Office of Financial Aid
The office of financial aid office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. Mountain Standard time, excluding College holidays. We are located 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 funding to students who would be unable to pursue their educational goals without such help.
Financial aid consists of federal, state, scholarship donors and local monetary assistance to eligible students through the Office of Financial Aid in the form of grants, federal work-study, and scholarship aid, which will help pay the cost of attending college.
With the ever changing Title IV financial regulations, BCC an accredited college, keep the administration of the Title IV programs in compliance with the Department of Education our financial aid policy and procedures are updated. Details regarding policy and procedures can be found in the financial aid and federal regulations manual.
All applicants for financial assistance must file the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) available online at www.fafsa.gov. The application procedures and eligibility criteria are subject to change in accordance with the Department of Education without notice. Students who will be applying for financial aid Pell Grant are urged to complete the FAFSA application by March 1 of each year. It is very important that timelines for the FAFSA application are followed in order for a student to receive financial aid funding in a timely manner. Failure will result in a late disbursement.
FAFSA applications will be processed and disbursed in the same order they are received. Each student must complete a required institutional financial aid student data form and educational planner regardless if they receive a Pell Grant, these forms will be given out at the time of registration.
The educational planner must be filled out with the academic advisor, signed by both and submitted along with the completed student data form to the financial aid office.
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.
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 educational 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.
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.
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:
- Tax Transcript
- Evidence of Paid Medical Bills
- Proof of Unemployment Compensation
- Social Security Payments
- Proof of Earnings
- Proof of Military Assistance
- TANF print-outs
- SNAP Printouts
- Child Support
- Divorce Decree
- Marriage Certificate
- Legal Pleadings
- High School Verification
- Identity and Education Purpose
- Dependent Worksheet
- Independent Worksheet
- Low-income statement
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
Financial Aid Information
Earned Financial Aid
Financial aid recipients “earn” the aid they receive by being enrolled in a Federally Pell Grant approved program of study. The amount of federal assistance earned is based on a pro-rated system. Students who withdraw or do not complete all classes in which they were enrolled may be required to return some of the grant aid awarded.
Financial Aid Suspension
Financial Aid Suspension happens when you are not meeting the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) a letter will be sent to the student outlining the suspension. Once you are on suspension, you will stay on suspension until you meet SAP requirements. You must pay for tuition and fees until you regain financial aid eligibility.
Financial Aid Warning
You are still eligible for Financial Aid if you are put on Academic Warning. A letter will be mailed out to the student and after receiving the notification and the student must stop in and visit with Financial Aid Office on what needs to be done to get off warning status.
Frequency & Means of Payment for Financial Aid
Financial Aid refunds will be disbursed by check from the Blackfeet Community College Business Office. Disbursement dates are determined by the business office, and financial aid is not responsible or is in control of closures, holidays or other extenuating circumstances that may interfere with the dates or times of disbursement. Financial aid is responsible for awarding the Pell Grant, the SEOG, and college work study. All other funding is the responsibility of the donor, program or grant agency.
FEDERAL PELL GRANT
This is a grant entitlement program. A Federal Pell payment schedule/congressional methodology formula provided by the Department of Education is applied to all student applications. The financial aid staff is expected to administer all financial aid within the regulations that govern them and will adjust accordingly as determined by the student’s eligibility. Students who have been accepted for at least six credits or more and has declared a Pell eligible program of study (major), may apply for the Pell Grant using the online FAFSA. Pell is awarded on an academic year basis, so you must apply each year for the year you are planning on attending. Pell provides a “floor” of financial aid to help defray the cost of a post-secondary education; no two students are alike in their award amounts, as it is based on their self-reported information. The student does this by applying for the FAFSA online. Once successfully submitted by the student, an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) is sent to the financial aid office for processing the Pell grant. Approved Pell grant funding will only apply to those courses that are related to the student’s declared major; to students in good academic standing; who do not owe a refund or repayment to the federal government, is not in default, has no withdrawals or has not been expelled, has not exceeded the credit cap at BCC or exceeded their Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) 600% of Pell grant awarded, or has previously earned a bachelor’s degree
- 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.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Students must maintain academic eligibility for student financial aid. This requires the student to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Federal law and regulations dictate that college policies measuring SAP must consider the grades earned by the student, with a minimum of 2.00 GPA (the GPA is based on the accumulative GPA, not the term GPA.) Students must be earning two-thirds (67%) of credits attempted, and in particular, the student must be on track to graduate within the maximum timeframe for their declared degree program within 150% of their total program attempted credits (this may include all approved credits from all other institutions). It is the responsibility of the financial aid office to adhere to the federal regulations governing the administration of federal grant aid, which dictates that no payment of funds be made unless it is determined that the student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress in their chosen course of study and in accordance with all standards set forth by the institution and federal student aid. SAP is defined by the following three criteria:
- Meeting a minimum cumulative grade point average requirement (GPA).
- Earning a minimum number of units for credit per semester (Pace of Progression).
- Completing the degree objective within a maximum number of semesters enrolled and a maximum number of credits attempted (Maximum Time-Frame Allowance).
Students who do not meet one or more of the above criteria will be considered SAP ineligible for financial aid or will be placed in a financial aid SAP Warning or suspension, see the financial aid office if you have questions regarding this federal policy.
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 grade of A, B, C, or D.
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.
Federal Educational Opportunities Grant (SEOG)
- A SEOG is a campus based financial aid award designed to help the students meet the cost of their education. The amount of the award is based on need, academic progress, the availability of SEOG funds allocated to BCC, and the amount of other aid the student is receiving. It is for undergraduates only, and does not have to be paid back. A student must be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant in order to receive SEOG and must have filed before the FAFSA deadline.
Federal Work Study (FWS, CWS)
- This financially 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. A student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits in the current semester to be eligible for FWS. Students, who graduate, withdraw from classes, or drop below 12 credits are not eligible for a FWS position. FWS students must maintain good satisfactory academic progress. See the financial aid office for additional details regarding work study.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Procedures
- Grade point averages will be checked prior to the beginning of each academic year.
- The 67% completion rate will be checked at the end of each semester.
- The 150% allowance will be checked prior to the beginning of each academic year.
- 600% LEU will be evaluated for Pell.
- 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.
- 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.
The Title IV regulations require a college to publish and distribute consumer information to the administration, faculty, staff and students at BCC in the catalog, policy and procedure manuals, student handbook, brochures, web, campus media outlets, social media, and other published formats. See BCC’s substance abuse and alcohol policy, sexual harassment policy, annual security report, and other consumer information on our website or in print on campus.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, governs the protection of students’ privacy and compliance with FERPA laws and guidelines. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records and affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the request for access request an amendment of their education records to ensure that they are accurate, not misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy, request that school 23 officials not disclose personally identifiable information about them, or permit inspection of their records without written permission, unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted the FERPA.
Student Attendance in Class
Faculty will report student’s last date of attendance to the Financial Aid Office and Registrar’s Office. This will verify student’s attendance in class as required by regulations requiring proof that a student has attended or has stopped attending class, before any Title IV funds will be disbursed to the student.
Title IV Aid
The Financial Aid office is responsible for Title IV Aid which includes the Pell Grant, FSEOG and the FWS program. All other funding is the responsibility of the donor, program or grant. PELL, FSEOG, FWS, are the only Title IV funding the College offers at this time. PELL is awarded based on a student’s financial needs. SEOG is an incentive to apply before the FAFSA deadline which is March 1 of every year. FWS (CWS) is a campus based work program for students who meet certain requirements. See financial aid for application.
Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)
BCC is required to determine the percentage of Title IV aid “earned” by the student and will return the “unearned” portion to the appropriate federal aid programs. The R2T4 calculation is completed by the financial aid and student accounts offices and the student will be notified upon completion.
Outside funding in the form of scholarships, internships, or other financial assistance are at the discretion of the donor. Examples of outside funding are the Blackfeet Higher Education Program, American Indian College Fund, Cobell Scholarship, Veterans, Vocational Rehab, Tribal, community and campus programs. See these programs and other programs like this for their requirements or applications. 24 Scholarships funds are sent to the college from a third party and are paid on a semester basis, directly to the student’s account for their college expenses. Questions regarding the balance owed should be addressed to the business office. The financial aid office is not responsible for enrollment cancellations or late fees resulting from outstanding balances. Please view the business office web site regarding refund options. Students are required to enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester in order to receive scholarship funds and must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA, unless otherwise stated in the donor requirements of the award.
Blackfeet Community College does not participate in any of the Federal Loan Programs at this point in time. Therefore, the college does not provide any student loans to incoming students. But the financial aid office does give out loan deferment forms if identified by the ISIR or self-identified by the student if they have a student loan, and only when a student officially registers at BCC. Once the deferment form is completed by the student and certified by the registrar’s office, it is entered into the student’s enrollment data through the National Student Loan Database.
When reviewing required documents and income information, if a staff member discovers a major discrepancy in the students reported data, the student will be given every opportunity to clear up the discrepancy by correcting the discrepancy online at www.fafsa.gov or on the SAR then mailing it in or bring it into the financial aid office. The Director will inform the student of the action taken. Failure to correct the discrepancy will lead to notifying the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in Denver and the student’s file will be placed on final review, stopping all disbursements until the errors are corrected. If the student and or their parent give false or misleading information, the student and/or their parent may be fined up to $25,000.00, sent to prison or both. Until clarification is reached, no disbursement of awards will be issued to the student.
Verification of Student Aid Report (SAR)
Verification is determined by the Department of Education. In addition, the financial aid office may at their discretion, ask that 100% of the student population be verified. The SAR and the ISIR is marked with an asterisk (*) next to the EFC (Estimated Family Contribution), which gives the financial aid office notice that verification is required. Students must comply with the Department of Education verification requirements. To comply with verification, the student must complete all the required forms, which can be found in the financial aid office or online. Required forms must be submitted before any disbursements are made to the student. Financial Aid will verify the documents the student has submitted and the information reported on the SAR. If the verification is completed and received within the tolerance allowed by the Department of Education, BCC will award the proper Federal Pell amount to the student.
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