MANUAL OF FINANCIAL AID POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Ranger College Financial Aid Office
This manual was modeled after A Guide to the Development of a Manual of Institutional Financial Aid Policies and Procedures and Policies and Procedures, Putting Compliance into Practice - Guide to Constructing a Policies and Procedures Manual published by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. These policies and procedures are readily available to each member of the staff involved in the administration of the financial aid programs and in the dissemination of information to students or prospective students. If the need arises for a more detailed description of program procedures or of the forms used in the completion of these procedures, individual desk manuals are available for further reference.
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Table of Contents Section 1: Introduction 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04
Purpose of the Manual Review of the Manual Approval of the Manual Other Financial Assistance Reference Documents
Section 2: Perspectives on Financial Assistance 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06
NASFAA Statement of Good Practices Brief History of the Federal Financial Assistance Programs Brief History of the State Financial Assistance Programs The Federal Legislative Process The Budget and Appropriations Process The Regulatory Process
Section 3: Purpose and Philosophy of Financial Aid at Ranger College 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04
Basic Purpose Philosophy Roles and Responsibilities Policy Development
Section 4: Administrative Organization of the Financial Aid Office 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11
Organization Chart Not Defined Not Defined Financial Aid Office Job Descriptions Division of Responsibility Between the Financial Aid Office and the Student Business Office Relationship Between the Financial Aid Office and the Student Business Office. Interactions With Other Institutional Offices Relationship to Outside Governmental Agencies Organizational Structure of the Office of Student Financial aid (OSFA) Organization Structure of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Relationship to Professional Associations
Section 5: Standards for Institutional Certification and Continued Eligibility 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04
Definition of an Eligible Institution Standards of Financial Responsibility Standards of Administrative Capability Requirements for Continued Participation
Section 6: Program Authorization and Reporting Requirements 6.01 Federal Programs Title IV
6.01.1 Authorization 6.01.2 The Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) 6.01.3 Fiscal Operations Federal Programs Title VII 6.02.1 Authorization 6.02.2 The Annual Operating Report (AOR) 6.02.3 Reporting Responsibilities State Programs 6.03.1 Authorization 6.03.2 The Texas Financial Aid Database Report (TFAD) 6.03.3 The Texas Public Education Grant Report (TPEG) 6.03.4 Reporting Responsibilities Accrediting Agency Reporting 6.04.1 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) – LCME-1B
Section 7: General Calendar of the Financial aid Year 7.01
General Calendar of the Financial aid Year
Section 8: Student Consumer Information 8.01
Required Consumer Assistance Information 3
8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05
Required Consumer Institutional Information Required Consumer Counseling for Loan Borrowers Availability of Employees to Disseminate Information Current Consumer Information
Section 9: Policy of Non-Discrimination 9.01 9.02
Ranger College 's Statement on Equal Educational Opportunity Financial Aid Office Policy
Section 10: Accepted Need Analysis System 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05
Purpose of the Need Assessment Document Brief History of the Need Assessment Document Preference of Ranger College Availability of FAFSA Applications Annual Completion of the FAFSA
Section 11: Student Application for Financial aid 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10
Required Application Forms for the Need-Based Programs Required Application Forms for the Institutional Scholarships Required Application Forms for the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students Program Required Application Forms for the Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Program Priority Application Deadline Dates Absolute Deadline Dates The Financial aid Application Process at Ranger College Misrepresentation, Forgery, or Fraud Change of Dependency Status Requests Requests for Consideration of Special Circumstances
Section 12: Verification 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16
Definition and Philosophy Federal Verification Requirements and Exclusions Time of Verification Selection of Applications to be Verified at Ranger College Forms and Documentation Procedures Required Verification Items and Acceptable Documentation Discretionary Verification of Non-Required Items and Acceptable Documentation Use of IRS Extension for Filing Form Tolerance Options Processing Required Corrections The Difference Between Corrections, Updates, and Adjustments Updating Requirements and Procedures Interim Disbursements and Loan Certification Prior to Completion of Verification Verification Status Codes Misrepresentation, Forgery, or Fraud Required Items to be Documented
Section 13: Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 13.01 13.02 13.03
Philosophy General Provisions Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Statement of Ranger College
Section 14: Statement of Confidentiality 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08
General Confidentiality Statement Release of Student Directory Information Release of the Student's Permanent Academic Record Release of Information Concerning the Student's Satisfactory Academic Progress Release of Personally Identifiable Information Release of Personally Identifiable Information to Persons Outside the Financial Aid Office Examples of Appropriate and Inappropriate Information Disclosure Record of Disclosure
Section 15: Student Budgets 15.01 15.02
Definition Types of Standard Student Budgets
15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06
Components of Standard Student Budgets Criteria Used to Determine Component Amounts Current Student Budgets Special Budget Considerations
Section 16: Determination of Student Eligibility (Need Analysis) 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05
Need-Assessment Document Preference of Ranger College Verification of the Computerized Analysis Determination of the Student Budget Determination of Available Resources Determination of Need
Section 17: Awarding Financial Aid 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04
Institutional Packaging Philosophy Determination of Total Funds to be Awarded Use of Funding Notification of Awards No Need
Section 18: Revision of Awards 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04
Changes in the Student Budget Changes in the Student Resources Over-awards Steps to Take if Resources Exceed Need
Section 19: Professional Judgment 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04
Definition and Authority Principles of Professional Judgement Applications of Professional Judgement Staff Positions Carrying Authority to Exercise Professional Judgement Decisions
Section 20: Federal Pell Grant 20.01 20.02 20.03
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Awards
Section 21: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant 21.01 21.02 21.03
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Awards
Section 22: Federal Work-Study Program 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Awards Placement Procedures
Section 23: Federal Stafford Loan Program 23.01 23.02 24.03 23.04 23.05 23.06
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Award Amounts Pre-Loan Counseling Procedures Exit Interview Procedures Delayed Disbursement to First Year, First Time Undergraduate Borrowers
Section 24: Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Award Amounts Pre-Loan Counseling Procedures Exit Interview Procedures Delayed Disbursement to First Year, First Time Undergraduate Borrowers Additional Unsubsidized Loan Funds for Dependent Students. Additional Unsubsidized Loan Funds for Certain Health Profession Programs 5
Veteran’s Educational Benefits
Section 25: Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Award Amounts Disbursement by Paper Check
Section 27: Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Selection of Recipients Minimum and Maximum Awards
Section 27: Texas Public Education Grant 27.01 27.02 27.03 27.04
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Awards Resident vs. Non-Resident Awards
Section 28: Texas Tuition Assistance Grant 28.01 28.02 28.03 28.04 28.05
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Awards Student Affirmation Form Continued Awards
Section 29: Toward Excellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS) Grant 29.01 29.02 29.03
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Award Amounts
Section 30: Hinson-Hazlewood Loan Programs 30.01 30.02 30.03 30.04 30.05 30.06 30.07 30.08 30.09
Program Authorization and Purpose Student Eligibility Minimum and Maximum Awards Pre-Loan Counseling Procedures Exit Interview Procedures Delayed Disbursement to First Year, First Time Undergraduate Borrowers Multiple Disbursement During the Loan Period Enrollment Verification Veteran’s Educational Benefits
Section 31: State Tuition Exemptions/Scholarship Programs 31.01 31.02 31.03 31.04 31.05 31.06 31.07 31.08 31.09 31.10 31.11 31.13 31.14 31.15
Preface The Hazlewood Act Highest Ranking High School Graduate Good Neighbor Scholarship Blind, Deaf Students Children of Disabled Firemen and Peace Officers Children of Prisoners of War or Persons Missing in Action Firefighters Enrolled in Fire Science Courses Foster Care Students Early High School Graduation Scholarship Texas New Horizons Scholarship Program Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Certified Educational Aides Miscellaneous Tuition and Fee Exemption and/or Scholarship Programs
Section 32: Scholarships 36.01 36.02 36.03 36.04
Academic Scholarships Departmental Scholarships Outside Agency Scholarships Inquiries Concerning Scholarship Donations 6
Section 33: TBD 33.01 33.02 Section 34: TBD 34.01 34.02 Section 35: TBD 35.01 35.02 Section 36: TBD 36.01 36.02 Section 37: Disbursement of Funds 37.01 37.02 37.03 37.04 37.05
Responsibility for Disbursement of Funds Delivery of Federal Family Education Loan Checks Verification of the Student's Identity Verification of the Student's Status Disbursement of Assistance Through the Mail
Section 38: Policy for Refunds and Repayments 38.01 38.02 38.03 38.05
Refund Policy Statement Definition of Refund College Policy for Refunds
Federal Return of Title IV Aid Policy
APPENDIX 1. Progranm Participation Agrrement 2. Current Student Budgets 3. Dependency Change Request Form 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Section 1: Introduction 1.01
Purpose of the Manual This manual establishes the principles, policies and responsibilities for the effective and efficient management of the various federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs available to students attending Ranger College.
Review of the Manual This manual will be updated as needed by the Director, Associate Director and/or Assistant Director of Financial Aid and submitted to the Dean of Students, for review and approval.
Approval of the Manual Approved: ____________________________________ Director of Financial Aid
Approved: Dean of Students 1.04
Other Financial aid Reference Documents Other financial aid documents are available in the Financial Aid Office for reference through the Director, Associate Director or Assistant Director. These documents include, but are not limited to, the following:
Federal Legislation Authorizing Financial Assistance Programs Regulations published in the Federal Register Department of Education, Financial Aid Handbook Department of Education, Verification Guide Department of Education, Audit Guides "Dear Colleague" Letters NASFAA Encyclopedia of Student Financial Aid
Section 2: Perspectives on Financial Assistance 2.01
NASFAA Statement of Good Practices The primary purpose of student aid is to provide financial resources to students who would otherwise be unable to pursue postsecondary education. In order to accomplish this stated purpose, the following practices are recommended to all financial aid administrators.
The Financial Aid Administrator 1. Shall make every effort to meet the demonstrated needs of all students at his/her institution to the extent funding will permit in an ethical manner. 2. Shall award all aid on the basis of demonstrated financial need except where funds are specified for recognition of special talents. Where aid is not based on need and represents a significant portion of institutional assistance, the aid administrator should make every effort to redirect such funds to assist those students with demonstrated need. 3. Shall exercise adequate controls to insure that need based aid awards do not exceed documented need. 4. Shall recognize that the primary responsibility for financing postsecondary education rests with the student and his/her family. Financial assistance from institutions and other sources is only intended as supplementary to the efforts of the family. 5. Shall help students seek, obtain, and make the best use of all financial resources available. 6. Shall provide in all appropriate literature a clear statement of the actual costs of attendance which shall include both the direct and non-direct costs. 7. Shall inform the student of all conditions under which an award is granted at the time the offer is made. 8. Shall refrain from and discourage others from making any public announcement of the amount or type of financial aid awarded to a student in order to protect the confidentiality of the economic circumstances of the student and his/her family. 9. Shall respect the confidentiality of student records. Information should be released only on the written consent of the student and/or his/her family and all policies and procedures should protect the students' rights of privacy. 10. Shall oppose the administration of aid to accomplish disciplinary objectives. 11. Shall, when preparing funding requests, estimate needs honestly and fairly.
Brief History of the Federal Financial Assistance Programs A review of the history of federal student aid reveals a system that is a product of perceived social need, shaped by public policy discussion and debate, and limited by budget realities. The following is a brief account in chronological order of federal aid. 1643
The first endowment gift was given by Lady Anne Mowlson of London for support of a poor scholar to attend Harvard College. This is popularly considered as the beginning of student financial assistance in the United States.
Competition between and public colleges was active. Colleges offered loans, prizes, employment, and scholarships. Public colleges offered reduced tuition assistance programs or no tuition.
The U.S. Advancement in the technological and scientific fields brought about the creation of the Land Grant Colleges through the Morrill Act of 1862.
The Federal Reserve Officers Training Corps was established during the 1920's. Tuition and subsistence payments, for the pursuit of postsecondary education, was offered to young men who would make a service commitment.
The National Youth Administration College Work Program and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration Program provided part-time employment on college campuses. This marked the first major departure by the federal government from supporting institutions to supporting students.
In the closing months of World War II, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, known as the GI Bill of Rights, was passed. It provided veterans with funds for tuition, fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
The National Defense Education Act of 1958 created the National Defense Student Loan (NDSL) Program. It resulted from national concern over the Russians launch of Sputnik.
The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 created the College Work-Study Program as part of President Johnson's "War on Poverty" and was administered by the Office of Economic Opportunity. The Nurse Training Act of 1964 authorized the Nursing Student Loan Program, a low interest loan for students enrolled in a school of nursing.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 consolidated the College Work-Study Program with the reauthorized National Defense Student Loan Program in the Office of Education. It authorized the Educational Opportunity Grant (EOG) Program for students with "exceptional financial need". The Guaranteed Student Loan Program was created to assist students from middle-income families.
The Health Professions Scholarship and Loan Program was created providing low interest loans for students enrolled in a school of nursing. The Crime Control Act created the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) to assist needy students interested in law enforcement careers. This program has since been discontinued.
The Higher Education Amendments of 1972: Created the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (BEOG) Program as an entitlement. This grant was intended to provide a student access and choice. Reauthorized the College Work-Study, NDSL and EOG Programs, changing the names of National Defense to National Direct Student Loans and Educational Opportunity Grants to Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. Established the State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) Program to be matched by states. Extended authority for the GSL Program. Expanded eligibility for the first time to both half-time students and those enrolled in profit-making (proprietary) institutions.
The General Education Provisions Act of 1974, as amended by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (the Buckley Amendments), provided privacy safeguards for students and families and set guidelines for disclosing educational and personal data.
Title IV Programs were again reauthorized by the Educational Amendments of 1976. Emphasis was placed on student consumer information requirements and the introduction of requirements for satisfactory academic progress.
