2020-2021 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    
    Sep 19, 2020  
2020-2021 Catalog and Student Handbook

Financial Assistance



Your education at Robeson Community College is one of the most valuable investments you will make in your life. The financial aid office is committed to helping you find ways to finance your education because we believe attending college should not be limited by your family’s financial resources. Financial aid programs exist to ensure that no qualified student will be denied the opportunity to continue his/her education because of economic disadvantages. Through a variety of grants, scholarships, sponsorships and part-time employment, an RCC student is able to supplement his/her own resources and those of his/her family to successfully complete a course of study.

We urge you to stay informed and in control of your education by reading the information in this catalog, checking your RCC student email and Self-Service student portal, and contact the Financial Aid Office to ask questions. 

Applying for Financial Aid

Robeson Community College accepts the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can apply by completing the following steps:

Step 1: CREATE A FSA ID USERNAME & PASSWORD: An FSA ID is a username and password that gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature. For dependent students, your parent must create their own FSA ID. Access https://fsaid.ed.gov/ [opens in a new tab].
Step 2:  Complete the FAFSA - Access www.fafsa.ed.gov [opens in a new tab] and add RCC’s federal school code: 008612, to their FAFSA before submitting. The FAFSA is available every October 1st and must be completed annually to be eligible.
Step 3: SUBMIT ALL REQUESTED DOCUMENTS ASAP: Once RCC’s Financial Aid Office receives your completed FAFSA, we will notify you via your RCC Student Email if further documents are needed to complete processing. Allow 1-2 weeks for processing.
What Happens After Completing the FAFSA

Please allow 3-5 business days for your FAFSA to be processed by CPS and sent to RCC’s Financial Aid Office. Once we receive your FAFSA, we will notify you via email and/or letter of your aid eligibility. In certain cases, you may have to submit additional required documents to determine your financial aid eligibility. Documentation must be submitted in order to complete processing of your financial aid eligibility.  

Failure to Submit Required Documents

Students who do not submit required documents to the Financial Aid Office forfeits his/her aid for the award year. In certain cases, students must return funds already received for the year.

Students may continue to submit documents to the Financial Aid Office for up to 120 days after the last day of their enrollment or by August 1st, of the academic year, whichever is earlier, for a determination of eligibility for all aid.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to guarantee an award before the start of the term you plan to enroll, please follow the priority dates provided below.

Priority Deadlines

A valid FAFSA application and all required verification documents and forms must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the following priority dates for the best chance of receiving a financial aid award for the term that you plan to enroll.

Fall Semester – July 1
Spring Semester – November 1
Summer Semester – April 1

Applications and documents submitted after these dates will continue to be processed in date order; however, you are responsible for payment of your tuition, fees, and book charges if your financial aid is not processed by the payment deadline. Once your financial aid is processed and it is determined that you are eligible to receive an award, you will be reimbursed for your out of pocket expenses up to the amount of your award eligibility.

Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive federal and/or state student aid, you must:

  • Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen of the United States.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
  • Register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System, if you are a male and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans).

Many types of student aid also require you to have financial need. Additionally, once you have a bachelor’s degree or a first professional degree, you are generally not eligible for certain types of aid.

Types of Aid

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant, which does not have to be repaid, is a federal program providing financial assistance to undergraduate students who demonstrate a need for financial assistance to attend college. The US Department of Education uses a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The formula produces an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number. The Student Aid Report contains the EFC number that determines eligibility. The Federal Pell Grant award amount depends on the student’s financial need, the student’s cost of attendance, whether the student is full-time or part-time, and whether the student attends school for a full academic year or less. Students with Bachelor’s degrees are not eligible.

Award Amounts:  Varies up to a maximum of $6,345

Please note: You can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 full-time semesters or the equivalent (roughly six years). You’ll receive a notice if you’re getting close to your limit. If you have any questions, contact your financial aid office. 

In certain situations, an eligible student can receive up to 150 percent of his or her scheduled Pell Grant award for an award year.

For example, if you are eligible for a $2,000 Pell Grant for the award year, and are enrolled full-time for both the fall and spring semesters, you’ll likely receive $1,000 in the fall and $1,000 in the spring. However, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to receive an additional $1,000 in the summer semester (resulting in your receiving 150% of your original award). You might hear this situation being referred to as “Year-Round Pell.”

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Funds for this program are provided by the Federal Government. The awards are made by the Financial Aid Office to a limited number of students with financial need who without the grant would not be able to attend school. Federal SEOG funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to students based on need.

In order to be considered, the applicant must be an undergraduate student who has not previously received a bachelor’s degree.

To be eligible for a Federal SEOG, the student must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis and making satisfactory progress in the course of study he or she is pursuing.

Award Amounts:  $400 per year (Fall and Spring).

Employment

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. Students with Bachelor’s degrees are eligible.

