Financial Aid FAQs
Am I eligible for federal aid?
In order to be eligible for any form of federal aid, generally, you must meet the following criteria:
- Must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program of study.
- Must be pursuing a degree, certificate, or other recognized credential.
- You must be a U.S citizen or eligible non citizen.
- Must be registered with Selective Service if male.
- May not have eligibility suspended or terminated due to a drug-related conviction.
- You must have a valid social security number.
- May not be in default on a federal student loan.
- May not owe repayment of a federal grant.
- Must be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the school.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Applying for financial aid can be intimidating but don’t let that stop you. There may be money out there with your name on it!
It all starts with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Go to https://fafsa.ed.gov
Pierpont School Code is (040385)
To Get Started with the 2017-2018 FAFSA:
- Put your financial house in order. As soon after October* 1, 2016 as possible, collect all your tax information for the prior-prior (2015) year that is needed for the FAFSA. You will need your parents tax information if you are under the age of 24, not married, no children, not on Active Duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, not a veteran and not a Ward of the Court. If you believe you are homeless or have been in foster care, contact Financial Aid for guidance when completing your FAFSA.
- Log into www.fafsa.gov with your FSA ID. If you do not have one yet, click on the link at the top of the page (the Lock symbol) and complete the information as directed. You will use this FSA ID to sign your FAFSA, apply for student loans, and complete student loan promissory notes. Keep it safe. Once your FAFSA is successfully submitted, we will receive it in about 1 week.
- Priority Dates for FAFSA Completion: March 1 for possible additional aid and Pierpont Scholarship Application; April 15 West Virginia State Grant (residents), March 1 West Virginia Promise Scholarship Application:www.cfwv.com
- Note: These are Priority Deadlines for maximum aid! The FAFSA can be completed any time after January 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 and Scholarship Applications are still accepted after March 1.
- You will receive results from your FAFSA applications in as little as three days if you submitted it online and provided a valid email address. During busy processing times, this may take a little longer. Review everything carefully. Make any corrections needed and resubmit.
- Pierpont Scholarships are generally awarded beginning April 1 or later.
*NEW FOR 2017-2018 PRIOR-PRIOR YEAR (PPY):
PPY will allow you ro submit and process your Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) at an earlier time. Starting with 2017-2018 FAFSA
- You can file your FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, rather than beginning on January 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change enabling you to complete and submit your FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.
- You'll use earlier income tax information. Beginning with 2017-2018 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier year. For example, on the 2017-2018 FAFSA you- and your parent(s), as appropriate will report 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information. For 2018-2019 FAFSA you- and your parent(s), as appropriate will report 2016 income and tax information.
Selected for Verification?
To maintain the Program Integrity of Federal Student Aid, you may be selected for verification of certain data that you submitted on your FAFSA. This will be noted on your Student Aid Report (Electronic Version of your Processed FAFSA). If selected, you will receive a letter from us requesting documentation that will allow us to complete the verification. In addition to documents requested to verify your financial information, you may be asked to provide proof of completing high school (copy of diploma, high school transcript that includes your graduation date, copy of your GED, etc.), re-sign the Statement of Educational Purpose, and provide a valid government issued photo I.D. (Driver’s License, State-issued I.D., Passport, etc.). The Statement of Educational Purpose must be signed in front of school personnel who will ask for your I.D. and copy it for your file. You may also present I.D. to a Notary Public and complete the “Notary Public” version of the form which can then be sent via postal mail only to the main address of the school along with a copy of your valid I.D. Note: An expired I.D. is not a valid I.D.
Your aid cannot be fully processed until this verification is complete so be sure to submit the needed documentation. You can view the needed documents on your Felix Account within the Pierpont Portal. There will also be a link to the needed form/s.
The simplest way to provide verification of income items is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA form. If you originally estimated your income and have since filed your 2015 taxes electronically at least a week ago you should be able to update your income by simply pulling in your tax information through the FAFSA. ***If you are married and filed separately, you will not be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool in FAFSA and will have to provide a Tax Return Transcript.
