Consumer Disclosure Information
Higher Education Opportunity Act
This webpage provides links to information about Soka University of America on a variety of subjects that may be helpful to prospective students, their families, high school counselors and coaches, as well as to prospective employees, current students, and current employees.
This information is presented to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), which requires institutions of higher education to disclose information and reports on various aspects of the institution’s policies, procedures, operations, and costs.
Soka is committed to compliance with the applicable regulations and to providing candid, honest and reliable disclosure, and student consumer information.
Accreditation and Membership
Find information on the CHEA website.
Find information on the NAICU website.
Find information on the ACC&U website.
Find information on the AICCU website.
The mission of Soka University of America is to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life.
Find more information on the Mission & Values page.
Soka University of America does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, religious creed, sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, status as a disabled veteran, marital status, medical condition, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarships and loan programs, athletic programs, other university-administered programs and activities, and university employment and related activities. Sexual harassment and sexual violence are types of sex discrimination. This policy applies to conduct on and off campus and protects students, faculty, staff, and others.
More information is available on Human Resources pages.
Under Title IX federal law, and as a standard for the Student Code of Conduct, Soka University of America will not tolerate and prohibits sexual assault and all forms of sexual misconduct including intimate partner violence, stalking, dating violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and domestic violence offenses.
Find more information about Title IX information, policies, and procedures online.
All information entered in the Soka University website is handled confidentially. SUA respects your privacy and will unsubscribe you from any mail or email list at your request.
The SUA website is designed to be accessible to visitors with disabilities and to comply with federal guidelines concerning accessibility. If you have suggestions on how to make the site more accessible, please report a digital accessibility issue.
Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please visit the US Copyright Office website.
It is the policy of Soka University of America to provide a drug-free, healthful, safe, and secure work environment. Under the guidelines of the SUA Drug-Free Workplace policy, employees must, as a condition of employment, abide by the terms of the policy. Employees are expected and required to report to work on time and in an appropriate mental and physical condition for work. Faculty and staff may not report to work, or remain at work while under the influence of either a controlled substance or while impaired by the use of alcohol, excluding properly used prescribed medication addressed below. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance on the campus or while conducting University business off campus is absolutely prohibited. Excluded are prescribed drugs when used in the manner, combination and quality intended unless performance is adversely affected. Employees who must use an over-the-counter or prescription drug that causes adverse side effects which in turn may affect the ability to perform work in a safe and productive manner must notify their supervisor prior to starting work. The supervisor or administrator, after proper inquiry, will decide if the employee can remain at work and what work restrictions, if any, are necessary. Employees in safety-sensitive positions, including the operation of transportation vehicles must notify their supervisors when commencing a regime of prescribed medication that might affect performance.
Any employee found in violation of the above-named policy regardless of whether such activity results in the imposition of a penalty under a criminal statute will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or will be required to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug assistance or rehabilitation program or both.
Under the terms of the policy, employees must report to the vice president for human resources within five days any conviction under a criminal drug statute for violations occurring at the university or while conducting university business.
The university recognizes drug and alcohol dependency as an illness and a major health problem. Employees needing help in dealing with such problems are encouraged to use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as a confidential resource. Any employee may use the program with complete confidentiality. Information can be obtained through Human Resources. In addition, drug and alcohol treatment is covered under the university’s medical plans. Further information on medical coverage, rehabilitation and counseling resources is available in Human Resources.
Find contact information in the Faculty and Staff Directory.
Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
Soka University of America strives to achieve the following institutional learning outcomes (ILOs):
- To become integrative learners
- To become skilled in inquiry
- To become globally educated
- To become civically engaged
Find information on Student Success Data.
Find information on the Common Data Set.
Search for and explore information on US higher education institutions at the National Center for Education Statistics.
