Financial Aid Handbook

The CCBC Financial Aid Office is committed to providing support and information to students and their families. The requirements, procedures, and processes may be exacting and may change at any time during the school year; therefore it is important students are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a student receiving financial assistance.

It is essential all students are familiar with the financial aid process. This section of our website will help you to understand financial aid and provide answers to many of your questions.

Conditions of Award

  1. You must meet the student eligibility criteria as determined by the Department of Education.
  2. You must be enrolled in an eligible program of study that leads to a certificate or degree offered by CCBC. Financial aid will only cover courses that are required for completion of the program with the exception of required developmental coursework. 
  3. Financial aid may only be received at one school at a time during an academic period. If you transfer to another college, be sure to cancel all aid at your current college before accepting funds at your new college.
  4. You are expected to meet satisfactory academic progress guidelines to receive aid.
  5. Students attending less than full time (12 credits) are eligible for a pro-rated financial aid award. For Direct Loan and Work Study eligibility, students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits. For financial aid purposes, full time is defined as 12 or more credits; three-quarter time is 9 to 11 credits; and half time is 6 to 8 credits. There is limited financial aid for fewer than 6 credits.
  6. Students, who have earned a bachelor’s degree (from the U.S. or outside the U.S.), are not eligible for Pell Grant and possibly other federal or state grants. 
  7. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to adjust your financial aid due to the availability of federal and state funds or changes in your economic circumstances.
  8. This award is subject to any changes which affect the total resources available to you, such as changes in parents’ income, marital status, spouse’s income, your earnings, scholarships, loans, grants, tuition waivers, and awards from other agencies or gifts.
  9. A financial aid award does not imply an obligation or a commitment on the part of the college to continue assistance beyond the period stated in the Financial Aid Notification. Please remember to re-apply for financial aid every year.
  10. By applying for aid you authorize CCBC to apply grant and loan funds from your financial aid awards toward payment of tuition and fees and understand that the funds used to pay these charges will not be included in your financial aid refund. If you decide not to attend, you must withdraw from your courses during the 100% refund period in order for the funds used towards your tuition to be returned to the aid programs. Failure to do so could result in a loss of your financial aid and possible repayment to CCBC.
  11. If you deliberately falsify, misrepresent, or fail to fully disclose all requested data on the financial aid application forms, you will be denied aid or owe a repayment for any aid disbursed. If you have already received money based on falsified information, you will be referred to the Department of Education Investigation Division for possible criminal prosecution.

Paying Tuition

If your financial aid award covers the cost of your tuition and fees, they will automatically be paid from your financial aid award. If your financial aid award does not cover the balance of your tuition and fees, you should pay the balance before classes begin.

While books and supplies are available before classes begin, once the book credit period is over, students must pay out of pocket. You are responsible for paying these educational expenses, so please plan ahead.

Enrollment Status and Census Dates

Most awards are based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credits) and will be adjusted if you register for less than 12 credits. Students enrolling in less than 6 credits are not eligible for federal student loans or work-study funds. For the purpose of awarding all forms of financial assistance, the following definitions apply:

  • Full-time:                       12 or more credits/billable hours
  • Three-quarter time          9-11 credits/billable hours
  • Half-time                        6-8 credits/billable hours
  • Less than half-time          1-5 credit(s)/billable hours

CCBC's Financial Aid Office uses a census date to determine student's eligibility for financial aid.  A census date captures your enrollment and financial aid is paid based on that enrollment (dates listed below). If you change your enrollment status before the census date, your financial aid must be adjusted (increase or decrease your financial aid). If your aid has already been disbursed to your student account and/or a refund has been issued, CCBC may have to return the funds. Students who are overpaid may owe CCBC after the funding has been returned. 

Review the Financial Aid Calendar for the semester census dates.

You must be enrolled and pursuing a financial aid approved degree or certificate to be eligible for financial aid funds.

Disbursement Process

CCBC begins the disbursement process each semester (except Winter) after the census date. Disbursement is then run every week. You can find your disbursement date in your SIMON account under Award Disbursement Schedule in the Award Information.

