Financial Aid Policies and Procedures
It is the college’s goal that no student should be restricted from attending this institution because of limited financial resources. To meet this goal the college maintains a program of grants, scholarships, loans and part-time employment for eligible students who are accepted and enrolled in a financial aid eligible certificate or degree. Students enrolled in programs not leading to a degree or certificate awarded by Howard Community College are not eligible for financial aid. Howard Community College awards financial aid in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ability/disability, color, gender, national origin, age, political opinion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or marital status.
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to begin the application procedure. The FAFSA link is available on the HCC website at howardcc.edu. Select Admissions and click on the Pay for College option. In addition, students must be admitted to HCC and have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) on file with Admissions and Advising before HCC can receive the FAFSA results.
Students seeking any type of financial aid are strongly urged to apply by the March 1 priority filing date. Financial aid files completed by March 1st will be given first priority for limited grant funds. Applicants are encouraged to apply early for timely receipt of financial aid funds.
Transfer Student Application Procedures
Transfer students interested in receiving financial aid at HCC must:
- List HCC’s federal school code (008175) with the federal processor by going online at www.fafsa.gov.
- If you were a Maryland State Scholarship recipient at your previous school, refer to the Maryland Scholarship Program section in the catalog.
- If you were a loan borrower at your previous school, refer to the loans section in the catalog.
You are eligible to apply for financial aid if:
- You are a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- You have a valid Social Security Number.
- You have a high school diploma, General Education Development Certificate (GED), or completed homeschooling at the secondary level.
- You are in compliance with Selective Service registration, if male.
- You are enrolled in a financial aid eligible certificate or a degree program at HCC.*
- You are making satisfactory progress toward completion of a degree or certificate.
- You are not in default on a Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loan or Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
- You are not in an overpayment status for any Federal aid program at any post-secondary institution or have exceeded the aggregate loan limits.
*Students enrolled in programs not leading to a degree or certificate awarded by Howard Community College are not eligible for financial aid at HCC. Note that not all programs at HCC are financial aid eligible–check the Schedule of Classes for eligibility.
Additional and Verification Documentation
The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) or Financial Aid Services may require students to submit additional documents to confirm the information submitted on the FAFSA. In addition, USDOE or Financial Aid Services may, at any time, select certain financial aid applications for a review process called verification. Students whose files require additional documentation must submit all required documents to Financial Aid Services in order to complete their files. Financial aid will not be awarded or disbursed until all required documentation has been received and reviewed.
Students should submit documents as soon as possible, but no later than their last date of attendance. If documents are received by Financial Aid Services after a student’s last date of attendance, the documents will not be reviewed and the student will not be entitled to any financial aid.
As HCC reviews documents, corrections may be necessary. These corrections will be electronically submitted by the college, and the student will be notified of the corrections by the USDOE.
Sometimes students are selected for verification after their awards have been made and funds have been disbursed for the semester. In such an event, no further financial aid will be awarded or disbursed until verification is complete. Failure to turn in documents will result in cancellation of aid. Students will then owe disbursed funds back to the USDOE or HCC. If verification causes a change to the student’s awards for the academic year, he or she may be required to repay aid. HCC will notify students who owe overpayments of aid. If the funds are not repaid to the college within the timeframe specified in the notice of overpayment, the student’s debt will be referred to the USDOE for collection. The student will not be eligible for financial aid at any institution until that debt is repaid in full.
Determination of Need
Need for financial aid is determined by the following calculation:
.........Cost of Attendance (COA)
Less Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
Equals Financial Aid (Need)
To determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the calculation formula used is the Federal Need Analysis Methodology as mandated by the U.S. Congress. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the student’s family contribution is calculated and reported on the Student Aid Report (SAR) which is emailed or mailed to the student’s home by the federal processor.
Expenses at HCC
The Cost of Attendance (COA) represents the estimated student costs for nine months. This is based on the credit hour weighted average of all students attending HCC at a rate of $127 per credit. Individual course lab fees are not included in the COA.
COA–Living at Home with Parent
Tuition and Consolidated Fees*..... $2,989
Books and Supplies......................... 1,800
Room and Board............................. 7,317
COA–Living Away from Home
Tuition and Consolidated Fees*..... $2,989
Books and Supplies......................... 1,800
Room and Board........................... 12,195
Total Budget............................... $19,516
COA budgets can be obtained from Financial Aid Services.
*Tuition figures are based on an estimated 2014-15 fee schedule. All tuition and fees are subject to change.
