Financial Aid

Brandeis maintains a substantial aid program consisting of grants, loans and work awards. Approximately 58 percent of the students enrolled at Brandeis receive university assistance. The staff of the Office of Student Financial Services is available to assist parents and students in planning to finance four years of undergraduate education.

Financial aid is awarded after a careful analysis of the family's ability to support the student's costs of education. The analysis is based on the information submitted by the family on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, and if applicable, federal income tax returns.

The student's eligibility for assistance is determined according to federal government regulations and university policies governing financial aid programs. Included in the analysis is the ability of the parent(s) and the student to contribute from current and future income and assets. The difference between a family's ability to support the student and the actual costs of education is determined to be the student's financial need. The amount of each student’s financial aid award is based upon the financial need. Students with demonstrated financial need should expect some combination of scholarship, loan and/or work awards in their financial aid offer.

Financial Aid Policy

  1. Students receiving need-based scholarship aid will usually be expected to assume loan and work obligations as part of a self-help package determined annually by the Office of Student Financial Services. Students may decline or request changes to the amounts of their loan and work if funds are available and their demonstrated need level allows, however self-help cannot be replaced by scholarship or grant funds.
  2. Financial aid applicants are required to apply for the Federal Pell Grant and state scholarship programs, where available, by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the stated deadlines. Brandeis is unable to replace with university funds non-university aid that students are eligible to receive, but for which they fail to apply in a timely manner.
  3. Outside awards received from federal and state programs may result in a dollar-for-dollar reduction in institutional need-based scholarship. Outside awards received from non-governmental sources, even if based on criteria exclusive of need, will first be used to reduce the need-based self-help (loan and/or work) used to meet institutional financial need, any unmet federal financial need, and then the grant components of the student's need-based award. Students receiving need-based or merit-based aid will not be permitted to keep outside awards in excess of the total cost of attendance.
    The above policy will be applied to outside awards received by any Brandeis student regardless of class year. All awards should be reported in writing to the Office of Student Financial Services.
  4. All students must reapply for financial aid each year. Students receiving any type of federal aid must file the Renewal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be filed online. Students receiving need-based scholarship funds from Brandeis must also complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and provide copies of student and parent tax returns. The university may also require verification of certain application items including, but not limited to, the student's academic year residence status (i.e., on campus, off campus or living with parents/family) and the enrollment of siblings at other postsecondary undergraduate institutions. Renewal applications must be filed by the deadline specified in the renewal instructions and on the SFS website. Late applicants will only be considered for scholarship if funds remain available.
    Although it is expected that financial assistance will be continued each year of the student's undergraduate enrollment, the form and/or amount may change in subsequent years to reflect changes in financial need, federal and university funding, residence status (i.e., on campus, off campus or living with parents/family), and other circumstances. An increase in the amount of loan in the financial aid package should be anticipated.
  5. Continuing undergraduate students who wish to apply for financial aid for the first time must file the FAFSA and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE as well as submit copies of student and parent tax returns. The university may also require verification of certain application items including, but not limited to, the student's academic year residence status (i.e., on campus, off campus or living with parents/family) and the enrollment of siblings at other postsecondary undergraduate institutions. Applications must be filed by the deadline specified on the SFS website. Late applicants will only be considered for scholarship if funds remain available.
  6. First-year students who receive any type of federal aid must file the FAFSA before any aid can be credited to their student account. First-year students who receive need-based scholarship funds from Brandeis must also provide copies of student and parent tax returns. The university may also require verification of certain application items including, but not limited to, the student's academic year residence status (i.e., on campus, off campus or living with parents/family) and the enrollment of siblings at other postsecondary undergraduate institutions.
  7. If a student's FAFSA application is selected for standard verification, he or she will be required to submit a Verification Worksheet (available on our website at http://www.brandeis.edu/sfs/forms.html), and to use either the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA or submit copies of IRS Tax Transcripts to verify the income reported on the FAFSA (non-filers must submit a non-filer statement along with income documentation). He or she may be also required to submit documentation of untaxed income, sign a statement of educational purpose, submit a final high school transcript, and/or provide proof of identification to satisfy the requirements of federal verification.
  8. All verification documents must be submitted prior to the application filing deadlines indicated on the SFS website (http://www.brandeis.edu/sfs/finaid/filing.html) and/or the awarding and disbursement of institutional, federal and state financial aid. Failure to do so by ten days prior to the start of the academic year term will result in cancellation of his or her financial aid, which may result in late fees and/or withdrawal from the University for non-payment of the balance due. If a student is selected for verification after his or her financial aid has been disbursed, he or she will have 30 days to complete the verification process and failure to do so will result in cancellation of both state and federal financial aid. Any required changes to a student’s FAFSA data resulting from the verification process will be made to his or her application directly by Brandeis, unless otherwise instructed. Any changes to his or her financial aid award due to the verification process will be communicated via a paper or electronic financial aid award letter.
  9. If a student receives financial aid, and will live off campus or commute from home, the amount of aid awarded may be affected by this choice. Students who will not live on campus should meet with a financial aid advisor to discuss the impact of this decision.
  10. If a student transfers to another institution, and the student previously attended that institution via the Brandeis Study Abroad Program, the student will be required to repay any scholarship funds awarded to the student by Brandeis to attend that institution.
  11. If a student changes his or her academic program (that is, taking fewer than 12 credit hours [which equals full-time status], studying abroad or elsewhere domestically, graduating in less than four years, graduating in more than four years or taking a leave of absence), there may be implications for the amount and type of financial aid that the student can receive. If a student is considering any of the above options, he/she should consult a financial aid counselor first to discuss the impact on financial aid eligibility.
  12. Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal assistance make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with standards set by the university. Brandeis delegates the responsibility to monitor academic progress to the Committee on Academic Standing and charges it to make such determinations on the basis of individual merit, and not in relationship to some arbitrary numerical standard.
    The committee thoroughly reviews the records of students whose performance was unsatisfactory, that is, more than one D and/or one or more E or F, at the conclusion of each semester. Students whose progress has been judged unsatisfactory and whose withdrawal has been required by the Committee on Academic Standing shall be accorded a reconsideration by that body in the presence of new information, judged to be relevant by the dean of the college or his/her designee.
    Should a required withdrawal action be rescinded on appeal, financial aid eligibility shall be reinstated. Any student permitted by the committee to register for the following semester is considered to be making academic progress and is eligible for financial aid from federal and university sources. However, because an ability to complete the degree within eight semesters is a measure commonly applied by the committee in making these determinations, students are advised to consult the sections of the current Bulletin pertaining to class standing (under "Academic Regulations").

