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Gainesville State College offers a comprehensive program of financial aid that recognizes the specific needs and talents of its students. The Gainesville State College Foundation, along with federal, state, and private agencies fund the various financial aid programs.
A student may be eligible for financial aid only under the following conditions:
- A student must be admitted to GSC as a regular or transfer student in a degree or certificate program.
- A student must make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree or certificate
- A student must be enrolled in courses offered at GSC.
- A student must be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- A student must register for the Selective Service, if required.
Students enrolled in certificate programs are not eligible for federal aid, but may apply for the HOPE Grant.
Students accepted as joint enrollment may receive financial assistance through the State of Georgia ACCEL Program. However, joint enrollment students who do not participate in ACCEL are not eligible for financial aid.
Transient students attending GSC are not eligible for federal aid. Transient students may be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship or HOPE Grant if they are eligible at their home institution. Transient students should contact the Financial Aid Office of their home institution to request transient permission for HOPE.
Special enrollment students and students who audit courses are not eligible for financial aid.
When to Apply for Aid
Students must apply for Federal Financial Aid each school year. Students who submit applications from September through April should allow 8 weeks for processing. Students who submit applications from May through August should allow 12 weeks for processing. If fee payment is due within this processing time, students must pay their fees or risk losing their schedule. Once documents have been reviewed by the GSC Financial Aid Office, eligible students will receive an award letter detailing their financial aid source and amount. If applicable, a reimbursement check will be issued after the award is made.
How to Apply for Aid
The HOPE Scholarship and Grant Application (GSFAPPS) should be completed by students who only want to be considered for the HOPE Scholarship or HOPE Grant. All other students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The FAFSA is used to determine student eligibility for Federal Grants (Pell, FSEOG, ACG, SMART), Federal Stafford loans, Federal Work Study, state scholarships/grants (HOPE, LEAP), and GSC Foundation Scholarships.
Both the GSFAPPS and the FAFSA are accessible online at www.gsc.edu/studev/finaid/forms.htm.
Many types of aid require that a student’s financial need be calculated before financial aid can be awarded. Information from the FAFSA is used in a federal formula to determine an EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION. Along with the COST OF ATTENDANCE (tuition, fees, and allowances for books, supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses), a student’s financial need is determined as follows:
FINANCIAL NEED = COST OF ATTENDANCE - EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION
Enrollment in the Regents’ Test Practicum Course
The semester hour for the Regents’ Test Practicum Course (RGTP 0199) is not counted as part of the total number of hours used to determine Federal Aid eligibility. If a student enrolls in this course, their Federal Aid may be subject to adjustment.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
All types of financial aid require that a student make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree or certificate. To be viewed as making satisfactory academic progress a student must (a) have a minimum 2.0 institutional grade point average (GPA), (b) successfully complete 67% of all college-level coursework attempted at GSC, and (c) finish the educational program before attempting 150% of the number of hours required for the program.
Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
The U. S. Department of Education mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of “satisfactory academic progress” for students receiving financial aid. Gainesville State College applies these standards to all applicants for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Work-Study, Academic Competitiveness Grant, SMART Grant, HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grant, and most GSC Foundation Scholarships.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is determined by careful evaluation of qualitative and quantitative criteria. Determination of SAP will be made at least annually, normally at the time the student initially applies for aid for the school year or when the initial award is made.
- QUALITATIVE CRITERIA - To be eligible for financial aid, a student must have “the equivalent of a C average.” Any current or former student of Gainesville State College must have a minimum institutional grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. Grades for repeated courses will be included.
- QUANTITATIVE CRITERIA - Student financial aid recipients must show measurable progress toward earning a degree or certificate by successfully completing at least sixty-seven percent (67%) of all college-level courses they attempt at GSC. This standard will be applied to current students, former students, and transfer students. Semester hours completed will be those college level courses in which a student has received a grade of A, B, C, or D. Semester hours attempted will include all college level courses for which a student has received a grade of A, B, C, D, F, I, W, WF, or NR. Hours and grades for repeated courses will be used in this determination.
- MAXIMUM LENGTH OF STUDY AT GAINESVILLE STATE COLLEGE Federal regulations prohibit a student from receiving aid after they have attempted 150% of the hours (not including Learning Support coursework) required for their degree or certificate. A student pursuing an Associate Degree may attempt a maximum of 96 semester hours of academic credit. A student pursuing a Certificate may attempt no more than 150% of the required hours in required courses for the certificate. A student accepted into a Bachelor Degree program may attempt no more than 150% of the required hours in required courses for the degree. (Hours for repeated courses and all transfer credit hours accepted by GSC will be included in the total number of attempted hours.) Once a student exceeds the maximum length of study, they will no longer be considered making satisfactory academic progress and will not be eligible for financial aid.
