Feb 23, 2019  
2015-2016 Technical College of the Lowcountry - Catalog/Student Handbook 
    
2015-2016 Technical College of the Lowcountry - Catalog/Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid



The mission of the Financial Aid office is to support the college’s Mission and Core Values by providing students and their family’s financial assistance programs that provide the maximum student support and funding options to assist students with meeting college costs to reach their educational goals. These funding options provide support through various federal, state and local programs and follow all regulatory requirements as defined by law.

The Financial Aid office is part of the Student Affairs Division.

Students wanting to be considered for financial aid eligibility, including all scholarships, grants and loans, must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Students should use TCL’s Federal School Code 009910. This allows the TCL Financial Aid Office the ability to receive your FAFSA.

To ensure you receive the maximum amount of funding consideration we encourage you to apply early and make sure you apply every year. The FAFSA is typically available after January 1st of each year for the upcoming academic year. TCL’s normal priority submission date is the last Friday in May. This allows our office time to process and you time to prepare well in advance of the fee payment deadline.

Please be sure to check the TCL website, www.tcl.edu, for financial aid and other important deadlines.

Students having difficulties completing the FAFSA may contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-(800)-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Additional contact options available at www.fafsa.ed.gov under “FAFSA HELP”.

Additional assistance is available at any of our Financial Aid offices. Campus computers are available for use at no charge for individuals wishing to complete the FAFSA application.

Most Commonly Needed Information to Complete the 2015-2016 Financial Aid Process:

  • All 2014 W2 and 1099 Statements, Federal Income Tax transcripts from the IRS (WWW.IRS.GOV)
  • A copy of Leave and Earning Statement (LES) (for military and their dependents)
  • Information on child support payments received/paid (voluntary or court order)
  • Social Security benefits information (1099s or monthly statement notification)
  • Proof of other family members in the household attending college
  • Statement of unemployment benefits
  • Proof of child support paid
  • Proof of SNAP benefits

Financial assistance awards are used to pay student account balances first. Any remaining awards will be disbursed according to a schedule provided by the Business Office and in accordance with Federal Title IV regulations. All financial aid refund checks are mailed to the address on the student’s account. Please make sure your contact information is up to date. Students are responsible for payment of funds owed to the College, regardless if financial assistance is received as anticipated, or if students are registered for classes not in their major or not otherwise covered, the students are responsible for fees owed.

Financial aid packages are composed of grants, scholarships, loans, and work study employment. Determination of eligibility through needs analysis (i.e. the FAFSA) must be completed before financial aid can be awarded. The College participates in the following programs.

  Federal Pell Grant* The TCL Future Alumni Scholarship
  Federal College Work Study* Veterans Education Program
  William D. Ford Federal Direct loan Program* South Carolina Need-Based Grant Program
  Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant* (FSEOG) LIFE Scholarship
  Academic Competitiveness Grant* South Carolina Lottery Tuition Assistance
  (*Title IV) SC National Guard College Assistance Program
  Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants B3 Building A Better Beaufort Scholarship

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for federally funded Title IV programs, and many state aid programs, the student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be admitted or enrolled in an eligible program of study.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by  TCL.
  • Not be in default or owe repayment on any loan program or other Title IV programs.
  • Demonstrate financial need according to the federally approved system of needs analysis.
  • Register with Selective Service, if required to do so.
  • Demonstrate ability to benefit from educational training.
  • Submit all documents requested by the Financial Aid Office to verify eligibility.

Financial Assistance Programs - Federal

Title IV Federal Programs, provide financial assistance to post-secondary/college students through grants, loans, or work-study opportunities. These programs are based on financial need as assessed by federal government regulations. Many grants have limited funding. Applying early and submitting all required documents is essential.

The grants listed are administered by TCL based on the guidelines set for each program by the US Department of Education and Title IV Regulations.

Federal Pell Grant

This is a need-based federal entitlement grant for students who are seeking their first undergraduate degree and whose Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) ranges from $0 to $5,198. The annual award amount is determined by your EFC and enrollment status. The maximum scheduled award is $5,775.

Students who establish eligibility and have not exceeded their life time eligibility limits (LEU) will be funded. All documents needed to establish eligibility must be received prior to the published financial aid priority deadlines to ensure payment is available prior to TCL’s Tuition and Fee payment deadlines. Students who have not completed documentation prior to the payment deadline should make alternative payment arrangements, such as TCL’s flexible payment plan. Students may submit paperwork through the last date of enrollment, or June 30th of the award year, whichever comes first. Initial awards are estimated based on the results of the FAFSA and are based on a full time enrollment calculation.

Estimates will change if any criteria used to determine your eligibility, such as program of study, degree status, SAP status, and income or family information changes. You may receive coverage only for courses that are required for your program of study, and of those a maximum of 30 credit hours of required college-preparatory coursework. Final payment will not be determined until after class attendance has been confirmed, seventeen days (17) days after the first day of class. Students registered for mini-mester classes will not receive their full Pell Grant payments until their last class has begun. The amount actually paid to you from the Federal Pell Grant will be prorated if you enroll for fewer than 12 credit hours in a given term or if you take courses outside your program of study. You must begin attending all of your classes on the first day. If you are withdrawn for non-attendance prior to the actual payment of Pell Grant funds, you are not eligible to receive federal funding. Please make sure you check your WebAdvisor account regularly as this may leave you with a balance owed to the college.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

This is a limited funded need-based federal grant awarded to undergraduates seeking a first undergraduate degree in an eligible program who have exceptional financial need. The award amount at TCL varies by enrollment and allocation. Priority is given to students with an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of “0” giving first consideration to students with an automatic zero as determined by the federal government. Initial awards are estimated based on the results of the FAFSA and assume a full time enrollment status. Estimates may change if any criteria used to determine your eligibility changes. Actual payment will not be determined until after the add/drop period has ended and classes have begun. The amount paid to you from the FSEOG will be prorated if you enroll for fewer than 12 credit hours in a given term. You must attend all of your class(es) on the first day of each term. If you are withdrawn for non-attendance prior to the actual payment of FSEOG funds, payment for the withdrawn class(es) will not be made.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

A student whose parent or guardian died as a result of U.S. military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, may receive increased FSA funds if at the time of the parent or guardian’s death the student was either less than 24 years old or was enrolled in college.

If the student is ineligible for a Pell grant only because his EFC is too high, he may receive an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. As with Pell Grants, there is a receipt limit of 12 semesters (600% LEU in COD), and this limitation is not limited to students who received their first Pell Grant on or after July 1, 2008, as was the previous limit of 18 semesters or equivalent. Payments are adjusted for students enrolled less than full time.

Federal Work Study Program

This is a limited funding federal work program for students with financial need. You may be employed on one of our campuses, or as a reading tutor in a local public school or library. As a work study employee, you may work up to 15 hours per week and earn at least minimum wage, up to the amount of your financial need. You may be offered work study as part of your overall award; however, if it was not included, you may inquire about your eligibility by visiting TCL’s Financial Aid office.

TCL Work Study Jobs

How will I receive a job assignment?

Work study awards are part of your overall financial aid package. Instructions and applications to apply can be found online at www.tcl.edu/financial-aid/forms. If selected for a position, the Career and Transfer Services coordinator will contact you to complete the remaining assignment documents. You will need to bring your Social Security Card and proof of citizenship or eligibility to work in the U.S. with you to your meeting.

How will I receive payment for my Federal Work Study Award?

You will be paid by the TCL Payroll Department twice a month based on the time sheet you and your supervisor submit to the Career and Transfer Services Coordinator. You will receive a packet of information about this process when your assignment documents are completed.

Institutional Work Study

Various campus departments have funding to hire students as part-time work study positions. You should inquire through the Career and Transfer Services Coordinator or through the various campus departments about any available opening and program qualifications.

Community Service Learning (CSL) Program

A part of the Federal Work Study Program (FWS), students may be placed in community service work settings. Community service includes support services for students with disabilities, mentoring, welfare, and social services.

William D. Ford Direct Loan Program -Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans

TCL students are eligible to participate in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. There are three programs: the Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, and the Parent Plus Loan for Undergraduate Dependent Students (PLUS). Federal Direct Education Loans are established and supported by the federal government, and the Department of Education serves as the lender.

ALL FEDERAL STAFFORD EDUCATION LOANS MUST BE REPAID. To receive any loan, you must complete the FAFSA. You must also enroll in at least 6 credit hours required for your program of study each term. 

Subsidized Federal Direct Education Loan

This loan requires unmet financial need. The federal government will pay the interest while you are enrolled in school, and you must repay the loan plus interest beginning 6 months after you leave school or drop to less than half-time status. You must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per term. Students with fewer than 30 credits toward their current program at the time of application may borrow up to $3,500 per year in Subsidized loan funds or the amount of unmet financial need, whichever is less. Students with 30 credits or more toward their current program at the time of application may borrow up to $4,500 per year in Subsidized loan funds or the amount of unmet financial need, whichever is less.

Note: New law has eliminated the interest subsidy provided during the six-month grace period for subsidized loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014. If you receive a subsidized loan during this time frame, you will be responsible for the interest that accrues while your loan is in the grace period. This provision does not eliminate the interest subsidy while the borrower is in school or during eligible periods of deferment.

Time Limit on Direct Subsidized Loans

If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” Your maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current program. You can usually find the published length of any program of study in this catalog or on TCL’s website.

For example, if you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years or 4 x 1.5 = 6). If you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 3 years (150 percent of 2 years = 3 years or 2 x 1.5 = 3).

Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, your maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period. This is important to note if you are changing your major from an Associate’s degree to a certificate program as it can potentially affect your ability to continue to receive subsidized loans. Please consult with both your academic advisor and the Financial Aid office prior to changing your major.

Certain types of enrollment may cause you to become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans when the U.S. Department of Education usually would have paid it. These enrollment patterns are described below.

I become responsible for paying the interest that accrues on my Direct Subsidized Loans, when:

  • I am no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans and I stay enrolled in my current program
  • I am no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans, did not graduate from my prior program, and am enrolled in an undergraduate program that is the same length or shorter than my prior program
  • I transferred into the shorter program and lost eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans because I have received Direct Subsidized Loans for a period that equals or exceeds my new, lower maximum eligibility period, which is based on the length of the new program.

Unsubsidized Federal Family Education Loan

This loan does NOT require financial need; complete your FAFSA. Interest will accrue on this loan while you are in school. You must repay the loan, accrued interest and current interest beginning 6 months after you leave school or drop to less than half-time status. You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits per term. Please consult with the financial aid office to review the maximum award amounts.

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Dependent Students (PLUS)

Parents of dependent students may borrow on behalf of their children. Income is not a factor, but the borrower cannot have adverse credit. The student must first apply for other types of financial aid by completing their FAFSA. Loan amounts must not exceed the cost of education less other financial aid. Parent loans must be repaid over a 10-year period with interest beginning 60 days after disbursement. The student will not be able to charge tuition or books against the Plus Loan without parental consent.

How do I apply for a Federal Student or Parent Loan?

You must first establish your by completing the FAFSA and all application steps listed earlier in this publication. A separate in-house Loan Certification or Affirmation Request packet is also required for each term or year that you are applying for loans. If you are a first time borrower you must also complete the Loan, Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov using TCL’s federal school code 009910. The instructions on applying for a Federal Direct Loan are located at http://www.tcl.edu/financial-aid/forms. Requests must be made by the established priority submission deadline.

