Jul 24, 2024  
Fall 2024 Academic Catalog 
Fall 2024 Academic Catalog

Financial Aid

Definition of an Academic Year

Disbursing of Funds

First-Time Borrowers of Federal Student Loans

Need-Based Aid

Procedures for Obtaining Financial Aid

Return of Title IV Financial Aid Policy

Returning Borrowers of Federal Student Loans

Scholarship Aid

Sources of Financial Aid

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Academic Amnesty Courses

Nonstandard Courses

Annual Notification: All career and technical education courses and programs are offered at Pierpont regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, or disability.

Definition of an Academic Year

For Pell Grant, Direct Loan processing, and other Federal Title IV aid, the academic year at PIERPONT begins with the fall, continues with the spring, and concludes with the summer term.

Disbursing of Funds

Pierpont begins disbursing awards 15 business days after the start of the semester. All awards are credited to the student’s school account to pay tuition and fees, room and board, and other authorized charges. If the disbursement amount exceeds school charges, the remaining balance is issued as a refund and checks are mailed to students’ mailing address or a direct deposit is made. If a student is enrolled in the two parts of term, disbursement may be split into two disbursements to more evenly distribute the aid.

First-Time Borrowers of Federal Student Loans

Students who are first time borrowers (students who have never received a Federal Stafford Loan) will have a 30 day delay applied to their first loan disbursement.

Need-Based Aid

Pierpont’s primary purpose in awarding financial aid is to assist those students who wish to attend college and need financial assistance to do so. A student’s need is determined by the Institutional Cost of Attendance (Budget) less the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students with the greatest need may be awarded Grants, Scholarships and self-help need such as Federal Work Study and Student Loans.

By using the available resources, Pierpont attempts to meet the financial need of all students. The total financial aid awarded to a student shall not exceed the Institutional Cost of Attendance (Budget) or the student’s need, as appropriate.

Procedures for Obtaining Financial Aid

  1. Students must complete and submit an application for admission to the Office of Admissions (new, transfer and readmitted students only).
  2. For full consideration of aid based on need, students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processing center. The FAFSA is available beginning October 1 each year. The FAFSA can continue to be submitted through June 30 and must be submitted annually.
  3. For priority consideration of eligibility for academic scholarships, students must apply for admission to Pierpont prior to March 1st.
  4. Students interested in aid for summer must complete a separate application, which is available on our Pierpont website or by requesting from the financial aid office.

Return of Title IV Financial Aid Policy

If you withdraw from school whether officially (you complete the withdrawal form or drop all classes on the web) or unofficially (you stop attending classes) and have been awarded and/or paid Title IV Federal Aid, you are subject to a Return of Title IV Aid calculation. This calculation determines how much aid must be returned to the federal programs in the event of a complete official or unofficial withdrawal prior to completing 60% of the term (see example below).

The calculation determines the amount of federal aid that is considered to be earned and the amount that is to be returned to the Federal programs. State and/or Institutional Aid may also be subject to return based on withdrawal date. The earned/ unearned amounts are calculated based on the percent of the term completed. The length of the term is defined as the first day of all classes through the last day of all classes (not including a break of 5 days or more and finals week).

Students who have been awarded aid that has not disbursed will also be reviewed to determine if they are eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. Withdrawn students who have been selected for verification but have not provided the documents necessary for disbursement may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. Their account will be reviewed and they will be offered a post-withdrawal disbursement if eligible and given 14 - 30 days to return the requested documentation. Students will only be eligible for the percentage of “earned” aid at the time of withdrawal.

A student may be subject to a Return of Title IV Aid calculation if they are enrolled for the entire term and only complete one or more classes that end in the first seven (7) weeks.

Withdrawing or Ceasing to Attend Class

If you withdraw from school “officially” (drop your course online through your ROAR account and emailing withdraw@pierpont.edu) or “unofficially” (stop attending and do no successfully complete ANY course with an A, B, C, or D) before the term is completed, and you receive federal student aid, a Return of Funds Calculation (R2T4) is required to be performed.  This calculation may result in a portion of aid being returned to the U.S. Department of Education.  You may then owe a balance to the college.  Any balance still outstanding 45 days or greater will be turned over to collections.

