1. What is financial aid?
Financial aid is federal or state financial assistance that comes in the form of (1) grants, which do not have to be paid back, (2) work-study, a part-time job on campus, (3) student loans, which are required to be repaid starting six months after you leave school, or drop below half-time. Students must be enrolled and attending classes in a Financial Aid-eligible program.
2. When do I apply for financial aid?
You can begin applying for financial aid in the January prior to the fall you plan to attend. The earlier you apply, the better, as some resources are limited and may run out. We encourage all students to apply as soon as they and their family complete their taxes for the previous year.
3. How do I know if I will be eligible for financial aid?
Never assume you will not be eligible! You will not know what types of financial aid you are eligible for until you apply. When you complete the FAFSA application process, you will be considered for Federal and State grants, loans and work-study. All students who meet general eligibility requirements will at least be eligible for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program.
4. How can I apply for financial aid?
You can apply for financial aid online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. At the end of the FAFSA, you will be prompted to electronically sign your application with your FSA ID. If you have a FSA ID, enter it. If not, click on the link FSA ID home page where you will be prompted to create your FSA ID. You will need your social security number and date of birth. If a parent is required to sign the FAFSA, one parent must also apply create a FSA ID.
5. How do I apply for HOPE?
You apply for HOPE by completing the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
6. What happens after I apply for financial aid?
The Federal Processor will process the FAFSA and will send you a Student Aid Report in the mail within two to four weeks. If you provided an email address on the FAFSA, the processor will email you the Student Aid Report. This report details the information that you provided and informs you of any corrections that need to be made. At the same time that you receive the Student Aid Report, the Financial Aid Office receives your information electronically as long as you listed SCTC as one of your school choices. Once we receive that file electronically, the Financial Aid Staff will determine if additional information or documentation is required, at which time, the staff will send you a letter indicating what is needed.
7. What school code do I list for Southern Crescent Technical College (SCTC)?
005621 for all SCTC Campuses
8. Do I need to get a PIN number?
No, you do not need a PIN number to apply for financial aid, but the PIN number will allow the processor to expedite your application. It will provide you additional options such as signing your application electronically, checking the status of your application online and making corrections to your application online. If you choose to take a student loan in the future, the PIN number can also be used as your electronic signature on that agreement.
9. What if I don’t have a computer to use to complete the FAFSA?
Each SCTC campus has computer areas available. If you or your parents don’t feel comfortable doing it electronically, there are paper Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Applications available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Complete and mail to the federal processor. However this process does take longer so if you need assistance the Office of Financial Aid at SCTC are more than willing to help.
10. What is a Renewal FAFSA?
If you have applied for financial aid this past year, you may be able to fill out a renewal FAFSA rather than a new FAFSA. The renewal FAFSA will include all of last year’s information. You just need to update your (and your family’s) income information and any data that has changed. If you have a PIN number, you can access your renewal FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. To request your PIN number, go to www.pin.ed.gov.
11. What is the deadline for applying for financial aid?
The sooner you apply, the more likely your funding will be available when you start school. SCTC requires you to have a complete financial aid file in order to defer your tuition for the semester. Your file must be completed while you are still enrolled and attending to be eligible for any funding. Student financial aid applicants are processed according to the date the FAFSA is received at SCTC and when the file is completed. Visit the Admissions page for admissions deadlines or how to apply.
12. What if my family income has changed since last year? How will they know?
You are required to use the tax information from the prior year on the FAFSA. If your (and/or your family’s) income information has changed significantly in the current year due to unemployment, death, divorce, medical expenses or other special circumstances, you may be eligible to be considered for a special circumstance or re-evaluation. After October 1, you can request a “Special Circumstance/Re-evaluation” form from the financial aid office and submit to them with documentation of the changes (pay stubs, more recent tax information, medical bills, or unemployment compensation payout report, etc…). The Financial Aid Office will then consider your current situation to determine if you will be eligible for more financial aid.
13. What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool? Why do I have to use this?
The IRS Data Retrieval tool is used to pull your IRS data from the IRS and plug it in directly to your FAFSA. The department of Education is no longer accepting Tax Return Forms. You now have to request a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript if selected for verification. You can get a copy of your transcript from www.irs.gov or by phone at 1-800-829-1040.
14. I don’t live with my parents. Do I have to have my parents complete their section on the FAFSA? Can I be considered independent?
Living on your own doesn’t automatically qualify you as an independent student. The Federal Government requires parents to complete their information and considers you a dependent until you are 24 years old, married, have dependents of your own that you provide more than 50% support for, are pursuing a graduate degree, are or were an orphan or ward of the court, or are a veteran of the US Armed Forces. If there are unusual circumstances, please discuss them with the Financial Aid Staff, and they will determine the best way for you to complete the FAFSA.
15. What is a SAR?
A SAR is a Student Aid Report. The report is provided by the Federal Processor and is a summary of the information you provided on the FAFSA. The SAR will be mailed to you if you sent your FAFSA through the mail and did not provide an email address on the FAFSA. If you filed your FAFSA electronically or provided an email address on the FAFSA, the SAR will be emailed to you. The report will also let you know if the application was rejected or if there are any problems with your application that require a correction be made.
16. What do I do with a SAR?
If everything on your SAR is correct, file it away for your records. There is nothing you need to do with it, but keep it available in case you want to add another college later.
17. How do I make a correction to my financial aid?
If you need to make a correction to your financial aid application before you receive your award notice, you can do so using the Student Aid Report by mailing it to the processor or by doing it on the FAFSA website at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you have already received your award letter, contact the financial aid office to determine if the correction is necessary.
18. I originally filled out my FAFSA with a different school listed. How do I add SCTC?
You can go online at www.fafsa.ed.gov to add SCTC to your FAFSA, school code 005621.
19. Will I need to fill out forms in addition to the FAFSA to receive financial aid?
If you are selected for a process called verification or the Financial Aid Office needs additional documentation to complete your file, you may need to fill out additional forms to receive financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will inform you of any documentation you need to submit. Students can also log into BannerWeb and check their ‘Student Requirements’ under the Finances tab.
20. Do I have to be a full-time student to receive financial aid? Should I bother to apply for financial aid if I am enrolled less than half time?
Students with exceptionally high need may be eligible for a Pell Grant as a less-than-half-time student. Complete the FAFSA, and your eligibility will be determined based on the results of the FAFSA and based on your enrollment status of full time (12 or more credits), three quarter time (9-11 credits), half time (6-8 credits) or less than half time (1-5 credits). The Financial Aid Office will automatically consider you for the Pell Grant and any other type of financial aid that you may be eligible for and will notify you in an award letter. Students must be enrolled at least 6 credits or more to be considered for state grants, work-study, and Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
21. I heard I have to be accepted into an “eligible” program of study to receive financial aid. What does that mean?
The federal and state regulations require a student to apply to the college and be accepted into an “eligible” program. At SCTC, all Associate Degree programs and one- and two-year Technical Diploma programs are considered eligible for federal and state funds. Heath Care Science and Health Care Assistant are two certificate programs that are eligible for both federal and state funds. All other certificate programs are not eligible for federal funds, but may be eligible for state funds (HOPE). .
22. How do I receive the money I am awarded?
First, you must provide all necessary requested documents to complete your file so your eligibility can be determined. Grants and Work-Study will be awarded in that order based on eligibility and availability. You will receive notice of the awards by mail and/or your SCTC student email. At the same time, they will be posted on BannerWeb under Financial aid/Awards. If students are interested in student loans, they MUST come in the office to complete an Acceptance Form. If you accept a student loan, you must complete the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling. Once the process is completed and you are enrolled for the minimum number of required credits, your financial aid will be applied to your student account as the funds are received. Your tuition and fees are then paid, and a refund (difference check), will be issued.
23. Will I have to pay back my financial aid if I withdraw from my program (classes)?
If a student completely withdraws from school (drops all classes) or quits attending before the 60% point in the semester, the student will be required to repay a portion of the aid he/she received for that semester. A Return of Title IV worksheet is completed using the amount of aid received and the withdrawal date to determine if any repayment is due. Students are notified by mail as to the repayment amount if necessary.
NOTE: It is important to consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawal to determine how your financial aid eligibility will be affected.
