Jun 21, 2024  
2024-2025 WNCC College Catalog 
    
2024-2025 WNCC College Catalog

Admission, Cost of Attendance, Financial Aid, and Enrollment



Admission

Application

Students who wish to enroll in class(es) at WNCC must first apply for admission. The application can be completed online at go.wncc/apply. There is no cost to complete the Application for Admission. Admission to the College does not guarantee admission to all courses or programs. Western Nebraska Community College has an open admissions policy. Anyone who can benefit from instruction has the right to pursue an education at WNCC.

Students meeting admission requirements are admitted regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex or gender, disability, marital status, military service status, sexual orientation, gender expression/identity, or political affiliation.

Transcripts

It is highly recommended that a first-time WNCC student request an official transcript be sent to the College from an approved or accredited high school or home school program, the Nebraska Department of Education reflecting passing scores on the General Education Development test (GED), or other equivalency test (e.g., HISET).

Should a concern arise regarding the validity of a high school student’s completion, the Admissions Director or Registrar will confirm with the high school the student’s completion status on the validating student document.

Students transferring to WNCC or who have obtained a prior degree must provide official transcripts from all other colleges or universities attended.

Placement Testing

WNCC strives to assist students in the successful pursuit of educational and career goals. To best serve the needs of students and contribute to their success, it is necessary that WNCC know the academic preparedness of its students.

Students must submit official scores from ACT, SAT, or Next Generation ACCUPLACER® tests completed within the past three years to the Admissions Office. The scores determine placement in English and mathematics courses or introductory courses with a reading or writing prerequisite, so must be submitted prior to scheduling an appointment with an academic advisor. Questions about specific score requirements can be directed to the Student Success Center at 308.635.6000 or advising@wncc.edu.

WNCC makes Next Generation ACCUPLACER® easily available for students who do not have recent placement scores. Students can arrange to take the Next Generation ACCUPLACER® at any of WNCC’s three locations:

  • Scottsbluff by contacting 308.635.6070
  • Alliance by contacting 308.763.2000
  • Sidney by contacting 308.254.5450

The test may also be taken remotely for a fee. A student may retake Next Generation ACCUPLACER® for free once in a 7-day period. WNCC encourages students to take at least one week to study before attempting to retest. Practice tests can be found at https://practice.accuplacer.org/login. Please contact the Testing Center at 308.635.6070 for more information.

Notes:

  • Students who can document with an official transcript that they have received an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Fine Arts, or bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university are exempt from placement requirements. However, students may still need to complete prerequisite courses to satisfy program requirements as deemed necessary by their academic advisor and the Registrar.
  • Successful completion of ENGL - 1010 English Composition I , ENGL - 0070 Reading Techniques , and/or MATH - 1150 College Algebra  or a higher-level math course exempts the student from the corresponding placement requirement.

There may be additional requirements beyond those stated above for students to be eligible for certain financial aid benefits. Please see the financial aid section for federal aid eligibility requirements.

Admission Procedures

Degree-Seeking Students (Certificate, Diploma, and AA, AS, AAS, AFA Degrees)

  1. Complete an application for admission online at wncc.edu/admissions-aid/index
  2. Request current transcripts be sent to the Admissions Office in Scottsbluff from high school or home school program or that an authorized transcript reflecting passing scores on the General Education Development (GED) test or another equivalency test (e.g., HISET) be sent to the Admissions Office. Final, official high school or home school transcripts should be sent to the Admissions Office after graduation.
  3. Request official transcripts from all colleges previously attended be sent to the Registrar’s Office in Scottsbluff.
  4. Request transcripts of placement reports from ACT, SAT, or Next Generation ACCUPLACER® as applicable be sent to the Admission Office in Scottsbluff.
  5. If necessary, complete the Next Generation ACCUPLACER® basic skills assessment unless exempt. Students can arrange to take the Next Generation ACCUPLACER® at WNCC by contacting 308.635.6070.
  6. Some programs have special admission requirements. See the program of interest in the catalog for further information.
  7. No fee is required for application or admission. A letter of acceptance is sent from the Admissions Office after application is processed.

International Students

International students (non-U.S. citizens) have additional admission requirements. Immigration laws require international students to attend college on a full-time basis. To be admitted to WNCC, international students must complete all general admissions requirements and all special admission requirements listed below.

A Certificate of Eligibility, Form I-20, is issued only upon completion of all admission requirements. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make all necessary arrangements through official channels for entrance into the United States.

Applicants residing in a foreign country should make application six months prior to the anticipated enrollment date. Students in the United States should allow four months to complete the admission process. To meet all special admission requirements, international students must create an account online at go.wncc.edu/apply and complete the International Application for Admission. The International Admissions Application is only open for limited time frames prior to each semester (specific dates are posted on our website). Deadlines for applying and submitting all required documents must be met for acceptance to WNCC.

In addition to completing the online International Admissions Application, students must upload the following documents with the application:

  • Copies of high school or secondary school transcripts, diplomas, exit exam results, or other documents that show successful completion.
  • Proof of English proficiency.
  • Proof of financial support to cover all costs for one academic year.
  • A copy of the applicant’s official passport.

All documents must be in English or include an English translation. All translations must be completed by a certified translation company.

