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Consumer Information

Consumer Information

Disclosure Statement

Annual Notice to Students: Consumer Information

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 mandates that schools provide an annual notice to all students and staff describing the availability of a wide range of consumer information. You may also get this information by visiting Financial Aid in the R-Building, Room R-113.

The federal Higher Education Act, the federal Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA), and regulatory guidance provided in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) require direct individual notices of prescribed information to certain target audiences including prospective students, currently enrolled students, current employees, parents, coaches and counselors of prospective student-athletes, and the general public. Disclosures are to include crime/security statistics, student completion/graduation rates, FERPA privacy/security rights, financial aid program information, and gender-specific information on athletic participation and financial support.

These disclosures are updated annually prior to Oct 1 Availability of the disclosure is emailed annually to students at their registered Peralta account. For a printed copy of the disclosure, please contact the Financial Aid office in R-113 or call (510) 436-2465.

I. Information about Merritt College

  1. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  2. Programs and Services Available to Students with Disabilities
  3. Student Body Diversity
  4. Immunization Requirements
  5. Textbook Information
  6. Voter Registration Information
  7. Transfer of Credit Policies and Articulation Agreement
  8. Cost of Attendance
  9. Net Price Calculator
  10. Refund Policies
  11. Withdrawal Procedures
  12. Description of Academic Programs 
  13. Instructional Facilities and Labs
  14. Faculty
  15. Accreditation Information
  16. Copyright Infringement
  17. Constitution Day Information
  18. Standards of Student Conduct
  19. Establishing and Maintaining an Information Security Program

II. Overview of Financial Aid Programs

  1. Contact Information for Obtaining Financial Aid Assistance
  2. How to Apply for Financial Aid
  3. Eligibility for Financial Aid
  4. Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
  5. Need Based and Non Need Based Federal and State Financial Aid
  6. Financial Aid for Study Abroad
  7. Veterans Educational Benefits
  8. How and When Financial Aid Will be Distributed
  9. Rights and Responsibilities of Aid Recipients
  10. Financial Aid Fraud
  11. Return to Title IV
  12. Terms and Conditions of Federal Work Study Employment
  13. Student Loan Information
  14. Terms and Conditions of Direct Loans
  15. National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  16. Terms and Conditions of Direct Loan Deferments
  17. Terms of Loans Received, Repayment Schedules and Repayment
  18. Loan Entrance Counseling
  19. Loan Exit Counseling
  20. Private Educational Loan Disclosures

III. Information Regarding Student Outcomes

  1. Graduation, Transfer and Retention Rates
  2. Graduation and Retention Rates for Student Athletes
  3. Equity in Athletic Disclosure
  4. Gainful Employment

IV. Information Regarding Health and Safety

  1. Campus Safety and Security
  2. Daily Crime Log
  3. Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program
  4. Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures
  5. Misrepresentation

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) guarantees that the academic records for students over 18 years old or postsecondary students of any age cannot be discussed with anyone except the student or authorized College personnel.

PCCD only discloses personally identifiable information from an education record to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. For more information about FERPA, click here.

Health and Safety Exemption

FERPA permits non-consensual disclosure of education records, or personally identifiable, non-directory information from education records, in connection with a health or safety emergency under § 99.31(a)(10) and § 99.36 of the FERPA regulations. The health or safety exemption permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education record without the written consent of the student in the case of an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or other individuals

Programs and Services Available to Students with Disabilities

The Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS) provides support services to students with disabilities in an effort to ensure equal opportunity and participation at the college. For more information about the facilities and services available to students with disabilities, visit the department’s website at http://www.merritt.edu/wp/dsp/

Student Body Diversity

Merritt College regularly reports this information to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Follow these steps to access this information:

  • Go to the IPEDS College Navigator at http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  • In the “Name of School” box type Merritt College
  • Clink on the Merritt College link that appears.
  • For gender and race/ethnicity data, click on the Enrollments link to expand the selection
  • For information about Pell Grant recipients, expand the Financial Aid link

Gender, demographic, and other data is also available in the Student Profile documents published regularly by the Merritt department of Institutional Research website.

Immunization Requirements

Currently, there are no immunization requirements for enrollment in the Peralta Colleges.

Textbook Information

Student can access each semester’s book list via the Merritt College Bookstore.  Not all classes listed require texts.

