Financial aid is available to help students finance their college education. Financial assistance is available through grants, federal student loans, student employment (work study), scholarships and sponsorships through coordination with federal, state and other agencies. All students who possess a high school diploma or a high school equivalent diploma (HSED) may apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov. The financial aid staff within Student Services at Northeast Iowa Community College will guide students through the financial aid process as well as answer questions on how to pay for college.
The Financial Aid Office sends important announcements and notifications regarding verification, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), student loans, financial aid awards and other eligibility information via the NICC email account. It is the student’s responsibility to read their NICC email on a regular basis.
Financial Aid Eligibility
- U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- High school diploma, HSED or has completed home schooling at the secondary level
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- Accepted into a degree/diploma program
- Possess a valid Social Security Number
- Register with the Selective Service, if required
- Does not owe a refund back on a federal grant or is not in default on a federal educational loan
- Attend the classes for which they are registered
Financial Aid is only applied to classes required for the chosen degree program
Federal and State Financial Aid Application and Process
- Students (and parents of dependent students) are required to create and maintain a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). This FSA ID is required to complete and submit a FAFSA and also gives the student access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems. fsaid.ed.gov
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - studentaid.gov Students must submit a new FAFSA for each academic year. The FAFSA is available October 1 of any given year to determine aid eligibility for the next academic year, that begins with the fall semester and also includes the following spring and summer semesters. As some financial aid funds are administered on a first-come, first-served basis, it is recommended to complete your FAFSA as early as possible. Information needed in order to complete the FAFSA include the appropriate year’s income tax forms, W-2s, social security numbers, bank statements, records of investments and untaxed income. It is further recommended to transfer federal tax return information directly into the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Students are encouraged to keep a copy of their completed FAFSA.
- The information reported on the FAFSA is used to calculate an expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is a measure of a student’s family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a federal methodology formula established by law. A family’s taxed income, untaxed income, assets, and benefits, such as unemployment or Social Security, are all considered in the formula among other criteria. Also considered are a student’s family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year. The Cost of Attendance (COA), estimating the tuition, fees, books, room, board, travel expenses and personal expenses, minus the EFC is what determines the type and amount of financial aid for which the student may qualify.
- Note: The EFC is not the amount of money a family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid a student will receive. It is a number used by the College to calculate the amount of federal student aid that a student is eligible to receive based on the COA.
- For more information about the EFC and federal financial aid in general, visit studentaid.ed.gov/sa
- The student and NICC will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the government central processing system (CPS). The SAR is the official record confirming that the federal processor received your FAFSA. Review your SAR for any errors and make necessary corrections.
- All students will access their Financial Aid Checklist via the MyCampus > Self Service - Financial Aid portal, and complete them as directed. Self Service will display the necessary steps to follow in order to secure a student’s financial aid, and may include reviewing required documents, accepting student loans, viewing Award Letter and much more.
- Reviewing Required Documents may be a part of the checklist. Each document listed outlines additional steps to follow and may require submitting a paper or electronic form to the Financial Aid Office. The U.S. Department of Education may select students for a verification process. This process will require NICC to collect additional information from the student to attest to the accuracy and completeness of FAFSA information that has been given by the student. Submit all of the requested items in a timely manner to avoid the delay or loss of financial aid funding. Most student forms are submitted electronically through the Student eForms portal. Dependent students may require a parent’s signature or additional information which will require the student to print a paper copy for completion and then submission to NICC Student Services. NICC also reserves the right to select a student for verification if there is conflicting information in the student’s file and the federal government has not already selected the file for verification.
- Once all of the forms are submitted and processed, the student receives an email notification that an Award Letter is ready to view in the Self Service Financial Aid portal. The Award Letter indicates the type and amounts of financial aid that the student may be eligible to receive. Amounts indicated on the Award Letter are based on full-time status, of 12 or more credits, and are dependent on the students maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as well as meeting other eligibility criteria outlined on the letter.
- Grants and scholarships are automatically applied to a student’s account. After registering for classes, students should review in their Self Service - Student Finance account the financial aid amount in relation to the amount owed for tuition and fees. If a balance due remains, students should explore all of their options to pay for the remaining cost of college. Options may include, the NICC Tuition Payment Plan, work study positions and student loans.
- If the student wishes to borrow federal direct student loans, he/she will need to complete additional steps through the campus portal, Self Service Financial Aid. First time borrowers are mandated to complete two additional Federal requirements, Loan Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note. studentaid.gov
Financial Aid Eligibility Notes
- Federal student loans must be repaid. To qualify to access loan eligibility, students must be enrolled and attending at least half-time. Half-time is considered six credits of enrollment in the semester in which they seek to use loan funds.
- Students who are enrolled less than half-time, may still be eligible for Pell Grant and other federal and/or student aid on a prorated basis.
- Students who have received a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for the Pell Grant, but may be eligible for other federal student aid.
