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College Catalog: Tuition Assistance, Financial Aid And Benefits: Student Financial Aid

Mission
It is the desire of the college that no qualified students be denied the privilege of attendance. Our mission is to strive to meet the educational needs of people in our service area who possess varying interests and abilities and to make higher education available to individuals who have varying financial needs. The Financial Aid Office has three primary functions. These include managing and disbursing local, state, and federal funds in compliance with the appropriate regulations, policies, and procedures; providing efficient and equitable services to students; and maintaining accurate records. While students who qualify for financial aid are generally assisted, it is expected that students will also utilize all available personal and family resources to meet their educational costs.

Financial aid provided by the college and scholarships from other sources must be viewed as supplementary to the effort and responsibility of the family. Since funds awarded are to be used for educational purposes only, the primary goal of the college Financial Aid Office is to meet students’ direct educational costs such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies. If there are any grant funds remaining, its secondary goal is to assist students with indirect educational costs such as transportation, personal, and living expenses.

Applying for aid
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed each year. Students should apply soon after January 1st for the best possible aid package. Prior year income and tax information must be provided, including parental information for most students under age 24. As a general rule, this applies regardless of the parties’ willingness to contribute those resources. The priority filing dates and other application information are found on the financial aid Web site: www.pdc.edu/financial-aid/how-to-apply/. The PDCCC school code (009159) must be put on the FAFSA, and the student must have a college application on file with a valid Social Security Number for the college to receive and process a student’s FAFSA application.

Help is available in the Financial Aid office to assist in completing the FAFSA on the web or apply directly to www.fafsa.gov. This is a free application, so students should avoid the “.com” site, where there is a charge for filing the application. Financial aid uses email as our primary means of communication. Students who apply for aid should check their student email account weekly after applying for aid. We cannot email non-VCCS accounts with personal information.

Eligibility
Eligibility for aid is determined based on federal formulas and individual responses on the FAFSA. Initial offerings of aid are usually based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credits). Eligibility is also based on prior academic achievement, as measured by the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP policy ). Financial aid eligibility changes when enrollment level changes. Students who drop or withdraw from courses are responsible for notifying a financial aid administrator beforehand, as financial aid already received may be due back to the college.

Unusual Circumstance Appeals: Requests to appeal unusual circumstances and dependency overrides are considered on a case-by-case basis with adequate documentation. Additional eligibility factors are posted to our Web site at www.pdc.edu/financial-aid/how-to-apply/. Decisions made by financial aid administrators at other institutions are not automatically accepted by Paul D. Camp Community College.

Attending more than one college: Financial aid may only be paid to a student from one college per term, by federal regulation. Concurrent enrollment at another college will require the student to pay tuition and book charges out-of-pocket at one of the two colleges. A consortium agreement may be requested from the Financial Aid Office of the home school granting the degree after tuition has been paid to the host institution. Completed forms must be received by the college Financial Aid Office by the main refund date for the semester.

Eligible Courses
Financial aid is only available for required courses for graduation when a student is enrolled in a financial aid eligible program of study. Classes taken that are not required for graduation can only be considered for financial aid purposes with written documentation noting a substitution for other courses and for developmental courses. All associate degrees are eligible programs, as are most certificates requiring 24 or more credits. See SAP policy for developmental and repeat class limitations.

Awards
Financial aid will be awarded based upon the student’s projected cost of attendance (COA) and expected family contribution (EFC), among other factors. The COA is the approximate costs to live and attend school for a 9 month academic year. The EFC is determined by filing the FAFSA. Award letters will be sent to the student’s VCCS college email. Students who wish to be considered for work study must fill out a separate job application. Scholarships are awarded in fall and spring semesters, using a separate application process.

Changes in Awards
Most awards are generated based upon full-time enrollment, regardless of the student’s level of enrollment when awarded. Enrollment levels are as follows: 1-5 credits=less than half time; 6-8 credits=half time, 9-11 credits=three-quarter time, 12 or more credits=full-time. Enrollment in less than 12 credits as of the Last Date to Drop for a Refund (Refund Date) may result in the award being reduced or cancelled. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to review, modify or cancel financial aid at any time on the basis of information affecting student eligibility, including changes in financial resources, enrollment status, and availability of funds. Awards will be reduced based on actual enrollment in eligible courses. An email will be sent to notify the student of changes in awards, unless the awards are completely cancelled as a result of not enrolling. Please contact the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing or dropping a class as this action may affect your financial aid award.

