CampusSpotlight

Financial Aid

TAMMY: Welcome back to Campus Spotlight the program that tells you what's happening on the campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College. On this segment we're going to take the time to explain the new federal regulations and guidelines for applying and receiving financial aid. Here is Sandy Barlow.

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SANDY BARLOW: I'm Sandy Barlow, the Financial Aid Director at West Kentucky Community and Technical College and I'm here today to explain some of the federal regulations that have made an impact on student aid.

We're going to talk about the application change. i think it's really change for a very very positive impact on what the student can do and how they do it. Before you had to gather up all your taxes and all the other things that went with the IRS. Now you can push a button when you go out onto the Web site to you fill out your application and your taxes automatically come right onto that application.

In the beginning of last year, the Pell Grant we werethey were looking actually at changing the threshold from uh$23,000 to $32,000 and that would put would put a lot of people out of not receiving a full Pell. So they went back and they looked at it and they said okay - unemployment is very high uhcost of living has gone up, let's bring it back to $23,000, so that's good. So now a family of uhuh.four that makes $23,000 or more, they have a better opportunity of receiving some type of Pell Grant.

We had heard that the federal government..they were actually going to decrease the Pell. Well that was you knowdecreasing ityou know, we had students that were barely making it with what they had uh... it was uh$5,500 last year and we thought we heard that it was going down less than $5,500 instead of going up, you know. But they did..they went back, they re-examined it..instead of cutting it, they added another uhuh$50 to the each Pell year and so that will actually help.

Before we've always have in place Ability to Benefit for students that didn't have a GED or high school diploma. And what that would amount to..they would actually take a test, and if their scores where high enough in math, uh..Englishuhwriting.reading, then they could actually go on and go to college and and take courses. Uhwell they decided to change that. It's going to give the student an opportunity to actually get their GED or take six credit hours. And if they can get their GED or six credit hours, then they can go to school.

The biggest changes that have come uh.is with academic progress. Uh..and not the method of the way they look at academic progress because you still have to have a 2.0 as always, uhthe 67% is still there as always, uhmaximum time frame, you know we actually, it takes 60 credit hours to get a degree at a two-year college. Uhwe've actually given you 150% of that, so we're, you know, we've allowed you to withdrawal from some of those classes, we've allowed you to mess up in some of those classes. But when it meets that maximum time frame of 150%, uhyou're on academic probation. So you've got to actually go into some kind of plan of action. And that's where the big changes really have taken place, as how we as an institution look at our students and the federal government, they've actually given us uh..the guidelines that we have to follow.

Right now, uh..once youyou're not getting 2.0, you've notuhyou've reached the maximum time frame, or the 67%, uhyou've not done some of those things - just one of them - then you're uh..on probation. You'll get one try, you'll have warning. You'll be on academic probation one, but that's it. We're going to give you one semester to make a difference and if you can't make a difference in the next semester, you go on academic probation.

I would like to add one more thing. This will not start until July 1 of 2012, this next school year. The students that were here in the spring and the fall of this last year that uh..had taken their test, their Ability to Benefit to get into school, they can still continue. Uh..but if you are a new student and re-enrolling, you have to, have to have a GED or you have to six credit hours, and financial aid will not pay for those six credit hours. You would have to do those on your own.

if you have any questions about anything that we've discussed here today or if you're not understanding the processes of of what the new changes have come about, then please don't hesitate to give the financial aid office a call. You can go to our Web site, there's a lot of uhexplanations of of what is going on and how its, what is happening and how to do it. And uhwe hope you have a great year.

TAMMY: Thanks you Sandy. If you have anymore questions about financial aid, feel free to call the financial aid office at 534-3428. And don't forget you can see Campus Spotlight in four ways. You can see us on the College Web site, the College Facebook page, and the College YouTube page, and of course, on Paducah-2 television.

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STUDIO OPERATOR: Tammy Thompson 454.

TAMMY THOMPSON: Okay!

STUDIO OPERATOR: Tammy Thompson 455.