The mission of the South Central College Financial Aid Office is to assist students in securing funding to facilitate the achievements of their career objectives.



South Central College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission which accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region (


It is the college policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, creed, gender, national origin, sexual preference, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, political affiliation, religion, or disability in its educational program, activities, or employment policies required by Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Individuals with concerns regarding Titles VI and IX should contact the College Human Resources Office.

The Privacy Act prevents us from releasing specific information about your file to anyone except you!

Students are advised, that pursuant to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the College does not permit students to review any college held financial records or statements of their parents or spouse without a written release from the other party.




In addition to the information in this handbook, you should review a copy of the Student Guide To Financial Aid from the U.S. Department of Education from the Financial Aid Office or at

Financial Aid Eligibility

A. Financial Need To determine your eligibility for financial aid, financial need must be calculated. Financial Need is determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Cost of Attendance (COA):

[Cost] - [Expected Family Contribution] = Financial Need
(If your expected family contribution is less than the cost of attendance, you have demonstrated financial need and may be eligible to receive financial aid.)

Cost refers to the total cost of attending the College for one academic year (two terms), which includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, clothing, and a modest allowance for personal/miscellaneous expenses.

Expected Family Contribution is derived from a federal needs assessment formula developed by the U.S. Congress, known as Federal Methodology, which includes two parts:

  1. the parental contribution (for dependent students)
  2. the student contribution (for dependent and independent students)

Parent contribution and student contribution equal the Expected Family Contribution. Since you are the primary beneficiary of the college education, you are expected to contribute toward meeting your college costs.  

B. Circumstances That May Change Your Financial Need or Cost of Attendance

  • Change in Family Circumstances - If you or your family's situation changes because of a separation, divorce or death, request a Special Circumstance Form. You must submit the completed form and any required documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Any adjustment in aid resulting from this request is contingent upon your eligibility, according to program regulations and the availability of funds to the college at the time of review.
  • Change in Financial Circumstances - If you or your family's situation changes because of a loss of employment, loss of untaxed income or has a family member who is a dislocated worker, request a Special Circumstances form from the Financial Aid Office. Return the form and required documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Any adjustment in aid resulting from this request is contingent upon your eligibility, according to program regulations and the availability of funds to the college at the time of review.
  • Other Extenuating Circumstances that may be considered
  • Tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school,
  • Unusual medical or dental expenses, out-of-pocket costs not covered by insurance, or
  • Other unusual circumstances that might affect your eligibility for student financial aid.

AWARDING - The financial aid offer is based on information you submitted; our estimates of available funds, and the anticipated number of applicants seeking financial assistance. Your financial aid will be credited directly to your student account for automatic payment of on-campus charges. If you are eligible for grants in excess of tuition and fees, and you wish to make other charges (e.g. books, supplies, etc.) using your financial aid funds, you must authorize South Central College to pay these charges. You may rescind this authorization at any time prior to incurring any such charges; and you may not cancel it once any such charges have been made. This authorization is valid for funds in excess of tuition and fees, based on your financial aid eligibility and enrollment status. IF AUTHORIZATION IS NOT GIVEN, YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT OF THESE CHARGES AT THE TIME EXPENSES ARE INCURRED.

PACKAGING PHILOSOPHY - It is our responsibility to coordinate all sources of financial aid for students. If you start in the fall, we will send an email communicating your award availability through your e-services account. Revised award notices will be sent when applicable. We will attempt to package aid for all applicants that will meet direct educational costs of tuition and fees.

Most outside resources such as Military Federal Tuition Assistance, Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Rehabilitation Services (RS), Employment Training (MET), Dislocated Worker Funding, private scholarships, and any other outside resources of financial assistance will be counted toward meeting student need.

Work-Study and Federal Direct Loans will be the last resource of aid. This packaging philosophy is subject to change as necessary due to the number of qualified aid applicants, school policies, federal or state law, and the dollar amount of aid available in each program.

The award listed on your original award represents an offer based on full-time registration for each term of the academic year. Disbursed funds will reflect actual enrollment as of the census date of the term.

ELIGIBLE PROGRAMS: A vocational program leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree, no less than 16 semester hours in length in an occupational field.

ELIGIBLE STUDENTS: A student who is enrolled in an eligible program for the purpose of obtaining a certificate, diploma, or degree, or eligible pre-technical, or preparatory (remedial) program. A student must be a high school graduate, have a GED or home school document to be eligible for student aid.

