Sep 24, 2020  
2020-21 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    
2020-21 Undergraduate Bulletin

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships



Austin Building, first floor
P.O. Box 13052, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962
Telephone: (936) 468-2403
Fax: (936) 468-1048
Email: finaid@sfasu.edu
Web: sfasu.edu/faid

Stephen F. Austin State University’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is committed to helping students meet their financial needs. SFA provides students traditional financial assistance in the form of grants, work-study and student loans. SFA participates in several state and federal financial aid programs. To be considered for these funds, an applicant must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid online at studentaid.gov. Undocumented students may apply for financial aid using the Texas Application for State Financial Aid. For more information on the TASFA, visit sfasu.edu/faid. For priority consideration, applications should be received by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by Jan. 15 each year; however, applications received after this date will be accepted and processed. Once the information is received, students will be evaluated for all available aid programs. Students must meet all eligibility requirements, including satisfactory academic progress to receive financial assistance. Assistance is available for part-time as well as full-time students. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours to qualify for all aid programs. For specific student requirements and information regarding the application process, visit sfasu.edu/faid.

Students are alphabetically assigned a specific counselor who will help with the application process and answer questions. Students can communicate with their financial aid counselor via phone, email or in-person appointments.

SFA Purple Promise

SFA has developed a program to cover the full cost of tuition and fees for four years for students whose family income is $30,000 or less. Students must be admitted to the university and complete all financial aid requirements by June 1. Students must maintain specified academic standards and complete a minimum of 30 credit hours per academic year. For additional criteria or more information, visit sfasu.edu/faid.

Attendance Policy

Eligibility for federal student aid is, in part, based on your enrollment status for the term in which you are enrolled. For financial aid purposes, full-time enrollment is 12 hours per semester for undergraduates. Adjustments to your cost of attendance are made twice each semester. Your aid will be adjusted if your enrollment changes any time before the census date of each term.

Federal regulations require that students attend all classes in order to receive financial aid funds. Attendance will be checked beginning the first class day of each term through the census date. Students will be administratively dropped by the Registrar’s Office from any course where attendance cannot be demonstrated. Based upon this information, your financial aid will be re-evaluated each term and you will receive funding for only those courses you attend.

Dropping courses also may result in a reduction of financial aid funds. In addition to a reduction in aid, dropping courses also can affect the student’s ability to make satisfactory academic progress. For information concerning Policy 6.16, Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients, students should contact their financial aid counselor or visit the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy page.

Students who withdraw from the university or receive all QFs or any combination of QFs and Ws will be subject to a return of federal aid for the semester in which aid was received. (Please see the Return of Funds section below.)

Texas Workforce Commission

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

This Texas state agency serves students with disabilities to help prepare for post-secondary and employment opportunities. Services are eligibility and need based. The office is located on the SFA campus in the Human Services Building, Room 324.

You may be eligible for services if you:

  1. have a disability that results in substantial barriers to employment
  2. require services to prepare for, obtain, retain or advance in employment
  3. or are able to obtain, retain or advance in employment as a result of services.

The plan for services is individualized to each consumer. Along with vocational counseling, the following assistance may be provided:

  1. Medical treatment and/or physical restoration
  2. Assistive technologies
  3. Job development and job placement
  4. Vocational and/or academic training that may consist of:
    1. tuition and required fees
    2. room and board
    3. mobility assistance
    4. and note-takers/tutors.

To begin the eligibility process, an individual must contact the Texas Workforce Solutions - Vocational Rehabilitation Services office nearest to their permanent residence. A list of all the offices within the state can be found on the Texas Workforce Commission website.

Scholarship Awards

The university has hundreds of scholarships available to new and returning students. Scholarships are based on need, merit, or athletic and special skills. Selection criteria may include, but are not limited to, an applicant’s academic record, degree goals, financial status and performance on a standardized test. If applicable, other factors may be taken into consideration; these may include socioeconomic background, rank in class, region of residence, involvement in community activities, extracurricular activities and career plans. SFA has a centralized scholarship office within the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. SFA has developed a single application for most SFA-awarded scholarships. The SFA scholarship application opens Sept. 1 and closes Feb. 1 each year. Applications are evaluated by scholarship committees based upon specific requirements for each scholarship.

The university complies with all state and federal laws concerning awarding scholarships and other financial assistance. Some scholarships are renewable based upon academic performance, while others are one-time awards.

Additional scholarship information is listed below:

Academic Excellence Scholarships

This scholarship is available to entering freshmen who meet eligibility requirements. The admissions application is the only application required as students are considered and evaluated when officially admitted to the university. This scholarship is awarded to students who are pursuing their first baccalaureate degree. Any eligible student will receive this scholarship for $3,000 per year - $1,500 for the fall semester and $1,500 for the spring semester.

Requirements:

  • Meet scholarship requirements and receive the offer of admission by June 1 for upcoming fall semester
  • Rank in the top 10% of high school graduating class OR
  • Rank in the top quarter of graduating class and earn 1170 on the newly formatted SAT (math and evidenced-based reading and writing) or 24 on the ACT (not including writing sample score)

Renewal:

If renewal criteria listed below are met, the scholarship may be renewed for three additional years after the initial award while pursuing the first baccalaureate degree.

