Grants, Work-Study, Loans and Scholarships
Federal Pell Grants
By filing the FAFSA, a student is automatically considered for a Pell Grant based on their families EFC and if they are enrolled in an eligible program of study. Students receive preliminary Pell eligibility upon completion of filing their FAFSA if filed electronically. This amount is subject to any changes that a student might make to his/her FAFSA application or from the process of Verification.
The amount of their award, based on the determination of eligibility and the cost of their education, is determined by the U.S. Department of Education. This grant program, authorized by the Educational Amendments of 1972, does not have to be repaid and is used to provide the “base” for a student’s financial package. The maximum amount varies from year to year dependent on published Office of Education payment schedules.
Once Pell is awarded to a student and that student becomes registered, Pell is placed on the student account. A Pell grant is used to pay tuition, fees, room and board (if a student lives on campus). Any amount over these billed amounts can be refunded to a student. Students who are Pell-eligible can charge their books from the campus bookstore to their accounts before any Pell refunds are distributed if financial aid
is greater than tuition, fees and dorm charges. This can be by the 7th day of a payment period, as long as the student has completed the financial aid process
. Students must have completed the financial aid process (must be awarded) in order to obtain their books in this manner. This process is only for the College bookstore.
Students must apply each year by filing the FAFSA
electronically. Students can apply after October 1st each
year. All new and returning students are encouraged to apply early,
at least by April 1, to ensure adequate time for processing.
The amount of a student’s Pell grant can be affected by a student’s enrollment status: full time, part time or less then part time. Before a student changes enrollment status (drops or adds classes) he/she should check with the Financial Aid Office to see how the change will affect his/her aid status. After the official drop and add period, the Financial Aid Office will not recalculate a student’s Federal Pell Grant amount due to enrollment status change. EXAMPLES: If Student A enrolls for 12 credit hours and withdraws from 3 credit hours after the official Drop/Add period, then Student A will be paid as a full time student. If Student B originally enrolls for 9 credit hours and adds an additional 3 credit hours after the official Drop/Add period, then Student B will be paid as a three-quarter time student, not as a full time student.
When a student is awarded after the beginning of a term (semester) and the student is Pell eligible their enrollment will be reviewed at that time. To receive a Pell grant a student must be enrolled and attending those courses that the student is enrolled in and these courses must be in a degree or certificate program that is qualified for federal student aid. The student’s Pell will be awarded based on this course attendance, regardless of what the student was originally enrolled for. The date of record for Pell will be the date that the student has completed the awarding process. No reduction of Pell will occur after a student is awarded except when a student totally withdraws or fails all courses in a given term. Then the rules for recalculation of Title IV aid will be reviewed with respect to the students last date of enrollment and federal aid is adjusted at that time if need be.
Pell Grants are federal financial aid. Direct Student Loans, Plus loans, FWS and FESOG are also federal financial aid. Students receiving federal financial aid of any type must have their attendance verified each semester before any aid proceeds are disbursed. This process, completed by the faculty, occurs after the last day of drop and add for the term of current enrollment. Any student not attending classes as documented by the faculty will have their classes dropped and will have their federal financial aid suspended. Students are notified of this via their campus email or letter to their permanent address. Students will not be able to attend classes. If a student believes they have attended class, they need to contact their instructors and follow the instructions that were emailed or mailed to them.
Students receiving Pell Grants are subject to lifetime limits and review of their enrollment history. For information, please go to Pell LEU and Unusual Enrollment History
Federal Supplemental – Educational Opportunity Grants
By filing the FAFSA form, students are considered for the the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG). This grant is for students with exceptional financial need. The students with the lowest EFC have the highest need. If a student receives FSEOG, it cannot be less than $200. Not all students who qualify can be awarded, as there is a limited amount of grant money available. Students who apply early (file a complete FAFSA) are given first consideration.
Federal Work-Study Program
By filing the FAFSA form, students can be considered for the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS). The FWS program provides jobs for students who have financial need and who indicate on their FAFSA that they are interested in employment. The number of hours a student may work is determined by the student’s need for financial aid. A student may earn no less than minimum wage. Students are paid monthly via student payroll.
Jobs include on-campus work in the cafeteria, library, administrative offices, residence halls, labs, gymnasium, facilities and grounds maintenance department, and off-campus with a public or private nonprofit agency, such as the public school system. In arranging a job and determining how many hours a week a student may work under this program, the Financial Aid Director or his designee will take into account: (1) need for financial assistance, (2) class schedule, (3) health, and (4) academic progress.
Federal Work-Study job assignments are made according to the date students complete their file and receive a Federal Work-Study award. The student’s job preference and skills are given first consideration; however, other factors may determine final job placement. Students who indicate no skills or job preference are placed in areas needing the largest number of student workers. Those students who fail to complete their files prior to orientation are considered late and are placed in the areas with remaining jobs.
Not all students who want jobs or are eligible can be placed. FWS is also limited due to the amount granted by the federal government. Those students who apply early by filing the FAFSA will be considered first.
This program of student employment provides jobs for students who are interested in campus-based jobs. Students may earn no less than minimum wage. Jobs are the same as the Federal College Work-Study Program. Students must be full-time and make satisfactory academic progress.
Alabama Student Assistance Program
The Alabama Student Assistance Program provides a supplemental source of financial assistance to qualified undergraduate students with an established financial need from families with income below the prescribed maximum levels provided by law.
Students must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program of study leading to a degree other than a field of preparation for a religious profession. They must be legal residents of the State of Alabama and must maintain satisfactory progress.
Direct Student Loan
By filing the FAFSA form and being in an eligible program, a student can qualify for the Direct Student Loan Program. This loan program provides financial assistance through the federal government. To apply for a student loan, a student must go to http://studentloans.gov
. A student must do both a MPN (master promissory note found on the website) and entrance counseling (also found on the website). When a student ends their college career, either by graduating or withdrawing (not continuing) they must do exit loan counseling. The College will notify all students who graduate, withdraw or do not enroll for the next term within 30days of the end of each term. This notification will be a reminder for the student to do exit counseling. This counseling service is found at http://studentloans.gov
. For more information on exit counseling and what your responsibilities are, see the Exit Counseling Guide for Federal Student Loan Borrowers
Once a student is awarded a DL by the FS financial office they must fill out a Loan Request Form (form is located on the Forms tab of the FA website). Students must complete this form to receive any Direct Student loans. Loan eligibility can be found on your award notification or on your Interact account. Students must apply for loans on an annual (academic year basis) basis, UNLESS a student is only attending for a single semester.
This means that students must fill this form out for two consecutive terms: Fall and Spring or Spring and Summer. If applying for a single term loan please note that this loan is subject to two disbursements during the term of the loan. Single term summer loans can be requested if a student is eligible, but a student must check on the request form if the summer loan is an additional loan or first time loan. Loans will only be disbursed for the terms that a student is registered for. Loans that are not disbursed do not have to be paid back. Interest on unsubsidized loans or parent plus loans does not start until loans are disbursed.
student is in the first year of undergraduate study and is a first-time
Direct Subsidized/Direct Unsubsidized Loan borrower, the disbursement
of the first installment of the Direct loan will not occur until 30
after the student’s program of study begins.
Direct Student Loans will be awarded to students who at the time of awarding are at enrolled at least half time in a degree or certificate program that qualifies for federal student aid. Direct student loans are subject to positive confirmation by the student before any actual loans are originated. Also a student must be enrolled at least half time at time of loan disbursement. Direct student loans are also subject to the rules of Title IV recalculation if a student totally withdraws or fails all courses in a given term.
The Direct Loan Program has two types of loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized.
Subsidized Direct Loan
- The student borrower is required to demonstrate a financial need. The federal government, on behalf of the borrower, pays the interest that begins to accrue while a student is in school, during authorized deferment periods, and for six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Students who are first time loan borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 are subject to a 150% maximum borrowing time limit for subsidized loans. For example if a student is enrolled in a two year degree they have three years of subsidized eligibility (if they qualify) to earn the degree, it they do not earn the degree (graduate), they will become only eligible for unsubsidized loans and the subsidized loans that they have previously received will revert to unsubsidized loans and the student will be responsible for any and all interest. For 1 year certificate programs the time limit is 18 months.
Students transferring into the College from other colleges who were first time loan borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 are subject to the maximum borrowing limits. For example a student who had borrowed three years of subsidized loans at a four year school and is transferring to the College, regardless of the number of accepted transfer credits, would have zero eligibility left for subsidized loans, but would have unsubsidized loan eligibility left depending on their lifetime eligibility limits.
Students who change programs without completing their initial program are subject to maximum time rules for subsidized loans. For example a student who starts a program but fails to complete it and starts a program of equal or less length loses subsidized eligibility after the 150 percent time period.
For more information about current interest rates, applications and counseling information, please go to www.studentloans.gov
Unsubsidized Direct Loan
– The student borrower is not required to demonstrate a financial need to qualify for the unsubsidized loan. However, repayment begins immediately upon disbursement or payment may be delayed. If repayment is delayed, the applicable interest payment begins to accrue upon disbursement.
- Depending on the student’s cost of attendance and their student status ( dependent or independent), a student can borrow from $3,500-$9,500 on both the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program for the first year, and between $4,500-$10,500 for the second year. A student can borrow a lesser amount than listed above and is encouraged to do so. Students are encouraged to visit studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans
for more loan information.
Direct Plus Loan (Loan for Parents
)—A Plus Loan enables a parent with a good credit history to borrow to pay the educational expenses of each child who is a dependent, undergraduate student. Eligibility is not based on income. This loan program is intended to supplement the Direct Student Loan Program. Detailed information and application information can be found here http://www.direct.ed.gov/parent.html
. A parent may borrow an amount not to exceed the student’s estimated cost of attendance
minus any financial aid that has been awarded for the enrollment period.
