Although the primary responsibility for financing students’ education rests with their families, the Office of Student Financial Services at Johnson State College administers a comprehensive financial aid program to help students who would otherwise be unable to afford a college education. JSC offers various scholarships, grants, loans and part-time employment to help close the gap between students’ financial resources and their educational expenses. Since resources are limited, students should apply for federal, state and institutional aid early. All financial aid awards are dependent upon availability of funds and demonstration of financial need. All aid programs are subject to change due to changes in state or federal legislation.
Financial Aid Eligibility
To be eligible to receive financial aid, a student must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (permanent resident);
- Generally be enrolled in a program leading to a degree or certificate;
- Be in good standing and maintaining satisfactory progress;
- Not owe a refund or repayment on any previously received Title IV financial aid funds;
- Not be in default on previously received national direct/defense (Perkins) or guaranteed (Stafford or direct student loans); and
- Be registered with the Selective Service (for males 18 years of age or older and born on or after January 1, 1960, if not currently a member of the U.S. Armed Forces).
Eligibility for specific aid programs is determined on the basis of “financial need” – the difference between the cost of attendance and what the family is expected to contribute. Need is determined on the basis of information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal FAFSA. Continued eligibility, once students are in attendance, depends upon students meeting the general criteria listed above, documenting need for each academic year and remaining in good academic standing. Please contact the JSC Student Financial Services Office for more information on eligibility requirements.
Financial Aid Application Procedures & Deadlines
Applying for Need-Based Aid
To be considered for any type of need-based aid, including loans, students should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to include the Johnson State College code number, 003688, on the FAFSA. A FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA must be submitted each year for continued consideration for assistance. Students need to apply for financial aid online by going to the FAFSA website: www.fafsa.gov. In addition to the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA, students should also complete state grant applications. Vermont residents can apply for a Vermont state grant by completing the VSAC Grant Application online at www.vsac.org. Residents of other states should contact their higher education agency to inquire about state grant application procedures and deadlines.
Students can apply for financial aid after January 1, and JSC’s priority deadline for new students (freshmen and transfers) is March 1. To ensure that an application has a processed date of March 1, students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by February 1. New students must be accepted to JSC before a financial aid award will be offered, but students should not wait until they have applied for admission or have been admitted to apply for financial aid. Award notifications are sent to new students at the email address listed on the admission application. Awarding usually begins in February.
JSC’s priority deadline for currently enrolled students is May 1. Complete the FAFSA by April 1 to ensure that an application has a May 1 processed date. Award notifications are sent to returning student’s JSC email accounts usually beginning in March.
While applications received after the priority deadlines will be reviewed, federal and institutional aid is limited and late applicants may lose out on some types of financial aid. JSC may also require additional information such as federal tax transcripts, W-2s and proof of untaxed income before aid awards are final and before any disbursements can be made to a student’s account.
Financial Aid for Summer College
Most financial aid at JSC is awarded for use during the fall and spring semesters but, Pell Grants and Direct Loans are awarded to eligible students who have completed the FAFSA. The FAFSA must generally be received by the federal processor by April 1 for consideration of summer aid. Students must also complete a JSC Summer Payment/Financial Aid Application Form found in the summer course bulletin or on the JSC website.
If the JSC Summer Payment/Financial Aid Application form is not received, Student Financial Services has no way of knowing that a student wants summer aid.
Types of Financial Aid for Undergraduate Students
Student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for any type of federal aid. Apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The following need-based financial aid programs are available to assist a large percentage of Johnson State College students.
|Federal PELL Grant
||Awarded to eligible undergraduates (determined by the federal government based on expected family contribution).
||Full-time awards range from a maximum of $5,775 to $626 for the 2015-2016 academic year. Amounts are determined on a yearly basis.
|Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
||Awarded to assist undergraduates with exceptionally high financial need. Priority is given to PELL-eligible students.
||Awards range from $500-$2,500 and are based on the availability of funds.
|Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
||Long term, low interest loan. No interest accrues while the student is enrolled at least half time.
