2020-2021 General Catalog 
    
    Oct 29, 2020  
2020-2021 General Catalog

Financial Aid


Financial Aid

 

   

General Philosophy

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South Plains College provides educational opportunities that improve the lives of its students by establishing a foundation for lifelong learning. The College offers high quality courses, programs and services that assist students in clarifying and achieving their educational and career goals in order to become productive and responsible citizens in a global society. South Plains College empowers its faculty and staff to provide a learning environment that is innovative, engaging, compassionate, safe, diverse and supportive of the College vision.

Throughout the history of SPC’s Financial Aid Office, the department has adopted policies to support the above statement, believing that students’ educational opportunities should not be limited by their financial resources. Although the primary responsibility for financing a college education rests with students 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 Office at SPC is to provide assistance based on the documented financial need of students, and in accordance with federal and state guidelines

Grants

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Grants do not have to be repaid unless a student stops attending or participating in all classes, 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 using a formula developed by the U.S. Department of Education. After the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is processed, the student receives 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 are two limitations placed on the inclusion of a repeated and previously-passed course in a student’s Title IV enrollment status. This rule also applies to loan funds, which are a form of Title IV financial aid. First, only one repetition of a previously-passed course may be included in the student’s enrollment status. Second, a previously-passed course may not be included in the student’s enrollment status if it is being retaken because the student failed other coursework. Aid will not be available for a course that has been successfully completed two times previously.

Year Round Pell

Students may be eligible to receive up to 150% of their sched­uled award for an award year. This provision is called Year-Round Pell, or additional Pell. It is called “Year- Round” because it allows students to receive additional Pell funds, of­ten in summer terms when (without the provision for Year-Round Pell) a student’s remaining Pell eligibility would traditionally end. To be eligible to receive Year-Round Pell, students must be enrolled at least half-time in the payment period and be Pell eligible in all other ways. The student receives the same amount as is normally calculated for a payment period.

Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act (CFHS)

The Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship (CFHS) is awarded to Pell-eligible students whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer. Although it is called a “scholarship,” it is actually an adjustment made to the Pell Grant of Pell-eligible students. The student is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year for which the determination of eligibility is made. This “scholarship” is not awarded in addition to Pell Grant; it allows the Financial Aid Office to increase a Pell-eligible student’s already awarded Pell Grant to the maximum amount allowed by the Department of Education.

For the purposes of this Pell Grant adjustment, a public safety officer is defined as:

  • A fire police officer, defined as an individual who is serving in accordance with State or local law as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized public safety agency and provides scene security or directs traffic in response to any fire drill, fire call, or other fire, rescue, or police emergency, or at a planned special event.

Any student who qualifies for the CFHS must first have a completed financial aid file in order to be considered for this Pell Grant adjustment. In order to receive this Pell Grant adjustment, the student must:

  • Be Pell-eligible;

  • Be less than 24 years of age or be enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent’s or guardian’s death, OR be a student who was less than 24 years of age or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent’s or guardian’s death;

  • Continue to meet the above criteria during subsequent award years.

Students who think they may qualify must:

  1. Complete the FAFSA;

  2. Complete the verification process, if applicable;

  3. Have a completed financial aid file;

  4. Provide supporting documentation.

The following documents are acceptable for CFHS assessment:

  • A determination letter acknowledging eligibility for certain federal benefits under the Public Safety Officers Benefit (PSOB) program administered by the Department of Justice;

  • A written letter of attestation or determination made by a state or local government official with supervisory or other relevant oversight authority of an individual who died in the line of duty while serving as a public safety officer as defined above;

  • Documentation that the student qualifies for a state tuition or other state benefit afforded to the children or other family members of a public safety officer;

  • Other documentation that SPC determines to be from a credible source that describes or reports the circumstances of the death and the occupation of the fallen hero.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

The SEOG is a federal grant program with limited funds. Awards are made based on unmet need, expected family contribution, and file completion on or before the Financial Aid Priority Dates. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for selecting eligible students with the lowest family contributions and determining the amount of SEOG awards. The standard award is $500/year. Awards are made in accordance with program regulations and on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG)

The TPEG program is funded through tuition payments and is available for Texas residents, non-residents and foreign students. All students must complete the FAFSA or Texas Application for Student Financial Aid (TASFA) form, demonstrate financial need, be registered for or exempt from the Selective Service, and meet the institutional Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements in order to receive this grant.

