Financial Aid Handbook and Polices

General Information

The purpose of our financial aid program is to assist students who, without such help, would be unable to pursue their educational goals. Financial Aid has helped millions of students continue their education. If financial aid is needed, chances for getting aid are better if students apply in the right way and at the right time. If you are still in high school, consulting your high school guidance counselor is highly recommended. He/she will be able to assist you with local scholarships, as well as financial aid in general. For more detailed information and assistance in completing your application review Steps for Applying for Financial Aid or contact the Information Central staff at CNCC.

Application Information

The primary responsibility for financing a college education rests with students and their families. The student aid programs are primarily intended to help meet the educational costs which remain after the student’s resources and expected contributions from parents are taken into account. The application materials and procedures described herein are designed to assist the Financial Aid office in determining the amount of assistance that can be reasonably expected from students and their families; and in developing a financial aid package that will meet the remaining need of all applicants.

Review and Cancellation of Awards

The College reserves the right to review, adjust or cancel the financial aid awards at any time because of changes in financial resources, residency, marital status, the recipient’s failure to remain in good standing at the college for financial aid, academic, or for disciplinary reasons. Award adjustments can be made if additional information concerning a student’s eligibility is received after awards are made. Any information that is considered to be misleading will result in cancellation of aid until the information is clarified. From time to time it becomes necessary for various reasons to change the specific guidelines and requirements for any given award. These changes may occur without prior notice due to a shortage of funds or the total number of students applying for aid.

Student Eligibility

In order to receive assistance from student financial aid funds, a student must be a U.S. citizen, or a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, a permanent resident of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Palau), or an eligible non-citizen. Students must be at least 17 years of age, not enrolled at a secondary educational institution, enrolled as a regular student in a degree program, maintain satisfactory and measurable academic progress, and attend the college on a full-time or part-time basis.

Returning or transfer students must NOT be in default on loans or grants previously received to attend any post-secondary educational institution.

Financial Aid does not automatically continue from one year to the next.
Students must reapply every year.

The annual financial aid cycle begins October 1 for students planning to attend during the upcoming academic year. Primary consideration for financial aid will be given to students who meet the priority deadline date of May 1.

Packaging of Financial Aid Awards

As a matter of general policy, financial aid awards will include a combination of gift aid (scholarships and grants), and self-help (Student Loans and Work-study employment). Generally, the total financial aid received over two years of study will be proportionately divided among gift aid, loans, and work-study.

Selection of aid type will vary with need at the time the award is made. However, financial aid awards usually are considered at 60% grant and 40% self-help and in the following sequence: Federal PELL, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Colorado Student Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Work-Study, Federal Stafford Loan. The Financial Aid Office retains the right to alter this formula when individual student circumstances or the availability of funds warrants the adjustment.

Highest priority in awarding state-funded assistance must be given Colorado resident students who demonstrate the greatest financial need and who meet all eligibility requirements as established by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and CNCC. Student files that are completed by the priority deadline of May 1 are processed according to lowest EFC and greatest unmet need. Thereafter, awards are made weekly on a first-come, first-serve basis. Financial aid will be awarded on a continuous basis as applications are completed until all funds are depleted.

Awards are adjusted based on levels of enrollment. For example: a full-time award (12 credits or more) would be reduced to half of the original amount for half-time enrollment (6-8 credits).

Adjustments to the cost of attendance and award amounts are made subsequent to this initial award based on actual enrollment. All awards are contingent upon the student’s eligibility, which included the periodic review for satisfactory academic and incremental progress.

CNCC 2017-2018 Financing Your Education Estimate
(Estimated – based on nine month academic year) The college accepts the responsibility for developing realistic student cost allowances, which are based upon the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) survey, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and local survey information. Each budget that is established for student cost allowances seeks to reflect an accurate cost of living and direct educational cost estimates. The College will adjust budgets yearly to remain within the budget parameters established by CCHE.

Book Voucher

Schools are required to provide Federal Pell Grant eligible students a way to obtain or purchase required books and supplies by the seventh day of a payment period. To be eligible for this a student must have a completed FAFSA, including the completion of verification if necessary, and be eligible for a Pell grant.

Colorado Northwestern Community College meets this requirement by processing a book voucher obtained from the cashier’s office for on-campus students and a process for contacting the campus Bursar to purchase and ship books to online students.

Nondiscrimination Statement

The College prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment that violates federal, state law, or Board Policy 3-120 or Board Policy 4-120. The College does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sex, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion or sexual orientation. The College complies with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974; Executive Order 11246, and sections 24-34-301, C.R.S. et seq..

For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures, contact:

Title IX Coordinator

Email: Janell Oberlander

Address: Colorado Northwestern Community College,

2801 W 9th Street, Craig, CO 81625

Phone: 970.824-1102

Complaints may also be filed with the,

Vice President of Legal Affairs and Vocational Education Administration:

Colorado Community College System,

9101 E. Lowry Blvd., Denver, Colorado 80230-6011

Phone: (303) 595-1549

The Office for Civil Rights:

U.S. Department of Education, Region VIII, Federal Office Building

1244 Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, Colorado, 80204,

Phone: (303) 844-5695.

