Purpose and Code of Conduct
The primary purpose of the Financial Aid Program is to provide financial assistance to students who, without such aid, would be unable to attend college. Financial aid is provided in the form of:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- Federal Work-Study Jobs
- Institutional Work-Ship
- Alabama Student Assistance Program
- Direct Stafford Loan Program
- Parent Plus Loan Program
Grants are monies usually provided from a political source, such as federal, state or local government, and do not have to be paid back. Scholarships are monies normally provided by private sources or foundations. In most cases, scholarships do not have to be paid back if a student follows all terms and conditions that are stated in the scholarship award document, which is provided to the student by the scholarship committee or foundation awarding the scholarship. Loans are monies that the student borrows and these monies will need to be paid back to the lender. In the Direct Loan program, the federal government is the lender.
Students in violation of the College's strict policy against alcohol and drugs on campus and/or in violation of local, state and federal regulations on alcohol and drug usage may jeopardize their grant and work eligibility.
In determining student need, the Financial Aid Director will use the Student Aid Report from the Free Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). No financial aid can be determined without filing a FAFSA. To file the FAFSA, students should go to the website: https://studentaid.gov/. The FAFSA needs to be filed yearly, no earlier than October 1. Once the FAFSA is filed, the student will receive the Student Aid Report, which will have the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC will be used to consider financial need. The amount of financial assistance students may receive depends upon their need as determined by: the family’s EFC and aid received from outside sources. Financial aid is awarded on an academic year basis. Primary consideration is given to an applicant’s demonstrated financial need. Normally, the financial aid award will be disbursed in two payment periods, except the work-study award. The applicant receiving a work-study award will receive wages monthly.
Financial Aid Code of Conduct
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires educational institutions to develop and comply with a code of conduct that prohibits conflicts of interest for financial aid personnel. Any College officer, employee, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to student educational loans must comply with this code of conduct. The following provisions were developed to bring the College into compliance with the federal law.
- Neither the College as an institution nor any individual officer, employee or agent shall enter into any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.
- No officer or employee of the College who is employed in the Financial Aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or any of their family members, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans. For purposes of this prohibition, the term “gift” means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount.
- An officer or employee of the College who is employed in the Financial Aid Office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- The College shall not: A. for any first-time borrower, assign, through award packaging or other methods, the borrower’s loan to a particular lender; or B. refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
- The College shall not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for the institution providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with: A. a specified number of loans made, insured, or guaranteed under Title IV; B. a specified loan volume of such loans; or C. a preferred lender arrangement for such loans.
- The College shall not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.
- Any employee who is employed in the Financial Aid Office, or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans or other student financial aid, and who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, except that the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on such advisory board, commission, or group.