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Eligibility and Awarding Process

Determining Eligibility

All qualified students are eligible for some type of aid. A qualified student is one who meets all the academic and enrollment criteria. Aid amounts are determined by financial need, enrollment status and availability of aid.

To be eligible for aid, you must:

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal Application. You can submit the form online or pick up a paper copy in the Financial Aid Office.
  • Be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
  • Be admitted to or enrolled in an eligible major at the College.
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the College.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

A federally mandated formula calculates the expected family contribution from information on your FAFSA, such as taxed and untaxed income, family size, number of dependents in college, savings and investments. The expected family contribution is always computed from a base-year income. If there has been a significant change in your family's income or resources since the base calendar year, you can complete a financial aid appeal for a possible adjustment to your expected family contribution.

Cost of Education

When computing financial aid eligibility, the first figure used in the equation is the cost of education. The Financial Aid Office determines the estimated amount it will cost you to attend the College for a standard academic year (see the 2020/2021 Cost of Attendance (COA) below). You should determine your own approximate cost of education based on your program of study. The tuition and fees page can be used a guide for this purpose.

The cost of education consists of 'direct' and 'indirect' expenses. Direct educational expenses are tuition, fees, books and supplies. Indirect educational expenses are projected living expenses (including transportation) and child care.

Tuition and fees are based upon the factors below.

  • Domicile (in-state or out-of-state)
  • Enrollment period (academic year or semester)
  • Enrollment level (full-time, part-time)

The average book and supply allowance is based on national survey estimates. Based on full-time enrollment, a minimum $500 per semester allowance is budgeted for books and supplies.

The Financial Aid Office calculates your cost of attendance and subtracts the amount you and your family are expected to contribute (as determined by FAFSA) toward that cost. If there is anything left over, you are considered to have financial need.

2020/2021 Cost of Attendance (COA)
In-State Budget (Living W/O Parents)

Tuition & Fees $4,160
Books $1,460
Personal $2,400
Transportation $1,840
Room & Board $8,990
TOTAL $18,850

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Enrollment Status

John Tyler calculates financial aid eligibility based on the number of credits in which you enroll. Calculations are based on the following guidelines:

Full-time 3/4 Time 1/2 Time Less than 1/2 Time
12 or more credit hours 9-11 credit hours 6-8 credit hours 1-5 credit hours

When financial aid awards are not enough to satisfy the balance due on your student account, you must pay the remaining amount with personal funds by the deadlines outlined on You may also sign up for the Tuition Payment Plan to help pay your educational expenses. The plan is administered by an outside company, and it allows students to pay tuition in monthly, interest-free payments for a small, non-refundable fee.

Dropping vs. Withdrawing

During the add/drop period of the semester, you will drop a class by filling out the proper paperwork in the Admissions and Records Office or on our website using myTyler. Dropped classes never show up on your record; you do not pay for them, and we do not count them toward your enrollment status. Your aid will most likely be reduced if you drop a class. After the end of the add/drop period, it is considered a withdrawal from a class. Withdrawals can only be executed in the Admissions and Records Office. The withdrawal stays on your record; we do count it toward your enrollment status, and you may owe funds to the federal government and/or the College if you withdraw from all courses. Students who withdraw frequently run the risk of losing their eligibility in the future.

Total Withdrawal and Return of Federal Financial Aid

If you withdraw from or stop attending all classes after the end of the add/drop period but before the 60% point of the semester (last day to withdraw without academic penalty) has passed, you will have to repay a portion of your aid that was disbursed. The longer you attend, the less you might owe. Stick with it as long as possible.

Federal and state law requires us to return part of your financial aid if you withdraw from or stop attending all classes before the 60% point of the semester has passed. You will have to repay part of your financial aid that is deemed “unearned” by the U.S. Department of Education. The specified percentage of funds you are financially liable to return is based on your last date of attendance for that particular semester.

A school is required to return Title IV funds to the programs from which the student received aid during the payment period or period of enrollment as applicable, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Loans (other than Direct PLUS Loans)
  • Subsidized Direct Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a Return is required
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) for which a return of funds is required
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, for which a Return is required

If you do not repay the portion of financial aid funds for which you are responsible, you may be reported to the federal government, thus becoming ineligible for future financial assistance at any college or university in the United States.

This applies to all students who receive a Federal & State aid (i.e. Pell Grant, SEOG, ACG, COMA, VGAP, Foster Care and/or a Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) and who withdraw from or stop attending all classes. Because each student’s situation is based on several factors (i.e. the type and amount of aid received, the last date of attendance, tuition, fees, and/or book charges) it is very important that you discuss your individual case with a financial aid representative. If you have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Information about Refunds

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Eligibility & Awarding FAQs
Once my financial aid has been processed, how will I be notified?

