Financial Aid FAQ

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)

What is SAP?

  • Institutions that participate in Title IV Federal Aid Programs are required to monitor a student's academic progress per federal regulations. Standards like: Grade Point Average, Completion Ratio, and Time Frame. A student must meet satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for financial aid.
  • Read and Review the SAP Policy at: http://www.otc.edu/financialaid/1766.php

Why am I on probation from financial aid?

  • A student must meet satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for financial aid. A student is placed on warning when he/she fails to meet SAP policy requirements. After a semester of warning, a student will be placed on financial aid probation during the next term if they are still not meeting SAP requirements. NOTE: Completion ratio is calculated from all attempted credit hours from all semesters at OTC. 
  • Students are notified by email of their status after grades post at the end of each term.

How do I appeal financial aid probation?

  • Students are notified by email of their status after grades post at the end of each term.
  • Use the link in the email notification to submit an appeal online.  Be sure to submit any supportive documentation to Student Services. 
  • If you are unable to find the link, please request an appeal link from financialaid@otc.edu. It may take 24-48 hours to receive the link.

What does it mean to be Over the Maximum Timeframe?

  • The federal government allows a time limit for completing a degree program.  In other words, there are a maximum number of credit hours for which assistance can be awarded.  

Credit Hour Limits

  • 96 credit hours for Associate Degree
  • 48 credit hours for Certificate
  • 150% of program length

How do I complete eAdvisor?

  • Remember from STAR that Access OTC contains a link to complete eAdvisor.  The Financial Aid Appeal Committee needs to know your plan of action from now until graduation and how you expect to fulfill Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.  If you are graduating, you cannot complete eAdvisor.  Be sure to indicate that in your appeal explanation. 

FINANCIAL AID STATUS/AWARDS

Has my FASFA been processed? Do I need to make corrections?

First: Follow-up with your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov  & go to Column #3 to

  • Check Status
  • Make Corrections
  • Make sure all signature requirements have been met
  • View & Print your Report
  • Check to see if your FAFSA application was selected for verification

Important Points to Understand

  • If you are under verification, you will not see award amounts until the verification is complete.
  • If you have submitted all verification paperwork, please know it takes time for your paperwork to be linked.  If you submitted your paperwork, you may still receive an email requesting the information if it has been within the last 10-14 days.
  • If your SAP status is Suspension or Over the Time Frame, you will not have financial aid eligibility unless an appeal is granted.  You must complete E-Advisor before submitting an appeal.
  • If you do not have a complete financial aid file or you do not have financial aid eligibility, you will not have Option A available to you on MyPay MyWay.
  • If you see Direct Loans on your MYOTC awards, and do not want loans, please go to your Access OTC Financial Aid Status by Term and cancel them through the  Award Notifications link.
  • It is important to note that all awards are set at the maximum amount for a full-time enrollment status.  So, what you see may not be what you will get.  For example, the federal Pell Grant pays per the number of credit hours a student is attending.

How much financial aid am I eligible for?

  • Generally, students are directed to view their awards by logging in to MyOTC, selecting the Access OTC tab, and clicking on Financial Aid Status by Term.  It is important to note that all awards are set at the maximum amount for a full-time enrollment status.  So, what you see may not be what you will get.  For example, the federal Pell Grant pays per the number of credit hours a student is attending. 
  • If a student is attending less than full-time, they will not receive the full amount shown on the awards page.  Or, if a student has 2nd 8-week block classes, they will not receive the funds for those hours until they are attending those classes.
  • If you are less than full-time and curious how the Pell Grant pays click here.
  • To be eligible for loans, you must be a half-time student.  Also, you must activate your loan by completing the Direct Loan Application Process.

Minimum number of hours required to be half-time:
FALL-6 credit hours
SPRING-6 credit hours
SUMMER-3 credit hours

  • Other financial aid awards (including loans, scholarships, and some grants) may be adjusted once financial aid files are processed completely. 
  • There is a "cap" on the amount of financial aid a student may receive in one school year.  Therefore, you may want to follow-up with the Financial Aid Office if you are unclear about the amounts.

Why does my financial aid show $0.00?

Possible reasons include:

  • Your verification file is incomplete.
  • You have an unresolved FAFSA issue, such as defaulted student loans or a selective service issue.
  • You cancelled your awards with the Award Update Form.

