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Financial Aid Awarding

Determining Financial Need

The college determines the amount of need-based aid that a student will be eligible to receive by using the following federal and state formula:
  • COA - (minus) EFC = NEED
  • COA: the estimated cost of attendance (student budget amount)
  • EFC: the estimated student and family contribution that is determined by the Federal Processor using the data that you included on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the calculation and needs analysis formula developed by Congress
  • NEED: the college can award up to this amount in need-based aid, depending upon availability of funds

Student Budgets at Centralia College

In order to treat all students equally, standard budgets are used and applied to all applicants. Budget amounts can also be adjusted for less than half-time attendance (5 or less credits), half-time attendance (6-8 credits), and three-quarter time attendance (9-11 credits) since tuition, fees, and book costs will be less than full-time. Some exceptions are made to include day care costs or other fees. Documentation is required for any exception to standard budgets. See Academic Year Full-time Budgets-Cost of Attendance.

Awarding Financial Aid

The student's file must be considered complete before aid can be awarded. This includes, but is not limited to: Centralia College has received valid results of the FAFSA application, as well as a completed Centralia College Financial Aid Form, and verification documentation has been provided, if the student was selected for verification. The student must also be admitted to the college and have declared an eligible program of study.

The Financial Aid Office will consider the student for all aid programs for which the student is eligible and for which funds are available. Most gift aid funds are not available throughout the academic year, so priority deadlines have been established. (See Financial Aid Eligibility > When to Apply for deadline dates.) Every effort will be made to award aid before classes start for those students who meet the priority deadlines. Most aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students who miss the priority deadline should still apply for financial aid, particularly since some grant funds can be paid retroactively if there is still money available and the student has met satisfactory academic progress standards. See Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (SAP).

Generally, Centralia College attempts to award as much grant aid as possible before awarding work study. The award amount of grant aid funds often varies for full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, and less than half-time (5 or less credits) enrollment statuses. The enrollment status that the student indicated on the CC Financial Aid Form for each quarter is usually the enrollment status that has been used for the award, unless a Request for Change form is submitted.

Federal and State regulations require that scholarships and agency funding (such as DVR, L&I, Worker Retraining Benefits, etc.) awarded to help pay educational costs (e.g. tuition and fees, books, and transportation) must be considered as an outside resource when awarding financial aid. If students receive any assistance from an outside source that was not reported on the CC Financial Aid Form, they are required to inform the Financial Aid Office so that financial aid eligibility can be evaluated.

Disbursement of Financial Aid

All financial aid awards (including Federal Pell Grant) are automatically used to pay your tuition and fees (first) before the start of each term. If your award exceeds the cost of your tuition, you will receive the remaining balance of your funds in the form of a balance check. Balance checks are available beginning the first day of each term. Balance checks can be used to pay for books and supplies and other educational costs. If your financial aid award is not sufficient to pay the tuition and fees in full, you are responsible for payment of the remaining balance.

Requirements for Receiving Aid

Before receiving financial aid at Centralia College, students must login to the Financial Aid Student Portal and accept their awards and return a signed and dated Conditions of Awards and Payment Procedures form.

Students are required to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. Students who complete all credits in which they enroll with at least a current and cumulative 2.0 GPA are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress. The same standard is applied to all programs that are awarded by the Financial Aid Office, whether need-based or non need-based. In addition:
  1. Students may receive financial aid to take up to 45 credits of developmental courses (courses below 100 level).
  2. Adult Basic Education (ABE), GED, Intensive English Program (IEP), Continuing Education, High School Completion (HSC) classes, non-credit classes, and Child and Family Studies (CFS) classes do not apply toward financial aid eligibility or attempted credits for the period of enrollment.
  3. A student must be working toward an eligible degree or certificate program to receive financial aid and the classes must apply toward the degree or certificate program at Centralia College.
  4. If you have attended another college(s), those college transcripts will be reviewed to determine if you maintained satisfactory academic progress. Credits taken at other colleges will be taken into consideration when determining timeframe.
See Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (SAP) for more information.

If you drop some or all of your classes that you are registered for in a quarter, you may have to repay some or all of your financial aid. If the college is required to refund tuition funds to federal accounts in excess of the state tuition refund policy, you will be billed for the amount of the additional refund. Please refer to the "Repayment Policy" section of the Financial Aid Handbook.