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Managing Your Aid

How to Keep the Funds Flowing

FAFSA CODE 003609So, you’ve been awarded financial aid. Congratulations! Now, there are a few things to keep in mind and a few steps to follow as you move forward. The first thing to understand, though, is that at any time in the process, you can lean on us for advice or guidance. We’ll help you properly utilize your funds and keep you on the right track for maintaining eligibility.

 

Here’s pretty much everything you need to know

The government sets official standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for you to receive financial aid, which is reviewed at the end of every semester. As long as you’re going to class and making your grades, you’ll be fine. But just so you know, San Jac measures your progress in the following ways:

Grade Point Average

San Jacinto College uses the 4.0 GPA system.

4.0=A
3.0=B
2.0=C
1.0=D
0.0=F

The minimum GPA required is 2.0. This is based on the aggregate hours taken at San Jacinto College, whether you change majors or are pursuing multiple degrees or certificates. It does not include transfer hours. For repeated, developmental and ESOL courses, only the highest grade is calculated in the GPA.

Pass Rate

You are expected to pass a minimum of 75 percent of all hours attempted. This includes coursework attempted at San Jacinto College and coursework transferred from other institutions. The following grades are considered successfully completed: A, B, C, D. For repeated courses, only the course with the highest grade is used to calculate the pass rate; however, these courses will still be included in your total attempted hours.

Time frame

You are expected to complete your educational objective within the first 90 hours attempted, whether you’ve changed majors or are pursuing multiple degrees or certificates. Grades of F, I, W, NG, and N, repeated, developmental and ESOL courses are counted in this total.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Statuses

Warning
If for any reason you haven’t met the GPA or pass rate standards, you will be placed on financial aid warning. Think of it as a heads-up, a way of letting you know what you need to do. Even under warning status, you can continue to receive your financial aid.

Suspension
If you’re not in compliance by the end of your warning term or we receive transfer work while you are on a warning that does not improve your status, you will be placed on suspension and are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story, there are still options for you to regain eligibility.

Maximum Time Frame
If you have attempted more than 90 hours (including transfer hours), you are no longer eligible to receive aid. There are still options for you to regain eligibility through the appeal process.

Probation
If you failed to make satisfactory academic progress and you have appealed to have your financial aid reinstated, you are placed on Probation for one term. You are required to meet the conditions stated on your appeal approval contract without exception. If you do not meet the conditions of the financial aid appeal, you will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Academic Plan
If you completed and met the conditions of the appeal during the probation term, but you still aren't making satisfactory academic progress, you will be placed on Academic Plan. While on Academic Plan, you must continue to meet the conditions of your appeal within a specific point in time as stated on your appeal packet.

Regaining eligibility
Appeals are considered for extenuating circumstances such as injury, illness, a death in the immediate family, or undue hardship. If this applies to you, you have the option to submit a written appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Please visit our Appeal Page for more information. 

Once you are awarded aid, we’ll send you notification via email. Your award information is also instantly available online in your SOS account. Please note: Award information in SOS is based on full-time enrollment, i.e., being enrolled and attending 12 credit hours. If your enrollment changes, your refund will change as well.

If you're awarded prior to payment deadlines, tuition and fees may be charged directly to Grants, Direct Loans and some scholarships, up to your eligibility.

If you have financial aid remaining after tuition and fees have been deducted, you can charge your books and supplies on a schedule posted at the San Jac Bookstores. There is a 24-hour delay before those funds will be available in the bookstore account.

After all charges (including tuition, fees, books, and supplies) have been paid, or if your financial aid is posted after registration has ended, a refund will be sent to your San Jac Card.

When taking Part of Term (POT) classes, financial aid funds are authorized to cover charges until these classes begin. Once the POT classes begin, any financial aid fund balances are then processed for refund to your San Jac Card. In other words, refunds from POT classes can fall on different schedules than anticipated and/or be delayed until the start date of your future period of enrollment.

Beginning with the Fall 2017, SJC is changing how your aid is paid. SJC has changed from a single disbursement to three disbursements per term for all students. As a reminder, authorized aid is available to charge tuition, fees, books, and supplies against. A disbursement is aid paid to your account. A refund is sent to your San Jac Card or bank account after all charges have been paid. 

Financial Aid Refund Changes

Check your Scheduled Disbursement and Account Summary by Term to see the status of your account. You can access your financial aid information at any time.

Your enrollment status is determined by the number of semester hours you’re taking at San Jacinto College for a given semester. These hours exclude audit courses, transfer work, credit by exam, and Continuing and Professional Development classes.

Full-time 12 or more hours
Three-quarter time 9-11 hours
Half-time 6-8 hours
Less than half-time 1-5 hours

 

Pell Grants are based on full-time enrollment and are reduced if you’re taking fewer hours. If you enrolled in less than 12 hours either during the Fall and Spring terms, you may have Pell eligibility for the summer term.

SEOG and TPEG awards require at least six hours.

TEXAS Grant requires at least nine hours. 

TEOG requires at least six hours and adjusts based on your enrollment status. 

Direct Loans require you to be enrolled and attending six credit hours or more. If you are registered for parts of term, your loan will not disburse until you reach six credit hours. If you received the maximum loans during the Fall and Spring terms, additional loans are not available unless you advanced a grade level.

Grants and Stafford Loans will only pay for one repeat class if it was passed with a grade of D or better.

San Jacinto College reviews attendance after the census and middle of the semester. If you fail to attend any class meetings as of the census date, you will lose your Financial Aid eligibility for those classes. If you stop attending prior to the 60 percent point of the semester, you will lose part or all of your Financial Aid eligibility. If you manage to be successful for those classes, you can receive a retroactive disbursement at the end of the term for the classes in question. Otherwise, you will have to enroll in classes that start in later parts of term within the same semester to regain your Financial Aid eligibility.
 
You are required to attend your classes and complete your assignments, including assignments in Blackboard for online classes, throughout the semester. If you fail to meet this requirement, you will have your aid adjusted.
 
Attendance for online/distance learning classes is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as participating in class or being engaged in an academically related activity, such as contributing to the class online discussion board. Documenting that you have logged into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate academic attendance.

Sometimes plans change. You might receive financial aid, register for a term and then decide not to attend. It happens. That’s why we have a withdrawal process in place, so you don’t incur any unnecessary expense.

If you should find yourself in this situation, formally withdraw yourself from your courses before classes begin. That way you won’t receive any unintended grades that could impact your GPA. What’s more, you won’t get hit with financial aid charges.

Keep in mind if you fail to successfully complete at least one class due to non-attendance this is still considered a withdrawal. We call this an unofficial withdrawal. Classes meeting this circumstance should have a grade of FX submitted from your instructor at the end of the term. 

Remember, if you’re uncertain about any of this, ask someone in the Financial Aid Office. That’s why we’re here.

Let’s say you’re receiving federal financial aid, but you have to withdraw for some reason before the semester is up. Well, the law says if you didn’t complete 60% of the term, you have to pay money back. But we make the process easy for you. After you have officially withdrawn, we’ll recalculate your aid and notify you if you owe anything. This law applies to:

Pell Grants

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Studies (PLUS).

Keep in mind if you fail to successfully complete at least one class due to non-attendance this is still considered a withdrawal. We call this an unofficial withdrawal. Classes meeting this circumstance should have a grade of FX submitted from your instructor with a last date of attendance. After all grades are posted at the end of the term, we will complete a return calculation. If we cannot determine an official date when you stopped attending, we will use the mid-point of your enrollment period. We will notify you of any debts. Notifications are sent to you at the address on file with the college.

Debts owed to San Jacinto College for the current term will be deducted from available financial aid before any refunds are processed.

Previous term and prior-year debts are usually paid from personal resources before you can register for additional classes or future semesters, but there are some exceptions. Debts from previous terms within the current school year, including Return of Title IV funds, may be paid from your current financial aid award. Prior-year debts (or debts occurring outside of the current school year) and non-institutional charges may be paid from current award year funds with written permission. The college cannot use your current award to pay more than $200 of prior year debts and/or non-institutional charges. 

Please check with a financial aid advisor or coordinator for more details on your situation.

 

If you owe the Department of Education, your eligibility to receive federal aid at any school will be lost until the debt is repaid or acceptable repayment arrangements are made with the National Payment Center of the Department of Education. San Jacinto College will assign any debt due to the Department of Education for processing.