Financial Aid Policies
Our policies stipulate award conditions, disbursement information, and other important information. If you have been awarded financial aid, it is your responsibility to read and understand the following:
- AWARD POLICIES
- CODE OF CONDUCT
- DISBURSEMENT POLICY
- RETURN OF TITLE IV
- RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITY
- (SAP) POLICY
Financial Aid Award Policies provide important information about receiving financial aid and maintaining financial aid eligibility. It is important that you carefully read these policies. Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.
To receive aid, you must be admitted as a classified student in an eligible Associate or Certificate Degree Program. If your degree program changes to an ineligible degree program after you are awarded, your financial aid will not disburse or will be taken back. The courses you enroll for must apply toward your degree.
You are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of a degree. To remain eligible, you are expected to meet all Academic Eligibility Requirements: Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0, successfully complete at least 67% of total credit hours attempted, and complete your degree within the time frame allowed at Leeward Community College (Leeward CC). Our full SAP Policy may be viewed here.
You are responsible for checking your UH email account (hawaii.edu) for communications from our office. You are responsible for notifying our office of the following:
- Name, phone number, and/or address change
- Enrollment status change
- Residency status change
Award Offer/Financial Aid Package
Your financial aid award offer, also known as your financial aid package, is a conditional offer of financial aid you are eligible to receive for the academic year. The amount of aid offered is based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), financial need, outside resources, and availability of funds.
Your initial financial aid award offer will generally be based on full-time enrollment (12 credits or greater) for an academic year (Fall and Spring semester) at Leeward CC, unless you are set to graduate at the end of the Fall, entering the Spring semester, or nearing your maximum timeframe (SAP).
Enrollment/Changes In Enrollment
Financial aid awards are ultimately based on the number of credits you are enrolled for (enrollment level). However, your initial award offer is based on full-time enrollment, unless you are nearing your maximum timeframe (SAP). Awards may be reduced for enrollment levels less than full-time. If you change your enrollment level (add or drop classes) after your aid has been disbursed, you may be required to repay the aid programs and/or have an outstanding obligation to the institution. Enrollment levels are listed below.
- Full-time = 12 credits or greater
- Three-quarter time = 9 – 11 credits
- Half time = 6 – 8 credits
- Quarter time or less than half time = 1 – 5 credits
Enrollment levels are “locked” at the end of the add/drop period for each term. Financial aid eligibility is generally based on your locked enrollment level.
If you add the course(s) after your enrollment level is locked, we will not adjust your enrollment/financial aid eligibility to include that course(s).
The basic assumption is that you will attend school for the entire enrollment/payment period(s). If you do not begin attendance or complete courses for which you received aid, you will be subject to a Federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation and may be required to repay a portion or all of the aid received for the semester. Our full Return of Title IV Funds Policy may be viewed here. You are responsible for informing our office if you completely withdraw or stop attending classes.
If you are concurrently enrolled or are enrolled in Distance Education courses at other University of Hawaii Campuses, and would like our office to consider enrollment in those course(s) as part of your total enrollment, you must:
- Be enrolled for at least one course with Leeward CC;
- Ensure the other course(s) apply to your Leeward CC degree; and
- Complete the Concurrent Enrollment Form.
Other Financial Resources
- You are required to inform our office if you receive outside resources (all scholarships or financial resources not administered by Leeward CC’s Financial Aid Office). An adjustment to your award may be necessary to reflect the increase in your resources.
- Per Federal regulations, a student’s financial aid awards (ie. grants, work-study, loans) and scholarships/resources cannot exceed the Estimated Cost of Attendance (see Financial aid terminology below).
- Failure to notify us on a timely basis may delay your financial aid disbursement and/or may require you to repay the institution and/or the federal government.
Financial Aid Terminology
Cost of Attendance: The estimated cost to attend Leeward CC for the award period. This includes tuition and fees, books, and supplies, meals and housing, personal expenses, and transportation.
Estimated Family Contribution: This is an amount that reflects your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the amount you and/or your family is expected to pay toward your college costs. This amount is determined by the federal government and is based on the information you reported on your FAFSA.
Outside Resources: The amount of “other” aid you may be receiving from external scholarship donors, benefits, and/or entitlements not administered by Leeward CC’s Financial Aid Office.
Need: This amount is calculated by taking your cost of attendance and subtracting the expected family contribution and outside resources.
Concurrent Enrollment: Concurrently enrolled or are enrolled in Distance Education courses at other campuses within the University of Hawaii System.
