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Financial Aid Policies

 

Financial Aid Policies

 

Jump to Hawaii Community College Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

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Code of Conduct for Hawaii Community College Financial Aid Employees

A Hawaii Community College financial aid employee is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity. In doing so, a financial aid employee should: refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit, refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves; ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain; be objective in making decisions and advising Hawaii Community College regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid; refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity; and disclose to Hawaii Community College’s Vice Chanellor for Student Affairs any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.

The following are specifically prohibited:

  • Revenue sharing agreements with lenders.
  • Engaging in any activity that creates a conflict of interest.
  • Accepting gifts above a nominal value from lenders or guarantors.
  • Accepting private loans conditioned on the use of a lender’s Title IV loans.
  • Contracting arrangements with a lender that provides compensation to school staff (with certain exceptions).
  • Assigning a lender to a borrower or refusing to certify a loan for a borrower’s choice of lender or guarantor.
  • Accepting from lenders any staffing assistance for a call center or the financial aid office.
  • Accepting compensation for service on an advisory board except that reasonable expenses associated with that service may be reimbursed by the lender or guarantor.

For the purposes of this policy, it is not considered a “gift” to the school for a lender or guarantor to provide the following:

  • Standard materials, activities or programs on issues related to a loan, default aversion, default prevention or financial literacy (for example, brochures, workshops or training).
  • Food, refreshments, training or informational material that is designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor or servicer if the training contributes to the professional development of the school staff.
  • Favorable terms, conditions and borrower benefits, as long as these are provided to all students at the school.
  • Entrance and Exit counseling services, as long as the school controls the counseling and does not promote the products and services of the lender.

Philanthropic contributions not tied to loan volume.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy or SAP Policy

        PDF Document  SAP Policy (PDF)

Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients, in order to remain eligible for financial aid, must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the achievement of their degree or certificate.  SAP measures a student’s progress towards their chosen degree by assessing their Grade Point Average (GPA), Credit Completion Rate (CCR), and whether they are on track to complete their program within their maximum time frame. 

SAP will be evaluated at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters. 

-- All attempted courses that appear on a student’s official transcript will be counted; regardless of whether financial aid was received at the time the courses were attempted. --

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program of study which is at least sixteen (16) credits and fifteen (15) weeks in length.

Grade Point Average

  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.

Credit Completion Rate (Pace)

  • Students must complete their educational objectives within a reasonable period of time. 
  • Students must successfully earn at least 67% of all credit hours attempted.
  • A student’s CCR is calculated by dividing credit hours completed by credit hours attempted.
    • EXAMPLE: Since Kaleo started attending HawCC, he has attempted 60 credit hours.  He only completed (passed) 50 credits because he withdrew from a few classes and failed a class.  Based on the following calculation, Kaleo has earned more than 67% of the credits that he attempted and therefore has fulfilled HawCC’s SAP credit completion requirement.

Kaleo’s Credits Completed divided by Kaleo’s Credits Attempted = 50/60 = 83%

  • The student’s CCR will be assessed based on the number of credits the student is enrolled in on the HawCC Financial Aid Enrollment Status Determination date (see current semester calendar for exact date).
  • The following grades will be considered as credits attempted and earned: A, B, C, D, CR.
  • The following grades will be considered as credits attempted but not earned: F, W, NC, N, I.

Maximum Time Frame

  • Financial aid may fund up to 150% of the number of credit hours required for completion of the student’s chosen degree/certificate.  This maximum time frame is calculated by multiplying the number of credits needed to complete the degree or certificate by 150%. 

EXAMPLE: Kaleo’s degree program requires 60 credits to graduate, therefore he must complete his

                 degree within the maximum time frame of 90 credits. (60 credits x 150% = 90 credits).

  • Students may attempt up to 30 remedial credits which will not be counted against their maximum time frame. 
  • ESL credits are not counted against student’s maximum time frame.

Eligibility Limitations:

  • Students can only be awarded financial aid for courses that are applicable toward their degree/certificate.
  • Students who complete the academic requirements for their program’s degree/certificate, but have not applied for graduation or posting of credentials to their transcript is not eligible for further federal aid for that program.
  • Credits and grades excluded under the Academic Renewal Policy will be included in the calculation of the Financial Aid GPA and Credit Completion Rate (CCR).
  • Students are responsible for informing the Financial Aid Office of any grade changes once posted to their academic record.
  • Non-credit and audit classes are not eligible for financial aid and are not included in calculations of GPA, CCR or maximum time frame.

Change of Major/Second Major

  • Students who change their major without completing their first degree or certificate will have all credits previously attempted counted toward their new maximum time frame.
    • Students must notify the Financial Aid Office when changing their major.
  • Financial Aid will fund one degree or certificate at a time.  Students who seek a second degree/certificate must submit a Maximum Credit/Transfer Credit to Subsequent Degree form and a new time frame will be calculated.

Transfer Credits

  • Only transfer credits applicable to Hawaii CC degrees and programs will be counted towards the maximum time frame.
  • Students are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office when credits are transferred in to Hawaii CC.

