CT State Community College
Financial Aid Guide

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Financial Aid Guide
Resources

Federal Websites and Resources

  • Federal Student Aid Information Center
    1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243) 
    For general information, publications, application status, duplicate Student Aid Reports, adding or removing a school code, or updating your address.  1-800-730-8913 (TDD) 

  • Federal Student Aid
    To obtain an FSA ID, Complete the FAFSA on the Web, and Managing Federal Student Loans. 

  • Tax Transcripts
    To obtain copies of your federal tax return transcripts for financial aid verification. 

  • Federal Direct Loan Counseling 
    To complete your Entrance Loan Counseling, Master Promissory Note, and Exit Loan Counseling   

  • National Student Loan Data System
    For access and inquiries about your Title IV grant and loan information in one centralized location. 

State Resources

Financial Aid Services Website Telephone / E-mail Address Fax School Code
CT Office of Higher Education 860.947.1855
sfa@ctohe.org
860.947.1311
Asnuntuck Community College 860.253.3030
AS-FinAid@asnuntuck.edu
860.253.3029 011150
Capital Community College 860.906.5090
CA-FinAidHelp@ccc.comment.edu
860.906.5092 007635
Gateway Community College 203.285.2030
GW-FinAidHelp@gwcc.commnet.edu
203.285.2036 006981
Housatonic Community College 203.332.5047
HC-FinAid@hcc.commnet.edu
203.332.5253 004513
Manchester Community College 860.512.3380
ma-finaid@manchestercc.edu
860.512.3381 001392
Middlesex Community College 860.343.5741
MX-FinAidHelp@mxcc.edu
860.344.3014 008038
Naugatuck Valley Community College 203.575.8274
NV-FinAid@nv.edu
203.575.8157 006982
Northwestern CT Community College 860.738.6326
NW-FinAid@nwcc.commnet.edu
860.738.6459 001398
Norwalk Community College 203.857.7023
NK-FinAid@NCC.commnet.edu
203.857.7310 001399
Quinebaug Valley Community College 860.774.1130
QV-FinAid@qvcc.commnet.edu
860.774.3952 001399
Three Rivers Community College 860.215.9040
FinancialAidHelp@trcc.commnet.edu
860.215.9902 009765
Tunxis Community College 860.773.1422
TX-FinAid@txcc.commnet.edu
860.676.8906 009764

Financial Aid Guide
Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Policies

Student Rights and Responsibilities

As a student at a Connecticut State Community College, you have the right to: 

  • Know what federal, state, and institutional sources of financial aid is available to you. 
  • Know the financial aid procedure and how aid is awarded. 
  • Know when and how financial aid is paid. 
  • Know the cost of attendance at your CT State institution. 
  • Know and comply with the Return to Title IV policies and procedures for withdrawals. 
  • Know what portion of financial aid is grant (or gift) aid. 
  • Know what portion of financial aid is a loan, and the terms of the loan at the time it is made.  This includes knowledge of your interest rate, grace period, and repayment terms. 
  • Know how much need has been met by your financial aid award. 
  • Know the criteria for continued eligibility for financial aid. 

As a student at a Connecticut State Community College, you are responsible for: 

  • Knowing and meeting all posted financial aid deadlines. 
  • Providing all information and/or documentation requested by the Office of Financial Aid Services. 
  • Reading and understanding all forms and correspondence related to financial aid.  This includes retaining copies for your records. 
  • Accepting responsibility for all agreements signed by you. 
  • Reporting any significant changes in financial circumstances, such as divorce or death of a family member, which may change your determination of financial need. 
  • Returning all financial aid forms by the date requested. 
  • Knowing and complying with all CT State payment policies. 
  • Notifying your loan lender and CT State if you change your name, address, or enrollment status. 
  • Complying with any and all conditions of employment under the work-study program. 
  • Completing your financial aid application as soon after October 1 as possible. 
  • Repaying all student loans as agreed upon. 
  • Meeting the terms of the satisfactory academic progress policy to continue your financial aid eligibility.   

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require that a student receiving financial aid under the Title IV programs make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in accordance with the standards set by the Board of Regents, and the US Department of Education.  In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, students must be making satisfactory progress towards completion of their degree or certificate program.  Recipients of financial aid under the Title IV programs, state aid and/or other financial aid programs directly administered or certified by the CT State colleges must meet the minimum SAP standards in order to continue to be eligible for aid. Some certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid and therefore the minimum SAP standards do not apply to students matriculating in those programs. 

We encourage you to review and become familiar with the SAP policy, which is located at https://www.ct.edu/files/pdfs/FinancialAid-SAP-Policy.pdf.  Questions concerning this policy may be addressed to Directors of Financial Aid Services at the attending Connecticut State Community Colleges. 

Please note, the SAP policy is not the same as the Academic Progress policy at your college. 

Satisfactory academic progress in eligible certificate and degree programs is determined using your cumulative academic history at the college, measured by your cumulative Grade Point Average to determine a qualitative measure and your cumulative pace of completion in your courses to determine your pace measure.  All attempted credits at the college must be evaluated in the SAP calculation.  This includes incomplete courses, course withdrawals, course repetitions, noncredit remedial courses (with appropriate credit equivalency evaluation), and ESL courses. Transfer credits are counted as both attempted and earned credits. 

The SAP standard if you are seeking a certificate is: 

Credits Attempted 

Minimum Cumulative GPA 

Minimum Completion Pace 

0 – 11.99 

0.0 

0.00% 

12 + 

2.0 

67.00% 

The SAP standard if you are pursuing a degree is: 

Credits Attempted 

Minimum Cumulative GPA 

Minimum Completion Pace 

0 – 11.99 

0.0 

0.00% 

12 – 30.99 

1.7 

50.00% 

31 – 49.99 

2.0 

50.00% 

50 – 59.99 

2.0 

60.00% 

60 + 

2.0 

67.00% 

For students falling below a cumulative GPA of 1.7 and/or a minimum completion pace of 50%, you will be required to meet with a member of the advising staff prior to registering for coursework in the next semester. 

If you are seeking to repeat a course that you have previously passed for a better grade, please be aware that federal law only permits us to pay for one repetition of a previously passed course.  A second repetition of a previously passed course is not eligible for financial aid. 

You will receive notifications from the college regarding your SAP status in your college email account.  You are also able to view your status at any time within your Self-Service Banner account. 

You may only receive financial aid for any attempted credits that do not exceed 150% of your program length.  For example, if you are in a 60-credit program, you may receive financial aid for up to 90 attempted credits.  Likewise, if you are in a 30-credit certificate program, you may receive financial aid for up to 45 attempted credits.  This requirement applies to students who change programs and/or pursue double majors. 

If you do not meet the terms of the SAP policy, you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning.  This status is only available to you one time during your academic career at our college.  While on Warning, you may receive financial aid for one additional semester, which would be your next semester of enrollment.  If you do not meet the terms of the policy a second time, your status will change to Unsatisfactory Progress, and you will become ineligible to receive financial aid.  In order to get back into Satisfactory standing, you may pay for courses out of pocket.  You may also be eligible to file an appeal to get back into Satisfactory standing.   

Appeals may be made for extenuating circumstances, such as the death of a family member, illness or injury, or other undue hardship.  Submitting an appeal does not guarantee your reinstatement of financial aid.  An appeal form is located in the Forms section of your college’s financial aid website. 

Your appeal with supporting documentation will be reviewed by a committee.  If a successful appeal is made, you will be reinstated and placed on Financial Aid Probation on the condition that certain academic requirements be met to maintain eligibility.  If your appeal is unsuccessful, you will remain ineligible for financial aid and will be responsible for any charges associated with your enrollment. 

