Apply for Financial Aid!

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1 VOL. 4, NO /2015 Apply for Financial Aid! Financial aid is money that is available to help students finance the cost of an education. Financial aid comes in the form of grants (money that the student does not have to pay back), loans (money that the student must pay back) and college work-study (money the student earns through employment). Eligibility is determined from the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The student and his or her family have the primary responsibility to pay for the student s education. Financial aid is intended to supplement the difference between the cost of education and the expected family contribution. Several programs are available to help students meet their educational expenses. The Financial Aid Office will calculate financial aid eligibility after receiving FAFSA results and all required documents. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available! For maximum eligibility, students should file the FAFSA as soon after January 1, 2014 as possible and submit verification documents as soon as requested by BCC s Financial Aid Office. Students should have their WebAdvisor account activated and be checking their BCC address regularly for important notices from the BCC Financial Aid Office. New and Continuing students can access the FAFSA online at The Federal School Code for Burlington County College is Although students may not have all the updated FAFSA income information and records, estimates can be used based on the previous year s tax records. Once the accurate financial figures for 2013 are FAFSA Reminders & Updates Once you have provided your name, date of birth and Social Security Number, the Department of Education will check its records and if you completed the 2013/2014 FAFSA, the FAFSA will pre-populate with your demographic information. Please make sure that you list BCC s School Code (007730) on your FASFA. It will not be pre-filled on your FAFSA application. Don t forget to respond to the additional questions required by the State of New Jersey on the FAFSA Confirmation Page. This information is required to determine eligibility for the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), NJ Stars and EOF. available, the student can go back online at and do a correction to the FAFSA. Please check out the online video 7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA available on the BCC Financial Aid homepage for additional assistance in completing the FAFSA. If you save a partially completed FAFSA, you have 45 days to return to the website and complete it. If you do not return to the FAFSA website within a week of saving the application, the Department of Education will send you an or paper reminder that your FAFSA has not been submitted. In order to gain access to your partially saved application, you will need to input the password you created when you initially began the application. If you forget the password you created, you can now reset it online. BCC S FEDERAL SCHOOL CODE IS

2 2 Financial Aid Information, News & Notes Completing the FAFSA Just Got Easier! IRS Data Retrieval Tool for FAFSA The IRS Data Retrieval tool is a process that helps streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by allowing online FAFSA filers to pull specific tax return data directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For the academic year, the IRS data retrieval process is now available and BCC recommends that students take advantage of this. Please keep in mind that using this tool is optional. Since you can complete the FAFSA beginning January 1st (of the year for which you need aid) and because financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, you still have the option of estimating taxes for the FAFSA and manually entering your data. However, please note that the retrieval tool will save you time and increase the accuracy of your FAFSA information. Find out if you meet eligibility requirements for the IRS Data Retrieval tool: For , applicants filing an initial or renewal application or making a correction are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool if he or she meets all of the following criteria: Must have valid SSN Must have filed a 2013 federal tax return Must have unchanged marital status since December 31, 2013 You are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you and your spouse are currently married but filed separate tax returns or if parents (if student is dependent) file as married filing separately. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool can be utilized 3 weeks after filing taxes electronically and 8 weeks after filing taxes by paper. Please check out the online video IRS Data Retrieval Tutorial available on the BCC Financial Aid homepage at for additional assistance in completing the FAFSA. Looking for Scholarships? The Financial Aid Office compiles information for all local scholarship opportunities and posts this information online. Please view the BCC financial Aid website and click on the Scholarships tab for information on outside scholarships and the Burlington County College Foundation Scholarship. The Foundation Scholarships are funded by generous contributions from area corporations, organizations, and individuals. Specific criteria are common to all scholarship categories but good academic standing is required. Scholarships are determined on a semester by semester basis. New and current Burlington County College students in good academic standing may apply for a Foundation Scholarship. Scholarship descriptions and application guidelines are listed online at foundation.net. Should you need assistance please call the Foundation office at , ext Deadline information and application submission is all able to be reviewed at What is a PIN? A PIN (Personal Identification Number) is a 4 -digit number that is used to electronically sign your FAFSA application. Your PIN, in combination with your Social Security Number, name, and date of birth also serves to identify you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information. You will need a PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA application and to access your FAFSA application once is has been submitted. If you are dependent, your parent will also need a PIN to sign the FAFSA electronically. What if I LOST or FORGOT my PIN? If you have lost or forgotten your PIN you need to request a duplicate. You can request a duplicate PIN by selecting Request A Duplicate PIN from the list on the left side of the PIN Home Page. You must provide your Challenge Answer in order to request a duplicate PIN. For PIN Frequently Asked Questions, please access this link:

