Frequently Asked Questions

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WHO SHOULD APPLY?
Everyone! The only way to determine your eligibility to receive financial aid funds is to apply for it. File your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 to receive priority processing.
If you filed a FAFSA for the last academic year, you can renew your FAFSA online by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov and clicking on "Fill out a Renewal FAFSA."

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WHAT IS FINANCIAL AID?
Financial aid is money provided to help bridge the gap between your own resources and the amount needed to pay for the cost of attending college. The primary responsibility for meeting the cost of a college education rests with the student and family to the extent they are able to pay. A formula established by the U.S. Congress takes into accounts your family income and assets to determine this ability. Grants, loans, scholarships, college work-study, and alternative loans are the Types of Aid offered by DMACC.

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WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I APPLY?
You have the responsibility to follow up on your aid application. You should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor when they have completed processing your application. You will also receive letters from our office, which could request additional information or documents. You should submit all requested documents promptly. It is best to provide copies of all documents, as originals may be lost or destroyed. You should check the progress of your aid application on a regular basis via the Student Web Info system. If you will not be attending DMACC during the application year, please notify our office promptly.

We will complete the review process when all requested documents are submitted, you will be sent an electronic award letter (e-award) indicating the aid you are eligible to receive. Initial award letters are mailed out beginning in April to applicants who applied early.

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WHY DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE PARENT INFORMATION?
Parent information is used because the U.S. Congress has stated that families have the primary responsibility of funding a college education. Parent information is not necessary if you are independent. Please see our Glossary of Financial Aid Terms for further comparison of Dependent versus Independent.

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IS MY FILE COMPLETE?
Have you turned everything in? You can check on the status of your application by going to the DMACC User Login via the Student Web Info system page or calling (515) 964-6282 or 1-800-362-2127.

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WHAT IS THE DMACC SCHOOL CODE?
The DMACC School Code is 004589 for all campuses.

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WHERE DO I GET MORE ANSWERS TO MY FINANCIAL AID QUESTIONS?
Come to Building 1 on the Ankeny Campus or call (515) 964-6282 or 1-800-362-2127. Your questions can be answered here. If necessary, you will be referred to a financial aid advisor. You may also email your questions to finaid@dmacc.edu (include a subject on your email for proper routing). Also, you find financial assistance on the other DMACC campuses and Centers.

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WHICH APPLICATION DO I USE FOR SUMMER (MAY-AUGUST) TERM?
Our academic year cover FALL, SPRING, & SUMMER terms in that order (Example: Fall of 2014 and Spring and Summer of 2015 make up one academic year). Thus, per our example, you would use the 2014-2015 FAFSA.

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I'M NOT SURE MY FAMILY WILL HAVE FINANCIAL NEED. SHOULD I COMPLETE THE FAFSA?
Yes. Financial aid is intended both to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of an education beyond high school and to fill in the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost.

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MUST I BE ACCEPTED FOR ADMISSION BEFORE I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID?
No. You may apply for financial aid any time after January 1 for the coming academic year. Before any money is disbursed, you must be admitted to an eligible Program of Study and registered for a stated number of credits.

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MUST I BE ADMITTED BEFORE I RECEIVE AID?
Yes. In order for any money to be disbursed, you must be registered for the stated number of credit hours and admitted to an eligible Program of Study.

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I HAVE ENROLLED AT LESS THAN FULL-TIME STATUS (12+ CREDITS). HOW DOES THIS AFFECT MY FINANCIAL AID AWARD?
The amounts of your award could be adjusted based upon the credits you are enrolled in. This table will help you determine your status and how your budget and awards could be affected.
FULL TIME (12+ CREDITS) = 100%
THREE-QUARTER TIME (9 - 11 CREDITS) = 75%
HALF TIME (6 - 8 CREDITS) = 50%
LESS THAN HALF TIME (5- CREDITS) = 25%

For the summer term, 8 credits is full-time and 4 credits is half-time.

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DO I HAVE TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID EACH YEAR?
Yes. Your financial situation must be reassessed each year. However, after the first year you apply for financial aid, you probably will be sent a Renewal Application that will ask you to answer some questions again and recheck the answers to others.

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I WANT TO APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP ONLY. DO I HAVE TO FILL OUT THE FAFSA?
No. Des Moines Area Community College Foundation has a separate scholarship application process. You can access more information by going to the Foundation Scholarship Program website.

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I KNOW I FILLED OUT A FAFSA AND SENT IT IN AT LEAST FOUR WEEKS AGO, BUT I HAVEN'T RECEIVED A SAR. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Call the Federal Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FEDAID (1-800-433-3243).

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WHAT IF MY PARENTS OR I HAVE HAD AN UNUSUAL DROP IN INCOME OR INCREASE IN EXPENSES? DO I SUBMIT THAT INFORMATION TO YOUR OFFICE? WHEN DO YOU NEED IT?
You do not need to do anything until after you receive your official award notification. Your original award notification will reflect the year's information from your FAFSA. You may then submit a Request for Special Consideration to our office.

Parent and student requests for re-evaluation based on unusual changes in financial circumstances during the calendar year will be reviewed after the initial award letter. If it is determined that your financial need has increased, this increase could be funded with loans and possibly an increased Pell Grant. Do not submit documentation of changes in circumstances until after you receive your first official award notification.

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CAN I STILL FILE A FAFSA OR APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS IF I RECEIVE VETERAN BENEFITS?
Absolutely! For further information on benefits for US veterans, reservists, National Guard, dependents, and survivors, please visit the DMACC Veteran Services page or call Veteran Services at (515) 964-6278 or 1-800-362-2127 (option 6, extension 6278).

