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Financial Aid Office

Benton Harbor Campus
Main Building, Suite A-222

Email finaid@lakemichigancollege.edu
Phone (269) 927-8112

The Financial Aid office helps current and prospective students apply for financial aid and oversees the packaging of financial aid awards, including grants and waivers, student loans, work-study, and scholarships. Learn more about financial aid and how to pay for college.

When should you contact the Financial Aid office?

  • If you receive financial aid and are thinking of withdrawing from a class(es). You must contact the Financial Aid office prior to withdrawing from a class.
  • If you want to check on the status of financial aid
  • If you have questions about your financial aid.

READ THE FINANCIAL AID HANDBOOK >>

If selected for verification, you can complete all of your information online at:

check mark iconVerify My FAFSA 

 

General Information

Tuition and Fees Get the details about what Lake Michigan College will cost.

Types of Financial Aid Learn the difference between grants, scholarships and loans and how to become a work-study.

If you are a student with an emergency financial need, you made qualify for a one-time award of up to $500 - download the Student Success Fund application.

Apply for Financial Aid

It is important that you apply for financial aid early. You may only apply for financial aid once each academic year. For best consideration, your application should be on file in the Financial Aid Office by:

Fall Semester March 1
Spring Semester November 1
Summer Term February 1

It takes at least a week for a FAFSA application to be processed; if selected for Verification, it can take up to two weeks. Apply early so you don't miss out on getting financial aid. Info to know:

  • The government determines your financial aid eligibility. 
  • You must complete the FAFSA each year to be considered for financial aid.

If you haven't applied to Lake Michigan College, do it before you apply for financial aid. The application is free and it takes about ten minutes to complete.

You can apply for financial aid starting October 1 of the year before you plan to go to college. You'll need to apply for aid each year that you wish to receive financial aid. Be sure to have the following documents on hand when you apply for financial aid:

  • Tax returns - you'll need your prior year's tax return or your parents' if you were listed as a dependent on their tax return. Learn how to easily transfer tax return information with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • W-2 - if you didn't file a tax return, you'll need to provide information from your W-2
  • Social Security Number - you'll need your social security number and your parents if you are a dependent
  • FSA ID - if you created an FSA ID, great! Visit the FSA website and create an ID if you don't have one. Watch this video if you need help creating an FSA ID.

If you're applying for federal financial aid, you should also consider applying for scholarships. Unlike student loans, you don't need to pay back scholarships. Learn more about available scholarships and fill out the application.

After you have completed the previous steps, the Financial Aid Office will prepare a personalized financial aid package that may consist of grants, scholarships, and/or student employment. Students interested in student loans must initiate that process with the Financial Aid Office. An award letter including specific amounts and types of aid will be mailed to you. All subsequent award letter will be emailed to your LMC email account. It is very important that you read this letter thoroughly to find out the terms of any financial aid awarded to you.

Once you complete all of the steps and have registered for classes, your financial aid will be applied to your school account. If your award does not cover the balance in full, you are responsible for paying the difference. If your award does cover your balance, but you stop attending your classes, your aid may be reduced and you will be responsible for paying any funds to which you are not entitled. Questions about financial aid can be directed to the Financial Aid Office at (269) 927-8112 or by visiting the Student Services area on the Benton Harbor Campus. You can also call the Niles Campus at (269) 695-1391 or the South Haven Campus at (269) 637-7500.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Lake Michigan College has the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for students who receive financial aid. These standards require that a student make progress toward an Associate Degree/ Bachelor’s degree/ Certificate Program during all periods of enrollment, including periods when a student did not receive financial aid. Lake Michigan College will be consistent in applying the SAP policies to all students, including full & part time, independent and dependent students.

SAP APPEAL FORM >>

MINIMUM FINANCIAL AID SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS STANDARDS

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is evaluated at the end of each period of payment period. All financial aid recipients are required to meet SAP standards toward completion of certificate or degree requirements in order to be eligible for Title IV, state and institutional need-based financial aid programs. If a student who is receiving financial aid does not meet the standards as set forth in this policy, they will be ineligible for financial aid in future terms and may appeal.   

  • Maintain required cumulative 2.0 Grade Point Average(GPA) or higher (a qualitative measure) for all coursework completed at Lake Michigan College. 
  • Successfully complete at least 67% of the cumulative attempted credit hours (a quantitative measure) and
  • Make positive progress toward a program of study within 150 percent of the average published program length.

FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY STATUSES

  • Eligible – Student is meeting the minimum academic standards or has no academic history. Fully Eligible for financial aid.
  • Warning – Student did not meet minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate in the previous evaluation period. Student is still Eligible for financial aid, but must reach all minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility.
  • Ineligible – Student has failed to meet minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate SAP at the end of the evaluation period.  Student is Ineligible for financial aid.
  • Timeframe – Student has attempted at least 150% toward an Associate Degree/ Bachelor’s degree/ Certificate Program.  If a student exceeds these credit hour limits, they are not making progress toward a degree within the 150% federal requirement. Student is Ineligible for financial aid.

When is Academic Progress Evaluated? A student’s satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring and Summer).  Students will not be eligible for federal funding during this time if in an ineligible SAP status.

Successful completion of a class is defined as earning a grade of A, B, C, D, or Pass and will be used to determine cumulative GPA, Completion Rate and Timeframe.

