Types of Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid

Federal Pell Grant. This federally funded program is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals to attend institutions of higher education. Eligibility is determined according to a congressionally mandated formula that computes the expected family contribution. The aid administrator at the school the student attends must calculate the actual amount of the student's award based upon the expected family contribution, the cost of attendance, and the student's enrollment status.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). This program provides grants to students with exceptional financial need. Funds are provided by the federal government and administered by the College.

Federal Work-Study Program. This program provides part-time employment opportunities for students who have financial need. Most work-study jobs are on campus, but in some instances students are referred to off-campus nonprofit agencies. At South Arkansas Community College, students work an average of six to twenty hours per week. Students are paid once per month.

Students eligible for work-study should access SouthArk’s website, www.southark.edu, for information on how to apply and for current job listings. Work-study eligibility does not guarantee students a job. The work allowance awarded represents the maximum amount students can earn under the program during the school year.

Institutional Employment. A small number of students are employed each year in shortterm, part-time jobs. Students receive minimum wage. Interested students should apply in the Financial Aid Office.

Federal Direct Loan. This program enables students to receive low-interest subsidized or unsubsidized loans to finance educational expenses. If a student receives a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest while the student is in school, during the grace period, and during periods of deferment. If a student receives an unsubsidized loan, he/she is responsible for the interest on the loan from the time of issue. Payments normally begin six months after the student graduates, drops below half-time, or withdraws from college. Students may be allowed up to 10 years to repay the loan. The amount of each monthly payment depends upon the size of  the debt. Repayment schedules are provided by the lender.  Aid administrators may refuse to  vertify a loan application or may reduce the amount of the loan if they document the reason and provide an explanation to the student in writing.

Arkansas Department of Higher Education. The ADHE administers financial aid programs for Arkansas undergraduate students that include Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships, Workforce Improvement Grant, GO Grant, Governor’s Scholars, Law Enforcement Officers Dependents’ Scholarships, and the MIA/KIA Dependents’ Scholarship. More information about these and other forms of financial aid available from the ADHE is available at scholarships.adhe.edu.

Additional Aid

Sixty (60) and Over Waiver. Any person sixty (60) years of age or older will be granted a tuition and mandatory fees waiver on a space-available basis for enrollment in credit courses. Waiver forms are available in the Bookstore.

 Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. Arkansas residents who have disabilities that hinder them from employment may receive retraining assistance from the state to prepare them for return to gainful employment. For more information go to www.arsinfo.org or contact the El Dorado office at 708 W. Faulkner, (870)862-5451.

Workforce Investment Act. This program is designed to provide a variety of job-seeking and training services to youth, adults, and dislocated workers who qualify. Training services are provided through the voucher system. Information and eligibility requirements are available from the following agencies:

Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District, Inc. -- Counties served: Calhoun, Columbia, Dallas, Hempstead, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita, Sevier, and Union. Call (870) 234-4030 or 234-9097 in Magnolia, (870) 863-0218 in El Dorado, (870) 798-3223 in Hampton, or (870) 863-5024 in Camden.

Southeast Arkansas Economic and Development District, Inc. -- Counties served: Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Cleveland, Desha, Drew, Grant, Jefferson, and Lincoln. Call (870)226-3742 in Warren.

Union Community Action Association, Inc. -- Parishes served: Marshall, Union and West Carroll. Call (318) 368-9606 in Farmerville, (318) 283-0849 in Bastrop, and (318) 428-8640 in Oak Grove.

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund (SPSF). The Arkansas SPSF works with organizations and individuals at the county level to develop incentive scholarship funds for single parents who wish to complete a college education in preparation for well-paying employment. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.

Arkansas Human Development Corporation. This program pays for fees, books, supplies, and an hourly allowance for qualified students. To be eligible, students or parents of dependent students must have derived at least fifty-one (51) percent of their gross income for the past year from farm-related employment. The AHDC representative will determine student eligibility. For further information contact AHDC at (870)382-2050.

Veterans' Benefits

The College is approved to provide assistance to veterans and veterans' beneficiaries.  The Financial Aid office will assist students in completing forms necessary to apply for educational assistance from the Veterans Administration. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for veterans' services and the maintenance of records required for certification. Students receiving educational benefits from the Veterans Administration are subject to the rules, regulations, and policies set forth in this catalog that are applicable to all students. However, students qualifying for veterans' benefits are also required by the Veterans Administration and the State Approving Agency to meet certain other standards of approved certification. All veterans should familiarize themselves with the regulations outlined below.

