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Policies

Disclaimer

The Gordon State College Financial Aid Office reserves the right to review and cancel awards at any time if you fail to meet the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy or because of changes in your financial or academic status, academic program, resident status, enrollment status, etc. All student financial aid awards are contingent on the availability of funds.

Summer Aid Deadlines

Students who plan to first apply for aid in the summer semester of a particular year must transmit their FAFSA in time for it to reach the Federal Processor no later than June 30th of that year. No aid can be awarded if this deadline is missed.

Retroactive Aid

If the semester(s) for which you are requesting aid has ended AND you are no longer enrolled, you will usually not be eligible for a retroactive aid award. If you are in Verification when the semester ends, you MAY be eligible when Verification is complete.

Loans & Enrollment Status

If you receive a student loan, you must maintain at least half time enrollment (6 credits) at all times. Dropping below half time enrollment at any time may result in subsequent loan disbursements being canceled. If you later re-enroll at least half time, you must contact us to confirm your loan status.

Dropping Courses vs. Withdrawing

Dropping a class during the official Drop/Add period at the beginning of a term will result in a review of your aid eligibility for that term. Dropped semester hours do not count toward HOPE eligibility or Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. No grades are posted for dropped hours. However, hours from which you withdraw or are withdrawn will be considered as enrolled and attempted hours for purposes of determining HOPE eligibility and the quantitative portion of the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (occurring after the Drop/Add period). Withdrawing from a course results in a grade of W or WF which will appear on your official Gordon State College academic transcript.

Incomplete Grades

When a grade of incomplete is replaced with a final grade your eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship and/or other aid will be reviewed. This may result in a request for repayment of aid already received and/or cancellation of future aid. Also, please read the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for additional information regarding the potential adverse impact of incomplete grades on financial aid eligibility.

Fee Payment & Aid Disbursements

The Gordon State College Business Office publishes information regarding your student account, payment deadlines, and aid disbursement. If you pre-register for classes, please note the payment deadlines that are published in the schedule of classes as well as on the Gordon State College web site. Failure to pay by the deadline will result in your schedule being cancelled.

If all aid eligibility requirements have been met, aid is disbursed on a date that is designated by the Gordon State College Business Office for students who are registered for the required number of hours and have no flags or holds on their records. Refunds are issued to students no sooner than fourteen days from the first day of class.

Outside Sources of Aid

You must report any aid you receive or expect to receive from an outside source to the Gordon State College Financial Aid Office regardless of when you receive notification of the award. This includes scholarships, grants, loans, VA education benefits, and assistantships or fee waivers. The receipt of such aid may result in a reduction, cancellation, and/or repayment of your award(s).

Study Abroad

Students regularly enrolled in a degree program who enroll in a Study Abroad program and have completed the proper forms could be eligible for financial aid. Contact the Gordon State College Financial Aid Office for additional information on these programs. Since Study Abroad grades are generally not posted by the end of the enrolled semester, your Standards of Academic Progress can be adversely affected resulting in loss of financial aid eligibility until the Registrar receives the grades and we are able to reconsider your Academic Progress.

Employee Tuition Remission

Amounts received under the Board of Regents' Employee Tuition Remission and Reimbursement Policy are considered when determining aid eligibility and can result in the reduction of student financial aid already awarded.

Fee Waiver

If you receive an in-state and/or an out-of-state fee waiver after a semester begins, you may be required to repay aid already disbursed in order to reduce or eliminate an over-award. We must consider any fee waiver(s) you receive when determining your eligibility for other types of student financial aid.

Academic Suspension and Financial Aid Eligibility

Effective Summer Semester 2011

A student that has been suspended for academic reasons from Gordon State College is subject to the following stipulations:

Students must attend school at his or her own expense for the initial semester following readmittance to Gordon unless he or she is eligible to receive financial aid upon his or her return to Gordon State College.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The U.S. Department of Education mandates institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive financial aid.  This standard must apply to the student’s entire academic history at Gordon State College (including transfer hours accepted for credit whether Title IV financial aid was received or not.)  In order to remain eligible for student financial aid at Gordon State College, students must meet the standards specified for acceptable academic performance and for satisfactory progress toward the completion of their program of study.  The standards are established within the framework of applicable federal regulations (HEA Sec. 484(c), 668.16, 668.34) specifically for the purpose of determining the eligibility of students to receive aid under all generally funded federal and state programs, such as Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work-Study, and Federal Family Educational Loan Programs (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, PLUS). The financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy should not be confused with Warning or Good Standing as defined by academic regulations.

