Oct 02, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Financial Aid



Financial Aid Programs

The financial aid programs listed below are available to students seeking an undergraduate degree at University of Houston-Clear Lake. Students who wish to apply for financial aid should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at studentaid.gov. UHCL’s federal school code is 011711. The application opens on October 1 of each year. More information regarding the types of aid listed below can be found at www.uhcl.edu/costs-aid.

Programs

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG)
  • TEXAS Grant
  • State-funded Scholarships
  • University-administered Scholarships
  • New Hawk Scholarship
  • Hawk Advantage Scholarship
  • Automatic Transfer Scholarships
  • Full-Time to Finish Scholarship
  • Fifth Year Accounting Scholarship
  • Resident Undergraduate Student Assistance Grant
  • State of Texas Waiver and Exemption Programs
  • Federal College Work Study Program (FWSP)
  • Texas College Work Study Program (TWSP)
  • Texas College Access Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan*
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan*
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS) Loan

*All students applying for their first Federal Direct Loan must complete Loan Entrance Counseling and an electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) at studentaid.gov before loan funds can be disbursed.

Program availability is never guaranteed. Financial aid programs are subject to change at any time.

Qualifying for Financial Aid Programs

Students must meet these minimum requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island) or U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card).
  • Be degree-seeking in an undergraduate program.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (a minimum of six hours) at UHCL (Pell grants may be awarded to students enrolled less than half time).
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certification.
  • Not be in default on any education loan or owe a refund on a federal and/or state grant.
  • Be registered with Selective Service System, if male.
  • Possess a high school diploma, GED, home-school completion record or equivalent of a high school diploma.

Applying for Financial Aid

Because regulations governing financial aid change each year, students are required to reapply and submit new documentation annually. Applications for financial aid open Oct 1st of every year. Funding sources and requirements change from year to year, and the amount and type of aid awarded to students may also change. All financial aid applicants are required to submit the following:

  • 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available online at studentaid.gov.
  • If the FAFSA is selected for a process called verification, the student/spouse and parent (if dependent) must provide the supplemental information requested by the Financial Aid Office.

The priority deadline is January 15 of each year. Students applying after January 15 can expect most of the grant money to be exhausted.

The FAFSA and any additional documents will not be reviewed or processed until admission requirements have been met.

Students must submit ALL requested documentation to the Office of Student Financial Aid one month before the end of the term for which they wish to receive financial aid. Failure to adhere to this deadline may prevent the student from being awarded and disbursed financial aid.

Awarding of Aid

Financial aid is awarded based on the information provided on the FAFSA. It is our institutional policy to award available grant, scholarship and work study funds before considering the student for student loans.

UHCL’s policy is to award all eligible students based on information provided through the intended enrollment form. However, final awards will be based on actual enrollment. Therefore, eligibility and enrollment must be verified before funds are disbursed to each student’s account at the beginning of each semester. New freshmen students will receive aid packages based on full-time enrollment.

Enrollment must again be verified after classes begin and at the census date of the term. Awards that are processed after the semester begins are based on the actual number of hours in which students are enrolled, excluding hours of withdrawal.

Students whose files are incomplete should be prepared to pay for their tuition, fees, books and supplies at the time of registration. Financial aid will not be awarded until all financial aid documents have been received and admission requirements have been met.

Summer financial aid will be packaged based on applying through the Summer Financial Aid Application and actual enrollment.

Students must submit all documentation at least two weeks prior to the term for which they are eligible to receive aid. Once a student is not enrolled in UHCL or loses financial aid eligibility, they are no longer eligible to be awarded and are responsible for any past due balances.

Email as Official Communication

The university-assigned campus email address is the official communication vehicle for all student information and exchanges among academic administrative offices. The following notifications will be sent via email:

  • Requests for additional information
  • Notices of scholarship deadlines and opportunities
  • Award notices
  • Disbursement notices
  • Award revisions
  • Required consumer disclosure information

Additionally, most required consumer disclosure information is contained in the UHCL Financial Aid Guidebook located on the UHCL financial aid website (www.uhcl.edu/costs-aid).

