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Heartland Community College

Forms & Policies

Instructions for uploading completed documents to the Financial Aid Office can be found in the ShareFile Instructions Document.  We do not accept emailed documents.  You may also fax documents to 309-268-7962.

  • In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education and State of Illinois student aid regulations, Heartland Community College is required to establish minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards to qualify for federal and state financial aid. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that students are making progress toward the completion of their educational program of study. The following standards apply to students receiving federal or state financial assistance, including grants, loans, scholarships, and federal work study. Students who do not attend or withdraw from classes, defer grades and perform poorly will not maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their program of study and will become ineligible for financial aid. Minimum standards are subject to change in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education and State of Illinois regulations.

    Important: This Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is separate from the Heartland Community College Academic Standing Policy.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (PDF)

    Satisfactory Academic Progress/Maximum Timeframe Appeal

  • This document explains the terms and conditions of your Financial Aid Award as well as your rights and responsibilities as an aid recipient. You are responsible for understanding the terms and conditions stipulated. This information is the most accurate available at the time of publication. It is subject to change at any time without notice due to the nature of federal, state and institutional guidelines affecting aid.
    Be aware that any intentionally false statements or misrepresentations you make (written or verbal) in any phase of the financial aid process may eliminate you from future consideration for any assistance from Heartland Community College, and may subject you to a fine, imprisonment, or both.

    Terms and Conditions of Financial Aid Awards (PDF)

  • The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act requires that all institutions adopt a Student Loan Code of Conduct, which serves as the formal guiding principles in insuring integrity of the student loan process and ensures the ethical conduct of Heartland Community College (HCC) employees in regard to student loan practices.

    Interaction with Borrowers

    Heartland Community College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program through the U.S. Department of Education. This program includes Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized and Direct Parent PLUS loans.

    To a much lesser extent, private education loans are also processed for students at their request as needed.

    HCC does not maintain a preferred lender list for private student loans nor does it recommend any private lender. All decisions concerning private education loans will be made by the borrower based on his/her independent review of lender benefits and services. HCC will not refuse to certify or delay certification of any private education loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.


    Employees of the HCC Financial Aid Office are prohibited from receiving gifts from any lender, guaranty agency or loan servicer. Exceptions related to specific types of activities or literature include the following:

    1. Brochures or training material related to default aversion or financial literacy
    2. Food, training or informational materials as part of training as long as the training contributes to the professional development of those individuals attending the training
    3. Favorable terms and benefits to the student employed by the institution as long as those same terms are provided to all students at the institution
    4. Entrance and exit counseling as long as the institution's staff are in control and they do not promote the services of a specific lender
    5. Philanthropic contributions from a lender, guaranty agency or servicer unrelated to education loans
    6. State education, grants, scholarships or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of the State

    Contracting Arrangements

    Employees of the HCC Financial Aid Office shall not accept, from any lender or affiliate of any lender, any fee, payment or other financial benefit as compensation for any consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.

    Revenue Sharing

    HCC will not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender. This is defined as any arrangement between a school and a lender that results in the lender paying a fee or other benefits, including a share of the profits, to the school, its officer, employees or agents, as a result of the school recommending the lender to its students or families of those students.

    Opportunity Pool Loan

    HCC will not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans including funds for an opportunity pool loan in exchange for HCC providing concessions or promises to the lender for a specific number of loans, or inclusion on a preferred lender list.

    Staffing Assistance

    HCC will not request or accept, from any lender, guarantor or servicer of student loans, any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.

    Advisory Board Compensation

    Employees of the HCC Financial Aid Office who serve on any advisory board, commission or group established by a lender, guarantor or student loan servicer are prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor or loan servicer for serving in this capacity, except that an employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred while serving in this capacity.

  • Verification is the process of checking the accuracy of the information a student provides when they apply for Federal Financial Aid.  The verification procedures are governed by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. 

    Applicants selected for verification are notified by their heartland email and on their myHeartland Student Center Task tile. The student is required to submit certain financial documents to the school.

    Heartland Community College verifies all files that are chosen by the U.S. Department of Education and may choose to verify additional files if conflicting information is found.  If a student’s file is chosen for verification by the Department of Education or the Financial Aid Office, they will not be awarded aid until all required documentation has been submitted and verified. 

    • Dependent Verification Form
    • Independent Verification Form
    • Dependent Other Than Spouse Form
    • Independent Status Form
  • At a very basic level, special circumstances are anything that makes the information provided on the FAFSA not reflective of the family's ability to pay. This can include anticipated differences between the two prior tax years and the upcoming year, such as impending job loss, and unusual capital gains. It can also include anything that differentiates the family's situation from other families such as medical expenses not covered by insurance. 

    The HCC Financial Aid Office is committed to a thorough and personal review of each family's individual circumstances as the basis for determining a student's financial aid eligibility. However, we recognize that family circumstances can change unexpectedly, affecting a family's ability to contribute toward educational expenses.

    Your financial aid is based upon the income from two years prior to the start of the academic year as reported on the financial aid application. If your family's circumstances change after receiving your financial aid offer, you may request a review of your financial aid by completing the financial aid appeal form.

