Financial Aid Policies

Information You Need to Know

  • Your financial aid proposal lists all of the financial aid you are eligible for at GCC. Review this proposal as soon as you receive it. It is not necessary to return the document. If you want to decline any of your financial aid such as a student loan and/or you believe you are eligible for other financial aid not listed in your financial aid proposal, contact the GCC Financial Aid Office. A revised award will be calculated after these changes have been submitted. You can view all of your financial aid and account information online at, under My GCC.
  • If you believe you are eligible for a type of financial aid not listed in your financial aid proposal, please contact the GCC Financial Aid Office. There may be other requirements you need to fulfill or we may not have received notification from the various funding sources of your eligibility. We have awarded you all the aid you are eligible to receive as of the date on your proposal.
  • Your financial aid proposal is an estimate that is subject to revisions due to changes in your enrollment, correction of errors and omissions, adjustments because of false or misleading student information, receipt of outside scholarships, grants and loans, conflicting information, changes in the availability of funding, failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress and the requirements of state and federal law and institutional policy.
  • If after considering your resources and expenses you believe additional assistance will be necessary for you to attend GCC, you may want to inquire about additional loan options such as alternative loans, parent loans or Federal Direct loans (if not already received). Please call the GCC Financial Aid Office for further information regarding these loan procedures.
  • An estimate of your tuition/fee and book/supply costs is listed on your financial aid proposal. For a full-time student, this estimate is based on the student enrolling in 16 credits per semester. These costs will increase or decrease based on your actual enrollment status. You will not know the exact amount of your direct costs to GCC until you register for your classes and charges are generated. You will also owe GCC for your housing costs if you are staying in on-campus housing.
  • Your aid proposal is based on the financial information you reported on your FAFSA. You are entitled to an explanation of the award process, which includes your financial aid budget, expected family contribution and financial aid proposal. Questions regarding any aspect of this process should be addressed to the GCC Financial Aid Office.
  • You are required to report all changes in your financial status to the GCC Financial Aid Office. Adjustments may need to be calculated. This also includes the receipt of any grants/scholarships from outside of GCC such as a high school, MI Works, MI Rehab, WI CEP, etc.
  • You are required to pay your tuition and fees before you begin attending classes. Full payment is due the Friday of the first week of classes.
  • Grants, scholarships and student loans may be available for you to use to pay for your tuition and fee charges. This is in the form of estimated financial aid. If available, the aid amount will be stated on your billing statement. Any tuition and fee balance remaining after aid is used must be paid in full by the due date. If there is remaining aid on your account after all tuition/fee and room (if applicable) charges have been deducted, it can be used to purchase class related books and supplies in the college bookstore.
  • You may use cash, check, credit card or the GCC payment plan to pay any outstanding charges. Payments are submitted by mail or in person to the Business Office in Room 209 of the Rutger Erickson Academic Building or by calling 906-932-4231, ext. 205. Call the Business Office to receive information on GCC's payment options.
  • Financial aid is reconciled with your enrollment status each semester at the end of our drop period. Your official financial aid awards will be disbursed on your account after this time. (You must enroll in six or more credits per semester in your program of study to be eligible for student loans.) Student expense checks are normally disbursed the fourth week of classes. GCC deducts your tuition/fee, bookstore and campus housing costs from your financial aid before an expense check is released. Remember: first-time borrowers must wait 30 days to receive their student loan checks. Loan checks are also disbursed in two installments during the course of the semester for those students who are only borrowing for one semester. Your expense check may be released at a later date if you fall into one of these categories or you may receive a small expense check when the first round of checks is disbursed and the remaining balance when you become eligible.
  • If you totally withdraw from GCC or quit attending classes before 60% of the semester enrollment period has passed, you will need to pay a portion of your financial aid back to GCC and/or the federal financial aid programs. If you fail to begin attendance in any class, the class will not be counted in your enrollment status for financial aid purposes and you may need to repay a part of your financial aid back to the financial aid program. Repayment can occur at any time during the academic year, depending on the receipt of this information by the GCC Financial Aid Office.
  • GCC is required to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for our federal and state financial aid recipients. Satisfactory academic progress measures your performance by cumulative grade point average, completion rate of courses and maximum time limits to complete the program. If you do not meet these standards, you could be terminated from receiving any future financial aid. The standards are outlined in the school catalog and on the GCC website.
  • College work-study placements will be made in June/July and mailed to you along with the program guidelines.
  • You are not allowed to receive financial aid at two institutions during the same enrollment period. GCC does not participate in consortium agreements as the home institution.
  • You must enroll in classes in your program of study. Financial aid will not pay for courses that are not part of your scheduled program.
  • There are some courses and programs that are not financial aid eligible. You cannot receive financial aid for ENG090, ENG091, MTH090 and MTH091. You also cannot receive financial aid if you are enrolled in the following programs: Certified Nursing Assistant, Cosmetology Instructor, Nail Technician, Emergency Medical Services Specialized Study, Early College, and Ski Lift Maintenance/Operating Training.
  • You must complete the three steps in How to Apply for a Federal Direct Loan before any loan proceeds can be disbursed. Your financial aid proposal may have told you that you were eligible to receive a student loan. This does not mean you have applied for the loan. If you request a loan amount greater than what is listed in your financial aid proposal or you receive financial aid at a later date in excess of $500, you may be required to fill out a Budget Worksheet. Parent loans are also available. Contact the GCC Financial Aid Office for additional information and visit Student loans are only approved for educational expenses and must be applied for before your last date of attendance.

