Student Financial Aid | Hagerstown Community College
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Student Financial Aid

Student Financial Aid

Important FAFSA Information

2023-2024 FAFSA (Application for Spring 2024 and/or Summer 2024 financial aid)

Please be careful when completing your FAFSA (financial aid application) as there are two available on Students can complete both the 2023-2024 and the 2024-2025 applications at this time. If you plan to attend for Spring 2024 and/or Summer 2024 semester(s), you must complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA, which requires 2021 tax information. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is available; however, if you cannot use the DRT, a copy of your tax information can be entered manually.

2024-2025 FAFSA (Application for Fall 2024, Spring 2025 and/or Summer 2025 financial aid) - View the Upcoming FAFSA Changes

If you plan to attend college for the 2024 fall, 2025 spring, and/or 2025 summer semester(s), make sure you get a head start on applying for financial aid by completing the FAFSA. The 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is online via FAFSA Website.

We understand that the financial aid process can be confusing and time-consuming. If you need assistance completing the FAFSA, please schedule an appointment with a member of the Student Financial Aid Office staff. The staff is available to assist you Monday - Thursday from 8:30a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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 help you apply and determine your eligibility. If you are looking to pay your bill, please 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 complete your FAFSA (financial aid application) as soon as possible as it can take 2-4 weeks for processing. The application can be completed online at and will require 2021 tax information. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is available; however, if you cannot use the DRT, your tax information can be entered manually.

Census Date

The financial aid (FA) census date is the "freeze date" for Pell grant and scholarships. Your aid will be based on the classes you are enrolled in and attending on the FA census date. If you add a class after the FA census date, you will not be eligible to receive financial aid for that class. If you withdraw and/or drop from a class before the FA census date, you will not be eligible to receive financial aid for that class.


If you stop attending class(es), you should officially withdraw from the class(es) online via Self-Service. If you stop attending and do not officially withdrawal, you aid may be adjusted at the end of the semester when professors report final grades and attendance. It is important that all students who are receiving financial aid check with the Student Financial Aid Office before making changes to their class schedule. Financial aid refunds are available 14 days after disbursement Please contact the Student Financial Aid Office if you have any questions or concerns.

Title IV Credits

Financial aid will only cover courses that count as required courses in your degree program needed to graduate (Title IV credits). This means that each course you are registered for in the semester must be listed as a needed course in your program evaluation/degree audit. Any course outside of your program of study will not be eligible for financial aid.

You can use Self-Service to access your program evaluation/degree audit. On the main page of Self-Service, select Student Planning, then select Go to My Progress. If you have questions and are a new student, you can meeting with a Retention Specialist by contacting the Retention and Registration office. If you are registered and completed high school, you can contact your assigned faculty advisor. Your faculty advisor can be found on Self-Service by clicking on Student Planning, then select Go to Plan & Schedule, last select Advising.

Cost of Attendance

HCC adjusts student Cost of Attendance (COA) amounts each semester for students who are enrolled as less than full time students. If your COA has to be adjusted, this can result in you being over-awarded financial aid funds. When this happens, the Student Financial Aid Office will need to adjust your total financial aid received to correct the over-award and you will be notified via your HCC student email account.

Cohort Default Rate (CDR)

The CDR is an accountability metric for US colleges dispersing federal Pell Grants and student loans. The CDR measures the percentage of borrowers who enter repayment and who default within three years of required loan repayment. HCC’s CDR includes Pell Grant and federal student loan borrowers (HCC does not dispense private loans). Management controls are in place to ensure disclosure of HCC’s institutional CDR in the event that HCC’s CDR rises above the national average. Additionally, students are given access to HCC’s CDR within their financial aid notification documents available to them on Self-Service. The Student Financial Aid Office is happy to answer questions students may have about HCC’s CDR and comparison with other colleges.

Steps to applying for financial aid

Step 1

File your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online here. It is recommended to file your FAFSA no later than five to seven weeks before classes start to ensure that the SFAO receives it 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 state grants and scholarships.

Step 2

The Student Financial Aid Office should receive your FAFSA within approximately one to two weeks after it is submitted.

Step 3

The Student Financial Aid Office sends out an email requesting any documentation needed to complete your file. Your requested documents can also be viewed on Self-Service under your checklist – “Complete Required Documents.” It is important that you respond to this request quickly as processing will be delayed until the missing documentation is submitted.

Step 4

You should submit all requested documentation accurately within one week after receiving the missing information notification. Also, you should complete the student loan steps if you think you will be borrowing student loans.

Step 5

Due to communication between Hagerstown Community College and the Department of Education, the Student Financial Aid Office processes the submitted documentation within two to three weeks (may be longer during peak processing times).

Step 6

The Student Financial Aid Office awards students, usually within one week after your file is considered complete. After you have been awarded, you will receive an award notification email. You will need to accept your financial aid award(s) as soon as possible after you receive this email. Please look for “review and accept your financial aid award package” under your checklist on Self-Service. This step allows you to adjust/decline/approve your student loans. Failure to accept financial aid awards can result in a delay in processing.

Step 7

The Student Financial Aid Office reviews any requested changes once your request has been submitted (approximately one week).

Reminder: Complete all steps to receive student loans if you think you will be borrowing student loans.

Step 8

You may have the ability to use any leftover funds to purchase books and/or supplies at the HCC Campus Store two weeks before classes begin. You must have a completed financial aid file, the Student Financial Aid Office has processed your financial aid, and you have funds available above the cost of tuition and fees. You can check Self-Service under the “Student Finance” section to determine if you have available funds. A negative before the “Balance” number means you have a credit available for books.



Hagerstown Community College is committed to using the Principles & Standards of the College Cost Transparency Initiative in its student financial aid offer.