How to Apply for Financial Aid
Each academic year, a student must complete the FAFSA. The Department of Education encourages all students to apply online. Filing online is faster and easier with prompts to guide you as you complete the application. If you need assistance completing the Financial Aid Process please schedule an appointment with STCC's Student Financial Services FAFSA Experts.
Steps to Apply for FAFSA
Step 1: Create a Federal Student Aid ID
You (and your parent, if applicable) must create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to electronically sign the FAFSA application. Go to FAFSA.gov or the myStudentAid app (iOS or Android) to select your personalized username and password.
Step 2: Start the FAFSA for the desired year
There is a nine-month period during which students can submit financial aid applications for both the current year and future years. Students attending college from July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021, can file the 2020 - 2021 FAFSA between October 1st, 2019 and June 30th, 2021 using their 2018 tax info.
Step 3: Add STCC to your FAFSA application
Students need to share their FAFSA with colleges they apply to. As part of completing your application, you will need STCC’s federal school code, so your FAFSA gets to us.
STCC’s School Code is 005549
Step 4: Gather financial documents
The FAFSA application calculates your financial aid eligibility based on your family’s income, assets, and household size. Have these documents ready before you begin.
Please note: If you are a dependent student, your parent’s information is also required.
- Your Social Security number
- Your Alien Registration number, if applicable (for non-U.S. citizens)
- Federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned (you may be able to do this automatically through the FAFSA and IRS websites)
- Bank statements and records of any investments
- Records of any untaxed income
Step 5: Follow the instructions carefully
The FAFSA itself is broken into six sections: student demographics, school selection, dependency status, parent demographics, financial information, sign and submit, and confirmation.
Complete each of these sections carefully, making sure that the information is accurate:
- Student info: The student’s name, social security number, date of birth, address, email, gender, telephone number, driver’s license number (if the student has a driver’s license), marital status, citizenship status, education history, and interest in work-study.
- School selection: The name and location of the high school the student attended and the colleges they’re interested in applying to.
- Dependency status: Whether the student has children or dependents and the total number of people who also live in their home.
- Parent info: Parents’ marital status (at the time of FAFSA application); parents’ names, social security numbers and birthdays; parents’ email address and household information, such as who lives with them. (Note: If the student is an independent, they will not need to complete this section.)
- Financial info: Applicants can either use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (we strongly suggest using this!) or input information from their federal tax return and W-2s manually.
- Sign: Electronically sign using our FSA ID (parent’s also, if applicable).
Step 6: Submit
Once you have accurately input all of the necessary information, click or tap “submit.”
The US Department of Education says that online FAFSA applications are typically processed within three to five days, and paper applications are typically processed within seven to 10 days. Please see the Notification of Aid section below for information about how you will be notified and how STCC Student Financial Services will help you.
Notification of Aid
Notification of your processed application will be mailed to you directly from the US Department of Education. You will be notified by email if you provided an email address. The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a summary of the information on your application and includes an estimated EFC (Expected Family Contribution). The Department of Education also performs certain edit checks to ensure your eligibility. Please refer to the section entitled ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS to view necessary requirements. All institutions listed on the FAFSA will receive an electronic copy of the SAR.
When Student Financial Services receives an electronic copy of the processed Student Aid Report (ISIR), we will contact you by mail and STCC student email to complete the financial aid process. Student Financial Services reviews the ISIR to make sure the information reported is accurate. You may be required to verify the information reported or make corrections if the information is inaccurate or incomplete. You must also be accepted into a degree or approved certificate program and taking courses to complete your graduation requirements. As part of the awarding process, Student Financial Services is required to make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements. If you do not meet these requirements, we cannot offer you financial assistance.
Student Financial Services begins the notification process in June. If your application is received by the priority deadline, your file is complete and accurate, and you meet all the eligibility requirements, you should be able to view your award letter via STCCNet (The Campuswide Portal) during the summer. The Financial Aid Award Letter indicates the type and amount of aid offered. These awards are based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credits); your aid will be adjusted at the time of disbursement to reflect the actual number of enrolled credits. Audited classes and Challenge Exams are not covered by financial aid.
If you are awarded financial aid before the semester begins, and have financial aid in excess of your tuition and fees, you may be eligible to receive a book voucher to be used at the College Bookstore. Eligible students will be notified by mail and STCC email when a voucher is available.