Schools are no longer able to accept Federal Income Tax Returns for Verification. If you are selected for Verification you have two options:
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of the FAFSA on the web. Go to FAFSA.gov, log into the students record and select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” then go to the Financial Information Section of the form. Follow the instructions to determine if you (and/or your parents if applicable) are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information into the student’s FAFSA.
- Request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
- By phone: (800) 908-9946
- Web: Go to www.IRS.gov, click on "Get Transcript” link.
- Be sure to order the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and NOT the “IRS Tax Account Transcript”. You may have to complete a 4506T paper request at www.irs.gov and under Forms and Pubs click “4506-T”
- You will need to use your Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and address on file with the IRS.
How can I get help filling out the FAFSA?
Federal Student Aid is a click away when you are completing the FAFSA. You can also get help by calling the Financial Aid Office at 304-333-3642 or 855-297-0999. Free, expert help for filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available at College Goal Sunday, February 21, 2016.
What is my "Need"?
One of the eligibility criteria for many of the financial aid programs is "financial need" or simply, "need". The figure known as "need" is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution (EFC from the FAFSA) from your Cost of Attendance (above). The total of all of your financial aid from need-based programs cannot exceed your "need" as calculated by this simple formula. There are also a few financial aid programs that are not based upon need, and these may be available to you as long as your total financial aid (from both need-based and non-need-based programs) does not exceed your Cost of Attendance.
How will I know what types of aid I have been awarded?
Upon review of your completed financial aid applications, and any other necessary documents (see "Financial Aid"), the Financial Aid Office will prepare a "package" of various aid programs for you based upon your eligibility. The package may contain a combination of grants, work programs, scholarships, and loans. The award package will be sent to you in the form of an "Award Letter".
Your Award Letter will contain the following information:
- Your Estimated Cost of Attendance (see Tuition and Fees)
- The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (from your FAFSA)
- Eligible awards including student loans
- Federal Campus employment (work-study) if awarded
- Scholarships including Outside private scholarships,if received
- Instructions for accepting or declining any financial aid offered to you
Does my GPA affect my financial aid award?
Federal regulations and institutional policy require that your academic progress be reviewed at the end of each enrollment period, including summer. All students enrolling for the first time at Pierpont Community & Technical College (Pierpont) (including transfers) will be considered to be meeting academic progress during the first semester of enrollment at Pierpont; subsequent reviews will include all course work (including transfer work) that is contained on Pierpont academic transcript.
To receive funds administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Pierpont Community & Technical College, students must be making measurable academic progress toward completion of an eligible degree.
How will my academic progress be evaluated?
Federal regulations require evaluation of both qualitative and quantitative academic progress.
This evaluation is based upon the cumulative “Grade Point Average (GPA)” as shown on your academic transcript.
Undergraduate students must meet the following Cumulative GPA:
- 01-24 total credit hours -- minimum cumulative GPA >= 1.5
- 25-48 total credit hours -- minimum cumulative GPA >= 1.8
- 49 total credit hours and above -- minimum cumulative GPA >= 2.0
This is based upon two areas of progress: “pace” and “maximum time frame”.
Pace is defined as the rate at which attempted academic credits are successfully completed. This is calculated by taking the cumulative number of hours successfully completed and dividing by the cumulative number of hours attempted. Grades of “W”, “F” and “I” count as attempted hours. Transfer hours that appear on your transcript are also included.
A student must be successfully completing 67% of all hours attempted. The calculation will be rounded to the closest whole number.
Maximum Time Frame allowed to complete your degree (including transfer hours) is 150% of the normal time frame. Repeated courses are counted against the maximum time frame.
- Certificate Program of 30 hours must be completed within 45 attempted hours.
- Associate program of 60 hours, students must complete within 90 attempted hours.
A student who completes the academic requirements for a program but does not yet have the degree or certificate is not eligible for further additional federal student aid funds for that program.
