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Gainesville State College offers a comprehensive program of financial aid that recognizes the specific needs and talents of its students. The Gainesville State College Foundation, along with federal, state, and private agencies, provides funding for GSC’s financial aid programs.
A student may be eligible for financial aid under the following conditions:
- A student must be admitted to GSC as a regular, transfer or transient student in a degree or certificate program.
- A student must make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree or certificate.
- A student must be enrolled in and attend courses offered through GSC.
- A student must be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- A student must register for the Selective Service, if required.
- A student must not be in default on any Federal Loan, nor owe a balance on any Federal or State Grant.
Students enrolled in certificate programs are not eligible for federal aid, but may apply for the HOPE Grant.
Students attending GSC as joint enrolled students may receive financial assistance through the State of Georgia ACCEL Program. However, joint enrollment students who do not participate in ACCEL are not eligible for financial aid.
Students attending GSC as transient students may be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship if they are eligible at their HOME institution. Transient students should contact the Financial Aid Office of their HOME institution to request that a ‘HOPE Scholarship Eligibility Certificate for Transient Study’ be sent to the Financial Aid Office of GSC.
Students attending GSC as special students in paralegal studies or education courses needed for state certification may qualify for financial aid. Contact the GSC Financial Aid Office for more information.
How to Apply for Aid
All students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at least once. The FAFSA is used to determine student eligibility for Federal Grants, Direct Student Loans, Work-Study, State Scholarships/Grants and GSC Foundation Scholarships. The FAFSA must be completed each year to determine a student’s eligibility for federal aid.
The State Scholarship Application (GSFAPPS) should be completed by students who receive a HOPE GED Voucher or who want to be considered for the HOPE Scholarship, the Zell Miller Scholarship or the HOPE Grant.
Both the GSFAPPS and the FAFSA are accessible online at http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/finaid/.
Many types of aid require that a student’s financial need be calculated before financial aid can be awarded. Information from the FAFSA is used in a federal formula to determine an EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC). Along with an estimated COST OF ATTENDANCE (tuition, fees, and allowances for books, supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses), a student’s financial need is determined as follows:
FINANCIAL NEED = COST OF ATTENDANCE - EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION
Any hours for audited courses are not counted as part of the total number of hours used to determine Federal Aid eligibility.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
All types of financial aid require that a student make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree or certificate. To be viewed as making Satisfactory Academic Progress a student must (a) have a minimum 2.0 institutional grade point average (GPA), (b) successfully complete 67% of all college-level coursework attempted at GSC, and (c) finish their educational program before attempting 150% of the number of hours required for the program.
Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
The U.S. Department of Education mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving financial aid. Gainesville State College applies these standards to all applicants for federal financial aid, state financial aid and GSC Foundation Scholarships. Students who fail to meet one or more of the criteria listed below are not making SAP and may lose financial aid eligibility. Determination of SAP will be made at the completion of each Semester.
A. Grade Point Average Requirements - To be eligible for financial aid, a student must have “the equivalent of a C average.” At GSC, this is defined as an institutional grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0. Grades for which the student has been granted Academic Renewal and grades for repeated courses will be included. Grades for Learning Support (LS) and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses will not be included.
B. Pace of Progression Requirements - Student financial aid recipients must show measurable progress toward earning a degree or certificate. This is achieved by successfully completing at least sixty-seven percent (67%) of all college level courses attempted at GSC and courses accepted by GSC as earned transfer credit.
Cumulative Completed Hours
Completion Rate = ______________________________ *100%
Cumulative Attempted Hours
Semester hours completed will be those college level courses in which a grade of A, B, C, or D was received. Hours attempted will include all college level courses in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, I, NR, W, or WF was received. Hours for repeated courses and hours for which a student has been granted Academic Renewal will be included in the completed hours and/or attempted hours totals. Hours for coursework receiving a grade of K, along with any Learning Support and English as a Second Language courses will not be included.
Transcripts from all previously attended institutions will be required to determine the number of hours GSC accepts as earned transfer hours. Grades reported as “In Progress” on a transcript will delay the processing of financial aid until the final transcript is received and reviewed.
C. Maximum Length of Study - Federal regulations require that schools measure a student’s pace of progression to ensure the completion of their program of study within the established maximum length of study. Eligible students may receive financial aid for up to 150% of the college level course hours required for a degree or certificate. Hours for repeated courses and hours for which a student has been granted Academic Renewal will be counted as part of the maximum length of study. Transfer credits accepted by GSC as earned hours will be counted as part of the maximum length of study.
Hours for coursework receiving a grade of K, along with any Learning Support and English as a Second Language courses will not be included. However, students are allowed to receive financial aid for no more than 30 semester hours of Learning Support courses. Also, a student who completes the academic requirements for a program, but has not yet applied for graduation is no longer eligible for financial aid.
Once a student exceeds the maximum length of study, they will no longer be considered making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their program of study and will not be eligible for financial aid. If a review of a student’s attempted hours at any point makes it clear that they cannot mathematically finish their program within the maximum time frame, they become ineligible for financial aid at that point. Students, in either case, have the right to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the GSC Financial Aid Office to request an extension.
