Financial Aid FAQs

Questions about financial aid? We have answers!

Am I eligible for financial aid?

In general, you re eligible as long as you:

  • are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • are registered with the Selective Service , if required by law
  • are working toward a degree, diploma, or certificate
  • are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • do not owe a refund on a federal grant or are not in default on a federal educational loan
  • demonstrate financial need, if required
  • have not been convicted of drug distribution or possession

What are the Standards of Academic Progress (SAP)?

Students receiving financial aid are required to maintain acceptable academic progress towards graduation from a degree or program. The federal government requires students to complete 67% or more of all courses attempted, maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or higher, and complete their program within 150% of the time needed to graduate.

Students failing to meet SAP are NOT eligible to receive financial aid. Should any student have extenuating circumstances that prevented them from meeting SAP, they can file a SAP appeal through their student self-service account The appeal is reviewed and the student is contacted by email of the result.

Can I receive financial aid to earn a Certificate?

YES, the certificate must be 16 credit hours or greater in length to be eligible for financial aid funding. Students pursuing a certificate that is less than 16 credit hours in length will be required to pay their tuition, books, and fees.

How much aid am I eligible for?

The federal government and ACT provide electronic forms that estimate how much you might receive. No amount is certain until you apply, but these forms will give you a good, general idea.

How do I know if I m a dependent or independent?

If you can answer Yes to any of the following questions, you are considered an independent student on the 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and you generally will not need to provide your parents information.

However, if you can answer No to all of the following questions, you are considered a dependent student and generally your parents must provide parental information on your FAFSA: Were you born before January 1, 1993? As of today are you married? At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, will you be working on a master s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)? Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training? Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? Do you now have or will you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017? Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2017? At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court? As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor? Does someone other than your parent or stepparent have legal guardianship of you, as determined by a court in your state of legal residence? At any time on or after July 1, 2015, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless? At any time on or after July 1, 2015, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless? At any time on or after July 1, 2015, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

If you have a special circumstance that prevents you from providing parental information, you may still be able to submit your FAFSA. However, your FAFSA will be considered incomplete. You must contact the financial office at HCTC and provide them with documentation to verify your situation. For more information, contact the HCTC Financial Aid Office.

What records will I need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid?

If you declare yourself independent, you ll need to gather the information below for you. If you re married, you ll need to gather this information for both you and your spouse. If you declare yourself a dependent student, you ll need the following for you and your parents:

  • Driver s license and Social Security card (students only)
  • W-2 Forms and other records on money earned in 2013
  • 2013 U.S. income tax return (IRS Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ)
  • Records of untaxed income, such as welfare, Social Security, TANF or ADC, or veterans benefits
  • Current bank statement
  • Current mortgage information
  • Business and farm records
  • Records of stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • Copies of records showing child support received or paid during 2013
  • Copies of records showing any income or benefits not mentioned above or reflected in 2013 income taxes
  • A copy of your high school transcript or GED (or statement of proof) may be required by the admissions or financial aid office before financial aid is awarded

How can I apply for Financial Aid?

Online application process: Go to where students and parents each apply for a PIN number. Then go to , complete the FAFSA and sign it electronically using your PIN numbers.

Should I apply for aid even if I probably won't qualify?

Yes. The application is free and some sources of aid (unsubsidized Stafford loan and Parent PLUS loans) are available regardless of need.

Do I have to wait until I am admitted before I apply for financial aid?

No. Students do not have to be admitted to HCTC in order to file the FAFSA. However, a financial offer will not be made until you have been fully admitted into a degree-seeking program. Students applying must be registered for classes in order to be awarded financial aid.

What is HCTC School Code?


What is a CAP (College Access Program) Grant?

The CAP Grant is a need-based state funded grant that has a priority deadline of March 15 for the state of Kentucky. You may apply for Federal and State funds by completing the FAFSA online.

What is a Pell Grant?

The Pell Grant is a need-based grant ranging from $602 to $5730 per year. The Pell Grant is available to degree seeking students with an EFC of 5157 or less (as determined on the FAFSA ).

What is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)?

The FSEOG is a need-based grant. Students must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant (EFC of 4617 or less) have a completed FAFSA and be enrolled full-time.

Where can I find information about HCTC scholarships?

HCTC Scholarship awards are processed by the HCTC Institutional Advancement Office located in the Jolly Classroom Center on the Hazard Campus. For more information please contact the Institutional Advancement Office (606) 487-3072.

How many credit hours are required to receive aid?

Generally, students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours for undergraduate and graduate students) in required coursework to receive most types of aid including Stafford Loans. However, a student may receive a Pell Grant for less than half-time enrollment.

