Dec 08, 2019  
Academic Program Manuals 2019-2020 
    
Academic Program Manuals 2019-2020

Financial Aid Office Policies & Procedures Manual


Introduction to Financial Aid Policies and Procedures

Introduction to the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office

The Financial Aid Office at Indian Hills Community College (hereafter referred to as Indian Hills) is committed to providing a high level of service and support to the students of Indian Hills. This support will allow students to achieve their educational goals through the removal of any financial barriers or obstacles on their road toward attending college.

The Financial Aid Office is located in the Bennett Student Services Center on the Ottumwa Campus. The normal hours of operation are 7:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The offices can be reached by calling (641) 683-5262, e-mailing the OneStop at onestop@indianhills.edu, or on the Indian Hills website.

Purpose & Philosophy of the Financial Aid Office

It is the mission of the Financial Aid Office to provide the financial resources for students to attend Indian Hills, and in doing so exhibit the highest level of quality and expertise in the service we provide. This mission adheres to and supports the Indian Hills mission of changing lives by inspiring learning, diversity, social enrichment and regional economic advancement.

The Financial Aid Office is a student-centered department which consistently strives to improve the level of service provided to the diverse student population attending Indian Hills.

The Financial Aid Office at Indian Hills was established in 1967 to coordinate all financial assistance offered by the school (with the exception of scholarships administered by the Indian Hills Foundation Office), and to ensure that established principles, policies, and procedures are observed during the administration of student aid programs at Indian Hills.

Policies & Procedures Development Responsibilities

Modifications and additions to the Indian Hills Financial Aid Policies and Procedures Manual are recommended by the financial aid office director, and must be approved by the executive dean, enrollment services and registrar.

Responsible Personnel

It is the responsibility of the Financial Aid Office to submit regular updates to the information contained in this manual. The Indian Hills Financial Aid Policies and Procedures Manual will be evaluated and updated annually.

Documents & Methods 

Indian Hills utilizes multiple sources for new information pertaining to financial aid regulations, laws, and Department of Education policy guidance. Department of Education publications and guidance are kept via hard copy or electronically at the Ottumwa campus by the respective financial assistance staff members. Whenever possible federal and state publications will be accessed electronically.

In accordance with federal requirements, each Financial Aid Office has access to the online resources and the Department of Education’s Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website. The financial aid office director and executive dean, enrollment services and registrar also have subscriptions to National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator (NASFAA) Today’s News and the NASFAA Newsletter (which announce policy and procedure guidance on a daily basis).

Publications utilized by the financial aid office include (but are not limited to):

  • Federal Registers – both Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) and Final Rules
  • The Audit Guide or appropriate OMB circulars
  • Federal Student Aid Handbook
  • Dear Colleague Letters
  • Policy Bulletins
  • Electronic Announcements
  • The Common Manual published by the National Council for Higher Education Loan Programs (NCHELP)
  • Newsletters from professional associations (state, regional, and national, such as NASFAA and Iowa Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (IASFAA))

Hard copies of each publication may not be available at the Financial Aid Office location. However, each Financial Aid Office staff member is responsible for electronically accessing each publication.

Resource: 668.16(o) GEN-97-11

Student Attendance

Students are expected to be present at all class sessions. It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the class attendance policy or online course participation expectations that are defined in the syllabi for each course. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to define attendance or participation requirements and to monitor and record the students’ fulfillment of these requirements.

  • Class instructors will report student class attendance/participation through the Census Date (typically the 8th day of the term) for the course
    • Instructors will provide an attendance policy for each course
  • Students who have not established attendance in any or all classes will have their Financial Aid eligibility adjusted
  • Once all attendance is recorded, students who have not attended or participated in ALL courses for which they are registered will be de-registered from all courses
    • The Registrar’s Office will notify the Financial Aid Office of all students de-registered in order to have federal, state and institutional student aid awards recalculated
    • Students who fail to attend any classes will be ineligible for Title IV financial aid
  • If a student has been reported as not-attending in all but one course, the student will remain enrolled in the course and may incur a balance owed to Indian Hills
  • Financial Aid eligibility is based on the course load  actually attended
    • If notification of non-attendance in any class is received at any time, the determination of federal financial aid eligibility will be re-evaluated for that term and may result in financial aid forfeiture and/or a balance due to Indian Hills
  • If a student has been reported as not beginning attendance in a class due to an attendance reporting error, the student should contact the Registrar’s Office 
    • The student will be responsible for contacting the instructor who reported their non-attendance
    • The instructor will then provide updated attendance information to the Registrar’s Office
    • The student will be notified through their Indian Hills e-mail account when a decision is made regarding their attendance
    • Once the enrollment issue is resolved, the student should also verify with the Financial Aid Office that their financial aid has been adjusted

Administrative Organization & Office Management

Institutional & Divisional Structure

Indian Hills staffs the Financial Aid Office at an adequate level to provide maximum service to the student population of the college. The college employs a financial aid director in Ottumwa, along with financial aid advisors, a computer data entry staff member, and a verification specialist. All federal state and local student financial aid resources are coordinated through the Financial Aid Office on the Ottumwa Main Campus.

Indian Hills separates the functions of authorizing payments and disbursing or delivering funds so that no office has responsibility for both functions with respect to any particular student awarded aid. The functions associated with the authorizing of payments rests with the financial aid director. The responsibility for disbursing or delivering funds rests with the Indian Hills Business Office, on the Ottumwa Main Campus. The two functions are carried out by at least two organizationally independent individuals who are not members of the same family or together do not exercise substantial control over the institution.

At Indian Hills, the Financial Aid Office coordinates the disbursing and delivering of funds through the Business Office. The financial aid director works in direct contact with the controller to ensure the timely delivery of Title IV aid.

Resources: 668.16(b)(4); 668.16(c)(2)

Financial Aid Office Structure & Position Responsibilities

Financial Aid Director

  • Supervises all functions of the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office
  • Responsible, with the Dean of Student Services for all financial aid policy development
  • Implements, organizes and maintains financial assistance functions at the Ottumwa Main Campus and other college locations as required
  • Advises and assists credit-seeking students in financial aid processes

Financial Aid Advisor

  • Implements, organizes and maintains financial aid functions at the Ottumwa campus and other college locations as assigned
  • Advises and assists credit-seeking students in financial aid processes
  • Completes other projects as assigned by the financial aid director

Verification Specialist (Ottumwa Main Campus)

  • Advises and assists credit-seeking students in financial aid processes
  • Serves as the primary processor of verification documents received from students

Financial Aid Communications Management

  • Manages the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailbox communications.
  • Completes Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) imports
  • Coordinates with Direct Loan services in regards to default prevention, skip tracing, etc.
  • Assists with the data entry of all collected documents for verification, including scanning into digital imaging system
  • Coordinates the Work Study Program

Integrated Student Services Specialists (Ottumwa Campus One Stop)

  • Assists with the customer service of all credit-seeking students in regard to their financial assistance needs

The functions of the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office include:

  • An essential function of the Financial Aid Office is the dissemination of financial aid information to parents, prospective students, high schools, and the entire college community
    • Tools utilized for dissemination include activities such as workshops with high school counselors, speaker presentations to community groups, college classroom presentations, high school visits, press releases, college catalogs, and informational brochures
    • Financial assistance information is also covered during Indian Hills orientation sessions and Explore Hills (campus visit days) presentations
  • The Financial Aid Office communicates the concerns of the financial aid community to the appropriate federal, state, local, and college officials in regards to the decisions affecting the financial aid process
    • This includes communication through participation on committees or regional panels, attending workshops, and completing applications for federal funds to the appropriate federal and state agencies
    • The Financial Aid Office makes every effort to maintain awareness of all state and federal decisions that affect financial aid programs, or provides insight into the eligibility criteria of such programs
  • The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office has a responsibility to maintain effective articulation with the Financial Aid Offices at four-year institutions to assure continuity of assistance for the community college student
  • The Financial Aid Office’s maintenance and expansion of existing programs and solicitation of new programs assures students attending Indian Hills are not denied a college education due to inadequate financial resources
    • The comprehensive financial aid program includes:
      • scholarships
      • loans
      • grants
      • part-time employment 
  • The Financial Aid Office has a responsibility to ensure the college community, and specifically the Enrollment Services Division, is aware of financial aid procedures, responsibilities, and available resources

Personnel Policies

Personnel procedures are outlined in the Staff Handbook located in the Staff Resources section of the Indian Hills website.  The director, human resources oversees the editing and updating of the handbook.  

Frequent Contact Information

Financial Aid Office – Ottumwa Campus
525 Grandview Avenue
Ottumwa, Iowa 52501
(641) 683-5262
Toll Free 1-800-726-2585, ext. 5262
Onestop@indianhills.edu

General Aid Office Administration

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office operates according to the college’s hours of operation. In general, the department is open from 7:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Accommodations for Disabilities

The Financial Aid Office follows guidance set forth by the college in servicing students with disabilities, including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Resource: 28 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 3

Appointments with Staff

The Indian Hills financial aid director and financial aid advisors are available for appointments during the time frame outlined within the college’s normal hours of operations. Appointments are based on the availability of the individual financial aid director/advisor as indicated on their Microsoft Outlook electronic calendar. It is the responsibility of each Financial Aid Office staff member to update his or her electronic calendar on a continual basis.

All staff members of the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office will be provided access (via Microsoft Outlook) to the electronic calendars maintained by each Financial Aid Office staff member. Each appointment requested by a student will be scheduled for no less than one-half hour, and no more than one hour.

Appointments can be scheduled by contacting the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office utilizing the contact information provided in the Frequent Contact section of this manual. Walk-in appointments can be accepted by the integrated student services specialists. If the student requires additional assistance, they will work to schedule an appointment with the director/advisor.

Treatment of Correspondence/Forms

It is the responsibility of the Financial Aid Office staff to properly disseminate and process written correspondence sent and received by the Financial Aid Office. The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office receives correspondence primarily in the form of student tracking letters. In addition, correspondence is received concerning student loan requests, scholarship and sponsorships awards, regulatory guidance, and interdepartmental communications.

All mail received by the Financial Aid Office will be reviewed and opened by the Financial Aid Office staff on a daily basis. The proper dissemination of mailed correspondence will be made following the review of the mail received.

Financial aid documents and forms completed by the student will be logged into the Indian Hills Management Information System (Ellucian’s Colleague software) by staff. This responsibility primarily rests with the communications management or verification specialist, located on the Ottumwa Main Campus. After each completed document or form is processed, an electronic copy of the letter will be added to the student’s financial aid file using the Indian Hills digital imaging software.  This will allow the letter to be accessed by financial aid staff members on both the Ottumwa Main and Centerville Campuses.  

Under the direction of the controller, the Business Office staff members are responsible for processing scholarship and sponsorship correspondence in Colleague. After each scholarship and sponsorship is processed, the correspondence will be kept in a binder on the Ottumwa Main Campus.

Telephone

Telephone calls to the Indian Hills financial aid advisors are routed through an automatic call distribution system to the integrated student services specialists. All printed material and publication of the financial aid telephone contact information concerning each campus will reference the extensions at which each financial aid advisor is located. In addition, the Indian Hills financial aid director/advisors are provided a direct line where they can be contacted.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Indian Hills retains the official academic record (transcript) of enrollment and credits earned in Indian Hills credit programs in perpetuity. All other student record documents will be destroyed three years after the student’s last enrollment at Indian Hills. Students who believe there is an inaccuracy in their official academic records (transcript) must notify the Registrar’s Office immediately.

The records contain information about the student and their education and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Identification data
  • Attendance data
  • Record of achievement
  • Family background data
  • Aptitude tests
  • Educational and vocational plans
  • Honors and activities
  • Objective counselor or teacher ratings and observations
  • External agency reports

Any student objecting to the public release of such information must file a written objection with the executive dean, enrollment services and registrar within fifteen school days following the first day of classes attended. This written objection is valid for one calendar year from the date of the objections and must be renewed if desired.

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office operates in accordance with the established rules outlined by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA governs the disclosure of student information to parties other than the student. The regulation provides a number of conditions under which personal identifiable information from a student’s education record may be disclosed without the student’s prior written consent.

Securing of Student Financial Aid Records

Student financial aid records are maintained in a digital imaging system that is protected by passwords of staff members that have security clearance to view scanned documents. When documents are scanned, hard copies are kept until the student’s file is considered complete and then destroyed.

Records Management & Retention

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office establishes and maintains on a current basis applications submitted for Federal Student Aid (FSA) program funds. In addition, the office maintains program records as required under federal regulation.

Fiscal records, demonstrating the proper use of FSA funds, and Loan Program records are kept on a current basis.

The Registrar’s Office keeps official academic records (transcripts) of enrollment and credit earned in the Indian Hills credit program in perpetuity.

Information Sharing & the FERPA

FERPA sets certain conditions on the disclosure of personal information from records kept by schools that participate in FSA programs. The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record without the student’s consent:

  • To other school officials, including teachers, within the school whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests
  • To officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll (Subject to the requirements of 34 CFR 99.34)

Disclosure may be made by the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office if it is in connection with financial aid that the student has received or applied for. Such a disclosure will only be made if the student information is needed to determine the amount of the aid, the conditions for the aid, the student’s eligibility for the aid, or to enforce the terms or conditions of the aid.

Indian Hills annually notifies students of their rights under FERPA as part of the institution’s effort to disclose consumer information. Included  within that notification are the procedures for exercising their rights to inspect and review education records. In the event personally  identifiable information is disclosed to a party with legitimate interests in obtaining the information, documentation is maintained in the student record in Colleague (does not apply to school officials with a legitimate educational interest or to directory information).

Resource: 34 CFR 99.34

Authorization Consent Form

An Indian Hills student may provide a signed and dated written consent to the Registrar’s Office to disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s education records.

The written consent must:

  • state the purpose of the disclosure
  • specify the records that may be disclosed
  • identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made
  • be signed and dated

The Indian Hills Registrar’s Office requires that the document be signed by the student with an Indian Hills staff member as a witness

Financial Aid Programs

Institutional Eligibility Requirements 

Indian Hills is eligible to participate in Title IV programs by meeting the definition of an institution of higher education as defined by the United States Department of Education.

Documentation that substantiates the eligibility of Indian Hills to participate in Title IV programs is located in the Financial Aid Office on the Ottumwa Main Campus. Indian Hills makes accreditation and licensing information and documentation available to enrolled and prospective students upon request.

