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Financial Aid Process Steps

Main Steps with detailed information. 

1. Apply for Federal Financial Aid by going to www.fafsa.gov (free application): 

  • Apply for your FSA ID.
    • The FSA ID - a user name and password- has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites.  Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents.  If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to www.fafsa.gov.  *Important: Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account. Never share your FSA ID! 
  • Apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Click on the green “Start Here” button. Follow the prompts in the right hand column of the site through the completion and submission of the application. Calhoun Community College’s School Code is 001013.
    • For fastest processing time, students should complete the application online and submit an electronic signature using their FSA ID. It is possible to interrupt an application session by saving the application and returning later using the information provided on the site. 

2. Complete Verification Process (if required): 

  • Applicants selected by the Federal Central Processing System for verification by the school must provide requested documentation within 15 days of request and prior to award offers. Click here for verification forms.
    • Failure to provide all documents requested in a timely manner will delay your award offer and financial aid payments 

3. Satisfy Requirements, Review and Accept Award Offers:

All student notifications are made via your Calhoun email account. When notified, you may review and satisfy documents online by following these steps: 

  • Login to MyCalhoun with student ID and password
  • Click on the MyCalhoun icon under the “Launchpad” section to the left of the screen
    **If you only see the Personal Information and Student links or buttons, Calhoun has not received your financial aid file from FAFSA.  Once we receive the file, you will see an additional link/button for Financial Aid.**
  • Click on the Financial Aid button, then
  • Award box, then
  • Award for Aid Year link
    • Select the correct academic year from the drop-down menu, click submit.  Four tabs will appear across the screen:
      • Award Overview tab:  VIEW ONLY screen:  shows the amount of aid you have been awarded and how it will be made available to you for each semester.  However, attendance is required during the first week of class for a student to be eligible for Title IV funds, which includes Pell grant and Student Loans
        • Aid is normally awarded based on two semesters, so you will not be eligible for more than what is offered per semester.
        • Since Pell is a grant and does not have to be repaid, a student does not have to do anything here to accept the Pell award. 
        • Pell is awarded based on the anticipation of a student enrolling full time. However, Pell does pro-rate based on the following enrollment status: 
        • FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE AWARDED LOANS:  Loans are awarded differently from Pell in that a student must be enrolled 6 hours or more to be eligible for the full amount (100% minus processing fees) of that semesters loan award.  If a student enrolls for less than 6 hours in a semester, they are not eligible for any of that semester’s loan award.  Loans can be accepted or declined from the Accept Award tab that will be accessible after completing the Resources and Additional Information and Terms and Conditions tabs.
      • Resources and Additional Information tab:  REQUIRES A RESPONSE (takes approximately 3 days to update to satisfied status.)
      • Terms and Conditions tab:  REQUIRES A RESPONSE (updates to satisfied immediately)
      • Accept Award tab:  Accept or Decline student loans by using the drop down menus.

4. Complete Direct Student Loan Steps (if applicable): 

  • If student declines student loans on the Accept Award tab in section 3, no other steps are necessary.
  • If student accepts student loans, they may also be required to complete Entrance Counseling (EC) and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for John C. Calhoun Community College at www.studentloans.gov in order to activate the loans through the Department of Education.  Banner will prompt student to complete if necessary.
  • Check the online Class Schedule each semester for Financial Aid deadlines pertaining to loans.
  • Loans take approximately 3 weeks to completely process. 
  • Loan eligibility requires attendance in 6 (six) or more credit hours per semester.
  • One-semester loans must be disbursed in two installments.
  • First-time loan funds are held by ED for 30 days after the semester start date, which could delay your refund.
  • Loan Request Change forms are available on the Student Financial Services web page under Brochures and Forms.

5. Complete PLUS Loans for Parents (if applicable): 

  • Go to the Financial Aid Forms and Brochures page. Complete the PLUS loan application and submit it to the office. 
  • Go to www.studentloans.gov to complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note for John C. Calhoun Community College.
    • PLUS loans require an acceptable credit history and can be disbursed to the student per parent authorization. The student must have a FAFSA on file prior to a PLUS application. 

6. Check Student Account for Charges, Authorized Aid, and Refund/Owed Amounts: 

Once in the MyCalhoun portal:

  • click on Student link/button, then
  • Student Account link, then
  • Account Detail by Term link,   (NOT the Account Summary by Term link)
  • select term from drop-down menu

Charges, or debits, such as tuition, fees and bookstore charges will display in the top section of the screen.  These show up as a positive number. Students may need to scroll down to see the rest of the information contained on this page. 

Authorized/Awarded Aid will show up next as a negative number (credit).    Further down the page, you should be able to see the difference in Total Charges (debits) and Awarded Aid (credits).  If this difference is a positive number, it means you still owe that balance.  If this difference is a negative number, this is the credit amount that will be refunded to you.  Once you see this negative amount change to a 0, you will know that the Business Office is processing refunds. Students usually see their refund  within a week after processing begins.

If you do not have financial aid and need to pay a remaining balance owed by credit or debit card or sign up for the payment plan, CLICK on the PAY NOW button at the top of this screen.  You will not use this button if you have Pell, other grants, scholarships, or loans that are sufficient to cover your tuition.  For more information about the payment plan, details can be accessed at www.MyCollegePaymentPlan.com/calhoun.  IF YOU HAVE AID AUTHORIZED TO COVER YOUR TUITION AND BOOK CHARGES, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TO MAKE THE AID MOVE OVER TO PAY AS THIS IS AN AUTOMATIC PROCESS.

At the bottom of the Account Detail by Term page is a Statement History link that can be accessed once your refund has been processed. This page will show dates as to when money was moved over to pay and/or refunded back to credit/debit cards if you pre-paid before aid was available.

7. Get your Refund: 

  • To get your Pell Grant, Student Loan, SEOG and Alabama Student Assistant Grant refund, you must sign up for a HigherOne account. Through this sign-up you can also have your funds deposited into your personal bank account. The College/HigherOne will no longer issue printed refund checks. Sign up at Get My Refund
  • Check the “Where’s my card” link on the GetMyRefund web page to see when and where your card was mailed.
  • Contact the Business Office for reissue if you have lost or misplaced your card.

8. Get Books for Class: 

  • You may use the on campus bookstore charge procedures to apply books and supplies to your financial aid account. Details of the book charge procedures are available in the course schedule. 

9. Class Attendance: 

  • Financial aid disbursements require documented attendance from each course instructor.
    • Be sure to review the course syllabus and complete attendance and/or participation requirements for each course during the first week of the semester to ensure timely aid disbursements. 
    • Financial aid awards may be reduced for non-attendance during the first week of class.

Financial Aid TV

Payment Plan