Pictures of Hawaii Community College

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is financial aid?
  2. What are the general requirements to receive financial aid from Hawaii CC?
  3. What kind of aid is available?
  4. What is the priority date to turn in the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and when is the last date to apply for aid?
  5. When are FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) applications available?
  6. Do I need to reapply for financial aid every year?
  7. What is “verification” and why was I selected?
  8. How do I know if I am an independent student? Why do I have to provide my parents information?
  9. How can I accept my financial aid award?
  10. What is cost of attendance, EFC (Expected Family Contribution), outside resources?
  11. What is financial need?
  12. What did I get?
  13. What is the Satisfactory Academic Policy?
  14. What is not making “PACE”?
  15. How do I sign up for E-Refund?
  16. How do I apply for student loans?
  17. How are my loans disbursed?
  18. What is the max award for loans?
  19. What if I have never received a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?
  20. What is USA Funds® Life Skills®?
  21. What is the school code and student access code for the USA Funds® Life Skills® Modules?
  22. What is Work-Study? Who is eligible?
  23. How do I sign up for student employment?
  24. Do I have to report outside scholarships that I receive?
  25. When will I receive my financial aid?
  26. How many credits must I carry for my awards?
  27. How do I get financial aid if I want to take distance learning courses through another University of Hawaii campus?
  28. Will I be required to repay the funds I received if I withdraw from my classes?
  29. How do I let the office know if I need to change something for my financial aid?
  30. What are the requirements for Summer Eligibility?
  1. What is financial aid?
  2. Financial aid helps students and their families pay for educational expenses. This includes estimated tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Financial aid includes grants, scholarships, work study and/or loans.

  3. What are the general requirements to receive financial aid from Hawaii CC?
    • Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov;
    • Student must be seeking a degree or certificate in an approved program at Hawaii Community College;
    • Student must have either a high school diploma, a GED certificate
    • Student must be either a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
    • Males between ages 18 and 25 must have registered with the Selective Service, http://www.sss.gov/, or prove exemption from registering;
    • Continuing students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) (e.g. maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.0 and a completion rate of 67.0%); and
    • Student cannot owe a refund on a Federal grant or be in default on a Federal educational loan.
  4. What kind of aid is available?
  5. Grants: Funds awarded to students based on their financial need. Also called, “gift aid”. These awards generally do not need to be repaid.
    Loans: Money borrowed from the federal government that MUST be repaid once the student stops attending school or drops below half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment.
    Work-Study: This is federal or state funding for on-campus and off-campus, part-time employment for students enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours).
    Scholarships: Funds awarded to students based on either financial need, declared major, interests, grades, background and many other factors.

  6. What is the priority date to turn in the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and when is the last date to apply for aid?
  7. The financial aid priority date for Hawaii Community College (Hawaii CC) is March 1st for the next academic year. Completed applications are considered on a first-come first-served basis until funds are depleted. Applications that are not accurate and complete prior to the student’s last day of enrollment or thirty days prior to the close of the Spring semester, whichever occurs first, will not be processed.

  8. When are FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) applications available?
  9. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) applications are available the first working day of the New Year in January for the upcoming academic year. Current year applications are available on an on-going basis.

  10. Do I need to reapply for financial aid every year?
  11. Yes, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed each academic year for which the student wants to receive aid. Remember filling out the FAFSA is free, www.fafsa.ed.gov. You DO NOT need to pay to fill out the FAFSA.

    A student needs to file only ONE FAFSA per academic year. If a correction needs to be made, DO NOT fill out a new FAFSA; go to “Make FAFSA Corrections”.

  12. What is “verification” and why was I selected?
  13. Verification is a process which confirms that information reported on the FAFSA matches the federal tax returns and other documents. If selected, a student is required to submit certain documents. If any discrepancies are found, corrections are sent to the federal processor to recalculate aid eligibility. It may result in a decrease in total aid, or an increase in total aid.

    If a student was not selected for verification initially, but makes a correction on the FAFSA, the federal processor may now select the student for verification. The FAO will have to cancel any awards and verify the student and then determine the new award.

  14. How do I know if I am an independent student? Why do I have to provide my parents information?
  15. By federal definition, you are considered independent if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

    • You are 24 years of age or older.
    • You are working on a degree beyond a Bachelor’s degree.
    • You are married by the date you filed your FAFSA.
    • You are a ward of the court or both parents are deceased and you do not have an adoptive parent. If you were a ward of the court until the age of 18, please submit documentation showing release from court custody upon reaching age 18.
    • You have legal dependents that fit the following definition:
      • Children, who receive more than half of their support from you, or other people living with you, who receive more than half of their support from you, and will continue to receive that support during the academic year you are applying for aid.
    • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. You are considered a veteran if you:
      • Have engaged in active service in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air force, Marines, or Coast Guard and were released under a condition other than dishonorable.

    You are NOT a veteran if you:

    • Were never in the U.S. Armed Forces.
    • Were only a ROTC student.
    • Were only a cadets or midshipman at one of the service academies.
    • Were only a National Guard or Reserves enlistee and were not activated for duty.
    • Are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and will continue to serve through June 30 prior to the academic year for which you are applying.
    • Are determined by a court in state of legal residence
      • Emancipated minor
      • Legal Guardianship
      • Homeless unaccompanied youth on or after 7/1/2012, determined by an agency

    If you do not meet any of the definitions above, then you are considered DEPENDENT and MUST report your parents’ information on the FAFSA.

  16. How can I accept my financial aid award?
  17. Awards will be posted online through the MyUH portal. The initial award notifications will be emailed to your UH email, which explains in detail how to log onto the MyUH portal to view the awards that have been granted. Most financial aid is automatically accepted. If any award is revised, a notification will be sent to your UH email.

  18. What is cost of attendance, EFC (Expected Family Contribution), outside resources?
  19. Cost of Attendance: The estimated cost to attend Hawaii CC for the academic year. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, meals and housing, personal expenses and transportation.
    Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount expected to be paid out-of-pocket toward college costs.
    Outside resources: Any aid that is received from external/private scholarships, grants, other benefits, etc.
    Financial Aid Awarded: The total amount of aid offered by the Financial Aid Office.

  20. What is financial need?
  21. Financial need means that a student’s family’s financial resources, measured by a formula established by the federal government, are not sufficient to cover a students educational costs.

  22. What did I get?
  23. Federal Pell Grant: A federal grant for a student who has not received a bachelor’s degree. It does not need to be paid back.
    Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) Grant: The SEOG grant is for a student with exceptional financial need and is eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. It does not need to be paid back. It requires at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment.
    Hawaii Student Incentive Grant (HSIG): A federal program that matches state funds which waives only tuition (not fees). The student must be a Hawaii resident and eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. It requires at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment.
    UH Opportunity Grant: A University of Hawaii scholarship awarded based on financial need. It requires at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment.
    Federal Work Study (FWS): A program that provides on-campus and off-campus job opportunities to help students earn money (up to the award amount) to pay for school costs while gaining valuable work experience. Campus employment is flexible and convenient. It requires at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment.
    Federal Direct Plus Loan: A loan for parents of dependent students who want to borrow to help pay for their children’s college cost. The interest rate is variable, repayment begins within 60 days after loan is disbursed, and parents borrow through the federal government. It requires at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment of the student to apply. This needs to be paid back by the parent(s).
    Federal Subsidized Direct Student Loan: A need based loan that must be repaid. The interest rate may be either fixed or variable, depending on whether the student has an outstanding Federal Direct Loan balance at the time the loan is made. The loan funds and repayment are made through the federal government. Repayment begins 6 months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) at Hawaii CC. It requires at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment to apply and a separate application in addition to the FAFSA.
    Federal Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan: A non-need based loan that must be repaid. The interest rate is either fixed or variable depending on whether the student has an outstanding Federal Direct Loan balance at the time the loan is made. The loan funds and repayment are made through the federal government. Interest begins upon disbursement of loan funds. It requires at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment to apply and a separate application in addition to the FAFSA.