When all required information is received and your aid is packaged, the Financial Aid office will send an award notification message to the Student Center in your myTyler account.

How will I know what type of aid I am eligible for?

When all required information is received and/or your aid is awarded, the Financial Aid Office will send a message alert to your Student Center with important details regarding your specific financial aid award(s).

What if I am not eligible for any federal/state grants or work-study?

You will be provided with the option to apply for a Federal Direct Loan.

If my or my family’s current year income will be drastically lower than last year’s income (i.e., the year I reported on the FAFSA), what do I do?

If the reduction in income resulted from an involuntary action (i.e., being fired, laid off, or becoming disabled), contact the Financial Aid Office to request a Special Circumstance Form. Complete and submit the form, along with appropriate documentation, to the Financial Aid Office for consideration. Often projected year income can be considered. These considerations are made at the student’s request and on a case by case basis. If the reduction in income was voluntary (i.e., you chose to reduce your hours or quit your job), this will not be considered. In this case, you may only see the change in eligibility when you file the next year’s FAFSA using the current year income.

Will my financial aid eligibility be reviewed again while I am attending John Tyler?

Each year you will be required to re-apply for financial aid by renewing your FAFSA form. In this way, changes in your family's financial situation and changes in John Tyler Community College’s tuition and fees can be considered. As a result, your financial aid eligibility may change from year to year.

What is the difference between a Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan?

If you demonstrate financial need on the FAFSA, you will be eligible for a Subsidized Loan. If not, you will be eligible for an Unsubsidized Loan. The federal government pays the interest that accrues on a Subsidized Loan while you are in-school and in your grace period prior to repayment. For the Unsubsidized Loan, you are responsible for paying the interest quarterly or capitalizing it to your principal loan balance. If it is affordable for you, the Financial Aid Office recommends paying the interest as it accumulates. In this way, you will only owe the principal loan balance when you enter repayment and will not have any accumulated interest.

How can I purchase my books and supplies with my financial aid?

One week prior to the start of each semester, you can charge your books and supplies to your anticipated aid if you have excess funds after tuition and fees are deducted. You must complete a Bookstore Authorization form via your MyTyler Financial Aid To-Do list before your visit to the bookstore, and the bookstore will need to see a copy of your class schedule, your student ID number and a valid form of identification to process any purchase. To learn more about how to use financial aid for bookstore purchases, please visit Using Aid for Bookstore Purchases.

Why was my aid reduced after the semester began?

You are awarded for the Fall and Spring Semesters based on the assumption that you will enroll full-time (12 or more credits). If you do not enroll full-time, your aid is prorated accordingly after the end of the add/drop period. You are awarded for the Summer Semester based on the actual number of credits that you register for. If you drop any classes after you are awarded, your aid may be prorated as well.

What happens if I have a credit balance on my student account?

If you have a credit balance on your account (after tuition and, if applicable, bookstore charges have been paid), a financial aid refund will be generated by the Business Office after your financial aid has been disbursed. For additional information regarding refunds, visit

What happens if I drop all of my courses during the add/drop period?

Your financial aid eligibility for the current term would be canceled entirely.

What happens if I withdraw from or stop attending a course after the end of the add/drop period?

If you are receiving grants, and you still have one or more remaining courses, your financial aid eligibility for the current term would not change.

If you are receiving loans, you would only remain eligible for your loan disbursement provided you are still registered for at least six credits (making you a half-time time student). If your enrollment level drops below half-time status before your loan disbursement has been applied to your account, you would not be eligible for your loan disbursement, and it would be canceled. In certain circumstances, the College would be entitled to accept the amount of your loan disbursement that equals the balance due on your student account. Any remaining amount would be returned to your lender and would reduce the amount of the principal balance borrowed.

Keep in mind that if you are not maintaining half-time status, you would enter your grace period for repayment of any outstanding loan balance and would be sent an Exit Interview packet from the Financial Aid Office. Once you resumed half-time status, your loans could once again be deferred.

What happens if I withdraw from or stop attending all of my courses after the end of the add/drop period, but before the 60% point of the semester (which is the last day to withdraw without academic penalty) has passed?

