How do I apply for Financial Aid?
A: For student Loans, Work Study, Pell, and other types of federally funded aid you must complete a FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year? If so, why?
A: Yes, you have to apply for financial aid each year. You do this by renewing your FAFSA. Students must reapply for financial aid each year because financial aid eligibility is based on your income for the previous year. Therefore, because you and/or your parents/spouse's income could change from year to year, the FAFSA must be renewed to reflect these changes. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to renew your FAFSA online. *You do not have to renew GSFAPPS applications; however, if you have not completed one and wish to be considered only for the HOPE scholarship and no need-based-aid, you can apply at www.gacollege411.org.
Can I use my financial aid funds in the campus bookstore?
A: Yes, each semester there are designated days in which you can use your leftover financial aid funds to purchase books and supplies in the bookstore. Simply present your Charger card to the cashier in the bookstore and tell them you wish to apply the balance to your financial aid. You may also order books from our campus bookstore to be mailed to you using your financial aid funds. Please keep in my that the bookstore does not know how much you owe in tuition & fees. It is your responsibility to be sure that you do not overspend in the bookstore.
What does being selected for verification mean?
A: The federal processor (U.S. Department of Education) randomly selects 1 out 3 for a process called verification. Georgia Highlands College, or the institution that is attempting to process your financial aid, must compare the information you provided on your FAFSA with actual documents (i.e. Federal Tax Return Transcripts from the IRS, proper Verification Worksheets, etc.). Any conflicting information will be corrected and sent to FAFSA to process. This must be completed before eligibility for Federal Student Aid can be determined.
Why did I receive less in the Pell Grant and/or HOPE scholarship than the amount indicated on my award letter?
A: Usually this is due to the student not being enrolled full time. Both of these funds will adjust to the number of hours that the student is enrolled. The amount awarded is the MAX amount you can receive and will require the maximum credit hours allowed by that fund. The amount shown on your award letter is based on the student being enrolled full time (12 or more credit hours).
How will I be notified about the Financial Aid I will receive?
A: Your award information will be posted for you to review on your SCORE account. You will need to monitor your CHECK MY AID STATUS via SCORE. Please review the Online Award letter option in SCORE to view all awards made to your account. Please note that the awarding process is 4-6 weeks.
What happens to my financial aid if there is more than enough to cover my tuition?
A: Once all student account charges are covered (tuition, fees, books, etc) and you are showing a credit/refund due. The Business Office will issue refunds based on the preferred refund method selected through your Higher One Account. The Business Office has 14 days to release all refunds from the date those funds were issued to your student account. If a student has paid their tuition prior to their financial aid being complete, the entire amount of financial aid will be mailed out to the student from the school to their home address. *If you are receiving a Stafford loan, make sure you take note of the lender fees deducted.*
How do I receive financial aid for the summer semester?
A: Financial aid is awarded to the student for the entire year. Therefore, the student is responsible for managing their financial aid so that they will have enough to cover summer tuition and fees. *If a student receives the Pell Grant and they were less than full time in the Fall/Spring semesters, there might be additional funds left from the total they were eligible for that can be used for the summer semester. *If a student is HOPE eligible, these funds are available each term of eligibility the student has. All students wanting to receive federal or state aid for the summer semester, MUST complete a SUMMER AID APPLICATION available on our website under FORMS. This application is typically available by March 1st.
How does a dependent student receive financial aid if their parents refuse to give them the information needed to fill out the FAFSA?
A: Federal regulations do not allow schools to award dependent student's federal aid without the FAFSA being completed and signed by both parent and student. Unfortunately, there aren't many options in this situation. Financial Aid Administrators do have the ability to grant dependency overrides in certain situations. However, it should be noted that dependency overrides are only granted in unique or extreme situations, and must be supported by acceptable documentation. Please make an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor if you feel you could possibly qualify for a Dependency Override. Please click here to review the Federal Student Aid guidance on parent information.
What will happen if I withdraw from a class or withdraw completely from Georgia Highlands College?
A: If you drop a course(s) after drop/add but are still enrolled in at least one course, no adjustment will be made to your financial aid (which means no repayment of funds is required). If you totally withdraw from school, your aid will be adjusted based on the date of withdrawal = amount of aid earned for the term. You will be required to return the unearned portion of financial aid.
If you are receiving a student loan you must be enrolled in at least 6 hours at the time you receive your loans or it will be returned to your lender. If you fall below 6 hours after you have received your loan and remain under six hours for a period of six months you will have to begin repayment on your loan. However, if you pick back up to 6 hours or more before those 6 months, you will not have to begin repayment.
*Note, however, that withdrawing from a course can affect your academic progress (SAP) which will affect your financial aid.*
* Federal regulations require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to receive aid. To maintain progress, students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and pass a minimum of 67% of all coursework attempted.
What if I apply for financial aid past the deadline?
A: The Financial aid office can still process your application past the deadline but you will be expected to cover all tuition and fees upon their due date and then get reimbursed if you qualify for Financial aid.
Will my financial aid transfer from one school to the other?
A: If you transfer to another institution during an academic year you will need to add that institution’s school code to your FAFSA as well as contact that institution directly for the required documents for that institution.
How long will it take for me to receive my financial aid money?
A: Students should allow approximately 4-6 weeks after the financial aid office has a complete file on them to receive their funds. Students can check on the SCORE to review the status of their financial aid as well as see if there are any outstanding requirements on their file. Students with loans can also go to www2.highlands.edu/financialaid to check their loan status.
How is my financial need determined?
A: Applicants applying for need-based aid must submit the FAFSA. When the FAFSA is processed, the federal government calculates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is an indication of a family's financial strength, and is a figure that a family is expected to contribute toward the cost of attendance at Georgia Highlands for that academic year. This contribution is deducted from the estimated cost of attendance, resulting in the estimate of your financial need. Please review our Application Procedures on the home page for other information regarding the process for Financial aid at GHC.
What options are available if I don't qualify for need-based aid?
A: Students whose applications result in low need or no need have several options to assist in paying for their Georgia Highlands college education. Students may wish to consider applying for a student loan or review institution scholarships available at www2.highlands.edu/site/scholarships-new.
I am a Non-U.S. Citizen, can I receive aid?
A. There are several catergories of Non-U.S. Citizens. Studentaid.gov breaksdown the different catergories of Non-U.S. Citizens and the options available at studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/non-us-citizens. Please make sure you review your eligibitlity status.