How and When To Apply
How Do I Apply?
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA on the Web)- This form will make an assessment of your financial situation (need analysis). It determines your eligibility for all Federal Aid, such as Federal PELL, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Student Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans and Federal PLUS Loans. There is no charge for the processing of this form. The FAFSA also initiates the application process for a TAP award. The Office of Student Financial Assistance conducts over 100 workshops annually to assist students and parents in completing their financial aid forms. However, students and parents who have a PIN number may apply for aid by completing and electronically signing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov. Students and parents may apply for a PIN by going to www.pin.ed.gov. Students may also print the paper signature page from the FAFSA on the Web, sign it, and mail it to the address provided. Westchester Community College federal school code is 002881. The College also conducts several forms workshops to assist students in completing the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet.
When Do I Apply?
To ensure timely processing of your financial aid, all applications should be submitted at least three months prior to the date you intend to register. We urge all students to apply for aid soon after April 15 or earlier, after their taxes have been filed.
Priority Packaging Date
Priority Packaging Date for the Fall semester is June 30 and October 30 for the Spring semester. Priority is given to students who not only successfully completed their FAFSA but also submitted all necessary information to the college by the respective priority processing dates.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
It is the student’s responsibility to:
- Become familiar with the financial aid application procedure including application forms and deadline dates.
- Accurately complete and return all forms within the prescribed time limits. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of any aid offered.
- Provide all forms and additional documentation requested by the Office of Student Financial Assistance for the purpose of verification of information on the FAFSA.
- Notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of changes in the parents’ or the student’s financial situation. The student’s financial aid package may be adjusted to reflect any changes. Also, change in enrollment status could affect the aid package and may even jeopardize current or future eligibility for aid.
- Notify the office of Student Financial Assistance of any scholarships or awards that the student receives during the academic year.
- Make any payments owed to the school resulting from a reduction in your aid package for any reason.
- Notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance in any change in the course load.
- Honor all agreements, including repayment of any loans made with the college and/or any other lending institution.
- Attend all classes for which you are registered.
- Officially withdraw from any classes, not just stop attending. Non attendance in classes or at any time may result in the reduction or total loss of aid. You will be billed by the college for any payments resulting from a reduction or cancellation of aid.
It is the Student’s right to:
- Know how financial aid is determined.
- Appeal any decision made by the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
- Know how and when financial aid awarded will be distributed. Attendance is verified before any aid is distributed. Financial aid will be paid to students on a semester basis around the seventh week of each semester.
- Select any participating lender for an Alternative Loan. The College will process these loans after advising the student of their options for federal and state grants and federal student loans.
- Be notified in writing if a financial aid award has been cancelled or reduced for any reason.
Code of Conduct and Ethical Principles
Westchester Community College observes the code of conduct laws enacted by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (Sunshine Act) enacted August 14, 2008, the Agreement on Code of Conduct between SUNY State Operated Campuses and New York State Attorney General, April 3, 2007, and the State of New York SLATE Act.
This code of conduct and ethical principles is based on the principle that the primary goal of the Office of Student Financial Assistance professionals is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. To this end, the financial aid professionals shall:
- Be committed to removing possible financial barriers for those wishing to pursue postsecondary education.
- Support efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
- Make every effort to assist students in receiving financial aid to help meet their financial need.
- Advocate in the students’ interest at the institutional, state and federal level.
- Provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age or economic status.
- Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students, and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.
The code of conduct outlined below pertains to all staff in the Office of Student Financial Assistance as well as the Vice President of the college to whom the office reports. All relevant employees will agree to the following to ensure transparency in the administration of the student financial aid programs and avoid conflicts of interest. Do not undertake any employment, compensated or not which is in conflict with proper discharge of their duties or might impair their objectivity or independence of judgment in the exercise of their duties at this institution.
- Do not use their positions or information received to solicit or secure financial gain, unwarranted privileges by accepting cash payments, stocks, club memberships, gifts, entertainment, expense-paid trips, or other forms of inappropriate remuneration from any business entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
- Adhere to all institutional policies as well as other local, state or federal requirements that are applicable to their conduct or job performance.
- Provide accurate, unbiased and transparent information which in no way reflects any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain and ensure that students and parents fully understand their rights, obligations and alternatives.
- Ensure that students and parents understand that Westchester Community College does not participate in a preferred lender list which directs students to a preferred lender. To this end students must be made to understand that, as long as Westchester Community College participates in the FFELP Loan programs:
- Financial Aid professionals at Westchester Community College are prohibited from recommending any lender.
- Students are free to select a lender and guarantor of their choice.
- Students and parents should be made to understand the process of selecting a lender and applying for a loan.
- The school will promptly certify any loan from any lender selected by a borrower.
- Clearly inform students that, although they are directed to NYSHESC to choose a lender and complete the Master Promissory Note, they are free to choose a lender not on the HESC website. Similarly, they must be told that they are free to use a guarantor other than HESC.
Item 5 to 7 is no longer applicable once Westchester Community College stops participating in the FFELP loan program and switches to the Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Subsidized Loan Program and the Federal Direct Parent Loan Program.
- The college does not have a preferred lender list for alternative loans. Financial Assistance personnel will not make any recommendations to the student as to the choice of a lender. The Office of Student Financial Assistance will promptly process any alternative loan submitted for certification according to the regulations of the lender. However, prior to certifying an alternative loan, the College will inform students of the availability of the cheaper federal loan programs and advise students to complete the FAFSA to assess their eligibility for the federal loans. Financial Aid professionals are free to provide students with information to assist them in making a comparison of benefits for the students to make an informed choice of a lender.
- Do not permit an employee or agent of a lender or guarantor to staff the offices, represent his/herself as an employee of the institution or conduct Loan Entrance workshops.