  1. Full-time enrollment status each semester (12 credit hour minimum)
  2. Earn 24 credit hours during the fall and spring terms
  3. Maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA per year

Community College Transfer Scholarships

This scholarship is available to new students transferring from community colleges only who meet eligibility requirements. The admission application is the only application required as students are considered and evaluated when officially admitted to the university. Any eligible student will receive this scholarship in the amount of either $1,000 or $2,000 per year, depending on their transferable GPA. Students with a GPA of 3.0 to 3.49 are eligible for $1,000 per year, and students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible for $2,000 per year. 

Requirements:

  • Meet all scholarship requirements
  • Have a minimum of 45 transferable semester hours, as computed by the Office of Admissions
  • Have a transferable GPA of a least 3.0

Renewal:

If renewal criteria listed below are met, the scholarship may be renewed for one additional year after the initial award while pursuing the first baccalaureate degree.

  • Full-time enrollment status each semester (12 credit hour minimum)
  • Earn 24 credit hours during the fall and spring terms
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA per year

University Scholars Scholarships

This is a competitive scholarship that may be awarded to incoming first-year freshmen who meet qualifications and are selected by the scholarship committee.  Applicants must complete two applications in order to be considered. Completion of the SFA Scholarship Application by Feb. 1 is required, and recipients must apply for and actively participate in the School of Honors. Students can apply for membership at sfasu.edu/honors by selecting “Application.”  Any selected student will receive this scholarship for $4,000 per year - $2,000 for the fall semester and $2,000 for the spring semester.

Requirements:

  • Be a high school senior with clear admission to SFA
  • Have either a minimum SAT reasoning score of 1220 (not including writing) OR an ACT composite score of 27 (not including writing) as submitted to SFA’s Office of Admissions
  • Complete the SFA Scholarship Application through mySFA
  • Be a member of SFA’s School of Honors

Renewal:

If renewal criteria listed below are met, the scholarship may be renewed for an additional three years after the initial award for a possible total award of $16,000.

  • Maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA
  • Complete at least three hours of honors classes per semester
  • Be in good standing with SFA’s School of Honors

Dugas Scholarships

This is a competitive scholarship that may be awarded to incoming first-year freshmen who are National Merit Scholars or finalists, meet qualifications, and are selected by the scholarship committee. Applicants must complete two applications in order to be considered. Completion of the SFA Scholarship Application by Feb. 1 is required, and recipients must apply for and actively participate in the School of Honors. Students can apply for membership at sfasu.edu/honors by selecting “Application.” Any selected student will receive this scholarship for $5,000 per year - $2,500 for the fall semester and $2,500 for the spring semester.

Requirements:

  • Be a high school senior with clear admission to SFA
  • Have either a minimum SAT reasoning score of 1290 (not including writing) OR an ACT composite score of 27 (not including writing) as submitted to SFA’s Office of Admissions
  • Complete the SFA Scholarship Application through mySFA
  • Be a member of SFA’s School of Honors

Renewal:

If renewal criteria listed below are met, the scholarship may be renewed for an additional three years after the initial award for a possible total award of $20,000.

 

  • Maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA
  • Complete at least three hours of honors classes per semester
  • Be in good standing with SFA’s School of Honors

Hoops for Scholars Scholarships

This is a competitive scholarship that may be awarded to incoming first-year freshmen who meet qualifications and are selected by the scholarship committee.  Applicants must complete two applications in order to be considered. Completion of the SFA Scholarship Application by Feb. 1 is required, and recipients must apply for and actively participate in the School of Honors. Students can apply for membership at sfasu.edu/honors by selecting “Application.” Any selected student will receive this scholarship for $5,000 per year - $2,500 for the fall semester and $2,500 for the spring semester.

Requirements:

  • Be a high school senior with clear admission to SFA
  • Have either a minimum SAT reasoning score of 1290 (not including writing) OR an ACT composite score of 27 (not including writing) as submitted to SFA’s Office of Admissions
  • Complete the SFA Scholarship Application through mySFA
  • Be a member of SFA’s School of Honors

Renewal:

If renewal criteria listed below are met, the scholarship may be renewed for an additional three years after the initial award for a possible total award of $20,000.

  • Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Full-time enrollment status each semester (12 credit hour minimum)
  • Be in good standing with SFA’s School of Honors

Regents Scholarships

This competitive scholarship may be awarded to incoming first-year freshmen, sophomore- or junior-level students who meet qualifications and are selected by the scholarship committee. Completion of the SFA Scholarship Application by Feb. 1 is required to be considered. Each academic department selects two academically gifted undergraduates to receive $3,000 for the academic year - $1,500 for the fall semester and $1,500 for the spring semester.