Health and Safety
In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998, the Annual Security Report that is prepared by the Office of Public Safety in cooperation with Residential Life, Student Life, and Human Resources, along with information provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and various other law enforcement agencies is available. In compliance with the federal requirements, the Office of Public Safety collects crime statistics from local police departments, by providing the address of housing or off-campus property either owned or controlled by the university or public property immediately adjacent to campus.
The report (PDF) includes statistics for the previous three years concerning crimes that occurred on-campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the university, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, report of crimes, sexual assault, fire safety and other matters. Please note that the policies in this Annual Security and Fire Safety Report are the policies for the time frame in which the report is written. Periodic review of policies can take place that cause the policies to be updated. Please refer to the links located throughout the report for the most up to date information.
Public Safety utilizes timely warning notification systems such as an emergency notification system (SUA Alerts), outdoor alert systems (megaphones and loudspeakers), mobile alert systems through cellphones and radios, and email alert systems.
Find more information about Campus Safety online.
Information is available in the Student Code of Conduct.
Academic Policies and Information
The university maintains records relating to students for various academic purposes in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Annually, Soka University of America informs students of the act (FERPA), which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. More information on FERPA is available online.
Students may withhold directory information by notifying the registrar in writing; please note that such withholding requests are binding for all information to all parties other than for those exceptions allowed under the act. Students should consider all aspects of a directory hold prior to filing such a request. The initial request must be filed during the first two weeks of the Fall session. Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the university for no more than one academic year. Re-authorization to withhold directory information must be filed annually in the Office of the Registrar’s office within the first two weeks of the Fall session.
One form must be completed for each person who is to have access to the student’s records. These forms are available under Student Forms.
Soka University of America’s primary objective is to help students meet their educational goals through a positive and rigorous academic experience. Soka University of America is committed to its students and would like to know about student concerns. Students may voice concerns through the university’s administrative procedures, which include meeting with his/her academic advisor, faculty member, deans or through a more formal process of grievance as outlined in the university catalog under University Policies or Student Code of Conduct.
However, on occasion, a student may have a complaint about their educational experience at Soka University of America and/or may believe that administrative procedures have not adequately addressed their concerns and/or circumstances to alleged violations of applicable state laws, that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising; alleged violations of state laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; and complaints relating to the quality of education or other state regulatory requirements.
In accordance with Section 600.9 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Soka University is required to provide students with contact information for filing complaints to the state as well as with our own accrediting agency.
An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at:
California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400 Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 431-6924
Fax: (916) 263-1897
Soka University of America is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). The WSCUC Complaint Process is available via the Complaint Form.
Transfer Credit Policy
Juniors and seniors who, in order to graduate, are for substantial reasons unable to take needed courses at SUA, may petition the dean of faculty for permission to take such courses elsewhere, to be transferred in. The dean of faculty will make his/her decision in consultation with the program/area director/coordinator, and the registrar, and may impose conditions, including but not limited to when and where the course is to be taken. The Academic Standards Committee will handle appeals of the dean’s decision.
SUA will only accept applications for entrance as a first-year student. SUA does not have a separate transfer admission process. If you are currently a college student, you may apply, but you will not be eligible to transfer college credits. Applicants with college experience are required to submit college transcripts to be used as a part of the assessment process should they choose to apply for admission to SUA.
Soka University of America participates in the Advanced Placement (AP) program offered by the College Board. AP credits are not awarded; however, academic programs and areas may grant placement based on AP results. Students must submit to the Office of the Registrar official transcripts or reports from the College Board no later than the end of the sophomore year at SUA for scores to be considered. An on-going policy review takes place annually; therefore, placement based on AP tests and scores is subject to change without notice. Similarly, academic programs and areas may grant placement for college courses taken elsewhere.
Find more information about academic policies online.
Find current and past SUA catalogs online.
Short-Term Leave of Absence
Students may be granted a leave of absence for personal and/or family emergencies. A leave of absence is a short-term period of leave that will not adversely affect a student’s academic progress and that constitutes less than 10 days of absence.