- Students attending two schools in the same enrollment period must inform both Financial Aid Offices. Students cannot receive federal aid from two schools at the same time. A consortium agreement may need to be completed between the schools. Please visit or call Student Services and the Office of Financial Aid for more information about consortium agreements.
- A student convicted of drug distribution or possession while receiving financial aid may not be eligible for federal financial aid.
Types of Financial Aid
NICC administers a variety of student financial aid programs to help students finance their college education. These programs include:
Federal and State Grants:
Federal Pell Grant: A Pell Grant is gift aid that is not repaid. The federal government determines student eligibility and the actual amount is determined by law as the federal methodology which applies to a standard formula to the financial information that is entered during FAFSA completion.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): A SEOG grant is gift aid that is not repaid. It is awarded to students who qualify for the Pell Grant. Grant funds are limited and thus are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship: Iowa residents enrolled in specified vocational-technical or career option programs at Iowa community colleges may be eligible for this grant program. Students must file for their FAFSA by July 1 to qualify for this grant.
Iowa Vocational - Technical Tuition Grant: This state-funded program is for Iowa residents who qualify based on need and enrollment into specific vocational, technical and career option programs. Students must file their FAFSA by July 1 to qualify for this grant.
Kibbie Grant (Iowa Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant): Iowa residents enrolled in specified vocational-technical or career option may be eligible for this grant program. Students must file for their FAFSA by July 1 to qualify for this grant.
All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship and Education & Training Voucher Program: State funded grant programs available to Iowa residents who meet specified criteria.
Iowa National Guard Service Scholarship: The Iowa National Guard Service Scholarship (formerly National Guard Educational Assistance Grant Program - NGEAP) will assist in paying tuition for active members of the Iowa Army and Air National Guard. Eligibility for the tuition-assistance program is determined by the Adjutant General of Iowa and funding for the program is determined on an annual basis by the Iowa General Assembly. Students must file for their FAFSA by July 1 to qualify for this grant.
For more information and/or an application, visit www.iowacollegeaid.org
Federal and Private Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan: Low-interest educational loan offered by the federal government which pays the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Repayment begins after a grace period of six months which begins at graduation or when the student drops below half-time. The loan amount is determined on the basis of financial need. Students must be enrolled at least halftime to receive this loan.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: Low-interest educational loan offered by the federal government. The borrower is responsible for all interest that occur during any enrollment, grace or deferment period. Repayment begins six months after graduation or when the student drops below half-time. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to receive this loan. Because unsubsidized loans accrue interest while the student is in school, it is encouraged but not required, that the student make interest payments to their lender while in school.
Federal PLUS Loan: This program provides a parent with long-term loans from the federal government up to the student’s cost of attendance less any financial aid.
Private Loan: Loans are available from many private lenders. Students should exhaust all other sources of financial aid before taking out a private educational loan as typically private loans have higher interest rates.
Loan Disbursement: Loans are applied to the student’s account and/or are disbursed to the student based on the enrollment status of the student at the time of disbursement. Federal regulations require students to be at least half-time. Example: If a student begins the semester with three credits, but has a late-start class that is three additional credits, the student’s loans will not be disbursed until 10 days after the late start class begins or when the student’s enrollment increases from three credits to six credits.
Students who take a loan for only one semester will have the loan amount disbursed in two equal amounts, approximately at the 30-day and then 60-day point in the semester.
Work-Study is an opportunity for students to make minimum wage and work up to 20 hours per week, possibly in an area associated with their academic program. Work-Study offers flexible hours, hands-on experience and an opportunity to earn part-time income while in school. Work-Study employment is based upon the student’s determined need for financial assistance. Work-Study job openings and applications are accessible on MyCampus. Wages are direct deposited bi-weekly into a student’s bank account.
Scholarships are offered and awarded each academic year. Students need to submit only one NICC Scholarship Application per school year. The priority deadline is April 1 for the next school year but applications will also be reviewed in July and November. Apply online at https://www.nicc.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/
Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services: This is an agency program that assists individuals with disabilities in achieving their employment goals. Vocational counseling, job training and placement assistance are some of the services available to eligible individuals. Financial assistance may be available for vocational or academic training. Consultation in accessing accommodations or assistive technology is available, as is referral to a Vocational Rehabilitation office.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA): WIA may be able to provide financial assistance to persons who are unemployed or underemployed and to Family Investment Program (FIP) recipients who are in need of retraining to upgrade their skills. Applicants must meet WIA guidelines to be determined eligible. Referral assistance to a WIA office is available.
Veterans Assistance: NICC is committed to serving those members of the community who have served or are serving in the military. NICC educational programs are approved by the Veterans Educational Unit of the Iowa Department of Education for the training of eligible persons under current GI Bill programs. The College provides a Veterans Certifying Official on each campus to assist veterans in the application process to ensure that their programs meet the guidelines of federal regulations.
