General eligibility

To be eligible for federally funded financial aid programs, applicants must first meet the following general eligibility criteria:

  • Have a valid Social Security Number,
  • Have a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate (GED/HiSET/TASC) or have completed home schooling at the secondary level,
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an approved program at EWC for the purpose of obtaining a certificate or degree,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen,
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward completion of a certificate or degree,
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe repayment of a federal grant,
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if required,
  • Be enrolled at least half time (six credits) for most programs (except Pell),
  • Have financial need, except for some loans, and
  • Certify that financial aid funds will be used only for educational purposes.

The U.S. Department of Education interfaces with other federal databases to confirm several of these criteria.

Please note: Students who are convicted for the sale or possession of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while receiving federal student aid (grants, loans and/or work study) may be ineligible to receive federal aid. Check your eligibility by completing the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet.

Students should apply for federal and institutional aid each year by the priority deadline of March 15 in order to be considered for limited funds for the following academic year. Any additional documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office must also be submitted to complete application processing. Students may only receive aid from one institution in any term.

Maintaining Eligibility

In addition to initial eligibility requirements, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements at the end of each semester. SAP is reviewed and monitored prior to awarding of any aid, at the end of each semester of enrollment, and prior to disbursement the following semester. In general, students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 67% of courses attempted. Students must also complete their degree objective within 150% of the average length of their program to continue eligibility for federal funding.

For details on Satisfactory Academic Progress, view EWC’s SAP Policies for Financial Aid.

Scholarship Eligibility

To receive scholarship aid, students must meet the requirements of each specific scholarship awarded, as outlined in the Letter of Intent the student signs and returns to the Financial Aid Office when the scholarship is awarded. ALL scholarships require at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and most follow federal eligibility requirements. Many scholarships require the student to complete the FAFSA to demonstrate eligibility.

View individual scholarships and their requirements.

Regaining Eligibility

A student who loses eligibility for federal aid has two options for regaining eligibility:

  1. A student who enrolls in a term at his/her own expense and successfully meets necessary academic progress standards can have his/her aid reinstated the following term (if all other eligibility criteria are met).
  2. If circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented him/her from meeting satisfactory progress requirements, the student may file an appeal for reconsideration. If the appeal is approved, the student’s aid will be reinstated on a probationary basis.

See EWC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies for details.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form (DOC)
Petition for Maximum Time Frame (PDF)

With the exception of the Hathaway Scholarship, if you don’t meet scholarship criteria, eligibility cannot be regained. There is no appeal process for institutional or Foundation scholarships.

Return of Funds

Federal financial aid recipients who withdraw from all classes during a semester (or cease attendance without notifying the school) may be required to repay a portion of the federal funds received during that term. According to federal regulations, colleges must determine the amount of federal aid a student earned based on the percentage of the semester attended. Attendance is determined by the earlier of the official drop date, the student’s notification of his/her intent to withdraw, or the last date of participation in an academically related activity. Federal regulations specify the calculation used to determine if and how much repayment is required. If a student attended more than 60% of the term, no return of funds is required.

If a student owes a repayment, it will be applied to the following programs in this order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  6. Other federal aid programs.

If EWC is required to repay any portion of a student’s aid, the student is responsible for repaying the funds to EWC. Any unpaid balance must be resolved by the student prior to registering for subsequent terms.

The requirements for Title IV program funds are separate from EWC’s refund policy and a student may still owe EWC for unpaid institutional charges.

For more information about Return of Funds policies, please contact the Financial Aid Office.