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Financial Aid Tutorial

Steps to complete the TCC Financial Aid application process.

Application Steps in Sequence

  1. Watch Financial Aid TV for the most current information.

  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    1. What does the FAFSA do?
    2. How do I complete the FAFSA?
    3. When do I complete the FAFSA?

  3. Receive your Student Aid Report
    1. What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?
    2. What should I do with my SAR?
    3. How do I know how much aid I will receive?

  4. Apply for a scholarship
    1. What scholarships are available at Tidewater Community College?
    2. What other scholarship resources are available?
    3. How do I know if I will receive a scholarship?

  5. Optional: About student loans
    1. What is a student loan?
    2. How do I qualify for a student loan?
    3. When do I repay my loan?

  6. Use financial aid to pay tuition and purchase books
1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the form used to determine eligibility for all financial aid. In other words, you must submit a FAFSA to be considered for grants, work-study, scholarships, and student loans, including Federal Stafford and Federal Parent PLUS loans.

 

What does the FAFSA do?

    The FAFSA gathers information about a family’s financial situation and uses a Department of Education methodology to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that is used to determine your eligibility for all financial aid sources.
   

How do I complete the FAFSA?

      Although you may submit a paper FAFSA, filing online has many advantages:
     
  • You will receive your results, called a Student Aid Report (SAR), faster.
  • The online application checks for incomplete or conflicting information.
  • You can save your application for transmission at a later time.
     

Before filing the FAFSA online, apply for an electronic PIN
You will use this PIN as your electronic signature. 
If you are a dependent student, your parent will need one too.

     
     

Once you have your PIN, apply online for quick results! 
Be sure to list TCC as your school choice
You will need our federal school code 003712
Read all directions before beginning the online application to be sure you are fully prepared.

    Complete the FAFSA online.
    When do I complete the FAFSA?
     

The FAFSA must be completed each award year
The application is available online beginning January 1: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ 
You will complete the application for the period that you plan to attend.

  • If you will begin classes in fall of 2012, you should complete the 2012-2013 FAFSA now in preparation for the coming year.
  • If you will begin in the middle of the year, you should complete the current application. 
    For example, if you are planning to attend during the spring or summer semester, 2012, you will complete the 2011-2012 FAFSA. 
  • You should also complete the 2012-2013 FAFSA for the coming year.

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2. Receive your Student Aid Report

 

If you filed your FAFSA online, and provided an email address, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) in approximately three to five business days at your email address.  I
f you did not provide an email address, you will receive your SAR in approximately two weeks at your mailing address.

    What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?
   

A Student Aid Report (SAR) is a summary of the information that you provided when completing the FAFSA.  The SAR will provide you with information about any issues related to your FAFSA application and list the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure that determines your eligibility for different aid sources.

   

What should I do with my SAR?

     

Review your SAR to make sure that all of the information is correct as you reported it on the FAFSA.  Also review the first page(s) carefully as it will provide instructions regarding your eligibility for financial aid sources.

The schools that you listed on your FAFSA will receive an electronic copy of your SAR and will begin determining your aid eligibility.

   

How do I know how much aid I will receive?

     

Upon receiving the electronic copy of your SAR, Tidewater Community College will develop a financial aid package for you.  This package will include any grants that you are eligible to receive and may also include a student loan offer, if recommended.

Before this financial aid package can be developed, you must be sure to provide any additional information requested by the College.  This may be a result of the verification process, for which students are randomly selected by the U.S. Department of Education.

Once your financial aid package is complete, you will receive a Financial Aid Award Notice.  This notice will detail your estimated expenses for the award year and detail any aid that you may be eligible to receive.

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3. Apply for a scholarship.
 

If you need additional funding, you may want to consider applying for a scholarshipScholarships are based on financial need, or on merit.  They are gift aid that does not have to be repaid.  Scholarships are usually in addition to your grants.

    What scholarships are available at Tidewater Community College?
     

Tidewater Community College receives a variety of scholarships from private, external sources as well as institutional sources and the TCC Educational Foundation.

You may view all scholarships and download and print an application at the following site:

Review scholarships and print application.

Scholarship applications should be submitted to the campus, as indicated in the scholarship description.

   

What other scholarship resources are available?

     

Other resources for scholarship information include:

  • local libraries
  • civic and community organizations
  • high school guidance offices

There are also scholarship resources on the web including:

Be sure to avoid scholarships scams and never pay for scholarship information or searches.  For more information about avoiding scholarship scams, visit the following site:

Scholarship Scams

   

How do I know if I will receive a scholarship?

     

Scholarship notices will be sent to you by the agency awarding the scholarship.  Many of these notices will arrive in June or July, so please be patient.

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4. Optional - apply for a Student Loan

 

Once you receive your Financial Aid Award Notice, please review it thoroughly to determine if you will need additional aid beyond grants.  If you need additional funding, you may want to consider a Student Loan.

If you have no other means of funding your educational expenses, and wish to apply for a student loan, you may do so from the College’s website.  You should not apply for a loan until you have received your Financial Aid Award Notice, otherwise your application may not be processed.

    What is a student loan?
     

A student loan is a loan that is made to students who need additional financial aid to meet their educational expenses.  Student loans are not gift aid and must be repaid.  Loans may be interest free during periods of enrollment, or if you have a high EFC, the interest may accrue while you are enrolled. 

   

How do I qualify for a student loan?

      Eligibility is based on your cost of attendance, expected family contribution, and other financial aid sources.  Typically, student loans are the last type of aid awarded.  When combined with other sources of aid, student loans may not exceed your cost of attendance.
   

When do I repay my loan?

     

Payments on your loan begin after you complete your program, leave school, or drop below half-time attendance.  For most students, there is a six month grace period from your last date of attendance to when you must begin making payments.

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5. Use Financial Aid to Pay Tuition and Purchase Books

 

How? Go here.

If your aid is not sufficient to cover the cost of your tuition and fees, you must pay the outstanding balance prior to the College’s tuition deadline.

 
Visit a campus financial aid office for further assistance.

 

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