Thursday, August 14, 2014

Will this affect my Financial Aid? Academic Advisors answer your Student FAQs

As the new school year quickly approaches, I have the privilege of working with many students who are eager to continue their education and advance their careers. Peirce students come from many different walks of life. Some of them are right out of high school, others transferring from another institution, and others are working adults looking to update their skills to gain a competitive edge in the workforce.

Although Peirce College students come from different paths, many of them have similar questions that revolve around three primary topics: Degree completion, class registration, and financial aid.
Perhaps you’ve also had questions on these topics but haven’t had the chance to ask. If so, take a look below at the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Peirce Academic Advisors

Degree Completion

What’s the shortest path to my degree?
Academic Advisors can only provide an estimated graduation date based on the number of classes a student typically schedules each session or semester. A student’s actual graduation date is contingent upon a number of factors such as:
  • Continuous enrollment – enrolling in classes each session from fall to summer
  • Academic progress – maintaining satisfactory grades so that classes do not have to be repeated
  • Effective planning -- meeting with your Academic Advisor to map out a schedule based on course needs versus course offerings; ensuring that class schedule takes into account life events (wedding, business travel, family vacation, etc.)
  • Flexibility – willingness/ability to take classes as offered (online or campus)
  • Ability to pay --  financial aid eligibility, employer tuition assistance, cash available to pay out of pocket if necessary
  • Utilization of support services – seeking available tutoring when needed, attending/accessing on campus and online workshops, and communicating challenges and concerns to your Academic Advisor and instructors in a timely fashion.
Registration

Why am I being asked to register for classes early?
While early registration is not a mandate, it is a recommendation. Early registration allows students to reserve a place in the class. Students that procrastinate will sometimes find that the class they wanted to take has reached its maximum enrollment and therefore they cannot be added. When this occurs, financial aid cannot be applied until the student has actually been registered for a class. There are situations when a second section will not be added and therefore the student will need to choose another class, which may not be available when the student wants and therefore presents another set of obstacles.

What terms can I register for?
Once registration opens in April for the following academic year, it is advisable to register for all three terms (fall, spring, and summer). Not only does it reserve your place in class, but it provides a roadmap for degree completion.

Financial Aid

Will dropping/withdrawing from a class affect my financial aid?
Yes, dropping/withdrawing will affect your financial aid. When you change your schedule, it is possible that the type and amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive will change. Additionally, depending on when funds are awarded and disbursed to your account, if you have not earned all the aid received, Student Financial Services may be required to return a portion or all of your aid to the lender.

Will my class attendance affect my financial aid?
Failing to attend class, online and/or on- campus, may result in a reduction of your financial aid award. This often results in a balance, sometimes very large, owed to the College. Therefore, it is imperative, that each week you are attending and participating in all of your classes.  You must actively engage in your classes by submitting coursework on time, taking exams/quizzes as scheduled, and responding to threaded discussions. If there is an extenuating circumstance preventing you from attending class on-campus or online, notify your instructor immediately. Every instructor has the right to establish his/her own guidelines for accepting late work and exams.

As always, if you have additional questions, contact your Academic Advisor or the advising center at 215-670-9177 or by email at advisingcenter@peirce.edu. We are always here to help!