Financial Aid FAQ

For more information contact
Financial Aid
Dr. H. A. Miller Student Services Center

Hours of Operation
During the semester
Monday - Thursday
from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Between semesters
Monday through Friday
from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQ section has been added to help expedite finding answers to many of our commonly asked questions, such as:

General Financial Aid questions

What is financial aid?
Financial aid helps students and their families pay for educational expenses. This includes estimated tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Financial aid includes grants, scholarships, work study/student employment, Veteran's benefits and/or loans.

What types of financial aid are available at CCC?

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Student Employment/Work study
  • Loans
  • Scholarships
  • Veteran's Benefits

Grants and scholarships do not need to be paid back. Student employment/Work study allows the student to work and earn money to help pay for school. Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest.

Student loans and student employment/work study are not awarded up front. Please inquire in the financial aid office if you want to apply for either of these programs.
If you are a veteran, contact the financial aid office to determine if you are entitled to financial aid benefits offered through the Veteran's Administration.

How do I apply for financial aid at CCC?
Apply using FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA on the Web as soon as possible after January 1 for the appropriate financial aid year. CCC's Title IV School Code is 004743.

What is a Student Aid Report/SAR?
The U. S. Department of Education will process your electronic FAFSA and e-mail you a Student Aid Report (SAR) to you.  CCC will also receive a copy.
Be sure to carefully check the report for any incorrect information. If none, keep it for your records. It is a summary of the information that you (and your family) provided on the FASFA. This form is also used to make any corrections to the data that you initially provided that has you have determined to be incorrect. It is not necessary for you to provide this report to the College Financial Aid Office unless you make corrections. It is important the office be aware of any corrections that might need to be made, as they will be able to make these corrections electronically.
If you do not receive you SAR after about four weeks, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FED-AID.

What does EFC mean?
EFC stands for 'Expected Family Contribution'. The Department of Education uses income and asset information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to calculate each student's EFC. The student's EFC determines his/her eligibility for need-based aid, such as Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Direct Loans.

What if I didn't request that CCC be sent my financial aid application?
You can go online to FAFSA Corrections on the Web and add CCC to your SAR. The CCC School Code is 004743.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?
Yes. If you are planning to take classes' consecutively during the fall, spring and summer semesters, you only have to apply once for all three terms. If you are starting classes in the spring or summer, you should apply for financial aid by the respective deadlines for those terms.
If you applied for financial aid through the FAFSA the previous academic year, you may be eligible to pre-fill most of the personal and demographic information you provided last year. However, this does not mean that it will take less time to process your financial aid. You should still plan to apply by the deadline dates in order to have your funds in time to pay tuition.
Renewal of your financial aid package also depends on you making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, such as earning a minimum number of credits and achieving a minimum GPA.

Do I have to pay for the FAFSA?
No, the FAFSA is free. Never pay an individual or an organization to help you fill out the FAFSA. You can get free help online or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (run by the U.S. Department of Education) at 1-800-4FED-AID.

Do I need a Social Security number to apply for federal student financial aid?
Yes. You must have a Social Security number (SSN) to be eligible for federal student financial aid. If you submit a FAFSA without an SSN your FAFSA will be returned to you unprocessed by FAFSA's Central Processing.

Do I need to submit other documents to CCC?
ONLY if they are requested. Check your PATHWAY account to see what information is missing to complete your file.  Be sure to include your name and social security number on all documentation submitted, including documents requested for parent(s) or spouse.

How long will it take to process my application?
Every student's file is different, so your application might take longer to process than a friends based on the information required. It typically takes about 4-6 weeks to process applications.

How am I notified about the financial aid I will receive?
You will receive a Financial Aid Award Notification via your CCC email account from the CCC Financial Aid Office which will detail all aid for which you are eligible for the entire school year. You may not receive aid in excess of your cost of education.
The award letter will detail the financial aid "offer" or "award," which is made after your eligibility for funds has been determined. The award, which may include several kinds of financial aid, is called a '"package." The package may contain a combination of grants, scholarship, work study or the recommendation that you obtain a student loan if you have not applied for one. The initial award is based on your attending full-time (12 or more credit hours per term) and is revised if your enrollment status changes.

If I am not eligible for a Pell Grant is there other financial aid available?
Yes. There are many forms of financial aid that you may be eligible for: state student grants, work study, student loans, and scholarships. See Types of Aid for more information.

What is a FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application is used to apply for federal financial aid and many state and institutional funds.

Where can I get a FAFSA?
You can apply for a FAFSA at

I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?
Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don't qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. In addition, there are a few sources of aid such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free, so there's no reason not to apply.