Veterans, National Guard dependents and members of the Selected Reserves may be eligible to receive educational benefits while enrolled in and pursuing an approved program of study.
To be eligible for veterans educational benefits, a student must:
- Be eligible under a benefit program of the Department of Veterans Affairs
- Maintain a 2.0 GPA
- Take only courses applicable to the stated current major
Certifying officials at the College are required to report any changes in a student’s enrollment status to Veterans Administration. Students receiving VA benefits must maintain satisfactory academic progress and are expected to attend their courses.
Attendance may be verified throughout the term. VA benefits will be interrupted if a student quits attending a course. Please refer to Academic and Attendance Policies for Students Receiving Financial Aid for additional information. Students are responsible for any repayment of funds that they have already received if termination occurs because of non-attendance or withdrawal/drop from a course(s). Be aware that the Veterans Administration will not pay for students to retake a course that they have received a passing grade in, nor will they pay students for any advance credit they have received from prior education.
Financial Aid Lock Date
Financial aid is awarded to students based on their enrollment status at the time of the lock date. The lock date, taken on the 15th day of the semester, is the day when it is determined how many credits a student is enrolled in.
Example: If you are registered in 11 credits on the lock date, then your financial aid for the semester will stay at ¾ time even if you add one credit the next day.
- Full-time = 12 credits or more
- Three quarter time = 9-11.5 credits
- Half-time = 6-8.5 credits
- Less than half-time = 1-5.5 credits
Financial Aid Disbursement
All financial aid is first applied to a student’s account to pay tuition, fees and bookstore charges. Any financial aid remaining after the student’s account has been paid in full, will be refunded to the student. Refunds are determined by the enrollment status at the time of disbursement. This is based on a student’s reported attendance by their instructor(s). Financial aid refunds are processed approximately 30 days after the start of the semester based on enrollment status, and then disbursed weekly thereafter. Class attendance, late start classes, withdrawing from a class(es) and a student loan request for a single semester, are some examples of circumstances that may impact the amount and timing of a financial aid refund.
Example 1: A student is attending nine credits at the beginning of the semester and has a late start class which is three credits and begins March 1. The nine credits is considered ¾ time enrollment and thus will allow 75 percent of a Federal Pell Grant to be applied to tuition, fees and books. The class that begins March 1 will bring the student to full-time status of at least 12 credits which will then allow the remaining 25 percent of a Federal Pell Grant to be applied to the student account. If the student’s tuition, fees and any bookstore charges have been fulfilled, there will be a refund 10-14 days after the class begins.
Example 2: Students must be enrolled and attending at least half-time (six credits) in order to receive federal student loans. Loans will not be applied or disbursed to a student until that student is registered and attending at least half-time. Therefore, if a student has a late start class, any loan(s) will be withheld until your enrollment reaches that half-time status.
Note: Federal regulations stipulate that if there is only one semester in the loan period the loan must be disbursed in two equal payments. NICC will not release the second equal disbursement until the student reaches the calendar midpoint between the first and last scheduled day of class of the loan period A one-term only loan occurs when a student did not request any of their loan eligibility across more than one semester. Therefore, the student will not receive the entire refund at the first disbursement. There will be a second disbursement of the loan in another 30 days. It is recommended to visit the financial aid office to determine the amount and timing of multiple disbursements of any nature.
NICC partners with a third party company to process all student account refunds, including financial aid credit balances. New students receive a refund selection notification at the beginning of their first semester with a code that is used to activate the student’s refund delivery preference. Refund delivery method options include either direct deposit to the student’s current bank account which is the recommended option or as a direct deposit to the student’s NICC Blue Card account, which is initiated by the student.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
NICC is required by the U.S. Department of Education to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students who are receiving federal Title IV financial aid. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission also requires students to meet SAP for all of the Iowa grants administered by NICC. NICC also applies this eligibility criteria to Institutional financial aid (NICC scholarships) and any other funding sources that NICC administers. If the satisfactory academic progress standards are not met, students receiving financial aid will be declared ineligible to receive all financial aid.
- Cumulative Grade Point Average Policy (qualitative component) - A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C average) or better.
- Student Pace Policy (quantitative component)
- A student must successfully complete 67 percent or more of their cumulative attempted credit hours including remedial and transfer credits at the end of the semester. A student’s pace is calculated by taking the cumulative number of credits the student has successfully completed divided by the cumulative number of attempted credits. NICC does use standard rounding rules when calculating percentages under the quantitative measurement–also known as pace. For example, 66.667 percent is rounded up to 67 percent.
- Completion of Program 150 Percent Policy (maximum timeframe component)
- A student must earn their degree within a timeframe that does not exceed 150 percent of the program length. The maximum timeframe for which students may receive financial aid is 150 percent of the published length of the program’s credit hours. A student is ineligible when it becomes mathematically impossible for him/her to complete his/her program within 150 percent of the length of the program.
