Financial Aid at Luna Community College
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (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 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.
Financial Aid Information
Financial Aid Help Videos
Applying For Financial Assistance
All students who plan to attend LCC are encouraged to apply. Free applications are available online through the U.S. Department of Education’s website at https://studentaid.gov/.
To apply for assistance, students must submit a yearly Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 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 planning to attend LCC and wanting to apply for assistance for the academic year, which includes fall, spring, and summer, should file the FAFSA by April 15th. Students who apply on or before April 15th will be given priority consideration for awarding campus-based aid. Assistance may be available for late applicants; however, funds are limited.
All participants in financial assistance programs must meet certain criteria to qualify. The applicant must:
- Have financial need, except for some loan programs
- Have a high school diploma, GED or Hiset
- 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 loan(s) or owe a refund on any federal grants at any school
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Your registration status with Selective Service no longer affects your eligibility to receive federal student aid
Determination of Financial Need
Approximately 2 weeks after the FAFSA has been submitted for processing, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) and the OSFA will receive an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) from the U.S. Department of Education. 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. This information is used in determining a student’s financial need. Shortly thereafter, the student will begin to receive correspondence from the OSFA 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 OSFA 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 independent if the student meets any one of the following:
- Must be 24 years of age or older
- Was an orphan or ward of the court or in foster care at the age of 13 or older
- Was in legal guardianship as determined by a court
- Was an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
- Is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Has a legal dependent(s) other than a child or spouse and provides more than 50% of their support
- Is married
- Will be enrolled in a graduate or professional program beyond a bachelor’s degree
Financial Assistance Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
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 is 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 coursework at LCC will be considered in enforcing these standards whether or not student financial aid is/was received.
Students who are not maintaining satisfactory academic progress will be placed on either a financial aid warning or financial aid suspension status. Students on financial aid suspension may 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 OSFA will closely monitor mid-term grades. Students who are performing below required standards may encounter delays in the awarding of financial assistance.
Financial Assistance Return of Title IV Funds Policy
Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that the student received.
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 will be the midpoint of the semester. A date earlier or later than the midpoint will 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 be returned to the Title IV programs. No return of Title IV Funds is required after 60% of the term is completed in which aid is provided. 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) 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 be 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:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal SEOG Grants
- Other Title IV Programs
Federal Work-Study funds are not included 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 is obligated to return the unearned federal grant funds. Regulations limit the amount a student must repay the amount by which the original overpayment exceeds 50 percent of the total grant funds disbursed or could have been disbursed for the period of enrollment. Student loans must be repaid in accordance with the terms contained in the promissory note of the loan.
The OSFA will notify a student if a return of Title IV funds is required.
Types of Financial Assistance Available
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
Other scholarships/sources (based on funding) available to students:
- Bridge Scholarship
- Legislative Lottery Scholarship
- New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship
- Workforce Investment Act
- Bureau of Indian Scholarships
- LCC Foundation
The OSFA may be contacted for general information regarding the above programs.
Other Policies Governing Financial Assistance
- 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 his/her award. 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 LCC.
- 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 to Credit by Examination may have their student financial assistance recalculated and owe money back to the Title IV program.
Summer Financial Assistance
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. Summer Interest Forms are to be picked up from the OSFA and must be completed to assist in determining summer awards. Students who receive a full-time Pell Grant during the fall and spring semesters may be eligible for a summer Pell Grant. Please contact the OSFA in late April for further details regarding summer aid.
Students pursuing a certificate or degree at Luna Community College and are concurrently enrolled in courses at any other post-secondary institution must apply for and receive student financial assistance through LCC. Federal regulations require that the institution granting the degree or certificate must award the financial assistance. Any classes taken concurrently that are a 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 any other post-secondary institution, the student must submit an LCC Consortium Agreement to the LCC OSFA each semester. 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.
Enrollment Status for Student Financial Assistance Purposes
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.
Student Accounts and Billing
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.