||Visit the JSC website for loan eligibility amounts based on completed credits.
|Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
||Borrower is responsible for interest during life of the loan. Student must be enrolled at least half time to borrow.
||Visit the JSC website for loan eligibility amounts based on completed credits.
|Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
||Long-term loan, interest rate determined July 1 of each year. Enables parents with a good credit history to borrow for educational expenses for their dependent student.
||PLUS Pre-Application (available on the JSC Website) is required. Parents can borrow the difference between cost of attendance and aid awarded.
|Federal Work-study Program (FWS)
||Provides on-campus employment for students to earn money to pay for educational expenses.
||Award is generally $2,000 (Student is allotted $1,000 per semester.)
|Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) and State Incentive Grant Programs
- FAFSA required
- VSAC Grants are restricted to undergraduates who are permanent residents of Vermont. Complete the VSAC Grant Application at www.VSAC.org.
- Non-residents are encouraged to contact their State Higher Education Agency for information on application procedures and deadlines for possible state funding.
|Grant amounts are determined by the individual state agencies that offer state grants.
Note: Students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree are eligible only for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)
In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, Federal regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at a pace that ensures they complete their degree within the maximum time frame allowed (as measured by credit completion rates). The second requirement is to maintain good academic standing (as measured by cumulative GPA). Students’ records will be reviewed on an annual basis after the completion of the spring semester to assess compliance with this policy. All semesters of enrollment, including summer and periods in which the student did not receive federal student aid funds, will be considered in the determination of SAP.
Students not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (either the pace and/or GPA requirement) will have their financial aid eligibility suspended for all aid types. Students whose aid eligibility has been suspended have the option to appeal to the Financial Aid Review Board for reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility. Students who are academically dismissed from the college are automatically recognized as failing to meet SAP standards.
Pace Requirement: Students must successfully complete at least 67% of the total credits for which they enroll. Successful completion of credit hours for undergraduate students means earning passing grades (D- and above and P). For graduate students, passing grades (A, B, B- and P) are calculated as successful. Unsuccessful completion of credit hours is represented by the grades F, NP, W and I (unless you inform us of a grade). Remedial courses are not counted in the SAP calculation. Transfer credits must be counted as both attempted and completed credits for the calculation of pace and maximum time frame but do not affect GPA. Undergraduate and graduate students may repeat previously passed courses just once and may repeat failed courses until receiving a passing grade and be allowed to receive financial aid for the repeat. All repeat attempts are, however, included in the pace and maximum time frame calculations.
Example: How to Calculate the Pace Requirement
If you attempt/enroll in a total of 30 credits during the fall and spring semesters, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits. Calculate using 30 credits x 67% = 20 credits. This is the minimum that must be completed.
Grade Point Average (GPA): Undergraduate students with fewer than 30 attempted credits must maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 1.75. Students with 30 or more attempted credits must maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Cumulative GPA includes all terms of your enrollment at JSC.
Maximum Time Frame: In order to receive aid, students must complete their degree within a time frame of no longer than 150% of the credits required. This includes credits attempted at JSC and transfer credits. See below for differences among associate, bachelor and master degrees.
- A.A. or A.S. degrees require 60 credits to meet graduation requirements; the maximum number of credits allowed for financial aid eligibility is 90. (60 credits x 150% = 90 credits)
- B.A., B.F.A. and B.S. degrees require 120 credits to meet graduation requirements; the maximum number for financial aid eligibility is 180 credits. (120 credits x 150% = 180 credits)
- M.A. and M.F.A. degree time frames are determined by the program.
Notification of Aid Suspension: Students whose aid has been suspended will receive notification mailed to their home address and by email. The notification will explain which SAP requirement(s) has/have not been met as well as instructions for the appeal process. Students do not have to appeal if they no longer want financial aid. Academically dismissed students who are appealing their dismissal from JSC must request a SAP Appeal Form from Student Financial Services.
