Student Responsibilities for Aid

These are your responsibilities as a student applying for or receiving financial aid:

  • Read and understand the financial aid procedures and applications.
  • Apply for financial aid on time.
  • Provide documentation when necessary according to federal, state and College policies and regulations.
  • Enroll in an approved program through the Admissions Office.
  • Attend the classes that you are registered for.
  • Maintain Good Academic Standing and demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a certificate or degree.
  • Inform the Office of Financial Aid of any changes in your financial resources.

Withdrawal from the college may necessitate repayment of awards for your current semester and/or jeopardize future aid.

 

Federal Financial Aid: Maintaining Eligibility

Evaluation of Academic Progress

A financial aid recipient’s satisfactory academic progress is evaluated after each semester of the academic year (Fall, Spring, & Summer). At that time, a student will either be in good standing, be placed on financial aid Warning Status, or denied financial assistance for future enrollment periods. The student must meet all three progress requirements (Completion Rate, GPA, and be within the Maximum Time Frame) to remain in good standing. Students will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid if they are placed on a Warning Status or Suspension Status for financial aid.

The following standards for maintaining eligibility apply to Pell, Federal Direct Student Loans, PLUS, FSEOG, and College Work/Study:

Grade point average

  • The grade point average requirement is based on all credit courses that are applicable to your present curriculum.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (a C average).
  • Remedial & English as a Second Language credits’ grades are not calculated in the grade point average requirement.

Completion Rate Requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 2/3 of all course work (registered credit hours) attempted at DCC.
  • Earned A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D or J grades are considered completed credits.
  • Remedial & English as a Second Language credits are included in the student’s completion rate requirement.
  • Withdrawals (W), incompletes (I), grades of (F) and Repeated courses are not considered completed credits.
  • If a student changes course of study, the hours attempted under all courses of study are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours.
  • Courses dropped during the 75% Refund Period of the semester are not counted in the calculation. 

If you fall below the required completion rate or GPA requirement, you will be given a one-time Warning Status semester to regain eligibility. After the Warning Status semester, if you have not regained eligibility, you may apply for a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal showing extenuating circumstances with the Dean of Student’s Services Office.

Maximum Credit Limit:

  • Students must complete their program within 150 percent of the credit hours required by the program. Students who have reached the maximum time frame will be suspended from receiving financial aid.
  • Repeated courses and transfer credits accepted by DCC toward a degree are included in the student's maximum time frame calculation.
  • Courses dropped during the 75% Refund Period of the semester are not counted against the calculation. 
  • If a student changes course of study, the hours attempted under all courses of study are included in the calculation for Maximum Credit Limit.
  • Withdrawals, incompletes, and courses repeated are considered in the calculation of credits attempted.
  • Remedial credits are included in the student’s maximum time frame.
  • Audits are not included in the calculation of credits attempted. 

If your attempted credits are above your degree programs 150% maximum you will be ineligible for federal financial aid.  

Maximum Credit Limit Chart

Program Length

 

Maximum Credit Hours
that can be attempted

24

 

36

25

 

38

26

 

39

27

 

41

28

 

42

29

 

44

30

 

45

64

 

96

65

 

98

66

 

99

67

 

101

68

 

102

69

 

104

70

 

105

 

AUTOMATIC SAP SUSPENSION

  • Students completing a semester with a 0.00 grade point average are not making satisfactory academic progress.
  • This includes students who withdraw from the term, as well as students who remain enrolled, but do not successfully complete any hours (Grades of all F, W, I).
  • The student will be suspended from all further aid at DCC.
  • There is no provision for Warning status in this circumstance. No additional financial aid will be awarded until the student has either met the minimum Satisfactorily Academic Progress Requirements or has had their appeal approved.  
  • The student must notify the Office of Financial Aid when the requirements for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility have been completed.

 

State Financial Aid: Maintaining Eligibility

Full-time community college students may receive six semesters of New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) aid. To maintain eligibility, you much achieve the following TAP standards by the end of each semester.

To review the New York State Full Time (TAP) eligibility rules please see NYS Academic Progress Chart. 

To review the New York State Part Time (APTS) eligibility rules please see NYS Academic Progress Chart. 

Notes About the Charts:

 “Completed credits” may be actual or equivalent credits, passed or failed.

“Actual credits accumulated” must be actual credits passed.

If you repeat a course in which you have already received a passing grade, that course will not count for TAP eligibility.

Grades of W, I, and Audit are not considered course completion.

If you lose your eligibility for State Financial Aid, you will be notified by letter and email from the Office of Financial Aid. 


Loss of Eligibility for Financial Aid

The College attempts to notify students who fall below the eligibility standards. However, it is your responsibility to be aware of the standards and your own progress. You can check your status on  your self-service Banner account .

