Financial Aid Process

Student Eligibility

All students who have been accepted for admission to Gogebic Community College and who apply for financial assistance receive consideration. No student is denied the opportunity for financial aid because of race, color, or creed. When determining a student's need, the financial resources of the student's immediate family are considered along with any special circumstances. (In awarding aid to eligible students, aid is not only targeted toward the neediest student but is also awarded based on the timeliness of application.) A number of scholarships are awarded based on merit considerations in addition to those based on need.

Students must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to receive funding from federal and state sources:

  • demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you're a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program (Personal Enrichment, Job Upgrade, Guest or Other are not eligible programs.);
  • enroll in courses required by the degree;
  • not have any convictions for the sale or possession of illegal drugs depending on the date of the conviction;
  • be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress in college as defined by GCC;
  • sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) stating that
    • you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
    • you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
  • show you're qualified to obtain a college education by
    • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate (Certificates of completion do not qualify a student for financial assistance.);
    • completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (or-if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential-completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law) and
  • apply for financial aid every year.

NOTE:

A student is not eligible for federal financial aid if their program length is less than six months.

A student's file is incomplete until they receive a financial aid proposal from the GCC Financial Aid Office. Students should never begin attending classes until they know how much they are eligible to receive in financial aid if they plan on participating in any of the financial aid programs.

Student Eligibility Requirements to Continue to Receive Financial Aid

Once you've filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and received your grant, loan, or work-study funds to help you pay for college, make sure you stay eligible throughout the academic year-and in subsequent years.

CONTINUE TO MEET BASIC ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Remember, the basic student eligibility criteria that allows you to get federal student aid continues to apply throughout the time you're receiving aid-not just when you first fill out the FAFSA and are awarded aid.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS

You need to make satisfactory academic progress in order to continue receiving federal student aid. In other words, you have to make good enough grades, and complete enough classes (credits, hours, etc.), to keep moving toward successfully completing your degree or certificate in a time period that's acceptable to your school.

Each school has a satisfactory academic progress policy for financial aid purposes; to see GCC's policy, you can check your our website or ask someone at the GCC Financial Aid Office. The Satisfactory Academic Policy will tell you

  • what grade-point average (or equivalent standard) you need to maintain;
  • how quickly you need to be moving toward graduation (for instance, how many credits you should have successfully completed by the end of each year);
  • how an incomplete class, withdrawal, repeated class, change of major, or transfer of credits from another school affects your satisfactory academic progress;
  • how often your school will evaluate your progress;
  • what will happen if you fail to make satisfactory academic progress when your school evaluates you;
  • whether you are allowed to appeal your school's decision that you haven't made satisfactory academic progress (reasons for appeal usually include the death of a member of your family, your illness or injury, or other special circumstances); and
  • how you can regain eligibility for federal student aid.

FILL OUT THE FAFSA® EACH YEAR

When you fill out the FAFSA, you are applying for aid for a specific year. In order to receive aid the next year, you'll need to submit that next year's FAFSA. Luckily, the FAFSA website makes it easy for you by allowing you to submit a Renewal FAFSA that remembers certain information you reported the year before and places it in your new FAFSA.

Application Process for Financial Aid

You must complete the following in order to be considered for financial aid:

