What is Federal Student Aid?
Federal Student Aid
It is financial aid from the federal government to help qualified students pay for education expenses at an eligible college, technical school, vocational school, or graduate school. The Financial Aid Office will help students navigate the financial aid process, such as filing applications for federal programs and completing required loan documents.
How to Apply for Federal Student Aid
Students are responsible for completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is processed by the U.S. Department of Education and the results are sent to the school and the student in a document known as a Student Aid Report (SAR). The school cannot determine a financial aid offer without an SAR. You do not need to wait until you test for a program or have been accepted into a program to start this process. Please read the following instructions carefully.
Step 1 - Creating an FSA ID
We strongly recommend you create an FSA ID, a username and password combination, that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to access the myStudentAid app, sign loan contracts, and access certain information online. While you can get your FSA ID as you’re completing the FAFSA online, getting it ahead of time and using it to begin your FAFSA on https://fafsa.gov/ or on the myStudentAid mobile app cuts down on errors and delays.
Important note: If you’re a dependent student, one of your parents whose information is reported on the FAFSA will also need an FSA ID so that he or she can sign your application electronically.
Step 2 - Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply
The FAFSA questions ask for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances, you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the application:
Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA!).
Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student.
Your driver’s license number if you have one.
Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student.
Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student.
Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student.
Keep these records! You may need them again.
Step 3 - Starting Your FAFSA
The FAFSA is available on Oct. 1 for the next school year. We encourage you to fill it out as soon as possible on or after Oct. 1 to meet FAFSA deadlines. For this school year, complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA.
FAFSA Filing Options
You may choose any of these methods to file a FAFSA:
Log in at https://fafsa.gov/ to apply online or
Fill out the FAFSA in the myStudentAid mobile app, available on the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) or
Complete a 2023-2024 FAFSA PDF available at https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/2023-24-fafsa.pdf
Information Specific to Pickaway-Ross CTC
Federal School Code: 017174
All programs at Pickaway-Ross CTC are considered to be a “certificate/diploma (occupational/technical/education program of less than 2 yr.)”
Students attending Pickaway-Ross CTC have a grade level of either “Never attended college/1st yr.” or “Attended College before /1st yr.”
If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will send your Student Aid Report by e-mail within 3-5 days. If you did not provide an e-mail address it will arrive by mail within 3 weeks. If you would like to check the status of your FAFSA, go to https://studentaid.gov/ or call 1-800-433-3243.
All students applying for Federal Student Aid must meet with the Financial Aid Office prior to enrollment. PRCTC obtains written confirmation from students on the types and amounts of Federal Student Aid that a student wants for an award year prior to disbursement. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at 740-642-1264 for more information.
Changes to your Family’s Financial Situation
If you or your family’s financial situation has changed significantly from what is reflected on your federal income tax return (for example, if you’ve lost a job or otherwise experienced a drop in income), you may be eligible to have your financial aid adjusted. Complete the FAFSA questions as instructed on the application (including the transfer of tax return and income information), submit your FAFSA, then contact the Financial Aid office at 740-642-1264 to discuss how your current financial situation has changed. Note that the school’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.
What Types of Federal Student Aid Are Available?
Federal Student Aid is available to students enrolled in an eligible program of 600 or more clock-hours. Pickaway-Ross CTC offers three forms of Federal Student Aid: Federal Pell Grants, Direct Subsidized Loans, and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Pickaway-Ross CTC does not offer Direct Plus Loans (Parent Plus Loans). To determined Federal Student Aid eligibility, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate financial award year. Students needing assistance may contact the financial aid office. Federal student aid will not be originated and/or disbursed until the FAFSA has been received and the student’s financial aid file is complete.
Pell Grant – Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances. Amounts can change yearly; the maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $7,395 for the 2023–2024 award year (July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024). The amount you get, though, will depend on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the cost of attendance for your specific program, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
Direct Student Loans - Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. (Some people refer to these loans as Stafford Loans or Direct Stafford Loans.) After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly. There are several repayment options available that are designed to meet the individual needs of borrowers. Your loan servicer can help you understand which repayment options are available to you. Generally, you’ll have 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose.
