These questions explain the responsibilities, requirements and policies for RCBC students receiving financial aid.

How will RCBC let me know about my financial aid?

Method of Communication

Rowan College at Burlington County’s Financial Aid Department uses email as an official method of communication with all financial aid applicants. Students are responsible for reading all emails they receive from the RCBC Financial Aid Department in a timely manner.

What do I need to do to receive my financial aid?

Rights and Responsibilities of Aid Recipients

Before receiving funds, students must follow these steps:

  • All aid recipients are required to be degree-seeking.
  • All recipients must be in a financial aid eligible program.
  • All aid recipients must have a high school diploma or GED in order to receive funding.
  • Any financial aid applicant, who has been selected for verification by the federal programs, state programs or by the institution, must complete the verification process prior to disbursement of any financial aid funds.
  • Every financial aid recipient is required to notify the Financial Aid Office of any change in enrollment including; drops, adds, withdrawals or if they stop attending any courses.

Aid recipients may continue to receive funds provided they:

  • Maintain attendance in the courses upon which aid eligibility was calculated. Being reported for Not Attending (NA) will result in an immediate recalculation of aid awarded to a student.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in the course of study they are pursuing.
  • Are not in default on any Federal loan at any institution.
  • Do not owe a refund on grants previously received under EOF, SEOG, PELL, Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) or any other state or federal financial aid program.
  • Are citizens or nationals of the United States or in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and intend to become permanent resident.
How do I know if I'm eligible for financial aid?

General Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for federal, state and RCBC need-based financial aid and most assistance other than scholarships, you must meet the general eligibility requirements:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Have a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED) or be able to benefit from the education or training offered.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program, or in another program leading to a recognized educational credential.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or eligible non-citizen.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in your degree or certificate program of study.
  • Meet the defined criteria to each financial aid program.
I was selected for verification, what does that mean?

Rowan College at Burlington County Verification Policy

In accordance with Federal Regulations any student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information may be selected for a process called verification by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and/or the Financial Aid Office. During the review process, information reported on the FAFSA is verified for accuracy against documentation submitted by the student and/or their parent(s).  An application may be selected for verification at any time throughout the award year. Verification must be complete in order for a student to receive/keep their financial aid awards.

When a student’s file is selected for verification, they will be notified by the Student Aid Report from ED and/or by letter from Rowan College at Burlington County.

Rowan College at Burlington County verifies student information based on guidelines set forth by the Department of Education. Rowan College at Burlington County does reserve the right to request additional information from students and/or parents such as Tax Return Transcripts to resolve incorrect or conflicting information.

Students are encouraged to submit documentation as quickly as possible with emphasis on Rowan College at Burlington County Priority deadlines which are published online. However, a student is able to submit verification documentation before the last day of the academic year in which the student has been selected for verification in order to satisfy the verification requirement.

Failure to comply with verification will result in the student being ineligible for Financial Aid Awards for the academic year.

Award Notification Letters are mailed when verification is complete and the student Web Advisor account is updated. Any changes to eligibility will be reflected on the award notification letter which details the student’s award eligibility.

How is my financial aid calculated?

Financial Aid Census Date

In accordance with federal regulations, the Office of Financial Aid will recalculate student aid awards based on the enrollment status as of the published Census Date. The Census Date is typically the end of the 10th day of class for both Fall and Spring terms. Refer to the Deadlines and Updates page for those dates for current and upcoming terms.

Generally, this policy typically coincides with the end of the drop/add period for the traditional 15 week courses. If you are enrolled and attending less than full time as of census date, your aid will likely be less than what was reported to you in your initial award letter. This is because students are initially awarded based on the expectation of full-time enrollment.  Aid is then adjusted on census date to their actual enrollment.

For financial aid purposes, there are generally 4 enrollment levels: 

  • Full-time (12 or more credits)
  • 3/4-time (9 -11 credits)
  • 1/2-time (6 - 8 credits)
  • Less than 1/2-time (1-5 credits)

If you increase your enrollment level after the census date, you may not be eligible to receive additional financial award increases.

