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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

This is a simplified explanation of the South Seattle College Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. The full text of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy can be found below. You are required to read and understand the South Seattle College Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, and you agree to abide by the full policy when you accept your Financial Aid Award Letter.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Students receiving financial aid are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress by achieving qualitative and quantitative measurements for their funding sources. All classes a student attempts for the quarter are counted towards these measurements, including classes not covered under financial aid funding. No student receiving funding facilitated through the Financial Aid Office at South Seattle College is exempt from this policy—no exceptions.

Quantitative Requirements

The Quantitative calculation measures the Completion Ratio, which is the credits earned out of the credits attempted and is expressed as a percentage. Students are required to have a 67% or better Completion Ratio during the quarterly and annual review. All Credits Attempted and Earned (100 level or higher, and ESL, Math, and English credits between 080 and 099 including credits taken as part of the Running Start program at South) are used in this measurement. Credits transferred into South are not included in this measurement. Students that do not meet the 67% or better Completion Ratio during the annual review will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension Status.

= Completion Ratio

Qualitative Requirements

The Qualitative measure pertains to the student’s current Grade Point Average (GPA). Only the Cumulative College Level Grade Point Average (CCLGPA) is used for this calculation. Students must have at least a 2.00 CCLGPA to pass this measurement. Students who have never attended South and do not have a CCLGPA, by default, pass this measurement. Students with a CCLGPA below 2.00 will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension Status during the annual review or Financial Aid Warning Status or Suspension Status during the quarterly review.

Out of Time

In addition to the Qualitative and Quantitative measures, you are subject to an annual Out of Time measurement called Maximum Time frame. If you do not complete your degree within 125% of the credits required for your program you are considered to be Out of Time, and may not receive financial aid funding.  If you believe that you have unusual circumstances that prevented you from completing your degree in a timely manner, you may request an Out of Time Appeal form be sent to you. Appeal determinations are usually made within 10-15 business days.

Track Your Own Progress

You are highly encouraged to track your own Satisfactory Academic Progress to ensure you are meeting the standards. The easiest way to do this is to print a Degree Audit for your program of study, add together all of your earned credits, add together all of your attempted credits, and then use the Completion Ratio listed above.

Repeat Course Work

Seattle College does not allow a student to receive financial aid for a repeated course; that is, a course they already passed with at least a 0.001 grade.

Auditing a Class

You may not Audit a class while receiving financial aid funding.  If it is discovered that you audited a classed while receiving financial aid funding, you will be required to repay some or all of the financial aid you received.

Remedial Course Work

You may receive up to 45 credits worth of financial aid funding for remedial coursework.  Remedial coursework is defined as courses in Math, English, and English as a Second Language (ESL) that are level 080 to 099. You must be able to show that all remedial course work will be finished within 45 credits or financial aid will be discontinued until it can be mathematically shown that you can complete all required remedial course work with 45 credits.

SAP Status

Students are required to meet a qualitative measure to be considered meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.  At the beginning of each academic year, a student must have at least a 2.00 overall College Level GPA to be eligible for Financial Aid funding.

Some financial aid programs require a quarterly GPA check.  Students receiving State Financial Aid, such as the Washington State Need Grant, College Bound, Passport to College, and State Work Study, must have a 2.00 quarterly GPA to continue receiving aid.

Students in certificate programs, are required to have their GPA checked quarterly, however they are required to have a 2.00 Overall College Level GPA not a quarterly GPA.

In additional to the annual calculation listed above, students receiving certain types of financial aid, or attending a certificate program must be evaluated quarterly.  Students receiving State Financial Aid such as the Washington State Need Grant, College Bound, Passport to College, or State Work Study must complete 100% of their quarterly attempted credits to maintain eligibility for this funding.  Students that earn between 99%-50% of their attempted credits will be placed on STATE PRIORITY 2 status and all disbursed State Financial Aid will be canceled and awarded to other students.  Students who complete 0%-49% of their attempted credits will be placed on SUSPENSION for state aid only, and all disbursed State Financial Aid will be canceled and awarded to other students.  Note, students may be on SUSPENSION from state aid, and still be eligible to receive federal and institutional financial aid funding.

Tracking your Own Progress

Students are highly encouraged to tack their own Satisfactory Academic Progress to ensure they are meeting standards. The easiest way to do this, is to print a Degree Audit for your program of study, add together all of your earned, and then add all of your attempted credits, and use the completion ratio listed above. 

