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Eligibility Requirements

Review 14 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, which is posted to your WebAdvisor account accessible through Ocean Connect.
    (Ocean Connect Login Instructions)
    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 for further information.
  • Regular Student: A person who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential offered by that institution.
    NOTE REGARDING SUMMER TERM FINANCIAL AID: If a student was not enrolled at OCC during the fall and spring terms of the current award year and is not currently or does not plan to enroll at OCC during the next award year, term beginning fall, then their summer aid must be processed by their home institution, and they are considered a visiting student and should contact the Financial Aid Office at their home institution for information on using a consortium agreement. FA Staff may also request the student submit a written statement with a “wet signature” that they plan to enroll during the next academic year, beginning in fall, with the intent to complete their degree here a OCC. FA staff will also inform them that if they do not register for upcoming fall term and successfully complete the term, the aid will be reversed and the student will owe for the summer.
  • 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.
  • 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 eligible non-citizens) are required to register for Selective Service. Failing to register with the Selective Service will no longer affect your Federal and State eligibility. You are still required to answer the FAFSA question 21 (male or female) and Question 22 (we will register you), and answer them correctly.
  • Drug Conviction: Having a drug conviction while receiving federal Title IV aid will no longer affect your federal aid eligibility. You are still required to answer FAFSA Question 23 (drug conviction) and answer it correctly.
  • 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 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 information 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 year must 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.
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