An approved leave does not require application for readmission. Students should advise the dean of students and the dean of faculty when they plan to return to the university.
Withdrawal from the University
Students wishing to withdraw from the university must formally withdraw by completing a withdrawal from available at the Office of the Registrar or the Dean of Students Office, and must obtain the signatures specified on the withdrawal form. In cases of withdrawal for personal reasons, students must make an appointment with their academic advisors and notify the dean of students in writing prior to initiating a withdrawal procedure. A student is considered to be in attendance until such notice has been received by the dean of students.
Students who wish to be considered for readmission to SUA after an absence of three sessions or less must contact the Registrar’s Office to request an Application for Readmission. A readmission fee of $25 and other supporting documents are required with an application. The application must be submitted no later than 90 days for international students or 30 days for domestic students prior to the beginning of the session for which the student is requesting readmission. The Academic Standards Committee reviews all readmission applications. In addition, the committee may require a medical report and a personal interview.
Find more information on academic policies online.
The central functions of an academic community are learning, teaching, research, and scholarship. By accepting membership in the university, an individual joins a community ideally characterized by free expression, free inquiry, intellectual honesty, respect for the dignity of others, and openness to constructive change. At Soka University of America the rights and responsibilities exercised within the community are compatible with these qualities.
The rights of members of the university are not fundamentally different from those of other members of society. The university, however, has a special autonomy, and reasoned dissent plays a particular vital part in its existence. All members of the university have the right to press for action on matters of concern by any appropriate means. Soka University of America affirms, assures, and protects the rights of its members to organize and join political associations, convene and conduct public meetings, publicly demonstrate and picket in orderly fashion, and advocate and publicize opinion by print, sign, and voice.
The university places special emphasis, as well, upon certain values which are essential to its nature as an academic community. Among these are freedom of speech and academic freedom, freedom from personal force and violence, and freedom of movement. Interference with any of these freedoms is regarded as a serious violation of the personal rights upon which the community is based. Furthermore, although the administrative process and activities of the university are not ends in themselves, such functions are vital to the orderly pursuit of the work of all members of the university. Therefore, interference with members of the university in performance of their normal duties and activities is regarded as unacceptable obstruction of the essential processes of the university. Theft or willful destruction of property of the university or its members is also considered an unacceptable violation of the rights of individuals or of the community as a whole.
Moreover, it is the responsibility of all members of the academic community to maintain an atmosphere in which violations of rights are unlikely to occur and to develop processes by which these rights are fully assured. In particular, it is the responsibility of officers of administration and instruction to be alert to the needs of the university community; to give full and fair hearing to reasoned expressions of grievances; and to respond promptly and in good faith to such expressions and to widely-expressed needs for change. In making decisions which concern the community as a whole or any part of the community, officers consult with those affected by the decisions. Failures to meet the responsibilities may be profoundly damaging to the life of the university. Therefore, Soka University of America has established orderly procedures consistent with imperatives of academic freedom to assess the policies and assure the responsibility of those whose decisions affect the life of the university.
No violation of the rights of members of the university, nor any failure to meet responsibilities, justifies any violation of the rights of members of the university. All members of the community, students, and officers alike, are expected to uphold the rights and responsibilities expressed in this statement so that the university is characterized by mutual respect and trust.
Intense personal harassment of such a character as to amount to grave disrespect for the dignity of others is an unacceptable violation of the personal rights on which the university is based.
Office of Financial Aid
The Office of Financial Aid uses the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy to determine continued eligibility for financial aid programs. The SAP Policy is comprised of two parts, a qualitative and a quantitative component.
Students must be in good academic standing and uphold the minimum requirements for both the qualitative (grade-based) and quantitative (time-based) requirements of the SAP Policy to maintain eligibility to receive financial aid. In compliance with federal regulations, Soka University of America has established guidelines that are designed to ensure that students successfully complete courses and to promote timely advancement toward degree objectives. These requirements also serve as a standard against which to evaluate students’ progress, grade-point averages (GPA), and the overall time frame in which students complete their undergraduate program. SAP is evaluated at the end of each academic term at SUA.