 Minimum Standards of Progress for Veterans - The following will apply to all veterans:

  1.  A freshman student who does not attain a 1.50 grade point average will be placed on academic probation.
  2. A freshman student on probation whose grade point average for the probationary semester is less than 1.50 will be suspended from drawing Veterans Administration educational benefits.
  3. A sophomore student whose grade point average is less than 2.00 will be placed on academic probation.
  4. A sophomore student on probation whose grade point average for the probationary semester is less than 2.00 will be suspended from drawing Veterans Administration educational benefits.
  5. Students who fail to qualify for V.A. benefits, as a result of being placed on suspension, may appeal their status to the Financial Aid Committee. All appeals must be in writing and must include the reason(s) the student failed to meet minimum academic standards.

 Approved Length of Course for Veterans - Students drawing full-time benefits are expected to complete an associate degree in a maximum of five semesters and a baccalaureate degree in a maximum of ten semesters. The maximum hours of credit which may be awarded on the basis of previous experience as shown in the "Credit for Previous Training or Experience" section of this catalog shall be waived for veterans who can demonstrate that a larger number of credit hours should be awarded. If a veteran is awarded such credit or has previous college credit, the approved length of course at South Arkansas Community College will be decreased proportionately; and the veteran and the Veterans Administration shall be notified of the shortening of the course length.

Class Attendance Policy for Veterans - All persons receiving veterans' benefits are required by the Veterans Administration regulations to maintain satisfactory class attendance. The Veterans Administration will be notified of unsatisfactory attendance.

Withdrawal Policy for Veterans If a student receiving VA benefits withdraws from a course with a non-punitive grade, mitigating circumstances must exist or benefits for that course may be terminated retroactively to the first date of enrollment.

Enrollment Certification – Veterans Affairs will pay for courses that apply toward the student’s declared major. Students must submit a copy of their schedule each semester to the VA Certifying Official before enrollment will be submitted to the VA.

Veterans' Affairs

Chapter 30

Chapter 30

Prior service members honorably discharged and having served at least 24 months and Active Duty personnel 

First-time applicants must complete VA Form 22-1990 (Application for VA Education Benefits). Veterans must also provide a copy of the “Member-4" page of the DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty). Active Duty personnel must have their Education Services Officer complete Part II of the VA Form 22-1990. 

If the veteran contributed to the $600 “kicker” (to receive an additional $150 per month), a copy of the LES or voucher needs to be attached to the application packet to ensure proper payment. 

If a veteran participated in the College Fund, the Department of Defense will provide confirmation information to the VA for proper payment. 

Transfer students, or SouthArk students who have changed their academic degree objective after already receiving VA benefits under Chapter 30, must complete the VA Form 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training).

Chapter 31

Vocational Rehabilitation 

Veterans may be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits if they have a service-connected disability or disabilities rated by the VA at 10 percent or greater. For more information, go to www.va.gov and click on Vocational Rehab & Employment Services, or call the VA at 1-800-827-1000 and request an application (VA Form 22-1990).

If you are authorized Vocational Rehabilitation, the VA will notify SouthArk, and we will inform the Business Office and the Bookstore about your sponsorship. Although tuition and fees are paid in full, students are responsible for submitting fee bills prior to the payment deadline. Failure to do so will result in schedules being purged for non-payment.

Chapter 35

Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance

First-time applicants need to complete VA Form 22-5490 (Application for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance). Dependents or spouses of 100 percent VA-rated disabled or deceased veterans should provide a copy of their birth certificates or marriage licenses when applying to facilitate processing by the VA. 

Transfer students, or students changing their degree objectives after receiving Chapter 35 benefits, need to complete VA Form 22-5495 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training).

Chapter 1606/1607

Reservists, National Guard members and U.S. Coast Guard members 

First-time applicants need to complete VA Form 22-1990 (Application for VA Education Benefits) and provide a copy of the DD Form-2384 (Notice of Basic Eligibility ©NOBEª).

Some Chapter 1606 applicants are eligible for the “Selective Reserves Kicker” that can increase the monthly rate from $100 to $350, depending on the MOS of the reservist. If applicants are eligible for the “kicker,” they need to provide a copy of the contract.

