Financial Aid is available to all prospective and currently enrolled students who qualify and enroll in an approved career training program. Students who wish to apply for financial aid must visit one of the Financial Aid Offices at an Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical center and complete the Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical Education Financial Aid Checklist and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for processing. It is recommended that the completed application be submitted a minimum of two weeks prior to expected enrollment date.
An applicant who has not earned a high school diploma or GED and is not currently enrolled in a high school curriculum must achieve passing scores on an approved test to qualify for federal financial aid as an Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) student. To be ATB eligible, a student must be at least sixteen (16) years of age and pass a U.S. Department of Education approved ATB test – Wonderlic test. Detailed information can be obtained from Technical Center Financial Aid Offices.
Financial Aid Contacts:
Mid Florida Tech
407-246-7060 ext 4875
Winter Park Tech
NOTE: The Ability-to-Benefit test option will no longer be available on or after July 1, 2012.
Financial Aid offered at the Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical centers consists of the Title IV Federal Pell Grant, Florida Student Assistance Grant, Florida Work Experience Program, Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, Student Financial Aid Fund (SFAF), private scholarships and assistance for targeted populations. Research for scholarships can be completed on-line at www.fastweb.com or www.finaid.org.
All students seeking financial aid must have proof of the previous year's income and proof of current income. For previous income, this may be in the form of a copy of tax returns or a form 4506-T obtained from the IRS along with other untaxed income statements such as Unemployment, Social Security, etc. For current income, this may be in the form of current pay stubs, current unemployment pay stubs, a notice of case action from HRS indicating the amount received for AFDC, and a current statement from Social Security stating the amount received, etc.
Satisfactory academic progress must be maintained in order to receive financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress is defined as student competency in 60 percent of the work defined by the course guidelines and coursework completion at an acceptable level of performance. The Financial Aid Office will require a monthly timesheet and quarterly academic progress reports. Documentation supporting absences should be given to the Financial Aid Office immediately upon student returning to school.
Federal Pell Grant
As eligible institutions of higher education, all Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical centers participate in the Federal Pell Grant program. To be a recipient, a student must meet the Federal Pell Grant program's criteria for student eligibility and be enrolled in an approved program that is at least 600 clock hours of supervised training. Eligibility is determined by the Federal Government. Pell recipients can only receive Pell for no more than the length of the program as approved by the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education with a maximum of 900 clock hours in an academic year. The Federal Pell Grant requires no repayment of funds that are properly distributed by the school. If the student does not meet the required 60% of attended clock hours per payment period then the school is required to process a Return of Title IV Funds calculation. If there are any outstanding fees owed to the school or Federal Government the student will be responsible for paying those outstanding fees.
Criteria for receiving the Federal Pell Grant are:
- Student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Approved program length must be 600 clock hours or longer.
- Student must demonstrate financial need.
- Student must have a high school diploma or GED.
- Student must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen with a valid Social Security number.
- Student must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- Student must be working toward a job preparatory completion certificate.
- Student must not be in default of a Federal Education Student Loan or owe Federal funds.
Florida Student Assistance Grant and Florida Work Experience Program
These are State funded programs for certificate seeking students. Must demonstrate need (complete a FAFSA) and meet OCPS criteria for eligibility.
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship
Criteria for receiving the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship are:
- Student must earn a "vocational ready" diploma.
- Student must complete three vocational credits in a sequential program.
- Student must earn a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale based on the 24 standard diploma credits.
- Student must earn a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for secondary vocational courses.
- Student must demonstrate readiness for postsecondary education by earning a passing score on the Florida College Entry Level Placement Test or its equivalent.
Student financial Assistance fund (SFAF)
The SFAF scholarship is funded locally from program tuition fees. The total amount available to each school fluctuates with the tuition revenue collected each year. A Financial Aid Committee establishes the maximum award per student. Those in all programs may be eligible for this scholarship.
Criteria for receiving the SFAF scholarship are:
- Student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- Student must demonstrate proof of current financial need.
- Student must be a Florida resident.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Must have a GED or concurrently enrolled in a GED program and a job preparation program.
- Student must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- Student must be working toward a job preparatory completion certificate.
- There may be more definitive eligibility requirements at each Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical center.
Certain agencies sponsor scholarship programs. Potential applicants should meet with a guidance counselor or the financial aid staff to pick up an application and discuss eligibility requirements. Scholarships are awarded on a nondiscriminatory basis and are based on an expressed desire to learn a vocational skill, economic need and other factors.
OTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Vocational Rehabilitation, Workforce Central Florida and Third Party agencies also provide financial assistance for educational career training to help offset educational costs. A student may receive assistance through another third party agency and may still be eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant. The Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical centers encourage students currently assisted by other agencies to complete the FAFSA form. See definitions for more Financial Assistance.
Students who meet the criteria for education/training through this government agency may enroll in vocational/technical programs at any Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical center. Guidance counselors and the Vocational Rehabilitation representative cooperate in serving students who qualify for this assistance. The Vocational Rehabilitation Agency requires students to apply for the Federal Pell Grant.
