The University attempts to make adequate financial assistance available to all students in all programs within the limits of each student budget and the availability of financial aid. Each of our programs has a carefully considered and comprehensive student expense budget that is designed to cover tuition, program costs and reasonable living expenses.

Budgets are designed for the student only and are not intended to cover family living expenses. If married, the University expects the student’s spouse to be a major contributor to family expenses. If a student has children for whom their spouse must be a caregiver and cannot work, or if they are a single parent, the student must arrange for outside financial support in addition to financial aid.

The University takes seriously its responsibility to provide a reasonable expense budget and to monitor long-term student debt. Students will not be allowed unlimited borrowing simply because loan programs may be available.  Cost of attendance budgets are available for each program on the website.

Students Receiving Financial Aid

The Accounting Office will work with the Financial Aid Office to verify the amount of loan money the student will be receiving. Loan funds will be applied to the student’s tuition account for all courses for the term before any living expense funds are processed.

Payment, for any portion not covered by loan disbursement, is due by 2 p.m. of the first day of the term. Late fees will be applied per the fee schedule until full payment is received.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

This policy is used to determine eligibility for Federal Financial Aid only and is as strict as or stricter than academic policies.  Academic programs may have different academic standards and criteria to maintain academic eligibility within the program.

Federal regulations (CFR 668- Student Assistance General provisions, Sections 668.16, 668.32, 668.34, and 668.42) state that all students who receive financial assistance from Title IV programs are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) according to both qualitative and quantitative measures established by the institution.  SAP evaluation is program specific.  For example, a dual degree student enrolled in both the DO and MPH programs will have SAP evaluated separately for each program and related coursework.

Eligibility Requirements

GPA (qualitative measure): Students are expected to make continuous and successful progress toward the requirements for graduation throughout the curriculum.  Students must earn a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher to maintain financial aid eligibility.  At the end of an evaluation period, if a student’s GPA drops below a 2.0, the student will become ineligible for financial aid.  Grades of A, B, C, D, F, and F/C will be factored into the GPA calculation.  Grades of I, W and P do not affect GPA.  Please note all repeat coursework grades will be calculated in the GPA and assessed.  Also, if I (incomplete) grades are completed the new grade will be included in the next SAP evaluation.

Time frame for completion (quantitative measure):  Students must complete their respective program within a time frame no longer than 150% of the published length of the program.  For clinical programs the published length will be evaluated by years. For example, a four-year program must be completed within a six-year time frame.  For all non-clinical programs the published length of programs may not exceed 150% of the required credit hours for the program, see below.

Non-Clinical Programs

Published Length 150% limit
M.H.A. Effective Fall 2012: 48.0 credit hours 72.0 credit hours
M.P.H.: Prior to Fall 2016: 45.0 credit hours 68.0 credit hours
Effective Fall 2016: 46.0 credit hours
69.0 credit hours
Effective Fall 2020: 42.0 credit hours
63.0 credit hours
M.S.A.: Effective prior Fall 2017: 40.5 credit hours 61.0 credit hours
Effective Fall 2017: 44.0 credit hours
66.0 credit hours
Effective Fall 2020: 42.5 credit hours
64.0 credit hours
M.S.B.S.: Effective Fall 2016: 47.0 credit hours 71.0 credit hours

Clinical Programs

Published Length 150% limit
DO: 4 years 6 years
DPM: 4 years 6 years
DPT: 3 years 4.5 years
PA: 2 years 3 years

Note that all attempted credits, including transfer credits and repeated coursework count toward the overall 150% time frame for completion.  

Students who exceed the 150% limit OR if the SAP review determines students cannot mathematically complete the program within the maximum timeframe of 150% become ineligible for Title IV funds.  There is not a warning or probationary status once 150% is exceeded and appeals are not accepted.  


Students must progress through their program to ensure that they will graduate within the maximum timeframe.  Students are required to complete 67% of all attempted credit hours.  The calculation is made as follows: earned credit hours ÷ attempted credit hours = completion rate.  Grades of A, B, C, D and P are counted as hours attempted and earned.  Grades of I, W, WF, WP, and F are counted as attempted hours only (not earned hours).  Transfer credits, if allowed by the program, are counted as attempted and earned credits in the evaluation of pace completion percentage and towards the 150% maximum timeframe for completion.  Transfer credits include both external transfer credits and institutional transfer credits in the case of dual degree students.  Repeat coursework credits count as attempted credits, if passed as discussed above they will also be counted as earned credits, if not passed they will be counted as attempted credits only.  If a student’s cumulative completion rate drops below 67% at the end of an evaluation period, the student will become ineligible for financial aid.


Clinical programs (DO, DPM, PA, and DPT) will be evaluated on an annual basis at the end of each academic year.  Any student who is not meeting SAP eligibility requirements will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not be eligible for financial aid. Students are notified via a letter in the mail and DMU email address with copy of letter included.  An appeal may be filed with the Financial Aid Office, please see the Appeals section of the policy below.

Non-clinical programs (MHA, MPH, PPDPT, MSA, and MSBS) will be evaluated after each academic term is completed, including summer term.  Students are notified via a letter in the mail and DMU email address with copy of letter included.  Any student who is not meeting SAP eligibility will be placed on Financial Aid Warning status and remain eligible for financial aid for one term. After the Warning period is completed, any student who is still not meeting SAP eligibility will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not be eligible for financial aid.  An appeal may be filed with the Financial Aid Office, please see the Appeals section of the policy below.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Any student who has become ineligible to receive federal financial aid due to quantitative (low completion rate) or qualitative (low GPA) may regain eligibility once they meet both the quantitative and qualitative SAP standards listed in this policy.


Students who fail to meet SAP requirements may reestablish eligibility by submitting a SAP appeal to the Financial Aid Office.  There is not a limit on the number of appeals a student can submit.  The complete appeal will contain:

  1. an SAP appeal form,
  2. a written statement describing the student’s mitigating circumstances and what has changed to improve academic performance,
  3. supporting documentation, and
  4. an academic improvement plan approved by the student’s advisor.  Incomplete appeals will not be accepted or reviewed.

Note: the written statement that will accompany the appeal form must be typed and signed by the student, and it must clearly articulate how mitigating circumstances had a direct and adverse impact on the student’s academic performance.  The statement must also include that the circumstances that led to the student’s inability to maintain satisfactory academic progress have improved and will not prevent the student from making SAP by the next evaluation period.  The statement should be long enough to adequately describe the student’s mitigating circumstances.

Examples of mitigating circumstances and acceptable supporting documentation include but are not limited to:

  • Serious illness of the student or a close family member - statement from physician
  • Death of a close family member - statement from a minister or family member and a copy of the death certificate or obituary
  • Disruptive personal issues - statements from an attorney, counselor, minister, or unbiased third party, court documents, etc.

Appeals will be reviewed within seven business days from the date of receipt.  Each student will be notified in writing the decision regarding his/her appeal. If an appeal is approved, the student will regain federal financial aid eligibility.  If an appeal is denied, the student will remain ineligible for federal financial aid until they meet the SAP requirements on their own. Appeal decisions are final.

Academic Plans

All students who fail to make SAP and file appeals with the Financial Aid Office are required, as part of the appeal process, to complete an academic plan with their advisor.  The form can be obtained for the Financial Aid Office and must be submitted with the Financial Aid Appeal form.

Financial Aid Probation

If an appeal is approved, the student will be placed on financial aid probation and have their federal financial aid eligibility reinstated for the time period specified on their academic plan.  During the probationary period, the student will remain eligible for federal financial aid as long as they adhere to the academic plan submitted with their appeal.  A student who fails to adhere to the requirements specified in their academic plan or fails to achieve minimum SAP eligibility standards by the end of the probationary period is considered ineligible to receive additional federal student aid funds.  If a student is meeting the requirements of their academic plan, the student will remain eligible to receive funds as long as the student continues to meet those requirements.