Components

The Gordon State College definition of satisfactory academic progress for receiving financial aid includes the following components:

Grade Point Average

Students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic standards as described in the Gordon State College Academic Catalog. The Grade Point Average is measured at the end of each semester in which the student is enrolled.  To remain in good academic standing and in order to make satisfactory academic progress, students are required to maintain an acceptable cumulative grade point average. The minimum acceptable cumulative grade point average (GPA) is based on the number of semester hours attempted including transfer hours.

For the purposes of this policy, the following measures are used:

Total Hours Attempted Minimum Cumulative GPA
1-30 1.80
31 and above 2.00

 

Since financial aid GPA includes all hours attempted at Gordon State College, including Learning Support classes, it may differ from your academic GPA.

Completion Rate

The completion rate is measured at the end of each semester in which the student is enrolled.  Students must show measurable progress toward earning a degree by successfully completing 67% of all attempted credit hours including remedial course work and transfer hours accepted for credit by Gordon State College.  Grades of A, B, C, or D count as the successful completion of a course. The grades of F, W, WF, I, U, IP or V do not count as the successful completion of a course.

The completion rate is calculated by dividing total credit hours earned (successfully completed) by total credit hours attempted (including transfer hours) rounded down to the nearest whole number.

Maximum Time-Frame

Maximum Time-Frame is measured at the end of each semester in which the student is enrolled.  Students are allowed to attempt up to 150% of the credit hours required to complete their degree.  For example, if a bachelor degree program requires 120 credit hours, a student may attempt a maximum of 180 (120 X 150%) credit hours before becoming ineligible for federal aid. For an associate degree program requiring 60 credit hours, a student may attempt a maximum of 90 (60 X 150%) credit hours before becoming ineligible for federal aid.

Degree Completion

The purpose of student financial aid is to assist students in earning a degree.  Students who have earned enough hours to complete degree requirements may no longer be eligible for student financial aid.  Students who change majors or degree programs may reach eligibility limits before obtaining a degree.  Students who decide to change majors or degree programs should do so early so as not to jeopardize eligibility for student financial aid.

Repetition of Courses, Remedial Coursework, Withdrawals and Incompletes

 Students should be careful in repeating courses as all attempts at a course are counted in the maximum hours allowed to obtain a degree. Repeat grades are not included in the Grade Point Average Calculation.  Students are also reminded that withdrawing from a course does not count as successful completion and does not count toward the required 67% completion rate.  Incompletes also do not count as the successful completion of a course.

A student can receive financial aid for no more than 30 hours of remedial course work.  All remedial course work does count toward attempted hours and will be used in the PACE calculation.

Transfer Students

As mentioned earlier, all transfer coursework that is accepted for credit by Gordon State is included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation.Transfer students are considered to be meeting SAP during their first term of enrollment at Gordon State.At the end of the first term, SAP status is calculated at which point any student exceeding maximum time frame (including transfer hours) will lose their financial aid eligibility without a warning semester.

Students Seeking Second Degrees

All attempted hours at Gordon State, as well as transfer hours accepted for credit, are counted toward the maximum attempted hours for all students.  The number of hours is not reset based on completion of a prior undergraduate degree.

Financial Aid Warning and/or Suspension

A student will automatically be placed on financial aid warning in the event that the student fails to meet the grade point average standards or completion rate standards during his or her appropriate review period.  A student in this category may receive financial aid for the next semester in which he or she attends Gordon State College.  At the end of that semester, the student must have completed both the aggregate number of semester hours required and attain the overall institutional GPA required to establish satisfactory academic progress.  If the student does not make up the deficiencies, the student is considered to not be making satisfactory academic progress and is placed on financial aid suspension for the subsequent semester.  Students will be placed on warning for one semester only.

A student who does not meet the maximum time frame requirement will become ineligible for financial aid and will not be placed on financial aid warning.

 Financial Aid Suspension means the termination of all financial aid until the student has returned to a satisfactory academic progress standing.

Appeals Process

Student financial aid recipients who have lost eligibility for aid may appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Office if there are extenuating circumstances.  Extenuating circumstances are defined as unanticipated and unavoidable events beyond a student’s control that prevented him or her from achieving academic success.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal to determine whether the suspension will be lifted.  Email notification of the Committee’s action will be provided, along with any special conditions which must be met in the event the suspension is lifted.  Email notification will also contain information regarding the length of the approved appeal. Approval of all appeals is determined on case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed. The committee’s decision is final and cannot be appealed further. The Committee will only review one appeal per academic year.

