Telephone (203) 285-2030
Gateway Community College is committed to providing access to higher education by minimizing economic barriers. The College provides several options for financial aid, including state and federal grants, scholarships, student loans, and the federal work-study program. Awards may come from one or any combination of the four preceding sources as determined by federal and local eligibility guidelines. Financial need, academic performance, and resources available to the student are all considered in determining final eligibility.
Students must have a high school diploma or a GED, be enrolled in an approved degree or one-year certificate program, and must maintain “satisfactory academic progress” as described in the Academic Policies and Procedures section.
Policies and regulations instituted by Title IV, Student Financial Aid Programs, and Gateway Community College require that a student’s academic progress be monitored and measured to determine continuing financial aid eligibility. To maintain eligibility for financial aid, students must sustain Satisfactory Academic Progress (for additional information, please see the Student Handbook).
All financial aid awards are predicated upon available funds and subject to revision by the Financial Aid Office upon change in enrollment status, additional resources, scholarships, and/or lack of completion of necessary information to determine eligibility. All awards are based upon a student’s enrollment status at the end of the add/drop period. Financial aid is disbursed twice per academic year: the first disbursement occurs during the fall semester and the second disbursement during the spring semester.
All students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to establish eligibility. Students may complete this form via the web application at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov (school code 006981). Upon receipt, the Financial Aid Office may request additional documentation to verify the authenticity of your application. Additional information may be found via emailor mycommnet.edu .
All males between ages 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service System to be eligible for Title IV, Student Financial Aid (http://www.sss.gov) Males that do not fit this criteria must stop by the Financial Aid Office, N215.
Types of Financial Aid
Federal Pell Grant Program
The Federal Pell Grant Program provides awards up to $6,095 and is a need-based grant for low-income undergraduates. Post-baccalaureate students may qualify if applicable. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) (see below); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less. Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant for two or more schools during the same semester/academic year.
Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to determine the family EFC. The fundamental elements in this standard formula are the student’s income (and assets if the student is independent), the parents’ income and assets (if the student is dependent), the family’s household size, and the number of family members (excluding parents) attending postsecondary institutions. The EFC is the sum of: (1) a percentage of net income (remaining income after subtracting allowances for basic living expenses and taxes) and (2) a percentage of net assets (assets remaining after subtracting an asset protection allowance). Different assessment rates and allowances are used for dependent students, independent students without dependents, and independent students with dependents. After filing a FAFSA, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR) via regular mail or email, which notifies the student if he or she is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, provides the student’s EFC, and may request changes to be made to the application for accurate processing.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The FSEOG Program provides need-based grants up to $4,000. Financial Aid administrators at participating institutions have substantial flexibility in determining the amount of FSEOG awards to provide students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment. Priority is given to those students with “exceptional need” (those with the lowest EFCs at the institution) and those who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients.
Federal Work-Study Program
This program is need based and provides jobs for students who receive financial aid. Its purpose is to provide funds, job experience, and assist students to build their resume. to allow employers to hire enrolled students. This part-time employment will be on the College campus. It is a first-come/first-served program. Students must be in good academic standing with a minimum of 6 credits per semester. Students may work a maximum of 15 hours per week while attending classes. If funds are available, eligible students may work a maximum of 25 hours during certain times throughout the academic year. Students interested in this program should contact the Financial Aid Office.
Federal Direct Loan Program
These fixed-rate loans, guaranteed by the federal government, are available to students who apply for financial aid using the FAFSA. The application process must be initiated through the Financial Aid Office. Payment on the principal is not required until 6 months after the student stops attending school, or fall below (six credits) half-time. There are two types:
Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
Subsidized Stafford Loans are need-based loans. The government will pay the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) and during other authorized periods called “deferments”. The interest rate on this type of loan is fixed, for more information on loan rates please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates
Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available to students who do not qualify for need-base loans, or who qualify for less than the annual maximum of Subsidized Stafford Loan. The government does not pay the interest to the lender; the student can choose to either pay the interest while in school, or have the interest added to the loan principal to be repaid later. The interest rate on this type of loan is fixed, for more information on loan rates please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates.
