Financial Aid

Mission

The primary mission of Financial Aid Office (FAO) is to administer all financial aid programs, to all eligible students who are admitted to the College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM). Financial aid is provided by US Federal Department of Education, the FSM National Department of Education, the FSM states governments, and institutional sources consists of grants, scholarships, and work-study.

Types of Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be in the form of:

GRANTS and SCHOLARSHIPS which do not have to be repaid provided you attend classes, do not drop classes, or withdraw from COM-FSM; and

WORK-STUDY that provides opportunity to work and earn money for educational expenses.

COM-FSM administers one U.S. Federal Student Aid (FSA) Program (Title IV) and students have to apply for it.

  1. Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal Pell Grant is a grant to help undergraduates pay for their education.  For many students, Pell Grant provides the foundation to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources may be added.  Federal Pell Grant does not have to be repaid.

    • The maximum award for the 2020-2021 Award Year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) is $6,345. The amount you will receive depends not only on your EFC, but also on the cost of your attendance at COM-FSM; your enrollment status as a full-time, three-fourth-time, half-time, or less than half-time student; and the number of semesters attended during the academic year.

    • Year Round Pell Grant:

      Beginning summer 2018, Pell Grant eligible students can receive up to 150% of their scheduled Pell award each year. This means that if a student has exhausted Pell Grant for both fall and spring semesters, the student may qualify for a Pell Grant for summer provided the student is making satisfactory academic progress and is enrolling for at least 6 credits during the summer.

  2. Supplemental Education Grant (SEG)
    • The Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003 eliminates eligibility for citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated State of Micronesia who began their enrollment after June 25, 2004 are eligible for assistance from SEG program.

  3. SEG Work-Study Program
    • The SEG Work-Study Program gives students the opportunity to enroll at COM-FSM and participate in part-time employment to learn practical skills and earn money to help pay for their educational expenses.  Students may work to a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session and 40 hours per week when classes are not in session (Easter break, semester recess, etc.).  Students are not eligible to work overtime hours.

    • SEG Work Study pay rate is at least the current COM-FSM minimum wage, and the total award depends on the available the funding level and students are paid biweekly.

    • SEG Work Study funds are made available at the beginning of each regular semester.  Students have to apply to participate in the Program and are responsible to ensure that they do not work more than 20 hours per week or more than 40 hours biweekly. When a student earned his work-study award, s/he has completed the work-study for the given semester and must apply again for the next semester.

    • SEG Work study funds are limited and will be awarded to eligible students based on the set requirements as shown below.

    • In order to be considered for SEG Work-Study, a student must:
      1. be in good financial aid status
      2. submit a completed pre-application for work-study
      3. be enrolled as a full-time student in a given semester
      4. be enrolled in regular classes and not classes of a preparatory program
      5. have completed and submitted FAFSA
      6. have completed and submitted all required financial aid documents
      7. have at least a cumulative grade point average (cum. G.P.A) of 2.5
      8. not be on any other work-study program
    • Students must consult with financial aid staff at their campuses on how and when to apply for SEG Work-Study.
    • The SEG Work-Study Program gives students the opportunity to earn money to help pay for their educational expenses by providing part-time work. College regulations limit students to a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session and 40 hours per week when classes are not in session (Easter break, semester recess, etc.). Students are not eligible to work overtime hours.
    • Work Study pay rate is at least the current COM-FSM minimum wage, and the total award depends on the level of need of a student and the funding level.
    • The number of hours students are allowed to work depends on their class schedule, health, and academic progress. Students are paid biweekly.
    • Work Study funds are made available at the beginning of the school year. If you are awarded Work Study, you should work out a schedule and carefully monitor the number of hours that you work per week and not exceed the amount awarded. Upon depleting your Work Study award, you will be terminated from your Work Study position.
    • It is the student’s responsibility to report to the Work-Study Coordinator for job placement/assignment. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of employment and the award.
  4. National and State Scholarships
    • There are state scholarships (as well as grants and loans) available or offered through your own state government. The COM-FSM Financial Aid Offices provide assistance in filling out the state scholarship application form, completing and certifying the "expense section" of the form, and forwarding the applications to the respective state scholarship offices. Scholarship awards are made by the respective state scholarship offices.
  5. Veterans Administration Benefits
    • The College of Micronesia-FSM is an approved educational institution for education and training under the US Veteran’s Educational Assistance Act (GI Bill). COM-FSM charges veterans and military service members the same tuition rate as all students and there is no in-state or out-of-state tuition differential.
    • All students who are eligible to receive financial assistance from the US Department of Veterans Affairs under Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty), 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill), and 35 (Survivors and Dependents) are advised to contact the college’s School Certifying Official for clarification and explanation of awards before registering with their assigned advisor.

