Financial Aid

Wilkes Community College offers a broad program of financial aid including scholarships, federal, and state aid for students who qualify on the basis of need and/or academic potential.

Continuation of financial aid from one academic year to the next is not automatic. Students who plan to enroll in college for another year must re-apply for financial aid. The FAFSA and the WCC Scholarship application will be available on October 1 of the year preceding fall enrollment.

The WCC FAFSA code is 002983. Click here for NC residency information.

Contact Information

Wilkes Community College
Financial Aid
P.O. Box 120
Wilkesboro, NC 28697

1328 S. Collegiate Drive, Wilkesboro, NC

Phone: 336-838-6144
Toll Free: 866-222-1548

Financial Aid Calendar

    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    In order to receive any type of financial assistance from Wilkes Community College students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be completed once each school year. At WCC the school year consists of fall semester, spring semester, and summer term.

    Students will create an FSA ID username and password to sign the FAFSA. Dependent students must have at least one parent create and FSA ID username and password. These FSA IDs will be used each year the FAFSA is completed. It is important to keep your information in a secure location.

    WCC FAFSA Code: 002983

    Term FAFSA Deadline Documents Deadline
    Fall Semester 16-Week Classes May 15 July 1
    1st 8-Week Block May 15 July 1
    2nd 8-Week Block TBD (contact Financial Aid) TBD (contact Financial Aid)
    Spring Semester 16-Week Classes November 1 November 30
    1st 8-Week Block November 1 November 30
    2nd 8-Week Block TBD (contact Financial Aid) TBD (contact Financial Aid)
    Summer Term 8-Week Classes May 1 May 30
    1st 4-Week Block May 1 May 30
    2nd 4-Week Block TBD (contact Financial Aid) TBD (contact Financial Aid)

    FAFSA Workshops

    WCC offers FAFSA Workshops to assist students and their parent with completion of the FAFSA. Students and parents must bring their FSA IDs and their tax returns with them to the workshop. Please check the financial aid calendar for upcoming FAFSA Workshops.

    During the time that WCC is closed to the public, the Financial Aid Office will make every effort to assist students in completion of their FAFSA. If you are having problems completing your FAFSA, please call the Financial Aid Office at 336-838-6144 or email the staff as follows, based on the first letter of your last name:


    Verification is the process used to check the accuracy of a student’s FAFSA. Not all financial aid recipients will be selected for verification.

    The verification procedures are governed by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and Subpart E of 34 CFR Part 66B “Verification of Student Aid Application Information Regulations,” published in Federal Resister on April 29, 1994 and November 29, 1994.

    Your FAFSA may be selected for verification if:

    • You did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.
    • You used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool but changed some of the data on the FAFSA.
    • You were selected randomly by the Federal Government.
    • The submitted FAFSA application has estimated, incomplete or contradictory data.

    If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will be sent a letter and emails to your WCC email account from the WCC Financial Aid Office. These will explain what documentation is needed from you. You may also log into Self-Service and choose Financial Aid to see what documents/information is needed.

    If you have been selected for verification, your financial aid application is not complete until all verification is completed.

    Verification Forms

    Verification forms are completed by year. You may have to submit verification documentation for multiple years in a row.

    2023-24 Verification Forms

    WCC Foundation Scholarships

    Wilkes Community College Foundation scholarships are provided through the generosity of private donors or organizations in our community who support our students and programs.

    Priority Deadlines for Scholarship Applications:

    • 2024 high school graduates: June 1
    • All others: July 1

    All scholarship applications and a complete FAFSA must be in our system, including verification, by July 31, 2024, to qualify for awards for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Application Process

    1. Completion of the FAFSA is required to be considered for WCC Foundation scholarships. If you have not completed the FAFSA at the time the application is reviewed, we will not consider you for a scholarship.
    2. Visit the WCC Scholarship Application Portal and log in using your WCC username and password.
    3. Complete the general application. The system will use the information you provide to automatically match you with scholarships for which you are eligible, based on the criteria set by donors. This includes, but isn’t limited to, enrollment, GPA, and program. Be sure to answer all fields as accurately as possible so we can better award all scholarships.
    4. Make certain to complete each question and provide your electronic signature and date. Drafted/incomplete applications will not be considered.
    5. Click “Finish and Submit.” Once submitted, you should receive an email notification acknowledging that your application was accepted.
    6. Check your WCC student email regularly for updates on your scholarship application. If you are awarded a scholarship, an offer will be included as a part of your notification email. Your notification email will prompt you to accept your scholarship offer.


