Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) was awarded the S-STEM (Scholarships - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to serve financially needy, academically talented students through its Tech Stars Scholarship program. The program assists promising students in completing associate degrees in Automotive Technology, Engineering Technology, HVAC Technology, Machine Tool Technology and Network Systems Management. In addition to receiving funds for tuition, books, and supplies, Tech Stars are eligible to participate in an innovative loan-to-own laptop computer and MiFi hotspot or automotive diagnostic tool program. The purpose of the Tech Stars Scholarship program is to provide academic, and financial assistance so that eligible students may complete their academic programs.
Please read and check the below boxes to acknowledge you read each item and agree to the following requirements. You will be tested on your reading.
1. As a recipient of the Tech Stars Scholarship program, I understand that I must comply with the guidelines set forth in the National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM grant.
2. I am required to maintain a 3.0 GPA. If my GPA falls below a 3.0, I will be placed on Tech Star academic probation. I have a one-semester grace period to improve my GPA to a 3.0 or better. If I am successful in improving my GPA, I will be removed from academic probation. However, if I am unsuccessful in improving my GPA, I understand that I must relinquish the laptop computer or automotive tool to the Florence-Darlington Technical College Wellman Library and I will no longer receive Tech Stars Scholarship funds.
3. The purpose of the S-STEM/Tech Star Scholarship is to facilitate the on-time completion of my degree requirements, and I am expected to follow the course outline for my program as outlined in the FDTC catalog, which will require attending a summer semester. Dropping a course may jeopardize on-time completion of my degree, and I am required to notify my advisor and the SCATE Project Manager if I plan to drop a course. If it is determined that dropping the course will prevent the on-time completion of my degree, and I choose to drop the course anyway, I will be required to return the laptop and MiFi hotspot or automotive diagnostic tool and will no longer be eligible for the Tech Stars Scholarship.
4. If I fail a class that has been paid for by the Tech Stars Scholarship, regardless of the effect on my cumulative GPA, I will be expected to pay to retake that class. The Tech Stars Scholarship fund will not pay for me to repeat the class.
5. At the end of each semester, I am required to return the Tech Stars tools: laptop and MiFi hotspot or automotive diagnostic tool to the Wellman Library for inventory purposes. I am expected to return my laptop or tool by the last day of exams.
6. If I receive a laptop computer I am also eligible to request a loaned MiFi hotspot for use while I am pursuing my associate degree in Engineering Technology, HVAC Technology, Machine Tool Technology or Network Systems Management (does not apply to Automotive Technology).
7. I must maintain a full-time course load, unless I am in my last semester before graduation, or unless I have received prior permission to take fewer than 12 full-time credit hours. An example of an exception for which I would receive permission to enroll in fewer than 12 credit hours would be when the number of hours specified for my program during that semester was fewer than 12.
8. Demonstrated financial need is a requirement of the S-STEM grant and to demonstrate need I must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form for each school-calendar year that I am enrolled. Failure to complete a FAFSA for the fall semester by June 30 will result in the loss of my scholarship and forfeiture of the laptop computer.
9. A change in my financial status may result in the loss of Tech Stars Scholarship and the laptop or automotive tool if I can no longer demonstrate financial need, per the federal government’s formula. If recalculation of the formula by the federal government results in a change to my financial need status, the Tech Stars Scholarship will remain in effect through graduation, provided I have adhered to all other stipulations as outlined in this document, and I have been a Tech Stars Scholarship recipient for at least two semesters.
10. Tech Star funds will be applied after any and all other Financial Aid and Scholarships, such as Pell or LIFE, have been applied. Funds will be placed in my bookstore account at the beginning of each semester. In addition to funds for books, I will receive a stipend for supplies for my classes. I must be registered for at least 12 hours each semester for my bookstore account to be updated. Failure to register full-time by the first day of class will result in a delay in having my bookstore account updated.
11. At the end of my final semester as a Tech Star, I am required to return the loan-to-own laptop computer, MiFi hotspot, or automotive tool to the Wellman Library at FDTC. After the Tech Stars Management team has verified the completion of my degree requirements and the fulfillment of all financial or other obligations to the college, I will be notified that I have completed the loan-to-own requirements and will be asked to complete the ownership transfer form.
12. Failure of a graduate to complete the ownership transfer form within 60 days of the last day of exams of the graduate's final semester in the program for which the Tech Stars scholarship applied will result in permanent forfeiture of the graduate's option to gain ownership of a Tech Stars laptop computer or automotive tool.
13. The operating system disks will remain the property of SC ATE/FDTC until the transfer of ownership upon graduation. It is a violation of Tech Star policy to disable FDTC’s administrative rights by changing computer settings.
14. Consent to Participate in Research: You will be asked to participate in the research and evaluation activities required to investigate and demonstrate program impact. These activities will involve completion of surveys, one-on-one or group interviews, and review of secondary data as it relates to your participation (e.g., attendance rates, demographic data, mentoring). During these data collection activities, you will be asked to describe your perceptions of the program and your ideas for improving the program. You will receive no payment for your participation. Your participation in this project is voluntary - you may decide to leave the study at any time. You may also refuse to answer any questions you do not want to answer and still remain in the study. I understand the research process and I agree to participate in this student impact study.
15. Consent for Photo Release: I consent to being photographed and to the recording and broadcast of reproduction of my voice and likeness, performance and/or talents, and any material produced, as a participant in the Tech Stars project. I consent to being interviewed and to the use of my name, position, statements, and quotes in promotional or advertising material for the SCATE Center of Excellence. My name and likeness may be used in advertising and promotional material for the Project. I represent that I am eighteen (18) years of age or older and have the right to enter into this agreement.
I have read and understand the S-STEM/Tech Star Scholarship Compliance Document.