Policies and Practices Governing Financial Assistance

All awards are subject to the following conditions:

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards

All financial aid is subject to acceptance or readmission into a degree or certificate program, as well as meeting the SAP Standards. Students are expected to review these standards and are encouraged to refer any questions to the Financial Aid Office. Returning financial aid students should be aware of any changes to the cumulative GPA requirements as well as changes in completion requirements.

Class Attendance

Students who receive federal financial aid for tuition and/or bookstore charges and do not attend classes will have to repay the US Department of Education any charges used for tuition or textbooks, unless they drop during the tuition refund period (consult class schedule for exact dates). Students who do not begin attendance in all of their scheduled classes will have their financial aid eligibility recalculated. This may result in the student having to pay back the federal government or DSLCC.

Required Notification

Students who receive financial aid at DSLCC are required to notify the financial aid office of any other scholarships, grants, or loans from sources outside the College. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of all or part of a student’s award package.
NOTE: The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to make changes in a financial aid package when necessary.

Repeated Coursework Policy

  • Financial Aid can only pay for 30 credits of developmental courses. If more than 30 developmental credits are taken, the developmental education credits must be paid for by the student, i.e. the additional developmental courses will be factored out of the Financial Aid enrollment level.
  • Financial Aid eligibility cannot be determined if a student has one or more incomplete grades, “I” grades, from a previous term.
  • Financial Aid will pay for repeated classes until a student passes, in addition to one more attempt, to achieve a higher grade.
  • Repeated courses are always counted in the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculation and may negatively affect the student’s Completion Rate, GPA, and 150% Timeframe.
  • Audited, non-credit, and BSK courses are not eligible for Financial Aid. These courses will be factored out of the Financial Aid enrollment level.

Disbursements of Awards

Disbursements of Financial Aid Awards (minus appropriate tuition, fees, and bookstore charges) begin during the fifth week of classes each semester (pending attendance verification). If there is money left over in your account after your charges have been paid, a check for the remaining balance will be mailed to you from the Virginia State Treasury in Richmond, VA. Checks are mailed to your current mailing address in our Student Information System.

Disbursements begin with scholarships, PELL, loans, then state aid. Once the first cycle is completed, additional disbursements are made as needed for late starting classes or for files completed after the initial disbursement cycle.

Students who are awarded financial aid after the initial disbursement will be notified by the Financial Aid office, via postal mail, with an award letter. Students can also see their award in their OASIS account up until the next disbursement is made. After that, the award is removed from the account in order to pay for any charges that are due. The remaining balance (if any) will be mailed to the student as stated above.

Federal Return to Title IV Policy

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. The federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.

If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the financial aid office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:

Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date (the last date a student attended class, not the date they withdraw from the class) divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:
Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.

The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.

Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Direct Parent PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a Return of funds is required
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for which a Return of funds is required
  • Commonwealth Grant (COMA)
  • Virginia Guaranteed Assistant Program (VGAP)
  • Other assistance under this Title for which a Return of funds is required

Renewal of Awards

Financial aid is not automatically renewed each year. Applications for aid must be filed each academic year (for example: Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Summer 2017 consist of the 2016-2017 Academic Year). Applications for the upcoming academic year are available after October 1.


Any commitment of federal or state funds is tentative and contingent upon subsequent congressional appropriation and actual receipt of the funds by the College. The Financial Aid Office staff reserves the right, on behalf of the College, to review and cancel an award at any time because of changes in financial and/or academic status.


The United States Department of Education has instituted regulations regarding the verifying of certain family financial information. If you are selected for verification, you must complete a verification worksheet and provide documentation concerning your family’s income and untaxed income.

Bookstore Charges

Students may choose to charge textbooks and/or supplies at the DSLCC Bookstore up to the amount of the grant award (but not exceeding the semester limit), minus appropriate tuition and fee charges. Eligible grant recipients may charge in the Bookstore during the designated time period (one week before the regular semester begins through the last date to drop with refund for the regular semester). Allowable items categorized as supplies (required or suggested course materials) include: Pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, highlighters, folders ring binders, USB flash drives, calculators, ear buds, earphones, and WEPA cards. Nursing students can charge uniforms, BP cuffs, stethoscopes, and lanyards. Culinary students can charge uniforms and knife kits. Non-allowable purchases include but are not limited to: Apparel, food and drink, gift items, gift/pre-paid cards, and electronic devices and peripherals used with cell phones, chargers, batteries, power cords, etc.

Taxable Financial Aid

Students who receive grants and scholarships that total more than the cost of tuition, fees, and books must report the excess on their tax return. Contact your tax consultant for more information.

American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

The American Opportunity tax credit can be taken by eligible students for tuition paid during the freshman and sophomore years (maximum of $2500). Students may also be eligible for the Lifetime Learning tax credit of up to $2000 for qualified educational expenses. A taxpayer cannot claim both the American Opportunity credit and Lifetime Learning credits for the same student in one year.

Students will receive a Form 1098T in January that is to be used in claiming this tax credit. To determine specifically if you qualify, you must seek the advice of a tax expert. Click here for more information.

Tax Tip: Keep your registration identification forms and bookstore receipts for tax reporting purposes.