** If a student initially enrolls for the semester after the Census Date, the date of their initial enrollment will be the student’s Census Date for that semester.

What is satisfactory academic progress (SAP) and how does it affect my financial aid?

Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress Policy

All students receiving student financial aid from federal, state or institutional sources must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC). SAP is monitored at the end of each semester for aid recipients who are degree-seeking or pursuing a certificate.

SAP measures a student’s performance for all terms of enrollment, including terms in which the student does not receive financial aid. The three requirements measure cumulative grade point average, percent of credits earned relative to those attempted, and percent of attempted credits, including transfer credits, relative to the credits required for program completion. rcbc.edu.

A financial aid applicant is responsible for knowing the Financial Aid SAP Policy. The Financial Aid Office sends a notification of aid eligibility (or ineligibility) to a student who has been placed on probation or suspended status. Whether or not a student receives the notification, responsibility for meeting the minimum SAP requirements to qualify for student aid remains with the student.

Students who are ineligible for aid may enroll at RCBC if they are able to pay for tuition and fees. Payment arrangements can be made by contacting the RCBC Student Accounts Office.

To maintain satisfactory academic progress and aid eligibility, an aid recipient must meet all three of the following minimum requirements.

  1. Completion Rate A student must successfully complete a minimum of 66.67% of all credits attempted to be making Satisfactory progress and maintain aid eligibility. Credits with a grade of A, B+, B, C+, C, D, or P are successfully completed. If a completion rate is below 66.67%, a student will be considered on suspended status.
  2. Maximum Time Frame A student must complete a program of study within 150% of the number of credit hours required for degree graduation or certificate completion to be making Satisfactory progress and maintain aid eligibility. The 150% is measured on the basis of attempted credits, including transfer credits.

For example, if an associate degree program requires 64 credits for graduation, it must be completed within 96 credits to maintain aid eligibility. Since credit hour requirements for academic programs vary, check the college catalog for the precise number of credits required. Multiply the number by 1.5.

NOTE: The measure of maximum time frame will exclude up to 30 credits of developmental course work and all English as a Second Language (ESL) course work in the calculation of attempted credits. If the number of attempted credits exceeds 150% of the active program’s requirement for graduation, the student is placed on suspended status.

The student may appeal based on special circumstances or a change in the academic program of study. See Appeal Process below. NOTE: RCBC permits the pursuit of more than one academic program concurrently. Maximum Time Frame will be measured using the credit number requirements of the longest standing active program.

  1. Cumulative Grade Point Average A student must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to be making Satisfactory progress and maintain aid eligibility.

The GPA is calculated by dividing total number of grade points earned by the total credits attempted for courses with grades of A, B+, B, C+, C, D, and F. If the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0, the student is placed on suspended status. Status Definitions and Aid Eligibility

Satisfactory Status – Student is eligible for financial aid. This category may include students with no SAP issue at all, students who have successfully completed their Warning period of enrollment and are following their Academic Plan, and students who have met SAP requirements after being ineligible previously.

Warning – Defined as any student not making SAP standards for the first time. Student may automatically receive aid for one semester while on Financial Aid Warning and no appeal is necessary. The Financial Aid Warning period will consist of the next semester the student is enrolled in classes. Students will continue to receive financial aid while on Financial Aid Warning.

If student has not met SAP requirements after Warning period, he/she will need to submit an Appeal. If appeal is approved, student will be placed on Probation status.

Suspended - Failure to meet the three minimum requirements, but student is eligible to appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student can continue financial aid eligibility for another period of enrollment under a Probation status. Students may also choose not to appeal and attempt to regain financial aid eligibility by meeting SAP while paying out of pocket (without any financial aid). Students in this category are ineligible for financial aid.

Probation - Failure to make SAP, but appeal is approved and student is financial aid eligible for one more period of enrollment, or possibly more if following required Academic Plan (which may include documentation requirements not directly related to academic performance).

Ineligible - Failure to make SAP and/ or failure to follow required Academic Plan. This status also applies to appeals that are not approved - the student is not eligible for financial aid until cumulative SAP standards are met.

