The philosophy of financial aid is that the educational opportunities of capable students should not be limited by their financial resources. Although the primary responsibility for financing a college education rests with the student and their immediate family, it is recognized that many students will require additional assistance in order to finance their educational goals. The objective of the financial aid program at South Plains College is to provide assistance based on documented financial need to students unable to attend college without such aid.
Any kind of grant is an outright gift of money and does not have to be repaid unless a student stops attending or participating in all classes or withdraws from school prior to the 60% completion point of the semester in which the grant was awarded or the student is found to be ineligible for the grant aid. Any repayment due would be calculated in accordance with appropriate regulations governing the particular grant program.
FEDERAL PELL GRANT
The Federal Pell Grant is designed to provide eligible students with a foundation of aid to help defray the cost of education. It is always the first program to be considered for each applicant. Student eligibility for the grant and the amount that will be paid are determined on the basis of a formula developed annually by the U.S. Department of Education. When the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is processed, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is the official notification of eligibility for the grant. Students may not be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and still qualify under another program. Regardless of the results on the SAR, students should contact the Financial Aid Office so the actual amount of the award can be determined or another type of aid considered. Qualifying students should renew the FAFSA for every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program.
ACADEMIC COMPETITIVENESS GRANT
The ACG Grant is awarded to qualifying U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens, who are enrolled at least half-time; and are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. A qualifying ACG Grant student must:
- Have completed a rigorous course of study in high school;
- Earn 30 college credit hours at the end of their first year of undergraduate study;
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 at the end of their first year of undergraduate study.
Students may receive up to $750 for their first academic year and $1,300 for their second year of undergraduate education. Students will receive prorated amounts for three quarter-time and half-time enrollment. SPC will review student self-reported answers to the ACG Grant question on the FAFSA to determine eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will also search all currently enrolled Pell Grant recipients with appropriate high school graduation dates and curriculums for additional qualifying students. Renewal of your eligibility in this program depends on your continued eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant. Qualifying students should renew their FAFSA for every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and ACG Grant requirements to continue in this program.
FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG)
The SEOG is awarded to the students with the lowest estimated family contributions who are also receiving Federal Pell Grants and have met the Financial Aid Priority Deadlines. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for selecting eligible students with the lowest family contributions and determining the amount of SEOG awards. Awards are made in accordance with program regulations and on a first-come, first-served basis. Prompt completion of the application process is strongly recommended. Renewal of your eligibility for this program depends on your continued eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant. Qualifying students should also renew the FAFSA for every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program.
TEXAS PUBLIC EDUCATION GRANT (TPEG)
The TPEG program is funded through tuition payments and is available for Texas residents and non-U.S. citizens who meet Texas state residency requirements with established financial need. The TPEG grant is primarily given during the summer sessions, but it is also awarded during the fall and spring semesters to students with special circumstances. Qualifying students should have completed the FAFSA form (for U.S. citizens) and TASFA form (for non-U.S. citizens). Students must also meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements to receive this grant. Students who want to apply for the fall and/or spring semesters should write a detailed letter to the Financial Aid Office explaining their situation. These awards are determined on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Financial Aid and are limited by fund availability.
TEXAS GRANT PROGRAM
(Toward EXcellence, Access, and Success)
The purpose of the TEXAS Grant is to provide grant aid to financially needy students who are academically prepared to handle college-level coursework. An eligible student must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Texas resident;
- Demonstrate financial need as evidenced by filing the current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form;
- Have graduated from a public or accredited high school in Texas on the recommended or higher level curriculum not earlier than the 1998-99 school year;
- Enroll in a college or university within 16 months of high school graduation;
- Receive his or her first grant prior to completing 30 semester credit hours (excluding hours earned through dual credit or examination;
- Enroll at SPC in a minimum of 9 credit hours (3/4 time), unless granted a hardship waiver;
- Not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance (beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, students must provide a statement before disbursement of funds confirming eligibility in regards to the controlled substance restrictions of the program);
- Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of no more than $4,000.
The maximum award amount varies by type of institution. For public two-year schools the amount is $890 per semester or the student’s unmet need, whichever is less. TEXAS Grant is renewable and transferable if the student remains eligible and continues to meet all program requirements. To continue in the program, a student must meet the SPC Satisfactory Academic Progress policy requirements at the end of the first year. Thereafter, students must maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA; have a 75% completion rate (in the previous year) and complete at least 24 semester credit hours (in the previous year). To meet this requirement, the student may enroll in 12 hours both fall and spring; or enroll in the required 9 hours (3/4 time enrollment) and also enroll in 6 hours in summer. Eligible students may continue to receive awards for a maximum of 150 semester credit hours or until they receive a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first.
Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible if the Office of Admissions and Records determines that the student is a Texas resident. Non-U.S. citizens should contact the Office of Financial Aid and complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) in lieu of the FAFSA form.
In the event of a hardship or for other good cause, the TEXAS Grant Coordinator at SPC may allow an otherwise eligible person to receive a TEXAS grant while enrolled for an equivalent of less than 3/4 time or if the student’s grade point average or completion rate or number of completed hours falls below the satisfactory academic progress requirements. Such conditions are not limited to, but include: 1) a showing of a severe illness or other debilitating condition that may affect the student’s academic performance; 2) an indication that the student is responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person that the student’s provision of care may affect his or her academic performance; or 3) the requirement of fewer than nine hours to complete one’s degree plan.
Under no circumstances other than fewer hours required for graduation may a person be enrolled less than half- time to receive a TEXAS Grant.
When awarding a hardship waiver of the 3/4 time enrollment requirement, a student has only six (6) years of eligibility for the TEXAS Grant program. Half-time enrollment for six years will not enable a student to acquire a bachelor’s degree.
TEXAS EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (TEOG)
The purpose of the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant is to provide grant aid to financially needy students who have completed the basic high school graduation requirements to attend public community colleges. An eligible student must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Texas resident;
- Demonstrate financial need as evidenced by filing the current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form;
- Enroll at SPC in an associate degree or certificate program in a minimum of 6 credit hours (1/2 time), unless granted a hardship waiver;
- Not have been convicted or a felony or crime involving a controlled substance (beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, students must provide a statement before disbursement of funds confirming eligibility in regards to the controlled substance restrictions of the program);
- Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of no more than $2,000;
- Be registered for Selective Service Registration, or be exempt;
- Have not been granted an associate or baccalaureate degree;
- Not be eligible for TEXAS Grant.
The maximum award amount varies by type of institution. For public two-year schools the amount is $890 per semester or the student’s unmet need, whichever is less. TEOG Grant is renewable and transferable if the student remains eligible and continues to meet all program requirements. To continue in the program, a student must meet the SPC Satisfactory Academic Progress policy requirements at the end of the first year. Thereafter, students must maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA; have a 75% completion rate (in the previous year). Eligible students may continue receive awards for a maximum of 75 credit hours, 4 years or until they receive an associate’s degree, whichever comes first.
Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible if the Office of Admissions and Records determines that the students are a Texas resident. Non-U.S. citizens should contact the Office of Financial Aid and complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid in lieu of the FAFSA form.
In the event of a hardship or for other good cause, the TEOG Coordinator at SPC may allow an otherwise eligible person to receive a TEOG while enrolled for an equivalent of less than 1/2 time or if the student’s grade point average or completion rate falls below the satisfactory academic progress requirements. Such conditions are not limited to, but include: 1) a showing of a severe illness or other debilitating condition that may affect the student’s academic performance; 2) an indication that the student is responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person that the student’s provision of care may affect his or her academic performance; or 3) the requirement of fewer than six hours to complete one’s degree plan.
When awarding a hardship waiver of the 1/2 time enrollment requirement, a student has only four (4) years of eligibility for the TEOG program. Less than half-time enrollment for four years will not enable a student to acquire an associate degree.
TEXAS TOP 10 PERCENT SCHOLARSHIP
The purpose of the Texas Top 10 Percent Scholarship is to encourage outstanding high school graduates to attend a public college or university in Texas. This scholarship provides up to $2,000 to financially needy students who are academically prepared to handle college-level coursework. All awards through this program are for the fall semester only and must be included on the institution’s award notification.
For an initial award, an eligible student must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Texas resident;
- Graduate from an accredited public or private high school in Texas (home-based private high school are not currently accredited by TEA or one of TEA’s accrediting agencies);
- Complete the Recommended or Distinguished Achievement curriculum (or the equivalent) at an accredited public high school in Texas, or the equivalent at an accredited private high School in Texas;
- Rank in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class at the end of the seventh semester;
- Demonstrate financial need as evidenced by filing the current year non-rejected Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by March 1; or
- Submit the current year Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) to the Financial Aid Office by March 1;
- Register with Selective Service, or be exempt;
- Have an unmet financial need when using the formula “Cost of Attendance minus Estimated Family Contribution minus Pell Grants”;
- Enroll in an institution of higher education in Texas the fall semester immediately following high school graduation;
- Enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours (full-time), unless granted a hardship waiver.
The Texas Top 10 Percent Scholarship is renewable and transferable for up to 4 years, if the student remains eligible and continues to meet all program requirements. To continue in the program a student must:
- Demonstrate financial need as evidenced by filing the current year non-rejected Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by March 1; or
- Submit the current year Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) to the Financial Aid Office by March 1;
- Enroll full-time in the fall 2010 semester in a Texas public 2-year or 4 year college or university and maintain full-time enrollment through the census date of the semester;
- Complete at least 75% of the hours attempted in their most recent 12 month academic year;
- Complete at least 30 semester credit hours in their most recent 12 month academic year;
- Maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale;
- Complete a certificate program within 50 credit hours or an associate degree within 105 credit hours.
Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible if the Office of Admissions and Records determines that the student is a Texas resident. Non-U.S. citizens should contact the Office of Financial Aid and complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) in lieu of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
In the event of a hardship or for other good cause, the Texas Top Ten Percent Scholarship Coordinator at SPC may allow an otherwise eligible person to receive a Texas Top Ten Percent Scholarship while enrolled for an equivalent of less than full-time or if the student’s grade point average or completion rate or number of completed hours falls below the satisfactory academic progress requirements of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or South Plains College. Such conditions are not limited to, but include:
- a showing of a severe illness or other debilitating condition that may affect the student’s academic performance;
- an indication that the student is responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person that the student’s provision of care may affect his or her academic performance; or
- the requirement of fewer than 12 hours to complete one’s degree plan.
TEXAS STATE AID FOR NON-U.S. CITIZENS
Students who are non-U.S. citizens seeking financial aid who are ineligible to apply for federal student aid and who meet the Texas state residency requirements under House Bill 1403 should complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) in lieu of the FAFSA form. The application can be downloaded from www.collegeforalltexans.com. The student should submit their TASFA application along with tax returns and W-2 forms for both student and parent(s) to the Office of Financial Aid. The student must be classified as a Texas resident in order to be eligible for Texas state financial aid programs. A non-resident student who pays a resident rate of tuition due to a tuition waiver, scholarship or reciprocity agreement is not eligible for Texas state financial aid. Students who are not exempt from registering for Selective Service must go to the U.S. Post Office and register prior to receiving any funds. Students who are eligible to complete the TASFA application can compete for state funds from the following sources if they meet all of the requirements of each program:
- Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG)
- TEXAS Grant
- Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)
- Texas College Work-Study (TWS)
- Texas State Exemption Programs
- Texas Top Ten Percent Scholarship
TEXAS STATE SCHOLARSHIPS
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program
The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program is made available through the Secretary of Education through grants to states, which in turn offer scholarships to students with outstanding academic records who show promise of continued outstanding achievement. Applications are distributed to high school counselors in January or February of each year by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Interested students may also contact Scipio Brown at THECB at (800) 242-3062 ext. 6333 or Scipio.Brown@THECB.state.tx.us.
First-year students receive $1,500 per year. Awards can be renewed for up to three additional years provided that funds are appropriated and students remain eligible. In order to remain eligible, students must enroll full-time, meet the SPC Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements and have not received federal aid in excess of their cost of attendance.
Scholarship for Professional Nursing Students
The purpose of the Scholarship for Professional Nursing Students is to provide financial assistance to encourage students to become professional nurses in rural and non-rural communities. Eligible students should demonstrate financial need by completing the FAFSA form and be residents of the state of Texas. Students must also enroll at least half-time in classes leading to licensure as a registered nurse. In order to apply, students should complete their FAFSA form on line prior to June 10th. The Financial Aid Office will receive a list of accepted students to the SPC Associate Degree Nursing Program and the ADN Transition Program. The Financial Aid Office will select recipients from the acceptance list according to highest GPA, lowest estimated family contribution and highest unmet need. Awarded amounts will vary depending upon funding, but will never exceed $3,000 or the student’s unmet need.
Scholarship for Vocational Nursing Students
The purpose of the Scholarship for Vocational Nursing Students is to provide financial assistance to encourage students to become vocational nurses in rural and non-rural communities. Eligible students should demonstrate financial need by completing the FAFSA form and be residents of the state of Texas. Students must also enroll at least half-time in classes leading to licensure as a vocational nurse. In order to apply, students should complete their FAFSA form on line prior to June 10th. The Financial Aid Office will receive a list of accepted students to the SPC Vocational Nursing Program. The Financial Aid Office will select recipients from the acceptance list according to highest GPA, lowest estimated family contribution and highest unmet need. Awarded amounts will vary depending upon funding, but will never exceed $1,500 or the student’s unmet need.
State Aid for New Mexico Residents
For more information, please contact the New Mexico Higher Education Department at (800) 279-9777 or via the web-site at www.hed.state.nm.us.
State Aid for Residents of Other States
For information on state aid for residents of states other than Texas and New Mexico, students should search the U.S. Department of Education’s database at www.studentaid.ed.gov. At the web-site, click on “Funding Your Education” and look under “State Higher Education Agency.”
TUITION AND FEE EXEMPTIONS
Combat Exemption Program
The purpose of this program is to provide an education benefit to a child or stepchild of a parent who is deployed to active duty in a combat zone outside the United States. An eligible student must meet the following criteria:
- Is a Texas resident or is entitled to pay resident tuition;
- Has a parent who is a member of the US Armed Forces;
- Is enrolled for any semester or other academic term during which the service member of the armed forces is deployed on active duty for the engaging in a combative military operation outside the US.
The awards are available only for use at a Texas public college or university. The exemption covers the student’s tuition only. contact the Financial Aid Office for information on claiming this exemption. Students must be able to provide proof of meeting the program’s eligibility.
Early High School Tuition Exemption
The early high school $1,000 tuition exemption was created by the Texas Legislature for Texas residents who have attended high school only in Texas and who have graduated from a public high school in no more than 36 consecutive months prior to September 1, 2005. The exemption does not cover fees, board or housing costs. This exemption can be utilized for college-level and remedial classes as well as continuing education classes that receive state formula funding. There is not a time limit for the use of the exemption. In order for a student to receive funding, the student’s high school must send the appropriate documentation to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). THECB will notify South Plains College of the student’s eligibility. You may access an application at http://www.collegeforalltexans.com. The contact person at THECB is Sheryl McGlory, who can be reached at (800) 242-3062, ext. 6323 or via email at Sheryl.McGlory@THECB.state.tx.us. After eligible students have registered for their classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption for that semester.
Early High School Tuition and Fee Exemption Program
The early high school tuition and fee exemption program was created to provide a tuition and fee exemptions of $2,000 to students who graduate from the recommended or distinguished high school curriculum in no more than 36 months. Students who graduated on the higher curriculums in no more than 41 months may qualify for a $500 tuition and fee exemption. Students must have attended high school only in Texas, be a Texas resident and have graduated from high school on or after September 1, 2003. Qualified students may receive an additional $1,000 on their exemption if they have completed 15-30 college hours while in high school. This exemption will pay any tuition and fee cost, but does not cover room, board, books or supplies. The Early High School Tuition and Fee exemption may be used for college-level and remedial classes as well as continuing education classes that receive state formula funding. This exemption may not be utilized for enrollment during any summer session immediately following the person’s graduation from high school. Mid-term graduates may use the award for summer, but anyone graduating after January is considered a spring graduate and cannot use the award until fall. This benefit must be used within six years of high school graduation unless the student is granted a hardship extension. In order for a student to receive funding, the student’s high school must send the appropriate documentation to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). THECB will notify South Plains College of the student’s eligibility. You may access an application at http://www.collegeforalltexans.com. The contact person at THECB is Sabrina Salazar, who can be reached at (800) 242-3062, ext. 6328 or via email at Sabrina.Salazar@THECB.state.tx.us. After eligible students have registered for classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use the exemption for that semester.