FAFSA

How do I apply for federal financial aid?

  • START EARLY & GET ORGANIZED.
  • Apply for Admission and select a program of study that will lead to a Certificate, Associate of Applied Science, or Associate of Arts degree.
  • The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is your first step to apply for grants, loans, and work-study.  By completing the FAFSA you are applying for the Federal Pell Grant. 
  • Everything you need to know to do the FAFSA is lined out in 3 easy steps at http://www.fafsa.gov
  • Before you start, gather the documents you'll need
  • Determine your dependency status to find out if you are required to provide your parents' information
  • Apply for a PIN number at http://www.pin.ed.gov to sign the FAFSA on the Web electronically.  If you are required to provide parental information on the FAFSA, your parent must apply for his or her own PIN.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 
    • To complete a FAFSA go to http://www.fafsa.gov ; OTC's Federal School Code is 030830
    • 2012 - 2013 FASFA is required for---FALL 2012 - SPRING 2013 - SUMMER 2013
    • 2013 - 2014 FAFSA is required for---FALL 2013 - SPRING 2014 - SUMMER 2014
  • Questions about filling out the FAFSA? Contact the Federal Student Aid Center 1-800-433-3243.
  • Priority Deadlines:  You may be eligible for state grants if you meet Missouri's priority deadline of April 1st.  However, you may still file a FAFSA if you missed the deadline.  See OTC's priority deadlines.
  • Request your GED results or official high school transcripts and official transcripts from EACH college or university previously attended.  Have them sent to Ozarks Technical Community College, 1001 E. Chestnut Expressway, Springfield, MO  65802 or faxed to 417.447.6925.
  • The Current Top Eighteen Most Frequently Asked Questions about the FAFSA

I've done my FAFSA, what is my next step?

1) After filing a FAFSA, you will receive results via a Student Aid Report from the Department of Education.  The Student Aid Report (SAR) contains important information about what to do next.  Read it thoroughly for accuracy and follow- up!

2) Avoid potential problems - go to www.fafsa.gov  to follow-up and select options listed in column 3:

  • Check Status
  • View & Print your Report

3) Check the comment section of your SAR for corrections you might have to fix.  

  • Make sure all signature requirements have been met 
  • Make corrections noted in comment section
  • Plan to submit your financial documentation to the school if you are selected for verification

4) Check the status of your financial aid awards via your MYOTC student account.  Select the Access OTC tab & then "Financial Aid Status by Term" to view awards.

5) The financial aid office communicates via OTC email with students regarding their financial aid file.  Monitor your email on a regular basis for important communications from our office.

Why do I have to put my parents' information on my FAFSA?

o Until you are 24 years of age, FAFSA requires your parents' information and signature on your FAFSA.
o Determine your dependency status by using the link in column one on the www.fafsa.gov website.

My parents won't give me their information? Now what do I do?

It can be very difficult for students in your position when parents do not want to provide information.  Sometimes, parents do not realize that providing information on a FAFSA does not commit them pay for college but rather opens the door for you to receive financial aid on your own.

If you feel you have a special circumstance, please visit with a Financial Aid Advisor.

The following situations are not considered a special circumstance:

  • Your parents do not want to provide their information on your FAFSA; or
  • Your parents refuse to contribute to your college expenses; or
  • Your parents do not claim you as a dependent on their income taxes; or
  • You do not live with your parents.

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE PELL GRANT WORKS

How do I get the Pell Grant?

  • Apply for Admission and select a program of study that will lead to a Certificate, Associate of Applied Science, or Associate of Arts degree. 
  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for grants, loans and work study.  By completing the FAFSA you are applying for the Federal Pell Grant.
  • The Pell Grant pays on a sliding scale based on the number of credit hours you are attending.  For more information about how Pell pays click here
  • For more help visit Getting Started?

How do I check the status of my Award?

  • Avoid potential problems by double checking your Student Aid Report (SAR) which is sent to you after filling out a FAFSA.  Read the comments & make corrections.
  • Check your MYOTC account via your Financial Aid Status by Term in the Access OTC tab.
  • Check your MYOTC student email often for communications from the Financial Aid Office.
  • For more information go to Understanding my Financial Aid Status.
  • To see how enrollment effects your award go to Hours Attending and Payment of Aid.

Why does my financial aid show $0.00?