New Financial Aid Students with prior academic history: Lake Michigan College students with prior academic history will be evaluated at the time they apply for financial aid. They will receive one of three financial aid statuses.

  • Eligible – Student is meeting the minimum academic standards or has no academic history. Fully Eligible for financial aid.
  • Warning – Student is below minimum standards in his/her previous academic history. Student is still Eligible for financial aid, but must reach the minimum standards at the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility.
  • Timeframe – Student has attempted at least 150% toward an Associate Degree/ Bachelor’s degree/ Certificate Program.  If a student exceeds these credit hour limits, they are not making progress toward a degree within the 150% federal requirement. Student is Ineligible for financial aid.

Transfer Students and Transfer credit hours: Students transferring to Lake Michigan College are required to have all prior college transcripts evaluated for transfer credits. All credit hours accepted by Lake Michigan College will be used to determine the 67% completion rate and the maximum timeframe of 150% of the published duration of the student’s academic program. 

Non-Passing Grades:  Unsuccessful grades of E, F, W, WD, IP or I will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe. The letter grade of E is used toward the completion rate and cumulative GPA.

Repeat Courses: Students repeating courses, for the first time only, can receive aid for that repeated course. All repeat courses will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe. Actual letter grades are included in the cumulative GPA.

Audited Credit Hours: Courses taken on an audit basis are not counted when determining the completion percentage or for purposes of determining your cumulative GPA.

Remedial Credit Hours: up to 30 credit hours of remedial course work are “financial aid eligible;” therefore they are in the attempted hour count and are either completed successfully with a passing grade A, B, C, D.

HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH ELIGIBILITY?

  • A student must bring his/her GPA and completion rate up to the minimum standards of the required cumulative GPA and 67% completion rate. A student will be ineligible for financial aid and cannot be reimbursed during this time. 
  • Mitigating Circumstances: If a student has experienced mitigating circumstances (illness, family illness, change of major) during the most recent evaluation period, they may submit an Appeal to reinstate financial aid eligibility. The student must explain, in the appeal, what has changed that will now allow them to meet the SAP requirements.  The student must also submit supporting documentation with the appeal. If the request is granted, the student will be placed on one of two Financial Aid Eligibility Statuses:
    • Probation – The student is expected to improve to minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period. The student is Eligible for financial aid, but must meet minimum standards by the next evaluation period. A student cannot be on probation for two consecutive semesters.
    • Academic Success Plan – The student cannot be expected to improve to minimum standards by the next evaluation period. The student and Lake Michigan College have agreed to a success plan to allow the student to meet minimum standards within a fixed number of evaluation periods. The student is fully Eligible for financial aid as long as they are strictly following the success plan. If at any time the student stops following the success plan and they are not meeting minimum standards they will become Ineligible for financial aid. If a student meets minimum standards at any time while on a success plan their Financial Aid Eligibility Status will be updated to Eligible.

If the request is not granted, the student will remain Ineligible for financial aid until they meet all minimum standards.

  • Timeframe Mitigating Circumstances: If a student has not completed their program of study within the 150% timeframe and there are mitigating circumstances (illness, job related, family illness, change of major), they may submit an Appeal to reinstate financial aid eligibility. If this application is granted, the student will be placed on the following Academic Eligibility Status:
    • Timeframe Academic Success Plan – The student and Lake Michigan College have agreed to a success plan. The student is fully Eligible for financial aid, as long as they are strictly following the success plan. If at any time the student stops following the success plan, they will become Permanently Ineligible for financial aid.

If the request is not granted, the student will be Ineligible for financial aid. All students are limited to one Timeframe Academic Success Plan.

STUDENTS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL, OF THEIR SAP STATUS, AT THE END OF EACH SEMESTER

*Decisions of the SAP Appeals Committee are final and will not be overturned

Fall 2019 Final Deadline: October 4, 2019
Spring 2020 Final Deadline: February 7, 2020

In some instances, your appeal may not be reviewed until the end of the term when your grades have been posted and rolled into your student academic history.

Appeals received after the above dates may not be reviewed on time; students must make all necessary arrangements to pay for their registration to avoid being dropped from their schedule.  If the appeal is approved after the semester begins, the student will be considered for financial aid, if otherwise eligible.

Steps to file an appeal

  • Complete and submit the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form;

  • Attach a detailed, signed, dated statement outlining the extenuating circumstances that resulted in unsatisfactory progress; and

  • Include a signed and dated statement explaining what has changed that will allow you to achieve academic success during the next period of enrollment at LMC.

  • Attach appropriate documentation to support the circumstances outlined in the appeal.  Documentation may include, but are not limited to, a physician’s signed statement on official letterhead, copy of death certificate, accident report, and medical reports/ records.

  • Log in to Wavelink and select Pre-Graduation Audit (Degree Works) to download and print your Degree Works; attach the copy to your appeal.  

Federal regulations allow for approval of appeals only under the following conditions:

  • It has been determined that the student will be able to meet SAP standards after the subsequent term.
  • An academic plan is developed for the student that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.

All appeals will be reviewed by the Appeals Committee; appeals filed with insufficient supporting documentation will be rejected without any further notification from LMC. SAP Committee reserves the right to approve an appeal, and all decisions are final and not appealable. 
 

 

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