Financial Aid Policies

  • 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:

    • Be a citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States. Certain persons in process of becong citizens or permanent residents may also be eligible.
    • Be accepted by the College for admission as a regular student and demonstrate the ability to benefit from the selected program of study. Students enrolled in high school, post-secondary option students, early admit students, and students who apply for admission as visiting or guest students are not eligible for aid.
    • Show your intent on the admission application as one of the following:
      • to obtain an associate degree for transfer to another college
      • to obtain an associate degree for the job market
      • to obtain a diploma
    • Be enrolled in a financial aid eligible degree or diploma program.
    • Be enrolled in courses that provide credit toward your declared financial aid eligible degree or diploma program. Courses taken as audit are not aid eligible. Enrollment must follow the freeze date policy.
    • Financial aid can only be used for one repeat of a previously passed course.
    • Meet the enrollment and attendance requirements for each program.
    • To receive federal financial aid, you must demonstrate you have the ability to benefit from the education offered. You must meet one of the following academic requirements:
      • Have a high school diploma or equivalent, such as GED; OR
      • Have a high school diploma from a state approved home school; OR
      • Proof of completion of at least a 2-year program acceptable for full credit towards a bachelor's degree (an official college transcript must be on file with the Records Office showing that you earned an associate's degree or higher); OR
      • Satisfactory completion of 6 quarter hours (other than developmental courses) applicable to a degree or diploma at SCC
    • Comply with requirements concerning Selective Service registration. For information regarding Selective Service, or to register, visit www.sss.gov.
    • Comply with requirements concerning submission of a Statement of Educational Purpose. This is included on the financial aid application (FAFSA).
    • Certify that you are not in default on any federal student loan with the Department of Education or another institution.
    • Certify that you do not owe a refund to any federal aid program. This includes grant overpayments resulting from withdrawals.
    • If selected for verification, submit all required documents as indicated in the Verification Policy.
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress as set forth in the Southeast Community College Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

    Other Factors that may Affect Financial Aid - Developmental Hours

    A student is limited to taking 45 developmental credit hours while receiving federal financial aid. Federal financial aid programs will not cover any developmental courses taken after reaching the maximum 45 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 45-developmental credit hour limit.

    Consortium Agreement

    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.

    Federal Pell Recalculation 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.

    Mandatory Federal Pell Recalculations

    Federal Pell recalculations will be made when the following occurs at any time during the term:

    • If the student’s EFC changes due to corrections, updating, or an adjustment and the EFC change will change the amount of the Federal Pell award, the award must be recalculated for the entire award year.
    • Student does not begin attendance in all classes within a term (the regulations do not require recalculation for changes to enrollment after the student has begun attendance in all of his/her classes).
    • Change in enrollment status between terms.

    The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal regulation to monitor each student's progress toward completion of a degree. Each student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to be eligible for financial aid. 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 receiving financial aid or being considered for financial aid from the following sources:

    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
    • Federal Work Study Program
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
    • Nebraska Opportunity Grant
    • Federal Direct Loan Program (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
    • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
    • Other programs as determined by the Office of Financial Aid

    The review of a student’s SAP status is based on the entire academic record, even if the student did not receive financial aid for previous terms of enrollment. 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 Satisfactory Academic Progress is calculated and posted as a notification on his/her HUB account. Students are notified via their SCC email account if they are not meeting minimum SAP requirements.

    Students will be considered to have an eligible SAP status if they have a:

    • a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher,
    • a cumulative completion rate (pace) of at least 66.7% of total credit hours attempted (see chart A), and
    • have not exceeded 150% of attempted credits required for program completion (see chart B).

    Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses – Financial Aid Warning

    • Financial Aid Warning Cumulative Grade Point Average
    • Financial Aid Warning Cumulative Pace of attempted vs. completed credits
    • Financial Aid Warning Both Pace and Cumulative GPA

    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 grade point average (CGPA) is placed on Financial Aid Warning. The student has one term to correct the deficiencies in SAP. The student continues to be eligible for financial aid and is encouraged to seek tutoring or other support services for help.

    Chart A

    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:

    Total Hours AttemptedRequired PaceMinimum Hours Required to Complete
    24x 0.66716.01
    12x 0.6678.00
    9x 0.6676.00

    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.

    Ineligible SAP Status / Maximum Timeframe

    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 degree is not completed within the timeframe allowed, the student becomes ineligible for federal financial aid.