    You MUST read and UNDERSTAND the conditions on your award notification. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

  24. What is the Satisfactory Academic Policy?
  25. Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the achievement of a degree or certificate.  Click here to read our SAP policy.

  26. What is not making “PACE”?
  27. Not making “PACE” is not being able to complete your degree or certificate within the maximum financial aid eligibility time frame allowed for the program.

  28. How do I sign up for E-Refund?
    • Log into your MyUH Portal (myuh.hawaii.edu)
    • Click on Sign up for e-refund
    • Click on Go to Student Account Home Page
    • Click on Refunds tab
    • Click on Payment Profile
    • In the drop-down menu beside Select Payment Type
      • Select Electronic Check
    • Click on Go
    • Fill in bank account information
    • Check box that states to use the account for refunds
    • Click on SAVE
    • Enter in last four (4) digits of your UH Student Identification Number
    • Follow directions
  29. How do I apply for student loans?
    • Complete the FAFSA
    • Download and print a Direct Loan Request form for a student or a Direct PLUS Loan Request form for a parent. Follow the instructions.

    If you are a first-time borrower you will need to complete the three (3) required Life Skill Modules, the Loan Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you are a second-time borrower you will need to complete the five (5) required Life Skill Modules. If you are a third-time borrower you need to complete the five (5) required Life Skill Modules. Only completed loan request forms will be processed.

  30. How are my loans disbursed?
  31. There are two disbursments within each loan period. For Fall and Spring loans, one disbursment in fall and one disbursment in spring. For fall only and spring only loans, please note, that there will be two disbursements within the semester.

  32. What is the max award for loans?
  33. We suggest that you request what you need and not to over borrow. Remember loans NEED to be PAID BACK.

    Maximum amount in loans that can be requested:

    Subsidized
    0-24 credits: $3500
    25+ credits: $4500

    An independent student may request an additional $6000 in an unsubsidized loan.
    A dependent student may request an additional $2000 in an unsubsidized loan.
    If the dependent student’s parents requests a PLUS loan and it is denied (the Financial Aid Office will need a copy of the denial letter), the student may receive an additional $4000 in an unsubsidized loan (total of $6000 in unsubsidized).

  34. What if I have never received a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?
  35. For first-time Federal Direct Stafford loan recipients there is a 30-day delay on disbursement of loan money.

  36. What is USA Funds® Life Skills®?
  37. USA Funds® Life Skills® gives you the tools to teach you how to manage your finances and time, while pursuing your degrees and after graduation.
    The programs spell out basic strategies for managing finances wisely and for completing degree work in a timely manner. Topics covered include:

    • Financial aid and paying for college.
    • Time management.
    • Credit management.
    • Preparing for life after college.
    • Personal finance for graduate and professional students, married students and medical students.
  38. What is the school code and student access code for the USA Funds® Life Skills® Modules?
  39. School code: 00525800

    Student access code: 00525800-01

  40. What is Work-Study? Who is eligible?
  41. Work-Study is awarded based on an individual’s remaining financial need. Work hours cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the academic year when classes are in session. Work-study monies may be used only at your home institution. At Hawaii CC you will need to apply for a federal work-study position before you will be awarded federal work-study monies.

    Work-Study minimum requirements:

    • Student must be enrolled for at least 6 credits throughout the semester.
    • Student must have a Cumulative GPA of 2.0.
    • Student must be a “classified” student (have a declared major in an eligible program and be working toward a certificate or degree.)
    • Student must be eligible to work in the U.S.
  42. How do I sign up for student employment?
  43. To search and apply for on-campus and off-campus positions go to the UH Student Employment & Co-operative Education (SECE) web site: www.hawaii.edu/sece

  44. Do I have to report outside scholarships that I receive?
  45. Yes. If you receive grants or scholarships from any organization for educational purposes, you must report the scholarship to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office may need to adjust your aid package to prevent an over award. To report any outside scholarships, log onto the MyUH portal. In the financial aid section, go to the Other Resources tab and log the scholarships or grant.

