Eligibility for most financial aid programs is based on demonstrated financial need of the student and/or the student's family and on registered credit hours. In addition to the general requirements listed below, each financial aid program may also have eligibility requirements which are specific to that program.
To be eligible for federal financial aid programs (Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan), you must also:
A student is limited to taking 30 developmental semester credit hours while receiving federal financial aid. Federal financial aid programs will not cover any developmental courses taken after reaching the maximum 30 semester hours. These courses include but are not limited to any course level beginning with a zero, i.e. MATH-0900, MATH-0950, ENGL-0850, and ENGL-0950. Developmental courses that are no longer available are still included in determining the 30 developmental credit hour limit.
Credits earned at another institution under a Consortium Agreement will be used to determine enrollment status for the awarding of federal financial aid. Such courses will be treated in the determination of academic progress as if they were transfer credits.
All information is subject to change based on changes to federal law, regulation, or college policy and procedure. If changes are made, students must abide by the new policy.
The Financial Aid Office has a policy designating each term’s Census Date as the last day a Federal Pell recalculation will be performed for the term, except for cases where the recalculation is mandated by regulations.
For Federal Pell-eligible students who are enrolled at the beginning of a term and add a course or module after the Census Date, no additional Federal Pell will be awarded to the student. If a Federal Pell-eligible student enrolls after the term’s Census Date, the student will be awarded Federal Pell based on the student’s enrollment status and no further recalculations of the student’s Federal Pell award will be done, assuming the student begins attendance in each class.
Federal Pell recalculations will be made when the following occurs at any time during the term:
The Financial Aid office is required by federal regulation to monitor student progress toward completion of a degree. Being eligible to enroll in classes does not mean the student has an eligible Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status for financial aid. Academic records are reviewed for all students whether the student is currently receiving financial aid or not. SAP eligibility standards apply to the following financial aid programs:
The review of a student’s SAP status is based on the entire academic record. This includes developmental courses taken at SCC, incomplete courses, withdrawals and repetitions. Transfer credit hours accepted by the college will be brought into the SAP calculation as completed credits.
After each term ends, a student’s SAP is calculated and posted as a notification on their Student Self-Service account. Students are notified via their SCC email account if they are not meeting minimum SAP requirements.
If a student is enrolled in two (2) programs, Financial Aid will use the program with the greatest number of credits to determine the student’s SAP status.
Students will be considered to have an eligible SAP status if they have:
A student who has not completed at least 66.7% of the total attempted credit hours (see Chart A), or is below the minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA (or higher if the program requires) is placed on Financial Aid Warning. The student has one term to correct the deficiencies in SAP. During this period, the student continues to be eligible for financial aid and is encouraged to seek tutoring or other support services for help.
The total number of attempted credit hours are multiplied by 0.667 to obtain the minimum hours that the student must have completed successfully. For example:
Based on this chart, if a student has attempted 24 credit hours he/she must have successfully completed at least 16.01 credits. This cannot be rounded to 16 credits.
If a student does not attain SAP during the warning term, the student will be suspended from financial aid.
To remain eligible for financial aid, a student must make sufficient progress to graduate within 150% of the attempted credit hours required for their program (see Chart B).
If the student does not complete the degree within the timeframe allowed, the student becomes ineligible for federal financial aid.
Example: A student’s program requires 60 credit hours to complete. The student has attempted 90 credit hours but still has 6 credit hours to take before completing the program. The student will not be eligible for federal student aid for the remaining 6 credit hours.
If a student has not corrected all the deficiencies in SAP after one term of Financial Aid Warning, or if a student has reached the maximum timeframe, the student becomes ineligible for financial aid.
A student who is ineligible for financial aid can become eligible for financial aid again by fulfilling one of the following conditions:
A student with unforeseen, documentable, extenuating circumstances who has been denied financial aid may appeal in writing by obtaining a SAP Appeal Form from the Financial Aid Office or online. The student must submit the appeal and documentation explaining why the SAP standards were not met. The student must submit the appeal and supporting documentation before the appeal deadline for that term. The Financial Aid Office will respond to the student via their SCC email account regarding the appeal. The only information considered is the information submitted with the initial appeal.
For those students who are appealing because they have exceeded the maximum timeframe, the appeals committee will consider classes taken toward a second Associate’s degree, transfer credits and developmental courses.
If the Appeals Committee denied a student’s initial SAP appeal, the student may appeal to a secondary committee only if the student has additional information not submitted with the initial appeal. A separate committee reviews the secondary appeal. The student is notified of the review results via their SCC email. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final. There is no option for a third-level appeal, nor may the decision be appealed to the Department of Education.