In Addition:

  • If admitted, students must comply with all local, state, and federal laws of the United States of America, as well as College policies.
  • Only international students with a student visa are admitted.
  • International students present in the United States on temporary visas are considered non-residents for purposes of tuition payment. Length of stay, payment of taxes, ownership of property, etc., do not imply legal residency.
  • International students for whom an I-20 form was submitted must maintain satisfactory academic progress as a full-time student each term.

Non-Degree-Seeking Students

Students are considered non-degree seeking if they are:

  • Taking credit-bearing courses for personal enrichment,
  • Taking CollegeNOW! or courses to earn college credit while enrolled in high school,
  • Taking courses to earn a credential in Basic Nursing Assistant or Medication Aide,
  • Enrolled at the Pine Ridge Job Corp, or
  • Senior Citizens with a Gold Card.

Students must complete the Non-Degree Seeking/Allied Health or CollegeNOW! registration form, which can be found at wncc.edu/admissions-aid/index. No fee is required for completing the Non-Degree Seeking/Allied Health or CollegeNOW! registration form. Prerequisite basic skills assessment scores must be met prior to course entry.

It is highly recommended that the student provides an official transcript from an approved or accredited high school or home school or present an authorized transcript reflecting passing scores on the General Education Development test (GED or other equivalency test (e.g., HISET, TASC). Should a concern arise regarding the validity of a high school student’s completion, the Admissions Director or Registrar will confirm with the high school the student’s completion status on the validating student document. In the absence of a high school transcript, a student may submit Next Generation ACCUPLACER®, ACT, SAT, or currently accepted placement scores completed within the past three years. Please see the section on “Placement” above in the Requirements for Admission.

Non-degree seeking students interested in pursuing a degree-seeking program of study must complete the admissions process for degree-seeking students.

High School Students

CollegeNOW!

Students taking WNCC courses either at the high school they are attending or on one of the three WNCC campuses must be junior- or senior-level students. Any exceptions must be approved by the CollegeNOW! Director and faculty teaching the course. Students who are not junior or senior level must contact the CollegeNOW! Director to being the application process. Students must register for classes in collaboration with their counselors. Students will not be registered for classes without counselor approval. Students must complete the CollegeNOW! registration form, which can be found at https://wncc.edu/admissions-aid/how-to-apply/non-degree-seeking-and-collegenow-students.

Registration forms need the signatures of a parent/guardian and high school counselor/principal. Registrations are not entered until these signatures are obtained. Required Next Generation ACCUPLACER®, ACT, SAT, or currently accepted placement scores must be submitted to the College prior to registration.

 

Home schooled Students

Students who were homeschooled are requested to present a transcript from parents/guardians or a recognized homeschooling organization showing courses completed and grades. Homeschooled students need to be at the junior- or senior-level to take College courses. Any exceptions must be approved by the CollegeNOW! Director and faculty teaching the course. Students who are not junior or senior level must contact the CollegeNOW! Director to being the application process.  Prerequisite basic skills assessment scores must be met prior to course entry. Students must complete the CollegeNOW! registration form, which can be found at https://wncc.edu/admissions-aid/how-to-apply/non-degree-seeking-and-collegenow-students.

Registration forms needs the signatures of a parent/guardian and the CollegeNOW! Director. Registrations are not entered until these signatures are obtained. Required Next Generation ACCUPLACER®, ACT, SAT, or currently accepted placement scores must be submitted prior to registration.

Residency

WNCC will determine the initial classification of resident or nonresident status for tuition purposes. Residency requirements are established in Nebraska Revised Statutes 85-502 and 85-502-01 (veteran, spouse or dependent of veteran, eligible for educational assistance while on active duty or entitled to rehabilitation under federal law).

Out-of-state students may obtain Nebraska residency if they meet any of the following criteria:

  1. Are married to a Nebraska resident.
  2. Have graduated from a Nebraska high school and have re-established a residence in the State of Nebraska.
  3. Have lived for six consecutive months in Nebraska and can show proof of fact (see below).

In addition to meeting any of the above requirements, documentation of three of the following six items must be supplied:

  1. Employment in Nebraska,
  2. Payment of State of Nebraska income taxes,
  3. Voter registration,
  4. Nebraska driver’s license,
  5. Registration of vehicle as a resident of Nebraska, or
  6. A checking or savings account with a Nebraska financial institution.

All residency applications must be filed with the Registrar’s Office (registrar@wncc.edu) before the second week of the semester in which the student wishes to claim residency. Further information is available from the Registrar’s Office.

Cost of Attendance

The following tuition and fees are estimated costs at the time of publication. Please visit wncc.edu/admissions-aid/tuition-fees/index for current cost of attendance figures. WNCC reserves the right to change the schedule of tuition, fees, and refunds without notice. Tuition and fees are payable before the first day of class unless other arrangements are made with the Business Office. All financial obligations must be settled before the student is allowed to register for additional semesters. Students who take classes for audit are also charged tuition and fees.

Tuition for 2024-2025

These costs are subject to change. For current information, visit wncc.edu/admissions-aid/tuition-fees/index.

Nebraska Resident

Tuition per credit $109.50
High School Partnership $ 43.25

Border Resident (CO, SD, WY)

Tuition per credit $ 119.50

Non-Resident and International

Tuition per credit $ 128.50

Adult and Continuing Education

Tuition per noncredit course Varies

Fees for 2024-2025

(Activity, facility use, instructional technology, and scholarship)

Resident (per credit hour) $18.50
Border Resident $18.50
Non-Resident and International (per credit hour) $18.50
High School Partnership $2.75
International Student Registration (per semester) $150.00
Experiential Learning (per cr. hr.) $25.00
Transcript (official e-copy) $6.00
GED Testing $120.00

Aviation Note: Students should plan for approximately $1,170 for FAA testing fees during the third and fourth semesters.

