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How to Apply
Financial Aid Policies
Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements
The United States Department of Education requires standards of satisfactory progress for students who receive federal funds. Measures must include the student’s total academic history, regardless of whether the student received financial aid at the time. In compliance with federal regulations, College of the WCU has established a policy applicable to all financial aid recipients including those who have accepted student loans and those who work on campus and are not eligible for federal funding.
Financial Aid Probation Appeals Procedure
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee meets every month (except December).
Meeting Schedule: The Appeals Committee meeting is usually scheduled for the second or third Friday of the month; however, depending on each member’s schedule, the meeting may be scheduled for other times in order to meet quorum. Once the meeting is set, the date and time will be displayed in the Student Financial Services Office and listed on the College’s homepage. Students may appeal their financial aid suspension and termination status when they have documented extenuating circumstances such as personal injury or illness, death in the immediate family or undue hardship.
Return of Title IV Funds
The Student Financial Services Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term. Federal Title IV financial aid problems must be recalculated in these situations
Read the following policy for detailed information
FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION
Federal Financial Aid (Pell Grant)
Federal financial aid is awarded based on financial need and other criteria. It does not have to be repaid after you graduate.
A work-study program allows students to receive financial aid while they work on campus. Positions are awarded based on financial need and other criteria.
Scholarships can be awarded based on grades, financial need or other qualifications. They do not have to be repaid.
Loans are funds that have to be repaid after graduation.
COM Foundation Scholarships
Foundation scholarships are awarded yearly to help students pay for tuition and textbooks. By filling out one application per year, students will be considered for all scholarships for which they qualify, including those with special selection criteria. Only one foundation scholarship will be awarded to any student. Most foundation scholarships are $500 per fall and spring semesters. Summer scholarships are also available, and no additional application is necessary.
Donor-designated scholarships are for a specific student from mostly non-governmental sources. These scholarships are not typically tax-deductible for the donor. The scholarships do not need to be paid back by the student. Some scholarships may be refunded to the student for living expenses while others may not. The donor of the scholarship determines whether the scholarship may be refundable.
Departmental scholarships are offered each year through COM departments and generally based on student performance, merit, skill and ability. Specific information and application requirements may be obtained by contacting the particular department of the scholarship in which the student is interested.
- Division of Business. Based on academic merit and awarded to business majors. Provides tuition, fees and books for one academic year. Selection by business faculty on basis of grades, hours carried and a brief essay. Apply to the Business Team.
- Fine Arts Scholarship. Apply to the Fine Arts Department. Instrumental, theater and vocal scholarships are available.
- Texas Nurses Association, District #29. Apply to the College of the Mainland Nursing Department.
As you explore every possible scholarship opportunity, please be aware that there are scholarship scams in existence. Claims to be on the lookout for are:
- The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.
- You can’t get this information anywhere else.
- I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.
- We’ll do all the work.
- The scholarship will cost some money.
- You’ve been selected by a “national foundation” to receive a scholarship or “you’re a finalist” in a contest you never entered.
If you have been contacted by one of these scholarship scams or having fallen victim to one, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or visit www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams.
Federal Pell Grants
The Federal Pell Grant is a federally funded program designed to help the neediest undergraduate pre-baccalaureate students continue their education. All students applying for financial assistance through COM must apply for a federal Pell Grant. Eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant is based on financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and satisfactory academic progress. Applications and additional information are available in the Student Financial Services Office and in the counseling offices of most high schools. You must submit the FAFSA online.
After completing the FASFA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail or an email from the Department of Education. The student should immediately review the information, make sure it is accurate and correct if necessary. The exact amount of the Federal Pell Grant award will depend upon the expected family contribution (EFC) as listed on the Student Aid Report, the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the number of hours for which the student enrolls.
Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal FSEOG program provides assistance for eligible undergraduate students who show greatest financial need, are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and are making satisfactory progress toward their educational goal. The actual amount of the grant will vary depending on the availability of funds at the school, the student’s family financial situation, other financial aid the student is receiving and the number of hours for which the student enrolls.
Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG)
The TPEG program is a state financial aid program to assist students attending state-supported colleges. To be eligible, students must show financial need and be making satisfactory progress toward their educational goal. The actual amount of the grant will vary depending on the availability of funds at the school, the student’s family financial condition and other financial aid the student is receiving.
Valedictorians of Each Accredited Texas High School
Valedictorians are exempted from tuition during first two regular semesters following high school graduation.
Persons Employed as Firefighters
Allows eligible persons to enroll in courses offered as a part of a fire science curriculum while being exempted from the payment of tuition and lab fees.
Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (formerly TEXAS Grant II) (TEOG)
This is a need-based grant funded by the state of Texas, and to qualify, a student must be a Texas resident, in the first 30 hours of an associate degree or certificate program and enrolled at least half-time (6 hours), demonstrate financial need, have not been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance and register for the Selective Service or be exempt from this requirement.