    • Joey A. Oducado Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services
      US VA School Certifying Official
      College of Micronesia-FSM
      P.O. Box 159
      Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941
      Phone: (691) 320-2480 extension 129 | Email: joducado@comfsm.fm

Student Eligibility Requirements for Financial Aid

Before receiving any federal student aid, one must meet the general eligibility requirements listed in this section. In order to comply with the general eligibility provisions, a student must:

  1. Provide a copy of a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate. The copy of the diploma or the GED certificate must be submitted with your application to the Office of Admissions & Records.
  2. Be accepted and enrolled as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  3. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. (FSM, Palau, and Marshall Islands citizens are eligible non-citizens.)
  4. Have a "demonstrated" financial need. Your yearly educational expenses must be greater than the contribution you and your family can make toward these expenses.
  5. Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school.

Application Information and Procedure

Application Information

To be considered for financial aid at the College of Micronesia-FSM, each applicant must complete and submit the required documents and forms identified below. Applications will not be processed until Financial Aid Office receives the required documents and forms, and an applicant has been officially accepted into a COM-FSM degree/certificate program.

To allow for processing time all applications for aid and supporting documents must be submitted to Financial Aid Office thirty days before the end of each regular semester.

New students should apply for financial aid when applying for admission to college. Financial aid cannot be awarded to applicants who are not officially admitted and enrolled at COM-FSM. Continuing COM-FSM students must reapply for financial aid each year.

Financial aid is not automatically renewed or awarded. You must file an application for financial aid each year.

Financial aid application forms, related materials, and information can be obtained from the Financial Aid Offices at the National campus or at the State Campuses. Apply as soon as possible after October 1st for financial aid for the next academic year (2021-2022).

Application Procedure

Financial Aid is not automatically renewed or awarded. Students must apply each year. Students who have not applied for federal student aid for the 2019-2020 School year can apply by completing and mailing the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or completing the FAFSA on the internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov   Be aware of fake websites who will ask for payment. If you have no access to the Internet the Paper FAFSA is available at Financial Aid office at all campuses.

New students should apply for financial aid when applying for admission to college. Financial aid cannot be awarded to applicants who are not officially admitted and enrolled at COM-FSM. 

Students may apply for financial aid as early as October 1st for the next academic year (2021-2022).

All returning students who enrolled after 2013-2014 school year must use the same number assigned to them on their Student Aid Report (SAR) when filling out FAFSA forms for future school years. Students who do not remember their US SSN or their assigned Pseudo numbers must check with Financial Aid office. 

FAFSA sent by mail will take approximately four weeks for the SAR to be processed. The SAR will be mailed to the address provided by the student in the FAFSA. The student must review the information on the SAR for accuracy, and if corrections are necessary, the student may seek for assistance from Financial Aid Office. The SAR will report the information from the FAFSA and, if there are no questions or problems with the FAFSA, the SAR will report the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number used in determining eligibility for federal student aid. Each school listed on the FAFSA will receive the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) electronically.

College of Micronesia-FSM Financial Aid Office has electronic capability to process FAFSA and students may apply electronically through Financial Aid Office.