Transfer students, or students changing their degree objectives after receiving VA benefits, need to complete VA Form 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training).

Both Chapters 30 and Chapter 1606 students are required to verify their enrollment on or after the last day of each benefit month by calling the VA at 1-877-823-2378 or by accessing the VA website (

www.gibill.va.gov/wave/

Students will be prompted by the automated system to provide their VA file numbers (SSN) and passwords (first time password is the last 6 digits of your SSN).

Chapter 33 / Post 9/11

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) Payment Rates For 2012 Academic Year (August 1, 2012 - July 31, 2013) 
The Post-9/11 GI Bill program is comprised of multiple payments. All payments and maximum amounts listed on this page are applicable to individuals eligible for the full benefit (100% eligibility tier). If you are not eligible for the full benefit, the payment and maximum amounts listed will be prorated based on your eligibility percentage. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill you may receive a:

For more information visit the United States Department of Veteran's Affairs

VRAP

Congress passed, and the President has signed into law, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. Included in this new law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans. 

The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:

  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed on the date of application
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

The program is limited to 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012, through September 30, 2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants must attend full-time in order to receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program ($1,564 effective October 1, 2012). DOL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of the program. 

Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation. 

For more information visit the United States Department of Veteran's Affairs, Education

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What courses will the VA pay for?

The VA does not pay for courses which are not prerequisites or required in students’ degree programs. Students are responsible for ensuring that the courses apply toward their degrees. If they are not sure, they should consult with their academic advisors. If students wish to take courses that are not required, we will certify only the required courses and report a change in status affecting only those courses.

Does VA pay for repeated courses?

VA will pay for repeated courses as long as they are required and the grades previously earned do not meet degree requirements. Enrolling again in a course from which a student withdrew is not considered a repeated course. If a student declares academic bankruptcy, the VA does not pay for repeated courses unless the student earned an unsatisfactory grade the first time the student attempted the course.

Does the VA pay for remedial or refresher courses?

The VA will pay for a remedial course if the student has a deficiency in the subject. The VA will not pay for refresher courses.

What happens when a student withdraws from a course or resigns?

If the withdrawal changes the student’s enrollment status, the VA will reduce the student’s rate of pay. If the withdrawal occurs during the drop/add period, as defined by the VA, an adjustment is made on the rate of pay. If the withdrawal occurs after the drop/add period, the reduction may create an overpayment, unless there are mitigating circumstances. If there are mitigating circumstances, the student must submit a “Statement in Support of Claim” to the VA. The statement needs to include the VA file number. If the VA does not approve the claim, the overpayment is applied retroactively to the beginning of the semester. The only exception is the “one-time up to six-hour exclusion” which does not require mitigating circumstances.

What happens when a student is deployed?

If students are deployed, they should contact the Office of Veterans Affairs immediately and, if possible, provide copies of their orders. If resignations or changes of status occur for this reason, the VA will not charge students with overpayments, provided they submit documentation. Students must contact their deans’ offices to initiate resignations. Students who were deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle were given 100 percent refunds of tuition and most fees. A copy of the University policy on military deployment is available in the Office of Veterans Affairs. Students who resign because they are deployed need to re-apply for admission, if they are not enrolled for a regular semester. The application fee is waived with proper documentation of the deployment.

What are the VA monthly pay rates?

Current monthly rates for education benefits can be found on the VA website, www.gibill.va.gov/education/benefits.htm.

How does the VA pay monthly benefits?

With the exception of advance pay, the VA pays at the end of each benefit month. Students receiving Chapter 30 and 1606 benefits are required to “verify” their enrollment status on or after the last day of the month. Students may verify by calling the toll-free number (1-877-823-2378) or by accessing the VA website (

www.gibill.va.gov/wave

Upon verification, the VA will process the payment and send it to the student either by mail or direct deposit. It is highly recommended that students elect the direct deposit option to eliminate lost or stolen checks. In addition, students using direct deposit receive benefits in four or five working days as opposed to seven to ten days by mail.

Chapter 35 does not yet have the direct deposit option.

How do I know if I qualify for VA educational benefits?

If you believe that you may be eligible for any of the above VA education benefits, you can visit the VA website (www.va.gov) and click on any of the topics about which you are interested. If you need to submit a form to the Office of Veterans Affair or the VA, click on the “forms” button. Some forms are also available on this website and in Office of Veterans Affairs.

