Here are important things you need to know about your financial aid. 

Maintaining Eligibility

If you'd like to be considered for financial aid each year you must:

  • Apply for aid by deadlines — the priority deadline is March 1 of each year
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress requirements

Each summer, students who demonstrate financial need will be awarded financial assistance for the next academic year.

For renewal students, the dollar amounts of aid will normally remain constant if a student's need remains the same. Yearly aid increases or decreases are based upon an evaluation of the financial aid application.

For those academic merit awards with renewal criteria based upon the demonstration of a specific cumulative GPA, see your original merit award letter for your specific renewal criteria.

Many factors can serve to reduce a student’s financial aid eligibility in any given year. Some of the most common influencing factors are:

  • An increase in either the parents’ or the student’s income as compared to prior year
  • A decrease in the number of family members
  • A decrease in the number of family members in college
  • An increase in the parents’ or student’s reported asset holdings
Privacy Policy – FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment) was passed by Congress in 1974 to protect the confidentiality of students’ records and information. 

Hope College’s policy on student records incorporates the rights guaranteed by FERPA. Students are notified of their FERPA rights annually through publication of the rights in the college catalog and the student handbook.

Repeat Courses for Financial Aid Eligibility

Federal regulations limit the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive federal financial aid for that course.

  • A course being repeated for the first time counts toward enrollment for financial aid eligibility.
  • Retaking a course that was previously failed one or more consecutive times (received an F) counts toward enrollment for financial aid eligibility.
  • A previously passed course counts in enrollment for financial aid eligibility one additional time. A second or subsequent repeat must be excluded from the enrollment calculation of financial aid eligibility and the aid revised if allowable credits drop below full time (12 credits).
  • This rule applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course.
  • Only Title IV federal aid is subject to this policy (Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, TEACH Grant, Direct Loans, Perkins Loan and Federal Work Study).
  • Courses where the course and number remain the same but the content changes might not be considered a repeat when taken more than once. An example is a music performance course. The Registrar's Office confirms qualifying enrollments as non-repeats on an individual basis.
  • Should financial aid need to be adjusted to reflect the exclusion of repeats, the Office of Financial Aid will send a revised award letter to the student.

Example 1: Student fails first, second, third, etc. attempt of a course. Because student never received a passing grade, course can be repeated and be included in enrollment for financial aid.

Example 2: Student fails first attempt and receives a D for the second attempt. A third attempt can be included in enrollment for financial aid for a final time. After a passing grade (A to D- or P) is received only one additional attempt can be counted for financial aid enrollment.

Example 3: Student fails first attempt, receives a D for a second attempt, fails third attempt. Student takes course a fourth time. Because the student received a passing grade earlier and then repeated the course, enrollment in the fourth attempt cannot be included for financial aid enrollment regardless of the grade.

Example 4: Student passes first attempt with a D, fails a second attempt. Student cannot receive federal aid for any further attempts.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of their degree and maintain good academic standing. Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for GPA and completion of classes, risk losing their eligibility for federal and state financial aid, external scholarships/grants/loans,
Hope College grants and certain Hope College scholarships (see note below).

SAP is assessed both qualitatively (by cumulative GPA) and quantitatively (by earned credit hours). Progress is measured annually at the end of each spring semester to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility for future enrollment periods.

Students not meeting these SAP standards are notified by the Office of Financial Aid (both by mail using their self-reported permanent address and through their Hope email account) that they have become ineligible for future financial aid eligibility.

Note: The following Hope-sponsored merit scholarships are exempted from this policy:

  • Alumni Honors Scholarship
  • Distinguished Artist Award
  • Heritage Award
  • Presidential Scholarship
  • RCA Honors Scholarship
  • Transfer Scholarship
  • Trustee Scholarship
  • Valedictorian Scholarship
  • VanderWerf Scholarship

Renewal criteria for these scholarships are found in the student’s award letter from the Office of Admissions.

Find additional information about SAP in the course catalog. Please read the full policy to determine whether you need a SAP Appeal Form.

Withdrawals and Refunds
Federal Title IV Student Financial Aid

Federal regulations mandate the formula for calculating the amount of federal aid a student and school may retain when a student withdraws from all classes during a semester. In general, a student “earns” federal financial aid in proportion to the number of days in the semester the student has attended. The school must calculate the portion of the total financial assistance that the student has earned and is entitled to retain. If a student receives (or the college receives on the student’s behalf) more assistance than the student earns, the unearned funds must be returned to the applicable federal aid program. Students who initiate a complete withdrawal and have not completed the federal verification process will be ineligible to receive any Title IV financial aid.

This policy applies to all students who completely withdraw, drop out or are expelled from Hope College and receive financial aid from Title IV funds:

Federal Title IV Student Financial Aid consists of:

    • Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants
    • Federal Direct Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized)
    • Federal Perkins Loans
    • Federal PLUS Loans
    • Federal Pell Grants
    • Federal SMART Grant
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
    • Federal TEACH Grant
    • It does not include Federal Work Study (FWS)

A student’s withdrawal date is:

  • The date the student began the withdrawal process
  • The midpoint of the period of enrollment for a student who leaves without notifying the college
  • The student’s last date of attendance at a documented academically related activity

Prorated adjustments on all institutional charges, including tuition and fees, are calculated using the College Refund Policy.

Title IV aid is earned on a prorated basis up to and including the 60% point in the semester. After the 60% time of attendance is reached, Title IV aid is viewed as 100% earned.

Unearned Title IV aid shall be returned to the loan programs before grant programs.

Adjusted statements are sent to the student’s permanent address on file. Students are responsible for any remaining portion of their institutional charges after Title IV funds are returned. Resulting credit balances are paid to the student within 14 days after the adjustments are posted.

Students who are making a complete withdrawal during a semester must complete a Withdrawal Form (obtained at the Office of the Registrar).

Michigan Competitive Scholarship or Tuition Grant

If a student withdraws and is eligible for a full tuition refund, any Michigan Competitive Scholarship or Tuition Grant award will be canceled. If the student is eligible for a partial refund, his or her award will be reduced based on the percent of the tuition and activity fee originally paid by the award.

Hope College Grants, Scholarships & Outside Scholarships

A student will retain a percentage of all other financial aid based on the percentage of tuition retained.

Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving financial aid shall not be eligible to receive any federal or institutional grant, loan or work assistance 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:

Possession of a Controlled Substance
Ineligibility Period
First Offense
1 year
Second Offense
2 years
Third Offense
Sale of a Controlled Substance
Ineligibility Period
First Offense
2 years
Second Offense

A student whose eligibility has been suspended based on a conviction for possession or sale of a controlled substance may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if:

A. The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that:

  1. Complies with criteria prescribed in the federal regulations
  2. Includes two unannounced drug tests


B. The student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations


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

Title IV Conflict of Interest and Code of Conduct
  1. Hope College (the College) prohibits revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender. This is defined as any arrangement between the College and a lender that results in the lender paying a fee or other benefits, including a share of the profits, to the College, its officers, employees or agents, as a result of the College recommending the lender to its students or families of those students.
  2. The College prohibits its employees of the Office of Financial Aid from receiving gifts from any lender, guaranty agency or loan servicer. This is not limited just to those providers of Title IV loans. The statutory language refers to lenders of “educational loans” thus private education loans offered to students at the College are covered in this provision as well. The law does provide for some exceptions related to specific types of activities or literature. This includes:
    a. Brochures or training material related to default aversion or financial literacy.
    b. Food, training or informational materials as part of training as long as that training contributes to the professional development of those individuals attending the training.
    c. Favorable terms and benefits to the student employed by the College as long as those same terms are provided to all students at the College.
    d. Entrance and exit counseling as long as the College’s staff are in control and they do not promote the services of a specific lender.
    e. Philanthropic contributions from a lender, guaranty agency or servicer unrelated to education loans.
    f. State education, grants, scholarships, or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of the State.

  3. The College prohibits contracting arrangements whereby any employee of the College’s Office of Financial Aid may not accept any fee, payment or financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  4. The College prohibits the steering of borrowers to particular lenders, or delaying loan certifications. This includes assigning any first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender as part of their award packaging or other methods.
  5. The College prohibits offers of funds for private loans. The College will not request or accept such offers. This includes any offer of funds for loans to students at the College, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, in exchange for providing concessions or promises to the lender for a specific number of loans, or inclusion on a preferred lender list.
  6. The College prohibits staffing assistance from a lender. The College will not request or accept any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing. However, the law does not prohibit the College from requesting or accepting assistance from a lender related to:
    a. Professional development training for financial aid administrators.
    b. Providing educational counseling materials, financial literacy materials, or debt management materials to borrowers, provided that such materials disclose to borrowers the identification of any lender that assisted in preparing or providing such materials.
    c. Staffing services on a short-term, non-reoccurring basis to assist the College with financial aid- related functions during emergencies, including State-declared or federally declared natural disasters, and other localized disasters and emergencies identified by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

  7. The College prohibits advisory board compensation. Employees of the College may not receive anything of value from a lender, guarantor, or group in exchange for serving in this capacity. They, may, however, accept reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred while serving in this capacity.
Directory of Consumer Information 

In accordance with federal regulations set forth under The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, a summary of consumer information must be made available to all students at Hope College.