Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid is determined for students who annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Award packages are determined as early as March of each calendar year for the upcoming academic year for early applicants. Awarding continues as Financial Aid applications are processed. A student is eligible only for those Federal programs that have funds available at the time your file is fully processed and the student meets eligibility guidelines.
Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid is determined according to Federal guidelines and College policies. The following key concepts are used in this determination;
of Attendance (COA)- an estimate of your anticipated costs for the
term(s) you are awarded. It includes your costs only, not costs for other
family members. HCC estimates your costs for the following allowable
components in the COA: tuition/fees, books/supplies, room/board,
transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. Your actual costs
Family Contribution (EFC)- based on information you reported on your
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or other
documentation collected by the Office of Financial Aid (OFA). It
represents the amount the Federal Government has determined you and your
family can afford to pay toward your COA.
the difference between your COA and EFC. The office of Financial Aid
will attempt to meet your need with a combination of available funding
sources; however, we are not always able to meet every student's
financial need. With the exception of Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), your total Financial
Aid award package cannot exceed your documented Financial need.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct or PLUS loans may be used to replace your
12 or more credit hours per semester
9-11 credit hours per semester
6-8 credit hours per semester
Less than 1/2 time
1-5 credit hours per semester
You must be in at least 6 credit hours to be eligible for a Federal Student Loan, College Work-Study, or FSEOG. If you are eligible for Pell, your grant will be prorated based on your enrollment status.
Note: The amount of your award is an estimate based on information you supplied on your FAFSA. Actual amounts may be re-calculated. Adjustments may be required.
- Your financial aid file MUST be complete, accurate, and awarded
- You MUST complete a Direct Loan Request Worksheet
- First time borrowers MUST complete Entrance Counseling www.studentloans.gov
- Master Promissory Note (MPN) MUST be completed accurately at www.studentloans.gov Paper MPNs are available upon request. If you have completed a Direct Loan MPN in the past, you may not be required to sign a new MPN. First-time borrowers loan funds must be held for 30 days from the start date of the academic term. One semester only loans may be required to be split between two disbursements within the same term. All borrowers must complete an Exit Counseling Session upon graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time status.
Borrowing limits are listed on the chart below. The Department of Education also establishes cumulative loan limits. Loan limits are not subject to appeal.
Freshman Loan Limits
(0 -23 credit hours earned)
Sophomore Loan Limits(24 or more credit hours earned)
Aggregate Loan Limits
$5,500.00 per year
$6,500.00 per year
$23,000 subsidized, $31,000 total
(only 3,500. may be subsidized)
(only 4,500. may be subsidized)