  46. When will I receive my financial aid?
  47. Funds are disbursed 10 days before the first day of instruction. The funds pay for tuition and fees first with any credit balance refunded to the student. Please allow the Business Office 14 days to process any refunds. Students that sign-up for e-refund receives their refunds faster than students that want to receive a paper check.

  48. How many credits must I carry for my awards?
  49. Your award offer is based on full-time (12 credit hours) enrollment status. If you change your enrollment status, you must notify the Financial Aid Office via the comment box on the MyUH Portal, so that your financial aid award can be adjusted to reflect actual enrollment.

    Full-time (12+ credits): 100% Half-time (6-8 credits): 50%
    Three-Quarter time (9-11 credits): 75% Less-than-Half time (1-5 credits): 25%

    If you are not registered at the enrollment level for which your award was made, you stop attending classes, or you withdraw completely from Hawaii CC, you may be expected to repay all or part of the funds disbursed to you. A recalculation of awards based on federal guidelines will be done to determine if an over award repayment is necessary. Financial aid repayments will be made in accordance with federal guidelines. Students who completely withdraw within the tuition refund period may have all or part of the tuition refund applied first to repay any financial aid received in accordance with the federal guidelines. The Title IV Refund/Repayment Policy is available online at Return of Title IV Policy.

  50. How do I get financial aid if I want to take distance learning courses through another University of Hawaii campus?
  51. To receive financial aid funding for courses taken from other campuses within the University of Hawaii System, you will need to turn in a UH System Funding for Consortium Classes Request form and have at least six (6) credits taken from Hawaii CC. When the consortium form is processed, your financial aid will disburse to pay for Hawaii CC courses only. If a refund is due to you, you may use it to pay for the consortium courses. You will need to pay tuition, fees, and other charges directly to the consortium college. For example, if you are registered for 6 credits at Hawaii CC, 3 credits at UH Hilo and 3 credits at Leeward CC, financial aid will disburse to the Hawaii CC Business Office for the 12 credits that you are registered for, but it will only pay for the tuition and fees for the 6 credits at Hawaii CC. If you receive a refund check, you may  use it to pay for the 3 credits at Leeward CC to the Leeward CC Business Office and the 3 credits at UH Hilo to the UH Hilo Business Office. Only courses that apply to your major will be funded.

  52. Will I be required to repay the funds I received if I withdraw from my classes?
  53. Per federal regulations, our office must apply a federal formula to determine if funds need to be repaid. In addition, your withdrawal may place you in jeopardy of receiving awards for subsequent semesters based on our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

  54. How do I let the office know if I need to change something for my financial aid?
  55. Notify us by logging onto the MyUH portal, myuh.hawaii.edu. In the financial aid section, click the accept award offer tab and use the comment box. Please use that to update your financial aid information.

    Steps to find the comment box:
    • Log on to the MyUH portal using your UH username and password
    • Click on “Financial Aid”
    • Click on “Award by Aid Year”
    • In the drop down menu select Hawaii CC Aid Year 20xx – xx (usually the current academic year)
    • Click Submit
    • Click the Accept Award Offer Tab
    • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and that is where the comment box is located.
    • Input the information you want that needs to be changed.
  56. What are the requirements for Summer Eligibility?
  57. Summer Session

    1. HAWAII CC has multiple Summer Sessions which are included with the previous academic year and is treated as a trailer (example: Fall, Spring, Summer). Sessions need to start before the end of the academic year (June 30). Students enrolled in any courses starting after June 30 will not be eligible for financial aid regardless of any remaining Pell funds.
    2. Students attending summer school will be eligible only for the remainder of their PELL eligibility regardless of the cost for the summer enrollment.
    3. Summer eligibility
      1. Must be a classified
      2. Must be Pell eligible and was enrolled for less than full-time the previous fall or spring semesters
      3. Must be registered for course related to degree
      4. Must maintain satisfactory academic progress (not on financial aid suspension.
      5. Only HawCC courses will be funded.