2021-2022 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Feb 04, 2023  
2021-2022 Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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 an 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 Department of Education’s Central Processing System (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 $6,495

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 and making satisfactory progress in the course of study he or she is pursuing.

Award Amounts:  $400 per year (Fall and Spring). Funds may be available for the summer term.


Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate 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.


  • 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
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 at least six (6) credit hours or more. Preference will be given to students enrolled on a full-time basis (12 credit hours or more). Reimbursements will be made to vendors after services are rendered. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.


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

Return of Title IV Overview

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. 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 include the following financial aid programs (RCC does not participate in the Federal Student Loan Program):

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)


Robeson Community College is an institution that is required to take attendance. For students who completely withdraw or cease enrollment, the withdrawal date is the student’s last day of attendance of a documented academically related activity.  Students can officially or unofficially withdraw from the College, which both lead to a recalculation of the student’s aid.

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.

Unofficial Withdrawal: A student who stops attending classes or ceases enrollment at the College without following RCC’s official withdrawal procedure. When a student receives all F’s, W’s, or a combination of these grades for a semester, he or she may be defined as ‘unofficially withdrawn’ for Title IV purposes.

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 aid is posted to the student’s account at the start of each period, students earn the funds as they complete the period. If a student withdraws during the payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that they have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If a student received less assistance than the amount that was earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds (see post-withdrawal disbursement section below). If the student received more assistance than earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or the student.

The amount of assistance that a student earns is determined on a pro-rata basis. Once the student has 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(excluded scheduled breaks of five days or more) = percent of aid earned

Period of enrollment and payment period: A payment period is a term, i.e., fall, spring, and summer term.  For R2T4, the total number of calendar days in a term is defined by the student’s scheduled course enrollment, i.e., start and end dates of courses, excluding scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days.  The days are counted from the start date of the earliest course to the end date of the last course scheduled to complete (i.e., has the latest end date), excluding scheduled breaks.

Scheduled Breaks:  Scheduled breaks must be at least five consecutive days.  It includes periods when RCC is not scheduled in session, e.g., holidays, and when the student is not scheduled to attend a course within the term.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. Financial Aid staff will notify students via a letter mailed to the student’s address on file within 30 days of the date of determination of any post-withdrawals disbursements due. Post-withdrawals disbursements of grant aid earned will be disbursed to the student account as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the date RCC determined that the student withdrew.

Robeson Community College will automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds to satisfy outstanding allowable charges on the student account. Any remainder of post-withdrawal grant disbursements resulting in a credit balance will be disbursed to the student within 14 days.

Return of Unearned Funds to Title IV Programs

If a student withdraws 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

Student Portion: A student is responsible for all unearned Title IV program assistance that the school is not required to return. If the recalculation of aid results in an amount to be returned that exceeds the school’s portion, the student must repay some funds.

Funds will be returned to the U.S. Department of Education from the following programs in the following order (Please Note: RCC does not participate in the Federal Student Loan Program):

  1. Federal Pell Grants
  2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  3. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

Federal regulations require funds to be returned within the following timeframe:

  • Official Withdrawals: 45 days from the date of determination
  • Unofficial Withdrawals: 30 days from the end of the payment period

RCC must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of a student’s Title IV program funds. There may be instances when both, RCC, and the student may have a responsibility for returning funds. If RCC is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student may be required to return the remaining amount.


Any amount of unearned grant funds that a student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that a student must repay is half of the grant funds received or were scheduled to receive. Students do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. Students must make arrangements with RCC or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from RCC ‘s refund policy. Therefore, a student may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. RCC may also charge the student 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.

RCC does not use different student categories for SAP purposes. All categories of students (full-time, half-time, etc.) are treated equally under the SAP Policy. A newly admitted student that files a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and for which there is no SAP status on the student record will have a SAP evaluation performed based on the student’s prior RCC enrollment record and/or any transfer credits, as applicable.  A first-time student with no prior college enrollment will always be assigned a “Satisfactory” status and is aid eligible.

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:

Qualitative Standard (Grade-based):  To meet the qualitative standard, RCC requires students to meet a fixed standard; a minimum of 2.0 GPA at the end of each payment period. 

  • Minimum (GPA): Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0

Quantitative Standard (Pace):  RCC measures students against the quantitative standards listed below to ensure students are progressing through their program and will graduate within the maximum timeframe.

  • Completion Rate (PACE): Complete 67% percent of the total cumulative credit hours attempted. For example, if a student has attempted 12 credits, the student must complete 9 credits to meet the completion rate requirement.
  • Maximum Timeframe: Complete the requirements for an eligible program of study within a timeframe not to exceed 150% of the published program length. For example, if an academic program length is 60 credit hours, the maximum credit hours that is eligible for financial aid is 90 (60 * 150% = 90). Students may only receive financial aid for no more than two associate degree programs at RCC.

Note: Remedial coursework will be included in the qualitative standard and is limited to 30 credit hours.


Withdrawals/Drops: Credit hours in which a student receives a grade of “W” are included in the number of attempted hours, but do not count toward successfully completed hours. Excessive withdrawals may affect your ability to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Withdrawals affect only the quantitative standard of the SAP policy.

Incompletes: Credit hours in which a student receives a grade of “I” are included in the number of attempted hours, but do not count toward successfully completed hours. In addition, grades of “I” are treated as an “F”, which negatively affects GPA. Final grades for an Incomplete grade will be included in the next SAP evaluation period. The actual grade, credits attempted, and credits earned will be used to determine if the student is making SAP.

Fails: Credit hours in which a student receives a grade of “F”, “R” are included in the number of attempted hours, but do not count toward successfully completed hours. In addition, these grades negatively affect GPA. Students with failed grades may have difficulty meeting the satisfactory academic progress standards. These grades affect both the qualitative and quantitative standards of the SAP policy.

Audit and Never Attend: An audit “AU” or never attended “NA” grade is not considered attempted coursework. It is not included in the students’ GPA or Pace evaluation. A student cannot receive financial aid for courses that he/she audits or never attends.

Repeat Courses: Per federal regulations, a student may repeat a previously passed course (grade of “D” or better) one additional time. Repeat courses are included in total attempted earned hours. the previous hours attempted and earned will continue to be counted in the total hours attempted and earned. The new grade earned from a repeated course will be used to determine eligibility

Credit by Exam: Credit hours in which a student receives a “CE” is included in attempted and completed hours for the quantitative standards of completion rate and maximum time frame. A student cannot receive financial aid for a “CE” credit.

Transfer Credit: All hours transferred and accepted from other institution are included in the number of hours attempted and completed. In addition, a student’s maximum time to receive financial aid will be reduced by the equivalent transfer of credit hours towards his/her degree.

COVID-19: Incomplete Emergency and Withdraw Emergency: In response to the national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RCC adopted two new grades to the curriculum grading schemes:  Incomplete Emergency (IE) and Withdraw Emergency (WE) grades, which are only applied to students in response to COVD-19. IE and WE grades are not included in the quantitative component of the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation.

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).


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.


The Financial Aid Office will send correspondence (via email) of eligibility status to students receiving federal and/or state aid when SAP is evaluated at the end of the semester. Eligibility status is also posted to and accessible on the students’ Self-Service portal.

Appealing Your Status

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.  


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. 

  • Medical injury or illness
  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Personal Hardship (impacted your physical, emotional, or mental health)
  • Other Unexpected/Unforeseen Challenge (military deployment, unexpected work hours shift, loss of transportation, etc.).

Steps to Appeal Your Status

Submit the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Request Form [opens in a new tab]

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.). 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.