Academic Amnesty for Financial Aid Federal regulations make no provision for academic amnesty. If a student’s prior coursework was given special treatment under RCBC’s provisions for Academic Amnesty, the student’s cumulative GPA must be calculated based on the inclusion of all credits attempted at RCBC. If the recalculated GPA is less than 2.0, the student may appeal to the Financial Aid Office for special circumstances.

Transfer Credits for Financial Aid Credits transferred from another college are counted in the number of credits attempted and completed to measure completion rate and maximum time frame. Transfer credits are not counted in the calculation of grade point average.

Withdrawals/Incompletes/Repeats/Other Grades for Financial Aid

NOTE: None of the following grades are included in the calculation of cumulative GPA with the one exception of the highest grade earned on a repeated course.

Credits with a grade of “AW” (academic withdrawal), “W” (withdrawal) or “E” (old excused withdrawal) assigned after the drop/add period of a term are treated as attempted but not earned. Credits with a grade of “I” (incomplete), “X” (extended incomplete), “SR” (stopped attending remedial level course) or “ST” (stopped attending college-level course) are treated as attempted but not earned.

Credits for repeated courses are treated as attempted but not earned, except for the course with the highest grade, which is included in the GPA calculation. Credits for developmental and ESL coursework with a grade of “A*” (outstanding), “B*” (advanced), “C*” (pass), “P” (pass), “O” (outstanding), “S” (satisfactory) are treated as attempted and earned. The grades of “F*” (unsatisfactory), “U” (unsatisfactory) or “Q” (questionable) is treated as attempted but not earned. Credits with a grade of “N” (no grade reported) or “NA” (non-attendance) are treated as attempted but not earned. A grade of “AU” (audit), “L” (old audit), “M” (old audit non-attendance), “Z” (withdrew before the 10th day of a term) or “EX” (credit by exam) are not included in attempted or earned credits.

Second Degree Students for Financial Aid Financial aid is available for students pursuing a second degree. Credits hours attempted and/or completed toward a prior degree will be included in the measures of Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame, along with any transfer credits.

Change in Program for Financial Aid If a student changes academic programs, the credits from the prior program will be counted in attempted and earned credits. If the student does not meet the minimum SAP requirements, the student may appeal on the basis of a change in program and request that only credits applicable to the new program be included in the calculation of cumulative GPA, completion rate, and maximum time frame.

Ineligibility for Financial Aid Students classified as on Academic Dismissal by RCBC are immediately ineligible for financial aid. Any aid disbursed for a term in which the student has been dismissed must be repaid to the college. Students who do not meet the minimum SAP requirements and have a SAP status of suspended are ineligible for financial aid. Any aid disbursed for a term in which the student is disqualified must be repaid to the college.

Appeal Process for Financial Aid Students placed on suspended status may appeal their status and eligibility for financial aid. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid Office and will be evaluated by the Financial Aid SAP Committee for special circumstances. Special circumstances with documentation that may be approved:

1. student has a serious illness or accident,

2. death, accident, or serious illness in the immediate family,

3. unanticipated military deployment, or

4. change in academic program

Documentation of the student’s special circumstances, past academic performance, and assessment of ability to make up the SAP deficiencies will be evaluated. If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on Probation for one term if pursuing a degree or certificate. Approval of financial aid based on an appeal is normally granted one time during a student’s academic career at Rowan College at Burlington County. If a student has not corrected the deficiencies after the first probationary period, the student is ineligible for aid until the deficiencies are corrected. Unless there are special circumstances, a student placed on suspended status should demonstrate the ability to successfully complete coursework without financial aid before making an appeal. For example, a student enrolled for 12 semester credits who successfully passes all courses with a minimum 2.00 GPA and with grades of “C” or better, and who can complete the program of study within the allowable maximum time frame, is encouraged to file an appeal.

A student who fails to meet the SAP requirements and chooses to enroll without benefit of financial aid does not need to appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility when the SAP minimum requirements are met.

