Northeastern Junior College

Frequently Asked Questions

Financing your education doesn't have to be complicated.  Northeastern Junior College's Financial Aid Office provides assistance to students so that they may pursue higher education.  Both federal and state regulations and laws govern financial aid and the financial aid process and is sometimes difficult to complete.  It is the goal of Financial Aid to help students through the process and to ensure that funds are awarded to eligible individuals so that they may attend school and achieve their educational goals. View our Terms and Conditions here.

Below are answers to most frequently asked questions of the Financial Aid Office, our hope is that these answers will make the process easier for you to understand.

Frequently Asked Questions
 
What is Financial Aid?
 
Financial aid is money provided by federal, state, institutional and private sources to assist people who want to attend college. There are two types of financial aid. The first type is called merit or scholarship assistance. At NJC scholarships are available for students who have good grades, show academic potential or meet the qualifications for other private funds (financial need may be one of the criteria). Need-based or need-determined, is the second type of financial aid available at NJC. To qualify for need-determined aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and have their financial situation analyzed by a national formula called Federal Methodology. (If the student meets the official definition of "dependent", their parents' financial position is also taken into consideration.) It is possible for a student to have both merit- and need-based financial aid at the same time. It is important, however, that the student complete the proper applications in order to be considered for both merit- and need-determined aid. 
 
 
What type of financial aid is available at NJC?
 
-Grants (gift-aid)
-Scholarships (gift-aid)
-Work-Study
-Loans
-Scholarships
 
Grants and scholarships are gift-aid and do not need to be paid back. 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. 
 
 
Who can receive financial aid?
 
To be eligible to receive need based financial aid, certain requirements must be met. In general, all U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens who are enrolled in an approved degree or certificate program are eligible to receive financial assistance. 
 
I have a bachelor's degree. Do I still qualify for financial aid?
 
You are not eligible for a PELL grant, FSEOG, or CSG. But you may be eligible for Work Study. You may also be eligible to apply for a Federal Stafford student loan. 
 
 
Eligibility Requirements:
To be considered for need-based aid at NJC, applicants must meet all of the following requirements:
Have financial need as determined by your financial aid application (FAFSA).
-Have earned a high school diploma, passed the General Educational Development (GED) test, or obtained a passing score on an independently administered Ability to Benefit test approved by the U.S. Department of Education. (At NJC, this is the assessment test given in the NJC Testing Center).
-Be enrolled as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
-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.
     
 
How financial aid eligibility is determined:
NJC accepts the Federal Need Analysis Methodology as a fair and equitable means of determining the student's or the family's ability to contribute to the student?s educational expenses.
Financial aid eligibility is based on (1) your student expense budget, also called the cost of attendance (COA), (2) your estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and (3) your financial need. Financial need is based on the following equation: COA-EFC = Financial Need.
If you have been determined to have "financial need", you might qualify for the Federal Pell Grant (PELL), Federal Stafford Subsidized Student Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Grant (SEOG), Colorado Student Grant (CSG), and Federal and State Work-Study (FWS and CWS).
 
If your EFC is higher than your COA, you may not have a "financIal need".  You can still receive financial aid through the Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Student Loan and Parent PLUS Programs, up to your Estimated Cost of Attendance.

The purpose of Financial Aid is to meet, as much as possible, the student's financial aid need, considering the funds that are available at the time of awarding.
 
Determination of Estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The federal processor determines the EFC from information provided on the FAFSA. The following free online calculators are available to help you get an idea of what your EFC might be: www.Collegeboard.com, and www.finaid.org.
 
 
When do I apply for financial aid? How can I get the best financial aid award package?
 
As soon as possible after January 1 of the academic year you plan to attend. Please note that after you have completed your taxes, you must update your FAFSA application to include the correct information.
 
Some grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Be aware of NJC's priority deadlines each semester and apply for financial aid early.
 
Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  The order in which a student's file is completed determines when the award is made.  If a student has a completed file in the Financial Aid Office by the priority deadline, he or she will be given priority in determining eligibility for financial aid.
Applications, or materials that complete the application, received after the priority consideration dates are regarded as late and will be reviewed on a time-available basis.  This means that aid may not be available in time to pay tuition and fee costs.  Late applying students should be prepared to make payment arrangements.  Students who have not been funded should check with the Financial Aid Office to see if they qualify for a "financial aid deferment."  Aid not processed by the payment due date will be awarded during the term.

What are the priority deadlines for NJC?
 
NJC's priority deadline is March 1.
 
Can I apply for financial aid after the first priority deadline?
 
Yes. You may apply for financial aid at any time throughout the academic year. If your file is completed after March 1 of the award year, the funding in some of the grant programs may already be depleted.
 

How do I apply for financial aid at NJC?
 
1.      Apply using FAFSA or RENEWAL FAFSA ON THE WEB as soon as possible after
January 1 for the appropriate financial aid year; or complete a paper FAFSA or renewal FAFSA. NJC's Title IV School Code is 001361.
 
2.   Please note that NJC's financial aid year starts with the Fall Semester and ends with the Summer Semester each year. You will need to choose the FAFSA application corresponding to the semester(s) you plan to attend.
 
Use the 2010-2011 FAFSA application if you plan on attending NJC during the Fall 2010, Spring 2011, and Summer 2011 semesters. The last day to submit the 2010-2011 FAFSA is June 30, 2011. Be sure to apply as soon as possible after January 1, 2010.

Use the 2011-2012 FAFSA application if you plan on attending NJC during the Fall 2011, Spring 2012, and Summer 2012 semesters. The last day to submit the 2011-2012 FAFSA is June 30, 2012. Be sure to apply as soon as possible after January 1, 2011.

 

Do I need to submit other documents to NJC?
 
ONLY if they are requested. Be sure to include your name and social security number on all documentation submitted, including documents requested for parent(s) or spouse.

Do I need to keep copies?
 
YES!  Keep copies of all forms completed and any materials used to prepare the forms, such as tax returns and W2s.       
 
What do I do with my Student Aid Report (SAR)?
 
To receive your aid, you must have a complete and correct SAR, thus, it is very important for you to review your SAR. The SAR confirms the information reported on your FAFSA and will contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a measure of your family's financial strength and is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The SAR will also let you know if your application has been selected for a process called verification by the U.S. Department of Education.
 
If you need to make corrections to your SAR, we encourage you to utilize FAFSA Corrections on the Web and make them yourself. 
 
What if I didn't request that NJC be sent my financial aid application?
 
You can go online to FAFSA Corrections on the Web and add NJC to your SAR.  The NJC School Code is 001361. 
 
How am I notified about the financial aid I will receive?
 
You will receive a Financial Aid Award Letter from the NJC 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. 
 
How do I accept my award?
 
As long as you are eligible for the award(s) and you are enrolled in the minimum number of credit hours needed for the award, you do not need to do anything to accept your award. You do not have to return the Financial Aid Award Letter to the NJC Financial Aid Office.
 
If you do NOT want to accept a certain award, you can either sign the award letter and decline the award.
 
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.

My financial aid package may not cover my entire living and educational costs, what else can I do?
 
Work part-time, use savings, apply for scholarships, consider living at home or with relatives to save on rent and utility costs.
 
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. 
 
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?
 
Yes. However, once you have filed a FAFSA, you may be able to file a Renewal FAFSA the next year.  The Renewal FAFSA is designed for financial aid applicants who filed last year and are filing again. Many of the answers the student provided on last year's FAFSA are automatically entered into the Renewal FAFSA, reducing the number of questions the student must complete. Only the questions for which answers will have changed since last year need to be completed.
 
PARENTS INFORMATION ON THE FAFSA
 
Am I required to use my parent's information on the FAFSA?
 
The instructions in the FAFSA will explain whether or not you must include parent information. Please note that if you have been declared independent by a financial aid administrator in the past, or if you think your special situation merits a review, request and complete a Dependent Override Appeal Form from the Financial Aid Office. 
 
My parents refuse to give me the information I need to fill out my financial aid forms. They say it's nobody's business.  Am I out of luck?
 
