Financial Aid

Our Financial Aid Office is available to help you apply for Federal and State Financial Assistance as well as Private Student Loans.  The responsibility of financing your education lies with you and your family. The Federal Financial Aid Program is available for students who qualify and is based upon your financial need. Our Financial Aid Office will guide you through the application process. You can reach us by e-mail at FinancialAid@cdu.edu or by phone at 304-724-5000, ext. 702.

There are several types of aid available, including various state and federal student loan programs as well as gift aid including grants and scholarships. CDU participates in the Federal Pell Grant program and the Federal Direct Loan programs.

Federal Financial Aid must be reapplied for each academic year using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  CDU’s FAFSA school code is 041242. Currently, only students enrolled in the following programs are eligible for Federal Financial Aid:

  • AA in Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Catholic Studies
  • BA in Theology
  • MA (Theology)
  • MA in Theology and Educational Ministry

For the purposes of Federal Financial Aid, full-time status for undergraduate programs is considered 12 credits in a 16-week semester. Full-time for graduate programs is considered 6 credits in a 16-week semester.

Information and Policies

ADD/DROP PERIOD

All students will have an Add/Drop Period through attendance of the end of the second week of instruction after module start date.

OFFICIAL WITHDRAWALS

In order for a student to be considered an Official Withdrawal, the student must provide official notification of the intent to withdraw from Catholic Distance University. A written notice of withdrawal must be sent via mail or email to both the Office of Students Services and Office of Financial Aid.

WITHDRAWAL DATE

The withdrawal date for an official withdrawal is defined as the date the student begins the official withdrawal process or provides written notice of their intent to withdrawal.

UNOFFICIAL WITHDRAWAL

Students who do not provide official notification to Catholic Distance University of their intent to withdraw are considered unofficial withdrawals.

WITHDRAWAL DATE

If the student ceases attendance without providing official notification due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, the withdrawal date is the date the school determines is related to that circumstance. For students that do not return from an approved leave of absence, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance of an academically related activity. The withdrawal date for all other instances where a student withdraws without providing official notification is the mid-point of the payment period or the last documented date of attendance at an academic event, whichever is later.

DATE OF DETERMINATION

The Date of Determination for students who are considered unofficial withdrawal is the latter of the student’s official withdrawal date, or the date of notification. For student’s who do not officially withdrawal the date of determination is no later than 30 days after the end of the earlier of the:

  • Payment period
  • Academic year
  • Student’s educational program

Campus Crime Statistics

Catholic Distance University understands that effective learning requires a safe environment. CDU complies with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 1965 and the Safe and Drug Free Colleges and Communities Act and Amendments of 1989. As an educational institution offering 100% of our programs online, Catholic Distance University is exempt from the Clery Act compliance obligations, including the annual ASR.

 

State Contact Information for Student Complaints

Catholic Distance University is committed to our students and hopes that all students are pleased with the education and service they receive at the University. In the rare event that a complaint cannot be rectified through the Appeals and Grievances Policy, students have the right to file a complaint with the state in which they reside. State-specific contact information:

Arizona: Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, 1400 W. Washington, Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007; telephone 602.542.2399.

Arkansas: Arkansas Department of Higher Education, 114 East Capitol, Little Rock, AR 72201-3818; telephone 501.371.2065.

California: California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, C/O Department of Consumer Affairs, PO Box 980818, W. Sacramento, CA 95798-0818; telephone 916.431.6959, 888.370.7589.

Colorado: Department of Higher Education, Commission on Higher Education, 1300 Broadway Road, Second Floor, Denver, CO 80203; telephone 303.866.2723, 303.866.4209.

Connecticut: Office of Higher Education, Connecticut State Board of Education, 61 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105-2326; telephone 860.947.1800, 860.947.1821.

Delaware: Delaware Department of Education, The Townsend Building, 401 Federal St., Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901-3639; telephone 302.735.4000.

Florida: Commission for Independent Education, 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400; telephone 850.245.3200.

Georgia: Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, GA 30084; telephone 770.414.3306.

Hawaii: Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization Program, P.O. Box 541, Honolulu, HI 96809; telephone 808.586.7327.

Idaho: Idaho State Board of Education, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0037; telephone 208.332.1587.

Illinois: Illinois Board of Higher Education, 431 East Adams Street, Second Floor, Springfield, IL 62701- 1418; telephone 217.557.7359, website: www.ibhe.org.

Indiana: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Board for Proprietary Education, 101 West Ohio Street, Suite 670, Indianapolis, IN 46204; telephone 317.464.4400.

Iowa: Iowa College Student Aid Commission, 430 E. Grand Avenue, FL 3, Des Moines, IA 50309-1920; telephone 515.725.3400.

Kansas: Kansas Board of Regents, 1000 SW Jackson, Suite 520, Topeka, KS 66612-1368; telephone 785.296.4936, 785.296.4917.

Kentucky: Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, 1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 320, Frankfort, KY 40601-8204; telephone 502.573.1555.

Louisiana: State of Louisiana Board of Regents, P.O. Box 3677, Baton Rouge, LA 70821; telephone 225.342.4253.

Maryland: Maryland Higher Education Commission, 6 North Liberty Street, Baltimore, MD 21201; telephone 800.974.0203.

Massachusetts: Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, One Ashburton Place, Room 1401, Boston, MA 02108-1696; telephone 617.994.6950.

Michigan: Michigan Department of Education, P.O. Box 30008 (or) 608 W. Allegan, Lansing, MI 48909; telephone 517.373.9235.

Minnesota: Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108; telephone 651.642.0567, 800.657.3866.

Mississippi: Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211; telephone 601.432.6372.

Missouri: State of Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education, 205 Jefferson Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101; telephone 573.751.2361.

Nebraska: Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, P.O. Box 95005, Lincoln, NE 68509-5005; telephone 402.471.0020, 402.471.2847.

Nevada: Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education, 8778 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 115, Las Vegas, NV 89123; telephone 702.486.7330.

New Jersey: New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, 20 W. State Street, PO Box 542, Trenton, NJ 08625-0542; telephone 609.292.4310, 609.984.2709.

New Mexico: New Mexico Higher Education Department, 2048 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505- 2100; telephone 505.476.8400.

North Carolina: Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina, General Administration, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688; telephone 919.962.4558.

Ohio: Ohio Board of Regents, 25 South Front Street, Columbus, OH 43215; telephone 614.466.6000.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education, 655 Research Parkway, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73104-3603; telephone 405.225.100, 405.225.9142.

Oregon: Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, 1500 Valley River Dr., Suite 100, Eugene, OR 97401; telephone 541.687.7478.

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Department of Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333; telephone 717.783.6785.

South Carolina: Nonpublic Postsecondary Institution Licensing, 1333 Main Street, Suite 200, Columbia, SC 29201; telephone 803.737.2281.

Tennessee: Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Parkway Towers, Suite 1700, 404 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville, TN 37243-0830; telephone 615.741.3605.

Texas: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Capitol Station, Austin, TX 78711; telephone 512.427.6520.

Utah: Utah Division of Consumer Protection, 160 East 300 East, 2nd Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84111; telephone 801.530.6601, or toll-free in Utah 800.721.SAFE.

Virginia: State Council of Higher Education for Virgina, James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th Street, 10th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219; telephone 804.225.2600.

Washington: Washington Student Achievement Council, PO Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430; telephone 360.753.7869, 360.753.7866.

Washington DC: Government of the District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission, 810 1st Street, NE, 2nd Fl., Washington, DC 20002; telephone 202.727.2824.

West Virginia: West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, 1018 Kanawha Boulevard, East – Suite 700, Charleston, WV 2530; telephone 304.558.2101.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Educational Approval Board, 201 West Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Madison, WI 53703; telephone 608.266.1996, 608.266.1996.

Wyoming: Wyoming Department of Education, Hathaway Bldg., 2 Floor, 2300 Capitol Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82002-0050; telephone 307.777.5712.

Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling

Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling must be completed by anyone who is a first-time borrower of the Federal Subsidized, Federal Unsubsidized, or PLUS Loan. Entrance counseling is meant to provide the borrower with enough information to understand the terms of borrowing student loans.

