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Application Process

Students may apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid for the 2018-2019 school year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Complete the FAFSA online, by visiting: http://fafsa.ed.gov/

There is no charge for completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if a Web site suggest charges, please contact the Financial Aid Office at Morton College to verify the correct Web site. Before completing the FAFSA, apply for an electronic FSA ID at: http://fsaid.ed.gov. If the application includes parental data, the parent must also apply for an FSA ID.

The FSA ID is an unique user name and passwords a unique number assigned to the student and parent, if applicable by the U.S. Department of Education to serve as a legal electronic signature that can be used to sign the FAFSA online.

Please be sure to enter the Morton College Federal School Code 001728 on the FAFSA.

Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA beginning Oct. 1 of the fall prior to their expected first enrollment. While the Financial Aid Office will process applications throughout the year, students should apply as soon as possible after Oct. 1 due to the limited funding of certain grant programs.

Once the FAFSA is received students must submit all required paperwork, documents and meet important deadlines in order to have financial aid processed. Students are notified of needed.

The following are steps required to complete the financial aid process at Morton College:

  • Complete your FAFSA (If assistance is needed, please Contact a Financial Aid Advisor at (708) 656-8000, Ext. 2428).

Once the FAFSA is received students must submit all required paperwork, documents and meet important deadlines in order to have financial aid processed. Students are notified of needed.

The following are steps required to complete the financial aid process at Morton College:

  • Complete your FAFSA (If assistance is needed, please Contact a Financial Aid Advisor at (708) 656-8000, Ext. 2428).
  • Complete a Morton College Financial Aid Data Form and the Rights and Responsibility form. These forms can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office or may be printed from the Financial Aid section of Morton College website at www.morton.edu.

Eligible students must have all paperwork turned in to the Financial Aid Office by June 11,2018 to be considered for a fall semester book voucher and Dec. 7,2018 for a spring semester book voucher. Since processing financial aid can take up to eight weeks, students must plan well in advance of the time they will begin their course of study.

Student Eligibility

To receive financial aid from any of the federal or state programs, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • May need to demonstrate financial need (Check program requirements).
  • Have an official high school transcript or High School Equivalency Certificate on file.
  • Have a valid Social Security number. If you need a Social Security number, you can apply at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (708) 656-8000, Ext. 2428.
  • Be enrolled as a student working toward an eligible degree or certificate program (Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more details).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress standards as explained in this chapter.
  • Certify you are not in default on a federal student loan and you do not owe money on a federal student grant as a result of an over award.
  • Comply with the Selective Service registration, if required. If you are a male, age 18 through 25, and have not registered, you can give the Selective Service permission to register you by checking a box on the FAFSA. You can also register at www.sss.gov or by calling 1-847-688-6888.
  • You may not be eligible to receive federal student aid if you’ve been convicted under federal or state law of selling or possessing illegal drugs. To find out your financial aid eligibility, call 1-800-4-FED-AID or go to www.fafsa.ed.gov, click on “worksheets” in the left column, then select “Drug Worksheet.”
  • Must be actively pursuing their coursework throughout the semester.

Financial Aid Programs at Morton College

Federal Pell Grant — A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. Pell Grants provide a foundation of financial aid to which other aid may be added.

Federal Work-Study Program — The Federal Work-Study Program provides on and off-campus jobs for students needing financial aid for their educational expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

Federal Direct Loan Program — Students can receive low interest loans from the Department of Education to help pay for educational expenses not covered by grants or scholarships. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information on how to apply.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) — The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be considered first for a FSEOG. Just like Pell Grants, the FSEOG does not have to be repaid.

Illinois Award Programs — The Monetary Award Program (MAP) does not need to be repaid. The MAP grant does not cover audited courses, non-credit courses, continuing education courses and lab-course fees. Students can apply for this grant by completing the FAFSA. Funding for the MAP grant is limited. Students are encouraged to apply early for this grant to ensure full-year consideration.

Scholarship Opportunities — Morton College offers prospective and current students the opportunity to apply for scholarships. There are many scholarships available with various qualifications. Updated lists of available scholarships are published in the month of November.

Veterans’ Educational Benefits

Morton College is dedicated in helping veterans obtain educational benefits through a variety of programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). Our institution is approved to process the following educational benefits for qualifying students:

Illinois Veterans’ Grant (IVG) is a grant that pays tuition and allowable fees to anyone who has served at least one year of federal active duty honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces or who is serving in the Armed Forces. Recipients may use IVG for a maximum of 120 eligibility units which is the equivalent of four academic years of full-time enrollment. Students must complete an Illinois Veteran Grant application and submit with a copy of the DD214 member 4. It will be mailed to ISAC. Applications are available in the Financial Aid Office, Room 204, Building B.

Illinois National Guard grant (ING) - is a grant that covers tuition and certain fees at any Illinois public college, university and community college. Qualified applicants must be an Illinois National Guard member and completed one full year of service in the Illinois National Guard. Recipients may use ING for a maximum of 120 eligibility units which are the equivalent of four academic years of full-time enrollment. The eligibility for ING must be renewed each academic year. To apply, students must submit an online application at www.isac.org.

