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Financial Aid FAQ's
Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why are you asking for my high school transcript?

In order to qualify for Federal Student Aid, a student must meet certain eligibility requirements.  One of those requirements is for a student to have earned a high school diploma or GED.  The high school transcript is the document that is required at Collin College to meet the eligibility requirements by the Department of Education.  

Why did I not get my full Pell Grant?

The Pell Grant award is initially offered for the full amount of eligibility that a student has.  Only students enrolled in 12 or more hours will receive the full amount of the Pell award.  The award is prorated for students enrolled in less than 12 hours (75% for 9-11 hours; 50% for 6-8 hours; and typically 25% for less than 6 hours).    

How do I use my financial aid to pay for my classes?

Once a student has completed all requirements on the Financial Aid Checklist and the student has accepted the award, the financial aid will automatically be used to cover any charges for tuition, fees and books.  You do not have to take any additional action to have your aid cover your charges.  

How do I use my financial aid to purchase my books and supplies?

Students are notified by CougarMail when they have funds that can be utilized at the bookstore.  Students should submit a copy of their student schedule to the bookstore and then the charges will be applied to your student account and your financial aid will automatically pay for the charges when the aid is paid to the student account.  

How many hours do I have to attend to qualify for financial aid?

In general, a student must be enrolled in at least 6 hours to receive loans and grants.  In some cases, students are able to receive a Pell Grant when taking fewer than 6 hours.      

Do I have to apply for financial aid again for next year?  

The Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) covers the fall, spring and the summer semesters of the academic year.  A new FAFSA must be submitted for each new academic year.  We recommend that students complete the FAFSA by April 1st for the next academic year.  

Do I need to include my stepparent's income of the FAFSA?

Yes, a stepparent is considered a parent if married to a biological or adoptive parent and if the student counts in their household size.  

Why do I have to include my parent's income on the FAFSA if they are not going to help me pay for college?

Federal law that governs student financial aid has criteria that must be met in order for a student to be considered independent.  Questions #46 thru #58 on the FAFSA addresses a student's dependent or independent status.  https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/dependency 

How do I transfer my financial aid to another school?

To add a school to your FAFSA go to fafsa.gov and add the school code(s) for the school(s) in which you want your application sent.  

What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan? 

The Federal government pays the interest for the Direct Subsidized loan while the student is enrolled in at least 6 credit hours or while the loan is in deferment.  Interest begins accruing for the Direct Unsubsidized loan as soon as the loan is paid out.    

Does financial aid pay for summer?

It could, if you have any Pell Grant or Direct Student Loan eligibility remaining for the award year.  Collin awards the full annual eligibility for grants and loans during the fall and spring semesters.  However, if you didn't go full time, or didn't accept the full amount of your loans, you may have eligibility remaining for the summer.  To be certain, check with one of our offices to determine if you have eligibility left for the summer terms.  

How do I qualify for Federal Work Study? 

To qualify for FWS you have to show financial need, be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program, be an eligible U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.  

Does Collin College offer private student loans?

Collin College does have private loans available, the interest rates and terms vary by lender.  We encourage students to consider private loans as an option only if they are not eligible for Federal Student Aid.  An example of this would be if a student is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, then a private loan could be considered as an option for the student. To learn more about private loans www.collin.edu/gettingstarted/financialaid/untitled.html 

I know that I am on Financial Aid Suspension, but can I still get a student loan?

No, Direct Student Loans are Federal Student Aid funds and if you are on Financial Aid Suspension you are not eligible for the loans.  See the question from above and look to see if private loans could be an option for you as you do not have to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress to be eligible to receive private loans.     

What if my parents live together but were never married?

Parents who are unmarried and living together give that as their status in question #59 on the FAFSA and both would need to report their information on the FAFSA.   

Am I considered an independent student if I am expecting a child during the academic year for which I will receive financial aid?   

Yes, question #51 on the FAFSA includes children who will be born before the end of the award year, who will receive more than half of their support from the student.   

Does Hazelwood pay for continuing education classes?  

Hazelwood Act does cover continuing education classes at Collin College.   

What does selected for "verification" mean?

The Department of Education selects students for verification based on several different factors.  While some elements of the selection process are random, there are certainly other elements based on other factors.  An example might be someone that listed two people in the household last year, but have listed four people this year or someone that reported a higher or lower than average tax amount compared to the income being reported. Through this process, we often find errors that are in the students favor and that allows us to award more funds.

Where do I accept the terms and conditions? 

You would have to log into your CougarWeb Account;

My Financial Aid

Click on Financial Aid Tab

Click on Check My Status

Select the correct aid year

Then click on Terms and Conditions 

Where can I apply for your scholarships?

There are many types and places to apply for scholarships, some scholarships are based on merit and others are based on financial need.  A good to place to start is to check the school or schools website that you are interested in attending.  Most schools have institutional scholarships that are available for students to apply for. For more information about Collin's Foundation Scholarship www.collin.edu/foundation/students/

Why have I not received my money when other students already have theirs?

There are a few things to consider when asking this question.  First, did you submit all of the requested documentation that financial aid requested in order to be able to complete and process your file?  If you did not then the financial aid office could not complete your file and process it for awarding of student aid.  Second, your schedule of classes may vary from another students and that affects when the financial aid can be released.  If your classes started later in the semester (weekend college classes) then the financial aid office can't release the aid until after the tenth class day.  Another factor to look at is the number of hours you are enrolled in for the semester; student loans require a student to be enrolled and attending at least six credit hours.  Last but not least, your Satisfactory Academic Progress status could be affecting your eligibility for aid.  If you are not sure of your SAP status, you would need to check your status to see if you're eligible to receive aid.      

Why did I get dropped from my classes?

There are some important things to consider with this situation, first are you enrolled in enough hours to be eligible for financial aid, an example of this is student loans require a student to be enrolled and attending at least six credit hours.  Another important thing to consider, are you making Satisfactory Academic Progress?  Also, you would need to consider if your file was completed and you were actually awarded financial aid.  If you did not submit all the required documentation needed, then financial aid would not be able to complete your file.  It is the student's responsibility to submit all required documentation and follow up with the financial aid office to make sure nothing is missing or needed.  Be diligent and check to see if your financial aid is complete by contacting the financial aid office in advance of the payment deadline for the semester.     

What is SAP? Why am I not eligible for financial aid?

Satisfactory Academic Progress is a federal regulation that requires a student to complete 67% of all hours attempted with a cumulative GPA of 2.0.  In addition to these requirements the regulation also requires a student to be within the maximum hours not to exceed 150% of a student's program of study.  Example, if your program of study is 60 hours, then you cannot exceed 90 hours and be within the SAP regulation.  Take 60 hours and multiply that by 150% and it equals 90 hours.  According to federal regulations a student has to be meeting the school's SAP policy in order to be eligible for Federal Student Aid.    

How can I get my VA benefits?

If you will be attending Collin College, you will need to apply for Admissions.  At the same time, request OFFICIAL transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges, universities, trade schools and tech schools.  Next, you will need to apply for benefits in the Financial Aid/Veterans Affairs Office at any one of our campuses.  You will need to let them know what chapter you are eligible for and they will provide you with the appropriate forms to fill out and submit.  For more detailed information:

http://collin.edu/gettingstared/veterans/gettingstarted.html 

Can I use my financial aid and VA benefits at the same time?

For Federal Student Aid purposes, Federal Veteran's Benefits are not treated as estimated financial assistance. Therefore, you can receive VA benefits and Federal Student Aid at the same time and the VA benefits do not impact how much Federal Student Aid you would be eligible for.