FINANCIAL AID ANNUAL REPORT Itasca Community College 2014-2015 I. Overview of 2014-2015 The ICC Financial Aid Office saw a 4% decrease this past yea...
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FINANCIAL AID ANNUAL REPORT Itasca Community College 2014-2015 I.

Overview of 2014-2015

The ICC Financial Aid Office saw a 4% decrease this past year in financial aid applications compared with the 2013-2014 award year and a 9% decrease from the 2012-2013 award year. This reduction is in line with our enrollment decline. We received 1,685 different applications for needbased financial aid as a result of students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) versus 1,761 last year. Of the 20142015 aid year applicants, 1,039 completed the process and were offered a financial aid package. The 646 applicants that were not awarded were mainly those who did not apply for admission or who decided to attend another college. A small number were ineligible for aid due to academic/financial aid suspension holds or having prior student loans in default. Of the 1,039 students who did receive an award letter, 942 applicants enrolled at ICC for at least one term at various credits levels during the 2014-2015 school year. 94% (884) of students who completed a FAFSA, were offered a financial aid package, and also enrolled, 94% (884) accepted and received payment from some form of financial assistance (grants, scholarships, loans, employment). The remaining 6% consisted mainly of students who were offered loan funding, chose not to accept it, and thus paid “out of pocket”.

The chart below shows the percentage of ICC students who received ANY type of financial aid administered through the College over the past eight years. 75% (1,072/1,424) of our enrolled non-PSEO students received some payment from a financial aid program during the 20142015 award year. This is an 8% decreased over last year’s data. Payments include outside scholarships/loans and third party funding from agencies as well as financial aid monies based on FAFSA data. The average amount of aid awarded and paid out per enrolled student (7,987,898/1424) in 2014-2015 was $5,609.


Unduplicated Headcount

Financial Aid Recipients


2014-2015 2013-2014 2012-2013 2011-2012 2010-2011 2009-2010 2008-2009 2007-2008

1,424 1,427 1,452 1,539 1,524 1,462 1,366 1,330

1,072 (non-PSEO) 1,187 (non-PSEO) 1,241 (non-PSEO) 1,279 (non-PSEO) 1,267 (non-PSEO) 1,177 (non-PSEO) 1,134 (non-PSEO) 1,037 (non-PSEO)

75% 83% 85% 83% 83% 81% 83% 78%

(does not include 165 PSEO/HS students) (does not include 124 PSEO/HS students) (does not include 110 PSEO/HS students) (does not include 76 PSEO/HS students) (does not include 91 PSEO/HS students) (does not include 107PSEO/HS students) (does not include 132 PSEO/HS students) (does not include 136 PSEO/HS students)

Our office was able to award $7,987,898 in financial aid dollars this year compared to $8.77 million last year. This is a 9% decrease in aid awarded from last year to this year. On average, each ICC aid applicant who completed the FAFSA process, enrolled, and accepted their aid package (7,987,898/884) received a combination of gift, work-study, and loan aid totaling $9,036 for the year.

