Financial Aid Programs

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is considered gift-aid that does not have to be repaid. The amount the student receives depends on his/her financial need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status. A student must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Assistance). The Pell Grant award is based upon the student’s EFC and enrollment status. The Pell Grant award is based solely on financial need.

Louisiana GO Grant

The Go Grant is a state grant that does not have to be repaid. Depending on enrollment status, students can receive up to $2000 per year. Go grant funding is limited and is first-come, first-served based on need. The requirements include but are not limited to, a Louisiana residence, must be a Federal Pell Grant recipient and must be enrolled in a degree program. Priority is given to students age 25 and older not receiving the maximum federal Pell Grant amount.

TOPS

The Taylor Opportunity Program for Student (TOPS) scholarship is awarded to graduating Louisiana high school seniors who have met certain academic requirements and have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by July 1. The TOPS scholarship will only fund the tuition portion of institutional charges for 2 academic years. It does not cover the cost of books, supplies, and fees. TOPS recipients must enroll in an eligible school, as a full time student, within one year after graduation from high school. To maintain eligibility, completion of 24 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters, with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and yearly submission of the FAFSA are required. For more information, please contact your high school counselor or the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (1-800-259-5626 ext: 1012).

Federal Work Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is an award from federal and state funds that allows a student to earn money to meet educational expenses. A student must have a financial need to be awarded work-study. This program encourages community service and work related to the student’s course of study. Students will be paid at least the federal minimum wage and can work 10 to 20 hours per week.

FSEOG Grant

The FSEOG Program provides need-based grants to help low-income undergraduate students finance the costs of postsecondary education. Priority is given to those students with exceptional need having the highest GPAs, on a first-come, first-served basis. This grant does not have to be repaid, unless the student withdraws from school and owes a refund. The amount of FSEOG a student receives depends not only on his/her financial need but on the amount of other aid the student receives and the availability of funds at SOWELA. It is important for students to apply early to be considered for these funds. The individual amount of a student’s award is based on the availability of funds and the student’s demonstrated financial need.

Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits

The potential recipient must complete the application process on-line at www.gibill.va.gov (opens new window) or through the local Veteran’s Affairs Office located at 1000 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601 or by phone: (337) 491-2309. If you have any questions, please call 1-888-442-4551. Verification of enrollment for the student is completed electronically by the Veteran Certifying Official after the application process and turning in the VA Enrollment Certification form.

Note: Once the student receives an eligibility letter from the Department of Veteran’s affairs, he/she should contact the Enrollment Services One Stop Center.

Louisiana National Guard

Members of the Louisiana National Guard may be exempt from paying the tuition portion of fees. The exemption only covers the tuition portion and the student is still responsible for any and all additional fees relevant to payment of classes before the semester of study begins. The student may claim the exemption at the time of registration by identifying himself/herself as an eligible recipient of this exemption. Eligibility is confirmed via a list of eligible recipients given to the veteran certifying official by the state.

Scholarships

A number of SOWELA Foundation and institutional scholarships are available due to the generosity of local donors and supporters of SOWELA. A Scholarship Application may be completed on the school website. Notices will be posted in the Enrollment Services One Stop Center and throughout the campus when a specific scholarship becomes available. Departmental scholarship notices will be posted within the specific department.

Note: All students awarded Title IV financial aid at SOWELA are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) while receiving aid. Please stop by the Enrollment Services One Stop Center or go online at www.sowela.edu/financial-aid for the full SAP policy.

Federal Direct Student Loans

At this time, SOWELA does not participate in the Federal Student Loan program.

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities.