The Financial Aid Office is located under the Student Services Department in the Beaver Painted Lodge Building. The primary purpose of the Financial Aid Office at Blackfeet Community College is to provide advice and access to financial aid to students who would be unable to pursue their education without such help. Financial aid consists of federal, state, and local assistance provided to eligible students through the Office of Student Financial Aid in the form of grants, part-time work, and Scholarships to help pay the cost of attending college.
Financial Aid Application Procedures
All applicants for financial assistance must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who will be applying for financial aid are urged to complete the necessary applications by March 1. It is very important that timelines for applications are followed in order for a student to receive financial aid in a timely manner. Applications received after the priority date, which is, the end of the second week of the second semester, will be processed and funded in the same order they are received. Students who do not have a complete file in the Financial Aid Office by the end of the second week of the second semester will not be processed for payment on the first Pell disbursement. Return the completed application for Federal Student Aid to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will process applications electronically. Each student aid applicant must also complete an Institutional Financial Aid Application and Educational Planner at the time of Registration with his/her advisor. Forms are available at the Financial Aid Office. These completed forms need to be returned to the Financial Aid Department by the student. Application procedures and eligibility criteria are subject to change without notice.
Verification Policies and Procedures
Thirty percent of student applications (FAFSA’s) are randomly selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. Selection for verification is indicated by an asterisk (*) following the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the student’s Student Aid Report (SAR), and also is stated in the comment section of the SAR.
If a student’s Student Aid Report (SAR) is selected for verification, the following procedures will apply:
- The BCC Financial Aid Office will notify the students selected for verification by letter.
- Within 30 days after receiving written notification, the student must respond to the BCC Financial Aid Office.
- Students will fill out a verification worksheet if the student is dependant or independant, and submit a complete signed copy of their federal income tax forms (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ), and W-2’s, and any other income verification.
- Other documentation may be required to substantiate information provided on the application. If necessary, the Financial Aid Office will send a written request for the following information:
- Marriage Certificate
- Legal Pleadings
- Proof of Earnings (Paycheck Stubs)
- Proof of Military Assistance
- AFDC payments (print-outs from AFDC office)
- Divorce Decree
- Evidence of Paid Medical Bills
- Proof of Unemployment Compensation
- Social Security Payments (Check Copies)
- Once all requested information is received, at least two weeks is required for application processing.
- If the verification process changes the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the Financial Aid Office will notify the student in writing and mail the student a new award letter within two weeks of receiving all information for verification. Blackfeet Community College must request a financial aid transcript from the previous school(s) attended.
For more information on FAFSA Verification, please see the "I have been selected for verification*?!? What is verification*?" document.
Total financial aid the student may receive from federal student aid programs and other sources, when added to the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance. Exceptions are IHS scholarship recipients, who may sometimes exceed the cost of attendance, but the recipients are not awarded any Campus-Based funds. A Pell Grant is considered an entitlement program.
Financial Aid Programs and Benefits
Federal Pell Grant: The Pell Grant is a federal program designed to provide undergraduate students who have not yet received and are not yet eligible to receive a bachelor’s degree, a foundation of financial aid. To determine if you are eligible, the U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the information you report when you apply. The formula produces an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) contains this number and will tell you if you are eligible.
In order for students to be eligible for a Pell Grant they must meet the following criteria.
- The student must submit a Student Aid Report (SAR) to the Financial Aid Office or have one electronically on file;
- The student must maintain satisfactory progress in his/her course of study;
- The student must not owe a refund or a repayment to the federal government;
- The student must not be in default with the U.S. Department of Education Loan Program. If a student withdraws or is expelled before the end of the semester, they may owe a refund of Title IV funds, such as, (Pell Grant, FSEOG, and scholarships).
Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) - New!
A new law reduces the duration of Federal Pell Grant eligibility from 18 semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 semesters (or its equivalent). This applies to all Federal Pell Grant eligible students effective with the 2012-13 academic year.
The maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%. The 12-semester or six-year equivalent is 600%.
Please See Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used for more information.
- Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are specifically intended to make higher education possible for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need, that is, students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFCs), and gives priority to students who apply early and receive Federal Pell Grants. The student must establish his/her eligibility by filing a Federal Aid Application (FAFSA). An FSEOG award typically ranges from $100 to $600 per academic year.
- Federal Work/Study Grant: This federally sponsored program permits the granting of job opportunities to students eligible for federal financial assistance. Eligible students may work up to 15 hours per week on campus. The work-study student is compensated at minimum wage per hour. Federal College Work/Study award monies are contingent upon the student maintaining satisfactory academic progress and at least half-time student status. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study. Work/Study Applications are available at the Financial Aid Office.
- Work Waivers: Any student 60 years or older who is ineligible for any other financial aid will have tuition waived. This scholarship does not include fees or textbooks.
- Full-time Faculty and Staff Waiver: Full-time faculty and staff will be eligible for a tuition waiver up to six credits. This waiver does not include fees or textbooks.
- Part-time Faculty and Staff Waiver: Part-time faculty and staff will be eligible for a tuition waiver up to three credits. Any person working less than 20 hours per week is considered part-time, for the purpose of this waiver. This waiver does not include fees or textbooks.
- Special Conditions Tuition Waiver: Conditions will be presented to the Financial Aid Committee for review. The committee will then determine if a tuition waiver should be granted. This waiver does not include fees or textbooks.
- Board Waiver: Board members will be eligible for a tuition waiver up to six credits. This waiver does not include fees or textbooks.
