The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to determine whether financial aid is being utilized in the most productive way in assisting students to achieve their goal of attaining a degree or certificate. Money is finite; taxes to fund federal and state financial aid programs even more so. Because of this the U.S. Department of Education wants funds awarded to students who are academically progressing towards achieving this goal.
It is the duty of the BHCC Financial Aid Office to monitor each financial aid applicants’ academic work and to confirm the student’s academic success and continued financial aid eligibility or to determine that if a student is not academically progressing toward the goal of degree attainment, to limit those finite funds until a time when (and if) a student is academically eligible again.
What can affect my financial aid eligibility?
Students who are not achieving academic progress as measured by the BHCC Financial Aid Office usually have experienced one (or a combination of several) of the following academic difficulties:
- receiving failing grades,
- receiving incomplete grades,
- repeating courses,
- withdrawing from courses,
- changing majors,
- and withdrawing from the college
How does the BHCC Financial Aid Office measure my academic progress?
In order to continue to receive financial aid consideration at Bunker Hill Community College, students must continue to make satisfactory progress towards a degree or certificate. Students are considered to be achieving academic progress if they complete at least 66 percent or more of the total number of credits that they have attempted at BHCC and are meeting the following minimum cumulative grade point average:
| Credits Attempted
|| Cumulative Grade Point Average
|Below 12 credits
|Above 30 credits
Finally, you must successfully complete the credits required for your degree within 150 percent of the standard length of your academic major. For example, if you are majoring in an associate degree that requires 60 credits for completion, you must complete your degree requirements by the time you have attempted 90 credits or you would lose your financial aid eligibility.
What happens to my financial aid if I fail or withdraw from classes for which I am registered?
To remain eligible for financial aid, you must successfully complete a minimum of 66 percent of the total of all your classes since you began your studies at BHCC and maintain a minimum GPA as listed above. Since this measurement is based upon your cumulative academic work at BHCC, your performance in an individual course may have no impact on your financial aid eligibility. HOWEVER, accumulation of failed courses, withdrawals and incomplete grades could affect your eligibility.
What if I drop some or all of my classes before and/or during the semester drop/add period – could this affect my academic progress?
No. The credits that you drop during that period of time will not be counted as credits attempted when calculating the percentage of credits completed to determine if academic progress has been achieved.
Can withdrawing from a course now affect my financial aid eligibility in later semesters if I withdraw from some, but not all of my courses after the drop/add deadline?
In most cases, your financial aid eligibility for the current semester will not change. However, as mentioned above, accumulated withdrawals could affect your eligibility as all course withdrawals decrease your completion rate that must be maintained above 66% for financial aid eligibility to continue for subsequent semesters.
What happens to my financial aid eligibility if I withdraw from all of my courses after the drop/add deadline?
Withdrawing from all courses after the drop/add deadline is considered withdrawing from the college. If you do this before 60 percent of the academic semester has passed, your financial aid eligibility must be recalculated per federal and state regulations. This recalculation will determine how much of your financial aid awarded has been earned during the weeks before your official withdrew from courses. When the recalculation is done, a balance could be owed to the BHCC Student Payment Office.
Can my financial aid be affected if I don’t officially withdraw from the college but I stop attending all of my semester classes?
The U.S. Department of Education mandates that students who fail all of their courses during an academic semester must prove that they continued their attendance in those courses past the 60 percent point of the semester. BHCC complies with this requirement by requesting students to submit graded homework, quizzes and/or tests to prove continued attendance past the 60 percent point of the semester. Failure to do so will require the financial aid office to recalculate a student’s financial aid eligibility and will cause a balance to be owed to the college for the semester; this is true even when a refund check had been issued to the student for the semester.
How can changing majors affect my financial aid eligibility?
Changing your major may mean that you need to take additional courses and that could cause problems finishing your degree or certificate within the 150 percent of the standard length of your academic major. Also, when students change their academic major from degree seeking to certificate seeking, the previous classes the student attempted will be counted in the determination of your financial aid eligibility. For example, a certificate requires 30 credits for completion, for financial aid consideration to continue you must finish the degree by 45 credits attempted.
If you should have additional questions, please contact the BHCC Financial Aid Office.