Withdrawals and Repayment

Students who withdraw from all of their classes on or after the first day of the semester and students who complete zero credits* may owe a repayment of all or a portion of their financial aid funds they received for the semester. This policy does not apply to work study earnings.

*For Financial Aid purposes, (W) Withdrawal, (N) Audit, (I) Incomplete and/or (FX) grades do not count toward completed credits.

Repayments are computed in accordance with federal and state regulations and the college’s refund policy. If you stop attending class and/or attend classes but earn no credits, the financial aid office will assume that you unofficially withdrew. Any funds owed to the aid programs or the institution will need to be repaid before any consideration will be given to future aid, future enrollment at the college or release of any academic transcripts. 

Repeat Coursework

Repeated courses count as credits attempted during each semester the student is enrolled in the course; however, they will be counted once as credits completed the first time a passing grade is received for the course. Credits for repeated courses are treated as attempted but not earned except for the course with the highest grade, which is included in the GPA calculation. Any second or subsequent repetition of the passed course will not be included in the student’s enrollment status for purposes of the Title IV programs.

Example: If you receive an “F” the first time you take a course and subsequently pass the course with a “D”, you may only receive financial aid once to improve your “D” grade.

New Student and Academic Advising

The Financial Aid Office strongly encourages all financial aid recipients to meet with an academic advisor and complete an educational plan. Students are responsible for taking courses required for their program of study. Students risk not being eligible or exhausting their financial aid before they complete their degree or certificate if they take classes not within their program of study. CCBC academic advisors can assist you in choosing a program of study and appropriate classes.

Financial Aid for Another College or University

Your financial aid award(s) will not transfer to another college or university. You will need to apply for aid at the college where you plan to transfer to and follow the policies set forth by that college or university. Whether you receive aid will depend upon the availability of funds at the other school. Additionally, students who receive financial aid from CCBC cannot receive financial aid from another institution in the same semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Students receiving financial aid are required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. Students must enroll in courses which meet the requirements for their degree or certificate program. When evaluating SAP, all semester and all attempted credits are considered, regardless of whether financial aid was received. All federal, state, and institutional financial aid administered by CCBC are governed by this policy. Review the SAP standards.

Types of Financial Aid

The CCBC Financial Aid Office offers a variety of financial assistance. The following awards may be offered to you accessible in your SIMON account.

Federal Grants

These grants are considered gift aid and do not need to be paid back.  These awards are based on the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 

Maryland Scholarships and Grants

The Maryland Higher Education Commission’s (MHEC) Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) has an array of financial aid programs in the form of grants, scholarships, and other awards for students. These scholarships and grants are available to assist families that are residents of Maryland. All awards listed above are awarded by OSFA, except for the Part-Time Grant and Edward T. and Mary A. Conroy and Jean B. Cryor Memorial Scholarships. All students should create a Maryland College and Processing System (MDCAPS) account. For additional information, review the MDCAPS FAQ.

CCBC Grants and Scholarships
CCBC offers a wide variety of scholarships for students who demonstrate financial need, academic merit, or are preparing for certain career fields. Learn more about scholarships and how to apply.

Federal Work-Study
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program gives students who are attending CCBC at least half-time (6 or more credits) the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while earning money for college. Both on-campus and off-campus positions are available. Remember: FWS funds are earned by the student from July 1 through June 30. These funds are earned and are not applied to tuition and fees. Students must have a completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), be enrolled half-time, and be meeting SAP standards to be awarded Work Study funds. Students can apply online.

Federal Direct Loans
  • Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program includes the Subsidized Loan and the Unsubsidized Loan. The Direct Loan Program offers low interest loans for students who are attending CCBC at least half-time (6 or more credits). Loans MUST be repaid and accrue interest. Learn more regarding origination fees, interest rates, and applying.

Veteran's Assistance

The Veteran’s Office assists veterans, reservists, active duty personnel and eligible family members who receive VA education benefits. The CCBC VA website provides an extensive amount of information for students who qualify for VA benefits.

