2024-2025 Catalog 
    
    Jul 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog

Financial Aid and Veterans Benefits


Financial Aid

Philosophy

The goal of the Financial Aid Office is to enable access to higher education by providing college financial planning and quality customer service to students and families in pursuit of their educational goals. Joliet Junior College requires all students applying for grants, student employment, loans, and scholarships to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at StudentAid.gov. More information on financial aid can be found online at jjc.edu > Getting Started > Pay for College > Financial Aid.

Getting Started

Students must apply annually to receive financial aid. Financial aid can take many forms: grants, scholarships, student employment and loans. Follow these steps and guidelines:

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at StudentAid.gov (this also applies for the Renewal FAFSA for students who have previously applied). Students need an FSA ID to apply for federal student aid. Create one at StudentAid.gov if you do not already have one. Parents of a dependent student are required FAFSA contributors and will be required  to create an FSA ID as well. Please save the FSA ID for future access to FAFSA information. A FASFA Submission Summary will be sent to the student via mail or email within two weeks.

OR

2. The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity Act (RISE) Act allows eligible undocumented students to apply for all forms of state financial aid. Undocumented students should complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid at isac.org/alternativeapp instead of the FAFSA.

3. Applicants must also complete the JJC admission process at jjc.edu > Getting Started > Admissions. in order for the Financial Aid Office to complete the financial aid process.

4. Apply for scholarships at jjc.edu > Getting Started > Pay for College > Scholarships. Scholarship deadline dates are available on the JJC website.

The process DOES NOT stop here! Students will need to work directly with the Financial Aid Office to complete the process. Students must check their JJC student email account and Financial Aid Self-Service for a list of requested information to complete their financial aid file. Students applying for financial aid must have a completed file and have been awarded aid prior to the tuition due date posted on the JJC website. Every student is responsible for being aware of these dates. If a file is incomplete, the student will be responsible for adhering to the payment due date on the bill. The student’s file will still be processed, and if eligible for funds, will be reimbursed accordingly. If your financial award does not cover the total balance of tuition and fees, you must pay the difference in full or enroll in the college’s online tuition payment plan.

General Information

For the purpose of meeting federal and state student aid guidelines, the following criteria will apply to aid recipients:

  1. Credit hour load:
    1. 12 or more credit hours is considered full time.
    2. 9-11 credit hours is considered 3/4 time.
    3. 6-8 credit hours is considered 1/2 time.
    4. Less than six credit hours is considered less than 1/2 time. Students do not qualify for most aid programs if enrolled in fewer than six credit hours.
  2. Class status:
    1. Students who have earned 1-31 credit hours are considered freshmen.
    2. Students who have earned 32 or more hours are considered sophomores.
  3. Academic requirements:
    1. Students receiving federal and state financial aid are responsible for adhering to the institution’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and Academic Standards of Progress Policy.

Financial Aid Programs

There are a number of federal programs that can be determined by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

  • Grants: Pell Grant eligibility is based on the expected family contribution as indicated on the results of the aid application. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) has limited funds and is awarded based on student need and availability. The MAP Grant provides funds, which do not need to be repaid, to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need, based on the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ) or the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid (RISE Act).
  • Work: The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program on campus is available to students with aid eligibility. Any student in good academic standing and enrolled in six or more credits may apply for a student worker position on campus. Students meeting the criteria for the America Reads/America Counts program may work off campus at elementary schools in the area. Students on academic probation are not eligible for work study.
  • Loans: Direct subsidized and direct unsubsidized loans are available to students. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan may be used by parents to assist dependent students with the cost of their education.

 

Student Dependency Status: Students are classified as dependent or independent because federal student aid programs are based on the idea that students’ parents have the primary responsibility of paying for their children’s education.

