Feb 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Tuition, Fees, Financial Aid


Tuition

Tuition

Semester Tuition and Fee Schedule

Tuition and Mandatory Fees vary based on a student’s residency status.

Approximate semester costs for the 2023-2024 academic year are shown below (for a full-time, in-district student with 14 to 18 credits):

Category Average Cost
Tuition $2,031
Mandatory Fees $785
Course/Lab Fees $140
Books/Supplies $575
TOTAL (approximate) $3,531
 

Category Descriptions:

  • Tuition is a set dollar amount per credit.
  • Mandatory Fees include the activity fee, building fee, equipment fee, grounds and maintenance fee, student health fee, and the technology fee. Details on these fees are given below.
  • Course/Lab Fees vary by course. These fees are for consumables such as materials, supplies, or access to software. Examples might be clay for ceramics, an access code for math, or chemicals in chemistry.
  • Books/Supplies include items the student purchases outside of class such as required textbooks, notebooks, paper, or calculators.
  • Program Fees vary by program and are used for program specific expenses. 

Mandatory Fees

These are fees applicable to all students. See the Tuition and Fee Schedule for the current fees.

Activity Fee

A per credit activity fee is administered by Student Government to support programs, services, and activities for FVCC students.  

Building Fee

A per credit building fee is assessed to maintain and improve existing facilities, to construct facilities, and to purchase new land or buildings.

Equipment Fee

A per credit equipment fee is assessed to assist FVCC in maintaining and updating instructional equipment.

Grounds and Maintenance Fee

A per credit grounds and maintenance fee is assessed for the purpose of maintaining and improving the campus grounds. This fee also assists in maintaining existing parking and constructing new parking areas.

Student Health Fee

A mandatory fee is assessed to maintain and operate the Student Health Clinic for students enrolled in six or more credits. 

Technology Fee

A per credit technology fee is assessed to off-set the cost of purchasing or leasing computer equipment, software, maintenance, or related items which benefit instructional programs.

Other Fees

These fees are applicable in specific circumstances, for example as related to a specific course or form of payment.

*See the Tuition and Fee Schedule for the current fees.

Calculator Rentals

Calculators may be rented for the semester at the FVCC Bookstore. Calculator rental fees are $10 per semester.

Late Fee

An overdue fee of $10 per day (capped at $100) will be assessed to a student’s account if not returned to the FVCC Bookstore by the due date. A hold will be placed on the borrower’s college account, rendering grades, transcripts and ability to register inaccessible until the balance has been paid.

Replacement Fee

A fee of $100 is added to a student’s account if the calculator is lost or damaged.

Transcript Fee

Transcript information is available at Request a Transcript. Official transcripts cost $10 each. Transcripts are not issued until all accounts with the college are in good standing. Students may print an unofficial transcript through the Student Portal.

Payment of Tuition and Fees

Payment 

Students can pay in full on the tuition due date. See the Academic Calendar  for specific dates. The Business Services Office accepts cash, personal checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Payments can also be made online via the Student Portal.

Deferred Payment

In the event an account is not paid in full by the tuition due date, students are automatically enrolled in a deferred payment plan. If an account balance is already covered in full by awarded financial aid, a third-party authorization, and/or scholarships, a deferred payment plan is not necessary. 

  • In case of default or delinquency in the payment of all or any part of a scheduled installment, a late charge of $25 shall be assessed against each late installment.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Grades and/or transcripts will not be released to students who have holds like unpaid library fines or outstanding balances.
  • Registration for subsequent semesters is blocked for students with unpaid balances.
  • Non-payment of tuition and fees will result in turning the account over for collections to the Montana Department of Revenue. Collection costs will be added to the balance.  Payment must be arranged with Montana Department of Revenue.

Release of Information

The Business Services Office will not release a student’s account information without written permission of the student, including Running Start students, according to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. Students may complete an Information Release Authorization at the Business Services Office which will permit the Business Services Office to discuss payment arrangements with parents, spouses, or others designated by the student.

It is assumed that if a student has an authorization for payment from a third party (a contractual agreement) the Business Services Office can discuss the student’s account with the payer.

Discounts and Waivers

Running Start

Classes taken as part of the Running Start program are offered at a reduced tuition. Payment and refund policies still apply. Eligible Montana high school Running Start students are granted a 6-credit tuition waiver. Classes taken as part of the Running Start program are limited to college-level classes numbered 100 or above. Contact the Running Start program director at eromain@fvcc.edu or (406) 756-3923 to ensure that classes taken are eligible to receive the waiver.

