Financial Aid

Financial Aid

The purpose of financial aid is to provide assistance to students who, without such aid, would find it difficult or impossible to attend the College. The College adheres to a nationally established policy and philosophy of financial aid for education. The basis of this policy is that students and parents have the primary responsibility for financing an education. Financial aid programs are intended to supplement the efforts of the family. It is the belief of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville that no qualified student should be denied the opportunity of an education because of financial need, provided that the need is determined to be real and the student is willing to work with the Financial Aid Office.

To demonstrate financial need, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information reported on the FAFSA is used in a formula, established by the US Congress, to calculate a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), an amount the student and student’s family is expected to pay toward the student’s education. The EFC is used by the Financial Aid Office to determine a student’s financial need.

Financial Aid Awards are calculated on an academic year basis. An academic year is for a 12 month period beginning each September 1 and ending each August 31. Renewal of financial aid is not automatic; students must file a FAFSA each year.

All interested student are encouraged to apply for financial aid. To qualify, the individual must meet the eligibility requirements specified by the particular program desired. In general, you are eligible for Federal and/or State aid if you meet the following requirements:

·       You are enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program.

·       You are a U.S. citizen/national or an eligible non-citizen.

·       You are making satisfactory academic progress in your course of study and meeting attendance standards.

·       You are not in default on a Federal Perkins/ National Direct Student Loan, Federal Family Education Loan, Federal Plus Loan, Federal Direct Student Loan, Income Contingent Loan or a Consolidation Loan, and you do not owe a refund or repayment on a Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Tennessee Student Assistance Award, Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant and/or a Byrd Scholarship or have documented satisfactory repayment arrangements if in default or owe a refund/repayment.

·       You are registered with the Selective Service if you are required to register.

·       Have not been convicted of any offense involving possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid; unless successfully completed an approved drug rehab program or completed the time of ineligibility.

·       Have a signed state of education purpose saying that the student will use the money only for expensed related to attending the Center (Usually collected on the FAFSA)

·       Have a high school diploma, GED, approved home school certification or be beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in Tennessee (18 or older), and able to benefit from education according to guidelines established by the Department of Education.

Financial Aid Available

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant is an award to help undergraduates pay for their education after high school. For the Federal Pell Grant Program, an undergraduate is one who has not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. The amount of Pell Grant received is calculated based on the student’s expected family contribution.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

A Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need, as determined by the College. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients with a minimum or zero EFC. The amount of the FSEOG award is $200.00 per term for full-time students and $100.00 per term for part-time students.

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

The FWS program provides part-time jobs for students who have financial need. Students will generally work on-campus after class in staff support jobs.

Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA)

The Tennessee Student Assistance Award is a state grant program that awards financially needy, undergraduate students that are Tennessee residents and have an EFC of 2100 or less.

Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant (WNTSG)

The Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant is a part of the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program. The WNTSG is a grant that is available only to Tennessee residents that attend a Tennessee College of Applied Technology.

**Effective May 1, 2011, TCATN no longer participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Applying for Assistance

General Procedures for applying

·      Complete and submit the FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for financial assistance. Students should complete the FASFA via the internet at You will need to include our Federal School Code #013968 on the FAFSA. If you do not have access to the internet you can call the US Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243 and request that a paper application be mailed to you; or you may come to the Student Services Office for access and assistance in completing the FAFSA application on-line.

     · Be accepted for admission to TCATN.

Deadlines: Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA application as soon after January 1st as possible.

Pell Grant - The FAFSA must be received by the processor no earlier than January 1st and no later than June 30th of the following year. All required forms must be received by the Financial Aid Office by June 30th or your last day of enrollment, whichever comes first.

Wilder Naifeh Technical Skills Grant - Students must have a processed FAFSA on or before the following deadline dates to be eligible for the award. Students whose applications are processed after the deadline date may be eligible for the WNTSG for subsequent terms.

Fall term deadline- November 1st

Spring term deadline – March 1st

Summer term deadline- June 1st

Tennessee Student Assistant Award - Student’s whose FAFSA is filed and processed on or before February 15th will be given priority in determining awards. Applications processed after February 15th will be considered in the order that they are processed to the extent that funds are available after making awards to students who met the priority deadline.

Additional Rules and Requirements for the Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant

Eligibility: To be eligible to received funds from the Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant (WNTSG) a student must meet the following eligibility requirements in addition in to those listed above.

