Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of Student Financial Aid is pleased to provide answers to the following Frequently Asked Questions. Although this information is primarily intended for prospective students, others will also find it helpful. The staff of the Office of Financial Aid looks forward to assisting you.
What is Title IV Financial Aid?
The Federal Government administers financial aid through funding available in Title IV which includes programs such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (SEOG), Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan Program, and the Federal Direct Student Loan Programs.
What is Federal Student Financial Aid (SFA)?
SFA is assistance for students enrolled in a degree program. It helps to cover school expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Most aid is need-based, and the three types of aid are grants, loans, and work-study.
GRANT- financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Generally, grants are for undergraduate students and the grant amount is based on need, school cost, and enrollment status.
LOANS - borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Both undergraduate and graduate students may borrow money. Parents may also borrow to pay education expenses for dependent undergraduate students. Maximum loan amounts increase with each year of completed study.
Federal Loans are made to students through two loan programs.
- Direct Loan Program: participating schools allow their students to borrow directly from the federal government.
- Federal Family Education Loan Program: private lenders provide the funds.
Perkins Loans are offered by some schools to provide the neediest students with low-interest loans. Federal Plus Loans are made to qualifying parents of dependent undergraduate students.
WORK-STUDY - money for education expenses paid by the school for on-campus or community-based work.
Note: Not all schools participate in all SFA programs. Ask the school financial aid administrator which programs are available.
Who gets Student Financial Aid?
Some of the requirements to receive aid from the federal SFA programs are that you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen of the United States with a valid Social Security Number;
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development(GED) certificate or pass an approved "ability to benefit" test
- Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate; and
- Register (or have registered) for Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25.
How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?
Complete the FAFSA(Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA lists deadlines for federal and state aid. Check deadlines! Schools and states may have their own deadlines for aid.
Review your Student Aid Report (SAR). One to four weeks after you submit your FAFSA, you will receive a SAR. The report confirms the information reported on your application and will tell you your Expected Family Contribution (an amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. This amount may not exactly match the amount you and your family end up contributing).
Read your SAR carefully. If you have been selected for verification, then bring required documents to the Financial Aid Office.
You may get a FAFSA from:
- The Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID
- Applications may be filed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
What is the Kingsborough Community College Code for the FAFSA and TAP?
FAFSA – 002694 TAP - 1402
What constitutes completion of the financial aid application process?
The financial aid application process is considered complete when the following exists:
- A FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA with the college's school code of 002694 is completed and sent to the federal processor and the results are electronically returned to the school.
- If "Verification" is required or comments exist as a result of the processing of the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA, additional documentation may need to be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid to resolve the issue.
I've Been Selected for Verification. Now What?
Overview of Verification
If the U.S. Department of Education selected your FAFSA for review in a process called "verification," then the Financial Aid Office is required by law to compare the information you submitted on your original application for Federal aid (FAFSA) with the information provided on "proof documents" -- signed copies of your (and where applicable, your spouse's and/or parents') previous year's federal tax forms. Depending upon the source of your/your spouse's/parents' income, you may also be required to prove other sources of untaxed income such as public assistance, Social Security benefits, Veterans benefits, etc. The Financial Aid Office will help you determine what agencies you will have to contact to complete the process of verifying income received from these untaxed income sources.
How do I know if I have to provide additional documentation to the Office of Financial Aid?
For example, if you have been selected for a process called "Verification," a comment
will appear telling you this and advising you that you will be required to submit
additional documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. Also, if you are a male applicant
and Selective Service does not have you on their database you will be asked to provide
documentation regarding your registration with that agency. If your date of birth
does not appear on the Social Security Administration database, you will be asked
to provide evidence of your U.S. citizenship. If you are a permanent resident and
your name does not appear on the Immigration and Naturalization Service database,
you will be asked to confirm this status as well.
The first document you will probably receive in the financial aid process is a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor, which is a result of the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA you completed. By reading the comment section, you can usually see if additional information will be required.