  1. Apply for admission to the college. Procedures for application for admission are found in the ADMISSIONS section. When completing the application for admission, you should indicate if you will be applying for financial aid. An estimated offer of financial aid will be given to you, but it isn't official until your acceptance is finalized.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).The paper FAFSA is available from high school guidance counselors or the GCC Financial Aid Office. You are strongly encouraged to apply online with FAFSA on the WEB (www.FAFSA.gov) and obtain a FSA ID which can be used throughout the federal aid process. The processing time of the FAFSA is approximately six weeks. If you do not receive the results - a Student Aid Report (SAR) - within this timeframe, please call 1-800-433-3243 to check on the processing.
  3. Review the SAR. This report contains the information that you provided on the FAFSA. If the SAR is correct and GCC is listed as a college choice, you need to keep it for your records. If it is incorrect or GCC was not listed as a college choice, you need to go back online to the FAFSA website and make the necessary corrections. You will also be asked to sign the form with your FSA ID and your parent's FSA ID, if applicable. After all corrections are made and the form is signed, submit the form electronically to the FAFSA Processing Center. Do not mail a paper SAR back to the FAFSA Processing Center. Mailing the SAR is a timely process.
  4. Submit all requested documentation to the GCC Financial Aid Office. GCC will be requesting additional information needed to complete the processing of your application. Documentation may include your and your parent IRS tax transcripts, child support payments, family member verification, etc. You will receive a letter from the Financial Aid Office (pending file completion) after the FAFSA has been submitted indicating what is needed to complete the file. (After the fourth letter, your file will be placed on hold and no further correspondence will be received from the Financial Aid Office until you contact GCC.) If any corrections need to be made to the original FAFSA information, the GCC Financial Aid Office will make the corrections, based on the submitted data and will resubmit the corrections to the Central Processing System. Upon receipt of the corrected information, the financial aid file will be reviewed and a financial aid proposal will be calculated and sent to you in the mail. This process normally takes about 15 business days. The deadline date for completing the verification requirements is your last date of enrollment, but no further action will be taken on the file until the requested information is received. You will not be able to receive any type of financial aid (including student loans) until the documents have been submitted.
  5. Apply for a student loan, if applicable. You may be eligible to apply for a student loan. To apply, you must fill out and submit a Master Promissory Note online, submit the Federal Direct Loan Request Form to GCC and participate in an entrance interview. Student loan materials can be obtained in the GCC Financial Aid Office or online at gogebic.edu. Visit www.studentloans.gov for additional information.
  6. Submit a college work-study application. College work-study application materials will be mailed to all eligible students with their award letter. These materials must be completed and returned to GCC according to the set deadline date. You will receive your job placement in July.
  7. Provide Notification to the GCC Financial Aid Office, if applicable. You must promptly notify GCC of any outside scholarships, grants, loans or other types of student aid that is received or expected to be received. Financial aid packages may need to be revised based on the receipt of additional awards.
  8. Apply for a GCC scholarship. Gogebic Community College offers a wide range of scholarships and awards to both freshman and sophomore students. Criteria and award amounts vary. Applications are submitted online through the Academic Works website. The typical application period is from January 1 through March 15, but there are scholarships that have later deadline dates. Students need to check the individual scholarship opportunity criteria for the individual deadline dates. The scholarships awarded in the spring are to be used for the following academic year. To apply for scholarships, you must be accepted to GCC and have been issued a Student ID number. You also have the capability to view all available scholarships as well as the scholarship criteria. Please note that you only need to fill out one application for all scholarships. The process automatically selects and sorts your application information according to the eligibility criteria of the individual scholarships. You will be notified via your GCC e-mail if you are selected as a scholarship recipient. This notification is normally sent out within three weeks of the scholarship application deadline. If you do not receive a scholarship during the first round of awarding, your application is stored in the data base for the entire academic year. Scholarships are awarded on a continual basis as new scholarships are received. Click on http://gogebic.academicworks.com to access the scholarship application.

An applicant who has completed their file by March 1 and has established need, will be given first consideration for available awards. You may generally expect to be offered a financial aid package fifteen business days after the file becomes complete. You may apply for financial aid after the deadline and will be offered aid based upon remaining available funds.

Notification and Selection of Applicants

GCC strives to provide you with sufficient resources to meet your direct educational costs as well as provide some financial assistance to help in meeting living expenses. GCC's goal is to distribute the available resources across the eligible population in a fair and equitable manner and to make use of all available resources. We strive to ensure that access to your chosen field of study is not limited due to lack of funding and, at the same time, try not to loan burden you.

The Financial Aid Office reviews all applications and determines the amount and type of aid to be awarded. The amount awarded is determined by need, FAFSA information, eligibility, timeliness of the application, response to requests for information, amount of funds available and individual program guidelines. (Summer school financial aid is limited and awarded based on the availability of funding. You do not need to fill out a separate application for summer school. Summer school is based on your 2015-16 FAFSA. The awarding of summer school funds will begin during the second semester of the academic year.)

Financial aid packages are created for students throughout the academic year. GCC utilizes a combination of packaging models in awarding financial aid and employs a policy of packaging gift awards first, college work-study second and loans last. Award proposals will be mailed to the students within 15 business days of file completion, detailing the type and amount of financial aid being offered. Financial aid is not official until an award proposal is received from GCC and you have been accepted in to an eligible program. It is not necessary to return the award proposal back to GCC.

