The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandates institutions of higher education to establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive financial aid. This standard must apply to the student’s entire academic history, whether Title IV financial aid was received or not. In order to remain eligible to receive aid students must meet the standard specified for acceptable academic performance and for satisfactory progress toward completion of their eligible program of study. This standard should not be confused with Probation or Good Standing as defined by academic regulations, nor is satisfactory progress affected by “academic fresh start”.
The Galveston College definition of satisfactory academic progress for receiving financial aid includes the following components:
GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)
Galveston College uses the 4.0 grade point average system and numerical code: 4.0=A
3.0=B 2.0=C 1.0=D
Students are expected to maintain an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for all hours attempted at Galveston College.
MAXIMUM TIME FRAME COMPONENT
Complete a degree program (certificate, associates, or bachelors) in a maximum time frame of no more than 150% of the average length of the program. The maximum number of attempted hours for the bachelors program is 180 hours. The maximum number of attempted hours for an associates program varies depending on the length of the program (90-98 hours). The maximum number of attempted hours for a certificate program varies depending on the length of the program (24-68 hours).
Students must successfully complete at least 75% of their overall cumulative hours attempted (incremental progress). Rate of completion is measured by dividing the cumulative number of hours successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours attempted.
CHANGE OF MAJOR
A student may change from one major to another during attendance at Galveston College. Students who change from one major to another are still expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress and complete the coursework within the time frame or hour limitation stated unless an appeal is approved. All attempted hours from a prior major(s) are included in the total maximum attempted hours.
The Financial Aid Office staff will determine each semester whether the student has
successfully completed at least the minimum expected percentage of hours with the
required grade point average and shows progress toward the educational objective for
all completed semesters.
The following will be considered as semester hours successfully completed: “A” through “D” grades
“CR”, “CRA”, CRB”, and “CRC” credit
The following shall be considered as semester hours not completed: “F” Grade
“I” Incomplete “IP” In Progress “W” Withdrawal “WX” Progress “AUDIT” No Credit
“AWN” Administrative Withdrawal-No Credit “NC”, “NCD”, “NCF” No Credit
“NR” Not Reported
Students may receive financial aid for repeating failed courses pending that they
are meeting SAP standards. Students who receive a passing grade for a course and decides
to repeat the course to receive a higher grade may only receive financial assistance
for the first repeat of the passed course. Students are not eligible to receive financial
aid for two or more repeats of a passed course.
For repeated courses, only the latest grade earned is included in cumulative grade point averages, but both courses will remain as a part of the aggregate hours attempted.
Financial aid will not be provided for courses taken by audit, credit hours earned by Examination/Experience, or continuing education courses.
Federal regulation limits financial aid for developmental classes up to 30 attempted hours. Students who enroll in developmental hours in excess of 30 hours will not be considered in calculating eligibility for financial aid, which includes Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), and Federal Direct Loans; no exceptions may be made.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS STATUSES FINANCIAL AID “WARNING”
Students who are in violation of one or more of the above-mentioned SAP components for their first offense will be placed on a WARNING SAP status for their next term of enrollment, with the exception of time frame. While on “Warning”, students are eligible to receive financial aid and must bring themselves into SAP compliance by the end of the “Warning” term. If the student is not meeting SAP at the end of the term, the student will be placed on SAP “Suspension” in which the student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid.
FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION
Students who fail to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress during the semester of attendance while on “Warning” will be placed on Suspension and denied further funding. Students may appeal their suspension status to the Financial Aid Office to regain financial aid eligibility.
REESTABLISHING AID ELIGIBILITY
A student whose financial aid has been suspended may also bring themselves back into compliance with the satisfactory academic progress requirements at their own expense; with the exception of time frame. To do so, you must take at least 6 credit hours toward your eligible degree or certificate program and pass with a “C” or better (“CR” for developmental courses). If you choose to take more than the recommended 6 hours, all hours enrolled will be taken into consideration to determine your eligibility. Courses taken outside of your eligible degree or certificate program will not qualify you to regain financial aid eligibility.
