Scholarship Deferrals and Exceptions

The University requires that, for scholarship and institutional aid purposes, students must maintain full-time, continuous (fall and spring semester) enrollment. Students who will not be continuously enrolled at USA, or will fall below full-time status for reasons outside of their control, must submit an Scholarship Exception Request through the Office of Scholarship Services. Requests must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which the scholarship would begin, or as soon as reasonably possible when an unanticipated leave is required due to mental or physical illness, injury or disability. 

Deferral

A deferment is used when a student will not be enrolled at USA for one or more fall/spring semesters in which a scholarship is not being used.

Deferral examples include: Co-op, Internship, Study Abroad, Military, or Medical deferment.

Typically students who have approved deferments may not be enrolled in any institution for credit during the deferred semester(s). 

Pre-enrollment deferments will not be considered. Students must be enrolled at least one semester at USA in order to be eligible to apply for a deferment. Incoming students needing to change their admitted start term must do so through the Office of Admissions.

One semester deferment approvals require a student to complete half of the total units required for the renewal of the scholarship within the academic year of the approved deferment.

Students must complete and request the exception at least three weeks prior to the term for which the scholarship would begin, or as soon as reasonably possible. Exception requests submitted after the 100% payment deadline date will not be considered.

Per Term Credit Hour Exception

The initial award is based on full-time enrollment. Census occurs at the end of the day on the last day to drop/add courses for the semester (typically the Friday of the first week of classes). Aid will not disburse at less than full-time status, and eligibility for scholarships and institutional aid will end on this date.

Less than full-time enrollment status is defined by the University as less than 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students, and is typically reserved for those who are in the final semester (eighth semester) of their senior year. 

There are a small number of circumstances, outside of a student’s control, where full-time status may not be possible in a given term. Students may use the Institutional Scholarship Exception Request to petition to maintain their aid and/or eligibility during these semesters.

Exception examples include: curriculum/program restrictions, graduation.

Students must complete and request the exception at least three weeks prior to the term for which the scholarship would begin, or as soon as reasonably possible. Exception requests submitted after the 100% payment deadline date will not be considered.

Single term exception requests do not affect the academic year requirement. Students, other than those graduating, must still earn a minimum of 30 credit hours per academic year for renewal eligibility.

For questions about this process please contact the Office of Scholarship Services anytime.

Approvals

Approvals for deferrals extend semesters of eligibility only. They do not increase the amount of the award in any semester. Students must maintain the renewal requirements (GPA and credit hours) for continuation of their award to be eligible for a deferment.

Exceptions approved for less than full-time enrollment will result in the proration of the student’s award, based on Federal aid standards.

Withdrawals

A deferment request cannot be approved if the student withdraws after the University's 100% refund deadline.  If a scholarship disburses fully or partially to a student's account and the student does not receive a 100% (or complete) tuition refund, it counts toward the student's total used semesters of eligibility. A 100% refund does not guarantee a deferment approval.

Extensions

Students who request any changes or extensions to a previously granted deferment must complete another deferment request prior to the semester in which they were required to return.