Withdrawal Example

This example shows what happened when a student withdrew completely on the 21st day of a 108 day semester (70% Tuition refund period). The first table shows how the Return of Title IV calculation applies to this specific student’s situation. Please note that this is only an example; your specific situation may differ. If you are considering withdrawal, we strongly encourage you to consult with your academic advisor and a financial aid counselor prior to taking any official action.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan      $1750
Federal Pell Grant $2675
Federal SMART Grant $2000
  1. Divide number of days attended by number of days in term:
    Calculation: 21 days / 108 days =
    Result: Percentage of term completed 19%
    Greater than 60% - All aid is earned; no further steps
    Less than 60% - Use percent of term completed
  2. Subtract percentage completed from 100:
    Calculation: 100 - 19 =
    Result: Percent of term not completed 81%
  3. Multiply total federal aid by percent of term not completed:
    Calculation: 5425 x .81 =
    Result: Amount of aid that is unearned $4394.25
  4. Multiply total allowable institutional charges by 81% to get amount of unearned aid to be returned by PIERPONT:
    Calculation: Total fees = 2900 x .81 =
    Result: Amount of unearned aid to be returned by
    PIERPONT $2349
    PIERPONT returns: $1750
    Direct Subsidized Loan; $599 Pell Grant
  5. Subtract unearned aid to be returned by PIERPONT from total unearned aid:
    Calculation: $4394 - $2349 =
    Result: Amount of unearned aid to be returned by student $2045
    Student returns: $2045 Pell Grant

(All that is left to repay is the amount that PIERPONT had to repay. Student is not required to repay student portion of either grant program since the total in unearned grants is less than 50% of total federal grants.)

The federal regulations regarding Return to Title IV requires the following rules regarding return of federal aid to the programs:

Order of repayment to programs is as follows:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Parent Loan
  4. Federal Pell
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Pierpont returns its portion first; then the student’s portion is returned.

Any loan amounts unearned from the student’s share are not required to be repaid immediately (will be repaid in the normal repayment process).

For grants, only the portion of unearned grants due from the student that exceeds 50% of the total federal grants received is required to be returned

Please keep in mind this repayment policy is applied before the institution’s refund policy. The school’s refund policy may reduce the amount owed to the school by the student for aid returned. It is important to note, a student who withdraws from school could owe federal financial aid as well as repayment back to the West Virginia Higher Education Grant Program, West Virginia Invests Grant Program, and/or Promise Scholarship Program.

Returning Borrowers of Federal Student Loans

Students who are returning borrowers (previously received a Federal Stafford Loan) at Pierpont or from any other post-secondary school will receive their disbursement on the regularly scheduled disbursement date (15 business days after the start of the semester or upon completion of financial aid file). If they are borrowing for a single semester such as a Spring only loan, they will receive the loan in two disbursements with the second disbursement occurring at the midpoint of the semester.

Scholarship Aid

It is the intent of Pierpont, as an institution of higher learning, to foster the highest degree of scholarship among its students. The institution actively recruits students who have excellent academic records and recognize and reward those who continue to excel.
The objective of the scholarship program is to promote the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body with special talents. To accomplish this objective, a variety of merit- and need-based scholarships have been developed with special criteria (ex.: institutional scholarships, program-specific scholarships, international student scholarships, etc.)

Pierpont is ultimately responsible for final approval of scholarship programs and related policies and procedures. Further, various offices or committees are responsible for segments of the scholarship programs. The Pierpont Foundation, Inc., through the auspices of the Pierpont Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, collaborates with the Offices of Admissions and Financial Aid and Scholarships to explore new areas of scholarship development and expansion, and assist those interested in establishing new merit-based scholarships or enhancing currently established scholarship programs for PIERPONT. New scholarship programs are reviewed for consistency with institutional recruitment and retention goals and the scholarship philosophy statement and must be reviewed and approved by the President.

Pierpont’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships also administers scholarship aid delivery for a wide range of externally funded and managed merit- and need-based scholarships received by PIERPONT students.

Sources of Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and employment is available to students who need assistance in meeting their higher education expenses. All funds are administered by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Department in compliance with federal, state, and institutional guidelines.

  • Grants - Federal and State Grants are available and generally do not have to be paid back. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is necessary to determine eligibility for these grants.
  • Tuition Waivers - Institutional funds available to assist in “waiving” tuition.
  • Scholarships - Scholarships are awarded based on need, merit and talent. Students may receive scholarships from private sources, federal and state funds, or from the Pierpont foundation. Most scholarships do not need paid back. Most scholarships don’t require an application.
  • Loans -Student loans are available from the federal government and private sources. Federal government loans are available to all students who complete the FAFSA. Students who accept federal government loans are required to complete loan counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note. Private loans are based on credit-worthiness and generally require a co-signer. Loans require repayment.
  • Work Programs - Student Employment positions are available at Pierpont.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Effective July 1, 2022

Federal regulations and institutional policy require that your academic progress be reviewed at the end of each enrollment period, including summer. All students enrolling for the first time at Pierpont Community & Technical College (Pierpont) (including transfers) will be considered to be meeting academic progress during the first semester of enrollment at Pierpont; subsequent reviews will include all course work (including transfer work) that is contained on Pierpont academic transcript.

To receive funds administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Pierpont Community & Technical College, students must be making measurable academic progress toward completion of an eligible degree. Federal regulations require evaluation of both qualitative and quantitative academic progress.

