Even at our affordable rate, paying for college can still be a challenge. Applying for financial aid can help you worry less today, as you prepare for your career tomorrow.
Make College Affordable
We offer a comprehensive financial aid program made up of federal, state and private funding. Financial aid is money you receive each semester to help with the costs of college. Applying for aid at STLCC can be simple once you review our process.
Financial aid can come in the form of:
- Grants - A sum of money given to you to use for your education, without the expectation of being paid back.
- Loans - A sum of money you borrow to use toward your education, with the expectation that it has to be paid back. Student loans typically come with lower interest rates that will begin to accrue after you graduate or leave the college.
- Work-study - The work-study program matches you with a part-time job so you can earn money toward tuition while you attend college.
You can determine if you qualify for financial aid by applying online at the federal and state level.
How much aid can I qualify for as a student?
Aid is most often given based on need, but there are other factors that play a role.
The first step is to determine need, which is actually a straightforward process. Need is calculated through a simple equation: the cost of attending your college minus your family’s expected contribution. The difference between the two - the amount - is how much you need in financial support to attend college.
Now, determining what amount you and your family can be expected to pay is where the math gets tricky. To get a fair estimate, you will need to fill out an application for aid, or a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Based on your application, the federal government performs an analysis to determine your family’s expected contribution toward your education.
While these are two major contributors, other factors do impact the amount of aid you can receive. The amount of public funds available, how many credit hours you’ve enrolled in and when you submitted your application play a part as well.
With so many contributing factors, there’s no surefire way to guess what your aid will be. The best thing to do is to take out the guesswork and submit your FAFSA application.
STLCC’s FAFSA school code is 002469.
Applying for FAFSA
The first step to getting help paying for your degree or certificate is completing the FAFSA form each year. Here are step-by-step instructions to make sure you’re setting yourself up to receive the most aid possible for you. Oct. 1 is when students can begin applying with the previous year’s taxes. Priority filing ends April 1, but if you happen to miss the deadline, you can still apply for partial aid.
- Create your FAFSA ID. Before you begin applying for aid, you will need to create a username and password. If you’re still a dependent, your parents may also set up an ID.
- Apply for college. While you are waiting for your information to be verified, you can apply to STLCC. Choose the pathway that best describes you, but always select degree-seeking, otherwise you will not be eligible for aid.
- Complete your FAFSA for the upcoming year. Once you’re set up with STLCC, complete your FAFSA, using the username and password you created in step one.
- Check your Institutional Student Aid Report. Log in to Banner-Self Service to confirm the college has received your Institutional Student Aid Report. This will also tell you what documents you need to submit. To make sure you receive maximum aid, complete all steps before April 1.
- Send your transcripts. Submit your high school and any college transcripts to STLCC. You can do this through one of our four, online vendors or in-person at your high school or college.
- Verify your course schedule. Before you can receive aid, your classes need to be evaluated by an academic advisor. Only courses that apply toward your declared major are eligible for financial aid.
- Check back in on Banner. As you complete the financial aid process, check back in on Banner Self-Service to follow your progress and review your initial award.
Types of Aid
The federal government offers grants as free money to use toward college. If you receive a grant, you are free to use it toward your education without having to pay it back. Two common federal grants are Pell and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants.
Work on campus or at an off-campus public organization and earn money toward your tuition. As part of the Federal Work-Study Program, you can expect to work 20-25 hours a week during the academic year.
Investing in your education with a federal student loan is sometimes necessary. With federal loans, you also won’t rack up debt while you’re in school, as the low interest doesn’t start accruing until you’ve moved on, letting you focus on your studies, not your finances.
Apply for multiple scholarships utilizing our single application. Our institutional system will automatically match you with multiple scholarships based on the application you enter, scholarship criteria and potential funding sources. Take a few minutes to apply for additional free funds to help cover your tuition and book cost.
Repaying Student Loans
There’s no doubt that student loans have stepped into the national spotlight. The FY 2016 national cohort default rate average is 10.1%. STLCC cohort default rate for FY2016 is 12.6%. While loans have received some not-so-positive attention, when used responsibly they can make college attainable when it wouldn't be otherwise. If you find yourself needing to borrow money for your education, federal loans make a smart choice because:
- They offer lower interest rates than private loans and credit cards
- You won’t need a credit check or co-signer (most)
- Repayment doesn’t begin until you graduate or drop below a half-time student
- Certain careers in the public sector even offer loan forgiveness
Remember, every dollar you take out in a loan, you must repay. The loans also accrue interest after college, meaning that you will pay more than what you borrowed.
STLCC offers unique assistance for students with loans. The College was select by Department of Education to participate in Experiment 6—Direct Loan Program—limiting unsubsidized loan amounts. This allows STLCC to reduce the amount of an unsubsidized Direct Loan that the otherwise eligible student would receive, by at least $2,000 (the amount of the most recent statutory increase) or eliminate the unsubsidized Direct Loan completely.
Visit the U.S. Department of Education website for more information on how student loans work.
How to Use Your Financial Aid
Each semester you’re enrolled at STLCC, you will receive your financial aid in the form of refunds. Your refund will be deposited during the fifth week of the semester, after the Financial Aid office verifies that you are attending the classes you’re collecting aid for.
After you complete your FAFSA for the academic year, submit all required documents and register for classes, you will then receive an award notification to let you know what to expect.
You can use the aid to offset the cost of enrolling in your classes that semester.
If you receive a Pell grant or Direct Student Loan in an amount more than the cost of classes, you qualify for a book account. This provides you with up to $600 for full-time students to use in campus bookstores. Visit the bookstore to discover what you can use your aid to purchase.
You are an investment. Financial aid is the government’s way in investing in a skilled workforce and healthy economy. Like any savvy investor, these organizations will pull funds if it looks like the opportunity isn’t going to yield gains.
If you want to continue to receive aid, you need to show you’re moving toward your degree and entering the workforce.
There are three simple guidelines to follow to show you are demonstrating Satisfactory Academic Progress:
- Keep a GPA of at least 2.0
- Ensure two-thirds of your schedule counts toward your degree
- Complete your program in a reasonable amount of time (150 percent of total credit hours)
If you fail to meet this guidelines, you can regain your aid. Learn more about re-establishing Satisfactory Academic Progress.
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