SJC: Need money for college? We can help



Raise your hand if you don’t know how you’re going to pay for college. We can see this hand!

College is a big step. Although San Jacinto College offers affordable education, you may not be able to pay for everything out of pocket.

If navigating financial aid is holding you back, we can help. Here to guide you through the process are Robert Merino, Dean of Financial Aid, and Tammy McAdams, advancement coordinator of the San Jacinto College Foundation.

Find out how to apply for financial aid and get scholarships from the Foundation.

Robert Merino: Financial aid helps students and their families cover education expenses like tuition, course materials, transportation, etc. It includes grants, scholarships, federal or private loans, work-study programs and paid internships.

You apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).

You will complete the FAFSA if you are:

  • An American citizen
  • A permanent resident of the United States with an alien registration card
  • A conditional permanent resident of the United States on an I-551C visa
  • An eligible non-national with an arrival / departure record indicating that you are a refugee, a parolee (at least one year), a Cuban-Haitian incoming or an asylum seeker.
  • You will complete the TASFA if you are a resident of Texas who is not eligible to complete the FAFSA.

    RM: The FAFSA continues to evolve each year. Since the application went online, the questions have become dynamic. This means that some questions are skipped if you or your parents meet certain criteria.

    RM: You need:

  • Your social security number or alien registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Your federal tax returns, W-2, and other money earned records (you may be able to transfer your tax return information to your FAFSA using the IRS data recovery tool)
  • If applicable: bank statements, investment registers and tax-free income registers
  • An FSA identifier to be signed electronically
  • If dependent: most of the above information for your parents as well
  • RM: The EFC comes from a formula applied to FAFSA data. It estimates what your family can contribute towards your education expenses and determines the amount of financial assistance you can receive. A low number allows you to receive the most help.

    If your CFE is high but your family can’t help you, complete the FAFSA anyway. Our Foundation offers merit-based scholarships that require a FAFSA record, and our financial aid administrators can adjust the FAFSA income criteria if your household income has changed.

    RM: You may need to submit verification documents first. The College then sends you an offer letter of financial assistance by email. This tells you how much you will receive as a full time student. However, you do not have to register full time to receive assistance. The actual amount depends on your registration.

    RM: The most common help that San Jac students receive is subsidies (like Pell). Pell’s eligibility is based on the CFE. Those with a CFE between zero and $ 5,846 are eligible. As the CFE approaches $ 5,846, the Pell amount decreases.

    Student loans must be refunded when you graduate or at least drop part-time status.

    Work study allows you to earn help by occupying an approved position on or off campus. You must register at least part-time and need financial assistance.

    Exemptions and derogations are paid to students who meet certain conditions. Examples include being deaf or blind, the child of a disabled firefighter or police officer, being part of the foster care system, and / or a child or spouse of a veteran. deceased or disabled.

    RM: Yes! We have experienced financial aid advisors on hand to help you with anything. Our campuses are open for walk-in assistance. You can also make a virtual appointment at

    Tammy McAdams: First, make sure you’ve applied to San Jac, claimed your SOS account, and completed the FAFSA or TASFA. You will need an SOS ID to apply for Foundation scholarships.

    Then visit There are two application cycles:

  • Primary (apply from February 15 to June 30): Most of the scholarships offered by the College and the Foundation are awarded annually for the academic year (fall / spring).
  • Secondary (apply from August 31 to November 14 – extended deadline!): Smaller general and departmental scholarships are available for the spring semester only.
  • For more chances of obtaining a scholarship, apply from the primary cycle. This allows you to plan your finances for the entire academic year since most scholarships are for two semesters.

    MT: Gather these documents and information:

  • High school transcript (if you have never attended university) or college transcript (s)
  • A letter of recommendation (some scholarships may require it)
  • List of achievements, awards, activities, jobs, volunteering, hobbies, etc.
  • MT: There are two types of scholarships:

    MT: Yes, apply! The Foundation works hard to raise scholarship funds to help students achieve their goals. AcademicWorks is a one-stop-shop to give you the most comprehensive access to the generous San Jac scholarship offers. Fill out an application and you will be considered for several. The app is fully online which makes it easy to apply!

    MT: Write good, short answers. Sing your own praises. Think carefully about each question and share things about yourself that you can’t show anywhere else in the app. It’s a time to brag.

    Talk about the recognition and awards you have received. Focus on activities that show off your talents and passions and demonstrate your leadership, initiative, perseverance in adversity, and community service. Have someone else check your grammar and spelling, but do your own writing.

    This press release was produced by San Jacinto College. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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