Policies & Consumer Information
Lipscomb University is compliant with disclosure requirements under Title IV and Title IX by providing specific information to prospective and current students, applicants and employees.
Lipscomb University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. For questions about the accreditation of Lipscomb University, contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at:
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, GA 30033-4097
Lipscomb University was reaffirmed in 2017 and found to be in compliance with all 85 standards.
Liberal Arts & Sciences
Chemistry: American Chemical Society (ACS)
Sociology & Social Work: Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
Marriage and Family Therapy: Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
Psychology:Approved Center of Play Therapy Education
Bible & Ministry
Hazelip School of Theology: Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
AACSB International—Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Tennessee State Board of Education (TNSBE)
Entertainment & the Arts
Music: National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Pharmacy: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
Nutrition Didactic Program & Internship in Dietetics: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
Nursing: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Physician Assistant Studies (provisional):Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering: Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org
Students should be aware that should they have complaints about their academic program or their financial aid, Lipscomb University has a complaint procedure described in the Student Handbook (see Student Expectations). To the extent possible, students should seek a resolution of such matters through the institution's complaint procedure before involving others.
Complaint Process for Non-Tennessee Resident Students Related to Distance Learning
Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance-learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) must be first be filed with the university to seek resolution. Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the university’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html.
For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulation incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards have been violated by the university operating under the terms of SARA.
For a list of SARA member states, visit the NC-SARA website at https://www.nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions. Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective state of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.
State of Tennessee Complaint Procedures
Should the institution not be able to resolve the student complaint, the student has the right to contact the state of Tennessee and its appropriate agency to determine the course of action. Complaints can be filed with the following agencies in Tennessee:
Complaints related to the application of state laws or rules related to approval to operate or licensure of a particular professional program within a postsecondary institution shall be referred to the appropriate State Board (i.e., State Boards of Health, State Board of Education, etc.) within the Tennessee State Government and shall be reviewed and handled by that licensing board (http://www.tn.gov, and then search for the appropriate division);
Complaints related to state consumer protection laws (e.g., laws related to fraud or false advertising) shall be referred to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and shall be reviewed and handled by that unit (https://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/working-for-tennessee/consumer-affairs.html).
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Allegations regarding noncompliance with accreditation standards, policies, and procedures may be made to SACSCOC, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097. (The Commission's complaint policy, procedure and the Complaint form may be found on their website.)
To ensure Lipscomb University is controlling access to student information in a manner consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA – also known as the Buckley Amendment).
FERPA gives four basic rights to students:
- the right to review their education records
- the right to seek to amend their education records
- the right to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information (directory information)
- the right to notify the Department of Education concerning an academic institution’s failure to comply with FERPA regulations
FERPA provides for confidentiality of student records; however, FERPA allows the institution to release basic identification information (directory information) of students at Lipscomb University without the consent of the individual. Release of information to third parties includes directory information, such as contained in the campus telephone book, in the online web-based people directory and in sports brochures.
Directory Information: Information that can be released without additional consent from the student. Lipscomb University has established the following as directory information:
Semester (local) Address
Most Recent Previous Educational Institution Attended
Graduate or Undergraduate Level
Full-time or Part-time Status
Dates of Attendance
Degrees and Awards
Participation in School Activities and Sports
Weight and Height
A student’s social security number is not directory information.
Advisor: Any person who is employed to work with students to assist in their academic success at Lipscomb University. For the purpose of this document, an advisor can be a faculty member, staff member or graduate assistant and may or may not carry the title “Academic Advisor “ or “Advisor” and may or may not work in an “Advising Center.”
Student: Any person who attends or has attended Lipscomb University is considered a student. A student is considered to be an “attending student” if he or she
has been admitted;
is currently attending Lipscomb University classes (either as an on-campus or distance student); or
is a continuing education student.
Persons who have applied for admissions, but have NOT been admitted to Lipscomb University are NOT covered by FERPA.
Records Protected by FERPA: Any record that directly relates to a student and is maintained by the institution or a party acting on behalf of the institution is considered an education record. Protected education records can be maintained in paper, digital/electronic or other formats. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:
Academic History Reports
Degree Audit Reports
Records NOT protected by FERPA: The following items are NOT education records as defined by FERPA.
