Most aid programs are based on the individual need of the applicant. To determine if a student is eligible for financial aid, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web at https://fafsa.gov. The Gadsden State Title IV School Code is 001017.
The FAFSA contains questions pertaining to the student's assets, income, year in college, etc. Students who are dependent on their parents based on Federal Student Aid guidelines, must also submit information concerning parental income, assets, and other items.
Once the applicant completes and submits the FAFSA via the internet at https://fafsa.gov, the federal processor sends the applicant a Student Aid Report (SAR) and forwards information to the college(s) listed within approximately seven to ten days. The SAR is used by the College to determine eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant and other financial aid programs based on the student’s expected family contribution (EFC).
Applicants and their parents are cautioned to complete all forms as honestly and accurately as possible. Any person who knowingly makes false statements is subject to a fine or imprisonment or both under provisions of the United States Criminal Code. Applicants are also reminded that they may be asked to substantiate information submitted on the FAFSA if selected for verification. Approximately 30% of all applicants are selected for verification each year. Those selected for verification must provide documentation, such as IRS Tax Return Transcripts, in order to receive financial aid. Notification of documents required to complete the financial aid awarding process will be sent to the student’s Gadsden State email and posted on OneACCS Self-Service Banner. Students are encouraged to check their College email accounts and OneACCS Self-Service Banner frequently.
Note that application for financial aid must be made for each academic year; no awards are automatically renewed from year to year. Although the College accepts applications throughout the academic year, April 15 has been established as the priority date for applying for certain types of assistance.
The following financial aid programs are currently available:
- FEDERAL PELL GRANT awards are determined by the student's cost of attendance, EFC, and enrollment status.
- FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANTS (FSEOG) are awarded to those eligible Federal Pell Grant recipients with the lowest EFC and highest unmet need. Priority will be given to students in converted credit hour programs.
- ALABAMA STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ASAP) funds are awarded to eligible Alabama residents who demonstrate need and who are enrolled at least half time. Priority will be given to students in converted credit hour programs.
- FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS) funds are awarded to eligible students who complete FWS applications and demonstrate financial need. FWS awards provide pay for part-time work to eligible students. Note, positions are limited.
- PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL LOANS are available and are based on creditworthiness as well as Satisfactory Academic Progress.
The Gadsden State Financial Aid Office has locations in the One Stop Center, East Broad Campus (telephone: 256.549.8284); the Administration Building, Ayers Campus (telephone: 256.835.5423); and the Administration Building, Gadsden State Cherokee.
Information provided is of a general nature and is not intended to explain in detail all financial aid programs. Programs described herein are subject to Federal, State, and institutional guidelines and are subject to change without notice.
Students without a high school diploma or GED are eligible for enrollment in the following programs: Auto Collision Repair, Auto Service, Construction Technology, Diesel and Welding. In addition, students without a high school diploma or GED may be eligible to receive federal financial aid if they (1) have documented ability to benefit and (2) are concurrently enrolled in career pathway programs, which includes concurrent enrollment in adult education classes. (Note: Students without a high school diploma or GED who enrolled in postsecondary education prior to July 1, 2012, are eligible to enroll in certain programs without concurrently enrolling in adult education classes.)
Once financial aid has been awarded, an award letter will be sent via Gadsden State email and posted to OneACCS Self-Service Banner. Any assistance awarded is credited to the student's account to cover charges. If any refundable credit balance remains once institutional charges are paid in full, a refund is issued by the Business Office and mailed to the address on file with the Records Office. Credit balance refund checks are mailed approximately two weeks after the full semester registration ends (following drop/add).
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress will be measured at the end of each semester at GSCC. Students are required under federal regulations to maintain certain standards of progress based on the number of hours attempted in college. It is the student’s responsibility to read and understand all policies associated with financial aid funding.
Satisfactory Academic Progress includes qualitative, quantitative, and rate of progression criteria. For the current SAP Policy click this link: https://www.gadsdenstate.edu/admissions-aid/sap-guidelines.cms.
Treatment of Financial Aid for Complete Withdrawal
A Return of Title IV Funds calculation is processed for a student who meets the following conditions: receives grant funds (or who meets the conditions that may entitle the student to a late disbursement), begins attending classes, and completely withdraws from or does not successfully complete his/her full period of enrollment. The Return of Title IV Funds calculation is a policy of the United States Department of Education that determines the amount of grant funds GSCC and/or the student are to return to a grant program. The term “Title IV Funds” refers to the Federal Financial Aid Programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) that at GSCC include the following programs: Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).
The student’s recalculated grant award amount is used in the Return of Title IV Funds calculation. If the amount earned is less than the amount of aid disbursed, the difference must be returned. If the student earned more than what was disbursed, a late disbursement may be due. If the amount earned equals the amount disbursed, no return and no disbursement are to be made.
GSCC returns the lesser of (a) the total amount of unearned aid or (b) an amount equal to the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid unearned. The student is billed for any balance resulting from funds returned by GSCC.
The amount of aid GSCC is to return is then subtracted from the amount of Title IV aid to be returned to find the initial amount of unearned Title IV aid for the student to return. The total of Title IV grant that was disbursed and could have been disbursed for the payment period is multiplied by 50% to find the amount of Title IV grant protected. The amount of Title IV grant protected is subtracted from the initial amount of unearned Title IV aid for the student to return in order to find the amount of Title IV grant funds for the student to return. In the event of an overpayment, GSCC notifies the student, and the student may be allowed 45 days to pay the amount in full to the Gadsden State Business Office. If full payment is not made to GSCC within 45 days, payments must be made to the U. S. Department of Education. While the overpayment is due, the student remains eligible for financial aid generally for 45 days from the date of the overpayment.
The amounts returned by either GSCC or the student are then distributed based upon the following priority schedule: (1) Federal Pell Grants and (2) FSEOG.
The Financial Aid Office processes the Return of Title IV Funds calculation. A student who has questions regarding the calculation should contact Ian Freyberg at 256.549.8266. Forms, worksheets, and examples of calculations are available in the Financial Aid Office.
Treatment of Financial Aid if a Student Stops Attending Classes or Earns No Passing Grades in a Term
A Return of Title IV Funds calculation is processed for a student who meets the following conditions:
- receives grant funds (or who meets the conditions that may entitle the student to a late disbursement),
- begins attending classes, and stops attending classes or
- earns no passing grades for his/her entire period of enrollment.
Incomplete grades are not considered passing. The Return of Title IV Funds calculation is described in the previous section “Treatment of Financial Aid for Complete Withdrawal.”