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Are You Wondering How the Amount of Your Financial Aid is Determined?


Posted By: Melissa Elliott - 7/11/2017 5:26:03 PM

So, you’ve filed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and you’ve checked your Student Aid Report to be sure all your information is correct, and now you’re wondering how that data is used to come up with the financial aid for which you are eligible. Vernon College will use several pieces of information to calculate your aid.

If I meet the basic eligibility criteria for federal student aid, who decides how much money I’ll get?

Here’s the short answer:

The financial aid office at Vernon College will determine how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.

  • The VC financial aid staff starts by determining your cost of attendance (COA).
  • We then consider your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • We subtract your EFC and other financial aid from your COA to determine the amount of your financial need and therefore how much need-based aid you can get.

If you’d like the long answer, keep reading!

What does cost of attendance (COA) mean?

Your COA is the amount it will cost you to go to Vernon College for the school year (for instance, for the fall semester plus the spring semester).

If you're attending at least half-time, your COA is the estimate of

  • tuition and fees;
  • room and board; 
  • books and supplies;
  • transportation expenses;
  • personal expenses;
  • miscellaneous expenses.

What’s the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

Your EFC is an index number that Vernon College financial aid staff use to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend VC. The information you report on your FAFSA is used to calculate your EFC.

The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) all could be considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year.

Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by Vernon College to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.

What is need-based aid and how does my school figure out how much I’ll get?

Vernon College first determines whether you have financial need by using this simple formula:

Calculating Your Financial Need

   Cost of Attendance (COA)

– Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

= Financial Need

Need-based aid is financial aid that you can receive if you have financial need and meet other eligibility criteria. You can’t receive more need-based aid than the amount of your financial need. For instance, if your COA is $16,000 and your EFC is 12000, your financial need is $4,000; so you aren’t eligible for more than $4,000 in need-based aid.

The following are the need-based federal student aid programs:  

What is non-need-based aid and how does my school figure out how much I’ll get?

Vernon College determines how much non-need-based aid you can get by using this formula:

Calculating Your Non-need-based Aid

   Cost of Attendance (COA)

– Financial Aid Awarded So Far*

= Eligibility for Non-need-based Aid

  *includes aid from all sources, such as the school, private scholarship providers, etc.

Non-need-based aid is financial aid that is not based on your EFC. What matters is your COA and how much other assistance you’ve been awarded so far. For instance, if your COA is $16,000 and you’ve been awarded a total of $4,000 in need-based aid and private scholarships, you can get up to $12,000 in non-need-based aid.

The following are the non-need-based federal student aid programs:

