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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the preferred date to apply for financial aid?

  • Fall semester - June 1st
  • Spring semester - November 1st
  • Summer semester - May 1st

We'll process, and welcome,  your application for financial aid after these dates but we can't guarantee it will be ready for you prior to the start of a semester, if your financial aid is not complete by these dates. If you apply for financial aid after these dates, please make plans to have some other source of payment ready to start the semester.  If you are eligible and receive a financial aid award in excess of your charges for the semester, we'll refund any payment you made to the college to hold your registration. 

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes. See How to Apply for Financial Aid for more information.  Please the FATV videos on applying and reapplying for financial aid on the WCJC Website

 

What happens after I submit a FAFSA?

Please click on the link "What to Expect After You Complete and Submit a FAFSA" for information.

WCJC current requires all students who are seeking federal financial aid to complete and submit a Student Data Form. You can submit this form as soon as you get your Student Aid Report (SAR) back from the Department of Education. Please make sure the information matches what you reported on your SAR.

 

Do I have to enroll full-time (12 credit hours) to receive financial aid?

No. Although the award you see in Online Services is based on full-time (12 hours) enrollment, your aid will be adjusted to reflect the number of hours you are enrolled each semester. Only classes that are required for your degree/certificate plan can be funded.

When and how will I receive my financial aid at Wharton County Junior College?

Financial aid funds will be applied to your college account after the official enrollment date (Census Date) of each semester. Federal and college funds will be applied at this time only for those students who have completed all requirements for the financial aid process. Disbursement of state awards is dependent on the availability of state funding. If you have more financial aid than college charges, the balance will be issued as a refund.

Will I lose my financial aid or owe money back if I drop a class?

Always check with the Wharton County Junior College Office of Financial Aid for specific details. The drop form requires a signature  by the financial aid office staff! 

Dropping a class can reduce your Pell Grant and could also impact your future loan level. Loan recipients who drop below half-time will enter their loan grace period. Dropping a class can also create Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) problems and you might not be eligible for any future financial aid assistance.

Can I get financial aid for summer?

Students can receive financial aid for the summer session. You may be eligible for summer financial aid if you have not already reached your maximum annual or aggregate limits on loans, maintained satisfactory academic progress during the fall and spring and completed an application for summer financial aid.  You need to review the information page Pell Grant Update  on the college website. 

Are loans considered financial aid?

Yes. Loans are part of the federal student aid program and are considered financial aid.

How many hours do I have to be enrolled in to qualify for a federal student loan?

Students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours which must be part of their degree plan in order to be eligible for a federal student loan.

Do I have to complete the online process at https://studentloans.gov for my loan?

Yes. If you do not complete the online process as instructed your loan cannot continue to be processed by the Department of Education. You must complete Entrance Counseling electronically and sign the Master Promissory Note for the loan. Federal regulations also require that all students who receive a Direct Loan (DL) must complete Exit Counseling prior to graduation or dropping below half-time attendance. You may not be able to get a copy of your college transcript until you have completed this important step.

What do I need to know about managing my loans after I leave WCJC?

Students are strongly encouraged to use the resources available to understand the debt that they will acquire by taking out a student loan. Please see the college website page Resources and Information for Student Loan Borrowers. 

 In addition, Wharton County Junior College is working with Loan Science, a leader in the federal student loan management industry, to better assist you in making wise repayment choices.We encourage you to take advantage of their dedicated staff of trained loan counselors to assist in answering questions, understanding your payment schedule, or resolving any repayment challenges that may ariseQuestions about how to best manage your federal student loans can be answered by contacting Loan Science directly at: 

              Phone: 866.311.9450

              Email:  loansupport@loanscience.com

Please identify that you are a WCJC student, or former student, when speaking with Loan Science Staff. 

How do I know if my loan funds have been received and deposited into my student account?

You should check your student account using the Online Services feature on the WCJC website. Information will not be released via telephone due to privacy laws. Loan funds will be deposited into your student account electronically. Check your Disclosure Statement to determine when funds will be sent to the college. The Business Office will deduct what you owe for tuition, fees and books and the balance will be mailed to you. You are responsible for maintaining a current, valid address with the Registrar's Office.

Why is the loan amount I signed for and the loan amount I received different?

An "origination fee" is charged for Stafford Loans per the regulations governing the loan programs. The fee may not exceed 3% of the principal amount of the loan. The fee is deducted proportionately from each payment before the loan funds are disbursed to the school by the lender. The fee is paid to the federal government to defray the cost of the loan programs.

Thus, if a lender deducts the 3 percent origination fee from a $2,000 Stafford Loan that is to be paid in two installments, the student will receive payments of $970 and $970. However, the student will be responsible for the full value of the loan, $2,000. A lender may choose to pay all or part of the origination fee on behalf of their students.

The guarantor is also authorized to collect an insurance fee not to exceed 1 percent of the loan.  If the guarantor charges an insurance fee for its Stafford and PLUS loans, the lender may pass on the charge to the borrower.

For PLUS loans, the origination fee is always 3 percent and may not be reduced by the lender. The lender may also charge an insurance fee on Stafford and PLUS loans to defray the insurance fee charged by the guarantor; the fee is limited to 1 percent.

What if I have other loans and don't know who the lender is or how to contact them?

Call the Department of Education at 1-800-621-3115 or log on to the National Student Loan Data System at https://www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need your FSA ID to log in.

How do I consolidate my loans?

Complete the Direct Consolidation Loan Application at StudentLoans.gov.

What if I need to dispute the terms of a loan?

You should contact the lender and/or guarantor in writing. If the issue remains unresolved you should contact the Office of the Ombudsman at fsaombudsmanoffice@ed.gov or 1-877-557-2575.

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