Southeast Tech Financial Aid Office
The Financial Aid Office is located in the Mickelson Center.
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is available to help pay the cost of attending post-secondary education. Funding comes from federal and state government as well as from private lenders, foundations and agencies.
Who is Eligible?
Students’ eligibility for federal financial aid is calculated using formulas determined by the Department of Education. These formulas determine the student’s “expected family contribution”, which is an estimate of the family’s ability to pay for the cost of the student’s education. The difference between the estimated cost of attending Southeast Tech and this expected family contribution is the student’s need for financial assistance. To receive financial aid, students must be taking classes toward their major(s).
Fall and Spring
Full-time: 12 or more credit hours; Three-quarter-time: 9 to 11 credit hours; Half-time: 6 to 8 credit hours; Less than Half-time: 5 credit hours or less. You must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to be eligible to receive Direct Student Loans.
Full-time: 9 or more credit hours; Three-quarter-time: 7 to 8 credit hours; Half-time: 5 to 6 credit hours. You must be enrolled in at least 5 credits to be eligible to receive Direct Student Loans. Requirements may change depending upon adjustment in length of summer semester.
Note: Financial Aid is NOT available for audited classes. SSS 095 Academic Recovery Class doesn’t count toward financial aid enrollment. Financial Aid is NOT always available to pay for books. Please see Financial Aid Office for details.
Who May Apply?
To be eligible for any of the federally supported programs (Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Student, and the Federal PLUS Loans), a student must meet the following qualifications:
- Be accepted in a program as a regular student (at least half-time)
- Working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. (Students on wait lists are not considered accepted into a program.)
- Have financial need, except for some loan programs.
- Have a high school diploma or a GED or show an ability to benefit (through approved methods of testing for ability to benefit).
- Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Have a valid Social Security Number.
- Make satisfactory academic progress. (In order to receive aid, you must be making satisfactory progress regardless of whether financial aid was previously received.)
- Sign a statement of educational purpose and a certification statement on overpayment and default (both found on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
- Register with the Selective Service, if required.
The Technical Amendments of 1987 added a provision that a student may not receive SFA funds if the student is enrolled in an elementary or secondary school program at the same time as the post-secondary program. Note that a student attending classes leading to a GED is not considered to be enrolled in a secondary school, but the student may not receive aid for these courses. A post-secondary school, through its normal admissions procedure, should be able to determine a student’s previous educational experience, including whether that student is still enrolled in elementary or secondary school. A post-secondary school must document that determination.
When and How to Apply
Application must be filed online each year at www.fafsa.ed.gov or by completing the paper “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. A paper application can be downloaded at www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov. The application should be completed only after Federal Income Tax returns have been filed by parents/guardians and/or students.
Financial Aid Important Dates
(Subject to Change)
||The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms must be post marked to the Federal Processor by this date to ensure loan checks are available for disbursement. The FAFSA forms may be picked up in the Financial Aid Office. If eligible, students will receive an Award Letter and Promissory Note within five to seven weeks in the mail indicating the dollar amount of loans and grants that are available to you. Approximately one-third of all applicants are chosen for verification. This requires further financial information which needs to be returned as soon as possible or students may experience a delay in receiving an Award Letter and Promissory Note. (Most students desiring to receive summer financial aid must complete additional paperwork before Fall & Spring semester.)
||The Award Letters and Promissory Notes for loans and grants must be returned to the Financial Aid Office by this date to ensure funds are available during financial aid disbursement.
All first-time loan borrowers attending Southeast Tech must complete their Entrance Counseling on-line at www.mappingyourfuture.org. This is required even if students have previously completed the Entrance Counseling at a different institution or have previously terminated from Southeast Tech.
||Last day financial aid can be filed for the semester.
||Third Party Authorizations need to be returned to the Business Office prior to the fee payment due date. Students are responsible for all charges not covered by their Third Party agreement. Third Party refers to an agency or company that is paying the student’s tuition and/or fees directly to STI, for example: VA, National Guard, JTPA, Voc. Rehab., Sencore.
||Day of financial aid disbursement.
GRANTS do not have to be repaid unless the student terminates from school. Students may need to repay a portion of the Pell Grant back to the school in this situation. Note: Amounts are subject to change.
- Federal Pell Grant. This is the largest federal grant available for undergraduate students. Eligibility and award amounts are determined by the federal government. For the 2013-2014 academic year, the maximum award is $5,645 Amounts are based on enrollment status.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). This is a federally-funded grant for under-graduates who also qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. Awards are generally about $500 a year and are very limited.
LOANS must be repaid.
- Federal Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan. This is the largest source of low interest loans administered by the Department of Education. Eligibility for Federal Direct Student Loans is available to all undergraduate, graduate and professional students who complete the FAFSA. Additional paperwork must be completed to receive the loan.
If a student drops below half time (six credits), the next scheduled loan disbursement will be cancelled. Please notify the Financial Aid Office if your enrollment status changes.
As of July 1, 2008 for dependent students the maximum annual amounts that may be borrowed are: $5,500 for the first year of undergraduate study; $6,500 for the second year of undergraduate study. Amounts will be prorated for periods of enrollment of less than one academic year.
Beginning July 1, 1994, in addition to the Federal Direct Loan limits listed above, independent students (or dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a Federal PLUS Loan) may borrow up to $4,000 per year for the first and second years of undergraduate study under the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan.
The difference between unsubsidized and subsidized Federal Direct Loans is that the federal government does not pay the interest on an unsubsidized loan while the student is in school, and the family contribution is not taken into consideration when determining the student’s eligibility. Repayment of principal and interest does not begin until six months after the student ceases at least half-time attendance.
The interest rate from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 is 3.86 percent for subsidized Direct Student loans, and 3.86 percent for unsubsidized Direct Student loans. Repayment begins six months after graduation, termination of enrollment, or dropping to below half-time enrollment status. Students may be allowed up to ten years to repay based on the amount they have borrowed.
- Direct Federal Parent Loan Program (PLUS). The Direct Federal PLUS program is a source of long-term loans for the parents of dependent undergraduate students. There is no established annual maximum a parent may borrow on behalf of each dependent child; however, the loan amount may not exceed the difference between the cost of attendance and other financial aid. There is no aggregate maximum. For the period beginning July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 the interest rate is 6.41 percent.
However, the Department of Education is authorized to charge the borrower an up-front origination fee of up to 4.0 percent to offset the federal government’s cost of the program. Unless the parent borrower qualifies for a deferment, repayment of the principal and interest must begin 60 days after disbursement.
WORK means earning money.
- Federal Work-Study. Part-time employment can be provided to students who demonstrate financial need and show a desire to work. All positions are at the school and pay $10.00 per hour. As funding is limited, it is critical that you notify the Financial Aid Office if you want to be considered for this program.
- Part-time work. The institution does have a limited number of specialized part-time work experiences. Those opportunities are made known through individual departments.
- Off-campus work. Southeast Tech is pleased to have an excellent working relationship with the Career One Stop Center of South Dakota. A Career One Stop Center representative is located in the Student Success Center whose responsibilities include assisting students to locate part-time work while they are enrolled, and permanent work after graduation. All students are encouraged to visit with this representative regarding full and part-time work experiences.
The mission of the Southeast Tech Foundation includes building scholarship support for Southeast Tech students.
Funds for these scholarships are raised in a variety of ways including community fund drives; faculty, staff and alumni contributions; Memorial, Tribute and Honor Gifts; and earnings on endowed funds.
How to Apply
Southeast Tech Foundation scholarships are offered exclusively to Southeast Tech students. There are many types of scholarships available and we encourage all students to apply. Each donor establishes criteria and eligibility guidelines which include qualities such as academic achievement, financial need, program area, community involvement or participation in student activities. Enrolled and accepted students are notified by e-mail or postcard when scholarship applications become available. Southeast Tech scholarship information is also sent to hundreds of high school counselor offices.
The online application and reference forms are available at www.scholarship.southeasttech.edu from October through mid-March for students who will be attending Southeast Tech the following fall semester. Students who complete the scholarship application process will be considered for all the scholarships for which they are eligible. A volunteer scholarship selection committee completes the selection process and students are notified of the awards by late April. Funds are placed directly into the students’ Business Office accounts in the fall. All students are strongly encouraged to also complete the FAFSA form when making application.
Other Scholarship Sources
A list of scholarships open to Southeast Tech students from other sources with their eligibility criteria and application deadlines are available in the Financial Aid Office. Selected scholarships are also listed under the STInet Campus Life Tab.
Preparatory Coursework (Prerequisites)
Students may apply for a Direct Student or Parent Plus Loan for coursework that Southeast Tech has documented as necessary for students to enroll in an eligible program. These courses must be part of an eligible program otherwise offered by the school. If enrolled at least half time in the prerequisites, students are eligible for loans for one consecutive 12-month period beginning the first day of the loan period.
To be eligible for this exception, students must be taking classes that are a prerequisite for admission. Student cannot take prerequisites to raise their GPA or for any other reason.
Financial Aid Disbursement
Financial Aid information is subject to change at any time due to changes in federal, state, or sponsoring agency regulations. Other important financial aid information is available through the Financial Aid Office for continuing aid, transfer students, and other referral sources.
