2019-2020 Catalog 
    
    Oct 14, 2019  
2019-2020 Catalog

Financial Information



Residential Contact Information
Phone: 325-674-2300
888-588-6083
Fax: 325-674-6850
Email: wildcatcentral@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/sfs

Online Contact Information
Phone: 214-305-9605
855-219-7300
Fax: 325-674-2963
Email: ACUDallas.finaid@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/sfs

Abilene Christian University is a non-profit institution. All funds from student charges are spent to provide services related to the university’s educational mission. Other funds for operational expenses come from endowments and gifts from concerned individuals and organizations. As a policy, auxiliary operations such as cafeterias, housing and bookstores are self-supporting.

The Board of Trustees has charged the chief financial officer and his/her designees with the responsibility of enforcing all regulations for student accounts. If a student is of legal age, he or she is deemed to be the primary party liable for his or her financial obligation.

An estimate of costs detailing current tuition, fees, meal plans, and residence halls may be found at: https://www.acu.edu/admissions-aid/undergraduate/tuition.html.

Financial Aid

Abilene Christian University maintains a comprehensive program of financial aid, including financial planning and consultation to help students and their families meet the expenses of a college education. Appointments with our financial aid specialists are made through Wildcat Central.

The primary responsibility of financing a college education rests upon students and their families. Assistance from ACU and other sources should be considered as supplementary to the primary responsibility of the student and the family. ACU strives to supplement students’ needs by awarding a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study for eligible students. ACU attempts to distribute all financial aid resources in an equitable manner and follow the guidelines established for federal, state, and institutional funds.

Financial aid application forms are available online. Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found at studentaid.ed.gov. The FAFSA can be completed as early as October 1 for the following academic year. Any ACU forms requested should be submitted by March 1 for fall enrollment and by November 1 for spring enrollment. Late applicants may find that certain forms of grant and scholarship funds are depleted by the time their applications are submitted to the Student Financial Services Office. So applying and completing your financial aid file early is always encouraged.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must make satisfactory academic progress in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The minimum acceptable cumulative grade point average requirements are 2.0 for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students. Additionally, all students must earn passing grades in a cumulative minimum of 75% of the hours attempted. Satisfactory academic progress is measured at the end of each long semester (fall, spring, and summer).

Students who fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards will be placed onto Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning for the next semester they attend (this includes summer term). Warning students are still eligible for financial aid, but must raise their cumulative measurements up to the required base standards by the end of the next long term they attend. Students who do not meet SAP requirements after their warning semester will be placed onto SAP Suspension and become ineligible for federal, state or institutional aid. Suspended students may file an appeal. Students may submit an appeal at acu.edu/sfs/appeal. The appeal should be filed prior to the start of the term for which financial aid has been denied. If a student withdraws from the university after being declared ineligible for aid, at the point of returning to the university the student would have to appeal if financial aid eligibility is desired. Only approved appeals will be deemed eligible for financial aid. When a student raises their SAP measurements to once again meet the base measure requirements, their financial aid eligibility will be restored.

Work-Study/Student Employment

Students who desire a part-time job to assist in meeting their financial obligations are encouraged to check the job postings at: www.acu.edu/campusoffices/hr/employment, my.ACU.edu classified ads, and also to inquire at area businesses. Work-study awards are not required for on campus employment, nor is a work-study award a guarantee of a job. See acu.edu/work for more information.

Student Loan Programs

(more information at: www.acu.edu/loans)

ACU participates in the following student loan programs:

  • Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)*
  • College Access Loans (Texas residents only)
  • Federal PLUS Loans* (for parents of dependent undergraduate students)
  • Alternative Loans
  • Grad PLUS Loans*

Grants

(more information at: www.acu.edu/sfs)
ACU participates in the following grant programs:

  • PELL - Federal Pell Grant*
  • SEOG - Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant*
  • TEACH - Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education*
    *indicates a Federal Title IV program

For Texas residents only:

  • TEG - Texas Tuition Equalization Grant

ACU Need-Based Grants

Need-based assistance is available on a limited basis for students with established financial need remaining after consideration of all other sources of financial support. Preference is given to those who complete their FAFSA aid application early.