The financial aid director is responsible for updating information contained in the Indian Hills institution eligibility application. Furthermore, the financial aid director is responsible for tracking the expiration of the Program Participation Agreement (PPA), and coordinating the re-certification process.

Resources: 668.8

Program Eligibility

In addition to meeting all other eligibility requirements, Indian Hills qualifies as an institution of higher education because the college is a non-profit school and offers a program that leads to an associate or professional degree.

Indian Hills also qualifies as an institution of higher education because it offers a program of at least two academic years in duration that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree, or because it offers a program of at least one academic year in duration that leads to a certificate, degree, or other recognized credential and prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

Indian Hills is ultimately responsible for determining that a program is eligible for financial aid. In addition to determining that the program meets the eligible program definition, Indian Hills makes certain the program is included under the notice of accreditation from a nationally-recognized accrediting agency (unless the agency does not require that particular programs be accredited).

Indian Hills periodically undergoes re-certification of its eligibility; the duration of eligibility is primarily linked to the expiration of the PPA.

Indian Hills utilizes rule definitions within the Colleague system to identify students in eligible programs of study. Students identify themselves as degree-seeking at Indian Hills by indicating such on the Application for Admission form in the Educational Goals section. Students who do not certify that they are attending Indian Hills for the purposes of seeking a degree, or do not have an eligible program indicated as their major in the Colleague system, are not awarded financial aid.

The Indian Hills academic year for all credit hour students is defined as 36 weeks.

Indian Hills defines its Title IV academic year as 24 credit hours. Grade level progression is measured by the completion of 24 credit hours.

Indian Hills outlines its definition of a credit hour in line with the guidance set forth in 34 CFR 600.2, 602.24.

At Indian Hills (per Administrative Guideline 114), one semester hour is defined as:

  • 880 minutes of Lecture (breaks excluded) = 1 semester hour (State minimum = 800 minutes)
  • 1,760 minutes of Laboratory or Shop (breaks excluded) = 1 semester hour (State minimum = 1,600 minutes)
  • 2,640 minutes of clinical practice (breaks included) = 1 semester hour (State minimum = 2,400 minutes)
  • 3,520 minutes of work experience (breaks included) = 1 semester hour (State minimum = 3,200 minutes)
  • In compliance with 34 CFR 600.2 an appropriate amount of outside work will be included.

This is determined to be a reasonable equivalent to and the approximation of at least the amount of work expected in a Carnegie unit.

Resources: 668.8; 668.2

Evaluation of New Programs 

New programs are added according to the procedures outlined in the FSA Manual, Volume 2; School Eligibility and Operations.

The financial aid director is responsible for identifying and determining the eligibility of new programs. Before Indian Hills determines new programs to be eligible and disburses funds to enrolled students, the school must receive both the required state and accrediting agency approvals.

The financial aid director and the executive dean, enrollment services and registrar are voting members of the Academic Standards Committee at Indian Hills so they are aware of any suggested new programs.

Administrative Capability

Provisions

Indian Hills administers Title IV programs in accordance with all applicable statutory and regulatory provisions. Indian Hills maintains compliance with the administrative capability requirements of 34 CFR 668.16(o).

Resource: 668.16

Administration

Indian Hills has designated the financial aid director to be responsible for administering and coordinating the institution’s financial aid programs.

The financial aid director is the coordinating official, and is the designated individual to administer the FSA programs and to coordinate aid from these programs with all other aid received by students attending the school. The Indian Hills processes are administered in a way that ensures all the information the school receives that might affect a student’s FSA eligibility is communicated to the coordinating official and to the Financial Aid Office.

Indian Hills utilizes a financial aid staff comprised of an adequate number of qualified persons to administer the Title IV programs. See the Financial Aid Office Structure and Position Responsibilities sections of this manual.  

Resource: 668.16(b)

Responsibilities of Institutional Offices

The financial aid director and appointed Financial Aid Office staff members, are responsible for the approval and authorizing payment of the Title IV programs. In addition, the Financial Aid Office is responsible for the preparation and delivery of reports to the Department of Education.

The Indian Hills Business Office is responsible for the disbursement and delivery of Title IV funds.

Separation of Duties

Administrative procedures for the FSA programs at Indian Hills include an adequate system of internal checks and balances. This system separates the functions of authorizing payment and disbursing or delivering funds so that no one person or office exercises both functions for any student receiving FSA funds. These two functions are performed by individuals who are not related and who do not together exercise substantial control over the school.

Resources: 668.16(c)(1); 668.16(c)(2)

Records

In accordance with federal regulations, Indian Hills establishes and maintains on a current basis any application the school submitted for FSA program funds. The documentation maintained on a current basis includes program records that document:

  • Eligibility to participate in the FSA programs
  • FSA eligibility of the the Indian Hills programs of education
  • Administration of the FSA programs by Indian Hills 
  • Financial responsibility of Indian Hills
  • Information included in any application for FSA program funds
  • Disbursement of FSA program funds by Indian Hills 

Fiscal records maintained on a current basis include:

  • financial records that reflect each FSA program transaction
  • general ledger control accounts and related subsidiary accounts that identify each FSA program transaction (separated from all other school financial activity)

Indian Hills maintains records for each FSA recipient that include, but are not limited to:

  • ISIR used to determine a student’s eligibility for FSA program funds (in electronic form)
  • Application data submitted to the department, lender, or guaranty agency by the school on behalf of the student or parent
  • Documentation of each student or parent borrower’s eligibility for FSA program funds (e.g., records that demonstrate that the student has a high school diploma, GED, or the ability to benefit) 
  • Documentation of all professional judgment decisions
  • Financial aid history information for transfer students via National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • Cost of attendance (COA) information
  • Documentation of a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Documentation of a student’s program of study and the courses in which the student was enrolled
  • Data used to establish a student’s admission, enrollment status, and period of enrollment
  • Required student certification statements and supporting documentation
  • Documents used to verify applicant data, and resolve conflicting information

Documentation relating to each student or parent borrower’s receipt of FSA program funds, including but not limited to:

  • The amount of the grant, loan, or Federal Work Study (FWS) award, its payment period, its loan period, if appropriate, and the calculations used to determine the amount of grant, loan, or FWS award
  • The date and amount of each disbursement of grant or loan funds, and the date and amount of each payment of FWS wages
  • The amount, date, and basis of the school’s calculation of any refunds/returns or overpayments due to, or on behalf of, the student
  • The payment of any refund/return or overpayment to the FSA program fund, a lender, or the department, as appropriate
  • Documentation of and information collected at any initial or exit loan counseling required by applicable program regulations

Resources:668.16(d)

Electronic Processes

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office utilizes electronic processes that are required to be considered administratively capable of participating in federal student aid programs.

It is the responsibility of the financial aid director as the coordinating official to ensure compliance with the administrative capability requirements.

Resources: 668.16

Information Discrepancies

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office actively identifies and resolves discrepancies in all FSA-related information received by any Indian Hills office.

At a minimum, active resolution includes:

  • determining what information is correct
  • documenting the school’s findings in the student’s electronic file

As required under federal regulation, the Indian Hills system includes a review of:

  • All student aid applications requiring the analysis of the following documents presented by or on behalf of each applicant:
    • Multiple Reporting Records (MRR)
    • Potential Overawards (POP)
    • Common Origination and Disbursements (COD)
    • Applications for Admission/Program Changes
    • Registration Statements
    • Eligibility Notification Documents
  • Any documents, including any copies of state and federal income tax returns, that are normally collected by the financial aid office to verify information received from the student or other sources
  • Any other information submitted or normally available to the school regarding a student’s citizenship, previous educational experience, documentation of the student’s social security number or other factors relating to the student’s eligibility for funds under FSA programs

The Indian Hills Admissions and Registrar’s Office are required to provide the Financial Aid Office with any information they have that might affect a student’s eligibility, such as the student’s enrollment in an ineligible program.

Indian Hills refers all investigations to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) any credible information indicating that a Title IV aid applicant, school employee, or third party servicer may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with an aid application.

Resources: 668.16(g)(1),(2); 600.9(a)(1)(i)(A)

Cohort Default Rates

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office contracts with Inceptia to provide grace counseling, default prevention outreach and financial literacy to students. The default management plan includes a multifaceted approach toward financial literacy training and borrower communication.

At a minimum the Default Management Plan will:

  • Identify the procedures for forming a Default Reduction Taskforce
  • Identify the responsibilities and goals associated with the Default Reduction Taskforce
  • Establish the components of a financial literacy campaign
    • Since 2012, the Financial Aid Office has worked with the grants office and the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) to offer additional events each year for students including a budgeting experience called Life Store, a game called Money Walks, and the video Money Talks that is available on the Indian Hills website
  • Establish the processes and procedures for identifying and communicating with students identified within the Indian Hills cohort default rate
  • Establish the processes and procedures for identifying and communicating with students identified as potential defaulters
  • Establish the process to evaluate the Indian Hills cohort default rate
    • A hold in the Colleague rules definitions stops a student in default from receiving financial assistance or registering for classes
    • Removing the hold to allow a student to register is made on a case-by-case basis by the Financial Aid Office
    • These students may become eligible for financial assistance once they have paid off their defaulted loan

State Authorization of Distance Education Programs

Because Indian Hills could potentially enroll students from various geographic regions, the college is making good faith efforts to identify and obtain state authorizations, as necessary, based on student enrollment and state requirements. The college is in the process of developing a full policy informed by on-going developments related to this issue at state and national levels. These efforts include:

  • Tracking state of residence for students by term
  • Documenting authorizations as they are received from states
  • Documenting efforts to directly contact states to discuss programs Indian Hills is providing to students in those states to determine whether authorization is needed
  • Documenting applications to states and subsequent pending approvals

Additionally, Indian Hills is remaining abreast of developments related to the issue of state authorization, and is supportive of efforts designed to facilitate cooperation among the states, such as the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

Authorization to offer distance education programs in the state of Iowa is provided through the classification of Indian Hills as a state community college. As a state institution, Indian Hills is an agency of state government and is by definition compliant with section 600.9(a)(1)(i).

Reporting & Reconciliation

Fiscal Operation & Application to Participate 

It is the responsibility of the financial aid director to complete the Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) each year. The FISAP is completed using a process in the Colleague system.

Supporting documentation for the completion of the FISAP is kept on the Indian Hills common drive. In addition, hard copy documentation is retained by the financial aid director.

National Student Loan Data System 

Financial aid advisors, computer data entry, specialists, and the financial aid director of the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office will be provided access to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). It is the responsibility of the computer data entry staff to ensure each employee maintains access to the system.

The NSLDS is utilized at Indian Hills to review the financial aid history of the students who apply for Title IV aid. NSLDS records are imported into the Colleague system when an ISIR record is received by Indian Hills. In addition, NSLDS is reviewed on a student-by-student case for mid-year transfer students.

Transfer-monitoring files are submitted to NSLDS on a monthly basis by the computer data entry staff member. Transfer monitoring alerts are sent via email to the Indian Hills financial assistance staff member identified as the individual who reviews NSLDS alerts.  It is the financial aid director’s responsibility to ensure that each student appearing on the alert is adequately reviewed.

Financial Aid Office employees also manually add mid-year transfer students to transfer-monitoring via the NSLDS.

National Student Clearinghouse 

Indian Hills reports student enrollment history to the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) multiple times during a period of enrollment. It is the responsibility of the Registrar’s Office to ensure that bulk reporting is done in a timely manner.

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office reports enrollment updates to the NSC. In the absence of a formal withdrawal by the student, the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office uses the mid-term date as the last date of attendance.

Since Indian Hills is a term school (the Indian Hills academic year consists of four twelve-week terms), the Information Technology department submits enrollment history after the census date, at mid-term and after final grades are posted during the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. The summer term is reported after final grades are released. A file is also submitted following graduation.

Reconciliation of Grants

Reconciliation of grant funds, including Pell Grant funds, is the responsibility of an assigned financial aid advisor and is completed on a monthly basis. Reconciliation of grant funds are done utilizing reports from Colleague, the Business Office and COD, ensuring all three balance.  For Pell Grant funds, a year-to-date reconciliation report is ordered through COD. For campus-based funds, the final allocation is compared to the structured query language (SQL) query.

Reconciliation of Direct Loans

An assigned financial aid advisor completes a reconciliation of the Direct Loan (DL) funds on a monthly basis. The reconciliation utilizes the Direct Loan School Account Statement Reconciliation Report (DSRR) process in Colleague, which is then imported into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

The DSRR is used to compare DL transmitted amounts to COD responses. Adjustments for timing and missing responses are noted with the Excel spreadsheet and tracked for compliance purposes.

Reports are also utilized to compare data from the Indian Hills Business Office Accounts Receivable Division to the DL transmitted and COD response amounts. Adjustments for timing are noted on the Excel spreadsheet.

When completed, the finalized reconciliation of DL for the year is provided to the Indian Hills controller and a copy is saved to the Indian Hills common drive.

General Title IV Student Eligibility Requirements

In order to be considered eligible for the Title IV aid at Indian Hills, the student must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria: (Additional eligibility criteria exists for specific federal/state programs)

  • Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program
  • Not be enrolled simultaneously in elementary or another secondary school unless a consortium agreement is on file
  • Meet one of the following academic criteria:
    • Have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent (e.g., HiSEt or GED)
    • Be home-schooled, and obtain a secondary school completion credential for home-schooling provided by the student’s home state, if one is offered, or have completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law
    • Have a valid Social Security Number with the Social Security Administration, if required
    • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen
    • Be registered with the Selective Service System, if required
    • Not be in default on a Title IV loan or, if in default, have made satisfactory repayment arrangements
    • Not be liable for an overpayment of a Title IV grant or Federal Perkins Loan or, if liable, have made satisfactory repayment arrangements
    • Must be in compliance with SAP requirements
    • Not have property which is subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the United States or, if subject to a judgment lien, have made satisfactory repayment arrangements
    • Has not been convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs while within a term for which they received Title IV aid

Resource: 668.32

High School Diploma Validity 

A request for acceptable documentation will be generated by the Financial Aid Office and sent to the student. Acceptable documentation for substantiating the validity of the student’s high school diploma includes:

  • A copy of the diploma
  • A final transcript

If Indian Hills or the United States Department of Education has reason to believe that a student’s high school diploma is not valid, Indian Hills will evaluate the validity of the student’s high school completion.