SAP Status

You are assigned a SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) status at the beginning of each academic year. Each quarter you will have that status adjusted accordingly. Below is a list of possible SAP statuses and their meaning:

  • Eligible – You have passed all measurements for the financial aid funding you are receiving and are eligible for financial aid disbursements each quarter.
  • Suspension - You failed one or more of the measurements and are no longer eligible for your financial aid funding.  Future aid for which you have lost eligibility is canceled and immediately awarded to another student.  On this status you have the right to appeal if you can demonstrate unusual circumstances that contributed to you inability to meet measurements—See Re-Establishing your Eligibility below.
  • Probation – You were on Suspension, but successfully appealed your Suspension status and are now eligible to receive financial aid funding under more restrictive Terms and Conditions.
  • Repayment – You owe money to a financial aid program or South Seattle College and are not eligible to receive any future financial aid disbursements until the money is repaid.  Future aid is canceled and immediately awarded to another student.  Once repaid, you will have your status changed to Eligible, Suspension, or Probation depending on a review of your measurements.
  • Out of Time – You have exceeded the allowable number of credits attempted for your program of study, or cannot mathematically complete the program within the allowable time-frame and are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. If you are Out of Time you have the right to appeal if you can demonstrate unusual circumstances that contributed to your inability to meet this measurement—See Re-Establishing your Eligibility below.

Re-establishing your Eligibility

If you are placed on financial aid suspension, you are not eligible to receive financial aid funding. 

You must take classes on your own until your Completion Ratio is at least 67% and your CCLGPA is at least 2.00. Once this is achieved you may contact the Financial Aid Office in writing and request to have your file re-evaluated. 

If you believe you have experienced unusual circumstances that prevented you from being successful, you may submit the
Appeal Form. Appeals determinations are usually made within 10-15 business days

Classes Outside South Program

Students may not receive financial aid funding for classes that are not needed for their program of study at South.  The Financial Aid Office uses your Degree Audit to determine which classes you need and which you do not.  Course that fall into “Unused Courses” on your Degree Audit are not eligible for financial aid funding.  It is your responsibility to declare to the Financial Aid Office if you plan to take courses outside your South Program.  This is especially important for students planning to transfer to a 4 year University.   

It is important to note that not all classes that appear on your educational plan are eligible for financial aid.  Academic Advisors build your educational plan to help you meet your long term educational goals, however some of the classes on your Ed Plan are not financial aid eligible, and it is not your Academic Advisors responsibility to tell you which are or are not financial aid eligible.  If you have questions regarding a class’s eligibility, you should come into the Financial Aid Office with your Educational Plan, and a copy of your Degree Audit for review.  We are happy to work with you and your Academic Advisor that will make out your financial responsibilities.

South Seattle College has the legal responsibility to bill students for any financial aid they receive in error for up to 3 years for federal aid, and 7 years for state and institutional aid.  South Seattle College may also reduce future distributions of aid instead of billing the student.  Students have 45 days to repay any own balance generated because of this process to the school, failure to return the funds within 45 days will remand the debt to the US Department of Education and/or the Washington Student Achievement Council.  Debt remanded in this way will prevent you from receiving financial aid at any college or university across the country.

Return of Title IV

This is a simplified explanation of the South Seattle College Financial Aid Return of Title IV Policy. The full text of the Return of Title IV Policy can be found below. You are required to read and understand the South Seattle College Return of Title IV Policy, and you agree to abide by the full policy when you accept your Financial Aid Award Letter.

South Seattle College Return of Title IV Policy.

Students earn their quarterly disbursement of financial aid funds over time by attending classes, taking tests, engaging in online class focused discussions, and in general engaging in the classes they are receiving financial aid to attend.  When a student withdraws or fails some of their classes, the South Seattle College Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is engaged.  When a student withdraws or fails 100% of the classes they received financial aid funds to attend, the Return of Title IV Policy and the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy are engaged.

The Return of Title IV (R2T4) process is a calculation which determines how much of your financial aid you earned before you stopped attending 100% of your classes.  Based on the determination, financial aid funds may need to be returned to the federal or state government.  When the R2T4 process is complete both the student and the school may need to return funds.  When there is a school portion that must be returned South will pay the owing balance and then bill the student.

State financial aid is similar in that it also must be returned but at a flat rate of 50%.

The Financial Aid Office will process the 4 page calculation for any student who has actually withdrawn.  We will not process estimates or “what if” hypotheticals. 

All students are encouraged to attend their classes, even if they cannot pass them.  Students who continue to engage in the learning process through the entire quarter, even if they receive an “F” or failing grade, will not be subject to the R2T4 process as they are shown to have “earned the F” by attending and engaging in the learning process the entire quarter.

Selective Service

All male US Citizens are required by federal law to register with Selective Service between the ages of 18 and 26.  Males that do not register forfeit the right to certain civil liberties, including access to federal, state, and institutional financial aid funding. 

South Seattle College allows students who were incarcerated or institutionalized 100% of the time between the ages of 18-26, or those who entered the country after age 25, and those who failed to register but served one minute or more of active duty or were/are Reservists/National Guard to be considered for a Selective Service Appeal.

