Applying for Financial Aid/FAFSA

Applying for Financial Aid/FAFSA

 

What is FAFSA?

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application used to collect information to determine your eligibility for a Federal PELL Grant, Federal Work Study, Direct Loans and other State and local funding sources. To ease the application process, familiarize yourself with the information listed below.  

FAFSA Application

 

 

Open Applications

Available October 1 each year

SCHOOL YEAR for REQUESTING FUNDS

Tax Information Needed

2022-2023 School Year (Fall, Spring, Summer) 2020 Taxes
2023-2024 School Year (Fall, Spring, Summer) 2021 Taxes

 

Navigating FAFSA

Click Links Below for Details

What information will be collected?

The FAFSA has four main sections of required information:

  1. General student information (name, SSN, DOB, etc.)
  2. Dependency Status (Dependent or Independent)
  3. Tax and income information about your parent if you are a dependent
  4. Tax and income Information about you, the student (and spouse, if applicable)

When and how do I fill out the FAFSA?

The FAFSA must be filled out every academic year. See Dates & Deadlines for more information. Apply online at studentaid.gov/fafsa.

What is the FSA ID?

Students, parents (if dependent) and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information. Students/parents must set up an FSA ID to bring in information from the IRS and to sign and submit your FAFSA electronically. Students and parents must use different email addresses and phone numbers to set up FSA IDs. FSA ID's are created online at studentaid.gov/fsa-id.

How do I know if I am a dependent or independent student?

Most students who are under the age of 24 that are not married and do not have a child that they support more than 50% are considered dependent students. Even if you live on your own, fully support yourself and file your own taxes, the federal government may still consider you a dependent student. If you feel there may be extenuating circumstances that will qualify you to file your FAFSA as an independent student, please come visit with the Financial Aid Office.

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

When filling out the FAFSA online, you may be given the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which links directly to the IRS and transfers your required tax information into the FAFSA. We encourage you to use this process for a few reasons:

  • You don’t have to look for and manually input the information from your tax return on the FAFSA.
  • Using this process can reduce errors and documents requested by the Financial Aid Office.
  • When you submit the request, the IRS will confirm your identity.
  • If your tax record is found, the IRS sends real-time results to you in a new browser window and you can then choose whether or not to transfer the information.

***It is very important that you enter your name and address exactly as it appears on your tax return when trying to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If there are any discrepancies, you will be unable to link to the IRS.***

Dates and Deadlines

Midland College has set priority dates for students applying for federal aid. If all paperwork is submitted by a priority date then all financial aid for which they qualify will be processed and applied by the first day of class. 

  • Fall - July 1st
  • Spring - October 1st
  • Summer - March 1st

To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must:

  • Be a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen:

     Eligible non-citizen Information

  • Have a demonstrated financial need
  • Have a high school diploma from an accredited institution, final high school transcript with graduation date or GED
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Make Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal education loan

NOTE:  Students who are attending another institution and receiving federal financial aid will not be eligible to receive federal aid at Midland College. Federal regulations require that students seek a degree or certificate at the institution they are requesting federal aid from. 

Proration of Awards

All federal and state awards, with the exception of the Work Study Program, are prorated based on enrollment status at Census Date (typically the 12th class day of a 16 week course, for example)

  • Full-Time (12+ hours) – receive 100%
  • Three-Quarter-Time (9-11 hours) – receive 75%
  • Half-Time (6-8 hours) – receive 50%
  • Less-Than-Half-Time (1-5 hours) – receive 25%

NOTE:  Students enrolled Less-Than-Half-Time are eligible to receive 25% of their PELL Grant only. Other grants and work study programs require Half-Time Enrollment. It is Midland College’s policy to place students enrolled in 5 hours or less on the Transfer Monitoring List in the National Student Loan Data System to verify that they are not enrolled at other institutions simultaneously.

Eligible Non-Citizens

To receive federal student aid, you must be one of the following:

  • A US National (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)
  • A US Permanent Resident who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card)

If you’re not in one of these categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:

  • “Refugee”
  • “Asylum Granted”
  • “Cuban-Hatian Entrant, Status Pending”:
  • “Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
  • “Parolee” - Students must be paroled into the United States for at least one year, and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.

If you have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you’re not eligible for federal financial aid.

If you’re in the United States on certain visas, including an F1 or F2 student visa, or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, you’re not eligible for federal financial aid.

MC Participates in these programs

Federal Direct Loan Program

A federal student loan program under which eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education to help cover the cost of higher education. Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS Loans are types of Direct Loans. After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment.

FEDERAL PELL GRANT 

This grant is designed to help undergraduate students who show need and have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. All students applying for financial assistance through Midland College must apply for a Federal PELL Grant first, through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The US Department of Education uses the data reported on the FAFSA in a formula established by Congress to determine a student’s financial need. Students who are in default or overpayments with any federal financial aid program are not eligible to receive a PELL Grant until the default/overpayment is resolved.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG)

This grant is awarded to students with exceptional financial need. SEOG funds are limited, and priority for the award is given to students who receive a Federal PELL Grant with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of zero. Midland College automatically packages SEOG awards to students who meet the requirements on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Eligibility for SEOG is determined with the data reported on the FAFSA. Students who are in default or overpayments with any federal financial aid program program are not eligible to receive a SEOG Grant until the default/overpayment is resolved.