Code of Conduct for Educational Loans
U.S. federal policy: [34 CFR 601.2; 34 CFR 601.21; 34 CFR 668.14(b)(27)]
Code of Conduct for UH and Financial Aid Employees
A University of Hawaiʻi financial aid employee is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government-sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity. In doing so, a financial aid employee should: refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit, refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves; ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain; be objective in making decisions and advising their campus regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid; refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity; and disclose to their campus’ Chief Student Affairs Officer any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
The following are specifically prohibited:
- Revenue sharing agreements with lenders.
- Engaging in any activity that creates a conflict of interest.
- Accepting gifts above a nominal value from lenders or guarantors.
- Accepting private loans conditioned on the use of a lender’s Title IV loans.
- Contracting arrangements with a lender that provides compensation to school staff (with certain exceptions).
- Assigning a lender to a borrower or refusing to certify a loan for a borrower’s choice of lender or guarantor.
- Accepting from lenders any staffing assistance for a call center or the financial aid office.
- Accepting compensation for service on an advisory board except that reasonable expenses associated with that service may be reimbursed by the lender or guarantor.
For the purposes of this Code of Conduct, it is not considered a “gift” to the school for a lender or guarantor to provide the following:
- Standard materials, activities, or programs on issues related to a loan, default aversion, default prevention, or financial literacy (for example, brochures, workshops, or training).
- Food, refreshments, training, or informational material that is designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor, or servicer if the training contributes to the professional development of the school staff.
- Favorable terms, conditions, and borrower benefits, as long as these are provided to all students at the school.
- Entrance and Exit counseling services, as long as the school controls the counseling and does not promote the products and services of the lender.
Your initial financial aid offer is based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credits) for Fall and Spring, unless you are set to graduate at the end of the Fall semester, you are entering the Spring semester, or you are nearing your maximum timeframe (Satisfactory Academic Progress). To receive aid, you must be admitted as a classified student in an eligible Associate or Certificate Degree Program, and the courses you enroll in must apply toward your degree.
If your enrollment is or will be less than full-time in the Fall and/or Spring semester, please notify Leeward CC’s Financial Aid Office in writing or by email, and your financial aid disbursement will be adjusted/revised based on your new enrollment status. Note that only the courses that apply to your program will be considered as part of your enrollment level for financial aid.
Time frame and Method of Disbursement
Federal grants and loans and institutional grants are generally disbursed approximately 10 days prior to the start of instruction unless your award package was finalized after that time frame, or you have outstanding requirements.
State and institutional scholarship disbursements vary. The time of disbursement depends on when the scholarship is awarded. Some scholarships may require two disbursements for each semester. You will be informed if any scholarship you are awarded has special disbursement dates.
External loans and scholarships are generally processed on the first day of instruction, provided we have received the funds. If your check needs to be endorsed to the Cashier’s Office before it can be processed, our office will notify you.
All funds are processed electronically, and applied to your student account, whether or not you have any outstanding tuition/fee charges. If you have excess funds/credit balance, the Cashier’s Office will process a refund.
Processing of Refunds for Excess Funds/Credit Balances
There are two ways to get your refund:
- Direct Deposit (Electronically): Your refund will be processed within 3 to 5 business days from the date of your disbursement. For refunds to be processed electronically, you must sign up for e-Refunds on your MyUH Services.
- Paper check (by Mail): Your refund will be processed on the 15th and the last business day of the month. If the 15th of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, checks will be issued on the business day prior to the weekend or holiday. The check will be mailed to the address reflected on your MyUH Services. You are responsible for maintaining the correct mailing address on your MyUH Services. Click HERE to update your address.
Enrollment Level and Enrollment Level Census Date
Enrollment levels are listed in the table below:
|ENROLLMENT LEVEL||CREDIT HOURS|
|Full time||12 credits or more|
|Three quarter time||9-11 credits|
|Half time||6-8 credits|
|Less than halftime||1-5 credits|
Each term will have an “Enrollment Level Census Date” for purposes of determining your enrollment level for financial aid award amounts. The Enrollment Level Census Date is generally on the 23rd day of each semester. On this “census date” we will record your enrollment level (number of credits enrolled that apply to your degree program) as of that date, which will determine your eligibility for financial aid awards for the semester. Courses that are added after this “census date” will not be included in your financial aid enrollment level for the semester.
You may still qualify for your award(s) if your enrollment level is considered to be less than full-time, however, most funds require a minimum enrollment level of half-time status. Click HERE to view fund-specific requirements.
If you are concurrently enrolled in courses at other University of Hawaii Campuses and would like our office to consider enrollment in those courses as part of your total enrollment, you must complete the Concurrent Enrollment Form. The form is available ONLINE or at the Financial Aid Office.