Senior Citizen Discount

The senior citizen discount is available to Flathead and Lincoln County in-district residents 65 years of age and older.

Tax Reporting

1098T Forms - FVCC will send a 1098T form to all eligible students. FVCC contracts with ECSI Heartland to prepare tax forms. Students can access forms online at tax information

Refunds

Refund of Tuition and Per Credit Fees

Refunds of tuition and fees are made according to the following guidelines:

  • Tuition and fees are refunded according to the refund policy.
  • Students must officially withdraw from their courses at the Admissions and Registration Office located in the Learning Resource Center building.
  • Failure to attend courses DOES NOT drop or withdraw a student from those courses.
  • When a student whose tuition and fees are paid under a third-party contractual agreement withdraws, the student is required to make full payment on the balance owed.
  • Refunds are calculated from the date of official withdrawal, not from the date the student stopped attending classes.
  • The college processes tuition and fee refunds after the third week of the semester.
  • Refunds are mailed to students’ addresses on file with the Business Services Office.
  • All existing debts such as library charges, calculator replacement, bookstore charges, and deferred payment plan balances, will be deducted from any refund due to the student.
  • Questions regarding refunds should be directed to the Accounts Receivable Specialist in the Business Services Office in BH 132 or call (406) 756-3802.
  • Students may stop by the Business Office from 4:30-5:00 on Fridays to pick up their refund checks if preferred.

Refund Schedule

The refund schedule presumes the account is paid in full at the time of registration. It is based on the total amount owed the college, not the amount paid. The refund schedule is date specific.

Refunds are calculated from the day the Course Add/Drop form is received in the Admissions and Registration Office. Students who do not officially withdraw owe full tuition and fees and may receive an “F” for a course. The length of a course determines which refund schedule applies when a student drops a course.

Note: Students may withdraw from courses until the 75% point of the course.

In order to prevent a dropped full-semester course from appearing on a student’s transcript, the course must be dropped by the end of the third week of the fall or spring semester. For summer semester, short- or late-starting courses, the course must be dropped by the end of its refund period.

Financial Aid students should refer to the withdrawal section in the catalog or the financial aid webpage.

Add/Drop/Refund Calculations:

Refer to the dates listed under the Academic Calendar  for specific refund dates.

Last day for Running Start students to drop classes and receive a 100% refund. Financial Aid census date. Last day to charge to financial aid in the bookstore. Last day to opt out of Inclusive Access books/access codes. 

Short classes run fewer than eight weeks. Short classes that do not begin in the first week of Session A, B or Full Semester must be dropped by the next business day after the start of class in order to receive a 100% refund. No refund will apply after this day. A “W” grade will be recorded if dropping a class after the refund period. See the refund policy in the academic catalog for classes that do not begin in the first week of the semester and last eight weeks or longer.

FVCC Bookstore:

  1)  Textbook Return: student receive a 100% refund within two weeks of purchase and 50% refund within three weeks of purchase.

  2)  Textbook Buy Back period is finals week and the week after finals.

  3)  Textbook Rentals are due week after finals.

Refund Information & Policy

Bookstore Information

Billing and statement questions: Business Services Office (406) 756-3831

Assistance with course add, drop or withdrawal: Admissions & Registration (406) 756-3846

Appeals

Appeals apply to tuition only. Appeals do not cover other fees and costs (i.e., student fees, non-refundable lab fees, other course fees, bookstore charges, etc.). Inadequate knowledge regarding the refund policy is not considered sufficient cause for student appeal.

Failure to attend DOES NOT withdraw a student from their courses, nor does it excuse them from their financial obligations to Flathead Valley Community College.

Students with third-party sponsors should communicate with their sponsor prior to making changes to their schedules. Sponsorship payment of tuition and fees may be withheld making the student responsible for payment to the college.

Appeals with the following reasons will not be approved:

  • Non-attendance/unexcused absences
  • Late registration/inability to perform in the classroom
  • Acceptance into another school
  • Lack of awareness about withdrawal or refund procedures and deadlines
  • Insufficient resources to pay tuition
  • Dissatisfaction with the course or lack of communication with the instructor (see Student Complaint Process)
  • Academic disputes between the student and the instructor (see Student Complaint Process)
  • Unpreparedness, including lack of prerequisites
  • Arrest or incarceration
  • Pre-existing medical condition that began prior to the semester being appealed
  • Disabilities not officially filed with the Disability Support Services or failure to observe the guidelines provided for academic success
  • Suspension or dismissal from the college for academic reasons or disciplinary reasons
  • Poor grades
  • Non-transferability of a course to another institution
  • Miscommunication with advisor/faculty about the mechanics of registering, degree requirements and/or withdrawing from classes (see Student Complaint Process)
  • Inaccurate or mistakes in scheduling, including Student Portal activities

Students wishing to appeal the refund policy may do so before the end of the term by submitting a Tuition Refund Appeal Form to the Business Services office. The college’s Financial Appeals Committee will then consider the appeal.

Financial Responsibility

Financial Liability

Unless a student officially withdraws from classes before the start of the semester, the student remains responsible for the balance owing on the account. The non-attendance of classes does not release the student from the obligations for the debt.

Students who receive financial aid and then withdraw may be liable for a repayment of funds to the college. They should consult with the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing.

Students receiving payment from a third party sponsor are responsible for the remaining balance of the account if they withdraw before fulfilling those contractual agreements. Students should check with their sponsor before withdrawing.

Financial Obligations

Students who owe FVCC money cannot register for the succeeding semester, secure transcripts, records, grades, diplomas, or degrees until the obligations are paid or satisfactorily adjusted through the Business Services Office.

Late Payment Fee

In case of default or delinquency in the payment of all or any part of a scheduled installment, a monthly late charge of $25 will be assessed against each late installment, up to $100.

Late Registration Fee

A $40 late registration fee is charged to each student registering or adding classes after the third week of the semester. For short- and late-starting classes, the fee will be charged if registering after the class has begun.

NSF Check

A $20 fee is charged for each non-sufficient fund check written to the college. All NSF checks are turned over to the Flathead County Treasurer for the cost of the check plus the additional fee assessed by the county. Holds are placed on student accounts for NSF checks, and the student cannot register or receive transcripts until this debt is satisfied at the Flathead County Treasurer’s office, located in the Accounting Department at 290A North Main Street.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Eligibility

  • A student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • A student must have a high school diploma or GED/HiSET.
  • A student may receive federal or state financial assistance only if he/she does not owe a repayment on federal financial aid previously awarded and is not in default on any federal loan previously received.
  • A student must be enrolled in a program leading toward a degree or certificate offered by FVCC.
  • A student must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP):
    1. A student must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average in previous coursework at FVCC and have successfully completed 67% of his/her attempted hours at FVCC.
    2. Degree requirements must be completed within a specific time frame. The maximum time frame for a program of study at FVCC is 150% of the program requirements (i.e. an AS degree requires 60 credits for graduation so maximum time frame would be 90 attempted credits). Hours earned at FVCC, as well as hours transferred and accepted by FVCC, are considered in this maximum time frame.
    3. For more detailed SAP information, please visit Financial Aid.

How to Apply

  • Complete the FVCC admission process for a degree or certificate program; and
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application can take three to four weeks to process, so early application is encouraged.

Students who submit their FAFSA by December 1 and provide all requested information within two weeks will be given first priority for Work Study funds and FSEOG as funding permits.

When To Apply

Students must apply for financial aid each academic year. Applications are available after October 1 for the following fall and should be submitted as soon as possible using the prior prior year tax information. Applications are processed in the order received.  Students are notified of their fall awards beginning in December.

Federal and State Aid

Flathead Valley Community College administers a variety of government financial assistance programs for degree-seeking students. Students are required to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine eligibility.

Federal Pell Grant

The value of this grant varies from year to year depending on Congressional appropriations. The projected maximum annual award is $7,395 for two semesters of full-time attendance. Full and part-time students are eligible. A student’s particular dollar amount depends on the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA and enrollment status term by term during the year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

This grant is awarded to students with the lowest EFCs who are also eligible for the Pell Grant. Full- and part-time students are eligible. Annual awards range from $200 to $500 on a first come, first served basis.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)

For students who are not Pell-eligible; who’s parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001; and who, at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death, were less than 24 years old or were enrolled at least part-time at an institution of higher education. The projected maximum annual award is $7,395 for two semesters of full-time attendance. Payment is adjusted for less-than-full-time study.

