What You Need to Know

Financial Aid at OCC is easier! 

Online document submission

Student Financial Resources and Scholarships (SFRS) has an easy, mobile-friendly process for uploading financial aid documents. Now, you will be able to submit missing documents online using your computer or phone. You can also add your mobile number to your account to receive updates via text. It couldn't be easier! No more emailing or faxing required documents! What you need to do? 

  • You will receive an email from Student Financial Resources and Scholarships regarding missing items. (Note: if you do not receive this email, the steps below do not apply to you.)
  • Follow the instructions in the email to go to OCC Self Service, which will provide the next steps you must complete.
  • If you are directed to the new online document system, you will be asked to create an account using your existing OCC email, username and password.
  • Log in and follow the steps listed to complete your tasks, then click finish. 

Questions, need clarification - We have answers!

One-on-one conversations with the Student Financial Resources and Scholarships Staff (SFRS)

Phone Appointments Available!

There are two ways to request an appointment with a Financial Aid Representative:

Face-to-Face Walk-in Service

  • Auburn Hills Campus - Room B227
  • Royal Oak Campus - Room B104

Unable to make it to one of these locations?  Request a phone appointment to speak with a Financial Aid Representative.

LIVE CHAT - Chat with Financial Aid Staff for assistance and information.

Reach us from the Financial Aid Home page

Financial Aid Self-Service

Financial Aid Self-Service, accessible through MYOCC, provides information on the financial aid application as well as the financial aid offer status. Students can view each step of the application process. Status indicators show which requirements have been met, recent activity, missing documents, and other requirements. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) notifications help students understand when current status affects their aid. 

Online Financial Aid offer allows students to review and accept awards through the self-service tool. All awards are based on full-time enrollment of at least 12 credits. Your awards will be disbursed based on your actual enrollment.

Example: Student with zero (0) Expected Family Contribution (EFC) –Pell Eligible –fall semester, only

  • 12+ eligible credit hours = $3,447
  • 9-12 eligible credit hours = $2,585 
  • 6-8 eligible credit hours = $1,724
  • 1-5 eligible credit hours = $862 

Financial Aid Advising

For general financial aid concerns/issues: assistance completing the FAFSA,
OCC student account discrepancies, Title IV eligibility issues, refund
discrepancies, withdrawing from school, etc., schedule an appointment on
Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

For unusual financial aid concerns/issues: situations affecting income, changes
in family/housing dynamics, enrollment, Cost of Attendance (COA)- Financial
Aid Budget), etc., schedule an appointment on Tuesday or Thursday from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Academic Plan of Study

Financial Aid students must select an eligible Academic Plan of Study. You will be ineligible to receive federal financial aid until an eligible program is selected. Schedule an appointment with OCC Counseling to receive academic guidance. An email will be sent to you if your classes are not part of your Academic Plan of Study. This will allow you to change your registration; however, if you take classes not included in your Academic Plan of Study, you may NOT receive financial aid to cover these classes. You may have to pay for these classes from other sources. 

Tax Returns and Verifications of Non-filing

IRS tax return transcript for the student and spouse or parents will be accepted, as applicable. Federal Tax Return transcripts submitted do not need to be signed by the tax filer unless you have reason to doubt their authenticity. 

Students can also submit a copy of the Federal Tax Return and any applicable schedules. The institution can accept a paper or electronic copy of the return as long as it contains a signature of the filer. 

Non-tax filer (student, parent or spouse) must (except dependent students) submit a "Verification of Non-filing (VNF) Letter" from the IRS dated on or after October 1, attesting that he or she did not file an IRS tax return. Individuals who can't get a VNF letter from the IRS may instead submit a signed statement as long as the school has no reason to question the student's or family's good-faith effort to acquire the letter. 

Tuition and Payment

  1. Oakland Community College (OCC) tuition is based on Billable Contact Hours (total instructional time). 
  2. Student financial aid is paid based on credit hours. Federal regulations do not permit payment based on billable hours.

What is an Electronic Book Voucher

The Electronic Book Voucher is an online account of the money available to purchase your books and supplies. The account is updated each night to reflect current balances for the following business day. The maximum bookstore expenditure cannot exceed $1,200 per semester - no exceptions. Money not used in the Raiders Store (OCC Bookstore) will be disbursed to you after the 100% refund period, according to the Check Refund Disbursement Schedule, located on the OCC website. You may add up to $400 on your Raider One card to be used for other education-related expenses incurred while attending OCC. This may be done by completing an iROC Cash Transfer Request at any of campus Raiders Store.

What if I do not want an Electronic Book Voucher?