Generally, most of the funds that are administered by our office will be applied to Leeward CC charges only. If you are enrolled for a course(s) at another UH System community campus, you are responsible for making payment for the tuition/fee charges due to the other campus, even if a Concurrent Enrollment Form has been approved and you are entitled to a refund. The disbursement of your financial aid for the credits at the other campus will be processed after the Enrollment Level Census Date for each semester.
Fund Disbursement Information
The information below is provided under the assumption that your award is based on full-time enrollment for an academic year.
Federal and institutional
Pell Grant and Institutional Grants: A prorated (reduced) amount will disburse for enrollment levels less than full-time. However, depending on your eligibility, you may not qualify for the grant(s) at enrollment levels less than full-time. In some instances, Institutional Grants may need to be retracted.
Direct Student Loan: All loan requirements must be completed for funds to be disbursed. Funds will not disburse if you are enrolled at a status that is less than full-time. If your enrollment is or will be less than full-time in the Fall and/or Spring semester, please notify Leeward CC’s Financial Aid Office in writing or by email, and your financial aid disbursement will be adjusted/revised based on your new enrollment status. Loan amount(s) may be reduced or canceled.
Listed below is other special disbursement information:
- First-time, first-year borrower’s loan funds are disbursed approximately 30 days after the start of the semester, per federal regulations, unless your loan funds were finalized after that time frame.
- One-semester loan borrowers’ loan funds are split into two disbursements, per federal regulations. The first disbursement is 10 days before the first day of school unless your loan funds were finalized after that time frame. The second disbursement is at the mid-point of the semester (mid-October for Fall-only loans and mid-March for Spring only loans).
- If you are enrolled in a modular program/course(s), generally, loan funds will not disburse until you are attending at least 6 credits.
Direct Parent PLUS Loan: All loan requirements must be completed for funds to be disbursed. Fund will not disburse if you are enrolled at a status that is less than full-time. If your enrollment is or will be less than full-time in the Fall and/or Spring semester, please notify Leeward CC’s Financial Aid Office in writing or by email, and your financial aid disbursement will be adjusted/revised based on your new enrollment status. Loan amount(s) may be reduced or canceled. Any excess funds/credit balance will be processed as a paper check and will be mailed to either you or your parent (depending on what you and your parent indicated on your PLUS Loan Request Form).
Hawaii Promise Scholarship: Fund will not disburse if you are enrolled at a status that is less than full-time. Our office will re-evaluate your scholarship eligibility based on your less-than-full-time enrollment level. The scholarship amount may be reduced or canceled. Re-evaluation will be completed after the Enrollment Census Date for each semester. There will be two equal disbursements each semester. Disbursement dates will be specified in your Active Messages.
Private Loans: You must be enrolled at the enrollment level you indicated when our office certified your loan. Otherwise, loan funds may need to return and re-certified based on your actual enrollment level.
External Scholarships: It is generally assumed that scholarship donors require an enrollment level of full-time status unless the donor indicates otherwise. We will verify your enrollment at the time we process the scholarship for disbursement. If you are enrolled at a level that is less than full-time, we will contact the donor for authorization to release funds.
Return of Title IV Funds Policy
This notice serves to disclose required student consumer information in regard to how withdrawals may affect your Title IV Funds.
The Higher Education Amendment of 1998 required schools to implement a Return of Title IV Refund Funds Policy when a Title IV (federal financial aid) recipient withdraws from school. A federal financial aid recipient is defined as a student who has received Title IV funds such as but no limited to Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
Title IV funds are awarded to students with the assumption that he/she will attend school for the entire term or payment period. As a federal financial aid recipient, it is important to understand that there is a unique refund schedule for your financial aid that differs from the university tuition and fee refund schedule. Students who completely withdraw from classes (dropping all courses) or students who began attendance and failed to earn a passing grade in at least one course offered over an entire term or payment period (known as an Unofficial Withdrawal) are subject to the Return of Title IV refund calculation as dictated by federal regulations.
Determination Of Federal Aid Earned
Earned aid is determined based on the number of calendar days the student attended classes divided by the total number of calendar days in the term. The result is a percentage of federal aid funds that the student is entitled to keep.
For example, a student who attends 20% of the term has earned 20% of the total aid value that was disbursed to their student account.