Students who chose not to register or failed to register due to lack of understanding or their own negligence will not be allowed to appeal, with the exception of new US Citizens who enter into the country after the age of 25 as it is possible that they do not understand that they are required to register during the less than 365 days since their entrance into the country.  Those who served Active Duty or are Reservists or National Guard serve their (potentially in battle) even if they did not register, in addition, many Active Military believe that by joining the Armed Forces they are registering with Selective Service.

Students whose appeals do not meet the above criteria will still be allowed to appeal, however, staff will share the decreased likelihood of a positive outcome.  Students will be told at this point and in writing with a negative appeal outcome, that they may be able to appeal and receive financial aid at another institution as each school sets different criteria.

Release of Information

As a courtesy to students, South Seattle College’s Financial Aid allows students to authorize another individual to obtain FERPA protected information on their behalf.  As South is committed to protecting the safety and security of student information, our process of information release is extremely strict and is non-negotiable.

Unfortunately, many parents and others trying to help their students have instead caused undue hardship for their child and the Financial Aid Office by being overly aggressive and demanding in their requests for information.  Because of this, the Financial Aid Director reserves the right to limit or revoke a student’s release of information.  A notice of revocation will be sent to the student only. 

Please remember that Financial Aid belongs to the student, not the parent, spouse or guardian.  South staff will help the student navigate the process of Financial Aid because it is the student who is ultimately responsible for agreeing to and following the terms and conditions of financial aid.  While we respect the student’s desire to bring another party into the discussion of financial aid, if we feel that party is “taking over” the process from the student or “completing the process for them” we will also revoke the Release of Information.

Ultimately, our goal is not punitive, but a student applying for financial aid is engaging in a legally binding agreement with severe life long consequences for misunderstanding policies.  In an effort to serve our students, we will revoke abused Releases of Information.

Students who bring “guests” with them to a student appointment will be required to complete a Release of Information form good for that day only.  The “guest” must provide government issued picture ID, and their name must exactly match what is written on the Release of Information.  The Financial Aid Office and staff reserves the right to discontinue conversations that they feel is no longer beneficial to the student, likewise, the Financial Aid Staff may request the “guest” to exit the appointment and wait in our designated waiting area for the student.

Students may complete a Release of Information good for the entire Financial Aid Award Year, but only for items pertaining to that Award Year.  It is the accession of the Financial Aid Office which materials will be shared or reserved from the person listed on the Information Release Form.  To set up the Information of Release form, the student must come in with government issued picture ID and complete the Release of Information form.  The person designated on the form may only receive information in person by coming into the Financial Aid Office and showing picture ID that exactly matches the information on the Release of Information Form.  The Financial Aid Office staff will make the final determination regarding whether the person showing picture ID meets the criteria to receive information.  No information will ever be given through any other channel except in person through an Information Release Form.

Financial Aid Appeals

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal 

Students have the right to appeal their Satisfactory Academic Progress Status for Suspension, and Out of Time, only.  Students must prove an unusual circumstance that prevented them from achieving the required measurements.  We consider an unusual circumstance one that a normal student would not face while in school.  Examples of unusual circumstances we consider appealable are: Death in the immediate family, hospitalization, car accident with medical trama; circumstances we do NOT consider appealable are: Failure to balance work, life and school; taking classes without the proper books, tools, or supplies; short term illnesses such as a common cold; not understanding the rigors of online, hybrid, or short term courses.   In general, students are allowed one Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal.

The Financial Aid Appeal Form is available here, Financial Aid Appeal Form.

If a student’s appeal is approved, they will be placed into Probation status and given new terms and conditions to follow to maintain eligibility to receive financial aid.  Students who receive Probation status only regain their eligibility for funding, the Financial Aid Office makes no guarantees to return any amount of funding the student had prior to their Suspension or Out of Time status.  Students will remain on Probation status until they meet the terms listed on their Probation Approved Letter, or meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

Students may appeal the Financial Aid Office’s decision to deny a Financial Aid Appeal only on the basis of failing to follow policy and precedence.  The student must make the request in writing to the Director of Financial Aid by sending an email to financialsouth@seattlecolleges.edu  Once received, the Director will provide the original Financial Aid Appeal form and supporting documents, to the Vice President of Student Services who will render a final and binding decision within 10 business days.

Neither the Financial Aid Office or the Vice President of Student Services will see students in person or over the phone regarding a Financial Aid Appeal.  All appeals are handled in writing to avoid emotional bias.

Selective Service Appeal

Virtually all male U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and male immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, residing in the United States, who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.  This is a federal law, and as such certain civil liberties require registration.  Eligibility for federal financial aid funding is one of those civil liberties that require registration.  However, the law allows the benefit granter the ability to individually approve a male who did not register.  To guide our appeal approval process, South Seattle College has adopted a policy surrounding Selective Service Appeals.