Example, the length of an Accounting Specialist Degree is 67 credits. 67 credits x 150 percent = 100.5 credits.
A student can receive financial aid for up to 100.5 credits in pursuit of this program. Credits earned at another institution that have been accepted by NICC as transfer credit are included in this total even if financial aid was not awarded for those credits.
All transfer credit hours that have been accepted by NICC toward a student’s academic program will be counted as both attempted and completed credits when evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress. NICC assumes transfer students are making satisfactory academic progress.
Students who have incomplete grades must follow the NICC Incomplete Grading Policy. Once incomplete grades are completed and a grade is submitted, the Registrar’s Office will notify the Financial Aid Office.
Students who are repeating a course(s) will have all credits counted as both attempted and completed credits toward SAP. It is the responsibility of each student to monitor and keep track of his/her academic progress and to notify the Financial Aid Office of any grade changes. The student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress will be re-evaluated in either case and the student will be notified if a change occurs in his/her SAP status.
A student’s satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each academic semester (fall, spring and summer) once grades are reported. Upon evaluation of a student’s satisfactory academic progress, a student will be notified of their SAP Status through their official NICC email account.•
A student will also have a SAP status assigned once a FAFSA is received by NICC if the student has a past academic record at NICC. This may include college credit classes that were earned while in high school (i.e. PSEO, concurrent enrollment, etc.). A student will have a status assigned even if those grades were earned without utilizing financial aid. Students may view their grade point average (GPA), completion rate, and current SAP status at any time in Self Service Financial Aid.
Students who have completed at least one semester at NICC will have a SAP Status assigned to them. Different SAP Statuses exist depending on a student’s academic history and the measurements explained in the previous section. The general SAP statuses include Satisfactory, Warning, Ineligible, Probation, and Academic Plan.
Student is meeting all satisfactory academic progress standards and is eligible to receive financial aid.
Financial Aid Warning
This is a warning to a student who is not meeting one or more of the satisfactory academic progress standards. The student remains eligible to receive financial aid for one upcoming semester of enrollment. In order to maintain eligibility for the next semester, the student then must meet satisfactory academic progress standards when SAP is evaluated at the end of that semester of enrollment. Students who fail to meet the requirements at the end of that semester will be placed in a status of Financial Aid Ineligible.
GPA (Qualitative Measure) Example: Students who fall below a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 will be given a Financial Aid Warning status the following semester. If during this warning semester the student raises his/her cumulative GPA to a minimum of a 2.0, the warning status will be removed for the next semester. If a student does not raise his/her cumulative GPA to a minimum of 2.0 during a warning semester, he/she will receive a Financial Aid Ineligible status for subsequent semesters and not be eligible to receive financial aid. If a student raises his/her cumulative GPA to a minimum of 2.0 or better, the student will again be eligible to receive financial aid the next semester.
Completion (Quantitative Measure) Example: Students who do not complete a minimum 67 percent of their enrolled credits at the end of the semester will be given a Financial Aid Warning status the following semester. If at the end of the warning semester the student completes 67 percent of his/her cumulative attempted credits, the warning status will be removed for the next semester. If the student does not complete a minimum 67 percent of his/her cumulative attempted credits during the warning semester, the student will receive a Financial Aid Ineligible status for subsequent semesters and not be eligible to receive financial aid. If a student successfully completes 67 percent or higher of his/her cumulative attempted credits the following semester, the student will again be eligible to receive financial aid.
Maximum Time Frame (Quantitative Measure) There is no warning status for Maximum Time Frame.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students who do not meet one or more of the satisfactory academic progress standards at the completion of the semester after being on Financial Aid Warning are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. If a student is Financial Aid Suspension, they have a right to file an appeal. A student may also re-establish eligibility by meeting SAP Standards while paying on their own.
SAP Appeal Process
Students have the right to appeal their Financial Aid Suspension status.
- The SAP Appeal Request form is an electronic form located in Student eForms, accessible through the MyCampus student portal. Additional guidance is available online at www.nicc.edu/appeal
- A student may appeal on the basis of: injury or illness of the student, the death of a relative or other extenuating circumstances. The appeal must first explain why the student failed to make satisfactory progress and secondly what has changed in the student’s situation that would now allow the student to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. Students are recommended to provide documentation that supports the extenuating circumstances. If documentation cannot be provided the student will need to explain why.
- The appeal is reviewed by a committee and their decision is final and cannot be appealed. Students will be notified of the appeal decision via their NICC email. The three potential outcomes include:
- Approved for Financial Aid Probation
- Approved for Financial Aid Academic Plan
- Denied appeal
Note: Appeals submitted after day five of the semester start date, are not allowed for that semester unless circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented them from submitting on time. Second and subsequent appeals require new circumstances.
