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Financial Aid Process


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Financial Aid Policies and Procedures

INTRODUCTION

  1. Barstow Community College's Financial Aid programs stem from a belief that student aid services should facilitate and foster the successful academic participation of financially needy students. As part of its commitment to students’ positive college experience, the Financial Aid Office provides this information to help students better understand their relationship with financial aid.
  2. State and federal regulations allow community colleges participating in financial aid programs discretion when establishing college specific policies and procedures. This manual represents BCC’s current practices whenever state and federal regulations determine policy decision-making is the responsibility of the college.
  3. It is the goal of the Financial Aid Office to provide students with the most current policy information affecting their financial aid while attending BCC. Accordingly, as new state or federal regulations take effect or college practices evolve, this form will be updated.

ACADEMIC YEAR

  1. Academic programs offered at BCC are calculated in units and measured by semesters. BCC establishes two 18 week semesters (fall and spring) and one 8 week summer session per academic year. This meets the federal minimum academic year definition (30 weeks of instruction minimum).
  2. For example, during the 2013-14 academic year, instruction for the fall 2013 semester begins Monday, August 12, 2013 and ends on Friday, December 13, 2013. This provides 18 weeks of instruction.
  3. For financial aid purposes, this definition is important because it affects how payment periods are calculated. BCC makes financial aid payments based on the college’s semester. A student’s financial aid is calculated by semester and is based on enrollment.
  4. Enrollment: All awards are made based on full-time enrollment (12 units per semester). Students enrolled less than full-time will have their aid prorated. Some higher EFCs are not eligible for any aid if enrolled less than half time.
  5. Programs Offered: BCC offers an Associate in Arts degree (AA), an Associate in Science degree (AS), and Associate of Arts for Transfer (AAT), all of which meet the minimum academic year definition. Students must declare an approved program of study with Admissions and Records to be eligible for aid.

COST OF ATTENDANCE

  1. Cost of attendance refers to the average amount a full-time student enrolled in classes at BCC can expect to spend during the semester. It is different for students living independently versus at home, or who are residents of California versus nonresidents.

    Included in COA
    Tuition and Fees
    Books and Supplies
    Room and Board
    Personal Expenses
    Transportation

    Not Included in COA
    Currently, BCC does not vary cost of attendance for particular programs, including study abroad or online coursework. Neither does BCC make any adjustments to cost of attendance using professional judgment.

  2. Determination of Cost of Attendance: Every year, BCC’s Financial Aid Office reviews the California Student Aid Commission’s most current Student Expenses and Resources Survey (SEARS). It is a broad survey of students’ budgets and expenses from UCs, CSUs, community colleges, and independent and private career institutions. If the survey is not from the current year, it is adjusted for inflation.
  3. Each year California legislators establish the cost for tuition per unit. The average amount of units enrolled in at BCC or full-time enrollment units are used along with information about health and transportation fees.
  4. The cost of attendance is subject to change depending on legislative activity. It sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive for the year and represents a modest budget by which a student can live adequately while attending BCC.