What programs does SAP apply to?
- All federal, state, and institutional aid
Minimum Academic Standards
- Qualitative measure (GPA):
- Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at lease 2.0 in order to be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
- Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in order to be eligible for federal and institutional financial aid.
- Quantitative measure (pace):
- Undergraduate and graduate students must successfully complete at least 67% of their attempted units.
- Undergraduate and graduate students must successfully complete at least 67% of their attempted units.
- Maximum time frame:
- Undergraduate students must complete their program within 180 credits (150% of 120 credits).
- Graduate students must complete their program within eight semesters.
Failure to meet Sap Requirements
- The US Department of Education (ED) has mandated that universal terms (warning, suspension, and probation) be implemented to describe failure to meet SAP across all colleges. These terms were first implemented in the 2012-2013 school year.
Failure to meet SAP after one term will result in a placement on “SAP Warning” status. Students will have one term of financial aid eligibility to correct their SAP deficiencies. A student will be notified that they are on “SAP Warning.” Warning is not given to students who have reached their maximum time frame or students who have failed to meet SAP for two consecutive terms.
Academic counseling should be sought to ensure the student satisfies all deficiencies during this period.
If the student meets SAP within the warning period (of one term), they will be automatically placed back in good standing for financial aid.
It is possible for students to be placed on warning multiple times in their academic career.
After one term of warning and continued failure to meet SAP, all of the student’s financial aid will be cancelled and student will be placed on “SAP Suspension.”
Students will be notified in the event that they are on “SAP Suspension.” Failure to receive notification from the Office of Financial Aid is not terms for an appeal approval. It is the student’s responsibility to understand the Financial Aid SAP policies and adhere to them.
Students on “SAP Suspension” can earn units and raise their cumulative GPA the next academic term; however, they are ineligible to receive financial aid during that period of suspension. Once the SAP requirements have been met, students are eligible to apply for financial aid for the upcoming term.
It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when they regain eligibility for reinstatement of funds.
Appeals and Extenuating Circumstances
Students may appeal for reinstatement of financial aid via a written request if they have an extenuating circumstance that has prevented the student from meeting SAP. Such a situation must be exceptional and nonrecurring in nature. Some examples are a death in the family, illness, or car accident. The appeal must explain the cause of academic difficulty and how the situation has been resolved.
The appeal must be submitted within 20 days of notification of financial aid ineligibility. The student must meet with the dean of students to create an academic plan that will ensure success in completion of their program. The academic plan must be submitted with the SAP appeal.
Students must submit the “SAP Appeal” in-person to the Office of Financial Aid. Students may request that the form be date marked for when it has been received.
Students can expect to have a decision within two weeks of submitting an appeal form. The Office of Financial Aid may need to request documentation from the student which could extend this period. In addition, if the appeal is sent to committee, the period of time needed to convene a committee could also extend the time required to make a decision. If this is the case, students will be notified that there will be a delay.
If the SAP appeal is approved, the student will be placed on “SAP Probation” and will regain eligibility for financial aid for one or more terms based on the academic plan submitted.
If the SAP appeal is denied, students are entitled to an explanation. Once an appeal has been denied, students may not make an identical appeal because they did not agree with the outcome. The appeal will be considered officially denied.
A student may not appeal after the enrollment period for the academic year or once graduated.
Grades, Repeat Courses, and Transfer Credits
Grades that meet SAP completion standards are grades for which credit is awarded: A, B, C, D and P. F, NP, Withdrawals (W), and Incomplete grades (I) are not passing grades.