Possible reasons include:

  • You may be selected for verification and may be required to turn in additional documentation
  • You answered "YES" to a dependency question on your FAFSA and you are required to provide documentation to verify your answer.
  • You have a FAFSA issue that must be resolved before you can receive federal financial aid, such as a defaulted student loan or a selective service issue.
  • A missing signature will cause your FAFSA to be incomplete.
  • Your FAFSA may require a correction before we can proceed.
  • You cancelled your awards with the Award Update Form
  • You have not met Satisfactory Academic Progress standards

How and when do I get my refund?

  • The Cashier's Office is responsible for the disbursement of funds to students.
  • Questions regarding billing or refund disbursements are to be directed to the Cashier's Office at 447-4827 or cashhelp@otc.edu .
  • You must have a Smart Card to receive a refund. This is mandatory for all students.
  • For more information about delivery of refunds to students see Financial Aid Refund Delivery.

FAFSA VERIFICATION

What is verification, and why me?

  • The Department of Education selects 1 of 3 random FAFSAs to be verified, or in other words audited, by the college's Financial Aid Office.  
  • If you are randomly selected, the college is required to collect additional documentation to process your FAFSA. 
  • For more information see FAFSA Verification Documents Required.

How do I know if I am selected for verification?

  • Read the comment section on your FASFA Student Aid Report (SAR).  To do this, go to www.fafsa.gov  and select "View and Print Your Student Aid Report (SAR)" located in column #3.  
  • The Financial Aid Office will also attempt to notify you via your MYOTC student email.
  • Check your email often for communications from the Financial Aid Office.   

How do I complete my file?

  • If you have been selected for verification you may find more information about the verification process and the required worksheets on our website at FAFSA Verification.
  • If you are under 24 years old and answered one of the 'dependency questions' yes, you must submit documentation to verify your answer.  Follow-up with a Financial Aid Advisor.

I've turned in my paperwork. How long will it take to process?

  • Verification must be complete in order to receive financial aid benefits.  The process does take several weeks, so it is important to submit all completed paperwork as soon as possible.
  • If you are under verification, you will not see awards on your student account until the verification process is complete.
  • Allow up to six (6) to eight (8) weeks for general processing time once you have completed your file.

I've submitted my financial information. How do I check my status?

  • Allow up to six (6) to eight (8) weeks for processing time once you have completed your file.
  • You may receive an updated Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education which indicates your verification is complete. 
  • Once you receive the SAR allow 5-7 business days for awards to be updated on your MYOTC student account.  Check the Student Access Menu and select "Financial Status by Term" to see if your awards are posted. 
  • If after 5-7 business days, you continue to receive the notification, there may be an issue with your documents.  Please email financialaid@otc.edu from your OTC email account, call 417-447-6900 or stop by student services to inquire about the issue.

I already submitted my verification documents! Why are you asking again?

  • If you had delivered, mailed, or faxed us a document, the turn-around time to see it reflected on your student records is approximately 5-7 business days.  During this time it is possible that you could receive another computer generated email indicating a document is still missing.   If you turned in the document within the past 10-14 days, you can ignore the request. 
  • If after 5-7 business days, you continue to receive the notification, there may be an issue with your documents.  Please email financialaid@otc.edu from your OTC email account, call 417-447-6900 or stop by student services to inquire about the issue.

Has the Financial Aid Office received all my paperwork?

  • We digitally image and track all documents you submit on our system. If you have submitted all paperwork, please know it can take up to 5-7 days for your paperwork to be linked to your file.   Because of this, you may receive additional requests for the information submitted within that 5-7 day time period. 
  • If after 5-7 business days, you continue to receive the notification, there may be an issue with your documents.  Please email financialaid@otc.edu from your OTC email account, call 417-447-6900 or stop by student services to inquire about the issue.

B-Block (2nd 8 weeks) Coursework and Financial Aid

How do B-Block or 2nd 8 week courses effect Pell grant funding?

Awards are originally posted for the maximum Pell grant funding available for the semester on a studentís AccessOTC-financial aid by term.  This amount adjusts once attendance has been verified.  This maximum Pell grant adjusts as follows according to the number of hours attending:

 12 or more hours  100% of maximum available
 9-11 hours  75% of maximum available
 6-8 hours  50% of maximum available
 1-5 hours  25% of maximum available (or less dependent upon FAFSA EFC)

 A student enrolled in B-Block or 2nd 8 week coursework will receive additional Pell grant funding when B-Block attendance has been verified and adds enough hours to your full semester hours to move you to the next tier. 

For example, a student eligible for a maximum Pell grant of $2775, who's enrolled in six full semester hours and three B-Block hours will receive the following: 
At first attendance census, student is attending six full semester hours and will receive 2775 (maximum) x 50% (see above) = 1388.  At B-block attendance census, student is attending three additional hours for a total of nine hours and will receive 2775 (maximum) x 75% (see above) = 2082 - 1388 (amount already received) for an additional $694 for B-Block enrollment.


*Students statements, found at AccessOTC-Quikpay, show the cost for both full semester & B-Block classes at enrollment.  Therefore, your expense reflects the entire semester, but your financial aid pays after attendance is confirmed.

How do B-Block or 2nd 8 week courses effect loan funding?

A student must be enrolled or attending in six or more hours during the fall or spring semesters, three in summer, to be eligible for student loan funding. 

For example, students enrolled in four full semester hours and two B-Block hours will not be eligible for loan funding until their class attendance in six or more hours is confirmed.  Therefore, loan funding will NOT be requested until the B-Block attendance is confirmed.

How do B-Block or 2nd 8 week courses effect A Plus funding?

A Plus eligible student attendance requirement is twelve or more hours.  Therefore, enrollment in B-Block courses must be verified before A+ will pay. 

LOANS

Why is there a loan on my account if I did not apply for one?

With the new Direct Loan system, all students will be made aware of their maximum loan eligibility automatically.  The amount you see will be equally disbursed in fall and spring ONLY IF you choose to complete the loan process.  If you do not want a loan or want to reduce the loan amount, you must complete an Award Update Form.

 Do you want a Loan?  Now what do I do?
YES-I want a loan

Go to http://studentloans.gov

Complete Required (Two Steps):
1)Entrance Counseling 
2) Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Confirm that you completed both steps:
1) Log in at StudentLoans.gov
2)Click "View Completed MPN" 
3)View Previously Completed Counseling

YES BUT - I want to reduce my loans

1) Complete the loan process and
2) Submit a Loan Reduction or Cancel form found here: Manage Financial Aid
 NO - I do not want a loan

Click Manage Financial Aid and choose Loan Reduction or Cancel.

Yes-Can I increase the amount? No.
The amounts are set at the maximum automatically.  Financial aid awards (including loans, scholarships, and some grants) may be adjusted once financial aid files are processed completely. 
There is a "cap" on the amount of financial aid a student may receive in one school year.  Therefore, you may want to follow-up with the Financial Aid Office if you are unclear about the amounts.

How do I apply for a loan?

5 Easy Steps to Apply for a Direct Loan

 Complete your FAFSA.

To complete a FAFSA go to www.fafsa.gov

OTC's Federal School Code is 030830

Complete the 2012-2013 FASFA for
FALL 2012/SPRING 2013 & SUMMER 2013

Complete the 2013- 2014 FAFSA for   
FALL 2013 - SPRING 2014 - SUMMER 2014 

You must be enrolled in a minimum number of hours to be eligible for loans FALL            6 credit hours
SPRING       6 credit hours
SUMMER    3 credit hours
 Complete Student Loan Entrance Counseling  Go to www.StudentLoans.gov 
 Complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN)  Go to www.StudentLoans.gov 
 Confirm that you have completed the process  You may confirm that you have completed these items by logging in at http://studentloans.gov  and clicking "View Completed MPN" and "View Previously Completed Counseling". 

 

Additional Questions? Go to Student Direct Loan Process

Can I increase my loan amount?

No. The amounts are set at the maximum automatically.  Financial aid awards (including loans, scholarships, and some grants) may be adjusted once financial aid files are processed completely.  There is a "cap" on the amount of financial aid a student may receive in one school year.  Therefore, you may want to follow-up with the Financial Aid Office if you are unclear about the amounts.

I didn't apply for a loan but received a Master Promissory Note from Direct Loans in the mail that looks like I am required to sign it. Now what do I do?

With the new Direct Loan system, all students will be made aware of their maximum loan eligibility automatically.  The amount you see will be equally disbursed in fall and spring ONLY IF you choose to complete the loan process.