The student is responsible to pay charges for the term if the appeal is denied.
If a student’s appeal is approved, they will be placed on Financial Aid Probation/Academic Plan. While in this status, the student may receive financial aid for one payment period. In order to be eligible for subsequent payment periods, the student must meet the terms of the appeal.
Financial Aid Probation/Academic Plan Terms
Maximum Timeframe Appeal Approval (GSAP)If a student’s appeal is approved for maximum timeframe, they will be place on financial aid “GSAP”. While on timeframe appeal approval (GSAP), the student may continue to be eligible for financial aid. To be eligible for subsequent enrollment period, the student must meet the terms of the appeal approval.
GSAP/Academic Plan Terms
Other requirements may be listed on the appeal form or the approval notice.
Students who are ineligible can become eligible for financial aid by eliminating all academic deficiencies in their Satisfactory Academic Progress. These requirements are:
Students will be monitored at the end of each enrollment period for minimum SAP requirements and will have their SAP set to satisfactory status once these requirements have been met. Students will be notified via their SCC email account and are encouraged to apply for federal aid.
Currently, SCC policy allows students to appeal financial aid suspension more than once. The subsequent appeal must be based on extenuating circumstances preventing the student from being successful and the extenuating circumstances must be different from prior appeals.
Developmental HoursA student is limited to taking 30 developmental semester credit hours while receiving federal financial aid. Federal financial aid programs will not cover any developmental courses taken after reaching the maximum 30 hours. These courses include but are not limited to any course level beginning with a zero, i.e. MATH-0900, MATH-0950, ENGL-0850, and ENGL-0950. Development courses that are no longer available are still included in determining the 30 developmental credit hour limit.
Repeated CoursesStudents may receive financial aid for repeating courses. However, if retaking a previously passed course, financial aid can only be used for one repetition of the course even if the second attempt results in a lower grade. Any courses that are repeated will be used in the calculation of a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress status. Each repetition will count towards the attempted hours; however, only the course being counted in the CGPA calculation will be counted in completed hours for SAP. Limits on repeated courses are outlined in the college catalog.
Consortium AgreementCredits earned at another institution under a Consortium Agreement will be used to determine enrollment status for the awarding of federal financial aid. Such courses will be treated in the determination of academic progress as if they were transfer credits. In the case of a Consortium Agreement, the SAP evaluations are performed based on SCC’s schedule instead of the schedule of the host school.
Transfer CreditsWhen a student transfers credit from another school to a SCC program, all credits transferred in will be considered for SAP
Academic BankruptcyPer federal regulations, if a student exercises their option to have credit hours and grades removed through “Academic Bankruptcy”, those credits and grades must still be included in the SAP calculation.
Federal law requires schools to calculate how much federal financial aid a student has earned if that student:
Based on this calculation, Southeast Community College (SCC) students who receive federal financial aid and do not complete classes during an enrollment period could be responsible to repay a portion of the aid they received.
Federal financial aid covered under this regulation includes:
State grant and scholarship programs are not subject to this regulation, but follow the College's institutional refund policy.
How is the financial aid that is earned by the student calculated?Students who receive federal financial aid must "earn" the aid they receive by staying enrolled in and attending their classes. The amount of federal financial aid assistance the student earns is determined on a pro-rated basis. Students who withdraw or do not complete all registered classes during the enrollment period may be required to return some of the financial aid they were awarded.
For example, if the student completes 30 percent of the payment period, the student earns 30 percent of the aid they originally were scheduled to receive. This means that 70 percent of the student's scheduled awards remain unearned and must be returned to the federal government.
Once the student has completed more than 60 percent of the payment period, the student has earned all their federal financial aid.
The following formula is used to determine the percent of unearned aid that must be returned to the federal government:
What is the withdrawal date?The withdrawal date used in the return calculation of a student's federal financial aid is the actual date the official drop form is processed by the Registration Office or the date the student drops the courses on their WebAdvisor Account. If a student stops attending classes without notifying the college, the withdrawal date will be the last date of recorded attendance in class.
Who returns the unearned federal funds?The college and the student are both responsible for returning unearned federal financial aid to the federal government. Amounts that must be returned will be applied in the following order:
The college must return the lesser of
The student must return any remaining unearned aid not sent back by the College.
The student will be billed for any amount due the college resulting from the return of federal aid funds used to cover tuition and fees. For example, if the college is required to pay back federal funds used to pay a portion of a student's tuition for the enrollment period, the student then must pay the college for the unpaid portion of their tuition.
How do students repay the unearned funds?The Financial Aid office will notify students, via their SCC email account, if they owe federal funds back to the government. The amount the school returns to the federal government becomes a school debt for the student. The student must repay to Southeast Community College the amount returned.
