To determine whether a student is eligible to receive financial aid, he/she must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Information provided on the FAFSA determines the specific types of aid that may be received. The FAFSA must be completed annually. Remember to list Gadsden State's School Code on your FAFSA (001017).
To ensure financial aid processing before the beginning of classes, the FAFSA should be completed at least 15 business days before the first day of the term. All verification documents should be received in the Financial Aid Office at least ten business days before the first day of the term.
Usually, within one week of filing a FAFSA online, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to the e-mail address provided on the FAFSA (approximately four weeks for postal mail if no email address is listed). Once your SAR is received, review the entire report for accuracy. If corrections are needed, log into your FAFSA and resubmit the corrected information. First-time applicants begin checking your Banner account for a Financial Aid tab three to five days after filing or submitting corrections to your FAFSA. The Financial Aid tab will give you access to view your satisfied and unsatisfied financial aid requirements. CLICK HERE for "How To" instructions.
The Gadsden State Financial Aid Office encourages students to start the application process for financial aid early. Keep in mind that students who start the financial aid process late may have to assume responsibility for the payment of tuition, fees, and other educational expenses until financial aid is finalized.
ATTENTION FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID STUDENTS
Students may file the FAFSA beginning October 1st. The FAFSA collects income information from two years prior to the academic year for which the aid is intended (Prior-Prior Year), rather than the previous year.
If available, it is best to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA. A "How To" video for using the retrieval tool is available here or review printable instructions detailing how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool here. Not only will using this IRS Data Retrieval Tool make the application process easier, but it will also speed the verification process considerably. If you choose not to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filing your FAFSA online or are not allowed access to do so, then a copy of your "tax return transcript" will be needed if selected for verification by the federal processing center for that tax year's FAFSA. In the past, Gadsden State was able to accept copies of completed tax return forms (i.e., 1040, 1040A, etc.); however, new regulations now require us to have a signed copy of your tax return transcript. Once you have filed your tax return, a tax transcript can be requested, free of charge, at the IRS Web site's Get Transcript or by calling 1-800-908-9946. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to request a tax transcript.
Receiving Your Aid
Each eligible student will receive an award notification after file completion. Please review all information carefully and follow directions as noted. Financial aid awards exceeding tuition, fees, and other allowable charges will be disbursed via postal mail to the address on file in the Registrar’s Office. Credit-balance checks will be mailed approximately two weeks after the registration period ends.
Your Federal Pell Grant award will be based on full-time enrollment and will prorate for enrollment less than full-time and enrollment in classes outside your declared major. For applicable certificate programs, your Federal Pell Grant will be based on both credit and contact hours.
Your financial aid award may be reduced accordingly if you fail to begin attendance in classes, withdraw from classes, and/or enroll in courses not required for your declared major. You may be obligated to repay the difference between the amount of funds awarded and the amount recalculated. If you completely withdraw before the 60% point of the semester, you may owe a repayment to the U.S. Department of Education. Also, reducing your enrollment status may affect the required standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and cause you to lose your eligibility to receive additional financial aid. It is recommended you check with Financial Aid before dropping any classes or changing your schedule to determine how those changes may affect your financial aid. Refer to the Gadsden State Catalog and Student Handbook or visit the Financial Aid Office for more information.
The Financial Aid Office will update your FAFSA as needed to package your financial aid award. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to amend or cancel your award due to changes in your academic status, your remaining need, or funding you received by Gadsden State Community College or another institution of higher learning.
Mid-Year Transfer Students and Financial Aid
If you received a Pell Grant from another institution immediately before transferring to Gadsden State, you must
- Contact the Admissions Office at (256) 549-8210 regarding transfer student admission.
- Contact the Federal Processing Center at 1-800-433-3243 to add Gadsden State's federal school code to your SAR. Gadsden State's federal school code is 001017.
- Contact the Gadsden State Financial Aid Office to request your name be added to the Gadsden State Transfer Monitoring List.