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The Pell Grant is awarded to students with high financial need who are completing a first bachelor’s degree. The amount of the grant is based on the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and enrollment status. Students will be notified on their Student Aid Report when they are approaching the lifetime Pell limit. To receive the Pell Grant you must meet the requirements and Submit the FAFSA. Learn more about the Federal Pell Grant.


If you have been offered a Pell grant on your financial aid award letter, the amount offered is based on full-time enrollment. The Pell Grant is available at any enrollment level and it is based on your EFC. Students are expected to complete all registered classes to avoid possible repayment of financial aid, including the Pell Grant. If you received aid at another college or institution, or are close to the lifetime maximum limit of 600%, you may not receive the full amount of the “Term Award” and/or the “Maximum Annual Award”.


High school diploma or GED diploma. Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program of study.
Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen or the correct G-845.
Make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the program.
Not to be in default or owe a refund to any Title IV program.
Have the applicable financial aid forms filled and signed. Register (if you haven’t already) with the Selective Service, if you’re a male between the ages of 18 and 25. Demonstrate financial need.


Loan Information
National Student Loan Clearinghouse –
www.studentclearinghouse.org Check your loan history for prior years and current academic year
National Student Loan Data Systems for Students -www.nslds.ed.gov
Check your loan history for prior years and current academic year

Early Stages of Enrollment

Entrance Counseling

DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: Regulations require that first time borrowers of Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans receive entrance counseling. During entrance counseling, schools must explain how the master promissory note works, emphasize the importance of repaying the loan, describe the consequences of default, and show borrowers sample monthly repayment amounts based on their program of study at your school. Schools may enhance entrance counseling to include financial literacy and ensure that borrowers thoroughly understand all information. In addition, schools should collect as much contact information about borrowers as possible during entrance counseling to facilitate future contact if needed. These activities will ensure more knowledgeable, responsible borrowers, and result in fewer defaulters as well.

GMTTI Measures

We use the following entrance counseling tools:

Mapping Your Future website:

This tool, available at mapping-your-future.org, provides borrowers with information on obtaining student loans and money management skills and contains an entrance counseling module. It also captures demographic information for the borrower.

My Student Loans Folder

This entrance and exit counseling tool gives students a place to store all of their loan paperwork. It also provides them with information on repaying student loans, managing money, and protecting credit. See Section 5: Enhanced Entrance and Exit Counseling for additional entrance counseling activities we perform.

Financial Literacy for Borrowers

DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recommends that schools provide borrowers with information concerning the income potential of occupations relevant their course of study, counseling at various stages of enrollment, interactive tools to manage debt, repayment options, and school contact information. Schools can offer this information through a variety of media such as counseling, classes, publications, e-tutorials, electronic newsletters to email accounts, adding the information to award letters, or using a combination of methods. To help students manage their debt, some schools are limiting access of credit card companies to their campuses. Schools should also provide borrowers with entrance counseling material and the following resources, at minimum, at enrollment and following graduation or withdrawal:
–Estimate of required monthly payments on the borrower’s loan balance
–Calculators to help estimate and manage debt
–Loan servicer contact information
–Contact information for delinquency and default prevention assistance on campus

GMTTI Measures

We provide the following financial literacy tools and services for our students:
– We introduce our students to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to help them determine their loan servicer and/or loan balance. The tools we use to educate students about financial literacy include:

–Great Lakes’ Financial IQ: located in borrower section of mygreatlakes.org

This online resource offers students information about money management, banking, credit scoring, and identity protection.

–Great Lakes’ Repaying Your Student Loans: Making Good on Your Promise:

This online resource offers students information about money management, banking, credit scoring, and identity protection.

–Great Lakes’ Education Tax Benefits: Getting a Return on Your Investment:

This guide provides an overview of the generous education tax benefits available to student loan borrowers. It describes the Hope and lifetime learning tax credits, as well as the student loan interest deduction. It also provides an overview on education tax benefit eligibility and lists resources where borrowers can obtain additional information.

–Mapping Your Future’s personal financial management resources:

These tools, available at mapping-your-future.org, provide borrowers with information on obtaining student loans, budget calculators and ‘Ten Steps to Financial Fitness’ to educate borrowers in money management.

Early Identification and Counseling for Students at-Risk

DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: ‘Students at-risk’ generally refers to borrowers who withdraw prematurely from their educational programs, borrowers who do not meet standards of satisfactory academic progress or both. Counseling at-risk borrowers should focus on the causes of withdrawal or unsatisfactory academic progress and solutions to resolve these matters. The end result of working with at-risk students will be more borrowers completing their educational programs, equating to a higher retention rate for the school and lower numbers of defaulted borrowers.

