Student Financial Aid
NWFSC mission is to serve everyone who can benefit from a college education. No one should hesitate to apply for admission because of financial need. The college offers a variety of financial assistance for students such as Grants, Scholarships, Loans and Work Programs. Information on these types of financial aid along with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available on the NWFSC website at www.nwfsc.edu/financialaid or from the Office of Financial Aid on the Niceville Campus.
Financial assistance administered by NWFSC does not discriminate on the basis of color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, or marital status. Specific non-discriminatory criteria and academic standing may be required for particular assistance or scholarships
Financial Aid Students’ Rights and Responsibilities
As a financial aid applicant or recipient, students have the following rights:
- To be advised of what financial aid programs are available and how to apply for them.
- To be advised of the requirements in cases of withdrawal, such as refunds or repayments of financial aid.
- To be advised of the requirements for maintaining financial aid standards of academic progress and good academic standing.
- To have all application information treated with the highest confidentiality.
As a financial aid applicant or recipient, students have the following responsibilities:
- To apply for financial aid early if a student wishes to be considered for financial assistance.
- To submit all required forms accurately, completely, and in a timely manner.
- To provide documentation, verification of income, corrections, and/or any information to complete their financial aid file.
- To accept responsibility for all forms and agreements the student signs.
- To use financial aid for the student’s actual educational expenses.
- To know whether or not the courses they enroll in are compliant for financial aid.
NWFSC’s fees are designed to make college affordable for most students. Other indirect education costs may include room and board, personal expenses, medical insurance, transportation and supplies. Dependent students usually have parental support, reducing indirect education costs.
Steps in Applying for Financial Aid
- Complete the NWFSC Application for Admission and Residency.
- Request appropriate supporting documents for admission (i.e. high school transcript, GED, college transcripts).
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- 24 hours after completing the FAFSA, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR must be reviewed by the student for accuracy.
- Check RaiderNet 5 days after submitting the FAFSA for red flags (Federal Verification Form, Institutional Application for Aid, signed federal income tax transcript, W-2 forms, SAP, etc.).
- If a student’s financial aid file is “complete”, then an award letter will be emailed to the student by the college’s Financial Aid Office. Awards listed on a student’s award letter are tentative and are not final. Awards can be either adjusted or cancelled at any time due to enrollment, academic standing or availability of funds.
Timelines for Applying for Financial Aid
Applications for federal financial aid should be made well in advance of registration by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
|May 15, 2013
||October 1, 2013
||February 1, 2014
Students not meeting the priority timeline may still qualify for financial aid but may experience lengthy delays in receiving financial aid.
The absolute last day for determining enrollment status (i.e. part-time, three-quarter time, or full-time) is the last day to register for Session 1 courses during each term. (These dates are listed in the Schedule of Classes each term and the calendar section of this catalog.) Students must be enrolled in all classes at this time even late starting classes.
All FAFSA applications for the Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) dated May 15, 2013 or earlier will be given first priority in determining FSAG eligibility. All FAFSA applications for the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) dated May 15, 2013 or earlier will be given first priority in determining FWS and FSEOG eligibility.
The amount of federal financial aid a student is eligible to receive is dependent on the student’s enrollment status each term based on the following table. Credit hours are computed using all developmental and college credits in which the student is enrolled.
||Three-Quarter Time Enrollment
||Less Than Half-Time Enrollment
|12 or more credit hours
||9-11 credit hours
||6-8 credit hours
||1-5 credit hours
|450 clock hours
||Clock hours/program length*
|| Clock hours/program length*
|| Clock hours/program length*
*To determine enrollment status other than full-time, as established by federal regulation, the number of clock hours the student is enrolled in is divided by the program length.
- Enrollment status is based upon number of credit hours enrolled in at the END of schedule adjustment period each term.
- The amount of the award will not increase if students add a class after that schedule adjustment period.
- Student must attend class in all of the classes to retain enrolled status. Distance learning Courses attends the course orientation, submits course assignments to the instructor, or initiates contact with the instructor concerning course requirements.
- Failure to attend any enrolled course will lower the award status and amount.
- Award emails are sent to notify students the disbursement amount based upon the number of enrolled credit hours.
Enrollment status will be determined by the number of credit hours or clock hours in which a student was enrolled on the date a student’s eligibility is verified.