Direct Subsidized Loan – Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. Your school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you’re in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments). The maximum amount is $3,500 (1st year) for both independent and dependent students.
Direct Unsubsidized Loan – Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive. You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan). The maximum amount is $9,500 (1st year) less any subsidized money for independent students, and $5,500 (1st year) less any subsidized money for dependent students.
Direct Plus Loans – Direct Plus Loans are not available at Pickaway-Ross CTC
For more information, please visit https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized
Code of Conduct Regarding Student Loans
PRCTC adopts and adheres to the Code of Conduct established by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator’s (NASFAA).
Direct Loan Counseling, Master Promissory Note (MPN), and Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment
First time Direct Student Loan borrowers will need to complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before any Federal Direct Student Loan funds will be disbursed to PRCTC. These items can be completed at https://studentaid.gov. Direct Student Loan(s) included on the student’s Financial Aid Offer may be delayed, or cancelled, if these items are not completed by the 14th calendar day of the program.
Non-first time Direct Student Loan borrows will need to have an active MPN on file before any Federal Direct Student Loan funds will be disbursed to PRCTC. The MPN can be completed at https://studentaid.gov. Direct Student Loan(s) included on the student’s Financial Aid Offer may be delayed, or cancelled, if the MPN is not completed by the 14th calendar day of the program.
PRCTC recommends that all Direct Student Loan borrows complete the optional Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement. The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement can be completed at https://studentaid.gov.
Please see below for more detailed information on these items. If you need assistance completing these items, or have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 740-642-1326.
Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
If you have not previously received a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), the Federal Government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming; the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. During entrance counseling, you will learn about the following:
The seriousness and importance of the students’ repayment obligation
Information on the accrual and capitalization of interest
Borrowers of unsubsidized loans have the option of paying interest while in school
Definition of half-time enrollment and the consequences of not maintaining half-time enrollment
Importance of contacting appropriate offices if student withdraws prior to completion of program of study
Sample monthly repayment amounts
The obligation of the borrower to repay the full amount of the loan regardless of whether the borrower complete program or completes within regular time for completion, is unable to obtain employment upon completion, or is otherwise dissatisfied with or does not receive the educational or other services the borrower purchased from the school
Consequences of default
Information about the NSLDS and how the borrower can access the borrower’s records
Name and contact information for individual the borrower may contact with questions about the borrower’s rights and responsibilities or the terms and conditions of the loan.
Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated, when interest is charged, available repayment plans, and deferment and cancellation provisions. You can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years. It’s important to understand that when you sign an MPN you’re promising to repay all loans that are made under that MPN. As stated on the MPN, you must repay your loan even if
you don’t complete your education,
you can’t get a job after you leave school, and/or
you didn’t like the education you received.
Before—or at the time of—the first disbursement of your loan, you'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.
Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement
PRCTC recommends that you complete an Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment each year you accept a new federal student loan. The goal of the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is that you understand your loans and how they affect your financial future. If this is your first time accepting a federal student loan, you are acknowledging that you understand your responsibility to repay your loan. If you have existing federal student loans, you are acknowledging that you understand how much you owe and how much more you are eligible to borrow. You’ll also see other federal student aid information, including the interest rates and repayment options to make managing your student loans easier.