Certified Educational Aide Exemption
The Certified Educational Aide Exemption was created by the Texas Legislature to provide a tuition and mandatory fees (other than lab fees) exemption for students enrolled in classes leading to teacher certification with an ultimate goal of reducing the teacher shortage in Texas.
To qualify a student must:
- Have Texas state residency;
- Have one year of employment as a teacher’s aide in the past five years or have substitute taught 180 days of the previous five school years preceding the semester for which the student is awarded his or her initial exemption;
- Be employed with an ISD in Texas in some capacity during the full term for which the student receives the award, unless granted a hardship waiver;
- Enroll in courses leading to teacher certification;
- Register for Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement;
- Complete the FAFSA form;
- Qualify based on financial need or on the basis of adjusted gross income;
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
In order to receive funding, the student should submit the FAFSA on line at www.fafsa.ed.gov; and submit the exemption application to the Financial Aid Office for processing. Students must reapply through the FAFSA form every year. One Certified Educational Aide Exemption application is required for the fall and spring terms and an additional one for the summer term(s).
Foster Care Exemption
The Foster Care Tuition and Fee Exemption was created to exempt eligible students who were in foster care from all tuition and fees (except building use or general use fees). South Plains College exempts qualified students from all tuition and fees for college-level, remedial, duel credit courses and continuing education classes. Students applying for the exemption should provide the Admissions and Records Office with official documents from the Department of Family and Protective Services. After eligible students have registered for classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption for that semester. In order to qualify, students must have been in foster care or other residential care on or after:
- The day preceding the student’s 18th birthday;
- The day of the student’s 14th birthday, if the student was also eligible for adoption on or after that day;
- The day the student graduated high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma;or
- On the day preceding:
- the date the student is adopted, if that date is on or after September 1, 2009; or
- the date permanent managing conservatorship of the student is awarded to a person other than the student’s parent, if that date is on or after September 1, 2009, and
- During an academic term in which the student was enrolled in a dual credit course or
- Enrolls in an institution of higher education as an undergraduate student or in a dual credit course not later than the student’s 25th birthday.
Once a student has been determined eligible for the benefit, the benefit continues indefinitely. There are no durational limitations in statute referencing how many semesters or years a student may received this exemption.
The TANF Exemption was created to exempt eligible students from tuition and fees for up to one year. In order for the student to receive funding, the student must supply the Admissions and Records Office with a copy of the TANF certificate showing the receipt of benefits for at least six months during the senior year. After eligible students have registered for the classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption for that semester.
In order to qualify students must meet these requirements:
- Graduated from a public high school in Texas;
- Successfully completed the high school attendance requirements;
- Been receiving financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code for not less than 6 months of their senior year as a dependent student;
- Be younger than 22 years of age on the date of college enrollment;
- Be registered with Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement;
- Be enrolled in college within 12 months of high school graduation;
- Begin using the exemption within 24 months of high school graduation;
- Be classified as a Texas resident.
The Fireman Exemption was created to pay tuition and only special course fees for students enrolled in fire science courses. An eligible student must be employed as a fireman by any political subdivision of the state of Texas. The exemption will not pay for courses that are not part of the fire science curriculum. This exemption will pay for continuing education classes, if the courses receive state formula funding and are part of the fire science curriculum. To receive continuation awards, a firefighter must meet financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements (SAP). Interested students should provide the SPC Admissions and Records Office with proof that they are employed as a volunteer or paid fire fighter and they are enrolled in a fire science curriculum. The institution where the students are enrolled defines the course content of a fire science program. After eligible students have registered for their classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption for that semester.
Blind or Deaf Exemption
The Blind or Deaf Exemption was created to exempt eligible students from all tuition and fees, including fees for correspondence courses, and all student service fees except fees charged for room, board, books and clothing. This exemption does not cover tuition and fees for individual continuing education courses. However, it will cover a continuing education program that enables the student to earn a license or certificate.
A deaf or blind person who is a Texas resident is entitled to exemption from the payment of tuition and all fees at any public institution of higher education if he or she presents a certification of blindness or deafness from the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, Texas Commission for the Blind or Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. An eligible student should also possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. Eligible students must also be registered for Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement.
In order for a student to receive funding, the student must supply the Admissions and Records Office with a copy of their blind or deaf certification. SPC will continue to use the original certification of deafness or blindness unless the student changes his or her declared major. Any change of major will require the student to submit a new letter to the Office of Admissions and Records. After eligible students have registered for their classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption for that semester.
Children of Disabled Firemen and Peace Officers Exemption
The children of disabled firemen and peace officers exemption was created to exempt eligible students from all tuition and fee charges, except fees charged for room, board and clothing for the first 120 undergraduate semester credit hours. An eligible student is one whose parent was employed as a fireman, peace officer, game warden or an employee of a correctional institution, and has suffered an injury resulting in a disability sustained in the line of duty according to the regulations and criteria then in effect governing his or her place of employment. Eligible students should be Texas residents, and be registered for Selective Service or be exempt from that requirement. Interested students should contact Desiree Byrne at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (1-800-242-3062 ext. 6463 or Desiree.Byrne@THECB.state.tx.us to request a packet for the program. If the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approves the exemption, a letter will be sent to the Admission and Records Office at SPC indicating the student’s eligibility. After eligible students have registered for their classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption for that semester.
Survivors of Deceased Public Servants Exemption
The survivors of deceased public servants exemption was created to exempt eligible spouses and dependent children enrolled full-time from all tuition and fees, college text books, room and board for 200 credit hours or until the bachelor’s degree is earned. An eligible student is one whose parent or spouse was employed as a public servant; and killed in the line of duty on or after September 1, 2000.
For a full list of eligible public servants please view HB877, 77th Legislature, 2001 at www.legis.state.tx.us or contact the Office of Financial Aid. Eligible students should be Texas residents; and be registered for Selective Service or be exempt from that requirement. Interested students should provide documentation relating to the death of their spouse or parent to the Office of Admissions and Records. After eligible students have registered for their classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption that semester.
Clinical Preceptors Exemption
The purpose of this program is to provide partial exemptions from the payment of tuition to eligible persons employed as clinical preceptors and to their children in order to encourage the preceptors to continue their employment and induce others to seek such employment in the state of Texas. Eligible students shall be exempt from the payment of up to $500 tuition per term. Interested students should visit www.collegeforalltexans.com or the Office of Financial Aid for an application. Students applying for the exemption should provide the Financial Aid Office with a complete application and a copy of the Clinical Preceptor Agreement. Students must submit a new application every semester. The Clinical Preceptor Agreement only has to be submitted one time. After eligible students have registered for classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption for that semester.
Children of Professional Nurse Faculty And Staff Exemption
The purpose of this program is to provide exemptions from the payment of tuition to eligible students to encourage their parents to continue employment as professional nurse faculty or staff members in the state of Texas. Eligible students shall be exempt from the payment of tuition. Interested students should visit www.collegeforalltexans.com or the Office of Financial Aid for an application. Students applying for the exemption should provide the Financial Aid Office with a complete application and a letter from the SPC Human Resources Office verifying current employment. Students must submit a new application and employment letter every semester. After eligible students have registered for classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if they wish to use their exemption for that semester.
Texas National Guard Tuition Assistance Program
The purpose of the Texas National Guard Tuition Assistance Program is to provide an exemption from the payment of tuition, not including fees, to active drilling members of the Texas National Guard, the Texas Air Guard, or the State Guard. Students must be registered with the Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement and be a resident of the state of Texas. Individual awards are for the student’s tuition up to 12 hours in a semester. If a student enrolls for more than 12 hours, another source other than this program must be used to pay for the additional hours. Applications are available by calling (512) 465-5001 or writing to: Education Officer, State Adjutant General’s Office, P.O. Box 5218/AGTX-PAE, Austin, TX 78763-5218.
Students should contact the Business Office for questions concerning the payment of their bill in relation to this program.
OTHER FORMS OF PAYMENT ASSISTANCE
Emergency Tuition and Fee Loan Program
The Emergency Tuition and Fee Loan Program statute was created by the state of Texas to enable colleges to set aside a portion of their tuition and fee revenue to loan to students who are not prepared to pay for their college tuition and fees. SPC students who are not prepared to pay for at least one-half of their tuition and fees for any given semester may apply for this loan.
