Financial Aid and Scholarships
The financial aid program at Trinity Valley Community College is designed to provide financial aid through scholarships, grants, loans and on-campus employment.
Financial aid applications, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for loans, grants and work study are available on the Federal Student Aid website the first weekday on or after October 1 for awards to be made for use during the following school year. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1 since funds for some of these programs are limited. Trinity Valley Community College school code is 003572.
The priority processing deadline for Federal Financial Aid (PELL Grant, FSEOG, and Direct Loans) is July 1 for the fall semester, November 1 for the spring semester, April 1 for the summer I, summer II, and all summer semesters. Further information concerning deadline dates and consideration of applicants can be obtained online on the financial aid website.
A student’s financial aid will not be processed until an application has been submitted to the registrar’s office.
In order to maintain financial aid eligibility, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Federal regulations require all financial aid students to maintain progress towards an academic degree. If a student fails to meet these standards, they will be placed on financial aid suspension and unable to receive any state and federal financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Students must maintain the following requirements in order to maintain financial aid eligibility and avoid suspension consequences:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students receiving State grants such as TEXAS Grant & TEOG must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5.
- Maintain a minimum PACE rate of 67% of cumulative passed hours divided by cumulative attempted hours. Students receiving State grants such as TEXAS Grant & TEOG must maintain a 75% completion rate of all attempted* hours.
- Completion of degree/certificate within a maximum timeframe, including transfer hours, repeat classes, and institutional attempted* hours. Students may not receive financial assistance beyond 150% of their degree program requirements.
- Credit hours are cumulative; therefore students with multiple degrees or many major changes may reach this maximum time frame before completing their course of study.
*Attempted hours for financial aid include all courses listed on a student’s transcript including classes with grades of W, F, FD, I, IP, repeated courses, and college preparatory courses.
SAP Warnings & Suspensions
The first semester a student does not meet the GPA and/or PACE requirements outlined above, they will be issued a warning. Students receiving a warning will receive financial aid for the next semester and should use that semester to make the necessary adjustments to avoid suspension. Students who have reached their maximum time frame to complete their degree will not receive a warning and are automatically placed on financial aid suspension.
After receiving a warning, students who fail to meet any one or a combination of the SAP requirements will be ineligible for financial aid. Students on financial aid suspension will no longer receive financial aid for the next semester or any subsequent semesters.
Students are offered the opportunity to appeal their financial aid ineligibility when placed on suspension. If an appeal is approved for financial aid reinstatement, students will be placed on financial aid probation and will receive only one probationary period of aid. Students then must meet all three SAP requirements at the end of the semester to continue to receive financial aid. If students do not meet the terms of probation, eligibility for financial aid will cease and all remaining aid will not be disbursed. Subsequent financial aid suspensions will not be permitted to appeal. Once a student loses eligibility, the only way to regain eligibility for financial aid is to make up the deficit that placed them on suspension to meet SAP requirements.
Many financial aid suspensions have an appeal deadline. Students who miss the appeal deadline will have to regain eligibility by making up their deficit through means other than financial aid. To make up a deficit students must satisfactory complete enough classes at TVCC to improve their PACE and/or GPA to the required level. Students can request a re-evaluation of financial aid once their PACE rate is 67% or higher and they have a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Suspensions for 150% maximum time frame are not eligible to make up deficits or a re-evaluation.
All students are notified of their warning and suspension status at the end of each semester, including summer, to their TVCC student email account. Students can also view their eligibility status on MyCardinalConnect.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Process
Lack of Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students placed on financial aid suspension due to lack of SAP may appeal the denial of financial aid if they have documented extenuating circumstances. To initiate an appeal, students must complete an “Appeal Form – SAP”, available in the financial aid office on each campus, and submit it to the financial aid office, accompanied by all required documentation regarding their situation.
Conditions that may serve as grounds for an appeal include medical problems with self or immediate family member, car accident, death in the family, etc. Documentation of the circumstances must accompany the appeal form or the appeal will be automatically denied. All appeal documentation must be submitted three weeks prior to the term that eligibility is to be regained. The student will be notified by email and/or phone, to be placed on the reservation list, with the time of their appeal meeting. The student must be on the reservation list to attend the appeals meeting. Students that do not attend the appointed appeal time will be automatically denied.