- LEARNING SUPPORT COURSES/REGENTS’ TEST PROGRAM - (ENGL 0099, READ 0099, MATH 0097, MATH 0099, RGTE 0199, RGTP 0199, and RGTR 0199) - A student who enrolls in Learning Support (LS) and/or Regents’ Test (RGT) courses and attempts more than 30 semester hours of LS and RGT courses is no longer making SAP and will not be eligible for financial aid. They will not be eligible for financial aid until all required LS courses are successfully completed. In addition, the student must have a 2.0 GPA and a 67% completion rate of all college level courses attempted at GSC to regain financial aid eligibility.
- ACADEMIC SUSPENSION - If a student is placed on academic suspension, eligibility for financial aid will be terminated. When a student is removed from adademic suspension, they must contact the Financial Aid Office to request a review of the SAP.
- FINANCIAL AID PROBATION - Failure by the student to attain at least a 2.0 GPA and a 67% completion rate of all college level courses attempted at GSC will indicate the student is not making SAP. In most cases, the first time it is established that a student is not making SAP, they will be placed on financial aid probation and will be eligible for financial aid for one semester. The probation will continue each semester if the student meets the following requirements:
- Successfully complete 100% of all coursework attempted during any probationary semester.
- Earn grades of A, B, C, or D (or IP in LS courses) in all courses attempted during the probationary term.
- No withdrawals or incomplete grades are allowed.
- Grades for LS courses are included during financial aid probation.
- Receive an overall GPA of at least 2.0 for the probationary term.
Failure to meet these requirements will terminate all financial aid for the student.
- REESTABLISHING ELIGIBILITY - In the event of termination of financial aid, a student will again be considered making SAP once they attain at least an overall 2.0 GPA and a 67% completion rate of all college level courses attempted at GSC. When this occurs, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office to request a review of their SAP. Classes taken after losing eligibility will be at the student’s expense, using funds other than Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grant, Federal Work Study, the Federal Stafford Loan Program, and most GSC Foundation Scholarships. A student who exceeds the maximum length of study at GSC (item C) cannot reestablish eligibility.
- APPEALS PROCESS - A student who has lost their eligibility may feel there were unusual circumstances that prevented them from meeting the requirements of their financial aid probation (such as severe illness, injury, or death of a family member). Students will be notified in writing of the proper procedure for submitting an appeal. An SAP Appeal Committee will review the appeal. Approval of an appeal will place the student on Financial Aid Probation. Denial of an appeal indicates that the student will not be considered eligible for financial aid until they attain at least an overall 2.0 GPA and a 67% completion rate of all college level courses attempted at GSC.
When an Aid Recipient Withdraws from College
Federal regulations require recipients of the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and/or the Federal Stafford Loan Program to repay a portion of the Federal funds they received if they initiate a withdrawal from college before 60% of the semester has elapsed.
To initiate withdrawal, the student must contact the Registrar’s Office. The repayment amount is determined using a Federal formula and depends on the amount of Federal funds the student received as well as the percentage of the semester the student completed prior to withdrawal. (Students who discontinue attendance without officially withdrawing will have their repayment amount determined based on the last day of attendance reported by the instructors or at the midpoint of the semester, if the dates of attendance cannot be determined.)
A student will have forty-five days from the date of withdrawal to repay the amount owed. Failure to repay by the forty-five day deadline will result in the student being ineligible for any future Federal, State, or Institutional student aid. Subsequent payments would have to be made directly to the U.S. Department of Education. Failure to repay will keep a student from receiving Federal Aid at other institutions as well.
The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to students with financial need who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. The information from the FAFSA is reviewed by the Department of Education, using a formula established by Congress, to evaluate each application and determine the student’s eligibility.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is offered to Pell Grant recipients who show extreme need. While there is no guarantee every eligible student will receive this grant, students are awarded based upon the availability of funds at the time financial aid awards are packaged at Gainesville State College.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is awarded to first-year students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2006, and for second-year students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2005. Eligible students must be U.S. citizens, have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study, be a Pell Grant recipient, be enrolled full-time in a degree program. First-year students cannot have been previously enrolled in an undergraduate program. Second-year students must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA after attempting 24 semester hours of coursework.
GOVERNOR’S SCHOLARSHIPS are awarded to high school seniors who are the STAR Student or Valedictorian of an accredited Georgia high school or who have been designated as a Georgia Scholar by the State Department of Education.
HOPE GRANTS are awarded to eligible students classified as Georgia residents who enroll in approved certificate programs. For additional information on the HOPE Grant, contact the HOPE Grant Hotline by dialing 1-800-505-GSFC. The HOPE Grant Application (GSFAPPS) should be completed online. Access is available on our website at www.gsc.edu/studev/finaid/forms.htm.