You may find it advantageous to utilize the Electronic Book Voucher, given the fact that most of the books you will need for your classes are available in the Raiders Store.   The Electronic Book Voucher also allows you to purchase books while awaiting your financial aid refund (reflecting the difference between tuition/fees and your aid), which is deposited into your account approximately three weeks after the semester begins.  If you choose not to use the Electronic Book Voucher, you may purchase your books by cash/credit card from the bookstore or another provider.  

Financial Aid Disbursements

Financial aid will be disbursed based on enrollment level consistent with the start date of the courses. Courses taught in modules/less than 15 weeks will have aid disbursed according to the start date of the courses.

Students must be enrolled for at least six credits to receive a loan. Loans funds will not be disbursed until 30 days from the beginning of the semester. Loan fees are deducted from the loan amount.

Example (approximate course start dates):

Class 1 = 15 weeks, 3 credits August 29 , 2023
Class 2 = 8 weeks, 3 credits August 7, 2023
Class 3 = 7 weeks, 3 credits November 15, 2023

In the example (above), the first disbursement will be based on six credits, only. Grant aid will be disbursed at the end of September.  Loan funds, if applicable, will not be disbursed until 30 days from the beginning of the semester.

Aid for Class 3 will be paid after November 15, increasing the amount to cover three additional credits. Refunds, if applicable, will be granted to student.

Tuition, fees, and bookstore charges are paid before any student refunds are generated.

Financial Aid Refunds

A financial aid refund is generated when the total sum of all payments (financial aid, excluding FWS, credit card payments, etc.) exceed the total sum of all charges (books, supplies, fees, certain tuition charges, etc.). The student refund belongs to the student to use for education-related expenses.

To avoid exhausting your refund before the semester ends, you will have to budget your financial aid award money wisely. For budgeting tips and information on effective money management, visit our online Financial Literacy Modules at WhichWay to register.  Please use your OCC email when logging in.   Once registered you can  access WhichWay to explore the modules.

The Refund Schedule is posted on the web at the beginning of each semester.

Direct Deposit

If you want to get your refund faster, sign up for direct deposit.  Go to MyOCC, see Banking Information.  You must enter your bank information.  You will remain signed up for direct deposit until you cancel the authorization.

Ineligible classes - not covered by Federal Student Financial Aid

Federal Title IV Aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Direct Student Loans, and Federal Work-Study) does not cover the following developmental courses at Oakland Community College:

  1. ENGLISH 1055

Some State, institutional, and private funding (TIP, MCS, Trustee Award, etc.) may cover these courses. Veteran’s benefits will cover classes approved on the VA Academic Plan of Study. 

A complete list of academic programs ineligible for financial aid are available. 

Return to Title IV (R2T4)/Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Financial aid funds are awarded to students for the purpose of receiving a degree or certificate. When a financial aid student finds it necessary to withdraw or stop attending, it important to meet with a financial aid manager to discuss the consequences of leaving school.

When a student completely withdrawals or stops attending (according to instructor records) before the end of the period of enrollment, a calculation is applied to determine the amount of “earned” financial assistance.  The Return to Title IV calculation will determine how much money, if any the student owes to the Department of Education.

If a student did not complete more than 60% of the period of enrollment, the calculation will determine the amount of funds to be returned/paid by the student. If a student completes more than 60% of the period of enrollment, 100% of the federal aid is considered earned.

N Marks

When a student registers for classes, it is expected that s/he will attend the classes. The N Mark is assigned when a student fails to attend class(es). All financial aid money must be returned to the Department of Education. If you received money you are not entitled to receive, you will have to repay the money.

All unpaid balances are referred to a collection agency for repayment. You will not be allowed to register for classes at OCC until the balance is paid in full or satisfactory repayment arrangements are made with the Financial Services Department. Unpaid balances may be referred to the Department of Education. You will not be able to receive aid from any higher education institution until satisfactory financial arrangements are made with the Department of Education. In addition, N Marks (Never Attended) are reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) which will impact your repayment status for student loans.

Year-Round Pell (YRP)

A Pell Grant-eligible student may receive a full Federal Pell Grant for the summer semester even if they received a full Federal Pell Grant during the fall (12 credits) and winter (12 credits) semesters.

Pell Grant recipients may take advantage of this new regulation to earn their degree faster. Students should consult with their academic counselor to develop a manageable course load for the summer semester. Students are required to take at least six eligible credits during summer. For more information, visit Year-Round Pell.

