The Financial Aid Office helps improve college affordability for students by expanding access to and information about financial resources.
Financial Aid Eligibility
In general, students must meet the following criteria to qualify for financial aid:
- Demonstrate financial need as determined by the Department of Education through completing the FAFSA
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen.
- Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
- Male applicants between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered with Selective.
- Be admitted to Clark College as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program.
- Not be in default on a federal loan or owe an overpayment on a federal grant.
- For state aid, not owe a repayment of a state grant or loan.
- Have a high school diploma or GED.
- Students without a high school diploma or GED may qualify through Ability to Benefit.
- Meet satisfactory academic progress.
- Agree to use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
Types of Financial Aid Available
Financial aid includes grants, tuition waivers, work study, and student loans. Funds are awarded according to the Clark College Financial Aid Packaging Policy. The financial aid programs available to students at Clark College include:
- Federal Pell Grant: Awarded based on financial need. Students may receive the Pell Grant for a maximum of four (4) full-time (12 credits or more) terms per academic year. The grant is prorated for less than full-time enrollment. Eligibility is limited to a lifetime maximum of 18 full-time terms.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: Awarded based on financial need. The grant is available to students enrolled in six (6) credits or more per term.
- Washington State Need Grant: Awarded to eligible Washington State residents up to the cost of tuition. The grant is prorated for less than full-time enrollment. Students may also receive funding to cover a small portion of child care expenses. Information is available online at www.wsac.wa.gov.
- College Bound Scholarship: Awarded in combination with other state financial aid to cover the average cost of tuition, fees, and a partial book allowance. The scholarship is available to students who sign up in the seventh or eighth grade and meet specific eligibility requirements. Information is available online at www.wsac.wa.gov.
- Clark College Grants and Waivers: Clark College reserves a percentage of tuition revenue and offers these funds to Washington State resident students in the form of institutional grants and tuition waivers. Clark College offers the following institutional grants and waivers:
- Clark College Grants and Need-Based Tuition Waiver: May only be awarded to reduce the cost of tuition, and cannot be applied toward fees or disbursed directly to the student. Student athletes receiving an Athletic Tuition Waiver are not eligible to receive this additional waiver.
- Clark College Non-Need Based Tuition Waiver: May only be awarded to reduce the cost of tuition, and cannot be applied toward fees or disbursed directly to the student.
- Federal and State Work Study: Awarded to Washington State residents based on financial need. Funds are earned through employment on and off campus. Students must be enrolled in six (6) or more credits per term.
- Federal Direct Loans: Federal Direct loans are borrowed funds that students must repay with interest. A federal student loan allows students to borrow money to help pay for college through loan programs supported by the federal government. They have low interest rates and offer flexible repayment terms, benefits, and options. All students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who are eligible for a loan, will have an offer included in their award letter.
- There are two types of federal student loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Students who are eligible for a subsidized loan are not charged interest while they remain in school. Interest starts accruing on subsidized loans after a student leaves school. With an unsubsidized loan, interest starts accruing at the time loan funds are disbursed. Students can choose to make interest payments while in school or delay interest payments until after they leave school.
Loan Disbursement Holds:
- Students who are first time borrowers are limited on the maximum period of time they can receive subsidized loans. Eligibility is limited to 150% of the length of the student’s program of study. Additional information about subsidized loan limitations is available at http://www.clark.edu/enroll/paying-for-college/loans/index.php
- New students borrowing a loan for the first time receive their first loan disbursement on the 31st day of the term. If the disbursement date falls on a weekend or holiday, the disbursement will be available on the following business day.
- All students borrowing a loan for a single quarter will receive their disbursements in two installments. The first disbursement will be on the 1st day of the term and the second at the mid-point of the term. If the disbursement dates fall on a weekend or holiday, the disbursement will be available on the following business day.
The annual application process begins by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available starting October 1. Completing the FAFSA is the first step of the application process. Additional documents will be requested by the Financial Aid Office via student email. A student’s financial aid file is considered complete and ready for processing when all requested documents are received by the Financial Aid Office. For priority processing, students planning to attend summer and/or fall term 2018 should complete their financial aid file by May 3, 2018. Priority processing dates for winter 2019 is November 15, 2018 and spring 2019 is March 7, 2019.
Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA)
Eligibility for Washington State financial aid has been expanded to include students who are ineligible for federal financial aid due to immigration status. DREAMers should complete the WASFA online at www.readysetgrad.org/WASFA. Students who qualify may be eligible for state grant aid and work study.