Financial Aid to Transfer Students

Financial aid is available for students entering Brandeis as transfer students from other institutions of higher education. Applicants who wish to apply for financial assistance should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, and copies of student and parent Federal income tax returns for the most recent tax year. The application for financial aid is due at the same time as the application for admission.

Federal Loans


1. Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program

This program enables eligible undergraduate students to borrow up to $5,500 during the first year, $6,500 in the second year, and $7,500 in the third and fourth years. All students, regardless of family income, must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and, if required, documents to satisfy the requirements of federal verification, in order to be eligible for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Students are notified of their eligibility for this loan program on the financial aid award letter.

There are two different forms of this loan: the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Interest and repayment are deferred on the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan while the borrower attends college on at least a half-time basis.

Although repayment is also deferred on the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan while the borrower is enrolled at least half time, interest accrues on this loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed. The interest may be deferred and capitalized. Six months after the cessation of half-time enrollment, the borrower begins a 10-year repayment period (other repayment options are available) during which time interest is charged to the student. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the interest rate on the subsidized and unsubsidized versions of this loan will be a fixed rate of 5.045 percent. This loan carries a 1.066 percent origination fee.

The terms of the above loan programs are subject to federal legislation and may be changed.

Title IV Cancellation

If you have been awarded a federal, private or parent student loan (for example, Federal Direct Stafford or PLUS), you have a right to cancel all or a portion of your loan or loan disbursement. To do so, please submit a written request to: Office of Student Financial Services, Brandeis University, Mailstop 027, 415 South St, Waltham, MA 02453-2728 or e-mail sfs@brandeis.edu.

A request for loan cancellation or adjustment must be made before the end of the academic year or prior to leaving school—whichever comes first—and must state which loan(s) and what amount(s) you wish to cancel. Cancellation of your awarded student loan(s) will most likely create a balance due on your account. This balance would be due and payable upon receipt of the statement.

Student Employment

The Office of Student Financial Services seeks to provide work opportunities to students seeking work on campus and in the Waltham area. This service is available to students, regardless of whether or not they are receiving financial aid. Students who receive job allotments as part of their financial aid package will have priority for jobs, but many non-aided students find campus employment. Potential job earnings are not deducted from billed charges from the university at the beginning of each term. Students receive weekly paychecks based on hours worked.

Listings of all on-campus and off-campus job opportunities are available on our website.

Return of Title IV Funds

Federal regulations require that students who withdraw from all classes may only keep the federal financial aid (i.e., Title IV funds) they have "earned" up to the time of withdrawal. These regulations apply when a student officially or unofficially withdraws. Official withdrawals include medical withdrawals and any student who has been administratively withdrawn or expelled.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from any Brandeis University refund policy.

Official Withdrawal Procedures


Undergraduate


Voluntary Withdrawal from the University

A student wishing to withdraw from the university may do so at any time up to and inclusive of the last day of instruction. Withdrawals requested after the last day of instruction must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing. When a student withdraws during or at the end of a semester course, enrollments are not expunged from his/her record; rather, a grade of "W" ("dropped") is entered for each course. From students who withdraw in good standing, the Committee on Academic Standing will consider applications for readmission after one full semester of absence from the campus. Other students may apply for readmission after one calendar year has elapsed. Courses taken at other institutions while on withdrawal from the university are not eligible for transfer toward the Brandeis degree. A Title IV recipient who is voluntarily withdrawn will need an R2T4 performed to determine his or her aid earned.

Leave of Absence

Any degree-seeking student who has been in residence for two semesters, and who has a complete and satisfactory record from the preceding semester, is eligible for a leave of absence. A leave of absence is granted for one or two semesters and may be extended once only. Normally, leaves are arranged in advance through the Office of Academic Services.

On an exceptional basis, personal leave may be granted for a semester in progress, in which case permission must be secured from the Office of Academic Services no later than the 20th day of instruction.

Students are required to submit a written petition to the Executive Council of the Committee on Academic Standing (through the Office of Academic Services) requesting to return. Requests must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the first day of instruction of the term in which they wish to register.

Credit will not be granted for academic work taken at other institutions during a leave of absence.

A Title IV recipient who is granted a leave of absence will be withdrawn and will need an R2T4 performed to determine his or her aid earned.

Leave of Absence for Health Reasons

A student may petition to take a Health Leave of Absence (HLOA) for personal health or family health reasons. Petitions and supporting documentation are submitted to the Office of Academic Services. During a leave of absence for health reasons, students may take two courses (eight credits) per semester for a maximum of four courses (16 credits) and receive numeric course credit. Coursework taken over the maximum may be approved for use towards general University requirements and requirements for the major or minor. Courses must be approved by the Office of the University Registrar prior to enrollment. Course credits may count toward the 128 credits needed for graduation as defined in the academic residency requirement.

