Financial Assistance

How To Apply

Step One: Fill out a FAFSA on the Web:

  1. Apply for a PIN, or personal identification number, at www.pin.ed.gov (An electronic signature is required for online FAFSA). A parent of a dependent student should also apply for a PIN.
  2. Print and complete the Pre-Application Worksheet, available at www.fafsa.ed.gov. It lists the FAFSA questions in the order of the questions on the online FAFSA, which differs from the paper FAFSA. WNC's school code is 013896.
  3. Complete and review the FAFSA carefully and print out a copy before transmitting it. Do not submit a FAFSA prior to January 1 for the following Fall semester. The Department of Education will not accept earlier applications. It is recommended that students keep copies of all worksheets and other financial records in case the college needs to see them.
  4. Provide an e-mail address in order to receive an electronic message within minutes of transmitting the FAFSA. This will confirm that the application was received and will provide an estimate of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Make sure to print and keep a copy of this confirmation.
  5. Be sure to indicate state of legal residence. If left blank, a student can't be considered for state aid that requires state residency.
  6. Use the PIN to electronically sign the FAFSA. Students or parents who do not have a PIN, can print, sign and mail the signature page. Students who do not have a PIN or printer can still use FAFSA on the Web - the student Aid Report (SAR) will be received without an EFC and must be signed and returned before an official EFC will be calculated. Alternatively, students may use their PIN to e-sign and a parent can mail in the signature page.
  7. Follow up on the status of a FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov using the PIN.
  8. Check email regularly and look for messages about the SAR from the U.S. Department of Education.

FAFSA Tips

  1. PIN NUMBERS should be kept confidential. They should not be shared with anyone, even with those who may have completed the FAFSA on a student's behalf. The numbers do not expire, but if a new PIN is requested, the old PIN will no longer work.
  2. For federal and state student aid, dependency status is based on the answers to certain questions on the FAFSA - not whether a student lives on their own or with parents who may claim them as a dependent on their taxes.
  3. Avoid peak hours. Faster response times at www.fafsa.ed.gov are before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. PST.

Completing the FAFSA - Don't Pay for It

Free assistance is available to help a student complete the FAFSA. A student should never have to pay to have the FAFSA completed for them. The web sites that offer to complete and file the FAFSA for a fee are neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. Once a student has collected all their financial records and other information, which is required even if choosing to pay someone to complete the FAFSA, filling out the FAFSA is not difficult.

Questions About the FAFSA

Call the Federal Student Information Center toll free at 800-433-3243 - the staff are very helpful, there is usually not a long wait and they accept calls every day of the week. Help is also available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Step Two: Complete The File

If a student has been chosen for verification or if there is a discrepancy in their records, they will be required to submit additional form(s) or document(s) to complete their file. Notification will be sent electronically indicating which additional document(s) or form(s) are required. The Financial Assistance Office must have a student's current e-mail address. Financial aid will not be processed if a student does not receive or respond to the correspondence.

Verification Worksheet

Some student applications are selected by the federal government for mandatory verification of information reported on the FAFSA. (If a student's application is selected for verification, the student will be required to provide the Financial Assistance Office with information and documentation from the previous tax year. This must match the information on their SAR; if not, it must be corrected before aid eligibility can be determined. As part of the verification process, students will be required to submit a Verification Worksheet (Dependent or Independent).

Dependent verification forms:

Independent verification forms:

Tax Forms

Any student that is selected for verification will be required to provide tax return information in one of two ways: 1) use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within FAFSA (preferred method), or 2) submit copies of IRS Tax Return Transcripts with a verification form. The Financial Assistance Office will no longer be able to accept copies of IRS 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ tax returns. Instructions for requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript can be found at www.irs.gov.

Social Security, Immigration & Naturalization, & Selective Service Documentation

The Financial Assistance Office may need a copy of a student's Social Security card, birth certificate, copies of INS documents to verify eligible non-citizen status, or verification of Selective Service registration. The Financial Assistance Office will notify the student if these or other documents are required to complete their file.

Authorization To Release Information Form

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, WNC cannot release student financial aid information to anyone other than the student. If a student wishes to have their information released to someone else, they must submit the request through MyWNC.

Step Three: Receiving Financial Aid

Processing Timelines

The Financial Assistance Office begins processing applications in June for students who have met the April 1 priority FAFSA filing deadline. Once all required documents are submitted and a student's file is complete, eligibility is determined. Applicants should complete their FAFSAs and submit all additional required forms no later than July 1 in order to receive funding in time to meet fall semester fee deadlines and by December 1 in order to meet spring semester fee deadlines.

Award Notification

Students will be notified electronically when their Award Offer is ready for review. AWARDS ARE BASED ON THE LEVEL OF ENROLLMENT LISTED ON THE FAFSA. The actual amount received will differ if a student's enrollment status changes. A current mailing address must be maintained with the WNC Admissions and Records Office. Award letters and checks are mailed to the address on file.

Federal regulations require that all types of financial aid be coordinated. A student must inform the Financial Assistance Office if they receive any aid not listed on their award notification such as scholarships, stipends, vocational rehabilitation, or veterans benefits. A revision to the financial aid award may be necessary.

Scheduled Residual Check Dates

If financial aid exceeds the amount of fees, a residual check will be mailed to the address in MyWNC or direct deposited into a student's personal bank account.

Check Disbursements/Enrollment Verification

The first half of a student's grant and/or loan awards are mailed at the beginning of the semester. Disbursement dates depend on when funds are awarded AND will reflect a student's actual enrollment status at the time of payment. No adjustments are made for added or dropped units after the first week of the term. The amount of aid on a student's award letter may differ from what they receive if their enrollment changes and/or if the student owes charges.

Enrollment Changes

If a student never attends a class or has a change of enrollment status, the financial aid award must be recalculated. This will result in the student owing part or all of the award money to the college.

A student who owes an overpayment has 45 days to repay the college in full or it will be reported to the Department of Education. The student will not be able to receive further financial aid from any college until the overpayment has been paid.

Disbursement of Grant and Loan Check Residuals

Residual checks will be mailed by the Business Office, to the address that is on a student's myWNC account. If the student has signed up for direct deposit, checks will be directly deposited into their bank account. It is the student's responsibility to update any changes of address or changes in bank account information through their myWNC account.

Student Charges

Any student charges for the current semester will be deducted from the student's financial aid and/or scholarship.

Returned Checks

If a check is returned to the college, it will not be re-mailed; it will be held at the Business Office and the student will be responsible for picking it up. Unclaimed checks will be cancelled after 30 days.

Lost Checks/Checks Not Received

If a check is lost or not received, contact the Business Office to initiate a stop payment. Reissued checks can take up to six weeks.

Required Identification

A student is required to present a WNC Student ID or another type of valid photo ID (such as a Nevada driver's license or Nevada Identification Card) each time they inquire about their financial aid.



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