Paying For School

Financial Aid FAQs

Financial Aid FAQs

I know I don't qualify for aid. Should I still complete the FAFSA?

Yes, you should still complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You should have the FAFSA on file in case you or your parents' financial situation changes. The government, HACC and scholarships use it to determine your eligibility for:

  • Certain scholarships
  • Work-study
  • Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans

What does the government use to determine my eligibility?

The government determines your eligibility by considering your:

  • Family's size
  • Income
  • Number in college

HACC is not listed on my FAFSA. What should I do?

Update your FAFSA with HACC's Federal School Code. The code is 003273. 

We suggest you make HACC your first school choice on your FAFSA. This enables the PHEAA State Grant Agency to notify us if you are eligible for a State Grant.

When is the deadline for financial aid at HACC?

  • You must submit the FASFA by April 15. This allows the government to consider you for the maximum amount of aid possible.
  • You must submit the FASFA before May 1 for the state to consider you for State Aid.

The government may consider you for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Stafford Loans or Federal Direct PLUS Loan. In this case, you must submit the FASFA:

  • No later than June 30 or
  • By the end of the academic year (whichever comes first).

Electronically file your federal income taxes. Then wait 10 to 14 days to file the FAFSA.

Do I have to be a full-time student to qualify for financial aid?

No, you do not need to be a full-time student. Most financial aid programs require an enrollment status of six credits.

The government defines enrollment for fall, spring and summer as:

  • Full time = 12 or more credits per term
  • ¾ time = nine to 11 credits per term
  • Half time = six to eight credits per term
  • Less than half time = one to five credits per term

Why do I have to provide my parents' information?

The Department of Education determines your dependency status. It views you, your parents or spouse (if applicable) as your primary financial source for your postsecondary education.

You are not automatically classified as independent if:

  • You are not living with your parents.
  • Your parents did not claim you as an independent on their federal income tax return.

My parents are divorced. I live with my mother and stepfather. Does the government require my stepfather to provide his information on the FAFSA?

Yes, you need to include his information on the FAFSA. 

  • You need to report your parents' marital status as "married."
  • Your mother and stepfather must both supply their financial information. This includes income from work, investments, etc.

My parents are divorced. I live with my mother. My father claims me on his taxes. What should I do?

The government requires only the custodial parent to supply financial information. A custodial parent is the parent you lived with the most in the last year.

Complete all parent financial aid questions using information about your mother.

How do I complete the FAFSA if I can't provide parent information?

Questions on the FAFSA determine your dependency status. The form requires parental information. The government will not consider you independent if your parents refused to provide the financial information.

Your parents should understand that:

  • The government requires their information on the FAFSA.
  • They are not obligated to pay your charges at HACC.
  • They are not obligated to take out loans on your behalf.
  • The can only receive loans if they themselves initiate the loan application.
  • The application will remain incomplete without their financial information.
  • You are ineligible for federal financial aid if your FAFSA is incomplete.

Certain extreme circumstances might allow for a dependency override. These include:

  • Being removed from the home due to abuse or neglect
  • The courts terminating the parental rights
  • Your parents' unknown whereabouts

Only the Financial Aid Administrator can authorize a dependency override. This is done on a case-by-case basis. It requires significant proof from you. 

I earned a Bachelor's Degree in another country. Do I qualify for financial aid?

You may be eligible for federal student loans and work-study programs. You are not eligible for Federal or State Grants.

Students with a Bachelor's Degree are not eligible for Federal or State Grants. This is regardless of citizenship status.

You must answer "yes" to the question on the FAFSA that asks if you have a Bachelor's Degree. 

I am not a U.S. Citizen. Do I qualify for financial aid?

You must have an "eligible noncitizen" status to qualify for aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid Services at the campus you plan to attend. You will receive additional information and eligibility requirements.