In order to facilitate the processing and approval of financial aid applications, the College of Coastal Georgia will process requests for financial aid only after a student has been tentatively admitted to the College.
The purpose of this policy is to clarify the processing requirements that will be followed by the College’s Financial Aid Office.
All members of the Financial Aid Office, the Business Office, the Admissions Office, the Athletic Department, the Advancement Office and students seeking financial aid are covered by this policy.
All members of the Financial Aid Office, the Business Office, the Admissions Office, the Athletic Department, the Advancement Office and students seeking financial aid should be familiar with this policy.
|Office of Financial Aidfirstname.lastname@example.org|
These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy:
The principle of equal educational opportunity, as well as access to and choice among institutions, provides the foundation for financial aid programs and awarding practices at the College of Coastal Georgia. This foundation and the College’s efforts to provide educational opportunities for students to respond to the multicultural and diverse needs of society, by ensuring equal access to its educational programs and services, direct the efforts of the Financial Aid Office. Programs and services, such as financial counseling, are designed to be accessible to all students. Therefore, through the administration of federal Title IV,state grants, and institutional aid programs, the Financial Aid Office strives to ensure that no student who is eligible should be denied a post-secondary education. To this end, the Financial Aid Office’s goal is to provide expedient and efficient financial aid delivery systems to College students, embracing its role as a full partnerin support of the College’s commitment to excellence in learning.
To apply for federal, state, and College financial aid, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form can be completed online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.
As noted above, in order to determine eligibility for any federal financial aid program, students must file the FAFSA and have the results sent to the College. If the student lists the College as an institution choice on their FAFSA, then the student’s Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) is transmitted to the College and loaded into the College database. For students who have been tentatively admitted or are currently attending the College, the data is used in the verification and correction processes.
Verification is a process that all colleges and universities receiving federal aid are required to complete. Students must complete verification in order to be eligible for need-based financial aid. The verification process is completed by collecting tax information and comparing it to the information reported on a student’s FAFSA. The College of Coastal Georgia requires several documents to complete verification, which includes W-2’s. This is not done to find fraudulent FAFSA applicants, but to find and correct common mistakes made by students and parents. W-2 requirements must be the federal document received from the employer, the wage and income statement from the IRS or a certified IRS copy of the W-2. Tax-software generated W-2’s are only accepted if it has been proven, documented and signed that the student has tried every means to acquire the “official” W2(s) submitted to the IRS.
There was a time when College of Coastal Georgia participated in the Quality Assurance (QA) verification process offered by the Department of Education. This is a program whereby the school is allowed to select what criteria they would like to use as “Verification”. Our selection criteria did not stray far from the formal verification criteria. This was in part because we noted that our students were erroneously reflecting their W2 information on their FAFSA. We were also recognized by the Department of Education in 2015 by effectively reducing a student who is selected for verifications potential for over award by 8.3% (Whereas the program overall was a total of reduction was 7.7%). When the QA program ended we maintained our criteria as we continued in order to ensure our students were not over or under awarded. Financial Aid 5 If an error is found while performing verification the Financial Aid Office will make a correction to the student’s FAFSA information. While additional information regarding the College’s verification procedures can be found in the “Financial Aid Verification” policy, which is electronically available at https://portside.ccga.edu/StudentPolicies, it is important to note again that no financial aid applications will be processed or verified for students who have not applied for admission to the College.
To ensure compliance with state and federal financial aid guidelines, financial aid is not disbursed until Attendance Verification is received from the faculty approximately 2 weeks after the term begins.
CCGA uses the federal methodology to determine a student’s EFC, which is derived from the FAFSA. The EFC takes into account the number of people in the household size, the number of people in college, student income and student assets. When a student is dependent and required to include parent(s) information on the FAFSA, parent(s) income and assets are taken into consideration as well. Need-based aid consists of grants, scholarships, Federal Work Study, and subsidized Stafford Loans. The remainder of the student’s budget may be covered by an unsubsidized Stafford Loan, a Parent PLUS Loan, or an alternative loan from a private lender. The maximum amount of aid a student can receive is determined by his or her “cost of education” budget.
