Sep 19, 2020  
2010-2011 Academic Catalog 
    
2010-2011 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Financial Aid


 

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Financial aid is a means of reducing a student’s educational costs. Such costs include direct expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, and indirect expenses, such as room and board, transportation and personal expenses. Aid is available to students through state, federal and local governments; through many private sources, such as industrial, service, civic and fraternal groups; and directly through colleges and universities.

Awards at Amarillo College are made on the basis of financial need, academic progress, achievement or other qualifications required by the donors of the funds. The financial need of a student is the difference between reasonable expenses during an academic year and the amount which the student/family can be expected to contribute toward these expenses. This is called the “Expected Family Contribution.”

Students must be enrolled at least half-time at Amarillo College to be eligible for most financial aid. Federal Pell grants can be paid to less- than-half-time students. For financial aid purposes, less than half-time means that a student must be enrolled in 1-5 credit hours; half-time, 6-8 credit hours; three-quarter time, 9-11 credit hours; and full-time, 12 credit hours or more.

The U.S. Department of Education frequently changes regulations pertaining to financial aid. Amarillo College attempts to comply with all legislative mandates and Federal regulations. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to make policy and procedure changes during the award year.

Students who are in default on a Guaranteed Student Loan from any institution may enroll for classes at Amarillo College but will not be able to receive an official academic transcript or any financial aid as long as any Guaranteed Student Loan is in default.

Rights and Responsibilities

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You have the right to ask:

  • What financial assistance is available?
     
  • What are the deadlines for submitting applications?
     
  • What is the cost of attending and refund policies?
     
  • What is the criteria used to select financial aid recipients?
     
  • How is financial need determined?
     
  • What is the criteria used to determine the amount of a student’s award?
     
  • What is satisfactory academic progress and how does it affect the student?

It is your responsibility to:

  • Be informed about the institution before you enroll.
     
  • Complete all forms accurately and submit them on time.
     
  • Read and understand forms you are asked to sign.
     
  • Know and comply with deadlines.
     
  • Keep all personal information, such as name, mailing address, email address and telephone number up-to-date with the Assistance Center and Financial Aid Office.
     
  • Accept responsibility for all agreements you sign.
     
  • It is your responsibility to check your Amarillo College student-assigned email for correspondence (my.actx.edu).

Ability to Benefit

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To receive Title IV (Federal) funds at Amarillo College, a student must have a high school diploma or have passed the General Educational Development Test (GED). A student who does not have a high school diploma or GED must pass an examination approved by the U.S. Department of Education before receiving Federal funds. The ACCUPLACER Test is the approved examination used by Amarillo College and is independently administered by the Testing Center at Amarillo College. In addition to other Accuplacer Requirements, students must also request and pass the arithmetic exam.

Types

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For a more complete listing and application instructions, go to Financial Aid Types on the Financial Aid website.

Major Programs

Federal regulations require that in order for a degree or certificate program to be eligible for Title IV funds, the program must consist of at least 16 semester hours and have Department of Education approval. The Amarillo College Catalog lists programs of less than 16 semester hours; however, students who enroll in these majors will not be eligible for Title IV funds. “Pending” or non-degree seeking majors are not eligible programs.

Grants and Scholarships

Amarillo College provides a comprehensive program of grants, scholarships and work opportunities to assist students in their academic pursuits. Interested students should contact the Financial Aid Office.

Loans

The Direct Loan Program permits students who are eligible to obtain low-interest loans from The Department of Education. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed prior to applying for a loan.  In addition, a loan request form must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Parents of dependent students may apply for the Parent Plus loan. To be eligible, the student must first have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Amarillo College. Federal law requires the Department of Education to perform a credit check before approving a Plus Loan.  To obtain the credit check and sign the Plus promissory note, go to www.dlenote.ed.gov.  The parent must have a FAFSA pin number prior to applying for a Plus loan.  The credit response will be sent to the Financial Aid Office.

Federal Work-Study and Student Workers

The Federal Work-Study and Institutional Work Study programs provide jobs for students on campus.  Federal Work Study students must be enrolled at least half-time for the fall or spring term, three hours for the summer term, and establish need by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Hazlewood Act

Veterans who may be eligible under the Hazlewood Act should contact the Veteran’s Certification Clerk in the Registrar’s Office or log on to www.collegefortexans.com to determine eligibility requirements. This application is made through the Veterans Certification Clerk in the Registrar’s Office and requires that a copy of the student’s WD53 or DD214 be filed with this office.

Individuals may receive both Hazlewood and Pell or SEOG at the same time. There is a maximum of 150 credit hours for which a person may receive benefit under Hazlewood. This limit is on credit hours attempted, not credit hours completed.

Veterans Affairs

Amarillo College is approved by the Texas Education Agency to offer instruction to students attending college under the various laws commonly referred to as the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post 9/11 Bill. Eligible students should contact the Veterans Certification Clerk, in the Registrar’s Office, prior to registration to obtain needed information relative to their benefits, enrollment and certification of attendance.