South Plains College primarily awards TPEG to students enrolled in summer classes who have exhausted their annual federal award eligibility. Qualifying students must renew the FAFSA or TASFA each academic year.

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. Students whose non-rejected FAFSA is received by the Financial Aid Office on or before the January 15 state priority deadline are given priority awarding for the limited TEOG funds. An eligible student must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Texas resident;
  • Be registered for Selective Service, or be exempt;
  • Have applied for any available financial aid assistance;
  • Demonstrate financial need as evidenced by filing the current year FAFSA or TASFA form;
  • Enroll at SPC in an associate degree or certificate program in a minimum of six credit hours (half-time);
  • No more than 30 College Credit hours attempted for the initial award;
  • Have not been granted an associate’s or baccalaureate degree;
  • 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);
  • For renewal awards, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements;
  • Have a TEOG application on file.

TEOG 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 and complete 75% of their total attempted hours at the end of each academic year. Eligible students may continue receiving awards for a maximum of 75 credit hours, four years or until they receive an associate’s degree, whichever comes first.

If the student receives grant funding for the summer term(s), those credits are included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) evaluation. If the student does not receive state grant funding for the summer term(s), a student could take summer coursework to re-establish eligibility if he or she failed to meet SAP requirements during the last term or semester. Summer coursework that is not funded using state grants is not included in the students Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation for the purpose of TEOG awards if the attempted credits will result in the student losing eligibility for the fall term.

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) in lieu of the FAFSA form.

In the event of a hardship or for other good cause, the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at SPC may allow an otherwise ineligible person to receive TEOG if the student’s grade point average or completion rate falls below the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. Such conditions include but are not limited to:

  1. Showing 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.

Students who have attempted 75 hours while receiving grant funds are not allowed to receive TEOG under hardship provisions.

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. However, those who meet the Texas state residency requirements under House Bill 1403 should complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) in place of the FAFSA form. The application can be downloaded from www.collegeforalltexans.com. The student should submit the TASFA 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. All male students are required to sign a statement verifying their registration status for Selective Service, along with documentation that proves they have registered or are exempt. Students who are eligible to complete the TASFA may possibly apply 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.

Current or Former Foster Care Students under the Conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

The purpose of this program is to provide college financial assistance to students who are currently or were previously 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:

  • On the day preceding the student’s 18th birthday;
  • 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
  • On the day the student graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma; 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;

2. Enrolls 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. 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 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 adopted on or after September 1, 2009, or adopted and the subject of an adoption assistance agreement under Subchapter D, Chapter 162, Texas Family Code.

There are no durational limitations in statute referencing how many semesters or years an adopted student may receive this exemption. 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 provide tuition assistance to eligible employed and volunteer firefighters in the state of Texas enrolled in college-level fire science courses. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection has defined “fire sciences” as a course of study primarily related to fire service, emergency medicine, emergency management, or public administration.

In order to be eligible, the student must:

  • Be a paid firefighter by a political subdivision of the state of Texas, or
  • Be an active member of a volunteer fire departments who holds either an accredited advanced certification under the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas volunteer certification program, or a Phase V (Firefighter II) certification under the Texas Commission of Fire Protection’s voluntary certificate program;
  • Be enrolled in at least one accredited fire science course.

To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours 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 the specific fire science courses. 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 Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 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 or volunteer information, and enroll the Fire Technology program courses.

Peace Officers enrolled in Law Enforcement or Crimnal Justice Courses

The purpose of this program is to provide tuition assistance to eligible employed peace officers in the state of Texas enrolled in undergraduate criminal justice or law enforcement courses.

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 an undergraduate student enrolled in an eligible criminal justice or law enforcement-related degree or certificate program;
  • Apply for the exemption at least one week before the last date of SPC’s regular registration period for the applicable semester or other term.

To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours 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 law enforcement-related or criminal justice courses. 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. To receive continuation awards, peace officers must meet SPC’s financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 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).

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

Peace Officers and Firefighters Disabled in the Line of Duty

The purpose of this program is to provide tuition assistance to eligible peace officers and firefighters permanently disabled due to injury suffered during the performance of duty. In order to be eligible, the student must:

  • Be a Texas resident who has resided in Texas for at least the 12 months immediately preceding the semester for which the exemption is sought;
  • Be permanently disabled due to an injury suffered during the performance of a duty as either a peace officer of Texas or of a political subdivision of Texas, or a firefighter employed by Texas or by a political subdivision of Texas;
  • Be unable to continue employment as a peace officer or firefighter because of disability;
  • Not be enrolled in a master’s degree program or attending postgraduate courses to meet the requirements of a master’s degree program AND
  • Not have received an exemption under this section while attending a postgraduate program to meet the requirements of a previously received master’s degree;
  • Not be enrolled in a doctoral degree program or attending postgraduate courses to meet the requirements of a doctoral degree program AND
  • Not have received an exemption under this section while attending a postgraduate course to meet the requirements of a previously received doctoral degree program.

