Master's (MAcOM)  |  Doctoral (DAOM)

Financial Policies and Student Financial Aid Applicable to OCOM's Master’s Program

Criteria used in the Determination of Awards

OCOM subscribes to the federally approved and mandated system of need analysis for the purposes of awarding need-based student aid. This system is subject to review and adjustment by the United States Congress and is subject to reauthorization as part of the Higher Education Act. OCOM requires students seeking financial assistance to complete an application process for need-based federal student aid. This process involves applicants in the following steps:

a. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) needs analysis form. The FAFSA collects information about the applicant’s income and assets. The completed FAFSA is submitted electronically at https://fafsa.ed.gov

b. OCOM's Director of Financial Aid (DFA) reviews the complete application materials and first determines eligibility for need-based federal student aid (Federal Work-Study). Secondly, the DFA determines eligibility for non-need-based federal student aid (Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan and Graduate Plus Loan).

c. OCOM develops standard estimated student expense budgets each year for the purpose of estimating educational costs for the academic year. These budgets include estimated tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. Living expense estimates assume housing and utilities in the area of Portland within an eight-mile radius of campus. The DFA reviews the information submitted by the applicant and using the EFC, determines the student’s eligibility for Federal Student Aid. “Financial Need” is calculated by subtracting the EFC from the Standard Estimated Student Expense Budget as follows:

Standard Budget - EFC = Financial Need

d. The Financial Need figure represents the maximum amount of need-based aid which the applicant is eligible to receive. Federal Work-Study is the only source of need-based aid available at OCOM.

e. Currently, the maximum Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan annual (9-month) amount for an OCOM student is $20,500. Federal Work-Study awards are very limited due to annual federal allocation. In some cases, the Federal Work-Study award may reduce eligibility for other Federal Loans.

f. After award determination, the DFA mails an Award Letter to each eligible student specifically indicating the exact type and amount of aid each applicant is eligible to receive. It is the responsibility of each awarded applicant to review the Award Letter and all enclosures and to return signed copies of appropriate Award Letter materials to the DFA by the reply date indicated. The reply date is typically two weeks from the date of the generation of the Award Letter.

g. As a final step in the application process, applicants are required to complete a Loan Request Statement, a Master Promissory Note for the Federal student loan programs in which they choose to participate, and Entrance Loan Counseling for graduate students.

h. Students may request funding for the China Trip which typically occurs each year during the fall as a study abroad program.

 

Estimated Student Expense Budgets for Calculating Student Aid Eligibility

It is the responsibility of the college to establish reasonable standard budgets for estimating students’ cost of attendance. These standard budgets are updated each year and reflect changes in direct charges (i.e. tuition, fees, books and supplies) as well as changes in the cost of living.

The budgets provided here are for illustration and represent the standard budgets used for full-time (36-month program) students in calculating financial aid eligibility for the 2017-2018 academic year. It is significant to note that the room and board figures take into account only the expenses to be incurred by the student directly (as opposed to those of the student’s family). Likewise, these estimated costs assume housing within an eight mile radius of the college.

Students with unusual living expenses may submit these, with documentation, to the DFA for review on a case by case basis. Child care, unusual medical and transportation costs, and costs related to a student’s disability will receive primary consideration for potential budget adjustments.

Estimated Annual Student Expense Budgets*: 2017-2018

Full-time Three-year Program Four-year Program
Estimated Tuition $20,250 $18,198
Fees/Books $1,500 $1,200
Estimated Room/Board $18,000 $18,000
Estimated Misc/Transportation $4,500 $4,500
Estimated Loan Fees $1,200 $1,200
ESTIMATED TOTAL $45,900 $43,548

*All fees are subject to change with ninety (90) days notice. Fees change annually only, except with special permission of the Oregon Department of Education. These fees are calculated for full-time students.

Criteria for Continued Student Eligibility

Students are required to apply for financial aid each year if they wish to be considered for such assistance. Additionally, students are required to demonstrate that they are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) each year of their enrollment to qualify for continued aid eligibility. The whole text of the college’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is as follows:

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy 

Federal regulations require all students receiving federal student aid to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree to retain eligibility for financial aid. Failure to maintain SAP will result in the disqualification from federal student aid programs at OCOM. The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy of the Office of Financial Aid at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine is explained below.

