2022-2023 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    
    Nov 27, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog and Student Handbook

Financial Aid



Director: Linda Korns
Office: Financial Aid, Eagles' Nest for Student Success
Address: 855 E. Lavaca St., Beaumont, TX 77705
Phone: (409) 839-2022
E-mail: finaidoffice@lit.edu

Financial assistance in the form of grants, loans, and/or campus employment is available to qualified students.

Initial qualifications for awards and/or disbursements will be assessed based upon financial criteria as determined from results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any required documentation. Continued eligibility will be contingent on annual renewal of the FAFSA along with individually maintained satisfactory academic performance. Details related to these financial and academic requirements are provided in the following sections.

Information regarding programs, policies, rules, regulations, consumer information and eligibility criteria can be obtained from Lamar Institute of Technology, Office of Student Financial Aid, and P.O. Box 10043, Beaumont, TX 77710.

How to Apply

Students wishing to apply for grants, loans, and/or work-study programs must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the Department of Education. This is the first step in the application process, providing a federally determined degree of financial need for each student. FAFSA results are required for any student seeking financial assistance at LIT.

Students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA application via the Internet. Applying online can greatly reduce response time for initial results and may simplify the renewal process in subsequent years. The FAFSA can be completed online at studentaid.gov.

Students submitting the FAFSA online will receive e-mail notification of tentative eligibility from the Central Processing System. The school will receive an electronic version of this report for each student selecting Lamar Institute of Technology as a preferred school. The federal school code for LIT is 036273. A FAFSA worksheet is available to assist students with their online FAFSA. Worksheets can be obtained from the Lamar Institute of Technology, Office of Student Financial Aid, and PO Box 10043, Beaumont, TX 77710.

When to Apply

The priority deadline for financial assistance at LIT is January 15 each year. Applications for financial assistance should be submitted online and processed by the Central Processing System by January 15 for the following academic year. Processing is completed on a first-come-first-served basis according to receipt of FAFSA results and individual student response to outstanding requirements. Notification of awards for eligible students are available in the BANNER Self-Service Module. For students not meeting the priority deadline, processing will continue and awards will be made as long as funds are available. The most desirable types of aid, however, are normally expended early. Students should make every effort to meet the January 15 deadline.

Additional Requirements

Receipt of electronic FAFSA results will initiate campus based processing of individual student applications for financial assistance. Students are required to activate their official LIT e-mail account for access to important information and notifications. They will be directed to monitor their Self-Service Banner Account (Financial Aid Tab) for information related to student status, outstanding requirements and award notifications.

Verification

Lamar Institute of Technology has established a partnership with Inceptia to expedite the federal verification process by utilizing the Verification Gateway (VG) online portal. If your FAFSA application is selected for verification by the U.S Department of Education, you will receive an introductory email to the email address you provided on the FAFSA. If no email was provided, you will receive an introductory postcard. The postcard will have our school logo along with Inceptia's, so you will know it is official.

Please note the deadline for submitting these documents is within 15 days of your notification. Failure to provide the requested documents could result in the delay or denial of financial aid.

What Happens Next?

A custom school link will be included in the introductory communication requesting you access Verification Gateway. You will need to do the following*:

  • Confirm your identity (authentication).
  • Create a secure user name and password.
  • Decide if you want to receive text messages and e-sign your submission.
  • Access your Task List and begin the verification process (the list may consist of some combination of online forms and the request to upload specific documents to VG).

*Dependent students that provided parental information on the FAFSA are required to have one parent also authenticate and create an account. This parent will be required to e-sign or provide an ink signature once all documentation has been submitted.

Upon receipt of all required documents, Inceptia will begin the verification process. Students will be notified if there are any questions or if any additional documentation is required via email, text or postcard. Once verification has been completed, the student and our school will be notified.

Sources of Financial Assistance

Grants

The Pell Grant is designed for undergraduate students as a foundation for all other need-based assistance programs. A student's Pell Grant award is directly related to the family's ability to contribute toward his/her education. The "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC) is a direct result of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). No other need-based assistance (grants, loans, work-study) can be awarded until the student's eligibility for the Pell Grant is determined.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another federal grant intended for undergraduate students with exceptional levels of financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. Students with the lowest EFC, who also qualify for Pell Grants, will receive priority in the awarding process.

The Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) is based on state provided funding sources and is available to students attending at least half-time on the LIT campus. Texas residents meeting the January 15 Priority Deadline will be given priority in the awarding process. Students with exceptional need as determined by the FAFSA may be awarded one of these grants.

The Set-Aside Grant (TSAS) may be available to students attending at least half-time on the LIT campus. Students meeting the January 15 Priority Deadline will be given priority in the awarding process. Students with exceptional need as determined by the FAFSA may be awarded one of these grants.

The Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) may be available to students who are registered with Selective Service (or exempt); classified by the institution as a Texas resident, meet specified EFC limits, have not been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance, are enrolled at least half-time, and are within the first 30 hours of an associate degree or certificate program.

Student Loans

Students interested in qualifying for federal Direct Student Loan Programs may do so after eligibility levels have been determined through submission of the FAFSA. Students will be offered loans through Self-Service Banner. It will be the student's responsibility to review and accept, reduce, or decline them. These long-term loans with repayment scheduled after graduation, may be obtained under the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, with Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loans available.

All required paperwork should already be completed for determination of eligibility for other types of aid. Direct Loan Request Forms will be accepted ONLY for those students who have successfully completed preliminary paperwork and satisfied the online ENTRANCE Counseling requirement.

Federal guidelines require a mandatory 30-day delay on the initial disbursement of any loan funds for first-time borrowers.

Entrance Counseling

FIRST-TIME borrowers will be required to complete an online ENTRANCE counseling tutorial prior to the disbursement of any approved student loan funds. The tutorial can be accessed at studentaid.gov

Exit Counseling

Students who have received student loans at ANY TIME during their college careers must complete Student Loan EXIT counseling during the semester they plan to graduate. Any student loan, regardless of where certification occurred (LIT or another college), and unless proof that all loans have been paid in full, will result in EXIT counseling requirements.

Graduating borrowers must visit studentaid.gov to complete the Student Loan EXIT counseling tutorial. Students log-in using their federal User ID and Password. Enter Lamar Institute of Technology as the college to receive results, our school code 036273. Students should retain a copy of the confirmation page after completing the EXIT counseling session. The school will receive confirmation of the exit counseling electronically.

Student Employment

Employment opportunities under the Federal and/or State Work-Study programs allow students to secure part-time jobs to help defray the educational costs incurred during a student's college career. Positions are available on campus and through some federally approved not-for-profit agencies. The work-study program allows students to work around

Summer Financial Aid

Summer is considered to be a "cross-over period" as related to the federal fiscal year and will be treated as a 'trailer' to the preceding academic year (Fall/Spring). The following steps must be completed:

  • Current Year FAFSA in place and all required paperwork completed
  • Upcoming Year FAFSA completed and processed prior to submission of "Summer Aid Request" form.
  • Pre-register for a minimum of six (6) semester hours over the entire summer
  • Completed registration by posted deadline for summer enrollment for a specific year.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students seeking financial assistance for educational purposes must meet and maintain the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards established by federal regulations and institutional policy for eligibility at Lamar Institute of Technology. Progress will be evaluated at the end of each financial aid payment period. Evaluation will be based on cumulative academic performance to determine if a student is eligible to continue receiving Title IV Student Financial Aid.

To comply with SAP standards and remain academically eligible for assistance, a student must:

  • Be a regularly enrolled student in an approved degree or certificate program. Some certificate programs may not be approved for Title IV Funding. Students uncertain about declared majors should contact the LIT Student Financial Aid office.
  • Enroll in courses specifically required for their declared degree or certificate program. Financial aid will not be approved for courses taken outside the approved program of study.
    • A student may receive financial assistance for courses that must be retaken as a result of receiving less than a passing grade. A student may not receive financial assistance for coursework previously completed successfully, but repeated at the student's discretion for the purpose of increasing his/her grade point average.
  • Transfer credits that are accepted toward a student's declared program of study will be counted toward both attempted and completed hours.

SAP Standards Calculations

PACE is the rate at which a student is progressing toward declared program of study. This has formerly been referred to as "completion rate" and is calculated using the following formula:

PACE = Total number of hours successfully completed
Total number of hours attempted over career

Students with a calculated PACE of less than 67% are considered to be "off-pace" with regard to completing the declared program of study, and are no longer eligible for financial assistance.

