One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

student services and financial aid

Career Services and Placement
Student Services Center
(956) 882-JOBS (5627)
Career Services provides students and recent graduates with assistance in writing a cover letter and resume, job interview strategies, and ultimately with job search and placement. The office assists students in seeking employment before, or after graduation; Career Services does this by offering workshops, in-classroom presentations, career and employment fairs, individual appointments, on-campus interviews and other networking opportunities.
UTB Career Services has partnered with MyEdu.com to help students plan their college careers and connect them with employers for internships and job opportunities.  MyEdu.com helps employers understand the soft skills that students gain during college and allows them to connect with students early on in their schooling to let them know what skills and courses they are looking for.  Students will build a profile that features their accomplishments; it highlights coursework, talents, personal experiences and group projects and allows them to visually tell their stories.

The Collegian
Student Union
(956)882-5143
Student Media provides an outlet for student expression and a forum for the exchange of ideas through The Collegian newspaper, The Collegian Online, “The Collegian News” webcast and the Internet-based UTB Radio.  These mediums strive to include fair, complete, balanced and accurate coverage of events impacting the university campus, with emphasis on matters that most directly affect students.

Dean of Students’ Office
Student Services Center
(956) 882-5141
A primary objective of the Dean of Students’ Office is to serve the needs of students and address their concerns.  Students may present academic and non-academic issues and grievances at any time.  The Dean of Students also oversees a number of departments that offer services and programs that are aimed at encouraging students to have the most enriching college experience possible.

Disability Services
Lightner Student Center 101•
(956) 882-7374
Fax:  (956) 882-7961
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation ACT of 1973, individuals with disabilities have certain rights and may be eligible for accommodations at colleges and universities.  At UTB, students with disabilities may request assistance through Disability Services. 
Students are encouraged to contact Disability Services whether or not they have documentation of a disability on hand.  If eligible, students will be given an accommodation letter for notifying their professors of the services for which they qualify.  Student must request services each semester, as needed.
Disabled parking permits may be obtained at the Campus Police Department.  A state-issued disable person placard or license plate is required.  This catalog is available in alternate formats upon request.  For information, contact Disability Services.

Off-Campus and Online students with Disabilities
The procedures outlined above also apply to students taking UTB courses online or at extension sites.  Students may first contact the office by phone or e-mail.  Students in the Brownsville – Harlingen area should plan to visit the office personally if possible.
Although circumstances vary, Disability Services usually confirms the accommodation(s) with an e-mail or letter to the student and/or instructor(s).
Disability Services is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.

Student Health Services
Cortez Hall, Room 237
(956) 882-3896 or (956) 882-8951
The Student Health Services welcomes the opportunity to serve students in achieving their career goals through the provision of services that address their medical, emotional and social needs. 
Medical services and preventive health care is offered and provided to all registered students: physical examinations, medical visits, immunizations, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, gynecological examinations and pap smears, birth control, men’s health.
Counseling and Psychiatric Services:  problems with adjustment to college life or personal concerns, such as, relationships/family problems; domestic violence; depression; anxiety, stress;  eating disorders;  alcohol and substance abuse;  post-traumatic stress disorders;  self-esteem;  suicidal ideations; other psychological or emotional discomforts; and, medication evaluations for psychiatric problems.
Social Services: assistance with processing eligibility for Medicaid, Food Stamps and Temporary Aid to Needy Families.
Many of the services are included in the medical service fee that students pay upon registration.  Privacy is ensured.  All visits and sessions are confidential within the clinic and not added to the student’s college record.  Information is not shared with professors, family or any other persons unless the student provides a written informed consent.  Location:  Cortez Hall, Room 237 Telephone: (956) 882-8951 or (956) 882-3896

Student Life
Student Union
(956) 882-5138
Student Life provides student services and activities for undergraduate and graduate students.  Programs, services and activities enhance student learning and personal development.  The Student Life department coordinates on campus activities, develops student organizations, provides mentoring and support programs, and creates opportunities for leadership development through various programs.  A list of activities and workshops are always available on the Student Life website.

Student Success Center
MRCN Annex 103
(956) 882-8292
The Student Success Center (SSC) has a committed team to help students be successful in their educational pursuits and committed to empowering students to reach their full potential.  Through proactive and intentional services, such as career counseling, academic success workshops and small-scale activities, we offer opportunities for students to develop as reflective learners and envision their academic accomplishments.  Our workshops as well as our career counseling services are designed to serve the entire student population, including graduate students.  Our career counselors are available to meet with graduate students interested in discussing their choice of major, as well as to discuss related career plans.  Information on all majors and degrees with regards to related areas of the work world, typical employers, job outlook and even professional associations is available.  Our career library also offers a wide range of books, handouts and brochures addressing all occupational areas including six computers available for career planning and job search needs.  We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Student Media
The Division of Student affairs continues to stay current with today’s technological advances of student outreach.  Each department has social media connections to keep students up to date on events, workshops and any information that is important news on campus.  For a full list of all of the UTB social media links, please go to www.utb.edu/social.

Student Financial Assistance
Tandy Hall #206 • 882-8277
The Financial Aid Office must monitor the progress of the student toward the completion of a certificate or degree in order to meet federal and state guidelines governing the administration of student financial assistance. Students subject to selective service registration will be required to file a statement that the student has registered or is exempt from selective service registration in order to be eligible to apply for federal financial aid or aid funded by State revenue. A student who fails to achieve minimum standards for completion of classes or grade point average, or falls behind in degree progression, may lose eligibility for all types of federal, state, and institutional aid administered by the Financial Aid Office, including tuition and fee exemptions and waivers.
The Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards for Financial Aid (FA) include quantitative and qualitative measures and are applied to financial aid recipients at the end of each Fall and Spring semester. Students applying for financial aid are also subject to the standards at point of financial aid application and/or prior to financial aid disbursement.
The standards used for measuring GR Satisfactory Academic Progress are:
·         Quantitative: Completion Rate
·         Quantitative: Maximum Attempted Credits
·         Qualitative: Cumulative GPA
The evaluation includes all graduate credits attempted during any period of credit-hour enrollment offered at UTB, including mini sessions and summer terms, and all accepted transfer credits, even for courses taken during periods when the student was not receiving financial aid and periods of dual enrollment.
Courses with grades of A, B, C, D, P, S and CR are considered as attempted and earned credit hours. Courses with grades of F, U, W, WC, WF, WM, WP, NR, DF, DP, and DR are considered as credit hours attempted, but not earned. Incomplete courses (with grade of I) are considered as attempted hours until a final grade is posted. Students are required to request a re-evaluation by the Financial Aid Office, after successful completion of an incomplete course. Repeated course hours (designated as R) are included as attempted hours, but excluded from earned hours, regardless of course grade. Withdrawn courses are considered attempted credits, but are excluded from earned credits, regardless of reason for withdrawal.
Students failing either the quantitative or qualitative measures are placed on Financial Aid Probation or Suspension as appropriate.

Quantitative Measure
Attempted and earned credit hours are used in the quantitative measure which includes two standards: completion rate and maximum attempted credits. Attempted hours are those credits for which a student is registered for on the official record date (according to the published Academic Calendar) for each semester, including mini sessions and summer terms. Earned hours are those credits for which a student receives a passing grade (according to Grade Standards published in the Graduate Catalog).
The completion rate standard for financial aid consideration is calculated by dividing the cumulative credit hours earned by the cumulative credit hours attempted. To remain in good standing, students are expected to successfully complete at least 75 % of the course work attempted. Students falling below the minimum completion rate of 75% are placed on Financial Aid Probation or Suspension as appropriate.
For example, a student earning 6 of 9 attempted graduate credit hours would enter Financial Aid Probation. (6/9 = 67%).
The standard for maximum attempted credits for financial aid consideration is measured by dividing the cumulative credit hours attempted by the hours required to complete the program of study. To remain in good standing, students may not exceed 150% of the credit hours required for the educational program. Students exceeding the maximum attempted credits immediately enter Financial Aid Suspension status.
For example, if a student is pursuing a graduate degree requiring 36 credit hours, no financial aid consideration would be available after attempting 54 credit hours, even if the student has not yet earned the graduate degree and meets all other satisfactory academic progress standards. (36 X 150% = 54)
Students are required to notify the Financial Aid Office of changes in majors, degrees, or if pursuing a doctoral degree. The notification must include an approved degree plan, an analysis by the academic advisor indicating the impact to maximum attempted credits, and may also require a financial aid suspension appeal.

