PVCC website: www.pvcc.edu/finaid
Phone number: 434.961.6545
Fax number: 434.961.6557
Piedmont Virginia Community College believes students should have the opportunity to attend college, regardless of their financial situation. The college has many sources of financial aid, including programs funded by the federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia and PVCC Educational Foundation Scholarships.
The Key to Financial Aid is the FAFSA How and When to Apply
The best time for students to apply for financial aid are the months of October or November preceding the academic year in which students plan to enroll. A FAFSA must be completed for all aid programs, including loans and work study. Completed FAFSAs received by March 1 for Fall, October 1 for Spring, and April 1 for Summer, will receive priority consideration. Since many aid programs have limited funding, it is critical that students file as early as possible. The FAFSA form may be submitted by completing the on-line form on the Web at www.fafsa.gov.
Assistance with completing the FAFSA is available in PVCC’s financial aid office (room M136 in the main building). Dedicated computers are available for completing the FAFSA during office hours. Office hours can be found on the College’s website, https://www.pvcc.edu/about-us/hoursoperation.
Note: A new financial aid application must be submitted for each academic year of enrollment
Who is Eligible?
To be eligible to receive federal or state financial aid, a student must:
- Demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
- Be in a degree or certificate program (also known as a curriculum).
- Be a U. S. citizen or eligible non citizen
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have a Social Security Number.
- Maintain compliance with satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards.
- Cannot be in default on a student loan or owe a grant over payment.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a policy required by the U.S. Department of Education that measures a student’s grade point average (GPA), completion rate, and time frame in a program. PVCC measures SAP according to the below standards and evaluates student progress at the end of each semester. Students wishing to obtain federal student aid, state aid, and school-based aid must meet the below standards.
GPA Requirements (GPA Rule)
To remain eligible for financial aid, students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) requirements based on the number of credits taken. Only non-developmental courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Withdrawal (W) grades are included in the total number of credits taken, and transfer credits are excluded.
|Total Number of Credits Attempted
Completion Rate (67% Rule)
Students must successfully complete two-thirds (67%) of cumulative credits they have taken. The completion rate calculation includes all developmental, ESL, and credit coursework. Earned credit includes classes where a student earned grades of A, B, C, D, S, or P. Transfer credits are included as credits attempted and earned.
Completion rate formula: Earned Credits ÷ Total Credits Taken = Completion Rate
Example: Henri enrolled in an associate degree program at PVCC. View Henri’s competition rate for his first three terms.
Maximum Hours (150% Rule)
To continue to receive financial aid, a student cannot earn more than 150% of the total credits required for their degree or certificate. This excludes up to 30 credits of developmental courses. ESL coursework credits are not limited if the student meets the other SAP requirements. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods and all accepted transfer credits are counted. All terms of enrollment are included in the calculation regardless of when the coursework was taken or whether the student received financial aid for the coursework.
Example: Nicholas enrolled in a certificate program at PVCC. Nicholas must either complete or be projected to complete the certificate program within the time frame allowed.
36 Minimum Total Credit Hours to Complete the Certificate Program
x 150% Timeframe Allowance
= 54 Credits Maximum to Complete
If circumstances beyond the student’s control are responsible for not meeting the above standard, a student can submit an appeal to re-establish their financial aid eligibility. Please see the 150% Reset Policy below.
150% Reset Policy
All periods of the student’s enrollment count when determining Satisfactory Academic Progress, even periods in which the student did not receive Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds. A student changing a program of study can submit an appeal requesting a timeframe reset to re-establish aid eligibility. A student may only be approved for a reset one-time and must be meeting all other SAP requirements. Students will be notified regarding approved resets and the conditions of their appeal.
Developmental and ESL Courses
Students may receive financial aid for up to 30 credit hours of developmental coursework. The courses must be required as a result of the placement process, or as part of their program of study. Students in an eligible program of study may attempt and complete unlimited ESL credits if they meet other SAP requirements.
Student Financial Aid Status
Financial Aid Good Standing
A student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) by successfully completing attempted courses, maintaining a minimum GPA, and meeting timeframe requirements.
Financial Aid Warning Status
Students who fail to meet SAP for the first time will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) semester and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that semester. Students who fail to meet SAP requirements by the end of the warning semester will lose their financial aid eligibility.
Financial Aid Suspension Status
Students who do not meet the completion rate, the cumulative GPA standard, or who fail to meet the requirements of their probationary semester or academic plan will be placed in suspension status and are not eligible for financial aid, unless there is proof of extenuating circumstances for why they did not meet SAP. In this case, a student must submit a SAP appeal form.
Financial Aid Probation Status
Students who are approved for an SAP exception are placed on probation. During probation, students are eligible to receive financial aid for one (1) semester, after which they must meet SAP or the requirements of an approved academic plan.
Financial Aid Academic Plan
Students who need more than one semester to meet SAP must create an academic plan with the Student Success Office. Students will maintain financial aid eligibility if they adhere to their academic plan. Academic plans may include conditions like meeting with a Student Success Advisor periodically throughout the semester and/or utilizing PVCC’s academic resource centers (i.e., The First Quadrant Math Center, Writing Center, and Library). Failure to meet the conditions of the academic plan can result in financial aid ineligibility. The academic plan is included with the SAP exception decision.
Assuming a student meets SAP requirements, there is no limit for re-taking failed or withdrawn courses until they are successfully completed. Students may re-take a passed course only once to earn a higher grade. Repeated coursework is included in the completion rate and maximum credit hour calculations. The highest grade is included in the cumulative grade point average.
