Financial Aid

Financial Aid FAQs
  1. How do I apply for federal student financial aid (grants, loans, work-study)?

  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at using federal school code 030646.

  3. What do I need to fill out my financial aid application (FAFSA)?

  4. You will need the following information:
    • Pin Number (available at for you and your parents (if applicable).
    • Social Security number & Date of Birth for you and your parents (if applicable).
    • Current income tax return for you and/ or your parent(s)/spouse.
    • W-2 forms
    • Other Financial information, such as: pensions, worker's compensation, child support received or paid, military disability benefits, etc.

  5. Who qualifies for federal student aid?

  6. You may be eligible to receive federal student aid if you meet the following minimum requirements:
    • Are a U.S. Citizen or eligible Non-Citizen
    • Are not in default on any prior student loan or do not owe an overpayment on any Title IV financial aid;
    • Are meeting Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    • Must have graduated from an accredited high school or have a GED.
    • Have turned in verification documents if requested by the Financial Aid Office

  7. If my parents are divorced or separated, whose financial data should I use when completing the FAFSA?

  8. If your biological parents are divorced, use the parent with whom you lived the most in the past 12 months. If you lived with neither parent or lived with each parent an equal number of days, use the parent that provided the most financial support to you over the past 12 months. If that parent has remarried, you must also include the step-parent's financial information on the application.

  9. My parents don't claim me on their tax return and don't give me any money. Can I file as "independent"?

  10. Only if you can answer "YES" to any of the following questions on the 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and can provide documentation, you are considered independent for financial aid purposes:
    • Were you born before January 1, 1990?
    • As of today, are you married? (Also answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced.)
    • At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, graduate certificate, etc.)?
    • 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?
    • Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014?
    • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2014?
    • At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
    • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
    • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
    • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
    • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
    • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

    If you cannot answer "YES" to any of these questions, yet have other extenuating circumstances, please make an appointment to meet with your financial aid advisor.

  11. Do I need to apply for financial aid every year?

  12. Yes, a FAFSA application must be completed every academic school year. Applications can be done as early as every January 1st.

  13. How do I obtain a copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript?

  14. Options to request IRS Return Transcripts include:
    • Online:
    • By Phone: 1-800-908-9946 or
    • By Mail: IRS Form 4506T-EZ
    • In person at 1810 Hale Avenue, Harlingen TX 78550 Phone (956) 365-5185
    *Account transcripts are NOT sufficient for verification purposes*

  15. What is the status of my financial aid?

  16. You can use TSC Online or contact the Financial Aid Office to verify if your file is complete. You can also e-mail us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Keep in mind that only general information will be disclosed over the phone or email. For specific details about your file or awards, visit the Financial Aid. A photo ID is required whenever visiting the Financial Aid office.

  17. Why can't you discuss my financial aid status with my spouse, parents, and outside agencies?

  18. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 limits access to educational records without express written consent. Outside agencies will have their own forms, which you may sign when they wish to access information about you.

  19. How is financial need determined?

  20. The information you submit on the FAFSA is used by the federal government to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This number is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance (COA) to determine the available need (COA – EFC = Need).

  21. Do I have to attend full-time to qualify for financial aid?

  22. No, you may enroll on a part-time basis. However, any financial aid you may qualify for will be adjusted according to the number of hours you are enrolled. Check out details and requirements of different programs on the Financial Aid Programs website.

  23. Are there any other types of grants or assistance I can apply for to help pay my tuition?

  24. Yes, there are other grants and scholarships available.

  25. How do I apply for scholarships?

  26. To be considered for scholarships, please visit our Scholarship website and follow the instructions given to apply for a particular scholarship.

  27. How do I know if I was selected as a recipient of a scholarship?

  28. Whether you receive an institutional scholarship or an outside scholarship, you are notified via email or letter.

  29. Can I receive more than one scholarship?

  30. Yes, you may receive more than once scholarship as long as you stay within your financial aid need.

  31. How do I apply for the TEXAS Grant?

  32. You apply for the TEXAS Grant when you complete and submit the FAFSA. You will be notified by our office if additional documentation is needed. Funding is limited, so you need to submit your application as soon as possible after January 1st of each year. An early application does not guarantee a TEXAS grant award since the number of eligible students is greater than the funds available.

  33. What is the Senate Bill 1528?

  34. A bill passed for undocumented students giving them the opportunity to study at any college or university in the state of Texas and pay tuition as a Texas Resident. To qualify under Senate Bill 1528 a student must have:
    • Graduated from an accredited Texas high school
    • Lived in Texas for 36 months leading up to high school graduation or completion of GED (do not need to live with parents)
    • Live in Texas for the previous 12 months prior to enrollment (can overlap the 36 month period)

  35. How do I apply for the Senate Bill 1528 (state aid)

  36. Complete the 2013-2014 TASFA application. It can be found at under Financial Aid Forms section.

  37. What happens to the balance of my Pell Grant if I do not enroll in full-time classes for that particular term?

  38. If you don't enroll as a full-time student during a fall or spring term, the balance of your Pell Grant annual eligibility may be used to determine a Summer award. The Summer award will also be determined by your enrollment level for that term. If, during an award year, you don't use your full eligibility, you may not carry that eligibility over to a different award year.

  39. Do I need to apply again for the summer?

  40. No, our school year begins with the fall term and continues through the second summer session; however, you must complete and submit the Summer Award Request form online. Submitting this form will notify our office what intentions you have for summer enrollment and what types of assistance you are interested in.

  41. I will be transferring to another school. Does my financial aid transfer to the school I will be attending?

  42. No. We recommend that you contact that school to verify other processing requirements.

  43. What are the consequences if I drop a class or completely withdraw from TSC?

  44. You may not be making satisfactory academic progress; therefore, you may not be eligible for additional financial aid. You may also be required to repay funds received during the semester if you drop or completely withdraw from classes. See the section on Return of Title IV funds.

  45. When can I pick up my financial aid refund?

  46. Most financial aid refunds will be mailed to your mailing address or deposited to your bank account on or after the first class day.

  47. How do I apply for Work Study?

  48. You can review the positions available for work study in Work Study Webpage. Once you interview with the department and you are the candidate for the position, the department will send a request for you to be awarded Work Study. Please note that you need to apply for Financial Aid in order to be considered eligible for work study.

  49. Can I have two work-study jobs at the same time?

  50. No, you can only have one work study job at a time.

  51. How many hours can I work per week on the work-study program?

  52. Twenty hours (20) per week is the maximum hours permitted. You are not allowed at any time to earn more than what was awarded to you on your award letter, and it is your responsibility not to exceed that award amount.

  53. Can I change work-study jobs?

  54. Yes, you can change work-study jobs at any point in the academic year. It is recommended that you give your employer at least two weeks’ notice.

  55. I only want a loan. Do I have to file a FAFSA?

  56. Yes, the FAFSA is the backbone of determining what type of loan for which you are eligible to apply. You are encouraged to complete a FAFSA so that we can determine what type of loan would be in your best interest.

  57. When do I have to start repaying my student loan?

  58. Six months after graduation or six months after you fall below half-time status, or if you make a complete withdrawal.


The Office of Financial Aid has compiled a list of commonly asked questions and answers to better assist students with the new FSA ID change, effective May 10th, 2015.

  1. How soon can I create my new FSA ID?
    Users may create their new FSA ID starting on May 10, 2015.

  2. How do I create my new FSA ID? What information will be needed?
    Users will need their current PIN to ‘Sign In’ on any FSA websites (such as FAFSA,,, NSLDS, etc.) and the system will automatically direct users to the registration page to create a new FSA ID (Username and Password) similar to today’s PIN creation page.

  3. What happens if a user already has a PIN?
    During account creation, the user will be asked for their PIN. As long as the PIN information matches their other information, the account will be linked to the FSA ID account. There will not be a mass migration of PIN information. Individual student, parents, and borrowers will transition to FSA IDs as they come back to interact with FSA websites.

  4. Will students and borrowers be able to access their previous FAFSA and loan information?
    Yes. The FSA ID will allow students or borrowers to access all the information that they can today with a PIN.

  5. Will Customer Support service change?
    No. The customer help desk which currently supports the PIN, will support the FSA ID.

  6. Will school and other professional access to student and borrower information be affected by the change to FSA ID?
    No. The FSA ID is for students, parents, and borrowers to login to FSA’s student and borrower-based websites.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 08:14