Illinois MIA/POW Scholarship – is a program for dependents (spouse or children) of veterans who were declared by the Department of Defense or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be a prisoner of war, missing in action, died as a result of a service-connected disability, or be permanently disabled from service-connected causes with 100% disability. This scholarship covers in-district tuition and certain fees. Applications are available in the Financial Aid Office, Room 204, Building B.

Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) – is a new education program that became effective August 1, 2009. This program is for individuals who served active duty on or after September 11, 2001 and who received an honorable discharge. This benefit expires 15 years from the last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days. Post 911 GI Bill pays directly to the school for student’s tuition and fees up to the predetermined percentage of eligibility established by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information visit the Financial Aid Office or the Financial Aid section on Morton College’s website.

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (Chapter 30) – is an education program that provides up to 36 months of educational benefits. It provides a monthly payment to the veteran directly. This benefit may be used for degree and some certificate programs. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following the release from active duty or after the 36 months are used up whichever comes first.

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserves (Chapter 1606) — is an education program that provides up to 36 months of education benefits to members of the Selected Reserves: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Army National Guard and Air National Guard. Eligibility ends when a member leaves the Selected Reserves.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program [VR&E] (Chapter 31) — is a program to help veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. To apply a veteran must have an evaluation done by Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to determine eligibility.

Tuition Assistance — is a benefit granted to eligible soldiers. Students must contact their commanding officer to obtain the application. All students receiving benefits must comply with academic regulations specified by Morton College. Information on any of these programs is available in the Financial Aid Office, Room 204, Building B or by calling (708) 656-8000, Ext. 2228.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

Postsecondary education institutions are required by title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, amended (HEA), to establish, publish, and consistently apply reasonable satisfactory academic progress standards to students. An institution’s standards are considered reasonable if they are in accordance with the satisfactory academic progress federal regulations. Failure to comply with those rules can bar a school and its students from receiving federal financial aid funds. New federal regulations (34 CFR 668.34) stipulate nationally consistent terminology and tighter controls for measuring the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for the eligibility of students to receive federal financial aid.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

At the end of each semester, students can access grade reports online at Morton College’s website (morton.edu) through the Panther Portal, the college’s electronic student record system. Only final grades are entered on a student’s academic record and used in computing the student’s GPA. Only 100-level courses (college level courses) and above are used to determine GPA. Remedial courses do not bear credit and are not calculated into the GPA. The GPA is determined by multiplying the number of semester hours attempted for each course by the grade points earned and them dividing the number of semester hours attempted. Computation of the grade point average excludes credits earned by proficiency, for which no grade was earned; grades “P”, “U”,”V” and “N” and grades earned at other institutions. GPA is used to determine eligibility for good academic standing, graduation, Dean’s List selection, President’s List selection, Academic Honors selection, scholastic awards, athletics and other purposes.

Good Standing

A student who has attempted semester hours of course work and has achieved a 2.0 GPA is considered a student in Good Standing.

Academic Warning

Students who have attempted credit hours, but have not achieved a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be placed in an Academic Warning status.

Academic Suspension

Students who have a subsequent semester without earning a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be placed on Academic Suspension and must complete the SAP appeal process for readmission to the college.

Course Completion Requirement (Pace)

The Pace threshold is 67% successful completion of attempted credit hours. A student’s Pace is a percentage that is calculated by dividing the sum of completed cumulative credit hours and accepted transfer hours by the sum of the attempted hours and accepted transfer hours. Developmental (non-college level) hours are included within the calculation. The major change caused by the new rules was the requirement to include the transferred hours in both the numerator and denominator of the calculation. Since Pace calculations require the inclusion of transferred credits, students whose SAP appeal was denied may be required to make up their Deficit Pace Units at another institution.

Grades of A, B, C, D, and P’s are considered successful completions. Grades of incomplete (I), withdrawal (W), Failure (F), Unsatisfactory (U), are NOT considered successful completion. Excused withdrawals will count toward hours attempted for the cumulative completion rate as well as the cumulative GPA. However, student-initiated withdrawals from courses within the 100% tuition refund period will not be considered against the completion rate.

Financial Aid Satisfactory

A student who has attempted semester hours of course work and has achieved a minimum 67% course completion rate is considered a student in Good Standing.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who have attempted credit hours, but have not achieved a minimum 67% completion rate will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning status.

Unsatisfactory

Students who have a subsequent semester without earning a minimum 67% completion rates will be placed in an Unsatisfactory status and must complete the SAP appeal process for reinstatement of funding.