Course Fees: Some courses assess an additional fee for consumable expenses directly related to participation in a course. The current list of courses requiring an additional course fee can be found at Tuition & Fees (wncc.edu). This list is subject to change.

If a course has a fee associated with it, students will see the fee listed in the semester course schedule. Students can also consult with their academic advisor.

Estimated Expenses for 2024-2025

The following is an estimated budget for two semesters of study for full time, resident, students living on- or off-campus, but not with parents. Some areas may vary depending upon such items as (1) educational program, (2) personal spending habits, and (3) place of residence. Please visit our website at wncc.edu/admissions-aid/tuition-fees/index for the current year’s budget.

Tuition and Fees (15 credits per term) $3,720.00
Books, Course Materials, Supplies & Equipment $1,500.00
Personal Expenses $1,800.00
Transportation $1,965.00
Living Expenses (Housing & Food) $8,874.00
Total $17,859.00

Costs of obtaining a license, certification, or first professional credential will be included in the assigned Cost of Attendance for students in their final year of applicable programs. 

Financial Aid

wncc.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid

An important consideration for most students is financing their college education. This section provides information about the types of aid available, procedures for applying for financial aid, and the criteria used in selection of financial aid recipients. The student and their family have the primary responsibility for financing a college education. However, WNCC participates in a wide variety of federal, state, private, and institutional programs designed to assist families with college-related expenses when their own resources are insufficient. These programs include grants and scholarships, work programs, and low-interest loans. Financial aid packages are structured to meet the needs of each recipient and may vary according to financial resources available and the student’s enrollment level. New applications are required for each academic year of enrollment for most types of aid.

Types of Financial Aid

Scholarships do not have to be repaid and are awarded based on academic performance, special talents, activity participation, financial need, community service, and other factors.

Grants generally do not have to be repaid. Awards are need-based with funds provided by federal and state governments and WNCC.

Programs include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Nebraska Opportunity Grant (NOG)
  • VA educational benefits for qualified individuals

Employment includes part-time jobs that pay at least minimum wage and provide flexible hours. Some jobs involve community service activities. The federal government and WNCC provide funds for the need-based Federal Work Study Program. WNCC also funds other part-time Institutional Employment opportunities that are not need-based and are part of the financial aid package.

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans available to students enrolled in at least six credits each semester. These funds must be repaid with accrued interest. Payments to the principal may be deferred while enrolled half time or more and there are several repayment plans from which to choose. Congress determines the interest rates for the loan programs annually. See the Financial Aid Office for current interest rates. Funds are provided by and backed by the federal government.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (need-based)
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (not need-based)
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), for parents of dependent students (not need-based)

Federal Direct Loan information is submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and is accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. Students may access their student loan/grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses, and disbursements through at studentaid.gov/h/manage-loans.

Applying for Federal Financial Aid

Federal Aid Eligibility Criteria

To receive aid from any of the federal student aid programs, an applicant must meet all the following criteria:

  • Have financial need, except for some loans.
  • Have a high school diploma, GED certificate, or completed homeschooling at the secondary level.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an approved program at WNCC for the purpose of obtaining a diploma, certificate, or degree.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a Social Security number.
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a diploma, certificate, or degree.
  • Certify that financial aid funds are used only for educational purposes.
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan.
  • Not owe a repayment of a federal grant.

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

Note: Only classes that count toward your degree (or as an allowable elective) can be funded by federal financial aid.

How Need is Determined - The basic need formula is represented by the following calculation:

        Cost of Attendance

  •  Student Aid Index*

  = Financial Need

*Please note: negative Student Aid Indexes will be converted to “0” when calculating Need). The goal of the WNCC Financial Aid Office is to meet as much of the student’s financial need as possible with available funds for which the student qualifies.

Cost of Attendance (COA) - This is an estimate of the student’s expenses for the period of enrollment. It includes allowances for:

  • tuition and fees
  • books, course materials, supplies and equipment
  • living expenses (housing and food)
  • transportation
  • personal expenses
  • cost of attaining a license, certification, or first professional credential for applicable programs

Please see the WNCC website at wncc.edu/admissions-aid/tuition-fees/index for the current costs of attendance.

Student Aid Index (SAI) - The SAI is the eligibility index used to determine your eligibility for federal, and in some instances, state and institutional need-based student financial aid. Generally, students with a higher SAI are eligible for less need-based financial aid. It is based upon the information provided by the student and their family on the FAFSA.

Limits to Federal Aid - Because Congress has established limits to the length of time and amounts students may receive in Pell grants and Federal Direct Loans, students are encouraged to monitor their academic progress, stay on track in their degree program, and complete their degrees within recommended timeframes.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

To be considered for any of the federal or state grants, employment or loan programs listed above, applicants must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA for each academic year of study.

