POLICIES, RULES & REGULATIONS
Budget Forecast Or Need Sheet
The Budget Forecast is a document indicating the estimated cost of attendance for a student to attend the college during a specific award year. The Budget Forecast is used to indicate to private scholarship organizations a student’s cost of attendance as well as what funds are potentially available to be awarded. Forecasts are processed in the order that they are received and will be emailed directly to the student’s Williamson’s email address upon request to the Financial Aid office. Please note the U.S. Department of Education no longer permits colleges/universities to release student data or financial aid information to a third party, such as a scholarship provider, even with a signed release of information.
Scholarship organization’s deadlines are not necessarily the same as Williamson deadlines.
Change Of Dependency Status
Conditions for Requesting a Change of Dependency Status
The Federal Department of Education has defined a list of requirements for dependency.
Process for Requesting a Dependency Override
Students with unusual circumstances that may qualify them to become independent of their parents for financial aid purposes must submit the following documentation:
- A Professional Judgment: Change of Dependency Status Form
- A letter from you describing the circumstance in detail and
- A signed statement from two professionals, on letterhead, (counselor, MD, clergy, caseworker, etc) who know your circumstances
(Note: income does not constitute an unusual circumstance, and a parent’s unwillingness to pay is not a reason to apply for a dependency override, as stated in DCL GEN-93-11, May 1993)
The Financial Assistance office may take up to 30 days to review an appeal. After the request is reviewed, a written decision will be emailed to the student. The request for dependency override comes under the regulations dealing with Professional Judgement (Higher Education Act, sec. 479A(a)); the decision is therefore final, and cannot be appealed. You must reapply each year if your request is approved.
- All Federal and State Financial Aid and scholarships awarded by the College are applied directly to students’ billing account at the beginning of each term.
- Final grant and scholarship calculations for each term are made at the end of the add/drop period.
- Student can check if their grant or scholarship awards have been applied to their student account by contacting the College Business Office at (610) 566-1776, extension 225.
Eligibility For Federal Aid
For all Federal Programs, a student must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, a national, or other eligible non-citizen
- Not be in default on any Federal Student Loan or owe a refund or repayment on a Federal Pell Grant, State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). This also applies to parents applying for Federal PLUS loans
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree program at Williamson College
- Comply with U.S. Selective Service registration requirements, if a male over the age of 18
- Have a high school diploma from an accredited high school, or a GED
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements as outlined in Williamson’s SAP policy
Students may not be awarded financial aid over their estimated Cost of Attendance. If additional resources become available to a student, the Financial Aid office may reduce previously paid or anticipated awards to keep the student’s financial aid within the estimated cost of attendance.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the federal requirement that students make real and measurable progress toward their degree in order to be eligible to receive federal aid. SAP was created due to increasing accountability for the use of federal, state, and institutional student financial aid funds. Institutions of Higher Education and students are required to demonstrate that financial aid funds are being used to assist students in efficiently completing their academic goals. In order to remain eligible for federal, state, and most institutional financial aid, students must comply with the SAP standards represented in Williamson’s SAP Policy.
Scholarships might affect the level of other financial aid that students are eligible to receive or enrollments costs. Students must notify the Financial Aid office once they are aware that they will be receiving a private scholarship.
Unusual Enrollment History
Some Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) are flagged for “Unusual Enrollment History” by the U. S. Department of Education if the student has received Federal Pell Grants at multiple institutions in recent years. The Financial Aid office is required to review the student’s enrollment history and determine whether the student is enrolling only long enough to receive cash refunds of federal student aid.
HOW TO RESOLVE:
All students whose FAFSAs are flagged are required to provide a completed Unusual Enrollment History Verification form and academic transcripts or grade reports from all colleges and/or universities attended during the review period. If the student received Pell Grants and did not earn credit hours with passing grades (A – D) at each institution attended during these award years, the student may be determined ineligible for further federal financial aid.
APPEALING THE INELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION:
Students who have been determined ineligible for federal student aid on the basis or lack of documentation, may appeal their determination by contacting the Financial Aid office.
REGAINING FEDERAL STUDENT AID ELIGIBILITY:
Students whose aid eligibility is denied can be re-considered for federal student aid after meeting the College’s standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Verification is the process used to confirm the accuracy of the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA).
If a student is selected for verification, he must submit certain information. This may include:
- Household size
- Number of household members in college
- Taxable and non-taxable income
- Asset information
- Other data elements reported on the FAFSA
Students whose FAFSA is selected for verification are required to submit a Verification Worksheet and federal tax transcripts — if they did not use the IRS data retrieval tool when completing their FAFSA. Depending on the verification group they are assigned and other information reported on their FAFSA, the College may require students to submit additional documentation. Students selected for verification will be notified through their Williamson email as to what documentation is required. Financial Aid awards cannot be generated or disbursed until verification is complete. Students that are not initially selected for verification may be selected after they make changes to their FAFSA. If this happens, any financial aid previously awarded will be canceled until the verification process is complete. There is no guarantee that the equivalent types and amount of financial aid will be available when you are repackaged.
For priority processing and to ensure awards will be packaged before the payment deadline, students must submit all pertinent verification documents prior to July 1 of the academic year in which they are applying. The deadline to submit completed verification documents is 30 days from the last date of enrollment, or the last business day in August — whichever comes first. The deadline for all Financial Aid eligibility for a specific academic year is also the last day of August.
Failure to submit all required documents will cause processing delays. Not only will it delay all disbursements of federal aid but it will also prevent disbursement of several types of state and institutional aid. Lastly, Students are required to put their assigned Williamson student ID number on each page of all documents submitted to the Financial Aid Office.
Once students submit all the required documentation, they can track the status of their verification by contacting the Financial Aid office. If a verification resulted in making changes to a student’s FAFSA, the student will receive an email from the Central Processing Unit at the Department of Education with a new Student Aid Report and his verified EFC. Once their verification has been processed, students will receive an email within 7 business days notifying them to contact the Financial Aid office to view and accept their award offer.
Williamson College of the Trades Scholarship Award
All Williamson College students are eligible to receive a Williamson Scholarship which, alongside any Federal Pell and Pennsylvania State Grants (PA residents only) received, will defray a student’s annual tuition, room, and boarding costs. To qualify for a Williamson Scholarship, all students (including incoming freshmen) must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for Pell and State Grant (PA residents only) consideration. Defined by the Federal Department of Education as an institutional scholarship, the Williamson Scholarship award amount is calculated only after the value of a student’s Pell and State Grant (PA residents only) is determined by the completion and submission of a FAFSA form. Students who fail to complete and submit a FAFSA, will likely prevent a Williamson Scholarship from being awarded, and must pay the full cost of tuition, room, and board.
Upon acceptance in the spring of 2020, all incoming freshmen must attend a Financial Aid Workshop and complete and submit their FAFSA by April 30th prior to the start of their Freshmen year. Incoming freshmen who fail to accomplish these tasks by may prevent the Williamson Scholarship from being awarded, resulting in the student payingthe college the full amount of tuition, room, and board.
In addition, students must complete and submit a FAFSA prior to their junior and senior years. Currently enrolled students must attend a Financial Aid Workshop and complete and submit their FAFSA by February 1st prior to the start of their subsequent academic year (to receive a Williamson Scholarship for the 2020-2021 Academic Year, a currently enrolled student must complete his FAFSA by February 1, 2020). Failure to accomplish these tasks by February 1 will likely prevent the Williamson Scholarship from being awarded for the subsequent academic year, resulting in the student paying the full cost of tuition, room, and board.
Applicants, incoming students, and currently enrolled students must ensure all information provided as part of the application process (to include FAFSA), and subsequent annual FAFSA submissions, is accurate and without falsehood or omission. False or misleading information may lead to enrollment cancellation.
Withdrawal (Return of Title IV or State Grant Funds Policy)
In a given semester (period of enrollment), students earn a portion of their awarded Federal Title IV financial aid for every day of attendance or active participation in academically-related activity. Eligibility for aid must be recalculated for a student who withdraws from the College prior to completing 60% of the period of enrollment. If, due to the withdrawal calculation, the student owes the federal or state government a portion of the grants received at the beginning of the semester, the College will automatically pay this to the government on the student’s behalf. This may result in a debt placed on the student account and an institutional hold, preventing registration or release of official transcripts until resolved.
There are three types of student behaviors that will result in a recalculation review:
- Total Drop Prior to Census Date Lock: Eligibility for federal financial aid “locks” at the end of the Tenth Academic Day of Class, also known as the financial aid census date. Students who drop all courses before the census date are not eligible for any financial aid, therefore 100% of federal aid received will be returned to the government on the student’s behalf.
- Official Total Withdrawal: Students who withdraw from all courses after the census date are eligible for a percentage of financial aid based on the percent of the semester completed. For example: a student who totally withdraws after completing only 30% of the term will have “earned” only 30% of any federal financial aid received. The College and/or the student must return the remaining 70% to the government.
- Unofficial Total Withdrawal: Failure to successfully complete coursework after receiving Title IV and/or state financial aid may also result in a recalculation of earned aid based on faculty-reported last date of attendance submitted for students who earn an “F”, “NB”, or “NG” during grade submission. If faculty report that a student did not attend/participate in any portion of a course, the student has earned zero (0%) percent of financial aid and all aid will be returned to the government. Until the calculation is completed, affected students will be subject to an “Unofficial Withdrawal Hold”, preventing future financial aid disbursements. Additional details provided below in the “Types of Financial Aid Holds” section.
The Return of Title IV Funds Calculation is based on the number of calendar days a student attended, divided by the number of days within the enrollment term. A student contemplating withdrawing from the College should contact the Financial Aid office to see how the withdrawal will affect their current and future aid eligibility.