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Frequently Asked Questions
Is it too late to apply for financial aid for the 2014-15 academic year?
FAFSA's for the 2014-15 academic year may be submitted through June 30, 2015. Please be aware that it takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks to process the application.
If a student's financial aid eligibility has not been determined before the start of the semester, the student will need to be prepared to pay for tuition, fees, and books out of pocket or will need to set up a tuition payment plan. Once eligibility has been determined, the student will be reimbursed for the amount of financial aid he is eligible for minus any funds due to the college.
When and how will I receive a financial aid refund?
A-B Tech has partnered with Higher One to disburse financial aid refunds. After you have registered for classes you will be sent a debit card in the mail that will be in a green envelope. Do not throw this away because you will need it to set up your refund preference. You have three options for how you can receive your refund.
1. Set up a Higher One account and have your money put on the Higher One debit card.
2. Request the money be directly deposited into your own checking or savings account. This option will take 2-3 additional business days.
3. Request that a paper check be mailed to you. This option will take an additional 5-7 business days.
If you are due a financial aid refund, the anticipated date is October 10, 2014. Keep in mind that if your financial aid refund is not what you expected, it could be because of 4 week classes that have not started yet or 8 week classes that have not started yet. You only get paid for what you are currently enrolled in and remember that your award letter amount is based on full time enrollment. If you are not enrolled full time then your financial aid will be adjusted for 3/4, 1/2 and less than 1/2 time.
If you have questions regarding your Higher One card please click on the link below.
I received a Pell Grant for the fall and/or spring semester, and I plan to attend summer semester. How do I find out if I am eligible for Pell Grant for the summer semester?
If you were a full-time student and received Pell Grant for both the fall and spring semesters, you would not have any Pell Grant remaining. However, if you were enrolled less than full-time for fall and/or spring semester, you may be eligible for some Pell Grant money for the summer semester. If you have remaining eligibility for a Direct Loan after the fall and/or spring semester, you can complete a summer loan request form after March 15th and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. State grants are not available for the summer semester.
What type of assistance is available?
Federal grants, state grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships are available to students based on eligibility.
What is A-B Tech's Federal School Code?
A-B Tech's Federal School Code is 004033.
How does the government determine if I am eligible for financial aid?
The U.S. Department of Education determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on the information you provide on the FAFSA. Each academic institution that you included on your FAFSA will use the EFC and your enrollment status to determine which aid programs you are eligible for and the amount you are eligible to receive.
I am 21 years old and have been on my own since I was 18. Do I have to include my parents income on the FAFSA?
The U.S. Department of Education deems that if you answer yes to one of the following criteria, you do not have to include your parent's income on the FAFSA:
- Were you born before a specific date (which changes each year)?
- As of today, are you married? (Answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced)
- At the beginning of the applicable school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
- Are you currently servicing on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you during the applicable school year?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through the applicable school year?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
- At any time on or after July 1 of the year indicated on the FAFSA, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1 of the year indicated on the FAFSA, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1 of the year indicated on the FAFSA, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If you could not answer yes to at least one of the questions above, then you are required to provide your parent's income information on the FAFSA.
Does A-B Tech ever offer financial aid for Study Abroad opportunities?
A-B Tech occasionally sponsors Study Abroad opportunities for students during the summer semester. Students who want to participate must have a current FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and a completed award file to be considered for any federal, state and/or institutional financial aid. They must also be enrolled in the College, registered for a study abroad course that is in their program of study, and meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
How long will it take to find out if I will receive financial aid?
The application process takes a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks and can be longer during peak times of the year. Once your application is complete and eligibility has been determined, an Award Notification will be posted in Web Advisor indicating what aid is available to you and how to use that aid to pay for your tuition, fees, and books.
How will I be notified what financial aid is available to me?
An Award Notification email will be sent to your A-B Tech student email notifying you that your Award Letter is ready to be viewed in Web Advisor.
How do I fill out the FAFSA if I did not file a tax return?
For the question "Have you completed your IRS income tax return or another tax return?" answer by selecting "Will Not File."
Do I have to be enrolled full-time to receive aid?
Although it is not necessary to be enrolled full-time to be eligible for financial aid, the amount of financial aid awarded to less than full-time students is reduced accordingly based on enrollment status. The Financial Aid Office will adjust award amounts based on enrollment status after the semester begins. Students need to remember that being eligible for assistance at one enrollment status (i.e.-Full-Time, 3/4 Time, 1/2 Time, or Less Than 1/2 Time) does not automatically guarantee that the student will remain eligible should the student change to another enrollment status.
Are certificates covered under financial aid?
Eleven certificate programs qualify for financial aid at A-B Tech: Early Childhood, Early Childhood Infant/Toddler, Early Childhood - Special Education, Fire Protection Technology, Air Conditioning and Heating- Basic, Air Conditioning and Heating-Intermediate, Mechanical Drafting, Construction Management Technology, Medical Office Administration - Medical Coding, Office Administration/Management, and Welding .
What is verification?
Students are often selected for a process called verification. The process provides a consistently methodical means of verifying a student’s eligibility based on their completion of the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA), and ensures that students are awarded in accordance with federal regulations governing the appropriate disbursement of eligible funds. Students applying for financial aid are selected for verification either by the U.S. Department of Education or by the academic institution. If your application is selected, you will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office at A-B Tech to your student email account requesting additional documentation. You will need to provide this information to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible so that we can determine your eligibility for financial assistance. Your application will not be processed further until the requested verification documentation has been received. Once this information is received and processed, the Financial Aid Office will award all aid that the student is eligible to receive.