*Any exceptions to this policy will be made on an individual basis and in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations governing financial aid.

Return of Funds (Title IV Refund) Policy

When a student withdraws, is suspended, dismissed, takes a leave of absence, or ceases attendance before completion of the term federal regulations may* require the University to calculate a possible return of Title IV funds to the student’s Title IV Loan program. Title IV includes Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Grad Plus loans.  Return to Title IV is completed as soon as possible after official notification and no later than 45 days after the date of determination that the student is no longer enrolled. 

A return of funds calculation is based on how many days the student was actually enrolled during the payment period (term). This is determined by how many days of the term the student completed (not including scheduled breaks over five days).  Refunds are based on the effective date of the student’s separation from DMU.

If a student in the DO, DPM, PA or DPT program leaves before completing 60% of the payment period (term) he/she will receive a pro-rata refund of institutional charges. If the separation date is after completion of more than 60% of the payment period (term), the student will not receive a refund. This method will apply regardless of whether the student is a financial aid recipient or not.

If a student in the MSA, MSBS, MHA or MPH program leaves after the drop date, the student will not receive a refund. Students that withdraw or do not complete all courses and have received Title IV financial aid will be subject to Federal Title IV refund provisions. In the event a Title IV refund is necessary, the refund may leave a balance on the student’s tuition account that must be paid.

Institutional charges are tuition and repeated course fees. Membership dues, health insurance premiums, fines and miscellaneous service fees are not included in a return of funds calculation.  A return of funds is sent directly to the appropriate Title IV program in the order noted below. Money borrowed for living expenses must be repaid according to the terms of the promissory note.

Distribution of Returned Funds

Per current federal policy, DMU will distribute refunds of financial aid as follows:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
  • State, private or University aid
  • Student, if funds remain after paying the above.

Example 1: Return of Funds Required

The student begins a program on August 8 for a payment period that ends December 19. The payment period contains 134 days. The student then withdraws on October 2. DMU must calculate a possible return of funds. The student completed 56 days of the payment period (August 8 to October 2), or 41.8 percent of the payment period. Under federal rules, the student earned 41.8 percent of his/her financial aid. The University must return 58.2 percent of the Title IV aid to the student’s loans.

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan net aid disbursed $21,133.00
  • Total Title IV applied to charges $15,536.00
  • % student earned 41.8% or $6,494.00 (.418 x $15,536.00)
  • Amount returned by DMU $9,042.00 ($15,536.00 minus $6,494.00)
  • Amount returned to loans $9,042.00 to Unsubsidized Loan
  • Amount retained by DMU $6,494.00

Example 2: No Return of Funds Required

The student begins a program on August 8 that ends December 19. The payment period contains 134 days. The student withdraws on November 8, having completed 93 days in the payment period (August 8 to November 8), or 69.4 percent of the payment period. Under federal rules the student has earned all of the financial aid and no University refund is required.

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan total net disbursed $10,141.00
  • Title IV applied to charges $9,037.50
  • % Student earned 100%

Amount returned by school:  None

*EXEMPTIONS for Return to Title IV funds calculation:
For students considered to be enrolled in modules at the time of separation there are three exemptions where students would not be subject to a return to Title IV funds calculation.
1: If the student completes all requirements/coursework for graduation from their program prior to completing the days in the period the student was scheduled to complete.  
2: If the student successfully completes (passes) Title IV eligible coursework in one module that includes 49% or more of the number of countable days in the period or; a combination of modules that when combined contain 49% or more of the number of countable days in the period.
3: If the student successfully completes (passes) Title IV eligible coursework equal to or greater than coursework required for half time enrollment (5 credit hours) for the period.
Students may be eligible for a university refund on tuition even if they are exempt from the Return to Title IV funds calculation. 