Work Study

Through part-time employment on campus, students who show financial need may earn a portion of their educational expenses. Ten to fifteen hours per week is the recommended work load. Students are paid a competitive wage and may gain experience in their career field.

Direct Stafford Loans

Eligible students registered in six or more credits may borrow up to $5,500/$6,500 per year. Additional eligibility may exist for independent students. Congress sets the rates annually and new interest rates go into effect on July 1 of each year. Visit Financial Aid for the current rates or contact the Financial Aid Office. Repayment of principal and interest begins six months after a student is no longer enrolled or drops below half-time attendance (six credits).

Direct Plus Loans

Eligible parents may borrow for their dependent undergraduate student(s) enrolled at least half-time. Congress sets the rates annually and new interest rates go into effect on July 1 of each year. Visit Financial Aid for the current rates or contact the Financial Aid Office.

In addition to the above programs, FVCC also works with third- party sponsors who provide payment. These include Job Service, Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana, Vocational Rehabilitation, Worker’s Comp, Head Start, various employers, and others. All sponsorship authorizations must be sent to the Financial Aid Office. Authorization letters must be received prior to the start of the semester.

Changes in Enrollment Status

Financial aid is awarded based on the student’s FAFSA application. Enrollment verification is completed after the census class day: 15th class day of fall and spring semesters; 10th class day of summer semester. Financial aid awards are adjusted based on the student’s current registration at the census class day. Any changes to enrollment after that date will not affect the value of a student’s award package, unless a student drops a course that has not started, or withdraws from all courses for that term.

Students who withdraw from classes after the 15th class day should review the eligibility section of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements to ensure they are maintaining the required academic standards.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements

Student Eligibility Notification

According to the US Department of Education regulations, all students enrolled in post-secondary education must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. These standards require, but are not limited to, attending classes, maintaining acceptable grades, completing a sufficient number of credit hours per semester, and completing the program of study within the maximum amount of allowable credits. A student who does not meet these standards is not eligible to receive federal and/or state funded financial aid. All semesters of attendance (Fall, Spring, and Summer) and all students are considered during SAP evaluation. Adherence to the standards indicated in this document will be necessary for continued financial aid eligibility.

New or returning students who have not previously received financial aid at FVCC will be notified of their status for aid eligibility after FVCC receives a copy of the student’s current FAFSA as well as transcripts from previous college(s) attendance. The FVCC Financial Aid Office will attempt to notify in writing any student currently receiving financial aid who is placed on Warning or Suspension status. This notice will be sent to the address and/or email that is listed on the FAFSA. However, failure to receive such notification does not relieve the student of the requirement to read, understand, and follow and the SAP standards for financial aid recipients.

Transfer Credits, Remedial Coursework, Repeat Coursework, Course Incompletes, and Withdrawals

For students new to FVCC, previous transfer coursework and transcripts are used in SAP calculation. The Grade Point Average (GPA) earned at previous institutions will not transfer to or merge with a student’s GPA at FVCC but will be evaluated according to the standards listed below, as though the student attended FVCC for the previous semester (i.e., if a student received a term/cumulative GPA of less than 2.00 their last semester at a previous institution, they will be evaluated as not meeting SAP standards). Only transfer credits from the student’s previous course of study that apply towards the student’s course of study at Flathead Valley Community College will count towards their Max Timeframe calculation.

Remedial or developmental coursework (i.e., courses below 100-level) must be evaluated in the same capacity as all other college courses with regards to meeting SAP Qualitative (GPA) requirements. However, remedial or developmental coursework will not be counted towards the Quantitative (Pace) standards of the SAP policy as attempted or completed credits.   

Federal Regulations allow a student to retake any previously passed course a maximum of once per course; students are eligible to repeat courses, in which they have previously received an “D-” grade or higher, one additional time utilizing federal and/or state aid. A student that has repeated a previously failed course and now completed the course with a “D-” or higher grade will be ineligible for further repeats of the course utilizing federal and/or state aid. Students that have previously withdrawn from or failed a course are allowed to repeat the course. If the student receives a grade of “D-” or higher for the course, they have utilized their one repeat of the course; if the student, on their second attempt, withdraws without receiving a grade or receives an “F” grade, they are allowed to repeat the course until they receive a passing grade or until they no longer are meeting SAP standards shown above. Furthermore, students that have received an initial grade sufficient for program progression will be deemed ineligible to utilize federal and/or state aid for additional repeats of the course. Students deemed ineligible to repeat the course must pay for the course utilizing their own funds, and the ineligible course will not be factored into financial aid credit evaluations (i.e., a student enrolled at 12 credits in which a 3-credit course is an ineligible repeat will only be evaluated as though they were enrolled in 9 credits). Only the highest grade for repeated courses will be evaluated in the Qualitative (GPA) component, while all attempts of the course will be evaluated in the Quantitative (Pace) component as “attempted”.

Course Incompletes and Withdrawals (I, W, WI, U, NG) are counted in the Quantitative (Pace) component for SAP evaluation as “attempted” courses. Students with Incomplete, “I”, courses will be evaluated for the Qualitative (GPA) component once a grade has been received.

SAP Monitoring

Students’ records are reviewed for Qualitative and Quantitative Measurement and MXT at the end of each semester.

Requirements for Financial Aid Recipients

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is determined by:

  • Qualitative Measurement (GPA)
    • The minimum term and/or cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be a 2.00 for all attempted hours
  • Quantitative Measurement (Credit Hours)
    • Students must complete attempted credits according to the following:
    • Minimum term and/or cumulative completion ratio of 67% (i.e., a student registers for 15 credits, they must complete a minimum of 11 credits to achieve a minimum completion ratio of 67%).
    • Course grades of I, W, WI, U, NG, and F are considered attempted and not completed.
    • Once a student successfully completes a class for which they received a grade of I or NG, the financial aid status can be reviewed and updated upon the student’s request.

Warning/Suspension Status

A student will be placed on financial aid Warning after their first instance of:

  • The term and/or cumulative GPA is less than the required 2.0 listed in the Qualitative Measurement section
  • The student has not successfully completed 67% of the term credits or the cumulative attempted credits.

A student placed on Warning status will be permitted to receive grants, scholarships, loans, and federal work-study during the Warning period. A financial aid Warning period will not last more than one semester. By the end of the Warning period, the student must meet all the SAP standards to return to good standing.

A student will be placed on financial aid Suspension after the Warning period if:

  • The cumulative GPA remains less than the 2.0 requirement.
  • The student still has not successfully completed the minimum 67% of the term or the cumulative attempted credits.

A student will be placed on immediate Suspension if the student receives a non-passing grade (I, W, WI, U, NG, and/or F) in all their courses for the semester.

A student placed on Suspension status will lose their eligibility to receive financial assistance. Students with a current FAFSA on file will receive a notice of their Warning/Suspension status. SAP standards are enforced even if a student did not previously receive financial aid. Students have the option to appeal their suspension if they have had extenuating circumstances for the specific term(s).

Appeal Options for Extenuating Circumstances

Students who have been suspended from financial aid may provide a written appeal if they have extenuating or mitigating circumstances that contributed to their inability to meet SAP standards.

Students may appeal for one of the following reasons:

  • The death of an immediate family member.
  • Severe injury or illness of the student that has caused hospitalization for an extended period of time.
  • Other extenuating circumstances which may include but are not limited to:
    • Severe illness of a relative for whom the student has custodial responsibility.
    • Emergency situations such as fire or flood.
    • Military reassignment, required job shift change, or job transfer that prevented the student from completing a semester.
    • Separation or divorce.

To apply for an Appeal, the student must complete the SAP appeal form and provide a written statement that explains why they did not make satisfactory academic progress the last semester or what led them to withdraw from all their classes.

Statement Requirements:

Please answer both questions in your appeal, otherwise your appeal may be subject to denial without consideration:

  • Why did you not make SAP or withdraw from all your classes the last semester?
  • What has changed since then that will allow you to successfully meet and demonstrate SAP standards moving forward?

Appeals for situations within the last three (3) years must be accompanied by supporting documents and be submitted to the Financial Aid Office, which will submit the appeal to the Appeals Committee. The Appeal Committee may request further documentation if they so choose. Your appeal may be tabled until you provide the requested documentation.

