Application Procedures

Students who wish to be considered for all forms of financial aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority deadline is April 15th for each academic year (November 15th for the spring term). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered, based on available funding, but late applicants may not receive their award decisions prior to the start of classes. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that all forms are accurate and complete. 

To apply for Financial Aid, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To assist students with filling out the FAFSA, you may view the "7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA" tutorial series.  
Here are a few key things to remember when applying for Financial Aid:

  • To complete a FAFSA, you and your custodial parent (if applicable) will need a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID).
  • Complete a new FAFSA for each academic year
  • Complete the FAFSA before April 15. If you miss this deadline, you may only be considered for Federal Direct Loans, Pell Grant and possibly Mass Grant Scholarship.
  • Remember to list Massasoit’s school code (002177) in the "School Selection" section of the FAFSA

7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA
This series of tutorials is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

https://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/fafsasimplification/

Why should I use the IRS Data Retrieval tool?
If you are selected for the verification process and use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, our office will waive the requirement to submit tax transcripts. Other documentation must still be submitted, but you will no longer need to send your sensitive tax information through the mail. 
Avoid the lines! Submit your sensitive data in the most secure way possible! 
View the brief tutorial below for information on how to use IRS Data Retrieval to submit FAFSA corrections. 

IRS Data Retrieval Tool
http://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/media/videos/1516/english/irs-data-retrieval.htm

After the FAFSA

  • Approximately 1-2 weeks after you complete the FAFSA, you will receive an e-mail informing you to check your processing status on the FAFSA website. If you did not provide an e-mail address, the FAFSA processor will mail you a Student Aid Report (SAR). Carefully review your status and follow the instructions if you need to make any corrections.
  • Our office will receive your information as long as Massasoit Community College, school code 002177, is listed in the "School Selection" section AND you have submitted a Massasoit  Admissions Application along with your Social Security Number (SSN). If we cannot match the SSN on your FAFSA to an SSN on file at our school, your FAFSA cannot be brought into our system for review.
  • All registered and returning students should check the status of their Financial Aid application onMyMassasoit. Required documents and Tentative Awards, based on anticipated full-time enrollment, will be posted there once the student’s file is complete.


VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

If you are chosen to verify the information provided on your FAFSA, documentation will be required to complete your file. Documentation may include, but is not limited to: Verification Form from the college, Federal Tax Return Transcripts,  W-2s, official statements from the source of all non-taxable income received, i.e., AFDC, Social Security, Veterans Benefits, Workmen's Compensation, Child Support, etc. 

Due to changes in Federal Regulations, we can no longer accept copies of signed tax returns in the verification process. Therefore, Massasoit is strongly encouraging students and families to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool while filling out their FAFSA to avoid federal verification.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, and you don't use the IRS Data Retrieval option or you changed the IRS data, you will be required to request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. Click here for additional information.  

What is verification? 
Each year students and their families apply for financial aid by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some applicants are asked to provide supporting documents to verify the information on the FAFSA through a process called verification. The supporting documentation is used by the financial aid office to double check the FAFSA information and make corrections if needed.

How will I be notified that my FAFSA was selected for verification?
You will be notified by the FAFSA processor that you were selected on your Student Aid Report (SAR).  Next to the EFC will be an asterisk referring to a comment in the student section of the SAR that tells the applicant that he/she will be asked by the College to provide documentation for verification.  In addition, once Massasoit has imported your FAFSA, we will mail you up to four letters informing you of any documentation that you must provide to complete verification.

Why was I selected for verification?
There are various reasons why a FAFSA applicant may be selected for verification. Perhaps the FAFSA included estimates of federal income tax information and the actual information now needs to be confirmed. Or maybe the FAFSA was submitted with data that appears inconsistent or unusual, or includes the type of information that is frequently misreported. Finally, you may have been selected for verification through a random process used to get a sampling of how accurately families fill out the FAFSA. You are in good company, though. Each year nearly 2,000 of our applications are selected for verification.

What is the deadline to submit Verification Paperwork for the 2015-16 year?
All verification documents must be received and processed by Massasoit Community College no later than 120 days after the last date of enrollment for 2015-16 year or September 26, 2016, whichever is earlier.

What happens if I do not provide the verification information requested?
If you do not provide the verification documentation, you are not eligible for federal or state or institutional financial aid. So, please submit the requested verification information promptly to avoid a delay in your financial aid application processing.

What information will be verified?
For each award year, the Secretary of Education publishes in the Federal Register a notice announcing the FAFSA information that an institution and an applicant may be required to verify. The notice also specifies what documentation is acceptable for verifying

FAFSA information. The Federal Register dated June 25, 2014 lists these items for the 2015-16 award year. The individual verification items that an applicant must verify are based upon the Verification Tracking Group to which the  applicant is assigned may be viewed at https://ifap.ed.gov/fregisters/attachments/FR062514.pdf, as well as the acceptable documentation requirements for each data element.

NOTE: Federal regulations stipulate that an institution may require an applicant to verify any FAFSA information that it specifies. On occasion, the College may therefore require a student to verify any FAFSA information and to provide any reasonable documentation.

What can I do to make sure the verification information I provide is accurate and complete?

  • Carefully read the Verification Worksheet. When completing the worksheet respond to every question. Do not leave any lines blank. If the correct answer is zero, write in a 0.
  • Submit all documentation requested such as the Verification Worksheet and student and parent W-2 forms. Submit your tax data by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you are eligible, or an IRS Tax Transcript if you are not eligible to use the IRS data retrieval tool. Click here for additional information.
  • Do not submit incomplete materials. Wait until you have all your verification materials before submitting your verification packet.
  • Do not submit unrequested documents such as copies of tax returns, tax schedules, tax year comparison reports, or state tax returns.
  • Keep your originals – send us copies.
  • Make sure the Verification Worksheet is signed by the student and one of the parents whose information is reported on the FAFSA.
  • Make sure that you provide all of the W-2 earnings statements you received from employers. The total earnings shown in box 1 of the student W-2’s must match the Wages, Salaries & Tips line of the IRS tax transcript. The same goes for parents.
    • If you are missing a W-2, contact your employer for a replacement copy.
    • Sometimes people receive earnings reportable on the tax return where a W-2 is not required from an employer. In this circumstance, include a written description of the amount and source of income and include any supporting document you may have regarding this income.
  • When you submit your verification documentation, make sure to include the student name and Massasoit Student ID number at the top of your W2 forms and on the IRS tax transcript (if you are ineligible to use the IRS data retrieval tool).
  • Provide all verification information promptly.

Please provide your verification information as quickly as possible. Given the large number of financial aid applications we receive, it may take an extended time before we work on your aid application; however, we process the completed applications in the order we receive them. Sometimes while reviewing the verification information we find inconsistent information or errors that must be resolved which may create delays in processing. You can help avoid this delay by making sure that you provide accurate and complete verification information. In some circumstances we may need to request additional information from you, so watch carefully for new correspondence from us.

What if I requested a filing extension for my tax return?
If you have filed an extension and have not yet filed taxes, we need your Form 4868 Request for an Extension and your 2013 W2s (if self-employed, you must provide a signed statement estimating Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and income taxes paid for 2013). We can process your Verification using the estimated numbers BUT once your taxes have been filed, we still need copies of your Tax Return Transcript(s). Your awards may change to reflect the actual numbers on the transcript.

Can I send copies of my tax returns?
No. Federal verification regulations now require students and families to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or, submit a copy of the IRS tax return transcript if they are ineligible to use the IRS data retrieval tool.

What happens if the school suspects fraud?
Individuals who have purposely misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain financial aid funds will be reported to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General, as required by federal regulations.

Student Aid Eligibility
To receive federal student aid, you must:

  • demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans).
  • have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state law.
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. Note: You might be able to receive aid for distance education courses as long as they are part of a recognized certificate or degree program.
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. http://studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/non-us-citizens
  • have a valid Social Security Number.
  • register with the Selective Service if required. You can use the paper or electronic FAFSA to register, you can register at http://www.sss.gov/ , or you can call 1-847-688-6888. (TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567.)
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school. View Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
  • certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.
  • certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

Drug Convictions:  Students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are required to respond to Question 23 regarding drug-related convictions (possessing or selling illegal drugs) that occurred while receiving federal student aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study). Your response determines whether or not you are eligible for federal student financial aid for the award year. 

Note: Just because you have had a drug conviction, you are not necessarily ineligible for aid. You may contact the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) with questions as to how to regain your financial aid eligibility sooner by completing an acceptable drug rehabilitation program or by passing two unannounced drug tests administered by an acceptable drug rehabilitation program. 

Refer to your responses to Question 23 and the “Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet for Question 23” (filled out online at the time of completing your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov or provided with your paper Student Aid Report or SAR) for indication as to which of the following applies to you. 

Civil Commitment for Sexual Offenses - If you have been convicted of a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense, and you are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for that offense, you cannot receive a Federal Pell Grant.