Financial Aid Probation
Student was placed on Financial Aid Suspension, appealed, had their appeal approved and has had financial aid reinstated. Satisfactory academic standards MUST be achieved the following semester or student will be placed back on Financial Aid Suspension. Probation status is limited to one semester.
Financial Aid Academic Plan
Student was placed on Financial Aid Suspension, appealed, had their appeal approved and has had financial aid reinstated. Students will be required to meet with their Enrollment Advisor to develop an Academic Plan to ensure future success in meeting the satisfactory academic progress standards.
The Academic Plan will have specific requirements that the student will have to successfully complete by the end of the semester in order to be eligible to continue receiving financial aid. Minimum Academic Plan standards include a semester GPA of 2.0 and a completion status of 67%. Academic Plans for some students may deem more stringent requirements in order to move towards satisfactory academic progress standards. The Academic Plan is evaluated and reviewed at the end of each semester, and if requirements are met the Academic Plan is renewed and will continue on into the next semester. While on the Academic Plan, the student may meet SAP at a later evaluation and have their status returned to satisfactory, and will no longer be required to be on an Academic Plan.
If the requirements of the Academic Plan are not met, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the following semester and will not be eligible to receive financial aid.
Re-Establishing Aid Eligibility
If an appeal is not approved, the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid. Students may reestablish eligibility by meeting the satisfactory academic progress standards on their own for a future evaluation. A student may also submit a new appeal, but only after demonstrating success. Academic success may include, but is not limited to, completing a minimum of three credits that are required for their program, with a minimum 2.0 GPA and paying for said coursework on their own. After completion of that semester, the student can submit a new appeal request form for reconsideration by the appeal committee which demonstrates successful achievement and new circumstances.
Withdrawing from College
Federal regulations require NICC to monitor attendance in order to implement the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV Funds policy.
The policy allows the federal government to collect unearned financial aid for the period of non-attendance, including financial aid that has already been disbursed to a student. If a student completely withdraws from school during the semester, stops attending, or a student fails to officially withdraw, the student may be required to return the unearned Title IV aid which was intended to help pay educational expenses. The amount returned will be owed to Northeast Iowa Community College or the appropriate Title IV program(s).
It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the formal withdrawal process. The date NICC uses to determine if a student full withdrew will vary and is dependent on the type of withdrawal. If it is after the first week of classes, a withdrawal (W) grade will be assigned for each course into which the student has enrolled. If a student initiates the official withdrawal process or provides notification to the institution of their intent to withdraw, the date the institution determines that the student withdrew would be the earliest of either, date the student began the official withdrawal process or the date the student notified the institution of their intent to withdraw. A student may officially withdraw from classes by contacting their enrollment advisor and/or the Registrar’s Office with notification of the desire to withdraw from all classes. If a student did not begin the official withdrawal process or provide notification of his or her intent to withdraw, an unofficial withdrawal is established and the withdrawal date as either the midpoint of the semester or the last date of attendance at an academically related activity.
If the student receives a failing grade of an F or a Q, NICC will use the reported last day of attendance which is required when entering a failing grade. This reported last day of attendance is used to determine if the failing grade was earned or if the student actually unofficially withdrew from the class. Students who fail all coursework in a given term and whose last date of attendance is reported to have been prior to the 60 percent completion date for the term will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy as described in this catalog.
A student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV funds if the student has met certain requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of Education.
A student may be considered for a post withdrawal disbursement of Direct Loans if certain conditions are met. These conditions include that the Department of Education has processed for the student a SAR/ISIR with an official EFC and that the official SAR/ISIR with EFC was processed before the student became ineligible by no longer being enrolled at least half time. Northeast Iowa Community College is required to make or offer as appropriate post-withdrawal disbursements. A post-withdrawal disbursement must be made within 180 days of the date the institution determines that the student withdrew. The amount of the post withdrawal disbursement is determined by following the requirements for calculating earned Title IV and has no relationship to incurred educational costs. The loan must also be originated prior to date the student became ineligible.
If a student earns a passing grade in one or more of their classes for the semester in consideration, an institution is permitted to make the presumption that the student completed the course requirements and may consider the student to have completed the period.
If a student fails to earn a passing grade in at least one class in which the student is enrolled, the withdrawal date is either the midpoint of the semester or the last date of attendance at an academically-related activity. Please refer to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards to determine how financial aid is affected.
Return of Title IV Funds
Refunds of tuition will be calculated based on the College’s refund policy. The student’s account balance may be affected by the financial aid adjustment that occurs after the Return to Title IV calculation. “Title IV funds refers to federal financial aid. The Return of Title IV Funds’ formula dictates the amount of Federal Financial Aid that the student must return to the government. This formula applies to all federal financial aid with the exception of Federal Work Study. If federal funds are released to a student or their account, the student may be required to repay some of the federal grants and loans if the student withdraws before the 60 percent completion point of the semester. Generally the law (section 485 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998-P.L./105-244) states that the amount of assistance the student has received is determined on a prorated basis is in relationship to the specific term, and determined by the amount of the term completed.
