Financial Aid Policies

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the measure of a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require schools to monitor cumulative grade point average and the percentage of coursework completed at least once a year. Students who fail to achieve minimum standards may lose their eligibility for federal, state and institutional financial aid programs.

Academic progress for federal and state financial aid programs is based on three measures: Cumulative Grade Point Average, Pace of Progression based on credit hours completed compared to attempted, and a Maximum Timeframe for degree completion. While the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is a minimum requirement to maintain financial aid eligibility, students are encouraged to work closely with academic advisors and college personnel to achieve their educational goals. Good financial planning includes selecting meaningful coursework, completing all registered classes with satisfactory grades, and seeking your degree in a timely manner.

You must read and understand the NWLTC’s SAP Policy.

Determining Financial Need

When applying for federal student aid, the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used in a formula, established by the U.S. Congress, that calculates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is used in an equation to determine financial need.

Cost of Attendance
Minus Expected Family Contribution
Minus Other Financial Assistance
Equals Financial Need

Cost of Attendance

An estimate of expenses for education such as tuition, fees, room board, books, supplies and other related expenses. Click here to view the chart. Please note that the figures listed on this website are estimates for the 2016-2017 aid year and subject to change.

Repeated Coursework

Effective July 1, 2011, there is a rule change regarding federal financial aid and payment of repeated coursework. If you have taken and passed a course (with a grade of D or higher), federal financial aid will now only pay for you to repeat this course one time. Should you decide to repeat a course for a second time (or more), federal financial aid will not cover the cost of that course.

If you are currently enrolled in a repeated course for the second time, and you passed the course the first time you enrolled in it, your financial aid may be revised. You should consider dropping the course and adding another course you have not taken before.

Verification

Verification is a federally mandated review process. The NWLTC Financial Aid Office is required to obtain and compare information submitted on tax documents, the verification form, and the FAFSA.

Students selected for verification must complete the NWLTC verification form and submit all required documents. Verification can be a lengthy process; therefore, we strongly recommend that students and their families submit the form and all verification documents as soon as they are requested. Students should check their LoLA account OFTEN for missing requirements.

Any differences between information entered on the verification form or other requested documents and the FAFSA will result in a new determination of financial need. This new determination of financial need may alter the student’s financial aid eligibility.

Students who will be completing verification for the 2016-2017 academic year should submit copies of 2015 federal tax return transcript when available.

Aid Adjustments

Your financial aid award will be adjusted for the following reasons:

  • Enrollment status is verified on the last day of the drop/add period for each semester. If you drop or add classes by this date, your Pell Grant/TOPS/GO Grant awards will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Instructors report non-attendance for any classes. Your aid will be adjusted if you do not attend any one of your classes (assuming the credit hours adjustment actually changes your aid eligibility).
  • Receiving Pell Grant or Loans at two different colleges during the same academic year, which exceeds the total maximum limit for that year.
  • Any aid may be adjusted, if you totally withdraw before the federal deadline to withdraw and you may have to repay the aid you did not earn. See more detailed information under “Title IV Policies.”  

Attendance Policies

Failure to Begin Attendance

Federal regulations require that students earn their financial aid funds by attending and actively participating in courses. Attendance information is collected from faculty to verify financial aid eligibility. If a student fails to begin attendance in a course, the institution is required to reduce the student’s financial aid enrollment level and eligibility.

Last Date of Attendance Determination

Students who have been paid federal financial aid funds are required to earn these funds by participating in classes. Students who quit participating in all courses prior to the 60% point in the semester, but have already received their federal financial aid disbursement, may have been overpaid. The repayment amount for an overpayment is based upon the number of days in the semester the student has completed and the student’s last date of an academically-related activity.  A federally mandated formula is used to calculate the amount of the overpayment.