The end of the Schedule Adjustment Period is the last day to register for Session 1 courses during each term (Fall, Spring and Summer), as listed in the college catalog. These dates are firm. For other types of aid (state, private, etc.), the enrollment status and award amounts each term will be determined according to the requirements of each fund. For all types of aid, the enrollment status for block time, condensed or off-term classes will be determined by the Director of Financial Aid in consultation with the Dean of Students.
For a student to be eligible for federal financial aid at NWFSC, a student must:
- Be accepted for enrollment in an approved PROGRAM OF STUDY, have a high school diploma or GED
- Be a U.S. CITIZEN, or an eligible non-citizen
- NOT OWE A REFUND or REPAYMENT on a federal grant at any institution
- NOT BE IN DEFAULT on a federally-funded or insured student loan
- Must maintain satisfactory academic progress standards
STATE OF FLORIDA PROGRAMS
For a student to be eligible for State of Florida financial aid (i.e. FSAG, FSAG-CE) at the college, a student must:
- Have demonstrated a FINANCIAL NEED (complete the FAFSA application)
- Have met the ADVERTISED DEADLINE
- Have been a RESIDENT OF FLORIDA for one year or be classified as a Florida resident by the Registrar’s Office
- Be degree-seeking (enrolled in an A.A., A.S., A.A.S., B.S., B.A.S., or VC program)
- Have a 2.0 or higher GRADE POINT AVERAGE on all previous college work
- A student must have earned credit hours equivalent to his/her enrollment status during each term of the prior academic year in which state aid was received, (12 credit hours or 360 vocational hours for each term of full-time enrollment, 9 credit hours or 270 vocational hours for each term of three-quarter-time enrollment and 6 credit hours or 180 vocational hours for each term of half-time enrollment), and
- A student enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 credit hours or 360 vocational hours) is eligible for a full-time FSAG or FSAG-CE award. A student enrolled part-time (6 to 11 credit hours per term or 180 to 330 vocational hours) is eligible for a part-time FSAG or FSAG-CE award. Part-time awards will be prorated according to enrollment status. FSAG and FSAG-CE awards will be offered until the limited funds are exhausted.
NOTE: An applicant who believes State of Florida financial aid has been wrongly denied has a right to appeal. The applicant may appeal to the Financial Aid Office if he/she believes an error has been made in determining eligibility.
Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements
To be eligible for financial aid, all students, including student transferring to NWFSC from another institution, must meet NWFSC’s standards of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. Students’ academic progress is reviewed at the end of each term. A transferring student’s satisfactory progress will initially be determined from the student’s academic history at all previously attended institutions. Students who attended NWFSC in the past will be reviewed based on all previously attempted courses, regardless of how long ago they attended NWFSC.
Failure to meet one or more of the established standards of satisfactory progress will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Students who become ineligible for financial aid due to the failure to meet the standards of satisfactory progress for financial aid will remain ineligible for financial aid until they meet the standards or are placed on an Academic Plan as a condition of their approved appeal. Satisfactory progress includes all previous academic history, even if the student did not receive financial aid.
It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his or her progress. Although the Financial Aid office attempts to notify students who fail to meet the satisfactory progress standards through a letter informing them of their status, students who do not receive the notice will still be ineligible for financial aid.
Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid
Below are the standards of satisfactory progress for financial aid. These standards apply to all students:
All students must complete their degree program before attempting more than 150 % of the total credit hours required for their program.
||SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION RATE
|0-11.99 attempted hours
||N/A for cumulative GPA
||N/A successful completion rate
|12-24.99 attempted hours
||must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 1.50
||50% successful completion rate
|25 & over attempted hours
||must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00
||67% successful completion rate
In general, students who have attempted more than 150% of their program will not be eligible to receive financial aid at NWFSC even if some of their credits were attempted at another institution unless their appeal is approved and they are placed on an Academic Plan.
The first semester a student fails to meet the satisfactory progress standards for financial aid, he/she will be placed on Warning Status. While the student will continue to receive financial aid during this period, it is the student’s responsibility to restore his/her academic standing for financial aid be the end of the term in which the Warning Status is given.
Failure to restore academic standing by the end of the Warning Status term will result in the student being ineligible for financial aid. Students can appeal their failure to meet standards of Academic Progress (see next section).