3 3 Financial Aid Information, News & Notes I ve been selected for verification... What does that mean? Burlington County College verifies FAFSA data information of students selected by the Federal Government or selected by BCC. Students selected for Verification will be notified by mail of the required documentation to complete the verification process. All students selected for verification are required to complete a Verification Worksheet and provide appropriate income information. Students should submit all required documentation as soon as possible by the date of the letter s request. The financial aid process will not continue until the required documentation is received. Not submitting the requested documentation may result in the loss of eligibility for the current academic year. Once all required documentation has been received, students should allow a minimum of 14 business days for the verification process to be completed. If the FAFSA data is correct, the Financial Aid process will continue toward a complete and accurate file at which time the student Award Letter will be mailed out and can also be viewed online at under the student s Web Advisor account. Any FAFSA discrepancies found as a result of the verification process will be corrected by the Financial Aid Office and electronically submitted to the Central Processor at FAFSA. Upon receiving a corrected FAFSA report from the central processor, a Revised Award Letter will be available to the student. The BCC Verification worksheets can be found online at financialaid under the Forms and Links Page. For students selected for verification: Beginning with the academic year, the Burlington County College Financial Aid Office will no longer be able to accept signed copies of federal tax returns from students and parents for FAFSA verification purposes. If your FAFSA is selected for verification and you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval option or you changed the IRS data, you will be required to request a tax transcript from the IRS and submit it directly to the Financial Aid Office. Personal copies of tax returns can no longer be accepted. BCC cannot request this information for you from the IRS. How to Obtain a Free Tax Return Transcript from the IRS: There are four ways to obtain your Tax Return Transcript: print from your computer, order online, order by phone, or order by mail. Make sure you request a Tax Return Transcript; do not request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because these cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes. To order online: Go to then select the following: Click Get Transcript for My Tax Records under the heading Tools Click Get Transcript by MAIL Enter your SSN, date of birth, street address & zip code (if joint return, enter the SSN of the person whose name appears first on the tax return) Click Continue Select Transcript for Tax Year ( FAFSA will require the 2012 tax year) and select the type of transcript (select Return Transcript, not Account Transcript) Click Continue To order by phone: Call the IRS at Select the following prompts: Enter 1 for English Enter & verify Social Security number (if joint return, enter the SSN of the person whose name appears first on the tax return) Enter & verify number of street address Press 2 for Tax Return Transcript (not 1 for Account Transcript) Indicate the tax year ( FAFSA will require the 2012 tax year) To order by mail: Complete IRS Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return). Form 4506-T is available online at irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf Mail to the address indicated on the form Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS. Keep in mind that it can take up to an additional two weeks for tax return transcripts to be received after your order. Be sure to request this or print it online as soon as possible if notified on the Student Aid Report that you have been selected for verification or once a Missing Information Letter is received from the BCC Financial Aid Office. Processing of verification documentation cannot begin until the tax return transcript is provided by the student. This may impact the ability for aid eligibility to be calculated or posted to your student account!

4 4 Financial Aid Information, News & Notes What s the difference between Dependent Student and Independent Student status on the FAFSA? Essentially, dependent students must report their parents income and assets on the FAFSA in addition to their own. Independent students report their own income and assets (and those of their spouse, if they re married). Generally, they do not have to report their parents income or assets. In fact, it s easier to define independent student status first, because dependent student status depends on whether or not you fit independent student status. Definition of Independent Student For federal financial aid eligibility, you are an independent student IF AT LEAST ONE of these criteria applies to you: You are 24 years old or older (Born before Jan. 1, 1991 for the FAFSA) You re married on the day you apply for financial aid (even if you are separated but not divorced). You are or will be enrolled in a master s or doctoral degree program (beyond a bachelor s degree) at the beginning of the academic year your FAFSA is for. You re currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training. You re a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. (A veteran includes students who attended a U.S. service academy and were released under a condition other than dishonorable.) You have children who will receive more than half their support from you during the FAFSA academic year (Between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015). You have legal dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you now and through June 30, 2014 for a FAFSA. When you were age 13 or older, both your parents were deceased and you were you in foster care or a dependent or ward of the court. As of the day you apply for aid, you are an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence. As of the day you apply for aid, you are in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence. At any time on or after the July before you file your FAFSA, your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless. At any time on or after the July before you file your FAFSA, the director of an emergency shelter program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless. At any time on or after the July before you file your FAFSA, the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless. These are the standard criteria for defining an independent student on the FAFSA. If none of them applies to you, you are considered a dependent student. Students should be aware that you are not automatically independent for financial aid purposes simply because your parents stop claiming you as a tax exemption or refuse to give you support for your college education. The unwillingness, inability, or reluctance by parents to help pay for educational costs does not make a student independent for FAFSA purposes. Students becoming emancipated and/or qualifying for in-state tuition does not mean that you are independent for federal financial aid purposes either. In cases where you do not qualify as an independent student but you receive no parental support, BCC Financial Aid staff can provide you with information about alternative financing and assistance to help you pay for your college expenses.

5 5 Financial Aid Information, News & Notes Pell Grant Eligibility Change Please Review! Federal Pell Grant Program Duration of Eligibility What has happened? In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law ). This law has significantly impacted the Pell Grant Program. Beginning in Fall 2012, students are now limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant. How do I know if this affects me? If you have attended college for 4 years or longer, receiving the Pell Grant each year, you are likely to exhaust or have already exhausted your lifetime limit of 12 semesters of Pell Grant eligibility during the school year. If you have attended college and received the Pell Grant for 3 years or less you will likely not surpass the lifetime limit during the school year. Whether you have used all of your Pell Grant eligibility or only half, please be conscious about the lifetime limit of the Pell Grant when changing majors and/or scheduling classes. Can I see my lifetime Pell Grant used? You may view your Pell Grant used by logging into NSLDS.ed.gov. How is the percentage used calculated? The percentages are based off the annual award at full-time enrollment status. For students with an annual award for academic year, at the maximum award, $5, and attended 12 or more credits in two semesters (Fall and Spring for example), the percentage used for the academic year is 100%. If you only attended 9 credits for two semesters, your percentage used for the academic year is 75%. I have questions about this, who do I call? Our Financial Aid Officers are available to discuss the change in the lifetime Pell Grant eligibility with you. Please us at or call us at , ext Once you have received a Pell Grant for 12 semesters, or the equivalent, you will no longer be eligible for additional Pell Grants. Satisfactory Academic Progress... What is it? All students receiving student financial aid from federal, state or institutional sources must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at Burlington County College (BCC). SAP is monitored at the end of each semester for students that are aid recipients. SAP measures a student s performance for all terms of enrollment, including terms in which the student does not receive financial aid. The three requirements measure cumulative grade point average, percent of credits earned relative to those attempted, and percent of attempted credits, including transfer credits, relative to the credits required for program completion. A financial aid applicant is responsible for knowing the Financial Aid SAP Policy. The Financial Aid Office sends a notification of aid eligibility (or ineligibility) to a student who has been placed on probation or unsatisfactory status. Whether or not a student receives the notification, responsibility for meeting the minimum SAP requirements to qualify for student aid remains with the student. Students who are ineligible for aid may enroll at BCC if they are able to pay for tuition and fees. The complete SAP Policy can be reviewed online at

