Student Financial Aid
The purpose of Student Financial Aid is to provide a comprehensive program of financial assistance to qualified students who would find it difficult or impossible to attend Volunteer State Community College without financial assistance.
Financial aid is administered in conjunction with the nationally established policy and philosophy that the student and his/her family have the primary responsibility for financing a college education. Financial assistance is designed only for filling in the gap between the family€™s potential resources and the student€™s expenses.
All applicants for financial aid must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
April 15 is the priority date for applying for federal financial aid for the Fall semester. After this date, financial aid will be awarded on a first-come, first serve basis until all funds have been exhausted.
Renewal of aid is not automatic; student must file a new FAFSA form each academic year. All first-time applicants must be fully accepted for admission by the College before aid will be awarded. For inquiries you can email the Financial Aid Office at financial firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standards of Academic Satisfactory Progress
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress in 1980, mandates that institutions of higher education must establish standards of "academic satisfactory progress" for students receiving financial aid. Vol State has established the following standards of "academic satisfactory progress" applicable to all Title IV and institutionally awarded funds (Federal Pell Grant, TSAA, Administrative Grant, Federal Family Educational Loan Programs and the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship programs) for the purpose of maintaining a consistent policy for all students receiving financial assistance.
- DEFINITION OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS - Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the following regulations in order to continue funding at Volunteer State Community College:
- A student must pass two-thirds (.667) of the hours originally attempted each semester and earn a semester grade point average of at least 2.0 for the total hours attempted. A grade of A, B, C, D, or P will be required for successful completion. Grades of W, I, K, YC or F will not be considered as successful completion.
- A student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
- A student who does not meet either of the above two (2) requirements will be placed on financial aid probation. During the semester of probation, the student will receive regular financial assistance and will be expected to re-establish satisfactory progress.
- If a student has not re-established satisfactory progress after the one semester of financial aid probation, all forms of financial assistance to the student will be suspended.
- A student may be reinstated on financial aid by (1) personally paying the educational expenses for a minimum of six credit hours during one full semester and (2) re-establishing satisfactory progress as defined in Item 1 of these regulations.
- A student who passes zero credit hours with a zero grade point average during any semester will be removed from financial aid without a probationary period. This student may be re-instated on financial aid after meeting the conditions of Item 4 of these regulations. If the zero hours passed and zero grade point average were the result of an official withdrawal from the College, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.
- TIME LIMIT FOR AID - Students will be allowed to receive financial assistance until they have attempted a maximum of 150% of the hours required to complete their Degree or Technical Certificate. At VSCC that represents 90 collegiate hours for a degree seeking student and 62 collegiate hours for a student seeking a Technical Certificate (not including current term). The hours that a student transfers in, which apply toward their degree/technical certificate, will be subject to 90 or 62 hour time limit. Likewise, once a student has attempted more than 30 hours of Remedial and Developmental coursework, any additional R & D coursework will not be considered in their Title IV eligibility fund calculations.
- ATTENDANCE - Attendance is mandatory. A student who never attends, will be deemed as a "non-attender" and will be required to repay a portion or all of their federal funding. Students taking RODP courses must engage processing on the WEB CT in order to establish attendance. Students who do establish attendance but stop attending prior to the end of the semester and do not officially withdraw are deemed as "unofficial withdrawals" and will be billed according to Return of Title IV funds policy.
- NOTIFICATION AND APPEAL - Any student being placed on financial aid probation or being terminated from aid will be notified by mail. Any probation or termination of financial assistance, may be appealed first to the Director of Student Financial Aid, then to the Vice President of Student Services and finally in writing to the Scholarship and Awards Committee. The student must be able to prove extenuating circumstances for an appeal.
- PRIOR ACADEMIC RECORD - A student€™s prior Vol State academic record will be reviewed and the Standards of Academic Progress will be applied prior to their eligibility determination.
Federal and State Financial Aid Programs
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study Program is a federally funded program to provide funds for the employment of students who demonstrate need as determined by FAFSA. To participate in this program, students must be accepted for admission to VSCC and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
The FWS program provides jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Students may work an average of 10 hours per week.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a federally funded program based on need as determined by FAFSA. The amount of the actual grant is based upon family contribution as determined by the federal government. You may apply for federal aid on line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you do not have WEB access, you may call or email the VSCC Financial Aid Office and request a paper FAFSA application be mailed to you.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federally subsidized program. FSEOG is awarded to students with exceptional financial need as determined by FAFSA.
Federal Family Education Loan Programs
Federal Stafford Loans
A Federal Stafford Student Loan is a variable low-interest loan made to students to help cover their educational cost. There are two types of Stafford Loan: Subsidized - where the government pays the interest while the student is in school, deferment and grace period; Unsubsidized - where the student pays the interest while in school, deferment and grace period. The FAFSA application is used in making the determination as to whether the student is eligible for a subsidized loan or an unsubsidized loan.
After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a six-month grace period before you begin repayment. Your lender will send you information about repayment.
|Annual Loan Limits:
||$3,500 per academic year
||$4,500 per academic year
Federal PLUS Loan Program
The Federal PLUS Loan Program provides a source of loan funds to the parents of dependent undergraduate students. Plus borrowers are required to file a FAFSA application. Parents can borrow up to the cost of education minus other financial aid for the student. The interest rate on PLUS loans is at a variable rate not to exceed 9%. Repayment on both principal and interest begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. There is no grace period for these loans. Interest will begin to accumulate at the time the first disbursement is made.