Attendance Requirement
Students are only eligible to be paid for courses when they attend from the beginning to end of class. Failure to begin on time or not completing the term will result in a reduction in aid, even if refund checks have been sent out. The Last Date to Drop for a Refund each semester (usually 2-3 weeks into the term) is the date that determines if a class is counted for financial aid purposes. Classes added after the Refund Date are not eligible for increased Pell Grant, but may qualify for a student loan. Short session classes have different refund dates, as published in the schedule.

Aid Disbursement
Financial aid can only be credited to a student’s college account once certain conditions have been met, including but not limited to: timely receipt of requested documents, verification of attendance, and confirmation of SAP status. Failure to meet these conditions could result in loss of eligibility for–and automatic cancellation of previously offered–federal, state and college financial aid. Financial aid funds are generally credited to the student accounts once per term, with the exception of single-term loans, which require two disbursements at least 30 days apart. Disbursement begins approximately 40 to 60 days after the term begins. Refunds are usually processed within 14 days after disbursement. F Students are encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit or a pre-paid VISA card using the email sent to the student account, for fastest refund processing. If Federal Work-Study (FWS) is part of the financial aid award, students must actually work to receive work-study funds. Earnings are paid every two weeks in the form of a paycheck or Direct Deposit, if the student prefers.

Paper Checks: Students are responsible for ensuring the “mailing address” we have on file is accurate. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward financial aid checks to a new address, and must be returned to the College Business Office. Students should cash or deposit checks within 60 days of receipt to avoid cancellation.

Rights in Accepting Financial Aid
Students have the right to know what financial aid programs are available through the college, the application deadlines for the various financial aid programs, and to know how their financial need was determined. Students have the right to request an explanation of the awards in their financial aid packages, including the right to know what portion is gift assistance, loans that must be repaid, or employment. If students borrow, they have the right to know the interest rate, the terms of repayment and what may happen if they do not repay (default). Students have the right to know the College’s SAP policy and what happens if they do not maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students have the right to know the estimated cost of attendance and the College’s actual tuition and fee rates, as well as the College’s refund policy.

Responsibilities in Accepting Financial Aid
Students are responsible for knowing catalog information. They are held individually responsible for the information contained in the College Catalog and on the financial aid webpage. Failure to read and comply with regulations will not exempt students from whatever penalties they may incur. Students are responsible for attending classes, including online classes, from beginning to end. Students are responsible for knowing what will happen if they withdraw from or stop attending ALL courses in a semester, and are subject to regulations regarding the FINANCIAL AID TITLE IV REFUND and FINANCIAL AID UNOFFICIAL WITHDRAWALS REFUND POLICY. Students who withdraw from the college or stop attending before more than 60% of the semester has elapsed should anticipate repaying a significant portion of Title IV and state financial assistance, which may exceed the amount of any refund check entitlement. Students are responsible for repaying the debt if they receive aid for which they are not eligible.

Charging Books and Supplies
Students are responsible for ensuring that the aid awarded is sufficient to pay for the classes and books charged to financial aid. The College reserves the right to limit the amount of allowable book and supply charges each semester, and to reject charges deemed unnecessary or over the limit. If a student does not have enough aid to cover all the tuition, there will not be any aid to charge books. Students who are paying Out-of-State tuition should realize that the federal grants awarded will almost never be enough to pay all charges, and some out-of-pocket tuition expenses are to be expected unless they choose to borrow loans. Students who drop classes must also return corresponding books by the Refund Date to avoid owing funds back to the college.

Repayment of Ineligible Aid
If a student loses eligibility for the aid awarded or fails to abide by the terms and conditions to receive the awards, the student must pay the tuition and bookstore charges in full upon notice from the College. Students must repay any federal, state, or college and outside agency aid received as a result of unreported or misreported information discovered through verification, third-party notices, account reviews and/or audits. See FINANCIAL AID TITLE IV REFUND and FINANCIAL AID UNOFFICIAL WITHDRAWALS REFUND Policies.

Types of Financial Aid
Who may be eligible: Any undergraduate who is a citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen who has completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is deemed eligible by the Department of Education, and is meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (must be in an eligible program of study/major). Awards designated as gift aid do not normally need to be repaid, as long as a student continues to meet all attendance, academic, and other eligibility requirements. Specific Program rules are as follows: