Types of Financial Aid and Assistance
Pell Grant Program (Basic Educational Opportunity Grant)
The Federal Pell Grant is a federal program designed to assist students in pursuing their first baccalaureate degree. Students apply for a Pell Grant by completing and submitting the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), preferably through online submission at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The student will receive an electronic e-mail response with instructions for viewing the FAFSA. They should immediately access the application, review it, and then correct any errors with the U.S. Department of Education. The Pell Grant award amounts are calculated once all student data is complete and verified.
Awards depend on the expected family contribution, the amount of semester hours the student is enrolled in, the expected family contribution, and the number of semesters for which the student enrolls. Students who already have a baccalaureate degree from any country are not eligible. Students must be permanent residents or U.S. citizens to be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. International students seeking their first undergraduate degrees are not eligible, nor are early-admit high school students.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federal grant for students that have not received a baccalaureate degree and who are eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant and demonstrate financial need according to federal methodology. Students must be enrolled at least half time to be considered. Students with the highest need will be given priority for the Federal SEOG program.
Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG)
The Texas Public Education Grant is a state grant for resident and nonresident students with established financial need according to federal guidelines. Students must be enrolled at least half time to be considered.
The Texas Grant requires the receipt of an official high school transcript indicating that the student graduated in the recommended or distinguished curriculum, foundational or International Baccalaureate. The student must:
- be a Texas resident,
- have an expected family contribution under $5906,
- register in a minimum of 12 hours per semester, and
- not have graduated from high school prior to 1989.
Continuing students must meet the state mandated satisfactory academic progress requirements. Complete grant information may be obtained at www.collegefortexans.org.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, students must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. Recipients of a TEACH Grant must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the subsidized program of study. Complete grant information and program requirements are published on the Federal Student Aid Web site at www.studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/grants/teach.
To receive the TEACH Grant, a student must meet the following criteria:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Demonstrated financial need is not needed.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a postsecondary educational institution that has chosen to participate in the TEACH Grant Program.
- Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework. Such coursework may include subject area courses (e.g., math courses for a student who intends to be a mathematics teacher).
- Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25).
- Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.
As other grant programs become available at the University, students should directly contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for pertinent information.
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study Program provides part-time employment opportunities for resident and nonresident students with established financial need according to federal guidelines. These funds, however, are not available to international students or to high school students who have gained early admission to the University. Students may not work over 20 hours each week. Students must attend a mandatory orientation prior to placement starting to work. Students may contact the Support and Academic units within the University to determine availability of employment opportunities. Generally, a student may explore opportunities that meet the student’s academic interest, skills, and work preference. Students are paid at a rate above the national minimum wage as approved by the University at the time that eligibility is established.
Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, though the entity servicing the loan may be a private business. With Federal Direct Loans, the student borrows directly from the federal government and has a single contact, his or her loan servicer, for everything related to repayment. If the student receives Direct Loans at different schools, they may have multiple servicers. Students aggregate loan histories are available through the national repository, the National Student Loan Database which houses a comprehensive history of all Federal Loans borrowed from an eligible Title IV institution. Federal Unsubsidized and Plus loans are available to students that may not qualify for more restrictive aid programs based solely on need. Federal Unsubsidized and Plus loans can be used to replace the expected family contribution. The loans may be awarded up to the total cost of attendance minus any other aid programs. Federal Direct Plus Loans are available to parent and graduate borrowers who do not have an adverse credit history. Students must be permanent residents or U.S. citizens to be eligible for the Federal Direct Loan Programs. The loan programs are not available to international students or to high school students who have gained early admission to the University.
The Scholarship Application is available at www.tsu.edu/admissions/financial-aid/types-of-aid/scholarships or by contacting the Scholarship Office, located in the West Garage on the corner of Ennis and Blodgett adjacent to the Welcome Center. The application should be completed and returned to the Scholarship Office with all supporting information a prior to March 15th for priority consideration. Once the application is received, the applicant is considered for all available scholarships by the Scholarship Committee, which resides within the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The deadline for receipt of scholarship applications is determined annually by the Scholarship Office.
Outstanding high school students who have been newly admitted to the University are encouraged to apply for scholarships through the Thomas Freeman Honors Program at the time of their admission. Further information may be obtained by calling (713)-313-7458.
Students who are admitted to the University and who wish to participate in competitive sports may qualify for athletic scholarships. Detailed information on these scholarships (along with designated qualifications) may be obtained by calling (713)- 313-7671.
The United States Army through its Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship Program provides financial assistance for the undergraduate education of highly qualified and motivated young men and women who ultimately want to pursue careers as commissioned officers in the United States Army after graduation. Detailed information on this program may be obtained by calling (713)-743-3875.
Prospective and continuing students may contact the department of their major or performance arts program administrators for scholarship assistance. Through a number of the instructional units at the University, various types of academic scholarships are available. These scholarships are awarded directly by the sponsoring units, which should be contacted directly through information numbers referenced in this document.
As other programs become available at the University, students should contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance directly for pertinent information.
Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements
In order to maintain eligibility for consideration for financial aid, students must meet the standards set forth in Texas Southern University's policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). There are three facets of the individual student record that determine financial aid eligibility: credit hours, grades, and time frame. The requirements in each facet vary in accordance with academic status (undergraduate, graduate, or professional student), the college or school of enrollment, and enrollment status (full-time, half-time, or less than half-time). Time frame is always included regardless of the level, enrollment status or degree objective for the student when considering the financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards.
Credit Hours and GPA
Students receiving financial aid must satisfy the qualitative component, credit hours attempted and earned (ratio) and qualitative component, the cumulative grade point average (GPA) needed based upon their individual academic classifications to maintain eligibility. Students receiving aid have their overall enrollments at the University reviewed at the end of the spring semester. If they meet or exceed the minimum SAP standards, the student’s next scheduled review will occur annually at the end of the subsequent spring term. If they fail to meet the minimum SAP standards, the student is placed on financial aid suspension and must appeal for reinstatement of eligibility to receive aid. If the student successfully appeals and is approved to regain eligibility to receive aid, the student’s SAP is measured at the end of each subsequent term. If the student meets the minimum financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements, the student regains eligibility to receive Title IV aid. If the student fails to meet the minimum requirements or the requirements outlined in the academic plan, the student is placed on financial aid suspension and may not automatically regain eligibility until the student has met the minimum financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements for their category. Undergraduate students may appeal for reinstatement after earning a 2.0 in at least 6 hours at an accredited two-year or four-year University, junior or community college prior and meets other federal acceptable terms for reentry into the financial aid programs. Graduate students will be considered based on attainment of the minimum satisfactory requirements in one term without the benefit of financial aid.
Regarding the time frame needed to maintain eligibility, students will be considered for financial aid for a limited time only. Their enrollment in all postsecondary institutions, regardless of financial aid support, is considered when determining the total number of credit hours that they can enroll in with the benefit of financial aid. Students are allowed no more than 150% of the credit hours required to complete their degree requirements. The Office of Student Financial Assistance should be contacted directly regarding the specifics of time frame limitations. Students are notified when they are approaching enrollment in the maximum number of credit hours permitted. If students exceed this number before finishing their individual programs of study, then they will no longer be eligible to receive federal student assistance.
Students are placed on financial aid suspension with regard to the receipt of financial aid for their next semester of attendance. Students placed on financial aid suspension are required to submit an appeal containing a SAP appeal form, letter of explanation, plan of action for improving their academic performance and academic plan to regain eligibility to receive aid. Submission of an appeal does not automatically reestablish eligibility to receive aid. If they are successful in appealing the financial aid suspension the student’s eligibility if reinstated for one term. If the student has an established academic plan and meets the standards outlined in the academic plan, the student is may be allowed to continue with filing an appeal form. To regain full eligibility to receive financial aid, students must complete the requisite number of semester credit hours with the corresponding GPA to regain unconditional eligibility under the Satisfactory Academic Progress (or SAP) policy. Students who meet the conditions of outlined in the approved appeal and an academic plan but continue to fall below the minimum requirements may continue to receive aid. If these conditions are not met the student will be placed on financial aid suspension and may not regain eligibility until the student has met the minimum financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements for their category or meets other federal acceptable terms for reentry into the financial aid programs.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students who fail to earn the required semester credit hours and achieve the required GPA while on financial aid probation will be placed on financial aid suspension. Thus, they will no longer be eligible to receive federal student assistance. In order to return to financial aid probationary status, students must meet the minimum financial aid satisfactory academic requirements. Students failing to meet the minimum requirements must earn a 2.0 in at least 6 hours at an accredited two-year or four-year university prior to appealing for reinstatement of the financial aid eligibility. The student must submit a financial aid appeal for consideration of reinstatement of aid. Submission of an appeal after achieving a 2.0 does not automatically reestablish eligibility to receive aid; appeals will be considered on a case by case basis for reinstatement of aid.
