The Financial Aid Office has developed a list of frequently asked questions for your reference.
1. What types of financial aid are available at Faulkner State Community College?
As a student at FSCC, you may qualify for federal, state and local financial aid including the: Federal Pell Grant; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG); Federal Work Study Program; Federal Direct Stafford Loan; and Federal Direct PLUS Loan; Alabama Student Assistance Programs and Faulkner State Local Scholarships.
2. How do I know if it is worth applying for financial aid?
Unfortunately, that’s not an easy question to answer. Because many factors (e.g. household size, number of family members in college, income, certain assets, etc.) are considered in the determination of your eligibility for financial aid, it is difficult to estimate your eligibility based on income alone. The Financial Aid Office recommends that every student apply for financial aid at least once to have his or her eligibility reviewed. Keep in mind that, in general, any accepted student is eligible for some type of financial assistance (e.g. Federal Stafford Loans) regardless of his or her calculated financial need.
3. How do I apply for Financial Aid?
To apply for both federal and local financial aid programs, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students need to complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. More information about the FSCC financial aid application process can be found at http://www.faulknerstate.edu/financial-aid
The Personal Identification Number (PIN) is a government assigned number used to sign the FAFSA on the web. You must obtain a PIN if you are classified as a student. Also, your parent is required to obtain a PIN if you are classified as a dependent student. To apply for the PIN, click here: http://www.pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/pinindex.jsp.
5. The FAFSA asks for the Faulkner State Community College’s Federal School Code. What is it?
The Faulkner State Community College’s Federal School Code is 00106000.
6. What are the application deadlines or suggested completion dates for the filing of a FAFSA?
Students are able to complete the FAFSA beginning January 1st of the year they will enroll in college (e.g. January 1, 2013 for the 2013-2014 academic year). The Financial Aid Office recommends that students complete the FAFSA as early as possible after filing of the students (parents) federal income taxes. Any required financial aid forms (example: verification orms if necessary) should be completed each year by July 1st. This allows for processing time, financial aid normally takes 4 to 6 weeks to process completely. Students must file the FAFSA each and every year that they attend college.
7. How do I make corrections to my SAR?
The SAR is the student aid report. It is the output document that a student receives from filing the FAFSA. On this document a student can find out their EFC (expected family contribution) and whether they are PELL Grant eligible. It also lets a student know of loan eligibility.
Students sometimes make errors in the filing of the FASFA. Corrections to a SAR can be made by logging into the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov and selected the “Start Here” link. Enter student’s name, social security number, date of birth and select the “next” tab and choose “Make FAFSA Corrections.” Resubmit the FAFSA once your corrections are made the financial aid office will receive the new SAR in 3 to 5 days.
8. My parent(s) can’t help me with college expenses. Does that mean I’ll receive more money?
Financial aid programs are based on the belief that students (and their parents or spouses, if applicable) have primary responsibility for paying their educational expenses. If you are a dependent student, your parent’s inability to assist you with expenses should be evident from the information you and your parent provide on the FAFSA form. Although it may mean a significantly increased amount of debt, which should be carefully considered, most students can cover their educational expenses with the help of available financial aid programs.
9. Does applying as an independent student increase my financial aid eligibility?
The financial aid eligibility of an independent student is determined solely from a review of his or her own (and spouse’s, if applicable) information as reported on the FAFSA. It is important to note that a student cannot simply decide to file as an independent student. He or she must meet one of the criteria for financial aid purposes to be considered independent. For the 2012-2013 academic year, you are independent for financial aid purposes if at least one of the following applies:
- You were born before January 1, 1989 ( for the 2012-2013 academic year);
- you’re enrolled in a graduate or professional educational program (beyond a bachelor’s degree);
- you’re married;
- you’re currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training;
- you’re a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces;
- you have children for whom you will provide more than half support from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013;
- you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) for whom you provide more than half support, now and through June 30, 2013.
- at any time since you turned age 13, both your parents were deceased, you were in foster care OR you were a dependent or ward of the court;
- you are or were an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence;
- you are or were in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence;
- at any time on or after July 1, 2010, your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless;
- at any time on or after July 1, 2010, the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless; OR
- at any time on or after July 1, 2010, the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.