For the 2024-2025 Award Year, you are an independent student if you are able to answer yes to one of the following:

  • Were you born before January 1, 2001?
  • As of today, are you married? (Also answer “No” if you are separated but not divorced.)
  • At the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, graduate certificate, etc.)?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training? (If you are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee, are you on active duty for other than state or training purposes?)
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • Do you have children or other people (excluding your spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you now and between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were you an orphan (no living biological or adoptive parent)?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were you a ward of the court?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were you in foster care?
  • Are you or were you a legally emancipated minor, as determined by a court in your state of residence?
  • Are you or were you in a legal guardianship with someone other than your parent or stepparent, as determined by a court in your state of residence?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2023, were you unaccompanied and either (1) homeless or (2) self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, as determined by an individual at an eligible agency?
  • your high school or district homeless liaison or designee
  • the director or designee of an emergency or transitional shelter, street outreach program, homeless youth drop-in center, or other program serving those experiencing homelessness
  • the director or designee of a project supported by a federal TRIO program or a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant
  • a financial aid administrator

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Joliet Junior College Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is in compliance with Title IV Department of Education regulations. According to federal and state guidelines, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to be eligible to receive and maintain financial assistance. Continuing students at JJC and students who are transferring from other schools must meet all criteria of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy each enrolled semester to be eligible for financial aid. This policy applies to all students applying for financial aid whether you received financial aid in the past. The minimum standards to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress are as follows:

  1. At the end of each semester, a student must have satisfactorily completed 66.667 percent of cumulative attempted hours, including transfer credits. Attempted hours also include classes that a student receives a passing grade or grade of F (failed), W (withdrawal), and I (incomplete). 
  2. Students who have attempted credit hours that are equal and/or in excess of 150 percent of their degree program’s published length are immediately terminated and ineligible for Title IV aid. For example: for a 60 credit hour Associate degree, 90 credit hours attempted is the maximum number of hours a student can take and maintain eligibility for financial aid. Students will be evaluated at the end of each semester to ensure progress toward a specified program or eligible certificate.
  3. A student must maintain an academic standing that is consistent with the graduation requirements for his/her program and must maintain a minimal grade point average as indicated in the following:
  Hours Attempted   Minimum Cumulative GPA  
  0-12   1.75  
  13-32   1.85  
  33-48   1.95  
  49-64   2.00  

NOTE: If a student is not in accordance with one or more of the above requirements at the end of each semester, they will be placed on financial aid warning or termination. If placed on financial aid warning, a student will receive aid for one additional semester, and will be sent an email notice through their JJC student email of their limited warning status.

While on warning, if a student fails to comply with the standards for a second consecutive semester, the student will be terminated from financial aid. When terminated, an email notice of ineligibility will be sent to the student through their JJC student email account. If terminated, a student may appeal for reinstatement of their financial aid.

Reinstatement Procedures

Students that have failed to adhere to JJC’s SAP policy may complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal if there are extenuating circumstances that lead to poor academic performance.

 

1. Watch the ‘Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Process Tutorial’ at bit.ly/sapvid2 (case sensitive).

  • If prompted, log into your JJC student account to view the video.
     

2. Determine the Type of SAP Appeal that needs to be completed.

  • Termination Appeal.
  • Maximum Time Frame Appeal.
  • Maximum Time One-Time Reset Appeal.  
          

3. Schedule an appointment with a JJC Academic Advisor to complete your Educational Plan.

  • Call 815-280-2673, visit Room A-1155 or email academicadvising@jjc.edu.
  • After your meeting, the Academic Advisor will email you a copy of the Educational Plan.

 

4. Type your Letter of Explanation to detail the extenuating circumstances.

5. Gather your Supporting Documentation.

6. Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form at bit.ly/jjcsapform (case sensitive).


7. Upload your 1) Educational Plan, 2) Letter of Explanation, and 3) Supporting Documentation. Retain a copy of the appeal and all documentation for your records.

 

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee meets on the first Tuesday of the month. In order for appeals to be reviewed at the committee meeting, documentation must be submitted by the last Wednesday of the month. 
 

The student will be notified of the decision through their JJC email account. 
 

For the full SAP policy please visit jjc.edu > Getting Started > Pay for College > Financial Aid > Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

 

Contact JJC Financial Aid Office: 815-280-2528, visit Room A 1020, or email, SAPfinaid@jjc.edu.

Withdrawal and Return of Financial Aid Policy

Any class drops/withdrawals, additions, and/or changes at any time during the semester can affect students’ financial aid. Students should check with the Financial Aid Office for further information before changing their enrollment status.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw from their classes. The Registration and Records office at the Main Campus process official withdrawals.

