Financial Aid Policies

What is Verification?

Verification is a quality-control method used by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to check the accuracy of information submitted on the FAFSA. All schools that disburse federal Title IV funds are required to participate in the verification process.

It is the policy of Lake Region State College to verify all students selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education (with the exception of those specifically excluded in 668.54(b) including applicants who die or who are only eligible for unsubsidized student financial assistance) in addition to any students selected for verification by Lake Region State College. Procedures published in the current Department of Education Federal Student Aid Handbook-Application and Verification Guide are used to review, evaluate and correct errors.

Verification Steps

  1. The Financial Aid Office (FAO) will send students a request by letter and/or email outlining all forms and information that must be submitted to satisfy verification requirements. LRSC follows the guidance in the annual Verification Federal Register in regard to determining the acceptable documentation for verification based on the DOE’s verification categories.

  2. If selected for verification, students will have 30 days from the time of our first request to submit all required items to the Financial Aid Office. Students who fail to provide all required documents will be sent reminder emails on a regular basis.

    Verification must typically be completed prior to the end of the academic year or before the student ceases enrollment, whichever occurs first. Students who fail to comply with verification requirements, including submitting documentation within required timelines, will not have Federal Title IV funds disbursed and may have Federal Title IV funds cancelled.

  3. After all required verification documents are provided, FAO staff will compare the documents to the applicant’s FAFSA and will make corrections if needed to the FAFSA data elements by submitting corrections electronically to DOE. Verification results that require changes to applicant information and subsequent changes to the applicant’s financial aid package will be made prior to final disbursement of federal funds. A revised award letter will be sent to the financial aid applicant by email or mail f any awards change because of verification and the awards will be updated in Campus Connection.

The General Provisions of 34 CFR 668.14(f) of the Federal Register requires that Lake Region State College ensure the consistency of the information related to a student’s application for federal student aid, regardless of the source of that information. All information received must be reconciled.

If the Financial Aid Office has any conflicting information on an applicant, or believes an applicant’s application information is in error, it must resolve the discrepancies prior to disbursing any federal student aid. The requirement to resolve conflicting data is separate and distinct from the verification requirements and procedures, and supersedes any verification policies. Further, if a discrepancy is discovered after federal aid has been disbursed, it must be reconciled and the student will be required to repay any amount of aid received in excess of his or her eligibility.

Applicants are required to complete verification before Lake Region State College exercises any authority under section 479A(a) of the HEA to make changes to the applicant's cost of attendance or to the values of the data items required to calculate EFC’s.

In accordance with 34 CFR 668.16(g), if the Financial Aid Office suspects that a student, or other individual, has intentionally misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal financial aid funds, the office can report its suspicions, and will provide the evidence, to the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education, for review. Fraud may be reported via the OIG Hotline, 1-800-MIS-USED, the OIG website: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html or by calling our Regional OIG office in Denver at 303-844-0058.

The U.S. Department of Education continues to move to a more individualized verification process where only certain elements of the verification are performed on particular students.  This means that LRSC will not require the same documentation from each student. Instead, LRSC will require only documentation that is relevant to the individualized verification. Applicants will be notified by mail and email of the individual forms they will need to complete. Applicants can also view a list of required verification documents in Campus Connection under their “To Do” list.  Lake Region State College Verification Forms are posted each year on the Financial Aid Office website: Go to Forms and select Financial Aid Forms

Note: All verification items must be submitted to:

Lake Region State College
Financial Aid Office
1801 College Drive North
Devils Lake, ND 58301

Fax: 701-662-1581
Or email: lrsc.financialaid@lrsc.edu

In order to receive federal financial aid, students must meet certain academic requirements called Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). LRSC is required by federal and state regulations to determine whether a student is meeting SAP requirements. SAP evaluations apply to all terms, including summer, and to all students (both aid and non-aid recipients). All credits, including transfer credits, will be used in calculating quantitative components of SAP. Transfer credits are entered on the student’s record and will be considered in the attempted credits. SAP requirements are measured in the following three areas:

