Top Five Financial Aid Misconceptions Explained

5. I don’t file taxes, so I am not eligible to file a FAFSA. Many families do not file taxes and that is OK; it actually makes filling out the FAFSA easier! Free help filing the FAFSA is available, without an appointment, whenever the Financial Aid Office is open.

4. I have financial aid, so I don’t have a bill. Some students have financial aid, ALL students have a bill. Students need to pay close attention to communications from the Bursar’s and Financial Aid office, even if they have filed the FAFSA. Filing a FAFSA is only the first step. Information about financial aid and the student’s bill is available on a student’s MyGCC account.

3. I have to be a full-time student to be eligible for financial aid. Many students are eligible for a Pell Grant for only one class per semester (three credits or more). Most other aid programs require only two classes per semester, including the student loan program (six credits or more). Once a student’s FAFSA is received by GCC, the Financial Aid office can provide information on aid eligibility, as it relates to the number of enrolled credits.

2. I filled out the FAFSA, so now I am “all set” and everything is paid for. Again, filing a FAFSA is only the first step. Students should get in the habit of checking the financial aid area of their MyGCC at least weekly during the breaks between terms. If MyGCC indicates any Outstanding Requirements, aid awards will be delayed until these requirements are fulfilled.

1. I failed a class last semester, so I am no longer eligible for financial aid. Failing one class, one time, will not impact financial aid eligibility. Academic progression is defined by a cumulative GPA above a 2.0, passing grades in two-thirds of classes attempted, and receiving credit for classes that fulfill degree requirements. Students having academic difficulty should be referred to the Financial Aid office for one-on-one advisement on how to remain in good standing. The Financial Aid staff is available to answer questions by phone, email, and at the counter Monday through Thursday from 8:30-5 and Fridays 8:30-4. The vast majority of inquiries are handled without an appointment. Encourage advisees to connect with the Financial Aid office early on in their GCC experience, so they are comfortable asking questions as they arise.

Help your students get the facts about Financial Aid!