No financial aid will be made available to students until after the add/drop period. During the add/drop period, students’ attendance will be monitored. At the end of the add/drop period, each student’s enrollment status will be reviewed and their financial aid eligibility will be determined based on that enrollment. Pell Grant will not be adjusted after the add/drop period if enrollment changes. Grants, scholarships, and loans will then be transferred to the student’s account. Once this has been done, “refund” checks will be issued during the financial aid disbursement dates for students with excess financial aid funds after bills have been paid in full. Students without financial assistance will be required to pay any outstanding bills. This will coincide with final fee payment. See Financial Aid chart. Every student must go through the fee payment process. The funds will be used by the Business Office to pay student housing and/or students’ tuition and fees. Staff will verify that they are maintaining academic requirements to remain eligible for financial aid, and that they are carrying enough credit hours to continue their eligibility.
Students taking late start classes only will not receive their financial aid until after the late start classes have started unless the student signs a form in the Financial Aid Office.
Note: New borrowers will be required to complete loan counseling prior to disbursement of their loan funds at www.studentloans.gov
Financial Aid Procedures & Obligations
Southeast Tech has financial aid procedures in place to protect the student as well as the institution. The diagram on the following page indicates by date which steps must be completed for Financial Aid and Third Party Authorizations so we as an institution can better ensure that financial aid is available on a timely basis.
VA Educational Assistance for Veterans
GI Bill Education Benefits
If you are a veteran and enrolled either full or part-time, you may be eligible to receive educational assistance through the GI Bill. VA education benefits may fall into one of these chapters:
- Chapter 30 – Active duty service person
- Chapter 31 – Vocational rehabilitation employment
- Chapter 35 – Veteran’s dependent (spouse, surviving spouse, or child)
- Chapter 1606 – Active selective reservist or National Guardsperson
- Chapter 1607 – REAP (Reserve Educational Assistance Program)
- Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill
For a complete description of each chapter, go to the GI Bill website http://www.gibill.va.gov/.
How do I know if I qualify for benefits and what amount do I qualify for?
Veterans can call the Regional VA office in St. Louis at 1.888.GIBILL1 and speak with an education benefits counselor. You will need to provide your file number to the counselor. For chapter 30, 31, 1606 and 1607, your file number is your social security number. For chapter 35, you will need the file number of the eligible veteran.
How do I become eligible for VA education benefits?
You need to apply for benefits through the VA, which determines your eligibility. The Southeast Tech VA Certifying Officer has applications for most of the chapters, however the VA prefers you apply online at http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/How_to_Apply.htm.
When can I become certified for VA education benefits?
Once you are accepted and registered for classes at Southeast Tech, the VA Certifying Officer will certify you with the VA. If at any time before or during the semester your course load changes, you must notify the Registrar as soon as possible to avoid an overpayment to the VA.
How much will I receive if I qualify for benefits?
The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training, length of service, chapter, and if you receive a ‘kicker’. The benefit payment rates can be found at http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/rates.htm. The Southeast Tech VA representative is unable to give payment rates. Contact the regional VA Office at 1.888.GIBILL1 for your payment rate.
- You must be accepted in a degree program at Southeast Tech
- The VA does not pay for withdraw of course(s) unless the student has mitigating circumstances. If you withdraw from a course you must contact the Registrar at Southeast Tech as soon as possible. Failure to do so will result in an overpayment situation to the VA.
- If you are repeating a course for a better grade (not because you failed the course) that class will not count in your certification for VA benefits.
- If you are changing your major/program, you need to inform the Southeast Tech VA Certifying Officer. The VA requires that paperwork be completed in order to pay benefits for a different major/program.
- Southeast Tech will not submit an enrollment certification to the VA until notified by the student to do so.
- All students receiving Chapter 30, 1606 or 1607 benefits are required to verify their enrollment monthly to receive payments. Verification must be done on the last day of each month enrolled by either the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) application at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do or by calling 1.877.823.2378 and following the prompts. Payment will not be processed until this verification is completed.
- The VA takes up to 10-12 weeks to process an enrollment certification. Keep this in mind when applying for benefits.
- Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. A grade review will take place at the end of the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. A student failing to perform acceptable work may be placed in an academic probation status. A subsequent semester of unsatisfactory progress will result in GI Bill benefits being terminated.
How do I apply for Education Benefits?
- Students applying for GI benefits must first be accepted into a degree program at Southeast Tech.
- Go to the GI Bill website at https://www.gibill.va.gov
- Select Education form from the “Apply Online” menu.
- Select “Start VONAPP” and begin the application process. When you are finished with the end of the application, print a copy and return it to the Southeast Tech Veteran’s Representative in the Southeast Tech Business Office.
If you are a National Guard member applying to use the GI Bill under Chapter 1607 (REAP), please indicate that at the top of the application you return to the Southeast Tech Veteran’s Representative. To expedite the application process, please include a copy of your DD-214.
