Gogebic Community College

Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

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Below are answers to Financial Aid’s frequently asked questions.

How Do I apply for Financial Aid?
All eligible students must complete the FAFSA online to receive financial aid every year beginning October 1 and entering our school code of 002264

Am I considered a dependent or independent student?
Your dependency status is determined by your answers from the FAFSA. For more information regarding your dependency status, please visit the FAFSA Dependency Status webpage.

I don't live with my parents, they don't claim me on their tax returns, and they don't give me any financial support. Do I have to put down their information on my application?
If you cannot answer "yes" to any question in the "Step 3" section on the FAFSA, you must include parent information. 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.

My parents are separated or divorced. Whose information should be given on the FAFSA?
If your parents are divorced or separated and don’t live together, answer the questions about the parent with whom you lived more during the past 12 months.

If you lived the same amount of time with each divorced or separated parent, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months or during the most recent 12 months that you received support from a parent.

My parents make too much money, should I apply for financial aid?
The calculation which determines eligibility for aid is complicated. There is no easy, straight forward "income cut-off" or other method to help you anticipate whether you'll be eligible. Regardless of how much money you or your parents make, you should still submit the FAFSA.

What if my family’s financial circumstances change drastically during a given year?
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 complete a Special Circumstance Form

I recently got married. Do I need to make corrections to my FAFSA indicating I am now married?
Federal guidelines do not allow for you to update marital status in the middle of an awarding year. Once you file the FAFSA indicating that you are single, you will not be able to change that information until you file the FAFSA again for the following year.

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 requested documentation as soon as possible to resolve any conflicting information.

How can I apply for GCC Scholarships?

How can I check the status of my financial aid?
You can check your status on MyGCC.  You can review the types of aid offered and items that require your attention such as missing documents.

When will I be awarded for the current academic year?
Awarding for the current academic usually begins in April. You can view your financial aid status  on the MyGCC.

What is meant by financial aid notification?
A financial aid notification informs the student 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. 

How can my parents get information about my financial aid?
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the student’s educational records. Per the FERPA, we cannot disclose a student's financial aid information to anyone other than the student-unless he or she has given written permission for us to do so  applies to the student regardless of age or dependency status.

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.

Can a student receive federal aid at GCC and another school in the same semester?
No, a student may only receive federal aid at one institution in the same semester.

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 may be eligible for the Pell Grant for summer.

What happens to my financial aid if I drop a class or withdraw completely from school?
Withdrawing from all classes or dropping a class at any point after the drop/add period will negatively impact your completion rate and possibly affect your eligibility for future aid. Additionally, if you drop a course or withdraw from the semester, you may be required to return some of your financial aid to the Department of Education. Please consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to making a decision.

I never withdrew, but I stopped attending or submitting assignments, why did you return funds?
Students are unofficially withdrawn when the institution realizes that the student is no longer attending classes or submitting assignments. The Financial Aid Office is required to use the student's last date of attendance to determine a withdrawal date. The Federal Return of Title IV formula is then used to determine the amount and type of aid the student earned and/or the amount and type of aid to refund to various financial aid programs.

I was advised to drop a class rather than receive a low grade. How is my financial aid impacted?
Even though dropping a class may help your GPA, the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy considers hours dropped with a "W" as "attempted, but not successfully completed." You are negatively affected if the total number of hours you drop places you under the required 67% completion rate.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

To receive Title IV Federal funds, a student must be making measurable academic progress toward completion of an eligible degree. Federal regulations require evaluation of both GPA and Completion Rate (PACE) and Maximum Time frame to maintain academic progress.

How is my "completion rate" determined for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
The total number of hours passed is divided by the total number of hours completed. You must complete 67% of all credit hours attempted from the beginning date of enrollment at the college. Developmental and transfer credit hours are included in this measurement.

How long will it take to review my SAP appeal?
The SAP Committee may have up to 7 days to make a determination and the decision will be final. The student will be notified by via their GCC email of the decision.

What is considered "supporting documentation" for a SAP appeal?
This is dependent upon the student's reason(s) for not meeting SAP. Supporting documentation could include letters from doctors, court documents, letters from employers, death certificates, obituaries, funeral programs, etc.

When will I get my financial aid disbursement or overage
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 either by paper check or direct deposit.  

What is work-study and how do I find a work-study Job?
Work-study is a federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses. For more information, view the federal work study on where?.

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 responsibility of the student to notify the Office Student Financial Aid of all outside scholarship awards.

An outside agency needs your office to provide information about my financial aid to verify my eligibility for their program. Can your office help?
Yes, we can help. Please contact us for more information. Please note: The Higher Education Act does not allow us to share data from your FAFSA directly with certain outside agencies, such as state benefit programs, even with your written permission.

What if I have More Questions? Contact us.




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