If a student repeats a failed or a previously passed class (D or F), it will replace the highest grade to recalculate into the new cumulative GPA. Credits attempted in repeated classes will be included in the cumulative credits attempted in addition to the original credits. Students who passed a class and chooses to repeat for a higher grade may receive financial aid only once for that repeated class. Students may receive financial aid for a failed class that they repeat until they pass.
Transfer credits that have been officially accepted will count toward quantitative measures but will not compute into the GPA.
- SAP is calculated at the end of each term after the regular period for posting grades has ended and grades are posted. Students returning from study abroad may experience a delay in the posting of grades earned while abroad. Courses may show as incomplete during this time and will be treated as attempted credits for which no credit has been earned. The incomplete incurred from study abroad will not have an impact on the GPA calculation for SAP.
- Once study abroad grades and credits arrive, they will be calculated in the same manner as regular courses are calculated for SAP.
- If the study aboard grades are not posted by the time of disbursement, students may be placed on SAP Warning. However, for students who are already on SAP Warning prior to their study aboard program, their financial aid will not be disbursed until grades and credits arrive. If SAP Suspension occurs as a result of study abroad grades or delay, the student will have 20 business days to appeal after having been notified of the suspension.
Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws
The law specifies how Soka University of America must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).
Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each period, you earn the funds as you complete the period. If you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or SUA or parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.
The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, SUA must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. SUA may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). SUA needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow SUA to keep the funds to reduce your debt.
There are some Title IV funds that you may have been scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you have not completed the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not receive any Direct Loan funds that you would have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.
If you receive (or SUA or parent receives on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, SUA must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
- your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
- the entire amount of excess funds.
SUA must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.
If SUA is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a Direct PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with SUA or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that SUA may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. SUA may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you don’t already know SUA’s refund policy, you should ask SUA for a copy. SUA can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.
If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web.
Find information on Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA) online.
A hold will be placed on any delinquent or defaulted student loan accounts. A hold will prevent the student from registering and receiving services from SUA including release of transcript, grades, and alumni services. Account balance and hold information is available through the borrower’s loan servicers.
Delinquent/defaulted loans will include past due accounts placed with a collection agency. Delinquent loans will be reported to credit bureaus, and borrowers will be responsible for any collection costs including but not limited to agency fees, attorney’s fees, court costs, and other fees related to the collection of the loan.
The SUA Office of Financial Aid is committed to counseling students regarding borrowed loans after graduation. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid regarding loan repayment options.
Find the Student Code of Conduct online.
Soka students may participate in a range of clubs and organizations. Find more information on student groups online.
Soka is committed to providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities.
Find more information about disability services online.
Soka’s on-campus Health Services Clinic provides outpatient services to help students maintain optimal health. A California-licensed medical practitioner provides medical services and preventive health services.
Find more information about the Health Services Clinic online.
The Office of Student Services provides on-going educational programs regarding drug and alcohol abuse prevention including mandatory online training for incoming undergraduate students, presentations in the Health and Wellness Class, and multiple, campus-wide programs aimed at reducing alcohol consumption.
A student may also utilize both Counseling Services and/or Health Services to receive a referral to an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.
Under Title IX federal law, and as a standard for the Student Code of Conduct, Soka University of America will not tolerate and prohibits sexual assault and all forms of sexual misconduct including intimate partner violence, stalking, dating violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and domestic violence offenses. These acts are also against California State Law. Students who report sexual misconduct/Title IX violations will be advised of all options available to them as outlined in this policy.
Find more Title IX information online.
The Office of International Student Services provides international students visa support and assistance in maintaining their legal status. This office works with students of the SUA international community with all matters of special concern to them and serves as a referral source to other university offices and academic departments.
Find more information about the Office of International Student Services online.
Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the US Constitution by 39 men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who, are born in the US or, by naturalization, have become citizens.
On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.
Check out online resources to learn more about the Constitution:
Find information on voter registration on the California Secretary of State website.
Explore career and placement services offered to students during and after enrollment on the Career Development page.