Alternative Loans

There are a number of private loans which are available to credit-worthy students and/or their co-borrowers. Students should first determine their eligibility under the William D. Ford Direct Lending program before seeking additional funding under this option. To apply for a private loan you must contact the lender of your choice. Information on the eligibility criteria and loan terms are available on each lender’s website.

Applying for a Private Education Student Loan

  1. Review Federal Aid First: The U.S. Department of Education Federal Aid First explains the difference between Federal and Private Loans. Visit www.studentloans.gov for more information.
  2. We encourage you to have a completed FAFSA, at TCL using our School Code of 009910. This provides us with information to review your file for State, Federal, and Institutional funds before you borrow a Private Loan.
  3. Choose a lender or Bank to apply for a Private Education Loan. TCL does not offer a preferred lender list for private loans. Students can check with their bank or research private loans on the Web. We strongly encourage students to borrow federal loans first as they offer better benefits and interest rates.
  4. School Certification: Our office will certify the loan once we receive a certification request from your lending institution. Private loan limits are set by federal regulations and cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received. We are not responsible for the timeliness of private loans and students should address all customer service issues with their lender.

Payment Plan

TCL also offers an option for students to defer their tuition and fees past the fee payment deadline date. The payment plan is managed by the college and is available to all students registering with balances in the current term. All registration fees assessed can be included in your agreement and no interest is charged and no minimum monthly amounts are mandated, however there is a $35 enrollment fee each term. The payment schedule and due date is set for each semester. Details or more information on this plan can be found at http://www.tcl.edu/tuition-fees, or by contacting the college’s Business Office.

Financial Assistance Programs - State

LIFE Scholarship

The LIFE Scholarship is awarded to South Carolina residents who have graduated from a South Carolina high school with a 3.0 South Carolina Uniform grade point average (GPA) or higher. Students must be full-time and course work must be college-level. The maximum annual award is cost of full-time tuition for up to 15 credit hours of enrollment during the Fall and Spring semesters and $300 for books, annually for students at two-year colleges. Awards may not exceed $5,000 per fall/spring semester and funds may not be used to pay tuition and fees that are not mandatory for all students. For example LIFE funds cannot be used to pay high course cost fees.

To maintain continued eligibility for the LIFE Scholarship, students are required to earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative LIFE GPA by the end of each academic year and complete 30 credit hours annually.

  • The LIFE GPA includes all grades and credit hours earned at all eligible institutions (in-state and out-of-state) and college courses taken while in high school.
  • The LIFE GPA does not include: exempted credit courses, Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), remedial/developmental courses, non-degree credit courses for an associate’s degree or higher.
  • Pass/Fail and non-penalty withdrawal credit courses are also excluded.
  • Students may receive their LIFE GPA upon written request to the Registrar. To learn more about the LIFE Scholarship program contact TCL’s Financial Aid Office.
  • Effective with the Summer 2015 semester, students may use their LIFE Scholarship in the Summer term if they have met the requirements to receive it in the upcoming Fall Term prior to the start of summer. See the Financial Aid Office for more information.
  • The LIFE Affidavit must be submitted each year to be considered. See the TCL Financial Aid Website for Affidavit forms.

Lottery Tuition Assistance

To be eligible for SC’s Lottery Tuition Assistance, students must:

  • Qualify for in-state tuition rate and be a SC resident at least one year.
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. (FAFSA)
  • Be enrolled in a certificate, diploma or associate degree program and maintain at least six credits per semester
  • Take courses toward the completion of a certificate, diploma or associate degree.
  • Not be a recipient of a LIFE scholarship award in the same academic year.
  • Not be in default on any government student loan program, or owe repayments of a grant.
  • Lottery Tuition Assistance is available only when the student has unmet tuition costs. Lottery may  not be used to pay for high course cost fees or other non-mandatory fees applied to all students. Lottery funds may not be applied prior to Pell Grant funds being applied.

South Carolina Need-Based Grant (SCNGB)

The South Carolina Need-Based Grant Program is awarded by the State of South Carolina. The program is designed to provide additional financial assistance to South Carolina’s neediest students who wish to attend college in the State of South Carolina. Awards are contingent on funding availability so apply early. In addition to completing the FAFSA, a student must submit the SCNBG Affidavit Form which certifies the following:

  • Be a resident of the State of South Carolina.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program of study that is not less than one year in length. Students must be working toward an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate.
  • Possess a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent of a high school diploma.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution in accordance with Title IV regulations, and complete a minimum of 24 semester hours as a full-time student or 12 semester hours as a part-time student per academic year.
  • Receive the grant not more than four semesters for a two-year degree program, or two semesters for a one year certificate or diploma program.
  • Be of good moral character with no felony convictions.

Financial Assistance Programs - Local

TCL Future Alumni Scholarship

Technical College of the Lowcountry Foundation Inc. awards assistance to a number of deserving students each year. All students admitted to TCL and meeting scholarship requirements including completion of a valid FAFSA, verifiable unmet costs associated with tuition fees and books, enrollment in at least six credit hours and a minimum GPA of 2.5, are automatically considered for the scholarship for which they might qualify. No additional application or materials are required. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid office.

B3 Building A Better Beaufort Scholarship

The “B3 Scholarship” ensures any Beaufort County School District graduate who meets certain academic eligibility and application filing criteria will be guaranteed at least two years of college tuition free at TCL. The first scholarships were awarded to students graduating in the Class of 2014. B3 funds are last funds in. Students must apply for an be considered for all other forms of financial aid first. If any remaining tuition (not fees) costs exist the B3 funds will pay for those tuition expenses. To be considered students must have both their TCL Admission Application and their Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) with TCL’s School Code submitted by May 25th for the 2015-2016 academic year. For the most up to date initial and renewal criteria, please see the B3 website at www.tcl.edu/b3

Financial Assistance Programs - Veterans and Military

Veterans Education Benefits

TCL is an approved institution for administering the educational benefit programs of the Veterans Administration (VA). The College is committed to serving veterans and their eligible dependents.