When filling out FAFSA

The Institutional Code for COM-FSM is
010343

 

 

Step 1:

Complete and sign the 2020-2021 FAFSA and mail it to:

Federal Student Aid Programs
P.O. Box 7650
London, KY 40742-7650

 

Step 2:

Complete the COM-FSM Application for Financial Aid (COM-AFA) and submit it directly to the Financial Aid Office.

 

Step 3:

Submit your parents’ 2018 income statement (wage and tax form) directly to the Financial Aid Office.

 

Step 4:

Submit a copy of your passport or birth certificate for citizenship verification to the Financial Aid Office. Make sure your name and date of birth in the passport or birth certificate is exactly the same with what you provided in your FAFSA application.

 

Step 5:

If you attended any college or university prior to enrolling at COM-FSM, whether or not you received financial aid from those schools, you must provide the name(s) of the school(s) you previously attended on the COM-AFA so your financial aid history can be checked through National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Educational Expenses

Direct Educational Expenses per Semester

Tuition ($135 per credit)

15 credits

…………………………….

$2,025.00

Required Fees

 

 

Registration Fee

…………………………….

15.00

Health Fee

…………………………….

15.00

Activity Fee

…………………………….

20.00

Technology Fee

…………………………….

100.00

Facility Use Fee
Full-Time (Fall/Spring)

(Summer)

 

……………………………….

……………………………….

 

200.00

50.00

Part-Time (Fall/Spring)

…………………………….

70.00

(Summer)

…………………………….

25.00

Room (Residential Hall Residents)

 

 

Regular Semester (Fall/Spring)

…………………………….

368.00

Summer Session

Board: (Residential Hall Residents)

…………………………….

175.00

Regular Semester (Fall/Spring)

Summer Session

 

………………………….…

…………………………….

1,764.00

700.00

Estimated Indirect Educational Expenses per Semester

Books and Supplies

   

Regular Semester (Fall/Spring)

…………………………….

800.00

Summer Session

…………………………….

400.00

Personal

   

Regular Semester (Fall/Spring)

…………………………….

750.00

Summer Session

…………………………….

375.00

Transportation (Taxi)

   

Residential Hall Residents:

            Regular Semester (Fall/Spring)

                                     Summer Session

Off-Campus :

            Regular Semester (Fall/Spring)

                                     Summer Session

 

…………………………….

…………………………….

 

…………………………….

…………………………….

 

                     40.00

                     40.00

 

                    840.00

                    440.00

Room and Board Allowance (Off Campus)

Students without dependents living with parents

Regular Semester (Fall/Spring)

…………………………….

1,500.00

Summer Session

…………………………….

750.00

All others

Regular Semester (Fall/Spring)

…………………………….

1,500.00

Summer Session

…………………………….

750.00

 Needs Analysis: How Financial Need Is Calculated

Aid from the federal student aid programs is awarded based on financial need.  Financial need is defined as the difference between a student and/or his/her family's expected contributions and the student's annual educational expenses.  Based on the information provided on the FAFSA, the Federal Central Processing System (CPS) analyzes and calculates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  The EFC measures the family’s financial strength, based on income and assets of the student, the student's spouse, and, if the student is a dependent, the student's parents.  The EFC formula also takes into account the family's expenses, based on the number of persons in the household and the number of those persons attending college.  Parents are excluded from the count of family members in college.

Need Equation:

(Cost of Attendance) - (Expected Family Contribution) = Estimated Financial Need

Example:
$14,000 - Estimated Cost of Attendance
-1,500 - Expected Family Contribution
$12,500 - Estimated Financial Need

The Financial Aid Office then develops a financial aid package to meet the student’s financial need within the bounds of its funding limitations.

Award Packaging Policy

Financial Aid Package

College of Micronesia-FSM operates on a two-semester academic year (fall & spring semesters) and a summer session.  The length of each semester is 16 weeks of instructional time and the length of the summer session is usually 6-8 weeks of instructional time.  The College’s academic year meets the minimum regulatory requirement which is 24 semester hours and 30 weeks of instructional time.  The College also uses the minimum regulatory standard to determine the enrollment status for packaging awards. Awards are packaged based on enrollment status as stated below:

Full-time (FT) = 12 credits or more (award of up to $3,173)
Three-fourth-time (3/4) = 9-11 credits (award of up to $2,380)
Half-time (1/2) = 6-8 credits (award of up to $1,587)
Less than half-time = 3-5 credits (award of up to $793)

Award Requirements

Awards will be packaged once the COM-AFA and all required documents have been received and reviewed by Financial Aid. 

Deadline for submission of completed COM-FSM Application for Financial Assistance (COM-AFA) is November 20, 2020 for Fall 2020, April 23, 2021 for Spring 2021 and June 16, 2021 for Summer 2021.

Awards

Students will be notified by mail or in person at the Financial Aid Office of the types and amounts of awards soon after COM-FSM receives its federal allocations for student aid. Students can also view the status of their awards by logging in to their student’s account on the COM-FSM website.

The types and amounts of aid awarded depend on:

  1. The extent of your financial need, such as living circumstances, resources, semester credit hours, and eligibility for the particular financial aid program;
  2. The availability of funds, financial aid policies, and the number of students COM-FSM is assisting; and
  3. The student’s compliance with federal and College policies on financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy (see SAP policy).

Disbursement of Award

Financial aid award for the semester will be applied to the student’s tuition and fees, room and board, and other college charges.  Disbursement may be withheld the following semester if the student fails to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) or if there is a dispute regarding the student’s continued eligibility for financial aid.

Pell Recalculation Date

The US Federal Department of Education requires colleges to clearly state their Pell Grant Recalculation Dates (PRD) as a means to establish a timeframe to determine a student’s enrollment status for Pell Awarding purposes. Financial Aid Office reviews or recalculate Pell Grant eligibility at the end of the second week of each regular semester and at the end of the first week during a summer session.

Example

If a student is registered for 6 credits (half-time) during registration but adds 6 more credits during the first two weeks, the student enrollment status for Pell will be recalculated as 12 credits (full time) enrollment. This means that the student will be awarded Pell Grant as a full time student. 

If a student registered for 12 credits or full time during registration and later withdraws 6 credits after the second week which is after the Pell Recalculation Date then, the student’s Pell Grant enrollment status will still be full time.  Pell Grant award will not be recalculated.

If during summer a student is registered initially for 3 credits during registration but adds 3 more credits during the first week, the student enrollment status for Pell will be recalculated for 6 credits. If the student makes any changes after the first week of summer then there will be no recalculation made.

Award Adjustment or Revision

Award package may be changed (decreased, increased, substituted, or canceled) by the Financial Aid Office for any of the following reasons:

  1. The student or student’s family receives additional financial resources to meet the student’s educational expenses. (Any financial assistance such as employment, grants, scholarships, and loans over and above those identified on the award letter must be reported to the Financial Aid Office.)
  2. The student changes major field of study, credit load, or enrollment status on which the award was based.
  3. The student or the student’s family provided incorrect information on the FAFSA.
  4. The student’s family circumstances have changed.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Due to changes in the federal regulations, effective fall 2011 semester, SAP for federal financial aid will be checked at the end of every semester including summer session. Financial Aid Office will be looking at cumulative progress instead of annual progress and the student is expected to maintain a cumulative grade point (cum. G.P.A) of 2.00, complete 67% of all credits attempted and to graduate within the 150% timeframe allowed by federal government. The Department of Education’s goal is to limit how long students who are not making SAP can continue to receive Title IV aid.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy is composed of two standards of measurements stated below:

Qualitative Measurement

Measures students’ academic progress, such as Cumulative Grade Point Average

Quantitative Measurement

Measures maximum time frame toward the completion of students’ program and the pace of progression [credits completion rate]

Students must meet the new COM-FSM SAP standards both qualitative and quantitative in order to receive or continue to receive financial aid.