Catholic Distance University ensures that Loan Entrance Counseling is completed at the Federal Student Aid website, www.studentloans.gov.  Students must go the website and login to complete their Entrance Counseling session.

 

Entrance counseling includes, but is not limited to, explanations on topics such as:

  • Use of a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Importance of repayment
  • Consequences of default
  • Sample repayment schedules
  • Borrower’s rights and responsibilities
  • Information on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • Borrower’s maximum eligibility periods
  • Responsibility for all accruing interest on Federal Direct Loans
  • Borrowing aid wisely

 

Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling

Catholic Distance University will notify students electronically and in writing to complete loan exit counseling online at the Federal Student Aid website, studentloans.gov, within 30 days of their withdrawal, enrollment of less than ½ time, or completion of their program.

CDU will also notify students via email to advise them of the exit counseling requirement.  All required exit information is included in the Federal Exit Counseling Guide for Federal Student Loan Borrowers, which can be found at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/loan-exit-counseling.pdf

 

Exit counseling includes, but is not limited to, explanations on topics such as:

  • Use of a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Repayment obligation
  • Consequences of default
  • Sample repayment schedules
  • Borrower’s rights and responsibilities
  • National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • Possible loss of eligibility for additional Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Borrowing aid wisely

A recipient of Federal Title IV financial aid who withdraws from school during a payment period or period in which the student began attendance will have the amount of Title IV funds he/she did not earn calculated according to federal regulations (34 CFR 668.22). Any student who withdraws will have Pell Grant recalculated based on the number of credits the student attempted. The percentage of Title IV financial aid that is earned for a payment period is the number of calendar days the student has been enrolled for the payment period up to the day the student withdrew, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period.

The percentage is multiplied by the amount of Title IV financial aid for the payment period for which the Title IV financial aid was awarded to determine the amount of Title IV financial aid earned. The amount of Title IV financial aid that has not been earned for the payment period, and must be returned, is the complement of the amount earned. The amount of Title IV financial aid earned and the amount of Title IV financial aid not earned will be calculated based on the amount of Title IV financial aid that was disbursed or could have been disbursed for the payment period upon which the calculation was based.

Once the amount of Title IV financial aid that was not earned has been calculated, federal regulations require that the school return a portion of the unearned funds equal to the lesser of the institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of funds or the entire amount of unearned funds in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
  3. Federal PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grants

If the amount of unearned Title IV financial aid disbursed exceeds the amount that is returned by the school, the student (or parent, if a Federal PLUS Loan) must return or repay, as appropriate, the remaining amount. Any loan funds that must be returned by the student (or parent for a PLUS loan) are repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions of the promissory note. If the student is required to return unearned grant funds, the student is required to return the amount of the unearned grant funds that exceeds 50 percent of the grant funds received.

If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, he or she is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. The school will notify the student and or parent of post-withdrawal disbursement once an amount can be determined.

Withdrawal from the Program

You may withdraw from the school at any time after the cancellation period and receive a pro rata refund for the current course if you have completed less than 60 percent of the scheduled days through the last day of attendance in that course

For the purpose of determining a refund under this section, a student shall be deemed to have withdrawn from a program of instruction when any of the following occurs:

  • The student notifies the institution of their intent to withdrawal and does not give confirmation that they will return for a future course within the same semester.
  • The institution terminates the student’s enrollment for failure to maintain satisfactory progress, failure to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution, absences in excess of maximum set forth by the institution, and/or failure to meet financial obligations to the School.
  • The institution identifies the student never started a class. The student fails to return from a leave of absence.

For the purpose of determining a refund under this section, the date of withdrawal is defined as the date the student begins the official withdrawal process or provides written notice of their intent to withdrawal. If the student ceases attendance without providing official notification due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, the withdrawal date is the date the school determines is related to that circumstance. The withdrawal date for all other instances where a student withdraws without providing official notification is the mid-point of the payment period or the last documented date of attendance at an academic event, whichever is later.

