Financial Aid

Determining Eligibility

VWCC responds to each qualified financial aid application (FAFSA) via email with an official notification of aid eligibility called the Award Letter. A student may receive multiple notices of an award as revisions are made to his or her aid package. You should always review the information on your Award Letter.

You do not need to take any action unless:

  • Your eligibility assumptions are incorrect;
  • Your address is incorrect;
  • You wish to decline all or a portion of the financial aid that has been offered; or
  • You will receive additional resources, external to the Financial Aid Office, that are not listed on the award letter.

Report updates or changes, except address changes, to the VWCC Financial Aid Office. Address changes should be reported to the VWCC Records Office.

Enrollment Status

A student's financial aid will NOT be increased for classes added after the regular session drop/add period.

VWCC calculates financial aid eligibility based on the number of credits for which you enroll:

Full-time: 12 or more credit hours
3/4 Time: 9-11 credit hours
1/2 Time: 6-8 credit hours
Less than 1/2 Time: 1-5 credit hours

Credit hours taken for audit do not count in this calculation. You must enroll at least half-time in order to be considered for Federal Work-Study, SEOG, COMA, Federal Stafford Loan, and PLUS support. You must enroll full-time to be considered for VGAP support. You must enroll for 1-8 credits to be considered for PTAP support. The Pell Grant does not have a minimum enrollment requirement, but is prorated based on enrollment level.

Application Deadline

In order to be considered for most financial aid, you must follow a specific application procedure and adhere to processing deadlines as explained in college bulletins and Financial Aid publications.

Eligible Programs of Study

To receive financial aid, you must be admitted to and enrolled in an eligible associate degree or certificate program. Certificate programs requiring fewer than 16 credits do not qualify.

Determining Eligibility

Most students are eligible for some type of financial aid. Many of the financial aid programs are need-based in nature, meaning that the student's cost of education must exceed the student's expected family contribution, added to any external financial aid resources that will be received (scholarships, veterans' educational benefits, Trade Act support, etc.).

Students who do not demonstrate financial need typically can still receive loan support. This support could be in the form of a loan taken in the student's name, or a loan received by the parents on behalf of the student. In either case, interest on the loan begins to accumulate immediately. Repayment of parent loans typically begins immediately, as well.

Cost of Education

When computing financial aid eligibility, the first figure used is the cost of education. The Financial Aid Office determines the estimated amount it will cost you to attend the institution.

The cost of education consists of both direct and indirect expenses. Direct educational expenses are tuition and fees, books and supplies. Indirect educational expenses are projected transportation and living expenses. Also included, with appropriate documentation, may be dependent care expenses, expenses related to a handicap, and expenses related to the purchase of a computer.

Tuition and fees are based upon the following factors:

  • Domicile (in-state or out-of-state)
  • Enrollment level (full-time, three-fourths-time, half-time, one-fourth-time)

The book and supply allowance is an average amount encountered by all students at the institution. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the allowance is $1,500 per semester for a full-time student. This amount is prorated for part-time students.

There are three categories for the living expense allowance:

  • Dependent students who live with parents,
  • Dependent students who live outside the parental home,
  • Independent students

These allowances include amounts for room and board, personal maintenance, health care, clothing, recreation, and other miscellaneous expenses.

The living expenses of your spouse and/or dependents (if applicable) are taken into account on the FAFSA when calculating your expected family contribution, and therefore cannot be included in the determination of cost of education.

Expected Family Contribution

A federally-mandated formula calculates the expected family contribution from the information on your FAFSA. Included are such factors as taxed and untaxed income, family size, number in college, savings and investments, and certain other assets. The expected family contribution is always computed from base-year income. For example, for the 2014-15 academic year, the 2013 calendar-year income is used. If there has been a significant change in your family's income or resources since the 2013 calendar year, consider a financial aid appeal for a possible adjustment to your expected family contribution.

Reporting Other Financial Aid

You must report all scholarships and financial aid received from sources external to the Financial Aid Office. In addition, you must send outside aid checks and copies of authorization letters to the Financial Aid Office. Scholarships and awards will not be credited to your account until VWCC receives official notification or payment from the third-party sponsor. Receipt of additional scholarships and awards will cause recalculation of your financial aid eligibility, which may result in a reduction of your previously-awarded financial aid.

Right to Refuse a Loan

You have the right to decline all or part of a Direct Student Loan, even after you have signed the promissory note. You will need to complete the Request Adjustment to Direct Student Loan form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. If there are outstanding charges at the time of refusal, you must pay them in full at that time.

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