What is financial aid?

Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants, loans or employment that is offered to students to help meet college expenses. Scholarships and grants need not be repaid; loans are borrowed funds which must be repaid with interest. Employment programs allow the student to earn money to help pay for school. Financial aid usually does not meet 100% of college costs since students and parents are considered the primary sources of funds for college. Financial aid is intended to help make up the difference between the educational costs and what the student and family can contribute toward the student's education.

Who can apply for financial aid?

Will I qualify? Financial aid is like snowflakes - no two students are alike! Whatever your financial situation, do not make the assumption that you are ineligible. You should apply for financial aid providing you are a US Citizen or an eligible non-citizen, have a valid Social Security number and are registered with Selective Service (males age 18 and over). The government will take into account family income, assets, size and the number of family members in college. Please notify Lamar State College - Port Arthur in writing of any special circumstances.

How do I apply for financial aid at Lamar State College - Port Arthur?

In order to qualify for federal or state funding, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and your state's grant application, if applicable. Do not wait until you are admitted before filing the necessary forms!

What will prevent me from receiving financial aid?

Besides the obvious, not filing your applications and submitting paperwork in a timely manner, you must not currently be in default or go into default of a student loan. In addition, you must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress and be enrolled at least half-time (for most funds). Other items that may impact a student's eligibility are Selective Service registration, non-accredited State approved homeschool program, and any drug convictions.

What are Lamar State College Port Arthur's FAFSA school codes?

The school code, which is needed for FAFSA is 016666.

Should I wait until after I've been accepted to Lamar State College Port Arthur to file financial aid applications?

No! You are encouraged to fill out your FAFSA as early as possible, after October 1, since funds are limited and the federal and state application process can take up to 6 weeks. However, your FAFSA will not feed into our system until you have applied for admission to the college.

What happens after I file my FAFSA?

Soon after submitting your FAFSA to the processing center you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). You should review the information for accuracy and submit any necessary corrections. The College will receive a copy of this SAR electronically and will use this information to determine what types of aid you may be eligible for upon your acceptance to the College.

How will I be notified of the types of aid I'm eligible for?

If you have applied for federal or state aid, the Financial Aid Office will create a package specifically for your family and notify you through your My.LamarPA E-mail account / mail. Your package will contain any federal and state aid for which you qualify.

My SAR says I have been selected for verification. What does that mean?

Verification is a process whereby the government or school selects your application for review. This basically means that you must supply Lamar State College - Port Arthur with the requested financial documents so the Office may ensure the information you submitted on your FAFSA is accurate. If you do not comply, you will not be eligible to receive federal funds. Please check your My.LamarPA account for a list of required documents. You can download all forms on our homepage.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes. If you want to be considered for federal or state aid, which includes grants and loans, you must apply as soon after October 1st as possible.

Will I receive the same amount of financial aid each year?

Since your financial situation can change from year to year your awards may be affected. Your package will be evaluated annually to account for changes in income, family status, satisfactory academic progress and enrollment status. Special circumstances may arise during the time you are in attendance. Some circumstances may be taken into account through a request for special circumstance consideration. If your situation is listed on the form, please complete it and submit it to the Office.

I still owe a balance to Lamar State College Port Arthur after all of my aid has been applied. What do I do?

Keep in mind that financial aid will not always cover 100% of your expenses. It is up to you and your parents to cover the remaining balance. How you do it is up to you. First, you should exhaust all options that involve "free money" such as scholarship searches. Discuss the situation with your parents and talk about any options there may be to pay the balance without having to borrow such as an Installment plan. If you need guidance, do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office.

What types of loans are available to finance my education?

Lamar State College offers Federal Direct Loans. The student loans for which you may be eligible will be included on your Award Letter. Subsidized Loans are need Based and do not incur interest while you are still enrolled at least half time. Unsubsidized loans are not need based but will accrue interest while you are in school.

My parents do not claim me on their tax returns and do not want to help me pay for college. Can I apply for financial aid as an independent student?

If you are under age 24, you are considered a dependent student by Federal definition. However, if you have unusual circumstances you should contact the Lamar State College - Port Arthur Financial Aid Office for more information at FinancialAid@lamarpa.edu.

I am under age 24 and do not live in my parents' home. Do I still have to include my parents' information on the FAFSA?

Yes. You are still considered to be dependent even if living on your own unless you meet the criteria set forth by the federal government for independent students. However, if you have unusual circumstances you should contact the Lamar State College - Port Arthur Financial Aid Office for more information at FinancialAid@lamarpa.edu.

How do I receive my Refund?

As mandated by the Texas State University System, in an effort to reduce costs and increase efficiency, the use of manual/paper checks has been discontinued.

Students will be required to establish an account and/or provide banking information to LSCPA in order to satisfy direct deposit requirements.

Paper checks will no longer be used to return funds to students eligible for a refund. Students will be required to receive credit balance refunds and financial aid refunds electronically via Direct Deposit to an established personal checking or Savings account

If the E-Refund is returned from the students banking institution for Account Closed, Unable to Locate, Invalid Account Number, etc., there will be a $25 charge deducted from the refund each time the refund is returned.

Note: Only after all outstanding balances have been paid, will any resulting credit balance be transmitted to a Direct Deposit Checking Account. Direct Deposit transactions may take 3 business days after transmission. Students must contact LSCPA Cashiering or their banking institution to resolve problems associated with this process.

In order to set up your Direct Deposit, a student must have a personal bank account in his/her name. The student will need the number and the routing number from the bank.

Steps to set up your Direct Deposit:

  1. Log in to your my.lamarpa.edu account
  2. Click the “My Services” tab
  3. Click the “Student” tab
  4. Select the “Student Payment Center” link
  5. Select the “e-Refunds” link
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your direct deposit

Contact the Business Office at 409-984-6126 with any questions regarding setting up direct deposit. If you are unable to log in to your My.Lamarpa account or have issues accessing any links within your account, contact IT Services for further assistance at 409-984-6150.

What is the difference between a Disbursement and a Refund?

A disbursement is the process in which your aid is released to the school to pay towards your tuition and fees.

A refund is the process in which any remaining funds not used for your tuition and other authorized expenses you owe are paid to you. Refunds will be released to the refund method that you have selected.

When will aid disburse?

Disbursements are processed 10 days prior to the first day of school for long semesters. Students who are freshmen or have not earned more than 30 credits hours will have to wait 30 days for their loan to post. Summer- disbursements are processed 10 days prior to first class day.

What if I drop a class after my aid disburses?

If classes are dropped after aid has disbursed, you may owe a balance. Students who drop below 6 credit hours will owe partial loan funds or have future disbursements canceled.

What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw?

If a student withdraws from all classes, and received Pell and/or loans the U.S. Department of Education requires that the school calculate how much the student earned.  Students who withdraw early in the semester will likely owe funds back to the school.

How a withdrawal affects financial aid funds

Students who have received (or who are eligible to receive) federal financial aid and who withdraw from all their classes for the semester are subject to a recalculation of their awards based on the amount of aid earned.  The R2T4 calculation is performed within 30 days of the date of determination of the student’s withdrawn status.

The amount of aid earned is determined by the number of days the student was enrolled prior to withdrawing from classes. Any financial aid the student received in excess of the earned amount is considered unearned and must be repaid to the college. The college will return the unearned fund(s) to the appropriate federal student aid program(s).

The Financial Aid Office will email the student a notification of change in eligibility, and issue a letter notifying the student of the R2T4 calculation results. Lamar State College Port Arthur will return all required unearned funds on behalf of the school and the student to the federal government.

It is important to note that any return of these funds may result in the student owing a balance to LSCPA, and/or the federal government.  The R2T4 calculation is required based on federal regulations and is not subject to appeal.