Financial Assistance Information
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College believes that the primary purpose of student financial aid is to provide assistance to students who, without such assistance, would be unable to attend college. The main responsibility for educational financing is the obligation of the student and their family.
In most cases, financial aid is awarded to eligible students on financial need. Exceptions are scholarships, which have been provided by donors for the purpose of recognizing academic promise or achievement, and the Georgia HOPE Grant/Scholarship and Zell Grant/Scholarship. Students may be eligible for more than one type of financial aid. Special Admit students are ineligible for any federal or state financial aid.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College does not participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. WGTC will certify private loans that are disbursed to the college from a student’s private lender.
Students applying for the Federal Pell Grant and Georgia’s HOPE programs will complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.gov/. Applicants who are applying only for HOPE programs may complete the Georgia Student Financial Aid Application System (GSFAPPS) online at http://gafutures.org. High school students will complete the Dual Enrollment Application online at http://gafutures.org. Applications, computers, and assistance are available in the Office of Financial Aid, or designated areas on each campus.
The determination of financial need is provided to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College electronically through results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial aid is available in the form of federal and state grants, scholarships, federal work-study, and private sources. Information may be obtained online at https://studentaid.gov/ or http://gafutures.org.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the preferred application for students applying for financial aid (except for high school students). A FAFSA booklet may be requested by calling 1-800-433-3243 or the TTY line at 1-800-730-8913 for the hearing impaired. The completed application must be mailed in the envelope provided. The FAFSA can also be filed electronically at https://studentaid.gov/ (which is the fastest and recommended method). The information reported must be accurate and is subject to verification.
An application for student financial aid must be completed each academic year. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s academic year consists of Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. The FAFSA is available online October 1st of each year. Tax filers will use tax information from two tax years back. For example, the 2020 tax return is used for the 2022-2023 FAFSA. The 2021 tax return is used for the 2023-2024 FAFSA and so on. Students selected for the Verification process; or requiring other actions on their FAFSA will be notified electronically and will submit documents online at https://wiregrass.studentforms.com/. The deadline to complete a FAFSA for federal aid is June 30 for the respective academic year. If using the FAFSA to apply for state aid, the deadline is by the end of the term for which state aid is sought.
General Eligibility Requirements – Who Gets Aid?
Most students receive some type of financial aid. To receive federal and/or state financial aid, a student must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be enrolled as a regular or provisional student in an eligible technical certificate, diploma, or degree program of study and meet all specific program requirements;
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- Demonstrate financial need (if applicable);
- Be at least 16 years of age for federal programs;
- Have earned a high school diploma or equivalent unless enrolled in DE or other eligible program;
- Have not earned a bachelor’s degree (if applicable);
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP);
- Meet federal Selective Service registration requirements, per Georgia state law. The requirement to register applies to males who were born on or after January 1, 1960, are at least 18, are citizens or eligible non-citizens who came to the United States prior to age 26;
- Not be in default on a federal student loan or State of Georgia educational loan, or owe a refund due to an overpayment on a Federal Title IV or State of Georgia student financial aid program, or any other way be in violation of Federal Title IV program regulations or State of Georgia student financial aid program regulations;
- Agree to use any funds received for educationally related purposes only;
- Be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990;
- Not have exceeded the maximum award limits for federal and/or state aid.
NOTE: Students receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) should not apply for a loan unless they no longer desire to receive TAA. TAA participants are advised of this during orientation sessions, in the trade act handbooks, and in the training participant acknowledgements that, “students may not use loans or personal funds to pay any part of their direct training costs.”
Federal Financial Aid Programs
Federal Pell Grant
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College participates in the Federal Pell Grant program. The Pell grant is awarded to students who do not have a bachelor’s or professional degree and who are enrolled in a degree, diploma, or eligible technical certificate. Unlike educational loans, grants do not have to be repaid. To have eligibility determined, students must apply for federal student aid once a year, no later than 6 to 8 weeks before fall semester. The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) uses a standardized formula, which is revised and approved annually by Congress, to evaluate the information reported by students when they apply for the Pell Grant program. The amount actually offered will depend on a student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time), length of annual enrollment, and the cost of education. Early application is encouraged to ensure availability of funds for enrollment. The Pell Grant is not available to students who are enrolled in high school, accepted with a Special Admit or Pending Admit status, or those who are concurrently attending two or more colleges as a regular student. The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is limited to 600% of Pell Grant funding. Currently, the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each award year is equal to 150% when attending full-time for Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Once a student has reached the 600% Pell lifetime limit eligibility will end.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Grant recipients with exceptional financial need may be eligible for the FSEOG which is a campus-based program administered through the Financial Aid Office. The award amount is contingent upon the availability of FSEOG funds,and the amount of other aid received. Eligible students are processed first by selection of those within specific Expected Family Contributions (EFC) ranges attending at least half-time and making satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The FSEOG Grant is not available to students whose admission status is Dual Enrollment or learning support; students who are concurrently attending two or more colleges as a regular student; or students who have reached the Pell Grant lifetime limit.
