Basic Financial Aid Topics

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Have I been assigned a Financial Aid Advisor? Do I have to see that person?

A. No, you do not have an assigned financial aid advisor. Enrollment Service Centers have been trained to answer most financial aid questions. However, if they feel that you need to see an advisor, they will set you up with an appointment to see one of the advisors at the Centennial or Rampart Range Campus.


Q. Can I turn in my paperwork at any of the campuses?

A. Yes. Turn in your paperwork at whichever campus is the most convenient for you. You may also fax your paperwork to 719.502.2074. Don’t forget to sign any and all documents that require a signature, such as tax transcripts and verification documentation.

Q. Are there Work-Study positions at any of the campuses?

A. Yes, we offer them at both the Rampart and Centennial campuses, but they are limited at the Downtown Studio Campuses. Therefore, you must apply early. This is another good reason to have your financial aid file complete to ensure a timely award and the best possible financial aid package that we are able to offer you.

Q. What happens if I have to withdraw from a class?

A. Federal and State financial aid pays at the beginning of each term. Students are expected to attend class and be successful. If you are considering withdrawing from a class (after drop/add is over), please contact a financial aid advisor prior to withdrawing. There could be serious consequences of not earning the financial aid that you were paid. There is a chance that you could be suspended from financial aid for future semesters here at PPCC. You may also have to pay a portion of the funds back.

Although the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) is not considered financial aid, there are also repercussions for withdrawing. The law creating the College Opportunity Fund caps a student's stipend at 145 credit hours to earn a bachelor's degree. When you withdraw from classes, you are still using COF credits; therefore, you will reduce the amount of COF you have available to you to earn your degree.

If you are considering withdrawing from a class, please contact a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss all of the issues you may encounter by doing so. There is a regulation called "Return to Title IV" which means you may have to repay some or all of the financial aid you have received. Even if it was a grant.

In a nutshell, it is critical to finish what you start. Financial aid funds are paid after the drop/add date. You are paid for the entire semester up front. Therefore if you withdraw or fail the classes you were paid for; there are consequences. These consequences might include being ineligible for future financial aid assistance and also having to pay back some of the funding you received.

Q. The FAFSA asks questions regarding Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. Do you have more information explaining this?

A. Who are Unaccompanied Homeless Youth?
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth are young people under the age of 21, who lack safe, stable housing and who are not in the care of a parent or guardian. They may have run away from home or been forced to leave by their parents. Unaccompanied youth live in a variety of temporary situations, including shelters, the homes of friends or relatives, cars, campgrounds, public parks, abandoned buildings, motels, and bus or train stations.

Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away from their homes each year. Generally, youth leave home due to severe dysfunction in their families, including circumstances that put their safety and well-being at risk. Unfortunately, physical and sexual abuse in the home is common; studies of unaccompanied youth have found that 20% to 50% were sexually abused in their homes, while 40% to 60% were physically abused. Unaccompanied youth do not receive financial support from their parents and do not have access to parental information.

Who are McKinney-Vento School District Liaisons?
Under subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, every school district is required to designate a liaison for students experiencing homelessness. Homeless liaisons have a number of legal responsibilities under the Act, including identifying youth who meet the definition of homeless and are unaccompanied. The education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Act is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information see:

What are HUD-funded Shelters?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers funding for homeless shelters and services under Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act. These funds are distributed to communities through a competitive grant process. For more information, see:

What are RHYA-funded Shelters?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs. These programs provide funding for Basic Centers, Transitional Living Programs, and Street Outreach programs that serve runaway and other unaccompanied homeless youth.

Q. What is the Federal Clery Act? How do I find out more?

A. The Federal Cleary Act (The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990) requires all institutions to make available to potential and current students our Annual Security Report. A paper copy of this may also be obtained at the Office of Human Resources Services upon request. This report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning crimes that occurred on campus or on property controlled or owned by Pikes Peak Community College, as well as public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from our campuses. You can also find institutional policies concerning the annual security report, as well as policies governing sexual assault, and access to the facilities.

Q. Does the Pikes Peak Community College financial aid office cover courses for study abroad?

A. No, PPCC does not cover students that study abroad. For more information, please contact the Director of Financial Aid.

Q. How does violating the federal copyright law affect financial aid?

A. Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copy a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at

Financial Aid Disbursements

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I get my financial aid paid to me and then I pay my bill?

A. Financial aid awarded in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans will first be applied towards the payment of outstanding tuition and fee charges owed to the College by you. If you should choose to have your financial aid applied toward any other charges on your account, separate arrangements must be made with the cashier’s office.


Q. Do I have to let the cashier know that I have financial aid?

A. No. The cashier will be able to access your account to determine what, if any, payment from you is required. Students who register for classes and who have not declined a financial aid offer will have their account credited for the amount of the grant and/or scholarship. Should you decide not to attend after you have registered, you must officially drop your classes. Failure to drop will result in your being charged for the tuition and fees. You are strongly encouraged to register early online at Students who register early can ensure that their financial aid appears on their bill if they have a complete financial aid file. Financial aid is paid on the student's account after the main census date, although loans may pay 30 days into the term.