Students requesting to return from an HLOA must first seek approval from the Health Leave of Absence Committee, and then petition the Committee on Academic Standing for their approval. Both processes are managed through the Office of Academic Services. The HLOA Committee will evaluate the documentation submitted by a student's health care provider, and determine whether the health condition in question has been adequately alleviated for return to rigorous study. The Committee on Academic Standing will then review the student's overall academic record, their academic progress for the semester in which the student withdrew, and their readiness to successfully make academic progress toward graduation.

A Title IV recipient who is granted a leave of absence for health reasons will be withdrawn and will need an R2T4 performed to determine his or her aid earned.

Unofficial Withdrawals

If a student receives more than one D, E, U, F or NC in a single semester or if a student has had multiple semesters with unsatisfactory grades, the student may be required to withdraw from the university because of a lack of academic progress.

A student may be required to withdraw from the university even if the student has not been on advising alert or probation in a prior semester. The university may require a student to withdraw at any time, should the university determine that the student's academic performance is so profoundly deficient as to suggest an inability to meet academic requirements. Students are informed in writing of any change in academic status.

Students in special admission programs who earn unsatisfactory grades in courses associated with those programs may be required to leave the University.

The academic standing of students who earn unsatisfactory grades will be reviewed at the end of each semester by the Committee on Academic Standing according to the above stated definitions. Letter grades covered by "pass" ("P" for performance at the C- level or above) will not be used in computing grade point averages but will be considered by COAS when determining academic standing.

A student with two or more unsatisfactory grades who are placed on probation will have their parent(s) and/or guardian(s) notified. Parents/guardians may also be notified when a student changes their status at the university either by voluntarily withdrawing or by being required to withdraw by COAS. The student's academic advisor will also be notified of a student's academic standing.

A student with an unsatisfactory record who either voluntarily withdraws from the university or who is required to withdraw from the university may petition to return to the university. COAS will consider petitions for readmission. The student is expected to spend a minimum of one year away from the university.

Primary considerations in making readmission decisions are evidence of sustained and productive activity during the period of absence from the campus, evidence of serious academic purpose and pertinent letters of recommendation attesting to the candidate's readiness to resume formal study.

Courses taken for academic credit while on voluntary or involuntary withdrawal from the university are not eligible for transfer toward the Brandeis degree. Petitions for readmission for a fall semester must be received no later than May 1 and petitions for readmission for a spring semester must be received no later than Nov. 1.

A Title IV recipient who is involuntarily withdrawn will need an R2T4 performed to determine his or her aid earned.

Graduate Students


Voluntary Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw voluntarily from the Graduate School during a semester must do so by completing the change of status form and having it approved by the program chair and the School on or before the last day of instruction in the term. Failure to notify the university in writing of a withdrawal may subject the student to loss of eligibility for refunds in accordance with the refund schedule outlined in the "Fees and Expenses" section. Permission to withdraw voluntarily will not be granted if the student has not discharged all financial obligations to the university or has not made financial arrangements satisfactory to the bursar.

Students who are obliged to register and fail to do so by the appropriate deadline or who fail to pay their bill will be administratively withdrawn. They may be readmitted (see below) for study in a subsequent term, but not for the term in which they were withdrawn for failure to register. Belatedly fulfilling financial obligations will not negate the effects of administrative withdrawal.

A Title IV recipient who is involuntarily withdrawn will need an R2T4 performed to determine aid earned.

Leave of Absence

Students may petition for a leave of absence using the form available on the GSAS website in the "Students" section. The petition must have the approval of the chair of the program and the Graduate School. Leaves of absence up to one year will normally be granted to students in good academic standing who present compelling personal reasons. Returns from leave may be subject to conditions established at the inception of the leave as indicated on the leave of absence petition form. A student who has been granted a leave of absence is not considered an active student during the leave. Time spent on authorized leaves of absence will not be counted toward the maximum time permitted to complete degree requirements.

Should a student need to go on leave for medical reasons, he or she can petition for a medical leave of absence by completing the appropriate form and submitting the required note from a healthcare/psychological service provider. Medical leaves of absence are typically granted for up to one year and students must follow the required steps to return from medical leave one month prior to the start of the semester they are expected back at the Graduate School. These steps will be outlined in a letter to the student upon approval of going on medical leave.

If, for any reason, a student must extend a leave of absence, he or she must request such an extension in writing before the leave of absence expires. Failure to do so will result in involuntary withdrawal from the Graduate School. Students who extend their leaves of absence beyond one year may lose departmental funding. Should a student wish to return, the student will be considered for funding as part of the department's entering cohort of students.

A Title IV recipient who is granted a leave of absence will be withdrawn and will need an R2T4 performed to determine aid earned.

Involuntary Withdrawal

Programs may review academic records at the end of each semester if a student is not making suitable academic progress. In these cases, academic probation or withdrawal may result. A Title IV recipient who is involuntarily withdrawn will need an R2T4 performed to determine aid earned.

Withdrawal Date

A student's withdrawal date is defined as the date that the student began the withdrawal process with Brandeis; the student otherwise provided Brandeis with official notification of the intent to withdraw; or, for the student who did not begin our withdrawal process or notify us of the intent to withdraw, the midpoint of the payment period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed (unless we can document a later date).

Brandeis has additional latitude to determine the withdrawal date of a student who dropped out without notifying the university due to circumstances beyond the student's control, such as illness, accident or grievous personal loss.

The Effect of Withdrawal on Title IV Aid

When a student withdraws during a period in which he or she is receiving federal financial aid, the amount of Title IV funds (which include Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, Teach Grants, Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, SEOG and Federal Perkins Loans) that must be returned to the Title IV programs is based solely on the length of time the student was enrolled prior to withdrawing. The amount of funds earned by the student is directly proportional to time enrolled, through 60 percent of the period of enrollment. After 60 percent, the student is considered to have earned all federal aid. Unearned federal Title IV aid must be returned to the programs.

Brandeis bears the responsibility of returning funds up to the lesser of the unearned amount or an amount determined by multiplying institutional costs by the unearned percentage. The student must return any unearned amount that is not the responsibility of the university to return.

Unearned funds are returned first to Stafford Loans, then to Perkins Loans, and then to PLUS Loans. Once loans are satisfied, remaining unearned funds are distributed to Pell Grant, then to FSEOG, then to other Title IV funds that require a refund. (Federal Work-Study funds earned prior to withdrawal can be kept by the student.)

The student repays unearned funds owed to a loan program under the terms of the promissory note. Repayments to grant programs are made according to grant overpayment regulations. If a student received aid from other (private, state) sources, refunds to them will be made in accordance with the policy of the donor(s).

The refund remaining after any funds are returned to federal and outside programs will be divided between the student and University financial aid programs in the same ratio as these sources were credited to the student's account (for example, if a student paid one-half of the bill, one-half of the remaining refund will be returned to the student and one-half will be returned to the University financial aid programs from which the student received assistance).

For students whose financial aid awards exceed the University's charges (for example, students who live off campus), funds that were disbursed to support educationally related expenses (for example, room, board, books, etc.) must be repaid on a prorated basis determined by the University.

In circumstances where the Return to Title IV refund calculation requires that the University return unearned funds to the federal government, the student may owe a balance to the University. The Return to Title IV Funds calculation is independent of the institution’s refund policy.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

If a student does not receive all of the funds that he or she earned, he/she may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If his or her post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the University must get the student’s permission before it can disburse them. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so as not to incur additional debt. The University may automatically use all or a portion of the student’s post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). The University needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce debt at the school.

  • The University needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant or loan disbursement for all other school charges. If permission is not given, the student will be offered the funds.
  • However, it may be in his or her best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce debt at the school.

Calculation of Title IV Assistance Earned by the Student

The percentage of Title IV assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period completed (total number of calendar days divided by the number of days attended) as of the withdrawal date.

If the withdrawal date occurs after the 60 percent point, then the percentage of Title IV assistance earned is 100 percent.

This percentage is then applied to the total amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed) to the student, or on the student's behalf in the case of a parent PLUS loan, for the payment period for which it was awarded.

Funds are returned first to Stafford Loans, then to Perkins Loans, and then to PLUS Loans. Once loans are satisfied, remaining unearned funds are distributed to the Pell Grant, then to FSEOG, then to other Title IV funds that require a refund. (Federal Work-Study funds earned prior to withdrawal can be kept by the student.)

Calculation of Title IV Assistance Unearned to Be Returned

The unearned amount of Title IV assistance to be returned is calculated by subtracting the amount of Title IV assistance earned by the student from the amount of Title IV aid that was disbursed to the student or on behalf of the student in the case of a parent PLUS loan. Brandeis will return all unearned funds back to the aid program and the student will be responsible for any balance it creates.

Responsibility of the Student for Return of Unearned Aid

If the University is not required to return all of the excess funds the student must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that must be returned, the student (or the parent for a PLUS Loan) must repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from the refund policy that the University has. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to the University to cover unpaid institutional charges. The University will also charge the student for any Title IV program funds that it is required to return.

If the return of the funds creates a balance due on the student account, the student will be responsible to pay the balance on his or her account.

Example of Return to Title IV Refund Calculation

The amount of assistance that a student has earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if a student completed 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns 30% of the Title IV assistance that he or she was originally scheduled to receive. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns all the assistance that he or she was scheduled to receive for that period.

If a student receives (or the institution or a parent receives on his or her behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, the University must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. The student's institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of the student’s funds, or
  2. The entire amount of excess funds.

Timeframe for Return of Title IV Funds by the Institution

The University must return the funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date of its determination that the student withdrew. The University must offer any post-withdrawal disbursement within 30 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew.

Brandeis must determine the withdrawal date for a student that does not provide notification to the institution no later than 30 days after the end of the earlier of the payment period or period of enrollment.

Student Notification

The Return of Title IV Refund calculation will be performed within 30 days of the withdrawal from the University. Notification of aid adjustments, as well as whether the student owes a Title IV or HEA overpayment, or owe funds to Brandeis, will be sent in writing to the student.

Further information on the refund policy for aided students and the calculation for any specific case is available from the Office of Student Financial Services.

Satisfactory Academic Progress


Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Services to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is making progress toward a degree. This is to ensure that a student is successfully progressing through a program of study.

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is a term used to describe successful completion of coursework toward a degree or certificate. This policy applies to all students who receive federal and state financial aid. If a student does not meet the minimum requirements of satisfactory academic progress, the student could lose eligibility for financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Student academic progress (SAP) is measured against the following standards: cumulative qualitative measure, pace progression (completion percentage), and maximum time frame. Both pace and maximum time frame are measured in credit hours, regardless of full-time or part- time attendance.

Brandeis delegates the responsibility to monitor undergraduate academic progress to the Committee on Academic Standing and the responsibility to monitor graduate academic progress to the individual Schools and departments. Brandeis charges these entities with making such determinations on the basis of individual merit, and not in relationship to some arbitrary numerical standard. However, to maintain SAP, a student must, in general, meet the below requirements.

Undergraduate Academic Progress Standards


1) Minimum Qualitative Requirements

Students are in good academic standing when they earn a semester grade point average of at least 2.000, have not received a grade of E, F or NC, and no more than one grade in the range (D+, D or D-).

Degree eligibility normally requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.000. The following chart defines academic standing:

Semester Record Semester GPA
Less Than 2.000
Semester GPA
2.000 or Greater
No grade below C- Good Standing, unless cum.
GPA is below 2.2, in which case Advising Alert
Good Standing, unless cum.
GPA is below 2.2, in which case Advising Alert
1 D Probation Advising Alert
2 Ds, 1 E, 1 F or 1 NC Probation Probation

If a student receives more than one D, E, U, F or NC in a single semester or if a student has had multiple semesters with unsatisfactory grades, the student may be required to withdraw from the university because of a lack of academic progress.

Any student permitted by the Committee on Academic Standing to register for the following semester is considered to be making academic progress and is eligible for financial aid from federal and university sources.

2) Pace Progression (Rate of Work)

The normal rate of work is defined as 16 credits per semester, counting toward the 128 credits required as the graduation standard. Some courses — notably, physical education courses — do not carry credits and do not contribute toward the calculation of a legal course load or progress toward the graduation standard. Students enrolling in them do so as a supplement to an otherwise legal program of study.

The minimum rate of work is three semester courses per term and seven per academic year.

The maximum rate of work is 5.5 semester courses per term and 11 per academic year.

Below are the rate of work limits:

  Number
of courses
Equivalent
number of credits
Minimum per semester  three  12
Maximum per semester  5.5  22
Minimum per year  seven  28
Maximum per year  11  44
Exceptions to Rate of Work Provisions

Students may petition the Committee on Academic Standing for exceptions to the rate of work provisions.

Students may petition to take up to 6.5 classes in a single semester. Typically students must demonstrate a legitimate academic reason for taking the additional courses, have a minimum grade point average of 3.500 or above, and have successfully completed five courses in a previous semester. Students enrolled in more than 23 credits will be assessed an additional tuition charge per credit: $1,664. Refunds for this additional tuition charge are subject to the University's Refund Policy for Dropped Courses.

Students may not petition to exceed the maximum rate of work during their first year at Brandeis.

Exceptions are rarely made to the minimum rate of work limits. Students working below the minimum rate of work without permission will be placed on probation and may be subject to withdrawal. In severe cases of student or family member health that limit, but do not fully impede academic progress, a student may petition for a Medical Underload. A student may only be granted a Medical Underload one time in her/his/their undergraduate career. Petitions and supporting documentation are submitted to the Office of Academic Services. Requests are reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing (COAS) or its Executive Council (EXCO).

The minimum course load for students in the Brandeis Adult Student Option is one course per semester. Students in this program pay tuition at the per-course rate.

Students in their final year may work at the rate of 12 credits each term, as long as all degree requirements will be met by the end of their final semester.

External Credit Sources

A combined maximum of 16 credits from the external sources listed below may be applied toward the 128 credits needed for graduation. Students may request credit from these sources through the Office of the University Registrar.

  1. Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Exams
  2. Approved courses taken while on a leave of absence for medical reasons
  3. Approved courses taken through an approved summer study abroad program
  4. For students who applied for fall-term admission as freshmen, but who were accepted for the following spring term as members of the midyear class:
    • Approved college courses taken during the fall semester immediately prior to entering Brandeis
    • Approved courses in General Chemistry I and II (plus labs) taken the summer prior to entering Brandeis
External Exams/Courses for Purpose

Advanced Placement exams and International Baccalaureate exams, college courses taken while in high school or summer courses taken outside of Brandeis, may be used for placement purposes, general degree requirements (for example, school distribution, foreign language), and major/minor requirements as allowed by individual departments and programs. Courses transferred for purpose have no numeric credit value and will not count toward the 128 credits required for graduation. Students may request a transfer of courses from these sources through the Office of the University Registrar.

Repeating Courses

Although students may repeat, for the purpose of demonstrating a higher level of mastery, courses in which they have received a D- or higher, such repeated courses do not yield additional credit toward the 128 credits required for graduation. Such repeated courses are also not included in the calculation of the grade point average, and do not count towards rate of work in the semester taken. Likewise, students may not enroll in courses for credit at a lower level when they have successfully completed a higher level sequential course in the same subject.

Students may repeat a course in which a failing grade has been earned. The repeat course, if a passing grade is earned, yields credit towards the 128 credits required for graduation. Both grades in the courses are included in the calculation of the grade point average.

Dropping Courses

Students who wish to drop a course, providing they adhere to the constraints of rate of work, may do so on or before the deadline announced in the university calendar, normally the 50th day of instruction.

Students who drop courses before the 30th day of instruction may drop without record. Students who drop courses between the 31st day of instruction and the 50th day of instruction will have the course appear on their permanent record with a "W" ("dropped") notation.

Petitions to drop a course after the deadline must be initiated in the Office of Academic Services; such requests are granted only in exceptional circumstances. If granted permission, the Committee on Academic Standing will normally instruct the University Registrar to record a grade of "W" ("dropped") on the student's permanent record.

During an academic integrity investigation students are not allowed to drop the course in question. If a sanction of failure in the course is imposed, then students will not be allowed to drop the course and a failing grade will be recorded.

Auditing

While there is no formal audit status for undergraduates, students wishing to audit a class informally may contact the instructor directly to obtain permission to attend the class.

