Types of Financial Aid Available
State Grant & Scholarship Programs
HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) is a program for Georgia residents that provide financial assistance in degree, diploma, or certificate programs at any eligible Georgia post-secondary college. The Financial Aid Office will administer the HOPE programs in accordance with Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) regulations. GSFC regulations and guidance will supersede any local policy.HOPE Residency Requirements Students who were legal residents of Georgia at the time of graduation from high school or a home study program must meet the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) residency requirements for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the term. Students who were not legal residents of Georgia at the time of graduation from high school or a home study program must meet the TCSG residency requirements for at least 24 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the term.
Bachelor’s Degree Recipients
Students who have received a Bachelor’s Degree, its equivalent or higher, from any institution are ineligible for the HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship, and the Zell Miller Scholarship.
HOPE Grant for Diploma and Certificate Programs
Beginning Fall 2013, students enrolled in a diploma or certificate program must have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of the terms in which they have attended 30 and 60 semester credit hours for which they received HOPE Grant funds. Students must submit official transcripts from all institutions at which they received HOPE Grant funds. Failure to provide all official transcripts will result in the loss of eligibility.
Students enrolled in a degree program must have earned a cumulative HOPE GPA of 3.0 at the end of the terms in which they attempt 30, 60, and 90 attempted HOPE hours and at the end of each Spring term. First tier recipients who are enrolled for less than 12 hours for each of their first three terms must have a cumulative HOPE GPA of 3.0 at the end of their third term. Students who lose eligibility at a checkpoint may regain the HOPE Scholarship if their cumulative HOPE GPA is 3.0 at a subsequent checkpoint. Students may only regain eligibility once. No appeals are permitted for the HOPE Scholarship GPA requirements. Students are responsible for requesting a HOPE Scholarship Evaluation to determine eligibility. Students must submit official copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. Students making changes to their program of study should request a new HOPE Scholarship Evaluation.
Zell Miller Scholarship
GSFC will identify students who are eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship. To remain eligible, recipients must have a 3.3 cumulative HOPE GPA at each of the HOPE Scholarship checkpoints above.
The HOPE GED Voucher is a one-time $500 award given to Georgia residents who earn a General Education Development (GED) diploma awarded by the Technical College System of Georgia. This award can be used toward tuition, books and other educational costs at any eligible Post-secondary college in Georgia. Any funds not used for books or supplies will be refunded to the student during the semester. The HOPE GED Voucher recipient must have a HOPE application or FAFSA on file to be eligible. HOPE GED VOUCHER recipients are eligible for the HOPE Grant during the same term. The voucher must be used within 24 months of its issuance.
The HERO Scholarship (Helping Educate Reservist and their Offspring Scholarship) is a non-need based scholarship that provides educational scholarship assistance to members of the Georgia national Guard and U.S. Military Reservists who served in combat zones and the children and the spouses of such members of the Georgia national Guard and U.S. Military Reserves. Students must be HOPE eligible and have served 181 consecutive days in a combat zone after February 1, 2003. Children of USMR or GNG must be under 25 years of age to qualify. The award may be used for any educational expense. An award of $2,000 yearly for a maximum of $8,000 is available to full time students and prorated for school terms for less than 12 hours. A military form DD214 or other documents certifying eligibility along with the HERO Application is to be submitted to the Financial aid Office.
The Public Safety Memorial Grant program provides grant funds to the dependent children of Georgia Public Safety Officers who were permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty. Funds may be used towards the cost of attendance at eligible colleges, universities, or technical colleges in Georgia. Recipients receive an award that covers their total cost of attendance, minus any other student financial aid, at an eligible postsecondary institution in Georgia, not to exceed $18,000 per award year. Recipients are eligible to receive payment for a maximum of eight semesters of undergraduate study.
Federal Grants & Work Programs
The PELL Grant is a federal need-based grant. PELL is awarded depending on income reported on the various IRS 1040 tax forms, the number of people in the student’s household, number of students in college and the number of classes taken at the college. Eligible applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to receive any federal grants.
PELL awards are calculated based on the number of credit hours. Students must attend classes for 60 percent of the semester before they are eligible for the full PELL award. Dropping classes before the 60 percent timeframe reduces the award to the percentage that the student attends. Attending 20 percent of the semester will reduce the PELL award to 20 percent of the original award. This reduction may cause students to owe a refund to WGTC should they totally withdraw from WGTC before the end of the semester. PELL refund checks representing any left-over federal funds not needed for college charges are traditionally paid within the first four weeks of the semester.
The Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federal grant available to PELL eligible students. Funds are limited and are awarded to students with the greatest financial need (those having a zero EFC number).
The Federal Work Study program (FWS) is a federal work program that allows eligible students with demonstrated financial need to earn money for educational expenses. Funds are limited and awarded on a first come, first-served basis. Students are allowed to work 150 hours per semester. All FWS employment opportunities are listed at the West Georgia Technical College website Job Center. All FWS participants must submit to a criminal background check before employment.
Undergraduate Stafford Loans are fixed-rate student loans for undergraduate students attending a college or university that participates in the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Stafford loans can be used to pay tuition, and other eligible school expenses. Stafford loans are not based on credit, and they can be subsidized or unsubsidized depending on the student's financial need.
Subsidized Stafford Loans are federally guaranteed loans based on financial need. Interest does not accrue on the loan while you are in school at least half time, or during any future deferment periods. The federal government "subsidizes" (or pays) the interest during these times.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are federally guaranteed loans that are not based on financial need. Interest will accrue from the time the loan is disbursed to the school, but can be deferred until 6 months after graduation.
Other Types of Financial Assistance
Veteran Education Benefits
Veteran Education Benefits are provided through the Montgomery G. I. Bill, Survivors and Dependents Benefits and Veterans’ Rehabilitation Benefits. Most of West Georgia Technical College’s programs are approved for Veteran Educational Benefits with several certifying officials available in the Financial Aid Office for veterans’ needs.