Those depending solely on VA benefits should have all paperwork completed with the AC Veterans Affairs Office and a request for advance payment submitted at least 60 days before registration.  Any tuition and fees not paid by the veteran benefits are the responsibility of the student.

Students must advise the AC Veterans Certification Clerk each semester of hours in which they are enrolled and should contact the clerk when making course changes, a change of major, or when withdrawing from college. Academic probation or suspension (unsatisfactory progress) as described under Academic Policies and Information in this catalog may result in suspension of benefits.

Veterans Rehabilitation: Application for this assistance should be made to the Department of Veteran Affairs, by submitting a Verterans Online Application (VONAPP) at www.va.gov.

Rehabilitation Assistance

The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services is designated as the state’s principal authority for vocational rehabilitation of Texans with disabilities. The division’s main purpose is to assist people with disabilities in preparing for, finding, and keeping jobs. They offer assistance for tuition and required fees to students who have certain physical and/or mental disabilities. Application should be made in person to DARS Division for Rehabilitation Services, 5809 S. Western, #255, Amarillo, Texas, 79110. For more information please call (806) 351-3830 or visit www.dars.state.tx.us.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

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The financial aid award will be packaged from a variety of sources and will be based on the financial need and program eligibility of the student and, of course, the availability of funds. Students are advised to apply for all types of aid.

Federal, State and College regulations concerning financial aid can change from year to year.

Applications for financial aid will not be considered complete until all required forms are on file in the Financial Aid Office.

Amarillo College requires students applying for financial aid to submit the following:

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid to the Department of Education. Apply on-line at www.fafsa.gov
     
  • The Amarillo College Scholarship Application to the Foundation Office, Room 206, College Union Building, if applying for an academic scholarship.

All applications may be downloaded from the Financial Aid Department site located at www.actx.edu/fin. Students should apply early and must reapply each year.

Any student or prospective student desiring specific program information may call (806) 371-5000 or come to the Financial Aid Office in the Student Service Center on the Washington Street Campus.

Rules

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require any institution that disburses Federal Title IV student aid (grants, loans and federal work study) to establish, publish and observe a Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP). SAP is a standard for measuring whether a student is maintaining satisfactory progress in his or her course of study. A student’s total academic record at Amarillo College is used to measure satisfactory progress even if the student did not previously receive aid. Student financial aid as defined in this policy applies to Federal Title IV and state aid.

Eligibility

To be eligible to begin receiving student financial aid at Amarillo College, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduated from high school, pass a GED, or pass an approved U.S. Department of Education test (the approved Ability to Benefit test used by Amarillo College is the ACCUPLACER test);
     
  • Declare a major in a degree or academic certificate program of no less than 16 semester hours;
     
  • Previous academic history at Amarillo College must reflect a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) and completion of 80 percent of the courses for which he/she has enrolled.
     
  • The number of hours attempted cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the student’s major (please see Maximum Time Frame).

Maintaining Eligibility

To maintain eligibility, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Not have attempted 150 percent or more of the number of hours required for his/her declared degree program (please see Maximum Time Frame).
     
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better.
     
  • Complete the enrollment status for which the student is funded:
Funding At   Must Complete
Full time   12+ semester hours
Three-quarter time   9-11 semester hours
Half-time   6-8 semester hours
Less-than-half time   at least 1 semester hour

For Grant Recipients:
Enrollment status is based upon the number of semester hours in which a student is enrolled and attending by the census date. Students can add and drop classes up to the census date and receive funding for the number of hours in which they are enrolled and attending.

For recipients of Direct Loan Funding:
Enrollment status is based upon the number of hours in which the student is enrolled and attending either on the date the first loan check is disbursed or the census date of the semester, whichever is last.

Ineligibility

Students may lose eligibility to receive financial aid if the student:

  • Does not complete the hours for which he/she was funded (dropping classes) 
  • Semester GPA drops below a 2.0
  • Reaches Maximum Time Frame

The first semester in which one of the above situations occurs, the student will go on Financial Aid Probation. Once on probation, the student can receive Title IV financial aid for the following or future semesters, but must complete all classes funded for and maintain a 2.0 GPA. If the student completes the minimum number of hours based on his/her enrollment status and maintains a 2.0 GPA during the next semester attended with financial aid, the student’s status will return to satisfactory. Failure to complete hours or maintain a 2.0 GPA while on Financial Aid Probation will result in the student going on Financial Aid Suspension at the end of the semester. An immediate suspension status will occur when a student receives a grade of “F” for all completed classes during the semester. Students on Financial Aid Suspension may NOT receive Federal Title IV funding or state funds. 

Attempting 150 percent of a degree or certificate program will always result in a student going on Financial Aid Suspension, but a student may appeal to the Financial Aid Committee.

Students that have graduated and do not have a new current degree plan will be placed on suspension for maximum time frame.  If the student will continue his/her education at AC, the degree plan must be updated with the Registrar’s Office.  Then, the student must contact the Financial Aid Office to review the change.

