Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial aid is any source of money provided to supplement a student’s financial resources for educational purposes. Financial aid typically consists of federal and state grants, scholarships, incentive awards, student loans, federal work-study employment and other third-party providers such as employers and social service agencies. One or more sources of financial aid are available to students who attend LCCC either full-time or part-time. Applications for most of the financial aid referenced here are available in the Financial Services Center or at https://www.lorainccc.edu/paying-for-college.
The Financial Services Center staff are committed to serving students as they navigate their way through the financial aid process. The staff can answer student questions about completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Federal and State grants, loan and scholarship help, as well as paying for college, and the LCCC student account.
Computers are available for student use in the Financial Services Center for completing FAFSA on the internet, online entrance loan counseling and scholarship searches. Information about tax benefits associated with higher education including the Hope Scholarship can be found online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf.
Types of Financial Aid
The Department of Education defines financial aid as money that is supplied by some source outside of the family to assist with college expenses. There are two general categories of financial aid:
- Gift aid includes grants and scholarships. This can be need-based or merit-based and typically does not need to be repaid. Need-based aid eligibility is determined by a standardized calculation of the family’s financial data through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Non need-based aid or merit-based aid eligibility is usually based on recognition of special talents or academic ability.
- Self-help aid includes loans and work-study (employment). This can also be need-based or non-need-based.
Applying for Financial Aid
Students are encouraged to apply early for all grants, scholarships and awards for which they may be eligible. LCCC’s priority filing dates are June 1 for fall semester and October 1 for spring semester. Applying prior to June 1 and October 1 of each year will enable students to avoid the lines and late rush. Students may also be required to have completed admission applications including all high school and college transcripts on file prior to the release of federal refunds. It is recommended that students check their MyCampus account for outstanding items. Completion of all items will avoid untimely delays and ensures maximum award eligibility. Early application will allow for the completion of routine processing and possible corrections within the federal and state timelines and will allow the student reasonable time for personal financial planning.
Eligibility and Application for Financial Aid
To be considered for federal financial aid programs including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study and Federal Direct Loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is often called the FAFSA (pronounced Faf-Sa). The information needed to estimate the family’s ability to contribute toward the student’s educational costs is collected on the FAFSA. The FAFSA is the only form that may be used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for consideration of the following financial aid programs:
- Federal Pell Grant.
- Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
- Federal Work-Study.
- Federal Direct Loan program.
FAFSA applicants are encouraged to apply online at www.fafsa.gov. Applicants and one parent of dependent applicants will need an FSA-ID to electronically sign the form. Application for the FSA-ID can be completed at http://fsaid.ed.gov.
Detailed information on eligibility for financial aid, the student’s rights and responsibilities, eligible academic programs and other financial aid requirements is available in the Financial Services Center.
Steps to Apply for Financial Aid
Applying for financial aid generally includes several steps. Any or all of the following tasks may be required.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- Keep copies of all applications, tax forms and financial documents.
- Check for accurate information on the Student Aid Report (SAR).
- Provide verification documents (if REQUIRED).
- Submit other requested documents as soon as possible.
Grants from Federal and State Agencies
Grants are free dollars given to college students by the U.S. Department of Education or the State of Ohio and are awarded based on financial need. LCCC participates in the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs. Eligibility for the Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant is awarded to student’s with the highest need (zero EFC) and those who apply earliest for the award year. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours in the term for which the award is valid. FSEOG is awarded on first come, first served basis (based on the current year FAFSA completion date) for those who meet the eligibility criteria.
State Of Ohio funding includes The Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG), Ohio War Orphans Scholarship, Choose Ohio First, Nursing Education Loan Program and Ohio National Guard. Information about these programs, eligibility criteria and application process can be obtained at the Ohio Department of Higher Education website, www.ohiohighered.org.