SAP Policy Elements:

*Qualitative component

  • 36-month/three-calendar-year enrollment plan - Students must complete 100% of the required credits attempted to remain in the 36-month enrollment plan. Students who do not complete all credits will be shifted to the 48-month/four-calendar-year enrollment plan and remain in good standing for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • 48-month/four-calendar-year enrollment plan - Students must complete 75% of credits attempted to remain in good standing for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Half-time students must complete 75% of credits attempted to remain in good standing for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

*Quantitative component

  • “Pace” of progression (cumulative earned credits divided by cumulative attempted credits): OCOM students must maintain a cumulative pace of 75%. That is, 75% of all attempted credits must be passed to maintain SAP.
  • “Maximum timeframe” (maximum length of time to complete program) is eight years
    • Students must complete all required courses with a grade of "P" or "H" (see grading system). A grade of "I", if not resolved in the required time-line, is converted by the Registrar to a permanent “I”. Any required course with a permanent “I”, “F” or “W” must be re-taken for credit according to the modified academic plan created by the academic advisor.
    • All transfer credits accepted for transfer are counted as both attempted and earned for the quantitative SAP component.
    • 36-month students are required to complete all first-year classes before second-year classes can be taken and all second-year classes before commencing clinical internship. Students in all other enrollment plans take specific classes in a prerequisite order as determined by the Dean of Master's Studies.
    • If a student fails a class during the period of their clinical internship or fails to resolve an incomplete within the prescribed time frame, the student’s clinical internship may be suspended until that class has been successfully completed.
    • Students who fail to meet SAP standards will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid and will be placed in a Financial Aid Suspension. Students may submit an appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility to the Director of Financial Aid. The SAP appeal must address why the student failed and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to meet SAP at the next evaluation. A student who successfully appeals will then be placed in Financial Aid Probation until their SAP issue has been resolved or they have successfully met the requirements of their academic plan.

Grading System

At the end of each course, each student’s performance is reported to the Office of the Registrar, using the following grading system:

H (Honors) - Superior Performance
P (Pass) - Satisfactory Performance
F (Failure) - Unsatisfactory Performance
I (Incomplete) - Temporary Grade; course requirements not yet completed
W (Withdrawal) - Student withdrew from course

Policy on Grade of Failure (“F”): Failure (“F”) is a permanent grade on a transcript. A grade of failure in a required course will result in the student being placed on Academic Probation.

The Director of Financial Aid (DFA) will be notified by the Registrar after grades are transcribed each term with the names of all students with “F” grades.

Academic Probation

A student will be placed on academic probation for failing any required course during an academic term. Students placed on academic probation for a second time are subject to suspension, which may ultimately result in dismissal. Such cases will be reviewed individually by the Dean of Master's Studies; if the dean finds that a student shows little promise of ability to complete the program satisfactorily, it will dismiss the student.

Impact of Satisfactory Academic Progress Definition on Student Financial Aid Eligibility

At the end of each academic year, the Director of Financial Aid is responsible for reviewing the grades and credit completion of each student receiving financial aid. Any student, who does not meet the minimum enrollment requirement, will need to submit a Letter of Appeal to the Director of Financial Aid. The student will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid until the appeal has been reviewed and it is determined that the student is eligible for continued funding.

Penalties Associated with Drug-Related Offenses

A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any federal Title IV grant, loan or work funds during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table:

If convicted of an offense involving:

The possession of a controlled substance:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

The sale of a controlled substance:

1st offense

2nd offense

Ineligibility period is:

One year from date of conviction

Two years from date of conviction

Indefinite

Ineligibility period is:

Two years from date of conviction

Indefinite

A student whose eligibility has been suspended may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if:

1. The student satisfactorily completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria determined by the Department of Education and includes two unannounced drug tests OR

2. The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.

Student Financial Assistance Disbursements 

Federal student loan disbursements are typically sent once each quarter. For example, a student receiving a Federal Direct Loan for an entire academic year would receive a Fall disbursement, a Winter disbursement, a Spring disbursement and a Summer disbursement.