6 6 Financial Aid Information, News & Notes FACTS Payment Plan FACTS is the largest provider of tuition payment plans in the industry, giving students and families from educational institutions at all levels a better way to manage education costs over time. With a FACTS Tuition Payment Plan, you can choose a convenient payment option to suit your needs. Instead of one lump tuition payment, smaller payments can be made over time. All plans require $25 enrollment fee per semester, and all plans require a registration of six credits. If you enroll in FACTS on the first day of registration, and by payment due date, you ll make a 40% down payment at the time of registration and pay the balance in four additional monthly payments. If you enroll in FACTS after the payment due date, and before the first day of classes, you ll make a 50% down payment at the time of registration and pay the balance in three additional monthly payments. If you enroll in FACTS after the first day of class, and by the last day to add classes, you ll make a 60% down payment at the time of registration and pay the balance in two additional monthly payments. For more information, please visit click on Business Office/ Payments, then Payment Plan Options. For the calendar of semester dates, please visit click on College Catalog, Schedules, Registration & Graduation, then Academic Calendar. Visit the Business Office for more details. Students will be responsible for additional charges caused by any schedule changes. Mini terms ONLY are not eligible for vouchers. If you are registered for 6 credits or more in the main term, BCC allows you to access some of your financial aid before your award is disbursed. Please check WebAdvisor to view your semester financial aid awards. If you have a minimum $300 financial aid credit after tuition and fees have been deducted, you qualify for a voucher as follows: Registered for 6-8 credits $300 Registered for 9-11 credits $500 Registered for 12 or more credits:.... $600 For Pell Grant Recipients If you receive any Pell Grant funding as part of your financial aid award, you will need a minimum $50 credit after tuition and fees have been deducted in order to be eligible for a voucher. $50-$600

7 7 Financial Aid Information, News & Notes Need Financial Aid Assistance? Financial Aid staff is available to help you in person, by telephone and online. Current students, prospective students and parents can reach us in whatever mode is most convenient. IN PERSON: Pemberton Campus Mt. Laurel Campus Lewis Parker Center Laurel Hall 601 Pemberton-Browns Mills Rd. 500 College Circle Pemberton, NJ Mt. Laurel, NJ Monday & Wednesday 8am-8pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9am-5pm Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 8am-5pm Tuesday & Thursday 12pm-4pm / 5pm-8pm The Student Services Locations at Pemberton can allow you to get more than just your Financial Aid questions answered. Representatives from the Registration Office, Academic Advising, Military and Veterans Affairs, Educational Opportunity Fund, Recruitment and Special Populations are also available to assist students. The Business Office is right around the corner as well. BY PHONE: (609) extension 1575 This dedicated Financial Aid hotline can be used Monday through Thursday from 8:30am-6pm and Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. VIA You can reach us by 24 hours a day at Please allow one business day for responses. FAX: You can fax missing information to the Financial Aid office at (609) Please be sure to include your name and BCC ID number on ALL pages. Financial Aid Acronyms COA Cost of Attendance is the estimated educational costs for one academic year. The COA includes tuition, fees, books/supplies, room, board, transportation, and personal expenses. EFC Expected Family Contribution is the amount a student and his/her family are expected to contribute toward the student s cost of attendance as calculated by a Federally mandated formula which is defined by law. FWS Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for students who have financial need to earn money to help pay education expenses. GPA Grade Point Average is used to determine eligibility for certain financial aid programs. IRS Internal Revenue Service information is sometimes needed for the Verification process. NJ HESAA New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority is our state s financial aid for college office (www.hesaa.org). NSLDS The National Student Loan data System is a national database of information including loans and other financial aid awarded to students. SAR Student Aid Report is the document sent by the processor of the FAFSA to the student. The SAR contains all information reported by the student on the FAFSA and provides the student s EFC, which is printed on the front of the SAR. Financial Aid Census Date Policy In accordance with federal regulations, the Office of Financial Aid will recalculate student aid awards based on the enrollment status as of the published Census Date. The Census Date is typically the end of the 10th day of class for both Fall and Spring terms. Refer to the Deadlines and Updates page for those dates for current and upcoming terms. Generally, this policy typically coincides with the end of the drop/add period for each semester for the traditional 15-week courses. If you are enrolled and attending less than full-time as of census date, your aid will likely be less than what was reported to you in your initial award letter. This is because students are initially awarded based on the expectation of full-time enrollment. Then aid is then adjusted on census date to their actual enrollment. For financial aid purposes, there are generally 4 enrollment levels: Full-time (12 or more credits) 3/4-time (9-11 credits) 1/2-time (6-8 credits) Less than 1/2-time (1-5 credits) If you increase your enrollment level after the census date, you may not be eligible to receive additional financial award increases. ** If a student initially enrolls for the semester after the Census Date, the date of their initial enrollment will be the student s Census Date for that semester.

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