Wharton County Junior College offers financial aid in many forms, including scholarships, grants, Work- Study opportunities, and student loans. A student's award package may include more than one type of award.
The Department of Education requires schools to use contact hours, rather than credit hours, to determine financial aid award amounts for certificate programs that are not a part of or do not roll into an associate degree program. Consequentially, students in certain certificate programs may experience a reduction in the award amount quoted in the award letter. At WCJC, the certificate programs included in this requirement are as follows: Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration, and Electrical Technology; Welding; Cosmetology; and Licensed Vocational Nursing.
A scholarship is a form of "gift aid" because the money received does not have to be repaid.
WCJC students have the opportunity to apply for several scholarships. Scholarships often require students' completion of an application and may have particular merit, experience, program of study, need, and/or demographic requirements which must be met to maintain award eligibility.
The online application for WCJC institutional endowment scholarships for Academic Year 2020-2021 will open on December 2, 2019 and will be linked from the Scholarships webpage.
Grants are a form of "gift aid" because the money received does not have to be repaid. Grants are generally need-based.
The most common federal education grant is the Pell Grant.
Work-Study programs provide part-time jobs for students who exhibit financial need based on their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Work-Study students earn an hourly wage, with money distributed in a monthly paycheck.
Most Work-Study jobs are on-campus, and work hours can be set to accommodate the student's class schedule. Work-Study students have the opportunity to gain experience and establish professional connections that can be invaluable in the future.
The FATV videos below provide more information about Work-Study programs.
Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. The purpose of loan money is to aid students in purchasing books, paying tuition, and covering living expenses.
The Federal Direct Loan Program helps students finance their education through Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans.
A Direct Subsidized Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need, and the college determines the amount a student can borrow. The federal government "subsidizes" the loan by paying the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Once the student stops attending college, the repayment process will begin. No interest payments are required of the student before the repayment period begins. Under certain circumstances, a borrower may be able to defer, or postpone, loan payments during the repayment period.
A Direct Unsubsidized Loan amount is determined by the college and is based on the cost of attendance and the existence of other financial aid awards. The student, regardless of enrollment status, will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If interest is allowed to accumulate, it will be "capitalized," meaning the interest will be added to the principal amount. "Capitalization" will increase the amount that must be repaid. If the student chooses to pay interest as it accumulates, loan payments will be less.
Direct Plus Loans are loans that parents of dependent students use to help pay for college.
Wharton County Junior College "packages" Federal Loans for all students who indicate on the FAFSA they are interested in being considered for a student loan. Once offered a loan, the student still must accept the loan either via paper award letter or through Online Services.
Before accepting a loan, students are highly encouraged to visit the Student Loan Information page to educate themselves on loan requirements and repayment responsibilities.
The FATV videos below provide more information about loans.
The State of Texas has many exemption programs that allow Texas residents with certain circumstances to attend a Texas public college or university without paying tuition. A complete list of the exemption programs and qualifications can be found at College for All Texans.
The most common exemptions and waivers utilized at WCJC and the point-of-contact for each appear below.
Business Office (979-532-6412)
- Deaf/Blind Student Exemption
- WCJC Employees, Spouses, and Dependents
- Children of Deceased Firefighters, Peace Officers, Game Wardens, and Employees of Correctional Institutions
- Foster Care Exemption*
- Adopted Students Formerly Under the Conservatorship of TDFPS*
- Highest Ranking High School Graduate
- Children of Professional Nursing Program Faculty and Staff
- Firefighters Taking Fire Science Course
- Peace Officers Enrolled in Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice Courses Exemption
- Clinical Preceptors and Their Children Exemption
- Texas Tomorrow Fund
* These programs are not to be confused with "independent status" for financial aid, achieved by answering "Yes" to the related FAFSA question and submitting supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office.
- Hazlewood Exemption (contact Merry Sprague, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Top 5% Service Area High School Graduate (WCJC "High Honor Scholarship") (979-532-6345)