Financial Aid FAQs

Do I have to file for financial aid every year? add

A new FAFSA application must be completed every year.

Does my financial aid transfer from one institution to another? add

Your financial aid does not transfer from one institution to another.

You must apply at each institution where you want to receive financial aid using the appropriate Federal School Code.

How many credit hours do I need to receive financial aid? add

All financial aid programs, except for Pell Grant, require a minimum enrollment of at least six (6) credit hours within each session.

(Pell Grant amounts are established by federal guidelines; therefore, awards will be based on the number of hours for which a student registers.)

Award amounts increase depending on the number of hours for which a student enrolls. Enrollment status will be determined according to the following:

6-8 sem. hrs. = Half-Time
9-11 sem. hrs. = 3/4 Time
12 or more sem. hrs. = Full-Time

What happens if I drop all of my classes? add
Federal regulations mandate that a student who completely withdraws prior to the 60% point of a semester repay a prorated amount of the financial aid received.
Do I have special financial or family circumstances? add

The process of determining a student's eligibility for federal aid is basically the same for all applicants, but there is some flexibility. If you have special circumstances that can be documented, adjustments can be made that may result in more financial aid for you.

Any unusual school expenses or any changes in your personal situation that are affecting your finances may be considered "special circumstances."

Examples include:

  • Unusual medical expenses.
  • Reduction in earnings. For example, you (or your parent) may have lost a job and will not have as much income in 2014 as you did in 2013.
  • Death of a spouse or parent
  • You or parents have separated or divorced since you applied for aid.
  • Disability of a spouse, parent, or the student.
  • One-time income: for example, you may have had a lump sum retirement distribution in 2013 that you won't get in 2014.
  • Other examples include inheritance, moving expense allowance, or back-year social security payments.

Contact the Financial Aid office for further information and required paperwork.

I’ve been removed from Academic Dismissal or I am approved for an Academic Fresh Start, does this remove me from financial aid suspension? add
No. Academic renewal is not recognized for financial aid purposes. The original earned credits and grades are always counted as credits attempted, in the GPA calculation and towards maximum time frame as appropriate.
I have been out of college for a number of semesters/years, how can I be on suspension? add
Your academic history, including hours transferred into Southwest Texas Junior College, is cumulative and never resets itself. Once you are in violation of SAP requirements, the suspension status remains until an appeal is approved or sufficient progress is made. Transferred hours count towards maximum attempted hours.
I’m on financial aid suspension, can I still apply for a Direct Loan? add
No. Your suspension status impacts eligibility for all federal aid, including Direct Loans.
Is there any way to expedite the review of my appeal? add
No. Appeals are reviewed according to the date they are received.
How long will it take to receive a decision on my appeal? add
The review time can take up to 2 weeks and there is no guarantee your appeal will be approved.
If my appeal is denied can I petition the decision? add
No. The committee’s decision is final.