The time period during which students must provide any documentation requested by A-B Tech’s Financial Aid Office for the purposes of conducting account verification is stated to be within the current academic year of the application in question.
Students who experience a change in EFC (Estimated Family Contribution), Title IV funding, or HEA program eligibility as a result of verification by A-B Tech’s Financial Aid Office will receive notification of this change via their A-B Tech student email account.
FAFSA information which is determined to be in error during the course of verification will be corrected by A-B Tech’s Financial Aid Office in accordance with the regulations and mandates of both the federal government and the institutional policies of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and subsequently submitted electronically to the federal government. In cases where a student and/or parent or legal guardian are required to submit corrections to their application, said student and/or parent or legal guardian must access their FAFSA account using their password and PIN information, and must re-submit their corrections to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to be reviewed for correction and/or completion.
If, during the process of verification, A-B Tech’s Financial Aid Office has reason to believe that a FAFSA applicant has engaged in false claims of independent status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures or certifications, and/or false statements of income, the Financial Aid Office may make a referral to the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Education for investigation. The types of information that might be referred are any which relate to the eligibility of the applicant to receive Title IV or HEA program assistance.
How can I get a copy of my tax transcript?
You can request a copy of your tax return by accessing the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
In addition to online orders for tax transcripts, the IRS has provided the ability to print a transcript on demand. Aid applicants who are not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool may print tax transcripts at:
How can I get a copy of my W2 Forms?
You can request a copy of your W2 Forms from your employer or by going online to the IRS website, at www.irs.gov.
I have viewed my Award Notification in Web Advisor. What do I do now?
When registration opens, register for your classes. If you have been awarded a Pell Grant or other grant funds, your tuition and fees will automatically be charged to your aid. If you have remaining funds, you may charge your books in the bookstore in the Bailey Building. Just bring a picture ID and your class schedule so you know what books you need. See the Financial Aid Calendar for specific dates.
If you have been awarded work-study and are interested in applying for a position, you will need to apply through the A-B Tech Job Board. Work-Study positions will be labeled as such among the Job Board postings. For more information on the work-study program, see Work-Study.
If you are interested in applying for a student loan, see below.
How do I decline financial aid that I do not want, such as Pell Grant?
You will need to contact the Financial Aid Office to decline aid.
How do I apply for a student loan?
When the Financial Aid Office processes your application, we will determine if you are eligible to apply for a student loan. If it is determined that you are eligible to apply for a student loan, come by the Financial Aid Office and we will instruct you on what you need to do or follow the instructions in your award notification. You will need to complete the Master Promissory Note, entrance counseling, a financial literacy course, and budget sheet and return them to the Financial Aid Office for processing. A-B Tech will certify your loan and send it to the lender. The lender will then process your application for a student loan and will notify you by mail regarding your approval. During peak times it can take 4-6 weeks to process your loan.
Why do I have to complete entrance counseling?
All first-time federal loan borrowers at A-B Tech must complete entrance counseling before the school can disburse loan money. Entrance counseling is available online. Students who have submitted Direct Loan applications to our financial aid office must complete entrance counseling before they can receive their loan disbursement.
Steps to complete your entrance counseling session:
- Students must complete the online counseling by clicking on the web link below, selecting AB Tech as the school, and going through a screen by screen counseling session.
- At the end of each section, the student must complete a quiz where he/she must answer all questions correctly before moving to the next section.
- At the end of successfully completing the session, the student is required to enter their information and will receive a confirmation page.
- We will receive notification within 24 hours of when the student completes the counseling session.
- To start your counseling session, go to: http://studentloans.gov
People keep referring to Cost of Attendance (COA). I don't know what that means. Are they referring to tuition and fees?
Yes, but it also includes a lot more. Cost of Attendance is based on an average of what most students typically pay for most expenses for a given year. Cost of Attendance includes such things as tuition, fees and books, but it also includes things like supplies, an estimate of room and board expenses, an estimate of transportation expenses, and "miscellaneous" expenses. Cost of Attendance varies based on a student's living arrangements and whether their residency status is in-state or out-of-state. There are also variances depending on certain programs and associated costs of those programs. A general chart of some common Costs of Attendance amounts can be found here.
Will my financial aid be affected if I withdraw from a class or all of my classes?
Before withdrawing from a class, financial aid recipients should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine what effect dropping and/or officially withdrawing from a course will have on subsequent financial aid eligibility and/or repayment of assistance previously credited to their account or disbursed by check. If an aid recipient withdraws from all classes before the 60% point of the semester, a percentage of Federal aid received may have to be repaid based on the Federal Formula Calculation.
What are contact hours and how does that relate to my financial aid?
Students enrolled in vocational programs that typically lead to a diploma and not a degree program are enrolled in "contact hours" instead of "credit hours". Enrollment status for these students is computed by converting semester contact hours to credit hours for payment purposes using a federal formula. Generally, 29 or more contact hours is considered full-time, 23-28 is 3/4 time, 15-22 is 1/2 time, and 14 or less is considered less than 1/2 time.
I received my Pell refund and it was less than I was awarded. Why?
There are several reasons why the refund may be less than the student was awarded.
First, remember that the tuition, fees, and books were taken out of the Pell Grant money that the student was awarded. The student receives a refund for the remaining balance of Pell funds.
Finally, if a student's enrollment status has changed, Pell funds will be reduced to reflect the student's actual enrollment status. Award notifications are based on a student being enrolled full-time. If a student enrolls less than full-time, the award will be adjusted for the correct enrollment status.