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Office of Financial Aid Services is required by federal law to recalculate your eligibility for federal grants and loans if you withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of the semester.  This also includes if you unofficially withdraw, or stop attending your courses at will without officially notifying the college.   

The concept behind our policy is that both you and the college are allowed to retain only the amount of federal financial aid that is earned.  If you withdraw or stop attending classes, whether any credit has been earned or not, a portion of the financial aid you had received is considered to be unearned and must be returned to the US Department of Education.  Faculty are asked to monitor your engagement in your coursework throughout the semester as a means to determine your last date of participation in the event you stop attending classes or receive an F-grade, as this is the date that our office must use in the event you do not notify the college of your desire to formally withdraw.  If you attend through 60% of the semester you are scheduled to attend, you are considered to have earned 100% of your federal financial aid. 

All students are required to demonstrate academic engagement in each of their registered courses no later than the “census” date of each semester.  This is generally the 21st calendar day of each Fall and Spring semester.  If you have not demonstrated engagement in all of your courses for a given period, you will be considered to have not started the term and will not be eligible to receive your financial aid.  You will also be assigned a registration status of Never Participated (NP) for each course in the term. 

Academic engagement includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students; 
  • Submitting an academic assignment; 
  • Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; 
  • Attending a study group that is assigned by the school; 
  • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters; and 
  • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course. 

This does not include activities where a student may be present, but not academically engaged, such as: 

  • Logging into an online class without active participation; or 
  • Participating in academic counseling or advising. 

The instructor in each of your courses is responsible for making the determination of academic engagement.  Your self-certification of attendance or engagement is not acceptable unless it is supported by documentation from the school. 

If you are registered for courses that do not span the entire 15-week semester, there is important information you should be aware of.  These types of courses are known as “modules.”  This includes shortened courses in the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as summer and winter courses.    If you withdraw from a module within the term but are still registered for other modular courses later in the semester, you are required to provide a written statement to the Office of Financial Aid Services that indicates your intention to return for your other classes.  Without the statement, you will be considered withdrawn from all other courses and will be subject to the Return of Title IV funds calculation. 

 

Return of Title IV Funds Process 

Step 1 

The first step our office must take is working through a series of formulas to determine the amount of your financial aid that must be returned to the US Department of Education.  Using your last date of participation as noted by your faculty or your official withdrawal date, we must determine the total number of days you attended and the total number of days you were scheduled to complete.  Weekend days count in this calculation, but scheduled breaks of five days or more (such as Thanksgiving Break or Spring Break) do not.  The days you attended are divided by the days you were scheduled to attend.  This percentage is then multiplied by the total aid you were eligible to receive, which determines the amount of financial aid you earned in the term. 

Total Aid – Earned Aid = Unearned Aid (aid to be returned) 

Step 2 

We then need to determine the total amount of institutional charges that you were billed (your tuition and fees, and if you used your financial aid at the college bookstore, the amount you spent).  The amount of institutional charges is multiplied by the percentage of unearned aid. 

Institutional Charges x % of Unearned Aid = Amount Returned by the School 

Our office must then return the amount of your unearned federal financial aid to each of the Title IV programs in the following order: 

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan 
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan 
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan 
  4. Federal Pell Grant 
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) 

Step 3 

We are then required to calculate the amount for which you are responsible by subtracting the amount returned by the school from the amount that is unearned.  That remaining amount is your share and is allocated in the same order as above. 

Total Amount Unearned – Amount Returned by the School = Your Responsible Amount 

Once we determine the dollar amount and which federal programs must be repaid, you will be notified in writing, which will include any amount you owe.  Funds that must be returned by the student to any of the loan programs can be paid in full in accordance with your loan repayment terms on your Master Promissory Note.  For grant dollars that need to be repaid, you will have 45 days to make repayment only for amounts that exceed $50.  Any unpaid balances are turned over to the US Department of Education, and may impact your ability to receive future federal financial aid. 

This policy on Return of Title IV Funds is separate from our policy on Refund and Course Withdrawals, which may be found at https://www.ct.edu/files/policies/3.7-refund-policy.pdf

Before withdrawing, or choosing to stop attending your courses, it is important you understand these policies so that you understand what consequences may occur.  Officially withdrawing is always your responsibility, and may be done in the Registrar’s Office.   

We understand this is a complicated process.  If you are unsure of what the impact to your financial aid might be, anyone in the Office of Financial Aid will be more than happy to assist you. 

Financial Aid Guide
Types of Available Financial Aid

By completing the FAFSA, we are working to determine your eligibility for the various types of funding sources we are able to provide. All types of financial aid awarded by any CT State Financial Aid Office are dependent on available funding and require that you meet the terms of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. You must also be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program, and be certain the courses you are taking apply to your program of study. Financial aid is not available for courses that are not a part of your program. We will award your financial aid based on an assumed full-time enrollment each semester. If you attend at a less than full-time rate, we will prorate your financial aid award accordingly. Please note, many funding sources require you to attend at least half-time (or 6 credits) in order to be eligible. In most circumstances, your final eligibility is determined on your enrollment as of the semester’s census date, which is normally the 21st calendar day of the semester. Any type of financial aid can be reduced or eliminated for less than full-time enrollment, a change in your state residency determination, or a change in any funding allocation.

Federal Pell Grant

Award - Up to $6,495
Application - FAFSA
Eligibility - Any undergraduate student who is a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen of the US who has an Expected Family Contribution (maximum EFC of 5,846 in 2021-22 for full-time).

The Pell Grant is an entitlement program that is designed to assist students who display exceptional financial need through completing the FAFSA. In general, this is a grant that does not have to be repaid under most circumstances. You are able to receive a Pell Grant for an equivalent of 12 full-time semesters over the course of your academic career. However, keep in mind that once you earn a bachelor’s degree, you will no longer qualify for a Pell Grant. It is possible for you to receive your Pell Grant for enrollment in the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as the Winter and Summer sessions.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Award - Between $100 and $4,000
Application - FAFSA
Eligibility - Any undergraduate student who is a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen who is enrolled at least half-time. Priority is given to Pell-eligible students with the lowest EFCs.

The Federal SEOG award provides additional grant funds to Pell-eligible students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.  You are required to attend at least half-time to be eligible for this award.

Federal Work-Study

Award - Up to $5,000 based on financial need
Application - FAFSA Hiring Packet
Eligibility - Any student who is a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen and who has financial need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time.

The work-study program offered by the college provides paying jobs for eligible students who demonstrate unmet need. Most work-study jobs are on campus, but there are also positions that are community-based and available off campus. Students work an average of 10 to 15 hours per week, and can expect to earn between $13 and $17 per hour, depending on the position. Student workers are paid bi-weekly. You are required to be enrolled at least half-time to receive this fund.

Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans

Award - Up to $4,500 depending on eligibility for Subsidized/Unsubsidized
Application - FAFSA,Master Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling
Eligibility - Any undergraduate student who is a citizen or eligible non-citizen of the US and is enrolled at least half-time. Subsidized loans require that the student show financial need.

All CT State schools participate in the Federal Direct Loan program.  There are important pieces of information you should be aware of regarding federal student loans.  All loan funding must be repaid to the federal government.  A failure to repay your student loans will negatively impact your future Title IV eligibility and credit rating. 

Subsidized loans are made on the basis of need, and require a minimum half-time enrollment in an eligible program of study.  The federal government will subsidize the loan by paying the interest for you while you are enrolled in school.  Freshman students are able to borrow up to $3,500 per year, and students reaching the sophomore level may borrow up to $4,500. 

Unsubsidized loans are not made on the basis of need, but students are still required to meet a minimum half-time enrollment in an eligible program of study.  The federal government will not subsidize the interest on this loan for you, and it will accrue while you are enrolled in school.  Eligibility for the subsidized loan will be considered first.  If the maximum class standing limit of $3,500 or $4,500 has not been met, an unsubsidized loan will be considered to reach your eligibility limit. 

