There are a number of rules and regulations when it comes to Financial Aid. It is essential for students and their families to know and stay up to date with all Financial Aid policies.
Rules and Regulations
Clock to Credit Hour Conversion
Effective July 1, 2021, the US Department of Education has made changes to how credits are recognized for financial aid purposes for non-associate degree programs that do not lead to an associate degree. Wisconsin Technical College System students who are enrolled in a technical diploma that does not lead to an associate degree, may not be eligible to receive full financial aid funding due to the new federal conversion requirements.
The clock-to-credit hour conversion will determine if the program includes the minimum number of credit hours to qualify as an eligible program for Federal Student Aid purposes. The formula also determines the number of Title IV (Financial Aid) credit hours associated with each class that an institution can use to determine a student’s enrollment status during the program.
Previously, the conversion formula for determining the number of credit hours in an educational program required an institution to use a ratio of 37.5 in-class clock hours to each semester credit hour, except the institution could include out-of-class hours as long as the in-class hours met a lower ratio – 30 clock hours to one credit hour.
Under the new regulations, there is no longer any consideration of out-of-class hours for purposes of the clock-to-credit conversion. Therefore, the revised formula for determining the number of credits in each class of an educational program is a credit must include at least 30 hours of instruction. This determination is made by dividing the total number of clock hours in a course by 30. The result is the new total credit hours for the course in which financial aid will be paid. This total will be used when calculating financial aid offers.
How does the conversion work?
Simply put, a one credit course must include a minimum of 30 in-class/clock hours for a student to receive the full financial aid benefits. Example: If you are enrolled in a 3 credit hour course that has 75 clock hours, you would divide 30 into the 75 clock hours (75/30=2.5). Therefore, you would end up being eligible for 2 financial aid credit hours. *Please Note: Do Not Round Up When Totaling Hours. These converted credits are used to determine the financial aid credits, NOT the actual academic credits associated with the course.
The formula only pertains to Federal financial aid, including Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Work Study. It does not affect State of Wisconsin financial aid, VA veterans’ education benefits, Wisconsin G.I. Bill, or scholarships.
Certain program courses within Northcentral Technical College standalone technical diploma programs (programs which do not embed into an associate degree) do not meet this minimum. As a result some of the courses are not eligible for full financial aid.
Northcentral Technical College has determined the following programs are required to apply the new federal clock-to-credit hour conversion and students enrolled in these programs will not be eligible for full financial aid funding based on the programs credit hours.
Select a program below to determine the converted hours for your program.
Programs of Study:
- Automotive Technician
- Electrical Power Distribution
- Fire Science
- Gas Utility Construction & Service
- Healthcare Receptionist
- Machine Tool Technics
- Manufacturing Technician
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Coding Specialist
- Medical Office Specialist
- Surgical Technologist
The determination of enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, less than half-time) for financial aid packaging, by federal regulations, is different for standalone diploma programs.
Financial Aid Guide
The Financial Aid Guide is one comprehensive source for financial aid information. It contains detailed information regarding a student’s financial aid eligibility and is an important tool in ensuring students are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a financial aid recipient.
Pell Recalculation Date
Applies to all students regardless of course format.
Financial aid funding and payment is based on the number of enrolled credits on the Pell Recalculation Date (PRC, formerly referred to as Census Date). The PRC at NTC is the 14th day of the semester, including weekends. At this point in the semester, credit hours are “locked” and financial aid for the term is adjusted to reflect the student’s official enrolled credits. If a student is on a waitlist for a class, then they must be removed from the waitlist and enrolled in that class before the PRC in order to receive financial aid for the class. Courses that are dropped by a student (withdrawal) or instructor (F grade) prior to the PRC for a semester are not included in a student’s course load when determining grant and loan eligibility.
Financial aid offers for late-start students are based on the number of credits a student has on the initial day the student enrolled in classes.
Repeating Coursework Policy
Students should be aware that, for federal financial aid purposes, an institution can pay a student for only one retake of a previously passed course or its equivalent. This means that once a student has passed a particular course, Financial Aid can count that student as being enrolled in that course only one more time for federal aid purposes.