The Middle Income Student Assistance Act of 1978 (MISAA) greatly expanded eligibility requirements to include previously ineligible students from middle and upper-middle income families. The income ceiling was removed on the GSL Program.
The Title IV Programs were again reauthorized by the Education Amendments of 1980. These amendments:
Renamed the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program as the Pell Grant Program in honor of Senator Claiborne Pell, the initial sponsor of the 1972 Legislation. Created the Parent Loan Program (PLUS) to provide low interest loans to parents of dependent undergraduates. Authorized major changes in the needs analysis methodologies and delivery system. Expanded eligibility criteria. Increased annual and aggregate award maximums.
The 1981 Supplemental Appropriations and Rescissions Act and the Omnibus Budget reconciliation Act of 1981 greatly altered and in some cases, repealed much of the liberalization authorized in 1980 before the provisions could be implemented. The GSL Needs Test and Federal Tables were created to determine the Effective Family Contribution (EFC) used in GSL eligibility. Since PLUS was not only for parents, it was renamed ALAS, Auxiliary Loans to Assist Student.
The Defense Authorization Acts of 1982 and 1983 tied aid eligibility for males born on or after January 1, 1960 to Selective Service registration.
The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) made major changes in the Title IV programs. These changes included: Requiring the determination of Pell Grant eligibility for all GSL applicants. Requiring the disbursement of GSL and PLUS proceeds in multiple payments. Redefining GSL and PLUS defaults. Authorizing loan consolidation for GSL, PLUS, and NDSL loan.
The Higher Education Amendments of 1986, as amended by the 1987 Technical Amendments, again reauthorized the Title IV Program as follows: The National Direct Student Loan Program was renamed the Perkins Loan Program after Senator Carl D. Perkins. Major changes occurred in the determination of dependency status for applicants. The Guaranteed Student Loan Program became a need-based program eliminating the use of the Federal Tables to establish the EFC. Congressional Methodology was authorized. Increased annual and aggregate award maximums for GSL, PLUS, SEOG, SSIG, Pell, and NDSL were authorized. Undergraduate students and Graduate/Professional Students was established. A master calendar for certain Department of Education functions was introduced. The "ability to benefit" provisions were changed. New time limits on the duration of student eligibility for a Pell Grant were established. Pilot testing of a new loan program, the Income Contingent Loan (ICL) Program, was authorized.
Amendments to the HEA signed into law in 1988 included the following changes: The Guaranteed Student Loan Program was renamed the Stafford Loan Program, in honor of Senator Robert T. Stafford, a major sponsor of student assistance legislation. Determination of Pell Grant and Stafford Loan eligibility must be made before SLS eligibility can be determined. SLS loan proceeds must be disbursed in multiple disbursements.
Title IV Programs were again reauthorized by the Education Amendments of 1992 as follows: All of the Title IV Programs were renamed to include the word "Federal" at the beginning of each title. Major changes occurred in the determination of the dependency status of applicants. The Pell Grant tables were replaced with a Pell eligibility calculation using the maximum possible award less the expected family contribution. Eligibility for Pell was extended to less-than-halftime students. Duration of Pell Grant eligibility was eliminated. Perkins and GSL annual and aggregate loan limits were increased. Loan deferment and cancellation privileges were expanded. Pilot testing of the Federal Direct Lending Program was authorized. A single methodology was established to determine eligibility for all need-based aid, including Pell Grants. The Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for Middle-Income Borrowers was established. Major changes in refund policy requirements were established.
The HE amendment of 1998 was signed into law to amend the HEA of 1965 Schools may choose the loan programs to participate in (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, PLUS) Lenders can offer lower origination fees Lenders/Guaranty agencies have restrictions on unsolicited mailings Introduction of Master Promissory Note Benefits of Low Default Rates (Delayed Disbursement and Multiple Disbursement exemptions) Electronic Loan Counseling Permitted Perkins loan Rehabilitation Program and Perkins loan default rate exclusions Student Loan Ombudsman created New student eligibility requirement – regarding drug conviction FSEOG – can carry up to 10% forward/back FWS – community service requirement increases to 7% New Return of Title IV funds policy: Return of Unearned Title IV Aid
Brief History of the State Financial Assistance Programs 1956
Hinson-Hazlewood College Student Loan was enacted by the Texas Legislature and endorsed by Texas voters. The program was originally known as the Texas Opportunity Plan (TOP).
The Tuition Equalization Grant Program was created to help students meet the higher tuition charges at independent colleges as compared to public institutions in the State of Texas.
The State Rural Medical Education Board was created for the purpose of issuing loans, grants and scholarships to Texas residents who are accepted by or are attending an accredited medical school listed by the World Health Organization and who desire to practice medicine in a rural area of Texas.
The Texas Legislature created the Texas Public Educational Grant.
The Texas Legislature created the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation.
The State Scholarship for Ethnic Recruitment Program was created to encourage the recruitment of minority students to universities, currently not funded--Hopwoood.
The Teacher Education Loan Program was created to encourage practicing teachers to become certified in subject areas where there was a shortage of teachers and to encourage students enrolled in teacher education programs to teach in public schools in Texas, currently not funded.
The Future Teacher Loan Program was also created in 1984 to encourage students to seek certification in and to teach subjects in critical need, currently not funded.
The Physician Student Loan Repayment Program was authorized to encourage qualified physicians to practice medicine in economically depressed and medically under-served areas of Texas or for certain state agencies.
The Health Education Loan Program was created to provide non-federally guaranteed student loans to medical and other health profession students whenever the overall demand exceeds the levels authorized by the HEAL program. The College Access Loan was created to help families excluded from the federal GSL program due to the Education Amendments of 1986.
The new TEXAS Grant program was introduced to help needy students who had graduated from high school and had completed an advanced or recommended curriculum. The new Teach for Texas Conditional Grant, a forgivable loan, was introduced to encourage students entering the field of education to teach in teaching fields determined to be shortage areas or districts that have difficulty attracting teachers.
The Federal Legislative Process The legal basis of each federal student aid program is legislation enacted by Congress. It is in the Congress that specific proposals are considered and, if given enough political support, become law. A legislative proposal takes shape as a bill and may be introduced either in the House of Representatives or the Senate, or in both. It is then referred to the appropriate committee or subcommittee for review. Once the committee has heard and reviewed testimony, it may substantially rewrite the bill, or draft an entirely new one. Upon receiving a majority vote of the committee, the bill is presented to the entire House or Senate for debate, possible amendment, and a vote. If it passes, the bill is forwarded to the President for a signature. The bill becomes a law if the President's signature is secured, by inaction of the President under certain conditions, or by a Congressional vote (two-thirds of each house) to override a Presidential veto. A successful bill proceeds through the House of Representatives and the Senate as follows:
The Budget and Appropriations Process The budget process goes on year-round. The process includes budget requests, spending targets, authorization bills, appropriations bills, and the final version of the budget.
The Regulatory Process Through the legislative process, Congress delegates to the executive branch of government - in this case to the Department of Education - the legal authority to administer the aid programs. The Department of Education (ED) produces regulations in response to new or reauthorized legislation, changes in departmental policy, or administrative problem areas that require new or changed regulations. These regulations have the effect of law. The Secretary of Education publishes proposed regulations, final regulations and notices in a government publication called the Federal Register. The Federal Register includes the following categories of publications:
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) - An NPRM informs the student aid community and the general public of proposed regulations. It includes background information, the effect of any proposed changes on current regulations, and the address and closing date for receiving comments from the public. Final Regulations - ED produces final regulations, with an effective date, after reviewing public comments on the NPRM or Interim Final Regulations.
Interim Final Regulations - In general, an Interim Final Regulation is published when there is need for quick action in response to passage of new legislation or there is need to publish regulations to guide program activities until policy decisions can be made as a result of many comments to the NPRM. Non-Regulatory Notices - These notices are published several times each year. They include FISAP deadlines, Pell Grant deadlines, etc.
Section 3: Purpose and Philosophy of Financial Aid at Ranger College. 3.01
Basic Purpose The Financial Aid Office at Ranger College is a student service related organization operating within the Division of Enrollment Management. The basic purpose is to provide financial aid to students who, without this funding, would be unable to pursue their educational goals at the post-secondary level. Realizing that it is impossible to assist 100% of those in need due to the many consequences of funding patterns, individual factors, and the limited availability of funds, priorities of funding are established to insure that the most deserving students are the recipients of the funds. Though these priorities must be set, the goal and purpose of the Financial Aid Office at Ranger College remains to identify, counsel and financially assist those students who are in need of these funds to meet their educational expenses at the RANGER COLLEGE.
Philosophy The Financial Aid Office is committed to assisting those students who cannot otherwise afford the expense of attending Ranger College. This philosophy is based on the belief that higher education should not be a privilege reserved only for those who can afford to purchase their education, but should also be available to those who cannot afford an education, and desire to better themselves through a college education. Students are given the opportunity of attending RANGER COLLEGE with financial aid in the forms of loans, grants, scholarships and work programs. Inherent in the financial aid philosophy is the belief that students and their families are expected to make the maximum contribution possible to the educational cost. In cases where the maximum contribution of the family and student is not sufficient to meet the student's educational expenses, the Financial Aid Office will attempt to meet the student's needs through various available aid programs. The student will be expected to contribute a reasonable portion of the educational cost through work programs, loans, or a combination of both. The student is also expected to be committed to achieving his educational goal by demonstrating Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The philosophy of this concept is the belief that a student must demonstrate academic promise and/or academic progress before public funds are committed for his/her education. Due to the limited availability of funds, the Financial Aid Office must establish priorities of funding to insure that the most deserving students are the recipients of the funds. Funds awarded are contingent upon the amount of aid funds allocated to RANGER COLLEGE by federal, state and institutional sources.
Roles and Responsibilities Although institutions differ in size and participation in Title IV programs, each Financial Aid Office will be responsible for:
counseling students; verifying applicant data; determining awards; monitoring student eligibility; providing loan entrance/exit counseling information, via approved methods including web based. establishing internal lines of communication between the departments at the institution which provide support services in the administration of financial aid; and reporting the use of financial aid to the Department of Education.
The role of the Financial Aid Office can be seen from four separate viewpoints - that of the institution, the Department of Education, the State of Texas, and the student. These viewpoints often differ in the emphasis they place on the various responsibilities of the Financial Aid Office, and they create multiple demands. The institution holds the Financial Aid Office accountable for the management of all student financial aid, with a special emphasis on access, coordination, liability, and planning. The Department of Education (as well as the State Authority) sets forth a framework in which the Financial Aid Office should work and issues regulations to follow. Students view the Financial Aid Office as a source of information, funding and counseling. An effective Financial Aid Office is one that can balance the multiple demands created by these different viewpoints. This requires an office with convenient hours and an accessible, welcoming staff with good interpersonal skills. While maintaining this accessibility, it requires the performance of detailed and accurate calculations and other procedures such as record keeping and program monitoring. Time management, effective communication, and well-planned policies and operating procedures are the needed tools to create this balance.
Policy Development It is the responsibility of the Director, Associate Director to review and develop operating policies and procedures for the Financial Aid Office at RANGER COLLEGE. Though the development of policies and procedures is basically an ongoing process, the policies and procedures manual will be updated as needed by the Director in Financial Aid and submitted to the Dean of Students for review and approval.
Section 4: Administrative Organization of the Financial Aid Office 4.01
System Organization Chart (See Appendix)
Division of Student Services (See Appendix)
Financial Aid Office Organization Chart (See Appendix)
Financial Aid Office Job Descriptions (See Appendix)
Division of Responsibility Between the Financial Aid Office and the Business Office In order to maintain the proper division of responsibility and insure the total fiscal integrity of the financial aid programs administered by the Financial Aid Office; the Business Office, in coordination with the Director of Financial Aid, has the responsibility and authority to: a) b) c) d) e)
Request federal program funds for all Title IV programs (campus-based programs and Pell) from the Department of Education’s Grant Administration & Payment System (GAPS). Establish fund accounts and general ledgers as necessary to properly manage and account for expenditures from these accounts. Receive and disburse state, federal, and institutional money to students who have been awarded funds from these programs as directed by the Director of Financial Aid. Assist the Director of Financial Aid as necessary in preparing and completing federal and state reports. Maintain auditable records for accurate accountability and reporting.
Relationship Between the Financial Aid Office and the Business Office. The relationship between the Financial Aid Office and the Business Services Office is such that a continuous uninterrupted flow of communication between the two offices is absolutely necessary to the timely effective delivery of aid funds to students. Therefore, in recognition of this necessity, normal programmatic transactions between the two offices shall be conducted without the necessity of these transactions being routed through the administrative chain of command. Only in the case of an un-resolvable difference arising would the Student Business Services and the Director of Financial Aid be required to pursue resolution through the administrative chain of command.
Interactions With Other Institutional Offices The Financial Aid Office depends greatly on sharing information and responsibilities with other institutional offices. Clear lines of responsibility, good communication, and cooperation among the members of the University community are essential to the effective administration of student financial aid programs. Interaction between the Financial Aid Office and the following institutional offices is critical for the effective day-today administration of the financial aid programs at Ranger College. Registrar's Office - Information available through the Registrar's Office is essential for the monitoring of satisfactory academic progress requirements, for data necessary during the audit and review process, for verification of Veteran's Benefits information, and for the monitoring of documents necessary to confirm financial aid eligibility (high school/college transcripts etc.)
Relationship to Outside Governmental Agencies Ranger College is not the only authority to whom we are responsible as a Financial Aid Office. Financial aid involves additional evaluators. The Department of Education, as the source or awarding of Title IV funding, sets forth a framework in which to work and issues regulations to follow. The federal role has two sides, one to train and offer technical assistance, and the other to ensure compliance with the federal laws and regulations governing the programs. The division within the Department of Education with which we work is the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA). Our state authority, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, is the source or awarding authority of state funding. The Board sets forth a framework in which to work and issues regulations to follow in the administration of the state programs. In addition, the Board offers training and technical assistance, and ensures compliance with the state laws and regulations governing the programs.