To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours 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 exempts the student from the payment of tuition and fees for no 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. To receive continuation awards, peace officers and firefighters must meet SPC’s financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 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).

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

Blind/Deaf Student Exemption Program

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

  • Be a Texas resident;
  • Declare a program of study at the time he/she applies for the exemption;
  • Provide the Registrar a written statement of purpose indicating which certificate, degree program, or professional enhancement will be pursued;
  • Provide certification from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission of status as a deaf person or the Texas Workforce Commission of status as a blind person;
  • 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.

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.

To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours 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 student must meet SPC’s financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 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).

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

The purpose of this program is to tuition assistance in the form of exemption of all dues, fees and charges for any child of an eligible disabled or deceased firefighter, law enforcement officer or paid custodial officer of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. This benefit is for the children of eligible persons killed in the line of duty prior to September 1, 2000, or who have been disabled in the line of duty. See also Education Benefits for Certain Survivors (Spouse/Children) of Individuals in Specific Public Service Positions if the parent’s death occurred on or after Sept. 1, 2000.

In order to be eligible and apply, the student must:

  • Apply before his/her 21st birthday (or 22 if the student was eligible to participate in a school district’s special education program under Section 29.003);
  • Be the child of a parent who suffered an injury, resulting in disability or death, sustained in the line of duty as a paid or volunteer firefighter, a paid municipal, county or state peace officer, a custodial employee of the Texas Department of Corrections, or a game warden;
  • Be under the age of 26 at the start of the semester or session
  • Obtain a sample certification letter from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB);
  • Submit to the THECB:
  • A Certification Letter on official letterhead from the parent’s prior employer directly to the THECB;
  • A Supporting Documentation form;
  • For disability cases, also submit a doctor’s statement that certifies the disability to the THECB;
  • Copy of the student’s birth certificate;
  • If the parent is deceased and death occurred before Sept. 1, 2000, a copy of the death certificate.

The student becomes ineligible for after completing the first 120 undergraduate semester credit hours for which he/she student registers or at 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.

To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 also sets a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours 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 student must meet SPC’s financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 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).

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, the student must:

  • Be a surviving spouse or a surviving minor child (younger than 18 on the date of parent’s death) of certain public employees who died in the performance of his/her duty on or after Sept. 1, 2000;
  • Be enrolled full-time at a Texas public college or university;
  • Not have received a bachelor’s degree;
  • Not have attempted more than 200 semester credit hours while receiving the exemption.

To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours 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 exempt from tuition and fees. In addition, the institution will provide an allowance for textbooks. If the student is eligible to live on campus, SPC will provide the student either free room or board or, if no housing is available, a room and board stipend equal to the amount he/she would have received 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.

Exemption Program for Clinical Preceptors and Their Children 

The purpose of this program is 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, the students must be:

  1. Clinical Preceptors who:
  1. Are residents of Texas,
  2. Are registered nurses,
  3. Serve, on 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 clinical during the semester or other academic term for which the exemption is sought; or
  • The time period the program conducts clinical 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

  1. Persons who:
  1. Are residents of Texas,
  2. Have not been granted a baccalaureate degree, and
  3. Are children of a Clinical Preceptor who serves, 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 clinical during the semester or other academic term for which the exemption is sought; or
  • The time period the program conducts clinical 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.

To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours 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 half of a regular semester.

In order to apply, the person must complete the Preceptor Exemption application form, 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 for Children of Professional Nursing Program Faculty and Staff

The purpose of this program is to provide a tuition exemption to eligible students in order to encourage their parents to continue employment as professional nurse faculty or staff members in the State of Texas.

In order to be eligible, the student must:

  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 an 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.

  1. 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;
  2. Register for the Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement.

To continue receiving this exemption after initially being awarded, the Texas Education Code Section 54.2001 sets a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. The Bill also establishes a limit to the total number of hours 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 program 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 of higher education. 

