The financial aid staff at Southwestern Community College is readily available to assist enrolled or prospective students in obtaining financial aid information. The financial aid office is located in the Administration Center in Creston. Beth Kulow, chief financial aid administrator, is designated to provide financial aid disclosure information. To contact Beth, or any member of the financial aid staff, please call 641.782.1333 or visit the office on campus.
Financial aid is money available from federal, state, institutional, and private sources used to help students meet college expenses. Financial aid can help pay for direct educational costs such as tuition, fees, and books as well as for personal living expenses such as housing, food, and transportation. Financial aid exists to assist families in paying for the costs of attending college. Most financial aid is based on financial need. Financial aid is credited directly to students' accounts to pay for allowable and authorized charges before any excess funds are credited to the student for personal living expenses.
The following types of financial aid are available to eligible Southwestern students:
» Federal Pell Grant
» Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
» Federal Work-Study
» Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grant
» Kibbie Grant
» State of Iowa Scholarship
» Iowa Grant
» Iowa National Guard
» Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized)
» Federal Parent PLUS Loans
» All Iowa Opportunity Scholarships
» All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant
» Southwestern Education Foundation Scholarships
A description of financial aid programs can be found in the college catalog or may be obtained in paper copy from the financial aid office.
The following types of financial assistance may be available to eligible Southwestern students from independent entities (eligibility is not determined by Southwestern):
» Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services
» Other Government/State Agency Resources
» Other Privately-Funded Scholarships
» Other State and Institutional Scholarships
» Veterans Assistance (GI Bill)
» Workers Investment Act (WIA)
As a student at Southwestern Community College, you may be able to receive assistance with your college expenses with financial assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and/or loans. Federal Student Aid programs require the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
To begin the process of applying for federal financial aid, we have compiled the necessary information to ease the process. The financial aid office is available to help you find the assistance you need to further your education and accomplish your goals.
To apply for federal or state financial aid, a student must:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Identify on the FAFSA that the information entered should be sent to Southwestern Community College by indicating the school code of 001857.
- If selected for verification, provide a copy of federal income tax return/s for the student or parents’ (dependent students) or provide a copy of a spouse’s federal income tax return (independent students).
- Provide other necessary documents, if requested.
The Financial Aid Forms page provides commonly requested forms for documentation.
NOTE: To request IRS Tax Transcripts, please go to www.irs.gov/Individuals or call 800.908.9946.
A student must be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program to be eligible to receive Title IV federally-funded financial aid: Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized) and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans.
To be eligible for federal financial aid, a student must (all of the following):
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- have a valid social security number;
- be enrolled at least half-time (except for Federal Pell Grant) in a program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate at Southwestern;
- maintain satisfactory academic progress;
- be registered with Selective Service (male students between the ages of 18 and 25);
- not be in default on a federal student loan and not owe a refund on a federal grant;
- and certify that student aid funds are only for educational purposes.
To receive federal financial aid, a student must be qualified to study at the post- secondary level. Students are qualified if they have one of the following:
- Graduation from an accredited high school
- Successful completion of a high school equivalency diploma (HSED)
- Successful completion of a high school education in a home school setting approved under state law
A student must following the Academic Standard Policy in order to maintain academic eligibility as a student.
At the time you enroll at Southwestern, your student account will be charged with the actual costs of attendance. These direct educational costs may include tuition, fees, books, supplies, and room and board. Student account information is available through the SWCC business office.
Each student who receives a financial aid award package from Southwestern Community College will receive information regarding the process to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). There are two types of MPNs in the Direct Loan Program: one for Direct Subsidized and/or Direct Unsubsidized Loans (for students) and one for Direct PLUS Loans (for parents or for graduate or professional students). In addition to the MPN, each student who receives financial aid as a student of Southwestern Community College will receive the SWCC Conditions Statement. The SWCC Conditions Statement may be located on the Financial Aid Forms webpage.
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated, when interest is charged, available repayment plans, and deferment and cancellation provisions.
Unless your school does not allow more than one loan to be made under the same MPN or you obtain an endorser when borrowing a Direct PLUS Loan, you can take out additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years.
It’s important to understand that when you sign an MPN you’re promising to repay all loans that are made under that MPN. As stated on the MPN, you must repay your loan even if
• you don’t complete your education,
• you can’t get a job after you leave school, and/or
• you didn’t like the education you received.
