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Financial Aid

Financial Aid Policies

Cancellation of Aid

Students who receive financial aid and then withdraw from all of their courses prior to completing 60 percent of the semester are considered to have received unearned financial aid. The College is then required by federal law to perform a refund calculation to determine what portion of the student’s aid was earned and what portion the student must repay. If you receive all non-passing grades for a semester (W, FW, F or N), and the College determines you did not attend classes for at least 60 percent of the semester, you may also be required to repay some of the financial aid funds you received.

Refunds of Institutional funds less any federal Title IV aid funds are subject to be returned to State and Local aid programs which require a return of funds. The funds are returned according to the ratio of the aid program award to the total Non-Title IV Aid package.

If you are considering withdrawing from all of your courses and would like to know how this will impact your financial aid, contact your academic advisor.

Enrollment Requirements
Federal and state financial aid programs require students to maintain specific enrollment levels to qualify for specific aid programs.

  • Full-time enrollment (12 credits) is required for most scholarships and to receive the full amount of federal grants.

  • The Minnesota State Grant requires 15 credits to receive the full eligibility of the grant.

  • Federal direct loans and state loans require at least half-time (6 credits) of enrollment.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal and state regulations require that all students maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to be eligible to receive financial aid. Review the Minnesota West Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy relating to academic standards as well as maximum time frame standards for financial aid.

Unusual Enrollment History
The Department of Education identifies students with an Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) in an effort to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program. Students will be notified by the Department of Education that their FAFSA is flagged for Unusual Enrollment History on their Student Aid Report.

Students who have been flagged for UEH will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office to determine if they are still eligible to receive federal financial aid. The student may be asked to provide transcripts and documentation explaining their enrollment pattern and, if applicable, why they did not earn any academic credit in their previous college enrollments.

If students are denied financial aid eligibility based on Unusual Enrollment History, they can be reconsidered for federal student aid after enrolling for two consecutive academic terms, not dropping or withdrawing from (officially or unofficially) any courses after the term begins, and meeting the College's standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).