Prior to application, students must complete the FAFSA form and list SPC as an institution to receive the results. Students must also be registered for classes prior to application. Loans are given on a first-come, first-serve based on fund availability. If the loan is granted, it will pay all of the student’s tuition and fees or the balance due after Financial Aid has been applied. If additional funding is available the Financial Aid Office may choose to lend a specified amount to the borrower for required textbooks. Students will have 90 days to repay the loan from Financial Aid funds or personal funds or make acceptable repayment arrangements. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for an application or for more information.
WILLIAM D FORD FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM
Application Process for Federal Loans
SPC participates in the William D Ford Direct Loan Program. Borrowers go on-line via the internet and complete the loan application process. Steps to apply for a loan:
- Complete financial aid file, FAFSA, as well as other requested documents;
- Access the Loan Application Process under Financial Aid on the SPC web site;
- Follow the instructions to complete the Master Promissory Note and loan entrance counseling;
SPC will certify the requested amount or the student’s maximum eligibility, whichever is less.
A Parent Plus Loan Check Authorization Form is required to be signed by the parent borrower and returned to SPC before a Plus Loan disbursement is released. The form authorizes SPC to issue a check, direct deposit or Texan Card credit to the dependent student for any remaining PLUS Loan funds after the student’s account is paid in full.
Federal Subsidized Loans
These low-interest loans are available to students to pay educational costs. The interest is paid on behalf of the student as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half-time (6-8 semester hours) in an eligible program.
Federal Unsubsidized Loans
These low-interest loans have been added to the Higher Education Amendments to provide funding for middle and upper income borrowers who do not qualify for interest subsidies under the Federal Loan Program. Unlike the Federal subsidized loan, the interest will not be paid (subsidized) by the Federal Government. The borrower may make interest payments or the interest will be capitalized. Borrowers who qualify for interest subsidies under the Federal loan Program, may also choose to accept an Unsubsidized Loan in addition to their Subsidized Loan if their estimated family contribution is greater than zero; and all other eligibility requirements are met.
Federal Parent PLUS Loans
The Federal PLUS is a variable interest rate loan created by the federal government to help parents pay for their dependent student’s education beyond high school. Federal PLUS loans are not restricted to financial need. The Department of Education will perform a standard credit check with a national credit bureau before approving the loan. If approved, the parent must pay the principal amount of the loan(s) and all interest that accrues from the date of the disbursement until the loan is paid in full. The loan amount may not exceed the dependent student’s cost of attendance less estimated financial aid the student has been or will be awarded for the period of enrollment. A complete financial aid file and a signed Parent PLUS Loan Check Authorization Form are required before PLUS Loan disbursements are released.
Direct Loan Limits
The Financial Aid Office will determine the amount of loan eligibility in accordance with the Department of Education regulations. The maximum loan amounts, including loans received at other schools in the same academic year are:
|1st year of current program of study
||Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Additional Unsubsidized–dependent student
Additional Unsubsidized–independent student (or dependent student with a denied Parent Plus Application)
|2nd year of current program of study
||Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Additional Unsubsidized–dependent student
Additional Unsubsidized–independent student (or dependent student with a denied Parent Plus Application)
Dependent students may apply for the independent additional unsubsidized loan amount if their parent(s) has been denied the PLUS (Parent) loan. SPC will certify the requested amount or the maximum eligibility whichever is less.
In accordance with federal regulations, SPC has the right to refuse to certify a loan or to certify a loan for a reduced amount. For loan eligibility purposes, students with less than 30 non remedial hours earned in their current program of study are classified as freshmen and students with 30 or more non remedial hours in their current program of study are classified as sophomores. Loan amounts are prorated for students in a program of study of less than an academic year and programs with less than one academic year remaining.
Numerous lenders offer other types of educational loans. The student must be enrolled at least half time and a complete financial aid file is required before SPC will certify these applications. The loan will be certified according to the terms of the loan program.
Transfer Student Loan Limits
Students who transfer from other colleges or universities will be subject to the loan limits for either a freshman or sophomore according to hours earned in their current program of study. Transfer hours earned in the student’s current program of study and included on the SPC transcript will be considered in determining grade level for the Federal loan. If the transfer hours are not on the SPC transcript prior to the beginning of the semester, the loan may be increased during the current semester if eligibility requirements are met. Students should notify the Financial Aid Office when the transfer hours are posted on the SPC transcript if they wish to borrow additional loan funds. Students who have 30 college-level hours in their current program of study are considered a sophomore. A student who transfers in the middle of an academic year and received his or her annual loan limit at the transfer institution will not be eligible to receive a loan at SPC until the beginning of the next academic year.
Defaulted Student Loans
In the event South Plains College receives notice that a student or prior student has a defaulted student loan, a hold will be placed on the student’s academic records. The hold will be released when SPC receives a written paid-in-full notice from the agency that owned the note. At the discretion of the Financial Aid Office, a hold may be temporarily released upon receipt of written notice from the agency owning the note that the note is current. The hold may be temporarily released for an official academic transcript or to allow the student to enroll in classes. A current letter is required each time the hold is released.
Unavailable Loan Programs
South Plains College does not participate in the following loan programs: Perkins Loan, Hinson-Hazelwood Loan Program, HEAL Loan Program, HELP Loan Program and the CAL Loan Program.
OTHER FEDERAL PROGRAMS
National and Community Service (AmeriCorps)
The Corporation for National Service offers educational opportunities through AmeriCorps programs. AmeriCorps members meet community needs from tutoring disadvantaged youth to responding to disasters. AmeriCorps members (students) receive a modest living allowance and some programs provide housing while participating in the program. After completing 9 to 12 months of full-time service, members receive an educational voucher worth $4,725. Members who serve part-time receive vouchers varying between $1,000 to $2,362. The voucher can be used to cover the future tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board or to repay student loans. For more information, send an email to email@example.com. After eligible students have registered for their classes, they should notify the Financial Aid Office immediately; and complete an educational award request on line at www.americorps.org/.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA Grants)
The Department of the Interior administers a higher education grant program for members of a Native American tribe who are enrolled and pursuing a degree at an accredited post secondary institution. To be eligible for a Bureau of Indian Affairs Grant, students must be a member of, or at least one quarter degree Native American blood descendant of a member of an American Indian tribe who are eligible for the special services provided through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Students must show financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). BIA Grant applications are available from the education office of the tribe in which you are affiliated or possess membership. A Tribal Directory is located on the Department of the Interior’s web-site at www.doi.gov/bia. After students have completed the FAFSA, they should complete and submit their BIA Grant application to the Office of Financial Aid for processing.
FEDERAL COLLEGE WORK-STUDY PROGRAM (FWS) AND TEXAS COLLEGE WORK-STUDY PROGRAM (TWS)
The Federal College Work-Study Program provides job opportunities for eligible students who must or prefer to work while in school in order to meet their educational expenses without incurring a heavy burden of indebtedness. The Texas College Work-Study Program provides job opportunities for eligible Texas students and eligible non-U.S. citizens who meet the Texas state residency requirements. Qualifying students must show a documented financial need by completing the FAFSA or TASFA form.
Work hours are flexible and generally fit the student’s class schedule. Students employed under the FWS or TWS are paid on a monthly basis and the first paycheck will not be available until the student has worked for one month. Currently, the salary is $7.25 per hour. A student is awarded an amount, with a limit that cannot be exceeded, which can be earned while attending college. Once the amount awarded has been reached, employment is terminated. Employment through the College Work-Study Program does not make the student eligible for unemployment compensation when the job is terminated and/or the school term ends.
Job openings are posted on the SPC web site and interviews are scheduled by the student with supervisors of jobs in which they are interested. Supervisors who hire the student will arrange a work schedule so the job will not interfere with classes or other academic requirements.
Students must complete the following documents prior to their first day of employment:
- Work-study Application
- Personnel Action Form (PAF)
- Personnel Sheet
- W-4 Form
- I-9 Form
- Substance Abuse Policy.
Students are expected to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. The job should be treated as regular employment and not just financial assistance. The student should demonstrate a willingness to work, dependability, initiative, punctuality and other good work habits.
Qualifying students must renew the FAFSA or TASFA for every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program.
Part-Time Employment Service
For those students who do not qualify for the federal programs listed above, the Placement Office in the Counseling Center maintains a part-time employment service. This service is used to provide employment opportunities for students to help offset their educational expenses. Job openings in the Levelland and Lubbock communities are posted for viewing by students at the Placement Office. If you qualify for a position, the office puts you in contact with the right individual at the hiring business.
Financial aid programs are funded by federal and state governmental agencies and are administered according to the laws and guidelines of each program.
To be eligible to receive financial assistance, a student must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
- Be registered with Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement;
- Has earned a high school diploma or GED certificate or has completed a secondary education in a home school setting (that is recognized as a home school or private school under state law) or have demonstrated the ability to benefit from a college education or training upon satisfactory completion of six college-level credit hours that are applicable toward a degree or certificate offered by SPC;
- Show documented financial need;
- Be enrolled or plan to enroll at least part-time as a regular student in an eligible program;
- Be working toward a degree or certification and be accepted into an eligible program;
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in his/her course of study;
- Not be in default on any student loan or owe a refund on any grant made under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, at any institution.
A regular student is someone who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate offered by the school. An eligible program is not solely remedial classes. Students should be enrolled in at least one college-level class and be accepted into an eligible program in order to receive financial aid.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
Financial aid awards will be packaged from a variety of sources and will be based on the financial need of the student, program eligibility and availability of funds. Students are advised to apply for all types of aid including federal and state aid through the FAFSA and TASFA forms, institutional aid through the SPC Scholarship Application and other assistance through sources such as Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Rehabilitation Commission. Students should apply for private scholarships by accessing web search engines such as www.fastweb.com and others that do not charge a fee.
Students and parent(s) should begin the process by requesting pin numbers from the Department of Education at www.pin.ed.gov. Once the student and parent(s) if applicable, have received their pin numbers, they should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Eligible students who complete the FAFSA form are applying for all types of federal and state grants, work-study and loans. Your financial aid cannot be processed until you are accepted for admission to South Plains College. In addition, the following forms will be necessary to complete your file if the Department of Education selects you for verification:
- Independent or Dependent Verification Worksheet
- Signed tax returns for student and spouse or parent(s), if applicable.
Students who are not selected for verification by the Department of Education may not need to complete any other forms for Financial Aid other than the FAFSA form for grant aid. Students who are interested in work-study positions should complete the work-study application. Students who are interested in student loans should visit the SPC website under Quick Links, Financial Aid and Loan Application Process.
The Financial Aid Office has the right to verify any other information pertinent to the student’s financial aid file according to the FAFSA information. Additional documentation may be requested to resolve conflicting information for the current year or previous years. Since federal and college regulations concerning financial aid change from year to year, the documents requested from the student and parent(s), if applicable, could also be different from year to year.
Your application for financial aid will not be considered complete until ALL required forms are on file in the Financial Aid Office and have been verified for completeness and accuracy.
Application for Financial Aid for the Summer Sessions
In order to apply for financial aid for the summer sessions, students must complete the following forms:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current academic year;
- Complete financial aid file, including all requested documents.
Eligible students who have a complete financial aid file for the current year, will be packaged for summer grants automatically when they pre-register for summer. Students should preregister early because funds are limited in the state programs. Any student interested in a student loan or on-campus employment for summer should complete a new loan application or work-study application on our homepage. Students who decide not to attend for summer should decline their awards on Campus Connect and withdraw themselves before the first day of class to avoid having to repay funds to the Department of Education or SPC Business Office.
Priority Application Deadlines
Applications will be considered at all times, but if a student’s file is not complete on or before the deadlines given below, or if the student is a first-time borrower with a 30 day hold on the first check, the student must be prepared to pay tuition and fees using personal funds or Emergency Tuition and Fee Loan funds. If the student is eligible to receive financial assistance, he or she will receive it during the semester/quarter according to the Business Office’s scheduled disbursement dates.
Since funds are limited in each program and awards are assigned as applications are completed, early application for aid is essential.
||FINANCIAL AID PRIORITY DEADLINES
||SUMMER - March 1
||FALL & SPRING - June 10
||SPRING ONLY - October 15
Absolute Application Deadlines
Absolute application deadlines are set by the U.S. Department of Education (see FAFSA form for annual deadlines). The consequences of not meeting the absolute deadlines are forfeiture of your aid for the current award year. Students who withdraw from SPC prior to completing their file should check with the Office of Financial Aid to see if they qualify for a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement once their file is complete.
Federal Pell Grant and ACG Grant
In order to receive Federal Pell Grant funds, the Department of Education must have processed a valid student aid report (which is the result of filing the FAFSA form) with an official estimated family contribution (EFC) number while an eligible student is enrolled for the award year. Verification documents (if applicable) must be received and be accurate no later than 120 days after the last day of enrollment or September 15, 2010 whichever is earlier.
Campus-Based Aid and Direct Loans
Students should complete their files in the SPC Financial Aid Office and the Direct Loan process one week prior to the last day of final exams for the term or award year in which they are enrolled. An eligible student’s loan application must be certified by the Financial Aid Office no later than the last day of enrollment for the loan period.
As soon as the completed application and supplemental forms are received and processed, the Financial Aid Officer makes student awards by constructing “financial aid packages” which may consist of one or more of the programs for which a student is eligible. The student’s eligibility for each program, availability of funds and program requirements are considered when developing aid packages.
Applications received on or before the deadline date are processed with priority given to those students with the greatest financial need. Applications received after the deadline are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Notifications of the total amount of aid awarded, as well as the amount of aid awarded through each program, are mailed to eligible students in the form of an “award letter” or sent to the students’ SPC and personal email addresses.
There are some instances that prevent students from receiving the total amount of aid for which they are eligible. This would occur when a student’s budget is extremely large, when funds are limited, or due to program requirements or other such circumstances.
Disbursement of Funds
Students with incomplete applications should make arrangements to pay initial tuition, fees, books, room and meal expenses from their own resources. Students may also contact Financial Aid for information on applying for an emergency tuition and fees loan.
Title IV Grants will be electronically credited to a student’s account at registration (to eligible students with complete applications) up to the amount required for tuition, fees, room, board and other South Plains College charges. The remaining balance will be available 14 days after the official census date. Students must meet all enrollment and eligibility requirements in order to receive the remaining balance. Any financial aid refunds issued that the student is still eligible for, will be first applied to any balance due South Plains College before it is released to the student for personal expenses. Your remaining balance may be deposited to the bank account of your choice or to your Texan Card. Please contact the Business Office for more details.
Students who are employed by South Plains College, or funded by Federal or Texas College Work-Study programs will receive pay in the form of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) on the first of each month for the previous month’s hours worked. On line Time sheets must be submitted according to the deadlines set by the Payroll Office in order to receive EFT on the first of the month. Your EFT funds will be deposited to the bank account of your choice or to your Texan Card. Please contact the Business Office for more details.
South Plains College receives student loan funds via electronic funds transfer. For borrowers not subject to the 30-day delay, loan funds may be credited to your tuition, fees and room and board charges as early as 10 days prior to the first class day. Credit balances, after all institutional charges are paid, will be deposited to the student’s bank account or Texan Card (if previously authorized by the student) no later than 14 calendar days after the credit to the student’s SPC account. A first time Federal Loan borrower beginning the first year of their program of study, must wait at least 30 calendar days from the first class day to receive the first loan disbursement credit to his/her account. All borrowers must be currently enrolled and attending at least six credit hours (in which at least one credit hour must be considered college-level) in order to have charges credited or to receive loan funds. Dropping to part time enrollment (1-5 credit hours) or attending only part time during the first 12 class days of a semester will result in cancellation of the student loan. The loan credit will be charged back to the student’s account and returned to the Department of Education. All SPC students are subject to multiple loan disbursements for every semester or quarter enrolled.
Borrowers have a right to cancel all or a portion of the loan or loan disbursement and have their proceeds returned. SPC will send a notice to the borrower no earlier than 30 days before and no later than 30 days after the school credits the student’s account. The notice will include the method and date by which the borrower must notify the school that he or she wishes to cancel all or a portion of the loan or loan disbursement.