  1. Financial Aid Good Standing

Financial aid recipients must meet the following standards of COM-FSM SAP policy in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

  1. Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (cum GPA) of 2.0 or better AND
  2. Successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative credits attempted according to the pace of progression (Credits Completion Rate) formula: (divide cumulative credits earned by cumulative credits attempted). AND
  3. Must complete degree within 150% of slated time.
    • Example, 150%, for a program with 60 credits graduation requirement is 90 credits

The table below is an example of pace of progression.


Semesters/Terms

Credits Attempted

Credits Earned

Percent required
67%

PACE
Pass or Fail

Semester

Cumulative

Semester

Cumulative

Fall 2019

12

12

9

9

75%(9/12)

Pass

Spring 2020

12

24 (12 +12)

6

15 (9+6)

62% (15/24)

Fail

Summer 2020

12

36 (24 +12)

12

27 (15 + 12)

75% (27/36)

Pass

  1. Financial Aid Warning

Students are placed on Financial Aid Warning (FAW) when they fail to meet SAP standards indicated above. Students on financial aid warning status may continue to receive financial aid (Title IV funds) for one payment period (one semester). No appeal is necessary.

  1. Financial Aid Suspension

Students who are placed on financial aid warning status and fail to achieve SAP standards at the end of the payment period (one semester) will lose their financial aid eligibility.  Students who believed that they have experienced circumstances out of their control may appeal to the Financial Aid Committee. As a result of the appeal, students may be placed on financial aid probation, on an academic plan or denied financial aid eligibility.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who appeal to the Financial Aid Committee and their appeal has been approved are placed on Financial Aid Probation. They are determined to have the ability to achieve the SAP standards at the end of the probationary period. They may continue to receive financial aid (Title IV funds) for during the probationary period and must achieve SAP standards at the end of the probationary period; otherwise, they will lose their financial aid eligibility.

Academic Plan

Students who appeal to the Financial Aid Committee and their appeal has been approved but are determined by the Committee that they do not have the ability to meet SAP standards at the end of the probationary period are placed on an Academic Plan. An academic plan for financial aid purposes is developed for them in order to meet the SAP standards at the end of the probationary period.  They may continue to receive financial aid (Title IV funds) during the probationary period and must satisfy the conditions of an academic plan at the end of the given probationary period; otherwise, they will lose their financial aid eligibility.

Denial

The appeal is denied if the committee determines that there were no extenuating circumstances. The student loses his/her financial aid eligibility.

Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension (Exception to the Policy)

Students may appeal against their financial aid suspension by submitting an appeal in writing to the Chairman of the Financial Aid Committee within 30 working days after the date of your suspension notice. The appeal must include the following:

 

  1. reasons for not achieving the minimum academic (qualitative and/or quantitative) requirements and/or for not completing the education objective within the time frame allowed; and

 

  1. A non-academic reason against the financial aid suspension (i.e., illness or death in the family, personal injury or illness, or other special circumstances) with supporting documents from a doctor, counselor, and/or academic advisor.

 

Submission of an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of eligibility. Each appeal will be reviewed by the Committee on a case by case basis to determine whether or not the appeal is valid and contains sufficient reasons for reinstatement.  All appeal decisions are final. The student will be notified in writing of the Committee’s decision within ten working days after the receipt of your letter of appeal by the Committee.

Reinstatement

Financial aid eligibility may be reinstated when the student has made up ALL prior credit deficiencies and/or has achieved the required grade point average at his/her own expense.

Treatment of Incomplete and Withdrawal

Courses with the following grades will not be considered as successfully completed:

"F" (failure),
"I" (incomplete), and
"W" (withdrawal)

Repeated Courses

Courses that are repeated will count in the calculation of hours attempted and completed hours earned for the time frame. A student may attempt a course a second time and still be eligible for financial aid. However, a student will not receive financial aid after the second attempt of the same course.

