Statement of Ethical Principles
The Office of Student Financial Aid is a member of the National Association for Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). Our office upholds the NASFAA Ethical Principles.
NASFAA members are required to adhere to the following Statement of Ethical Principals as a condition of membership.
The primary goal of the financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. Our members are required to exemplify the highest level of ethical behavior in helping students and families find the best ways to pay for college and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism. We take great pride in our essential task of helping our students and families determine the best ways to meet their educational expenses.
The Financial Aid Professional shall:
- Be committed to removing financial barriers for those who wish to pursue postsecondary learning.
- Make every effort to assist students with financial need.
- Be aware of the issues affecting students and advocate their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
- Support efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
- Educate students and families through daily consumer information.
- Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students, and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.
- Ensure equity by applying all need analysis formulas consistently across the institution’s full population of student financial aid applicants.
- Provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
- Recognize the need for professional development and continuing education opportunities.
- Promote the free expression of ideas, opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
- To be eligible for Federal Title IV student aid (financial aid), all financial aid applicants must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards and be enrolled in a qualifying certificate or degree program. Our policy is designed to encourage students to improve their academic performance and to meet graduation requirements.
- As per federal regulations, all official, academic transcripts, including credits transferred from a different school, will be reviewed to determine SAP standards whether or not financial aid was received.
- All grades (A, B, C, D, P, CR, XF, F, I, IP, W, WN) will be included in the review, excluding, non-accepted credits and lowest grades on a repeated course. Courses approved for academic amnesty or renewal will be included in SAP calculations. All grades will calculate as attempted financial aid hours. Developmental (remedial) courses will be counted in 67% completion rate but not in career cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). [Effective Jan. 1, 2017, developmental (remedial) courses will be counted in 67% completion rate and in career cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)]. Audit and non-credit classes are not considered for financial aid and not included in GPA or completion rate calculations.
To ensure students are making sufficient academic progress SAP will be evaluated at the end of each semester.
- A student’s current status at ICC will be reviewed for SAP upon the completion of any financial aid file (i.e., PELL, Loan, Work-Study)
- All students who received financial aid will be reviewed for SAP upon the end of each payment period (completion of each semester of enrollment).
Students who do not meet SAP will be placed on Financial Aid Warning or Denial.
Financial Aid Warning
Under any of the following conditions students are placed on financial aid warning:
- Failure to maintain a career cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater
- Failure to maintain a 67% completion rate.
Students placed on financial aid warning will remain eligible for all federal aid during the next semester of enrollment.
Students on financial aid warning will be evaluated at the end of the warning semester. At that time one of the following will occur:
- If the student has achieved a career cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater and 67% completion rate will be regain financial aid eligibility for the next semester of enrollment.
- If the above conditions have not been met the student will be placed on financial aid denial.
Notice of financial aid warning may be retroactively incurred due to an evaluation of the students’ previous academic record.
Financial Aid Denial
Under any of the following conditions students are placed on financial aid denial:
- Receiving unsuccessful grades in all courses, required for degree, in one term
- Failing to pass a least one, three credit hour course, required for degree, in one term
- Having one semester of financial aid warning, and failing to maintain a career cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 or 67% completion rate for a second consecutive semester
- Currently on financial aid probation and did not meet probation requirements
- Attempting 96 or more credit hours without an academic plan
A student on financial aid denial is not eligible to receive Federal Title IV or institutional aid.
Students on financial aid denial may have transcripts evaluated at the end of the denial semester upon request.
Notice of financial aid denial may be retroactively issued based on an evaluation of the students’ previous academic record.
Financial Aid Probation
A student whose financial aid denial is overturned by the appeal process will be placed on financial aid probation for next semester.
Students placed on financial aid probation will regain eligibility of federal aid for the next semester of enrollment.
At the end of each semester that the student is on probation academic performance will be evaluated. At that time, one of the following actions will occur:
- If the student has achieved a career cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater and 67% completion rate and not attempted 96 or more credit hours will be reinstated to good academic standing.
- If the student has successfully followed the terms of her academic plan and appeal but cannot yet be returned to good academic standing, the student will remain on financial aid probation.
