Eligibility Requirements

Listed below are 13 eligibility requirements a student must meet to qualify for federal financial aid (including Student Loans). 

More information on eligibility requirements can be found in the Federal Student Guide.

  • High School Diploma (or equivalent): You must have a High School Diploma or GED.
    Home-School students must obtain a GED certificate or hold a district High School Diploma.
  • Degree Program: You must be enrolled in an eligible academic program and be pursuing a degree or certificate.
    Not all certificate programs are eligible for financial aid.
  • Enrollment Status: Financial aid at Ocean County College is awarded assuming full time enrollment (12 credits) status. If a student enrolls for less than 12 credits in a semester, the financial aid awards will be pro-rated. This adjustment will be reflected on a student's financial aid award letter (accessible through Ocean Cruiser). 
    Changes made to a student's enrollment status mid-semester may result in an overpayment of financial aid and a bill for return of funds. Review the Student Refund Policy or Return of Funds Policy for further information.
  • Citizenship: You must be a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident, or other eligible non-citizen. We may require further documentation from you as proof of this status if the Social Security Administration cannot confirm Citizenship, or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot confirm your Permanent Resident or other eligibility status, as specified in the Federal Student Guide.
  • National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Financial Aid History: A record of your Federal Student Loan and PELL Grant history are kept in the NSLDS database. If you are in Loan Default on a Federal Student Loan, have exceeded the annual or aggregate Federal Student Loan limits, or have Federal Grant overpayment, you will be ineligible for Federal and State Aid.
  • Social Security Administration: If the Social Security Administration cannot match your name (or parent's name for dependent students) with a number in their records, the Financial Aid office must resolve the discrepancy before awarding any aid. A copy of your (or parents' if applicable) Social Security Card and/or Birth Certificate may be requested in this instance.
  • Selective Service Administration: Most males aged 18-25 (including Permanent Residents and other eligibile non-citizens) are required to register for Selective Service. If you are required to register with Selective Service, you must have done so in order to receive aid through Federal and State aid programs. If Selective Service is unable to confirm your registration, the Financial Aid office may require registration confirmation to resolve the discrepancy.
  • Drug Conviction: Your response to the drug conviction question on the FAFSA may result in ineligibility for financial aid. If you are ineligible at the start of a semester but expect to become eligibile during the academic year, the Financial Aid office may collect a completed Drug Conviction Worksheet from you that will determine the date you will become eligible.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): In order to continue to receive financial aid at Ocean County College you must meet OCC's Satisfactory Academic Progress standard requirements. 
    The SAP Policy for receiving aid is defined and enforced according to Federal and State regulations governing the awarding of Federal and State financial aid. Please refer to the SAP Policy (DOCX) for further details.
  • Verification: In order to receive financial aid, you must respond to all reasonable requests for documentation used to verify the information reported on your FAFSA (family income, assets, household size, number in college, dependency status etc.) This infomation may be requested by the Ocean County College Financial Aid Department or as result of a request from the Department of Education and/or any State Financial Aid Agency.
    No financial aid shall be credited to a student's account until all documentation is received and the verification process is complete.
  • Financial Aid from other Sources: It is a student's responsibility to inform the Ocean County College Financial Aid Department of all additional aid that is received during an Academic Year (other Schools, Scholarships etc.) Aid received from private sources outside Ocean County College is required by Federal and State regulations to be incorporated into your total financial aid package.
    You cannot receive financial aid at two different institutions during the same semester. Any additional aid not reported may result in an overpayment of financial aid and a bill from one of your colleges.
  • Veterans' Benefits: Benefits received through the Veterans Administration during the academic yearmust be reported to the Financial Aid office. Some V.A. educational benefits must be treated as additional financial resources and may reduce your financial aid eligibility.
  • Change of Address or Social Security Number: It is a student's responsibility to inform the Financial Aid office of any change to your permanent address or social security number. If you have a student loan through one of the Federal Student Loan programs (Stafford Loan or PLUS etc.), you are required to notify the lender of any change to your name, address and/or social security number. A list of your lenders and contact information can be found at NSLDS.
More