Your success is important to us!
Changes are made to Federal Student Aid regulations yearly that impact student eligibility. The Alamo Colleges Student Financial Aid Department (SFA) prepared this guide to assist you in developing strategies to successfully apply for, receive, and maintain financial aid eligibility. Let us know if you would like additional information or clarification of any of these points.
NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW
|APPLICATION PROCESSING GUARANTEE DATES
||Processing Guarantee Date
||Last Day to Apply
||May 1, 2015
||November 1, 2016
||March 15, 2016
||July 15, 2016
1. The Higher Education Act and current regulations require that a student maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to be eligible to receive financial aid. Schools are required to periodically evaluate whether students are meeting SAP to ensure their academic standing is consistent with graduation requirements. Alamo Colleges SAP requirements are:
- Maintain a 2.0 minimum overall GPA.
- Complete a minimum of 67% of all classes in which they enroll.
- Complete the program of study before exceeding 99 hours of attempted college level course work.
SAP is evaluated after every spring semester. Students who do not meet. SAP are placed on suspension status indicating all future semesters’ eligibility is immediately suspended. An appeal process exists for students with extenuating circumstances which impacted their ability to successfully complete their courses. All federal and state financial aid awards for future semesters are cancelled for students placed on financial aid suspension or academic dismissal.
2. Students who submit all required documentation by the dates noted above, and meet all eligibility requirements, are guaranteed to have their financial aid application processed by start of classes for the designated enrollment period. Student loans for first-time borrowers require additional processing time as federal regulation requires loans for first-time borrowers to be delayed until 30 days of the semester has elapsed.
3. Students submitting documentation after the Processing Guarantee Dates must be prepared to either:
- pay their tuition bill in full or
- enter into the Alamo Colleges’ payment plan with the Bursar’s Office.
The Alamo Colleges continues processing all applications submitted after the Processing Guarantee Dates and will make every effort to award students by the start of classes. However, there is no guarantee that all applications can be reviewed, completed, awarded, and paid prior to the Payment Deadline. Students who qualify will receive their financial aid eligibility refund amount when funds become available. All eligibility requirements remain in effect.
4. Alamo Colleges student aid is awarded from a student’s Primary College; but students may enroll at any of the Colleges and receive aid based on the combined number of hours enrolled. During Northeast Lakeview College’s (NLC) accreditation process, students who are requesting financial aid must process their FAFSA through one of the other Alamo Colleges.
5. Student application data must be reviewed if a student is “Selected for Verification” (SFV) by the U. S. Department of Education-Central Processing System. The verification process is tailored to each student’s individual requirements. All required documents are located in the student’s ACES account as a fillable form. Students should be prepared for the verification process by allowing six (6) weeks after all documents have been submitted.
6. Three easy and convenient options are available to obtain copies of federal tax return (tax return transcript) forms: by phone at 1-800-908-9946; online at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=232168,00.html, which includes both the option to receive the transcript online or by mail.
7. The student’s full name and Social Security Number must match exactly as listed on both the ApplyTexas and FAFSA applications. New students and those changing home colleges within Alamo Colleges should confirm their ApplyTexas status and FAFSA applications with the appropriate Student Services department at their primary college.
8. All students receive access to enroll, check grades, and conduct business with the Alamo Colleges through the Alamo Colleges Education Services( ACES) student portal. Students have access 24/7 to view their financial aid application and document status in ACES. Additionally, messages and email notifications from SFA are routinely updated in ACES email. A Financial Aid ACES tutorial is available online, and a Financial Aid tab or MyPage tab provide quick access to application status.
9. In order to access the Financial Aid tab or MyPage tab to check financial aid status and email, students must have an active ApplyTexas application on file that designates their primary college as Northwest Vista, Palo Alto, St. Philip’s or San Antonio College, must submit official transcript(s), and must be admitted. Current students already have an active ApplyTexas application.
10. All registration and payment deadlines as listed in the Registration/Payment Calendar will be adhered to.
11. The Federal PELL program eligibility amount is based on the Fedeeral Pell Grant Payment Schedule issued by the U.S. Department of Education and the student’s EFC (Expected Family Contribution). The Federal Pell award listed is based on Full-time enrollment, and the amount that credits into the student’s account is based on the actual number of hours enrolled, e.g., fulltime (12+); three-quarter (9-11); halftime (6-8) and less-than-halftime (1-5) credit hours. State Aid programs are also awarded based on Full-time enrollment, and the amount that credits is based on actual enrollment.
12. The Federal Pell and some State Grant programs recalculate the paid amount (up or down) whenever students add/drop classes through the Census Date. Registration purges are based on outstanding balances; students with aid credited to their account are at risk of having registrations dropped for an outstanding balance when:
- classes are added and the SFA is not informed or able to increase a Pell Grant
- classes are dropped and the SFA has recalculated the Pell Grant downward resulting in a balance owed
13. Federal Pell and State financial aid awards do not increase when students enroll in Flex II classes after the census date of the semester. Enrollment for all courses in all parts of the term must be completed before the first Census Date.
14. Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) - Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds are awarded to students under the assumption they will attend school for the entire semester. If a student withdraws from all classes (or earns all “f” grades), the award amount must be recalculated. If the withdrawal occurs before the attendance in a minimum of 60% of an enrollment period, the award amount is recalculated to determine the amount of funds the student did not earn. The unearned proportion of aid paid plus the tuition owed to the college will be repaid by the student.