    The following may be considered a change in circumstances if not initially reported on your financial aid application:

    • Significant loss of income due to termination or change in employment - recommended waiting 3 months after losing income before completing an appeal 
    • Reduction of child support
    • One-time/non-recurring income
    • High unreimbursed medical/dental expenses not covered by insurance
    • Death, divorce, or separation
    • Elementary or secondary school tuition expenses
    • Parent unreimbursed tuition expenses

     The following is not considered a change of circumstances and cannot be considered:

    • Matching financial aid eligibility from other universities or colleges
    • Student or parent(s) who does not wish to borrow to cover educational expenses
    • Parent(s) refusal to contribute to educational expenses or complete the FAFSA
    • Parent(s) payment of student loans for an older sibling
    • Expenses associated with lifestyle choices such as credit card debt, monthly bills (i.e., mortgage, vehicle, cell phone, or heating payments), wedding and vacation expenses, sports, enrichment activities, etc. 

    If you have experienced a special circumstance(s) as described, you may complete the special circumstances form. Supporting documentation may be required. Additional financial assistance is determined on a case-by-case basis and may be in the form of a loan, employment, or grant. Submission of this form does not guarantee an adjustment or increase to your financial assistance. We will notify the student directly if eligibility for assistance can be improved.

    Please note: Financial aid forms are processed as quickly as we can, but delays in processing may occur during peak times. Students are encouraged to pay their semester bill on time and should not wait for the financial aid to be processed. The student is responsible for any fees or finance charges accrued due to not paying their bill by the due date. It is our expectation that families will use all resources available to them to finance their education, including current salary, savings, investments, payment plans, and student/parent loans if necessary. Our decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.

    Please be aware that the U.S. Inspector General requires us to report all cases of fraud, as well as, purposely providing inaccurate information to receive more aid.

    Students must receive their initial financial aid offer before an appeal will be processed. Once reviewed, students will be contacted regarding any changes to their financial aid offer. 

    Special Circumstances, Student

    Special Circumstances, Parent

  • Most students entering a postsecondary school straight from high school are considered financially dependent on their parents. This means their parents must provide their financial information on the FAFSA. In some unusual circumstances, the financial aid office can change a student's FAFSA status from dependent to independent in situations where providing parental information is very​ difficult for the student. View our dependency override webpage for more information and how to apply.
  • Heartland Community College applies all awarded grants, scholarships, and/or loans toward a student’s balance due before being eligible for a refund. A student’s balance due can include: past due tuition, fees, returned checks, fines or other obligations. If funds remain after all institutional charges are paid, a refund will be issued to the student based on the preference selected with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX Inc.. Any remaining financial aid is refunded to the student within 14 days of disbursement to student accounts. Anticipated grant refund dates are posted on the institutions website under financial aid Deadlines and Refund Schedules. Grant and scholarship funds awarded by private/outside donors are not applied to the student’s account until the money is received by Heartland Community College.

    Loan refunds

    Student loan funds are applied to student account after the 50% point of the semester. Students must complete all student loan requirements each academic year (i.e. entrance loan counseling, completion of master promissory note and Borrower Information Sheet, etc.) before a loan disbursement is made. The business office will deduct incurred costs (tuition, fees, and other authorized charges such as books and supplies) from the financial aid that is credited to your account. Any remaining financial aid is refunded to the student within 14 days of disbursement to student accounts. 

  • Federal regulations state that financial aid is earned by attending class. You have not earned 100% of your financial aid until you have attended 60% of the term. If you withdraw before this date, a portion of your financial aid has not been earned.

    The unearned portion is equal to the percentage of the term remaining on the date of withdrawal. Your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated based on your actual period of attendance - you may be asked to repay a portion of the aid that had been disbursed to you.

    Your last date of attendance is determined in one of two ways.

    If you officially withdraw from the institution, your last date of attendance is date you began the withdrawal process or notified the institution of your withdrawal.

    An unofficial withdrawal occurs when you stop attending classes, but do not notify the institution of your withdrawal. At the mid-point of each semester, the institution checks for non-attendance. In cases where a student is failing classes at the mid-point of the semester, each instructor will confirm whether the student is still attending class or will provide the last date of attendance for each class. If you have ceased to attend all classes, the latest date of attendance in all classes will be used to determine the withdrawal date.

    Once the institution has determined you have either officially or unofficially withdrawn from the institution, we will notify you (the student) within 30 days if you are required to repay a portion of your financial aid for the term. Heartland Community College returns funds within 45 days to the U.S. Department of Education.

    In recalculating your financial aid eligibility, we will reduce your financial aid in the following order:

    1. Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loan
    2. Subsidized Direct Stafford loan
    3. Direct PLUS loan
    4. Federal Pell Grant
    5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
    6. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Contact Us

Financial Aid Office

Community Commons Building (CCB), Room 1101
1500 W. Raab Rd.
Normal, IL 61761

Phone: 309-268-8020



To schedule an online or in -person appointment, please visit the Heartland Navigate tile found within your Student Center.

Walk-ins are available from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday