Rule 3333-1-09.1 | The "Ohio College Opportunity Grant" program.
This rule adopted under authority conferred upon the chancellor of higher education by section 3333.122 of the Revised Code.
(1) "Ohio resident" as used in this rule has the same meaning as used in rule 3333-1-10 of the Administrative Code.
Each eligible participating institution shall determine the residency status of students for Ohio college opportunity grant (OCOG) purposes in accordance with rule 3333-1-10 of the Administrative Code. Institutions of higher education participating in the OCOG program shall provide individual students with a fair and adequate opportunity to present proof of their Ohio residency for purposes of this rule. Such institutions may require the submission of affidavits and other documentary evidence which it may deem necessary for a full and complete determination under this rule.
(2) Enrollment status definitions
(a) Full-time student
A "full-time student" is one who is enrolled in a degree-granting curriculum at a participating institution for not less than twelve credit hours per semester, quarter, or term.
(b) Three-quarters-time student
A "three-quarters-time student" is one who is enrolled in a degree granting curriculum at a participating institution for not less than nine and no more than eleven credit hours per semester, quarter, or term.
(c) Half-time student
A "half-time student" is one who is enrolled in a degree-granting curriculum at a participating institution for not less than six and no more than eight credit hours per semester, quarter, or term.
(d) One-quarter-time student
A "one-quarter-time student" is one who is enrolled in a degree-granting curriculum at a participating institution for not less than one and no more than five credit hours per semester, quarter, or term.
(3) Appropriate academic progress
"Appropriate academic progress" means in working toward an associate degree, bachelor's degree or nursing diploma, the student must maintain a grade point average or other standards of achievement considered by the institution as satisfactory progress toward receipt of the degree or diploma sought by the student. A student placed on academic probation and attending classes as prescribed by the institution on a full-time, three-quarters-time, half-time or one-quarter-time basis shall be considered to be making appropriate progress.
(4) State cost of attendance
"State cost of attendance" means the average cost to a student when attending an Ohio institution of higher education. In calculating the average cost to a student, the chancellor may include any or all of the following items:
(a) The average instructional and general fees charged at Ohio institutions of higher education. The chancellor may choose to calculate the average instructional and general fees for each sector, as defined by the chancellor.
(b) The average cost to a student in Ohio for any or all of the following items: books, transportation, housing costs or living expenses.
(5) Instructional and general charges
"Instructional and general charges" means the instructional and general fees charged to the student. A general fee is one that is uniformly assessed to all students.
(6) Expected family contribution (EFC)
As used to determine the eligibility of students for OCOG, "expected family contribution" is defined as the measure of a family's financial strength, and is used to determine eligibility for federal student aid during one academic year. An EFC is received based on the processing results of the student's free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). This value is calculated by using the income and asset figures reported, number in household, number in household going to college, and state of legal residence in a formula written by congress.
(7) As used in this rule, "accredited" means approved by the chancellor.
To be eligible for OCOG, a student must:
(1) Be an Ohio resident.
(2) Receive an EFC in the range of 0 to 2190 and not exceed a total household income of ninety-six thousand dollars on the student's FAFSA, except as described in this rule. The chancellor may choose to modify the total household income eligibility threshold, not to exceed a maximum income eligibility threshold of twice the median household income in Ohio, to maintain correlation with Ohios median household income. As used in this rule, "median household income" means as reported annually by the United States census bureau. It is the intention of the chancellor that the income eligibility threshold will be established and communicated to each eligible participating institution by October first for awards to be made beginning in the first term of the following academic year.
(3) Make appropriate academic progress toward an eligible associate's degree, bachelor's degree, or nursing diploma.
(D) Prohibited use of funds
(1) No funds shall be used if the student is:
(a) Enrolled in a course of study leading to a degree in religion or theology, or other field of preparation for a religious profession, unless such course of study leads to an accredited bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, associate of arts, or associate of science degree;
(b) Pursuing a second baccalaureate degree;
(c) Serving a term of imprisonment.
It is the intent of the chancellor of higher education to provide OCOG awards to undergraduate students only if they enroll in participating institutions of higher education in which there is not discrimination among students in admission, in institutional services, or in placement based upon race, sex, religion or national origin. Each participating institution is expected to have met the various requirements under the provisions of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
(E) Award amounts
(1) Before the start of each new academic year the chancellor shall post proposed award tables on the agency website that will include a definition of that academic year's state cost of attendance. Except as provided in this paragraph, a student's award amount shall not exceed the state cost of attendance. The award amounts for students less than full time shall be the following:
(a) The award amount x .75 of the for a three-quarters-time student;
(b) The award amount x .5 of the for a half-time student;
(c) The award amount x .25 of the for a one-quarter-time student.
A qualified foster youth as defined in section 3333.122 of the Revised Code attending a community college, state community college, or technical college in this state, may receive an amount greater than the state cost of attendance for housing costs or living expenses if the state cost of attendance does not include those items. Such expenses include reasonable costs for room and board and do not include costs for textbooks, supplies, transportation or other non-housing related items.
(2) The award amount shall apply only to instructional and general charges at an eligible institution unless the state cost of attendance in any given academic year includes additional items.
(3) Consortium and study abroad agreements - OCOG may be used to pay the instructional charges of an eligible Ohio visiting institution or study abroad institution when a student is engaged in study outside of the student's home institution provided that the outside courses are an integral part of the academic program of the institution at which the student is pursuing the academic degree. Additionally, such an arrangement must be documented and meet federal standards. The student's enrollment status is based on the total credits attempted at both the home and eligible visiting institutions; however the award amount is based on the lower instructional and general fees. An OCOG award may need to be reduced or eliminated for a term if the adjusted instructional and general charges under a consortium or study abroad agreement are fully covered by a student's federal pell grant and EFC share for that given term. A calculator to assist institutions in such instances will be published on the agency website.
(4) OCOG awards for students enrolled in a dual degree program (which confers both an undergraduate and graduate degree) must be based on the enrollment status of the qualifying undergraduate courses only.
(5) Influence of other instructional and general fees specific awards
In any given academic year, if the state cost of attendance includes instructional and general fees only and if a student receives other awards, loans or scholarships which are instructional and general fees specific and meet the total instructional and general fees of the institution, then the student has no eligible expenses that would qualify for an OCOG award. If other awards, loans or scholarships are instructional and general fees specific and must be used to cover some part of the student's instructional and general fees, the OCOG award may need to be reduced accordingly. A calculator to assist institutions in such instances will be published on the agency website.
(6) Priority basis in awarding grants
If funds should not be available to make awards to all eligible applicants in a funded sector, the chancellor may prioritize granting awards in accordance with section 3333.122 of the Revised Code.
(F) Student application process
(1) Student responsibility:
(a) A student must first complete the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). The higher education information (HEI) system will determine OCOG eligibility for any institutional student information record (ISIR) that is received.
(b) Deadline dates
All original FAFSA applications must be received by the United States department of education (USDE) central processor on or before October first of each year. All applicants should apply before this deadline, including those who do not intend to enroll until later in the academic year.
(2) Institutional responsibility:
(a) Financial aid offices at participating institutions will need to determine students eligible for OCOG by accessing the eligibility query available on the HEI system.
(b) An institution shall submit other information requested by the chancellor's staff to assist in determining eligibility.
(G) Post award guidance
(1) Transferring a grant
(a) Students may retain eligibility when transferring to another participating Ohio institution of higher education. Students should be counseled by the new institution as to the possible effects of transferring an OCOG award.
(b) If the student transfers to a participating institution in a sector with a smaller award, the grant amount shall be reduced for that term in accordance with the award table. If a student transfers to a participating institution in a sector with a greater award, the grant amount may be increased for that term in accordance with the award table, provided that sufficient funds are available.