Federal Financial Aid is based upon the following enrollment status:

  • Full-Time = 12 or more credits per term
  • Three-Fourths Time = 9-11 credits per term
  • One-Half Time = 6-8 credits per term
  • Less than Half Time = 1-5 credits per term
  • (Full-Time status for state grant is 15 credits)

Your award will be adjusted if you register for less than full-time status.

  • Financial aid is adjusted after the census date. Enrollment status will be determined after the last date to add and/or drop a class for the term. Withdrawal from the college on or prior to the deadline to add a class will cancel all financial aid.
  • Financial aid is not adjusted for credits added after the census date.
  • Financial aid for qualified applicants is prorated to actual enrollment, based upon full, three-quarter, half, or less than half-time. Students must be enrolled in a program of study leading to a certificate in an occupational field and be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Other financial aid, specifically loan aid is limited depending upon grade level.

CONSORTIUM AGREEMENTS - SCC students enrolling in courses at other eligible institutions (host institution) must complete a financial aid consortium agreement each semester in order to receive financial aid eligibility for those credits at the host institution.  A student cannot receive financial aid at two schools during the same term.  Consortium credits are not automatically approved; courses must be required to complete your program major/degree at SCC.  Students must have their Academic Advisor or the SCC Transfer Coordinator approve and sign the Financial Aid Consortium Agreement.  Students must also register for the credits at the host institution before the end of SCC's add/drop date of the term.  Students must attach a copy of their class schedule from the host institution to the consortium agreement.  All courses must be taken for a letter grade.  Grades that the students have earned are entered on their SCC transcript and calculated into their GPA.  The student is responsible to provide an official academic transcript from the host institution to SCC (home institution) once the term covered by the financial aid consortium agreement has concluded. Financial aid funds are not exchanged between institutions, it is the student's responsibility to adhere to the payment policy and guidelines at the visiting institution.

SUMMER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE - To determine summer financial aid awards, the current financial aid award year eligibility will be used.  If you have used your maximum aid eligibility during Fall and Spring terms, you may not have any financial aid eligibility available for the summer.   In this situation, you may need to seek private loan funding.  Please contact the financial aid office about this option.

To determine your eligibility for summer, SCC encourages the student to register for summer classes as soon as summer registration begins. The financial aid office will calculate your aid for summer and display in your e-services account. Based on this award notification, you will need to determine if you have sufficient funds. At that point, you must make the determination to pay cash or drop your classes before the start of the term when payment is due.  You must have the financial resources in place prior to the start of the term. 


FEDERAL PELL GRANT PROGRAM - The Pell Grant Program was established by the Federal Government to provide the foundation upon which a complete package of financial aid may be constructed. If you apply and are determined eligible, you will receive an award. Awards range from $568 to $5645. Before your Pell Grant can be disbursed,  we must have a valid FAFSA record in our office by the last day of the term for which you were enrolled. The Federal Pell Grant is not available to students with a prior bachelor's degree or higher. Eligibility is limited to the equivalent of six full-time years of receiving Pell Grant funds.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY GRANT PROGRAM (FSEOG) - FSEOG is gift-aid for students with high financial need with applications processed by May 1 given priority. If you are an FSEOG recipient, the amount awarded will not be less than $100. FSEOG for students range from $100 to $500. Priority for FSEOG is given to students who have maximum PELL grants and the lowest family contribution. Awards will be prorated for enrollment of 3/4 time and 1/2 time. FSEOG is not given for less than 6 credits, except during the summer term and only if sufficient funds are available. Eligibility is limited to the equivalent of six full-time years of receiving Pell Grant funds.

MINNESOTA STATE GRANT (MSG) - Minimum award of $100 per year. Students could receive State Grant for three terms per academic year. It is available to undergraduate students (those who have not completed their first bachelor’s degree) who are attending eligible Minnesota institutions. Eligibility is limited to the equivalent of four full-time years of attempted credits at all post-secondary institutions. Post-Secondary Education Option and military service credits are excluded.The grant is based on an enrollment of 15 credits and will be prorated if the student is enrolled for less than 15 credits per semester.

WORK-STUDY PROGRAMS (CWS) - Work-study provides jobs at $9.00 per hour for students with financial need who want to earn part of their educational expenses. The hours a student may work depends upon the student's need, class schedule, and the job. Jobs are located on-campus, or off-campus with a public or private non-profit agencies which have made arrangements with the South Central College. Part-time work-study employment is also available during the summer. Whenever possible, students are assigned to positions in their major field of study or interest. First priority for these positions are given to students having financial need, who apply by May 1st, and indicate work-study on their FAFSA application. A Work-Study Application must be completed prior to employment. You must be enrolled in at least six credits.

NOTE: This award of CWS does not guarantee employment. Contact the Work-Study Coordinator for current positions available. Hiring decisions are made by the employer/supervisor. 


  • The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program is a need-based, federal student loan program administered by the college, the Department of Education, and a loan servicer. You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to be eligible. The Federal Government subsidizes the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time.
  • The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program is a non-need based, federal student loan program administered by the college, the Department of Education, and a loan servicer. You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to be eligible.

Loan Limits - The loan amount may not exceed the cost of attendance less any other financial aid. More information on annual and aggregate Federal Direct Loan limits can be found here. A borrower may receive both a Subsidized and an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan up to the annual loan limit based on grade classification.

Pre-Requirements -

  • Direct Loan Entrance Counseling provides information on your rights and responsibilities as a borrower as well as financial management.
  • Master Promissory Note is your contract with the Department of Education that you agree to abide by the repayment terms of your Federal student loans.

Exit Counseling - Exit counseling must be completed when you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time. The process provides information on the average amount borrowers owe, repayment options, consolidation of loans, and budget information.

Loan Proration - Students who are graduating after fall semester or enrolled in a program that is shorter than a full academic year will have their Direct Loan(s) prorated based on the number of credits needed to complete the program on record. Therefore, the amount listed on your award letter may be higher than your actual remaining eligibility. The amount will be revised at the time the college certifies your loan.


Federal Parent PLUS loans enable parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid for each child who is enrolled at least half-time and is a dependent student. Federal PLUS borrowers do not have to demonstrate financial need, although they will have to undergo a credit analysis. If a parent is denied a PLUS Loan, the student may be eligible for additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan funding.

CANCELLATION - Borrowers have the right to cancel all or a portion of the loan if request is submitted to South Central College within 14 days of disbursement.

Note: If you completely withdraw during a term, future loan disbursements will be cancelled.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN - Students who experience problems with their student loan during the course of repayment may seek assistance through the Department of Education Office of the Ombudsman. Borrowers can contact them at or 877-557-2575.

POST-SECONDARY CHILD CARE GRANT - This program is designed to assist students to pay for child care services during the period of time school is in session. Eligibility is based on Minnesota State Grant Regulations. Students are awarded on a first-come first-served basis after returning recipients have been awarded.

FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS - The South Central College Foundations annually award scholarships made possible through community-wide fund drives, faculty, staff, and alumni contributions, earnings on endowed funds, grants, and special fundraising events. 

PRIVATE SCHOLARSHIPS - If you receive a scholarship from a funding agency not affiliated with South Central College, you are required to inform our office. Your aid package may be revised due to this additional funding.


VERIFICATION - Verification is a process by which certain required data elements from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are reviewed for accuracy. This process can occur before or after a student has been awarded financial aid. The Department of Education or the institution may choose to verify an applicant.

  • Deadlines - You must submit the requested information within ninety days of notification.
  • Corrections - Corrections to your FAFSA may be made by the school through this process. Students are asked not to make further corrections to their FAFSA without first consulting Financial Aid Staff. You will be notified of these corrections through a updated Student Aid Report  from the Department of Education.


Financial aid regulations require that a recipient of financial aid make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)  towards a degree, diploma or certificate to remain eligible. For more information on the South Central College SAP Policy, please visit

METHODS AND MEANS OF AID PAYMENT - The majority of financial aid payments are credited electronically to your individual student account and will automatically be applied to your institutional charges. Students are encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit through e-services for disbursement of funds that exceed their institutional charges.

Students not having sufficient financial aid to cover charges are responsible to pay any remaining institutional charges on or before the first day of the term.

Return of Title IV Student Aid - During the first 60% of the term, financial aid is earned in direct proportion to the length of time the student is enrolled. Students who remain enrolled beyond 60% of the term earn all their aid. This date is determined by either the date a student withdraws from a course, or the date the faculty member indicates the student ceased participation in the course. Failure to repay or make arrangements may make the student ineligible for future financial assistance.

Repayment Responsibility - If a tuition refund is due to a student under the institution's refund policy and the student received financial aid under any Title IV Student Financial Aid Program other than a Workstudy program, a portion of the refund may be prorated and returned to the Title IV student assistance program. Aid is returned in the following order: Direct Loan, Pell Grant, FSEOG and Minnesota State Grant. When a student has received an overpayment due either to institutional or student error, the student is responsible for any resulting overpayment. The student will be unable to receive any further aid until the bill is paid in full.


