Jul 16, 2024  
2015-2016 Academic Catalog 
2015-2016 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid and Scholarships

(901) 333-5960

Federal/State Grants

Financial Aid Priority Deadlines

Students must submit all documents by the priority deadline date in oder to guarantee that their files will be processed and awarded for the following semester. 

Summer 2015: April 1, 2015  
Fall 2015: June 15, 2015  
Spring 2016: November 2, 2015  
Summer 2016: May 2, 2016  
Fall 2016: June 15, 2016  

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:

  • Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can submit the FAFSA after January 1, sooner is better to qualify for as much financial aid as possible.
  • Filling out the FAFSA form online is the fastest way to apply. You’ll need a PIN for this process. The PIN number can be applied for within the FAFSA application. Enter Southwest’s School Code, 010439, as a school that will receive the results of your FAFSA. The Department of Education will send you an email containing your PIN number. Keep this information in case you need to login to the FAFSA website.
  • Make sure your Social Security number and name is correct on all forms.
  • We recommend you file the FAFSA no later than February 1 to be considered for State of Tennessee grant and scholarship assistance. The FAFSA must also be submitted for renewal of the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship.
  • Allow five (5) business days for your FAFSA to process. Check your financial aid status on the Student Dashboard account, accessible via My.Southwest, regularly to ensure you have no outstanding “To Do” items. Your financial aid award will be displayed online when it is available.
  • Respond immediately to any request for verification of the information reported on your FAFSA. If you are selected for Verification, you are required to complete a Verification Worksheet and other financial forms before any financial aid can be processed or disbursed.
  • Make sure you turn in all the required forms that are available on the Student Dashboard account. Failure to complete this request will cause processing delays.
  • Financial aid awards are only offered to fully admitted, degree-seeking students.
  • Complete U.S. taxes early each year so the FAFSA can be renewed early.

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:

  1. Pell Grant
  2. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  3. Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Grant
  4. Other state, private, or institutional aid
  5. 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 No minimum  
14.1 - 26 1.0  
26.1 - 40 1.4  
40.1 - 48 1.7  
48.1 - 56 1.9  
56.1 and above 2.0  

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)  
Ex. 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)  
Eligible Certificate 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

First Review

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.

Second Review

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.

Appeal Process

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.

Appeal Denied

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.

Appeal Approved

If a student’s appeal for failed max hours  is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will be required to submit an individualized Academic Plan which will include an academic plan by the students Faculty Advisor or Department Chair. 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).

Developmental Courses

Students may attempt a maximum of 30 credit hours of developmental/learning support courses and receive Federal Pell Funds.

Repeat Courses

Once a student earns a grade of A, B, C, or D or N 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.

I An incomplete grade is viewed as an “F” grade until a grade is posted for the class.
F Failing: Students who receive a grade point average of 0.0 due to all “F” grades in one semester.
FA 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.
W 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.

Service Awards

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.

Student Ambassadors

(901) 333-4399

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 English/reading/math support, 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:

  • Successfully completed 15 credit hours of college-level courses
  • Earned a 3.0 grade point average
  • Earned a 3.0 to 4.0 in courses qualified to tutor 
  • Received a written recommendation from a faculty member

If interested in this scholarship, please contact the ASC at the Union Avenue or Macon Cove campus.

Foundation Scholarships


Through the generosity of individuals, corporations and organizations, the Southwest Foundation has been able to assist thousands of students attending the College. As scholarships are dependent upon availability of funds, not all scholarships can be awarded every year. A completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the basis for all types of financial aid awarded at Southwest, even scholarships, so go online to apply even if you do not believe that you are eligible for grant programs. 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
AIM Scholarships
Allied Health Sciences Scholarship
Alumni Scholarship - Full-time Student
Alumni Scholarship - Part-time Student
Alvin O. Jackson Scholarship
Minnie Ash/ILS Endowed Scholarship
AutoZone Scholarship
Dr.  & Mrs. Steve Ballard Endowed Scholarship
BancorpSouth West Tennessee Educational Scholarship
Baptist Memorial Hospital Paralegal Scholars Scholarship
Bornblum Brothers Endowed Scholarship
Bornblum Brothers Scholarship Endowment for Nursing Students
Darrell Kenneth Brown Memorial Book Scholarship
Business, Accounting and Paralegal; Engineering Technologies; Hospitality; Environmental and Graphic Arts; Office Administration and Information Technologies Scholarship
Paul & Carol Calame Scholarship
Cigna MOST (Men of Southwest) Scholarship
Pam Cobb Paralegal Endowed Memorial Scholarship
College Ready Full Time Scholarship
Complete College Scholarship
Delaware North Hospitality Technology Scholarship
Dr. David Darnall Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Fred L. Davis Scholarship
Department of Fine Arts Scholarship
Tommy Deutsch Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Disadvantaged At-Risk Scholarship
Dual Enrollment Fayette Scholarship
edScholar Scholarship
Endowed General Scholarship Fund
William W. (Bill) and Jimmie W. Farris Endowed Scholarship
First Tennessee Foundation Business and Commerce Endowed Scholarship
Follett General Scholarship
Frayser Exchange Club Book Scholarship
Sandra Thomas Halfacre Endowed Scholarship
Hazardous Materials Mgmt. Memorial Scholarship (EH&S)
Nolan Henrich Accounting Scholarship
Honors Program Scholarship
Hospitality Scholarship
Russell W. Hughes Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Dr. Greg Maksi Scholarship
Metropolitan Hotel and Lodging Association Scholarship
Mid-South Area Business Travel Association Scholarship
Mildred Hunt Scholarship
Industrial Engineering Scholarship
International Students Scholarship
Estelle Johnson and Archie Landey Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Randall E. Knowles Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Randall E. Knowles Endowed Memorial Scholarship Hotel Management
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship
Frances Cleo Long Scholarship
Paul Mason Scholarship
The Med Foundation/Kirk Franklin Scholarship
SSG Daniel DeWayne Merriweather Memorial Book Scholarship
MidSouth Association of Contingency Planners (MSACP) Scholarship
Dempsie B. Morrison Memorial Scholarship
Music Excellence Scholarship
NAREB/Lewis Harris Memorial Scholarship
Naval Air Arm Memorial Scholarship
Nursing Alumni Scholarship
Paramedic Book 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
Presidential Leadership Scholarship
Luis C. Prieto Jr., M.D. Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Florence Randall Memorial Scholarship
Seth & Damia Rolfe Book Scholarship Fund
Saint Francis Hospital Auxiliary Endowment Scholarship
David C. Scott Memorial Scholarship
SGA Book Scholarship
Earl and Gwen Sears Nursing Endowed Scholarship
Walter K. Singleton, U.S.M.C. Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Lilliette J. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund
Maxine & Vasco Smith Endowment Scholarship
Smith & Nephew Orthopedic Endowed Scholarship
Walter & Brenda Snipes Book Scholarship
Southwest Foundation Board Scholarship
Southwest Foundation Book Scholarship
Donna T. Springfield Nursing Scholarship
Maxine & Vasco Smith Endowment Tribute Scholarship Fund
SunTrust Scholarship
Elsie Mae Swoboda AAS Acct Computer Concentration Scholarship
Carl E. Swoboda, Sr. Acct Technical Certificate Scholarship
Mr. & Mrs. Joe Tate Endowed Scholarship Fund
Robert Earl Tate Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Darrell & La Tina Thomas Endowed Scholarship
John L. Thornton Memorial Scholarship
Underwraps, Inc. Book Scholarship
Kelly Wilson Memorial Scholarship
Frank Wooten Endowed Scholarship