Scholarships

Scholarships based on academic merit as determined in the admission application process as well as scholarships awarded through other departments are available based on the specific criteria established for each program. More information is available here. Scholarships for costs exceeding tuition, books and required fees (i.e. room and board) may be taxable to the recipient.

VA Benefits

ACU is approved by the Veterans Administration to administer educational benefits for eligible veterans, servicepersons, reservists, widows and children of veterans. Eligibility and equivalent educational benefits are determined by the Veterans Administration (VA). The VA Certification Officer, located in the ACU’s Registrar’s Office, coordinates the services to the students receiving veteran’s educational benefits. The certifying official collects, completes and processes the required substantiating documentation. The VA Certification Officer also serves as a point-of-contact and direct liaison between the veteran, the university and the VA. The certifying official is not part of the VA, but an employee of ACU. Students receiving VA benefits may also be eligible for other financial assistance from federal, state and institutional sources. In some cases, receipt of VA benefits may reduce or eliminate eligibility for other financial assistance in order to comply with federal, state or institutional policies.

Title 38 Compliance

The Veterans Certification Officer serves as the initial point of contact for Veterans and Dependents to use their VA Educational Benefits. The Office is located in the Hardin Administration Building on the third floor room 309. The Veterans Certification Officer serves as the School Certifying Officer to the VA verifying enrollment for covered individuals using educational benefits.

In compliance with Title 38 United States Code Section 3679(e), Abilene Christian University has updated its academic policy regarding participation of covered individuals in courses of education and the prohibition of assessment of penalties for those individuals related to delayed VA funding.

NOTE: A Covered Individual is any individual who is entitled to educational assistance under chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, or chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.  

  • A covered individual is permitted to attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 (a “certificate of eligibility” can also include a “Statement of Benefits” obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) website – eBenefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for chapter 31 authorization purposes) and ending on the earlier of the following dates:
  1. The date on which payment from VA is made to the institution.
  2. 90 days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.
  • Abilene Christian University will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrow additional funds, on any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement funding from the VA under chapter 31 or 33.

A covered individual should submit a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance to the Veterans Certification Officer no later than the first day of a course of education.

Abilene Christian University may also require additional payment or impose a fee for the amount that is the difference between the amount of the student’s financial obligation and the amount of the VA education benefit disbursement.

Certification to Receive Veteran Benefits

Students must notify the Veterans Certification Officer (VCO) each semester that they are ready to be certified after course registration. Failure to notify the VCO will result in delayed enrollment certification. An email notification can be sent to Registrar@acu.edu.

Process for Applying for Federal Aid

The following items should be completed during your application phase. You can complete all the forms at www.studentloans.gov. Please ensure that ALL forms have been completed prior to your acceptance so there are no delays in processing your student loan. If you have questions about your federal student aid, please contact your Financial Specialist as soon as possible. Your Admission Advisor will alert you if your financial aid file is incomplete.

Please note: The federal school code for ACU is 003537.

There are 6 simple steps that need to be completed before your loan can be processed:

  1. Apply for a PIN (www.pin.ed.gov) if you do not already have one.
  2. Complete the FAFSA Online Application — https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa
  3. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) — www.studentloans.gov.
  4. Complete Entrance Counseling — www.studentloans.gov.
  5. Once you have been accepted into the program and if you are eligible for student aid, you will receive an award letter outlining steps for you to review and accept your awards.
  6. Accept your award amount via your myACU account at my.acu.edu.*

After receiving your award letter, you will be required to accept your award(s) to enable the funds to be paid into your account.

*Please note that the school cannot release your funds until all forms are received and processed and your award is accepted.

