Financial Aid

FINANCIAL AID 101

financial_aid_101The 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

Step 1: Create a New FSA ID

An FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature.

Only create an FSA ID using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use. You are not authorized to create an FSA ID on behalf of someone else, including a family member. FSA ID Owner

Misrepresentation of your identity to the federal government could result in criminal or civil penalties.

To create your own personal FSA ID, click here, create FSA ID.

Frequently Asked Questions on the FSA ID, click here: FAQ’s FSA ID

Step 2: File for a FAFSA

All applicants for financial assistance must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), this is a year to year application.

Students who will be applying for financial aid are urged to complete the necessary applications by March 1 each year. 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 from the Department of Education. Each student aid applicant must also complete an educatioinal planner time of Registration with his/her advisor. Additional forms are available at the Financial Aid Office. These required forms need to be returned to the Financial Aid Department by the student.

Once the FAFSA is completed the following forms must be completed:

Form 1: Student Data Form

Must be completed and submitted to the financial aid office before any aid will be processed, including Pell Award, Scholarships, etc.

Form 2: Educational Planner

When beginning any journey, it is always a good idea to have a map or, better yet, a GPS! The same applies to a student’s educational journey; we strongly encourage students to work with their faculty advisor to create an educational plan. Essentially, in writing an educational plan, students are writing their specific goals for the coursework they want to accomplish and when they want to accomplish them. Research confirms when someone writes their goals, they are much more likely to accomplish them. The educational plan guides a student and increases their chances of successfully completing a degree or course of study Blackfeet Community College.

An educational plan is a semester by semester map of the courses needed to complete an associate’s degree.

Form 3:  IRS Data Retrieval (IRT) Link on the FAFSA

IRS TAX TRANSCRIPT: As part of the verification process, students and parents may be required to submit their federal income tax return data to the financial aid office. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows users to transfer tax information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. This information is then forwarded to the schools listed on the FAFSA, which in turn satisfies the requirement to provide tax data.Note: If after using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool a family alters any of the income data, the data will be invalidated and a tax transcript will be required in its place.Not everyone is able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The alternate way of providing the required data is to submit an IRS tax return transcript.For Information on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, refer to the IRS Data Retrieval/Return Transcript Instructions video on YouTube.

YOU HAVE BEEN VERIFIED (*):

Students will have to fill out verification worksheet(s) if the student is dependant or independant, and will submit a IRS tax transcript or the IRT on the FAFSA and any other income verification:

Other documentation may be required to substantiate information provided on the application. When necessary, the Financial Aid Office will request the following information plus the appropriate form(s) from the student:

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.

Approximately 30% of all students that submit a FAFSA are selected for a process known as verification (*). Selection is made by the US Department of Education (ED) and can occur in multiple years if an applicant meets the Dept of Ed’s criteria. If selected, a student will need to provide more documentation to the financial aid office before their application can go through the final review process or before aid can be disbursed. For more information on Verification, click here:  Verification Video

Awards

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

Grants

  • 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)
  •  600% Rule

    • Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)
    • 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.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

    • 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.

See Scholarships page for more information on other scholarships available to students at BCC.

Tuition Waivers

  1. Elder 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.  See the business office for application.
  2. 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.  See the business office for application.
  3. 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. See the business office for application.
  4. Special Conditions/Work Tuition Waiver: Applications 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.  See financial aid office for application.
  5. Board Waiver: Board members will be eligible for a tuition waiver up to six credits. This waiver does not include fees or textbooks. See the business office for application.

Outside Funding

  • Blackfeet Higher Education Grant: Enrolled members of the Blackfeet Tribe actively pursuing an undergraduate degree and who submit a completed application packet on time.  Contact the BHEP at the Blackfeet Tribal Office.
  • Community, Tribal and Other Program Funding: Billing for these students will be sent directly to the program office.
  • Veteran’s Benefits: For further information, contact the Registrar.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: For more information contact the Student Success Center Disabilities Coordinator.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard

Students are expected to maintain certain academic standards and make satisfactory progress toward a degree objective, SAP is checked after each semester.  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, are located in the BCC academic catalog under the FINANCIAL AID SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS SECTION.

67% Rule

The quantitative measurement will be a completion rate of two-thirds of all (cumulative) attempted credit hours. Better referred to as the 67% rule.  Students must successfully complete 67% of the hours attempted (registered for) to meet the minimum requirements.  Successful completion is defined as receiving a grad of A, B, C, or D.

150% Rule

The maximum time frame allowable will be 150% of the required credit hours in the recipient’s current academic program. For example, if a program of study requires 64 credit hours to complete a degree, the student may attempt a maximum of 96 hours before the student exceeds his or her eligibility for financial aid (i.e. 64 X 1.5 = 96).  Up to 30 credit hours of required remedial course work will not be a part of the attempted hour count.   Students that reach the maximum time frame will automatically be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Procedures

  1. Grade point averages will be checked prior to the beginning of each academic year.
  2. The 67% completion rate will be checked at the end of each semester.
  3. The 150% allowance will be checked prior to the beginning of each academic year.
  4. 600% LEU will be evaluated for Pell.
  5. Should either the GPA or two-thirds requirements not be met, one semester’s probation will be allowed where aid will continue to be made available to regain satisfactory academic standards.
  6. Should either the GPA or two-thirds requirements fail to be met at the end of the probationary semester; eligibility for aid will be suspended.

Regaining PEll Eligibility

  • Recipients who have had their eligibility suspended due to the GPA rule and/or the 67% rule may appeal their suspensions for mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are considered to be (1) the death of a relative of the student, (2) an injury or illness of the student and/or an immediate family member related by marriage or birth, or (3) other special circumstances causing undue hardship to the student and beyond the reasonable control of the student.
  • Students that are Financial Aid Suspension will be allowed to register for classes at registration must realize they are covering the charges themselves until they have successfully appealed because no Pell Grant will be awarded.
  • Registration using Financial Aid to pay for the courses will only be allowed after grades are in for the current term and SAP standards have been met prior to registration.
  • Tuition and fees are the reponsibility of the student during this process.
  • Each aid recipient who is suspended or on probation shall receive a letter of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
  • The student maybe reinstates after the appeal documentation is reviewed by the financial aid committee. The appeal application is considered a contract and will remain in effect for the signer for the semester.
  • If the student has not regained SAP standards by the end of the academic semester or does not meet the requirements of the contract for the semester the student will then be placed Financial Aid Suspension.
  • The student would then have to regain their eligibility by self-support until they met the academic standards.
  • Students who exceed the maximum allowable time frame 150% to complete a program of study must appeal by using the standard financial aid appeal process and must provide a graduation plan signed by a college official (i.e. academic advisor).
  • If the plan is considered reasonable, students will receive financial aid on probation for one or more semesters until the degree is complete.
  • Any withdrawals, incompletes, or failures during this probation time will automatically end the agreement and the student will be suspended from financial aid.

What is Included in SAP Review

All credit hours ever attempted are to be considered in computing Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards, including the 67% Rule, 150% completion of credits, and 600% Lifetime Eligiblity Used (LEU) all  during periods when the student was not an aid recipient.

Questions?

Please review the BCC Student Handbook, the BCC Catalog, or see the Financial Aid Office for answers.