While loan awards are not automatically provided to you based on eligibility, we do encourage you to research and plan your financial needs prior to opting for a student loan.  If you find you must take a student loan, we encourage you to only borrow what you need.  You are required to complete a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling in order to meet the requirements of the program. 

Unless otherwise designated, we will award your student loans for both the Fall and Spring semesters at the same time.  You are required to be enrolled at least half-time and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress to maintain your loan eligibility. 

Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Need-Based Grant Program

Award - Up to $4,500
Application - FAFSA
Eligibility - Connecticut residents whose EFC is at or below 11,422. Students must be enrolled at least half-time.

Effective July 1, 2016, the State of Connecticut established the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Program to annually make need-based merit aid and need-based grant aid available to eligible Connecticut residents enrolled as undergraduates at Connecticut’s public and nonprofit, independent institutions of higher education.  Students with prior bachelor degrees are not eligible for this program. 

The need-merit component of the program provides awards up to $4,650 per year for full-time enrollment.  High school seniors who ranked in the top 20th percentile of their high school junior year class or college undergraduates who ranked in the top 20th percentile of their high school senior year class and/or have a combined score on the SAT of 1200 or higher, or an ACT score of 25 or higher, are eligible.  Students must submit a FAFSA by February 15th annually, and must have an EFC equal to or below the eligible cutoff, as determined by the Connecticut Office of Higher Education.  This is a renewable, need-based award for students enrolled at least half-time.  The electronic application is completed by the student’s high school guidance counselor, and must be submitted to the Connecticut Office of Higher Education by February 15th, who will in turn provide a determination of eligible students to the college. 

The need-based component of the program provides awards up to $4,500 per year for full-time enrollment.  Students are required to complete a FAFSA, be enrolled at least half-time, and have an EFC equal to or below the cutoff, as determined by the Connecticut Office of Higher Education.  Based on the submission of your FAFSA and a review of your Connecticut residency status, we will make a determination of your eligibility for this award and provide it in your financial aid package automatically. 

Pledge to Advance Connecticut Scholarship

Award - The lesser of the cost of eligible tuition and fees less any other financial aid awarded, or $250, per semester.
Application - FAFSA
Eligibility - Connecticut residents who graduated from a Connecticut high school. Students must be continuously enrolled full-time.

Beginning in Fall 2020, the State of Connecticut established a debt-free college program for eligible Connecticut residents attending any of the twelve CT State schools. This program provides awards equal to any remaining eligible tuition and fee charges after subtracting all awarded financial aid, or $250. This program is available for the Fall and Spring semesters, but not for any Summer session. To meet the priority deadline for eligibility, students are encouraged to submit a FAFSA, provide all required documentation to the Financial Aid Office, register full-time, and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. The priority deadlines are July 15 for Fall semesters, and November 15 for Spring semesters. Students must additionally be graduates of a Connecticut high school, be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program, and be continuously enrolled in order to have the award renewed. We will determine your eligibility for this award and provide it in your financial aid package automatically.

Institutional Grant

Award - Up to $6,100
Application - FAFSA or AACTUS
Eligibility - Connecticut residents with financial need.

Each CT State institution provides institutional grants to supplement a financial aid package.  Students are required to be Connecticut residents and demonstrate need by completing the FAFSA. 

Students ineligible to complete a FAFSA that meet certain immigration status conditions may be eligible for institutional grants.  Students may complete the Aid Application for CT Undocumented Students (AACTUS) through the Financial Aid Office to apply and determine eligibility. 

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

A student who may not be eligible for a Pell Grant but whose parent or guardian was a member of the US Armed Forces and died as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Students must be under the age of 24 and enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death.

Payment Plans

To assist you in funding your educational expenses when aid eligibility is insufficient to cover all of your charges, each college offers a payment plan which allows students to pay their tuition and fee charges in monthly installments over a period of time.  No credit check is required, and no interest is charged to participate.  There is a non-refundable installment plan fee of $25.00 to participate.  Please contact your Bursar’s Office for more information on establishing a payment plan.  You may also access the payment plan option at https://my.commnet.edu.  

Financial Aid Guide
FAQs

Below are common questions we receive from our students about various topics related to financial aid that we can answer in general terms, but, if you have specific questions that relate to your application or award, please do not hesitate to contact us.

How can I talk to my financial aid counselor?

The Office of Financial Aid Services at CT State offers appointments both in-person and virtually. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Please contact your financial aid office for available times.

What is your policy on documents and signatures?

It is your responsibility to be aware of any documents required to be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid Services.  All notifications from our office will be made to your college email account or through postal mail.  Any forms that are required of you are available within your Self-Service Banner account in the Requirements section.  Your college’s Financial Aid Office website will also have these forms available.  You must print, complete, and provide a wet signature on documents requiring a signature.  Secure electronic document submissions may be made through https://cscu.easy-forward.com, but may also be submitted by fax, mail, in person, or through an encryption from your student email account.  Unencrypted documents and documents submitted from any personal email account will not be reviewed.

Do you provide any accommodations for disabilities? 

All of our offices at each college have at least one handicap accessible space, as well as signage in braille.  If you have questions or need a specific accommodation, please contact your Financial Aid Office for assistance. 

What is financial aid and how can I get it? 

Financial aid is funding that helps students pay for college costs, such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies. It can be in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, or loans. Financial aid comes from a combination of sources, such as the US Department of Education, State of Connecticut, CT State, and other private sources.  To be eligible for financial aid, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be matriculated in a financial aid-eligible degree or certificate program at the college
  • Have a valid high school diploma or a recognized equivalent 
  • Have a valid Social Security Number, if required
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan or, if in default, have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the loan holder
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Not have been convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs that occurred while the student was enrolled and receiving Title IV aid
  • Fill out the FAFSA every year that you’re enrolled in classes

Once you have completed your FAFSA, our office will receive your application from the US Department of Education for processing and awarding.  Using your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your Cost of Attendance (COA) in a calculation to determine your “financial need,” we will make a determination on what sources and amounts of financial aid you are eligible to receive.  Please note, the US Department of Education sets the definition of financial need for students, not CT State.

How do I know my enrollment status?

Your enrollment status is defined by how many credits you take within your academic program each semester.  In general, your status is finalized at the 21st day of each regular semester, and your financial aid will be revised in accordance with how many credits you are registered for at that point. 

Enrollment Status 

Credit Level 

Full Time 

12 or more credits 

Three Quarter Time 

9 to 11 credits 

Half Time 

6 to 8 credits 

Less than Half Time 

1 to 5 credits 

 

Please be mindful of any enrollment status requirements that exist for any of your financial aid awards.  For example, you may need to be enrolled full-time to receive specific types of funding. 

What is the difference between a federal loan and a private loan? 

Federal loans are made under the Federal Direct Loan Program through the US Department of Education. You will be responsible to pay it back, with interest, to the Federal government. If Federal Loans do not meet your borrowing needs, there are many private lenders that offer a variety of supplemental borrowing programs. These loans are considered consumer loans, and approval is based on a good credit history and a satisfactory debt-to-income ratio.  You should carefully review and compare fees, interest rates, and repayment options before applying as interest rates and repayment terms may not be as favorable as those from federal sources.

What happens if I want a private loan to cover the costs of my education? 

As a student at CT State, you are allowed to use private loans to help cover the costs of your education. First, you will need to find a lender and then initiate an application for a private loan. As part of the application you will also need to complete a Self-Certification Form and provide this document to the lender electronically or via fax/mail. You will get this form from our office and we will assist you with the form according to the lender you selected.  

After you apply for a loan, the lender will contact the school and send over loan certification documents.  