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a campus-based program that provides eligible applicants with part-time employment to assist with educational cost. Students must be enrolled in an eligible technical certificate, diploma, or an associate degree program; and attending classes. Students must demonstrate financial need based on their official EFC and the cost of attendance. Students normally work 19 hours per week and income from work study and all other aid cannot exceed their cost of attendance for any given semester. The rate of pay for the current aid year is $9 per hour. Students are employed on campus in jobs related to their area of study if possible. Off-campus jobs may be available to support federal community service requirements. Information on available jobs and how to apply is located on the Wiregrass Georgia Human Resources webpage.
State Aid Programs
The HOPE Scholarship and Grant Program – Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally, funded by the Georgia Lottery for Education and administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission, provides financial assistance to qualified Georgia residents and active-duty military personnel stationed in Georgia and their dependents. (See Georgia Residency Requirements section below for more information on residency eligibility requirements.)
For Academic Year 2023-2024, the HOPE Grant tuition rate is $100 per credit hour for coursework within the students major, including remedial coursework; and joint enrollment coursework.
The HOPE Grant pays up to 63 semester paid hours. A student must achieve a 2.0 GPA after accumulating 30 and 60 semester hours paid by OPE Grant funds.
If a student loses the HOPE Grant at the 30th semester hour checkpoint, they will be rechecked after attempting 60 semester hours. Joint enrollment high school students and Dual enrolled students receiving the HOPE Grant and HOPE Career Grant will have those hours count toward the 30th semester hour GPA checkpoint. Students with a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for the HOPE Grant.
The Zell Miller HOPE Grant is an expansion of the HOPE Grant program that pays 100% of tuition for technical college students who are HOPE Grant eligible in a technical certificate or diploma program and achieve a GPA of 3.5 or greater. The student must maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA. The Zell Miller Grant is limited to 63 semester hours. Hours received under the HOPE Grant are included in the cap limit.
The HOPE Scholarship program is a merit-based scholarship program available to Georgia residents seeking associate degree level programs or higher, who have demonstrated specific academic achievements.
For Academic Year 2023-2024, the HOPE Scholarship tuition rate is $100 per semester hour.
There are several ways to gain eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship:
- Graduate from an eligible high school as a HOPE Scholar as determined by Georgia Student Finance Commission.
- Earn it while in college after attempting 30 semester hours of college degree-level credit; and earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative calculated HOPE GPA.
- Graduate from an ineligible high school, complete an ineligible home study program, or earn a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma and earn a qualifying test score on a single national or state/district administration of the ACT or single national administrative of the SAT prior to high school graduation or home study/HSE diploma completion. Eligibility must be determined manually by GSFC.
Eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship is determined in the Office of the Registrar by designated staff. HOPE Scholarship Evaluation Applications must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Final official transcripts must be received from all previously attended postsecondary schools prior to the HOPE Scholarship Evaluation. All previous degree-level coursework counts in a student’s attempted-hours and towards the HOPE Scholarship GPA. Students may be required to provide additional residency verification for HOPE Scholarship.
Students who receive their first HOPE Scholarship payment Summer term 2019 or later may receive HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship payment until ten years after the date of their high school graduation, GED test date, home study completion date, or the date of their petition to receive a high school diploma, whichever occurs first.
Students who received their first HOPE Scholarship payment between Summer term 2011 and Spring term 2019, may receive HOPE Scholarship funding until seven years after the date of their high school graduation, GED test date, home study completion date, or the date of their petition to receive a high school diploma, whichever occurs first.