- Register for your courses and notify your Southeast Tech Veteran’s Representative so an enrollment certification can be submitted to the regional VA processing center.
- When you receive your COE (Certificate of Eligibility) from the Department of Veteran Affairs, you must bring a copy to your Southeast Tech Veteran’s Representative.
- If you are a transfer student who has used the GI Bill at your previous school, obtain a “Change of Program or Place of Training form from your Southeast Tech Veteran’s Representative.
- If you have any questions regarding the application process, contact the Southeast Tech Veteran’s Representative at 605.367.7124
According to regulations governing the federal financial aid programs, a student must be enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certificate and must be making satisfactory academic progress according to the standards and practices of the institution in order to continue to be eligible for the federal programs (Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct, Federal PLUS, and Federal Work-Study), as well as all state and institutional programs. All students participating in federal aid programs must comply with the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress as outlined in this catalog for full-time/part-time status or regardless of program of study. Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as progressing in a positive manner toward fulfilling requirements for the degree or certificate in a given program of study.
Satisfactory progress is the measurement of a student’s performance (credits completed and cumulative grade point average) in meeting the institutional degree requirements.
- Students must successfully complete 67.0% of credits attempted.
- Students must complete with passing grades (A, B, C, and D).Grades of Incomplete (I), Failing (F), Official Withdrawal (W), Audit (AU), No Credit (NC), or high school transfer (AR) do not count toward successful completion. This review takes place after the end of fall, spring and summer terms.
- A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. This review takes place after the end of fall, spring and summer terms.
A student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning who:
- Fails to maintain these standards at the end of the review period.
- Fails to remove himself/herself from Financial Aid Warning, but does complete a term of acceptable academic work.
Note: You must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to graduate.
A student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension who:
- Does not satisfactorily remove himself/herself from Financial Aid Warning and does not complete a term of acceptable academic work.
A student is eligible for Reinstatement of Aid after suspension who:
Has satisfactorily completed acceptable academic work (2.0 GPA and 67.0% completion) in a minimum of 6 credit hours taken in the same semester and at the same institute. All coursework must apply towards the student’s program(s). This student cannot receive financial aid for the period during which eligibility is being reinstated. (Note: SSS 095 Academic Recovery class may count toward the six credit minimum requirement.)
All federal financial aid students must complete their Southeast Tech degree program with credits attempted that are no greater than 150% of the degree requirements. For example, a degree program requiring 64 degree credits completed has a maximum of 96 credit hours attempted for the degree program.
Students placed for the first time on financial aid warning or probation or academic probation are required to take and pass Southeast Tech’s academic recovery course in order to remain a Southeast student. Students who do not take the course and students who fail the course may be permanently removed from their program and from attending STI. STI will automatically register the student for the course. The academic recovery course credits cannot be used in the calculation for full time/part time status for financial aid purposes.
Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension can be granted only in instances in which extenuating circumstances (i.e., medical) can be clearly documented. When a student desires to appeal the Financial Aid Suspension due to extenuating circumstances, he/she must submit a formal appeal to the Financial Aid Office prior to the established deadline. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the letter is submitted prior to the deadline; failure to do so will result in the appeal not being heard. The meeting of the Financial Aid Committee for the purpose of hearing appeals will be held on an as-needed basis. The student will be notified immediately of the decision of the Committee, including any stipulations or recommendations accompanying the reinstatement of aid. A letter reiterating the Committee’s decision will be sent to the student after the decision has been made.
Students may only appeal suspension once during the entire time of the attendance at Southeast Tech. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation or warning.
Reinstatement of financial aid does not imply waiver of any other school policy, rule, regulation, procedure, etc.
Calculation of Refunds & Earned Financial Aid
A student who officially withdraws from Southeast Tech earns his or her financial aid based on the period of time he or she remained enrolled. Students who terminate their enrollment from Southeast Tech earn their financial aid according to the following formula.
During the first 60% of the semester, a student ‘earns’ Title IV Funds in direct proportion to the length of time he or she has remained enrolled. The percentage of enrolled time is derived by dividing the number of days the student attended(based on the date of an official termination form is submitted to the Registrar) by the number of days in the semester. The calculation uses calendar days and not actual class days. A tuition refund percentage chart is available in the Business Office upon request.
All federal funds returned are distributed in the following order:
1. Direct Unsubsidized Loan
2. Direct Subsidized Loan
3. Parent Plus Loan
4. Federal Pell Grant
Grade Levels for Financial Aid
Associate of Applied Science Degrees and two-year diplomas with 89 Credits or Less
|1st year students
|2nd year students
||28 or more credits
Associate of Applied Science Degrees with 90 Credits or More
|1st year students
|2nd year students
||32 or more credits
Diplomas or certificates
1st year students throughout the program