Financial Aid: General Eligibility

The U.S. Department of Education has established certain basic eligibility requirements for all federal financial aid. Individual Scholarship, Grant, Work Study, and Loan programs may have additional eligibility requirements.

To qualify for most types of aid, you must:

• Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate.

• Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a student pursuing a degree or certificate.

• Be enrolled for six or more credit hours per quarter, for most types of aid.

• Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or an eligible noncitizen.

• An eligible noncitizen is defined as a U.S. permanent resident who has an Alien Registration Card (I-151, I-551, or I-551C). If you have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) showing "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Indefinite Parole," "Humanitarian Parole," "Cuban-Haitian Entrant," "Status Pending," or "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980), you are also eligible for aid.

• If you hold only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you are not eligible for federal aid.

• If you are in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, you are also not eligible for federal aid.

• While students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or eligible noncitizens are not eligible for federal financial aid, they may be eligible for certain private loans with a U.S. citizen as a cosigner.

• Have a valid Social Security Number.

• Make satisfactory academic progress, as defined by Clarendon College, towards the completion of your degree or certificate.

• Sign a statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) certifying that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

• Register with selective service, if required.

• The requirement to register applies to males who were born on or after January 1, 1960, are at least 18 years old, are citizens or eligible noncitizens, and are not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

• Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, or Palau are exempt from registering.

• Not be in default on a federal student loan and not owe money back on a federal student grant.

• Demonstrate financial need.

• Not have a conviction for violating any Federal or State drug possession or sale law. Effective Fall 2006, a student is ineligible only if the conviction occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV financial assistance.

• Have not obtained loan amounts that exceed annual or aggregate loan limits made under any title IV, HEA loan program.

 

Procedures and Forms Required to Apply

The procedures and forms required to apply for Financial Aid are published in the CC Catalog and on the CC webpage. Aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis using a priority deadline and the availability of funds. Students who complete their files after this priority date may receive limited funding, depending on the availability of funds, and may not be guaranteed Financial Aid at registration to assist with their institutional costs.


There are many forms which may be required to evaluate student aid eligibility. For programs based on financial need, the following is required:

FAFSA and/or TASFA completed by student with CC listed in the school section of the application. This application generates a Student Aid Report (SAR) and an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).

Additional documents are requested to complete processing of the aid request. This process is called verification. Notification of these additional required documents will be sent to students through a status letter. Additional information may include, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Proof of citizenship.
2. Proof of selective service registration.
3. Verification of Marital Status.
4. Verification form (independent and dependent).
5. Signed Tax returns (parent and student or spouse).
6. Statement of non-tax filer (parent and student or spouse).
7. Proof of High School graduation or its equivalent.
8. Other documents as requested.


Criteria for Selecting Recipients and Determining Award Amounts

Selection of Financial Aid award recipients is made on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds will be awarded until they are depleted. Students completing the application process after the funds are depleted will be awarded additional funds if money becomes available at a later date. These awards will be made to currently enrolled students according to the date on which their file was completed and the student's current enrollment status.


Rights and Responsibilities of Students receiving Financial Aid

As a recipient of Financial Aid, there are certain rights and responsibilities of which students should be aware.

Students have the right to know:

1. The Financial Aid programs available at CC.
2. The application process which must be followed to be considered for aid including deadlines for submitting applications.
3. The cost of attendance.
4. The refund policies.
5. The criteria used to select recipients and calculate need.
6. How financial need is determined.
7. The criteria used to determine the amount of a student's award.
8. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

Students are responsible for:

1. Completing all forms accurately and by the published deadlines.
2. Submitting information requested by FAO staff in a timely manner.
3. Keeping the FAO informed of any changes in address, name, marital status, financial situation, or any change in student status.
4. Reporting to the FAO any additional assistance such as scholarships, loans, fellowships, and educational benefits.
5. Notifying the FAO of a change in enrollment status.
6. Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.
7. Re-applying for aid each academic year.
8. Read and understand forms the student is responsible for signing.

 

Cost of Attendance

A description of the tuition and fees for attendance is published in the CC Catalog. A complete budget outlining the cost of attendance may be obtained from the FAO.

 

Person(s) Designated to Provide Financial Aid Information

The names of Financial Aid personnel are listed on the CC website. Only information published, provided, or referred by FAO staff is valid. Any additional information should be verified with staff from the FAO.

 

Student Application For Financial Aid

Students must apply for Financial Aid each academic year (Fall through Summer). The school year begins with the Fall semester. For example, in order to apply for Financial Aid for the 2010-2011 school year (Fall 10 أ¢â‚¬â€œ Summer 11), students must complete a 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a 2010-2011 Texas Application for Student Aid (TASFA). No other application is acceptable for determining a student's eligibility. Priority consideration for receipt of Financial Aid funds administered by the FAO shall be given to students who submit all required documentation by the assigned deadline or until the funds are depleted. The CC FAO will not request from or charge any student a fee for processing or handling any application, form or data required to determine a student's eligibility for, and amount of, Title IV program assistance.


Application Process

Students begin the application process when the FAO receives a copy of his/her SAR. Once the FAO receives the student's ISIR electronically from the CPS, they will begin processing the file and requesting any additional documentation. Files are processed in date order paperwork received. Status letters are sent to students informing the student of documents or information which still needs to be submitted. The status letter will include the appropriate documents needed. If a student submits an incomplete document, it is returned for completion. If a student doesn't submit the required information the application will become inactive and no further correspondence is sent. When the student submits all the required documentation, FAO staff will resume processing and reviewing the student's file. Once the student's file is considered complete it becomes eligible for packaging. The FAO does not package awards until all documents have been received and the file has been verified.