    Scholarships will be awarded between June 1 and September 1. You must accept your scholarship offer by logging back into the scholarship portal after being notified. You must also complete a post-acceptance questionnaire (thank you letter) after you accept your award. This allows our donors to see your acceptance and appreciation. You will not be awarded if you have not accepted your award AND completed the post-acceptance in the scholarship portal. You may also decline scholarship awards if you so choose.

    Scholarships awarded by the WCC Foundation may only be used to attend Wilkes Community College. They are not transferable to any other college, university, or institution.

    Click on a scholarship below to learn more, including benefits and eligibility requirements:

    The WCC SAGE First Year Experience is a scholarship program that provides 50 students with academic and financial support. It was established to remove barriers and guide students on a successful path toward graduation and career opportunities. Application deadline is March of each year.

    This scholarship was created in support of the college-wide strategic plan. Funding for the scholarship is raised by the Wilkes Community College Foundation annually through the MerleFest Mega Raffle.


    • $2000 scholarship in first year; SAGE Grant Aid may provide assistance in second year
    • One summer term $500 scholarship
    • Textbook and Laptop Lending
    • A dedicated advisor and access to peer mentors
    • A cohort ACA class taught by SAGE staff
    • Academic support services and Leadership Opportunities

    Who is Eligible?

    • First Generation College, Limited Income, or Students with documented disabilities
    • Full-time enrollment (12 hours minimum)
    • Commitment to participate in required services
    • Completion of FAFSA and SAGE Application
    • Live in Wilkes, Ashe or Alleghany counties
    • Meet regularly with advisor and peer mentors
    • Maintain good academic standing

    Please join us each spring in participating in the MerleFest Mega Raffle to support SAGE First Year Experience at

    For questions concerning the program, please contact:

    Image of Bruce Hollar
    Bruce Hollar, MS
    Director of SAGE
    Phone: 336-838-6167

    WCC Education Promise is a two-year, last-dollar scholarship designed to ensure every qualifying student graduating from high school in Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany can get a college degree from Wilkes Community College tuition-free. This scholarship program makes sure every qualifying student is 100% covered for the roughly $2,640 annual cost for tuition and institutional fees.

    Go to the WCC Education Promise page to learn more.

    Other Types of Aid

    Federal Pell Grants are the “foundation” of student aid.

    • FAFSA is required and must be completed each year.
    • Eligibility is calculated by the federal student aid processing center.
    • Applicant must be an undergraduate student who is enrolled either full-time or part-time and has not already earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.
    • Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
    • Recipients must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    • FAFSA is required and must be completed each year.
    • Eligibility is determined by the WCC Financial Aid Office.
    • Recipients must have exceptional financial need.

    The North Carolina Child Care Grant is a grant funded by the state of North Carolina to assist currently enrolled students with their child care expenses. It is meant to serve as a partial and temporary child care funding while the student is enrolled in classes and is meeting the grant requirements.

    • FAFSA is required.
    • Applicant must be a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes.
    • Applicant must be currently enrolled in a degree or diploma program.
    • Recipients must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

    The Next NC Scholarship is a financial aid program that helps North Carolinians pursue an education by fully covering tuition and fees at any NC Community College. To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

    1. Be a North Carolina resident who is eligible for in-state tuition
    2. From a household with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of less than $80,000
    3. Be enrolled in an eligible undergraduate curriculum program
    4. Taking at least 6 credit hours (less than 12 credit hours will be prorated)
    5. Making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
    6. Complete the FAFSA with Student Aid Index (SAI) at or below 7500

    Scholarships that are offered through other institutions, companies and foundations are considered outside scholarships. If you have been awarded an outside scholarship contact the scholarship coordinator at 336-838-6462 regarding the receipt of the funds and it being posted to your account.

    Resources for Outside Scholarships

    Federal Work Study jobs are Title IV funded positions which pay an hourly wage towards an annual award amount, which is determined by the Financial Aid Office for eligible students. The work schedule for students in the FWS program will be set up around their existing class schedule. The pay varies depending on the location of the job and if you are a new or returning FWS student. 

    In order to participate in the Federal Work Study (FWS) program at WCC, students must meet the following criteria:

    • must have a completed FAFSA for the current year
    • must be meeting all required Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
    • must have unmet financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office

    Federal Work Study students will be paid once per month, on the last working day of the month. Students will be given information regarding when time sheets are due to the Financial Aid Office. All time sheets should be accurate and signed by the supervisor. Time sheets cannot be processed without the supervisor’s signature.

