FAQs and other things to know
Most students' questions about Financial Aid fall into two main categories:
- Eligibility and Application
- FAFSA forms and submission
CET is here to help you through the process from the beginning to end! You can come in and we'll walk you through it or contact your local CET Financial Aid Officer.
Q. How do I apply for federal financial aid?
A. The first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Access to this form and other information is available at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov or your local CET Financial Aid Office.
Q. I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?
A. Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don't qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. In addition, there are a few sources of aid such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. There is no reason not to apply.
Q. Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid at CET?
A. No. You can apply for financial aid any time after January 1. To actually receive funds, however, you must be admitted and enrolled at CET.
Q. What kind of financial aid is offered at CET?
A. CET offers grants, scholarships, work study (student employment), and Federal Stafford Student Loans. Each program requires specific eligibility and application procedures. Please meet with a CET Financial Aid Officer to become familiar with these requirements. No matter what financial aid program you are applying for, all programs require student meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards in order to maintain financial aid eligibility. Financial aid progress standards are available on the CET Web site, in the CET Catalog, the Financial Aid Office, or by your Instructor. It is the responsibility of the student who receives or wishes to receive financial assistance at CET to become familiar with this policy.
Q. What is Center for Employment Training's School Code for the FAFSA?
A: The school code is: 016516
Q. Why can't I submit my financial aid application before January 1?
A. The need analysis process for financial aid uses the family's income and tax information from the most recent tax year (the base year) to judge your eligibility for need-based financial aid during the upcoming academic year (the award year). Since the base year ends December 31, you cannot submit a financial aid application until January 1. Send in the form as soon as possible after January 1. Do not wait until your taxes are done. Although it is better to do your taxes early, it is ok to use estimates of your income, so long as they aren't very far off from the actual values. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors later. If you wait too long, you might miss the deadline for state aid. Most states require the FAFSA to be submitted by March 2.
Q. Since financial aid is based on my income from last year, can I receive more financial aid if I lose my job?
A. You may come to the Financial Aid Office and complete a Professional Judgment Form. This form along with all of the documentation submitted with it will be evaluated and any adjustments that fall into federal guidelines will be approved.
Q. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
A. Yes. Most financial aid offices require that you apply for financial aid every year. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. After your first year you will receive a "Renewal Application" which contains preprinted information from the previous year's FAFSA. Note that your eligibility for financial aid may change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college.
Q. How do I apply for a Pell Grant and other types of need-based aid?
A. Submit a FAFSA. To indicate interest in student employment, student loans and parent loans, you should check the appropriate boxes. Checking these boxes does not commit you to accepting these types of aid. You will have the opportunity to accept or decline each part of your aid package later. Leaving these boxes unchecked will not increase the amount of grants you receive.
Q. Can my parents get a loan to help pay for my college education?
A. Yes, parents of undergraduate dependent students can apply for the PLUS loan. These loans are the responsibility of the parent. Parents can get more information on how to help their students pay for college from the http://www.mapping-your-future.org/ Web site or from the CET Financial Aid Office.
Q. How do my parents apply for a parent Plus Loan?
A. To be eligible to receive a PLUS Loan, your parents will be required to pass a credit check. They will need to complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov or they can meet with a CET Financial Aid Officer.
Q. Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?
A. No. Parents are, however, responsible for the Federal PLUS loans. In general, you and you alone are responsible for repaying your educational loans. You do not need to get your parents to cosign your federal student loans, even if you are under age 18, as the 'defense of infancy' does not apply to federal student loans. (The defense of infancy presumes that a minor is not able to enter into contracts, and considers any such contract to be void. There is an explicit exemption to this principle in the Higher Education Act with regard to federal student loans.) If your parents (or grandparents) want to help pay off your loan, you can have your billing statements sent to their address. Likewise, if your loan servicer provides an electronic payment service, where the monthly payments are automatically deducted from a bank account, your parents can agree to have the payments deducted from their account. But your parents are under no obligation to repay your loans. If they forget to pay the bill on time or decide to cancel the electronic payment agreement, you will be held responsible for the payments, not them.
Q. I got an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the financial aid office?
A. Yes. If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from an agency or government sources, you must report the scholarship to the financial aid office. CET will adjust your financial aid package to compensate. Outside scholarships will have some beneficial effects, they can assist in paying down tuition so that you borrow less in student loans.
Q. Where can I get information about Federal student financial aid?
A. You can contact your local CET Financial Aid Office at 1-800-533-2519. You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and ask for a free copy of the The Student Guide: Financial Aid from the US Department of Education.
Q. How is my eligibility determined?
A. Financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. Financial need is the difference between what it costs to attend school and the amount you and your family can afford to pay, as determined by a standard Department of Education formula. This amount is called the Expected Family Contribution.
Q. How do I apply for a Federal Work Study position?
A. You will need to go to the Financial Aid Department to complete a job application and make sure the Financial Aid Office has your completed FAFSA on file.
Q. Are work-study earnings taxable?
A. The money you earn from Federal Work-Study is subject to federal and state income tax, but exempt from FICA taxes (provided you are enrolled full time and work less than half-time). Federal Work-Study earnings during the calendar year should be included in the totals for AGI.
Q. What is the maximum loan amount I can apply for?
A. The yearly maximum for a first-year undergraduate dependent student is $5500 (maximum $3500 subsidized). The yearly maximum for a first-year undergraduate independent student (and dependent undergraduate whose parent cannot borrow a PLUS loan) is $9500 (maximum $3500 subsidized). After your education is completed, the loan(s) are repaid at an interest rate set by the U.S. Congress. Students are encouraged to borrow loans wisely and to protect their future credit rating by borrowing responsibly. Financial Literacy sessions are offered by CET, students are required to attend these sessions.
Q. What are the requirements to maintain my eligibility for financial aid?
A. To continue to receive federal student financial aid, a student must make satisfactory academic progress. Both competencies passed and hours attempted and completed are considered. At each quarter that a student completes, the Financial Aid Office will review the student's academic progress to determine the following:
You must successfully complete a minimum of 67% of the hours that you attempt at the end of each quarter.
Regular attendance (Quantitative): At each 25% interval absences may not total more than 33% of the total possible hours of attendance. For example, in a 900-hour program, at the end of each 25% of scheduled course hours, the total possible hours would be 225. To remain in satisfactory progress, a student needs to attend at least 151 hours, i.e., absences could total no more than 74 hours.
Academic progress (Qualitative): At the 25% intervals, competency completion must be at:
- 1 competency or better at 25%
- 30% of competencies or better at 50%
- 46% of competencies or better at 75%
- 67% of competencies or better at 100%
- 84% of competencies or better at 125%
- 100% of competencies at or prior to 150%
Not meeting these standards will result in you being placed on Financial Aid Probation for the next quarter. This means you would continue to receive financial aid for the quarter you are on probation. Failure to meet the required standards in the subsequent quarter will result in your being placed into Unsatisfactory Progress and having financial aid suspended.
Q. What happens if I withdraw from all of my classes?
A. First and foremost, withdrawing from all of your classes may result in you owing a portion of your financial aid back to the Department of Education. In addition to having to repay your financial aid, you may also have to repay your tuition, fees, and other charges previously paid by your financial aid. Please consult with a CET Financial Aid Officer before you withdraw from your class.
Q. Can I appeal the decision to suspend me from receiving financial aid?
A. Should extenuating circumstances exist which contribute to failure to meet satisfactory academic progress standards, students may appeal by submitting the reasons in writing to the Center Director and Financial Aid Director. Documentation of circumstances may be required. Students will be notified in writing of the decision.