Q. May I get my textbooks with my financial aid?

A. Yes. If you have already been awarded aid and it is enough to cover your tuition, fees and have enough left over to assist you with books, there will be an account already set up for you at the bookstore. When you finish picking out your purchases, you will go to the cashier and show them a picture ID and let them know that you are a financial aid student. You will have a limit of no more than your overage, not to exceed $700. Students that purchase their books using financial aid funds and then sell the books to have cash run the risk of losing their financial aid awards. Students may also have enough funds to purchase a laptop computer. Students that purchase any electronic device (limit 1 per student) and then sells it for cash may run the risk of losing their financial aid award.

Q. What about my CCCOnline courses?

A. If you are taking CCCOnline courses, you may use your financial aid to assist you in paying for tuition and bookstore charges. You may order your books via online order. There may be an additional charge for ordering online.

Q. My friends at CSU Pueblo get their refunds before school starts. Why do I have to wait so long?

A. PPCC's policy is to pay financial aid on the students account the day after Census (15% of the main term). Keep in mind that paying financial aid onto your account IS NOT the same thing as you receiving your refund. By Federal law, the financial aid office is not allowed to generate any cash refunds. The Student Accounts Office (Financial Services) takes over at that point.

Q. Can we get our refunds Direct Deposited?

A. YES! All students will receive a green envelope from Higher One. This envelope will have a Debit Card enclosed. You may contact the Cashier's Office to learn about your choices and benefits that accompany your all-new CCCS Refund Card. Once you receive your card, you will need to activate it and choose if you would like Direct Deposit or your refund on your CCCS Debit Card. PPCC strongly urges students to use Direct Deposit. You may choose your own bank or choose Higher One as your bank. Higher One does not put any holds or delays once your refund has been received. Some banks may have a 1 to 3 day delay. Higher One offers excellent services to our students.

Q. Can I pick up my refund check instead of having it mailed to me?

A. PPCC strongly urges all students to use Direct Deposit. If you do not want to select the Debit Card or Direct Deposit options, a paper refund check will be mailed to the student 3 weeks after the initial refund was to be received.

Q. Is there a cycle for refund checks?

A. Yes. Because we are one of 13 Community Colleges in Colorado, we cannot run refunds whenever we choose. Refund checks are generated by the Student Accounts office once a week on Monday's (please note, these days are subject to change). If there is a credit balance by 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning, the credit will turn into a 'batch refund' on the Student's Account and a refund will be generated by Higher One. Student's will either have their funds direct deposited into their bank account or put onto their Debit Card and funds will be available one week later on the following Monday. Please remember that refunds may be held if there is a past due balance for a previous semester until payment is received in full When you see 'batch refund' on your account and have not received your funds within 10 business days after the refund date, please call Student Accounts at 502-2300 for further assistance. Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your address and telephone information up-to-date with the Enrollment Services Center.

Financial Aid Refunds and Disbursements

Financial aid, i.e. grants, scholarships, and loans, pays towards the balance due to PPCC fits on the Monday after the main census/drop date. If that Monday is a holiday, it will pay on Tuesday.

  • Be sure to read and accept your Terms and Conditions found in the PCC portal to ensure your aid pays on time.
  • Late Start Classes: If you have classes that start later than regular term classes, your aid will not be disbursed until the Monday after the earliest drop date of your classes.

Generated by the Student Accounts office each Monday

Type of Aid and Proration based on Enrollment

Sample Type of Aid Chart
Type of Aid and Proration based on Enrollment Full-Time Enrollment (12+ credit hours) Three-Quarter Enrollment (9-11 credit hours) Half-Time Enrollment (6-8 credit hours) Less than Half-Time Enrollment (5 or less credit hours)
Pell Grant Receive 100% of award based on EFC Receive 75% of award based on EFC Receive 50% of award based on EFC Depending on EFC, may be eligible for a portion of award
Colorado Student Grant Receive 100% of award Receive 75% of award Receive 50% of award Not eligible for this award
FSEOG Receive 100% of award Receive 75% of award Receive 50% of award Not eligible for this award
Work Study Eligible to earn money through a work-study program Eligible to earn money through a work-study program Eligible to earn money through a work-study program Not eligible to earn money through work-study
Colroado Merit Scholarship Receive 100% of award Not eligible for this award Not eligible for this award Not eligible for this award
Sub/Unsub Direct Loan Receive 100% of award (minus approx. 1% loan fee) Receive 100% of award (minus approx. 1% loan fee) Receive 100% of award (minus approx. 1% loan fee) Not eligible for this award

**If you have a high Expected Family Contribution (EFC)  (3501-5576) you may need to attend full-time in order to receive any of your Pell Grant award. 

Important Refund Exceptions:

First time borrowers: your loan proceeds will not be drawn from Direct Loans until 30 days after the first day of classes and will not be dispursed until the first Monday following that 30-day date.