    Beginning Fall 2020, Wilkes Community College no longer participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

    Private or alternative student loans may be necessary for students who need additional funds to cover their cost of attendance. These loans are private loans offered by individual lenders that require the borrower to have good credit or to obtain a co-signer with good credit. Be advised that the interest rates are variable from lender to lender and are higher than those of Federal Direct Loans.

    The financial aid office cannot certify any private/alternative loans until the student is enrolled in classes. In addition, the financial aid office will not certify any amount that takes the student over their cost of attendance.

    Students requesting a private/alternative loan must complete the Self-Certification Form.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

    Federal and state regulations require that students receiving financial aid maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). WCC applies these standards to all federal and state financial aid funds and the WCC Education Promise in order to maintain a consistent procedure for all students receiving assistance.

    Priority Deadline Final Deadline
    Spring 2024 January 4 at 12:00 p.m. January 19 at 3 p.m.
    Summer 2024 May 24 at 12:00 p.m. June 5 at 5 p.m.
    Fall 2024 August 9 at 12:00 p.m. August 23 at 3 p.m.

    Priority Deadline:  If your complete Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal is submitted by the priority deadline, your classes will be held. If your appeal is denied, your classes will be deleted unless you make arrangement for payment. You will be notified through your WCC email account if your appeal is approved or denied.

    Final Deadline:  Deadline to submit a complete Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal for financial aid consideration for the current semester. Payment arrangements must be made in order to guarantee your classes are not deleted. Any forms submitted after the submission deadline will not be considered for current semester aid.

    Wilkes Community College Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients


    Federal and state regulations require that students receiving financial aid maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). WCC applies these standards to all federal and state financial aid funds and the WCC Education Promise in order to maintain a consistent procedure for all students receiving assistance. These standards are checked at the end of each semester/term.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards

    In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must meet the following minimum guidelines. All classes, even if taken in  high school or when no financial aid was received, still count in the SAP calculation.

    1. Cumulative GPA
      1. Must maintain at least a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0.
      2. Transfer credits, credit by exam, audit, and W grades are not counted as part of the GPA calculation.
      3. F and R grades will be counted as an F.
      4. Grades of P, P1, P2, and P3 will be counted as an A.
    2. Completion Rate
      1. Must complete, with a grade of A, B, C, D, P, P1, P2 or P3, at least 66.5% of the cumulative credit hours attempted. Grades of F, I, R and W do not count as classes successfully completed but will count as hours attempted.
      2. ALL courses taken at WCC are included in the calculation.
      3. Transfer credits accepted by WCC are included as hours attempted and completed.
      4. Grades of WE and IE earned during the COVID-19 pandemic will not count in this calculation.
    3. Maximum Time Frame
      1. Maximum time frame is calculated on your current program of study
      2. Regulations require that you complete your program of study in a time frame not to exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program. This will be measured in credit hours (e.g., if the academic program length requires 60 credit hours, maximum time frame cannot exceed 90 credit hours attempted).
      3. Transfer credit hours accepted from other institutions that count in your program of study are included in the calculation of the maximum time frame.
      4. Once it has been determined you cannot complete your program within the 150%-time frame, you are no longer eligible for financial aid at WCC.
      5. Once students have earned an associate degree from WCC, students may return for an additional degree and receive aid again as long as they are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress. This means a 66.5% cumulative completion rate and 2.0 cumulative GPA as well as not having hit Maximum Time Frame. Students returning for a second degree or diploma will likely reach maximum time frame prior to completing the degree or diploma and will be required to submit an appeal in order to be considered for additional aid.
      6. Students enrolled in multiple programs of study will have Max Time Frame calculated on each program.