Second appeals are required to have more rigorous documentation than first appeals. You may be instructed as to the nature of the documentation required for a second appeal. Review of an appeal for a current semester requires that the appeal be received by the committee prior to the last appeal date during the semester:

Appeal Deadlines are:

Fall Semester - November 1

Spring Semester - April 1

Summer Semester - July 1

The Appeals Committee may take up to four (4) weeks to reach a decision regarding your appeal. The decision of the Appeals Committee cannot be appealed. You will be contacted by mail and/or phone as to the decision of the Committee once one has been reached with further steps.

Academic Plans

Students that receive an approved SAP appeal and after the subsequent semester will still not meet the Qualitative (GPA) or Quantitative (Pace) components will be placed on a Financial Aid Academic Plan. This Academic Plan will require students meet with their Academic Advisor once per Academic Year and submit to the Financial Aid Office their proposed attendance credit load for each semester in the Academic Year (Fall, Spring, Summer). Students will then be required to sign a copy of the Academic Plan before their funds may be disbursed. 

Academic Plans will be evaluated at the end of each semester during official SAP Monitoring. Students that fail to meet SAP standards, but meet the standards of the Academic Plan, will continue to receive funding as though they were in good standing; students that fail to meet SAP standards and fail to meet the standards of the Academic Plan will be placed on Suspension status.

Maximum Timeframe (MXT)

Degree requirements must be completed within a specific number of credits. The MXT (number of credits allowed) for a program of study is 150% of the program requirements (e.g., an AS degree requiring 60 credits for graduation has a maximum timeframe of 90 attempted credits). Hours attempted at FVCC, as well as hours transferred and accepted by FVCC, are included in the MXT calculation so long as the hours transferred are accepted towards that program of study. Hours attempted at FVCC, as well as hours transferred and accepted by FVCC, that are not transferred directly into your program of study are not included in this calculation. 

Any student who has exceeded the MXT limit and/or who cannot finish the program within this period will be considered ineligible for financial aid.

FVCC understands that students may change their educational goals and programs of study and/or additional education is often needed to enhance career opportunities. Students are allowed to change their major a maximum of two times during their attendance. Should a student desire to change their major a third time, these students may complete a written appeal for re-evaluation of their status. 

MXT Warning/Suspension

Students who have been approved for a MXT extension will only have their approved courses funded one additional time. Students on a MXT extension that do not earn at least a 2.0 GPA or who completes 50% or less of attempted credits per term will go on MXT Suspension. If a student would like to submit a second appeal they may do so, but rigorous documentation will be required documenting events outside of the student’s control. 

Students who meet the 2.0 GPA for the term but do not complete all their courses will go on MXT Warning if they complete at least 51% or more of their attempted credits. Repeat courses are evaluated as stated under repeat courses.

Students Seeking Additional Degrees/Certificates

There are lifetime Federal limits on Title IV funding available to undergraduate students. These limits guide and inform students on their ability to finance post-secondary education. Students who wish to earn more than one associate degree and/or certificate with financial aid funding can do so, if they meet several factors. They must ensure they are not approaching and/or have meet their undergraduate Loan or Pell aggregate limits and can complete their degree within 150% credits attempted towards their program of study. Previous attempted and completed credits will count towards this limit so long as they transfer towards the proposed program of study. Credits that do not count towards the program are not factored into this calculation. 

Students that have already earned a bachelor’s degree have limited eligibility for financial aid as they no longer qualify for Pell grants (regardless of whether they received financial aid while pursuing their bachelor’s degree). Given the extensive credits received during a bachelor’s degree, it is likely that student’s that have earned a degree previously may be required to submit a Maximum Time-Frame appeal. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval for funds towards your degree.

Reinstatement

A student who has been suspended from financial aid for academic reasons and has not had an appeal approved may be eligible for reinstatement if they attend and pay for classes at their own expense and now meet the required SAP standards. While it is the student’s responsibility to inform the Financial Aid Office that they are now up to standards, the student’s file will be processed accordingly if the college discovers that the standards have been met.

If/when a student has been reinstated, they are eligible for financial aid. However, if the student then subsequently drops below SAP standards again, they will be placed evaluated according to requirements outlined above.  

Financial Aid Refunds

If students receive more financial aid than their direct institutional costs, the college will issue a refund check about a month into the semester.

In some circumstances, students who are registered in late-starting classes may have their refund check reduced or held until they are in attendance in the late-starting courses and have passed the refund period for those courses.

