Eligibility

Eligible students are notified by mail. The majority of awards are made during the months of May, June, July, and August for students entering for the fall semester, and November and December for students entering for the spring semester. Eligible students receive a Financial Aid Award Letter, outlining awards being offered, and terms and conditions of the awards. Most awards are based upon financial need, and eligible students generally are awarded a combination of types of awards, referred to as a "financial aid package." This "package" is usually a combination of grant/scholarship, loan, and work-study opportunities. You may also view your financial aid package using the Web Advisor.

Non-eligible students are notified in writing of the reasons why aid was refused, and may appeal this decision by directing a request for reconsideration, in writing, to the Financial Aid Office.

A sample budget, used for financial aid purposes during 2011-2012, for an in-county commuter student living with parents is listed below:

Tuition and Fees $4030
Room and Board 1500
Books and Supplies 1700
Transportation 2800
Personal Expenses 1350
TOTAL $11,380

General Application Eligibility Criteria

To apply for assistance, students MUST:

  • be U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
  • provide the BCCC Office of Admissions with either an Official Final High School Transcript or Official GED Test scores;
  • be enrolled or planning to enroll for at least six (6) credits for most programs; Federal Pell Grant eligibility has been extended to less than half-time students.
  • be enrolled in a major on a degree-seeking basis leading to an Associate of Arts Degree or Certificate offered by the College. (NOTE: Students enrolling on a non-degree seeking basis are not eligible for financial aid. Some financial aid programs will not cover the College's Certificate Programs. Contact the Financial Aid Office for details.)
  • not be in default status on a previously secured student loan;
  • not owe a refund due to an overpayment received from a federal or state student aid program;
  • be making satisfactory academic progress.

Beginning Fall Semester 2010

Program Source Who is eligible to apply Award amounts How eligibility is determined How to aqpply
Federal Direct Loan Program (both subsidized and unsubsidized) Federal Government Students enrolled on at a least a half time basis (6 credits.) Maximum amounts for dependent students:
Academic grade level 1: $3,500 per academic yr.
Academic grade level 2: $4,500 per academic yr.
Plus an additional unsubsidized amount of $2000 per year or grade level

Maximum amounts for independent students:
Academic grade level 1: $3,500 per academic yr.
Academic grade level 2: $4,500 per academic yr.
Plus an additional unsubsidized amount of $ 6,000 per year or grade level

Final eligibility is determined by the school, based required information and applicable documentation. Eligibility is based upon cost of education, expected family contribution, and other financial resources received by the student. Complete:
  1. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)/Renewal FAFSA.
  2. Loan application or Master Promissory note must be completed at through the Department of Education website.
  3. All students must complete the required entrance counseling session.
  4. Student must also complete a Loan Request Form
Federal Direct PLUS Loan Federal Government Parents of dependent undergraduate students. Students must enroll at least half-time. Loan amount may not exceed cost of attendance minus financial aid student received. Same as above. In addition to above 4 requirements for Federal Direct loans, parents seeking a PLUS Loan must also have a credit check completed.

Verification

If the student is selected for verification, a school's financial aid administrator must confirm the information the student reported on the FAFSA is accurate.  This is completed by requesting the appropriate information the student and their family used to complete the FAFSA.  Usually this is done by requesting tax information filed by the student and, if applicable, by the student's parent(s) or spouse. At Bucks we also require students selected to provide a Verification Form as well. A student selected for verification will be sent a letter requesting the information that is needed to complete this process. Failure to provide verification documents within the specified time frame will result in deactivation of their financial aid file, and no further processing will take place. If documentation is received after a student’s file was deactivated, the file will be reactivated and processed providing there is adequate time for delivery of aid and if funding is available.

Reminder to all students selected for verification.  We are no longer able to accept paper copies of you and your spouse’s or parental tax returns.  We can only accept an IRS Tax Transcript for verification purposes.  See link below on suggested ways to request your transcript.  We still suggest that you retain copies of all your federal tax documents including tax returns, W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and any schedules submitted with your tax return in case of discrepancies.  In addition to tax information, you may also be required to submit proof of separation/divorce, marriage licenses, Social Security ID, birth certificates, driver's license, and proof if you are a non-citizen or other legal documentation as requested to verify conflicting information.  Please note that tax documentation may not be required if your FAFSA Application was completed using the IRS Data retrieval tool when you filed.  Other verification documents will still be requested from you and your spouse, or parents.  Please visit IRS Tax Transcript Request Instructions‌ for more information. 

Enrollment Status

Eligibility for financial aid awards is contingent upon enrollment status throughout the semester. Some programs require students to maintain full-time status. Other programs require that students maintain at least half-time enrollment. In most cases, award amounts are dependent upon enrollment status. Adjustments in enrollment status either between or during semesters will result in adjustments to award amounts or cancellation of awards.

Auditing a course

Students attending college and Auditing a course are not eligible to receive financial aid.  Students must be enrolled in credit courses and receive a grade.  Students that enroll as "Audit" do not receive a grade that will be applied towards the completion of their degree and therefore, Audit course(s) cannot be counted in awarding financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To continue to be eligible for financial aid, a student is required, by federal regulations, to maintain satisfactory academic progress in the course of study he or she is pursuing. This policy was written to comply with current federal regulations and became effective in July 2011, updated June 2014.

  1. A student's academic progress will be checked at the end of each semester. All prior semesters are reviewed whether or not a student has received financial aid during each semester.

  2. Students who have attended Bucks County Community College for less than (2) two academic years must maintain a grade point average which complies with the following scale:

    Credits Attempted G.P.A.
    Includes "F" grades, Withdrawals (W) and Incompletes (I) and Transfers (TR)

    0-8

    no minimum

    9-16

    at least 1.00

    17-30

    at least 1.60

    31-45

    at least 1.75

    46 or more

    at least 1.85

     

  3. Once a student attends Bucks County Community College for two (2) academic years* a student must have a grade point average consistent with graduation requirements. A grade point average that is considered to be consistent with graduation requirements is at least 2.00.

    * For example, a student who attends fall 2012, spring 2013, summer 2013 and fall of 2013 has attended two (2) academic years for purposes of this policy. (Combined summer sessions will be treated as one semester.)

       
  4. In addition to the GPA requirement, a student must successfully complete sixty-seven (67%) (PACE) percent of cumulative attempted credits during their enrollment at the College. Total credits attempted include grades of F, Withdrawals (W), and Incompletes (I) and Transfer Credits (TR). 
  5. Once a student attempts more than 150% of the credits that it normally takes to complete his/ her program of study, he/she is no longer eligible for financial aid. Exceptions may be made for students who have changed their major. If a student wishes to be considered for such an exception, the student must complete an appeal form in the Financial Aid Office. If an exception is made to the maximum time frame for a student, due to a change in major, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the academic plan which must be followed.    
  6. Repeat courses will be counted towards total credits attempted and total credits completed for determining the required 67% credit (PACE) completion rate referred to in item #4 of this policy. Repeat courses will also be counted towards the 150% maximum credit limit referred to in item #5 of this policy.  Financial Aid can be applied only once to repeat any course, where the student has received a passing grade of “A”, “B”, “C” and “D.  Students who have failed “F” or withdrew from a course “W” in any previous attempts are not restricted by this one repeat limit.  Finally, the grade earned by retaking a course is the grade, other than W, that is counted in the cumulative grade point average.  For more information please review Repeated Coursework.                                                                                 

  7. If lack of academic progress results from either the death of a relative of the student, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances, this policy may be reconsidered on a case-by-case basis. For special consideration, a student must complete an appeal form in the Financial Aid Office.  If granted an appeal the student must adhere to all terms of appeal, failure to comply will terminate this exception and student will no longer be eligible.  
  8. Students not meeting the satisfactory academic progress requirements according to federal regulations, defined as qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (PACE) may be reinstated for financial aid once they have regained their eligibility as noted on the “no progress” letter sent to students. In addition, they must also meet the grade point average requirement referred to in item #2 of this policy.
  9. Federal regulations permit financial aid to be awarded for no more than 30 semester hours of remedial coursework. Once a student has attempted a total of 30 semester hours of remedial courses, no additional remedial courses will qualify for financial aid. English as a Second Language (AESL) courses are exempt from the remedial course limit. Remedial courses will be counted as attempted credits and calculated into the GPA. The PHEAA State Grant has other remedial requirements. Please see the rules and regulations in the PHEAA Grant eligibility notice provided to you with your state grant award notice.
  10. Students who have been granted an "Academic Restart" approval. Please note: The granting of an academic restart does not automatically constitute eligibility for financial aid. Students must complete a Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeal Form that will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Staff and eligibility notification will be sent to the student.  

  11. Satisfactory Academic Progress also includes following the prescribed coursework of the students current program of study.  Students should note that the majority of courses they are enrolled in for each semester must apply toward their major at BUCKS.  This information can be found in the Program Evaluation under on Academic Planning section on WebAdvisor.    

 

Class Attendance

To be eligible to receive financial aid, students must be attending class(es)on a regular basis. Failure to attend classes is not considered to be an official withdrawal from class(es) or the College. It is the student ’s responsibility to notify the Admissions Office of intent to withdraw from class(es) or the College.Students who stop attending class(es), but fail to notify the Admissions Office, will be required to repay any financial aid refund received to cover educational expenses during the time of non-class attendance.

Enrollment in a study abroad program approved for credit may be considered enrollment at Bucks County Community College for the purpose of applying for Title IV assistance. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for further information.

Students convicted of possession or Sale of Drugs

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds. The student self-certifies in applying for aid that he is eligible; the Financial Aid Office is not required to confirm this unless there is conflicting information.

Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid - they do not count if the offense was not during such a period. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student's record does not count, nor does one received when she was a juvenile, unless she was tried as an adult.

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