· Must be a Tennessee resident for one year prior to the application deadline date. State residency is determined using TBR promulgated rules; TBR Rules 02402-2

· Must not be incarcerated

· Must meet the enrollment requirements for both the school and the program (Do not have to have a high school diploma or GED if not required for enrollment in the school or program. Also, a student that possesses a bachelor’s degree or higher may be eligible for the WNTSG)

· Must be enrolled in a program leading to a certificate or diploma. Continuing education and supplemental certificate programs are not eligible.

· Must have never received the Tennessee HOPE scholarship or have completed a certificate or diploma program with Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant funding.

Note: Students may enroll as full-time or part-time. There is no income limit for eligibility. Students may receive the WNTSG for all coursework required for completion of the certificate or diploma.

Calculation of WNTSG Award: The maximum WNTSG award may vary from year to year. This amount is subject to availability of funds from the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program. The WNTSG funds will be paid each term in the academic year. The amount of the award will be prorated based on the number of scheduled hours for each term. The amount of the award will be rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

Receipt of student financial aid from other sources will not reduce the WNTSG award as long as the student’s total aid does not exceed the total cost of attendance. In the even that a student’s total aid exceeds the cost of attendance, the school shall, to the extent it does not violate applicable federal regulations, reduce the excess by reducing the student’s WNTSG.

Retention of WNTSG Award: To continue to be eligible for WNTSG funds a student must meet the following requirements.

· Continue to meet all eligibility requirements as stated above

· Reapply each year using the FAFSA by the application deadline date

· Maintain continuous enrollment (unless a leave of absence or military mobilization leave is granted)

· Maintain enrollment status during the term (unless a change in status is granted)

· Maintain satisfactory progress according to standards used for financial aid purposes. Students must meet grade and attendance requirements as well as the 150% timeframe requirement.

Note: Once the student becomes ineligible for WNTSG for any reason, the student shall not be eligible to regain the WNTSG.

Financial Aid Disbursement

In keeping with federal grant regulations, TCATN pays federal grant funds in increments called payment periods. Payment periods are defined by regulation and are determined by your program length and academic year. TCATN will apply a portion of each payment period’s grant funds to pay estimated direct school costs (tuition/fees/books) for the payment period. If there are funds remaining after those costs are paid, you will receive a residual check for the unused portion, which can be used to pay indirect school costs. Since tuition/fee costs are assessed by academic term (trimester) and payment periods may span more than one academic term, tuition/fee costs are estimated on the front-end. If, once actual costs are determined, excess funds have been withheld a residual check will be issued. If insufficient funds have been withheld, those charges will be applied to the next payment period if you are in good standing. Otherwise those charges will be invoiced to you directly. Grant funds will be credited to a student’s account or disbursed by check to the student no later than the 44th class day of the academic term or the end of the term, whichever comes first. Students may pick up their residual check at the TCATN business Office by showing their student I.D. badge. All disbursements represent payment made in advance of training. Students must successfully complete the hours and weeks in the payment period before they can receive disbursement for subsequent payment periods. In addition, if you withdraw before completing the hours you have been paid for you are at risk for overpayment with the Department of Education and may owe money to the school.


Satisfactory Progress for Financial Aid 

A.        To make satisfactory progress a student must:

1.         Complete 75% of cumulative scheduled hours (pace of completion).  All periods of enrollment for a student’s program will be included in determining the cumulative scheduled hours used for SAP, regardless of receipt of Title IV aid for the prior enrollments.

2.         Must maintain a minimum cumulative passing grade of “C”or higher if specified by the program and as published by the institution. (CFR 668.34.)

B.        Satisfactory progress will be evaluated at the expected end of a student’s payment period.  If the student fails to make satisfactory progress, the student will be placed on financial aid warning for the next payment period.  If the student fails to make satisfactory progress for the next payment period, financial aid will be suspended.  There is no appeals process for financial aid satisfactory progress.  In order to reestablish financial aid, a student must make satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation date.

C.        Remedial Courses – Any courses considered ‘remedial’ are included in the student’s normal program of study and are included in the students SAP calculation.

D.        Program Changes - Changes in program will not affect SAP because a student will then have a new program length and new payment periods.

E.         Transfer Credit – Students who receive credit for hours completed for previous education (other institutions, life experience, work credit, dual enrollment, etc.) will have their program length reduced.  A student that receives transfer credit will have a maximum timeframe calculated based on the reduced program length. 

