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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 40. State Council of Higher Education For Virginia
Chapter 132. Virginia Student Financial Assistance Program Regulations
5/19/2022

8VAC40-132-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Academic period" or "semester" means a division of an academic year approximately 15 to 16 weeks in length from the first day of classes through the last day of exams for the fall or spring enrollment periods.

"Academic year" or "regular session" means a division of an award year that normally extends from late August to mid May, consists of the institution's fall and spring semesters, and is exclusive of the institution's summer session.

"Award" means a grant from state funds appropriated within the item for student financial assistance in the annual Appropriation Act under the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program or Commonwealth grant eligibility criteria.

"Award schedule" means the table or formula used by the institution to award program funds to full-time students for the academic year; awards for less than full-time students for the academic year shall be reviewed and adjusted according to the institution's awarding policies.

"Award year" means the 12-month enrollment period during which an institution holds classes, comprised of the regular session and the summer session.

"Book allowance" means the cost of attendance allowance for education-related book and supply expenses as determined by an institution.

"Census date" means the point at which a student's credit hour enrollment is locked for financial aid purposes. At this point in the term, credit hours are locked and financial aid for the term is adjusted to reflect the official number of attempted credit hours.

"Certificate of undergraduate study program" means a formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of a post-secondary education program that has fewer credits than an associate degree.

"Class level" means the institutionally determined undergraduate freshman (first year), sophomore (second year), junior (third year), and senior (fourth year) classifications, which typically, but not always, transition at 30-credit-hour intervals per class level.

"Commonwealth Award" means a grant from state funds appropriated within the item for student financial assistance in the annual Appropriation Act under Commonwealth grant eligibility criteria.

"Cost of attendance" means the sum of tuition, required fees, room, board, books, supplies, and other education related expenses, as determined by an institution for purposes of calculating a student's financial need and awarding federal student aid funds.

"Council" means the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia or its designated staff.

"Diploma program" means a formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of a post-secondary education program that has fewer credits than an associate degree but normally more than a certificate.

"Domicile Guidelines" means the Domicile Guidelines and associated addenda of the State Council of Higher Education dated October 25, 2016.

"Domiciliary resident of Virginia" means a student determined by an institution to meet the domicile eligibility requirements specified by §§ 23.1-502 and 23.1-505 of the Code of Virginia and augmented by the Domicile Guidelines.

"Eligible program" means a Title IV-eligible curriculum of courses in a certificate of undergraduate study, diploma, or degree program at the undergraduate, graduate, or first professional level.

"Equivalent need" means a level or range of remaining need, as defined by the institution in its award schedule for purposes of awarding program funds.

"Expected family contribution" or "EFC" is a measure of a student's family's financial strength and is calculated according to federal aid methodology and used to determine eligibility for need-based Title IV aid. The institution may exercise professional judgment to adjust the student's EFC, as permitted under federal law, based on factors that affect the family's ability to pay. For students eligible for a state award but the federal processor has not calculated the student's EFC, the institution shall calculate the student's EFC using the appropriate federal EFC worksheet.

"Financial need" means any positive difference between a student's cost of attendance and the student's expected family contribution. (See also definition of "remaining need".)

"Full-time" means enrollment for at least 12 credit hours per term or its equivalent at the undergraduate level and enrollment for at least nine credit hours per term or its equivalent at the graduate or first professional level. The total hours counted will not include courses taken for audit, but may include required developmental or remedial courses. For students enrolled in a dual or concurrent undergraduate and graduate program, full-time enrollment may be met through a combination of total credit hours, providing that the combination totals at least the minimum credit hours for full-time status for the student's institutionally recognized student level. Exceptions to the full-time requirement due to documented disability or other documented medical reasons, as applicable under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC § 12101 et seq., (ADA) will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the institution; supporting documentation must include health professional verification that a disability exists and a professional assessment that the condition requires limits on the student's credit load.

"Gift assistance" means financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants but does not include work-study or student loans.

"Graduate student" means a student enrolled in an eligible master's, doctoral, or first professional degree program.

"Half-time" means enrollment for at least six credit hours per term or its equivalent at the undergraduate level. The total hours counted will not include courses taken for audit, but may include required developmental or remedial courses. For undergraduate students enrolled in a dual or concurrent undergraduate and graduate program, half-time may be met through a combination of total credit hours, providing that the combination totals at least the minimum credit hours for half-time status for the student's institutionally recognized student level.

"Institution" or "home institution" means any public institution of higher education in Virginia participating in the Virginia Student Financial Assistance Program.

"Program" or "VSFAP" means the Virginia Student Financial Assistance Program, a financial aid program authorized within the item for student financial assistance in the annual Appropriation Act.

"Remaining need" means any positive difference between a student's financial need and the sum of federal, state, and institutionally-controlled gift assistance known at the time of awarding.

"Satisfactory academic progress" means:

1. Acceptable progress toward completion of an eligible program, as defined by the institution for the purposes of eligibility for federal student financial aid under the Code of Federal Regulations (Subpart C, 34 CFR Part 668 - Student Assistance General Provisions); and

2. For a student receiving a Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program award, acceptable progress toward completion of an eligible program in which a student earns not less than 24 credit hours, which is the minimum number required for full-time standing in each award year.

"Summer session" means a division of an award year that normally extends from late May to mid August and consists of one or more summer enrollment periods, exclusive of the institution's fall and spring semesters.

"Term" means an academic period or summer session.

"Undergraduate student" means a student enrolled in an eligible program leading to a certificate of undergraduate study, diploma, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree.

"VGAP" means a grant from state funds appropriated for the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program, as authorized by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia including §§ 23.1-636, 23.1-637, and 23.1-638 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-636 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 5, eff. November 1, 2017.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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