Financial Aid Information
Seminole State College's financial aid program helps eligible students who want to further their education but could not attend college without assistance. Financial aid is available to supplement a family's contribution and help meet the cost of postsecondary education. The student financial aid programs are administered according to a nationally accepted policy that the family, student and/or spouse is responsible for educational expenses.
The Student Financial Resources Office provides each aid recipient with electronic information about financial assistance at Seminole State. Students are responsible for reading this information and asking questions if they do not understand.
Students should electronically submit their financial aid application by completing the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Seminole State's federal school code is 001520.
Students should frequently review the to-do list posted on their MySeminoleState Student Center page to ensure they provide, in a timely fashion, the requested information to complete their financial aid application. Students must also follow the directions and respond promptly to all financial aid correspondence.
Steps to Apply for Financial Aid
- New students must apply for admission to the College and submit proof of high school graduation. New and returning students must be in an eligible program. Financial aid awards may be predicted, but funds cannot be released without providing proof of high school graduation or GED.
- Complete the FAFSA each year, listing Seminole State's federal school code: 001520. Most male students must register with Selective Service to receive federal aid. Students can file electronically.
- Students must apply for financial aid each academic year. A limited amount of grants (other than Pell) are awarded to those students who complete their FAFSA prior to March 15, provided that funding is available.
- Effective with the 2012-2013 application year, per federal regulations, copies of tax returns (IRS Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) cannot be accepted to verify tax information. Students must provide copies of their (and/or your parents') tax transcripts for the prior year obtained from the IRS either at www.IRS.gov or by calling 800.908.9946. Dependent students who are selected for verification must complete a Dependent Verification Worksheet, which is available by logging in to MySeminoleState and navigating to the forms section of the Financial Aid page. Independent students will complete the Independent Verification Worksheet. There may be other documentation requested on a case-by-case basis. All students selected for verification must submit all required verification and tax forms at least eight weeks prior to the term start date for on-time disbursement of aid during the term. A more detailed explanation of the verification process can be found in the MySeminoleState Student Center under Verification.
- Students who apply for a student loan for the first time at Seminole State must complete an online student loan entrance counseling workshop. Students are required to complete an online Master Promissory Note (MPN) before funds can be received. Links to Promissory Notes and Entrance and Exit Counseling are available through the MySeminoleState Student Center or at www.studentloans.gov. Students must be enrolled for full-length semesters to qualify for student loans. Students enrolled only in sessions within a semester or term do not qualify for student loans unless these sessions are a minimum of nine weeks in length.
- Financial need is the difference between the estimated cost of education and the amount a student and his/her family are expected to contribute to these costs minus other scholarships or financial aid. Need-based financial aid awards may consist of a combination of grants, part-time employment and loans.
Types of Financial Assistance
- Pell Grant: The largest and best-known source of grants, Federal Pell Grants are awarded based on need and do not have to be repaid. Initial Pell Grant Awards are predicted at full-time enrollment status and are prorated after the add/drop period based on part-time enrollment. Contact the Student Financial Resources Office concerning eligibility for less than half-time enrollment.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: This grant is awarded to undergraduate and vocational students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Funds are limited, and awards are made based on the priority consideration deadline.
- Florida Student Assistance Grant: This grant is awarded to students with financial need, based on state criteria. Recipients must have been Florida residents for the previous 24 months, be enrolled at least as a half-time (six or more credits) student, meet the financial aid standards of progress and complete 12 hours for each term during the prior year that the grant has been received for renewal. The FAFSA must be processed by May 15. Initial FSAG awards are predicted at full-time enrollment and are prorated after the add/drop period for part-time students.
- Federal Work-Study Program: This program awards a maximum of 20 hours of employment per week based on the availability of funds.
- Federal Direct Stafford Loan: This loan is available for undergraduate students who enroll at least half time (six or more credits) at Seminole State. Academic year maximums are determined by federal regulations. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, withdraws or drops below half-time enrollment. The minimum payment is $50 a month but can be higher, depending on the total amount borrowed. An additional unsubsidized loan is available for independent students, as determined by federal regulations. The student is responsible for repaying all interest, which begins accruing immediately following disbursement.
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan: This loan is available for parents of dependent students. Maximum eligibility is equal to the cost of education minus other aid. Repayment of principal and interest usually begins within 60 days of the disbursement of the loan, unless in-school repayment relief if granted.
- Financial Aid Deferment: This option is for students who have made a timely application for federal and state financial aid and wish to pay for tuition and fees from financial assistance; they must complete and sign an online request via MySeminoleState each semester. For details, contact the Student Financial Resources Office.
Institutional scholarships are awarded based on criteria established by Seminole State. Awards must be coordinated with other types of available financial assistance and may reduce the eligibility for other federal or state need-based aid. Private scholarships are awarded based on criteria established by organizations and agencies other than Seminole State. General scholarship application procedures are available through the Admissions section of the College's website (see Financial Aid).
State of Florida Scholarships (such as the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship) are based on Florida Department of Education guidelines and funding levels.
Rights of Financial Aid Recipients
- Confidentiality: The Privacy Act exists to protect students' rights to confidentiality and limits the College from releasing information about a student's file or award(s). Therefore, information released over the phone must be limited to general information. Students must submit a written request if they need information about their financial aid released to an outside agency or to another person.
- Knowledge: Financial aid recipients have the right to know what the Student Financial Resources Office has done and what is expected of them. Students who have questions have the right to contact Financial Aid.
- Fair and Equal Treatment: Financial aid awards at Seminole State are made without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or marital status. Need is determined using a nationally recognized formula. Students who are concerned that they were not treated equally or fairly should discuss the situation with the Director of Student Financial Resources.
Responsibilities of Financial Aid Recipients
- Return of Title IV Funds: Any federal financial aid recipient who completely withdraws or ceases attendance prior to completing more than 60 percent of any given term will be required to repay all or a percentage of the aid received. Students who find themselves in a situation where they must withdraw should make an effort to pass at least one course. The last date of attendance for withdrawn courses must be documented to minimize any over/repayment of federal funds. Failure to repay or make arrangements to repay these funds will make the student ineligible for future federal assistance from Seminole State or any other institutions. The Department of Education has not made any provisions for extenuating circumstances, and there is no appeal process. For more information, refer to the Financial Aid Student Guide or contact the Student Financial Resources Office.
All financial aid recipients must notify the Student Financial Resources Office when making any changes in their program. This includes the completion of a degree. Failure to do so may cause loss of aid. Students who are receiving aid should check with the Student Financial Resources Office before withdrawing from courses.
- Award Notification and Disbursement of Funds: An award letter that states the types of aid, amounts and conditions of recipients' awards will be available through their secure MySeminoleState accounts. The disbursement of financial aid funds will begin after the add/drop period every semester and after faculty members certify attendance in scheduled classes. Financial aid will first be applied to outstanding financial obligations the student may have with Seminole State, such as tuition, as well as fees and book charges. Any remaining balance that is due to the student will be disbursed via direct deposit, debit card authorization or paper check. Students who are anticipating a refund will receive information from the company HigherOne to declare their preference on how the refund will be processed. Since this process takes place after the term begins, it is essential that financial aid recipients set aside personal funds to cover expenses at the start of each term.
Note: For students who enroll in courses that begin after the standard start date of the semester, certification for aid eligibility and eventual disbursement of aid may not occur until those classes begin and attendance is verified by the instructor. Contact the Student Financial Resources Office for further details.
- Providing Complete and Correct Information: If inaccurate or incomplete information is provided, applications cannot be processed. This will result in delays or could make the student ineligible for aid. Students who deliberately provide false or misleading information may be prosecuted for federal fraud, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.
- Abiding by Agreements: As part of their financial aid application, students are asked to sign agreements that they understand the eligibility criteria associated with their aid programs. These signature requests can be either manual signatures or e-signatures using the student's unique PIN. Financial aid recipients should fully understand all forms before signing agreements.
- Standards of Academic Progress (SOP): Federal regulations require students to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward a degree or certificate to be eligible to receive financial assistance. Academic progress for financial aid applicants will be checked at the end of each term, regardless of whether the student had received financial aid. See Standards of Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients for more information.
Measures of progress require that students:
- Achieve and maintain a 2.0 GPA in their program
- Complete a specified minimum number of credits, based on the number of credits attempted
- Complete a degree or certificate program within a specific number of attempted hours
- Any student who receives a Seminole State scholarship must meet the financial aid standards of progress each term to maintain the scholarships for subsequent terms. Some scholarships have additional requirements.
- Federal Direct student loans must be repaid. Students are required to complete entrance counseling before borrowing on student loans, and must complete required exit counseling when the student ceases enrollment/withdraws, reduces enrollment below six hours a term, graduates or applies for graduation.
- Less-than-half-time students may be eligible for Federal Pell Grants, depending on the level of the Pell award. Contact the Student Financial Resources Office for more information.
- Students who have earned a bachelor's degree are ineligible for Federal Pell Grants or FSEOG but may be eligible for other federal student aid programs.
- Students who attend two schools in the same enrollment period must inform both financial aid administrators. Students can possibly receive funds awarded through the degree-granting institution (the home institution). Students attending two institutions during the same semester pursuing coursework required for the attainment of degree requirements at the home institution must complete and file a consortium agreement a minimum of one week prior to the beginning day of any semester at the home institution.
- Conviction of drug distribution or possession may make a student ineligible for federal aid.