Students who receive Title IV financial aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Direct loans) are subject to federal return of Title IV funds statutes. These regulations apply to recipients of Title IV financial aid who completely withdraw from college or who stop attending all classes during the enrollment period. The College must determine the amount of Title IV financial aid the student earned and return the unearned aid to the respective federal financial aid program(s).
Unearned aid will be returned to the federal programs in the following order:
- Loans (Federal Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Subsidized Loans and Federal PLUS Loans),
- Grants (Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant)
- Other Title IV funds.
The College must return the funds as soon as possible but must do so no later than 45 days after the College determines the withdrawal date or last date of attendance. A prorated schedule based on a 60 percent point in the period of enrollment, is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60 percent point in the period of enrollment, a student has earned 100 percent of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive.
For a student who withdraws after the 60 percent point in time, there are no unearned funds.
Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 5 Chapter 1 Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Funds 34 CFR 668.22 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l), 34 CFR 668.164, 34 CFR 668.167, 34 CFR 668.21
If a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws from school after beginning attendance, the amount of Title IV grant or Loan assistance earned by the student must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, the unearned funds must be returned. If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, he or she is eligible to receive a post withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received.
Any Title IV credit balances created by the R2T4 calculation will be allocated first to repay any grant overpayment owed by the student. Northeast Iowa Community College must return such funds to the Title IV grant account within 14 days of the date of the calculation. Northeast Iowa Community College will use any remaining Title IV credit balance funds to pay authorized charges at the college, including any previous paid charges that become unpaid due to the return. Northeast Iowa Community College may also use the credit balance to reduce the student’s Title IV loan debt with the student’s authorization, or it may release the balance to the student or parent when it is for a Direct Plus loan. If Northeast Iowa Community College is unable to locate the student or parent it must return the balance to the appropriate Title IV programs.
Calculating the Percentage of the Title IV Funds Earned The calculation of Title IV funds is determined by dividing the number of days of attendance by the number of days in the semester. The number of days of attendance is based on the determination of the official or unofficial withdrawal date. For more information see Withdrawing From College. The number of days in the semester is determined by date the student’s classes start through the end of the student’s scheduled enrollment. Any scheduled College break of five or more consecutive days will not be counted in the total number of days in the semester.
The student will receive a written notice within 30 days, letting the student know the impact of the Return of Title IV funds calculation. If the student has to repay any funds, the student has 45 days to either repay the funds or make satisfactory payment arrangements with the business office.
Example of Return of Title IV Funds Calculations
Determine percentage of Title IV aid earned:
- Completed Days divided by Total Days in Payment Period = % of earned aid
Determine the Title IV aid that was disbursed and aid that could have been disbursed
Determine amount of Title IV Aid Earned by Student: Multiply % of earned aid by total aid disbursed; including any aid that could have been disbursed for the payment period
If the amount of aid earned by student is less than the amount of aid disbursed, there may be Title IV aid to be returned. Determine how much Title IV aid is to be returned:
Total Title IV aid disbursed - amount of Title IV aid earned = amount of Title IV aid to be returned.
Determine amount of unearned Title IV aid due from school.
Add up all institutional charges for the payment period which includes tuition, fees, bookstore charges, etc.).
Subtract % of earned aid from 100% to get % of unearned aid.
Multiply % of unearned aid by total institutional charges for payment period to come up with amount of unearned charges for payment period.
Compare amount of Title IV aid to be returned (#4) to amount of unearned charges - the lesser amount is the amount the school must return to the appropriate program(s).
Determine amount of unearned Title IV aid due from the student.
Subtract amount the school must return from the amount of Title IV aid to be returned (#4).
- If < 0 or = 0, no amount of unearned Title IV aid is due from student.
- If > 0, there may be a repayment of the student’s Title IV funds.
Important: Northeast Iowa Community College reserves the right to change the Refund Schedule at any time.
NICC is required by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to monitor academic progress for students who are receiving VA education benefits. If the academic progress standards are not met, students receiving education benefits will be declared ineligible to receive them. Note: other funding sources that the student may be receiving in conjunction with their VA benefits from federal, state and/or institutional sources, are subject to similar requirements outlined in NICC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards policy.
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) - maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C average) or better.
- Completion Rate - successfully complete 67 percent or more of cumulative attempted credit hours including remedial and transfer credits. Completion rate is calculated by taking the cumulative number of credits the student has successfully completed divided by the cumulative number of attempted credits.
All transfer credit hours that have been accepted by NICC toward a student’s academic program will be counted as both attempted and completed credits when evaluating a student’s academic progress.
Students who have incomplete grades must follow the NICC Incomplete Grading Policy.
