|NCCC Financial Aid|
FINANCIAL AID SERVICES
By reading the instructions in these web pages, students will be able to learn the fastest way to apply for financial aid and how to avoid costly mistakes or omissions.
The Financial Aid Office maintains an “open door” policy and encourages prospective and currently enrolled students to come into the office. We urge students to make an advance appointment by calling (860) 738 – 6326 to ensure there is adequate time to address their financial concerns.
Financial Aid Office Staff:
Office Hours: M-F 8:00 AM - 5:00PM
Telephone: (860) 738-6326
Be certain to apply for admission to Northwestern
Connecticut Community College. Only students who have completed the
admissions process can be considered for student financial aid. Additionally, you will need to receive your college ID number in order to
gain access to Student Self-Service where all of your financial aid and
academic records are maintained. You may reach the Admissions Office by selecting the tab listed on the
College’s home page or by calling 860 738 – 6330 or 6329.
Go to Student Accounts and Payments for detailed information about the costs before any financial aid awarded to you is applied to your tuition account.
This Net Price Calculator will provide you with personalized and consistent estimated information about college costs. Note that the estimate is based on income(s) and size family that you plug in which may differ from the actual application information you report on your FAFSA. You may use this information to obtain an estimate of your "out-of-pocket" costs after any grant aid is applied to your direct charges (tuition, fees, and books/supplies). In the event that you identify the potential of receiving grant aid in excess of your charges, you may plan to utilize those funds to charge or rent books at the Follett Book Store. Any funds not used to purchase books will be refunded to you to meet commutation expenses. Note as well that campus-based grant programs have limited funds. If you complete the admissions or financial aid processes after the Priority Deadline dates, there can be no guarantee that there will be campus-based grant aid available.
Go to http://bor.ct.edu/finaid/netprice/npcalc.htm?coll=B
All applicants for financial assistance are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To ensure that you provide sufficient lead time for your application for financial aid to be processed and corrected, if necessary, you should file the FAFSA 30 days before the dates listed for a complete and accurate Priority Application.
The Financial Aid Office accepts applications on a first-come first-served basis throughout the whole year. The number of applications is far greater than the amounts of aid available to applicants. It is highly recommended for you to plan well in advance of the above dates to allow for processing time and to correct any errors, or to obtain IRS Tax Return Transcripts to verify the information you reported on your FAFSA. On-time applicants who meet the above dates will receive the benefit of early notification of awarded funds before the tuition due dates of the College. On-time applicants will be able to deduct their anticipated aid from their tuition and fee charges, and utilize any excess aid (tuition credit balance) to purchase books and supplies from the Follett Book Store on campus.
Admissions acceptance and/or FAFSA data or income verification documents received in the Financial Aid Office after the Priority Deadlines will be processed on a rolling basis as long as campus-based funds permit. Late applicants for admissions or financial aid run the risk of not allowing enough lead time to process FAFSA data, complete Verification, submit corrections, or otherwise receive award notification before the tuition and fees due dates for any academic term. Plan and file early to avoid not having access to financial aid funds when needed.
Applying for financial aid is fast and easy! Be certain that you have already applied for admission, if you are a new student. File the FAFSA with careful attention to accuracy and all other required information.
Understand that you will file one application (the FAFSA) to be considered for ALL of the federal, state, and college grant programs administered by the College. The FAFSA will also allow you to automatically apply for the largest source of financial assistance called the Federal Pell Grant Program. Ensure that you have a working email address that you check frequently. The CT Community Colleges will assign you an email address that you will be required to use to read your records and communicate with offices and officials of the College.
Step 1 - Apply for a Federal Personal Identification Number (Federal PIN). You will need a Federal PIN to complete your FAFSA. If you are dependent on your parents, and you will be required to report parental income information, then one of your parents must also apply for a Federal PIN. To get a Federal PIN go to www.pin.ed.gov.
Step 2 – File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA on the WEB). Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Without the above documents it will be impossible to file and accurate and complete FAFSA. Avoid unnecessary delay in processing and awarding any financial aid to you. Be careful, use the hyperlink above to pull you to the correct web address to file your FAFSA. Note that the correct address is www.fafsa.ed.gov. It is not fafsa.com.
List on your FAFSA, the correct School Code is 001398 to authorize that your FAFSA data is to be released to Northwestern CT Community College.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We recommend that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to allow the Internal Revenue Service to send your, (and your spouse, or your parents, if applicable) tax information to the Federal Processor of your FAFSA. Take advantage of this opportunity to speed up processing and application turnaround as well as your accuracy to file the FAFSA. Using this tool, will reduce any possibility that you will have to verify your income by requesting and IRS Tax Return Transcript that usually takes weeks to obtain.
