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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question does not appear below, the US Department of Education maintains an extremely helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions, or you may chat with a live Department of Education agent. 

Your WCJC Online Services account, which is available from the WCJC homepage, can provide you with real-time answers to questions you may have about your financial aid status, admissions progress, payment options, and academic history. 

When is the preferred date to apply for financial aid?
  • Fall semester - June 1st
  • Spring semester - November 1st
  • Summer semester - May 1st

We welcome and will process your application for financial aid after these dates, but we can't guarantee that your aid will be ready for you prior to the start of a semester if your financial aid is not complete by the preferred dates.

If you apply for financial aid after these dates, please make plans to have some other source of payment ready to start the semester.  If you are eligible and receive a financial aid award in excess of your charges for the semester, we'll refund any payment you made to the college to hold your registration. 

How do I pay for my WCJC Sugar Land parking tag using financial aid?

You can visit the Business Office at the WCJC Sugar Land Campus during normal business hours to purchase your parking tag.  You will complete a form to authorize payment from your student account.  More information about parking at the WCJC Sugar Land Campus can be found here.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes. See the 5 Steps to Financial Aid for instructions on how to complete the FAFSA.

Will my aid be reduced if I enroll in a certificate program?

Possibly.  The Department of Education requires schools to use contact hours, rather than credit hours, to determine financial aid award amounts for certificate programs that are not a part of or do not roll into an associate degree program.  Consequentially, students in certain certificate programs may experience a reduction in the award amount quoted in the award letter.  At WCJC, the certificate programs included in this requirement are as follows:  Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration, and Electrical Technology; Welding; Cosmetology; Manufacturing Technology; and Licensed Vocational Nursing.

What if my parents are concerned about providing their information because of their citizenship status?

Your parents’ citizenship status does not affect your eligibility for federal student aid. In fact, the FAFSA form doesn’t even ask about your parents’ status.

 

How should we report information about my noncitizen parents on my FAFSA?

Here are some tips for students with noncitizen parents:

  • If your parent does not have a Social Security number (SSN), you should enter all zeroes for him or her on the FAFSA form where it asks for that information. Do NOT enter a Taxpayer Identification Number in the SSN field.
  • If your parent doesn’t have an SSN, he or she won’t be able to create an FSA ID (which requires a SSN) and therefore won’t be able to sign your FAFSA form electronically (either online or via the myStudentAid app). From the online form (you can’t print a signature page from the app), you’ll need to select the option to print a signature page when you get to the end of the application. Print the page, have your parent sign it, and then mail it to the address indicated so that your FAFSA form can be processed.
  • If your parent doesn't live in the U.S., select "Foreign Country" from the dropdown box for the question that asks about the parents' state of legal residence.
  • If your parents live and file taxes in a foreign country and don’t file U.S. taxes, you’ll have the opportunity to indicate that they have filed their taxes.
  • If your parent doesn’t file taxes at all, select “Not going to file" for the question that asks whether the parent(s) have filed taxes. Then you’ll be asked for information about how much your parent earned from work, rather than being asked for information about specific items on the tax form.
What happens after I submit a FAFSA?

Please click on the link What to Expect After You Complete and Submit a FAFSA for information.

WCJC current requires all students who are seeking federal financial aid for 2018-2019 to complete and submit a Student Data Form.   You can submit this form as soon as you get your Student Aid Report (SAR) back from the Department of Education. Please make sure the information matches what you reported on your SAR.

The Student Data Form will not be required for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Do I have to enroll full-time (12 credit hours) to receive financial aid?

No. Although the award you see in Online Services is based on full-time (12 hours) enrollment, your aid will be adjusted to reflect the number of hours you are enrolled each semester. Only classes that are required for your degree/certificate plan can be funded.

Certain scholarships require full-time enrollment as a condition of eligibility.

Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loans.

When and how will I receive my financial aid at Wharton County Junior College?
Financial aid funds will be applied to your college account after the official enrollment date (Census Date) of each semester. Federal and college funds will be applied at this time only for those students who have completed all requirements for the financial aid process. Disbursement of state awards is dependent on the availability of state funding. If you have more financial aid than your total college charges, the balance will be issued as a refund.
Will I lose my financial aid or owe money back if I drop a class?
 

Always check with the Wharton County Junior College Office of Financial Aid for specific details. The drop form requires a signature by the financial aid office staff.

Dropping a class can reduce your Pell Grant and could also impact your future loan level. Loan recipients who drop below half-time will begin their loan grace period. Dropping a class can also create Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) problems, and you might not be eligible for any future financial aid assistance.

Can I get financial aid for summer?
Students can receive financial aid for the summer session. You may be eligible for summer financial aid if you have not already reached your maximum annual or aggregate limits on loans and have maintained satisfactory academic progress during the fall and spring.  Review the year-round Pell Grant information.
Are loans considered financial aid?
Yes. Loans are part of the federal student aid program and are considered financial aid.
How many hours do I have to be enrolled to qualify for a federal student loan?
Students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours, which must be part of their degree plan, in order to be eligible for a federal student loan.

Do I have to complete the online process at https://studentloans.gov for my loan?

Yes.  If you do not complete the online process as instructed, your loan cannot continue to be processed by the Department of Education. You must complete entrance counseling electronically and sign the promissory note for the loan. 

Federal regulations also require that all students who receive a Direct Loan (DL) must complete exit counseling at www.studentloans.gov prior to graduation or before dropping below half-time attendance. You may not be able to get a copy of your college transcript until you have completed this important step.

What do I need to know about managing my loans after I leave WCJC?
Students are strongly encouraged to use the resources available to understand the debt that they will acquire by taking out a student loan. Information and resources can be found on the Student Loans webpage.

In addition, Wharton County Junior College is working with Loan Science, a leader in the federal student loan management industry, to better assist you in making wise repayment choices.We encourage you to take advantage of their dedicated staff of trained loan counselors to assist in answering questions, understanding your payment schedule, or resolving any repayment challenges that may ariseQuestions about how to best manage your federal student loans can be answered by contacting Loan Science directly at: 

              Phone: 866.311.9450

              Email:  loansupport@loanscience.com

Please identify that you are a WCJC student, or former student, when speaking with Loan Science Staff. 

How do I know if my loan funds have been deposited into my student account?

You should check your student account using the Online Services feature on the WCJC website. Information will not be released via telephone due to privacy laws. Loan funds will be deposited into your student account electronically. Check your Disclosure Statement to determine when funds will be sent to the college. The Business Office will deduct what you owe for tuition, fees and books and the balance will be mailed to you. You are responsible for maintaining a current, valid address with Office of Admissions and Registration.

Why is the loan amount I signed for and the loan amount I received different?

 

An "origination fee" is charged for Stafford Loans per the regulations governing the loan programs. The fee may not exceed 3% of the principal amount of the loan. The fee is deducted proportionately from each payment before the loan funds are disbursed to the school by the lender. The fee is paid to the federal government to defray the cost of the loan programs.

Thus, if a lender deducts the 3 percent origination fee from a $2,000 Stafford Loan that is to be paid in two installments, the student will receive payments of $970 and $970. However, the student will be responsible for the full value of the loan, $2,000. A lender may choose to pay all or part of the origination fee on behalf of their students.

The guarantor is also authorized to collect an insurance fee not to exceed 1 percent of the loan.  If the guarantor charges an insurance fee for its Stafford and PLUS loans, the lender may pass on the charge to the borrower.

For PLUS loans, the origination fee is always 3 percent and may not be reduced by the lender. The lender may also charge an insurance fee on Stafford and PLUS loans to defray the insurance fee charged by the guarantor; the fee is limited to 1 percent.

What if I have other loans and don't know who the lender is or how to contact them? 

Call the Department of Education at 1-800-621-3115 or log on to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You will need your FSA ID to log in.

How do I consolidate my loans?

 Complete the Direct Consolidation Loan Application at StudentLoans.gov.

What if I need to dispute the terms of a loan?

You should contact the lender and/or guarantor in writing. If the issue remains unresolved you should contact the Office of the Ombudsman at fsaombudsmanoffice@ed.gov or 1-877-557-2575.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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