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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
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 are the criteria used to select financial aid recipients?
- How is financial need determined?
- What are 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 (myACcount.actx.edu).
Beginning July 1, 2012, the Ability to Benefit exam will NO longer be available as an alternative to high school equivalency. Therefore, students who do not have a high school diploma or GED, or do not meet the home school requirements, and who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012, will not be eligible to receive Title IV student aide. Students who have tested on Ability to Benefit AND have been enrolled in a college program BEFORE July 1, 2012 will be grandfathered in.
For a more complete listing and application instructions, go to Financial Aid Types on the Financial Aid website.
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.
Amarillo College provides a comprehensive program of grants and work opportunities to assist students in their academic pursuits. Interested students should contact the Financial Aid Office.
The Amarillo College Foundation exists to solicit and administer gifts and grants for the benefit of Amarillo College, its students, faculty and staff, its programs and facilities. The AC Foundation offers a large and diverse amount of scholarship opportunities to students. There are several types of scholarship options available to incoming, continuing ,and returning students wishing to attend Amarillo College. There are also several scholarships available which allow a student to attend an accredited four-year Texas University. All of the available scholarships are typically based on merit and/or need.
The deadline for general Amarillo College Scholarships is March 1st each year. The deadline for the Sybil B. Harrington Scholarship is February 1st each year.
For a more in-depth look at the scholarships available and the application process at the Amarillo College Foundation, visit actx.edu/foundation.
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.studentloans.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). Federal Work Study employment earnings are paid every two weeks by direct deposit.
The purpose of the Hazlewood Exemption (Hazlewood Act) is to provide an education benefit to honorably discharged or separated Texas veterans and their dependent children and spouses. The Hazlewood Exemption helps fund an eligible student’s education costs. The exemption covers tuition and institutional fees. It does not cover any lab or special fees for individual courses.
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.collegeforalltexans.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.
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 30 days before the start of the term. 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 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 Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) at www.gibill.va.gov.
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
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.
Additional information and deadlines may be obtained from the Fainancial Aid Department site located at www.actx.edu/fin.
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.
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.
To be eligible to begin receiving student financial aid at Amarillo College, a student must meet the following criteria:
- Graduated from high school, earned a GED, or met the home school requirements
- Declare a major in a degree or academic certificate program of no less than 16 semester hours
- The number of hours attempted cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the student’s major (please see Maximum Time Frame/Mathematically Unable to Complete)
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/Mathematically Unable to Complete)
- Be able to complete his/her declared degree program prior to atempting 150% of the number of hours required for his/her declared degree program (please see Maximum Time Frame/Mathematically Unable to Complete)
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
- Maintain at least a 67% cumulative completion rate (pace)
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.
Beginning July 1, 2012, the Department of Education has implemented limits to the total amount of Pell grants students may receive. The Pell Grant limit will be determined by adding together the percentage of Pell grants received by the student during each year he/she received aid. For example, a student who was enrolled in 12 hours for both the Fall and Spring semesters will have used 100% of his/her award for the year. A student who only enrolls in half time hours for both the Fall and Spring semesters will have used 50% of the award for the year. Once a student has used 600% of their lifetime eligibility which would be equivalent to 12 full-time semesters, he/she will no longer be eligible to receive Pell grants.
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.
Students may lose eligibility to receive financial aid if the student:
- Does not maintain at least a 67% cumulative completion rate (dropping/failing classes)
- Cumulative GPA drops below a 2.0
- Reaches Maximum Time Frame or Mathematically Unable to Complete
The first semester a student does not meet the pace and/or GPA standards, he/she will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning status. Once on warning, the student may continue to receive Title IV financial aid (grants and guaranteed student loans). If both standards, pace and GPA, are met at the end of the next semester the student attends, the warning will be removed, and the student will return to a satisfactory status. Failure to meet the standards while on Financial Aid Warning (meaning for the 2nd consecutive semester the student has less than a 67% cumulative completion rate and/or less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA) will result in the student being placed on Financial Aid Suspension at the end of the semester. Students on suspension will NOT be eligible to receive Federal Title IV funding or state funding (grants, federal work study, and guaranteed student loans).
As required by the Department of Education, any students who will not successfully complete their degree plan prior to reaching Maximum Time Frame will immediately be placed on Financial Aid Suspension; however, 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/Mathematically Unable to Complete
Federal regulations specify that the Maximum Time Frame for degree completion may not exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s degree program. For example: if the Amarillo College Catalog lists a major which is 60 hours in length, Maximum Time Frame for the degree would be 90 hours (60 hrs x 150% = 90 hrs).
Once the Financial Aid Office has determined that a student will not successfully complete his/her degree plan prior to reaching Maximum Time Frame, the student will immediately be placed on Financial Aid Suspension, as required by the Department of Education. For example, a student’s degree plan requires 60 hours for completion; therefore, the maximum time frame limit would be 90 hours. The student has attempted 70 hours, but still requires 30 credit hours to complete the degree. The student will immediately be placed on suspension for maximum time frame, since the student would not be able to complete all 30 hours needed for the degree prior to reaching the 90 hour maximum time frame limit. Accepted transfer hours will be included in this calculation. Remedial hours will not be included in this calculation.
Any course in which an I, F, 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.
Students who have received credit for passing a course but are choosing to enroll in the course a 2nd time in an attempt to improve their grade may receive funding for the class. Students who enroll in the class for a 3rd time in an attempt to improve their grade will not be eligible to receive funding for that class.
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 not meeting pace and/or GPA standards may regain eligibility by completing additional credit hours to raise their cumulative completion rate to at least 67% and achieving at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA at AC. Students must submit a Review Request to the Financial Aid Office when they have met the requirements and are eligible for reinstatement. Students using summer hours to lift suspension will not be removed from suspension until the completion of the entire summer semester.
Students on Suspension for Maximum Time Frame (mathematically unable to complete their degree due to hours remaining) may submit a Suspension Review Request to the Financial Aid Office. Criteria that may influence the committee’s decision includes reason for excessive attempted hours, number of hours remaining to graduate, and overall academic history. The student will be required to meet with his/her academic advisor to complete an academic plan, which must be submitted with the suspension review request form.
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 - April 30
Spring Semester - October 1
Summer Semester - May 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. Tuition and fees are paid from the available financial aid.
Credit balance funds are released to the student by:
- Direct deposit to a student’s checking or savings account
- A check payable to the student
All checks payable to the student will be mailed. Any financial aid funds issued will first be applied to the balance due Amarillo College before being issued to students.
Return to Title IV (R2T4)
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, SEOG, and Direct 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:
|Not at Home
|Not at Home
|Not at Home
|Adjustment for childcare: 1 child + $3,415; 2 children = $6,437; 3 children = $8,785
Additional children, add $1,441 each child. No childcare for less than 1/2 time enrollment
|These figures are estimates and may change without notice or obligation.
The following link will compare the estimated cost of attendance and potential financial aid for Texas educational institutions, including Amarillo College.
www.actx.edu/fin (TX Aid for College Calculator)
- This calculator is intended for incoming freshmen who plan to enroll as full-time students.
- This calculator provides only a rough approximation of financial aid (and even then, only if accurate data is entered into the calculator).