Appealing Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements
Before submitting an appeal for financial aid, students should meet with an academic advisor and obtain an approved Program of Study. The Program of Study will be the basis for the student’s academic plan. The financial aid director will consult with the academic advisor to develop an academic plan for the student who has to appeal. The academic plan then becomes the core of the approved appeal. Students have 15 days from the receipt of a letter or email notifying them of their failure to meet the standards of academic progress to appeal, or 30 days after the spring semester ends if written notification was not received. Appeal forms and procedures are available in the Financial Aid office and at www.nwfsc.edu.
Transfer students must meet the established satisfactory progress requirements or submit a financial aid appeal. Students can appeal their failure to meet the standards of academic progress for financial aid if unusual circumstances exist. Unusual and mitigating circumstances include, but are not limited to, a death in the student’s family, medical condition, hospitalization, documented emotional distress, or other situations beyond the student’s control. While federal regulations make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty or academic renewal, students are allowed to appeal those courses that were considered to be old grades and thus “reset” their academic progress. The option to “reset” is at the discretion of the financial aid committee and can be used one time only.
All situations must be fully documented.
Students’ appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee. Students do not meet with the committee, and the decision of the committee is final.
Courses that Financial Aid Pays For
A student may use financial aid to repeat a course in which an “AW”, “D”, “IW”, “F”, “NG”, “U”, “W”, “WF”, “WN”, “X”, or “XC” has been earned. A student may not repeat a course for credit in which a grade of “C” or better was earned the student may improve a grade in a course and the repeat credit(s) will be included in the total number of credits when determining enrollment status.
NWFSC approves developmental courses for the use of financial aid and includes developmental courses where necessary when determining a student’s enrollment status. Admission placement testing requirements will determine if developmental courses are needed in a student’s degree program. Financial aid will pay for no more than 30 credit hours of developmental coursework.
Program Objective Enrollment Compliance (POEC)
Federal Financial Aid (Pell Grants, Direct Loans, Supplemental Educational Grants, college work study, etc.) will only cover courses that are part of the student’s declared program.
A student’s eligibility will be adjusted to reflect only those courses that are within the program of study (i.e. full-time status vs. part-time status). POEC is determined by the electronic degree audit - NOT the student’s paper Program of Study. A student’s declared program must be chosen at the beginning of the semester. Changes in declared programs will not be effective for financial aid until the subsequent semester.
Random Selection for Verification
The U. S. Department of Education randomly selects a student’s Student Aid Report (SAR) for verification. Students selected must provide all the necessary documents needed for this process (i.e. income tax transcripts, W-2 forms). NWFSC’s Financial Aid Office retains the right to request supporting documents it deems necessary from any student to determine financial aid eligibility. For this reason, the college suggests that students do not file financial aid applications until the tax forms for the family are complete and correct. Inaccurate estimates of income and taxes paid may require extensive processing delays and verification of corrected data. All financial information reported MUST BE CORRECT. Penalties or delays may occur if the data is incorrect or incomplete. It is strongly recommended that students and parents utilize the IRS retrieval tool when completing the FAFSA.
Return of Title IV Financial Aid Funds
When a student awarded federal Title IV aid withdraws from or ceases attendance in ALL COURSES prior to completing more than 60% of a term, a portion of the student’s Title IV aid must be returned to the federal programs. Title IV aid includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Direct Loans. Federal Work study aid and FSAG aid are not included. The college must determine the percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student. Up to the 60% point of the term, the percentage of earned aid is equal to the percentage of the term completed based on the day the student withdraws from or ceases attendance in ALL COURSES after the 60% point of the term, the percentage of aid earned is 100%. If the student received more Title IV aid than the amount earned, the unearned amount is considered an overpayment and must be returned to the Title IV programs. NWFSC will be responsible for returning to the Title IV programs the lesser of the unearned amount of Title IV aid or the institutional charges (tuition, fees and books) incurred for the term, multiplied by the percentage of unearned aid. The student will be responsible for returning to the Title IV programs the unearned amount of aid (overpayment) minus the amount the college returns, and the amount of any unpaid institutional charges to NWFSC.
