Financial Aid @ TRCC

Three Rivers Community College offers financial aid through federal, state, and private programs in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study funds. Both full-time and part-time students may qualify.

The first action for any student is to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will need to go on line to www.fafsa.gov The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate the information you report when you apply using FAFSA. The formula produces an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which are the dollars you and/or your parents are expected to contribute to your education. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) contains this number and will tell you if you’re eligible. Completing the FAFSA can give you access to the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Work Study, and Federal Direct Stafford Loans.

Federal Pell Grants

What is a Federal Pell Grant?
A Federal Pell Grant does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are only awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. (A professional degree would include a degree in a field such as pharmacy or dentistry.) For many students, Pell Grants provide a foundation on which other financial aid may be added.

How much money can I receive?
The maximum award is determined annually by Congress. Currently, the maximum award is $5,815 per academic year for a full-time student. How much you get will depend on your EFC, and your cost of attendance, whether or not you’re a full-time or part-time student, and whether you attend school for a full academic year or not.

How will I be paid? Three Rivers will credit the Pell Grant funds to your student account.

Can I receive a Federal Pell Grant if I am enrolled less than half time?
Yes, if you’re otherwise eligible. The amount of the grant will be pro-rated based on your enrollment. If you are enrolled half-time, then you would receive half of the amount that you would receive as a full-time student.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

What is a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant? Based on the Federal guidelines, the FSEOG Grant will first be awarded to Pell recipients who have the highest need (EFC=0). Once all the highest need students are awarded FSEOG, the remaining FSEOG fund can be awarded to other Pell Grant recipients.

What’s the difference between the FSEOG and Federal Pell Grant? The U.S. Department of Education guarantees that each participating school will receive enough money to pay the Federal Pell Grants of its eligible students. There’s no guarantee every eligible student will be able to receive an FSEOG; students at each school may be awarded an FSEOG based on the availability of funds at that school.

Connecticut Aid for Public College Students and Community College Grant Program (CCGP)?

These grant programs are awarded by the State of Connecticut to Connecticut resident students who have serious financial need. Grants are awarded based on satisfactory academic progress, financial need and the availability of funds.

How do I qualify?
To receive these grants you need to complete the FAFSA. The Financial Aid office will make awards based on eligibility and funding.

How much money can I receive?
Grants range up to the direct cost of education per academic year, including tuition, fees, and books.

LOANS

For students who do not qualify for grants or scholarships or need additional funds to meet their educational expenses, there are several loan programs available to borrow money.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

The most utilized loan program is the Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Under this program, monies are borrowed by the student. To borrow through this program, you must complete an application (Master Promissory Note) and Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov. The interest rate is fixed. Repayment begins six months after the recipient leaves college. For more information on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, such as how much can be borrowed, interest rates, and repayment options, visit Federal Student Aid Direct Loan website: www.studentloans.gov.

Parents’ Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents of dependent students may also borrow monies in their name to help meet the student’s educational expenses. The Federal Parents’ Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is available to parent borrowers who do not have an adverse credit history. Parents can borrow a PLUS loan through Federal Direct Loan Program. For more information on the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Program, such as how much can be borrowed, interest rates, repayment options, and how to apply, visit the Plus Loan section of www.studentloans.gov.

Private Educational Loans

Private Education Loans are private loans through different lenders to assist with the cost of education. These loans are not guaranteed student loans and are generally based on income and credit history. Interest rates and fees are set by each individual lender. Most students would be required to have a cosigner to obtain one of these private loans. Students who are considering borrowing an Alternative Education Loan should research each individual program carefully to determine which option will best suit their needs. These loans are generally at a higher interest rate and should be considered only as a last alternative, after all federal aid options have been considered.

The “FinAid: The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid” web site has a private education loan comparison chart that may be useful if you are considering a private education loan. For more information on the differences between the Federal Student Loan programs and private education loans, you can visit the Department of Education’s Federal Aid First web site.

Alternative Educational Aid Programs

For students who may not qualify for or receive enough funding through traditional financial aid programs, there are programs available that can provide financial assistance in exchange for a service commitment by the part of the student.

AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps is a national service program offering opportunities for individuals to serve their country through community service. In return for successful completion of their service, AmeriCorps members can receive an AmeriCorps Education Award to pay educational expenses at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans. In addition, many AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance.

Work-Study Overview

Federal Work-Study (FWS) and Community College Work-Study (CCWS) are awarded to student with unmet need after grant aid. Interested student should contact the Financial Aid Office to find work-study job openings on campus. The amount of work-study award will be based on the supervisor’s request and what is allowed within the student’s unmet need.

Three Rivers Community College limits students to 20 hours of employment weekly.

CCWS is only awarded to In-State students.

Pay Rate:
The starting pay rate is presently $9.60/hour.

Eligibility and Application:
Eligibility for FWS is determined by the Director of Financial Aid. To be eligible a student must meet all requirements set by the Financial Aid Office. In addition, students must demonstrate financial need.

To obtain a Federal Work Study position:
Apply for financial aid and also apply for a FWS position. Applications for FWS are available in the Financial Aid Office. The FWS Coordinator will calculate whether or not you are eligible for FWS and will inform you of what you need to do next.

Search for Positions:
A description of the FWS positions typically available are posted on College Central Network. To use College Central Network you will be asked to register for an account by creating an ID and password. In addition to FWS positions, College Central Network posts a large number of job openings in the local area from employers specifically interested in hiring Three Rivers students.
Eligible students who are interested in a FWS position should visit the Financial Aid Office for placement. Request to review the “Job Binder” where you will see ALL of the FWS positions available.

For any information regarding the Pell Grant, FSEOG, Work Study and Direct Loans, please go to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The policy is available at www.commnet.edu/finaid/Documents/SAP Policy.pdf. If you are currently suspended you can appeal your status by going to this link: http://www.commnet.edu/finaid/download/K/SAPappeal.pdf.

SAP Appeal Policy

Students may appeal any decision under the SAP Policy. A student must complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form from the above link. The form is also available in the Financial Aid Office. Appeals will be considered for emergency circumstances such as illness, death of a family member, or other unusual situations. All students will be expected to provide clear evidence in their appeal, following these guidelines:

• State the reason(s) for appeal and provide documentation in support of the reason(s) for unsatisfactory academic progress.
• Describe what has changed in your life situation to support satisfactory academic progress in future semesters.
• Complete the Academic Plan in your appeal form.