1. How do I link my tax information to the FAFSA using the Data Retrieval Tool? This link http://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/media/videos/1516/english/irs-data-retrieval.htm will direct you to a step by step video that will walk you through the process of retrieving your tax information.
2. Am I considered independent or dependent? If you answer YES to one or more of the questions listed below, you are classified as
an Independent Student. If you answered NO to all of the following
questions, you are classified as a Dependent Student.
- Where you born before January 1988?
- Are you married? At the beginning of the school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate degree?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than state or training purposes?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you for the next academic year?
- At any time since you turned aged 13, were your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
- At any time on or after July 1, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
3. Who is considered my "parent" when I fill out the FAFSA? It will depend on their current living arrangements at the time the FAFSA is completed.
- If you parents are married and living with each other you will answer the questions about them.
- If your parent is widowed or single, answer the questions about the parent. If your widowed parent is remarried answer questions about that parent and the person whom your parent married (your stepparent).
- If your parents are divorced or separated, answer the questions about the parent with whom you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you lived the same amount of time with each parent, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent. If this parent is remarried as of today, answer questions on the FAFSA about that parent and the person whom your parent married (your stepparent).
- Grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, and uncles or aunts are not considered your parents unless they have legally adopted you. If you live with them and they have not legally adopted you, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss your options.
4. What if I have no contact with my parents? If you do not know where your parents live, or you have left home due to an abusive situation, fill out the student information section on the FAFSA and make contact with our office.
5. What if I don't live with my parents? You are still required to answer the questions about them if you are considered a dependent student.
6. What if my parents refuse to help me pay for college and will not provide their information for my FAFSA? You can't be considered independent of your parents just because they refuse to help you with this process. If you do not provide their information on the FAFSA the application will be rejected and prevent awarding of financial aid.
7. Why did my financial aid award or refund change? Withdrawing, dropping a class, or adding a class could cause a change in your award and/or refund. You should consult your Academic Advisor and the Office of Student Financial Aid before withdrawing, dropping a class, or adding a class because it may impact Satisfactory Academic Progress as well?
8. When will I get my refund? Excess financial aid is disbursed within the first week of school each semester. For information regarding the student account eRefund process, please visit the Cashier's office website at www.ecu.edu/cashier.
9. Do I have to complete the FAFSA every year? Yes. You should complete the FAFSA each year beginning January 1 for the upcoming academic year. ECU's priority deadline is March 1.
10. Does staying off campus reduce the amount of my financial aid? No. Staying off campus will not reduce the amount of your financial it. The Cashier's office will only bill you for tuition and fees and excess financial aid will be disbursed to you based on your chosen eRefunds option to cover off campus expenses. For information regarding the student account eRefund process, please visit the Cashier's office website at www.ecu.edu/cashier.
11. Why do I have to do the Exit Loan Counseling if I am not graduating? You are required to complete Exit Loan Counseling if you withdraw from school or drop below a half-time status (less than 6 hours).
12. How much money will I owe if I withdraw? The amount of money you owe will depend on the date of your official withdrawal. Once you have officially withdrawn, the Registrar Office will notify us. Once notified we will calculate the amount you owe and notify you in writing.
13. Why do I have to complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal? You are required to complete an appeal because you failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress for the last term of attendance and have been placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
14. Am I eligible for aid if I plan to Study Abroad Program? Yes, as long as the program is approved by the Registrar and the Office of International Affairs.
15. Do I qualify for Pell Grant? In order to determine eligibility for Federal Pell Grant you must complete a FAFSA.
16. Do I qualify for Federal Work Study? In order to determine eligibility for Federal Work Study you must complete a FAFSA.
17. Why was I selected for verification? You were selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of education randomly selects 30% of a schools population for verification. Our office also has the right to select a student for verification if there is reason to believe we have conflicting information.
18. I am taking classes at ECU and another college/university am I eligible to receive financial aid? Yes. If student is obtaining their degree from ECU they will need to obtain a signed permission form from their Academic Advisor or Department Chair. Once the permission form has been signed the student will need to submit a copy to our office. We will initiate a Consortium Agreement with the host school. If a student is taking classes at ECU and obtaining their degree at another institution they will need to discuss financial aid options with their home institution.
19. Am I considered full-time, three quarter time, half-time, or less than half-time? It depends on the number of registered credit.
- full time= 12 or more hours
- three quarter time= 9-11 hours
- half-time= 6-8 hours
- less than half-time= 1-5 hours
20. Why am I not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress? You are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress because you failed to meet the standards outlined by the Department of Education and the Office of Student Financial Aid.
21. What is ECU's estimated cost of attendance? ECU's estimated cost of attendance will vary based on your enrollment; if you are an in state or out of state resident; and if you are a living on campus, commuting, or a distance education student.