As a part of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Southside Virginia Community College’s Financial Aid Department strives to assist students in applying for financial aid by providing extraordinary customer service to internal and external customers combined with exceptional accuracy and timeliness to support the overall mission of SVCC. Financial Aid will assist students individually in completing the FAFSA; will be proactive in problem-solving; will emphasize excellent communication and will model a positive workplace environment.
SVCC strives to meet the educational needs of people in SVCC’s service area who possess varying interests and abilities. Similarly, the Financial Aid Office at SVCC attempts to make higher education available to individuals who have varying financial needs. lt is the goal of the Financial Aid Office that a student who wishes to acquire a postsecondary education shall not be denied this opportunity because of financial need.
While students who qualify for aid are generally assisted, it is expected that all resources at the students’ disposal will be utilized, and that financial aid will supplement these resources. For unmarried students under the age of 24, this includes the student’s as well as the parents’ resources. For all other students, it includes their resources as well as that of their spouse, if married. As a general rule, this applies regardless of the parties’ willingness to contribute those resources. The primary goal of the Financial Aid Office is to meet all direct educational expenses (tuition, fees, books, and supplies) and a limited amount of indirect educational expenses (for example, transportation) for the most needy students and a limited amount of direct educational costs (for example, limited tuition and fees) for those with less need. Award packages will generally range within these parameters.
In addition, SVCC has a commitment to providing the greatest amount of aid to those needy Virginia high school graduates who have attained a high school grade point average of 2.5 (VGAP-eligible students). In keeping with the Commonwealth’s goal of promising an education for all needy students who attain this standard, these students will always receive a larger amount of aid packages, regardless of category, than those who do not meet this standard, dependent upon funding.
Finally, recognizing the growing burden of loans on today’s college students, it is the commitment of the Financial Aid Office to provide debt-free financial aid to students during their entire course of study. As a result, SVCC’s Financial Aid Office is proud to offer the only completely loan-free financial aid package in the region. This means that as a policy, SVCC will meet your educational costs with grants, rather than loans.
To apply for Financial Aid, as well as SVCC scholarships, the student must be accepted into an eligible program of study and complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be found online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa
SVCC will assist students who bring in their tax forms and their Federal Student Aid Identifications (FSAID) in completing the FAFSA application electronically.
Financial Aid Award Process
Most awards, with the exception of a few privately-sponsored programs, are allocated based on demonstrated financial need. June 1 is the date by which students must have completed the entire award process in order to ensure that they be considered for additional supplementary aid (over and above Pell grant).
Students may view the award decision by logging onto their account through the Student Information System.
Students must register for all courses for the semester before the add/drop period ends in order to qualify for the full financial aid award. Classes added after the last day to drop with a refund will not be considered in the awarding of financial aid for that semester.
Federal, State, and Institutional Grant Programs
Pell Grant (Pell)
Pell grant is a non-repayable grant that is available to the student on an ongoing basis throughout the award year. It pays an established contribution (EFC) from 0 to $5,846. The lower the EFC, the higher the amount of the grant. The amount of the grant is for the equivalent of any two full-time semesters during the award year. If you attend 1/4 time, 1/2 time or 3/4 time during the semester, you may receive a prorated grant. You cannot receive Pell Grant if you have already earned a bachelor’s degree. The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
FSEOG is a non repayable supplemental grant that is available on a limited basis. The amount of the grant is for two full semesters. A certain percentage of the grant may come from state funds. You cannot receive FSEOG if you have already earned a bachelor’s degree.
Federal Work Study (FWS)
FWS is an employment program that is available on a limited basis for those attending at least 1/2 time during the Fall and Spring semesters. It pays you $11.00 (/hr) for 5 to 20 hours per week (depending on the position). To qualify for FWS, you must apply for financial aid, and qualify for financial aid. In addition, to receive a FWS job, the student must complete an application for employment, be interviewed by the supervisor, and compete for the job as you would any other job. Position announcements are posted in the Financial Aid Office. Although there is no formal deadline to apply for work-study positions, returning students should apply before they leave school in the spring semester. In addition, all work-study money will normally be allocated by mid-August.
Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)
VGAP is a non-repayable grant that is available on a limited basis to students attending full time during the Fall and Spring semesters. To qualify, the student must be a Virginia resident for at least one year, and have graduated from a Virginia high school with a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. VGAP recipients receive more grant aid than non-VGAP eligible students in the same need category, if funds are available.
Virginia Commonwealth Award (COMA)
COMA is a non-repayable grant that is available on a limited basis for those attending at least 1/2 time during the Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters. To qualify, the student must have been a Virginia resident for at least one year and must have remaining need in the amount of the award. Awards equal the exact amount of tuition and fees between 6-12 semester hours. COMA grant does not cover books. Students who have more remaining need and/or apply earlier will have more tuition covered, while students who have less remaining need and/or apply later will receive a COMA grant for less tuition, or partial tuition.
Part-Time Tuition Assistance Grant (PTAP)
PTAP is a non-repayable grant that is available on a limited basis if you are attending at least 1/4 time during the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters. For state grant programs, 1/4 time means you are taking between 1 to 8 semester hours. To qualify, the student must have been a Virginia resident for at least one year and must have an EFC low enough to have financial need in the amount of the award. In keeping with SVCC’s philosophy, as well as the primary intention of the grant, PTAP will be used for students who are either not eligible for Pell grant or eligible for insufficient amounts of Pell to cover tuition. Awards equal the exact amount of tuition and technology fee (but not any other fees) between 1-8 semester hours. PTAP does not cover books. You cannot receive PTAP if you have already earned a bachelor’s degree.
SVCC does not participate in any of the Federal or State loan programs. However, incoming transfer students with prior loans are eligible to receive an in-school deferment while in attendance at SVCC. To apply for a deferment, students should bring their completed deferment forms to the Admissions and Records Office. Deferment forms may be forwarded to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse for processing.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
In order to receive student financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended, one must maintain satisfactory academic progress in the course of study (certificate, diploma, or degree) that you are pursuing according to the standards and practices of Southside Virginia Community College. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy applies to all financial aid grants and scholarships.
You will be evaluated according to the following policy:
Maximum Time Frame to Complete a Program
The maximum time (in credit hours) to complete any program at SVCC is 150% of the actual length of the program as it is listed in the SVCC College Catalog.
For example, a student enrolled in a program that is 60 semester hours in length would be expected to complete this program by the time he/she has attempted no more than 90 semester hours.
Quantitative Standards of Progress
Each student is also required to complete a specific percentage of semester hours attempted during his/her enrollment at SVCC. Students are evaluated at the end of each semester and must maintain a completion percentage of 67%. Grades of F, U, I and W and R are considered credit hours not completed.
Qualitative Standards of Progress
In addition to completing the required minimum of semester hours, you must also maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) based on the following scales:
For all Certificate, Diploma, and Degree Programs, if you have attempted a total of:
1-15 semester hours, a 1.5 CGPA is required
16-30 semester hours, a 1.75 CGPA is required
31 or more semester hours, a 2.0 CGPA is required.
Like the quantitative standards of progress, the qualitative standards of progress are evaluated each semester. At the end of each semester, your CGPA is recorded. If your CGPA is below the required minimum on the CGPA scale, you will be placed on financial aid suspension.
The status of Warning is given to students who, for the first time, do not meet either the GPA or 67% Satisfactory Academic Progress standards at the end of a semester. The student is given a semester to improve their SAP standing or they will lose their financial aid eligibility for the subsequent semester. Students do not need to appeal the warning status, as they are granted financial aid for one semester.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) APPEALS
Students who do not meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress standards at the end of each semester will lose their financial aid eligibility for the subsequent semester. Students may appeal the loss of their aid, in writing, to the Financial Aid Office within 15 days from the date of the notification letter. Only appeals that document mitigating circumstances will be considered. A student may apply for an appeal and if approved, it would be valid for one semester only. Appeal forms can be obtained at the Financial Aid Office on either Campus or online on the Financial Aid webpage.
Students who lose their eligibility for financial aid due to lack of satisfactory academic progress and do not qualify for an appeal can regain their eligibility if they are able to correct their deficiency. This can be accomplished by taking courses at SVCC with out-of-pocket funds. lt is important to realize that failure of the 150% Rule is permanent and all coursework will be considered for all SAP Rules.