Financial Aid Awards and Disbursements
The Clark College Financial Aid Office processes the student’s financial aid file and determines eligibility for grants, work study, and loans. Students are notified of their eligibility with an award letter sent to their student email account. All grants and tuition waivers included on the award letter are based on full-time (12 credits or more) enrollment. Grants and tuition waivers are prorated down prior to the start of the term for less than full-time enrollment. Loans and work study included on the award letter are offers and require additional application steps.
All financial aid awards are automatically applied toward tuition and fees. If the financial aid award is not sufficient to pay tuition and fees in full, the student is responsible for the remaining balance. If the financial aid award exceeds the cost of tuition and fees, the student will receive a disbursement. With the exception of summer term, financial aid disbursements are generally issued one (1) to two (2) business days before the start of the term. To avoid delays in financial aid disbursements, students should finalize their academic schedule at least one week before the start of the term.
BankMobile Refund Selection Kit
Through a partnership with BankMobile, Refund Selection Kits are issued to all Clark College students who apply for financial aid. The kits are mailed by BankMobile to students after they complete their financial aid file. Students should visit their refund website after receiving their kit to choose how they wish to receive their disbursements each term. Students can choose to have their disbursements deposited into an existing bank account, directly deposited into a BankMobile Vibe account offered by BankMobile, or mailed as a paper check. Additional information about the BankMobile Refund Selection Kit is available online at www.clark.edu/cc/finaid.
Enrollment level is the range of credits that a student is registered for and correlates with the level of funding.
A student’s enrollment level for the term is established at the time the funds are sent to Customers Bank for disbursement. On the census date, fifth day of the term, the student’s enrollment level is confirmed and compared to the original enrollment level. No funding adjustments can be made after the census date.
Increasing Enrollment Level (Adding Credits)
If a student adds classes during the first week of the term the Financial Aid Office will recalculate the student’s financial aid awards. If there are additional funds to disburse, they will be released through the student’s Customer’s Bank option.
Decreasing Enrollment Level (Dropping Credits)
If a student drops to a lower enrollment level after their refund disbursement is released to Customers Bank, the student will be billed based on their change in enrollment. Money owed is identified as a Pell Grant overpayment.
Census Date Adjustments
The Financial Aid Census Date may be adjusted due to College closures resulting from inclement weather or other unforeseeable circumstances that cause the campus to be closed during the first five business days of the term. In the event of unexpected closures, Financial Aid, Enrollment Services, and Accounting Services will coordinate efforts to extend refund periods, and payment deadlines as needed.
Late Start or Module Classes
A student may enroll in class(es) that begin after the official term start date, or end before the official term end date. Financial aid will include module classes in the enrollment level at the time funds are sent to Customers Bank. If a student does not commence attendance or drops a module class prior to the class start date, they will be billed based on their change in enrollment. Money owed is identified as a Pell Grant overpayment.
Pell Grant Overpayments
Students who owe a Pell Grant overpayment will have 45 days to repay their debt in full or make payment arrangements with Clark College Accounting Services. If a student has not repaid the debt in full, or made payment arrangements, the debt will be referred to ED Debt Resolution Services (https://myeddebt.ed.gov/) if a student has not repaid the debt in full or made payment arrangements. Students whose debt has been referred are no longer eligible for financial aid, including grants, loans, and work study. The full Clark College Census Date policy is available at our website.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students must meet Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy requirements to remain eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. SAP is reviewed both annually and at the end of each payment period. All terms of attendance, including those in which financial aid was not received, are used in determining SAP status.
There are three standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy that are evaluated at the end of each term:
- Grade Point Average (GPA) if the cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 at the end of the term the student will not have met the GPA requirement to remain in good standing. In addition, a student must have and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of their sixth term and beyond to avoid an automatic suspension.
- Maximum Timeframe is measured to ensure students are taking required courses to complete their certificate or degree. Financial aid will be suspended and program progression must be reviewed at 125%. Students will be ineligible for further funding if it is mathematically impossible to complete the program of study within 150% of the length of the program.
