Southeast Tech Financial Aid Office
The Financial Aid Office is located in the Mickelson Center. Southeast Tech assures that its financial aid representatives maintain the proper qualifications and training for their respective positions. A minimum of an associate’s degree (bachelor’s degree preferred) is required for those individuals who directly work to process and review financial aid records, requirements and awards. It is preferred by the college that these individuals have three-years of experience in the financial aid field prior to hire. Representatives continue to develop their skills through appropriate financial aid training and professional development. Southeast Tech strives to provide the highest quality representatives in order to meet the needs of our students.
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is available to eligible students to help pay the cost of attending post-secondary education. Funding comes from federal and state government as well as private lenders, foundations and agencies, and Southeast Tech.
Who is Eligible?
Student 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).
Eligibility for other aid, such as state, local, Southeast Tech, or employer tuition assistance, is based upon criteria developed by the specific government or private entity. Students should contact the appropriate organization for more details.
The amount of federal financial aid eligibility (as well as eligibility for many other types of student aid) is dependent upon the student’s full-time/part-time enrollment status.
Fall, Spring and Summer Terms
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.
Note: Financial Aid is NOT available for audited classes. The SSS 095 Strategies for Class does not 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 into 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 student financial aid 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
An application for federal financial aid must be filed online each year at www.fafsa.gov or by completing the paper “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. A paper application can be downloaded at www.studentaid.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)
||If eligible, students will receive an Award Letter Packet within a few days in the mail indicating the dollar amount of loans and grants that are available to you. Approximately one-third to one-half of all applicants are chosen for verification. This requires further information and documentation before a student can receive an Award Letter Packet. (Students desiring to receive summer financial aid must complete additional paperwork before Fall & Spring semesters.)
|| Awards accepted and MPN for loans completed 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.studentloans.gov.
||Day of financial aid disbursement.
There are three types of federal program funding:
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 2021-2022 academic year, the maximum award is $6,495. 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, 2020 through June 30, 2021 is 2.75% for subsidized Direct Student loans, and 2.75% 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, 2020 through June 30, 2021 the interest rate is 5.30%.
However, the Department of Education is authorized to charge the borrower an up-front origination fee of up to 4.228% 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 $11.00 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’s Career Center is available to assist students in locating part-time work while they are enrolled, and permanent work after graduation. All students are encouraged to visit with the Career Center representative regarding full and part-time work experiences.
Southeast Tech provides a variety of scholarship opportunities for students. External scholarships are also available to help students offset the costs of their education. Information on these scholarships and how to apply can be found on our website. All students applying for scholarships are strongly encouraged to also complete the FAFSA form.
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. Students 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 student tuition and fees. Staff will verify that students are maintaining academic requirements to remain eligible for financial aid, and that students are carrying enough credit hours to continue their eligibility.
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 Financial Aid Important Dates table indicates by date which steps must be completed for Financial Aid and Third Party Authorizations so the institution can better ensure that financial aid is available on a timely basis.
VA Educational Benefits for Veterans
If you are a veteran and enrolled either full or part-time, you may be eligible to receive educational assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs. 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 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 VA Education Benefits and what amount do I qualify for?
Veterans can call the Regional VA office in St. Louis at 1.888.GIBILL1 / 1-888-442-4551 and speak with an education benefits counselor. You will need to provide your file number to the counselor. For chapter 30, 31, 33, and 1606, 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 the applications; however, the VA prefers you apply online at www.vets.gov.
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 your enrollment with the VA. If at any time before or during the semester your course load changes, you must notify the Southeast Tech Certifying Officer as soon as possible to avoid an overpayment or underpayment from the VA.
How much will I receive if I qualify for VA Education 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 Certifying Officer 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 School Certifying Official 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 or 1606 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 http://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.
- VA could take 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 VA Education Benefits?
- Students should first discuss their education aspirations with their unit’s Education Service Officer (ESO) or counselor within their Military Service prior to enrollment.
- Students applying for VA Education benefits must first be accepted into a degree program at Southeast Tech.
- Go to the http://www.vets.gov website to apply for VA Education benefits.
- Select Apply for Education Benefits and follow the steps as provided.
If you are a National Guard member applying to use the Education benefits under Chapter 1606, please indicate that at the top of the application you return to the Southeast Tech Veteran’s Certifying Officer. 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 Certifying Officer.
- If you are a transfer student who has used the Education Benefits at your previous school, obtain a “Change of Program or Place of Training” form (VA form 22-1995) from your Southeast Tech Veteran’s Certifying Officer.
- If you have any questions regarding the application process, contact the Southeast Tech Veteran’s Certifying Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 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 (SAP) as outlined in the Southeast Tech academic catalog for full-time and part-time status and regardless of program of study. SAP is defined as progressing in a positive manner toward fulfilling requirements for the degree or certificate in a given program of study.
Please note that other entities providing funding for students may require the student to maintain a certain number of credits and/or cumulative grade point average (GPA). This includes, but is not limited to, funding from Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Labor and Regulation, Tribal Funding, Southeast Tech Foundation Scholarships, and scholarships from outside organizations.
SAP is the measurement of a student’s performance (credits completed and cumulative GPA) in meeting the institutional degree or certificate requirements.
Southeast Tech manages SAP for both academics and financial aid. The same SAP standards are applicable to both areas. Thus, if a student is suspended for academics, he/she is also suspended for financial aid.
- A student must successfully complete 67.0% of credits attempted.
- Credits completed = all coursework where credit is earned with a grade A, B, C, D, CR, or P.
- Credits attempted = all coursework where credits were completed PLUS all coursework with a grade of AU, I, F, W, and NC.
- A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
- A student must complete his/her program within the maximum timeframe (150% of credits needed).
Note: A student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to graduate.
Southeast Tech reviews SAP at the end of each academic term.
A student will be placed on Warning who meets the following conditions:
- Fails to maintain these standards at the end of the review period.
A student on financial aid warning is required to take a strategies for success course at Southeast Tech.
A student will be placed on Suspension who meets the following conditions:
- Fails to remove himself/herself from Financial Aid Warning even though he/she has completed a term of acceptable academic work.
- Does not satisfactorily remove himself/herself from Financial Aid Warning and does not complete a term of acceptable academic work.
Suspension means that the student is no longer allowed to enroll at Southeast Tech or receive federal financial aid.
Reinstatement of Aid
A student is eligible for Reinstatement of Aid after suspension who meets the following conditions:
- Has satisfactorily completed acceptable academic work to meet the minimum standards of SAP. The option to transfer in a successful semester from different school may only be used once while a student is attending Southeast Tech. All coursework must apply towards the student’s program(s).
- A student placed on warning or probation is required to take Southeast Tech’s strategies for success course course. The strategies for success course course credits cannot be used in the calculation for full-time or part-time status for financial aid purposes.
Academic Circumstances that Affect A Student’s Status:
Incomplete // “F” Grades // Withdrawals:
Incomplete grades, “F” grades, and withdrawals will reduce the completion ratio, because they are counted as attempted but not earned credits. They also count against the maximum attempted hours for a student’s degree (150 percent rule). If an Incomplete grade is not completed within the required timeframe and becomes an “F,” or if a student withdraws from a class, or a receives a failing grade in any required class, the student will usually need to repeat the class. The repeated credits will be used to determine the amount of successfully completed classes. If an Incomplete grade changes to a grade after the SAP review has been completed, the grade change will be reflected as necessary. An Incomplete grade that is later completed for a grade can potentially increase a student’s GPA and/or increase the successful completion percentage.
Change of Program (without graduating from a program) or Adding an Addition Program(s):
If a student changes or adds additional programs, the prior credits and grades that do count toward the new program are included in the SAP evaluation.
Non-credit remedial coursework does not count toward quantitative or qualitative standards. For-credit remedial coursework does count toward quantitative and qualitative standards.
A student may repeat a completed course one time and receive federal aid for the retake. Individual programs may have course requirements that are stricter than the Department of Education requirements for satisfactory progress. Repeated coursework does count toward maximum timeframe (150 percent rule) and toward GPA requirement of satisfactory progress.
Withdrawals will count toward attempted credits and toward maximum timeframe (150 percent rule).
Dismissal and Return:
A students who is suspended or choose not to attend because of SAP failure will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon his or her return. A student must meet both qualitative and quantitative standards of SAP. Absence does not restore eligibility for financial aid or academic acceptance. It remains the responsibility of the student to be knowledgeable of his or her SAP status when returning to school after dismissal or choosing not to return because of SAP failure.
Summer Term Courses:
All hours attempted and completed in the summer term are treated as any other semester hours in determining SAP status. SAP will be checked following the summer term.
Maximum Financial Aid for Program(s)
The maximum timeframe a student can receive federal aid for each undergraduate program in credit hours is a period no longer that 150 percent of the published length of the program in credit hours. For example, a degree program requiring 64 degree credits to complete the degree has a maximum of 96 credit hours attempted in which the student can receive federal aid.
Coursework that a student transfers to Southeast Tech will be evaluated and included on the transcript only for credits that apply toward the student’s Southeast Tech degree. Transfer credits must meet the minimum academic standard of the degree. Transfer credits will count toward earned and attempted cumulative credits in relation to the 150 percent maximum timeframe rule.
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/warning. Students are required to take a strategies for success course at Southeast Tech.
Reinstatement of financial aid does not imply waiver of any other school policy, rule, regulation, procedure, etc.
Calculation of Refunds & Earned Financial Aid
Return to Title IV Fund Policy
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 that 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.
If a student did not receive all of the funds that he/she had earned, he/she may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the school must get the student’s permission before disbursing the funds. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so as not to incur additional debt. The school may automatically use all or a portion of a student’s post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees. The school needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If a student does not give his/her permission, the funds will be offered to the student. However, it may be in a student’s best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce any debt at the school.
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
The school must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of determination.
• left Southeast Tech without completing the required termination paperwork, and
• stopped attending classes before the 60% mark of the semester, and
• received no earned grades (passing or failing)
are generally considered unofficial withdraws.
Unofficial withdraws will receive failing grades for all their coursework and their withdrawal date will be considered the midpoint of the semester. A 50% Return of Title IV funds will be calculated for unofficial withdraw students who received financial aid for that semester. These funds will be sent back to the Department of Education. No other return of funds are provided for unofficial withdraws, either to the student or other agencies.
Please note: When an unofficial withdraw is applied, Southeast Tech has the right to bill the student for the federal funds that are sent back to the Department of Education. Also note that students who receive at least one A, B, C, D, P, I or earned F grade in a given semester will not be considered an unofficial withdraw for that semester.
Grade Levels for Financial Aid
Remedial classes do not count to advance grade levels.
Associate of Applied Science Degrees and two-year Diplomas
|1st year students
|2nd year students
||30 or more credits
One year Diploma programs (less than 68 credits)
1st year students throughout the program
Information for possible change or increased eligibility must be initiated by the student. These include, but not limited to, change in grade level or change in satisfactory academic progress.
150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit (SULA)
A borrower’s Maximum Eligibility Period is a period of time that is equal to 150% of the published length of the student’s academic program. The Department of Education will calculate a borrower’s Maximum Eligibility Period using information that is provided by the borrower’s school to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System and to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Pell Grant Lifetime Limit
Twelve semester equivalency is calculated by adding the annual percentages of a student’s scheduled award that was disbursed to the student. The total of the annual percentages is the student’s Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) limit. When a student reaches 600% LEU, he/she has reached his/her Federal Pell Grant eligibility limit.
Maximum Financial Aid for Program(s)
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.
Federal Policy Regarding Federal Student Aid and Drug Convictions
A student convicted of a federal or state drug offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV (federal) financial aid is ineligible for federal student aid (FSA). The period ineligibility for FSA funds: