The Office of Financial Aid administers a broad spectrum of grant, loan, scholarship, and work-study funding in an attempt to meet the financial needs of DACC’s students.
DACC’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Services awards financial aid to students according to their individual needs. Parents of students are expected to contribute to their child’s education according to their ability, taking into account their income, assets, number of dependents, and other relevant information. Students themselves are expected to contribute from their own assets and earnings, including appropriate borrowing against future income. All information provided to Financial Aid is regarded as confidential.
Students applying for financial aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), designed to determine in accordance with state and federal guidelines, the difference between what the student and/or family is expected to contribute and the cost of attending DACC. Among the factors that determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) are:
- annual adjusted gross income as reported to the Internal Revenue Service;
- savings, stocks, and/or bonds;
- other assets in the form of a business, farm, or real estate;
- nontaxable income and benefits; and
- student’s prior year income and assets.
Students applying for financial aid should complete a FAFSA by visiting studentaid.gov and then clicking on "Apply for Aid" and then "Complete the FAFSA form ". Priority deadline for FAFSA completion is March 1 of every year, but applications will still be accepted thereafter.
General Eligibility Requirements
To receive financial aid you must demonstrate the following:
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes that are approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under state law. See your financial aid advisor for more information.
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. (You may not receive aid for correspondence or telecommunications courses unless they are part of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program.)
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (state funded scholarships may be available to undocumented students).
- Have a valid Social Security number. If you don’t have a Social Security number, you can find out more about applying for one at www.ssa.gov.
- Be meeting satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
- Sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you will use Federal student aid only for educational purposes.
- Sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you are not in default on a Federal student loan and that you do not owe money back on a Federal student grant.
No applicants will be denied financial assistance on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Sources of Financial Aid
GRANTS. The foundation for financial aid is the Federal Pell Grant, available to undergraduate students with documented financial need. Pell Grants range from $639 to $6,895 (subject to change each year). In some instances, students may be eligible to receive other types of aid, including the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) or Leveraging Education Assistance Partnership Program Grant (LEAP), and/or other miscellaneous grants. These grants are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis to undergraduate students who show exceptional financial need. Typically, all three types of grants do not have to be repaid; funding is limited, however, and it is therefore very important that students complete their financial aid files by the priority deadline. For more information, contact DACC’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Services Office, or visit dacc.nmsu.edu/fa on the Web.
SUBSIDIZED AND UNSUBSIDIZED FEDERAL DIRECT LOANS. These loans are need and non-need-based, long-term loans available to undergraduate students. Students receiving a subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan, must complete an initial In-Person Entrance Counseling session and then a yearly online session every year after that. All students wishing to receive a Federal Stafford Loan must also complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Both the MPN and the online entrance counseling can be found at studentaid.gov. In addition, students must complete an exit interview upon graduation or withdrawal from the University. Repayment of a Stafford Direct Loan begins six months after graduation or six months after enrollment drops below 6 credits for undergraduate students. The interest rate is variable but will not exceed 8.25%. More information will be available at the time the loan is made.
WORK-STUDY PROGRAMS. The Federal Work-Study Program provides employment opportunities for selected undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. The New Mexico Work-Study Program also provides employment opportunities for students; however, only New Mexico residents are eligible to participate in the program. Both federal and state work-study are limited in funding and can be awarded to those who are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, have requested work-study from the Financial Aid Office, and completed their financial aid files.
Financial Aid Awards
All financial aid awards are based on information provided by the student and parents, availability of funds, and eligibility requirements. Any award may be revised based on changes in enrollment, cost of attendance, family contribution, or failure to meet satisfactory academic progress. Withdrawals or reductions in enrollment may affect an award or any future awards. Financial aid will not pay for audited courses or some repeats. Some certificate programs do not meet federal aid eligibility criteria, therefore students enrolled in certain certificate programs may not be eligible to receive financial aid.
SCHOLARSHIPS. All scholarships are contingent upon availability of funds. Individual scholarship criteria are subject to change. Students are encouraged to apply online at http://scholarships.nmsu.edu/. The online application for the upcoming year becomes available in October and remains open year round. Preference is given to those who apply prior to March 1. Only one application is necessary to be considered for most scholarships. Students who apply for scholarships are encouraged to fill out a FAFSA application as some scholarships require "need".