However, if you DO NOT want the loans or want to REDUCE the amount, complete a Loan Reduction or Cancel form at the Manage Financial Aid page.  Students may reduce or cancel their unsubsidized, subsidized loan or both at this link.

Do not complete online Entrance Counseling and do not sign the Master Promissory Note.  The loans will never be funded unless the student decides to complete the process at a later time.

E CASHIER/SMARTCARD/DISBURSEMENTS

Why is the Delayed Payment Option not showing up on MyPay MyWay?

If you do not have a complete financial aid file or you do not have financial aid eligibility, you will not have the Delayed Payment Option available to you on MyPay MyWay.

  • The Delayed Payment option, is only available to students who:
    1. Have a valid FAFSA on file at OTC's system and:
      a) Have Pell Grant eligibility or
      b) Have completed online Entrance Counseling  and an online Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.StudentLoans.gov
      c) Have A+ Program eligibility
    2. Have a Foundation or an OTC Institutional scholarship award
    3. Have a third party billing authorization award posted to your MYOTC account

What is MyPay MyWay?

  • MyPay MyWay is the way you make payment arrangements with OTC if you have not paid in full by the payment deadline.  You may choose a monthly payment plan, OR you may choose Option A, which defers the payment due date until later in the semester. 
  • PLEASE NOTE: MyPay MyWay is how you will pay and Smart Card is how you receive a refund. They are two separate and different systems!
  • Questions about MyPay MyWay or the Smart Card? Contact the Cashier's Office at 447-4827 or email cashhelp@otc.edu.

How will I pay for books?

  • Any student whom registers for eCashier may charge his/her books at the OTC Bookstore. 

When will my financial aid be disbursed?

Federal Direct Student Loans- Multiple Disbursements

The Federal Direct Loan disbursements must be made in two equal installments as follows:

 Loan Period  Disbursements
 Fall/Spring  One during Fall and one during Spring
 Spring Only  Two during Spring (one occuring after mid-semester)
 Summer Only  Two during summer (one occuring after mid-semester)

For financial aid refund dates, please contact the Cashier at 447-4827 or email cashhelp@otc.edu from your OTC webmail.  Refund information can be found on the web at: Financial Aid Refunds. 

Federal Direct Student Loans - Multiple Disbursements

The Federal Direct Loan disbursements must be made in two equal installments as follows:

 Loan Period  Disbursements
 Fall/Spring  one during Fall & one during Spring
 Spring Only  two during spring (one occurring after mid-semester)
 Summer Only  two during summer (one occuring after mid-semester)

WHAT IF I DROP A CLASS OR WITHDRAW?

If I drop or withdraw from classes, how will financial aid be affected?

  • Dropping or withdrawing from classes can put your current and/or future financial aid at risk.

Students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards to be eligible for financial aid.  Many student do not realize dropping classes can put them on Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation.

Students must complete two-thirds (67%) of their total hours attempted at OTC.


YOU CAN CALCULATE your current and projected completion ratio by viewing your transcripts through your Access OTC.

Formula:  Total Hours Completed at OTC DIVIDED BY Total Hours Attempted* at OTC

Completed hours = Courses completed with a passing grade

Attempted hours =  All hours that you are enrolled in on the first day of classes of ALL semesters you have enrolled at OTC. 

PLEASE NOTE: Withdrawals, drops, and incompletes count when figuring the total hours attempted at OTC. 

  • Credit hours transferred in from other colleges and universities will be counted in the total credit hours attempted when counting the credit hours toward the maximum time frame (see SAP policy).
  • All enrolled credit hours on the first day of the semester will count as attempted hours regardless of changes made to your schedule (i.e. adding, dropping, switching). Your financial aid may be affected depending on the type of aid you are to receive, how many hours you drop, and your SAP status.

IF YOU DROP ALL YOUR CLASSES:

  • You may have to pay back financial aid if you completely drop all classes.  The amount is unknown until a recalculation of earned funds is complete. 
  • You may be placed on Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation if your completion ratio falls below 67%.  It's possible that you could be considered "Over The Maximum Time Frame" if you exceed the maximum number of allowed hours toward a degree. 
  • Appeal forms are sent by email after grades post at the end of the semester when GPA and completion ratio are calculated.
  • If you wish to drop all of your classes contact Student Services to complete an Official Withdrawal Form.  More information is available on how to withdraw if you click on Records & Registration.