Types of Aid Suspended: All federal aid (Pell Grants, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Work-study, Direct subsidized or unsubsidized student loans, Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS Loan), State Incentive Grants, JSC Institutional Grants, JSC Scholarships, as well as Private Educational Loans. This may also apply to scholarships/loans from an outside resource. JSC scholarships that have specific requirements in order to maintain eligibility (GPA for example) will not be reinstated even with an appeal approval.
Appeal Process: Students who elect to submit an appeal must explain why they failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress and what has changed in their situation that will allow them to make Satisfactory Academic Progress going forward. Students should include the reason(s) their academic performance was affected, such as extenuating circumstances that had an impact. Some examples may be illness, death of a family member, etc. A typed, one-page explanation with your name and Student ID# is required. Third-party documentation that can substantiate the circumstances is strongly recommended. In most cases, no more than two appeals will be considered and only if the student has new information to provide.
Appeals will be reviewed by the JSC Financial Aid Review Board; please note that submission of an appeal does not mean it is approved. Items considered will be the student’s ability to meet the required Pace and/or GPA after a one-semester probationary period, the ability of the student to complete his/her degree within the maximum time frame, and/or the student’s ability and willingness to adhere to specific stipulations of an academic plan created with an advisor.
If a student’s appeal is approved, the student’s financial aid eligibility will be reinstated on a probationary basis; aid will be awarded per payment period. Progress will be checked at the end of each payment period/semester to see if SAP standards are now met or an academic plan is being adhered to; this includes summer terms.
Notification of Decision: Students are notified only by email, using their JSC email address. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his/her JSC email account and check for communications regarding financial aid. Students are encouraged to observe all routine application procedures and deadlines for financial aid while waiting for notification of a decision. If an appeal is not granted, a student may re-establish eligibility to be considered for federal aid in the future by attending JSC without financial aid assistance until the SAP policy requirements are meet. The decision of the JSC Financial Aid Review Board is final and may not be appealed.
How to Avoid Satisfactory Academic Progress Problems from Day One
- Plan your class schedule and workload carefully so you do not need to withdraw from courses.
- If you need to withdraw from a course, check with your advisor and the Office of Student Financial Services first.
- Your grades are important; take your education seriously and get assistance if you are struggling in a class.
- Remember that student loans must be repaid. Do not go into debt and have nothing to show for it.
Students eligible to receive veterans’ education benefits must contact the Registrar’s Office and arrange to have their enrollment certified with the Veterans Administration. The amount of monthly checks is determined by full- or part-time enrollment status. In order to receive maximum benefits, students must be enrolled full-time in at least 12 credits during a regular semester. Those enrolled in fewer than 12 credits receive proportionately smaller benefits.
Enrolling in an independent study (research, field work, internship) or in music or health and physical education courses may affect the amount of monthly checks. Students contemplating enrolling in these courses should call the V.A. to determine exactly how benefits will be affected. V.A. regulations exempt some internship experiences from reduction in benefits. Veterans enrolling in an internship should consult the Registrar’s Office to determine whether their internships comply with these special regulations.
In order to be considered for maximum benefit payments, the internship must comply with the following special V.A. criteria in addition to meeting JSC requirements:
- Each approved field experience must have a college faculty member as an assigned instructor and must be supervised by the College.
- The planned program of activities must be controlled by the College.
- Meetings must be regularly scheduled on at least a weekly basis to provide for interaction between the instructor and the student. (Class attendance is defined as any regularly scheduled meeting with the instructor, regardless of location.)
- Appropriate assignments must be required.
- The grading system must be the same as that used for in-residence courses at the College.
- Required preparation and training time per credit hour must be at least as great as normally required for other courses offered at the College.
- The field experience approved by the College must be required for graduation.
- The field experience must be measured in the same unit (semester credits) as other courses.
- Students residing off campus and expecting a refund of financial aid funds for living expenses will not receive those funds until after the add/drop period.
The student veteran is responsible for seeing that the internship contract form explicitly indicates how each of these criteria is met.