  1. The recommended method of application is to apply online at studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Students (and parents) will need a Federal Student Aid (FSA) identification (ID) (also referred to as a Student Aid Account) when accessing financial aid information and electronically signing federal student aid documents. For more information about the FSA ID, or to create an FSA ID, go to studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch.
  2. Students are strongly encouraged to use the Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX) to transfer tax information directly from the IRS into their FAFSA. Using the Direct Data Exchange provides accurate tax information and may eliminate additional paperwork if the FAFSA is selected for verification.Students are strongly encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer tax information directly from the IRS into their FAFSA. Using the DRT provides accurate entry of tax information and may eliminate additional paperwork if the FAFSA is selected for verification.
  3. Those who prefer to submit a paper application may obtain a FAFSA directly from the U.S. Department of Education by calling 1.800.4.FEDAID (1.800.433.3243).
  4. Most students who completed an online FAFSA for the previous academic year receive information from the U.S. Department of Education on how to file a renewal FAFSA online.

Note: Regardless of the method of application, WNCC’s Federal School Code 002560 must be listed on the FAFSA for the results to be sent to the WNCC Financial Aid Office.

Summer Aid Application - In addition to the FAFSA, WNCC uses a supplemental application form for students who wish to be considered for summer financial aid. This application is available online or from the WNCC Financial Aid Office beginning in April.

Loan Application - A separate loan application is required annually for the Federal Direct Loan or a PLUS loan. First-time borrowers are required to complete online entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN remains active for 10 years and does not need to be renewed annually. An Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement may be completed and is encouraged. All documents may be completed at studentaid.gov/h/complete-aid-process.

What Happens Next?

The applicant receives a FAFSA Submission Summary after the FAFSA Processing System has processed the FAFSA. This is in the form of a hardcopy mailed to the applicant or an email notification with instructions on how to obtain the Summary electronically. The applicant should carefully review the Summary data for accuracy and to ensure that WNCC is listed to receive the results.

  • If the Summary data is accurate and no changes are necessary, the applicant should retain the document for their records.
  • If changes to the data are necessary, the applicant should make the corrections online or notify the Financial Aid Office.

Verification - The U.S. Department of Education selects a percentage of FAFSA applications nationwide to verify the accuracy of data reported on the FAFSA. The WNCC Financial Aid Office notifies students who are selected for verification. WNCC partners with Inceptia/Verification Gateway to provide FAFSA verification services for students. Inceptia will notify students of the steps required to complete verification. This process must be completed, and any errors corrected, before the student’s financial aid eligibility can be determined. Students have 30 days from the notification date to complete verification or their financial aid application is considered inactive.

Notice of Eligibility - After the application is reviewed and processed, the WNCC Financial Aid Office notifies the student of their financial aid eligibility via the student’s WNCC email account. Students who are eligible for assistance receive an Offer Letter indicating the financial aid programs and maximum award amounts. Award amounts are based on full-time enrollment (12 credit credits or more per semester). Some awards can be prorated for enrollment in fewer credit hours. Students who do not qualify for federal or state grant assistance receive notification of ineligibility and options of alternative forms of aid.

Professional Judgment and Financial Aid Appeal Options

The WNCC Financial Aid Office has established appeal procedures to allow for adjustments to a student’s FAFSA when the student has experienced special or unusual circumstances. Under federal financial aid regulations, financial aid administrators may utilize “Professional Judgment” to make adjustments to a student’s FAFSA data elements on a case-by-case basis. Students may appeal to have these “Professional Judgment” situations considered by submitting to the WNCC Financial Aid Office the appropriate appeal form along with substantiating documents. The following professional judgment appeal options are available:

  • Special Circumstances refer to financial changes to the household which affect the financial data reported on the student’s FAFSA. Such financial situations may include, but are not limited to, unemployment or a reduction in hours or wages, retirement, separation or divorce of parents, death of parent or spouse of a dependent students, or excessive unreimbursed medical expenses. Required appeal form: Income Change Appeal.
  • Unusual Circumstances refer to conditions that justify a student being considered independent for FAFSA purposes when the student would normally be required to provide parents’ information but is unable to. Such unique situations may include human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment or estrangement, or incarceration. Required appeal form: Dependency Status.
  • Special Expense appeals are used by the student to request their Cost of Attendance budget be increased to allow for educational expenses incurred outside of the normal components used in the standard Cost of Attendance. The type of expenses that may be requested are disability expenses, educational expenses of a parent in college, child or elder care expenses, computer purchase, or transportation expenses. Required appeal form: Special Expense Consideration.

Appeal forms are available through the eForms App in ClassLink, from the Financial Aid Office, or online at wncc.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/application-materials-deadlines. WNCC must have a completed FAFSA on file. Not all requests for Professional Judgment will result in an increase in financial aid eligibility. More information about professional judgment and appeals can be found at wncc.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/policies. Professional Judgment decisions made by the WNCC Financial Aid Office are not appealable to the U.S. Department of Education..

WNCC Scholarship Application

To be considered for WNCC institutional and endowed scholarships, students must complete the WNCC General Scholarship Application. Please check the WNCC website for updated information on priority deadlines.

Scholarships funded by outside community organizations usually require a separate application and may have different deadlines. Application forms and information about scholarships are available from the WNCC Financial Aid Office, the Alliance and Sidney campuses, or wncc.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/.

Please note that most scholarships will require the student to agree/consent to a Release of Information to a selection committee, and for the purposes of scholarship awarding and reporting. Releases will be requested for each scholarship that requires the Scholarship Acceptance Form.

Applying for, Receiving, and Maintaining Aid

When to Apply

To receive the best financial aid package available, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible after the FAFSA is opened. WNCC’s priority application date is March 1 prior to the academic year for which funding is requested. The FAFSA priority date matches the scholarship priority deadline. Limited-fund programs include NOG, FSEOG, Federal Work Study, and scholarships.

