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South Plains College    
 
    
 
  Aug 23, 2017
 
2017-2018 General Catalog

Financial Aid


 

   

General Philosophy

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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 families, it is recognized that many students require additional assistance in order to finance educational goals. The objective of the financial aid program at South Plains College is to provide assistance based on the documented financial need of students unable to attend college without such aid.

Grants

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Grants do 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 is calculated in accordance with 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 the first program considered for each applicant. Eligibility is determined on the basis of a formula developed by the U.S. Department of Education. After the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is processed, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), the official notification of eligibility. A new FAFSA is required every new academic year. Eligibility is contingent upon meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements.

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over a lifetime is limited by federal law to the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six year equivalent is 600%.

A student may not receive a Pell grant at more than one school per academic term.

There is a limitation placed on the inclusion of a repeated, previously-passed course in a student’s Title IV enrollment status.  This limitation is that only one repetition of a previously-passed course may be included in the student’s enrollment status and be eligible for aid.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

The SEOG is a limited fund awarded to students with the lowest estimated family contributions who are also receiving a Federal Pell Grant and meet the Financial Aid Priority Deadline. 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. Eligibility is contingent upon meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. Qualifying students must renew the FAFSA 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 students with established financial need. The TPEG grant is primarily given during the summer sessions. All students must complete the FAFSA form (for U.S. citizens) or TASFA form (for non-U.S. citizens). Students must also meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to receive this grant. Qualifying students must renew the FAFSA or TASFA every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program.

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. A priority in awarding the limited TEOG funds will be given to students who have a non-rejected FAFSA that has been received by the office of Financial Aid prior to or on the state priority deadline of March 15. 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 of a felony or a 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);
  • Be registered for Selective Service Registration, or be exempt;
  • Have not been granted an associate or baccalaureate degree;
  • No more than 30 College Credit hours for initial award;
  • Have a TEOG application on file.

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 to receive awards for a maximum of 75 credit hours, 4 years or until they receive an associate degree, whichever comes first.

Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible if the Admissions and Records Office determines that the students are a Texas resident. Non-U.S. citizens should contact the Financial Aid Office and complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid in lieu of the FAFSA form. See Texas State Aid for Non-U.S. Citizens.

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 Policy 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 half-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 $600 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. 

Initial Texas Top 10 Percent Scholarships are no longer available. However, the Texas Top 10 Percent Scholarship is renewable and transferable for up to four (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;
  • 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;
  • Meet the SPC Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements.

Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible if the Admissions and Records Office determines that the student is a Texas resident. Non-U.S. citizens should contact the Financial Aid Office 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, 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 Financial Aid Office. 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 Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)
  • Texas State Exemption Programs

Tuition and Fee Exemptions

Financial aid exemptions are available to qualifying students attending Texas colleges and universities.

Requests for exemptions must be filed with required documentation by the last day of the semester for which the exemption is sought, unless otherwise noted in the program description.

The exemptions listed below are the most frequently awarded at SPC. A complete list of exemptions and eligibility requirements may be viewed on the College for all Texans website, www.collegeforalltexans.com.

Exemption for Students under Conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services

The purpose of this program is to provide college financial assistance to students who were in foster care when they turned 18 years of age. (See also, Adopted Students Formerly in Foster or Other Residential Care.)

A student is exempt from the payment of tuition and fees, including tuition and fees charged by an institution of higher education for a dual credit course or other course for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit, if the student:

1)  Was under the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services:

a.  on the day preceding the student’s 18th birthday;

b.  on or after the day of the student’s 14th birthday, if the student was also eligible for adoption on or after that day; or

c.  on the day the student graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma; or

d.  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;

e.  during an academic term in which the student was enrolled in a dual credit course or other course for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit; and

2)  Enrolls in an institution of higher education as an undergraduate student or in a dual credit course or other course for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit not later than the student’s 25th birthday.

The award amount is tuition and fees for courses for which the college receives tax support; however, 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 receive this exemption.

In order to receive this exemption, the student must provide the Admissions and Records Office with written proof of eligibility from the Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS).

Adopted Students Formerly in Foster or Other Residential Care

The purpose of this program is to provide college financial assistance to students who once were in foster or residential care and have been adopted. (See also, Foster Care Exemption.)

In order to be eligible for this exemption, the student must have been in foster or other residential care, and was adopted on or after September 1, 2009, and the subject of an adoption assistance agreement under Subchapter D, Chapter 162, Texas Family Code.

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

Students adopted on or after September 1, 2009, must enroll in an institution of higher education as an undergraduate student or in a dual credit course or other course not later than the student’s 25th birthday.

The award amount is tuition and fees for courses for which the college receives tax support. In order to apply for this exemption, the students must provide the Admissions and Records Office written proof from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) of eligibility. To obtain a letter of eligibility from TDFPS, contact the Lubbock Regional Office at (806) 762-8922.

Firefighters Taking Fire Science Courses

The purpose of this program is to encourage persons employed as firefighters or active members of volunteer fire departments to take college courses designed to help them in their work.

