How Aid Works


To be eligible for state or federal assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act and enabling regulations, a student must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time (at least 6 units in each quarter of enrollment) as a regular student. Students admitted on provisional or conditional status will be given a defined period of eligibility (usually one year) to achieve regular admission
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid social security number
  • Have demonstrated financial need as determined through completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to being awarded need-based financial aid, particularly Subsidized Stafford Loans
  • Have completed at least 90 units of coursework at the college level
  • No need must be shown to receive non-need based financial aid (Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal Grad Plus Loans) however, all applicants must file the FAFSA
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the degree program as defined by ACTCM standards and practices

All applicants should not satisfy the following criteria to be eligible for state or federal assistance:

  • Be in default on a federal student loan at ACTCM or any other institution
  • Borrowed in excess of the aggregate loan limits allowed for the federal loan programs, unless the excess amount has been repaid or a satisfactory payment arrangement has been made
  • Be a member of any religious community, society, or order, which directs the student’s course of duty or that provides students with subsistence support except that members of such religious orders may be eligible for unsubsidized loans
  • Owe a refund on a Pell or SEOG grant at any institution attended
  • Be registered for the Selective Service, if a male born after January 1, 1960
  • Convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving Federal Student Aid

Funds Disbursement

Federal Stafford, Federal Grad Plus, and private loans are disbursed in equal disbursements for each quarter included in the loan period. The Department of Education will deliver Stafford, Grad Plus and private loan funds electronically to ACTCM. Once funds are disbursed to the school, tuition and fees are deducted from the loan proceeds and any remaining balance is made available in the form of a college check paid to the student. Checks are normally distributed in the Administration Office on the first  Monday after add/drop week after 2pm. Federal Work-Study funds are disbursed once per month in the form of a paycheck. Other aid is disbursed as directed by the funding agency.


Verification is a process that all colleges receiving federal aid are required to complete. The purpose of verification is not to find fraudulent FAFSA applicants, but to find and correct common mistakes made during the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The federal government randomly selects FAFSA applicants for verification. Though a random process, students may also be flagged for verification if conflicting information is reported on the FAFSA. All students who are selected for verification are required to provide the necessary information requested. If the verification process is not completed, a student will not be considered for any need-based financial aid. Thus, it is important to return the information and requested documentation as soon as possible.

Students simply need to submit the required documents as determined by the financial aid office, who will then compare these documents with the FAFSA the student completed. Students will be notified if changes in verification affect their financial assistance award. Please do not complete the Verification Form unless you have been instructed to do so by the financial aid office.

Verification Steps:

  1. Student submits the FAFSA.
  2. The federal government randomly selects the student for the verification process. Though a random process, students may also be flagged for verification if conflicting information is reported on the FAFSA.
  3. Student receives the Student Aid Report (SAR), which is the end result from the student completing the FAFSA. The College receives the student results.
  4. The ACTCM Financial Aid Office mails a letter to the student notifying the student that he/she has been selected for verification. The letter also addresses the required information and forms that are needed to complete the verification process.
  5. Student completes the required forms and documentation and forwards this information to ACTCM Financial Aid Office. The information submitted is reviewed and compared to the student’s FAFSA data and maintained in strict confidence by the ACTCM Financial Aid Office.
  6. ACTCM will review the information and, if needed, send FAFSA corrections electronically to the federal student aid-processing center.
  7. If corrections are required, the correction process takes 7 to 10 days. Once a student’s corrections are received, the ACTCM Financial Aid Office uses the finalized Student Aid Report to determine a student’s financial need.
  8. If no corrections are required, ACTCM Financial Aid Office completes the verification process and determines financial aid eligibility.
  9. A Financial Aid Offer packet is mailed to the student detailing financial aid eligibility.
  10. Student receives financial aid offer and completes any forms online and or manually.

Refund Policy

Federal regulations require each university participating in the Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs to have a written policy for the refund and repayment of federal aid received by students who withdraw during a term for which payment has been received. This policy is effective only if the student completely terminates enrollment before completing more than 60% of the enrollment period.

The amount of Title IV aid that a student must repay is determined via the Federal Formula for Return of Title IV funds as specified in Title IV, Part G, Section 485 Institutional Refunds, as amended Section 484B of the Higher Education Act. This law also specifies the order of the return of the Title IV funds to programs from which they were awarded.

A repayment may be required when cash has been disbursed to a student from financial aid funds in excess of the amount of aid the student earned during the term. The amount of Title IV aid earned is determined by multiplying the total Title IV aid (other than Federal Work Study) for which the student qualified by the percentage of time during the term that the student was enrolled.
If less aid was disbursed than was earned, the student may receive a late disbursement for the difference. If more aid was disbursed than was earned, the amount of Title IV aid that must be returned (i.e. that was unearned) is determined by subtracting the earned amount from the amount actually disbursed.

The responsibility for returning unearned aid is allocated between ACTCM and the student according to the portion of disbursed aid that could have been used to cover ACTCM student charges and the portion that could have been disbursed directly to the student once university charges were covered. ACTCM will distribute the unearned aid back to the Title IV programs as specified by law. The student will be billed for the amount the student owes the Title TIV programs and ACTCM.

In some cases, a student may be eligible to receive a “post-withdrawal” disbursement after the student completely withdraws from school when the amount of aid earned is less than the amount of aid disbursed. In such cases, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the “post-withdrawal” disbursement via an award letter. The award letter must be returned to the Financial Aid Office within fourteen (14) days or the “post-withdrawal” disbursement will be cancelled.

If a student withdraws from ACTCM, Title IV funds must be returned in the following order: Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan, Other Federal Funded Programs.

What does this mean for you?

If you withdraw from ACTCM, the Financial Aid Office will calculate the amount of Federal Stafford, Federal Grad Plus Loans, and Federal Perkins Loan funds that you have “earned” on the basis of your enrollment until withdrawal. The “unearned” amount that has been used to pay tuition will be refunded to your lender by ACTCM to reduce your outstanding loan balance. ACTCM will then notify your lender that you are no longer enrolled as of the date of withdrawal.

The ACTCM tuition refund policy, as published in the catalog and the Quarterly Enrollment Agreement, remains unchanged. However, because the calculation of the tuition refund and the calculation of the amount of “earned” and “unearned” Federal Stafford Loan funds are no longer tied together by federal law as in the past, there may be a tuition balance owing as a result of withdrawal. Before you withdraw, please be sure you understand the potential financial consequences of withdrawal.