Financial Aid

Financial Aid & Veterans Affairs

The Office of Financial Aid & Veterans Affairs is available to assist eligible students in completing the application process for federal and state financial aid and veterans’ benefits. Students eligible to apply for financial aid must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, have a high school diploma or equivalent passing GED scores and must be planning to enroll in a degree or certificate program consisting of a minimum of 16 credit hours. Financial aid is not available to cover Adult Continuing Education classes, GED, ESL, or short-term training certificates requiring fewer than 16 credit hours to complete.

The process for applying for financial aid at Triton College requires the following two steps:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A FAFSA on the Web Worksheet may be obtained from the Triton College Financial Aid Office and completed online at www.fafsa.gov. Be sure to include Triton College’s school code 001773 on the application.
  2. Have your final/official high school transcript or GED scores sent to the Admission and Records Office at Triton College.

Once these two items have been reviewed, additional documentation may be requested.

Students are encouraged to apply as soon after January 1 as possible. While the Financial Aid Office will process applications throughout the year, the preferred filing date is March 1 due to the limited funding of certain grant programs.

Student financial aid programs involving grants, loans, scholarships, and employment will be available so that no qualified student will be denied an opportunity to receive a college education due to a lack of funds. Guidelines are developed and published by the Financial Aid Office.

No person will, on the basis of race, color, age, creed, sex, handicap, national origin, or any individual as set forth by law, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination, under the college’s financial aid programs.

Policy # 5310; last updated: 11/11/03

Grants

Grants are monies that do not have to be repaid. Students who complete the FAFSA are applying for all federal and state based grants. The Federal Pell Grant can be used for tuition, fees, books, transportation, and other educational expenses.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant may be used to pay in-district tuition and fees.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is awarded to the highest need students also receiving the Federal Pell Grant.

Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan allows a student to borrow at a low interest rate. Repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled in six or more credit hours. A freshman level student may borrow up to $3,500 in a subsidized student loan and a sophomore level student may borrow up to $4,500 per year, if eligible. A dependent student may additionally borrow up to $2,000 in an unsubsidized loan and an independent student may additionally borrow up to $6,000, if eligible. Loan funds may be used toward tuition, fees, books, transportation, and other educational expenses. Student loan information is available in the Financial Aid Office, Room B-216W of the Student Center, or Ext. 3045.

Scholarship Opportunities

In an effort to reward students for their academic ability and involvement in community and school activities, Triton College offers prospective and current students the opportunity to apply for scholarships. Scholarships are available for students from a variety of sources. An updated list of available scholarships and applications can be found in the Scholarship Office located in the Financial Aid Office, Room B-216W in the Student Center or from the Financial Aid section of Triton College’s Web site.

In addition to institutional scholarships, the Scholarship Office has a list of scholarships available to students in specific areas of study, such as accounting, education, criminal justice, health careers, graphic arts/printing, etc. Information on these scholarships and those offered by a variety of service organizations is available in the Scholarship Office. The Financial Aid section of the college Web site also provides access to scholarship search engines in order to assist students in identifying nationwide scholarship information.

Work Study

The Federal College Work Study Program enables a student to work 15-20 hours per week on campus. This is a need-based program and students must qualify for financial aid. Students who qualify for the program will work in various areas of the college as long as funds are available.

The Triton Work Study program is a non-need based program. The number of hours per week a student can work is based on the position and its allocation.

Students can find out more information on both programs through the Work Study Office located in the Financial Aid Office, Room B-216W in the Student Center.

Students wishing to work off campus may investigate job listings in the Job Opportunity Bulletin or stop by Career Services, Room A-204.

Veterans Benefits

There are many military educational benefits available to eligible students. The Triton College Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Affairs coordinates processing for the following federal VA educational benefit programs:

  • Montgomery GI Bill: for those who enlisted after July 1, 1985 (Chapter 30)
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill: for those who served after September 11, 2001 (Chapter 33)
  • Montgomery GI Bill: Selected Reserves (Chapter 1606)
  • Montgomery GI Bill: Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) (Chapter 1607)
  • Montgomery GI Bill: Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)
  • Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)
  • Tuition Assistance: administered through the Cashier’s Office

Students receiving educational benefits through any of the above programs must be meeting the Standards of Academic Progress.

Illinois Veterans Grant (IVG)

The Illinois Veterans Grant is available to Illinois veterans who have performed at least one year of federal active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces; or who have served on federal active duty in a foreign country during a time of hostilities in that country and were honorably discharged after each period of federal active duty service. This program covers in or out-of-district tuition (if a chargeback cannot be obtained), and certain fees for the equivalent of four years of study. Students receiving educational benefits through the program must be meeting the GPA component of the Standards of Academic Progress.

Illinois National Guard Scholarship

The Illinois National Guard Scholarship is available to those who have completed one full year of service in the Illinois National Guard and are current Illinois National Guard members. This program covers in or out-of-district tuition (if a chargeback cannot be obtained) and most fees for the equivalent of 4 years of study. Students receiving educational benefits through the program must be meeting the GPA component of the Standards of Academic Progress.

MIA/POW Scholarship Grant

The MIA/POW Scholarship Grant is available to eligible dependents of Illinois veterans declared by the Department of Defense to be a prisoner of war, missing in action, or to have died or become fully disabled as the result of a service-connected event. For those who qualify, the program covers in-district tuition and some fees for the equivalent of 4 years of study. Students receiving educational benefits through the program must be meeting the GPA component of the Standards of Academic Progress.

Approval Agency

Triton College is approved by the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, State Approving Agency for the training of eligible persons. For additional information relating to VA administered programs, contact the Office of Veterans Services at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3531 or 3651, or stop by the Financial Aid Office, Room B-216W in the Student Center.

Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress Policy

Public Law 99-498 requires that you make satisfactory and measurable academic progress in order to be eligible for state and federally funded financial assistance. When you attend Triton College and receive aid from the following federal programs: Federal Pell Grant, College Work-study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Veterans' Grants, Direct Student Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized), PLUS loan; or the following state programs: Monetary Award Program, llinois Merit Recognition Scholarship, Police Officer/Fire Officer Dependent’s Grant, Illinois Veteran' Grant (GPA only) or Illinois National Guard (GPA only); or any other programs covered by regulations of the U. S. Department of Education, federal or state law, they must meet the following standards:

A. To make satisfactory academic progress for financial aid, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Successful completion of courses (quantitative standard). Students will be measured for the quantitative standard at the end of each semester. Students must successfully complete and receive credit for a minimum of 67 percent of all college level and college success courses attempted cumulatively, regardless of receipt of financial aid. The percentage can be calculated by dividing the successfully completed credit hours by the number of credit hours the student attempted.

    If at the end of a semester, a student has not successfully completed a minimum of 67 percent of all credit hours attempted cumulatively, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester attended.

    If at the end of the "Warning" semester, the student has not successfully completed a minimum of 67 percent of all credit hours attempted cumulatively, the student will be placed on Disqualified Status, and will not be eligible to participate in financial programs in future terms.

    All grades of "A", "B", "C", "D", "F", "P", "W", "I" and "R" are included in the calculation of credit hours attempted. Credit hours successfully completed toward the 67 percent are college and college success courses completed with a grade of "A", "B", "C", "D" or "P".

    Students receiving an INCOMPLETE ('I') grade or late grade that places them on Financial Aid warning or Disqualified Status must complete the course in accordance with the 'Incomplete Grades' policy as outlined in the Triton College catalog. Financial Aid is not notified when a student finishes an incomplete class; therefore, the student must submit an appeal within the term to request that their financial aid be reinstated.

    All attempted credit hours at Triton College will be counted toward the cumulative completion rate standards and the maximum time frame standards.

    These include:

• College Success courses

• Audit courses

• Courses that have grades forgiven

• Repeated courses

• Withdrawn courses

• Non-completed courses

  1. Grade-point average (qualitative standard). All students must earn a 1.0 GPA at the end of their first semester of attendance and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 after two semesters of attendance, regardless of receipt of financial aid.
  2. Program time frame. Students have a maximum of 96 hours attempted to earn an associate’s degree or 48 hours attempted for a one year certificate program. Maximum time frames will include all semesters of enrollment whether financial aid was received or not and will include all evaluated transfer credit hours. Grades of "W", "I", "R" or "F" are considered to be hours attempted and are included in the maximum time frame. Students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree will automatically be considered as having completed more than 96 hours and will need to appeal for reinstatement.

B. Financial Aid Academic Warning and Disqualification

  1. Students who fail to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in any semester will be placed on Financial Aid Warning (except if the GPA is less than 1.0 in the first semester of attendance, then the student is disqualified).
  2. Students who fail to meet the required course completion (see A-1) in any semester will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students who receive the Illinois Veterans' Grant or National Guard Grant are exempt from the quantitative component of the Standards of Academic Progress. Students may receive financial aid while on warning status without appealing.
  3. Students who fail to meet the 1.0 GPA in their first semester of attendance will be placed on Financial Aid Disqualification Status.
  4. Students who fail to meet the 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement for two consecutive semesters or who fail to successfully complete their courses as stated in section A-1, will be placed on Financial Aid Disqualification Status.

    Students may not receive financial aid while on Disqualification Status. This includes eligibility for federal and state grants, loans, work-study and federal VA benefits.

C. Financial Aid Reinstatement

  1. Students on Disqualification Status may appeal to the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress Committee if they have mitigating circumstances. Students wishing to appeal their status must pick up an official appeal form in the Financial Aid Office and follow all directions outlined in the appeal form. All appeals must be complete, provide detailed information and supporting documentation about mitigating circumstances, and must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.
  2. Students who have been away from Triton College for a minimum of three years may be allowed to return on a "warning" status for one semester. During that time, the student must make satisfactory progress or become disqualified for further financial assistance. Students who were disqualified at the time they ceased their prior enrollment will be required to submit an appeal for reinstatement.
  3. Students who are not reinstated by the committee may appeal again after they have successfully completed at least six credit hours of additional course work in a semester, unless the disqualification status is a result of having exceeded the program time fame as explained in A-3.
  4. Reinstatement of students who have exceeded the maximum program time frame will be considered for an extension only if they can document a change in academic program, and/or that they have taken College Success course work.
  5. Students have the right to appeal the decision of the Financial Aid Committee by submitting a typed statement to the associate dean of Financial Aid, requesting a review of the committee’s decision. The decision will be final.
  6. Students reinstated by the Financial Aid Committee and/or the associate dean of Financial Aid to a probationary status must meet the criteria for Standards of Academic Progress or the requirements of an academic plan from that point forward.

D. Notification of Status

The Financial Aid Office will notify students when they have become disqualified. However, it is the students' responsibility to know their academic progress status and how it affects financial aid eligibility.

Return of Federal Funds Policy

The amount of federal financial assistance that a student receives is based on the completion of all registered coursework. Any student who withdraws from coursework in a semester may be required to return a portion of the federal funds that had been applied to his/her account. The final amount of financial aid earned will be based on the period of time that the student participated during the term. If financial aid is awarded after the conclusion of the term, federal aid will be awarded based on the courses completed successfully for that term. Students who need to withdraw from registered coursework should make an appointment with a Financial Aid Specialist to determine if a portion of unearned federal funds will need to be returned to the federal aid programs.