Loan Origination Fees
The Department of Education charge loan origination fees, which will be deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. Revenue from these fees help reduce the government’s cost of providing these loans.
Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Program
This scholarship program is a need and merit based award that provides awards up to $4,650 a year for full-time attendance in a 2-year program of study. CT residents who are a high school senior or graduate with a high school junior year class rank of 20% or better and/or SAT scores of at least 1210 or ACT score of at least 27 would qualify. Also, Connecticut residents who attend a CT public or non-profit private college may also qualify for up to $4,500 for full-time study in a 2-year program of study.
Gateway Community College Grants
These funds are allocated to the College by the State of Connecticut and are awarded based on financial need and availability of funds. Grants are provided up to $5,200 for students that are registered for at least six credits minimum.
Connecticut Aid to Public College Students
These funds are allocated to the College by the State of Connecticut and are awarded based on financial need and available funds.
Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws
Gateway Community College offers the following Title IV programs that are referred to when a student withdraws during a semester: Federal Pell Grants, Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educations Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs).
Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each period, you earn the funds as you complete the period. If you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment (fall, spring, or summer), the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or Gateway or your parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.
The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you complete 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earned 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earned all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, your school must get permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. Your school may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with Gateway). Gateway needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give your permission (some schools ask for this when you enroll), you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
There are some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you have not completed the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not receive any Direct Loan funds that you would have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.
If you receive (or Gateway or your parent receive on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, Gateway must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
- Gateway charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
- the entire amount of excess funds.
Gateway must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.
If Gateway is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount.
Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a Direct PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that Gateway may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. Gateway may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you don’t already know Gateway’s refund policy, you should ask the Financial Aid Office for a copy. Gateway’s Registrar Office can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.
If you have any questions regarding treatment of your financial aid funds after you withdraw, you may call the Gateway Office of Student Financial Aid at (203) 285-2030.
Order of Return of Student Financial Aid Program Funds
Funds credited to outstanding loan balances for the repayment period of enrollment for which a return of funds is required, must be returned in the following order (not to exceed the original enrollment from each source):
- Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (other than PLUS loans)
- Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
- Federal Pell Grants for the payment period which a return of funds is required
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) for the payment period due which a return of funds is required.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Student Financial Aid Recipients
A student receiving Federal Title IV financial aid or other financial aid directly administered or certified by the college must maintain satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of a certificate or degree program of study. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients is measured by using a quantitative and qualitative standard and is an assessment of a student’s cumulative academic record at the college.
To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), students must meet the criteria based on attempted credits (see chart below). All attempted credits resulting in either an academic grade or administrative transcript notation will be included in the quantitative calculation. Incomplete courses, course withdrawals, course repetitions, noncredit remedial courses (with appropriate credit equivalency evaluation), and ESL courses will also be included in this assessment. Transfer credits will be counted as both attempted and earned credits in the calculation for determining satisfactory academic progress.
A student must also maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average (qualitative standard) as noted below in order to be making satisfactory academic progress and be eligible to receive financial aid.
||Minimum % Pace
||0 - 11.99
||Minimum % Pace
||0 - 11.99
||12 - 30.99
||31 - 49.99
||50 - 59.99
A student’s cumulative academic history will be evaluated at the end of each enrollment period and prior to the subsequent term’s financial aid disbursement. This policy will be used to evaluate all students; regardless of their enrollment level.
Maximum Credit Hours
A student may receive financial aid for any attempted credits in his/her program of study that do not exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s educational program at the college. For example, a student enrolled in a 60-credit degree program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 attempted credit hours. Similarly, a student enrolled in a 30-credit certificate program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours. Any attempted credits at the college must be included in the calculation. The 150% maximum credit hours rule is applicable to students who change majors or who pursue a double major.
Financial aid recipients are limited to one repetition of a previously passed course in their program of study. A second repetition of a previously passed course will not be eligible for financial aid payment. Audit courses are not financial aid eligible.