The Financial Aid Office also tracks the invalid high school flag within the Colleague system. Students who are flagged as possibly having an invalid high school are reviewed individually. A paragraph is included in the student’s tracking letter that suggests that a high school diploma and transcript may be requested.

If questioned, the determination of validity is done by the financial aid director/advisor/verification specialist. A careful review of the student’s transcript is conducted or the school awarding the degree is reviewed for accreditation by an organization recognized by the state Department of Education for the state in which the high school is located.

Changes to Marital Status 

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office has the option of allowing students to change their marital status during the award year.

Students will only be allowed to update their marital status if the change occurred prior to their period of attendance. If the change occurred after the student has begun attendance, no correction will be allowed.

The verification specialist will be responsible for processing corrections for applicable students utilizing Financial Aid Administrator (FAA) access.

Repeated Coursework

Students enrolled in repeated coursework may have their aid eligibility reviewed based on the course in question.

The Department of Education considers a grade of “D” to be passing, regardless of whether the student’s program  requires a grade higher than a “D.” 

Per Federal regulations, a student may receive Title IV aid for any repetition of a course as long as the student has never passed the course. However, once a student has passed a course, the student may receive Title IV aid for only one retaking of that course. A student may not receive Title IV aid for any second or subsequent repetition of a passed course, and a second or subsequent repetition of a passed course may not be counted toward the student’s enrollment status for Title IV purposes. This is monitored through the Colleague system. Those courses that are repeatable due to institutional policy such as performing arts and athletics (that also contain relatively new content) are overridden if flagged in Colleague as having been a repeated course. It is the responsibility of the financial aid director to review such courses in question and to manually assign the override in Colleague. 

Resources: 668.2(b)

Remedial  Coursework

Students may be admitted into an eligible program and be eligible for financial aid for up to 24 credits.   

Census dates

Indian Hills recognizes the 9th day of each term as the census date for determining enrollment status.  A student’s registration/enrollment is locked on the census date for financial aid purposes.  Students must be registered by each term’s census date to be eligible for financial aid.  This also includes second session classes or classes that begin later in the term. No adjustments will be made for classes added or dropped after the term’s census date.

Aid Programs in Which Institution Participates

Students must qualify for aid according to the criteria established for each program. Students attending Indian Hills are eligible to receive financial assistance from the following programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant   
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)
  • Federal Direct Loan (FDL)
  • Federal PLUS Loan
  • Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grants
  • Iowa National Guard Tuition Assistance
  • Vocational Rehabilitation funds
  • Workforce Investment Act funds
  • Veterans benefits
  • Indian Hills Community College Foundation Scholarships
  • Outside scholarships administered by the Business Office
  • Iowa Education & Training Voucher (ETV) Grant
  • Iowa Kibbie Grant
  • All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship
  • Gear-Up Scholarship
  • Last-Dollar Scholarship (effective 19/FA)

In addition to the programs cited above, students should explore private sources of financial assistance. Indian Hills will certify a private student loan as requested to do so by a student and/or lender if the student meets SAP requirements and has attended at least half-time (4-5 hrs.).  Private loans will be made in equal disbursements (each term) throughout the academic year.

Federal Pell Grant

The eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant is determined by the Federal Department of Education. The Department documents the student’s eligibility by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number reported on the Student Aid Report (SAR). The Pell Grant is adjusted according to the student’s enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, half-time or less than half-time at the census date). Grants, such as the Pell Grant, do not have to be repaid.

Indian Hills has modular summer terms that when combined comprise the summer term of 12 weeks (as a term-based school, we may count each week that a day of instruction occurs as a week toward the term length). A student’s summer award is calculated by using the same formula used to calculate the payment for the fall, winter, and spring terms.

If the student does not use their entire grant to pay tuition and books, the balance will be forwarded no later than 14 days after a balance occurs on their account. Should the necessary financial aid forms not be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the 14th day of the term, an electronic funds transfer to a student’s designated bank account will occur after any remaining tuition and fees have been subtracted from the student’s award.

A student’s Pell award will be recalculated only when there is a change in enrollment status up to the end of the 100% refund period. Indian Hills utilizes one Pell calculation/census date per term. Change in student enrollment levels that occur following the census date (for a student enrolled as of the calculation date) will not have an effect on the student’s Pell grant. An exception to this policy would be noted when a student does not begin attendance in a scheduled course.

Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant 

To be eligible for a Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grand (FSEOG) award at Indian Hills, a student must:

  • Not have earned a baccalaureate degree
  • Have applied for Federal aid and have been determined eligible for a Federal Pell Grant with an EFC of zero
  • Have an enrollment status of at least half-time

Awards are made by order of file completion.

If the student does not use their grant to pay tuition and books, the balance will be forwarded no later than 14 calendar days after a balance occurs on the student’s account. An electronic funds transfer to the student’s designated bank account will occur after any remaining tuition and fees have been subtracted from the student’s award.

Federal Work Study

The FWS program provides students with an opportunity to earn money while working for the college to assist with costs related to school attendance.

To be considered for eligibility, a student must have a SAR or ISIR on file in the Financial Aid Office, the student’s file must be complete and they must have unmet need after financial aid packaging has taken place. In addition, the student must be pre-registered for the next term or be currently enrolled at least half-time (4 credits) for the term. Exceptions to this policy can be made at the discretion of the financial aid director.

The student’s cost of attendance is based upon their educational program. A budget is constructed which reflects the student’s maximum earning potential.

Students are made aware of job openings for the Ottumwa and Centerville Campuses via online postings and by word-of-mouth.  Students who are interested in obtaining FWS positions are directed to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility. The student then arranges a conference with the supervisor to interview for open positions. All open FWS positions can be found on the Indian Hills website

No student will receive less than minimum wage.

Student workers are assigned supervisors and perform tasks which fit the job descriptions for each job.

Work Study paychecks are available on the same schedule as college faculty paychecks. The 10th and 25th day of each month are regular pay dates.

In accordance with federal regulations, Indian Hills expends at least 7% of FWS allocation to compensate students employed in community service learning positions.

Federal Direct Loan

Indian Hills adheres to Scheduled Academic Year (SAY) regulations in administering student loans.

Regulations require that DL and Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) fees be included in a student’s cost of attendance for loans. It is the policy of Indian Hills to add the average cost of fees into the student’s budget under the personal expenses/miscellaneous component. 

The following steps outline the DL process at Indian Hills:

  • Students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and have been marked “File Complete” on the Colleague system. Results of this need analysis must be received by the college before a loan application can be filed
  • Students must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN), and, if applicable, the Institutional Loan Adjustment Request form, as well as Entrance Counseling electronically through the Federal Student Aid website
  • Financial aid advisors and the Colleague system determines the COA, EFC, enrollment status (show attendance of at least half-time, 4-5 credit hours), and SAP standards on whether or not the student is eligible for  a DL  and the amount they are approved to borrow
  • Financial aid advisors enter the loan information on the Colleague system which is transmitted electronically to COD via the Common Origination and Disbursement Export (CODE) process
  • Loan funds will be disbursed as per the request of the financial aid advisor. Students who are borrowing for the first time through the DL program must wait 30 days after the beginning of their loan period prior to receiving a loan disbursement. DL funds will be disbursed in equal amounts for the entire academic year enrolled
  • Prior to disbursement of the DL funds, the normal processes will be performed by the Financial Aid Office to verify student eligibility. Once verified, the funds are applied to the eligible student’s account and an email is sent to the student notifying them of loan disbursements
  • Credit balance funds that are available after paying any student account charges for the current term will be sent electronically to students according to federal regulation
  • Inceptia, a 3rd party vendor, tracks students who are in a grace period and who have defaulted on student loans. Inceptia initiates contact with students to help rectify their situation
  • Students who are not making satisfactory progress or have withdrawn from classes prior to the loan disbursement date will have their loan cancelled

Within 30 days of graduating, withdrawing, or failing to return to a subsequent semester a student is notified that they must complete exit counseling consisting of the following:

  • Student is mailed an exit letter with instructions to complete
  • Exit counseling through an online session via www.studentloans.gov
  • Each applicable student borrower is notified of exit counseling and it is documented on the Colleague system

Alternative/Private Loans

In order to certify a private loan for a student, the student must meet the Indian Hills SAP requirements (regardless of whether or not the loan requires SAP compliance) and be enrolled at least half-time (4 -5 credits). 

Federal PLUS Loan

This loan program is available to the parents of dependent students. The PLUS loan is based on the student’s cost of attendance and other financial aid received.

According to the FSA Student Handbook, all students who receive PLUS funds must complete a FAFSA.

Parents of dependent students must complete the PLUS Loan Authorization form, and an authorization to complete a credit check. In addition, the parent must complete a MPN on the Federal Student Aid website.

Students who have parents who have been denied a PLUS loan may be eligible for additional unsubsidized Stafford loans. To request these additional unsubsidized loan funds a loan adjustment form needs to be completed.

The approved PLUS Loan will be disbursed in equal amounts for the entire academic year enrolled.

Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grants

The Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grant Program is for students enrolling in career education (vocational-technical) courses at an Iowa community college. These grants are based on need and the student’s COA. To be eligible a student must:

  • Be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents
  • Be a United States citizen or in the United States on a permanent visa
  • Enroll, or plan to enroll, in a career education course that lasts at least 12 weeks
  • Complete the FAFSA by July 1

Students pursuing an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree are not eligible to receive this grant.

GEAR UP Scholarship

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Scholarship is a statewide non need-based scholarship program that assists students in the GEAR UP cohort with the cost of postsecondary education. Recipients must have been in the official GEAR UP Iowa cohort. Awards are prorated for students enrolling on a less than half-time basis.

Iowa National Guard Tuition Assistance

The authorization for payment of educational benefits associated with the Iowa National Guard is obtained via electronic announcement provided by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. Only students appearing on the provided electronic announcement will be awarded Iowa National Guard educational benefits. The amount of benefit awarded is based on the student’s cost of tuition.

Vocational Rehabilitation Funds

The authorization of Vocational Rehabilitation funds is provided by area Vocational Rehabilitation Office via written contract. Funds associated with a Vocational Rehabilitation award will not be released to the student until authorized to do so by the Vocational Rehabilitation Office. This normally occurs following the last date to withdraw from a standard 12-week course. The Vocational Rehabilitation Office also authorizes aid for the six-week summer term.

Workforce Investment Act Funds

The authorization for Workforce Investment Act funding is provided to the Business Office by a Workforce Investment Act representative. Aid under this program is awarded to the student under the terms and conditions outlined within the contractual agreement.

Veterans Benefits

Veterans benefits (with the exception of the Iowa National Guard Tuition Assistance program) are administered through the veterans administration and enrollment services advisor located on the Ottumwa Main Campus. This Veterans Affairs certifying official is not a member of the Financial Aid Office staff.

Indian Hills Scholarship Foundation 

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office does not oversee scholarships applied for and awarded by the Indian Hills Foundation Office. Information concerning foundation scholarship application procedures and award selection criteria can be found by contacting the Indian Hills Foundation Office at 641-683-5115. In addition, students may not have access to scholarship funds needed to pay tuition or book charges until such funds are received by the Indian Hills Business Office from the donor/provider.

Iowa Education & Training Voucher Program

The Iowa Education & Training Voucher Program (ETV) is a federally funded program that will provide youth aging out of the Iowa foster care system with post-secondary education and training opportunities. The ETV program is funded by the Iowa Department of Human Services and will be administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission.

Prior to the awarding of ETV funds to a qualified student, Indian Hills must receive from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission written verification of funding approval. This verification is normally provided electronically through the Iowa College Student Aid Commission’s website.

Iowa Kibbie Grant

The Iowa Kibbie Grant Program is for students enrolling in specific career education (vocational-technical) courses at Iowa community colleges. Eligible students must be enrolled and in attendance in courses of study defined by the Iowa Department of Education as career-technical or career option programs. Workforce shortage programs (all of which are career-technical or career option programs) are compiled using information from the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) Needs Assessment and recommendations put forward by the Iowa Community College Presidents.

These grants range in amounts based on need, the student’s COA, and term enrolled. To be eligible you must:

  • Be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents
  • Be a United States citizen or in the United States on a permanent visa
  • Enroll, or plan to enroll, in a career education course that lasts at least 12 weeks
  • Complete FAFSA by July 1

Students pursuing an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Sciences (AS) degree are not eligible to receive this grant.

All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship

The All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Program is a statewide need-based grant program that assists high-need Iowa residents with the cost of postsecondary education.  Recipients must demonstrate a high level of financial need to receive awards up to the average tuition and fees at Iowa’s Regent Universities.  Awards are prorated for students enrolling on a less than full-time basis.  Students must complete the Iowa Financial Aid Application and must file the FAFSA.  Recipients must be on-time applicants – those meeting the Iowa College Student Aid Commission’s March 1 priority deadline. If additional funding exists after all applications received prior to the priority deadline have been funded, additional applications will be considered. Only those students who appear on the Iowa College Student Aid Commission’s electronic roster will be awarded.

Student Consumer Information Requirements

Federal Student Consumer Information Requirements

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office provides consumer information (in conjunction with several college departments) as required by federal regulations. The Indian Hills consumer information page on the college website is reviewed and updated each year prior to the fall academic term. 

Enrolled students, prospective students, the general public and the campus community can access the following information on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website:

  • Academic programs, facilities and instructional personnel
  • Accreditation and licensing of the institution
  • Activities the school offers
  • Annual fire safety report (Indian Hills maintains and operates on-campus housing)
  • Annual security report
  • Arrangements with other institutions to provide instruction
  • Available employees responsible for providing consumer information
  • Available financial assistance
  • Code of Conduct (Indian Hills participate in Title IV loan programs)
  • College Navigator website
  • Completion or graduation rate
  • Completion or graduation rate for student-athletes
  • Constitution Day and Citizenship Day program
  • Contact information for filing complaints with accrediting, licensing, or any other relevant state official or agency
  • Copyright and peer-to-peer file-sharing policies and sanctions
  • Cost of attending the institution
  • Direct Loan model disclosure form
  • Diversity of student body
  • Emergency response and evacuation notification
  • Entrance counseling - Direct Loans
  • Exit Counseling - Title IV Loan programs
  • College Financing Plan
  • Foreign gifts or contracts with more than $250,000 in a calendar year
  • Gainful Employment program information
  • Graduate and professional education
  • Lender assistance in preparing or providing educational counseling, financial literacy, or debt management materials
  • Net Price Calculator
  • Official withdrawal procedures
  • Penalties for drug violations
  • Placement data
  • Placement rate (Indian Hills uses the student placement rate to attract students)
  • Programs to prevent dating, violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking
  • Refund policies
  • Registered sex offender’s information
  • Report on athletic program participation rates and financial support data from the Equity in Athletics Data (EADA) website
  • Retention rate as reported to IPEDS
  • Return of Title IV funds requirements
  • Rights and responsibilities of financial aid recipients
  • Services and facilities for students with disabilities
  • State grant assistance information
  • State, federal, or tribal approval or licensing information
  • Textbook information
  • Third-party servicer compliance audit
  • Title IV credit arrangements
  • Title IV eligibility for study abroad
  • Transfer credit policies
  • Transfer-out rate
  • Transfer-out rate for student-athletes (Indian Hills offers athletically-related financial aid)
  • Verification requirements
  • Voter registration forms

The following documents are available upon request to enrolled students, prospective students and the general public.  A notice that each of the following documents are available upon request is emailed to currently enrolled students following the census day for each term.  Documents available upon request include:

  • Course schedule information
  • Crime log
  • Direct Loan model disclosure form
  • Drug and alcohol abuse prevention program
  • Fire log
  • Notice of availability of report on athletic program participation rates and financial support data from the Equity in Athletics Data (EADA) website
  • Report on athletic program participation rates and financial support data from the EADA website

Outlined below are the notifications required by the Comprehensive Consumer Information and Disclosure List as of April 2019.  The charts below include the audience that receives the consumer information, what disclosures are received, and how/when the disclosure information is provided.

Enrolled Students
Disclosure Dissemination Method Date Provided
A list and brief description of the topics made readily available and how to obtain the information Indian Hills provides a link to the Consumer Information page from the About section of the college website.  A notice outlining the topics available on the Consumer Information page is emailed to all current students following the census day for each term. Following the census day for each term
Annual fire safety report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  Notice that this publication has been made available is provided to students and current employees each academic year via email.  A hard copy of the report can also be requested through the Student Development Office. Annually, prior to October 1
Annual security report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  Notice that this publication has been made available is provided to students and current employees each academic year via email.  A hard copy of the report can also be requested through the Student Development Office. Annually, prior to October 1
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day program An email is sent to all enrolled students and current employees notifying them of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and directing them to appropriate online information regarding the history of the day.  A program consisting of the reading of the constitution, a constitution photobooth and a cake is also held on September 17 or the adjacent weekday if the 17th falls on a Friday or a weekend.   Annually, on September 17 (or adjacent weekday if the 17th falls on a weekend)
Drug and alcohol abuse prevention program Indian Hills provides the bi-annual Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  A notice that this information is available on the website is emailed to all current students following the census day for each term.  The notice also provides direct links to the information and details on how the student may request a hard copy of the information.  Following the census day for each term
Entrance counseling - Direct Loans (first-time borrowers only) Information regarding entrance counseling for first-time borrowers is provided in the student’s award letter.  Further entrance counseling information is available on the Financial Aid page of the Indian Hills website.   At the time a student is awarded aid
Exit counseling - Title IV loan programs (all student and parent borrowers) Information regarding exit counseling is sent in a letter to students when they have dropped below half-time enrollment, withdrawn completely or graduated.  The letter explains how to complete exit counseling.  Additional information about exit counseling is available on the Financial Aid page of the Indian Hills website.   When a student has dropped below half-time enrollment, withdrawn completely or graduated
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Indian Hills provides the information regarding students’ rights under FERPA in the College Catalog & Student Handbook.  A link to a PDF outlining the policy can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  A notice that this information is available on the website is emailed to all current students following the census day for each term.  The notice also provides direct links to the information and details on how the student may request a hard copy of the information.    Following the census day for each term
Notice of availability of report on athletic program participation rates and financial support data from the Equity in Athletics Data (EADA) website Indian Hills provides a link to the Equity in Athletics Data website on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  This information is updated and published to the college website annually, prior to October 15.   Annually, prior to October 15
Notice to victims of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking of their rights and options Indian Hills provides the Student Bill of Rights in the Current Students section of the college website.  A notice that this information is available on the website is emailed to all current students following the census day for each term.  The notice also provides direct links to the information and details on how the student may request a hard copy of the information.    Following the census day for each term
Notice to enrolled students of the availability of consumer information Indian Hills provides a link to the Consumer Information page from the About section of the college website.  A notice that this webpage is available is emailed to all current students following the census day for each term.   Following the census day for each term
Programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking Indian Hills annually notifies enrolled students about programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking through the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) training that is provided to all athletic teams and the College Connections program.  They are also notified about these programs through table sessions during the Student Activities Fair, Mandatory Orientation modules addressing bystander intervention and healthy relationships and a welcome email from the executive dean, student development and athletics highlighting the services/programming offered through the Student Development Department. Annually, prior to October 1
Registered sex offender information Indian Hills provides a link to the Iowa Sex Offender Registry from the Consumer Information page on the college website.  A notice that this information is available is emailed to all current students annually, prior to October 1.  Annually, prior to October 1
Information on financial assistance available to students enrolled in the institution Indian Hills annually provides information on available financial assistance to enrolled students.  Notice that this information is available is provided to students each academic year via email.  The information can also be found on the Financial Aid page of the Indian Hills website.   Annually
Information on the institution Indian Hills annually provides information on the institution to enrolled students.  Notice that this information is available is provided to students each academic year via email.  The information can also be found on the About page of the Indian Hills website.   Annually
The institution’s completion or graduation rate, and transfer-out rate Indian Hills annually provides information on the college’s completion or graduation rates and transfer-out rates to enrolled students.  Notice that this information is available is provided to students each academic year via email.  The information can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually

 

Prospective Students
Disclosure Dissemination Method Date Provided
Annual fire safety report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website. A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the college website.  A notice of the report’s availability is included on the Application for Admission.   Annually, prior to October 1
Annual security report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website. A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the college website.  A notice of the report’s availability is included on the Application for Admission. Annually, prior to October 1
Programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking Indian Hills notifies prospective students about programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking during the Mandatory Orientation process which must be completed before a student can enroll in classes.  The Mandatory Orientation module focuses on bystander intervention and healthy relationships. Annually, prior to October 1
Registered sex offender information Indian Hills provides a link to the Iowa Sex Offender Registry from the Consumer Information page on the college website.  A notice that this information is available is emailed to all current students annually, prior to October 1.  Annually, prior to October 1
Information on financial assistance available to students enrolled in the institution Indian Hills annually provides information on available financial assistance to prospective students.  Email notification that this information is available is provided to students each academic year using the Recruit Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  The information can also be found on the Financial Aid page of the Indian Hills website.  Annually
Information on the institution Indian Hills annually provides information on the institution to enrolled students.  Email notification that this information is available is provided to students each academic year using the Recruit CRM. The information can also be found on the About page of the Indian Hills website. Annually

 

Current Employees
Disclosure Dissemination Method Date Provided
Annual fire safety report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  Notice that this publication has been made available is provided to students and current employees each academic year via email.  A hard copy of the report can also be requested through the Student Development Office. Annually, prior to October 1
Annual security report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  Notice that this publication has been made available is provided to students and current employees each academic year via email.  A hard copy of the report can also be requested through the Student Development Office. Annually, prior to October 1
Code of Conduct, if institution participates in Title IV loan programs Indian Hills provides the Code of Conduct annually to all staff members involved in the awarding and disbursement of Title IV funds.  The financial aid director emails the Code of Conduct and a link to its location on the Financial Aid page of the college website prior to the start of each fall term. Annually, prior to the start of fall term.  
Drug and alcohol abuse prevention program Indian Hills provides the bi-annual Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  A notice that this information is available on the website is emailed to all employees following the census day for each term.  The notice also provides direct links to the information and details on how the employee may request a hard copy of the information.  Annually, prior to the start of fall term.  
Drug-Free Workplace statement The Indian Hills Human Resources Director sends an email to all current staff and faculty members prior to the start of fall term informing them of the location of the Drug-Free Workplace statement.  This statement is also included in the Staff Handbook located on the Indian Hills Staff Resources page of the college website.   Annually, prior to the start of fall term.  
Notice to victims of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking of their rights and options The Indian Hills Human Resources Director sends an email to all current staff and faculty members prior to the start of fall term informing all staff of the rights and options of victims of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.  This information is also included in the Staff Handbook located on the Indian Hills Staff Resources page of the college website.  Annually, prior to the start of fall term.  
Programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking The Indian Hills Human Resources Director sends an email to all current staff and faculty members prior to the start of fall term informing them of college programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.   Annually, prior to October 1
Registered sex offender information The Indian Hills Human Resources Director sends an email to all current staff and faculty members prior to the start of fall term informing them of the location of the registered sex offender information on the Consumer Information page of the college website.   Annually, prior to October 1

 

Department of Education
Disclosure Dissemination Method Date Provided
Annual fire safety report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to October 1
Annual security report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to October 1
Completion or graduation rate Indian Hills provides the annual completion or graduation rates on the college website.  A link to the completion or graduation rates can be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to July 1
Completion or graduation rate for student athletes Indian Hills provides the annual completion or graduation rates for student athletes on the college website.  A link to the completion or graduation rates for student athletes can be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to July 1
Gainful Employment program data Indian Hills provides the Gainful Employment program data on the college website.  A link to the Gainful Employment program data can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to October 1
Notice of availability of report on completion or graduation rates for student-athletes Indian Hills provides the annual notice of availability of the report on the completion or graduation rates for student-athletes on the college website.  A link to the completion or graduation rates for student- athletes can be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to July 1 
Programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking Indian Hills annually discloses the college’s programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in the annual Security & Fire Safety Report located on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the annual Security & Fire Safety Report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to October 1
Registered sex offender information Indian Hills annually discloses the college’s Sex Offender Registration policy in the annual Security & Fire Safety Report located on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the annual Security & Fire Safety Report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to October 1
Report on athletic program participation rates and financial support data from the Equity in Athletics Data (EADA) website Indian Hills provides the report on athletic program participation rates and financial support on the college website.  A link to the report on athletic program participation rates and financial support can be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to October 30 
Retention rate as reported to IPEDS Indian Hills provides the report on retention rate as reported to IPEDS on the college website.  A link to the retention rate as reported to IPEDS can be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually
Transfer-out rate Indian Hills provides the transfer-out rate on the college website.  A link to the transfer-out rate can be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to July 1
Transfer-out rate for student athletes Indian Hills provides the transfer-out rate for student-athletes on the college website.  A link to the transfer-out rate for student athletes can be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. Annually, prior to July 1

 

General Public
Disclosure Dissemination Method Date Provided
Notice of availability of report on athletic program participation rates and financial support data from the Equity in Athletics Data (EADA) website Indian Hills provides a link to the Equity in Athletics Data website on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  This information is updated and published to the college website annually, prior to October 15.  Notice of the information and a direct link to the Consumer Information page is placed in the Continuing Education Tabloid that is mailed to each household in the Indian Hills region.   Annually, prior October 15
Transfer-out rate Notice of the information and a direct link to the Consumer Information page is placed in the Continuing Education Tabloid that is mailed to each household in the Indian Hills region.  Annually, prior to July 1
The institution participates in Title IV, HEA programs Information regarding all financial aid programs can be found in the Paying for College section of the Indian Hills website.  Notice of the information and a direct link to the Consumer Information page is placed in the Continuing Education Tabloid that is mailed to each household in the Indian Hills region.  Annually

 

Special Interest Groups
Audience Disclosure Dissemination Method Date Provided
Prospective employees Annual fire safety report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  Notice that this publication has been made available is provided to prospective employees on the Indian Hills Employment Application. At the time of application
Annually, prior to October 1
Prospective employees Annual security report Indian Hills provides the annual Security & Fire Safety Report on the Safety and Security page of the college website.  A link to the report can also be found on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website.  Notice that this publication has been made available is provided to prospective employees on the Indian Hills Employment Application. At the time of application
Annually, prior to October 1
Missing student designated contact person, custodial parent/guarding if missing student is under the age of 18 and not emancipated, local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the area Missing student notification The parent/guardian/designated contact person and local law enforcement will be notified by phone within 24 hours of the determination that a student is missing.   Within 24 hours of determination student is missing
The accused student and the accuser student involved in any alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking situations Outcome of institutional disciplinary proceedings against alleged perpetrator of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking The accused student and the accuser are both notified following any initial, interim, and final decision by any official or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution. Following any initial, interim, and final decision by any official or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution
Prospective employees Programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking Information regarding the Indian Hills programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking is included on the college application for employment.  At the time of application
Enrolled students selected for verification Verification requirements Students who are selected for verification are notified of the verification requirements via email and via direct mail.  The letter and email includes all of the information required for verification.   Timely, so applicant can complete verification by the verification deadline

Resources: 668, subpart D; 2017/2018 FSA Handbook, Vol 2, Ch 6; 668.41(a)

Financial Aid Information

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office publishes and makes readily available to enrolled and prospective students, upon request, a description of all available financial aid programs (including both need-based and non-need-based programs).  For each of those programs Indian Hills provides:

  • Student eligibility criteria
  • Procedures to apply and all required forms
  • Criteria for selecting recipients and determining award amount

In addition Indian Hills provides information concerning awarded aid, to include:

  • Conditions and terms of employment under the FWS program (including a full job description)
  • Terms of any loan that is part of a student’s aid package, a sample loan repayment schedule for the loans, and the necessity for repaying loans
  • Method and frequency of financial assistance disbursements to students

Indian Hills also provides information concerning the rights and responsibilities of the student aid recipient, including:

  • Criteria established for continued eligibility under the SAP process
  • Criteria concerning how to re-establish financial aid eligibility for a student who has failed to meet SAP standards

Financial Aid Information is updated and published in the Indian Hills College Catalog & Student Handbook, as well as on the Indian Hills website. It is the responsibility of the financial aid director to ensure that the financial aid information provided by the Financial Aid Office is timely and accurate.

Resources: 668.41(d); 668.42; 668.42(a)(1),(2); 668.42(b)(2); 668.42(b)(3)

Institutional Information

At a minimum, Indian Hills provides the following general information concerning the institution.

The Registrar’s office provides:

  • The names of associations, agencies, and/or governmental bodies that accredit, approve, or license the school and its programs, and the procedures by which a student may receive a copy for review of the school’s accreditation, licensure, or approval
  • Information about any refund policy with which the school must comply, and the requirements for officially withdrawing from the school
  • Information concerning the degree programs, training, and other education offered
  • Information about the availability of a HiSET/GED program, if the school admits students who do not have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Information concerning the instructional, laboratory, and other physical plant facilities associated with the academic programs
  • A list of the faculty and other instructional personnel

The Pothoven Academic SUCCESS Center provides:

  • Information concerning the special facilities and services available to disabled students

The Financial Aid Office provides:

  • Information concerning the cost of attending Indian Hills (tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, and applicable transportation costs)
  • A statement of the requirements for the return of FSA program funds when a student withdraws from school
  • Information concerning who to contact for information on student financial assistance

Completion or Graduation Rates

The Student Right-to-Know Act requires schools to disclose:

  • Completion or graduation rates and, if applicable, transfer-out rates for a specific cohort of the general student body.  This cohort is of certificate- or degree-seeking, full-time, first-time undergraduate students
  • Completion or graduation rates and, if applicable, transfer-out rates of students receiving athletically-related student aid, if the institution offers athletic aid.  The institution must provide student-athlete graduation rate information to potential student-athletes, their parents, and their high school coaches and guidance counselors upon making an offer of athletic aid

The Indian Hills Student Right-to-Know disclosures are provided by the Registrar’s Office prior to July 1st of each year. Indian Hills annually includes the completion or graduation rate and transfer rate as well as the completion or graduation rate and transfer rate for students receiving athletically-related student aid as part of the Student Right-to-Know disclosure

Annual Security Report

Indian Hills annually publishes and distributes the organization’s Annual Security & Fire Safety Report. It is the responsibility of the executive dean, student development and athletics with the assistance of the Student Development and Security staff to compile the information required within the report, and to ensure its accuracy.

The annual security report is primarily disseminated via the Safety & Security page of the Indian Hills website. The statistics portion of the report is also submitted to Department of Education by the executive dean, student development and athletics, as required by federal regulation.

Resources: 668.41(b),(c),(e); 668.46; 86.100

Student‐Athlete Completion or Graduation Rates

Indian Hills provides athletically-related aid, and therefore must prepare an annual report concerning the completion or graduation rates, transfer-out rates, and related statistics of its athletic aid recipients.

Indian Hills provides the report mentioned above to the student and to the student’s parents, high school coach, and guidance counselor when athletically-related aid is offered to the prospective student athlete. The information is also published on the Consumer Information page of the Indian Hills website. 

It is the responsibility of the Institutional Research office to complete the annual report. It is the responsibility of the executive dean, student development and athletics to ensure the report is provided to the proper individuals at the time athletically related aid is offered.

Resources: 668.41 (f); 668.48

Athletic Program Data

Upon request, Indian Hills must make information concerning its athletic program participation rates and financial support data available to enrolled students, prospective students, and the general public.

It is the responsibility of the Institutional Research Office with the assistance of the executive dean, student development and athletics to compile this information and make it available to those requesting it. This information is available upon request in the Athletics office in the Hellyer Student Life Center.

Resources: 668.41(g); 668.47

Gainful Employment

Indian Hills has established several diploma or certificate programs that are subject to regulation governing Gainful Employment (GE) programs. These gainful employment programs are subject to the disclosure requirements established in 34 CFR 668.6(b).

Indian Hills posts annually the required GE disclosures to the institution’s website, and submits reporting data to the Department of Education via NSLDS. The information is posted on the Gainful Employment webpage, as well as the program specific pages of the website. This information is also provided to the director of marketing so that all program specific promotional materials can be updated.

The Institutional Research Office provides the Financial Aid Office support in constructing the data required to be disclosed under GE regulation. The Financial Aid Office is required to provide median debt calculations and estimated cost information with the assistance of the Information Technology department. The Financial Aid Office is also responsible to update GE information posted to the Indian Hills website.

It is the responsibility of the financial aid director to gather the required reporting data via SQL query. Information is then formatted according to the NSLDS format requirements.

Resources: 668.6

Applications & Forms

Application Process 

Indian Hills provides guidance to new and continuing students concerning financial aid application procedures in many different ways. The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office provides general application and eligibility information within the College Catalog & Student Handbook. In addition, the Financial Aid Office provides a great deal of application information via the department’s page on the Indian Hills website.

To be considered for financial aid at Indian Hills, a student must:

  • Apply and be accepted to the college
  • Complete the FAFSA or Renewal Application
  • Provide any other requested documents for completion of the student’s financial aid file

Indian Hills uses the FAFSA as the basis of the financial aid process. Indian Hills does not require a separate institutional aid application for financial aid.

Applications for financial aid are electronically received by Indian Hills using the Department of Education Import (DOEI) process in Colleague. It is the responsibility of the computer data entry/financial aid advisor to monitor the SAIG Mailbox (and complete the DOEI process) to ensure student applications (ISIRs) are received in a timely manner.

It is the responsibility of the financial aid advisor to review subsequent ISIRs received for applicable students. Further information concerning file review procedures can be found in the File Review section of this manual.

Forms

Many different forms are utilized by the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office during the application and file review process. The title and brief description of several forms is provided below:

  • Verification Form (Dependent and Independent): This form is utilized to collect information required for verification purposes
  • Income Clarification Form: This form is used to collect income and expense data from students or parents who report an unusually low amount of income on the FAFSA
  • Special Circumstances Form: Students are required to complete this form if they feel their status warrants a professional judgment by the financial aid advisor or director
  • SAP Appeal Form: Students who are on dismissal due to academic performance are required to complete this form in order to appeal the dismissal status. The dismissal letter encourages the student to print the form from the Indian Hills website
  • Academic Plan Form: All students who are granted a financial aid appeal are required to complete the academic plan form which will be collected at the time of appeal
  • Dependency Override Appeal Request Form:
    • Section A: The Financial Aid office may consider unusual circumstances regarding dependency status for students who do not meet the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education on the FAFSA for independent students. Examples of unusual circumstances include:
      • Legal removal from a parent or legal guardian’s home
      • A documented case of abuse by parent(s)
      • Incapacity of parent(s), such as incarceration, mental or physical illness
      • A refugee whose parents are in another country and cannot able to be located
      • Other extenuating circumstances that can be sufficiently documented
    • Section B: Federal regulations also indicate four conditions that DO NOT qualify as unusual circumstances and, therefore, cannot be used as reasons to make a student independent. If one of these conditions applies, please request and complete a Parent Refusal Form
      • Parents refusing to contribute to the student’s education
      • Parents unwilling to provide information on the application or for FAFSA verification
      • Parents not claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
      • Student demonstrating self-sufficiency
  • Parent Refusal Form: Under the Federal law, a financial aid administrator may, but is not required to, offer a dependent student an Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan, but no other Title IV Federal student aid if the dependent student’s parent(s) have stopped providing  financial support to the student, will not financially support the student in the future, and decline to complete a FAFSA. If the student meets the following, they may still be able to receive a Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan:
    • Parents refusing to contribute to the student’s education
    • Parents unwilling to provide information on the application or for FAFSA verification
    • Parents not claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
    • Student demonstrating self-sufficiency
  • Loan Adjustment Request Form: If a student wishes to reduce, decline or modify their Direct Stafford or PLUS loans, they will complete this form and return it to the Financial Aid Office. The financial aid advisor is responsible for adjusting the attendance pattern, COA budget and loan amount as requested by the student if the request complies with federal regulation

Forms are available at the Financial Aid Office in Ottumwa and on the Indian Hills common drive. They are also available on the Financial Aid website. Required forms are distributed automatically to each student based on the criteria provided in the student’s ISIR. Forms are tracked using the  Communications Code Entry (CRI) screen in the Colleague system. When a form is received and reviewed by an employee of the Financial Aid Office, it is marked as “received” in CRI.

Deadlines

Indian Hills does not publish a deadline for the submission of a FAFSA outside of the federal deadline of June 30 of the applicable award year.

To receive consideration for any of the state programs, Iowa residents must first complete and submit the FAFSA and then complete the State of Iowa application at www.iowacollegeaid.gov.  For priority consideration, students should complete the applications no later than March 1.  Students are informed of this deadline via the College Catalog & Student Handbook and on the Financial Aid page of the Indian Hills website.

Although Indian Hills does not publish deadlines associated with the submission of institutional forms, Indian Hills awards and disburses aid within the parameters defined by federal late disbursement regulations.

File Review

Verification

Selection of Applicants to be Verified 

Students who are selected for verification by the Central Processing System (CPS) are subject to verification at Indian Hills in accordance with the following criteria:

  • At the time the student’s ISIR is received by Indian Hills, a tracking letter is generated notifying the student that they were selected for verification and what documentation is needed to complete the verification process
    • Each academic year, Indian Hills utilizes custom verification forms when communicating the verification requirements with the applicable students
  • After all documents are received, verification is completed by using the ISIR Verification Processing (IVER) process within Colleague. If tolerance is not within federal guidelines, corrections to the student information are processed 
  • No federal or state aid is awarded to a student until the verification process is completed. This includes receiving an ISIR which accurately reflects any EFC changes determined as a result of verification

Indian Hills reserves the right to require any applicant to verify any/all FAFSA information regardless if selected initially by the CPS. 

Resources: 668.54(a)(2)(i),(ii); 668.54(a)(2)

Acceptable Documentation & Forms 

It is the responsibility of the student chosen for verification to provide acceptable documentation required to complete the process. Although there is no Indian Hills deadline for application verification, a student will not be packaged for aid until the verification process has been completed accurately. Acceptable documentation includes at a minimum:

  • The accurate/legible completion of the federal verification worksheets
    • Indian Hills provides fillable PDF’s on the Financial Assistance website to allow students to enter in their data, print off the document and return the form to the Financial Aid Office
  • Copies of income tax returns are not be acceptable forms of documentation for verification purposes. Students are highly encouraged to utilize the IRS data retrieval tool when completing/correcting the FAFSA. An exception to this requirement will be made for self-employed individuals
  • Signed statement concerning any untaxed income or benefits
  • Signed statement concerning household size
  • Signed statement concerning number enrolled
  • Signatures are required for students and parents (as applicable) on the verification worksheet

Students and parents are provided a written statement when chosen for verification outlining their responsibilities for providing any required documentation. When an ISIR chosen for verification is received by Indian Hills, the documents that are required are assigned automatically by the Colleague system. Written correspondence to the student requesting the documents needed to complete the verification process is also automatically assigned.

Once the student or parent (if applicable) has provided all the required documentation, the verification specialist processes the verification on the Colleague system. If, during the verification process, conflicting information is noted or further documentation is required, the student is notified by phone conversation or by mail using a contact request form.

It is the responsibility of the financial aid director that the verification process at Indian Hills is carried out in accordance with federal regulation.

In the event a currently enrolled student who has already been awarded aid is subsequently chosen for verification on a late arriving ISIR, they will be contacted via phone, email or mail in order to request completion of the verification process. Should the student fail to respond, additional attempts will be made to request completion of the verification process. If a student fails to complete the verification process prior to the next payment period, future aid will not be released until verification is completed.

If it is determined during the verification process that a student is attempting to perpetrate fraud, it will be the responsibility of the financial aid director and the executive dean, enrollment services and registrar to refer such individuals to the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Data Elements to be Verified 

The following data elements are subject to verification by the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office:

  • For all non-tax and tax filers:
    • Household size
    • Number in college
  • For non-tax filers:
    • Income earned from work
  • For tax filers:
    • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
    • U.S. income tax paid
    • Education credits
    • Untaxed IRA distributions
    • Untaxed pensions
    • IRA deductions
    • Tax-exempt interest

Corrections to the verified data elements can be made on the IVER screen in the Colleague system. The Colleague system returns a recalculated EFC, and suggests whether correction tolerance has been exceeded.

All documentation submitted to the Financial Aid Office will be scanned into the student’s file. Students are urged to make any needed copies before submitting as the originals documents are unable to be returned to the student.

If a correction to the student’s EFC is noted, and corrections are required to be submitted to the Department of Education, corrections are exported utilizing the Application Export (CAPX) process in Colleague. The financial aid representative submitting the corrections via the CAPX process in Colleague will make a note in the verification comments section stating the date the correction was submitted using the CAPX process.

A student is not packaged or awarded aid prior to the completion of the verification process. In the event a student had been awarded aid, and then has been chosen for verification on a subsequent ISIR, any notices of change in the award amounts are provided within a revised award letter.

Conflicting & Inaccurate Information

Indian Hills operates a proactive system to identify conflicting information regardless of the source and regardless of whether the student is selected for verification.

Indian Hills reviews all subsequent transactions for a student for the entire processing year. ISIRs are examined for changes in EFC or for changes in any “C” flags when the transaction is imported into the Colleague system. If the EFC changes and the pertinent data elements were not verified, Indian Hills investigates by contacting the student directly to resolve any inaccurate or conflicting information.

Indian Hills does not disburse aid until all conflicting information has been resolved. If the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office suspects that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds, the act may be reported and evidence provided to the Office of Inspector General.

In addition, the Financial Aid Office works closely with the Business Office and the Information Technology Department to detect warning signs of identity theft to fraudulently obtain federal, state and institutional aid.

Database Matches, Reject Codes, & “C” Codes Clearance 

A “C” printed next to the EFC means the student has an eligibility problem that must be resolved before Title IV aid can be disbursed to the student. Below is a list of common areas associated with “C” codes:

  • Selective Service Match
  • DHS Match
  • Social Security Administration Citizenship Status
  • Student’s Social Security Number Match
  • Veterans Affairs Status Match
  • NSLDS
  • Responses to Drug Conviction Question on FAFSA
  • Unusual Enrollment History
  • Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)
  • Aggregate Loan Limits / Subsidized Loan Lifetime Limits

In the event a student has an eligibility problem associated with a “C” code, a tracking letter is generated by the Colleague system upon import. The student is responsible to respond to the tracking letter in order to resolve the “C” code. In some cases, a “C” code requires a correction to the ISIR and reprocessing by the CPS. The financial aid staff representative investigating the “C” code is responsible for ensuring that proper documentation is maintained in the student’s file.

Resources: Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) Guide

Review of Subsequent ISIR Transactions – Post screening

As previously stated, the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office is required to review all subsequent transactions for a student for the entire processing year. Such review includes an already verified earlier transaction.

