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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to Financial Aid’s most commonly asked questions.

What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school. Financial aid includes scholarships, grants, student loans, and federal work-study.


Who is eligible for Financial Aid?
In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must meet the following federal criteria:

  • U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
  • Degree seeking students.
  • Students admitted to a qualified post-baccalaureate or graduate program leading to a degree/certificate.
  • Students who are not in default on any prior student loans; do not owe a repayment on any Title IV financial aid.
  • Students enrolled in the required number of hours for whatever aid program is available.
  • Students who have completed the verification process by submitting all of the requested documents to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
  • A non-citizen, who is a permanent resident, is eligible for financial aid. The student must have the proper documentation, such as, a resident alien card (FAFSA requires this number be listed).
  • Male students between the ages of 18-25 must register with Selective Service on their website to receive financial aid.
  • Students who are on a temporary or student visa are not eligible for federal student aid.


Where can a student apply for Financial Aid?
All eligible students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online to receive financial aid. The FAFSA is available for students to complete January 1 for the new academic year.


Does a student have to apply for financial aid every year?
Yes, financial aid is not automatic and students must re-apply each year by submitting the FAFSA application.


Is there a deadline for applying for Financial Aid?

The FAFSA is available January 1st. CVCC has a priority filing date of March 1. CVCC recommends this date for North Carolina Residents, who may be eligible for limited grant funding.

If you miss the priority filing date, still complete the FAFSA. This is only a priority date and not a final date to apply. When you complete the FAFSA you are applying for Federal and State financial assistance. Some organizations require students to complete the FAFSA for financial assistance from private donors.


What information do I need to complete the FAFSA?

  • You will need a copy of your tax return for the prior year.
  • A copy of your W-2’s
  • Documentation of any untaxed income such as child support, cash withdrawals from retirement plans and unemployment benefits.


What if we have not filed our taxes yet and we will not complete them until April, can I still complete the FAFSA?

Many families do not have their federal and state income taxes completed until April; however, this will not prevent you from applying for aid on time. The FAFSA allows you to use estimated income figures on its form. However, once you complete your taxes, you will need to update your FAFSA if there are updates/changes to your original estimate. If you have already been awarded financial aid, that aid will be adjusted if necessary.

NOTE: There is a change in the application process starting with the 2017-2018 academic year. Income information needed for the application will be from the “prior prior year.” For example: For the 2017-2018 FAFSA application, report 2015 income information. For more information, please review Early FAFSA for 2017-2018.


What is CVCC’s Federal School Code?
Our Federal School Code is 005318. This code is used to ensure your FAFSA information is submitted to CVCC.


Why do I have to provide parent information on my FAFSA?
Students are considered dependent or independent for financial aid purposes based on criteria established by the Federal Government. Parents of dependent students must provide their financial information in order to determine eligibility for the various federal aid programs.


I have been selected for Verification. What does this mean?

Verification is the process of verifying the information reported on the FAFSA in comparison to you and your parent’s tax returns. If you are selected you cannot be awarded until verification is complete. Please provide documentation as soon as possible. The initial documents include your and your parent’s tax transcript/data retrieval, and W-2’s, and completion of the verification worksheet. Sometimes there are additional documents we may request to resolve any conflicting information.


What is meant by Financial Aid Award?
A Financial Aid Award informs the student and parent of the types and amounts of aid the student will receive for the academic year.


Can I receive financial aid if am not a degree seeking student?
No. Students must be enrolled in a degree seeking program to receive financial aid. Please review the list of Non-Eligible Programs.


Can I use financial aid for courses not required in my Program of Study?

No. Courses not required for completion of your degree, with the exception of pre-curriculum courses, cannot be considered when determining your eligibility for financial aid. Upon review of your schedule prior to disbursement of financial aid, if you are registered for courses not required in your Program of Study, your aid will be adjusted. If aid is disbursed prior to review and later determined that courses are not in your Program of Study, it will be adjusted retroactively and you will be billed for the overpayment. Therefore, it is imperative that you review the requirements of your Program of Study.


Do I need to be a full-time (12 credit hours) student to receive financial aid?

No. Students may be enrolled less than half-time (6 credit hours) and be eligible for some federal financial aid programs. Awards are processed based on the enrollment status information indicated on the FAFSA. If a student changes enrollment plans, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid must be notified immediately.


What is Cost of Attendance?

Cost of Attendance is the estimation of how much money it will cost a student to attend CVCC. It is based on totals of both CVCC costs billed directly to your student account (such as tuition and fees) and estimates of other expenses you will incur (such as books, transportation, and miscellaneous needs (such as personal items). Please note that the cost of attendance does not reflect a student's actual charges.


Can a student receive federal aid at CVCC and another school in the same semester?

No, a student may only receive federal aid at one institution in the same semester.


My parents make too much money for me to receive financial aid. What options are available to me?

Regardless of how much money you or your parents make, you should still submit the FAFSA. Some sources of federal aid are not need based which means you or your parents may qualify regardless of income.


What if my family’s financial circumstances change drastically during a given year? What can be done?

There are circumstances that will enable the financial aid office to adjust a student’s aid eligibility. These circumstances could include: job loss due to unemployment or illness, separation or divorce, or unusual medical expenses. If conditions such as these occur during the academic year, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Do not send any letters to the Department of Education as they are unable to adjust your aid eligibility. Students and parents may also complete a Professional Judgment Form (PDF).


Can I get financial aid for summer school?

Yes, you may be eligible for aid for summer. Summer school aid is based upon any remaining eligibility after Fall and Spring. Due to recent changes to the Pell Grant Program, if you receive Pell during the academic year, you will not be eligible for the Pell Grant for summer. Visiting students from other colleges are not eligible for aid in the summer.


What happens if I drop or withdraw from a course during the semester? How will it affect my financial aid?

Your financial aid award maybe adjusted if you drop or withdraw from a course during the semester. Please consult with a financial aid technician to determine if your aid will be adjusted based upon your award and the date you are dropping the course. If you are currently on a plan of action due to a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal for the semester, you may be ineligible for aid for the next semester.


When will I get my financial aid funds?

If you have aid in excess of your tuition/fees and bookstore charges, the remaining funds will be disbursed after all semester charges have been made. Your refund will be disbursed to you based on how you set up your CVCCOneCard. Please review the Disbursement Schedule.


Does an outside scholarship affect my financial aid award?

Outside scholarships must be included in your financial aid package as a resource to help pay your educational costs. It is the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid’s policy to ensure students are awarded for achievements and efforts by first applying these funds to any unmet need the student may have occurred. If need has been met 100%, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will reduce the student’s loan and/or grant amounts. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid office of all outside scholarship awards. If notified of outside scholarships after aid has been disbursed, you may owe a balance to the College.


When do I have to repay my student loans?

Repayment begins six months after graduation or after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time. Repayment for Parent PLUS loans begins immediately, 30 to 60 days after the initial disbursement. In all cases, student loans must be repaid regardless of whether the student completes a program of study or not. Failure to repay your student loans can result in serious consequences and negatively impact one’s ability to obtain credit in the future.


Are student loans considered part of financial aid?

Yes, Federal Direct Loans are considered part of the Federal Student Aid Programs and are considered part of the financial aid award package.

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