Return Of Unearned Federal Aid
The total federal aid disbursed at the point of withdrawal less the earned amount constitutes the unearned aid that must be returned to the federal government. The school will initiate a return of unearned aid in the following order:
- Federal Unsubsidized Loan
- Federal Subsidized Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG
- TEACH Grant
Once the school initiates the return of funds to the federal government, students will see these entries on their online student accounts. The total amount returned may result in the student owing the school. If a balance due is created, you now have a financial obligation to the school. A financial obligation will prohibit the student from all registration activities, receiving academic transcripts, diplomas, and/or other entitlements until it is paid. In addition, the student may be required to directly repay a portion of the Title IV funds that were received. Any repayment outstanding or unpaid will be referred to the U.S. Department of Education for collection and legal disposition.
Rights and Responsibilities of Financial Recipients
Please review the rights and responsibilities financial aid recipients have. If you have any questions about these items please contact the Financial Aid Office at (808) 455-0606.
Financial aid applicants have the right to:
- Be informed about financial aid application procedures, cost of attendance, aid availability, and renewal requirements.
- Confidential protection of your financial aid records. The contents of your file are maintained in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Appeal decisions made by the Financial Aid Office staff. Appeals should be submitted to the appropriate offices.
You have the responsibility to:
- Complete applications accurately and on time.
- Read and understand all materials sent to you from the Financial Aid Office and other agencies.
- Keep copies of all forms and materials submitted.
- Know and comply with the rules governing your aid programs.
- Comply with the provisions of any promissory note and all other agreements you sign.
- Inform the Financial Aid Office of any outside resources you have or will be receiving.
- Register for the number of credits required and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- Request personal assistance if you have questions or don’t understand the information provided to you.
- Use the financial aid award for school expenses, tuition and fees; room and board; books and supplies; and transportation.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
668.32(f) | 668.34 (link to Sept 2, 2020 amendment) | 668.16(e)
Federal regulations require that a student receiving financial aid under the Title IV programs make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in accordance with the standards set by the home campus, University of Hawai’i Community Colleges, and the US Department of Education pursuant to 34 CFR 668.34. The law and federal regulations require that progress be determined using both qualitative and quantitative measures.
Financial aid’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is separate and distinct from the institution’s academic progress policy. All credits attempted in any semester of enrollment at the student’s home campus, regardless of aid status, will be counted when calculating all measures of satisfactory academic progress.
In order to be eligible for financial aid, the student must meet specific academic requirements. Financial aid calculations for GPA, as well as, credits earned and attempted includes all home campus and transfer coursework ever taken. These calculations may be different from what the student sees on their academic transcript. The minimum academic requirements and the student’s current status can be viewed in their MyUH Services portal.
Frequency Of Evaluation:
Students’ academic progress will be evaluated annually. For students placed on Probation and have Academic Plan requirements, satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of every payment period.
For students in certificate programs that are less than 24 credits, academic progress will be evaluated at the end of every term.
Minimum Standards For Academic Progress
Qualitative Measure (Gpa) 668.34(A)(4)
Students must maintain a minimum cumulative Financial Aid grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0. For Financial Aid purposes, GPA is calculated by dividing the total points earned by the total credits attempted.
- Grades will be calculated into the student’s GPA as follows:(A-4 points, B- 3 points, C- 2 points, and D- 1 point, F-0 points).
- The following grades will not be calculated into the student’s GPA: Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), No Grade (N), Withdrawal (W), Incomplete (I), Record Delayed (RD), Audit (L), Credit by Exam (CE).
Example: Kimo completed his first year in school.
- Fall semester grades: Math 100 ‘D’, Eng 100 ‘B’.
- Spring semester grades: Math 100 ‘B’, Bio 100 ‘A’.
- Institutional GPA is 3.33. Kimo’s first ‘D’ grade is no longer counted in institutional GPA because he retook the class and received a higher grade.
- Financial aid GPA is 2.75. Financial aid calculates grades for every class that Kimo has taken.
Kimo is meeting the minimum GPA requirement but this example shows how an institutional and financial aid GPA may differ.
Quantitative Measure (Pace & Maximum Time Frame) 668.34(A)(5) | 668.34(B)
Pace (Completion Rate)
Students must successfully pass/complete at least 67% of all credits attempted (calculation will be rounded down to the nearest percent).
Example: Since Kimo started attending school, he attempted 60 credits. He only successfully completed (passed) 50 credits because he withdrew from a few classes and failed one. The calculation is 50 credits divided by 60 credits equals 83% (50 ÷ 60 = 0.833 or 83%).
Therefore, Kimo has met the completion rate criteria.
- Grades: The following grades will be considered as credits attempted but not earned: Failing (F), No Credit (NC), No Grade (N), Withdrawal (W), Incomplete (I), Record Delayed (RD).
