Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions
Have more questions about Financial Aid? You will likely find answers here.
Find answers to our most commonly asked questions about Financial Aid using the tabs below. If you have questions about the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, visit Federal Direct Student Loan FAQs or Federal Direct Student Loan for Parents.
Why do I have to submit a tax return transcript directly from the IRS or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA instead of using my personal copy?
Regulations that govern financial aid policy change frequently. Effective 2012-2013, students who are required to submit federal tax return information to complete the review process of verification must request a federal tax return transcript directly from the IRS or can use the IRS Data Retrieval tool on the FAFSA to transfer their tax information directly from the IRS on to the FAFSA.
How do I get a copy of my federal tax return transcript or use the IRS Data Retrieval tool on the FAFSA?
View instructions on how to use the IRS Data retrieval tool on the FAFSA or obtain IRS federal tax return transcripts.
General FAQHow and when do I apply for financial aid?You must fill out the FAFSA annually at www.fafsa.gov. The U.S. Department of Education posts a new application beginning October 1 of each year for the upcoming academic year. Please submit your FAFSA as early as possible. We recommend that you file by March 1 each year to be considered for as much financial aid as possible.What is HCC's federal school code?You must list HCC's federal school code 008175 in the school selection section of the FAFSA to ensure HCC receives a copy of your electronic application.How long does it take HCC to review and complete my financial aid file?Once HCC receives a copy of your electronic application results from Department of Education, it can take approximately six to eight weeks to review and complete your financial aid file.Why am I being asked for additional information?The Department of Education may require additional documentation from you to determine your financial aid eligibility for a number of reasons. HCC is required to collect that information to review your financial aid file and report the outcome to the Department of Education.Can I receive aid if I register for a class after the census date for each term?No. Classes added to your schedule after the census date are not covered by financial aid. In order to receive financial aid, you must be registered for all the classes you intend to take for the regular semester by the last date to add or drop for the regular semester-census date.Does adding and dropping classes affect the amount of financial aid I can receive?Yes. The amount of your financial aid award is based on how many credits you are enrolled in for the specific term by the census date.Will my registration be held if I applied for financial aid?
No. Simply applying for financial aid will not hold your classes. A financial aid award will hold your registration only if your file is considered complete and an award is on your account in an "accepted" status prior to your bill due date. You can check myHCC to see if you have a financial aid award.
What if I cannot provide parental information on the FAFSA?If your FAFSA Dependency Status Checklist has indicated that you must provide parent data but you have unusual family circumstances that could not be collected on the FAFSA, please contact the Financial Aid Services Office to discuss your situation with a financial aid counselor.Has any of the information that you provided on the FAFSA changed based on your current circumstances?The FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility using the prior year’s income data. If your annual income has decreased significantly or you have other extenuating circumstances or changes in your household, please contact the Financial Aid Services Office to discuss with a financial aid counselor.
Bookstore Funds FAQ
Am I eligible for Bookstore funds?
If your financial aid award(s) exceed your tuition and fee balance, you may be eligible to receive Bookstore funds to help you purchase books at the HCC Bookstore.
How do I determine if I have excess financial aid for books and supplies?
Go to myHCC to determine if you have excess financial aid to use in the HCC Bookstore.
When will my Bookstore funds be available for the term?
If you have excess funds to use in the HCC Bookstore, you will be able to use these funds approximately two weeks prior to the start of the term. Your HCC Bookstore purchases cannot exceed your excess available balance or $1000, whichever is less.
What happens to my Bookstore funds if I change my schedule?
If you make any changes to your schedule, it may affect your Bookstore funds. Adjustments to your financial aid awards will be reflected on myHCC under "My Financial Activity".
Do I have to use my Bookstore funds by a certain date?
Refund FAQAm I eligible to receive a financial aid refund?If your financial aid exceeds your tuition, fees and bookstore charges you will receive the remaining financial aid as a refund.How will I receive my financial aid refund?Howard Community College has partnered with BankMobile, a technology and payment services company, to provide faster options for receiving your HCC refunds. You will receive your Personal Code in the mail at your primary address on file with HCC. Just look for the bright green envelope and please make sure your address is up to date. Once you receive the Personal Code you will be instructed to log on to www.refundselection.com to select one of the following refund preferences:Option 1: Direct Deposit (ACH) into an existing bank account - Refunds can be electronically deposited into the checking or savings account of any financial institution that accepts direct deposit. Refunds are available within three business days of HCC releasing refunds to Higher One.Option 2: Open a BankMobile Vibe, provided by BankMobile -The Vibe Account does not require a minimum balance. Upon choosing this method the BankMobile Vibe account you will receive a temporary virtual Debt MasterCard to use until your physical card arrives in the mail. Refunds are available the same day HCC releases refunds to BankMobile.Option 3: A paper check - A paper check will be mailed directly to the student's address from BankMobile. Refunds are available within 5-7 business days of HCC releasing refunds to BankMobile.When will I receive my financial aid refund?Refunds are issued approximately two weeks after the add/drop period ends in the Fall and Spring. However, there are some exceptions. If your financial aid file is not complete you will receive a later refund. If you have enrolled in one or more late-start class you will receive the loan portion approximately one month after the first round of disbursements.
How do I apply for HCC Educational Foundation Endowments and Scholarships?
You can apply for HCC Educational Foundation Endowments and Scholarships by submitting an online scholarship application at www.howardcc.edu and select Scholarships under the Admissions & Aid tab.We encourage students to apply as early as possible each year, as funds are limited.
How many credits do I need to be enrolled in each term to be considered for the HCC Educational Foundation Endowments and Scholarships?
You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours to be considered for the HCC Educational Foundation Endowments and Scholarships.
How do I find information on Maryland State, transfer, and private outside scholarships?
You can find information on Maryland state, private, and transfer scholarships on our website at www.howardcc.edu and select Pay for College under the Admissions tab. Then select Scholarships in the left-hand menu bar.