In order to be eligible, the student must be employed as a paid firefighter by a political subdivision of the State of Texas or active members of volunteer fire departments who hold an accredited advanced certification (or the equivalent), under the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas volunteer certification program, or a Phase V (Firefighter II) certification (or the equivalent) under the Texas Commission of Fire Protection’s voluntary certification program under Texas Government Code Section 419.071; and enroll in courses offered as part of a fire science curriculum.

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

The award amount is tuition and laboratory fees for courses offered as part of a fire science curriculum. No funds may be used to pay tuition for continuing education classes for which the college receives no state tax support. To receive continuation awards, a firefighter (paid or volunteer) must meet SPC’s financial aid academic progress requirements. The exemption may not be applied to additional tuition charged to an undergraduate student with excess or repeated hours under Texas Education Code, Section 61.059 (I) (1) or (2).

To apply for this exemption, the student must provide the Admissions and Records Office proof of employment as a paid firefighter, and enroll in the courses of the Fire Technology program.

Exemption for Peace Officers Enrolled in Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice Courses

The purpose of this program is to encourage persons employed as peace officers to take college courses designed to help them in their work.

In order to be eligible, the student must:

  • Be employed as a Peace Officer by the state of Texas or by a political subdivision of Texas;
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate in an undergraduate program, including certificate, associate and baccalaureate degrees leading to a law enforcement-related to criminal justice certificate or degree;
  • Enroll in classes beginning fall 2011 or later;
  • Be meeting the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Apply for the exemption at least one week before the last date of the institution’s regular registration period for the applicable semester or other term;
  • Have not previously attempted a number of semester credit hours for courses taken at any Texas public institution of higher education while classified as a resident student for tuition purposes in excess of the maximum number specified in TEC Section 61.0595 (a) (30 hours beyond the degree requirement).

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

The award amount is tuition and laboratory fees for courses offered as part of a law enforcement-related or criminal justice curriculum which pertain to the major requirements of the identified programs are eligible for reimbursement. Courses not directly related to law enforcement or criminal justice are not eligible for reimbursement even though they may be required for completion of the certificate or degree. No funds may be used to pay tuition for continuing education classes for which the college receives no state tax support.

In order to apply, the student must provide the Admissions and Records Office proof of employment as a paid police officer, and enroll in the courses of a law enforcement or criminal justice curriculum.

Exemption for Peace Officers Disabled in the Line of Duty

The purpose of this program is to provide a benefit to persons who were injured in the line of duty while serving as Peace Officers. In order to be eligible for this exemption, the student must be a Texas resident and are subject to the following conditions.

  • A person may not receive an exemption under this section if the person is enrolled in a master’s degree program or is attending postgraduate courses to meet the requirements of a master’s degree program and the person has previously received a master’s degree and received an exemption under this section for a semester or session while attending a postgraduate program to meet the requirements of the master’s degree.
  • A person may not receive an exemption under this section if the person is enrolled in a doctoral degree program or is attending postgraduate courses to meet the requirements of a doctoral degree program and the person has previously received a doctoral degree and received an exemption under this section for a semester or session while attending a postgraduate course to meet the requirements of the doctoral degree program.
  • A person may not receive an exemption under this section for more than 12 semesters or sessions while the person is enrolled in an undergraduate program or while the person is attending only undergraduate courses.

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

The maximum award is exemption from the payment of tuition and required fees for not more than 12 semesters or sessions. No funds may be used to pay tuition for continuing education classes for which the college receives no state tax support.

The disabled peace officer must work directly with the Registrar and submit satisfactory evidence of his/her status as a disabled peace officer as required by the institution.

Blind/Deaf Student Exemption Program

This program is designed to help enable blind and deaf students attend public colleges or universities in the state of Texas. In order to be eligible for this exemption, the student must:

  • Be a Texas resident;
  • Declare a program of study at the time he/she applies for the exemption;
  • Provide certification from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services of status as a blind person or a deaf person.

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

The award amount is for tuition, fees, and enrollment charges for which the exemption may be lawfully made, including: fees for correspondence courses, general property deposit fees, and student services fees; but does not include fees or charges for lodging, board, or clothing. No funds may be used to pay tuition for continuing education classes for which the college receives no state tax support.

In order to apply for the exemption, the student must:

  • Provide the Admissions and Records office with certification from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services of status as a blind person or a deaf person;
  • Provide the Registrar a written statement of purpose indicating which certificate, degree program, or professional enhancement will be pursued;
  • Provide the Registrar a copy of the high school transcript and a letter of recommendation;
  • Provide the Registrar proof that all admissions requirements have been met.

Children of Disabled or Deceased Firemen, Peace Officers, Game Wardens, and Employees of Correctional Institutions Exemption

The purpose of this program is to provide a benefit to the children of eligible persons who have been killed in the line of duty prior to September 1, 2000, or who have been disabled in the line of duty. See also the program for the Surviving Spouse and/or Dependent Children of Deceased Public Servants, for which eligible public servants must have been killed in the line of duty on or after September 1, 2000.

