Financial Aid FAQ 2012-2013

 

What is financial aid?

Financial aid can be a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, waivers, and work-study. Scholarships and grants are considered “free money” and the student is not required to repay; however, most loans require repayment when a student becomes enrolled less than half time or graduates.


How do I apply for financial aid?

Two to three weeks after you and your parents complete your federal tax return, you should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov . This is your application for all federal, state and institutional financial aid. All students are expected to file the FAFSA each year in order to receive scholarships or grants from Texarkana College. If you need assistance completing the FAFSA, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FEDAID. You will need to have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for federal student aid and complete the FAFSA. If you do not have an SSN, you should apply for one at your local Social Security Office.


Will I need my parents’ information?

· If you can answer ‘Yes’ to any of the questions below, you are considered an independent student and information about your parents is not required on the FAFSA Application.

· If you cannot answer ‘Yes’ to any of the questions below, you are considered a dependent student, your parents must answer the parental questions and include their financial information on the FAFSA Application.

  • Were you born before January 1, 1990?
  • As of today are you married?
  • At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc…)?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • Do you have children who will receive more than half (50%) of their support from you between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014?
  • Do you have legal dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half (50%) of their support from you between todays date through June 30, 2014?
  • At any time since you turned the age of 13:
    •  Were both your parents deceased?
    •  Were you in foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

**NOTE** If you have a special circumstance that prevents you from providing parental information you may still be able to submit your FAFSA. However, your FAFSA will be incomplete. You must contact the financial office at your college and provide them with documentation to verify your situation.


Who is considered a parent?

  • If your parents are married, provide information about both parents.
  • If your parent is widowed or single, provide information about that parent.
  • If your parents have divorced or separated, provide information about the parent that you lived with most during the last 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, provide information about the parent who provided most of your financial support during the last 12 months.
  • If your parent has remarried after being widowed or divorced, provide information about both your parent and your stepparent.
  • If you have a legal guardian, you cannot use your legal guardian’s information on your application. A legal guardian is not considered a parent in the financial aid process.
  • If you have foster parents, you cannot use your foster parents’ information on your application. A foster parent is not considered a parent in the financial aid process.
  • If you were adopted, follow the instructions above for parents, based on your adoptive parents’ current marital status.

Note: The following people are not considered parents on this form unless they have legally adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, and uncles or aunts.


What is Texarkana College’s FAFSA code?

Texarkana College’s FAFSA code is 003628.


What is the Financial Aid deadline?

May 31st, 2013 Summer Semester, 2013 (2012-2013 FAFSA)
July 31st, 2013 Fall Semester, 2013 (2013-2014 FAFSA)
December 20, 2013 Spring Semester, 2014 (2013-2014 FAFSA)
May 31st, 2014  Summer Semester, 2014 (2013-2014 FAFSA)

What happens after I apply for financial aid?

Once you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you listed Texarkana College’s school code, the financial aid office will receive the information electronically and can begin processing your financial aid application.  If your SAR indicates verification, a Verification Worksheet and a Federal Tax Return Tax Transcript (and your parents as well, if applicable) should be submitted to the financial aid office along with any other documentation requested. The financial aid office will notify you of your eligibility for financial aid after ALL forms have been submitted.


How will I receive my Financial Aid refund?

Get your refunds fast with HigherOne! Texarkana College will now disburse all financial aid refunds through each student’s HigherOne Account. Visit www.myTCcard.com to select one of the following disbursement options:

  • Open a OneAccount through HigherOne and receive your financial aid refund to that account within minutes of processing on the disbursement date.
  • Have your refund deposited directly to your own bank account through HigherOne.

I sent in my FAFSA over four weeks ago but haven’t heard anything. What should I do?

If you haven’t received a Student Aid Report, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (toll free) or 1-319-337-5665. You must provide them with your Social Security number and date of birth as verification.


Can I apply for Financial Aid after the semester has started?

Yes. If your Pell Grant has not been processed by the time the semester begins, you must be prepared to pay for the semester or take advantage of a payment plan. You will then be paid the amount you are eligible for as soon as your Pell Award has been processed.


How is financial aid determined?

The Department of Education will calculate your financial need and transmit the information to all of the colleges you have listed on the FAFSA. Your financial aid award will be determined after the data from your FAFSA is on file in the office of Student Financial Services and after you have been admitted to the university. If additional information is required, the office of Student Financial Services will ask you to supply it directly.

To be eligible for federal student aid a student must:

  • show need
  • have a High School Diploma or a G.E.D.
  • be enrolled as a degree or certificate seeking student in an eligible program
  • be a U.S.citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • have a valid social security number
  • make satisfactory academic progress
  • not owe a repayment on a Federal or state grant
  • not be in default on a Federal Student loan

What if I withdraw from a class? Will it affect my Pell Grant?

A withdraw from a class may affect a students Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Students must successfully complete at least 67% of all (cumulative) credits attempted.  Please contact the Business Office if you have questions regarding any payment or refund that may result from a withdraw.


Does my GPA affect my Financial Aid?

All financial aid recipients must have a cumulative grade point average of 1.50 with 29 semester credit hours or less and cumulative 2.00 with 30 or more semester credit hours. Students must also receive satisfactory grades in at least 67% of all credits attempted to be eligible for financial aid.


How do I get my financial aid reinstated if I am placed on suspension?

Students placed on Financial Aid suspension will not be eligible for financial aid until they have sucessfully completed the required minimum number of hours, and/or reach a satisfactory cumulative GPA.  For information on appealing any element of this Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, contact the Office of Student Financial Services.


What if I am looking for an alternative payment procedure?

Other than paying the total cost (minus financial aid) at registration, we have payment plans available.  For more information, contact our Business Office at (903)823-3331. Students are responsible for timely payment of tuition and fees or they may be dropped from their classes. Please note that if you are awarded some financial aid that covers even a minimum amount of your payment due, and decide not to begin your classes that semester, you will likely have to complete a withdrawal process or still owe the institution.


Do I have to re-apply for financial aid each year?

Yes. Your eligibility is determined one academic year (August to August) at a time because your circumstances can change greatly from one year to the next. You must complete an application each academic year.


What if I am particularly interested in scholarships?

Apply as early as possible since a limited number of scholarships are available. The Texarkana College Scholarship applications are available in the Financial Aid Office and www.texarkanacollege.edu/scholarships where a detailed description of the scholarships can be found. Most scholarship applications are due April 15 (with a few exceptions). Please contact the Scholarship Coordinator in the Financial Aid Office for more details.