Financial Aid Policies
for undergraduate students
Should the information used to determine eligibility for financial aid change, a revision to the financial aid award may be required. A revised award notification, which supersedes any previous award notification received by the student, will then be issued. Carefully review any revised award notification to determine if additional action is necessary to secure funding. Changes in awards are subject to availability of funding. Examples of situations that should be promptly reported to the Financial Aid Office and may result in a financial aid award revision are:
Change in Enrollment Status - If a student drops below full-time enrollment (less than 12 credits in a semester), eligibility for aid will be reviewed. Students must be enrolled full-time to receive College funds. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Federal Stafford, Perkins and PLUS Loan funds. Limited Federal Pell Grant funds may be available to students enrolled less than half-time.
Change in Availability of Funding - The College reserves the right to adjust financial aid awards if federal and/or state funding for aid programs falls short of anticipated levels. Increases in federal and/or state funding may affect the total gift aid offered by the College, including Lewis & Clark Grants and/or scholarships.
Receipt of Additional Assistance including External Resources - Aid received from sources outside of Lewis & Clark such as scholarships, loans, or educational benefits received through community groups, companies, or private agencies can have an impact on a student’s eligibility for other aid programs.
Verification Changes - The College is required to make corrections to inaccurate information discovered through the verification process and to use the verified information in determining a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Significant corrections to a student’s aid application information may cause a change in eligibility and result in a revised award notification.
Family Financial Changes – If a family updates or corrects information provided on the FAFSA, a financial aid award revision may be necessary. Should a family experience a significant financial set back due to an involuntary job loss, significant unanticipated medical expenses, or the loss of a parent, a review of the financial aid award can be requested through the appeal process.
Appeals & Negotiation
Due to the extraordinary demand for assistance, appeals are considered only when significant and unexpected circumstances exist and can be thoroughly documented. Appeals for additional assistance must be made in writing. Eligibility for financial aid is reviewed annually, allowing families to provide changes to financial circumstances in the course of the standard aid application process. Students whose family financial situations remain fairly constant each year can expect to remain eligible for similar need-based financial aid resources each year.
Note: Lewis & Clark does not change or negotiate awards based on comparisons with other colleges.
Renewal of Financial Aid
Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis. Students must reapply each spring for assistance in the upcoming academic year and should complete the application process no later than March 15 for priority consideration. Students who wish to be considered for federal financial aid resources must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students entering the College during the fall 2008 semester and beyond should also complete a CSS PROFILE each year if they wish to be considered for institutional need-based financial aid such as the Lewis & Clark Grant. Students receiving merit-based scholarships should also take note of cumulative grade point average (GPA) or other renewal requirements.
Release of Financial Aid Records and Information
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) Part 99, federal regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office from discussing financial aid information with other persons (including parents or a spouse) without an enrolled student’s written permission. Personally identifiable information, other than items classified as directory information by the College, is protected. For the purpose of releasing this information to specific individuals, organizations, or agencies, enrolled students are required to sign a release form available in our office or under Forms. To protect students’ private information, the Financial Aid Office communicates with enrolled students via email through the student’s Lewis & Clark e-mail address. Additional information regarding FERPA and applicable campus policies is available in the College catalog and from the Registrar’s Office. Copies of the act can be viewed on the Department of Education’s website.
Taxability of Scholarships
Due to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-514), scholarships and grants received in a calendar (as opposed to academic) year by a student in excess of tuition and books (including required equipment and supplies) for that calendar year are subject to federal income tax. The excess amount needs to be reported as income. Earnings from student employment (including FWS) are taxable as wages. Student loans are not covered by these provisions of the tax law. Since students are required to report taxable awards to the IRS as income, they should keep a detailed record of their expenses. Housing and food are considered non-exempt, so scholarships and grants spent on these items are subject to income tax. The College is not responsible for notifying students of the taxable amounts of grants and scholarships. The Financial Aid Office cannot serve as a tax consultant or adviser but detailed information concerning the taxability of scholarships and grants can be found in IRS Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education, on www.irs.gov, or by consulting a personal tax adviser.
Registered students who completely withdraw from all classes after the start of a semester may be eligible for a refund of College charges in accordance with College policy. Refer to the College catalog for specific information regarding withdrawal policies and procedures. Separate calculations will be done to determine how much institutional and federal aid a student is eligible to retain in light of the withdrawal. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information on the impact withdrawing from the College will have on financial aid eligibility.
College policy and federal regulations require that students make adequate progress toward their intended degrees if they wish to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Students must demonstrate not only that they are earning sufficient credits to complete their degrees within the typical timeframe but also that they are maintaining a satisfactory cumulative grade point average (GPA).
To retain their aid eligibility, undergraduate students must:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at all times.
- Maintain a pace of course completion of at least 67%. Pace is federally-defined as cumulative hours completed divided by the cumulative hours attempted.
Both GPA and Pace for all financial aid recipients will be monitored at the end of each semester.
Failure to meet terms of policy
- Students who fail to meet the terms of the policy will be placed on Financial Aid Warning and may continue to receive aid for their next semester of enrollment at Lewis & Clark.
- If a student again fails to meet the terms of policy at the end of their Financial Aid Warning semester, aid eligibility is suspended.
- Students whose aid has been suspended may petition for reinstatement. Petitions require an academic plan approved by the student’s academic advisor.
- If a petition is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. The student must then meet terms of policy by the end of the semester or be following the agreed upon academic plan at each end of the semester to continue receiving aid.
Students who are placed on Academic Probation are not considered to be in good academic standing and are therefore not eligible to receive financial aid. This applies even if the student is in otherwise good standing with regard to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. Students placed on academic probation may use the appeal process described above to petition for reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility.
Maximum Semesters of Aid
Students entering the college as first-time freshmen are allowed 8 semesters of Lewis & Clark institutional aid and 12 semesters of federal student aid.* The maximum number of semesters of aid is prorated for transfer students. Transfer Students receive a personalized letter letting them know the number of semesters of institutional aid they may receive at Lewis & Clark.
* Students who only meet the minimum pace requirement of 67% will not complete their degrees within their 8 semesters of institutional aid eligibility.
Note: Recipients of merit-based scholarships must also meet renewal standards associated with their specific awards.
Student Right to Know
Federal regulations state that all prospective and current students have a right to know specific information about the college they are considering or currently attending. The following table lists a number of topics and where one can obtain the appropriate information at Lewis & Clark College:
General College Information: Course catalog, Registrar or Admissions Offices, Online – www.lclark.edu
Financial Aid: Course catalog, Financial Aid Office, Online – go.lclark.edu/fao
Refund Policy: Course catalog, Student & Departmental Account Services, Financial Aid Office, Online – www.lclark.edu
Completion or Graduation Rates: Registrar’s Office (general student population), Institutional Research (student-athletes)
Transfer Out Rates: Registrar’s Office
Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention: Dean of Students Office, Online - www.lclark.edu/college/student_life
Campus Security Report: Dean of Students Office, Campus Safety Office, Online - www.lclark.edu/about/campus_safety
Athletics Participation Rates and Gender Financial Support Data: Athletics Department
Athletics Revenue and Expense Information: Athletics Department
Career Exploration, Internships, and Job Hunting Assistance: Center for Career & Community Engagement, Online – go.lclark.edu/3CE