Pre-Admissions Testing Services

The College expects every student to complete an admissions test prior to registering for more than 10 hours. These students must submit Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), American College Testing (ACT), Assessment of Skills for Successful Entry Transfer (ASSET) or Computerized Adaptive Placement and Support System (COMPASS). 

If a student's scores prior to enrollment in most college courses do not satisfy the Basic Studies Requirement (see definition above), he/she will be advised to enroll in appropriate basic studies courses.

Get Adobe Reader COMPASS FAQs is in Adobe .pdf format.
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All new students are expected to attend an on-campus orientation session. In the future this may become a virtual orientation session. You will receive a letter indicating the dates of the orientation sessions. During this session, you will receive information about housing, financial aid, grading procedures, graduation, graduation requirements, and campus security.

This year, orientation for all new students for the Fall of 2006 will be held August 15th

Other Programs

Chapter 32 VEAP - Veterans Education Assistance Program

This program is for veterans who first entered active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985. Contributions to the education fund must have been made by March 31, 1987. Active duty personnel were offered the opportunity to convert to the present Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) by contributing unused VEAP funds. Participants had to elect to convert between November 1, 2000 and October 31, 2001.

Work Study

Any student receiving VA educational benefits and attending at least 3/4 time may apply for this program. There must be a vacancy available, however, at the desired work-site. For the work-site to be approved by the VA, the job must be primarily VA related. VA Form 22-8691 (Application for Work-Study Allowance) must be submitted to the VA work-study coordinator at the Muskogee Regional Office. A copy of the current enrollment certification should accompany the application. The VA pays federal minimum wage or state minimum wage, whichever is greater. Active Duty personnel are not eligible.

Tutorial Assistance

Students receiving VA benefits may qualify for tutorial assistance, if the instructor of the course verifies that tutoring is essential to satisfactorily complete the course. The tutor must meet departmental qualifications and cannot be related to the applicant. 

The VA will reimburse the applicant for charges considered reasonable and customary. The tutor must verify the dates and hours of the tutoring sessions and provide receipt of payment from the student. To apply, students must complete VA Form 22-1990t (Application and Enrollment Certification for Individualized Tutorial Assistance) and submit documentation to the VA for reimbursement. 

There is no charge against the student’s basic entitlement for the first $600. Charges over $600, however, will reduce the recipient’s entitlement equal to the amount received by the recipient’s full-time payment rate for schooling ($1,200 is the maximum allowed).

Tuition Assistance Top UP

Students who have been on active duty for two years may also be eligible to use MGIB to supplement, or “top up,” their Tuition Assistance (TA). Top-up covers the remaining percentage of costs approved for TA that TA alone does not cover, up to specified limits. For more information on “Top-Up” please refer to the VA website (www.va.gov).

Tuition Assistance

Must be approved by the student’s branch of service. With documentation, the military will pay up to 75 percent. Students can make arrangements with the Office of Bursar Operations to set up deferment for the amount the military will pay. 

The military will request documentation (e.g., fee bill, schedule, transcript, etc,) to determine the amount they will pay. The Office of Veterans Affairs will assist only as a liaison in this matter.

What you need to do to get your benefits started

Students need to contact the Office of Veterans Affairs in person, by telephone or e-mail to request processing of enrollment certifications. 

Students need to officially request benefits by completing a VA “Fact Sheet” each semester they wish to claim benefits. By completing the fact sheet each semester, students will provide our office with current information regarding addresses, degree objectives, etc.

If Advance Pay is requested, we must send students’ enrollment certifications to the VA at least 30 days prior to the beginning date of the semester. We will need the student’s signatures on VA Form 22-1999 (Enrollment of Certification) blocks 13 A and 13 B. Please be aware that SouthArk cannot certify your enrollment if you are not admitted or preregistered. Requests for advance pay are not guaranteed. If students opt for advance pay, the VA will pay for the first two months of the semester (pro-rated if not a full-month) and the next payment will be sent after the third month. 