GCC determines the eligibility for most types of aid you will receive, but there are times when final approval is given by the state or federal government and/or lending agencies, such as Michigan Works, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Veteran Affairs, etc. No financial aid will be disbursed until the school receives an official notice from the various sources. It is recommended that you periodically check with GCC and the agencies to find out the status of your application.

Financial aid is based on the number of credit hours you are enrolled in. You're classified as less than half-time (1-5 credits), half-time (6-8 credits), three-quarter-time (9-11 credits) or full-time (12 credits or above). You will receive an original financial aid package based on full-time status or your actual registered credits depending on if you registered for classes. If your enrollment status changes, your financial aid will be adjusted based on the number of enrolled credits. You will be able to access all financial aid revisions as well as tuition bills on My GCC at gogebic.edu. At the end of the drop/add period, your financial aid will be reconciled to match your enrollment status.

You need to review your award proposal to determine if the resources are adequate to meet your college expenses. If additional assistance of some type is necessary after reviewing the costs and financial aid, you may need to increase the amount of your loan, if eligible, or explore scholarships, grants and loans offered by outside professional, business and private organizations. You should never begin attending college without knowing the cost of your education.

Financial aid proposals are estimates that are subject to revisions due to changes in enrollment, corrections of errors and omissions, adjustments because of false or misleading student information, receipt of outside scholarships, grants and loans, conflicting information, changes in the availability of funding, failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress and the requirements of state and federal law and institutional policy. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to revise, adjust or cancel the award at any time based on new or conflicting eligibility information. You are required to report all changes in their financial aid status to the GCC Financial Aid Office.

Students who enroll in a program of study abroad approved for credit by the home institution may be considered for federal student financial assistance.

Disbursement of Financial Aid

You may be eligible to receive one or more types of financial assistance - grants and scholarships, college work-study and student loans. The type of assistance will influence the disbursement process. Financial aid is disbursed on a semester basis.

Grants and Scholarships - Grants and scholarships may be available to apply against direct charges if your financial aid file is complete. The amount of your disbursement will be printed on your tuition/fee bill. If the amount of financial aid does not cover your total cost, you are responsible for paying the balance through your own personal resources. Any credit balance remaining after all charges have been deducted may be used to charge your books and supplies purchased through the campus bookstore. You must provide the bookstore clerk with identification and the account will be adjusted to reflect the new charges. If you continue to have a remaining credit balance after all tuition/fee and bookstore charges have been processed, you will be provided with an expense check. This check is generally disbursed during the fourth week of classes.

Student Loans - Student loans can also be used to apply towards direct charges if your financial aid file is complete, the Master Promissory Note (MPN) has been filed, the Federal Direct Loan Request Form has been submitted, and the student loan counseling has been completed. GCC receives the majority of student loan funds electronically. You authorize the electronic transfer of these funds when you fill out the MPN. You are allowed to cancel the loan within 14 days after the date GCC sends the notification advising you that GCC has credited your account. The Financial Aid Office will transfer the funds to your account when the loan funds have been electronically transferred to GCC by the U.S. Department of Education. You must be enrolled for at least 6 credits, be in good academic standing and not be in default on a student loan. All loan proceeds in excess of your tuition/fees, bookstore charges and housing costs (if applicable) will be disbursed to you. The expense checks are normally disbursed the fourth week of classes and may or may not be a part of your first expense check. Student loan checks for students who are only attending one semester or for students who only request the loan for one semester will be disbursed in two separate payments.

If you are a first-year first-time borrowers in your program of study, you will not receive the first disbursement of the loan check until 30 days after the first day of classes. You will still be able to charge all direct costs up to the amount of the loan until the loan proceeds come in. A first-time borrower at GCC is also required to participate in an entrance interview prior to the certification of the loan check. Your student loan cannot be certified after you are no longer enrolled.

College Work-Study - College work-study cannot be used to waive tuition/fee and bookstore charges. It is to be used for living expenses. Students with a college work-study award will be assigned a job on the campus of GCC and will receive a paycheck once a month. You will be paid on the 10th of each month for work performed during the prior month. You will be required to complete a monthly timesheet that will be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by your supervisor on the last day of the month.