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How to Apply for Financial Aid

graduation cap made of moneyFinancial Aid is funding that will help you and your family meet college expenses such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc. The basic sources of aid are grants, scholarships, employment, and loans. Grants and scholarships are gift aid and do not have to be repaid.

You and your parents (if you are considered a dependent student on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA) are considered the primary source of funding for these costs. Financial aid is intended to fill the gaps where you and your parents might fall short in paying for your education.

Steps to apply for financial aid at CVCC:

1. Submit the FAFSA
All students who wish to be considered for federal and state financial aid and need-based scholarships must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). We strongly encourage you to apply online at it is easier and quicker than mailing your application in to the federal processor. However, if you want the paper form, you may download it and mail to the address provided.

Students who submitted a FAFSA for the current year should receive a Renewal FAFSA directly from the federal government to be used to reapply for aid for the upcoming year. The FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA should be completed on paper as soon as your taxes are done after January 1 for the upcoming academic year.

CVCC's priority filing dates for the federal processing center to receive your FAFSA are posted under target dates. Click on the link on the left menu above. Students whose FAFSAs are received by the priority filing date are given first consideration for some federal and state financial aid programs that have limited funds. (The priority date is a suggested filing date, not a deadline.)

CVCC's school code for the FAFSA is 005318.

2. Retain the printout of your confirmation page after submitting your FAFSA online
This printout is your proof that you applied. Remember to mail your signature page immediately after submitting your FAFSA online (if you don't have a PIN). Save to your computer a copy of the FAFSA submitted online or retain a copy of the paper FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA for your file. Also, be sure to retain copies of your/your parents' tax returns and W2's, and 1099's, in case they are requested later. (Do not send tax returns or other documentation with your FAFSA.)

3. Watch for FAFSA results
After submitting your FAFSA online (or four weeks after mailing the paper FAFSA), you should receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) indicating that your FAFSA has been processed and sent to the institutions you designated. Check the SAR for accuracy, and make sure that CVCC is listed as a recipient of your information. If CVCC is listed as a recipient of your data, that information should be transmitted electronically to the institution for review.

4. Watch your CVCC email--submit all requested paperwork
Upon receipt of your electronic FAFSA data from the federal processing center, you will receive an email requesting documents needed to complete your file. Submit all requested documentation within 2 weeks of date of the email. You may be asked to submit copies of tax returns or other documentation to complete your financial aid application.  Respond promptly to these requests (and any follow-up requests) to assure timely processing of your application.

5. Award notifications
Award notifications are emailed to those students whose files are complete and who are eligible for federal and /or state grants. We will not email an award notification until a student has met all of the admission requirements and provided all documentation that we have requested. We begin awarding for the following fall semester by early May.

AWARD CONDITIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Be sure to read the materials accompanying your award letter for conditions attached to your award.

LOANS: Applying for loans requires an extra step in the process; you must request a loan at the Financial Aid Office. We will not automatically award a loan to you. You can apply for federal direct loans after all follow-up paperwork has been submitted to the Financial Aid Office. 

6. Financial Aid Disbursement
Financial aid is awarded by the Financial Aid Office, but is disbursed by the CVCC Business Office. Aid awards made for the academic year are usually disbursed in two installments, one each semester, assuming you are registered for the number of hours on which your financial aid award was based. If your award is made after the semester has begun, you will be sent an award notification email, which will indicate when funds will be disbursed to you. The CVCC Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is located in the Student Services Building on the CVCC main campus. 

2550 US HIGHWAY 70 SE • HICKORY, NC • 28602-8302 • 828.327.7000
Updated 04.27.2015: Content Editor