Receiving your Aid
Congratulations on receiving your financial aid award notification!
Please be sure to read, sign, and check the appropriate column “accept” or “reject” on the award letter. You must return your signed award letter to the Financial Aid Office within two weeks. It's a good idea to keep a copy for your records. You may only receive financial aid from one school at a time.
Do I need to enroll full-time?
You do not need to enroll full-time to receive financial aid. If you want to be a part-time student, your grant(s) will be reduced.
- Full-time (12 or more credits in your program of study) = full grant
- Three-quarter (9, 10, or 11 credits) = 3/4 of the grant
- One-half (6, 7, or 8 credits) = 1/2 of the grant
- Less than half (5 or fewer credits) = partial Grant ONLY if eligible
The award letter assumes that you will be a full-time student unless stated otherwise. Inform the Financial Aid Office if you will be part-time so that we can adjust your grant funds. If you do not adjust your enrollment level, your tuition won’t be paid automatically, and you may be dropped from your classes. You must enroll for a minimum of 3, 4 or 5 credits to be eligible for a less than half-time Washington State Need Grant. To be eligible for loans or Federal Work-Study, you must enroll for at least six credits. Your financial aid payment level (full-time or part-time) will be based upon registered credits as of the 10th day of the quarter. However, for academic progress purposes we will look at all attempted credits throughout the quarter.
How do I pay my tuition?
Your financial aid funds will pay your tuition upon receipt of your signed award letter, as long as your registered credits match the financial aid award level.
How do I get my money?
GRCC partners with HigherOne, a financial services company, to disburse all financial aid funds. A Gator Choice Card will be sent to you and will allow you to choose how to receive your financial aid disbursement/refund. Don't throw away the card as you will need it throughout your time at GRCC.
If not already paid, your financial aid will pay your tuition and fees. HigherOne will disburse any remaining funds to you after you select your preference on how to receive the money.
The Gator Choice Card offers these preference options:
- Disburse directly to your OneAccount, an FDIC Insured, no monthly fee, no minimum balance
Checking account. Your OneAccount includes a DEBIT CARD (1 business day).
- Transfer to another existing bank account (2-3 business days).
- Issue a paper check and send the disbursement by mail (5-7 business days).
The timing estimates are AFTER HigherOne receives GRCC's disbursement records.
Please activate your card as soon as you receive it by logging into www.GatorChoiceCard.Com. Remember, even if you are not currently expecting a disbursement from GRCC, we may have a disbursement for you in the future so save that card!
Please look to see if GRCC has your correct current mailing address at the Enrollment Services. UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS TODAY! Your new Gator Choice Card will be mailed to your current address on file with Enrollment Services, so it needs to be accurate.
Can I lose my aid if my grades aren't good?
Yes! You can lose your eligibility for financial aid during any quarter of enrollment if you do not keep a quarterly 2.0 grade point average OR do not finish all of your attempted credits during the quarter. Please refer to our Academic Requirements that explains our satisfactory academic policy for financial aid.
How long can I receive financial aid?
You must apply for financial aid every year, and we offer financial aid for one academic year at a time. When determining your financial aid eligibility, we examine all of your attempted credits (even though not all credits may show on your grade transcript if classes were dropped). Even if you have never received financial aid before, we are still required to count your prior work in considering the length of time that you can be considered for aid. When you have attempted the equivalent of nine full-time quarters of enrollment, we will no longer provide you with financial aid. Certificates allow less time.
Will financial aid cover all classes or programs?
No! Financial aid can only cover state-approved degrees or certificates, and the certificates need to be at least two quarters in length to be eligible. Financial aid will only pay for required classes in your program. Not all classes listed as electives in the catalog are eligible for funding.
You may take up to 45 credits of developmental course work (class numbers of less than 100) and still receive financial aid even though those classes are not required in your program of study.
Challenged courses and classes in Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language and Continuing Education are not eligible for financial aid.
What happens if I drop out of all of my classes?