The review process determines:

  • If the EFC or the “C” flag has changed or if there are new comments or NSLDS information that impacts eligibility for aid
  • If there are any updates or corrections

Generally, if the EFC has not changed and there are no changes in the “C” flag or NSLDS information no action is required by Indian Hills. If the EFC does change but it either doesn’t affect the amount and type of aid received or the data elements that changed were already verified, no action is required.

Review of subsequent ISIR transactions occurs during the importing of ISIRs into the Colleague system. ISIRs are imported into the system at least one time per week. During high application periods, ISIRs may be imported into the system on a daily basis.

It is the responsibility of the financial aid director/advisor/verification specialist to ensure that subsequent ISIRs are reviewed. In addition, it is the responsibility of the financial aid director/advisor to ensure that appropriate action has been taken to notify the student of any circumstances that render the student no longer eligible for Title IV aid.

Resources: ISIR Guide; GEN-98-6; GEN-01-03

Student Budgets

Various Student Populations

Student expense budgets are constructed for each of the following populations:

  • Students living on campus
  • Students living with parents
  • Students living off campus

Student budgets are adjusted based on level of enrollment.

Student expense budgets are assigned through the Colleague system based on attendance pattern, student type, active program, and the housing plans provided on the FAFSA.

How Budgets are Derived & Updated

Student budgets include each component required by federal regulation:

  • Tuition
  • Books and Supplies
  • Room and Board
  • Transportation
  • Personal Expenses
  • Average amount of FDL fees associated with student borrowers at IHCC

IHCC budgets are derived from a summation of actual and estimated costs. Direct college costs (tuition & on-campus room & board) are actual expenses. The other costs (off-campus room & board, books, personal and transportation) are based on estimated expenses that students may incur externally. Tuition expenses are based on 30 hours of enrollment (average number of credit hours per term taken by Indian Hills students multiplied by 3 terms of the academic year). The average cost of books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses are derived with assistance from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. The personal expenses/miscellaneous component includes the fees associated with receiving a DL. The cost of room and board, for students living off campus, is derived from average cost of rental in the region as indicated by published survey data and information concerning the cost of food at home provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Such components are increased by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for each year.  Dorm and meal plan costs are estimated at time of set up for the upcoming year’s budgets.

All student budgets are considered good-faith estimates of the projected educational expenses that the majority of students may incur while attending Indian Hills. Individual students may experience varying costs as a result of special educational expense needs. Variation to a student’s budget based on special educational expenses will be evaluated by the financial aid director/advisor on a case-by-case basis.

Indian Hills employees, their spouses or dependents of employees who receive the college’s credit tuition waiver will have the tuition costs removed from their budgets as the college pays this tuition at no cost to the student/employee.

Resources: HEA 472

Additional Costs

The following items can be added to the student budget at the discretion of the financial aid director/advisor:

  • Documented dependent care expenses
  • Documented cost of a personal computer
  • Cost of additional mileage for out-of-area students
  • Study abroad or approved school-sponsored excursions
  • Flight costs for the Aviation Pilot Training Program
  • Tool costs
  • Increased number of credits
  • Excursion fees/expenses

The additional costs noted above are documented in the student’s electronic Colleague file under comments in the Colleague system for the applicable award year.

Awarding/Packaging Financial Aid

Packaging Philosophy

Indian Hills considers Pell Grants to be the first source of aid to the student, and packaging FSA funds begins with Pell eligibility. Indian Hills utilizes the Colleague system to assist in the packaging of student awards based on the eligibility criteria defined by the federal government and the Financial Aid Office. Pell Grant awards are packaged based on the Department of Education issued Pell payment schedules.

Indian Hills has established its packaging philosophy under the guidelines of federal law that requires aid administrators to determine whether the student is eligible for certain other FSA programs that would reduce the student’s need for borrowing.

Indian Hills is aware of its community responsibility; therefore, equal consideration will be given to full and part-time students in the award process. In making this statement, the college recognizes that less than half-time students are likely to have a lower aggregate need than full-time students, and will not receive an award from FSEOG. The award priorities will be established so that students with the lowest EFC, who have completed files, will be awarded first until all FSEOG has been awarded.

Indian Hills substitutes unsubsidized Stafford loans, and PLUS loans for the student’s EFC. However, a student’s eligibility for PLUS loans is not a part of the packaging process. If a student seeks access to such a loan, the loan is added to the student’s financial aid package at the time of certification by the financial aid advisor. If these loans are used to substitute for EFC, loan amounts that exceed the EFC are counted as a resource or estimated financial assistance.

Students receiving Vocational Rehabilitation funds must provide documentation as to the amount they will be receiving during the award year. This documentation is kept in the Business Office. Vocational Rehabilitation funds are not considered a resource when packaging aid for the student. However, Indian Hills must coordinate funds available from the Vocational Rehabilitation agency and from institutional, state, and federal student financial assistance programs to prevent an over award.

It is the belief of Indian Hills that self-help, in the form of work, would normally be a part of each student’s financial aid package.  The previous statement has been made with full knowledge that there are a limited number of work positions available. A student who indicates interest in the work-study program is evaluated for eligibility and (if eligible) manually packaged for work-study aid. Aid for work-study is only finalized when the student has been hired and all proper employment forms have been completed.

Determining Award Amounts

Indian Hills award amounts (for each fund under the control of the college) are determined based on the amount of funds available and the number of students eligible.  The Financial Aid Office makes every effort to set award levels so that an appropriate award amount is provided to the maximum number of eligible students.

If during the same academic year, a student attended another institution, the student will need to submit a withdrawal clearance letter from the previous institution before financial aid will be awarded at Indian Hills.

It is the responsibility of the financial aid director to determine the minimum and maximum award parameters. Award amounts do not vary based on student types.  Equal consideration is given to each student regardless of student status (e.g. traditional vs. non-traditional).

Award limits are established in the Colleague system and fund balances are monitored by the financial aid director/advisor. Over award warnings occur once the awarded amount exceeds the established limit.

Resources: 674.10(b); 675.10(c); 676.10(b)

Package Construction

Student packaging occurs only after the student has been marked verification complete on the Colleague system. Verification complete is marked only after the student has been successfully verified. Automatic Packaging (PKCR) is run using a saved list of students who are verification complete or were not selected by the federal process to undergo verification. Such documentation includes items required for verification or professional judgment.

Any late awarding of FSEOG funds is done based on the date the student’s ISIR is received. Students who start after the fall term may be eligible for FSEOG funds based on the awarding criteria. 

It is the responsibility of the financial aid director to ensure that the Indian Hills packaging policy is being strictly enforced. The financial aid director oversees the packaging process.  To ensure compliance with Title IV, state, and institutional guidelines, rules are written into the Colleague system to assist in the monitoring of student eligibility.

Treatment of Educational Tax Provisions

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 created additional educational tax benefits for students and their families. These benefits have implications as discussed below.

529 Plans: Prepaid Tuition Plans & College Tuition Savings Plans 

Indian Hills considers distributions from a prepaid tuition plan in accordance with federal regulation. Such distributions are to be directly applied to the beneficiary’s higher education expenses. Indian Hills considers the amount of the distribution as a resource and estimated financial assistance.

Resources: IRC 529; IRS Pub 970

Section 127 Educational Assistance Programs

Indian Hills considers employer paid education assistance to be a resource for students.  

Indian Hills is notified by employers/students of assistance received from businesses by e-mail & direct mail correspondence. Those requests are processed in the Business Office and posted to the Award Detail Entry (AIDE) screen in Colleague reducing their financial need.

Resources: IRC 127; IRS Pub 508

Summer Awards

For the purpose of packaging and awarding financial aid Indian Hills treats the summer term as a trailer. Campus-based funds are utilized from the prior year rather than the upcoming year’s allocation.

Summer EFCs are derived from the student’s attendance pattern. Those enrolled only during the summer term are given the appropriate EFC. Indian Hills utilizes the same EFC to award campus-based aid and DL for the same period of enrollment.

Award Package Notification

Students are notified of award packaging via an electronic Award Letter located on the self-service page of their WebAdvisor account.  Their award letter is also sent  to their official Indian Hills student email account. In addition, the student receives a hard copy of the award letter via direct mail. The award letter provides explanation of the following:

  • The enrollment period, terms, or payment periods as they relate to the awards
  • The amount and type of aid awarded and any conditions linked to award eligibility for each type
  • The pro-rated amounts of Pell eligibility and anticipated repayment amount for loans 
  • What must be done to accept or decline any part of the offered student loan aid, including the need to complete and return specific materials
  • The general enrollment standards a student must meet to receive aid amount
  • Phone and fax numbers for contacting the Financial Aid Office

Award letters are automatically generated once a student has been packaged for financial aid. It is the responsibility of the financial aid director or financial aid advisor to ensure that an initial Award Letter notification is mailed to the address on file and a revised award letter notification is e-mailed to the Indian Hills student e-mail address when packaging or re-packaging occurs.

Over awards

Over awards can occur for a variety of reasons including institutional errors. However, Indian Hills has taken several steps to ensure that a student does not receive more Title IV aid than the amount for which they are eligible.

The Indian Hills financial aid advisor generates a report via the Colleague system to monitor and identify over awards. In addition, interoffice communication requirements have been established between the Business Office and the Financial Aid Office to decrease the probability of an over award.

When over awarding occurs as a result of the student receiving financial assistance from outside sources, an adjustment will be made to the student’s original campus-based award. Most aid packages are developed with the assumption that the student will be attending on a full-time basis. When a student registers for a reduced course load, they should expect a portion of their award package to be reduced or eliminated.

Resolving an Over award When Student is Liable

Federal Pell Grant awards are not reduced to resolve over awards of campus-based or DL funds. When Indian Hills has determined that the student is liable for an over award, the option(s) to resolve the over award include:

  • Increasing the student’s budget (if warranted)
  • Reducing or cancelling award(s)
  • Terminating the student’s FWS employment
  • Returning loan proceeds that have not been delivered to the student

Resource: 673.5

Professional Judgment

Professional Judgment Authority & Individuals Who May Exercise It 

Professional Judgment (PJ) decisions are made by the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office on a case-by-case basis as the result of examining a particular student’s unique circumstances.

The financial aid director/advisor/verification specialist will have the authority to exercise PJ. PJ will only be exercised after any required verification has been completed, all required institutional forms have been completed, and any conflicting/inconsistent information has been resolved.

The PJ decision of the Financial Aid Office is final, and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education.

The student should complete the special circumstances form and complete a signed written statement in order to be considered for a PJ. The form can be obtained at either of the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office locations. In addition to completing the form listed above, the student and parents (if applicable) must provide supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Such documentation includes:

  • Most recent tax transcript
  • W2 forms
  • Letter of explanation
  • Copy of claimant’s unemployment record (if applicable)
  • Most recent pay stub (if applicable)
  • Disability award (if applicable)
  • Any other notice of benefits determination (if applicable)
  • Third party verification of the situation

After all documentation in collected, the financial aid director/Advisor/ Verification Specialist will evaluate the material for PJ consideration. If the PJ is approved, a correction will be made to the ISIR in Colleague access and approval from the FAA. In addition, the financial aid staff will indicate on the comment screen in Colleague that a PJ has been exercised.

Upon receipt of the corrected ISIR, the student will be repackaged for financial aid. A revised award letter will be provided to the student indicating any new award amounts following the evaluation of the special circumstance.

Resources: HEA 479A; 2017-18 FSA Handbook, Application and Verification Guide

Circumstances Where Professional Judgment May be Used & Possible Actions

In accordance with federal regulation, the Higher Education Act (HEA) gives authority to the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office to exercise PJ in the following areas:

  • Dependency status (dependent to independent only)
  • Certain data elements used to calculate EFC
  • Cost of attendance 
  • Satisfactory academic progress 

The circumstances outlined as special circumstances by Indian Hills include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of employment due to termination, layoff, disability, retirement, company closing, or plant shutdown
  • Loss of an untaxed benefit or income including worker’s compensation, child support, pensions and annuities, or social security benefits
  • Separation or divorce
  • Death of individual whose information was reported on FAFSA
  • Documented excessive medical expenses

Resources: HEA 479A; GEN-03-07

Disbursements

Disbursement Process

Due to the separation of duties requirement, Indian Hills recognizes that no one office may be responsible for both the authorizing and disbursing of financial aid. The delivery of Title IV funds must be carried out by organizationally independent individuals in accordance with cash management rules. While the Financial Aid Office awards aid and authorizes payment to students, the Business Office actually disburses and delivers the funds.

The financial aid director, and appointed Financial Aid Office staff members are responsible for the approval and the authorization of payment of Title IV programs. The Business Office is responsible for the disbursement and delivery of Title IV funds.

The enrollment status of students is verified through a query of the Colleague system prior to the authorization of aid disbursements. It is the responsibility of the financial aid director to ensure the award eligibility criteria (including enrollment status) has been verified prior to authorizing payment. The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office also collaborates with the Registrar’s Office to ensure the timely and accurate processing of student withdrawals.  Students who have elected to withdraw from courses at Indian Hills have their enrollment data updated immediately in order to ensure the proper processing of financial aid.

For students enrolled in late start classes, the associated enrollment level will only reflect the coursework the student has already begun. Federal and state financial aid will not be disbursed to students who are enrolled in late start classes until the student’s late start section has begun and attendance has been verified. For the purposes of this policy, late start classes are defined as any course that begins after the official start date of the term.

Resources: 668.16(c)(2)

Definition of Disbursements & Disbursement Methods 

Indian Hills Defines Disbursement as the process through which FSA program funds are paid to a student (or parent for PLUS Loan funds).

Disbursements are made via credit to a student’s institutional account rather than a cash disbursement made directly to the student or parent (in the case of a PLUS loan).

For the purposes of disbursing federal grant funds, Indian Hills uses institutional funds to disburse Title IV funds to a student prior to the drawdown and receipt of Title IV funds.

For the purposes of disbursing loan funds to a student or a parent borrower, receipt of Title IV funds must occur prior to crediting a student’s account.

Indian Hills will not penalize Title IV recipients for nonpayment of fees due to financial aid regulations or delays attributable to the school (delay for 30 days the first disbursement for first-time borrowers). In order to ensure that this policy is strictly monitored, students with pending aid (finalized aid that has not been transmitted) are removed from lists of potential registration purge or late fee assessment. This identification procedure is carried out through communication between the financial aid director and the Business Office. If a late fee was assessed to a student account, the student can contact the financial aid director who will work with the Business Office to determine if the fee can be removed on a case-by-case basis.

