Student Affairs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Applying

How do I apply for financial aid?

Two applications are required when you apply for financial aid at Green River: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the Green River Supplemental Financial Aid Application.

  1. Complete and submit the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov.
  2. The Supplemental Application is available in the Green River Financial Aid Office, and you may also print the application from the College's Financial Aid Web page. Submit the Supplemental Application to the Green River Financial Aid Office.
  3. Additional information may be required once your application is reviewed. It is important that you follow up with the Green River Financial Aid Office to see if additional information is required, once you have submitted your applications. You can check the Student Financial Aid Portal on Green River's website to view the status of your application, and download any additional forms that are required.  

When can I apply?

Starting on January 1 of each year, the applications for the upcoming school year are available. For example, you may apply for 2015 Fall Quarter aid beginning on January 1, 2015.

Is there a deadline for financial aid applications?

Yes, it is called the Priority Deadline, and each quarter has a Priority Deadline:

Priority DeadlineQuarter
March 15 Fall
October 15 Winter
January 15 Spring
April 15 Summer

Can I still submit my application if I miss the Priority Deadline?

Yes, but your offer of financial aid may not be prepared in time for you to pay for tuition and book expenses. However, if you choose to attend and pay for your tuition and book expenses and are in good academic standing when your application is reviewed, you will be offered any aid for which you qualify, including the quarter(s) that you have already paid for within the current academic year.

If I pay for my tuition and book expenses, will I be reimbursed once my financial aid application is reviewed?

If you are in good academic standing when your application is reviewed, you will be offered any aid for which you qualify, and it may be less than, equal to, or greater than what you paid for tuition and books.

How long will I have to wait before I receive my financial aid notification?

Wait times vary throughout the year. Starting in January of each year, you may submit your application for the upcoming Fall Quarter; however, the Financial Aid Office does not begin reviewing applications for the upcoming Fall Quarter until March. Once the review process in the Financial Aid Office begins, it can take up to three months before your application is reviewed. Wait times for the Winter, Spring and Summer quarters are shorter.

Why does the Financial Aid Office start reviewing Fall Quarter applications in March?

Before Green River can download FAFSAs from the Department of Education for the new academic year, the state of Washington must provide software to Green River that is specific for each school year. Typically, the college does not receive this software from the state until February or March. Once the software is installed, the Financial Aid Office can then download your FAFSA, and pair your FAFSA with your Green River Supplemental Financial Aid Application. This process can take up to two months, due to the high volume of applications that are received each year.

Will the Financial Aid Office notify me if additional information is required for my application?

Yes. If additional information is required to complete your application, the Financial Aid Office will send an email to your Green River email account, and a hard copy letter to your mailing address from the FAFSA. The notification will list any additional information that is required to complete your application for aid. The letter will also contain a deadline by which you need to submit the additional information. If you miss the deadline, you can still submit the information, but your aid may not be prepared by the start of the quarter.

Eligibility

Do I have to be full-time to be eligible for financial aid?

In most instances, no. However, it is important to note that in order to receive the full amount of any grants, you need to be enrolled in at least 12 credits that apply to your degree/certificate. If you are receiving student loans, you must be enrolled in at least 6 credits that apply to your degree/certificate.

How do I know if I'm eligible to receive financial aid?

Before your eligibility can be determined, you must submit the FAFSA for the academic year in which you wish to begin receiving aid. Once you have completed the FAFSA, the Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report that will list your eligibility for federal awards. The Green River Financial Aid Office will make the final determination about the federal and state aid you can receive.

How is my eligibility for aid determined?

Your eligibility for aid is determined by your standardized cost of attendance and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated from the information you submit on the FAFSA and Green River Supplemental Financial Aid Application. 

What is my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

Your EFC is a number that is calculated from the information you submitted on your FAFSA. The number represents your financial contribution to your education. Your EFC is used to determine your financial need and determining your eligibility for aid.

If I already have a degree, can I still apply for financial aid?

Yes, but your funding options are limited. For example, students who have a Bachelor's degree or higher typically may qualify for student loans, tuition waivers, and Federal Work Study, whereas students who have an associate degree may qualify for additional grants.  Please contact the Financial Aid Office for questions about your eligibility for aid.

Financial Aid

What is financial aid?

Financial aid consists of the following types of funding:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Work Study

Financial aid is funding offered by the federal and state governments to qualifying students, to assist with educational costs.

Does everyone qualify for financial aid?

No, but most students will. The state and federal governments offer need-based (grants, work study, subsidized loans) and non-need-based (unsubsidized loans) financial aid programs. A student's need is determined when the application is reviewed. Typically, students who have a need will qualify for grants, work study, and/or student loans.  Students who do not have a need will likely not qualify for need-based eligibility, but may still qualify for student loans and scholarships.

Do I have to accept all of the financial aid awards that I'm offered?