HOPE Scholarship eligibility is evaluated at the 30th, 60th, and 90th semester hour check points. Additionally, evaluated at the end of each spring semester; and the Three-Term Checkpoint if enrolled for less than 12 hours during each of the first three terms. If the student loses the HOPE Scholarship at their first check point due to GPA dropping below 3.0, he or she is eligible to reapply for HOPE Scholarship once at the next check point, provided the cumulative Attempted-Hour GPA is a 3.0 (see Attempted-Hour definition below). Students can only regain eligibility one time after losing it.
This provision considers prior eligibility status. If a student had lost eligibility in the past and has since regained it, another loss of eligibility would be permanent.
A student that is not eligible during the term in which they have accumulated 90 Attempted-Hours cannot regain HOPE Scholarship eligibility. Regardless of the funding source, once a degree seeking student has accumulated 127 semester Attempted-Hours of degree credit, or has received any combination of HOPE Scholarship, HOPE/Zell Grant, and/or applicable dual enrollment payment for a Combined-Paid total of 127 semester hours, or has earned a baccalaureate (four-year) degree, the student is no longer eligible for the HOPE Scholarship/Grant programs.
Attempted-Hours: Credit hours are counted as attempted-hours regardless of whether the course was completed, the hours were earned, or a letter grade was recorded on the student’s official academic transcript. Credit hours are counted as attempted hours regardless of whether the student receives payment for those hours from HOPE. There is no expiration date for attempted hours. Credit hours are counted regardless of whether they transfer towards the degree or are considered expired. HOPE Scholarship will not pay for remedial coursework; however, all remedial coursework previously counted in attempted hours will remain counted in the Attempted-Hours calculation (Taken prior to Fall 2011).
Combined-Paid Hours: Means the total number of paid hours a student has accumulated from any combination of the HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grant, and Zell Grant programs.
Students graduating from an eligible Georgia high school with a grade point average of 3.7 (determined by GSFC) combined with a minimum SAT score of 1200 or minimum composite score of 26 on a single national or state/district administration of the ACT, as well as earn a minimum of four full rigor credits from the Academic Rigor Course List may apply for the Zell Miller Scholarship. For Academic Year 2022-2023, Zell Miller Scholarship pays 100% of the standard tuition amount. The Zell Miller Scholarship will also be awarded to graduates named as the (Zell Miller Scholarship) Valedictorian or Salutatorian of his or her graduating class. Must have a minimum 3.0 calculated HOPE GPA and a minimum of four rigor credits.
Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility is evaluated at the 30th, 60th, and 90th semester hour check points. Additionally, evaluated at the end of each spring semester and the Three-Term Checkpoint if enrolled for less than 12 hours during each of the first three terms. All recipients must maintain a 3.3 grade point average for each check point.
If the student’s GPA falls below 3.3, but is at least a 3.0, the student would be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship. If a student loses eligibility for any reason, they may regain eligibility one time if they re-qualify at one of the eligible checkpoints. This provision takes into account prior eligibility status.
If a student lost eligibility in the past and has since regained it, another loss of eligibility would be permanent.
Other Financial Assistance
Nelnet Payment Plan Option
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College offers students a payment plan option through Nelnet Business Solutions for a small enrollment fee. A minimum down payment is required with the remaining balance due in 1 to 4 monthly installments. The amount of the down payment, number of monthly payments, and the enrollment fee are determined by the date of enrollment in the plan. If a student defaults on payment to Nelnet, the remaining balance becomes due directly to the college along with a $40 non-refundable administrative fee. Information is available online at https://www.wiregrass.edu/admissions/apply.
Private loans are credit-based loans to help students “bridge the gap” between the financial aid they have been awarded and any additional amounts that may be needed to pay for outstanding educational expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, or supplies.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federally funded job training program designed to provide assistance to those needing occupational skills in order to obtain employment or advance with their current employer. WIOA is a competitive scholarship given to a limited number of qualified applicants each semester. WIOA is designed to assist dislocated workers who have lost employment due to technological changes, plant closures, or foreign competition, displaced homemakers, or other individuals who are unable to pay the cost of attending Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Applicants must intend on returning to the workforce once they have completed their training program.
- WIOA has funds allocated for students who have been laid off from their jobs, are recently divorced, or who are youth (ages 16-24) returning to obtain an education
- WIOA may be used in conjunction with HOPE and Pell
- WIOA assists with student expenses for tuition, fees, books and any other required school expenses not covered by other types of financial aid
- WIOA offers limited financial assistance to help with the costs of childcare and transportation
Applicants must be attending Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in a degree, diploma, or technical certificate of credit program. Medical students must have completed the required core classes and be accepted into their program of study.
After completion of training, WIOA students can receive individualized career counseling, resume preparation, job search assistance and other services to aid them in obtaining employment.
Additional information can be found online at https://www.wiregrass.edu/financial-aid/wioa. Interested students should speak with the WIOA staff for further information on eligibility requirements.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is approved for veterans training under U.S. Code 38. Eligible persons should complete the application for veteran’s education benefits using VA Form 22-1990 through their local or regional Veterans Administration Office or online through https://www.va.gov/education/how-to-apply/ . To initiate semester certification each semester, students are responsible for submitting any updates and semester schedules on the following link: https://www.wiregrass.edu/military-and-veteran-students/enrollment-certification-form Certifications will be processed at the end of the add drop period and any tuition and fees will be updated in the VA reporting system within 30 days after the original certification. Students applying for Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Program may apply at: https://www.va.gov/careers-employment/vocational-rehabilitation/apply-vre-form-28-1900/start or use VA Form 22-1900 through their local or regional Veterans Administration Office. The VA Certifying Official in the Veterans Support Services Office is available to assist applicants in filing for education benefits.
To receive benefits, students must meet VA attendance requirements. If a student drops or is dropped from a class, termination is forwarded to the VA Regional Office in Atlanta. However, the student may continue attending other classes without veteran benefits. The VA will not pay for any courses that are not listed in the student’s program curriculum unless it is the last semester and the student is rounding up to obtain full-time status (with the exception of Chapter 31). Students receiving VA benefits are required to notify the School Certifying Official as soon as possible via: firstname.lastname@example.org regarding enrollment status (i.e., adding/dropping classes, withdrawals, or transfer or school), change in program of study, and graduation. Students may be responsible for the return of any funds that are unearned due to dropping, withdrawing, or failure to attend a course that the funds were awarded to cover. See Refund Policy for more details.
Students receiving VA educational benefits are required to provide the School Certifying Official a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility from the VA for the following financial aid benefits:
- Post 9/11 GI Bill- Chapter 33
- Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty- Chapter 30
- Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve- Chapter 1606
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program- Chapter 1607
- Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program- Chapter 35
For students receiving benefits under the Veterans Readiness and Employment program, a copy of the student’s authorization will be forwarded to the School Certifying Official via Tungsten.
VA students should contact the VA Education and Training Office at 1-888-GIBILL-1 or online at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/ for more information.
Veteran Students with disabilities may disclose their information to the Veterans Support Director and Special Populations Director for special accommodations to ensure easy transition and program success while attending Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
Georgia’s HERO Scholarship
Helping Educate Reservists and their Offspring (HERO) is a non-need based scholarship to provide educational scholarship assistance to members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reservists who served in combat zones, and the children and spouses of such members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reserves. Eligible recipients may receive up to $2,000 per academic school year. Award amounts are prorated for school terms in which recipients are enrolled for less than full time (12 hours).
Georgia’s Public Safety Memorial (GPSM) Grant
The GPSM grant funded by the Georgia Lottery for Education and administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission was created to provide educational assistance to the dependent children of public safety officers permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty. The Georgia General Assembly appropriates funds each year during the preceding legislative session. For more information contact the WGTC Financial Aid Office or GSFC.
HOPE Career Grant
The Hope Career Grant is a state funded grant. Students within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) receiving Hope Grant or Zell Miller Grant funds and enrolled in Air Conditioning Technology, Automotive Technology, Commercial Truck Driving, Early Childhood Care & Education, Healthcare Technologies, Business Education and Computer Science, Practical Nursing, or Technical and Industrial programs may be eligible for Hope Career Grant. Students with a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for the grant. Visit our website for a complete list of updated programs.
Georgia College Completion Grant (GCCG)
The Georgia College Completion Grant (GCCG) assists eligible students enrolled at an eligible postsecondary institution that is experiencing a financial aid gap with their cost of education.
Eligible students must have completed at least eighty (80) percent of credit requirements for graduation from their enrolled certificate, diploma or undergraduate major or program of study. Eligible students must owe their institution for an outstanding balance of direct costs for the current term of enrollment.
