State budget update. July 1, 2015.The legislature has finally approved a state budget. The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) is expected to provide long awaited details to schools later this week. State aid that has been awarded will remain "not payable at this time", and loans will not be awarded until we have more information. Another update will be provided early next week. I appreciate everyone's patience and understanding for circumstances beyond our control. Please contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions or concerns. Heidi Townsend, Director of Student Financial Services.
The Federal Student Aid PIN is replaced with the FSA ID. The Federal Student Aid PIN is used by students, parents, and borrowers to complete the FAFSA, apply for federal student loans, PLUS loans, and to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. The new FSA ID consists of a user-created username and password to electronically access personal information on Federal Student Aid websites. Once FSA ID has been implemented, you will be directed to create your username and password. To make this change, FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) will be unavailable: Saturday May 9 from 7 p.m. through 12 noon ET on Sunday, May 10, 2015. Until May 10, you should continue to use your Federal Student Aid PIN.
END OF IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Office of Student Financial Services is pleased to assist you in accessing the various types of financial aid available to meet your educational goals at OC.
Steps to Apply for Financial Aid:
STEP 1: Complete OC Admissions Application (new students only)
STEP 2: Complete FAFSA (OC school code 003784) See helpful tutorial: "7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA"
STEP 3: Complete Data Sheet and other required documents (if requested). Students may retrieve Data Sheet and other documents from the financial aid portal, or by visiting the financial aid office.
*Incomplete or unreadable documents will cause delay in processing your application*
PRIORITY PROCESSING DATE FOR THE 2015-2016 ACADEMIC YEAR & AWARDING POLICY
(SUMMER 2015 THROUGH SPRING 2016)
APRIL 15, 2015 is the financial aid PRIORITY PROCESSING DATE for the 2015-2016 academic year. All files completed by or before the priority date will be given maximum consideration for 2015-2016 financial aid eligibility. Files are considered complete when all required documentation has been received. Completed files are typically awarded in order of completion date on a first-come, first-served basis.
You may apply AFTER the priority date. However, the Financial Aid Office cannot guarantee that you will be awarded before you register and/or before the summer quarter begins. If the quarter starts before you are awarded financial aid, you are responsible for paying for your tuition, books and supplies. Awards issued to students who applied after the priority processing deadline are subject to the availability of state and federal funds.
FINANCIAL AID PORTAL
Once you have completed your FAFSA application, you must download required documents from the financial aid portal. It is recommended you monitor the progress of your application WEEKLY, including AFTER being awarded. Click on the financial aid portal link in the upper right hand corner of this page to link to the portal.
NOTE!! You will not be able to access your portal until you have received the email from the Olympic College Financial Aid Office that your FAFSA has been received. The email you receive will have a list of application materials (data sheet, verification, etc.) you will need to complete for your file to move on to formal review.
FILE REVIEW PROCESS
When the financial aid office receives your FAFSA application and all required documentation, the file is considered complete, and is queued for review/award in the date-order that the file was complete. During the review process, more documentation may be requested from you to clarify data if there are any noted inconsistencies or inaccurate information. Your file will not be processed or awarded until the additional information requested is submitted and reviewed.
Please check your financial aid portal weekly for additional document requests or comments from the reviewer, until you have been awarded. After you are awarded we recommend that you continue to check the financial aid portal periodically during the quarter (and after grades are released) so that you will be aware of any changes to your award package.
Generally, 30% of all FAFSA applications are randomly selected for verification by the Department of Education. The financial aid professionals may also select an application for verification to clarify inconsistent information. In the verification process, the school is required by the Department of Education to verify certain information. Any discrepant information must be resolved before an offer of aid will be made. Students who have been selected for verification must submit a completed verification worksheet and other documents requested by the school.
If during the verification process it is determined that a correction to FAFSA data needs to be made, the financial aid professionals will correct the data. You will be notified by both the Department of Education, and via the portal that a correction is pending. Please do not make any changes to your FAFSA once verification has been submitted, and corrections are made.
**ONLY submit verification documents if you are selected for verification**
All students who received untaxed military benefits during the past year are required to turn in a Leave and Earning Statement (LES) from December of the prior year, or when separation from the armed forces occurred. Students may also satisfy this requirement by completing the Untaxed Military Benefit Form.
APPLICATION PROCESSING TIME FRAME
It may take 3 to 6 weeks to process your application. The clock begins ticking when your application is considered complete (see FILE REVIEW PROCESS above). The length of processing time depends on our application volume at the time you apply. Applications that are selected for verification require additional steps and therefore additional time to process. Check the financial aid portal frequently (even after you have been awarded), and follow up promptly with any additional information our office requires from you.
RECEIVING FINANCIAL AID DISBURSEMENTS
All financial aid refunds/disbursements are now issued by Higher One. Students will receive an Olympic Advantage card in the mail (make sure your address is correct in both the Financial Aid Office and Registration Office). Once you receive the card, you MUST activate your card AND choose how you want to receive your financial aid disbursement refund. Look for the BRIGHT GREEN envelope in your mail. When you receive it simply follow the steps included with your card online at: www.olympicadvantagecard.com.
Financial aid is issued to the school the first day of each quarter. If you are a new student, and you request a loan, loans funds will be disbursed 30 days into the start of the quarter. Financial aid funds are applied to your tuition and fees first, unless you have had an outside resource pay your tuition. Any amount in excess of tuition and fees will be issued to you according to the choice you made when you activated your Higher One account. More information about Higher One Olympic Advantage card: Click here for more information
NOTE!!! READ YOUR AWARD LETTER! Financial aid is awarded based on full-time enrollment (12+ credits). If your financial aid has been awarded and you register for LESS THAN 12 CREDITS, you must complete a Change of Enrollment form and submit it to our office. Financial aid (disbursement) refunds may be delayed if you do not notify the office of your enrollment change. Go to the current year forms page to download the Change of Enrollment form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.
NOTE!!! If you are currently FOLLOWING AN APPROVED EDUCATION PLAN as part of an extension of aid beyond program limits then you MUST register for ONLY those classes as approved within your education plan, even if this means you are not enrolled full-time. If you register for classes that are NOT approved on your education plan, your financial aid award may be reduced r rescinded altogether.