Frequently Asked Questions

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.  

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).    

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.  

Students are notified by Collin email 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.  

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.  


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.  

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

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. 

To add a school to your FAFSA go to and add the school code(s) for the school(s) in which you want your application sent.  Technically, aid does not "transfer" from school to school.  Check with the school you are transferring to, to see if they will need any documentation from you again.

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.  

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.  

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

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.     

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.   

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.   

Hazelwood Act does cover continuing education classes at Collin College as long as the course is formula funded. You may have to check with the CE Admissions staff or the Financial Aid staff to ensure the class you're interested in meets this criteria.

Verification is a process that the U.S. Department of Education uses to make sure that the information reported on the FAFSA is accurate. Some FAFSA applications are selected because of inconsistent information, and others are chosen randomly. The Financial Aid office will request copies of your (and if a dependent student, your parents’) IRS tax return transcript(s) and W-2s, as well as a verification worksheet if you are selected. The information provided by you on the FAFSA is compared to the tax information submitted. Corrections are made, if necessary, and you are notified of any corrections made and the effect the changes have had on your aid eligibility. 

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

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 or award any student aid.  Second, your schedule of classes may vary from another student's and that affects when the financial aid can be released.  If your classes started later in the semester (weekend college classes or express classes for example) 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.      

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 would be a student awarded student loans. 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, 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.   

Satisfactory Academic Progress is a federal regulation that requires a student to complete 67% of all hours attempted with a cumulative Financial Aid GPA of 2.0.  In addition to these requirements, the regulations also require a student to be within the maximum hours, not to exceed 150% of a student's program of study.  For example, if your program of study is 60 hours, then you cannot exceed 90 attempted 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.   

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:

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.