Universal Access Scholarship
Eligibility and Participation Guidelines


Universal Access scholarships are provided to ensure that every eligible high school graduate, or equivalent, who meets the general requirements listed below, has the opportunity to attend Galveston College and pursue academic courses or receive technical training through a workforce development program.

General Requirements

  • Resident of the Galveston College taxing district, which includes the City of Galveston, and communities of Port Bolivar and Crystal Beach, for a minimum of 12 months prior to graduation from high school or successful completion of GED or home schooling and must continue to be a resident of the Galveston College taxing district while enrolled at Galveston College and receiving Universal Access funds.  A recipient must be a student who is able to claim Texas in-state residency using the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board residency criteria (See the Admissions Office for further information).
  • Graduate of Ball High School, O’Connell High School, or GED certificate holder; or completed home schooling within the Galveston College taxing district.  All graduates are eligible to apply regardless of their high school GPA.
    All applicants must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a Universal Access application, and an admissions application or any other public/state scholarship funding applications that may become available.  Second year applicant must complete a FAFSA; submit an updated degree plan signed by counseling office and a Universal Access application.  The FAFSA is completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov; other forms are turned in to the Financial Aid Office at Galveston College. Forms should be turned in by August 1 for fall enrollment, December 5 for spring enrollment and May 10 for summer enrollment. In rare cases, the Foundation Director can waive these dates as deadlines but in no case shall Universal Access eligibility be given if the student is not “packaged” for FAFSA and UA scholarship by the first day of class. A final high school transcript or GED certificate must be submitted to the admissions office prior to registration.
  • If the student has received a Pell Grant that satisfies the costs for tuition and fees, the commitment of Universal Access will be considered fulfilled.  Other assistance includes Federal Financial Aid such as the Pell Grant or Workforce Investment Act, and state financial aid such as the Texas Grant. If the student receives assistance that is under the total cost of tuition and fees for the academic year or workforce program, Universal Access will pay the difference between the amount received and the cost of tuition and fees.
  • The maximum Universal Access Scholarship grant is $2,400 for tuition and fees and must be used within a five year period. A one time book stipend of $200 will be awarded to each eligible student. If the $200 book stipend is not fully utilized during the semester of issuance the balance will not be forwarded to future semesters.   Supplies and other related educational expenses are not covered by Universal Access.

 Enrollment Requirements

  • The applicant must complete a degree plan by August 1 for fall, December 5 for spring, May 10 for summer, with the counseling staff at Galveston College.  Revisions or changes to this plan must be approved by a member of the counseling staff. 
  • The applicant is required to be enrolled for at least a minimum of 6 hours for Fall or Spring semesters and 3 hours for summer semesters in an approved degree, certificate, or workforce development program.  The applicant must be enrolled and initiate Universal Access or Pell Grant 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. The five year period begins when the student initiates either Universal Access or Pell Grant. 
  • If a non-credit and credit option to a program exists, students must enroll in the credit option to qualify for Universal Access.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Responsibilities

The Galveston College definition of satisfactory academic progress for receiving financial aid includes the following components:
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%.


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 grade point average and shows progress toward the educational objective for all completed semesters. Universal Access 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
“W” Withdrawal “WX” Progress-Must complete next semester
“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 provided 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. He/She may appeal to have Universal Access reinstated by providing supporting documentation. Students are allowed only two opportunities to change their major.
III.       Developmental Classes
Students who enroll in developmental hours in excess of 30 hours will not be considered in calculating eligibility for Universal Access. No exceptions may be made.


Following the first semester in which the standards of academic progress are not met, except time frame, the student will be placed on probation. Probation may be waived on a case by case basis due to special circumstances as determined by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Taskforce. The student who fails to meet the standards of academic progress during the semester of attendance while on probation will be placed on suspension and denied further funding. Automatic suspension will be placed on students who totally withdraw during a semester or receive 0.00 GPA or receive NC’s 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 Satisfactory Academic Progress Taskforce.  The appeals taskforce may consider appeals only if current endowment funds are available.  Those who fail to meet the general and enrollment requirements of the program shall have no right of appeal. The appeals taskforce is restricted to considering only appeals for reinstatement based upon the student’s failure to meet the requirements listed above. All decisions are final.  A student may be allowed by the appeals taskforce to continue on a probationary status.

The Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors approved these guidelines on July 17, 2008 and reserves the right to change them. Rationale editorial change made on August 13, 2008.