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Financial Aid Policies


Financial Aid Policies


Jump to Hawaii Community College Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

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Code of Conduct for Hawaii Community College Financial Aid Employees

A Hawaii Community College 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 Hawaii Community College 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 Hawaii Community College’s Vice Chanellor for Student Affairs 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 policy, 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.

Philanthropic contributions not tied to loan volume.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy or SAP Policy PDF Document

Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients, in order to remain eligible for financial aid, must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the achievement of their degree or certificate. SAP measures a student’s progress towards their chosen degree by assessing their Grade Point Average (GPA), Credit Completion Rate (CCR), and whether they are on track to complete their program within their maximum time frame.

SAP will be evaluated at the end of the Spring semester for all students. Students whose academic program length is less than one year (less than 24 credits), and all students who officially or unofficially withdraw, will be evaluated at the end of every term.

-- All attempted courses that appear on a student’s official transcript will be counted (including academic renewals); regardless of whether financial aid was received at the time the courses were attempted. --

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program of study which is at least sixteen (16) credits and fifteen (15) weeks in length.

Grade Point Average

  • Students must maintain a cumulative HawaiiCC GPA of at least 2.0.

Credit Completion Rate (Pace)

  • Students must complete their educational objectives within a reasonable period of time.
  • Students must successfully earn at least 67% of all credit hours attempted.
  • A student’s CCR is calculated by dividing credit hours completed by credit hours attempted.

 EXAMPLE:  Since Kaleo started attending college, he has attempted 60 credit hours.  He only completed (passed) 50 credits because he withdrew from a few classes and failed a class.  Based on the following calculation, Kaleo has earned more than 67% of the credits that he attempted and therefore has fulfilled HawaiiCC's SAP credit completion requirement.

Kaleo's Credits Completed (50) ÷ Kaleo's Credits Attempted (60) = 83%  

  • The student’s CCR will be assessed based on the number of credits the student is enrolled in on the HawaiiCC Pell Recalculation Date (FinancialAid Enrollment Status Determination date - see current semester calendar).
  • The following grades will be considered as credits attempted and earned: A, B, C, D, CR.
  • The following grades will be considered as credits attempted but not earned: F, W, NC, N, I.

Chart to Determine Two-Thirds Completion Each Term

The chart below demonstrates the minimum number of credit hours required to complete each term in order to achieve a two-thirds completion. For example, if enrolled for 12 credit hours, completion of 9 or more credit hours is required.

Credit Hours AttemptedMust Successfully Complete

Maximum Time Frame

  • Financial aid may fund up to 150% of the number of credit hours required for completion of the student’s chosen degree/certificate. This maximum time frame is calculated by multiplying the number of credits needed to complete the degree or certificate by 150%.

EXAMPLE:  Kaleo's degree program requires 60 credits to graduate, therefore he must complete his degree within the maximum time frame of 90 credits (60 credits x 150% = 90 credits)

  • Students may attempt up to 30 remedial credits which will not be counted against their maximum time frame.
  • ESL credits are not counted against student’s maximum time frame.

Eligibility Limitations:

  • Students can only be awarded financial aid for courses that are applicable toward their degree/certificate.
  • Students who complete the academic requirements for their program’s degree/certificate, but have not applied for graduation or posting of credentials to their transcript are not eligible for further federal aid for that program.
  • Credits and grades excluded under the Academic Renewal Policy will be included in the calculation of the Financial Aid GPA and Credit Completion Rate (CCR).
  • Students are responsible for informing the Financial Aid Office of any grade changes once posted to their academic record.
  • Non-credit and audit classes are not eligible for financial aid and are not included in calculations of GPA, CCR or maximum time frame.

Change of Major/SecondMajor

  • Students who change their major without completing their first degree or certificate will have all credits previously attempted counted toward their new maximum time frame.
    • Students must notify the Financial Aid Office when changing their major.
  • Financial Aid will fund one degree or certificate at a time. Students who seek a second degree/certificate must submit a Maximum Credit/Transfer Credit to Subsequent Degree form and a new time frame will be calculated.

Transfer Credits

  • Only transfer credits applicable to HawaiiCC degrees and programs will be counted towards the maximum time frame.
  • Students are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office when credits are transferred in to HawaiiCC.

Repeat Courses/Credits

  • Repeat courses/credits are counted towards student’s maximum time frame.
  • 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.

Financial Aid Suspension:

  • Students who fail to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible to receive financial aid until the SAP requirements are met.
  • Students who officially or unofficially withdraw will be placed on immediate Financial Aid Suspension if they are not making SAP. See the Return of Title IV Policy ( for more information.
  • During the period of Financial Aid Suspension, students may (unless placed on Academic Dismissal) attend HawaiiCC without financial aid. If the student wishes to continue to attend, they will be responsible for covering all educational expenses.


  • A student who is placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal the denial of financial aid.
  • The appeal process is optional and it is the student’s responsibility to submit the HawaiiCC Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal form along with all supporting documentation. The following should be included in the appeal:
    • Extenuating/mitigating circumstances which prevented the meeting of HawaiiCC’s Financial Aid SAP (including as much detail as possible).
      • Circumstances considered may include illness, injury, accident, death of an immediate family member, family difficulties, interpersonal issues, and/or college adjustment problems.
    • Academic progress strategy detailing how student plans to return to good standing and meet the SAP requirements.
  • Students will be informed of a decision whether their appeal has been conditionally approved or denied via email within 4 to 6 weeks of submission.
    • If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will receive a Financial Aid Academic Plan (FA Plan) outlining the conditions that must be met in order to continue receiving future financial aid.
      • The student must meet with their Academic Advisor and return the FA Plan to the Financial Aid Office prior to any funds being disbursed.
      • If the conditions of the FA Plan are not met, the student will again be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • SAP Appeal decisions cannot be re-appealed and/or eligibility reinstated if a SAP Appeal was previously granted and FA Plan conditions were not met, unless appealing on the basis of a different set of circumstances.

Please be aware that the SAP policy will be changing as of July 1, 2018. For information on the Updated Policy please click here.

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Return of Title IV Funds Policy (For Federal Aid Received) PDF Document

Your aid will be revised and/or YOU MAY BE REQUIRED TO REPAY ALL OR A PORTION of the aid you received (read the information on the Return of Title IV funds) if you withdraw from some or all of your courses, or stop attending classes, or enroll for less than half-time status. You must notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if these changes occur. Your academic progress will be assessed based on the credit completion requirements of your original enrollment at the Pell Recalculation Date (Financial Aid Enrollment Status Determination Date - see current academic calendar).

The Higher Education Amendment of 1998 requires schools to implement The Return of Title IV Refund Funds policy when a Title IV funds recipient withdraws from school. A Title IV recipient is defined as a student who has received Title IV funds (excluding Federal Work Study funds, but including Federal Direct PLUS Loan funds) OR has met the conditions that entitle the student to a late disbursement.

The Amendment makes clear that Title IV funds are awarded to students with the assumption that he/she will attend school for the entire enrollment/payment period. If a student receiving the above-mentioned assistance completely withdraws from school or ceases to attend classes, the Financial Aid Office is required to calculate the amount of funds the student earned prior to their withdrawal and calculate the amount that was unearned and must be returned to reimburse the appropriate Title IV programs. All refunds and repayment amounts will be rounded to the nearest dollar.

Official Withdrawal: Students who withdraw online or via the Admission and Records Add/Drop form are considered to have “officially withdrawn”. The Last Date of Attendance (LDA) is used to determine the point in time that the student stopped attending so that the percentage of the enrollment/payment period completed can be determined. After the 60% point, the student is deemed to have earned 100% of the Title IV funds. The student’s instructor(s) will be contacted to provide the Financial Aid Office with the student’s LDA. The percentage of Title IV aid earned is equal to the percentage of the enrollment/payment period the student completed.

Unofficial Withdrawal: If a student who attended the entire enrollment/payment period, or did not officially withdraw, fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course, the institution must assume, for federal Title IV purposes, that the student has “unofficially withdrawn” and a return of Title IV funds will be calculated by the institution to determine if the student was entitled to any portion of their award(s). The student will be responsible for repaying awarded Title IV funds for any/all classes failed due to nonattendance.

In cases where funds must be returned, the school will reimburse the Title IV programs via the tuition revenue account. As a result, any tuition refunds due to the student will be returned to reimburse the Title IV programs. Funds will be returned to the appropriate programs in the following order: Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans, Federal Direct Subsidized loans, Federal Direct PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and other Title IV grant funds. Students will then be billed for any unpaid institutional charges that result from the return of funds to the Title IV programs. 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. Furthermore, a financial obligation will be placed on the student’s record by the institution, which will prohibit the student from registering in future semesters, receiving academic transcripts, or receiving any additional federal aid funds.

In some cases, a student may be eligible to receive a “post-withdrawal” disbursement after the student completely withdraws from school when the amount of aid earned is less than the amount of aid disbursed. In such cases, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the “post-withdrawal” disbursement via an award notification email or letter.