In order to be eligible, the student must:

  • Apply before the person’s 21st birthday or, if the person is eligible to participate in a school district’s special education program under Section 29.003, age 22;
  • Have had a parent who was a paid or volunteer fireman, paid municipal, county, or state peace officer, or a custodial employee of the Texas Department of Corrections, or a game warden;
  • Be the child of a parent who suffered an injury, resulting in disability or death, sustained in the line of duty;
  • The award includes exemption from the payment of tuition and required fees for the first 120 undergraduate semester credit hours for which a student registers or age 26, whichever comes first. No funds may be used to pay tuition for continuing education classes for which the college receives no state tax support.

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

In order to apply for the exemption the student must:

  • Obtain a sample certification letter from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;
  • Have a parent’s prior employer complete the sample letter on official letterhead;
  • Submit the letter to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;
  • In case of a disability, also submit to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board a doctor’s statement that certifies the disability.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will notify the college or university of the student’s eligibility.

Exemption for the Surviving Spouse and Minor Children of Certain Deceased Public Servants (Employees)

The purpose of this program is to provide tuition and fees, textbooks, and possibly room and board to certain students whose parent or spouse was killed in the line of duty while employed in certain public service positions. In order to be eligible for this exemption, the student must be:

  • A surviving spouse or a surviving minor child of certain public employees, and
  • Enrolled full-time at a Texas public college or university.

The public employee must have died in the performance of his/her duty on or after September 1, 2000.

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

Eligible students are exempted from the payment of all tuition and fees. In addition, the institution will provide an allowance for textbooks. If the student is eligible to live in the institution’s housing, the institution must also provide the student either free room or board or, if no housing is available, provide the student a room and board stipend equal to the amount he/she could have received if living on campus. No funds may be used to pay tuition for continuing education classes for which the college receives no state tax support.

Contact the Admissions and Records Office at SPC for information on claiming this exemption. Students must be able to provide proof of meeting the program’s eligibility requirements, as outlined above.

Exemption Program for Clinical Preceptors and Their Children Program Purpose

This program is designed to encourage nurses to serve as Clinical Nurse Preceptors by providing a partial exemption from tuition to them and/or their children. In order to be eligible for this exemption, the student must be:

1.)  Clinical Preceptors who:

a.  are residents of Texas,
b.  are registered nurses,
c.  serve, on an average, at least one day per week under a written preceptor agreement with an undergraduate professional nursing program as a Clinical Preceptor for students enrolled in the program for:

•  the time period the program conducts clinicals during the semester or other academic term for which the exemption is sought; or
•  the time period the program conducts clinicals during a semester or other academic term that ended less than one year prior to the beginning of the semester or term in which the exemption is to be used.

AND

2.)  Persons who:

a.  are residents of Texas,
b.  have not been granted a baccalaureate degree, and
c.  are children of a Clinical Preceptor who serve, on an average, at least one day per week under a written preceptor agreement with an undergraduate professional nursing program as a Clinical Preceptor for students enrolled in the program for:

•  the time period the program conducts clinicals during the semester or other academic term for which the exemption is sought; or
•  the time period the program conducts clinicals during a semester or other academic term that ended less than one year prior to the beginning of the semester or term in which the exemption is to be used.

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

The preceptor may receive up to $500 or actual tuition, whichever is less, for as long as he/she meets program requirements. The child of a preceptor may receive $500 or actual tuition charges, whichever is less, for up to 10 semesters or until the student receives his/her bachelor’s degree. Summer terms of less than nine weeks count as one-half a regular semester.

In order to apply, the person must complete the Preceptor Exemption application form and submit it to the college and provide the Financial Aid Office written proof of eligibility from the Nursing Department through which the Preceptor has (or had) a written preceptor agreement. The application may be downloaded from www.collegeforalltexans.com.

Exemption Program for Children of Professional Nursing Program Faculty and Staff

To provide an exemption of tuition to eligible students to encourage their parents to continue employment as professional nurse faculty or staff members in the State of Texas.

To receive an award through the Exemption Program for Children of Professional Nursing Faculty and Staff, a student shall:

1.  Be a resident of Texas;

2.  Not have been granted a baccalaureate degree;

3.  Be enrolled at an institution that offers an undergraduate or graduate program of professional nursing;

4.  Be the child of an individual who:

a.  at the beginning of the semester or other academic term for which an exemption is sought:

(i)  holds a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, and is employed full-time by a undergraduate or graduate professional nursing program offered by the institution that the child is attending and is employed as a member of the faculty or staff with duties that include teaching, performing research, serving as an administrator, or performing other professional services other than serving as a teaching assistant, or
(ii)  holds a baccalaureate degree in nursing and is employed by a professional nursing program offered by the institution as a full-time teaching assistant, or

b.  during all or part of the semester or other academic term for which an exemption is sought:

(i)  holds a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, and has contracted with an undergraduate or graduate professional nursing program in this state to serve as a full-time member of its faculty or staff with duties that include teaching, performing research, serving as an administrator, or performing other professional services other than serving as a teaching assistant, or
(ii)  holds a baccalaureate degree in nursing and has contracted with a professional nursing program offered by the institution to serve as a full-time teaching assistant.

5.  Be enrolled at the same institution of higher education at which the student’s parent is currently employed or with which the parent has contracted, either as a professional nursing faculty or staff member,

6.  Register for the Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement.

Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards through the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA to continue eligibility for this waiver. The Bill also establishes a Limit to the Total Number of Hours, cumulative, that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Students are not eligible for this exemption after attempting 30 hours beyond the hours required for their current program of study.

