CATALOG: How Financial Need is Determined

To qualify for financial aid, students must demonstrate financial need, which is defined as the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined by information provided on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Every student budget is based on the cost of attendance for students who meet specific domicile or program criteria. The cost of attendance is determined as follows:

Average Tuition and Fees $4,820
Books and Supplies $1,400
Living Expenses $7,800
Transportation $2,440
Cost of Attendance * $18,729

* This cost of attendance is based on 2021-22  figures. The cost of attendance changes annually. The illustration above is for an in-state student. Average cost of attendance figures for each year may be obtained from the financial aid office. Individuals with questions about cost of attendance used in calculation of their aid award should contact the financial aid office.

Special Circumstances

The Financial Aid Office seeks to administer financial aid:

  • in accordance with federal, state, and institutional regulations and policies,
  • in a fair and consistent manner among students, and
  • on a timely basis.

Within these parameters, the Financial Aid Office is committed to maximizing the qualifications of all financial aid applicants. A student who questions a decision that has been made, or who wishes to present an extenuating circumstance, is provided the opportunity to file a written appeal and have the situation further reviewed.

If you would like to file an appeal, contact the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid staff members can advise you regarding the procedures to follow.

Reasons for an appeal, though not limited to these, typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • Loss of financial aid due to unsatisfactory academic progress;
  • The need to apply for financial aid as a dependent student and thus to provide parental information on the application;
  • A significant change in the household (e.g., marital separation of student or parents, loss or reduction of employment on part of student or parents, loss or reduction of untaxed income such as child support or Social Security benefits, death of parent, etc.);
  • Unusually high out-of-pocket medical/dental expenses;
  • Child care expenses during time spent at school;
  • Financial aid information provided was inaccurate or insufficient in nature;
  • Financial aid was not delivered in a timely manner.

Dropping vs. Withdrawing

During the add/drop period of the semester, you will drop a class by filling out the proper paperwork in the Admissions and Records Office or on our website using myRCC. Dropped classes never show up on your record; you do not pay for them, and we do not count them toward your enrollment status. Your aid will most likely be reduced if you drop a class. After the end of the add/drop period, it is considered a withdrawal from a class. (Refer to Registration and Tuition for more information about dropping classes and withdrawals.) Withdrawals can be executed in the Admissions and Records Office or online through the self service menu in myRCC. The withdrawal stays on your record; we do count it toward your enrollment status, and you may owe funds to the federal government and/or the College if you withdraw from all courses. Students who withdraw frequently run the risk of losing their eligibility in the future.

Total Withdrawal and Return of Federal Financial Aid

If you withdraw from or stop attending all classes after the end of the add/drop period but before the 60% point of the semester (last day to withdraw without academic penalty) has passed, you will have to repay a portion of your aid that was disbursed. The longer you attend, the less you might owe. Stick with it as long as possible.

Federal and state law requires us to return part of your financial aid if you withdraw from or stop attending all classes before the 60% point of the semester has passed. You will have to repay part of your financial aid that is deemed “unearned” by the U.S. Department of Education. The specified percentage of funds you are financially liable to return is based on your last date of attendance for that particular semester.

A school is required to return Title IV funds to the programs from which the student received aid during the payment period or period of enrollment as applicable, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  • Federal Pell Grants for which a Return is required
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) for which a return
    of funds is required

If you do not repay the portion of financial aid funds for which you are responsible, you may be reported to the federal government, thus becoming ineligible for future financial assistance at any college or university in the United States.

This applies to all students who receive a Federal & State aid (i.e. Pell Grant, SEOG, COMA, VGAP, and who withdraw from or stop attending all classes. Because each student’s situation is based on several factors (i.e. the type and amount of aid received, the last date of attendance, tuition, fees, and/or book charges) it is very important that you discuss your individual case with a financial aid representative. If you have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Last modified on 08-25-2022