Other Consumer Information

  • Post-withdrawal disbursement: Every DMU student who matriculates earns a portion of the Title IV, HEA funds from day one. A student who withdraws before the Title IV funds are disbursed, and has requested loan funds and meet the qualifications for a late disbursement will be offered a post-withdrawal disbursement notice in writing via mail within 30 days of when DMU determined the student withdrew and be given the opportunity to accept or decline that disbursement. (Please note: Federal Direct Loan Funds cannot be disbursed unless you qualify for late disbursement under federal regulations, but funds may be included in the calculation.)
    • The notice of Post Withdrawal Disbursement will notify the student these are federal loans and must be repaid.
    • In the notice, students will be discouraged from borrowing any more than is necessary and may even suggest the student cancel the loan completely.
    • Students will be required to confirm how much, if any, of the post-withdrawal disbursement the student desires and must return a written confirmation to the school (via mail or email). If a student does not respond within 14 days of the notification, no disbursement will be issued to the student.
    • All post-withdrawal disbursements will be made as soon as possible, but no later than 180 days from when DMU determined the student withdrew.
    • The notice will include, information that the post withdrawal disbursement will be applied to the student account first, and any resulting credit balance will be disbursed as soon as possible, within 14 days upon receipt of acceptance of the disbursement.
  • Payment periods for each year and program are determined by the Registrar’s official calendar of starting and ending dates.  No other calendar or dates will be used.
  • For withdrawal information please visit the University or Academic Program Withdrawal page.
  • Determination of Withdrawal Date (or all other actions): The effective date of withdrawal, leave of absence, suspension or dismissal is determined by the Dean of each program based upon written notice received from the student.  For a student who does not follow the University’s notification procedure, the Dean of the program will determine a withdrawal date based on the last date of attendance.
  • Students who are subject to a return of funds calculation will receive through the mail a written, detailed explanation of DMU calculations including any funds a student may be required to return. A student may appeal any calculation to the Financial Aid Office.

A student must be at least half-time to qualify for financial aid. If a student drops a course and becomes less than half-time, he/she loses financial aid eligibility. This includes borrowing and deferment.

Cancel or Return Loan Proceeds Policy

If a student wishes to cancel all or a portion of a loan, he or she must inform the school in writing (either paper or electronic) within 14 days after receiving email notification that the funds have been credited to the students account.  Upon receiving the request DMU will return the loan proceeds, cancel the loan, or do both.  If a student wishes to cancel all or a portion of the loan after the 14 days, they may send the funds directly to their loan servicer.


Information regarding loans can be found on the website.

Scholarships and Loan Repayment Programs

Information regarding scholarships and loan repayment programs can be found on the website.

Payment of Financial Aid

As a general rule, all loans must be disbursed in two equal installments (MHA, MPH and some Summer Term loans may qualify for a single disbursement). The following outline illustrates current regulations governing payment of aid:


  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: Generally loans are disbursed at the beginning of each term. Governed by federal regulations, student loan disbursements will be applied to student tuition accounts within three working days after DMU receives EFT disbursements. Tuition account refunds are then made to students. Contact accounting for details.
  • Federal Grad PLUS Loan: Same as Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan.
  • Super Primary Care Loan: Loan proceeds are used to pay back prior loans borrowed while at Des Moines University.


  • Military Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP): Tuition is credited directly to the student’s tuition account. Monthly stipend, books and equipment allowance is paid directly to the student by the organization.
  • Indian Health Service: Same as military
  • National Health Service Corps: Same as military
  • University Work Program: Wages paid directly to the student via EFT bi-weekly.
  • Federal Work Study: Wages paid directly to the student via EFT bi-weekly.
  • Other scholarships are paid once or twice a year depending on the source.

Notice of Awards

An award letter sent by the Financial Aid Office notifies a student for these programs:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
  • Primary Care Loan
  • Program Scholarships

An award letter directly from the granting agency notifies students for these programs:

  • Military Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)
  • Indian Health Service Scholarship
  • National Health Service Corps Scholarship