Student Financial Aid Rights

A Pillar College student has the right:

  • To have complete information regarding fees, payment and refund policies made available to them. To have an explanation of the various programs in the student aid package.
  • To have all personal and family financial information treated with confidentiality, pursuant to the
    Federal Trade Commission’s Red Flags Rule.
  • To know what portion of financial aid must be repaid (loans) and what portion is grant aid.

Student Financial Aid Responsibilities

(Any student who fails to maintain these responsibilities may forfeit eligibility for Financial Aid from any source, at Pillar College’s sole discretion.)

A Pillar College student has the responsibility:

  • To advise the Financial Aid Office if there are any changes in enrollment status or address. (Students
    who borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program must also notify their lenders of these changes.)
  • To advise the Financial Aid Office of any additional aid received, including outside scholarships and tuition reimbursement (fax or mail a copy of the notification of award).
  • To inform the Financial Aid Office of plans to withdraw or take a leave of absence. Students must also inform the Registrar. (In most cases aid money will need to be returned to the Federal Government if a student withdraws from or drops courses.)
  • To submit to the Financial Aid Office any required documentation for the verification of financial aid and other relevant information pertaining to the financial aid application. All requested information must be received before any disbursement of funds will be made and before Federal Stafford Loan applications are certified and sent to the lender. Students who do not submit the required information will not receive aid.
  • To submit completed, signed and dated applications for financial aid by the priority deadline date each year (realizing that late filing will delay or prevent the processing of all aid).
  • To submit completed, signed and dated renewal forms required for outside sources for each year aid is desired.
  • To complete Federal Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling prior to any funds being disbursed.
  • To complete a Federal Stafford Loan Exit Interview prior to graduation or ceasing to be enrolled at least halftime (6 credits) in person at the college.
  • To read and understand all forms that they are asked to sign prior to signing them. Students are responsible for all agreements that they sign.
  • To keep copies of all financial aid related paperwork, especially loan applications, entrance and exit counseling information, and information from lenders regarding all loans.
  • To maintain satisfactory academic standing and progress as defined by the College. To keep track of amounts of grants and scholarships received each year.

The IRS requires that students who receive grants and scholarships that are in excess of tuition, books and fees must report excess as income on their federal income tax returns as well as on the FAFSA (Worksheet C).

Stipend Checks

If your financial aid, including your Student Loan(s), exceeds your charges for the term, you will be issued the difference in the form of a stipend check. It generally takes two to three weeks after the date Pillar College receives the funds for stipend checks to be issued. Stipend checks are sent to the student through U.S. mail.

Standards of Academic Progress

To receive financial aid students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 (C) or better.

Probation and Suspension from Financial Aid

All students receiving financial aid at Pillar College are required to meet qualifying standards. Students are placed on probation from the financial aid program if qualifying standards of the financial aid program are not met. Suspension of financial aid will occur if standards are not met by the end of the probation period. Aid will also be suspended for the semester if credit hours attempted fall below the credit hour criteria.

Appeal Policy

If you have extenuating circumstances impacting your financial condition, or a situation you were unable to document when completing the FAFSA form, and if you believe the EFC calculated for you is too high or too low, please request a Financial Aid Professional Judgment form from the Financial Aid Office. Under certain limited circumstances the Financial Aid Office can submit an appeal on your behalf to adjust the EFC, and possibly alter the amount of financial aid for which you are eligible.

Company Reimbursement and Deferment Guidelines

Even when waiting for company reimbursement for tuition and fees, students must make arrangements to pay the balance on their account. Refer to the student account policies in the Payment of Student Account information of this catalog. Completing the FAFSA and taking out loans will aid students in paying for tuition, fees and other costs. Students may also establish a payment plan by contacting the Pillar College Student Accounts office.

There is no provision under which Pillar College can wait for a student to be reimbursed by their employer in order to pay the tuition and charges.

Special Note of Caution: Scholarship Scams

Be careful when searching for information on student financial aid. Make sure information and offers are legitimate. Don’t fall prey to fraud. The College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act enhances protection against fraud in student financial assistance. For free information on how to avoid Scholarship Scams call 1-877-382-4357 or visit The Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) website