Students should be aware that being re-admitted to RCBC does not automatically make them eligible for financial aid. Students must meet the standards above to qualify for financial aid eligibility. Students that have lost eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs for reasons of satisfactory academic progress can regain that eligibility only by enrolling at Rowan College at Burlington County at his/her own expense and demonstrating that he/she is capable of completing a semester without any failures, incompletes or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete his or her degree requirements in a more regular fashion. The mere passage of time will not ordinarily restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory progress.

As of July 1, 2011 Students are responsible for the most current version of this policy, which is reviewed annually and published in the financial aid section of the RCBC website.

How many developmental courses am I allowed to take if I have financial aid?

Financial Aid Developmental Credit Limitation Policy

The U.S. Department of Education allows students up to one academic year (30 credit hours) of developmental coursework. Developmental Courses prepare a student for study at a postsecondary level. Developmental courses are those courses with numerical designations of less than 100, do not count toward graduation and are not computed into a student’s grade point average (GPA). This policy may impact a student's Title IV financial aid eligibility and awards, including the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study. Any student who enrolls in developmental courses after reaching the thirty credit limitation will require adjustments to their Title IV enrollment status and award(s). Any developmental credits above thirty credits will not be funded and will not count toward enrollment for financial aid purposes. The tuition and fees for developmental credits in excess of thirty will be the student's responsibility.

* English as a Second Language (ESL) courses do not count toward the 30 credit limitation

What happens to my financial aid if I don't go to class?

Non-Attendance Policy

Financial Aid will not count any class that a student has been reported for not attending towards their enrollment status. Aid amounts for scholarships, grants and loans will be recalculated to the student’s enrollment status after the report of NA and placed in a hold status. Students will be notified by mail, to the address in the system, of being reported for not attended and the steps to remedy the situation if they are now attending class.

What happens to my financial aid if I have to retake a class?

Repeated Coursework Policy (Effective July 1, 2011)

The Department of Education published Program Integrity regulations which affect the enrollment status for students who repeat courses. These regulations may impact a students financial aid eligibility and awards, including the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study.  Beginning in the Fall 2011 semester, regulations prevent the Financial Aid Office from paying for a course that has been passed and repeated more than one time.  In order for a repeated course to be counted towards your enrollment status for financial aid purposes, you may only repeat a previously passed course once (a total of two attempts).  If you enroll in a previously repeated and passed course for a third time, this course will not count towards your enrollment for financial aid purposes.  Examples of repeated courses: 

  • Allowable: Repeated courses 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.  Grades of A, B, C, D, P (developmental) and O are considered passing grades. 
  • Allowable: Student is enrolled in 15 credit hours which include 3 credits repeating a previously passed course. Since 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 permissible: 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.

Examples:

  1st Attempt 2nd
Attempt/First Repeat
3rd
Attempt/Second Repeat
Can Class Count towards FA Eligibility?

Course 1

F

D

Enrolled

Yes

Course 2

C

Enrolled

---

Yes

Course 3

D

C

Enrolled

No

Course 4

D

F

Enrolled

No

Course 5

W

F

Enrolled

Yes

Explanation of the Above Examples:

  1. Yes, the credits are counted towards the financial aid eligibility because the students first attempt was a fail. The repeated credits clock started with the second attempt that resulted in a grade of D.
  2. Yes, these credits may be counted, even though it was previously passed, because it is the first time the class is being repeated.
  3. No, this course was previously passed and this is the third attempt. Two attempts = maximum attempts that these credits can count towards financial aid eligibility, because the course has been passed.
  4. No, the class credits are no longer considered for financial aid eligibility because it has been previously passed, and this is the second time it is being repeated.
  5. Yes, because this course has never been passed so may still be counted towards financial aid eligible credits.

Details of the new regulations 

  • Repeated enrollment that is not aid eligible will be excluded from the student's enrollment status for the term.
  • Federal Title IV financial aid will be recalculated based on the student's adjusted enrollment status.
  • This recalculation will be applied regardless of whether a student received aid for previous course enrollments.
  • Some courses are repeatable per college policy and are not restricted by these regulations.
  • 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.
  • If you are in a class that is not eligible for payment, but the class is part of an approved educational plan for SAP purposes, you will not be penalized for repeating the class, but you cannot receive financial aid for that class.

