP Policy for the Washington State Need Grant Program differs from the Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid policy. See Washington State Need Grant for further information.

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Entrance and Exit Counseling

Federal regulations require that you complete loan counseling prior to receiving your first disbursement and prior to leaving school.

The current versions of the "Entrance Counseling Guide" and "Exit Counseling Guide" published by the U.S. Department of Education provide the most accurate information on all the federal loan programs. Please refer to these guides for information regarding interest rates and estimated repayment plans for debt loan amounts.

Entrance Counseling

You must do an online Entrance Counseling session before all of the Financial Aid is finalized. DigiPen encourages students to complete this requirement online at www.studentloans.gov.

This website is a quick and easy interactive counseling session that provides useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your educational expenses and helps you to understand your loan responsibilities.

Instructions for Completing Entrance Counseling

    1. Visit studentloans.gov.
    2. Select "Sign In"
    3. Log in with your FAFSA PIN.
    4. Select "Complete Counseling"
    5. Proceed with the entrance counseling

      This online entrance counseling session will take about 20-30 minutes to complete.

      Download the Department of Education Entrance Counseling Guide [.pdf].

      Exit Counseling

      Direct Stafford Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, very much like a car note and home mortgages. These loans are a legal obligation that you must repay. Exit counseling is a requirement before you withdraw, graduate or drop below half-time attendance. During counseling you will learn about your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower and gain information to help you manage your loans. For more detailed information please visit www.studentloans.gov to complete exit counseling.

      Instructions for Completing Exit Counseling

        1. Please visit studentloans.gov
        2. Select ĒSign InĒ
        3. Log in with your FAFSA PIN
        4. Select "Complete Counseling"
        5. Proceed with exit counseling

          Download the Department of Education Exit Counseling Guide [.pdf].

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          Verification

          Verification is the process by which the Office of Financial Aid compares the information on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with documents provided by the student to confirm the accuracy of the student's FAFSA. DigiPenís policy is to verify all students that the Department of Education selects; this includes any student who is enrolled and is eligible to receive an award. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid may verify any other student at its discretion. 

          When a student is selected for verification, the Office of Financial Aid will notify the student and send (via email) a verification worksheet along with instructions for any additional necessary documentation.

          Students selected for verification must complete the verification worksheet and submit the required documentation to DigiPenís Office of Financial Aid within 10 days of being notified. If the Office of Financial Aid does not receive the required verification documents within the 10-days timeframe, the student may forfeit his or her financial aid eligibility. Note that if a student receives too much financial aid due to DigiPen's error, DigiPen will promptly repay the overpayment; however, the student is ultimately responsible for repaying this amount to DigiPen.

          If the Office of Finanicial Aid suspects that an applicant for financial aid may have engaged in fraud or other illegal conduct while completing the FAFSA, verification worksheets, or other financial aid documents, the Financial Aid Director will refer the student to the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Education. This may result in a criminal investigation.

          Additionally, if any employee, third-party servicer, or other representative of the school has been found to have engaged in fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary responsibility, or other illegal conduct while administering or receiving Title IV funds, the Financial Aid Director will refer the case to the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Education.

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          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 studentís award.  

          Financial Aid Award Package Policy

          The Financial Aid Award Offer Letter lists the amount of aid a student is eligible to receive and will be mailed to the student. The award may be a combination of scholarships, grants, and loans.

          Financial Aid Award Offer Letters 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 April 15 may receive greater access to financial aid than students who do so after April 15. If a student completes his or her FAFSA and is subsequently selected for verification, he or she must also submit all required documents by April 15 to maintain priority status for financial aid awards.

          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 studentís 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.

          "Part-time" is defined as 6 to 11 credits for undergraduate students and 6 to 8 credits for graduate students. Students who are receiving Direct Stafford Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans must maintain a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester.

          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. 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 studentís disbursement, the studentís aid will be applied towards the studentís account for all allowable institutional charges. Any funds remaining will be issued to the student in the form of a check.

          Financial aid eligibility is contingent upon the student meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies. For complete details about these policies, refer to the course catalog. Additionally, a studentís financial aid award offer letter will be invalidated if it is determined that the award is based on any error in the financial aid application, whether on the student's or the Office of Financial Aid's part.