APPEAL PROCESS - APPEAL HERE
A student whose financial aid has been suspended may submit the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must include a typed statement with supporting documentation regarding extenuating circumstances. The Satisfactory Academic Appeal Team will review the appeal within 10 working days of receipt. Appeals are considered for extenuating circumstances such as injury, illness, death in the immediate family, or undue hardship that can be supported through documentation. Students who have their appeals approved by the Satisfactory Academic Appeal Team will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. To address an appeal denial decision made by the Satisfactory Academic Appeal Team, the student must respond to the decision within 10 working days of the receipt of the decision. The rebuttal appeal must be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid via the Financial Aid Office. The Director of Financial Aid will forward the appeal decision to the student within 10 working days of the receipt of the rebuttal appeal. To address an appeal denial decision made by the Director of Financial Aid, the student must respond to the decision within 10 working days of the receipt of the decision. The rebuttal appeal must be submitted to the Associate Vice President of Student Services via the Counseling Center. The Associate Vice President of Student Services will forward the appeal decision to the student within 10 working days of the receipt of the rebuttal appeal. To address an appeal denial decision made by the Associate Vice President of Student Services, the student must respond to the decision within 10 working days of the receipt of the decision. The rebuttal appeal must be submitted to the Galveston College President. Rebuttal appeals at minimum must include a written reason for the appeal or a statement of the problem and/or complaint, and the expected resolution. The President may, at his sole discretion, choose to allow oral arguments on the petition. The President may act to affirm, modify, remand, or reverse the decision. If no action is taken within sixty (60) days, the Galveston College President’s decision will be affirmed. The appeal process ends with the decision of the President.
FINANCIAL AID “PROBATION WITH ACADEMIC PLAN”
Students whose appeal was approved by the Satisfactory Academic Appeal Team, Director of Financial Aid, Associate Vice President of Student Services or Galveston College President will be placed on Financial Aid “Probation with an Academic Plan” for their duration of the approved appeal. Students will be required to adhere to an academic plan set forth by the student and their academic advisor in an effort to bring them into SAP compliance. Students who fail to meet the terms of their Financial Aid “Probation with an Academic Plan” by bringing themselves into SAP compliance will be placed on Financial Aid “Suspension”.
Your Rights To:
- Have confidential protection of your financial aid records as mandated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA);
- Know what financial aid programs that are available at Galveston College;
- Know the deadlines for submitting the appropriate applications or documents to the financial aid office;
- Request an explanation of the offered funds in your financial aid offer package;
- Be informed of financial aid policies and procedures;
- Decline your financial aid award(s) in writing.
Your Responsibilities Are To:
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP);
- Access your GC Whitecaps email account and Portal on a regular basis to receive communication from the Financial Aid Office in a timely manner;
- Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms submitted or provided either from the Galveston College Financial Aid Office or other financial aid agencies;
- Request an explanation of the offered funds in your financial aid offer package;
- Re-apply for financial aid each year;
- Provide additional documentation, verification, information, or corrections as requested by the Financial Aid Office;
- Complete all application forms accurately, and submit them on time;
- Provide correct information as wrongful reporting can be a violation of federal law;
- Accept responsibility for all agreements that you sign;
- Repay any over award of financial aid;
- Understand the sources of financial aid you receive and whether the aid is a loan, grant, or scholarship. If the aid is a loan, you must know to whom repayment is to be made and terms of repayment;
- Keep the Galveston Colleges’ Admissions Office informed of your correct address and phone number at all times, during school, and after graduation until all loans are repaid;
- Keep your lender or servicer informed of your correct information including your name, address, and enrollment status;
- Complete exit counseling if you received a loan from the Financial Aid Office prior to your separation from Galveston College, either by withdrawal, dropping below six (6) credits, or graduation;
- Perform the work that is agreed upon in accepting a Federal Work-Study offer in a satisfactory manner;
- Request personal assistance if you have questions or do not understand the information provided to you.
All financial aid awards are subject to adjustment based upon the availability of funds, enrollment status, any supplemental assistance that one might receive, changes in information, and being in compliance with the Galveston College Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for receiving Financial Aid. Awards are automatically canceled if any false representation has been made. Estimated funds that are scheduled to be disbursed are listed by type, amount, and semester.
CHANGE IN YOUR INFORMATION
Awards are based on the information provided on your application for aid, the FAFSA. You must promptly report, in writing, any change to that information to the Financial Aid Office.
HOW YOUR EXPECTED NEED IS DETERMINED
Your expected financial need is the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) at Galveston College and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The COA is determined by Galveston College and includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Your EFC is determined by a government formula that is applied against your family’s income and assets as reported on the FAFSA. By subtracting the EFC from the COA, estimated financial need is determined.
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- Cost of Attendance (Budget)
The following is a typical budget (1 semester at 15 credit hours) for a student attending Galveston College for the academic year. *Estimated charges paid to school. All other budget items are living costs and are not paid to the school.
