Once a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been processed (including verification), the student will receive a Financial Aid Award Notification letter, along with the Terms and Conditions of the Pell Award, from the Financial Aid Office at Northwest Technical Institute. The notification letter will include the amount the student is eligible to receive for the school year based on full-time enrollment at Northwest Technical Institute.
My Financial Aid Award Notification letter stated that the student was award $xxxx.xx for each semester based on full-time enrollment. The student is currently enrolled in 12 or more credit hours, but the student is receiving less than the full amount of Pell Grant for the semester. How is that possible?
Enrollment status for financial aid is defined by federal regulation and may differ from definitions used by other school offices or other colleges and agencies. Because Northwest Technical Institute offers only diploma programs and does not offer associate or bachelor degrees, a student’s actual Pell Grant award is based on a clock to credit conversion. To determine a student’s enrollment status for his/her actual Pell Grant award for the semester, the total number of clock hours is divided by 37.5 (the number 37.5 is defined in Federal Student Aid regulations).
How does this clock to credit conversion work? For example, the student is enrolled in every class for the 1st semester of the Practical Nursing program. The student’s Course Registration Form and schedule says that the student is enrolled in 28 credit hours. The student’s Financial Aid Award Notification letter says that the student is eligible for $2,888.00 for the semester, but the student’s authorization from the Financial Aid Office list an amount less than $2,888.00. How is this possible?
The 2015/2016 Northwest Technical Institute Catalog and Student Handbook contains a course listing for every diploma program offered at Northwest Technical Institute. The course listing includes the number of clock hours and number of credit hours that a student will earn once he/she completes a particular class. For example, a student enrolled in the 1st semester of the Practical Nursing program will take Anatomy & Physiology. According to the catalog, Anatomy & Physiology is 93 clock hours and 6 credit hours. When calculating a student’s Pell award for the semester, only clock hours are used in the calculation. So, a student enrolled in every class in the 1st semester of the Practical Nursing program is taking a total of 438 clock hours for the semester. The clock to credit hour conversion is used to determine the student’s enrollment status and the amount of Pell award for the semester. To determine the student’s enrollment status for the semester, 438 (number of clock hours) is divided by 37.5. The resulting number, 11.68, is based on the clock to credit hour conversion. Numbers are not rounded up in the conversion. Therefore, for financial aid purposes, the student is taking 11.68 credit hours and has an enrollment status of ¾ time. Because the student is considered ¾ time based on the clock to credit hour conversion, the student’s Pell award must be adjusted to meet his/her enrollment status of ¾ time. Based on the award amount for the year of $5,775.00, the student is eligible for a scheduled award of $2166.00 (75% or ¾ of the semester’s Pell award).
How the Pell Grant Works At NTI