Frequently Asked Questions
The Financial Aid Office has developed a list of frequently asked questions for your reference.
1. What types of financial aid are available at the College?
As a student at the College, 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 the College's 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
4. What is the FAFSA ID and how do I obtain one?
An FSA ID is a username and
password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education
(ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to
access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) at fafsa.gov.
If you are a parent of a dependent
student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your
child's FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending
college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Please
note: Each FSA ID user must have a unique e-mail address.
5. The FAFSA asks for the the College’s Federal School Code. What is it?
The 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 after October 1st of the year they will enroll in
college (e.g. October 1, 2016 for the 2017-2018 academic year). The Financial
Aid Office recommends that students complete the FAFSA as early as possible.
Any required financial aid forms (example: verification forms
if necessary) should be completed each year by April 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
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 eligibilit
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 2016-2017 academic year, you are independent for financial
aid purposes if at least one of the following applies:
- You were born before January 1, 1993 (for the
2016-2017 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
- You have children for whom you will
provide more than half support from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017;
- You have dependents (other than your
children or spouse) for whom you provide more than half support, now and
through June 30, 2017.
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?
Award letters include all the aid that a student
is eligible to receive, this is sent to the students College email
account. Pell Grants and Direct Loans amounts are included. Also,
the letter notification 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 student’s INTERACT account.
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.
15. What is a Federal PLUS loan?
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?
Student and parent borrowers may reduce or cancel their approved loans by completing a Loan Change/Cancellation Form. This form is found at http://www.faulknerstate.edu/financial-aid/forms.
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.