Be certain to sign your FAFSA by using your Federal PIN. If a parent is reporting income information on your FAFSA, please be sure to have one of your parents sign with his/her Federal PIN.
Step 3 – Allow up to three days after having submitted your FAFSA, then watch out for an email from the Federal Processor with their delivery of a Student Aid Report. The SAR shows the data that the Federal Processor used to process your FAFSA. Read it carefully, especially any comments or further instructions on the SAR. Make corrections or update information as may be necessary so that your FAFSA contains the most accurate information possible.
Step 4 – Allow another seven days after you submitted the FAFSA. Watch for an email from the CT Community Colleges which informs you of receipt of your FAFSA data. Monitor your application status through accessing your Student Aid Report (SAR) on FAFSA on the Web. After receipt of your SAR, continue to monitor through the Student Information System of the CT Community College. You may only view your records if you have a valid NCCC College ID number.
If you have completed the admissions process and you have a valid College ID number, you may log into the Student Self-Service area by logging into http://mycommnet.edu. Then follow the instructions on the log in screen, form your first password (after your very first log in you will be asked to change it), and then select the Student Tab. Then select Student Self-Service and then choose from the menu, "Financial Aid". Before you see various submenus, you have to select the time period you wish to view. Select "2013-2014 Aid Year". The following offers you various capabilities:
In order to become eligible to receive financial aid, you must meet the following general eligibility requirements:
Note that other restrictions may apply in instances of having previously earned a bachelor’s degree, incarceration, or federal or state convictions for selling or possessing illegal drugs.
In addition to your meeting the General eligibility requirements, you must also meet certain individual eligibility requirements. Among these requirements are:
NCCC has an extensive range of scholarships for new, continuing, and graduating students provided through generous gifts to the College to establish various scholarships.
Eligibility for these programs is determined by the Veterans Administration, 450 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Application forms and further information are available from the NCCC Veterans Certifying Official, Jeff Crothers (738-6306). He is located in the Student Development Center on the second floor of Greenwoods Hall. Students are urged to make their initial application for VA benefits well in advance of their first semester.
Eligible students may use VA benefits to pursue a degree or certificate program approved the State Approving Agency, and must be enrolled in that program. Once a student has registered for classes and paid any applicable charges for a given semester, the NCCC Certifying Official will certify the student’s enrollment to the VA. The VA will, in turn, pay benefits directly to the student.
Continued certification of the student seeking VA benefits is contingent on the student maintaining good academic standing and satisfactory academic progress toward completing the requirements of his/her authorized program of study.
Connecticut Veterans Tuition Waiver
Requirements: At least 90 days of active duty during a State-defined wartime period (Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, etc.) Honorable discharge from active duty. To obtain this tuition waiver, a veteran should complete the application with the VA Certifying Official and present a copy pf his/her separation document (usually DD214). Additional information will be provided at that time. The Connecticut Veterans Tuition Waiver cannot be used for Extension Fund Courses, and covers only tuition, not other student fees.
National Guard Tuition Waiver
Members in good standing of the Connecticut Army and Air National Guard are eligible for a waiver of General Fund tuition. This waiver does not cover student fees or Extension Fund Courses. Guard members must obtain a certificate of eligibility from their unit and submit it to the VA Certifying Official when tuition is due
College Policy directs the Financial Aid Office to coordinate all on-campus student employment and refer possible job candidates to interviews. Federal Student Aid and State of Connecticut Department of Higher Education regulations require that students apply for financial assistance and be determined to demonstrate financial need in order to participate in either the Federal or CAP Work Study programs. Annual allocations of funds to the College determine the size of the payroll for either program.
The Operating Fund of the College contains a budget item for “Student Labor.” The amount of funds allocated for the Student Labor payroll establishes annually how many students can be referred to work in prioritized jobs on the campus.
Regardless of the source of funds or the specific payroll, the Financial Aid Office functions as the clearinghouse for all student employment. The Financial Aid Office maintains all job descriptions in a Job Book. Further information about specific policy and procedures is contained in the NCCC Student Employment Handbook. If you are interested in the possibility of a campus job, you should complete a Student Employment Application in the Financial Aid Office as early as possible in the beginning of an academic term.