Applications are generally processed in the order received, and processing time may vary depending on the time of year and volume of applications received. Unnecessary delays can be avoided by responding quickly to any requests for additional information.

Students who wish to be considered for any available summer financial aid should complete the supplemental summer application by May 1.

Note: Individuals eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits may apply at any time in the Veterans Upward Bound or Military/Veterans Affairs (MVA) Office.

How Aid is Disbursed

The method and timing of disbursements depends upon the type of aid awarded, the status of the student’s application, and the enrollment level. Funds from financial aid sources must first be used to pay direct educational expenses (tuition, fees, campus housing and food, and authorized bookstore charges) before being made available to students for other education-related expenses.

  1. Funds from grants and scholarships are usually applied to the student’s WNCC account the fourth week of each semester. If the amount of aid exceeds the amount owed to WNCC, a refund check for the difference is available to the student no later than the end of the fourth week of classes. Check the website for disbursement dates.
  2. Student employees (Federal Work Study and Institutional Employment) receive a paycheck for credits worked each pay period. There are two pay periods per month.
  3. Student loan funds are transmitted to WNCC electronically by the federal government. If the student has completed a loan request form before the beginning of the semester or year for which he/she is requesting aid, the loan funds should be available in the same manner as described in one (1) above. Other disbursement rules apply for first-year, first-time borrowers, and for students receiving a semester-only rather than academic year loan. Students must also complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online before loans are originated. Loans requested and originated later in the semester are available on the Friday after funds are received.
  4. Instructors must verify a student’s attendance in each class before the student can receive their first disbursement.

Census Date - A student’s initial financial aid awards are based on full-time enrollment. However, the student’s eligibility is adjusted to reflect their actual enrollment on the financial aid census date, which is typically ten days into the fall or spring semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to receive financial aid, a student must be making satisfactory progress toward completion of a diploma, certificate, or degree. Academic progress is reviewed at the time awards are made, and again at the end of each fall, spring and summer semester. The WNCC financial aid requirements outlined below are designed to comply with Federal regulations. The qualitative and quantitative standards of this policy are at least as strict as the academic policy applied to non-Title IV recipients.

Additional details regarding this policy are available from the Financial Aid Office, or see WNCC’s complete Board Policy and President’s Procedure regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress available on the WNCC website at https://www.wncc.edu/about-wncc/leadership/board-of-governors/policies.

Requirements

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) measures a student’s performance in the following three areas: cumulative completion rate (Pace), cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), and Maximum Timeframe. The requirements for each area are included below:

  1. GPA: A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. This is an Institutional GPA - Transfer GPA is not included in this calculation. Please note that some programs require a higher GPA; students enrolled in those programs will be evaluated on the program GPA requirements.

  2. Pace: The student must progress through his/her educational program at a pace of 67% or higher. Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of successfully completed credit hours by the cumulative number of attempted credit hours. Attempted credits include any course taken for credit, with the exception of courses dropped during the free drop period and those taken for Audit. Accepted transfer credits count as both accepted and completed in the pace calculation. Remedial credit hours and all repeated credit hours are included in the calculation of the cumulative completion rate.

  3. Maximum Timeframe: Students are expected to complete their program of study within a reasonable timeframe. A student’s Maximum Timeframe is based on total credit hours attempted at WNCC (plus any transfer credits) and the student’s degree objective. These limits apply regardless of whether or not the student has changed majors or received federal funding. Attempted credits include remedial credit hours, repeated credit hours, and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Eligibility ends when a student has attempted 150% of the credits required for their program of study or when it would no longer be possible for the student to complete their program of study within the Maximum Timeframe.

Definitions of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Status

Students who fail to meet either the quantitative or the qualitative criteria will be notified of their status in accordance with the definitions below. Please note that some academic programs require a cumulative GPA that is higher than a 2.0; students in those programs will be evaluated based on the program criteria.

Satisfactory

The student is eligible to receive all types of aid.

  • Student has cumulative GPA at or above 2.0
  • Student has pace (cumulative completion rate) at or above 67%.
  • The student has attempted less than 150% of required number of credit hours for enrolled degree or certificate program. All transcripted credits, including transfer credits, are included in the calculation for the Maximum Timeframe.

Warning

The student was previously in Satisfactory standing but failed to meet one or both SAP criteria stated below. The student will continue to receive aid while on Warning status. Warning status is granted for one semester of enrollment.

  • Student has cumulative GPA below 2.0; and/or
  • Has pace (cumulative completion rate) below 67%.

Suspension

The student failed to comply with stated SAP criteria while on Warning or Probation. The student is not eligible to receive financial aid (federal, state or designated institutional financial aid) if suspended.

  • Student has under a 2.0 GPA and/or 67% pace (cumulative completion rate).
  • Student has attempted 150% or more of required number of credit hours needed for degree or certificate program, or it is no longer possible for the student to complete their program of study within the Maximum Timeframe.

Probation

The student will be placed on probation if the student was previously on suspension status, made an appeal, and the appeal was granted. The student will be eligible to receive financial aid for one term while on probation unless an academic plan has been incorporated into the SAP appeal.

Academic Plan

The student who has eligibility reinstated to probation under an approved academic plan and is successfully following that plan is eligible to receive financial aid and continues to be eligible for aid while following the approved academic plan. Financial aid eligibility will be reviewed at the end of each payment period, including summer, according to the approved academic plan.

