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Important Questions & Answers About Your Financial Aid

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about financial aid. 

Looking for something else? Contact the Office of Financial Aid via email at or by calling 561-868-3000. You can also reach out virtually through our online system.


Why do I not qualify for financial aid if my GPA is high? 

SAP is a cumulative measurement of the three areas listed below. You must meet the requirements in ALL THREE areas each term in order to maintain eligibility for financial assistance.

1. Maintain a certain grade point average
2. Complete a certain percentage of attempted credits
3. Make progress toward completing their degree within a certain time frame

For detailed information please visit our SAP page.


What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)? 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to describe a student's successful completion of his/her coursework toward a degree. To remain eligible for federal financial aid — grants, work-study funds and student loans — college students must meet certain standards in the classroom, known as satisfactory academic progress. At the end of each term, an evaluation will occur to determine if you are meeting SAP to receive financial assistance at Palm Beach State College.


What is a SAP Appeal Questionnaire? 

A SAP appeal questionnaire is a chance for you to regain financial aid eligibility if you have failed. one of the three sap requirements due to an event beyond your control. To submit your appeal, you must include relevant documentation supporting your event. 


Where do I find a SAP Appeal Questionnaire? 

A questionnaire is sent to the student's Workday inbox to be completed and uploaded into Workday along with supporting documentation.

*Please note: SAP Appeal Questionnaires may take 3-4 weeks to be reviewed.

Will I owe money if I withdraw from classes during the semester?

Withdrawing from classes can cost you.  If a student officially or unofficially withdraws from all courses on or before the withdrawal deadlines, the student will be required to repay all or part of the financial aid disbursed in that term.
There are also financial consequences for Bright Future Scholarship recipients who receive a grade of "W" or "WF".

Always refer to the Academic Calendar for the official last day to withdraw. 


Will I owe money if I had a medical emergency? 

After you withdraw you may apply for a refund request. The refund request will be reviewed based on a circumstance (medical, death of immediate family, etc.) and documentation is required. If financial aid funds must be returned to the Department of Education, a student may be liable to return a portion of the money (financial aid that you may already have received) to the Department of Education. 

What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans? 
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are offered to students with financial need. You are not charged interest while you're in school at least half-time.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are NOT based on financial need. Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full (must still be registered for at least half-time)

Can I increase or cancel my loan? 

It depends on the current term information as well as how much of your funds you have already used for the academic year. If you want to modify any previously accepted or declined loans you will need to “create a request” in Workday and select Financial Aid Loan Request. If you want to cancel the loan in full, please go to the accept/decline awards in the finances application. If funds have already been disbursed to your student account, declining will likely cause a balance to be due to the college.


Are loans under student or parent names? 

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are made to eligible students. When you receive a student loan, you are borrowing money to attend a college or career school. You must repay the loan as well as interest that accrues.

If you are a dependent undergraduate student, your parents can apply for a Federal Parent PLUS loan that can be used to pay tuition and fees and possibly other charges. Speak to a Financial Aid Advisor for additional information.


How many credits do I need to take in order to receive a loan? 

You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours or more) in compliant courses that count towards your degree or certificate.


How do I apply for a student loan? 

1. The first step in applying for any financial aid at PBSC, including grants, loans, scholarships and student employment, is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
2. Complete Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling, which explains your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower and is required for all first-time borrowers at PBSC. 
3. Complete your Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) using your FSA ID. 
The MPN is the legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education.

A dependent student’s parent can apply for a Parent Plus Loan. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify. 

What is a federal Pell grant? 

The Federal Pell grant is a form of federal financial aid awarded to eligible undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelors or graduate degree. 


How is the Pell grant awarded? 

Eligibility is based on exceptional financial need. Upon completion of your FAFSA your chosen institutions will be able to view what aid you are eligible for.  (We highly encourage everyone to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible since the processing of the FASFA may take a few days.)


Why did my Pell grant award change I changed my classes? 

There may be several reasons your Pell award has changed after a schedule change:

  • Pell awards are based on compliant courses in your schedule as of a specific date each term--dropping or adding classes might impact your award depending on when the enrollment change happens. 
  • You may have taken a class or two that does not count towards your program of study--remember that financial aid will only cover classes that are a required part of your program of study. 
  • You can only receive Federal Pell Grant funding for the equivalent of 12 full-time terms, starting from the first time you received Federal Pell Grant funding. You may be approaching or have reached your Pell Life Eligibility.


Can I receive Financial Aid during the Summer?

The Federal Pell Grant may be available year-round for undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree. Please note that some students may be required to enroll at least half-time in compliant courses to receive the Pell Grant for summer.


Why did I lose my Pell after my grades slipped? 

All students must maintain SAP standards and be in academic good standing with PBSC to be eligible to receive financial aid.  SAP standards ensure that students are successfully completing their coursework and can continue to receive financial aid.
If you are not meeting SAP standards, you have the option of completing a SAP appeal questionnaire and providing supporting documentation to explain your circumstances.

If you do not have extenuating circumstances or your SAP appeal is denied you may want to consider enrolling in the tuition payment plan


Can I receive Pell at another institution?

No, a student who is attending two different post-secondary schools during the same enrollment period cannot receive Pell Grant funds at both. You do have the option of enrolling in two schools, but the home institution will be the one to award you and you would be responsible for paying the tuition at the other school.

How do you apply for institutional scholarships? 

Students must fill out the annual scholarship application. PBSC has many scholarship opportunities available. Information and application links are available on the Scholarships page on our website. 


How do I qualify for institutional grants? 

Most institutional grants require a completed FAFSA and are awarded on a first come, first serve basis, so apply early!


Can Institutional funds be removed? 

Yes, if you no longer meet the academic or need-based requirement when accepting the award. Please verify the criteria needed for each semester to maintain your scholarship.


What do you mean by Private Scholarships? 

Scholarships not offered nor administrated by PBSC. These scholarships are awarded by outside organizations to students. 


If I receive a private scholarship from the outside, how do I let the Financial Aid Department know? 

Outside scholarships are processed by the Cashier’s Office not the Financial Aid office. The organization will submit a check on the student's behalf to the cashier’s office.

*If you are working with an outside organization and they need guidance, give them the following information:

To submit a check:  

Please be sure the student's name and PBSC ID or social security number are on the check. Make checks payable and addressed to Palm Beach State College: 

Cashier’s Office 
Palm Beach State College - Lake Worth 
4200 Congress Avenue, MS#11, Lake Worth, FL 33461 

Tel: 561-868-3250   |  Fax: 561-868-3080 


Once a check is received, it will be deposited into a “non-Restricted” account in which the fund can be used for any educational related expenses. Any fees owed to the college will be deducted and the remaining funds will be made available to the recipient via direct deposit, or a check mailed to the address on file. 

A check made payable to the student must be endorsed by the student. A non-endorsed check will be returned to the student's local address with instructions on how to proceed. 

The following information should accompany your donation: 

  • Your name, address, and pertinent contact information 
  • The semester in which the funds are to be disbursed. 

Please note that the Private Donor scholarship fund must be received two weeks before the student's tuition and fees due date in order for the fund to be applied in a timely manner. 

What are the state scholarships? 

There are several state scholarships and grants offered by the state of Florida including: Bright Futures Scholarship, First Generation Matching Grant, Florida Farm Worker, Florida Student Assistant Grant, Florida Student Assistant Grant- Career Education and Rosewood Family Scholarships.


How do I apply? 

You apply on the OSFA (Office of Student Financial Assistance) website for Bright Futures, Florida Farm Workers, and the Rosewood Family Scholarship.
The other state grants are need based grants which require a completed FAFSA to determine eligibility.  Funding is limited each academic year and an award is not guaranteed from year to year. 


Who is eligible? 

Eligibility requirements vary but all students must be U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen, Florida resident for at least one year, meeting SAP and be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per term in an eligible program of study. Additional information is available on the PBSC Federal, State and Institutional Grants web page.


Can I receive these scholarships every semester including the Summer? 

Only Bright Futures Medallion and Academic Scholarships are available in the summer. Florida Student Assistant Grant, Florida Student Assistant Grant – Career Education, Farm Workers Scholarship and First-Generation Scholarship are only for Fall and Spring semesters.  


What are the requirements to maintain these awards? 

Students must pass all the classes they registered for and maintain their GPA. The GPA requirements vary by scholarship and can be found here at the OSFA website.


I didn’t receive a state scholarship or grant.  Why not? 

There are many reasons you might not have received a scholarship or grant such as: residency paperwork not submitted, correct social security number not on file at the school, not being enrolled in an eligible program or the minimum number of credits required, failing the renewal requirements.

Do I receive financial aid as a dual enrollment student? 

Duel Enrollment students do not receive financial aid however tuition, books, and fees are paid by the school district.

How do I use my financial aid at the bookstore? 

Students who have excess financial aid funds available can purchase course materials at the bookstore each term during a specific period of time For date and information please see the Financial Aid at the Bookstore web page. The funds available after your course fees are paid will be added to your PantherCard.


What is a Financial Title IV Authorization Form? 

This is the form that grants PBSC the authority to use your remaining financial aid for books. This form is typically in your workday inbox with the rest of your onboarding items and must be completed giving your permission to PBSC to use federal student aid funds in order for you to use financial aid in the bookstore.


What happens if I don’t use all my book money? 

Unused funds will be returned to you as an excess check or monies to your personal account. That fund gets disbursed on or about 30 days from the beginning of classes. We highly recommend you set up a direct deposit account with the finance office through Workday.


If my PantherCard does not have money for books, what do I do? 

If eligible for financial aid please make sure you have completed the “Financial Aid Title IV Authorization Form” and that you have completed all financial aid action items. If you have completed the authorization and satisfied any action items on your account and still have questions, double-check with a financial aid representative. 

What are clock hour programs?

Clock hour programs are vocational short-term programs based on hours of attendance that prepare students for employment in a recognized occupation.


Will the clock hour students be disbursed at the same time as the credit hour students?

Not necessarily. Students enrolled in clock hour programs will receive their first disbursed after enrollment and attendance confirmation of payment period 1 (shortly after program begins).  Continues disbursement is based on successful completion of two components:  (1) the number of clock hours AND (2) the number of weeks in the payment period(s) to progress to the next payment period.


Why am I not eligible to receive financial aid under my clock hour program even though I qualify for financial aid? 

Your program may not meet the required minimum number of clock hours for it to be eligible for Title IV (financial aid). 


What is a Payment Period?

A Payment Period is the length of time for which financial aid funds are disbursed to a student.  This length varies according to the length of the clock hour program.  


How much aid will I receive for my program of study?

It depends on your eligibility.  Your Pell Grant and Direct Loan eligibility is based on the length of your program and your expected family contribution (EFC). Pell Grant and direct loan calculations for clock hour and credit hours are not always the same. 

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