Southwest guarantees that your financial aid will be processed if you complete your FAFSA and submit all required documents to the College:
||Submit Documents by June 1
||Processed by July 31
||Submit Documents by October 1
||Processed by December 1
Southwest School Code 010439
The federal government, the state of Tennessee, and Southwest offer eligible degree/certificate-seeking students a range of financial aid opportunities. Most student financial aid is provided in the form of grants through federal and state-funded programs. This money is specifically awarded for education-related expenses including tuition, fees, and books. A student or applicant who needs financial aid should apply as early as possible, so that financial aid arrives before tuition and fees need to be paid.
How to apply for both federal and state grants
To be considered for all federal, state and Southwest institutional funds, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). No other application is required. The FAFSA form must be completed online at www.fafsa.gov.
- Apply for admission to the College. Financial aid will not be awarded until you have completed all admissions and financial aid requirements and are admitted into a degree/certificate program.
- Gather the information needed to apply:
- Your social security number (SSN) and your parent’s social security number if you are providing parent information
- Your driver’s license number, if you have one.
- Your alien registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Your federal tax information or tax returns, using records for the year prior to the academic year for which you are applying
- Your records of untaxed income such as social security benefits, SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or veteran’s benefits
- If you do not have a PIN, you can apply for one at (www.pin.ed.gov). Your PIN allows you to electronically sign when you submit your FAFSA. If you are providing parent information, one parent must also sign your FAFSA. To sign electronically, your parent should also apply for a PIN.
- File your FAFSA on or after January 1. Use IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is the easiest way to provide tax information. After you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation number which indicates that your application has been successfully submitted. Keep the number for your records.
- Your application will be processed and you will receive an email with a link to your Student Aid Report (SAR/ISIR), or if you did not provide an email address, you will receive it by mail. You must review your SAR/ISIR for accuracy, and correct inaccurate items online, or contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance. If you do not hear from them within three weeks, go to www.fafsa.gov and select: “Check the status of a submitted FAFSA.”
- The Financial Aid office will email students (Southwest email accounts only) to notify you of any missing documents. Promptly respond to any College requests for additional information or documentation, such as copies of IRS tax return transcripts, verification worksheets, or other forms.
- If you are eligible, the College will email a financial aid award letter when all required documents have been received. The email indicates the amount of your financial assistance and is based on enrolling full-time. Once enrolled, the award may be adjusted.
- Keep copies of all documents.
- Notify the Financial Aid Office in writing if you have applied for assistance, but no longer wish to attend school. It is the responsibility of all students to communicate with the College regarding financial aid, admission, and enrollment status.
Federal Assistance Programs
1 (800) 4FEDAID (433-3243)
Federal Pell Grant Program
The Federal Pell Grant Program, a federal student aid program, provides money to help undergraduates pay for their education. Eligibility is determined by the federal government, using a standard formula to evaluate the information provided on the FAFSA. These grants provide the “foundation” of financial aid to which other aid may be added. All aid applicants must, therefore, apply for this grant.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is an award to help students with exceptional financial need pay for their education. It is for undergraduates only.
Federal College Work-Study Program
The Federal College Work-Study Program provides jobs on campus for students who need financial assistance. This program gives students an opportunity to work up to 20 hours per week and earn a part of their educational expenses. Students are paid for the hours they work each pay period. In order to maximize state and federal aid received, please apply by February 1. (Dates are subject to change.)
State Assistance Programs
1 (800) 342-1663
Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA)
This state grant award is available to undergraduate residents of Tennessee who are enrolled for at least 6 credits. All Tennessee residents who complete the FAFSA will automatically be applying for this grant. In order to maximize state and federal aid received, please apply by February 1. (Dates are subject to change.)
Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship
1 (800) 342-1663
The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program is available to students who meet the criteria determined by the Tennessee General Assembly. Generally, a student graduating in May 2003 or after, and a student age 25 or older who is attending college for the first time, may be eligible for the scholarship.
All Tennessee students interested in this scholarship must complete the FAFSA each academic year by the deadline set by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC). Certification by TSAC and Southwest’s Records and Financial Aid Offices is also required.
Financial Aid Refund and Repayment Policy
The United States Department of Education requires an institution to determine the last day of attendance for federal financial aid recipients who withdraw, stop attending, or never attend a class during a semester. A student who withdraws, stops attending, or never attends a class during a semester may owe a refund to the College or the federal financial aid program from which the student received the aid. Faculty members take attendance until the census date and if a student stops attending, a grade of FA is reported.
Return of Federal Funds
Refund calculations are performed to determine if financial aid funds will be returned to the Department of Education by Southwest or repaid by the student. If the student has received federal financial aid such as a Pell Grant (PELL) or Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), the institution must calculate the amount of financial aid the student earned based on class attendance. Department of Education software is used to determine the amount of aid that a student was entitled to receive based on class attendance. The amount is then subtracted from the total financial aid disbursed. The unearned amount will be returned to the Department of Education.
The portion of the unearned amount that paid institutional charges is repaid by the institution. A percentage of the unearned amount that was disbursed to the student must be repaid by the student. Any amount returned by the institution will be charged to the student’s account as “unpaid tuition.”
Federal regulations require that repayment of Title IV financial aid funds be disbursed in the following order:
- Pell Grant
- Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Grant
- Other state, private, or institutional aid
- The student
Examples of refund and repayment calculations are available upon request.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Southwest Tennessee Community College students receiving federal financial aid are required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards according to federal and state laws and regulations. Progress is measured by the student’s term, grade point average, credits earned in relation to credits attempted hours (67%) and the length of the academic program.
In order to continue to receive federal financial aid, a review of a student’s academic progress is conducted each semester after the posting of grades. The entire academic record is reviewed including semesters of enrollment when a student did not receive financial aid, all developmental courses and transfer credits being accepted by the College.
A student may not make SAP for any one of the following reasons.
Reason 1: Failed Grade Point Average (GPA)
Based on the chart below, a student‘s overall GPA must correspond to the number of credits attempted.
|Total Credits Attempted
||Minimum Grade Point Average
|1 – 14
|14.1 – 26
|26.1 – 40
|40.1 – 48
|48.1 – 56
|56.1 and above
Reason 2: Failure to meet the 67% Rule
At least, two-thirds (67%) of all credits attempted must be earned (passed) during an award year. Cumulative two-thirds completion rate will be evaluated at the end of each semester Grades of A, B, C, or D will be considered as hours attempted and earned. Grades of F, FA, W, or I will be considered as hours attempted, but will NOT be considered as hours earned.
||All credits earned
||All credits attempted
||67% (how it is calculated)
||25 credits earned
||50 credits attempted
||50% (did not meet SAP)
||40 credits earned
||50 credits attempted
||80% (met SAP)
Reason 3: Over MAX Hours
The number of credit/hours to complete a degree or certificate must not exceed 150% of the total credit/hours in the program of study. Transfer credits accepted by Southwest will be counted towards the 150 percent total and all credit/hours attempted including those from a change of major but excluding developmental credit/hours.
|For Associate Degrees
||Total of credit/hours in the Program of Study up to 150% of the program hours (not including developmental/learning support credits)
||Total of credit/hours in the Program of Study up to 150% of the program hours
A student who is over MAX hours must file an appeal with a degree audit each semester.
Review of Academic Progress
A student who fails to meet SAP (failed GPA, 67% Rule and/or Max Hours) will be contacted via email and will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for ONE semester. The student may continue to receive Title IV aid (Ex. Pell, SEOG, and
Federal work-study if eligible) for one semester without having to complete a financial aid appeal form. A student who is over Max Hours must file a financial aid appeal form with an attached degree audit each semester.
If the student fails to regain eligibility at the end of the warning semester, they will be ineligible to receive financial aid and must pay for their enrollment until they meet both the 67% hours attempted AND the cumulative GPA requirements. However, a student has the option of filing a financial aid appeal form. A student who is over Max Hours must file a financial aid appeal form with an attached degree audit each semester.
If circumstances prevent a student from meeting the standards, a student may file a financial aid appeal. A student may get the appeal form on-line or from the Financial Aid Office. The appeal form can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office any time after grades are posted for the last semester attended. Documentation must be attached to substantiate the reason for the appeal. The appeal may not be based upon the need for financial aid assistance or the lack of knowledge that the financial aid assistance was in jeopardy. Only complete and legible appeals will be considered. Submitting an appeal does not constitute approval nor will classes be held while the appeal is under review.
Appeal will be considered for the following reasons:
- Prolonged illness, medical condition, or injury to student or immediate family member
- Death of an immediate family member
- Family trauma which occurred during the semester in question
- Circumstances beyond the student’s control
Appeal must include the following information:
- Completed appeal form (link)
- Circumstances and how the circumstances affected academic performance
- Dates and time periods involved
- Explanation of how your situation has changed and the steps you are taking to resolve the circumstances
Documentation may include:
- Physician’s letters and hospital records ( must include dates of illness and recovery time)
- Death certificate or obituary
- Court or police documents
- Letters from third party professionals on his/her letterhead
- Students who have exceeded maximum hours must include a degree audit signed by an academic advisor.
An approval or denial response will be emailed to the student within three weeks of submitting the appeal.
If the student’s appeal is denied, their financial aid will be suspended and the student may pay for their next semester of enrollment. A student’s financial aid will be reinstated the next semester of enrollment that they meet both the 67% hours attempted AND the cumulative GPA requirements.
If a student’s appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will be required to submit an individualized Academic Plan which will include a degree audit signed by an academic advisor indicating the number of hours needed to complete the current degree and intended graduation date. The student will be eligible for continued financial aid. An appeal may be required every semester that a student does not meet SAP but does show progress.
Failure to maintain SAP or follow the academic plan will result in the loss of Title IV aid (Pell, SEOG, and Federal work-study, if eligible). The student must pay for their next semester of enrollment. A student’s financial aid will be reinstated the next semester of enrollment that they meet both the 67% hours attempted AND the cumulative GPA requirements. All decisions are final and cannot be reappealed.
Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)
A student is only eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant for 12 semesters (or its equivalent). The calculation of LEU includes ALL years (fall, spring, summer) that a student has ever received Federal Pell Grant funding. The Department of Education will calculate the LEU of each of the annual percentages of a student’s disbursed award. When 600% is reached, a student will no longer be eligible to receive any Pell at any level of college (community college and/or university).
Students may attempt a maximum of 30 credit hours of developmental/learning support courses and receive Federal Pell Funds.
Once a student earns a grade of A, B, C, or D in a course, the Pell grant will only pay for one (1) more attempt.
Max Hours for Degree
The number of credit/hours to complete a degree or certificate must not exceed 150% of the total credit/hours in the program of study.
In addition to grade point average requirements, any student with the following grade and progress criteria may no longer be eligible for federal and state financial aid.
||An incomplete grade is viewed as an “F” grade until a grade is posted for the class.
||Failing: Students who receive a grade point average of 0.0 due to all “F” grades in one semester.
||Failing: Students who receive a grade point average of 0.0 due to all “F” grades in one semester because of non-attendance or “stopped” attending.
||Withdrawn: Students who fail to complete any credit hours due to withdrawal from all classes in one semester.
Students receiving all “F” grades or all “W” grades in any semester may be required to repay federal financial aid funds based on the last date of documented attendance.
Southwest provides two opportunities for students to receive financial assistance through service to the College. Students who are selected will receive a work award in return for service hours given to the College.
The Southwest Ambassadors are a group of students who serve as goodwill representatives of the College. They support college or community events scheduled by the Recruiting Office and help to promote Southwest.
Students must complete an application and interview process for selection. Those who are interested must be able to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Have a 2.8 grade point average
- Be available to work at least 75 service hours per semester
- Enroll full time – 12 or more credits
- Be available to work service hours on some evenings and weekends
Academic Support Center (ASC) Scholarship Tutors
Macon Cove Campus (901) 333-4440
Union Avenue Campus (901) 333-5254
ASC Scholarship Tutors are academically qualified and recommended students who receive tuition assistance to work as peer tutors in the Academic Support Center to enhance student success. They assist students in developing independent study skills as well as enhancing academic proficiency in developmental, general education, and career courses. Scholarship tutors work with students in both one-on-one and in group sessions.
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Have successfully completed 15 credit hours of college-level courses
- Have a 3.0 grade point average
- Receive a recommendation from a faculty member
If interested in this scholarship, please contact the ASC at the Union Avenue or Macon Cove campus.
Through the generosity of individuals, corporations and organizations, the Southwest Foundation has been able to assist thousands of students attending the College. To learn more about scholarships for which you may qualify, visit the website. Applications must be completed online by March 15.
List of Scholarships
Academic Departmental Scholarships
Allied Health Sciences Scholarship
Alumni Scholarship – Full-time Student
Alumni Scholarship – Part-time Student
Minnie Ash/IL Smart.com Endowed Scholarship
AutoZone Endowed Scholarship
BancorpSouth West Tennessee Educational Scholarship
Baptist Memorial Hospital Paralegal Scholars Scholarship
Pam Cobb Paralegal Scholarship
Bornblum Brothers Endowed Scholarship
Bornblum Nursing Endowed Scholarship
Darrell Kenneth Brown Memorial Book Scholarship
Business, Accounting and Paralegal; Engineering Technologies; Hospitality; Environmental and Graphic Arts; Office Technology and Information Technology Scholarship
CA 1 Hospitality Technical Scholars Scholarship
Fred L. Davis Scholarship
Department of Fine Arts Scholarship
Tommy Deutsch Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Dual Enrollment Fayette Scholarship
William (Bill) and Jimmie W. Farris Endowed Scholarship
First Tennessee Business and Commerce Endowed Scholarship
Follett General Scholarship
Francis M. Fulton Memorial Scholarship
Frayser Exchange Club Book Scholarship
Sandra Thomas Halfacre Endowed Scholarship
Hazardous Materials Mgmt. Memorial Scholarship (EH&S)
Nolan Henrich Accounting Scholarship
Russell W. Hughes Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Mildred Hunt Scholarship
Industrial Engineering Scholarship
International Students Scholarship
Alvin O. Jackson Scholarship
Randall E. Knowles Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship
Frances Cleo Long Scholarship
Earnestine Lowe Scholarship
Paul Mason Scholarship
The Med Foundation/Kirk Franklin Scholarship
Dempsie B. Morrison Memorial Scholarship
Music Excellence Scholarship
NAREB/Lewis Harris Memorial Scholarship
Naval Air Arm Memorial Scholarship
Nursing Alumni Scholarship
Nathaniel Parker Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Nathaniel Parker Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Jess H. and Norma Parrish Scholarship Endowment
Mandy C. Powell Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Luis C. Prieto Jr., M.D. Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Florence Randall Memorial Scholarship
David C. Scott Memorial Scholarship
Scott Paper Company Working Scholars Scholarship
Earl and Gwen Sears Nursing Endowed Scholarship
Smith & Nephew Orthpaedic Endowed Scholarship
Smith Radiology Technology Scholarship
Donna T. Springfield Nursing Scholarship
Southwest Foundation Board Scholarship
Saint Francis Hospital Auxiliary Endowment Scholarship
Carl E. Swoboda Sr. Accounting Technical Certificate Scholarship
Elsie Mae Swoboda AAS Accounting Computer Concentration Scholarship
Mr. & Mrs. Joe Tate Endowed Scholarship
Robert Earl Tate Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Technical Scholars Scholarship
Darrell & La Tina Thomas Endowed Scholarship
John L. Thornton Memorial Scholarship
Kelly Wilson Memorial Scholarship
Frank Wooten Scholarship
Wright Medical Technology, Inc. Scholarship