All financial aid awards are made in accordance with two criteria: demonstrated financial need and the student’s ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Completed files are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. A financial aid file is complete only after the following documents or information have been received:
- A valid FAFSA on file with the U.S. Department of Education. The processed FAFSA must have the Howard Community College school code (008175) listed.
- The submission of all other information requested by Financial Aid Services (required prior to disbursement of federal aid), including additional and verification documents if necessary.
Once a student’s financial aid file has been reviewed and deemed complete by a financial aid counselor, a financial aid package will be processed and the student will receive an award notification. The initial financial aid package will be based on assumed full-time status for the fall and winter/spring semesters. Awards will be adjusted to actual enrollment prior to disbursement. If financial aid awards are revised, the student is sent an email notification at his or her HCC email address. Financial aid awards can also be viewed on myHCC.
For financial aid purposes, winter and spring classes are combined to determine enrollment status and award eligibility. For example, if you register for 3 credits in the winter and 6 credits in the spring you are eligible for aid as a three-quarter time (9 credits) student.
For financial aid purposes, all summer session classes are combined when determining eligibility. Financial aid is not awarded for the summer until the student is registered for classes.
Continued Eligibility for Receipt of Financial Aid
In general, student aid awards are for one academic year. Continuation is dependent upon meeting application priority deadline dates each year, re-establishing financial need, making satisfactory academic progress, and continuing to enroll for at least one (1) eligible financial aid credit per semester. Certain awards require full-time or half-time enrollment.
Financial aid can be used to cover a maximum of 30 attempted credits of developmental education courses. This is in addition to the satisfactory academic progress maximum timeframe based on the student’s program length.
Federal financial aid programs can only pay for one repeat of a passed course (passed meaning grade “D” or higher). For example, if a student enrolls and earns a grade of “D” in a course, the student’s enrollment status for financial aid will include that course attempt. If a student enrolls a second time in the same course, the course will be included in the student’s enrollment status for financial aid. If the student enrolls for a third time financial aid will not include the course in the student’s enrollment status regardless of the grade earned for the second attempt.
Registration Deadline for Financial Aid Recipients
Students may receive aid only for classes in which they are registered as of the last date to drop for the regular semester. Students may not receive aid for late start classes unless they registered for these courses by the registration deadline for financial aid recipients. The Schedule of Classes contains the specific date each term.
Students who wish to have their financial aid processed under a consortium agreement with another institution must notify HCC in advance of the respective term. A written agreement is required between HCC and the other institution. HCC serves as the “host” institution in these situations, meaning that the student must be enrolled in an eligible certificate or degree program at the other college. Financial aid must be processed through that institution. Students who are interested in participating in the Mt. Airy consortium arrangement should contact both HCC and the other institution well in advance of the planned semester. HCC will cancel all aid for any students who are found to be receiving financial aid concurrently at HCC and another institution, unless an approved consortium agreement is on file.
Federal regulations require institutions to provide Pell eligible students with a method to purchase needed books and supplies by the seventh day of the payment period (semester). HCC makes funds available in the bookstore to all students with a completed financial aid file and who have been awarded financial aid in excess of tuition and fees two weeks before the semester start date through the semester census date. When a student uses financial aid funds in the HCC Bookstore to purchase books and supplies, the charges will appear on the student’s HCC account. Bookstore purchases are limited to $1000 per semester or the amount of the excess aid, whichever is lower. Purchases are limited to required or optional books and supplies for registered coursework and bus passes. When a student uses financial aid funds to purchase books and supplies, the charges will appear on the student’s HCC account. Students can check myHCC to determine their excess funds. Students who do not use their excess financial aid funds to purchase books and supplies in the HCC Bookstore are considered to have opted out and will receive their excess funds on the HCC Connect card.
Most students awarded financial aid will have their financial aid disbursed directly to their tuition and fees bill approximately one week after census. Any financial aid funds over and above tuition, fees, and bookstore charges will be refunded. All registered students will be issued a HCC Connect Card. The student will be required to activate the card online and select a preferred refund option. The options are direct deposit to the HCC Connect Card or direct deposit to the banking institution of choice. Refer to the refund section for more information.Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal PLUS Loan funds are applied directly to the student account. Any Federal Direct PLUS Loans over and above tuition and fees, and bookstore charges are refunded to the parent or student depending on the parent’s refund preference as indicated on their loan application. Loan disbursements are received by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and do not require an additional signature/endorsement. The student/parent will be notified in writing that the loan funds have been credited to the student account and that the borrower can cancel the loan in writing within 14 day of the notifications.