COM-FSM REFUND POLICY

This policy applies to all students. Refund for TUITION AND REFUNDABLE FEES will be determined according to the following schedule:

Regular Semester (Fall/Spring):

If a student withdraw

% to be refunded to FSA and/or the student

The school retains

Prior to the first day of classes

100%

0%

During the first two weeks

80%

20%

During the third & fourth weeks

40%

60%

After the fourth week

0%

100%

Short Term (Summer):

If a student withdraw

% to be refunded to FSA and/or the student

The school retains

Prior to the first day of classes

100%

0%

During the first week

80%

20%

During the second week

40%

60%

After the second week

0%

100%

Return of Title IV Funds

The Higher Education Amendment of 1998 regulates how much a school must return to Title IV (R2T4) when a student does not complete an enrollment or payment period.

When a recipient of Title IV aid withdraws before completing 60 percent of the payment period or an enrollment period, the institution must calculate the amount of Title IV aid the recipient did not earn. Unearned Title IV funds must be returned to the Title IV programs. This policy applies only to students who completely terminate their enrollment at COM-FSM.

Calculating Return of Funds

Step 1: Determine Amount of Earned
Title IV Aid

Percentage Earned
X Total Title IV Disbursement

 

= Amount of Earned Title IV Aid

Step 2: Determine Title IV Aid
To be Returned

Actual Title IV Disbursement
- Amount of Earned Title IV Aid

 

= Total Amount of Title IV Aid to be Returned

School’s Responsibility

Lesser of: Unearned TIV Aid and
Institutional Charges X Percentage Unearned

Student’s Responsibility

Amount of Unearned TIV Aid
Minus School’s Responsibility X 50%

Students who plan to withdraw from COM-FSM should make an appointment with a Financial Aid counselor to discuss this “return of funds” policy and how it will affect them.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Admissions and Records when he/she plans to withdraw from the College in order to be officially withdrawn. The withdrawal date is defined as follows;

  • last date of attendance when withdrawal process is complete.
  • if taking attendance is not required, the withdrawal date is:
    • the date the student began the withdrawal process prescribed by the school (General Catalog);
    • the date that the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of the intent to withdraw; or
    • if the student unofficially withdraws, the midpoint of the payment period for which Title IV aid was disbursed or later date documented by the school.

Special rule: The Financial Aid Office may determine the appropriate withdrawal date if the student did not begin the withdrawal process or otherwise notify the Office of Admissions and Records of his/her intent to withdraw due to:

  • illness,
  • accident,
  • grievous personal loss,
  • other such circumstances beyond the student’s control.

The school must return unearned aid for which the school is responsible by repaying funds to the programs in the following order:

  1. Federal Pell Grant
  2. Other FSA Programs

If the College determines that there are unearned funds for which the student is responsible for returning, the College will notify/bill the student for the amount. The total unearned funds which the student owes must be returned before any future funds can be granted. If a student fails to neither return the full amount nor make satisfactory repayment arrangements with the College, the student will lose eligibility for federal student aid once it is reported to National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) by the College.

 

Pell Grant Duration of Eligibility or Lifetime Eligibility Usage (LEU)

The lifetime limit or LEU of Pell Grant is 600%. This means that the duration of a student’s eligibility to receive a Federal Pell is 12 full time semesters (6 years).  This provision applies to all Federal Pell Grant eligible students regardless of when they received their first Pell grant award. The calculation of the duration of a student’s eligibility will include all years of the student’s receipt of Federal Pell Grant funding. 

      Example:

Years

Fall

Spring

Summer

Total

Cumulative %

1 (11-12)

$2775=50%

$2775=50%

N/A

100%

100%

 2 (12-13)

$2775=50%

$2775=50%

N/A

100%

200%

3 (13-14)

$2823=50%

$2822=50%

N/A

 100%

300%

4 (14-15)

$2865=50%

$2865=50%

N/A

 100%

400%

5 (15-16)

$2888=50%

$2887=50%

N/A

100%

500%

6 (16-17)

$2908=50%

$2907=50%

N/A

 100%

600%

 NOTE: Students who have reached their maximum limit of eligibility are advised to seek other means of financial assistance such as state and the national scholarships.

For more information see the 2020-2021 COM-FSM Student Financial Aid Handbook.

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