Resources: 668.164(a)(1); 668.14(b)(21)

Delayed Disbursement for First Time Borrowers 

Indian Hills delays the disbursement of DL funds until 30 calendar days after the student’s program of study begins if the student is in the first year of an undergraduate program and is a first-time DL borrower.

Prior to awarding delayed DL funds to an Indian Hills student, the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office confirms that they remain an eligible student. For such an award, confirmation includes that the student is enrolled at least half time and has not unofficially withdrawn from classes.

Indian Hills determines and documents that a student remains eligible to receive DL funds by running an Enrollment Report from the Colleague system. If a student ceases to meet minimum eligibility requirements to receive loan funds, the loan is cancelled before the 30 day delayed disbursement date.

Student & Parent Authorizations

Student charges at the Indian Hills bookstore will be authorized for disbursement equal to the amount incurred on the signed receipt.

Written authorization must be provided by the student or parent in order to disburse Title IV funds by crediting the student’s account to pay current institutional charges for educationally-related activities other than tuition, fees, and contracted room and board.

Resources: 668.165(b)(1)(ii)

Disbursing FWS Funds to Pay Current Institutional Charges for Tuition, Fees, Contracted Room & Board, & Other Institutionally‐ Provided Educationally‐Related Goods & Services

In the event a student earning FWS funds has failed to pay all current institutional charges for tuition, fees, contracted room & board, & other institutionally-provided educationally-related goods & services the student will be paid their normal paycheck and encouraged to write a check to cover their outstanding bill. The Business Office will work with the student if they would prefer to endorse their check back to the institution.

Resources: 675.16(a)(3)(iii),(4)(i)(A),(5)(6)

Disbursing FWS Funds to Pay Minor Prior‐Year Charges

Indian Hills does not disburse aid to pay minor prior-year institutional charges. It is the responsibility of the student to pay all prior-year charges before enrolling in a subsequent term.

Institutional Charges Holding Excess Title IV Funds (Credit Balances)

Indian Hills does not hold excess Title IV Funds. There are no policies or procedures that allow a student or parent to authorize Indian Hills to hold excess Title IV Funds beyond the required disbursement timeframe noted within cash management regulations.

Student & Parent Notifications

Student notification of Title IV disbursement occurs via letter mailed directly to the student’s or parent’s preferred mailing address recorded in the Colleague system.

Notifications include:

  • Eligibility for funds from Title IV programs
  • Title IV loan proceeds credited to the student’s account
    • The disbursement date and amount
    • The student’s right to cancel all or a portion of the loan and the procedures for requesting cancellation
  • Post-withdrawal disbursement containing loan funds eligible to  be credited to the student’s account
    • The disbursement date and amount
    • The student’s right to cancel all or a portion of the loan, and the procedures for requesting cancellation
  • Offering a student (or PLUS borrower) any portion of a post-withdrawal disbursement not credited to the student’s account
    • Procedures for requesting the undisbursed funds

Each of these notification examples are generated by the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office or Direct Lending.

Resources: 668.165(a)(1)(i); 675.16(a)(2); 668.165(a)(2;) 668.22(a)(4)(i)(B); 668.22(a)(4)(ii)

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Process Overview & Responsibilities

Indian Hills is required to establish and monitor SAP standards for students who are federal and state financial aid applicants. This policy ensures that any student who receives or applies for financial aid is making progress toward a degree. The student’s total academic history is monitored regardless of whether they have previously received financial aid.

In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, a student must meet the SAP Requirements listed below. Failure to meet SAP requirements will result in the loss of all state and federal aid. 

Quantitative Measure

The quantitative measure for satisfactory academic progress requires that a student must successfully complete 67% of enrolled credit hours. This will be measured on a cumulative basis.

Example: If the student enrolls for a total of 24 credit hours their first academic year, the student must satisfactorily complete 16 credit hours (24 credit hours x .67 (67%) = 16 credit hours). Each term students must complete the following:

  • A Full-Time student (enrolled in 8 or more credit hours) must pass at least 6 credit hours.
  • A Three-Quarter-Time student (enrolled in 6 or 7 credit hours) must pass at least 4 credit hours.
  • A Half-Time student (enrolled in 4 or 5 credit hours) must pass at least 3 credit hours.
  • A Less-Than-Half-Time student (enrolled in 1, 2 or 3 credit hours) must pass at least 2 credit hours (or 1 credit hour if initially enrolled for just 1 credit hour).

In addition, the student must achieve completion of the academic program in 150% of the published length of the program.

Example: Associate of Arts degree = 61 credit hours. Maximum enrolled credit hours permitted to complete this program would be 91.5 (61 credit hours x 1.5 (150%) = 91.5 credit hours).

Qualitative Measure

The qualitative measure for SAP requires that a student maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average. During the entirety of a student’s program, the student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.

Probationary or Conditional Periods

Academic progress will be reviewed following each term to determine if the SAP requirements have been met.

The first term the student fails to meet the SAP requirements the student will be placed on financial aid warning. This probationary period should be utilized by the student to meet the SAP Requirements.\ However, if a student fails to earn any credits during any term of enrollment they will be placed on NO AID/UNSATISFACTORY status. A student may not receive any federal or state aid while on NO AID/UNSATISFACTORY status.

Treatment of Repeated Courses, Audited Courses, Pass/Fail Courses, Withdrawals, Incompletes & Developmental Courses

For maximum timeframe purposes, transfer credit, credit/no credit, course repeats, withdrawals, incompletes, and developmental courses will be included as part of the student’s cumulative credit hours enrolled. Such courses are also included as attempted hours for the quantitative measure.

Incomplete grades are calculated as F’s until a grade change is received and reviewed by the Financial Aid Office; once a grade change is reviewed, the Financial Aid Office will review the SAP status and notify the student of any changes.

Transfer students

Transfer students will submit previous college transcripts and hours earned will be added to the quantitative measure.

Indian Hills retains the right to request transcripts on a case-by-case basis for those students expected of shopping for financial aid from school to school. Examples of this student type include those from outside Area 15 who complete applications for enrollment on the same date/time, and often have the same address. Often these students have attended multiple schools for less than a period of one academic year. Individual review of this student type is done in order to prevent fraud, and to potentially lower the Indian Hills cohort default rate.

Students failing to meet the identified measure will be placed on academic dismissal, and will have an opportunity to appeal the status.

Appeals

If extenuating circumstances exist, the student may submit a SAP appeal to the Financial Aid Office stating the reasons the SAP requirements were not met. The appeal form is accessible via hard copy in the Financial Aid Office and on the Indian Hills website. If the appeal is approved by a review committee, eligibility for financial aid will be reinstated on a probationary level (the student will be moved from a no-aid/unsatisfactory status to an academic/program plan).

Each appeal for financial aid must be accompanied by the Indian Hills Academic Plan Worksheet. The Academic Plan Worksheet outlines that the student must meet an additional qualitative measure each term that will bring them back into compliance with the standards of the policy (e.g.: additional GPA or completion requirements). The student must also meet the increased quantitative measure of completion of the credit hours attempted each term under the plan. The combination of these two more rigorous standards ensures that the student is making progress toward meeting the cumulative SAP measures outlined in the Quantitative Measure and Qualitative Measure sections.  The plan will remain in place until the student has achieved SAP, or has completed their program.

A student completing a SAP Appeal is required to meet with an academic advisor. Applicable students are provided contact information for the academic advisors and responsibility rests with the student for scheduling the required appointment. This Academic Plan Worksheet is completed and signed by both the student and the academic advisor.

Students who fail to maintain the required measures outlined on the Academic Plan Worksheet will be placed on “NO AID/UNSATISFACTORY” status. If a subsequent appeal is denied, a student can pay out of pocket until a 67% completion rate and cumulative 2.0 GPA are achieved; at which time, eligibility may be restored.

In addition, a student may also be put on a Program Plan if they appeal due to unsatisfactory academic progress based on not completing their program within the 150% time frame. While on a Program Plan, the student must only register for classes required for their current program and must successfully complete those classes. A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 must also be maintained.

Regaining Eligibility

Students who have not met the SAP requirements retain the right to regain eligibility by completing the number of credit hours necessary to achieve the 67% requirement and/or minimum cumulative grade point average needed for their grade level. This will be at the student’s own expense. When these hours have been completed, the Financial Aid Office must be notified so eligibility for aid can be reinstated.

Return of Title IV Funds

Process Overview & Applicability 

The processing of Title IV returns at Indian Hills is a complex process that involves a great deal of interoffice cooperation and coordination. The following information outlines the responsible parties involved in the Title IV return process.

Student Withdrawals: The One Stop Office/Registrar’s Office is designated as the contact point for students who wish to officially withdraw. The Registrar’s Office is responsible for completing verification of all official student withdrawals. Unofficial withdrawals are covered in greater detail below.

Notification of Student Withdrawals: The financial assistance advisor  is responsible to run a query in the Colleague system in order to identify those students who have officially withdrawn during the payment period. The Registrar’s Office is responsible for submitting official withdrawals to the NSC via its established/required reporting criteria. The Information Technology office assists with this process via an electronic file transfer to NSC. Unofficial withdrawals are identified by a query in the Colleague system after final grades for the term are processed.

Calculating Title IV Returns: It is the responsibility of the financial assistance advisor to complete the calculation of Title IV returns within the timeframe required by federal regulation. It is also the responsibility of the financial aid advisor to notify students of their obligation to repay funds. Indian Hills returns the calculated amount of Title IV funds to the Department of Education which creates a bill owed to Indian Hills.

Offering Post-Withdrawal Disbursements: It is the responsibility of the financial assistance advisor to offer post-withdrawal disbursements to eligible students as required.  Responses to loan post-withdrawal disbursements must be made directly to the financial assistance advisor as directed in the student’s offer. Disbursements are made by the Business Office as required by separation of duties regulations.

Title IV Return Calculation Procedures: Indian Hills uses the Colleague system to automatically calculate Title IV returns.  The following are processes within the Colleague system to determine these calculations:

  • Determine the percentage of aid earned by calculating the percentage of the period that the student completed
  • Determine the amount of earned aid by applying the percentage to the total Title IV aid that was or could have been disbursed
  • Determine the amount of unearned aid by subtracting earned aid from disbursed aid or determine the amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement by subtracting disbursed aid from earned aid
  • If unearned funds must be returned, determine the school’s and the student’s shares; or if a post-withdrawal disbursement is due, determine the sources from which it will be funded
  • If unearned funds must be returned, allocate unearned aid to programs from which the student was funded; or if a post-withdrawal disbursement is due, send the student applicable notification
    • Return the institution’s share and any funds repaid by the student or make the post-withdrawal disbursement

Withdrawal Date

Official Withdrawals: Students wishing to withdraw from one or more courses, or totally withdraw from the college, may do so online, through the academic advisors or through technical program directors.

Indian Hills requires instructors to report attendance after the first 8 days of the term.          

Official withdrawal dates are provided to the financial assistance advisor through the Student Academic Credits (STAC) screen in Colleague. The financial assistance advisor identifies possible Title IV Return candidates by running a series of queries for financial aid recipients who have officially withdrawn from courses. The financial aid advisor is responsible for reviewing each of the student’s courses to determine the student’s official date of withdrawal.

668.22(l)(3)s: Federal regulations state that an institution must be able to determine the last date of attendance for those students who unofficially withdraw from school. A refund is then calculated using this date and Title IV funds are returned. The following is the procedure Indian Hills uses to determine attendance dates of Title IV recipients:

  • All faculty members are required to access the Indian Hills Web Advisor system in order to obtain course rosters prior to the beginning of the term. The instructors then utilize this roster to report students who did not attend
    • If a student has never attended, the instructor indicates that through the Web Advisor system
  • Immediately following the 8th day of the term, the financial aid director utilizes Colleague to query the Web Advisor system for all Title IV recipients who were reported as never attended and are therefore not eligible to receive Title IV
  • If a financial aid recipient officially withdraw from their courses prior to the 60% point of the student’s period of attendance, a Title IV return calculation is completed utilizing the official date of withdrawal
    • These students are identified by the financial assistance advisor by running a query in Colleague 
  • At the end of a term, the financial assistance advisor runs a query of the Colleague system that provides the names of Title IV recipients who have been reported as having F’s or a combination of F’s and W’s
  • For students who unofficially withdraw before the 60% point of the term, Indian Hills utilizes the date of the midpoint of the student’s period of attendance as the student’s unofficial withdrawal date. Student who are awarded a grade of incomplete are considered to have attended up to the 10th week of the term
  • Students who unofficially withdraw and are student loan borrowers are reported to have withdrawn to the NSC within 60 days of the determination of withdrawal

Resources: 668.22(b),(c); 668.22(l)(3)

Formula Calculation

The financial assistance advisor performs the calculation of all Title IV Returns. The calculation is performed on the Calculate Return of Funds (ROFC) screen in Colleague .

The following educational expenses are considered institutional charges:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Room and Board

Each calculation is maintained in the student’s financial aid record for the applicable award year.

Returning Unearned Funds

Students are notified in writing if they owe a payment due to a Title IV return calculation. Such correspondence is sent to the student by the financial aid officer, and a copy is retained with the Title IV return calculation in the student’s file.

The portion of the unearned funds the school is responsible to pay is returned by the school immediately. The student is then notified of the school’s responsibility to return funds to the federal aid program, and is subsequently billed by the Business Office for any funds the school was required to return. Any funds returned by the school represent a debt owed by the student to Indian Hills. A student may not enroll in subsequent terms, or have academic records released, until all debts have been repaid to the institution.

Indian Hills is required to return unearned financial aid in a particular order when a student officially or unofficially withdraws:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG

Resources: 668.22(j); 668.22(h)(4)

Leave of Absence 

Indian Hills does not promote or publish a Leave of Absence policy. Students who have ceased attendance are considered to have withdrawn from the school and Indian Hills must perform a return of Title IV funds calculation. Students may appeal any balance due from the result of a return of funds calculation through the executive dean, enrollment services and registrar’s office.

Students called to Active Duty

Students who are called/recalled to active duty will provide the veterans administration and enrollment services advisor with a copy of their mobilization papers or request that a family member provide the papers.  Based on the information contained in the mobilization orders, the veterans administration and enrollment services advisor will notify the Registrar’s Office, the student’s program department, the Indian Hills Business Office, the IHCC Bookstore and the student’s instructors of the anticipated departure date.