If you are receiving any type of federal aid, such as PELL, FSEOG, COMA, VGAP, Foster Care Grant or Federal Direct Loans, a portion of your eligibility would need to be returned. As a result, you would then owe a repayment to the College and to the U.S. Department of Education. You would be notified of the amounts you were responsible for repaying and would be given a 45 day period to repay the balance due to the U.S. Department of Education.

If such amounts were not repaid in that timeframe, you would be restricted from enrolling at the College in the future, and you would be reported to the U.S. Department of Education for an overpayment of federal funds. You would not become re-eligible for financial aid at any college or university in the United States until the federal overpayment was satisfied. Your original award notice included detailed information regarding the effect of withdrawals on your financial aid eligibility.

For example: You are enrolled in 12 credits and received a Pell Grant for $2025. Tuition and fees for the semester are $778. Book charges are $356.20. If you withdrew from all 12 credits on October 24, you would owe $213.34 to the U.S. Department of Education and $543.28 to John Tyler Community College.

How do withdrawals affect my future financial aid eligibility?

As stated above, if you do not satisfy a federal overpayment, you would be reported to the U.S. Department of Education and would be ineligible for financial aid until the debt was satisfied. Any outstanding balance due to the College would also need to be satisfied before any future services would be rendered.

It is extremely important that you realize that all types of withdrawals can damage your pursuit of Satisfactory Academic Progress. Although withdrawals may not be negative on your academic record, they are considered negative for financial aid purposes. Withdrawals are considered courses attempted, but not completed successfully. Therefore, according to our Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, withdrawals would count against you in the evaluation of the Completion Rate (67% rule) and the Maximum Time (150% rule) standards. Please see the Satisfactory Academic Progress page for more information.

What should I do if I am contemplating withdrawing from one or more courses?

It is extremely important that you carefully read the above information in order to become fully aware of the implications of withdrawal. You may also meet with a financial aid representative to further discuss your options and any of the information provided here.

What do I do with textbooks if I withdraw from a class?

Financial aid students who make the decision to withdraw or drop a class must return their books to the bookstore prior to canceling the class in myTyler. Failure to do so may result in the inability to return the books, and the payment of these books will become the responsibility of the student.

Can I lose my financial aid if I do not do well in my classes?

Yes, you can. You can also lose your financial aid if you withdraw from classes often. You must meet our standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to maintain your financial aid eligibility. A brochure regarding these standards is included with all financial aid award letters. Please keep in mind that in addition to these standards, you must also maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA in order to be eligible for the Federal Direct Loan. When you apply for financial aid and after each semester ends, you will be reviewed for SAP. If you do not meet the standards, you will be sent a notification letter. When financial aid eligibility is lost due to SAP, a student can pay for courses from out-of-pocket funds until the deficiency is corrected. Aid can be reinstated for the following semester, assuming all other criteria have been met.

Will my Dual Enrollment grades affect my financial aid when I continue at Tyler?

All courses, including those taken during dual enrollment, will be included in your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculations. You are required to meet SAP standards to be and/or remain eligible for financial aid.

If I lose my financial aid as a result of SAP, what can I do besides paying for my classes with out-of-pocket funds?

If you did poorly or withdrew from your classes as a result of an extenuating circumstance beyond your control, you can submit an appeal. If your appeal is approved, your aid would be reinstated for one semester. To appeal, complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and submit it along with any supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office.

Can I receive financial aid at two different institutions for the same semester?

You cannot receive a Federal Pell Grant at more than one institution per semester. If you are attending John Tyler and another college or university for the same semester, you need to complete a Consortium Agreement Form and submit it to your host institution (i.e., the other school). We can combine your enrollment at John Tyler with your enrollment at the other institution when pursuing your aid. In most cases, you will need to pay for your classes from out-of-pocket funds at the host institution. If your financial aid at John Tyler exceeds your charges and you receive a refund check, you can reimburse yourself at that time for some or all of the expenses paid at the host institution. Please keep in mind that you can only pursue this option if the classes taken at the host institution will be transferred back to John Tyler and applied to your degree or certificate.

How do I apply for financial aid for the summer semester?

The summer semester is handled very differently than the fall and spring semesters. If you were awarded financial aid during the academic year, you may pick up a Summer Financial Aid Application from the Financial Aid Office on or after March 1.

In order to determine your full eligibility for summer, we recommend that students complete the FAFSA. Please only submit the Summer Financial Aid Application after you have received your Student Aid Report from the federal processor and all requested items have been submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Should I complete the FAFSA if I'm planning to use my Veteran's benefits?

VA students should complete the FAFSA since you may be eligible for some federal (and state) aid programs.


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