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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for financial aid?  
To be considered for any type of federal, state, or need-based financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (RFAFSA).  You can submit the FAFSA or RFAFSA anytime between January 1 and June 30 of the following year. The priority filing dates can be accessed by clicking on the target dates link.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?  
Yes. Financial need is determined each academic year. Therefore, you must complete a new FAFSA or RFAFSA each academic year.  

What information is needed to complete a FAFSA?  
An applicant will need to use data from the last year's IRS form 1040, 1040A or 1040 EZ. If the 1040 was not saved, an applicant can request a "tax return transcript" from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-1040. If W2's are also needed, specifically request that they also include your W2 information.

Why do I have to report my parent(s)' income?  
Financial aid is based on the principle that students and their parents have the primary responsibility for paying for their postsecondary education. That is why you may be required to report your parent(s)' income. However, the federal government will consider a student independent of their parents if one of the following requirements is met: you are 24 years old; married; enrolled in a graduate program (ex., Master's or doctorate); have legal dependents other than spouse; are an orphan or ward of the court; or you are a veteran. Self-sufficiency is not considered a reason for being considered independent. A parent's refusal to assist a student is not a condition to qualify a student for independent status. 

I still live at home with my parents, but they won't give me the information I need to apply for aid. How can I apply for aid? Can I be considered an independent student?
If parents refuse to cooperate in the application process, there is no way for the student to apply for financial aid. The FAO staff is willing to talk to the parents to try to convince them, but if they refuse, no alternative exists. A student in this situation will not be considered to be independent.

Can I get financial aid if I attend less than full-time?  
Yes. All Pell Grant awards are based on full-time status (12 credit hours or more). However, if you attend less than 12 credit hours your Pell Grant will be prorated down to the number of hours you are attending. Some students could be eligible for a small Pell Grant if they are enrolled less than six credit hours (depending on eligibility). You may also be able to receive some other types of aid if you attend less than full-time. You must enroll for at least six credit hours or more to receive a Stafford Loan.

When will I get my financial aid funds?  
If you have aid in excess of your tuition/fees and bookstore charges, the remaining funds will be disbursed after all semester charges have been made. Your refund will be disbursed to you based on how you set up your CVCC HigherOne Card.

How does withdrawing from classes affect my financial aid?  
Federal and State regulations require that students receiving financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress.  One requirement is that each student must complete at least 67% of the total cumulative credit hours attempted (e.g., 50 attempted credit hours, student must complete at least 33). Therefore, withdrawals, failing grades, and incompletes will count against you. Also, if you completely withdraw from college before the 60% point of the semester, you may be required to return all or part of the aid awarded to you.

Can I apply for financial aid if I haven't applied for admission? 
Yes.  Since applying for financial aid is an extended process, you need to begin applying as soon as possible.  However, the school will not receive the results of your FAFSA application until you have actually applied for admission to the college.  Therefore, it is beneficial to complete both processes at the same time.  All admission requirements must be met before financial aid is awarded.

I am taking classes at two different schools in one semester.  Can I get financial aid from both schools during one semester?
No.  Federal regulations prohibit students from receiving financial aid from two schools during one semester.  You must receive financial aid from the institution in which you will be receiving your degree.

Are all programs of study eligible for financial aid?  
No. A program must be at least 16 total credit hours in length, and must lead to a degree, diploma or certificate in order to be eligible for financial aid. Special credit and undecided students are not eligible for financial aid.

How is academic progress measured for financial aid recipients?  
Financial aid recipients must make progress toward graduation both by maintaining the minimum GPA requirements and by completing 67% of all hours attempted as specified in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards. Each aid recipient receives information of the Standards with his/her original Financial Aid Award Notification.

Are adult high school students able to receive a Pell Grant?  
To be eligible for any type of financial aid, including a Pell Grant, you must have a high school diploma or GED.  

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Updated 06.13.2012: Financial Aid