Drop, Withdraw, Fail: If you receive a refund and then choose to drop late start classes, withdraw from regular term classes, or completely fail your semester, this could result in you having to repay financial aid that was already awarded and/or make you ineligible for financial aid.

Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements: Qualitative and Quantitative Requirements

There are requirements that you as a student must meet in order to continue receiving financial aid funds. PPCC checks to see if you're meeting all of these requirements at the end of each semester (under disclosures).

Qualitative Requirements-GPA and Completion Rate

  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and
  • Complete 67% of all courses attempted and
  • Reveive a passing grade for at least one class per semester. You will immediately become ineligible for financial aid if you receive all F's, W's, I's, or combination of these grades for one semester

You can use a GPA calculator to check how grades will affect your GPA and follow this formula to calculate your completion rate:

(Credits Completed / Credits Attempted) x 100 = Completion Ratio


  • (25 credits completed / 30 credits attempted = 0.8333) x 100 = Completion ratio of 83.3% (Satisfactory)
  • (15 credits completed / 24 credits attempted = 0.625) x 100 = Completion ratio of 62.5% (Not Satisfactory)

Quantitative Requirements-Complete Your Degree Within Limited Time Frame

Complete your academic program within 150% of the published length. Because there are multiple degree programs at PPCC, each of these lengths is individual to your program of study. 

You can calculate 150% of your degree program by this formula:
Required credits for your degree x 1.5 = 150% (maximum amount of credits you can attempt until aid is suspended)

Associate of Arts Degree requires 60 credit hours. 
60 x 1.5 = 90%

In this situation, you would be ineligible for aid once you have attempted 90 credit hours.

Qualitative and Quantitative Eligibility Statuses

Good Standing – You are meeting both Qualitative and Quantitative requirements successfully.

Alert – You have attempted more than 110% of the credits required for your degree program. (Limit is 150%)

Warning – You have fallen below a 2.0 GPA and/or below 67% completion ratio. This will happen if you fail or withdraw from classes or do not maintain a “C” average. You are allowed one semester on warning before facing ineligibility. 
Probation – Your financial aid appeal has been approved, you will be placed on probation and your progress will be monitored. 
Academic Plan – You may be placed on a contract with the Financial Aid Office for both Qualitative and/or Quantitative. It is important that you keep a copy of your contract and follow the conditions outlined.  Remember that this is a contract and if you do not follow the conditions, your financial aid will be revoked.

Ineligible (aka suspension) – You have not met either the Qualitative and/or Quantitative conditions and are no longer eligible to receive federal or state funds. 

  • Remember that student loans ARE considered financial aid.  
  • You will become ineligible if you completely Fail, Withdraw and/or receive Incomplete grades from all your classes during a single semester. 
  • You will become ineligible if your cumulative GPA has been between .10 and 1.99 for two consecutive semesters.
  • You will become ineligible if your completion rate has been between 1 and 66% for two consecutive semesters.  

You will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office giving you instructions on how to appeal if you have mitigating circumstances.  

Other Important Eligibility Information

  • Grades of A, B, C, D, S, S/A, S/B, and S/C earned during the Fall, Spring and Summer will be considered acceptable for courses completed and financial aid eligibility.
  • Grades of F, U, I, W, AW, Z, U/D, U/F, SP, and AU earned during the fall, spring, and summer will not be considered acceptable for financial aid eligibility. 
  • Courses repeated by students are counted for all qualitative and quantitative measurements, as is coursework removed from the permanent transcript through the Academic Second Chance option.  
  • Financial aid will pay for a previously passed course only once, as long as you are receiving credit for the course.
  • Only 30 credit hours of remedial courses can be counted for enrollment in regards to financial aid funding.
  • You can only receive financial aid for classes that apply towards your degree. 
    • Classes taken by audit or portfolio do not qualify as financial aid hours attempted and will be considered as non-completion of a course.
    • Classes taken as pre-requisites for a degree program in which you have not yet been accepted are considered preparatory coursework. Preparatory coursework will require an Educational Goals Packet and are limited to receiving only student loans for a 12-consecutive-month period of time.

Standards of Financial Aid Appeals Decisions

At least two different employees on the appeals committee will review your appeal and make a decision based upon the situation and documentation provided. Valid reasons for lack of academic progress include:

  • Medical problems (family illness) 
  • Family emergency (death of a family member) 
  • Other documented extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control 

 Appeals must include the following information:

  • Why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress
  • What has changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next term

Students may also appeal on the basis of: 

  • Extension of the maximum allowable credit hours for the currently enrolled program, or 
  • Funding for an additional degree and/or certificate 

Apply for Financial Aid

Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for financial aid for college or grad school.

Complete your FAFSA

Grade Changes


Students are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office of all grade changes that might affect current or future financial aid eligibility.  A re-evaluation of a student’s status will be performed by the Financial Aid Office once the grade change has been communicated to the Financial Aid Office. 

Financial Aid Appeals

Students who are ineligible (i.e. on suspension) for financial aid may appeal to regain their financial aid eligibility by completing the proper steps listed on the form and submitting the packet of required materials to the financial aid office.