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The Financial Aid Office administers student financial aid programs, which provide financial assistance for students who, without such aid, would be unable to attend Central Alabama Community College. Financial aid is designed to assist in the financing of the student’s educational expenses. Eligibility for assistance is based primarily on financial need. Need may be defined as the difference between the total cost of education (expenses such as tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, etc.) and the amount which the student and the students family can afford to pay as determined by the Federal Methodology Calculation. Financial aid workshops are offered at area high schools and at Central Alabama Community College locations each year to assist students and parents in understanding financial aid options.

Central Alabama Community College is approved to participate in the following programs: Federal Pell Grants; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG); Direct Stafford Loans; Direct PLUS Loans; Federal College Work Study (FCWS); Federal Community Service College Work Study; Alabama Student Assistance Program Grant (ASAP); Vocational Rehabilitation; Workforce Investment Act; and Trade Adjustment Act.

In addition to the above listed programs, Central Alabama also participates in institutional scholarships, privately sponsored scholarships, and benefits for veterans and dependents of veterans.

A brief overview of the basic programs administered by the Financial Aid Office is as follows:

I. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to students who need money to pay for their education after high school. A Pell Grant is not a loan, so it does not have to be paid back as long as all requirements are being met. The award of a Pell Grant is calculated using the Department of Education’s Federal Methodology Calculation. The award is dependent upon the student’s and/or family of the student’s financial circumstances, the student’s cost of attendance, and whether the student is attending full-time or part-time. To be considered for a Pell Grant, a student must be an undergraduate student who does not already have a bachelor’s degree. Application is made directly to the Department of Education by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Pell Grants are not automatically renewed from one academic year to the next. Therefore, all Pell Grant recipients must reapply each year after completion of the Federal Income Tax Returns. In accordance with federal regulations, a student will only be eligible to receive 12 full-time semesters of Pell Grant funding during the student’s lifetime. For more information about Pell Grants, contact the Financial Aid Office.

II. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) FSEOG program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFC’s) will be considered first for a FSEOG. Just like Pell Grants, the FSEOG does not have to be repaid as long as all requirements are being met. To receive a FSEOG, a student must be an undergraduate student who does not already have a bachelor’s degree. Also, the student must be enrolled in at least six credit hours each semester. Financial need is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students need only to complete the FAFSA to receive consideration. Since funds are limited, not all eligible students will receive this grant. For additional information about the SEOG grant, contact the Financial Aid Office.

III. Direct Stafford Loans The Department of Education administers the Direct Loan program. Subsidized loans are awarded on the basis of financial need. Interest is deferred prior to repayment beginning and during authorized periods of deferment. Unsubsidized loans are not awarded on the basis of need. Interest is charged from the date the loan is disbursed until the loan is paid. Parents can borrow a PLUS loan to help pay the educational expenses of their dependent undergraduate student who is enrolled at least halftime in an eligible program. Parents must have an acceptable credit history to receive a PLUS loan.

Interested students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before receiving consideration for a Direct Loan. Borrowers at Central Alabama Community College (Central Alabama) are required to complete an online entrance counseling session and a promissory note online at http://www.studentloans.gov. Funds are sent directly to Central Alabama and posted to the student’s account. Balances due to the student will be disbursed by Central Alabama’s Business Office after all institutional charges have been paid. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of six semester hours to be eligible for loans.

IV. Federal College Work Study Federal Work Study is part-time employment on and off campus. It allows students to earn a portion of the money which is needed to finance their education. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Central Alabama Community College Work Study Application to receive consideration. For more information about Federal Work Study, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

V. Alabama Student Assistance Program (ASAP) The Alabama Student Assistance Program (ASAP) is a state aid program that provides financial assistance to Alabama residents for postsecondary education at participating colleges within the State of Alabama. Students make application by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To be eligible, students must have demonstrated financial need. The student must be enrolled in at least six credit hours each semester to receive consideration for this grant. Since funds are limited, not all eligible students will receive this grant. For more information concerning the ASAP program, please contact the Financial Aid Office.