Award Notification Conditions/Policies and Procedures


1. All students are awarded initially for an academic year – either on Semesters for Fall/Spring or on Mini-terms. If we award you prior to the approaching Fall, we will check Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) after grades are issued; if you do not meet SAP, we will cancel your award pending your appeal.

2. Your award is divided into either two disbursements based upon your semesters and/or mini-terms.  Once you accept your award for the year, you may not change the disbursement pattern until the next academic year. Federal law regarding equal disbursements requires your disbursements either be for Semesters or for Terms. There is rarely a good solution if you mix Semesters and Terms (see FAQ on the FA website).

3. After you are awarded and enrolled you should NOT make changes yourself to your FAFSA data for the same award year in which you are enrolled. Always request (in writing with documentation) for the financial aid office to make changes to your FAFSA data or your disbursements could be cancelled or reversed. This is especially true if we have reviewed your data with a process called Verification. If you make changes to FAFSA data altering your eligibility for assistance for the year in which you are currently enrolled, we will select you for Verification if the Department of Education failed to do so.

4. If you did not/will not attend Fall Semester, your award notification must be signed and returned to the Office of Student Financial Services. We will check SAP again prior to reactivation of your awards.

5. Scholarship questions should be directed either to the Office of Student Financial Services or to the department or agency that selected you for the scholarship. If you signed a scholarship agreement, you should review that document first. If we renew your scholarship prior to June for the approaching Fall, we will check your eligibility for renewal after grades are issued. If you do not meet the required renewal standards, your award will be cancelled and you will be notified.


POLICIES GOVERNING FINANCIAL AID AWARDS


STUDENT EMPLOYMENT:

Any amount listed on your financial aid award notification for student employment is only an estimate of potential earnings. Students offered employment would be paid minimum wage for actual hours worked, not to exceed 13 hours per week. Students will be notified of the job assignments after their award notices are signed and returned.


COURSE LOAD:

You must enroll full time each Semester/Mini-term at the appropriate level in order to receive maximum financial aid benefits. If you drop hours your aid may be reduced or cancelled. Only full-time students may receive the full Pell Grant amount. The grant is prorated for three-quarter, half-time, or less-than-half-time enrollment.  (NOTE: class attendance is required to receive any type of financial aid. Students reported for non-attendance by faculty will have their aid reduced or cancelled.)


WITHDRAWALS:

Students who withdraw are required to notify the Office of Student Financial Services and may be required to repay all or part of any financial aid awarded for that Semester/Mini-term. You will be billed for any overpayment. You will not be able to register for an approaching Semester/Mini-term until any balance owed is repaid. Pell Grant – (Can only be used at one institution for the same enrollment period.) Multi-Institution Adjustments: Awards are based on the total eligibility for the award year. If a Pell Grant is received at another institution for the same award year, your student account will be adjusted and you will be responsible for any balance. Typically, until we bill the Department of Education for your disbursed Pell Grant, we are not informed of your use of it at another institution (until that institution also bills the Department of Education) for the same award year. You may avoid this problem by writing on your award notification that you have used part of your Pell Grant eligibility at another institution. You should indicate whether the amount you received was for full time, three quarter time, half time or less than half time enrollment and the number of semesters or quarters you received it.


CHANGE OF STATUS/ADDITIONAL AWARDS:

Lawson State Community College reserves the right to adjust or cancel any aid if your academic or financial status changes OR if you receive additional types of aid that change your eligibility.


AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS:

All financial aid commitments are contingent upon the total receipt of federal and state allocations.


Satisfactory Academic Progress

(SAP) Requirements

Beginning July 1, 2011, the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will change in accordance with new federal regulations.

Lawson State Community College is required by Sec. 484(c) of the Higher Education Act 1965, as amended to establish Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for students receiving assistance through Title IV programs (Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, State Grant, Perkins Loans, and Federal Stafford Student Loan Programs.) Lawson State has adopted the following as its official policy governing a regular student’s satisfactory academic progress.

Satisfactory progress is not to be confused with “good standing”. A student can meet the Lawson State standards of "good standing" and be allowed to enroll but may not meet the minimum standards of "Satisfactory Progress" to receive financial aid while enrolled.


Grade Point Average an Completion Rate

 To receive Title IV funds (Pell Grant, Work-Study, State, or Supplemental Grant), a student must be making “satisfactory academic progress” toward completing his/her academic program.

For purposes of this standard, students must maintain a 2.0 undergraduates cumulative grade point average (GPA) and successfully complete 80% of all hours attempted, including repeated courses, dropped courses, withdrawals, incompletes, and F grades.

This standard is measured at least annually and begins immediately for graduate students and at the end of the first year for undergraduate students.


Maximum Eligibility

In addition to the above measures, the maximum length of a student’s program may not exceed 150% of the minimum length required to complete the program. The academic degree plan published in the College Catalog and Student Handbook establishes the length of each program. Courses, which transfer from another postsecondary institution, will reduce the time frame accordingly.

Examples: (1) If your degree is a 70 hour program: 70 x 150% = 105 attempted hours maximum time frame. You are eligible for only the first 105 hours attempted. (2) If you transfer and bring 30 hours credit into a 70 hour program: 70 x 150% = 105 – 30 = 75 hours maximum time allowed for degree funding.

However, if at any point it’s determined the student will not be able to meet the 150% time frame by graduation, the student becomes ineligible for federal aid.

Example: a student has already attempted 50 hours and is in a program that has a 70 hour maximum, but still has 30 hours left to complete the program; the student will not be eligible for federal aid because the program cannot be completed within the 70 hour time frame (50 + 30 = 80).


Notification and Reinstatement

A student who is notified of his/her ineligibility for financial aid funds due to failure to meet these standards may submit a written letter of appeal for reinstatement. The written letter must state the basis for the appeal and include a copy of his/her current academic transcript along with supporting information.


Financial Aid Suspension

Financial Aid Suspension status is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP. A student who is placed on Financial Aid Suspension may only receive financial aid if the student re-establishes eligibility by meeting the standards set forth in this policy.


Financial Aid Probation

Financial Aid Probation is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP (satisfactory academic progress) and who has successfully appealed and has had financial aid reinstated. A student who is placed on financial aid probation may receive financial aid for one term/semester. At the conclusion of the term/semester, if the student meets the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student will be eligible for financial aid reinstatement.

If the student fails to meet overall Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the probation, the student’s academic performance for the term/semester will be evaluated against the student’s Financial Aid Probationary Academic Plan.


The Financial Aid Probationary Academic Plan requires that the student:

1.Must be at least half-time and have completed 100% of those classes for credit
2.Must have at least a 2.0 GPA
3.Must not withdraw, drop, or have an incomplete during the probationary term/semester

If you do not meet the above requirements, you will be ineligible to receive financial aid until you meet the satisfactory academic progress standards. No additional appeals will be accepted for failing to meet the Financial Aid Probationary plan. Also, the student is responsible for their bill for classes and other charges.

The student is responsible to contact the Office of Student Financial Services after the grades are transcribed by the records office for the probationary term/semester to request a SAP reevaluation for eligibility for financial aid for the next term/semester. Due to time requirements for the records office to add the grades to the transcript, the student should be prepared to purchase their books for the subsequent term/semester.

The professional Office of Student Financial Services office staff will review each appeal and respond to the student in writing stating the reason for reinstatement or upholding the denial of financial aid. If your appeal is denied, the decision of the appeal committee is final. If the student is enrolled in classes during the appeal and is denied, they are financially responsible for the payments for the classes and other charges.