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides the opportunity for students to earn money through federally sponsored part-time employment. Employment sites are available at LCCC and off-campus. Eligibility for Federal Work-Study is need-based according to federal definition. Students interested in a FWS position must complete the FAFSA, register with LCCC CareerLink, the college’s online job posting system and upload a completed LCCC Student Worker Employment Application. More information is available at Career Services.
Due to the recent enactment of the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, all colleges and universities must use the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program for new federal student loans beginning July 1, 2010. In this program, students borrow directly from the federal government.
The Federal Direct Loan program will serve as the lender and servicer for the life of the loan.
Steps for Borrowing a Federal Direct Loan
- Complete current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Apply for an FSA-ID which will serve as your electronic signature. Dependent student will need to have one parent apply for an FSA-ID.
- Complete entrance loan counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
- Sign the Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.
Additional eligibility requirements for Federal Direct Loan borrowers are:
- Must be enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours for each semester the student intends to borrow funds.
- Must be meeting the College’s satisfactory academic progress standards.
- Must be meeting all other U.S. Department of Education eligibility requirements.
- All Federal Direct Loans will be disbursed in two payments each term.
- You must have a minimum academic load of six credit hours for the term at the time of disbursement. For the purposes of loan disbursement, dropped courses or courses with a grade of W (Withdrawn) or FAW (Failure-Administrative Withdrawal) do not count as part of your academic loan requirement.
- Beginning July 1, 2013, the length of time students have access to subsidized loans is limited for new borrowers. Students cannot borrow more than 150 percent of a student’s program length. For example, students who enroll in a two-year degree program can only borrow subsidized loans for three years total. Once that limit has been reached, a student may borrow only unsubsidized loans, and will begin to accrue interest on outstanding subsidized loans. For more information, please visit: https://ifap.ed.gov/150PercentDirectSubsidizedLoanLimitInfo/.
- The Master Promissory Note contains important information regarding the student’s Rights and Responsibilities as a Federal Student Loan borrower. Please read all sections, including Section D which contains the Promise to Pay.
- Student loan borrowers who graduate or drop below six credit hours in a term are required to complete a Federal Direct Loan exit counseling session at http://www.studentloans.gov/.
Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)
Students are limited to the equivalent of six, full-time years of Pell Grant eligibility. This new federal law monitors the students Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (referred to as LEUs). The Pell Grant LEU calculations apply to all undergraduate coursework including other schools the student attended or will transfer to. For more information, students may check with the Financial Services Center on the first floor of the Bass Library or visit https://www.lorainccc.edu/paying-for-college.
Financial assistance is available in the forms of federal and state grants, loans and scholarships. See the Financial Services Center to determine eligibility or find information on the following programs available to part-time students: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loan program (PLUS Loans), LCCC Trustee Scholarship, LCCC Presidential Scholarship and LCCC Incentive Award for non-traditional students.
Many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs to their employees, meaning the employer pays for college coursework. Students are encouraged to check with their employer for more information about tuition reimbursement opportunities.
Enrollment and Disbursement Policies
Recipients of Title IV financial aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loan program, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study) must enroll in courses for credit that apply to the student’s program of study (audit enrollments are not eligible for funding) and must be LCCC degree-seeking students. For Pell Grant recipients, enrollment status for each semester is determined by combining the total number of credit hours enrolled that apply to the student’s program of study for all sessions in the semester on the 14th calendar day from the start of the semester. Classes that do not count towards the student’s program of study or that added after the 14th calendar day from the start of the semester will not count towards the student’s enrollment status and are not eligible for Pell Grant payment.
Enrollment status is defined as follows.
- Full-time (12 credit hours or more).
- Three-quarter-time (9, 10 or 11 credit hours).
- Half-time (6, 7 or 8 credit hours).
- Less than half-time (5 credit hours or less).
Attendance will be verified for each credit class in which a student is enrolled before any Title IV financial aid is disbursed.
Financial aid will not be disbursed for any credit hours for which class attendance cannot be verified or that do not count towards the student’s program of study. The student will be responsible for payment for all charges for which financial aid cannot be applied.
Federal financial aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Direct Loan) monies are first applied to any unpaid tuition and fees, then to books and supplies and other applicable charges for which the student has given authorization. The balance of the federal financial aid is disbursed to the student in check form after the fifth week of class for Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
Student Loan Disbursement
In an effort to incent student success and completion of courses and to reduce LCCC’s Federal Student Loan default rate, student loans will be disbursed in two payments during each term. The payments will be based on commencement of attendance and the midterm grades. For full-term classes, the disbursements will occur about the fifth and 10th week of fall and spring semesters. At the first disbursement, students must commence attendance and be currently enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours. To receive the second loan disbursement, students must be currently enrolled and actively pursuing course completion in a minimum of six credit hours. Final grades of W, F, U or a midterm/final grade of FAW will not be counted towards the total hours for the minimum six credit hour disbursement requirement.
If a student completely withdraws from school, a Return of Title IV Funds calculation will be performed according to Department of Education regulations and may result in the student owing money to the Department of Education and/or Lorain County Community College. Examples of the Return of Title IV Funds policy are available upon request from the Financial Service Center. Money earned on a campus-based job is paid to the student every other Friday. Loan money is disbursed to the student no earlier than 30 days into the loan expense period indicated on the loan application.
Return of Title IV Funds for Students Who Completely Withdraw
This policy governs the return of Title IV funds (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan) disbursed for a student who completely withdraws or does not successfully complete any courses during a term or semester. This policy assumes students earn aid based on the period of time enrolled/attending the semester. Unearned Title IV funds, other than federal work-study, must be returned to the Department of Education. During the first 60 percent of the semester, students earn Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time each student remains enrolled. Students remaining enrolled beyond the 60 percent point of the semester earn all aid for the semester.
Students return their share of unearned aid attributable to a loan under the terms and conditions of the promissory note. Students return their share of unearned aid attributable to a grant from the student’s own funds. LCCC may allow students to repay unearned aid attributable to a grant under a payment arrangement satisfactory to the institution. For students officially withdrawing (completely) from LCCC, the withdrawal date determination is the date students initiated the withdrawal. This date is indicated on the withdrawal form.
The Withdrawal Process is Initiated in Canvas
For students not providing notification of a withdrawal, the date of withdrawal determination is the last date of attendance or the midpoint of the semester. Specific examples of the Return of Title IV Funds Policy are available upon request from the financial services representative in the Financial Services Center.
If you withdraw from all courses prior to disbursement, a calculation is completed to determine the amount of earned aid for the term. This disbursement may help to reduce your balance for the withdrawn term. This disbursement is called a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement and will be calculated within 45 days from notification of withdrawal. If you are eligible for a Post-Withdrawal disbursement, you will have funds applied to your account in this order: Pell, SEOG, Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct PLUS Loan. If you qualify for a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement, any funds you are eligible to receive, based on the return calculation, will be applied to your account within 14 days.
Permission Required to Use Federal Financial Aid for Educationally-Related Activities
Students wishing to use the available balance of their federal financial aid for other educationally-related charges after tuition and fees charges are satisfied may do so by completing an electronic permission slip. These charges may include purchases made in the LCCC Bookstore, graduation fees, child care fees, campus meal tickets, bus passes, emergency loans, non-credit course fees, library fines and parking fines. Students may rescind this authorization at any time during the award year by visiting the LCCC Financial Services Center and completing a cancellation of permission for bookstore and other charges form. The electronic student permission form is found in the student’s MyCampus account and detailed directions can be found at https://www.lorainccc.edu/paying-for-college/financial-aid/using-financial-aid-for-books-and-other-expenses-permission-slips/.
Scholarships and Incentive Awards
For a complete list of LCCC Scholarships and Incentive Awards please visit https://www.lorainccc.edu/paying-for-college/scholarship-programs/.