ADMISSIONS

FINANCIAL AID

At Watkins, we strive to help meet the financial needs of our students by offering financial assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Over 80 percent of our students receive some form of student financial assistance.

Student financial assistance consist of grants, scholarships, loans and work programs that are funded through federal, state and institutional aid programs and awarded based on financial need, non-need and merit. 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 eligible certificate program, in good academic standing and meet all the eligibility requirements outlined in the FAFSA to qualify for student financial assistance.

NOTE: Non-degree, special status and students who are 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 in our financial aid database, 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 Who Gets Federal Aid 

 

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 www.CollegePaysTN.com.
  • Institutional Grant, Scholarship and Work Programs: Watkins Grants and various Institutional Merit and Departmental Scholarships
  • 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 [email protected] for more information.

Tennessee Lottery Scholarship Program (HOPE)

For complete information, 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 Office of the Registrar.  Watkins degree and certificate 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 www.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.

How to Apply:

1. Apply for a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov

    • If you are DEPENDENT- the student and the parent whose information is listed on the FAFSA will need a PIN—only one parent need to sign the FAFSA with their PIN.
    • 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 degree or certificate 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-see section below for details

6. WAIT for your Financial Aid Offer. This will provide you and your family with the types of student aid programs you 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 interviews are required for all first time borrowers of the student loan program. Its purpose is to inform students of their rights and responsibilities with borrowing from the federal loan program. Loan exit interviews are 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 interviews are federal requirements.

To recap:

• Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible beginning January 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 in a degree or certificate program.

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

• 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.

• Complete, sign and date the Institutional Application for Financial Aid and return it with the 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 it 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 [email protected]

Use the Financial Aid Calculator