 

Work Study

Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (WS) program is a way for students to earn money to help pay for their educational expenses.

There are many WS jobs available, so you have an excellent chance of being hired. Employers benefit by receiving a government subsidy when they hire WS students, so they are more likely to hire a student who is eligible for WS.

The WS program is a good way to help serve your community ( such as tutoring) and by working in areas related to your course of study.

Employers let you work a flexible schedule that won't conflict with your classes.

FWS is a financial aid need-based program, so your income does not affect your future financial aid eligibility, even though it is taxable.

Your FWS employer can become an excellent reference for your resume. Many employers are impressed with students who have work experience and who worked while attending college.

Work-study can be a valuable experience where you'll learn communication skills, time management, critical thinking, as well as special job skills such as using computers and office equipment.

Contact the Financial Aid Office at (870) 862-8131 ext. 238 if you have more questions about the Federal Work-Study program.

Paperwork

Your award notice must be signed and returned to the Financial Aid Office, Administration Building 105. Check the listings of Work-Study jobs on the website. Contact the supervisor listed to apply for a position. After you work out the details of your job with them, complete the necessary paperwork. Priority will be given to students who qualify for Federal Work-Study. 

You must complete the following personnel papers before beginning to work:

  • Student Placement Form
  • W-4 form
  • I-9 form


Your employer will have these forms. They must be sent to the Financial Aid Office with a copy of your driver's license and Social Security card. 

Remember - if you haven't signed the Award Notice and/or the Student Placement form and completed the personnel papers, your payroll check will be delayed. 

Schedule and Earnings

Your employer will help you arrange your schedule based on the number of hours you're allowed to work and your class schedule. The number of hours depends on the amount of your Work-Study Award. 

Example

Amount awarded ÷ Weeks in semester ÷ Rate of pay = # of hours per week
$1000 ÷ 16 weeks ÷ $5.15 = * 12 hours

*Based on average award of $1000 per semester. 
The example above illustrates the weekly schedule for a student worker.Work-Study students may not work more than a combined 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week (Sunday through Saturday) in all jobs on both campuses. 

You and your supervisor can keep track of the amount of Work-Study award that has been used. 

Example

First pay period
Student's award - Student's gross pay = Remaining award
$1000 .00 - (20 hrs. x 5.15) = 103.00 = $897.00

Second pay period
Remaining award - Student's gross pay = Remaining award
$897.00 - $50.00 = $847.00

Students are allowed to work between the Fall and Spring semesters ONLY if they have unearned funds left from their Fall award, and are awarded FWSP and pre-registered for Spring. 

Students are allowed to work between the Spring and Summer semesters ONLY if they have unearned funds left from their Spring award, have been awarded Work-Study for Summer, AND are pre-registered for Summer. 

Remember, if you begin working before the beginning of a semester you may earn all your allowed work-study award before the end of the term. This may result in the loss of your job before the semester ends. 

No additional money may be awarded to work between semesters. 

Timesheets

  • Your supervisor will record hours on the Work-Study Program time sheet.
  • The time sheet is due in the Financial Aid Office, AB 105, by the 4th of each month.
  • Late time sheets will cause your payroll check to be delayed.
  • Your supervisor will notify you when and where to turn in your time sheet.
  • Make sure all information is correctly filled in on your time sheet.
  • Always sign in and out for unpaid breaks and lunches.
  • Don't forget to sign your time sheet and have your supervisor sign it also.
  • Please list your Social Security number and the number of hours you are enrolled.
  • You may want to keep a copy of your time sheet in case of questions later.

Tips

  • Notify your supervisor in advance when you are unable to work.
  • Cooperate with your supervisor and other employees in a responsible manner.
  • You must remain on a particular job for the duration of the assigned period (just because you locate another job on campus is not reason for a transfer).
  • Give adequate notice to your supervisor if you plan to terminate your job for any reason.
  • If job-related problems arise, tell the supervisor - communication often alleviates difficulties.
  • Respect the confidentiality of all information to which you have access in your work assignment.
  • Reapply each year for the Federal Work-Study Program and financial aid by filing a Free application for Federal Financial Aid after January 1st of each year.
  • To be considered for the work-study program for summer, you must also complete and return an Application for Summer Financial Aid to the Financial Aid Office.