Federal Work-Study PolicyPDF Document



FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS) is a form of federal financial aid awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Under FWS, students have the opportunity to work part-time to help offset college educational expenses. A FWS award does not “guarantee” employment. Recipients must apply via the SECE website for on campus and approved off-campus jobs.


In addition to federal regulations, FWS students are subject to conditions of student employment stated in the System-wide Administrative Procedures Manual (#A9.880). The Financial Aid Office (FAO) has the right to rescind all or part of a FWS award at any time should there be a change in the student’s award status. Federal regulations require FAO to revise awards to prevent a student from being over-awarded. FAO also has the right to rescind all or part of a FWS award if funds are depleted before the end of the academic year. Hawaii CC students who will be away on Study Abroad or Exchange programs will not be eligible for the FWS award during the semester in which they are participating in those programs.

Students placed on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress WARNING for a term will not be eligible for FWS funding regardless of SAP appeal approval or denial.




Students may NOT begin work on FWS (F1 payroll) for any period of enrollment until they have been awarded FWS by the FAO and have filed required employment documents with the FAO, located in building 378. In-person counseling must be completed prior to the first disbursement of FWS funds. Please contact Chelsie Rapoza at (808) 934-2717 to schedule an appointment.


Students awarded FWS for both Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 – May observe the following work schedule, provided students are enrolled for both semesters:


Fall Semester              August 20, 2018 - December 31, 2018

Spring Semester         January 1, 2019 - May 10, 2019

Summer 1                    May 11, 2019 – June 30, 2019*

Summer 2                    July 1, 2019 – August 19, 2019*


Students awarded for the fall and spring semesters are authorized to work during the winter break if they have not earned their entire award during the academic semester.


*Student must be enrolled for the Fall 2019 Term at Hawaii CC in order to be eligible for FWS funding for the summer.


Students awarded FWS for Fall 2018 only – May begin work on the first day of instruction, August 20, 2018, and must cease employment by December 17, 2018.


Students awarded FWS for Spring 2019 only - May begin work on the first day of instruction, January 7, 2019, and must cease employment by May 10, 2019.




Students are notified by the FAO of any changes to their FWS award via e-mail. In turn, the FWS student is then responsible for notifying the employer of any change immediately. When monitoring FWS earnings, calculations must be based on 100% of gross earnings and NOT 75% of gross earnings.


FWS is awarded in allotments for each enrollment period to reflect a student’s financial need for the respective term. The formula below shows how to obtain AVERAGE WEEKLY WORK HOURS from an allotment. (This average may not exceed limits set by the University for student employees: up to 20 hrs. /week while classes are in session; up to 29.5 hrs. /week during semester breaks and Spring recess).


Semester Allotment ÷ Hourly Wage = Total Work Hours/Semester

Total Work Hours/Semester ÷ Number of Weeks per Semester = Avg. Weekly Work Hours


Unearned FWS for each semester will automatically be cancelled by the FAO. Any unearned Fall FWS will not be carried over into the spring semester.




Employers may continue to pay students who have exhausted their total FWS allotment provided non-FWS funds are used. However, if a student continues to earn beyond their total FWS allotment, employers will be required to reimburse the FWS account for any amount over-earned.



1.         FWS students are prohibited from providing voluntary services to their employers.


2.         FWS students cannot be paid for work that students must normally complete without pay because it is part of their academic program.


3.         FWS funds may not be used to subsidize an employee’s share of fringe benefits such as paid sick leave, vacation and holiday pay, contributions to welfare, or insurance programs such as Social Security, Worker’s compensation or retirement.


4.         ELECTRONIC TIME SHEETS: Federal regulations require that the time sheets be approved by the supervisor, and accurately reflect the exact time period that the student worked. Timesheets must be submitted on a timely basis for the period worked.


6.         Employers must select the F1 payroll number on the timesheet in order to charge a student’s earnings to the FWS account. No reimbursements will be made to employers for pay inadvertently charged to F3 payroll.  The final F1 timesheet for the 2018-2019 academic year must be approved by the employing department no later than the last timesheet deadline in December of 2018 for the Fall 2018 semester, and no later than the last timesheet deadline in May of 2019 for the Spring 2019 semester.


7.         FWS funds are made available to assist students to cover their educational expenses. Therefore, employers may not require students to work during class time or exam periods. Employers are to inform student and supervisor that financial aid records are randomly audited every year and the auditors do check to ensure that students do not work during scheduled class time. Violation of this provision could result in charges to the department for wages earned and/or may be prohibited from further participation in the FWS program. If extenuating circumstances exist (i.e. class is cancelled) and the student does work during class time and that period should be indicated in the comments section of the time sheet and an explanation must be noted.

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