Questions and Answers
With something as important as Financial Aid, you are bound to have questions. We at Northwestern Connecticut Community College are here to answer your financial aid questions as they relate to becoming a student at NCCC. We've gathered some of the questions we've heard the most around financial aid along with the answers below. Please know you can always reach out to us at NCCC's Financial Aid Office with any other questions you might have.
Most Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions
What if I have special circumstances and my income or that of my family has changed from the 2015 federal tax year?
If after filing your FAFSA, your income or that of your family has changed drastically, you should make an appointment with NCCC's 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.
How are family and income information verified?
Approximately 50% of the FAFSA’s are selected for a process of “Verification”. This means that the U.S. Department of Education requires NCCC's 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 NCCC's Financial Aid Office through mail or hand-delivery.
How are financial aid packages determined?
After you have filed the FAFSA and completed any verification requirements, and if you have completed the NCCC 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 NCCC 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, as well as an allowance for books and supplies of $1,200 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.
How do I monitor my application status?
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 NCCC. Use the myCommNet portal to enter the Student Self-Service area to determine your overall application status, academic progress indicator, outstanding verification documents or award amounts.
How do I receive notification of financial aid offered?
Provided that you have completed the admissions process for being accepted as a matriculated student at NCCC, 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.
How does financial aid defer payment of my tuition?
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).
What happens if I have more aid than my tuition and fees charges?
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 NCCC Book Store beginning and no earlier than three 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.