Paying For School

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, Work-Study 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.

Federal Student Aid Helpful Videos: 


How do I apply for financial aid?

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You need to complete the FAFSA every year.

  • You will need a FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID ) to electronically sign your FAFSA and access online systems. The FSA ID will act as your legal, online signature.
  • At least one parent must apply for a FSA ID if you are a dependent student. A PIN allows them to electronically sign your FAFSA.
  • You can complete the FAFSA using the myStudentAid app. Download the myStudentAid app in the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  • Or online at FAFSA
  • Llene su FAFSA en Español

HACC's school code is 003273.

When is the deadline for financial aid at HACC?

  • You must submit the FAFSA by Feb. 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 to be considered for the PA State Grant.

If you miss the 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 Financial Aid Office 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


When can I get financial aid?

The Fall and Spring semesters are awarded based on the FAFSA being on file with HACC and any requirements being completed. The Summer is awarded separately after Financial Aid gets confirmation of enrollment for the Summer semester..

  • No aid is awarded or available for the Winter Term alone. However, as long as the student is enrolled for the Spring Term, eligible Winter credits can be included toward the amount of Spring eligibility and the award can assist with the Winter Term balance.


Why do I have to provide my parents' information?

The U.S. 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 dependency questions on 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 a Financial Aid Administrator.
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.
  • They 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 a Direct Unsubsidized Loan by completing the Parental Non-Support form available in the Financial Aid Office. We do not recommend this since you will only be eligible for loans and never considered for grants, scholarships or work-study.


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. Contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you qualify for a Dependency Override. Some situations include:

  • An abusive family environment (removal from the home due to abuse or neglect)
  • Abandonment by parents
  • Termination of Parental Rights by the Courts
  • Parents whereabouts unknown
  • Incarceration or institutionalization of both parents


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. You will receive additional information and eligibility requirements.