2.6 Financial Aid Policy

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is intended to help students and their families pay for education. While students have the primary responsibility, parents of dependent students are expected to contribute based on a formula designed by the U.S. Department of Education. Student's spouses are also expected to contribute. Financial aid is designed to contribute to the difference between what a student and the student's family are expected to contribute and the cost of education, which includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses. (Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution = Need). Some loans can be used to replace the expected contribution.

How to Apply?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the common application for all financial aid programs. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or paper applications are available at ATCC's Financial Aid Office. Returning students can complete a Renewal Application either online or on paper. Renewal Applications require a limited amount of new information. Students must file a FAFSA or a Renewal Application every year. Students who file applications as soon as possible after January 1 have an advantage since ATCC processes requests for aid as they are received. Assistance is available by contacting the Financial Aid Office.

How Long Does It Take?

To avoid problems, financial aid applicants should file the FAFSA or Renewal Application as soon as possible after January 1. Any applicant who has not filed at least six (6) weeks prior to the first term of enrollment should not expect to have any aid available to pay for charges when charges are due. The Financial Aid Office receives the results of aid applications daily. The Financial Aid Office processes files in the order they are received. Files are tracked, reviewed, and verified. Initial award letters usually begin in April for the following year. Delays in filing, inaccurate information, or delays in submitting requested documentation will delay processing. The volume of applicants typically increases significantly shortly before fall term begins. Late applicants will experience delays at this critical time. Charges may be due before financial aid is available. Plan accordingly!!!

How to Avoid Problems?

Apply early, provide accurate information the first time, submit requested documentation immediately, and ask for assistance if you need help.

What Programs Are Available?

Federal Programs
Pell Grants
Subsidized Stafford Loan
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Work Study

Agency Programs (partial list)
Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS)
Veterans' Benefits
Any agency that chooses to fund students

Minnesota Programs
Minnesota State Grant
Minnesota Work Study
Post-Secondary Child Care
SELF Loans

College Programs
Emergency Loans

Award Notification

Aid applicants receive notification of their eligibility for grants. Applicants have access to an online Award Notification Supplement that describes in detail the processes for borrowing and pursuing work study jobs and includes information critical to processing which can affect the timely disbursement of aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office at 320-762-4540 if you have questions or need assistance.

Approved by: ATCC Leadership Council
Effective Date: 3/16/06
Last Date Revised: 3/16/06