Financial Aid - Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get General Financial Aid Questions Answered 24/7?

Search FATV videos for general questions regarding financial aid.

How should I turn in the Identity and Educational Statement if you need me to sign it?

You can find the form on the OCC website under ‘Student Forms’ Print it out and take it to get notarized. Then email, fax or mail in the form with a copy of you state ID or drivers License.

Can I electronically sign FA documents?

All documents must be signed (signature) in blue/black ink or electronically, i.e., smart phones. A signature cannot be typed.

How can I send in my transcripts?

Transcripts must be sent from the institute to OCC’s enrollment office. You can email to Transcripts Dept. to be processed. Emailing transcripts from the students personal email will make them un-official and will not be processed.

How do I make corrections to my Student Aid Report (SAR)?

If you applied using FAFSA on the web, you can also make corrections on the web. Also, corrections can be made on the Student Aid Report (SAR). Once all appropriate parties have signed the corrections, return to the federal government at the address listed.

What is Verification?

Verification is the process in which the information you reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is verified to be correct. The Federal Processor may select students for verification because of missing or incorrect information on the FAFSA or by random selection. Oakland Community College will request certain financial documents from a student who is selected for verification. These documents may include tax forms (1040's), W2's, Asset Statements, Bank Statements, and any other income documentation. Oakland Community College will then compare these documents with the information you reported on your FAFSA and make any necessary correction(s).

How do I know if I have been awarded Financial Aid?

Oakland Community College will mail an Award Letter to the student after they have been awarded financial aid. Students may also contact our office to inquire about their application or award process.

Do I have to maintain a certain grade point average to receive financial aid?

Please see Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements under the General Information Page.

Am I eligible to apply for a Loan?

If you are registered for at least six (6 credits) in an eligible program, making satisfactory academic progress and also meet other general eligibility requirements, you may apply for a student loan. The subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest before you begin repayment. An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until paid in full.

When do I have to repay my Loan?

Repayment on a loan begins six months after the day you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. This six month period is called the "grace period." If you return to school at least half time before the grace period ends, repayment of your loan will again be delayed until six months after you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.

Do I have to report any grants, scholarships, or fellowships to the IRS as income?

Part or all of a grant, scholarship, or fellowship may be taxable even if you do not receive a W-2 form. If you are in a degree program, amounts you use for expenses other than tuition and course-related expenses (e.g. amounts used for room, board, and travel) are taxable. To determine this taxable amount, add up all grant, scholarship, and fellowship awards received in a calendar year, then subtract all tuition, fee, books, and supply expenses. If the remaining amount is a positive number, it must be reported as income. If you are not in a degree program, the full amount of the grant, scholarship or fellowship is taxable.

What about Work-Study income - is this taxable?

Yes. Any money received as the result of work (Work-Study employment, temporary employment on or off campus, some fellowships, etc.) is considered taxable income. You will be asked to file a withholding (W-4) form and you will receive a statement of income and taxes withheld (W-2) form each calendar year. Questions regarding your withholding status should be directed to the College Payroll Office.

If I have a parent who is enrolled in a college or university, can this parent be counted as a family member in college when calculating my financial aid?

No. Beginning with the 2000-2001 academic year, federal regulations no longer allow parents of students to be considered as part of the "number of family members in college" when calculating a student's financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid will reduce the number of family members in college if you include a parent in this number. A reduction in the number of family members in college may significantly reduce your financial aid eligibility.

Will my financial aid be renewed after freshman year?

  • You must reapply each year for financial aid assistance from federal, state and institutional sources. If you received a scholarship for more than one year, it will be renewed provided you meet the terms and conditions specified in the criteria.
  • It is likely that you will receive similar financial aid packages (awards) IF the following conditions are true:
  • A scholarship or award received is not limited to only one year;
  • Your family's financial situation remains similar—dramatic changes in income, marital status, or a change in the number of family members in college will affect Expected Family Contribution and therefore, the amount of financial aid eligibility;
  • The federal, state, and institutional funding of financial aid programs remains similar;
  • You submit the appropriate application materials by the required deadlines;
  • You continue to meet the enrollment level and Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The Office of Financial Assistance monitors enrollment levels (the number of credit hours you take) during each term. If you drop courses and fall below the minimum credit hour requirements, you may be required to repay all or part of the aid you received; and you report accurate information (income, assets, etc.) on your financial aid application(s).

 Am I allowed to receive financial aid from more than one institution at the same time?

No. If you are enrolled at more than one college or university at the same time, you may receive financial aid from one of the institutions, not both. Contact our offices for more information.

I have already completed my first associate degree and I'm taking classes toward my next degree--what aid is available to me?

A student with only an associate's degree can still receive federal grants providing they are maintaining SAP.

The following web sites will provide more information about the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.

Learn more about the tax credits:

IRS toll-free telephone number
Phone 1-800-829-1040

What if I still don't have my questions answered?

If you still do not have your questions answered or you would like to make a suggestion, please contact our office for more information.