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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

WHY TAKE THE TSI?



Click the link below to obtain the registration form:
  WHY TAKE THE TSI?


What is the TSI?
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is mandated by Texas law to ensure that students enrolled in Texas public colleges possess the academic skills needed to perform effectively in college-level coursework. TSI includes a testing component designed to identify and provide diagnostic information about the reading, mathematics and writing skills of each student.
If you are an incoming college student in Texas, you are required to take the TSI Assessment — unless you are already exempt (read below) — to determine your readiness for college-level work. Based on how you perform, you may either be enrolled in a college-level course that matches your skill level or be placed in the appropriate developmental course or intervention to improve your skills and prepare you for success in college-level courses.

Not all incoming students need to take the TSI Assessment. There are many ways you can be exempt. Qualifying for a TSI Assessment exemption means that you can enroll in any entry-level college course without restrictions. You may be exempt if you:

1. Have tested and performed at or above the following standards within a period of five (years) from the date of testing:

    (A) ACT: composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test shall be exempt for both the reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment, and/or 19 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment;
    (B) SAT: a combined critical reading (formerly "verbal") and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the critical reading test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment, and/or 500 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.        
2. A student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education.
3.  A student who transfers to an institution from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed college-level coursework as determined by the receiving institution.                
Exam Fee (There are not any fee waivers for this exam)

All Testing - Math, Reading, and Writing - $25.00
Math - $5.00
Math and Reading - $10.00
Math and Writing - $20.00
Reading - $5.00
Writing - $15.00
Reading and Writing - $20.00

Monday, February 2, 2015

FREE FAFSA HELP IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH IS ONLY A PHONE CALL AWAY





FREE FAFSA HELP IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH IS ONLY A PHONE CALL AWAY

IF YOUR PARENT WAS IN THE MILITARY READ THIS: TUITION EXEMPTION FOR CHILDREN OF TX VETERANS (Hazlewood Act)

The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees.

 HAZLEWOOD ACT APPLICATION AND DOCUMENTS

 On January 26, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the requirement that Veterans must have entered service in Texas in order to be eligible to receive the Texas Hazlewood exemption of tuition and fees at public schools (the fixed point residency requirement) was unconstitutional. The office of the Attorney General is currently reviewing the decision and may appeal the ruling. In the interim, current Hazlewood eligibility requirements remain unchanged, except for the individual specifically named in the lawsuit.

Veteran Qualifications 
A Veteran must:
  • At the time of entry into active duty the U.S. Armed Forces, designated Texas as Home of Record; or entered the service in Texas; or was a Texas resident;
  • Have received an honorable discharge or separation or a general discharge under honorable conditions as indicated on the Veteran's Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214);
  • Served at least 181 days of active duty service (excluding training);
  • Have no federal Veteran’s education benefits, or have no federal Veterans education benefits dedicated to the payment of tuition and fees only (such as Chapter 33 or 31; for term or semester enrolled that do not exceed the value of Hazlewood benefits;
  • Not be in default on a student loan made or guaranteed by the State of Texas;
  • Enroll in classes for which the college receives tax support (i.e., a course that does not depend solely on student tuition and fees to cover its cost), unless the college’s governing board has ruled to let Veterans receive the benefit while taking non-funded courses; and
  • Meet the GPA and excessive hour requirement of the institution's satisfactory academic progress policy in a degree or certificate program as determined by the institution's financial aid policy.
Veterans who are granted their first Hazlewood Act exemption beginning fall, 2011 must reside in Texas during the semester or term for which the exemption is claimed. This requirement does not apply to the Veterans who either received the exemption prior to the 2011-2012 academic year, have reenlisted into active duty, or reside with a spouse who is on active duty.

Hazlewood Act application process
A Veteran must:
  • Apply and be accepted to a Texas public college or university of his/her choice. Go to  www.applytexas.org to apply or use your institution's application for admission;
  • Provide proof (DD214) from the Department of Defense regarding military service and the nature of discharge;
  • Provide proof of eligibility or ineligibility for GI Bill benefits (Chapter 31, 33/Post-9/11) by requesting a certificate of eligibility for federal education benefits from eBenefits (if Veteran has active duty service after 9/11/2001). You will need to create a username and password to request your certificate of eligibility;
  • Fill out the Hazlewood Exemption application form; and
  • Turn in the Hazlewood Exemption application form, a copy of your letter of eligibility/ineligibility, and a copy of your DD214 into the financial aid office of the institution you will be attending.
Applications and all supporting documentation must be received by the institution no later than the last day of class in order to be evaluated for the semester or term.

Determine institution eligibility for the Hazlewood Act
Eligible Institutions:
The Hazlewood Act is available only for use at a Texas public college or university. To access listings of Texas public colleges and universities, follow this link: Texas Institutions of Higher Education and select any of the schools listed under the Texas Public Institutions. The schools listed under Independent (Private) Institutions do NOT qualify for this exemption.

Legacy Act (Child)
Eligible Veterans may assign unused hours of exemption eligibility to a child under certain conditions.
Qualifications
A child (legacy recipient) must:
  • Be classified by the institution as a Texas resident;
  • Be the biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or claimed as a dependent in the current or previous tax year;
  • Be 25 years old or younger on the first day of the semester or term for which the exemption is claimed (unless granted an extension due to a qualifying illness or debilitating condition); and
  • Meet the GPA and excessive hour requirements of the institution's satisfactory academic progress policy in a degree or certificate program as determined by the institution's financial aid policy.
Legacy recipients will receive an exemption for the number of degree certified hours reported by the institution for that term or semester. Maximum degree certified hours awarded to the Legacy recipient will be dependent upon the degree or certificate program in which the student is enrolled for that term or semester and shall be consistent with the program length as defined within the school catalog as approved by the regional accreditation commission. *If a child to whom hours have been delegated fails to use all of the assigned hours, a Veteran may re-assign the unused hours that are available to another child. Only one child will use Hazlewood Legacy benefits at a time.

Legacy Act Application Process
Qualifications
A child (legacy recipient) of a Veteran must:
  • Apply and be accepted to a Texas public college or university. Go to www.applytexas.org to apply or use your institution's application for admission;
  • Fill out the Hazlewood Exemption Application;
  • Provide proof of eligibility or ineligibility for GI Bill benefits (Chapter 31, 33/Post-9/11) by requesting a certificate of eligibility for federal education benefits from eBenefits. You will need to create a username and password to request your certificate of eligibility;
  • Take both applications, letter of eligibility/ineligibility (if needed), along with a copy of the Veteran’s DD214, to the financial aid office of the institution you will be attending. 
Applications and all supporting documentation must be received by the institution no later than the last day of class of a term in order to be evaluated for that semester or term.

Hazlewood Act for Spouse/Child
Spouses and dependent children of eligible Active Duty, Reserve, and Texas National Guard who died in the line of duty or as a result of injury or illness directly related to military service, are missing in action, or who became totally disabled for purposes of employability as a result of a service-related injury or illness are entitled to each receive a 150 credit hours exemption.
Qualifications
A spouse must:
  • Be a spouse of a Veteran who, at the time of entry into the U.S. Armed Forces, be classified by the institution as a Texas resident, designated Texas as Home of Record, or entered the service in Texas;
  • Be a spouse of a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Texas National Guard who died as a result of service-related injuries or illness, is missing in action, or became totally disabled (100%) as a result of service-related injury or illness or is entitled to receive compensation at the 100% rate due to individual employability (IU) due to a service connected injury or illness;
  • Have no federal Veterans education benefits, or have no federal Veterans education benefits dedicated to the payment of tuition and fees only (such as Chapter 33 or 31) for term or semester enrolled that do not exceed the value of Hazlewood benefits;
  • Be classified by the institution as a Texas resident; and
  • Meet the GPA and excessive hour requirements of the institution's satisfactory academic progress policy in a degree or certificate program as determined by the institution's financial aid policy. This requirement does not apply to the spouse of a MIA, KIA, or service connected deceased Veteran.

A child must:
  • Be a child of a Veteran who, at the time of entry into the U.S. Armed Forces, be classified by the institution as a Texas resident, designated Texas as Home of Record, or entered the service in Texas;
  • Be a child of a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, Texas National Guard, or Texas Air National Guard who died as a result of service-related injuries or illness, is missing in action, or became totally disabled (100%) as a result of a service-related injury or illness or is entitled to receive compensation at the 100% rate due to individual employability (IU) due to a service connected injury or illness;
  • Have no federal Veterans education benefits, or have no federal Veterans education benefits dedicated to the payment of tuition and fees only (such as Chapter 33 or 31; for term or semester enrolled that do not exceed the value of Hazlewood benefits;
  • Be classified by the institution as a Texas resident; and
  • Meet the GPA and excessive hour requirements of the institution's satisfactory academic progress policy in a degree or certificate program as determined by the institution's financial aid policy. This requirement does not apply to the child of a MIA, KIA, or service connected deceased Veteran.

