All students are responsible for reading and understanding the requirements for maintaining financial aid eligibility.


Class Attendance

  • Class attendance is required for all classes. Funds will be adjusted if a student is reported for non-attendance (NO SHOW) in a class or classes.
  • If a student is reported for Non-attendance (No Show) in error, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor immediately to correct the no show status.


Enrollment Status

  • Students do not have to be full-time to receive a Pell Grant. The award is based on the student’s enrollment status and the student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) used to calculate the amount of the Pell Grant. The award is prorated based on the student’s enrollment status.
  • The student’s award is based on billed credits charged for tuition and allowable fees.
  • Enrollment Status: Full-time-12 or more credits, Three-Quarter Time – 9-11.5 credits, Part-time – 6-8.5 credits, Less than Half-time – 1-5.5 credits.


Withdrawing From Classes

  • Funds will be adjusted for students who withdraw from classes before completing 60% of the enrollment period.
  • Funds will be adjusted for students who withdraw prior to the funds being credited to the student’s account.
  • If student owes any federal funds as a result of withdrawing from classes, the student will not be able to register, get an official transcript etc. until the funds are repaid.


Dropping From Classes

  • Dropping classes is permitted during the drop/add period. The 100% refund period is usually during the first week of class.
  • After the drop/add period ends, student must withdraw from classes.


Remedial Coursework

  • If a student has taken (completed or attempted) more than 30 remedial classes, they are not eligible to receive financial aid for any additional remedial classes.
  • For financial aid purposes, remedial classes are those courses that are classified as “0” level courses, and ESL courses.


Paying Back Federal Funds

  • Recipients of Federal Title IV funding such as Pell grant and SEOG grant, who withdraw from all classes before 60% completion of the semester are federally obligated to pay back these funds.
  • Students also are required pay back funds if they stop attending any or all classes.


Alternative Loans

  • Students may apply for an Alternative loan from any lending institution of their choice. Students must be credit worthy or obtain a cosigner. Essex County College does not participate in the Federal loan programs.
  • Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits to have the loan certified and disbursed to the student’s account.
  • Students in default of a federal or state loan will not be eligible for aid.


Satisfactory Academic Progress:
Required Standards for SAP – ALL three (3) must be met to remain in good standing.

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) – Students are required to maintain an institutional GPA of 2.0.
  • Completion Rate – Students are required to complete 67% of all college level credits attempted during a semester/term.
  • Maximum Attempted Hours – Students are required to complete their degree/certificate within 150% of the required program of study. Example: a student enrolled in a 60 credit hour program is eligible until 90 credit hours are attempted (60 x 1.5 = 90).


Appeal Process

  • Financial Aid Probation – Students who do not meet the SAP standards may appeal to be placed on Financial Aid Probation. The student will establish an Academic Plan with a Counselor or Academic Advisor. Student must adhere to the conditions of the plan to remain eligible for aid. While on Financial Probation, students may not withdraw from classes, receive an Incomplete or F Grade and must earn a 2.0 GPA. Students will lose eligibility for aid at Essex County College, if the student fails to meet the conditions of Financial Aid Probation requirements.
  • Suspension – Student did not meet one or more of required standards after a Financial Aid Probation status. Student aid is terminated immediately.
  • Maximum Time Frame – Financial aid is extended for approved hours. Students must continue to meet SAP requirements and/or academic plan. Students must adhere to the degree plan set on the appeal by their academic adviser.
  • Appeal Denied – Student will not receive federal student aid.


Repeat Classes

  • Students who receive a failing grade in a class can repeat that class but it will affect the student’s completion rate.
  • Classes repeated to improve a passing grade may be repeated one (1) additional time only.


Defaulting On Student Loans

  • Students are not eligible to receive any financial aid when their student loans are in default status.
  • This includes federal or alternative loans.
  • If you are in default of a loan, check the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for more information.
  • Contact your lender or contact the Department of Education at 1 800-621-3115.


Eligibility Requirements For The NJ Stars Program

  • Students must be college-level, must maintain full-time enrollment and complete all requirements for an Associate Degree within 5 consecutive semesters (may not withdraw from classes prior to funds being disbursed to their accounts).
  • Students have one year to complete all remediation.
  • Students must earn a 3.0 GPA prior to the third semester to maintain eligibility in the Program.
  • To transfer to a 4 year institution a student must have earn an Associate Degree at Essex County College with a 3.25 GPA.


Eligibility Requirements For State Aid Programs

  • Must be full-time (12 or more credits) to receive Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) and Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) and state scholarship programs.
  • Part-time TAG students must be enrolled in 6-11.5 credits. Approval for Part-time EOF funds is approved only through the EOF Office.
  • NOTE: 2016-2017 FAFSA Filing deadline for State Aid was June 1, 2016. This is the last year the June deadline will be applied. IMPORTANT: The 2017-2018 FAFSA is available on October 1, 2016, you must use IRS Data Retrieval to link your 2015 income from the IRS to your FAFSA. The New State Aid deadline for 2017-2018 is June 1, 2017.
  • Students are eligible for 5 payments of TAG and EOF at Essex County College. Students required to take remedial courses may be eligible for one additional payment of TAG and EOF, which must be approved and requested by the EOF Office.
  • Students who have earned an Associate Degree are not eligible for state aid at Essex County College.
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