When a request for certification is received, the Financial Aid Office checks to see if you are enrolled. If you are eligible to receive Federal financial aid, but haven’t taken advantage of that yet, you may get contacted by our office for a consultation.   

Once your loan is certified by the school and you have signed all the necessary documents with the lender, your loan will be disbursed directly to the school according to your course schedule.  

My private loan is more than my student account bill. Can I get a refund to help cover my living expenses? 

When your private loan funds are received by the school, they are automatically transmitted to your student account. The Business Office will then review the account and process a refund if the funds exceed your student account charges.

Do you have any preferred lenders that I could reach out to? 

The Connecticut State Community Colleges do not maintain a preferred lender list, or refer students borrowers to specific lenders.  

What are my rights and responsibilities?

Your student rights are:  

  • The right to know what federal, state, institutional, and private sources of financial assistance are available. 
  • The right to be provided information about their financial aid application.  
  • The right to know the cost of attendance at CT State. 
  • The right to confidentiality concerning their application as guaranteed by the Federal Right to Privacy Act (FERPA). 
  • The right to appeal to the Office of Financial Aid Services for not meeting federal guidelines for Satisfactory Academic Progress.  

Your student responsibilities are: 

  • Reporting circumstances that may have changed to our office after you had certified your information as correct upon completing the FAFSA. 
  • Reporting and updating mailing addresses and using their CT State student email.  
  • Reporting third-party benefits such as Veterans Benefits and scholarships.  
  • Understanding CT State’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.  
  • Reading the contents of CT State’s financial aid website. 
  • Completing loan program requirements such as a master promissory note, as well as entrance and exit counseling. 

How do I apply for financial aid?

We know that applying for financial aid may get confusing.  Don’t worry, we are here to help!  We’ll try to make this process as easy as possible for you and your family, and we’ll be there to answer your questions every step of the way.  If you need any assistance throughout your financial aid application process, don’t hesitate to contact us. 

First, let’s start with the basics about the application process, which collects financial and other information to help our office determine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.  Remember, the FAFSA must be completed each year that you are attending any of our institutions. 

  1. To be considered for federal financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  This can be completed as early as October 1st of each year for the following academic year (for example, October 1, 2020 for the 2021-2022 academic year). 
  2. The FAFSA can also be completed via the myStudentAid mobile app featuring myFAFSA. You can find the app in the app store. If you have limited access to the internet, you may complete a FAFSA via the phone at 1-800-433-3243. 
  3. If this is your first time filling out the FAFSA form, you will need to create a FSA ID. This ID will allow you (and your parents, if you are a dependent student) to access Federal Student Aid's online system.  Dependent students, parents, and independent students need to apply for their own separate FSA IDs.  The FSA ID serves as a pin number, a signature, and is also used when accessing the online Federal Student Aid website.  
  4. You are able to list up to 10 colleges that you would like your FAFSA sent.  You must add the school code for each Connecticut State Community Colleges you may wish to attend. 

Name of School 

School Code 

Asnuntuck Community College 

011150 

Capital Community College 

007635 

Gateway Community College 

006981 

Housatonic Community College 

004513 

Manchester Community College 

001392 

Middlesex Community College 

008038 

Naugatuck Valley Community College 

006982 

Northwestern Community College 

001398 

Norwalk Community College 

001399 

Quinebaug Valley Community College 

010530 

Three Rivers Community College 

009765 

Tunxis Community College 

009764 

How do I know if I am eligible to receive financial aid?

To be considered for financial aid, you must, at a minimum, satisfy the following criteria: 

  1. Be accepted for admission to the college and enrolled in a degree or eligible certificate program. 
  2. Have a high school diploma, GED, or recognized equivalent. 
  3. Be a US citizen with a valid Social Security number or be an eligible non-citizen with a valid alien registration number. 
  4. Complete the FAFSA or Renewal Application for the correct academic year. 
  5. Have a clean NSLDS record (no outstanding loan payments or holds). 
  6. Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as stated in the Student Handbook. 
  7. Provide any other documents requested by the Financial Aid Office for completion of the student’s financial aid file. 

If your financial aid file is incomplete or if you’re selected for verification, you will receive an electronic notification via my.commnet.edu. In addition, we will try to reach out to you personally to make sure you’re aware of the missing documents, and we will help with any questions you may have.  Please be sure to frequently review your college email account for messages from the Financial Aid Office.  Your college email account is our official method of communication to you. 

Please remember that it is your responsibility to provide all the information, documentation, forms, and signed documents in a timely manner when/if requested to do so. Unfortunately, failure to follow through with such requests will result in a delay of the financial aid process and/or eligibility for financial aid. 

What if I am an undocumented student?

If you are an undocumented student, we have good news! Under Connecticut Public Act 18-2, undocumented students who are Connecticut residents (eligible for in-state tuition) are eligible for institutional financial aid funding by way of completing the Aid Application for Undocumented CT Students (AACTUS).  Information on the AACTUS, including the paper application, is available from the main Connecticut State Colleges & Universities website and each community college’s website.  You must sign the AACTUS document in front of a Notary Public and submit it to the financial aid office via mail, fax, or in person.  

To be considered for institutional financial aid as an undocumented student, you must meet certain age, residency, and criminal history requirements in addition to signing an affidavit of eligibility. 

Eligibility requirements and deadlines are as follows: 

Institutional aid may only be granted if you would have otherwise qualified for aid except your undocumented status. For example:  

  1. You must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards to receive aid.  
  2. Dependent students must supply parent information. 
  3. Dependency overrides may be possible per college policy and professional judgment.  
  4. Students and parents earning over that year’s filing threshold must file an income tax return. 

What are the deadlines?

Please don’t forget to pay close attention to the deadlines!  It is important to submit everything in a timely fashion. This way, you will ensure that you have access to all available funding options and your financial aid is awarded properly before the tuition bill is due.  

The FAFSA application cycle is 21 months. For 2021-2022, applications are accepted beginning October 1, 2020 and through June 30, 2022. 

If you wish to have your financial aid in place as a payment method for courses before they begin, you should plan to have your application and all requested documents complete by the priority filing deadline (this includes the AACTUS application).  The following priority dates will help you maximize your financial aid package. 

  • Fall Semester: July 15 
  • Spring Semester: November 15 
  • Summer Semester: April 1 

What is verification? 

Each year, many students are selected by the US Department of Education for an application review process called verification. This is done to ensure that the information you entered into FAFSA is correct, and that no mistakes were made anywhere on the form before federal financial aid is awarded.  The US Department of Education will select your application for this review, and asks us to obtain certain information to help you complete the process. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will let you know that you have been selected for verification, and we will also contact you to request documentation to complete the process.

What should I do if I am selected for verification?

If you are selected, please know that verification is mandatory for you to complete and you should act quickly to ensure that you are still able to maximize your financial aid package since funding is limited. Please make sure to read this section carefully.  If you still have questions, do not hesitate to reach out

  • To complete verification, we have partnered with Inceptia, a nonprofit organization and verification expert. If you are selected, you will receive a welcome email from Inceptia with instructions to follow. 
    • If you are a dependent student, your parent will receive a similar email with instructions from Inceptia, and they will have to follow the prompts to complete verification for their student. 
  • In that email, you will be instructed to go to the Verification Gateway (VG) portal to authenticate your account and begin the process.  VG is easy to use, mobile friendly, and it guides you through each step of verification.  You can access VG by using a mobile phone, tablet, gaming console, or computer. 
  • You have 3 options for authenticating your VG account: 
    • If you have trouble completing option one or two, please call 1-888-374-VGCS (8427) and a customer service representative can authenticate the account with you over the phone. 
    • Provide First and Last Name, Last four digits of SSN, and answer three questions from FAFSA submission with 100% accuracy. 
    • Provide First and Last Name, Date of Birth, and full SSN. 
  • Once you register and log into VG, complete the items on your personalized Task List and upload requested documents. Once a task is completed, the task bar will turn green, and the button will say, “Completed.” 
  • Once all items on the Task List are complete, you will need to sign your verification. This can be done in two different ways: 
  • E-Signature: (recommended) E-Sign is a fast and simple way to sign. This speeds up the verification process and is also easy to update if corrections need to be made or additional information is required. 
  • Ink Signature: This option requires the student (and parent, if the student is dependent) to print out the form, sign it, and mail to Inceptia to manually load into the Verification Gateway. 
  • If you do not have access to the internet or are having trouble accessing Inceptia’s Verification Gateway portal (or documents), please contact the financial aid office and we will help you troubleshoot. 
  • In very rare cases we may ask you to submit verification documents directly to the college. If that is the case, we will communicate with you directly via your school email or phone to let you know what steps you need to take. 

