Earning Financial Aid

Avoid the stress of financial aid pitfalls by examining these guidelines concerning attendance and unearned Title IV funds.


A student cannot receive financial aid for a course he or she did not attend. Therefore, SCC's Financial Aid Office will verify that a student has attended with his or her instructor. If a student does not show up for class, he or she will have their financial aid reduced and/or eliminated.

If a student is reported as never attending a course and he or she feels the report was made in error, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that his or her instructor provides notification to the Financial Aid Office that the student did in fact attend.

If a student unofficially withdrawals (stops attending without completing the official withdrawal process) he or she's last date of attendance may be verified with his or her instructors.

Unearned Title IV Funds:

By federal law, unearned Title IV funds (Pell, Federal Direct Loans, SEOG) must be returned to the federal government for a student who totally withdraws (official/unofficial) on or before the 60% point of the enrollment period. The amount of return is determined by the following:

    1. Determine percentage of enrollment period student completed.
    2. Earned aid = total awarded Title IV aid multiplied by same percentage.
    3. Unearned aid = earned aid subtracted from total dispersible aid.
    4. Southeastern returns: the lesser of the unearned aid or the total institutional charges incurred by the student multiplied by the unearned percentage of Title IV aid.
    5. Student returns: unearned aid - Southeastern's return; If a student received grants, the student's return will be multiplied by 50% after being reduced by the amount of loan funds the student is required to return. This amount is then subtracted from the initial amount of grant funds due from the student.

SCC or the student is required to return unearned financial aid assistance in a particular order when a student officially or unofficially withdrawal:

    1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
    2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
    3. Direct PLUS Loans
    4. Federal Pell Grant
    5. Federal SEOG

Students who are required to return unearned funds to the federal government are given 45 days to make that payment to SCC.

Examples of these refund policies are available upon request at the SCC Financial Aid Office.
For more information go to: https://www.scciowa.edu/_resources/docs/financialaid/t4r.pdf

Students who receive federal student aid (Pell grants, student loans) and completely withdraw from classes must return all returnable required books and returnable equipment within 20 days of withdrawal. This policy is applied to all students regardless of the reason for the official or unofficial withdrawal. Returnable books and equipment must be returned in good condition as determined by the Bookstore Manager. The determination of condition will be final and not appealable. Only returnable books/equipment returned to the Financial Aid Office within 20 days of withdrawal will be included as institutional charges should a Title IV Return calculation be required.

Circumstances that prevent the college from selling nonreturnable books or equipment to other students include: Returnable texts must be free of defects and returnable texts/equipment must be non-consumable in nature. Any course packets packaged in envelopes can only be returned if the envelope has NOT been opened. Texts eligible for return or buyback are those listed on an Approved Textbook List as chosen by full-time faculty for the following semester use.