- Pace of Progression Students must complete all financial aid eligible credits funded each term within their enrollment level* and 67% of their attempted cumulative credits. Pace of progress that is 66.6% or higher will be rounded to 67%. All program credits, including transfer and remedial credits, will be taken into consideration whether or not aid was received. Grades F (Failed), I (Incomplete), U (Unsatisfactory), W (Withdrawal), Y (In Progress), N (audit), and R (repeat) will count as attempted credits.
|Credits/Units registered at the time of disbursement||You will remain in good standing if you successfully complete|
|Full Time (12-18 credits/units)||12 credits/units per term|
|3/4 Time (9-11 credits/units)||9 credits/units per term|
|1/2 Time (6-8 credits/units)||6 credits/units per term|
|Less Than 1/2 Time (1-5 credits/units)||All attempted credits/units per term|
Financial Aid Warning Status
Students will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one term if:
- Cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 at the end of a term and/or
- Pace of progression is less than 67% and/or
- Not all attempted credits are completed (as noted on the chart)
|Credits/Units registered at the time of disbursement||Warning will occur if you complete||Suspension will occur if you complete|
|Full Time (12-19 credits/units)||Between 6-11 credits/units||5 credits/units or less|
|3/4 Time (9-11 credits/units)||Between 6-8 credits/units||5 credits/units or less|
|1/2 Time (6-8 credits/units)||Not Applicable||5 credits/units or less|
|Less Than 1/2 Time (1-5 credits/units)||Not Applicable||Less than all attempted credits/units|
Students on Warning are eligible to receive financial aid the next term of attendance but are in jeopardy of losing their financial aid eligibility. If all SAP requirements are not met at the end of the next term of attendance, financial aid will be suspended. Warning status will be cleared if all SAP requirements are met at the end of the next term of attendance.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students on financial aid suspension are not eligible for future financial aid including grants, work study, and loans. Immediate financial aid suspension will occur when a student:
- Is on Financial Aid Warning/Probation and
- Does not complete the number of credits in their enrollment level and/or
- Does not meet 67% progression and/or
- Cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 at the end the term
- Has a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 at the end of the 6th term of attendance and beyond
- Has attempted 125% of the credits required for the program
- Has failed to meet requirements of their Academic Plan contract
- Not all attempted credits are completed (as noted on the chart below)
|Credits/Units registered at the time of disbursement||Suspension will occur if you complete|
|Full Time (12-19 credits/units)||5 credits/units or less|
|3/4 Time (9-11 credits/units)||5 credits/units or less|
|1/2 Time (6-8 credits/units)||5 credits/units or less|
|Less Than 1/2 Time (1-5 credits/units)||Less than all attempted credits/units|
Regain Eligibility for Financial Aid
When students lose financial aid due to lack of academic progress, there are two (2) options available to regain eligibility. The options are:
- Filing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal or
- Submitting a Request for Reinstatement
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal
Failure to maintain good academic standing may be the result of circumstances beyond the student’s control. In cases of student’s illness, injury, a death in the family or unusual circumstance, students may appeal to regain financial aid eligibility. Students are limited to two (2) appeals at Clark College (Maximum Timeframe appeals are excluded from this limit).
The appeal must include:
- Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form
- Typed and signed statement explaining the circumstances AND what has changed AND the steps taken to ensure academic success in the future
- Supporting documentation confirming the extenuating circumstances presented in the statement
- A current degree worksheet completed and signed by the student and program advisor
Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Advisory Committee and students are notified of their decision through student email. The Committee’s decision is final. If the appeal is approved, the Committee has the authority to restrict students to specific academic conditions. The student may be required to follow an Academic Plan until satisfactory academic progress is achieved.
If approved, aid is reactivated based on available funding at the time the appeal is approved and may not reflect the original award. An approved appeal does not negate any repayment owed to the financial aid programs or Clark College.
Request for Reinstatement
If a student chooses not to appeal or has exhausted the two (2) appeal limit they may submit a Request for Reinstatement when they have satisfied the following conditions:
- Enrolled in and completed a minimum of 5 program required credits (CAP courses are ineligible) with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and
- Pace of progression is 67% or higher
All credits attempted in reinstatement term must be completed. Receiving grades of F (Failed), I (Incomplete), U (Unsatisfactory), W (Withdrawal), Y (In Progress), N (audit), and R (repeat) will hinder eligibility for financial aid reinstatement and may increase the number of credits required to reinstate.
If the reinstatement is approved, aid is reactivated based on available funding at the time the reinstatement is approved and may not reflect the original award. Students may be restricted to specific academic conditions and must remain in good academic standing to receive continued funding. An approved reinstatement does not negate any repayment owed to the financial aid programs or Clark College.