Return of Financial Aid When A Student Withdraws

If a student totally withdraws from GCC or quits attending classes before 60% of the semester enrollment period has passed, the student will need to pay a portion of financial aid back to GCC and/or the federal financial aid programs. If a student fails to begin attendance in any class, the class will not be counted in the student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes and may result in the student paying a portion of financial aid back to the financial aid program. Repayment can occur at any time during the academic year depending on the receipt of this information by the GCC Financial Aid Office.

The law specifies how GCC must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance the student earns if the student withdraws from school. The Title IV Programs administered by GCC covered by this law include: Federal Pell grants, Federal Direct loans, Federal PLUS loans and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants. The students are made aware of this policy by E-mail at the beginning of each semester.

When a student withdraws during a payment period, the amount of Title IV program assistance earned is determined by a specific formula. Upon request, the formula will be provided to the student. If the student received more assistance than what was earned, the excess funds must be returned by the student and/or GCC. The amount of the student's financial aid may need to be returned to the programs along with the amount the student may owe the school. This amount will be calculated by the GCC Financial Aid Office using the software provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the student will be notified by mail of any repayment obligations. The software automatically determines the percentage of the payment period completed. The Director of Financial Aid calculates the total number of days in the payment period after reviewing the academic calendar provided by the Dean of Faculty.

If a student withdraws before 60% of the payment period has passed, GCC must always return a portion of the aid received for tuition/fees and books. The student also has a financial obligation to repay a portion of financial aid back to the various federal programs for any educational costs in which financial aid was received. The amount the student owes to GCC for returning of the federal funds will be 50% of the total federal funds returned by GCC or the amount of the student's expense check, whichever is larger. The Dean of Students will hear any appeals the student may have regarding the amount of money they owe the college.

Student loan funds received are paid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. The student would make the scheduled payment to the servicer of the loan over a period of time. There are cases where the school returns a portion of the loan funds. The student may be billed for loan funds the school was required to return, thus owing less to the lender, but accruing a debt to GCC. The student is notified in writing of the amount GCC returned to the lender whether it was due to a refund or the return of program funds.

GCC returns funds in the following order: Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Federal Subsidized Direct Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant and SEOG Grant. The funds are returned as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the determination of the student's withdrawal. The funds are returned to the department electronically by the Director of Financial Aid updates to COD and the Dean of Business updates through G5.

The amount of assistance the student has earned is determined on a prorated basis. For example, if the student completed 30% of the payment period, the student would earn 30% of the assistance originally scheduled to be received. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period, the student earns all of the assistance they were scheduled to receive and no repayment is necessary.

If the student did not receive all of the funds earned, the student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, GCC must receive the student's permission before GCC can disburse the loan funds to the student. The student may choose to decline all or some of the loan funds so additional loan debt is not incurred. GCC will automatically use the student's post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for outstanding tuition/fee and room charges. GCC needs the student's permission to use the post-withdrawal loan disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the best interest of the student to allow GCC to keep the funds to reduce the debt at the school.

There are some Title IV funds the student may have been scheduled to receive, but GCC cannot disburse the funds once the student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if the student is a first-time, first-year student and has not completed the first 30 days of the term before withdrawal, Federal loan funds cannot be disbursed.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from GCC's refund policy. Therefore the student may owe funds to GCC to cover unpaid institutional charges. GCC also charges students for Title IV program funds GCC was required to return.