          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.

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          Financial Aid Disbursement of Loans

          Loans must be disbursed in equal disbursements, at least two installments per loan period. If your loan period spans fall and spring semesters, you will receive one half of your loan the fall semester and one half of your loan the spring semester. The second disbursement will not take place until at least 50% or more of the loan period is completed. The loan period is defined as an academic year.

          Disbursement dates are important in calculating student living expenses for the studentís first month at school. Direct Loans will be requested the first week of both Fall and Spring semester. Once it has been requested, the Business Office will request payment from the Department of Education and this can become available 2-3 days upon request. Once the money disburses, the Business Office deducts all tuition and fees due to the school, then the Business Office has up to 14 business days to issue the student (Direct loans) and parents (Direct PLUS loans) any excess funds for living expenses. The Direct PLUS loan excess funds will be sent to the parents to forward to their student unless the parent chooses the option to the have the credit balance sent to the student.

          The entire process can take up to, or a little over, one month. As many studentsí parents live outside of Washington State, once the Direct PLUS loan excess check is sent, the parent and the student will need to figure out how to transfer the money to the student for living expenses. It is a good idea to plan ahead for living expenses, as loan funds may not be immediately available to release to the student.

          Parents can elect to have the refund amount directly applied to the student account when applying for the loan online. Overall, disbursements are coordinated between the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Accounting for processing. Typically, the Office of Accounting applies financial aid to student accounts once it has been requested by the Office of Financial Aid and becomes available from the Department of Education.

          In general, students should be prepared to cover living expenses for the months of September (beginning of Fall semester) and January (beginning of Spring semester) of each year.

          For Pell-eligible students:

          It is a Federal Government requirement that DigiPen determines who is eligible for their Financial Aid funding 10 days prior to the start of each semester term.  If your Financial Aid funding creates a credit balance (all tuition charges/fees minus your Financial Aid), DigiPen will provide you an excess check by the 7th day into the term so you have the ability to buy your books and supplies.  

          Students may choose to opt out of this Federal Government requirement.  If you decide that you do not want your excess to obtain or purchase books and supplies, you must indicate that by email or in writing prior to the start of each semester. These requests should be addressed to the Office of Financial Aid  (financialaid[at]digipen[dot]edu).

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          Terms and Conditions Under the Direct Loan Program

          DigiPen participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. There are two general types of loans in this program: Direct Subsidized Loans, for which the government pays the interest while you are in college; and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, for which you are responsible for paying all the interest on the loans, during college and after. Though it is not required, students may choose to make payments on the interest portion of the Unsubsidized loan.

          You may receive both types of loans at the same time. Depending on financial need and level of study, students may receive a Subsidized or Unsubsidized loan, or a combination of both. To receive loan funds, you must be enrolled at least as a half-time student. Students who wish to receive their Federal Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized loans must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). 

          For more information please visit www.studentloans.gov.

          Federal Direct Master Promissory Note (MPN)

          If you decide to use the Federal Direct Subisidized and/or Unsubsidized loan in your financial aid award offer letter, you must complete the steps below.  All Undergraduate and Graduate students must complete the MPN in order to receive Federal Direct loans.

          Step 1: Login to the student portal at www.studentloans.gov and complete your federal government requirement: Entrance Counseling.

          Step 2: After completing Entrance Counseling, you must complete the Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) also available at www.studentloans.gov.

          Please be prepared to have your required U.S. Department of Education issued FSA ID to complete the electronic MPN. This is the same FSA id that was used to complete the signature on the FAFSA. If you have questions regarding this process please visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid#forgot

          National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

          All information related to a Title IV loan (any of the following Federal Direct Loan Programs: Subsidized, Unsubsidized, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans) will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), whether the borrower is a student or parent.  NSLDS will be accessible by guarantor agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. Students and parents may obtain access to this website at www.nslds.ed.gov to track individual loans.