 

Independent Student Status

The EFC from an independent student takes into account only the income and asset value of the student and spouse if applicable; the parent's financial information is not included. Students are automatically considered independent if they meet the following criteria:

1. At least 24 years old
2. Married
3. Enrolled in a graduate or professional course of study.
4. Determined to be an orphan or a ward of the court or were a ward of the court until age 18.
5. They have legal dependents (other than a spouse) for whom they provide more than half of that dependent's support. Legal dependents comprise of children of the student (including those who will be born before the end of the award year) who receive more than half their support from the student, and other persons (except spouse) who live with and receive more than half their support from the student as of the FAFSA signing date and will continue to do so for the award year.
6. A veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
7. Students who are currently serving on active duty in the US Armed forces for purposes other than training.

Aid Administrators have the authority to make students who do not meet the above criteria independent under special circumstances using Professional Judgment. This Dependency Override must be documented and a copy of the documentation must be maintained in the student's file. Since family circumstances can change from year to year, students must apply each year for this override. Examples of special circumstances include but are not limited to:

1. Unsafe home environment.
2. Social service, police or legal intervention.

The FAA will adjust the student's dependency status thru FAA Access. Students will not be allowed a dependency override because the mother/father refused to assist with their education or provide the necessary tax returns or other documentation. Students will not be allowed a dependency override because they have not lived with their parents the last year or because their parents do not claim the student on their tax return(s).

 

Forms

There are many forms which may be required to evaluate student aid eligibility. However, a student need only submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) listing CC's school code (003554) to begin the first step in applying for aid.

Additional documents may be requested to complete processing of the aid request. Notification of these additional required documents is sent to students through a status letter. Below are documents which may be required.

1. Completed FAFSA/TASFA application - a need analysis document published by the Department of Education. Information is sent to the Central Processing Center (CPS) for an analysis of the expected family contribution (EFC). Students receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) which shows the results of the analysis. Federal and/or State aid may only be awarded based on the official results of the FAFSA and/or TASFA.
2. Students qualifying for State residency under House Bill 1403/Senate Bill 1528 are eligible to apply for State Financial Aid only. To apply for State aid, the Student must complete the TASFA application and make an appointment with the Director of Financial Aid to determine benefits available.
3. Student Aid Report (SAR) - students are not automatically required to submit their SAR. However, an Aid Administrator may request the document to verify conflicting information.
4. Direct Loan Program Master Promissory Note (MPN) Students who wish to receive a Federal Stafford Loan must apply for a loan using the Department of Education's application process at https://studentloans.gov before his/her loan will be certified.
5. Federal Tax Returns - Federal Income Tax returns are requested, since Clarendon College participates in 100% verification. Dependent students must submit their tax returns and their parent's tax returns. Independent students must submit their tax returns and their spouse's if applicable. Tax returns must be signed or have the preparer's section stamped and/or signed by the preparer.
6. Verification Worksheet - a document which collects data and/or verifies information submitted by the student on his/her FAFSA/TASFA. Dependent students must obtain their parents' signature.
7. Income Verification for students or parents who did not file a Federal Income Tax Return.
8. Professional Judgment/Special Circumstances form أ¢â‚¬â€œ a document that a student completes when they feel their changing situation warrants professional judgment by the Financial Aid Director.
9. Verification of Separation or Divorce أ¢â‚¬â€œ a document which verifies that a married student or parent is separated or divorced and living separately from his/her spouse.
10. Proof of Dependent Support أ¢â‚¬â€œ a document which a student submits when Independent status is requested due to the birth of a child.
11. Any other form/documentation deemed necessary to complete the student's file.

 

Loss of Eligibility Due to a Drug Conviction

A student, who is convicted of a state or federal offense involving the possession or sale of an illegal drug that occurred while the student was enrolled in school and receiving Title IV aid, is not eligible for Title IV funds. [An illegal drug is a controlled substance as defined by the Controlled Substance Act and does not include alcohol and tobacco.]

A borrower's eligibility is based on the student's self-certification on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Convictions that are reversed, set aside or removed from the student's record, or a determination arising from a juvenile court proceeding do not affect eligibility and do not need to be reported by the student.

A student who is convicted of a drug-related offense that occurred while the student was enrolled in school and receiving Title IV aid loses Title IV eligibility as follows:

For the possession of illegal drugs:

1. First offense: one year from the date of conviction.

2. Second offense: two years from the date of the second conviction.

3. Third offense: indefinitely from the date of the third conviction.

For the sale of illegal drugs:

1. First offense: two years from the date of conviction.

2. Second offense: indefinitely from the date of the second conviction.

A school must provide a student who loses Title IV eligibility due to a drug-related conviction with a timely, separate, clear, and conspicuous written notice. The notice must advise the student of his or her loss of Title IV eligibility and the ways in which the student may regain that eligibility.

 

Regaining Eligibility after a Drug Conviction

A student may regain eligibility at any time by completing an approved drug rehabilitation program and by informing the school that he or she has done so. A student regains Title IV eligibility on the date he or she successfully completes the program. A drug rehabilitation program is considered approved for these purposes if it includes at least two unannounced drug tests and meets one of the following criteria:

• The program received or is qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly under a federal, state, or local government program.

• The program is administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court.

• The program received or is qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state licensed insurance company.

• The program administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.

For a student whose Title IV eligibility is reinstated after a drug conviction, the maximum loan period that a school may certify is the academic year during which the student regains eligibility. However, the school may not certify eligibility prior to the date on which eligibility is regained. A student who loses eligibility during a loan period is immediately ineligible to receive subsequent disbursements of FDLP funds and is required to repay any Title IV funds received after the date he or she loses eligibility. Schools are not required to recalculate a student's loan amount.