We have one new update and one reminder for today. We’re also repeating all of the information we shared last week regarding textbook rental returns and emergency financial aid. This information is also posted on tlu.edu/semc and the home page of My.TLU.EDU for future reference.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott yesterday announced he will allow the state’s stay-at-home order to expire on Thursday and begin opening businesses such as retail stores, malls, restaurants, theatres, libraries, and museums this Friday, but will limit occupancy to 25%. Barbershops, salons, gyms and bars will remain closed until mid-May. Guadalupe County Commissioners will meet today to discuss the county’s stay-at-home order. Once we hear from the county, we will provide more information this week regarding move-out arrangements for students who have not been able to return to campus due to stay-at-home orders. We also hope to offer an in-store drop-off option for textbooks; details for that option will be announced this week.
President Cottrell will host a Livestream Town Hall meeting for students and parents on Wednesday, April 29, at 4 pm. The events are recorded and all town hall meetings can be viewed on TLU’s YouTube channel.
LAST WEEK'S REMINDERS:
The deadline for returning rental textbooks has been extended an additional week (through May 18) to provide everyone extra time on their returns. Rented textbooks may be returned by doing the following:
- Include inside each book to be returned, the student’s name, TLU ID# and the name of the textbook.
- You may print the sample form located on MyTLU by clicking here to use for this or make your own. Ship returns to: TLU Bookstore 1000 W. Court Street Seguin, TX 78155
*Students can request reimbursement of shipping costs by completing a COVID Emergency Aid Request form and submitting it along with a receipt to Student Financial Services. This can be used for textbooks and library books.
- We also hope to offer an in-store drop off option in the coming days should state and county guidelines permit. Details for that option will be announced when stay-at-home guidelines are lifted.
- Textbook Buybacks: We will not be having an in-store Book Buyback this semester. If you wish to sell back any of your textbooks (perhaps even books from previous semesters), please visit the “Sell Textbooks” page on the TLU Bookstore website.
- It’s a simple, hassle-free way to earn some cash for your textbooks. PLEASE REMEMBER NOT TO SELL BACK ANY RENTAL TEXTBOOKS. If you are unsure if your book is a rental, contact the bookstore to verify the status of your book.
- As always, feel free to email any questions to email@example.com.
FINANCIAL AID SAP & IMPACT OF CREDIT/NO CREDIT:
- Student Financial Services has been asked how electing to take a class credit/no credit will affect their Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status. When considering whether to take one or all classes credit/no credit please keep in mind that, in general, all students must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and successfully complete 75% of all credit hours attempted to remain eligible for financial aid. In addition, students who receive a Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) must successfully complete 24 credit hours each academic year while maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA. Questions to ask yourself:
- How confident do you feel in the grade you will receive for your class? If you anticipate earning an A, B, or C, it would probably be better to take the letter grade.
- Do you need to improve your cumulative GPA to remain eligible for aid in general or for TEG in particular? If the answer is Yes, and you feel you are doing well in the class, then you need to receive a grade other than credit/no credit for the class.
- Is your cumulative GPA at 2.0 or just above and you are in danger of falling below 2.0? If the answer is Yes, then you would probably be better off electing to go credit/no credit as long as you don’t have another reason your GPA has to increase. Same can be said if your GPA is at 2.5 or slightly above and you receive TEG.
- As far as your completion percentage for the academic year and overall, there is no effect on whether you get a letter grade or take the class credit/no credit.
- If you are on a SAP academic plan and have questions specific to your plan, please contact Student Financial Services at 830-372-8010 or StudentFinancialServices@tlu.edu.
GRADE SCALE ADJUSTMENTS:
- Grade scale adjustments can now be made to your spring classes through My.TLU.EDU. If you elect to make changes, they must be made prior to April 29, 11:59 pm. Those changes will then be available to your professors and they will grade accordingly. To make changes, go to your MyTLU Student tab and select the Grade Scale Change link on the left-hand side. Please review the policy guidelines previously sent to you and carefully read the instructions presented to you on the portal page before making any grade scale changes. Your academic advisor can also be of assistance.
IMPORTANT FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION:
- Room & Meal Plan Adjustments: Room and meal plan adjustments are now posted on students’ accounts and viewable via MyTLU. If you still owe a balance after the adjustments, please pay your balance as soon as possible or contact Student Financial Services to make payment arrangements. Students who have registered for summer classes must have paid their remaining spring balance and their summer payment before beginning attendance in the summer classes.
- Federal Work-Study Students: Through a special dispensation by the U.S. Department of Education, students who worked jobs funded through Federal Work-Study and who are no longer working on campus will receive pay for the weeks they would have worked – up to the amount of their award for spring. These funds are being paid through direct deposit this Friday.
- Emergency Aid: Last week, all students were emailed the COVID-19 Emergency Aid Request form. We are in the process of sending emails to the students that have submitted requests informing them of their status. You can also see the status of your application by logging into MyTLU and going to the Document Tracking section on the Financial Aid page.
- Eligibility for Emergency Aid: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released additional guidance indicating who is eligible to receive funds and the purposes for which they can be granted. Only students who are Title IV eligible are eligible to receive the emergency grant funds. Until we receive more guidance from ED on other alternatives, the easiest way for TLU to confirm a student is Title IV eligible is for the student to file either the 19-20 or 20-21 FAFSA. The FAFSA goes through the federal eligibility checks when processed. You do not have to have received federal financial aid. This means, students must:
- Eligibility: Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. International and DACA students are not eligible for these grants. Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible degree or non-degree seeking program. i.e. not dual enrollment, auditing classes, etc.
- Purpose: Must be granted for expenses incurred after March 13, 2020, that are related to COVID-19 such as rent, utilities, course related materials, computer, printer, travel, storage, etc., related to TLU’s move to online classes and closing the campus. This is not an exhaustive list as you may have increased expenses for food, electricity, etc., from being home all the time. Please provide documentation that shows the expenses such as receipts and utility bills. Note: We are not allowed to reimburse for lost wages as they are not an expense even though they are COVID related.
- Disbursement of Funds: Funds will be disbursed by check to the student. We are not allowed to hold it on account for future semesters nor are we allowed to use it toward any student balance you may owe. Once you have received the funds, you may use the funds to either reimburse yourself for expenses already paid or, if you choose, you can use it to pay your TLU bill. If using to pay your TLU bill, you will need to pay it through your normal means of payment.
- Timing of Disbursement: We will begin disbursing funds the week of April 27 as requests are reviewed and approved. Students will receive an email once their request has been reviewed and a grant awarded. Students can expect to receive the check within 5-7 days after notice is given.
- Please note: This grant is for the student and, as such, the request must be completed and signed by the student.
- Online registration extended: For students who have been cleared by their advisor, the online registration period for summer and fall has been extended and will remain open until Thursday, April 30, 11:59pm. During that period, changes can be made for any of the following terms: May, Summer A, Summer B, and Fall.
- Housing sign-up for 2020-2021 is now live: The housing application for 2020-2021 went live on Monday. Priority sign-up will run from April 20-May 3. The application is on the Residence Life page of My.TLU.EDU. For more details about the process, please refer to the email that was sent out last week. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Summer classes: Please note that the grading policy will revert to our usual policy. More than 65 classes are on the summer schedule at a rate of $370 per credit hour. This provides students an opportunity to take classes at a lower rate than in the long semesters. As a reminder, Mayterm will be offered online, Summer A will be offered online, and Summer B will be offered with both online and face-to-face courses, assuming health guidelines allow that.
- The ASC is open Monday - Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and is closed on the weekends.
Stay safe and be well!
TLU Safety and Emergency Response Committee