Who is Eligible for Financial Aid?
Financial aid eligibility is determined by information provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In general, to be eligible for financial aid, a student must:
- Have financial need, except for certain loans;
- Have a high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have graduated from an approved homeschool equivalent;
- Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program of study;
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- Have a Social Security Number (SSN);
- Make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP); and
- Register with the Selective Service, if required.
In order to be eligible for federal financial aid funds, a student must have graduated from an accredited high school, earned a GED, or have completed an approved homeschool equivalent. If requested, a student must provide official documentation verifying proof of his/her graduation or completion. These documents must be submitted to and verified by the HFC Admissions Office.
NOTE: In order to be eligible to receive financial aid, a student must have an official high school or GED transcript on record with HFC. This includes new and returning students. Official transcripts must be mailed directly to HFC by the issuing organization.
To be considered for financial aid for Fall 2016, Winter 2017 and Spring/Summer 2017, a student must submit the 2016-17 FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. To complete the FAFSA, as well as other financial aid related electronic processes (Loan Counseling, Master Promissory Note), both students and parents of dependent students will need a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). Students and parents can apply for a FSA ID through the www.fafsa.gov website. The Welcome Center has self-service computer stations for students needing access to a computer to complete these tasks.
Other Factors Affecting Eligibility
Once awarded financial aid, additional factors may impact a student’s financial aid award. Factors that may require a change in a student’s financial aid award include:
- Attending more than one college during the same award year may reduce a student's award eligibility. Students cannot get financial aid at two schools for the same award period. Students who have received financial aid at another school must notify the Office of Financial Aid that they have done so. Annual award limits for most financial aid programs apply to funds received at all colleges (not just HFC) and federal regulations generally prohibit a student from receiving financial aid funds at more than one college during the same enrollment period.
- Financial aid recipients must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The Office of Financial Aid has a separate publication which details the federally mandated minimum standards of progress students must maintain in order to continue to receive financial aid.
- If you receive funds from an outside agency (such as a scholarship), you MUST inform the Office of Financial Aid about these funds. The Office of Financial Aid coordinates the funds received from all sources and the receipt of such outside funding may impact a student's eligibility for certain federal or state financial aid programs.
- If a student has a change in financial or dependency circumstances during the award year, they must contact the Office of Financial Aid immediately to update their information.
- Per federal regulations, the amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is limited to the equivalent of 6 years of Pell Grant funding (based on full-time enrollment). The Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) measures all Pell Grant funds received by the student from any college attended where the student received Pell Grant funds. Once the lifetime limit has been reached, a student will no longer be eligible for federal Pell Grant funds at any institution, regardless of their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or credits still needed to complete their undergraduate degree.
- All financial aid programs are subject to change without notice. Major changes may occur between the time this information was published and the end of the award year. This can be due to circumstances such as changes in federal or state funding or regulatory changes, all of which are out of the control of HFC. The Office of Financial Aid has the right to revise any financial aid package, which was incorrectly computed. HFC reserves the right to make adjustments as a result of changes and new interpretations of federal and state guidelines and regulations. If it is determined that a student fraudulently submitted incorrect data on his or her financial aid application or forms, the situation may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education for investigation and possible prosecution.
- The Office of Financial Aid may report any student or individual acting on behalf of the student that has misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds. Suspicious activity may be reported and/or documentation provided to the Office of Inspector General within the U.S. Department of Education.