10. I was selected for federal verification. What does that mean?
Verification is a process the Department of Education uses to make sure that the information reported on the FAFSA is accurate and true. Some FAFSA applications are selected because of inconsistent information and others are chosen at random. For applications that are selected, the Financial Aid Office requests copies of a student’s and parents’ (if dependent) federal tax transcripts and W-2s as well as completion of a verification form and other documents as needed. The Financial Aid Office then compares information on the tax transcripts and other documents to the FAFSA and corrects any errors. The student is notified of any corrections made and the effect the changes have had on his or her aid eligibility. For more information about verification, go to the FSCC website: http://www.faulknerstate.edu/financial-aid
11. Our family has special circumstances (e.g. recent loss or reduction of income, loss of a significant other, etc.). Can the Financial Aid Office consider these circumstances when reviewing my eligibility for financial aid?
Please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss any special circumstances you feel might affect the amount you and your family can contribute toward your educational expenses. A staff member will determine whether your eligibility for financial aid can be reevaluated due to your family’s special circumstances.
12. When will I know how much financial aid I am eligible to receive?
The Financial Aid Office begins sending Financial Aid Award Letters mid-May. Financial aid is a process and processing takes time. From the time the college receives the FASFA to the time a student is awarded can take 4 to 6 weeks, most students are awarded in 10 to 15 business days. Transfer students are awarded once they pay their admission deposit and after FSCC receives and evaluates their final college transcripts.
13. What information is included with my award letter?
Award letters include all the aid that a student is eligible to receive. Pell Grants and Direct Loans are included. Also, the letter contains important cost information and instructions on what to do next. It also explains what a student needs to do to receive their awarded Direct Stafford Loan. The information on your award letter can be found also at the INTERACT log in on the FSCC website: https://fscc.faulknerstate.edu/online.html.
14. What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans? What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans?
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are need-based loans available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time. The government pays the interest to the lender on behalf of qualified borrowers for as long as students are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program and for six months thereafter, at which time repayment of the principal and interest must begin. Payment is deferred if the student returns to school.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are non-need-based loans available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time. The government does not pay the interest to lenders on behalf of the borrowers. Repayment of the interest is the student’s responsibility from the date the loan is disbursed and may be paid or capitalized (added) to the principal balance of the loan. Repayment of principal does not begin until six months after the student drops below half-time. Payment is deferred if the student returns to school.
In addition, interest rates on subsidized and unsubsidized loans may vary.
To apply for a student loan go to:https://studentloans.gov. Students must do both the entrance counseling and the Master Promissory Note to be eligible for the Direct Stafford Loans. The student will need their PIN number that was used to file the FAFSA.
Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are for dependent students. These loans are the parents responsibility to repay not the student. Students who are eligible may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid. The repayment period will begin within 60 days of full receipt of loan. A student must apply for Federal Student Aid before he/she can apply for a PLUS Loan. Parents can apply for the Plus loan at studentloan.gov. Also a parent will need to do a credit check. This can be accomplish by clicking on the link ‘Complete Plus Request Process.’
16. I don’t need the entire Federal Direct Stafford (or Direct PLUS) Loan Amount that’s been approved. How can I reduce the loan amount?
17. Where can I find a list of all my student loans?
You can find information about your federal (i.e. Title IV) student loans by logging into the National Student Loan Data System at nslds.ed.gov. You may use the web site to make inquiries about your federal loans and/or federal grants (e.g. Pell). You can also find information on loan and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses, and disbursements. In addition, the site lists the names your loan servicers and organizations that send bills, collect loan payments, process requests for deferment of payment, etc. At this time, there is no single web site where you can obtain information on all your private, alternative loans. However, information about those loans may be reflected on your credit report.
18. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Federal financial aid regulations require that a school establish satisfactory academic progress standards for students applying for, or receiving financial aid. These regulations require that the financial aid office review all periods of a student’s enrollment history, regardless of whether financial aid was received, to determine if a student is making academic progress towards an educational goal, for more information please go to: http://www.faulknerstate.edu/financial-aid/forms.