    Number of Credits in ProgramMaximum TimeframeMaximum Number of Credits to Complete Program
    90x 1.50135 credit hours
    130x 1.50195 credit hours
    146x 1.50219 credit hours

    Example: A student’s program requires 90 credit hours to complete. The student has attempted 135 credit hours but still has 12 credit hours to take before completing the program. The student will not be eligible for federal student aid for the remaining 12 credit hours.

    Ineligible SAP Status / Financial Aid Suspension

    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.

    Reinstatement of Financial Aid / Right to Appeal

    A student who is ineligible for financial aid can become eligible for financial aid again by fulfilling one of the following conditions:

    • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher, and/or obtain a cumulative completion rate of at least 66.7% of total credit hours attempted.
    • Successfully appeal the ineligible status by demonstrating unforeseen, documentable extenuating circumstances and detailing why he/she failed to maintain SAP and what has changed in his/her situation allowing him/ her to achieve SAP at the next evaluation.

    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 appeal and supporting documentation must be submitted before the appeal deadline for that term. The Financial Aid Office will respond to the student via his/her SCC email account regarding the appeal. Only information submitted with the initial appeal will be considered.

    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.

    The decision made by the Appeals Committee is final. There is no provision for a secondary appeal.

    Financial Aid Probation

    If a student’s appeal is approved, he/she will be placed on financial aid “Probation”. While on Probation, 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. For all Probation students this includes

    • Successfully completing all the courses attempted during the enrollment period with no withdrawals from classes.
    • Maintaining a term GPA of 2.0 or higher.
    • Follow the academic plan that was submitted with his/her appeal.

    In addition, for students who are on Probation due to the maximum timeframe rule, the student must:

    • Complete the degree within four periods of enrollment;
    • Follow the academic plan that was submitted with his/her appeal.

    Reinstatement of Financial Aid / student does not file an Appeal or Appeal is denied

    Students who are ineligible can become eligible for financial aid by eliminating all academic deficiencies in their Satisfactory Academic Progress. These requirements are:

    • Achieve the required cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0 or better, and
    • Satisfactorily complete enough credit hours to have a pace of completion of 66.7% or higher (see Chart A)

    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.

    Subsequent periods of Financial Aid Warning, Appeal and Financial Aid Probation

    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.

    Other Factors that may Affect SAP

    Repeated Courses

    Students may receive financial aid for repeating courses. However, if retaking a previously passed course, financial aid can only be used for one repeat 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(s) being counted in the CGPA calculation will be counted in completed hours for SAP. Limits on repeated courses are outlined in the college catalog.

    Transfer Credits

    Transfer Students – when a student transfers credit from another school to a SCC program, all credits transferred in will be considered for SAP

    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.

    Federal law requires schools to calculate how much federal financial aid a student has earned if that student:

    • completely withdraws, or
    • stops attending before completing the enrollment period, or
    • does not complete all modules (courses which are not scheduled for the entire enrollment period) for which he/she has registered at the time those modules began.

    Based on this calculation, Southeast Community College 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:

    • Federal Pell Grant,
    • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant,
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant,
    • Federal Direct loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), and
    • Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans.

    State grant and scholarship programs are not covered under 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 he/she originally was 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 will earn all his/her federal financial aid.

    The following formula is used to determine the percent of unearned aid that must be returned to the federal government:

    The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period (less any scheduled breaks that are at least 5 days long).

    The payment period for most students is the entire enrollment period. However, for students enrolled in modules (courses which are not scheduled for the entire enrollment period), the payment period only includes those days for the module(s) in which the student is registered.

    The percent unearned is equal to 100 percent minus the percent earned.

    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 his/her 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:

    • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan,
    • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan,
    • Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan,
    • Federal Pell Grant,
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and
    • The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

    The college must return the lesser of

    • the total amount of unearned aid or
    • institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage.

    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 his/her tuition.

    How do students repay the unearned funds?

    The Financial Aid office will notify students if they owe federal funds back to the government via their SCC email account. The amount returned to the federal government by the school then becomes a school debt for the student. The student will need to repay the amount returned to Southeast Community College.

    What happens if students don't repay?

    If a student does not pay funds due 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 his/her 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 within 14 days of the notice; otherwise 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.

    Official and Unofficial Withdrawals

    Official Withdrawals

    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.

    Unofficial Withdrawals

    If the student receives all “F” grades, or a combination of all “F”, “W”, or “NP” grades, the College must assume he/she 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:

    • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
    • Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
    • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
    • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

    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.