Sole possession records (these are records kept in the sole possession of the maker, used as a personal memory aid and not revealed to others, for example, an instructor’s notes)
Law enforcement records
Treatment records, including medical, psychological, and counseling
Post-attendance records, records created or received by the university after an individual is no longer a student and not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student
Records created in the normal course of business including but not limited to media files created for marketing purposes or media files created for instructional purposes
Peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by faculty
These records are governed by other laws and policies.
Directory Information And Non-Disclosure (Privacy)
Student directory information is included in the online web directory. Students wishing limited disclosure may submit a request in writing to the registrar. The registrar will implement procedures to prevent the release of the student’s directory information.
Once a student has requested non-disclosure (privacy), his or her directory information will not be disclosed until the student provides written instruction to change this status. A student who has requested non-disclosure (privacy) will still have his or her name and other required information included on class rolls (in any format). Additionally, if the student has filed a consent to release form, that will override the non-disclosure instruction for the type of record and the person or party listed in the consent form.
Students, faculty and staff of Lipscomb University shall be notified of their FERPA rights and responsibilities on an annual basis. A variety of communication means shall be used to ensure the widest possible knowledge of FERPA rights and responsibilities.
Access to Student Records by Student
A student shall be permitted to inspect and review his/her records within 45 days following the date on which he/she notifies the university that he/she desires access to such records. Reasonable requests by a student for an explanation or interpretation of records shall be granted. A student shall be entitled to challenge the content of his or her records. Disputes concerning the content of a student’s education record may be settled informally between the university and the student. Should resolution through informal means not be possible, either the university or the student shall have the right to request a hearing in order to resolve the dispute. A student can request an amendment to their records when the record in question is believed to contain information that is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy. This right does not supplant other appeal processes in place at the university including grade appeals or academic dismissal appeals. When a formal hearing is requested by a student, it shall be granted through adherence with Lipscomb University FERPA hearing procedures.
Limitation on Access by Student
A student’s access to his or her education records is limited by the following:
- A student shall be denied access to a parent’s financial records.
- A student shall be denied access to confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the university’s records prior to January 1, 1975.
- A student shall be denied access to confidential recommendations respecting his/her admission to the university, application for employment, or receipt of an honor or honorary recognition if he/she has signed a waiver of access rights.
- The university shall not require any student to waive access rights.
- A party from which a recommendation is sought may require such a waiver.
- A student who has signed a waiver shall be notified by the university of the names of parties providing confidential recommendations.
- Confidential recommendations and letters shall be used only for the purpose for which they were solicited.
A student shall not be permitted to inspect records which personally identify other students even if he/she is personally identified. In such a case he/she shall simply be informed of the information contained in the record.
Students have the right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The university discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.
A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including safety and security and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted as its agent to act or provide a service instead of using university employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, consultant, volunteer or collection agent), the person is under the direct control of the university, and the person is subject to the same conditions governing the use and disclosure of education records that apply to other school officials; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. Upon request, the university also discloses education records without a student’s consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the university. This includes but is not limited to course grades, attendance information, advising information, disciplinary records, financial statements and housing information.
Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Such complaints may be submitted to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Students also have the right to file a complaint with the State of Tennessee. Lipscomb University is a member of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA). For complaints not resolved through the processes established by Lipscomb University, please follow the procedures outlined by TICUA.
Athletic Graduation Success Rate
This information is provided to prospective student athletes at the time an offer is made of athletically-related Title IV student aid. The information about graduation rates and completion rates is reported by Lipscomb University each year and can be viewed online at ncaa.org. If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact John Ezell in the athletic department.
Most of your life at Lipscomb—whether a commuting student, a graduate student or an undergraduate student—will be spent outside the classroom. We believe that offers a huge opportunity to create a learning and caring community that will become an important part of your experience here. At Lipscomb we have high expectations for that experience—we want this to be the place where you become the best version of yourself and where you are equipped to make the maximum positive impact on the world around you. That’s the context for our behavioral expectations. We want to free you up to build a great community, to create academic support and to build a safe environment in which you can grow to become your best.
The student handbook outlines the basics of these expectations. It includes topics such as: academic policies, code of conduct, general university policies and procedures, residence life policies, commuter student policies, spiritual formation and missing student policy.
Lipscomb University has agreed to adhere to the Principles of Excellence for educational institutions serving service members, veterans, spouses and other family members. In accordance with these principles, the Financial Aid Office will provide a Shopping Sheet to all prospective students who are eligible to receive federal military and veterans educational benefits. Please stop by our office in the Crisman Administration Building or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a paper copy of the Shopping Sheet.
Lipscomb University does not currently have any written arrangements regarding shared degree programs or certificates with other colleges and universities. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 615.966.1791 or email@example.com.
Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Aid
In the event a student withdraws, drops out or is expelled from the university prior to the end of a semester of enrollment, the Financial Aid Office will determine if the student must return any Title IV funds, even if the funds have already been credited in full to the student’s account. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Financial Aid Office if he or she is withdrawing from the university for any reason prior to the end of a semester.
Students who officially withdraw prior to completing 60% of the semester will have their financial aid prorated and any unearned funds returned. Students may owe funds to the Department of Education and/or Lipscomb University.
Return of Title IV aid will be completed upon notification of a student’s withdrawal from the university.
The Registrar’s Office notifies the Financial Aid Office when a student has withdrawn from the university and the last date of attendance is entered into the university database.
The official last date of attendance for students who withdraw will be determined by the students’ instructor in conjunction with the Registrar’s Office.
A student who officially withdraws will complete a form with the Registrar’s Office, which must be signed by various university offices including the Financial Aid Office.
The Registrar’s Office initiates the withdrawal form and procedure for pre-registered non-returning students.
Upon official notification of a withdrawal by the Registrar’s Office in which classes are removed and a “W” is placed on the student’s record, the Financial Aid Office will calculate in accordance with federal guidelines the amount of aid that must be returned or disbursed to the student. The Financial Aid Office uses university software along with federal calculation worksheets to calculate the earned and unearned funds per student.
The Financial Aid Office will return any unearned portion of the grant and/or loan funds to the Department of Education. (This may cause a balance owed to the university that becomes the student’s responsibility).
The student is informed by email of the required returns and the amount, if applicable, that is owed to the university.
The Lipscomb Business Office will send a statement of charges and billing information to the student after the withdrawal and removal of Title IV aid is complete.
For Federal Direct Loans, a letter and email with Exit Counseling instructions is sent to the withdrawn student and any future scheduled disbursements for the aid year are cancelled.
Federal regulations stipulate how the return of Title IV funds is calculated for a student who has received financial assistance from any of the federal Title IV programs. The return must be allocated in the following order and returned to the appropriate program(s):
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
Federal PLUS Loan
Federal Pell Grant
Other Title IV Aid Programs
Students who do not officially withdraw from the university, but receive all grades of "F" at the end of the term, will be evaluated to determine their withdrawal status. The Registrar's Office will contact the professors in whose classes these students were enrolled to determine if the student earned the grade of "F" and the last date of attendance for that student. The professor will complete a form or respond to the email with the determination of last date of attendance and the earned grade. If the student did not attend past the 60% mark in the semester, it will be deemed that the student has withdrawn.
Students in module programs who complete one module (Example Terms I and II) but withdraw from the second module, will be considered a Withdrawal and the calculations and processes described above will be followed. The Registrar's Office will determine the last date of attendance in the second module by contacting the student's professor. Once the date is determined, the information will be entered into the database and passed on to the Financial Aid Office for calculation.
More information regarding refunds can also be found in the student catalog.
Students convicted of a federal or state offense of selling or possessing illegal drugs may not be eligible for federal student aid (grants, loans, and work study). Students who answer "Yes" to question 31 on the FAFSA will be sent a worksheet by the federal processing center to determine if the conviction affects eligibility for aid. Also, if the Financial Aid Office is notified that a student has been convicted of possession or sale of illegal drugs during the academic year, all federal student aid will be suspended immediately.
Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside or removed from the student's record does not count.
Students convicted for possession of illegal drugs will be ineligible for federal student aid funds for one year from the date of conviction. Students convicted for sale of illegal drugs will be ineligible for federal student aid funds for two years from the date of conviction.
Students convicted for possession of illegal drugs will be ineligible for federal student aid funds for two years from the date of conviction. Students convicted for sale of illegal drugs will be ineligible for federal student aid funds for an indefinite period.
Third Offense and Beyond
Students convicted for possession or sale of illegal drugs will be ineligible for federal student aid funds for an indefinite period.
Students regain eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when they successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make them ineligible again. Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain aid only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program or if a conviction is reversed, set aside or removed from the student's record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility.
It is the student's responsibility to certify to the Financial Aid Office the date of conviction and whether he/she has completed a drug rehabilitation program.
For an estimated cost of your Lipscomb education, see our net price calculator.
Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals
In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, the following Code of Conduct was written in respect to the Title IV Direct Loan program. Financial Aid employees are held to the following standards:
- Prohibited from conflicts of interest in respect to loans.
- Prohibited from revenue sharing arrangements with any lender.
- Prohibited from the soliciting or acceptance of gifts from a lender, guarantor or servicer. Gifts include a "gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or any other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimis amount, including services, transportation, lodging, and meals." A gift does not include the following:
- Standard materials, activities or programs related to a loan being provided.
- Food, refreshments, training or informational materials provided as part of a training session conducted by the lender in order for the institution to improve services.
- Favorable terms, conditions or borrower benefits provided to a student employed by the institution if comparable terms are provided to all students of the institution.
- Entrance and Exit Counseling services provided to borrowers as long as a covered institution's staff is in control of the counseling and the counseling does not promote one specific lender.
- Philanthropic contributions to an institution unrelated to education loans.
- State education grants, scholarships or financial aid funds.
- Prohibited from receipt of any fees, payments or any other financial benefits for consulting services by anyone with responsibilities in respect to education loans.
- Prohibited from assigning first-time borrower's loans to a particular lender and not delaying certification of any loan regardless of the lender or guaranty agency the borrower selects.
- Prohibited from accepting any funds to be used for private education loans in exchange for the institution providing concessions to the private lender.
In general, Lipscomb University Financial Aid employees hold themselves to the following standards:
- Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
- Refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves.
- Ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
- Be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
- Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity.
- Disclose to his or her institution, in such manner as his or her institution may prescribe, any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
Statement of Ethical Principles
Lipscomb University puts the best interest and needs of our students and their families first. Read the NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Statement of Ethical Principles, which has been adopted by the Lipscomb Financial Aid Office as a participating member of NASFAA.
Institutional Code of Conduct
All Lipscomb employees are held to very high standards in order to provide the best service to our students and their families.
- Non-institutional gift aid such as Title IV funds, state grants and outside scholarships will be applied to the student account first. Institutional aid is always applied last.
- If a student has a credit caused by institutional aid and outside scholarships, the student is not eligible for a refund. The institutional aid will be adjusted down to remove the credit.
- If an on-campus student has a credit caused by institutional aid and/or other gift aid in conjunction with a PELL grant, they are eligible for a refund up to a maximum of the PELL award. Off-campus students are not eligible for this refund.
- Title IV loans such as Direct, PLUS,or Perkins loans are refundable. The refund cannot exceed the amount of the loan.
- In a credit situation, before institutional aid is adjusted down, the student is entitled to an up to $600 per semester book voucher, except where the scholarship states that books are not covered.
- A meal plan cannot be added to an off-campus student's account and be covered by an institutional credit.
- For off-campus students who receive any institutional aid, a meal plan can be added to the student's account and covered by an existing credit if the total award package (including institutional, state and federal aid, but excluding the Lipscomb employee discount) amounts to a full ride (full tuition, fees, room and board) or greater. The credit will be allowed to cover the Herd (middle-level) meal plan only.
For complete details, see the current Undergraduate Student Catalog.