Financial Aid Misconceptions
The Top Four Misconceptions about Financial Aid
1. The College loses my documentation, which causes my financial aid to be delayed.
- If you are selected for verification (FAFSA audit), it takes approximately 4-6 weeks for aid to be awarded. This assumes you provide everything immediately upon receiving the request.
- Many times, the information provided is incomplete and needs to be corrected and resubmitted. However, students often keep submitting the same thing over and over without correcting the incomplete information.
- The documentation submitted is contradictory to what is on FAFSA and the Financial Aid Office needs additional documentation.
- Matching a student's paper work to the student requires an "H" number (college ID). For a student whose parents may have a different last name, this "H" number for the student is essential to match all documents.
- WaveNet does not display green checks after your documents have been received; they only display once your verification (FAFSA audit) has been performed.
- Once your documents are submitted, it takes 2-3 weeks before verification (FAFSA audit) is completed, provided all the information you submitted is correct and complete.
2. My account shows that I have aid. The College delays issuing my refund check so that they can earn interest on the money.
- By Federal law, the College has 14 days to disburse funds once the award is moved into your account.
- The College does not draw any of the student's money down until the checks are issued; therefore, the College is not earning interest on your aid.
- Several days can elapse between the time a refund shows on your account and when the College issues the check. The refunds are recorded over several days, but are all issued at the same time.
3. Once I complete the FAFSA, my responsibility as a student is done with respect to my financial aid.
- We find that some students submit their FAFSA and think that is the total extent of their responsibility. For some, it can go that smoothly - if they are not selected for verification (FAFSA audit) or do not have additional documentation to submit.
- Even if a student is not selected for verification, there may be documentation that must be submitted; for example, driver's license, high school transcript, etc.
- If selected for verification, you are required to submit all requested documentation to allow the Financial Aid Officers to verify the information you submitted on your FAFSA.
4. It takes too long to get my financial aid.
- For 60% of HGTC's students, the financial aid process is only about 7 days from the point the FAFSA is completed until the aid is awarded (once the Financial Aid Office has begun awarding for that year).
- For about 40% of HGTC's students, the process is longer because they are selected for verification (FAFSA audit).
- For students selected for verification, it takes 4-6 weeks to process, and that is if all documentation is provided ASAP. Incomplete, inaccurate, and delayed submission lengthens the delay beyond the 4-6 weeks.
- Due to the volume of activity several months before a semester begins, the longer you wait to file your FAFSA will naturally add to your wait time for receiving aid, so start the process early.
To apply for financial aid, start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.