Withdrawing Versus Dropping Classes
Until the end of the add/drop period for each semester, a student may DROP a class by completing the proper paperwork. Dropped classes will not appear on the student’s academic record. After the end of the add/drop period through the last day to withdraw without academic penalty, it is considered a WITHDRAWAL from class. The withdrawal stays on the academic record, and is counted towards the student’s enrollment status and in all SAP calculations. Students who withdraw frequently run the risk of losing their eligibility in the future.
Refunds and Repayments
Financial Aid Recipients Who Withdraw From School
Repayment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws
Effective October 6, 2010, when a recipient of Financial Aid assistance withdraws from the College during a semester in which the recipient began attendance, the College must determine the amount of Financial Aid assistance that the student earned as of the student’s withdrawal date in accordance with federal regulations (34 CFR, 668.22, July 1, 2011). If the student never begins attendance, the college will return a full refund of all charges assessed (tuition, fees, bookstore charges) against the Financial Aid. If the total amount of Title IV assistance that the student earned is less than the amount of Title IV assistance that was disbursed to the student as of the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew, the difference between these amounts must be returned to the Title IV programs. If the total amount of Title IV assistance that the student earned is greater than the total amount disbursed to the student, the difference between these amounts must be treated as a post-withdrawal disbursement. If outstanding charges exist on the student’s account, the College may credit the student’s account with all or a portion of the post withdrawal disbursement, up to the amount of the outstanding charges.
Withdrawal Date for a Student Receiving Title IV Aid
For a student who ceases attendance the withdrawal date is:
- The date that the student began the withdrawal process by submitting a completed withdrawal form to the Admissions Office;
- The date, as determined by the College, that the student otherwise provided official notification to the Admissions Office, in writing or orally, of his or her intent to withdraw;
- If the student ceases attendance without providing official notification to the Admissions Office of his or her withdrawal, the midpoint of the semester or period of enrollment;
- If the College determines that the student did not begin the College’s withdrawal process or otherwise provide official notification because of illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control, the date that the College determines is related to that circumstance;
- The student’s last date of attendance at an academically-related activity provided that the College documents that the activity is academically related and documents the student’s attendance at the activity. An academically-related activity includes, but is not limited to, an exam, a tutorial, computer-assisted instruction, academic counseling, academic advisement, turning in a class assignment, or attending a study group that is assigned by the College.
The College must document a student’s withdrawal date and maintain the documentation as of the date of the College’s determination that the student withdrew. “Official notification to the College” is a notice of intent to withdraw that a student provided to the Admissions Office.
Calculation of Amount of Title IV Aid Earned by the Student
The college will use software provided by the U.S. Department of Education to determine required amounts. The amount of Title IV assistance that is earned by the student is calculated by:
- Determining the percentage of payment period completed. The percentage of the payment period completed is determined by dividing the total number of calendar days in the payment period into the number of calendar days completed in that period as of the student’s withdrawal date. The total number of calendar days in a payment period includes all days within the period, except that scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days are excluded from the total number of calendar days in the calculation.
- Determining the percentage of assistance earned by the student. The percentage of the Title IV assistance that has been earned by the student is equal to the percentage of the payment period that the student completed as of the student’s withdrawal date, if this date occurs on or before completion of 60 percent of the payment period. The amount of aid earned is considered to be 100 percent if the student’s withdrawal date occurs after completion of 60 percent of the payment period.
- Determining the percentage of assistance unearned by the student. The percentage of Title IV assistance that has not been earned by the student is calculated by determining the complement of the percentage of Title IV assistance earned by the student.
- Determining the percentage of unearned Title IV assistance to be returned. The unearned amount of Title IV assistance to be returned is calculated by subtracting the amount of Title IV assistance earned by the student from the amount of Title IV aid that was disbursed to the student as of the date of the College’s determination that the student withdrew.
Return of Unearned Title IV Aid by the College
The College must return the lesser of:
- The total amount of unearned Title IV assistance to be returned as calculated in (4) above; or
- An amount equal to the total charges by the College incurred by the student for the payment period multiplied by the percentage of Title IV assistance that has not been earned by the student as calculated in (3) above.
Charges by the College are tuition, fees, and bookstore charges assessed by the College. The student may be obligated by the College for any tuition, fee and bookstore charges that are returned as a result of this policy.
Return of Unearned Title IV Aid by the Student
After the College has allocated the unearned funds for which it is responsible, the student must return assistance for which the student is responsible. The amount of assistance that the student is responsible for returning is calculated by subtracting the amount of unearned aid that the College is required to return from the total amount of unearned Financial Aid assistance to be returned. However, a student is not required to return 50 percent of the assistance that is the responsibility of the student to repay.
A student who owes an overpayment of Title IV assistance remains eligible for Title IV program funds through and beyond the earlier of 45 days from the date the College sends a notification to the student of the overpayment, or 45 days from the date the College was required to notify the student of the overpayment if, during those 45 days the student:
- Repays the overpayment in full to the College;
- Enters into a repayment agreement with the College with arrangements satisfactory to the College.
The College must send the student a notice within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal, if the student owes a Title IV overpayment. If the student wishes to enter into a repayment agreement with the College the agreement must require repayment of the full amount of the overpayment within two years of the date of the College’s determination that the student withdrew. If the student does not repay the overpayment in full to the College, or enter a repayment agreement, the College must refer the student overpayment to the Secretary of Education for collection. Referral to the Secretary must take place within the earlier of 45 days from the date the College sends a notification to the student of the overpayment. At any time the student fails to meet the terms of the repayment agreement with the College, a student who owes an overpayment is ineligible for Title IV program funds.
Order of Return of Title IV Aid
Unearned funds returned by the College or the student must be credited to any amount awarded for the payment period for which a return of funds is required in the following order: Federal Pell Grants and Federal SEOG Program aid.
Timeframe for Return of Title IV Aid
The College must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but not later than 30 days after the date of the College’s determination that the student withdrew. The College must determine the withdrawal date for a student who withdraws without providing notification to the College no later than 30 days after the end of the payment period.
Examples of Repayment
Student I is enrolled for 18 credits in the fall semester and withdraws on September 13. Student II withdraws on October 31. There are 115 calendar days in the semester. Both students charged $500 at the College Bookstore and $749 tuition against their financial aid account. Financial aid disbursed of $1,650 PELL and $50 FSEOG.
Withdrawal Date: September 13
Days attended: 22 out of 115 = 19 percent completed Total Aid of $1,700 x 19 percent completed = $323 earned aid
Total Aid of $1,700 – $323 earned aid = $1,377 unearned aid to be returned 100 percent – 19 percent completed = 81 percent unearned
81 percent unearned x $1,249 tuition and bookstore charges = $1,011.69 unrecoverable charges
Lesser of unearned aid to be returned or unrecoverable charges:
$1,011,69 institution’s share of unearned aid
$1,377 unearned aid – $1,011.69 institution’s share = $365.31 student’s share of unearned aid
$1,011.69 returned to PELL: institution’s share of unearned aid returned
$365.31 x 50 percent = $182.66 to PELL: student’s share of unearned aid returned
Withdrawal Date: October 31 (After the last day to withdraw without academic penalty)
Days attended: 70 out of 115 = 61 percent completed (If calculated percentage exceeds 60 percent, enter 100 percent instead): 100 percent completed
Total aid of $1,700 x 100 percent completed = $1,700 earned aid
Total aid of $1,700 – $1,700 earned aid = $0 unearned aid to be returned
100 percent – 100 percent completed = 0 percent unearned
0 percent unearned x $1,249 tuition and bookstore charges = $0 unrecoverable charges
Lesser of unearned aid to be returned or unrecoverable charges: $0 institution’s share of unearned aid
$0 unearned aid – $0 institution’s share = $0 student’s share of unearned aid
$0 returned to PELL: institution’s share of unearned aid returned
$0 x 50 percent = $0 to PELL: student’s share of unearned aid returned
Most colleges cooperate with the State Department of Rehabilitative Services in providing education and training for persons with vocational handicaps. Vocational Rehabilitation students are required to apply for financial aid.
The Southside Virginia Community College Foundation encourages and recognizes excellence through a variety of scholarship programs. Individuals, organizations and the business and industry communities support our scholarship funds through their generous donations. By completing one application, you will be considered for all scholarships available through the SVCC Foundation. For more information and/or to apply, visit southside.academicworks.com.