What are the deadlines for the verification process?

It is very important to follow all the deadlines because your financial aid can only be awarded once you complete the whole verification process. Remember, it is your responsibility to complete and submit all requested information and documents to Inceptia in a timely fashion. 

  1. Connecticut State Community Colleges maintain a verification priority deadline of July 15, as certain forms of aid are limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  2. Meeting this deadline does not guarantee awarding of financial aid.  This is why it is always best to adhere to the July 15 priority deadline. 
  3. If you are unable to meet the July 15 priority deadline, then you must submit all requested verification documents within 30 days of the end of the term in which you need your financial aid. 
  4. If the term is the summer semester, then you must submit the verification documents prior to the end of your assigned academic year. 

What are the acceptable documents and forms?

Information in your Verification Gateway (VG) will specify the exact required forms and documentation. Do not provide documentation unless specifically requested to do so.  Here is a list of acceptable documentation that you may be asked to provide: 

  • A verification worksheet that is completed accurately, legibly, and signed by you (and your parent, if you are a dependent student). 
  • Official tax information using one of the options below: 
    • Unaltered data transferred to FAFSA on the Web using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool 
    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax transcripts. For information on how to get a tax transcription, please check here: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript 
    • Signed tax returns are accepted if all other options are unavailable 
  • If you are a non-tax filer, but report income earned from work, you will be required to provide W‐2s and an IRS Letter of Non-Filing dated on or after October 1 of the corresponding tax year. 
  • Signed statement by you (and your parent, if you’re a dependent student) concerning any untaxed income or benefits (e.g., statement confirming child support paid/received; all untaxed income reported on U.S. individual tax returns, excluding schedules; W-2 forms for contributions to retirement plans; etc.). 
  • Signed statement by you (and your parent, if you are a dependent student) confirming the household size. 
  • Signed statement by you (and your parent, if you are a dependent student) concerning the number of family members enrolled at least half-time in an accredited post-secondary school. 

What if my financial aid award changes because of the verification process?

If for some reason your financial aid award needs to be adjusted as a result of verification, we will send you a notification via my.commnet.edu. This revised award letter will explain in detail what was changed.

What is a student budget?

A student budget is also known as the cost of attendance (COA). The COA includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. It is important to remember that your COA is only an estimated budget for attending college for the year; it is not an amount you owe to the college. While your actual costs will depend on your personal expenses and your lifestyle as a student, the only costs owed directly to the college are tuition and fees, and books and supplies if you choose to utilize our bookstore.

How is my budget determined? 

The basic student budget used by the Office of Financial Aid Services includes the components identified below.  Your initial budget is provided based on an assumption that you are enrolled full-time (12 or more credits per semester) for both the fall and spring terms.  Your final budget will be adjusted according to your actual enrollment status.  

  • Tuition and Fees.  Tuition and fees are set annually by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education.  Our office may utilize prior year rates to create your initial budget, and update it if the Board chooses to make an update.  Some programs, such as Manufacturing or Nursing, also include additional program-specific fees in the cost of attendance.  You can always view the most up to date rates by visiting https://www.ct.edu/admission/tuition.  
     
  • Books and Supplies.  Books and supplies costs are taken from the most recent Trends in College Pricing publication by the College Board for two-year colleges.   
  • Room and Board.  Your room and board budget will vary depending on whether you live off campus or at home with parents.  Your dependency status from the FAFSA will also be considered.  Please note, none of our colleges offer on campus housing. 
  • Transportation.  Your transportation budget will also be determined by your housing situation, whether you live off campus or at home with parents.  
  • Miscellaneous Personal Expenses.  Similar to your transportation budget, your miscellaneous personal expenses will be determined by whether you live off campus or with your parents. 
  • Loan Fees – Loan fees are added to the budget once the student accepts the loan. 

You are able to review your COA at any time by reviewing your College Financing Plan within your Self-Service Banner account.   

What if I have additional costs not included in my current budget? 

To ensure consideration of all educationally related expenses when awarding financial aid, you may request an appeal if needed.  Budget appeals are allowable in situations where your student budget is not reflective of your true educational expenses and may subsequently influence the award amount. Budget adjustments are considered on a case-by-case basis, and are processed as a Professional Judgment.  Supporting documentation is always required with an appeal and enforced through the Professional Judgment process. 

  • Dependent Care (child or elder).  We will use Professional Judgment to add dependent care costs to your budget.  Please let us know if you have these additional expenses and provide the number of children or elders for which these costs are incurred.     
  • Additional Educational Costs for Students with Disabilities.  You must notify the Financial Aid Office if you have these additional expenses.  This is handled through Professional Judgment, and documentation of the expense will be required. 
  • Computer Expense.  If you purchased a personal computer/laptop, and you want it reflected in your budget, you will have to go through Professional Judgment, which will require documentation of the cost.  This cost will then be added to the Books and Supplies budget component. 
  • Transportation.  Students with higher than average transportation expenses due to circumstances beyond their control may provide documentation for consideration. 
  • One-Time Exceptions.  Students with a one-time exceptional expense beyond their control which increased their educationally related costs (e.g. COVID-19, natural disaster) may provide documentation for consideration. 

 The appeal form is available from our office.  Please submit your form with all appropriate documentation within the award year for a determination to be made.  If non-existent or inadequate documentation is submitted, or if the appeal and documentation is submitted outside of the specified deadline, the appeal will be automatically denied. 

How do you award and package financial aid? 

The Office of Financial Aid Services will notify you of your financial aid award through your college email account when your financial aid package is ready.  It is your responsibility to review your financial aid package. 

Our office utilizes the Federal Pell Grant as the foundation award for all financial aid packages.  This means we award the Pell Grant first and then build the financial aid package from there.  Your eligibility for the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship program will be assessed next, followed by an institutional grant award by our colleges.  Finally, your eligibility for our last-dollar free college program, PACT, will be made to round out your financial aid package after all other forms of financial aid have been awarded to you. 

As a means to support the PACT program, which is a debt-free college program by state statute, our colleges will not automatically package you with a federal student loan.  However, this does not preclude you from requesting such a loan to fund your educational expenses.  You must complete the Loan Request form with our office in order to receive a Federal Direct Loan. 

If I can’t file the FAFSA due to my immigration status, can I still receive a financial aid award?

By state law, institutional aid is available to students who are not eligible to receive federal aid through the FAFSA.  Student eligibility for this subset of institutional aid is derived by completing the Aid Application for CT Undocumented Students (AACTUS).

When will you package my financial aid award? 

Federal, state, and institutional aid award packaging begins in the spring for the upcoming fall term. As our office learns of final funding levels for state and institutional aid closer to the start of the fall term, we may repackage financial aid awards, as necessary. If that happens, you will be notified at your college email. Generally, we put together financial aid awards on a rolling basis, provided you are not missing any documents. Please check for any missing documents in the Requirements section of Banner Self-Service.   

