Financial Aid – Types of Aid and Deadlines

2017 ACC scholarship luncheon - recipients and staffDo you need help paying for college? Did you know that there in financial aid available from the government and from ACC that can help you with those college costs, such as: tuition and fees, books, supplies, and living expenses?

Your first step to getting funding for college is to apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Make sure you have this completed by March 1, 2018 to get priority on aid and scholarships!

If you aren’t sure what this is or how to apply, take advantage of our free FAFSA labs every Monday from 1-6pm at our Littleton campus. These are open to anyone (not just ACC students). Our experts will help walk you through the process of applying for financial aid and make it a little less intimidating.

You’ll need a few items to be able to complete it:

  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security Number or Alien Registration Number
  • Federal tax returns from 2016
  • W-2s and any other records of money earned such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits
  • Bank statements and records of investments such as stocks, bonds, 529 plans, and investment homes
  • Records of untaxed income (workers compensation and disability benefits)
  • FSA ID if you have already created one
  • If you are a dependent, you’ll need your parents’ information.

There a several different types of aid you could be awarded:

  • Grants – this includes both federal and state grants. These are gifts and do not need to be repaid.
  • Scholarships – this type of aid comes from donors and companies hoping to help you achieve your goals. Scholarships don’t have to be repaid either! Apply for numerous ACC scholarships and private scholarships that you may qualify for. It takes some research, but it will be wealth worth the extra money to help you pay for school. ACC priority deadline for scholarships is March 1!
  • Student Loans – loans can help you pay for college, but don’t forget they have to be paid back, plus interest.
  • Work Study – work study gives you the chance to work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week. Build your resume and earn money for school at the same time.
  • Veteran’s Benefits – ACC is a certified Military Friendly School and will work with you to get the benefits you have earned from your time in the military.

Why Should You Apply for Financial Aid?

While not everyone qualifies for grant aid, many people do receive an award of some kind to help them pay for their college expenses. Whether you think you will qualify or not, it is a great idea to spend the hour or less it takes to complete your FAFSA.

Completing your FAFSA is also the first step to many scholarship applications. Many scholarships require a FAFSA. This includes many ACC scholarships. Don’t worry, even if you don’t qualify for grant aid, you may still qualify for scholarships. There is a wide variety of options available based on need, area of interest, ability, past school performance, essay-writing and more. Don’t count yourself out before you try.

You can apply for many of our ACC scholarships with just one application. Some may require additional information or essays, but getting started is easy with our online application. In general, you will only receive one scholarship from our ACC scholarships, so review them thoroughly and see what might be right for you. And if you have questions, talk to our Financial Aid Office and they can help you through the process.

That being said, it is important for you to research what other scholarships are out there. We offer a list of private scholarships as well as reputable resources for finding more that may better suit your situation and offer you additional funding.

Do not forget to take advantage of the Essay Writing Workshop on February 19 and 20 in the Library Learning Commons on the Littleton Campus.

Ready to Move Mountains?

Complete your FAFSA and ACC scholarship application by March 1! If you get overwhelmed or confused, our Financial Aid Advisors are here to help you! Contact them at 303.797.5661, finaid@arapahoe.edu or stop by M2330 at the ACC Littleton campus. Get the most money for your education by turning everything in for the priority deadline. You can do this and we’re here to help!

ACC Student Spotlight: Andrew Groom

ACC Student Andrew GroomAs an ACC student, Andrew has obtained a degree that puts him directly in line to start a specific career at a cost well below that of a four-year state school or a private college. He would definitely recommend ACC to others because the college works hard to engage with the students and incorporate their feedback as much as possible into the running of the institution. He values ACC as receiving a good quality education and views this s a huge benefit.

Andrew is also a work study employee in the Financial Aid Office. He said that working at ACC has definitely helped him integrate into the community here. “There are so many great employees who are ready and willing to help students achieve their academic goals and I have just really enjoyed being able to work alongside such an excellent team,” replied Andrew. Through his ACC student employment, he has greatly improved upon his customer service skills and has increased his cultural awareness of the many differing people and their circumstances as they look to progress through the education system.

Andrew wanted to end by saying, “ACC has everything you need to become successful as a student pursuing you academic dreams and plenty of people willing to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask.” Andrew is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Student Spotlight – Jason Tempest

John Tempest, ACC studentJason is getting an associate of arts in psychology and plans to transfer and continue down the psychology path. His primary coursework was taken at the ACC Parker campus. He appreciated the friendly staff at ACC and particularly the Parker Campus helped him in a variety of ways. When the day to day problems arose, the ACC staff was always willing to pitch in and help solve those everyday issues – they are so helpful. Jason is also thankful for the Financial Aid Office and Academic Advising department to keep him on track towards his degree and future goals.

Besides the staff, Jason also thinks very highly of the faculty at ACC. “The wonderful teachers have given me much insight into organization, writing, editing, and psychology basics.” The goals of the ACC learning outcomes are to prepare learners for life success. These outcomes address the knowledge, skills, and values that are fundamental to the personal and professional growth of students, employees, and community. Jason has experienced these outcomes firsthand.