Qualitative Measure
For financial aid consideration, students remain in good standing when they maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for all attempted courses, including grades earned for preparatory and/or transfer credits accepted by UTB. Students falling below the minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and the minimum last term GPA of 3.0 are placed on Financial Aid Probation or Suspension as appropriate.
 
Appeal Process for Suspension Based on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards
Students who fail to meet the grade point average requirements or the completion rate requirement will be placed in Financial Aid Warning Status for the following semester. Students will be notified via email of their warning status.
Students in Financial Aid Warning status who fail to meet SAP requirements for the next semester will not be eligible to receive financial aid and will be placed in Financial Aid Suspension. These students may complete and submit a Financial Aid Appeal, Academic Plan, and a Personal Statement to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for review. Should the Financial Aid Appeals Committee approve the Financial Aid SAP Appeal, the student will be placed in Financial Aid Probation.
Students may remain in probation status for subsequent semesters as long as the requirements of the Academic Plan are met. Students desiring a modification to their approved Academic Plan may request a revision by submitting a new Financial Aid Appeal Form for review by the Financial Aid appeals Committee. This request must include an explanation of what occurred to make the change necessary and how the student will make Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress in the future.
Students who exceed the maximum timeframe requirement will not be granted a warning semester, but will be immediately placed in Financial Aid Suspension. Students in this status are not eligible to receive financial aid, but may submit a Financial Aid Appeal, Academic Plan, and a Personal Statement to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for consideration.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will consider Appeals based on the following reasons:
·         Personal illness or serious injury supported by hospital records, insurance explanation of benefits, receipt of doctor’s visits, etc.
·         Serious illness or injury of an immediate family member supported by hospital records, insurance explanation of benefits, receipt of doctor’s visits, etc.
·         Other extenuating circumstances with supporting documentation.
Financial Aid Appeal, Academic Plan, and Personal Statement form(s) are available here:
The completed Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal, Academic Plan, and Personal Statement forms should be submitted to the UTB Office of Financial Aid. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review only complete Appeals and will deny any Appeals submitted without supporting documentation.
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will establish and publish deadline dates each semester for the submission of Appeals, although the latest an Appeal will be accepted for consideration for the current semester is the official record date. Appeals received after this date will be reviewed at the discretion of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final. Students will be notified via email regarding their outcome of their appeal.
Students on Financial Aid Suspension, who are meeting academic standing, may continue their coursework at UTB; however, payment for those courses must be made by the student without financial aid. Students may reestablish financial aid eligibility by regaining GOOD standing based on the Graduate Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards:
·         A minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.000
·         A minimum Completion Rate of 75%
·         On schedule to complete current program of study within the 150% of the maximum number of hours required for graduation.
How Your Enrollment Status Affects Your Student Financial Aid
The Financial Assistance Office recalculates financial aid eligibility for students changing enrollment status on or before the official census date (12th class day for Fall/Spring semesters, 4th class day for Summer sessions). Recalculations are processed for schedule changes initiated by the student (in the form of adds/drops) or by the university (in the form of cancelled courses and/or other administrative changes).
If you add and drop or withdraw from courses (after financial aid is disbursed) and these results in a decrease in total credit hours enrolled, you may owe financial aid funds back to the program or you may owe other charges to the institution. Check with an advisor in the Financial Assistance Office before making schedule changes!
Some awards, including Pell grants, are adjusted based on the number of hours enrolled at the end of the official census period. Other awards, including Federal student loans, may no longer be disbursed after a student drops below half-time status within the loan period. Students should also be aware that changes to enrollment status for a specific semester may also impact program participation and/or eligibility for future semesters.
If financial aid eligibility is increased and a credit remains after the revised tuition and fees are determined, the available balance will be promptly mailed to the student by the Business Office. If the financial aid package is reduced and an account balance remains after the Business Office recalculates tuition and fees, the student is responsible for promptly paying this amount in full. (Review the refund policy and the tuition and fees information published in this booklet).
In general, students dropping below half-time status, on or before the official census date, are ineligible for most forms of financial aid, and similar to students completely withdrawing from UTB, may be required to repay awards and/or tuition balances, as per the Title IV Returns policy.
Note: Students reducing enrollment status after the official census date should refer to the Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and students completely withdrawing from the institution, before or after the official census date, should also refer to the Procedures for Return of Title IV Funds.

