General eligibility requirements for state and federal financial assistance programs are listed below. Other requirements may apply for certain programs. Be sure you meet all requirements before applying.
- Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Have a high school diploma from an accredited high school or a GED
- Have a reading score on the ACT or Compass test that meets the minimum requirement to complete a Certificate or Degree at Waubonsee. Compass testing is done by the Center for Learning Assessment.
- Not be in default on any student loan
- Not owe a refund on any grant or loan, and not have borrowed in excess of the loan limits, under Title IV programs, at any institution
- Agree to use any student financial aid solely for educational purposes
- Agree not to engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance during the period covered by federal student aid
- If required, register with Selective Service
- Submit a Waubonsee New Student Information Form and select an eligible program. A certificate program must be at least 16 credit hours to qualify. View the list of ineligible academic programs.
- Enroll for eligible courses. View the list of ineligible courses.
- Make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate as defined in the Standards of Academic Progress (listed below)
- Be aware that financial aid does not cover audited courses or more than one repeat of a previously passed course
- Accept the Terms and Conditions of all financial aid offered
Standards of Academic Progress
In accordance with the United States Department of Education and State of Illinois regulations, Waubonsee Community College has established minimum Academic Progress guidelines for the receipt of financial aid. These standards apply to all students who apply for grant, loan, and/or work-study funds from state or federal programs of financial aid. The standards apply to cumulative academic performance regardless of whether or not the student was an aid applicant during each term of attendance.
Completion Rate Requirement
A student must complete at least 67 percent of all credits attempted in order to finish their academic programs within the Maximum Timeframe (see Maximum Time Frame requirement below). The 67 percent completion rate applies to the total of transfer credits accepted plus Waubonsee credits earned divided by the total of transfer credits accepted plus Waubonsee credits attempted, and to the total credits earned at Waubonsee divided by the total credits attempted at Waubonsee. Both completion rates must be at least 67%. Also, for any Waubonsee term that a student attempts 12 or more credits, credits earned must be greater than 0. If the cumulative completion rate is less than 67% after two or more terms, aid eligibility can be reinstated if the student completed all courses attempted (no withdrawals) earning a minimum of 6 credits with a semester GPA of 2.0 in the last term of attendance. See Appeal/Reinstatement below.
- Withdrawals after the refund period count as hours attempted
- Students who enroll in self-paced open entry classes must be aware that the class(es) must be completed by the end of the semester of enrollment and count as hours attempted for that semester.
3. Audits, proficiency tests, and noncredit courses are not included in the total number of credit hours attempted or completed.
4. Repeated courses are always included in attempted hours. A repeated class for which the student earns credit is only counted once in completed hours unless the class is designated as one that can be repeated. This information is part of the course description in each term's Credit Course Schedule.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement
A student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). Federal regulations require the college to take into account a student's academic performance throughout the course of study, regardless of whether or not the student previously received financial aid. Grades for repeated classes for which the student earns credit are averaged. If the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 after two or more terms, aid eligibility can be reinstated if the student completed all courses attempted (no withdrawals) earning a minimum of 6 credits with a semester GPA of 2.0 in the last term of attendance. See Appeal/Reinstatement below.
Maximum Time Frame Requirement
Student eligibility for financial aid at Waubonsee Community College is limited to 90 total attempted credit hours, which represents 150 percent of standard program length, or to the first AA, AS, or AAS earned by the student, whichever occurs first. The 90 hours include transfer hours accepted from other institutions.
Evaluation and Academic Progress Status
A student is evaluated for academic progress following the completion of each academic term and his/her status will be one of the following:
- PASS — The student is in the first term of enrollment and has not received grades, has not enrolled for credit courses, or is meeting all academic progress standards.
- WARN — If a student fails to meet the required completion rate, GPA, and/or time frame requirement as outlined in this policy, the student is placed on WARN for the subsequent academic term. A student is able to receive financial assistance while on warning.