Organizational Structure of the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA)
The Director of Student Financial Assistance Programs carries out the day-to-day program activities within OSFA to ensure program coordination across division lines. OSFA has five divisions organized by function. The Division of Policy and Program Development is responsible for developing and issuing program policies and regulations. Within the branches of this Division, there are policy sections and analysis sections. The policy sections develop the regulations and other materials that explain program policies to the financial aid community. The analysis sections collect information on the programs to analyze progress made in meeting program objectives, and to project the fiscal impact of legislative and regulatory changes. The OSFA is responsible for the delivery and control of Federal Funds and services authorized for the student financial aid programs. It develops procedures for delivering program services, controlling and accounting for funds, and develops and maintains automated accounting and management information systems. The Division is organized into four branches. The Financial Aid Director is responsible for monitoring schools' and financial institutions' administration of student financial assistance programs through audit reviews and school, and state agency reviews. It is also responsible for administering the fine, limitation, suspension, and termination authority. This Division contains four branches. The Financial Aid Director analyzes and reviews all audits of the student financial aid programs to determine if a school's administration of the program(s) conforms to the statutes, regulations, and established policies. The institutional Review Branch develops standards and procedures for program reviews, prepares and distributes reports on the findings, resolutions, and repayment of Federal Funds directly attributable to the program review effort, and develops criteria for identifying schools to be reviewed. The Financial Aid Director coordinates training activities for the financial aid community and disseminates information on the student financial aid programs to the aid community, the general public, and other groups. The Division contains the Training and Dissemination Branches.
Organization Structure of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (www.thecb.state.tx.us.) The Divisions of The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board are as follows: Commissioner’s Office Administration Division Community and Technical Colleges Division Division of Educational Partnerships Finance, Campus Planning, and Research Division Student Services Division Division of Universities and Health-Related Institutions
Relationship to Professional Associations State, regional, and national associations provide information and training materials for student financial aid administrators. These associations also hold meetings several times a year, in which they conduct training, discuss changes within the field, exchange information on current topics, and communicate positions to the state and federal legislatures and to the Department of Education. The professional associations are supported by their members and are not affiliated with the Department of Education. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) - NASFAA is an association formed on the national level to represent and train financial aid administrators and to keep them informed of regulatory changes. Southwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SWASFAA) - SWASFAA is an association formed on the regional level and includes the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA) - TASFAA is an association formed on the state level. TASFAA is one of the largest such associations in the United States. The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) - NACUBO is an association, which provides publications to assist in the effective administration of financial aid and in the collections of the Perkins Loan Program.
Section 5: Standards for Institutional Certification and Continued Eligibility 5.01
Definition of an Eligible Institution In order for an institution to be considered eligible to participate in the student financial aid programs, the institution must meet the following minimum standards before application for certification can be made: 1. The institution must be located within the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Northern Mariana Islands. Foreign schools may be approved by ED on an individual basis for participation in the FFELP programs only. 2. The qualifications of the students admitted to the educational program(s) of the institution must meet minimum standards. 3. The institution must have the legal authorization to provide an educational program beyond secondary level issued by the state or evidence of legal exemption from such authorization. 4. The educational program(s) provided by the institution must meet minimum standards. 5. The institution must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association, or be approved for an alternative to accreditation established by ED. 6. The length of the institution's existence must meet minimum standards. 7. The institution's type of control (public, , nonprofit, or for-profit) must be established and meet standards. If the institution believes that it meets these eligibility requirements, it must apply for eligibility from the Division of Eligibility and Certification of ED. Upon determination of eligibility by DEC, certification of financial responsibility and administrative capability must be established by the Institution and Lender Certification Branch of ED. If certified, a Program Participation Agreement signed by the Secretary of Education is forwarded to the institution and the institution's ability to participate is made known to the necessary organizations.
Standards of Financial Responsibility To be considered financially responsible, an institution must be able to: 1. Provide the services listed in the official institutional publications. 2. Provide administrative resources necessary for compliance with the General Provisions. 3. Meet all of the institution's financial obligations. 4. Provide bond coverage for employees who are responsible for federal financial aid funds as protection against fraud, as required.
Standards of Administrative Capability To demonstrate administrative capability, an institution must: 1. Establish and maintain the student records and financial records required by regulations. 2. Designate a capable individual to be responsible for the administration and coordination of all federal and nonfederal financial aid programs. 3. Communicate to this administrator all the information received by any institutional office that affects a student's eligibility. 4. Employ an adequate number of qualified staff to carry out administrative responsibilities. 5. Provide adequate checks and balances in the institution's system of internal controls and divide functions so that no office has the responsibility for both authorizing payments and disbursing funds to any particular student who received aid. 6. Establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for measuring satisfactory academic progress in determining a student's continued eligibility for aid. 7. Develop an adequate system to establish the accuracy and consistency of information on documents such as applications, tax returns, verification forms, and institutional records. 8. Provide adequate financial aid counseling to student on sources and amounts of aid, methods by which aid is determined, students' rights and responsibilities, and for loan recipients, counseling on the average indebtedness of students, average anticipated monthly repayments, options for repayment, and planning for successful repayment. 9. Refer any instance of suspected fraud or criminal conduct by an applicant to the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Education or to the state or local authorities.
Requirements for Continued Participation The standards for financial responsibility and administrative capability must continue to be met throughout the period of participation in the financial aid programs. Additional requirements must be met as well. These requirements are as follows: 1.
An institution must have its program records audited at least once every 2 years. These audits must conform to the standards set by the Department of Education's Inspector General.
In addition to the required biennial audits, federal auditors may select an institution for a program review. Upon written request, the institution must give the Department of Education or the Office of the Inspector General access to all program and fiscal records. The institution must establish and maintain records regarding each student's admission to a program, enrollment status, satisfactory academic progress, refunds due or paid, placement in a job by the institution, receipt of financial aid, and the verification of the student aid application. Records must be organized and available for review by ED at the geographical location where the student will receive the degree or certificate. The institution must implement and maintain a system to ensure that refunds are received and distributed consistently and in a timely manner.
Section 6: Program Authorization and Reporting Requirements All programs require sound fiscal operations. This is a term that describes the institution's management of student aid funds. This management includes completing progress and annual reports, disbursing funds to eligible students, recovering and returning disbursements to program accounts, processing loan funds, and accounting for each transaction. Sound fiscal operations include: 1. good financial record-keeping practices based on a clear audit trail; 2. compliance with disbursement regulations; 3. accounting records which clearly reflect transactions of each program; and 4. appropriate management of fund requests.
Federal Programs Title IV 6.01.1 Program Authorization An institution participation in financial aid program, receives authority to disburse funds to students from the Department of Education (ED) and/or from the state authority (The Coordinating Board for the State of Texas). The authorized level of funding for the award year may be referred to as the institution's authorization level. This term is used to describe the dollar amount approved for expenditure in an award year.
6.01.2 The Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) Institutions participating in campus-based programs file the FISAP each fall. The information summarized on the FISAP serves as an application for campus-based funds for the upcoming year and provides an annual report of financial and enrollment activity for the previous award year. Institutions report the prior year's tuition and fee income, enrollment, and use of state, campus-based, and Pell Grant funds.
State Programs 6.03.1 Program Authorization – Administered and regulated by state laws and regulations. Coordinated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). An incomplete listing includes the: Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG), Texas Tuition Assistance Grant (TTAG)-currently unfunded, Toward Excellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS) Grant, Hinson-Hazlewood Loan Programs (HHL).
6.03.2 The Texas Financial Aid Database Report (FADB) Institutions participating in the State of Texas are required to complete progress and annual reports for many of the programs. In addition, an annual report, the Texas Financial Aid Database (FADB) is required. 6.03.3 The Texas Campus Based Report The Texas Public Education Grant Report (TPEG) Texas College Work Study TEXAS Grant 6.03.4
Various progress reports, as required.
Section 7: General Calendar of the Financial aid Year 7.01
General Calendar of the Financial Aid Year The Financial aid Year at Ranger College, begins with the Fall semester and ends with the summer terms/semesters. For the summer semester of 2010 Ranger College will use the FAFSA for 2009-2010 to award all awards including PELL Grants.
The Master Calendar is in the Appendix
Section 8: Student Consumer Information 8.01
Required Consumer Assistance Information Each eligible institution participating in any program under Title IV is required by law to carry out information dissemination activities. The following minimum information must be published and made readily available to currently enrolled and prospective students and their families. 1. A description of the Federal, State, local, and institutional financial aid programs available to enrolled students, including need-based and non need-based programs. The institution may describe its own financial and programs by listing them in general categories. 2. The procedures and forms by which students apply for aid and requirements for accurately preparing such forms. 3. The student eligibility requirements. 4. The criteria for selecting recipients from the group of eligible applicants. 5. The criteria for determining the amount of a student's award. 6. The student’s rights and responsibilities for receiving financial aid in general and specific assistance under each of the programs in which the institution participates including: criteria for continued student eligibility under each program, standards the student must maintain to be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress in their course of study for the purpose of receiving financial aid payments, and criteria by which the student who has failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress may reestablish their eligibility for financial aid. 7. The method and frequency by which financial aid payments will be made to the student. 8. The terms of any loan received by a student as part of the student's financial aid package, a sample loan repayment schedule for sample loans, and the necessity for repaying loans. 9. The general conditions and terms applicable to any employment provided to a student as part of the student’s financial package. 10. Verification deadlines and the consequence of failure to comply with requests for documentation.
Required Consumer Institutional Information In addition to information specific to the financial aid programs, a participating institution is required to publish and make readily available information about the institution. Such information must include the following. 1.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
The cost of attending the institution, including: tuition and fees charged to full-time and part-time students, estimates of necessary books and supplies, estimates of typical charges for room and board, transportation costs for commuting students or for students living on or off campus, and any additional cost of a program in which the student is enrolled or expresses a specific interest. A statement of the refund policy of the institution for the return of unearned tuition and fees or other refundable portions of costs paid to the institution by the student. A statement of the institution's policies regarding any refund due to the Title IV student assistance programs as required by the regulations. An accurate description of the academic program of the institution, including: the current degree or certificate programs and other educational and training programs, instructional, laboratory, and other physical facilities which relate to the academic program, and the institution's faculty and other instructional personnel. The names of association, agencies or governmental bodies which accredit, approve, or license the institution and its programs, and the procedures by which the documents describing that activity may be reviewed by a current or prospective student upon request. A description of any special facilities and services available to handicapped students. The titles of persons designated by the institution to disseminate consumer information to students and prospective students, and information as to how and where such persons may be contacted. The completion/graduation rate of certificate/ degree-seeking, full-time undergraduate students. Statistics on the receipt of athletically related student aid, if applicable. Campus security policies and crime statistics.
Required Consumer Counseling for Loan Borrowers Special consumer counseling is required for a Federal Stafford Loan or Federal Perkins Loan borrower prior to releasing the first disbursement at the institution (initial counseling) and prior to or at the time the student ceases his/her enrollment (exit counseling).
The initial counseling must include the following: 1. 2.
emphasis on the seriousness and importance of the repayment obligation on the part of the borrower, the likely consequences, described in forceful terms, of default, including adverse credit reports and litigation, and 22
emphasis on the obligation to repay the loan even if the student does not complete the program, is unable to obtain employment on completion, or is otherwise dissatisfied with the educational or other services.
Additional recommended components to be included in the initial counseling may include the following: 1. 2. 3. 4.
information regarding the interest rate, grace period, due date, late charges, and charges resulting from default; explanation of the borrower's responsibilities to keep the Department of Education informed of any changes or problems; explanation of the borrower's rights to deferments, cancellation, or forbearance; and information regarding repayment options,and loan servicers, budgeting and personal financial management, and the average indebtedness of borrowers at the institution.
The exit counseling must include the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
general information concerning the average indebtedness of borrowers at the institution; the average anticipated monthly repayment amount based on the average indebtedness for the institution; repayment options; terms and conditions under which borrowers may obtain a deferral of loan repayment; debt management strategies; emphasis on the seriousness and importance of the repayment obligation; the consequences of default; and emphasis on the obligation to repay the loan even if the student does not complete the program, is unable to obtain employment on completion, or is otherwise dissatisfied with the educational or other services.
The following information must be collected during the exit counseling session: 1. 2. 3. 4.
the expected permanent address; the name and address of the borrower's expected employer; the driver's license number; and the address of the borrower's next-of-kin.
Additional recommended components in the exit counseling session include the following: 1. 2. 3. 4.
information regarding the interest rate, grace period, due date, late charges, and default charges; explanation of the borrower's responsibility to keep Department of Education informed of changes and problems; explanation of the borrower's rights to deferment, cancellation, and forbearance; information regarding repayment options, secondary markets and loan servicers, budgeting and personal financial management, and the average indebtedness of borrowers at the institution.
Availability of Employees to Disseminate Information The institution is required to designate an employee or group of employees who are available on a full-time basis to assist students or potential students in obtaining the information specified above. Ranger College provides personnel who are readily available to assist students and potential students upon reasonable notice.
Current Consumer Information In addition to the availability of employees to disseminate information, the RANGER COLLEGE Scholarship and Financial Aid Handbook, Financial Aid at Ranger College, a Guide to Financial Aid and the Federal Student Guide are available at all times in the Financial Aid Office for dissemination of information. Additional institutional information may be obtained through the current copy of the Ranger College Catalogs available in the Registrar's Office. As required by the Higher Education Amendments of 1986, the Secretary of Education provides a toll-free telephone number for the general public for the dissemination of information concerning the federal student assistance programs, including specific instructions on completing application forms. This number is 1 (800) 4292829. It is available 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (EST), Monday through Friday.