Even if you are ineligible for federal aid, you should complete the FAFSA because you may be eligible for nonfederal aid from states and private institutions. If you regain eligibility during the award year, notify the financial aid office immediately. If you are convicted of a drug-related offense after you submit the FAFSA, you might lose eligibility for federal student aid, and you might be liable for returning any financial aid you received during a period of ineligibility.

Award Process
You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at any time after January 1 to receive funds for the following academic year, but apply as early as possible since some grant funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. You must complete a FAFSA each academic year.

Every applicant for financial aid will first be considered for Pell Grant and Massachusetts Grant eligibility. Other scholarships, grants, tuition waivers and loans are then awarded on the basis of remaining financial need. Those with the highest remaining need will receive primary consideration. Employment awards are made to those who request such consideration by completing an application for Federal Work Study Employment at the Financial Aid Office. Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans will be awarded to those students meeting all eligibility requirements who do not exhibit financial need.

We recommend you view your financial aid information on-line through your MyMassasoit login. Login information is given to you the first time you register.  

PLEASE NOTE:  The entire financial aid process is quite long. First you must complete the FAFSA, which can take 1-3 weeks to process. The Financial Aid Office next reviews your application to determine if additional documents are necessary. If more information is required, we must wait until you respond to the request before we can continue working on your file.  

Once your file is complete, it can take 2-8 weeks (depending on the time of year) before you will receive an Award Letter. Although you can submit your FAFSA as early as January preceding the next fall semester, the Financial Aid Office will begin reviewing applications in April. The busiest time of year in the Financial Aid Office is June through September and November through February.
Academic Year Definition:
The "academic year" at Massasoit is defined as a period that begins on the first day of classes and ends on the last day of classes or examination, and includes a minimum of 30 weeks of instructional time in which a full-time student is expected to complete at least 24 semester hours.  The regulations define a week of instructional time as any seven‐consecutive‐day period in which at least one day of regularly scheduled instruction or examinations occurs or, after the last day of regularly scheduled classes, at least one day of study for final examinations occurs. It does not include vacation, homework, orientation, or counseling periods.

For financial aid application purposes, the academic year at Massasoit is the Fall and Spring semesters.   The Summer II session is considered a header, and the Summer I session a trailer, to the academic year.  For determining eligibility and disbursing funds, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) year must match the academic award year.

To be considered full-time for financial aid, student must be taking 12 or more credits hours.  Students taking 9-11 credits will be considered three-quarter time.  Students taking 6-8 credits will be considered half-time, and students taking 1-5 credits will be considered less than half time.  For the purposes of grade lever progression, a student is considered to be a first year student until completion of 30 credit hours, at which time second year status is granted. 

Method and Frequency of Disbursement:
After course participation has been confirmed, and award adjustments have been made (if necessary) for students that are in less than 12 credits, financial aid is disbursed to student’s accounts.  Financial aid disbursements occur weekly, typically on Wednesday evenings, throughout the semester.  Students may receive numerous disbursements throughout the semester if certain types of aid are not eligible to be disbursed at the time the first disbursement of the semester has been made.  Thus typically occurs when a student that has been awarded a loan has not completed loan requirements, or when state financial aid funds have not yet been received by Massasoit.   This may also occur when a student has a loan for a single semester, as loans must be disbursed in two installments.

Federal, state and institutional aid administered by the Financial Aid Office is applied directly to a student’s account to pay for institutional charges such as tuition, course fees, and book advance charges.   Non-institutional charges, such as mandatory health insurance, library fines, day care expenses, etc. will only be paid by federal and state financial aid if the student has provided authorization, which can be done via the MyMassasoit portal. 

Students whose financial aid exceeds their institutional and eligible non-institutional charges will receive these funds in the form of a refund so that they may be used to pay other educationally related expenses.  Students will be mailed a check within 14 dates after the credit balance is created, or the excess funds will be deposited electronically into the bank account specified by students that have authorized direct deposit.

If the credit balance is the result of a students’ parents borrowing a Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan, the refund will be issued to the parent borrower unless authorization to release funds to the student was granted on the institutional Parent PLUS Loan application.

Please note: Borrowers have the right to cancel all or part of their student loan(s) prior to disbursement and within 14 days after disbursement by contacting the Financial Aid Office.  Students may also return all of part of their loan to the lender within 120 days of disbursement.

Study Abroad: A student's enrollment in a program of study abroad, which is approved for credit by the home institution, may be considered enrollment at the home institution for the purpose of applying for Title IV assistance. Students must contact the Registrar and the Director of Financial Aid to apply.