The exemption covers the student’s tuition only. Fees are not covered.

In order to apply, complete the application and submit the form to the Financial Aid Office. The application may be downloaded from www.collegeforalltexans.com.

Educational Aide Exemption

The purpose of the Educational Aide Exemption is to encourage certain Educational Aides to complete full teacher certification by providing need-based exemptions from the payment of tuition and certain mandatory fees at Texas public institutions or higher education. 

To receive an Educational Aide Exemption award, a student must:

  • Be classified by the institution as a Texas resident
  • Be registered for the Selective Service or be exempt
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have been employed by a public school district in Texas working in the classroom directly with the students on a full-time basis as:

           ~ an Educational Aide for at least one school year, in the last five years from the term or semester of the Applicant’s initial award; OR

           ~ a substitute teacher, for 180 or more full days in the last five years from the term or semester of the Applicant’s initial award

  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress as established by South Plains College
  • Be employed in some capacity by a public school district in Texas during the full term for which the students receives the award, unless granted a hardship.
  • Be enrolled in courses required for teacher certification at the institution granting an exemption or if enrolled in lower-level coursework, sign a statement indicating an intention to become certified as a teacher in Texas if the student received an AEA award prior to Fall 2012.
  • Be enrolled in courses required for teacher certification in one or more areas that the Texas Education Agency has determined to be experiencing a critical shortage of teachers at public schools in Texas if the student received an AEA award after Fall, 2012.  Teacher Shortage Areas are listed on the College for All Texans website:  www.collegeforalltexans.com.

Students receiving awards through the Educational Aide Exemption program shall be exempted from the payment of resident tuition and required fees, other than laboratory and class fees, for courses taken during the relevant term.  Fall and Spring awards are made after submission of a completed FAFSA documenting need and submission of a completed application to the Financial Aid Office.  Submission of a completed Summer application to the Financial Aid Office is required for the exemption to be awarded during any summer session.  Applications can be found on the College for All Texans website www.collegeforalltexans.com.  

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program  

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Application Process for Federal Loans

Note:  The Federal Government assesses an Origination Fee to all Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans. This fee reduces the amount actually disbursed for each loan. The fee is currently 1.069% for all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans originated before October 1, 2017. The fee is currently 4.276% for all PLUS Loans originated before October 1, 2017. The fees may change for loans originated on or after October 1, 2017.

SPC participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. Borrowers can go online and complete the loan application process. Steps to apply for a loan:

  • Complete the FAFSA, and provide any other requested documents in order to complete the Financial Aid file;
  • Access and complete the William D. Ford Loan Request Form for Students (or the PLUS Loan Request Form for Parents) under Student Services/Pay for College/Financial Aid/Loans 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 requested amount or the maximum eligibility, whichever is less.

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to students with financial need (as determined by the results of the FAFSA). The interest is paid by the Department of Education on behalf of the students as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half-time (6 semester hours, at least 1 non-remedial) in an eligible program. Eligibility is contingent upon meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. Qualifying students must renew the FAFSA every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program.

For first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that the student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. Students for which this limit applies may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of their program. This is called the “maximum eligibility period.” The maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of the current program of study.

Note:  If a student receives the maximum subsidized loan amount allowed for an academic year ($3,500 for a freshman or $4,500 for a sophomore), that loan is counted as an entire academic year, even if the loan is all disbursed in only one semester.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time (6 semester hours, at least 1 non-remedial) in an eligible program with no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Interest begins accruing on Direct Unsubsidized Loans as soon as they are disbursed. If the student chooses not to pay the interest while in school, the interest will accrue and be added to the principal amount of the loan. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not restricted to financial need. However, the loan amount may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance minus estimated financial aid the student has been or will be awarded for the period of enrollment. Borrowers who qualify for a Direct Subsidized Loan under the Federal Loan Program may also choose to accept an Unsubsidized Loan in addition to their Subsidized Loan if all other eligibility requirements are met. Eligibility is contingent upon meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. Qualifying students must renew the FAFSA every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program.

Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Direct Parent PLUS Loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. Direct Parent PLUS Loans are not restricted to financial need. The parent must apply for a Parent PLUS Loan at www.studentloans.gov. 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. If not approved, the parent may resubmit the application by documenting extenuating circumstances or by obtaining an endorser. If the PLUS Loan is subsequently approved due to extenuating circumstances or by obtaining an endorser, the parent will be required to complete loan counseling at www.studentloans.gov before the loan will be awarded. Approvals remain active for 180 days.

The loan amount may not exceed the dependent student’s cost of attendance minus estimated financial aid the student has been or will be awarded for the period of enrollment. A complete student financial aid file, an approved Parent PLUS Loan Application at www.studentloans.gov, and a Parent PLUS Loan Request Form for Parents submitted to the SPC Financial Aid Office are required before a Parent PLUS Loan will be awarded. The Parent PLUS Loan Request Form authorizes SPC to issue a check, direct deposit or Texan Card credit to the dependent student for any remaining Parent PLUS Loan funds after the student’s account is paid in full. Eligibility is contingent upon the student meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. Qualifying students must renew the FAFSA every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program.