These are a sampling of the types of messages you can read in the comment section of the Student Aid Report, which will alert you of extra required documentation you may need to submit. Also, the Office of Financial Aid may contact you if you need to provide additional documentation to clarify your status.
After I receive my award letter, will my funding ever change?
Your award letter and funding can change if additional resources not previously considered are received on your behalf. This may result in revised awards, or reduction in loan eligibility, etc. It also may change if you enrollment status change.
Is there a difference between "need-based" and "merit-based" financial aid?
Yes, there is. Need-based financial aid includes any grant, loan, scholarship, etc. that is offered based on your determined financial need (SAR information). Merit-based aid is any scholarship, grant, or other educational resource given to you based on your academic achievement, community service, or involvement in a particular club, sport, or program. This type of assistance is offered not because you demonstrate financial need, but because you meet other non-financial criteria.
What is good academic standing and satisfactory progress for financial aid purposes?
Every institution must publish standards of good academic standing and satisfactory progress for financial aid purposes. These standards are in the University Bulletin and reflect academic conditions which must be met including:
- A minimum grade point average
- A minimum number of credits earned each term
- A minimum number of cumulative credits earned each payment period
The Federal Government requires institutions to develop these standards because it wishes to monitor the fact that students make progress toward their educational objective i.e., a baccalaureate degree, etc. These measures insure that reviews take place, and that the institution is in compliance with the regulation.
How Do I Appeal the Loss of My Aid? For Loss of Federal Aid (Pell, Federal College Work Study, F SEOG, Perkins, Direct Loan)
Satisfactory Academic Progress
In order to make satisfactory progress towards a degree, for purposes of receiving Title IV Federal student assistance, you must achieve at least the GPA required for probationary status at KCC; after two years of enrollment at the college, at least a "C" average or its equivalent, or academic standing consistent with the requirements for graduation. Cumulative credits toward the degree must meet following standards:
- Attempted credits are not more than 150% of the credits normally required for completion of the degree, and...
- Accumulated credits are equal to or greater than two-thirds the cumulative credits attempted at the institution.
You will be measured against the satisfactory academic progress standard at the end of the Spring term to determine eligibility for Title IV student financial assistance for the upcoming year.
If you fall beneath the conditional standard, you may appeal through the normal institutional academic appeals processes to retain eligibility for reinstatement of your Title IV Federal student assistance. The appeals are evaluated for extenuating circumstances resulting from events such as personal illness, injury, personal tragedy, changes in academic program, and the reasonableness of your capability for improvement to meet the appropriate standard for the degree program in which you are enrolled. Check with the Financial Aid Office, U-201 for details.
An approved appeal would result in the granting of up to a one-year probation period for you to improve your academic record to meet the appropriate standard for the degree program in which you are enrolled.
If your appeal has been denied or you have lost eligibility by not meeting the standard without appeal, you may regain eligibility by leaving Kingsborough Community College for at least one year. Upon readmission, you will receive assistance for the terms in the academic year of readmission and you will be subject to a review of your eligibility at the end of the Spring term using the appropriate standard for the degree program in which you are enrolled. If you choose to remain enrolled without the receipt of Title IV Federal student assistance, you may request a review of your academic record at the end of that term to determine whether the appropriate standards for the degree program in which you are enrolled have been met. Eligibility is regained for subsequent terms in the academic year.
Do Courses, Course Withdrawals and Grades Affect Financial Aid?
You must be a matriculated student (enrolled in a degree program) to meet basic financial aid eligibility requirements. In addition, matriculation must be maintained from semester to semester through the maintenance of an acceptable grade point average (GPA). For additional information on this subject, speak with a financial aid counselor in Room U-201.
You are required to take a minimum of one credit for Pell and six credits for the other Title IV programs in the "A" semester (12-week semester) at Kingsborough. A minimum of 12 credits in your major is needed in the "A" semester to receive TAP. However, credits may be combined during "A" (12-week semester) and "B" (6-week semester) in order to establish eligibility as of the "B" Semester for TAP and Pell. Fall plus Winter and Spring plus Summer may be combined.
In addition, a certain number of non-remedial credits are necessary for TAP eligibility every payment term; the number of these "real credits" changes as you advance towards a degree. Check with the TAP Office, P-204 for additional information. Finally, remedial credits in excess of 30 will not be considered in establishing eligibility for Pell and the other Title IV programs. In addition, since remedial courses and their remedial component of developmental and compensatory courses do not carry degree credit, enrollment in these courses will not result in the inclusion of the non-credit portion as cumulative earned and/or attempted credit.
If you contemplate withdrawing from a course or from the College, consult with an academic counselor. If you need to locate your counselor, go to Room A-216 for assistance. If withdrawal is required, it must be done before the deadline, otherwise a grade of "WU," an unofficial withdrawal, will result and adversely affect the GPA. A "WU" is equivalent to a grade of "F."
Courses with incomplete grades are included as cumulative attempted credits. However, these courses cannot be used as credits accumulated toward the degree as only successful course completion is the criterion for positive credit accumulation.
If a grade of "INC" or "Z" is given, these grades will become "F" and will ultimately have a negative impact on the GPA. Consult with an academic counselor to determine the process of completing a course. Go to Room A-216 to locate an academic counselor.
Successfully completed courses will be accepted toward degree requirements. However, each time a course is attempted, it is included as part of the cumulative attempted credit record and GPA. If a failed course is repeated with a grade of "C" or better, the grade in the successfully completed course will count in the GPA, replacing the "F" grade earned on the first attempt. Only 16 such repeated course credits may be attempted in this fashion during a career at Kingsborough.
Why can't I be an independent student?
The two types of student status (dependent and independent) are regulated in legislation within the Higher Education Act, and require that students meet specific conditions for independent status. These conditions appear on the FAFSA and the Renewal FAFSA and require the student meet at least one of the following conditions listed on Step three of the FAFSA Form, before being considered as an "independent" student.
If you have unusual circumstances that you feel make you Independent, even though none of the criteria applies to you, please contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss your situation.
Students who do not meet at least one of these conditions are considered "dependent" for financial aid purposes.
What if I don't register as a full-time student after I receive financial aid?
Some financial aid programs require full-time attendance. These include TAP, full Pell Grant funding, and at Kingsborough Community College, College Discovery. If registration falls below full-time status (12 credits per term), these awards may be reduced or canceled. TAP and College Discovery are canceled, and Pell Grants are reduced to reflect 3/4 time, 1/2 time, or less than 1/2 time status. Loan eligibility can also be reduced or canceled if registration falls below 1/2 time status.
What types of financial aid are available at Kingsborough Community College?
As a student at KBCC, you may qualify for federal and state financial aid including the: Federal Pell Grant; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG); Federal Work Study Program; Federal Perkins Loan; Federal Direct Loan; and Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
Can you give me an idea, based on my family’s income, whether it’s worth applying?
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Because many factors (e.g. household size, number of family members in college, income, certain assets, etc.) are considered in the determination of your eligibility for financial aid, it is difficult to estimate your eligibility based on income alone. The Office of Financial Aid recommends that every student apply for financial aid at least once to have his or her eligibility reviewed. Keep in mind that, in general, any accepted student is eligible for some type of financial assistance regardless of his or her calculated financial need.
What are the application deadlines or suggested completion dates?
Students are able to complete the FAFSA beginning January 1st of the year they will enroll in college. The Office of Financial Aid recommends that students complete the FAFSA each year by April 30th. Late applicants will be considered on a funds available basis.
