HCC Student Financial Aid Office (SFAO) administers and coordinates federal, state, foundation, and other external financial aid. There are many forms of financial aid available at HCC such as: grants, scholarships, loans, and work study. You may be eligible for one or more of these types of aid. The SFAO staff will work with you to determine for what types of aid you may qualify and to help you apply. Looking to pay your bill? Contact the Finance Office.
The Financial Aid Process
The financial aid process can be very complicated and time-consuming. This timeline provides students and parents with more of an understanding of the process from start to finish, as well as an outline of when documentation should be submitted. Please understand that the following is in general terms. While the average time to complete the financial aid process is approximately five to seven weeks, in some cases it can take longer. A student who submits the FAFSA later than the earliest dates listed on the timeline is not guaranteed to have a complete file by the first day of classes.
Important Financial Aid Information
Please be careful when completing your FAFSA (financial aid application) as there are two available on https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa. Students can complete both the 2020-2021 and the 2021-2022 applications at this time. If you are completing the 2020-2021 FAFSA, it requires 2018 tax information. The 2021-2022 will require 2019 tax information. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is available for both years. If you cannot use the DRT, a copy of your tax information can be entered manually. You may be required to submit a copy of your 2018 or 2019 tax return and/or proof of non-filing from the IRS to the Student Financial Aid Office, if the Department of Education selects your 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 application for verification.
File Your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). It is recommended to file your FAFSA no later than five to seven weeks before classes start to ensure you receive financial aid in a timely manner.
Our school code for the FAFSA is: 002074.
Note: Maryland Residents should complete the FAFSA by March 1 of every year to be considered for grants and scholarships from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
The Financial Aid Office receives your FAFSA usually within approximately one week to two weeks after it is submitted.
The Financial Aid Office sends out letters and Emails requesting any documents needed to complete your file. Requested documents can also be viewed in Self-Service/WebAdvisor under “My Financial Aid Documents.” It is important that you respond to this request as quickly as possible as processing will be delayed until the missing documentation is submitted.
Student submits all requested documents accurately within one week after receiving the missing information letter. Also, complete the student loan steps if you think you will be interested in borrowing student loans.
The Financial Aid Office processes the submitted paper work, called coding and verification, usually within two to three weeks after all documents are submitted due to communication between Hagerstown Community College and the Department of Education.
The Financial Aid Office packages and awards students, usually within one week after paper work is processed. You will then receive an Award Notification Email. You will need to submit your Financial Aid Award Letter as soon as you receive this Email. The Award Letter can be found in Self-Service/WebAdvisor under the student section. Please look for “Financial Aid Award Letter” under the “Financial Aid” category, and then submit a paper copy to the Financial Aid Office. You may also submit a copy via Email, fax, or mail. Make sure you mark a selection and sign and date the form. Failure to complete all three of these steps will result in a delay in processing.
The Financial Aid Office processes the Financial Aid Award Letter once it has been submitted (approximately one week).
Reminder: Complete all steps to receive student loans if you are interested in borrowing student loans.
Students may have the ability to use any leftover funds to purchase books at the HCC Campus Store one week before classes begin (known as a book voucher). The book voucher is available as long as you have completed all the previous steps, the Financial Aid Office has processed all the steps, and you have funds available above the cost of tuition and fees. Check Self-Service/WebAdvisor under “Account Summary by Term” to determine if you have available funds. A negative after the “Balance” number means you have a credit available for books.