Jun 22, 2024  
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2018-2019 
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

Financial Aid Programs

Financial Aid Application Procedures

Withdrawals & Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid

Title IV Award Limitations

Financial Aid Refunds

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Scholarship Programs

Financial Aid Programs

Federal Pell Grant - A Pell Grant is a federally funded program for students enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certificate of at least six months in length. The Pell Grant is based upon the analysis of the financial data of the parents and/or the student. Awards are based on need.

PHEAA Grant - The PHEAA Grant is a need-based award provided by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency for Pennsylvania residents. Awards are given to part-time (at least six (6) credits) as well as full-time students only and are limited to 80 percent of the tuition and fees.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) - The SEOG Grant is for students with exceptional need enrolled at least halftime. Any student wishing to be considered for this grant must file the Federal application.

Federal Work-Study Program - The Work-Study Program provides on-campus jobs for students with demonstrated financial need. This need is determined by information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Federal Direct Loan Program - Students must carry at least six (6) credits per semester to be eligible for the loan. If the student qualifies for a need-based Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized), no payments are made while the student continues at half-time status. If the student qualifies for a non-need-based Federal Direct Loan (Unsubsidized), the student is responsible for making interest payments on the loan during in-school, grace, and deferment periods. Repayment of principal and interest for both types of loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) begins six months after a student ceases at least half-time attendance. Students can borrow up to $5,500.00 at Grade Level 1 and up to $6,500.00 at Grade Level 2. Students have ten years to pay off the loan with a minimum payment of $50/month at 6.8% fixed interest rate.

Financial Aid Application Procedures

Butler County Community College uses the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). A student applies for all federal programs by completing this application.

Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.studentaid.gov.

Students interested in low-interest loans to help defray educational costs must complete the FAFSA application first. State and loan programs provide financial assistance to students who qualify and complete the additional application process. Instructions can be found on the BC3 website. Financial aid applications should be submitted by February 15 for the fall term and November 15 for the spring term. All five programs are described above.

Withdrawals & Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid

As part of the Higher Education amendments of 1998, Congress passed new provisions governing what must happen to the Federal Financial Assistance if a student completely withdraws from school in any semester. This change of policy went into effect beginning with the Fall 2000 semester. The policy governs all Federal Grant and Loan Programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, and Federal Direct Loans, but does not affect Federal Work-Study.

In general, the new law assumes that a student earns Federal Financial Aid awards directly in proportion to the number of days of the term attended. The portion of Federal Grants and Loans that a student is entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total number of days in the semester to the number of days completed before the withdrawal. For example, if a student completes 30% of the semester, the student has earned 30% of the assistance he/she was originally scheduled to receive. This means that 70% of the scheduled award remains unearned and must be returned to the Federal Government.

If a student completely withdraws from the College (either officially or unofficially) before completing 60% of the semester, BC3 must calculate according to a specific formula, the portion of the total scheduled financial assistance the student has earned and is therefore entitled to receive. If a student receives (or the College receives on the student’s behalf) more assistance than was earned, the unearned excess funds must be returned to the Department of Education. THIS MEANS THE STUDENT MAY HAVE TO REPAY FEDERAL MONIES THAT WERE ALREADY DISBURSED. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the semester, all (100%) of the assistance has been earned and the return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid calculation is not required.

The withdrawal date will be determined by the College as (1) the date the student begins the College withdrawal process, or the date the student officially notifies the Registration Office of the intent to withdraw; (2) the midpoint of the semester if the student withdraws without notifying the College; or (3) the last date of attendance at an academically-related activity as documented by the College.

If excess funds must be returned to the government, the College shares the responsibility of returning those excess funds. The College’s portion of the excess funds to be returned is equal to the lesser of the entire amount of the excess funds; or the total tuition and fee charges multiplied by the percentage of unearned funds.

When excess funds are required to be repaid, the Federal Government mandates the following order for crediting the returned funds:

  1. Federal Direct Loan Program
  2. Federal Pell Grants
  3. Federal SEOG Grants
  4. Other Aid

If the College is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that the student must return are repaid according to the terms of the promissory note. If the student must return any grant funds, the law provides that the amount to be repaid is to be reduced by 50%. This means that the student only has to return half of any excess grant funds received.

Any award money the student has to return is considered a Federal Grant overpayment. The student must either repay that amount in full or make satisfactory arrangements with the Department of Education to repay the amount. The student must complete these arrangements within 45 days of the date of the College’s notification of the overpayment status or risk losing eligibility for further Federal Financial Assistance.

If the return of unearned Federal assistance causes any portion of the tuition and fees to become uncovered, the student will be billed by the College. In such cases, the student will be required to make arrangements with the Finance Office to pay the balance.

Additional information concerning these new provisions can be obtained by contacting the Financial Aid Office.

Title IV Award Limitations

SAP Max Timeframe - A student may only receive federal financial aid until they have completed 150% of their program. 150% of the typical program at BC3 amounts to 96 credits. Transfer credits are included in the 96 credits.

Pell Lifetime Limit - Students are limited to the equivalent of six years funding. The maximum Pell Grant a student can receive per year is 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.

Subsidized Loan Limit - Students eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans are limited to 150% of the published length of the program. As a two-year institution, BC3 students may receive 3 years of Direct Subsidized Loans, provided otherwise eligible.

Financial Aid Course Requirements -  A student cannot receive financial aid for classes that do not count toward their program of study.  Financial Aid programs include; Federal Pell;  Federal SEOG; Federal Work Study; Federal Direct Loans and PHEAA State Grant programs.

Financial Aid Refunds

Financial Aid students that qualify for a refund can sign up at BC3 EZ-Refund on the Student Portal. Otherwise checks will be mailed.

Financial Aid is first applied to a student’s tuition balance approximately 30 days into the semester. Refunds are disbursed thereafter. Please see the Financial Aid webpage for dates.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

SAP is reviewed each term for associate degree and certificate program students receiving federal financial aid. A student must pass 67% of all attempted credits. Additionally, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA 2.00.

Note: All periods of enrollment at BC3 will be considered when reviewing progress, including semesters when the student did not receive financial aid. Grades of “F” and “I” count as attempted for GPA review. Preparatory classes are not included in the GPA.

Students failing to satisfy either of the above standards will have their federal financial aid terminated until such time as they satisfy all progress requirements. 

Scholarship Programs

Scholarships are academic awards for students meeting specific criteria. The BC3 Education Foundation, Inc., a 501(C)(3) charitable organization responsible for fundraising for the College, awards more than $200,000 annually to eligible new and returning students. The scholarship application will be posted on the college website on April 15th and must be submitted by July 1st. Additional scholarship information is available in the BC3 Education Foundation, Inc. Office.