Can I get Financial Aid from two different colleges during the same semester?
No, you can only receive financial aid at one college at a time; however, students who are taking classes at two different colleges during the same semester may be eligible to receive Financial Aid for their combined enrollment at both colleges. For the Federal Pell Grant, a student can only receive a Pell Grant payment from one college per semester. However, it may be possible to combine the student's credit hours at two colleges into one total enrollment status, and receive the Pell Grant based on the total enrollment from one college. This is referred to as a Consortium Agreement. If a student receiving Pell is enrolled in 12 or more credit hours at one college, or is only loan eligible and in 6 credit hours, the student will not benefit from a Consortium Agreement. With regards to a Consortium Agreement, one school is considered the "home" and the other is the "host". The "home" school is where the student will actually receive their Financial Aid from the Consortium Agreement, and where the student initiates the Consortium Agreement. In most cases the “home” school is the school where the student will be receiving their degree. The "host" school receives a Consortium Agreement from the "home" school, verifies the student's information, and sends the information back to the "home" school. Consortium Agreements where CCC is the “host” school will be processed within one week of submission. They will not be processed the same day as they are received. Consortium Agreements where CCC is the “home” school will not show the combined enrollment for the Pell Grant until it is time for disbursement and will only include hours required for their degree. Contact our Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.

Who Is Handling My File?
Each student is assigned to a financial aid staff member by his or her last name.

What if someone asks for my U.S. Department of Education PIN? Should I share my PIN with anyone?
DO NOT share your PIN with anyone. Request a duplicate PIN if it has been lost or forgotten or if you feel your PIN has been compromised. When you receive a PIN from the Department of Education, you agree to not disclose or share your PIN with anyone because your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records, you should never give your PIN to anyone, including commercial service providers that offer to help you complete your FAFSA. Be sure to keep your PIN in a safe place; you will be able to use the same PIN in the future to apply electronically for student aid and access your U.S. Department of Education records.

How can I check on my Financial Aid?
You can check your financial aid status on your Pathway account.

How long does it take to get Financial Aid?
The Financial Aid process can take eight weeks or longer, depending on what documentation is required, and how quickly the student fulfills these requirements. Apply early; some types of Federal Aid are awarded to eligible students on a first-come first-serve basis.

What is cost of attendance, EFC (Expected Family Contribution), outside resources?
Cost of Attendance: The estimated cost to attend Hawaii CC for the academic year. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, meals and housing, personal expenses and transportation.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount expected to be paid out-of-pocket toward college costs.
Outside resources: Any aid that is received from external/private scholarships, grants, other benefits, etc.

What is financial need?
Financial need means that a student's family's financial resources, measured by a formula established by the federal government, are not sufficient to cover a student's educational costs

Why did CCC offer me a different award package than another school?
Each college or university is allocated different amounts of state and federal aid funds and choose how best to allocate the aid to their students.

Why do I only qualify for loans?
Federal and state funds are generally need-based and grants are given to those who exhibit the highest levels of financial need based on the results of their FAFSA. You may also apply for scholarships.

Can my financial aid change?
Yes. Initial financial aid awards are the best estimate of your eligibility. Most changes in awards, however, involve factors that are under your control and of which you should be aware. Your award may be increased, reduced, or even canceled, if:

Your family financial circumstance changes, causing your need to change.
You receive any additional outside resource, such as a privately awarded scholarship.
You provided incorrect data on your FAFSA.
You do not maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Your level of enrollment is less than full-time. All initial awards are based on the belief that a student will enroll full-time. If you do not enroll full-time, you will be placed in a student budget that accurately reflects your level of enrollment.

FAFSA Questions

I'll file a tax return this year, but I probably won't do it until April. How should I answer the financial questions? Should I wait to fill out this form until after I've filed my tax return?
If you haven't submitted your tax return, you should calculate your adjusted gross income (AGI) and taxes paid using the instructions for IRS Form 1040. After you complete your tax return, you may need to make corrections later if your income or tax information isn't accurate. You will also need to return any federal student aid you received based upon incorrect information.

I live with my mother who is remarried but she and my stepfather are keeping their finances separate. For the parent income portion of the FAFSA do I enter just my mom's finances or both?
You need to include both your mother's and your stepfather's income on the FAFSA. Regardless of any agreement to keep their finances separate, including any prenuptial agreement, both incomes factor into determining your parents' available income.

My parents refuse to give me the information I need to fill out my financial aid forms. They say it's nobody's business. What do I do?
If your parent(s) refuse to provide their financial information on your FAFSA you may still qualify for Federal Unsubsidized Loans. Please contact a financial aid counselor for more information.