Michigan Reconnect Program

You are eligible to continue to participate in the Michigan Reconnect scholarship program until you complete your degree or for up to 4 years from the date you began the program. To remain eligible, please complete the following:

  • Maintain continuous enrollment as at least a half-time student in a Title IV eligible program at an eligible institution leading to an associate degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential, unless an authorized leave of absence is granted.
  • Maintain continuous enrollment as at least a half-time student in a Title IV eligible program at an eligible institution leading to an associate degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential, unless an authorized leave of absence is granted.
  • Complete at least six-credit hours in a semester and earn a minimum of 12 credit hours in a 12-month period.
  • Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA while in the program.
  • Submit a FAFSA every year.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

You do not have to graduate/leave school with debt. Make FWS your first choice, if eligible, after receiving your grants. Even if you have employment, you may find a FWS job with a range up to 20 hours per week.

If you are working for a non-profit agency or for-profit organization (limited number), tell us about them. We may be able to approve them as a FWS employer, which means you can continue to work and earn your FWS award with them. This would mostly apply if you are volunteering somewhere or completing an unpaid internship, the FWS program could potentially get you paid for your hard work!

Students on Federal Work-Study must be enrolled for at least six (6) credits. On campus FWS students are paid every two weeks based on the hours worked on their time sheet, which must be approved by their FWS supervisor. Students who work off-campus are paid regularly through their employer on their employer's payment schedule. Off-campus employed students must also be enrolled in (6) credits for the duration of their employment. 

Federal Work-Study Experiment (FWSE)
The same as FWS Off-campus employment but with more benefits. Opportunities for student internships, apprenticeships, and students who are working in an area related to their academic area of study. Students can work more hours per week (up to 40 hours in some cases!) as long as it's not during class time. In addition, hourly pay may be higher, and possible full-time career opportunities when you graduate. 

If you are working for a non-profit agency or for-profit organization and your job description is related to your academic program, you may be able to participate in the FWSE. We may be able to approve your employer for the FWSE which has very attractive financial benefits for them. You win by continuing your employment gaining the academic and practical experience. 

Why you should take advantage of FWS
For some students, it's a better choice in the long term. All loans have to be repaid with interest. These loans are real loans, similar to a car loan or mortgage. $35,900 is the average student loan debt for the State of Michigan. Depending on the repayment plan selected and the interest rate, an approximately loan repayment amount could be in excess of $350 per month for 10 years! 

We want to encourage you to plan wisely for your future.

Next steps:
Accept your FWS award 

  • To apply for a FWS spot you will need to complete a JP-11!  Student JP-11's can be found on our Student Employment webpage.
  • Once you've been approved after submitting your JP-11 application for review; you will be able to browse our internal job boards for open and posted positions! Have your resume ready!
  • If you would like to submit your current workplace for potential review as and Off-campus FWS or FWSE work site; please contact our FWS Student Service Specialist by email at FWS@oaklandcc.edu or contact financial aid at 248 341 2240.

Scholarship Universe  

Search and apply for Oakland Community College scholarships as well as regional and national scholarship opportunities available to OCC students. Enter your information and let the system match you to a scholarship opportunity.  Free money – it’s worth your time.  

Professional Judgment/Special Circumstances

If your financial status has changed since 2020, we may be able to perform a Professional Judgment review of your financial aid application. 

Consideration for an adjustment may be granted for special circumstances. Some examples include: loss/change of employment, separation or divorce, death (parent or spouse), unusually high medical expenses, or some other unforeseeable event that created financial hardship for you/the family. 

Students who meet at least one of the examples stated above must be able to provide a clear and concise narrative of the circumstances surrounding the change and include supporting documentation. 

Email Student Financial Resources and Scholarships at financialaid@oaklandcc.edu to explain your situation and obtain the Special Circumstances Appeal Form, if applicable. 

Note: If FAFSA has determined that your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is 0, you have already reached maximum eligibility for Federal Pell Grant, therefore, no additional adjustments can be made. No additional action is required from you. 

Student Interaction

Read your OCC email, even if you leave OCC. We will communicate with you via your OCC email. Keep your contact information (telephone numbers and address) updated with OCC.

PROXY/Authorization to Release Information

If you want the Office of Student Financial Resources and Scholarships (SFRS) to discuss your financial aid application with spouses, parents, others, you must complete authorization using PROXY on MyOCC. It is your responsibility to keep the access records updated. 

Statement of Confidentiality and Data Protection

Student Financial Resources and Scholarships (SFRS) protects the security, confidentiality, and integrity of all student financial aid records. 

For more detailed information, read: Understanding Financial Assistance and Scholarships

For answers to general financial aid questions view Financial Aid TV (FATV)