Sixty-three percent (63%) (593/942) of students who completed the FAFSA and enrolled at ICC borrowed one or more Federal Direct student loans. This is the same percentage as last year. The good news is that borrowing percentages did not increase. Average loan borrowing per student decreased by 12% from $6,036 to $5,276 this past year. We also saw a decrease in borrowing through non-guaranteed loan programs such as the Parent PLUS Loan, MN SELF Loan, and alternative loan programs. However, we anticipate that this additional loan borrowing will continue to increase if federal grant sources and borrowing limits remain stagnant from year to year. Increases will also likely occur due to the six year Pell Grant limit and new 150% of program length limitation for Subsidized Federal Direct Loans. 2014-2015 was a year of training for our office. Sarah Lee was tasked with working the front desk one day per week while also fulfilling her duties as Assistant Financial Aid Director. She was able to attend several training events to expand her knowledge of financial aid rules and regulation related to state and federal programs. Sarah also was able to learn the Web registration system in order to help students add/drop classes when asking for assistance from our office. One challenge this past year was getting students to apply for scholarship/grant funding. Due to low application volume for some of our Blandin and work-study funding, queries were run to identify students who would qualify but had not yet applied. When students were targeted directly and told they would have funding if they simply filled out a form, our application volume increased. We were then able to award the funds needed during spring semester. One other challenge this year was with identity theft issues and resulting action by the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S). Many students are required to import tax information into the FAFSA directly or to request a tax return transcript from the I.R.S. to meet verification requirements for federal and state aid. At the beginning of the year, students were able to go to the I.R.S. website and print a PDF copy of the tax transcript they were requesting. Due to data breach and other security issues, the I.R.S. discontinued offering the “real time” transcript option mid-cycle. Student then had to request the transcripts by mail which slowed the aid process down and required additional data entry by our office when transcripts were received. We also saw an increase in the number of students who could not get I.R.S. transcripts for themselves or their parent(s) because of identity theft issues. This caused considerable delays for students in this situation. Our office worked diligently to provide these affected students/parents work with the I.R.S. to get a different type of transcript for those who were victims of identity theft. The U.S. Dept. of Education also selected more FAFSA applications for our school to review identity documentation for as a means to reduce fraud in the federal programs. The way in which ICC receives federal aid monies also changed this past year. In the past, ICC was given an up-front allocation of Pell and Direct Loan funds in which we could draw from. ICC now has to pay students first and then be reimbursed by the federal government under what is called “heightened cash monitoring” for Pell Grant and Direct Loan funding. To accomplish this task, our office had to build in “wait days” from when funds were disbursed to students in our computer system to when “aid overage” funds were released to students via direct deposit. The “wait days” gave our office time to report disbursements to the government, draw down the funds, and then have the funds here before releasing excess funds to student bank accounts. We thank the ICC Business Office staff for working so closely with us to report and draw funds timely under this new model. Some positive happenings this past year were 1) an increase in funding/usage of the Blandin Summer Grant program to boost summer enrollment, and 2) moving to electronic timesheets for our summer student employees. We also continue to see significant faculty response to the “ICC Retention” email group to notify staff/counselors of student who had stopped attending classes. Catching these students early in the semester allowed us to process returned aid more effectively and allowed advisors/counselors to intervene to get some of these students back in class (retention).


Financial Aid Facts

Total dollars received by non-PSEO ICC students:


Gift Aid (Grants & Scholarships)

$4,328,029 (54%)

Student Loans

$3,359,115 (42%)

Work-Study Employment

$300,754 (4%)

Non-PSEO students receiving some form of financial aid:



More Gift Aid at ICC than at Other Minnesota Schools

Financial aid is made up of two types of assistance – gift aid and self-help aid. Gift aid (grants and scholarships) is awarded on the basis of need, merit, or both. Self-help aid consists of student loans, which must be repaid, and student employment where students earn part of their financial aid by working part-time. Some self-help aid programs are based on need while others are not need-based. ICC students receive a higher percentage of gift aid than students attending other Minnesota schools. This percentage increase is seen most clearly when comparing ICC percentages to other 2 year and 4 year MnSCU schools. ICC certainly is the BEST place to start. This is confirmed in a Minnesota Office of Higher Education study published in July 2014 showing financial aid for FY13. It indicates that ICC students are able to complete their first one or two years of college with more gift aid and less borrowing than students attending most other schools. This study is done every two years and will be completed again in July/August 2016. The chart below indicates our favorable gift aid position.

Schools Itasca Community College All Minnesota Schools MnSCU – Two-Year Schools MnSCU – Four-Year Schools Private Four-Year Not-for-Profit Schools Private For Profit Schools University of Minnesota

Gift Aid



54% 46% 38% 31% 64% 34% 42%

42% 52% 61% 67% 34% 65% 56%

4% 2% 1% 2% 2% 1% 2%

Annual grant funding from the Blandin Foundation along with increased scholarship assistance from the ICC Foundation and from private sources has allowed us to keep our percentage of gift aid high. Engineering Scholarship aid and federal and state grants for “high financial need” students also contribute to this high gift aid percentage. Overall, non-government resources account for 16% ($1,245,739) of our total financial aid. Federal aid represents 75% ($5,983,750) of all ICC financial aid while state aid makes up 9% ($758,409) of the total.


