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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadline to apply for financial aid?

  • Fall semester - June 1st
  • Spring semester - November 1st
  • Summer semester - May 1st

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes. See How to Apply for Financial Aid for more information.

Do I have to enroll full-time (12 credit hours) to receive financial aid?

No. Although the award you see in Online Services is based on full-time (12 hours) enrollment, your aid will be adjusted to reflect the number of hours you are enrolled each semester. Only classes that are required for your degree/certificate plan can be funded.

When and how will I receive my financial aid at Wharton County Junior College?

Financial aid funds will be applied to your college account after the official enrollment date (Census Date) of each semester. Federal and college funds will be applied at this time only for those students who have completed all requirements for the financial aid process. Disbursement of state awards is dependent on the availability of state funding. If you have more financial aid than college charges, the balance will be issued as a refund.

Will I lose my financial aid or owe money back if I drop a class?

Always check with the Wharton County Junior College Office of Financial Aid for specific details.

Dropping a class can reduce your Pell Grant and could also impact your future loan level. Loan recipients who drop below half-time will enter their loan grace period. Dropping a class can also create Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) problems and you might not be eligible for any future financial aid assistance.

Can I get financial aid for summer?

You will need to register for the summer session before we will begin to process any financial aid. You will be eligible for summer financial aid if you have not already reached your maximum annual or aggregate limits on loans and Pell Grants during the fall and spring semesters.

Are loans considered financial aid?

Yes. Loans are part of the federal student aid program and are considered financial aid.

How many hours do I have to be enrolled in to qualify for a federal student loan?

Students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours which must be part of their degree plan in order to be eligible for a federal student loan.

Do I have to complete the online process at https://studentloans.gov for my loan?

Yes. If you do not complete the online process as instructed your loan cannot continue to be processed by the Department of Education. You must complete Entrance Counseling electronically and sign the Master Promissory Note for the loan. Federal regulations also require that all students who receive a Direct Loan (DL) must complete Exit Counseling prior to graduation or dropping below half-time attendance. You may not be able to get a copy of your college transcript until you have completed this important step.

How do I know if my loan funds have been received and deposited into my student account?

You should check your student account using the Online Services feature on the WCJC website. Information will not be released via telephone due to privacy laws. Loan funds will be deposited into your student account electronically. Check your Disclosure Statement to determine when funds will be sent to the college. The Business Office will deduct what you owe for tuition, fees and books and the balance will be mailed to you. You are responsible for maintaining a current, valid address with the Registrar's Office.

Why is the loan amount I signed for and the loan amount I received different?

An "origination fee" is charged for Stafford Loans per the regulations governing the loan programs. The fee may not exceed 3% of the principal amount of the loan. The fee is deducted proportionately from each payment before the loan funds are disbursed to the school by the lender. The fee is paid to the federal government to defray the cost of the loan programs.

Thus, if a lender deducts the 3 percent origination fee from a $2,000 Stafford Loan that is to be paid in two installments, the student will receive payments of $970 and $970. However, the student will be responsible for the full value of the loan, $2,000. A lender may choose to pay all or part of the origination fee on behalf of their students.

The guarantor is also authorized to collect an insurance fee not to exceed 1 percent of the loan.  If the guarantor charges an insurance fee for its Stafford and PLUS loans, the lender may pass on the charge to the borrower.

For PLUS loans, the origination fee is always 3 percent and may not be reduced by the lender. The lender may also charge an insurance fee on Stafford and PLUS loans to defray the insurance fee charged by the guarantor; the fee is limited to 1 percent.

What if I have other loans and don't know who the lender is or how to contact them?

Call the Department of Education at 1-800-621-3115 or log on to the National Student Loan Data System at https://www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need your PIN or log in (beginning April 26, 2015).

How do I consolidate my loans?

Complete the Direct Consolidation Loan Application at www.studentloans.gov.

What if I need to dispute the terms of a loan?

You should contact the lender and/or guarantor in writing. If the issue remains unresolved you should contact the Office of the Ombudsman at http://ombudsman.ed.gov/ or 1-877-557-2575.

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