All federal funds at Vermont Tech are awarded on the basis of financial need. All students who apply for financial aid by the March 1 priority deadline and who are eligible for assistance are offered financial aid, subject to availability of funds. The amount of any award is determined by the amount of student need as computed from information provided by the family on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students may apply for financial aid by filling out a FAFSA Federal regulations mandate that a needs analysis be completed for anyone who applies for federal financial aid. It's important to file the FAFSA as early as possible to avoid delays in processing loan applications and other forms of campus-based aid. After March 1, late applicants are considered for aid only after we process all on-time applications.
Vermont residents should also complete the Vermont Grant Application through VSAC. Non-residents should check with their home state higher education agency for grant information.
Students selected for verification must submit additional information and we send a tracking letter accordingly. The Office of Financial Aid uses imaging to maintain and track documentation sent to the office and all originals are shredded.
All FAFSA applicants and parents of dependents who indicate that they have filed or will file a federal tax return use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to report or update their income information on the FAFSA.
Expected Family Contribution
Financial aid at Vermont Tech is based on the assumption that a student’s family will make the maximum effort to finance college expenses. Since there are many more demands on Vermont Tech’s financial aid resources than the college can possibly meet, assistance is viewed as supplemental to this family obligation. Applicants can expect that a fair portion of their personal savings at the time of each year’s application will be applied to college expenses.
The needs analysis system evaluates the requested information and determines a reasonable contribution that can be expected from the student and their family. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the Office of Financial Aid is required to use this expected family contribution in determining a student’s need for aid. If family financial circumstances change significantly after filing the FAFSA (due to loss of employment, extended illness, disability, etc.), the family should write to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible outlining this change.
For the purpose of application, income is defined as wages, salary, tips, interest accrued, dividends, pensions, welfare, social security, or any other form of income. Deductions against income are made for taxes and there's an employment allowance for parents working outside the home, as well as an income protection allowance that's based upon family size and the total number of family members in college.
Sources of Financial Aid
When you file a FAFSA, you're applying for the following federal, state, and college aid programs and establishing eligibility for a Federal Direct Loan.
The Federal Pell Grant Program is an entitlement program. This means that all eligible students receive awards. Eligibility is determined by the family’s and the student’s financial resources.
Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) are available to qualified students. A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need and the federal government pays interest on the loan until the student begins repayment and during authorized periods of deferment. The student pays the interest on an unsubsidized loan while enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
If you’re a dependent undergraduate student, you can borrow up to:
- $3,500 if you're a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that's at least a full academic year.
- $4,500 if you've completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year
- $5,500 per year if you've completed two years of study, are matriculated in a bachelor's degree program, and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year
Additional unsubsidized Direct loan limits may be increased by $2,000 for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2008.
Independent undergraduate students may borrow an additional amount up to $4,000-5,000 per year, depending on their year of study. However, students in the unsubsidized loan program can’t borrow more than the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid for which they're eligible.
Both subsidized and unsubsidized loan eligibility amounts are outlined on a student’s award letter.
All Federal Direct and PLUS loans are processed through the Federal Direct Loans Program (Direct Loans). Direct Loans provides Parent PLUS loans to parents of dependent undergraduate students through the school, funded directly by the government.
PLUS Loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow for each dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time. Parents who wish to apply must fill out a PLUS Loan Request Form, which is available through the Office of Financial Aid. A request form is automatically mailed with financial aid award notification letters. The yearly limit on a PLUS Loan is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid for which a student is eligible.
On July 6, 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Public Law 112-141) was enacted and limits a first-time borrower’s eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150% of the length of the borrower’s education program. In the summer of 2013, final regulations were completed. This legislation was enacted to encourage students to obtain their degrees within a reasonable time frame.
First-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 are subject to the provisions in this legislation. Generally speaking, a first-time borrower is one who didn't have an outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or FFEL loan on July 1, 2013.
Federal regulations limit the time period during which you can receive Direct Subsidized loans to 150% of the standard length of the program in which you're enrolled. For example, for a bachelor’s degree program that is normally completed in four years attending full-time, borrowers can receive subsidized loans for a maximum of six years (150% x 4 = 6). The period is reduced for less than full-time study. Once you've received direct subsidized loans for your maximum eligibility period, you may continue to receive direct unsubsidized loans and your subsidized loans may begin to accrue interest.
