Eligibility & Policies

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require Northwest Iowa Community College to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for student financial aid recipients. These standards ensure that only those recipients demonstrating satisfactory progress toward the completion of their educational programs continue to receive financial aid. All student records will be reviewed at the end of each payment period (semester/term). A student’s entire NCC record will be reviewed for satisfactory academic progress, including terms for which the student did not receive financial aid.The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is different than the Academic Progress Standards, and different from the required academic standards that may be set by your specific program. You will have separate procedures when academically placed on probation or suspension. Your financial aid eligibility may be suspended; however, Financial Aid Suspension does not necessarily prohibit your enrollment in coursework so please check with your Advisor or the Registrar to discuss.

Any grade forgiveness granted from the Academic Restart Program does not apply to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. When calculating a student’s satisfactory academic progress for financial aid, all grades earned from all previous enrollment periods will be considered.

Whether a student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress depends on successful completion of courses (credit hours earned), cumulative grade point average (GPA), and maximum time limits to complete his or her course of study. Students must meet all of these requirements to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.

Click here to view the SAP policy in its entirety.

Return of Title IV Aid — Financial Aid Refund Policy

Federal law (Section 485 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998-P.L. 105–244) specifies how NCC must determine the amount of student financial aid assistance that is earned if you cease to attend.

If you receive federal financial assistance and fail to complete your education, your financial aid may be adjusted based on the date of the official or unofficial withdrawal. An unofficial withdrawal occurs when a student stops attending and/or fails to follow the withdrawal process. The amount of financial assistance you have earned is determined on a pro-rated basis using the number of calendar days completed divided by the number of calendar days in the payment period. Once you have completed more than 60 percent of the enrollment period, you earn all your financial assistance.

In accordance with federal regulations, when Title IV (Federal) Funds are involved, unearned aid is returned by NCC in the following order as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after determining the student has withdrawn (34 CFR 668.22(g) and (j)):

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  7. Other Title IV Assistance

The adjustment of aid may cause you to owe money to the U.S. Government and/or NCC. If a student withdrawal creates a credit balance, NCC will use the credit balance to pay authorized charges, including previously paid charges that become unpaid due to the withdrawal or the return of funds calculation. If NCC is required to return Title IV funds, the new outstanding balance the student owes will be billed to the student. If the repayment of funds is not made to NCC within the designated deadline, the amount may be turned over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection or a collection agency, depending upon the funding source. Anyone in a repayment situation will remain ineligible for federal aid until the repayment is resolved. Students will remain ineligible for federal aid until the College receives notice from the Department of Education or collection agency that the student has reestablished his/her eligibility.

If the Return of Title IV Aid Calculation determines the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds, the funds will be applied to the student’s account as soon as possible but not later than 45 days after the date the school becomes aware of the student withdrawal.  After the grant funds are applied to the student’s account, if this creates a credit balance, the funds will be disbursed to the student as soon as possible but no later than 14 days after the credit balance occurred. (34 CFR 668.164 (h)).

If the Return of Title IV Aid Calculation determines the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, the student will be notified in writing within 30 days of the date the school becomes aware of the student withdrawal (34 CFR 668.22 (a)(6)(iii)(A)). The student will then be given 14 days to respond with their decision as to whether or not they will accept or decline the disbursement of the loan funds. If the student does not respond within 14 days of the date the notification was sent, the school is no longer required to make the post-withdrawal disbursement.

If you need to withdraw from your classes it is important that you contact your Advisor to complete a “Withdrawal Form.” The “Official Withdrawal Date” is recorded by the Registrar after the “Withdrawal Form” is returned to the Student Services Office, or is the date that the student otherwise provides official notification to NCC of their intent to withdraw. However, if documentation is received indicating the student’s last day of attendance is different than the date the student officially withdrew, the student’s last day of attendance may be recorded as the withdrawal date and used to calculate the refund of tuition and fees. Students who stop attending and/or fail to follow the withdrawal process are considered to have unofficially withdrawn and the student’s last day of attendance may be used to determine the refund calculation.

If you drop below half-time, withdraw, or graduate, you are required to complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling. You may complete the online Exit Counseling session by going to studentaid.gov. If your enrollment status drops below half time, your future loan disbursements may be cancelled, you will no longer qualify for an in-school deferment of your loan payments, and you will either begin your grace period or your loans may enter into repayment.

An example of a Return of Title IV Aid is available upon request from the Financial Aid Office.

Code of Conduct for Educational Loans Summary

Iowa Code Section 261F.2 and Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 601.21, require the development, administration, and enforcement of a code of conduct governing educational loan activities. Our officers, employees, trustees and agents, including the alumni association, booster club, and other organizations associated with Northwest Iowa Community College, agree to the provisions of this Code of Conduct and will refrain from:

  • Refusing to certify or delaying the certification of an education loan based on a borrower’s choice of lender.
  • Assigning a first-time borrower to a particular private education loan lender through the student’s financial aid award or another means.
  • Packaging a private education loan in a student’s financial aid award, except when the student is ineligible for other financial aid, has exhausted his or her federal student aid eligibility, has not filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or refuses to apply for a federal student loan.
  • Accepting impermissible gifts, goods, or services from a lender, lender servicer, or guarantor. The institution may accept default prevention, financial literacy, or student aid-related educational services or materials, or other items of a nominal value.
  • Accepting philanthropic contributions from a lender, lender servicer, or guarantor that are related to the educational loans provided by the entity that is making the contribution.
  • Serving on or otherwise participating as a member of an advisory council for a lender, lender affiliate, or lender servicer.
  • Accepting from a lender or its affiliate any fee, payment, or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide education loan-related services to or on behalf of the lender.
  • Accepting fees or other benefits in exchange for endorsing a lender or the lender’s loan products.
  • Requesting or accepting an offer of funds for private education loans from a lender, in exchange for our promise to provide the lender with placement on a preferred lender list, or a certain number of volume of private education loans.

This institution is committed to providing the information and resources necessary to help every student achieve educational success. To accomplish this goal the financial aid staff will consider each student’s individual needs.

A comprehensive Code of Conduct detailing permissible and impermissible activities has been provided to all of our officers, employees, and agents. You may review the detailed Code of Conduct here.

Contact For More Information