How to Apply for Financial Aid
In order to be considered eligible for federal and state financial aid, you must meet the following criteria:
- High School Equivalence
You must either:
Hold a high school diploma
Have earned an equivalent diploma (GED certificate)
To be eligible for aid, you must be either:
A citizen or national of the United States;
A permanent resident (Form I-51 or I-551)
An eligible non citizen with a Department Record (I94) from the United States Immigration and Naturalization service showing any one of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," or "Cuban-Haitian entrant."
- Degree Seeking Status
All students applying for financial aid must be pursuing a degree or a one year certificate. Career study certificate courses do not qualify for federal and state financial aid programs. Eligible certificates require more than one semester to complete.
- Satisfactory Progress
Under federal and state regulation, if you receive financial assistance you must fulfill the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Guidelines. Failure to meet this requirement will result in financial aid termination. Details of the College’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Guidelines are available in the Financial Aid Office and online.
If you are in default or owe a repayment for any Title IV program, you are not eligible for any further aid.
- Selective Service Registration
If you are a male age 18-25, you must comply with Selective Service Registration.
- Social Security Number
You must have a valid social security number.
- Qualifying Program
All students must be pursuing a degree or one-year certificate program. Visit prairiestate.edu and select Apply, Register, Pay to view a list of approved programs.
Steps for Applying for Financial Aid
Please note: The financial aid process can take up to 30 days. A short video is available on how to complete the FAFSA at http://www.finaid.org/fafsa/video.phtml.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The school code for
PSC is 001640.
There are three options to file a FAFSA:
- Apply online at fafsa.gov. Note: You must use the previous year's federal income tax return to complete the FAFSA. Applications are available online beginning January 1st of every year. We strongly recommend that students link to the IRS Web site to download their federal income tax information. Beginning in the 2012/13 academic year, students who do not download the information from the IRS will have to obtain a tax transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Financial Aid Office for verification.
- Download a FAFSA from http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/options.htm. You will need to complete the form and mail it in for processing.
- Request a paper FAFSA by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243 or 319-337-5665). The hearing impaired should contact the TTY line at 1-800-730-8913. Please note: using the non-electronic version of the FAFSA adds additional time to the financial aid process.
- Notification from Department of Education
If you listed PSC's school code in your FAFSA, the college's Financial Aid Office will receive your report in approximately 14 days. This report is used to confirm receipt of your FAFSA with the Department of Education. If you completed a paper FAFSA, the notification takes several weeks longer.
- Notification from PSC
Once PSC receives your FAFSA from the Department of Education, a letter will be mailed to you indicating the documents needed to complete your financial aid file. All students are required to complete the Rights and Responsibilities form.
- Determination Letter
Once all required documents are completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office, an award or ineligible letter will be issued in two to three weeks. Students eligible for an award are notified via e-mail. The award letter can be viewed in student's WebAdvisor account. First time PSC students also will have an award letter mailed to their home.
Please note that all requested information for fall semester must be submitted to the PSC Financial Aid Office by May 1st to ensure processing completion before tuition payment due date. Students that are unable to meet the May 1st deadline are still encouraged to complete their financial aid file, but are responsible for paying for classes by the payment due date. Oct. 1 is the priority deadline for fall semester; Mar. 1 is the priority deadline for summer semester.
Book vouchers are available each semester one week before classes begin. Vouchers will be given to students who have an award in the system, are registered for classes, and have sufficient financial aid to cover tuition and fees, plus the book voucher. A valid student I.D. for the current semester and a class schedule are required to use the book voucher.
To ensure students receive the most prompt response from the Financial Aid Office, we have established the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Students are encouraged to use this email address to submit documents as well as ask questions about the status of your file.
The Financial Aid Census Date May Impact You
The financial aid census date records the number of credit hours taken by a student. Any courses that are added or dropped after the census date will not result in an adjustment to the financial aid award. Courses added after the census date could result in the student owing the college money. This means that students MUST review their schedules to ensure they are officially enrolled in each course they are attending. Students withdrawing from all courses, or students who stop attending all courses, will receive a reduction in the original award amount even after the census date.