This is South Seattle College’s Selective Service Appeal Policy:

All male US Citizens are required by federal law to register with Selective Service between the ages of 18 and 26.  Males that do not register forfeit the right to certain civil liberties, including access to federal, state, and institutional financial aid funding. 

South Seattle College allows students who were incarcerated or institutionalized 100% of the time between the ages of 18-26, or those who entered the country after age 25, and those who failed to register but served one minute or more of active duty or were/are Reservists/National Guard to be considered for a Selective Service Appeal.

Students who chose not to register or failed to register due to lack of understanding or their own negligence will not be allowed to appeal, with the exception of new US Citizens who enter into the country after the age of 25 as it is possible that they do not understand that they are required to register during the less than 365 days since their entrance into the country.  Those who served Active Duty or are Reservists or National Guard serve their (potentially in battle) even if they did not register, in addition, many Active Military believe that by joining the Armed Forces they are registering with Selective Service.

Students whose’s appeals do not meet the above criteria will still be allowed to appeal, however, staff will share the decreased likelihood of a positive outcome.  Students will be told at this point and in writing with a negative appeal outcome, that they may be able to appeal and receive financial aid at another institution as each school sets different criteria.

To appeal, the student must write a written statement explaining why they did not register with Selective Service.  The statement should be emailed to financialsouth@seattlecolleges.edu  A response email with either a decision to approve or deny financial aid benefits will be extended, typically within 10 business days. 

Students may appeal the Financial Aid Office’s decision to deny a Financial Aid Appeal only on the basis of failing to follow policy and precedence.  The student must make the request in writing to the Director of Financial Aid by sending an email to financialsouth@seattlecolleges.edu  Once received, the Director will provide the original Financial Aid Appeal form and supporting documents, to the Vice President of Student Services who will render a final and binding decision within 10 business days.

All Other Types of Appeals 

There are numerous types of appeal situations throughout the Financial Aid Application process.  If you would like to appeal a decision that has been made regarding your financial aid, you should write a statement and send it via email to financialsouth@seattlecolleges.edu  A response email will be sent, typically within 10 business days.

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that helps protect the privacy of student education records, while also defining the obligations and practices that institutions must adopt and implement in order to be in compliance.

The South Financial Aid Office takes FERPA regulations very seriously, and will go above and beyond to protect your information through all stages of the financial aid process.  Under certain circumstances, this may limit your ability to authorize others (Information Release) to obtain your FERPA protected information.

Our policy is to require picture identification whenever someone asks for FERPA protected (non-general) financial aid information.  Picture identification will be checked to verify name, and likeness to the individual requesting the information.  The Financial Aid Office will accept government or state issued identification cards, passports, or South Seattle College Student ID Cards.  The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to question any identification presented, and to refuse to provide FERPA protected information until supporting evidence can be submitted by the individual to prove their identity.

If picture identification is not available, the Financial Aid Office will ask three randomly chosen questions to confirm the persons identity matches existing data in our system.  The individual must answer all three questions exactly right to gain access to FERPA protected information.  The Financial Aid Office determines whether or not the question was answered “exactly right”.  If one of the questions is incorrect, the individual will be informed that they did not get all of the questions right and must come in with picture identification to obtain information.  The Financial Aid Office will not share which question was answered wrong, and will ask all three regardless of right or wrong answer to prevent pattern recognition.

Outside Scholarships

Outside Scholarships are those provided by any donor not affiliated with South Seattle College.  Examples include South Seattle College Foundation Scholarships, tribal scholarships, and employer scholarships.  The Financial Aid Office will do what we can to meet donor expectations for disbursement of scholarship funds.  If we cannot comply with a request, we will return the scholarship check to either the donor or the student with an explanation of the reason for return.

The Financial Aid Office prefers that donors send scholarship checks directly to our office rather than to the student recipient.  Checks should be mailed no later than 2 weeks before the quarter starts to ensure timely disbursement to the student recipient.  Please mail the check to:

South Seattle College
Financial Aid Office
6000 16th Ave. SW
Seattle, WA  98106

Scholarships should be sent to the Financial Aid Office with an “Award Letter” indicating, at a minimum, the following information for processing or the check may be returned to the donor:

  • Student recipients name
  • Student’s Social Security Number or South Seattle College Student Identification Number
  • If the student has a common name, please also include their date of birth
  • Total amount of scholarship for the academic year
  • How much the student should receive each quarter
  • Minimum enrollment level (full time, or part time), minimum GPA requirement
  • Contact name and number/email of the donor in case we have questions
  • Contact address for the donor in case we need to return the check

The Financial Aid Office does not like to make assumptions regarding scholarship checks, however, if an “Award Letter” does not accompany the check or does not state otherwise, the Office will apply the following polices:

  1. The total amount of the check will be disbursed equally to the student over all quarters of expected attendance (Fall, Winter, Spring).
  2. The full amount will be disbursed regardless of student enrollment level, as long as the student is enrolled in at least one credit at South.
  3. The full amount will be disbursed regardless of student GPA unless they do not meet our Satisfactory Academic Progress minimums.
  4. The Office will follow our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy when determining if a student is eligible to receive the funds.