Refunds must be paid within 45 days of the date the institution determines the student to have withdrawn. This date is the latter of the student’s official withdrawal date, or the date of notification. For student’s who do not officially withdrawal the date of determination is no later than 30 days after the end of the earlier of the:

  • Payment period
  • Academic year
  • Student’s educational program

NOTE: A student who is on an approved leave of absence may not receive a loan disbursement, but may retain in-school status for the purposes of Title IV loans. However, the student should be aware that if he or she does not return from an approved leave of absence, the grace period of the loan may decrease, as the withdrawal date is set retroactively

For example, if a student withdraws on the thirtieth day of a semester 100 days in length, the student will have earned 30 percent of the aid received (30/100 = .30). The unearned 70 percent would be subject to the return policy and would have to be repaid within 45 days.

For students receiving Federal Financial Aid, a student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). In order to be considered to be making satisfactory progress towards a degree, a student must both maintain quantitative (completion ratio) and qualitative (GPA) standards. The student’s progress will be evaluated every sixteen (16) weeks. If the student’s cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) or completion rate is less than the minimum required at that point in the student’s program the student will be placed on a Financial Aid Warning. The student may receive financial aid due during the warning period, but if the student fails to achieve the required grade average or completion rate at the end of the following evaluation period, the student may be subject to become SAP Cancelled.

 

QUALITATIVE MEASURE

At the end of each semester, the student’s cumulative grade average will be determined and must meet the required minimum GPA listed in the chart below. If the student has less than the average specified in the following chart based upon the number of evaluation periods of attendance, he or she will be placed on FA Warning for one evaluation period. If at the end of the following evaluation period, the student has still not raised their GPA to the required GPA, the student may be subject to become SAP Cancelled, and no longer be eligible for Financial Aid.

Evaluation Weeks Required GPA at End of Period 
Undergraduate
Required GPA at End of Period 
Graduate
Required Completion Rate of Attempted Credits
 16  1.50 1.50 50%
 32  1.50  1.50  66.67%
 48  1.75  1.75  66.67%
 64  2.00  3.00  66.67%
 80  2.00  3.00  66.67%
 96  2.00  3.00  66.67%
 112  2.00  3.00  66.67%
 128  2.00  3.00  66.67%
 144  2.00  3.00  66.67%
 160  2.00  3.00  66.67%
 176  2.00  3.00  66.67%
 192  2.00  3.00  66.67%

QUANTITATIVE MEASURE

In addition to maintaining the grades specified above, a student must successfully complete at least half of the credits attempted in their first semester and two-thirds of the credit hours attempted in semesters thereafter. Attempted credit hours include completed courses, failed courses, repeated courses, withdrawn courses, and incomplete courses as well as those that received a grade of A, B, C, D, F. A student’s completion rate is measured at the end of each 16 week evaluation period. If the student has not completed two-thirds of the cumulative credit hours attempted to date based on the chart above (half, if it is the first semester), the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. If at the end of the following evaluation period, the student has still not raised the completion rate to two-thirds of the cumulative hours attempted, the student may be subject to become SAP Cancelled, and no longer be eligible for Financial Aid. It should be noted that students are expected to complete the requirements for their course in the scheduled time frame, but in no case may the credit hours attempted exceed 1.5 times the credit hours required to complete the program (e.g., 120 credits required for undergraduate degree x 150% = 180 credits).

 

APPEAL PROCESS

Appeal Process If a student fails to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) after the warning term, he/she may file an appeal on the basis of: injury, illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances with appropriate documentation. The appeal must explain why he/she failed to make SAP and what has changed in his/her situation that will allow him/her to make SAP at the next evaluation. A record of the appeal and the final determination will be maintained in the student’s file. The Appeal Committee will review the student’s appeal and special circumstances. If the appeal is granted, a student will be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress and aid will be awarded on a term by term basis. The student will be assigned a status of Financial Aid Probation. In some cases, the student will require more than one term to meet the SAP standards. If the student has been placed on Financial Aid Probation, an academic plan must be developed that would ensure that the student will be able to meet the SAP standards by a specific point in time. The committee will review the student’s progress at the end of each academic period. If the student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan, the student is eligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid as long as the student continues to meet those requirements and is reviewed according to the requirements specified in the plan.