- If the student earns a semester GPA of 2.0 but cannot yet be returned to good academic standing based on not meeting a 2.0 or greater, will remain on financial aid probation.
- If neither of the above conditions have been met, the student will be placed back on financial aid denial.
Financial Aid Appeal Process
- Step 1: Complete and submit the appeal form, with required supporting documents, by the deadline indicated on the appeal form to the financial aid office.
- Step 2: Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Controller. Appeals that are denied will proceed to Step 3.
- Step 3: Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee within four weeks.
Following the review of your appeal, you will be contacted via email. Committee decisions are final and are not subject to further review.
Appeal Letter Guidelines
- Address your letter to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee.
- Explain in detail the reason(s) you did not meet satisfactory academic progress.
- Give a detailed explanation for how you plan to correct your academic progress deficiencies and prevent this from happening again.
- List the details of any extenuating circumstance(s) the Committee should be aware and attach supporting documents.
- This is also an opportunity for you to include letters of support from professors, physicians, etc., if appropriate.
- All official college transcripts must be on file with the Registrar by the appeal deadline for the semester the appeal is being submitted.
Note: The decision of this appeal takes precedence over any previous award notification received for the academic semester indicated above.
Appeal deadlines are stated on the Appeal forms. Students who fail to submit an appeal, and have official transcripts on file with the Registrar, by the appropriate deadline will remain on financial aid denial.
- Students who have attempted 72-95 hours will be placed on an academic plan warning. Students will receive a letter recommending meeting with an advisor to develop an academic plan (also referred to as academic plan) to prevent being placed on financial aid denial.
- Students who have attempted 96 or more credit hours will be placed on an academic plan. Academic plans outline a course-by-course plan for degree completion and a timeframe in which the academic plan will be completed. Academic plans must be completed and signed by an academic advisor. For financial aid to be reinstated, students must follow their academic plan in order to retain eligibility for financial aid.
- Federal Financial Aid will only pay for the courses outlined on the academic plan and enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, less than half time) will be based on the number of hours eligible for federal financial aid.
- Academic plans will be evaluated at the beginning of each semester of enrollment.
- Initial academic plans will need to be submitted with the financial aid appeal form and a letter stating academic goals in order to be reviewed and approved by the Financial Aid Coordinator.
- In order to change an academic plan a student must complete the academic plan appeal process.
- Students who have 96 or more credit hours and have completed their academic plan must complete the appeal process to request a new academic plan to pursue a second certificate or degree.
- Appeal deadlines are stated on the Appeal forms. Students who fail to submit an appeal, and have official transcripts on file with the Registrar, by the appropriate deadline will remain on financial aid denial.
- Academic plan warning and academic plan will be mailed to students in October for the Fall, March for the Spring, and July for the Summer.
Academic Plan Appeal Process
Academic plan: you have attempted 96 credit hours or more. (Meet with your academic advisor first.)
- Step 1: Address your letter to the financial Aid Appeal Committee.
- Step 2: Your letter of appeal should state your degree intentions, projected graduation time frame and how you plan to meet satisfactory academic progress.
- Step 3: Your letter of appeal should also state your educational goals and professional intentions.
- Step 4: If you are appealing to change an academic plan, explain why this change is being requested.
- Step 5: If you are appealing to change an academic plan, explain why this change is being requested.
- Step 6: All official college transcripts must be on fiile with the Registrar by the appeal deadline for the semester the appeal is being submitted.
Change of Major
For financial aid purposes, academic majors may be changed a maximum of three times during a student’s academic career.
Students who are not meeting financial aid SAP standards are notified of their ineligibility for Title IV aid by mail. Notifications of Title IV ineligibility include information on the SAP appeal process and how the student may re-establish his or her eligibility to receive Title IV aid and information, what the student must submit regarding why he or she did not meet SAP, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow her to meet SAP during the next evaluation.
- A student not making SAP may re-establish eligibility on her own. Other than when an appeal is granted, a student can regain eligibility only by taking action that brings her into compliance with components of the SAP standards.
- The student is responsible for contacting the financial aid office to request an evaluation of the transcript to determine eligibility status.