FINANCIAL AID POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

  1. Applying for Aid: Students must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year after January 1st to apply for aid for the following academic year. Applications are available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and should be completed using school code 001119. Students are encouraged to apply prior to March 2nd the required filing date for the Cal Grant program. If a student’s information changes after the FAFSA has been submitted, the Financial Aid Office must be notified immediately. Once the FAFSA is received, students will be notified by email and all students must submit the signature page for the Financial Aid Policies and Procedures form before any aid may be awarded.
    1. Students who qualify for the BOG based on residency and EFC will automatically be awarded and enrollment fees waived.
    2. Cal Grants: Students must submit their FAFSA prior to March 2nd. In addition, if the student has earned 16 units at Barstow Community College their GPA will automatically be submitted to the California Student Aid Commission. If the student has not, they need to contact their previous institution or high school to have their GPA submitted prior to March 2nd for the Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant or by September 2nd for the Competitive Cal Grant.
    3. SEOG (Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant): Is awarded to Pell grant eligible students with 0 EFC (Expected Family Contribution) only. Funding for SEOG is very limited and not all students who are eligible will be awarded. Students should apply early in the application period. Some students who are awarded, may not actually receive the grant as funding is limited.
    4. FWS (Federal Work Study): Federal Work Study is available to students with unmet need, who have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and are enrolled in at least 6 units. Students are eligible to work up to three years or until they earn their degree (one additional semester is allowed), whichever comes first. Students must maintain acceptable SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) status to be eligible.  To apply students must complete the FAFSA and submit a work study application to the Financial Aid Office. Those students selected to work in a department will be awarded FWS funds.
  2. California Dream Act: The California Dream Act allows students with undocumented immigration status or those who have entered the U.S. on a T or U Visa and have attended a minimum of three years of a California High School and graduated from a California High School the ability to apply for the BOG (Board of Governor’s) Fee Waiver and Cal Grants. Students must complete the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request and submit it to Admissions and Records to determine eligibility. In addition, students who qualify must submit the Dream Act Application online at https://dream.csac.ca.gov/ prior to the financial aid deadlines listed at www.barstow.edu/schedule.
  3. Verification:
    1. What students are verified?
      1. All students selected by the Department of Education or CSAC for Dream Applicants will be verified.
      2. Students who report on their FAFSA $0 income and report they did not receive any forms of general assistance will be selected for verification by the Financial Aid Office.
      3. If the Financial Aid Office discovers conflicting information, students will be selected for verification.
        1. If conflicting information shows up after awarding/disbursing has taken place, it still must be resolved. No additional disbursement can be made until the issue is resolved.
      4. Any student requesting a professional judgment will be selected for verification.
    2. Students must submit required documentation by the posted deadline (found at http://www.barstow.edu/FinancialAid/bcforms.asp) either in person, via mail, or scanned and emailed. The Financial Aid Office does NOT accept faxed paperwork.
      1. The Financial Aid Office will not accept incomplete paperwork. All needed documents must be submitted at one time.
      2. All files that are complete as of the deadline will be verified for that disbursement date.
        1. It may be necessary for the Financial Aid Office to request further documentation during the verification process. Every attempt will be made to ensure processing before the disbursement date, but if the student fails to submit the documentation in a timely manner disbursement may be delayed.
  4. Professional Judgment: Issues of professional judgment are reviewed by the Financial Aid Officer for final determination.
    1.  In cases of extenuating circumstances affecting a student’s financial eligibility, the student or the student’s parent can request special consideration by submitting the appropriate (student or parent) Special Circumstances Appeal form. The forms can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office or by downloading them from the financial aid website.
    2. Dependency Override: A student can request to be considered independent if the student does not meet the federal requirement by submitting the Dependency Override Request form. The form is available from the Financial Aid Office or by downloading it from the financial aid website. The required documentation is listed on the Dependency Override Request form.
  5. Ability to Benefit: Effective with the 2012-13 award year, new students who do not have a high school diploma, or an equivalent such as a GED, or who did not complete secondary school in a homeschool setting are not eligible for title IV funds.
    1. However, students who were enrolled in an eligible educational program of study at a postsecondary institution before July 1, 2012 may continue to be considered Title IV eligible under either the ATB test or 6 credit hour standards
      1. Such students can become eligible by passing an approved "ability-to-benefit" test or by satisfactorily completing at least six credit hours or 225 clock hours of college work that is applicable to a degree or certificate offered by the student's postsecondary institution.
  6. Correspondence: All correspondence, including notifications regarding requested documentation, awards, and Satisfactory Academic Progress are sent via email to the email address on record with Admissions & Records. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure email addresses are up-to-date. If a student wishes to opt out, written notice must be given to the Financial Aid Office by the first deadline of the semester.
  7. Award: Students will be awarded aid once all requested documents have been submitted and verified. Barstow Community College reserves the right to revise the student’s offer of financial aid after that date. Modification of this offer may be required due to lack of necessary state or federal funding, academic progress, corrections or changes in the data reported to the institution by parents and/or students, receipt of additional awards by non-college sources, unintended error, student changes in unit load, change in residency, or other reasons consistent with Barstow Community College’s procedures.
    1. Barstow Community College does not participate in any student loan programs. Students may only receive grants and/or scholarships while attending at BCC.
    2. Students are required to report outside sources of college aid.