Evaluation of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

  1. Review of SAP will take place at the end of each payment period, including summer. The student’s academic history is reviewed for: a) cumulative GPA requirement; b) pace (cumulative completion rate); and c) maximum time frame.
  2. A student’s entire academic record will be reviewed and evaluated for SAP, whether or not financial aid was received. Based on all academic history a student may be considered ineligible for aid.
  3. The SAP evaluation process will occur at the end of each payment period of enrollment, including summer. When the student applies for financial aid (receipt of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the evaluation process will be completed based on the student’s last term of enrollment and then updated at the end of each term for which the student is enrolled. All terms of enrollment will be considered in the SAP evaluation whether or not the student received financial aid during those terms.
  4. All students who fail to meet SAP criteria will be placed on warning or suspension. Financial aid applicants will be notified of their status.
  5. The Financial Aid Office will review GPA and credit hours attempted/completed through consortium agreements.

The SAP standards apply to all applicable forms of financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Loans, Direct PLUS loans, as well as assistance from the State of Nebraska. The College will determine what institutional funds will be affected by the student’s SAP status.

All SAP-related notifications to students will be sent to their WNCC email address, the College’s official means of student communication.

Treatment of Completion and Repeats

  1. Grades of D- or higher earned during all periods of enrollment will be considered acceptable for courses completed.
  2. Grades of F, NP, I, E, W, CR, and AU earned during all periods of enrollment will not be considered acceptable for SAP. (In courses graded on a Pass/No Pass basis, students are assessed using either a competency-based rubric or a percentage converted to letter grade where a grade of C or higher is considered passing.)

  3. Repeated courses are counted for all qualitative and quantitative measurements, as is coursework removed from the permanent transcript through an academic amnesty appeal. The grade from the last attempt of a repeated course is included in the student’s cumulative GPA.

 

Treatment of Grade Changes

  1. Students are responsible for notifying the College Financial Aid Office of all grade changes that might affect current or future financial aid eligibility. A reevaluation of the students’ status will be performed by the Financial Aid Office once the grade change has been communicated to the Financial Aid Office.
  2. The College reserves the right to notify students of this requirement based on the College’s official means of communication.

Student Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeals

The College is required to have a primary and a secondary process for students to appeal their eligibility. The secondary process is meant to address denied appeals from the primary process.

All decisions made at the secondary level are final.

The process for appeals at the primary and secondary level will be defined by the College. A student may appeal when they have been placed on suspension status. These appeals must be submitted to the College Financial Aid Office or designated location with supporting documentation. The student is responsible for presenting sufficient information and documentation to substantiate the existence of extenuating circumstances. The College may request additional documentation as the student’s extenuating circumstances warrant it.

Appeal forms are available through the eForms App in ClassLink, from the Financial Aid Office, or online at wncc.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/application-materials-deadlines. Appeals should be submitted as soon as possible following notification of suspension.

Conditions of Appeal

Appeals must include the following information:

  • why the student failed to make SAP; and
  • what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation.

Appeals may be submitted for extenuating circumstances, such as:

  • medical problems (family illness);
  • family emergency (death of a family member); or
  • other documented extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.

Students may also appeal on the basis of:

  • seeking approval for funding when a change in major or degree has occurred; or
  • funding for an additional degree or certificate.

Under all circumstances, all transcripted credits, including transfer credits, are included in the calculation of maximum time frame regardless of whether the student received financial aid for those credits.

Western Nebraska Community College may approve an appeal if:

  • the College has determined the student will be able to meet SAP standards at the end of the subsequent term given the merits of the appeal and reasonable resolution of a student’s extenuating circumstance; or
  • the College and the student develop a plan that ensures the student is able to meet the College’s SAP standards by a specific time or that the plan takes the student to successful program completion.

Notification:

Students will be notified by the College of the outcome of their appeal. Under no circumstances can probation be assigned to a prior term. The College may notify students prior to the end of the term or prior to official posting of the financial aid SAP status if the student’s academic progress indicates they will be ineligible for aid at the end of the term. This includes students who withdraw from the term or fail to meet the terms of their conditional probation.

The College will set deadlines for SAP appeal submissions to allow for processing of the appeal and, if successful, for the processing of financial aid prior to the end of a term. The College may limit the number of SAP appeals that will be considered after review on a case-by-case basis of the student’s academic and appeal history.

Reinstatement of Aid

  1. Students who lose financial aid eligibility because they are not meeting the College’s SAP standards will regain eligibility when they are again meeting the qualitative and quantitative standards as set previously in this policy.
  2. Students may also regain eligibility through the appeal process.
  3. Upon successful reestablishment of eligibility, the student will be awarded financial aid based on the availability of funds at the time of reestablishment. Reinstatement will not be retroactive to a prior term of ineligibility.

Students may, or may not, receive all funds awarded prior to the loss of eligibility. Financial resources other than federal financial aid, including federal loans, must be used to pay for educational expenses during these terms.

Impact of Withdrawals on Financial Aid

Financial aid recipients who officially withdraw from all their classes or cease attendance without notifying the school may be required to repay a portion of the federal funds they received for that term if the amount to be returned exceeds the amount to be returned by the institution. This is determined on a pro-rata basis by multiplying the percentage of term not attended by the Title IV aid received. Federal regulations specify the calculation used to determine if and how much repayment is required.