Federal Aid Programs Administered by the College
The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a gift of money to assist students with the cost of their education. It's restricted to undergraduates and doesn't require repayment. The maximum amount awarded is $4,000, depending on a student’s need and the availability of funds at Vermont Tech. Average grants range from $600 to $1,600 per year. Students who are eligible for Pell grants have first consideration for this fund.
The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is a federal work program administered by Vermont Tech which provides jobs for students on or off campus. Average awards range from $1,200 to $1,600 for the year, which translates to approximately 10-14 hours of work per week. Students may also use FWS funds for off-campus non-profit community service placements. Federal Work-Study earnings aren't credited on a student’s bill. Instead, the student worker receives a paycheck every two weeks.
Vermont Incentive Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need. Any full-time undergraduate Vermont resident who plans to attend or is enrolled in an approved post-secondary institution and who has not already received a bachelor’s degree is eligible to apply.
Students are required to file supplemental information with VSAC to be considered for a Vermont state grant.
Other states, including Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, offer undergraduate grants or scholarships usable at Vermont Tech. All students eligible for these grants should apply for them. Contact the Office of Financial Aid or your high school guidance office to find out which states require supplemental information.
Veterans’ Education Benefits
Veterans planning to attend Vermont Tech using the GI Bill® should indicate this on their admissions application.
Please visit the GI Bill® website and complete the VA form that applies:
- 22-1990 if you have served in the military and are applying for education benefits for the first time
- 22-199E if you are a dependent using a spouse's or parent's post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits
- 22-1995 if you are a veteran who is changing schools
- 22-5490 if you are a dependent (child or spouse) of a deceased or 100% disabled veteran and are applying for benefits for the first time
- 22-5495 if you are a dependent who is changing schools
After the VA processes an application, they send a certificate of eligibility letter to the applicant, which the applicant should forward to:
Vermont Technical College
Attn.: Veterans’ Certifying Official
PO Box 500
Randolph Center, VT 05061
Once eligibility is established, student enrollment is certified with the VA. Veterans must submit a request for certification prior to the start of classes every term. If a student doesn’t want to be certified or is no longer eligible for VA benefits, they must notify the school certifying official.
Veterans need to be prepared to purchase books and have living expenses for the first four to six weeks of classes. The initial payments can be slow, but are retroactive to the start of the term once they begin.
Veterans must submit a request for enrollment certification each time they register for classes.
The VA determines the BAH rate. The VA calculates MHA based on the location of the campus where the student physically attends a majority of their classes.
Veterans who are certified as eligible for the GI Educational Assistance allowance are permitted to register upon signing an approved payment plan with the business office. A late financial clearance fee and financial hold will only be placed on students who have not paid any portion not covered by the VA or provided their Certificate of Eligibility to the VA Certifying Official at Vermont Tech. Financial holds and late fees are activated approximately 30 days into each term.
The Vermont National Guard State Educational Assistance Program provides tuition assistance to eligible members of the Vermont National Guard who are enrolled in undergraduate degree and diploma programs at public colleges in Vermont.
Other Financial Aid Sources
Scholarships are available to students who meet the criteria set for each. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for information about scholarships appropriate to your situation.
Vermont Tech also has institutional grants which are awarded based on financial need or merit. Financial need is determined using the same criteria used for awarding campus-based aid. The maximum amount awarded depends upon the availability of funds and student need.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal statutes and regulations require that recipients of federal financial aid must progress at a pace to ensure degree completion within the maximum time frame allowed and must be in good standing based on cumulative GPA requirements.
Students are reviewed on a term basis. Students not making SAP (either the pace or the GPA requirement) as described below lose their financial aid eligibility for all aid types. Students have to successfully appeal to the Director of Financial Aid in order to continue to receive Title IV aid despite failing SAP standards. Students who are academically dismissed from their programs are automatically recognized as failing to meet SAP standards.
All terms in which a student is enrolled, including periods in which the student didn't receive federal student aid funds, must be considered in the determination of SAP.
- Pace/Time Progression Students must successfully complete 67% of their attempted courses within the VSCS as recorded and documented by the Office of the Registrar. Dropped courses aren't included. Courses from which the student withdraws after the end of the add/drop period are counted toward attempted courses. For financial aid eligibility, total hours attempted, including transfer credits counted toward the degree, can't exceed 150% of graduation requirements. As an example, if you attempt/enroll in 12 credits for one semester, you must successfully complete 8 of those 12 credits (12 x 67% = 8).