NOTE: You DO NOT earn credit hours for the following grades: Q, W, U, F, or I

MAXIMUM TIME FRAME for an undergraduate program, credit hours cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the declared program of study (degree or certificate). To determine if a student has exceeded the maximum time frame allowed for receiving financial aid for the declared program of study the following formula is used:

MAX = Credit Hours Required X 1.50

For example, if the stated number of hours for a degree program is 60 hours the student may receive aid for no more than 90 hours (60 x 1.5 = 90).

A student's academic history including transfer hours applicable to declared major will be considered when determining maximum time-frame for eligibility for financial assistance. Students reaching the 150% maximum time-frame are no longer eligible for financial assistance.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE represents the average of all grades for a particular semester(s) and when calculated cumulatively for all grades from all semesters based on courses completed up to a given academic term. LIT uses a 4-point scale for GPA and requires students to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or better. GPA is calculated using the following formula:

GPA = Total number of Grade Points Earned
Total number of Semester Credit Hours Attempted

GRADE CHANGE

Any grade change, whether it's a correction, a change due to work being turned in late or for any other reason may affect the student's SAP status. Please contact the Financial Aid office if you have any questions or concerns.

Financial Aid Auto-Warning

Following the FIRST semester in which a student does not perform at a level equal to or above the LIT Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards, the student will be placed in "Auto-Warning" status.

  • This status will be in effect for the next period of enrollment at LIT regardless of the student's course load or whether it is a long semester (Fall or Spring) or a summer session.
  • A student placed on "Auto-Warning" who improves academic performance enough to cause his/her cumulative statistics to MEET/EXCEED LIT institutional SAP standards will be returned to good standing and may be eligible to continue to receive financial aid for the subsequent semester.
  • A student placed on "Auto-Warning" who FAILS to obtain LIT institutional SAP standards will be ineligible to receive future aid unless they are granted an appeal or complete coursework which returns them to good standing.

Financial Aid Suspension

If, at the end of the semester in which you have an "AUTO - Warning status", you are still not making SAP, you are then placed on Financial Aid suspension and given the opportunity to submit an appeal. This "suspension" is separate from Academic standing and in no way prevents subsequent enrollment by a student at LIT. A student on financial aid suspension is not eligible for any type of financial assistance until such time as his/her cumulative statistics meet or exceed previously defined criteria (PACE, MAX, GPA), or until specific terms and conditions of any Financial Aid Suspension/Probation agreement are satisfied.

Appealing the Loss of Financial Aid

A student who has been placed on financial aid suspension based on failure to meet one or all of the established SAP standards may choose to submit a letter of appeal for any of the following reasons:

  • The death of a relative
  • An injury or illness of the student, or
  • Other special circumstances.

To determine if a student qualifies to present "special circumstances" as the basis of appeal, a student must determine that mitigating circumstances existed that were so significant as to have caused an entire semester(s) of academic performance to fall below the acceptable SAP standards. Any such circumstances must be supported by separate written documentation and an explanation of what has changed in his/her situation that will allow for satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. Acceptable forms of documentation required to accompany a letter of appeal include: death certificates, court documents, affidavits, and physician statements.

Financial Aid Appeals Process

Academic progress decisions are made at the school level and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education. Deadline for submitting financial aid appeals are firm. Supplemental information will not be accepted after the initial submission. Appeal deadlines for each Academic Year can be obtained from LIT Office of Student Financial Aid, P. O. Box 10043, Beaumont, TX 77710.

A Letter of Appeal and all supporting documentation should be addressed to:

Lamar Institute of Technology
Financial Aid Appeals Committee
P.O. Box 10043
Beaumont, Texas 77710

Student appeals will be considered based on review of overall academic performance, previous appeal status and evidence of mitigating circumstances.

Appeal committee members will not be responsible for deciphering and/or interpreting large volumes of medical records, bills, insurance statements, depositions, or irrelevant paperwork.

Failure to present qualifying special circumstances and/or separate printed documentation to support the basis of an appeal will result in denial.

*All decisions made by the Financial Aid Committee are FINAL.

Financial Aid Probation

If a letter of appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. The terms of Financial Aid Probation will involve a Probation Plan designed to assist the student in his/her efforts to achieve appropriate academic standing, allowing the student to maintain some or all of the previously awarded financial assistance while demonstrating that he/she can satisfy a set of specific performance related criteria. The student will be required to acknowledge the conditions of their probation, and must agree to abide by all conditions prior to disbursement of any assistance.

Repeat Coursework

Repeat Coursework

LIT is required to track your repeated coursework. Any reduction in financial aid enrollment level may affect award amounts.

  • As long as SAP standards are met, there is no limit on the number of times a student can receive aid for a course that the student has only earned an F, U or I.
  • All attempts will be counted towards Pace and Maximum Timeframe.
  • You may continue receiving aid for only one additional time per previously passed course.
  • Course repetitions required by a degree plan are exempt, (for example "Special Topics").
  • Any reduction in enrollment status will affect your financial aid award amounts.
  • Your official enrollment status for reporting, insurance, and loan deferment will include any repeated courses.
  • The credit hours for repeated coursework will be included in GPA, Pace and Maximum Timeframe calculations

Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Funds

Withdrawals and Return to Title IV (R2T4)

When a Title IV aid recipient withdraws from Lamar Institute of Technology within a payment period in which the student began attendance, the institution must begin the Return of Title IV (R2T4) refund process to determine the student's eligibility for Title IV funds based in accordance with the calculations prescribed by federal regulations.

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that he/she will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance was awarded. When a student withdraws (officially or unofficially), or is administratively withdrawn from all of his/her courses, for any reason including medical withdrawals, he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that he/she was originally scheduled to receive.

Any student receiving federal funding who withdraws prior to completing 60% of the term must return the unearned portions of any aid disbursed. The applicable returns will be calculated by the school and returned to the proper source within 30 days of the withdrawal. Aid that must be considered when completing an R2T4 calculation include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Direct Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Determining the Withdrawal Date

For a student that officially withdraws the withdrawal date is either the date the student begins the official withdrawal process or the date the student provides the notification. For an unofficial withdrawal the withdrawal date is either the last date of attendance or the midpoint of the payment period.

Withdrawing from the Institute

Students wishing to withdraw entirely from the institute during a regular semester or summer session must do so by contacting Student Services. It is the student's responsibility to contact Student Services if it is his/her intent to withdraw. Financial Aid recipients should also visit with a financial aid specialist. The specialist will provide counseling regarding the consequences of withdrawing (i.e., repayment obligations, impact on your satisfactory academic progress, etc.).

Unofficial Withdrawals and All F's

If the student does not officially withdraw but fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course during a semester, he/she is considered to have, for the purpose of federal Title IV funds, unofficially withdrawn from the university. As a result the R2T4 calculation must be performed to determine the amount of Title IV aid that must be returned. The only exception to this rule is when the school can document that the student was academically engaged in at least one class on or after the 60% point of the semester. Students who have all F's are considered to have unofficially withdrawn unless the school can document the student attended 60% of the term. Students will be notified in writing when the return is completed.

THERE IS NO EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE AND YOU CANNOT APPEAL THIS DECISION TO LAMAR INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY.

Students owing returns must clear balances to all agencies in order to enroll for future semesters, receive transcripts, and/or qualify for any type of financial assistance.

Post Withdrawal Disbursement

If you withdraw before receiving all of the funds you have earned, you may be due a post withdrawal disbursement. Post withdrawal disbursements will be confirmed within 30 calendar days of the date the student withdrew. If your post withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds we must first get you permission in writing before we can disburse these loan funds to you. Failure to receive written notification will result in the cancellation of the loan funds.

Return to Title IV calculation examples can be viewed in the financial aid office upon request.

Referrals of Suspected Fraud or Criminal Misconduct

In the event that an applicant is suspected of participating in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with application for Title IV, H.E.A program assistance, the information will be referred to the appropriate college, state and/or federal authorities. These authorities may include, but are not limited to, College Discipline Officer, College Police, Municipal Police and the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education.

Scholarships

A wide variety of scholarships are offered each year to students at Lamar Institute of Technology. Scholarships are funds that cover all or a portion of the student's educational expenses. There are two types of scholarships awarded through the Institute: those administered solely by LIT and those administered by the Institute at the request of donors, who determine criteria and select recipients themselves. A complete listing of available scholarship funds may be found on the LIT website at www.lit-academicworks.com.

Funds administered by the Scholarship Committee are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, programs of study, or special skills demonstrated by students. Consideration is given to extracurricular activities such as leadership positions, career accomplishments, or honors and awards received. Departmental scholarships may also be available based on a student's chosen field of study.

Students applying for scholarships administered by Lamar Institute of Technology should apply online at www.lit-academicworks.com. An academic transcript must be uploaded with the scholarship applications if a student wishes to be considered for awards in the upcoming academic year.