Student loan disbursement rosters are created by the Office of Financial Aid for review and then initiated in Populi for the Business Office. The Business Office disburses the loan funds to the appropriate student accounts and if a credit balance is created once tuition and fees are paid, a refund check is generated for the student. 

Students who are employed through the Federal Work-Study Program are responsible for submitting complete, accurate timesheets to work supervisors by the 10th and 25th day of each month. Students are paid for these work hours with a college paycheck, issued by the Payroll Office on the 16th and last work day of each month.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) of Student Loan Funds

Disbursement of federal student loans will be electronically drawn into the school and applied to individual student accounts. Tuition and book charges will also be applied to their accounts. If this creates a credit balance, a refund check will be issued. The refund process will begin after the first day of the quarter.

Two important reminders about your student loans:

  1. If you have prior student loans from another institution, these loans may qualify for in-school deferment. Please submit a deferment form (provided by your loan servicer) to the Office of the Registrar. It will be processed once you are an enrolled student.
  2. If you do not wish to accept all of the loan proceeds, you can request to have all or part of the funds returned to the Department of Education (DOE). This request must be made within the first two weeks of the date of the disbursement. If you think you might want to consider returning loan proceeds, please see the Director of Financial Aid.

Policy Regarding the Distribution of Refunds to the Federal Student Aid Programs

A student may terminate enrollment by giving written notice to the college. If termination occurs within five business days after enrollment, all monies paid, less a $10 administrative fee, shall be refunded. If termination occurs more than five days after enrollment, the student is financially obligated to the college according to the following schedule:

If a student withdraws prior to completion of 60 percent of the current period of enrollment, the student shall be entitled to a prorated “return of funds” of the total tuition charged for that period of enrollment.

“Return of funds,” as used in this section, is calculated using the Federal Regulation for Return of Title IV Funds, which means that a student shall be charged for the time attended as determined by the last recorded day of attendance by that student. If the calculation determines that the school is required to return funds, the funds are returned to the Department of Education in the following order: Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Federal Direct Graduate Plus loans. If a student withdraws upon completion of 60 percent or more of the current period of enrollment, the student shall be responsible for the tuition charged for the entire period of enrollment and shall not be entitled to a refund.

General Conditions and Terms Applicable to Federal College Work-Study Student Employment

a. Students are only eligible to be considered for Federal Work-Study (FWS) positions if they have an official Federal Work-Study Award as part of their signed Award Letter.

b. All FWS positions require written job descriptions. These job descriptions are maintained in the Office of Financial Aid.

c. It is the responsibility of the FWS student employee to accurately report all work hours on an approved timesheet. Timesheets will not be processed by the Payroll Office if they are incomplete or if they are not signed by the appropriate supervisory personnel.

d. It is the responsibility of the student to find a work-study position. Having a work-study award on your award letter does not guarantee a job.

e. All FWS employees must complete the following documents before beginning work:

  1. New Employee Form
  1. Tax Withholding Form (W-4)
  1. INS Eligibility Form (I-9)

Sample Loan Repayment Schedule

Once a student has met all of the requirements to graduate, Exit Loan Counseling is provided by the Office of Financial Aid. Online counseling is required and can be found out at www.studentloans.gov and individual exit counseling is available per student request to all students. Below is a sample illustration of a repayment scenario. These are the assumptions used in creating this hypothetical example:

a. The student was eligible for and received a $20,500 Federal Direct Loan each year of the three-year standard academic program. The interest rate in effect for this borrower is 6.8 percent.

b. The student investigated both standard repayment and the extended repayment options.

Total borrowed: $82,000 Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan at 6.8 percent interest

Repayment options:

Standard: 10 years to repay (120 Months)

Total: $943 per month ($113,239 total)

Extended: 30 years to repay (360 months)

Total: $534 per month ($192,447 total)


Financial Policies and Student Financial Aid Applicable to OCOM's Doctoral Studies (DAOM) Program

Criteria used in the Determination of Awards

OCOM subscribes to the federally approved and mandated system of need analysis for the purposes of awarding need-based student aid. This system is subject to review and adjustment by the United States Congress and is subject to reauthorization as part of the Higher Education Act every five years. OCOM requires students seeking financial assistance to complete an application process for need-based federal student aid. This process involves applicants in the following steps:

a. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA collects information about the applicant's income and assets and is submitted electronically at www. FAFSA.ed.gov. 

b. OCOM's Director of Financial Aid (DFA) reviews the complete application materials and determines eligibility for federal student aid in the form of Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan and Graduate Plus Loans.

c. OCOM develops Standard Estimated Student Expense Budgets each year for the purpose of estimating educational costs for the academic year. These budgets include estimated tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. The DFA reviews the SAR submitted by the applicant and uses the "Expected Family Contribution"(EFC) which is calculated by the Federal Processor. "Financial Need" is then calculated by subtracting the EFC from the Standard Estimated Student Expense Budget as follows: Standard Budget – EFC = Financial Need

d. Currently, the maximum Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan annual (12-month) amount for an OCOM student is $20,500.

e. After award determination, the DFA mails an Award Letter to each eligible student specifically indicating the exact type and amount of aid each applicant is eligible to receive. It is the responsibility of each awarded applicant to review the Award Letter and all enclosures and to return signed copies of appropriate Award Letter materials to the DFA by the reply date indicated. The reply date is typically two weeks from the date of the generation of the Award Letter.

f. As a final step in the application process, applicants are required to complete Entrance Loan Counseling, a Loan Request Statement and a Master Promissory Note for the Federal student loan programs in which they choose to participate.

Criteria for Continued Student Eligibility 

Students are required to apply for financial aid each year if they wish to be considered for such assistance. Additionally, students are required to demonstrate that they are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) each year of their enrollment to qualify for continued aid eligibility. Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is as follows:

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Advancement to the second year of the OCOM doctoral program is based on a student’s satisfactory completion of the first year’s work, including all Year One courses and comprehensive exams. Students should be aware that if their course of study is interrupted due to failing a course, or an incomplete, their only option will be to retake the courses in question with the next cohort of students. If a student fails a course twice, or fails the same comprehensive examination two times, the student may be dismissed from the program.

If a student has more than four past due assignments at any time during the program, the student will be placed on Academic Probation, and will need to establish a written contract with the Dean of Doctoral Studies for the completion of the past due work. If the student does not follow through on the written contract, the student may be dismissed from the program, and will need to re-apply for admission in a future class.

Federal regulations require all students receiving federal student aid to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree to retain eligibility for financial aid. Failure to maintain SAP will result in the disqualification from federal student aid programs at OCOM. Students who fail to meet SAP standards will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid and will be placed in a Financial Aid Suspension. Students may submit an appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility to the Director of Financial Aid. The SAP appeal must address why the student failed and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to meet SAP at the next evaluation. A student who successfully appeals will then be placed in Financial Aid Probation until their SAP issue has been resolved or they have successfully met the requirements of their academic plan.

Students are generally expected to complete the doctoral program in 24 months of continuous enrollment. If a student requests and is granted a leave of absence from the program, that student must return to the program within two years. In all cases, students must complete the DAOM program within four years of matriculation (less any approved leave of absence).

Impact of Satisfactory Academic Progress Definition on Student Financial Aid Eligibility 

At the end of each academic year of enrollment, the DFA is responsible for reviewing the grades and credit completion of each student receiving financial aid. All students with either one or more "F" grades and/or completion of less than the defined minimum credit completion expectation will have a "hold" put on subsequent financial aid disbursements. Holds that are unresolved result in student loan checks being returned to lenders in accordance with federally regulated timelines.

Resolving Holds/Appealing Suspension of Aid Eligibility 

Students will be notified by the DFA if their aid eligibility is suspended. Impacted students may appeal this decision in writing to the Dean of Doctoral Studies (DDS). The DDS will inform both the student and the DFA regarding the outcome of this appeal. If approved, a copy of the approved appeal will be provided to the DFA, which authorizes the DFA to release the held funds.

Penalties Associated with Drug-Related Offenses

A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any federal Title IV grant, loan or work funds during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table:

If convicted of an offense involving:

The possession of a controlled substance:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

The sale of a controlled substance:

1st offense

2nd offense

Ineligibility period is:

One year from date of conviction

Two years from date of conviction

Indefinite

Ineligibility period is:

Two years from date of conviction

Indefinite

A student whose eligibility has been suspended may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if:

The student satisfactorily completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria determined by the Department of Education and includes two unannounced drug tests OR

The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.