Financial Aid Probation
If the Financial Aid Advisory Committee approves a student’s appeal, financial aid will be reactivated on a probationary status. Financial aid suspension will occur if the student does not meet all satisfactory academic progress requirements at the end of the next term of attendance (see warning section for details).
Other Requirements and Limitations
I. Maximum Timeframe
Eligibility for federal aid expires once a student attempts 150% of the published credits required for a program. Maximum credit warning notifications will be issued when a student reached 110% of the credits required for a degree or 100% for a certificate. Once a student has attempted 125% of program credits, financial aid will be suspended until an internal review of program progression has been completed. All credits, regardless of whether they were taken while on financial aid, or credits removed with an approved set-aside petition are used in calculating maximum timeframe. Transitional support coursework that is attempted and results in an asterisk (*) grade such as ABE, GED, ESL, ENL, and some CAP coursework are excluded. Transfer credits accepted for use towards the current certificate or degree are included. Remedial coursework needed to reach program required classes is counted towards maximum timeframe. Funding of remedial courses is limited to 45 attempted credits. Repeated credits (R grades) are counted as attempted towards maximum timeframe. Once a class has been attempted and credit has been earned, financial aid can only pay for a second attempt.
II. Program Changes
If a student was approved in a previous appeal with specific academic conditions, those conditions must be met before changing their program. If the student wants to change their program prior to completing the appeal’s academic conditions, a student must submit a Request for Financial Aid Extension to the Financial Aid Office. If the program change is approved, new conditions will be applied.
Financial Aid Funds Repayment Policy
Students who officially or unofficially withdraw from all classes, or complete zero credits at the end of the term, may owe a repayment of financial aid funds received. The Financial Aid Office is required to determine the percentage of funds earned by the student and is based on the withdrawal date.
Official Withdrawal: The date the student withdrew, according to Clark College Enrollment Services withdrawal procedures.
Unofficial Withdrawal: If the student did not officially withdraw, the date of withdrawal is determined as outlined below. The Financial Aid Office will use the latest date.
- The last date of participation in an academically related activity or the midpoint of the term. The last date of participation is reported by the instructor to Enrollment Services.
- The midpoint of the term in which funds were received.
Repayment of Title IV Funds
Title IV funds include Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Subsidized Loans, and Unsubsidized Loans. Title IV funds are subject to the Department of Education Return of Title IV policy requirements. The amount of Title IV funds a student earns, is equal to the percentage of the term completed.
For example, students who complete 40% of the term are considered to have earned 40% of Title IV funds received, the other 60% is considered unearned aid.
Once 60% or more of the term has been completed, 100% of Title IV funds have been earned, and the student will not owe a repayment.
The formula for calculating the amount of Title IV funds that must be returned is determined as follows:
- Determine the percentage of Title IV funds earned based on the date of official or unofficial withdrawal.
- Multiply the percentage of unearned Title IV funds by the amount of Title IV funds received.
Once the repayment amount has been calculated, the Financial Aid Office will determine the College’s and student’s responsibility in repayment of funds.
Clark College’s responsibility in repayment is either the percentage of unearned Title IV funds multiplied by tuition and fee charges or the total repayment amount. The calculation which determines the lowest amount, will be utilized. The amount of unearned Title IV funds which the College is responsible for will be returned 45 days from the date the College determined the student withdrew. The funds will be returned in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Direct Loans
- Subsidized Direct Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Pell Grants
- Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants
- Other Federal, State, Private, or Institutional financial assistance
Any refunds issued as a result of the withdrawal will be applied by the College to the student’s repayment amount. Students will be billed by Clark College Accounting Services for the remaining balance of the return.
The student’s responsibility in repayment is determined by subtracting the College’s repayment from the total repayment amount. Any amount of unearned Pell Grant or SEOG funds that a student must return is considered an overpayment. The student repayment amount is half of the grant funds received.
Students who owe an overpayment will have 45 days to pay their debt in full or make arrangements to pay their debt. If, within 45 days, the student fails to pay in full or make arrangements to pay, the debt will be referred to Department of Education Debt Resolution Services (www.myeddebt.ed.gov). Students who fail to comply with the terms of their agreement to repay will immediately become ineligible for Title IV funds.
Repayment of State Financial Aid
State financial aid funds include Washington State Need Grant and College Bound Scholarship. State financial aid funds are subject to the Washington State Student Achievement Council (WSAC) Repayment policy. This policy goes into effect only if a student withdraws or completes zero credits at the end of the term.
