Q. How and when will I be notified that I am eligible for financial aid?
A. Once your financial aid file is complete and your application is reviewed, you will receive an Award Letter in the mail. Award Letters begin to be mailed in April.
Q. Why does the FAFSA say that I have to include my parent(s) information if I support myself?
A. The federal definition of an independent student is very specific and does not necessarily mean that the parent(s) are supporting the student. However, the federal government feels that it is the parent(s') responsibility to assist their children in paying for their education. To the extent that parent(s) are unable to assist, financial aid is available to help out. Students are considered "independent" for financial aid purposes, if they meet any of the following criteria:
- Is 24 years old
- Is currently married
- Is an orphan or ward of the court
- Is a Veteran
- Has dependents who receive more than half of their financial support from the student
- Is a graduate student
- Is an emancipated minor
- Is or was in legal guardianship
- Is homeless (see FAFSA for details)
Students who do not meet these criteria must provide their parent(s) information on the application. An appeal process is available for the student with extenuating circumstances that make it impossible for the student to obtain their parent(s)' information. Examples of extenuating circumstances include such things as, parent(s) live in another country and student cannot contact them, student has been removed from the home due to parental abuse, etc. Letters of appeal may be directed to the Director of Financial Aid and must include third party documentation verifying the circumstances.
Q. What happens if I withdraw from the college? Can I still keep my financial aid?
A. If you attended classes, you are entitled to keep a portion of your financial aid, based on the date you officially withdraw. It is very important that you complete the official withdrawal process. A federally mandated calculation is done to determine how much of the financial aid you can keep. Basically, you earn a percentage of your financial aid for each day you attend classes. For example, if you attend 30% of the semester, you may keep 30% of your financial aid. Students who receive state grants or tuition waivers may be able to keep enough grant or waiver just to cover the costs of their tuition and fee charges. Once you attend 60% of the semester, you are considered to have earned 100% of your financial aid. If you receive a financial aid refund check and withdraw before earning 100% of your financial aid, you may be required to return some of these funds. More information is available in the Financial Aid Office.
Q. What is the Student Aid Report that I received in the mail?
A. The Student Aid Report was sent to you by the US Department of Education's federal application processor. It has important information that you should review.
- Review all of the data you provided and make sure it is accurate. If you have a PIN number, you can also make corrections on-line at www.fafsa.gov.
- Check on the last section and be sure you see Quinsigamond Community College listed as one of the schools that received your information.
- Read the information carefully to see if there is anything else you need to do.
- You may have been selected for a process called Verification. If so, QCC encourages students to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool as the fastest and most accurate means of providing tax information.
- The federal processor matches some of your personal information with other federal agencies to verify that you have met certain eligibility requirements. There may have been a problem with these matches and you will be required to submit additional documentation to the Financial Aid Office or you may need to make a correction on your Student Aid Report and send it back to the processor.
Q. What is QCC's federal school code?
A. The Federal School Code is 002175
Q. Can I use financial aid to buy books if I don't have the money?
A. Yes, bookstore vouchers are available. If your financial aid is awarded at least one week prior to the start of the semester, the bookstore will be notified if you have financial aid funding in excess of your tuition and fee charges. You will also be notified by Qmail when your voucher is ready.
Q. How long does it take to receive an Award Letter?
A. First you must complete the FAFSA, which can take up to 3 weeks to process. Then the Financial Aid Office reviews your application to determine if additional documents are necessary. If more information is required, we must wait until you respond to this request before we can continue working on your file. Once your file is complete, it can take 2-8 weeks (depending on the time of year) before you will receive an Award Letter. Although you can submit your FAFSA as early as January preceding the next fall semester, the Financial Aid Office will begin reviewing applications at the end of March. The busiest time of year in the Financial Aid Office is April through August preceding the fall semester (i.e., April 2012-August 2012 for the Fall 2012 semester). It is not unusual for the entire process to take 12-16 weeks. You must plan ahead to receive financial aid by the time your bill is due.