Withdrawal/Return of Title IV Funds

Financial Aid students who desire to officially withdraw from all classes must visit with the Director of Financial Aid at FVCC prior to starting the withdrawal process. The Director will explain the consequences of withdrawal to the student and explore possible alternatives that would preserve the student’s eligibility for continued aid. An official withdrawal is complete when the student fills out a withdrawal form, has all the necessary signatures, and turns the form into the Admission Office for processing.

For a student who officially withdraws, the withdrawal date is the earlier of the date they began the withdrawal process or last attended classes. For a student who didn’t officially withdraw (Unofficial Withdrawal), meaning that they stopped attending their classes without notification, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance as reported by the instructor, or the 50% point of the semester.

The FVCC Financial Aid Office determines the amount of aid ‘earned’ by the student for a term using a federal formula known as Return of Title IV (R2T4) funds. The R2T4 calculation is done if the student withdraws (officially or unofficially) from a term and had received or may receive federal financial assistance in the form of a Federal Pell Grant, Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized), or Federal Parent PLUS loans.

The percentage of aid to be earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed in the semester divided by the number of calendar days in the semester. Scheduled breaks of more than 5 consecutive days within a semester are excluded. The resulting percentage is then used along with the student’s school costs and total federal funds the student received (funds that were disbursed directly to the student’s bill and possibly refunded) or that the student was eligible to receive, to determine the amount of aid that they earned. If this percentage is greater than 60% it is not necessary to return funds. However, if it is less then 60%, the amount of funds not earned will be returned in the following order.

The order in which the aid must be returned is as follows:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

If a student earned more federal aid than was previously disbursed to them at the time of withdrawal, they may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement (PWD).  In the event of this, FVCC Financial Aid Office will process the disbursement and a refund will be issued within 14 days of the credit balance.

FVCC will disburse any Title IV grant funds a student is due as part of a post-withdrawal disbursement within 45 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew and disburse any loan funds a student accepts within 180 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew. The student or parent may choose to decline any portion of the loan, or the entire loan altogether. 

If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loans, FVCC will send notification to the student or parent (in the event of a Plus loan), within 30 days of the date the FVCC determined the student withdrew. The student or parent (in the event of a Plus Loan) has 14 days to respond to give permission to disburse a federal loan.

Depending on when the student withdrew or it was determined the student withdrew from all classes it may result in an amount returned that exceeds the school’s portion. In this event the student is required to repay some funds. The student/parent will still be required to repay any loans used in accordance with the Master Promissory Note that was signed.

Title IV Grants funds are repaid if the amount by which the original overpayment exceeds 50% of the total Title IV grant funds disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student for the semester. If the amount is less than $50.00, the student is not responsible for returning funds to Title IV grant programs.

FVCC may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees.  However, the school needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges.  If the student does not give permission, the student will be offered the funds, however, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce the student’s debt at the school. 

It is also important to understand that accepting any post-withdrawal disbursement can reduce the amount of grant eligibility for future use, or increase the student’s loan debt.

Scholarships

Flathead Valley Community College offers numerous need-based and merit-based institutional and privately funded scholarships. To qualify for need-based scholarships, students must have applied for financial aid by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application at studentaid.gov and demonstrate financial need. Merit-based scholarships are based on grade point average, academic standing, program of study, or activities.

Applications are completed online. Scholarship information and the online application can be found online at scholarships. Scholarship deadlines exist throughout the calendar year; however, for priority consideration apply by February 15 for the following academic year. The award process and regulations are subject to change. In addition, outside scholarship opportunities are published in “The Privy Press” and “Timber Alerts” as they become available.

Veterans Benefits

Veterans

The Veterans Center assists veterans in enrolling at FVCC, applying for educational benefits, contacting the Veterans Administration when benefits payments are delayed, securing tutorial assistance, and arranging transfer to other institutions so that payment of educational benefits will not be unnecessarily interrupted.

How to Apply

Applications for veterans’ educational benefits should be initiated through Financial Aid or by calling (406) 756-3849. Student can also apply for their veteran’s benefits at VA.gov under the education tab. Veterans should be prepared to provide a certified copy of their DD-214 and/or DD Form 2384 (notice of basic eligibility) and the Certificate of Elgibility along with some personal history. To receive advance payment, students are required to have a complete admissions file and to contact the school certifying official at FVCC at least 90 days in advance of the semester for which they plan to register.

