How to Apply
Applying for financial aid is easier than you think – and the HCC Financial Aid Office is here to help if you need us! You'll need your tax returns for the previous year in order to fill out the Free Application For Financial Aid (FAFSA). If you are a dependent, you'll need your parents' tax returns, and if you are married, make sure you have your spouse's returns as well. Ready to start?
- Fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): Your FAFSA is the key to all financial aid. Regardless of whether the aid is state or federal, a grant, loan, or combination of all of these, HCC will use the information on your FAFSA to determine what type and amount of aid you will receive. All financial aid applicants are required to annually submit a properly completed FAFSA.The FAFSA is submitted electronically through FAFSA online. In order for HCC to receive the application, HCC's Federal School Code 002170 must be included on the FAFSA. Applicants are welcome to use the self-service computers in the lobby of HCC's Financial Aid Office (Frost 201) to submit the application. As of May 2015, all students and parents who file a FAFSA must create a FSA User ID and password with the U.S. Department of Education. If you wish to access fafsa.gov, studentloans.gov, or nslds.ed.gov, you must create a FSA User ID and password. This process takes about 15 minutes and is for both students and parents who electronically sign the FAFSA. You may access the website to create an FSA User ID and password here. For students and parents who already have an electronic PIN, this process will link your PIN to your FSA User ID and password. For step-by-step instructions on how do create an FSA User ID, click here.
- Meet Deadlines: In order to meet both the HCC priority deadline and the state MASSGrant deadlines, the student's FAFSA must reach the federal processor before May 1 for the school year starting in September. In addition to meeting the May 1 deadline, to receive the best possible aid award, applicants should also register for classes and submit all other required documentation to the Financial Aid Office by June 30. If a student misses the May 1 FAFSA deadline, he/she should apply as soon as possible thereafter in order to receive the best possible aid package.
- Don't Forget: In addition to completing the general financial aid application requirements described above, applicants should: Promptly respond to all requests for additional information; Get admitted (apply for admission and be accepted) to a degree or certificate program; Preregister for courses as early as possible; Respond to award offers by accepting or declining awards on the HCC Online Services page; Notify the financial aid office about funding from another source, such as a scholarship organization.
- Incomplete Applications: If your application is selected for verification by the federal processor or the school, additional documentation is required, such as verification worksheets. The requested documents must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office within two (2) weeks of the date that you are notified of the need for this information. If we do not receive the documents within that time frame, we will consider the file incomplete and take no further action on the application while it remains in incomplete status. If the documents are submitted after the two-week period, we may take action on the application if federal and state rules allow us to do so. If corrections to the application are required after receipt of the requested documents, HCC will make the corrections on our computer system and submit the corrections to the federal processor.
- Additional Application Requirements for Loan Applicants: Entrance Counseling – All first-time student loan borrowers at HCC are required to complete a student loan entrance interview. To complete this requirement, the college uses the online entrance counseling tutorial provided by the U.S. Department of Education at www.studentloans.gov. First-time student loan borrowers are also required to complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) at the www.studentloans.gov website. Exit counseling – Prior to ceasing enrollment at HCC (or dropping below half-time) all student loan borrowers must also complete a loan exit interview. The exit interview requirement can also be completed on the www.studentloans.gov website.