Student Financial Assistance Disbursements 

Federal student loan disbursements are received according to the DAOM tuition payment schedule. For example, a student receiving a Federal Direct Loan for an entire academic year would receive two disbursements to coincide with the two annual tuition payments.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) of Student Loan Funds

 

Disbursement of federal student loans will be electronically drawn into the school and applied to individual student accounts. Tuition and book charges will also be applied to their accounts. If this creates a credit balance, a refund check will be issued. The refund process will begin after the first day of the quarter.

Two important reminders about your student loans:

  1. If you have prior student loans from another institution, these loans may qualify for in-school deferment. Please submit a deferment form (provided by your loan servicer) to the Office of the Registrar. It will be processed once you are an enrolled student.
  2. If you do not wish to accept all of the loan proceeds, you can request to have all or part of the funds returned to the Department of Education (DOE). This request must be made within the first two weeks of the date of the disbursement. If you think you might want to consider returning loan proceeds, please see the Director of Financial Aid.

Estimated Student Expense Budgets for Calculating Student Aid Eligibility 

It is the responsibility of the college to establish reasonable standard budgets for estimating students' cost of attendance. These standard budgets are updated each year and reflect changes in direct charges (i.e. tuition, fees, books and supplies) as well as changes in transportation and living expense.

Students with unusual living expenses may submit these, with documentation, to the DFA for review on a case by case basis. Child care, unusual medical costs, and costs related to a student's disability will receive primary consideration for potential budget adjustments.

Policy Regarding Leave of Absence and Withdrawal

Any student in good standing (with no unresolved academic, financial or disciplinary issues) may apply for a formal leave of absence of up to two years, during which time the student is entitled to readmission without reapplication. The student will pay the program tuition in effect for the cohort the student joins when they reenter.

A student on leave of absence for longer than two years who wishes to reenter the doctoral program must reapply to OCOM under the admissions policies in effect at the time of reapplication. Forms to begin the leave of absence procedure are available from the Dean of Doctoral Studies. The Dean will meet with the student and establish an academic contract with the student that clearly states all requirements necessary for reentry into the program.

Any student requesting a leave of absence must be fully aware that the doctoral program, its curriculum design, content, and faculty may change during the leave of absence. A student is not guaranteed to be able to resume with the same curriculum or faculty as when they left. Changes in the program, curriculum design, content and modules may require a student to take additional courses, make-up specific modules or submit additional assignments upon their return. Students who take a leave of absence before the end of an academic year must be aware that they have not completed or received any credit for that year’s courses, and that their transcript will reflect Incomplete grades (“I”) until the coursework is complete when they return to the program.

Any student who leaves the program without applying for and being granted a leave of absence will be considered to have withdrawn from the program, and will have to apply for readmission.

Policy Regarding the Distribution of Refunds to the Federal Student Aid Programs 

Tuition Refund Policy

A student may terminate (withdraw or take a leave of absence) by giving written notice to the college (student must complete the leave of absence form for a leave). If termination occurs before the start of the first module of the academic year, all tuition paid for that academic year (less a $100 administrative fee) will be refunded. If the student terminates enrollment prior to completion of 60 percent of the period covered by a tuition payment, the student shall be entitled to a prorated “return of funds” of the total tuition charged for that tuition payment.

“Return of funds,” as used in this section, is calculated using the Federal Regulation for Return of Title IV Funds, which means that a student shall be charged for the time attended as determined by the last recorded day of attendance by that student. The total number of class days attended for each module during that payment period divided by the total number of class days in all modules occurring during that payment period. If the calculation determines that the school is required to return funds, the funds are returned to the Federal Direct Loan Program in the following order: Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan.

If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence after the completion of 60 percent or more of the class days in all modules for the current payment period, the student shall be responsible for the tuition charged for the entire payment period and shall not be entitled to a refund.

If a student is not in attendance for any one module, they must give written notice that they will be attending the next module. If a student fails to return to the next module, a Return of Funds calculation will be performed based on the date of the last module that was attended and the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.