What is the deadline for applying?

The Priority Processing Deadline for filing the FAFSA is May 1st each year. It takes 3-5 days for your FAFSA to be processed by the Central Processing System (CPS) after you transmit it. You should allow four to six weeks for your FAFSA to be processed by the Financial Aid Office.

What happens after you apply?

After you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Federal Student Aid will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). A Student Aid Report (SAR) is a document you will receive after your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is processed. Your SAR will list all of the answers you provided on the FAFSA. You should review these answers carefully to make sure they are correct. If you need to make any changes, correct the SAR and mail it back to the address provided, or you can go to fafsa.ed.gov/ and under “FAFSA Follow-Up 3” select Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA from the FAFSA Follow-Up section.

The SAR will also contain your EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Your EFC is an index calculated by Federal Student Aid from the information you report on the FAFSA and according to a formula established by law.

If an asterisk (*) appears next to your EFC, it means the application has been selected for verification. Verification is a process in which the Essex County College Financial Aid Office must verify certain data reported on your FAFSA. The verification process requires you to submit additional documentation to the Essex County College Financial Aid Office, to support what is reported on your FAFSA.

How is eligibility for financial aid determined?

The major criteria for providing funds through Essex County College’s Financial Aid Office is financial “need” as shown on the financial aid form (FAFSA). Your need is determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Cost of Attendance (COA).

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is the total cost of the student’s education at Essex County College for each academic year including tuition, fees, books and supplies, personal and transportation costs. Expected Family Contribution is an estimate by the state and federal governments of the ability of the student and the student’s family to contribute toward educational cost.

When is it too late to get financial aid?

We will process your FAFSA for any funds that may still be available whenever you apply. However, if the FAFSA or required documents are received by during August for the Fall semester or January for the Spring semester your application may not be processed in time to pay your registration bill. You must be prepared to make a payment to avoid having your classes canceled for non-payment.

What happens if I am registered, but I am still not awarded aid?

We must take the time to review your academic history, obtain documents, verify the information on the FAFSA and correct any errors. You must apply early enough for this review to take place. You will have three options at this point to protect your registration:

  • Make a payment (cash, credit card, check etc.); OR
  • Apply for the Financial Aid Temporary Registration Protection (FATRP) Hold that will protect your registration from being canceled until your eligibility for aid is determined. You may access the FATRP at myecc.essex.edu; OR
  • Sign up for the ECC Payment Plan


If I pay now and I am eligible for aid later, will I get my money back?

Yes, but only if you attend class and qualify for enough aid to cover your payment.

How will I know that I have been awarded?

You must login to myecc.essex.edu to view your current financial aid status. Our office will regularly communicate with you through your Essex County College e-mail address. Please check your e-mail addresses regularly and login to myecc.essex.edu to stay informed about your financial aid status. If we e-mail you requesting additional information, please submit the information to our office immediately to avoid delays in processing your financial aid. Remember to include your name and your Essex County College Student ID number on any documents submitted.

What happens if I change my enrollment status?

Your enrollment is checked before aid is disbursed. If you have withdrawn from any classes, prior to your aid being disbursed, your aid may be recalculated. If you have withdrawn from all classes or have been reported as not attending all or some of your classes, you may not be eligible for aid and your aid will be adjusted accordingly..

Am I eligible for money for Books?

Yes, if you have funds remaining from what you were awarded, after your tuition, fees, and all charges are paid in full.

Am I entitled to a Financial Aid Refund?

Yes, if you have funds remaining from your award(s) after all charges (tuition, fees, books etc.) are paid in full. To receive the refund, sign up for our E-Check (electronic check) Program. You may choose one of the following options:

  • Direct Deposit – Have the funds deposited directly into your savings or checking account

Refund And Adjustment Policy
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


If you do not sign up for direct deposit, you will receive your refund via mailed check. Make sure your current address is on file in the Enrollment Services Office.

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