Students should check their UHCL email accounts regularly to receive information from the Office of Student Financial Aid, as well as other university offices. For information regarding UHCL email, or to login, go to http://webmail.uhcl.edu.

Students can forward their UHCL email account to a preferred email account. Students interested in this option should visit the University Office of Information Technology’s website at www.uhcl.edu/computing.

Students wishing to receive a paper copy of all notifications must submit their request in writing to:

University of Houston-Clear Lake
Office of Student Financial Aid
Attn: Executive Director of Financial Aid
Box 5
2700 Bay Area Blvd.
Houston, TX 77058

Disbursement of Funds

Financial aid disbursement occurs when grants, loans or scholarships are applied to a student’s UHCL account.

Financial aid disbursements begin approximately seven days prior to the first day of classes. In some cases, financial aid disbursements may occur after the fee payment deadline. Any student who anticipates aid showing in their student account in E-Services does not need to make payment arrangements by the fee payment deadline if the anticipated aid will pay their account balance in full. Students whose accounts will be paid in full with anticipated aid will not be charged late fees.

* Financial Aid disbursement for enrollment in a winter-mini class will not occur until the first disbursement of the spring regular session.

Aid applied to a student’s account will be applied to the current balance first.

If the financial aid credited to a student’s account creates a credit balance, a refund will be issued to the student by Student Business Services after the term begins.

Some forms of financial aid, such as TEACH Grant and TEXAS Grant, may not disburse until after the census date. Students concerned about a late payment due to these types of anticipated aid should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

The Office of Student Financial Aid will notify students by email when their financial aid is applied to their UHCL account.

Criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress

Under federal and state statutes all students applying for or receiving federal or state financial assistance must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree or eligible certification. The Office of Student Financial Aid also uses this requirement for awarding institutional funds.

Students receiving some waivers and exemptions must meet certain components of SAP.

Review for SAP is done at the time the student first applies for financial aid and at the end of each semester. SAP is based on the following qualitative and quantitative measures:

Grade Point Average

The qualitative measure requires that undergraduates and students working on a second bachelor’s degree or teacher certification need to have maintained a cumulative UHCL Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.000 or better.

* Financial Aid calculates a cumulative GPA for purposes of Satisfactory Academic Progress, which includes all grades received. Students repeating a course will have all grades included in their Financial Aid cumulative GPA calculation.

Completion Ratio

The quantitative measure requires that students must have completed 75% of their cumulative attempted hours (including transfer hours accepted by UHCL). This percentage is derived by dividing the total number of hours completed by the total number of hours attempted. Attempted hours are the total number of hours completed plus hours of WX, WQ, I, F, and IP. Hours of WX, WQ, I, and F are considered “not completed” and negatively affect the ratio requirements. The percentage derived must be 75% or greater.

Timeframe to Complete Academic Program

Students who are working on their first or second bachelor’s degree, or teacher certification without a bachelor’s degree must complete their degree(s) within a total of 171 hours (including transfer hours). Hours counted include all coursework taken at UHCL (including WX, WQ, I, F, and IP grades) and accepted transfer coursework.

Students enrolled in the following programs must complete their program within the specific time frame listed below:

  • Pre-Engineering program: 99 credit hours
  • Post-Bachelor Pre-Engineering program: 99 credit hours

Students wishing to pursue a third bachelor’s degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note: Students changing plans are still held to timeframes originally begun with the first major chosen.

Appeal Process for Denial Based on Unsatisfactory Progress

Students who fail to meet the grade point average requirement or the completion ratio requirement will be given one “financial aid warning” for the following semester. Students will be notified via UHCL email of their warning status. Students who fail to meet SAP after their warning semester will not be eligible to receive financial aid unless they complete a SAP Appeal and academic plan, and the appeal is approved.

Students who fail to meet the timeframe requirement are not granted an automatic warning status and will not be eligible to receive financial aid unless they complete a SAP appeal and academic plan, and the appeal is approved.

