The Financial Aid Office provides financial assistance and counseling for students who need help in meeting college expenses. The College participates in four broad categories of financial aid to help support student needs: federal, state, institutional, and local. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from all categories. Federal and state financial aid is awarded according to each individual’s relative financial need as defined by the U.S. Department of Education formula “cost of education minus expected family contribution.”
Financial Aid Application Process
The financial aid process can take a number of weeks to complete and students are encouraged to apply early. Applications should be completed and submitted as soon as possible after October 1 in order to be considered for all types of aid for which they may be eligible.
To be considered for all types of aid the applicant should complete the following steps:
Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For FAFSA on the web, go to www.fafsa.gov. You can apply beginning October 1st to submit your FAFSA. But you need to apply early! At Florida Gateway College, we have priority deadlines to complete your financial aid file. Check the critical dates calendar for more information.
Step 2: Review your Student Aid Report (SAR). After you apply, if you listed an e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail stating that you can download your SAR. If you did not list an e-mail address, a paper SAR will be sent to you from the processor. Your SAR contains the information reported on your FAFSA and usually includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is an index used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Review your SAR information and make any corrections or changes, if necessary. The school(s) you list on your FAFSA will get your SAR data electronically.
Step 3: Contact the school(s) you might attend. Make sure the Financial Aid office has all the information needed to determine your eligibility. If you’re eligible and your admission is complete, the Financial Aid Office will award you an aid package based on your financial aid need. It will be important for you to check the MY FGC area of the college’s home page. There you can find out (using your PIN) what your status is and what type of aid you have been awarded.
Financial Aid is disbursed to students as quickly as possible after classes begin. All students should inquire at the Financial Aid Office about the terms and conditions of financial assistance. As a result of the Higher Education Act of 1998, the refund/repayment requirements have changed for students receiving Title IV funds. In general, a portion of federal Title IV grants or loan funds, but not work study funds, must be returned to the Title IV programs upon a Title IV recipient’s total withdrawal from school.
The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) randomly selects 35 percent of the school’s applicants for federal student aid for verification. In addition to the 35 percent selected by the USDOE, Florida Gateway College will select any SAR/ISIR with conflicting information. The institution is required by law to verify data of those selected.
Standards of Academic Progress (SAP)
The basic SAP policy at FGC for any financial aid recipients is to complete 67 percent of all attempted classes and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher. SAP is checked after each term. For more detailed information on financial aid (warning, suspension, Max150, and the appeals process), please see the College’s website at www.fgc.edu.
The College offers three types of financial assistance: grants and scholarships, work study, and loans. The College also offers deferments of tuition for eligible financial aid students. So that students may fully understand the nature of each award, they are detailed below. Additional information is available from the Financial Aid Office.
Federal Pell Grant
This federal money is available for undergraduate students working toward a first bachelor’s degree. Pell provides eligible students with a foundation of financial assistance. Eligibility is based on financial need and is determined by a federal formula consistently applied to all applicants. The amount of the grant ranges from $598 to $5,815, not to exceed one-half of the educational cost. A tentative estimate for the Pell Grant is included in each student’s award package. It is based on a student being enrolled full time (12 credits or more). If the enrollment changes to less than full time, the Pell Grant award is prorated accordingly. A student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) determines the amount of the Pell Grant Award. It is a grant and nonrepayable.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
FSEOG also provides federal money for undergraduate students working toward their first bachelor’s degree. FSEOG is awarded to students who demonstrate extreme financial aid need and may not be available to all students, as funds are limited. It is a grant and nonrepayable.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
For undergraduate students who are or will be taking course work necessary to become an elementary or secondary teacher. The recipient must sign Agreement to Serve saying he or she will teach full-time in designated teacher shortage area for four complete years (within eight years of completing academic program) at elementary or secondary school serving children from low-income families. The amount of the grant is up to $4,000 a year; total amount may not exceed $16,000.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
For students who are not Pell-eligible; whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11; and who, at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death, were less than 24 years old or were enrolled at least part-time at an institution of higher education. The maximum amount is the same as the Pell maximum. It does not have to be repaid.
Federal Work Study
This is a program that offers part-time work experiences to eligible students. This program helps students earn a portion of their educational expenses. Jobs are on campus and arranged around a student’s class schedule. Students are paid semimonthly and earn the current federal minimum wage. Students average 15 to 20 hours of work per week depending on unmet financial aid need.
On March 30, 2010, President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA), which, among other things, makes significant changes to the federal student loan programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. One of the provisions of the HCERA is the termination, as of July 1, 2010, of the authority for lenders to make new loans under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. Therefore, beginning July 1, 2010, all new Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation loans can only be made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.
Students must be enrolled in at least a minimum of 6 credit hours or 180 clock hours and maintain a cum GPA of 2.0 to be eligible for a loan. All loans must be repaid.
All student loan borrowers are required to complete entrance counseling and a signed Master Promissory Note in order to receive a Direct subsidized and/or unsubsidized Stafford Loan as mandated by federal regulations.
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
This program provides loans to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with financial need. A first-year undergraduate can borrow up to $3,500 per academic year; a second-year undergraduate can borrow up to $4,500 per academic year, if eligible. For current interest rate information, go to www.studentloans.gov.