- GPA Requirement Students with fewer than 30 attempted credits must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.75. Students with 30 attempted credits or greater must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 as documented by the Registrar.
- Maximum Time Frame The maximum time frame for a student to complete their academic program may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program, measured in credit hours. As an example, if an associate degree program requires 68 credits, the maximum time frame allowed to complete the program would be 102 credits* (68 x 150% = 102).
*Different programs have different degree requirements. Students who have reached the maximum time frame aren't eligible for federal financial aid.
An appeal is the process by which a student who isn't meeting Vermont Tech’s SAP standards can petition the school for reconsideration of Title IV eligibility.
An appeal form is sent to each student not making SAP. The form explains how the student has failed to meet SAP and the steps to appeal the loss of financial aid. To appeal, students complete the form and submit it, along with all supporting documentation, to the Director of Financial Aid. As part of the appeal, the student must include information regarding why they failed to make SAP and what has changed in their situation that would allow the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation. An appeal must be based on significant mitigating circumstances that seriously impacted academic performance. Examples of mitigating circumstances are: serious illness, severe injury, death of a family member, and other similar situations.
Approval is based on the likelihood that the student will meet SAP at the next review. Please note that merely filing an appeal doesn't guarantee continued eligibility for federal aid. Students should make every effort to improve their SAP standing, as they're limited to two SAP appeals.
If a student’s appeal is approved, the student is considered for federal aid during the probationary periods for which the student has applied and is otherwise eligible. Once the probationary period has concluded, the student may re-establish eligibility for federal aid for a subsequent term by meeting SAP standards.
Financial Aid Probation: a status assigned to a student who fails to meet SAP who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated
Financial Aid Warning: a status assigned to a student who fails to make SAP. The student may continue to receive Title IV aid for one payment period. Students receive a warning that they need to bring their academic standing up to satisfy academic progress standards in their following term as outlined or they lose their eligibility for aid. No appeal is necessary for this status.
Appeal Denial: if an appeal for federal financial aid is denied, the decision is final for that term. The student may re-establish eligibility for federal aid for a subsequent term by taking action to comply with the GPA and pace/time progression components of SAP policy standards.
Students with documented disabilities may be allotted additional time for completion of courses.
Change in Degree Program
All credits earned at Vermont Tech plus transfer credits are normally counted when the student changes degree programs. Each case is evaluated on its own merit. Students may not extend their period of enrollment by changing their majors after accumulating maximum credits for a program.
Grades and Credits
Courses with grades of W (withdrawn), I (incomplete), or F (failed) are counted as courses attempted but not earned and are also counted toward the maximum time frame.
Credits earned for repeated courses and remedial coursework don't count toward academic progress. Courses graded solely on a pass/fail basis that are accepted toward the academic program are included when measuring academic progress.
Transfer credits accepted toward the student’s academic program or degree count as both attempted and earned credits and are counted when measuring SAP, but don't impact GPA.
Review of Awards
The Director of Financial Aid reserves the privilege of reviewing and revising awards. Therefore, the applicant should notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately if there's a change in either the student’s or the family’s financial situation. This includes the receipt of non-college scholarships. Financial aid awards may be adjusted upon receipt of such items as family contributions, grants, outside scholarships, and loans. Eligibility for financial aid depends on such resources not exceeding the total costs of attending VTC.
If a student receives an outside scholarship that the college doesn't know about at the time an award letter is prepared, they're issued a revised award reflecting an adjustment to avoid an over-award situation. Any initial adjustment is reflected in unmet need, then self-help (loan and work) before the gift aid portion of the financial aid package is adjusted.
Most financial aid awards are based originally upon the assumption that a student will enroll as a full-time student (12 or more credits per term) unless they have notified us to the contrary. If a student changes status from full- to part-time enrollment, an aid adjustment may result. A review of enrollment status is completed each term at the end of the add/drop period; any aid adjustments are made accordingly.
Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
Per Federal Financial Aid Regulations 34 CFR 668.40, HEAO Sec. 488(g), amended HEA Sec. 485 (20 U.S.C. 1092), HEA Sec. 485(k):
In compliance with the above regulation, this statement serves as notice that a student who has a drug conviction for any offense during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV HEA program funds (Federal Pell, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Grad PLUS Loans) under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV program funds (see above listing of program funds).