Financial Aid Regulations
Students are expected to attend all classes. Only illness or serious personal matters may be considered adequate reasons for absences. Students who withdraw officially or stop attending (unofficial withdrawal) may not be eligible for the financial aid originally estimated. PCCC is required to prorate the financial aid based on last date of attendance for students who withdraw officially or the mid-point of the semester for those who unofficially withdraw. (See Return of Title IV Funds Policy).
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AND PROGRESS (SAP)
According to federal regulations, students must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Eligibility (Federal regulation 34 CFR 668.34). Requirements for academic progress for financial aid recipients are applied differently than PCCC’s Academic Standards. Federal regulation states that SAP standards must include a review of all attempted credits for all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received. This includes transfer credits, repeated credits, credits by exam and academic bankruptcy credits regardless of program changes. The student must meet all minimum standards in order to continue receiving financial aid. This includes Pell, FSEOG, Federal Work-study Federal Direct Loans and New Jersey TAG.
Definition of SAP terms: Once a year at the end of the Spring semester, PCCC evaluates the Satisfactory Academic Performance of all students. There are three measures: Qualitative, Quantitative and Maximum Timeframe.
Qualitative: Student must achieve the following GPA
For students seeking Associate Degree:
- 0-29.5 credits: a cumulative GPA of 1.6 or higher is required.
- 30 or more: a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher is required.
For students seeking Certificate:
- 0-14.5 credits: a cumulative GPA of 1.6 or higher is required.
- 15 or more: a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher is required.
Quantitative: Students must complete their courses to ensure they will finish the program within the allowable timeframe. PCCC measures the ratio of credits successfully completed compared to the number of credits attempted according to the chart below:
For students seeking Associate Degree:
- 0-29.5 credits complete 50%
- 30 or more complete 67%
For students seeking Certificate:
- 0-14.5 credits complete 50%
- 15 or more complete 67%
Maximum Timeframe: The maximum timeframe cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the education program. This applies to both credit and clock hour programs. For example:
An Associate Degree program requiring 60 college-level credits
The maximum time frame is 90 credits
60 x 150% = 90 credits
A certificate program requiring 30 college-level credits
The maximum time frame is 45 credits
30 x 150% = 45 credits
Developmental and ELS Courses
- A grade of "D" is considered for passing for Financial Aid SAP, but may not be considered passing for academic progression/academic placement.
- Financial Aid will fund up to thirty (30) credits of remedial courses.
- Remedial and ELS courses count towards maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
Attempted Credit Hours
Attempted credit hours are defined as the hours for which the student is enrolled and charged on the census date (the 10th day of enrollment) of the semester. Earned or completed hours are defined as the hours for which the student has earned a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” or “D.” Withdrawals, incompletes, audits, and failures are not considered earned credit hours.
To receive funds from the State of New Jersey, students must register for a minimum of six (6) credits each semester. Academic progress regulations are the same as the federal regulations.
If student does not meet the satisfactory academic progress guidelines, he/she will not be eligible for financial aid in the subsequent semesters. Students are notified of their unsatisfactory status via their College email. Students may appeal this decision.
SAP Appeals: A student may request an appeal by submitting a Financial Aid Appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Forms can be found on the financial aid website.
If the SAP appeal is approved, the student may be placed on either one semester of Probation or an Academic Plan, either of which are monitored at the end of each semester.
Students who are approved for a semester of "Probation" are expected to regain eligibility by meeting the Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Performance and Progress by the end of the next term. If they do not meet the SAP standards at the end of the next term, they will not be eligible for financial aid in future terms; however the student may submit an appeal for an Academic Plan.
Students who are approved for an Academic Plan may not withdraw from a course or earn a GPA less than 2.0 at the end of each semester as outlined on their Academic Plan. Students will be evaluated at the end of each semester. Students who meet the criteria stated above, will remain in this status until either the plan expires or they achieve SAP. If the student does not meet the conditions of the Academic Plan, they will not be eligible for financial aid in future semesters. Students who are Denied are encouraged to resubmit an appeal the following semester if their circumstances have improved. The new appeal must include a clear explanation of why the student was not successful. Exceptions will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Director of Financial Aid.
Failure to meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress does not preclude a student from enrolling in subsequent semesters at their own expense provided the student meets the academic requirements of the College.
The Department of Education randomly selects financial aid applications (FAFSA) for further review. Students selected are notified by the Department of Education and by e-mail from the PCCC Financial Aid Office. If selected for Verification, students must submit documentation (i.e., tax return transcript, verification worksheet, etc.) and a review is conducted by the Financial Aid Office. If errors are found, the Financial Aid staff must submit corrections to the Department of Education. This may decrease the estimated award and the student will be liable for the tuition, fee or book balance. Verification must be completed prior to receiving payment of any federal grant, loan or state award.
A student is expected to submit the required documentation within a reasonable timeframe, preferably 7 to 10 days after receipt of the missing information email. If the student does not submit the required documentation by November 1st for the Fall semester or April 1st for the Spring semester, the student will be billed for all tuition, fees and other related charges on the account. Students may submit verification documents after these dates if they are compliant with federal guidelines. Please check with the Financial Aid Office for the deadline. Failure to submit the required documentation will result in the denial of all federal and state financial aid including student loans.
Financial Aid forms can be found on the PCCC Financial Aid Webpage.
State of New Jersey Regulations
To receive funds from the State of New Jersey, students must register for a minimum of six (6) credits each semester. To maintain TAG eligibility, student must meet the satisfactory academic progress rules which are the same as the federal SAP guidelines. Progress is monitored annually at the end of spring semester.
EOF Program Regulations
Normally, EOF students must complete twelve (12) credits within a semester. With written approval from the EOF campus director, students may, for academic reasons, complete no fewer than six (6) credits within a semester. EOF students are required to complete all remedial courses within the first four semesters.
Upon formal request and approval by the Director of EOF, students attending PCCC are eligible to receive up to six (6) semesters of EOF funding with additional awards up to a maximum of eight (8) semesters. If state financial aid is denied, students and institutions have the right to appeal. Contact the Financial Aid Office or the EOF Office for procedures.
Students who withdraw from a course or reduce their course load before the add/drop period will have their financial aid reduced accordingly. As a result, students may owe a tuition balance and book deferment may be decreased. Please seek assistance from the financial aid staff and an academic advisor before withdrawing to understand the implications.