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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, provide funding for GSC’s financial aid programs.
A student may be eligible for financial aid 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 and attend courses offered through GSC.
- A student must be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- A student must register for the Selective Service, if required.
- A student must not be in default on any Federal Loan, nor owe a balance on any Federal or State Grant.
Students enrolled in certificate programs are not eligible for federal aid, but may apply for the HOPE Grant.
Students attending GSC as joint enrolled students 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.
Students attending GSC as transient students may be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship if they are eligible at their HOME institution. Transient students should contact the Financial Aid Office of their HOME institution to request that a ‘HOPE Scholarship Eligibility Certificate for Transient Study’ be sent to the Financial Aid Office of GSC.
Students attending GSC as special students may qualify for financial aid. Contact the GSC Financial Aid Office for more information.
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 http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/finaid/applynow/
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 an estimated 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/Audited Courses
The one semester hour for the Regents’ Test Practicum Course (RGTP 0199) and any hours for audited courses are not counted as part of the total number of hours used to determine Federal Aid eligibility. If a student enrolls in RGTP 0199 or audits a 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 their 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 Federal Grants (Pell, FSEOG, ACG, SMART), Federal Stafford loans, Federal Work Study, state scholarships/grants (HOPE, LEAP), and most GSC Foundations Scholarships.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is determined by careful evaluation of qualitative and quantitative criteria. Determination of SAP will be made at least annually.
- 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. Transfer students must have a minimum transfer GPA of 2.0.
- 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 students are removed from academic suspension, they must contact the Financial Aid Office to request a review of their 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 Grants (Pell, FSEOG, ACG, SMART), Federal Stafford loans, Federal Work Study, state scholarships/grants (HOPE, LEAP), 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 Grants (Pell, FSEOG, ACG, SMART) and Federal Stafford loans 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 have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study, be a Pell Grant recipient, be enrolled at least 6 semester hours in a degree program. Second-year students must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA after attempting 30 semester hours of coursework.
The Bachelor Programs at GSC are not currently eligible for the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant.
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 http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/finaid/applynow/Pages/StateAidHOPEACCEL.aspx.
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 http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/finaid/applynow/Pages/StateAidHOPEACCEL.aspx.
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. 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 for ACCEL:
- Apply for admission to Gainesville State College at http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/Pages/ApplyforAdmission.aspx.
- 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 http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/finaid/applynow/Pages/GSCFoundationScholarships.aspx.
Students are awarded the BASE annual amount for a Stafford Loan, as determined by their grade level.
||BASE Annual Amount
|Freshman (less than 30 earned hours)
|Sophomore (30 earned hours or more)
|Junior/Senior in a Bachelor’s Program
The BASE Amount will be awarded as a Subsidized Stafford Loan, an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or a combination of the two.
The federal government subsidizes (or pays) the interest on the Subsidized Stafford Loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time (6 hours). A Subsidized Stafford Loan is awarded to students who show financial need as determined by the FAFSA. These loans are always awarded first.
With an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, the student is responsible for paying the interest on the loan from the date that the loan is made. The student has the option of paying the interest while enrolled or letting the interest accrue.
Students are allowed to request additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, as determined by their dependency status on the FAFSA.
Additional Unsubsidized Loan
||Up to $2,000 annually
|Dependent with a PLUS Denial
||Up to $6,000 annually
||Up to $6,000 annually
|Independent in a Bachelor’s Program
||Up to $7,000 annually
When a student indicates on the FAFSA their interest in a loan, the BASE Amount will automatically be placed in their financial aid package. The loan amount can be deleted or reduced using the Online Financial Aid Award Letter on the student’s Banner Web account, which becomes active when the student is accepted at GSC. Any requests for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loans must be made by the student through their Banner Web account.
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, funded 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.
A listing of Federal Work-Study, Institutional Work Aid, and OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES can be found on the Job Board on the GSC Counseling & Career Services web page at www.gsc.edu/campuslife/career/
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 http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/finaid/applynow/ 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.