Within 6 weeks of the quarter start, the Office will return any funds to the donor which cannot be disbursed to the student.

Overpayment (Student Error Overpayment, South Administration Overpayment)

An Overpayment occurs when a student received financial aid funds for which they are not entitled.  There are two types of Overpayments, Overpayments created through a student error, and Overpayments created through a South administration error.

The Financial Aid Office assesses each Overpayment individually to determine how the Overpayment occurred.  Based on the determination of the staff, the Overpayment will be resolved through one or both of these policies.

Student Error Overpayment

Student Error Overpayments occur when information provided by the student or parent in the Application for Financial Aid is incorrect.  It can also occur when the student receives a financial aid disbursement at one enrollment level and then changes their enrollment level prior to the Financial Aid Census.

Students are responsible for Student Error Overpayments.  These Overpayments can be any number of agencies including the Federal or State Department of Education, South Seattle College, etc.

Students with Federal or State Department of Education Overpayments have 45 days from the date they are notified about the Overpayment to return the full amount of the funds to the South Seattle College Cashier’s Office.  Partial payments are generally not accepted.  If payment in full is not received within 45 days, the Overpayment is remanded to the Federal or State Department of Education.  There are serious consequences for students who do not repay an Overpayment during the 45 days allotted, including collection actions, wage garnishment, and tax return garnishment; student with an Overpayment may be prevented from receiving financial aid fund at any other institution.

Students in Overpayment are given a Satisfactory Academic Progress status of “Repayment”, which means they are not eligible to receive any future disbursements of financial aid funding from any federal, state, or institutional source, until the Repayment Status is resolved.

Students with an Overpayment are said to be indebted to South Seattle College and may not request Official Transcripts until the Overpayment is resolved.

South Administration Overpayment

With an error ratio of less than 1%, the South Seattle College Financial Aid Office does not often make funding errors.  However, if through no fault of the student, an Overpayment error was made, South Seattle College will—within reason—fix the Overpayment using institutional funding.  If the situation will produce issues for the student in the future, the Financial Aid Office will inform the student in writing of the South Administration Overpayment and what expected issues it may cause the student moving forward.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions define the “fine print” of the agreement the student makes with the Financial Aid Office when they accept their Financial Aid Award Letter.  It is extremely important that students read and understand the Terms and Conditions.  For this reason, the Terms and Conditions are linked to directly on the Financial Aid Award Letter.  The Financial Aid Award Letter reminds students that by accepting any of the funding listed on their Financial Aid Award Letter, they are agreeing to follow the Terms and Conditions.

Terms and Conditions may not be negotiated or altered by the student in any way.  South Seattle College reserves the right to change the Terms and Conditions at any time, and without individual student notification, though an announcement must be made on the Financial Aid Office website homepage.

There are two types of Terms and Conditions, General and State.  All students are subject to the General Terms and Conditions.  Students receiving State funding including Washington State Need Grant, College Bound, and Passport to College must also follow State Terms and Conditions.

Terms and Condtitions:

  • You must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program to receive any financial aid at South Seattle College.
  • Failure to accept the Offer of Financial Aid within 30 days of the date listed on the Offer may result in the cancellation of the Offer.
  • Federal Direct Loans require you to complete a Promissory Note and an online Loan Entrance Counseling session.
  • Your credit hours will be locked on Census Day. The date is updated every year on South’s Financial Aid website. Financial aid awards will be adjusted based on enrolled credits on Census Day.
  • All funds offered must first go toward payment of direct educational expenses as reflected on your student account (e.g. tuition, fees, room and board). Remaining funds may be disbursed to you in the form of a refund check after the 5th day of the quarter. You may only use this money for education related expenses.
  • You are required to report any additional tuition waivers, scholarships, grants, or loans not shown on the Offer of Financial Aid to the Financial Aid Office by email at financialsouth@seattlecolleges.edu.  Failure to do so may void your funding.
  • Financial aid will be prorated based on your enrollment level. In general, full time will receive 100%, three-quarter time will receive 75%, half-time will receive 50%, and less than half-time students will receive 0% of grant aid.
  • Financial aid will only cover required classes for your program of study; you may not use any form of financial aid to cover non-required classes.  If this may apply to you, you must contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • Credits enrolled per semester must meet the Federal Repeat Rule as defined in the catalog.
  • The total of all financial aid (scholarships, loans, etc.) may not exceed your Cost of Attendance for a given year. The Cost of Attendance figure listed on your Offer of Financial Aid is based on information obtained from your FAFSA.
  • By accepting any part of this and subsequent Offers of Financial Aid, you certify that you have read, understand, and accept the Satisfactory Academic Progress and Return of Title IV policies. Your Offer of Financial Aid is void if you become ineligible for any reason, including not making Satisfactory Academic Progress or academic disqualification.
  • The South Seattle College’s Financial Aid Office reserves the right to review, modify, or cancel Offers of Financial Aid at any time on the basis of information affecting your eligibility. This includes, but is not limited to, changes in your financial, marital, residence, or academic status, or changes in the availability of federal, state, private, or institutional funds and may occur without notice. Offers also may be modified based on disciplinary action taken against a recipient or on the discovery of processing errors.
  • Students must commence attendance in all registered classes to be eligible for financial aid.
  • South is not responsible for debts incurred by students before or after financial aid refund checks are issued.
  • You cannot receive Financial Aid for audited classes.
  • You may only receive Financial Aid at one school per award period (semester, trimester, quarter).