My FAFSA was rejected because it is missing a signature. What do I do?

When you file the FAFSA , you can sign the form by using your US Department of Education PIN or by printing off the signature page and mailing it to the address listed on the printed page. If you (or your parents, if you are a dependent student) failed to sign the FAFSA, you can go back to the FAFSA website and sign the form electronically. Or, if you have a copy of the Student Aid Report, you can sign that form and turn it into our office. If you do not have a SAR, you can call (319) 337-5665 to receive a new copy.

I was selected for verification. What is that and what do I have to do?

Approximately thirty percent of the student population that applies for student aid is randomly selected for the verification process. It is the federal government's way of making sure students are correctly reporting their information on the FAFSA. You will need to fill out the verification form (you can view and print the form from you HCTC Student Self Service), and submit the form, along with a Tax Return Transcript (if you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA) to the Financial Aid Office. If you are having difficulty printing or accessing these forms, please contact us at (606) 487-3061.

How much aid will I receive?

The amount of aid you are eligible to receive is determined by the information reported by your family on the FAFSA. The US Department of Education uses a formula to determine each student's EFC (estimated family contribution). The EFC is the amount of money the government has determined that a family can contribute to the student's educational costs. The EFC determines grant and loan eligibility.

Is there aid available for summer school?

Yes. The Federal Government created an additional Pell grant available for the summer term.

How many credit hours must I be enrolled in order to receive a Pell grant?

Full time enrollment (12 credit hours) is required to receive the full Pell Grant award. Students with a semester course load of 1-11 credit hours may be eligible for a prorated portion of their Pell Grant.

What is the difference between Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans?

For the need-based Subsidized Stafford Loan, the federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled at least half-time (six semester hours). However, for the non need based Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, interest does accrue while the student is enrolled and must be paid by the student upon graduation or ceasing enrollment of half time status. Both types of Stafford loans have an interest rate that is capped at 8.25% Repayment begins six months after you graduate or you cease to be enrolled at least half-time (six semester hours).

When is KEES disbursed?

The KEES awards are usually received in late September by HCTC for the fall semester and mid February for the spring semester. Until disbursement the KEES scholarship is considered anticipated aid towards your bill. Visit KHEAA's KEES FAQs webpage for more information. You do not have to contact KHEAA to receive the funds.

I have financial aid at another school, but I want to transfer to HCTC. Can I transfer my aid?

Pell, CAP, FSEOG and KEES funds do transfer, however loans do not. You must confirm that HCTC s school code (006962) is on your FAFSA so that we can determine your financial aid eligibility. You will not have to complete a second FAFSA. Once you have completed your application with the HCTC Admissions Office, the HCTC Financial Aid Office will review your FAFSA. If any additional information is needed we will notify you as soon as possible via your HCTC student Email account.

How do I update my FAFSA to include HCTC as a school choice?

Go to the FAFSA website and click on "Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA" under "FAFSA Follow-up". Use your U.S. Dept. of Education PIN to submit a FAFSA correction that lists HCTC s school code 006962.

Where can I get financial aid forms?

HCTC provides printable versions of the forms we use.

What happens after I apply?

If you apply online, your application will be processed in a week. If you apply by mail, it will take about four weeks. Unless any problems arise, you will get a Student Aid Report in the mail showing how much aid you may receive and how much you ll need to pay.

How will I get the aid money?

We have a written procedure you can review in the Office of Financial Aid. After tuition, fees, and required book costs are paid, refund checks are sent to you or given to you at our business office.

How do education tax credits work?

Education credits are subtracted from your taxes. They cover tuition and any costs you need to pay to enroll, except insurance, medical and health fees, room and board, transportation, or similar living expenses.

I m a veteran. Do veterans get any special benefits?

Many different types of service-related benefits are available to veterans, depending upon variables such as the date of service, length of service, and type of discharge. In some instances, veteran s dependents and/or survivors are entitled to educational assistance. From more information related to your situation, contact Bobby Collins (link his email), Veteran s Affairs Certifying Official. You also may want to check the VA Education and Training website.

When will I get my refund?

The first set of refunds are processed approximately four weeks after the beginning of the semester. Refunds then are processed on a weekly basis. The exact disbursement date for your refund depends on whether there are issues related to your financial aid file. You may check your Student Self-Service account to review the status of your financial aid file.

NOTE: Students have to be attending classes and No Show roster has to be completed by the instructor, otherwise their refund will not be processed until attendance is reported.
NOTE: First time loan borrowers will have to wait 30 days after the start date of their class for their first loan disbursement.