24. Do I have to pay back a Pell Grant?
There are reasons a student would have to pay back a Pell Grant. First, if a student drops courses which impact enrollment status (for example: full time to three-quarter time, etc.), their Pell Grant eligibility must be recalculated. If the student drops a class before it starts and receives 100% refund. If the student has not received their funds yet, the award will be recalculated, and the student will receive a “revised” award letter. If Pell funds have been credited to the account or disbursed, the student will be required to repay a portion of the Pell Grant. If a student withdraws from school (drops all classes) before the 60% point in the semester or quits attending, a Return of Title IV worksheet is completed using the amount of aid received and the last date attended to determine if any repayment is due. You will be notified by mail with the repayment amount if necessary.
25. How do I apply for state grants and scholarships?
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and indicate “Georgia” as your “State of Legal Residence”. If this question is left blank, you are not considered for state funds.
26. What is a SEOG?
A SEOG is a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. A limited amount of SEOG is appropriated to SCTC from the federal government every year to be awarded to the students with the highest financial need.
27. What is work-study?
The Federal College Work-Study program provides jobs to eligible financial aid students. It gives them the opportunity to earn money like a part-time job as well as gain valuable work experience. Most jobs are on campus and can offer more flexibility than a traditional part-time job in that your class schedule is considered when setting up your work hours. There are some off-campus jobs as well. Contact the work study representative on your campus if you have questions.
28. How do I apply for a work-study job?
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If jobs are available you will find them under SCTC Employment Page.
29. How much will I get per hour with a work-study job?
$8.00 per hour
30. What kind of work is available for a work-study job?
Work-study positions are available at each SCTC Campus. A limited number of off-campus opportunities may be available at non-profit sites such as tutoring elementary students various subjects.
31. Do I need to have good grades to receive financial aid?
Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) which is a cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) of 2.0 and complete at least 67% of their cumulative attempted credits. Withdrawals and in-progress grades will count against credits attempted. Students will be placed on Warning Status if they do not meet the standards at the end of the semester and will be suspended after two semesters of unsatisfactory progress. If the student’s lack of progress was due to extenuating circumstances, the student can submit a Petition/Appeal for Reinstatement of Financial Aid to the Satisfactory Academic Progress committee. The student may be required to complete an Academic Progress Plan.
32. Is there a limit on how long I can receive financial aid?
Satisfactory Progress Standards require students to complete their program before attempting more than 150% of the credits required for their graduation. Example: a program that requires 68 credits for graduation. 68 credits x 150% = 102. Students are not eligible for aid at the point when they cannot mathematically complete their program in the 150% timeframe. The Department of Education has set a 12-semester limit for full-time Pell Grants effective July 1, 2012. Other grant and scholarship programs may have their own limitations.
33. I’m taking classes at another college in addition to my classes at SCTC. Can I get financial aid there too?
You may only get financial aid at one college for each semester. You should request financial aid through your home college (the school you intend to graduate from). A Consortium Agreement can be used to include the credits from both schools. If SCTC is considered your home school, you should request your Consortium Agreement through the SCTC Financial Aid Office. If you are pursuing a degree at your other college, contact their Financial Aid Office to initiate a Consortium Agreement. Credits taken must apply toward graduation for your program of study.
34. Does the college take into account my living expenses when determining financial aid?
Yes, when determining the amount of financial aid you are eligible for, the Financial Aid Office assigns each student a budget, which includes tuition, fees, books, room and board, personal expenses, transportation, etc. Child care expenses, excessive transportation or disability-related expenses are not budgeted.
35. What if I decide to transfer to another college at the semester?
If you received financial aid at SCTC during the first semester and now want to transfer to another college at semester, it is important to notify the Financial Aid Office to cancel your funds for second semester. You will need to add your new college to the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov so they have your information to award you at that college.
36. How do I apply for scholarships?
Each scholarship has different criteria. Information about scholarships awarded by the SCTC Foundation is available online at Foundation Scholarships page. If you are still in high school, it is important to work with your high school counselor for information on scholarships for students entering college.
37. When do I pay back my loan?
Generally, you will begin paying back your loan six months after you graduate or drop below six credits.