Community College of Rhode Island

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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

Application/General Questions:

Student Loan Questions:

Eligibility/Adjustments to Aid Questions:

Bookstore Authorization Questions:

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Application/General Questions
Q. What is Financial Aid?

A. Financial aid consists of grants, scholarships, loans and part-time job opportunities for students. It is designed to assist students and their families with paying for a student’s cost of education. Students must complete a FAFSA in order to be considered for financial aid.

Q. How do I apply for financial aid?

A. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov. You will need to sign the application with a PIN issued by the Department of Education. If you are providing parental information, one of your parents must also sign using a PIN. You can apply for a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. CCRI’s Title IV Code is 004916. If you did not list CCRI’s Code on the initial application, you can go to the above website and add our school code. It is best to begin the application process as soon as possible after January 1st for the upcoming academic year. The deadline for filing your FAFSA application for the Rhode Island State Grant is March 1 and for the Massachusetts State Grant is May 1.

Q. Do I have to be enrolled full-time to receive financial aid?

A. No. For most programs you need to be enrolled at least half-time. Some Pell recipients can receive a grant if they are enrolled less than half-time.

Q. How can I get help filling out my FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?

A. Students who need assistance filling out financial aid forms should contact the EOC (Educational Opportunity Center) Office. Representatives are available at each CCRI Campus.

The EOC schedule is:

Warwick Campus – Room 1040, Phone 825-2158
Monday - 9:00 - 4:00
Tuesday - 9:00-12:00
Wednesday - 9:00 – 4:00
Thursday - 9:00 – 12:00

Lincoln Campus – Room 2574, Phone 333-7012
Monday - 9:00 – 12:00
Tuesdays - 8:30 – 4:30
Wednesdays - 9:00 - 12:00

Newport Campus – Phone 851-1638
Tuesday - 9:00 - 4:00
Thursday - 9:00-4:00

Providence Campus – Room 2254, Phone 455-6028
Monday - Friday  8:30 - 4:30

               
Q. Does CCRI have a payment plan?

A. Yes. CCRI does offer a payment plan for students. Please contact the Bursar’s Office on any of the campuses to inquire about the TMS Deferred Payment plan. Students who are registered for courses and have not completed the financial aid process, should consider TMS as a payment option to avoid the drop for non payment.

Q. How does the Financial Aid Office determine my financial aid need?

A. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated using the income information you provide on your FAFSA. The EFC is the amount the Department of Education determines you can reasonably contribute towards your education.
Cost of attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution= Financial Need.

Q. What is verification?

A. Verification is a process initiated by the U.S. Department of Education requiring you (and your parents, if you are a dependent student) to submit copies of official IRS federal tax return transcripts and any other required forms to the Financial Aid Office. Applicants are encourage to utilize the Data Retrieval Tool on FAFSA instead of submitting transcripts.  If you are chosen for verification, your financial aid will not be finalized until all required documentation has been submitted and reviewed. About 30% of all financial aid applicants are selected at random each year for verification when their FAFSA is processed as well as those students selected by the college.

Q. How do I know if additional documentation is needed to complete my file?

A. Check the status of your financial aid and/or documents required for your file through your MyCCRI account.

Q. How will I know how much financial aid I will receive?

A. Once your file is reviewed, we will send you an award notification through your MyCCRI account. Your award is based on full-time status and may be adjusted at the end of the add/drop period.

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Student Loan Questions
Q . What is the process to apply for a loan?

A. Complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov
B. Once your file is reviewed, a loan may be awarded if grant funds are not sufficient to meet your educational expenses. Student must be enrolled for at least half-time (6 credits) at the time of disbursement to remain eligible for a loan.
C. First-time borrowers at CCRI must accept the loan through your MyCCRI account and then complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov.

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Eligibility/Adjustments to Aid Questions
Q. If my financial aid award exceeds my bill, will I get a refund and if so, when?

A. If your financial aid award exceeds your bill, you may be entitled to receive a refund. Refunds for the Fall and Spring semesters are generally disbursed in October and March. Summer refunds are disbursed by July. If you are only enrolled in Summer Session I, refunds may be processed earlier.

Q. Do I have to attend class in order to receive federal and state financial aid?

A. Yes. If an instructor reports you as a No Show (“NS”), you are not considered enrolled in the class. Your financial aid award may be adjusted.

Q. Will my financial aid be adjusted if I drop a class?

A. Initial financial aid awards are based on full-time enrollment. Any classes added or dropped during the add/drop period may result in an adjustment in your financial aid award package.

Q. Do my grades affect my financial aid award?

A. Yes. A student must have a cumulative Financial Aid GPA of 2.0 or higher and must earn 67% of all credits attempted. The maximum timeframe for completion of a program may not exceed 150% of the program length. All attempted credits, including credits earned at other colleges and accepted towards your current program of study, incomplete grades, withdrawals and repeats, are counted toward the calculation of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Students who are not making SAP have the right to appeal if there are extenuating circumstances.
(www.ccri.edu/oes/fa/academic_progress.html)

Q. If I withdraw from the college will my financial aid be adjusted?

A. The Federal Financial Aid Title IV Refund Policy requires colleges to calculate how much federal aid a student has earned if they withdraw or stop attending prior to completing more than 60% of the semester. Students may have to return a portion of the aid received, as well as owe the college a portion of the tuition and fees.

Q. If I am not making Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress, can I receive Federal College Work Study?

A. No. According to Federal Regulations a student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to be eligible for the Federal College Work Study Program.

Q. What if I receive financial assistance from outside the college?

A. You are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office of any outside assistance. Additional financial assistance would include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Merit and need-based scholarships and grants
  • Tuition and fee waivers
  • Tuition remission
  • Need-based student employment
  • Private student loans.

If you receive additional financial assistance, the College reserves the right to revise or cancel your awards as necessary.

Q. What if I have a Special Circumstance?

A. If you or your family have experienced any unusual circumstances (divorce, death of a parent, loss of employment, loss of income or benefits, homelessness, unusually high medical expenses, military service, natural disaster, etc.) please contact the financial aid office, as this may affect your need for financial aid. A financial aid officer may be able to use professional judgment to adjust your financial aid eligibility.

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Bookstore Authorization Questions
Q. When can I use my CCRI bookstore authorization?

A.  Check Important Financial Aid Dates on the website for bookstore authorization dates.

Q. How do I view my CCRI Bookstore Authorization?

A. If you are eligible for a bookstore authorization, you will be able to view the amount on your MyCCRI account. To view your bookstore authorization:

  • Login to your MyCCRI account
  • Click "For Student"
  • Click "Financial Aid Awards"
  • Click Award Year "2013-2014"
  • Click "Award Overview" tab
Q. How much is my bookstore authorization?

A. Your bookstore authorization is determined by your enrollment status and authorized financial aid minus tuition and fees. Bookstore authorizations range from $25.00 up to a maximum of $600.00 (Certain Allied Health programs may have a higher amount authorized).

Q. Am I eligible to receive a bookstore authorization if I am only awarded a Direct Loan?

A. Yes, as long as you have completed all the steps required for your loan (see “What is the process to apply for a loan”) and will be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) at the time of disbursement. If the amount of your direct loan is more than your tuition and fees (see above “How much is my bookstore authorization”) you may be eligible for a bookstore authorization.

Q. What if my CCRI bookstore authorization is not posted?

A. If your bookstore authorization is not posted; check the following before calling or visiting campus:

  • You have been awarded financial aid for the current term and it is posted in your MyCCRI account
  • Your bill is paid in full or covered by financial aid and there are remaining funds for books
  • You are enrolled in at least three credits
Q. What if I do not spend all of the CCRI bookstore authorization?

A. The actual amount charged in the bookstore will be deducted from your financial aid award. If there are no other college charges, any credit balance will be issued as a refund.

Q. Can I purchase supplies and other items in the bookstore?

A. Textbooks, reference books, and related educational supplies sold in the bookstore can be purchased using a bookstore authorization. Bookstore authorizations cannot be used to purchase gift cards.

Q. Can I use my Bookstore Authorization to rent textbooks?

A. Yes.

Q. My books won't be available until after the authorization ends, what do I do?

A. Contact the campus bookstore.

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My Question is not listed

If your question was not answered above, you may submit your question directly to the Financial Aid Office by clicking here.

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Last Updated: 3/14/14