- EFC (Estimated Family Contribution)
The amount listed on the Award Letter is what the family is expected to contribute financially to the student’s cost of attendance (including living expenses) during the budget duration. If you are considered an independent student (parents’ information is not required on the FAFSA®, the family contribution is only from the student’s resources.
- Aid Awarded
This is the total estimated aid you are scheduled to receive based on full-time enrollment.
- Remaining Need
This is your remaining financial need after subtracting the estimated financial aid.
ENROLLMENT STATUS/CLASS ATTENDANCE
Federal regulations require that your enrollment status and class attendance be verified prior to your receipt of aid.
REFUND AND REPAYMENT
Students who register, then withdraw, drop-out, expelled or receive the grade of AWN for non-attendance are subject to Federal Refund and Repayment Policy, as well as Galveston College policies found in the college catalog.
Enrollment Status is determined on the 12th class day (census date or the date funds are applied to student accounts) and is defined as follows:
- Full-time 12 or more hours
- Three-quarter time 11-9 semester hours
- Half-time- 8-6 semester hours
- Less that half-time- 5-1 semester hours
FINANCIAL AID DISCLAIMER
Students must be enrolled as a regular student in courses that count towards their active eligible degree or certificate program. Pre-plans are not considered eligible programs. Other courses, including prerequisites, cannot be used to determine enrollment status unless they are required remedial courses.
DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
- (A) Charging Your Expenses
If awarded, you may charge tuition and fees to your Pell Grant, Direct Federal
Loans, other grants and certain scholarships at the time of registration. You may also charge books and supplies during the period of time designated by the College- usually for one week before the 1st day of class through the 1st 2 weeks of classes. Students wishing to charge their books/supplies must bring a student ID and current schedule.
- (B) Debts
Any debt owed by you to Galveston College will be deducted from any financial assistance, except Federal Work Study or Texas Work Study, that you are scheduled to receive before a balance check is mailed to you.
- (C) Financial Aid Checks
Before any check is released, your eligibility, including enrollment status, must be verified. Work-study checks are the exception to this rule.
**Since Federal Direct loan funds are sent after the Master Promissory and Entrance Counseling are completed and sent electronically to Galveston College, the actual release dates may vary.
PLEASE UPDATE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS IN YOUR WHITECAPS PORTAL to eliminate mailing delays of your refund checks.
STUDENT FINANCIAL AID PROCEDURES
- (A) Under Federal policy, only 30 hours of noncredit/ developmental course work can be taken into account when determining a student’s enrollment status and cost of attendance for financial aid eligibility.
- (B) Students who have defaulted on a federal loan or owe a refund on a federal grant may not receive official academic transcripts until they have been consulted by a Financial Aid representative on options to bring their loan(s) current
- (C) All documents submitted in support of your financial aid become the property of Galveston College and cannot be returned to you. Please make copies before you submit them.
MULTIPLE AWARDING OF FINANCIAL AID
It is against federal regulation for a student to receive federal aid at more than one institution during the same enrollment period.
DISBURSEMENT OF STUDENT LOANS
- Loans must be released in two or more disbursements.
- No check will be released prior to the census date.
- First-time borrower’s loans will not be disbursed to Galveston College until 30 days after the first day of class.
- According to Federal guidelines, Galveston College has 14 business days to distribute refund checks to the student from the disbursement date.
- Only hours competed at Galveston College will be taken in to consideration to determine grade level loan eligibility.
- The Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling must be completed before funds are releases to Galveston College.
- The disbursement date is the date the loan is scheduled to send the funds to Galveston College. Funds are not released until eligibility is confirmed.
What is Galveston College School Code?
The school code is 004972.
Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
Yes. You are required to reapply for financial aid every year if you want to be considered for federal or state aid which includes grants, loans, and work-study. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA(R)) is released every October 1st for students/parents to complete.
I have received an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the Financial Aid Office?
Yes. If you are receiving any kind of outside scholarship from any agency, you must notify the Financial Aid Office. You can have the agency mail the checks to the Financial Aid Office. Please make sure that your name and GC ID Number is on the check.
NOTE: The Financial Aid Office may adjust your financial aid package as needed to prevent an over award. In most cases, outside scholarships are used to replace loans instead of grants.
Will my eligibility for financial aid change if I change my enrollment status?
Yes. If you change the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled, your eligibility could change. You should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss how it may affect your eligibility for financial aid.
What is the difference between disbursement date and refund date?