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
This program provides loans to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. The total amount a student may borrow under any period of study is generally the same amount as for the subsidized loan. For current interest rate information, go to www.studentloans.gov.
Direct PLUS Loan
This program makes long-term loans to parents of dependent students and/or independent students to pay for the portion of their child’s education that is not covered by other financial aid, such as the Federal Stafford Loan. Eligible borrowers may obtain loans up to the cost of education minus other financial aid. Direct PLUS loans are limited to individuals with no adverse credit history. For current interest rate information, go to the Direct Loan website at www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa.
Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG)
This Florida resident grant may be used to help with any college costs. An eligible student must be enrolled half time (6 or more credits) in a degree program and should have a completed error-free FAFSA at the college you plan to attend on or before May 15. The award is based on financial aid need.
First Generation Matching Grant
This grant is allocated by the State of Florida to students who are considered the first generation in their family to attend college. Students must be a Florida resident, one or both of their parents did not attend college, must show financial need, and enrolled at least half-time.
Florida Statutes State Financial Aid; Students with Disabilities
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 1009.41(1)(b)1.b. regarding the number of credits earned per semester or other financial aid eligibility requirements related to the number of required credits earned per semester/term, a student with a documented disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, shall be eligible to be considered for state financial aid while attending an eligible postsecondary institution on a part-time basis. The State Board of Education shall establish the necessary criteria for documentation of the student’s disability and the postsecondary institution shall make the determination as to whether or not the disability is such that part-time status is a necessary accommodation. For the purposes of this section, financial aid funds may be prorated based on the number of credit hours taken.
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program consists of Florida Academic Top Scholars, Florida Academic Scholarship, Florida Medallion Scholarship and Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship. These scholarships are funded by the State of Florida. The legislature determines the funding levels each academic year. Currently, the funding is a set dollar amount per credit hour depending on the type of scholarship awarded and the type of degree program the student has chosen. If you drop and/or withdraw from a class or classes, you are obligated to pay back the entire cost (tuition) of that class or classes. A hold will be placed on your records until the debt is paid in full. For more information, log on to www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org.
Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund
This scholarship provides assistance to Hispanic-American high school seniors who meet scholastic requirements and demonstrate financial need. The student must complete the Florida Financial Aid Application by April 1 and have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, including supporting documentation, by May 15.
Rosewood Family Scholarship Fund
This scholarship provides assistance to a maximum of 25 minority students to attend a state university, public community college, or public postsecondary occupational-technical school. Students who are direct descendants of African-American Rosewood families affected by the incidents of January 1923 receive priority for awards. The student should submit a fully completed (error-free) Florida Financial Aid Application online by April 1. If you are a Florida resident, complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online in time to be processed error-free by the U.S. Department of Education on or before May 15.
Other State Aid
There are other programs which are funded in varying degrees each year. Contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information and other state scholarship/loans programs. Any new scholarships are listed on the Financial Aid webpage of the college. For more information, a student may wish to contact the Bureau of Student Financial Assistance in Tallahassee at 1-800-827-2004.
District Board of Trustees Scholarship (Top Twenty Percent)
This scholarship is given to the top 20 percent of the five-county district high school graduating class each year. The scholarship pays $500 per semester (fall and spring) and can be renewed the second year if the student meets applicable criteria. The student must be enrolled at least halftime each semester the scholarship is received. This scholarship does not cover books.
Students recognized as the valedictorian or salutatorian shall receive an amount equal to all tuition and fees, plus up to $400 per semester for required books and supplies for classes, when enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours per semester. (Fall/Spring only). This award shall be available for a maximum of 60 college credit hours.
Other Institutional Scholarships
The College also offers choir, band, brain bowl, speech/debate team, and student government president scholarships. These scholarships range from full to partial assistance for tuition only.
Each institutional scholarship has its own particular requirements. Students are urged to contact the Financial Aid Office or go online at MyFGC for additional information.
The Foundation for Florida Gateway College, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization providing financial support to help Florida Gateway College perform its mission of providing quality education. Revenues are received primarily from private contributions, investment income, and state matching funds. The Foundation supports the College by providing student scholarships, purchasing equipment, and providing other, much needed resources.
Various scholarships are funded by the Foundation and administered through the Financial Aid Office. Most scholarships require the student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For information on applying for scholarships contact the financial aid office. For information on making a tax deductible gift to support FGC education, call (386) 754-4201 or e-mail FGC.Foundation@fgc.edu.
Many off-campus organizations and agencies offer educational financial assistance to students. All students are urged to contact any organization that offers assistance so that they may obtain the “best” package of financial aid possible. The College Financial Aid Office posts off-campus scholarship information as it is received.
The College also participates with several state agencies to provide needed educational support for district students. Students may find that they qualify for assistance offered through any number of other public funding sources. Students are encouraged to contact any agency which might provide financial assistance for their education. Students should be aware that most outside assistance received must be counted as a resource in the eligibility of some types of financial aid.
Financial Aid Procedures
The procedure for each type of financial assistance may vary with the scholarship, grant, work, or loan. Students are urged to make early and regular contact with the Financial Aid Office to ensure a smooth application process. The application for federal and state financial assistance may be started as early as October 1 of each year.