Keeping Your Financial Aid

Unfortunately, financial aid is an ongoing process. Not only must you reapply for financial aid every year, but the Financial Aid Office must continually monitor your eligibility for aid. Please review the policies below.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to receive financial aid, you must make progress toward your degree as defined by the Financial Aid Office.
There are three components to academic progress:

  1. Grade Point Requirement
    You must achieve and maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average on all coursework attempted.
  2. Completion Requirement
    You must complete at least 67% of all coursework attempted.
  3. Time Frame Requirement
    You must complete your program of study in a time frame not to exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program. This is measured by credit hours attempted; not by semesters attempted.

A complete copy of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and the appeal forms are available upon request or by clicking here. Please read the complete Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy to see how your progress will be

The Financial Aid Office is required to review your entire academic record (regardless of the age of the record or whether or not aid was received) to determine if you are in compliance. If you are not in compliance, you will be notified in writing of your denial/suspension and the appropriate appeal procedure.

Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process

If you lose your financial aid eligibility you may submit an appeal for consideration of the extenuating circumstances that may have effected your progress.

Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process

You should review the Satisfactory Academic Policy (SAP) to determine if you are eligible to appeal your loss of financial assistance. Complete the appeal form and submit it along with all supporting documentation.

Students appealing for reinstatement of their financial aid are not eligible for financial aid assistance. Students are required to pay all expenses and if the appeal is approved, they will be awarded financial aid when all required documentation has been received.

Submitting an appeal with the required documentation does not guarantee that the appeal will be approved. All of the documentation presented will be reviewed by the SAP Appeals committee and a decision will be made at that time. You will receive notification regarding the decision of your appeal by e-mail to your Titan Live address.

Steps for Appeal

  1. Complete the SAP Appeal Form. The forms can be found on our Forms page https://financialaid.gtcc.edu/forms/. Describe in detail the extenuating circumstances that prevented you from maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress and what steps you intend to take to assure that you will maintain SAP in the future.
  2. Submit the SAP Appeal form and all of the documentation to the GTCC Financial Aid Office. Appeals should be received in the Financial Aid Office 40 days prior to the start of the semester for which you are trying to establish eligibility. Students appealing after this time frame should be prepared to pay for the semester expenses.
  3. If the appeal is granted, you will be required to complete each semester with a 2.0 GPA and earn passing credits in 75% of your attempted classes each term until you regain satisfactory academic progress or graduate, whichever comes first.
  4. If the appeal is granted, you will not be allowed to submit another appeal for the same type of appeal such as for an illness.

Denied Appeals

If your appeal is denied, you will be asked to attend at your own expense and earn the deficiency either in the hours, GPA or both (you cannot make up a deficiency if your appeal was due to exceeding the maximum timeframe to earn a degree). If you did not maintain SAP due to a deficiency in hours, you may take the hours at another institution as long as GTCC accepts the transfer hours. After you complete this semester, you must submit an appeal form to the financial aid office as stated above in Steps for Appeal.

Regaining Satisfactory Academic Progress

Here is a Completion Rate Calculator. Use this tool to calculate the number of hours needed to raise your completion rate above the minimum requirement as outlined above.

Dropping Classes

Your final eligibility for aid will be based on the number of hours for which you are enrolled at the 10% point of the semester. If you register and then drop class(es) prior to that date, your eligibility for aid will be RECALCULATED on your remaining hours as of the 10% point of the semester. Students who receive a financial aid payment based on more hours than those remaining as of the 10% point of the semester may be responsible for repaying a portion of any financial aid received. Dropping classes may affect your eligibility for future aid. You should consult the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy to determine if dropping classes will affect your eligibility for aid.

Total Withdrawal from School

If you register and then totally withdraw from all classes, your eligibility for aid will be RECALCULATED based on the number of days you attended class. If you withdraw on or after the first class day, you MAY HAVE TO REPAY a portion of any cash financial aid received. See Return of Title IV Funds below. If you totally withdraw, you should consult the definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress to determine if your withdrawal will affect your eligibility for future aid.

Return of Title IV Funds

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 changed the formula for calculating the amount of aid a student and school can retain when the student totally withdraws from all classes. Students who withdraw from all classes prior to completing 60% of the semester will have their eligibility for aid recalculated based on the percent of the semester completed. For example, a student who withdraws completing only 30% of the term will have “earned” only 30% of any Title IV aid received. The remaining 70% must be returned by the school and/or the student. In addition, as of July 2012, the State of North Carolina implemented a refund policy for students receiving state grants who withdraw from all classes prior to completing 35% of the semester. The Financial Aid Office encourages you to read a complete copy of this policy carefully. If you are thinking about withdrawing from all classes PRIOR to completing 60% of the semester, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to see how your withdrawal will affect your financial aid.

Return of State grant Funds

State law sets special refund policies for students who receive state grant funds.  Students meet these conditions if they:

  • Have been awarded a North Carolina Community College Grant and/or the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship
  • Have stopped attending, withdrawn from, or have been expelled from all classes before 35% of the class was over or otherwise failed to complete the program

Students who meet these conditions must return state grant funds in proportion to the amount of the semester not completed.  For example, a student who withdraws at the 20% point of the semester must return 80% of state grant funds.  If a balance is due to GTCC as a result of the refund, the student is responsible for payment.

Remedial/Developmental Coursework

Federal regulations allow that only the first thirty (30) hours of attempted remedial/developmental coursework be used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. Once you have attempted thirty (30) remedial hours, only non-remedial college credit courses can be used to determine your eligibility for aid.

Address Changes

PLEASE let us know how to find you. Notify the Records Office us in writing when your address or phone number changes. If you neglect to update your contact information with the Records Office there may be difficulty in sending you important information regarding your financial aid or even worse your financial aid refund may be delayed. Address changes can be done on WebAdvisor

Aid Received from Sources other than the Financial Aid Office

You are required to report to the GTCC Financial Aid office any aid received from a source other than the Financial Aid Office. Please use the “Outside Scholarship/Sponsorship Report Form” and return the form to our office.  Types of aid that should be reported include, but are not limited to: scholarships not awarded by GTCC, tuition assistance from an employer or agency such as Job Link, Veterans’ Benefits, or private educational loans (e.g., PLATO). Failure to report such assistance could result in a reduction or cancellation of your financial aid.