Appeals are considered for, but not limited to, the following reasons:

  • Increase in workload at the place of employment because of promotion or overtime. Documentation from the employer may be required.
  • Personal illness or serious illness of immediate family members, such as spouse, child, parent or sibling. Documentation is required. Acceptable forms of documentation include but are not limited to receipts for doctor visits, insurance Explanation of Benefits (EOB), or a note from the doctor.
  • Death of a family member. Documentation is required, such as a death certificate, obituary, prayer card or brochure from the funeral or memorial service.
  • Mitigating circumstances. Appropriate support documentation may be required.

Each appeal is reviewed on its own merit.

SAP Appeal form must contain the following:

  • Why the GPA is below the minimum requirement and how the student plans to bring the GPA up to the minimum requirement.
  • Explanation of withdrawal from courses or the reason for not completing the courses.
  • The number of courses or credit hours remaining for the student to complete the degree.

Academic plan, pages 3-4 of SAP appeal form, must be completed with an academic adviser. Students should contribute to the academic plan to ensure success.

Deadlines: Appeal forms and academic plans must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid by the census date each semester (appeals received after this date may be reviewed at the discretion of the SAP committee.) Appeals must be approved before the close of the semester in order for your aid to be reinstated for that semester.

A copy of the student’s Candidate Plan of Study must be submitted with the appeal. Incomplete appeals and academic plans will not be considered. The SAP committee will review all appeals at least twice per month. All decisions reached by the SAP committee are final. Students will be notified via their UHCL email regarding the outcome of their appeal.

Students whose SAP appeals are approved will receive financial aid for one semester on a probationary basis. At the end of that semester, students who are meeting the three criteria for SAP or are following the terms of the academic plan will not have to appeal. Students who are not meeting SAP will be notified via their UHCL email and they may submit another SAP appeal to the Office of Student Financial Aid the following semester. There is no limit to the number of times a student may submit a SAP appeal.

Financial Aid Policy for Students Withdrawing from the University

Per federal regulations students who receive financial aid and completely withdraw from the university must repay all or part of their financial aid according to the policy explained below.

Financial aid recipients of federal student aid who withdraw on or before the 60% point in time of the enrolled semester will have the percentage and amount of Title IV unearned assistance calculated by the university. The unearned funds must be returned to the Title IV programs. The federal formula used to determine the portion of enrollment less than 60% requires that the number of calendar days in the period of enrollment for which the assistance is awarded be divided into the number of calendar days completed in that period as of the day the student withdrew. The Office of Student Financial Aid will then determine the amount of money to be returned.

A student who obtains all “F” grades or a combination of withdrawals and “F” grades will be considered an unofficial withdrawal. The Office of Student Financial Aid will use the date of last attendance input by the professor on the grade roster as the date of withdrawal for the term. If the date of withdrawal is on or before the 60% point in time of the semester enrolled, the student will have the percentage and amount of Title IV unearned assistance calculated by the university. The Office of Student Financial Aid will then determine the amount of money to be returned. Aid may also be adjusted or canceled if the student never attended the course.

While rare, some students may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The Office of Student Financial Aid will contact these students. Students should carefully read the deadlines given to be eligible for the disbursement.

Federal Refund Distribution Priority

Refunds will be applied to the funds received by the student in the following priority:

  • Federal Direct Loan Program (DL) - Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Loan Program (DL) - Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Loan Program (DL) - Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Other Title IV programs

Dropping from a Class but Retaining Half-Time Status

Financial aid awards are based on full-time status. Students can request a package based on less than full-time enrollment. Students who change their enrollment status prior to census day will have their awards reevaluated based on their actual enrollment. Students who received funds based on the original enrollment status may be required to make repayment of the appropriate funds.

Students enrolled in 8-week sessions during the fall and spring terms must be enrolled in those courses by the census date of the long semester to be counted toward their enrollment for some forms of financial aid.

Students who reduce their course load after census day, but remain enrolled at UHCL at least half time will not have their financial aid adjusted and will not owe a refund. However, dropped courses are considered in the ratio calculation used to determine satisfactory academic progress. Students must also complete the remaining enrolled courses successfully or a return may occur.

College Work Study

Students awarded a college work-study (CWS) job as part of their financial aid package work on or off campus for up to 20 hours per week and are paid on a biweekly basis. Students who are awarded CWS can apply for jobs through Career Services.

