Financial Aid: Questions & Answers

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General information

  • Do I have to pay back financial aid?
  • Will financial aid cover my full tuition costs?
  • Is my financial aid automatically renewed?
  • What if one of my classes is canceled?
    • Since the class is no longer on your schedule, your financial aid may need to be adjusted. If a class is canceled, however, you would have an opportunity to register for a different class and avoid changes to your financial aid.
  • How long will it take to receive my financial aid?
    • The average processing time is three (3) to four (4) weeks once all documents are submitted. Processing could take longer if you apply for financial aid after the priority date.
  • Can I get a loan without applying for financial aid?
  • Can I receive financial aid for any course?
  • Can I use financial aid to pay my rent?
    • You will receive a refund of any financial aid that remains after tuition and fees are paid. This refund can be used for other costs associated with going to college, including textbooks, supplies, and expenses such as rent. See refunds & disbursements.
  • Can I receive financial aid for summer classes?
    • Yes. Grants (free money), loans (borrowed money), and work-study (part-time work) are all offered to students over the summer. However, some funds are given on a first come, first served basis and/or subject to annual limits. Learn More

      Summer is considered the final semester of the academic year, so you must submit the current FAFSA to apply for summer funds.

      NOTE: If you are transferring to ACC for only the summer semester, you are not eligible to receive financial aid at Austin Community College. You may be able to obtain financial aid from your home college or university.
  • Where can I find a list of helpful financial aid websites?
  • How are subsidized and unsubsidized loan amounts determined?

Eligibility & academic standing

  • Can I get aid if I am not a high school graduate?
  • Can I get aid after I earn a certificate or associate degree?
    • Earning a certificate or associate degree will not keep you from receiving aid. For example, earning a real estate certificate will not keep you from receiving aid for a real estate associate degree. Keep in mind, there is a maximum number of hours for which you can receive aid in relation to your current major. All previously attempted hours (including hours for a previously earned certificate/associate) must count toward this maximum. For more information about this maximum time frame, refer to our Academic Standards.
  • Can I get aid if I have a bachelor’s degree?
  • Can international students get financial aid?
  • Do I have to enroll full time to get financial aid?
    • No, but most financial aid is prorated for students enrolled in fewer than 12 credits per semester. See disbursement and refunds information to find out how much aid you actually will receive.
  • Do I repay financial aid if I drop or fail classes?
  • Can I still enroll while on financial aid suspension?
    • Financial aid suspension does not prohibit you from taking classes at ACC. However, you are responsible for paying tuition and fees.
  • How can I regain my eligibility for financial aid?
  • Why do I have different GPAs?
    • Your GPA for financial aid will differ from your GPA with the Admissions & Record Office (A&R) when you repeat a class(es) for which you've already earned a grade of A, B, C, D, or F. When calculating your GPA, A&R "replaces" all other grades with the highest grade earned for the class. But Financial Aid does not replace the previously earned grades. All grades earned for repeated classes are included when Financial Aid calculates your GPA for aid eligibility.
  • Do financial aid standards differ for students?
  • Is course completion calculated differently?
    • Yes. Students receiving financial aid must have a higher completion rate (67 percent) than the students not receiving aid. A grade of F counts as an incomplete class in financial aid calculations.

Application & verification

  • Are there deadlines to apply for financial aid?
    • You must complete your FAFSA before your last day of classes in order to receive aid for that academic year. Because some types of funds are limited, we recommend you complete your application by the priority date. If you apply after the priority date, be prepared to pay the cost of tuition when you register. If you are asked to verify your FAFSA information, you have up to 120 days after your last day of class for the academic year or until the deadline published by the U.S. Department of Education, whichever is earlier, to submit verification requirements.
  • How often do I apply for financial aid?
    • Apply once each academic year. ACC’s academic year starts with fall semester and ends with summer semester. The FAFSA is available each Oct. 1 for the next academic year.
  • Can I fill out a FAFSA before I register at ACC?
    • Yes, you can submit the FAFSA any time after Oct. 1 - even if you have not yet registered at ACC. Please visit austincc.edu/fasteps to review the steps to apply for financial aid.

      We also recommend applying for admission at ACC as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing your financial aid. The Financial Aid Office cannot process your application for financial aid until you have completed all enrollment requirements described in Step 2 here.
  • How do I apply for a student loan?
    • When you complete the FAFSA, your eligibility for federal loans will be determined. You do not need to complete a separate application (except for the PLUS loan). When you review your financial aid offer posted in Self-Service Financial Aid, you can accept or reject the student loan(s) offered. If you accept the loans, you must complete the online entrance counseling and promissory note.
  • What is a Student Aid Report?
    • You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) after your FAFSA is processed. An SAR contains your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is based on your family's financial circumstances and is used to determine your eligibility for federal aid for the upcoming academic year. ACC uses this number to decide how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.
  • How do I decline financial aid?
  • Is my tax return OK for income verification?
    • Yes, signed tax returns are acceptable proof of income. You may also use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or submit a tax return transcript from the IRS (go online or call 1-800-908-9946).
  • How do I complete an MPN and entrance counseling?
  • Can I accept a loan after denying it?
    • You can request a student loan reinstatement if the request is submitted no less than 30 days prior to the end of the loan period. Submit a student loan request through Self-Service. Allow 10-12 business days for processing. Check ACCmail for notices and respond promptly to avoid delays.
  • Does my application apply to any ACC campus?
  • How will I know if I have been awarded aid?
  • Why is my FAFSA being verified?
    • Some students are randomly selected for verification. Others are selected because of inconsistencies reported on the FAFSA such as high taxes paid compared to income or high number of family members in college as compared to the total household size, etc.