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

If you become ineligible for financial aid due to failure to meet minimum standards for Good Academic Standing and/or Satisfactory Academic Progress, it may be possible to re-establish eligibility if unusual circumstances can be proven. Ordinarily, documentation is required and circumstances must be of a one-time nature, such as illness or injury.

Contact the Office of Financial Aid  regarding questions on academic standards, reinstatement of aid, or regulations.

 

If you withdraw from the College

Return of “unearned” Title IV funds

Federal policy assumes that federal financial aid is based on the period of time enrolled. If a student withdraws from the College within the first nine weeks of classes, the federal government does not view the student as having “earned” all of the funds awarded. In that instance, the College is required to return the “unearned” portion of the aid to the government. The College bears potential liability for any federal aid disbursed to students before the ninth week of classes. While Dutchess makes an attempt to disburse aid at the earliest possible time, the College must be fiscally prudent in making disbursements.

Federal regulations govern the return of Title IV funds (Ford Federal Direct Student Loans, Pell, FSEOG) for students who completely withdraw from Dutchess prior to completing 60% of the semester: The percentage of the period that the student remains enrolled is determined by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the semester. Calendar days are used, but breaks of at least five days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator. In the case of “aid not earned” in federally funded grants or scholarships, the student is expected to repay the “unearned” portion to the College. Failure to do so will result in the student becoming ineligible to receive further federal financial aid. (This policy is based on 34 CFR, Section 668.22 of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.)

Withdrawal Date

For financial aid purposes, the date of withdrawal from the College is

  • The date you began the College’s withdrawal process or officially notified the College of intent to withdraw, or
  • The midpoint of the period if you leave without notifying the institution, or
  • Your last date of attendance at a documented academically related activity, in lieu of any other withdrawal date, or
  • If you leave without notification because of circumstances beyond your control, a date determined by the College related to those circumstances.

 

Student Loan Default Facts and Repayment Tips for Struggling Borrowers

Consequences of Default

Default generally occurs on a federal student loan when a borrower doesn't make a payment for 270 days. During the delinquency period, the lender must make repeated efforts to locate and contact the borrower about repayment. If the lender is unsuccessful, steps will be taken to place the loan in default. Borrowers should avoid default at all costs because, unlike other consumer loans, student loans usually can't be discharged through bankruptcy and will likely stay with borrowers for the rest of their lives.

A borrower with a defaulted loan faces these consequences:

  • Payment of entire loan balance (principal and interest) becomes due immediately
  • Garnished wages and federal and/or state tax refunds
  • Withheld Social Security retirement benefits and disability benefits
  • Additional charges, late fees, and collection costs
  • Lawsuits
  • Ineligibility for additional student aid
  • Damaged credit rating and lower credit score (which could prevent obtaining a mortgage, buying a car, or borrowing other consumer loans in the future)
  • Loss of eligibility for loan deferments (such as for in-school, unemployment, etc.)

 

Tips for Struggling Borrowers

Even if borrowers and schools do everything right to prevent default, unforeseen circumstances can sometimes make it difficult for borrowers to repay their federal loans. Borrowers who have difficulty making loan payments should contact the lender as soon as possible to see which options are available to them. Borrowers who try to avoid their lender could lose out on some readily available repayment benefits and options. Some of the options borrowers can take advantage of to avoid default are:

 

Tips for Defaulted Borrowers

Borrowers with a defaulted loan can regain eligibility for federal student aid by contacting the loan holder, making satisfactory repayment arrangements and then making at least six voluntary on-time payments for six consecutive months. Satisfactory repayment arrangements are a step in the right direction, but do not clear the loan's default status.

Borrowers with a defaulted loan can rehabilitate their loan to bring the loan out of default, eliminate the default from their credit report, and regain eligibility for more student aid. To rehabilitate a loan, borrowers should contact their loan holder and begin making payments on the loan. Borrowers who make 9 full voluntary payments within 20 days of the monthly due dates within 10 consecutive months qualify to have the loan rehabilitated.

Borrowers may also be able to negotiate a settlement with the collection agency. This could reduce what the borrower owes, but it won't likely be a huge discount and it won't clear the default status. When settling, borrowers may be able to have collection charges waived and even get a reduction on the total amount owed. Borrowers who have been in default for many years and don't have the resources to repay the loan are more likely to be able to negotiate a settlement.

 

Resources for Borrowers

Borrowers who experience problems or disputes with their federal student loan lenders or repayment services have several resources available to assist them, including:

The U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Ombudsman ( (877) 557-2575 --fsaombudsmanoffice@ed.gov)

The Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project run by the National Consumer Law Center

A recently enacted financial reform law created an ombudsman for private student loans to mediate disputes between private loan borrowers and their lenders. This service has not been set up yet, but it will be a resource for borrowers in the future.