The percentage (amount) of earned Title IV funds is calculated on a daily basis from the first day of classes. The process uses calendar days, including weekends. However, any break of five (5) days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term. The percentage of term completed equals the number of days completed divided by the total amount of Title IV funds disbursed or that could have been disbursed. If a student attended more than 60% of the term, no return of funds will be required, but the College will determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.

After the amount of Title IV aid to be returned is calculated, a determination of how much must be returned by the institution and how much must be returned by the student will be made. Federal regulations allow the institution to charge a student for any portion of federal funds returned on the student’s behalf. 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. Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  7. TEACH Grant

Any loan funds required to be returned must be repaid by the student in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. Any amount of unearned grant funds that must be returned is considered an over payment. The maximum amount of grant over payment is half of the grant funds received or scheduled to be received.

Any return of Title IV funds required by the student must be paid prior to receiving additional financial aid at WNCC or any other institution. Any funds returned by WNCC on the student’s behalf must be repaid by the student to WNCC prior to attempting to register for subsequent terms.

The requirements for Title IV program funds are separate from WNCC’s refund policy. Therefore, students may still owe funds to WNCC for unpaid institutional charges.

Complete details regarding this policy are available from the Financial Aid Office. The full Board of Governors’ policy (BP-502 Federal Title IV Funds) and Administrative Procedure (AP-502 Financial Aid: Return of Title IV Funds) can be viewed online at wncc.edu/about-wncc/leadership/board-of-governors/policies.

Transfer and Other Financial Aid

If a student transfers from one school to another, financial aid does not automatically transfer. The amount and type of aid offered by the new school may differ due to variations in the school’s cost of attendance, funding availability, and academic requirements. A transferring student should contact the Financial Aid Offices at both schools for the correct procedures, deadlines, and policies. Annual aid limits apply if a transferring student received federal student aid during the academic year at their previous institution. Official transcripts from all previous institutions attended must be submitted to WNCC’s Registrar prior to disbursement of federal aid to determine credits for Maximum Timeframe calculation.

Other Financial Resources

There are many websites containing tips and information about applying for financial aid. Live links to federal resources, private organizations that support higher education, free scholarship search engines, and other helpful resources can be found on the WNCC Financial Aid webpages.

Students are advised to be careful of scholarship scams and any online or phone request for Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers, or any other personal identification that could be used for identity theft. Contact the Financial Aid Office to check on scholarship or other aid legitimacy.

Enrollment

Academic Advising

Western Nebraska Community College strives to help students achieve their academic goals, and personal academic advising is an important part of this process. Career and academic advisers can assist students in identifying appropriate programs of study. They will also help students draft an academic plan outlining the courses needing to be completed to meet the requirements for graduation. This academic plan can be modified each semester based upon course offerings and student progress.

All new first-year students will meet with a professional advisor in the Student Success Center who will help plan the students’ first semester of classes at WNCC.After the first semester, the professional staff advisor remains part of a student’s success team but their role transitions to retention support and student success programming to assist the student throughout their time at the College.

Each student is also assigned a faculty advisor who has special training and experience in the student’s academic field of interest. Faculty advisors will help students plan their class schedules after the first semester and provide their advisees with ongoing information and assistance in meeting educational goals. The faculty advisors and professional staff advisors can also be of assistance to students in their efforts to achieve satisfactory academic progress and connect with other support resources on and off campus. Questions concerning work in a specific course should be discussed with the course instructor. The student’s faculty advisor can answer general questions on scheduling and planning the academic program at any time and particularly during registration advising sessions. The faculty advisor’s approval is required for all courses a student wants to take each semester. This approval is requested and granted through the Student Planning tool in WNCC ClassLink.

Together, professional and faculty advisors serve as the students’ partners during their time at WNCC. These advisors can also assist students who are considering changing their programs or who need information regarding transfer to other colleges.

Class Registration

Students are encouraged to register for courses as close to the opening day of registration as possible (early November for spring and summer classes and early April for fall classes) to ensure they stay on track with courses that align with their academic pathway. Students must register for classes prior to the start of the semester. Once classes begin, students are no longer eligible to register.

For degree-seeking students, registration is completed online through Student Planning available via ClassLink on MYWNCC. First semester students will work with a professional advisor to learn how to utilize Student

Planning and How the Registration Process Works

An initial academic plan geared toward a student’s specific program of study is built in Student Planning. From then on, students will meet with their faculty advisor to develop a plan for the next term’s courses. Students are required to meet with the faculty advisors at least once every semester (online, by phone, or in person) to check in before courses are approved for the next term. Once the faculty advisor approves courses each semester, students can login to ClassLink on MYWNCC, click on Student Planning, and click the blue “Register Now” button to register for classes.

To change an intended program of study and/or faculty advisor, students should contact the Student Success Center at pathways@wncc.edu or call 308.635.6000.

Waitlists

Students may choose to place themselves on a waitlist for a class that is at full capacity. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor their registration status, understanding that they may be automatically registered for the course if a spot becomes available or that they may have to pursue another course or section of a course if no spot becomes available.

Waitlists will be “frozen” one week before the class is scheduled to start so students should identify only open sections or courses to register for after that point. Students remaining on the waitlist after the course begins may pursue registration as outlined below.

Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Classes

Questions regarding adding, dropping, and withdrawing from a course or all courses should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.

While the policies for adding, dropping, and withdrawing from classes are the same for all students, dual-credit students will work with the CollegeNOW! Director on all changes in registration.

Adding a Class

After the start of the semester, students may add a class or classes prior to the second meeting of the class, regardless of the length of the term.

After the class has met for the second time, a student may add or be admitted to a class only with the instructor’s approval.

Students may not add a class after the census date for the term.  Census dates are published in the annual academic calendar, but usually occur on day 10 in the regular fall and spring semesters or day five (5) of an eight-week session.

A student is responsible for the tuition and fees assessed on all added courses.

Dropping a Class

Students may drop a course with no penalty (meaning the course will not appear on a student’s transcript) during the first 10-days of the semester or during the first five (5) days of an eight-week session. Tuition and fees are assessed on all courses added, and drops are refunded at 100%.

Prior to dropping a course, a student should consult with Financial Aid to discuss possible ramifications to federal aid or scholarship eligibility.

Withdrawing from Classes

A student enrolled in more than one course in a semester may withdraw from all but one course with a grade of “W” between the end of the drop period and before 60 percent of the term has expired. The Registrar will establish the last date for withdrawing from a class which is published in the academic calendar each year.

Students who wish to withdraw from a class during the withdrawal period may do so only by securing the instructor’s signature on the required form and completing the withdrawal procedure through the Registrar’s Office. Students withdrawing from a course will receive a grade of “W” on their transcript.

Students may or may not receive a refund when withdrawing from a course, depending on the percent of time expended (See “Refund Policy”). Federal financial aid is recalculated during this time and refunds may be owed. Students should be sure to contact the Financial Aid Office to understand the ramifications.

Students who cease to attend a course and fail to withdraw officially from it remain registered for the course and will receive a grade regardless of intent.

Prior to withdrawing from a course, a student should consult with Financial Aid to discuss possible ramifications to federal aid or scholarship eligibility.

Withdrawal from Online Courses

To drop an online course, students should download the Drop/Add form from the WNCC website, complete and sign it. In addition, students must e-mail the instructor with a request to drop. An explanation as to why the drop is needed is helpful. The instructor then responds to the student with a drop grade and the last date of attendance. The student should copy the instructor’s response and email their request, along with the drop form, to registrar@wncc.edu. Students may also fax this information to 308.635.6732 or mail it to the WNCC Registrar’s Office, 1601 E. 27th Street, Scottsbluff, NE 69361. The drop is processed according to the date when the student first contacted the instructor.

Summer and Eight-Week Classes

For eight-week classes during the regular or summer term, the official withdrawal period begins after the first five (5) days of the semester and ends when 60% of the class is expended.

Pro-rated drop and withdrawal dates for any classes of a duration different from regular or eight-week terms are determined by the Registrar and made available in the annual academic calendar.

Withdrawal from College

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from all classes from WNCC may do so by completing the following steps:

During the official withdrawal period (until 60% of the course time is completed):

  1. A student wishing to withdraw completely from the College before the end of the offical withdrawal period should fill out the WNCC Drop-Add Form available in the Registrar’s Office or by download from Office of the Registrar (wncc.edu). Each instructor needs to sign the form and provide a last date of attendance. In an emergency, staff from the Registrar’s Office can assist in contacting instructors. Charges for courses continue to accrue in accordance with the published WNCC refund policy until the completed withdrawal form is received in the Registrar’s Office.
  2. Students receiving financial aid must speak with a financial aid representative prior to withdrawing to understand the resulting implications. A complete withdrawal, whether official or unofficial, may result in a repayment obligation and/or loss of future eligibility
  3. Individuals receiving VA benefits need to contact the Veterans Upward Bound or Military/Veterans Affairs Office.

After the official withdrawal period (beyond the last official date to withdraw):

  1. A student may withdraw from the College after 60 percent of the term has expired only if the student has experienced a severe medical, emotional, or personal problem which directly impacts the student’s ability to fulfill course requirements. It cannot be used simply to avoid a series of failing grades.
  2. A student pursuing an official withdrawal from the College after the last day to withdraw from classes will fill out the “Request for Total Withdrawal after the Last Day to Drop” form available online or in the Registrar’s Office
  3. The Dean of Students and the Dean of Instruction or their designees must approve the withdrawal. If approved, the status of the classes is listed as a “W.” The instructors are notified that a total withdrawal was issued.
  4. Students receiving financial aid must speak with a financial aid representative prior to withdrawing to understand the resulting implications. A complete withdrawal, whether official or unofficial, may result in a repayment obligation and/or loss of future eligibility.
  5. Individuals receiving VA benefits need to contact the Veterans Upward Bound or Military/Veterans Affairs Office.

Tuition Refund Policy

Tuition refunds are based on the percent of course time that has elapsed. After the No Penalty Drop/Add Period ends, course fees are not subject to refund

Refund Time Elapsed (% of term) 16-Week Course 8-Week Course
100% 0% - 12.5% Day 10 Day 5
50% 12.6% - 18.75% Day 15 Day 7
25% 18.76% - 25% Day 20 Day 10
0% >25% Day 21 Day 11

Refunds for all other lengths of term are pro-rated (see Administrative Procedure 320.02–Refund of Tuition and Fees - Credit)

NOTES:

  • To be eligible for a refund, students must complete and submit a signed copy of the Drop/Add Form.
  • Military Note: Military individuals called to active duty are to submit their orders to the Registrar and the Military/Veterans Affairs Office.