Section 9: Policy of Non-Discrimination 9.01
Ranger College 's Statement on Equal Educational Opportunity No person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under, any program or activity sponsored or conducted by Ranger College, on any basis prohibited by applicable law, including, but not limited to, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap.
Financial Aid Office Policy Although the Financial Aid Office is governed by the policies, procedures, and budgetary regulations of the College, the following is stated to emphasize non-discrimination as it applies to the financial aid programs and employees. No student will be denied the opportunity to apply, receive, or participate in the financial aid programs for which he/she may wish to apply due to his/her race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or disability. Race and sex designations on financial aid applications are voluntary and are used in order to complete required federal and state reports. No employee or prospective employee will be discriminated against due to his/her race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or disability.
Section 10: Accepted Need Analysis System 10.01
Purpose of the Need Assessment Document The purpose of the need-assessment document is to insure consistent equitable treatment of all aid applicants, document the method and family/student information used to determine financial need, and to provide an auditable record of the information used to determine financial need in the awarding of financial aid funds.
Brief History of the Need Assessment Document The 10-year period between 1965 and 1975 was significant in the history of student financial assistance for many reasons. There was a phenomenal increase in available student aid, a growth in the number and variety of programs designed to disburse the aid, an increase in the number of applications and amount of information requested from students and parents, and a number of methods created for determining financial need based on different philosophical positions. All of this resulted in confusion and frustration on the part of students and parents, and hampered rather than facilitated educational planning. For these and other reasons, a National Task Force on Student Aid Problems was conceived in May of 1974. Made up of representatives from postsecondary institutions, state agencies, governmental agencies, and educational agencies and organizations, the group defined the scope of its endeavor early and decided to address the problems associated with the delivery system for federal, state, , and institutional programs. To eliminate the confusion of having several need analysis systems, the task force focused on the establishment of a national standard of "ability to pay". Encouraging the two major need analysis services - The American College Testing Program and the College Scholarship Service - to continue the discussions which began in the late 1960's and became substantive in 1971, the task force attempted to resolve the differences in the two systems and thus form a basis for the national standard. The Pell Grant Program, with its student eligibility computation system, which emerged in 1972, became a part of the discussion related to the creation of a single national standard. The result was the adoption of the "consensus model", or Uniform Methodology, by both ACT and CSS for processing - which began fall 1975 - of the financial aid applications for the 1976-77 academic year. Updated each year under the auspices of the National Student Aid Coalition, the task force follow-through vehicle, the Uniform Methodology was based on a five-point philosophy of financial aid: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
To the extent able, parents have primary responsibility to pay their children's education. Parents will, as they are able, contribute funds for their sons' and daughters' education. Students, as well as their parents, have a responsibility to help pay for their education. The family should be accepted in its present financial condition. A need analysis system must evaluate families in a consistent and equitable manner, while recognizing that special circumstances can and do alter a family's ability to contribute.
To further coordinate and simplify the aid process, the Coalition also developed a revised calendar and delivery mechanism. The new system, Multiple Data Entry, allowed need analysis agencies and some state agencies to collect Pell Grant data on their forms and transmit that information to the U.S. Department of Education for processing. To insure the collection of accurate, current, and verifiable financial data, all agencies agreed not to process need analysis forms until January 1 of the award year. The Higher Education Amendments of 1986 amended by the Higher Education Technical Amendments Act of 1987 developed a revised set of need analysis formulas referred to as the "Congressional Methodology". Although Congress did not outline in detail its philosophy for the features of CM, it may be assumed that the philosophy is the same as that of Uniform Methodology since many of the features are identical. CM was first used during the 1988-89 processing year. The HEA of 1992 made a number of changes in the Title IV delivery system. These changes: 1. Simplified the application process; 2. Required a single, free application form for all Title IV aid; 3. Added state-specific questions; and 4. Established one methodology for determining need for all Title IV programs, including Pell Grant. The new single analysis formula is referred to as the Federal Need Analysis Methodology (FM). As in previous years, the data on the application will still be used to determine the student's dependency status, calculate the expected family contribution (EFC), and determine whether the applicant meets other Title IV eligibility requirements. The federal form is called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA. No other form may be used to determine eligibility for Title IV aid. Students and parents will not be charged a fee for processing the FAFSA.
Preference of Ranger College Ranger College will accept the results of any completed and processed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for aid requiring an assessment of financial need. The FAFSA will be the form disbursed by the Financial Aid Office.
Availability of FAFSA Applications The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available in many formats. The Financial Aid Office at RANGER COLLEGE strongly recommends that students complete the on-line versions of the FAFSA. WWW.FAFSA.GOV. See the Appendix for instructions In addition to the electronic versions, the paper FAFSA is available, the student's high school counselor and/or other financial aid offices at colleges and universities within the proximity of the student's home. So that the student may be informed of all requirements for application at Ranger College, it is highly recommended the check list be obtained from the RANGER COLLEGE Financial Aid Office or online at www.fina.Ranger College.edu.
Annual Completion of the FAFSA The FAFSA must be filed annually to qualify for financial aid for the academic year or award year. The award year at Ranger College begins with fall and spring semesters and continues through the following the summer terms. Application packets will be made available by March 1, of the award year.
Section 11: Student Application for Financial Aid 11.01
Required Application Forms for the Need-Based Programs The following is a list of the required forms for need-based programs at RANGER COLLEGE: 1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 2. RANGER COLLEGE Institutional Application 3. Signed Copy(ies) of Income Tax Return(s) (if applicable) 4. Verification Worksheet (if applicable) 5. Other information as requested by the Director, Associate Director, Assistant Director, or Financial Aid Advisor.
Required Application Forms for Institutional Scholarships 1. 2.
Need Based Scholarships (see section 11.01) Non-Need Based Scholarships Each College and Department controls the majority of the scholarships that are available for their students. Many scholarships awarded through the Colleges and Departments require separate application forms. For many scholarships, all administered by the Office of Financial Aid, require the Freshmen or Transfer Scholarship form. The form is available in the Scholarship and Financial Aid Handbook or online at www.fina.Ranger College.edu. The deadline for scholarship application is March 1 annually.
Required Application Forms for the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students Program The following is a list of the required forms for the Federal PLUS Loan at RANGER COLLEGE: 1. Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students Program Application/Promissory note, available from www.studentloans.gov 2. RANGER COLLEGE Institutional Application (student’s data) 3. All students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine any other eligibility.
Required Application Forms for the Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Program In order for the Financial Aid Office to determine and certify eligibility for a Stafford Loan (Subsidized/ Unsubsidized), eligibility for need-based programs must first be established. Therefore, the required application forms for the Federal Stafford Loan Programs are identical to those forms required for the need-based programs (see section 11.01) with the addition of the Master Promissory Note and the Ranger College Loan Request form. 1.FAFSA 2. Ranger College Loan Request Form 3. Entrance Counseling 4. Master Promissory Note
Priority Application Deadline Dates It is the student's responsibility to complete and submit their FAFSA, RANGER COLLEGE Institutional Application Form and any supporting documentation as requested in a timely manner. Funds are awarded on a "first-come, first-served" basis until all available funds have been exhausted.
Absolute Deadline Dates Absolute deadline dates are dictated by federal/state regulations and guaranty agency rules. The Office will continue processing applications for any given application period as long as: 1. the federal/state regulations governing the aid programs permit the processing of the application; 2. the guaranty agency and federal rules for the loan programs permit the processing of the application; and, 3. funding is available. 4. scholarship deadline is generally March 1, unless an individual scholarship(s) has a published deadline different from the March 1 deadline.
The Financial aid Application Process at Ranger College The following are the steps in the financial aid application process at RANGER COLLEGE: 1. The student applies for admission to Ranger College. 2. The applicant completes the required application forms (see section 11.01). 3. The required forms are mailed or delivered to the appropriate destination. (i.e., the FAFSA is transmitted to the processor; the institutional form completed and returned to Financial Aid. 4. The applicant awaits the Student Aid Report (SAR) from the processor. Once received, the SAR should be checked for accuracy. Students are encouraged to apply online. 5. Upon submission of the Institutional Application Form to the Financial Aid Office, a file is set up under the student's SS# to track the required forms for the student's application. 6. As information is received, it is reviewed for accuracy.
7. 8. 9.
10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
Document tracking letters are computer generated as needed to notify applicants of missing documentation. An applicant may receive up to two notices. RANGER COLLEGE has will also use email notify students of missing documents. Once all of the required application documents are received, the student's satisfactory academic progress and/or Admissions status is updated to admitted, the student is eligible to be awarded. The Financial Aid Management System (FAMS) will assign Cost of Attendance budgets and perform other programmatic operations to set the record for awarding. If the student is selected for verification by the federal Central Processor, the Document Tracking System will send the student notification regarding additional documents needed for verification. Verification is performed once the additional documentation is received. If the application does not pass verification requirements, the application is corrected, if necessary. (See section 12 concerning verification.) Once verified, the application is processed by the Packaging Aid Resource System (PARS) and awards are posted to the student’s record. An award letter is generated and sent to the student.. The award letter is delivered to the student. Students may use the award letter to decline awards they do not want to have processed. In addition to the award letter, the student is provided the necessary instructions to complete the loan application process. At or about this time, the student loan eligibility is processed to the guarantor for the student’s use in completing the loan process. At the appropriate time, funds are processed through the Bursar’s Office to the student. (See section 27 concerning the disbursement process.)
Misrepresentation, Forgery, or Fraud Whenever a staff member becomes aware that a student and/or a student's parent(s) have purposefully misrepresented facts relevant to the student's financial aid application, or have committed forgery or fraud, the staff member must report it promptly to the Director or Associate Director for appropriate follow-up action. The Director, Associate Director or Assistant Director will make an appointment with the student and/or the parent(s) to determine if misrepresentation was intentional and the scope of the overaward, if any. If fraud is established, appropriate action will be taken.
Change of Dependency Status Requests Dependency status dictates what data the student and family must provide and which computational method will be used to calculate the expected family contribution. The two dependency status categories are independent and dependent. An independent student is one who: 1. Is 24 years of age or older by January 1 2. Is an orphan or ward of the court; 3. Is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States; 4. Is a graduate or professional student; 5. Is married; 6. Has legal dependents other than a spouse; or 7. An emancipated minor 8. Homeless 9. Is a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of unusual circumstances. Applicants who are not independent due to reasons 1-8 above, and still feel that their situation warrants special consideration, may complete an Dependency Change Request Form available through the Financial Aid Office. Once the completed Institutional Dependency Change Request Form is submitted to the Financial Aid Office, the form will be reviewed by appropriate staff members. A decision will be made based on his/her professional judgment and the student will be notified in writing of the decision. (See section 19 concerning professional judgement.)
Requests for Consideration of Special Circumstances Applicants who feel they have unusual circumstances, which might affect their eligibility for student financial aid, may complete a Special Circumstance Application. Examples of special circumstances that would not be reflected in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid might include: 1. Loss of a job, benefits, or income; 2. Separation or divorce; 3. Death of a parent or spouse; 4. Unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance. Once the Special Circumstance Application is submitted to the Financial Aid Office, an appropriate staff member will review the form and make a decision based on his/her professional judgement. (See section 19 concerning professional judgement.)
Section 12: Verification 12.01
Definition and Philosophy Verification is the process required by the Department of Education to verify the accuracy of the information submitted by or on behalf of a student for the purpose of applying for financial aid. The purpose is to reduce errors in applicant reported data and to insure, to the maximum extent possible, that eligible applicants receive the financial aid they are eligible for. The process of verification is separate than the requirement to resolve conflicting information. Discrepancies in a student's aid application must be resolved before aid can be disbursed, regardless of existing verification policies. The process of verification is also separate from the requirement to "document" certain application items. Unconfirmed selective service registration, unconfirmed eligible non-citizen status, and Veteran's Educational Benefits may be "documented” regardless of any existing verification policies.
Federal Verification Requirements and Exclusions Applicants who must be verified include the following: 1. Applicants who go through a federally approved need analysis system and are selected by the edits; and/or 2. Applicants for whom the institution has inconsistent data and/or who are selected by institutional criteria. Applicants not selected for the verification process (assuming no conflicting data) include the following: 1. Residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Marianas, and the Trust Territory of Palau; 2. Incarcerated students;; 3. Deceased applicants (regardless of conflicting data); 4. Recent immigrants (who migrated during one of the calendar years of the award year); 5. Non-Title IV recipients; 6. Applicants with incapacitated parents or parents that cannot be located or contacted; 7. Applicant spouse's information or signature if incapacitated or cannot be located or contacted. 8. Students who have an EFC is higher than total Cost of Attendance for any of Ranger College’s Programs
Selection of Applications to be Verified at Ranger College It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office at RANGER COLLEGE to verify all applicants for need-based aid
selected for verification by the federal edits. Non need-based applications will not be verified. Federally accepted exclusions listed above will be honored. 12.04
Time of Verification It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office at Ranger College to complete the required verification steps, including the completion of any necessary corrections, before packaging aid in the awarding process.
Forms and Documentation Collection Procedures A student's file does not progress through the awarding cycle until all required forms, including the basic verification forms, are submitted. Forms and additional information is available in the RANGER COLLEGE Verification Desk Manual. The basic verification forms requested with each packet include: 1. 2. 3.
The Verification Worksheet; A copy of the student's and spouse's (if applicable) income tax return transcript; and A copy of the student's parents' (if applicable) income tax return transcript.
In the event additional documentation is needed to verify a student's individual circumstance, a specific request for the needed document will be computer generated through the forms tracking system or through a hand-written request at the time verification is performed. If the applicant does not comply with the request for additional documentation or submit an acceptable alternative, the application will not proceed further through the awarding process. For detailed verification information, see the RANGER COLLEGE Verification Handbook.
Required Verification Items and Acceptable Documentation 1.