How do you determine the financial aid award amounts?

Annual Federal Pell grant amounts are determined by the US Department of Education and are announced to schools each spring.  Any changes to Federal Direct Loan amounts and institutional financial aid are generally provided around the same timeframe.  Please remember that funding for state, institutional, and some federal programs is limited and awards are made on a first come, first served basis. 

State financial aid program allocations (Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Program and PACT) are announced by the State of Connecticut and depend on the budgetary cycle.  

Institutional aid is awarded to help with any gaps between the financial aid package and direct costs (tuition, fees, and an allowance for books and supplies).  If other funding sources (such as outside scholarships) become apparent later, they will replace some or a portion of the previously awarded institutional aid. We will then redistribute that institutional aid to students with more financial need, as determined by the financial aid office. If you ever have a question about your aid package, please contact the Financial Aid Office. 

What if my financial aid award exceeds my cost of attendance?

In some cases, financial aid as well as some other funds coming from outside sources (such as local scholarships, AmeriCorps, etc.) may result in an “overaward.” An overaward happens when the need-based aid that has been awarded exceeds the student’s unmet need, or when the financial aid award exceeds cost of attendance. If you have an overaward in your financial aid package, we will update your financial aid award and notify you via email. Don’t fret though, Federal Pell Grant amounts are never reduced to resolve an overaward situation. 

I have an AmeriCorps benefit, what should I do?  

If you have an AmeriCorps benefit, you should first submit a request through the AmeriCorps account to have funds certified for application to your student account. After the request is received, we will determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. AmeriCorps will then release the funds, and the Bursar will apply these funds to your account. In some cases, AmeriCorps awards affect other aid awarded. The Financial Aid Office will review your account and notify you via email of any changes to your aid.

My employer may be paying for my educational expenses. Is that acceptable? 

Absolutely! If part of your employer benefit package consists of tuition remission/reimbursement, you should definitely take advantage of that amazing benefit. Please work with the Bursar office to have your employer send the funds to the school. In some cases, these funds may affect other aid awarded. Our office will review your account and notify you via email of any changes to your aid. 

Am I eligible to receive financial aid if I take classes in the summer term? 

You are eligible to receive financial aid in the summer. If you received 100% of your Pell grant in the Fall and Spring semesters, you may be eligible to receive additional Pell funding if you are enrolled in at least 6 credits during the summer. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your eligibility for summer financial aid. 

What happens if my financial circumstances change? Can I appeal my financial aid award? 

If you have a concern regarding your financial aid award due to a change in your family’s financial situation, please reach out to our office. We will be able to discuss your circumstances and determine if you qualify for a revision to your award due to an extenuating circumstance. If you do, we will ask you to complete a Special Circumstances Appeal. When your financial circumstances change, we utilize a process called “Professional Judgment,” and sometimes it may result in an updated financial aid package. Each individual situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you contact us as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances. 

What kinds of special circumstances would you consider for Professional Judgement? 

There are a few situations that can be considered Professional Judgement. Some of these circumstances include, but are not limited to:  

  • Loss of employment due to a termination, layoff, disability, retirement, company closing, plant shutdown, etc. (for you; your spouse; or your parent, if you are a dependent student). 
  • Separation or divorce (for you or your parent, if you are a dependent student). 
  • Death of an individual whose information was reported on FAFSA. 
  • Documented excessive medical or dental expenses (for you or your parent, if you are a dependent student).  
  • Childcare or dependent care expenses (for you or your parent, if you are a dependent student). 
  • Natural disasters affecting a family’s income or assets. 
  • Conversions of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs (for you; your spouse; or your parent, if you are a dependent student). 
  • Family relationship where it is impossible or unsafe to collect parental information (if you are a dependent student). 

The following special circumstances will not be considered at any of our colleges:  

  • An independent student trying to become a dependent. 
  • Costs incurred after students are no longer enrolled (for example, graduate school admissions tests) cannot be added to the Cost of Attendance. 
  • Home repairs. 
  • Discretionary debt. 
  • Previous education debt.  
  • Mortgage/vehicle payments. 
  • Voluntary reduction in employment income. 

What happens after I submit all my documents? 

After all documentation is collected, a representative committee will evaluate your materials for Professional Judgment consideration. If this process results in a change in your financial aid package, a revised award letter will be mailed or emailed to you. You will also be able to see your new financial aid award in Self-Service Banner.

What is a financial aid disbursement? 

Disbursement is a process by which your financial aid funds are made available to you to help cover educational expenses. These funds are disbursed to your student account and are used to pay for billed charges, such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies. If after your disbursements you have excess funds on your account, it means you have a credit balance, also known as a refund. Refunds are processed within 14 days after your disbursement date.

When is financial aid disbursed each term?  

The first disbursement for each term is normally made ten days after the census date. The census date is the 21st day of each Fall and Spring semester. You will be notified via your college email of all disbursement information, including dates on which refunds will be delivered.

I have a balance from a previous year. Can I use my current financial aid to cover past balances or future charges? 

CT State uses an online form to collect authorization from students to pay up to $200 of prior year charges, called the Title IV Authorization. You must have enough aid to cover your current year charges before aid can apply to a prior year. The maximum amount we can retroactively pay is $200. Contact the Bursar Office if you still owe a balance even after aid applies toward your prior balance. This authorization form is located within Self-Service Banner.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Federal regulations require that all students receiving financial aid make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, you must be making satisfactory progress towards completion of your program. The SAP standards are set in order to ensure that you complete your program in a timely manner and maintain an adequate GPA to receive financial aid. SAP evaluations are made at the conclusion of each term once your grades are posted to determine eligibility for the next period.

Please note, SAP for financial aid is different than the Academic Progress standard for the college. For more information on Academic Progress, please visit your academic advisor or your Student Handbook.

How is SAP evaluated? 

There are three criteria evaluated each semester to make sure you are meeting SAP: 

  • Maximum Time Frame Requirement: You must successfully complete your educational program within a maximum period.  This period cannot exceed 150% of your normal program length.  For example, students enrolled in a 60-credit degree program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 attempted credit hours (60 credit program length x 150% = 90 credit maximum timeframe).  Similarly, students enrolled in a 30-credit certificate program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours. 
  • All attempted credits at the college are included in the calculation.  The 150% maximum credit hours rule is applicable to students who change majors, change programs, or who pursue a double major.   
  • Students who transfer credits from another institution will have those credits counted as both attempted and earned credits for SAP purposes. 
  • Students lose eligibility for financial aid at the point at which the student can no longer complete their program within the 150% maximum timeframe.  
  • Cumulative GPA: Students must meet specific cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) requirements at specific points during their enrollment in order to make SAP. These requirements are listed in the table below.  
  • Minimum Pace: To meet the minimum Pace requirement, a student must complete a certain number of the credits attempted.  
  • Pace is calculated as the cumulative number of credit hours of courses successfully completed divided by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted for all courses.  
  • If you have transfer credits earned from other institutions, they are counted in the calculation as both credits attempted and earned credits. 

Please note, the Office of Financial Aid Services is required by law to consider all cumulative credits you have taken at the college in your lifetime.  Therefore, if you had attended our college several years ago, we still must consider those credits in the SAP calculation … even though they may not count toward your Academic Progress standing with the college.  This is true even if you have taken advantage of the “Fresh Start” option at our school. 

 

SAP Standards for Certificate-Seeking Financial Aid Recipients 

The minimum standards increase based on the number of credits attempted. 

Credits Attempted 

Minimum Cumulative GPA 

Minimum Pace Requirement 

0 – 11.99 

0.0 

0% 

12 + 

2.0 

67% 

  

SAP Standards for Degree Seeking Financial Aid Recipients 

The minimum standards increase based on the number of credits attempted. 

