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Financial Aid - Frequently Asked Questions

Applying

To apply for financial aid, you need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
There are some funds that we award that may require additional steps (i.e. documents, online requirements, or a separate application), see our Types of Aid (need updated link) for more information.

The FAFSA application opens October 1 and closes June 30 of every year. Example: The 2021-2022 FAFSA opened October 1, 2020 and will close June 30, 2022.

Leeward CC has a priority deadline of March 1 of every year. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA and other required documents by March 1. You may still apply after the priority deadline, but you will need to be prepared to pay for tuition and other educational expenses until you are awarded financial aid (if you qualify).

The FAFSA needs to be completed once for each academic year you attend since information may change from one year to the next.

SAR stands for Student Aid Report. It is a summary of the information you reported on your FAFSA and provides basic information about your eligibility for federal student aid. If there are any errors, you must correct your FAFSA. Your (and your parent’s, if dependent) electronic signature is required every time you make a correction.

EFC stands for Expected Family Contribution. This represents the amount of funds you and your family is expected to contribute to your college expenses. The federal government calculates your EFC based on the information you reported on your FAFSA. Your EFC also determines your Pell Grant eligibility.

Verification is the process in which the Financial Aid Office must verify the accuracy of the information you reported on your FAFSA. It is a random selection process by the federal government. If you are selected for verification, you will be notified via your SAR and you will receive an email notification from the Financial Aid Office informing you of the documents needed to satisfy the verification requirements.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows applicants who have already filed their federal income tax returns to securely transfer their tax data from the IRS to their FAFSA. To use the tool, please refer to our Instructions for Income Information for the academic year you are applying for.

By federal definition, you are considered independent only if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are 24 years of age or older
  • You are married as of the date you filed your FAFSA
  • You are working on a degree beyond a bachelor’s degree
  • You are on active duty or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • You have children and/or legal dependents who will receive more than half of their support from you during the academic year you are applying for aid
  • At any time since you turned age 13, you were in foster care or a dependent or ward of the court OR both your parents were deceased
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, you are or were an emancipated minor or someone other than your legal parent(s) has legal guardianship of you
  • You were determined to be an unaccompanied youth

If you do not meet any of the criteria above, you are considered dependent and must provide your parents’ information on your FAFSA.
If you have a special circumstance that makes it impossible for you to have reasonable contact with your parents, you may request a review of your dependency status. Please see our Appeal for Dependency Override Form for your application year.

If your (and/or your parent’s, if dependent) income has changed, you may complete an Appeal for Special Circumstance Form for your application year. You will also need to complete the Verification process and provide documentation to verify your (and/or your parent’s) current income.

Eligibility

Your eligibility is determined by your cost of attendance, EFC, financial need, and the availability of funds administered by our office.

Cost of Attendance (COA) is estimated educational expenses that you will incur as a student (or estimated costs that you will incur for attending college). COA includes estimated costs for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses and transportation.

Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution and External Resources (Scholarships) equals Financial Need.
Financial need is used to determine your eligibility for need-based federal and institutional funds that we award.

It depends on your eligibility. For most students, they can still qualify for a portion of their award (if they qualify for aid) at half time status (6 - 8 credits).
Keep in mind that if you qualify for aid, your initial award will be based on full time enrollment (12 credits or more) if you are within your financial aid timeframe - see our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

We can consider the course at the other UH campus as part of your total enrollment for financial aid if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. You must be enrolled for one course here at Leeward CC
  2. The course at the other UH campus must apply to the Leeward CC degree you are seeking (and classified in)
  3. You and an Academic Counselor must complete a Concurrent Enrollment Form

You must notify our office if you are receiving an external scholarship (a scholarship not awarded by our office). You should provide our office with a copy of your scholarship award notification. We will need to take your scholarship into consideration when determining your eligibility. If your eligibility has already been determined and you qualify for aid, we may need to reduce or cancel the aid that was awarded to you.

If you do not earn any of the credits you attempted in a semester, our office must apply a federal calculation to determine if any funds you received for the semester need to be repaid. In addition, your withdrawal and/or failing grade(s) may affect your ability to receive financial aid in future semesters based on our Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy is the minimum academic requirements you must meet to be considered for financial aid. View our policy for the full details.

If you need additional funds beyond what was awarded to you, you may want to consider applying for scholarships and/or student loans (new types of aid link).

You can check your status on your MyUH Services. Click on View My Financial Aid Information. For more information, view our Check Your Status page.

Disbursement

If you qualify for aid, your financial aid will be electronically applied to your tuition and fee charges (if you still have a balance).
Financial aid will be released based on your financial aid enrollment. Your financial aid enrollment is your enrollment in the courses that apply to an eligible Leeward CC degree you are seeking and classified in. See our CPoS site for more information.
For more information on disbursements, view our Disbursement and Enrollment information.

If there are financial aid funds still remaining (excess funds) after your balance has been paid, the Cashier’s Office will process a refund to you.
Excess funds will be refunded:

  1. Via paper check (sent through the regular mail) on the 15th and the last business day of the month. If the 15th of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, checks will be issued on the business day prior to the weekend or holiday.
  2. Via direct deposit into your bank account within 3 to 5 business days from the date of your disbursement, if you signed up for eRefunds.
    eRefunds is a simple and secure way to receive your financial aid refund. To sign up, login to your MyUH Services and click on Enroll in Direct Deposit eRefunds (Students Only).

When your financial aid is successfully processed, the Cashier’s Office will apply your financial aid toward your student account according to the dates required by Federal Regulations.
Grants will be credited to your account no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of the semester based on your enrollment level at that time.
For first-time and first-year student loan borrowers, loans will be disbursed 30 days after the first day of school as required by Federal Regulations.
If you are enrolled in a modular program / course(s), your disbursement dates may differ.
For more information on disbursements, view our Disbursement and Enrollment information.