Instructors will have the following options with regard to the departing student:

  • Give the student a grade based on work currently completed
  • Allow the student to complete the course prior to the student’s departure
  • Allow the student to complete the course by correspondence
  • Contact the veterans administration and enrollment services advisor if none of the above options are available

The veterans administration and enrollment services advisor will counsel and advise the student and instructors as to the options available and the possible consequences of each option.  

The veterans administration and enrollment services advisor, the student’s program director and the Registrar’s Office will ensure that proper grades are entered into the Indian Hills student  records system.

The veterans administration and enrollment services advisor will notify the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of the student’s departure and ensure that appropriate action is taken in accordance with current Veterans Affairs regulations.  

The veterans administration and enrollment services advisor notifies all students eligible to be called/recalled of this policy.

Institutional Refunds

Tuition refunds are only made during the first eight days of the term. The amount of the refund is 100%. No tuition refunds are made on or after the 9th day of the term.

The refund schedule is applicable only for regular registration periods. A similar prorated refund schedule is applied to registrations occurring at a time other than the regular registration dates, e.g. summer.

Official withdrawal dates are established as the day when official withdrawal procedures were completed by the student, and are not influenced by the student’s last date of attendance.

Institutional Refund Repayment Appeals

The Registrar’s Office may approve an exception to the refund policy in situations that are beyond the student’s control. Students who feel they have extenuating circumstances that would warrant an exception to the refund policy must appeal in writing to the Registrar’s Office for a refund by exception.

Title IV Fraud

Student, Institutional, and Third Party Fraud 

It is the policy of the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office that if the school suspects that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information and/or altered documentation to increase student aid eligibility or to fraudulently obtain federal funds (e.g. identity theft), it must report  those suspicions and provide any evidence to the United States Department of Education Office of Inspector General (OIG). Any individual suspecting fraud must report their concerns to the financial aid director, who in turn must report the matter to the executive dean, enrollment services and registrar.  The executive dean, enrollment services and registrar may notify legal counsel.  

The Indian Hills Financial Aid Office maintains a proactive stance in the identification and resolution of possibly fraudulent information. Indian Hills maintains a strict separation of duties as required by federal law, and proactively investigates conflicting information. Furthermore, individuals employed within the Financial Aid Office receive training concerning the identification and resolution of cases involving possible fraudulent information.

Referrals

Indian Hills maintains the option to provide referrals to the OIG via a special complaint form that can be found online at www.ed.gov, or via phone at 1-800-MIS-USED.

The final determination of the need for Indian Hills to refer a case to the OIG is made by the executive dean, enrollment services and registrar with the recommendation of the financial aid director.  If a determination is made that a referral is required, the financial aid director will be responsible for the official OIG referral, and the gathering of any supporting documentation.

Unusual Enrollment History

Students who have been flagged with an unusual enrollment history flag will be required to submit college transcripts for each institution attended prior to Indian Hills. Unofficial copies of transcripts will not be accepted in the event a student is flagged with an unusual enrollment history value of 3 and comment code of 360. Once all college transcripts are received, Indian Hills will review the transcripts. These transcripts will be reviewed to determine if the student received academic credit for the award year during which financial aid was received at those institutions and if there appears to be unusual enrollment history.

Academic Credit Earned and No Unusual History

If academic credit was earned at previously attended institutions during the award year in which the student received financial aid, and no unusual enrollment history is noticed, no further documentation will be required by the student. The Financial Aid Office will continue processing the student’s file to issue an award letter.

Academic Credit Not Earned or Unusual History

If academic credit is not earned at the previously attended institutions during the award year in which the student received financial aid, or if unusual enrollment history (such as minimal progress toward course completion) is noted, the student will be required to complete the enrollment history process. The student will be required to explain in writing why they failed to earn academic credit or why their enrollment history is unusual.

It is strongly recommended that a written statement be submitted as soon as possible so that results can be communicated to the student prior to the end of the 100% tuition and fee refund deadline.

Once the written statement is returned to the Financial Aid Office it will be reviewed to determine whether the circumstances as evidenced by the student’s academic records and the other documentation support the continuation of financial aid eligibility (reference section 479A of the HEA). Like PJ, this decision is final and not open to appeal to the Department of Education. The student will be notified of the approval or the denial of financial aid via letter generated by the Financial Aid Office.

Approval of Continued Eligibility

Students may be approved to receive financial aid, and will be required to maintain the standards outlined in the Indian Hills SAP Policy.

Denial of Continued Eligibility

Students who have been denied financial aid will not be eligible to receive financial aid and must pay tuition and fees out of pocket in future terms.

Reinstatement of Aid Eligibility

In order for students to regain eligibility for financial aid (if denied continued eligibility), the student will be required to successfully complete at least 6 credit hours at Indian Hills and achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. If these conditions are met it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office and request that their financial aid be reviewed for reinstatement.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy 

Requirements and standards of the SAP Policy are applicable to all students and must be adhered to.

Indian Hills is required to establish SAP standards for students receiving federal and state financial aid in accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations. The standards addressed below are applicable to all students receiving federal and state financial assistance administered by the Indian Hills Financial Aid Office. Some scholarships may be governed by more stringent criteria specific to those awards.

These are the minimum standards:

THE PURPOSE FOR SAP STANDARDS is to ensure that only those recipients demonstrating satisfactory progress toward the completion of their educational programs, in a timely manner, continue to receive financial aid.

Measurement of Academic Progress: Student SAP will be assessed at the end of each academic term (all summer sessions will be assessed at the completion of the full summer term with all courses combined as one term). Students must meet all the requirements listed below at the end of each term to be considered satisfactory.

  • Successful Term Credit Hour Completion:  (See Additional Notes for completed/attempted details and determination of cumulative progression toward program requirements).
    • Full-time students must successfully complete at least 6 credit hours per term
    • Three-quarter-time students must successfully complete at least 4 credit hours per term
    • Half-time students must successfully complete at least 3 credit hours per term
    • Less-than-half-time students must successfully complete at least 2 credit hours per term (or 1 credit hour if initially enrolled for just 1 credit  hour)
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement: (see Additional Notes for standards regarding -0- term GPA progress)
    • All students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA (some program or scholarship standards may be higher)
    • Grades adding any point value (or indicating successful completion) to the cumulative GPA include; A, B, C, D, and P
    • Grades adding no point value to the cumulative GPA include: F and I
    • Grades not considered in the Cumulative GPA include: J, L, M, N, O, T, and W
  • Pace: is the measurement of the progression of a student through educational programs at Indian Hills as well as transfer credits accepted toward the student’s declared major (please see Transfer Credit Policy in the Indian Hills Catalog)
    • The calculation of Pace must be at least 67%
      • Cumulative number of credit hours completed divided by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted = Pace
  • Maximum Time Limit to Complete Program of Study:A student must complete their educational program in a reasonable length of time, which is defined as no more than 150% of the credit hours required for graduation, regardless of major changes
    • Example: The Arts & Sciences program is 61 credits. The student cannot receive financial aid after 91.5 credits (the 150% length limit) have been completed (this includes credits earned at Indian Hills as well as credits transferred in to Indian Hills from another institution)
      • Students may request a financial aid appeal to allow for the awarding of additional financial aid 
    • Hours attempted are the sum of all credit hours recorded at Indian Hills, for which tuition was charged (census date enrollment) whether or not financial aid was received, all transfer hours accepted for credit toward the applicable program of study, all developmental education credits, all ESL credits and all courses passed by examination
    • All repeats, withdrawals, failures, incompletes, and academic renewals/requitals will be included in the sum of term-equivalent, credit hours attempted
  • Incomplete Grades: Please be aware, incomplete grades are calculated as F’s until a grade change is received and processed by the Financial Aid Office
    • If a student receives an incomplete grade, the student’s SAP status will be reviewed again, once the grade change is received

Terminology

  • Financial Aid Warning: The student failed SAP standards in a term in which they started in good standing. An exception to the initial term of warning status is below under Financial Aid Ineligible
  • Financial Aid Ineligible (No Aid): The student failed SAP standards in a term in which they started in warning, ineligible, or probation
    • Any term with zero (-0-) academic activity (-0- GPA and/or -0- completion of credits) will immediately move the student to an ineligible status regardless of the term-starting status
  • Financial Aid Appeal: A petition for the waiver of financial aid ineligibility
  • Financial Aid Probation: The status of a student, previously deemed financial aid ineligible, who successfully appeals for financial aid reinstatement

Additional Notes

  • Warning Status Followed by Ineligible Status: Any student failing to maintain the SAP Standards will be placed on satisfactory academic warning for the next enrolled term. A warning status may not prevent the student from receiving financial aid. A student may not be eligible for consecutive warning periods. The Warning period is meant to inform the student of potential academic problems and provide time for corrective action and intervention. If a student does not meet the SAP standards after the warning period, ineligibility (no financial aid eligibility) will be imposed. Ineligible status will prevent the student from receiving any Title IV or state financial assistance for future enrollment until such time as the student meets all satisfactory academic progress standards
    • Students are encouraged to utilize the services at the Indian Hills SUCCESS Center for tutoring, testing, and other assistance designed to greatly increase their ability to persist with their educational goals
    • Academic advisors are also available to review Indian Hills educational opportunities for individual student needs and assist students in the development of an appropriate academic plan
  • Completed/Attempted Credit Hours: Only grades of A, B, C, D, and P are counted as meeting the required successful completion of credit hours attempted
    • Courses passed by examination (T), courses transferred in (L), courses audited (N), and high school articulation credits (M) do not impact cumulative GPA but do satisfy the successful completion pace requirements
    • Failed courses (F), withdrawn courses (W), incomplete grades (I, J), and academic renewals/requitals (O) do not indicate successful completion of credit hours and may negatively impact SAP
  • Zero Academic Progress in Any Term of Enrollment:  In addition to the cumulative standards as addressed above (GPA and % Completed), a student will be placed on immediate financial aid ineligible status (no financial assistance eligibility) if any term results in -0- academic progress
    • Zero academic progress could result from total withdrawal, total failure of all enrolled courses, or a combination of both
    • Eligibility must be reinstated before further financial aid will be available. (Refer to Appeal and Reinstatement policies shown below)
  • Appeal: If there were extraordinary circumstances contributing to the lack of academic progress, the student may appeal their ineligibility status by submitting an Appeal Letter, the SAP Appeal Form, an Academic Plan, and any other requested documentation to the Financial Aid Office for review. Circumstances such as medical problems, illness or death in the family, relocation, or employment changes can be considered as extraordinary for an appeal
    • The appeal letter must contain information regarding why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow them to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation (student’s next enrollment period)
    • Some appeals may not be considered until the subsequent term’s mid-term grades are evaluated and deemed successful
    • The appeal requires an approved academic plan each student can obtain with the assistance of the Academic Advising Office on a case-by-case basis. The academic plan will be required if SAP is not feasible at the next measurement period (student’s next period of enrollment)
      • A SAP Appeal Form along with an appeal letter must be taken to the Academic Advising Office to request an academic plan
      • Completion of the academic plan process DOES NOT guarantee the appeal will be accepted
      • Acceptance of an academic plan will result in a SAP status of probation and will be monitored each term to determine continuing eligibility
      • Failure to adhere to the academic plan will result in an ineligible status. At this point, the student will have the option to regain eligibility by taking action that brings their SAP measures into compliance with both the qualitative and quantitative measures (above) without the assistance of federal or state funds
        • Circumstances that lead to the failure to maintain the conditions of the academic plan would have to be extreme and documentable, to allow consideration of an additional appeal
        • Neither paying for one’s classes nor sitting out a term affects a student’s SAP standing, so neither is sufficient to re-establish eligibility if the academic measures aren’t brought back into satisfactory range.
      • The student will be notified in writing, of the decision of the appeal committee which may not be determined until after proof of academic activity in the subsequent term, such as successful mid-term grades
        • The student is responsible for charges on their account if the determination is negative and the ineligible status remains in effect
  • Reinstatement:  Students will have their financial aid reinstated by the Financial Aid Office once all SAP standards are met, providing all other eligibility requirements remain the same. These SAP standards may be met at the student’s own expense or through the appeal process
  • Repeated Courses: Students are allowed to repeat courses at Indian Hills, but only the highest grade will be counted in the cumulative GPA
    • A student may only receive financial aid (Title IV aid) for one retake of a previously passed course
    • All credits will be included in the total attempted credit hours for measurement of the 150% maximum length limitation on Title IV aid
  • Remedial Courses: A student may receive Federal Title IV aid for up to one academic year’s worth of remedial coursework
    • For Indian Hills, one academic year is 24 credit hours in 36 weeks (3 terms) so a total of 24 credit hours will be considered toward federal assistance enrollment eligibility
    • Eligibility will be monitored to determine the 150% point which includes remedial courses and may be monitored on a case-by-case basis (for effects of remedial courses) to establish progression toward graduation
  • Transfer Students: After evaluation of a transfer student’s Title IV aid records on the NSLDS, Indian Hills may request official transfer transcripts before student SAP eligibility can be determined
    • Warning or ineligible terms may result from this evaluation
    • Only credit hours completed at Indian Hills will be used in calculating the cumulative GPA requirement, while the sum of all transfer credits as well as Indian Hills credits will be included in total hours completed, for the measurement of the 150% maximum length limitation on Title IV aid
  • Withdrawal and Re-enrollment at Indian Hills: A student who withdraws from Indian Hills and re-enrolls at a later date will re-enter with the same financial aid status in effect at the end of the term for which they withdrew
  • Program Changes: Students are allowed to make program changes within the scope of financial aid eligibility; however, if they are on academic warning/ineligible/probation, that status remains in effect
    • Program changes will be considered in the appeal process
    • All Indian Hills credits already completed will be counted toward the measurement of the 150% maximum length limitation on Title IV aid
  • Consortium Agreements:  SAP will be monitored by the institution administering the student’s Title IV aid
  • Completion of All Required Coursework: Once a student has satisfied all the required coursework for their program of study, eligibility for financial aid ends whether or not the student has received the actual degree or certificate.

Authority

The authority for Indian Hills to deny Title IV, HEA program assistance under the circumstances described in this policy is section 484(a)(4)(A) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, which requires the student to sign a Statement of Educational Purpose. By signing the Statement of Educational Purpose as part of the student’s submission of the FAFSA, the student certified that they would use the Title IV, HEA program assistance received only to meet educational costs. (See also 34 CFR 668.32(h) and GEN 13-09).