Financial Aid Information
Board Policy 5130
Copper Mountain College processes federal, state, and institutional aid for students who meet the eligibility requirements for the specific programs. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for state and federal aid for which they may be eligible. Students are also encouraged to apply for any institutional and outside scholarships possible. Scholarships are posted on the financial aid bulletin board in Student Services and various scholarship websites are available on the CMC's website at www.cmccd.edu. A free scholarship search is available at www.fastweb.org.
How to Apply
Most federal and state aid is based on need. The federal processor determines a student’s need for Federal Student Aid using the FAFSA that the student files each year. Students are encouraged to file the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible. The FAFSA should be filed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The state also uses the FAFSA to determine need for Cal Grant consideration. The primary Cal Grant deadline is March 2.
After analyzing the information on the FAFSA, the federal processor will send the applicant a Student Aid Report (SAR) and CMC an electronic record of your need analysis. The Financial Aid Office will advise the applicant of any further information he or she will need to provide. Once the file is complete, the applicant will receive an award letter indicating the financial aid he or she is eligible to receive.
Withdrawal & Repayment of Funds
To continue to receive financial aid, students are required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. The SAP standards are defined as maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 and cumulatively completing 67% of attempted units, all while completing your program within 150% of the program’s published units (for ex. you have 90 units to complete a 60 unit program). The federal government is willing to provide assistance to students as they pursue an education. However, it will not provide aid to students who are not completing their coursework satisfactorily or are not completing their program in a timely manner. Therefore, students are in danger of losing their aid eligibility if they take more courses in a semester than they can reasonably complete or if they do not take the appropriate courses to complete their program’s requirements.
Students are advised to meet with a counselor to develop an educational plan, to be realistic about the number of courses they can satisfactorily complete in a given semester, and then to be diligent in class attendance and completion of assignments. In the event something should occur to prevent the student from attending, it is the student’s responsibility to drop the class in the Admissions Office of Student Services. Failure to officially withdraw may result in failures on transcripts and loss of financial aid in future semesters. Total withdrawal prior to the completion of 60% of the semester will result in a recalculation of the aid the student is entitled to receive. In keeping with federal regulations, the recalculation may require the student to repay some of the unearned aid they had received. Failure to return the funds would result in loss of eligibility for future aid until the funds are repaid.
Copper Mountain College participates in the following financial aid programs. Most of the aid is need-based, so students should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to apply for federal and state aid. This may be done on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Award letters from CMC will advise students of the assistance they are eligible to receive. The only non-need based Financial Aid consists of Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans (which requires a processed FAFSA) and some institutional awards.
- Pell Grants: These federal grants provide the foundation for the financial aid “package” to which other aid may be added based on the amount the student is eligible to receive and upon the availability of funds.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): These limited federal grants are awarded to eligible students whose FAFSA indicated an exceptional financial need. These are awarded while funds are available.
- Federal Work Study (FWS): This federal program enables eligible students to help pay their school expenses through part-time employment on campus. Qualified students who have received tutor training may also work as tutors in elementary and middle schools in support of the national America Reads and America Counts programs.
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans: The Federal Government makes these loans available to eligible students whose need cannot be met by other sources. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 units per semester and have a processed FAFSA form to show eligibility for loans. Loan packets may be picked up at the Financial Aid counter in Student Services. These packets go into further detail about loan eligibility and disbursements. Students are not advised to take out these loans except as the last resort and are encouraged to apply for scholarships, work study, or other sources that do not require repayment. Excessive borrowing can cause hardship for students and may prevent them from completing their educational program.
- Cal Grants B & C: These state-funded grants are awarded by the California Student Aid Commission to California residents who qualify on the basis of financial need and merit or vocational objective. Students should file their FAFSA early to make the March 2 priority deadline. There is a second deadline of September 2 for community college students only. It is to the student’s benefit to make the March deadline. Enrollment and GPA verifications for the Cal Grant program are sent to the state by CMC. Students with fewer than 24 completed credits should have their high schools send their GPA verifications.
- Board of Governor’s Waiver Program (BOGW): This state program waives the payment of enrollment fees for California residents who qualify based on financial need, public assistance, or who meet specific income standards. The most effective way to apply for the waiver is to file the FAFSA early enough for the student to be assured of waiver eligibility prior to registration. Scholarships – Institutional and Other Sources: Scholarships are awarded by CMC and by other agencies on the basis of merit, academic promise, financial need, program of study, or other criteria as specified by the donors of the scholarships. The number and types of scholarship awards available, the amounts awarded , and the application procedures vary. Applications and additional information is available from Student Services, and scholarships are posted on the bulletin board in Financial Aid as they become available. Students are encouraged to apply for all scholarships for which they
qualify. Frequently scholarships are renewable. A free scholarship search is available at www.fastweb.com.
- Other Sources of Assistance: Tutoring, books, and other types of support are available for students who meet the criteria for the program. Assistance from Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE), and Disabled Students Programs and Services (ACCESS) may also be available. Check their listings for further information.
Financial aid is disbursed through a student's choice of method. This choice can be changed often each semester. Choices include ACH directly to a student's bank account or the use of a debit card. If neither of these works, please see the Financial Aid Director for other means of disbursement. Students are invited to explore these choices when they first enroll in classes. Pell is disbursed 3 times per semester: 30% at the end of the first week on college, 20% after census and the remaining 50% after half of the term is over -- please see the Financial Aid Planner for exact dates.