Exit Counseling

When Federal Direct loan recipients complete a degree or drop below half-time, federal statutes require those students to complete exit counseling. The purpose of exit counseling is to ensure loan recipients understand student loan obligations and are prepared for repayment. Students’ academic records may be encumbered if the student borrower does not complete an exit counseling. Exit counseling is completed online at studentaid.gov.

State Waivers and Exemptions

The Office of Student Financial Aid coordinates the application for several state waivers and exemptions listed below. Students can find detailed information for each waiver and exemption at: www.collegeforalltexans.com

  • Research Assistants and Teaching Assistants Waiver
  • Competitive Scholarship Waiver
  • Good Neighbor Scholarship Program
  • Waiver for College Faculty and their Dependents
  • Adopted Students Formerly in Foster or Other Residential Care
  • Exemption for Students under Conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services
  • Educational Aide Exemption
  • Blind/Deaf Student Exemption Program
  • Exemption for Highest Ranking High School Graduate
  • Exemption Program for Children of Professional Nursing Program Faculty and Staff
  • Exemption Program for Clinical Preceptors and their Children
  • Firefighter Tuition and Laboratory Fee Exemption Program

Exemptions allow special groups of Texas residents or nonresidents to enroll and pay a reduced amount of tuition and fees. Waivers allow special groups of nonresidents to enroll and pay a reduced nonresidents tuition rate.

Unless noted otherwise, all applications for waivers and exemptions must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid by the census date for which the waiver/exemption would be applied. All applications after the census date will be reviewed on an individual basis and may be denied.

Senate Bill 1210 (83rd Texas Legislature, passed into law in 2013) adds a Grade Point Average requirement for persons to receive continuation awards on certain waivers/exemptions listed above. The law also establishes a limit to the total number of cumulative hours that a student may take and continue to receive awards. Please refer to www.collegeforalltexans.com or www.uhcl.edu/costs-aid for more information.

Scholarships

The Office of Student Financial Aid is committed to awarding scholarships to students consistent with the educational mission of our university. UHCL offers Automatic Transfer Scholarships, Hawk Scholars Scholarship, Hawk Advantage Scholarship and New Hawk Scholarships to new undergraduate students who meet certain GPA requirements. Additionally, UHCL offers scholarship opportunities to other new students and to continuing students. For additional information, please visit www.uhcl.edu/costs-aid/scholarships/.

New Hawk Scholarship

Eligibility

  • Top 15% of high school class, or
  • 1170 SAT score (or 1100 if using the old SAT score), or
  • 24 ACT; and
  • Texas resident, and
  • Graduate high school in the 2021-2022 class.

Amounts

  • Award amounts will range from “full-ride” (tuition, fees, housing, university required meal plan, and books) to $1,000 per year.

Renewal Eligibility

New Hawk Scholarship can be renewed for an additional three years. Students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA and complete 24 hours per academic year for this scholarship to be renewed.

The application process will begin in September 2022. Applications will be due by April 1, 2023. Interested students should monitor www.uhcl.edu/costs-aid for additional instructions.

Note: This is a highly competitive scholarship. Not everyone who applies for the scholarship will receive the scholarship.

Hawk Advantage Scholarship

Eligibility

  • Texas resident, and
  • Graduated high school in the 2021-2022 class, and
  • Complete the 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), completed online at studentaid.gov by January 15, 2022, and determined to have unmet need; or
  • Compete the 2022-2023 Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA), if eligible, by January 15, 2022 and be determined to have unmet need, and
  • Be admitted unconditionally to UHCL for the Fall 2022 term, and
  • Attend UHCL for at least 12 hours per semester each fall and spring term. Students must be enrolled in at least 12 hours at the census date each term.

Amounts

  • Award amounts up to $2,500/year. Renewable for an additional three years of your undergraduate program. Total Commitment up to $10,000 (if renewal criteria is met).

Renewal Eligibility

Hawk Advantage Scholarship can be renewed for an additional three years. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5; remain in good academic standing; show need based by renewing their FAFSA or TASFA application by the priority deadline each year; and must complete at least 24 hours at UHCL per academic year for this scholarship to be renewed.