Post-graduate work (credits taken after receiving first degree including a second associate’s or an associate’s degree after receiving a bachelor’s degree) must be completed within 60 hours of post-graduate work. Since all classes attempted will count toward the 60-hour limit, students should meet with their academic advisors to determine what classes are required for completion of the second degree.
** Students who receive academic forgiveness for previous course work will continue to have all attempted credit hours and all earned grades that are included on academic record considered as part of the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.
What happens if I don’t meet the standards?
Students who fail to meet the qualitative or quantitative standards defined above at the end of any enrollment period (including summer), will be placed on “warning” for the next semester. During this warning semester the student may continue to receive financial aid.
Students who are within 15 credit hours or less of the maximum time frame defined above will be placed on “warning” for the next semester. During this warning semester, the student may continue to receive financial aid.
Failure to meet any of the above defined standards at the end of a “warning” semester will result in the loss of financial aid eligibility for future semesters.
Students will be notified by postal mail and e-mail of SAP status after grades are posted. As soon as the status is updated, it can be viewed on the student’s FELiX account.
If I don’t meet the standard academic progress, what can I do?
A student may appeal the loss of financial aid through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. To appeal, the student must have experienced extenuating circumstances which have impacted academic progress. Examples of extenuating circumstances are death of immediate family member, injury or illness or other unusual circumstances evaluated by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The appeal must include the following:
- Why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress.
- What has now changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next semester (statements of good intent are not sufficient).
- Student’s academic plan for meeting satisfactory academic progress.
- Documentation to verify extenuating circumstances.
If the appeal is granted, the student will be placed on financial aid probation for one semester and receive aid during that probation semester. At the end of the Probation Semester the student MUST meet the defined SAP standards or meet the academic plan that was developed for the appeal.
Appeals must be submitted by the Friday preceding the week before classes begin. The appeal form is due the Friday before the week before class. This is published on the Appeal Form each year and in the school's calendar.
Any appeals submitted after the due date will be considered late. Students who wish to enroll and submit the appeal after the deadline should make plans to pay all charges through personal means. If the appeal is subsequently reviewed and approved, any financial aid for which the student is eligible will be processed and any excess funds will be returned to the student.
Appeals will be reviewed by Financial Aid Counselors. If denied by the counselor, the student may request that the appeal be reviewed by Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships. If appeal is denied by Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships for Fall or Spring, it will automatically be referred to the Faculty Assembly Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Denial of appeals by the Financial Aid Director for Summer Semester is final and will not be forwarded to the Faculty Assembly Financial Appeals Committee.
Students are limited to two appeals while enrolled at Pierpont.
Financial Aid eligibility can be re-established once the student meets SAP standards. Students who continue enrollment before re-establishing eligibility are required to pay for charges through personal means.
Academic Amnesty Courses
Candidates for academic forgiveness may receive financial assistance during the readmission semester if under Financial Aid Warning, Probation, and/or Academic Plan. If the student does not meet the financial aid standards of SAP or the requirements of their Academic Plan at the end of the readmission semester, the student’s financial aid will suspend as dictated by the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Candidates must have a signed, written request on file with the Registrar and with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships in order for financial assistance to be released during the readmission semester.
What happens if I repeat a course?
Pierpont reinforces Series 22 of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission as follows:
If a student earns a grade of “D” or “F” (including failures due to regular and/or irregular withdrawal) on any course taken no later than the semester or summer term during which the student attempts the sixtieth semester hour, and if that student repeats this course prior to the receipt of a baccalaureate degree, the original grade shall be disregarded and the grade or grades earned when the course is repeated shall be used in determining his/her grade point average. The original grade shall not be deleted from the student’s record. Courses passed with a grade of “C” or better may not be legally repeated. See current catalog for more information.
Students who repeat a previously passed class may have limitations on financial aid eligibility.
Can I receive financial aid for courses not in my program?
Federal student aid cannot be awarded for courses that do not count toward a student’s program completion. Examples include non-credit courses, audited courses, and English-as-a-Second-Language courses that are not part of an ESL program.