Feb 23, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog 
    
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Financial Assistance


 

Walter H. Nolte Gateway Center, third floor
307-268-2323 or caspercollege.edu/enrollment_services

Casper College’s Enrollment Services administers and coordinates institutional, state, federal, and private financial assistance programs for qualified students including scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment based on merit and income. Awards recognize scholastic achievement, assist low-income students, and provide funding so students can reach their graduation goals. Contact enrollment services for detailed information on all financial aid programs. Financial aid policies and procedures may change without notice.

Enrollment Requirements for Federal Aid Eligibility

  1. Enrollment Status: Students must be fully admitted and enrolled as degree-seeking students in an approved degree or certificate program to be eligible to be considered for federal aid. In addition, loan applicants must be enrolled in at least six credit hours approved for federal funding.
  2. Dual-enrolled Students: Students enrolled in two or more institutions simultaneously can only receive federal funding from one of them. Generally the institution from which the student wishes to earn their degree should be the home institution. The student would then complete the home institution’s consortium form so all hours from all institutions can be considered for aid funding.
  3. Census Date: Generally the 10th class day of each semester (fifth for summer) is the official census date. Students need to have their classes finalized by this date as aid awards will be recalculated and aid increased, reduced, or canceled as necessary (see section on “Withdrawing and Nonattendance: Impact of Financial Assistance”).

Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs

Eligibility for most federal student aid programs is limited to fully admitted, degree-seeking students with documented financial need who meet academic and satisfactory progress requirements. A student who is in default on a federal student loan or owes a repayment to any institution for funds received under Title IV federal programs is not eligible to receive Title IV federal funds at any school until those funds are repaid or satisfactory repayment provisions have been met. Following are descriptions of the federal programs available to Casper College students. For more information, go to caspercollege.edu/financial_aid with links to the Department of Education.

To apply for federal grants, loans, or work-study, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Additional steps are required for loans and work-study. The FAFSA form is available at caspercollege.edu/financial_aid. Students who do not have Internet access should contact enrollment services or their high school guidance offices for assistance. Students must complete a new FAFSA each year.

Students should apply for federal aid early. Typically, March 1 is our priority due date. Documents received prior to this date will have priority consideration.

Grant Programs

The Federal Pell Grant is a federal aid program, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added. Eligibility is based on the federal calculation of need and students apply by submitting a completed FAFSA. The program is for qualified undergraduates. The federal government establishes the dollar limit for the Pell Grant program each year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a limited-fund grant awarded to undergraduates with specific financial need requirements.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

This is a limited, need-based program. Students may work up to 15 hours per week. Most positions are on campus. Enrollment services determines eligibility and the career center completes placement.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

These are loans made directly to students. Repayment of the loan principal is deferred until the borrower either completes an education program or ceases to be enrolled for at least half time. There is a multi-step process for first-time borrowers. The FAFSA is the primary application form. A master promissory note (MPN) and entrance loan counseling are required and available on the Casper College financial aid website under the “Loan” link. Students must complete a student loan request each year.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents may be able borrow for a dependent student. Repayment begins within 60 days for a parent. Applications are available at caspercollege.edu/financial_aid under the “Loan” link.

Standards of Satisfactory Progress for Federal Student Financial Aid

In accordance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and all relevant amendments, students receiving federal assistance, (i.e. Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Federal Work-Study, etc.) must meet and maintain academic and satisfactory progress standards each term to remain eligible to receive assistance. Although the following information lists the main standards that must be evaluated, students should check with enrollment services for current standards, as they are subject to revision. Standards are evaluated at the end of each term.

This evaluation includes all terms attempted regardless of whether or not the student received financial assistance.

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA): Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  2. Pace: Students must successfully complete on a cumulative basis at least 67 percent of the courses they attempt. Satisfactory progress ratios are calculated by dividing hours earned by hours attempted. For example, if 12 hours are attempted and nine hours are earned, the ratio is 9/12 = 75 percent. Grades of A, B, C, D and S qualify as earned and attempted hours. Audits, incompletes, withdrawals, drops, F and U grades are attempted hours but are not earned. Repeat courses count as attempted each try, but count as earned only once. Additional restrictions exist on multiple repeats.
  3. Maximum Hours Attempted (maximum time frame): Federal regulations require students to complete their program of study within a reasonable time frame, which is defined as 1½ times the minimum credit hours required to complete a program. For programs requiring 64 credit hours, the regulations would allow up to 96 credit hours attempted. The student should determine the number of credit hours required for their selected program. All hours attempted are counted, whether on aid or not. A transfer student’s hours earned at other schools are included. If at any point it is determined that the student can no longer complete his or her program by the maximum hours, the student is deemed ineligible for federal assistance.

Eligibility Status

Satisfactory: Satisfactory status is achieved when all standards of academic progress are being met or when a student is meeting the requirements established under an individual academic action plan.

