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How to Apply for Aid

Are you wondering how you can afford college this coming fall?

Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what payment options may be available or you. For the 2024-2025 school year, the federal government made some adjustments to the process & Ocean is here to help you! See below for more information!

Availability: There are delays this year and colleges will be receiving your application around mid-March, at the earliest. Schools should be able to begin to award and package students in or around April. OCC will finalize award packages in June. View more information about FAFSA availability here.

Changes: The FAFSA form is easier than ever to complete.  More people might be able to obtain aid for school, making this year the best year ever to continue or start your education! View more information about FAFSA changes here.

Questions? Check your Financial Aid Self-Service Portal via Ocean Connect or reach out to the OCC’s Financial Aid Department via email at, or call us at 732-255-0400 ext. 310

Financial Aid Application

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your application for Federal and State* financial aid.

Most financial aid is not automatically renewable and a new application should be filed for every new Academic Year (September – August) you intend to attend. The FAFSA is usually available from October 1st each year. Information from your (and/or your parent’s/spouse’s, where applicable) prior year Federal Tax Return will be used to complete the application (example: for the 2024-2025 FAFSA, 2022 tax information is used).

It is free to file a FAFSA and you should not be prompted to pay upon completion of the application. Some websites will request payment – to ensure you are not charged, file your FAFSA at FAFSA Application.

*You are required to complete additional information for State aid at the end of your FAFSA or directly at the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) website.

Follow the steps below to apply for financial aid:

  • Student’s (and Parent’s/Spouse, where applicable) must apply for an Create a Federal Student Aid Account in order to electronically sign the FAFSA.
    Electronically signing the FAFSA reduces the amount of time it will take for the FAFSA results to reach your school of choice.
  • Once a Federal Student Aid Account has been created, complete and submit your FAFSA online.
  • If you are completing your FAFSA to obtain financial aid at Ocean County College, you will need to provide our Federal School Code: 002624 in order for us to receive your application and determine your eligibility.
  • Complete an Application for Admissions at the College of your choice.*
    *In order for your selected College to receive your FAFSA, your Social Security Number must be included on your admissions application.

If you cannot file online, you can complete a paper FAFSA and mail it to the U.S. Department of Education’s processor at Federal Student Aid Programs, P.O. Box 70204, London, KY 40742-0204.

It can take 4-6 weeks for your paper application to be processed and to receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) for 2023-2024 FAFSAs and prior, or a FAFSA Submission Summary for 2024-2025 FAFSAs and beyond.

You can get help completing your FAFSA by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center, who can offer help via the internet or telephone.

Alternatively, you can make an appointment with a member of our financial aid staff for assistance in the completion of your financial aid application.
Request an appointment.

Ocean County College also provides O.P.E.N. Workshops that are offered from March 6th, 2024 to June 26th, 2024. Visit our O.P.E.N. Workshops page for more information and how to register.

  • Within 3-5 business days of filing your FAFSA, you will receive an email and/or mail containing your Student Aid Report (SAR) for 2023-2024 FAFSAs and prior, or a FAFSA Submission Summary for 2024-2025 FAFSAs and beyond.
    Your SAR/Submission Summary will usually contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) / Student Aid Index (SAI) – the number used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.
    An estimated award may be contained in the SAR/Submission Summary.
  • If you reported Additional Information for State Aid, you will be mailed a New Jersey Student Eligibility Notice (SEN) within several weeks of filing your FAFSA notifying you of your eligibility for state aid.
  • Upon receipt of your FAFSA and completion of Federal Verification (if applicable) & resolution of any eligibility requirements, the Ocean County College Financial Aid office will post your award letter on Student Financial Aid, which can be accessed through Ocean Connect.
    (Ocean Connect Login Instructions)

There are different filing deadlines for the Federal Government, State of New Jersey and Ocean County College. Please see below:

For more information regarding deadlines, you can visit FAFSA – Student Aid Deadlines.

The Federal Government selects a student for verification for different reasons. Verification is a process in which the Ocean County College Financial Aid office will collect several documents from you (and your parent/spouse, if applicable) and submit any necessary FAFSA changes/corrections to the Federal Government. In order to guarantee your schedule, all verification documents must be submitted to the Ocean County College Financial Aid office as soon as possible.

As soon as your Financial Aid Application has been received by the Ocean County College Financial Aid Office, your Student Financial Aid portal (accessible through Ocean Connect) will be updated with required documents, award and eligibility information. This information will be continuously updated as documents are received, and throughout the verification process.

The documents required to complete Federal Verification varies per student and you should pay special attention to the Student Financial Aid portal for documents relevant to you.

To determine if you need to submit any documents to complete your financial aid application, please refer to the “Required Documents” section of your Student Financial Aid portal, accessible through Ocean Connect.

There is nothing you can do to guarantee you won’t be selected for verification as selection can be random, however, there are some steps you can take when completing your FAFSA that will minimize the chances of being selected;

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (2023-2024 FAFSAs and prior) or the Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange (2024-2025 FAFSAs and beyond) when prompted whilst completing your application.
  • Don’t leave anything blank – if a question does not relate to you, enter ‘0’.
  • Answer every question as accurately as possible – try not to guess your answers.
  • Make sure your application is signed by you and all contributors (parent/spouse etc. if applicable) using your FSA ID number(s).
  • If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to any of the dependency status questions, make sure you answer all parental information questions.
  • Return to your FAFSA online and add the School Code of the school you are transferring to/from under the relevant section.*
    *Do not change the order of your School Codes, add the new code underneath the others you already have listed – changing the order could result in your selection for verification and the cancellation of your financial aid awards.

Ocean County College’s School Code is 002624.

Financial Aid Application
Financial Aid Application 2
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