Why I am not getting a refund of my Pell Grant?

When a student fails courses, this is an out of pocket cost that the school and financial aid does NOT cover. Any F’s that a student receives at most institutions, including CCSD, results in an in-school balance that is required to be paid by monthly installments by the student.

When federal aid is sent to the school, whether it be grants or loans, the money will always go towards tuition first. If there is any credit after the funds go towards tuition, there will be a stipend out to the student.

When students do not pass a course, it adds to their total tuition. As a result, students may not have a have a stipend sent to them.


Changing Your Schedule

By Dru Macasieb
Originally Written: December 10th, 2016
Updated: February 19, 2019
Any kind of change to your schedule may put students off the track we’ve planned, and it may be challenging to guarantee full-time status,  4.0+ credits per mod, or the maximization of financial aid. The best rule of thumb: Do not fail a class or change your schedule. However, we understand that everyone’s situation is different.  Here are some useful guidelines regarding changing courses, dropping, online courses, and shift changes.


Changing Courses

  • It is ill-advised that students change their scheduled courses. However, if you need to change a course please speak to the education department, student services, or the registrar. 
  • Last Day to change an on-ground course is Day 3 of the first week of the mod (on the approval of the education department).
  • Last day to be placed online or switch an online course is Day 2 of the first week (usually Tuesday). 
  • Tip: Any schedule changes should be requested via email prior to the start of the mod. The email should include reasons for the requested changes, the more detailed the better. Please send this email to your dean or faculty program advisor, and the registrar, and CC student services so that all are informed.
  • Tip: It is always better to request changes via email and physically go to campus to speak to the education department, student services, or the registrar to ensure any scheduled changes are made before the deadline. 
    • If a student does not have a class, they will eventually become a drop after 14 days of non-attendance (if a student has no class, no attendance can be given). 
    • If you do not attend the first week of your current course, both online and on-ground, you will be dropped from that course. We do not want students being charged for courses, therefore we will automatically drop students who miss the first week (which is 25% of the course). 
    • If you do not post attendance a for 14 consecutive days (both online and on-ground), you will be dropped from that college. Again, we do not want to charge students who are not participating in the course.
    • If you drop a course during the first week, without posting attendance, on-ground or online, you will not be charged for that course or received a letter grade.
    • If you drop the first week, but attend any portion (on-ground or online), you will be charged (should be pro-rated) and will get a “W” Grade.
    • If you drop after the first week, will receive an automatic letter grade of “F”
    • Tip: After the first week, might as well finish the course and try as best as possible to get a D or better. A letter grade of “D” is passing, which is always better than an “F” grade. However, keep in mind that in order to receive a degree, students must graduate with a GPA of 2.0 or better. 
    • Tip: It is always better to drop at the end of your term, as dropping in the middle of a term may affect financial aid and any benefits associated with enrollment.
    • Online courses at CCSD are provided by a consortium agreement with our affiliated school, Independence University. 
    • To be considered and on-ground student, you must take 51% of your courses on ground. Vice-versa for online students.
    • Students can take an online class only if they are at or above a 2.5 GPA or with special approval from their Associate Dean.
    • If you need to be put online for the mod, the last day to enroll for online classes is Tuesday of the first week (that’s if a class you need is available and there are seats open). No exceptions.
    • If students want to switch to completely online they will be dropped from CCSD and must apply to  Independence University (out sister school).
    • If you have an online class you must take it and pass so that you don’t go off track.
    • The last day to make changes (add or switch) to an online course is the second day of the mod (usually that’s Tuesday). 
    • Tip: How to Survive an Online Class at Independence University
Switching Shifts from Day to Evening or Vice-versa 
  • In order to switch from day to evening and vice-versa, fill out a change of status form on or before Day 1 of the mod. Please see the education department, student services or the registrar to fill out a change of status form. 
  • Tip: Switching shifts is much easier if the classes needed are available.
  • Tip: Before switching shifts, discuss it with your instructor or the education department, especially if the switch is only temporary. They may be able to provide an alternative solution that works better in your situation. 

