Student Financial Aid Policy

Verification

Verification is the process by which the FAO compares the information on the financial aid application with source documents provided by the student to verify the accuracy of the application information. These policies are to be used in conjunction with the Department of Education and the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) verification guidelines. Glendale Community College (GCC) will verify the information on FAFSA for all students who complete the application process for federal & state financial aid and who are selected for verification by the Department of Education or the California Student Aid Commission. In addition, GCC may select files for verification to resolve conflicting information or institutional edits.

At Glendale Community College, financial aid will not be awarded to those selected for verification until all documents required are submitted and the verification has been completed.

- Notification to Students

Upon receipt of the FAFSA, an email with instructions on how to access MyGCC (student portal) is sent to the student. The email informs the student to access MyGCC to determine what forms or additional information is required to complete his/her financial aid file. Links to the forms is contained within MyGCC. Additional emails are sent if and when more documents are needed. Students are instructed to return the documents as soon as possible in order to complete his/her file and be awarded financial aid.

Students are notified of the results of verification by receipt of an email with instructions on how to access his/her awards through MyGCC. Students will also receive a corrected Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor if data elements are changed and the EFC changes.

-Documentation

Documentation submitted to the FAO must be legible, appropriate, and have the student's GCC ID Number for identification purposes. If the student submits a document which is not legible (i.e., a copy of a verification form in which the income numbers are not identifiable), appropriate (a tax return instead of a tax transcript), or unidentifiable (student submits a copy of the parents’ tax transcript and the last name does not match the student's), the documents will be returned and a request for additional documentation is requested.

-Processing Time Period

Students are notified that until the missing documents are submitted to the Financial Aid Office, additional processing of their file is not possible.

Failure to Comply
Students who fail to submit verification documents never complete their file; therefore, aid is not awarded for these students.

Submission After Deadline
Students who submit verification documents very late after the time they were requested will be awarded some aid on an availability basis (i.e. SEOG and FWS). Students who are selected for verification by the Department of Education, must submit verification documents to the school by the below published deadlines, or 120 days after the last day of the student's enrollment, whichever is earlier:

                    2016-2017: August 25, 2017

    2017-2018: August 24, 2018 (subject to change)

*For files not selected for verification, all paperwork must be submitted prior to the last day of the semester the student is enrolled in.


Correction Procedures

In most cases, the Financial Aid Office will submit all corrections to the federal processor based on the documentation submitted by the student to the office. If the student needs to make the change such as supplying an electronic signature with a FSA ID, the student will be notified by email that he/she needs to make that type of correction.

Conflicting Information Policy

Prior to Disbursement

  • All conflicting information must be resolved before any Federal Student Aid funds are disbursed to the student.

After Disbursement:

  • No further disbursements can be made until conflicts are resolved. 
  • Student is required to repay aid for which he/she is not eligible.  Any debt owed may be  

Conflicting information can result from information that the GCC Financial Aid Office collects or has access to, such as, financial aid applications, need analysis documents or eligibility documents. Information that the college may collect as part of the admission’s application can also lead to conflicting information. This could include information about the student’s citizenship status, high school completion status, or previous college degrees earned.

The Glendale Community College Financial Aid Office uses data from the Admissions Office to determine eligibility for aid and to resolve any conflicts collected by the financial aid office. Examples of conflicting information include;

 

  • Prior Associate’s Degree
  • Prior Bachelor’s Degree 
  • Ineligible Goal for Financial Aid 
  • High School Completion or Equivalency

Financial Aid Advisors at Glendale Community College look for conflicting information when reviewing files selected for verification or when reviewing eligibility documents. Students are notified by email to check their student portal (MyGCC) for a comment regarding the conflict. Students are instructed to see a Financial Aid Advisor to resolve the conflict which in many cases requires additional documentation or completion of a form.

When Glendale Community College receives a subsequent financial aid application (ISIR) for a student who has already been reviewed and packaged and disbursed, a designated staff member reviews the new application and in many cases requests additional documentation from the student. These documents may resolve conflicting information that exists. However, no further disbursements are made to the student until these documents/information is received and reviewed. In some cases students must repay aid if the new information determines that the student was not eligible for his/her previous disbursement.  In addition, some students must repay all required Title IV aid for that aid year, if they are currently enrolled at GCC and have not responded and submitted all required verification documents by the Financial aid office deadline (for that specific aid year). 


Citizenship Policy

An applicant who is a permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen must provide documentation of that status to receive federal financial aid funds.

Primary confirmation: This documentation may be provided automatically through the results of a match with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records. If the student’s status has been confirmed, no other documentation is required, and eligibility for federal aid has been established.