I'm moving out of my parents' house and will support myself from now on. Do my parents still have to fill out the financial aid application?
Students who have been determined dependent based on their FAFSA are required to provide their

Why can't you tell my spouse, parents, or outside agencies what kind of financial aid I have been awarded?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA - also known as the Buckley Amendment) limits access to educational records without expressed written consent. You may complete a FERPA release form with the Financial Aid Office.

If I'm planning to marry, can I fill out my FAFSA as "married"?
No. You must indicate your marital status as of the date you are completing the FAFSA.

If my parents are divorced or separated, whose financial data should be used for my FAFSA?
Use the natural parent with whom you lived the most in the past 12 months. If you lived with neither parent, or lived with each parent an equal number of days, use the parent that provided the most financial support to you over the past 12 months. If that parent has remarried, you must also include the step parent's financial information on the application, and parent and step parent should report themselves as married on the FAFSA.

Example: You have been living with your mother and stepfather for the past 12 months. You would use your mother's income and stepfather's income, and you would report on the FAFSA as the number in family: yourself, your mother, your stepfather, and any other family members they support.

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA application? Should I use the voluntary DRT option?
Beginning with the 2012-2013 year, all students and parents of dependent students who indicate on the FAFSA application that they have already filed a federal tax return may be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool to complete the FAFSA.
The DRT will allow the FAFSA on the Web applicants to request and retrieve their income and tax data directly from the IRS.
Yes, you should use the voluntary DRT if you are eligible (determined by FAFSA questions you will answer). Once the data is retrieved from the IRS, it can be transferred to the FAFSA on the Web. It will increase the accuracy of your FAFSA information and streamline the application, review and award process. The earlier you apply and the more accurate your application is, the sooner you'll be awarded financial aid for which you are eligible.
Please allow approximately two weeks from the date you and your parent filed the federal tax return electronically to use the DRT. If you or your parent chose to file a paper tax return, please allow 6-8 weeks for processing by the IRS.

Who should NOT use the DRT?

  • Students, spouse or parents who are not required to file a tax return
    Note: The student and parent should still report any income earned from work. The W-2 form and other records should be used to determine these amounts.
  • Students and parents who filed an amended tax return
  • Students or parents who filed a 2011 tax return but are -
    • Divorced
    • Separated
    • Widowed
  • Those who filed taxes outside of the U.S.

I cannot or I do not want to use the DRT, how do I request an IRS Tax Transcript and/or an IRS Tax Account Transcript?
Tax filers can request a transcript, free of charge, of their tax return from the IRS several ways. Click here for instructions.

If I'm in the National Guard or an active duty military member, am I considered a veteran for purposes of completing the FAFSA?
If you were a member of the National Guard or were a Reservist called to active duty for purposes other than training and you were released under a condition other than dishonorable, you are considered a veteran for financial aid purposes. If you are on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard but, you will be a veteran by June 30, 2003, you are considered a veteran for financial aid purposes. If your active duty will continue past June 30, 2003, however, you are not considered a veteran for financial aid purposes.


What are the eligibility requirements for financial aid?
To be considered for need-based aid at CCC, applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have earned a high school diploma or passed the General Educational Development (GED) test
  • Be enrolled as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program (UNDECIDED students are not eligible for financial aid)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Meet Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant.
    • Certify that all federal aid received will be used only for educational purposes.
  • All male citizens of the U.S. and male immigrant aliens 18 through 25 years old must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Effective July 1, 2000, a law suspends aid eligibility for students convicted under federal or state law of sale or possession of drugs. Instructions on the FAFSA will help determine eligibility.
  • Be over 16 years of age and not enrolled at a secondary educational institution.
  • Attend classes on at least a half-time basis (six credit hours or more). Federal Pell Grant recipients may qualify on a less-than-half-time basis based on their need.
  • Have submitted to the CCC Financial Aid Office any additional application material or requested documentation in order to be considered for financial aid. Required documents may include the following (please use black ink on any forms that you submit to the Financial Aid Office):
    • Verification Worksheet – Selected students will be notified by email. Students need to complete the form and return it promptly to the CCC Financial Aid Office.
    • Signed federal income tax transcript as specified on the Verification Worksheet, or as requested by the CCC Financial Aid Office.
    • Other information requested by the CCC Financial Aid Office.
    • Meet other state and federal eligibility requirements.

I have a Bachelor's degree. Do I still qualify for financial aid?
You are not eligible for a PELL grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), or New Mexico Student Incentive Grant (NMSIG), but you may be eligible to apply for a Federal Stafford student loan.