If you need further details regarding CCSD policies please refer to the college catalog. 

Appeals Process & Mitigating Circumstances

By Dru Macasieb

Originally written: February 1st, 2018

Hello Everyone,

Below is the appeals process for CCSD. This blog post also outlines what constitutes a mitigating circumstance. As a reminder, this is not an official guideline from the college, as current changes may not be reflected. Rather this is a resource that you may use that is to the best of my knowledge.  If you would like the official policy regarding this manner, please refer to the most current college catalog.

Below is direct verbiage from the college catalog 2017:

“A student dismissed for failing to meet the minimum standards of academic progress has the right to appeal the dismissal. The appeal must be done in writing and submitted in the form of a letter to the Dean (CC your Associate Dean). The letter must include the following:

  1. Explain the reasons why the student was unable to meet the minimum standards of academic progress including any mitigating circumstances;
  2. Provide documentation in support of any mitigating circumstances (i.e. court orders, emails, receipts, obituary, doctor’s note);
  3. Describe what has changed that will allow the student to be able to meet the minimum standards of academic progress; and
  4. Detail what the student will do moving forward to ensure that he or she will be successful in his or her program of study and will be able to achieve the requirements for graduation.

The appeal will be reviewed by an institution Appeals Panel. The student may be requested to meet with the Panel to discuss the appeal and provide additional information. Once the appeal letter and documentation are reviewed, the student will be notified if his or her appeal has been granted or denied.

If the appeal is granted, the student may be reinstated to his or her program of study. The student is placed on academic probation for one evaluation period, and during that time, access to financial aid is reestablished. If the appeal is denied, the student will not be allowed to reenter institution nor will the student be allowed to transfer to an affiliated institution within the system.

Mitigating circumstances are those conditions which the student has little control over, and most often have an adverse effect on academic progress. Mitigating circumstances must be documented and are limited to the list below:

  1. Death of an immediate family member;
  2. Illness of an immediate family member where the student Is the primary caretaker or is the primary source of financial support;
  3. Student illness requiring hospitalization;
  4. Abusive relationship;
  5. Prolonged divorce proceeding;
  6. Previously undocumented disability;
  7. Work-related transfer during the evaluation period;
  8. Change in work schedule during the evaluation period;
  9. The unexpected loss of employment;
  10. Natural disasters
  11. Financial hardship such as foreclosure or eviction; and
  12. Loss of transportation where there is no alternative transportation.”

Please refer to the college catalog for official guidelines as this site is an unofficial guide.

Dropping From School

By Dru Macasieb (March 2, 2017)

It is not recommended to disrupt your academic journey, however, we do understand that sometimes students need to for various reasons. Here is what you need to know before dropping from school.

NOTE: In order to remain an active student at CCSD you must have a class assigned. If you drop your one and only class, you will be may be dropped from the college.

Discuss Dropping with your Associate Dean First

Students should first discuss dropping with their associate dean so that he or she can advise you on possible ways to overcome challenges so that your academic journey does not get disrupted. Another good reason to discuss dropping with your associate dean is so that he or she can advise you on the best way to drop with minimal consequences. 

Consequences of Dropping A Class

Dropping a class is not as simple as it sounds. It comes with consequences.

  1. If you have attended any classes, even logging in once, you will be charged.

Because CCSD is an accelerated environment, you will be charged for any portion of class you attend, either online or on-ground. Dropping during the first week, you can still get a “W” grade for withdrawn. It will charge your student account a prorated amount, credit units will be factored in your course completion percentage, however, the “W” grade not be factored in your grade point average calculation.

Dropping after the first week will garner you an automatic grade of “F.”

1. If you have a scholarship, you will lose it. Please read your scholarship documentation.

Scholarships from CCSD have very specific guidelines, one of them being that you complete your academic journey without breaks. Remember, scholarships get factored into your student account after you have finished your program. Kinda off topic, but there is a minimum of 3.0 GPA required for scholarships.

