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How do I apply for financial aid?
Our process for applying for financial aid is very simple – there are 5 steps at most that we require from you:
1. Complete your Federal Tax Return.
2. Determine your Dependency status (CLICK HERE) to verify if you must include your parent's information when applying for Financial Aid.
3. Apply for your PIN at www.pin.ed.gov, so you can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
4. Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Contact our office to obtain a paper FAFSA if needed.
5. Please complete the Financial Aid forms where applicable. Financial Aid forms can be found on the Apply for Financial Aid Page.
What does FAFSA stand for?
Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
What is the FAFSA exactly?
It is a federal government form that asks for student and parental information, including incomes earned and taxes paid. This information is used to calculate a student’s financial need, which we match with financial aid. It is a free form to file with the federal government and all students are recommended to complete, even if they feel they would not qualify for financial aid.
Should I pay someone to file my FAFSA for me?
No. The first "F" in FAFSA stands for free because completing and filing the FAFSA is free! Instructions on how to complete a FAFSA take you through the process step-by-step, and if you have questions about it, give us a call and we can help. We even have a toll-free number, so there's no reason to pay someone to do what you can do for free.
How is the FAFSA used to determine my financial aid package?
The federal government uses data provided on the FAFSA to calculate a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The Financial Aid Office calculates a student’s Cost of Attendance (COA), which includes tuition, living expenses, miscellaneous fees, books, etc. COA minus EFC equals a student’s financial need, which we then try to match with grants, scholarships, and loans.
Do I have to fill out a FAFSA every year?
Yes. If you want to receive financial aid every year, you must fill out a FAFSA every year. They are available starting January 1st and should be postmarked or completed online by March 1st.
Can I fill out a FAFSA online?
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to do so as it offers built-in help to assist you with completing the application and uses skip-logic to only ask relevant questions. In addition, your FAFSA will be processed faster and will likely be more accurate because the FAFSA website is designed to catch more common errors. The online application also allows the IRS to automatically complete part of the FAFSA for you through their their IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DTR).
We highly recommend using the IRS DRT because it simplifies the application process, helps reduce errors, and may lower your chances of being selected to verify the information on your FASFA. (see What is Verification)
What is verification?
Verification is a process in which the aid administrator must confirm all information on the FAFSA is accurate and complete. Much like the an IRS audit, most applications are randomly selected. A few are selected because it appears there may be an error. Each year, at least 30% of all applicants are flagged by the Department of Education for verification.
What is the deadline for filing the FAFSA (i.e. applying for financial aid)?
Our priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is March 1st of each year. Forms should be postmarked no later than the March 1st before the academic year for which aid is being applied. If the priority deadline is not met, a student may still apply through June 30th of that academic year, but funding for certain aid programs may be exhausted.
Application Period Begins: January 1
Priority Deadline: March 1
Final Deadline: June 30
What if I do not want to apply for financial aid?
You must complete a Financial Aid Refusal Form if you do not want to apply for aid.
Are there any forms to fill out besides the FAFSA?
Yes. OTC may require students/families to complete and submit additional forms to complete the Financial Aid process. Additional forms can be found on the Apply For Financial Aid page.
Occasionally other forms will be required of students and will be mailed to the student for completion.
How do I qualify for scholarships?
OTC awards scholarships at various competitions and events and are based on written test results in addition to other criteria established by the college. In addition, there are literally thousands of local, regional, state and national scholarships available each year. Students are encouraged to seek out scholarship opportunities even after they begin enrollment.
Where can I get more information on Financial Aid?
FinAid.org was established in the fall of 1994 as a public service. This award-winning site has grown into the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools--on or off the web. Access to FinAid is free for all users.
For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 800.322.7000 or email@example.com