Can I get help with the FAFSA?
The Financial Aid office schedules regular workshops throughout the semester to help students complete the FAFSA online. Students with scheduling difficulties or special circumstances can make an appointment for help with the FAFSA at the Educational Opportunity Center located next to Sears in San Jacinto Mall. (832.556.4506). If you are completing the FAFSA on your own, please include our school code (003583) on your application. Please ensure that you are completing the application at www.fafsa.gov, as it is the approved free site with all the current processes and calculations.
Why do I need parent’s information?
The Department of Education has determined that a student’s parents are primarily responsible for their child’s education. Students generally are allowed 6 years to earn a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, the Department of Education added those 6 years to the age of 18, and has declared that 24 is the age a student can become independent.
How/where can I apply for financial aid?
The quickest way to apply is at www.fafsa.gov. A paper FAFSA can be completed and mailed, but it will take about twice as long to process, and it does not help you correct errors before submission. Paper FAFSAs can be requested from the Department of Education.
Why can’t the Financial Aid Office tell me what I can qualify for before I file my FAFSA?
The formula used to calculate the EFC from the FAFSA is very complicated and has many variables besides income, such as household size, the number of students in college, the state tax base (based on the student’s and/or parent’s state of residency), and allowance percentages that differ from one-income families to two-income families. The Financial Aid staff needs to see the ISIR or SAR before any aid estimates can be discussed. Also, the availability of some funds changes throughout the year.
When can I get financial aid?
You may apply for financial aid at any time. You must complete a FAFSA for each new school year. To ensure that your funds are available for the fall semester, you should complete your FAFSA by April 15, so we can have your file processed by our June 1 deadline. If you are not starting school until January, the deadline is Nov. 1. If you are enrolling in summer classes, the deadline is March 1. Financial aid will be posted to our database as pending when you have completed the process, and funds will be applied to your account after the 12th class day for the fall and spring semesters, and after the fourth class day for summer sessions. See the disbursement and refund schedule.
How much financial aid can I receive?
The total financial aid cannot exceed the cost of attendance or budget. Your budget can be provided for you once the financial aid process is complete. We may not be able to cover the whole amount, depending on the funds Lee College has available.
The average annual budget is approximately $13,000 a year for a student living with a parent. For students who have dependents or who live off-campus, the annual average is about $22,000-$24,000.
How long is the financial aid process?
Once the student submits the FAFSA, it takes the Department of Education two to three weeks to process an electronic application, and six to eight weeks to process a paper application.
The student receives his/her SAR at about the same time that the school receives an ISIR. The ISIR will tell us if we need to request other documents in order to determine your financial aid eligibility. If no additional documents are needed, the student should be mailed an award letter packet within two weeks of the date we receive the ISIR.
If we need documents, they will usually be reviewed within 4-6 weeks or less of receiving them, and either an award letter will be generated or further processing, such as correcting information against what we receive, or submitting information to other agencies. Again, when the further processing is completed within two weeks of that date, an award letter will usually be generated.
With the award letter, the student receives a copy of an acknowledgement form.
Are there any financial aid deadlines?
Yes, the priority deadline for Summer 2 and Fall are April 15 each year. We would then need all the documents necessary and be able to award the student by June 1 to guarantee funds would be ready by the August payment deadline.
The spring deadline for students only applying for financial aid for that semester will be Nov. 1 each year.
The deadline for summer aid requests is March 1.
STUDENTS MAY APPLY LATE AND STILL BE ELIGIBLE BUT FUNDS MAY NOT BE READY BY THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER.
I submitted my FAFSA late (for fall that is after June 1); will my funds be ready in time for the beginning of the semester?
Generally speaking, they will not be ready. A lucky few who do not need any further documents, and who turn in the acknowledgement form right away in July, may have aid in the system in time to pay for their fall classes. Follow up with the Financial Aid office, because you may be responsible for your tuition and fees as well as books until we can fully process your aid application.
Did I get financial aid?
If you are eligible to receive financial aid, you will receive an award letter from the college indicating the types and amounts of aid. If you have not heard from the Department of Education or the school within 4-6 weeks after completing the FAFSA, contact the Financial Aid office.
What will my award letter tell me?
The award letter will give you the types of awards offered to the student, requirements about the aid programs, and the amounts for a FULL-TIME STUDENT in one academic year (two semesters). The award letter will also provide messages about your award and the annual cost of attendance amount.
What makes me eligible for a Pell Grant?