Secondary confirmation: If the primary confirmation is not received, a student must submit one of the following documents to the Glendale Community College Financial Aid Office in order to establish eligibility:
 
        • An Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151, I-551) 
        • An Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94 or I-94A)

Students should contact the Glendale Community College Financial Aid Office about submitting other documentation to see if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Submitted immigration documents will be mailed to the DHS for secondary confirmation. DHS must respond within 15 business days. If DHS does not respond, GCC will resend the documentation for a secondary confirmation and will wait for a response.

Processing Time Period:

Students are notified that until the missing documents are submitted to the Financial Aid Office, additional processing of their file is not possible.  In addition, once all documents are submitted, and additional information from the student is requested, processing time may be extended.

Failure to Comply:

Students who fail to submit citizenship documents never complete their file; therefore, aid is not awarded for these students.

Submission After Deadline:

Students must submit citizenship and all other required verification documents in a timely manner in order to receive Federal Financial Aid. Documents submitted after the financial aid priority deadline of, April 1, may not be eligible for some aid, such as, SEOG and FWS, because funding is limited, and thus not all qualifying students will actually receive an award. Students who are selected to confirm citizenship by the Department of Education, must submit citizenship documents to the school by the below published deadlines, or 120 days after the last day of the student's enrollment, whichever is earlier:
 
        2016-2017:  August 25, 2017
 
        2017-2018:  August 24, 2018 (TBD and subject to change)


Cost of Attendance Determination

Every year, Glendale Community College Financial Aid Office reviews the California Student Aid Commission’s (CSAC) most current Student Expenses and Resources Survey (SEARS). It is a broad survey of students’ budgets and expenses from UCs, CSUs, community colleges, independent, and private career institutions. If the survey is not from the current year, it is adjusted for inflation by CSAC. Each year California legislators establish the cost for enrollment per unit. The average amount of full time units at GCC are used to determine the average enrollment and tuition fees. Glendale Community College determines the non-resident tuition as well as the health and student services fees. Information from SEARS is used to establish amounts for books and supplies, transportation, room and board and miscellaneous personal expenses. The cost of attendance is subject to change depending on legislative activity. The cost of attendance sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive for the year. It represents a modest budget by which a student can live adequately while attending GCC. Currently, GCC only varies cost of attendance for students who are making changes to his/her living situation (off campus or living with parents/relatives). GCC does not make any adjustments to cost of attendance using professional judgment.

Packaging Policy

Financial aid packages are created for students throughout the academic year. Applicants whose financial aid files are complete by College priority deadlines will receive maximum consideration in the distribution of funding resources according to funding criteria. Eligible applicants completing a file after the priority deadline will be packaged with Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work Study (dependent on availability of fund, and SEOG (dependent on availability of funds). While Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Parent Loans are available to students, they are not packaged with other awards. Students can request these type of funds. Due to limited funding, the College cannot attempt to meet the financial need of students. Glendale Community College employs an up-front policy of Grants awards first, work study second and loans last.

Guidelines for Awarding Financial Aid:

  1. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined as a result of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. The Federal Pell Grant is the foundation of the financial aid package and eligibility is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  3. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded according to federal guidelines. Federal Pell Grant recipients with the lowest Expected Family Contribution have first priority for FSEOG funding. The FSEOG annual award is $400.
  4. Award packages are created based on expected full-time enrollment. Grants will disbursed on a prorated basis based on enrollment.
  5. The College reserves the right to issue adjusted award letters due to an error in calculating.
  6. Student must log on to MyGCC to view their awards. 
    In addition: 
    - The Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver (BOGW) and Grants will be automatically accepted. 
    - To accept Federal Work Study (FWS) the student must contact the Student Employment Office. 
    - Student must attend a loan workshop in order to accept their Direct Loan.

NOTE: Due to the large applicant pool and limited funding allocations, not all students meeting the priority deadline are awarded funds from all programs.

Expected Family Contribution

The formula to determine ability to contribute toward the cost of education is legislated by Congress. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the result of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For dependent students the EFC is the result of a combination of the parent and student income and asset information. For independent students the EFC is the result of the student and spouse (if married) income and asset information.

Recalculation of Federal Pell Grant Policy

At Glendale Community College, students are initially awarded Pell Grants based on the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) on the financial aid application (FAFSA) that has been reviewed and corrected for those students selected for verification. In other cases, the original EFC on the financial aid application that was received and was not selected for review is also required to have the Pell grant recalculated an no further disbursement can occur until the file is reviewed.

Glendale Community College will recalculate a student’s Pell grant in the following situations:

  1. Change in Expected Family Contribution when reviewing a file selected for verification or when a new application (ISIR) is received after a student is awarded.
  2. To correct an over award or under award caused by a change in the expected family contribution (EFC).
  3. Change in enrollment by the Financial Aid Census Date for that term.
  4. Changes in cost of attendance, which could result in a change in Pell Grant, after the file has been awarded has to be initiated by the student by completing a Budget Change Form and providing appropriate documentation to the financial aid office.
  5. Knowledge of information, i.e. prior Bachelor's degree, lack of or validity of High School diploma, etc... that will effect student eligibility.


Professional Judgment

The Higher Education Act of 1992 allows financial aid administrators to make professional judgment decisions for special or unusual family or student circumstances. These circumstances must be documented. The financial aid administrator must analyze circumstances requiring professional judgment decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Aid Administrators may treat a student with special circumstances differently than the strict application of the methodology would otherwise permit. Adjustments can either increase or decrease a student's EFC. In the case of an adjustment to a student's EFC, specified adjustments may be made to data elements. The reason for the adjustment must relate to that student's special circumstances and must be documented in the student's file. 

At Glendale Community College, the forms to file a special circumstances are for the following reasons:

-Request for Review of Income Data - Dependent Student:  Loss of student’s or parents’ income due to lay-off or termination of employment, separation, divorce, or other mitigating circumstances beyond your or your parents’ control.

For 2016-2017 click here

For 2017-2018 (you must come to the Financial Aid Office to speak with an Advisor)


-Request for Review of Income Data – Independent Student:  Loss of student’s or spouse's (if married) income due to lay-off or termination of employment, separation, divorce, or other mitigating circumstances beyond your or your spouse's control.
 
For 2016-2017 click here

For 2017-2018 (you must come to the Financial Aid Office to speak with an Advisor)


-Student Financial Aid Policy– Dependency Override Appeal:  A student can request to be considered independent if the student does not meet the federal requirement by submitting the Request for Review of Dependency Status. The form is available from the Financial Aid Office or by downloading it from the financial aid website. The required documentation is listed on the Request for Review of Dependency Status.

For 2016-2017 click here

For 2017-2018 click here


Credit Balances

Students whose financial aid results in a credit balance will receive a refund within 14 days of the credit balance occurring unless the credit balance occurred before the term began, in which case, the refund will be issued within 14 days of the start of the term. Credit balances are not held on a student’s account for future charges.

Refunds are processed automatically at least weekly once the term begins and enrollment has been verified. In all cases the refund will be in the form of a paper check that will be issued and mailed to the student’s permanent mailing address. Refund checks will be held for pick-up in the Tuition Office upon request of the student to the Financial Aid Office for situations where mailing a check could be problematic. Uncashed and unclaimed refund checks will be credited back to the student’s account and the funds returned to the program from which they came.

Consortium Agreements (GCC as Primary)

Federal regulations stipulate that you may only receive financial aid (other than a BOG Fee Waiver) at one institution at a time. In some cases, a student who is unable to take required courses at GCC (the primary college) may be able to take those courses at another college (the secondary college) and request that those units be counted toward their financial aid eligibility. A Financial Aid Consortium Agreement must be agreed to and signed by the Financial Aid Offices at both institutions.

Glendale Community College does not do consortium agreements, where GCC is primary, with 4 year Universities.

In order for a course at another college to be approved for financial aid purposes at Glendale Community College, the course must be able to be credited toward your degree, certificate or transfer objective at GCC.

At Glendale Community College if you are on a financial aid contract you are NOT eligible for a consortium agreement. In addition, courses previously taken at GCC with a grade of ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, or ‘P’ are NOT eligible for payment through a consortium agreement.

Consortium Agreements will not be accepted until after the Financial Aid census date for each semester/intersession. The Financial Aid census date is usually the 5th week of classes for Fall and Spring semesters. For the Winter intersession, consortium agreements will not be accepted until after the FA census date for the Spring semester. Financial Aid census date for Summer intersessions are usually the 3rd week of classes. Current verification of enrollment must be attached to the Consortium Agreement. Current is defined as less than seven (7) days prior to the date submitted.

Consortium Agreements are only approved for one semester/intersession at a time. Consortium Agreements are not approved retroactively. Winter intersession consortium agreements will be processed after the Spring census date.  To be eligible for payment, a completed Consortium Agreement and current verification of enrollment at the secondary college must be received by the GCC Financial Aid Office after the Financial Aid census date and prior to the last day of the semester/intersession listed in the Student’s Section of the form.