Repeat Courses/Credits

  • Repeat courses/credits are counted towards student’s maximum time frame.
  • Students who repeat a course for which they have already earned a passing grade may be allowed to receive funding to repeat that course only ONCE.

 Financial Aid Warning:

  • At the end of the Fall and Spring semesters, students enrolled in an academic program longer than a year that do not meet the eligibility requirements listed above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester. 
  • During the “warning semester” the student is still eligible to receive federal financial aid, but must take steps to meet the SAP requirements. 
  • Students who are not able to meet the SAP requirements by the end of their “warning semester” will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension:

  • Students who fail to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible to receive financial aid until the SAP requirements are met.
  • During the period of Financial Aid Suspension, students may (unless placed on Academic Dismissal) attend Hawaii CC without financial aid.  If the student wishes to continue to attend, they will be responsible for covering all educational expenses.

Appeals

  • A student who is placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal the denial of financial aid.
  • The appeal process is optional and it is the student’s responsibility to submit the HawCC Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal form along with all supporting documentation.  The following should be included in the appeal:
    • Extenuating/mitigating circumstances which prevented the meeting of HawaiiCC’s Financial Aid SAP. 
      • Circumstances considered may include illness, injury, accident, death of an immediate family member, family difficulties, interpersonal issues, and/or college adjustment problems. 
    • Academic progress strategy detailing how student plans to return to good standing and meet the SAP requirements.
  • Students will be informed of a decision whether their appeal has been conditionally approved or denied via email within 4 to 6 weeks of submission.
    • If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will receive a Financial Aid Academic Plan (FA Plan) outlining the conditions that must be met in order to continue receiving future financial aid. 
      • The student must meet with their Academic Advisor and return the FA Plan to the Financial Aid Office prior to any funds being disbursed. 
      • If the conditions of the FA Plan are not met, the student will again be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • SAP Appeal decisions cannot be re-appealed and/or eligibility reinstated if a SAP Appeal was previously granted and FA Plan conditions were not met.

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Return of Title IV Funds Policy (For Federal Aid Received)

        PDF Document  Return of Title IV Policy (PDF)

Your aid will be revised and/or YOU MAY BE REQUIRED TO REPAY ALL OR A PORTION of the aid you received (read the information on the Return of Title IV funds) if you withdraw from some or all of your courses, or stop attending classes, or enroll for less than half-time status.  You must notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if these changes occur.  Your academic progress will be assessed based on the credit completion requirements of your original enrollment at the Financial Aid Enrollment Status Determination Date (see current academic calendar for specific date).

The Higher Education Amendment of 1998 requires schools to implement The Return of Title IV Refund Funds policy when a Title IV funds recipient withdraws from school.  A Title IV recipient is defined as a student who has received Title IV funds (excluding Federal Work Study funds, but including Federal Direct PLUS Loan funds) OR has met the conditions that entitle the student to a late disbursement.

The Amendment makes clear that Title IV funds are awarded to students with the assumption that he/she will attend school for the entire enrollment/payment period.  If a student receiving the above-mentioned assistance completely withdraws from school or ceases to attend classes, the Financial Aid Office is required to calculate the amount of funds the student earned prior to their withdrawal and calculate the amount that was unearned and must be returned to reimburse the appropriate Title IV programs.  All refunds and repayment amounts will be rounded to the nearest dollar. 

Official Withdrawal:  Students who withdraw online or via the Admission and Records Add/Drop form are considered to have “officially withdrawn”.  The Last Date of Attendance (LDA) is used to determine the point in time that the student stopped attending so that the percentage of the enrollment/payment period completed can be determined.  After the 60% point, the student is deemed to have earned 100% of the Title IV funds.  The student’s instructor(s) will be contacted to provide the Financial Aid Office with the student’s LDA.  The percentage of Title IV aid earned is equal to the percentage of the enrollment/payment period the student completed. 

Unofficial Withdrawal: If a student who attended the entire enrollment/payment period, or did not officially withdraw, fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course, the institution must assume, for federal Title IV purposes, that the student has “unofficially withdrawn” and a return of Title IV funds will be calculated by the institution to determine if the student was entitled to any portion of their award(s).  The student will be responsible for repaying awarded Title IV funds for any/all classes failed due to nonattendance.

In cases where funds must be returned, the school will reimburse the Title IV programs via the tuition revenue account.  As a result, any tuition refunds due to the student will be returned to reimburse the Title IV programs.  Funds will be returned to the appropriate programs in the following order: Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans, Federal Direct Subsidized loans, Federal Direct PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and other Title IV grant funds.  Students will then be billed for any unpaid institutional charges that result from the return of funds to the Title IV programs.  In addition, the student may be required to directly repay a portion of the Title IV funds that were received.  Any repayment outstanding or unpaid will be referred to the U.S. Department of Education for collection and legal disposition.  Furthermore, a financial obligation will be placed on the student’s record by the institution, which will prohibit the student from registering in future semesters, receiving academic transcripts, or receiving any additional federal aid funds. 

In some cases, a student may be eligible to receive a “post-withdrawal” disbursement after the student completely withdraws from school when the amount of aid earned is less than the amount of aid disbursed.  In such cases, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the “post-withdrawal” disbursement via an award notification email or letter.

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