Disbursement date is the date when funds are expected to be posted to a student’s account to cover tuition, fees, and books. The refund date is the date the refund checks are mailed to students.
NOTE: Please make sure that your address is up to date with the Admissions and Registrar’s Office.
What is a “Census Date”?
The Financial Aid census date is the date that a student’s enrollment is considered “locked” by the Financial Aid Office. The census date enables the Financial Aid Office to correctly make a calculation to a student’s financial aid, especially their Pell Grant award.
What is the difference between the Financial Aid Office and the Business Office?
The two offices have separate administrative functions. The Financial Aid Office determines eligibility for grants, scholarships, loans, work-study, and other financial aid and college financing programs. The Business Office is responsible for all billing, collecting of applicable charges, and issuing student’s refund checks and 1098-T Forms.
I am enrolled in 15 credits, of which 6 credits are not required for my degree program. Will my financial aid be disburse?
Yes, but your financial aid will be adjusted to only pay for 9 credits for which you are eligible, and that go toward your degree program.
NOTE: If you have a financial aid refund, you can authorize this refund to pay for the 6 credits that are not required for your degree.
To help you meet your educational expenses, Galveston College is pleased to offer FACTS as a convenient budget plan. It is not a loan; therefore you have no debt, there are no interest or finance charges assessed and there is no credit check.
The cost to budget monthly payments is a $25 per semester non-refundable FACTS Enrollment Fee. The FACTS Enrollment Fee is automatically deducted from your account WITHIN 14 days of your agreement being posted to the FACTS system.
The down payment will be deducted immediately. The remaining payments are automatically deducted on the 5th of each month from a checking or savings account. You may also have your payment charged to your credit card. If you elect to use your credit card, only VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card may be used. Please note: Check, Debit, and ATM Cards may be returned unpaid due to daily limits restrictions imposed by your bank.
If your payment on the 5th is not successful, it will be reattempted on the 20th of the month. Any time a payment is returned, you will receive notification from FACTS on how the returned payment will be handled. Your FACTS agreement will be processed until the balance owed is paid in full.
For each returned payment, FACTS assesses a $25 FACTS Returned Payment Fee. FACTS Returned Payment Fees are automatically deducted from the account you have provided. If your FACTS Returned Payment Fee is returned, it will be reattempted. FACTS Returned Payment Fees are payable to FACTS.
FACTS Enrollment Fees and Returned Payment Fees are subject to change in future academic years or semesters, unless otherwise agreed by FACTS Management Company and Galveston College. Interest earned on all custodial funds held by FACTS is payable to FACTS Management Company.
If you have questions, please call Galveston College Business Office at (409) 944-1362 or FACTS at (800) 609-8056.
Completing the FACTS Agreement
The instructions for completing a payment plan:
- Log on to www.gc.edu
- Click on Whitecaps Portal
- Enter your 6-digit student ID number and password and click Login.
- Select the bullet point labeled Sign up for FACTS Payment Plan (Fall and Spring only) under the Quick Links tab Student Financial Info.
- Proceed to processor
- Follow prompts to complete the agreement
Students who graduate from a non-accredited high school or those who have not obtained a Certificate of High School Equivalency are admitted to Galveston College under individual approval. Students admitted under individual approval may take the Ability to Benefit exam to be considered for federal financial aid for technical/workforce programs only. Students must meet all other criteria for consideration of federal aid (see the Scholarships and Financial Aid section of the catalog for details). Students must be co-enrolled in an Adult Basic Education program and be making progress toward obtaining a certificate of high school equivalency.
Passing scores for the Ability to Benefit exam are as follows*:
Reading Comprehension – 233; Writing – 235; Arithmetic – 230
*Note – all three sections must be passed in the same test session; scores cannot be combined from multiple testing sessions.
Steps for taking the Ability to Benefit Exam:
1. Complete the Individual Approval Form with the Office of Admissions.
2. Visit the Counseling/Advising Office to obtain a testing form.
3. Pay the $29 testing fee in the Business Office.
4. Take the testing form and payment receipt to the Testing Center to take the exam.
5. Upon completion of the exam, take the test results to the Financial Aid Office.
Galveston College’s financial aid programs provide a vast array of solutions for those students, who without such aid, would not be able to pursue a higher education.
Financial Aid Office
Director of Financial Aid
Financial Aid Specialist
Jesus “Jay” Castillo
Financial Aid Specialist
Financial Aid & Veterans Affairs Specialist
Financial Aid Asssistant