Future Trends

In order to afford college and their current lifestyle, more students may choose to attend part-time. Due to the rising cost of living, students may choose to work and go to school instead of leaving work to just go to school. We will be implementing new ways to use Blandin Part-time and Opportunity Grant funding to meet the financial needs or our part-time students, to move them towards degree completion, and to retain them from semester to semester.

Students at ICC will experience a tuition DECREASE of 1% for the 16-17 school year due to recently passed state legislation. It will be interesting to see if students will be encouraged to take more credits as tuition goes down and aid program investment (Pell, State Grant, etc.) likely increases. It is yet to be seen if this revenue reduction will impact staffing at ICC or if it will encourage more students to enroll, thus helping the school budget.

The federal government will now require students to use “prior, prior” year taxes when completing the FAFSA starting in October 2016 for st the 17-18 aid year cycle. In the past, students could start completing the FAFSA on January 1 for the upcoming fall semester. This new change to using tax returns that were most likely already filed will allow students to start the aid application process starting in October instead. This will give them three more months to work on their FAFSA in time for a fall semester start.

We will see the first round of students running out of Subsidized Direct Loan eligibility this upcoming year. This is due to students using up their subsidized usage period before completing their declared program of study. Students will likely still be able to borrow unsubsidized funding, but won’t have the benefits of subsidy any longer. This subsidy benefit is also impacted for students who start in a longer program but then switch to a shorter length program. This will likely hit our Nursing program the hardest as students start by taking prerequisite coursework in a 2 year program and then switch to the one year Nursing diploma program. Perkins Loan funding (subsidized) has been discontinued after the 15-16 school year. This will likely require high financial need students borrow more in Unsubsidized Direct Loan funding to cover costs.

Student loan default rates are decreasing as the economy seems to be rebounding. Having lower rates helps ICC keep its eligibility to offer federal funding to our students. We received a one year extension of a default prevention grant through a management service called NorthStar. This agency will reach out to delinquent borrowers by mail, e-mail, and telephone at 30 day intervals before the loan would go into a defaulted status. ICC will also make attempts at default aversion through use of a newly available report through the Direct Loan program that notifies us of borrowers who are delinquent on their loan payments. Getting our default rate below 15% for three consecutive years will allow ICC to provide more flexible loan disbursement rules, specifically for brand new students and those taking loans out for one semester at a time.

Direct Loan/FFEL 2 year/3 year default rates: 17.8% 23.5% 20.4% 14.0% 13.3% 5.4% 8.5%

for FY12 for FY11 for FY10 for FY09 for FY08 for FY07 for FY06

Perkins Loan default rates: 15.52% 21.69%/19.7% 23.60% 17.71% 16.13% 8.11% 6.67%

for FY14 for FY 12/FY13 for FY 11 for FY 10 for FY 09 for FY 08 for FY 07

Future Financial Aid Goals Our staff has determined that the following will be our priorities for the 15-16 and 16-17 school years:        

Continue to find better ways to utilize Blandin Foundation funding to meet the needs of our ever changing student population. Explore ways to effectively communicate “prior, prior” year tax reporting requirements to students. Expand our knowledge of the communication module within e-services to give better student direction about aid status and to then allow students easier “self-help” opportunities regarding their financial aid status, forms needed, etc. on e-services. Provide effective in-house training for our new front desk support employee in financial aid and records/registration processes. Free up time for the Assistant Aid Director to help with student financial aid verification to speed up aid delivery during July and August. Continue to resolve “bugs” with online timesheet reporting for student employees. Work with student supervisors to utilize work-study hours more effectively, build a supervisor/student employee training program, and continue to streamline our communication with supervisors about hours used/remaining. Continue to solicit faculty/instructor help with Title IV compliance measures (reporting last dates of attendance for “F and FW” grades, nonattending students, etc.)

Nathan Wright, Financial Aid Director Sarah J. Lee, Assistant Director Theresa Troumbly, Student Services Staff Connie Budrow, Student Services Staff

ICC Financial Aid Web Page –

Itasca Community College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer and educator. This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Consumers with hearing or speech disabilities may contact us via their preferred Telecommunications Relay Service. If you require an accommodation for a disability, please contact: Ann Vidovic – 14 Backes Center 218-322-2433 or [email protected]