GMTTI Measures

We offer the following forms of academic assistance to help retain students, especially those at-risk:
– Standards of Academic Progress provide students who are having difficulties with a framework for knowing what assistance and specific support services are needed to ensure success in meeting their educational goals. We maintain an intervention system to alert students to their academic weaknesses so that corrective measures can be implemented.
– Our Student Services Department is available to advice students who present with concerns relating to academic or personal barriers affecting their ability to succeed.
– A certified counselor is available in the school that will assess educational readiness, advise new students, and help with career decisions.
– Academic remediation is available to provide support and intervention services to assist students in achieving scholastic success.


DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: Communication of information relevant to the prevention and management of defaults must be a school-wide effort and should not be the responsibility of only a single office. While communicating certain information across campus is mandatory, communicating additional information is highly recommended. To promote success, school officials should examine their communication procedures for effectiveness and inclusiveness. Information regarding borrowers’ academic progress and enrollment status should be components of the information received by all relevant offices across campus including the offices that disburse funds and authorize payments. Accurate and timely communication among school entities and ED not only ensures the right aid is getting to the right student, but such communication will help schools comply with regulations regarding the school’s standards of administrative capabilities, accurate and timely reporting of borrowers’ enrollment status, and satisfactory academic progress

GMTTI Measures:

Our school utilizes the following methods to ensure effective communication:
– Our policies relating to Satisfactory Academic Progress can be found in both SFIT instructor and student handbooks.
– Program Instructors and Student Services communicate regularly to ensure students are complying with attendance and academic policies.
– The Director of the school is informed of any students who are failing to comply, who are placed on probation, or who are eligible for administrative withdrawal.
– See Section 2.3 for steps we take to ensure timely and accurate enrollment reporting.

Default Prevention and Retention Staff

DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: Having dedicated default prevention and management staff has proven invaluable for many schools. ED recommends dedicated staff because they are in an excellent position to establish working relationships with borrowers from early in the students’ experience through repayment. Many schools are also dedicating staff to student retention activities, a key to school and student success as well as default reduction. Where resources are limited, ED recommends combining these two functions, as they are similar in nature. An emphasis on both will particularly benefit at-risk borrowers.

GMTTI Measures

Our Financial Aid Officer is responsible for developing, maintaining, and implementing our school’s default prevention and management plan.
Our default prevention and management effort is led by:
-Laura Ricardo, Financial Aid Director and Edward Cordoba, School Director
Additional members of our default prevention and management team include:
-Luis Laria, Director of Academic Affairs
Our default prevention and management team meets annually.
Our team evaluates its progress based on the results of our cohort default rate calculation in relation to underlying economic conditions, student body makeup, and other factors that affect the calculation of our cohort default rate.

Late Stages of Enrollment

Exit Counseling

DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: Regulations require that schools provide exit counseling. Exit counseling is an effective way to prevent defaults and is often the last opportunity that borrowers have to work with someone at school regarding their loans. In-depth counseling that focuses on fully explaining repayment plans and choices that fit the borrowers’ needs is essential. Exit counseling is the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions students may have about their loan obligations and re-emphasize the consequences of default. Schools should take full advantage of this opportunity to work with their students. A large percentage of borrowers in delinquency either did not have the benefit of receiving this information or did not receive it timely. Thorough exit counseling is a cornerstone of default prevention and is mandatory.

GMTTI Measures

We use the following exit counseling tools –Estimate of required monthly payments on the borrower’s loan balance –Calculators to help estimate and manage debt –Loan servicer contact information –Contact information for delinquency and default prevention assistance on campus

–Mapping Your Future website:

This tool, available at mapping-your-future.org, provides an exit counseling module that captures updated demographic and reference data and passes the information to schools.

–Great Lakes’ Repaying Your Student Loans: Making Good on Your Promise:

This guide supplements exit counseling by reminding borrowers of their obligations, explaining the basics of repayment, and advising them on how to manage their money and establish a budget.


DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: Many borrowers who default on their loans are borrowers who withdrew from school prior to completing their academic programs. These borrowers, at the highest risk of default, can often be identified while still on campus. Early identification and timely intervention can improve student retention and reduce the number of defaulted loans. In addition to fulfilling the regulatory requirement to provide exit counseling to students, schools should attempt to work with students even after they have left school by encouraging them to complete their programs of study and helping them resolve the issue(s) that prompted their withdrawal. Consider offering job placement services for a limited timeframe to students who have withdrawn. In addition to providing a valuable service, schools can take advantage of the borrower’s return to campus to provide counseling.


The steps we take to recognize instances in which borrowers withdraw without notice include:
– Our policies detailing withdrawn student financial responsibilities are clearly defined in the SFIT student handbook.
– We provide students with our schools’ withdrawal policy, during new student orientation, and when students register for classes.
– We have record-keeping and reporting processes that alert us when students present with excessive absenteeism or academic failure.
The steps we take to provide exit counseling and other services to students who withdraw include:
– We contact these students by phone, and if necessary by letter, to set up an I person exit interview. During the exit interview, the counselor determines why the student left school and attempts to get the student to re-enroll. If the individual is a student borrower, the counselor discusses repayment options and responsibilities.
– We inform students who drop from the school of their obligation to complete Mapping Your Future exit counseling. This tool helps borrowers understand their repayment obligations.

Timely and Accurate Enrollment Reporting

DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: Timely and accurate enrollment reporting to the Secretary of Education or the guarantor as appropriate is required by regulation and promotes school and student success. There is a direct correlation between late or inaccurate enrollment reporting and loan defaults. This school activity ensures that borrowers receive their full grace period, and further ensures that contacts from the loan servicer such as correspondence and telephone calls occur in the appropriate timing and sequence. The servicer’s contacts are designed to increase the likelihood that borrowers will satisfy loan obligations. Timely and accurate reporting of changes in enrollment status is required of all schools. Adhering to a monthly schedule of reporting changes in enrollment status will help with data accuracy and is recommended.

GMTTI Measures

The steps we take to ensure timely and accurate enrollment reporting include:
– Bi-Monthly enrollment status reporting to NSLDS.
– We have record-keeping and reporting processes that alert us when students present excessive absenteeism or academic failure. We also ask instructors to inform the School Director when students stop attending classes Section 3: After Students Leave School

Maintain Contact with Former Students

DCL-GEN-05-14 Guidance: Schools find that all of the practices and strategies mentioned previously are much easier to employ if they are able to reach and keep in contact with their former students after they have left campus. By collecting ample reference information including cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and numbers and names of a variety of family members such as grandparents and cousins, schools have the resources to maintain contact with former students. Allowing borrowers to continue to use school e-mail accounts after they have left campus is not only a convenience to borrowers, but also a quick, easy, and effective method of contacting them after they have left school. One of the best methods schools can employ to avert defaults is to work with borrowers during every stage of repayment. Work with lenders, guaranty agencies, and servicers to identify delinquent and hard to reach borrowers, or those who have not been contacted at all to assist them with their repayment options and obligations. Contacting borrowers is an essential activity upon which successful default prevention and management can be built. Contact from the school may be the only effective technique to save a borrower from the negative consequences of default.

GMTTI Measures:

– We obtain information from these sources to maintain up-to-date contact information:
– Our Job Placement Officer
– Reference information collected from the student at the time of registration and entrance and exit counseling
– Updated contact information gathered before the release of copies of transcripts or diplomas
– Free web services designed to help us locate borrowers, such as:
– whitepages.com
– metacrawler.com/index.html
– people.yahoo.com
– “Forwarding and Address Correction Requested” Service of the United States Postal Service

Awarding of Title IV Funds

Awarding of Title IV Funds

The FAO staff has developed an institutional packaging policy to ensure consistent, equitable, and fair distribution of financial aid funds.