Permission to audit a course is at the discretion of the instructor, who may impose requirements for auditors such as regular attendance and course readings.

In general, auditors do not participate in group work, examinations or writing assignments.

In all cases auditors must reach an agreement with the instructor as to the level and type of participation the auditor will have in the class.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Undergraduate students may enroll in up to four semester courses pass/fail. Letter grades covered by "pass" ("P" for performance at the "C-" level or above) will not be used in computing grade point averages. Grades of "D"and "E" will remain letter grades, to be used in computing grade point averages, and will be considered by Committee on Academic Standing when determining academic standing.

The following constraints apply to the use of the P/F grading option:

A. No more than one course may be taken pass/fail during a single term.

B. One course may be used to fulfill a general university requirement, excepting University Writing Seminars, writing-intensive and oral communication courses, with the pass/fail grading. No more than one course (and never the final one) in the foreign language sequence may be taken pass/fail if the language is being offered in satisfaction of the foreign language requirement.

C. Courses taken pass/fail will not satisfy major or minor requirements.

D. In full-year courses, the elected grading option (pass/fail or letter grade) applies to both semesters and may not be changed at midyear. (Such a course taken pass/fail would expend two of the allowable four pass/fail semesters.)

E. Election of the pass/fail grading option for a course must be made on or before the deadline published in the Academic Calendar in the semester they are enrolled in the course. A course attempted on the pass/fail basis, in which the student received a grade of C- or higher, may be converted to a P grade after the end of the semester and before the published deadline in the following semester. Students who wish to use the pass/fail grading option for an allowable general education requirement must indicate this when converting the received grade of C- or higher to the P. Electing a course pass/fail counts as one of the four semester courses, regardless of whether the final grade is converted to a P grade.

F. In an undergraduate's final semester, conversion of a course attempted on the pass/fail basis, in which the student received a grade of C- or higher, must be converted to a P grade before the deadline announced in the University calendar for the receipt of senior grades, normally three days after the last day of final examinations.

Students must make all pass/fail option requests within the published deadlines — no exceptions will be made for a student missing the deadline to make an initial pass/fail option request nor to make a request to cover a grade for a course which had been elected on the pass/fail option earlier in the semester.

Petitions will not be entertained for exceptions to the above constraints and deadlines.

Please note: Arrangements between students and instructors do not constitute official pass/fail enrollment. Instructors are not informed of the grading option that a student has chosen. Students taking courses pass/fail must complete all assignments and examinations. Undergraduate students elect the pass/fail option by completing the online Pass/Fail Option Request Form prior to the published deadline.

Transfer Credit Policy

Transfer students are obliged to supply official transcripts documenting all previous college-level work. All such work is evaluated and each incoming transfer student is furnished by the registrar with an evaluation based upon existing faculty policies. The evaluation will indicate the number of course credits granted and the number of degree requirements that have been met.

No more than 64 credits (equivalent to 16 four-credit courses) may be granted, because residence requirements specify that a minimum of 64 credits in four fall/spring semesters must be successfully completed at Brandeis.

Courses must have been taken at accredited, degree-granting institutions from which an official transcript has been received. The courses must be generally equivalent to courses offered at Brandeis, and the grade received must be equivalent to at least a C-, though credit is usually awarded for a "pass" grade in a system allowing nonletter grades.

Only selected overseas study programs are acceptable for Brandeis credit; for further details on the transfer of credit from overseas study sources, consult the Office of the University Registrar. Students may not be concurrently enrolled at Brandeis during a term in which transfer credit is sought, except as allowed under the provisions of cross-registration.

Credit is granted on an equivalent semester basis with four course credits being awarded for completion of a normal semester's work at the other institution. Normally, one quarter-course receives no credit, two quarter-courses are granted one course credit, and three quarter-courses are awarded two course credits.

Students who do not initially receive credit for a particular course taken at another institution may petition the registrar for reconsideration. Such a petition requires the signature of the appropriate Brandeis faculty member and must indicate the Brandeis course to which it is considered equivalent. In an unusual situation, the petition may be referred to the Committee on Academic Standing for final resolution.

In determining progress toward the requirements of a major, departments may consider only non-Brandeis courses that have been accepted for degree credit. Departments may limit the number of such courses that they will apply toward the major. Rules governing the application of transfer credit to majors may differ from department to department.

Any student permitted by the Committee on Academic Standing to register for the following semester is considered to be making academic progress and is eligible for financial aid from federal and university sources.

Graduate Academic Progress Standards


1) Minimum Qualitative Requirements

Graduate students are expected to maintain records of distinction in all courses. Letter grades will be used in all courses in which grading is possible. In readings or research courses, if a letter grade cannot be given at the end of each term or academic year, credit (CR) or no credit (NC) may be used.

NC and any letter grade below B- are unsatisfactory grades in the Graduate School. However for the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Studies program letter grades of C+ and C are considered to be satisfactory. A course in which the student receives an unsatisfactory grade will not be counted toward graduate credit.

Programs may review academic records at the end of each semester if a student is not making suitable academic progress. In these cases, academic probation or withdrawal may result.

Any student permitted by the School/department to register for the following semester is considered to be making academic progress and is eligible for financial aid from federal and university sources.

2) Pace of Progression (Rate of Work)

A full-time student is one who devotes the entire time, during the course of the academic year, to a program of graduate work at Brandeis. Full-time students should consult with their advisers before taking on any outside commitments that might interfere with their academic progress.

A full-time program may include a combination of teaching and research assistance, other work leading to the fulfillment of degree requirements, such as preparation for qualifying, comprehensive and final examinations, supervised reading and research and PhD dissertations, as well as regular course work.

