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May 3, 2012
Big Changes headed for HCC Financial Aid
WELDON, N.C. – On May 1, Halifax Community College (HCC) officials held a Presidential Forum to discuss changes coming in financial aid and advising. The changes will take effect July 1, 2012, and include updates to the lifetime limit on federal Pell grant, state grant eligibility, the federal direct loan program, eligible coursework and the satisfactory academic progress policy.

Federal Pell Grant:
  • The lifetime limit has been reduced from 900 percent to 600 percent, which is six full-time years or 12 full-time semesters.
  • Changes are retroactive.
  • Academic planning is critical.
State Grant Eligibility:
  • Outside of the Expected Family Contribution, North Carolina guidelines state that a student must be Pell eligible.
  • If a student reaches their lifetime limit on the federal Pell grant, he or she becomes ineligible for state grants.
Federal Direct Loan Program:
  • Loans will be disbursed on or after July 1, 2012.
  • The interest rate on the Subsidized Federal Direct Loan will increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
  • The 0.5 percent rebate on the origination fee will end and the loan will cost the student more upfront.
  • The interest subsidy during the grace period will end and the interest will begin to accrue immediately once the student is no longer enrolled at least half time.
Eligible Coursework:
  • Classes taken outside of a student’s major will not be included in the enrollment status when determining aid eligibility.
  • Repeated classes will not be included in the enrollment status when determining aid eligibility if the student has previously received a passing grade for the class.
  • This applies to grants and loans.
Satisfactory Academic Progress:
  • There is a 2.0 grade point average requirement.
  • For financial aid purposes, grades earned in developmental classes are included.
  • A student actually has two grade point averages: the financial aid grade point average and the academic grade point average.
  • There is a 67 percent requirement, meaning that a student must complete and pass 67 percent of his or her attempted coursework.
  • Withdrawals have a negative effect.
  • There is also a maximum timeframe requirement, which means that a student must complete his or her degree within 150 percent of the allotted timeframe based on credit hours.
Financial Aid staff encouraged students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid now. Staff also advised students to frequently check WebAdvisor for financial aid awards and information.

The U.S. Department of Education as well as HCC Financial Aid will be in touch with students affected by the changes.

For more information, contact HCC Financial Aid in Building 300, Room 337, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and after 5 p.m. by appointment, or call 252-536-7223.
Big Changes headed for HCC Financial Aid
Photo: HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. addressed students during the Presidential Forum, May 1.
Halifax Community College’s Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, templem@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Interim Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., rhoadesd@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239