How do I apply for Financial Aid?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only application that needs to be completed to apply for federal/state financial aid. The FAFSA can be completed online at www.studentaid.gov or by mailing in a paper FAFSA. It is recommended that you submit the FAFSA electronically. By completing the FAFSA, a student is applying for federal and state aid, including grants and work-study.
My parents are not helping me pay for college. Am I considered independent?
Even if your parents do not contribute any money toward your education, for financial aid purposes, you are considered a dependent of your parents unless you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions:
- Will you be 24 years of age by December 31 of the academic aid year in which you are applying for?
- Are you married?
- Are you a graduate student (working on a master’s or doctorate program)?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Are you currently serving on active duty?
- Do you have children that you support more than half of their income?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children) that you give more than half of your support to and will continue to do so through June 30 of the award year?
- At any time since you turned 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care or a ward/dependent of the court?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are/were you an emancipated minor?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you under legal guardianship?
- At any time in or after July of last year, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time in or after July of last year, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time in or after July of last year, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If my parents are divorced or separated, whose financial data should be used when I'm completing the FAFSA?
- If your natural parents are separated or divorced, use the natural parent (and their current spouse, if applicable) with whom you lived the most in the past 12 months.
- If you lived with neither parent, or lived with each parent an equal number of days, use the parent that provided the most financial support to you over the past 12 months.
- If your parent has remarried as of the date you complete your FAFSA, you must also include the stepparent's financial information on the application, and parent and stepparent should report themselves as married on the FAFSA.
What is an EFC?
- The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law.
- Your family’s income (taxed and untaxed), assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula.
- Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year.
- The information you reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your EFC.
- Reynolds uses the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.
Do I have to apply for financial aid each year?
Yes. The FAFSA must be completed each academic year for which a student wishes to receive financial aid.
*The academic year includes the fall, spring, and summer semesters.*
Which year’s FAFSA do I complete?
Students planning to attend in Spring or Summer 2020: Complete the 2019-20 FAFSA
Students planning to attend in Fall 2020: Complete the 2020-21 FAFSA
Do I have to accept and/or decline my financial aid award?
You do not have to accept or decline any grant aid. By submitting the loan request form, you are accepting the loan award.
How do I accept / decline / reduce my financial aid award?
Grants (including Federal Pell and State Grants):
- Grants are automatically accepted once your eligibility has been determined and your aid has been awarded.
- *Remember: If you are not a full-time student (fewer than 12 credits), your awards might be reduced; use the pro-rate tool to see your adjusted aid.
- You must submit a Student Loan Request form (found on our Forms webpage) to request a student loan. Once the request has been processed, it will show on your award screen as offered & accepted.
- For instructions on how to apply for a student loan, refer to the article: How do I apply for loans?.
Reducing or Declining Awards:
- To decline or reduce an award (loans or grants), please submit a written and signed statement to the Financial Aid Office. Include your name, student ID, and details regarding which awards and which semesters you are requesting the change.
- The signed statement can be emailed to Finaid@reynolds.edu or submitted as a Web Case through the Financial Aid Support Center.
Do I have to complete a separate application for the summer?
If you have not yet done the FAFSA for that school year you will want to go to www.studentaid.gov to complete the FAFSA. The only additional application you would complete is if you would like to request a Federal Direct Student Loan. To request this loan you will need to complete the Summer Federal Direct Student Loan 2019-2020 form found on our Forms page.
How do I apply for student loans?
In order to apply for loans, a Loan Request form must be completed and can be found here: https://www.reynolds.edu/pay_for_college/financial_aid/forms.aspx. The student must have also completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as the Master Promissory Note (MPN), and Entrance Counseling at www.studentaid.gov.
What is the deadline for applying for financial aid?
The Federal Government’s deadline for completing the FAFSA is June 30 of each academic year. However, Reynolds has priority deadlines to ensure the Office of Financial Aid has enough time to process the application before classes begin each semester.
The priority deadlines for receipt of the FAFSA by the federal processor are as follows:
- Fall – April 15
- Spring – September 16
- Summer – February 17
When will my financial aid disburse?
The financial aid disbursement process begins after the drop date of your latest starting class of the semester. This process can take approximately 14 business days. Financial aid is used to pay for your tuition/fees and bookstore charges. We must ensure the correct amount of financial aid is disbursed based on your actual enrollment.
Am I eligible for financial aid if I have a drug-related conviction?
Per federal regulations, a student could lose their eligibility for federal aid if they were convicted of a drug-related offense while they were receiving federal student aid (grants, loans or work-study). The student will be asked on the FAFSA whether they had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while they were receiving aid. If the answer is yes, then they will be provided a worksheet to help them determine whether their conviction affects their eligibility. If the student has lost eligibility, they can regain it by successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program or by passing two unannounced drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation program. The student must submit proof of completion to the Office of Financial Aid in order for their aid to be reinstated.
If a student is convicted of a drug-related offense after they complete the FAFSA, then they could lose their eligibility within that semester. They might also be responsible for returning any financial aid received during the period of ineligibility.
I need to talk to someone about my financial aid question. How can I submit my financial aid documents?
Financial aid assistance is available at 1-855-874-6682, the Financial Aid email account firstname.lastname@example.org, or the 24-hour live chat feature available via the “24-Hour Student Accounts and Financial Aid Support” link on our Reynolds financial aid central website.
If you need to submit documents, you may do so via your SIS Student Center “To Do List.” You must use Internet Explorer for this option to work. You may also send electronic or scanned documents via the email@example.com email account.
I am not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. I am not meeting the 150% Rule requirement and have to submit the Degree Audit Form, which requires an advisor signature, but the college only offers remote services. How can I submit the required documents?
You can complete the Degree Audit Form and have your instructor send you an e-mail stating that they agree with (approve) the classes listed on the form and their email can serve as their signature.
I do not have access to a printer and need to print off verification documents so I can complete them. How can I get a copy of the required form?
You can contact the Office of Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a paper copy be mailed to your home address. Please confirm your address is accurate in your SIS Student Center. Once the form is completed, you can upload it in SIS or mail it to Reynolds Community College, Office of Financial Aid, 1651 E Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23228.
Can I electronically sign any financial aid forms?
Yes, we can accept a digital signature with time stamp that has been password protected. This is typically a document that has been signed in Adobe. We can also accept a signature with an electronic pen. Lastly, for FAFSA Verification forms we can accept an e-mail from your VCCS e-mail account and this will count as your signature.
Acceptable Electronic Signatures (Instructions)
I’ve tried but I’m not able to obtain a Verification of Non-filing Letter from the IRS. What other documentation is acceptable?
If you are unable to obtain proof of your non-filing status for the 2018 tax year from the IRS or other tax authorities, you may submit a SIGNED statement instead. The statement must certify that you attempted to obtain proof of your non-filing status for the 2018 tax year from the IRS or other tax authorities but were unable to obtain the required documentation. The statement should also indicate the reason you were unable to obtain the required documentation from the IRS.
If I have questions about financial aid, who should I contact?
Students should visit Financial Aid Central or call 1 (855) 874-6682 for any financial aid questions. Also, you can receive financial aid assistance at the Office of Financial Aid on campus.