Return of Title IV Student Financial Aid Funds When a Student Withdraws
When federal Title IV grant or loan assistance is disbursed, but the recipient does not complete the enrollment period,  withdraws, drops out, fails all classes or takes a leave of absence, the law requires that UTB calculate the amount that must be returned by the school and/or student to Title IV program accounts.
The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Plus Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), and the National Smart grant. 

Official Withdrawals
The date the student initiates the withdrawal is used for calculating the percentage used in the formula for Return of Title IV funds. The number of days from the 1st class day to the withdrawal date divided by the number of days in the payment period (semester) equals the percentage of Title IV funds earned.   If the withdrawal date is after the 60% point of the semester, the student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds.

Unofficial Withdrawals
If the student fails to earn a passing grade in at least one class during the semester, the institution will assume the student withdrew unofficially and will calculate Return of Title IV Funds accordingly. If it is determined that the unofficial withdrawal date is earlier than the 60% point of the semester, the student may owe funds to the Title IV financial aid programs and/or the institution. For a student who withdraws without notifying the institution (unofficially withdraws or drops out), the withdrawal date is:
·         the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment, as applicable
·         at the institution’s option, the student’s last date of attendance at an academically-related activity; or
·         if the institution determines that the student left without notification because of illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other such circumstances beyond the student’s control, the date that the institution determines is related to that circumstance.
Students have 10 days from the date the institution notifies them to clarify their enrollment status. Unless the student can provide acceptable documentation that shows the student was enrolled more than 60% of the semester, the student will be responsible for returning the unearned funds. Students have 45 days from the date the institution notifies them in writing to make payment arrangements. The student is responsible for payment of any institutional charges and/or Title IV funds resulting from delayed notification of the last date of instructional activity. Failure to make satisfactory payment arrangements on or before the 45th day may result in the following consequences:
·         Notification to the federal government of your overpayment
·         Notification to lenders, servicers and guarantors of the last date of attendance on at least a half-time basis
·         Cancellation of future scheduled loan proceeds
·         Cancellation of future scheduled restricted grant, scholarship or work program funds
·         Cancellation of future scheduled Pell Grant awards, Academic Competitive Grant and National SMART Grant awards.
·         Ineligibility for future aid until overpayment is settled.
Students should meet with a Financial Aid advisor for a Withdrawal Evaluation before making a decision to withdraw or stop attending classes.

Post-withdrawal Disbursement Process
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. Post-withdrawal eligibility can be used to credit outstanding charges on a student’s account. UTB has 30 days from the date that the University determined the student withdrew to offer any amount of post-withdrawal disbursement to the student. The student must respond within 14 days from the date that University sends the notification to be eligible to receive the post-withdrawal disbursement. If the student does not respond to the University’s notice, no portion of the withdrawal disbursement that is not credited to the students account may be disbursed. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, UTB must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. UTB may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds, if you accept them) for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with UTB). For all other school charges, the UTB needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow UTB to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.

Procedures for Return of Title IV Funds
If the total amount of Title IV grant and/or loan assistance that the student earned is less than the amount disbursed to or on behalf of the student, the difference between these amounts must be returned to the Title IV programs in the following order of priority (not to exceed the amount originally disbursed):
1.   Unsubsidized FFEL Stafford Loans
2.   Subsidized FFEL Stafford Loans
3.   PLUS FFEL Loans
4.   Federal Pell Grant
5.   Academic Competitive Grant
6.   National SMART Grant
7.   Federal SEOG Grant
8.   Other Title IV assistance (excluding FWS)

The school and the student share the responsibility for returning Title IV aid. The school returns “unearned” Title IV funds that have been paid to the school to cover the student’s institutional charges received from Title IV Grant and/or loan programs. The student is responsible to repay UTB for any unpaid institutional charges resulting from the Return of Title IV Funds calculation. The school must return Title IV funds due to the federal programs no later than 45 days after the date the school determines the student withdrew.

If the student owes funds back to the Title IV programs, the institution will advise the student within 30 days of determining that the student withdrew. The student has 45 days from the date of notification from the institution to take action on the overpayment. If the student’s portion of unearned Title IV funds included a federal grant, the student has to pay no more than 50% of the initial amount that the student is responsible for returning. Immediate repayment of the unearned loan amount is not required because the student repays the loan to the lender according to the terms or conditions in the promissory note. The institution will advise the lender of the student’s withdrawal within 45 days of determining the student withdrew.

