Financial Aid Policies

Refund and Repayment of Policies and Procedures

Refund and repayment policies and procedures for financial aid recipients are consistent with requirements specified by federal guidelines and regulations.  The following information outlines how refunds and repayments of financial aid monies will be assessed for students who completely withdraw, drop out, take an unapproved leave of absence, are expelled from classes or otherwise fail to complete the period of enrollment for which they were charged after receiving financial aid disbursements for a semester.

Terms used in the "Refund/Repayment Policies" are defined as:

Refund - The amount of money credited to a student's account, which the school is not entitled to keep based on the length of time the student attended classes.  The refund amount is defined as the difference between the amount paid towards school charges (including financial aid and/or cash) and the amount the school can retain under the appropriate refund policy.

Repayment - The amount of cash disbursements given to a student for a semester to cover off-campus room, board, transportation, books, supplies, child care, and miscellaneous personal expenses which the student is not entitled to keep based on class attendance prior to withdrawal.

Title IV Funds - The following aid sources are federal monies governed by Title IV, U. S. Department of Education (USDE) regulations:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • College Scholarship Assistance Program (CSAP)
  • Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)

Non-Title IV Funds - The following aid sources are categorized as non-Title IV funds:

  • Tuition Assistant Grant Program (TAG)
  • Other state, private, or institutional sources of aid

Return of Title IV Policy

Federal law requires students who withdraw from the College after receiving federal financial aid to return funds not earned to the U.S. Department of Education. If a student receives more funds than he or she earned, the College and, in some cases, the student must return the funds.

A statutory schedule is used to determine the amount of Student Financial Aid Program (SFA) funds a student has earned if withdrawal from classes occurs prior to the end of the term. If the student withdraws from class after 60% of the semester has passed, no refund of SFA funds is required to be made to the funding agency. Withdrawals prior to this 60% threshold require refunds of SFA Program assistance to the funding agency in an amount equal to the percentage of time the student was enrolled in and attending classes.

The percentage of the semester completed is calculated using the total number of calendar days in the semester for which the College awards the assistance, divided into the number of calendar days completed in that semester, as of the day the student withdraws.

The College refund of SFA Program funds does not mitigate the student's obligation to make payments to the College for services provided, in accordance with College policy.

Order of Return of SFA Program Funds

Funds credited to outstanding loan balances for the semester for which a return of funds is required must be returned in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford loans
  • Federal PLUS loans

If funds remain after repaying all loan amounts, those remaining funds must be credited in the following order:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Other assistance under this Title for which a return of funds is required

Students may contact the Office of Financial Aid to receive details and examples of the Title IV refund policy.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Click here to learn more about the Academic Progress Policy.

3497_2012-2013SatisfactoryAcademicProgressPolicy.pdf 

Appeal Process for Students on Financial Aid 

Students placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal their status. Students who choose to appeal must submit a letter clearly outlining the unusual circumstances with supporting documents to the Office of Financial Aid. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the student appeal request on an as needed basis. The student may request to attend the committee meeting to explain their situation. The Committee will review the appeal and the student will be notified in writing of the decision. All decisions are final.

The Reinstatement Process

Reinstatement means that the student has resolved his/her suspension status and will be considered for Federal Aid another term. In case of less than satisfactory academic progress, reinstatement of aid in full is atypical and is based on unusual circumstances affecting academic progress that were not within the student's control and are not of a recurring nature.

A student may be reinstated:

  • If a grade change results in an increase in cumulative grade point average and/or percent of cumulative credits completed. 
  • After completing creadits to raise the cumulative grade point average and/or completion rate of credit hour attempted.

The student must notify the Office of Financial Aid of any changes that may result in reinstatement.

Student Withdrawals and Refunds

The College incurs costs based on student registration data. Since many of the costs cannot be recovered, refunds to students are limited. A student who completely withdraws from the College is eligible for a refund of tuition and refundable fees as described in the institutional refund based on withdrawal date policy. Tuition refunds for individual classes are addressed in the Drop/Add section.

Add/Drop

Dropping or adding courses must be completed in accordance with the deadlines noted on the College Calendar. An official add/drop form, obtained from the Registrar's Office, must be completed and signed by the student and instructor, then returned to the Registrar's Office. The dropped or added course will be effective the day the completed add/drop form is received.

If You Take                 You Must Complete


1 credit                       1 credit

2 credits                     2 credits

3 credits                     2 credits

4 credits                     3 credits

5 credits                     4 credits

6 credits                     4 credits

7 credits                     5 credits

8 credits                     6 credits

9 credits                     6 credits

10 credits                   7 credits

11 credits                   8 credits

12 credits                   8 credits

If a student has not maintained the minimum standards by the end of the semester, financial aid assistance will continue for a probationary period of one (1) semester. If a student is on probation and satisfactory progress is attained, then financial aid is continued and probation status is removed.

If a student is placed on probation, and at the end of the probationary semester, satisfactory academic progress is not attained the student is placed on Financial Aid suspension and no Federal aid is awarded.

In case of less than satisfactory academic progress, reinstatement of aid in full is exceptional and is based on unusual circumstances affecting academic progress that were not within the student's control and are not of a recurring nature.

Students re-enrolling after periods of non-enrollment will be evaluated based on their last period of enrollment.

A student will receive a full refund for each class dropped when the form is submitted by "the last day to drop with a refund" as noted in Academic Calendar section of this catalog. A student enrolled in only one class who then drops the class will be considered "withdrawn" and will then be subject to the tuition policy for students who withdraw from the College.

Withdrawal Date

The withdrawal date, as determined from the attendance records is usually: 

  • the date the student began the withdrawal process prescribed by the school; 
  • the date the student otherwise provided official notification to the school of the intent to withdraw; or
  • if the student did not begin the withdrawal process or otherwise notified the school of the intent to withdraw, the midpoint of the semester for which SFA Program assistance was disbursed or a later date documented by the school.

If the school determines that a student did not begin the withdrawal process or otherwise notify the school of the intent to withdraw due to illness, accident, serious personal loss, or other circumstances beyond the student's control, the school may determine the appropriate withdrawal date.

Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG)
Eligibility for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant is limited to four years or eight (8) semesters for undergraduate students and three years or six (6) semesters for graduate students. The grant is limited to the cost of tuition only.

Federal Student Loan Programs Minimum Credit Load Policy
Students must maintain half-time enrollment (6 credit hours) to participate in the Federal Student Loan Program. This Program includes the Stafford Subsidized Loan, Stafford Unsubsidized Loan, and the Parent Plus Loan.