A full-time resident student may take as many courses for credit in any term as are approved by the program chair, but no student may receive credit for, or be charged for, more than a full-time program in any term. Thus, the minimum residence requirement for any degree may not be satisfied by an accelerated program of study or payment of more than the full-time tuition rate in any single academic year.

Residence requirements for all full-time graduate degrees are computed by determining the amount of registration for credit and the tuition charges.

Masters

The minimum residence requirement for most full-time master's degree students is one academic year in a full-time graduate credit program at full tuition. A few programs have a two-year residency requirement, so consult specific programs for this information. Programs with one or two year residency requirements may take an additional one or two semesters as an extended master's student. Transfer credit may not normally be applied to residence requirements for the MA and MS degrees.

There is no residence requirement for approved part-time master's programs.

Master of Fine Arts

The minimum residence requirement for all MFA students in music is four terms at a full-time rate, at the full tuition rate for each term. Residence may be reduced by a maximum of one term with approved transfer credit.

The minimum residence for students in acting is six terms at the full tuition rate for each term. Residence may be reduced by a maximum of one term with approved transfer credit. There is no residence requirement for approved part-time MFA programs.

Doctor of Philosophy

The residence requirement for all students is three academic years in a full-time graduate credit program for each year, at the full tuition rate for each year, or the equivalent thereof in part-time study. A maximum of one year's approved transfer credit may be granted toward residence for the PhD degree.

Part-Time Resident Students

A part-time student is one who devotes less than the entire time to a program of graduate work at Brandeis and is enrolled in fewer than 12 credits.

Students who wish to change their status from full-time to part-time residency, must file with the Graduate School office a request to change to part-time. Students are assumed to be full-time until such a request is made. Once students have matriculated into a part-time program they typically cannot change their status to full-time.

Many master's and post-baccalaureate programs allow students to apply as part-time students at the time of admission.

Post-Resident PhD Students

A PhD graduate student who has completed residence requirements and who needs to utilize the full range of academic services and university facilities while completing degree requirements is a post-resident student and should register for CONT 500a (Graduate Research), or the appropriate courses required to complete their programs.

Extended Master's Students

A graduate student in a Master’s program who has completed the residence requirements and who needs to utilize the full range of academic services and university facilities while completing degree requirements is an Extended Master’s student and should register for the appropriate courses required to complete their program.

Students in this category may register for content courses and/or complete their thesis or research paper/project required for their degree. In most cases, students cannot exceed two semesters on Extended Master's status.

A student who is completing a required thesis or paper/research project should register for the thesis course. This course enables the student to remain full-time, however, the student may register for this course for no more than two semesters. If the program requires a specific thesis or paper/research course the student will need to register for that course at some point during their career in order to receive a grade. A student who does not have a thesis or paper/research project may not register for CONT 200A but may register for content courses. Partial fee waivers may be available.

In addition, the following restrictions apply to this category:

  1. Students registering for less than 6 credits in a semester will not be eligible for federal loans, or loan deferments.
  2. Students registering for less than 7 credits in a semester will not be eligible for health insurance offered by the University.
  3. Students who are completing incompletes only will need to be placed on a leave of absence (LOA) while they compete the incompletes; access to library will be arranged.
Continuation Students

A PhD student who has completed all degree requirements except the dissertation (and in some cases the teaching requirement) is eligible for continuation status. A student in this category enrolls on a full-time basis, and is eligible for university health insurance, borrowing privileges in the library, a computer account, use of gym facilities and purchase of a parking sticker.

Continuation students must enroll before the end of the registration period each semester in a graduate research course.

Continuing Education Students

A student must successfully complete two courses (B- or higher) in each semester.

Transfer Credit Policy

Graduate level courses taken prior to matriculation at Brandeis may be applied toward the fulfillment of graduate course requirements and may reduce the residence requirement for programs with a 2-year or longer residency.

The Master of Arts or Master of Science degrees with less than a 2-year residence requirement do not accept transfer credit to reduce the residence requirement, although a program may accept work taken elsewhere in partial fulfillment of specific course requirements for the degree. In that case, additional courses are designated to replace courses from which the student has been exempted.

The post-baccalaureate programs and Heller School do not accept transfer credit.

For the Master of Fine Arts and for Master's degree programs that have a two-year residence requirement, a maximum of one term of residence credit for graduate-level courses may be transferred toward fulfillment of the residence requirement.

Students in PhD programs may file an application to have graduate-level courses counted toward fulfillment of residence requirements at Brandeis. A maximum of one year of residence credit may be granted.

Applicants for transfer credit will not necessarily be granted the credit requested. Each program reserves the right to require of any student work in excess of its minimum standards to assure thorough mastery of the area of study. In all cases, courses being transferred must carry a grade of B or better and must have been earned at an appropriately accredited institution.

After completing one term of residence at a full-time rate or the equivalent at a part-time rate, students eligible to apply for transfer credit may do so. The External Transfer Credit Form is available on the Office of the University Registrar's website in the 'Forms' section. This form should be submitted to the student's program for approval and then submitted the Office of the University Registrar.

Any student permitted by the School/department to register for the following semester is considered to be making academic progress and is eligible for financial aid from federal and university sources.