Students approved for financial aid will be notified of their award package via an electronic award letter in the student’s COAST account.
The College will refund financial aid to students through the initiation of an electronic funds transfer to a bank account designated by the student or via paper check. The student must elect which option is preferred. All refunds will be made by crediting the student’s account.
If, at any time, the College discovers that a student has been awarded, and the student’s account credited with, more than the amount for which he or she is eligible under the Federal Pell Grant or FSEOG, the College shall eliminate the overpayment in one of the following ways:
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Program Integrity regulations passed on October 29, 2010, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive financial aid. This standard must apply to the student’s entire academic history, whether Title IV financial aid was received or not. In order to remain eligible to receive aid at College of Coastal Georgia, students must meet the standards specified for acceptable academic performance and for satisfactory progress toward the completion of their program of study. The standards are established within the framework of applicable federal regulations specifically for the purpose of determining the eligibility of students to receive aid under the generally funded Title IV programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship, and Federal Direct Loan Programs (Stafford and PLUS). These standards should not be confused with Good Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Probation, and Academic Suspension as defined by College of Coastal Georgia’s academic policies.
The College of Coastal Georgia definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for receiving financial aid includes the following components:
College of Coastal Georgia uses the 4.0 grade point average and numerical code:
Most students are required to maintain an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 for every term enrolled. However, certain Degrees and Programs require a GPA higher than a 2.00 to remain within Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines and to continue the program. Degrees and Programs that require a GPA higher than 2.00 are as follows:
|BS – Biology Secondary Education||2.50|
|BSED – Early Childhood/SPED||2.50|
|BS in Middle Grades ED or Math Secondary Ed||2.50|
|Students completing core for BSN-Pre-Licensure||2.80|
|Students completing core for Education and Rad Science||2.50|
|Career AS in Radiologic Sciences||2.50|
Since financial aid GPA calculations include all college-level hours attempted at CCGA (excluding the first 20 hours of Learning Support classes) and all college-level transfer work, it may differ from your academic GPA.
Students are expected to successfully complete 67% of all attempted coursework. This cumulative calculation includes all college-level CCGA and any college-level transfer work attempted. Attempted hours and successfully completed hours are based on all courses included on the students’ official academic history. Furthermore, all attempts of repeated coursework and non-credit coursework are included (except for the first 20 hours of Learning Support classes). The formula for this calculation is:
|Cumulative hours successfully completed (earned hours)||= % Completed|
|Cumulative hours attempted (attempted hours)|
Grades of A, B, C, D, S, P, K, and CR count as the successful completion of a course. The grades of F, W, WF, I, U, NR, and IP do not count as the successful completion of a course.
QUANTITATIVE STANDARDS EXAMPLE
Semester Completion percentage = 50% (6 credits completed divided by 12 credits attempted). This student is not making SAP.
Students will have a maximum of 150% of the program to complete their degree requirements while continuing to qualify for federal and state aid. The maximum time frame allowed will consist of all attempted hours inclusive of hours described in the Quantitative Standards section of this policy. Students who have Learning Support classes will have 20 hours excluded for the maximum time frame standard calculation.
Maximum Time Frame is also defined when it becomes mathematically impossible for a student to complete their program of study within the 150% of the programs length. Once this happens the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
To be classified as a Bachelor Degree Student, a student must be fully admitted to a program (i.e. preBusiness, pre-Education, or pre-Nursing students are not considered to be fully admitted to a baccalaureate degree program).
NOTE: The first 20 hours of Learning Support classes is exempted from all Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Additionally, students should be careful in repeating courses as all attempts at a course are counted in the maximum hours allowed to obtain a degree. Students are also reminded that withdrawing from a course does not count as a successful completion and does not count toward the required 67% completion rate. Incompletes also do not count as the successful completion of a course and excessive incompletes can result in the termination of financial aid.
Students who have a Bachelor’s Degree and are seeking another degree must complete an Appeal of Maximum Time Frame as well as a Certificate of Remaining Hours before financial aid eligibility can be determined.
At the end of each academic term (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters), the Financial Aid Office staff will determine whether students are meeting the minimum standards for each of the components (qualitative, quantitative, and time frame). Students not meeting the Time Frame standard will immediately, without a Warning Semester, become ineligible for all federal and state aid programs. The Financial Aid Office has the authority to cancel aid and request immediate repayment of federal and state aid programs at any time that a student is deemed ineligible. This may occur when access to the student’s academic history is not fully available due to the short amount of time between semesters as well as receipt of final transcripts from transfer institutions.
Students who are not meeting the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term are automatically given one (1) Warning semester. During the Warning semester, students are allowed to receive federal and state aid. Students must be fully in compliance with all components by the end of the Warning semester to regain eligibility and receive funds for future semesters. Only two (2) Warning semesters are allowed for a student’s entire degree program at CCGA. Furthermore, the Warning semester allowance is not applicable to the Time Frame standard. All students on Financial Aid SAP Warning will be notified by campus email and must sign an acknowledgment form before aid will disburse for the next semester.
Students who are not meeting the minimum Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards at the end of a term review AND have received aid during a Warning semester will lose their eligibility for the coming and future terms. Students who are not meeting the maximum Time Frame standard at the end of a term review will immediately, without a Warning semester, become ineligible for aid.
Students will be notified by campus email. Students may receive consideration for aid reinstatement at the time they have satisfied all deficiencies with the Qualitative and/or Quantitative standards.
Students who experienced extenuating circumstances that attributed to their inability to meet the minimum standards have the option to submit an Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension. An extenuating circumstance must be due to situations beyond their control such as serious injury, illness or mental health condition involving the student or their immediate family, or death of an immediate family member. The appeal should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid & Veterans Affairs and must include a description of the situation WITH accompanying documentation as well as a summary of what has changed that will allow them to meet the minimum standards at the next evaluation. Note: Students who leave College of Coastal Georgia and are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress will continue to be not making Satisfactory Academic Progress until either they appeal to have their aid reinstated or pay for their classes out of pocket to get back into good standing.
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal to determine whether the suspension will be lifted. Students who have been out of school for at least five years will be required to appeal and annotate on the appeal form if they fall within this category. Written notification of the Committee’s action will be emailed to campus email addresses. Students whose appeal is approved must sign an academic plan before aid will be disbursed for the next semester.
Students with granted appeals and/or academic plans are placed on Financial Aid Probation. Appeals approved will require that the student be in compliance with all standards by the next evaluation (term). In some instances, an academic plan designed to ensure compliance with the standards at a specific point in time may be utilized. Students will lose eligibility for aid if they violate the terms of the academic plan.
A student returning from Academic Suspension is not eligible for financial aid until their academic standing improves to Academic Probation, Academic Warning, or Good Standing. After the completion of one semester, the Registrar’s Office will reevaluate the student’s academic standing. Once the student’s academic standing is upgraded from suspension, the student may file a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal, if they meet the requirements established by the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
Each year, the Georgia State Finance Commission forwards to the College a list of those HOPE eligible students who have listed the institution as a potential destination. The Director of Financial Aid shall ensure this list is reviewed at the beginning of each academic semester to confirm that eligible students have received their HOPE awards and have not been erroneously dropped from classes for non-payment of tuition.
The Responsibilities each party has in connection with this policy are:
|Financial Aid Office||Ensure compliance with this policy.|
|Business Office||Ensure compliance with this policy.|
|Admissions Office||Ensure compliance with this policy.|
|Athletic Department||Ensure compliance with this policy.|
|Advancement Office||Ensure compliance with this policy.|
|Registrar Office||Ensure compliance with this policy.|