Federal Parent PLUS Loans
Federal Parent PLUS loan funds will be credited to the student’s account via electronic funds transfer. If the Federal Parent PLUS loan exceeds the amount owed SPC, the remainder of the loan will be paid to the dependent student as per the Federal Parent Plus Loan Check Authorization Form signed by the parent borrower.
All loans are divided into two equal disbursements per semester. The first disbursement will be no sooner than the first class day of the semester, and the second no sooner than the midpoint of the semester.
The faculty will assign a grade of N to students who never attend their class(s) during the first twelve class days or up to the census date of the enrollment period. A student who receives a grade of N will be subject to having their financial aid reduced or canceled according to the number of credit hours they are not attending. The lost portion of the financial aid will be reinstated immediately for the current semester if it is determined that the instructor or the institution made an error. If the student is responsible for the non-attendance, the lost portion of the financial aid will be reinstated at the end of the semester if he or she completed the term with regular class attendance and is meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Return of Title IV Funds
These rules govern the return of Title IV funds disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from a term, payment period or period of enrollment. These federal guidelines assume that a student earns his or her aid based on the period of time he or she remains enrolled. Unearned Title IV funds, other than federal work study, must be returned to the federal government. During the first 60 percent of the enrollment period, a student “earns” Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time he or she remains enrolled. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60 percent point earns all his or her aid for the period. If earned aid exceeds disbursed aid, additional funds may be disbursed to the student in the form of a late disbursement. Additional disbursements are not permitted if the amount of earned aid is less than the total Title IV aid that was disbursed prior to the institution’s determination that the student withdrew.
Repayment of Unearned Aid
The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by the institution and the student in proportion to the aid each is assumed to possess. The institution’s share is the lesser of the total amount of unearned aid or the institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that was earned. The student’s share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution’s share.
The institution’s share is allocated among the Title IV programs, in an order specified by statute, before the student’s share. After the student’s share is fully allocated among the Title IV programs, students only owe grant over payments if the overpayment exceeds 50% of the Title IV grant aid is received. Students are not required to return grant over payments of $50 or less.
Refunds and repayments will be distributed to the appropriate Title IV, HEA programs in the following order:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
- Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Academic Competitiveness Grant
- Federal SEOG Grant
- Other Title IV assistance
- Other state, private or institutional aid
Time Frame for Returning Funds
The institution must return its share of unearned Title IV funds no later than 45 days after it determines that the student withdrew. Students return their share of unearned aid attributable to a loan under the terms and conditions of the promissory note. Students have 45 days to resolve any grant overpayment by one of the following three ways: 1.) repay the overpayment in full to the institution; 2.) sign a repayment agreement with the institution; or 3.) sign a repayment agreement with the Department of Education.
If the overpayment is not satisfactorily resolved within 45 days, the student will lose financial aid eligibility at every institution of higher education in the United States. If a student refuses to make payment or payment arrangements on any Title IV program, South Plains College is required by law to report the overpayment to the U.S. Department of Education. In the event of an overpayment, a hold will be placed on the student’s records at SPC, and account will be turned over to a collection agency.
Post-Withdrawal Disbursements of Aid
A student who earned more aid than was disbursed prior to withdrawal could be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. Disbursements must be made from available grant funds before loans. SPC may credit grant disbursements toward unpaid institutional charges for the current year charges only. SPC will contact a withdrawn student prior to making a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds. SPC will explain the student’s obligation to repay the funds and confirm that the loan funds are still required by the student. Students will be encouraged to cancel the loan. SPC will document the student’s decision in his or her file. Any portion of a post-withdrawal disbursement not credited to the student’s account will be offered (in writing or electronically) as a cash disbursement to the student within 30 days of the withdrawal date. The student has 14 calendar days to respond to the Financial Aid Office. SPC will return the post-withdrawal disbursement to the Department of Education if no response is received from the student or parent (in the case of a Parent PLUS Loan), or funds are declined by the student or parent, or response is not received within the 14-day time frame. An eligible student, who withdraws from SPC prior to completing their file, should check with the Office of Financial Aid to determine if they would qualify for a Post-withdrawal Disbursement once the file is complete.
Determination of Withdrawal Date
The withdrawal date is the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process or officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw (oral or written); or the mid-point of the period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution. The withdrawal date can also be the last day of the student’s class attendance or participation from the instructor, if provided. If not provided, the mid-point of the period will be used as the withdrawal date. If a student left without notification because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, the institution may determine a withdrawal date related to these circumstances. Written notification to the Admissions and Records Office is required in order for the withdrawal request to be honored.
For students who have all grades of F or combination of grades of F, X, U and W, South Plains College, as per federal regulations, will assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn; and a Return of Title IV funds will be calculated. The withdrawal date for grades of F, X and U will be the student’s last day of class participation, by the instructor, or the mid-point of the semester if the first day of attendance/participation is not provided. Grades of W, which are initiated by the student, will carry the appropriate date on the computer and the Financial Aid Office will use that date unless it is discovered to be an error. In the case of a student who has a combination of F, X, U and W grades in the same semester; the Financial Aid Office will use the latter date.
Students will receive an email or a certified letter from the Financial Aid Office detailing what the student owes the financial aid program(s) due to balance checks that were received by the student. Students have 45 days to make payment arrangements or pay in full to avoid being turned over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection. Students will receive a statement from the Business Office detailing the amounts that the student owes the Business Office due to SPC returning institutional charges to the federal program(s). Students should also make payment arrangements with the Business Office to avoid being turned over to a collection agency.
Payment Arrangements and Payments
Once Satisfactory Repayment Arrangements have been made with the SPC Financial Aid Office or the U.S. Department of Education, students are eligible to enroll in future semesters and receive additional federal funding. However, students may not register for SPC classes or receive an official transcript until the Business Office debt has been paid in full. If a student wishes to make payment arrangements with the Financial Aid Office, he/she should contact the Financial Aid Office and a repayment arrangement contract will be sent to the student via U.S. mail or email. The student should sign both copies; retain one for his or her records and return the other copy to the SPC Financial Aid Office. If a student is late on any payment, SPC reserves the right to turn the student’s account over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection. Students who wish to make payment arrangements with the Business Office, should contact the Business Office for further details.
Payments should be made in the form of a money order and be sent to the following location(s):
South Plains College
|South Plains College
|Financial Aid Office
Attn: Nanette Blair
|Attn: Brittany Curtis
1401 College Ave, Box A
|1401 S. College Ave., Box B
Levelland, TX 7936
|Levelland, TX 7936
(806) 894-9611 ext. 2404
|(806) 894-9611 , ext. 2413
If your Financial Aid debt has been turned over to the U.S. Department of Education, please contact them at the following address:
U.S. Department of Education
Student Financial Assistance Programs
P.O. Box 42
Iowa City, IA 5245
Non-Statutory Refund Policy
For any student to whom the Return of Title IV Funds Policy does not apply, South Plains College will calculate the refund according to the college’s refund policy (See Refunds for Complete Withdrawals or Dropped Classes in the Tuition and Fees section.)
Example of Refund Policies
Upon request, South Plains College will provide the student or parent with an example of the application of these refund policies.
An appeals process exists for students and parents who believe that individual circumstances warrant exemptions from published policy. Please address your written appeal to:
Director of Financial Aid, South Plains College,
1401 S. College Ave., Box B, Levelland, Texas 7936
If, after applying for aid, the student’s financial situation or resources change, it is his/her responsibility to inform the Financial Aid Office. Should the student obtain a job, change their housing plans, receive aid from another college during the same semester, receive a scholarship or any other type of assistance, the Financial Aid Office should be informed immediately. Federal regulations require that adjustments be made in the student’s eligibility to reflect this new information.
Occasionally, students have expenses greater than those reflected in the standard budgets established for awarding financial aid. The Financial Aid Officer will be available to discuss the necessary documentation procedures with the student who feels the need for additional financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require all financial aid recipients maintain satisfactory academic progress. To successfully maintain academic progress, students must meet the requirements for credit hour completion, cumulative GPA, and length of enrollment. Progress is reviewed at the end of each semester, quarter, or summer session.
Probation and Suspension Status
Failure to meet the following criteria will result in a financial aid probation status:
- Completion of 70% of attempted hours;
- Maintenance of a 2.00 cumulative GPA.
Qualified students are eligible for Financial Aid when on probation. Students who are on probation and; do not complete 70% of their attempted hours and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above, will be placed on financial aid suspension.
