Attending TWO Colleges simultaneously while on Financial Aid

April 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The "unknown" Consortium Agreement is perhaps one of the hidden gems for transfer students.  Many students ponder the thought of attending two schools at the same time, but figure that Financial Aid (Federal Pell Grant) will only cover one school.  Well, to a degree – this is true.  BUT (there's always a "but") in all actuality, Financial Aid only requires to have a "home school" recognized to send the funds to. That "home school" may use a Consortium Agreement to recognize your attendance at another college.

Students are able to spend a semester or academic year at another domestic institution and transfer the hours earned back to their "home school".  Students can combine the hours at both institutions for financial aid purposes. It is possible to receive financial aid under these circumstances as long as certain requirements are met.    

Let me give you an example run down…

Little Johnny is attending Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Harlingen, and is in his last semester before graduating.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he only has one class left to take that is included in his degree plan.  He is on Financial Aid, and only classes that are on his degree plan will be covered.  Little Johnny doesn't want to waste time, and wants to continue his education at the University of Texas – Pan American (UTPA).  

Using Consortium Agreements that are already in place, he can attend both colleges at the same time and have Financial Aid recognize every course he takes.  He logs in to FAFSA Online and changes (or adds) UTPA's school code. 

 After completing the application and registration process at UTPA, he decides to take 3 classes at UTPA and 1 class at TSTC.  He takes his registration statement from TSTC to his new "home school" (UTPA) Financial Aid Office and pursues the Consortium Agreement. UTPA recognizes that 1 course from TSTC and tells FAFSA that you are a Full-Time Student.  

End result: Little Johnny gets to have his cake and eat it too.  He graduates from TSTC and doesn't miss out on time by taking his Bachelor courses at UTPA.  

NOTE: This is also possible with the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB).  I personally find that this process is easier at UTB simply because you don't have to wait for the Census date to receive funds.  At UTPA, you must wait until the Census date (12th class day) to get approved for funds, which means you have to find a temporary means of paying for your class at TSTC.  

Here are links to Consortium Agreements in the Rio Grande Valley:

Joshua Hernandez
" if you can't solve a problem…You're probably playing by the rules."

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