FAQ - Financial Aid

What is the tuition at Washington State?

Beginning Summer Term 2013, tuition is $136.00 per credit hour for Ohio residents, and $272.00 per credit hour for Non-Ohio residents. For a worksheet of average costs, CLICK HERE, Fees and payment plans, CLICK HERE.

What is "verification" and why do I have to complete more paperwork?

Any student who applies for federal student aid (FAFSA) can be randomly selected for verification. Once you are selected, you must submit certain documents to confirm information on the application. These documents may include, but are not limited to, signed copies of IRS Federal Tax return transcripts for student, spouse and/or parent; verification worksheets; W2 forms, proof of child support paid or received, etc. Financial aid cannot be finalized until all forms are completed.

Why do I have to use last years' tax information - that information isn't accurate anymore?

Even if you feel the FAFSA will not reflect changed financial circumstances in the current year, complete the FAFSA as best you can, supplying the information requested. Washington State Community College has a formal institutional appeal process to handle unusual circumstances. Students may submit a special circumstances appeal form to help determine if your circumstances bear consideration in reevaluating your financial aid eligibility. This form must be completed by financial aid applicants who are requesting a special circumstances review due to a drastic/unusual change from previous year income to current year income. Download form here (.pdf)

Can I use all of my financial aid for the year in one semester?

No. Federal regulations require us to disburse aid equally across terms of enrollments.

Why do I have to use my parent's tax information if I don't live with them and they don't support me?

The instructions on the FAFSA reflect rules set by Congress. If you have extenuating circumstances, such as parental abuse or if both parents are deceased, please file an appeal by using this form (.pdf). We are NOT able to consider appeals to become independent just because you live on your own and are self-sufficient, you are not claimed by your parents as a tax exemption, your parents refuse to provide information on the FAFSA or your parents do not support you.

I need a copy of my IRS Federal Tax Return Transcript and I don't have one?

You may obtain a copy of federal tax return transcripts at www.irs.gov or by calling 1.800.829.1040.You may obtain copies of W-2's from your previous employer(s).

Do I need to file a tax return?

You may contact an accountant to determine your filing status, or you may visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov and follow the directions there.

How will I know how much financial aid I'm getting?

If a student is eligible for financial aid, he/she will receive a Financial Aid Award Letter. This letter tells: type(s) of award(s) student will receive; amount(s) per semester; terms and conditions to meet while receiving aid. The award letter must be signed and returned to the Financial Aid Office once it is received in order to activate the aid offered. Students may also check their WebAdvisor account - financial aid can be viewed and updated automatically there.

How long before I know about my financial aid status?

It will take 7-14 business days for the Financial aid office to receive information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will be notified by mail of the next step to take in order to process your financial aid. It can take 6-8 weeks to complete the entire process.

I don't think I will qualify for aid. Should I apply 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. The financial aid office cannot process any aid for a student without the FAFSA on file.

What happens if I have to withdraw from all my classes, or I fail?

WSCC is required to determine when the student withdrew. The withdrawal date is: The date the student began the institutions withdrawal process by completing a withdrawal form and submitting it to the Records Office; or An unofficial withdrawal, the last known attendance at a documented academically- related activity; or the midpoint of the period of enrollment period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution.
NOTE: Failing all courses may constitute an unofficial withdrawal if the institution cannot document the student attended past the 60% point of the term.

