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Financial Aid Application Process Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for financial aid?

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or, if you are a continuing student, the Renewal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (RFAFSA). Either of these can be submitted between the January prior to the beginning of the academic year and June of the summer session following the academic year. For example, for the 2014-2015 academic year, you may apply between January 2014 and June 2015.

Do I have to apply every year? If so, when should I apply?

Yes. The best time to apply is immediately after completing your tax return for the previous calendar year.

I live on my own and support myself. Why does my award have to be based on my parents’ income?

Financial aid is based on the principle that it is the responsibility of the student and his or her parents to pay for the student’s education. The Pell Grant is a federal government program for funding education. The federal regulation clearly states that, if the student is under 24, not married or supporting a dependent, they must use their parent’s income

What if my income is significantly less now than it was last year?

You must use your last tax return for your initial application regardless of current income. However, after the Department of Education sends us your Student Aid Report, you may file a Special Conditions Form. You must provide proof of current income with this request. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.

What is verification?

Verification is a process by which the accuracy of the information on your FAFSA is confirmed by the Financial Aid Office. If your application is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will contact you for additional information, including copies of your federal tax return transcript (and your parent’s if you are a dependent student). You will not be awarded any financial aid until all requested documents are completed and returned to the Financial Aid Office. In addition to the applicants selected by the Department of Education, the school is also required to verify applications that seem to have conflicting information.

What if my parents refuse to give me their financial information?

If you are classified as a dependent student (under 24 and not married or supporting a dependent), you are ineligible for financial aid without this information.

What happens after I file my FAFSA?

In about two to four weeks, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education. Your report is also sent to each school that you listed in Section VI on the FAFSA. Review the SAR, make any necessary corrections, and return the correct copy to the Department of Education. If all the information is correct, do nothing. You will hear from the financial aid offices of the schools you listed. They will either ask for more information or notify you of the amount of financial aid you are eligible for.

What is Rowan Cabarrus Community College’s Title IV school code?

It is 005754.

If I am not eligible for the Pell grant, can I still qualify for a state grant?

Yes. Actually, students who don’t get the Pell grant, or get only a small amount through Pell, are more likely to get either the North Carolina Community College Grant or the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship. Students do nothing additional to apply for these. The FAFSA is the application for both of the state grants, the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

Can I submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online?

Yes. You can go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and complete the electronic version of the FAFSA. If you submit your application online, please be sure you have a PIN. The PIN will serve as your electronic signature. If you do not have a PIN, you will need to print a signature page and mail it. A signature page should be printed at the time you complete your application and should be mailed as quickly as possible.

What is a PIN?

A PIN is your Personal Identification Number. It allows you to enter many of the U.S. Department of Education’s Web sites and view the personal information maintained about your accounts. The PIN will also serve as an electronic signature for various documents maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. Your PIN is normally issued once your first FAFSA has been processed or you can go to www.pin.ed.gov to request a new PIN or a replacement PIN.

Why do I have to provide tax return transcripts to the Financial Aid Office?

The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects at least 30% of applications for a process called verification. If you are selected, you must provide tax return transcripts so the income data on your application can be verified as being correct. There are also occasions when data on the application does not appear to be correct, and the tax return transcripts are requested to ensure correct information has been provided.

How do I obtain tax return transcripts?

To order a free tax transcript by phone: Call 1-800-908-9946, select option 2, Enter=2013

To order a free tax transcript online: www.irs.gov - Select order a tax return transcript -Option 3 (return transcript)

To link your FAFSA to IRS: www.fafsa.gov open your account, click make corrections, link to IRS

To pick up a free transcript:

IRS
10715 David Taylor Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28262
704-548-4100

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