Financial Aid FAQ

Aid Programs | How to Apply for Aid | Apply For A Loan | Eligibility Requirements | Satisfactory Academic Progress | Determining Your Financial Need | Student Loans | Student Employment | How Aid is Disbursed | Bookstore Purchases | Withdrawals, Refunds, and Return of Aid | Appeal Process | Forms | Resources | Office Information | FAQ | Disclosure Statement

Woman with hand raisedIs financial aid available for international education programs?
A student's enrollment in international education programs approved for credit by OCC is considered enrollment at OCC for the purpose of receiving federal financial aid. Most students will receive their normal financial aid package, including grants, scholarships and loans, for the period they will be away from campus. The Financial Aid Office will help students secure additional loan funds if necessary.

I don't know if I can afford college -- what type of options do I have?
Ocean County College has many options including Financial Aid, OCC foundation scholarships, and a Tuition Payment Plan.

What is the cost of attending Ocean County College?
Please refer to the Admissions Tuition & Fees page for further information regarding the cost of attending Ocean County College.

I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?
Many families mistakenly think they don't qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. In addition, there are a few sources of aid such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. There is no good excuse for not applying.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
It is a requirement to apply for financial aid every year. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. After your first year you will receive a "Renewal Application" which contains preprinted information from the previous year's FAFSA. Note that your eligibility for financial aid may change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college. Renewal of your financial aid package also depends on your making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, such as earning a minimum number of credits and achieving a minimum GPA.

Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?
Parents are not responsible for your student loans. Parents are, however, responsible for the Federal PLUS loans. Parents will only be responsible for your educational loans if they co-sign your loan. In general you and you alone are responsible for repaying your educational loans. You do not need to get your parents to cosign your federal student loans, even if you are under age 18.

If your parents (or grandparents) want to help pay off your loan, you can have your billing statements sent to their address. Likewise, if your lender or loan servicer provides an electronic payment service, where the monthly payments are automatically deducted from a bank account, your parents can agree to have the payments deducted from their account. But your parents are under no obligation to repay your loans. If they forget to pay the bill on time or decide to cancel the electronic payment agreement, you will be held responsible for the payments, not them.

I got an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the financial aid office?
If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from university or government sources, you must report the scholarship to the financial aid office. Unfortunately, your financial aid package may need to be adjusted to compensate. Nevertheless, the outside scholarship will have some beneficial effects.

Are work-study earnings taxable?
The money you earn from Federal Work-Study is generally subject to federal and state income tax, but exempt from FICA taxes (provided you are enrolled full time and work less than half-time).

Federal Work-Study earnings during the calendar year should be included in the totals for AGI and in the top section of the additional financial information worksheet. Work-study earnings should only be included when they represent financial aid to the student, since the answer to this question is used as an exclusion from taxed income. The student should also be careful to report amounts based on the calendar year, not the school year.

What do those acronyms on the Student Aid Report (SAR) mean?
The acronyms on the bottom of the SAR represent intermediate results in the need analysis. To fully understand their meaning, you will need to be familiar with the federal need analysis methodology, such as is used by the EFC Estimator. The meanings of the acronyms are as follows:

EFC Expected Family Contribution
TI Total Income
ATI Allowances Against Total Income
STX State and Other Tax Allowance
EA Employment Allowance
IPA Income Protection Allowance
CAI Contribution from Available Income (Independent Student)
DNW Discretionary Net Worth
APA Education Savings and Asset Protection Allowance
PCA Parents' Contribution from Assets
AAI Adjusted Available Income
TPC Total Parents' Contribution
TSC Total Student's Contribution
PC Parents' Contribution
SIC Dependent Student's Income Contribution
SCA Dependent Student's Contribution from Assets

If an asterisk appears next to the EFC figure, the student has been selected for verification. The asterisk is followed by a code that explains the reason why the student was selected for verification. The letter explains the reason for selection, and the number indicates the priority, with code 1 the highest priority and code 25 the lowest priority (although there are higher codes).

For additional details about SAR's and ISIRs, please see the Guide to 1997-98 SAR's and ISIR's.

Divorce and Financial Aid
An entire section of FinAid is devoted to the topic of Divorce and Financial Aid. It discusses which parent is responsible for completing the FAFSA, the obligations of non-custodial parents to pay for college, college support agreements, the obligations of step-parents, and the ability of non-custodial parents to take advantage of the various tax benefits for education.

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