Curriculum courses are approved for training under Title 38 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 30 (New GI Bill or Montgomery Bill), Chapter 31 (Disabled Veterans), Chapter 32 (VEAP), Chapter 33 (Post 9/11), Chapter 34 (Old GI Bill), Chapter 35 (Widows and War Orphans), or Chapter 1606 and 1607 (National Guard & Reserves).

No benefits will be paid for a class or a degree that is not authorized and approved by the VA. For more information, contact the TCL Veterans Services Office on the Beaufort campus in Building 2, Coleman Hall at 843- 470-6055. Students who may be eligible for Veterans benefits should contact the Financial Aid/ Veterans Education Benefits Office for information on how to apply. Applications should be submitted at least eight weeks prior to enrollment to allow time for processing.

All veterans must present a copy of their schedule to the Financial Aid/Veteran Office, including all schedule changes. Failure to follow this step may delay credit certification, which delays payments from the Veteran Affairs Administration.

Admission requirements are the same as those for other students. The VA is responsible for determining eligibility, enrollment status and awarding benefits. Each student is responsible for notifying the Veterans Services Office of any changes in personal data, career goals, or changes in class schedule.

Payment for Veterans Benefits

For payment purposes, 12 credit hours per semester is considered full-time attendance for the fall and spring semesters; the VA pays only for the minimum number of semester hours. Semester hour requirements vary during summer term. Please consult with the VA for actual enrollment status in the summer term.

Advance Payment Policy for Veterans

Students eligible for VA benefits may apply for an advanced payment from 45 days, but no more than 120 days, prior to the first day of the term. Application processing takes from six to eight weeks after submission to the VA, and the first payment includes pay for all days in the month the term begins the month following the end of the term.

Chapter 1606 or 1607 (Reserve and National Guard) Benefits

Developmental courses offered at TCL are not applicable for payment by the VA for those using Chapter 1606 or 1607 benefits with contracts signed prior to October 1, 1990. Students enrolled under this chapter must carry a minimum of six semester hours. If credit hours fall below six, only the cost of tuition will be paid by the VA.

Previous Training (prior credits) Transcripts for Veterans

It is the student’s responsibility to obtain official transcripts from all schools and colleges they have previously attended to verify previous training and prior credits. The student will receive VA benefits for only ONE term unless all transcripts are submitted to TCL’s Enrollment Services Office during the student’s first term at TCL.

Chapter 33 - Post 9/11 GI Bill

This chapter of benefits is for service members and veterans who served at least 90 days on active duty excluding training after September 10, 2001. You can also qualify if you served a minimum of 30 days and got discharged with a service connected disability. Depending on how much time was served after this date determines what percentage you will be rated. If you have been discharged from the military you must have an honorable discharge or one of three medical discharges, (EPTS) Existing Prior to Service, (HDSP) Hardship, or (CIWD) Condition Interfering with Duty to qualify.

Benefits

Under Chapter 33 , tuition and fees are paid directly to the school and will not surpass the schools in state tuition rate which is $191.00 per credit hour. Note: the tuition that the VA pays will not cover out of state tuition so it is very important to get classified as an in state resident or you could financially be responsible for the remaining balance per credit hour even if you are classified at a 100% for Chapter 33 benefits. The State of South Carolina has recently made changes to the way residency is determine for Veterans. Please consult with the Admissions Office to verify your residency status is accurate.

Monthly Housing Allowance is paid directly to the student and equals the BAH rate for an E-5 with dependents no matter what your pay grade was or is with the military. BAH is now calculated by taking the amount of credits you are attending and dividing that number by the full time enrollment rate for that particular semester. Rates for a Veterans BAH allowance are determined by the Veterans Affairs Administration and not within the control of TCL.

Books and Supplies Stipend is paid directly to the student each school year. This is calculated according to your percentage and caps off at 24 credit hours, no matter how those credits are organized throughout the school year.

Applying for Benefits
Now that you are ready to attend TCL there are a few steps that need to be completed so that your transition to the college is as smooth as possible. The first step is to complete the application process for your benefits. Here are the steps to complete the VA Online Application or VONAPP:

  • Apply online at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp.
  • If you have never used this site before, you will need to create a user name and password.
  • Completing the 22-1990 application online allows you to sign it electronically, as well as submit it to the VA electronically. As a result, the application process is more streamlined and is usually processed quickly.

The result of completing the VONAPP is a Certificate of Eligibility. This letter is sent to your address and it indicates what benefits you qualify for, and will be used to process your VA paperwork at TCL. Paper applications are available through the TCL Financial Aid and Veterans Education Benefits office, however please be aware that if you fill them out on campus, they are sent via US Postal service and it can delay your approval.

If by the time you have registered for classes you have not received your Certificate of Eligibility, we strongly encourage you to stop by the Financial Aid and Veterans Education Benefits office with your 22-1990 application so that we can start the process of certification for you. Please keep in mind that although your enrollment will be sent to the VA, it does not mean the VA can process it. Your application must be approved by the VA before your certification can be completed. If you have already registered for classes, please DO NOT wait for your certificate of eligibility to arrive in the mail. This will delay the certification process at the school as well as with the VA.

The primary goal of the Veteran’s Affairs Office at TCL is to set up each student’s benefits as soon as possible.

Requirements to be certified at TCL

New Students

  • Certificate of Eligibility OR
  • 22-1990 Application
  • (VONAPP)

Transfer Students

  • 22-1995
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)

Transient Students

  • Facts.org paperwork
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)

The above items should be brought to the VA Representative at the Beaufort Campus, or dropped off at any of our campuses for routing to the VA. Please submit this information after you have registered for classes and prior to fee payment deadlines. The rest of your requirements will be provided to you by a VA Representative after the above documents have been received and reviewed.