- Blackfeet Higher Education Grant: Enrolled members of the Blackfeet Tribe actively pursuing an undergraduate degree and who submit a completed application packet on time are eligible for financial assistance from the Blackfeet Higher Education Program. The deadline for submitting this application is March 1. A student pursuing a transferable associate degree is allowed six semesters or eight quarters of funding to complete a program of study. New applications are reviewed annually by the Blackfeet Tribal Higher Education Committee. Contact the Financial Aid Office for further information. You can also contact the Blackfeet Higher Education office located in the Blackfeet Tribal Office for an application. These applications need to be turned in to the Blackfeet Higher Education office before 4:00 p.m. on March 1, which is the Blackfeet Higher Education department deadline.
- Community, Tribal and Other Program Funding: Any student who is eligible for tuition and fee payments under a program sponsored by a community, tribe or other program will pay tuition and fees. Billing for these students will be sent directly to the program director or authorized person.
- Veteran’s Benefits: Veteran’s benefits may be available to veterans who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, any part of which occurred after Jan.31, 1955, and who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Widows and children of veterans who died of service-connected disabilities are also eligible. Interested veterans should be prepared to provide copies of Form DD214, marriage and children’s birth certificates, and some personal history. Blackfeet Community College can certify veterans who enroll. For further information, contact the Registrar. Veterans Upward Bound through Montana State University offers financial assistance with federal financial aid. See the BCC Financial Aid Office for more information.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Students who meet eligibility criteria can receive assistance through Vocational Rehabilitation. For more information contact the Special Populations Coordinator.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard
Students are expected to maintain certain academic standards and make satisfactory progress toward a degree objective. This requires the Financial Aid Office to determine that all applicants are eligible for financial assistance based on their prior academic records, whether or not they ever received financial aid. In accordance with Federal policy, Blackfeet Community College has established a policy to define and administer standards of academic progress for all students. The explanation of financial aid satisfactory progress standards, including the appeal and reinstatement process, is as follows:
The following table is the minimum grade point average that is expected of each student to be in academic good standing. Standards of academic progress are based on a cumulative GPA. Also, to meet the quantitative satisfactory progress, students must complete the minimum number of credits listed below in order to maintain satisfactory progress.
|| 20 semester credits must be earned after attending two semesters
|| 40 semester credits must be earned after attending two semesters
|| 60 semester credits must be earned after attending two semesters
As a general guide the completion percentage each year is as follows:
- 1st year upon completion of two semesters: 33%
- 2nd year upon completion of two semesters: 67%
- 3rd year upon completion of two semesters: 100%
All students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 in order to graduate in a degree or certificate program.
In addition to the minimum grade point average requirement, all students must successfully complete the quantitative satisfactory progress # of credits as listed above each semester in order to be in good academic standing.
NOTE: At the end of each semester, the Registrar’s Office shall submit a copy of student grades to the Financial Aid Office. Successful completion of a course requires a grade of “D” or better. Grades of “F”, “W”, “INC” (Incomplete), or drop do not constitute successful completion of a course at Blackfeet Community College.
If a student fails to meet the minimum grade point average or quantitative satisfactory progress of completion of 20 credits in two semesters, 40 credits in four semesters or 60 credits in six semesters, he/she will be placed on financial aid probation. Students placed on probation will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid Department.
Probation is an academic warning to the student that they need to seek assistance either through counseling or academic support in order to get back in good academic standing. It is recommended that a student on probation take a reduced number of credits each semester until he/she is back in good academic standing.
A student that has not met the minimum grade point average requirements or the above number of completion ratio for two consecutive semesters will be academically suspended from the college and ineligible for financial aid.
A student on academic suspension must stop out for one full semester. The stop out semester must be during the academic year. The summer terms do not count as a stop out period.
A student may return to the college after he/she has met the one stop out semester. To be reinstated to the college, the student must complete and submit an application for re-admission. The student will be re-admitted to the college on academic probation. The reason for the academic probation status is to serve as a warning to the student that he/she must improve academically and to allow the college to give additional academic support to the student. The student will be required to enroll in a reduced number of credits for the first semester back from academic suspension.
To accurately measure a student’s progress in a program, the satisfactory progress policy must have a quantitative measure as well as a qualitative. All students are expected to complete their degree or certificate objective within the standards described below:
- Associate Degree – Six (6) Semesters
- One-year Certificate – Three (3) Semesters
The following information must be provided in order for the evaluation process to be completed:
- A letter from the student to the financial aid committee stating the reason why you are appealing, i.e., credit max, academic suspension, special circumstances. If special circumstances, the student will need to provide supporting back up documentation such as doctors statement, etc.
- For appealing credit max, students need to meet with their advisor and state exactly what classes are needed and how many credits are needed for graduation. These need to be included on planner.
- It is the students responsibility to provide the planner, transcript, and letter to a counselor for review.
- Each appeal must have a transcript and student planner attached to the letter of appeal.
- Turn in to the Financial Aid Office in the Student Services Department.
- The letter, transcripts, and planner will be evaluated by BCC counselors and presented to the committee for review.
- Deadline for appeal is by the end of the 3rd week of the beginning of the semester.
- Also include an application for graduation showing number of credits needed to graduate.
NOTE: Only (1) appeal is allowed in a two (2) year period. Incomplete appeals will not be considered.
Authorization to Release Financial Aid Information Form
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.
It is the policy of Blackfeet Community College to release information to a third party only after authorization from the student.
No information may be given to the parent about a student’s financial aid account without the student first completing this form. Please note that this form only covers authorization to release financial aid information and does not include academic information.
Authorization to Release Financial Aid Information Form
This form must be presented along with a copy of the student's valid photo ID either in person to the Financial Aid Office, by fax 406-338-3272 or mailed into our offices at:
Blackfeet Community College
Financial Aid Department
PO Box 819
Browning, MT 59417
Student Loan Repayment Resources