The required verification items and acceptable documentation are as follows (additional clarification can be found in the Verification Guide published by the Dept of Education) and the RANGER COLLEGE Verification Handbook: Adjusted Gross Income - – IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return Transcript. . 30
Federal Tax Paid - – IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return Transcript. Income for Non-Tax Filer - Signed statement of non-tax filing status with source and amounts of any income. (Accepted statement included on the Verification Form.)( Low income Form) 5. Family Size and Number in College - Signed statement which lists names of household members, relationship to the student, age, names of persons in postsecondary education and the names of the institutions to be attended. (Accepted statement included on the Verification Form.) 6. Social Security Benefits - Copy of 1040 or 1040A transcript; all Social Security Forms 1099 from base year for the household; documentation from the Social Security Administration of total benefits received; or a signed statement certifying accuracy of benefits reported. (Accepted statement included on the Verification Form.) 7. Child Support - Signed statement confirming the amount of base year child support received for all children; the separation agreement or divorce decree; a provider's statement; or copies of cancelled checks/money order receipts. (Accepted statement included on the Verification Form.) 8. Untaxed Payments to IRA/Keogh Accounts - – IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return Transcript. 9. Foreign Income Exclusion - – IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return Transcript. 10. Earned Income Credit - – IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return Transcript. 11. Interest on Tax-Free Bonds - – IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return Transcript. 12. Other Untaxed Income Reported on the Tax Return. – IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return Transcript. 3. 4.
Discretionary Verification of Non-Required Items and Acceptable Documentation The Financial Aid Office may choose to verify non-required data elements in addition to the required verification items listed in section 12.06. The institution has full discretion as to which applicants must provide documentation for any additional data elements and what constitutes acceptable documentation. Written statement on the Verification Form is acceptable documentation. Possible discretionary verification items and acceptable documentation might include but are not limited to the following: 1. Welfare Benefits (other than welfare benefits which are prohibited by law from inclusion) - Documentation from the paying office; or a signed statement confirming the amount. 2. Worker's Compensation - Documentation from the applicant's employer; or a signed statement confirming the amount from the applicant. 3. Veterans' Non-educational Benefits - Documentation from the Department of Veterans' Affairs; or a signed statement confirming the amount from the applicant. 4. Housing, Food, and Other Living Allowances - Signed statement confirming the amount from the applicant. 5. Cash Support - Signed statement confirming the amount from the applicant. 6. Untaxed Portion of Pensions - copy of the 1040 or 1040A return transcript. 7. Tax-Exempt Interest Income - copy of the 1040 or 1040A return transcript. 8. Other Untaxed Income and Benefits - Signed statement confirming the amount from the applicant.
Use of IRS Extension for Filing Form It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office at RANGER COLLEGE not to accept the IRS Extension for Filing (Form 4846 or Notice of Approval) in lieu of the signed 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return transcript during the verification process.
Tolerance Options During the process of verification, discrepancies may be discovered between the dollar amount reported on the application and the dollar amount reported on the back-up documentation. The difference between the two amounts may or may not cause the application to be corrected. The following tolerance options may be used to determine whether or not corrections are necessary.
Processing Required Corrections If it is determined through the process of verification that the application must be reprocessed, corrections will be made through EDE. Once the corrected ISIR has been received, eligibility for aid will be determined and aid awarded accordingly.
The Difference Between Corrections, Updates, and Adjustments When a student applies for federal student aid, they provide a "snapshot" representation of the family's financial strength as of the date the application is signed. If the information on that application is inconsistent with the documentation provided by the student, the student either reported some information incorrectly or the information has changed since the application was completed. If the information was reported incorrectly, the student must correct the data unless the errors fall within the predetermined tolerance levels. If the information was correct when the application was filed but has since changed, the student is only required and allowed to update the application under certain circumstances. Basically, corrections happen when the information was initially reported incorrectly on the application. Updates happen only for certain items (see section 12.13 below) that have changed since the time of
application and the applicant is allowed to update those items. Adjustments are a result of professional judgement decisions. For more information concerning professional judgement decisions, see Section 19. The procedures for corrections and updating apply to all federal student aid applicants, not only those whose applications are selected for verification. However, if a student's application is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office must completely verify the required data items prior to corrections or updating.
Updating Requirements and Procedures Updating provides current information which reflects a change from the original application for student aid. Updating also is a distinct process separate from verification. There are only three application data items that a student is allowed to update if they change after the application is filed. Those three data items include dependency status, household size, and number enrolled in postsecondary education. Any other information that has changed since the original application was filed cannot be updated. Updating Dependency Status - An applicant must update his/her dependency status if it changes at any time during the award year, with one major exception. If the student's dependency status changes as the result of a change in marital status, he/she cannot update dependency status. (See section 19 concerning professional judgement for special circumstances due to death, divorce, or separation) Updating Household Size and Number Enrolled in Postsecondary Education - An applicant must update his/her household size and number enrolled in postsecondary education to be correct as of the date the output document is certified, the date of verification, or the filing of a subsequent application, within the same award year. If the student's household size and number enrolled in postsecondary education change as the result of a change in marital status, he/she cannot update household size and number enrolled in postsecondary education. (See section 19 concerning professional judgement for special circumstances due to death, divorce, or separation)
Interim Disbursements and Loan Certification Prior to Completion of Verification It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office at Ranger College not to disburse any monies or certify any loans until verification has been completed.
Verification Status Codes When disbursement of a Federal Pell Grant is made to a student, the following verification status codes must be reported to ED when reporting the payment: - Not selected for verification. V - Verified accurate.
Poise put a ‘V’ in the status field to show a person has been selected. It also uses the ‘V’ to report that the file has been verified.
Misrepresentation, Forgery, or Fraud Whenever a staff member becomes aware through the verification process that a student and/or a student's parent(s) have purposefully misrepresented facts relevant to the student's financial aid application, or have committed forgery or fraud, the staff member must report it promptly to the Director or Associate Director for appropriate follow-up action. The Director or Associate Director will make an appointment with the student and/or the parent(s) to determine if misrepresentation was intentional. If fraud is established, appropriate action will be taken.
Required Items to be Documented Though an application may not be chosen for verification, the applicant may have a situation that requires some type of confirmation or documentation before processing can continue. If the CPS was unable to make a satisfactory match with available resources, a "C" will appear by the student's EFC on the SAR. A comment explaining the flag (C) will be in Section I of the SAR. The following items may cause a "C" to appear on the SAR: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 3.
Unconfirmed Selective Service Registration Status. Unconfirmed INS Eligible Non-Citizen Status. Title IV Default. Drug Abuse Hold. Social Security Number Discrepancy. Citizenship Status.
Documentation must be secured by the Financial Aid Office and placed in the student's file before further processing can continue. For information concerning appropriate documentation, refer to the current Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook,
In addition, if the applicant is a recipient of Veterans Educational Benefits, the amount of these benefits may be confirmed before processing can continue. Questions regarding VA Benefits are resolved through the VA Office, in Office of the Registrar.
RANGER COLLEGE uses the Verification Guide of the Federal Student Aid Handbook For details and screen prints of appropriate system screens, see the RANGER COLLEGE Verification Handbook. http://ifap.ed.gov/fsahandbook/attachments/1314AVG.pdf
Section 13: Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 13.01
Philosophy It is expected that all financial aid recipients be committed to achieving their educational goals by demonstrating satisfactory academic progress. The philosophy behind this concept is the belief that a student must demonstrate academic promise and/or academic progress before public funds are committed for his/her education.
General Provisions The regulations for satisfactory progress were initially published in October of 1983, and were republished December 1, 1987 with only minor changes. The regulations require schools to develop and apply a consistent and reasonable standard of academic progress, and note the basic elements of a policy that measures satisfactory progress. A school must have a satisfactory progress policy to carry out the statutory requirement that a student must be making satisfactory progress to be eligible for aid under the Student Financial aid programs. The General Provision regulations on satisfactory academic progress include two general and five specific requirements. The two general requirements of the General Provisions regulations are: 1. The policy must conform to the standards of the institution's accrediting agency. 2. The policy for student financial aid recipients should be as strict as, or stricter, than general institutional standards. Standards for non-recipients of aid do not have to be tightened if the institution elects to have a stricter standard for aid recipients. The five specific requirements of the General Provisions regulations include the following elements: 1. Qualitative Standards: The policy must use grades, work projects completed, or comparable factors that can be measured against a norm for a qualitative measure of a student's progress. (i.e., the establishment of a grade point average which a student must maintain to remain enrolled.) In addition, the policy must require at the end of the student's second year of study either a C average (or its equivalent), or an academic standing consistent with the requirements for graduating from the program. 2. Quantitative Standards: The policy must include a quantitative measure of the student's progress by 1) setting a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to finish the program, allowing a part-time student longer to complete the program than a full-time student (the established maximum time frame for completion of an undergraduate program of study cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program for a full-time student); and 2) assessing the student's quantitative progress at least once an academic year to see if the student is progressing at a rate that will allow him/her to finish the program within the maximum time frame. 3. Consistent application of the policy must be applied to all students within identifiable categories (i.e., fulltime, part-time, graduate, undergraduate, etc.). 4. The policy should explain how course incompletes, audits, withdrawals, repetitions, and non-credit remedial courses will affect the student's progress. 5. The policy must include procedures for appealing a decision and include procedures for reinstatement of aid in the case of a financial aid termination. The more specific federal standard of satisfactory academic progress enacted as part of the Higher Education Amendments of 1986 affect only those students who received Title IV program assistance for the first time beginning with the 1987-88 award year; or, for the Stafford Loan and SLS/PLUS programs, attendance during enrollment periods beginning on or after July 1, 1987. Under these provisions, an institution is required to: 1. Review the academic progress of each Title IV student financial aid recipient at the end of each academic year or its equivalent. 2. Determine after the second academic year of attendance at the institution that the student has:
a cumulative "C" average or its equivalent; or an academic standing consistent with the institution's graduation requirements. (i.e., the student must be on schedule to meet graduation requirements within a normal time frame, based upon his/her academic standing at the time of review.)
If the student does not meet the requirements in #2 above, the student loses eligibility for further Title IV funds. The student may regain financial aid eligibility if he/she later achieves the required academic standing. The institution may waive these standards if the student has undergone undue hardship because of the death of a relative, the student's injury or illness, or other special circumstances. The waiver, and the basis for it, must be clearly documented in the student's financial aid file.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Statement of Ranger College To be eligible for financial aid, students must maintain satisfactory progress. Each financial aid recipient shall be evaluated at the end of each semester. Satisfactory progress is divided into two categories: (1) grade point average on hours attempted (qualitative) and (2) hours successfully completed (quantitative) based on hours enrolled. RANGER COLLEGE’s policy is detailed in the Appendix. Transfer student's who’s cumulative GPA is below the minimum standards will enter on probation.
Financial aid Suspension and Appeals If during a period of financial aid probation, students fail (1) to meet the required GPA AND/OR (2) to successfully complete the required number of hours, they will be placed on financial aid suspension and will be ineligible for aid. Students are also subject to the guidelines set for them in the Ranger College Scholarship and Financial Aid Handbook and College Catalog, printed each year. Where extraordinary circumstances exist, students may present in writing their request to appeal the suspension. The appeal should be given, or mailed, to the Office of Student Financial Aid. The appeal will be presented to the Student Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The student will be informed in writing of the decision. If the appeal is denied, the student may file a second appeal the Outside Appeals Committee. The outside committee makes the final decision regarding the students appeal. Only the Director of Financial Aid or the Vice President of Enrollment Management may override the decision. Such overrides will be an extremely rare occurrence Examples of the forms and the process are in the Appendix.
Reinstatement of Assistance Students may regain eligibility by (1) bringing up the cumulative GPA to the proper level AND/OR (2) successfully completing the required number of hours in a succeeding semester or semesters.
Section 14: Statement of Confidentiality 14.01
General Confidentiality Statement All records and conversations between an aid applicant, his/her family and the financial aid staff are confidential and entitled to the protection ordinarily given a counseling relationship. No public announcement shall be made of amounts awarded to individual students. No information concerning a student's financial aid records may be released to anyone outside the Financial Aid Office without permission of the student, his/her parent(s), or the Director/Associate Director of Financial Aid as circumstances may dictate. All student records will be maintained in the Financial Aid Office for a period of not less than four years.
Release of Student Directory Information Directory information at Ranger College is a matter of public record and is considered to be the student's: 1. name; 2. local address; 3. permanent address; 4. telephone number; 5. date and place of birth; 6. classification; 7. dates of attendance; 8. type of degree and date received; and 9. major and minor. Requests for this information should be referred to the Registrar's. Since these are matters of public record, the Registrar's Office may release this information without written consent from the student.
Release of the Student's Permanent Academic Record The student's permanent academic record is confidential. Transcripts of this record may not be released without authorization from the student. Students may obtain copies of their transcript for their own use. Requests should be referred to the Registrar's Office.
Release of Information Concerning the Student's Satisfactory Academic Progress Information concerning the student's satisfactory academic progress is confidential and may only be discussed with the student. Written consent from the student to discuss his/her satisfactory progress with another individual may be given at the student's request. The form used for release of information is in the Appendix.
Release of Personally Identifiable Information Personally identifiable information is considered to be non-directory information (see 14.02). The general rule used to determine when written consent is required from the student before disclosure is as follows: 1. Written consent for disclosure of financial aid information will be required if the signature of the person requesting the information does not appear on the hard copy or the original of the document in question. 2. Written consent will not be required for disclosure of a dependent student's financial information requested by the parent, unless the document in question includes information belonging to an additional individual. 3. Written consent for disclosure of the student's permanent academic record will be required and carried out through the Registrar's Office. 4. Written consent for disclosure of information concerning the student's satisfactory academic progress will be required.