Maximum Time Frame for undergraduates and graduates – within 150%

To receive federal and state financial aid, students must complete a degree program in no more than 150% of the average published length of the program. For example:

  • Undergraduate degrees require a minimum of 4 years - Attempted years must be no more than 6 years (4 years x 150% = 6 years)
  • Master’s degrees (non-continuing education) generally require 1 year or 2 years, depending on the program - Attempted years must be no more than 1.5 or 3 years (1 year x 150% = 1.5 years; 2 years x 150%=3 years)
  • Master’s degrees (continuing education) generally require 3 years- Attempted years must be no more than 4.5 (3 years x 150% = 4.5 years)
  • Doctoral degrees generally require 8-10 years, depending on the program – Attempted years must be no more than 12 -15 years (8 years x 150% = 12 years; 10 years x 150% = 15 years)

SAP Evaluation Frequency


Undergraduates

The Committee on Academic Standing (COAS) serves as the academic review board for undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The committee evaluates student records at the end of each semester to determine academic standing. Academic standing refers to whether a student has a satisfactory or unsatisfactory academic record (see the Academic Status section below for further details).

The Committee on Academic Standing reviews the records of students whose performance was unsatisfactory, that is, more than one D and/or one or more E or F, at the conclusion of each semester. Students whose progress has been judged unsatisfactory and whose withdrawal has been required by the Committee on Academic Standing shall be accorded a reconsideration by that body in the presence of new information, judged to be relevant by the dean of the college or his/her designee.

Any student permitted by the Committee on Academic Standing to register for the following semester is considered to be making academic progress and is eligible for financial aid from federal and university sources.

Graduate Students (Non-continuing education)

Graduate students are expected to maintain records of distinction in all courses. Letter grades will be used in all courses in which grading is possible. In readings or research courses, if a letter grade cannot be given at the end of each term or academic year, credit (CR) or no credit (NC) may be used.

NC and any letter grade below B- are unsatisfactory grades in the Graduate School. However for the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Studies program letter grades of C+ and C are considered to be satisfactory. A course in which the student receives an unsatisfactory grade will not be counted toward graduate credit.

Programs may review academic records at the end of each semester if a student is not making suitable academic progress.

Any student permitted by the School/department to register for the following semester is considered to be making academic progress and is eligible for financial aid from federal and university sources.

Graduate Students (Continuing Education)

The Division of Graduate Professional Studies is responsible for monitoring academic progress within its graduate programs at the end of each semester. To receive federal funding, a student must successfully complete two courses (B- or higher) in each semester in which he or she receives federal loans.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Definitions


Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

SAP appeal is a process by which a student who is not meeting SAP standards petitions for reconsideration of eligibility for financial aid funds.

Financial Aid Warning Status

Financial aid warning status is assigned to a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic progress. Financial aid eligibility for a student on financial aid warning will be reinstated for one semester; no SAP appeal is necessary. During the warning semester, students are expected to improve their academic standing and degree progress, to meet standards of SAP at the end of the semester. If a student fails to achieve SAP at the end of the semester, he or she will be denied financial aid beginning the following semester. A student must submit a SAP Appeal to request financial aid consideration.

Financial Aid Probation Status

Financial Aid probation status is assigned to a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic progress and who successfully appeals. Eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one semester/payment period and the students will be required to fulfill specific conditions stipulated in an academic plan.

Academic Plan

An academic plan, when followed, will ensure that a student will meet SAP standards by a specific time. If he or she fails the satisfactory progress check after the end of the probationary semester/payment period, the student may only continue to receive aid if we can determine that he or she is following the prescribed academic plan. If we determine the student is not following the academic plan, the student will be denied financial aid. A student may file a new appeal if he or she wishes to be considered for aid eligibility.

Notification of SAP Status

Active students with a FAFSA on file will be notified by email or mail if they fail to meet SAP standards. This communication will include notification of financial aid warning, probation or ineligibility status.

SAP Appeal

When a student loses financial aid eligibility for failing to make satisfactory progress, the student may appeal that result based on: injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other extenuating circumstances. The appeal can be submitted at any time, however, aid cannot be reinstated retroactively. (Please note that a student who enrolls for classes before a SAP appeal is approved is responsible for paying all charges without financial aid.)

The SAP appeal must include an explanation statement. The explanation MUST contain the following:

  1. A detailed explanation as to why the student was unable to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  2. A detailed explanation of what has changed to allow the student to regain satisfactory academic progress and the corrective measures that have been taken, or will be taken, to achieve and maintain this progress.
  3. If this is not a first appeal, the student must also explain what has changed since the last appeal and submit an improvement plan signed by an academic advisor.

There is no formal form for a SAP appeal; an appeal may be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services in writing via paper or e-mail.

A student should not assume that a SAP appeal will be approved. Decisions of SAP appeals review are final. Please note that students are responsible for any charges to the University.

Appeals are reviewed on a rolling basis. The University will make every effort to respond to complete appeals within 15 days. Incomplete appeals will be denied.

Approval of the SAP Appeal

If the SAP appeal is approved, the student will be placed on financial aid probation for one semester/payment period. If the student fails the satisfactory progress check after the end of probationary period, the student may only continue to receive aid if the student is meeting the requirements of the prescribed academic plan.

Denial of the SAP Appeal

If the SAP appeal is denied, the student will not be eligible for Title IV aid and will need to use alternative financial resources to pay any balances due to the University. Please note that a student who enrolls for classes before a SAP appeal is approved is responsible for paying all charges without financial aid.

The Financial Aid SAP Appeal only applies to a student's eligibility for financial aid and is separate from the University’s policies on academic probation and withdrawal.

Reestablishing Aid Eligibility

Eligibility for financial aid can be regained if a student takes actions to comply with satisfactory academic progress standards. If a SAP appeal is approved, the student is on probation, and is following the prescribed academic plan, the student can be eligible for aid.

Should a required withdrawal action be rescinded on appeal, financial aid eligibility shall be reinstated.