Application process for Spouse/Child
A spouse or child of a Veteran whose death was service connected, is MIA, or is/was 100% permanently disabled must:
  • Apply and be accepted to a Texas public college or university. Go to www.applytexas.org or use your institution's application for admission;
  • Provide a DD214 and a disability rating letter or a DD1300 Report of Casualty regarding the Veteran's death;
  • Provide proof of eligibility or ineligibility for GI Bill benefits (Chapter 31, 33/Post/9-11) by requesting an education benefits letter from the VA at eBenefits. You will need to create a username and password to request your certificate of eligibility;
  • Fill out the Hazlewood Exemption application form.
Applications and all supporting documentation must be received by the institution no later than the last day of class of a term in order to be evaluated for that semester or term.

CORRECTING YOUR FAFSA ONCE IT HAS BEEN SUBMITTED



MAKING CORRECTIONS TO THE FAFSA ONCE IT HAS BEEN SUBMITTED

WHO IS MY PARENT WHEN I FILL OUT THE FAFSA? QUESTION 59 on the FAFSA



UNUSUAL SITUATIONS REGARDING PARENTAL STATUS



WONDERING HOW TO ANSWER QUESTION 59

TOP QUESTIONS REGARDING FILING YOUR FAFSA

TOP QUESTIONS REGARDING FILING YOUR FAFSA

FILING THE FAFSA..... 2016-17



FAFSA FREE GUIDEBOOK

WHAT IF YOUR PARENTS WILL NOT OR NOT AVAILABLE TO FILE THE FAFSA FOR YOU?

INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM FASTWEB:  

There are a variety of reasons why students and parents part ways. Sometimes the parents are divorced and a stepparent kicks the child out of the home when he or she reaches the age of majority. According to a 1998 study, 29% of children of divorced parents get parental support for college costs compared with 88% of children from intact families. Sometimes the student and parents disagree over religious or cultural practices, criminal activity (especially drug use), a boyfriend or girlfriend (of a different race or religion or age or of the same sex) or teen pregnancy. Sometimes the disagreement is over the student’s choice of college, especially when the college is more expensive than the parents can afford.
Sometimes the student is still living at home, but the parents refuse to complete the FAFSA. Often this is because of privacy concerns, because one of the parents is undocumented, or because of a failure to file federal income tax returns.
Explain your situation to the financial aid administrator at your college. Sometimes they can help you reconcile with your parents or address your parents’ concerns. If that fails, they may be able to grant you independent student status. However, parental refusal to complete the FAFSA and verification forms and to contribute to your education are not sufficient grounds on their own or in combination for a dependency override.
Likewise, even if you are totally self-sufficient and your parents don’t claim you as an exemption on their federal income tax returns, that isn’t enough justification for a dependency override. But if the home environment is abusive, the financial aid administrator might be able to grand a dependency override. They will want to see copies of court protection from abuse orders, police reports and a report from your social worker. Letters from people who are familiar with your situation, such as guidance counselors, doctors, clergy and teachers may also be helpful.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 amended section 479A(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to permit college financial aid administrators to offer dependent students an unsubsidized Stafford loan without requiring the parents to file a FAFSA, provided that the financial aid administrator verifies that the parents have ended financial support to the student and refuse to file the FAFSA. This isn’t much, and it isn’t a grant, but it might be enough for you to enroll at a low cost community college. You might also be able to qualify for some of the education tax benefits, such as the Hope Scholarship tax credit and the student loan interest deduction.
The only alternative is to wait until you reach age 24, when you will be considered automatically independent. You will then be able to file the FAFSA on your own without your parents help.

FAFSA: DEPENDENT or INDEPENDENT STATUS; ANSWERS ARE HERE.

All applicants for federal student aid are considered either “independent” or “dependent.” Dependent students are required to include information about their parents on the FAFSA. By answering a few questions, you can get a good idea of which category you fit into.
  • Will you be 24 or older by Dec. 31 of the school year for which you are applying for financial aid?
  • Will you be working toward a master’s or doctorate degree (such as M.A., M.B.A., M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.)?
  • Are you married or separated but not divorced?
  • Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
  • Do you have dependents (other than children or a spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent of the court?
  • Are you an emancipated minor or are you in a legal guardianship as determined by a court?
  • Are you an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
If none of the criteria listed above apply to you, you may be considered a dependent student and may be required to provide your parents’ financial information when completing the FAFSA.  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be an independent student. You may not be required to provide parental information on your FAFSA.
If you have questions about your dependency status or need more information, please visit StudentAid.gov/dependency.