Universal Access

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 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.

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 May 10 for Summer, August 1 for fall, and  December 5 for Spring enrollment. In some 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 May 10 for summer, August 1 for fall and December 5 for spring 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 2.0 for hours attempted at Galveston College. 

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 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                                                 

REPEAT COURSES 

Students may receive financial aid for repeating failed courses pending that they are meeting SAP standards. Students who receive a passing grade for a course and decides to repeat the course to receive a higher grade may only receive financial assistance for the first repeat of the passed course. Students are not eligible to receive financial aid for two or more repeats of a passed course.

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.

Financial aid will not be provided for courses taken by audit, credit hours earned by placement tests, or continuing education courses.

 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.      

SAP STATUSES

FINANCIAL AID “WARNING”  

Students who are in violation of one or more of the aforementioned SAP criteria for their first offense will be placed on a WARNING SAP status for their next term of enrollment. While on “Warning”, students are eligible to receive financial assistance and must bring themselves into SAP compliance by the end of the “Warning” term. If the student is not meeting SAP at the end of the term, the student will be placed on SAP “Suspension” in which the student is no longer eligible to receive financial assistance.

FINANCIAL AID “SUSPENSION”

The student who fails to meet the standards of academic progress during the semester of attendance while on “Warning” 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 may appeal their suspension status to the Student Affairs Committee to regain Financial Aid eligibility. A student whose financial aid has been suspended may also bring themselves back into compliance with the satisfactory academic progress requirements at their own expense; with the exception of time frame. To do so, you must take at least 6 credit hours toward your degree or certificate and pass with a "C" or better ("CR" for developmental courses). If you choose to take more than the recommended 6 hours, all hours enrolled will be taken into consideration to determine your eligibility. Courses taken outside of your degree or certificate will not qualify you to regain financial aid eligibility. 

APPEAL PROCESS

A student whose financial aid has been suspended may submit the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form to the Student Affairs Committee. The appeal must be in writing and supporting documentation regarding special circumstances must be provided. The Committee will respond in writing within 10 working days of receiving the appeal. Appeals are considered for extenuating circumstances such as injury, illness, death in the immediate family, or undue hardship. Students who have their appeals approved by the Committee will be placed on financial aid probation. To address the appeal decision made by the Committee, the student must respond to the Committee’s decision within 10 working days of the receipt of the Committee’s decision. The rebuttal appeal must be submitted to the Vice President of Student Services. The Vice President will forward his/her appeal decision to the student within 10 working days of the receipt of the rebuttal appeal. If the outcome of the appeal to the Vice President of Student Services is not to the student’s satisfaction, the student may, within ten (10) working days of receiving notice of the decision, submit a written appeal to the College President. The written appeal at minimum must include a written reason for the appeal or a statement of the problem and/or complaint, and the expected resolution. The President may, at his/her sole discretion, choose to allow oral arguments on the petition. The President may act to affirm, modify, remand, or reverse the decision. If no action is taken within sixty (60) days, the Vice President’s decision will be affirmed. The appeal process ends with the decision of the President.

FINANCIAL AID “PROBATION”

Students whose appeal was approved by the Student Affairs Committee, the Vice President of Student Services or the College President will be placed on “Probation” for their next term of attendance. Students may be required to adhere to an academic plan set forth by the Committee in an effort to bring them into SAP compliance. Students who fail to meet the terms of their “Probation” by bringing themselves into SAP compliance will be placed on Financial Aid “Suspension”.

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

Universal Access Scholarship Guidelines

_____ 1. Meet the eligibilty and participation guidelines

_____ 2. Complete the 2013-2014 FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. [Galveston College school code is 004972.]

_____ 3. Submit a FINAL OFFICIAL high school transcript or official GED to the admissions office.

_____ 4. Complete the Universal Access Scholarship Application and submit to the Financial Aid Office.

_____ 5. Complete a degree audit, signed by a Galveston College cunselor or advisor, and submit to the Financial Aid Office.

_____ 6. Submit ALL FINAL OFFICIAL college transcripts to the admissions office.

  If you have any questions please contact our office at (409) 944-1235 or rromero@gc.edu.  

Updated 5/2/2013 - Content Author rcrumedy