FINANCIAL AID FAQ

Financial Aid FAQ

Q?

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

A:

 

 

To apply for Federal Financial Aid, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.gov.  You must also have an HCC admissions application on file to be considered for any aid.  You must reapply for aid each school year.

Q?

I support myself, so why can’t I be considered “Independent” on the FAFSA?

A:

You are not considered independent for the FAFSA simply because your parents are not financially supporting you.  To be considered an independent student on the FAFSA you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • 24 years old
  • Married
  • Have dependents of your own that you financially support
  • Active duty service member or veteran
  • Orphan, Ward of the Court, or in Foster care after the age of 13
  • Emancipated minor or in legal guardianship of someone other than your parents
  • Homeless or at risk of being homeless as determined by your high school  or a director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program

Other special circumstances may be considered.  You must contact your Financial Aid Advisor to discuss your specific situation.

Q?

When will my financial aid be processed?

A:

You should allow 7-10 days for processing.  While your FAFSA may have processed at the Department of Education, we must electronically retrieve and review those files before we will contact you.

Q?

How is my eligibility determined?

A:

Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid is determined for students who annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Award packages are determined as early as March of each calendar year for the upcoming academic year for early applicants. Awarding continues as Financial Aid applications are processed. A student is eligible only for those Federal programs that have funds available at the time your file is fully processed and the student meets eligibility guidelines.

Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid is determined according to Federal guidelines and College policies. The following key concepts are used in this determination;

    • Cost of Attendance (COA)- an estimate of your anticipated costs for the term(s) you are awarded. It includes your costs only, not costs for other family members. HCC estimates your costs for the following allowable components in the COA: tuition/fees, books/supplies, room/board, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. Your actual costs may vary.
       

    • Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)- based on information you reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or other documentation collected by the Office of Financial Aid (OFA). It represents the amount the Federal Government has determined you and your family can afford to pay toward your COA.
       

    • Need- the difference between your COA and EFC. The office of Financial Aid will attempt to meet your need with a combination of available funding sources; however, we are not always able to meet every student's financial need. With the exception of Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), your total Financial Aid award package cannot exceed your documented Financial need. Unsubsidized Federal Direct or PLUS loans may be used to replace your EFC.

Q?

How will I be notified that you have received my FAFSA?

A:

We will notify you that we have received your FAFSA through your Dragon Zone email account.  We will also notify you of your financial aid awards and other important financial aid information by email. Please check your Dragon Zone email on a regular basis so you don’t miss any important notices regarding your Financial Aid.

Q?

What is verification and why have I been selected?

A:

If you’re selected for verification, don’t assume you’re being accused of doing anything wrong. The Department of Education randomly selects files for review to ensure accuracy in the application process. All you need to do is provide the documentation being requested in a timely manner.   If you do not provide the requested documentation, your aid may be delayed or canceled altogether.

Q?

My award letter shows a full time award. What if I'm not attending full time?

A:

Estimated award notifications are based on full time enrollment. Actual awards are posted to student accounts based on the following enrollment criteria:

Full time

12 or more credit hours per semester

3/4 time

9-11 credit hours per semester

1/2 time

6-8 credit hours per semester

<1/2 time

less than 6 credit hours per semester


You must be in at least 6 credit hours to be eligible for a Federal Student Loan, College Work-Study, or FSEOG. If you are eligible for Pell, your grant will be prorated based on your enrollment status.

Note: The amount of your award is an estimate based on information you supplied on your FAFSA. Actual amounts may be re-calculated. Adjustments may be required.

Q?

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Student Loan?

A:

After you have been notified that your file is complete and has been awarded, you may request a student loan by completing the Loan Request Worksheet available in the forms section of the Financial Aid web site at www.hutchcc.edu/financial-aid.  Please allow 7-10 days for loan processing. 

First time borrowers must also complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov

The table below outlines the federal limits on student loans.

Freshman Loan Limits
(0 -23 credit hours earned)

Sophomore Loan Limits(24 or more credit hours earned)

Federal Undergraduate
Aggregate Loan Limits

Dependent

Dependent

Dependent

$5,500.00 per year

$6,500.00 per year

$23,000 subsidized, $31,000 total

(only 3,500. may be subsidized)

(only 4,500. may be subsidized)

 



 

Q?

I am receiving awards that do not appear on my award letter. What do I do?

A:

If you have been awarded grants, scholarships, loans or other aid programs that do not appear on your award notification, the award MUST be reported to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Failure to report grants, scholarships, or other aid may result in the partial or full loss of all financial aid, and may result in the repayment of funds awarded.

Q?

Why has my award letter been revised?

A:

Adjustments may occur when you receive a reduction in your costs (i.e., waiver of non-resident tuition rates)or when you receive additional resources not previously included in your aid package (i.e., scholarships, loans, etc). When any part of your need calculation changes, the Financial Aid Office must re-evaluate your eligibility for all aid programs included in your award package.

Q?

When will I receive my refund?

A:

Refunds are based on certification dates that are found on your class schedule. There is a refund schedule posted on our website as well as your Dragon Zone account. 

Q?

What happens if I completely fail or withdraw from a term?

A:

If you withdraw or fail classes, you may put your financial aid eligibility at risk.  Federal regulations require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.  You can find HCC’s SAP Policy here:  www.hutchcc.edu/administration/financial-aid/satisfactory-academic-progress

In addition, if you do not complete the semester, HCC may be required to return a portion of your aid to the Department of Education.  This can result in you owing money back to HCC. This is outlined in our Return of Title IV Funds Policy.

Q?

How do I transfer my aid to another school?

A:

If you are transferring to another school between semesters, you must add that school’s code to your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov  That school will then process your application.  Please notify the Financial Aid Office at HCC in writing that you would like your aid canceled.