Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


  • How do I apply for financial aid?
    Submit online FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid). Which application should I complete? Read more about submitting aid application
  • What is FSA ID?
    FSA ID is a username and password that you use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites, including, to submit online FAFSA. You AND your parent (if you’re considered a dependent student) will each need your own, separate FSA IDs if you both want to sign your FAFSA form online.
  • When can I apply?
    Starting on October 1st of each year, the applications for the upcoming school year are available. For example, you may apply for 2022 Fall Quarter aid beginning on October 1, 2021. Read more about when I can apply for aid
  • Is there a deadline for financial aid applications?
    Yes, it is called the Financial Aid Priority Processing Dates, and each year and quarter has a Priority Processing Date. Read more about financial aid priority processing dates
  • Can I still submit my application if I miss the Priority Processing Dates?
    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 October 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. 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, you can check the tasks and message center tiles in the ctcLink portal, along with the preferred email you selected in ctcLink. If you miss the priority processing date, you can still submit the information, but your aid may not be prepared by the start of the quarter.


  • 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 or certificate. If you are receiving student loans, you must be enrolled in at least 6 credits that apply to your degree or certificate. Learn more about receiving your aid
  • How do I know if I'm eligible to receive financial aid?
    Before your eligibility can be determined, you must submit the FAFSA/WASFA 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, state and institutional 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. Read more about financial aid eligibility determination
  • 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. Read more about Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • 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 and 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. Learn more about loans


  • What is a grant?
    A grant is gift aid, and does not require repayment as long as you attend your classes. Learn more about aid programs
  • When will I receive my grant?
    Your grants will pay your tuition and fees first. The earliest time to receive any remaining of your grants will be the afternoon of the first day of the quarter.
  • 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.
  • If I enroll in less than 12 credits, how much will my aid be reduced?
    The chart below shows the percentage of aid that you'll receive at different enrollment levels.
Aid12+Credits Full-Time9-11 Credits 3/4 Time6-8 Credits 1/2 Time1-5 Credits Less thant 1/2 Time
Federal Pell Grant
100% 75% 50% 25%
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
100% 75% 50%  ---
Washington College Grant (f/k/a Washington State Need Grant) 100% 75% 50%

25% (3 credit minimum)

College Bound Scholarship 100% 75% 50%

25% (3 credit minimum)

Tuition Waiver Grant Waives Tuition (Not Fees)  ---
Green River Grant 100% 75% 50%  ---
Student Loans 100% (Cost of attendance less other resources)  ---

There are also minimum enrollment levels allowed by each aid.  Read more about aid programs

  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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 or 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.
  • How do I apply for a federal loan?
    Since Direct Loans are considered part of the Federal Financial Aid Programs, each academic year students must complete the following before student loan applications are approved and sent to the servicer.
    • Complete FAFSA  (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the applicable academic year.
    • You may be required to provide other documents if your file is selected for verification.
    •  We will notify you of your application status via Green River student email.  You can also check your application status from the Student Financial Aid Portal.

    Learn more about applying for aid

  • 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. Learn more about federal student loans
  • 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.
  • When will I receive my loan?
    • Your loan will pay your tuition and fees first. The earliest time to receive any remaining of your loan will be the afternoon of the first day of the quarter.
    • If your loan covers only one quarter, your loan funding will be disbursed in two payments. The first half of the loan will be disbursed and the remaining half will come at the midpoint in the quarter.
  • 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. Learn more about repayment plans
  • What is the grace period?
    It's the six consecutive months after you are no longer in classes at least a ½ time. For most students, the six-month grace period begins when you finish school. Learn more about loan repayment
  • 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. Learn more about repayment plans
  • 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. Please contact the Financial Aid office.


  • How do I qualify for financial aid?
    Before you can be considered for financial aid, you must submit the FAFSA or WASFA 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. Read more about aid programs

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. Read more about academic progress policy
  • 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.
  • How to get my aid back?
    When you lose financial aid due to lack of academic progress, there are two (2) options available to regain eligibility.
    • Option 1: Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

      In cases of illness, injury, a death in the family or unusual circumstance, you may appeal their loss of financial aid eligibility to continue your financial aid by filing an Academic Progress Petition to request reinstatement of financial aid.  You must show you are able to complete their programs with a minimum 2.0 GPA in the allowed time-frame in order for the appeal (petition) to be approved.

      The appeal form (petition) is available online or in the Financial Aid Office.  The appeal process can be started as soon as grades post and/or be completed by the 5th class day of the following quarter if planning to remain enrolled.  You will be notified via the Financial Aid Portal after your termination appeal petition has been reviewed.

    • Option 2: Request for Reinstatement

      Unless an appeal is approved, you are required to pay your own tuition to reinstate financial aid eligibility and you must successfully complete all classes (see below for minimum credits needed) in a subsequent quarter with a 2.0 GPA or higher, with no dropped classes.  Your cumulative GPA must be at least 2.0 at the end of the second academic year (six quarters) regardless of enrollment level.  You must be able to successfully complete your programs of study within the allowed financial aid timeframe.

      If enrolled the prior quarter for 12 or more credits, you must enroll, paid for, and successfully complete six (6) or more credits.

      If enrolled the prior quarter for 11 credits or less, you must enroll, paid for, and successfully complete five (5) or more credits.

      Please notify the Financial Aid Office as soon as you believe you have satisfied the above requirement so that your eligibility status can reviewed.

  • 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.

Taxes and IRS Documents

  • Do I have to pay taxes on my financial aid grant under CARES Act for unexpected expenses?
    Please refer to the IRS FAQs about Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act.
  • Do I have to pay taxes on my financial aid?
    Please refer to IRS Publication 970, the IRS website or call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
  • How do I order IRS documents?
    Find out how to order IRS documents from the IRS website, including: IRS Tax Return Transcript, IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter and IRS Wage and Income Transcript (this form includes the filer's W-2 information)

See IRS Frequently Asked Questions addressing specific questions you may have about IRS Get Transcript Online service.

  • When can I request my IRS Tax Return Transcript?
    Find out when you can request a current year Tax Return Transcript from the IRS website.

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 Green River College. 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.


  • 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.
  • What is financial aid?
    Financial aid consists of the following types of funding: Grants, Scholarships, Loans and Work-Study. Financial aid is funding offered by the federal and state governments to qualifying students, to assist with educational costs.
  • 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.


Financial Aid Office Availability

In order to work on processing aid applications for 2024-25, the Financial Aid Office will have dedicated processing time during these dates: May 13-24, June 10-28, and August 19-30. For more information on what this means, check the FAFSA Simplification page.

How can I check on the status of my aid?

Check your email along with the Tasks, Message Center, and Financial Aid tiles in your student homepage in ctcLink for updates on your financial aid. We will not be able to start processing applications and sending out aid offers for the 2024-25 aid year until late June. Contact our office if you have questions about the status of your 2023-24 application.

2024-2025 FAFSA/WASFA now available!

Renew your FAFSA/WASFA for the 2024-25 award year. This includes Summer 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025.

Federal School Code

Our Federal School Code is 003780

Hours of Operation

Spring Quarter Hours of Operation

Phone Hours

Monday - Thursday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Friday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In-Person Hours - SA 231

Monday - Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Students are not required to make an appointment in advance, but wait times to speak with a staff member may vary. 




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Phone: 253-288-3392

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Office Address:

Green River College 12401 SE 320th Street, Auburn, WA 98092

Student Affairs Building, Room 231


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