Release of Personally Identifiable Information to Persons Outside the Financial Aid Office Written confirmation of Disclosure of financial aid information will not be required in the following situations: 1. To other RANGER COLLEGE officials who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests; 2. To officials of another institutions, at which, the student seeks or intends to enroll for purposes of receiving financial aid; 3. To authorized representatives of the Federal and State Governments in connection with the audit and evaluation of federally or state supported education programs, or in connection with the enforcement of or compliance with the legal requirements which relate to these programs; 4. To authorized individuals or organizations in connection with financial aid for which a student has applied or which the student has received as may be necessary to determine the eligibility of the student for financial aid, the amount of the financial aid, the conditions which will be imposed regarding the financial aid, or to enforce the terms or conditions of the financial aid; 5. To organizations conducting studies on behalf of educational institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction
6. 7. 8.
Examples of Appropriate and Inappropriate Information Disclosure 1.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
provided that the study will allow only representatives of the organization to have access to the information and the information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the study; To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions; To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; or To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
Inquiries concerning the financial aid application and awards of a dependent student by the parent or court appointed legal guardian can be answered unless: 1) the inquiry is made by a parent whose information is not included on the application; 2) the question concerns the student's satisfactory academic progress; or 3) the information would include information concerning an additional individual. Inquiries concerning the financial aid application and awards of an independent student by the parent can not be answered. Inquiries concerning the financial aid application and awards of an independent student by the spouse can be answered unless: 1) there is evidence in the file that the couple is separated or divorced; or 2) the question concerns the student's satisfactory academic progress. Inquiries concerning a student's financial aid application and awards made by a friend of the applicant can not be answered. Inquiries concerning a student's financial aid application and awards made by a sibling of the applicant can not be answered. Inquiries concerning a student's financial aid application and awards made by the son or daughter of the applicant cannot be answered. Inquiries concerning a student's financial aid application and awards made by the grandparents or aunts/uncles of the applicant cannot be answered. Applicant inquiries over the phone should be answered upon oral presentation of the applicant's social security number. Though verbal recitation of the social security number is not a guarantee that the person making the inquiry is the student, it is a conscience attempt without inconveniencing the student. Applicant inquiries in person over the counter should be answered upon oral presentation of the applicant's social security number or presentation of the applicant's I.D.
Record of Disclosure A record documenting disclosure of information and permission to do so will be kept with the student's financial aid file as long as the file is maintained in the Financial Aid Office.
Section 15: Student Budgets 15.01
Definition Student budgets, or cost of attendance figures, are estimates of the average student's educational expenses for the enrollment period. Cost of attendance figures include: 1. Both institutional and non-institutional expenses; 2. Components which are established by statute; 3. Components which are the same for all Title IV programs; and 4. Standard figures established in writing by the school for each component.
Types of Standard Student Budgets Standard student budgets are composed to reflect the following situations for Ranger College students: 1. Living on-campus; 2. Living off-campus; and 3. Living with parent(s).
Components of Standard Student Budgets Each standard budget is composed of direct and indirect educational expenses. The direct expenses include: 1. Tuition and required fees; and 2. Books and supplies. The indirect expenses include: 1. Room and board; 2. Transportation; and 3. Personal expenses.
Criteria Used to Determine Component Amounts Standard student budgets are revised annually to reflect changes in the cost of attendance at Ranger College and the general cost of living. The following criteria will be used to determine budget component amounts: 1. Tuition and required fees - Average tuition and fee charges (for 30 semester hours for two long terms) is taken from the Global Fee Document as approved by the College Board of Regents. A minimum of 12 semester hours is considered full-time for undergraduate students, and nine hours is considered full-time for Graduate Students. 2. Room and board - on-campus costs are based on the average cost of the on-campus room and board; offcampus costs are based on a phone survey of local housing rental opportunities; and living with parent costs are based on the minimum allowed by federal guidelines. 3. Books and supplies - based on projected costs by the College Bookstore. 4. Transportation - costs increased each year according to the percentage allowed by THECB. 5. Personal expenses - costs increased each year according to the percentage allowed by THECB. 6. Periodic surveys - used by the Financial Aid Office to evaluate current expenses within the community.
Current Student Budgets See Appendix
Special Budget Considerations To provide for equitable treatment of all aid applicants, it is recognized that unusual expenses and circumstances exist for some students. The following are examples of circumstances, which may justify standard budget adjustments as determined on an individual basis: 1. Dependent care expenses - may be allowed for dependents, based on documentation and circumstances. 2. Disability related expenses - determined on an individual basis. May not include costs covered by other assisting agencies. 3. Study abroad expenses - determined on an individual basis, based on documentation from the study abroad program. 4. Other unusual circumstances - determined on an individual basis. (See section 19 "professional judgement" for further information.)
Section 16: Determination of Student Eligibility (Need Analysis) 16.01
Need-Assessment Document Preference of Ranger College The FAFSA will be the form disbursed by the Financial Aid Office. The FAFSA is the only form used to determine need (See section 10 for further information concerning the need-assessment document.)
Verification of the Computerized Analysis It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office at Ranger College to verify the required verification items of 100% of those selected for verification. (See section 12 and the Verification Desk Manual for further information concerning the verification process.)
Determination of the Student Budget The following checklist should be used when determining the standard student's cost of attendance: (For consideration of individual standard budget adjustments, see section 15.06.) 1. the application period; 2. the student’s program of study; and 3. the student’s living situation
Determination of Available Resources The Federal Methodology (FM) will be used to assess the family's ability to contribute to the student's educational expenses. This methodology establishes three model types: 1. Dependent; 2. Independent with dependents (other than a spouse); and 3. Independent without dependents (other than a spouse). For each type of applicant, there will be two possible formulas for calculating the EFC: 1. Regular formula; or 2. Simplified formula. In addition, a zero family contribution will be expected for any dependent student or independent student with dependents other than a spouse if the conditions for the automatic zero EFC are met. These conditions are stated in The EFC Formula Book. In the case of a dependent student, the parents' and the student's ability to contribute will be assessed. In the case of an independent student, the student's and the student's spouse's (if applicable) ability to contribute will be assessed. Though there are differences in the specifics of the dependent and independent calculations, the basic formula is the same. The first step in the formula assesses the family's strength from income, the second step assesses the family's strength from assets, and the third step establishes the portion of these strengths to be used toward postsecondary education. A more detailed explanation of Federal Methodology (FM) can be found in The EFC Formula Book. This publication is available through the Director or Associate Director of Financial Aid, or through the IFAP website.
Determination of Need Financial need is the difference between the cost of attending (see section 15) and the student resources available (see section 16.04). Thus, financial need is determined to be the: COST OF ATTENDANCE MINUS - Parental Contribution MINUS - Student Contribution = FINANCIAL NEED
Section 17: Awarding Financial aid 17.01
Institutional Packaging Philosophy The financial aid packaging philosophy at Ranger College is based on the philosophy that all students should be given an equal opportunity for gift-aid before any self-help aid is awarded. Therefore, to the maximum extent possible, the calculated need (see section 16.05) of each student will be met through the following awarding steps: 1. Federal Pell Grant eligibility 2. Other Federal and/or State Grants (if applicable) 3. Institutional Scholarships 4. Self-help aid
Determination of Total Funds to be Awarded The determination of total funds to be awarded during an academic period is based on the following: 1. Federal program allocations; 2. State program allocations; 3. Institutional program account balances; and 4. Prior year expenditures.
Use of Funding Assistance applications will be reviewed and awards made as long as funds are available on a first-come, firstserved basis.
Notification of Awards An award notification will be mailed to all applicants who are awarded financial aid through the Financial Aid Office. The award notification will include the following: 1. An itemized listing of the awards being offered and the corresponding amounts; 2. Messages instructing the student of recipient responsibilities for specific aid programs; and 3. The general terms and conditions of being an aid recipient. The student should review the award notification messages and follow any directions included with the mailing. Students wishing to decline any award should mark the award declined on the award letter and return the signed document to the Financial Aid Office.
Notification of No Need Students with no need are processed for loan eligibility. These students have the ability to accept, reject or reduce the loan amounts, via the award letter.
Section 18: Revision of Awards 18.01
Changes in the Student Budget Changes in the cost of education for the student that were not reflected in the original aid application must be properly documented in the student's financial aid file or on the system. The Financial Aid Office will adjust the student's need to reflect these changes and the student's awards as necessary. (See section 15 for further information.)
Changes in the Student Resources Changes in the financial situation of the student, the student's spouse, or the student's parent/guardian that were not reflected in the original aid application can be documented through submitting a Special Circumstance Application to the Financial Aid Office. These applications are available in the Financial Aid Office. The appropriate staff member will review and consider the special circumstance and if necessary reflect any change to the calculated need or awards based on his/her professional judgement. (See section 19 for further information.)
Overawards Federal and state regulations prohibit the awarding of need-based aid in excess of the student's documented need. Therefore, in no case will the Financial Aid Office personnel at Ranger College knowingly award needbased aid to students in excess of their calculated financial need. Federal and state regulations prohibit the awarding of non need-based aid in excess of the student's cost of attendance. Therefore, in no case will the Financial Aid Office personnel at Ranger College knowingly award non need-based aid to students in excess of their cost of attendance.
Steps to Take if Resources Exceed Need If the Financial Aid Office learns that a student has received additional resources that were not included in calculated the student's eligibility for aid, the following steps will be taken: 1.
If the student's financial aid includes a Federal Stafford Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, the Financial Aid Office wills first return to the Department of Education any disbursement not yet delivered to the student that exceeds the amount of assistance the student is eligible to receive.
If after eliminating any Stafford overaward, the student's total resources exceed the student's need by more than $300, the Financial Aid Office will recalculate the student's need to determine whether he/she has increased need that was not anticipated when the aid was originally awarded to the student. If the student's need has increased, and the total resources do not exceed the increased need by more than $300, no further action will be taken.
If the Financial Aid Office recalculates the student's need and determines that the student's need has not increased, or that his/her need has increased but the total resources still exceed his or her need by more than $300, the school must cancel any loan or grant (other than Federal Pell Grant) that has not already been disbursed.
If the Financial Aid Office takes the steps above and the student's total resources still exceed his/her need by more than $300, the amount that exceeds the students need by more than $300 is considered an overpayment.
In the case of an overpayment, the Student Business Services Office will try to recover the overpayment by sending a billing notice to the student requesting payment in full. The student's permanent record will be flagged until payment in full is made.
Section 19: Professional Judgment 19.01
Definition and Authority Professional judgement is defined as the financial aid administrator's authority to make adjustments in determining a student’s need for Title IV assistance. The Higher Education Amendments of 1986 and the Technical Amendments of 1987, as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, directly addressed the aid administrator's authority and responsibility to exercise professional judgement regarding certain aspects of Title IV program administration.
Principles of Professional Judgement Professional judgement decisions: 1. Must be based on unusual circumstances, not recognized by the standard treatment, that affect the student and/or student's family. 2. Must be applied on an individual case-by-case basis. 3. Must be justified and documented in the student's file. 4. May not be accepted automatically by another school if the student transfers. Each school must derive, document, and justify its own professional judgement decisions. 5. Must be based on adjusting at least one data element.
Applications of Professional Judgement Professional judgement adjustments may be made which affect the following: Dependency Status - Adjustments can be made to change a student's dependency status from dependent to independent when, because of unusual circumstances, the aid administrator concludes that the parents cannot be expected to contribute to an otherwise dependent student's educational costs. Need Analysis - Adjustments can be made to increase or decrease the student's need by adjusting the components of the student's budget or adjusting particular data elements used in the EFC calculation. Adjustments must be based on accurate data documented in the student's file. Satisfactory Academic Progress - Although standards of satisfactory academic progress cannot be waived, they can, through professional judgement, be redefined for individual students due to special circumstances.
Staff Positions Carrying Authority to Exercise Professional Judgement Decisions Staff positions carrying the authority to exercise professional judgement decisions at RANGER COLLEGE include the Director and the Financial Aid Assistant (Awarding Officer).
Section 20: Federal Pell Grant 20.01
Program Authorization and Purpose The Federal Pell Grant Program was created by the enactment of Public Law 93-278; Title IV, Student Assistance Program as amended. It is a federally funded program designed to provide a foundation of financial aid to help defray the cost of post-secondary education to eligible students.
Student Eligibility The specific qualifications for a student to be eligible for a Pell Grant are as follows: 1. The student must complete the FAFSA and prove eligibility. 2. The student must be an undergraduate student holding no previous undergraduate degree. 3. The student must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements. 4. The student must be classified as a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. 5. The student must not owe a refund or repayment on an educational grant. 6. The student must not be delinquent on repayment of a student loan.
Minimum and Maximum Awards For the each award year, the Secretary of Education publishes the maximum annual Federal Pell Grant award. These limits are based on the authorized ceiling and amounts specified in the annual appropriations legislation. Using the Federal Pell Grant Payment Schedules will make determination of the amount of each student’s award. These schedules correlate the student's EFC and full-time or part-time enrollment status with the cost of attendance. ED will issue Pell Payment Schedules full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, and less-than-half-time enrollment status.
Section 21: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant 21.01
Program Authorization and Purpose The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program was created by the enactment of Public Law 89-289, Title IV; Section 413 of the Higher Education Amendments as amended. It is a federally-funded program Matched 25% with institutional funding designed to assist undergraduate students who would be unable to continue their education without the grant.
Student Eligibility The specific qualifications for a student to be eligible for a Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant are as follows: 1. The student must complete the FAFSA by the priority deadline for the enrollment period and demonstrate exceptional financial need. 2. The student must be an undergraduate student holding no previous undergraduate degree. 3. The student must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements. 4. The student must be classified as a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. 5. The student must not owe a refund or repayment on an educational grant. 6. The student must not be delinquent on repayment of a student loan.