Important Reminder
The Financial Aid Office does not determine if a student may repeat a class, only whether a student may be eligible for financial aid for a repeated class. For more information on your academic programs policy regarding repeat coursework, contact Academic Advising. In addition, every repeated course will impact Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations since all repeated courses are counted as attempted credits that will be factored into a students completion rate.

Complete Regulation Q&A can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/course.html

What is the refund policy if I am in a federal financial aid program?

Refund Policy for Title IV Funds

The term Title IV Funds refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and includes the following programs: Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford loans, Federal PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal SEOG. FSA refers to Federal Student Aid.

    • A FSA credit balance occurs whenever the college credits FSA program funds to a students account and the total amount of those FSA funds exceeds the students allowable charges.
    • If FSA disbursements to the students account at the college creates a FSA credit balance, the credit balance will be paid directly to the student or parent as soon as possible, but no later than 14 days after:
      • the date the balance occurred on the students account, if the balance occurred after the first day of class of a payment period.

Students have the option of setting up direct deposit or obtaining a free prepaid debit card to have their FSA credit balances deposited to through Sallie Mae. If the student does not sign up for either option then a financial aid refund check is generated and mailed to the student.
All students are notified via email when the refund is ready to be deposited or mailed:

    • Students need to update mailing address, if not current,
    • No exceptions policy all checks are mailed. Checks cannot be picked up at the college.

NOTE: FSA regulations refer to the amount of aid that exceeds the allowable charges as a credit balance. college administrators sometimes refer to this as a refund; however, it is not the same thing as a refund under the college's refund policy.

The college may not require a student to take any actions to obtain his or her credit balance. It is the sole responsibility of the college to pay, or make available, any FSA credit balance within the 14-day regulatory timeframes.

I have financial aid and I received a refund. What do I do?

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Financial Aid Office is required to return funds received under Title IV if a student withdraws from all classes during the term before completing more than 60 percent of the term. The adjustments are calculated based on any of the following actions:

  • The date the student officially withdraws or is expelled, or
  • The students last date of attendance at a documented academically-related activity, or
  • The date the college determines the unofficial date of withdrawal, or
  • The date the student is reported by the faculty for non-attendance.

Title IV aid is earned in a prorated manner on days attended up to or greater than the 60 percent point in the semester. Title IV aid is viewed as 100 percent earned after that point in time.

All withdrawals for financial aid students are monitored by the Financial Aid Office. Students who withdraw from courses and/or reduce their course loads after registration may have their financial aid reduced accordingly.

In accordance with the federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office will return funds to the Title IV Fund programs in the following order: Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans, Subsidized Federal Direct Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG, other Federal sources of aid.

The college's responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV Funds are:

  • Providing each student with the information given in this policy
  • Identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for these students.
  • Returning of Title IV Funds that are due the Title IV programs.

The students responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV Funds include:

  • Notification of proper withdrawal from the college i.e. completion of the required withdrawal documents.
  • Returning of Title IV programs any funds that were disbursed directly to the student and which the student was determined to be ineligible for via the calculation.

Failure to repay the overpayment to the college will jeopardize the students eligibility for continued enrollment at the college.

Refund Policy for State Funds

Students in state aid programs (example: TAG, EOF) must complete more than the first four weeks of the semester to earn 100 percent of the aid they have been awarded. Aid will be reduced if the student does not meet the attendance requirement. Aid adjustments based on the number of weeks of attendance will be made according to the college's published refund policy. The Financial Aid Office will assume the responsibility for returning overpayments received by the college and the student to state aid programs. Students are responsible for paying the college any overpayments that were disbursed directly to the student, which the student was determined to be ineligible to receive, based on the refund calculation.

The procedures and policies listed above supersede those published previously and are subject to change at any time. Any notification of a withdrawal should be in writing and addressed to an academic counselor and the Registration Department.