FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following is a list of frequently asked questions about financial aid. If you do not see your question on this list, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply to your question.
What is financial aid?
Financial Aid is made available by federal and state governments in the form of grants, fee waivers, part-time employment, loans, and scholarships. The funds are available to make it possible for students to continue their education beyond high school, even if they and their family cannot meet the full cost of attending college. The basis for such assistance is the belief that the student (and their parents) have the primary responsibility for meeting their educational costs. Financial Aid is available to fill the gap between a family's contribution and the student's educational expenses.
What can I do to avoid unnecessary delays in the processing of my financial aid application?
The delay in processing of financial aid applications can be avoided by accurately completing the FAFSA application the first time -- when available, make sure to use the Data Retrieval Tool to complete the income sections on your FAFSA.
In addition, responding promptly to any correspondence letters the Financial Aid Office sends you will also expedite the processing of your application. Best of all, apply early to avoid the financial aid application processing rush. We highly recommend that you keep a copy of all the documents used to complete the FAFSA, such as tax returns, W-2s, green card, etc. The Financial Aid Office may request that you prove (verify) any information that you and/or your parents reported on your FAFSA application.
How will I know if my financial aid money is available for me?
Financial Aid disbursements are electronically delivered via the MyLACCDcard process. In order to activate your MyLACCDcard, it is important that the mailing address in the Admissions Office is up to date. Students must first receive an Award Offer Letter from the Financial Aid Office before they can expect to receive disbursements. Federal Pell Grants are typically paid twice a semester. Other grants, scholarships, and loans are typically paid once a semester. Work-Study earnings are paid every two weeks. Financial aid recipients may also request to have their funds electronically transferred to their savings or checking bank account as an option through the debit card process. Visit the MyLACCDcard page for more information.
Can I access the status of my financial aid application online?
The status of your financial aid application is available on the Student Information System. Specifically, students will be able to check the status of their financial aid application, including missing documents, financial aid appeals, financial aid awards, fee waiver status, academic status, etc.
Do I need to complete a FAFSA for each academic year?
Yes. A separate FAFSA must be completed for each academic year. Financial aid applications from prior years may not be used to apply for aid for a current year. A good habit to have is remembering that on October 1st of any particular year you should begin completing a new application for the upcoming Fall semester.
If I completed a FAFSA for the Fall semester, do I need to complete a new one for the Spring semester?
No. The FAFSA covers the entire academic year for which it was done. If you have already completed a FAFSA for the Fall semester, it will automatically be applied to the Winter, Spring, and Summer semesters for that same academic year.
If I wait until the Spring semester to complete my financial aid file, even though I attended school in the Fall as well, will I lose out on the financial aid for the Fall?
No. Under normal circumstances you will receive financial aid retroactively for any semesters for which you had registered units within the same academic year for which you are doing the FAFSA. This is provided that you have registered for units during the current or upcoming semester and there was nothing preventing you being eligible for aid in the prior semester (such as, but not limited to, a disqualification due to unsatisfactory academic progress, a defaulted student loan, or a financial aid overpayment from a previous academic year).
I don't live with my parents or receive support from them. Do I still need to provide their information on my FAFSA?
It depends. Per Department of Education regulations, being independent or dependent for financial aid purposes is not determined by whether or not you live with or receive support from your parents. On step three of the FAFSA, there are questions that you must answer in order to determine whether or not you must include your parents' information. If you can answer "yes" to either of these questions, then you do not need to provide your parents' information. If you answer "no" to all of the questions, then you must provide your parents' information even if you don't live with or receive support from them.