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Losing Eligibility

If you lose financial aid eligibility, or drop too many classes to qualify for financial aid, you may qualify for a refund or have to pay back financial aid.

What happens to my eligibility if I repeat courses?

The Department of Education has recently published new regulations which impact financial aid students who repeat courses. These regulations are part of a series called Program Integrity Rules.

Students may only receive federal financial aid funding for one repetition of a previously passed course. All courses attempted at CSCC are included in this regulation including courses previously attempted and paid with non-federal aid funds.

Examples of repeated coursework that may, or may not, count for financial aid eligibility:

  • Allowable: Repeated coursework may be included if the student received an unsatisfactory or failing grade. There is no limit on the number of attempts allowable if the student does not receive a passing grade.
  • Allowable: Student is enrolled in 15 credit hours which includes 3 credits repeating a previously passed course. Because the student is enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits which are not repeats, the student's financial aid eligibility is not impacted by the repeat.
  • Not allowable: Student receives a D in a course and decides to repeat the course to improve his/her GPA. The student may repeat this passed course one time, but if the student wants to repeat it a second time, the second repeat would not count for financial aid eligibility.

In this example, the student is enrolled in 12 credits, including the 3 credit second repeat, so only 9 credits will count for financial aid eligibility.

All repeated courses do affect financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations. A repeated course along with the original attempt must be counted as attempted credits.

Refund Policy:

Students who withdraw from classes during the first three weeks of a quarter are refunded their instructional and general fees according to the schedule established by the College. If a financial aid program has paid for a student’s tuition and fees, the refund is made to the program and not to the student. In the case of a Federal Stafford Loan or Federal PLUS loan, the refund is made directly to the lending institution.

Students who receive financial aid over and above the cost of tuition and fees (i.e. a cash disbursement), and withdraw from classes during the refund period may be required to return all or part of the cash disbursement.

Returning unearned Title IV Funds

Financial aid students who completely withdraw from all classes during a given quarter may be subject to owing federal funds back to the Department of Education or Columbus State Community College. The Return policy states that a student must attend through the 66% point of the semester in order to earn his/her federal financial aid.

Students are issued financial aid at the beginning of the semester in "good faith", meaning that the student will follow through by attending and completing the classes that financial aid paid for. Federal law requires calculations based on the number of calendar days the student actually attended the course divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester. This equation provides the percentage of earned financial aid.

Below is an example of how the policy works: John Doe registers for 13 credit hours and starts attending his classes. John withdraws from all of his classes on the Thursday of the second full week of class.

The calculation would be as follows:

Aid Disbursed

Pell Grant $1,100.00
Subsidized Stafford Loan $848.00
Total $1,948.00
Completed Days 11
Days Per Quarter 77
% Aid Earned (Completed Days / Days per Quarter) = (11/77) = 15%
Total Aid Earned (% Aid Earned * Total Disbursement) = (15% * $1,948.00) = $292.20

Amount of Aid to be Returned

$1,948.00 - $292.20 = $1,655.80

Amount to be Returned by College

Tuition / Fees $700.00
$700.00 * 85% = $595.00
College returns $595.00 to the Stafford Loan program ($848.00 - $595.00) = $253.00 to be repaid by student

Initial Amount to be Returned by Student

$1,655.80 - $595.00 = $1,060.80  
$1,060.80 - $253.00 (Stafford Loan) = $807.80 (Pell Grant)
$807.80 / 2 (50% Pell Grant repayment reduction) = $403.90 owed to Pell Grant program

Student will repay the $253.00 when they enter into repayment on their student loan.

The $403.90 in Pell must be repaid immediately in order for the student to regain financial aid eligibility.

The student will owe the money to the Federal Department of Education and will be considered in overpayment status until the amount is repaid.

Overpayment status will prohibit the student from receiving financial aid at CSCC or any other college.

Payment arrangements may be made by calling the Federal Department of Education.

Students will be notified of their calculation of Unearned Title IV by the CSCC Financial Aid Office.