Last updated 3/11/2014
Verification Policies and Procedures
Verification is the process of checking the accuracy of the information a student provides when he or she applies for Federal Student Aid from the U.S. Department of Education. The verification procedures are governed by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
Applicants selected for verification by the Central Processing System (CPS) are notified on their Student Aid Report that they will be required to submit certain financial documents to the school.
Black Hawk College will send applicants a Document Request Letter and update the “Requirements” Section of the Financial Aid Page of the myBlackHawk system.
Black Hawk College verifies all files that are chosen by the Department of Education, and may choose to verify additional files if conflicting information is found. If a student’s file is chosen for verification by the Department of Education or Financial Aid Office, he or she will not be awarded aid until they have provided all required documentation.
Refund and Payment Policy (Return of Title IV Funds)
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that a BHC student who receives federal and state financial aid understands the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1998, CFR 668.22. Under this regulation, a BHC student who stops attending or withdraws completely from all full-term classes within a semester may receive Title IV financial aid equal to the percentage of the payment period or enrollment period completed. Completion of a module course (less than full-term course such as a mini-mester) does not prevent a student from being subject to the Return of Title IV calculation.
For example, a student completes 30 days worth of classes in a fall semester consisting of 120 days. The regulation requires that the student is eligible to receive only the Title IV financial aid earned, or 30 days worth. By dividing the number of days attended by the total number of days in the semester, the student has earned 25% of the awarded Title IV financial aid.
Please be advised that dropping a course will result in a “W” grade on your transcript. The “W” does not hurt your GPA, but it does affect your completion rate.
Additional Notices About Dropping Courses
If a student drops a class during the first week of classes,their financial aid will be recalculated and they will owe 25% of the cost of the tuition and fees for the credit hours dropped. If a student drops a class during the second week of classes, they will owe 50%. If, after adjusting financial aid based on enrollment hours, the student has enough funds to cover tuition and fees including the 25% or 50% owed, the student will not need to pay out-of-pocket but would rather have a reduction in their refund or amount available for books/supplies.
Repeated Coursework Policy
Effective July 1, 2011, Federal Financial Aid regulations limit the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive federal financial aid for that course. Once a passing grade is received, the student may receive federal financial aid for only one repeat of that course. Failing grades include F, I, X, and W; Passing grades include A, B, C, D, or P.
The regulations do not affect Black Hawk College’s policies regarding whether a student may retake coursework, including repeating courses to achieve a higher grade. The regulations only apply for Title IV, HEA programs for the purpose of determining Financial Aid enrollment.
A student enrolled in a program that may require him or her to take a course multiple times would not be considered to be retaking coursework if that course is required with up to a set number of credit hours (for example, MUSC 107 may be repeated for up to 4 credit hours when enrolled in an Associate in Fine Arts – Music degree).
Drug Convictions and Federal Student Aid
A Federal or State drug conviction can disqualify a student for Federal Student Assistance (FSA) funds. Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which a student is receiving federal funds—they do not count if the offense was not during such a period. Additionally, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when he/she was a juvenile, unless he/she was tried as an adult.
The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)
|Possession of Illegal Drugs||Sale of Illegal Drugs|
|1st Offense||1 year from date of conviction||2 years from date of conviction|
|2nd Offense||2 years from date ofconviction||Indefinite Period|
|3rd Offense||Indefinite Period|
If it has been determined that you are ineligible for financial assistance due to a drug violation, the Financial Aid Office will contact you using the Black Hawk College Tracking Letter. It will instruct you to contact our office to resolve issues with your financial assistance.
To be eligible for financial aid a student must meet one of the following eligible citizenship statuses: United States Citizen, U.S. National, Citizen of a Freely Associated State, or other eligible noncitizen.
When a student submits his/her FAFSA, the response to the citizenship question is verified through the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Primary confirmation. If a student’s status is confirmed, no other documentation is required, and the student meets this eligibility requirement.
If the student’s status is not confirmed the student must provide the Office of Financial Assistance with one of the following appropriate documents:
United States Citizen
- Copy of birth certificate showing birth in the U.S.
- U.S. Passport (Current or expired) but not a “limited” passport
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
Other Eligible Noncitizen
- Permanent Resident Card (Resident Alien Card)– Form I-551 or I-151
- Arrival- Departure Record – Form I-94 or I-94A
If Black Hawk College’s Financial Aid Office suspects that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds, we will report our suspicions and provide any evidence to:
Office of Inspector General
Chicago, IL 312-730-1630
Inspector General’s Hotline
Office of Inspector General
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1500
High School Diploma Policy
The Black Hawk College Financial Aid Office may require an official copy of a student’s high school diploma for proof of receipt and validity. If there is any question about whether the school is considered to be a diploma mill school, the Office of Admissions and Records will review and determine whether the diploma meets requirements.
Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Regulation
In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This law limits the use of the Federal Pell Grant to 12 semesters (or 600%) throughout a person’s lifetime.