ADMISSIONS

FINANCIAL AID

The Office of Financial Aid staff is committed to being courteous and professional while providing quality student aid services to students, families as well as the general public in an efficient way while remaining in compliance with established federal, state and institutional guidelines for various aid programs. Our goal is to assist students in funding their visual arts educational goals at Watkins.

Each year, approximately 75% of our students receive some type of funding from various student aid programs.

Students interested in applying for federal financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov and list our school code 031276. (For Tennessee residents, the FAFSA is required in order to be considered for the TN HOPE Scholarships and the TN State Grant programs.) You must be admitted to the College in a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate program, in good academic standing and meet all other general eligibility requirements for student financial assistance.

NOTE: Non-degree, special status and students who do not meet the eligibility and/or citizenship status on the FAFSA may not be eligible for federal student financial assistance. Please visit http://studentaid.gov/eligibility for additional eligibility information.

Once a valid and processed FAFSA is received, this information will be reviewed to determine if additional information and updates are required (a process called VERIFICATION). If no additional information or updates are required, the FAFSA will be used to determine a student’s eligibility for various aid programs. Your eligibility will depend on the following items:

  • Cost of attendance (COA)
  • Expected Family Contribution(EFC)
  • Year in school; and
  • Enrollment status ( i.e., full-time, quarter-time, etc.)

 For more information about the FAFSA and how the information is used to determine student aid eligibility, amounts and other detailed information, please visit studentaid.ed.gov.

 

Financial Aid Deadlines

Semester Priority Late
Fall April 1 July 1
Spring April 1 October 1
Summer April 1 May 1

Types of Student Aid Assistance Offered

Watkins offers aid assistance from the following programs listed below:

  • Federal Grants, Loans and Work Program:  PELL Grant, Supplemental Educations Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students and the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • State Grant and Scholarship Programs: Available for eligible residents of TN. TN Student Assistance Awards (TSAA), Tennessee HOPE Scholarship, Aspire Award, HOPE Access Grant, HOPE Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students, HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant
  • Other State Grants and Scholarships Programs: requires additional information and/or application. Dual Enrollment and Helping Heroes Grants, Ned McWherter and Dependent Children Scholarships. Detailed information can be found at http://www.tn.gov/collegepays.
  • Institutional Grant, Scholarship and Work Programs: Watkins Grants and various Institutional Merit and Departmental Scholarships and work-study
  • Other Aid Programs: Veterans Educational Benefits, Yellow Ribbon Matching, Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits and non-federal Private Alternative loans

Note: Certain Institutional scholarships and student employment require additional information and/or separate applications. Please contact the financial aid office at financialaid@watkins.edu for more information.

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Programs

For complete information on HOPE and State grants and Loan programs offered, please visit www.TN.gov/CollegePays.

Helpful Links

Below is a list of helpful links that have been deemed safe and reliable websites for researching scholarship opportunities and to prevent you from becoming a victim of various scholarship scams.

Financial Aid Planning Tools

U.S. Armed Forces

Scholarship Search

State Higher Education Agencies

 

Veterans Affairs Education Benefits

The Veterans Affairs Education Benefits are coordinated with certifying officials in the Business Office.  Watkins degree programs are approved for veteran’s education  by the Tennessee State Approving Agency for the training of veterans and their eligible dependents. Watkins certifies enrollment and changes in enrollment of eligible students to the Veterans Administration (VA).  The process begins by completing and submitting an application online.  Go to http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/, select “Educational Benefits”, click on “How to Apply for Benefits”.  The second stop is to apply for reimbursement.  For questions, call (888) 442-4551.  The VA will mail a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) disclosing the Chapter and level of benefits.  The Certifying Official requires a copy of the COE along with the Certificate of Other Colleges Attended form and the VA Enrollment Verification Form.  The forms allow Watkins to release student records for certification and are available in the Registrar’s Office.  It is mandatory for veterans to disclose all enrollments in other post-secondary institutions prior to the first semester of enrollment at Watkins.  Certification of enrollment is processed after the receipt of completed forms and after the college drop/add period ends.

Post 9/11 and Yellow Ribbon Program

Watkins offers Yellow Ribbon benefits to five qualified students annually on a first-come/first-served basis, either full-time or part-time.

Yellow Ribbon FAQ

How to Apply:

1. Apply for an FSA ID (formerly, FAFSA PIN) https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm

    • If you are DEPENDENT- the student and the parent whose information is listed on the FAFSA will need a FSA ID. Note: only one parent whose information is listed on the FAFSA will need an FSA ID.
    • If you are INDEPENDENT- the student is required, spouse is optional)

2. COMPLETE the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov . Completing the FAFSA online is safe, free and easy to do. If you need help filling out the FAFSA, be sure to read the “Help and Hints” located on the right side of any page you are entering information. Note: the “help and hints” changes depending on the question(s) you are being asked.

3. LIST our school code 031276

4. Be ADMITTED to an eligible undergraduate or graduate degree program

5. READ and RESPOND to all correspondence received from the Financial Aid Office. Sometimes, a student may be selected for a process called VERIFICATION (requires additional documentation – see verification section for more info. Work closely with the Financial Aid Office until you have satisfied all requirements.

6. WAIT for your Financial Aid Offer. This will list the student aid programs for which you and/or your family are eligible to use to assist in funding your educational goals at Watkins. Remember, the choice is yours and/or your family to decide which student aid programs you want to use for funding your education.

7. READ the Financial Aid Offer and all the information included to make sure you understand each program that is being offered.

8. ASK questions, if you don’t understand. We are here to help you understand the financial aid process.

9. SIGN and RETURN one copy of the Offer and all documents required for your student aid to be processed.

10. COMPLETE all required loan documents, online, if you and/or your family plan to utilize federal loans to help fund your education.

 

Verification:

Your FAFSA may be selected for a process call “Verification” either randomly or due to conflicting data reported on your FAFSA. Students selected for verification will be sent a request and/or steps required to clear this process. It is very important for you to comply with this request immediately as this step will delay your financial aid processing.

Other requirements:

Loan ENTRANCE counseling is required for all first time borrowers of the student loan program. Its purpose is to inform students of their rights and responsibilities as borrowers of the federal loan program.

Loan EXIT counseling is required for student who graduate, transfer, withdraw, or drop below half-time status at the college. Its purpose is to inform students of their loan obligations and to provide information relevant to successful loan repayment.

Both ENTRANCE and EXIT Counseling are federal requirements.

To recap:

• Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible beginning OCTOBER 1st of each year that you want to be considered for student aid assistance.

• Respond to all requests for additional information as quickly as possible – especially if selected for Verification.

• Make sure you are accepted into the college as a degree seeking undergraduate or graduate student.

• Review your Award Offer letter and choose the aid programs you would like to utilize for the period of enrollment.

• Complete any additional requirements needed for certain aid programs, such as student and/or parent loans.

• Sign and return one copy of the Award Offer letter.

• ASK QUESTIONS! Contact the financial aid office if you need additional assistance or have special circumstances that may affect your eligibility or if you are unsure about any of the aid program requirements or the process.

Financial Aid Calculator – For Planning Purposes Only

The financial aid calculator can be used to determine potential aid options for which you qualify, based on the information you provide.  The aid information listed in this calculator is based on the prior year’s data and does not reflect the current levels of aid that we offer at Watkins.  It should be used for planning purposes only.

Any questions regarding the use of this tool should be addressed to financialaid@watkins.edu

Use the Financial Aid Calculator

Need Financial Aid assistance and counseling?
Contact us by email, phone or visit our office.

financialaid@watkins.edu

 

Director of Financial Aid

Regina Gilbert
rgilbert@watkins.edu
(615) 277-7420

 

Coordinator of Financial Aid

Lyle Jones
ljones@watkins.edu
(615) 277-7421