- FAIL - The student fails to meet the completion rate or the GPA standard at the end of the WARN term or the student attempts 12 or more credits during a term and completes 0 credits. The student is not eligible for federal and state financial aid programs.
- FAIL-A - If a student does not complete all courses attempted with a 2.0 average in each term subsequent to an appeal being approved and being placed on Probation-Academic Plan. The student's status will change to Fail-A, Fail after Appeal. The student is not eligible for federal and state financial aid programs.
- DENIED The student's Appeal is denied. The student is not eligible for federal and state financial aid programs.
- MAX - The student has attempted a total of 90 credits including transfer credits. The student is not eligible for federal and state financial aid programs.
- MAX-D - The student has earned an AAS, AA, or AS degree. The student is not eligible for federal and state financial aid programs.
- MAX-W - The student has attempted a total of 65 credits including transfer credits. A student is able to receive financial aid while at Max-W.
- MAX-A - The student's Appeal/Reinstatement Request is approved including a Financial Aid Degree Audit. A student remains in this status as long as all attempted courses are completed with a 2.0 GPA in each subsequent term until all courses on the Degree Audit are completed.
- Probation-Academic Plan The student's Appeal/Reinstatement Request is approved including a Financial Aid Academic Plan. A student remains in this status as long as all attempted courses are completed with a 2.0 GPA in each subsequent term and the student's status does not change to MAX or MAX-D. This would require a new appeal and submission of a Financial Aid Degree Audit.
Appeal requirements are based on the student's ineligible status:
FAIL - The student may submit an Appeal/Reinstatement Request. To be approved, the student must meet one of the following:
- Appeal – There must be documented mitigating circumstances, like medical, that affected the student's academic performance. Failure to provide the required documentation for mitigating circumstances will result in denial.
- Reinstatement – Aid eligibility can be reinstated if the student completed all courses attempted (no withdrawals) earning a minimum of 6 credits with a semester GPA of 2.0 in the last term of attendance. Earned hours must have increased by 6.
If the Appeal/Reinstatement Request meets one of the above requirements, the student will be notified that he/she must meet with a Counselor to prepare a Financial Aid Academic Plan. This Plan must signed by a Counselor and be submitted to the Financial Aid Office before the Appeal/Reinstatement Request will be approved for the upcoming term. The Financial Aid Academic Plan will specify the point in time when the student should be meeting the standards. Until the student re-establishes eligibility by meeting the standards (see below), he/she will be at a status of Probation-Academic Plan.
MAX - The student is required to appeal and submit a Financial Aid Degree Audit signed by a Counselor. The Degree Audit lists the courses that are required for the student to complete his/her degree or certificate program. Students appealing to complete a limited admission program must first be admitted to the program. If approved for the additional courses, the student's status is changed to MAX-A.
MAX-D - An appeal and Financial Aid Degree Audit signed by a Counselor may be submitted for the pursuit of a second degree. Only courses on the Financial Aid Degree Audit are recognized for the receipt of financial aid. If the student is completing an AAS, AA, or AS degree, has not attempted 90 credit hours, and will continue at Waubonsee in a different major, the student can appeal and submit a Student Information Change Form from the Records Office listing the new major. If the student applied to graduate but he/she has not completed all required courses, the student can change his/her graduation term by contacting the Graduation Analyst in Counseling. If approved for a second degree, the student's status is changed to MAX-A.
Appeal/Reinstatement Requests must be submitted within 30 calendar days following the date the student's academic progress is reviewed and the student is notified of the ineligible status. Appeals turned in after the 30 day deadline can be denied. Appeals will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and responded to within 14 calendar days of receipt.
A student who is below the Completion Rate and/or GPA requirement can re-establish eligibility by achieving a 2.0 cumulative GPA and/or a 67 percent completion rate as long as the student is not at MAX due to attempting 90 credit hours or MAX-D due to the completion of an AA, AS, or AAS degree. Once eligibility is re-established, the student's status will be PASS.
This policy subject to change without notice to comply with federal or state regulations, or Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustee policy or action.