Eligibility

  • All degree and certificate programs offered at FVCC are approved for benefits under the current GI Bills®.
  • Widows and children of veterans who died of service-connected disabilities or who have total and permanent service-connected disabilities may be eligible for Chapter 35 educational benefits or the Fry Scholarship.
  • The Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty Educational Assistance Program, Chapter 30 - may provide benefits for individuals who first entered on active duty after July 1, 1985.
  • The Montgomery GI Bill, Chapter 1606 - Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program (including National Guard) provides benefits for individuals who enlist, extend, or reenlist for at least six years after July 1, 1985. Those individuals are required to have completed an initial active duty for training.
  • The Ronald Reagan National Defense Authorization Act established Chapter 1607 - Department of Defense Educational Program to provide educational assistance to members of the reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operations) as declared by the President or Congress. This program is being “sunsetted” by the VA as of 11/14/2016.
  • The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 or “New GI Bill” provides benefits for veterans who have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after September 10, 2001 and are still on active duty, or who are honorably discharged, or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.  Veterans with eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and any other GI Bill program must make an irrevocable election of the Post-9/11 GI Bill before receiving any benefits.  The Post-9/11 GI Bill has two specific components that are unavailable in other GI Bill programs: Yellow Ribbon Program and Transfer of Entitlement Options.
  • Although most veterans have 10 years from their date of discharge to use their VA educational benefits, the “New GI Bill” allows 15 years if the date of separation was prior to January 1, 2013. 
  • Forever GI Bill - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act has eliminated the15-year deliminating date for veterans whose discharge from active duty was on or after January 1, 2013.

(GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at GI Bill.)

Benefits Requirements

Rates of benefits vary. For the most recent information on all VA educational programs, visit the VA website at GI Bill or call toll free 1-888-442-4551.

All veterans and eligible individuals receiving subsistence allowances under the GI Bill® are required to promptly report any changes that may affect the amount of money being received to the Veterans Affairs Office. Students are required to report when they drop courses, withdraw from school, change marital status, or stop attending classes for any reason. Students are not only expected to achieve satisfactory progress but to regularly pursue goals and attend classes.

The repeat of a course for a grade of A, B, C, D, or S will not count toward the required minimum credit hours. However, if the first grade earned was an F, the course may be repeated for veteran’s credit. Veterans educational benefits will not pay for audited classes, course challenges, or unsatisfactory grades.

Students receiving Veterans educational benefits will be placed on academic probation any time their cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0.

A student on probation will be required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor before starting the next semester to discuss academic goals and barriers and ways to achieve the goals. A review of the academic assistance available at FVCC and the development of a plan to assist individuals in achieving academic goals will also take place.

A student who fails to improve his/her GPA each term while on academic probation will have two options: academic suspension for a period of no less than one year or agree to a plan of extensive remediation developed by the college. If remediation is unsuccessful or if a student fails to comply with the prescribed plan, he/ she will be suspended immediately for no less than one year. A student reinstated after being on academic suspension will be required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor prior to registering each semester.

Once a student’s cumulative GPA improves to a 2.0 or better, he/ she will be removed from academic probation or suspension status and will no longer be required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor.

FVCC will be participating in the Yellow Ribbon program for Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill during the 2023/2024 academic year. Visit GI Bill for more information about the Yellow Ribbon Program.

VA laws are subject to change without notice. Students should visit the GI Bill® website for the most updated information: GI Bill.

Section 702 of Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 allows a “covered individual” to be charged at the in-state tuition rate.  A “covered individual” is a veteran, individual using transferred benefits, or individual using benefits under the Fry Scholarship who enrolls in school within three years of discharge or death in the line of duty of a service member following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.  Students maintain covered individual status as long as they are using Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) or MGIB-AD (Chapter 30) benefits and remain continuously enrolled at the SAME public university.

Effective for courses or terms beginning after March 1, 2019, VA Veteran Readiness and Employment - Chapter 31 participants must be charged the resident rate.  

FVCC abides by Section 103 of the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018.  Our educational policy ensures that no penalty will be imposed including: 1) the assessment of late fees; 2) the denial of access to classes; 3) the denial of access to libraries or other institutional facilities and/or 4) the requirements that a Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 recipient borrow additional funds to cover the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to a delayed disbursement of payment by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

(GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at GI Bill)