Before—or at the time of—the first disbursement (payment to you or on your behalf) of your loan(s), you'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.
You must sign your MPN before you receive your loan funds.
If you are taking out a Direct Loan, you must sign an MPN under any of the following circumstances:
• You have never previously signed an MPN for the type of loan you are taking out.
• Your school requires you to sign a new MPN each academic year (most schools don't require this).
• You signed an MPN more than one year ago, but no loan was disbursed.
• You signed an MPN more than 10 years ago.
For Direct PLUS Loans, if we determine that you have an adverse credit history and you obtain an endorser, you may receive only one loan under the MPN that you sign. If you later want to receive another Direct PLUS Loan, you must sign a new MPN. If you sign an MPN and receive a Direct PLUS Loan without an endorser, but are later determined to have an adverse credit history and obtain an endorser for a future Direct PLUS Loan, you’ll have to sign a new MPN for that loan.
Parent borrowers must sign a separate MPN for each student for whom they are borrowing.
Direct Loan Entrance Counseling provides students with their rights and responsibilities as borrowers. It is a federal regulation that entrance counseling be completed by first-time loan borrowers before any loan proceeds can be credited to a student’s account. Entrance counseling may be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.
Direct Loan Exit Counseling must be completed by students who are leaving Southwestern or dropping below half-time enrollment. It is a federal regulation that Southwestern provide specific loan information to students before they leave the institution, even if they will be re-enrolling at another school. Exit Counseling may be completed online at www.nslds.ed.gov; however, your federal PIN is required to access your specific loan account information.
During the required Entrance and Exit Counseling sessions, each student will receive a copy of the terms of the loans in which they have received. It is important to note that all loans must be repaid and the only forms of financial assistance that do not require repayment are scholarships and grants.
The required Entrance and Exit Counseling session provides students with sample loan repayment schedules. Southwestern Community College encourages students to create a budget and ensure the financial assistance they receive is applicable within a reasonable budget. Students who over-borrow have a tendency to become delinquent on loan repayment; thus, effecting their eligibility status to receive further federal financial aid in addition to a negative impact of their credit score.
Paper copies of sample repayment schedules are available in the financial aid office.
All financial aid administered by Southwestern, except for Federal Work-Study and other employment, will be disbursed by crediting the funds directly to students’ accounts each semester or payment period. Federal Student Aid program funds can only be credited toward allowable charges which include tuition, fees and room and board (if the student lives on-campus). Other current charges that a student has incurred for educationally-related activities may be paid with federal funds if the student has provided written authorization (in the case of PLUS funds, a parent would provide written authorization).
In order for aid to be credited to a student’s account, all required award materials must be completed and returned to the financial aid office. Federal and state aid will not be credited until class attendance has been verified and students are enrolled in the number of hours for which aid was awarded. Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds of first-time borrowers at Southwestern may not be credited until 30 days after the beginning of the first semester of enrollment. First-time student loan borrowers at Southwestern must also complete entrance counseling before loan funds can be credited. Disclosure statements from the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program indicate the disbursement dates and amounts for student and parent loans. Statements from student accounts will also include estimated aid (types and amounts of aid prior to disbursement) as well as actual disbursement information such as type of aid, amount, and date of disbursement.
Student accounts will also provide instructions on how to cancel any loans disbursed. Only aid that qualifies for a late disbursement will be credited after the semester or payment period. Information regarding specific disbursement dates for aid can be obtained from the financial aid office.
When all aid has been credited to the student account and all charges have been paid, a credit balance may occur. Credit balances will be paid to the student (or parent with a PLUS loan) via a refund check or direct deposit by the SWCC business office. Refund checks are issued on the Friday of the week in which a credit balance is generated. Students are responsible for knowing when their account balances are due, what payment options are available, and when a credit balance occurs to their account. Information concerning student accounts, educational costs, payment options and credit balances may be obtained from the business office.
Students who receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress as described below to remain eligible to receive financial aid. All students will have their academic records reviewed following each payment period to determine if satisfactory academic progress is being made. The financial aid office will notify students who are not making satisfactory academic progress at the end of each payment period. Each student receiving financial aid is responsible for understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements as published in the college catalog.