In some cases, when a student receives federal Title IV aid greater than the amount of institutional charges (tuition, fees and books), he or she will have to return a portion of the federal funds. A student will lose Title IV eligibility unless he or she returns the amount of unearned aid (overpayment) in full to the college within 45 days from the date the college notifies him/her of the overpayment, or signs a repayment agreement with the U.S. Department of Education after the 45-day period.
This policy is derived from provisions of federal law. Students receiving Title IV aid should consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawing from any or all classes.
Per federal regulations, schools are required to review students who received federal financial aid and failed to earn a passing grade in any of the classes. An assessment must be made to determine whether the student earned the non-passing grades while attending classes or stopped attending classes, but did not officially withdraw. Students who stopped attending classes may be required to repay a portion of their federal financial aid for that semester which will result in a debt to the college.
If a student follows NWFSC’s procedures and withdraws, the student will have an official withdrawal date and their financial aid refund calculation will be completed according to NWFSC’s refund policy.
At the end of each semester, all federal financial aid recipients who received no passing grades (any combination of F, I, W, WN, WF) will be reviewed to determine if the non-passing grade was earned while attending or due to no longer attending the class. Reports are generated at the end of each semester to determine the students who received no passing grades. This report is used to determine if the student completed the term and earned the “F” grade or ceased attending prior to the end of the semester. The instructors are required to indicate the last day of attendance when a grade of F is entered. The last day of attendance is then used in the calculation of the Return of Title IV Financial Aid Funds.
Veterans’ Educational Benefits
NWFSC is certified for training by the State Approving Agency under the various veterans’ training laws. Veterans planning to enroll should consult with the Veterans Affairs Office well in advance of registering. All new veteran students should apply for their benefits on-line at www.gibill.va.gov. The veteran must provide written certification of courses at the beginning of each semester of enrollment in order to be paid for that semester. The NWFSC Veteran’s Handbook can be downloaded from our website www.nwfsc.edu/financialaid/Veterans.cfm. The veteran (student) assumes responsibility for all fees from his/her own resources or out of monies paid to the individual by the Veterans Administration. All new students are encouraged to visit the VA office to start a record. Students who fail to turn in all required paperwork will see a delay in the processing of their claim.
Veterans are normally expected to pay all fees at registration. Even if “advanced payment” is requested, the first check is sometimes delayed. The veteran should be prepared to meet all expenses until that check is received. Veterans attending the college under Public Law 894 (disabled veterans) who have approval from the Veterans Administration will have registration fees paid directly to the college by the federal government. Each semester, Chapter 33 students must take a copy of their award letter or certificate of eligibility to the Business Office after they submit their certification request to the VA office.
For VA purposes, training time for all programs except Chapter 33, Post 9/11 GI Bill, is usually computed as follows:
||Three-Quarter Time Enrollment
|12 or more credit hours
||9-11 credit hours
||6-8 credit hours
For the Summer Term and any accelerated session of any term, training time is computed differently. Veterans are advised to contact the Veterans Affairs Office before registering for Summer Term and accelerated term classes to determine training status.
All veterans who wish to receive VA benefits must provide a signed certification request for each semester. To expedite the request for subsistence allowance, this must be done immediately upon registration. Veterans, widows of veterans, and war orphans desiring information about benefits, requirements, and registration procedures should contact the NWFSC’s Veterans Affairs Office at 729-5375 or the VA Regional Office at 1-888-442-4551 (1-888-GIBILL1).
Veterans’ Fee Deferment Policy
Any eligible veteran or other person who wishes to pursue an approved program of education or training at NWFSC (within the mandate of Chapter 30, 32, 33, 34, or 35, Title 38, United States Code, or Chapter 1606, 10 United States Code) and who meets the conditions stated in 240.345(2)(b)1 shall, once a school year (August through July), be granted upon request, a deferment for full payment of fees for a period determined by the Business Office.
Under no circumstances shall any person be allowed to enroll or re-enroll at NWFSC who has an unpaid fee deferment. A student who does not comply with the terms of the deferment policy will lose the right to receive future deferments. VA deferments are available on a limited basis for half-term courses offered during the Fall, Spring and Summer Terms.
Visit www.nwfsc.edu/financialaid/Veterans.cfm for more information.
Financial Aid Administered by Northwest Florida State College
Grants, Loan, Work, Scholarships