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:

 

 

Dependent

Independent (and dependents

 

 

 

 

     whose parents are denied PLUS)

 

subsidized

unsubsidized*

Total

subsidized

unsubsidized*

Total

Freshman

$3,500

$2,000

$5,500

$3,500

$6,000

$9,500

Sophomore

$4,500

$2,000

$6,500

$4,500

$6,000

$10,500

             

*add subsidized amount if student’s unmet need does not meet subsidized eligibility criteria

 

Dependent students may apply for the independent additional unsubsidized loan amount if their parent has been denied the Parent PLUS 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. If a student is enrolled in a certificate program that is equal to or less than one academic year in length, the student will be considered a freshman as long as they remain in that certificate program. 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.

30-Day Holds for First Year Students/First Time Borrowers

If a student is enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate program of study and has not previously received a Direct Subsidized Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, a Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, or a Federal Supplemental Loan for Students, federal regulations require that SPC not disburse the proceeds of a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan until 30 days after the first day of the student’s program of study. Students in this circumstance may apply to the Financial Aid Office for an Emergency Loan to cover their tuition and fees during the hold period. The 30-day hold requirement does not apply to Parent PLUS Loans.

Emergency Tuition and Fee Loan Program

South Plains College may offer students an Emergency Loan to cover their tuition and fees if they fall under the 30-day hold requirement. First-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers are not allowed their Federal Direct Loan disbursements until 30 days after the first day of class. Students who have no other means to pay their tuition and fees except their loans may apply for Emergency Loans.

Students who do not have a 30-day hold but are awarded a Federal Direct Loan for one semester only may qualify as well. To be considered, the student must have a Federal Direct Loan for only one semester of the award year. In this case, federal law requires two disbursements for the Federal Direct Loan. To potentially qualify for an Emergency Loan, the first disbursement must be less than the total tuition and fees with no other Financial Aid awarded to pay the difference.

Prior to application, students must complete the FAFSA online and list SPC as an institution to receive the results. A student’s financial aid file at SPC must be complete, have a Federal Direct Loan award and meet Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Additionally, students must register for classes prior to application.

Emergency Loans are given on a first-come, first-serve basis and depend on fund availability. When an Emergency Loan is granted, it pays all of the student’s tuition and fees, or the tuition and fees balance after other 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 must come to the Financial Aid Office in person to complete Emergency Loan applications; Emergency Loans are awarded according to the classes on the students’ schedules at the time the applications are received. If a student changes his or her schedule after the Emergency Loan has been awarded and there is a difference in cost, that difference will be the student’s sole responsibility to pay.

Students have 90 days to repay Emergency Loans from Financial Aid funds, personal funds or acceptable repayment arrangements with the Business Office. Students will not receive a Financial Aid credit until the Emergency Loan is paid in full. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Loan Exit Counseling

Students who graduate, transfer, withdraw or drop below half-time registration status, and have borrowed a Federal Direct Loan must complete the Loan Exit Counseling requirement. This is an opportunity for students to be reminded of their rights and responsibilities as student loan borrowers.

Students who do not complete Loan Exit Counseling will have holds placed on their accounts that will prevent them from enrolling in classes and will prevent them from obtaining their official SPC transcripts. The Department of Education will inform SPC when Loan Exit Counseling is complete. Sign in to www.studentloans.gov in order to complete Loan Exit Counseling.

Sample Loan Repayment Chart

When it comes time for students to repay their Federal Direct Student Loans, they will need to speak to their individual loan servicers about repayment options. There are several repayment plans: standard, extended, graduated, income contingent, income based, pay-as-you-earn, revised pay-as-you-earn, etc. How much a student pays and how long it takes to repay loans will vary depending on a student’s chosen repayment plan. Consolidation loans also have varying repayment plans.

The following is a link to the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan “Repayment Estimator” web page. This web page can estimate repayment amounts under each of these different plans.

https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/mobile/repayment/repaymentEstimator.action

The following sample repayment chart can be used to estimate loan repayment under the standard repayment plan. It is for estimating purposes only. 

Student Loan Repayment Chart

6.8% Fixed Interest Rate

Amount Borrowed

Monthly Payment

#Months

Total Interest

Total Repaid

$500

$50

11

$16

$516

$1,000

$50

22

$64

$1,064

$3,500

$50

90

$971

$4,471

$4,500

$52

120

$1,714

$6,214

$8,000

$92

120

$3,048

$11,048

$10,000

$115

120

$3,810

$13,810

$12,000

$138

120

$4,572

$16,572

$15,000

$173

120

$5,714

$20,714

$20,000

$230

120

$7,619

$27,619

$23,000

$265

120

$8,762

$31,762

$31,000

$357

120

$11,810

$42,810

$40,000

$460

120

$15,239

$55,239

$46,000

$529

120

$17,524

$63,524

$50,000

$575

120

$19,048

$69,048

$57,500

$662

120

$21,905

$79,405

 

This Standard Repayment Plan chart can be used to estimate student loan payments. Figures have been rounded to the nearest whole dollar and represent minimum payments at 6.8% over a maximum of 10 years, and do not include interest that may accumulate during periods of deferment or forbearance. Lower balances may take less than 10 years to repay at the minimum payment of $50. This chart is for estimating purposes only.