Direct Loan Exit Counseling
Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s). During exit counseling, you will review:
Options to prepay or pay on shorter schedule
Debt Management Strategies
Use of Master Promissory Note
The seriousness and importance of student’s repayment obligation
Terms and conditions for forgiveness or cancellation
Copy of information provided by the U.S. Department of Education
Terms and conditions for deferment or forbearance
Consequences of default
Options and consequences of loan consolidation
Tax benefits available to borrowers
The obligation of the borrower to repay the full amount of the loan regardless of whether the borrower completes program or completes within regular time for completion, is unable to obtain unemployment upon completion, or is otherwise dissatisfied with or did not receive the educational or other services the borrower purchased from the school
Availability of the Student Loan Ombudsman’s office
Inform the student borrower of the availability of title IV loan information in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and how NSLDS can be used to obtain title IV loan status information
Explain to first-time borrowers, as defined in §685.200(f)(1)(i):
How the borrower's maximum eligibility period, remaining eligibility period, and subsidized usage period are determined under §685.200(f);
The sum of the borrower's subsidized usage periods, as determined under §685.200(f)(1)(iii), at the time of the exit counseling;
The consequences of continued borrowing or enrollment, including:
The possible loss of eligibility for additional Direct Subsidized Loans; and the possibility that the borrower could become responsible for accruing interest on previously received Direct Subsidized Loans and the portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan that repaid a Direct Subsidized Loan during in-school status, the grace period, authorized periods of deferment, and certain periods under the Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn Repayment plans
If you have received a Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan under the Direct Student Loan Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you drop below half-time enrollment, graduate, or leave school. If exit counseling is not completed, PRCTC will place a hold on your student record. Exit counseling can be completed online at https://studentaid.gov/exit-counseling/
Deferments – A temporary postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest generally does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans, the subsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, the subsidized portion of FFEL Consolidation Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. All other federal student loans that are deferred will continue to accrue interest. Any unpaid interest that accrued during the deferment period may be added to the principal balance (capitalized) of the loan(s). For more information about the types of deferments and eligibility requirements you can visit https://studentaid.gov.
VETERAN'S EDUCATION BENEFITS
Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill© Active Duty Educational Assistance
Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation
Chapter 32 Veterans’ Education Assistance Program
Chapter 33 Post 911
Chapter 35 Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance
Chapter 1606 Montgomery GI Bill© Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program
Chapter 1607 Montgomery GI Bill© Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program
The following programs are approved for VA Education Benefits: Basic Peace Officer Academy, Electrical, EMT-Basic, HVAC, Maintenance, Nurse Aide, Paramedic, Phlebotomy, Power Line, and Welding.
To Apply for VA Education Benefits You Will Need to Provide the Following:
DD-214 Discharge papers (Certified Copy)
VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
DD-2384 Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) for members of Selective Reserve (See your Commanding Officer for this document)
To be certified for VA Education Benefits through PRCTC, students must submit all required documentation/forms to the Financial Aid Office and complete the enrollment process.
To comply with the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, PRCTC will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of last fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 recipient borrow additional funds to cover the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement of a payment by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Prior Credit Evaluation Form
The Prior Credit Evaluation form is applicable to new students who wish to use VA educational benefits or those using benefits who change programs. The VA requires all prior courses, credits and military training/experience should be evaluated for transfer credit appropriate to the student’s program.
Please contact the Financial Aid Office at 740-642-1264 for a Prior Credit Evaluation Form. The completed form must be received by the Financial Aid Office be VA Education Benefits are certified.
STATE, LOCAL, AND COUNTY FUNDING
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities - Financial assistance may be available from this local agency for students with physical, mental or emotional disabilities that present a handicap to employment. Partial to total aid may be available to cover tuition, books, and supplies. Contact your local or area Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation office. For more information, please visit https://ood.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/ood/individuals-with-disabilities.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) - Financial assistance may be available from this program for students who qualify. Partial to total aid may be available to cover tuition, books and supplies. Please contact your local county Jobs One-Stop center for more information and eligibility requirements. For more information, please visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/wioa/index.stm.
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) – Financial assistance may be available for students who have lost jobs or had hours and wages reduced because of foreign trade. Contact your employer or your local county Jobs One-Stop center for more information and eligibility requirements. For more information, please visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/TradeAdjustAssist_FAQ.stm.
To help student’s manager their financial obligations, interest-free payment plans are available. A payment plan provides a monthly payment and is developed using the student’s expected enrollment (program length) and financial assistance funding, if applicable. Payment plans can include tuition and fees, book, supplies, and/or tools, and other education costs. The first monthly payment is due by the first day of class; subsequent payments will be due on the same day each month. If a payment is not received within 10 days of the scheduled due date, the student will be blocked from class, unless an alternative arrangement has been made. In the event that an alternative arrangement or form of payment is not received with 30 days of the due date, the student will be withdrawn from their specific program.