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What is financial aid?
Financial aid is monetary assistance provided through various sources to help you meet your financial needs while attending college.
What are the types of aid available?
- Grants - This is money that you do not have to repay.
- Work Study - This is money you actually earn. The college provides employment opportunities that will help pay for college.
- Scholarships - These funds do not have to be repaid; however, there are often stipulations attached to the award. Visit our scholarship page for additional information.
How do I apply for financial aid?
To apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The easiest and fastest way to apply is on line at https://studentaid.gov/. The FAFSA must be completed each academic year as soon as possible on or after October 1 to determine eligibility.
Note: Be careful not to use fafsa.com or you will be charged a fee to use their site.
What is an FSA ID?
- An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) online systems. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED systems such as the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form or the myStudentAid mobile app.
- It’s important to understand that the student and the parent may not share an FSA ID: Your FSA ID is your signature, so it has to be unique to you. 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 form electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications, but each child must have his or her own.
- Students and parents must first apply for a FSA ID either by clicking on the link at the FAFSA web site or go to FSAID.ed.gov. We strongly urge you to write down your challenge questions and answers, user name and password and email address; keep it in a safe place. You will use your FSA ID whenever you access any Federal Department of Education website and when you renew your FAFSA each year.
What is BCCC's School Code?
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?
Yes. Financial need is determined each academic year. Therefore, you must complete a new FAFSA each academic year. It is a good idea to complete your FAFSA when you complete your federal tax return. The FAFSA must be completed each academic year as soon as possible on or after October 1 to determine eligibility.
Do I have to report my parent(s) income?
- Financial aid is based on the principle that you and your parents have the primary responsibility for paying for your post-secondary education if you are a dependent student. This is why you may be required to report your parent(s)' income. However, the federal government will consider you independent of your parents if one of the following requirements is met:
- You are 24 years old on January 1st preceding the academic year.
- You are married.
- You are enrolled in a graduate program (e.g., master's or doctorate).
- You have legal dependents other than a spouse that you are supporting.
- You are a veteran of the United States military.
- You were in foster care or were dependent or ward of the court at any time since you turned age 13.
- You are or have been an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence.
- You are or have been in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence.
- Your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless at any time on or after July 1 of the preceding year.
- The director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless at any time on or after July 1 of the preceding year.
- The director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless at any time on or after July 1 of the preceding year.
What is a financial aid package?
Your financial aid may come from a variety of sources and may contain a combination of the three types of aid available (grants, scholarships and work study). Once your FAFSA is submitted and processed, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be computed. This EFC is determined by considering the number of persons in the household, the household income, and the number of persons from the household in college. The EFC is then subtracted from the cost of attendance. The remaining amount is the Financial Aid Award Need. Some awards (e.g., College Work-study) require supplemental applications.
How will I know how much aid I have been awarded?
Approximately two weeks after you have completed your financial aid file, and have met ALL requirements for admission, you should receive an award letter via mail and email specifying the amount and type of your financial aid award. This information is also available in the student self service portal.
What provision is made for special circumstances?
While the process of determining your financial aid eligibility is basically the same for all applicants, there is some flexibility for specific circumstances. Situations which might merit special circumstances include 1) unusual medical and dental expenses, 2) unusual child care and dependent care costs, 3) unusual debts, 4) income reduction or nonrecurring income, and 5) a family and financial situation where a student normally considered dependent could be considered independent. If you feel you have any special circumstances that might affect the amount you and your family are expected to contribute, talk with a Financial Aid Specialist before you complete the FAFSA.
Can I get financial aid if I attend less than full-time?
All financial aid awards are based on full-time status (12 credit hours or more). However, if you attend less than 12 credit hours, your award will be reduced proportionately. You may also be able to receive Work-Study, FSEOG and NCCCG and NCELS if you attend less than full-time.
When will I get my financial aid funds?
If you have aid in excess of your tuition/fees and bookstore charges, a check will be disbursed to you for the balance after all semester charges have been paid. Refunds checks will be made available approximately 30 days from the first day of class. If you drop classes and your enrollment status drops below full-time, your award may also be reduced.
How do I qualify for summer financial aid?
An eligible student may receive the Federal Pell Grant for summer even if they received a full Federal Pell Grant during the fall and spring semesters. Year-Round Pell allows students to receive up to 150 percent of a regular grant award over the course of the academic year to allow students to continue taking classes in the summer and finish their degrees faster than they would otherwise. For Year-Round Pell, students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours).
For students who were enrolled part-time (less than 12 credit hours) for fall or spring semesters, there is no minimum credit requirement to receive a summer Pell Grant (unless required by your EFC from your FAFSA results). You can use the remainder of your annual Pell Grant amount during the summer with no minimum credit requirement.
Note: The provisions of the law state that any Pell Grant received will be included in determining the student’s 600% Pell Grant duration of eligibility and Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) limits.
How does withdrawing from classes affect my financial aid?
Federal and State regulations require that students receiving financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress. One requirement is that you must complete at least 67% of the total cumulative credit hours attempted (e.g., 50 attempted credit hours, student must complete at least 33). A second requirement is that you maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA in all coursework. Therefore, withdrawals, failing grades, and incompletes will count against you. Also, if you completely withdraw from college before the 60% point of the semester, you may be required to return all or part of the aid awarded to you.
Can I apply for financial aid if I haven't applied for admission?
Yes. Since applying for financial aid is a very extended process, you need to begin applying as soon as possible. However, in order for BCCC to begin to process your FAFSA, the college must have received your admissions application. Financial aid will not be awarded to students who have not been accepted to the college.
Are all programs of study eligible for financial aid?
No. All associate degree and Basic Law Enforcement programs are eligible. Most diploma and certificate programs are not. Also, special credit students and students in the Division of Continuing Education students are not eligible for financial aid. If you are unsure about aid eligibility and the program you are considering, contact the Financial Aid Office for clarification.
How can I tell if a scholarship offer is a scam?
According to the Federal Trade Commission, unscrupulous companies guarantee or promise scholarships or grants. Some guarantee that they can get scholarships on behalf of students or award them "scholarships" in exchange for an advance fee. Most offer a "money back guarantee" - but include conditions that make it impossible to get the refund. Others provide nothing for the student's advance fee-not even a list of potential sources. Some companies ask for a student's checking account to "confirm eligibility," then debit the account without the student's consent. Even if the company does provide the student with an award source(s), most often the same information is available at the Financial Aid Office for free. Click here for Scholarship Scam Homepage for more helpful information on scholarship scams, plus a list from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of fraudulent companies to avoid, and more.
Financial Aid Fax
Our Fax number is: (252) 940-6393