Alternative/Private Educational Loans

CCBC does not endorse any lender/bank. Students are encouraged to research loans before making a final decision on what type of alternative/private loan is best for them. Loans may be used for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses. We encourage students to apply for federal loans before using this option. The Department of Education, in accordance with the Truth in Lending Act, mandates that colleges are only allowed to certify loans up to “The Cost of Attendance/Cost of Education” as determined each year by CCBC. All financial aid awards, including loans, reduce the amount left in a student’s budget. The Financial Aid Office will certify up to the student’s eligible amount.  All students can review their Cost of Attendance in their SIMON account.

Private loan lenders are required to provide disclosures to borrowers at different stages of the private loan process:

  • Application and solicitation disclosure
  • Loan approval disclosure
  • Final disclosure

All CCBC students interested in borrowing a private student loan will be required to complete a certification form, which will be in your SIMON account, approximately one week after your approval.  This document is intended to educate borrowers about financial aid and encourage students to research all options before proceeding with this option.



Federal Student Loan Repayment

When you withdraw, stop attending, drop below half-time (6 credits/billable hours), or graduate, you will be required to begin repayment of any student loans you received.

Exit Loan Counseling

Federal laws require CCBC to provide information to students about the exit loan counseling requirement when a student withdraws, stops attending, drops below half-time (6 credits/billable hours), or graduates.

Grace Periods

After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you are entitled to one grace period before beginning repayment of your loans. During this time, which is typically six months, you are not expected to make payments. Your grace period begins on the day immediately following the day you stop attending
school at least half-time and ends on the day before the repayment period begins. The interest on subsidized loans is typically paid by the Federal Government during your grace period.

For unsubsidized loans, you are responsible for the accrued interest, and the unpaid interest is capitalized (added to the loan principal) at the time of repayment.
Repayment begins the day after your grace period ends; your first payment is due within 60 days. You should receive communication from your servicer(s) during your grace period. If not, contact your servicer(s) directly.

Determining Your Servicer

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

provides comprehensive information about your federal loan history, including servicer(s) and their contact information, loan totals, and loan status. Students should log into their account using their FAFSA User ID and password will be required to access your information.

Contact FSA if you need assistance.

Repayment Options and Payment Amounts

You have several repayment options available to you with federal student loans. Your loan servicer(s) will automatically set up your loan on the standard repayment plan. If you prefer another repayment plan, simply call your servicer(s) to discuss your options. Your payments will vary depending on the amount and type of loans that you've borrowed, the repayment plan that you select, and potentially your income.

If you think you will have trouble making your loan payments, be sure to contact your servicer(s) immediately. They can help you change your payment plan to one that better fits your budget, or discuss deferment or forbearance options that will allow you to postpone your payments. If you fail to make timely payments, your loan(s) will become delinquent and eventually will go into default. Failure to make the required payments on time could lead to serious consequences, such as a damaged credit rating, garnishment of wages and tax refunds, collection fees and late fees, and loss of eligibility for future financial aid.

Repayment Plans

Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loans, you can change repayment plans at any time.  Contact your loan servicer if you would like to discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan.  There are several types of repayment plan programs available.

Limitations on Subsidized Loan Eligibility

There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can received Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program.

After you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, you are no longer eligible to receive additional Direct Subsidized Loans. However, you may continue to receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans. In addition, if you continue to be enrolled in any undergraduate program after you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, you may be responsible to pay the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans for periods when you would normally not be responsible for paying. Your federal loan servicer(s) will notify you if you become responsible for paying the interest on your Direct Subsidized Loans.

The maximum eligibility period is applicable to first-time borrowers who received a loan on or after 7/1/2013.

Financial Literacy

CCBC is committed to educating students about their financial future.  Read more about credit, credit cards, budgeting, financial planning, and loan repayment

Financial Aid Communication

The Financial Aid Office will communicate with students primarily through your CCBC email and SIMON account.  Occasionally, students may receive letters stressing the importance of your SAP status or requested documentation, however, all communication will be through email and/or SIMON.  Students will be expected to access their account for the following:

  • Review missing documents required to complete the financial aid process.
  • View your award information.
  • Accept or decline offered loans.
  • View any messages with specific student-related information.
  • Review your SAP status.

The vast majority of your questions can be answered by accessing your SIMON account.  This is especially helpful during our peek processing months.  Your SIMON account updates in real-time.  This means that as our office makes changes to your account, those changes are immediately available in your SIMON account.  

We urge students to use their SIMON account to monitor all aspects of your financial aid account.  It is your responsibility to monitor your account weekly to access any changes or updates to your account.  

Student Eligibility

To receive and retain student financial aid, including all types of federal, state, and institutional aid, students must meet certain eligibility requirements. Review a list of eligibility requirements.

Private Loan Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct was adopted to ensure uniform student loan practices focusing on the best interest of student borrowers.  The restrictions are defined to avoid any potential conflict of interest among school employees, lending institutions, students and their parents in the financial aid process.

  • Revenue Sharing Prohibition: CCBC will not receive anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for an advantage sought by the lending institution. 
  • Gift Ban: CCBC employees with responsibility for financial aid work will not solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer.  A "gift" is defined as any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a small amount.
  • Advisory Board Compensation Rules: CCBC employees with financial aid responsibility will not accept anything of value for serving on the advisory board of any lending institution.
  • Opportunity Pools: CCBC will not request or accept from any lender or any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, in exchange for CCBC providing concessions or promises of a specified number or volume of Title IV loans, or a preferred lender arrangement for Title IV loans.
  • Contract Arrangement Prohibition: CCBC employees, officers and agents with educational loan responsibilities will not accept any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) form a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to educational loans.
  • Staffing Assistance Ban: CCBC will not request or accept assistance from any lender to staff a call center or financial aid office.
  • Loan Certification: CCBC will not refuse to certify or delay loan certification based on the borrower's selection of a particular lender or guarantor.
  • Assigning Lenders: CCBC will not assign any borrowers to a particular lender, as we do not participate in a preferred lender list process.
  • Preferred Lender Guidelines/Disclosures: CCBC will not use a Preferred Lender List.  Students will be told that they have the right and responsibility to select the lender of their choice.

College Financing Plan

The College Financing Plan (CFP) is a consumer tool that is designed to simplify information for prospective and current students.  It assists students and families to make informed decisions about which institution to attend.  The CFP includes information about the estimated costs for that academic year, including any federal, state, and/or institutional funding.  In addition, CCBC's graduation rate, loan default rate, and median borrowing amounts are listed.  

Students may access their CFP by following these steps:

  • Log into SIMON.
  • Click on the Financial Aid tab.
  • Click on Federal Shopping Sheet.
  • You will have the option to download a PDF version or view it online.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students receiving financial aid should familiarize themselves with this information.

Students have the right to:

  • Know the correct procedures for applying for financial aid, cost of attendance (personalized in your SIMON account), and the types of aid available.
  • Know how financial need is determined, what the criteria are for awarding aid, how academic progress is determined, and what you have to do to continue receiving aid.
  • Understand the type and amount of assistance you will receive, how much of your need has been met, and how and when you will receive your funds.
  • View the contents of your student financial aid file, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Know the conditions of your loan you accept (personalized in your SIMON account).
  • Know the terms, conditions, and pay rate for any student employment position you accept.
  • Discuss any concerns regarding your financial aid situation.

Students have the responsibility to:

  • Read all materials sent to you from the Financial Aid Office, federal government, and state government.
  • Read, understand, and keep all copies of documents and forms completed and signed by you for your records.
  • Complete and submit any and all documents to the Financial Aid Office within required or recommended time frames.
  • Know and comply with the rules governing the aid you receive.  Each award received may have specific rules and/or regulations that require you to comply with to keep the award(s).  If you do not comply, award(s) may be reduced or canceled.
  • Comply with the provisions of any promissory note and all other agreements you sign.
  • Register for the correct number of credits to receive and/or keep certain financial aid.
  • Use financial aid solely for the educational costs outlined in your cost of attendance (personalized in your SIMON account).
  • Know the implications of dropping and withdrawing from courses.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Keep an updated, permanent address with CCBC.
  • Report any additional financial resources received during the period of your financial aid award.

Lifetime Eligibility Unit (LEU)

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law as July 1, 2012.  Full-time students are limited to a total of six full-time years (600%) of Pell Grant.  Part-time students have pro-rated amounts of Pell Grant, which will extend the number of years, however, the total amount is still 600%.  The total calculation also includes any Pell Grant received at previous institutions or before attending CCBC.

Unusual Enrollment History (UEH)

The federal government has established regulations to prevent fraud and abuse in the federal aid programs by identifying students with unusual enrollment histories. Some students who have an unusual enrollment history (UEH) have legitimate reasons for their enrollment at multiple institutions. However, such an enrollment history requires our office to review your file in order to determine future federal financial aid eligibility. If selected by via the FAFSA, transcripts for each institution attended will be required before you will receive financial aid.

Preparatory Coursework

Students not pursuing a degree or certificate at CCBC are typically not eligible to receive financial aid. However, if you are enrolled in CCBC courses for the purpose of admission into a specific program either through CCBC selective admissions programs or programs at another college/university, you may be eligible to receive a Direct Stafford Loan and/or a Parent PLUS loan.

Under the preparatory coursework agreement, the Department of Education does allow the student:

  • To receive only one consecutive 12-month period of federal loans (Direct Stafford and PLUS only) eligibility.
  • To receive a limited amount of federal loans, depending on your academic pursuit.  See the preparatory coursework borrowing limits:

In preparation for a Undergraduate Degree or Certificate:

  • Dependent Students: $2,625 Subsidized/Unsubsidized**
  • Independent Students: $8,625 Unsubsidized (Maximum of $2,625 Subsidized Only)

In preparation for a Graduate or Professional Degree:

  • Dependent Students: $5,500 Subsidized/Unsubsidized**
  • Independent Students: $12,500 Unsubsidized (Maximum of $5,500 Subsidized Only)

**Additional unsubsidized available for dependent undergraduates who parents cannot receive PLUS funds.

Under the preparatory coursework provision, the Department of Education does not allow the student:

  • To receive any federal grant or work-study funding.
  • To receive loans for preparatory courses taken for the purpose of raising your GPA.
  • To receive loans from more than one college during the same period of enrollment. 

Summer Financial Aid

Students may be eligible for Summer financial aid.

  • Part-time students registered in the Fall and/or Spring semesters, may have remaining Pell funds available for Summer.
  • Full-time students registered in the Fall and Spring semesters may have remaining Pell eligibility, however students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits/billable hours) during the Summer semester.
  • Students who may have attended another college or university within the same academic year, will be reviewed 
  • Students interested in Federal Direct loans for Summer must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits/billable hours).  Students who received the annual maximum loan amounts within the academic year will not be eligible.   
  • Students must meet all eligibility requirements to receive federal, state, and/or institutional funds.
  • Students who withdraw from Summer course(s) are subject to Return to Title IV.

Winter Financial Aid

Students may be eligible to use a portion of their Spring financial aid to pay for Winter tuition and fees.

  • For financial aid purposes, the winter session is combined with the spring semester.  The Cost of Attendance (COA) for spring will be adjusted to include Winter tuition and fees.
  • Your spring financial aid may pay for both winter and spring charges.   If your award is not enough to cover both winter and spring, a balance will remain for both terms.
  • Students receiving a full-time financial aid award (12 or more credits and/or billable hours) based upon grade level and dependency status, adding winter registration will not increase Pell or Direct loan eligibility.
  • Financial aid funds will disburse on or after the Spring disbursement date.  
  • Students receiving Direct loans must be at least 6 credits/billable hours between Winter and Spring semesters combined.
  • Winter grades will not change the student's financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status for the spring semester.  Winter grades will be calculated with the spring semester.  SAP will be reviewed after spring grades are posted.
  • Students who withdraw from Winter session are subject to Return to Title IV.  
  • Students must meet all eligibility requirements to receive federal, state, and/or institutional funds.

Courses within your Program of Study (CPOS)

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions ensure financial aid funds pay only for courses within a student's major or program of study.  In conjunction with our Pathways program, this assists students progress towards degree or certificate completion.  Course Program of Study (CPOS) will be reviewed before disbursement.  

Check your program of study in your SIMON account.  After you've confirmed your program of study, access DegreeWorks.  DegreeWorks easily identifies the courses you've already completed, along with the courses you will need to take in order to graduate.  You can access DegreeWorks through your SIMON account by clicking Students > DegreeWorks.