Each semester’s booklist is posted at the same time the class schedule is made public. Book information is listed as it becomes known through the submission of book orders from faculty. The list is updated.

The book list is subject to substantial change prior to, and through the course of a semester. Contact your instructor for a complete list of materials required for the course. The Textbook Refund Policy is listed here.

Vote CountsVoter Registration Information

Merritt College encourages eligible students to register to vote. Students may access the California Voter Registration website by going to the Passport website and selecting “Register to Vote” on the Student Services area. The Office of Student Life also organizes voter registration events periodically.

Transfer of Credit Policies and Articulation Agreement

If you have attended college(s) prior to attending your home college, whether or not financial aid was received at the other college, and you plan to use transfer credits toward a degree/ certificate from the Peralta Community College District, you must submit official transcripts to the Admissions and Records department for evaluation. For Financial Aid purposes, all recorded applicable degree/certificate transfer credits will be computed toward the Satisfactory Academic Progress maximum time frame of 90 units for a standard 2-year program. You must inform your home college if you attended another college during the same academic year (i.e. Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 and summer 2015). For assistance, schedule an appoinment to meet with a Counselor.
Cost of Attendance

The cost of education is an estimated amount that a student will need to cover costs related to college attendance. Nine month student budgets are constructed using surveyed costs of California students based on their living and enrollment status. For more information, go to our District website.

Net Price Calculator 

To access our net price calculator, Click here https://misweb.cccco.edu/npc/344/npcalc.htm.

Refund Policies

If you withdraw completely from classes during the tuition and fee refund period, and you had a BOGWFW to waive your fees, you will not receive a refund on the fees waived by the BOGFW. A student who receives financial aid and then completely withdraws from classes prior to completion of 60% of the semester will be assessed a percentage of unearned financial aid. You earn aid as you progress through the semester. For example: if you complete 30% of the semester you earn 30% of your aid awarded for the term.

Students will be required to repay the institutional portion of assessed refunds; failure to repay will result in a hold on academic records and any future registration at Peralta. Any federal portion due will be referred to the U.S. Department of Education and failure to make satisfactory repayment arrangements or failure to make any of these payments will make you ineligible to receive further aid at all colleges.

If a portion of aid received is from a Loan, the assessed repayment will be made according to the conditions indicated on the Loan Promissory Note. Any aid received under the Federal Work Study Program will not have to be repaid. If you completely withdraw after you have attended 60% of the semester, you will have earned all financial aid for that semester.

If you withdraw and have not received all earned financial aid, your home college will calculate a post- withdrawal refund that may be disbursed to you.

When a student is paid an initial Pell disbursement (usually 50% of the term award), and then drops enrollment to less than six units, the Pell grant will be recalculated to less-then-half-time status. The student will be required to repay the calculated balance to the Department of Education.

Assessed repayments will be refunded to the financial aid programs from which they were paid in the following order:

1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan
2. Subsidized Direct Loan
3. Pell Grant
4. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

If you receive an overpayment of financial aid, even if it is a result of an institutional error, you will be required to repay the overpayment in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

 

 

Withdrawal Procedures

Dropping or withdrawing from a course is not an automatic process. It is the student’s responsibility to drop the classes he/she is not attending. If the student does not drop a class, he/she will be charged and could receive an “F” grade that will appear on their permanent record. Students can drop classes online or at the Admissions and Records Office on campus. To learn more about withdrawal procedures, click here.

Description of Academic Programs

To learn more about Merritt College Areas of Study for Degrees & Certificates, go to page 67 on our catalog of classes.

Instructional Facilities and Labs

The college provides the instructional, laboratory, and physical plant facilities needed to support each of its academic programs. Contact the Chairperson for the department for specific information about the facilities and resources available to support the academic program. Departments can be found here.

Faculty

Information on the College’s faculty and instructional personnel is available through Merritt College’s directory and in the Division Deans office in D 203.

Accreditation Information

Merritt College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, 415.506.0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Post secondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

This information can be found on the website at http://www.merritt.edu/wp/accreditation/.

Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.
Illegal Distribution of Copyrighted Materials

PCCD supports the Higher Education Opportunity Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including efforts to eliminate the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. PCCD BP 3720 and AP 3720 I provide guidelines to students, faculty and staff to assist in compliance with federal copyright laws. BP and AP 3700 are posted on the district website. Resources regarding the prevention of copyright infringement can be found here and here.

Constitution Day Information

In order to comply with the new federal regulation requiring the development of educational programming to celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, Associated Students of Merritt College  host Annual Constitution Day activities.

Standards of Conduct

Students are responsible for complying with all laws and college regulations and for maintaining appropriate course requirements as established by the instructors. To learn more about standards of student conduct, go to Administrative Procedure 5500, Student Standards of Conduct, Discipline Procedures and Due Process.

Establishing and Maintaining an Information Security Program

PCCD is bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), a federal law regarding the privacy of student records. An individual’s conduct, either on or off the job, may threaten the security and confidentiality of records. Security and confidentiality are matters of concerns to all PCCD employees, which include employees of the District and each of its campuses, and all other persons who have access to student, financial and employee records. PCCD is committed to maintaining an information security program. More details can be found  here.

 

II. Overview of Financial Aid Programs

Merritt College has a full array of Title IV programs and California State Programs. Details can be found on page 11 of the Financial Aid Handbook.

Peralta Colleges Foundation Scholarships and off campus scholarships are also administered by the Merritt College Financial Aid Office.

Contact Information for Obtaining Financial Aid Assistance

Prospective or enrolled students who have questions about obtaining Scholarships or federal or state financial aid should contact the Merritt College Financial Aid Office at (510) 436-2465 or merfinaid@peralta.edu. Additional contact information for specific staff members can be found at http://www.merritt.edu/wp/financial-aid/faculty-and-staff/.

Need Based and Non Need Based Federal and State Financial Aid

Merritt College has a full array of aid programs. Some are need based and some are non need based as determined by the information provided and verified on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the Peralta Colleges Foundation Scholarship Application.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

For step by step instructions on applying for financial aid, click here.

How Eligibility for Need-Based Aid Is Determined 

Definition of Financial Need

Students are packaged for financial aid (given financial aid from several of the programs for which a student is eligible) based on the student’s financial need. Financial need is determined by a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (computed from information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as compared to Merritt College’s Cost of Attendance. Those who have a positive number remaining after the EFC is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance may qualify for some need based aid sources.To meet with federal regulations, Cost of Attendance defines the neediest students as those whose EFC = $0.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

In accordance with Federal and State regulations, to qualify for and receive Financial Aid, students are required to make progress toward completion of their educational goals to continue to receive Financial Aid. For more information, click here.

Resources Not Included in Initial Award Packaging

Merritt College may be informed from campus or external agencies regarding other financial aid programs requiring an adjustment to a student’s aid package. These may include Cal Grant, Chafee Grant, Foundation Scholarship or Off Campus Scholarship. These aid sources when added may require that other aid originally offered be adjusted (i.e federal work study and student loan)

Financial Aid for Study Abroad

If you enroll in a Merritt College sponsored study abroad program, you may apply for financial aid through the Merritt College Financial Aid Office. You will be considered for all aid programs (Pell Grant, Cal Grant (California Residents), BOGW (California Residents), Foundation Scholarships and Loans, except Federal Work-Study.

Depending on the cost of your study abroad program, the financial aid you receive may or may not meet your full demonstrated financial need. To make up the gap between your aid and the cost of your program, you may want to apply for a private scholarship or an alternative loan. Please also contact the Study Abroad Office about application procedures and deadlines for Study Abroad Scholarships. You are responsible for making any payments for the program by the appropriate deadlines.

 

Veterans Educational Benefits 

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is a consumer tool the Peralta Community College District is using to notify students who file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are using Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits. It is a standardized form that is designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so that they can make informed decisions. For more information regarding your cost of attendance and financial aid awards, please visit our website at Merritt College Financial Aid. Students can access the Shopping Sheet on the Passport student portal.

 Financial Aid Fraud

Every year, millions of high school graduates seek creative ways to finance the markedly rising costs of a college education. In the process, they sometimes fall prey to scholarship and financial aid scams. On November 5, 2000, Congress passed the College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000 (CSFPA). The CSFPA enhances protection against fraud in student financial assistance by establishing stricter sentencing guidelines for criminal financial aid fraud. It also charged the Department, working in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with implementing national awareness activities, including a scholarship fraud awareness site on the ED Web site.