Credits Attempted 

Minimum Cumulative GPA 

Minimum Pace Requirement 

0 – 11.99 

0.0 

0% 

12 - 30.99 

1.7 

50% 

31 - 49.99 

2.0 

50% 

50 – 59.99 

2.0 

60% 

60 + 

2.0 

67% 

What happens if I don’t meet SAP?

If you don’t meet one SAP requirement, you will be placed on Warning. You may hold a Warning status only one time during your academic career at our college. You will have one semester to meet SAP standards. If you fail to do so, you will be put in an Unsatisfactory Academic Progress status and you will be ineligible for financial aid until you meet SAP standards again. If you are not making SAP and are ineligible for aid, you are responsible for paying your bill to the school. 

Can I submit a SAP appeal? 

Yes, you can appeal your Unsatisfactory Academic Progress status. You will need to submit the following items to the Financial Aid Office for your SAP appeal: 

  1. A completed SAP Form (available at your college’s financial aid office website).  
  2. An explanation of why you failed to meet SAP. 
  3. An academic plan created with your academic advisor.  

You will receive a response within 14 days of submitting all documents.  

While there is no overall limit on the number of SAP appeals you may make during your academic career at our college, you are only allowed to submit an appeal once per term.  If your appeal is denied, you may not appeal again until the following semester. If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on Probation for one semester. 

What happens on SAP Probation?

Probation lasts one semester. At the end of the probationary semester, your academic progress will be evaluated. If you have met the minimum SAP standards, your status will be updated in accordance with making satisfactory progress. If you have not met the minimum SAP standards but are meeting the required terms of your academic plan, you may continue to receive financial aid the following semester through a continued Probation.

If you do not meet the terms of your academic plan in any subsequent semester, you will become ineligible to receive aid from any financial aid program (this includes Federal, state, and institutional) at the college until you are able to meet the minimum SAP requirements. Your progress will continue to be evaluated at the end of each semester with the same terms in place until you are in compliance with the SAP policy.

How do you evaluate different non-punitive grades? 

Besides the letter grades A through D, you may receive a variety of other grades or notations on your transcript. Here is how CT State treats those items in determining your SAP status.   

  1. AU grades - Audited courses are not eligible for financial aid and are neither included in the GPA calculation nor considered as attempted coursework. 
  2. F grades – Failed grades are treated as attempted credits that are included in the calculation of GPA as zero points earned.  Beginning in Academic Year 2020-21, unofficial withdrawals will be assigned an F grade with a last date of participation noted.   
  3. I grades - Incomplete courses are not included in the GPA calculation and are considered a non-completion of attempted work. 
  4. M grades – Maintaining progress grades in developmental courses are similar to an incomplete grade and are treated as attempted credits that were not earned and are not included in the calculation of GPA. 
  5. P grades - Passing grades in a pass/fail option are treated as attempted credits, which are earned but are not included in the calculation of the GPA. 
  6. TR grades – All transfer credits added into the Banner system for a student are treated as attempted coursework which has been earned but are not included in the calculation of the GPA. 
  7. W grades - Course withdrawals are not included in the GPA calculation and are considered a non-completion of attempted work. 

Grade Changes.  Grade changes and other updates (such as grades reported that were not previously submitted and Incomplete grades that are updated with a final grade) will be included in your next available SAP evaluation. 

What happens with my SAP status if I repeat a class?

Financial aid recipients are limited to one repetition of a previously passed course in their program of study. The second repetition of a previously passed course will not be eligible for financial aid payments.  

For SAP purposes, all grades earned in courses that are repeated will count in the GPA.  Every attempt (initial and repeated) will be treated as an attempted credit.

What if I take classes at another college?

If you are unable to register for a required course at your home college, you may request a Consortium Agreement to take the course at another college within our system. This agreement includes applying any remaining financial aid to pay for the course. All coursework taken at other colleges under this agreement must be transferred back to your home college at the end of the term of enrollment.  The credits are treated as credits attempted and earned for passed coursework, and as attempted but not earned for coursework not passed.   This coursework is not included in GPA calculation.  

What happens if I change my major?  

If you decide to change majors or change between certificate and degree programs, your cumulative academic history is still included in the determination of your SAP status for financial aid eligibility.   All prior coursework is included in the determination of Pace and in the cumulative GPA calculation in determining your SAP standing. 

If you changed majors and consequently fell out of SAP due to the maximum timeframe requirement, you have the right to an appeal.

What if this is my second degree?

All students pursuing a second degree are treated the same under the SAP requirements.  This holds true if you are a transfer student with a prior degree, or if you are seeking a second degree from our school.  All prior coursework is included in the determination of Pace and in the cumulative GPA calculation in determining your SAP standing.  

What happens to my financial aid if I leave CT State?

By federal regulation, our office is required to re-evaluate Federal financial aid (grant and/or loans) eligibility for any student who withdraws, drops out, is dismissed, or takes a leave of absence prior to completing all enrolled classes.  This re-evaluation is called a “Return of Title IV Funds calculation” or R2T4 calculation.  This includes “unofficial withdrawals,” which are defined as students who stop attending their classes but do not follow college policy and officially withdraw from class(es).  In some cases, this re-evaluation requires our office to return a portion of your federal funds back to the US Department of Education. 

If you are considering withdrawing for classes, we recommend talking to the Financial Aid Office first in order to determine the financial impact that the Return of Title IV funds calculation will have on your specific financial situation. 

How will my financial aid be re-evaluated through the R2T4 calculation? 

The R2T4 calculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using a federal formula. 

If you earned less aid than was disbursed, the college is required to return a portion of the funds, which may result in you owing a balance to the college.   

If you earned more aid than was disbursed, the college will make a post-withdrawal disbursement to your account within 180 days of the withdrawal. 

If you owe money back to CT State because you withdrew, you will be notified within one week via your college email and/or postal mail. 

Could there be a situation where you don’t have to return my Federal aid after my withdrawal?

Yes, there are many situations where we are not required to return Federal financial aid funds after your withdrawal, such as: 

  • You earned 100% of your aid based on attending classes beyond an established point of the enrollment period (usually a term). 
  • You withdrew before being awarded Federal financial aid.  
  • You withdrew from some coursework but remain enrolled in other courses. 
  • You did not receive a Federal grant or a loan. 
  • You did not apply for or are not eligible for Federal grant or loan aid. 

How would you figure out my withdrawal date? 

If you officially withdrew from your program, we would look at your submitted withdrawal date at the Registrar’s Office. If you did not officially withdraw, we would look at your most recently documented date of academic engagement at the college. This information would be submitted to the Registrar by your faculty. 

Will I receive a tuition refund if I withdraw or stop attending classes?

We do have a policy on refunds and course withdrawals.  Generally, you may be eligible for a tuition refund if your course withdrawal occurs within the first 20% of the semester. 

This policy is located at https://www.ct.edu/files/policies/3.7-refund-policy.pdf.   

Can I submit a refund appeal?  

If you dropped and/or withdrew from classes, you may submit an appeal for your tuition and fees charges.  Appeals must fall under one of the following categories to be considered:  

  • Military relocation or deployment 
  • Documented medical emergency 
  • Documented personal emergency 
  • Incorrect advisement for program of study 

No appeals will be considered or accepted once the term for which the appeal is being made has finished.  

I am a veteran and have to drop my courses because of military obligations. What will my refund process look like? 

If you are entering the armed services; being relocated by the military; or deployed, before earning degree credit, you will have 100% of term charges cancelled upon submitting notice in writing and providing a copy of your orders, or a certified copy of enlistment papers. 