The College participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program and follows the regulations and policies associated with responsible financial planning. As amended by the Student Aid Reform Act , the Federal Direct Loan Programs replaced the former Federal Stafford and Federal PLUS programs. Accordingly, loan funds now come directly from the Federal Government rather than from banks.In these uncertain economic times, the College urges caution to all that may be contemplating taking on long term debt in the form of an education loan. Our objective is to encourage students and families to develop a sound educational financing plan which enables the student to attend the College without experiencing a debt burden s/he cannot manage successfully. We encourage all students to first apply for grants and scholarships which do not have to be repaid to avoid any debt at the community college level. Loan avoidance promotes being able to reduce aggregate loan debt upon transferring to four year colleges and beyond. Also, the ability to make other credit related purchases should not become restricted because of accumulated education loan debt. Further information about choosing an early tuition payment option in tandem with the College’s Tuition Installment Plan is available in both the Financial Aid Office and the Cashier’s Office. Acceptance of this philosophy to avoid long term education loan debt and accumulating interest and fee charges has resulted in individuals finding a less costly way to meet their tuition and fee charges. If you have examined the other options to make partial payments of tuition and fees, and find it absolutely necessary to borrow a Federal Direct Loan, you must:
A - If after filing your FAFSA, your income or that of your family has changed drastically, you should make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office for further advisement. Do not submit another FAFSA or make any adjustments to the income you initially reported. Prepare a signed written statement that fully explains what has changed, when it changed, and the dollar amount impact to you and your spouse or parents,( if applicable). Bring your statement with you to the appointment with documentation you should have to show loss of employment, marital separation or divorce, etc. Your circumstances will be re-evaluated if you can provide adequate corroborating evidence of a significant change in your financial resources. In the event that a re-evaluation is determined to be possible, the Director of Financial Aid Services will report “corrected” data to the Federal Processor for you.
A – Approximately 50% of the FAFSA’s are selected for a process of “Verification”. This means that the U.S. Department of Education requires the College Financial Aid Office to obtain documents to verify information that you and/or your parents reported when you filed the FAFSA. Before your application for aid can be considered complete, you will have to provide documents to verify household information and taxable and non-taxable amounts from you, your spouse (if married), and your parent(s), if applicable. Submit legible signed-copies to the Financial Aid Office through mail or hand-delivery.
A – After you have filed the FAFSA and completed any verification requirements, and if you have completed the admissions process, your application will be evaluated and processed on a first come first served basis. If the evaluation of your FAFSA results in a calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is less than your Total Costs of Attendance, you will be offered a “financial aid package” consisting only of grants and/or work study. The CT Community College System employs a horizontal equity packaging procedure, where by students receive variable amounts of grant aid when their EFC falls within certain ranges. This practice assures fairness and equity in the award amounts that students receive with similar levels of financial need. The Federal Pell Grant program establishes the platform of an aid package as the EFC calculated establishes the award amount for a Pell Grant, if the applicant is determined by the U.S. Dept. of Education to be eligible. Other Federal, State, or College grants may be offered to bring an applicant up to an established level of grant assistance for students of similar EFC ranges. Board of Trustee Policy directs that college financial aid packaging meet direct educational expenses: tuition and standard fees, and an allowance for books and supplies of $1,000 to the extent that funds are available. Since funds are limited, late applicants will receive reduced amounts as the funds become exhausted and committed to earlier applicants.
A- Allow 3 days after you filed your FAFSA to return to the FAFSA web site (fafsa.ed.gov), to read the Student Aid Report (SAR) issued by the Federal Processor. Make corrections, complete omissions, or add signature(s) to complete your FAFSA, if necessary. Allow 7 days after you receive an email from the CT Community College System for your FAFSA to be read and processed at Northwestern. Use the my.commNet portal to enter the Student Self-Service area to determine your overall application status, academic progress indicator, outstanding verification documents, or award amounts.
A – Provided that you have completed the admissions process for being accepted as a matriculated student, and have allowed at least 10 days for your FAFSA to be read and analyzed, a financial aid package will be constructed (if funds are available) and posted to your financial aid records which you access in Student Self-Service. Click on the submenu “My Award Information”. Click on details to see the award amounts and the programs. In addition, a paper award letter will be generated and mailed to you to arrive several days later. For security and privacy reasons, award amounts are not discussed over the telephone.
A – NCCC requires that only fees be paid at the time of registration. However, tuition must then be paid no later than the established tuition due dates which are normally in early August (for fall semester), and December (for spring semester). However, students who have applied accurately, and in timely fashion (see priority deadline dates) may use the award notification by the Financial Aid Office to defer payment of tuition and fees, or a lesser amount if they have a lesser eligibility.
Note, however, that the aid packages offered are based on the assumption that a student may enroll full-time (at least 12 credits per semester). The award notification serves to advise you of your maximum potential eligibility for the award amounts, and explains that award amounts are pro-rated for three quarter time 9-11 credits -(75%), and half-time 6-8 credits- (50%). Only Federal Pell Grants are pro-rated for less than half-time (below 6 credits).
A – If the total amounts of your grants, after pro-ration for less than full-time enrollment, are greater than your tuition and fees charges, the excess amount is called a “credit balance”. You may use that credit balance to charge books at the College Book Store beginning and no earlier than two weeks before the beginning of the fall or spring semester. If you still have a remaining credit balance that you have not used, then that amount will be refunded to you via check approximately 30 days after classes have started. To receive your credit balance refund faster, enroll in Direct Deposit.
A – In March of 2011, the CT Community Colleges approved a uniform satisfactory academic progress policy for all students receiving financial aid. Recent changes in federal regulations announced in October 2010 have required that the policy be updated and revised to become effective with the Fall 2011 period of enrollment.
A student receiving Federal Title IV financial aid or other financial aid directly administered or certified by the College must maintain satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of a certificate or degree program of study. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients is measured by using a quantitative and qualitative standard and is an assessment of a student’s cumulative academic record at the College.
A student must successfully complete two-thirds (66.66%) of the credits (earned credits/attempted credits) s/he attempts. All attempted credits resulting in either an academic grade or administrative transcript notation will be included in the quantitative calculation. Incomplete courses, course withdrawals, course repetitions, noncredit remedial courses (with appropriate credit equivalency evaluation), and ESL courses will also be included in this assessment. Transfer credits will be counted as both attempted and earned credits in the calculation for determining satisfactory academic progress.
A student must also maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average (qualitative standard) as noted below in order to be making satisfactory academic progress and be eligible to receive financial aid.
Earned Credits Minimum GPA
Less than 15.99 1.50
16 or more 2.00
A student’s cumulative academic history will be evaluated at the end of each enrollment period and prior to the subsequent term’s financial aid disbursement. This policy will be used to evaluate all students, regardless of their enrollment level.
Maximum Credit Hours
A student may receive financial aid for any attempted credits in his/her program of study that do not exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s educational program at the College. For example, a student enrolled in a 60-credit degree program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 attempted credit hours. Similarly, a student enrolled in a 30-credit certificate program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours. Any attempted credits at the College must be included in the calculation. The 150% maximum credit hours rule is applicable to students who change majors or who pursue a double major.
Financial Aid Warning
Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. The Warning period will be the student’s next semester or period of enrollment at the College. The College will communicate the Warning status to the student and inform the student that s/he must meet the academic progress standard by the end of the subsequent enrollment period in order to maintain eligibility to participate in the financial aid programs at the College.
Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard at the end of the Warning period will become ineligible for the financial aid programs at the College.
A student’s financial aid eligibility will be automatically reinstated at such time as the student meets the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard.
Financial Aid Probation
Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard at the end of the Warning period will become ineligible for the financial aid programs at the College. Ineligible students have the opportunity to file an appeal regarding their termination from the financial aid programs. The Financial Aid Office guides students with a "just cause" to schedule an appeal with a committee formed by members of students services.
Students who have failed the academic progress standard and have been approved with a successful appeal will be considered on Financial Aid Probation.
A student may request consideration for reinstatement to the financial aid programs through the following Appeal Process:
If the student feels his/her failure to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard was the result of an unusual or extraordinary situation that affected successful progression, the students may appeal. Some personal mitigating circumstances could include illness or injury of the student or dependent of the student; a death in the immediate family; or other undue hardship as the result of special circumstances. An appeal form is available from the Financial Aid Office.
To provide consistency in decision-making, the SAP Appeals Committee will make all appeal decisions in a timely manner after the receipt of the appeal form. The student must: 1) explain the extenuating circumstances causing the non-compliance, 2) substantiate it with third party documentation, (i.e. letter from the doctor who treated the student), and 3) give a detailed explanation of specifically what has changed that will allow satisfactory progress to be demonstrated at the next evaluation.
Should an appeal be approved and the student is not mathematically able to return to satisfactory academic progress at the conclusion of a subsequent enrollment period, the SAP Appeals Committee will devise an appropriate academic plan for the upcoming semester with the student. At the end of the semester, grades will be evaluated. If the student has met the required terms of the academic plan, the student may continue to receive financial aid the following semester. If the student fails to meet the terms of the academic plan in any subsequent semester, the student will become ineligible to participate in the financial aid programs until the student is able to once again meet the minimum requirements for academic progress. The student’s progress will continue to be monitored at the end of each semester with the same terms in place until the student is in compliance with the CT Community College’s satisfactory academic progress standards.
In keeping with student consumer requirements associated with federal student financial assistance, rights and responsibilities of student financial aid applicants and recipients are stated below:
STUDENT APPLICANT RIGHTS – You have the right to know:
STUDENT APPLICANT RESPONSIBILITIES – You are responsible: