FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- 1. What is a financial need?
- Financial need is the difference between what it costs to attend WCCCD and what you and your family are expected to contribute toward your college expenses (based upon the FAFSA information). In other words: Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
Many types of financial aid can be applied only toward the demonstrated financial need. However, there are other types of aid that can be awarded regardless of your need.
- 2. Who is eligible?
- While each aid program has special requirements, you are generally eligible for financial assistance if you meet all of the following requirements. You must:
1. Have a financial need (except for some loan programs and many scholarship programs). Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid by the priority deadlines;
2. Have a high school diploma, a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or pass an independently administered test approved by the U.S. Department of Education;
3. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program;
4. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-U.S. citizen;
5. Have a valid Social Security Number;
6. Be registered with the Selective Service, (if required);
7. Meet satisfactory academic progress (continuing students only);
8. Use the federal student aid only for educational purposes; and For more information about eligibility for federal aid, also see the U.S. Department of Education's Student Guide. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/basic-criteria
- 3. How will my contribution be determined?
- The FAFSA is used to gather information about your financial resources and the resources of your family. From this information, a parent's contribution (for dependent students) and a student's contribution are calculated. These two figures together total the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Parent Contribution: Annual income is not the only factor considered in evaluating the parent contribution. Your parent's age(s), assets, household size, and the number of family members in college are also considered.
Student Contribution: You are expected to contribute a portion of your after-tax income toward your annual educational expenses. A portion of your savings and other assets are also considered.
- 4. What is my dependency status?
- A student is considered independent for financial aid purposes if he or she is 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year, or if:
1. Is an orphan or ward of the court, or was a ward of the court until age 18
2. Is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or on active duty
3. Is married
4. Has legal dependents other than a spouse
If a student does not meet at least one of these criteria, he or she is considered dependent for financial aid purposes and parent financial information must be included on the FAFSA.
- 5. How do I apply for financial aid?
- Complete a Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may complete the application on line at www.fafsa.gov. Our Federal School Code must be listed: 009230
- 6. Do I have to re-apply every year?
- In order to receive financial aid, you must file a FAFSA each year and it can be done as early as October 1st.
- 7. How can I view my financial aid award and document requirements?
- All award information and list of required documents are located on Web Gate. You may access your Web Gate account at www.wcccd.edu. We suggest that you review your Web Gate account frequently for updates.
- 8. Can I get aid for the summer semester?
Students requesting Summer Pell Grant funds no longer need to fill out an application. Eligible students will be able to view their summer award on Web Gate by late April. Students requesting Summer Loans or Work Study must submit the appropriate application to the District Financial Aid Office through Online Forms.
- 9. Should I send in my tax forms and other paperwork before you ask for it?
- You should not submit tax forms and/or other paperwork unless we specifically ask for these documents since they may not be required.
- 10. What are the qualifications to receive a student loan?
You must be enrolled at least half time each semester (6 credit hours)
• You must complete entrance counseling every year and a Master Promissory Note (once every 10 years) at www.studentloans.gov
• No default or over-award status on prior loans or federal aid
• You must meet standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
• Remember! All loans must be repaid. View repayment options at www.studentloans.gov
• All loan requests will be reviewed on an individual basis
• LOAN APPEAL -
If you are denied a student loan you may submit an appeal in writing to the Student Loan Management Center. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval of the loan request. Questions and concerns should be directed to District Financial Aid Office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 11. When will I receive my refund for Pell Grant and/or student loans?
- Refunds are issued up to 14 days from the date the funds post to your Web Gate account.
- 12. What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
Satisfactory Academic Progress is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require that all students make continued progress toward an educational goal. The Federal Government has established the following Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress:
- Completing a program of study within 150% of the credits required to graduate. [ If a major requires 60 credit hours for graduation, a student must complete the program in no more than 90 credit hours.]
- Successfully completing at least 67% of all attempted credits. [A student must receive a passing grade in at least 2 out of every 3 classes in which he or she is enrolled. ]
- Non-credit courses are not included in the calculation of financial aid, and are therefore not counted as credit hours attempted. Transfer credit, remedial and repeated courses will be counted as credit hours attempted. Withdrawal grades (with the exception of institutional withdrawal), and incomplete grades will be counted as attempted hours.
- Repeated and developmental courses are added into credits attempted and are used in the calculation of attempted credits verses completed credits. Up to 30 credits of combined developmental and ESL courses can be funded with federal student aid.
- Students seeking a second Associate’s Degree, who are not meeting the quantitative standard of 150%, would need to submit an appeal (please refer to the Appeal Process below) in order to have reinstatement of eligibility considered. Successfully completed credits that apply to the second degree will be considered in the appeal review.
The District Financial Aid Office will review the qualitative progress after each academic year. In order to maintain eligibility a student must:
- Maintain at least a cumulative 2.0 grade point average. [A student must maintain at least a “C” average ]
Students who fail either the quantitative or qualitative test for academic progress will be notified in writing that further financial aid is denied. If you have experienced a significant circumstance which you feel has had an impact on your ability to make satisfactory academic progress, you have the opportunity to file an appeal with the District Financial Aid Office. Appeals that do not include proper documentation are considered incomplete and will be denied.
- Significant Circumstance
- Medical/illness in immediate family
- Domestic/family issues/marital issues
- Loss of employment
- Second academic degree
- Acceptable Documentation
- Statement from doctor
- Obituary or funeral program/Death Certificate
- Police report or social agency report
- Termination or layoff notice
- Social services or court documents
- Legal documentation
- Copy or proof of first academic degree