In order to be eligible, the student must:

  • Be a Resident of Texas;
  • Be registered for the Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement;
  • Be employed in some capacity by a public school district in Texas during the full term for which the student receives the award unless granted a hardship;
  • Show financial need;
  • Have been employed by a public school district in Texas working full-time, in a classroom directly with the students, in a teaching capacity as:
  • An educational aide for at least one school year of the past five school years preceding the term or semester for which the student is awarded their initial exemption, or
  • A substitute teacher for 180 days of the past five school years preceding the term or semester for which the student is awarded their initial exemption;
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress requirements established by the college;
  • 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 in accordance with Texas Administrative Code, 21.1083 (6). 

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.

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 1.059% for all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans originated before October 1, 2020. The fee is currently 4.236% for all PLUS Loans originated before October 1, 2020. The fees may change for loans originated on or after October 1, 2020.

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:

SPC will certify the loan for the requested amount or the maximum eligibility, whichever is less. 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. SPC will reduce a student loan award if necessary to comply with the Department of Education eligibility formula if additional aid is awarded after the original loan award. A revised award letter will be available on the student’s TexanConnect.

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time (6 semester credit hours) in an eligible program with financial need (as determined by the results of the FAFSA). The interest is paid by the Department of Education on behalf of the student as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half-time (6 semester credit hours) in an eligible program. Student 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 whom 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 credit hours) 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 Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program. SPC will reduce a student loan award if necessary to comply with the Department of Education eligibility formula if additional aid is awarded after the original loan award. A revised award letter will be available to the students TexanConnect.

Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Direct Parent PLUS Loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time (6 semester credit hours) in an eligible program 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 studentaid.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 credit counseling at studentaid.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, and a completed Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentaid.gov are required before a Parent PLUS Loan will be awarded. Eligibility is contingent upon the student meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. Qualifying students and parents must renew the FAFSA every new academic year and the student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements to continue in this program. SPC will reduce the loan award if necessary to comply with the Department of Education eligibility formula if additional aid is awarded after the original loan award. A revised award letter will be available on the student’s TexanConnect.

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 fewer than 30 credit hours earned in their current program of study are classified as freshmen and students with 30 or more credit 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.

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 funds 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 help cover their tuition and fees during the hold period. The 30-day hold requirement does not apply to Parent PLUS Loans.

Emergency Loan Program

                                               
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South Plains College has two instances where a student could be eligible for an Emergency Loan to help cover the balance due on his or her bill. These instances are:

• 30-Day Hold - These are students who are a first-year/first-time borrower whose Federal Direct Loan disbursement cannot be made until 30 days after the first day of class.

• One Semester Loan - These are students who have requested a loan for only one semester and the loan must come in 2 disbursements (one at the beginning of the semester and one in the middle of the semester).

The eligibility requirements for receiving an Emergency Loan are:

• Complete a FAFSA and list SPC as an institution to receive the results;

• The student’s financial aid file must be completed by the Financial Aid Office;

• A Federal Direct Loan must be awarded and accepted by the student, and completed Loan Entrance Counseling and an MPN;

• The student must be meeting Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP);

• The student must be registered in at least 6 eligible hours;

• The student must owe a balance on their bill causing the need for an Emergency Loan.

Emergency Loans are given on a first-come, first-serve basis and are subject to fund availability. 

Emergency Loan Awards are based on the following:

• Commuter Students - $1500 or the amount needed to pay the balance on the bill, whichever is less (provided the requested loan is at least $1500 for one semester).

• Dorm Students - $2500 or the amount needed to pay the balance on the bill, whichever is less (provided the requested loan is at least $2500 for one semester).

Subject to the availability of funds, the Financial Aid Office may opt to allow the Emergency Loan program to include required textbooks. Should funds for the program be available, the application start date would be no sooner than the South Plains College Bookstore begins allowing charges for the upcoming semester.

Emergency Loans are awarded based on the charges at the time the applications are received. If a student changes his or her schedule, or housing plans after the Emergency Loan has been awarded resulting in a balance owed, that difference will be the student’s sole responsibility to pay.

The amount of the Emergency Loan Award may not cover the full balance owed to South Plains College. Any remaining balance is the responsibility of the student and must be paid or have an official payment plan set up. Failure to do so will result in the student’s registered classes to be dropped for non-payment, regardless of the Emergency Loan.

Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Loan Exit Counseling

Students who graduate, transfer, withdraw, or drop below half-time registration status (6 credit hours), 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 a restriction 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 studentaid.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 such as: 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 “Loan Simulator” webpage. This webpage can estimate repayment amounts under each of these different plans.

https://studentaid.gov/loan-simulator/ 

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

Number of

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 accrue 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 https://studentaid.gov/h/manage-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 credit 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, that student will not be eligible for any further Title IV aid until the loan has been paid in full or satisfactory repayment arrangements have been made with the Loan Servicer. If the default has been resolved with the Loan Servicer, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain a letter from the Loan Servicer stating that the default has been resolved. This letter must be presented to the Financial Aid Office to be added to the student’s file.

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.

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 are a male) you must register between the ages of 18 and 25;
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student (not Dual Credit) 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 homeschool 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 coursework 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.

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) or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) if applicable, 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, completes the FAFSA at studentaid.gov. The 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. If the Department of Education selects the file for verification, other documentation may be required to complete the financial aid file.

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

The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to verify any information contained in the financial aid application (FAFSA) for accuracy. 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 documentation is received and completedE

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. The program offers students an opportunity to earn financial aid through work. To qualify for, receive and continue in a work-study job, a student must have applied for financial aid by completing the FAFSA form every new academic year, be eligible for the award based on federal need analysis and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements.

Awards are made on a first-come, first serve basis to students who have requested work-study and who meet all requirements. The largest work-study award given is nineteen (19) hours of work per week. Smaller awards are given depending on the financial need of the student. Presently, the pay rate for every work-study student is $7.25 per hour. Work hours are flexible and generally fit the student’s class schedule. Students employed under the FWS are paid on a monthly basis. 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.

Students may go online to view current work-study positions. The student must schedule interviews with the supervisors of the 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.

New work-study 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
  • At-Will
  • Notice to New Employees
  • Work-Study Contract

Students will need to bring some type of identification card with photo (driver’s license, identification card, student ID) and their social security card.

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 dependability, initiative, punctuality, a willingness to work, and other good work habits. Work-study supervisors reserve the right to terminate a student’s employment at any time for any reasonable cause including, but not limited to, failing to exhibit the above characteristics.

 

Dates

 

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Priority Application Dates

Priority Dates are dates by which all students should complete their files to be considered for all types of aid, including limited funding for some grants and on-campus jobs; also, the date to ensure that funding will be available for the pre-registration payment due date and open registration. If the student’s financial aid file is not complete by the pre-registration payment due date, the student should make payment arrangements. Financial aid is processed and awarded year-round.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid was made available October 1, 2019, for the 2020-2021 academic year. This FAFSA is based on 2018 taxes. Beginning October 1, 2020, the 2021-2022 FAFSA will be available requiring 2019 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

FALL AND SPRING - June 10

SPRING ONLY - October 15

SUMMER - March 1

Absolute Application Deadline

 

The absolute application deadline for completing the 2020-2021 FAFSA is June 30, 2021.

Federal Pell Grant

Grants are considered gift aid. Gift aid is the most valued source of financial aid because grant money does not have to be repaid. Grants are awarded based on need. The Pell Grant is a federal program for undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. Amounts can change yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $6,345 for the 2020-2021 award year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The amount awarded will depend on:

  • Financial need,
  • Cost of attendance,
  • Status as a full-time, three-quarter time, half-time or part-time student, and
  • Plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

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. Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time. Effective July 1, 2012, students can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters of the equivalent. Students will receive a notice if they are getting close to their limit. If a student is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, they will receive the full amount for which they qualify. The amount of any other student aid for which they might qualify does not affect the amount of the Federal Pell Grant.

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 12, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Direct Loans

Students must have a complete financial aid file and complete 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 received on or before the deadline date(s) are processed first with priority given to those students with the greatest financial need. Applications received after the deadline are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A notification is sent to the student’s SPC email when financial aid has been awarded. The student is directed to TexanConnect to accept or decline the awards, and to view their Offer Letter.

Financial aid awards are required to be accepted. If the student has accepted financial aid awards and later decides not to 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

   

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 and the awards cause a credit to the student’s bill.

 

Disbursement of Funds

South Plains College disburses financial aid funds to student accounts on the established census date of every term, and then weekly thereafter for the remainder of the term for any newly awarded financial aid.

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Grants

Grant awards for eligible students will display as an estimated credit called anticipated aid 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. Any remaining credit balance on the student’s account will be available 14 days after the official census date. Students must meet all enrollment and award eligibility requirements in order to receive the remaining credit balance. Financial aid refunds will apply to any balance due to South Plains College prior to being released to the student. The remaining balance will be deposited to the student’s designated account. Contact the Business Office for more details.