Workforce Central Florida
The purpose of the Workforce Central Florida Office:
- To provide locally planned job training and placement services for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed. Eligibility is based on past income and work history. Special programs are available for veterans, single parents, handicapped persons, migrant workers, persons receiving unemployment benefits or who have received notice of a lay off or are long-term unemployed.
- The Workforce Central Florida Office will coordinate with other agencies to create a workforce development system to better assist our community.
- To establish programs to prepare youth and adults facing serious barriers to employment for participation in the labor force by providing job training and other services that will result in increased employment and earning, increased educational and occupational skills and decreased welfare dependency, thereby improving the quality of the workforce and enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the Nation.
- The Workforce Central Florida Office is funded by a grant from the Job and Education Partnership Board.
Third Party Agencies
We cooperate with agencies and employers that help pay the expenses of a student. After the student has registered, the sponsor is billed for those expenses which are eligible.
Veterans Education Benefits
The Bureau of State Approving Agency for Veterans Training has approved many of the certificate training programs offered at the Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical centers. Visit one of the VA Certifying Officials located in the Financial Aid Office at the Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical centers to apply for or re-activate your VA educational entitlements. All required application forms are available in the Financial Aid Office. Upon completion of the necessary forms, the student must bring them to the VA Certifying Official with certified copies of the veteran's DD214.
The documentation is then forwarded to the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) for processing. Upon completion of the first day of class, the enrollment certification is reported by the VA Certifying Official to the DVA for processing. Allow a minimum of 4-8 weeks to activate benefits. The DVA will send the benefit check directly to the entitled individual. The student must pay all fees upon registration. The student is eligible for educational benefits for the length of the program as approved by the DVA. The student must check with the school's VA Certifying Official to verify the DVA approval of his/her program length. All veterans receiving educational benefits while attending one of the Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical centers are subject to the policies and procedures of the school. The following regulations apply:
Standards of Progress and Attendance
- All students receiving Veterans' Educational benefits must maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the regularly prescribed standards and practices of the institution in which the student is enrolled. If the student is not making satisfactory academic progress according to those standards and practices, educational benefits will be discontinued for the student. Veteran and non-veteran students alike will be referred back to Student Services/Admissions for counseling to a program that may offer the possibility of success.
- Attendance reports must be submitted monthly to the schools' VA Certifying Official.
- Students must attend classes regularly; all absences will be recorded and maintained by the school. Veterans are allowed three (3) unexcused absences and three (3) excused absences within a calendar month. DVA will be notified when seven (7) absences and/or four (4) unexcused absences have been recorded within a calendar month and VA benefits will be terminated. All absences are considered unexcused unless otherwise documented. These criteria are considered excused absences: illness of self, illness or death of immediate family member, jury duty or active military service. Extenuating circumstances may occur. The Tech Director may waive the OCPS VA attendance policy once as long as the situation has been resolved and attendance from that point on is expected to be good. Documentation supporting absences must be given to the VA Certifying Official immediately upon student returning to school.
- Satisfactory attendance is defined as compliance with existing school attendance policy and the VA attendance policy. One may be stricter than the other. It is the students' responsibility to adhere to BOTH, in order to continue the educational program and receive monetary VA benefits.
- Satisfactory academic progress is defined as mastery of at least 60 percent of assigned program competencies for the particular evaluation period and an overall performance rating of average or above. Academic progress will be reviewed by a VA Certifying Official at the end of each nine week marking period or term.
- Two unsatisfactory report cards will result in termination of Veterans' Educational benefits for program enrolled.
- The DVA will be notified by the school's VA Certifying Official if the veteran does not maintain satisfactory academic progress or satisfactory attendance.
Reinstatement of Veteran Educational Benefits
VA Educational benefits discontinued due to unsatisfactory attendance may be reinstated upon completion of one calendar month of satisfactory attendance. VA Educational benefits discontinued due to unsatisfactory academic progress may be reinstated upon completion of a nine week marking period or term of satisfactory academic progress. Documentation must be in the student's file before VA benefits are reinstated.
Credit for Remediation
A VA benefited student may receive additional hours toward a program length for basic remediation that is required for program completion. The student may receive up to an additional 300 hours credit if the student is attending a program of 750 hours or greater in length. The student may receive up to an additional 150 hours credit if the student is attending a program less than 750 hours in length.
Credit for Previous Training
A VA benefited student is required to transfer previous training credits from an accredited institution to one of the Orange County Public Schools Career and Technical centers. Credit for previous training will be evaluated by the instructor and granted, if appropriate. Upon acceptance of the transfer credits, the training time may be reduced. The DVA and the student will be notified if previous training credit is granted. The evaluation will be performed within the first 90 days of enrollment.
Deferment of Fees
Any veteran or other eligible student who receives VA benefits may be granted a deferment, if warranted, once per academic year. If, however, there is a break in training or a delay in the receipt of VA benefits, an additional deferment may be granted. The veteran will make a partial payment based on the school's established procedures at the time of registration and the balance as scheduled by the Business Office. Failure to meet this obligation will result in the student being withdrawn from classes. For short term programs, balance is due no later than the last day of enrollment prior to receiving completion certificate. Deferments will not be granted when there are outstanding fees on a student's account.