Financial Aid Rights and Responsibilities

Rights for Students with Financial Aid

Every student has the right to:

  • Apply for financial aid and receive eligibility determination.
  • Receive an Individual Award Notice, listing the types of aid for which the student qualifies.
  • Have access to Consumer Information.
  • Appeal their financial aid status.
  • Inspect their own record (requires a formal written request).

View additional rights in the College's student bill of rights.

Drug Abuse and Financial Aid

All students completing the FAFSA are required to answer a drug abuse question. A worksheet is available for students not sure how to answer the drug question. Eligibility can be affected by a student's response to the drug question. The worksheet has instructions for a student who has had drug charges but still wishes to receive financial aid.

Academic Progress

How a student performs in class during the current year will affect their financial aid for the following year. Students must make progress toward the completion of a program/degree.

For the PHEAA State Grant Program, a student must complete a minimum of 24 credits for each full-time academic year of state grant received or 6 credits per semester for any part-time state grant received.

For federal programs, students must successfully complete 66 percent of the credits attempted by the halfway point of the program of study. The Financial Aid Office counts all withdrawals "W" and incompletes "I" as non-completed course work, which will affect the student's grade point average (GPA) and completion rate.

The Financial Aid Office may make exceptions to the determination of ineligibility based on lack of progress if the student completes the appeal process as outlined on the Process for Filing a Financial Aid Appeal for Academic Progress. If a student wishes to appeal, complete the Financial Aid Appeal Form. If the appeal is approved, the Financial Aid Office will waive the ineligibility status for that semester. Only one appeal is accepted per semester.

If students do not complete the recommended credits during the exception semester, they may have to pay for courses on their own for future semesters to regain eligibility for Title IV financial aid.

Withdrawal Requirements

In order to completely withdraw from classes, a student must withdraw from ALL courses either online using WebAdvisor, or in person at the Records Office. Although instructors and the institution have the right to withdraw a student from class for lack of attendance or dismissal from the school or campus, they are not responsible to do so. It is the student's responsibility to adjust their own schedule when necessary. Students will be held accountable for grades and charges in classes from which they have not withdrawn.

Program Completion

The U.S. Department of Education requires that schools establish a maximum time frame for completion of a program of study that does not exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program. If a student's program of study requires 60 credits for graduation, the student will not receive financial aid when they reach 90 attempted credits.

The review is conducted after grades are posted for each semester. If a semester begins before grades are available, the academic review will still be effective prior to the semester in progress. Therefore, should financial aid be revoked, the student is still responsible for the bill. It is the student's responsibility to maintain the acceptable level of academic achievement.

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Attendance

A student must begin attendance in ALL of their classes in order to receive financial aid. Professors submit attendance for all students who have not attended class or who have stopped attending. Students reported for non-attendance will have their financial aid reduced or eliminated unless they can provide attendance confirmation from all professors of the courses for which they are registered. It is the student's responsibility to request attendance confirmation from all professors. This confirmation must be emailed from the professor to the Records Office at records@racc.edu.

Enrollment Status/Audits

A student's basic eligibility and award amount is based on full-time enrollment status. A change in enrollment status may cause a revision in an award or ineligibility. Some programs require full-time enrollment while others require at least half-time enrollment.

Financial aid does not pay for audited classes. If an audit class changes the enrollment status, financial aid will be recalculated and returned. The student will be responsible to pay monies owed to the College if charges are incurred that exceed the financial aid award.

Census Date

Financial Aid will be credited based on the enrollment status at the end of the drop/add period (census date). If a student receives a grade for the class they are dropping, they will receive aid for that class. NOTE: Student loans will be returned to the lender if the student is not enrolled at the time we receive the funds.

Dropping classes can affect academic progress for future semesters; please check with the Financial Aid Office before dropping courses.

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Book Advance Credit

  • The College extends bookstore credit based on approved PELL, SEOG and student loans that exceed the cost of tuition and fees.
  • Registered credits must match your awarded financial aid.
  • Financial Aid must be finalized and approved two (2) weeks prior to the start of the semester.
  • Book credit will be available at the Follett Campus Bookstore ONLY.
  • You must present your RACC photo ID and current semester schedule to purchase books with your book credit.
  • Book credit is available for up to $1500 for clinical nursing students and $1000 for all other majors per semester.
  • Book credit is available one (1) week prior to the start of the semester, as well as the first two (2) weeks of each semester, except for summer term.

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Return of Title IV Funds

Students who completely withdraw at or before 60 percent of the semester may have to return a portion of their Title IV unearned federal financial aid.

The Financial Aid Office is responsible for determining whether the combined total of a student's aid and other resources exceeds their computed financial need. Students will be notified by mail and are responsible to pay the College charges incurred due to the return of Title IV funds.

The Return of Title IV calculation is the number of days attended divided by the number of days in the semester.

  • Official date of withdrawal
  • Total number of days in the semester
  • Percentage of Title IV funds earned and unearned
  • Amount of funds to be returned

Funds must be repaid in the following order: unsubsidized loan, subsidized loan, PLUS loan, PELL Grant and SEOG Grant.

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