Requirements:

  • Have clear admission to SFA
  • Be in the top 10% of high school graduating class OR
  • Be in the top 25% of high school graduating class with a minimum SAT reasoning score of 1220 (not including writing) OR an ACT composite score of 27 (not including writing) as submitted to SFA’s Office of Admissions
  • Transfer students also must have maintained a transferable GPA of 3.25 or better
  • Complete the SFA Scholarship Application through mySFA

Renewal:

If renewal criteria listed below are met, the scholarship may be renewed for an additional three years after the initial award while pursuing the first baccalaureate degree.

  • Full-time enrollment status each semester (12 credit hour minimum)
  • Earn 24 credit hours during the fall and spring terms
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA

Athletic Scholarships

Athletic scholarships are available through the athletic department in all NCAA sanctioned sports in which SFA participates.

ROTC Scholarships

Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarships are available through the Department of Military Science. Scholarships are available for entering first-year students and transfer students as well as continuing students.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for International Students

Office of International Programs/SFA International Scholarship

The OIP/SFA International Scholarship is awarded to any student who will contribute to the increased diversity for international representation at Stephen F. Austin State University. The amount of the scholarship is $1,000 per year.

Criteria for consideration of scholarship award (satisfy at least two of the following):

  1. To a student whose native language is not English
  2. To a student who has lived in a country other than the United States for five years or longer
  3. To a student who has foreign or dual citizenship recognized by a foreign country, but not by the United States

Additional requirements:

  1. All students are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for consideration.
  2. Attach an original typed essay (100 words minimum). Only students who are re-applying must describe how they have contributed to international/cultural diversity on the SFA campus in the past semester or year.
  3. All students that are awarded the scholarship will have funds applied after registering for classes.

In addition, recipients of this scholarship must take an active role in the international activities on campus. Unfulfilled obligations will result in automatic disqualification for one semester following the award year. Current recipients are highly encouraged to assist with new student orientation when possible.

Students who are awarded the OIP scholarship will be eligible for Texas resident tuition rates.

Evaluation and awarding of this scholarship will be determined by the Office of International Programs . Preference will be given to degree-seeking and full-time students.

Application deadlines: Applications are due by April 30 each year, and awards are effective from fall semester through the end of summer term. Students applying for spring/summer admission may in exceptional circumstances be granted on OIP scholarship, but it will not be effective until the first fall semester after enrollment (before fall semester, students will pay nonresident tuition rates unless they have another scholarship/condition that allows them to pay resident rates).

Guidelines: Guidelines and application can be found on the OIP website.

Good Neighbor Scholarship

The Texas Legislature enacted a law that awards 10 scholarships to students from every country south of the United States (except Cuba) and Canada. In addition, 30 scholarships are awarded to students from Peru and Mexico. Students must have been accepted into a Texas university by March 1. Then, the university submits names to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which awards the scholarships. Recipients do not pay state tuition for fall, spring and summer following the award made in May. Recipients must intend to return to the eligible country upon completion of the program of study.

Other Scholarships

See Scholarship Awards in this bulletin for other scholarships, such as Community College Transfer Scholarship, for which international students may be eligible.

Other Financial Aid for International Students

When funds are available, international students could qualify for a state grant. Applications for international students are available in the Office of International Programs.

Note: International or nonresident students who hold competitive scholarships of at least $1,000 for an academic year are entitled to pay resident tuition and fees provided they compete with other students, including Texas residents, for the scholarship. The scholarship must be awarded by a scholarship committee officially recognized by the university. The waiver of non-resident fees is available only during the period covered by the scholarship. (Grants such as TPEG will not qualify students for in-state tuition).

Return of Funds

Federal regulations require SFA to perform a Return of Title IV Funds calculation when a financial aid recipient withdraws, is expelled or otherwise ceases to be a student. When a student has received financial aid for a semester and subsequently withdraws from the university during the semester for which payments were received, these funds can no longer be considered as being used for educational purposes. The return calculation is based on a per diem basis with a formula established by federal regulations. Therefore, all or a portion of the funds may have to be repaid to the aid programs from which they were received. The student will be responsible for reimbursing the university for any funds returned by the university on behalf of the student. Students will be notified of any amount owed by mail, and balances must be paid in the Business Office. Funds returned to the federal loan program will reduce the student’s loan balance with the lender. In the event that nonfederal financial assistance programs or privately funded scholarships have their own return policy, their policy supersedes this policy.

Additionally, SFA is required to perform this return calculation for students who unofficially withdraw or stop attending and receive grades of all QFs, or any combination of Ws and QFs, for the semester. Per regulations, these students will receive a calculation using a 50% completion rate or a percentage based on the last documented date of attendance. It is the responsibility of the student to provide the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships with documentation of continued attendance if she or he receives all QFs, or any combination of Ws and QFs, for the semester. Documentation must be provided within 21 days of the end of the semester.

Federal aid recipients must be continuously enrolled for at least 60% of the term for which aid is disbursed in order to retain all of the disbursed financial aid in each term. After the 60% point, students are considered to have earned 100% of their federal funds for the term and no adjustments in federal aid are required.