2012-2013 General Catalog 
    
    Oct 07, 2022  
2012-2013 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid


    

   

General Philosophy

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The philosophy of financial aid is that the educational opportunities of 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.

Grants

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Any kind of grant 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. All students should renew the FAFSA for every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 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-serve basis. Renewal of your eligibility for this program depends on your continued eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant. All 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. All 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. 

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
  • Have completed Texas Grant application on file no later than 16 months after high school graduation.
  • 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 (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. 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 (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. 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
  • 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).

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
  • Enroll full-time in the fall 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;

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) instead of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.   

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

TUITION AND FEE EXEMPTIONS

All requests for waivers and exemptions must be filed in the Financial Aid Office, with required documentation, by the last day of the semester for which the exemption or waiver is sought.  `

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.

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, dual 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.

TANF 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.

Fireman Exemption

The Fireman Exemption was created to pay tuition and laboratory fees for students enrolled in fire science courses. An eligible student must be employed as a fireman by this state or any political subdivision of the state of Texas. The exemption will not pay for courses that are not part of the fire science curriculum (such as general education, electives or minor courses). This exemption will pay for continuing education classes, if the courses receive state formula funding and are part of the fire science curriculum. The exemption only covers tuition at the regular resident rate; it does not cover additional charges for repeated or excessive hours.  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.

Peace Officer Exemption

The Peace Officer Exemption was created to pay tuition and laboratory fees for students enrolled in criminal justice or law enforcement-related courses. An eligible student must be employed as a peace officer by this state or any political subdivision of the state of Texas. The exemption will not pay for courses that are not part of the criminal justice or law enforcement curriculum (such as general education, electives or minor courses). This exemption will pay for continuing education classes, if the courses receive state formula funding; and are part of the criminal justice or law enforcement curriculum. The exemption only covers tuition at the regular resident rate; it does not cover additional charges for repeated or excessive hours.  To receive continuation awards, a peace officer 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 peace officer; and they are enrolled in a criminal justice or law enforcement curriculum. The institution where the students are enrolled defines the course content of the criminal justice and law enforcement programs. A peace officer may not receive an exemption for any course, if the student has exceeded 30 credit hours beyond the degree requirement.   Eligible students should register for their classes; and notify the Financial Aid Office at least one week before the last date of the regular registration period, if they wish to apply for or utilize this exemption.  SPC may not provide exemptions through this program for more than 20 percent of the maximum enrollment for any class. 

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 the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. 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  

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 Application Process for Federal Loans

SPC participates in the William D Ford Direct Loan Program. Borrowers go on-line 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 William D Ford Loan Request Form for Students (or for Parents for a PLUS loan) under Financial Aid Forms on the SPC web site;
  • Follow the instructions to complete the Master Promissory Note and loan entrance counseling (or PLUS loan application for parents);

SPC will certify the loan for the student’s maximum eligibility.

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 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 William D Ford PLUS Loan Request Form for Parents is required to be signed by the parent borrower and returned to SPC before a Plus Loan will be awarded. 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.

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 $3,500
 

Additional Unsubsidized–dependent student
Additional Unsubsidized–independent student
     (or dependent student with a denied Parent Plus Application

$2,000
$6,000

2nd year of current program of study
  Subsidized and Unsubsidized $4,500
 

Additional Unsubsidized–dependent student
Additional Unsubsidized–independent student
     (or dependent student with a denied Parent Plus Application)

$2,000
$6,000

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.

Alternative Loans

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.

Employment

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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.

Eligibility Requirements

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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;
  • Have 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

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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 transcript 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. Students who are interested in work-study positions should stop by Financial Aid office to check eligibility. Students who are interested in student loans should visit the SPC website under Quick Links, Financial Aid and All Loan Information.

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

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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. 
  • Pre-Register for classes

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

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Applications will be considered at all times, but 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. 

Absolute Application Deadlines

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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

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.

Award Process

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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 sent to eligible students in the form of an “award letter” or sent to the students’ SPC and personal email addresses found on acceptance letter.

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

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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. 

Grants

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, books, supplies 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.

Student Employment

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. 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.

Federal Loans

South Plains College receives student loan funds via electronic funds transfer.  For borrowers not subject to the 30-day delay, Title IV loans 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, books, supplies 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 (if previously authorized by the student).  Please contact the Business Office for more details.  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. Loans processed for only one semester, quarter, or summer session will be subject to multiple loan disbursements (two) for each period of enrollment.  Loans processed for the full academic year, will be set up with one disbursement for each semester, quarter or term. 

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.  Loans processed for only one semester, quarter, or summer session will be subject to multiple loan disbursements (two) for each period of enrollment.  Loans processed for the full academic year, will be set up with one disbursement for each semester, quarter or term.  The remaining balance will be available 14 days after the official census date.

Award Adjustments

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

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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:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Pell Grant
  4. Federal SEOG Grant
  5. Other Title IV assistance
  6. Other state, private or institutional aid
  7. Student.

