Financial Aid Student Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

The purpose of student financial aid is to provide resources to students who otherwise would be unable to pursue a postsecondary education. The primary responsibility for meeting University costs lies with the student and his or her family.


To receive financial assistance, undergraduate and graduate students must be admitted to the University, be enrolled in Program of Study which leads to a degree, be in good academic standing, and be making satisfactory academic progress. Students who are admitted to a degree program on a provisional/conditional basis may be eligible for financial assistance according to the University's admission policy.

According to federal regulations, financial aid recipients must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizen, must not 1) owe a refund on grants previously received under the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, or the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program; or 2) be in default on any federal student loans borrowed from federal funding.

Financial Need and Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Aid for most federal funding is awarded based on financial need. The EFC is a measure of a family's financial strength and indicates how much of a students' and students' families (for Dependent students) financial resources should be available to help pay for educational costs.

The EFC is calculated from the information reported on the FAFSA and according to a formula established by law. Family income and assets are considered in determining the EFC along with family size and number of family members attending a college or career school on at least a half-time basis. The EFC can be found on the Student Aid Report which is generated from information reported on the FAFSA.

To determine financial need for federal student aid programs, the EFC is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance (COA). The COA is the total amount it will cost to go to school for a year. Costs include tuition and fees, housing, allowances for books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.

COA - EFC = Financial Need

Federal grants and other financial aid are used to meet financial need. A financial aid award letter will be provided upon receipt of a Student Aid Report. Any changes made to original FAFSA answers may result in a change in financial aid award amounts. If your financial aid record is selected for verification, any changes made during the verification process may also change financial aid award amounts.

Financial Aid and Enrollment

Traditional undergraduate students attending our ground campus must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester to be considered full-time students and receive full financial aid benefits. Online undergraduate students are considered full time and must be enrolled for a minimum of 24 credits in an academic year. Online graduate students are considered full time and must be enrolled for a minimum of 16 credits in an academic year to be eligible to receive full financial aid benefits. Undergraduate traditional students enrolled part-time may be eligible for a prorated portion of their financial aid. Students who receive any institutional scholarships (i.e., academic, departmental, endowed, and/or merit) must maintain continued full-time enrollment status. Courses taken at other colleges do not count as enrollment at Grand Canyon University for financial aid/scholarship purposes.

Students who receive additional outside assistance must report these amounts to the Office of Financial Aid through their assigned Student Services Advisor.

Students who have received any Title IV aid from a prior school or are currently receiving Title IV aid at another institution while attending Grand Canyon University must also notify the Office of Financial Aid through their assigned Student Services Advisor, as this other source of funding may affect students' eligibility to receive maximum Title IV aid with GCU.

All students must do the following:

  • Accurately complete and return all applications, additional documentation, verification forms, corrections, and/or new information that are requested by any GCU department or any other agency providing financial assistance. Errors or omissions may delay the disbursement of eligible funds.
  • Read and understand all documentation and/or agreements that are signed and submitted to any department and/or agency.
  • Review award letter and all other notices issued regarding the responsibilities and conditions that must be adhered to by students receiving financial aid.
  • Understand what portion of the financial aid package is grant and scholarships (gift-aid that does not have to be returned) and what portion are student loans (self-help aid that must be repaid or earned). If any portion of the self-help aid is in the form of a student loan, understand the total amount of the loan, the interest rate assessed to the amount borrowed, the repayment schedule, the time-frame of the repayment schedule, and the start date for the repayment schedule.
  • Notify the lender of any changes to personal name, address, and enrollment status.
  • Review and understand the amounts pertaining to the cost of attendance and the Refund Policy for Grand Canyon University as stated in the Financial Services section of the University Policy Handbook.
  • Review and comply with all rules and regulations pertaining to academic, financial aid, and University conduct policies.
  • Understand that any intentional misrepresentation of information on applications and/or documentations submitted for federal financial aid is a violation of law and is considered a criminal offense subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  • Be aware of the appeal process and procedures.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the end of every semester for all registered traditional undergraduate students and at the completion of every payment period for Online undergraduate and graduate students who attend Grand Canyon University. All students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree to maintain their eligibility for all institutional, state, and federal financial aid awards.

Every course in which a student enrolls and attends is counted for the evaluation of maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Grand Canyon University does not provide an opportunity for students to audit a course, and therefore only courses attempted for credit are included in the evaluation of students' progress. Additionally, there are no remedial courses offered at the University; therefore all courses included in the evaluation are applicable to the student's program of study. For any course in which a student is awarded a grade of P/F, which may or may not impact the student GPA, the student will still be evaluated for whether he is meeting the quantitative requirements.

Satisfactory academic progress includes two equal components that are referred to as qualitative and quantitative measurements. The qualitative measurement applies to all students and is consistent with the University'sAcademic Probation, Suspension, and Expulsion policies.

Qualitative Progress Measurements:   Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least a 2.00 for all Grand Canyon University coursework. Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for all Grand Canyon University coursework. Grade points are assigned to specific grades according to the grading systems and are used to compute a grade point average (GPA). Only those courses in which a letter grade (A through F) is earned are included in the calculation of the GPA.

Quantitative Progress Measurements:   Students receiving financial aid must demonstrate progress toward degree completion. Federal regulations require students to complete their Program of Study within a measured maximum time frame that cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program. To determine the quantitative satisfactory academic progress component, the number of required credits to earn a degree is multiplied by 150%. (For example, if 120 credit hours were needed to earn a degree, multiply 120 by 150%, which would equal 180 credit hours.) The sum of the number of required credits multiplied by 150% will be the maximum number of attempted credit hours for which a student can receive aid. At the end of each semester or payment period, students must have completed and earned at least 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted. Failed grades (F) will be counted as attempted credits but will not be counted as earned credits. Incomplete courses and withdrawals do not count as earned credits but are counted as attempted credits. Credits earned for repeated coursework, in addition to the original credits, will be counted as both attempted and earned credits.

Students who fail to maintain these minimum requirements will be placed on warning. The warning period provides for one semester for traditional students; one completed payment period for online students. At the end of the warning period, students on warning are evaluated to determine they now meet the quantitative and qualitative SAP standards. If so, they will be returned to good standing. If those students fail to meet the minimum SAP standards at the end of their warning status, they will be placed on Suspension and will not be eligible to receive any federal financial aid during their Financial Aid Suspension period.

Transfer and readmitted students must follow the above referenced Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Accepted prior credits and transfer credits will be calculated as part of the measured maximum time frame component. (For example, if 120 credits hours were needed to earn a degree, 40 credits have transferred in that apply to the degree, multiply 80 [120-40] by 150%, which would equal 120 credit hours).

Once students have completed the requirements for the program of study/degree, they will not be eligible to receive additional financial aid.

Notification to Students

Once a student has been determined to be on Warning or Suspension, an official University notice will be sent to them. This status is added to the student record and will be used in determining continued eligibility for financial aid.

Support for Students on Warning Status

Students who are notified that they are on Financial Aid Probation are encouraged to contact their Student Services Advisor to discuss strategies to assist in student success. The following resources are available to students for academic support.

Grand Canyon tutorial and demos

Quick Start Resource Center 

Center for Learning and Advancement 

FAFSA Application Process

The University uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA on the Internet at If a student does not have Internet access, he may complete a paper FAFSA that may be obtained from either the Department of Education or from most high schools. The University does not require any of the supplemental forms processed by the College Scholarship Service (CSS) or American College Testing (ACT), for which there is a fee charged.


Preference/Deadline Dates

Students, new and returning, are strongly encouraged to submit their initial or renewal FAFSA application as soon as possible after January 1 of each year. Some types of financial aid have limited funding. Students whose FAFSA applications are delayed run an increased risk of receiving reduced awards. Only students who have applied for admission to Grand Canyon University will be issued a financial aid award notice.