What is Financial Aid?
The Financial Aid Office assists students and their families with college expenses by helping them identify and qualify for the financial resources needed to achieve their goal of becoming servant leaders for the church. A student’s financial aid package may include:
- Institutional aid
- Merit Scholarships
- Need-Based Grants
- Federal aid
- Pell Grant
- Federal Direct Loans
- Work Study
- FSEOG Grant
- State aid
- Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab)
- Veteran’s aid
- Chapter 33 (Post-911 benefits)
- Chapter 35 (Dependent benefits)
- Private aid sources
- Private foundations
- Civic organizations
- School district scholarships
What is the difference between Federal Student Aid and Federal Direct Loans?
Federal Student Aid is financial aid from the federal government to help pay for your education expenses at an eligible college. Grants, loans, and work study are types of Federal Student Aid. You must complete the FAFSA to apply for this aid.
Federal Direct Loans are loans funded by the federal government to help pay for your education. A federal student loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. View the Federal Student Loans document for more information.
What are the benefits of Federal Student Aid?
Whether it’s grants or loans, every student is eligible for some type of Federal Student Aid if they have completed the FAFSA. This allows students to help pay for their college expenses at Central. Because we are so affordable, Federal Student Aid may allow a student to graduate with minimal debt, if they so choose. A student who works, saves, and plans can achieve financial success while in college.
What are the benefits of a Federal Direct Loan?
Federal Direct Loans will help you pay your college bill. You are not required to pay your student loans while you are in school, but you my choose to.
Federal Direct Loans may not cover your entire school bill if you are a residential student. A combination of scholarships, grants, payment plan, and loans may be used to help pay your college bill. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
How will the new scholarship plan affect students who have already received the Full-Tuition Scholarship?
Students with a Full-Tuition Scholarship who are enrolled during the 2019-20 school year will be transitioned to a Legacy Tuition Scholarship that maintains the cost of their education until they finish a bachelor’s degree.
If I decide to move off-campus or take classes solely online, what happens to my scholarship?
Residential students who move to online or commuter status will have their scholarship amount reduced by 50%, which can be restored if they return to residential status.
When can I complete the FAFSA?
You can complete the FAFSA after October 1st. Central’s Federal School Code is 014619.
What is an FSA ID and how do I obtain one?
An FSA ID is a user name and password for U.S. Department of Education websites. Effective May 10, 2015, this replaces the Federal PIN. Instructions on how to obtain a FSA ID and answers to frequently asked questions are provided on the Federal Student Aid website.
When will you begin to process my FAFSA?
The Financial Office will begin processing your FAFSA after a student has been admitted. We will strive to process your information as quickly as possible once we have received your FAFSA information from the Department of ED.
How do I apply for the Pell Grant and Student Loans?
In order to receive a Pell Grant or a Student Loan, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA. The link to complete your FAFSA on the web is https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.
Once your FAFSA information has been processed, you will receive an award letter stating how much Pell Grant you will be able to receive as a full time student. You will also be given the information on how to apply for your student loans and how much you will be able to borrow as a student. You may also go to the Financial Aid Checklist to get a jump start on applying for your loan.
Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?
Yes. In order to be reconsidered for federal student aid, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. For complete application instructions, see our Step-By-Step Process page.
What is verification and why was I chosen for verification?
Verification is when a FAFSA is chosen, by the Department of Education, to be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office in order to determine the accuracy of the information provided by the student (and parents if the student is a dependent student) on the FAFSA.
A FAFSA is chosen for verification when the Department of Education’s software has determined there is a high probability that the information given by the student and parents is incorrect. The Financial Aid Office is given the responsibility to determine if the information provided is correct and if not, to correct the information. This is done by requesting from the student and parents if necessary, financial and demographic information about the student’s household.
My parents don’t claim me on their tax return and don’t give me any money. Can I file as “Independent”?
Whether or not your parent(s) claimed you on their tax return has no bearing on your being considered independent. The Higher Education Act of 1992 established requirements for establishing independence. In addition, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act expanded the criteria under which an undergraduate student is considered independent for Title IV purposes. See the section titled “How do I become ‘Independent’ of my parent(s) for the independent criteria.”
When may a student be considered an independent student?
A student is considered a dependent student unless they meet one of the following criteria:
- You would be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year (e.g. born before January 1, 1994 for the 2017-2018 award year);
- Enrolled in a masters or doctorate program (beyond a bachelor’s degree)
- Be legally married at the time the student signs the application;
- Have children for whom you provide more than 50% support;
- Have legal dependents other than a spouse or children who receive more than half their support from you;
- Have been in foster care, an orphan (both parents deceased at any time since the age of 13), or a dependent or ward of the court;
- Be an emancipated minor as determined by a court in the state of legal residence;
- Be in legal guardianship as determined by a court in the state of legal residence;
- Been determined by a homeless liaison to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless;
- Been determined by the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless;
- Been determined by the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless;
- Be currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training; or
- Be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or currently in active duty (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard).
- If my parents are divorced or separated, whose financial data should be used when I’m completing the FAFSA?
If your natural parents are separated or divorced, complete the FAFSA providing information for your custodial parent. If you lived with neither parent, complete the FAFSA providing information for the parent that provided the most financial support to you over the past 12 months. If that parent has remarried, you must also include your step parent’s financial information on the FAFSA, and parent and step parent should report themselves as married on the FAFSA.
My parents got divorced, but they filed a joint federal tax return. How do I fill out the FAFSA?
When completing the FAFSA, only provide income information from the tax return for the parent who qualifies as your responsible parent.
I’m going to be married during the school year for which I am applying for aid. Can I fill out my FAFSA as “married”?
No. You must indicate your marital status as of the date you are completing the FAFSA.
I originally reported $5,000 in savings on my FAFSA. I have since purchased a car with the savings. Can I correct this?
No. You must report asset information as of the date you sign the original FAFSA. You cannot update your asset information.
I deposit my financial aid in my savings account and withdraw it as I need it. Do I need to include the financial aid when I report my “Cash, Savings, Checking” on my FAFSA?
No. Do not include any funds from financial aid grant, loan, work or scholarship programs which you may have in your savings and/or checking accounts.
How many hours do I have to be enrolled during Fall and Spring Semesters in to receive Federal Direct Student Loans?
If you are an undergraduate student, you will need to be enrolled in at least 6 hours and be degree-seeking.
My parent applied for a Parent Plus Loan, how long will it take to process?
The Parent Plus Loan generally takes 7-10 business days to process. Once a credit decision has been made, your parent will receive two letters one from Federal Direct Loans and the other from our office with additional information regarding the future processing of the loan.
What if my parent is denied the plus loan?
If your parent is denied he/she will have the option to appeal the credit decision or apply with a credit worthy co-signer. Your parent will contact the Direct Loan Origination Center, P.O. Box 5962, Montgomery, AL 36102-5692 or at 1-800-557-7394 to make these arrangements. If your parent chooses not to appeal or apply with a credit worthy co-signer, then you the student will be eligible to borrow an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan up to $4000 (freshman or sophomore) or up to $5000 (junior or senior).
How do I determine which lender to choose for my student loan?
Central has compiled a list of preferred lenders on the Financial Aid web pages. You may find this information at https://cccb.edu/financial-aid/ step six. Please read over the material carefully to make you decision. However, you are always free to choose any lender who participates in the Federal Stafford Loan program to be your lender of choice. The Financial Aid Office will certify your student loan no matter which lender you chose.