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 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 and X will be the student’s last day of class participation, by the instructor, or the mid-point of the semester if the 1st 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.  In the case of a student who has a combination of F,X and W grades in the same semester;the Financial Aid Office will use the latter date.  

Students will receive a statement from the Business Office detailing the amount that the student owes the Business Office due to SPC returning unearned aid to the federal program(s). A Hold will be placed on the student records at SPC at this time.  Students should make payment arrangements with the Business Office to avoid being turned over to a collection agency.  If the student also owes the Financial Aid office a portion of unearned aid, then the student will receive a letter from the Financial Aid office with the amount due. 

Payment Arrangements and Payments

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 also owes the Financial Aid office and wishes to make payment arrangements with Financial Aid, he/she should contact the Financial Aid Office and a repayment arrangement contract will be mailed to the student.  If a student is late on any payment with financial aid, SPC reserves the right to trun 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 to avoid being turned over to a collection agency. 

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

Business Office

Financial Aid Office

1401 College Ave, Box A

1401 S. College Ave., Box B

Levelland, TX 79336

Levelland, TX 79336

(806) 894-9611, ext. 2404

(806) 894-9611, ext. 2511

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 4222
Iowa City, IA 52245
1-800-621-3115

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.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

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The SPC FINANCIAL AID SAP is separate and stricter than SPC Admissions and Records Academic SAP requirements. The Financial Aid Transcript located in Campus Connect includes the calculations from this policy.

Requirements of SAP

In order to receive financial aid, you must meet all three of the following criteria:

  1. Earn and maintain a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or above.
  2. Maintain a pace of at least 67% (cumulative number of credit hours earned divided by the cumulative credit hours attempted as calculated on the Financial Aid Transcript).
  3. Graduate with no more than 150% of the credit hours required for your declared major. This limit includes all college level course(s) a student attempts, even if the student uses their own resources.

SAP is calculated at the conclusion of each semester.

Financial Aid WARNING

The first time you fail to meet the SAP criteria you will be placed on Financial Aid WARNING. During the WARNING period, you will continue to qualify for financial aid for one semester. In order to be removed from the WARNING status, you must meet all three of the SAP criteria.

Financial Aid SUSPENSION

If you fail to meet the SAP criteria while on Financial Aid WARNING, you will be placed on Financial Aid SUSPENSION. While on SUSPENSION, you will not be eligible for work study, grants, or loans from the Financial Aid Department. You may still enroll in classes for the next semester, but you must pay all expenses. In order to be removed from the SUSPENSION status, you must meet all three of the SAP criteria. February 8, 2012

Notification of status

SPC will notify students of their financial aid status in the following ways:

  • On CampusConnect
  • Via e-mails sent to the student’s SPC email account
  • USPS letter, upon request

Financial Aid Appeals

You may appeal your SUSPENSION status by submitting an appeal packet. Appeal forms are located on the Financial Aid section of the SPC website or may be picked up at any SPC Financial Aid office. The appeal packet must be completed before submission. Incomplete packets will not be considered. The decision of the appeal committee is final. Only one appeal will be reviewed in any given semester.

Repetitions, Remedial Courses, Withdrawals, and Incompletes

Only the latest grade for a repeated course is calculated in the cumulative GPA. All repeated coursework will be counted in the pace and against the 150% credit hour limit. If you are otherwise eligible, you may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 attempted credit hours in remedial course work. Once the 30-credit-hour maximum is reached, additional remedial credit hours will not be used to calculate the award amount. Remedial hours are not included in the calculation of the 150% credit hour limit, the completion rate, or in the cumulative GPA calculation. Grades of W, X, F, and I will be counted as hours attempted but will not be counted as hours successfully earned.

Transfer Students

Course credit from another institution that is accepted and officially transcribed as transfer credit by SPC will count toward the 150% maximum calculated hours as well as the pace. Grades from other schools are not considered in SPC’s financial aid SAP policy.

Financial Aid Appeal Procedure

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Financial Aid Suspension Appeals will only be considered for extreme extenuating circumstances. Examples of extenuating circumstances include the following.

  • Injury or illness of the student
  • The death of a relative
  • Other circumstances beyond the student’s control

Financial Aid Appeals must include the following forms and documentation for consideration.

  • Financial Aid appeal form (available on the SPC website and in SPC financial id offices.)
  • Official documentation of circumstances sited for the appeal.
  • A typed personal statement that includes an explanation of the circumstances, what has changed and the student’s academic goals and specific plans to achieve them.

Appeals will be given more credence if the student met with an advisor and completed a Financial Aid Success Plan when they were placed on “warning”. Only one financial aid appeal shall be allowed in any given semester. The appeal packet must be complete before submission. Incomplete packets will not be considered. The decision of the appeal committee is final.

Vocational Rehabilitation

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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
  (806) 783-2960
   

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

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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
  (806) 765-5038
   
  Texas Workforce Center of Plainview
  1030 N. Broadway, Plainview, TX 79072
  (806) 293-8566
   
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