The Financial Aid Office is required to implement a Return of Title IV Aid for students who completely withdraw for the term and/or receive all F’s due to non-attendance after receiving Title IV aid. Return of Title IV calculations is comprised of the following federal financial assistance programs: Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Plus loans. The return formula is used to determine if the student and/or school must repay any amount of federal assistance. The withdrawal date or last date of attendance as reported by the instructor is used to calculate aid eligibility. As a result of the return calculation, the student may owe a balance to the college. The balance must be paid before the student can register for future terms. For more information, please review the Financial Aid Handbook.

Veterans Education Benefits

The Mission of the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) is to enhance the success of student Veterans and their dependents by providing assistance and guidance in achieving their educational objectives. This includes the Illinois Veterans Grant, Illinois National Guard Grant, MIA/POW Scholarship, Montgomery/Post 911 GI Bill®, and the Veterans Readiness and Employment Program. The office provides information on each program and assists students with applying for and receiving their benefits.

Eligible active-duty service members, veterans, and their dependents will be charged in-state tuition and fee amounts in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations and guidance. Eligibility is defined by the regulating agency.

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 VA.gov Home | Veterans Affairs.

The office is located within the Veterans Resource Center (C-1039) 815-280-2966. For more information on veterans’ education benefits at JJC, visit the veterans page at Veterans Resource Center | Joliet Junior College (jjc.edu)

Veterans Satisfactory Academic Progress

An evaluation is made at the end of each semester to determine a student’s progress. A student is considered to be making satisfactory progress if their grade point average complies with the following:

  Cumulative Credit Hours Attempted   Minimum Cumulative GPA  
  0-12   1.75  
  13-32   1.85  
  33-48   1.95  
  49 and above   2.00  

NOTE: The first semester a student using veterans’ education benefits fails to meet these requirements, they will be placed on warning and sent an email notice by JJC student email of their limited status. A student has one semester to comply with the minimum academic standards of progress listed above. If the student meets this, the warning will be lifted.

If the student fails to comply with the set standards at the end of the probation semester, the student will be placed on termination status, resulting in loss of eligibility for all state and federal benefits. When terminated, an email notice of ineligibility will be sent to the student through their JJC student email account.  If terminated, a student may appeal for reinstatement of their veterans’ education benefits.

When a student is placed on termination status, JJC is required to notify the VA and suspend benefit certification until minimum standards are reached. JJC is also not allowed to bill the state of Illinois for Illinois Veterans Grant, Illinois National Guard Grant, or MIA/POW Scholarship for a student’s tuition until the termination status is lifted.

Termination from use of benefits does not, however, mean termination from JJC.

Appeal Procedure: Students may appeal their termination status to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee. Information regarding the appeals process can be found at Financial Aid | Joliet Junior College (jjc.edu)> Satisfactory Academic Progress. Supporting documentation must accompany the request.

Reinstatement Procedure: The student must increase their cumulative GPA in accordance with the standards listed above to be reinstated or have their appeal granted by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee.

Procedures for Use of Benefits

It is each student’s choice to use their education benefits each semester at JJC. After registering, the student must notify the Veterans Resource Center to request their benefits be processed. This can be done in person, through the student portal, or through email. Failure to do so can result in a delay of processing time for benefits.

Joliet Junior College will not take any of the four following actions toward any student using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while their payment from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs is pending to the educational institution:

  • Prevent their enrollment;
  • Assess a late penalty fee to;
  • Require they secure alternative or additional funding;
  • Deny their access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.

However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:

  • Produce the VA’s Certificate of Eligibility by the first day of class;
  • Provide written request to be certified;
  • Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies (see our VA School Certifying Official for all requirements).

Montgomery/Post 911 GI Bill Restrictions

The VA requires students to transfer in all prior college credits to their current school of attendance for evaluation. Students using the GI Bill must declare an approved degree or certificate as their major and only classes that meet the graduation requirements are certified for benefits. The VA does not allow certification for any online remedial classes. Additionally, if a student withdraws, either officially or by cessation of attendance, this must be reported to the VA and can result in an overpayment of benefits.