My parent(s) can’t help me with college expenses. Does that mean I’ll receive more
Financial aid programs are based on the belief that students (and their parents or spouses, if applicable) have primary responsibility for paying their educational expenses. If you are a dependent student, your parent(s) inability to assist you with expenses should be evident from the information you and your parent(s) provide on the FAFSA form. Although it may mean a significantly increased amount of debt, which should be carefully considered, most students can cover their educational expenses with the help of available financial aid programs.
Our family has special circumstances (e.g. recent loss or reduction of income, considerable un-reimbursed medical or dental expenses, private school tuition expenses, etc.). Can the Office of Student Financial Aid consider these circumstances when reviewing my eligibility for financial aid?
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss any special circumstances you feel might affect the amount you and your family can contribute toward your educational expenses. A staff member will determine whether your eligibility for financial aid can be reevaluated due to your family’s special circumstances.
When will I know how much financial aid I am eligible for?
The Office of Student Financial Aid begins sending Financial Aid Award Notices to new freshmen and transfer students in April. Most new freshmen and transfer students receive their Financial Aid Award Notices by the end of May.
When will I receive the fall semester bill?
You will receive the fall semester bill from the KBCC Office of the Bursar by the end of July. All awarded federal and state financial aid will be listed on the bill and deducted from your fall semester charges. Please note that Federal Work Study will not be listed on the bill. Students employed under the Federal Work Study Program receive bi-weekly paychecks for wages earned. If any of your awarded federal and state financial aid is not listed on your bill, please contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance. If you are receiving other sources of funding not listed on the bill, please contact the KBCC Office of the Bursar (718) 368-5416.
Does Kingsborough Community College offer a payment plan?
KBCC offers a payment plan thru Sallie Mae. Please contact the Bursar’s Office for more information (718) 368-5416.
The amount of financial aid I’m receiving exceeds my bill. Can I use that money to buy my books?
Your financial aid must be processed and you also must be registered for classes at least 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. Keep in mind, however, that, while every effort is made to issue a book advance, we cannot guarantee that the money will be available in time for you to buy your books. Therefore, you should plan to use other funds to buy your books.
I’d like to work on campus. How do I find out about jobs?
Students should come to the Office of Financial Aid during the first week of the semester for information about Campus Employment and Federal Work Study jobs.
I Owe Money. Help!
If you have a problem paying the balance due on your tuition, go to the Bursar’s Office, Room A-205. If you have received a bill and your TAP or Pell awards have just come in, go to the Financial Aid Office, Room U-201, to get a statement of your awards to bring to the Bursar, Room A-205.
If You Can't Pay Your Tuition Balance, SALLIE MAE. Can Help...
If your financial aid does not cover the tuition you owe at the time of registration, and you are unable to pay the balance due in a lump sum out of your own pocket, you might want to enroll in Sallie Mae Tuition Pay, a plan which The City University of New York uses to permit families to budget payments for tuition each year -- to spread out the payment of your unpaid balance over several payments. For additional information about Sallie Mae., go to the Bursar’s Office, Room A-205, or click on www.tuitionpay.com
Can International Students Receive Financial Aid?
International Students – students who are here on a student visa – are not eligible to receive financial aid or loans from the Federal Government or from the State of New York. This includes the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) as well as all the Title IV Programs such as Pell, S.E.O.G., College Work Study, subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and the College Discovery and Bilingual Programs.
Only U.S. citizens and permanent non-resident aliens holding “Green Cards” or other eligible non-citizens may participate in U.S. and/or state-sponsored financial aid programs. If you are unsure of your immigration status, see an international student counselor, located in room V-101.
There are some scholarships for international students from private sources. Use scholarship search engines such as edupass.org, finaid.org to find them.
You might also wish to check with the government of your home country to see if it provides educational support to its nationals studying abroad.
It is important to speak with our international student advisors who are located in Room V-101.They are best qualified to answer any of your questions regarding immigration, employment and finances. Additional information is available during international student support group meetings held each week. For time and location, please stop by Room V-101 or call 718-368-6800.