To receive financial aid, students must be working toward a degree or certificate and must earn their degree or certification within a maximum time frame. The maximum time frame for which students may receive aid is 150 percent of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted. A student may receive aid for a maximum of two degree programs. Students who are granted “Academic Renewal” will not be exempt from the 150 percent time frame. All hours attempted (course repeats, withdrawals, remedial courses, transfer credits [when applicable to the enrolled program], CLEP, audited courses, additional degrees, course incompletes, changes in majors, non-punitive grades, credit for prior learning, and non-credit to credit) will be counted when calculating the maximum time frame allowed for the program the student is currently working toward. If the borrower receives aid to cover enrollment in more than one program at the same school, the borrower’s Maximum Eligibility Period will be calculated based on the published length of the longest program.
For all enrolled students, satisfactory academic progress will be measured by the following:
- Maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA per term and/or cumulative after each period of enrollment.
- Students must progress through their declared major at a pace of at least 67 percent per term and/or cumulative credits. The pace at which a student is progressing is calculated by dividing the total number of hours successfully completed by the total number of hours attempted. All hours attempted (course repeats, withdrawals, remedial courses, transfer credits [when applicable to the enrolled program], CLEP, audited courses, credit for prior learning, and non-credit to credit) will be included in calculating the pace of completion.
- Course repeats and remedial courses will be included as part of the student’s enrollment load each academic period; however, the maximum time frame of 150 percent still applies.
- Credits for audited courses or credits awarded through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), credit for prior learning, or non-credit to credit evaluation will not be included as part of a student’s hours for enrollment status.
- All transfer credits accepted toward completion of a student’s program of study are considered hours attempted and hours completed.
Students not making satisfactory academic progress may be eligible for financial aid warning for one period of enrollment only if they are progressing towards an academic standing consistent of the graduation requirements and they meet the following criteria (exception: students who show zero progress are not eligible for financial aid warning).:
- A student who has a cumulative GPA of 1.25 or above may automatically receive financial aid warning for the following period of enrollment if the student has not received financial aid warning previously.
- A student who is progressing at a pace less than 67 percent per term and/or cumulative credits may automatically receive financial aid warning for the following period of enrollment if the student has not received financial aid warning previously.
When a student has attempted over 150 percent of the number of credits required for their program, they are placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
Students who show zero progress during a semester, due to all F's, W’s and/or I’s will have their financial aid cancelled for the following period of enrollment and will be denied financial aid until satisfactory academic progress has been made or financial eligibility is regained.
Financial aid eligibility may be regained by one of the following:
- The student may enroll for a term, or terms, without receiving financial aid until such a time as satisfactory academic progress has been regained. Satisfactory academic progress will be regained when the cumulative grade point average is 2.0 and the student has regained a completion pace of 67 percent.
- The student may provide written notification that incompletes have been completed and the grades turned in to student services within a timely manner. Satisfactory academic progress will be re-evaluated at that time; financial aid will not be reinstated until this is done.
- The student may appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Review Committee and may be granted financial aid probation, for one term only, if approved by the majority of the committee.
- In the appeal, the student must explain the reason for the failure to meet satisfactory academic progress and also state how he/she plans to improve. The appeal should be based on extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control, i.e. death in the family, extended illness, change in employment, etc.; the Financial Aid Committee may request documentation supporting these circumstances before the final determination. Appeals will not be granted for the same extenuating circumstance twice.
- The student must include with their appeal, a completed academic plan, signed by their academic advisor or TRIO advisor. Academic plans must demonstrate how a student will meet Satisfactory Academic Progress by a specific point in time. Academic plans will be monitored. If the student is no longer meeting the terms of the academic plan, financial aid will be canceled. Academic plans are not considered probation.
- The committee may require the student to fulfill specific terms and conditions, such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses.
- The Financial Aid Review Committee will consider each student on an individual basis. The decision of the Financial Aid Review Committee is final.
Appeal deadlines for the 2017-18 academic year are as follows:
- Fall 2017 - August 16, 2017
- Spring 2018 - January 10, 2018
- Summer 2018 - May 29, 2018
Federal student aid program regulations do not provide for academic amnesty or renewal procedures that allow students to apply to have credits attempted and grades earned in previous semesters excluded from the calculation of the student’s grade point average. Southwestern Community College will always include courses that apply (whenever taken) toward a student’s program of study.
High school students who have taken college-level courses for credit through Southwestern as “post-secondary” students will have a transcript record. At the time these students enroll as traditional students and apply for federal/state aid, the students’ transcript will be evaluated, based on the current program enrolled in and credit hours applicable to the program, to determine Satisfactory Academic Progress status. Students who have cumulative grade point averages below the required levels will be placed on warning and will be allowed to have federal/state aid during their first semester of enrollment. These students will be notified of their status; they may also receive additional individual guidance to successfully meet the satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of the semester.