  1. GPA (Qualitative): In order to meet the grade point average requirements, a student will need to have an academic standing consistent with the requirement for graduation from the program at the end of the first, second and third semesters. At the end of the 4th semester of attendance the student MUST have a cumulative GPA of C (2.0) or better. Below is a chart that illustrates the academic requirements.
  2. Credits Attempted (Quantitative): All students must complete two-thirds (66.67%) of the credits they attempt. This percentage will be calculated cumulatively each semester. The percentage is determined by dividing the total number of successfully complete credits by the total number of credits the student was registered for on the LRSC FA Census Date. The cumulative credits calculations include all credits attempted even if they do not pertain to the current degree.
  3. Maximum Time Frame (Quantitative): All students must complete their declared program within 150% of the published length of the program. A student who has attempted 140% of their program credits will be receive a letter advising them they are reaching the maximum credits. i.e., if the program of student requires 60 credits to graduate than 90 is the maximum number of attempted credits allowed for a program. When the student has attempted 140% or 84 credits they would receive a warning notice. Students who have attempted 150% of their program credits will be suspended from financial aid and will be notified by letter.

Minimum Cumulative GPA Required
1st Semester: 1.50
2nd Semester: 1.60
3rd Semester: 1.75
4th Semester: 2.00

Financial Aid Warning: Financial Aid Warning status is assigned to a student who fails to meet one or more of the SAP measures indicated above at the conclusion of the semester. A student assigned a Financial Aid Warning will be notified in writing. The student may continue to receive financial aid for one subsequent semester under this status despite the determination that the student is not making SAP.

Financial Aid Disqualification: Financial Aid Disqualification status is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP or does not fulfill the requirements set forth in his or her academic plan of study when placed on Financial Aid Probation. A student who is placed on Financial Aid Suspension may only receive financial aid if the student reestablishes eligibility by meeting the standards set forth in this policy.

Financial Aid Probation: Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who has been placed on FA Disqualification and who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for financial aid reinstated. A student who is placed on financial aid probation may receive financial aid for one subsequent semester. They may be required to meet certain terms and conditions while on financial aid probation, such as taking a reduced course load or taking specific courses. A student assigned a Financial Aid Probation status will be required to submit an Academic Plan of Study, signed by an advisor. At the conclusion of the FA Probation period, the student must either meet the SAP standards or fulfill the requirements specified in the SAP Academic Plan of Study.

Financial Aid Census Date: The financial aid census date is the first day after the last day to drop/add classes at 100% refund and is the date the financial aid office uses to lock in the enrollment status. FA Census date is the calendar date that corresponds to 8.99% of the semester.

Unofficial Withdrawals: Students who receive all failing or incomplete grades in a semester are considered to have unofficially withdrawn from the college and are immediately placed on Financial Aid Disqualification. This will be disqualification without a warning period first. Federal regulations require that a refund calculation be done for all students receiving state and federal funds, unless the institution can document an official last date of attendance beyond the 60% point in one of the student’s classes. The calculation and return of these funds may result in the student owing a balance to the college and/or the U.S. Department of Education. Pell recipients whose class activity cannot be verified may have to pay back all or a portion of their grant.

Successful Completion: Successfully completed credit hours include grades of A, B C, D, or S. Credit hours that are not considered successfully completed include blank grades, F (Fail), W (Withdrawal), U (Unsatisfactory) and I (Incomplete). Unsuccessfully completed hours are included as attempted hours.
Dropped Courses and Official Withdrawals: Classes that a student drops or withdraws from count toward the cumulative credits attempted if they are dropped or withdrawn from on or after the LRSC FA Census Date.

Treatment of Non-Standard Credits

Type of Credit Included in GPA Calc Included in 66.67% Calc (Pace) Included in Max Time Frame
Audit No No No
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory No Yes Yes
Transfer No Yes (excludes ASC courses and W) Yes (excludes ASC courses and W)
Pass/Fail Yes if failed Yes Yes
Consortium/Collaborative Yes Yes Yes
Repeated Courses Yes (Most recent grade) Yes (each attempt) Yes (each attempt)
Developmental Courses (ASC) No Yes Yes

Repeated Courses: If a student has successfully passed a course and wishes to retake the course for a higher grade, the course can only be included in his enrollment status once more for financial aid purposes. Failed courses may be repeated and counted towards student’s enrollment status until it is passed. The repeated course would be counted as attempted credits.

