FAQ

Is there a certain age I have to be in order to start college?
For financial aid purposes, you must be the compulsory age or at least 16 (if you are not a high school graduate) and not be currently enrolled in a secondary school (high school).

Do I need a high school diploma/GED to start school?
For financial aid purposes, you must show “ability to benefit” from a college education. If you cannot show this by HS Diploma or GED, you may take an “ability-to-benefit” test or provide proof that you have earned a C or better in 6 hours of academic college credit classes. This test can be scheduled through our testing center. Effective July 1, 2012, all first-time college students must have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent to receive federal aid.

Do I have to report all colleges that I attended in the past?
For financial aid purposes you must list all colleges you attended within the current award year so Lee College can verify there are still funds available for you. Listing all schools you attended will help if you have outstanding payment or loan issues with that school.

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. If you are completing the FAFSA on your own, please include our school code (003583) on your application. Please ensure you are completing the application at www.fafsa.ed.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 feels 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 Ed. added those 6 years to the age of 18 and declared 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.ed.gov. A paper FAFSA can be completed and mailed but it will take about twice as long to process and does not help you correct errors before submission. Paper FAFSAs can be found in our office, high school counselor’s offices or local libraries. Paper FAFSAs are required for dependency overrides and some non-citizens requesting aid. These FAFSAs are not mailed, but are submitted to our office.

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 just income…such as household size, the number of students in college, the state tax base based on the student and/or parent’s state of residency, and allowance percentages that differ from one income families to two income families. The financial aid staff at Lee College 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 anytime during the year. You must complete a FAFSA for each new school year. To ensure your funds are available for the Fall Semester to start the new year, you should complete your FAFSA by May 1 so we can have your file processed by our June 1 deadline. If you are not starting school until January of the school year, the deadline is Nov. 1 and if you are enrolling in summer classes the deadline is April 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 fall and spring and after the 4th class day for summer sessions.

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 based on what funds Lee College have available.
A student living with their parent average budget for a year is approximately $8600 a year. Students with dependents or living off campus averages 13-16,000 a year.

How long is the Financial Aid Process?
Once the student submits the FAFSA it takes the Department of Education 2-3 weeks to process an electronic application and 6-8 weeks to process a paper application.
When the student receives his SAR, the school receives and ISIR at approximately the same time. The ISIR will tell us if we need to request other documents to determine your financial aid eligibility or not. If not, within 2 weeks from when we receive the ISIR the student should be mailed an award letter packet.
If we need documents, they will usually be reviewed within 2 weeks 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 such as INS is conducted. Again, when the further processing is completed within 2 weeks of that date an award letter will usually be generated.
With the award letter the student receives a copy of an acknowledgement form, it must be signed and returned to us by the student before the aid can be finalized and put out on the students account. For 2009-10, you will receive a MyLC manual to accept your financial aid and sign your acknowledgement through MyLC campus.

Are there any Financial Aid Deadlines?
Yes, the priority deadline for summer II and fall 2011 is April 15, 2011. We would then need all the documents necessary and been able to award the student by June 1 to guarantee funds would be ready by the August payment deadline.
The deadline for spring 2012 for students just applying for financial aid for that semester will be November 1 2011.
The Deadline for Summer Aid Requests will be March 1, 2011.

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, no they won’t be ready. A lucky few that do not need any further documents and turn in the acknowledgement form right away in July may possibly have aid in the system in time to pay for their 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. Once the award letter is generated and we receive an acknowledgement form we will authorize the aid to be disbursed and the student will receive a refund for any remaining balance on the next refund run after disbursements are posted.

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 doing the FAFSA, contact the school 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 (2 semesters). The award letter will also provide messages about your award and you 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 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 5350 (with a 0 EFC) to a possible 976 (with a 4617 EFC).

Why is the Pell Grant amount on my account different from what is on my award letter?
The award letter is always based on full time, 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 4618 what kind of financial aid can I get?
The school has TPEG or Texas Public Education Grant that it can offer to a limited number of students. The school receives a limited amount of money each year from the state and awards the funds in a first come first served manner as students are fully processed and awards can be offered. Once these funds are fully awarded, students who qualify but were not offered any aid may be considered as we determine how much of the total funds were accepted by students. The majority of financial aid applicants are eligible for Work Study programs. Some students may be eligible for student loans from the FEDERAL FAMILY EDUCATION LOAN PROGRAM. Finally, some scholarships may come open throughout the year. The Lee College Foundation Scholarship application is due in the preceding Spring of 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 People Soft System. Once the student accepts the award through MyLC campus the award is considered accepted. The funds must be applied by the early registration payment deadline for each term for us to ensure your classes are not lost. All award acceptances received after that date would be put on the system in first come first served time-frame. Beginning on the Date of Record for each semester, the Financial Aid Office authorizes the aid amounts and the business office disburses them. If the student has any remaining aid on his account, a refund is issued to the student for that remaining amount. Refunds are normally are processed 2 weeks after the aid has been disbursed.

Where is my Refund?
Debit Card Refunds are mailed to the address on file with the admissions office. Direct Deposit Refunds are deposited into the bank you report to Sallie Mae Business Solutions. 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 on the 12th class day and takes about a week to finish all the payments, then approximately every two weeks after the completion date we process any late aid payments. The business office has up to 14 days from when we finish processing to release your refund. All debit cards or direct deposits will be processed from Sallie Mae Business Solutions.

What happens to me if I drop a class?
If you drop 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% 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 cannot 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 75% of your overall college credit courses and have a GPA of at least 2.0 to remain in good standing.

Where do I turn this deferred loan letter (deferment form) in?
Deferment forms for loans from past school attendance should be turned into the Admissions Office for enrollment verification. If you have a loan with us and now your reported grad date has passed and you are still enrolled at least half time, you may see the financial aid office for us to update the grad date for 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 – A number representing how much the Department of Education feels a family should contribute to the student’s education based on the information submitted on the FAFSA. The lower the number the more financial need the Department of Education feels a student has and the more aid they may qualify for.
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 how much maximum aid a student can qualify for 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 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 Family Education Loan Program this fall. This group of loans includes the Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford and Parent Loan for Undergrad Students. We also may be eligible to participate in the Texas B-On-time Loan program for new HS graduates depending on funding available. The catalog mentions a short-term loan program, but at this time there is no funding for the program. The Special Populations Office may have some funds to offer short-term loans to students for books, supplies, transportation and day-care.