Qualitative Progress

This evaluation is based upon the cumulative “Grade Point Average (GPA)” as shown on your academic transcript.
Students must meet the following Cumulative GPA:

01-24 total credit hours – minimum cumulative GPA >= 1.5
25-48 total credit hours – minimum cumulative GPA >= 1.8
49 total credit hours and above – minimum cumulative GPA >= 2.0

Quantitative Progress

This is based upon two areas of progress: “pace” and “maximum time frame”.

Pace is defined as the rate at which attempted academic credits are successfully completed. This is calculated by taking the cumulative number of hours successfully completed and dividing by the cumulative number of hours attempted. Grades of “W”, “F” and “I” count as attempted hours. Transfer hours that appear on your transcript are also included.

A student must be successfully completing 67% of all hours attempted. The calculation will be rounded to the closest whole number.

Maximum Time Frame allowed to complete your degree (including transfer hours) is 150% of the normal time frame. Repeated courses are counted against the maximum time frame.

  • Certificate Program of 30 hours must be completed within 45 attempted hours.
  • Associate program of 60 hours, students must complete within 90 attempted hours.

​A student who completes the academic requirements for a program but does not yet have the degree or certificate, is not eligible for further additional federal student aid funds for that program.

Post-graduate work (credits taken after receiving first degree including a second associate or an associate degree after receiving a bachelor’s degree) must be completed within 45 hours of post-graduate work. Since all classes attempted will count toward the 45-hour limit, students should meet with their academic advisors to determine what classes are required for completion of the second degree.

** Students who receive academic forgiveness for previous course work will continue to have all attempted credit hours and all earned grades that are included on academic record considered as part of the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.

Failure to Meet SAP Standards

Students who fail to meet the qualitative or quantitative standards defined above at the end of any enrollment period (including summer), will be placed on “warning” for the next semester. During this warning semester the student may continue to receive financial aid.

Students who are within 10 credit hours or less of the maximum time frame defined above will be placed on “warning” for the next semester. During this warning semester the student may continue to receive financial aid.

Failure to meet any of the above defined standards at the end of a “warning” semester will result in the loss of financial aid eligibility for future semesters.

Students will be notified by postal mail and e-mail of SAP status after grades are posted who fail to meet the qualitative or quantitative standards defined above at the end of any enrollment period (including summer), will be placed on ”warning for the next semester. During this warning semester, the student may continue to receive financial aid.

Students who are within 10 credit hours or less of the maximum time frame defined above will be placed on “warning” for the next semester. During this warning semester the student may continue to receive financial aid.

Failure to meet any of the above defined standards at the end of a “warning” semester will result in the loss of financial aid eligibility for future semesters.

Students will be notified by postal mail and e-mail of SAP status after grades are posted. As soon as the status is updated, it can be viewed on the student’s ROAR account.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

A student may appeal the loss of financial aid through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. To appeal, the student must have experienced extenuating circumstances which have impacted academic progress. Examples of extenuating circumstances are death of immediate family member, injury or illness or other unusual circumstances evaluated by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The appeal must include the following:

  1. Why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress;
  2. What has now changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next semester (statements of good intent are not sufficient);
  3. Student’s academic plan for meeting satisfactory academic progress; and
  4. Documentation to verify extenuating circumstances.

If the appeal is granted, the student will be placed on financial aid probation for one semester and receive aid during that probation semester. At the end of the Probation Semester the student  MUST  meet the defined SAP standards or meet the academic plan that was developed for the appeal.

Appeals must be submitted by the Friday preceding the week before classes begin. Deadline dates for 2023-2024 are:

  • Fall 2023 - August 18, 2023
  • Spring 2024 - January 19, 2024
  • Summer 2024 - May 24, 2024

Any appeals submitted after the above dates will be considered late. Students who wish to enroll and submit the appeal after the deadline should make plans to pay all charges through personal means. If the appeal is subsequently reviewed and approved, any financial aid for which the student is eligible will be processed and any excess funds will be returned to the student.

Appeals will be reviewed by Financial Aid Counselors. If denied by the counselor, the student may request that the appeal be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Denial of an appeal by the Financial Aid Director for any semester is final.

Students are limited to two appeal submissions while enrolled at Pierpont.

Financial Aid eligibility can be re-established once the student meets SAP standards.  Students who continue enrollment before re-establishing eligibility are required to pay for charges through personal means.

Academic Amnesty Courses

Candidates for academic forgiveness may receive financial assistance during the readmission semester if under Financial Aid Warning, Probation and/or Academic Plan. If the student does not meet the financial aid standards of SAP or the requirements of their Academic Plan at the end of the readmission semester, student’s financial aid will suspend as dictated by the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Candidates must have a signed, written request on file with the Registrar and with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships in order for financial assistance to be released during the readmission semester. 

Nonstandard Courses

Federal student aid cannot be awarded for courses that do not count toward a student’s program completion. Examples include non-credit courses, audited courses, and English-as-a-Second-Language courses that are not part of an ESL program.