Program Maximum Length of Study *
First Associate Degree 96 semester hours
First Certificate 150% of the certificate’s required hours
First Bachelor Degree 180 semester hours
*The Maximum Length of Study does not extend beyond the completion of coursework for a degree or certificate.
Students with prior certificates or degrees are given additional time to pursue new educational goals. A total of two degrees or certificates at the same level will be allowed.
Program Maximum Length of Study*
Second Associate Degree 20 additional semester hours/ 115 total
Second Certificate Up to 63 hours for both certificates
Second Bachelor Degree 60 additional semester hours / 240 total
*The Maximum Length of Study does not extend beyond the completion of the second degree or second certificate.
Monitoring Satisfactory Academic Progress - Determination of SAP will be made at the completion of each semester. Students who do not meet the SAP Standards will be classified as follows.
A. Financial Aid Warning - A student who fails to meet SAP Standards and has never been on financial aid warning at GSC will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. The student may continue to receive financial aid for one term. At the end of that term, the student must be meeting SAP Standards to continue receiving financial aid. If the student has not regained Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their program of study, they will lose eligibility for financial aid unless an appeal is granted.
B. Financial Aid Appeal - After completing one semester on Financial Aid Warning without meeting SAP Standards, the student has the right to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the GSC Financial Aid Office. This appeal form and supporting documentation will be used to determine if there were extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s inability to attain the SAP Standard. The SAP Appeal Committee will make a decision in one of three ways:
1. The student could be granted Financial Aid Probation for one term. Like the Financial Aid Warning, the student will continue to receive financial aid for one term. At the end of that term, the student must be meeting SAP Standards to continue receiving financial aid. Failure to meet SAP Standards will result in the student being denied financial aid for future terms until they are once again meeting SAP Standards.
2. The student could be placed on an Academic Plan that will be designed to ensure that the student will be able to meet SAP Standards by a specific point in time. Failure to meet SAP Standards during any semester of an Academic Plan will result in the student being denied financial aid for future terms until they are once again meeting SAP Standards.
3. The student could be denied further financial aid until they are considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their program of study.
The decision of the SAP Appeal Committee is final.
C. Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility - Once eligibility for financial aid has been denied, a student can only regain eligibility by meeting SAP Standards. A previously denied student who meets minimum GPA and pace progression requirements, but has exceeded the maximum length of study, cannot regain eligibility.
When an Aid Recipient Withdraws from College
Federal regulations require recipients of the Federal Grants and Direct Student Loans to repay a portion of the Federal funds they received if they initiate a withdrawal from college before 60% of the semester has elapsed.
To initiate withdrawal, the student must contact the Registrar’s Office. The repayment amount is determined using a Federal formula and depends on the amount of Federal funds the student received as well as the percentage of the semester the student completed prior to withdrawal. (Students who discontinue attendance without officially withdrawing will have their repayment amount determined based on the last day of attendance or at the midpoint of the semester, if the dates of attendance cannot be determined.)
A student will have forty-five days from the date of withdrawal to repay the amount owed. Failure to repay by the forty-five day deadline will result in the student being ineligible for any future Federal, State, or Institutional student aid. Subsequent payments would have to be made directly to the U.S. Department of Education. Failure to repay will keep a student from receiving Federal Aid at other institutions as well.
The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to students with financial need who have not earned a Bachelor’s or Professional Degree. The information from the FAFSA is reviewed by the Department of Education, using a formula established by Congress, to evaluate each application and determine the student’s eligibility.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is offered to Pell Grant recipients who show extreme need. While there is no guarantee every eligible student will receive this grant, students are awarded based upon the availability of funds at the time financial aid awards are packaged at Gainesville State College.
State Scholarships and Grants
HOPE SCHOLARSHIPS are awarded to new graduates from eligible high schools who meet all Georgia residency requirements and the 3.0 grade point average requirements as determined from high school transcripts received by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). A student who was not originally a HOPE Scholar may earn the HOPE Scholarship if they have graduated high school within the last seven years and have at least a 3.0 HOPE GPA after attempting 30 semester hours of coursework. For additional information on the HOPE Scholarship, refer to www.GACollege411.org or contact the Hotline by dialing 1-800-505-GSFC.
Note: HOPE Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 HOPE GPA and a 67% completion rate of all coursework attempted at GSC. The HOPE GPA and the GSC GPA may not be equivalent if the student has taken Learning Support classes prior to Fall 2011 or has transfer credits. The HOPE GPA is checked at the end of every Spring Semester and after attempting 30, 60, and 90 semester hours of coursework. [Part-time students (less than six semester hours per term) will have their first HOPE GPA checkpoint after three semesters.]