No, you may accept the awards that you believe are most beneficial to you.

In many instances, a student will be offered grants and loans. If you find yourself in this situation, you may choose to accept the grants and decline the loans, or accept both grants and loans. You choose the awards to accept or reject, so be sure that you understand the awards you have been offered before you accept or decline them. If you need help understanding your awards, please consult with a financial aid adviser.

Are loans financial aid?

Yes. Many students assume that financial aid only consists of aid that does not require repayment; however, student loans are a type of financial aid.

Grants

What is a grant?

A grant is gift aid, and does not require repayment as long as you attend your classes. The college offers the following grants to qualifying students:

GrantAward Amounts
Pell Grant $602 to $5,730 annually
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) $100 to $3,000 annually
Washington State Need Grant $150 to $3,696 annually
Tuition Waiver Grant Waives tuition up to 15 credits/quarter
Green River Grant $150-$1,800 annually
Teach Grant Up to $4,000 annually
College Bound Up to $5,956 annually (combined with WA State Need Grant)

What is the minimum number of credits I have to be enrolled in to receive aid?

It varies, but it is important to note that to receive the full amount of any grants you qualify for, you must be enrolled in 12 or more credits. If you enroll in less than 12 credits, your aid will be adjusted to reflect your enrollment level.

Enrollment LevelCredits
Full-Time 12+
3/4 Time 9-11
1/2 Time 6-8
Less than 1/2 Time 1-5

These are the minimum enrollment levels allowed by each aid:

AidMinimum Credits Allowed
Pell Grant 1
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) 6
Washington State Need Grant 3
Tuition Waiver Grant 6
Green River Grant 6
Teach Grant 1
College Bound 3
Student Loans 6

If I enroll in less than 12 credits, how much will my aid be reduced?

Please refer to the chart below to determine the percentage of aid that you'll receive at different enrollment levels. It is important to note that some students will not receive their grant if they fall under an enrollment level that is specific to their award. For example, one student may receive the Pell Grant when enrolled with 9 credits, but another student may not, because of the qualifying criteria specific to the student's award. Consult with a financial aid adviser if you have questions.

Aid12+ Credits9-11 Credits6-8 Credits1-5 Credits
Pell Grant 100% 75% 50% 25%
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) 100% 75% 50% --
Washington State Need Grant
100% 75% 50% 25%
3 credit minimum
Tuition Waiver Grant
Waives Tuition (Not Fees) --
Green River Grant 100% 75% 50% --
Teach Grant 100% 75% 50% 25%
College Bound
100% 75% 50% 25%
3 credit minimum
Student Loans
100% (Cost of attendance less other resourses) --

Do I have to repay grants?

Grants are considered gift aid, and repayment is not required unless you withdraw from or fail courses. Failing one course out of two or three courses does not typically result in repayment, whereas failing all of your courses and ceasing to attend prior to the 60% point of the quarter will result in a repayment.
When repayment of a grant is required, that aid has been determined to be unearned financial aid based upon the lack of class attendance.

If I have to repay aid, am I still eligible to receive financial aid?

In most instances, you will not be eligible to receive financial aid until you repay the aid that you owe. If you owe a Federal Pell Grant repayment, the Department of Education will allow you to arrange for a payment plan to repay the debt. If you are successfully making your payments on time, you may be eligible to receive aid while you are paying the debt. You will need to submit a letter from the Department of Education to the Green River Financial Aid Office that verifies your repayment arrangement.

HigherOne

What is HigherOne?

HigherOne is a company specializing in the disbursement of student aid that the college has contracted with to disburse your financial aid. When you apply for financial aid, Green River will have HigherOne send you the Gator Choice Card. When you receive your card in the mail, it will arrive in a bright green HigherOne envelope, with no Green River markings. Do not discard the envelope! You will not be able to access your financial aid until you select your refund preference using the account number on the Gator Choice Card.

Do I have to use the Gator Choice Card?

In order to receive your financial aid refund disbursement, you will need to activate your refund preference. You will use the account number on the card to set up your account and select your refund preference.

What refund preference options are available from HigherOne?

There are three refund preference options through HigherOne:
·  HigherOne OneAccount (includes a debit card)
·  Paper check
·  ACH transfer or electronic fund transfer to your current bank account.

What is a HigherOne OneAccount bank account?

A HigherOne OneAccount bank account is a checking account with HigherOne. With this selection, your Gator Choice Card becomes a debit card used to access the funds in your OneAccount. When using your debit card, avoid using the PIN number. When asked if the payment is debit or credit, say credit and the merchant will pay the transaction fee. The Gator Choice Card is not a credit card so when you say credit, the amount of the purchase will still be taken directly out of your checking account.

Can I pick up the paper check from the College?

No, paper checks are mailed by HigherOne to your address that is on file with the school.

What is ACH transfer?


When you select "deposit to another account" as your refund preference, you will send HigherOne your bank account information, and HigherOne will wire transfer your funds to your own account, which you have already established with your bank.

What are the differences between the refund preferences with HigherOne?

Processing time. When you select the HigherOne OneAccount, your funds will be available the same day they are disbursed from Green River to HigherOne. When you select ACH transfer, it will take two to three business days for the wire transfer from HigherOne to be processed by your bank. Paper Checks will arrive at your mailbox five to seven days after the funds have been disbursed to HigherOne.

Loans

Will I qualify for a loan?

Unlike student loans from private lenders, a Federal Direct Student Loan is not based on your credit history. To qualify for a Federal Direct Student Loan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in at least 6 credits each quarter that apply to your degree/certificate at Green River.
  • Be in good academic standing, as defined by the Academic Progress Policy.
  • Not exceeded your maximum allotment of aid for the quarter.
  • Not borrowed the maximum allowed at the undergraduate level.

Are loans financial aid?

Yes, loans are considered financial aid. Loans are offered through the Department of Education, and generally have lower interest rates than student loans offered by a private lender.

Is my loan subject to a delayed disbursement?

If you are a new student and new borrower, yes; the disbursement of your loan in your first quarter of attendance will be delayed by 30 days per federal regulations. 

If you are not a new student and new borrower, your loan disbursement will not be delayed. One quarter loans are disbursed in two payments,  the first half of the loan funds will be disbursed at the start of the quarter, and the second half of your loan funds will be disbursed on or after the midpoint of the quarter.

What's the difference between a Subsidized loan and an Unsubsidized loan?

Subsidized loans are need-based, and not all students will qualify. While you attend school, interest will not accrue on subsidized loans because the federal government pays the interest for you. Interest does accrue on unsubsidized loans. 

What is the maximum I can borrow?

It varies and is different for each student. If you are receiving other forms of financial aid, you may not be able to borrow the full amount. Each quarter, a cost of attendance is assigned to you by the Financial Aid Office. Federal regulations limit aid to a standardized cost of attendance. For example, if your cost of attendance for Fall Quarter is $3,000, and you are receiving $3,000 in grants, you are receiving the maximum amount of aid for the quarter. On the other hand, if your cost of attendance is $3,000, and you are receiving $2,000 in grants, you may be eligible to receive a student loan of $1,000.

Dependent Student - Baccalaureate
Grade Level Base Amount Unsubsidized Additional Total
Junior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,500

Independent Student - Baccalaureate
Grade Level Base Amount Unsubsidized Additional Total
Junior $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Senior $5,500 $7,000 $12,500

Dependent Student - Associate/Certificate
Grade Level Base Amount Unsubsidized Additional Total
1st Year $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
2nd Year $4,500 $2,000 $6,500

Independent Student - Associate/Certificate
Grade Level Base Amount Unsubsidized Additional Total
1st Year $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
2nd Year $4,500 $6,000 $10,500

How do I apply for a federal loan?

There are two ways you can apply: Request a student loan on your Supplemental Application under the Additional Aid section, or submit the Federal Direct Loan worksheet.

How long will it take to process my loan request?

It can take up to five weeks, so it's important that you submit your request five to six weeks in advance of when you will need the loan.

What do I do if I cannot afford to make payments when my six-month grace period ends?

There are numerous repayment options, including income-based repayment. Payments can also be deferred for an extended period of time due to financial hardship. If you are having trouble repaying your loan, it's best to contact your loan servicer for assistance.

When do I have to start repaying my student loans?

Repayment of your student loans begins at the end of your six-consecutive-month grace period.

What is the grace period?

It's the six consecutive months after you are no longer in classes at least ½ time. For most students, the six-month grace period begins when you finish school.

How much will my student loan payments be?

It varies for each student, depending upon the cumulative loan debt and interest rate. There are many repayment calculators available online that will help you to determine how much your payments will be.

If I have already accepted my loan, can I cancel it if I change my mind?

You may cancel the loan for any quarter in which the funds have not yet disbursed.

Portal

What is the Student Financial Aid Portal?

The Portal is an online resource that allows students to access information about their financial aid application, view additional information requests, download forms, and view and accept financial aid offers.

When can I access the Portal?

Before you can access the Portal, the college will have to download your FAFSA from the Department of Education. This process can take some time; if you cannot access the Portal, check with the Green River Financial Aid Office to see if your FAFSA has been downloaded.

I can't login to the Financial Aid Portal, Why?

Either the college has not yet downloaded your FAFSA, or you are using the wrong login information.  Use your Social Security number as your username, and your Green River Global PIN as your password. Please note that if your PIN starts with a 0, and you are not able to login, try not using the first 0 in your PIN.  

What is my Portal login?

Use your Social Security number as your username, and your Green River Global PIN as your password. Please note that if your PIN starts with a 0, and you are not able to login, try not using the first 0 in your PIN.

Qualifying

How do I qualify for financial aid?

Before you can be considered for financial aid, you must submit the FAFSA, Supplemental Application, and any additional information that may be required to review your application. Your qualification for different types of aid is largely dependent on the income and asset information that you listed on your applications.
 
Will I qualify for any grants?

After you submit the FAFSA, the Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report. The report will list any federal grants for which you may qualify. It's important to note that the awards listed on the Student Aid Report are not necessarily guaranteed. Final confirmation of any awards will come after your application has been reviewed by the college.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, you must meet academic requirements each quarter. These academic requirements are outlined in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Failure to meet the minimum requirements may result in a loss of aid.

What are the academic requirements to maintain my financial aid eligibility?

Complete each quarter at the same enrollment level that you started the quarter and maintain a quarterly and cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0. Withdrawing from a class, failing a class or receiving an Incomplete grade can affect your eligibility for aid.

After six quarters of attendance, you are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.  If you do not, you will not be eligible to receive financial aid until your cumulative GPA reaches a minimum of 2.0.

If you are experiencing academic issues, and are unsure how your aid will be affected, consult with the Financial Aid Office, or review the Academic Progress Policy.

What is my time frame?

While you attend Green River, you are eligible to receive financial aid for 150% of your program's length. For example, if your program length is six full-time equivalent quarters, you are eligible to receive aid for nine full-time equivalent quarters.  This period of time is called your time frame, and it includes all quarters in which you have attended Green River.

If I withdraw from a quarter, or fail all of my courses, will my timeframe of eligibility be extended?

No, once your time-frame of eligibility has been established, it is not extended because you did not complete classes. The Financial Aid Office can make an exception in situations where circumstances were outside of the student's control.

In what circumstances do I have to return all or a portion of my financial aid for the quarter?

Immediate repayment of aid is required when you drop below the enrollment level at which you were paid, prior to the tenth day of the quarter. Repayment can also be required if you stop attending classes prior to the 60% point of the quarter.

Time Frame

How long can I receive financial aid?

Students will have time limits for completing their programs of study. Students can be considered for financial aid for the equivalent of 150% of a program’s length which includes all attempted college level credits. “Program” includes all pre-requisites, any changes in degrees or certificates and transfer credits that apply toward the program at GRCC. Changing a program of study will not start a new 150% time frame. Warning: If you change your program of study and cannot complete your new program in the original 150% time frame, you will lose eligibility for financial aid. A time frame usually means 9 full-time quarters of attendance (100 level classes and above) for an Associate Degree. Baccalaureate Degree students will be allowed an additional nine quarters for the junior and senior years. To remain on pace to complete the program within the 150% time frame, students must complete a minimum of 67% of the credits attempted each quarter.

Will my financial aid eligible time frame be expanded if I am enrolling part-time?

Yes, your time frame will be expanded if you are enrolling part-time. If attending three-quarter time (9-11 credits), Associate Degree students can receive financial aid for 12 quarters of attendance. If attending half-time (6-8 credits), Associate Degree students can receive financial aid for 18 quarters of attendance. If choosing to attend less than half-time (5 credits or less), Associate Degree students can receive financial aid for up to the equivalent total of the first 9 full-time quarters of attendance.

Will my transfer credits be counted toward the time frame?

Students are asked to submit all official transcripts for evaluation of transfer credits. These transfer credits will count toward the overall financial aid eligibility and time frame. Grades from transfer credits are not included in the cumulative grade point calculation.

Work Study

What is Work Study?

Work Study is federal financial aid that pays students to work, usually on campus.
 
Can anyone have Work Study?

No, Work Study is a need-based award. Qualification is based on a student's need, which is determined by information submitted on the application for financial aid.

Can I have Work Study, and a second job off-campus?

No, if you already have off-campus employment, the college will not offer you a Work Study position. Work Study is reserved for students without other employment.
 
How much can I earn in a Work Study position?

Students who are offered a Work Study position are awarded a specific amount that they can earn during the quarter. The maximum Work Study award for each quarter is $1500, but some students qualify for less.

Am I guaranteed a position if I am awarded Work Study?

No. Work Study positions are based on the availability of open positions and your skills and qualifications to work within a specific position. Not all students offered Work Study are able to be placed on the student payroll as the number of positions is limited.

What if I am unable to find a Work Study position?

If you are awarded Work Study and are unable to find a position, you may supplement the amount that you were awarded for Work Study with a student loan. To cancel your Work Study award and request a loan, you will need to submit a Federal Direct Loan Worksheet to the Green River Financial Aid Office.

Can I be fired from a Work Study position?

Like any job, your Work Study position may be terminated by your supervisor for unsatisfactory performance.