GCC reserves the right to withhold services, including the issuing of academic transcripts, from a student who has not satisfied financial obligations.

Students are required to register for all classes prior to the first Friday of the semester. If the student registers for classes after this date, the classes would not be included in the student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes. If the student withdraws from a modular class beginning later in the semester and never begins attendance in the class, the student's financial aid will be adjusted to reflect the new enrollment status. This situation normally places the student in a repayment status and the student will be required to repay any overpayment of financial aid received for the course(s) withdrawn from.

If a student completes a modular class, never begins attendance in other modular classes and does not provide written confirmation of nonattendance prior to the start of the modular classes, the student is considered a withdrawal. The student would not be considered a withdrawal if the student was still enrolled in a semester long course.

The withdrawal date is the date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notifies GCC in writing or verbally of the intent to withdraw. If a student does not provide official notification of the intent to withdraw because of illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other such circumstances, the withdrawal date will be determined in relation to the circumstance. The midpoint of the period may also be used as the withdrawal date for unofficial withdrawals. GCC may always, at its option, use the student's last date of attendance at a documented academically related activity in lieu of any other withdrawal date.

The following procedure is used in determining the withdrawal date:

  • The Financial Aid Office may receive an official withdrawal form directly from the student or from the Dean of Students Office. The student may verbally inform the Financial Aid Office of their intent to withdraw or a faculty member may indicate the student's absence from class which would require follow-up with the student and/or the Dean of Students Office.

GCC does not have a formal leave of absence policy.

Drug Convictions and Federal Student Aid

You will lose your eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan or work-study assistance (HEA Sec. 484(r)(1); (20 U.S.C 1091(r)(1), if you are convicted for any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs, during a period of enrollment in which you received Title IV HEA program funds.

Study Abroad

Students who enroll in a program of study abroad approved for credit by the home institution may be considered for federal student financial assistance.

Program Eligibility

There are a few programs at GCC that are not financial aid eligible. Students who are accepted for enrollment in these programs are ineligible to receive federal financial aid. These programs are as follows:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant Program
  • Cosmetology Instructor Training Program
  • Nail Technician Program
  • Emergency Medical Services Specialized Study Program
  • Ski Lift Maintenance/Operating Training Program (CED)

There are also a few courses that students may need to enroll in to increase their skills in English and Math that are not financial aid eligible: ENG090, ENG091, MTH090 and MTH091.

Remember: Students need to be degree or certificate seeking at GCC and accepted in to an eligible program in order to receive financial aid. An estimated offer of financial aid may be given to the student, but it isn't official until the student's acceptance has been finalized.

GCC does not participate in consortium agreements as the home institution.

FERPA - Financial Aid Office

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C., 1232 g; 34CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA protects the privacy of student records by requiring prior written consent before disclosing personally identifiable information to a third party.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.

Records created and maintained by the GCC Financial Aid Office are considered to be education records and may not be disclosed without the student's consent. This includes at least all of the following records:

  • records relating to eligibility and disbursement of federal student aid funds;
  • student account information;
  • Federal Work-Study payroll records;
  • financial aid applications;
  • SAR's and ISIR's;
  • documentation of professional judgment decisions;
  • documentation relating to a refusal to certify Federal education loans;
  • financial aid history information;
  • cost of attendance information, including documentation related to any adjustments;
  • satisfactory academic progress documentation;
  • documents used for verification;
  • entrance and exit counseling records and
  • financial records.

All documents are maintained in hardcopy.

Educational records include any materials received from the student and/or parents. It also includes any records that were used to make any decisions about the students. Only those records that are directly related to the student are considered to be educational records.

GCC will disclose the student's financial aid record to the parents if the student is a dependent according to IRS rules (i.e. claimed as a dependent on the parents' income tax return, per IRS Section 152). This information will only be disclosed to the custodial parent unless written consent is provided by the student and the custodial parent to release the information to other parties. GCC does not allow a student to review the records of other individual's unless these individuals have provided written consent. This includes the parent's information.

If the student is not claimed as a dependent by his or her parents, the parents do not have the right to review the student's financial aid records, not even if they pay the tuition bills.

If a divorce decree, separation agreement, custody agreement, restraining order, or other legally binding agreement or court order revokes a parent's right to see the student's record, GCC will not disclose the record to that parent.

The student's spouse or ex-spouse does not have the right to review the student's financial aid record.

Disclosure of financial aid records to the following parties without consent is permitted under the "need to know" provision:

  • authorized representatives of the U.S. Department of Education as well as state and local education authorities;
  • school officials with legitimate educational interest. GCC will not disclose information in the student's financial aid records to the Foundation Office;
  • other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • appropriate officials in the case of health and safety emergencies. The threat must be imminent and the disclosure must be narrowly tailored to the nature of the emergency;
  • to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. All such requests will be turned over to GCC's attorney before disclosure is made;
  • accrediting organizations; and
  • appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student.

Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals

Gogebic Community College (GCC), as a participant in the federal student loan programs, is required to have a code of conduct relating to student financial aid issues that is applicable to the College's agents and employees. The code of conduct requirements are set forth in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) signed into law on August 14, 2008. In addition, the law includes requirements related to the publication of the code and annual disclosures.

The code of conduct must prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an agent or employee of an institution, with respect to such loans, and include the provisions set forth in the HEOA related to conflicts. The law further specifies that the code shall be displayed prominently on the institution's website and that all institutional agents or employees with responsibilities related to such loans be annually informed of the provisions of the code of conduct.

GCC hereby adopts the following as the code of conduct related to student loan activities and will annually inform all GCC agents or employees with responsibilities for student loan activities and decisions of the provisions of this code.

The College will not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.

Revenue-sharing is defined as an arrangement between the College and a lender under which (a) a lender provides or issues a loan to students attending the College or to their families; and (b) the College recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and in exchange, the lender pay a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue for profit sharing, to the College or its employees.

No employee of the College who works in the financial aid office of the College or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans. A gift to a family member or an employee or to any other individual based on that individual's relationship with the employee shall be considered a gift to the employee if the gift is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the employee and the employee has reason to believe the gift was given because of the employee's position at the College. (For the purpose of this policy, a "relative" is defined as an individual with whom an employee has a relationship by blood, marriage, adoption, domestic partnership, or other personal relationship in which objectivity might be impaired.)

The term "gift" means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimums amount. The term includes a gift of services, transportation, lodging, or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred. The term "gift" does not include the following:

  1. Standard materials, activities, or programs on issues related to a loan, default, aversion, default prevention, or financial literacy, such as a brochure, a workshop, or training.
  2. Food, refreshments, training or informational material furnished to the College as an integral part of a training session that is designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans to the College, if such training contributes to the professional development of the College's employees.
  3. Favorable terms, conditions, and borrower benefits on an education loan provided to a student employed by the College or an employee who is the parent of a student if such terms, conditions, or benefits are comparable to those provided to all students of the College and are not provided because of the student's or parent's employment with the College.
  4. Entrance and exit counseling services provided to borrowers to meet the College's responsibilities for entrance and exit counseling as required by law, as long as the College's staff are in control of the counseling, and such counseling does not promote the products or services of any specific lender.
  5. Philanthropic contributions to an institution from a lender, servicer, or guarantor of education loans that are unrelated to education loans or any contribution from any lender, guarantor, or servicer that is not made in exchange for any advantage related to education loans.
  6. State education grants, scholarships or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of a State.
  7. Token awards from professional associations (state, regional, or national) that recognize professional milestones or extraordinary service to parents and students, or scholarships for conference attendance or other professional development opportunities.

No employee shall accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) 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 education loans.

The College will not assign a borrower's FFELP loan, through award packaging or other methods, to a particular lender. The College will not refuse to certify or delay certification of any federal loan based on the borrower's selection or a particular lender or guaranty agency. The College will not assign a student's private student loan to a particular lender, or refuse to certify or delay certification of any private loan, based upon the borrower's selection of a lender or guaranty agency. The College does not utilize a preferred lender list.

The College will not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for the College providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with a specified number of federal loans, a specified federal loan volume or a preferred lender arrangement for federal loans.

The college will not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing. Nothing in this section, however, prevents the College from accepting assistance from a lender related to professional development training for its staff; providing educational counseling materials, financial literacy materials, or debt management materials to borrowers, provided that such materials disclose to borrowers the identification of any lender that assisted in preparing or providing such materials; or staffing services on a short-term, nonrecurring basis to assist the College with financial aid-related functions during emergencies including state declared or federally declared natural disasters, federally declared national disasters, and other localized disasters and emergencies identified by the Secretary of Education.

No employee who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors may receive anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors in return for that service.

No employee shall have a conflict of interest with respect to any education loan or other student financial aid for which the employee has responsibility.

No employee may process any transaction related to his/her own personal financial aid eligibility or that of a relative. 

You must file a FAFSA every year. Financial aid is not automatically renewable.