Why am I asked to verify a student’s attendance? My bargaining contract specifies that I am not required to take attendance.
We don’t need you to take daily or weekly attendance, we ask you only to inform us when a student stops attending. Students, who walk away from the college but take a financial aid refund check cost the college money in lost revenue every year.
Students must attend their classes regularly in order to receive excess financial aid funds, the “Financial Aid Refund.” GCC’s Office of Financial Aid is mandated to verify student eligibility based on attendance. Students who unofficially withdraw or “walk away” are not eligible to receive financial aid funds. Federal Regulations required their awards to be adjusted and the money returned to the Department of Education (Title IV).
Financial aid is awarded under the assumption that the student will attend Greenfield Community College for the entire semester for which financial aid was awarded. Federal regulations require the school to determine whether the student established eligibility for each Title IV eligible class. Students who stop attending or participating in classes, without formally withdrawing from GCC, are considered to be withdrawn unofficially. GCC does not have an attendance policy. However, the college monitors attendance based on mid-term early progress reports and final grades. If you failed to pass any of your classes the college will consider you to have unofficially withdrawn. The college will attempt to determine your last day of attendance by using the dates on early progress and final grade reports. Instructors may also be contacted for further information regarding your participation and attendance. Once it is determined that a student has unofficially withdrawn, the college will process the refund calculation at 50%. Any financial aid awarded to you, but not fully earned by you, for the semester must be refunded to the Federal Department of Education. As with the official withdrawal from the college, the student will be responsible for any outstanding charges.
Students must maintain a G.P.A. of 2.0 at all times. Students who walk away from their classes are automatically placed on Unsatisfactory Financial Aid Progress and must complete the Appeal Process, if enrolling in a future semester and applying for financial aid funds.
We understand that sometimes students must withdraw from the college. Whenever you are contemplating withdrawal or feel that you may not be able to complete the semester we strongly encourage you to first contact your academic advisor as well as the financial aid office. You may find that there are other options available to you that you may not have considered. We can discuss support options like peer mentoring or tutoring, community resources, and on-campus support systems.
So, what happens to the student’s financial aid if she drops or officially withdraws from classes during the semester?
Financial aid is pro-rated for the semester, meaning that aid is earned at a certain rate and not completely provided at the very beginning of the semester. A student “earns” financial aid in proportion to the time they are enrolled up to the 60% point. If you stop attending classes, or withdraw from the college, you may not be eligible for all the aid awarded. Students who officially withdraw from the college will have their financial aid calculated to determine the percentage of aid that was earned at the point of withdrawal; any unearned aid will be returned to the appropriate federal aid program. This is known as the Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid. If earned aid is less than your bill, you will have to pay the balance. After the 60% point in the semester, all financial aid is considered earned. This policy also applies to medical withdrawals.
PRO-RATION EXAMPLE: A student is enrolled for 10-credit hours during the fall semester. Their original award was a Pell grant for $2,286. They withdrew on 10/02/18, completing 30 out of 109 days in the semester. They earned 27.5% of their Pell Grant adjusting their award to $628.55. The college returned $1,657.35 to the Federal Government and the student now has an outstanding bill. Within 30 days of determining the withdrawal date the college mails a letter to the student notifying them of the calculation and their revised financial aid award.
As part of the Return calculation an evaluation will be done to determine if aid was eligible to be disbursed but had not disbursed as of the withdrawal date. If the student meets the federal criteria for a post withdrawal disbursement, the student will be notified of their eligibility within 30-days of determining the withdrawal date. Any post withdrawal aid the student is eligible for or wishes to accept would first be applied toward outstanding charges before any funds are returned to the student.
For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there is no unearned aid. However, the school will still complete a Return calculation in order to determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
Students do not have to be full-time in order to qualify for Federal Student Aid.
Financial aid eligibility is based on the individual’s financial resources and ability to meet education costs. Every student who wants to be considered for financial aid, including education loans, must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) every school year.
Students with the highest need may be eligible for all their direct education costs to be fully covered, even if they enroll in one 3 or 4 credit course. Others may have to be at least half-time. In order to qualify for education loans, students must maintain half-time enrollment.
My advisee has a solid GPA but she is no longer eligible for financial aid at GCC based on Unsatisfactory Financial Aid Progress? Is this possible?
It is possible. Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Standards are set by the Federal Department of Education and are far stricter than GCC’s Satisfactory Academic Standards. Please check here for a full explanation on the 3 components of Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress.
I’m trying to register my advisee for the upcoming term, but he has a financial aid hold? How does the student know he has a hold on his records?
All holds, regardless of type, are listed under My Account in MyGCC. Financial aid holds result from unsatisfied Outstanding Requirements and are found in student’s MyGCC record. If you and the student have any question, please call us! We will do everything we can to answer your questions and help clear any hold status.
My Advisee chose all online classes at registration. What sort of financial aid funding is available for a laptop and/or other computer equipment?
We strongly encourage advisors to ask probing questions ahead of registration, about the student’s preparedness for success in online courses. If a student does not already have or is unable to secure a dependable computer prior to the start of the term, financial aid timelines are not able to accommodate their need.
Students may request loan funds for computer purchases. Student loans must be repaid, and money is not available until 30 days after the start of the semester. The request of loan funds and the request for a computer purchase are separate processes, and students should be referred to the Financial Aid Office for assistance navigating these.