Return to Title IV

A student may find it necessary to withdraw from all classes during a semester. The student may be eligible to receive a refund of tuition and enrollment fees depending upon the timing of the withdrawal.

If circumstances cause a student to withdraw from all classes, they are encouraged to contact an academic counselor so their decision will be based on a clear understanding of the consequences of withdrawing from all classes. 

For financial aid purposes there are two types of withdrawals: Official and Unofficial:

Official:
Official withdrawal from Glendale Community College by the student or by the instructor. The current academic year’s policy for a Complete Withdrawal can be found in the Glendale Community College General Catalog – Withdrawal/Course Drop Policy.

Unofficial:
Federal financial aid regulations consider a student to be an unofficial withdrawal if the student receives all fail (F/NP) grades or a combination of all fail (F/NP) and withdrawal (W) grades for the term.

Determination of the Withdrawal Date:

The withdrawal date used in the return calculation of a student’s federal financial aid is the actual date indicated on the official drop form. If a student stops attending classes without notifying GCC (unofficial withdrawal), the withdrawal date will be the midpoint of the semester.

When A Student Fails to Earn a Passing Grade in Any Course:

Financial aid is awarded under the assumption that the student will attend Glendale Community College for the entire term/semester for which federal/and or state assistance was disbursed. Federal regulations require the school to determine whether the student established eligibility for each Title IV eligible class.  Therefore, if the student failed to earn a passing grade in any of his/her Title IV eligible classes for the term/semester, the student is considered to have Unofficially withdrawn.
 
When the student has any combination of all fail (F), No Pass (NP) and/or withdrawal (W) grades for the term/semester, the midpoint (50%) of that term/semester will be used as the withdrawal date. A review of financial aid students will occur after grades are processed for the prior term/semester to determine who falls in this category and requires a R2T4 calculation.

Determining Aid Earned:

If a student withdraws from Glendale Community College, then the school, or the student, or both may be required to return some or all of the federal funds awarded to the student for that semester. The federal government requires a return of Title IV federal aid that was received if the student withdrew on or before completing 60% of the semester. Federal funds, for the purposes of this federal regulation, include Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Subsidized Direct Loans, and Parent PLUS Loans. The formula used in this federal "return of funds" calculation divides the aid received into earned aid and unearned aid.

A student "earns" financial aid in proportion to the time s/he is enrolled up to the 60% point. The percentage of federal aid to be returned (unearned aid) is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the semester when the withdrawal takes place divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester. If a student was enrolled for 20% of the semester before completely withdrawing, 80% of federal financial aid must be returned to the aid programs. If a student stays through 50% of the semester, 50% of federal financial aid must be returned.

For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there is no unearned aid. However, a school must still complete a Return calculation in order to determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.

In compliance with federal regulations, the financial aid office will perform the calculation within 30 days of the student's withdrawal and funds will be returned to the appropriate federal aid program within 45 days of the withdrawal date. An evaluation will be done to determine if aid was eligible to be disbursed but had not disbursed as of the withdrawal date. If the student meets the federal criteria for a post withdrawal disbursement, the student will be notified of their eligibility within 30 days of determining the student's date of withdrawal. If the eligibility is for a grant disbursement, the funds will be disbursed within 45 days of determining the student's date of withdrawal. If the eligibility is for a loan, the student will be notified in the same timeframe but they must also reply to the Financial Aid Office if they wish to accept the post withdrawal loan obligation. A post withdrawal disbursement of any funds would first be used toward any outstanding charges before any funds are returned to you.

Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid:

Once the amount of unearned federal aid is calculated, the Glendale Community College repayment responsibility is the lesser of that amount or the amount of unearned institutional charges. The school satisfies its responsibility by repaying funds in the student's package in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan 
  • Subsidized Stafford Loan 
  • Parent PLUS Loan
  • Pell Grant 
  • FSEOG 
  • Other Title IV Grant Funds

Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a balance to the institution and/or the U.S. Department of Education. If a student fails to repay grant funds, she/he may be ineligible for future federal financial aid.

Academic Year Definition

Academic programs offered at GCC are calculated in units and measured by semesters. GCC establishes two 16 week semesters (fall and spring), one winter intercession for 6 weeks and a 10 week summer session period per academic year. This meets the federal minimum academic year definition (30 weeks of instruction minimum). During the academic year, students are expected to complete at least 24 semester units as a full time student. This also meets the minimum federal definition. For financial aid purposes, the academic year definition is important because it affects how payment periods are calculated. GCC makes financial aid payments based on enrollment period for Fall semester, a payment period combining Winter Intercession and Spring Semester and one payment period for the various Summer sessions.