On Sept. 14, 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) process that will impact millions of students. Starting
next year, students will be able to do the following:
Submit a FAFSA® Earlier: Students will be able to file a 2017–18 FAFSA as early as
Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will
be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as
October 1 every year.
Use Earlier Income Information: Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will report
income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students
(and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income information, rather than
their 2016 income information.
New FSA ID
Starting May 10, 2015, the Federal Student Aid PIN (used for electronically signing
the FAFSA) will be replaced with the FSA ID.
Cost of Attendance Students enrolled in only one eight week session will have their cost of attendance
pro-rated to half of the sixteen week budget for similar enrollment.
Awarding Financial Aid
In accordance with federal regulations, CCC establishes a “freeze date” each semester
to determine a student’s enrollment status for disbursing federal financial aid. Financial
aid will only pay for courses that are required for your degree and are added before
the freeze date. Contact the Financial Aid office for the current freeze date. Students
must be registered for ALL parts of term before the freeze date to receive federal
and/or state aid for that class.
Federal aid will not be available for classes added after hours have been frozen.
If you are not registered for a minimum of six credit hours prior to the freeze date,
you will not be eligible for your student loan and you will not have an opportunity
to add a class in order to be eligible.
Financial aid award amounts associated with second eight week courses will not be
disbursed until attendance is confirmed in the second eight week courses. Students
should plan accordingly with regard to financial aid refunds when enrolled in second
eight week courses.
Students who are retroactively awarded financial aid (files complete after the freeze
date) will have hours frozen at the time the award is made and payment will be based
on current enrollment at that time.
Example - Here’s an example of how the freeze date affects the amount of financial aid Adam
received: Adam Smith is receiving only federal grants. He started attending classes on August
17 for the fall semester. The financial aid freeze date occurred on September 4.
Here is a history of when he enrolled in the courses: No. of Credits Date Adam Enrolled/Added Credits 6 July 31 3 August 31 3 September 18
12 Total credits Adam is taking
As you can see, Adam is taking a total of 12 credits for the semester and he will
be charged tuition and fees for 12 credits. However, his federal grant received is
based on 9 credits and not 12, since this was the number of credits in which he was
enrolled on the financial aid freeze date.
Attendance Students can only receive financial aid for classes in which they have begun attendance.
If the Financial Aid Office staff is notified that a student has not begun attendance
in a class, financial aid awards will be recalculated accordingly.
Disbursement of Financial Aid
Financial aid will not credit to the student’s account unless all eligibility requirements
have been met and verification has been completed. In addition, if the student is
taking out a student loan, the student must have completed entrance loan counseling
and completed a master promissory note for the respective loan program.
Pending financial aid (aid in memo status) is a temporary status and is used for financial
planning purposes only. Pending financial aid allows the student to be able to set
up a Pending Financial Aid Payment Plan (PFAPP). This allows the Business Office
to defer payment of student’s tuition, fees, and bookstore charges until the financial
aid is finalized and credited to the student’s account. Students are responsible for
making payment for the difference between institutional charges and financial aid
awards by the designated due dates established by the College.
Aid that is authorized will reflect as a payment to the student’s account after the
pay date passes. This is approximately one week after the end of bookstore charging.
Financial aid awards are not final until they have credited (been paid) to the student’s
account. Financial aid will only disburse for classes in which the student has begun
attendance (see below for second eight week example).
Example - Here’s an example of how enrollment in the second eight weeks affects the
amount of financial aid Adam received: Adam Smith is receiving only federal grants.
No. of Credits Class Start Date 3 August 17 (sixteen week semester) 3 August 17 (first eight week term) 3 October 12 (second eight week term) 9 Total credits Adam is taking
As you can see, Adam is taking a total of 9 credits for the semester and he will be
charged tuition and fees for 9 credits at the time of registration. When bookstore
charging started on August 10, he was able to charge against available aid for 9 credit
hours. Once bookstore charging ended and financial aid was credited to the students
account, the amount credited reflected six credit hours (the number that he is actually
attending at that point in the semester). After the second eight week class begins,
any remaining financial aid will be credited to his account.
Pell and Loan students enrolled in second eight week classes may charge against the
full amount they are eligible for during the semester. (For example, if you are registered
for six credit hours during the sixteen week semester and are registered for three
credit hours during the second eight weeks, you will be able to charge against the
eligibility for nine hours.) However, when aid is adjusted after the start of classes, it will be adjusted to reflect
what your actual enrollment is on that day (as in the above example, the adjusted
aid will show as aid for six hours (authorized) and 3 hours (memoed). It may seem
as though you were allowed to overcharge. If your second eight week class is canceled, your financial aid will be adjusted accordingly.
If you charged in excess of your financial aid you will be responsible for all charges
incurred. If you have a PFAPP set up, your financial aid may not be enough to cover
all of your charges by the PFAPP date. However, once the second eight weeks starts,
the remainder of your financial aid will move to paid.
Return of Title IV Funds
The U.S. Department of Education has specific regulations that govern the Return of
Title IV (R2T4) calculation for students enrolled in modular courses. Modular courses
are defined as those that do not span the entire length of the term/payment period
or in other words, do not stretch from the first day of the term to the last day of
the term. At CCC, first eight week and second eight week sessions, and others similar
in structure, would be considered modules for financial aid purposes.
Regulations require the entire period and combination of modular courses to be considered
when determining the portion of financial aid that has been earned by a student who
withdraws. New regulations effective July 1, 2011 state that a student is considered
withdrawn when the student has not completed all the days he or she was scheduled
to attend in the payment period. The student is considered withdrawn when he fails
to complete the scheduled enrollment. At this point, the percentage of completion
is calculated by dividing the number of completed days by the number of days the student
was scheduled to attend. (Scheduled breaks of at least five days are omitted from
the calculation.) The fact that a student completes at least one course is no longer
a valid reason for not doing the calculation.
If a student provides written confirmation to CCC before ceasing attendance that the
student plans to attend another course later in the same period, the student is not
considered to have withdrawn. If a student does not resume attendance within the scheduled
timeframe, the student is considered to have withdrawn as of the date on which attendance
If a student does not provide written confirmation of plans to return to school later
in the same period, a school considers the student to have withdrawn and performs
a return of Title IV funds (R2T4) calculation to determine if any funds must be returned.
However, if the student does return to school in the same period — even if the student
did not provide written confirmation of plans to do so — the student is not considered
to have withdrawn and is eligible to receive Title IV funds for which the student
was eligible before ceasing attendance. CCC must reverse the R2T4 process and provide
any additional funds the student is eligible to receive at the time of return.
Title IV funds are awarded to a student to attend an entire payment period or period
of enrollment, and the funds are intended to cover the student’s educational and living
expenses for the entire period (sixteen week semester).
Federal law specifies that a student earns Title IV funds on a pro-rated basis through
60 percent of a period based on the actual days completed. For the purposes of federal
aid programs, CCC must be able to document a student’s active participation in an
academic activity (quiz, test, submitted homework and/or required class participation/discussion
activity). Solely logging in to the class does not constitute attendance.
A student is considered to have withdrawn from a payment period or period of enrollment
in which the student began enrollment if the student ceased attendance in all scheduled
courses without completing all of the days the student was scheduled to complete in