Eligibility:

  • Must complete a FAFSA
  • Must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours
  • Must maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Must have financial need
  • May work an average of 15 – 20 hours per week.
  • To apply for an available position, please complete the Federal Work Study Application Form and submit to the Financial Aid Office.

State Grants

North Carolina Community College Grant (NCCCG)

The North Carolina Community College Grant (NCCCG) is a need based grant established by the North Carolina Legislature. The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, through College Foundation, Inc., makes award determinations. The North Carolina Community College Grant provides funds to help meet the educational costs of North Carolina residents attending community colleges.

Applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes
  • Enroll for at least six credit hours per semester in a curriculum program
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements of the institution

Award amount varies and is determined by a range set by the state of NC based on your EFC (Expected Family Contribution).

North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (NCELS)

The North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS) was created by the 2005 General Assembly to provide financial assistance to needy North Carolina resident students attending eligible colleges and universities located within the state of North Carolina. Awards

Students must:

  • Be a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes
  • Enroll for at least six credit hours per semester in a curriculum program
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements of the institution
North Carolina Targeted Assistance Program
Offers financial assistance to students enrolled full-time in a curriculum program that is identified as low enrollment for a high demand occupation
AND/OR
Offers financial assistance to students enrolled in less than six credit hours per semester in a curriculum program
Childcare Assistance Grant

Robeson Community College provides childcare assistance to a limited number of students for payment of childcare services. Depending on the availability of funds provided by the State of North Carolina, students may qualify for full or partial payment of monthly childcare services. To meet eligibility guidelines for childcare assistance, students must qualify for the maximum Pell Grant award for the current school year and be continuously enrolled in 12 hours or more of traditional daytime/evening classes. Reimbursements will be vendors after services are rendered. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.

Scholarships

The Financial Aid Office administers a variety of scholarships provided by internal & external agencies such as the college itself, clubs, churches, organizations, employers, etc. that are available to help you pay for your college expenses. RCC’s Financial Aid Office urges you to take advantage of all the scholarship opportunities available to you.

Scholarships are provided by the following:

  • RCC Foundation Office (see list of available scholarships in the Foundation Scholarship section [opens in a new tab]  of this catalog)
  • State Scholarships (Golden LEAF, Wells Fargo, CFNC, etc.)
  • External Scholarship (national organizations, scholarship non-profits, etc.)
  • Local Scholarships (churches, clubs, agencies, employers)
  • Students who wish to apply for scholarships should visit RCC’s Financial Aid website or contact the Financial Aid Office.

Return of Title IV Policy

“Due to the change in the 2020-2021 Attendance Policy , this section has been amended.”

Return of Title IV (R2T4) is a federal and state regulation that defines the treatment federal and state aid funds when a recipient of those funds ceases to be enrolled prior to the end of a payment period or period of enrollment. R2T4 regulations require Robeson Community College to determine the earned and unearned aid a student has earned as of the date the student ceased attendance (withdrawal date). If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, unearned funds must be returned to the Department of Education (Dept. of Ed.) and/or State of NC. Monies returned . may result in a balance owed at Robeson Community College.

Federal law specifies how the Financial Aid Office must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw or cease enrollment at Robeson Community College. (Addition) Students who withdraw from all classes prior to completing more than 60% of an enrollment term will have their eligibility for aid recalculated based on the percent of the term completed.

The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

* The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) along with College Foundation Incorporated (CFI) has established a return policy for state funded grants. State grant recipients who withdraw from class or cease enrollment prior to or at the 35% point of the semester will owe a repayment.

  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  • North Carolina Community College Grant *
  • North Carolina Education Lottery Grant *

Withdrawals (Change)

Robeson Community College is an institution that is required that is not required to take attendance. Students can officially or unofficially withdraw from the College, which both leads to a recalculation of the student’s aid.

For students who completely withdraws or cease enrollment, the withdrawal process is determined as follows:

Official Withdrawal

When a student initiates the withdrawal process by either notifying the instructor(s) or Registration Office of his/her intent to cease enrollment in his/her courses.

Official Withdrawals: The withdrawal date is the earlier of the date the student began the official withdrawal process or otherwise provided official notification of withdrawal to the institution (as described in the Registration Policies/Procedures  section of the RCC Catalog)

Unofficial Withdrawal

An unofficial withdrawal is defined as a student who does not successfully complete any of their courses (receives all F grades or WF’s), stopped attending classes, and/or did not complete any course work as of the 60% point of the semester or summer term without officially withdrawing from the College, as required.

Unofficial Withdrawals: When the student does not provide official notification to the school of his or her withdrawal (i.e., unofficially withdraws). The withdrawal date is the midpoint (the 50% point) of the payment period or period of enrollment, or, if available, the school may choose to use a last day of attendance at an academically related activity.

Students who never attend class will not have a balance, therefore no charges pertaining to student tuition and fees will exist on account.

Students who stop attending all of their classes are required to officially withdraw from the College.

A student who attends and completes at least one course that spans the entire term will have earned the aid for that term (as adjusted for dropped classes or classes not attended).

Recalculation Of Aid

Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each period, you earn the funds as you complete the period. If you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.

The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

Recalculation is based on the percent of earned aid using the following formula:

# of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the semester = percent of aid earned

Returning Funds (Addition)

If you withdraw from all courses before the 60% point of the payment period or period of enrollment, RCC is required to return a portion of the financial that was not earned. Robeson Community College must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  • The amount of institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of funds that was not earned, or
  • The amount of Title IV funds that the student does not earn

RCC must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds. There may be instances when both, RCC, and the student may have a responsibility for returning funds.

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. Robeson Community College will automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees.

Overpayment (Change)

Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. A student who withdraws from the College for any reason during a semester may owe the College a prorated overpayment of the student financial aid received for that semester. Student financial aid is not awarded for courses never attended, audited, started after the 10% census date, and/or cancelled. If aid is awarded and it is discovered at a later date that aid was awarded for courses never attended, audited, attended after the 10% census date, and/or cancelled, the student will owe an overpayment. RCC may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the College was required to return. Please see RCC ‘s Refund Policy listed below. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from RCC ‘s refund policy. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. RCC may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the College was required to return (Please see RCC’s Refund Policy listed below).

RCC  Refund Policy – Tuition

Balances owed to Robeson Community College must be repaid in order to receive a degree, diploma and/ or certificates as well as an official academic transcript. In addition, students with outstanding balances are not eligible to register for classes or to receive further Federal Student Aid funds until their accounts have been resolved. Furthermore, delinquent unpaid balances may be turned over to the NC Department of Revenue and/or a collection agency pursuant to State Law (G.S. 143-553).

See RCC’s Refund Policy in the Student Finances [opens in a new tab]  section of this catalog.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In accordance with federal and state regulations, RCC’s Financial Aid Office is required to evaluate a student’s satisfactory academic progress at the end of each term (fall, spring, summer), to determine financial aid eligibility for the following term. Satisfactory academic progress evaluations will include all periods of enrollment whether students received or did not receive financial aid for periods of enrollment and include credit hours earned at other institutions and transferred into the student’s program of study at RCC.

To maintain eligibility for financial aid, students MUST meet the following requirements: 

  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Maintain a minimum completion rate of 67%
  • Completion of a degree within a maximum number of credit hours
Minimum GPA

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average at or above 2.0. GPA requirements must be met each semester. Student GPA’s will be evaluated at the end of each semester once final grades are submitted. If the GPA falls below the minimum required GPA, the student will be on financial aid warning. If the cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 for two (2) consecutive semesters, financial aid will be suspended until a 2.0 GPA is achieved. Cumulative GPA is calculated from the beginning date of enrollment.

Minimum Completion Rate Requirement

In order to complete a program within the 150% time frame, the student must complete 67% of the credit hours attempted each semester. The percentage earned will be evaluated at least once per year to determine Quantitative Satisfactory Progress. The student must have earned 67% of the credit hours attempted to be considered making satisfactory progress.

Example:
Fall semester – attempted (registered) 14 credit hours
Spring semester – attempted 12 credit hours
14 + 12 = 26      26 x .67 = 17.42 credit hours
The student must have earned/completed 17 credit hours by the end of spring semester to be considered making satisfactory progress. Only passing grades will be considered as hours earned. Repeating a class will count as hours attempted.
Completion of a Degree Within a Maximum Number of Credit Hours

Students receiving financial aid will have a maximum time frame in which they are expected to complete their program. Federal regulations state that the maximum time frame can be no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program for full time students (per student handbook/catalog). This time frame will be measured in credit hours.

Example: A25120 Business Administration requires 67 credit hours to complete the program. 72 x 1.5 = 101

So, the student in this program may attempt up to 101 credit hours to complete the program. Once the student has attempted the maximum number of credit hours and not earned a degree, financial aid will be terminated.

Eligibility Status

After each evaluation period, students are placed on one of the following statuses: 

Satisfactory: Students who meet the minimum requirements (cumulative 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate) are placed on this status.

Warning: Students who do not meet the minimum requirements (cumulative 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate) for the 1st time are placed on WARNING for the following semester. Students may continue to receive financial aid during the warning period.

Suspension: Students on Warning status who fail to meet the minimum requirements again (cumulative 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate) or have not met the minimum requirements for two consecutive terms will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

Maximum Time Frame: Students who have reached the maximum credit hours allowed for his/her program of study will be placed on this status. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College + all applicable transfer credits are counted; whether or not the student received financial aid for those terms is of no consequence.

Probation: Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed on Probation Status. Students on Probation Status are eligible to receive financial aid either for one (1) semester, after which they MUST be in satisfactory status or continuously meet the terms and conditions of the appeal plan.

Continued Probation: Students placed on Probation who successfully meet the terms and conditions of their appeal plan are placed on Continued Probation Status and eligible to receive financial aid. 

Termination: Students on probation status who do not adhere to the appeal plan that he/she was given will be placed on Financial Aid Termination. Students who have been terminated are no longer eligible for financial aid until financial aid eligibility is regained (see regaining eligibility section below)

REGAINING ELIGIBILITY

Students who are placed on Termination status will be immediately ineligible for financial aid. In order to regain financial aid eligibility, students must meet the minimum requirements of RCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards by enrolling for classes at his/her own expense.

Students with new documented extenuating circumstances (must be different circumstances than the one provided in your original appeal) that are beyond their control may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office. If the appeal is approved, financial aid eligibility will be reinstated on a probationary status.

Appeal Process:

Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress standards have the right to appeal their eligibility status. Students with documented extenuating circumstances that are beyond their control may have their financial aid reinstated if their appeal is approved.  The burden of proof lies with the student to explain your circumstances and explain how the circumstances were extenuating, beyond your control, AND what has changed that now will allow you to meet the SAP requirements in the future.  

WHAT IS CONSIDERED EXTENUATING  

KEEP IN MIND:  Extenuated circumstances must have been experienced by the student and/or immediate family member! Friends and extended family members cannot be included. 

Acceptable reasons for appeal may include:

  1. Death of an immediate family member
  2. Medical injury or illness (student and/or immediate family member)
  3. Personal Hardship (impacted your physical, emotional, or mental health)
  4. Other Unexpected/Unforeseen Challenge (car accident, work shift hours changed, military deployment, loss of transportation, etc.).
  5. Program Change or Seeking a 2nd degree.

Steps to Appeal Your Status

Submit the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Request Form

A personal statement explaining the circumstances that have affected academic performance AND what has changed that will allow him/her to make Satisfactory Academic Progress in a reasonable period of time prior to program graduation.

Supporting documentation must be presented. Proper documentation involves notarized statements from third party sources, medical documents, death certificate or obituary, police reports, legal or court documents, etc. 

Appeal Evaluation

Only complete appeal submissions, with documentation, will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Office. The decision is final and cannot be re-appealed.  The reasonableness of the student’s ability for improvement to again meet SAP standards and complete the student’s program of study will be carefully considered.

Appeals will be approved or denied. Students whose appeals are approved will be placed on a probationary status for the coming terms until full Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are met. During the probationary status,  the student could be required to complete additional requirements (i.e., see a counselor, academic advisor, receive tutoring services from The Learning Center, limit enrollment, etc.) during the probationary period. The goal is to help the student get back on track for graduation. All terms, conditions, and any additional requirements of probation must be met, or the student will be placed on Termination. If an appeal plan has been pre-approved by financial aid, continuing to meet the requirements of that plan will put the student back into good standing.

All appeals submitted after the dates listed below will be evaluated and processed for the subsequent semester:

July 1 – Fall Semester
November 1 – Spring Semester
April 1 – Summer Semester
Tips for Achieving Satisfactory Progress:
  1. Be aware that withdrawing from classes will count as hours attempted but not earned.
  2. Be cautious about changing majors. Time frames are cumulative and do not start over with the new program.
  3. Follow your curriculum carefully. Taking classes that are not required will use part of your allotted time frame.
  4. Be aware that prerequisites for programs will count toward your maximum time frame once you are accepted into the program.
  5. “Attempted hours” include all hours a student is registered for at the end of the drop/add period. (Please refer to the current Academic Calendar [opens in a new tab] for these dates.) Note: Please do not confuse the “drop/add” period, which is usually the first week of class, with the last day to withdraw with a W, which is at the 60% point of the semester.
Dropping Classes/Withdrawal from Classes for Financial Aid Purposes

Failing to enroll/report to classes for which you received federal funds may require repayment by you to the Pell Grant program. You should see the Financial Aid office before dropping classes to discuss how your aid eligibility may be affected.

Developmental (Non-Credit) Coursework

Developmental Education courses (designated by course numbers below 100, ex. CHM 090, ENG 002, MAT 003) are included in the calculation of satisfactory academic progress. However, there is a limit on the amount of non-credit remedial coursework that can be included in a student’s enrollment status or cost of attendance. Developmental credit hours attempted in excess of 30 total semester credit hours cannot be counted towards enrollment status for federal and state grants.

*** It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of his/her Satisfactory Academic Progress status for financial aid eligibility. To determine a student’s academic progress status and eligibility for financial aid, a student’s academic record will be evaluated at the end of each term.