Tennessee Student Assistance Awards
The Tennessee Student Assistance Award Program was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1976. The purpose of the program is to provide non-repayable financial assistance to financially needy undergraduate students who are residents of Tennessee and are enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, at an eligible post secondary educational institution in Tennessee. Students must be enrolled at least half-time.
Maximum award amounts are determined by the TSAC Board of Directors prior to the beginning of the fall term. No student will receive an award greater than the amount of tuition and mandatory fees assessed by the institution attended. In order to apply for the state grant, you must complete a FAFSA application prior to May 1 for the upcoming fall term.
Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program
HOPE SCHOLARSHIPS (Hope, Aspire, Access and General Assembly Merit Scholarships) The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program is intended to provide scholarship funds to offset costs associated with pursuing postsecondary education.
Eligible Hope Scholarship applicants must submit a FAFSA, have an ACT Composite of at least 21 or a weighted high school GPA of at least 3.0 in order to be considered for the Lottery Scholarship program.
Tennessee Hope Scholarship renewal criteria includes:
- Eligibility shall be reviewed at the end of the semesters in which the student has attempted a total of 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 semester hours
- Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 after 24 attempted semester hours
- Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 after 48, 72, 96, and 120 attempted semester hours
- Must maintain satisfactory academic progress
These requirements are subject to change each July 1, pending legislative ruling.
Non-Traditional Hope Scholarships
Beginning with the Fall Semester 2005, a non-traditional student (age 25 years or older) who is an entering freshman may become eligible for a Tennessee HOPE Scholarship. In addition to the general HOPE Scholarship requirements, the non-traditional student must have an adjusted gross income that does not exceed $36,000 and attempt at least twenty-four semester hours achieving a 2.75 grade point average at the end of the semester in which the 24 hours are attempted, to be considered for a Tennessee HOPE Scholarship in subsequent semesters. The following rules also apply:
- Student must apply for the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship using FAFSA
- Maintains continuously enrollment in an eligible postsecondary institution as a full- or part-time student
- Meets the applicable retention requirements
- Maintains satisfactory progress in a course of study in accordance with the standards and practices used for federal Title IV programs at the postsecondary institution
The Administrative Grant is a program for other race minority students with first preference given to minority students 25 years of age and older.
VSCC Academic Service Scholarships
The VSCC Academic Service Scholarship is in the amount of $1,500 per academic year. This scholarship involves on-campus work obligations on the part of the student. The VSCC Academic Service Scholarship is awarded to a limited number of incoming freshmen whose high school records show academic excellence. The requirements for this scholarship are a high school grade point average of 3.0 or more and an ACT of 16 or more. The application priority date for Fall Semester is March 1 and for the Spring Semester is November 1.
Scholarship Retention Requirements:
- Students must pass a minimum of 12 hours with a 2.5 semester grade point average.
- Scholarship students attending Summer School must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5.
- Any semester in which the student does not meet the regulation in item "a" OR does not fulfill the required work obligation, the scholarship will be automatically cancelled.
- Students can receive this scholarship for only four semesters while at VSCC.
VSCC Division Academic Service Scholarships
The VSCC Division Academic Service Scholarship is in the amount of $1,500 per year. Scholarship recipients are recruited by each major division of the institution. This scholarship involves a 75 hour work obligation in the respective division on special projects. The selection and retention is the same as the VSCC Academic Service Scholarship outlined above.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
Eligible WIA recipients may receive various types of financial assistance as they pursue career training/retraining. Businesses, government, and schools work together to provide vocational or employability skills to those who are out of work or who need new skills/training to successfully enter the job market. Volunteer State Community College works in conjunction with those WIA agencies that are sponsoring these students here at VSCC. The Office of Special Adult Programs works to coordinate these effects and help with the transition of attending school.
PC 191 Fee Waiver
Employees of TBR or UT system schools are eligible to enroll in one credit class per term using the PC 191 fee waiver. The eligible employee must complete a fee waiver application with their personnel office each semester. The fee waiver form should be forwarded to the VSCC Financial Aid Office prior to registration or no later than 10 days after the term begins.
TBR Employee Dependents (Children or Spouse) Discount
Employees of TBR or UT system schools dependent children (under the age of 26) or spouse is eligible to receive a 50% discount toward maintenance fees each semester. The eligible employee must complete and submit a new discount form for their dependent child or spouse each semester prior to registration or no later than 10 days after the term begins.
Public School Teacher/State Employee Dependent Discount
Dependent children (under the age of 24) of a certified public school teacher or a full time State employee are eligible to receive a 25% discount toward maintenance fees each semester. The eligible employee must complete and submit a new discount form for their dependent child each semester prior to registration or no later than 10 days after the term begins.
State Employee Fee Waiver
Eligible employees of the Tennessee State Government are eligible to enroll in one class per term. This is called a fee waiver. The eligible state employee must complete the necessary paperwork with their personnel office and have that paperwork forwarded to the VSCC Financial Aid Office prior to registration and no later than 10 days after the term begins.