To be eligible to receive a renewal grant, at the end of the first year, students must meet the school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. At the end of the second year, the student must complete at least 75 percent of the hours attempted in the prior academic year and have an overall college grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
Carl D. Perkins Child Care Grant
Students who need child care assistance may consider applying for the Carl D. Perkins Child Care Grant. In order to qualify, you must be:
- Be enrolled in a career or technical certificate or degree program with an active degree plan.
- Be enrolled in at least six credit hours on campus. Online and developmental courses do not count.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress with a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.
- Have a completed FAFSA and be eligible to receive a federal Pell Grant.
If eligible, the Carl D. Perkins Child Care Grant provides up to $125 a week per child at any licensed child care provider.
- Spring—Dec. 1
- Summer—May 1
Students are still encouraged to apply if the priority deadline has passed.
Check with the Student Financial Services Office for application availability.
For more information, please contact the Student Financial Services Office at 409-933-8274 or 409-933-8650.
Federal College Work-Study
The Federal College Work-Study program is designed to assist students with jobs. To be eligible, students must demonstrate financial need and be making satisfactory progress toward their educational goal. Students will generally work up to 15 hours per week, and the award amount is determined by the number of hours for which the student enrolls.
Student Assistant Program
The Student Assistant Program is designed to assist students with jobs who do not qualify for the need-based work-study programs. Students in this program generally work up to 15 hours per week and the award amount is determined by the number of hours for which the student enrolls.
Federal Direct Loan Program
College of the Mainland participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. This loan program allows students and the parents of dependent students to borrow funds directly from the federal government to help meet the financial costs of a college education.
For more information and a request form, download and print the documents below.
Entrance Interview Requirements
All students who are applying for funds from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program must complete the online master promissory note (MPN) each academic year and complete entrance counseling (online and on-campus) before any loan proceeds will be issued. Click on the link above to complete the MPN and the online entrance counseling after your Federal Direct Loan has been added to your financial aid award. When you have completed these processes, please call the Student Financial Services Office at 409-933-8274 to schedule your on-campus entrance interview. On-site entrance interviews are held every Friday. The specific time and location will be given to you when you schedule your interview.
Exit Interview Requirements
All Federal Direct Loan recipients must complete an exit interview whenever one of the following events occurs:
- Drop below six hours of attendance after the census date for the term
- Withdraw from all classes (whether official or unofficial)
To complete the required exit interview, please click on the link above. NOTE: You will need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) you use to complete the FASFA to access this site. Once you have completed this online exit interview, please contact the Student Financial Services Offices at 409-933-8274 to let us know that you have completed it.
Alternative Loan Lenders
Alternative Loans: Private loans that a student can apply for to assist with educational expenses or to cover past due balances. These loans are credit based (student’s credit history will be evaluated by lender) and may require a credit-worthy cosigner.
For students applying for private education loans, download and print the Applicant Self-Certification form below.
Read the instructions in the form carefully. The Student Financial Services Office will provide you with the information for Section 2: Cost of Attendance and Estimated Financial Assistance. The lender is required to obtain a signed and completed self-certification form before disbursing a private education loan.
Loans are funds for college that you must repay after you graduate or enroll in less than six credit hours. Students are encouraged to apply for all other forms of financial aid—scholarships, grants, and work-study programs—before taking out loans.
Browse our Resources:
- Important Loan Information
- Direct Loan Application and Deadlines
- Sample Repayment Schedule
- Inceptia Partnership
Important Loan Information
If you need information about loan eligibility, loan disbursements, and loan terms, please download our Important Loan Information document.
Direct Loan Application and Deadlines
To apply for loans, please complete a direct loan request form located on our forms page and submit your completed form to our office in the Administration & Enrollment Center before the deadlines listed below.
Sample Repayment Schedule (under a Standard 10-Year Repayment Plan)
When you apply for and receive loan funds, you must repay them. The following chart lists sample monthly loan repayments under a standard 10-year repayment plan with repayments at four typical interest rates for loan amounts in $5,000 increments up to $20,000. For example, if a student borrows $20,000 at 6.21%, the payment for principal and interest is $224 a month for 10 years.
Frequently Asked Questions in Financial Aid
- How do I apply for financial aid?
- To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority dates. The website to apply is www.fafsa.gov.
- What are the priority deadlines for financial aid applications?
- Fall — June 1
Spring — Nov. 1
Summer — May 1
- What is College of the Mainland’s FAFSA school code?
- Our school code is 007096
- How many hours do I need to take to receive financial aid?
- Students can be enrolled less than half time (6 hours) and still receive aid, except for the student loan program. The William D. Ford Federal Direct/PLUS loan programs require you to be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours that are required for completing your certificate/degree.
- Will I have to provide additional documents for my financial aid application?
- Students selected for verification by the U. S. Department of Education must provide transcripts of the student’s and, if required, the parents’ federal income tax returns plus any other income information received by the student’s/parents’ household as required by their financial aid counselor.
- Do I have to provide my parents’ financial information on the FAFSA?
- When students complete the FAFSA, they will answer a series of questions that will determine their dependency status. If a student is considered “dependent,” then their parents’ information must be provided on the FAFSA.
- How do I check my financial aid status?
- You can log in to your WebAdvisor account and go to the “Financial Aid Checklist” (under the Financial Aid heading) to get updates on the status of your financial aid application. First-time users must follow the instructions on how to obtain your WebAdvisor ID and password on the WebAdvisor home page. WebAdvisor allows students to:
- View financial aid status
- Register online for classes
- View grades
- View schedule and bill
- Pay tuition and fees online
- When do I receive my refund checks?
- Delivery of refund money is a multi-step process. First, COM draws funds from the respective loan and/or grant provider and applies it to your student account. Once this information is verified, it is sent to BankMobile Disbursements. Once the specific refund information is received, it is processed and disbursed according to your selection.
- How do I buy books or supplies with my financial aid award?
- Students who have a financial aid award may buy their books at the campus Bookstore one week prior to classes. As long as the student’s financial aid award is more than the cost of their tuition and fees, their financial aid refund will be applied towards their bookstore charges. For assistance in obtaining appropriate materials, students must bring their class schedule to Bookstore personnel.
Financial Aid Links
The following are some websites to aid in your search for scholarships and financial aid:
Code of Conduct for Educational Loans and Financial Aid
Commitment to Ethical Practices in Student Financial Services
College of the Mainland and the Department of Student Financial Services are committed to conducting business in an ethical manner and with the highest level of integrity. To this end, our Student Financial Services office adheres to Texas Education Code, Section 61.003 and Title IV, Higher Education Act of 1965 (Pub. L. No. 89-329). Under these laws, Financial Aid Professionals must actively avoid conflicts of interest with respect to federal or private education loans.
The Financial Aid Professional at College of the Mainland shall not:
- Make revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.
- Receive gifts from a lender, a guarantor, or a loan servicer.
- Contract arrangements that provide financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender.
- Direct borrowers to particular lenders or refuse/delay loan certifications.
- Offer funds for private loans.
- Solicit call center or financial aid office staffing assistance.
- Accept advisory board compensation.
Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct
In addition, as a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, we comply with NASFAA’s Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals. NASFAA members are required to adhere to the following Statement of Ethical Principles as a condition of membership.
The primary goal of the financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. Our members are required to exemplify the highest level of ethical behavior in helping students and families find the best ways to pay for college and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism. We take great pride in our essential task of helping our students and families determine the best ways to meet their educational expenses.
The Financial Aid Professional shall:
- Be committed to removing financial barriers for those who wish to pursue postsecondary learning.
- Make every effort to assist students with financial need.
- Be aware of the issues affecting students and advocate their interests at the institutional, state, and federal levels.
- Support efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
- Educate students and families through quality consumer information.
- Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students, and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.
- Ensure equity by applying all need analysis formulas consistently across the institution’s full population of student financial aid applicants.
- Provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
- Recognize the need for professional development and continuing education opportunities.
- Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Calculator
This calculator has been created to help students project their SAP status. You will be able to enter your current courses and potential grades to calculate your GPA and Completion Pace for SAP standards. Please feel free to give us a call at 409-933-8274 if you need help.
Follow the instructions below to use the SAP Calculator.
- Log into your WebAdvisor account.
- Click on the Financial Aid Checklist under the Financial Aid tab.
- Click on the Satisfactory Academic Progress link at the top of the page.
- Enter your SAP Details into the “SAP Details” section.
- Enter the courses for your current semester and the grades you expect to earn into the “This Term” section.
- Review the results below to see if you will meet SAP.
SAP ResultsProjected Attempted Hours:
Projected Passed Hours:
Projected Completion Rate:
Projected New Cumulative GPA:
Earn While You Learn
Work-study students gain financial assistance, expand their professional experience and develop interpersonal skills. College of the Mainland offers work-study programs:
- College Employment Program
- Federal Work-Study Program
Work-Study Job Description Form
All prospective work-study employers must complete the Work-Study Job Description Form to begin the process of requesting a work-study student employee.
Submit the completed form to the Student Financial Services Office, Attn: Work-Study Coordinator (Electra Long James) through institutional mail, fax it to 409-933-8015 or drop it off at the office Room A-150 (Enrollment Center). This information will help the Financial Services Office match the needs of the hiring department with the most qualified work-study student. Only one form needs to be submitted per position, but more than one work-study student can be employed in the same job if the hiring department has the need.
If you have questions about the form, please contact Electra Long James at 409-933-8399.
Student Employment Application
To apply, students must complete all parts of the following packet:
Submit completed forms to:
Electra Long James
Student Financial Services Office
Room A-150 (Enrollment Center)
Students will need two forms of identification when submitting the application (e.g. driver’s license, birth certificate, Texas ID, Social Security card, COM Student ID). For questions regarding the application, contact Electra Long James at 213-503-1000.
All students applying for work-study positions must consent to a criminal background check. Students not approved for employment as a result of the background check will be re-evaluated for placement by the director of human resources or his/her designee. No student can begin working until all required paperwork is completed and reviewed and the work-study coordinator has issued authorization to begin working.