Minimum and Maximum Awards The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant may not exceed a maximum of $4000 per academic year or be less than a minimum of $100 per academic year. In no situation should the award exceed the student's demonstrated financial need.
Section 22: Federal Work-Study Program 22.01
Program Authorization and Purpose The Federal Work-Study Program was created by the enactment of Public Law 89-289; Title IV, Section 441-448 as amended. It is a federally funded program matched with institutional funding. The federal share must not exceed 75%. The program was designed to stimulate and promote the part-time employment of students attending institutions of higher education who are in need of earnings from employment to pursue courses of study.
Student Eligibility The specific qualifications for a student to be eligible for the Federal Work-Study Program are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
The student must complete the FAFSA by the established priority deadline for the enrollment period and demonstrate financial need. The student must enroll for at least a half-time course load at the College. The student must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements. The student must be classified as a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. The student must not owe a refund or repayment on an educational grant. The student must not be delinquent on repayment of a student loan.
Minimum and Maximum Awards There is no set minimum or maximum amount a student can be awarded through the Federal Work-Study Program. However, in no situation should the FWS award exceed the student's demonstrated financial need. The average award is $3,000 for the 9-month period. These average awards will allow the student to work approximately 10-20 hours per week at $5.15 per hour.
Placement Procedures Available positions across campus are coordinated through the Work-Study Coordinator in the Work-Study Office in the Office of Student Financial Aid Office. Available positions on campus are posted on the bulletin board adjacent to the Work Study Office. The student will meet with a representative of the employing department for an interview. If both the department and the student feel that the situation would be workable, the work-study supervisor and the student will sign the work-study contract and return it to the Work-Study Office.
Section 23: Direct Stafford Loan Program 23.01
Program Authorization and Purpose
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Direct Loans are made through the Department of Education. Students who are enrolled at least half time and who demonstrate financial need through the financial aid application process can have the interest paid (subsidized) on their direct loans by the federal government while they are in school.
Student Eligibility The specific qualifications for a student to be eligible for the Federal Stafford Loan Program are as follows: 1. The student must complete a FAFSA, Entrance Counseling, and a Master Promissory Note, by the established deadline for the enrollment period and demonstrate financial need. 2. The student must enroll for at least a half-time course load at the College. 3. The student must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements. 4. The student must be classified as a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. 5. The student must not owe a refund or repayment on an educational grant. 6. The student must not be delinquent on repayment of a student loan.
Minimum and Maximum Award Amounts There is no minimum subsidized Direct Stafford Loan limit set by regulations. The maximum an eligible student can borrow through the Federal Stafford Loan Program is as follows: Freshman - Freshman dependent students may borrow up to $3,500 per award year. * Sophomore - Sophomore dependent students may borrow up to $4,500er award year. * Junior and Seniors - Junior and senior dependent students may borrow up to $5,500 per award year. * Post-Graduates - Post-graduate students may borrow up to $5,500 per award year. Graduates - Graduate students may borrow up to $8,500 per award year. * Aggregate Maximums - Undergraduate students may borrow up to an aggregate maximum amount of $23,000. Graduate student may borrow up to an aggregate maximum amount of $65,500. Students at Ranger College can never receive more than the Sophomore level . *(If a student changes grade levels within an award year, the student will be eligible to borrow an additional amount based on the new grade level and calculated need.)
Pre-Loan Counseling Procedures Before disbursement of any Direct Stafford Loan proceeds through the Financial Aid Office can be made, the student must complete entrance counseling. The Financial Aid Office staff is available to answer the borrower's questions concerning his/her rights and responsibilities as a loan recipient. Pre-Loan counseling can be completed at www.studentloans.gov.
Exit Interview Procedures All Direct Stafford Loan recipients who drop below half-time status, graduate, withdraw, or transfer from Ranger College must complete an exit counseling session. Exit holds are put on student’s transcripts until we receive notification that exit counseling has been completed. Exit Interview counseling may be completed www.studentloans.gov. During the exit counseling session, the student is informed of his/her rights and responsibilities as a Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrower and is asked to complete and sign an exit counseling form. The exit counseling procedure gathers information required during the exit counseling session and secures the student's certification that he/she has been informed and understands his/her rights and responsibilities as a loan recipient. A student may request an appointment to discuss the questions with personnel in the Financial Aid Office.
Delayed Disbursement to First Year, First Time Undergraduate Borrowers Direct Stafford Loan checks to first year, first time undergraduate borrowers will not be disbursed to the student until 30 days after the first day of the semester. An effort will be made to forewarn the student of this delay by including a message on the award letter explaining the 30-day hold. 1998 Reauthorization allows exemptions from the above rule if the cohort default rate is less than 10% for the last three years. If these provisions are reinstated, the College will follow these provisions.
Section 24: Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program 24.01
Program Authorization and Purpose
Direct Loans are made through the Department of Education. Students who are at least half time but who do not demonstrate a financial need for a Stafford loan may still obtain a loan, however, interest will be unsubsidized, and interest will start to accrue while the student is in school
Student Eligibility The qualifications for a student to be eligible for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program are as follows: 1. The student must complete a FAFSA and a Master Promissory Note, by the established deadline for the enrollment period. 2. The student must enroll for at least a half-time course load at the College. 3. The student must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements. 4. The student must be classified as a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. 5. The student must not owe a refund or repayment on an educational grant. 6. The student must not be delinquent on repayment of a student loan.
Minimum and Maximum Award Amounts There is no minimum Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan limit set by regulations The maximum an eligible student can borrow through the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program is (including subsidized amounts): Freshman Students - Freshmen dependent students may borrow up to $5,500 per award year* Sophomore Students - Sophomore dependent students may borrow up to $6,500 per award year. * Junior and Senior Students - Junior and senior dependent students may borrow up to $7,500 per award year. * Post-Graduate Students - Post-graduate students may borrow up to $12,500 per award year. Graduate Students - Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 per award year. Aggregate Maximums - Undergraduate students may borrow up to an aggregate maximum amount of $46,000, of which only $23,000 can be subsidized. Graduate students may borrow up to an aggregate maximum amount of $138,500, of which only $65,500 can be subsidized. *(If a student changes grade levels within an award year, the student will be eligible to borrow an additional amount based on the new grade level.)
Pre-Loan Counseling Procedures Pre-loan counseling procedures for the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program are the same as those for the Federal Stafford Loan Program. (See section 23.04)
Exit Interview Procedures Exit interview procedures for the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program are the same as those for the Federal Stafford Loan Program. (See section 23.05)
Delayed Disbursement to First Year, First Time Undergraduate Borrowers Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan checks to first year, first time undergraduate borrowers will not be disbursed to the student until 30 days after the first day of the semester. An effort will be made to forewarn the student of this delay by including a message on the award letter explaining the 30-day hold. 1998 Reauthorization allows exemptions from this rule if the cohort default rate is under 10% for the last three years.
Additional Unsubsidized Loan Funds for Dependent Students. A dependent student is eligible to borrow additional Unsubsidized Loan money if the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan, see section 25) is denied. Freshmen and Sophomores: Freshmen and Sophomores are eligible to borrow an additional $4,000 per year. Juniors and Seniors: Juniors and Seniors are eligible to borrow an additional $5,000 per year.
Veteran’s Educational Benefits Effective October 1, 1998, Montgomery GI Bill Veteran’s Benefits (Chapter 30) are excluded from estimated financial aid for the purpose of determining subsidized loan eligibility only. Prior to this time, all VA Educational Benefits were included as a resource.
Section 25: Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) 25.01
Program Authorization and Purpose Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is available to assist parents and guardians in borrowing all or a portion of the cost of education for undergraduate students. The interest rate for the Direct PLUS loan is a fixed 7.90%. The PLUS loan offers several benefits available to borrowers including deferment of repayment until after the student graduates (or drops below half-time enrollment status).
Eligibility The parent of a dependent student may borrow under the Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students Program if the student meets the following specific qualifications: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Parent or Guardian must pass a credit check. The student must enroll for at least a half-time course load at the College. The student must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements. The student must be classified as a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. The student must not owe a refund or repayment on an educational loan. The student must not be delinquent on repayment of a student loan.
Minimum and Maximum Award Amounts There is no minimum Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students limit set by regulations. The maximum amount a parent of a dependent student can borrow through the Direct Parent loan for Undergraduate Students for first disbursements on or after 7/1/93 is the cost of education per student minus other financial aid. There is no aggregate limit.
Disbursement by Paper Check Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students checks will be made co-payable to the parent and Ranger College and delivered to the Office of Student Business Services for disbursement to the parent. The check will be mailed to the parent for his/her use for payment of obligations to the College. Upon receipt of the payment from the parent, the payment will be posted by the Student Business Services Office to the appropriate student account.
Section 26: Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program 26.01
Program Authorization and Purpose The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program was authorized by Title IV, Part A, Subpart 6 of the HEA of 1965, as amended. Under this program, the Secretary makes scholarships available to exceptionally able students for study at postsecondary schools in order to recognize and promote student excellence and achievement. Student recipients under this program are known as Byrd Scholars.
Student Eligibility The specific qualifications for a student to be eligible for a Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship are as follows: 1. The student must follow the application procedures established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board through the student's high school counselor or GED training center. 2. The student must graduate from a public or secondary school or receive the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma as recognized by the State and be accepted for enrollment at an institution of higher education as a full-time student. 3. The student must be a resident of Texas. 4. The student must be classified as a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. 5. The student must file a Statement of Selective Service Registration Status with school he/she will be attending. 6. The student must pursue a course of study at an institution of higher education.
Selection of Recipients The State Educational Agency (the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board) established procedures for selecting the scholars after consulting with school administrators, school boards, teachers, counselors, and parents. Before these selection criteria and application procedures were implemented, they were reviewed and approved by the Department of Education. Recipients are selected solely on the basis of demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and promise of continued achievement. High schools in Texas are allowed to submit applications for their top three candidates to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Recipients in the State of Texas are chosen on the basis of: 1. The student's high school grade point average; 2. The student's high school rank or GED equivalent; and 3. The student's college entrance examination scores.
Minimum and Maximum Awards The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship is an award of $1,500. Awards can be renewed for up to three additional years, provided that funds are appropriated and students remain eligible.
Section 27: Texas Public Education Grant 27.01
Program Authorization and Purpose Chapter 56 or the Texas Education Codes, Sub-Chapter C authorized the Texas Public Education Grant; Section 56027 through Section 56038. It is funded by money set aside from tuition revenues designed to supply grants of money to needy students.
Student Eligibility The specific qualifications for a student to be eligible for a Texas Public Education Grant are as follows: 1. The student must submit a completed need-based application to the Financial Aid Office by the established priority deadline. 2. The student must enroll for at least a half-time course load at the College. 3. The student must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress standards. 4. The student must not owe a refund or repayment on an educational grant. 5. The student must not be delinquent on repayment of a student loan.
Minimum and Maximum Awards There is no annual minimum Texas Public Education Grant set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, but a maximum award of $2,500 is established. The amount awarded will be consistent with the packaging philosophy explained in Section 17.01 of this manual. In no situation should the award exceed the student’s demonstrated financial need.
Resident vs. Non-Resident Awards A resident Texas Public Education Grant award is funded through money set aside from resident tuition revenues and awarded only to students paying in-state fees. A non-resident Texas Public Education Grant award is funded through money set aside from non-resident tuition revenues and awarded only to students paying out-of-state fees.
Transfer of funds between Resident and Non-Resident accounts Unspent funds may be transferred between the two funds within the guidelines set by the programs and published by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Section 28: Texas Tuition Assistance Grant ( Not Funded) 28.01
Program Authorization and Purpose The Texas Tuition Assistance Grant Program (TTAG) was authorized by our state legislature to provide eligible persons grant money for tuition to enable them to attend an institution of higher education. It is funded by gifts, grants, and funds appropriated by the state legislature based on each eligible institution’s share of the eligible student population.
Student Eligibility The specific qualifications for a student to be eligible for a Texas tuition Assistance Grant (TTAG) are as follows: The student must: 1. submit a completed FAFSA to the Financial Aid Office by the established deadline and demonstrate financial need and have an EFC below $2,000 2. enroll for a full-time course load at the College. 3. be an undergraduate student who has graduated from high school within the past 23 months (will probably be a freshman or a sophomore). 4. have a high school GPA equal to 80 on a scale of 100 (3.2 on a 4.0 scale). 5. be from a low- or middle-income family (a family showing financial need using the federal methodology). 6. maintain satisfactory academic progress standards and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5. 7. be a Texas resident. 8. not have been convicted of a felony or crime.
Minimum and Maximum Awards There is no minimum award. The maximum a student may receive through this program is the lesser of his/her financial need and an amount equal to the number of hours taken times the per-hour tuition rate.
Student Affirmation Form Each recipient of the Texas Tuition Assistance Grant must sign the Student Affirmation Form. The form is produced by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and indicates the amount of grant disbursed and confirms the student’s eligibility. One copy of the signed affirmation form must be forwarded to the Coordinating Board.
Continued Awards Beginning with the 99-00-award year, only students who received a TTAG in the award year immediately preceding the current award period will be eligible to continue under the TTAG program. The Texas Legislature rolled monies previously allocated to fund initial awards into the Toward Excellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS) Grant Program in Spring, 1999.
Section 29: Toward Excellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS) Grant 29.01
Program Authorization and Purpose The Toward Excellence, Access, and Success Grant (TEXAS) was authorized by Chapter 56 or the Texas Education Codes, Sub-Chapter M; Section 56.301 through Section 56.308. It is funded by money set aside by the Texas Legislature from various revenues. The purpose of the program is to provide a grant of money to enable academically-prepared, eligible students to attend public and nonprofit institutions of higher education in Texas.