- The New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship. The NM Opportunity Scholarship pays up to the cost of tuition and fees less any other state aid or tuition based scholarship for New Mexico residents. Students must maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average to maintain the scholarship. At DACC, the scholarship is good for up to 90 credits or the completion of an Associates degree, whichever comes first. The award can then be transferred to a 4 year institution in NM. Students enrolling for the first time, must be graduating from a New Mexico High School and attending within sixteen months of graduation or receipt of a high school equivalency credential and be attending full time (12 credits at DACC) in order to qualify for the scholarship. Returning students (students not meeting NM Lottery criteria) must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester.
- The New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship. Student must enroll full-time at a public post-secondary educational institution in New Mexico within sixteen months of graduation or receipt of a high school equivalency credential and maintain continuous full-time enrollment. First time enrollment within the sixteen month period following graduation must be at a New Mexico public post-secondary educational institution. If the student enrolls full-time at ANY out of state institution or private in-state institution the student shall forfeit eligibility. Students must enroll in and earn 15 credit hours per semester at a four-year New Mexico public university or 12 credit hours per semester at a two-year New Mexico public community college. Students must maintain a 2.5 or greater cumulative grade point average (GPA) each semester of enrollment. If a student continues to meet criteria, Legislative Lottery scholarship can be paid for 3 semesters at DACC and then can be transferred to a public 4 year institution for another 4 semesters. Students with disabilities may qualify for reduced credit hour requirements and additional semesters of the scholarship.
- Private Scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of our private donors, DACC is able to offer a wide array of scholarships to assist a diverse student population pursuing a higher education. Scholarships are primarily awarded according to merit, as successful candidates are selected on the basis of academic achievement, personal leadership, and financial need.
- DACC Institutional Scholarships. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants must be pursuing a certificate or associate degree at DACC, have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, and be a New Mexico Resident, as well as a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT (WIOA) INITIATIVES. These federally funded programs assist students pursuing careers in technical-vocational or associate degree programs. In some instances, students may be assisted for GED and noncredit courses. Sponsored students may receive financial support for tuition and fees, textbooks, laboratory and classroom supplies, tools and safety equipment, and testing and licensor fees. They may also receive a supportive service allowance to cover transportation, child care, and subsistence costs.
Students in the local and surrounding area may apply for WIA eligibility at:
New Mexico Department Workforce Solutions
226 S. Alameda Blvd.
Las Cruces, N.M. 88005
Those living outside the Greater Las Cruces Area should visit their local Department of Labor Office. For more information, call the community college at (575) 527-7535.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients meet certain academic standards to be eligible for Federal financial aid. To ensure that financial aid recipients are making satisfactory academic progress, academic transcripts are reviewed at the end of each term to determine eligibility for the next term. All terms of attendance are reviewed, including periods in which the student did not receive financial aid. All transfer credit hours are taken into account when satisfactory progress is reviewed.
- Qualitative Progress. Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (a C average). Grade point values are: A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, F = 0. Grades of I, CR, RR, PR, NC, W, AU are not calculated in the GPA. Adjusted Credit Options are not taken into consideration for financial aid purposes.
- Completion Rate. Students must complete a minimum of 70 percent of all coursework (registered credit hours) attempted at DACC/NMSU. Any course with a grade of withdraw (W), incomplete (I), repeats (RR), failure (F), audit (AU), or no credit (NC) is not considered completed coursework. Repeated courses are included in the calculation.
- Maximum Time Frame. Undergraduate students must complete their program within 150 percent of the credit hours required by the program. (Most Associate degree programs at DACC require 60 hours, therefore maximum allowable attempted hours would be 90 credits.) Students who have reached the maximum allowable time will be suspended from receiving financial aid. Up to 30 developmental/remedial hours are excluded from this calculation. Total attempted hours including repeated courses and transfer coursework are included in the student’s maximum time frame calculation.
- Student Liability. Recipients of financial aid grants and loans who drop credits or withdraw may be required to return all or a portion of awarded Title IV funds. Further information regarding the return of Title IV funds is available on the NMSU web site at https://fa.nmsu.edu/title-iv/index.html.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students are suspended from receiving financial aid if they do not meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards. Students on financial aid suspension will not receive any form of Federal or state financial aid (grants, loans, work-study). Financial aid eligibility is reinstated when all standards of satisfactory progress are met.
The Appeals Process
Students suspended from financial aid may appeal the suspension if there are extenuating circumstances affecting their progress. Students who would like to appeal the suspension must submit an appeal form, available at http://dacc.nmsu.edu/fa, and all required documentation to DACC Financial Aid prior to the semester deadline. Deadlines for each semester can be found by calling the DACC Financial Aid Office. A committee will review the appeal and may grant reinstatement of financial aid based on extenuating circumstances that directly contributed to deficient academic performance. Appeals are evaluated on a term-by-term basis.