Institutional Packaging Policy

One of the greatest challenges the Financial Aid Office faces is the construction of an award package using limited resources. The packaging process combines various types of aid from a variety of sources. It closes the gap between the school’s Cost of Attendance and the student’s ability to pay. Most financial aid packages will not meet 100% of the applicants calculated need.
To be considered for Federal Financial Aid the student must apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The family’s information entered on the application is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The results of the application must be received by the school in the form of an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) with the calculated EFC by the Central Processing System for the Department of Education. The results from the data is used to communication with student and to begin the packaging process.
The financial aid package is based on first-come, first- served, priority given to students with exceptional need (students with the lowest EFC and Pell eligible) for FSEOG. The FSEOG must be made reasonably available to all eligible applicants (FTF, FR, SO, JR and SR). Undergraduate grade levels are considered for FSEOG based on the above criteria. Due to limited program funds, not all eligible applicants will be awarded FSEOG. FWS is awarded based on the above criteria for students (undergraduates and graduates) who indicate they are interested in work study on their FAFSA. Due to the limited program funds, not all eligible applicants will be awarded FWS.
Financial aid packages are created for students throughout the academic year. Applicants whose financial aid files are complete by the priority deadline date will be given consideration for funding resources according to funding criteria and the availability of certain funds (FSEOG and FWS). All eligible financial aid applicants are packaged their full eligibility for programs they qualify for if funds are available not to exceed the cost of attendance.
Institutional Packaging Procedures
Financial Aid is packaged using the Need Formula Equation:
Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Need
Financial Need is funded by various sources on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the availability of funds. Funds are awarded in the following sequence:
1) Outside resources (if known)
2) Scholarships (if awarded)
3) Grants
4) Federal Pell based on eligibility
5) FSEOG based on the availability of funds and awarded to exceptionally needy undergraduate students (lowest EFC and Pell grant eligible)
6) Federal Work Study based on the availability of funds and financial need (undergraduate and graduate students who indicate on FAFSA interested in work)
7) Direct Loans :
Direct Subsidized Stafford based on financial need
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford non-need based
Direct PLUS non-need based Federal Perkins Loan based on availability of funds and financial need (exceptional need determined by institution)

Determination of Aid Awarded

The Director, in conjunction with the Financial Aid staff, determines the total aid to be awarded during an academic year. The Department of Education sends the FAO email communications regarding the tentative and final award notifications for the Campus Based Programs. The school’s information is accessed via the eCampus- Based web site (http://cbfisap.ed.gov). Determining the total funds available for awarding includes careful evaluation and projection of available funds for the upcoming academic year. The evaluations and projections are based on historical data, trends and current data.
Outside Resources
Students are encouraged to seek assistance from outside resources. It is required that all outside assistance be reported to the FAO. Student aid including outside resources, may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance. Therefore, if a student has been awarded by the aid office and receives an outside award, an adjustment to the original award may be necessary.
Award Notification
Students receive financial aid award notification via award notification letter or e-Communication. Students are not required to return the award notification letter back to the FAO, if they accept the award. Students wishing to decline part or the entire award may make adjustments on the award notification and return it back to the FAO for adjustments or may do so by e-Communication or online. If adjustments are made to the award, the student will receive another award notification letter.
Consortium Agreements
A student may receive Title IV aid if he/she is taking courses at two or more schools, if the participating institutions enter into a consortium agreement. A consortium agreement specifies which institution will process and disburse student aid. The agreement also should stipulate which institution will consider the student enrolled. The institution that disburses the aid is responsible for keeping records and returning Title IV funds in the case of an overaward.
International Students
International students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid because they do not meet the citizenship requirement. International students may receive non-federal aid and are encouraged to apply for such aid. International students seeking assistance are referred to the Office of International Studies.

Revision of Financial Aid Awards

Once an award letter is sent to the student, there may be instances which warrant a change to the original notification. An Aid Administrator may review a student’s circumstances, make an adjustment to an award, and release a revised award letter. This revised award invalidates the original award notice.
Revision Initiated by the Financial Aid Office
The FAO will automatically consider a revision in a student’s aid package when the following occurs:
There is conflicting information in the file. There are changes resulting from verification. There is a change in availability of funds. Outside resources not counted in original award Error made by FAO Revisions Initiated by Request from Student
Students may decline any portion of their award. If a student wants to add an award (outside resources), the award is updated to reflect the appropriate adjustments made. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office of changes in a student’s resources.
An overaward occurs any time a student’s disbursed financial aid (federal, institutional, and outside aid) and other resources exceed the cost of attendance for the award period by more than an allowable tolerance.
Eliminating an Overawards
Before reducing a student’s aid package because of an overaward, the Aid Administrator should always attempt to alleviate the situation by reducing or eliminating the overaward. The following possible allowances should be checked.
1) Increase budget using allowable expenses; 2) Adjust EFC; Adjust undisbursed funds (all undisbursed financial aid funds must be withdrawn in the case of an overaward).
Causes of an Overaward and/ or Overpayment
There are several causes of an overaward:
1:Student wages – the student earns more than the awarded FWSP allocation.
2:Change in the enrollment status – the student withdraws or drops below the projected enrollment status.
3:Reduction in cost of attendance – the student changes budget categories.
4:Additional resources – the student has resources greater than those used to calculate the award.
5:Administrative error – the Aid Administrator inadvertently makes an error.
6:Fraud – the student intentionally deceives or misrepresents information to obtain funds.
Treatment of an Overaward : Direct Loan awards will be adjusted by reducing or canceling subsequent loan disbursements, replacing EFC by converting subsidized into unsubsidized loan amount.