Policy Table of Contents
- Fill out the FAFSA
- Complete Verification
- Award Notifications
- Loan Programs
- Required Steps for Federal Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans
- Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid
Fill out the FAFSA
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to be considered for need-based financial aid. The form is available through the U.S. Department of Education website: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
The recommended filing deadline to ensure eligibility for all programs is March 1st. Note that the FAFSA must be signed by the student and parent (if required) to be considered submitted. The financial aid cycle favors those students who file in a timely fashion and complete the required documentation early. CCS’ Title IV school code is 006771.
CCS strongly advises students file the FAFSA by the recommended date even if they are uncertain of their plans for the upcoming year to ensure they can receive funding in all programs they qualify for if they do attend.
Most students are considered a dependent of their parents for purposes of financial aid and will be required to provide their parent’s financial information and signature on the FAFSA. To determine if you are considered a dependent of your parents for purposes of financial aid, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/dependency
In some cases additional documentation may be needed to confirm information provided on the FAFSA is accurate. 30% of all applicants are randomly selected for verification, or you may be selected due to an individual item that needs to be resolved.
Requested documentation must be received before financial aid can be processed and applied to the student’s account.
Documentation requests are sent via email to the student’s CCS email address. If additional documentation is requested it should be provided to Financial Aid as soon as possible, but no later than six weeks before the end of the enrollment period. If you have questions about the documentation or the due date, contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss.
Once the FAFSA is completed and any additional documentation requested has been provided to the Financial Aid Office students will receive a Financial Aid Notification detailing the amounts and types of aid they are eligible for. Incoming students receive paper notification in the mail and are required to complete and return a copy to the Financial Aid Office. Returning students receive email notification their funding has been calculated and are able to view and accept their awards on WebAdvisor.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Program
A federal loan program available to students who have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to assist students and families with the costs of education. The government guarantees the loans, so no co-signer or credit check is necessary. The amounts that can be received for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans are set by the government based on the student’s grade level and financial need. The amounts listed on your Financial Aid Notification letter reflect your specific eligibility. Repayment begins six months after graduation, upon enrollment of less than half-time or upon withdrawal from the College. More information can be found under the Financial Aid section of Blackboard.
Federal Parent PLUS Loan Program
The federal Parent PLUS loan is intended to assist parents in paying for their children’s education or, more often, to supplement the financial aid received by their student. This is a supplemental loan based on a credit application. Repayment generally begins 60 days after the final disbursement. For most families, this means March of the academic year. However once your loan has been disbursed you may request that repayment be deferred during periods while your student is enrolled at least half-time (6.0 credits). More information can be found under the Financial Aid section of Blackboard.
Alternative/Supplemental Loan Program
Students who require funding beyond what grants, scholarships and federal Subsidized/ Unsubsidized loans provide may want to consider applying for a supplemental loan to cover the remaining tuition balance and/or costs for indirect expenses like transportation, living expenses or books & supplies. Alternative loans are private supplemental loans offered by various lenders. They are meant to function as a supplement to the grants, scholarships and Direct Loans you receive. Visit the Financial Aid section of Blackboard for more information on Alternative/Private Loans.
Required Steps for Federal Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans
In addition to officially accepting the loans on the award notification letter or WebAdvisor, students borrowing Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan funds at CCS for the first time will be required to complete a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling before their funds can be processed. These steps should be completed as soon as possible, but no later than one week before the end of the enrollment period. Students must be currently enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to be eligible for their loans. The Mastery Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling can be found at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
Students who initially decline their loans can accept them later as long as they are still enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) and all necessary paper work is completed at least one week before the end of the enrollment period.
Students who borrow or receive aid in excess of the charges owed to CCS will receive a refund check for the overage from the Business Services Office. These funds can and must be used only to pay indirect educational costs, including books & supplies, housing, food, transportation, child care and personal expenses (such as laundry & toiletries).
Loans are disbursed on a schedule determined by a student’s grade level and can be affected depending on when a student completed the various forms of paper work required. Assuming all paper work was completed in a timely manner, refunds for juniors and seniors are available the second Friday of the semester, sophomores and returning freshman the third Friday of the semester and first-time freshman the fourth Friday of the semester.
Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid
Students who receive financial aid must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as determined by the College for Creative Studies in accordance with federal regulations. Financial aid recipients are required to be in good academic standing and to maintain SAP toward their degree requirements for each semester in which they are enrolled.
The standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) measure a student’s academic progress using both qualitative and quantitative measurements. These measurements include a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement, a Course Completion Rate requirement, and a Maximum Time frame requirement. The standards apply to all federal and state financial aid programs administered by the College’s Office of Financial Aid.
SAP is evaluated at the end of each term (Fall, Winter, and Summer). Federal regulations require the College to evaluate all students for SAP regardless of whether or not they receive financial aid. SAP is evaluated based on the student’s cumulative academic record.
Students who do not meet SAP standards will be placed on academic warning for one semester. Students are eligible to receive financial aid during the academic warning semester. If at the end of that semester both markers of SAP have not been achieved, the student will be suspended and any future financial aid disbursements terminated.