To end with some final thoughts from Jason, “I believe the connections I have made here will no doubt go beyond my academic stay here at ACC.” Move Mountains, Jason!

by Karen Browning, Marketing Project Manager

How to Understand and Use Your Financial Aid at ACC

Student getting assistance from ACC's Financial Aid officeWe all know Financial Aid can be a little tricky to navigate sometimes, but we’re here to help take some of the mystery out of it for you and guide you through the basic steps to applying for aid, finding out what aid you’ve been awarded and accepting and using your awarded aid.

You can also download our Financial Aid Application Checklist.

Applying

If you haven’t already, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll need your tax documentation from the past two years and ACC’s school code: 001346. You (and/or your parent(s)) will also need to create a FSA ID if you haven’t already.

Once you’ve turned in all necessary documentation, it can take up to 2 weeks to verify everything and send you your award offer.

Want some extra tips? View ACC’s Applying for Financial Aid page or come to one of our FAFSA Labs and get help from our experts.

Scholarships

Looking for more opportunities to find help with college tuition? Head over to arapahoe.edu/scholarships to view our ACC scholarships and some private scholarships that might fit your needs. You can also search online, but remember, you should never have to pay to apply for a scholarship and check that it is a reputable site.

Financial Aid Awards – viewing and accepting

We’ll send an award offer to your student email (your @student.cccs.edu). You can (and absolutely should) check your myACC account (sometimes referred to as the portal or student portal) to view your awards as well.

Login to myACC. If you haven’t before and need help, view our how-to guide. Next, go to the Student Finance page. On the right side of the page, you’ll be able to view what you have been awarded, including scholarships, work study aid, grants, veteran’s benefits, and loans. You can view your award status, current and past aid awards, aid requirements, holds, and payment schedules.

You’ll also find additional information, like forms you may need, scholarship websites, types of financial aid, and the federal shopping sheet.

*Remember, to use your financial aid, your classes must be required or an approved elective for your declared major.

Once you have reviewed your rewards, we recommend (strongly) that you take a look at your tuition bill (on the left side of the page) and do some quick math to see what portion of your bill your awards will cover. (Don’t forget to include book cost estimates in this calculation.) This is a good way to know if you should look into accepting loans or can cover the remainder without them.

Now that you have an idea what the cost will be to you and what aid you need, you can accept the awards you want within the same Student Finance page on myACC under “My Financial Aid Information”.

Still need help?

We’ve got you covered. We have financial aid advisors that can help you with any additional questions you might have. Call us, email us or come in and see us at:

Financial Aid Office
Room M2330 (Littleton campus)
303.797.5661
finaid@arapahoe.edu

Our regular hours (excluding holidays and breaks) are:

Monday – Tuesday:
8am – 6pm
(located at Information Central from 5-6pm)

Wednesday – Thursday:
8am – 5pm

Friday:
10am – 5pm

Fall Semester Special Schedule (August 14-18 and August 21-25) – 2nd Floor Student Lounge

Monday – Thursday:
9am – noon and 1-6pm

Friday:
9am – noon and 1-5pm

Financial Aid Tips – FAFSA and Scholarships

It’s January, which means that it’s time to start applying for financial aid for the 2016-2017 academic year! Where do you start? There are two primary applications:

  1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. The Scholarship Application.

FAFSA

The FAFSA, which is the application used to determine your eligibility for most financial aid, can be completed at www.fafsa.gov. This aid can include grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. To ensure that your FAFSA is sent to ACC, enter our school code when prompted: 001346. Only one FAFSA is required each academic year.

Helpful Tips When Completing the FAFSA

FSA ID: New applicants should create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This ID will be used to sign your FAFSA and log-in to all federal student aid websites. It will also give you access to many helpful resources and services throughout your educational career.

  • Returning applicants who lost/forgot their FSA ID can reestablish it at the same website.
  • Parents of dependent students will need to obtain their own FSA ID.

Tax Information: All applicants should attempt to use the DRT, which is a tool within the FAFSA that automatically transfers the applicant’s (and parents’) tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA. Some applicants are not eligible to use the DRT, in which case they should have available copies of the most-recent federal tax return. Dependent students should also have a copy of their parents’ federal tax return.

Scholarships

Scholarships available

ACC has dozens of scholarships available for a variety of types of students. In addition to scholarships that are offered through ACC and the ACC Foundation, there are countless scholarship opportunities through private organizations and foundations.

How to apply

Go to the ACC Scholarships page and follow the application directions at the top of the page. Scholarship applications are typically open from early-January through May 15, with the priority going to those completed by April 1.

Scholarships will be awarded for the Fall and Spring semesters immediately following the application period. Each scholarship has different application requirements that must be met before the applicant can be considered for an award.

How to maintain eligibility

Some ACC Scholarships are automatically renewable for either 2 or 3 consecutive years, while some require an annual application. Most require at least a 67% course completion rate (pass at least 67% of the courses attempted) and a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), although requirements may differ per scholarship.

Things to Remember

Take the time needed to ensure that you complete every application requirement. Many applications require personal statements, copies of transcripts, resumes, and/or reference letters. Make every effort to have a strong personal statement that speaks to who you are as a student.

Other Resources

Our Scholarships page also contains resources for scholarship search engines and other outside scholarships. Applications can sometimes be tedious and time-consuming, but persistence is often all that it takes to help make college more affordable. Start now!

by Joel Laos, Director of Financial Aid