Complete information on understanding repayment, repayment options and the importance of repayment can be found at http://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans.

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 or more 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.

Alternative Loans

As of Fall 2013, SPC no longer certifies private education loans. Because of the low cost of attending, most SPC financial aid budgets can be fully funded with federal, state and scholarship awards.

Defaulted Student Loans

If 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 to be obtained or to allow the student to enroll in classes. 

Unavailable Loan Programs

South Plains College does not participate in the following loan programs: Perkins Loan, Private Education Loans, Hinson-Hazlewood Loan Program, HEAL Loan Program, HELP Loan Program, the CAL Loan Program, or any loan program other than the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Employment

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Federal College Work-Study Program (FWS)

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. Qualifying students must show a documented financial need by completing the FAFSA.

Work hours are flexible and generally fit the student’s class schedule. Students employed under the FWS are paid on a monthly basis. 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 website 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
  • Work-Study Contract

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 for every new academic year and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program.

Eligibility Requirements

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Financial aid programs are funded by federal and state government agencies and administered according to the laws and guidelines of each program.

The general eligibility requirements for financial assistance as stated by the Department of Education are:

  • demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in college or career school;
  • sign statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) stating that
    • you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
    • you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
  • show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by
    • having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or
    • completing a high school education in a home school setting approved under state law.

If you were enrolled in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012, you may show you’re qualified to obtain a higher education by:

  • passing an approved ability-to-benefit test (if you don’t have a diploma or GED, a college can administer a test to determine whether you can benefit from the education offered at that school);
  • completing six credit hours or equivalent course work toward a degree or certificate (you may not receive aid while earning the six credit hours); or
  • meeting other federally approved standards your state establishes.

A regular student is someone who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate offered by the college. An eligible program must include non-remedial classes. Students must be enrolled in at least one college-level class and be accepted into an eligible program in order to receive financial aid. After a student has attempted 30 remedial hours, the enrollment status for calculating future financial aid eligibility will exclude remedial hours.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

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Financial aid awards are packaged from a variety of sources and are 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 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA), institutional aid through the SPC Scholarship Application and other assistance through sources such as Texas Workforce Commission and Texas Rehabilitation Commission. Students may apply for private scholarships by accessing web search engines such as www.fastweb.com and others that do not charge a fee.

The student and parent(s) if applicable, complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov, creation of an FSA ID will be required for an electronic signature. The FSA ID is a username and password that serves as a student’s identifier to allow access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems.   The FAFSA is required for federal and state grants, work-study, and loans. Financial aid cannot be processed until after a student is accepted for admissions to South Plains College. In addition, if the Department of Education selects the file for verification, other documentation will be required to complete the financial aid file.

Students who are interested in work-study positions should contact the Financial Aid Office to check eligibility. Students who are interested in student loans should visit the SPC website or come by the Financial Aid Office.

The Financial Aid Office has the right to verify any FAFSA information pertinent to the student’s financial aid file. Additional documentation may be requested to resolve conflicting information for the current year or previous years.

Applications for financial aid will not be considered complete until ALL required forms are on file in the Financial Aid Office and are verified to be complete and accurate.

Financial Aid for the Summer Sessions

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For summer financial aid, the following is required:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current academic year;
  • Requested financial aid documents;
  • Summer class registration.

After registering for summer classes, federal and state grants are awarded to eligible students registered for summer classes. Students should pre-register early because state grant funds are limited. Students interested in a student loan or on-campus employment for summer must complete a new loan application or work-study application. To avoid having to repay funds to the Department of Education or SPC Business Office, awarded students who decide not to attend summer classes must decline the award(s) on CampusConnect and withdraw from classes before the first day of class.

Priority Application Deadlines

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid was made available October 1, 2016 for the 2017-2018 academic year. This FAFSA is based on 2015 tax information. Beginning October 1, 2017, the 2018-2019 FAFSA will be available requiring 2016 tax information.    

Funds are limited in some programs and awarded according to file completion dates; therefore, early application for aid is recommended.

FINANCIAL AID PRIORITY DATES

SUMMER - MARCH 1

FALL AND SPRING - June 10

SPRING ONLY - October 15

Absolute Application Deadlines

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The absolute application deadline for completing the 2017-2018 FAFSA is June 30, 2018.

Federal Pell Grant

To receive a Federal Pell Grant award, the Department of Education must have processed a valid Student Aid Report (FAFSA results) with an official Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number while an eligible student is enrolled for the award year. The application processing cycle lasts 20 months. For the 2017-2018 award year, applications are accepted beginning October 1, 2016, and will be accepted through June 30, 2018. This FAFSA will require 2015 tax information.

For students selected for verification, the college must have verification documents and a valid Student Aid Report no later than 120 days after the last day of enrollment or September 29, 2018, whichever is earlier.

Campus-Based Aid and Direct Loans

Students must complete a financial aid file and the Direct Loan process one week prior to the last day of final exams for the term or award year 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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After the completed application and supplemental forms are received and processed, the Financial Aid Officer awards students by constructing a “financial aid package” which may consist of one or more 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 are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

An award letter is emailed to students’ SPC email address. The letter provides the type of aid awarded as well as the amount of aid awarded for each program.

