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Financial Aid Refund Policy

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan credits will be applied to student's accounts in two (2) installments per semester. These credits will be applied to the student s account on or after the 60th calendar day of each semester. Each credit will represent 50% of the student's approved loan funds for the semester minus the federally appropriated loan fee determined by the Department of Education each year after October 1. Refunds will be issued within 14 days after the date that financial aid credits to the student s account.

There is no change to the crediting of Federal Pell Grants which will continue to be credited in one installment on the 30th calendar day of the semester. If the 30th calendar day falls on a weekend, aid will be applied to the account on the previous business day. If a student has a credit balance as a result of the financial aid credit to the account, the policy of the college is to refund the credit to the student according to federal regulations. Credit balances caused by financial aid are refunded only after a careful review of the student's account and eligibility for aid. If a credit balance refund is due the student, the refund is made to the student within 14 days after the financial aid is posted, as mandated by federal law. A refund will be issued only if the student's balance is paid in full. The refund will normally be issued in the form of a check made payable to the student and mailed to the student's preferred address.

A student may receive partial or full credit for the semester's tuition charge if he/she completes the official Add/Drop or withdrawal process through the Registrar's Office. In this case the credit is refunded in accordance with the method of original payment, i.e. credit card or check.

In cases of course cancellation by the college, a credit equal to 100% of tuition and fees will be given. Late Registration and/or absences from class have no bearing on refunds. Students suspended for academic or disciplinary reasons and found to be in violation of established college policy, will not be entitled to a refund of tuition or fees.


Change in Enrollment Status

A student who has received a refund based on financial aid and later changes enrollment status may be required to repay all or part of the aid received to the college or to the appropriate federal or state aid programs. Students receiving federal aid, other than Federal Work-study funds, who withdraw, change enrollment status (increase or decrease credit hours taken), or are reported for non-attendance, will have federal aid adjusted in accordance with formulas prescribed by the Federal Title IV Program.

Important note: Credit balance refunds are processed after the 30th day of the semester.

Eligibility for a refund depends on several factors and will be determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Changes in any of these factors, such as dropping courses or withdrawing from the college, could result in delays in receiving a refund or the reduction of the student's aid package, thereby removing a potential credit balance.

Withdrawal from the College

Students who withdraws from the college receives only the balance that remains, if any, after the appropriate refund calculation has been performed by the Office of Financial Aid and according to the federally mandated Return of Federal Title IV Funds Policy listed below.


Withdrawal and Return of Federal (Title IV) Funds

The Return of Title IV Federal Funds Policy (R2T4) applies to students who have received federal financial aid assistance and have officially or unofficially withdrawn from Community College of Allegheny County. Federal financial aid assistance includes Pell Grants, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Direct Student Loans (subsidized or unsubsidized), and PLUS Loans for parents. The official withdrawal date is defined as the actual date the student begins the College’s withdrawal process. The student’s last date of academically related activity is used for unofficial withdrawals.

The amount of the federal financial assistance that a student earns is determined on a pro-rata basis. Once the student has completed sixty percent (60%) of the term, all financial aid is considered to be earned. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for the 60% refund dates.

If a student withdraws from school before 60% of the term has been completed or does not officially withdraw and receives all failing grades for the term, the Financial Aid Office will calculate the amount of unearned financial aid and return the funds in the following refund distribution order: Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Subsidized Direct Loan, Direct PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, and other Title IV assistance programs. If a student receives all “F” grades for a term, they will be considered an unofficial withdrawal. If a student receives all “F” grades for a term but attended at least one class the entire term and “earned” the grade of “F”, the student will not be considered an unofficial withdrawal and no aid will be returned. If the student received financial aid and failed to attend classes, they are considered a “no show” and have not established eligibility for any financial aid. No shows must repay in full any funds received.

Community College of Allegheny County must return the Title IV funds to the programs from which they received them during the period of payment or period of enrollment, as applicable, up to the net amount disbursed from each source.

The student will be billed for the funds that Community College of Allegheny County is required to repay.

Consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to any withdrawal to discuss your situation or if you have any questions regarding your financial aid. Students who want to dispute an amount should address all concerns in writing to your Campus Financial Aid Director.

Freeze Date

The freeze date is the point at which a student's enrollment status is locked (or frozen) for financial aid purposes. This is the date when the Financial Aid Office reviews your actual enrollment (classes have officially begun) for reporting and eligibility purposes.

Each semester will have a “freeze date” for purposes of determining each student’s enrollment level for federal financial aid eligibility award amounts. On this “freeze date” we will record each student’s credit load (number of credits enrolled) as of that date, which will then determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid awards for the semester. Any classes that are added or dropped after this “freeze date” will not impact (either increase or decrease) the student’s financial aid credit load for the semester. CCAC’s “Freeze Date” (RFD Date) coincides with our Federal Grant Disbursement Date and takes place on the 30th day of each semester.

If you were awarded a Federal Pell and/or Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (SEOG), the amount that you will receive is based on enrolled credits at the time of disbursement. Your financial aid eligibility for the semester is based on your credit load as recorded on the “freeze date”.

Federal regulations assume that students “earn” federal financial aid in direct proportion to the percentage of the term they complete. Federal law requires schools to calculate how much federal financial aid a student has earned if that student:

  • Completely withdraws
  • Stops attending before completing the semester
  • Does not complete all modules (classes which are not scheduled for the entire term) for which he/she registered at the time those modules began
  • Receives all F’s and W’s (or a combination of both) for all classes in any semester.

Based on this calculation, Community College of Allegheny County students who received federal financial aid and do not complete all their scheduled classes during a semester could be responsible for repaying a portion of the aid they received.

Students who received federal financial aid earn the aid they receive by staying enrolled and participating in college. The amount of federal financial aid the student earns is determined on a prorated basis. Students who withdraw or do not complete all registered classes during the semester may be required to return some of the financial aid they were awarded.

For example, if you complete 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the aid you originally were scheduled to receive. This means that 70% of your scheduled awards remain unearned and must be returned to the federal government. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all of your federal financial aid.

The following formula is used to determine the percent of unearned aid that has to be returned to the federal government:

  • For Credit Hour Programs: The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period (minus any scheduled breaks that are at least 5 days long).
  • The payment period for students is the entire semester.
  • The percent unearned is equal to 100% minus the percent earned.

Withdrawals from all classes before aid disburses could result in a post withdrawal disbursement of aid based on percent earned before aid was disbursed. One hundred percent withdrawals, class cancellations, not attending and complete withdrawals may require adjustments and repayments of federal financial aid funds.

Students who totally withdraw from CCAC prior to the published grant and/or loan disbursement dates will be eligible for a post withdrawal disbursement.

The post-withdrawal disbursement will be made from Title IV grant funds before available Title IV loan funds. If part of the post-withdrawal disbursement is a grant, the institution may apply the grant funds to tuition and fees if there is an outstanding balance or disburse the grant funds directly to the student if the student account is paid in full.

If a student is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement from Title IV loan funds, the student (or parent in the case of a PLUS loan) is asked for permission to either disburse the loan funds to the student’s account to reduce the balance owed to the institution or disburse the excess loan funds directly to the student.

The college has 30 days from the determined date of withdrawal to offer the post-withdrawal disbursement of a loan to the student (or the parent, in the case of a PLUS loan). The student (or parent) has 14 days from the date the college sent the notification to accept the post-withdrawal disbursement in writing. If the student accepts the post-withdrawal disbursement, the college will make payment as soon as possible, but no later than 180 days from the student’s withdrawal date. No portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds will be disbursed if the student (or parent) does not respond to the post withdrawal disbursement notification.

If the borrower confirms that they would like the school to disburse the loan proceeds after the school’s deadline, the school has the option to make the disbursement to the borrower, as long as it is paid within the regulatory timeframes for a late disbursement.

Federal regulations 668.22(c)(i) and (ii) establish that the withdrawal date is the date the student began the school’s official withdrawal process or officially notified the school of their intent to withdraw. “Officially notifies” means the student contacts an office the school designated for this purpose. For example, the school could designate a dean’s office, registrar’s office, financial aid office, or any combination of these offices.

A student’s official notification can be written or verbal. If a student sends a letter notifying the school of the withdrawal, the withdrawal date would be the date the school receives the letter. If the notification is provided verbally, the registration office will document the date and the student may also provide notification through the student portal. If the student both begins the official withdrawal process and notifies the school, but on different dates, the withdrawal date is the earlier of the date the student first notified the school of intent to withdraw or actually began the withdrawal process. A school also may use a documented last date of attendance in an academically related activity that is earlier or later than the date the student began the official withdrawal process or notified the school he was withdrawing.

For example, a student visits the designated office on Friday afternoon, states his intent to withdraw, and is counseled about the school’s official withdrawal process. However, he does not take the first step to begin that process until the following Monday. Because he stated his intent to withdraw on Friday, that is his withdrawal date.

If the student drops out without notifying the school—unofficially withdraws—then the withdrawal date is the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment.

The withdrawal date used in the return calculation of a student’s federal financial aid is the actual date the student begins the College’s withdrawal process.

The College is responsible for returning unearned federal financial aid to the federal government within 45 days of the withdrawal determination. Amounts that must be returned will be applied in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Subsidized Direct Loan, Direct Parent PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
  2. Unearned funds must be returned to the Department of Education within 45 days of the date of the withdrawal determination.
  3. The College will bill the student for any funds that were returned due to the Return of Title IV Aid calculation. The student must contact their Student Accounts office to make payments.
  4. Within 30 days of the date of determination of a total withdrawal, the College will notify a student if a grant overpayment is due.

If a student does not pay funds due to the College that resulted after the College returned their unearned portion of the federal funds, the student’s record will be placed on hold. The student will not be permitted to register for classes or receive transcripts until the balance is paid in full.

Books

Students who will be eligible for a Financial Aid refund after tuition and fee charges are paid, may charge books and supplies at the CCAC bookstore during the published Bookstore Charging Period, provided the appropriate Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been filed and all required additional documentation is received by the CCAC campus Financial Aid Office by the designated due date. Students must also be registered for classes by the date designated by the financial aid office in order to charge books.


Financial Aid Credit Dates

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan credits will be applied to student's accounts in two (2) installments per semester. Each credit will represent 50% of the student's approved loan funds for the semester minus the federally appropriated loan fee of 1.062% (effective 10/1/18). Refunds will be issued within 14 days after the credit dates listed above.

Pell Grants will be credited in one installment occurring on the 30th calendar day of the semester. If the 30th calendar day falls on a weekend, aid will be applied to the account on the previous business day. If a credit balance refund is due the student, the refund is made to the student within 14 days after the financial aid is posted, as mandated by federal law. A refund will be issued only if the student's balance is paid in full.

Please note: Financial Aid Refunds will be issued within 14 days after the scheduled grant and loan credit dates above.

Contact a Campus Financial Aid Office

*Schedule a Virtual Appointment with Financial Aid https://webapps.ccac.edu/AppointmentCentral/

Campus  Address Phone, Fax Email
Allegheny Campus & Homewood Brushton Center 808 Ridge Avenue
Student Services Center S-140
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Phone: 412.237.CCAC
Fax: 412.237.3171
financialaid@ccac.edu
Boyce Campus & Braddock Hills Center 595 Beatty Road
Monroeville, PA 15146
Phone: 412.237.CCAC
Fax: 412.237.3173
financialaid@ccac.edu
North Campus & West Hills Center 8701 Perry Highway
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Phone: 412.237.CCAC
Fax: 412.237.3175
financialaid@ccac.edu
South Campus & Washington County  1750 Clairton Road
Room B-308
West Mifflin, PA 15122
Phone: 412.237.CCAC
Fax: 412.237.3177
financialaid@ccac.edu