Sep 28, 2020  
2020-2021 College Catalog 
    
2020-2021 College Catalog

Student Financial Aid Policy and Program



Western Iowa Tech Community College believes that the opportunity for a college education should be within the reach of all interested individuals. The College administers a financial aid program designed to assist the student who qualifies, to complete a diploma or degree program. The purpose of the Financial Aid Office is to assist, within the limits of its resources, students who have a financial need.

All students who are accepted to WITCC and apply for financial aid will be considered for aid regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, actual or potential parent, family or marital status, or other protected basis as set forth in the College’s affirmative action plan. Students must make satisfactory academic progress to continue their eligibility for financial aid.

If you have questions or complaints, please reference https://www.witcc.edu/board/policies.cfm or call (712) 274-6400 ext. 1406, and/or email jackie.plendl@witcc.edu or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661, phone number (312) 730-1560, fax (312) 730-1576.

Applying for Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid a student must:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.gov and may be submitted after January 1 for the school year beginning the next fall. If you need assistance accessing the FAFSA online, contact Student Financial Services.
  2. To receive financial assistance, the following requirements apply:
    • Graduation from high school, completion of the GED/HSED.
    • Admission into an eligible program at WITCC leading to a degree or diploma.
    • U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen status.
    • Possession of a valid Social Security number.
    • Must not be in default on any federal student loan or in repayment status on a federal grant.
    • Males who are required to be registered with the Selective Service must be registered.
    • If you are a returning student at WITCC, you must be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution.

Financial Aid Refund Policy

Important Notice for Financial Aid Recipients

The American taxpayers have entered into an agreement with you by investing tax dollars in grants and loans for your education at Western Iowa Tech. This investment places a serious responsibility on you to complete your education according to the agreement with the American taxpayers. If you fail to complete your education, the American taxpayers are entitled to receive back, from you, a portion of their investment.

Consequences of Withdrawal and Financial Aid

A student receiving federal financial assistance may have his/her financial aid adjusted based on his/her date of official or unofficial withdrawal.

Withdrawal Policy

Withdrawal is defined as dropping all classes and having no credit hours for a given semester.

A student officially withdraws from school when:

  • The student submits a written notice of total withdrawal to Enrollment Services at any WITCC campus. (A signed official withdrawal form or other written notice, such as an e-mail to the registrar, constitutes a written notice.)
    OR
  • The student calls Enrollment Services at any of the WITCC campuses and declares his/her intent to withdraw from all courses. The student must supply all information requested by the registration clerk or the withdrawal will not be considered official or completed.
    OR
  • The student withdraws online from all classes using my.witcc.edu (only prior to the start date of the course).

The date of official withdrawal will be the date the written notice is received in Enrollment Services, or the date the student’s phone call is received, or online notice is processed.

A student will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn when:

  • The student does not complete the official withdrawal process.
    AND
  • All of the student’s instructors report that the student is no longer attending classes.
  • Or, the student has received an “F” grade in all classes.

The date of unofficial withdrawal will be the mid-point of the semester.

If the student wishes to document his/her last date of attendance, it is the student’s responsibility to have his/her instructors send an e-mail to Enrollment Services stating the last date the student participated in an academically related activity which was part of the course of instruction.

Return of Title IV Funds

Students receiving federal financial assistance may have his/her financial aid award adjusted based on his/her date of official or unofficial withdrawal.

Calculating Title IV Returns

It is the responsibility of the Financial Aid Office to complete the calculation of Title IV returns within the timeframe required by federal regulation. WITCC returns the calculated amount to the Department of Education which creates a bill owed to WITCC. The following steps outline the general procedures used to calculate a Title IV return amount.

  • Step 1: Determine the percentage of federal aid earned by calculating the percentage of the semester that the student completed.
  • Step 2: Determine the amount of federal earned aid by applying the percentage to the total Title IV aid that was or could have been disbursed.
  • Step 3: Determine the amount of unearned federal aid by subtracting earned aid from disbursed aid or determine the amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement by subtracting disbursed aid from earned aid.
  • Step 4: If unearned funds must be returned, determine the school’s and the student’s shares; or if a post-withdrawal disbursement is due, determine the sources from which it will be funded.
  • Step 5: If unearned funds must be returned, allocate unearned aid to programs from which student was funded; or if a post-withdrawal disbursement is due, send student notification.
  • Step 6: Return the institution’s share and any funds repaid by the student or refer the student to the Department of Education; or make the post-withdrawal disbursement.

Procedure for Repaying the U.S. Government

If you owe a repayment of grants to the U.S. Government, you will remain ineligible for federal aid until you resolve your repayment. If you owe a repayment for grants received at WITCC, it may be possible to resolve your repayment at Student Financial Services. Contact Student Financial Services for details.

If you do not contact Student Financial Services within 15 days of receiving notice and schedule your repayment, you will be turned over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection. If you are referred to the Department of Education, you will remain ineligible for federal aid until the college receives notice from the Department of Education that you have reestablished your eligibility.

Carefully read all correspondence received from WITCC in case there is a change in your financial obligation to the college or your financial aid eligibility.

If you have any question about the effect of the Return of Funds to the federal aid programs, contact Student Financial Services.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid Recipients

Federal and state regulations require students receiving financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress. These standards apply to recipients of federal, state, and institutional programs administered by the WITCC Financial Aid Office. Scholarships awarded by WITCC from institutional or foundation resources are governed by criteria specific to those awards.

Satisfactory academic progress is evaluated at the end of each semester during the regular academic year. Students attending summer sessions are evaluated at the end of the second session. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards apply to all work attempted even though a student may not have been receiving financial aid.

A student must complete his/her program within 150 percent of the amount of credits normally required to complete a degree or diploma.

A minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average for all course work at WITCC is required. In addition, a student must complete 67% of all hours attempted at WITCC.

  1. Credit hours completed are:
    1. “A” through “D-” grades
    2. “P” passing with credits
  2. Incomplete credit hours are:
    1. “F” grade
    2. “W” grade
    3. “X” replaced grade
    4. “O” academic renewal
    5. “I” incomplete
    6. “Q” grade
  3. A student who withdraws from WITCC and re-enrolls at a later date will return with a financial aid status determined at the end of the semester for which he/she withdrew from WITCC.
  4. Transfer students may be assumed to be making satisfactory progress for the first disbursement of financial aid funds. Cumulative GPA for transfer students is based on WITCC academic work only. However, credits transferred from other institutions will be used to evaluate program completion within the 150 percent time frame. Transcripts from all previously attended post-secondary institutions may be required.
  5. Additional Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Students Receiving Department of Veterans Affairs Education Benefits. Initially, students receiving Department of Veterans Affiars Education or Training Benefits are held to the same standards (GPA and Completion Percentage) and procedures (Filing an Academic Progress Appeal) listed above for Financial Aid Recipients.  Students will be notified at the end of each semester or summer term if they are in a Warning or Not Eligible status.  
    • Period of Non Enrollment Required.  ​In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs regulations require a period of non-enrollment at the point a student is determined to be Not Eligible. Students have the right to appeal.  If the Academic Appeal Review Committee grants your appeal, you may continue to enroll and receive benefits.  You must notify the VA School Certifying Official to have your VA record reactivated.  However, should you choose not to appeal or if your appeal is denied, VA regulations require you to sit out an enrollment period, interpreted by VA to be at least an academic semester or quarter.  You may not continue to enroll, even at your own expense.  The Department of Veterans Affairs will be notified of your Not Eligible status.  This status may affect your eligibility at a new school.
    • Procedure for Re-Enrolling.  To be readmitted after a period of non-enrollment, the student must:
      • complete an application for admission
      • meet with an Academic Advisor and update their Academic Plan
      • submit a new Academic Process Appeal form detailing steps taken to meet academic progress standards
    • If your return appeal is granted, you must notify the VA School Certifying Official to have your VA record reactivated.

Financial Aid Warning

A student who has received financial aid is placed on financial aid WARNING the first time he/she fails to maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average or fails to complete 67% of all hours attempted. A student on financial aid WARNING continues to receive financial aid. If a student does not meet the minimum levels by the end of the WARNING semester, the student is considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress and is NOT ELIGIBLE for Financial Aid.

However, a student whose cumulative credits earned is 0 or whose cumulative grade point average is 0.0 will become ineligible. (See Appeal of Financial Aid Eligibility)

Notification

The Financial Aid Office notifies any student receiving financial aid who does not meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards by e-mail at their my.witcc.edu e-mail account.

Appeal of Financial Aid “Not Eligible” Status

Any student who loses eligibility for financial aid based on academic performance has the opportunity to appeal and explain extenuating circumstances such as death of an immediate family member, serious illness or other significant circumstances which adversely affected their academic performance to the Appeals Committee.

An appeal must be outside of the student’s control, made in writing in a format provided by the Financial Aid Office and documentation supporting the extenuating circumstances must be submitted with the appeal.

An Academic Plan, signed by the student’s advisor, must also be submitted with the appeal.

The decision of the committee will be final.

Types of Financial Aid

Federal Programs

Federal Pell Grants. All students should apply for this grant by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The grant does not need to be repaid. Grants are variable in amount depending on student eligibility, enrollment status, and federal appropriations.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG). These grants are awarded to students demonstrating exceptional financial need. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for these grants. Students are notified of their eligibility for this grant by the Financial Aid Office. Grants are variable in amount depending on student eligibility, enrollment status, and federal appropriations.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans. A student’s eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant must be determined before a Direct Loan may be processed. Submit the Loan Request Form to the Financial Aid Office online through my.witcc.edu and complete all loan eligibility requirements if you wish to borrow.

Federal Work-Study Programs. In addition to grants, students may be awarded part-time jobs funded through the Federal Work-Study Programs. Eligibility is based on financial need. Students employed under the Federal Work-Study Programs are paid monthly by check. Contact Student Financial Services for details.

State Programs

Visit www.iowacollegeaid.gov for complete details and deadlines for submitting the FAFSA.

Kibbie Grants and Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grants. The Legislature of the State of Iowa sets aside funds each year to assist students who choose vocational programs at the Iowa area schools. Students must be residents of Iowa as defined in the state of Iowa Code and Policy.

All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Program. This is a statewide need-based program to assist high-need Iowa residents. Recipients must demonstrate financial need and make satisfactory academic progress to receive the award.

Students must complete the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship online application each year by March 1, at www.iowacollegeaid.gov. Students must also file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) by March 1.

Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship. This scholarship provides financial assistance to Iowa residents enrolled in certain career and technical education programs leading to a diploma or associate degree at Iowa community colleges and eligible private colleges and universities. Scholarships for students amount to the remainint tuition and institution-wide mandatory fees charged after other federal and state scholarships and grant aid have been awarded. Complete details available at www.iowacollegeaid.gov/lastdollar.

Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Grant. This grant program is a statewide need-based program to assist high-need Iowa residents who were in the Iowa Foster Care system. Recipients must demonstrate financial need and make satisfactory academic progress to receive this award.

Students must complete the ETV application online by March 1, at www.iowacollegeaid.gov to be considered for an award. Students must also file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

Iowa National Guard Education Assistance Program. Grant assistance for members of the Iowa National Guard. Annual application is required. Contact your Guard unit for application procedures and deadlines or go to www.iowacollegeaid.gov.

Aid from Other States. Non-Iowa residents may be eligible for assistance from their home state. Contact the WITCC Financial Aid Office if you need to know how to contact your state agency.

Scholarships

Foundation Scholarships. The Western Iowa Tech Community College Foundation is a non-profit organization operated for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes. Students can view a complete list of Foundation Scholarships online at www.witcc.edu. Click on Scholarship under the Financial tab.

Private Loans

Private student loans (also called alternative loans) are offered by outside lenders and are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education or WITCC. WITCC requires students to use all Federal Grant and Direct Loan options before considering a private student loan. WITCC does not offer a preferred lender list and it is the student’s responsibility to find a lender of their choice. WITCC does not recommend private loans when federal aid options are available.