Financial Aid awards are automatically accepted. If the student decides to not attend the semester(s) awarded, it is the student’s responsibility to decline the award(s) and withdraw from all classes prior to the first day of the semester enrolled. Unless the student declines an award, the student is authorizing SPC to apply aid funds to pay tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board, and other school charges. Without exception, failure to decline award(s) and withdraw from classes will result in the student owing a minimum of 30% of the tuition and fees charges for the semester(s).

Using Awards for Books and Supplies

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For Federal Pell Grant eligible students, as well as for students with other types of financial aid, books and supplies may be purchased using aid at SPC’s bookstore. This is made available approximately one week prior to the start of any given semester provided the student has been awarded.

Disbursement of Funds

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Grants

Grant awards for eligible students will display as an estimated credit on the student’s bill until after the semester census date. After census date the funds will pay 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. Financial aid refunds will apply to any balance due to South Plains College before it is released to the student for personal expenses. The remaining balance will be deposited to the student’s designated bank account or to the student’s Texan Card. Contact the Business Office for more details.

Student Employment

Students who are employed by South Plains College or funded by Federal Work-Study programs will receive pay by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) on the first of each month. The EFT funds will be deposited to the student’s designated bank account or to the student’s Texan Card. Contact the Business Office for more details.

Federal Loans

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.

For borrowers not subject to the 30-day delay, loans will show as estimated aid on the student account until the official census date of the term (usually the 12th class day). On the official census date, loans will be credited to the student’s account to cover any remaining charges owed to SPC. When all SPC charges are paid, any credit balance will be refunded to the student 14 days after the official census date. In order to receive this refund, borrowers must be currently enrolled in at least six credit hours (in which at least one credit hour must be considered college-level). Dropping to part-time enrollment (1-5 credit hours) before the official census date of a semester will result in cancellation of the student loan. The loan refund may be deposited to the student’s designated bank account or the student’s Texan Card, if previously authorized by the student. Contact the Business Office for more details.

Loans processed for only one semester, quarter, or summer session will be subject to two loan disbursements for the period of enrollment. Loans processed for the full academic year, will have 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 the funds returned. SPC will send a notice to the borrower no earlier than 30 days before and no later than 30 days after the college credits the student’s account. The notice will include the method and date by which the borrower must notify the college that he or she wishes to cancel all or a portion of the loan or loan disbursement.

Federal Parent PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS Loans will show as estimated aid on the student account until the official census date of the term (usually the 12th class day). On the official census date, loans will be credited to the student’s account to cover any remaining charges owed to SPC. 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 Parent Plus Loan Check Authorization Form signed by the parent borrower as part of the PLUS Loan Request Form, 14 days after the official census date. Loans processed for only one semester, quarter, or summer session will be subject to two loan disbursements for the period of enrollment. Loans processed for the full academic year, will have one disbursement for each semester, quarter or term.

Award Adjustments

The faculty will assign a grade of “N” to students who never attend their class(es) during the first 12 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 reestablished immediately for the current semester if it is determined that the instructor or the institution made an error regarding the student’s non-attendance (the student was in fact attending). If the student is responsible for the non-attendance, (the student was in fact not attending) and in turn is reinstated into the class, the lost portion of the financial aid will be reinstated at the end of the semester if he or she completes the term with regular class attendance and is meeting   requirements.

Return of Title IV Funds

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The following rules govern the return of Title IV funds disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from a term, payment period or period of enrollment. The Title IV programs covered include federal grants and loans. Federal guidelines assume that a student earns his or her aid based on the period of time he or she remains enrolled. SPC determines the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance that the student earned as of the date of the student’s withdrawal.

During the first 60 percent of the enrollment period, a student earns Title IV funds disbursed or that could have been disbursed in direct proportion to the length of time he or she remains enrolled. The percentage of unearned Title IV aid is the complement of the student’s earned aid percentage. Unearned Title IV funds must be returned to the Federal Government; this is not applicable to federal work-study. A student who remains enrolled after the 60 percent point earns all of his or her disbursed aid for the period. If earned Title IV funds exceed 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 funds that were disbursed prior to the institution’s determination that the student withdrew.

Repayment of Unearned Aid

The unearned amount of Title IV aid to be returned is calculated by subtracting earned aid from the amount of disbursed aid as of the date SPC determined the student withdrew. 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 allocated among the Title IV programs in an order specified by statute before the student’s share.

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 not earned. The student’s initial share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution’s share. Any remaining outstanding loans are repaid by the student according to the terms and conditions of the student’s promissory notes. After the student’s share is allocated among the Title IV programs, students owe any grant overpayments that exceed 50 percent of the Title IV grant aid received. Students are not required to return grant overpayments of $50 or less.

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 Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal SEOG Grant
  6. Other Title IV assistance
  7. Other state, private or institutional aid
  8. Student

If the institution returns unearned to the Department of Education that was previously disbursed to a student, the student then owes the unearned disbursement to the institution. A hold is placed on the student’s records at SPC, and the account is turned over to a collection agency if this balance is unpaid.

