Financial aid process

Step 1:
Request a PIN number
Go to the Department of Education Website and request a PIN number.

If you already have one, but have misplaced it, select “request a duplicate PIN.” If you are requesting a duplicate, it will ask you to answer a challenge question that you have previously selected and answered. For example, you might have selected “What hospital were you born in?” To get a duplicate PIN, you must answer the challenge question exactly as you answered it the first time. Save your PIN number in a secure place. You will use it every year you are enrolled.

Step 2:
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Go to the FAFSA Website, and have information (even if estimated) in front of you on your income for the tax year specified on the FAFSA. Fill out the FAFSA. In step 6, put in WCCC’s school code, 009231.
Step 3:
Wait for confirmation letter and forms from WCCC
When the Financial Aid Office receives the processed FAFSA, we will check to see if you have been accepted into a degree/certificate program, and if so, we will send you a letter with required WCCC financial aid forms to fill out.
Step 4:
You may be selected for a process called “verification,” in which case the Financial Aid Office must verify some of the FAFSA information submitted by you (and your parent, if you are a dependent student).

If you have been selected for verification, the letter we send you after you have been admitted and submitted your FAFSA will tell you which verification form you need to fill out. If you have been selected for verification and you have used the IRS data retrieval option and have made no further changes to your FAFSA, you will not need to request a federal income tax transcript.

You can also go to the FAME IRS Data Retrieval Information Page for further information. If you did not or cannot use IRS data retrieval, then you WILL need to request a federal income tax return transcript for yourself (and your parent, if applicable). You can request a tax transcript by making an online request at the IRS or (if you filed your taxes at least two weeks previously, you can receive a downloaded PDF copy immediately) by calling 1-800-908-9946.

  • If you did not file taxes, then on the WCCC Financial Aid Information Form, just write in what income you received for the tax year. You may be asked to fill out an additional “low income” form. If you are selected for verification and are receiving food stamps, you will have to provide documentation.
  • If you and/or your parent selected “will file” on the question concerning whether you have filed your federal tax form, WCCC will not award you until you have updated the income/assets information on your FAFSA after you have filed your taxes.
Step 5:
When all documentation is received, we will process the files in the order of completion. We will compare the data, make corrections if necessary, award you, and send you an award letter.

You will be mailed the initial financial aid award letter. For any changes after that, or to check to see what documents you need to return, check with the financial aid office.

Your initial award letter, in most cases, assumes that you will be taking the same number of credits in the spring semester as you have registered for in fall. If the number of credits in which you are enrolled changes for the next semester, that could change your financial aid for the next semester. If you change your enrollment, check with the Financial Aid Office regarding your award.

Step 6:
For students who wish to order Direct Loans
On page 2 of the award letter there will be listed the amount of the loan(s) you qualify for. Please read your award letter carefully, follow the instructions, and fill out whatever is required, because your loan will not disburse until you have authorized it in writing by completing the Direct Loan form.

In addition, students with loans may have to complete an entrance interview and Master Promissory Note, both of which can be done online (see loans).

Step 7:
Accessing your financial aid and how to read your bill
Distribution of Financial Aid and Your Bill/Department Roles

The Financial Aid Office and the Business Office work together to process the financial information associated with a student’s enrollment at WCCC. Understanding each department’s role will help you better understand how a student’s bill is created and how funds are applied to that bill.

The Business establishes a student account for each student. Students are billed for tuition and fees based on their enrollment for the semester. They will receive notification from the Business Office with paper bills and emails.

The Financial Aid Office awards financial aid and sends the award information to the Business Office every week so that it can be included to offset the charges on a student’s bill. Both charges and financial aid awards are usually shown on the bill. If not, students should compare their financial aid award letter with their bill. The amount owed is the difference between total charges and your financial aid. If there is a surplus, students can charge books at the WCCC College Store up to the surplus amount. Please check with the Business Office or Bookstore to see how this works.

How Aid is Applied to Your Bill

Please submit all your paperwork to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible so that your award can be included on your bill. Check your student portal or with the Business Office/Student Accounts (454-1025) to see when the bill is due. If you are enrolled in six or more credits and can’t pay in full by the due date, you can make a payment plan with the Business Office.

  • Once you accept your financial aid offer, aid will be credited directly to your account, half for the fall semester and half for the spring, assuming you are registered for the same number of credits in fall and in spring. A final check of the number of credits you are registered for is conducted after the add/drop period, and any necessary adjustments are made before your semester aid is disbursed.
  • Your financial aid is applied against your charges (including your books if you choose to charge them against your financial aid) in the order the funds are received. If your total financial aid is more than your total charges, you will receive a refund, usually about a month after the start of the term.