FAFSA Application & Touchpoints

To determine eligibility to receive financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Information provided on the FAFSA determines aid eligibility. Read the Application Touchpoints before filing an online FAFSA Application.

Students are reminded that the U.S. Department of Education has approved year-round Pell Grants so students can use funds to pay for tuition and fees for the Summer semester. To be eligible, students must enroll and attend at least half time and continue to make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with federal regulations.

Complete the FAFSA

  1. File a FAFSA online. File early, any time after October 1.
  2. FAFSA = Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  It’s FREE – some websites charge a fee. Go to www.fafsa.gov.
  3. The FAFSA application you file is for the academic year: Fall, Spring and Summer. You must file a new FAFSA each year. 
  4. Do not hesitate to call the FAFSA toll-free help line 800-433-3243 if you have problems or questions while in the application. They are open until 11:00 pm CST.
  5. Important to create an FSA ID. A separate FSA ID is required for the student and a parent (if required) to electronically sign. Missing signatures will increase processing time.
    1. Need help creating your FSA ID? Check out this video
  6. Use the prior-prior year’s tax information to complete the FAFSA, e.g. 2019-2020 FAFSA, 2017 tax information; 2020-2021 FAFSA, 2018 tax information; 2021-2022, 2019 tax information.
  7. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import tax information reducing the time to complete and risk of errors.
  8. Don’t forget to add our school code on the FAFSA (001017). You should review your Student Aid Report (SAR) sent by mail or email to you from the Federal Processing Center, usually within 4 -7 days of filing. Be sure that emails from Federal Student Aid (FSA) and Gadsden State are not sent to your spam. Make corrections if needed.
  9. Typically, within two weeks of filing online, you should be able to view your status and requirements in your OneACCS Self Service Banner account, when applying within the current academic year. 
  10. Normal time to process and finalize financial aid is 2-4 weeks, sometimes longer, especially for high school students due to transcripts and placement testing.
  11. It is important to regularly check Banner regarding Admissions and Financial Aid status. Each process involves several steps, so be sure to follow up.
  12. Once aid is finalized, you can view your Award offer in Banner. Visit the Financial Aid Office if offer not visible two weeks prior to pre-registration.

 

To ensure financial aid processing before classes start, the FAFSA application should be completed at least 15 business days before the first day of the semester. All verification documents should be received in the Financial Aid Office at least 10 business days before the first day of the semester.

The verification process must be completed within 120 days of the student’s last date of enrollment or by Sept. 19, 2020, (whichever is sooner) to retain the Federal Pell Grant for the 2019-20 academic year ending June 30, 2020.

The verification process must be completed within 120 days of the student’s last date of enrollment or by Sept. 2021 (whichever is sooner) to retain Federal Pell Grant for the 2020-21 academic year ending June 30, 2021. 

Each eligible student will receive an award notification after file completion. Please review all information carefully and follow directions. Financial aid awards exceeding tuition, fees and other allowable charges will disburse via postal mail to the address on file in the Admissions and Records Office. Credit-balance checks will be mailed approximately two weeks after the registration period ends.

Federal Pell Grant awards are based on full-time enrollment and will prorate for enrollment less than full time and enrollment in classes outside the declared major. For applicable certificate programs, the Federal Pell Grant disburses based on both credit and contact hours.

The financial aid award may be reduced if the student does not begin attending classes, withdraws from classes or enrolls in courses not required for the declared major. Students may be obligated to repay the difference between the funds awarded and the amount recalculated. Students who completely withdraw before the 60% point of the semester may owe a repayment to the U.S. Department of Education. Also, reducing the enrollment status may affect the required standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and cause the student to lose eligibility to receive additional financial aid. It is recommended that students check with Financial Aid before dropping any classes or changing their schedule to determine how those changes may affect financial aid. Refer to the Gadsden State Catalog and Student Handbook or visit the Financial Aid Office for more information.

The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to amend or cancel awards due to changes in academic status, remaining need or funding a student receives by Gadsden State Community College or another institution of higher learning.

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be measured at the end of each semester of enrollment at Gadsden State. Students are required under federal regulations to maintain certain standards of progress depending on the number of hours attempted in college. It is the student’s responsibility to read and understand all policies associated with financial aid funding.

Students who receive a Pell Grant from another institution immediately before transferring to Gadsden State must:

  • Contact the Admissions and Records 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 the 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.