MONEY MANAGEMENT - Paying for college is more than paying your tuition and fees. It means managing your money and stretching your dollars to meet your financial obligations. The Financial Aid Staff can assist students with their budgets, advise on loan indebtedness and other money management topics through educational programming and advising services.

You have a right to:

  • Accept, reject or seek adjustment to your financial aid award without prejudice.
  • Know how much aid you will receive by term and how it will be disbursed or applied to your account.
  • Know the terms of any employment program award offered.
  • Know the interest rate, amount and repayment starting date of loans offered to you.
  • Meet with a financial aid professional to review any decisions you feel warrant consideration due to an emergency or circumstances beyond your control.
  • Receive answers to any questions you have about financial aid.
  • You have a responsibility to:

    • Apply each year you want to receive financial aid.
    • Provide complete and accurate information, and documentation if requested.
    • Notify our office of change of enrollment, number of credits, financial status, and outside awards.
    • Complete an entrance and exit counseling and repay all loans according to the terms of your disclosure statement and Master Promissory Note.
    • Use funds awarded solely for educational expenses incurred while attending SCC.
    • Know and comply with the policies for financial aid "Satisfactory Academic Progress".
    • Accept responsibility for all agreements signed.
    • Report any changes in your financial situation from which you reported on your FAFSA.

    DRUG FREE REQUIREMENT - In compliance with federal law (The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989), South Central College has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees. The program includes:

    • Providing all students and employees with information concerning the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol.
    • Informing students and employees of drug and alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation programs available.
    • Providing all students and employees with a description of applicable legal sanctions under law for unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol.

    Additional information is available in the Student Affairs offices on both campuses.

    REPORTING OF FALSE INFORMATION - South Central College is required to refer for investigation to the Office of the Inspector General any instance in which the review of Federal Title IV aid shows reason to suspect that an applicant may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with the application or documentation that was submitted in response to the application. This includes, but is not limited to, the following situations:

    • False claims of independent student status
    • False claims of citizenship
    • Use of false identities
    • Forgery of signatures or certifications
    • False statements of income
    • False statements of household data


    Co-Signer: This is a credit worthy individual who has agreed to share the responsibility for repayment of an educational loan.

    Default: The failure of a borrower either to make an installment payment when it is due or to comply with other terms of the promissory note.

    Disbursement: The process by which financial aid funds are applied to your institutional charges.

    Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): allows the lender to electronically send student loan proceeds to South Central College. When SCC receives these funds, they will be automatically applied to institutional charges. Any excess is disbursed to the student.

    Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount a student and his/her spouse or family are expected to pay toward his/her cost of attendance.

    Financial Need: The difference between the cost of attending a postsecondary institution and the expected family contribution.

    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The official application for financial aid from the Department of Education.

    Servicing Agency: A private or non-profit organization which administers a student loan program.

    Origination Fee: A fee that is deducted by the Department of Education from the proceeds of the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized  Loans and Federal Plus Loans prior to disbursement.

    Award Notification: An offer of financial aid assistance to a student attending a postsecondary educational institution.

    Overpayment: Any amount paid to a student which is in excess of the amount for which they were entitled.

    Master Promissory Note (MPN): The contract signed by the borrower prior to receiving a Federal Direct Student Loan obligating repayment of the loan, and listing terms and conditions for repayment.

    Refund: The amount due a student who withdraws or fails to pursue his/her course of study when funds have been paid to the institution. When an institution determines that a student is due a refund, if that student has received financial aid funds, a portion of the refund must be repaid to the program(s) from which the student received aid.

    Renewal Application: Application used to apply for Federal student financial aid. This form contains pre-printed information that you reported through the application process the previous year. This form is faster and easier to complete. If you have not received one by January 1, you will not receive one.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Working toward successful completion of program requirements.

    Student Aid Report (SAR): The official notification sent to a student with the results of processing the student's FAFSA. The report shows the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

    Verification: A procedure whereby the school checks the information the student reported on the financial aid application, usually by requesting a copy of the federal income tax forms (1040s) filed by the student and, if applicable, the student's spouse or parent(s), and W2's issued to both student and/or parent(s). A separate verification worksheet must also be completed.

    General Information Telephone Inquiries: 507-389-7220

    Main Campus Fax: 507-388-9951

    Federal FAFSA Processor: (319) 337-5665

    Federal Programs/Application: (800) 4-FED-AID

    IRS (Tax return copy request): (800) TAX-1040

    MOHE (MN Office of Higher Education): (800) 657-3866