Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

How does my enrollment affect financial aid?

Admission to an Eligible Program   
You need to be admitted to an eligible degree or certificate program to receive financial aid.  All Associate Degree programs are eligible and some certificate programs are eligible for financial aid. Click here for a current list of eligible certificate programs. If you have not applied for admissions, complete the BCC admissions application process as soon as possible. Don’t wait to be admitted before completing your financial aid forms. It is best to apply for admission and financial aid at about the same time. 


Conditional Admission

Conditional admission means that you have been admitted to a program, but additional information is needed by the Admissions Office (usually an updated high school transcript). You may still receive a financial aid award offer, however financial aid cannot clear your bill and you will not be eligible for a book advance or financial aid payment until the “conditional admit” status is resolved.


Full-Time or Part-Time Enrollment   
One of the biggest myths of financial aid is that only full time students are eligible. Many part time students qualify for financial aid. Some even qualify when they're only enrolled in one course. However, some financial aid programs do require a certain enrollment level.  For example, you need to be enrolled in at least six credits to receive a student loan, while some students can receive the Pell Grant when enrolled in only three credits. The golden rule of financial aid is "You must apply." It's free and our office will be glad to help you through the process. Once we have your information, we will do all we can to identify resources to help you meet your costs.  An audited class is not considered when determining enrollment level for financial aid purposes.

The Money is Good, Day or Evening   
Your financial aid award can be used to pay for  enrollment at any BCC location.  Your financial aid award will consider your entire credit enrollment at the college, whether day, evening, weekend, online, and any BCC location.

Repeat Coursework   
Repeated coursework that falls under certain conditions cannot be included in a student's enrollment status when determining eligibility for federal financial aid, including Pell Grants and student loans. Repeated enrollment that is not eligible will be excluded from your financial aid enrollment status for that term. Federal aid will be recalculated based on the adjusted enrollment status. The recalculation applies regardless of whether you received aid for previous course enrollments.

  • A class can be repeated until a passing grade is achieved; however, satisfactory progress standards must still be met.
  • Once a passing grade is achieved (D- or better), then the class can be repeated one more time and remain eligible for financial aid consideration.

Example 1
Fall 2010 enroll in BIO 234 and receive C- grade
Spring 2011 enroll in BIO 234 and receive C+ grade
Fall 2011 enroll in BIO 234 - cannot include enrollment in this class for financial aid eligibility since it is a second repeat of a previously passed class.

Example 2
Fall 2010 enroll in BIO 234 and receive C- grade
Spring 2011 enroll in BIO 234 and receive W grade
Fall 2011 enroll in BIO 234 - cannot include enrollment in this class for financial aid eligibility since it is a second repeat of a previously passed class.

Example 3
Fall 2010 enroll in BIO 234 and receive W grade
Spring 2011 enroll in BIO 234 and receive C+ grade
Fall 2011 enroll in BIO 234 - will be considered enrollment for financial aid purposes since this is the first repeat of a previously passed class.

Summer Enrollment   
Pell Grant eligibility for enrollment during summer is based on the prior academic year financial aid file. The award amount is based on your EFC and enrollment level.  One of the factors considered when determining Pell eligibility for the summer is your enrollment in the prior academic year  If you didn’t use your entire Pell eligibility during prior year, you may have some remaining eligibility for the summer.  If you enrolled part-time or not at all for either the Fall or Spring Semester, you might be eligible for a summer Pell Grant since you probably did not use your entire Pell entitlement.  In most cases, you can enroll in as few as three credits and be eligible. 

Summer is considered a Pell Grant trailer semester.


Enrolling in Two Schools   
If you enroll in more than one school during the same semester, you will need to take extra steps for financial aid consideration. Federal and state regulations do not allow you to receive financial aid from two schools at the same time. Contact the Financial Aid Office of the home school for a Consortium Agreement. When the Consortium Agreement is approved by both schools, the home school may consider your enrollment at the second school and may include financial assistance for that enrollment. You will be billed by both schools.  The financial aid offered at the home school will pay charges at the home school only. You will need to make your own payment arrangements for the tuition and fee charges at the second school.

Study Abroad   
Enrollment in a program of study abroad that has been approved for credit by BCC Office of Academic Affairs can be considered enrollment at BCC for the purposes of financial aid. 