Grant awards are based on program requirements and available allocated funds at the eligible institutions - University System of Georgia (USG), Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) or eligible Private non-profit postsecondary institutions in Georgia.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available in October for students to reapply for financial aid for the upcoming award year. Application is made once each year. Once approved, it is effective fall semester through summer semester of that award year. All HOPE and Pell financial aid expires at the end of summer semester of the current year.
Financial Aid Application Process
Associate of Science Degree/Diploma/Technical Certificate Students: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)(https://fafsa.gov/) at least six to eight weeks prior to the expected registration date.
Georgia residents and active duty military stationed in Georgia and their dependents will automatically receive the HOPE Grant, based on results of the FAFSA, if pursuing a diploma or certificate of the required length. HOPE degree-seeking students must have their HOPE Scholarship eligibility determined by Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s Office of the Registrar.
NOTE: Military members who separate in the State of Georgia must establish Georgia residency for 12 or 24 months if their home of record at the time of separation was not Georgia. Students who receive aid must report any other assistance received, regardless of source, to the Financial Aid Office.
Students selected for the Verification process; or requiring other actions on their FAFSA will submit documents online at https://wiregrass.studentforms.com/.
Federal Citizenship and State of Georgia Residency Requirements for Student Financial Aid
A student must be one of the following to be eligible to receive federal student aid:
- A U.S. citizen or national;
- A citizen of the Freely Associated States: the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands. (These students can only receive aid from some federal student aid programs and do not have an A-number/ARN; or
- A U.S. permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen.
To prove U.S. citizen or national status (if needed), the following are acceptable documentation:
- A Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570) issued by USCIS (or, prior to 1991, a federal or state court), or through administrative naturalization after December 1990 to those who are individually naturalized.
- A Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561) is issued by USCIS to individuals who derive U.S. citizenship through a parent.
- A copy of the student’s birth certificate showing that the student was born in the U.S., which includes Puerto Rico (on or after January 13, 1941), Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, or the Northern Mariana Islands, unless the person was born to foreign diplomats residing in the United States. If a student has a birth certificate from a U.S. jurisdiction showing that the student was born abroad (i.e., not in the U.S. or its territories), that birth certificate is not acceptable documentation. The following can be provided:
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240, which is proof of U.S. citizenship);
- Certification of Report of Birth (Form DS-1350);
- Certificate of Citizenship issued by USCIS. The DS-1350 is no longer issued, but is still accepted as documentation of U.S. citizenship. If the birth was registered with the American consulate or embassy in a foreign country before turning 18, can request the FS-240 or Certificate of Citizenship by sending a written, notarized request to the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Vital Records Section. The State Department does not reissue new DS-1350s. If the DS-1350 was lost, or never received a FS-240 or Certificate of Citizenship before turning 18, can apply for a Certificate of Citizenship using form N-600.
- A U.S. passport, current or expired, (except “limited” passports, which are typically issued for short periods such as a year and which don’t receive as much scrutiny as a regular passport when applying).
- A copy of Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad), FS545 (Certificate of Birth Issued by a Foreign Service Post), or DS1350 (Certification of Report of Birth). These are State Department documents.
Georgia Residency Requirements
In addition to being a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, a student must meet the Georgia residency requirement to be considered for the State of Georgia scholarships and grants. Verification documentation that may be requested include, but are not limited to a copy of your (or your parents) most recent Georgia income tax return; a copy of your driver’s license; or a copy of your voter’s registration card; location of property, including home purchase, and taxes paid thereon; reason for initially coming to Georgia; location of checking, savings, or other banking accounts and automobile title registration and tag taxes.
All documents must verify 24 consecutive months of domicile in the State of Georgia (which indicates the person’s intent to maintain a permanent presence) or graduation from a Georgia High School which requires 12 consecutive months. For more information, please see Technical College System of Georgia, Policy and Procedure Manual online at https://tcsg.edu/tcsgpolicy/tcsg_policy_manual.pdf.
Federal Student Aid Verification
It is the policy of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College to verify all Student Aid Reports selected by the central processor for verification. Students may also be selected for Institutional Verification for conflicting information. This verification procedure will be conducted in compliance with the latest regulations published by the USDOE in the Title IV Student Financial Aid Handbook.
Applicants selected by the central processor for the verification process will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid as to the documentation they will be required to provide. The Office of Financial Aid must receive all documents within 45 days of the date of notification. Applicants who do not provide all the requested documentation will be considered ineligible for the Pell Grant or any other Title IV Financial Aid Programs. Students should review their financial aid award on BanWeb to see the results of their verification. Actual award updates will be posted on the student’s BanWeb account.
The U.S. Department of Education has established new regulations to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program by identifying students with unusual enrollment histories. Students who received a Federal Pell Grant at multiple institutions in recent academic years (2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023) will have their 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) flagged for unusual enrollment history (UEH). The flags “2” and “3” will be indicated on the Student Aid Report (SAR) and the Financial Aid Office will be required to review the student’s enrollment history to determine whether or not the student is enrolling only long enough to receive cash refunds of Federal student aid. Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) must be resolved before the student receives Federal financial aid.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies
Federal and state regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to continue to receive aid. SAP measures whether students applying for financial aid are in good academic standing and making SAP toward completion of their programs. SAP is evaluated at the end of each semester for all students. (A student is not required to meet the Eligible Postsecondary Institution’s SAP policy to receive payment from the HOPE GED® Grant Program; however, all other requirements must be met.)
Dual Enrolled (DE) high school students and Joint Enrolled high school students are subject to the SAP policy for state aid with specific provisions directly related to DE students as governed by Georgia Student Finance Commission regulations.
Students who are not DE students must declare a major and be working toward the completion of that major in order to receive financial aid. Eligible DE students must be in an approved eligible core academic area course(s) as listed in the Dual Enrolled Course Directory; or be pursuing a major under the HOPE Career Grant program.
Students are expected to know and understand the SAP policy. Students are notified if there is a change in their eligibility. The Financial Aid Office uses the Wiregrass student e-mail as the primary means of communication. Students may check their SAP status on BannerWeb at any time. Students are not excused from financial aid warning or suspension status nor exempt from appealing in a timely manner even if notification was missed.
1. Qualitative Standard: GPA Requirement
Financial aid recipients must maintain the same minimum GPA as any other student enrolled at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Please refer to the Academic Regulations section of the Student Handbook for the method of determining GPA. The minimum GPA allowed is 2.0. Students falling below those minimums at the time of review will be placed on financial aid warning and will have one semester to remove themselves from that status by completing the required number of semester hours of coursework to achieve a cumulative 2.0 or higher GPA. Financial aid is extended for the warning semester for all classes not affected by the federal repeat coursework provision. Students who do not attain the 2.0 GPA at the end of the warning semester are on financial aid suspension and their financial aid award is terminated. Students on financial aid suspension must pay for and successfully complete the required number of semester hours to achieve a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 67% earned rate to have aid reinstated. HOPE Grant students must maintain a 2.0 GPA at the 30th and 60th hour GPA checkpoints. Zell Miller Grant students must maintain a cumulative HOPE GPA of 3.5 at the 30th, 60th, 90th and end of spring check points to retain the Zell Miller Grant. HOPE Scholarship students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to retain eligibility for the Scholarship. Zell Miller Scholarship students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3. If the GPA falls below 3.3, but is at least a 3.0, the student would be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship.
2. Quantitative Standard: Earned Rate
Financial aid recipients must successfully earn at least 67% of the credit hours attempted to remain eligible for financial aid. The earned rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours the student successfully completed by the cumulative number of credit hours the student has attempted. Cumulative and earned hours include accepted transfer credit. Students who receive a “Z” grade for a qualifying emergency will have those credits excluded from the attempted hour calculation. Credit hours for all prior terms of enrollment at Wiregrass’ merged colleges, East Central Technical College and Valdosta Technical College, are included in the calculation. Students falling below the 67% earned rate at the time of the review are placed on financial aid warning. Students placed on financial aid warning must complete the warning semester with the required number of semester hours of coursework to achieve a minimum of 67% earned rate. Failure to do so will result in financial aid suspension. Students on suspension must pay for and successfully complete the required number of semester hours to achieve a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 67% earned rate to have aid reinstated.