(a) If a student reduces his or her enrollment - either by dropping a class(es) or withdrawing altogether - to three-quarters time, one-half time, or less than half-time prior to an institution's census date, the OCOG award allotment for the term must be reduced to the corresponding enrollment level. Such a situation assumes a one hundred per cent instructional and general fees refund will be made to the student for the classes dropped.
(b) If a student reduces his or her enrollment - either by dropping a class(es) or withdrawing altogether after the institution's census date, but during the institution's refund period, the percentage of the OCOG award refund will be equivalent to the percentage refund of the student's actual instructional and general fees charges.
(c) If a student reduces his or her enrollment - either by dropping a class(es) or withdrawing altogether after the institution's freeze date, and after the institution's refund period, no OCOG award refund will be necessary.
(d) A calculator to assist institutions in such instances will be published on the agency website.
(3) Continuous enrollment
An OCOG award can be used for continuous enrollment. In addition to a student's annual award amount, the student can receive an additional term award amount (one-third for quarter terms or one-half for semester terms of the annual award amount) if continuously enrolled for the entire academic year.
(4) Duration of grants
An OCOG award is limited to ten semesters or fifteen quarters, the equivalent of five academic years of full-time undergraduate education. If a student received an award from the Ohio instructional grant (OIG) programs previously, those semesters or quarters of receipt of OIG will be counted toward the ten semester/fifteen quarter limit for the OCOG program. A grant made to an eligible student on the basis of less than full-time enrollment shall be based on the number of credit hours for which the student is enrolled and shall be computed in accordance with a formula adopted by the chancellor.
(H) Payment of opportunity grants
(1) Students: The student awarded an OCOG award who is enrolled in a participating institution shall agree to permit the Ohio department of higher education, on the student's behalf, to make payment of the grant to the institution. The remittance shall be made payable to the institution in which the student is enrolled.
(a) Payment requests for the OCOG award will need to be made by accessing a payment file on the HEI system.
(b) The institution shall apply the grant awarded to the student to the instructional and general fees of the institution for the requested term in that academic year after that student's federal pell grant and EFC allotment have been applied to the instructional and general fees charges.
(c) Payment and adjustment process
(i) During each term, an institution can submit a payment file to the chancellor through the OCOG certification and adjustment (OG) file, accessed through the HEI system. After the fifteenth day of each term files may be submitted as often as necessary, although the chancellor recommends submitting no more than one per term. The completed files are used to generate computer grant payment files which are sent to the institutions via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or with a warrant. The OG file contains a record for each student who is to receive the grant. An eligible application record from the student must be on file in order for a corresponding opportunity grant record to be accepted. Each institution must submit payment files before the corresponding term submission window closes. Extension requests for term submission of payment files will be denied unless they meet one of the published lists of exceptions.
(ii) The OG file contains the following data:
(a) The student identifier
(b) The student rank
(c) Enrollment status
(d) Term award amount
(e) Award type
(iii) At the conclusion of each term, the OG file is used by the institutions to make adjustments including reporting refunds and eligible students no longer enrolled. An updated file is provided to each institution for each subsequent term through the disbursement query accessed on the HEI system. When a refund adjustment is submitted in HEI during an academic year, the refund will be captured from the next OCOG disbursement. If no further disbursements will be made for the academic year, a refund check must be submitted to the Ohio department of higher education within thirty days of submitting the refund file. Checks and a refund manifest form from the unrecovered refund query accessed on the HEI system should be mailed to the Ohio department of higher education office of financial aid. Extension requests for term submission of payment files reflecting refunds will be approved indefinitely.
Any overrides for issues regarding residency, duplicate identifiers or foster youth eligibility at community colleges are at the discretion of the chancellor. Institutions may be required to submit additional documentation to the Ohio department of higher education office of financial aid in such situations.