Financial Aid Enrollment Level 
Your financial aid eligibility is based on your enrollment level on a specific date
at the start of each semester.  Your eligibility will be based on your registered credits at the end of the drop period, which typically ends on the 14th calendar day of the traditional full semester. You should plan to register for all classes, specifically later-starting classes, by this freeze date. If you register for a class after the freeze date, that enrollment will not be included in your financial aid award, which means that you will be responsible for paying those charges on your own.

Deleted Classes and Total Withdrawals
A deleted class at anytime will reduce your financial aid enrollment level and reduce your financial aid award, even if the aid already paid out. 
Deleting all classes or a total withdrawal during the 100% tuition refund period will result in the cancellation of tuition and fees (except $37) and all financial aid.  You will be responsible for your book advance charges.  
Total withdrawals up to the 60% point of the semester (payment period) will also reduce your financial aid award. 

Enrollment in Modules
For financial aid purposes, you are considered to be enrolled in modules if any of your registered classes do not span the entire length of the traditional semester

Withdrawing or Dropping Out Means Paying Back Financial Aid
As if there weren't enough reasons to stay in school, financial aid recipients have one more.  Recipients who stop attending their classes up to the 60% point in the semester are required to pay back a portion of the financial aid funds. Additionally, recipients enrolled in modules (see section above regarding modules) who do not successfully complete each module may be required to pay back a portion of the financial aid funds.

If a financial aid recipient withdraws completely from BCC, the financial aid will be prorated based on the percentage of the semester the student attends/completes.

  • For example, a student who attends up to the 30% point of the semester is eligible for only 30% of the financial aid award.
  • Financial aid award funds used to pay off charges may be reduced or cancelled leaving the student with unpaid charges. 
  • A student who has received a financial aid check and then totally withdraws from BCC may be required to return all or part of that check.

Also, a financial aid recipient who receives any combination of W and F grades for the semester may be required to return all or part of the financial aid funds received. 

  • For example, a student who receives a W and two F grades will need to return some financial aid funds if the documented last date of attendance is before the 60% point.
  • A student who receives a W grade and a C grade will not need to return financial aid funds. Note that enrollment in modules requires a passing grade in each module.
  • Passing grades are A, B, C, D, S 

A financial aid recipient who enrolls in modules for the semester and then does not complete at least one class in each enrolled module may be required to return some financial aid funds received.

  • For example, a student enrolls in three credits in a seven-week session and also enrolls in six credits in the traditional full semester session.
  • The student receives a passing grade in the seven-week session but then withdraws from the traditional semester classes.
  • The student did not successfully complete all modules so financial aid eligiblity will be recalculated based on percentage of the semester that the student was in attendance.

Please review our Withdrawal Flyer and the student withdrawal consumer summary for further information about the BCC and financial aid refund policies. If there are circumstances preventing a student from completing the semester, the student needs to officially withdraw from BCC and should contact the Enrollment Center  


Withdrawal from a Class affects Eligibility  (Student Completion Rate)   

Withdrawals, failures or incomplete classes may jeopardize your eligibility.  It's wise to assess the demands in your life (family, work, etc.) and enroll in only as many courses as you're sure you can successfully complete. Finish what you start and you can be sure that your financial aid will remain available for you. Federal guidelines require that a quantitative component be included in the college's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.  That means that a student receiving financial aid must successfully complete attempted courses. The college's' Student Completion Rate policy requires that you complete your program within a 150% time frame.  If you fall below the college's Student Completion Rate, you may lose your eligibility for financial assistance. Refer to the paragraph below on Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Grades Affect Your Eligibility  (Grade Point Average)   
Federal guidelines require that the college have a qualitative standard (grades) included in the Satisfactory Academic Policy. Your GPA will be reviewed every semester to determine if you are maintaining these standards.


Satisfactory Academic Progress   
All matriculated students are expected to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress which includes two components: 

  • Student Completion Rate (SCR)
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) 

Students who do not maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress may be given one warning per degree program.  There is no warning semester for certificate programs.  Students who do not maintain the required progress, will be dismissed from that program or certificate and will lose financial aid eligibility. 
This policy is described in full in the College Catalog (go to Academic Information) and the Student Handbook.