- Incomplete Grades: An incomplete grade will be calculated as no credit earned until it reverts to a letter grade and is posted to the student’s academic record. The Registrar’s Office will notify the Financial Aid Office of any changes to Incomplete grades. Students may also contact the Financial Aid Office when a grade changes, once it is posted to their academic record.
- Audit: Audited classes are not eligible for financial aid and will not be counted towards credits attempted or completed.
- Credit by Exam: Credit by exam (CE) will be counted as credits attempted and completed.
- Transfer Credits: All transfer credits will be counted as credits attempted and completed.
- Repeat Courses:
- Students who repeat a course for which they have already earned a passing grade may be allowed to receive funding to repeat that course only ONCE.
- All repeat courses will count as credits attempted and earned (if passed) which may be different from the institution’s academic progress policy.
- Concurrent Enrollment Courses:
- Concurrent enrollment courses taken at another campus that is “completed” will be factored into the completion rate when the courses are transferred to the student’s home campus.
- Concurrent enrollment courses that are not completed/earned but have been included in the student’s financial aid credit load will be counted as an attempted but not completed credit(s) towards your completion rate.
- Administrative Withdrawal Credits: Administrative Withdrawal credits may be counted as attempted but not completed credit(s)
- Academic Renewal: Any credits forgiven through academic renewal will still be counted as credits attempted for the credit completion rate.
Maximum Time Frame
Students must complete their degree program within 150% of the credits required for their degree program. All attempted credits previously mentioned will be applied toward a student’s time frame. Students who are unable to complete their program and achieve minimum SAP standards by the end of their timeframe may be determined ineligible for financial aid.
- Change of Major: Students may choose to change their major at any time, however, all credits previously attempted at the college and accepted transfer credits will be counted in their new major and resulting maximum time frame.
- Remedial/Developmental credits: A student is allowed 30 remedial English and Math credits that are not counted towards the maximum time frame.
- English as a Second Language: ESL credits are not counted against the time frame.
- Transfer Credits: All credits will be factored into the maximum time frame
- Non-applicable Program Credits: Non-applicable credits to a students current major may be factored into the maximum time frame.
- Multiple Degrees: When a student completes a degree at the home campus, the student may continue receiving financial aid for a second or subsequent degree. Students must complete and submit a Financial Aid Degree Completion Form to the Financial Aid Office. Please contact your home campus Financial Aid Office for deadlines.
Example: Kimo’s degree program requires 60 credits to graduate; therefore, he must complete his degree program within a total of 90 credits (60 credits x 150% = 90 credits).
Failure To Meet Minimum Standards For Academic Progress
Financial Aid Suspension
668.34(a)(9), (c)(3)(ii),(iii), (d)(2)(ii),(iii) | 668.42(c)(2)(ii)
Students who do not meet the minimum standards for academic progress or have exceeded the allowable maximum time frame will not be eligible to receive financial aid.
Reinstatement Of Financial Aid
To reinstate eligibility, a student must meet all three of the following conditions:
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
- Complete at least 67% of all credits attempted (includes all credits reflected on the transcript).
- Be able to graduate within the 150% time frame allowed by Federal regulations.
Appealing A Financial Aid Suspension
A student who is not eligible may appeal if they have experienced unusual hardship that prevented the student from meeting the minimum standards. Such situations must be exceptional, generally beyond their control, and non-recurring in nature. Common situations that may cause a student to fail to meet SAP standards include:
- Family difficulties, such as divorce or illness;
- Interpersonal problems with friends, roommates, and significant others;
- Difficulty balancing work, family responsibilities, etc., and school;
- Financial difficulties.
If you would like to appeal your SAP status for the 2023-2024 school year, please complete
the Appeal Form
The appeal must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what has changed in the situation that will allow the student to demonstrate progress at the next evaluation. Students must complete and submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified of an appeal decision via their UH email. Please contact your home campus Financial Aid Office for any deadlines.
A student’s appeal will not be considered if they are unable to meet the minimum cumulative academic standards (2.00 cumulative GPA and 67% cumulative completion rate) by the end of their financial aid timeframe.
If an appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation and given academic requirements to complete per semester until they meet the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The academic conditions will be monitored after every payment period. Students who do not meet the academic conditions will be suspended and ineligible for financial aid. Students are notified of their suspension status via their UH email.
Students with an approved appeal will be placed on a Financial Aid Probation status and be required to meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss the academic requirements of their plan. For students with an Academic Plan, the Financial Aid Office will review their progress at the end of each payment period. Students will be notified of any updates to their academic standing via UH email.
Financial Aid Information