Definitions of Financial Aid Warning and Financial Aid Probation
Financial Aid Warning: Status assigned to students who fail to make SAP. Students may continue to receive Title IV aid for one payment period. No appeal is necessary.
Financial Aid Probation: Status assigned to a student who fails to make SAP and who has appealed and has had eligibility to receive Title IV aid reinstated. The student may receive aid for one payment period and the Financial Aid Review Committee may impose conditions for the student’s continued eligibility. Probation can only be given if the committee can see that the student can make SAP at the end of the next payment period.
Students will be awarded grants, loans, and work-study based on need and enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter, half-time, or less than half-time). If a student drops or adds a class before aid has been disbursed and this results in a change in the student’s enrollment status, the student’s aid will be decreased or increased accordingly. After aid has been disbursed, or the end of the business office’s refund period (whichever occurs later), no reductions in aid awards will be made unless a student ceases attendance or never begins attendance in a class.
If students begin classes with a start date later than the first day of the semester, awards will be increased, if possible, to reflect the increased enrollment. All financial aid awards are subject to change pending the final notification of funds available to Southwestern for federal and state aid programs. Awards may be adjusted, as well, if the student receives additional resources and it necessitates a change in the student’s award packet. SWCC assumes no liability for reductions in other types of public assistance due to financial aid received.
If a student repeats a course they have passed during their first attempt, student financial aid may be used for a second attempt; however, financial aid cannot be used beyond a second attempt when a student has previously received a passing letter grade. Student financial aid may be used to repeat courses that have previously been failed. Exception: If a student is enrolled in a group of courses and they fail a course(s) in the group, and the program requires the student to retake the entire group of courses, financial aid may only be used to retake the course(s) failed, and cannot be used on any of the other courses in the group that were passed.
Institutional policy requires that attendance be monitored before federal and state aid be released to students’ accounts. Southwestern Community College reserves the right to withhold financial aid at any time from any student who demonstrates an attendance pattern that abuses the receipt of financial assistance or fails to maintain academic progress.
If a student demonstrates poor attendance for an extended period of time without the approval of a faculty member, it may result in the loss of financial aid funds. Students are only able to receive financial assistance while they are attending their courses; therefore, a last date of attendance will be determined for a student who stops attending class and a refund formula will be used to determine the amount of financial aid the student was eligible to receive during the period of attendance. The U.S. Department of Education and federal aid programs will receive the appropriate refund of financial assistance using the Return of Title IV Funds Policy. State aid programs administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission will receive the appropriate refund of state funds using our institutional refund policy. Students will be notified if they owe money back to a federal or state financial aid program or to Southwestern, if funds have been returned by Southwestern on the student’s behalf to the appropriate aid program(s).
This information is being provided to prospective students in accordance with federal consumer information regulations. These regulations implement statutory changes made to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 for the treatment of Title IV HEA program funds when a student withdraws from Southwestern Community College.
1. Return of Title IV Funds
The Return of Title IV Funds Policy applies when a student has received Title IV financial aid and withdraws either officially or unofficially, takes an unapproved leave of absence or fails to return from an approved leave of absence from all of their Title IV eligible courses in that payment period.
The Return of Title IV Funds calculation determines the amount of federal aid that must be returned to the federal government by the school and the student. A federal formula is applicable to a student receiving any type of federal aid, other than Federal Work Study, if the student ceases attendance on or before the 60 percent point in the semester. After the 60 percent point in the semester all aid is considered earned. For a student who attended a standard term-based educational program, the percentage of aid earned is equal to the number of calendar days in a payment period that a student completed, divided by the number of calendar days a student was scheduled to attend. Scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days are not included in the calculation, this includes fall and spring break. For example: a student completed 11 days of a 108 day semester, or 10.2 percent of that semester. Accelerated courses use the same formula: the number of days the student completed divided by the number of days the student was scheduled to complete. For example, a student withdrew on the fifth day from all courses in an eight-week term that lasted 56 days, five days divided by 56 days equals 8.9 percent of the term completed. A return of Title IV funds will not be calculated if the student confirms intent to enroll in or attend a future course within the same payment period, or semester.
The percentage of Title IV aid to be returned is equal to the number of calendar days the student has left to attend in the payment period, divided by the total number of calendar days the student was scheduled to attend; scheduled breaks of five or more consecutive days are excluded.
The Return of Title IV Funds requires a return of funds in the following order:
a. Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
b. Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
c. Direct Parent Plus Loan
d. Pell Grant
e. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
f. Other Title IV programs (does not include Federal Work Study)
If funds are released to a student because of a credit balance on the student’s account, then the student may be required to repay a portion of the federal funds to the federal program or to Southwestern Community College for any federal funds returned on the student’s behalf to the federal programs. Southwestern Community College will pay a portion of the student’s refund or return of Title IV, HEA program funds that are allocable to a Direct Loan to the Secretary.
Time frame to determine withdrawal date
The college will return the amount of the Title IV funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date of determination that the student withdrew, or within 30 days from the determination that a student unofficially withdrew. The school will make a determination as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the end of the earlier of (1) the payment period, (2) the academic year, or (3) the program. Worksheets used to determine the Return of Title IV aid are available upon request from the financial aid office. Students are notified in writing by the college when a Return of Title IV aid calculation has been made.
If Southwestern is not required to return all of the excess loan funds, the student must return those funds in accordance with the terms and conditions of their Master Promissory Note. If the student is required to return a portion of unearned grant funds, this is considered an overpayment and the student must make arrangements with Southwestern or with the Department of Education to pay the overpayment.
Timeframe to Process Return of Title IV Funds
The college will return unearned funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the determination of a student’s withdrawal. The school will return the funds to the Department electronically using the “Refund” function in G5.
Title IV Grant Overpayment
If a student is required to repay an unearned grant (overpayment), the student will remain eligible for Title IV aid up to 45 days after the student has been notified of the overpayment. The student may resolve the overpayment by repaying the overpayment in full to the college, by making satisfactory repayment arrangements with the college, or by making satisfactory repayment arrangements with the U.S. Department of Education. If a student has a Title IV credit balance on their account, SWCC has 14 days from the date they performed the Return calculation to return the student’s grant overpayment to the Department on behalf of the student. After the college returns the grant overpayment, if there is a remaining Title IV credit balance it will be paid to the student within 14 days of the date the Return calculation was performed.
The regulations limit the amount a student must repay to the amount by which the original overpayment amount exceeds 50 percent of the total grant funds disbursed or could have been disbursed by the student for the payment period or period of enrollment.
The initial amount of unearned Title IV grant aid due from the student is found by subtracting the loans to be repaid by the student from the initial amount of unearned aid due from the student.
The amount of grant overpayment due from the student is limited to the amount by which the original grant overpayment exceeds half of the total Title IV grant funds disbursed and could have been disbursed to the student.
Outstanding Balance on SWCC Account
If a student withdraws from the college prior to completing 60 percent of the semester, the student is responsible for paying any outstanding tuition and fee charges that remain after the college has repaid any unearned financial aid to the federal government.
Example of calculation:
Amy officially withdrew from all of her classes after completing 11 days. Amy was awarded the following financial aid, which was all credited to her account:
Federal Pell Grant $ 998.00
Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan $1,733.00
Federal SEOG $ 250.00
TOTAL AWARDED TITLE IV FUNDS $2,981.00
The spring semester, or payment period, is from January 16 through May 12. Amy completed 11 of the total 108 days in the spring semester. To determine how much money must be returned by the college and Amy, the financial aid office will first determine how much financial aid Amy earned and did not earn. Since Amy only attended 10.2 percent (11 ÷ 108) of the semester, she only earned 10.2 percent of her aid. Therefore, the unearned percent of her financial aid is 89.8 percent (100%-10.2%). Amy’s tuition and fees for the full spring semester were $1,284.
Total Financial Aid Disbursed $2,981.00
Percentage of Financial Aid Earned 10.2%
Amount of Financial Aid Earned $304.06
Total Financial Aid Disbursed $2,981.00
Less Amount of Financial Aid Earned ($304.06)
Amount of Financial Aid to be returned $2,676.94
Total Institutional Charges $1,284.00
Percentage of Unearned Financial Aid 89.8%
Amount of Unearned Institutional Charges $1,153.03
Amount of Financial Aid for the Institution to Return $1,153.03
Amount and Order of Repayment
The school and Amy must return loans first, followed by Title IV grant aid (see list above for order of return of Title IV aid). After the Return of Title IV calculation (see example above), it was determined the institution should repay $1,153.03. All of this amount will be returned to Amy’s loan.
Amount of Financial Aid to be Returned $2,676.94
Less Amount of Financial Aid Returned by the Institution ($1,153.03)
Initial Amount of Unearned Financial Aid Due from Amy $1,523.91
Total Amount of Financial Aid Loan $ 1,733.00
Less Financial Aid Loan Returned By the Institution ($1,153.03)
Total Amount of Financial Aid Loan Repayment Due from Amy $579.97
Amy must return $579.97 to the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, through a repayment plan in accordance with the terms of her promissory note.
Initial Amount of Unearned Financial Aid Due from Amy $1,523.91
Less Amount of Financial Aid Loan Returned from Amy ($579.97)
Initial Amount of Financial Aid Grant for Return from Amy $943.94
Amount of Financial Aid Grant Aid Received by Amy $1,248.00
Financial Aid Grant Protection 50%
Financial Aid Grant not Protected $624.00
Initial Amount of Financial Aid Grant for Return from Amy $943.94
Less Financial Aid Grant not Protected ($624.00)
Total Amount of Financial Aid Grant Funds Due from Amy $319.94
The college returned the money to the Secretary on the student’s behalf and notified the student in writing, explaining the Return of Title IV calculation and the return of funds, as well as the resulting balance owed by the student to the college for the amount of funds returned on their behalf.
2. Determination of Withdrawal Dates
a. Official Withdrawal Procedure
The date used for an official withdrawal will be the date on the official withdrawal form completed by the student. Students can receive an official withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office. In the case of a student who cannot make it into the college, the Registrar will take the withdrawal per a phone call or email from the student. The Registrar will then document the phone call or email on the official withdrawal form. If a student ceases attendance (drops or withdraws) from all his or her Title IV eligible courses in a payment period or period of enrollment, the student must be considered a withdrawal for Title IV purposes.
b. Unofficial Withdrawal Procedure
If the student fails to notify Southwestern of their desire to withdraw they will be considered an unofficial withdrawal. Students who do not return from an approved leave of absence will also be considered an unofficial withdrawal. The school will use the student’s last date of an academically related activity as the withdrawal date. This date will be obtained from the student’s instructors.
Examples of academically related activities can include but are not limited to:
a. Physical class attendance where there is direct interaction between instructor and student
b. Submission of an academic assignment
c. Examination, interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction
d. Study group assigned by school
e. Participation in on-line discussion about academic matters
f. Initiation of contact with instructor to ask question about academic subject
Determination/documentation must be made by the school. A student’s self-certification of attendance is not acceptable unless it is supported by school documentation.
In the unfortunate event that the student becomes deceased during their period of enrollment, the withdrawal date will be no longer than the date of the student’s death. The college will maintain documentation of the calculation of the withdrawal date. A deceased student, or a student’s estate, is not eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
At the end of each semester the Financial Aid Director will run a report to determine which students received an “F” for the semester. On this report there is a last date of an academically related activity that the instructors enter when they are entering their final grades. The last date of attendance will be used to perform a Return of Title IV calculation.
The college will return the amount of the Title IV funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date of determination that the student officially withdrew, or within 30 days from the determination that a student unofficially withdrew. The school will make a determination as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the end of the earlier of (1) the payment period, (2) the academic year, or (3) the program.
3. Post-Withdrawal Disbursement
If the student received less Title IV funds than the amount earned as determined by the Return to Title IV calculation, the college will offer a disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. A post-withdrawal disbursement will return available grant funds before available loan funds.
The college will notify students of any eligible post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds as soon as possible but no later than 30 days of the college’s determination that the student withdrew. The college will return any unearned funds and make a post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds within 45 days of the date of determination that the student withdrew. The student or parent borrower must give written authorization to the school to receive the post-withdrawal disbursement. The student or parent borrower will be notified that they have the option to decline the loan. The financial aid office will track notifications made to the student and/or parent as well as any authorization for disbursement. If the student and/or parent borrower does not contact the college within 14 days of receipt of the notice of eligibility for the post-withdrawal disbursement, the college is not required to make the post-withdrawal disbursement. Any post-withdrawal disbursement will first be applied toward any outstanding student account balance, the remainder will be disbursed to the student.
A post-withdrawal disbursement must be made within 180 days of the date determined by the college that the student withdrew. The amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement is determined by following the requirements for calculating earned Title IV Aid (refer to section one), and has no relationship to incurred educational costs.
4. Consumer Information
Institutional information, including consumer information, is readily provided to the students at Southwestern Community College. The college has dedicated a portion of the website to provide a one-stop resource to disclose consumer information. In addition, students are provided with an email each semester detailing the location of all consumer information on the website. The financial aid office requires each student to acknowledge the terms and conditions associated with receiving title IV funding.
5. Notification to Students
Students who received Title IV funds will be notified in writing by the college when the school returns Title IV funds on behalf of the student. Students who withdrew from all of their Title IV eligible courses and received Title IV funds but did not have to return any funds will be notified that a Return of Title IV calculation was processed and they are not required to return any funds.
Southwestern Community College does not promote any outside lenders. Students are advised to seek private fund sources if needed on their own. Therefore, Southwestern Community College does not provide a preferred list.
Southwestern Community College does not promote any outside lenders. Students are advised to seek private fund sources if needed on their own.
Financial aid can be used to purchase books and supplies through the SWCC Shoppe (bookstore). If the student billing statement shows that the student has been awarded financial aid (grants, scholarships and loans) and the student account reflects a credit balance, the student may obtain a charge slip issued from the Business Office and take it along with the billing statement to the SWCC Shoppe. The student will be allowed to charge books to the student account for up to the amount of the credit. If the billing statement does not show a credit balance, the student may not be able to charge books on the student account and will need to check with the financial aid and business offices. Students may charge books to their student account until the deadline of a week prior to aid disbursement each term. Students should check with the Business Office regarding the last day a student can receive a charge slip for books and supplies.
The master formal complaint log will be maintained in the office of dean of student services.
A formal student complaint is defined as the following: is in writing, is signed and dated by the student, is sent to or delivered to the college president, the vice president of instruction, the assistant vice president of instruction, or the dean of student services. A formal complaint does not include complaints from parents, employers, or the general public. The master log will be maintained in the office of the dean of student services. Within fifteen working days of receiving the written complaint, a copy of the complaint will be given to the dean of student services. The dean of student services will assign the complaint to the appropriate supervisor who will investigate, evaluate, and give proper disposition of the complaint. The dean of student services will log the complaint in the formal complaint log. The formal complaint log will be maintained in hard copy for ten years. Once each semester, the dean of student services will share the contents of the log with cabinet. Cabinet will review the disposition of complaints and determine if any undesirable patterns exist and make necessary recommendation for change. Students will be informed of the formal complaint procedure through the Student Handbook and orientation.
The Iowa Department of Education recognizes that community colleges have processes in place to resolve complaints. Before a complaint is filed with the Iowa Department of Education, the complainant must attempt to resolve the matter with the school. If the matter cannot be resolved, a complaint may be filed with the Division of Community Colleges. Complaints must be filed within one year of the student’s last recorded date of attendance. Information regarding filing a complaint with the Iowa Department of Education is located on their Web site at https://www.educateiowa.gov/iowa-community-college-complaint.
Higher education tax incentives are available to students and families to help reduce the overall cost of a college education. (The attached information is intended for educational purposes and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Please consult with a tax advisor or attorney for more information regarding higher education tax benefits or refer to IRS Publication 970 on Tax Benefits for Education.)
The college is required by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, to provide specified consumer information and school reports to students, employees and others as directed by Federal Student Aid.
General student disclosures will be made available to any enrolled or prospective student through appropriate publications, mailings, or electronic media. General disclosures will provide, at minimum, information regarding: completion, graduation, transfer, retention, and placement rates, gainful employment programs, campus crime and safety information, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, information about athletics, textbook information, loan counseling, private education loans, misrepresentation, reporting on foreign sources and gifts, anti-lobby provisions, and voter registration. Each year, all enrolled students will be provided with a notice, provided on an individual basis, of the availability of the information it must provide in the following general categories: general disclosures for enrolled or prospective students, annual security report and annual fire safety report, report on athletic program participation rates and financial support data (Equity in Athletics Data or EADA), and Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. The director of financial aid will designate an employee or group of employees to assist enrolled or prospective students in obtaining required consumer information and school reports. The college will maintain a Consumer Information page on the Web site that briefly describes each required element of the Higher Education Act, directs a consumer on how to request a paper copy of all documents, and provides the name of the appropriate college contact.
Southwestern Community College does not approve programs of study abroad.