Under this policy, students earn the percentage of State funds received that is equal to the percentage of the term completed. Students who complete 50% or more of the term prior to withdrawing are considered to have earned 100% of Title IV funds received, and will not owe a repayment.
The date of withdrawal and repayment amount are determined according to the same methodology outlined above. Refunds issued as a result of the withdrawal will be applied to reduce the student repayment amount. Students who owe a repayment of State financial aid will receive a bill from Clark College Accounting Services, and will not be eligible to receive additional State financial aid until the repayment has been paid in full. Any unpaid repayments will be referred to the WSAC for collection by June 30, 2018.
Other Educational Resources Available
Funding for scholarships is made possible through the generous support of individuals and organizations. The Clark College Foundation is one of the largest community college foundations in the country and offers many scholarships to Clark College students each year.
Individual scholarships may have their own eligibility criteria where a student must maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) or enrollment level to qualify for funds awarded. Students should refer to their scholarship award letter for the conditions of their award. The scholarship application is separate from the application for financial aid.
The majority of scholarship applications are available January through April, and funds are awarded for the following academic year.
Workforce Education Services
Clark College Workforce Education Services administers a variety of programs designed to support students who are pursuing vocational or technical non-transfer degree programs and certificate programs. Resources available include:
The Opportunity Grant program serves low-income students who are pursuing professional/technical programs that lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs. Eligible students must be Washington State residents, meet income guidelines, and be enrolled in an approved program. Financial assistance with tuition, books, and mandatory fees may be available for those who qualify.
The Worker Retraining program serves students who have experienced unemployment, who are displaced homemakers, or have been discharged from the military, and are pursuing professional/technical programs that provide them with the ability to re-enter the workforce. Eligible students must live in Washington State and be enrolled in an approved program. Financial assistance with tuition, books, and mandatory fees may be available for those who qualify.
WorkFirst Financial Aid and Work Study
The WorkFirst program serves students who are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and are pursuing professional/technical programs. Eligible students must live in Washington State and be enrolled in an approved program. Financial assistance with tuition, books, and mandatory fees may be available for those who qualify.
On-campus WorkFirst Work Study job opportunities may also be available for those who qualify.
Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET)
The BFET program serves students who are receiving federal basic food benefits and are pursuing professional/technical programs. Eligible students must live in Washington State and be enrolled in an approved program. Students may be eligible to receive subsidized child care assistance through Working Connections/Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Financial assistance with tuition, books, and mandatory fees may be available for those who qualify.
The Sponsored Programs office serves as a liaison between students and various governmental and community agencies that have authorized funding to pay for tuition, books, and supplies. An administrative processing fee applies to agencies who fund these student expenses.
Veteran Education Resources
360-992-2711 or 360-992-2112
Certifying officials located in the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) serve as a liaison between Clark College and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Clark College is approved for VA Education Benefits under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, 1607, and Military Tuition Assistance (TA).
Eligible veterans and dependents must request certification each term for approved degree and certificate programs. Only courses required within the program will be funded. Audited courses are not eligible. Students are required to make satisfactory academic progress and should contact the Veterans Affairs Office prior to making any schedule changes. Visit our website for a complete checklist of requirements http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/student-support/vrc/forms.php
The Code of Federal Regulations (38 CFR 21.4201) states VA shall not approve the enrollment of any VA-eligible person, not already enrolled, in any course for any period during which more than 85 percent of the students enrolled in the course are having all or part of their tuition, fees, or other charges paid to or for them by an Education Institution or VA. The VA will only pay the monthly stipend/BAH for the period students are enrolled in and attending class(es).
Clark College joins with the Department of Defense (DOD) Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and conforms to Executive Order 13607 of April 27, 2012, establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veteran Spouses, and other family members. Credit for military experience may be granted toward general elective and specific vocational program coursework. Veterans are required to submit military and all other school transcripts, to be applied toward their intended program of study, no later than the start of their second term of enrollment. Military training and experience granted for credit recommendations are based on the American Council of Education (ACE) guidelines for military training. Military experience is a non-traditional credit program. Students should refer to the Non-Traditional Credit Policy section of this catalog and contact the Veterans Affairs Office for additional information.
Clark College attempts to limit student enrollment to 85% veteran enrollment per cohort. In the event that a veteran wishes to enroll in a course that has already reached the 85% cap, he or she may do that but will not be eligible for VA funding. Chapter 35 and 31 students may enroll even if the 85% has been realized.
The College's School Certifying Officials can be reached utilizing the contact information below: