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Frequently asked Q & A’s

 How do I apply for Financial Aid?





Complete the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – the online version (FAFSA on the Web) at www.fafsa.ed.gov or the paper FAFSA form. Using FAFSA on the web is faster, and if you list our school code (001501) we will receive you information from the processor within 3 weeks from the date you file online.

What happened to the Federal Student Aid PIN?

The FSA ID replaces the Federal Student Aid PIN. If you already have a PIN, you can link your information to your new FSA ID by entering your PIN while registering for your FSA ID. (This will save you time when registering for your FSA ID.) However, a PIN is not required to create an FSA ID.  For more information on how to obtain a FSA ID please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

What is a FSA ID and what is it used for?

An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) at fafsa.gov.

If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child’s FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Please note: Each FSA ID user must have a unique e-mail address.

Your FSA ID is used to sign legally binding documents electronically. It has the same legal status as a written signature. Don’t give your FSA ID to anyone—not even to someone helping you fill out the FAFSA. Sharing your FSA ID could put you at risk of identity theft!


Your FSA ID helps you to:

  • Apply on line for federal student aid using FAFSA on the web
  • “Sign” your application electronically and complete the student aid process totally online-no paper is involved. If you’re a dependent student and your parents have a FSA ID, they can sign the application electronically, as well. Signing the application at the time you apply means you’ll get your results faster.
  • Make corrections to your FAFSA.
  • Access your Student Aid Report and make corrections to it.
  • Access all your federal student aid records online, including any federal student loan information

What is the Florida Gateway College federal school code?

The Federal School code for Florida Gateway College (Lake City Community College) is 001501. Please complete the application and submit it as soon as possible.

What is Federal student aid?

It’s financial help if you’re enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student at a school participating in our federal student aid programs. (By “school”, we mean a four-year or two-year public or private college, university, career school or trade school.)

Federal aid can cover school expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation.

There are three categories of federal student aid: grants, work-study, and loans.

Why do I need to list my parents or my spouse on my FAFSA application?

Your dependency status determines whose information you must report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM).

  • If you’re a dependent student, you will report your and your parents’ information.

The following people are not your parents unless they have legally adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, and uncles or aunts.

  • If you’re an independent student, you will report your own information (and, if you’re married, your spouse’s).

The federal student aid programs are based on the concept that it is primarily your and your family’s responsibility to pay for your education. And because a dependent student is assumed to have the support of parents, the parents’ information has to be assessed along with the student’s, in order to get a full picture of the family’s financial strength. If you’re a dependent student, it doesn’t mean your parents are required to pay anything toward your education; this is just a way of looking at everyone in a consistent manner.

Which parent’s information should I report on the FAFSASM?

If you need to report parent information, here are some guidelines to help you:

  • If your parents are living and married to each other, answer the questions about both of them.
  • If your parents are living together and are not married but meet the criteria in your state for a common-law marriage, answer the questions about both of them. If your state does not consider them to be married, fill out the parent information as if they are divorced. (See below.)
  • If your parent is widowed or single, answer the questions about that parent. If your widowed parent is remarried as of the day you sign the FAFSA, answer the 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 more during the past 12 months. If this parent is remarried as of today, answer the questions on the FAFSA about that parent and the person whom your parent married (your stepparent).
    • If you lived the same amount of time with each divorced parent, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months or during the most recent 12 months that you actually received support from a parent.
  • The following people are not your parents unless they have adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, and uncles or aunts.
  • If you were adopted, follow the instructions above for parents, based on your adoptive parents’ current marital status.

What if I don’t live with my parents?

You still must answer the questions about your parents if you’re considered a dependent student.

What if my parents aren’t going to help me pay for college and refuse to provide information for my FAFSASM?

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 considered “rejected,” and you might not be able to receive any federal student aid. The most you would be able to get (depending on what the financial aid office at your college decides) would be a loan called an unsubsidized loan.

What if I have no contact with my parents?

If you have no contact with your parents and don’t know where they live, or you’ve left home due to an abusive situation, fill out the FAFSA and then immediately get in touch with the financial aid office at the college or career school you plan to attend. The financial aid staff will tell you what to do next.

How is my eligibility determined?

Aid from most of the federal programs are awarded based on financial need (except for unsubsidized Stafford Loans and PLUS loans).

We use an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number when we determine your need. The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated by the federal processor from the information you reported on the FREE Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA).

The EFC on your Student Aid Report (SAR) is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s income (taxable and untaxed), assets, and benefits (for example: unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in determining your EFC. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend a college or career school.

To be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, your EFC must be below a certain number, which can vary from year to year. For the 2013-2014 award year; eligibility for a Pell Grant required an EFC under 5081.

Why do I have to provide documentation to the school?

All student financial aid files require the Florida Gateway College Financial Aid Authorization Form.

If the student is selected for VERIFICATION: more documentation is required to verify what was reported to the federal processor on the FAFSA application. If there are any errors, the school can make the corrections for the student. The federal processor selects 1/3 of all FAFSA applicants at random for verification every year.

How do I get a federal student loan?

To apply for a federal student loan, you must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM). Based on the results of your FAFSA, your college or career school will award you  financial aid, which may include federal student loans.  If the Office of Financial Aid did not meet your needs with federal grant aid or scholarships and you would like to be considered for William D. Ford Federal Direct student loan.  Please click the link to be directed to our loan webpage.

When do I get my refund check and/or can my refund be direct deposited?

Refunds are disbursed to students 30-45 business days from the first day of class.  Yes financial aid refunds can be direct deposited.  For questions concerning direct deposit, please contact our Cashier’s Office at 386-754-4211.

Financial Aid Disbursement and Payment

The Business Office is responsible for paying the financial aid to students. The Financial Aid Department determines eligibility, authorizes disbursement and officially records the disbursement. The Business Office then satisfies outstanding institutional debt and processes payment for remaining amounts. The Business Office is also responsible for refunding tuition. As a service to our students, we deduct amounts due to the institution and send the net difference to the student. Financial aid disbursements are deposited into either the students existing bank account through ACH/Direct Deposit. Students who do not choose direct deposit will receive a check 14 days from the date of disbursement.

Can I receive Federal Student Aid at more than one school during the year for the same semester?

No. If you are enrolled at more than one school in the same semester, you can only receive federal aid at the school you are degree seeking.

However, you can receive federal student aid at one school one semester and at another school the next semester as long as it is within the same academic year contingent upon your being degree seeking.

What happens if I withdraw from, receive all F’s, or I’s (incomplete) in all my classes?

Four things:

  • Your eligibility for further aid may be canceled;
  • You may have to repay aid you received for the semester, depending on when you withdraw (see below);
  • Your tuition payment may be forfeited, depending on when you withdraw (see below);
  • You begin your grace period and/or repayment, if you’ve borrowed any student loans (contact your lenders for more information).

What is Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used?

Federal Pell Grant Program—Duration of Eligibility (Lifetime Eligibility Used)

You are eligible to receive a Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters or the equivalent. If you have exceeded the 12-semester maximum, you lose eligibility for additional Pell Grants beginning in the 2012–2013 school year. Equivalency is calculated by adding together the percentage of your Pell eligibility that you received each year to determine whether the total amount exceeds 600%.

Once you have received a Pell Grant for 12 semesters, or the equivalent, you are no longer eligible for additional Pell Grants.

For example, if your maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2010–11 school year was $5,550, but you receive only $2,775 because you were enrolled for only one semester, you would have used 50% of your maximum award for that year. If in the following school year, you were enrolled only three-quarter time, you would have used 75% of your maximum award for that year. Together, you would have received 125% out of the total 600% lifetime limit.

For more information on Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used, please visit review the Federal Student Aid website at http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell/calculate-eligibility.