 

TRANSFER CREDITS-QUALITATIVE

A student’s program GPA is calculated using only grades earned at CDU in courses that are applicable to the student’s program. Transfer credits do not apply when calculating the student’s GPA at CDU. Transfer credits include credits for all courses not completed at CDU that are applied toward the completion of the student’s degree program.

 

TRANSFER CREDITS-QUANTITATIVE

Credits taken at other institutions and applied toward the student’s program at CDU are included in both attempted and completed hours when measuring the student’s pace toward completion.

 

PROGRAM CHANGES

Students who change programs at CDU are re-evaluated to determine which credits apply to the new program. Only credits that apply to the new program are counted. The student’s SAP status will be reset with an effective date of the program change and will be evaluated at the end of each completed semester in the new program. If the student changes back to a program he or she was previously in, the student’s SAP status will reflect the status of the original program.

 

REPEAT COURSES

Grades for prior attempts are excluded when calculating the qualitative component (GPA). However, credits from all attempts are included when assessing if the student meets the quantitative component (Credits). Although a student may successfully complete a course more than once, only the first passing grade is counted as a completion when calculating the quantitative component.

 

CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT

CDU evaluates SAP for the program based on completed weeks and credits of the semester, regardless of whether or not the student is enrolled concurrently. All credits completed at CDU applicable to the primary program will apply toward the primary program’s GPA.

Federal Pell Grant.

Federal grant that is based on need. Award does not need to be repaid.

Students must be enrolled at least ¼ time to be eligible for a Pell Grant in an undergraduate program. Graduate students are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant

 

Eligibility is based on need.

 

Federal Subsidized Direct Loan Program.

Federal loan that is based on need. Students must be enrolled at least ½ time to be eligible for the Subsidized Direct Loan Program.  Principal and interest may be deferred until after student leaves college or attends less than half time. Payment is deferred until six months after student leaves the University or attends less than half time.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program.

Federal loan that is not need based. Students must be enrolled at least ½ time to be eligible for the Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program.  Principal and interest is not deferred while the student attends college. Payment is deferred until six months after student leaves the University or attends less than half time.

Annual Limits for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Dependent Undergraduates (with approved PLUS Loan)

Subsidized Additional Unsubsidized
First Year $3,500 $2,000
Second Year $4,500 $2,000
Third Year and Beyond $5,500 $2,000

Independent Undergraduates & Dependent Students with Unapproved PLUS Loans

Subsidized Unsubsidized and

Additional Unsubsidized

First Year $3,500 $6,000
Second Year $4,500 $6,000
Third Year and Beyond $5,500 $7,000
Graduate and Professional Students $0 $20,500

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS LOAN)

Credit-based loan for parents of dependent undergraduates. The loan can cover educational costs up to the cost of attendance.

 

VETERANS’ BENEFITS

Benefits provided for Veterans and Dependents of Veterans. Benefit is based on service provided to military branches.  Contact the Veterans Administration or a Veterans Service Officer for information.

 

DIRECT LOANS

First-Time, First Year Borrower:

Disbursements will be made 30 days after the academic year or program start date and again at 14 days after the beginning of the second module in the semester. All subsequent disbursements will be made 14 days after the beginning of the module.

 

Subsequent Borrowers, Parent PLUS Loans, and Graduate PLUS Loans

All disbursements will be made 14 days after the beginning of the module.

 

NOTE: ALL STUDENTS MUST HAVE RECORDED ATTENDANCE IN THE CURRENT MODULE IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A DISBURSEMENT.

 

FEDERAL PELL GRANT

All disbursements will be made 14 days after the beginning of the module.

 

STATE AND INSTITUTIONAL GRANTS VARY

Dependent on individual state requirements

 

PRIVATE LOANS VARY

Dependent on state requirements

NET PRICE CALCULATOR EXAMPLE

Click here to view an estimated cost of attendance.