What is financial aid?
Worried about paying for your education? Concerned that you and your family can’t cover all of the costs of attending college? You’re not alone. More than 78 percent of SFA students rely on some type of financial aid to help them pay for tuition, housing and other expenses.
Financial aid can take the form of scholarships, grants, a work-study program or student loans. The aid package you receive depends on several factors, including your unique financial situation and the type of funding available.
SFA’s Office of Student Financial Assistance can answer your questions and tell you about assistance opportunities, from scholarships to our Purple Promise assistance program. And we’ll be there to guide you through every step of the application process.
Who is eligible for aid?
Financial aid eligibility and the amount of awards are based on a family’s demonstrated economic need. Basically, financial aid is meant to cover the difference between what you and your family can contribute to your education expenses each year and any college costs (your tuition, fees, room and board, supplies) that exceed that contribution. It picks up where your family’s ability to pay leaves off.
How do I apply for aid?
Whether you’re applying for a grant, loan, scholarship or work study program, you’ll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and make sure you meet certain academic and financial requirements. But don’t worry, financial aid isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and we’re here to help you before, during and after the application process.
Learn more about how to successfully submit your FAFSA on the Applying for Aid page.
There is no charge for completing the FAFSA. You may receive communications from companies or organizations offering to help you complete your FAFSA for a fee. Please do not pay anyone to complete your FAFSA.
Summer is a continuation of the current school year. Federal loan and Pell Grant eligibility in the summer is based on the remaining eligibility after fall and spring. Pell Grant eligible students can receive up to 150% of their scheduled Pell award each year. If you were a Pell eligible student in fall 2020 and/or spring 2021, you may qualify for a Pell Grant for summer 2021!
Summer Pell Grant eligibility is determined by: Having a 2020-2021 FAFSA, being enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours, meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, being Pell Grant eligible.
Summer financial aid awards will be made only if and when a student enrolls for at least six credit hours (both undergraduates and graduates) during the summer.
Students must be degree-seeking (as opposed to a visiting or transient student) and be enrolled in classes that count towards their degree plan in order to receive summer financial aid.
- Example One:
- You are a music major and want to take mythology. If mythology is not listed on your degree plan as a course requirement or elective that will apply towards graduation, then financial aid cannot pay for that class.
- Example Two:
- You are enrolled in 12 hours for the summer. However, six of those hours are for classes that are not on your degree plan. Financial aid will adjust and only pay for the six hours that are on your degree plan. You will then receive a half-time budget, not a full-time budget.
All students must be meeting the conditions of the SAP policy. SAP will be determined at the end of spring 2021 once grades are posted. If a student has already been awarded summer aid and you are not making SAP, the award will be canceled.
All summer financial aid will be disbursed in two separate disbursements.
If you are only taking classes during the second part of term (second 8-weeks, 6-weeks or 4-weeks sessions), aid will not be disbursed until June 28 and 29. You must be enrolled for at least six credit hours for this term in order to qualify for aid.
If you withdraw from any summer class, it will impact your eligibility for financial aid. The level of financial assistance will change if it was awarded prior to the time of the drop.
It is your responsibility to contact our office to discuss any changes in summer enrollment. We encourage you to contact your financial aid counselor before dropping any classes. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your student information and any questions.
Enrollment will be checked for all students enrolled in any summer parts of term. If you do not complete at least six hours for the entire summer term, all summer financial aid will be canceled. Your aid will be canceled even if you have received a refund. Full-time enrollment for summer is 12 hours for an undergraduate student and nine hours for a graduate student.
For the purpose of awarding financial aid, summer school is considered to be the end of the school year. Therefore, the eligibility of each student aid applicant for student aid funds for summer school is based upon each student’s remaining annual limits for grants and loans. Students who receive their maximum grant (such as Pell) and/or loan eligibility for the fall and spring semesters may not have any remaining eligibility for summer financial aid. Students wishing to receive funds for summer school should enroll as early as possible. Most grant program funding for summer is limited.
In addition, eligibility for summer financial aid requires that a student be enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours during the summer. Full-time enrollment is 12 hours for the summer term. Dropped courses and withdrawals may result in a reduction or cancellation of your summer awards or a repayment of funds already disbursed. Summer aid recipients should contact the Financial Aid Office and speak to a counselor prior to altering summer schedules.
SAP will be completed after Spring 2021 grades are posted May 12. Any student not meeting the SAP policy who has had financial aid awarded for Summer 2021 will have their financial aid cancelled immediately and therefore may owe a bill for summer. Detailed information on SAP can be found at Satisfactory Academic Progress policy page.
Short-term loans will be available for summer.
Parent loan information
Due to the credit expiration date determined by the Department of Education, your parents must complete a new Direct PLUS credit application for the summer term.
If your parent does not apply for parent loan for fall/spring terms, they must complete a credit application and a Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note (eMPN) at the Department of Education’s website.
How to apply for summer aid
Students must complete a 2020-2021 FAFSA. This application can be completed at studentaid.gov. Students must submit this application no later than June 30. Students must also complete the verification process if selected.
Stay informed with mySFA
What is mySFA? It’s your go-to site for registering for classes, paying tuition, getting grades and much, much more. It’s also your connection to financial assistance.
Your mySFA account provides you with real-time access to view requested documents or awards, as well as a way to check for holds and other messages. You can also review our tools and information section for other handy information. If you do not have a financial aid tab in mySFA, this means that SFA has not yet received your FAFSA application from the Department of Education. If you feel there is ever an error with FAFSA processing, please contact our office.
We’ll send all of your financial aid communications to your mySFA email address. If you’re a financial assistance applicant or recipient, we recommend checking your mySFA email at least once a week, so you can respond to messages and make sure your financial aid processing isn’t delayed. If you receive financial aid offers, you’ll need to accept them within 60 days of receiving your award notice within your mySFA account.
Financial aid for transfer students
If you received a TEXAS (Towards EXcellence, Access and Success) Grant at your previous school, you might be able to renew those awards at SFA. To find out, send an email to email@example.com with your name, ID number, type of award received and the college or university you were attending when you received it.
Financial aid for study abroad
If you are interested in a study abroad program, you may check with our office to find out if you have financial aid eligibility available for the trip. To find out more information regarding potential scholarships and general information about study abroad, visit the Office of International Programs Study Abroad webpage.