Student Employment

Students who are employed by South Plains College or funded by Federal 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. 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.

Per federal regulations, first-time federal loan borrowers beginning the first year of their programs of study must wait at least 30 calendar days from the first class day to receive the first loan disbursement credit to their accounts.

For borrowers not subject to the 30-day delay, loans will show as anticipated 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 within 14 days after the official census date. In order to receive this refund, borrowers must be currently enrolled and attending at least six eligible credit hours. Dropping to part-time enrollment (1-5 eligible credit hours) or attending only part-time before the official census date of a semester will result in cancellation of the student loan. The loan will be deposited to the student’s designated bank account. Contact the Business Office for more details.

Loans processed for only one semester 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.

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 anticipated 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 parent or student, depending on the request made on the loan application, within 14 days after the official census date. Loans processed for only one semester will be subject to two loan

Award Adjustments

Financial aid can be reduced or cancelled for a number of reasons. The most common reasons are:

• Never attending a class. Class attendance has everything to do with keeping awarded financial aid. The faculty will report to the Registrar students who are registered for, but never attended, their class(es) during the first 12 class days or up to the census date of the enrollment period. A student who never attends a class will be subject to having their financial aid reduced or cancelled according to the number of credit hours they are attending. A student who has been inaccurately reported as not attending classes and is reinstated will have their financial aid re-awarded as soon as the error is discovered.

• The Financial Aid Office receiving a new Student Aid Report (the results of the FAFSA) with information that now changes the student’s eligibility for the aid previously awarded.

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 complete withdrawal. 

Only students who do not complete the payment period or period of enrollment are subject to the return of Title IV funds formula. In addition, certain students who have completed at least one class within the payment period or period of enrollment, but have dropped other classes are treated as having changed enrollment status rather than as having completely withdrawn; others are considered to have completely withdrawn from school under the return of Title IV funds requirements. Circumstances that do not require a return of Title IV funds calculation include, but are not limited to, a student:

  • Who was awarded Federal Work-Study (FWS) only
  • Who dropped classes but did not completely withdraw
  • Who never began attendance in any classes For whom SPC cannot document at least one day of class attendance; etc.

For courses offered in modules or mini-terms, a student is considered to have withdrawn for return of funds purposes if:

  • SPC obtains written confirmation of future attendance but the student does not return as scheduled
  • The student does not provide written confirmation of future attendance upon withdrawal and completely withdraws from the current module

Note: The withdrawal date and total number of calendar days in the payment period or period of enrollment are the same as those that would have applied as if the student never provided written confirmation of future attendance.

For courses offered in modules or mini-terms, a student is not considered to have withdrawn for return of funds purposes if:

  • SPC obtains written confirmation from the student at the time that would have been a withdrawal of the date that he or she will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment.

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 or post-withdrawal 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

Unearned aid is the amount of disbursed aid a withdrawn student received that is more than the amount he or she earned as of the date the student withdrew or ceased attendance. 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 for grant overpayments resulting from the student’s withdrawal.

The school must return the unearned aid for which the school is responsible by repaying funds to the following sources, in order, up to the total net amount disbursed from each source.

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 aid to the Department of Education that was previously disbursed to a student, the student then owes the unearned disbursement to the institution. Students will receive a statement from the Business Office detailing the amount that the student owes the Business Office when SPC returns 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. If this balance is unpaid, a restriction is placed on the student’s records at SPC, and the account is turned over to a collection agency.

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 is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement when the amount of Title IV funds he or she earned is more than the amount disbursed as of his or her withdrawal date. SPC offers the difference in aid disbursed versus aid earned in the form of a post-withdrawal disbursement when, after receiving notification from SPC that he or she is eligible, a student notifies SPC that he or she wishes to receive some or all of the disbursement.

SPC will contact a withdrawn student prior to making a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds and explain the student’s obligation to repay the funds, as well as 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. A post-withdrawal disbursement is prioritized from grants first and loans second, and applies to any outstanding institutional charges (for the current year charges only) before going directly to the student. Any refund owed the student or parent is sent accordingly.

The Financial Aid Office sends a letter notifying the student or parent of his or her eligibility for a post-withdrawal disbursement within 30 days of the date of SPC’s determination that the student withdrew. The student or parent must respond within 14 days of the letter’s sent date in order to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement. If no response is received within the specified 14-day timeframe, no additional disbursement is made and SPC will return the post-withdrawal disbursement to the Department of Education. 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 timeframe, in accordance with federal regulations, it is SPC’s decision as to whether or not this disbursement will be made.

An eligible student who withdraws from SPC prior to completing his or her financial aid file should check with the Financial Aid Office to determine if he or she qualifies for a late disbursement for a successfully completed semester during the same academic year.

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 following determinations dictate what is used as the last date of attendance for official and unofficial withdrawals.

Official Withdrawals: The withdrawal date is the date the student began the official withdrawal process or officially notified the school of intent to withdraw. “Officially notifies” means the student contacts the Admissions and Records Office for this purpose. Admissions and Records staff inform students that, in order to officially withdraw from all of their courses, they must complete a withdrawal interview with a Financial Aid Advisor. Financial Aid signs withdrawal forms for students once they complete this session in which the immediate and future financial consequences of withdrawing are discussed. The student returns to the Admissions and Records Office and is then able to officially withdraw with the date of the official notification.

Unofficial Withdrawals: When a student drops courses without notifying the Admissions and Records Office, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance in an academically related activity as reported on the drop reports submitted by students’ instructors. If no last date of attendance is provided, then the midpoint of the semester is used. If it is not yet the midpoint of the semester, the date of the drop is used.

Once a student ceases attending or is no longer mathematically capable of passing a course, his or her instructors submit electronic drop forms to the Admissions and Records Office. If available, the instructors include the student’s last date of attendance on the drop form.

A student who fails to achieve a passing grade in at least one course is assessed as either earning at least one of the failing grades or as receiving unearned F’s. Earned F’s are those that instructors assign with a last date of attendance within one week of the last day of eight-week terms and within two and a half weeks of the last day of sixteen-week terms. If no date is included with the assigned F at the end of the semester then the midpoint or latest date of the semester is considered the notifies withdrawal date.

The Admissions and Records Office determines whether a student is allowed to rescind his or her withdrawal on a case-by-case basis. If the student subsequently ceases attendance, the last date of attendance is the date the student last participated in an academically related activity as reported by the instructor. If the student subsequently withdraws, the withdrawal date is that of the first provided notification of intent to withdraw. The Financial Aid Office keeps track of reinstatements for the purpose of determining whether a student previously provided withdrawal notification. The Admissions and Records Office notifies the Financial Aid Office of reinstatements.

The withdrawal date for those students who, because of extenuating circumstances, are unable to officially withdraw, is a date related to the circumstance. Circumstances beyond the student’s control include but are not limited to: illness and grievous personal loss, a medical issue, etc. A student must provide the Admissions and Records Office with timely notification of his or her extenuating circumstance in order for the onset date to be used as the withdrawal date. SPC does not have a Title IV approved leave of absence policy, nor does it otherwise approve leaves of absence.

The date of SPC’s determination that a student withdrew is either the date of a student’s official withdrawal/withdrawal notification, the date that the instructor submits a drop report, or the midpoint date of the term. The Financial Aid Office will use the latter date of students who have combinations of official and unofficial withdrawals, drops, and unearned F’s.

Students will receive a statement from the Business Office detailing the amount that the student owes the Business Office when SPC returns 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.

Withdrawing from Summer Modules

Students who withdraw from a summer module and are scheduled to attend a future module must sign a form of future intent to return to an upcoming module. Students who fail to indicate intent to return will be considered a withdrawal, and the appropriate dates will be used in the calculation of Title IV funds.

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 Avenue, Box A 1401 S. College Avenue, 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, TX  757403  
  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 the SPC Admissions and Records Office Academic SAP requirements. The same financial aid SAP policies consistently apply to all students. Students across varying disciplines, programs, enrollment statuses and/or other categories are subject to the same SAP requirements and are awarded per Department of Education regulations. Students with the state of Texas Exemptions/Waivers may be subject to non-standard SAP requirements depending on the Exemption/Waiver, per state regulations.

Requirements of SAP

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

  1. GPA - Earn and maintain a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or above;
  2. Pace - Maintain a pace of at least 67% (cumulative number of credit hours earned divided by the cumulative credit hours attempted;
  3. Maximum Timeframe - Graduate with no more than 150% of the credit hours required for the student’s declared major. This limit includes all college-level course(s) a student attempts, even if the student uses his or her own resources. The student becomes ineligible for financial aid when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete his or her program within maximum timeframe.

SAP is calculated at the conclusion of each semester in which a student is enrolled. A student who falls below this criteria may reestablish eligibility by meeting the SAP requirements after successfully completing subsequent semesters (see Regaining Eligibility).

Financial Aid Warning

The first time a student fails to meet the SAP criteria, the student 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, the 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, thereby reestablishing financial aid eligibility, all three of the SAP criteria must be met (see Regaining Eligibility), or a student must have an approved Financial Aid Appeal.

Notification of Status

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

  • On TexanConnect
  • 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 of maximum timeframe.

• 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 cannot be used to calculate the award amount.

• Remedial hours are not included in the calculation of the maximum timeframe, the completion rate and GPA unless the student has already taken 30 remedial credit hours.

• 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 hours from another institution that are accepted and officially transcribed as transfer credits by SPC count toward the 150% maximum calculated hours. They also count toward the student’s 67% pace as both hours earned and attempted. Grades from other schools are not considered toward the student’s GPA in SPC’s Financial Aid SAP Policy.

Financial Aid Appeal Procedure

 

SPC allows students placed on SAP probation to submit an appeal when they fall below the minimum standards for GPA, pace, maximum timeframe (for change of major only) or combination of any of the three. Students may appeal Suspension status by submitting an appeal packet. Appeal forms may be picked up at the SPC Financial Aid Office or any SPC Student Support Center. You may also CLICK HERE for the Financial Aid Appeal Form. The appeal packet must be complete before submission. Incomplete packets will not be considered. Students submit appeals to the Financial Aid Office in person, by mail or by email. The decision of the Appeal Committee is final with no opportunity to meet with the Committee members in person or by telephone.

Financial Aid appeal packet consists of:

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

• 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 of summer one). Students are responsible for checking the status of their appeals under Financial Aid on Campus Connect. They may expect their appeal decision one to two weeks after submission. The student also receives an email to his or her SPC email address with the appeal decision. 

Financial Aid Probation

   

A student with an approved Financial Aid appeal is on Financial Aid Probation. The requirements for continuing on Probation are:

• Complete an academic plan with an Advisor in the Advising and Testing Center. This plan will determine how many semesters it will take to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.

• Successfully complete all coursework while on Probation. This means the student cannot withdraw, be dropped from, or fail any course while they are on an approved appeal status.

• Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 every semester during the Approved Appeal semesters.

Failure to meet the requirements above will result in a status of “Aid Terminated.” Students with an “Aid Terminated” status are not allowed to appeal again. 

Regaining Eligibility

Students not meeting SAP may re-establish eligibility on their own by successfully completing courses and raising their GPA or pace to a satisfactory status using their own or other financial means. Neither paying for one’s classes not sitting out a semester affects a student’s SAP standing. Therefore, neither is sufficient to re-establish financial aid eligibility. A student may only regain eligibility when he or she meets SAP on his or her own. Once students receive a satisfactory status, they will be eligible to receive financial aid in subsequent semesters provided they continue to maintain SAP requirements.

Appeals and Change of Major

   

Students who have reached 150% of the hours required for their major may appeal to continue to receive aid if the student is changing their major. This Change of Major must show that the student would no longer have reached the Maximum Timeframe when only the hours for the new major are used in the calculation.

Students who appeal because of Maximum Timeframe and Change of Major must meet the same requirements as any other student on Probation. These requirements are:

• Complete an Academic Plan with an Advisor in the Advising and Testing Center. This plan will determine how many semesters it will take to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.

• Successfully complete all coursework while on Probation. This means the student cannot withdraw, be dropped from, or fail any coursework while they are on an Approved Appeal Status.

• Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 every semester during the Approved Appeal semesters.

 

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
  South Plains Mu 1-2 2
  2002 W. Loop 289, Suite 119
  Lubbock, TX 79407
  (806) 783-2960
   

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

 

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a workforce training program designed to train and transition students into self-sufficient employment. Students who are eligible for this training program include low-income adults and youth, and individuals who have been dislocated from their jobs. Eligible students who enroll in technical programs may receive financial assistance 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 Street    
Levelland, TX  79336    
(806) 894-5005 or 1-800-419-9675    
     
Texas Workforce Center of Lubbock    
2002 W. Loop 289, Suite 117    
Lubbock, TX  79407    
(806) 765-5038    
     
Texas Workforce Center of Plainview      
1001 I-27 Suite 228    
Plainview, TX  79072    
(806) 293-8566