If you have experienced certain financial hardships, or unemployment of either yourself or a household family member, you can request a review of the data elements on the FAFSA form that impact your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) uses federal tax data from two years prior to estimate a family’s financial situation to assist in the determination of specific types of financial aid. However, a family may be experiencing a current hardship or unusual circumstance which is not reflected on the FAFSA. Therefore, the Financial Aid Office can review these circumstances on a case-by-case basis to analyze if this would create a change in the student’s eligibility for financial aid.
Since not all review requests will result in a change to a student’s financial aid offer we have placed an Aid Adjustment screening form in your MyNTC student center under “Billing & Financial Aid”. The first step of the process is to complete the Aid Adjustment screening form located within your MyNTC student center.
When the screening form has been completed, you will be notified if your circumstances qualify for a financial aid adjustment. If so, you will be sent a form and asked to provide documentation in support of your request.
Examples of What Can Be Considered:
- Loss of employment
- Change in employment that resulted in reduced income
- Change in or loss of unemployment benefits
- Death of parent or spouse whose info was reported on FAFSA
- One-time taxable income distribution (examples: IRA, Pension distribution, back-year Social Security Payments, withdrew from retirement to meet unexpected needs, received inheritance)
- Student's parent, if listed on FAFSA, has retired
Other situations that can be considered for a re-evaluation of a student's Cost of Attendance (COA) Budget:
- Excessive Medical Expense Special Circumstances that can be considered: excessive out of pocket medical expenses that exceed 11% of the tax-filer's adjusted gross income (AGI)
Please Note: A change to the COA will typically not result in a student qualifying for additional financial aid. An increased COA typically allows the student to borrow additional loan funds, subject to annual loan limits and/or credit approval (for PLUS or private loans).
Cost of Attendance (COA) Budget Adjustments
The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the total amount of your educational expenses for the period of enrollment during the Award Year and is reflected on your financial aid offer. The COA is based on your enrollment level and whether you live with your parents or away (on your own) while attending college.
Per federal regulations related to making adjustments to FAFSA data, consideration will not be given to applications and /or supporting documentation received after April 15, 2022, or three weeks prior to your last day of attendance, whichever occurs first.
Financial Aid Disbursement Policy
Your financial aid disbursement dates can differ depending on your enrollment status. Students who start classes partway through the semester and Virtual College students follow different processes than students on the traditional semester schedule.
Loans for each semester are disbursed twice, with half being distributed at the beginning of the semester and the remainder being released after the midpoint of the semester. If you drop below half-time enrollment (fewer than six credits) before the midpoint, the second half of your student loans will be cancelled.
Late Start Students
Financial aid awards for Late Start students are based on the number of credits you have on the initial day you enroll in classes. Because of this, even if you add classes to your schedule at any point moving forward, your financial aid award will still be based upon the number of credits you signed up for on your initial day of enrollment. Funds are disbursed no later than 14 days after your first scheduled day of classes.
Additional Policy Information
For information on NTC Financial Aid Policies, which is required reading for all students receiving financial aid, please refer to the following:
- Federal Funds Return Policy
- NTC Information on College Navigator
- Refund Distribution
- Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Unusual Enrollment History
Federal Funds Return Policy
Federal law specifies how a school determines the amount of federal financial aid students have earned and how much must be repaid to the federal aid programs when the student withdraws from school during the semester.
The policy, in its entirety can be found by clicking here: Federal Funds Return Policy
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal regulations require all schools participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. Title IV financial aid programs include: Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, PLUS Loan, and Work‐Study. The requirements of this policy apply to all students as one determinant of eligibility for financial aid.
The policy, in its entirety can be found by clicking here: Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Unusual Enrollment History (UEH)
The U.S. Department of Education has established new regulations to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program by identifying students with unusual enrollment histories. Some students who have an unusual enrollment history (UEH)have legitimate reasons for their enrollment at multiple institutions. However, such an enrollment history requires our office to review your file in order to determine future federal financial aid eligibility.
The policy, in its entirety can be found by clicking here: Unusual Enrollment History (UEH)
View the order in which the NTC Financial Aid Office would return funding to the source if it is required.
The policy, in its entirety can be found by clicking here: Refund Distribution
The Department of Education is required to post 26 items on the College Navigator website for each institution, including a link to the institution's website that provides “in an easily accessible manner”
- student activities offered by the institution;
- services offered by the institution for individuals with disabilities;
- career and placement services offered to students during and after enrollment;
- policies of the institution related to transfer of credit from other institutions.