Once incomplete grades are completed and a grade is submitted, the Registrar’s Office will notify the Financial Aid Office. Students who are repeating a course(s) will have all credits counted as both attempted and completed credits toward progress. All grade changes are submitted to the Registrar’s Office who will notify the Financial Aid Office. The student’s academic progress will be re-evaluated in either case and the student will be notified if a change in his/her status occurs.
Academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each academic semester (fall, spring and summer) once grades are reported. Upon evaluation, a student will be notified of their status through their official NICC email account. Students may view their cumulative grade point average (GPA) and completion rate any time in Self Service - Financial Aid. Students will have a status assigned even if those grades were earned without utilizing veteran benefits in the past.
Satisfactory Status: Student is meeting all satisfactory academic progress standards and is eligible to receive VA educational benefits.
VA Academic Probation: This is a warning to a student who is not meeting one or more of the academic progress standards. The student remains eligible to receive VA education benefits for the upcoming semester, but must meet or exceed academic progress standards when it is evaluated at the end of that semester in order to maintain eligibility for the next semester. Students who fail to meet the requirements at the end of that semester will result in a VA Academic Suspension status.
VA Academic Suspension: Students who do not meet one or more of the academic progress standards at the completion of the semester after being on VA Academic Probation, will be on VA Academic Suspension, and are no longer eligible to receive VA education benefits.
Students have the right to appeal a VA Academic Suspension.
- The Appeal Request form is an electronic form located in Student eForms, accessible through the MyCampus student portal. Additional guidance is available online at www.nicc.edu/appeal
- A student may appeal the suspension on the basis of injury or illness of the student, the death of a relative, or other extenuating circumstances. The appeal must explain first why the student failed to meet academic progress standards and secondly what has changed in the situation that would allow the student to make academic progress at the next evaluation. Students are recommended to provide documentation that supports the extenuating circumstances. If documentation cannot be provided, the student will need to explain why.
- The appeal is reviewed by a committee, and their decision is final and cannot be appealed. Students will be notified of the appeal decision via their NICC email account and it is available to view on Self Service-Financial Aid. The two potential outcomes include approved for Academic Plan or a denied appeal.
Note: Appeals submitted after day five of the semester start date, are not allowed for that semester unless circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented them from submitting on time. Second and subsequent appeals require new circumstances.
Academic Plan: Student was placed on Financial Aid Suspension, appealed their suspension status, had their appeal approved and has had VA educational benefits reinstated.
Students are required to meet with their Enrollment Advisor to develop an Academic
Plan to ensure future success in meeting the academic progress standards. The Academic Plan has specific requirements that the student will have to successfully complete by the end of the semester in order to remain eligible to continue receiving VA education benefits. Minimum Academic Plan standards include a semester GPA of 2.0 and a semester completion status of 67%. Academic Plans for some students may deem more stringent requirements in order to move towards satisfactory academic progress standards. The Academic Plan is evaluated and reviewed at the end of each semester, and if semester requirements are met, the Academic Plan is renewed and will continue on into the next semester. If cumulative standards are met, the student returns back to satisfactory. If the requirements of the Academic Plan are not met, the student will be placed on VA Academic Suspension for the following semester and will not be eligible to receive benefits. A new appeal must be submitted to try to regain eligibility.
Denied Appeal Re-establishing Education Benefits Eligibility
If an appeal is not approved, the student will not be eligible to receive VA education benefits. Students may re-establish eligibility by meeting the satisfactory academic progress standards on their own for a future evaluation. A student may also submit a new appeal, but only after demonstrating success. Academic success may include, but is not limited to, completing a minimum of at least three credits that are required for their program, with a minimum 2.0 GPA, and paying for said coursework on their own. After completion of that semester, the student can submit a new appeal request form for reconsideration by the appeal committee demonstrating new circumstances.
Code of Conduct for Educational Loans
Iowa Code Section 261E.2 and Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 601.21, require the development, administration and enforcement of a code of conduct governing educational loan activities. Our officers, employees, trustees and agents, including the alumni association, booster club and other organizations associated with Northeast Iowa Community College, agree to the provisions of this Code of Conduct and will refrain from:
- Refusing to certify or delaying the certification of an education loan based on a borrower’s choice of lender.
- Assigning a first-time borrower to a particular private education loan lender through the student’s financial aid award or another means.
- Packaging a private education loan in a student’s financial aid award, except when the student is ineligible for other financial aid, has exhausted his or her federal student aid eligibility, has not filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or refuses to apply for a federal student loan.
- Accepting impermissible gifts, goods or services from a lender, lender servicer or guarantor. The institution may accept default prevention, financial literacy or student aid-related educational services or materials or other items of a nominal value.
- Accepting philanthropic contributions from a lender, lender servicer or guarantor that are related to the educational loans provided by the entity that is making the contribution.
- Serving on or otherwise participating as a member of an advisory council for a lender, lender affiliate or lender servicer.