The decision for approval or denial of this appeal rests with the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The committee may prescribe certain conditions under which the student may continue to receive financial aid. The conditions may include limiting the number of semester hours, assigning an academic coach to whom the student must report, or prescribing other conditions designed to assist the student in being successful in their educational endeavors. If the student’s appeal is approved by the committee, he/she will be placed on financial aid probation and will receive only one probationary period of aid. If students do not meet the terms of probation, eligibility for financial aid will cease and all remaining aid will be cancelled. Subsequent financial aid suspensions cannot be appealed. Once a student loses eligibility, the only way to regain eligibility for financial aid is to make up the deficit that placed them on suspension to meet SAP requirements. The student’s progress will be evaluated each semester to determine if he/she meets the requirements for continued financial aid.
A student who does not follow the academic plan requirements created by an advisor and as specified by the committee will be subject to the denial of further financial aid. A decision will be made regarding the approval or denial of the appeal at the time of appeal, and the student will be informed of this decision while at the committee meeting as well as a written notification to the student campus email.
Out-Of-Hours Appeal – Degree Plan Audit
If a student is notified that he has attempted the maximum number of hours allowed on financial aid but he has changed his major, he may submit an appeal to the director of student financial aid by following the directions below:
- This appeal must be in writing and must include an Appeal Form – Degree Plan Audit
- The appeal must be completed by an academic advisor who will submit the completed appeal form to the director of financial aid.
- This form lists the degree plan the student is currently following, along with a listing of courses lacking to complete the degree with TVCC.
- The courses listed on the audit will be the only ones for which a student can receive financial aid.
Return of Title IV Financial Aid (R2T4)
If a student receives Title IV funds (PELL, FSEOG and/or student loans) and withdraws from TVCC, he/she may owe a refund to the Department of Education. Students wishing to drop or withdraw from TVCC courses are encouraged to reference the “Adding and/or Dropping Courses” section of this publication.
Students earn their Title IV federal financial aid by attending class. Students who do not attend class but receive Title IV financial aid will be evaluated as to how much financial aid was not earned. Students cannot ‘earn’ all of their financial aid unless they attend and participate in class for at least 60% of the term. If it is determined that a student did not earn a portion of their financial aid, a student might have to repay any unearned aid. Funds that are not repaid in a timely manner maybe reported to collection agencies. Outstanding balances can also result in a student not being able to register for classes and/or receive an official transcript.
If it is determined during the withdrawal process that the student has to repay unearned Title IV funds, the student will be notified within 30 days by TVCC email and/or regular mail of the amount owed.
Ability to Benefit Requirement
In order for a student to be eligible to receive financial aid, including grants, work study funds and/or student loans, the student must have a high school diploma, passing scores on the GED, or by satisfactorily completing six credit hours or 225 clock hours of college work that are applicable to a degree or certificate offered by a post-secondary institution. Students who were enrolled in an eligible program of study before July 1, 2012 may continue to be considered Title IV eligible under existing ability-to-benefit guidance.
One source of financial aid available to students at Trinity Valley Community College is student employment. Approximately 200 jobs are available through college employment and the federal college work-study program. In addition to this opportunity, many business firms in the community regularly employ college students. Job opportunities on campus are designed to provide employment for low-income students who must work to attend college. Employment applications are accepted at any time during the year. Application instructions and a list of all work-study positions can be found on the financial aid website.
Students interested in pursuing student employment opportunities will be required to complete the Department of Education FERPA and student confidentiality training prior to working in most TVCC departments.
The Carl Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act provides funding for support and services to special population workforce students enrolled at Trinity Valley Community College. The Carl Perkins Grant can provide students with employment opportunities on campus during the fall and spring semesters. Students must be workforce education majors, enrolled full-time in workforce programs and eligible for PELL Grant in order to qualify. Applications can be obtained in the Workforce Education Office on the Athens campus or Advisement Offices on the Palestine and Terrell campuses
All inquiries concerning financial aid should be addressed to:
Student Financial Aid
Trinity Valley Community College
100 Cardinal Drive
Athens, Texas 75751.