The student must be an undergraduate who has not received a bachelor’s degree, and who is enrolled in a degree or certificate program. The student also must have an EFC of less than 4618 to receive ANY Pell Grant. The amount of Pell Grant ranges from a possible 5920(with a 0 EFC) to a possible 606 (with a 5328 EFC).
Why is the Pell Grant amount on my account different from what is shown in my award letter?
The award letter is always based on full-time status, which is 12 hours or more per semester. If the student is taking less than 12 hours, the Financial Aid office prorates the award according to schedules set by the Department of Education.
If my EFC is over 5328, what kind of financial aid can I get?
The school has TPEG (or Texas Public Education Grant) aid that it can offer to a limited number of students. The school receives a limited amount of money each year from the state, and it awards the funds in a first-come, first-served manner. The majority of financial aid applicants are eligible for work-study programs. Some students may be eligible for student loans from the FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM. Finally, some scholarships may come open during the school year. The Lee College Foundation Scholarship application is due in the spring preceding the school year.
How do I get my financial aid money?
All grants and scholarships are paid directly to the student’s Lee College account. The awards are offered through the PeopleSoft System. The funds must be awarded by the early registration payment deadline for each term, in order for us to ensure that your classes are not lost. After the date of record for each semester, the Financial Aid office authorizes the aid amounts, and the Business Office disburses them according to the dates on the disbursement and refund schedule. If the student’s account contains any remaining funds, a refund is issued to the student for that amount. Refunds are normally are processed two weeks after the aid has been disbursed.
Where is my refund?
Lee College has partnered with BankMobile to deliver your financial aid refund. We are committed to delivering 100 percent of your refund at no cost, providing students with clear choices, and offering great customer service. Students should log into their myLC account and, in the Finances Section under MY ACCOUNT, click on “Manage Refund.” Funds will be disbursed or posted to your school account according to the schedule posted at the Business Office, the Financial Aid office, and at www.lee.edu/financialaid/. The Financial Aid office begins processing financial aid payments after the 12th class day and takes about 1-2 weeks to finish all the payments. The Business Office has up to 14 days from when we finish processing to release your refund. All refunds will be processed from BankMobile.
What happens to me if I drop a class?
If you drop any class(es) after the census date but still complete a class, you will not be required to pay back any financial aid. If you drop all of your classes in a term, the college is required to send some of your aid back to the program it came from, and you will have to pay the returned amount back to Lee College if you drop before 60 percent of the term has passed.
All dropped classes may affect your satisfactory academic progress at Lee College. If you drop all your classes in a term, you will automatically be placed on financial aid suspension, and you will not be eligible to receive aid until the suspension is overturned by appeal. If you drop only some classes, those dropped classes will be considered as attempted hours when we calculate your progress at the end of every spring. You must complete 67 percent of your overall college credit courses and have a GPA of at least 2.0 in order to remain in good standing.
Where do I submit this deferred loan letter (deferment form)?
Deferment forms for loans from past school attendance should be submitted to the Admissions office for enrollment verification. However, Admissions electronically reports to the Department of Education EVERY semester regarding students’ enrollment status. If you have a loan with us and your reported graduation date has passed, but you are still enrolled at least half-time, please see the Financial Aid office, so we may update the graduation date on file with the lender.
What do all the initials mean?
FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid — It is the basic application for all student aid programs, and the only one Lee College requires.
EFC: Estimated Family Contribution — The amount that the Department of Education has determined a family should contribute to the student’s education, based on the information submitted in the FAFSA. The lower the number, the more financial need the Department of Education feels a student has, and the more aid for which the student may qualify.
COA: Cost of Attendance, otherwise referred to as a student budget. It is composed of tuition and fees and books as direct costs for Lee College, and allowances based on national averages for room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses for one academic year. The EFC is subtracted from the budget to determine the amount of aid for which a student may qualify during an academic year.
SAR or ISIR: Student Aid Report or Institutional Student Information Record. Both are printouts containing the information submitted on the FAFSA and the EFC, as well as other information regarding financial aid eligibility. The SAR is mailed OR emailed to the student at home. The ISIR is electronically transmitted to the school.
What kinds of loans are available?
Lee College is participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program this fall. This group of loans includes the Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford and Parent Loan for Undergrad Students. The Special Populations Office may have some funds to offer short-term loans to students for books, supplies, transportation and daycare.
Do I need to attend a financial aid seminar?
If you are a new student or a returning student who has been gone more than a year, we strongly recommend that you attend a financial aid seminar.