Eligibility Requirements for Federal Student Aid

In order to be eligible for financial aid you must:
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • have a valid high school diploma or GED, or complete state approved home schooling;
  • have demonstrated financial need by completing the FAFSA;
  • be admitted into an approved degree or certificate program at FCC;
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress;
  • not be in default on a loan at any school;
  • not owe a refund on a grant at any school;
  • be registered with Selective Service, if required;
  • be enrolled for at least six (6) credit hours (not including audited courses). Some students enrolled for fewer than six credit hours may be eligible for the Pell Grant.

Maintaining eligibility:  

Satisfactory Academic Progress
If you do not meet the stated academic standards at the end of a semester (see charts below), you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  While on Financial Aid Warning, you are eligible to receive financial aid for one more semester.   If you do not meet the published standards at the end of the Warning semester, you will be suspended (even if you passed all of your classes). It is possible for a student to be placed on Warning without ever previously receiving aid. It is also possible for a student to be placed on suspension for Maximum Time Frame without a Warning semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid

The following policy is effective 2016-2017 starting with Fall 2016 calculation of grades.

Students receiving any federal, state, or institutional financial aid must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree or certificate in order to continue to receive assistance. If you have attended FCC prior to applying for financial aid, all prior academic coursework is included in the calculation of satisfactory academic progress. Your progress is reviewed at the end of each semester and will be determined by three criteria:

a. COMPLETION RATE:  the percentage of credits (college-level and developmental) completed each semester divided by the number of credits attempted each semester, including summer sessions;

b. GPA:  minimum grade point average for total credits attempted; and

c. MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME:  program completion within the specified time frame (based on attempted credits, not length of enrollment).

If you are pursuing an A.A.T. degree, you are required to meet the completion rate and minimum grade point average requirements listed below:
Total Credits Attempted Minimum GPA Completion Rate (of total attempted)
0 - 15 2.00 50%
16 - 45 2.50 67%
46 & above 2.75 67%

Students pursuing any other eligible associate degree or certificate program (not A.A.T.) must adhere to the following standards:
Total Credits Attempted Minimum GPA Completion Rate (of total attempted)
0 – 15 2.00 50%
16 & above 2.00 67%

Credits attempted include developmental classes. See the Schedule of Classes for the credit hour equivalent for developmental coursework. Grades of Incomplete (I), Repeat (R), In Progress (Z), Audit (X), Withdraw (W), and Fail (F) are not considered successful completion. Grades of D and lower in developmental courses are also not considered successfully completed for the completion rate calculation.

If you do not meet the stated academic standards at the end of a semester, you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. If you receive all non-passing grades for all classes in a semester, you must document your attendance in classes. You will be notified as to procedures to document attendance and all future financial aid awards will be canceled until attendance is documented. See FAQ #6.

Maximum Time Frame
Financial aid applicants must complete their degree or certificate program within a time frame that is no longer than 150% of the published length (# of credits) of the program. The time frame includes all attempted coursework at FCC plus transfer and advanced placement credits. Even if you change degree programs, all coursework must be counted. Accepted transfer credits and advanced placement credits that fulfill requirements in the degree/certificate are included.

For example, the General Studies A.A. degree program requires a maximum of 60 credit hours. To maintain financial aid eligibility, you may attempt no more than 90 (60 * 1.5=90) credit hours to complete the degree program.

Developmental Coursework
If you are enrolled in an eligible program you can receive financial aid for up to one year (30 credits) of developmental coursework. Developmental coursework is not counted when determining maximum time frame. Certain certificate programs do not require math courses, so developmental coursework may be ineligible for aid if it does not need to be taken for a student’s current program of study. Students may also receive aid for ESL coursework. ESL coursework is not counted when determining maximum time frame. Students are not limited to the number of ESL courses they may take for Financial Aid purposes.

Appeal Process and Reinstatement of Financial Aid
If you become ineligible for financial aid due to academic progress or maximum time frame, you may submit a written appeal to the Financial Aid Office.  Students must have extenuating circumstances that led to their inability to meet the standards, and these circumstances must be resolved so as not to hinder future academic progress. Examples include: death in immediate family, involuntary transfer or change in work hours by employer, serious illness/accident/medical condition, or other documentable extenuating circumstances.  All appeals are reviewed by a Financial Aid Committee, and decisions are emailed to FCC student emails.  An Appeal for Financial Aid Suspension, Maximum Time Frame and Unusual Enrollment History can be found here. Please complete all steps listed on the form.

Financial Aid

Email: Financial Aid
Student Center, H-106

Phone: 301.846.2480
Fax: 301.624.2886

Current office hours:

8:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday - Thursday*:
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

*Thursday hours:
Open until 6:00pm
(January, July, August)

Student Accounts

Email: Student Accounts
Student Center, H105

Phone: 301.846.2658
Fax: 301.846.2648

Current office hours:

8:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday - Thursday:
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

*Thursday hours:
Open until 6:00pm
(January, July, August)

10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


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