If you have any additional questions, please call out office.  The VC Financial Aid office wants to provide you the financial support you need to afford your education!
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1970 marked the beginning of Vernon College. Throughout this decade the College continued to grow and more students enrolled in both on- and off-campus courses. On January 20, 1970, a majority of the citizens of Wilbarger County voted to create the Wilbarger County Junior College District. Following that decision, Vernon Regional Junior College was established and on April 9, 1970, the newly elected Board of Trustees appointed Dr. David L. Norton as the College’s first president. Campus construction began in May 1971, and included an Academic Science Center, Administration-Fine Arts Center, Applied Arts Center, Library, and Student Center. The following year, on September 5, 1972, classes met for the first time on the Vernon campus with a total of 608 students. On August 1, 1974, Dr. Jim M. Williams became the College’s second president. In the fall semester of that year, combined on- and off-campus enrollment exceeded 800 students. During the 1975-76 academic year, the College expanded its services to include a learning center on Sheppard Air Force Base. During this year, enrollment in credit courses, both on- and off-campus, rose to a level of 1,199. The scope of the Vocational Nursing Program was enlarged during the 1976-77 academic year with the assumption of the Bethania School of Vocational Nursing in Wichita Falls. In August 1976 the Physical Education Center was dedicated in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas A. King longtime benefactors of Vernon College. Growth and changes continued during the 1980s. In August 1980 a Student Residence Center, designed to house 128 students, opened for occupancy. Further expansion of program offerings in the Wichita Falls area was accomplished through absorption of an existing proprietary school that was renamed the Vernon College Technical Center and the integration of the nursing program from the Wichita Falls Independent School District. On March 22, 1982, Dr. Joe Mills took over the leadership of the College as the third president. That fall, the College fielded its first intercollegiate rodeo team. During 1983-84, the Department of Cosmetology and the Career Development Center (previously known as the North Texas Skills Center) were established in Wichita Falls. On the Vernon campus, the Chaparral Center was completed, and the Pease River farm purchased through a state land trade. The following academic year, 1984-85, Vernon College reached a record credit enrollment of 1,863 and a record continuing education enrollment of 7,056 registrations. A Vocational Nursing Program opened in Seymour, and the Board of Trustees established a college foundation and approved an agreement to allow construction of the Red River Valley Museum on the Vernon campus. In February 1987 the College played its first intercollegiate baseball game on the Vernon campus. During May of that year, the new Natatorium was opened in the King Physical Education Center. A newly constructed Athletic Dormitory opened to house 28 athletes in August 1988. In October, Trustees voted to add women’s volleyball as a varsity sport, effective with the fall 1989 semester. In May 1989 Vernon College moved all Wichita Falls programs to one centralized location—Century City Center. Since the College opened its doors 38 years ago, many individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations have made an investment in our students through the creation of endowed and annual scholarships. As of this year, more than 100 scholarship funds are available to help students pursue their educational dreams.VERNON COLLEGE PHILOSOPHY: Vernon College is a constantly evolving institution, dedicated primarily to effective teaching and regional enhancement. With this dedication to teaching and to the community, the College encourages open inquiry, personal and social responsibility, critical thinking, and life-long learning for students, faculty, and other individuals within its service area. The College takes as its guiding educational principle the proposition that, insofar as available resources permit, instruction should be adapted to student needs. This principle requires both flexibility in instructional strategies and maintenance of high academic standards. Strong programs of assessment and accountability complement this educational principle. VC accepts the charge of providing a college atmosphere free of bias, in which students can exercise initiative and personal judgment, leading to a greater awareness of personal self-worth. It strives to provide every student with opportunities to develop the tools necessary to become a contributing, productive member of society. Vision VERNON COLLEGE VISION: Vernon College will promote a culture of success for our students and communities through learner-centered quality instructional programs and exemplary services. Values VERNON COLLEGE VALUES: Vernon College promotes a culture of success through our shared values and commitment to: Accessibility Accountability Building Relationships Diversity Inclusion Innovation Leadership Quality Student Success Teamwork Our values define who we are and guide us in conducting our business every day. Our values are our morals – what is important to us at our college. Mission VERNON COLLEGE MISSION The mission of Vernon College is teaching, learning, and leading. Vernon College is a comprehensive community college that integrates education with opportunity through our instructional programs and student support services by means of traditional and distance learning modes. Therefore, to fulfill its mission, the College will provide access, within its available resources, to: Career technical/workforce programs up to two years in length leading to associate degrees or certificates; Career technical/workforce programs leading directly to employment in semi-skilled and skilled occupations; Freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences, including the curricula leading to associate and baccalaureate degrees; Ongoing adult education programs for occupational upgrading or personal enrichment; Compensatory education programs designed to fulfill the commitment of an admissions policy allowing the enrollment of disadvantaged students; ; A continuing program of counseling and guidance designed to assist students in achieving their individual educational goals; Career technical/workforce development programs designed to meet local and statewide needs; Support services for educational programs and college-related activities; Adult literacy and other basic skills programs for adults; and Other To help prospective and current students, faculty, and staff locate important information about Vernon College, this webpage provides links to helpful information on a variety of government mandated and consumer information. Examples are academic programs, cost of attendance, financial aid, safety and security, and institutional financial reports. Vernon College’s presentation of this information complies with the Higher Education Act, as amended, and implementing regulations.