STCC Financial Aid - Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about financial aid? Financial Aid TV is a series of short videos that will answer your questions and help you clearly understand the financial aid process! Click to watch!

Q. Why am I still considered a dependent student? I'm 21 years old and haven't lived with my parents for years. Federal regulations set the parameters for dependency status. You must answer "Yes" to one of the following to be independent:

  • Were you born before January 1, 1991?
  • As of today, are you married? (Answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced)
  • At the beginning of the 2014-2015 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 serving 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 will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015?
  • 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 June 30, 2015?
  • When you were age 13 or older, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent/ward of the court?
  • 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 as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of an emergency shelter program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, 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?

Q. What kinds of information do I need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid? The FAFSA is the document you must complete to be considered for financial aid at STCC.  You will need information from your Federal Income Tax Transcript  and W2's from 2013, asset information (amount of cash, savings, checking and investments) and other untaxed income you may receive.  If you are a dependent student your parent will also need to supply the same information mentioned above.

Q. What is verification? Verification is a process where a STCC financial aid staff members compares information you provided on your FAFSA with information on tax and income documents. About 3 of every 10 students applying for financial aid at the College are selected for Verification by the Federal Department of Education. If you are selected for Verification, you will be asked to bring in copies of tax and income documents.

Q. What is "Satisfactory Academic Progress"? How does it affect my financial aid? To be eligible for financial aid, Federal and Massachusetts authorities and official STCC policy require students to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Each semester the Financial Aid Office monitors students' GPA, and also reviews the success of financial aid students in earning credits toward their degrees and certificates. To learn more about Satisfactory Academic Progress, please see that particular section.

Q. What happens to my financial aid if I drop out during the semester? Financial aid is pro-rated for the semester, meaning that aid is earned at a certain rate and not completely provided at the very beginning of the semester. After the 60 percent point in the semester, all financial aid is considered earned. Generally, earned aid is subtracted from your bill for tuition, fees, and books. If earned aid is less than your bill, you will have to pay the balance.

Q. How is my bill for tuition and fees paid? If you've received a financial aid award, your tuition and fees are deducted from it. Any excess funds-after any allowable charges for books and supplies-come to you as a refund later in the semester. If your bill isn't covered completely by financial aid, you will need to make arrangements at the beginning of the semester to pay the balance of the bill.