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WHERE IS MY REFUND?
First you'll need to determine if all of your documents have been turned in. You can log on to the Student Web Info Systems through the DMACC homepage to see if you are missing any documents needed for financial aid. If everything has been completed, please check our Release of Funds Dates listed on the homepage for specific dates. If you still have questions about when your refund will be sent to you, please call Student Accounts at 1-800-362-2127, ext. 6446 or 515-964-6446.

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I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT MY DMACC ONE CARD. WHO DO I CONTACT?
If your question deals with the card itself, call the Higher One 800 number on the back of the card. If your question deals with the refunds, please contact Student Accounts at 1-800-362-2127, ext. 6446 or 515-964-6446.

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If I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT MY REFUND. WHO DO I CONTACT?
The Financial Aid Office is not allowed to give amounts over the phone. If you want to know your refund amount, log in to the Student Web Info Systems to find out. If you are wondering when you will receive it, please contact Student Accounts at 1-800-362-2127, ext. 6446 or 515-964-6446.

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I HAVE NEVER BORROWED FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS FROM DES MOINES AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE BEFORE. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TOCOMPLETE BEFORE MY LOANS GET PROCESSED?
As a new borrower at DMACC, you will need to complete Entrance Counseling and fill out an Electronic Master Promissory Note as required by the U.S. Department of Education. The instructions on how to complete these are on our website under Forms. First time Federal Direct Loan Borrowers at DMACC will have to wait 30 days from the beginning of the term before loan funds are released.

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WHAT IS SAP?
SAP stands for Satisfactory Academic Progress. It is a set of standards to make sure you are on the path toward graduation. The standards include a grade point average of 2.0 and completion of a pro-rated number of credits that you've so you can receive Financial Aid. The first semester you fall below these standards, you will be placed on Warning Status. This gives you the opportunity to make progress toward those standards. You may still receive Financial Aid while on Warning Status. The second semester that you fall below these standards, you will be place on Cancellation Status. If you are on cancellation status, you are not eligible for Financial Aid until you complete the requirements set forth by the committee. If you are on Cancellation Status, you may submit an appeal to explain any unusual circumstances that would have contributed to you not being able to meet the standards.

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I AM ON WARNING STATUS FOR SAP. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
The first semester you fall below these standards, you will be placed on Warning Status. This gives you the opportunity to make progress toward those standards. You may still receive Financial Aid while on Warning Status.

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I AM ON FA SUSPENSION STATUS FOR SAP. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
The second semester that you fall below these standards, you will be place on Suspension Status. If you are on Suspension status, you are not eligible for Financial Aid until you complete the requirements set forth by the committee. If you are on Suspension Status, you may submit an appeal and an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) to explain any unusual circumstances that would have contributed to you not being able to meet the standards.

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HOW DO I FILE AN APPEAL IF I AM ON SUSPENSION STATUS?
If you are placed on Suspension Status, you have the opportunity to appeal. An appeal is sent to you in the mail; however, you may also print one off of the Financial Aid website or pick one up at any campus. An appeal allows you to explain the situation that caused your grades to be low or your reasoning for having to withdraw from or drop classes. Be sure to abide by the deadline listed and include all documentation.

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I HAVE HAD STUDENT LOANS BEFORE, BUT AM ATTENDING SCHOOL. HOW DO I FILE A LOAN DEFERMENT?
In order to defer your loans because you are attending college at least half-time, you will need to file an In-School Deferment from your lender. Contact your loan lender or the Deferment Form or ask your Registrar's Records staff for a form. The College Registrar/Records unit will need to complete our section. A staff member will verify your in-school status and mail the form to your lender. Be sure to continue making payments on your loan until you receive confirmation from your lender that your loan is in deferment status.

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WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE MY STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS BECAUSE OF UNEMPLOYMENT OR OTHER FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS?
There are deferment options if you are unemployed or having other financial hardships. Contact your lender about these deferments or forbearance in order to fill out the correct form. You will send it in directly to your lender. Be sure to continue making payments on your loan until you receive confirmation from your lender that your loan is in deferment status.

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AM I CONSIDERED DEPENDENT OR INDEPENDENT WHEN I FILL OUT THE FAFSA?
You are Independent if you answer "Yes" to any of the questions below, you do not have to provide parental information.
You are Dependent if you answer "No" to all of the questions below, then you must provide parental information.

For the 2014–2015 year, a student who meets any of the following criteria from HEA Sec. 480(d) is independent; he or she:
• was born before January 1, 1991,
• is married as of the date he applies,
• will be a graduate or professional student when the award year starts,
• is currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training,
• is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces,
• has dependents other than a spouse,
• was an orphan, foster child, or ward/dependent of the court at any
time since the age of 13,
• is an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship or was when he
reached the age of majority in his state, or
• was determined at any time since July 1, 2013, to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

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WHAT IS A PELL GRANT?
The Pell Grant is a Federal form of need-based financial aid and does not have to be repaid. Applicants must be undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree. Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen, or an eligible noncitizen, and needs to have a high school diploma or a GED or to demonstrate the ability to benefit from the program.
The amount of the grant depends on both the student's EFC and several other factors. These factors are the student's cost of attendance (tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and so on) and the amount of time the student attends school (whether the student goes to school for a full academic year or less and whether the student is full-time or part-time). An eligible part-time student can receive a Pell Grant. The amount awarded, however, will be less than for a full-time student. An applicant may receive only one Pell Grant in an award year and may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time. The current Federal Pell Grant is listed on the Financial Aid Blog page.

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HOW DO I APPLY FOR A PELL GRANT?
Students apply for not only Pell Grants but all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs (except scholarships) by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA must be submitted by the end of June to be eligible for aid in the following academic year.

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Updated April 7, 2014