Federal Student Aid (FSA) Program
Student aid is money provided by the federal government or another entity, such as a school or a state government, to help students pay for college or trade school. The U.S. Department of Education’s federal student aid programs represent a substantial federal commitment to provide financial assistance for post-secondary students.
While financing of education is primarily the responsibility of the student, the federal government can help pay for college. A student must demonstrate financial need to be eligible. Financial aid is made available when the family’s resources are not enough to meet their educational expenses.
The federal government defines a student’s “financial need” as the difference between the school’s Cost Of Attendance (COA) and the student’s Expected Family Contribution (ECF). Based on the family’s income, size, and number in college, as well as other factors, the EFC is the amount of money the student and family are expected to contribute towards the student’s annual college costs.
How to Apply
To be considered eligible for federal student aid student must complete the on-line Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every school year. FAFSA allows the student to complete and submit their financial aid application electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
When to Apply for Financial Aid
For the academic year, the student may file, sign and submit their FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA any time after January 1st, but a complete and correct FAFSA must be received before July 1st. It is strongly recommended that student apply for financial aid at least two weeks before registration of the beginning of the academic year (Fall). Student does not need to apply every semester, only every academic year.
To be eligible for Federal Student Aid, a student must:
- Complete secondary education (high school diploma or its equivalent)
- Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
- Be a U.S. citizen or National or eligible noncitizen
- Have a valid social security number
- Make and maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Demonstrate financial need
- Not owe a repayment on any Federal student grant or be in default on a Federal student loan
- Most male students must be registered with the Selective Service to receive federal student aid. These students may register while completing the FAFSA. General information about Selective Service is available on-line at www.sss.gov.
Notification of Eligibility
A Financial Aid package will be developed and an Award notification letter, through email or postal, will be sent to the student when the following steps have been fulfilled:
- Complete the FAFSA
- Provide the ASCC Financial Aid Office with the required documents:
- Birth Certificate or U.S. Passport
- Valid ASG issued identification card
- Valid Social Security Card
- Proof of completion of secondary education (high school diploma or transcript; GED certificate; DD-214; School Certificate (from British system)
- If student is transferring from a college or university off island, student must have an official transcript sent to ASCC for review.
Financial Aid Grants
ASCC does not participate in any federal loan programs. However, ASCC does participate in the following federal grants:
- Federal Pell Grant (Pell)
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal Work-Study (FWS)
- FWS provides a grant income from a parttime job. If student accept a job under the Federal Work-Study program, they will be advised of strict federal guidelines that must be followed.
Maintaining Eligibility for Federal Student Aid
In order to remain eligible for FSA student must continue to meet the eligibility requirements. Student must maintain satisfactory academic progress. They must also familiarize themselves with the ASCC and federal policy on Student Withdrawals and federal regulations regarding the return of Pell and FSEOG funds.
Complete Withdrawal and Unofficial Withdrawal
If student withdraws completely from school after they have received an award, the Financial Aid Office will perform a post withdrawal calculation to determine the amount of funds student have earned up to the date of withdrawal. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount earned, student must reimburse all unearned funds to ASCC for return to U.S. Department of Education. Failure to reimburse any unearned funds to ASCC may result in reporting their overpayment to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). Exit counseling with a Financial Aid Counselor is strongly advised.
National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS)
If student previously attended college or university and received an overpayment of FSA or committed to a student loan agreement, the NSLDS will include loan information on their Student Aid Report. After signing a promissory note or loan contract, many students are only vaguely aware of their responsibility to repay the funds. Defaulting on a student loan will affect the student credit rating and could result in withholding or denial of federal student aid.
Financial Aid Office
For further information please refer to the Financial Aid Student Handbook available here. It is also available at the ASCC Financial Aid Office. If you have any questions, please contact us at:
Phone: 684-699-9155 ext. 313