Financial Aid Census Date Policy

Effective Fall 2014

Typically, the initial calculation of federal Pell Grant awards are prepared based on anticipated full-time enrollment each term. Sinclair recalculates federal Pell Grant awards based on attendance and/or schedule adjustments up to the student census date. After the student census date, a student’s federal Pell Grant will not be adjusted for drops or adds even if the student has been attending class. However, if the student fails to complete all of his or her scheduled courses in the term, a Return of Title IV Funds calculation is required, and an adjustment may be made by Sinclair.

Pell Grant awards will be based on the number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled as of the student census date. If a student withdraws from or drops all of his or her courses on the same date, then the student census date will be the latest census date for the course(s) they dropped with record. Students are strongly encouraged to finalize their course schedule no later than the start of the term.

For information about federal student loans and work study, please review the Federal Loan Process and Student Employment websites.

Definitions

Add A course added by the student to his or her schedule
Drop A course dropped by the student from his or her schedule on or before the course census date. No grade will be issued for the dropped course. The course will not be part of the student’s academic record (a drop without record).
Withdrawal A course dropped by the student from his or her schedule after the course census date. A grade of W (withdrawal) will be issued for the course. The course will be part of the student’s academic record (a drop with record).
Purged The process used by the school to remove courses from a student’s schedule for non-payment of tuition and fees.
Cancelled A course removed by the school due to cancellation (e.g.: due to low course enrollment)
Course Census Date The last date to add a course or drop a course with the possibility of a refund and without record. See the Sinclair Community College Registration Calendar for specific dates for a given academic year.
Student Census Date The latest course census date for all of the student’s registered courses for a specific term. For example, in the Fall term a student has a full-term course (census date is August 25), an A-term course (census date is August 22) and a B-term course (census date is October 24, which is the latest starting course). The student census date is October 24. All adds or drops that occur on or before October 24 will be considered when determining the student’s enrollment level and the amount of federal financial aid the student will receive.
Enrollment Levels
Level Credit Hours
Full Time 12 or more
Three-Quarter Time 9–11
Half-Time 6–8
Less Than Half-Time 1–5
Credit Hours Included or Not Included in Determining Enrollment Levels for Federal Financial Aid
  Pell Grant Federal Loans
Student Enrollment Activity Before Course Census Date After Course Census Date but Before Student Census After Student Census Date Before Loan Disbursed to Student Account After Loan Disbursed to Student Account
Add Included Included Not included Disbursement allowed if at least 6 credit hours NA—if the activity occurred after the federal loan was disbursed, no adjustment is made
Drop without record
(Drop)
Not included NA—cannot drop without record after the course census date NA—cannot drop without record after the course census date Disbursement not allowed if less than 6 credit hours after excluding the dropped hours NA—if the activity occurred after the federal loan was disbursed, no adjustment is made
Drop with record
(Withdrawal)
NA—cannot drop with record before the course census date Not included Included Disbursement not allowed if less than 6 credit hours after excluding the dropped hours NA—if the activity occurred after the federal loan was disbursed, no adjustment is made
Purged Not included Not included Included Disbursement not allowed if less than 6 credit hours after excluding the purged hours NA—if the activity occurred after the federal loan was disbursed, no adjustment is made
Cancelled Not included Not included Included Disbursement not allowed if less than 6 credit hours after excluding the cancelled hours NA—if the activity occurred after the federal loan was disbursed, no adjustment is made

Examples

Student 1—William Withdraws from a Course

William is registered for the following classes for the Fall term:

Course Credit Hours Course Type Course Census Date
REL 1112 3 Full Term 8-25
PTA 1106 1 B Term 10-24
BIO 1171 5 Full Term 8-25
PSY 220 3 Full Term 8-25

In this scenario, William’s student census date is 10-24, because it is the latest course census date for all of the student’s registered courses. William is registered for 12 credit hours on the full-term course census date and is paid a federal Pell Grant of $2,865 based on a full-time status. William withdraws from his 5 credit hour BIO 1171 course on 9-21 (before his student census date). Therefore, William’s Pell Grant award is adjusted downward by $1,432 for the 5 credit hours that he withdrew from on 9-21.

Student 2—Lucy Only Had Loans and Withdraws from a Course

Lucy is registered for the following classes for the Fall term and only receives federal loans for the term:

Course Credit Hours Course Type Course Census Date
ALH 1101 2 Full Term 8-25
PSY 220 3 Full Term 8-25
MUS 101 1 B Term 10-24

In this scenario, Lucy’s student census date is 10-24 because it is the latest course census date for all of the student’s registered courses. Lucy is registered for 6 credit hours on the full-term course census date and receives only federal student loans paid based on a half-time status (6 credit hours). A refund check for the loan proceeds was disbursed on September 17. Lucy withdraws from her 2 credit hour ALH 1101 course on 10-1 (before her student census date but after the loan disbursed). Lucy’s enrollment will be adjusted downward to 5 credit hours because this action was a drop without record before her student census date. Lucy received no Pell Grant and only federal student loans. At the time the loan was disbursed, she was still enrolled in six credit hours. Lucy’s federal student loan award is not adjusted downward because at the time of disbursement, Lucy was enrolled in 6 credit hours.

Student 3—David Drops All Courses before His B Course Begins

David is registered for the following classes for the Fall term:

Course Credit Hours Course Type Course Census Date
MAT 1570 3 Full Term 8-25
COM 2211 3 12-Week Term 9-23
HIS 1111 3 B Term 10-24

In this scenario, David’s student census date is 10-24 because it is the latest course census date for all of the student’s registered courses. David is registered for 9 credits hours on the full-term course census date and is a Pell Grant in the amount of $2,149 and subsidized direct loan of $1,715 based on a three-quarter time status. His student census date is 10-24. Then David withdraws from all 9 credit hours on 10-20 (before his 10-24 student census date).

Since David withdrew from all of his courses on 10-20 (before the course census date of 10-24 for the B-term course), this is considered a drop without record for the B-term course, and the B-Term course census date is no longer considered as a possible student census date. Therefore, David’s new student census date becomes 9-23 (the census date for the 12-week course) because the full-term and 12-week courses were dropped with record.

David was enrolled in 6 credit hours on his new student census date of 9-23, and his Pell Grant award will be adjusted downward by $716. David would owe Sinclair a balance for this amount. David’s subsidized loan will not be adjusted downward because at the time it was disbursed, David was enrolled in 9 credit hours. David would be subject to a Return of Title IV Funds calculation, and a return would be made if necessary.