How to Remove Financial Aid Probation
Students are required to successfully complete 70% of attempted hours and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 in order to have probation status lifted.
How to Remove Financial Aid Suspension
Students are required to successfully complete 70% of attempted hours (a minimum of six credits) during one term enrollment with their own funds in order to lift suspension. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office when enough credit hours have been successfully completed to lift suspension status. Students may also have suspension lifted if an appeal is granted by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee. If suspension status is lifted, student will be on financial aid probation for the next term of enrollment.
Transfer hours, military advanced standing credits, CLEP hours, or not enrolling will not lift probation or suspension status at SPC.
Review of First-Time Applicants, Returning Students, or Transfer Students
When applying for financial aid, all of previous hours at South Plains College will be evaluated for possible financial aid probation/suspension status. This includes transfer hours from other institutions only if those hours are shown on the SPC transcript.
Maximum Time Frame
Students are meeting satisfactory academic progress if total cumulative hours attempted are not greater than 150% of the hours required for a degree/certificate in the program of study (no more than 105 hours for an Associate Degree; no more than 50 hours toward a Certificate Program). Transfer hours shown on the SPC transcript as well as all hours attempted at SPC are included in the calculation; however, when a student changes their program of study, special consideration may be given. Students on suspension for length due to seeking multiple degrees/certificates or changing of major should appeal. The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will review all appeals on a case-by-case basis. As stipulated in the federal regulations, the 150% time limit includes any semester or quarter a student attempts or completes using their own resources. Students should view their major code on Campus Connect; and update it with their Academic Advisor, if necessary.
Review of Failures, Incompletes and Withdrawals
Students who complete less than 70% of attempted hours, because of an F, W, X, U or I grade, will be placed on probation or suspension. If an Incomplete grade is changed to a satisfactory grade, probation or suspension will be lifted. Withdrawing from a class, or all classes, before the OFFICIAL CENSUS DAY of the term will not place student on probation or suspension. Students who completely withdraw can be subject to the R2T4 regulations and repayment of funds if the required credit hours for program eligibility is not maintained through the official census day. The official census day is the 12th class day for the fall and spring semesters, the 8th class day for any quarter, and summer dates will vary according to the length of the term.
Review of Non-Punitive Grades
Students who receive a grade of PR or P in a class will not be penalized, unless the 150% time limit is exceeded. A grade of PR or P will not affect the students’ GPA.
Review of College-Level Repeated Courses
Repeated courses will be included in the 150% time limit. The financial aid GPA can be improved by earning a higher letter grade in a repeated class; and the latter grade will replace the former. Earning a lower grade in a repeated class could damage the financial aid GPA.
Review of Remedial Courses
REMEDIAL HOURS ARE INCLUDED IN THE CUMULATIVE GPA FOR FINANCIAL AID PURPOSES, INCLUDING AWARDING, DISBURSEMENT AND CALCULATION OF PROBATION AND SUSPENSION STATUS. In order to receive funding, students must be currently enrolled and attending at least one non remedial class. Students will be limited to a maximum of 30 hours of remediation while receiving financial aid. Students who exceed 30 hours of remediation will receive a prorated amount of financial aid based only on non-remedial hours. Financial aid will continue to pay for the non-remedial classes if all South Plains College, state and federal requirements are met. The remedial hours are included in the 150% time limit. The financial aid GPA includes remedial coursework and the academic GPA includes only college-level coursework.
Payment after Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility
Whether students reestablish their eligibility by enrolling and using their own funds or through the appeal process, students may be paid Federal Pell Grant and campus-based funds for the payment period in which the eligibility was regained. Students may be paid Federal Direct Loan Program funds for the period of enrollment in which eligibility was resumed. Students may not be paid for any time period in which Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy standards were not met.
How You Will Be Notified
Students placed on Financial Aid probation or suspension will be notified by a letter via the U.S. Postal Service to the address on file from their FAFSA form or an email notification will be sent to their SPC and/or personal email addresses.
Financial Aid Appeal Procedure
A student may appeal decisions made concerning initial or continuing eligibility for financial aid assistance or suspension of financial aid. The financial aid suspension appeal is not the same as the academic suspension appeal. Students who wish to appeal their financial aid suspension must provide:
- Appeal Request Form
- Degree Outline Form
- CampusConnect Degree Audit
- Supporting Documentation (waived for length only appeals).
All appeal forms and documentation should be mailed to the following address:
South Plains College
Financial Aid Office-Appeal Committee
1401 College Avenue, Box B
Levelland, TX 79336.
The Appeal Request Form is an opportunity to explain the situation to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee. Students should be as specific as possible, because they will not have an opportunity to meet with the committee in person or by telephone. The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will remain anonymous. On the Appeal Request Form, students should state the reasons for not meeting satisfactory academic progress. Appeals will be considered for the following reasons:
- Working full-time;
- Illness of student or family member;
- Unforeseen complications with the birth of a baby;
- Separation or divorce;
- Involved in an accident or natural disaster;
- Death in immediate family;
- Personal problems that affected attendance and/or grades;
- Change of major or have declared double majors;
- Transfer hours from another institution will not apply to degree outline at SPC.
Proof must be submitted in addition to the Appeal Request Form. If working full-time, send pay stub for the time period in question showing the number of hours worked. If there was an illness, birth of a baby or an injury from an accident, send a doctor’s bill or hospital statement. If there was a separation or divorce, send a letter from someone who is familiar with the situation or a copy of the filing or divorce decree. In the case of an accident or natural disaster (such as a car wreck or flood), please send a newspaper clipping or police report. If there was a death, please send a copy of the obituary, a program from the funeral or a death certificate. For personal problems, the committee may have specific questions that require additional information for the documentation submitted. The Appeal Committee will NOT consider the appeal until the Appeal Request Form, Degree Outline, CampusConnect Degree Audit and proof of each condition is submitted. Students appealing only for length are not required to attach proof of their circumstances, other than the Degree Outline Form and CampusConnect Degree Audit.
The Financial Aid Office will notify the student in writing of the committee’s decision within 10 working days from the time all the appeal forms are received and considered to be complete. During peak periods, a delay can be expected. If faxed appeals and documents are not clearly legible, expect a delay. If the appeal is denied, a letter will be sent to explain how to regain financial aid eligibility. A second appeal in the same semester will be considered if additional information or documentation along with a new Appeal Request Form is submitted to the committee. If the appeal is approved, a letter will be sent explaining what must be done to maintain financial aid eligibility; and avoid financial aid suspension in the future. Anytime a suspension status is lifted through the appeal procedure or successful completion of the required number of hours, the student will be placed back on probation. If the student does not meet all of the SPC and Federal Guidelines the following term, the student will be placed on suspension again. When the Financial Aid Appeal Committee approves an appeal for a student who has violated only the length provision (150% time limit) of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, the committee may or may not place the student on probation for the next term of enrollment.
South Plains College is approved as a college where veterans may obtain an education through the Veterans Administration program. Eligible veterans are paid an educational allowance by the Veterans Administration while they are attending college. For the possibility to transfer Post 9/11 benefits in certain cases, please go on line to www.gibill.va.gov. Also check out the Texas Veteran’s Commission website at www.tvc.state.tx.us. For more information, contact the Student Affairs Office on the Levelland Campus, the Financial Aid Office/Veterans Affairs Office at the SPC Reese Center, or the Department of Veteran Affairs at 1-800-827-1000.
Eligible persons (indicated below) are encouraged to apply for benefits six to eight weeks prior to beginning their first semester.
- A veteran with remaining entitlement may receive a monthly check varying in amount with his/her class load. Tuition, fees and books must be paid when the student registers.
- An eligible veteran may take less than a half-time load and receive reimbursement on tuition and most of the fees paid upon entering.
- A Texas veteran who is eligible to attend this college may be excused from the payment of tuition and some fees under the Hazlewood Act. Proof of eligibility rests with the veteran.
Child of Veteran
If a member of the armed forces was killed in action, died as a result of a service-incurred injury, or has a permanent or total disability as the result of a service-connected incident, educational benefits are extended to his or her children under some conditions.
Spouse of Veteran
Under some conditions the widow or widower of a veteran or the spouse of a veteran with a permanent or total disability, as the result of a service-connected incident, is eligible to receive benefits.