As a student using chapter 33 you are entitled to a VA tuition deferment every semester at TCL. This deferment allows you a 60 day extension for payment of your tuition and fees. Chapter 33 recipients are still eligible to apply for  federal Financial Aid through the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. In fact, we strongly encourage you to apply in the event that you need additional financial assistance while at TCL.

Applying for Financial Aid can also serve as a backup for payment at the college in the odd event that your benefits are delayed. All Credit hour Programs at TCL are approved for VA certification and benefits.

Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill

This chapter of benefits is for active duty service members who served a minimum of two years on active duty and contributed $1,200.00 for the bill. Chapter 30 can provide up to 36 months of education assistance. You may use this benefit while on active duty or once you have ended your contract with your branch of service. If you are a veteran you must also make sure you have an honorable discharge or you may lose your chapter 30 benefits. If for any particular reason your contract ended early you need to make sure that your early discharge does not conflict with the use of your benefits. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the VA at 1-888-442-4551.

Applying for Benefits

Now that you are ready to attend TCL there are a few steps to complete that will make your transition here as smooth as possible. The first thing that needs to happen is applying for benefits.

  • Go on line to http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp.
  • Here you will need to create a user name and password if you have never used this site before. The key is to be able to put your electronic signature on the bottom of the application so that you can send it electronically to the VA. The reason this is so important is because it can speed up the process of getting your Letter of Eligibility sent to your address and your being able to use benefits.

If by the time you have registered for classes you have not received your letter of eligibility you are highly encouraged to stop in with your 22-1990 application and your DD-214 member 4 so that we can start the process of certification for you. Although we can certify your enrollment that does not mean the VA can process it. They still have to process your application before your certification. Please DO NOT wait until your letter of eligibility has come in if you already registered for classes this will only hold up your VA process. Our goal here is to set up your benefits as soon as possible so that you can be compensated for your hard work and dedication to our country.

Requirements to be certified at TCL

New Students

  • Certificate of Eligibility OR
  • 22-1990 Application
  • (VONAPP)

Transfer Students

  • 22-1995
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)

Transient Students

  • Facts.org paperwork
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)

The above items should be brought to the VA Representative at TCL and turned in once you have registered for classes. The rest of your requirements will be provided to you by the Representative once we have received the above documents.

As a new student you are entitled to request an advance payment for the first semester of attendance however the VA requires a forty-five (45) day advance notification. If you need the advance payment, please see the VA Coordinator or email your request to financialaid@tcl.edu, or call 843-470-6055 to schedule an appointment with the VA Representative.  

Please remember, your tuition is still due by the school’s scheduled fee payment deadline. If tuition is not paid by the fee payment deadline date you will likely be deregistered from your classes. You may also submit your FAFSA and apply for Federal Title IV aid in addition to using your Chapter 30 benefits. If approved it can make the transition from semester to semester an easier one. It can also help if your benefits are held up for any reason.

WAVE

WAVE (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment) is a system used to verify your enrollment at TCL each and every month. If this process does not happen the monthly entitlement will not be sent out, even if the VA Representative certified you at the beginning of the semester. This process can be completed by either going on line at www.gibill.va.gov or you can call the voice response system at 1-877-823-2378.

Chapter 35 - Survivors & Dependents Assistance

This chapter of benefits is for spouses and children of veterans who passed away, or are 100% disabled as a result of a service connected situation to include MIA (Missing In Action) and POW (Prisoner Of War). Chapter 35 benefits can provide up to 45 months of full time benefits. If you are a spouse of a qualifying veteran you have 10 years from date of eligibility to use the benefits or 20 years if the veteran passed away while on active duty. Children may use the benefit from the age of 18 to 26. If there are any issues with these time constraints you may be able to have them extended by contacting the VA at 1-888-442-4551.

Applying for Benefits

Now that you are ready to attend TCL there are a few steps that need to be completed so that your transition to the college is as smooth as possible. The first step is to complete the application process for your benefits. Here are the steps to complete the VA Online Application (VONAPP):

  • Apply online at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp
  • If you have never used this site before, you will need to create a user name and password.
  • Completing the 22-5490 application online allows you to sign it electronically, as well as submit it to the VA electronically. As a result, the application process is more streamlined and is usually processed quickly. The result of completing the VONAPP is a Certificate of Eligibility. This letter is sent to your address, indicates what benefits you qualify for, and will be used to process your VA paperwork at the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

If by the time you have registered for classes you have not received your Certificate of Eligibility, we strongly encourage you to stop in Financial Aid and Veterans Education Benefits office with your 22-5490 application so that we can start the process of certification for you. Please keep in mind that although your enrollment will be sent to the VA, it does not mean the VA can process it. Your application must be approved by the VA before your certification can be completed. If you have already registered for classes, please DO NOT wait for your certificate of eligibility to arrive in the mail. This will delay the certification process at the school as well as with the VA.

Requirements to be certified at the Technical College of the Lowcountry

New Students

  • Certificate of Eligibility OR
  • 22-1990 Application
  • (VONAPP)

Transfer Students

  • 22-1995
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)

Transient Students

  • Facts.org paperwork
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)

The above items should be brought to a VA Representative at our Beaufort Campus after you have registered for classes. The rest of your requirements will be provided to you by a VA Representative after the above documents have been received and reviewed. Please be aware that while using VA benefits, tuition and fees are due to the school by the scheduled due date.

If tuition is not paid by that scheduled date, you may be deregistered from your classes.

Chapter 35 recipients are still eligible to submit their FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. We strongly encourage you to apply in the event you need additional financial assistance while at TCL. Applying for Financial Aid can also serve as a backup for payment at the college in the odd event that your benefits are delayed.