          Annual Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Limits

          Year of Study

          Annual Loan Limit

          Total Annual Limit for Independent Students and/or Those Eligible for Additional Unsubsidized Loans

          First Year Undergraduate

          $5,500 (maximum of $3,500 subsidized)

          $5,500 + $4,000 additional unsubsidized loans

          Second Year Undergraduate

          $6,500 (maximum of $4,500 subsidized)

          $6,500 + $4,000 additional unsubsidized loans

          Third, Fourth, and Fifth Year Undergraduate

          $7,500 (maximum of $5,500 subsidized)

          $7,500 + $5,000 additional unsubsidized loans

          Graduate/Professional


          $20,500


          $20,500 unsubsidized loans

          Annual loan limits include $2000 Direct Unsubsidized loans that are available to all loan recipients.

          Aggregate Loan Limits

          Subsidized

          Total (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

          Dependent Undergraduates (excluding dependent students who parents cannot get a Parent PLUS Loan)

          $23,000

          $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which may be subsidized)

          Independent Undergraduates and Dependent undergraduates whose parents cannot get a PLUS loan.

          $23,000

          $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which may be subsidized)

          Graduate/Professional Students

          $65,500

          $138,500 (no more than $65,500 of which may be subsidized)

          Additional Unsubsidized loans are available to independent students (both undergraduate and graduate) as well as dependent students whose parent is unable to borrow through the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan program due to adverse credit history.

          Interest Rates by Loan Type

          Please go to http://www.direct.ed.gov/calc.html for the current interest rates for all federal loans.

          Other Loan Fees

          Please go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates#are-there-any-other-fees-for-federal-student-aid for the current loan origination fees.

          Loan Repayment and Required Exit Counseling

          Direct Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, very much like a car note and home mortgages. These loans are a legal obligation that the student must repay. Exit counseling is a requirement before the student withdraws, graduates or drops below half-time attendance. During counseling students will understand their rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower and the Office of Financial Aid will assist with helping students understand how to manage their loans. For more detailed information see Entrance and Exit Counseling or visit www.studentloans.gov.

          Terms and Conditions for Federal Loan Deferments

          A Deferment is a temporary suspension of payments on a student financial aid loan. Deferments are entitlements so as long as a student is eligible for a Deferment, and provide the necessary documentation; the Direct Loan Program is required to issue the Deferment. If a student is granted a Deferment the Federal Government will pay all interest on any Direct Subsidized loan. However, the student is responsible for any interest that accrues on a Direct Unsubsidized loan, and should the student decide not to pay the interest while on Deferment that interest will capitalize onto the loan. Deferments can be granted for students that are in-school, unemployed, economic hardship and/or active duty in the military.*

          In addition, if a new student enrolls at DigiPen, with loans from a prior school, the Office of Financial Aid can assist the student in applying for an in-school Deferment. With this type of Deferment, the loan payments will defer any federal financial aid loan payments while the student is enrolled at DigiPen at least half-time. 

          For additional information or to obtain a Deferment form, please visit www.studentloans.gov or contact the Office of Financial Aid.

          *See Military Active Duty Policies for additional information.

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          Withdrawal from the Institute

          It is absolutely necessary for a student withdrawing from DigiPen to make an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid for an exit interview prior to leaving the Institute. 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.

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          Return of Title IV Funds Policy and Institutional Refund Policy

          DigiPenís 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 studentís 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 regarding the withdrawal policy.

          Cancellation and Refund Policies
          Please refer to the section below on Institutional Cancellation and Refund Policies.

          If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Return of Title IV Funds Policy, Refund Policy, Overpayment, or would like examples of the Return of Title IV Funds calculations, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

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          Institutional Cancellation and Refund Policies

          Cancellation 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 seventh calendar day from the beginning of the semester: Students receive a 100% tuition refund.
          • Before the close of the eighth calendar day through the thirtieth calendar day from the beginning of the semester: Students receive a 50% tuition refund.
          • After the thirtieth 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.

          Tuition Account Reimbursement

          Reimbursement Requests
          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.

          Reimbursement Check
          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.

          Termination Date

          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.

          Special Cases

          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.

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          Forms

          For a complete list of downloadable Financial Aid forms, applications, and budgets, please visit: https://www.digipen.edu/financial-aid/forms/.