Financial Aid FAQs

Financial Aid Basics

Back to top

How do I apply for federal and state financial aid?

To apply for all federal and state financial aid, complete the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at http://www.fafsa.gov. Once you have completed the FAFSA, additional verification documents may be required.

Back to top

How do I check my financial aid status?

To check your financial aid status in Banner Web:

  1. Click Student Services & Financial Aid tab
  2. Go to Financial Aid Information Menu;
  3. Select Eligibility;
  4. Select Aid Year;
  5. Select Student Requirements; and
  • This screen will let you know what applications and forms have been received and what additional documents are still needed.  If your file is selected for verification, you may print the required form directly from that screen in most cases.

Once your file has been completed, you can check the status of your financial aid award offer under the Financial Aid menu by selecting Award Information and then Award by Term.

Back to top

When are the financial aid priority deadlines?

Columbus Technical College establishes a financial aid application priority date. Applying for aid by this date usually assures that your financial aid will be processed by the term start date.  At Columbus Technical College, these are the priority deadlines:

Fall Semester – August 1
Spring Semester – December 1
Summer Semester – May 1

Please note that these deadlines include having a complete financial aid file at CTC and not simply submitting the FAFSA. To meet these deadlines, it is best to submit the FAFSA six to eight (6 – 8) weeks ahead of the deadline and then monitor your financial aid status in Banner Web closely.

Back to top

What is the general processing time for financial aid documents?

Please allow four to six (4 – 6) weeks for verification documents such as Verification Worksheets and tax transcripts to be reviewed for federal financial aid.

Please allow four to six (4 – 6) weeks processing for federal and state financial aid once all required documents are received.

Back to top

How do I know when I have been awarded?

Once your file has been completed, you can check the status of your financial aid award offer in Banner Web under the Financial Aid menu by selecting Award Information and then Award by Term.

Back to top

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress each term in order to retain all federal and state financial aid.  Students must retain a minimum 67% (cumulative) of all classes and a minimum 2.0 (cumulative) GPA.

Click here for detailed information regarding Columbus Technical College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Click here to Appeal your financial aid status.

Back to top

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and how do I use it?

The IRS Data Retrieval tool will allow students, and parents of dependent students, who have already filed tax returns and who complete their FAFSA on the Web to securely transfer their income and tax data from the IRS to their FAFSA.

As you complete your FAFSA online, you will be asked a series of questions regarding your tax filing status. If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will enter your PIN and click Link to IRS. Your FAFSA information will be saved and you will be linked to the IRS website. On the IRS website, simply enter the required information to validate your identity. Your tax return information will be displayed, and you will be given the option to transfer your tax information into your FAFSA. Once the transfer has been completed, you will be taken back to FAFSA on the Web to finalize your FAFSA.

Back to top

What is Columbus Technical College’s school code?

The school code to use when submitting your FAFSA is 005624.

Back to top

My FAFSA was selected for verification according to Banner Web. What documents are needed after selection?

The verification process requires that students submit documentation such as IRS tax transcripts and Verification Worksheets to be compared to information from the student’s application. You must request a tax return transcript from the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-908-9946 or www.irs.gov. Other documentation may be required, including but not limited to, documentation of federal benefits received or child support paid.  These kinds of documentation may be requested as it applies to the information on the application.

Back to top

How will my eligibility for financial aid be determined?

Your financial aid eligibility will be determined by subtracting your family’s ability to pay for your educational expenses for the year (as measured by the FAFSA) from your estimated total costs for the year (including tuition, fees, books, housing and transportation). Financial aid eligibility is usually expressed as follows:

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Back to top

What is an Aid Package?

When you submit the FAFSA, you will automatically be considered for all types of need-based aid offered by Columbus Technical College. One or more types of aid are usually awarded in combination to make up your financial aid package. If you receive a scholarship from your academic department or from an outside agency, these funds must be included in your total financial aid package. When combined, all sources of aid must not exceed your cost of attendance.

Back to top

Will my financial aid award vary from year to year?

Eligibility for financial aid is based on federal estimates of your family’s ability to contribute to your educational costs. You must reapply for aid each year by submitting a FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA. As your/your parents’ information changes each year, your families’ expected contribution may change. Thus, your award may change each year for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The cost of education (tuition, fees, books, housing and transportation) may increase.
  • Your family’s income may change.
  • The number of children in college may change.
  • The amount of available funding changes.
  • You may forget to reapply for financial aid and miss the priority deadline date.

Back to top

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

YES!  You must reapply for financial aid each year by completing the Renewal FAFSA online at  www.fafsa.gov.  Columbus Technical College does not mail Renewal FAFSAs nor does the College know who receives them. It is your responsibility to remember to reapply for aid each year.

Back to top

How and when will my aid be disbursed to me?

Financial aid is awarded by the Financial Aid Office but is disbursed by Administrative Services.  Financial aid funds will not be disbursed until the after the fifth week of classes each semester/term. Any aid you are awarded must first be used to offset any charges you owe for the semester, and any amount you receive in excess of your charges will be refunded to you. Once your college charges have been paid in full, any additional money will be refunded to you by check.

Back to top

How do I know if my FAFSA has been processed by the federal processor? How can I verify that Columbus Technical College will receive the results?

After you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the federal processor will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). If they have a valid email address on file for you, they will send you an email, within 3 to 5 days, with instructions on how to access an on-line copy of your SAR. Check to make sure Columbus Technical College is one of the institutions listed (005624). If so, Columbus Technical College should receive an electronic record of your FAFSA within days of your receipt of the SAR. Questions about FAFSA processing can be directed to the Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-800-4-FED-AID).

Back to top

What do I do with my Student Aid Report?

Check your Student Aid Report (SAR) carefully for any incorrect information. If you need to make a correction to your FAFSA, click Make FAFSA Corrections. You must enter your PIN to correct your FAFSA. Once your correction is submitted and you receive a confirmation number, the correction will be processed in 3-5 days. If everything is correct on your FAFSA, keep the SAR for your own records.

Back to top

xMy SAR indicates that I was selected for verification. What does this mean?

This means the Columbus Technical College Financial Aid must verify the information on your SAR by collecting tax transcripts and other documents to confirm the accuracy of the information you submitted. Columbus Technical College will contact you via your CTC student e-mail to let you know the documents you need to provide. You should submit all requested materials promptly to avoid delays in processing your application.

Back to top

What makes me an independent student?

Being considered an independent student is not merely a matter of being responsible for your own educational expenses. You must be able to answer YES to at least one of the following questions to be declared an independent student for the purposes of the FAFSA:

  • Will you be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year?
  • Are you married as of the date you fill out the FAFSA?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?
  • Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you during the award 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 award 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?
  • 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, 2008, 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, 2008, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2008, 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?

Back to top

Can I only accept part of the financial aid I have been awarded? For example, I was awarded grants and loans, but only want the grants. Is that okay?

Yes, you may accept or reject all or part of your financial aid award. If you reject aid, however, please understand that you will not be awarded other aid to replace the funds you have rejected.

Back to top