No additional disbursements may be made to the student for the enrollment period. If the student does not repay the amount owed to the Title IV programs or does not make satisfactory payment arrangements with the U.S. Department of Education, UTB will report to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) that the student received an overpayment. The student loses eligibility for further Title IV aid until resolved.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that UTB may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. UTB may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you do not already know what UTB’s refund policy is, you can ask for a copy. UTB can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at www.studentaid.ed.gov.

Withdrawing from School
Students who wish to withdraw from UTB may do so by logging into UTB Online, visiting the Office of the Registrar and completing a form. Students completely withdrawing after the Official Record Date (ORD) should also refer to the Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards.
Note: For additional information on withdrawals, Return of Title IV, and sample calculations, students should see a Financial Aid Advisor.

Other Types of Financial Aid Available
Tuition Exemptions: The Texas Legislature has provided a tuition and fee exemption, excluding the general deposit and student services fees, provided under §54.201, et seq. of the Texas Education Code. To obtain an exemption, an approved application must be on file with the Office of Student Financial Assistance six weeks prior to registration. Continued receipt of a tuition and fee exemption and/or waiver is conditioned on maintaining the designated minimum GPA necessary to meet the Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards.  Tuition and fee exemptions may be granted for the following categories of students:
·         Children and spouse of Texas veterans (Hazelwood) killed or disabled while in service
·         Children and spouse of police, security, or emergency personnel killed in the line of public duty
·         Blind and deaf students
·         Adopted children or students under conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services
·         Prisoners of war or their children, or children of persons missing in action
·         Texas ex-servicemen
·         Educational aides
·         Senior citizens
·         Early high school graduates
·         Those demonstrating economic hardship
·         Dependent children of a member of the Armed Forces deployed on active duty to engage in a combative military operation outside the United States
This information is provided in summary form. For more information or additional exemptions, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at Tandy Hall #206 and/or refer to the Texas Education Code, §54.201, et seq.

Tuition Assistance Programs:
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board administers various tuition assistance programs, including programs for teachers and vocational nursing students. Further information about these programs may be obtained by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.
 
Work-study: Students may access a list of work-study employment opportunities sorted by department at http://www.utb.edu/em/fa/Pages/WorkStudyProgram.aspx

Graduate Records Examinations Fee Reduction Program
Candidates receiving a GRE Fee Reduction voucher will be required to pay 50 percent of the test fee, rather than the total test fee. This fee is likely to be high enough to ensure that candidates will be seriously planning to test when the appointment is made, and it covers the expense associated with seat time and processing of the Fee Reduction request. Fee Waiver vouchers for ScoreItNow! Online Writing Practice will continue to be provided to all Fee Reduction candidates, free of charge.
In addition to implementing a Fee Reduction Program, we will also begin a more careful process to monitor the number of vouchers available for this program.

Veterans Benefits
Tandy Hall #206 • 882-8980
The Office of Veterans Affairs is available to help all eligible Veterans/Dependents attending or planning on attending UTB to obtain financial assistance and information on veteran benefits.  Applications may be turned in to the Office of Veterans Affairs, or you apply online at any time.
Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty
Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation
Chapter 32 - Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
Chapter 33 - Post 9/11 GI Bill
Chapter 35 - Survivor’s and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program
Chapter 1606 - Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve
Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
Graduate students receiving VA educational benefits must maintain a cumulative 3.0 Grade Point Average to be making satisfactory progress.

Hazlewood Act
Texas veterans who have no remaining Veterans educational benefits may be exempted from payment of tuition and fees, except for student service fees. To obtain the exemption of tuition under this act, an approved application must be on file with the Veterans Affairs Department of the Office of Student Financial Assistance three weeks prior to payment deadline.  Also, the children of members of the armed forces who are or were killed in action, who die or died while in service, who are missing in action or whose death is documented to be directly caused by illness or injury connected with service in the armed forces of the United States, children of members who became totally disabled for purposes of employability may be entitled to an exemption, if they are residents of Texas.  Continued receipt of a tuition and fee exemption and/or waiver is conditioned on maintaining the designated minimum GPA necessary to meet the Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards.
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