Financial Aid Policies


Verification is the process of checking the accuracy of the information a student provides on their FAFSA application. Students selected for verification will be notified at their myBlackHawk email.

If selected for verification, students should follow email instructions and submit documentation as soon as possible. Financial aid eligibility cannot be determined until all required documentation is provided and reviewed.

Verification procedures are governed by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Black Hawk College verifies all files that are chosen by the U.S. Department of Education and may choose to verify additional files if conflicting information is found.

Repeated Coursework

In accordance with Part 668 Student Assistance General Provisions Retaking Coursework (668.2), upon successful completion of a class (with a D or better), students may retake the course once with financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial Aid recipients must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree or certificate program to receive financial aid (including student loans) at Black Hawk College. This policy is based on standards established by federal regulations and state policy governing financial aid. These standards are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment at Black Hawk College, including semesters when the student did not receive financial aid. A student’s SAP status is evaluated after the completion of each semester.

Students can review additional information and frequently asked questions at Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Return of Title IV Aid Policy

Federal Title IV financial aid includes Pell Grant, SEOG, Direct loans, and PLUS loans.  Title IV aid is awarded to students under the assumption that the student will attend classes for the entire period for which the aid was given.  Students “earn” the aid by attending and participating in classes.


If a student receives financial aid, and the Financial Aid Office is notified that they never attended their classes, Black Hawk College will adjust the enrollment hours and return all disbursed funds back to the federal and state aid programs.  The student will be billed.


A student is considered to have withdrawn if they do not complete all of the days scheduled within the semester.  If a student does not complete at least one course, they will be considered to have withdrawn.

There are two types of withdrawals: official or unofficial.

An official withdrawal is when a student follows the Black Hawk College drop process and submits a drop form to Enrollment Services.  The student’s official withdrawal date is the date the student signs and turns a drop form into the Enrollment Services office.

A student who officially withdraws “earns” aid based on the number of calendar days they attended.  “Earned” aid is calculated from the beginning of the semester until the official withdrawal date.

An unofficial withdrawal is when a student does not complete a drop form and all instructors report that the student is no longer attending classes. Students who stop attending are given a grade of F and the last date of student activity is reported.

For unofficial withdrawals, the Return of Title IV Funds calculation will be performed according to federal regulations by using the midpoint of the semester (50%) unless Enrollment Services is able to document attendance beyond the midpoint of the semester.


Black Hawk College will determine the percentage of Title IV aid “earned” by the student and the percentage that is “unearned”.  Black Hawk College is required to count the number of calendar days a student completed.  That number is divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester.  The result is the percentage completed.  For example, if a student completes 30% of the semester, they “earn” 30% of the aid they were originally scheduled to receive.  This means 70% of the award remains “unearned” and must be returned to the US Department of Education.

Once 60% of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have “earned” all of their financial aid and will not be required to return any federal funds.  Spring Break is excluded in the calculation.  Modules or parts of term are reviewed in the calculation.

Black Hawk College will bill the student the amount that was returned to the US Department of Education due to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.  Payments are made to the Black Hawk College Bursar’s Office.

Additional details are available at Return of Title IV Aid (R2T4) Policy (PDF).

Federal Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Regulation

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74) limits the use of the Federal Pell Grant to 12 semesters (or 600%) throughout a person’s lifetime.

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