3. Maximum Time Frame (MTF)
Students must complete their educational program within a maximum time frame of one and a half (150 %) times the length of the program in which they are enrolled. For example, if a program is 36 credit hours, the maximum time frame is 54 attempted hours (36 x 1.5 = 54). This means that students will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid once they have attempted one and one-half times the number of credit hours required for graduation in the program in which enrolled. All periods of enrollment are included when calculating maximum time frame, even terms in which the student did not receive financial aid. Under extenuating circumstances, the student may submit an appeal for maximum time frame. Students graduating from one program and beginning a new program will have their 150% maximum time frame restart for the new program. Students admitted to a program of study and required to enroll in learning support courses may receive federal aid for those courses up to a maximum of 30 semester hours. Learning support coursework is excluded from the maximum time frame calculation. Credits for “Z” grades due to a qualifying emergency will be excluded from the maximum time frame calculation. Dual Enrollment students are exempt for the MTF component of SAP as allowed by GSFC Satisfactory Academic Progress provisions.
Grades included in the earned rate and GPA calculation are “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, and “F”. Grades of “I”, “IP”, and “W” are not included in calculating a student’s SAP GPA. Grades of “I”, “IP”, and “W” are counted as coursework attempted and will be used to determine SAP status for attempted hours. If the SAP status was “warning”, the SAP assignment for the upcoming semester will be “warning”. If the SAP status was “suspension”, the SAP assignment for the upcoming semester will be “suspension”. If this is the first SAP term, the student will be evaluated at the end of the next SAP evaluation.
Incomplete and in progress grades, transfer credit, exemption credit, credit for previous experience, grades for audited courses and articulation credit are not included in the financial aid GPA. Students who receive “I” or “IP” grades will have those grades factored in their attempted or earned rate when a grade has been assigned. The grade must be assigned by the next semester’s SAP evaluation period unless the student falls under extenuating circumstances related to national qualifying emergencies. In such cases, official documentation must be submitted to the Registrar's Office for evaluation. The student’s financial aid award will not be retroactively affected; however, the financial aid award will be affected going forward if the final grade(s) results in financial aid warning or suspension. The student's financial aid for state aid will be retroactively affected if the student falls below the 3.0 GPA for the Zell Miller Grant; or below the 2.0 for the HOPE Grant if the student is at a 30 or 60 credit hour checkpoint. Grades received for Learning Support do not affect GPA, but the hours are calculated in the formula to determine the 66.66% earned rate. ESL coursework is excluded for SAP requirements.
5. Termination of Financial Aid
Financial aid will be terminated when a student is determined by the Financial Aid Office to be ineligible, if the office has evidence that the student has falsified information on the application materials, or if federal or state funds are not provided to meet the award.
6. Appeal Process/Reinstatement of Aid
Students have the right to appeal the denial of financial aid if they have extenuating circumstances which prevented them from making satisfactory progress. The appeal must be made electronically explaining the extenuating circumstances, how these circumstances have changed, and their plan to maintain satisfactory academic progress if the appeal is approved. The student must complete the electronic form through wiregrass.verifymyfafsa.com and upload documentation such as medical records, birth or death certificates, obituaries, letters on official letterhead from third-party sources, or notarized letters from other individuals properly identifying their relationship to the student and their knowledge of the circumstances.
Dual Enrolled high school students will complete the paper appeal form and submit the form with supporting documentation to the High School Services Office. The Financial Aid Office will be notified electronically when the form is completed online or by the High School Services Office when a paper appeal has been submitted. The appeal will be submitted to the committee for review upon receipt. Financial aid appeals are reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff.
The committee will review all requests for appeals as they are submitted. Notification of the outcome of the appeal will be sent via student email and a text to check student email. Appeals of the committee’s decision can be made to the Director of Financial Aid or the Vice President for Enrollment Management within 10 days of the notification of the committee’s decision. Students who are approved for an appeal will be placed on financial aid probation for the semester the appeal was approved. Approved appeals are effective for the current academic year in which the appeal was submitted.
If an appeal is approved and the student meets SAP for the term in which the appeal was approved but does not meet SAP for their cumulative academic record, the SAP Academic Continuation Plan will be put in place for each term until the cumulative SAP measures are met. Students with an approved appeal for the 150 percent SAP measure will have a Graduation Plan put in place.
Students who successfully appeal a financial aid suspension are placed on probation and are required to sign the SAP Academic Plan with their advisor upon approval of the appeal. Students who do not meet with their advisor to sign the SAP Academic Plan each term it is in place will be dropped from their classes. Students on an Academic Plan are required to meet all the requirements of the Academic Plan each term. Academic Plans are developed for each student as applicable on a case by case basis. The academic plan may consist of 100 percent pass rate for the term; a 2.0 or higher-grade point average; advisement with the One-Stop Enrollment and Success Center staff; a requirement not to take online classes, to enroll part-time, to repeat a specific course, to participate in in a specific workshop on campus, or any other activity or requirement that will enable the student to meet SAP Requirements. The Academic Plan will also include an estimate of the time required to be on the academic plan to be back in good standing. The student must have the Academic Plan reviewed by their Advisor and the Financial Aid Office at the end of each semester until the SAP standard is met.
Failure to meet all requirements of the Academic Plan will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension. A student may appeal a financial aid suspension in this situation if there were extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the requirements of the Plan. Academic plans are developed with the goal of the students’ successful completion of their current program of study in a timely manner. Student who change their program of study will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Office to determine if the academic plan should be repealed and the students placed back on financial aid suspension until they submit an appeal explaining how they will make SAP in the next term of enrollment with the new program of study.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College understands there may be cases of extenuating circumstances affecting a student’s financial aid eligibility. The student, or the student’s parents (in the case of a dependent student), may request special consideration called “professional judgment” by submitting the appropriate Special Circumstances Appeal form though an online process at https://wiregrass.studentforms.com/. Extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to loss of employment; loss of income due to divorce or separation; loss of untaxed income; loss of income due to death of a spouse; a one-time income increase such as lottery winnings; loss or hardship due to natural disaster.
Professional judgment may also be sought for students who want to be considered for a dependency override. This override will allow consideration for dependent students to change to an independent status due to an unusual or life threatening family situation, death of a custodial parent, or students who have no contact with their natural parents. All professional judgment decisions will be determined by the Director of Financial Aid, Assistance Director, or Financial Aid Coordinator. Professional judgment decisions may take 4 to 6 weeks to process.
Repeat Coursework – Financial Aid Implications
Currently, students may only receive federal financial aid funding for one repetition of a previously passed course; a previously passed course is one in which any grade higher than “F” was received. A student may receive federal financial aid funding more than once for repeating the same course in which a failing grade has been received, however the normal Satisfactory Academic Progress policy will still apply. Any student who is using federal financial aid to repeat a course, and withdraws before completion of the course, will not have this attempt count against his or her one attempt to retake a previously passed course. However, if after passing the first attempt the student decides to receive federal funds to retake a course for a second time and fails it, the second attempt failure will count as the one allowed repeat of a previously passed course and the student will not be paid for retaking the course a third time.
Pell Recalculation Date (PRD)
Each semester, the Financial Aid Office will set a Pell Recalculation Date (PRD) in line with guidance from the Department of Education on federal financial aid disbursements. The PRD date is sometimes referred to as the census or freeze date. The PRD is a “snapshot” of a student’s enrollment status (credit hours) for the semester at that time.
Wiregrass Georgia’s PRD is the second class day after the college’s purge date. The purge date is between the seventh and tenth instruction day of the start of the regular term. The enrollment status (credit hours) of the student is locked on the Pell recalculation date.
A student must be registered for all courses (including transient classes at another college) by this date in order to have those credit hours considered for Pell Grant funding. Any new classes added after that date will not count towards the student's Pell Grant eligibility.
Exceptions to this policy include when a student adds a class for the first time that semester (i.e. adds a part of term class that starts later in the term as their first time enrolling for the term), when a student fails to begin attendance in a class, or when the college receives an initial FAFSA for the student. In these cases, Pell must be recalculated (updated for the new hours).
For example: Student begins summer semester on May 18 in 6 credit hours and in June decides to add a 3-credit hour class for the Express Term which begins on June 1. The student would not receive additional Pell funds for the Express Term credit hours because they were added after the PRD.
The PRD date only applies to Pell. If the student has state aid such as the HOPE Grant, that grant would be updated for the added class.
Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog
The information in this College Catalog and Student Handbook accurately reflects current policies and procedures at the time of publication. Students are admitted to the College under and are subject to the provisions of the WGTC Catalog and Student Handbooks for the term they initially enroll. Students in all programs are admitted under and are subject to the provisions of the College Catalog and Student Handbook and applicable addendums for the term they are admitted to the program at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. If for any reason a break in enrollment occurs, students must reapply and satisfy the College Catalog and Student Handbook requirements for the term of their re-entry to any program. The provisions of this catalog are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and the student. The College reserves the right to change any provision or requirement at any time.