Feb 26, 2024  
Catalog 2009-2010 
    
Catalog 2009-2010 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid


 

The purpose of Financial Aid at Polk State College (PSC) is to assist students in obtaining funds to meet their educational objectives in accordance with state, federal, and PSC regulations. The Financial Aid Office provides personalized service in a courteous and professional manner. All federal aid programs, as well as many state and local programs, require a needs analysis from each participating student. PSC students use the needs analysis form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for any federal aid.

FAFSA forms are no longer in paper format; therefore, you must apply online at the federal government’s website at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The Financial Aid Office on each campus can assist students with all questions regarding FAFSA.

The major categories of financial assistance programs include grants, loans, the College Work-Study Program, and scholarships.

Grants

Grants, like scholarships, generally do not have to be repaid, provided students complete their classes. Most grant programs are based on student need.

Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is a need-based federal aid program for undergraduate students. Eligibility is determined by the federal processor. The maximum award is established by the federal government, and awards are prorated according to the number of credits in which a student is enrolled. Pell Grant recipients are expected to complete their courses successfully. Recipients who cease to attend or who withdraw from classes prior to the end of a term may be required to repay some (or all) of the grant award.

Financial Standards of Progress

In addition to other requirements, students are required to maintain at least a 2.0 G.P.A. and a 66 2/3% cumulative completion of all attempted student semester hours (SSH) to retain a federal Pell Grant. Attempted SSH includes all remedial transfer courses, as well as courses for which a grade of “W” or “I” or “F” is received. No federal aid (including loans) is awarded to students after attempting 90 SSH in a 60 SSH major.

Eligibility

Eligibility for the Pell Grant is based on a number of factors including:

  • Financial need as demonstrated on the FAFSA.
     
  • Submission of an Application for Admission to Polk State College (PSC).
     
  • U.S. Citizenship or Resident Alien status.
     
  • Satisfactory academic progress.
     
  • Compliance with repayment of Stafford Loan(s) or any other financial aid program requiring repayment.

Applying for the Pell Grant

To apply for the Pell Grant, a student must:

  • Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
     
  • List PSC’s school code (001514) as one of the code choices for recipient schools.
     
  • Await receipt of the Federal Student Aid Report (SAR) from the processor.
     
  • Check all information on the SAR for accuracy.
     
  • Await notification that PSC has received the SAR from the processor. This process can take up to 3 weeks.

Awards and Payment

When a student meets all applicable standards, the Financial Aid Office will mail an award letter listing the amounts that the student is eligible to receive. Funds are credited to the student’s account for payment toward the cost of tuition and books. In accordance with federal, state, and institutional guidelines, if there is a balance in the account after the term begins, PSC will send the student a check for that amount by the end of the term. Awards are disbursed based on the number of credit hours in which a student is enrolled.

Lab courses may require more contact hours than the credit hours indicate. This may affect how certain entities view student full-time/part-time status. Please refer to program and course descriptions to determine course-required contact hours.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Federal awards are made annually to students with the greatest financial need. Grants are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible students enrolled at least half-time (six or more credits).

Florida Student Assistance Grant

Florida’s largest need-based program provides assistance to degree-seeking, resident undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled in eligible public or private postsecondary institutions. To be considered for this grant, a student must submit a completed (error-free) Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the deadline specified by the participating postsecondary institution. The deadline to apply for the Florida Student Assistance Grant is May 15 for the following academic year. Grant monies are distributed on a first-come, firstserved basis to eligible students enrolled at least half-time (six or more credits).

Education Tax Credits

Two education tax credits are available: the Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. These credits are based on educational expenses paid for the student, for his or her spouse, or for the student’s dependents. During any particular year, a student can claim only one of the credits.

The amount of the credit is determined by the amount paid for “qualified tuition and related expenses” for each student and the student’s modified adjusted gross income (modified AGI).

Students can access more information at www.irs.gov, or they may visit a tax consultant.

Workforce Investment Act

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a federally-funded program administered through Polk State College (PSC) and the Polk Workforce Development Board (Polk Works). This program assists the economically disadvantaged, dislocated workers, or homemakers with the cost of attending college. The benefits include tuition, books, and other associated costs of learning, and can be applied toward PSC’s A.S., A.A.S., and Certificate Programs. Students will also receive career counseling and academic assistance, as well as job counseling, job-seeking skills, and job-placement services. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the WIA Academic Advisors on either campus.

Loans

Student loan programs are available through the federal government. To be considered for federal loan programs, students must complete the FAFSA. In accordance with the PSC default avoidance plan, students must earn an overall 2.0 G.P.A. per term, complete 12 hours at PSC (excluding college preparatory courses) before the first loan, complete 66 2/3% of their attempted courses per term, and have attempted overall fewer than 90 credit hours. Students must apply through the Financial Aid Office. Eligibility will be determined based on the applicant’s educational need.

College Work-Study Program

The College participates in the need-based, federallysponsored College Work-Study Program (CWSP). Participating students may work on campus or in non-profit organizations in our community. Students may work up to a maximum of 20 hours weekly. Income earned through the CWSP does not require repayment. Students should visit the Office of Financial Aid for additional information.

Scholarships

Many academic merit, special skills, public service, and financial need scholarships are available to students at Polk State College (PSC). The Financial Aid Office also encourages students to seek scholarship opportunities from resources and organizations with which they are already affiliated. For example, some businesses and agencies have tuition-reimbursement programs for their employees. These financial-aid opportunities often are the best source of college funds, since the likelihood of acceptance is much higher than with open-competition funds.

PSC Foundation

Polk State College Foundation, Inc. (PSCF) is a tax-exempt organization whose purpose is to provide PSC with resources for the advancement of the College, its students, faculty, staff, and other constituencies in fulfillment of the College’s mission. Through contributions from donors, scholarship opportunities are provided to qualified students. Students are encouraged to visit the PCCF website at www.polk.edu/foundation for information about Foundation scholarships and the application process.

High School Academic Scholarships

PSC awards scholarships to academically outstanding students from all accredited high schools in Polk County. High School Academic Merit Scholarships pay matriculation fees for two years, provided students maintain satisfactory academic progress. Certain maximum dollar amounts apply.

High School Service Scholarships

PSC awards scholarships to students who commit to providing services to their high school classmates during their senior year. High school juniors maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA and a good record of activities may apply.

High School Service Scholarships pay matriculation fees for two years provided satisfactory academic progress is maintained. The scholarship pays for 60 credit hours taken within two years.

Additional information about these scholarships is available from high school counselors in the spring of the student’s junior year.

Cultural Arts and Other Extracurricular Scholarships

A number of scholarships are awarded each year to students displaying special skills in several areas, including music, art, journalism, and drama.

These scholarships pay matriculation fees (maximum dollar amounts per term apply) and are renewable, provided performance and academic progress are satisfactory. For additional information, students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office or the relevant area of the College for the particular skill.

Athletic Schollarships

Athletic students are invited to apply for scholarships available to those qualifying for participation in PSC’s varsity sports program. Scholarships are awarded in accordance with the rules published by the Florida Community College Activities Association and the appropriate Board of Trustees rule. Participating varsity sports include baseball and basketball for men, and volleyball, soccer and softball for women. Interested individuals may contact the PSC Athletic Office for information about tryouts.

Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

The Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security, through the Vocational Rehabilitation Division, offers scholarships to students with physical or emotional handicaps. Information is available from the Coordinators of Advising on each campus.

Transient Students

Transient students are responsible for covering all of their own college expenses while attending PSC. Financial Aid can only be administered at one institution. Transient students seeking financial aid must do so through their home institutions. PSC transient students to other institutions may contact the Financial Aid Office for coverage information.