Yes. If your parents do not provide their information on your application, you probably cannot be considered for federal and state financial aid. Check with the Financial Aid Office for other possible financial assistance options.

My parents are separated or divorced. Whose information should be given on the FAFSA?
 
On the application, information should be given for the parent you lived with the most in the last 12 months. If you don't live with either parent or lived with both parents for an equal number of days, information should be given for the parent who provided the greater amount of support to you during the last calendar year. FAFSA instructions have information that will be helpful if you have questions about providing information from separated or divorced parents.
 
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 under 24 years of age are considered dependent on their parents by federal law no matter where they live (there are limited exceptions,  please note them in the FAFSA instructions). If your parents do not provide their information on your application, you probably cannot be considered for aid. 
  
VERIFICATION
 
What is Verification?
 
Verification is a process, initiated by the U.S. Department of Education or by the Financial Aid office, requiring you to verify the information that you provided on the FAFSA.

What must I do if my application is selected for verification?
 
If your application has been selected for verification by the Federal processor or by the college, NJC will notify you by letter 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 returns 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. About 30% of all financial aid applicants at NJC are selected at random each year for verification when their application is processed. 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 return, and schedules.
-A copy of all W-2's associated with your income tax form.
-A signed copy of your parents' prior year Federal income tax return, and schedules (for student's who were required to provide parent financial information on the FAFSA).
-A completed Verification Worksheet for Independent or Dependent Student.
-Other supporting documents that may be requested: 
 -Child support
-AFDC/ADC/TANF
-Immigration
-Social Security
-Birth Certificate(s)
-Divorce/Separation documentation (must have correct, current name)
-Veteran benefits
-Ward of court

To avoid unnecessary delays, please submit all required documents promptly. Also, be sure you have filled out the Verification Statement completely, and that all documents are signed by the appropriate parties. Documents with blanks and missing signatures will be returned.
 
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, NJC 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.
 
How are financial aid funds awarded?
 
Maximum gift assistance for full-time students attending two semesters may be the Federal Pell Grant. Awards to students attending less than full-time will be prorated. The Federal Pell Grant is subtracted from the remaining financial need. If there is remaining need, funding may be awarded in the following order:
 
Colorado Student Grant (CSG)
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
Colorado Work-Study (CWS)
 
All of these funds are limited and are awarded until they are depleted, thus, you may have remaining need even after all funds have been awarded. 

How am I notified about the financial aid I will receive?
 
You will receive a Financial Aid Award Letter from the NJC 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. 
 
MONEY AND TUITION MATTERS
 
How do I pay for my classes?
 
Cash, check, credit card, company billing, or financial aid. 
 
How do I pay for my books?
 
Cash, check, credit card. If you have enough financial aid grants and/or loans, you can charge the books and supplies purchased at the NJC Bookstore, against your financial aid.
 
How will my financial aid money be disbursed?
 
The Financial aid Office will post your financial aid award on your account. If your financial aid award exceeds your tuition, books and fees, a check for the balance will be mailed to you by the NJC Business Office approximately six weeks after the semester starts. If your award is less than tuition, fees and books, you must pay the difference. If necessary, you may consider applying for a Federal Stafford student loan.
 
When will I get my money?
 
If you have been awarded, the Financial Aid Office will release your funds 30 days after the first day of regularly scheduled courses for the semester. It takes the Cashier's Office seven to ten days to process the disbursement check. They will mail the check to you at the address you have provided to the Admissions Office. It is your responsibility to notify the NJC Records Office regarding updates in your name, address and phone number.
 
Can I pick up my disbursement check?
 
It is NJC's policy to mail disbursement checks. Contact the Cashier's Office if you wish to pick up your disbursement check.
 
What if my course is dropped by the college?
 
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.
 
WITHDRAWING
 
What effects does withdrawing have on my financial aid?
 
Depending on the time of the semester when you withdraw, withdrawal can seriously affect both your financial aid eligibility and your maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Please contact the NJC Financial Aid Office before you withdraw to determine what effect your withdrawal may have on your financial aid. 


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