I'm not sure my family will have financial need. Should I complete the FAFSA?
Yes. Financial aid is intended both to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the costs of an education beyond high school and to fill in the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost. Students are encouraged to file the FAFSA for private, need-based scholarships and must file FAFSA for student loan consideration.

How do I know if I am an independent student? Why do I have to provide my parents information?
By federal definition, you are considered independent if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

    • You are or will be 24 years of age or older by January 1 of the award year you are applying for
    • You are working on a degree beyond a Bachelor's degree.
    • You are married by the date you filed your FAFSA.
    • You are a ward of the court or both parents are deceased and you do not have an adoptive parent. If you were a ward of the court until the age of 18, please submit documentation showing release from court custody upon reaching age 18.
    • You have legal dependents that fit the following definition:
      • Children, who receive more than half of their support from you, or other people living with you, who receive more than half of their support from you, and will continue to receive that support during the academic year you are applying for aid.
    • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. You are considered a veteran if you:
      • Have engaged in active service in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air force, Marines, or Coast Guard and were released under a condition other than dishonorable.

You are NOT a veteran if you:

  • Were never in the U.S. Armed Forces.
    • Were only a ROTC student.
    • Were only a cadets or midshipman at one of the service academies.
    • Were only a National Guard or Reserves enlistee and were not activated for duty.

If you meet any of the criteria listed above, then you are not required to provide your parents' information on the FAFSA. Otherwise, you are required to provide your parents' information on the FAFSA, unless there were extreme circumstances as to why you are no longer dependent on your parents for support. Independent status is NOT determined by your wish to be financially independent from your parents, nor on the basis of your parents' unwillingness to finance your college education. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have additional questions.


What is verification?
Verification is a federally mandated quality control process in which the Department of Education selects student files at random for review. If you are selected for verification, the school is required to check certain data on the FAFSA and compare them to your financial documents. We need additional paperwork to complete this process. If your file is selected for verification, you will be notified on your PATHWAY Financial Aid tab.

I was selected for verification.  What do I do now?
If your application has been selected for verification by the Federal Processor or by the college, CCC will notify you by email and request the additional documentation that is needed to complete the processing of your application.
You are required to submit signed copies of income tax transcripts and other documents to the Financial Aid Office. If your application is selected for verification, you will not be eligible for federal aid until this process is completed.  The following items must be submitted if your application is selected:

  • A signed copy of your (and your spouse's, if married) prior year Federal income tax transcripts, and schedule.
  • A copy of all W-2s associated with your income tax form, if requested
  • A signed copy of your parents' prior year federal income tax transcripts
  • A completed Verification Worksheet
  • Other supporting documents that may be requested:
    • Food Stamps verification
    • Child support
    • Immigration Status
    • Social Security
    • Birth Certificate(s)
    • Divorce/Separation documentation (must have correct, current name)
    • Veteran benefits
    • Ward of court
    • DD-214
  • Additional documentation may be required

To avoid unnecessary delays, please submit all required documents promptly.
Also, be sure you have filled out the Verification Worksheet completely and that all documents are signed by the appropriate parties. Documents with blanks and missing signatures will not be processed until complete.

I submitted my documents. What happens next?
When the Financial Aid Office receives the requested documents, we compare the information on these documents to the information you provided on your original FAFSA. If the information from the documents you submitted conflicts with your FAFSA, we may require additional information to clear up the discrepancy and will contact you by mail to request additional information. Responding quickly to any requests for additional information will help avoid further delays. If corrections to the FAFSA need to be made, CCC will correct the data and submit the corrections electronically to the U.S. Department of Education. A new SAR will be sent to you by the Federal Processor.

Why do I keep receiving requests for more information?
The information you submitted conflicts with the information on your FAFSA and we are required to verify that all information is correct and clear up any discrepancies in your file.


How many credits must I carry for my awards?
Your award offer is based on full-time (12 credit hours) enrollment status. If you change your enrollment status, you must notify the Financial Aid Office so that your financial aid award can be adjusted to reflect actual enrollment.

Full-time (12+ credits): 100%

Half-time (6-8 credits): 50%

Three-Quarter time (9-11 credits): 75%

Less-than-Half time (1-5 credits): 25%

If you are not registered at the enrollment level for which your award was made, you stop attending classes, or you withdraw completely from CCC, you may be expected to repay all or part of the funds disbursed to you. A recalculation of awards based on federal guidelines will be done to determine if an over award repayment is necessary. Financial aid repayments will be made in accordance with federal guidelines. Students who completely withdraw within the tuition refund period may have all or part of the tuition refund applied first to repay any financial aid received in accordance with the federal guidelines. The Title IV Refund/Repayment Policy is available online at Return of Title IV Policy.