Transfer credits/Major Changes: Students who have changed their major, pursuing a second degree or are transfer students are more likely to reach the maximum time frame. If a student changes majors or has transfer credits, the credits earned will be included in the calculation of attempted credits, earned credits and maximum time frame. Through the appeal process the financial aid office can adjust the maximum number of credits they are allowed to attempt in the pursuit of their degree. The student will be required to submit an academic plan that has been approved by an advisor.

Military: Students who are required to withdraw from LRSC after the FA Census Date for military reasons may be placed on Financial Aid Warning or Disqualification. The student should contact the Financial Aid Office to resolve any negative SAP status that resulted from their deployment.
Notification Process: The student will receive a written notification of their Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning and/or Disqualification status at the end of each semester after grades are posted. Applicable holds will be added to the student’s Campus Connection hold list.

Appeal Procedures: Financial Aid Appeal is the process by which a student who is not meeting LRSC’s SAP standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of eligibility for title IV financial aid. Title IV financial aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Teach Grant, SEOG Grant, WorkStudy, Perkins Loan, Direct Loans and Direct PLUS Loans. Students, who fail one or more of the three measures of SAP, are not eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid. However, students failing SAP standard who had mitigating circumstance, such as death in the family, illness, involuntary military leave, etc, may request reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility by completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for an Appeal Form or access the form from the LRSC website at www.lrsc.edu.

The appeal should include:

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form (Go to Forms, then Financial Aid Forms)
  • Documentation to support the reason for failure should be included with the appeal form
  • A copy of the Academic Plan of Study, signed by the student’s advisor, must be attached

Financial Aid Committee and Decision: SAP Appeals will be handled on an individual basis. If the Director approves the petition, the student will be deemed to be making a satisfactory rate of progress for a period not to exceed one year. If during this time, the student meets the established standards, satisfactory progress will be re-established. Students will be notified of the decision in writing within 30 days. Appeal of a denied petition may be made in writing to the Vice President of Student Services within 15 days of the notification of denial. The request will be taken to the FA Committee who renders a final decision on all appeals within 30 days of receipt of the written appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student will be deemed to be making satisfactory 

Approved by Administrative Council July 29, 2011/ SAP policy starting July 1, 2011 revised December 21, 2011 

Federal regulations require all institutions to establish policy that determines the amount of Title IV Financial Aid a student is eligible to receive if he/she withdraws from school. The Federal Student Aid
(FSA) programs covered by these regulations include: Federal Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Plus Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loan and the ACG Grant.

When a student withdraws before the end of a payment period (semester), the amount of assistance the student has “earned” (can receive) is determined by the Financial Aid Office. If it is determined that
the student is eligible to receive additional funds, those funds will be disbursed. If it is determined that the student has received more funds than he/she is eligible to receive, the funds must be returned.

Consistent with Federal law, “unearned” funds must be returned to the student aid programs in the
following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  • Subsidized Direct Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Plus Loans
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG Grant

In addition, LRSC returns funds to programs other than Title IV Funds. The amounts will be pro-rated to the original sources in proportion to the initial awards.

Official withdrawal:
A student who stops attending classes must formally withdraw from school to avoid failing grades. Procedures and forms for formal withdrawal are available in the Student Services Office. At the time of withdrawal, the LRSC Financial Aid Office will determine, on a pro-rata basis, the amount of student aid the student has “earned.” For example, a student who completed 30% of the payment period (semester) will be determined to have “earned” 30% of the aid he/she was originally scheduled to receive. Once a student has completed more than 60% of a payment period, he/she is eligible to receive 100% of the FSA award.