Financial Aid Students Rights and Responsibilities

You have the right to:

  • Know that Colorado Northwestern Community College will provide you with information about cost of attendance, available financial assistance (including information on all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs), program policies, application deadlines, etc. through various publications and correspondence.
  • Expect confidentiality. All financial aid information submitted to the Office of Financial Aid will remain confidential according to the college policy regarding the release of information from student records pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1976.
  • Accept all or part of the financial aid assistance offered.
  • Have your financial aid application reviewed upon request if there has been a significant change in your family situation. However, this does not always result in an increase of awards.
  • Examine your financial aid records. You may request a review with the Financial Aid Office.
  • Expect fair treatment. Colorado Northwestern Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, veteran status or age.
  • Know statistics on student completion, transfer and graduation rates, athletic related information, crime statistics and campus safety reports.
  • The portion of financial aid received that must be repaid, and the portion that is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, students have the right to know the interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, the repayment procedures, the length of repayment time, and when repayment is to begin.
  • The method the school uses to determine whether students are making satisfactory progress and what happens if they are not. Detailed information is available in the Satisfactory Academic/Incremental Progress Standards Policy.

You are responsible for:

  • Supplying accurate information on all forms submitted. Funds obtained on the basis of false or misleading information must be repaid and could result in criminal prosecution, prison sentence, and/or a $10,000 fine pursuant to U.S. Criminal Code and Colorado Criminal Code.
  • Reporting any assistance received from sources outside the CNCC Financial Aid Office.
  • Responding to all requests from the Financial Aid Office in a timely manner.
  • Reporting any change in your circumstances that may affect your eligibility for financial aid. These changes include residency, enrollment status (dropping and/or withdrawing from courses), and increase or decrease in financial resources.
  • Using financial aid funds for educational expenses related to your education at CNCC.
  • Repaying all types of loan assistance. You must inform lenders of any change in name, address, or enrollment status while you are attending school and also after you graduate or leave school.
  • Monitoring your academic progress to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
  • Meeting your educational costs. Financial aid may be available to assist when you and/or your family efforts leave a gap in meeting these costs.

If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Return of Title IV Funds

The Return of Title IV Funds calculation is required when a student has withdrawn, officially or unofficially, from all enrolled courses during a period of instruction at the institution. Students, who withdraw from some courses, but not all enrolled courses, may be subject to other calculations based upon their new enrollment status.

Title IV funds to be included in the Return of Title IV calculations are defined as: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Student Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized), Federal Perkins loan, and the Federal PLUS loan.

Note: Students who are only awarded Federal College Work-study funds are not subject to the Return of Title IV calculations.

Any student documented to have been in attendance beyond 60% of the term will not be subject to return calculations.

As a general rule, CNCC is not required to take attendance; the financial aid office will obtain the last date of attendance from the instructor to be used as the last date of attendance date for the Return of Title IV calculations.

When a student withdraws from all classes or ceases to attend before 60% of the term has elapsed, he/she establishes a withdrawal date.

Official withdrawals: The withdrawal date is the date the student completes the withdrawal form. When all classes receive a W the withdrawal date is the last date that a student withdrawal was initiated.

Unofficial withdrawals: The withdrawal date is the last date of academically related activity.

A student who rescinds a withdrawal notice and gains re-entry into class will not be subject to Return of Title IV.

Students with extenuating circumstances may not be able to officially withdraw. For these students the college will use the date the college determines the student is no longer in attendance.

Example: A student received a Pell Grant for $1,875 for full time enrollment of 12 credit hours. Student charges for the term totaled $800. The student completed 38 calendar days of the 106 day term.

Original Pell Award $1,875

Student withdraws after attending 38 calendar days (38/106) Percentage of Title IV aid earned 35.8%

Amount of Title IV aid earned $671 ($1875 x 35.8%)

Pell Award – Amount of Title IV aid unearned (Title IV aid to be returned) $671 (1875 – $671)

Pell Funds to be returned to the Department of Education by the institution $1204. The student now owes the institution the $1204 returned to the Department of Education.

 

Please Note: A student must repay these funds if the amount owed by the student is at least $25. Failure to repay requires the college to report the student to the U.S. Department of Education causing ineligibility of future Title IV funds at ANY educational institution.

The college will return Title IV funds to the programs from which the student received aid during the period of enrollment as applicable, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

1. Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans
2. Subsidized Direct Stafford loans
3. Perkins loans
4. Direct PLUS loans
5. Federal Pell Grants
6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

The College will notify the student in writing if they owe a Title IV grant repayment. The letter will inform the student of the dollar amount owed, the grant program, the method for repaying the funds and to whom, and the consequences of failing to repay the funds. If the student repays the funds to the college, the financial aid office will be responsible for returning the unearned funds to the proper grant program.

In cases where a loan only was awarded to the student, the student will be notified if a return of Title IV amount has been sent to the lender, thereby reducing the student’s outstanding loan amount.