Veterans Tuition and Fee Exemptions Under the Hazlewood Act
The Hazlewood Act was created to provide tuition and fee exemptions to qualifying veterans and their eligible dependents who have exhausted their veteran’s educational benefits. The Student Accident Insurance and the Student Health Service Fee are not covered by this exemption.
Qualifications for Using Hazlewood Benefits
A Veteran must meet the following requirements in order to use benefits available from the Hazlewood Act.
- Was a Texas resident upon entry into military, entered the service in Texas, or declared Texas as his or her home of record;
- Served at least 181 days of active military duty, indicated as net active service on the DD-214;
- Has attempted fewer than 150 credit hours of college courses at all institutions since the fall of 1995 using the Hazlewood Exemption;
- Must not have a default status on any education loans made or guaranteed by the Federal Government or the State of Texas;
- Has received an honorable discharge, general discharge under honorable conditions, or an honorable release from active duty;
- Has been classified as a Texas resident by SPC Admissions and Records Office for the term for which the veteran intends to use the exemption;
- Have not been approved at 100% under Ch. 33 (Post 9/11) of the G.I. Bill;
- Enroll in courses for which the college receives state support;
- Has completed an application for the exemption.
Continuing Students Using Hazlewood
Students must complete a Hazlewood Exemption Application for every semester which includes a release for SPC to share their records with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board concerning the 150 credit hours of eligibility. This application should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at least one week prior to the preregistration payment deadline or open registration.
New Students Using Hazlewood for the First Time
In order to determine eligibility, the following documents must be submitted and approved by the Financial Aid Office at least one week prior to the preregistration payment deadline or open registration:
- complete application for admission to South Plains College;
- photo static copy of the veteran’s separation papers (DD-214);
- complete Hazlewood Exemption Application for the appropriate semester.
No exemptions of tuition and some fees are possible unless proper documentation of eligibility have been filed with and approved by the Financial Aid Office prior to registration.
Veterans who want to request a copy of their DD214 should submit a request on line at http://vetrecs.archives.gov or contact the VA regional office in Houston or Waco at the following addresses:
||Houston Regional Office
|Waco Regional Office
||6900 Almeda Road
||701 Clay Avenue
||Houston, TX 77030-4200
||Waco, TX 76799
To obtain a current VA Education Benefits Letter, students must submit an application for education benefits. This may be done on line to hhttp://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp or you may see a South Plains College certifying official at the Levelland or Reese Technology Center in the Office of Financial Aid for a paper application for benefits.
Every veteran must submit a college transcript from every institution they have attended as well as a military transcript. Military transcripts may be requested at the following web addresses:
Air Force: http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/
Marines and Navy: https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/transcript.html
Continuing Education Classes
Hazlewood benefits will not pay for continuing education classes that do not receive state formula funding which would be defined as classes that are less than seven hours and are considered leisure classes. However, Hazlewood benefits will pay for continuing education classes that receive full state formula funding which would be defined as classes that prepare students for the workforce or enhance their job skills.
Classes offered as correspondence courses can only be covered by the Hazlewood Act if the courses apply toward the veteran’s degree plan at South Plains College.
Qualifications for Veterans’ Dependents Using Hazlewood Benefits
Veterans’ dependents must meet the following requirements in order to use the Hazlewood Exemption:
- Are a Texas resident for the term they plan to use the exemption;
- Were a dependent when the parent was deceased;
- Must not have a default status on any education loans made or guaranteed by the Federal Government or the State of Texas;
- Have not received 100% transferred benefits under Ch. 33 (Post 9/11) of the G.I. Bill;
- Have a complete application for the exemption;
- Have attempted fewer than 150 credit hours of college courses using the Hazlewood Exemption.
Additional qualifications are as follows:
- Their parent died as a result of illness or injury related to military service or became 100% disabled for purposed of employability due to service-connected injury or illness;
- Their parent was a United States Citizen at the time of service entry;
- Their parent entered the service in the state of Texas or was a resident of Texas at the time of entry
A Veteran may transfer unused Hazlewood hours to an eligible child under the Legacy Program if the child
- Is a Texas resident;
- Is the child, stepchild, adopted child, or claimed as a dependent on the current or previous tax year;
- Is 25 years or younger on the first day of the semester or term for which the exemption is being used (unless a hardship waiver is granted due to a qualifying illness or debilitating condition), and;
- Is Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for the program in which the student is enrolled.
If the child, who has received delegated hours, fails to use all the assigned hours, the veteran may re-assign the hours to another qualifying child. Spouses are not eligible to receive the transfer of hours.
Eligible veterans, their children and spouses may receive an exemption from the payment of all tuition, dues, fees, and other required charges, including fees for correspondence courses, but excluding deposit fees, student service fees, and any fees or charges for books, lodging, board, or clothing for up to 150 semester credit hours. Awards may not be used to pay tuition and relevant fees for continuing education classes unless one of the following applies: (1) the college received state tax support for the classes, or (2) the governing board has specifically approved this benefit.
All students must first be accepted for admission to South Plains College in order to utilize Hazlewood benefits. All paperwork for the exemption must be submitted to the office of Financial Aid no later than the 12th class day of the semester or term for which the student wishes to use the exemption. All applications for the program may be found at www.collegeforalltexans.com. Either type “Hazlewood” into the search box in the upper right hand portion of the page, or click the link “For Military and Veterans” of the “Make A Plan” section on the left side of the page. Students may also pick up the application in the Financial Aid Office at either campus. If a student is interested in transferring benefits under the Legacy Program, the veteran must submit the appropriate application form (HE-V if Hazlewood has never been used; or HE-P if hours have been previously used) along with form HE-T (Application packet for child who is receiving transfer hours) and form TUHH (Application packet for the transfer of unused Hazlewood hours).
To determine eligibility for students using the exemption for the first time, the following paperwork must be submitted along with the Hazlewood application:
- copy of DD-214 (Member4)
- if any active duty was on or after September 11,2001, then a VA Education Benefits letter no older than 3 months
No exemption of tuition and some fees are possible unless proper documentation of eligibility have been file with and approved by the Financial Aid Office. Once approved, eligible students must submit a copy of the schedule for the semester or term in which they wish to receive the exemption to the Office of Financial Aid. After initial eligibility has been determined, students must submit Hazlewood form HE-P (for previous users) to the South Plains College Office of Financial Aid on later than the 12th class day of the next semester they plan to enroll and use the exemption.
Standards of Progress for Veterans
The official student transcript maintained in the Office of Admissions and Records provides a record of completed credits taken by all students each semester, as well as courses from which they have withdrawn. This office also maintains official drop dates and attendance records.
South Plains College requires students to maintain a minimum 2.00 grade point average in order to remain in good academic standing. Students who fail to meet this requirement will be placed on academic probation for the following long semester. The student will remain on probation in subsequent semesters until he or she acquires a 2.00 or higher grade point average. A student will be placed on academic suspension if he or she fails to make a 2.00 or higher grade point average while on academic probation.
Veterans who are placed on academic probation or academic suspension will be reported to the Veterans Administration for “unsatisfactory progress.”
The Texas Division for Rehabilitation Services offers assistance for tuition and nonrefundable fees to students who have certain disabling conditions provided their vocational objectives have been approved by a VR Counselor. Examples of such conditions are orthopedic deformities, emotional disorders, diabetes, epilepsy and heart conditions. Other services are also available to assist the handicapped student to become employable. Application for such services should be made at:
||Texas Division for Rehabilitation Services
||Lubbock Regional Office
||#1 Briercroft Office Park
||Lubbock, TX 79412
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a workforce training program designed to train and transition students into self-sufficient employment. Students who are eligible for this training program include low-income, adults and youth and individuals who have been dislocated from their jobs. Eligible students who enroll in technical programs may receive financial assistance with tuition, books and other program-related supplies. In some cases, transportation and childcare may be available. Payment is made directly to the educational institution.
Within South Plains College’s service area, the WIA program is administered through the Texas Workforce Centers serving the counties of Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley, Terry and Yoakum. More information regarding the WIA program may be obtained from the following agencies:
||Texas Workforce Center of Levelland
||1102 Austin St., Levelland, TX 79336
||(806) 894-5005 or 1-800-419-9675
||Texas Workforce Center of Lubbock
||1218 14th St., Lubbock, TX 79401
||Texas Workforce Center of Plainview
||1030 N. Broadway, Plainview, TX 79072