Veterans and other eligible students receiving Veterans Affairs (VA) educational entitlements are required to comply with the admissions, academic, and attendance regulations that have been established for all students at WGTC. In addition, those receiving VA benefits must:
- Seek credit for all previous training or experience that could be applicable to their chosen program of study. VA regulation 14253 requires all previous training be evaluated for possible credit. A transcript or other documentation of training must be submitted with the individual’s eligibility papers. The school will give written notice granting or denying such credit.
- Once admitted to WGTC, the veteran must comply with the college’s attendance regulations and report any schedule changes that could affect their status with the VA. Such changes include notifying the certifying official of the following:
- Dropping or adding courses
- Transferring from full- to half-time status or vice versa
- Changing programs of study
- Withdrawing from school without filing the proper withdrawal forms in Admissions.
Applications and forms are readily available in the Financial Aid Office. Certifying Officials in Financial Aid will provide counseling and assistance completing forms. Students receiving VA benefits must adhere strictly to their program of study. Program change forms 22-1995 or 22-5495 and enrollment change of status forms 22-1999b must be filed promptly to avoid personal liability resulting from over-payment of VA benefits.
VA benefits are based on the number of credit hours taken per semester, 12 hours is full time:
12 or more…… 100% payment of monthly
9-11 ……………. 75% payment of monthly
6-8 ……………… 50% payment of monthly
1-5 ……………… 25% payment of monthly or the cost of tuition and fees
For more information regarding VA Education Benefits view the website www.gibill.va.gov or contact the VA hotline at 1-888-442-4551. WGTC’s VA Certifying Official can be contacted at VAresources@westgatech.edu.
Funds provided may cover the cost of training at WGTC for students with certain permanent disabilities that prevent employment. Vocational Rehab offers services which may include counseling and guidance, college or university training, work readiness and on the job support. A student who is eligible for Vocational Rehab funds must also meet WGTC’s admission requirements and must apply for financial aid. Apply at the following offices of Vocational Rehabilitation:
- Carrollton Office - 770.836.6681
- Newnan Office - 770.254.7210
- LaGrange Office - 706.298.7270
Dislocated workers may be eligible for additional benefits through the Trade Readjustment Act/Trade Assistance Act (TRA/ TAA). Contact your local Department of Labor for more information.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
Economically disadvantaged students or dislocated worker may receive financial assistance with technical skills training.
Contact the WIA representative or the local Department of Labor Offices for eligibility.
- Region I—Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, 770.824.5246 — includes the following counties: Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield.
- Region III—Atlanta Regional Council, 404.463.3327 — includes the following counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale. Douglas County residents may call for an appointment to meet with someone in Douglasville at 770.806.2020
- Region IV-West Central Region WIB, 770.229.9799 — includes the following counties: Butts, Carroll, Coweta, Heard, Lamar, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Troup, and Upson. Carroll and Coweta residents also call the DOL Career Center in Carrollton at 770.836.6668. Coweta residents can call the DOL Career Center in Newnan at 770.254.7220; and Troup residents can call the DOL Career Center in LaGrange at 706.845.4185.
Local scholarships are available each semester for students at West Georgia Tech. Applications for West Georgia Technical College local scholarships are now available in the Student Affairs Office and on the scholarship bulletin boards located at each campus. Scholarships and the award amounts vary from semester to semester. If a student is awarded a scholarship and does not enroll during the semester the scholarship is granted, the scholarship will be forfeited.
Federal financial aid awards will be credited to the student’s account at the time of registration. Funds will be in the bookstore one week prior to the first day of classes for students who have registered during the early registration period and whose financial aid file is complete.
Students may charge against their PELL grant award to help them pay for books and supplies in the bookstore.
Overaward and Disbursement
Students with a credit on their account after all tuition, fees and books have been paid will receive a refund of their credit balance by the end of the fourth week of the semester. Pell refunds are made to students beginning the fourth week of the semester and every 14th day thereafter. Should a Pell student withdraw from all classes before the 60 percent time frame entitlement period, he or she will be required to pay back funds not earned.
Overaward and Indebtedness
It is expected that every student will discharge any indebtedness to the college as quickly as possible. When at all possible, WGTC will attempt to resolve the overpayment during the next term(s). If the overpayment is due to student error and cannot be resolved, WGTC must report the overaward to the National Student Loan Data System. Students who are in overaward status are ineligible for financial assistance at any postsecondary college until the overpayment is resolved and will be prohibited from attending classes. Students are required to repay the over payment received even if it was due to school error. Most awarding errors are due to the dropping of courses, non-attendance or inaccurate information on the financial aid application.
Refund & Repayment Requirements
Recipients of financial aid who withdraw, drop out or otherwise fail to complete the period of enrollment for which they were charged tuition and fees are subject to Federal refund and repayment requirements. The refund and repayment requirements apply to Federal aid programs. One hundred percent (100%) of the financial aid award will be returned to specific financial aid programs for students who do not attend through the three-day drop-add period.
Students receiving Federal Title IV Funds (PELL and FSEOG) who completely withdraw from all classes during the semester are subject to a refund of a portion of the award. The percentage of the award to be refunded will depend on the student’s formal withdrawal date, or the last recorded date of class attendance provided by their instructor, if the student drops without filing the drop formal paperwork.
If the student drops before the 60 percent point in time of the enrollment period for which they were awarded, the amount refunded must be calculated using the Federal Return to Title IV (R2T4) withdrawal refund calculation. Once more than 60 percent of the enrollment period is completed, a student is entitled to the full amount of the award.
A student must repay any and all debts to the college before the student is allowed to register for classes.