The following types of registration or grades cannot be used to fulfill conditions for the removal of financial aid probation or suspension: advanced placement credits, credits earned through the credit by examination process, independent study courses, and grades of withdrawal (W), incomplete (I), in progress (R), unsatisfactory (U), and fail (F).
Additional Academic Requirements
If a student applies for financial aid, their eligibility will be based on past performance as measured by the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for financial aid. If a student is a transfer student, he or she will be evaluated within the financial aid SAP maximum time frame based upon the number of semester credit hours accepted by Texas Southern University and subsequently enrolled in at Texas Southern University.
Other factors that students need to be cognizant of with regard to the assessment of financial aid status are as follows:
- Semester credit hours earned from foreign institutions are included in the financial aid SAP evaluation if these credits are accepted by the University and the college/school in which a major is declared.
- If a course is repeated, the semester credits earned will count toward the determination of enrollment status and maximum time frame. If a course is repeated due to a failing grade, financial aid may be applied until the student receives a passing grade in the course. If the student receives a passing grade, financial aid may only be applied for the first instance the course is repeated.
- Courses in which grades of "I" (incomplete) are received do not earn credits to meet the academic year minimum, nor do they influence GPA's in the semester in which they are taken; however, the credits are counted in the maximum time frame.
- Courses in which grades of "W" (withdrawal) are received do not earn credits to meet the academic year minimum, nor do they influence GPA's in the semester in which they are taken; however, the credits are counted in the maximum time frame. Students may retake courses from which they withdraw, and retaken credits will count toward the determination of enrollment status and minimum credits earned.
- Credits earned from undergraduate developmental/remedial courses that students are required to take count toward the determination of enrollment status, minimum semester credits earned, and maximum time frame.
- Credits earned from undergraduate courses taken while students are enrolled as graduate students do not count toward the academic year minimum, nor do they influence GPA's, nor do they count toward the determination of enrollment status or minimum credits earned, unless these credits are specifically required as prerequisites.
- All undergraduate and prerequisite courses are included in the financial aid time frame for financial aid SAP.
- Summer terms are considered special semesters and are not automatically monitored to determine financial aid SAP. Students who attend summer terms and who want credits earned during these terms counted with fall and/or spring semester credit totals must make a request for such at the end of the summer terms of attendance.
Right to Appeal
Students placed on financial aid suspension may appeal this status by completing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form in the Office of Student Financial Assistance within 30 days of receipt of notification.
Students who believe that they have been identified as not having met financial aid SAP requirements because of the late posting of grades should contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance once grades have been posted. A counselor will then review the information and determine whether or not the SAP requirements have been appropriately met.
Students who are placed on financial aid suspension should submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form, Letter of Explanation, Plan of Action and Academic Plan. The Academic Plan must be obtained from an academic advisor or designated representative for the department. Students who fail to achieve financial aid SAP standards because of mitigating circumstances (such as illness, injury, family crisis, or credits earned from incomplete courses) should attach supporting documentation with the appeal. The Satisfactory Academic Progress committee will render a decision after reviewing the documentation presented.
Students who attend either one or both summer terms during a year when they have been placed on either financial aid probation or suspension and succeed in increasing their GPA's and/or semester credit hours completed in order to meet the minimum financial aid SAP standards for the year should appeal their status in writing with supporting documentation to the following:
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee
Office of Student Financial Assistance
Texas Southern University
3100 Cleburne Street
Houston, Texas 77004-9987
Decisions on these appeals will be made within 20 business days after their receipt. Students will be notified in writing of the decision.
Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Aid
Unexpected events may cause students to withdraw prior to the end of the semester. Federal regulations require that a Return of Title IV Aid calculation be performed on any student receiving federal aid during the semester. Federal aid includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Graduate PLUS Loan, and Federal PLUS Loan.
The calculation of Title IV funds earned by the student has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges. The institutional Return to Title IV and Post-withdrawal disbursement policy is located in the university catalog and on the university’s website on the Manual of Administrative Policies and Procedures (MAPP) 03.08.08. Federal Student aid may not cover all unpaid institutional charges due to the institution upon the student’s withdrawal. The Office of Student Accounting and Billing, in conjunction with the Office of Student Financial Assistance, will perform a Return of Title IV funds calculation for each student that withdraws for the semester and notify the student of any repayment of funds as a result of the calculation.
Earned Financial Aid and the Return to Title IV Calculation
According to federal guidelines, the student earns financial aid based on the length of time the student remains enrolled in the term.
If the student withdraws, a Title IV refund calculation will be processed according to the federal regulations based on the last day of attendance. If the student withdraws from school prior to completing 60% of the term, he or she may be required to repay all or part of financial aid received for that term.
If the student initiates the withdrawal process after completing over 60% of the enrollment term, he or she will have earned 100% of the federal financial aid for that term and no repayment is required.
If the student unofficially withdraws, federal regulations require a Return of Title IV aid calculation is performed for the student. The calculation will be based on the 50% point in the semester or the last date of the student’s activity in a university related academic activity can be documented.
Repayment of Unearned Aid
The portion of the term that the student does not attend represents the portion of aid that is determined to be unearned. Earned federal financial aid is prorated according to the percentage of the semester completed. The amount of the unearned federal aid is the total amount of federal aid less the portion of earned federal aid. Unearned federal aid, other than federal work study, must be returned to the federal government. The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by TSU and the student.
TSU’s share is the lesser of the total amount of unearned aid or the institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that was earned. The student’s share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution’s share.
Earned financial aid is prorated according to the percentage of the semester completed. The return of funds is allocated among the Title IV programs, in an order specified by federal statute. TSU is required to return all unearned federal aid attributed to school charges. This means that a portion of your tuition and fees is no longer covered by financial aid and you are liable for paying the balance of your school charges. All unearned federal aid attributed to school charges is subject to immediate repayment by you unless you are eligible for a tuition and fee refund.
Proration of the Cost of Attendance
The average cost of attendance for students is the sum of the following: tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, personal expenses and (if applicable) loan fees
The cost of attendance may be adjusted to allow for exceptional expenses such as dependent care, study abroad, and on a case by case basis based on the submission of the Special Circumstances Form. Average expenses are utilized for students, with different sets of average costs for resident and non-residents students in the following categories: undergraduate, graduate, pharmacy and law. Undergraduate costs are initially based on 15 hours of enrollment. A graduate student is based on 10 hours and professional students are based on 15 hours.
The cost of attendance for students enrolled less than full-time as of the census date for the term will be adjusted based on a student’s actual enrollment using the actual cost of tuition and fees and a percentage of books and supplies. Official census dates are as follows:
- 12th class day for the fall and spring terms
- 4th class day summer of second part of term, for those students attending the entire summer term
- 4th class day summer in first part of term, for summer terms
Students enrolled in non-standard terms should consult the course bulletin or Registrar’s Office for the census date. Failure to maintain enrollment until the census may render the student ineligible for aid and cause a return of funds to the Title IV programs.
Students that did not have a completed FAFSA/TASFA filed before the census date will have their cost of attendance based on their enrolled hours at census date. If course registrations affecting the student’s official census registration are made by the Registrar’s Office, additional corrections impacting the student eligibility and/or award amount may be made. Concurrent Enrollment Agreements, Consortiums and Study Abroad will be reviewed and adjusted based on enrollment; per the program requirements for minimum enrollment and consortia documentation. Adjustments to the cost of attendance may cause a reduction of aid and necessitate the return of funds to the Title IV programs.