Chapter 1606 - Selected Reserve Montgomery GI Bill

This chapter of benefits is for members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves as well as the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Chapter 1606 can provide up to 36 months of education benefits for those individuals as long as they have completed their initial active duty training and are in good standing with their reserve unit. Benefits typically last 14 years from date of eligibility or when you get discharged, whichever comes first. If you were not able to use your benefits you could call the VA to possibly get an extension by calling 1-888-442-4551.

Applying for Benefits

Now that you are ready to attend TCL there are a few steps that need to be completed so that your transition is as smooth as possible. The first step is to complete the application process for your benefits online through the the VA Online Application (VONAPP):

If you have never used this site before, you will need to create a user name and password.

Completing the 22-1990 application online allows you to sign it electronically, as well as submit it to the VA electronically. As a result, the application process is more streamlined and is usually processed quickly. The result of completing the VONAPP is a Certificate of Eligibility. This letter is sent to your address, indicates what benefits you qualify for, and will be used to process your VA paperwork at TCL.

Certificate of Eligibility, we strongly encourage you to stop in Financial Aid and Veterans Education Benefits office with your 22-1990 application and your NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility) so that we can start the process of certification for you. Please keep in mind that although your enrollment will be sent to the VA, it does not mean the VA can process it. Your application must be approved by the VA before your certification can be completed. If you have already registered for classes, please DO NOT wait for your certificate of eligibility to arrive in the mail. This will delay the certification process at the school as well as with the VA.

Requirements to be certified at the Technical College of the Lowcountry

New Students

  • Certificate of Eligibility OR
  • 22-1990 Application
  • (VONAPP)
  • NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility)

Transfer Students

  • 22-1995
  • NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility)
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)

Transient Students

  • Facts.org paperwork
  • NOBE (Notice of Basic Eligibility)
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)
  • The above items should be brought to a VA Representative at our Beaufort campus after you have registered for classes. You may also drop the forms at any of our sites and it will be routed to the VA Certifying Official.
  • The rest of your requirements will be provided to you by a VA Representative after the above documents have been received and reviewed.
  • Please be aware that while using VA benefits, tuition and fees are due to the school by the scheduled due date. If tuition is not paid by that scheduled date, your classes may be dropped.
  • Chapter 1606 recipients are still eligible to apply for other federal financial aid FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. In fact, we strongly encourage that you apply in the event that you need additional financial assistance. Applying for financial aid can also serve as a backup for payment at the college in the odd event that your benefits are delayed.

WAVE

WAVE (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment) is a system used to verify your enrollment at TCL each and every month. If this process does not happen the monthly entitlement will not be sent out, even if the VA Representative certified you at the beginning of the semester. This process can be completed by either going on line at www.gibill.va.gov or you can call the voice response system at 1-877-823-2378.

Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

This chapter of benefits is for reservist either in the Selected Reserves or Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and National Guard who are ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency, if declared by the President or Congress. Chapter 1607 can provide up to 36 months of education assistance, and benefits may be used while in the reserves. You can also use it after your contract ends with your branch of service for up to 10 years if you separate from the Selected Reserves and Not the Individual Ready Reserves or National Guard. If you have any questions regarding these matters you may contact the VA at 1-888-442-4551.

Applying for Benefits

Now that you are ready to attend TCL there are a few steps that need to be completed so that your transition to the college is as smooth as possible. The first step is to complete the application process for your benefits through the VA Online Application (VONAPP):

  • Apply online at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp
  • If you have never used this site before, you will need to create a user name and password.
  • Completing the 22-1990 application online allows you to sign it electronically, as well as submit it to the VA electronically. As a result, the application process is more streamlined and is usually processed quickly.
  • The result of completing the VONAPP is a Certificate of Eligibility. This letter is sent to your address, indicates what benefits you qualify for, and will be used to process your VA paperwork at the Technical College of the Lowcountry. 

If by the time you have registered for classes you have not received your Certificate of Eligibility, we strongly encourage you to visit the Financial Aid and Veterans Education Benefits office with your 22-1990 application so that we can start the process of certification for you. Please keep in mind that although your enrollment will be sent to the VA, it does not mean the VA can process it. Your application must be approved by the VA before your certification can be completed. If you have already registered for classes, please DO NOT wait for your certificate of eligibility to arrive in the mail. This will delay the certification process at the school as well as with the VA. 

Requirements to be certified at the Technical College of the Lowcountry

New Students

  • Certificate of Eligibility OR
  • 22-1990 Application
  • (VONAPP)

Transfer Students

  • 22-1995
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)

Transient Students

  • Facts.org paperwork
  • Certificate of Eligibility (if you still have a copy)
  • The above items should be brought to a VA Representative.
  • The rest of your requirements will be provided to you by a VA Representative after the above documents have been received and reviewed.
  • Please be aware that while using VA benefits, tuition and fees are due to the school by the scheduled due date. If tuition is not paid by that scheduled date, your classes will be dropped.

Chapter 1607 recipients are still eligible to apply for the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. We strongly encourage you apply in the event that you need additional financial assistance while at TCL. Applying for financial aid can also serve as a backup for payment at the college in the odd event that your benefits are delayed.

WAVE

WAVE (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment) is a system used to verify your enrollment at TCL each and every month. If this process does not happen the monthly entitlement will not be sent out, even if the VA Representative certified you at the beginning of the semester. This process can be completed by either going on line at www.gibill.va.gov or you can call the voice response system at 1-877-823-2378 if you don’t have access to the internet.

Cost of Attendance

The following are average* costs of attendance for a full-time student attending both the Fall and Spring Terms of the 2015-2016 school year (9 month budget for Fall and Spring) :

  SC Resident Living Independently SC Resident Out-of-Area Living Independently Non-SC Resident Out of State Tuition
Tuition & Fees 4,180 4,780 9,076
Books & Supplies 1,240 1,240 1,240
Room & Board 7,425 7,425 7,425
Transportation & Personal Expenses 1,236 1,236 1,236
Total 9 Months Budget 14,081 *** 14,681 *** 18,977 ***

* It is very important to note the average expenses are estimated based on local cost of living information for use in calculating financial aid eligibility. Individual expenses vary based on your choice of lifestyle and living arrangements.

Fees not included in the cost of attendance chart as listed above include program specific fees, courses having high course cost fees, insurance fees, etc. Fees and billing are handled by the Business Office and information on specific course fees can be located http://www.tcl.edu/tuition-fees.

** Non-South Carolina Residents include out-of-state students and international students.

***This cost of attendance is subject to revision after the publication of the 2015-2016 catalog. Please check online at http://www.tcl.edu/financial-aid for updates and additions to the Cost of Attendance.

What will it cost to attend The Technical College of the Lowcountry?

College cost, which is sometimes referred to as the Cost of Attendance (COA), includes both direct and indirect costs. Students are advised to review their budget and plan ahead. Financial aid is available to assist with meeting your needs up to your total cost of attendance and cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

Direct costs at the Technical College of the Lowcountry

These are costs that the family is billed for by the college-such as tuition and fees. Tuition is set based on a semester credit hour charge. For example, a full-time student enrolled in 4 classes (3 credit hours per class) will be charged for 12 credit hours and any associated course fees. 

Indirect costs while attending The Technical College of the Lowcountry

These are the costs that don’t show up on the college bill. They include books, supplies, and travel, as well as personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, and food. Since you will be living off-campus, room and board costs will also be indirect costs. You can control indirect costs to some degree, by making smart spending choices.

Five Basic Cost Components TCL uses to determine your Cost of Attendance (COA) for Federal Student Aid Purposes

Tuition and Fees - Direct Cost

These are the charges for your education. They may vary based on academic program and number of credit hours attending each semester. The tuition and fee charges will appear on the bill. At TCL, your COA will represent the average tuition and fees for a student.

Books and Supplies - Indirect Cost

This expense covers your course materials. At TCL, your Books and Supplies component will represent the average cost for a student. You can charge books and supplies against your financial aid awards at the TCL Bookstore prior to the start of the semester.

Room and Board - Indirect Cost

TCL does not have on-campus housing so it is necessary for students to make an estimate of these expenses.

Personal Expenses - Indirect Cost

The costs for things like laundry and telephone fall under personal expenses. Keep careful track of these as they can quickly build up.

Transportation - Indirect Cost

Transportation is added to your COA and represents a student’s average cost for transportation.

Disclaimer

The Financial Aid Office has taken care to insure the accuracy and timeliness of the information contained in this publication. However, contents are subject to change without notice because of changing federal, state or institutional policies. All financial aid awards are contingent upon availability of funds and the student’s final eligibility determination.

Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Duration of Eligibility

Students receiving financial assistance through federally funded programs will be required to complete their curriculum programs within a specified time period. Duration depends upon program of study and enrollment status. Please consult with the Financial Aid Representative to review your specific timeframe.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Recipients of Financial Aid

Students receiving financial assistance through a federal program or S.C. Need Based Grant must be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, diploma or certificate.  The financial aid office must monitor the progress of all students to ensure that they are making satisfactory progress toward completion of their program in a reasonable period of time.  This policy is in addition to the academic standards required by the College.  The cumulative review determines the student’s eligibility for financial assistance based on his or her academic history.  Whether the student has received financial assistance previously is not a factor in determining eligibility.

Communication with Students

SAP status will be evaluated after each semester in which the student is enrolled.
Students will be notified via TCL email if their status changes.
Students must review emails and announcements regularly to ensure they have the latest information about their financial aid and SAP status.

Qualitative Standard (Completion Rate and Grade Point Average)

The minimum completion rate requires students to earn at least 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted.
Courses with grades of  F, W, WF, I, U, WP and NC are not considered completed courses.
Students are also required to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
Students are placed on financial aid warning if the completion rate is less than 67% or if the GPA is less than 2.0. (See Warning section.)

Quantitative Standard (Length of Eligibility)

Students may receive financial aid for 1.5 times the published length of the program of study.
For example, a student enrolled in a 60 credit hour program is eligible until 90 credit hours are attempted (60 x 1.5 = 90).
Transfer hours are added to the total hours attempted at TCL to assess the length of eligibility.
Students may repeat a course, but repetitions will count toward the length of eligibility.
Once the maximum number of hours is attempted, students are placed on financial aid suspension.
To reestablish eligibility, students must have an approved appeal. (See Appeals section.)

Remedial Courses

Remedial courses are defined as zero level and 100 level courses.
A student may only attempt or count for enrollment status purposes up to 30 remedial hours.
Remedial courses will not count for SAP purposes in the GPA or length of eligibility calculation.
Remedial courses will count for SAP purposes in the completion rate calculation.

Warning

The minimum credit hour completion rate and the GPA standard are assessed at the end of each semester.  If students do not earn the minimum grade point average and/or complete the minimum number of credit hours required, they are placed on financial aid warning for the next semester attended. 

Financial aid eligibility continues during the warning period.

During the warning period, students must take at least 6 credit hours, complete 100% of the attempted hours and have at least a 2.0 term GPA. If students do not meet these stipulations, they will be placed on financial aid suspension. (See Suspension for Failing to Meet Warning or Probationary Stipulations section.)

If students meet the warning stipulations, have a minimum 2.0 GPA and have a completion rate of at least 67% of the cumulative hours attempted, they will be removed from financial aid warning and must continue to meet this policy.

If students meet the warning stipulations and the GPA is less than 2.0 or the completion rate is less than 67 percent of the cumulative hours attempted, they will be placed on financial aid probation. (See Probation section.)

Probation

To remain eligible for aid during a probationary period, students must submit an appeal to include an academic plan.

During the probationary period, students must take at least 6 credit hours, complete 100% of the attempted hours, have at least a 2.0 term GPA and continue to follow the academic plan. If students do not meet these stipulations, they will be placed on financial aid suspension. (See Suspension for Failing to Meet Warning or Probationary Stipulations section.)

If students meet the probationary stipulations, have a minimum 2.0 GPA and have a completion rate of at least 67% of the cumulative hours attempted, they will be removed from financial aid probation and must continue to meet this policy.

Suspension for Failing to Meet Warning or Probationary Stipulations

To reestablish eligibility students must submit and have an approved appeal after completing a semester at TCL without financial assistance (excluding Lottery Tuition Assistance).  During the semester attended without financial assistance, a student must take at least 6 credit hours, complete 100% of the attempted hours and have at least a 2.0 term GPA.

Exceptions to this policy will only be allowed if the student encountered some type of extenuating circumstance during the warning or probationary period that hindered him or her from meeting the stipulations.

Examples of acceptable extenuating circumstances include:  prolonged hospitalization during the warning or probationary period, death in the family during the warning or probationary period or change in work hours that conflicted with the class schedule during the warning or probationary period.  Extenuating circumstances must be verified with third-party documentation. Acceptable documentation must verify the circumstances and be date specific to the required term. Examples of acceptable documentation are: medical records or doctor’s letter, court documents, employer or supervisor’s letter, death certificate, obituary or funeral program (name and relationship must be outlined in obituary or funeral program), etc. Third-party letters must be on official office or company letterhead.

Because a student is aware prior to the warning or probationary period that he or she must meet the stipulations, extenuating circumstances do not include being a single parent or working full-time while attending school.

Students are advised to solve their difficulties prior to registering for a warning or probationary period.

Appeals

Appeals for suspension of financial aid are reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid.

The number of appeals will be limited to two (2) per student and forms may be obtained from the financial aid office or the website at www.tcl.edu/FinancialAid under “Financial Aid Forms”.

If the Director determines that justifiable evidence of extenuating circumstances exists, a student may receive an extension of financial aid eligibility.

Appeals for length of eligibility should include from the registrar’s office a signed statement showing the total number of hours attempted in the current program of study and the number of remaining classes needed to complete the program of study. This documentation should be submitted with the appeal.

Appeals because stipulations were not met during a warning or probationary period must explain why the SAP policy is not being met and include an explanation of what has changed that will allow the SAP policy to be met.

Academic Progress

Satisfactory Grade Point Average
Students must receive a grade of “C” or better in all courses within their curriculum, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to qualify for any degree, diploma, or certificate of completion award from the Technical College of the Lowcountry. Students dropping classes after the fourth week of a term should provide the College’s Veterans Services Office with a statement indicating any mitigating circumstances. This statement will be sent to the regional Veterans Administration for consideration in determining any overpayment. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Veterans Services of any change in course load and/or course substitutions and grade changes.

Notification of Standards and Unsatisfactory Progress
Each student receiving Veterans Administration educational benefits will receive a copy of the standards of satisfactory academic progress from the Veterans Services Office at the time of initial certification. Should the student fail to make satisfactory academic progress, the student and the Veterans Administration will be notified at the conclusion of any term upon failure to meet minimum standards for three consecutive terms, at that time benefits will be terminated.

Refunds/Returns - Federal Title IV and Veterans Administration
TCL adheres to Federal Program guidelines in its refund policy for Title IV, Federal Financial Aid Programs. Students receiving Title IV funds follow the same refunding schedule outlined above. However, if a student completely withdraws after the College’s official award date, a return of unearned assistance is calculated for the appropriate program in accordance with federal guidelines.

Federal regulations require a student to attend all courses in which they are registered to earn the aid in which they have been awarded. Students who fail to attend class have earned no funding for the class in which they have failed to attend. All funding received for a course in which a student has failed to attend must be returned to the college immediately.

Federal regulations require that a student receiving financial assistance who withdraws from all classes prior to attending classes 60% of the term are required to return a portion of the financial aid award to the federal government. Adjustments will be made by the Financial Aid office when a student has completely withdrawn. The Business Office notifies the student of outstanding balances and any portion due to be returned as a result of a complete withdrawal.

Adjustments and refunds for the Title IV aid are administered according to current Title IV regulations

Refunds/Returns - Veterans Benefits
Refunds for students receiving Veterans Education Benefits will be issued to the student/veteran or returned to the Veterans Affairs Regional Offices in accordance with the current regulations and guidance of the United States Departments of Veteran Affairs.

Rights and Responsibilities of the Financial Aid Recipient
As a student financial aid consumer you have the right to:

  • Information about financial aid application procedures, cost of attendance, aid available, and renewal requirements as well as about the Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL) academic programs and policies.
  • Confidential protection of your financial aid records. The contents of your financial aid file are maintained in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  • Request a review of decisions made by the Technical College of the Lowcountry financial aid office staff. A letter discussing your situation in detail and the decision you wish to have reviewed should be submitted in writing to the Director of Financial Aid, Technical College of the Lowcountry, P.O. Box 1288, Beaufort, SC 29901-1288

You have the responsibility to:

  • Complete applications correctly and on time.
  • Read and understand all materials sent to you from Financial Aid Office and other financial aid agencies by e-mail and/or letter. Keep copies of all forms and materials submitted.
  • Know and comply with the rules governing your aid programs.
  • Maintain a current mailing address and phone number as well as your assigned student email account.
  • Comply with the provisions of any promissory note and all other agreements you sign.
  • Register for the number of credits required and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Request personal assistance if you have questions or do not understand the information provided to you.