The Office of Financial Aid, located in Old Main, Room 108, advises students and their families about federal and state financial aid programs and awards monetary assistance to eligible students. The Office of Financial Aid acts as the institutional connection between the student and various government agencies in the application, awarding and delivering of financial aid. West Texas A&M University provides a comprehensive program of loans, grants and work opportunities to assist students in their academic pursuits.
For more information, call (804)651-2055 or access the website at www.wtamu.edu/financialaid.
The application process is electronic using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The student and his/her parent or spouse should complete this application as early as possible after October 1 each year. FAFSA filing priority dates are April 15 for the fall semester; November 1, spring semester; April 1, summer sessions.
Grants are provided by both the federal and state government as well as by West Texas A&M University. These awards are generally made according to the student's need based on the information provided by the FAFSA. Generally, grants do not have to be repaid unless students fail to meet their obligations.
Numerous grant programs are available to students at WTAMU:
- Federal Pell Grant Program is available to all undergraduate students who can prove financial need. Application is made via the FAFSA.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant provides financial assistance to eligible students from families with low incomes.
- Toward Excellence Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant Program provides grant money to enable well-prepared eligible students to attend public institutions of higher education in Texas. Eligible students compete who are Texas residents, who graduated from a public or accredited private high school in Texas no earlier than fall 1998, who have completed the recommended or advanced high school curriculum, who have financial need as determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), who enroll at least three-fourths time in an undergraduate program, and who have not been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance. Males must also be registered with Selective Service. Continuing applicants must have valid federal application (FAFSA) results on file and all necessary documentation required by the Financial Aid Office submitted by June 15th of each year. Initial Priority Applicants must have valid FAFSA's on file by March 15th. All other eligible, initial applicants will be awarded in date order received until TEXAS Grant funds are exhausted.
- Texas Public Education Grant is a state-funded program which provides grants to eligible students who demonstrate need.
Consumer information is located on the Financial Aid website:
Student loans allow many students a way to finance their education. Federal loans are low-interest variable rate loans with an established interest cap and are very accessible.
- Federal Direct Student Loan Program provides students the opportunity to obtain low-interest loans directly from the federal government.
- Federal Direct PLUS Loans offer the parents of undergraduate students to borrow on behalf of their students directly from the federal government. Graduate students may borrow for themselves through the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Program.
- College Access Loan is a state-funded program designed to assist full-time students who have proven to be ineligible for other types of federal and state aid.
- B-On-Time Loan is a state-sponsored loan with similar criteria to the TEXAS Grant Program. Repayment begins after graduation. Only renewal students are eligible for this loan.
- Emergency Tuition and Fee Loan is a state program established to provide students short-term emergency assistance with tuition and fee payments. With an interest rate of five percent per annum, payment is due within 90 days. Applicants should contact the Office of Accounting and Business.
- Friends of Nursing is a short-term, low-interest emergency loan program for nursing majors. Students are expected to repay the loans no later than two months following graduation. Applicants should contact the head of the Department of Nursing.
Student employment falls under two broad categories: work-student and regular employment.
- Federal College Work-Student Program and Texas College Work-Study Program are employment programs for students who demonstrate financial need. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid must be completed in order to determine eligibility. Students receiving work-study funding work for departments on the WTAMU campus. A student receiving $3,000 per school year will typically work 20 hours per week. However, additional hours may be available through work-study or regular employment depending on the student's eligibility and the employing department's budget/needs.
- Regular Employment - Student Employment Services attempts to find employment for all students who desire to work while they attend WTAMU. Jobs are on the WTAMU campus and the Canyon/Amarillo area. Students do not need to qualify for work-study for this employment.
The Office of Financial Aid monitors eligibility for financial aid. Students must make satisfactory academic progress, which requires both qualitative (grade point average) and quantitative (hours attempted/completed) progress. Failure to attain the standard will result in loss of eligibility, until the student meets or exceeds the standard. Satisfactory progress will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester for the academic year.
Return of Title IV Funds
Students receiving funds from various federal programs are subject to this refund policy placed in effect in fall 2000 by the U.S. Department of Education. The policy states that students, withdrawing or ceasing to attend classes on or before the 60-percent point of the semester has been completed, will be required to return the calculated unused portions of the funds received, including loan funds. Failure to do so could result in ineligibility for further aid consideration at any school as well as being prevented from returning to West Texas A&M University.
Students receiving all "F"s, incompletes or a combination of the two, will be calculated as withdrawn at the 50-percent point of the semester, or last date of attendance, as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education unless other documentation is provided.
Institutions are required to perform the calculations and to determine that the necessary funds are returned to the proper entities. Programs included are Federal Pell Grant; Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG); Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan; Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan; and Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
For more information on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and the Return of Title IV Funds, access the following electronic link on the University's website, http://www.wtamu.edu/student-support/financial-aid-consumer-information.aspx.