Loan disbursements received by check require the borrower’s endorsement at the Cashier’s Office.
Students participating in the work-study program will be paid semi-monthly based on the number of hours worked.
Financial Aid Programs
Howard Community College maintains and/or coordinates the following financial aid programs for students. Financial aid awards are normally for one academic year and it is the student’s responsibility to reapply each year. For all other financial aid purposes, the HCC academic year is defined as 24 credits.
Counselors are available in Financial Aid Services to assist students with application procedures and to discuss program eligibility.
Federal Pell Grant—Pell Grant is a Title IV program offering need-based grants ranging up to $5,730, dependent upon appropriations by Congress, student eligibility and level of enrollment. The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over their lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years or 12 semesters of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)—FSEOG is a Title IV program offering grant funds for students demonstrating exceptional financial need. Grants are based on the student’s need and funds available from the U.S. Department of Education. Typical full-time awards at HCC range from $100 to $1200 per year. Priority for FSEOG is given to those students with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA and those who apply by the college’s priority filing date of March 1.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)—IASG is for eligible students whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. The student must be ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of the EFC but meets the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements. In addition, the student must be under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death. The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Pell Grant for the award year, not to exceed the cost of attendance for the award year. Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund (CCCPDF) Grant—The CCCPDF grant is a federal grant awarded to Howard Community College to pay for tuition, books and fees of degree seeking child care providers. All applicants must have one year of experience in child care, be credentialed with MSDE, and majoring in one of the following: Early Childhood Development AAS or Early Childhood Education AAT. Grant recipients must maintain a 2.50 GPA and remain credentialed and employed in child care while pursuing their degree. Grantees must also commit to staying in child care in the state of Maryland for the period equal to the degree completion time after leaving Howard Community College or the tuition, books and fees will convert to a loan. Students are required to apply annually for the grant and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All applicants should contact Mimi Heimsoth at Howard Community College at Mheimsoth@howardcc.edu for more information.
Maryland State Scholarship Program—The Maryland Higher Education Commission, Office of Student Assistance offers several need-based scholarships for Maryland residents. The scholarships most frequently awarded to HCC students include, but are not limited to, Educational Assistance Grants, Guaranteed Access Grants, Senatorial Scholarships, and Delegate Scholarships. In order to be considered for a Maryland State Scholarship, a student must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1. Some state scholarships may have additional application requirements and require full-time enrollment (12+ credit hours). Please check with the Maryland State Office of Student Financial Assistance at 800-974-0203 or www.mhec.state.md.us for additional information.
Transfer students who received a Maryland State scholarship at their previous school must update the school attendance information to include HCC on the Maryland Higher Education Commission Office website using MDCAPS.
HCC Grants/Scholarships—This is a need-based grant/scholarship program funded from Howard Community College’s operating budget. Scholarships are available for new and returning students. Awards range from $500 to $2500, dependent upon availability of funds, student eligibility, level of enrollment and other aid awarded. Students who completed the FAFSA and have a completed financial aid file by March 1, and demonstrate financial need as determined by Financial Aid Services will be given first priority.
HCC Educational Foundation, Inc. Scholarships—The college’s foundation maintains a scholarship program through contributions from private businesses, foundations, civic organizations and individuals. Scholarships are available to new and returning students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership and/or financial need. Scholarship awards can range from $100 to $5000 per year, not to exceed the cost of tuition, fees, and books in combination with other grant/scholarship aid. Award amounts and availability of funds are subject to change. Generally, priority is given to those students who apply by the March 1 priority deadline. For more information on specific scholarships available, consult Financial Aid Services or refer to the HCC website at howardcc.edu.
Federal Work-Study Program—Federal Work-Study is a Title IV program offering part-time work for HCC students who demonstrate financial need. Students work up to 20 hours per week during the regular semester, depending upon the student’s financial need, availability of federal funds and the student’s class schedule. Seven percent of the school’s annual Federal Work-Study allocation will be used to fund community service jobs. Priority is given to students who complete the FAFSA and who have a completed financial aid file by March 1. For more information, please inquire in Financial Aid Services or refer to the HCC website at howardcc.edu.