Payment Options

Residential Payment Options

The first billing statement (eBill) of the fall semester will be available to the student via the Wildcat Payment Portal the first week of June. Students will receive an email to their ACU email address alerting them when a statement is available to view. The statement is provided in electronic format; no paper statements are mailed. It will include available fall charges (tuition, fees, housing and meal plans) and financial aid awarded at the time of statement processing.

Financial settlement dates (the point at which you must either pay for your semester or have a payment plan arranged to cover your remaining costs after aid) are as follows:

  • Fall financial settlement for first-time students - August 7, 2019
  • Fall financial settlement for continuing students - August 14, 2019
  • Spring financial settlement - January 8, 2020.
  1. Pay the “Total Amount Due”
    Pay the current total balance by the due date given on the first billing statement for a new semester. Please be aware that this may not be the final bill for the semester.Subsequent monthly eBills will be generated during any month in which activity appears on a student’s account, including activity for adding or dropping classes, charging books, payments made, financial aid awards granted and the difference between actual and estimated financial aid awarded, etc. (Estimated financial aid is aid that will pay to your account after you have completed all necessary requirements). No late fees will be charged if payment is received in full by the end of the month following the statement date. Late fees, equal to 1.242%, will be charged each month on unpaid balances. If the total amount due on the statement is not paid for the financial settlement date, a payment plan or other approved payment arrangement must be in place to begin attending classes.
  2. Wildcat Pay Plan
    By logging into the Wildcat Payment Portal or going to acu.edu/payingyourbill, students may pay the net balance in full by the financial settlement date or they may take advantage of the 6, 5, or 4 month payment plan for the semester by using the Wildcat Pay Plan. Each semester an enrollment fee is charged if you choose to set up a payment plan. Call Wildcat Central at 888-588-6083 for payment plan assistance. If you are enrolled in the Wildcat Pay Plan and are current on your payments, no late fees are charged.

Online Payment Options

ACU’s financial well being is dependent upon prompt payment of accounts. For this reason, ACU transcripts and diplomas will not be released if a student has failed to pay any debt to the university. Students cannot receive transcripts, receive diplomas, or register for courses until all account balances have been satisfied. Failure to meet financial obligations to the university may result in the delinquent account being placed with a collection agency. Students are responsible for all attorney fees and other collection costs incurred by the university in collecting on accounts.

Billing statements are available to students via the Wildcat Payment Portal. Students will receive an email to their ACU email address alerting them when a statement is available to view. The statement is provided in electronic format; no paper statements are mailed. It will include all charges (tuition, fees, books, etc) and financial aid awarded. Students should check with their Financial Advisor regarding settlement dates.

Financial settlement dates are as follows:

  • Fall 1 2019 - August 23, 2019
  • Fall 2 2019 - October 11, 2019
  • Spring 1 2020 - January 10, 2020
  • Spring 2 2020 - March 6, 2020
  • Summer 1 2020 - May 1, 2020
  • Summer 2 2020 - June 26, 2020
  1. Pay the “Total Amount Due”
    Pay the current total balance by the due date given on the first billing statement for a new term. Please be aware that this may not be the final bill for the term. Subsequent monthly eBills will be generated during any month in which activity appears on a student’s account, including activity for adding or dropping classes, charging books, payments made, financial aid awards granted, and the difference between actual and estimated financial aid awarded, etc. No late fees will be charged if payment is received in full by the end of the month following the statement date. Late fees, equal to 1.242%, will be charged each month on unpaid balances. If the total amount due on the statement is not paid for the financial settlement date, a payment plan or other approved payment arrangement must be in place to begin attending classes.
     
  2. Wildcat Pay Plan
    By logging into the Wildcat Payment Portal or going to acu.edu/payingyourbill, students may pay the net balance in full by the financial settlement date or they may take advantage of the 4 or 3 month payment plan for the semester by using the Wildcat Pay Plan. Each semester an enrollment fee is charged if you choose to set up a payment plan. If you are enrolled in the Wildcat Pay Plan and are current on your payments, no late fees are charged.
     
