Financial Aid Policies
All awards are based on enrollment. Awards depend on a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and enrollment status. If enrollment changes, aid may be adjusted. Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
Enrollment Status and Adjusting Aid and Actively Participating Policies
Enrollment Status and Adjusting Aid Policy
Financial Aid will be adjusted based on student's enrollment status, up through the 50% point of each term. After this point, financial aid will not be adjusted unless it falls into one of the following categories:
- The student is enrolled in a late-starting class that begins after the 50% point and drops the course before it starts. Students are not entitled to receive financial aid for courses they have not attended, and their financial aid will be adjusted accordingly.
- The student is dropped from a course by their instructor for non-attendance. Students are not entitled to receive aid for classes they have not attended, and their financial aid will be adjusted accordingly.
- If the instructor drops a student in error and agrees to reinstate the student in the same class and section, financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. Please note: if a student enrolls in a different class from the one they were dropped in error, their financial aid will not be adjusted after the 50% point.
- Students who drop all classes for the term between the 50% and 60%, may have their aid adjusted, depending on what they have earned through the Return of Title IV calculation.
According to regulations, students have not earned 100% of their aid until the 60% point of the term. Students who are receiving student loans and drop a class(es)
- Students may have their loans canceled or adjusted if they are enrolled in less than six credit hours.
- If the student began attendance in six or more credit hours, and they received a portion of the entire loan, they are entitled to keep the amount already disbursed. However, no further disbursements will occur if they remain enrolled in less than six credit hours for that term, and any remaining portions of the student loan(s) will be canceled.
- If the student did not begin attendance in six or more credits when they received a part of the entire loan, the loan(s) would be removed entirely for that term, and no further disbursements will occur.
Actively Participating Policy
Students must be actively participating in classes to receive financial aid. Based on regulations, students must begin attendance to receive financial aid assistance. In the case of online courses, students must be actively participating in order to determine if they are eligible to keep their aid that was awarded/disbursed or if adjustments will be made. For financial aid purposes only, actively participating will be defined as a student who completes assignments, logs on regularly, participate in classroom discussions, if applicable, and completes at least one test/quiz. Students who are determined not to be actively participating will not be eligible to receive financial aid for that term.
When a loan student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment, the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will mail an exit counseling letter to the mailing address the College has on file. We strongly encourage students to log on to studentloans.gov and click on "Complete Exit Counseling." You will find information that will be helpful when you begin to repay your student loan.
The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office also offers in-person exit counseling sessions. If interested, please contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.
Students awarded financial aid and who qualify may use their financial aid to purchase required books and supplies in the ECC bookstore approximately two weeks before the beginning of each semester.
Please check with the bookstore for specific date information.
If a student is admitted into an eligible program and takes remedial coursework within that program, the student may be considered for financial aid. The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office is authorized to count up to and including 30 credit hours of these courses in the student's enrollment status for financial aid.
If you have taken a class twice and received a passing grade (for financial aid, a "D" or better is considered a passing grade), you may no longer receive financial aid for that class.
When a Financial Aid Recipient Withdraws Policy
Federal Title IV funds are awarded under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the financial aid is awarded. When a student withdraws, they may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV and/or state funds as originally awarded.
If a Title IV recipient withdraws from ECC after beginning attendance, the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office must calculate the amount of aid the student can keep using the federal refund formula. Based on this calculation, all or a portion of funds received may be returned to the aid source (Federal and/or State Government).
The refund policy determines the tuition charges the student owes for dropped/withdrawn class(es). The difference between the amount owed to ECC and the financial aid earned by the student will be the student's responsibility. Students with outstanding balances may be restricted from enrolling in subsequent terms at ECC and may be ineligible to receive grades, transcripts, and other College services.
Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office before withdrawing from class(es).
In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education and State of Illinois student aid regulations, ECC is required to establish minimum standards of academic progress to qualify for federal and state financial aid. The purpose of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy is to ensure students are making progress toward the completion of their educational program of study. Students must meet all three standards to be in a satisfactory status.
Minimal standards are subject to change in accordance with federal and state regulations.
Satisfactory Progress Policy for Federal Veterans and Military Service Benefits
The academic records of students receiving federal veterans or military service benefits will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Those students who are on academic probation, warning, or suspension, as defined by the institution, for two consecutive semesters will be reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as not making satisfactory progress or conduct. This policy is in accordance with 38 CFR, Part 21, Section 4253.
A student whose benefits have been terminated by the VA as a result of the above school policy may request resumption of payment of benefits after meeting one of the following:
- Achieves good academic standing, as defined by the institution.
- Obtains institutional counseling to correct unsatisfactory progress. A copy of the counselor's findings may be submitted in support of the request for resumption of payment.
- Submits to the VA a statement describing the cause for the unsatisfactory progress or conduct, the actions they have taken to correct the problem, and their reasons for believing that the requested program is suitable to their aptitudes, interests, and abilities. Submit additional evidence as requested by the VARO.
Only the VA approves the resumption of payments. ECC will only recertify after one of the above conditions is satisfied, and the unsatisfactory progress has been resolved.
Students using non-GI Bill® benefits, including ING, IVG, or MIA-POW, need only meet the cumulative 2.0 GPA requirement.
In compliance with 38 USC 3679(e), ECC will not take any of the four following actions toward any student using the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while their payment from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs is pending to the educational institution:
- Prevent their enrollment;
- Assess a late penalty fee to;
- Require they secure alternative or additional funding;
- Deny their access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.
However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:
- Produce the VA's Certificate of Eligibility by the first day of class;
- Provide written request to be certified;
- Please provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies (Contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office for details).
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).