Financial Aid Policies
ATTENDANCEThe Financial Aid Office will monitor the attendance record of students receiving financial aid. Students who are not attending will be subject to reduction and possible loss of all financial aid. This may result in a financial liability on the part of the student for tuition, fees, and books.
RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS POLICYStudents who receive Federal Title IV Funds (Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, and/or funds from other Title IV aid programs) and stop attending classes, withdraw from all classes, receive all failing grades, or receive a combination of withdrawals and failing grades are subject to a Return of Title IV Funds if the student's last date of attendance and/or withdrawal date is on or before the 60% point in time of the enrollment period. The Financial Aid Office uses faculty reported last dates of attendance or the date a student officially withdraws from the course(s) to determine the withdrawal date. This may result in the student owing a refund to the college, the Federal Student Aid Program or both, and the Financial Aid Office calculates the student's liability using the formula provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
The distribution of any return of funds is prescribed by law and regulation:
• Federal Pell Grant
• Other Title IV aid programs
Federal programs that Rend Lake College does not participate in are not included in the distribution.
Within 30 days of being notified that a students stop attending or withdraws from all courses, Rend Lake College will send the student a statement indicating any balance owed to the school and repay the school portion of the balance. This will also be billed to the student.
Within 45 days of the date on the student's statement, the student should repay the full liability to Rend Lake College. If the student does not repay the liability within 45 days, Rend Lake College will refer the student's liability to the U.S. Department of Education, and the student will lose federal Title IV aid eligibility.
Return of Title IV Funds Example: A student’s financial aid consists of a Pell Grant of $2,960, and the student’s tuition is $1,520. The student withdraws on the 26th day of a 118-day semester. The student is eligible for 22% of $2,960 or $650. The college would return $2,308 ($2,960 - $652) to the U.S. Department of Education, and the student would owe the college $1,108 ($1,760 - $652).
If a student is owed grant funds after current charges on the account are paid, Rend Lake College will issue the student a post-withdrawal disbursement. The disbursement will be made within 45 days of the school being notified of the student's withdrawal. Funds will be disbursed through whichever option the student selected through Higher One.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress PolicyThe Rend Lake College Financial Aid Office is required by the U.S. Department of Education and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to monitor the academic progress for students receiving federal and/or state financial assistance. Satisfactory Progress Standards are used to ensure that students who receive any federal or state assistance are satisfactorily progressing toward their educational goals in an approved certificate or degree program.
Students must be in compliance with the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy regardless of whether the student has previously received any financial aid. All semesters of attendance are included in the evaluation. All transfer course work that has been accepted for credit by Rend Lake College will be considered in determining a student's completion ratio at Rend Lake College. Students who have not previously received financial aid will not be notified of their status until they have applied for financial aid.
Satisfactory Progress Requirements
Satisfactory Progress must include qualitative and quantitative measurement consistently applied to all students. At Rend Lake College these measurements are determined by the following criteria:
Cumulative Grade Point Average is at least 2.0
• Grades of "A", "B", and "C" are considered acceptable.
• Grades of "D" and "E" negatively impact a student's grade point average.
• Once a course is repeated, an "R" will take the place of a student's original grade in the course, and it will no longer be calculated into the student's grade point average.
• Withdrawals and Incompletes are not factored into a student's grade point average. Also, if a student receives an "NC" for No Credit Earned in a Credit/No Credit course, it does not count against a student's GPA.
Cumulative Completion Rate is no less than 67% (total credit hours sucessfully completed divided by total credit hours attempted
• To successfully complete a course, a student must earn an "A", "B", "C", "D", or "CR" in the course.
• Failing grades, Incompletes, Repeats, and Withdrawals negatively impact a student's completion rate because they indicate that the student did not sucessfully complete the course.
Satisfactory progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester.
Financial Aid Warning StatusA student who fails to meet the above named requirements for the first time will be placed on Financial Aid Warning Status. Financial Aid Warning Status has no impact on the eligibility for financial aid.
Financial Aid SuspensionSuspension of financial aid occurs when a student who is on Financial Aid Warning Status fails to meet the Satisfactory Progress Requirements criteria during any semester of attendance after being placed on probation. Students who are suspended are no longer eligible for financial aid benefits.
Maximum Time FrameDegree or certificate requirements must be completed within a specified time period.
At Rend Lake College, a student must complete his/her chosen academic program before attempting 150% of the number of hours required for the program. Students who have already earned a degree will be considered to have exceeded this time frame.
Appeal Process: Students who are pursuing an additional degree or certificate or have changed majors are eligible to file an appeal for an extension. The 150% appeal forms are available from the Office of Financial Aid and Veteran's Affairs or Online. Appeals will be reviewed by the Financial Aid/Appeals Committee.
Financial Aid Suspension AppealsStudents must submit proof that circumstances that were unforeseen or beyond their control that interfered with the successful completion of their courses or program. Situations that are acceptable for an appeal to be considered include:
• Serious injury or illness
• Death of an immediate family member
• Sudden, unexpected employment changes
• Suspension is a result of courses taken during high school
• It has been more than five (5) years since the student last attended Rend Lake College
Some situations are not acceptable reasons for filing an appeal. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:
•Conflicts with an instructor
• Loss of drivers license
• Failure to drop a class by the posted deadline
• Failure to be adequately prepared for class, such as:
• Not purchasing books/supplies
• Not having adequate child care arrangements prior to the start of the semester
• Not having reliable transportation established prior to the start of the semester
• Not having access to a computer or the internet for online courses
• Being unprepared for college level coursework
Failing to understand or being unaware of Rend Lake College’s policies does not constitute a reason for appeal.
Students who do not have a situation that warrants an appeal may regain financial aid eligibility by enrolling in courses, on a self-pay basis, until their cumulative GPA is a 2.0 and cumulative completion rate is 67%.
Appeals for Students with a Degree/Certificate or have Exceeded Maximum Time FrameYou may appeal for an extension of credit hours if:
• You are pursuing a new degree or certificate at Rend Lake College,
• You have changed your major,
• You have taken developmental courses or dual credit courses,
• Or you have mitigating circumstances such as a personal illness or injury, death of an immediate family member, or an unavoidable event that was beyond your control.
If you feel you meet the criteria for filing a Suspension or Maximum Time Frame Appeal, forms are available from the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Requirements• Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Make sure to add Rend Lake College’s Federal School Code (007119) to your application to ensure that the results of the FAFSA are available to our office. The online application is available at http://www.fafsa.gov. We strongly encourage all students to complete the application online. However, a paper application can still be obtained by calling 1-800-433-3243.
• Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be eligible for federal and state aid. Homeschooled students may be asked to provide a secondary school completion credential. If the state in which the student was homeschooled does not require homeschooled students to obtain a secondary school completion credential, a student may be asked to provide a transcript, or the equivalent, signed by a parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses you completed and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschool setting.
• Applicants must be pursuing a degree or certificate. Degree programs include Associate of Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science Degrees and the one year Occupational Certificates. The following level classes are not eligible for financial aid: 1600, 1700, 1800, and 1900 level as well as all COMED classes. Short term training programs such as Truck Driving and Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) are not eligible. We encourage students to check with the Financial Aid Office if they are unsure if their program of study will be covered under financial aid.
• Males who are at least 18 years of age and born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with Selective Service in order to receive financial aid. Students who believe they are not required to be registered should call the Selective Service office at 1-847-688-6888 for information regarding exemption.
• Applicants must provide ALL documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office, including tax forms, if needed to complete verification. Failing to provide requested documentation will result in being ineligible for financial aid.
• Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
• Cannot be in default on student loans or owe a refund on any Title IV funds.
• Use all funds received from Title IV financial aid programs for expenses related to study at Rend Lake College.
• A change in enrollment may affect a student's financial aid. It is the student's responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office when any schedule changes are made including withdrawal from classes.
• Students must be enrolled in eligible courses. The amount of aid a student is eligible to receive is adjusted for different enrollment statuses.
- Full-time = 12 or more credit hours
- Three-quarter time = 9-11 credit hours
- Half-time = 6-8 credit hours
- Part-time = 3-5 credit hours
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCESEligibility to receive financial assistance is based on the prior-prior year's income data. However, if your family's financial situation has recently changed for the worse because of a death, separation/divorce, or a loss of a job or benefits, you may meet one of the "Special Circumstances" that will allow financial aid eligibility to be based on previous year or current year gross income rather than actual prior-prior year income information. If you feel you may meet one of these special circumstances, you should contact the Financial Aid Office.