Federal Return of Title IV Funds Calculation
A student earns aid based solely on the length of time he or she attended. If the student withdraws are stops attending classes before the 60% point of the semester, a portion of the total federal aid the student was eligible to receive may need to be repaid immediately. Title IV aid and all other aid is viewed as 100% earned after the 60% point of the semester. Unearned Title IV funds, other then Federal Work Study, must be returned. Unearned aid is the amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned. The responsibility to repay the unearned aid is shared by the institution and the student. Institutional responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds: Provide each student with the information given in this policy. Each student will receive this information in writing with their award letter. Identify students who are affected by this policy and complete the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for those students. Return any Title IV funds that are due to the Title IV programs in the following order within 45 of determining the student withdrew: unsubsidized Stafford Loan, subsidized Stafford Loan, PLUS Loan, Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant.
Student’s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds: Return to the Title IV program any funds that were disbursed directly to the student and which the student was determined to be ineligible for via the Return of Title IV Funds calculation and in the order as followed by the Institution stated above. A copy of the worksheet used for this calculation can be requested from the Office of Financial Aid. If earned aid exceeds disbursed aid, additional funds may be disbursed (Late Disbursement). Additional disbursements are precluded if the amount of earned aid is less than the total Title IV aid that was disbursed prior to the institution’s determination that the student withdrew.
An enrollment percentage will be determined by the number of days in the semester (including weekends) divided by the number of days enrolled (including weekends). However, scheduled breaks of 5 days or longer would be excluded in this calculation. The Title IV Refund formula assumes that funds are directly disbursed to the student only after all institutional charges have been covered, and that Title IV funds are the first resource applied to institutional charges. Institutional Charges consist of the amounts that have been assessed to the student’s account prior to the student’s withdraw, not a reduced amount that might result from the institutional refund policy. The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by institution and the student in proportion to the aid each is assumed to posses. The institution’s share is the lesser of: The total amount of unearned aid; or Institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that was unearned. The student’s share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution’s share. Students return their share of unearned aid attributable to a loan under the terms and conditions of the promissory note. The student will also be billed for any amount due to WSCC resulting from the return of Title IV Funds that were used to cover institutional charges. Students will receive notification of the Return of Title IV Funds Calculation and the amounts that are owed by certified U.S. mail. The student will have 45 days to set up a satisfactory re-payment option with the institution’s Business Office and the US Department of Education, whichever applies, for the student’s share of the unearned aid attributed to a grant after reduction. After 45 days have lapsed, the account will be turned over to collections to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for an overpayment of Title IV funds. Students who owe an overpayment for Title IV funds are INELIGIBLE for further disbursements of Title IV federal financial aid programs.

EXAMPLE
The following example illustrates how the Title IV Refund Policy would affect a student who withdraws from classes at Washington State Community College:
Student is attending Spring Semester, which is 119 calendar days in length with a 5 day break.

Financial Aid: Pell Grant $2775
Subsidized Loan $1750
Total Financial Aid Award: $4525

Institutional Charges: $2500
Aid Disbursed to the student after
Charges are paid: $2025

Student withdraws from classes on the 66th day of the semester, which is the Wednesday of the 11th week.

Percentage of federal financial aid earned =
Completed Days (66) / Total Days (114) =
Percentage Earned (57.8%)

Amount of federal financial aid earned =
Percentage Earned (57.8%) x Aid Awarded ($4525) =
Aid Earned ($2615.45)

Amount of federal aid to be returned=
Aid awarded ($4525) – Aid Earned ($2615.45) =
Aid to be Returned ($1909.55)
Amount School to return =
Percentage Unearned (42.2%) x Institutional Charges ($2500) = ($1055.00)

Of the ($1909.55) that needs to be returned to the
Department of Education WSCC returns ($1055.00)
to the Direct Loan program. This amount would be credited to the student’s subsidized loan amount.

Of the ($1909.55) that needs to be returned – Amount school returns ($1055) =
Amount Student to Return ($854.55)
*Student is not required to repay grant program since the total in unearned grants is less then 50% of the total federal grants. *

As WSCC had to return financial aid funds used to cover tuition and fees, the student would also be billed by the Business Office for the unpaid portion of his/her institutional charges.

Worksheets used to determine the amount of federal financial aid funds that must be returned are available in the Financial Aid Office upon request.

Is there a deadline to apply for FAFSA?

WSCC does not have a deadline for filing the FAFSA, unless the student is applying for an institutional scholarship. If the student is applying for an institutional scholarship then the deadline is April 2, 2013.

endfaq

Learn more about the financial aid process and how to apply by clicking here: Applying for Financial Aid at Washington State Community College.

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