Financial Aid Maximum Time Requirement (Timeframe)

Students will not be allowed to receive financial aid after 150% of their academic program is exceeded. For instance, if your academic program can be completed within 62 credit hours, the maximum period must not exceed 93 (62 x 1.5) attempted credit hours. This includes transfer work and coursework equivalent to an awarded Associate’s Degree. For students pursuing a certificate program (30 credit hours), the maximum period must not exceed 45 (30 x 1.5) attempted credit hours. All enrollments such as repeats and withdrawals at Morton College are considered attempted hours even if no financial aid was previously received.

Good Standing

A student who has attempted semester hours of coursework and has not reached the 150% threshold considered a student in Good Standing.

Maximum Timeframe

Students who have reached the 150% threshold must complete the SAP appeal process for reinstatement of funding.

Regulatory Changes

The United States Department of Education (ED) modified the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regulations for multiple reasons. Proposed rules were made effective date of July 1, 2011. The new SAP regulations (34 CFR 668.34) can be found on the website for Electronic Code of Federal Regulations located at www.ecfr.gov. Furthermore, the website for the Department of Education offers various tools to assist with the planning and execution of SAP policy and practices.

Summary of Changes

Transfer Hours: All earned college level credit hours are to be evaluated for transfer and added to the calculation of SAP. This means that accepted transfer hours are included in both the attempted and the earned hours.

Probation Status: The term of probation status can only be attributed to students who have successfully appealed the SAP issue. Students previously labeled as being on Probation must now be either on a Warning status for a first offense or on a Suspension status for a subsequent offense.

SAP Academic Plans: All students who successfully appeal their SAP status must have an academic plan demonstrating they will achieve satisfactory GPA and/or Pace.

Equality: All students must adhere to SAP regulations. This includes those who are not using any financial aid dollars. All appeals of GPA, Pace and Timeframe must be reviewed by the SAP team.

Documentation: All SAP appeals should include supporting third-party documentation, when available.

SAP Appeal Process and Procedure

Students placed on a Suspension, Unsatisfactory, and/or, Maximum Timeframe status will be required to successfully complete the SAP appeal process. They will be required to complete the official appeal form for each subsequent term until their performance has attained the thresholds for minimum GPA and Pace standards within their Timeframe. SAP Suspension students will be required to follow SAP Academic Plans in addition to completing appeals. Students placed on Warning will not be required to complete SAP appeals, as it is their first offense.

A SAP appeal may be based on undue hardship when the failure to make satisfactory academic progress is caused by the death of a relative of a student, severe personal injury or illness of the student or other special circumstances as determined by the college. Students, in consultation with Student Development personnel who have been trained and authorized to process SAP Appeals, may have to help students draft a summary narrative. The narrative must first describe the mitigating circumstances that hindered their attempt to attain the SAP thresholds and then must describe the changes that have been made to assure progress towards attaining the SAP thresholds. Students may be required to provide documents that demonstrate, and or verify, items written in their student summary narratives.

Student appeals may be denied if failure to achieve satisfactory academic progress cannot be attributed to mitigating circumstances. SAP appeals may be denied based solely on failure to provide third-party documentation that proves the stated mitigating circumstances. Student appeals may be denied based solely on failure to follow and or attain the goals of the SAP Academic Plan.

SAP appeal packets and instructions can be found in various locations. Electronic copies are on the Financial Aid website. Physical copies are available in the following offices: Financial Aid and Advising. Students must follow the instructions on the appeal forms packet. Completed appeal packets may be submitted to any of the three aforementioned offices. The SAP committee meets weekly throughout the school-year, but during peak registration periods will meet daily to accommodate students’ needs. Decisions are sent to the student in writing from the office of Financial Aid.

SAP Academic Plans

A successful appeal must explain the reason(s) that the SAP standards have not been met. Furthermore, the student must state what has changed regarding his/her particular situation. It is important for the student to take responsibility for his or her current situation and the resulting academic plan, and demonstrate an understanding of the consequences the student faces if he or she fails to follow the academic plan. Finally, it is the responsibility of the institution to assist a student in plotting a course to successful completion within a new maximum timeframe and to then monitor the student’s pace toward completion. An academic plan must take into account the student’s progression toward completion of the intended program, which could, in fact, be the next term.

Academic plans need not be very complicated or too detailed; the purpose of these plans is merely to put the student on track to successful program completion. Students may be restricted to the Program Plan Code under their SAP Academic Plan until they have met the cumulative satisfactory academic progress standards. Students may be required to complete placement and/or diagnostic tests to facilitate the development of a SAP Academic Plan.

Students who are unable to follow the SAP Academic Plans may be allowed to apply for an amended or new Plan by presenting evidence of a documented extenuating and or mitigating circumstance.

If a long-lasting or recurrent medical condition is the basis of the appeal, students may be required to provide official documents from their health care providers that explicitly indicate they can handle the load of classes set forth in the SAP academic plan.

Federal Return of Title IV Funds

Federal financial aid recipients withdrawing and/or failing from courses may lose some or all of their financial aid eligibility. Based on the Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy, unearned financial aid is returned to the federal government. Examples of the policy’s rules are available by request from the Financial Aid Office.