1. What is financial aid?
Financial aid is money for students to help meet college costs. It can include grants, scholarships, work-study, and federal student loans. Grants (Federal and State) are based on financial need and do not have to be repaid. Scholarships are non-repayable awards, and may be based on merit, special talent, financial need, application deadlines, or all of the above. College work-study, is also based on need and funds available, allow students to earn money while attending school by working part-time on campus. Federal direct loans are funds borrowed at a low, fixed interest rate that must be repaid later. Repayment on loans do not begin until six months after the student either graduates, drops below half-time enrollment, or ceases to be enrolled for any reason.
2. What is my financial need?
To qualify for financial aid you must demonstrate need. Please understand, however, that the primary contributors to your educational expenses are you and your family. When you apply for federal student aid, the information you report is used in a formula established by the Department of Education. The formula determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), an amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. Cost of Attendance – EFC = Financial Need
If your application is chosen for verification by the Department of Education, additional documents may be requested and the processing time may increase. Once documents have been received by the financial aid department, processing time would be approximately 10-15 business days.
For 2019-2020, you must include parental information unless you can answer, “yes” to one or more of the following questions:
1. Were you born before January 1, 1996?
2. As of today, are you married?
3. At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program?
4. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
5. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
6. Do you now have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020?
7. Do you have dependents (other than children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2020?
8. At any time since you turned 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
9. As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
10. Does someone other than your parent or stepparent have legal guardianship of you, as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
11. At any time on or after July 1, 2018, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
12. At any time on or after July 1, 2018, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
13. At any time on or after July 1, 2018, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If you answered “no” to all of these questions then you must include parental information on your application, even if your parents are not helping you financially. The federal government assumes that your parents have an obligation to pay for your education and requires that your parent’s financial resources be considered.
Check your Student Aid Report (SAR) carefully for any incorrect items. Make any necessary corrections, send to the Department of Education, and make a copy for your records. Coastal Bend College will receive an electronic analysis of all the information on your SAR if you specified Coastal Bend College as one of your college choices. No financial aid will be awarded until students complete all other necessary forms.
Financial aid applications are available on the FAFSA website after October 1st each academic year. You must apply as soon as you can after this date, providing that you and/or your parents have completed the tax return needed for the FAFSA application.
Yes. You must reapply for financial assistance every academic year. Financial aid consideration does not continue from one year to the next without applying. All financial aid eligibility is determined using the prior year income. For example, your 2018-2019 eligibility was based on income received in 2016, and for 2019-2020 your eligibility will be based on income received for 2017.
8. Can I receive a Pell grant if I am enrolled in less than half time?
Yes, if you are otherwise eligible. You won’t receive as much as if you were enrolled full time, but based on your FAFSA you may be eligible. Other aid (like direct loans) will require at least half time enrollment.
Financial aid applicants must have a high school diploma or must have successfully completed the General Educational Development (GED) Certificate to receive student financial aid.
In order to remain eligible for financial aid assistance, you must be making satisfactory progress toward your degree as defined by the Financial Aid Office. If a student does not meet the satisfactory progress requirements and maintain good academic standing, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension. The student will not be allowed to receive any additional financial aid until the suspension is cleared. A suspension status can be removed by successfully completing the enrollment requirements and maintaining the minimum grade point average. You must notify the Financial Aid Office to insure removal of suspension status. Students who have extenuating circumstances beyond their control (serious illness, serious injury, death of an immediate family member, etc.) may appeal their status. A Financial Aid Suspension Appeal and the appropriate supporting documentation must be completed and returned to the Financial Aid Office. Appeals will be processed by the Financial Aid Office and reviewed by the Financial Aid Director.
The parent’s information that should be used to complete the application is the one with whom you lived the longest period during the last 12 months. If you didn’t live with either parent, or lived with each parent for an equal number of days, the application should be filled out by the parent who provided the most support for you during the last 12 months. “Support” means money for such things as housing, food, clothing, transportation, medical care, and school.
Yes, stepparent’s information must be included on your financial aid application.
Unless they are your legal (court appointed) guardians or they have legally adopted you, you must use your parents’ information.
If you and your family have unusual circumstances that might affect your need for financial aid, submit the FAFSA and then consult with the Financial Aid Office.