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Financial Aid - FAQs

Financial Aid FAQs

  • What is Financial Aid?
  • Financial aid is assistance made available by federal and state funding and private sources in the form of grants, loans, wages, and scholarships.
  • Should I apply even if I think that I will not qualify?
  • The best thing to do is apply to see if you qualify. Many students and families assume they don’t qualify and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by not applying. We encourage each and every student to apply for financial aid because many students receive hundreds or even thousands of dollars in federal grants, state aid, and scholarships.
  • When do I apply for financial aid?
    • You need to apply for financial aid each academic year. The FAFSA is available online in January every year to apply for the upcoming academic year. The FAFSA application is a FREE application for all students.
    • The best time to apply each year for financial aid is as soon as your taxes are completed. At that time go to and apply for the upcoming year which begins in the fall.
    • After your first year of applying you can use the renewal application. This is also done online at and is made available in January of each year.
    • CCC has financial aid workshops that you can sign up for if you need assistance with your application or renewal online.  Seating is limited, therefore, you must sign up in the Financial Aid Office to guarantee yourself a seat.
  • How do I apply online?
  • Visit the Free Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA) website at Request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for yourself and one for a parent if you are a dependent student. Once the PIN is received the application can be completed and signed for submission. If filling out a renewal form you use the same PIN.
  • What information will I need to apply for financial aid?
    • Social Security Number
    • 2013 Tax Returns for yourself and your spouse (if married)
    • 2013 W-2s for yourself and your spouse (if married)
    • Other financial information

                   i.    Amount of Child Support paid or received
                   ii.    Social Security
                   iii.    AFDC
                   iv.    Amount of any investments

  • Is it quicker to apply online?
  • Yes, you can apply at The only other way to apply is to call the Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243 and complete your application over the phone.
  • After I submit my FAFSA, when will I know if I qualify?
  • It can take the Department of Education up to two weeks to electronically send your application to us. At that time, we will mail you one of two letters. If the Department of Education is requesting additional information from you, we will mail you a letter requesting documentation. If they are not requesting additional information and you qualify for aid, we will mail you an award letter.
  • I applied for financial aid is that all I need to do?
  • You also need to fill out an admissions application for CCC and declare an eligible program of study. If you have not already applied, you can apply online or in Student Services.
  • How is Financial Aid eligibility determined?
  • Eligibility is based primarily on prior year income, assets, and household information. However, special circumstances (divorce, separation, death of parent or spouse, reduction of income, loss of employment, etc.) can be taken into consideration.
  • Why do I need my parent’s information when I don’t live with them?
  • The Department of Education regulations state that a student’s parents are primarily responsible for their child’s education. Students generally are allowed 6 years to earn a bachelor’s degree. The Department of Education added the 6 years to the age of 18 and declared 24 as the age a student can become independent.
  • Why am I not considered independent?
  • The Department of Education states a student must be 24 years of age, married, or have children they support to be considered independent. If you are under the age of 24 and this criterion is not met you would have to use your parent(s) information. If you have an unusual circumstance, which you feel should make you independent, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • I can’t give my child my taxes because I will have to pay the money back if she/he does not satisfy their responsibility. Am I responsible for my child getting a PELL Grant if they are not responsible and end up owing money?
  • By allowing your child to use your financial information does not make you liable if he/she does not fulfill their obligations.
  • What is the deadline to apply for Financial Aid?
  • There is a priority deadline for each semester; however we process records all year. Keep in mind, we cannot guarantee your financial aid will be processed before classes begin, if you do not meet the priority deadline.
  • What forms of assistance are available other than completing the FAFSA?
  • Are work study earnings taxable?
  • Money earned from Federal Work Study is subject to federal and state income tax. These earnings should be reported based on the calendar year for taxes instead of the school year.
  • Does CCC have loans available?
  • CCC has evaluated the possibility of loans and has decided not to participate in the loan program at this time.
  • Why do I have to fill out additional paperwork and provide tax information?  I included this information when I filed the FAFSA.
  • The Department of Education randomly selects students to verify income, household, and asset information. If chosen to verify certain information, we must request the information from you to supply to the Department of Education.
  • I must have done something wrong since I have to fill out additional paperwork.
  • Not necessarily, the Department of Education randomly selects students to verify their information.
  • How will I receive my financial aid?
  • Your financial aid will pay your tuition, fees, and books based on your eligibility. Any money left over will be mailed to you in the form of a check during the fifth week of the semester. Make sure your address and contact information is current with Student Services.
  • When do I get my refund check?
  • Refund checks are mailed the 5th week of the semester. To ensure receiving your check, make sure your file is complete and you are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress. Make sure your address and contact information is current at all times in Student Services.
  • My award letter told me I was eligible for $5,550 but I received a lesser amount.  Why did I not receive my entire award?
  • Your Financial Aid award letter states that your award amount is based on a full-time enrollment status. If you are not full-time during the semester, the award is reduced depending on the credit hours you are registered for. Full-time is 12 or more credit hours; ¾ time is 9-11 credit hours; ½ time is 6-8 credit hours; and less than 1/2 time is 1-5 credit hours. Please see ‘Things You Must Know’ for additional information on enrollment adjustments.
  • Is there Financial Aid available for the Summer semester?
  • This is determined by the amount of financial aid eligibility used during the fall and spring semesters. If you did not use all of your funding with the federal PELL grant the remainder is available to you for summer.
  • If my financial aid is not awarded to me before classes start what do I do?
  • You can choose to pay for your classes and be reimbursed for what you are eligible for, as long as you qualify for financial aid. If this is not an option, your file can be processed for the next semester.
  • What do I do if the family financial circumstances have changed?
  • If there is a change in family financial circumstances due to death of a parent or spouse, divorce, separation, loss of employment, or a reduction of income contact the Financial Aid Office  at 704-669-4028 and you may be able to do a special circumstance due to the reduction of income.
  • Will I be OK if I drop a class?
  • If you drop any of your classes before the start date you do not pay any monetary fees. If you drop after the classes begin you are charged a fee. There is a difference between dropping and withdrawing from a course, please be familiar with the difference between the two. Please refer to the next question for withdrawal information.
  • My financial aid/payment information on MyCleveland doesn’t look correct to me.
  • It is best to contact the Financial Aid Office by calling 704-669-4028 or emailing or the Business Office at 704-669-4006 for assistance or clarification.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 10:15:30 AM