Student Handbook


Academic Loads and Withdrawals

All degree-seeking students may apply for financial aid. Financial aid packages are generally based on full-time enrollment (12 credits or more per semester). Students who enroll for fewer than 12 credits in a semester will receive an adjustment to their financial aid. Aid from non-Macalester sources will be adjusted according to the policy of the awarding agency. Macalester aid will be adjusted so that the percentage of tuition paid by Macalester aid is consistent.

At the end of the add/drop period each semester, the Financial Aid Office will review the financial aid package of all students enrolled for fewer than 12 credits. Any adjustments based on less-than-full-time enrollment will be made and a new award notification will be delivered to the affected student. Course withdrawals after the end of the add/drop period generally do not affect financial aid eligibility, provided that the semester’s Federal Student Aid has already been disbursed. However, course withdrawals may have an effect on the calculation of satisfactory academic progress (see the College Catalog website for information on Macalester’s satisfactory academic progress policy).

Emergency Loans

Students in need of an emergency loan should contact the Dean of Students Office. The Dean has a small fund of money to loan in cases of emergency. If students fail to repay the loan, other students are unable to borrow money from this fund, as it is replenished only be repayments. Students who are consistently late in repayment or fail to repay will be denied subsequent requests.

An amount up to $25.00 may be borrowed. Loans are payable on or before the due date stated on the promissory note with no interest charged. A charge for the amount of the loan is posted to the student’s Macalester billing account. Until the loan is repaid, a hold may be placed on the student’s grades, transcripts, registration, etc. Standard finance charges of 8% per annum and special late fees may apply in the case of delinquent loans. Special late fees include $2.00 for one to 30 days, $4.00 for 31-60 days, $6.00 for 61-90 days and $10.00 for over 90 days.

Financial Aid Refunds

Students who withdraw or take a leave of absence during a semester may receive a tuition refund according to Macalester’s refund policy published in the College Catalog. Federal Student Aid regulations require that Macalester reduce a student’s Federal Student Aid if the student withdraws before completing more than 60% of a semester. Federal Student Aid includes Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Byrd Scholarships, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG). The percentage of Federal Student Aid that must be returned is equal to the number of days remaining in the semester at the time the student withdraws divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester. Scheduled breaks of more than four consecutive days are excluded from the denominator. Aid from state agencies will be returned to the state agency according to the state's return policy. Financial aid from Macalester will be adjusted so that the percentage of tuition paid by Macalester aid is consistent. For example, if Macalester financial aid paid 50% of tuition before withdrawal, Macalester financial aid will pay for 50% of post-withdrawal tuition.

Independent Students

Students who are dependent when admitted to the college will be considered dependent for institutional aid for the duration of their tenure at Macalester. If you are considering filing as an independent student, it is important to contact the Financial Aid Office before you complete your financial aid applications.

Payment of Student Accounts

Students are electronically billed for Fall Semester in mid-July, with charges due and payable on or before August 15th. Students are billed for Spring Semester mid-December, with charges due and payable on or before January 15th. Each semester's bill will include the charges for that semester's tuition, room and board (if applicable) and any appropriate fees. Students may view billing account activity, view statements, and make online payments by logging on to the student portal, 1600grand. Students may set up Authorized Users (parents and other persons) to have access to billing account activity, view statements, and make online payments.  

Failure to meet payment requirements, including the monthly payment plan account (TMS), will result in a validation hold at the beginning of each semester, 8% per annum finance charge on any unpaid balance, withholding of grades and academic transcripts, withholding of diplomas, assessment of collection agency fees, and denial of future enrollment until all financial obligations have been met.

Refund Policy

The enrollment deposit made by an applicant and the Student Activity Fee are non-refundable. No tuition, fees, room, or board is refunded or credited after the 33rd class day of the semester.

Tuition refunds for official withdrawal from the College during the first 33 class days of the semester are as follows: a) 1st-7th day: 90 percent; b) 8th-17th day: 50 percent; c) 18th-33rd day: 25 percent. Tuition refunds for both on-campus and study away programs are based on the program's first day of the semester.

Room and board refunds for both new and returning students are calculated on a daily basis by the number of days in the dormitory as of the checkout date. One week is added to the official date of room vacancy when computing the pro-rated refund. Students who move out of College residences but remain enrolled in the College are not eligible for room and board refunds.

Students receiving financial aid who receive tuition and/or room and board refunds will receive a similar reduction in their total financial aid package. Refund calculations for the Title IV aid recipients are regulated by federal requirements and differ from the institutional policy. (See the Financial Aid section of the Student Handbook for additional refund policy information.)

No refunds are granted without first receiving official permission or withdrawal from the College from the Office of Student Affairs.

Students leaving the College any time after registration without being granted official permission, or by reason of being suspended or dropped, will not be eligible for any refund under this policy.

Students are responsible for reading and understanding all academic and financial policies as published in the Macalester College catalog, including the refund policies for tuition, fees, room and board. Students are responsible for all charges regardless of whether financial aid, employer, or third parties pay as agreed. Students are responsible for the communication of billing information to all parties involved. Students may give permission to others to view their e-bill statements, billing account activity, and make on-line payments by setting them up as an authorized user. If the student believes that any information on their statement is incorrect, they must notify the Student Accounts Office in writing within 30 days of the statement date detailing the information believed to be incorrect. If the information is not disputed in writing within 30 days of the statement date, Macalester College will assume the information is correct.

The Director of Student Accounts works with the Dean of Students if exceptions to any part of this refund policy are requested. For more information on the refund policy, contact the Student Accounts Office.