Return to Title IV Policy

NWLTC uses the “Return of Title IV Funds Policy” in accordance with the 2008 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

  1. Return of Title IV Aid – The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 established the concept that financial aid must be earned through class attendance. When you totally withdraw from all classes, The Financial Aid Office must calculate the amount of financial aid you have earned prior to withdrawing. Any Title IV aid received in excess of the earned amount is considered unearned. Unearned aid must be returned to the respective Federal Aid program(s).
  2. Return of Aid Programs – Unearned aid amounts are to be returned to Title IV financial aid programs: Federal Pell Grant Program.  Any amount remaining after the applicable programs have been fully repaid is returned to the student. A 100% credit for the term affected will be given in the event of the student’s death. The Return of Title IV Aid calculation will be based on the official notification of the date of death.
  3. Earned Aid – A student has not earned 100% of their financial aid until s/he has attended more than 60% of the term. If a financial aid recipient totally withdraws on or before the 60% point of the term, there is a portion of the aid that has not been earned. The percentage of earned aid is determined by taking the number of days attended divided by the total number of days in the term. For example:
    Days Student Attended Prior to Withdrawing 37
    Divided by Total Days in the Semester 100
    Equals Percentage of Earned Aid 37%
  4. Unearned Aid – The percentage of unearned aid is calculated by subtracting the earned percentage from 100%. The unearned aid in the previous example is determined by the following formula:
    100% Aid Percentage 100%
    Minus Percentage of Earned Aid 37%
    Equals Percentage of Unearned Aid 63%
  5. Return of Unearned Aid Amount – Once the earned and unearned aid percentages are determined, the next step is to calculate the dollar amount of total unearned aid that must be returned. The Return of Unearned Aid Amount is determined by multiplying the unearned aid percentage by the total of all Title IV aid disbursed or eligible to be disbursed. The unearned aid percentage of 63% would be multiplied by the student’s total aid disbursed:
    Percentage of Unearned Aid 63%
    Multiplied by Total Aid Received(*example) *$2,345.00
    Equals Unearned Aid Amount $1,477.35
  6. Return of Fees – The unearned aid portion is repaid by both the student and the school. The school can use any fee adjustment refund generated by the withdrawal to pay the portion it owes back. However, depending on the time of withdrawal, the student may also be responsible for repaying a portion of his/her fees that had been previously paid by the financial aid. In almost every instance, the fee refund will be less than the total Return of Unearned Aid Amount. As a result, when a student withdraws, a balance will be created for the difference between the fee refund and the Return of Unearned Aid Amount. The student is responsible for paying this balance. Keeping with the above example, after a student completes 37 days of the term, s/he is eligible for a 25% fee refund per the Account Receivable’s Office published calendar. This means 25% of the student’s fees are credited to the student’s account, which can affect the student’s portion of aid owed back to the College:
    Unearned Aid Amount $1477.35
    Minus 25% Fee Refund (*example) *$586.30
    Equals Difference on Account $891.05
  7. Post-Withdrawal Disbursements – If a student totally withdraws from a semester and receives less federal aid than the amount earned, then the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The student must have met all of the conditions for a late disbursement prior to withdrawing. Grant funds will automatically be applied towards outstanding charges created by the withdrawal.
  8. Dropping All Classes – To avoid financial penalties and aid adjustments, make sure you drop all classes prior to the beginning of the semester. If you drop all classes prior to the start of the semester, you will not be considered a student for that semester and, thus, not entitled to receive any form of financial aid. Your aid will be cancelled and returned to the appropriate program(s). If you drop all your classes close to the beginning of the semester, and you have already received financial aid, you will be required to repay the entire amount of aid disbursed to you. Once the semester starts on the first day, you have begun to earn aid and a Return of Title IV Aid calculation must be completed.
  9. Failing ALL Classes – If you fail all of your classes in a semester, you may be subject to a Return of Title IV Aid calculation. If you have “earned” at least one of your “F”s (i.e., attended class for at least one course until the end of the term and received an F for poor performance), then no calculation is required. However, if you received all Fs because you stopped attending or never attended courses prior to the 60% point in the semester, then a Return of Title IV Aid calculation is required. This is considered an unofficial withdrawal and the 50% point of the semester will be used as the withdrawal date. An account balance will be created if the calculation results in the return of financial aid.
  10. Future Aid Eligibility – Withdrawing may affect your eligibility to receive financial aid in subsequent terms. Upon withdrawal, you should notify the Student Financial Aid Office when you plan to return so we can make necessary adjustments to your financial aid

Refund/Disbursement Policy

  • Refunds for the semester for the Federal Pell grant will begin after the census class day.
  • Refunds for the semester for other funds such as TOPS, GO grant, and Veteran’s Benefits will begin once the funding has been received.

Note: “Disbursement” does not mean “Refund.” “Disbursement” means the financial aid awards have been applied to your NWLTC student account. “Refund” means the credit balance owed to you will be sent to BankMobile (NWLTC’s debit card company).