- Accepting from a lender or its affiliate any fee, payment or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide education loan-related services to or on behalf of the lender.
- Accepting fees or other benefits in exchange for endorsing a lender or the lender’s loan products.
- Requesting or accepting an offer of funds for private education loans from a lender, in exchange for our promise to provide the lender with placement on a preferred lender list or a certain number of volume of private education loans.
Northeast Iowa Community College is committed to providing the information and resources necessary to help every student achieve educational success. To accomplish this goal, the financial aid staff will consider each student’s individual needs. A comprehensive Code of Conduct detailing permissible and impermissible activities for all Northeast Iowa Community College officers, employees and agents affiliated with the College is available.
Validity of High School Diploma Policy and Procedure
A high school diploma is a basic element of student eligibility for Title IV financial aid funding. Students claim eligibility by virtue of a high school diploma when they complete the FAFSA. If either the Department of Education or NICC believe the high school diploma is not valid, the following process will occur in an effort to review and validate said diploma. If the validity of a student’s high school diploma is in question, the Financial Aid Office will:
- Send the student a missing information notification that requests a copy of the student’s official diploma AND an official copy of the student’s final transcripts that shows all the courses the student completed. The name, address and phone number of the high school attended must be clearly identified on each document.
- If the Financial Aid Office requires additional confirmation that the student did in fact receive said diploma from the high school indicated, a letter and/or phone call may be made to the high school to verify and confirm the diploma’s validity.
- The Financial Aid Office may require submission of an official copy of both the diploma and/or transcript directly from the school and may require said copies be sent under the authority of a certified notary. If the Financial Aid Office determines the submitted diploma and transcript to be valid, the student’s financial aid application will be processed and if he/she meets all other eligibility criteria, will be deemed eligible for Title IV financial aid funding while attending NICC. If the Financial Aid Office determines the submitted diploma and transcript to be invalid, or is unable to determine its validity, the student will not be eligible for Title IV aid.
Note: This policy and procedure does not apply to home-schooled students by virtue of the federal regulations.
Repeated Coursework Policy
Per federal regulations, students may repeat a previously passed course only once and receive Title IV financial aid for it. Example: Fall Term - Student takes a public speaking course and receives a C- and wants to retake it to improve her grade. Spring Term - Student retakes the public speaking course and is able to have those credits count toward her enrollment status for financial aid. Student receives an F the second time. The student cannot receive Title IV financial aid for a future retake of this course.
Students may repeat a failed course as many times as they need to pass the course and receive Title IV financial aid for it. Example: Fall Term - Student takes public speaking course, receives an F and wants to retake it to improve his grade. Spring Term - Student retakes public speaking course and is able to have those credits count toward his enrollment status for financial aid. Student receives an F again and needs to retake it and pass in order to graduate. Summer Term - student retakes public speaking course again and is able to have those credits count toward his/her enrollment status for financial aid.
If a student passes a course, retakes it and withdraws, they can retake it again until passed or failed.
Northeast Iowa Community College takes pride in the quality and variety of resources and services available to help students reach their academic and personal goals. Faculty and staff work closely to determine the needs of each individual to optimize student success. Most student resources are provided at no cost and are readily accessible to all.
A referral will be made to a local medical facility should an emergency arise when it is necessary for an administrator or faculty member to refer a student for medical services. If however, a student has another choice for medical services of an emergency nature, this request will be honored. The student and/or parents will be liable for the payment for such service.
Students are encouraged to enroll in a student health insurance program to assure protection in the event of illness or injury if they are not covered under a current plan.
Health insurance brochures with information about no-cost or low-cost individual or family healthcare coverage are available in the Student Services Office.
Grievances, Complaints and Concerns
The College encourages all individuals to attempt to resolve concerns informally with an instructor, advisor or assigned administrator as soon as possible following an event that lead to the concern. When a resolution cannot be reached or is not practical, the steps of the formal complaint process should be followed. Individuals should use the electronic form located at www.nicc.edu/complaint to file a formal complaint. The Operations office will route the complaint to the appropriate college representative for review and appropriate action.
If necessary, a meeting will be arranged with both parties to seek a satisfactory resolution to the complaint. In the event that a complaint cannot be satisfied through one of these avenues, the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (ICSAC) is authorized to receive and review complaints from students. You may contact ICSAC to register a complaint at www.iowacollegeaid.gov/sdrf-start.
If an issue cannot be resolved through ICSAC, you may file a complaint with either the:
Iowa Department of Education at 515.281.0319 or the Higher Learning Commission at 312.263.0456 or www.nicc.edu/complaint
For Your Information
If you have questions, please call the Financial Aid Office or email us at email@example.com.
Additional financial aid information and resources are available in the student portal MyCampus, Self Service Financial Aid and at www.nicc.edu/financialaid.
Northeast Iowa Community College does not discriminate in its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age or disability. These standards may be subject to change pending federal legislation.