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Financial Aid Awarding

Determining Financial Need

The college determines the amount of need-based aid that you will be eligible to receive by using the following federal and state formula:
  • COA - (less) 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 half-time attendance (6-8 quarterly credits) and three-quarter time attendance (9-11 quarterly credits) since tuition, fees, and book costs will be less than for 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 Data Sheet, 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-served 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 gift/grant aid as possible before awarding work study. However, in the case of State Need Grant recipients, the school must be able to show that at least 25% of the student’s financial aid package is met through self-help forms of assistance and resources.

The award amount of gift/grant aid funds often varies for full-time, half-time, and three-quarter time enrollment statuses. Preference is given for students that are enrolled in six or more credits. The enrollment status that the student indicated on the Data Sheet for each quarter is usually the enrollment status that has been used for the award. It is listed near the bottom of the award letter. Notify the Financial Aid Office if there is a change in enrollment status so the affect on your aid award can be determined.

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 an outside resource when awarding financial aid. If students receive any assistance from an outside source that was not reported on the Institutional Data Sheet, they are required to inform the Financial Aid Office so that financial aid eligibility can be evaluated.

Requirements for Receiving Aid

Before receiving financial aid at Centralia College, students must sign, date, and return an Award Notification Letter and a Conditions of Awards and Payment Procedures form. 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.