Unofficial Withdrawal:
A student who stops attending classes but does not officially withdraw is considered to have unofficially withdrawn from school. A recipient of Federal Student Aid who unofficially withdraws and receives no passing grades for the semester will be responsible for repaying all unearned financial aid received. A student must initiate and complete the formal withdrawal process to avoid failing grades. The LRSC Financial Aid Office will calculate the amount of financial aid “earned and unearned” based upon the midpoint of the semester, or based on the student’s last day of attendance/participation in academically-related activity.

Post-withdrawal Disbursement:
After withdrawal it may be determined that a student did not receive all funds “earned.” In such cases a post withdrawal disbursement may be due. When a post-withdrawal disbursement includes student loans, the student may choose to decline the loan funds, thereby keeping loan debt to a minimum. The post-withdrawal disbursement will be applied to tuition, fees, room and board charges owed to the college and any remainder is paid to the student. Some FSA funds are not available to the student after he/she has withdrawn because of other special eligibility requirements. Some examples are:

  • A first-time, first year undergraduate student who withdraws before the thirtieth day of classes, the student will not earn any aid that they would have received had they remained enrolled past the 30th day of the payment period.
  • No portion of a second or subsequent disbursement may be disbursed to a student as a post-withdrawal disbursement.
  • Students participating in the Federal Work-study program are not eligible to earn Work-study funds after withdrawing from college.

Any amount of unearned grant funds the student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of grant overpayment a student must repay is half of the grant funds the student received or was scheduled to receive. Students who owe overpayments as a result of a withdrawal will retain eligibility for Title IV funds for a maximum of 45 days from the earlier of: The date the school sends the student notice of the overpayment, or the date LRSC was required to notify the student of the overpayment. LRSC must notify students that an overpayment must be repaid or make satisfactory arrangements to repay it within 30 days of determining a repayment is due. Lake Region State College must return any unearned funds within 45 days from the date of the institution’s determination the student withdrew. All financial aid funds returned will be the responsibility of the student.

Revised April 16, 2015.

Lake Region State College financial aid employees are expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity. In doing so, LRSC financial aid employees should:

  • Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
  • Refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the student and parents he or she serves.
  • Ensure that the information he or she provides in accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
  • Be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involve in any aspect of student financial aid.
  • Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything other than nominal value from any entity involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory board or a part of a training that is sponsored by any such entity.

Revised Fall 2018.

Lake Region State College respects a student’s right to choose their own lender for the purpose of obtaining a student loan. LRSC also recognizes that a student may need assistance when asked for a name of a lender. To provide that assistance, the LRSC Financial Aid Office has developed a reference list of some lenders that have made loans to our students in the past. Students are reminded that the list provided is a partial list and that lender websites should be visited in order to make an informed decision. The LRSC Lender Reference List is managed and distributed online by a maintenance application provided by Education Assistance Corporation. This application allows for a random viewing which is the viewing method used for this list.

Lenders on this partial list were selected because they have met most of the following criteria determined to meet the needs of the students at Lake Region State College:

  • Serve local students as a local lender
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Have maintained a good working relationship with the Financial Aid Office
  • Are members of the North Dakota Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NDASFAA)

Since repayment benefits offered by lenders change often, the student is encouraged to do their own research to determine which lender provides the benefits that fit well for that particular student. It is felt that the student and the parent(s) are in the best position to decide which loan terms and conditions most benefit them. The purpose of providing a reference list of lenders is to help students understand what a lender is and that there are many options to consider in making their choice. The LRSC Financial Aid Office is monitoring events and information occurring on a national level and in Congress. The method used at LRSC to provide a reference list of lenders may change at any time depending on congressional action and/or Department of Education guidance concerning student loans.

The LRSC Financial Aid Office follows ethical procedures and practices in working with student
loans and the lenders and service agencies that provide them. The Financial Aid Office does not:

  • Make automatic referrals to specific lenders
  • Deny application with any participating lender
  • Create an unreasonable delay in processing applications with any lender

Lender visits and gifts of nominal value that are offered may be accepted. Under no circumstance are lender offers to be accepted in exchange for preferring any particular lender. Lake Region State College does not enter into arrangements with any lender beyond the cooperation necessary to provide student loans and service to our students.

Revised 2018

For Financial Aid Forms, go to the Forms page and click Financial Aid Forms.