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Financial Aid Policies

Important Policies to Keep in Mind

If you receive financial aid, it's important to remember there are policies and requirements to follow. Click on the headings below for more details. Students are also encouraged to contact the Financial Aid office at 715.365.4423 for assistance with these matters.

How Return of Title IV Funds are Calculated

Federal regulations assume that students “earn” federal financial aid in direct proportion to the percentage of the term they complete. Federal law requires schools to calculate how much federal financial aid a student has earned if that student:

- Completely withdrawals, or

- Stops attending before completing the semester, or

- Does not complete all modules (classes which are not scheduled for the entire term) for which he/she registered at the time those modules began, or

- Receives all F’s and W’s (or a combination of both) for all classes in any semester

Based on this calculation, Nicolet Area Technical College students who received federal financial aid and do not complete all their scheduled classes during a semester could be responsible to repay a portion of the aid they received.

How is the financial aid that I earn calculated?

Students who received federal financial aid earn the aid they receive by staying enrolled and participating in college. The amount of federal financial aid the student earns is determined on a pro-rated basis. Student who withdraw or do not complete all registered classes during the semester may be required to return some of the financial aid they were awarded.

For example, if you complete 30 percent of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30 percent of the aid you originally were scheduled to receive. This means that 70 percent of your scheduled awards remain unearned and must be returned to the federal government. Once you have completed more than 60 percent of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all of your federal financial aid.

The following formula is used to determine the percent of unearned aid that has to be returned to the federal government:

For Credit Hour Programs

The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period (minus any scheduled breaks that are at least 5 days long).

For Clock Hour Programs

The percentage earned is equal to the number of clock hours the student was scheduled to complete in the period divided by the total number of clock hours in the period.

The payment period for many students is the entire semester. However, for students enrolled in modules (classes which are not scheduled for the entire semester), the payment period only includes those days for the module(s) in which the student is registered.

The percent unearned is equal to 100 percent minus the percent earned.

Withdrawals from all classes before aid disburses could result in a post withdrawal disbursement of aid based on percent earned before aid was disbursed. One hundred percent withdrawals, class cancellations, not attending and complete withdrawals may require adjustments and repayments of federal financial aid funds.

What is the withdrawal date?

The withdrawal date used in the return calculation of a student’s federal financial aid is the actual date the student begins the College’s withdrawal process or the last date of an academically related activity as determined by the instructor. If a student stops attending classes without notifying the College, the withdrawal date will be the midpoint of the semester or the last date of attendance in class.

How are the unearned federal funds returned?

The College is responsible for returning unearned federal financial aid to the federal government. Amounts that must be returned will be applied in the following order:

Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Subsidized Direct Loan, Direct Parent PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

The College must return the lesser of 1) the total amount of unearned aid or 2) institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage.

The College will bill the student for any funds that were returned due to the Return of Title IV Aid calculation. The student must contact the Business Office to make payment arrangements

What happens if I don’t repay?

If a student does not pay funds due to the College that resulted after the College returned their unearned portion of the federal funds, the student’s record will be placed on hold. The student will not be permitted to register for classes or receive transcripts until the balance is paid in full.

Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Violations

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student from receiving federal financial aid which includes grants, loans and work-study. Convictions apply if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV federal financial aid. Convictions do not count if the offense did not occur during such a period. A conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count toward federal financial aid eligibility. In addition, a conviction received when the student was a juvenile does not apply, unless that student was tried as an adult.

Possession of Illegal Drugs

1st Offense: 1 year from date of conviction

2nd Offense: 2 years from date of conviction

3rd Offense: Indefinite Period

Sale of Illegal Drugs

1st Offense: 2 years from date of conviction

2nd Offense: Indefinite Period

Pursuant to federal law, a conviction for the sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs. Moreover, those students convicted of both selling and possessing illegal drugs will be subject to ineligibility for the longer period as prescribed under the circumstances.

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when the student successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again for federal financial aid programs.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program as described below. Furthermore, eligibility can be regained if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for the sale or three convictions for the possession of illegal drugs remain on the student’s record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to certify to the College that a qualified drug rehabilitation program has been completed.

For purposes of financial aid eligibility, a qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

- Be qualified to receive funds from a federal, state, or local government program.

- Be qualified to receive payment from a federally or state-licensed insurance company.

- Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court.

- Be administered or recognized by a federally or state licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.

For more information regarding illegal drug convictions and financial aid eligibility, please visit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website. Students are also encouraged to contact the College’s Financial Aid Staff at Nicolet Area Technical College for further inquiries on these matters.

Return of Title IV Federal Funds Policy (R2T4)

The Return of Title IV Federal Funds Policy (R2T4) applies to students who have received federal financial aid assistance and have officially or unofficially withdrawn from Nicolet Area Technical College (NATC). Federal financial aid assistance includes the PELL Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Direct Student loans (subsidized or unsubsidized) and Plus loans for parents. The official withdrawal date is defined as the actual date the student begins the college’s withdrawal process. The student’s last date of academically related activity is used for unofficial withdrawals.