Financial Aid Warning
Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. The Warning period will be the student’s next semester or period of enrollment at the college. The college will communicate the Warning status to the student and inform the student that s/he must meet the academic progress standard by the end of the subsequent enrollment period in order to maintain eligibility to participate in the financial aid programs at the college. Students can access information at my.commnet.edu.
The Financial Aid Office will adjust any monetary award during the add/drop period if credits are adjusted. If you choose to drop a class(es), the financial aid will adjust and there may be a financial penalty. The student will be required to pay any balance to the Bursar’s Office.
Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard at the end of the Warning period will become ineligible from the financial aid programs at the college. The college will communicate the Termination status to the student and inform the student of the available Reinstatement and Appeal Process.
A student’s financial aid eligibility will be automatically reinstated at such time as the student meets the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard. Reinstatement to the financial aid programs allow students to reapply or reactivate already approved funding (see Appeal Process below).
Financial Aid Probation
Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of the Warning period will become ineligible from the financial aid programs at the college. Ineligible students have the opportunity to file an appeal regarding their termination from the financial aid programs. Students that have failed the academic progress standard and have been approved with a successful appeal will be considered on Financial Aid Probation.
A student may request consideration for reinstatement to the financial aid programs through the following Appeal Process:
- If the student feels his/her failure to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard was the result of an unusual or extraordinary situation that affected successful progression, the student may appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Some personal mitigating circumstances could include illness or injury of the student or dependent of the student; a death in the family; or other undue hardship as the result of special circumstances. An appeal form is available in the Financial Aid Office.
- The student must: 1) explain the extenuating circumstances causing the non-compliance; 2) substantiate it with third party documentation, (i.e. letter from the doctor who treated the student); and 3) give a detailed explanation of specifically what has changed that will allow satisfactory progress to be demonstrated at the next evaluation.
- Should an appeal be approved and the student is not mathematically able to return to satisfactory academic progress at the conclusion of subsequent enrollment period, a Financial Aid Administrator will devise and appropriate academic plan for the upcoming semester with the student. For example the terms of an academic plan may be as follows:
- Register and successfully complete all credits with a minimum term GPA of 2.0 or better.
- At the end of the semester, grades will be evaluated. If the student has met the required terms of the academic plan, the student may continue to receive financial aid the following semester. If the student fails to meet the terms of the academic plan in any subsequent semester, the student will become ineligible to participate in the financial aid programs until the student is able to once again meet the minimum requirements for academic progress. The student’s progress will continue to be monitored at the end of each semester with the same terms in place until the student is in compliance with Connecticut Community Colleges’ satisfactory academic progress policy.
Financial aid students must complete all grades of Incomplete (I) prior to the beginning of the subsequent semester or their account will be put on a financial Aid Hold. Eligibility for continued financial aid will be determined only after the receipt of grades.
Withdrawal from School
In general, if a recipient of the Student Financial Aid Assistance program withdraws from a school during a payment period or during a period of enrollment in which the recipient began attendance, the school must calculate the amount of federal funds the student did not earn. Those funds must be returned (see Return of Title IV Funds ).
If the school determines that a student did not begin the withdrawal process or otherwise notify the school of the intent to withdraw due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other circumstances beyond the student’s control, the school may determine the appropriate withdrawal date.
If the student registers for classes but never attends, the student is responsible for all charges incurred.
Scholarships are available through the Gateway Community College Foundation, Inc., which was formed to assist the College in expanding its services to students and enhancing academic instruction.
The Foundation awards and administers various scholarships in compliance with the policies of its board of directors or at the request of the benefactor. Scholarships are awarded each spring semester to students for use in the following academic year. The GCC Foundation scholarship application is made available online during the spring semester beginning in February. Students can visit gatewayct.academicworks.com to see the list of scholarships available and sign in to apply. For more information, call (203) 285-2617.
Scholarships are available for all students including program-specific scholarships in the Engineering Technology programs, health care and sciences.
NewAlliance Foundation, through a generous endowed gift, has established NewAlliance Fellows to be awarded to the two students with the highest GPA accepted into an Allied Health program and into the Nursing program. Awards will cover tuition and fees for the fall and spring semesters following selection.
Scholarship awards are subject to change.