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.

Return of Title IV Federal Funds Policy (R2T4)

Federal Financial Aid Refunds - Return of Title IV Calculation

A student recipient of Federal Title IV funds, referred to hereafter as federal funds or federal aid (i.e., Federal Pell, FSEOG, Federal Direct Loans or Federal PLUS loans), who is determined to have withdrawn* from  all courses before completing 60% of the term (see Return of Title IV 60% Completion Dates below) is subject to the Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation The R2T4 calculation is a federally mandated formula to determine how much federal funding was “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. 

The Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned to the federal government by the school and/or student. If the student  received a credit balance refund from federal funding, which was to be used for education-related personal expenses, the student may be required to return a portion of those funds to the school. This portion represents funds that were intended to pay education-related expenses through the end of the term. The amount to be returned to the school will be determined by considering institutional costs, refunds disbursed for non-institutional expenses and the funds that must be returned to the government.

The amount to be returned to the federal government will be calculated using the date of official withdrawal from classes or, in the case of an unofficial withdrawal, the last date of academically related activity or successful completion a course. Note that the student may be subject to R2T4 if all enrolled courses are completed prior to the scheduled end of the term. An official withdrawal occurs when a student follows the published process for withdrawing from the school prior to the end of the term.  

To determine the amount of aid earned, Nicolet College’s Financial Aid Office will determine the percentage of the term attended. The percentage used to determine the return of federal funds is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the term divided by the number of calendar days in the term. Scheduled breaks of more than five consecutive days are excluded.  The resulting percentage is then used along with institutional costs and total federal funds that you received (funds that were disbursed directly to the student account and possibly refunded) or that you were eligible to receive, to determine the amount of aid that you are allowed to keep.  However, anytime a student begins attendance in at least one course but does not begin attendance in all the courses that the student was registered to attend, regardless of whether the student is considered to have withdrawn, Nicolet College must reassess the student’s eligibility for Pell grant and campus based funds based on a revised enrollment status and cost of attendance.

Any unearned Title IV aid must be returned to the federal government within 45 days of the date of the determination of the withdrawal. Nicolet College’s Financial Aid Office will notify the student with instructions on how to proceed if the college or student arerequired to return federal funds.  Any funds returned to Nicolet College after the Return of Title IV Aid calculation is completed and processed are then used to repay Nicolet College funds, state funds, other private sources, and the student, in proportion to the amount received from each non-federal source, as long as there was no unpaid balance at the time of withdrawal. All aid sources are repaid before any funds are returned to the student.

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balances in individual federal programs. Financial aid returned by the student and/or your parent or the school must be allocated in the following order:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  6. Federal TEACH Grant (Nicolet College does not administer the TEACH Grant program)

A student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement if, prior to withdrawing, the student earned more federal financial aid than was disbursed. If a student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement for federal funds, it will be processed for the student and a refund will be issued within 14 days of the credit balance.

If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, Nicolet College must get the student’s permission before it can disburse the loan. Students may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds. A notice will be sent out to the studentand must be returned to the school within 14 days.

Nicolet College may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees. However, the school needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce the student’s debt at the school.  

It is also important to understand that accepting a post-withdrawal disbursement of student loan funds will increase a student’s overall student loan debt that must be repaid under the terms of the Master Promissory Note. Additionally, accepting the disbursement of grant funds will reduce the remaining amount of grant funds available to the student for future educational pursuits.

Official Withdrawal 

The official withdrawal date is defined as the date the student formally initiates the withdrawal process with Nicolet College .

Unofficial Withdrawal

  • If a student receives either all “F” grades or a combination of “F” or “W” grades for a term, they may be considered an unofficial withdrawal.  If a student receives all “F” grades for a term but participated in at least one course throughout the entire term and is determined to have “earned” the grade of “F”, the student will not be considered an unofficial withdrawal and no aid will be returned. 
  • The student’s last date of course participation or latest course completion date will be considered the withdrawal date used to calculate the R2T4 calculation.
  • For courses offered in modules, a student is not considered to have withdrawn if Nicolet College obtains written confirmation that the student will return to complete a later module within the same payment period or period of enrollment no later than 45 calendar days after the end of the module that the student ceased attending. Previous enrollment in a later module does not constitute written confirmation.

No Shows

If the student received federal financial aid and failed to participate in all of their courses, they are considered a “no show” only for those courses they did not begin.  “No shows” must repay in full any financial aid that were received for those courses. 

If you have any questions, please consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to any withdrawal to discuss your situation.  Students who want to dispute an award amount should address all concerns in writing to: Financial Aid Manager, Nicolet College, PO Box 518, Rhinelander, WI 54501

Return of Title IV 60% Completion Dates

Standard Term Start dates

60% of term complete dates

Summer 2024 – May 6, 2024

July 2, 2024

Fall 2024 – August 26, 2022
Spring 2025 – January 13, 2025

October 31, 2024
March 19, 2025

Summer 2025 - May 19, 2025

July 7, 2025



Competency-Based Education                            
Start Dates 

60% of term complete dates

Summer 2024 – June 3, 2024

Summer 2024 -  July 1, 2024

July 13, 2024

July 25, 2024

Fall 2024 – October 21, 2024

November 22, 2024

Spring 2025 – Start March 10, 2025

April 11, 2025

Summer 2025 – Start June 16, 2025

July 18, 2025

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

Students receiving financial aid must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the completion of course requirements for an associate degree or eligible technical diploma. Students can only receive federal financial aid for credits that are required in their program area or identified remedial courses. All periods of enrollment (i.e. fall, spring and summer terms) and applicable credits are considered in determining SAP even if the student did not receive financial aid for them. To be considered acheiving SAP at Nicolet College a student must meet all of the following three 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.
  • Transfer credits are not included in GPA.

2.  Completion Rate Percentage Requirement:

  • A student must successfully maintain a cumulative completion rate of 67% of all credits attempted.  Attempted credits are defined as the total credits in which a student is enrolled (including remedial, repeated courses, withdrawals, incompletes and transfer credits) even if the student did not receive aid for them.
  • Transfer credits are considered both attempted and completed for this calculation.

3.  Maximum Time Frame Requirement:

  • Students must complete an associate degree or eligible technical diploma 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 continued federal financial aid at the point when they cannot mathematically complete their program within the 150% time frame.
  • The student will begin a new 150% maximum time frame when they change or add a new program after receiving a successful appeal from the Financial Aid Office.

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 additional attempt at attaining a better grade. All repeats will be included in credits attempted, but only the highest grade will be included in GPA. All passing grades will be included in completed credits. A grade does not have to meet requirements for the program to be considered passing for repeat coursework.


A grade of “I” (Incomplete) may be changed to a passing grade within one term from the date of award of this grade if the student satisfactorily completes all the course requirements as set by the course instructor. Otherwise after this period the “I” will be considered an earned “F”. Incompletes are not included in credits attempted until the final grade is determined. The grade is also not considered in calculating GPA. When the grade of “I” changes to a passing or failing grade, SAP is re-calculated prior to the students next disbursement of financial aid.

 Transfer Credits:

They will not be included in GPA calculations but will be included in attempted and completed credits for completion rate and maximum time frame requirements.


A financial aid recipient’s SAP is evaluated after the completion of each term or payment period (i.e. fall, spring and summer terms) including periods when a student does not receive financial aid. Student SAP calculations are updated when final grades are received.

 Financial Aid Warning:

If the student does not meet the SAP standards, they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one term so they can get back in good standing while remaining eligible for financial aid. During this warning term, the student must meet the SAP standards at the end of the term or they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

 Financial Aid Suspension:

If the student does not meet the minimum SAP standards after their warning or probation term, they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible for federal financial aid. Students can request an appeal to reinstate their financial aid if they have extenuating circumstances affecting their enrollment and academic progress.

 Appeal Process:

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. Students who believe their circumstances merit reconsideration may appeal their suspension by submitting a Financial Aid Appeal Form (available at the Financial Aid Office or download the form 

The appeal requires students to explain why they failed to meet the SAP standards and what has changed that will allow them to meet these standards during the next term. Appeals are heard by the Financial Aid Office on a regular basis. Students will be notified by email of the appeal decision and conditions they must meet regardless of the results of their appeal.

Financial Aid Probation:

Students whose SAP appeal is approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. After establishing an academic plan with their Success Coach, they may regain eligibility for one payment period. The College may require them to fulfill specific terms and conditions such as taking reduced course loads or enrolling in specific courses. At the end of one probationary term, the student must meet SAP and the conditions of the appeal to be eligible for further aid. Students on probation who will not be able to meet the SAP standards at the end of the term but have met the conditions of their appeal, may be required to appeal again, or fulfill other designated requirements. Their probation may be continued for another term with the creation of a new academic plan with their Success Coach. This plan must ensure that the student will be able to meet SAP within a specific time frame. Students who chose not to appeal may continue their enrollment but will not receive financial aid and must self-pay until they meet the SAP standards of this policy or have a successful appeal decision.

Financial Aid Denial:

Students who did not meet the conditions of their probation or who had their appeal denied will be ineligible for a financial aid appeal until they successfully pass at least six credits with a 2.0 GPA in every class and do not withdraw from any classes. If they withdraw or get less than a 2.0 in any class, they must again pass six credits with a 2.0 GPA in a future term(s). Once they have met these requirements, they may appeal their suspension.

 Adding and/or Changing a Program:

• If a student decides to change programs after one term, they must meet with their Success Coach to complete a new program sheet. If a student decides to change programs after this time period, they must submit an appeal form with the Financial Aid Office for future federal funding. Students must meet the cumulative GPA and completion rates as stated previously in this policy.. If they fail to meet the requirements within the new program, the student will advance to the warning or suspension status as per the Financial Aid Warning and Financial Aid Suspension sections above.

• If the student adds a new program, they must appeal to Financial Aid Office for additional funding and must complete a program plan with their Success Coach before additional funding can be awarded.

• The student will begin a new 150% maximum time frame when they change or add a new program after receiving a successful appeal from the Financial Aid Office.

 Withdrawals with Passing SAP versus Withdrawal with Failing SAP does not apply