If I enroll less than full-time, can I still receive financial aid?
Yes. Although financial aid is awarded based on full-time enrollment, the award letter gives the student the amount of financial aid, by semester, he/she will receive at all credit hours. Some funds can only be received if the student is enrolled half-time (6 credits or more).

What if my course is dropped by the college?
If your class is dropped by the college you will not be responsible for paying for the course. The course will not count toward your financial aid eligibility. A financial aid overpayment may occur due to dropped courses that result in a reduction of tuition charges. In these cases your financial aid may be reduced. If your financial aid has already been disbursed, you will owe this money back to the college.

What is the difference between a drop and withdrawal?
A drop is when the students drops the class during the College's drop and add period. The student is not charged for the class and cannot receive aid for the class. A withdrawal is a class dropped after the 100% refund period and will receive a W grade. The student (or the student's financial aid account) is charged for the class and it can impact the student's satisfactory academic progress.

I'm not doing well in one of my classes. What should I do?
Check with the Financial Aid Office before you withdraw from your course(s). There are consequences that can affect your present and future eligibility for financial aid.

There was a family emergency and I had to withdraw from all of my classes. What now?
We understand that unexpected events occur in life that could cause a student to withdraw from PCC. Federal regulations require financial aid to be awarded under the assumption that a student will attend the institution for the entire period in which federal assistance was disbursed.

Students who receive Title IV financial aid and withdraw from or drop courses during the school year may be required to repay financial aid already received AND may be placed on financial aid suspension (see Satisfactory Academic Progress). Withdrawal during the fall semester will result in the cancellation of financial aid designated for the spring semester.

If you drop all your classes —you may need to pay back part of the money you have received to attend school.
If you drop before you have completed 60 percent of the semester —federal law requires that you repay part of your financial aid.
You will not be able to return to CCC until you repay this money. If you wait more than 45 days, you will not be able to receive financial aid at CCC or any other school until payment is made.
Before you drop all your classes — talk to a financial aid staff member about your options.

What is an official withdrawal?
An official withdrawal is an instance in which you notify the CCC Admissions Office either in person and complete an add/drop form, by phone, through an academic advisor, or on-line and withdraw from a course or courses.

***Failure to attend or ceasing to attend a class does not constitute an official withdrawal! ***

What effects does withdrawing have on my financial aid?
The Financial Aid Office may be required to recalculate your eligibility for financial aid and pull back any unearned financial aid. Withdrawing also affects your completion rate and you could go on Financial Aid Warning or become ineligible for aid. Please contact us with any questions you have if you plan on withdrawing from courses.

Can audit courses be used to receive financial aid?
No. Audit course hours cannot be used to fulfill your hour requirement for financial aid and cannot be paid for with financial aid.  They do count as attempted hours and will affect your completion rate.

What happens if I want to DROP a course before the last day of add/drop?
You must be sure to drop your course over PATHWAY or in person at the Registrar's office. Otherwise, financial aid will hold your course and you will be charged the tuition and fees.

Paying for Classes and Books

What if my tuition payment is due, but I haven't received any information about my financial aid application or my award letter from the CCC Financial Aid Office?
If your financial aid has not been awarded by the tuition deadline you will need to make payment arrangements with the Cashier's Office or set up a Facts Payment Plan through your CCC Pathway account. You will be responsible for your tuition as well as paying for books and materials.

How do I avoid setting up a payment contract or paying for my classes should I be eligible to receive Financial Aid?
Submit all of your required documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid by the due date and we will guarantee to complete your file before payment is due. Start Early with your FAFSA application. Fall classes beginning in August, all documents are due July 1; spring classes beginning in January, all documents are due December 1; and summer classes beginning in June are due May 1. You may turn in documents after the due date, but you will need to either setup a payment contract with Accounts Receivable or make payment on your own until your financial aid is awarded to you.

What is drop for non-payment?
This is a de-registration process. When you register you must make payment arrangements or you will be removed from the course.


What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?
A subsidized loan is awarded based on financial need. If you have subsidized loans you will not be charged interest while you are enrolled in school at least part time, during a grace period, or during authorized periods of deferent. Interest will begin to accrue when you enter repayment. Repayment usually begins within six months after you graduate, leave school or do not enroll at least part time, which is six semester credits.

If you have unsubsidized loans, you will be charged interest from the day the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full, including in-school, grace and deferment periods. You may choose to pay the interest during these periods or it can be capitalized – that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based on the higher amount.

