Financial Aid Eligibility
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HCC offers a variety of federal, state, and private financial aid programs to assist students who need financial assistance. Such students are encouraged to apply for aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition to the FAFSA, the following criteria are considered:
- Students may receive financial aid from only one institution per semester.
- Be U.S. citizens or national, or resident of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, or be eligible non-citizens.
- Have a valid high school diploma or GED.
- Be accepted for enrollment at HCC as a degree-seeking undergraduate student or a financial aid approved PSAV, or College Credit Certificate program.
- Not have defaulted on any federal educational loan or owe a repayment to any Federal loan or grant program.
- Not reached your lifetime limit for Pell Grant.
- Meet selective service requirements.
- Be enrolled for the minimum credit hours required based upon the type of financial aid awarded.
- Be in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress.
The Department of Education has regulations to ensure that only eligible students receive financial aid. Verification is the process used to confirm the information you provided on the FAFSA. Additional documents are required for students who are selected for verification. Please log in to your mobile financial aid to view required documents.
For more information on Verification, please see our Verification Policy.
Policy on Fraud and Misrepresentation
Hillsborough Community College (HCC) is committed to maintaining the highest level of integrity in all interactions with students, parents, and the Department of Education. Per Federal regulations, HCC is required to report to the Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) any individual who is suspected of fraud, or deliberate misrepresentation of information which may affect an applicant’s eligibility Title IV aid (see statute 34 CFR 668.16(g)(1)). We may also verify eligibility for previous aid years; students may be required to repay some or all aid which has previously disbursed. Section 490(a) of the Higher Education Act outlines the potential penalties of financial aid fraud:
“Any person who knowingly and willfully embezzles, misapplies, steals, obtains by fraud, false statement, or forgery [...] or attempts to so embezzle, misapply, steal, obtain by fraud, false statement or forgery [...] shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, except if the amount so embezzled, misapplied, stolen, obtained by fraud, false statement, or forgery, or failed to be refunded does not exceed $200, then the fine shall not be more than $5,000 and imprisonment shall not exceed one year, or both.”
By accepting Hillsborough Community Colleges Terms and Conditions of a financial aid offer or receiving Title IV Financial Aid, students acknowledge and accept the above relevant statutes.
Unusual Enrollment History
Students with an unusual enrollment history may have legitimate reasons for their enrollment at multiple institutions, but such an enrollment history requires review to validate those reasons
Recent changes in federal law have made it possible for students to use some or all of their federal financial aid for study abroad.
- Full-time, HCC students who are eligible for financial aid can use federal funds for approved study abroad programs that award academic credit and grades counted towards your cumulative GPA.
- Eligibility is determined by the type of study abroad program you attend, as well as the type of financial aid you receive.
- Only students who are degree seeking at Hillsborough Community College are eligible.
- Any program for which you will not receive transfer credits or grades is not eligible for any financial aid funds.
- Financial aid can be used to support summer study, as long as you are enrolled for academic credit and you meet all other requirements.
Please consult with a financial aid counselor prior to enrolling in a study abroad course to determine financial aid eligibility.
Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
A student with a drug conviction may be ineligible for federal student aid (grants, loans, work-study). If you are convicted of a state or federal offense of selling or possessing illegal drugs that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid you should still complete and submit the FAFSA. Eligibility may be regained after documentation of successful completion of a rehabilitation program.
Standard Academic Progress (SAP) requirements must be met to receive Financial Aid. SAP is calculated at the end of each semester. Students must meet ALL of the following minimum standards:
Please Note: Federal law requires that all classes including those taken at other institutions are taken into consideration when calculating Standard Academic Progress for Financial Aid.
The Satisfactory Academic Progress Chart will give you more information.
Return of Title IV (R2T4)- Students receiving financial aid who withdraw or stop attending all classes will, in most cases, be required to pay back a portion of financial aid received. R2T4 repayment rules will also apply to students who fail all classes and whose last date of attendance is not reported by the instructor.
Overaward (not the same as R2T4)- Students receiving financial aid who never attend or drop classes after financial aid has disbursed are required to pay back the full amount of overpaid funds.
A student who has lost financial aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances may appeal.
- Extenuating circumstances that may be considered include: personal illness or accident, serious illness or death within immediate family, or other circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the student
- All appeals must be in writing: an Appeal for Reinstatement of Financial Aid form, a written statement from the student, and supporting documents are required.
- Examples of documentation: could include an obituary notice, divorce decree, or a letter from a physician, attorney, social services agency, parole officer, employer, etc.
- Students will be notified: through their HawkMail account of the results of the appeal and of any restrictions or conditions pertaining to their appeal.