Student Eligibility The specific qualifications for a student to be eligible for a Toward Excellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS) Grant are as follows: 1. The student must submit a completed need-based application to the Financial Aid Office by the established priority deadline and demonstrate financial need with an EFC less than $4,000. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board may establish other conditions. 2. The student must enroll on a 3/4-time basis at the College. Priority will be given to students who enroll on a full-time basis 3. The student must be enrolled as an undergraduate student holding no prior bachelor’s degree. 4. The student cannot have a felony conviction or a conviction of a crime involving a controlled substance. 5. The student must be a Texas resident. 6. The student must be a graduate of a public or accredited high school in Texas in 1998-99 or later. 7. The student must enroll by the end of the 16 th month after the month of high school graduation and have less than 30 earned semester hours. 8. The student must have completed the recommended or advanced high school curriculum or its equivalent OR all of the courses of such a curriculum offered by the school district. 9. The student must meet RANGER COLLEGE’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements during the first year of undergraduate work, and a 2.5 cumulative GPA and satisfactory completion of 75% of hours attempted by the end of the students second year.
Award Amounts Awards amounts are based on an amount equal to the average tuition and required fees for similar institutions as provided by the Coordinating Board. The annual maximum grant amounts are set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board based on the average tuition and fee charges at public institutions in Texas in the prior year. In no situation should the award exceed the student’s demonstrated financial need.
Section 30: Hinson-Hazlewood Loan Programs 30.01
Program Authorization and Purpose The Hinson-Hazlewood Loan Program was authorized by Chapter 52, Subsection C; Section 52.27 to 52.56 of the Texas Public Education Codes. The purpose of the program is to provide educational loans for residents of Texas attending Texas institutions of higher education who, because of insufficient financial resources, might be denied access to a college education.
Student Eligibility The Hinson-Hazlewood Loan Program (HHLP) consists of the College Access Loan. Students receiving loans through any of these programs must meet the following criteria and are dependent upon state allocations and funding: 1. 2. 3.
The student must be eligible to pay the Texas resident tuition rate. The student must enroll at least ½-time. The student must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress requirements.
Additional program specific qualifications of the HHLP Stafford Loan can be found in Section 24.
Minimum and Maximum Awards The award amounts for the HHLP College Access Loan Program (CAL) are as follows: 1. The annual maximum award is $10,000. The amount of the CAL plus other financial aid may not exceed the cost of attendance. 2. The aggregate limit is $40,000.
Pre-Loan Counseling Procedures The pre-loan counseling procedures for the HHLP Stafford Loan Program are the same as for the Federal Stafford Loan Program (see section 24 of this manual).
Exit Interview Procedures The exit interview procedures for the HHLP Stafford Loan Program are the same as for the Federal Stafford Loan Program (see section 24 of this manual).
Delayed Disbursement to First Year, First Time Undergraduate Borrowers HHLP Stafford Loan proceeds to first year, first time undergraduate borrowers will not be disbursed to the student until 30 days after the first day of the semester. An effort will be made to forewarn the student of this delay by including a message on the award letter explaining the 30-day hold. Due to changes authorized by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (exempting institutions with a default rate less than 10% for the 3 most recent fiscal years from this requirement), delayed disbursements at RANGER COLLEGE ceased from October 7, 1998 (the date the 1998 Amendments were signed and became effective) through September 30, 1999 (the day RANGER COLLEGE received the official notice of the updated annual default rate).
Multiple Disbursements During the Loan Period HHLP Stafford Loan proceeds will be disbursed in two equal disbursements at the beginning of the term and at the term’s calendar midpoint. However, if any payment period has elapsed or if more than half of the payment period has elapsed, the loan proceeds for the entire payment period will be disbursed in one payment.
Enrollment Verification Enrollment verification reports are generated by the Financial Aid Office and sent by computer file to the National Student Loan Clearing House three times per long semester. The first report is generated after the 12th class day, the second is generated mid-semester, and the 3rd is generated at the end of the semester.
Veteran’s Educational Benefits Effective October 1, 1998, Montgomery GI Bill Veteran’s Benefits (Chapter 30) are excluded from estimated financial aid for the purpose of determining subsidized loan eligibility only. Prior to this time, all VA Educational Benefits were included as a resource. 53
Section 31: State Tuition Exemptions/Scholarship Programs 31.01
Preface In addition to the loan and grant programs, the State of Texas offers a number of programs providing exemptions from certain tuition and fee charges at public colleges.
The Hazlewood Act Veterans and their dependents may qualify for exemption of tuition and fees through the Hazlewood Act. The specific qualifications for the Veteran include the following: 1. The Veteran had 180 days of active service. 2. The Veteran was a resident of Texas when he/she entered the service. 3. The Veteran received an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions. 4. The Veteran is a resident of Texas at the time of registration. 5. The Veteran has exhausted any federal education benefits. The specific qualification for the Veteran’s dependent children includes the following: 1. The parent died while in the armed forces or died as a result of illness or injury connected with service. 2. The parent died while on active duty with the Texas National Guard and Texas Air National Guard since January 1, 1946. 3. Eligibility for any federal education benefits must been exhausted. Prior to enrollment, the student should provide proof of eligibility to the Registrar’s Office. Time should be allowed to determine eligibility for other federal education benefits through the Financial Aid Office.
Highest Ranking High School Graduate The highest-ranking high school graduate, or valedictorian, may be eligible for exemption of tuition only for two semesters of his/her first regular session at public colleges and universities in Texas following high school graduation. The student must be the highest-ranking graduate of an accredited high school in the state. Proof of eligibility should be provided to the Financial Aid Office.
Good Neighbor Scholarship Students from other nations of the American Hemisphere may be eligible for exemption of tuition only at public colleges and universities in Texas. Application should be made through the Financial Aid Office. The specific qualifications include the following: 1. The student must be a native-born citizen and resident from another nation of the American (Western) Hemisphere. 2. The student must be certified by his/her native country. 3. The student must be scholastically qualified for admission to a public college or university in Texas.
Blind, Deaf Students Blind and/or deaf students may be eligible for exemption of tuition and fees at public colleges and universities in Texas. Application should be made through the Student Business Services Office. The specific qualifications include: 1. The student must present certification of deafness or blindness from the appropriate state vocational rehabilitation agency. 2. The student must be a client of the relevant state vocational rehabilitation agency. 3. The student must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. 4. The student must furnish proof of high moral character and meet entrance requirements of the educational institution.
Children of Disabled Firemen and Peace Officers Children of disabled firemen and peace officers may be eligible for exemption of tuition and fees at public colleges and universities in Texas. The specific qualifications include the following: 1. The student must be a child of a deceased or disabled fireman, peace officer, custodial employee of the Department of Corrections, or game warden, whose death or disability was sustained in the line of duty while serving in Texas. 2. The student must apply prior to his/her 21st birthday. Application for this exemption should be made through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Children of Prisoners of War or Persons Missing in Action Children of prisoners of war or persons missing in action may be eligible for exemption of tuition and fees at public colleges or universities in Texas. Application should be made through the Coordinating Board. The specific qualifications include: 1. The student must be a dependent child of a Texas resident who is either a POW or MIA. 2. The student must provide proof of parent's status from the Department of Defense. 3. The student must be under 21 years of age, or a person under 24 years of age who received the majority of his support from his parent(s).
Firefighters Enrolled in Fire Science Courses Firefighters enrolled in fire science courses may be eligible for exemption of tuition and laboratory fees at public colleges or universities in Texas. Specific qualifications include: 1. The student must be a firefighter enrolled in fire science courses offered as a part of a fire science curriculum. 2. The student may be a resident or nonresident.
Foster Care Students Exemption from tuition and some fees at public colleges and universities in Texas may be allowed for a student who: 1. has been in foster care or other residential care under the conservatorship of the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services on or after the day preceding the student's 18th birthday; and 2. enrolls as an undergraduate not later than the third anniversary of the date the student was discharged from the foster or other residential care.
Early High School Graduation Scholarship A student may receive a reimbursement of tuition paid, up to a program maximum of $1,000, if the student:: 1. graduated from a public high school in no more than 36 continuous months; 2. is a Texas resident; 3. attended high school in Texas; and 4. enrolls full or part time.
Texas New Horizons Scholarship Program A student may receive an award for the amount of tuition and required fees or the remaining unmet need, whichever is less, if the student: 1. is a Texas resident; 2. is enrolled for at least ½-time; and 3. is attending a public college or university. 4. only students with previous awards are eligible to receive funds, no new students can be awarded.
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
A student may receive an exemption for tuition and fees at a Texas public college or university for up to one year, if the student: 1. is a Texas resident; 2. graduated from a public high school in Texas; 1. received financial assistance under Chapter 27, Human Resources Code (AFDC) for at least six months during the last year of high school; 2. must enroll within 12 months after high school graduation; and 3. must be under 22 years of age at the time he/she enrolls in college.
Certified Educational Aides A student may receive an exemption for tuition and fees other than class or laboratory fees at public institutions in Texas (does not include tuition and fees for developmental courses) if the student: 1. is a Texas resident who is currently employed and has been employed by a public school as a certified educational aide working with students in the classroom for at least two years; 2. must be enrolled in courses leading to teacher certification; and 3. must demonstrate financial need.
Miscellaneous Tuition and Fee Exemption and/or Scholarship Programs Information about additional tuition and fee exemption and/or scholarship programs offered by the State of Texas may be found in “Financial Aid for Texas Students”, a yearly publication produced by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Section 32: Scholarships 32.01
Academic Scholarships General Academic Scholarships of varying amounts are awarded by the College each year to Ranger College students based upon their GPA/SAT/ACT scores. Only undergraduate students intending to carry a full academic load and pursuing a degree at RANGER COLLEGE are eligible. The many Academic Scholarships are renewable for four years as long as the student maintains the GPA specified in Scholarship and Financial Aid Handbook.
Departmental Scholarships Departmental scholarships may be available through departments on-campus. Eligibility for these awards is based primarily on academic ability, achievement, and/or performance within the applicable area. Scholarships listed in the General Scholarship selection are based on calculated financial need.
Outside Agency Scholarships Outside agency scholarships may be available through various organizations or individuals from outside the College. Application for these scholarship sources is made through the organization or individual. Eligibility is determined by the donor of the scholarship.
Inquiries Concerning Scholarship Donations Inquiries concerning scholarship donations should be directed to the Director of Finance or the President’s office.
Section 37: Disbursement of Funds 37.01
Responsibility for Disbursement of Funds Each institution must divide the functions of authorizing payments and disbursing funds so that no office has responsibility for both functions with respect to any particular student aided under the financial aid program. Therefore, after the RANGER COLLEGE Financial Aid Office determines the student's eligibility and awards the aid package, it is the responsibility of the RANGER COLLEGE Student Business Services Office to disburse all funds to the student.
Delivery of Direct Loan proceeds Though, the Financial Aid Office determines eligibility for the Direct Loan Programs, the Department of Education is responsible for disbursing the funds from the lending institution. Therefore, the RANGER COLLEGE Financial Aid Office will authorize the release of the Direct Loan funds disbursed U.S Department of Education to the student and/or the student's parent through Student Business Services. The College processed all loans to be disbursed electronically.
Verification of the Student's Identity If loan proceeds are received by paper check, to insure the release of financial aid monies to the appropriate person, steps must be taken to verify the student's identity. Before any monies, or a release for monies, may be given to a student by the Fiscal Office, the student must present acceptable identification. Acceptable identification includes the following: 1. The student's valid student identification card. 2. The student's driver's license. 3. Another identification card bearing the student's picture. The Student Business Services Office will be responsible for verifying the student's identity at the time a check receipt form is given to the student, for the release of a Direct Loan disbursement.
Verification of the Student's Status To insure the student's eligibility for the financial aid monies at the time of receipt, the Financial Aid Office will verify the student's enrollment status. Verification of enrollment status will be made to insure that the student is enrolled for the required minimum hours specified by the program being received, and to insure current compliance with the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Edits with in the system verify these items prior to the funds being processed for release.
Disbursement of Assistance Through the Mail When the financial aid recipient cannot be on campus to pick up his/her financial aid check, the check may be disbursed through the mail. Documentation must be placed in the student's file indicating where and when the check was mailed along with a signed statement of release by the recipient Students will be encouraged to receive funds through the direct deposit method of refund.
Section 38: Policy for Refunds and Repayments 38.01
Refund Policy Statement When a student withdraws from Ranger College, the student may be eligible for a refund of a portion of the room and board paid to RANGER COLLEGE for that semester. If the student received financial aid from outside of the family, then a portion of the refund will be returned to the grant, scholarship, or loan source from which that assistance was received. Federal Refund Policy: Effective with the Fall 2000 semester, the new federal refund formula requires federal student aid to be refunded at a pro rated basis if a complete withdrawal form the institution occurs before 60% of the semester is completed.
Definition of Refund The word "refund" refers to a refund of institutional charges that the school makes to a student, usually after the student has withdrawn from school. If the student received financial aid, certain situations require a portion of the refund to be returned to the financial aid programs.
College Policy for Refunds WITHDRAWAL REFUNDS: Regular Session – A student officially withdrawing (drop to zero hours) from the College may eligible for a refund of tuition and fees according to schedule published in the College Catalog and in the supplement to the Course Schedule. Summer Session – A regular student officially withdrawing from the College may eligible for a refund of tuition and fees according to schedule published in the College Catalog and in the supplement to the Course Schedule. DROPPED COURSE REFUNDS: Any refund due to a student will be after calculation of the amount of tuition and fees due at the time of the withdrawal. If the student has paid less than the amount due at the time of withdrawal, the student will be required to pay the percentage due.
Federal Return of Title IV Aid Policy All students withdrawing from the College, dropping to zero hours, will be processed through the Return to Title IV software provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Students withdrawing before 60% of the term has passed will have the refund to Title IV calculated and returned to the appropriate federal fund. All calculations are based on the students last date of attendance or other academic related activity as documented by the students instructors. A copy of the calculation is filed in the students file.