Advance Pay is mailed c/o SouthArk Office of Veterans Affairs, and you will be notified of its arrival by letter or phone call. Students need to report to the SouthArk Office of Veterans Affairs with a picture ID to claim their checks. We cannot release checks that arrive more than 30 days before the beginning of the term or if students cancel their registrations.

Correspondence Study

Students taking correspondence courses through the Office of Independent Study must contact that office (225/578-3170) to request enrollment certification. To receive VA benefits, the courses in which qualified students enroll must apply to their declared degree programs. 

SouthArk students must obtain the approval of the dean of their college to enroll in correspondence courses. Non-SouthArk students must obtain verification that correspondence courses will apply toward their degree programs from the Veterans Certifying Official at their home institutions.

Other Services

If students are eligible for benefits, but are unable to pay their tuition and fees by the due date, the Office of Bursar Operations may authorize 100 percent deferment of fees. To obtain a deferment, students need to report to the SouthArk Office of Veterans Affairs. Students receiving a deferment must be aware that they are responsible for their fees because the VA does not send payments directly to SouthArk.

Students receiving VA education benefits, and applying for financial aid, will be requested to provide their award letters. The SouthArk Office of Veterans Affairs will contact the VA to confirm accurate benefit information, and will forward that information to the Office of Student Aid and Scholarships. Students may request this service by mail, telephone, e-mail or in person.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for financial aid?

The very first step is to complete the FAFSA. This is done online at www.fafsa.gov. Once you have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) you will receive a 1 page Student Aid Report (SAR) back from the Department of Education. The school(s) you listed on the FAFSA will receive an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR). When we receive the ISIR, we will send a request for additional information needed to complete your financial aid file. Complete any requested forms/letters and return them to the financial aid department as soon as possible. Once we have the results of the FAFSA and a complete financial aid file we will determine your eligibility for financial aid. If you are eligible, we will send you an Award Notification Postcard instructing you to view your award letter on CampusConnect (see #3 below regarding this).

What is a FAFSA, how di I fill it out and why do I need it fill it out?

FAFSA is an acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is used to gather information on you &/or your parents by which your eligibility for aid can be determined. The FAFSA is online, but a worksheet to assist you is available for download or you can pick one up in the Financial Aid Office. Be sure to apply for a PIN (Personal Identification Number) in order to electronically sign the FAFSA. You (and at least one parent for dependent students) must have a PIN for the FAFSA to be processed. If you do not have a PIN, be sure to print the signature page and mail it immediately as instructed on the form. If you do not complete the FAFSA, you will not be eligible for any federal Title IV aid (this includes student loans). At first glance, the FAFSA Worksheet can seem a bit intimidating, but in actuality there are only 4 pages of the worksheet and some instructions. Read the instructions carefully, fill out ALL the questions you know the answers to, then, if you still need help with the worksheet or the online portion, the financial aid office will be glad to assist you. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the FAFSA Online worksheet and key it in. You will need to have a copy of your tax return and other amounts of income in order to fill it out.

When will I know if I am eligible for financial aid?

When you send in your FAFSA the school will receive an ISIR based on the information you submitted. Upon receiving the ISIR, we will send you a letter requesting additional information. Please fill out and return all requested materials within 3 weeks. After receiving ALL information back from you & if you are eligible, we will send you an award notification postcard informing you that your aid package (which is a detailed listing of the financial aid for which you are eligible) is ready for you to view and accept or decline. This is done via the CampusConnect system. If you need assistance with logging into CampusConnect or need to obtain your CampusConnect username and password, please contact the Enrollment Services Office. The whole process can take as long as 6 weeks!!!

How do I apply for a loan?

The first step in applying for a loan is to complete the FAFSA (see #2 above).  Once we have the ISIR back, (usually 1- 2 weeks) we can begin to determine your eligibility for all aid, including loans.  To determine your eligibility, you must have a complete financial aid file. The next step is to complete a loan application, a Master Promissory Note (MPN), and if this is your first direct loan the entrance interview.  The Entrance Interview may be completed at http://mappingyourfuture.org and the MPN can be completed at www.studentloan.gov.  You will need your FAFSA PIN in order to complete the MPN process.  Once we have received a completed loan application and confirmation of your completed entrance counseling interview, we will complete a Needs Analysis to determine your eligibility for a loan.  The proceeds may be disbursed in 2 installments per semester (subject to change without notice) and can be picked up in the Bookstore.  (See #7 below for information regarding whether your loan check is in). The government will not send any loan proceeds until they have received a completed MPN.

Has my pell grant been approved?

Technically, there is no such thing as a person's pell grant being "approved" or "disapproved".  A student's eligibility for a Pell Grant, or any other federal/state financial aid is determined primarily from the information submitted on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  When SouthArk receives the results of the FAFSA, we determine if the student is, or is not, eligible for a Pell grant and/or other federal/state aid.  This is done per federal and state guidelines.  Once the determination has been made, SouthArk will send the student an award notification postcard notifying them that their eligibility has been determined.  The student then should log into CampusConnect, go under Student Information, and then "accept/decline aid package".  Students should indicate which awards they will accept by checking the appropriate box and clicking submit at the bottom. (see #3 above regarding eligibility for financial aid).

Has my pell grant check come in yet?

The terminology "pell grant check" is a bit mis-leading.  There really is not any such thing as a "pell grant check".  What most students mean when they ask this question is, "Has my refund been processed and is the check ready to be picked up?"   If a student receives financial aid in excess of their tuition, fees, and books, the Business Office will process a refund check.  Refund checks will be available around the midpoint of the semester.  Notices will be posted on all campuses and sent via email when checks are available to be picked up in the Bookstore.  You must present proper I.D. to pick up a refund check.

Is my loan check in yet?

First, be sure that you have actually applied for a loan. (See #4 above on applying for a loan)  Many students think they have applied for a loan when they fill out the FAFSA.  However, the loan application is totally separate from the FAFSA.  The proceeds may be disbursed in 2 installments per semester (Subject to change without notice).  A letter stating the amount & date of a student's loan disbursement will be mailed when the funds are received at the school.  It takes AT LEAST 7 to 10 business days from the date on the letter (and sometimes as many as 14 days) for loan refund checks to be ready for pickup in the Bookstore.  Notices will be posted on all campuses when the first loan refund checks are available to be picked up.

How do I apply for a Federal College Work Study (CWS) job?

The first step in applying for CWS is to fill out the FAFSA (see #2 above).  Once we have the results, we will inform you of your eligibility for CWS in your award package.  Students will interview with the potential employer.  If hired, you must provide us a copy of your driver's license and social security card and complete payroll documents (available in the Financial Aid Office) before you can begin working under the CWS program.  You must also view an instructional powerpoint further explaining the FWS Program and the Do's & Don'ts.  You may also be required to complete an Employability Skills Assessment in the Testing Center.

Can I receive financial aid in the summer?

POSSIBLY. You may be able to receive financial aid in the summer if two conditions are met: 1) you still meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements &; 2) if there are available funds for which you are eligible.  You must also complete the Summer Enrollment Intention Form available in the Financial Aid Office.  There will be notices posted on all campuses & sent via student email when this form is available (usually sometime in April).  If you meet the two conditions listed above, we must then determine what funds are available for which you are eligible.  There are many sources of aid that may be available such as Pell grant, work study, SEOG &/or loans.

How do I know what scholarships I am eligible for and how do I apply for them?

SouthArk has many institutional and Foundation scholarships available.  A complete list of scholarships and the qualifications for them can be found on SouthArk's website (www.southark.edu).  In order to apply for scholarships, you must complete the All-In-One Online Application also located on the SouthArk webpage.  The priority deadline is March 1st.  You can also check the internet for other scholarships.  Check with the financial aid office for a list of some of the best sites available.  General scholarship announcements are sent to students via the SouthArk All-Students email system.

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