Financial Aid Warning: A student on financial aid warning may receive Title IV funds (possibly lose other assistance) for one payment period. During this period, the student must meet the required standards to avoid financial aid suspension.

Financial Aid Probation: A status assigned by the institution to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated under the conditions of an individual academic action plan.

Financial Aid Suspension: Students on financial aid suspension are ineligible to receive Title IV federal assistance.

Mitigating Circumstances

Federal regulations allow students whose failure to meet the required standards was caused by 1) the death of a relative of the student; 2) an injury or illness of the student; or 3) other significant extenuating circumstances, to submit a written appeal for reconsideration by the college. Circumstances need to be of sufficient magnitude and generally outside of the student’s control. If approved, an academic action plan will be established for the student. The student must agree to and meet the requirements of the action plan, until they are once again meeting the overall standards of progress requirements. The request for reinstatement of financial aid form is available from enrollment services.

Withdrawing and Nonattendance: Impact on Federal Financial Assistance

Students who alter their enrollment status (drop or add courses) during a semester are subject to having their federal financial assistance eligibility recalculated, and could be required to return some, if not all, of their federal assistance. Students should review the following explanations carefully.

  1. Enrollment Changes Prior to the Census Date
    A student’s official enrollment status is measured at the end of the 10th class day of each semester (the fifth day for summer session) term. This is the “census date.” Previously offered assistance for the term will be reevaluated and will either be increased, decreased, canceled, or left unchanged based on the student’s status as of the census date. An increase in hours after this date cannot reinstate certain types of assistance lost because of inadequate enrollment on the census date. New awards calculated after the census dates are based on the student’s actual enrollment status as of the date of the calculation.
  2. Nonattendance
    Students must attend classes to be eligible for federal assistance. Students who fail to initiate attendance in some or all courses, must have their eligibility for federal assistance recalculated, excluding those courses, regardless of the student’s enrollment status. Students who never attend class must return all over-awarded funds. Students who claim federal funds and never attend class are subject to referral to the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Education for possible federal fraud investigation. Written examples of return of funds calculations are available at enrollment services. Enrollment services reserves the right to modify or change the above policy as necessary. Return of funds regulations for students with Title IV federal funds are provided by 34 CFR 668.22.
  3. Dropping Out, Withdrawing or Expulsion
    Students who unofficially withdraw (drop out, walk away, etc.), officially withdraw, or are expelled, will have the percentage of aid earned (the amount of federal assistance the student can keep) calculated based on the percentage of the term actually completed. For example, if a student completes only 20 percent of a term, 20 percent of their aid is considered earned and 80 percent is considered unearned and subject to return. The date used to calculate this percentage is the official withdrawal date, or for those who unofficially withdraw it is either the mid-point of the term (50 percent return) or the last day the student participated in a documented, academically related activity. Students who withdraw after completing at least 60 percent of the term are considered to have earned 100 percent of their federal assistance. (Students are still subject to the standards of progress evaluation.)

Verification Policies and Procedures for Federal Student Aid Applications

An applicant will be required to verify or validate, by documentation, FAFSA application information, if enrollment services has reason to believe that any of the information critical to the calculation of the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) is inaccurate, or if the application information is in conflict with other information. Enrollment services will notify the applicant if their application is selected for verification. The notice will specify what information must be verified and what documents and procedures are required for verification. It will specify the period within which the applicant shall provide the required documentation and advise the applicant of the consequences of the applicant’s failure to comply within the specified period. The period granted to the applicant for completion of required documentation may vary with the complexity of the requirements and the time remaining in the school term for which funding is sought. Normally, the student is afforded 30 days from the request date to provide verification documents to enrollment services.

Generally, the deadline for submission of verification documents must be at least 30 days prior to the end of the school term for which funding is sought to allow for processing and correction. Should the applicant fail to provide the required documentation within the specified period, the application is considered invalid and will forfeit assistance eligibility from Federal Title IV student aid programs for the program year for which the invalid application was filed.

If the verification documents are provided within the specified period and confirm the accuracy of all application items requiring verification, and if all other requirements have been met, the applicant will be notified by mail. If the verification documents reveal inaccuracies, the “Student Aid Report/Institutional Student Information Report” (SAR/ISIR) will be corrected and submitted electronically for reprocessing. If incomplete or inadequate verification documents are submitted, the applicant will be notified and instructed on how to correct any deficiencies. Enrollment services must refer any applicant to the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Education for investigation if a review of an application for Title IV student aid indicates that the applicant may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application. Examples include, but are not limited to, false claims of independent student status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures or certificates, and false statements of income.

Casper College Scholarships

Casper College administers and coordinates state, institutional, foundation, private agency, service club, and individual scholarships. Scholarship information, including specific criteria, application requirements, and deadline dates are available on the STARS application portal. Students may apply for scholarships January 1-March 1 for fall semester and October 1-November 15 for spring semester by visiting caspercollege.edu/stars. For more information, contact enrollment services.