ZELL MILLER SCHOLARSHIPS are awarded to incoming freshmen who meet all Georgia residency requirements, the 3.7 grade point average requirements as determined from high school transcripts received by the Georgia Student Finance Commission, and at least a 1200 on the Math and Reading portions of the SAT or a 26 composite score on the ACT. For additional information on the Zell Miller Scholarship, refer to www.GACollege411.org or contact the HOPE Scholarship Hotline by dialing 1-800-505-GSFC.
Note: Zell Miller Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.3 HOPE GPA and a 67% completion rate of all coursework attempted at GSC. The Zell Miller GPA, the HOPE and the GSC GPA may not be equivalent if the student has taken Learning Support classes or has transfer credits. The Zell Miller and HOPE GPAs are checked at the end of every Spring Semester and after attempting 30, 60, and 90 semester hours of coursework [Part-time students(less than six semester hours per term) will have their first checkpoint after three semesters.]
HOPE GRANTS are awarded to eligible students classified as Georgia residents who enroll in approved certificate programs and who have not earned a Bachelor’s or Professional Degree. HOPE Grant recipients must have a 3.0 GPA at the completion of 30 attempted semester hours. For additional information on the HOPE Grant, refer to www.GACollege411.org or contact the Hotline by dialing 1-800-505-GSFC.
For all State Scholarships and Grants, the State Scholarship Application (GSFAPPS) should be completed online. Access is available on our website at http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/finaid/.
The ACCEL Program is for students classified as high school juniors and seniors at accredited public or private high schools in the state of Georgia. The program allows students to pursue postsecondary study at approved public, private and technical colleges while receiving dual high school and college credit for courses successfully completed.
There are three steps to apply for ACCEL:
- Apply for admission to Gainesville State College at http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/.
- Apply for ACCEL online through the Georgia Student Finance Commission at www.GACollege411.org.
- Contact your high school counselor to set up your class schedule.
Gainesville State College Foundation Scholarships
GSC FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS assist the gifted student (actor, artist, debater, musician, scholar, student leader, or writer), the needy student, and those who meet specific scholarship criteria. Students accepted at GSC and applying for financial aid will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office with instructions on how to apply for GSC Foundation Scholarships.
Students are awarded the BASE annual amount for a Federal Direct Loan, as determined by their grade level.
||BASE Annual Amount
|Freshman (less than 30 earned hours)
|Sophomore (30 earned hours or more)
|Junior/Senior in a Bachelor’s Program
The BASE Amount will be awarded as a Subsidized Direct Loan, an Unsubsidized Direct Loan, or a combination of the two.
The federal government subsidizes (or pays) the interest on the Subsidized Direct Loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time (6 hours). A Subsidized Direct Loan is awarded to eligible students who show financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Subsidized loans are always awarded to eligible students before unsubsidized loans.
With an Unsubsidized Direct Loan, the student is responsible for paying the interest on the loan from the date that the loan is made. The student has the option of paying the interest while enrolled or letting the interest accrue.
Students are allowed to request additional Unsubsidized Direct Loans, as determined by their dependency status on the FAFSA.
Additional Unsubsidized Loan
||Up to $2,000 annually
|Dependent with a PLUS Denial
||Up to $6,000 annually
||Up to $6,000 annually
|Independent in a Bachelor’s Program
||Up to $7,000 annually
When a completed file is reviewed, the BASE Amount will automatically be placed on a student’s financial aid package. The loan amount can be deleted or reduced using the Financial Aid Award Tab on the student’s Banner Web account, which becomes active when the student is accepted at GSC. Any requests for additional Unsubsidized Direct Loans must be made by the student through their Banner Web account, using the Comment Box on their Financial Aid Award page.
The FEDERAL WORK-STUDY PROGRAM funds part-time employment in various on- and off-campus work settings for students showing financial need. Students will be notified if they are eligible for the Federal Work-Study Program.
The INSTITUTIONAL WORK-AID PROGRAM, funded by the College, provides on-campus jobs for students who may or may not show financial need. The availability of jobs is dependent on the needs and resources of the institution.
A listing of Federal Work-Study, Institutional Work-Aid, and OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES can be found on the Job Board on the GSC Counseling & Career Services web page at www.gsc.edu/campuslife/career/
THE TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TAP) is available to full-time benefits-eligible employees of the University System of Georgia who have successfully completed at least six months of employment in a benefits-eligible position, as of the date of the TAP application deadline for the desired academic semester. For further information, contact Human Resources.
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS are available to students who are eligible reservists, veterans, or dependents (spouses and children) of veterans who were killed, disabled or listed as missing as a result of service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Unless otherwise specified as a condition of a scholarship, the application of scholarships is not restricted to tuition and fee payment only, and funds may be used for supplementary educational expenses. However, scholarships may restrict application to tuition and fees only. VA certification of enrollment begins the first day of the semester and ends the last day of scheduled exams for the semester. For further information, students should consult the GSC Financial Aid website at http://www.gsc.edu/admissions/finaid/ or contact the Veterans Administration (1-888-442-4551).
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE is available to certain individuals with physical or mental limitations. To apply, students should contact their local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, a division of the Georgia Department of Human Resources.