What is the aggregate limit for the Stafford Loan Program?
When taking out student loans, think about your educational goals, how long it will take and how much it will cost. Plan accordingly. Undergraduates cannot borrow more than the amount listed below:

Dependent student: $31,000 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized).
Independent student: $57,500 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized).

What happens if I have a Fall only loan or a Spring only loan or Summer only loan?
If you have a Fall only loan or Spring only loan or Summer only loan, the funds will come in two disbursements. The first disbursement will be approximately 30 days after the beginning of the semester.

Is a Federal Direct Loan considered Financial Aid and if I am placed on suspension for SAP, does this mean my loan will be cancelled?
Yes, Federal Direct Loans are considered Financial Aid. If you do not meet SAP requirements, any future disbursements for your loan will be cancelled and your loan will go into repayment status. Should you be reinstated later, you will need to accept your loan via your Pipeline account, or submit a written or e-mail request to be approved for a student loan.

Do I have to fill out a FAFSA to apply for a student loan?
You must fill out the FAFSA to apply for a loan. This is done to determine eligibility.

Can I avoid repaying my student loans?
No, you cannot avoid repaying your student loans because you:

  • did not complete the program of study at the school (for reasons other than school closure or false certification of loan eligibility)
  • did not like the school or the program of study
  • did not obtain employment after completing the program of study

How do I apply for student loans?

    • Complete the FAFSA
    • Download and print a Direct Loan Request form for a student or a Direct PLUS Loan Request form for a parent. Follow the instructions.
    • Only completed loan request forms will be processed.

What is Entrance Counseling and why do I have to complete it?
Entrance Counseling is required by federal regulations to ensure that students understand their rights and responsibilities as borrowers, as well as the terms and conditions of Federal Stafford Loans.

What is an MPN?
An MPN (Master Promissory Note) is the legal agreement you make with the lender to repay your loans.

Can I still get a Stafford Student Loan if I have a student loan in default?
No. You must contact your lender and make arrangements to pay off your previous student loan. Generally you must make at least 6 consecutive monthly payments before you will be eligible to take out a new Stafford Student Loan.

Is there a charge for a Stafford loan?
There is an origination fee of 2% and a Federal Default Fee of 1% on the loan. These fees are deducted proportionately from each disbursement of your loan before the funds are sent to PCC.


hen will I get my refund check?
Financial Aid refunds are mailed to students beginning approximately four weeks after the beginning of each semester. Pell and Loans are on different disbursement schedules.  Contact the financial aid office for additional information.

It is your responsibility to notify the CCC Admissions Office regarding updates in your name, address and phone number. You are not allowed to pick up refund checks.

Award Changes

What if my financial situation has changed since I filed my FAFSA?
You may complete a Professional Judgment Worksheet that will allow us to reevaluate your financial aid eligibility due to unemployment, loss of benefits, divorce or other special circumstances. The Professional Judgment must be submitted by established deadlines each semester.

My financial aid awards were reduced. How can aid be reduced after it was awarded it to me?
Federal and state financial aid laws state that a student cannot receive a financial aid amount greater than the cost of attendance minus any other aid and their" Expected Family Contribution". If you completed your FAFSA with estimated income information OR if your FAFSA was randomly picked for verification by the Department of Education, your award will not be final until we receive all requested documents and make any needed adjustments to the original data you reported.
Awards may also be reduced if we discover a significant difference between the income and asset information reported on your FAFSA and the information documented on your 2011 federal tax returns.

CCC is obligated to reduce your federal or state aid if outside aid or scholarships result in an over-award situation. For example, if a student receives a new scholarship midyear, causing him to be over awarded, then the aid package will need to be reduced to compensate for the scholarship. Had we known about this scholarship when the original financial aid package was calculated, the aid amount would have been lower in the original package. To adjust for an over-award, we normally reduce the Federal Stafford Loan OR Federal Work Study, before we would revise your remaining eligibility for grants. 

My award letter said that I was going to receive a certain amount, but I did not get as much as it said, why?
Award letters are based on Full-Time enrollment. If you enroll less than Full-Time, your Financial Aid will be pro-rated based on your actual enrollment for each semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Does my academic progress affect my Financial Aid?
Academic progress is calculated differently than Financial Aid SAP requirements. You can be placed on both. Your Financial Aid SAP status is the only one that will affect your Financial Aid. It is possible to be on Academic Probation and Financial Aid Suspension.