HOPE SCHOLARSHIPS are awarded to students who meet all Georgia residency requirements and who meet the HOPE Scholarship grade point average requirements as determined by their high school for entering freshmen OR as determined by Gainesville State College based on their collegiate grade point average after completing 30 semester hours of coursework. For additional information on the HOPE Scholarship, contact the HOPE Scholarship Hotline by dialing 1-800-505-GSFC. The HOPE Scholarship Application (GSFAPPS) should be completed online. Access is available on our website at www.gsc.edu/studev/finaid/forms.htm.
Note: HOPE Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 HOPE GPA and a 67% completion rate of all coursework attempted at GSC. The HOPE GPA and the GSC GPA may not be equivalent if the student has taken learning support classes or has transfer credits. The HOPE GPA is checked at the end of every Spring Semester and after attempting 30, 60, and 90 semester hours of coursework. [Part-time students (less than six semester hours per term) will have their first HOPE GPA checkpoint after three semesters.]
The ACCEL Program is for students classified as high school juniors and seniors at accredited public or private high schools in the state of Georgia, and is operated in all school terms except summer. The program allows students to pursue postsecondary study at approved public and private colleges and technical colleges while receiving dual high school and college credit for courses successfully completed. Credit hours paid by the ACCEL Program for the student will count towards the limit of postsecondary hours paid for by the HOPE Program.
There are three steps to apply:
- Apply for admission to Gainesville State College through the Gainesville State College Admissions Office.
- Apply for Accel online through the Georgia Student Finance Commission at www.gacollege411.org.
- Contact your high school counselor to set up your class schedule.
Gainesville State College Foundation Scholarships
GSC FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS assist the gifted student (actor, artist, debater, musician, scholar, student leader, or writer), the needy student, and those who meet specific scholarship criteria. Students may apply for these scholarships on our website at www.gsc.edu/studev/finaid/scholarships.htm.
There are two types of Federal Stafford Loans:
SUBSIDIZED STAFFORD LOAN - The Federal Government pays the interest on this loan while a student is enrolled at least half-time (six hours) and for six months after they are no longer enrolled as a half-time student. This six-month period is called a “grace period.” If the FAFSA indicates financial need a student can borrow subsidized Stafford loan money up to the LESSER of the following: the amount of unmet financial need or the maximum amount of Federal Subsidized Stafford loan allowable.
UNSUBSIDIZED STAFFORD LOAN - If a student does not show financial need as determined by the FAFSA, the student (not the federal government) is responsible for the interest from the date the loan is made. the student has the option of paying the interest while attending school or letting the interest accrue.Unsubsidized Stafford loans are for students who either (a) do not show financial need, or (b) want to borrow more money than their financial need.
The Maximum Amount Loaned is based on the academic classification of the student.
- A student is classified as a freshman if they have earned less than 30 semester hours. The maximum yearly loan amount for a freshman is $3,500, typically for two semesters. The maximum single semester loan for a freshman is$1,750.
- A student is classified as a sophomore if they have earned more than 30 semester hours. The maximum yearly loan amount for a sophomore is $4,500, typically for two semesters. The maximum single semester loan for a sophomore is $2,250.
- A student is classified as an upper classman if they have earned more than 60 semester hours in a Bachelor Degree program at GSC. The maximum yearly loan amount for an upper classman is $5,500, typically for two semesters. The maximum single semester loan for a sophomore is $2,750.
ADDITIONAL AMOUNT FOR INDEPENDENT STUDENTS - Independent students (those who did not have to provide their parent’s information when completing the FAFSA) may borrow an additional unsubsidized amount of $2,000 per semester or $4,000 per academic school year. An independent upper classman may borrow an additional unsubsidized amount of $2,500 per semester or $5,000 per academic school year.
The FEDERAL WORK STUDY PROGRAM funds part-time employment in various on- and off-campus work settings for students showing financial need. Students will be notified if they are eligible for the Federal Work Study Program.
The INSTITUTIONAL WORK-AID PROGRAM, financed by the College, provides on-campus jobs for students who may or may not show financial need. The availability of jobs is dependent on the needs and resources of the institution. Student should inquire directly to offices on campus.
A listing of OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES is available in the Counseling and Career Services Office and from the Gainesville State College website.
THE TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TAP) is available to full-time benefits-eligible employees of the University System of Georgia who have successfully completed at least six months of employment in a benefits-eligible position, as of the date of the TAP application deadline for the desired academic semester. For further information, contact Human Resources.
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS are available to students who are eligible reservists, veterans, or dependents (spouses and children) of veterans who were killed, disabled or listed as missing as a result of service in the U.S. Armed Forces. For further information, students should consult the GSC Financial Aid website at www.gsc.edu/studev/finaid/vabenefits.htm or contact the Veterans Administration (1-888-442-4551).
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE is available to certain individuals with physical or mental limitations. To apply, students should contact their local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, a division of the Georgia Department of Human Resources.