SAP Appeal Process
Students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose financial aid eligibility can appeal their financial aid suspension. Students must submit the SAP appeal form, proof of extenuating circumstances and, in some cases, an academic plan. Issues with an instructor, coursework, job or childcare conflicts or transportation problems do not constitute extenuating circumstances. All SAP appeals are reviewed and processed by the Financial Aid Office. Failure to follow the appeal conditions or academic plan will result in financial aid ineligibility at PVCC.
- If an SAP appeal is denied, students may submit an appeal with additional information for review by the Financial Aid Director.
- If the appeal is denied by the Financial Aid Director, the student may appeal to the Dean of Student Services.
- Students who are denied by the Dean of Student Services may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Panel. The Financial Aid Appeals Panel includes three students, three persons chosen from the faculty, administrative or classified ranks, and the Dean of Student Services who will serve as Chair of the panel. Selection of the panel will be made by the Vice President for Instruction and Student Services, with approval by the President. Decisions of the Appeal Panel are final. Students must make their appeals in writing and be willing to meet with the panel. Students must complete the Financial Aid Exception Application. Students should appeal within seven (7) business days of notification of suspension.
Financial Aid Programs
Students may be eligible for the following programs when they submit the FAFSA:
Federal Pell Grant
This is the largest federal grant program. The amount awarded is based on the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) generated from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Pell Grants are now available year-round (including the summer term), but if you attend full-time in both the fall and spring terms, you must take at least six required credits to potentially receive a summer Pell Grant. A lifetime Pell Grant limit that equates to 12 full-time semester applies. Before the term census (i.e. the 16-week census for the fall and spring terms and the 10-week census for the summer term), Pell Grants are offered based upon anticipated full-time enrollment. After census, Pell Grant amounts are adjusted according to enrollment level.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
FSEOG is available to a limited number of students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. A student must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours to be eligible to receive this grant.
Federal Work Study
Students who need a job to help with college expenses may be eligible for employment under the federally supported work-study program. Students may work a maximum of 20 hours weekly while attending classes (must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours). On-campus jobs may include work in offices, science and computer laboratories, and the library.
Commonwealth Grant (COMA)
The COMA Grant is available for students enrolled at least half time, are residents of Virginia, and demonstrate financial need.
Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)
The VGAP is available for first time freshmen who graduated from a Virginia high school with at least a 2.5 GPA. Students must be enrolled full time and be classified as dependent students. Awards may be renewed for a second year for students who have maintained full-time enrollment, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and continue to demonstrate financial need. Students must submit an official high school transcript to the financial aid office so that we may determine eligibility. Maximum award is tuition, fees, and books.
Part-Time Tuition Assistance Program (PTAP)
PTAP grants are available for students who enroll for 1 to 8 credits, are Virginia residents, and demonstrate financial need. The maximum award can be up to the cost of tuition. Maximum award is tuition, fees, and books.
Virginia Foster Care Grant
This grant provides tuition and fees at any Virginia community college for high school graduates or General Education Development (GED) completers who were in foster care, in the custody of a social services agency, or considered a special needs adoption at the time of graduation or completion of their GED. You must be enrolled in at least six required credits.
Scholarships from the PVCC Educational Foundation
Each year, generous individuals, businesses, and organizations give scholarships to PVCC students. More than 100 scholarships are awarded each year through the PVCC Educational Foundation. The value of these scholarships exceeds $175,000. Current students as well as graduating high school seniors are invited to apply for these scholarships in the spring each year. The application form and full descriptions of the scholarships available are posted in the financial aid section of the college’s website at www.pvcc.edu/scholarships.
Loans for Students and Parents
Piedmont Virginia Community College offers borrowing options for students and families. Students must first complete the FAFSA to determine what, if any, grant aid is available before choosing to borrow loans. Students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships from the PVCC Educational Foundation before applying for loans. However, when college costs are not met with other types of aid and the student is unable to pay their education costs out-of-pocket, student and/or parent loans are a helpful resource in financing educational expenses.
Students MUST be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours) to be eligible for Federal Loans.
Federal Direct Loans
These loans provide students with the option to receive long-term, low-interest educational loans. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be considered. Direct Stafford Loans may be either subsidized (the government pays the interest while the student is in school) or unsubsidized (interest accrues while the student in in school). To receive a subsidized Stafford Loan, financial need must be demonstrated. Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need. Almost all students are eligible for unsubsidized loans. All Direct Stafford loans are deferred until the student graduates of stops attending at least half-time.
Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
This loan enables parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow funds to supplement their children’s aid packages. Repayment normally begins 60 days from the date of disbursement and can continue over a ten-year period. Students must be enrolled at least half-time.
Visit the link below for more information about the availability of Federal Direct Loans and Federal Direct PLUS loans, as well as directions to apply.
Student Loans for Nursing Students
This program is designed to encourage and assist students in pursuing nursing training by providing long-term, low-interest loans to help defray educational expenses. Repayment on the loan begins nine months after the student ceases to be a half-time nursing student, with the total amount due within a 10-year period.
Other Sources of Aid
Certain disabled or handicapped persons may qualify for educational assistance through the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. The department requires potential recipients to apply for financial aid through the college.
Some terms used in financial aid:
Cost of Attendance (COA). Determined by the school. Includes tuition/fees, books & supplies, living expenses, personal expenses.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Determined by information student provides on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Need = COA minus EFC. Need determines the type and amount of aid student may receive.
Students may view their financial aid online through the Student Information System.
Return of Title IV Funds
Under a regulation known as Return of Title IV funds, students who withdraw from college or stop attending all classes before completing the first 60 percent of the semester have not earned all of their financial aid. Title IV aid (Pell, FSEOG, ACG, Stafford and PLUS Loans), as well as state aid, must be prorated to the date of withdrawal. Students will be required to repay the unearned portion of aid received. This will include books charged to financial aid and any refund received.