Helena College School Code 007570

FINANCIAL AID FAQs

How do I apply for financial aid?

  • By filling out a FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.  You must also be an admitted student at Helena College in order for any financial aid to be awarded.

How do I make sure Helena College gets my financial aid information?

  • On your FAFSA, include the Helena College school code, 007570.

I completed my FAFSA online. Why haven’t I heard from Helena College?

  • The FAFSA is only step one of the financial aid process.
  • The Financial Aid office will wait to complete an award until you are an accepted student, and are in good academic standing.
  • Once your award has been created by the Financial Aid Office you will be notified via postcard that your aid is available on you MyHC account and is ready for you to accept or decline whatever amount of aid you need.  You should accept only the funds you need.  Accepting too much aid can result in unnecessary, long-term debt. You will then receive notification it has been completed. Contact Helena College to receive other information required to complete your financial aid file.
·

What are financial aid “priority dates”?

  • These are dates you need to have your file completed in order to get financial aid before the fee-payment deadline.
  • The FAFSA filing priority date for Montana is March 1. 
  • You are still able to file a FAFSA up until June 15th of the academic year you are applying; you just may not receive your funds until after the start of classes.  If this is the case, you will need to make payment arrangements with the Business Office.

I missed the priority date; can I still apply for financial aid?

  • Yes, you can still apply and be considered for aid. However, you will need to make payment arrangements with the Business Office to keep your classes from being dropped. If you are eligible for aid, it will be processed once your file has been completed.

What if I missed the priority date and do not have the money to pay my tuition in full?

  • You may sign up for a payment plan through the Business Office. Of course, you will be expected to make the payments by certain dates until the tuition is covered.

What is the cut-off for filing my FAFSA if I intend to use financial aid to pay for my schooling?

  • If you would like financial aid funds to pay for and be in place prior to the start of the term, it is recommended you file your FAFSA at least one month prior to classes starting.  This is due to the processing time of the Department of Education and the institution to calculate how much aid you would be eligible for.
  • You will also need to respond to any documents requested from the Financial Aid Office in order to complete your file and allow the funds to be disbursed in a timely manner.

 I have not lived with my parents for quite some time and I support myself, why is their information needed to apply for aid?

  • If you are under the age of 24 and do not meet any other requirements set forth by the Department of Education on the FAFSA form, you are deemed a dependent student and will need your parent’s tax information in order to apply for financial aid.
  • There are only a few extraordinary circumstances that could possibly allow you to appeal for a dependency override.  Please see a Financial Aid Administrator for further information.

The school I attended last year granted me a dependency override, am I okay since they have already approved this?

  • No, an override or override paperwork will not carry over from one year to the next. The Financial Aid Office must reaffirm the status each year.

What is “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)”?
SAP measures completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require us to monitor your progress. If you fall behind in coursework, or fail to achieve standards for GPA, and completion of classes, you
may lose eligibility for federal and state aid. What is required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress?

  • Maintain the required 2.0 grade point average (GPA) for the number of hours you attempted.
  • Pass at least 70 percentage of the credit hours attempted
  • Complete a degree or certificate program in no more than 90 credit hours, unless your degree requires more than 62 hours
  • Do not completely withdraw from classes, unless there are mitigating (unusual) circumstances. These must be documented and approved by the Financial Aid Office. The SAP regulations list the GPA and required pass percentage. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (PDF).

What is verification?

  • The Department of Education requires us to verify the accuracy of FAFSA data. We may ask you to submit documents, such as a federal income tax transcript, to our office before you receive aid. If you don’t, it may mean cancellation of financial aid. Aid will be delayed until documents have been received and processed.

I said I was interested in student loans on my FAFSA application. Why wasn’t a student loan processed for me?
Applying for loans at Helena College requires additional processes. You must:

  • Accept an award from Helena College via MyHC and state amount
  • Complete in-person entrance counseling
  • Sign a Master Promissory Note  (MPN)
  • Submit the above documentation to the financial aid office

How will dropping a class affect my financial aid?

  • Some examples of what dropping a class may do:  If you withdraw from all your classes before 60% of the semester has passed, you could owe money back to the school and the Department of Education depending on when the drop took place
  • Dropping a class can also affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress, which requires you to complete a certain percent of your credits to stay in good standing.
  • If you have accepted a loan and are dropping a class that puts you below half-time enrollment, it might affect your loan disbursement.
  • You may consult the SAP Calculator on the Financial Aid webpage online.

 How do I apply for Summer Financial Aid?

  • If you are interested in attending classes during the summer term and would like financial aid to assist in paying for this; you will need to schedule an appointment with a financial aid administrator to meet one-on-one in order to determine if you have eligibility and how much you might be eligible for.

 I just accepted my financial aid award package online, am I done?

  • No, after 24 hours, you will need to log back into your MyHC account to finalize your bill for the Business Office. 
  • This needs to be done even if your financial aid will completely cover your bill.  This lets the school know that you intend on attending classes. 
  • Without this step you risk having your classes dropped and your financial aid delayed.

My financial aid was terminated.  Does this mean I can’t attend classes next semester?

  • No, this just means that you will need to find an alternative way to pay for your classes, or file an appeal to have your financial aid reinstated.  The deadline in order to file an appeal is two weeks prior to the start date of the term for which you are seeking your financial aid.  There are no appeals entertained for the summer term.
  • You are able to attend classes utilizing your own funds if you have not been placed on academic suspension.
  • Please visit with the Financial Aid Office if you have any further questions regarding the appeal process.

I completed my Master Promissory Note (MPN), is this all I need to do to receive my loans?

  • No, you will also need to complete an in-person loan entrance counseling with a Financial Aid Administrator
  • Loan Entrance Counseling is being conducted at New Student Orientations.  Please register for one of the Orientation sessions online.
  • If you miss the Loan Entrance Counseling session at Orientation, there will be a make-up session.  Please ask the Financial Aid Office for more information.
  • You will not be able to receive your loan funds until both of these are satisfied.

How has the financial aid disbursement process changed?

  • The first financial aid disbursement will take place right after the last day to add/drop classes (census date).  Funds are disbursed on your behalf to the Business Office.  The Business Office then applies these funds toward your charges (tuition and fees).
  • If your financial aid is more than the amount of charges on your account, you should receive a refund check in the mail.  (Please make sure your mailing address is up-to-date on your MyHC account.)
  • The first disbursement will consist of all of your grants, scholarships, and half of your student loan for the term.
  • The second half of your student loan will disburse shortly after mid-term.
  • You should receive a refund check (if eligible) near the end of September and the end of October (if you have a student loan).

What if I need my financial aid to pay for books and supplies?

  • The Business Office will make a book voucher available to any student that will have aid that is greater than the amount due.
  • The book vouchers will be either mailed to you, or you may inquire in the Business Office.
  • The book vouchers are able to be redeemed starting August 9th.

Other than a loan, is there any other aid available to me?

  • Yes, there are scholarships listed on the Financial Aid page of the website.
  • The majority of these scholarships are for Helena College students only!
  • There are scholarships due EACH month of the academic year.
  • Bookmark the scholarship page and visit it at least twice a month to see which scholarships are due the following month.
  • You can’t receive a scholarship unless you apply.
  • Be very aware of deadlines.

Contact the financial aid office prior to withdrawing to see what effect it will have on your financial aid award and future eligibility. .