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 (i.e., Federal Pell, SEOG, Direct  or PLUS loans) who withdraws from the school before completing 60% of the term is subject to the Return of Title IV Calculation (R2T4) to determine the percentage of Title IV funds required to be returned to the federal government.  The Return of Title IV 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 you. If you received a refund from financial aid, which was to be used for education-related personal expenses, you may be required to return a portion of those funds to the school. This portion represents funds that were intended to pay your education-related expenses through the end of the term. The amount to be returned to the school will be determined by your institutional costs, refunds you might have received for non-school expenses and the funds that must be returned to the government.

The amount to be returned to the federal government will be calculated from the date you officially withdrew from classes or, in the case of an unofficial withdrawal, the last date you were involved in an academically related activity or successfully completed a course. Note that the student is subject to R2T4 if all enrolled courses/competencies 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 you earned up to the time of withdrawal, Nicolet College’s Financial Aid Office will determine the percentage of the term you attended. The percentage used to determine the return of federal student aid 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 your school costs and total federal funds that you received (funds that were disbursed directly to your school student account and possibly refunded to you) 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 or competency but does not begin attendance in all the courses/competencies that he or she 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 education.

Any unearned Title IV aid must be returned to the federal government within 45 days of the date of the determination of your withdrawal. Nicolet College’s Financial Aid Office will notify you with instructions on how to proceed if you are required to return funds to the government.  Any funds returned 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 you 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 (SEOG)
  6. Federal Teach Grant

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 Title IV 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 so that s/he does not incur additional debt. A notice will be sent out to the student, and the signed, original document 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 his/her 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 should the student continue his/her education at a later time.

Official Withdrawal 

The official withdrawal date is defined as the actual date Nicolet College receives the Course Withdrawal Form.

Unofficial Withdrawal

  • If a student receives either all “F” grades or a combination of “F” or “W” grades for a term, they will be considered an unofficial withdrawal.  However, if a student receives all “F” grades for a term but participated in at least one class/competency 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 participation in academic activity or course completion date will be considered the withdrawal date used to calculate the Return to Title IV calculation.

For courses/competencies 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 attend all of their classes or start all of their competencies, they are considered a “no show” only for those classes/competencies they did not begin.  “No shows” must repay in full any financial aid funds that were received for those classes/competencies. 

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: Director of Financial Aid, Nicolet College, PO Box 518, Rhinelander, WI 54501.

Return of Title IV 60% Completion Dates


Standard Term 60% dates


Spring 2021
Summer 2021

March 13, 2021
July 6, 2021

Fall 2021

November 4, 2021

Spring 2022
Summer 2022

March 8, 2022
July 13, 2022



Nicolet My Way(Credit-Based Competency-Based Education) 60% Dates


Spring 2021 Start: 

January 6, 2021
February 1, 2021

March 1, 2021


March 13, 2021
March 28, 2021

April 5, 2021


Summer 2021 Start: 

May 7, 2021
June 7, 2021
July 5, 2021


July 6, 2021
July 25, 2021

August 5, 2021

Fall 2021Start: 

September 1, 2021
October 4, 2021

November 1, 2021


November 4, 2021
November 17, 2021

December 3, 2021

Spring 2022 Start: 

January 5, 2022
February 7, 2022

March 7, 2022


March 8, 2022
March 26, 2022
April 7, 2022

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 disqualify 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.  Below is a detailed timeline a student will be ineligible based on the offense(s):

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 but is not limited to 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.

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 or eligible technical diploma. 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 (i.e. fall, spring and summer terms) and applicable credits/competencies are considered in determining SAP even if the student did not receive financial aid for them. To be considered making SAP at Nicolet College 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.
  • Transfer credits are not included in GPA.
  • For Nicolet My Way (Credit-Based Competency Based Education) mastery will indicate a student has completed the competency equivalent to a B (3.0) GPA or better letter grade and will be included in a GPA calculation.

2.  Completion Rate Percentage Requirement:

  • A student must successfully maintain a cumulative completion rate of 67% of all credits/competencies (C/C) attempted. C/C attempted are defined as the total C/C that you are enrolled in (including remedial, repeated courses, withdrawals, incompletes and transfer credits) even if you 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 technical diploma before 150% of C/C 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 Advisory Committee.

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 C/C, 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 changed to “F”. Incompletes are included in credits attempted but not in credits completed. 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.

 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 new 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 still maintaining their 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 all 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 HERE.)

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 Advisory Committee (FAAC) on a regular basis. Students will be notified by mail of the appeal’s decision and conditions they must meet regardless of the results of their appeal.

 Financial Aid Probation:

Students whose appeal is approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. After updating their program sheet with an academic advisor, 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 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, may be required to re-appeal and meet with their counselor. 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/or the conditions of their appeal, who had their appeal denied or 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.

 Adding and/or Changing a Program:

• If a student decides to change programs after one term, they must meet with their Academic Advisor to complete a new program sheet. If a student decides to change programs after this time period, they must appeal with the FAAC for future funding. For the changed and/or approved second program, students must meet the cumulative GPA and completion rates as stated previously in this policy. They also must meet the cumulative GPA and completion rate within the new program to maintain SAP. 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 FAAC for additional funding and must complete a program plan with their academic advisor 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 FACC.

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