FAQ

How do I apply for aid?

Complete the FAFSA form online (www.fafsa.ed.gov) or on paper, available from your high school counselor. Although you can file a paper FAFSA we highly recommend you file you FAFSA online. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. List TVCC in Step 6. Our Title IV Code is 003221. If the code is left blank, no information will be sent to TVCC.

If you complete the FAFSA on the Web, you must either register to receive a U.S. Department of Education PIN, which can be used to electronically sign your FAFSA, or print out, sign and send the signature page to the processing agency. (Note: Your TVCC PIN is different than your U.S. Department of Education PIN) If you choose to register for a U.S. Department of Education PIN, both you and your parents need one and must complete the signature process electronically. Your U.S. Department of Education PIN will be the same each year you reapply.

When should I apply for aid?

The sooner, the better! The FAFSA may be submitted any time after January 1 for the following school year and needs to be completed once a year. (TVCC’s financial aid begins with fall session in September). The FAFSA should be completed as close to January 1st as possible to be considered for certain types of awards with limited funding. Also, if you are applying for TVCC scholarships, the TVCC Foundation Scholarship Application must be completed prior to March 31st.

How long does the aid process take?

It depends on the type of FAFSA you fill out. Paper applications that are mailed to the U.S. Department of Education for processing take 3 to 4 weeks to process and send to TVCC. A FAFSA completed online takes 1 to 2 weeks to be sent to TVCC.

Once TVCC has received your file from the Department of Education, it will be reviewed in the order it was received. We will request additional information in writing if it is required to complete the review process. Watch your mail for letters from the financial aid office and please respond to any requests in a timely manner. Otherwise, you will be notified in writing of the types of awards you are eligible for. This process takes between 3 and 12 weeks after you have turned in all additional information that has been requested.

The earlier in the year you submit your application and additional information, the sooner your request will be processed. By the time the school year starts, there can be a significant number of applications to process, so be patient and be sure to turn your information in early!

Helpful Hint: The financial aid process is very complex and most of the work is done "behind the scenes" for you. Be sure that you have completed the admissions process at TVCC. If you are transferring from another college or university, have your official transcripts sent to TVCC for review.

What types of aid are available?

Grants, Scholarships, Tuition Waivers, Work Programs, and Student Loans are the most common types of financial aid awarded to TVCC students.

Grants are awards that are usually based on need and do not have to be repaid upon completion of you degree. Grants form the foundation of a financial aid package, upon which other aid may be added, depending on eligibility.

Scholarships are gift aid which may be based on academic achievement, particular skills, talents, abilities or interests, and may or may not be based on financial need. Most scholarships do not have to be repaid.

Tuition Waivers are similar to scholarships but do not represent actual cash for your education. Rather, tuition waivers are a cancellation of part or all of your quarterly tuition charges by TVCC.

Work Programs such as Federal Work Study are need-based awards and are designed to provide students with employment opportunities to help meet the cost of education.

Loans are borrowed funds used to help pay educational expenses. Loans must be paid back. A variety of loans, both need-based and non-need based, are available to TVCC students and their parents.

What determines my "need" or eligibility for financial aid?

Three components are used to determine your financial need and eligibility for financial aid: Cost of Attendance, Expected Family Contribution, and Enrollment Status.

Each school develops its own average Cost of Attendance Budget with consideration for tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, dependent care expenses, loan origination fees, and personal allowance (or miscellaneous expenses). Your cost of attendance budget will depend on where your permanent address is (state of residency), your housing plans while in school, the number of dependents you have (if any), and your enrollment status (the number of credits you take each term.) TVCC financial aid uses standardized amounts or calculations for each of these budget items and customizes your budget for your situation.

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is computed by the U.S. Department of Education's processing center using the information you provided on your FAFSA application. Your EFC will usually appear on your Student Aid Report (SAR) in the upper right hand corner of the first page (this may be different if you requested that communications from the Dept. of Education be sent to you via e-mail by including an e-mail address on your FAFSA). Your EFC is the basis for Pell Grant eligibility, and is subtracted from your personalized Cost of Attendance budget to determine your original Financial Need.

Note: Your EFC does not necessarily indicate your actual out-of-pocket expenses; it is merely a tool based on averages used to calculate your financial aid eligibility.

  • If your Cost of Attendence (COA) = $10,185
  • and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = $1000
  • your Financial Need = $9,185

From these elements, TVCC will first determine your eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant and then attempt to meet the remaining unmet need with other funds as available and according to the school’s awarding policies.

You will receive notification of your Cost of Attendance Budget, your EFC, your Financial Need, and the financial aid funds you are eligible for in an award notification from TVCC Financial Aid.

How and when will I get my financial aid funds?

As a TVCC Student, you have a student account that is managed by the TVCC Business Office. When you register for classes, your student account is charged for tuition, fees, etc.

All pending financial aid awards (as listed on your financial aid award letter) will appear on your account prior to the beginning of classes each quarter as "unreleased aid". Your financial aid awards will be released at the conclusion of the full refund period (usually the end of the second week of classes).

If your financial aid funds exceed the amount owed to TVCC for tuition, fees, etc. a refund check will be available to you on the third Tuesday of classes each quarter.

Financial aid funds are used first to pay direct institutional costs (tuition, fees and room and board, if applicable). If after financial aid funds are disbursed to your student account and there is still a balance owed, it is your responsibility to pay the balance at that time or according to payment arrangements agreed upon by the TVCC Business Office.

Note: If you have pre-registered, your award will be based upon your actual enrollment status. If your award letter was issued prior to registration and your actual enrollment status differs from that used to calculate your award, adjustments may be necessary before your aid is applied to your bill.

How do I maintain eligibility for financial aid at TVCC?

TVCC Financial Aid is required by the U.S. Department of Education to publish Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and monitor all students progress as described in these standards (please use the link to view the full policy). To paraphrase, you must complete all the classes you are registered for (at the end of the second week of class) each term, earn a 2.0 quarterly GPA, and complete your degree within 150% of the published requirements.

Helpful Hint: Maintain a close relationship with your academic advisor, register for upcoming terms well in advance, be sure that you make any adjustments to your quarterly class schedule well before beginning the term, and avoid taking classes that do not fit into your chosen degree program.

What happens if I drop a class or withdraw completely?

If you find that at any point during a term you must drop a class, consult with your academic advisor first. If you agreed that it is in your best interest to drop a class, you must complete an official add/drop form or withdrawal (either on paper or in the CampusWeb system). You can drop classes any time during the first two weeks of the quarter (one week in the summer term) and receive a full refund of tuition and fees. Your financial aid will be adjusted automatically.

If you must drop a class after the second week of the quarter (or first week in the Summer term) you will receive a warning, probation, or suspension letter (Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress) from TVCC Financial Aid at the end of the term. Be sure to read this letter carefully! It will contain important information about what to do next.

If you withdraw completely from any term, you may have to repay some of the financial aid you received to TVCC, the U.S. Department of Education, or both. You will also receive written notification concerning your options once you complete the official withdrawal process. If you fail to officially withdraw, it is assumed that you attended no more than 50% of the term. If you attend beyond the 60% point of the term you are considered to have earned 100% of your financial aid and will not have to repay unearned funds.

Please read carefully any correspondence you receive in reference to a complete withdrawal. TVCC Financial Aid is required to report overpayments of federal grants to the U.S. Department of Education's Collection unit if no repayment arrangements are made within 45 days of being notified.