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 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.
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 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:
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 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.
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 degree is not completed within the timeframe allowed, the student becomes ineligible for federal financial aid.
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.
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 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.
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
In addition, for students who are on Probation due to the maximum timeframe rule, the student must:
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.
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 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:
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:
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:
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 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.
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 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:
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.
Authority: 34 CFR §668.51-61s
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. Due to increasing instances of fraud or misuse of Federal Student Aid funds, which is a nation-wide concern, all distance-learning students are institutionally selected for verification.
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:
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 his/her 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.
For Verification for the 2017-2018 award year, acceptable documentation listed in the Federal Register Volume 81, No. 63, published Friday, April 1, 2016 and Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-07.
Per Dear Colleague Letter GEN-17-04 issued April 24, 2017, due to the suspension of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), ED is providing flexibilities schools may choose to use as part of their Verification procedures.
Effective immediately (April 24, 2017), these flexibilities apply to both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSA Processing cycles. The new guidance replaces the guidance provided in the October 18, 2016 Electronic Announcement (noted below)
The new flexibilities include:
For IRS Tax Return Filers - In lieu of using the IRS DRT, or obtaining an IRS transcript, a school may consider a signed paper copy of the 2015 IRS tax return submitted to the IRS as acceptable documentation to verify FAFSA/ISIR tax return information.
Verification of Nonfiling – Schools are no longer required to collect documentation obtained from the IRS or other tax authorities verifying that the applicant, the applicant’s spouse or the applicant’s parents did not file a 2015 tax return (often referred to as Verification of Nonfiling). However, as currently required, the applicant, the applicant’s spouse or the applicant’s parents, as applicable, must provide to the school—
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.
Per an Electronic Announcement issued by ED, dated April 24, 2017, for the remainder of the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSA Award Year verification process, 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 his/her spouse is a non-citizen and not residing in the U.S., the IRS allows the student to file as single if the student meets the criteria for filing as Head of Household for the tax year.
If a student indicates he/she is married but is filing as single, 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 he/she has 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 his/her 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 30 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 in the appropriate time span, the application will become inactive and no further correspondence will be sent.
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 (within 3 business days) 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 his/her 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.