Review of students on Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning or on Appeal

Students on SAP Warning or who have successfully appealed their standing will be checked at the end of the semester for which the status was in effect.Students who are evaluated and fail to meet the appropriate standard(s) at the end of the semester in which they were placed on SAP warning will be ineligible for any additional financial aid funds at Gordon State College until they have regained their eligibility. Students who are evaluated and fail to meet the appropriate standard(s) at the end of the semester in which their appeal is exhausted will be ineligible for any additional financial aid funds at Gordon State College until they have regained their eligibility.

If a student is evaluated at the end of a semester in which either the warning or appeal status ends and said student is once again making Satisfactory Academic Progress, he or she will be eligible for financial aid in the next semester of enrollment at Gordon State College.

FSEOG Award Policy

Federal SEOG funds are awarded to only those students who are eligible based on having a 0 EFC and eligible for the Pell Grant.  They must meet all other criterion for eligibility.  Due to funding levels for the FSEOG, Gordon State awards these funds to students with 0 EFCs.  Gordon State awards all students as if they will be full time.  For those students who enroll less than full time and at least half time are eligible to continue to receive the funds.  Both dependent and independent students qualify for funds.  Funds are awarded on a priority order by the filing date.

If there are funds to award after packaging and after cancellation of awards due to nonattendance or failure to make satisfactory progress, funds are redistributed based on filing date of eligible students who have 0 EFCs.

All other aid types are awarded according to federal, state, and institutional policy.

Award Terms and Conditions

Your acceptance of financial aid indicates that you have read and understand all related terms and conditions of your award:

You must be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen. Eligible non-citizens may be required to present current, up-to-date, and valid U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS-formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service or INS) I-551 or I-94 forms in person to the Office of Student Financial Aid (OFSA) to document their eligibility for federal aid. Students who are in the US on F1, J1, J2 visas, and G series visas are NOT eligible for federal or state financial aid. 

You understand that any federal funds received during the award period(s) covered by this award will be used solely for expenses related to your attendance at Gordon State College. 

Your initial financial aid awards are based on full-time enrollment.  Less than full-time enrollment will result in the proration of federal and state grants.

You must be enrolled as a regular student at least half-time to receive aid. Exceptions to this requirement are Federal Pell Grants, which are available to less than half-time students. For half-time enrollment, students must be enrolled for at least six credit hours.

All students (full time and part time) who wish to qualify for financial aid while attending Gordon State College must meet certain standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  For the complete SAP policy and appeals procedures, please check the Financial Aid Office (FAO) webpage at www.gordonstate.edu/FinancialAid/home.

If you withdraw from all of your classes during the semester, federal law requires that any "unearned" financial aid be returned to the federal government. Therefore, if you withdraw or you do not earn any hours during the semester, you may be required to repay all or a portion of the aid received, based on the length of your enrollment. 

You are responsible for repaying your loans - acceptance of any loan carries a serious legal and financial obligation. Failure to meet this obligation may adversely affect your credit. 

If you do not wish to use a student loan, you may decline it. If you borrow the maximum annual federal loan amount available to you during the school year, you will not be able to use a student loan during the following summer.  Summer financial aid is very limited.  If you receive a student refund of financial aid during the academic-year and plan to enroll during the summer sessions, you should plan to save some of the funds from your student refund to help you pay for your future summer tuition charges.

You are responsible for reporting changes in your financial status. If you receive additional funds or financial support from any source, you are required to report this to the FAO. Adjustments to your financial aid package may occur as a result of these additional funds because the FAO is required by law to consider all sources of aid when determining your eligibility for federal student aid funds.

If required, you are to provide any additional documentation, verification, corrections and/or new information to the FAO which may be used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

You are responsible for repaying any assistance received as a result of providing incorrect information to the College. Intentionally misreporting information on forms for federal aid is a violation of the law and is considered a criminal offense subject to penalties under the United States Criminal Code.

You understand that the FAO receives academic information at the end of each term.  If all grades are not passing (F, W, WF, I, U, IP or V), all professors confirm your attendance by providing the FAO with the last day of your participation or attendance.  If the FAO does not receive this information by the 15 day deadline, ALL of your federal funding may be returned to the particular programs.  If the professors confirm attendance but no specific date is given, we will prorate your financial aid based on the midpoint of the term.  If you were paid a Pell grant on a full-time enrollment and you are not able to confirm attendance in all courses, your aid will be adjusted to the amount of the credits confirmed and the calculation will be based on the last date of attendance for the confirmed classes.


For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@gordonstate.edu or by phone at (678) 359-5990. You can also chat with us live by clicking the Live Chat link in the lower right corner of your screen.