For more information about current interest rates, applications and counseling information, please go to www.studentloans.gov
We are pleased to provide you with updated information to ensure that borrowers of loans authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, have the most current contact information for the Student Loan Ombudsman. This information is necessary for you to comply with the regulatory requirements that schools, lenders, guaranty agencies, and commercial and Department of Education servicers notify borrowers regarding the availability of the Ombudsman. Those requirements are included in the regulations at 34 CFR 674.42(b)(2)(xi) and .45(h); CFR 682.208(c)(3)(ii), .410(b)(5)(vii), .411(b)(3), and .604(g)(2)(x); and CFR 685.304(b)(4)(vii).
Effective February 28, 2016, please use the following information to contact the FSA Student Loan Ombudsman Group.
Via on-line assistance: http://studentaid.gov/repay-loans/disputes/prepare
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633
Private Alternative Loans
For more information, please go to Private Alternative Loans Information
The College offers several types of scholarships to beginning freshmen students. The Scholarship Committee awards scholarships for proven performance in academics, leadership, athletics, cheerleading, and performing arts. Detailed information and applications for scholarships may be obtained through the Office of Financial Aid. Students applying for any type of scholarship must file the FAFSA in order to qualify for the scholarship award. Only citizens of the United States or resident aliens are eligible for Institutional Scholarships.
High school valedictorians, salutatorians, National Merit finalists, and National Merit semifinalists may be offered scholarships to attend the College. The Scholarship Committee actively recruits student scholars with a proven academic track record. The College fosters quality education and welcomes the opportunity to assist promising scholars, regardless of their chosen fields of study. Students awarded academic scholarships are designated “Presidential Scholars.”
Web Language for Presidential and Institutional Scholarships
Additional scholarships are offered each year to outstanding athletes. The College has developed an impressive intercollegiate reputation over the past years and strives to maintain its lead in athletic programs.
For more information contact the College’s Athletic Department.
Cheerleading and Mascot scholarships are awarded annually to students who exhibit outstanding cheerleading abilities and skills. Cheerleaders
have been National Cheerleading Champions in 1989 and 1991 and continue to excel in this winning tradition.
Additional scholarships are provided to College students through funds donated by area merchants, businesses, civic groups, and other patrons of the College. The eligibility requirements for these scholarships vary and depend on student needs, skills, and other factors.
Dogwood Trail Pageant Scholarship
The College provides two Presidential Scholarships to two graduating seniors who previously placed in the top ten of the Dogwood Trail Pageant. The two scholarship recipients must be graduating seniors who are identified by the Dogwood Trail Pageant Committee. The scholarship recipients must enroll in the Summer or Fall Semester following their graduation and complete the two years in consecutive terms excluding Summer Semester. The Dogwood Pageant Committee must notify the College’s Financial Aid Office of the two scholarship recipients’ names by April 1 following the pageant.
James D. Martindale Memorial Scholarship
The James D. Martindale Memorial Natural Science Scholarship is awarded in the spring of each year to a deserving science or science-related major; the recipient must be a rising College sophomore. The scholarship pays tuition and fees for one academic year. The student’s application will be reviewed and the scholarship will be awarded by the Division Chair of the Natural Science Division, the Martindale family (or their designee), and the College Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee. This memorial scholarship is named in honor of James D. Martindale who was the first instructor and Division Chair of the Natural Science Department. The scholarship was established in January 2008 by the family, College faculty and friends.
Fine and Performing Arts Scholarships
The Scholarship Committee offers scholarships to students who show potential in the fine and performing arts such as art, commercial art/computer graphics, music, theater, and photography.
The College also recognizes the importance of demonstrated leadership in high school and its significance at the college level. Scholarships may be extended to students who have served as senior class presidents, presidents of student bodies or student councils, editors of newspapers, and other significant leadership positions.
Senior Adult Scholarship Program (60-Plus Students)
This scholarship program is granted to Alabama residents who are 60 years of age or older and who enroll for classes either part-time or full time for credit or audit. This program covers only tuition cost.
Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship Program
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs offers financial assistance to eligible dependents (child, stepchild, spouse or unremarried widow(er)) of disabled veterans (living or deceased) who were permanent civilian residents of Alabama prior to entry into military service. Special consideration is given to permanently and totally disabled veterans who are bona fide residents or were prior to their death. Other qualifying veterans’ categories are former prisoners of war (POW), declared missing in action (MIA), and those who died in service.
Maximum educational benefits include free tuition, required textbooks and laboratory fees for four standard academic years or a prescribed technical course at any state-supported junior or community college, university or technical school. Noncredit courses are excluded.
Dependent children must file an application prior to age 26 (may be extended to age 30 in certain cases). A spouse or widow(er) does not have a filing deadline or age limitation.
For more information and application procedures, contact your nearest Veterans Affairs Office located in each county courthouse or you may write to the Alabama GI Dependents’ Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 1509, Montgomery, Alabama 36102-1509.
The Gulf Shores Women's Club offers two scholarships for approximately $1,000.00 each depending on availability of funds for tuition, fees, and books.