  3. Tuition Deferral Plan
    Students’ employers offer to repay some or all of their employee’s tuition OR student receives benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs including the following: Montgomery/Top-Up (Chapter 30) benefit, Reserve Educational Assistance program, Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance program and Survivors and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program. 60-day deferral from the beginning of each course. When students select either plan, the University agrees to defer payment for tuition and book fees until 60 days from each course start date and up to two days of processing time. A student may save a payment method or make online payments using a credit, debit card or electronic check (ACH) under the “Payments” tab in the Wildcat Pay Portal. This payment method can be used to make a real-time payment or schedule a payment in advance, to align with payment due dates. Students are responsible for payment of their tuition and electronic course materials fees regardless of receipt of payment from their employer. As a reminder, there is a 2.75% convenience fee on all credit or debit card transactions. Students will be notified of the convenience fee during the payment process within the Wildcat Pay Portal.

Payment Card Convenience Fee

Card users will be assessed a separate, nonrefundable convenience fee — 2.85% of the payment amount ($3 minimum fee) — at the time of each credit or debit card payment on a student account. The convenience fee charged by TouchNet’s PayPath Payment Service covers the cost of processing credit and debit card payments. Please note: ACU will not receive any part of the convenience fee.

Billing Activity

Students may access their account information through the Wildcat Pay Portal. Students may also designate an authorized user to receive billing emails, access the student account information and make payments by completing an on-line authorization form.

Financial Responsibility

Failure to make proper payment may be cause for dismissal at the discretion of the university. Official academic transcripts and diplomas will not be released unless all university-related indebtedness is paid in full. Students with a financial hold on their account will not be eligible to register for classes in the following semester without clearing the hold or unless an exception is granted by the billing office.

Residential Fees

All general required student fees (technology, safety, health, etc.) are included in the annual block or per credit hour tuition rate with the exception of the student activity fee, which is billed separately. There may be additional course/activity specific fees in addition to the tuition rate. Some examples include:

  • Band fees
  • Audit fees
  • JMC course fee
  • Music lesson fees
  • Kinesiology course fees
  • Personality and Career Testing fees
  • Nursing fees
  • Science lab fees
  • Travel class and Study Abroad fees
  • Science lab fees
  • Cornerstone textbook fee

Note: All courses with extra fees may not be listed here. Please check with the department for information concerning individual course fees.

Online Fees

Most general required student fees are included in the per credit hour tuition rate. The DNP and MFT programs have a $200 Resource fee associated with each standard 3 credit hour course. Undergraduate students have a $300 Resource fee associated with each 7 week session. Students may have additional course/activity special fees in addition to the tuition rate related to your program. Please check with your program for information concerning individual course fees.

Some of our online programs are associated with a resource fee. The fee covers the cost of all electronic resources students have access/membership/subscription to such as Grammarly Premium Writing Tool, TAO, Microsoft Products, Adobe Suite Products, RightNow Media, Tutor.com, Programmatic subscriptions in the ACU Library, and the continuous enhancements we make in Canvas to implement curriculum in an online environment. Additionally, the resource fee provides students access to all required books for each class in the form of the ebook. There has been a significant increase in the price of textbooks and other course materials for higher education institutions. To reduce these costs for all students, Abilene Christian University has partnered with our vendor Follett to provide all required course materials at a discounted rate for all students.

Meal Plans

The university offers several meal plan options for students living in residence halls and for off-campus students as well. Standard meal plans provide daily access to the World Famous Bean. Meal plan options include Bean Bucks, which may be used throughout the day to purchase food at all Food Court venues as well as to purchase food items at the Campus Store. See Dining Services for more information.

Meal Plan Options for 2019-2020
All Access 7 7 day all day access pass + 400 Bean Bucks $2,950 per semester
All Access 5 5 day all access pass + 400 Bean Bucks $2,700 per semester
Classic 10 10 meals per week + 400 Bean Bucks $2,150 per semester
Wildcat 100 100 meals per semester + 250 Bean Bucks $800 per semester
Wildcat 50 50 meals per semester + 500 Bean Bucks $708 per semester
Lifestyle 75 75 meals per semester + 150 Bean Bucks $770 per semester
Lifestyle 50 50 meals per semester + 200 Bean Bucks $629 per semester
Lifestyle 25 25 meals per semester + 250 Bean Bucks $474 per semester
Freestyle 400 400 Bean Bucks $400 per semester
Freestyle 200 200 Bean Bucks $200 per semester

Minimum meal plan requirements for all residence hall students are as follows:

  • First year students must purchase an All Access plan
  • Second year students must purchase an All Access or Classic 10 plan.
  • Third + year students, including RA’s, are not required to have a meal plan. They can choose from all of the plans.

Off-campus students and employees may purchase any meal plan. Students have until the 12th day of class each semester to make meal plan changes.

Meal Plans and Bean Bucks are nonrefundable and expire at the end of the spring semester.

Campus Cash

Campus Cash provides students, faculty, and staff the convenience of making purchases through the use of their ID card. By purchasing Campus Cash, students may limit the amount of cash they carry on campus. Campus Cash may be used anywhere on the ACU campus. To purchase Campus Cash, a student should complete a Campus Cash Purchase Agreement form in Wildcat Central or follow the link at https://campuscash.acu.edu. Students must have a credit balance on their account or use a credit card for the purchase. The balance carries over as long as the student is enrolled. Students can request to receive a refund of their remaining Campus Cash funds at any time by contacting Wildcat Central. A refund of Campus Cash in excess of $5 will be made upon request in Wildcat Central and is issued as a credit back to your ACU account.

Annual Block Tuition

Undergraduate residential students enrolled in the Annual Block Tuition plan may take up to 36 credit hours per academic year (billed at $18,125 per long semester in the 2019-2020 academic year). Students on this plan must be enrolled full time (12 hours or more) in the fall and spring semesters. After the add/drop period, students who withdraw from a course will not receive a refund. When a student withdraws from a class, the course hours will still count against their block tuition (36-credit hour total) for the academic year. Students not enrolled full time at the end of the add/drop period for the semester will be billed on a per credit hour basis and will forfeit the ability to take classes under the Annual Block Tuition plan during the academic year.

Add/Drop Period

During the add/drop period there is no penalty for adding or dropping courses. Courses dropped during this period will not appear on the student’s transcript. If enrolled in Block Tuition, classes dropped during this period will not count toward the 36-credit hour total.

Add/Drop Period:
Fall/Spring terms Through the 5th day of each semester
Accelerated courses Through the 2nd day of class
Summer sessions Through the 1st day of each summer session
January courses Before the first day of class
Intensive course Same as add/drop period of term in which course is taught

Residential Students Withdrawing from a Course

After the add/drop period:

  • Students must officially withdraw from a course by initiating a withdrawal form.
  • A withdrawal grade for the course will appear on the transcript.
  • For students enrolled in Block Tuition, classes withdrawn from will still count toward the 36-credit hour total for the academic year.
  • For classes that begin after the first week of the fall or spring semester, students on block tuition must drop the course prior to the first class meeting to avoid the hours counting toward the 36-hour annual block.
  • For all on-campus graduate students and undergraduate students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours, refunds of tuition will be made according to the Tuition Refund Policy (below). Fees are nonrefundable after the add/drop period.
  • No refunds for room and board will be made for absences while enrolled in the university.
  • Full-time undergraduate students may not withdraw from BIBL 101  (or BIBL 103 ) or any required developmental course.

Online Students Withdrawing from a Course

  • Any withdrawal from a course that occurs on the first day of the course or after, is considered to be a course withdrawal.
  • A course withdrawal will result in a grade of “W” (withdrawal) until 12:01 AM CST the Wednesday prior to the last week of class.
  • A course withdrawal will result in a grade of “F” (failing) after the Wednesday prior to the last week of class. .
  • No grades of “I” (incomplete) will be permitted.
  • All course fees will be the responsibility of the student requesting the withdrawal, according to the ACU-Dallas course refund policy in place at the time of the course withdrawal.

Tuition Refund Policy for Individual Courses

All undergraduate students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours are billed at a per credit hour rate of $1,515 (tuition and general fees). Graduate tuition is generally billed by credit hour and the rates vary by program. For full-term residential courses, students paying per credit hour may receive a refund of 100% for the first five days of class, 80% through day 12, and 60% through day 15. No refund will be made after the 15th day of classes. Other students approved to be billed on a per credit basis will follow this same refund schedule. Students in online programs will receive a 100% refund prior to 5:00 pm CST one business day before the online course start date. The refund policy for any drops or withdrawals after 5:00 pm CST one business day before the online course start date is 0%.

For January courses and summer courses, students who are in the Annual Block Tuition do not incur additional expenses as long as the total enrolled hours do not exceed 36 within the same academic year. Students not enrolled in the annual Block Tuition are billed at $1,515 per credit hour. If paying by credit hour, when a class is dropped on the first day of a January short course or an accelerated course, there is a 90% refund. When a class is dropped on the first day of a summer term, there is a 100% refund. No refund will be made from the second day to the end of either short term. Refunds for intensive courses not specifically listed above are subject to the refund schedule for courses billed by the credit hour in the term in which the course is taught, regardless of the actual date the course begins.

Tuition Refund Policy for Students Withdrawing from the University

Students that completely withdraw from the university during the fall or spring semester will receive a tuition refund based on the following schedule:

Refund Schedule for Residential Programs

Through the 5th day (the add/drop period) 100%
Through the 12th day 80%
Through the 15th day 60%
After the 15th day 0%


Refund Schedule for Online Programs

Prior to the first day of class 100%
First day of class or later 0%

Financial Aid Return of Funds Policy for Students Withdrawing from the University

Return of funds to Institutional Financial Aid Programs
Scholarships and grants from the university are reduced by the same percentage of any tuition refund.

Policies and Procedures Regarding the Return of Federal Title IV and Institutional Funds
Abilene Christian University calculates and returns Federal Title IV funds according to Federal Title IV policy 34 CRF 668.22. The amount of Title IV funds (other than Federal Work-Study) that must be returned to the Title IV programs is based solely on the length of time the student was enrolled before withdrawing. This policy is effective for complete or full withdrawal from a semester in which the student receives Title IV federal funds.

If the student withdraws before 60 percent of the semester has elapsed, a percentage of Title IV funds will be returned to the federal program based on the length of time the student is enrolled prior to withdrawal. For example, if the student withdraws when 50 percent of the semester has elapsed, 50 percent of Title IV funds will be returned to the federal programs. After 60 percent of the semester has elapsed, the student is considered to have earned all aid received for the semester.

The return of Federal Title IV funds depends upon the date the student withdraws during the semester.

Withdrawal date is defined as one of the following:

  • The date the student began the withdrawal process;
  • The date the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of the intent to withdraw;
  • For the student who does not begin the university’s withdrawal process or notify the school of the intent to withdraw, the mid-point of the payment period or period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed (unless the university can document a later date); or
  • The withdrawal date is determined from class attendance records.
  • If a student stops attending class, federal regulations require that ACU consider the student withdrawn for financial aid purposes.

Abilene Christian University will:

  1. Determine date of withdrawal.
  2. Calculate the percentage of aid deemed to have been earned by the student.
  3. Calculate the percentage of aid not earned by the student, which must be returned to federal programs.

Return of Federal Title IV Funds
If the withdrawal date results in a percentage of Federal Title IV aid not earned by the student, then return of Federal Title IV aid will occur in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans (other than Direct PLUS Loans)
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Direct PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal SEOG Grants
  7. TEACH Grants

Endowed Scholarships

Click here for more information.