Financial Aid Requirements



Financial Aid Requirements


Eligibility Requirements for Financial Aid


In order to be considered for federal financial aid, a student must:


1. Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.

2. Most males must be registered with Selective Service.  Go to www.sss.gov to register.

3. Have a valid social security number.

4. Not be in default on a student loan or owe a refund on a federal grant.

5. Have demonstrated financial need except for some types of student loans.

6. Have earned a high school diploma or GED.

7. Be pursuing a degree or certificate program at WSCC.

8. Maintain satisfactory academic progress.

9. Cannot have a criminal conviction for drug possession or sale while receiving financial

    aid.


How You Qualify for Federal Financial Aid

 

• There is no set income level at which students qualify for federal financial aid. The FAFSA information is used in a formula to determine the amount the student may be able to contribute to their education. The result is called an EFC or Estimated Family Contribution.


• Most of the funds awarded by the Financial Aid Office are based on financial need from the FAFSA results. Financial need is calculated by subtracting the student’s EFC from their Cost of Attendance (COA) Budget. The COA is an estimated amount that it will cost you to go to school for a year. Your COA may include tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, and miscellaneous costs.


• Regardless of financial aid need a student will qualify for a student loan unless the student is in default on a previous student loan. Many scholarships are awarded regardless of financial need.


• Students experiencing unusual financial circumstances such as unemployment, reduction of pay, excessive medical expenses, etc. may appeal to the WSCC Financial Aid Director for a review of their circumstances. Adjustments may be made to the student’s EFC that may result in the student receiving additional financial aid.

 

Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid Funds


Federal legislation requires that unearned Title IV funds including Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), and Direct Stafford Loans be returned to the appropriate aid program if a financial aid recipient totally withdraws from classes prior to completing 60% of the semester.


Students considering withdrawal from all classes prior to completing 60% of the semester are strongly encouraged to contact the WSCC Financial Aid Office to determine how withdrawal will affect current and future financial aid. The complete Return of Title IV Funds policy is available in the WSCC Financial Aid Office or on the WSCC website www.westshore.edu.

 

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


Federal and state regulations require that students receiving financial aid be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of their certificate program or associate degree regardless of whether the student received financial aid in the past.


The SAP policy applies to all students who receive assistance from all federal and most state financial aid programs including but not limited to Pell grants, student loans, work study, TIP, Veterans Education Benefits, and some scholarships.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards


1. Students must maintain a minimum semester and cumulative grade point average (GPA) of  2.0 that is calculated from all attempted classes that earn GPA points. Incompletes, withdrawals, forgiven repeats, transfer credits, and developmental classes are excluded from the GPA calculation.


2. Each semester students must complete all attempted credits at a pace of at least 67% including courses below the 100 level. Incompletes, withdrawals, and repeated classes are used to calculate the completion rate.


3. Students must complete their degree program within 90 attempted credit hours or the 150% limit of their program of study. Attempted credit hours include transfer credits; credit hours for courses passed or failed, repeated courses, withdrawals, and incompletes. A student may earn no more than three degrees or certificates regardless of total accumulated credit hours.

4. Students that have used more than 300% of their total Pell eligibility are required to meet with the FA Director for Financial Aid Counseling.
  
5. Students that have more than $15,000 in debt are required to meet with the FA Director for Student Loan Counseling and submit transcripts from all previously attended education institutions.
  
6. Students that begin attendance at WSCC that already possess a bachelor’s degree may receive one additional degree or certificate if circumstances are warranted.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Procedures


1. Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed at the end of each semester.


2. Students will be placed on Financial Aid WARNING for the semester if they fail to meet the 2.0 GPA requirement and/or fail to complete 67% of credit hours attempted overall or for the semester. Students are eligible to receive financial aid for the Warning semester if they complete a SAP plan with an Academic Advisor. Students who fail to achieve satisfactory academic progress at the end of the Warning semester will be canceled from financial aid.


3. Students will be canceled from financial aid after the semester the student reaches 90 credits or 150% of the credits needed to complete their program of study.


4. Any student canceled from financial aid, after two semesters of failing to meet the SAP policy, has the right to appeal the suspension to the Financial Aid (FA) Director if there were circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the requirements of the SAP policy. Special circumstances can include but are not limited to medical, employment, transportation, or any other circumstances deemed extenuating by the FA Director.


5. All financial aid appeals must be made by completing the appropriate WSCC Appeal form and the student must meet with the FA Director. Supporting documentation may be required. After reviewing the appeal, the FA Director will inform the student of the decision in writing.


6. If a FA appeal is approved for failure to meet the pace or GPA requirement the student will be placed on probation and eligible to receive financial aid. To continue on probation a SAP plan must be created and followed that requires a 2.0 GPA for the semester and 67% of the credits attempted to be completed each semester. The SAP plan may require additional conditions, established by the FA Director or Academic Advisor, which the student must follow.
 

7.  Students will typically be allowed one Financial Aid SAP appeal, but an additional appeal may be considered if circumstance are warranted.  A student wishing to appeal the decision of the FA director may do so in writing to the Dean of Student Services.


8. Students that are approved for an appeal to exceed their 150% credit limit will be able to receive financial aid for the specified classes needed to complete their degree program.  Failing to meet the pace or GPA requirements for the classes approved with their 150% appeal will result in financial aid cancellation.


9. A student's financial aid eligibility will be reinstated after cancellation if a student uses non-financial asid resources to enroll in classes and earns enough credits to meet the minimum 67% completion rate and attains the required 2.0 cumulative grade point and has not exceeded their 150% program limit.  Students should notify the financial aid office once they are again meeting all SAP requirements.

10.  A student that fails to meet the terms of their appeal or fails to meet the pace and GPA requirements for 2 consecutive semesters but is meeting the overall 2.0 GPA and 67% completion pace, will have their financial aid reinstated after nonattendance for one regular semester (fall or winter).

 

Financial Aid Awards


Federal financial aid awards are made after the student’s FAFSA has been processed and finalized by the WSCC Financial Aid Office. Students should allow up to four weeks for their FAFSA to be finalized. Student will be notified by mail and/or email of all financial aid awards including grants, scholarships, waivers, student loans, and work study employment.  Financial aid awards are subject to change based on the student’s enrollment status before, during, and after the semester.


Disbursement of Financial Aid Awards

All financial aid funds, scholarships, grants, and student loans are credited to the student's account.  If the student has any remaining funds after all tuition, fees, and bookstore charges are paid, a check will be mailed to the student for the balance remaining.  It is the student's responsibility to verify the accuracy of all charges, credits, and financial aid awards.  Refund checks for remaining financial aid are mailed approximately four to six weeks after the semester begins.