U.S. Department of Education regulations require that students maintain "satisfactory academic progress" to be eligible for financial aid. CCC requires students to maintain a 2.00 Grade Point Average (GPA) in addition to completing 67% of your coursework each semester. Failure to do so could result in financial aid probation or termination. Probation or termination remains in effect until the student demonstrates satisfactory progress; that means earning a GPA of 2.0 or higher in all hours attempted and completion of 67% of your course work. If financial aid is terminated, the student is responsible for paying all educational costs for the next term. Once satisfactory progress is demonstrated, financial aid can be reinstated. The Financial Aid Office will advise students in writing when they are placed on financial aid probation or when aid is terminated. Students at risk are strongly encouraged to contact academic and financial aid advisors.

All attempted courses in any term at CCC will be counted regardless of whether or not the student was receiving financial aid at the time the courses were attempted.

I received a letter saying I'm on warning. What does it mean?
If you're on warning it means you have fallen below one or more of the criteria required to be in Good Standing: 2.0 GPA and/or 67% completion percentage, or you have attempted more than 150% of the credits needed for your degree program. While you are on warning you are eligible to receive financial aid. See also: Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

If I am placed on warning for Financial Aid, does this mean I will lose my Financial Aid for the following term?
No, this is a warning and you do not need to appeal your SAP status. However, during the following term if you do not complete all of your credits you are enrolled in or if you do not meet the 2.0 GPA requirement for the semester and overall standards, or the overall 67% completion rate, then your SAP status will automatically calculate as suspension. Should you go on suspension at the end of the term, all Financial Aid will be cancelled for the following term(s).

I received a letter stating I'm ineligible for aid. How do I appeal?
To appeal your eligibility for aid based on satisfactory academic progress you must submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal. The application is available through your PATHWAY account or at the Financial Aid Office.

I received "F" and "W" grades this semester. Will this affect my financial aid eligibility?
"F" and "W" grades count in the calculation of your satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. If you have too many "F" or "W" grades you may fail these standards. Although you may submit an appeal, your circumstances must be very unusual and have prevented you from completing your course. We recommend that you talk with your instructor before withdrawing from a course to see if you may be able to complete it. Also, it is a good idea to meet with a counselor if you are uncertain if you are prepared to take a course rather than withdraw or fail it.

How can I regain financial aid eligibility?
To regain financial aid eligibility, the student must earn sufficient grades and/or complete the necessary credits to meet the cumulative 2.00 GPA and/or the 67.0% cumulative completion rate.

Does my SAP status from another institution affect my Financial Aid status at CCC?
CCC does not look at your SAP status from another institution unless your overall transfer GPA is below a 2.0 and/or your overall completion rate is below 67%. Should your transfer GPA fall below a 2.0, or your overall completion rate is not 67%, your first semester on Financial Aid at CCC will be warning. While on Financial Aid warning at CCC, you must complete all credit hours enrolled and maintain at least a 2.0 semester and overall GPA, and have an overall 67% completion rate.

What happens to my Financial Aid if I am placed on suspension for Financial Aid due to my instructor not submitting my grades on time or the instructor made a mistake on my grade(s)?
You will remain on suspension until the incomplete or new grade(s) are updated in the computer system. Once the grade(s) are updated and if you meet the requirements for SAP, you will receive a letter from the Office of Student Financial Aid indicating your new SAP status.

Will previous unsuccessful semesters affect my financial aid even if I paid for classes myself?
Previous unsuccessful semesters do affect aid eligibility even if you paid for the classes on your own.

Students may appeal in writing for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility if they have experienced mitigating circumstances that prevented them from meeting the minimum standards (accident, illness, death of immediate family members, etc.).
Explain the mitigating circumstances;
Provide copies of documentation supporting the circumstances; and
Provide details of what steps have been taken to ensure academic success.

What is not making “PACE”?
Not making “PACE” is not being able to complete your degree or certificate within the maximum financial aid eligibility time frame allowed for the program.

Special Circumstances

What is a special circumstance and how do I report it?
Loss of a job or benefits, death in the family, divorce or separation, or extreme medical bills is examples of special circumstances that can change your financial aid eligibility. Please call the office to discuss your situation.

What should I do if my family has special circumstances that aren't mentioned on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
If your family (parent, spouse, student) has experienced a loss of income since you completed the FAFSA, complete and submit an Appeal for an Income Reduction. Independent or Dependent Student versions are available. Be sure to attach supporting documentation and complete the entire form. Loss of income may be the result of a loss employment, income benefits, death of a parent or spouse, divorce or separation. Send the completed appeal form and supporting documentation to the College Financial Aid Office.

What if my family's financial situation changes after I apply for Financial Aid, or it differs from the tax return?
If you or your parents' financial situation is different than what is listed on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can complete the Professional Judgment form. This form allows you to list how your situation has changed, and document these changes. Common changes are: a loss of employment, reduced employment, loss of untaxed income, or having one or more of your parents attending college. Please contact the Financial Aid professional judgment counselor if you have any specific questions regarding your situation.

I don't get along with my parents and live independently -- I pay my own rent and other bills. Can I apply without my parent's income?
If you do not meet the criteria to automatically be considered independent and unusual circumstances exist in your relationship with your parents, you may complete the Appeal for a Dependency Override. You must document your situation carefully and completely. If you believe you may qualify for a dependency override, you should complete and submit the FAFSA. Include only your income information. It will be rejected when processed. However, if your appeal is approved, your financial aid application will be submitted electronically by the College Financial Aid Office. It takes approximately three weeks to determine your qualifications for a dependency override.

I lost my job (or one of my parents lost his/her job) and am not making the same amount of money. What do I do?
Students cannot do anything until after they receive an official award notification or denial. The award notification or denial will reflect the base year's information from the FAFSA. The student may then submit a Special Condition Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office. Parents and students who request a reevaluation based on unusual changes in financial circumstances during the calendar year will be reviewed after the initial review of their file. If it is determined that the student's financial need will increase, this increase could be funded with loans or possibly a Federal Pell Grant, if the student is eligible. The student should not submit the Special Condition Appeal Form until after the student receives a denial email or an initial award email.


How do I apply for Scholarships?
Visit the CCC Scholarships website for the most up-to-date scholarship details and to apply by completing the online general scholarship application at

Why is it necessary to write a thank-you note for my scholarship award, and what should I write?
Thank-you cards are a mandatory condition for accepting scholarships at CCC. 

How will receiving outside scholarships affect my financial aid?
If you receive outside scholarships, a financial aid adviser will attempt to maintain all previously awarded grants, scholarships, student work and student loans to the extent that federal and state regulations permit. If a reduction is necessary the advisor will reduce loans or work allocations first. It is the student's responsibility to report all outside scholarships.

Veteran's Benefits

I'm a veteran and I'm interested in seeing if I would qualify for veteran educational benefits. What do I do?
Each campus has a veteran's advisor who can explain the benefits and procedures. In addition, you can find valuable information from the College's Web page on veterans programs at

Student Employment/Work Study

What is Federal Work-Study?
The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for students with financial need. To qualify you must complete the FAFSA and demonstrate financial need. Jobs may be on-campus or off-campus community service positions.
What is Work-Study? Who is eligible?
Work-Study is awarded based on an individual's remaining financial need. Work hours cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the academic year when classes are in session. Work-study monies may be used only at your home institution. At CCC you will need to apply for a federal work-study position before you will be awarded federal work-study monies.

Work-Study minimum requirements:

    • Student must be enrolled for at least 6 credits throughout the semester – fall/spring (3 in the summer).
    • Student must have a Cumulative GPA of 2.0.
    • Student must be a “classified” student (have a declared major in an eligible program and be working toward a certificate or degree.)
    • Student must be eligible to work in the U.S.

 Transfer Students

Recent High School Graduates

SUMMER Financial Aid

I'm coming to CCC for the summer. Can I still get the Pell Grant?
Some financial aid is available for the summer term. Pell grants may be received if the student remains eligible. Each student's situation is different and the Financial Aid Office must individually evaluate each student to ensure that they have met the academic requirements for the summer semester.
If you are requesting Federal aid for the summer term, you must have a valid, verified Student Aid Report on file in the Office of Financial Aid. If you have not completed a FAFSA for the current year, contact our office as soon as possible. You must fill out a Loan Request form to request a loan for summer.

Financial aid during the summer terms may be limited by annual award maximums and enrollment status from the prior fall and spring semesters. If you did not receive financial aid during the previous spring or fall semester, you must apply for summer financial aid by filling out the FAFSA for the current academic year. For more information, see Summer Financial Aid Information.
Students who are considered "transient" are not eligible for financial aid at CCC during the summer terms. A transient student is a student who comes to CCC from another institution, takes course work in the summer and transfers that work back to their other institution in the fall.  In order to receive financial aid at CCC, students must be degree seeking at CCC.
This information is subject to change based upon budget appropriations by Congress. CCC is required by law to comply with all Federal regulations stipulated by the Department of Education and student eligibility is subject to these restrictions.
We have a Summer Applications that all continuing students must complete to be evaluated for additional Pell for the summer semester.