    Special Notes

    1. Withdrawal – Withdrawing from classes will affect a student’s ability to satisfy the completion rate. Before withdrawing from classes, students are encouraged to meet with a Financial Aid representative to discuss how withdrawing will impact their financial aid eligibility for future semesters.
    2. Grades of “Incomplete” – Incomplete grades will count as credit hours attempted, but not completed. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office when a grade is received for the course.
    3. Repeated Courses – In accordance with WCC procedure, a student is permitted to retake courses. For financial aid purposes, all hours attempted will continue to be counted in each component of the student’s academic progress. Financial aid will cover retaking a course one time if credit has already been earned (i.e., have a grade of A, B, C, or D).
    4. Developmental (Non-Credit) Coursework – The first 30 hours of Developmental Education courses (designated by course numbers starting with 0XXare excluded in GPA and completion rate calculation. Any developmental coursework above the 30 hour threshold will be included in the GPA and completion rate calculation.
    5. Summer Term – Credit hours attempted and earned during a summer term will be included in the calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    6. Academic Forgiveness – WCC allows academic forgiveness for academic purposes. There is no provision in the federal regulations for the concept of forgiveness of grades. Therefore, WCC must always include all courses when evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    7. Complete Academic Record – In order to measure a student’s satisfactory progress toward degree, diploma or eligible certificate programs, the student’s total record at WCC must be evaluated whether or not the student received financial aid for the entire time of enrollment. This includes, but is not limited to, courses taken through Career and College Promise, the Wilkes Early College, or the Ashe Early College.
    8. Transfer Credits – Transfer credits will be factored into the completion rate requirement as attempted and completed credits. Transfer courses that are part of your program of study will count in Maximum Time Frame status. They are not included in the GPA calculation.
    9. Returning Students – Returning students are evaluated on a continuing basis from the first enrollment at WCC. Returning students will be required to meet the standards of the current policy.
    10. Audit or Credit by Examination – Audits and proficiency exams are not covered by any type of financial aid. Students are responsible for all costs incurred with these types of courses. Credit by exam hours do count toward credit hours attempted and earned. Audits do not carry credit hours and are not counted as attempts or completions.
    11. Incomplete Emergency and Withdraw Emergency (COVID–19) – In response to the national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WCC has added two new grades to the curriculum grading schemes, the Incomplete Emergency (IE) and Withdraw Emergency (WE) grades, which are only applied to students in response to a COVID-19 related incomplete/withdrawal. IE and WE grades are not included in the quantitative component of the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation. If a student receives a final grade (not a grade of IE, I, or X) for a class, the new grade and number of credits attempted will be used to determine if the student is making SAP.

    Review Process / SAP Status

    It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of his/her Satisfactory Academic Progress status for financial aid eligibility. To determine a student’s academic progress status and eligibility for financial aid, a student’s academic record will be evaluated at the end of each term. SAP Status is available on Self-Service under Financial Aid.

    • Satisfactory: Students are considered to be satisfactory when they are maintaining a 2.0 cumulative GPA, have a 66.5% cumulative completion rate, and have not reached max time.
    • Warning: The first term after failure to make satisfactory academic progress is known as “warning” status. During the warning term, a student may continue to receive financial aid provided he/she is otherwise eligible. Warning statuses at WCC are WB (both GPA & Completion Rate), WG (GPA) and WC (Completion rate). If a student can regain satisfactory academic progress with the courses completed successfully during the Warning term, the status will return to Satisfactory.
    • Warning Max Time Frame: Students who are nearing the Maximum Time Frame status should receive a WM (Warning Max Time Frame) status to indicate they have almost reached 150% and have not completed a degree or diploma.
    • Suspension Status: Students who do not meet SAP (satisfactory academic progress) standards at the end of the warning term will be placed on suspension and will be ineligible for financial aid. Suspension statuses at WCC are SB (both GPA & Completion Rate), SG (GPA) and SC (Completion Rate).
    • Max Time Frame: Once it is determined that a student cannot complete their degree within 150% of the published program length, they will be placed on Max Time Frame. Max Time Frame is calculated on each program of study a student is currently enrolled in. Students who are in multiple programs may have to submit multiple plans. Students are usually not eligible to appeal a Max Time Frame status if their cumulative GPA is below 2.0 and their cumulative completion rate is below 66.5%.
    • Probation (AP, PA1, PA2, or PA3 OR MP 1, MP2, MP3 or MP4): If a status of Suspension is appealed and approved, a status of AP, PA1, PA2, or PA3 is assigned.
      • AP requires students to maintain both a term GPA greater than or equal to 2.0 and a term completion rate equal to 75%.
      • PA1 requires students to maintain a term GPA greater than or equal to 2.0 and a term completion rate of 100%.
      • PA2 requires students to maintain a term GPA greater than or equal to 3.0 and a term completion rate of 75%.
      • PA3 requires students to maintain a term GPA greater than or equal to 3.0 and a term completion rate of 100%.
      • MP1, MP2, MP3, and MP4 requires students to maintain term GPA greater than or equal to 2.0 and a term completion rate of 100%.

      If a student fails to meet the requirements of their probation, the appeal is terminated and the student’s financial aid will be terminated.

    • Terminated: A student who has previously had an appeal approved by the financial aid office and does not meet the requirements of the appeal will be terminated. They will no longer receive financial aid assistance and will not have the option of subsequent appeals. If a student is able to improve their completion rate to 66.5% and/or their GPA to 2.0 they may be able to receive financial aid in the future unless they are at Max Time Frame. They will need to contact the financial aid office if they believe they should be eligible.

    Appeal Process

    Students who have become ineligible for financial aid due to a failure to meet the minimum guidelines for satisfactory academic progress or have reached maximum time frame to earn a degree may appeal their status to the Financial Aid Office. Appeals will be considered for special circumstances. These may include:

    1. Extended student/family illness or injury (documentation required)
    2. Death of a relative (documentation required)
    3. Significant trauma in student’s life/personal issues/family emergency (documentation required)
    4. Change of degree program or second degree (valid reason for change/second degree required)

    The appeal form is available on the Financial Aid website. Students must provide information in the appeal form that documents the extenuating circumstances for each semester of unsatisfactory academic performance. Third party documentation must be submitted with the appeal for it to be considered.

    The appeal form should be submitted to the Financial Aid office by the priority deadline for the semester that the student is trying to establish eligibility. The Financial Aid Office and the SAP Appeals Committee will determine if the appeal is approved or denied. Their decision is final.

    Students appealing after the priority deadline should be prepared to pay for their semester expenses. After the priority deadline has passed, but prior to the final submission deadline, the SAP Appeals Committee will meet on a regular basis to review appeals. Appeals submitted after the final submission deadline will not be considered for current semester aid.

    All appeals along with requested supporting documentation must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office, Wilkes Community College, Post Office Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC  28697. Appeals will be reviewed by the SAP Appeals committee, and approval or denial notices will be sent to the WCC student email accounts.

    Approved Appeals

    Students who were suspended due to not meeting the cumulative GPA and/or 66.5% completion rate and whose appeal is approved by the FAO and/or Appeals Committee must meet with a Student Services representative before their aid will be reinstated.

    A second appeal may be considered but cannot be submitted for the same issue that led to the first appeal, such as the same medical condition. A student must have very unusual circumstances to warrant a second appeal. As a result, very few second appeals are approved.

    Denied Appeals

    If a student’s appeal is denied or if he/she did not meet the conditions of an approved appeal, the following items should be considered.

    • The student may attend at his/her own expense and earn the deficiency in either the credit hours, GPA, or both. Note: A student cannot make up a deficiency if the appeal was due to exceeding the maximum time frame to earn a degree.
    • If a student did not maintain satisfactory academic progress due to a deficiency in credit hours, he/she may take the credit hours at another institution as long as WCC accepts the transfer hours.
    • Once the deficiency has been satisfied, a student should contact the Financial Aid Office so that his/her progress can be reevaluated.

    The SAP Appeal forms provides students that have lost their financial aid eligibility an opportunity to petition consideration for the reinstatement of their financial aid. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal form is an E-Form and can be accessed through the WCC Prowler page. Log into E-forms and go to Financial Aid Forms.  Chose the FA SAP Appeal form.  You may upload documentation to this form or send directly to the financial aid office. SAP appeals without documentation will not be considered.

    1. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
      The federal government describes Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in three ways. There is a quantitative (time-based) standard and a qualitative (grade-based) standard. In addition there is also a max time frame standard in regards to program completion.
    2. What is Quantitative (time-based) standard?
      Students are given a maximum amount of time to complete a two year degree. In order to complete the degree in this time frame students must maintain a pace of completion of 67%. This means that each semester you must complete at least 67% of your classes as well as cumulatively complete 67%. If you do
      not maintain this pace you are not making SAP.
    3. What is Qualitative (GPA) standard?
      Students receiving financial aid must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of each semester/term. If students are not able to do this they are not making SAP.
    4. What is Maximum Time Frame?
      Max time frame refers to the amount of time it takes to complete a program of study. The standard is 150% of the published length of the program. This means for a two year degree (4 semesters) you have three years (6 semesters) to complete. If you are unable to do this you are not making SAP.
    5. What should I do if I’m on Warning status?
      Students who receive an email stating they have been moved to warning status for SAP should look at their GPA and completion rate to see what they need to do to improve. Students that receive the warning max time frame email should meet with their advisor to plan how to graduate in a timely manner. Students should not wait until they have reached Suspension to try to correct the problem. Students are encouraged to meet with a financial aid representative to review their record and discuss improvement strategies.
    6. What can I do if I hit max time frame?
      A student on max time frame may file an appeal. When an appeal is filed for this reason students need to meet with their advisor to lay out a plan for degree completion. This academic plan will include classes needed and the semester the classes should be taken. Students will be granted a specific amount of time to complete their degree based on this plan. Not following the plan can result in the loss of financial aid.
    7. How can I increase my pace of completion?
      Students that are only taking 12 hours per semester will have a difficult time completing their program of study in three years (150% of time). In order to improve their completion rate they will need to enroll in and complete more than 12 hours each semester.
    8. How to improve my GPA?
      Students who need to improve their GPA may need to repeat courses they have already completed. Grades of F greatly impact a student’s GPA. Ds, although passing, will still have a negative impact on maintaining a 2.0 GPA. Students must improve the grades they are making in their courses and possibly repeat any past courses that were not successfully completed. Academic forgiveness is not recognized in Financial Aid and will not improve a student’s GPA.
    9. How do developmental courses impact SAP?
      Financial Aid will pay for a maximum of 30 hours of developmental courses. Any courses over this amount will not be included in a student’s SAP calculation.

    Conditions of Award / Withdrawal Policy

    • To be eligible for financial aid, students must have transcripts for a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent on file with the Admissions Office, be enrolled in an eligible program of study (POS) leading to a degree or diploma and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
    • Only those courses required and needed in the program of study (POS) can be counted towards eligibility for financial aid.
    • Substitution forms for courses in your program of study (POS) must be completed PRIOR to the Pell Recalculation Date (PRD) for each semester in order to receive aid for that class. The PRD is available on the Financial Aid website and on the Financial Aid calendar.
    • Financial aid funds may be used to pay for tuition, fees, books and required supplies.
    • The balance of funds, if any, will be mailed or direct deposited into a students account on the financial aid refund dates listed on the Financial Aid Calendar.
    • WCC’s academic year begins in the fall semester and ends with the summer term.
    • The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to review, adjust or cancel an award any time there has been a change in enrollment status, financial status, or failure to meet satisfactory progress regulations.
    • Financial Aid awards will be available no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of the semester for students to charge against.
    • The award amount listed on Self-Service and on the offer letter are based on full-time enrollment (12 SHC for Pell Grant and NCNBG).  The offer letter lists funding for the entire year. Your award will be reduced proportionately if you attend less than full-time.
      • Students enrolled full-time (12 or more semester hours of credit) will receive 100% of award listed.
      • Students enrolled 3/4-time (9. 10, or 11 semester hours of credit) or half-time (6, 7, or 8 semester hours of credit) will generally receive a reduced award.
      • Limited funding is available for students enrolled less than half-time (5 or fewer semester hours of credit). The NC Scholarship will not be awarded if enrolled less than 6 hours. Students who plan to attend less than half-time should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine their eligibility.

    The following programs are eligible for federal/state financial aid at WCC:

    • Associate in Arts
    • Associate in Science
    • Associate in Engineering
    • Associate in Applied Science
    • Associate in General Education
    • All Diploma programs**
    • Basic Law Enforcement Training ** (Daytime class only)

    **Credit hours for the Dental Assisting Diploma (D45240) and Basic Law Enforcement Training Certificate (C55120) must be converted from contact/credit to clock hours according to the Department of Education’s formula. This will likely result in a partial payment of financial aid.  

    If a student completely withdraws, drops out, or is suspended from Wilkes Community College, he or she must return unearned student aid. Unearned aid is the amount of disbursed title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned. During the first 60% of the semester, a student earns funds in direct proportion to the length of time he or she remained enrolled. The period of time during which a student is enrolled is the percentage of aid earned by the student. A student who remains enrolled at or beyond the 60% point is deemed to have earned all aid for the term. The term “Title IV aid” includes Federal Pell Grants and Federal SEOG.

    This Return to Title IV (R2T4), may be a combination of tuition, fees or books charged to the students account or a refund check. The amount of aid to be returned is calculated using the last date of attendance (LDA) for each course. Last date of attendance refers to an academically-related activity which is considered last date an assignment was submitted in an online course. The student will be notified in writing the amount owed to the college.

    If you are registered for courses that do not span the entire 16-week semester, there is important information you need to be aware of. These types of courses are known as modules (or mini mesters). This includes shortened courses in the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as summer term courses. If you withdraw from a module within the term but are still registered for other modular courses later in the semester, you are required to provide a written statement to the Financial Aid Office that indicates your intention to return for your other classes. Without the statement, you will be considered withdrawn from all other courses and will be subject to the Return of Title IV funds calculation.

    In some instances, the Financial Aid Office is required to return state funds, such as NC Scholarship, to the College Foundation of North Carolina, INC. (CFI). If the student ceases enrollment and has received this grant, the student could owe a portion of the fund back, in addition to their R2T4 outstanding balance.

    If students use Title IV funds to register for a course(s) but do not attend, the college is required by federal law to return all tuition and fees to the appropriate financial aid program.

    Students who owe a return to any Title IV program will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid Office. Students who fail to repay as directed by the Financial Aid Office will not be allowed to register until the account has been settled. Students must pay all debt owed to the College in order to return in subsequent terms. The College will begin North Carolina Community College System collection procedures immediately.

    Students should register for all courses, even those courses that start during the second 8-week block, during the initial registration period. Students who register for minimester classes after the Pell Recalculation Date will not be eligible for financial aid for those classes (see Pell Recalculation Date for more information).

    A student will not be paid financial aid for a class until it has officially started, and the student has begun attending it. Students that are enrolled in late starting minimester courses should note that this rule means they won’t receive aid for the late starting courses until they have started, and they have begun attending them.

    For example, a student is enrolled in a total of 12 hours. 9 hours are 16-week courses that begin at the start of the semester. At the first financial aid disbursement, the student will receive aid based on three-quarter time enrollment. The other 3 hours are a course that starts mid-semester. Once the student begins attendance in that course, they will receive the remaining amount of their financial aid. This will make them 12 hours, which is full-time enrollment.

    If you are registered for courses that do not span the entire 16-week semester, there is important information you need to be aware of. These types of courses are known as modules (or mini mesters). This includes shortened courses in the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as summer term courses. If you withdraw from a module within the term but are still registered for other modular courses later in the semester, you are required to provide a written statement to the Financial Aid Office that indicates your intention to return for your other classes. Without the statement, you will be considered withdrawn from all other courses and will be subject to the Return of Title IV funds calculation.

    Note: A student who is enrolling in minimester classes only should check with the financial aid office to see if they are eligible for financial aid. In MOST cases a student will have to enroll at the beginning of the semester, prior to the PRD, to be eligible for financial aid for those courses.

    The Pell Recalculation Date (PRD) is the date within each semester/term when a student’s enrollment status is locked for the purpose of determining Pell and state eligibility for that semester/term. A student’s financial aid award is based on anticipated full-time enrollment. If a student’s actual attendance is less than full-time, their Pell Grant and any state aid will be adjusted accordingly.

    Students are STRONGLY encouraged to finalize their course schedule BEFORE the PRD to ensure they receive the maximum potential financial aid award and avoid having to return financial aid funds that have been disbursed to them.

    If a student stops attending a class, but does not officially withdraw prior to the PRD, their last date of attendance will be used as their withdrawal date. If their last date of attendance is prior to the PRD, they will not receive aid for that class.

    WCC has one PRD each semester.

    Term Pell Recalculation Date
    Fall 2023 August 25
    Spring 2024 January 19
    Summer 2024 June 7

    Guidelines for Pell Recalculation

    • The enrollment status of the student is locked on the PRD and is not based on the specific classes for which they were registered on the first day of the semester/term.
    • A student may swap courses that haven’t started in a semester/term with other late starting classes within that same semester/term if the student’s enrollment status stays the same as it was on the PRD.
    • If a student increases or decreases their enrollment credit hours prior to the PRD, their Pell Grant, NC Community College Grant, and NC Education Lottery Scholarship may be adjusted, as appropriate, to match the level of enrollment.
      • If a student’s aid is reduced and creates a balance due to the college, the student will be responsible for payment.
    • If a student is actively enrolled prior to the PRD and adds a course or courses after the PRD, the enrollment status used to determine eligibility will NOT be increased.
    • A student who has attended a prior term within the same school year and received Pell in the prior term must be registered for the courses Pell will pay by the PRD of the subsequent term.
      • For example, a student enrolled in the fall must be registered for spring by the spring PRD to receive aid.
    • If a student’s first enrollment for an award year is the second block of a semester, the student should check with the Financial Aid office to see if they will be eligible for financial aid.

    The Department of Education restricts enrollment in remedial courses to a total of 30 hours. Any remedial course above the 30 hour limit will not be covered by financial aid.

