Start Here! Steps to Apply & FAQs
Click the steps below to navigate the Financial Aid Process.
First Time Students: Create an FSA ID
Create an FSA ID for student and parent, if applicable. The FSA ID, made up of a username and password, allows you to access certain Department of Education websites. Your FSA is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents.
Be sure to write this down, as it will be used every year.
Gather the Documents Needed to Apply
The FAFSA questions ask for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the application:
- Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
- Your driver’s license number if you have one
- Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student:
- IRS 1040
- Foreign tax return, IRS 1040NR, or IRS 1040NR-EZ
- Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
- Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA)
The application should take about 25 minutes to complete at www.fafsa.gov. This FAFSA Tutorial is a great resource, you can run it from your phone while completing the FAFSA on your computer. You can also view more about what to expect in the application here.
Be sure to apply to Laurel Ridge CC first and include your Social Security Number, otherwise we will be unable to process your application.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Why Should I Complete My FAFSA?
We encourage all students planning to complete a degree or certificate at Laurel Ridge CC to apply for Financial Aid. Just by completing the FAFSA, Laurel Ridge CC is able to determine your eligibility for:
- Federal Grants
- Federal Loan
- Federal Work-study
- State Grants
- Some Scholarships
When Do I Complete My FAFSA?
The FAFSA must be completed every year, the application opens every year on October 1st at www.fafsa.gov.
Priority Filing Deadlines
- Fall—June 1st
- Spring—November 1st
- Summer—May 1st
Please Note: Applications will be accepted after those dates, but you should have other payment options in place in case your application is not processed.
Which FAFSA aid year do I complete?
- Application Opens: October 1, 2020
- Tax Year: 2019
- Semesters Included: Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022
- Application Opens: October 1, 2021
- Tax Year: 2020
- Semesters Included: Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Summer 2023
I’m not a US citizen. Am I eligible for aid?
Generally, you are an eligible noncitizen if you are one of the following:
- U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card or “Green Card”)
- Conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
- Other eligible noncitizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Indefinite Parole,” “Humanitarian Parole,” or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”
- A citizen of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or the Federated States of Micronesia (FM).
You can receive federal student aid if you are an eligible noncitizen. You must enter your eight or nine digit Alien Registration Number (ARN) on the FAFSA.
If your citizenship status has changed from an eligible noncitizen to a U.S. citizen, you should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your citizenship status. If you do not update your citizenship status with the SSA, it could delay processing your student financial aid. To contact the SSA call 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security Administration’s Web site at https://ssa.gov.
I just completed my FAFSA. What happens next?
Laurel Ridge CC will receive your FAFSA in about 7-10 business days. Once received, the Financial Aid Office (FAO) will begin processing it and will inform you via your Message Center of your eligibility for the year or if additional information is needed.
All important information related to Financial Aid is shared via your Message Center, it is YOUR responsibility to monitor your messages frequently and take action when needed. If you have questions about these messages, contact us.
You can view your Message Center by logging into MyLaurelRidge >> SIS >> Student Center >> Message Center.
I need to correct or add Laurel Ridge CC to my FAFSA. How do I do that?
Most of the questions on the FAFSA® form want to know your situation as of the day you sign the application. However, there are some instances in which you’ll want to (or be required to) change the information you reported. You can view all the types of corrections here.
If you just need to add Laurel Ridge CC to your FAFSA, our school code is: 008659
How do I make changes to my FAFSA® form?
You can make changes in one of the following ways:
- Make changes at fafsa.gov:
- Select the “LOG IN” button and enter your FSA ID.
- On the “My FAFSA” page, select “Make FAFSA Corrections.”
- Create a save key.
- Change your information.
- Submit your new information.
- Write in the corrections or updates on your paper SAR, sign it, and mail it to the address provided on the SAR.
- Check with the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend; the school might be able to make changes for you electronically.
When will Laurel Ridge CC receive my correction?
I have documents on my To Do List. How do I submit those?
When documents are needed, this is a process called verification, additional documents will be requested via your MyLaurelRidge Student Center on your To Do list. It is important that you respond to any requests as soon as possible. Financial Aid awards will only be made after the verification process is completed.
Click below for helpful tips on submitting documents:
Ready to submit your document? Here are the options:
How do I know if my Financial Aid covers all my tuition? And how do I apply it?
You will need to go to your Account Inquiry page to see the aid versus charges. You can view your Account Inquiry by logging into MyLaurelRidge >> SIS >> Student Center >> Account Inquiry>>Yellow Bar.
If your award(s) is enough to cover the cost of tuition and fees, then the Financial Aid Office will apply it automatically–just by enrolling in classes, you accept the federal or state grants offered.
Example for Balance Due:
Example for Aid Covers:
How can I view my estimated award for the year?
You will need to go to your View Financial Aid page to see the estimated award for the aid year. You can view your View Financial Aid by logging into MyLaurelRidge >> SIS >> Student Center >> View Financial Aid>>Click Aid Year(ex 2021).
Please Note: Aid may change if you are enrolled in fewer than 12 credits.
I still have remaining Financial Aid after tuition & books. What happens to that money?
About mid-semester, after attendance is verified, awards are disbursed and applied to your account. This process involves multiple departments so it takes time to complete. Any remaining funds, after tuition, fees, and bookstore charges, will be issued to you as a refund. You can use this refund for anything educational. There are currently 2 refund options, check via postal mail or direct deposit.
