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FAQs

I don’t need financial aid. I only want a student loan. Why do I have to fill out the FAFSA?

Student loans are considered Financial Aid. Your family’s financial information is used to determine your loan eligibility.


My family will not file their taxes by the deadline for financial aid. How do I file the FAFSA?

You may estimate your family’s tax information by using information from the W2’s and last year’s tax forms.


What are the federal and TAP school codes for Herkimer County Community College?

  • Federal 004788
  • TAP 2254

I live in my own apartment, not with my parents. Why do I need to include my parents’ income on my FAFSA?

The Department of Education has set guidelines for independence. To be considered independent and not include parents’ income a student must be:

  • Born before Jan. 1, 1986 (for 2009/2010 academic year) or
  • Be married
  • Have a child who receives half of their support from the student
  • Be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training
  • Be an orphan or ward of the court at any time since you turned 13
  • Be working on a masters or doctorate program.
  • Be an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
  • In legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
  • Determined by your high school or school district as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
  • Determined by the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
  • Determined by the director of a runaway or homeless shelter as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless

Thus, if a student is living in a separate residence from their parents, it does not make them independent. Therefore parent information must be provided.


What types of financial aid forms do I need to file?

Herkimer College requires students to file the FAFSA (Free Application of Federal Student Aid) and Express TAP Application.


How soon will I be notified of my financial aid awards?

You will be notified of your awards in approximately four to six weeks, provided that you file your forms in a timely fashion and respond to all inquiry letters from the Financial Aid Office.


How soon will I be notified of my financial aid awards?

You will be notified of your awards in approximately four to six weeks, provided that you file your forms in a timely fashion and respond to all inquiry letters from the Financial Aid Office.


The school has requested a copy of my IRS Tax Transcript. Where do I get this?

There are a couple ways to get IRS Tax Transcripts to the Financial Aid Office:

IRS DATA RETRIEVAL

The BEST way to verify income is using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool as part of FAFSA on the Web. Using this process, your federal income tax information will be transferred directly to your FAFSA form.

Go to: http://www.FAFSA.gov , login to the student's FAFSA record

Select: “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the FINANCIAL INFORMATION section of the form.

From there, follow the instructions to determine if the student and/or parent is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer 2012 IRS income tax information into the student's FAFSA. If you need more information about when, or how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, contact the Financial Aid Office. Click here for a demonstration on how to use this tool.

IRS TAX TRANSCRIPT

There are three ways you can request an IRS Tax Transcript. Make sure to request the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and NOT the “IRS Tax Account Transcript”. You will need your social security number, date of birth, and the exact address used when you filed with the IRS.

  1. ONLINE: Go to http://www.IRS.gov and select “Order a Return or Account Transcript”. A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5-10 days. THIS CANNOT BE SENT DIRECTLY TO HCCC. Please sign the tax transcript and send it to the Financial Aid Office.
  2. TELEPHONE: 1-800-908-9946 A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5-10 days. THIS CANNOT BE SENT DIRECTLY TO HCCC. Please sign the tax transcript and send it to the Financial Aid Office.
  3. IRS FORM 4506T: A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5-10 days. Please sign the tax transcript and send it to the Financial Aid Office.

By looking at my tax return can you tell if I am eligible for financial aid?

It is very difficult to determine aid eligibility by a tax return. Many other factors in addition to income are incorporated in the determination of aid. Examples of some of the factors are: asset information, family members in college, household size and age of parents. Unless the family income is extremely low or extremely high, financial aid is difficult to determine.


I do not qualify for any financial aid except for a student loan. What other alternatives do I have?

A student’s loan eligibility can be limited, however there are additional options.

  • Parents may take out a Parent PLUS Loan to pay for their child’s education (see section regarding PLUS Loans).
  • Most schools offer monthly payment plans with little or no fee to the parent or student.
  • Students may consider taking out an alternative education loan from an outside lender (for additional information on alternative loans, please see Alternative Financing Options.
  • Students/Parents should always consult with a financial aid counselor to determine alternate ways to pay for college costs.

I don’t think I’ll qualify for financial aid. Should I bother applying?

Yes. At the very least, you will be able to borrow a low-interest federal student loan. In order to receive a federal student loan you must complete the FAFSA.


Is it too late to apply for financial aid?

Our suggested deadline for filing the FAFSA is April 1st of each year, however students can still file for financial aid after this deadline. Late applicants (students filing after April 1st) may miss out on aid programs that have limited funding.


If my parents are divorced or separated, which parent should complete the FAFSA?

You should answer the FAFSA questions using information about the parent that you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided the most support for you over the last 12 months.


Do I need to include my stepparent’s information on my FAFSA application?

Yes. If your custodial parent is remarried, you will need to include your stepparent’s information on your FAFSA. You should include your stepparents in your household size, and should also provide their financial information


My family’s financial situation has changed since last year. What do I do?

You should complete a Special Condition Form, and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. You should also provide the requested documentation to support your special condition. The Financial Aid Office will review the new information and if possible recalculate your financial aid. Special Condition Forms should not be completed until July 1st of the academic year.


My Student Aid Report (SAR) indicates that I have been selected for verification. What does this mean?

Approximately 30 percent of all FAFSA applicants are selected to complete a process called Verification. Applicants are selected by the Federal Processing Center when a FAFSA is processed or when changes are made to an existing FAFSA. Financial Aid Offices are required to collect and review tax documents, and other supporting documentation to ensure the FAFSA is accurate.


Do I have to re-apply for financial aid next year?

Yes, you have to reapply for financial aid each academic year. Herkimer’s academic year runs from the fall to spring. The FAFSA applications are available in early January.


Am I eligible for work-study?

If your financial aid award letter includes a work-study award, you are eligible. If your package does not include work-study, you should check with your financial aid office towards the end of each semester to find out if you qualify for the following semester, and what positions may be available.

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