    Student Rights

    Students have the right to obtain from the College the following:

    • Names of WCC’s accrediting or licensing organizations.
    • Information about WCC’s programs, its instructional, laboratory and other physical facilities and its faculty.
    • The types of financial assistance available, including information on all federal, state, local and institutional financial aid programs.
    • The criteria used to select financial aid recipients.
    • How to apply for financial aid and the deadlines.
    • They type of financial assistance received and how the amounts of each were determined.
    • Process used to determine student financial need. This process includes how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, and personal and miscellaneous expenses are considered in the cost of education. It also includes how resources (such as parental contribution, other financial aid, assets, etc.) are considered in calculating student need;
    • How and when the financial aid will be distributed.
    • What portion of the financial aid you received must be repaid and what portion is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know what the interest rate is, the total amount that must be repaid, the payback procedures, the length of time you have to repay the loan, and when repayment begins.
    • How WCC‘s Financial Aid Office determines whether or not you are making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid and the consequences if you are not.
    • The policy for withdrawals and refunds for student who drop out.

    Student Responsibilities

    It is the responsibility of students to:

    • Notify the school/Financial Aid Office of any change in name, address, telephone number, major, attendance status or any other changes that may affect your award
    • Review and consider all information about a college’s program before enrolling.
    • Complete financial aid applications completely and accurately and submit them by the deadlines.
    • Supply all additional documentation, verification, corrections and/or new information requested by the Financial Aid Office.
    • To notify the Financial Aid Office of any financial assistance received from sources outside of the college to prevent over awards of financial aid.
    • Read, understand and keep copies of all forms which they are asked to sign.
    • Understand the college’s withdrawal and refund policy.
    • Understand the Financial Aid Office’s Return to Title IV refund policy and the consequences of withdrawing.
    • Satisfactorily perform the work agreed upon in a college work student job.

    Drug Related Convictions and Federal Student Aid

    The WCC Drug and Alcohol Policy and Prevention Program prohibits the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, possession, and/or use of alcohol, drugs, controlled substances, banned substances, and/or illegal substances on college premises or as a part of any of its activities. Equally, being under the influence or intoxicated on alcohol, drugs, controlled substances, and/or illegal substances is prohibited on college premises or as part of any of its activities.  Violation of this policy may result in consequences such as, but not limited to, a counseling assessment, required treatment, probation, dismissal, suspension, or expulsion from the college.  In addition, the illegal use of drugs and alcohol constitutes a serious crime under federal, state, and local laws.  Convictions may result in imprisonment, fines, and/or mandatory community service.  More specific consequences are outlined in the “Legal Consequences” section of the college policy.

    The June 17, 2021 Federal Register notice announced the repeal of the Suspension of Title IV aid eligibility for drug-related convictions that occurred while receiving Title IV aid (FAFSA Question 23).  The question will remain on the FAFSA until at least the 2023-2024 Award Year. Please answer the question correctly but note that it will no longer have an impact on your eligibility for Title IV aid beginning with the 2021-2022 Award Year.

    The college maintains a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program for all students and employees.  Complete information can be found in the “Available Resources and Treatment” section of the Drug and Alcohol Policy.  You may also contact the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coordinator in Student Services at 336-838-6148.  If you have questions concerning Federal Student Aid regulations as they relate to drug-related offenses, please contact the Director of Financial Aid at 336-838-6139.

    Special and Unusual Circumstances

    Sometimes there are circumstances in student’s lives that the FAFSA does not take into account. Federal Student Aid allows financial aid offices the ability to look at each student’s situation and see if a professional judgement can be made.  There are two types of professional judgement – Special Circumstances and Unusual Circumstances (Dependency Override)

    Special Circumstances refer to the financial situations that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the COA or in the EFC calculation. Examples include:

    • Loss of a job (parent, spouse or student)
    • Reduction in income/hours worked
    • Change in housing status (homelessness)
    • Unusual medical expenses not covered by insurance
    • One-time income/gains
    • Other changes or adjustments that impact the student’s costs or ability to pay for college

    Unusual Circumstances (Dependency Override) refers to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation. Unusual Circumstances include:

    • Estrangement from parents
    • Physical or emotional abuse
    • Documented abandonment
    • Student or parental incarceration

    Unusual Circumstances do not include:

    • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
    • Parents will not provide information for the FAFSA or verification
    • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
    • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency

    If you fit either of these situations, you may complete a Special Circumstances or Dependency Override form. Log into E-Forms on the Prowler page and look under Financial Aid Forms.