Federal Work Study (FWS)

This program is a need-based financial aid program that is based on information provided on the FAFSA. It provides funds that students earn through part-time employment to help pay the cost of their educational expenses. Students must be enrolled at least 6 hours to participate.

After FAFSA, What's Next?

Financial Aid Notification Timeline

After your FAFSA is processed, it takes 2 to 4 weeks for our office to import the information into our system and determine if additional documentation is needed to complete your file. Once processed and eligibility is determined, you will receive a determination of aid email from the Financial Aid Office. The notification email will be sent to the address provided in your FAFSA application, and your Midland College email if one has been assigned.

Financial Aid Portal Login Instructions

Click the link below and enter your Social Security Number (SSN) and password.

Financial Aid Portal

First time to access the Financial Aid portal?

Click the "First Time User" link located under the Submit button and when prompted, enter your SSN to activate your account.

Unable to activate your account?

Until a FAFSA is received, you will not be able to access the financial aid portal.

Need a Portal Password Reset? Submit the request below.

Financial Aid Portal Reset Request

Still having trouble?

Email us at finaid@midland.edu for assistance.

Actions to TAke in Financial Aid Portal

  • Review Document Status
  • Review Awards
  • Apply for Direct Student Loans
  • Accept/Decline Loan Awards for the current academic year (if applicable).*

*If awarded federal and/or state grants, the financial aid office automatically accepts the awards on the students behalf. However, students who apply for and are awarded federal direct loans must accept/decline the awards in the Financial Aid Portal. Failure to accept will result in a balance on your account, and removal from courses on scheduled non-pay drop dates.

Federal Verification Process

We are pleased to announce we have established a partnership with Inceptia to expedite the federal verification process for Midland College. Verification Gateway (VG) from Inceptia is an online portal to guide students and parents through verification.

If your FAFSA application is selected for verification by the U.S Department of Education, you will receive an email from VGCS@inceptia.org, or postcard from Inceptia, containing Midland College’s unique website link to start the verification process.

We encourage you to begin the verification process within 7 days of receiving notification from Verification Gateway to ensure you receive your financial aid in time for payments. Failure to complete the verification process could result in the delay or denial of your financial aid.

Follow these steps to complete your verification

  • Access our school’s unique website link in the email from VGCS@inceptia.org or listed below
  • Create your account and choose preferences for text messages and e-signatures
  • Complete your Task List
  • Confirm your signature and review your information
  • Sign your account

    * If you are a dependent student, your parent also needs to create their own account and complete each of these steps.

Verification Gateway Links and Deadlines for Midland College

Deadline for submitting these documents is August 1

Questions about the verification process?

Contact Inceptia, Monday through Friday 8 am – 7 pm Central at (888) 374-8427, or VGCS@inceptia.org.

About Inceptia

Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program (NSLP), is a nonprofit organization committed to offering effective and uncomplicated solutions in financial aid management, default prevention, and financial education. Our mission is to support schools as they launch brilliant futures for students, armed with the knowledge to become financially responsible citizens. Learn more at Inceptia.org.

The U.S. Department of Education now flags students who have attended multiple colleges/universities in the last four academic years prior to the current one. The Midland College Financial Aid Department must verify enrollment, as well as the receipt of federal Pell Grants and/or Direct Loans at all of these institutions.

Students flagged for Unusual Enrollment history must sign and return the Unusual Enrollment History form below and provide official transcripts from all colleges or universities. If you are unable to obtain official transcripts, grade reports or unofficial transcripts may be used as a last resort. If your official transcripts are already on file with Midland, you are not required to provide them again. 

If you did not earn any academic credit at one of the institutions attended, an explanation and supporting documentation, if relevant, must be provided. Failure to provide supporting documentation may result in your request being denied.

The data provided on the FAFSA is intended to determine the amount your family can reasonably be expected to pay toward your college costs. 

Occasionally, circumstances arise that make the FAFSA data an inaccurate picture of a family's ability to pay.  For example, since filing the FAFSA, you or a parent may have retired, divorced, lost their job, experienced a reduction in untaxed income or had a death in the family that affected the family income.  

Sometimes it is possible to reassess a family's unique situation.  If you believe your FAFSA does not represent your current situation, contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you are eligible to complete a Special Circumstance Application. 

If you are under the age of 24, you are considered a dependent student of your parents, regardless if you file your own taxes and fully support yourself.  However, in rare circumstances, you may qualify for a dependency override if both of your parents are deceased, if the relationship with your parent(s) is completely severed or if you were in a court-ordered legal guardianship.  If you believe you may be eligible for a dependency override, please contact the Financial Aid Office to complete a Special Circumstance Application.

Special Circumstance Application Deadlines

Fall – October 31
Spring – March 31
Summer – July 1

 

Helpful FAFSA Videos

How to Create FSA ID and Password

How to fill out the FAFSA?

How to Regain Access to your FSA ID

Determining Dependency Status

 

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Thank you for choosing Midland College! If you are here to collect a few credits, take courses to transfer, or here to start a new career, we welcome you.

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