  8. Bookstore Authorizations: Federal financial aid regulations require schools to provide a method for students to purchase books no later than the end of the first week of class IF the student is eligible for a financial aid disbursement ten days before the first day of class. BCC meets this federal regulation by authorizing bookstore vouchers at the Viking Shop Bookstore. The Bookstore authorization will be available one week before classes begin through the Thursday of the second week of class. Students are not obligated to purchase their books from the bookstore, but BCC will not disburse financial aid until the 3rd week of the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to procure funds for purchasing books before the actual disbursement date if the choice is made to not utilize the bookstore authorization. For more information: Disbursing Based on Attending Hours.
  9. Disbursements: Regardless of the amount of financial aid awarded, students are expected to have a certain amount of cash to defray immediate expenses such as books, supplies, and personal expenses at the beginning of each semester. Deadline and disbursement dates are available at http://www.barstow.edu/FinancialAid/bcforms.asp. All financial aid funds are mailed by check to the address on file with Admissions and Records.
  10. Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU): Effective July 1, 2012 students receiving Federal Pell grants are limited to six years (12 semesters) or full time equivalent (600%) of aid.
    1. Students who have used more than 500% of LEU, but have not yet reached 600% will have aid awarded at a prorated rate to ensure the award does not exceed 600%.
      1. Students may opt to decline receiving Pell grant at Barstow Community College by submitting the Lifetime Pell Eligibility form found online at http://www.barstow.edu/FinancialAid/bcforms.asp.
    2. Once a student has received 600% of Pell grant, the student is no longer eligible for additional Pell grant funds at any institution. There is no appeal process.
  11. Satisfactory Academic Progress: To be eligible for financial aid, a student must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Per federal regulations, the standards used to evaluate academic progress must be cumulative (including all transferred units) and must include all periods of the student’s enrollment, even periods in which the student did not receive financial aid funds. SAP is calculated at the end of every semester for which a student is enrolled. Students will be responsible for checking their SAP status by logging into their account at the end of each semester. For more information visit the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at http://www.barstow.edu/financialaid/sap.asp. For more information on how to check financial aid requirements visit the tutorial page at www.barstow.edu/register. There are three components to SAP:
    1. Qualitative
      1. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA
    2. Pace
      1. Students must complete 67% of cumulative units attempted
    3. Program Completion
      1. Once a student has completed an Associate Degree, aid eligibility will be suspended.
      2. Students must complete their declared program of study within 150% of the published length of the program. Failure to complete a declared program by the number of allowable units will result in suspension of aid. BCC programs of study and maximum attempted units:
        1. Associate Degree – 90 attempted units
        2. High Unit Certificate – 27 attempted units
        3. Mid Unit Certificate – 18 attempted units
        4. Low Unit Certificate – 9 attempted units
  12. Students have the right to appeal suspension of aid. To appeal, the Suspension of Financial Aid Eligibility form must be submitted to Financial Aid. Forms must be accompanied by required documentation. If granted an appeal, students must abide by the requirements in the approval notice.
  13. Failure to meet requirements will result in termination of aid eligibility at BCC.
  14. Once an official transcript is received by Barstow Community College, it will be evaluated. Only completed courses determined to be applicable to the student’s program of study will be posted to the transcript.
  15. Course Repetition: Effective Spring 2012, due to new federal regulations, there is a limitation on the number of times federal financial aid funds can be used to pay for a previously passed course. The regulations specify that students may receive federal financial aid funding for one repetition of a previously passed course. Students may receive aid for previously failed courses.
  16. Overpayment Policy: Please check with the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawing from classes.
    1. Students, who drop courses prior to the last disbursement of the aid period (October for fall or March for spring) that results in a change in enrollment status, will be placed into overpayment for the amount of unearned aid. Students will have 20 days in which to make repayment to Barstow Community College. Failure to do so will result in collections by the Department of Education. All students in overpayment will be listed on the National Student Loan Database and will be ineligible for aid at any institution until the overpayment is resolved.
      1. As students are not eligible to receive aid while in overpayment, they cannot receive aid in a future term to cover the overpayment balance.
      2. Students will be reported 20 days after the overpayment is entered in the system. The Financial Aid Office will not report overpayment sooner than 20 days.
        1. Students wishing to add or drop courses, who are prevented from doing so due to a hold on their account because of the balance of the overpayment may request the Financial Aid Office to remove the hold to allow them to add/drop classes.
    2. Students who withdraw after the last disbursement of the aid period (November for fall; April for spring; or after summer disbursement) and/or fail all classes will be subject to Return of Title IV calculations and may owe funds to the institution and/or the Department of Education. Instructors are required to submit the last date of attendance for all failing grades and these dates will be used to make the calculation. If the student received more financial aid than the amount earned, the student will be billed for the overpayment.
      1. Incomplete; failing grades (‘IF’) will be treated as a failed course for calculation purposes unless the student completed at least one other class for the semester.
    3. Students who receive aid at more than one institution during the same enrollment period will be in overpayment status until one of the schools is repaid the amount disbursed.
    4. Post-Withdrawal Disbursements (PWD): On each disbursement date students are identified who are packaged for Pell but withdrew from all classes before disbursement was made. The amount of aid the student is eligible for is calculated and the PWD notification is sent to students. Students have two weeks to submit the request for payment to the Financial Aid Office. Those students who submit the request will be disbursed to on the next disbursement date. Failure to submit the notification by the deadline will be considered a denial of aid.
      1. Registration status codes of Administrative Withdrawal (AW), No Show (NS), and Drop with a Refund (DR) will be considered as the student having NOT attended unless the student submits proof of attendance from the instructor. Courses for which the student did not attend are not eligible for a PWD.

You must submit the Policies and Procedures Signature Form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.

Revised Date January 3, 2014

 
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