Austin Building, first floor
P.O. Box 13052, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962
Telephone: (936) 468-2403
Fax: (936) 468-1048
Stephen F. Austin State University Office of Student Financial Assistance 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 fafsa.ed.gov. Undocumented students may apply for aid using the Texas Application for State Financial Aid, which can be located on our website at sfasu.edu/faid. For priority consideration, applications should be received by the Office of Student Financial Assistance by March 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. For specific student requirements and information regarding the application process, visit sfasu.edu/faid.
Students are alphabetically assigned to a specific financial aid counselor who will help with the application process and answer questions. Students can communicate with their financial aid counselor via phone or email. Students also may schedule an individual appointment as needed.
SFA Purple Promise
The administration 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. The SFA Purple Promise program will be available to all students whose families fall into this financial category and are 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 (fall, spring and summer terms combined).
Federal regulations require that students attend all classes in order to receive federal financial aid funds. Eligibility for federal student aid is, in part, based on your enrollment status for the term in which you are enrolled. Enrollment 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 accordingly.
Dropping courses may result in a reduction of financial aid funds for the current term. In addition to a reduction in aid, dropping courses also can affect the student’s ability to make satisfactory academic progress. For more information concerning this policy, students should contact their financial aid counselor or visit sfasu.edu/faid.
Students who withdraw from the university or receive all QFs or any combination of QFs and Ws will be subject to a return of financial aid for the semester in which aid was received. (Please see Return of Funds by Financial Aid Recipients in this section of the bulletin.)
Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
Division Of Rehabilitation Services
This Texas state agency provides rehabilitation services to people who have certain physical or emotional handicaps. This vocational rehabilitation program helps Texans with disabilities prepare for, find and keep employment. The office is located on the SFA campus in the Human Services Building, Room 324.
To be eligible for DRS:
- the individual must have a physical or mental disability which constitutes or results in a substantial handicap to employment
- and vocational rehabilitation services may reasonably be expected to benefit the individual in terms of employment.
The plan for services is individualized to each consumer, and along with vocational counseling, the following assistance MAY be provided:
- Medical treatment and/or physical restoration
- Assistive devices
- Job development and job placement
- Vocational and/or academic training that may consist of:
- Tuition and required fees
- Room and board
- Mobility assistance
- Attendant care
To begin the eligibility process, an individual must apply in person at the DRS office nearest to their permanent residence. The following website provides a list of all the DRS offices within the state: dars.state.tx.us/drs/offices/OfficeLocator.aspx.
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, first generation, rank-in-class, the applicant’s region of residence, involvement in community activities, extracurricular activities and career plans. SFA has a centralized scholarship office within the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The scholarship office has developed a single application for the majority of scholarships. Scholarship applications are due Feb. 1 each year and are evaluated by a scholarship committee 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 information may be obtained from the departments listed below:
The Office of Student Financial Assistance awards a number of scholarships through the General Scholarship Program. Eligibility criteria for each scholarship vary.
Academic Excellence Scholarships
Scholarships are awarded to entering freshmen who meet eligibility requirements. If renewal criteria are met, the scholarship may be renewed for three additional years after the initial award while pursuing the first baccalaureate degree.
- meet scholarship requirements and receive the offer of admission by June 1 for upcoming fall semester
- rank in the top 10 percent of graduating class OR
- rank in the top quarter of graduating class and earn a minimum score of 1100 on the SAT reasoning test (reading and math combined, not including writing score) 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)
The admissions application is the only application required as students are considered and evaluated when officially admitted to the university. Amount: any eligible student will receive a $3,000 scholarship. The scholarship is awarded as follows: fall semester, $1,500; spring semester, $1,500.
To renew this scholarship, students must meet two criteria:
- Complete 24 hours of earned college credit during the fall and spring terms
- Maintain a 3.25 GPA
Community College Transfer Scholarships
The Community College Transfer Scholarship Program, available through the Office of Admissions, offers new students transferring only from community colleges an opportunity to qualify for awards up to $2,000. Students with a minimum of 45 transferable semester hours, as computed by the Office of Admissions, are eligible for $1,000 with a transferable GPA of 3.0 to 3.49 or for $2,000 with a transferable GPA of 3.50 to 4.0. There is no separate scholarship application. Students will automatically be considered and notified of their eligibility after admission to SFA.
University Scholars Scholarships
University Scholars scholarships may be awarded to incoming first-year freshmen meeting a minimum SAT score of 1290 or a minimum ACT composite score of 27. Recipients must actively participate in the School of Honors and can apply for membership at sfasu.edu/honors, select “Application.” The SFA scholarship application also must be completed on the mySFA account. The application deadline for both is Feb. 1. The scholarship amount is up to $2,000 per semester and is renewable for up to four years for a possible total award of $16,000. Renewal requirements include:
- maintain a 3.25 GPA
- and complete at least three hours of honor’s classes per semester.