HCC Student Work-Study Program—HCC Student Work-Study is an institutionally funded part-time work program. Any student who desires part-time employment at the college may apply. Students work up to 20 hours per week during the regular semester, depending upon the availability of the college’s funds, and the student’s class schedule. Priority is given to students who complete the FAFSA and who have a completed financial aid file by March 1. For more information, please inquire in Financial Aid Services or refer to the HCC webpage at howardcc.edu.
Federal Direct Loans—Federal loans are a Title IV financial aid program where federal aid eligibility requirements apply. Loan applicants must be actively enrolled in at least six financial aid eligible credits. Students need to complete the loan application on the HCC website (under Pay for College/Apply for a Loan) to apply for a loan. Grade level progression for student loan eligibility is defined as follows:
Grade 1 = 1-29 completed credits
Grade 2 = 30 or more completed credits
The base loan limit for a Grade 1 borrower in an associate degree program is $3500. The base loan limit for a Grade 2 borrower in an associated degree program is $4500. Dependent students (as defined by the FAFSA) have additional loan eligibility of $2000. Independent students (as defined by the FAFSA) have additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan eligibility of $6000. Annual and aggregate limits apply. Also, Subsidized loan eligibility limits are based on 150% of program length. Program length in the loan program is defined as the number of years required to complete a program of study as established by the institution. For example, a 150% of an Associates 2 year degree would equate to a program length of 3 years. The interest rate for all new Federal Loans is a fixed rate of 3.68% (subject to change by Congress). Students enrolled in certain certificate programs may not be eligible for the full loan amount due to the short duration of the program. Please inquire in Financial Aid Services for more information. First time loan borrowers at HCC are required to complete federal loan entrance counseling.
Transfer students to HCC, if a loan borrower, must cancel any remaining loan disbursements at the previously attended college. Please see the HCC website for more information to apply for a loan.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans—Federal Direct PLUS Loans are a Title IV program which enables parents who do not have adverse credit histories to borrow funds to pay the educational expenses of their child if the student is classified as a “dependent” and enrolled at least half-time (6 credits or more). The student and the parent must meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid and the student must maintain satisfactory academic progress. The parent must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen and may not be in default or owe a refund to any federal student aid program. The PLUS loan is not a need-based loan. A parent is eligible to borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid the student is receiving. Currently, the interest rate is fixed at 6.4% (subject to change by Congress).
Dependent students whose parents’ have been denied a PLUS loan may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loan funds.
All originated Federal Direct Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
Students who receive financial aid must not only demonstrate financial need, but must also make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as determined by Howard Community College in accordance with federal regulations.
Financial aid recipients are required to be in good academic standing and to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree/certificate requirements for each semester in which they are enrolled. Satisfactory academic progress is evaluated at the end of every semester: fall, winter/spring, and summer. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress standards will result in the cancellation of financial aid awards. Federal regulations require HCC to evaluate all students for satisfactory academic progress each semester regardless of whether or not they receive financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress is evaluated based on the student’s cumulative academic record, from the date of entry to the college. Per federal regulations, financial aid SAP calculations do not consider academic amnesty. Therefore, your college cumulative GPA may be different than your financial aid cumulative GPA.
Students must meet the following requirements:
Cumulative Completion Rate
Attempted credits Minimum Required Completion Rate
48 and above 67%
For example, a student who has attempted 24 credits must have a cumulative completion rate of at least 50% (credits completed divided by credits attempted). For students enrolled in certificate programs less than two years in length, quantitative progress is defined as a 67% completion rate at all times.
Attempted credits Minimum Cumulative Required GPA
GPA 0–15 1.00
41 or higher 2.00
For example, a student who has attempted 16 credits must have a cumulative GPA of 1.50.
Students must complete an educational program within a timeframe no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program (for example, complete a program after attempting a maximum of 90 credits for a 60 credit program).
Required developmental courses are calculated into the GPA and are counted as regular coursework. Up to 30 required developmental course credits will be added to the program length when determining compliance with the maximum timeframe requirement.
Students who exceed their maximum timeframe will bypass the Financial Aid Warning status and are immediately placed on Financial Aid Restriction. Aid eligibility may be limited or terminated for excessive program changes.
TRANSFER STUDENTS—Transfer students will be treated as first time students for their first semester. Accepted credits from another institution will be considered as both attempted and completed credits in the evaluation of the cumulative completion rate, cumulative GPA requirements and 150% maximum timeframe.
Treatment of W, I, L, and N Grades and Repeated Course Work—
- Course withdrawals (W) after the drop/add period are not included in the GPA calculation, but are considered a non-completion of attempted course work.
- Incomplete “I” grades are not included in the GPA calculation, but are considered a non-completion of attempted coursework until the incomplete grade is replaced with a permanent grade and academic progress can be re-evaluated. Any student who completes an “I” grade contract(s) with a “C” or better should contact Financial Aid Services to have their Satisfactory Academic Progress status recalculated.
- The “L” grade is an incomplete achievement of course objectives. The “L” grade is treated as a non-completion of attempted coursework and impacts GPA.
- An audit “N” grade is not considered attempted coursework. It is not included in the GPA calculation or completion rate determinations.
- The highest grade earned in a course that is repeated will count in the GPA computation, but every repeated attempt will be included in completion rate determinations.
Only students currently awarded aid will receive a notification if they are on warning or restriction. Additional services are available on campus that contribute to student success. For information regarding these services, please see page 49 or refer to the college’s website.
Treatment of “Never Attended” indicators
A student who registers for a course and does not report to class within the first twenty percent of the scheduled class sessions will be reported by the faculty as having never attended. This class will not be eligible for financial aid, veterans benefits, or tuition assistance. Therefore a student’s financial aid may be reduced or canceled based on the number of NA classes that have been reported for the semester.
Evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (SAP)
FINANCIAL AID WARNING—A student who fails to meet the prescribed minimum requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent semester attended. During the semester the student is on warning, he or she is eligible for financial aid. At the end of the Financial Aid Warning semester, the student must meet the prescribed minimum standards or the student will be placed on Financial Aid Restriction.
FINANCIAL AID RESTRICTION—A student who fails to meet the minimum requirements after being on financial aid warning will be placed on Financial Aid Restriction and is not eligible to receive financial aid. All future awards will be cancelled. The student may appeal the restriction status based on mitigating circumstances.
FINANCIAL AID ACADEMIC PLAN–A student who appeals the status of Financial Aid Restriction and whose appeal is approved may be placed on Academic Plan status. Students on this status will have their academic progress reviewed at the end of each semester and must continually meet the terms and conditions of the Financial Aid Academic Plan that was completed with an advisor. If a student fails to meet the terms of the Financial Aid Academic Plan, the student loses financial aid eligibility and is returned to the status of Financial Aid Restriction. In addition, a student can regain financial aid eligibility by meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
Reinstatement of Financial Aid–Reinstatement of financial aid after a student has been placed on Restriction can be achieved in two ways:
- The student attends HCC during the restriction period, pays for tuition and fees without financial aid and subsequently meets the required satisfactory academic progress standards.
- The student submits a Financial Aid Restriction Appeal form and the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee approves the appeal. The student is placed on a Financial Aid Academic Plan status.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process–Financial Aid Restriction appeals must be made by submitting the Financial Aid Restriction Appeal Form to Financial Aid Services by the date specified in the Financial Aid Restriction Notification letter. All appeals received will be reviewed by the Financial Aid SAP Appeal Committee. Late appeals will not be considered. The appeal must include an explanation with supporting documentation of why the student failed to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. The basis on which a student may file an appeal may include the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. Appeals that do not contain these required elements will be denied.
If the appeal is denied the student is responsible for either officially dropping the classes or paying for the classes. Any student whose appeal is denied and who fails to officially drop the classes during the 100% refund period is responsible for the cost incurred.
A student who fails to follow the terms and conditions of the Financial Aid Academic Plan and who returns to financial aid restriction may appeal the status of Financial Aid Restriction a second time. However, second appeals will only be accepted if the student has a different documented mitigating circumstance then the one used in a previous appeal request. If a second appeal is granted, the student will be required to follow the terms of the revised Financial Aid Academic Plan, in addition to any other terms established by the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee.
If a student fails to meet the terms of the Financial Aid Academic Plan following the second appeal, a third and generally final appeal with appropriate and explicit documentation will only be accepted if all of the following conditions are met:
- the student has successfully completed at least six credits in one semester at HCC (without financial aid), or at any other accredited postsecondary institution if the credits are transferred to and accepted by HCC as applicable to the student’s educational program; AND
- the student experienced an mitigating circumstance that is different than any previously provided to the committee as part of a SAP appeal, or if the same, is substantially more difficult in degree or scope; AND
- the student meets with a financial aid counselor to review his or her remaining aid eligibility for all federal programs, as compared to the degree audit for the educational program in which the student is enrolled. The student and the counselor will develop a plan for the student to best achieve his or her educational goals by leveraging remaining financial aid eligibility.
The decision of the Financial Aid SAP Appeal Committee is final and cannot be appealed. The passage of calendar time by itself is not considered a mitigating circumstance and does not entitle a former student to submit any additional appeals.
Because this process can be lengthy, students who register for classes before or while a third SAP appeal is pending must make other payment arrangements with the Finance Office, including cash, check, credit card or money order, or the establishment of a payment plan.
Student Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
Section 493.A of the Higher Education Act requires post-secondary educational institutions to disseminate relevant, candid information on student financial aid programs available at the college. These rights and responsibilities may be found in the the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) publication entitled I.
Any change in a student’s financial situation, address, or school enrollment must be reported to Financial Aid Services. Students have the right to request a review of their financial aid package when a change in family or personal circumstances occurs. Students also have a right to review their financial aid records and may do so during our walk-in counseling hours.
Information Dissemination and Report Disclosure
The U.S. Department of Education requires HCC to disseminate information and disclose certain information to students. This information includes, but is not limited to: Voter Registration, Equity in Athletics, Campus Crime and Security, Completion and Transfer Out Rates, and Drug and Alcohol-Free Campus policies. For further information on the listed topics, please refer to the HCC website at howardcc.edu.
Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy
Students receiving financial aid have the responsibility to follow the college’s withdrawal procedures as outlined in the Howard Community College catalog (page 43).
The Higher Education Act requires the college to calculate a Return of Title IV Funds on all federal financial aid students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) from all classes on or before the 60% attendance point in the semester. A schedule is used to determine the percentage of the semester the student attended based on the withdrawal date/last date of attendance.
The percentage of the semester the student attended is calculated as follows:
Number of days in attendance
Number of days in period of enrollment
The number of days counted includes all calendar days in the period of enrollment including weekends and holidays, but excludes college breaks of five or more days. Students who do not complete late-starting classes as scheduled within a semester may be considered withdrawn and the college may be required to perform a Return to Title IV Funds calculation.
The percentage of the period of enrollment the student attended is used to calculate the amount of the student’s earned versus unearned federal aid funds. The unearned portion of federal aid funds received must be returned to the appropriate aid program in accordance with the order of return as mandated by law. The order of return is: Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Student Loan, Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Student Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, other Title IV aid.
The college is responsible for returning the lesser of unearned Title IV aid or unearned institutional charges. Unearned institutional charges are based on the percentage of the semester the student did not attend. The college is responsible for its return of funds first, followed by the student’s return of funds.
The student is responsible for returning:
Amount of unearned Title IV Aid
- Amount of aid school returns
Amount Student Returns
The college must return its portion of unearned Title IV aid (loan and grant) to the appropriate federal program within 45 days from the student’s withdrawal date as determined by Financial Aid Services. If the amount the student returns includes a federal loan program, the student is responsible for repayment of the loan in accordance with the terms of the loan program. If the amount the student must return includes grant aid, that amount will be no more than 50% of the original grant award amount.
The student must return unearned federal grant aid to the college within 45 days from date of notification. Failure by the student to return or make arrangements to return unearned federal grant aid to the college within 45 days will result in the student being reported to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The student will be considered in an overpayment status, and will not be eligible for additional aid at any post-secondary institution participating in Title IV Aid programs. Students who are reported to USDOE in an Overpayment Status should contact the USDOE to make payment arrangements to repay the necessary grant funds. Students who stop attending Howard Community College may not receive further financial aid disbursements, may lose some or all of the aid that has already been disbursed to their account, may be responsible for repayment of unpaid charges, and may be considered in overpayment status with USDOE.
Students who stop attending all classes without officially withdrawing from the college will be subject to a Return of Title IV Funds calculation at the end of the semester, based on their last date of attendance as determined by faculty.
Financial Aid Reminders
- A student must apply by the March 1 priority filing date to be considered for limited grant funds.
- It takes four to six weeks to process an application for any type of financial aid. Plan ahead!
- Applicants should use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when completing the FAFSA. Applicants who have not completed their tax returns can estimate based on prior year tax returns to meet the priority filing date. If income has changed significantly from the previous year, speak with a financial aid counselor to determine how to proceed.
- Students must re-apply each academic year.
- For all the options to assist with paying for college, please go to howardcc.edu; click Admissions and select Pay for College.
- Financial Aid Services provides workshops during the year, both on campus and in the community.