What is the deadline for applying?
Usually, it takes four to six weeks for the FAFSA to be processed by the federal processor. Therefore, we recommend very strongly that you file your aid application no later than April 1. You may file on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov to reduce the processing time to 3-4 weeks.
What are the academic requirements for financial aid?
You must be accepted as a matriculated (degree seeking) student and enrolled in an approved program of study. For you to continue to receive financial aid during your attendance at the college, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
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, you can do so on the SAR and mail it back to the address provided, or you can go to http://www.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 the Federal Student Aid from the information you report on the FAFSA and according to a formula established by law. The EFC measures your family's financial strength and it is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid during one school year and amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive. Your family’s income (taxable and untaxed) and assets are considered in determining your EFC. Your family size and the number of family members who will be attending a college or career school are also considered. Your EFC is not the amount that your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid that you will receive.
If an asterisk (*) appears next to your EFC, it means the application has been selected for verification. Verification is a process in which the ECC Office of Financial must verify certain data reported on your FAFSA. The verification process requires you to submit additional documentation to the ECC Office of Financial Aid, to support what is reported on your FAFSA. Applicants selected for verification cannot be issued a financial aid award until all the requested documents/forms are submitted to the ECC Office of Financial Aid and your file has been reviewed and verified.
Your Student Aid Report will either request additional information from you or will provide your EFC. If your SAR requests additional information:
What will the College receive?
ECC will receive your Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). The federal processor will transmit an electronic eligibility file called an ISIR to the College if you correctly listed ECC’s code number 007107 when you filed your FAFSA. ECC will review the ISIR for accuracy and request missing documents if you are selected for verification or if corrections are needed. You will receive a follow-up letter for missing documents and missing forms that are required to make your file complete.
How will I know that I have been awarded?
You must login to myeec.essex.edu to view your current financial aid status. Our office will regularly communicate with you by e-mail through the e-mail addresses you have provided on your FAFSA application, your ECC Admissions application, and your ECC Student e-mail address (once you are assigned a student e-mail address). Please check your e-mail addresses regularly and login to myeec.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 ECC Student ID number on any documents submitted.
How will I get my money?
If you are awarded aid, the funds will be used to pay tuition, fees and other charges. Fund remaining after all charges are satisfied will be paid directly to you. These funds will be sent to you approximately 14 days after the funds have been applied to your registration bill.
Your awards will be based on full-time enrollment. If you enroll for less than full-time, your federal grant awards will be reduced and your eligibility for state grant programs will be affected. Most aid programs require at least half-time status and a few require full-time status. The credit breakdown is as follows:
12 credits or more
= full-time status
What happens if I change my enrollment status?
Your enrollment is checked before aid is disbursed. If you have withdrawn from any classes, your aid eligibility may be affected and disbursement will not occur until your eligibility is recalculated. If you have withdrawn from all classes or have dropped to less than six credits, you may not be eligible for aid and your scheduled disbursement will be cancelled.
How do I get money for books?
To be eligible for a book voucher, you must be awarded aid by the Financial Aid Office at ECC and have funds remaining from your award(s) after your registration bill has been paid in full. The book voucher will be issued to eligible students from the Financial Aid Office on or before the first day of classes each semester/term, and may be used only once and only in the ECC College Bookstore. If you do not spend the full amount of your book voucher, the remaining balance will be sent to you during scheduled check disbursement for the semester/term.
How is eligibility for financial aid determined?
There are other criteria that may determine eligibility for financial aid, for example the Ability To Benefit Test (ATB) and academic standing. 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 ECC 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. It is determined by evaluating the information you provide on the financial aid form, using a standardized, federally mandated formula of need analysis.
What are the requirements to be considered an independent student?
If you can answer Yes to any of the following questions, you are considered an independent student on the FAFSA:
If you are considered an independent student, your parent’s information is not required on the FAFSA. Students who do not fall into the above categories but who feel they have sufficient evidence to prove independence should visit the ECC Office of Financial Aid in Room 3220, at the Newark Campus or call us at (973) 877-3200. Each application will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine an applicant’s eligibility status.