Maximum Time Frame

The maximum time frame in which a student must complete his or her degree can be no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the student’s major. For example: if the Amarillo College Catalog lists a major which is 64 hours in length, the student will automatically be placed on suspension for maximum time frame after the student has attempted 96 hours, which is 150 percent of the 64 hours required for the major (64 x 1.5 = 96). Attempted hours means any class in which a student was enrolled as of the census date of the semester, regardless if the course was completed, regardless if the student received financial aid for those hours, or if hours count towards the current major. Transfer hours accepted by Amarillo College will be included in the maximum time frame calculation.

Repeated Courses

Any course in which an I, W or AU is received does not count as a completed course. Students may receive funding for repeated courses; however, both the repeated course and the original course will be counted towards 150 percent of the declared degree or certificate.

Remedial/Developmental Courses

Students required to enroll in remedial or developmental courses are eligible for financial aid as long as the total number of remedial/developmental hours attempted does not exceed 30 semester hours.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students must first make an appeal to the Financial Aid Review Committee. Criteria that may influence the committee’s decision include: class attendance, completion of assignments, substantiated academic progress in courses required for a degree, unusual circumstances, use of campus supportive services, and timely response to Financial Aid Office contacts.

Students in good academic standing may appeal the Financial Aid Review Committee’s decision regarding their financial aid suspension through the Amarillo College Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Written procedures are available in the Financial Aid Office. Students on financial aid suspension, for reasons other than Maximum Time Frame, may remove themselves from financial aid suspension if they successfully complete 6 consecutive semester hours with no drops and a 2.0 GPA for those 6 semester hours. During the time a student is attempting to complete credit hours to remove himself/herself from suspension, any class in which an I, W, or AU is received will negate all hours attempted to this point. Therefore, the student would begin the above process again to remove himself/herself from suspension. Upon completion of their consecutive hours, students must submit a review request to the Financial Aid Office. Students using summer hours to lift suspension will not be removed from suspension until the completion of the entire Summer semester. After completing the 6 consecutive hours, the student would be placed on financial aid probation.

Award Process

Awards will be made in date order in which files are complete. Files are considered complete after all required forms are on file in the Financial Aid Office. FSEOG will be awarded only to Pell recipients in lowest EFC order. Awards will be made according to the policy until all FSEOG funds are used.

Amarillo College preference dates for filing for financial aid are as follows:

Fall Semester - March 31
Spring Semester - October 1
Summer Semester - April 1

These dates are not deadlines, other than the term commitment, and they are in no way cut-off dates for types and amounts of aid. Notification of the total amount of aid awarded, as well as the amount of aid awarded through each program, will be sent to eligible students via AC student-assigned email with instruction on how to access their “award letter.”

Release of Funds

Financial Aid funds will be released according to Federal guidelines and the Financial Aid Disbursement schedule, available from the Financial Aid Department website, www.actx.edu/fin. Students with incomplete applications should make arrangement to pay their initial expenses (e.g. tuition, books) from their own resources. Once the application is complete, eligible students will receive funds as soon as possible.

Payments are made in three forms:

  • A charge to the appropriate grant or loan account
  • Direct deposit to a student selected checking or savings account 
  • A check payable to the student

All checks payable to the student will be mailed. Federal Work Study employment earnings are paid every two weeks. Any financial aid funds issued will first be applied to the balance due Amarillo College before being issued to students.

Refunds

According to the provisions of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, if a student withdraws or stops attending all classes on or before the 60% point of the period of enrollment or does not officially withdraw from the institution by mid-point of the semester and receives all “F’s”, a portion of the Title IV funds (Pell grant, ACG, SEOG, and Stafford Loan) awarded to the student must be returned. The calculation of the return of these funds may result in the student owing a balance to Amarillo College and/or the Federal Government. It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw from all classes he/she does not attend. A refund policy stating how the College treats refunds to Title IV recipients is available on the Financial Aid Department website, www.actx.edu/fin.

PLEASE NOTE: Financial aid rules and regulations can be very confusing. Please call the Financial Aid Office for assistance or explanations (371-5000).

 Cost of Attendance

A key element in determining financial need is determining the cost to attend a particular institution for a given period of time.  The Cost of Attendance is estimated to show how much it may cost you to attend AC for nine months (based on 15 hours).

 

Estimated Cost of Attendance
The estimated costs of attendance for a full-time student
for a nine-month academic year are as follows:
  In -District Out-of-District Out-of-State
  Home Not at Home Home Not at Home Home Not at Home
Tuition/fees 15hrs $1,764 $1,764 $2,274 $2,274 $3,354 $3,354
Books/supplies $1,308 $1.308 $1,308 $1,308 $1,308 $1,308
Room/Board $2,537 $5,802 $2,537 $5,802 $2,537 $5,802
Personal expenses $1,364 $1,364 $1,364 $1,364 $1,364 $1,364
Transportation $1,802 $1,802 $1,802 $1,802 $1,802 $1,802
TOTAL: $8,775 $12,040 $9,285 $12,550 $10,365 $13,630
Adjustment for childcare: 1 child + $3,374; 2 children = $6,357; 3 children = $8,680
Additional children, add $1,424 each child. No childcare for less than 1/2 time enrollment
These figures are estimates and may change without notice or obligation.

 

 

 

 

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