Ten Ways to Avoid Financial Aid Delays | JCTC

Ten Ways to Avoid Financial Aid Delays

Ten Ways to Avoid Financial Aid Delays:

  1. Apply early. The FAFSA opens on October 1 for the following Fall and Spring academic year. Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ideally by January and no later than April 15. Many grant programs are first come, first served with limited funding. The earlier you complete your application, the more likely that you will not miss out on opportunities for aid. Make sure all information provided is truthful and accurate. If conflicting/incorrect information is discovered, additional documentation may be necessary and corrections must be made to the FAFSA. Because corrections must be reprocessed before aid can be awarded, delays may occur that result in having to pay initially out-of-pocket. Your prior-prior year taxes are used to complete the FAFSA (for example, for the 2021-2022 FAFSA, 2019 tax information is used). Should you estimate your income on your FAFSA before completing your taxes, you will want to make the correction to your FAFSA with your accurate income using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (check for availability) which transfers your information directly from IRS onto your FAFSA as soon as it becomes available to you.
  2. Make sure that your admissions file is complete and that you have selected an appropriate academic major that is offered by the KCTCS College you are attending. If the college is not authorized to offer your chosen academic program, financial aid cannot be used to pay for your classes. In addition if all high school and other college transcripts are not submitted timely to the admissions office for a complete file, your aid disbursement WILL BE DELAYED.
  3. Make sure that you have added Jefferson Community and Technical College as a school of choice on your FAFSA. If you are transferring to Jefferson, make the change as early as possible to allow for processing time. Jefferson financial aid representatives cannot view your financial aid information until approximately three working days after you have made the school choice change on your FAFSA.
  4. Make sure that the "student signature" and "parent signature" sections of your FAFSA are completed. Missing signatures will cause delays.
  5. Do not make changes to your FAFSA unless absolutely necessary. Corrections made in the middle of the approval process add processing time.
  6. Read your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) thoroughly and monitor your "To Do List" in your Student Self Service account at the college. If you are selected for verification or need to make any corrections, you will be notified via your SAR and "To Do List". It is VERY IMPORTANT you read your SAR to check if you have been selected for verification and TAKE ACTION if you have. Approximately 30 percent of all FAFSA applicants are randomly selected for a process called verification. If you are selected, you will be required to provide additional documentation supporting the information you originally submitted as part of your FAFSA. The earlier you are aware of any additional requirements necessary to complete your financial aid package, the more time you will allow yourself to gather the necessary paperwork.
  7. Complete your Financial Aid Bookstore Release in your Student Self-Service. By completing the bookstore release, you are authorizing the college to charge your textbooks to your financial aid award which will make purchasing your textbooks go more smoothly.
  8. Make sure your expected graduation date on file with the admissions office is accurate. If your expected graduation date has expired, your financial aid cannot be awarded.
  9. Avoid changing majors frequently. If you exceed the Maximum Time frame for financial aid by earning too many hours without earning a credential, you will be required to complete a degree audit with your academic advisor. You will be required to submit a SAP Appeal and attach your degree audit for consideration by the SAP Appeal committee. At that point, the committee may deny your aid or limit your enrollment to courses which count toward your degree only. Also, if a student is enrolled in courses that DO NOT count towards their degree, certificate, or other recognized credential, they cannot be used to determine enrollment status unless they are eligible remedial courses. In other words…this means Financial Aid cannot award the student aid for classes that DO NOT count toward their degree, certificate, or other recognized credential.
  10. Go to class, stay in class, and pass your classes. This means that you need to perform well academically to maintain your financial aid eligibility. The federal government requires that students receiving financial aid must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). You must maintain a 2.0 GPA and successfully complete 67% of the courses you attempt failing grades (E’s) and withdrawals (W’s) count against your success percentage. If you do not meet SAP guidelines, you have an opportunity to submit a SAP Appeal to a review committee which could delay your financial aid award or even lead to your aid being denied. Class attendance is required to receive financial aid.