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 schoolyear, 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. 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.
2024 – 2025 FAFSA Changes
There have been significant changes made to the 2024-2025 FAFSA. Please review the highlights below and follow the links for more information regarding the changes.
Historically, the FAFSA has been available beginning October 1st each year. However, because of significant changes to the application and the rebuild of the FAFSA processing system, the Department of Education has indicated that students will be able to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA by December 31st, 2024 and schools will begin receiving FAFSA data by mid-February, 2024. This means we won’t be able to notify students that we’ve received their FAFSA until at least mid-February, 2024.
- More info on the 2024-2025 FAFSA launch can be found here.
There are a number of benefits of the FAFSA simplification act, including a more streamlined application process and a better user experience for the FAFSA, expanded eligibility for federal student aid, and reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners, and students from low-income backgrounds).
- More info on the 2024-2025 FAFSA changes can be found here.
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 at the beginning of a calendar year, upon completion of the Federal Tax Return (if applicable).
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 www.fafsa.ed.gov.
*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 and at least one parent (if student is unmarried and under 24 years of age) must apply for an FSA ID number in order to electronically sign the FAFSA.
Electronically signing the FAFSA using a PIN reduces the amount of time it will take for the FAFSA results to reach your school of choice.
- Once an FSA ID number(s) has been obtained, 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 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. Request a print-out of the FAFSA PDF by calling us at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243); then fill out the form and mail it for processing.
It can take 4-6 weeks for your paper application to be processed and to receive a Student Aid Report (SAR).
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 a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email (if you supplied an email address on your application) or in the mail which summarizes all the information you provided on the application. Your SAR will usually contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. An estimated award may be contained in the SAR.
- 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 the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) (PDF).
- 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:
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 & your parent’s (dependent students) 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 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 your parent (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.