All students receiving federal student financial aid must adhere to the College’s policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress. The intent of this policy is to ensure that students who are receiving financial aid are making measurable progress toward completion of a degree, diploma or certificate program in a reasonable amount of time.
As recipients of federal student Financial Aid, students have certain rights and responsibilities. Failure to fulfill their part of the agreement as described may result in cancellation of the award, and having to repay any funds already received.
The Financial Aid Office will monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all students receiving federal financial aid at the end of each payment period (each semester of enrollment) to ensure that they are making progress toward program completion. The standards defining Satisfactory Academic Progress for Denmark Technical College students are outlined as follows:
Satisfactory Academic Progress – Qualitative Standards
In order to remain in good standing, students pursuing a degree, diploma, or certificate who are enrolled in regular curriculum courses, must maintain a minimum credit hour grade-point average (GPA) according to the following scale:
|Associate Degree Programs||60-70|
|Credit Hrs. Earned||Minimum GPA|
|Credit Hrs. Earned||Minimum GPA|
|Credit Hrs. Earned||Minimum GPA|
Students must progress to a 2.0 GPA at graduation from a degree, diploma or certificate programs.
Students who fail to follow this progression will be placed on Academic Probation I during the next term in which they enroll at the College. If the student does not achieve the minimum required GPA during the probationary period, the student will be placed on Probation 2. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress during the second probationary period, will be placed on Probation 3. If the student does not achieve the minimum required G.PA. the student will be suspended from the college for one semester. Please note that a probationary student must complete a “Program Course Plan Form” with their academic advisor, enroll in a College Orientation 101 course (Probation I); COL 104-Study Skills (Probation 2) and COL 109-Advanced Academic Study Skills (Probation 3); and attend class on a regular basis. A student on probation must register for no more than 13 credit hours. However, exceptions to the credit hour limit may be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Financial Aid recipients, who are placed on academic probation, will be placed on Financial Aid Warning (Probation 1) during the next term in which they enroll at the College. If the student does not achieve the required minimum G.P.A. after the first Financial Aid Warning Term, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation which requires a Financial Aid appeal (Probation 2). If the appeal is granted, the student will be eligible for Financial Aid. The student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the Financial Aid Probationary Term or the student will be ineligible for Financial Aid (Probation 3). Before returning, the student must complete a Financial Aid Appeal to regain Financial Aid eligibility.
Satisfactory Academic Progress – Limits for Educational Programs for Title IV Recipients (Quantitative Standards)
The length of time for which a student may receive Title IV funds is based on the length of the program in which the student is enrolled. All Title IV Funds (Pell, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Direct Loans, and Federal Work Study) are affected by a 150% time limit. Federal regulations state that a student must complete the program of study within a 150% timeframe of the published length of the program. Denmark Technical College measures this timeframe by using credit hours. For example, a student whose program consists of 60 credit hours is required to have completed the program in no more than 90 attempted credit hours. All classes registered for are included in the 150% time frame, including the classes for which students receive an F or W. Transitional Studies (remedial) courses are not included in this calculation. A Change of Program Form does not automatically result in recalculation of attempted credit hours. It is in the best interest of the student to contact the Academic Advisor and the Financial Aid Director before changing programs.
In order to complete the program at an appropriate pace, students must complete 67% of the credits that they register for each semester. All courses taken must be applicable toward an eligible program. Completed courses are courses with a grade of A, B or C.
Verification is the process of confirming the accuracy of student reported data on financial aid applications. Only a portion of the student population is selected for verification.
Selection of Applications to be Verified
The Financial Aid Office (FAO) verifies those applicants identified by the Department of Education (DOE). We will operate on the policy of verifying 100% of student selected and enrolled. In addition, the school may select a student for verification if there is a discrepancy or a condition that is unusual and warrants investigation.
Listed below are certain circumstances where students do not have to complete verification. Counselors should identify and document in the aid folder why the student is not required to complete verification.
1. An applicant who died during the award year.
2. The applicant is eligible to receive only unsubsidized student financial assistance.
3. Applicant completed verification for the current award year at another school before transferring.
4. A student who does not receive Title IV funds.
Conflicting Information for Non-selected Applicants
FAOs are required to resolve any discrepancies discovered in a student’s file. Because need analysis information is only collected from the DOE, and additional information is typically not requested from students who are not selected for verification, conflicting information is systematically rare.
Verification Time Frame
Upon receipt of the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) through a federal transmission or receipt of SAR, a letter is sent to the student identifying the verification process and the paperwork needed to complete the process (i.e., verification form, student and parent tax returns transcript or untaxed income documentation. W-2 information is optional but encouraged to submit).
Students are notified that the majority of financial aid funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and that until the missing items are submitted to the FAO, additional processing of their file is not possible.
If a student submits documentation which appears fraudulent, the FAO staff member must notify the Director of Financial Aid.
Document Collection Procedures
When documents arrive, the Administrative Assistant puts a receipt date on document and forwards to appropriate counselor. When all required documents are received, the student is considered complete and awarded funds will appear available on the student credit balance screen. The Administrative Assistant distributes all documentation to the appropriate officer. All completed files are filed appropriately.
Documentation submitted to the FAO must be legible, appropriate, and have the student’s College ID for identification purposes. If the student submits a document which is not legible then the documentation is asked to be re-submitted (i.e., a copy of the tax return transcript in which the income numbers are not identifiable, the appropriate tax return transcript is to be re-requested with a W-2).
Processing Time Period
Students are notified that the majority of financial aid funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and that until the missing items are submitted to the FAO, additional processing of their file is not possible. The estimated processing time on Verification files are two to three weeks from the submittal date and general forms that are needed to complete (i.e. Voc Rehab, and Food Stamp Assistance forms) are completed within 5 business days.
Failure to Comply
Students who fail to submit verification documents never become complete; therefore, Title IV aid is not disbursed for these students. Some eligible state funding can be awarded prior to the completion of the verification processing. Students are sent letters of the incomplete documentation and are contacted by telephone to submit the incomplete documentation.
Submission After Priority Date
Students who submit verification documents very late after the time they were requested will be awarded aid on an availability basis. Typically, by the end of the summer, aid funds beyond federal loans and the Federal Pell Grant are depleted. Students who complete the verification and are Pell eligible within the 120 days of their enrollments period are awarded accordingly. Students that do not complete the verification process are not awarded the Pell Grant funding or any additional Title IV funding.
Notification of Verification to Applicants
Students are notified that they are selected for verification on the Student Aid Report (SAR). In addition, a letter is sent indicating to the student that he/she has been selected for verification and documents are needed to complete the verification process. Students that are selected by the institution due to discrepancy of information on the FAFSA are sent a letter asking that they submit the verification documentation to the college.
Verification of Data Elements
DTC systematically verifies only those data elements required by the federal government. However, officers are free to ask for additional information if further investigation is needed to resolve a discrepancy.
Adjusted Gross Income
Adjusted Gross Income is verified by comparing a copy of the student, spouse, or parent income tax return. Discrepancies outside of tolerance levels must be corrected before further processing.
U.S. Income Tax Paid
U.S. Income Tax paid is verified by comparing a copy of the student, spouse, or parent income tax return. Discrepancies outside of tolerance levels must be corrected before further processing.
Household size is verified by comparing the Verification Worksheet to federal data. Discrepancies must be corrected before further processing.
Although regulations allow situations when verification of household size is not required (See Depart of Education Verification Guide, pages 20-29), the FAO does not have a systematic way to track these exclusions. Therefore, all students selected for verification must submit a response to the Household size question on the Verification Worksheet.
Number in Postsecondary Institutions
Number of family members enrolled at least half-time in postsecondary institutions is verified by comparing the Verification Worksheet to federal data. Discrepancies must be corrected before further processing. Beginning 2000-01, parents cannot be included in this data.
Although regulations allow situations when verification of number in college is not required (See Chapter 2, page 19 of the DOE Verification Guide), the FAO does not have a systematic way to track these exclusions. Therefore, all students selected for verification must submit a response to the Number in College question on the Verification Worksheet.
Institutional Discretionary Items
The FAO verifies those applicants identified by the Department of Education (DOE). Officers may select a student for verification if there is a discrepancy or a condition which is unusual and warrants investigation. If a student submits verification documentation (i.e., tax return transcript), the FAO staff must verify the information on the document against the information in the student’s file.
When verifying a student’s record, there are two instances when discrepant information does not have to be corrected.
1. When the absolute value of the discrepancies does not exceed $400. Effective July 1, 2011 this will no longer exist. DTC has not and will continue to not verify/award based on tolerances.
2. When the EFC is 0 and a recalculation determines the EFC would remain 0.
Notification to Students
Students are notified that verification is complete by receipt of an Award Letter. All awarded Title IV aid will be visible on the student’s credit balance screen.
FAO policies and procedures are designed to eliminate the possibility of an overpayment from any fund. If however, an overpayment does occur, the student financial aid file is placed on hold until the overpayments has been corrected. There are transmittal rules that are set in the financial aid management system that will not allow current awards to process should the code for over award appears on the SAR. Once the overpayment has been paid, the officer will mark the communication code received.
Updating Requirements and Procedures
There are three situations whereby an officer may update student information. When students notify the aid office of an allowable update, the officer may recalculate the student’s EFC and the new figure may be used to award financial aid. Updates may occur for:
1) Dependency status (Dependency status may not be changed for previously certified Stafford Loans, and may not be changed due to marital status).
2) Family size.
3) Number of family members enrolled in a postsecondary institution.
Because the FAO is liable for disbursements made prior to verification, the FAO policy does not allow interim disbursements. Students must complete the verification process before Title IV aid is disbursed.
Return of Title IV Funds
It is the policy of Denmark Technical College to refund tuition, and fees, to students who officially leave the college, depending on the last date of attendance. For students who are receiving financial aid, regardless of the source, the Financial Aid Office will adjust aid based on the recalculation completed by the Business Office to determine the percentage of earned aid for students who withdraw, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of the semester. If a student owes a balance to the College, he or she will be notified by the Business Office. A copy of the official recalculation is available in the Business Office. A refund check will be generated for accounts that have a credit balance after application of all financial aid. However, withdrawal or changes in enrollment status may affect the Refund Check. Refunds are issued within a 14-day period disbursement.
Entrance/Exit Loan Counseling
All first-time, transfer, and re-entry students borrowing of a federal loan are required to complete entrance counseling. The Entrance Counseling information is available online via www.studentloans.gov. All students must complete the online counseling before loan proceeds are disbursed.
Exit Loan Counseling
Students who are graduating are notified of the requirement for exit loan counseling interview. Students who terminate attendance by means other than graduation or students who indicate they cannot attend are contacted and informed of loan responsibilities in writing. During the exit interview, the students are informed to complete exit counseling online at www.nslds.gov. If not previously, submitted, students are asked to complete the Student Loan Borrower information form.