The application process will begin in September 2022. Applications will be accepted until all awards are made. Interested students should monitor www.uhcl.edu/costs-aid for additional instructions.

Note: Scholarships are based on unmet need. Not all students who apply will be awarded a scholarship.

Automatic Transfer Scholarship

Eligibility

  • New, first-time degree-seeking undergraduate student.
  • Transferring from another Texas college or university.
  • Have a transfer grade point average of 2.75 or higher (as computed by the Office of Admissions from official transcripts).
  • Enroll in 12 hours or more at UHCL. Students must enroll in at least 12 hours each semester and through the census date.
  • No application needed.

Amounts

  • $2,000 for the year ($1,000 each long semester) will be awarded if the transfer GPA is 2.75 or higher. Must be enrolled at census date of each fall/spring term.

Renewal Eligibility for the Second Year

  • Received the scholarship in their first year.
  • Maintained consecutive enrollment in the first two long semesters at UHCL.
  • Earned a minimum of 24 semester hours of academic credit at UHCL before the start of the third long semester.
  • Maintained a cumulative UHCL GPA no lower than 2.75.
  • Enrolled in twelve or more hours at UHCL in the third consecutive long semester.

Note: ATS is a non-competitive scholarship. Scholarship recipients are not entitled to a waiver of non-resident tuition and fees.

Full-Time to Finish Scholarship

Eligibility

  • New, first-time degree-seeking undergraduate student
  • Domestic students only
  • New students admitted for summer/fall/spring to one of the following programs:
    • Accounting
    • RN-BSN
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • EC-6 Bilingual
  • Enroll in 15 hours or more at UHCL. Student must enroll in at least 15 hours each semester through the census date.
  • No application needed.

Amounts

  • $1,000 for the year ($500 each long semester) will be awarded (no summer awards).

Renewal Eligibility

  • Can be renewed for up to three additional years
  • Student must successfully complete 15 hours every semester and continue to enroll in 15 hours each semester, not including Summer.
  • Student must maintain academic good standing each semester.
  • Student must remain in program or their scholarship will be forfeited.

Mechanical Engineering Scholarship

Eligibility

  • Minimum high school GPA 3.25; or
  • Top 25% of graduating high school class; or
  • Minimum ACT score of 24; or
  • Minimum SAT of 1170; and,
  • Be graduating from high school in the 2021-2022 academic year
  • Must enroll (and remain enrolled through census) in at least 15 hours each semester.

Amounts

  • $1,500 for the year ($750 each long semester) will be awarded. Non-resident and international students are eligible for this competitive scholarship waiver.

Renewal Eligibility for the Second Year

  • Maintain a 3.0 cumulative UHCL GPA; and,
  • Complete 30 credit hours at UHCL each academic year (fall, spring, summer)

Mechanical Engineering Summer Math Scholarship

Eligibility

Amounts

  • Award Amount: $500 one-time automatic award (students do not need to apply.)

Enrollment Status

The amount of financial aid a student can receive is dependent upon the number of hours in which the student is enrolled. The following are enrollment statuses for undergraduate students based on the number of hours the student is enrolled:

Enrollment Status Credit Hours
Full-time enrollment 12 hours or more
Three-quarter-time enrollment 9 hours to 11 hours
Half-time enrollment 6 hours to 8 hours
Less than half-time enrollment 5 hours or less

For fall, spring, and summer terms, all hours are added together between sessions within each term to arrive at the total number of hours for the term. The winter session is included as part of the spring term.

Students enrolled less than half time will not be eligible for student loans.

Students are responsible for notifying the Office of Student Financial Aid if their enrollment changes.

Students may not repeat a previously passed course more than once for financial aid purposes. For example, a student completes a course with a D. The student repeats the course in a subsequent semester. Regardless of the grade in the second attempt, the student may not repeat the course and receive financial aid for the course for a third attempt. Even if the student earns an F in the second repeat, financial aid will not cover a third attempt at the course. However, if the student earns an F in the first and second attempt of the course, financial aid will cover the third attempt of the course. Note: Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements may prevent the student from being eligible for financial aid to complete subsequent attempts.