Financial Aid

Questions & Answers

  1. What is VWCC's Title IV Code?
  2. What is a PIN?
  3. What is my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
  4. What do I do with a Student Aid Report (SAR) that I receive in the mail?
  5. Who has access to the information on the forms filed as part of the financial aid application?
  6. How do I qualify to apply for financial aid as an independent student?
  7. If my parents are separated or divorced, do they both have to contribute to my education?
  8. What financial aid is available for part-time students?
  9. Why did my financial need change from last year?
  10. If my or my family's current-year income will be drastically lower than last year's income that was reported on my FAFSA, what do I do?
  11. When will I receive my Award Letter?
  12. Can I enroll without an award?
  13. What happens if I receive a work-study award and do not work?
  14. What if I have a credit balance on my student account?
  15. What is the American Opportunity Credit?
  16. What is the difference between the Financial & Administrative Services and the Financial Aid Office?

1. What is VWCC's Title IV Code?

Our Title IV School Code is 003760.

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2. What is a PIN?

A PIN is the code that you need to sign your FAFSA electronically, retrieve your Renewal FAFSA information over the Internet, file your Renewal FAFSA using the FAFSA on the Web site, access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) web site and view information about other federal student aid you may have received. You will also use your PIN to complete Entrance and Exit Counseling, as well as a Master Promissory Note, should you apply for a Direct Student Loan.  Your PIN is similar in purpose to the PIN you use to access your bank account. To protect the privacy of the information you are submitting, you must keep your PIN secret. If you need a PIN, have lost or forgotten your PIN, or if you think someone else knows your PIN, you can request a new PIN.

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3. What is my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. For dependent students, this amount is derived from income and asset information provided by you and your parents. For independent students, it is derived from your own income and asset information (and that of your spouse, if married).

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4. What do I do with a Student Aid Report (SAR) that I receive in the mail?

The SAR allows you to review the processed FAFSA information and results. If changes or corrections are needed they can be made at FAFSA on the web. If you listed VWCC on your application, we will receive your information electronically.

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5. Who has access to the information on the forms filed as part of the financial aid application?

Only authorized Student Services staff at VWCC has access to this confidential information.

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6. How do I qualify to apply for financial aid as an independent student?

Several questions are asked on the FAFSA to determine whether you are a dependent or independent student. For independent status, your answer needs to be "yes" to at least one of these questions. It is possible, in exceptional circumstances, for the school to override the criteria. If you are dependent but feel that you have an exceptional circumstance, you need to present this to the Financial Aid Officer.

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7. If my parents are separated or divorced, do they both have to contribute to my education?

The custodial parent must complete the FAFSA. If that parent is remarried, information from the step-parent also is needed. The non-custodial parent is not required to report information.

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8.  What financial aid is available for part-time students?

With the exception of some scholarships which are restricted to full-time students, students enrolled for at least 6 credits receive consideration for most types of financial aid provided at Virginia Western. The Pell grant and PTAP, a state grant program, is available to students taking less than 6 credits.  A student must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to qualify for a student loan.

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9. Why did my financial need change from last year?

Since financial need represents the difference between the total cost of attending VWCC and the ability of you and your family to contribute, a significant change from one year to another results from a significant change in one of these two variables. Although the cost of attending VWCC typically increases from year to year, it does not do so in a drastic way. Therefore, there probably was a change in your family's financial situation (your income, your parents' income, number in household, etc.).

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10. If my or my family's current-year income will be drastically lower than last year's income that was reported on my FAFSA, what do I do?

Complete the Special Income Reduction form which is available in the Financial Aid Office. Answer all questions and submit requested documentation to the Financial Aid Office for review. Be as detailed as possible, including reasons for the reduction. Please note that total-year income must be included, and not just income since the change of income occurred.

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11. When will I receive my Award Letter?

Students should log onto MyVWCC and set their online preferences to the current award year. They then should be able to view their awards when these have been made. An award letter will also be emailed to the student's VWCC email account.

Awards are determined daily throughout the award year. Awards are based on the expectation of full-time enrollment. However, the awards will be adjusted after the last day for a tuition refund. Adjustments may take several weeks. Students will receive additional award letters via email as any adjustments are made.

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12. Can I enroll without an award?

You can enroll without an award if you are able to make payment on your own. Keep in mind that you are able to use the Nelnet Tuition Payment plan to break up your tuition charges into multiple payments. If you are later eligible to receive an award, the funds will be provided to you as a retroactive award and a balance check will be mailed to you. If you cannot enroll without an award, you should continue to check My VWCC daily to see if an award has been posted.

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13. What happens if I receive a work-study award and do not work?

You do not get paid. You then simply need to cover your education-related expenses through other resources.

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14. What if I have a credit balance on my student account?

If you have a credit balance on your account (after tuition and textbook charges have been paid) you will be mailed a check approximately 8 weeks into the semester.  This is a Virginia Community College System-mandated waiting period that allows time for adjustments to be made to awards based on changes to eligibility due to changes in enrollment status.

After this initial mailing, any additional balance checks will be sent out periodically during the remainder of the term.

By logging on to MyVWCC, you will be able to see a line on your student account that specifically says "Refund."  You should expect to have your check approximately 14 days after the date on that line.

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15.  What is the American Opportunity Credit?

This is a tax credit, which can be taken by eligible students for tuition paid during the first four years of college attendance, up to a maximum of $2,500 per year.  For more information, please contact a tax professional.

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16. What is the difference between the Financial & Administrative Services and the Financial Aid Office?

These two offices are located in different locations and are separate from one another administratively. The Financial Aid Office awards grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. The Financial & Administrative Services sends bills and collects payments for college charges not covered by aid.

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