How do I get my books?
If funds remain after tuition and fees are subtracted from your Financial Aid, an account will be created at the bookstore so books/supplies can be charged at the on-campus bookstore or their online store. There are specific charging dates each semester, see web page below for the current charging dates. If you need items after the specified dates, then you will need to pay for them out of pocket.
I still have remaining Financial Aid after tuition & books. What happens to that money?
About mid-semester, after attendance is verified, awards are disbursed and applied to your account. This process involves multiple departments so it takes time to complete. Any remaining funds, after tuition, fees, and bookstore charges, will be issued to you as a refund. You can use this refund for anything educational. There are currently 3 refund options, check via postal mail, direct deposit, or pre-paid card.
You can select your preferred method by logging into MyLaurelRidge >> SIS >> Student Center. Click Manage Refunds( may need to allow pop-ups for page to open). Then click Manage Refunds to check or update your refund preferences.
I need to apply for student loan. How do I do that?
Laurel Ridge CC does not automatically post loans, you must complete additional steps to request one. To learn more about the Stafford & PLUS Loans and complete the application process go to:
What is Work-Study? And how do I apply for it?
Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. To learn more about this program and how to apply, go to:
What is SAP? And how do I know if I am meeting it?
SAP stands for “Satisfactory Academic Progress.” Federal regulations require students who receive financial aid to meet a set of standards identified for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
You can view your Account Inquiry by logging into MyLaurelRidge >> SIS >> Student Center >> View Financial Aid>>Aid Year(ex 2021)>>Check Your SAP Status. If your status is anything other than Meet SAP, you will also have a notification in your To Do List & Message Center regarding your status.
To learn more about this regulation or appeal your SAP Status go to:
How do I apply for scholarships?
The scholarship application is available 24/7 at www.laurelridge.edu/scholarships. The priority deadline is April 5th for the main awarding process for the upcoming Fall semester. Re-awarding occurs multiple times each semester, so continue monitoring your Laurel Ridge CC email for award notifications. Students are encouraged to apply at any point during the academic year.
Be sure to check out Community Scholarship Opportunities at www.laurelridge.edu/communityscholarships
Are my classes eligible for Financial Aid?
As long as the class is required for your degree and/or certificate then it is eligible for Financial Aid, unless it exceeds the repeat rule. Students may take a course as many times as they need to until they pass. Once passed, they can only repeat one time. To ensure that your classes are required for your program, we have the Financial Aid Course Audit Tool that will run each semester. You will get a notification to your Message Center for all courses–eligible or ineligible. If you have an ineligible class, please contact your Academic Advisor.
Please Note: Federal regulations have always dictated that students may only receive financial aid for courses that apply toward their degree or certificate program. This is not a new rule – we just have a new tool to help you be better informed about your course selections.
Example of Eligible Classes:
Example of Ineligible Classes:
What happens if I fail or withdraw from a class?
Financial Aid only pays for classes that are successfully completed. If you fail or withdraw from one or more classes, then there is a possibility that your aid will be reduced or you could owe money back.
There is also a possible impact to your Satisfactory Academic Progress(SAP).
Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss these possible impacts BEFORE withdrawing or the posting of final grades.
The Financial Aid Office at Laurel Ridge CC is required by federal and state regulations to have a written policy for the repayment of federal and state aid received by students who withdraw, stop attending, do not successfully complete all their courses are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term for which payment has been received.
Classes have already started, but I want to drop/add a late starting class. Can I do that?
There is only a small window of time to make changes to your schedule at the beginning of each semester before your aid is locked-in for the semester. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss these possible impacts BEFORE dropping or adding a late starting class.
How do I apply for Summer Financial Aid?
You must have a FAFSA for the current aid year (ex. Summer 19, a 2018/19 FAFSA) to apply. Summer eligibility is determined by having a current aid year FAFSA on file as well as a Summer Financial Aid Application. The Summer FA Application will be available below once registration for summer classes begins. You must be registered for classes to submit the Summer FA Application.
Transfer Students: Transfer students wishing to receive financial aid while attending the summer semester must be degree-seeking and cannot be attending only for the summer in order to transfer credits back to their home institution.
Are there any additional Financial Aid Tips & Resources?
- Sallie Mae provides Financial Literacy Tools and webinars: www.salliemae.com/finlittools
- ECMC provided the Preparing for College Guide & Workbook.
- Get Financially Fit Nelnet Resource
- FAFSA Guide from Campus Explorer
- Using Veteran’s Benefits & Financial Aid
Edvisors provides a collection of downloadable PDFs provides students, families and educators with financial aid tips covering a range of topics.
Tip Sheets about Planning for College
Tip Sheets about Making College More Affordable
- Evaluating College Costs and Student Financial Aid
- Strategies for Increasing Financial Aid for College
- How to Appeal for More Financial Aid
- Paying For Your College Tuition
Tip Sheets about Scholarships
- Beware of Scholarship Scams
- Reviews.com-Best Scholarship Search
- Hispanic and Latino Scholarships
- Psychology Scholarships
Tip Sheets about Filing the FAFSA
- Eligibility for Financial Aid
- Factors that Impact the Expected Family Contribution
- Federal Student Aid ID
- Dependent or Independent Student?
- Who is Considered a Parent on the FAFSA?
- Top 12 FAFSA Errors to Avoid
- FAFSA vs. CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
- Errors to Avoid in Filing the FAFSA