According to the FTC, perpetrators of financial aid fraud often use these telltale lines

  • The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.
  • You can’t get this information anywhere else.
  • I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.
  • We’ll do all the work.
  • The scholarship will cost some money.
  • You’ve been selected by a ‘national foundation’ to receive a scholarship’ or ‘You’re a finalist,’ in a contest you never entered. To file a complaint, or for free information, students or parents should call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)or visit: http://www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams

Return to Title IV

Federal financial aid (“Title IV funds”) is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive. If a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws from Merritt College after beginning attendance, the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, unearned funds must be returned.  If the student receives less Federal Student Aid than the amount earned, Merritt College offers a disbursement of the earned aid that was not received.  This is called a Post-withdrawal disbursement. For more information, refer to page 22 of the Financial Aid Handbook

  • Withdrawal Date

See “Withdrawal Procedures” above for an explanation of withdrawal procedures at Merritt College.  The withdrawal date established by Merritt College is the date used by the Financial Aid Office to determine the point in time that the student is considered to have withdrawn so the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment completed by the student can be determined. The percentage of Title IV aid earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment completed.

  • Process for Calculation of Amount of Title IV aid earned by student

The amount of Title IV aid earned by the student is determined by multiplying the percentage of Title IV aid earned by the total of Title IV program aid disbursed plus the Title IV aid that could have been disbursed to the student or on the student’s behalf.

If the day the student withdrew occurs when or before the student completed 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the percentage earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment that was completed. If the day the student withdrew occurs after the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the percentage earned is 100%.

When a student fails to earn a passing grade in any of their classes, Merritt College must assume, for Title IV purposes, that the student has unofficially withdrawn, unless Merritt College can document that the student completed the period.

  • Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

If the student receives less Federal Student Aid than the amount earned, Merritt College offers a disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. This is called a Post-withdrawal disbursement.  Without obtaining a student’s permission, Title IV grant funds from a Post-withdrawal disbursement are credited to a student’s account to pay for tuition and fees for the term for which the student is eligible for a Post-Withdrawal disbursement 

OR

disbursed directly to the student. Merritt College must obtain a student’s authorization to credit a student’s account with Title IV grant funds for charges other than current charges and must notify the student no later than 30 calendar days after the date that Merritt College determines the student withdrew.  Merritt College notifies students by letter that they are eligible for a Post-withdrawal disbursement and that the student has a deadline of 14 days to respond to the request for authorization. In the notification, Merritt College states that Merritt College is not required to make the Post-Withdrawal disbursement if the student does not respond by the deadline.

 

  • Terms and Conditions of Direct Loans

Terms and conditions of Direct Loans are included in the Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities Statement, which the borrower receives upon completion of a Master Promissory Note with the Department of Education. The borrower may request another copy of their Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities Statement at any time by contacting the Direct Loan Servicing Center.

  • National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student financial aid records. Federal loans disbursed to students or parents will be submitted to NSLDS and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. Student and parent borrowers can track and manage their federal student loans and grants online at www.nslds.ed.gov. The secured site displays information on loans and grants, including amounts, outstanding balances and status. Student and parent borrowers can also find contact information for their loan servicer.

  • Terms and Conditions of Direct Loan Deferments

Information regarding the various deferments available to student and parent loan borrowers is available at the Department of Education web site – www.studentloans.gov under “Managing Repayment” and click on “Trouble Making Payments?”

  • Terms of Loans Received, Repayment Schedules and Repayment

Generally, borrowers will have 10 to 25 years to repay their loan, depending on the repayment plan they choose. The loan servicer will notify the borrower of the date the first payment is due. If a repayment plan is not chosen by the borrower, the borrower will be placed on the standard repayment plan, with fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. Repayment plans can be changed at any time by contacting the loan servicer. Information about standard repayment, extended repayment, graduated repayment, income contingent repayment (not available for parent PLUS loans), and income-based repayment can be found at www.studentloans.gov under “Managing Repayment”. Click “Repayment Plans & Calculators”.