The Dugas Scholarships may be awarded to incoming first-year freshmen meeting a minimum SAT score of 1290 or a minimum ACT composite score of 27. Recipients must actively participate in the School of Honors and can apply for membership at sfasu.edu/honors, select “Application.” The SFA scholarship application also must be completed on the mySFA account. The application deadline for both is Feb. 1. The scholarship amount is up to $2,500 per semester and is renewable for up to four years for a possible total award of $20,000. Renewal requirements include:
- maintain a 3.25 GPA
- and complete at least three hours of honor’s classes per semester.
Hoops For Scholars Scholarships
The Hoops for Scholars Scholarships may be awarded to incoming first-year freshmen who are National Merit Scholars or finalists. Recipients must meet a minimum SAT score of 1290 or a minimum ACT composite score of 27.
Recipients must actively participate in the School of Honors and can apply for membership at sfasu.edu/honors, select “Application.” The SFA scholarship application also must be completed on the mySFA account. The application deadline for both is Feb. 1. The scholarship amount is up to $2,500 per semester and is renewable for up to four years for a possible total award of $20,000. Renewal requirements include:
- maintain a 3.0 GPA
- and maintain full-time enrollment every semester.
Each academic department offers two residence hall scholarships to academically gifted undergraduates. This scholarship awards students an allowance of $1,500 per semester to be used toward the cost of a room located in an on-campus residence hall operated by SFA. For those eligible to live off campus (according to the criteria established by the Residence Life Department listed at sfasu.edu/housing/offcampus.asp), the $1,500 per semester will be applied toward tuition and fees.
While emphasis is placed on awarding the scholarships to an incoming first-year student, new sophomores and juniors also are eligible. To be eligible for consideration, a freshman-, sophomore- or junior-level student who has not previously attended SFA must apply and be admitted to the university. Entering first-year students must be in the top 15 percent of their high school graduating class or in the top 25 percent of the class with an SAT score of at least 1220 or an ACT score of at least 27. Transfer students must meet the same requirements as entering first-year students and must have maintained a 3.25 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in all college work taken at other institutions of higher education. Other requirements apply. For more information, call the Office of Admissions, (936) 468-2504, or visit sfasu.edu/admissions-and-aid.
Athletic scholarships are available through the athletic department in all NCAA sanctioned sports in which SFA participates.
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.
Departmental scholarships are available to incoming first-year students and currently enrolled students who have selected a major. For additional information, consult the Academic Units section of this bulletin.
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.
In general, students cannot hold graduate assistantships and OIP scholarship awards simultaneously.
Criteria for consideration of scholarship award (satisfy at least two of the following):
- To a student whose native language is not English
- To a student who has lived in a country other than the United States for five years or longer
- To a student who has foreign or dual citizenship recognized by a foreign country, but not by the United States
- All students are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for consideration.
- 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.
- 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: both fall and spring semester awards have multiple application deadlines and are published at sfasu.edu/oip.
As a result of NAFTA, two students from Mexico per 1,000 students enrolled at SFA are eligible to pay in-state tuition and fees. Students accepted into this financial aid program must sign a financial need statement. (For example, with 11,000 students at SFA, 24 students from Mexico would be entitled to receive this tuition waiver.)
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.
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
TPEG Grants - See the Financial Aid section of this bulletin. (Applications for international students are available in the OIP.)
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 By Financial Aid Recipients
When a student has received financial aid payments to cover educational costs 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. Therefore, all or a portion of the funds may have to be repaid to the aid programs from which they were received. Funds returned to the federal loan program will reduce the student’s loan balance with the lender. The student will be responsible for reimbursing the university for any funds returned by the university on behalf of the student. In the event that non-federal aid programs or privately funded scholarships have their own policy, their policy supersedes this policy.
Per Diem Return Policy For Federal Financial Aid Recipients
Federal regulations require the university to perform a return calculation for all students who receive federal financial aid and withdraw during the semester. The return amount due to the program(s) is calculated on per diem basis with a formula established by federal regulations. The student will be responsible for reimbursing the university for any funds returned by the university on behalf of the student.
In addition, federal regulations require that this return calculation be done for students who stop attending their classes and do not officially withdraw 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-percent 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 Student Financial Assistance 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, unless an extension is announced.
Return Policy For Non-Federal Financial Aid Recipients
SFA also requires a return of funds for all non-federal financial aid recipients who withdraw during the semester. In the event that non-federal financial assistance programs or privately funded scholarships have their own return policy, their policy supersedes this policy.