State Aid Terms and Condtitions:

  • I am a resident of the State of Washington, in accordance with RCW 28B.15.011-013.
  • I do not owe a refund or repayment on a State Grants, a Pell Grant, Academic-Competitiveness Grant, SMART Grant or a Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant; nor am I in default on a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under the Federal Family Education Loan Program, the Federal Perkins Loan Program, or the Federal Direct Student Loan Program.
  • I am registered at least three credits at this institution and am making satisfactory progress toward completion of my degree or Certificate.
  • I understand that this grant is awarded to assist in meeting educational expenses and should I withdraw from classes, repayment of all or part of the grant may be required.
  • I understand that when I am able, I can voluntarily make financial contributions to the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), in recognition of the STATE GRANTS, and that these gifts will be used to provide financial assistance to other students.
  • I understand that the offer of a STATE GRANT is subject to and conditioned upon the availability of funds. Further, I agree that the Washington Student Achievement Council and this institution reserve the right to withdraw, reduce, or modify the grant due to funding limitations or due to changes in circumstances which affect my eligibility for the STATE GRANTS.
  • I am not pursuing a degree in theology.

Written Policy vs Verbal Explanations

The Financial Aid Office will often be called upon to explain verbally, its policies and procedures to students, and other stakeholders.  The Office strives to make this information complete and reliable at the time it is delivered.  However, no verbal explanation will supersede any written policy, procedure, term, or condition as supplied to the student or via our website or catalogue.

Summer Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Award Letter states which terms the student will receive financial aid.  If Summer Term is not indicated on a student’s Financial Aid Award Letter or on their Financial Aid Student Portal, then the student should have no expectation of receiving financial aid for this term.

In general, students receive their full, yearly amount of financial aid funding when attending full time, Fall, Winter, and Spring terms.  This may leave little to no financial aid remaining for Summer Term.

Students that want to apply to see if they may be eligible to receive financial aid for Summer Term must complete the Summer Aid Request Form.  The Summer Aid Request Form is available on the first day students can register for Summer classes.

The deadlines for summer is short, so students interested in Summer Financial Aid, must apply on time.

Financial Aid funding in the summer is extremely limited.  Priority funding is given to students in year long programs (those programs that require summer attendance).

Students will be awarded, for Summer and their awards will display on the Financial Aid Student Portal, no Financial Aid Award Letter will be generated via email.  The student must accept their Financial Aid before the date listed on the Financial Aid Homepage or the offer of Summer Financial Aid will be rescinded.

Income Reductions

An Income Reduction is where a Financial Aid Staff member uses a student’s current year family information rather than prior-prior year (2 year old information) on the FAFSA or WASFA.  Income Reductions are considered a Professional Judgement and fall within the perview of the college which must have a policy regarding when Income Reductions will be performed.

South’s policy is to perform an Income Reduction only when requested by the student, and only when that reducing that income will result in a better Financial Aid Award Letter for the student.  The following criteria determine initial student eligibility to request an Income Reduction:

  • Students are allowed only one Income Reduction during their entire time at South Seattle College.  This is important for the student and the Financial Aid Staff to consider when requesting or approving an Income Reduction.
  • The Income Reduction Form will not be made available to students until July 1
  • The burden of proof is placed on the student to show that the loss of income is through no fault of their own.
    • Students (and/or parent/spouse) who quit a job or reduce hours willingly, even to attend school, may not receive an income reduction.
    • Students (and/or parent/spouse) who are fired for cause or quit, may not receive an income reduction, unless the individual shows evidence of pursing a wrongful termination suit, or shows that while they were fired or quit, the employer is at fault, for example quitting a job due to sexual harassment or unsafe work conditions.
    • Veterans, who’s tour of duty is ended may apply for an Income Reduction.
  • Income Reductions are generally not approved to disregard one time lump sum payments such as for a lawsuit settlement, inheritance, or gambling winnings.
  • Unemployment benefits will be included in the Income Reduction.
  • The student is responsible for providing the Financial Aid Office with all requested information to perform the Income Reduction.  Failure to provide documentation will void the Income Reduction request.
  • No Income Reduction will be performed until the student’s file has been reviewed, and an initial Financial Aid Award Letter or Financial Aid Determination Letter has been sent to the student.
  • If the Income Reduction request is denied, the Financial Aid Office will send a notification to the student indicating why.
  • The Income Reduction process will always be performed in the best interest of the student as determined by the Financial Aid Office.

Students who wish to peruse the Income Reduction must complete the form and submit it to financialsouth@seattlecolleges.edu along with needed supporting documentation as listed on the form.  Additional items may be requested during the Income Reduction review.

Dependency Override

The financial aid system is based in part, on the premise that parents are financially responsible for their child’s education until that meets one of the Independence criteria on the FAFSA/WASFA.  In rare instances students that do not meet the Independence criteria cannot or should not be responsible for obtaining financial information from their parents to put on the FAFSA/WASFA.  When a student requests to be consider an Independent student for purposes of the FAFSA/WASFA, we call this a Dependency Override.

South will consider a Dependency Override for students who prove, mental, physical, sexual abuse, or abandonment by their parents.  The burden of proof is on the student, to prove the reason for requesting the Dependency Override, and no “coaching” will be provided to the student on how to write the personal statement, but assistance will be given to help the student identify documents that could help him/her support their case.

The decision of the Financial Aid Office is final and may not be appealed further.

Students who are approved, must provide a written statement every year they apply for financial aid.  This written statement must clearly state that the conditions that led to their Dependency Override have not changed.

Consortium Agreement

Consortium Agreements are contracts between a Home School (the school where the student plans to graduate) and the Host School (the school where the student is taking classes that lead towards graduation at the Home School).  South enters into Consortium Agreements at its discretion and may reject a Consortium Agreement both for its own students and students that would like to be hosted.

In general, South will approve a Consortium Agreement as long as all needed paperwork is on file 2 weeks before the quarter starts, the other school’s administration is responsive and agrees to our terms and conditions for a Consortium Agreement, and the student follows all other stated requests.

South is Home School

When South is the Home School, we will disburse financial aid directly to the student through BankMobile, which the student must then use to pay their owing balance at their Host School.  South will not send funds directly to the Host School.

Students are responsible for ensuring that all classes taken at the Host School are required for their degree at South Seattle College.  Students are also responsible for letting the South Financial Aid Office know if they withdraw or fail any of the courses they are taking at the Host School.  Students are responsible for obtaining Official Transcripts from the Host School after the term has ended and having those transcripts evaluated for their South degree.  No further financial aid funding will be disbursed to the student until the transcript has been evaluated (see the Transfer section for more information about the Transcript Evaluation Process at South).  As Transcript Evaluations typically take a minimum of 3 weeks, the student is responsible for making payment arrangements outside of financial aid funding to cover their next term charges.  After the Transcript Evaluation, if the student still has a Satisfactory Academic Progress Status of Eligible, or Probation, South will disburse pending financial aid funds to pay the student’s account or reimburse the student.  There is no exception to the Transcript Evaluation being required, so student must plan accordingly.

South is the Host School

South Seattle College will hold Consortium Agreement students in their classes for the first three weeks of the quarter unless other arrangements are made in writing.  After the third week, the student is responsible for making payment to South even if their Financial Aid through their Home School has not paid or they have yet to receive the funds.  Students may be sent to collections or dropped from their classes if payment is not received.

South will not automatically send Official Transcripts to the students Home School, the student is responsible for requesting those Official Transcripts from the Registration Office and paying any fees associated with the request.

South is the Host School

South Seattle College will hold Consortium Agreement students in their classes for the first three weeks of the quarter unless other arrangements are made in writing.  After the third week, the student is responsible for making payment to South even if their Financial Aid through their Home School has not paid or they have yet to receive the funds.  Students may be sent to collections or dropped from their classes if payment is not received.

South will not automatically send Official Transcripts to the students Home School, the student is responsible for requesting those Official Transcripts from the Registration Office and paying any fees associated with the request.

BAS Funding Requires 2 Year Degree and Admissions Requirements

Students pursuing one of South’s Bachelor’s degree programs are required to be fully admitted into the program before they may receive funding for the program.  Students who are not fully admitted and have the two year degree requirement satisfied on their Degree Audit will be denied Financial Aid and given instructions on how to reactivate their file when they are fully admitted.

Programs Eligible for FA

Not all programs offered at South Seattle College are eligible for Financial Aid Funding.  The Financial Aid Data Sheet is updated with all approved programs for financial aid funding.  If a program is not listed on the Data Sheet, it is not eligible for financial aid funding through any federal, state, or institutional resource managed through the Financial Aid Office.

However, Foundation Scholarships, WorkForce and Opportunity Grant Offices may have funding that is available to cover programs not eligible for traditional financial aid.  The Financial Aid Office can usually tell a student if funding is available through another resource offered on campus.

Falsifying your intended program of study on Financial Aid documents to receive financial aid for a program that is not eligible to receive financial aid, constitutes Financial Aid Fraud.  Whether through intention or mistake, the Financial Aid Office, upon learning a student has intent to purse a program of study not eligible for financial aid funding, and that that student has either received financial aid or is scheduled to receive it in the Award Year, will cancel all aid, and bill back the student for any ineligible funds received as a Student Overpayment.  If the Financial Aid Office suspects willful intent to commit Financial Aid Fraud, the student’s information will be turned over to the Federal Ombudsman for investigation.

Transcripts Required for Financial Aid

South Seattle College’s Financial Aid Office requires all transferring students to obtain Official Transcripts from all previously attended Colleges, Universities, and Trade Schools for official review through the Transcript Evaluation process.  There is no exception to this policy.

You are required to submit your transcripts because regulations state that a student may not receive financial aid funding for classes for which they have already earned credit.  As South cannot determine if credit was earned without evaluating all previous Official Transcripts, a student must provide that information to apply for financial aid.

The student does not determine which classes from which schools will transfer and which will not.  South’s Credit Evaluation team makes that determination and the Financial Aid Office abides by their decision.  You may not withhold information about previously attended schools, doing so constitutes Financial Aid Fraud.

Students that are unable to obtain Official Transcripts from a previous institution due to having an owing balance at that school may not receive financial aid through South Seattle College until all of their Official Transcripts have been evaluated.  There is no exception to this policy.

The Credit Evaluation team may accept for consideration an Unofficial Transcript, only if the student earned 0 credit at the school, and at South’s discretion. 

Please review the Transfer and Continue Student page for more information on the Transcript Evaluation process and timeline.

WorkForce

Students who are receiving WorkForce funding may not “double dip” with financial aid; a student may receive either financial aid funding, or WorkForce funds, but may not receive both.  WorkForce funds are considered “last dollar down”, meaning that if a student becomes eligible for Financial Aid Funding in the same quarter that a student received WorkForce funds, the student will become ineligible for the WorkForce funding and must forfeit the funds.  The Financial Aid Office will work with the WorkForce Office to return the WorkForce funds as appropriate. 

Updating Contact Information

It is the student’s obligation to update their contact information including, name, address, phone number, and email address, with the Financial Aid Office.  Other offices, and information entered into MySouth is not shared with the Financial Aid Office.  A student’s failure to update their contact information with the Financial Aid Office does not constitute an Administrative error.  Students may not appeal Overpayments or delays in turning in documents due to “not getting the information” if they did not update their contact information directly with the Financial Aid Office.

Deadline and How to Maintaining It

Students are said to have “met the deadline” if the Financial Aid Office has all of the information requested on their Missing Document Letter and their Financial Aid Student Portal by the deadlines published on our website.

However, students may “lose their deadline” if they fail to respond to additional requests for information made through a Missing Document Letter or the Financial Aid Student Portal, within 3 days of the request.  Students that “lose their deadline” will not be held in their classes pending financial aid, however they may still receive financial aid in time for the quarter start and should therefore still respond to Missing Document Letters and the Financial Aid Student Portal.

The Financial Aid Office publishes a deadline date on which they will stop processing Financial Aid Applications for an Award Year.  Students who “lose their deadline” after this date will not receive financial aid for the Award Year.

Timeline to Process

In general, the entire process of applying for financial aid and receiving either an Award Letter or a Financial Aid Determination Letter takes about 90 days.  However, each student’s situation is unique, and you’re process may take more or less time.

You can help reduce the timeline by completing your Application for Financial Aid quickly and early (before February) and by checking your email daily and responding to any requests made by the Financial Aid Office within 3 business days.

The Financial Aid Office does not, at any time, guarantee review of the financial aid application, or any of its parts, awarding of financial aid funding, or disbursement of funds by verbal date.  Any suggestion of a date is strictly an estimate and is not binding.  No party should assume any promise of review, award, or disbursement without a written confirmation which expressly states an exact date.




Location:

Robert Smith Building map


Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Wesnesday

Closed to process paperwork

Friday

9:00 am to 4:30 pm



Phone:

(206) 934-5317


Email:

FinancialSouth
@seattlecolleges.edu


Fax:

(206) 934-7947