Financial Aid at Luna Community College
The Office of Financial Aid (OSFA) is dedicated to helping Luna students search out and apply for financial assistance. It has long been recognized that the cost of attending institutions of higher education is greater than many families can afford. Financial assistance provides students with supplementary funds to offset these expenses. The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) provides financial assistance to students who demonstrate need in order to attend LCC. The college offers a variety of grant, scholarship, loan, and employment opportunities for its qualified deserving students. However, LCC does not provide student assistance from its general operating funds.
All students who plan to attend LCC and require financial assistance are encouraged to apply. Applications are available at the Office of Student Financial Assistance and will be mailed upon request. Students are also able to apply through the U.S. Department of Education’s Website. Their web address is www.fafsa.ed.gov.
To apply for assistance, students must submit a yearly financial assistance application for processing. Students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Federal Student Aid Programs and include LCC’s Title IV school code on the appropriate section of the application. (LCC’s Title IV school code is 009962.)
It is strongly recommended that students complete and file this application by the proceeding April 15 of the school year in which the financial assistance is needed. For example, students planning to attend LCC and wanting to apply for student financial assistance for the 2007-2008 school years, which includes Fall 2007, Spring 2008 and Summer 2008, should file the 2007-2008 FAFSA by April 15, 2007. Students who apply by April 15 will be given priority for awarding campus-based aid. Assistance may be available for late applicants; however sources are limited.
All participants in financial assistance programs must meet certain criteria to qualify for assistance. The applicant must:
- Have financial need, except for some loan programs
- Register (or be registered) with Selective Service if male between 18 and 25
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be either a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- Be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate
- Be making satisfactory academic progress
- Not be in default on any federal educational loans or owe a refund on any federal grants at any school
- Have a valid Social Security Number
Approximately 4-5 weeks after the FAFSA has been mailed for processing, both the student and the school will receive correspondence from the processor of the application. The student will receive a multi-page Student Aid Report. It is important that the student/parent review the information on the SAR in order to verify that it is correct. In the event that corrections are required, students must contact the OSFA. The Office of Student Financial Assistance will receive from the processor of the application, an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) that is used in determining a student’s financial need. Shortly thereafter, the student will begin to receive correspondence from the Office of Student Financial Assistance acknowledging receipt of the FAFSA and information on any other documentation needed to complete the application process. However, please keep in mind that our yearly start-up of application processing normally begins the first week of May.
Once the student has submitted all required documentation to the Office of Student Financial Assistance and the application is complete and verified, a determination of financial need can be assessed. Financial need is the difference between what the student and family are expected to contribute as determined by Federal Methodology and the cost of attending LCC. Five basic categories are taken into consideration in determining the cost of attendance: tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses.
For financial assistance purposes, a student is either classified as an independent or dependent student. A student will be classified as an independent if the student meets any one of the following:
- Attains the age of 24 by December 31 of the school year
- Is an orphan or ward of the court or was a ward of the court until age 18
- Is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Has a legal dependent(s) other than a spouse, who receives at least 51% support by the student
- Is married
- Will be enrolled in a graduate or professional program beyond a bachelor’s degree
More detailed information may be found in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the Student Guide that are available at the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Regulations as established by the U.S. Department of Education require LCC to develop and apply a consistent standard to measure the academic progress of its financial aid applicants. It will be the policy of the college to provide financial aid awards to students who remain in good academic standing and who are making satisfactory academic progress toward their degree or certificate. Please keep in mind that these standards apply to students once they apply for student financial assistance and that all course work at LCC will be considered in enforcing these standards whether student financial aid is/was received or not.
Students who are not maintaining satisfactory academic progress will be placed on either financial aid suspension or financial aid probation. Students on financial aid suspension must appeal to the LCC Financial Aid Committee for reinstatement of their financial aid.
In an effort to ensure that financial aid applicants are maintaining eligibility for Title IV aid, the Office of Student Financial Assistance will closely monitor mid-term grades. Students who are performing below required standards may encounter delays in the awarding of financial assistance.
For further detailed information on satisfactory academic progress, please read the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
If a student does not notify the appropriate office of the intention to withdraw, the date of withdrawal used for the calculation of Return of Title IV Funds and institutional refund will be the midpoint of the semester. A date earlier or later than the midpoint may be used if the college has documentation of the last day the student attended class or handed in an assignment. If a student withdraws because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, the college will determine the date of withdrawal.
If a student who has received Title IV Funds (federal student financial aid) leaves the college prior to completion of 60% of the semester or summer session, a calculation must be performed to determine the amount of unearned aid that must go back to the Title IV programs. No return of Title IV Funds is required after 60% of the term for which aid is provided is completed. Sixty percent (60%) of completion is approximately 9.6 weeks of a 16-week semester or 4.8 weeks of an 8-week summer session. The withdrawal date will be established as described in the previous section.
The percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student (i.e., the amount of federal aid the student is permitted to keep) is the same as the percentage of the semester completed. This percentage is computed by dividing the total number of calendar days in the semester (including weekends but excluding scheduled breaks of more than 5 days) 58 into the number of calendar days completed by the student. For example, a student enrolled for 20 of 110 days would have earned 18.2% of Title IV aid for the semester. In this example, 81.8% of the Title IV aid would unearned. The college is responsible for returning to the federal programs the lesser of the amount of unearned Title IV aid or institutional charges that the student incurred multiplied by the unearned aid percentage.
Federal regulations specify the order in which unearned funds are to be returned to the aid programs. The order is as follows:
- Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
- Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal SEOG Grants
- Other Title IV Programs
Federal Work-Study funds are not involved in this determination; a student may keep any money earned through this program.
If the total amount of unearned aid exceeds the amount the school is required to return, a student may need to return federal grant funds that have been received for living expenses. This amount can be up to 50% of the amount received for the semester. Student loans received for living expenses do not have to be returned at the time of withdrawal but must be repaid in accordance with the terms contained in the promissory note of the loan.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance will notify a student if a return of Title IV funds is required. Sample cases of calculations and the complete Return of Title IV Funds Policy may be obtained in the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
There are four types of assistance available to students:
- grants, which do not have to be repaid;
- loans, which must be repaid with interest;
- student employment; and
Listed below are programs from which students may receive assistance, contingent upon financial need and available funds.
- Workforce Investment Act
- Viles Foundation Grants
- Bureau of Indian Affairs Scholarships
- New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship
- Alliance for Minority Participation Scholarship (AMP)
- LCC Foundation and the Office of Financial Assistance (OSFA) may be contacted for general information regarding the above programs.
- Financial assistance awards must be used only for educational expenses.
- Students and parents have the primary responsibility to pay for higher education expenses.
- Financial assistance is considered a supplement to total family income. Students and parents (if applicable) should be prepared to make some financial sacrifices to pay for educational expenses.
- A student who receives assistance from any student assistance program and subsequently withdraws from classes may have to repay part of the cash disbursed. All repayments must be made before any future assistance may be disbursed. Refer to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy available at the OSFA.
- All financial assistance recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress standards. Students should consider these standards when thinking about dropping a class or classes or completely withdrawing from the college.
- Students must enroll for classes related to their program of study. Students enrolled in classes that deviate from their program of study, merely to fill a full-time schedule, will not receive assistance for those classes.
- Classes that are audited or challenged via Credit by Examination are NOT ELIGIBLE for financial assistance. Additionally, any student who changes an enrolled course from credit to audit or Credit by Examination may have their student financial assistance recalculated and owe money back to the Title IV program.
All students attending the summer session and applying for financial assistance must have a FAFSA on file for the current school year, as this application will be used to award summer assistance. For example, students wanting to apply for student financial assistance for the 2008 Summer Session must have a 2007-2008 FAFSA on file with the OSFA. Additionally, in February, students should complete a Financial Assistance Request form available at the OSFA and have all applicable applications and forms on file by May 1 of that year. Limited funds are available during the summer session. For the summer session, Federal PELL Grants will only be awarded to students who have remaining Federal PELL Grant eligibility for the current school year. Ineligible Federal PELL Grant applicants for the summer session will reestablish their Federal PELL Grant eligibility beginning with the fall semester.
Students pursuing a certificate or degree at Luna Community College and concurrently enrolled in courses at New Mexico Highlands University must apply for and receive student financial assistance through LCC. Federal regulations require that the institution granting the degree or certificate award the financial assistance. Any classes taken concurrently in a given semester at NMHU that are part of a student’s course of study will be considered as part of the total credit hours for the semester. However, in order for the OSFA at LCC to be aware that a student is concurrently enrolled at NMHU, the student must submit an LCC Consortium Agreement to the LCC OSFA each semester that classes are taken at NMHU. Consortium agreements may be obtained from the LCC OSFA and must be submitted to the LCC OSFA within the first five (5) days of each semester or summer session.
The credit hours outlined below will be used to calculate and award financial assistance for the academic year as well as the summer session.
|Credit Hours||Enrollment Status|
|1-5||Less than half-time|
Note: The enrollment status for the summer session for financial assistance purposes differs from that outlined by the Registrar.
Students will receive a preliminary billing statement from the Business Office at the time of registration. This statement reflects estimated charges as of the statement date and should be carefully reviewed. Students must make arrangements to take care of account balances at the Business Office on or before the day classes begin
NOTE: Books are not included in the amount owed to the Business Office on this initial statement. Book charges are added to the student account approximately three weeks into the term.
Future billing statements will show financial aid amounts that are actual credits to the student’s account. Work-study and student loans are not credited to student accounts. Work-study earnings and loan proceeds are usually released directly to the student and may be used to pay any outstanding balance on the student account and general living expenses. Federal PELL Grants and other aid are credited to the student’s account once the student’s file is verified and enrollment is confirmed for the term.
It is sometimes difficult for students and parents to make payments at the beginning of a semester. Contact the Business Office at 505-454-2506 for statement and payment information.