Financial aid funds are like job wages–going to class is your “work” and completing your classes with good grades “earns” the funding. If you drop all of your classes during a quarter (or stop attending all classes), you will lose your future financial aid eligibility. You may also be required to repay some of the grant funds you received to the government and the college. When this happens, you are reported to a national database and lose eligibility at all colleges until the grants are repaid.
When tuition is refunded, the money will go to the financial aid accounts, even if you paid your own tuition. The college’s tuition refund policy allows partial refunds for the first 15 calendar days of the quarter. However, if you receive federal financial aid, you and the college must return “unearned” funds to the federal government for the first 60% of the quarter. The college is required to pay back some of your tuition money to the government. When it has to return more tuition funds than the normal college refund policy, you will be asked to repay us.
How do I start my work-study job?
Work-study is part of your financial aid and gives you a chance to work and earn money. Sign up for a required orientation session with the student payroll coordinator at (253) 833-9111 ext. 2453 before the quarter starts to receive job listings, payroll forms and general information at the orientation.
- Work-study positions are limited and provided on a first-come basis, so jobs are not guaranteed.
- You may work up to 19 hours per week until you have earned your quarterly work-study amount.
- You will be paid for actual hours worked at $8.67 per hour.
- Paychecks are available on the 10th and 25th of each month.
What are my responsibilities if I use financial aid?
Your responsibilities are:
- Reapply for financial aid each year. Your eligibility may change, and your award can vary from year to year.
- Notify both the Financial Aid Office and Enrollment Services of any name or address changes.
- Inform the Financial Aid Office if you receive other types of funding such as scholarships, agency funds, worker retraining, veteran’s benefits or others.
- Your financial aid funds can only be used for educational purposes that include tuition, books, room and board, personal expenses, transportation costs (excluding the purchase of a vehicle) and childcare.
- If you receive a Washington State Need Grant, you need to be a Washington resident as stated in RCW 28B.15.011-013; registered for three or more credits; and making satisfactory progress toward your degree or certificate. You can make voluntary future contributions to the Higher Education Coordinating Board in recognition of the State Need Grant to be used to provide assistance to other students.
- If you deliberately falsify, misrepresent or fail to provide the needed information on your financial aid application, you can be excluded from receiving financial aid for a year. If you actually receive funds based upon misrepresented information, you will be required to repay the funds and may be reported to the U.S. Department of Education for possible fraud.
What else do I need to know?
- Financial aid funds cannot be given to you before the quarter’s official starting date.
- Grants and scholarships are considered taxable income when they exceed the cost of your tuition and books. Keep all receipts for tuition payments and books and supplies, to determine what amount, if any, of your financial aid funds will be considered taxable income.
- If state or federal funding levels are cut during a year, the college has the right to reduce your grants or work-study.
- When in doubt, ask! The financial aid staff can help you complete your applications and forms. You are welcome to call, visit or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like assistance.
Return of Funds
If you fail to complete any credits during a quarter (whether you have quit attending, withdrawn, received 0.0-0.9 grades or incompletes), a refund of tuition and/or a repayment of grant dollars may be required. You will also lose your future financial aid eligibility.
Green River’s tuition refund policy operates independently from the “Return of Federal Financial Aid Funds” policy required for financial aid recipients. GRCC’s tuition refund policy returns 100% of tuition and fees through the fifth day of the quarter, and 40% of tuition from the sixth day of the quarter through the 15th calendar day of the quarter. These refunds apply only when students officially withdraw from classes.
The “Return of Federal Financial Aid Funds” policy will pertain to financial aid recipients receiving state grants or federal financial aid. Financial aid refunds will be required for the first 60% of the quarter whether you officially withdraw from classes, quit attending, or fail your classes. The amount of “unearned” grant funds that you and the college will be required to return will be based upon the number of days you attended classes. Tuition refunds are not returned directly to financial aid recipients; instead, they are returned to financial aid accounts.
If you deliberately falsify, misrepresent or fail to provide the needed information on your financial aid application, you can be excluded from receiving financial aid for a year. If you actually receive funds based upon misrepresented information, you will be required to repay the funds and may be reported to the U.S. Department of Education for possible fraud.