2. CCSD does not offer a “time off” or “leave of absence.”

If you take a “time off” from your academic journey, you will be dropped. When you decide to come back from your “time off” you must reapply to the college (again) and go through the enrollment process as well as the financial aid process (again).  Please note, students are not guaranteed to be accepted upon enrollment, which is why you must reapply for admissions.

3. You may not be able to come back to school right away due to the possibility of classes (that you need) not being available.

When students drop or fail a course it sends them off their scheduled track. We can no longer guarantee graduation date or course availability. However, we do our best to schedule you as effectively as possible. The sooner you finish, the better it is for both parties.

4. Similar to #3 above, if you drop during weeks 3 and 4, you may not be able to return to the mod after next.

Everything goes through a process. When students drop we have to process your drop paperwork. It goes through the associate deans, the registrar’s office, financial aid, and the business office (to name a few). Re-entering also goes through a process. We cannot re-enter a student if the student has not been completely processed through drop side. Because of these lengthy processes, students who drop in weeks 3 or 4 may not be able to re-enter until the mod after the next one (for instance you drop in week 3 in mod 1, you probably not be able to re-enter until mod 3).

5. If you drop, you will not maximize your financial aid (Title IV funding).

We want you to maximize your student loan. When students do not maximize their student loans, it causes them to refund unused amounts. Students end up reaching their borrow limits and have to borrow additional funds from a private lender to compensate for the missing federal funds. I know this may sound confusing, it best to speak with your financial aid adviser on this topic.

6. If you are receiving VA benefits, you may be required to pay them back.

The Veteran Affairs distributes education benefits depending on enrollment factors (i.e. full-time, part-time, on-ground, online etc.). Depending on the nature of your circumstances, the VA may decide to recoup any benefits distributed based on non-attendance or failures aka “F” that the student received because of non-participation.

7. Other charges involved with dropping.

Students that drop must return their laptop, any outstanding books, and any other school property in their possession. Failure to do so in a timely manner will create a charge in their student account.

When you drop there is a $150 admin for processing your drop.

8. Upon the last day of attendance, students will enter student loan repayment after six months for federal loans. 

As a reminder, be sure to speak with financial aid to find out who your student loan servicer is and communicate with them regarding repayment plans. Please note this grace period is for federal loans only, not private loans.


It is best not to drop and work with your instructor and associate dean to overcome obstacles. If you have to no better choice but to drop, you associate dean will provide you with guidance as to how to best approach dropping with minimal consequences.

In Danger of Being Dropped

By Dru Macasieb

Originally Written: January 9th, 2017

Students need to log into Canvas at least 4 days a week, preferably on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the week. Friday, Saturdays, and Sunday are optional, however, it is best to log in and complete the daily checkpoints on those days, as more than 4 daily checkpoints correct in a week, turns into extra credit.

Students that do not login consecutively or post attendance for more than 5 days are placed on an attendance watch list.

Students may be dropped for:

  • not attending online or on-ground for the first week of the mod
  • failing to attend online and/or on-ground for 14 consecutive days
  • poor attendance or academic performance, as recommended by a school offical

Dropping is not automatic as not all students’ circumstances are the same and there are various factors involved in this process. Therefore, students must take the initiative to communicate with the education department to inform us of their situation, and if they wish to remain enrolled or would like to drop.

If you need to drop from the college please contact the education department as soon as possible. For best results please send an email that:

  1. States you would like to drop
  2. Give a reason for dropping. Be detailed and specific as possible so that someone may give you the best possible advisement, provide you with possible alternatives to dropping, provide you advisement on how dropping will affect your academic and financial aid status, and provide you with advisement on re-entering
  3. Provide your availability so that we may schedule the best time for an exit interview and to drop off books and your laptop  (to avoid additional charges).

Note: If you drop in the middle of a Mod you will receive an “F” grade. Please visit this review the site “Consequences of Failing a Class