F.         Repeats

Program Repeats – Any student who completes an entire clock hour program and later re-enrolls to take that same program again or to take another program may be paid for repeating coursework regardless of the amount of time between completion of the first program and beginning the same program or another program.

Course Repeats - The repeated course grade will be counted along with the previously assigned grade.  Repeated course hours will count toward total cumulative hours (pace of progression).

 G.        Withdrawals will not impact a student’s satisfactory academic progress unless they return within 180 days.

            Reentry within 180 days – A student who withdraws from a clock hour or credit hour non-term program and reenters within 180 days is considered to remain in the same payment period when he/she returns and, subject to conditions imposed by ED, is eligible to receive FSA funds for which he/she was eligible prior to withdrawal, including funds that were returned under R2T4 rules. The repeated course grade will be counted along with the previously assigned grade.  Repeated course hours will count toward total cumulative hours (pace of progression).

            Reentry after 180 days and transfer students – Generally, you must calculate new payment periods for a clock hour or credit hour non-term program for:

            *  A student who withdraws and then reenters the same program at the same institution after 180 days, or

            *  A student who withdraws from a program and then enrolls in a new program at the same institution, or at another institution within any time period.                         

H.        Maximum Time Frame (this is for maximum timeframe only, cannot pay more than 100% of student’s program length)

Students may continue to receive Title IV Financial Aid and State Aid at the pace of 75% or greater until they have been enrolled 133.3% of their scheduled hours.

For example:  A full-time student enrolled in a 1296 hours (12 months) program progressing at a rate of 75% may take 1728 hours (16 months) to successfully complete the 1296 hours.

I.          Notification

Students will be notified of any evaluations that impact eligibility of Title IV aid.

Note: Students receiving the Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant may not appeal unsatisfactory progress.

Benefit Programs

TCATN is approved to provide training to students who have been determined eligible for the following benefit programs: Veterans Administration programs, Vocational Rehabilitation, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program, and others.

Eligibility determination must be established by agencies outside the Center. Eligible students are normally referred to the Center by the appropriate program agency.

Veterans Assistance

This program assists eligible veterans and dependents of veterans by providing educational benefits through the Veterans Administration. Appropriate forms to be completed should be obtained from the Financial Aid Office/VA Certifying Official prior to enrollment.

Veterans must submit transcripts/certificates of previous education/training from colleges, technical or vocational schools, military, etc., in order to apply for benefits.

Upon enrollment, veterans should present their DD214 form and/or their Notice of Eligibility, to the Financial Aid Office where paperwork will be processed and forwarded to the Veterans Administration. Veterans will receive their benefit checks directly from the Veterans Administration approximately six to eight weeks from their enrollment date.

If you are receiving benefits based on your status as a service person, veteran, or reservist you must verify your enrollment at the end of each month in order to receive benefits. Benefits are paid after each month of school is completed.

Verification can be done beginning the last day of the month by using the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) at or by calling toll free at 1-877-823-2378 and using your touch tone phone. Both of these systems are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

If you are receiving VEAP or dependents Educational Assistance (Chapter 35), benefits are sent automatically at the end of each month.

Service-members, Veterans, and dependents of veterans who are eligible beneficiaries of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits or other governmentally funded educational assistance, subject to the conditions and guidelines set forth in the Tennessee Code Annotated 49-7-104 as amended, may elect, upon formal application, to defer payment of required tuition and fees until the final day of the term for which the deferment has been requested. Application for the deferment must be made no later than 14 days after the beginning of the term, and the amount of the deferment shall not exceed the total monetary benefits to be received for the term. Students who have been granted deferments are expected to make timely payments on their outstanding tuition and fees balance once education benefits are being delivered, and eligibility for such deferment shall terminate if the student fails to abide by any applicable rule or regulation, or to act in good faith in making timely payments. This notice is published pursuant to Public Chapter 279, Acts of 2003, effective July 1, 2003.

Vocational Rehabilitation Department of Human Services

The Tennessee Department of Vocational Rehabilitation provides funds for students who are physically or mentally impaired and can demonstrate that they may benefit from training. Eligibility should be established prior to enrollment.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

Eligible students may receive federal assistance for books and supplies, transportation, and day care services. Students should be assessed and certified by the WIA office prior to their enrollment.

Loss of Aid Eligibility Due to a Drug Conviction

The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (HEA) suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study).

If you have a conviction(s) for these offenses, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or go to the FAFSA on the Web site, click on "Before Beginning A FAFSA" in the left column, then click on "Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet" to find out how this law applies to you.