The amount of the federal financial assistance that a student earns is determined on a pro-rata basis. Once the student has completed sixty percent (60%) of the term, all financial aid is considered to be earned. The 60% refund dates are:

Fall 2014 - October 31, 2014

Spring 2015 - March 31, 2015

Summer 2015 - July 19, 2015

If a student withdraws from school before 60% of the term has been completed or does not officially withdraw and receives all failing grades for the term, the Financial Aid Office will calculate the amount of unearned financial aid and return the funds in the following refund distribution order: Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Subsidized Direct Loan, Direct Plus Loan, Federal PELL Grant, SEOG, and Other Title IV assistance programs.

If a student receives all F grades for a term, they will be considered an unofficial withdrawal. If a student receives all F grades for a term, but attended at least one class the entire term and “earned” the grade of F, the student will not be considered an unofficial withdrawal and no aid will be returned. If the student received financial aid and failed to attend classes, they are considered a “no show” and have not established eligibility for any financial aid. No shows must repay in full any funds received.

Nicolet College must return the Title IV funds to the programs from which they received it during the period of payment or period of enrollment, as applicable, up to the net amount disbursed from each source.

The student will be billed for the funds that Nicolet College is required to repay.

Consult with the Financial Aid Department prior to any withdrawal to discuss your situation or if you have any questions regarding your financial aid. Students who want to dispute an amount should address all concerns in writing to the Director of Financial Aid, Nicolet College, PO Box 518, Rhinelander, WI 54501.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

Students receiving financial aid must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the completion of course requirements for an associate degree, technical diploma or eligible certificate. Students can only receive financial aid for classes that are required or prepare them for success (remedial courses) in their program area. All periods of enrollment and applicable credits are included even if the student did not receive financial aid for them. To be considered making SAP at Nicolet Area Technical College (NATC) a student must meet all of the following requirements:

1. Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement:

A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. Remedial credits will be considered in GPA. For repeat coursework, the highest grade received will be considered.

2. Completion Rate Percentage Requirement:

A student must successfully complete 67% of all credits attempted. This is a cumulative percentage. Credits attempted is defined as the total credits you are enrolled in (including remedial, repeated courses, withdrawals, incompletes and transfer credits) even if you did not receive aid for them.

3. Maximum Time Frame Requirement:

Students must complete an associate degree, technical diploma or eligible certificate before 150% of credits required for graduation are attempted. (Example: If an associate degree requires 60 credits, a student must complete the degree before 90 credits have been attempted.) Students are ineligible for aid at the point when they cannot mathematically complete their program within the 150% time frame.

Remedial Courses: A student admitted to an eligible program may take up to one academic year’s worth of remedial non-program credits to be included in the evaluation of a student’s SAP.

Repeated Coursework: Once a student has received a passing grade in a course, they can only receive financial aid for one more attempt at attaining a better grade. All repeats will be included in credits attempted, will be included in completed credits with a passing grade, but only the highest grade will be included in GPA.

Evaluation: Financial aid recipient’s satisfactory progress is evaluated after the completion of each semester or payment period.

Financial Aid Warning: If the student does not meet the above standards, they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one semester so they can get back in good standing while still maintaining their financial aid. During this warning semester, the student must meet the standards at the end of the term or they will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension: If a student does not meet the above standards after the warning semester, they will be placed on financial aid suspension and become ineligible to receive future financial aid until they meet the SAP requirements. If there are extenuating circumstances, students may appeal for reinstatement for their next semester of attendance.

Appeal Process: Students who believe their circumstances merit reconsideration may appeal their suspension by submitting a Financial Aid Appeal Form obtained from Financial Aid. The appeal requires students to explain why they failed to meet the standards and what has changed that will allow them to meet these standards during the next term. Appeals cannot be based on a need for aid or lack of knowledge of the warning status. An appeal must be based on an unusual situation or condition which prevented the student from being successful (i.e. illness, injury, etc.). Documentation may be required. Appeals are heard by the Financial Aid Advisory Committee (FAAC) on a monthly basis. Students will be notified by mail of the appeal’s decision and conditions they must meet regardless of the success of their appeal.

Financial Aid Probation: Students whose appeal is approved will be placed on financial aid probation. After completing an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) with their Academic Advisor, they may receive funds for one payment period. The college may also require them to fulfill specific terms and conditions such as taking reduced course loads or enrolling in specific courses. At the end of the one probationary period, the student must meet SAP and the conditions of their appeal to be eligible for further aid.

Students that are on probation but will not be able to meet the SAP standards at the end of the term but have met the conditions of their appeal and their AIP will be required to re-appeal and meet with their Academic Advisor to update their AIP. This plan must ensure that the student will be able to meet SAP within a specific time frame.

Students who appealed but have not met SAP and the conditions of their appeal, who had their appeal denied or who chose not to appeal may continue their enrollment (unless on Academic Suspension) but will not receive aid and must self-pay until they meet the SAP standards of this policy or have a successful appeal decision.

If a student decides to change programs after one semester, they must meet with their Academic Advisor to complete an AIP and contact the Director of Financial Aid to get approval for the program change. If a student decides to change programs after this time period, they must appeal with the FACC for future funding. If the student adds a second program, they must appeal to FACC for additional funding and must complete an AIP with their Academic Advisor which will include completion plans before additional funding can be awarded.