Statement on Suspected Student Fraud

The US Department of Education requires colleges to refer any suspected cases of Title IV aid fraud, abuse, or misrepresentation to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  If the Office of Financial Aid Services suspects that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information and/or altered documentation to increase Federal Student Aid eligibility or to fraudulently obtain Federal funds (i.e. identity theft), it must report those suspicions and provide evidence to OIG.  A case of fraud is different from a simple mistake made on a form.  Fraud is intended to deceit, and therefore it is punishable.  

Office of the Inspector General can be reached by phone at 1-800-HHS-TIPS. 

Financial Aid Guide
Overview

Receiving financial aid can be the difference that allows you to attend college. Each year, CT State receives more than 50,000 applications for student financial assistance to help cover college costs. By completing the FAFSA, you are applying for federal, state, and institutional dollars at our colleges. The determinations made by completing the FAFSA are intended to supplement your family’s available resources to fund your education. This guidebook, in addition to a variety of other sources, are available for you at all times to provide information and answers to your financial aid related questions.

Listed below are the twelve colleges that comprise CT State. If you are attending a location that is not the main campus, please contact the main campus Financial Aid Office.

Contact Info

College Name
Contact Information
Hours of Operation
Asnuntuck Community College
FAFSA Code: 011150
170 Elm Street
Enfield, CT 06082
Phone: 860-253-3030
Fax: 860-253-3029
Email: AS-FinAid@asnuntuck.edu
Monday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Tuesday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Wednesday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Thursday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Friday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Capital Community College
FAFSA Code: 007635
950 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: 860-906-5090
Fax: 860-906-5092
Email: CA-FinAidHelp@capitalcc.edu
Monday: 9:00a - 5:00p
Tuesday: 9:00a - 7:00p
Wednesday: 9:00a - 5:00p
Thursday: 9:00a - 5:00p
Friday: 9:00a - 3:00p
Gateway Community College
FAFSA Code: 006981
20 Church Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: 203-285-2030
Fax: 203-285-2036
Email: GW-FinAidHelp@gatewayct.edu
Monday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Tuesday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Wednesday: 8:00a - 7:00p
Thursday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Friday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Housatonic Community College
FAFSA Code: 004513
900 Lafayette Boulevard
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Phone: 203-332-5047
Fax: 203-332-5253
Email: HC-FinAid@hcc.commnet.edu
Monday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Tuesday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Wednesday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Thursday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Friday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Manchester Community College
FAFSA Code: 001392
Great Path, MS#11
PO Box 1046
Manchester, CT 06045
Phone: 860-512-3380
Fax: 860-512-3381
Email: MA-FinAid@manchestercc.edu
Monday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Tuesday: 8:30a-4:30p
Wednesday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Thursday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Friday: 8:30a - 4:30p
Middlesex Community College
FAFSA Code: 008038
100 Training Hill Road
Middletown, CT 06457
Phone: 860-343-5741
Fax: 860-344-3014
Email: MX-financialaid@mxcc.edu
Monday: 8:00a - 7:00p
Tuesday: 8:00a - 7:00p
Wednesday: 8:00a - 5:00p
Thursday: 8:00a - 5:00p
Friday: 9:00a - 4:00p
Naugatuck Valley Community College
FAFSA Code: 006982
750 Chase Parkway
Waterbury, CT 06708
Phone: 203-575-8274
Fax: 203-575-8157
Email: NV-FinAid@nv.edu
Monday: 8:00a - 5:00p
Tuesday: 8:00a - 5:00p
Wednesday: 8:00a - 5:00p
Thursday: 8:00a - 5:00p
Friday: 8:00a - 5:00p
Northwestern CT Community College
FAFSA Code: 001398
Park Place East
Winsted, CT 06098
Phone: 860-738-6326
Fax: 860-738-6437
Email: NW-FinAid@nwcc.edu
Monday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Tuesday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Wednesday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Thursday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Friday: 8:00a - 4:30p
Norwalk Community College
FAFSA Code: 001399
188 Richards Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: 203-857-7023
Fax: 203-857-7310
Email: NK-FinAid@norwalk.edu
Monday: 9:00a - 5:00p
Tuesday: 9:00a - 5:00p
Wednesday: 9:00a - 5:00p
Thursday: 9:00a - 5:00p
Friday: 9:00a - 4:00p
Quinebaug Valley Community College
FAFSA Code: 010530
742 Upper Maple Street
Danielson, CT 06239
Phone: 860-932-4003
Fax: 860-774-3952
Email: QV-FinAid@qvcc.commnet.edu
Monday: 8:30a - 4:00p
Tuesday: 8:30a - 4:00p
Wednesday: 8:30a - 4:00p
Thursday: 8:30a - 4:00p
Friday: 8:30a - 4:00p
Three Rivers Community College
FAFSA Code: 009765
574 New London Turnpike
Norwich, CT 06360
Phone: 860-215-9040
Fax: 860-215-9902
Email: financialaidhelp@threerivers.edu
Monday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Tuesday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Wednesday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Thursday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Friday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Tunxis Community College
FAFSA Code: 009764
271 Scott Swamp Road
Farmington, CT 06032
Phone: 860-773-1422
Fax: 860-676-8906
Email: TX-FinAid@tunxis.edu
Monday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Tuesday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Wednesday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Thursday: 8:30a - 5:00p
Friday: 8:30a - 4:00p


Cost of Attendance and Financial Need

The Office of Financial Aid Services maintains a position that no student should be denied access to higher education because of financial need.  Each year, our office uses all available resources to help eligible students fund their direct costs, which includes charges for tuition and fees, as well as an allowance for books and supplies.  Each year, we collectively award more than $100 million to more than 30,000 students. 

To assist in determining your financial need and eligibility for financial aid, we are required to develop a Cost of Attendance for you based on federal regulations.  Aside from tuition and fees, this also includes items such as books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses.  We understand that room and board, transportation costs, and personal expenses will vary for each individual and family.  For that reason, we use approximated costs for these components based on actual data from The College Board and The Council for Community and Economic Research.  Should you experience other costs that are not typical, you have the right to a Cost of Attendance appeal to include additional expenses with supporting documentation.  Please note, this does not guarantee any additional award to your financial aid package.  Examples of such expenses may include dependent care, disability costs, or the documented cost of a leased or purchased computer. 

Financial Need is the calculated difference between your Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) you receive when you complete your FAFSA.  The value of your calculated financial need provides our office with the information needed to award you need-based financial aid, such as grants and scholarships. 

While tuition and fee charges are the same for all students at any CT State institution, the calculated Cost of Attendance will vary by college, dependency status, and other factors such as the location within the State of Connecticut.  You may view your personal Cost of Attendance within your Self-Service Banner account, accessible from https://my.commnet.edu.  From the Financial Aid tab, select College Financing Plan.  This will display your Cost of Attendance and anticipated financial aid award. 

Remember, you are not required to fund your entire Cost of Attendance for enrollment at any of our colleges.  Depending on eligibility and the availability of funds, we seek to cover your direct costs to the college, which are your tuition and fee charges, and an allowance for books and supplies. 



Our Purpose and Philosophy  

As part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, the Connecticut State Community Colleges provide access to academically rigorous and innovative education and training focused on student success. The colleges support excellence in teaching and learning, make data-informed decisions, promote equity, advance positive change for the students, communities, and industries they serve, and award associates degrees and certificates.

The Connecticut State Community Colleges share a vision to be recognized for exceptional student success, educational leadership, and transformative collaboration with business and industry, government, educational, and key stakeholders while advancing diverse opportunities for Connecticut’s citizens and communities.

Our philosophy from within the Office of Financial Aid Services is to develop institutional packaging strategies to ensure the consistent, fair, and equitable distribution of available funds in order to provide financial assistance to eligible students. To support the educational achievement of our students, each institution shall award financial aid funds from available resources to promote access to higher education, facilitate completion, enable personal and professional growth, and ultimately contribute to the prosperity of the State of Connecticut.