  • Loan Entrance Counseling

The Federal Government requires first-time student borrowers to complete loan entrance counseling to ensure that the student borrower understands the responsibilities and obligations they are assuming. In order to provide the required comprehensive information on the terms and conditions of the loan and the borrower’s responsibilities, first-time student loan borrowers at Merritt College are required to complete online entrance counseling at www.studentloans.gov as part of their Direct Loan application with Merritt College.

  • Loan Exit Counseling

Merritt College is required to provide counseling to federal student loan borrowers when the student ceases at least half-time study at Merritt College. Student borrowers who fall below half-time units at Merritt College are sent an email directing them to www.studentloans.gov to complete exit counseling and to receive information on monthly repayment amounts, repayment plan options, options to prepay or pay on a shorter schedule, debt management strategies, use of the Master Promissory Note, the seriousness and importance of student’s repayment obligation, terms and conditions for forgiveness or cancellation, terms and conditions for deferment or forbearance, consequences of default, options and consequences of loan consolidation, and tax benefits available to borrowers, as well as other necessary information.

  • Private Educational Loan Disclosures

Any student applying for a private education loan at Merritt College must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the school in order to ensure that all available waivers and grants are available to the student, as well as to encourage students to make use of low-interest loans available through the Department of Education (subsidized if eligible). Student borrowers at Merritt College are counseled to compare the terms and conditions of Department of Education loans with the terms and conditions of private education loans to determine the more favorable borrowing option.

Upon request, Merritt College will provide the self-certification form for private education loans required under Sec. 128(e)(3) of the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1638(e)(3) and the information required to complete the form, to the extent that Merritt College possesses the information.

III. Information Regarding Student Outcomes

Graduation, Transfer and Retention Rates

Graduation information for the Merritt College can be found on the Peralta Community Colleges website and is also regularly reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).Follow these steps to access this information:

  • Go to the IPEDS College Navigator at http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  • In the “Name of School” box type Merritt College
  • Clink on the Merritt College link that appears.
  • Click on the Retention and Graduation Rates link to expand the selection.

In compliance with the Student-Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-542), it is the policy of our college district to make available its completion and transfer rates to all current and prospective students. For information on completion & transfer rates, go to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website.

Graduation and Retention Rates for Student Athletes

Graduation and retention rates must be provided to student-athletes, their parents, high school coaches, and guidance counselors when an athletically related student aid offer is made. PCCD does not offer financial aid to students based on athletic ability. For information student-athletes, please contact the Athletic Department, in building F-205.

Equity in Athletics Disclosure

As part of federally mandated Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, information on annual participation rates and financing of men’s and women’s sports in intercollegiate athletic programs is available by request to students and the general public. Yearly reports are housed in the President’s Office and can be viewed upon request.

Gainful Employment

Click here for data on Gainful Employment 

Campus Safety and Security

 

The Annual Security Report including the college’s crime statistics is available online before October 1st of each year.

For more information on Public Safety including polices on Sexual Assault Prevention; Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention; Crime Prevention & Safety, and more go to http://http://www.merritt.edu/wp/adjus/campus-safety-aides/

Daily Crime Log

Peralta Police Services maintains daily campus police logs of criminal activity known to be occurring on and about the Peralta college campuses. These logs are open for public viewing at our patrol station (333 E. 8thSt., Oakland, Ca.)

 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program

A variety of community resources are available to students needing support around substance abuse. Students can access this list here.

Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

Peralta Police Services issues timely reports to campus officials, regarding crimes, which pose an ongoing threat to other students or employees. These timely reports are normally in the form of a “Campus Safety Alert” flyer, produced by police services and distributed by campus officials or their designee. The District and Colleges also have the capability to send emergency text messages, emails and voice-recorded messages through its contract with Blackboard Connect.

For information on emergency response and evacuation procedures, refer to Merritt College’s Emergency Procedures

Misrepresentation

Merritt College will not engage in substantial misrepresentation by having the College itself or one of its representatives, make a substantial misrepresentation regarding the institution, including about the nature of its educational program, its financial charges, employability of its graduates, or its relationship with the Department of Education. Substantial misrepresentations are prohibited in all forms, including those made in any promotional materials, or in the marketing programs of instruction offered by the College.

Merritt College intends to relay true and accurate information in all forms. Merritt College prohibits all forms of substantial misrepresentations or misleading statements, including those made in any advertising or promotional materials.