Applying for Financial Aid & Requirements
Privacy and Security of FAFSA Data
The Department of Education recently updated the guidelines regarding privacy and security responsibilities with TCCC students, faculty, staff, as well as third-party campus partners.
As a result, effective November 1, 2017: A student must present an UNEXPIRED GOVERNMENT-ISSUED FORM OF IDENTIFICATION (State-issued ID, driver’s license, non-driver’s identification card, US Passport, etc.) to confirm a student’s identity before any income and tax information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid can be disclosed. Please contact the financial aid office for more information.
2017-2018 FAFSA Changes
Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, the application will be available three months earlier on October 1, 2016 instead of January 1, 2017. Students and families will provide income information from the 2015 income tax year and not from the 2016. The change will allow almost all tax return fliers to electronically transfer their tax return information directly into their FAFSA using the IRS Data retrieval Tool (DRT).
Students and their families can submit the application early, but may not receive confirmation of eligibility from the financial aid office until a later date. Please contact the financial aid office for additional information.
To receive aid from any of the federal and state student aid programs, students must meet ALL of the following criteria:
- Demonstrate financial need. A student’s financial need is determined through the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Go to www.fafsa.gov to begin the process. Please note: A FAFSA or FAFSA Renewal is required to be completed EVERY academic year the student seeks financial aid.
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be accepted for enrollment in an eligible financial aid program of study at TCCC
- Be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards set by TCCC
- Certify that he/she will use financial aid for educational purposes only
- Certify he/she isn’t in default on any federal student loans & doesn’t owe money on a federal student grant
- Register with Selective Service, if required
- Meet federal eligibility requirements regarding drug-related convictions
Filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- To get started, students and parents (dependent students) are encouraged to file a tax return, if required, for the specified tax year prior to submitting the FAFSA. Many tax returns may be filed free of charge when using the free file link at www.irs.gov.
- Students must complete a FAFSA and submit it either by mail or by electronically filing at www.fafsa.gov. Students/parents are encouraged to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval option when completing the FAFSA application online. However, students can use their current 2017 tax return and W2′s to complete the FAFSA application. If the student is dependent, he/she will need their parent’s tax returns and W2′s as well. Students will need to use TCCC’s School Code 009430 when applying.
- Students who apply for financial aid will need to create a FSA ID (username and password) either before or when completing the FAFSA application online. Students can apply for a FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov. If the student is dependent, the parent must also create a FSA ID. Student/parents should retain their FSA ID to ease the process for applying for aid in the subsequent years.
- Other financial aid at TCCC is awarded with priority given to early applicants, so do not delay.
- Once students complete their FAFSA application, they will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) by mail or email (usually within a few days). In addition, the financial aid office will notify the students via the TCCC student email account regarding any documentation needed to verify eligibility for financial aid. It is the student’s responsibility to submit the requested documentation to the financial office as soon as possible.
- Once a student has been determined to be eligible, the student will be notified of eligible funding by the TCCC student email account. The student is required to log on to the TCCC website and read the Financial Aid Recipient Responsibilities on the Financial Aid page to understand the rules and guidelines they must follow to receive the funding.
- In addition to applying for financial aid, students must ensure that they complete the NC Residency Determination Service and the Admissions application at www.tricountycc.edu by clicking on “Apply Today” at the bottom of the page. Students must provide the TCCC Student Success Center with all required documentation, including official high school, high school equivalency, and other college transcripts. Students may be required to take TCCC’s college placement test before they will be accepted at the college. Note: Students must be accepted before any financial aid can be awarded.
- Each student should re-apply for financial aid annually as early as October 1 for the following year’s fall semester.
TCCC students are to contact our Financial Aid Office by calling 828-837-6810 if you need assistance filing your FAFSA online.
How to Help Pay for College
Guide to a Debt Free College Degree- http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/graduating-debt-free/
Financial Aid for Online Colleges- http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/financial-aid/financial-aid-for-online-colleges/
Need Analysis for Financial Aid
When applying for federal student aid, the information reported on the FAFSA is used to calculate each student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The formula used to calculate the EFC is established by law to measure the financial strength of a student’s family on the basis of the family’s income and assets. The EFC is used to determine a student’s eligibility for student aid. Below is the need analysis equation.
Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution
= Financial Need
TCCC’s Financial Aid Office will calculate cost of attendance and subtract the reported EFC. If any amount remains, then a student has “financial need.” The Financial Aid Office will work with students toward meeting the need, however because funds are limited, the amount awarded to an individual student may not meet the total need.
Students should contact the Financial Aid Office if they feel they have special circumstances that might affect their dependency status or the amount they and their family are expected to contribute toward their education. These circumstances could include a family’s unusual medical expenses, or recent unemployment due to an involuntary layoff, plant closure, etc.
There must be very good reasons to make any adjustments and students will be required to provide documentation to adequately prove their request. The Financial Aid staff’s decision is final, and it cannot be appealed to the US Department of Education.
Enrollment Status for Financial Aid
Students only receive financial aid for those courses that are listed in the TCCC catalog as required for their program of study. Financial aid may be paid for developmental courses, if required, based on the student’s placement test scores. The amount of financial aid a student receives will depend upon on his/her enrollment hours and program of study. For programs based on semester credit hours, enrollment is defined for fall, spring, and summer semesters below:
Full-Time……………………………………………..12 or more credit hours
Three-quarter Time………………………………..9-11 credit hours
Half Time……………………………………………..6-8 credit hours
Less than Half Time……………………………….1-5 credit hours
Please Note: In accord with Federal guidelines, some TCCC Programs of Study are calculated as “Clock Hour” programs for financial aid disbursement purposes. Students who are enrolled in a diploma, certificate, or clock hour program that require a conversion of enrollment hours will receive financial aid based on the number of enrollment hours after the calculated conversion.
Financial Aid Recipient Facts
- Students should promptly submit all requested documentation to the Financial Aid Office.
- A student must register for classes ONLY under his/her program of study.
- Students must attend scheduled classes from the outset to prevent delays in financial aid refunds.
- Financial aid cannot be received for classes outside a student’s program of study, classes not attended, audited classes or exempted.
- Financial aid will only pay for 30 hours of remedial courses.
- In order to avoid losing financial aid or owing money to the school, students must drop classes before the first day of class if not planning to attend TCCC.
- Please consult with the Financial Aid Office staff if withdrawing or dropping classes because this could jeopardize future financial aid or result in a student having to repay funds.
- Please consult with the Financial Aid Office staff if changing your primary program of study or adding a secondary major.
- Financial aid cannot be received at two institutions for the same semester.
- Students enrolled In a diploma, certificate, or clock hour program that require a conversion of enrollment hours will receive financial aid based on the number of enrollment hours after the calculated conversion.
- Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) each semester to continue receiving financial aid assistance.
- Financial aid refunds will be disbursed to students via their selected refund preference with approximately four to five weeks after classes began.
- If a student receives any type of financial aid assistance as a refund, the student will receive a 1098T yearly from TCCC for tax filing purposes. Please remember the refund is considered income to the student’s household and must be reported on the student’s annual tax return.
Recipient Responsibilities and Conditions of Award
All students receiving Federal and State educational assistance must adhere to the guidelines and requirements stated in the policy when receiving any type of financial aid. To review policy, click here.