Universal Access Scholarship
Eligibility and Participation Guidelines

Rationale

Universal Access Scholarships are provided to ensure that every eligible high school graduate, or equivalent, who resides in the Galveston College taxing district, has the opportunity to attend college, receive an associate’s degree, or acquire technical training through a workforce development program and obtain a certificate.

General Requirements

Must be a resident of the Galveston College taxing district for a minimum of 12 months prior to graduation from accredited high schools or successful completion of a General Educational Development (GED) or home schooling prior to enrollment into Galveston College, or  otherwise qualified for an in-district waiver under state law. Student must continue to be a resident of the Galveston College taxing district while enrolled at Galveston College and receiving Universal Access Scholarship funds. Residency requirements are determined by the Admissions Office and should be contacted for further information.

  • Graduate of accredited high schools within the Galveston taxing district, or GED certificate holder; or completed home schooling within the Galveston College taxing district.  All applicants must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a Universal Access Scholarship application, a degree plan signed by counseling office, and an admissions application. All final official college transcripts must be submitted to Admissions Office. Renewal applicants must complete a FAFSA; submit an updated degree plan signed by counseling office, and a Universal Access Scholarship application.  The FAFSA is completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov; other forms are turned in to the Financial Aid Office at Galveston College. A final high school transcript or GED certificate must be submitted to the admissions office prior to registration. Forms should be turned in by the Financial Aid Priority Deadline date indicated on the Universal Access Scholarship application. All documents must be submitted by the Financial Aid Priority Deadline Date to ensure the Universal Access Scholarship file is reviewed by the payment deadline date. Incomplete or insufficient forms will cause processing delays.
  • If the student has received a Federal Pell Grant or any other assistance that satisfies the costs for tuition, the commitment of Universal Access Scholarship will be considered fulfilled.  Other assistance includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Workforce Investment Act, and state financial aid such as the Texas Grant, TEOG, and any 3rd party Scholarship/Source that is directly committed to the payment of tuition. If the student receives assistance that is under the total cost of tuition for the academic year or workforce program, Universal Access will pay the difference between the amount received and the cost of tuition.
  • Beginning in the fall of 2015, the Galveston College Foundation Universal Access award has a new lifetime limit of $2,800 for full-time students, which covers all tuition for a 60-hour associate degree.  Up to $1,400 may be awarded per year to full-time students for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Upon enrollment for the Universal Access award, a student’s allocation must be used within a five-year period.  A one-time $200 book-only voucher will be given to each eligible student.  If the $200 book voucher is not used in the first semester that it is assessed, the balance will not be forwarded to future semesters. 

 Enrollment Requirements

  • Universal Access Scholarship recipients are required to be enrolled as full-time students (enrolled in 12 or more semester credit hours for each long Fall or Spring semesters. UA will pay for no fewer than six and no more than 14 credit hours in an approved degree, certificate, or workforce development Program during the entire summer session.) 
  • The applicant must be enrolled and initiate the Universal Access Scholarship, Pell Grant, or other any other assistance within 16 months of graduation from high school, receipt of a GED certificate, or completion of home schooling. If a program does not begin at the beginning of the fall or spring semester, enrolled students will be eligible for support provided they fulfill the requirements.
  • Universal Access Scholarship recipients may enroll in an academic or technical credit program as identified in the Galveston College Catalog or an approved contact hour program of at least 360 hours.
  • UA will pay up to a total of 18 semester hours of developmental coursework.  

Satisfactory Academic Progress Responsibilities

Universal Access Scholarship recipients are subject to the Galveston College Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress including the process of appeals related to financial aid probation and suspension. The Director of the Foundation will review all Universal Access Scholarship probation and suspension decisions each semester to confirm compliance with the Universal Access Scholarship Guidelines. The Galveston College definition of satisfactory academic progress for receiving financial aid includes the following components, with some exclusions:

I.        Academic Standard Component

Galveston College uses the 4.0 grade point average system and numerical code:
                        4.0=A               3.0=B               2.0=C               1.0=D     

Students are expected to maintain an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.50 for 0 – 30 hours and 2.0 for 31 hours and above based on the number of semester hours attempted at Galveston College.  Students receiving FFELP loans must maintain a 2.0 GPA for all semester hours attempted.

II.       Maximum Time Frame Component

 Students may receive consideration for financial aid for up to 90 hours attempted

III.       Rate of Completion

  Student's overall completion rate (percentage) of credit hours attempted is expected to be at least 75%.

REVIEW PROCEDURE

I.          Academic Standards and Incremental Progress

The Financial Aid Office staff will determine each semester whether the student has successfully completed at least the minimum expected percentage of hours with the required GPA and shows progress toward the educational objective for all completed semesters. The Universal Access Scholarship is designed to encourage students to complete their education in an efficient manner, ensuring maximum utilization of the scholarship investment. The following will be considered as semester hours successfully completed:

 A through D grades CR credit

The following shall be considered as semester hours not completed:

F Grade       I - Incomplete
AWF - Administrative Withdrawal – Failing   IP - In Progress
WX Progress - Must complete next semester W - Withdrawal
AUDIT - No Credit AWN - Administrative Withdrawal-No Credit
NC - No Credit    NR - Not Reported

For repeated courses, only the latest grade earned is included in cumulative grade point averages, but both courses will remain as a part of the aggregate hours attempted. Universal Access Scholarship will not be available for courses taken by audit or credit hours earned by placement tests.

II.        Time Frame
At the end of each semester, the Financial Aid Office staff will determine the aggregate number of hours the student has attempted. The student must not exceed 150% of the required program hours to graduate from any one degree program. Once a student has attempted 90 hours, he/she is ineligible to receive consideration for Universal Access Scholarship after that semester. The student may appeal to have the Universal Access Scholarship reinstated by providing supporting documentation.

III.       Developmental Classes
After a student accumulates a total of 18 semester hours of developmental coursework, developmental coursework may no longer be used to establish eligibility for the Universal Access Scholarship.  No exceptions will be made.          

UNIVERSAL ACCESS PROBATION/SUSPENSION 

Following the first semester in which the standards of academic progress are not met, except time frame, the student will be placed on a Warning status. A student who fails to meet the Galveston College Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress during the semester of attendance while on a Warning status will be placed on suspension and denied further funding. Automatic suspension will be placed on students who totally withdraw during a semester, receive 0.00 GPA, or receive NCs in all developmental classes.  Students who are suspended may become eligible again by bringing themselves into compliance with the requirements at their own expense.

Appeal Process

The Universal Access Scholarship program makes use of limited private dollars to ensure that all have access to higher education regardless of ability to pay.  The recipient is charged with adhering to the rules and restrictions of the program.  If students lose their Universal Access Scholarship because of failure to meet the requirements stated above they may appeal their status to the Director of the Galveston College Foundation.  The Director may consider appeals only if current endowment funds are available.  All appeals must be sent to the Director in writing by the student in a timely manner for her consideration. A timely manner is at the discretion of the Director. The Director is restricted to appeals for eligibility based upon the student’s failure to meet the requirements listed above. All decisions are final.  A student may be allowed by the Director to continue on a probationary status.

 

The Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors approved these guidelines on January 15, 2015 and reserves the right to change them.

Updated 3/23/2015 - Content Author gmilton