Paying For School

Financial Aid FAQs

Financial Aid FAQs

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

Don't assume anything!  Here are just a few reasons to complete the application.

  1. More people qualify than you think and the FAFSA is easier than ever to complete. 
  2. If you don't fill out the FAFSA, you could be missing out on a lot of financial aid!  Most students complete the FAFSA in 30 minutes or less.  In 30 minutes, you could qualify for thousands of dollars in financial aid. 
  3. The FAFSA is the first step in considering you for Scholarships, Student Employment and Federal Direct  and PLUS loans.
  4. It's also a good idea to have the FAFSA on file in case you or your parents' financial situation changes. 


What does the government use to determine my eligibility?

The government determines your eligibility by considering the information you enter on the FAFSA including:

  • 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 FAFSA by April 15. If you apply by this date, you are considered for the maximum amount of aid possible.
  • You must submit the FAFSA before May 1 for the state to consider you for the PHEAA state grant.

If you miss the April 15th deadline date, you may still be considered for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans or Federal Direct PLUS Loan. In this case, you must submit the FAFSA:

  • No later than June 30 or
  • By the end of the academic year (whichever comes first).
  • Other deadlines are in place for Direct Loans and PLUS loans.  Check with the Office of Financial Aid Services for clarification.

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. 

Unless you can answer "YES" to one of the questions listed in Step 3 of the FAFSA, you will be required to provide parental information.  In unusual cases, the financial aid administrator can change your dependency based on adequate documentation of special circumstances you may have.  If you feel you have unusual circumstances, talk to the Financial Aid Administrator at the campus you attend.

REMEMBER:   You are NOT automatically classified as independent if:

  • You live on your own (not with your parents).
  • Your parents did not claim you as an independent on their federal income tax return.
  • Your parents do not provide financial support to you.


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?

If you can't provide information because your parents refuse to complete the FAFSA, then your options are limited. 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 and most scholarships if your FAFSA is incomplete.

We suggest you explain these facts to your parents to see if they change their mind.  However, the last option is to apply for an Direct Unsubsidized Loan by completing the Parental Non Support form available in the Office of Financial Aid Services.  We do not recommend this since you will only be eligible for loans and never considered for grants, scholarships or student employment. 


If you can't provide parental information because you have an extreme circumstance, you may be eligible for a Dependency Override.  Overrides are done on a case-by-case basis and requires significant documentation from you.  Check with the Office of Financial Aid Services to see if you qualify for a Dependency Override.  Some situations include:

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


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. 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.