What happens if students do not repay?If a student does not pay funds owed to the college, the student's records will be placed on financial hold. This means the student will not be permitted to register for classes or receive transcripts until the balance is paid in full.
What if the student is eligible for additional funds?The Financial Aid office will notify students if additional federal funds can be disbursed. This is called a "post-withdrawal disbursement." Federal grants will automatically be applied toward the student's account within 45 days of determining the student withdrew. Federal Direct Loans must be accepted by the student (or parent, in the case of a PLUS loan), within 14 days of the notice. If the loan funds are not accepted, the loan funds will be cancelled. If the Federal Direct Loan post-withdrawal disbursement offer is accepted by the deadline, SCC will make the disbursement within 180 days of determining the student withdrew.
If a student officially withdraws from all classes, the Financial Aid Office will use the date of the withdrawal in the federal refund calculation. If the student withdraws from classes at different times, the Financial Aid Office will use the withdrawal date of the last class from which the student withdrew. The federal refund calculation will determine how much financial aid must be returned to the Department of Education.
If the student receives all “F” grades, or a combination of all “F”, “W”, or “NP” grades, the College must assume the student has unofficially withdrawn from the College. Instructors are required to enter a last date of attendance when submitting these grades. The most recent last date of attendance for the “F”, “W”, and/or “NP” grades will be used in the federal refund calculation.
Once it is determined how much federal aid must be returned, the funds will be returned in the following order, as required:
If you have questions about withdrawing from the College and the impact on your financial aid you are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office at 402-471-3333.
Verification is the process of confirming the accuracy of student reported data on financial aid applications. Only a portion of the student population is selected for verification.
The Financial Aid Office verifies those applicants identified by the Central Processing Service (CPS). Typically, the selection criterion translates into verifying thirty percent of the financial aid population at SCC. In addition, Aid Administrators may select a student for verification if there is a discrepancy or a condition which is unusual and warrants investigation.
Listed below are certain circumstances where students do not have to complete verification. The Financial Aid Technician must identify and document in the student record why the student is not required to complete verification. Listed below are certain circumstances where students do not have to complete verification:
Regulations allow situations when verification of household size is not required. The Financial Aid Office does not have a systematic way to track these exclusions.
All students selected for verification in groups V1 or V5 must submit a response to the household size question on the Verification Worksheet.
If SCC has conflicting information for an applicant or has any reason to believe their application information is incorrect, SCC is required to resolve any discrepancies discovered in a student's file.
SCC verifies only those data elements required by the federal government. However, the Financial Aid technician may ask for additional information if further investigation is needed to resolve a discrepancy.
Each year, the Department of Education publishes in the Federal Register and Dear Colleague Letters, acceptable documentation for each of the Verification Tracking Groups.
For an individual who was called up for active duty or for qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, in lieu of IRS Form 4868, SCC must accept a statement from the individual certifying that he or she has not filed an income tax return or a request for a filing extension because of that service.
Anytime a student is selected for verification, the following individuals who are nontax filers must submit an IRS Verification of Nonfiling Letter or other confirmation of nonfiling status from the IRS or other relevant tax authority, dated on or after October 1, 2017:
The dependent student who is a nontax filer is not required to provide an IRS Verification of Nonfiling Letter or other confirmation of nonfiling status. All nontax filers, excluding dependent students, who are selected for verification must also provide:
The Financial Aid technician verifies applicants identified by ED. The Financial Aid technician may also select a student for verification if there is a discrepancy or a condition which is unusual and warrants investigation (i.e., out of state student, number in household, and conflict in EFC).
If a student submits verification documentation, but was not selected (i.e., tax transcript, W2’s), the Financial Aid Office staff must verify the information on the document against the information on the FAFSA. If discrepancies are found corrections must be made.
Because the Financial Aid Office is liable for disbursements made prior to verification, the Financial Aid Office policy does not allow interim disbursements. Students must complete the verification process before aid is awarded or disbursed. There are no exceptions.
If aid is awarded and disbursed, and afterward a new corrected ISIR transaction is received which selects the student for verification, all future aid must be cancelled until the verification process has been completed.
Students selected for verification will be directed to either go into the FAFSA and complete the IRS transfer or contact the IRS and request an IRS Tax transcript.
A signed paper copy of a IRS tax return (IRS 1040, IRS 1040A, IRS 1040EZ) is considered acceptable documentation for income and tax-related verification information.
If the Financial Aid technician finds it necessary to verify conflicting information, the student may be requested to provide additional information.
If a student is married but their spouse is a non-citizen and not residing in the U.S., the IRS allows the student to file as Head of Household if the student meets the criteria for filing as Head of Household for the tax year.