Time Frame for Students to Return Funds

The institution must return its share of unearned Title IV funds no later than 45 days after determining a student withdrew. Students return their share of unearned aid attributable to loans under the terms and conditions of their promissory notes. Students have 45 days to resolve grant overpayments in one of the following three ways:

  1. Repay the overpayment in full to the institution
  2. Sign a repayment agreement with the institution
  3. Sign a repayment agreement with the Department of Education

When overpayments are not resolved within 45 days from the date SPC sends notification of the overpayments, students lose their financial aid eligibility at every institution of higher education in the United States. If a student refuses to make payment or payment arrangements for any Title IV program, SPC is required by law to report the overpayment to the Department of Education.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements of Aid

A student who earned more aid than was disbursed prior to withdrawal may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. A post-withdrawal disbursement, whether credited to the student’s account or disbursed to the student or parent directly, must be made from available grant funds before available loan funds. 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. Upon receiving the response, SPC will make the disbursement no later than 45 days from the date SPC determined that the student withdrew. 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. Funds will also be returned to the Department of Education if they are declined by the student or parent, or if a response is not received within the 14 day time frame. If a student, or parent in the case of a PLUS loan, decides to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, the student and/or parent is obligated to repay those funds according to the loan terms. If a response to the post-withdrawal disbursement eligibility notice is received after the 14 day time frame, it is SPC’s decision as to whether or not this disbursement will be made in accordance with federal regulations.

An eligible student who withdraws from SPC prior to completing his or her file should check with the Financial Aid Office to determine if he or she qualifies for a post-withdrawal disbursement.

Determination of Withdrawal Date

A student is considered to have withdrawn if the student does not complete all of the days during the semester he or she was scheduled to complete. The withdrawal date is the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process, or officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw orally or in writing. The withdrawal date may also be the mid-point of the period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution, or the last day of attendance or participation of the student’s class given by the instructor. If not provided, the mid-point of the period will be used as the withdrawal date. If a student leaves 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. Per federal regulations SPC will assume that students who have all grades of F or combination grades of F, X and W unofficially withdrew, 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 attendance or participation as reported by the instructor or the mid-point of the semester if that date is not provided. Grades of W, which are initiated by the student, will carry the appropriate date from the Admissions and Records Office that the Financial Aid Office will use. The Financial Aid Office will use the latter date of students who have combinations of F, X and W grades in the same semester.

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 any Business Office debt has been paid in full. If a student also owes the Financial Aid Office an overpayment of unearned aid made to the student prior to the student notifying or providing unofficial notification to the school of his/her complete drop and/or withdrawal from the institution, and wishes to make payment arrangements, he/she should contact the Financial Aid Office. A repayment arrangement contract will then be mailed to the student. If a student is late on any payment to the Financial Aid Office, 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 in the amount of a balance owed for reasons other than an overpayment as described above, 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 S. College Ave., Box A

1401 S. College Ave., Box B

Levelland, TX 79336

Levelland, TX 79336

(806) 894-9611, ext. 2400

(806) 894-9611, ext. 3800

Students whose Financial Aid debt has been turned over to the U.S. Department of Education should contact the U.S. Department of Education at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education
Debt Resolution Services
P.O. Box 5609
Greenville, Texas 75403
1-800-621-3115

Non-Statutory Refund Policy

For any student to whom the Return of Title IV Funds Policy does not apply, SPC 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, SPC will provide a 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 Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements are separate from and stricter than SPC Admissions and Records Academic SAP requirements. The student Financial Aid Transcript, located on CampusConnect, includes the calculations from this policy.

Requirements of SAP

In order to receive financial aid, all three of the following criteria must be met:

  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 the 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 a student fails to meet the SAP criteria, they will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. During the Warning period, a student will continue to qualify for financial aid for one semester. In order to be removed from the Warning status, all three of the SAP criteria must be met.

Financial Aid Suspension

Failure to meet the SAP criteria while on Financial Aid Warning, will result in Financial Aid Suspension. While on Suspension, a student will not be eligible for work study, grants, or loans from the Financial Aid Office. Students may still enroll in classes for the next semester, but must pay all expenses. In order to be removed from the Suspension status, all three of the SAP criteria must be met.

Notification of Status

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

  • On CampusConnect;
  • Via emails sent to the student’s SPC email account;
  • USPS letter, upon request.

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 otherwise eligible, a student 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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Students may appeal suspension status by submitting an appeal packet. The appeal form is located in the Financial Aid section of the SPC website or may be picked up at any SPC Financial Aid Office. The appeal packet must be complete before submission. Incomplete packets will not be considered. The decision of the appeal committee is final.

Financial aid suspension appeals must include the following forms and documentation for consideration:

  • Financial Aid Appeal Form (available on the SPC website or at any SPC Financial Aid Office);
  • 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.

Only one appeal will be reviewed in any given semester. The deadline to turn in an appeal is two months after the first class day of the semester in question (15 days after the first class day for summer semesters). If the appeal is approved, students are required to complete an academic plan with the Advising and Testing Center and submit it to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.

Other Sources of Financial Assistance

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 handicapped students 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 for 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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