If a student indicates they are married but is filing as Head of Household, the student must have met the requirements for and must have filed as Head of Household and the student must provide:
If the student does not meet the requirements for filing as Head of Household, the student must have filed as married (married filing jointly, or married filing separately) unless they meet the requirements of other statuses such as widowed or divorced during the tax year.
Students are initially notified of being selected for verification from the Department of Education through an email or paper Student Aid Report (SAR). In addition, the tracking letter sent out from the Financial Aid Office indicates to the student they have been selected for verification.
Upon receipt of the FAFSA, when the student record is activated after receipt of a federal transmission, a tracking letter (email) listing missing items is sent to the student. This email informs the student of any additional information required to complete their financial aid file.
If the student is selected for verification, the tracking letter requests the appropriate verification documents (i.e., verification form, student and parent tax transcripts, etc.). Students are informed the majority of financial aid funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and that the file will not be processed further until the missing items are submitted to the Financial Aid Office.
Tracking letters are sent to students every 15 days informing the student of documents or information still outstanding for Verification. This process is handled electronically and notifications are sent out to students by email. If an email is rejected, then a Missing Information Letter is sent to the student by postal mail.
If a student submits an incomplete document, it is returned for completion. If a student does not submit the required information timely, reminder emails are sent to the student. If the student still does not respond, the application will become inactive and no further correspondence will be sent until new activity, such as a new ISIR, student submittal of paperwork, etc.
Documentation submitted to the Financial Aid Office must be legible, appropriate, and have the student's Social Security Number or Colleague ID number for identification purposes. If the student submits a document which is not legible or appropriate (i.e., a copy of a tax transcript in which the income numbers are not identifiable or a verification worksheet missing a signature), the documents will be returned and a request for additional documentation or corrections is requested. The return of documentation is recorded on the Colleague system as “incomplete” and a comment is made in the verification section of Colleague.
Students who fail to submit verification documents never have completed files so aid is not awarded to these students.
If a student submits documentation which appears fraudulent, the Financial Aid Office staff member must notify the Administrative Director of Financial Aid.
Once the requested information is received, Verification is completed, corrections are sent to the Central Processing System (CPS), corrections are imported into the Colleague system and an award notification email is sent out to the student with instructions on how to log in to SCC’s HUB/Web Advisor for Students to accept or reject their financial aid offer.
Required documentation items are tracked on the Colleague system and a missing document CRI code, along with a CRI tracking letter code are kept on the student’s computer file. When documents arrive, Financial Aid staff will enter a receipt date beside the document name on the Colleague tracking screen. When all required documents are received, the student is considered “complete” and ready to be verified. The Financial Aid technician runs reports to determine which students are “complete”.
Students assigned to the V4 or V5 Verification Tracking Group will have 45 days to supply the requested information. SCC must report back to the Central Processing System (CPS) within 60 days of sending out the first tracking letter.
To submit the verification results for Tracking Groups V4 and V5, the Administrative Director of Financial Aid will report the information via the CPS Online website. Results may be submitted either individually or as a flat file for up to 2,000 students.
Corrections to the FAFSA data are submitted to CPS via the CAPX function on the Colleague system. In order for verification to be completed and aid to be awarded, all required documentation must be received within 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment. Any necessary corrections to the FAFSA data must be submitted through FAA Access to CPS Online by the date announced annually by the Department of Education in the Federal Register.
In order for the student to receive his/her financial aid offer the student must be accepted to the College in a degree seeking program. Students are notified of the results of verification in the form of an Award Notification email. The student is given instructions to log into the HUB/Web Advisor for Students at (thehub.southeast.edu), Financial Aid, Financial Aid Award Letter) to view the financial aid offer. By clicking on the Financial Aid Award Letter option, the student is given the Terms and Conditions to read and are required to enter the Financial Aid Year in order to view his/her financial aid offer. Once the student has viewed his/her offer the student needs to accept or reject the student loan offer. At Web Advisor for Students, Financial Aid, the student clicks on “Accept/reject my student loan awards”. The student is again given the Terms and Conditions to read, along with instructions and a link for completing a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
The Department of Education published regulations which affect students who repeat courses. These regulations may impact financial aid eligibility and awards, including Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study. Regulations prevent the Financial Aid Office from paying for a course that has been passed and repeated more than one time.
In order for a repeated course to be counted towards the enrollment status for financial aid purposes, the student may only repeat a previously passed course once (a total of two attempts). If the student enrolls in a previously repeated and passed the course for a third time, this course will not count toward enrollment for financial aid purposes and no aid is paid for the third repetition of that course.