Students sitting in Pikeville Student Center giving peace sign

Financial Aid FAQs

Am I eligible for financial aid?

In general, you’re eligible as long as you:

  • are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • are registered with the Selective Service, if required by law
  • are working toward a degree, diploma, or certificate
  • are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • do not owe a refund on a federal grant or are not in default on a federal educational loan
  • demonstrate financial need, if required
  • have not been convicted of drug distribution or possession

How much aid am I eligible for?

The federal government and ACT provide electronic forms that estimate how much you might receive. No amount is certain until you apply, but these forms will give you a good, general idea.
How do I know if I’m a dependent or independent?

If you answer no to all of the questions below, you are considered dependent. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are considered independent:

  • Were you born before Jan. 1, 1989?
  • Do you have a bachelor's degree?
  • Are you married? (Answer yes if you are separated, but not divorced.)
  • Are you an orphan or ward of the court or were you a ward of the court until age 18?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
  • Do you have dependents other than a spouse who receive more than half of their support from you and will continue to do so through June 30, 2009?

What records will I need in order to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2012-2013 aid year?

If you declare yourself independent, you’ll need to gather the information below for you. If you’re married, you’ll need to gather this information for both you and your spouse. If you declare yourself a dependent student, you’ll need the following for you and your parents:

  • Driver’s license and Social Security card (students only)
  • W-2 Forms and other records on money earned in 2011
  • 2011 U.S. income tax return (IRS Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ)**
  • Records of untaxed income, such as welfare, Social Security, TANF or ADC, or veterans benefits
  • Current bank statement
  • Current mortgage information
  • Business and farm records
  • Records of stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • Copies of records showing child support received or paid during 2008
  • Copies of records showing any income or benefits not mentioned above or reflected in 2008 income taxes
  • A copy of your high school transcript or GED (or statement of proof) may be required by the admissions or financial aid office before financial aid is awarded

**The IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA may be used to retrieve information from 2011 tax returns filed by either the student or the parent.

How can I apply for Financial Aid?

Online application process: Go to www.pin.ed.gov where students and parents each apply for a PIN number. Then go to www.fafsa.ed.gov, complete the FAFSA and sign it electronically using your PIN numbers.

Should I apply for aid even if I probably won't qualify?

Yes. The application is free and some sources of aid (unsubsidized Stafford loan and Parent PLUS loans) are available regardless of need.

Do I have to wait until I am admitted before I apply for financial aid?

No. Students do not have to be admitted to BSCTC in order to file the FAFSA. However, a financial offer will not be made until you have been fully admitted into a degree-seeking program. Students applying must be registered for classes in order to be awarded financial aid.

What is BSCTC School Code?

001996

What is a CAP (College Access Program) Grant?

The CAP Grant is a need-based state funded grant that has a priority deadline of March 15 for the state of Kentucky. You may apply for Federal and State funds by completing the FAFSA online.

What is a Pell Grant?

The Pell Grant is a need-based grant ranging from $575 to $5550 per year. The Pell Grant is available to degree seeking students with an EFC of 4995 or less (as determined on the FAFSA) for the 2012-2013 aid year. The Pell grant has a lifetime eligibility of six years for all eligible students.

What is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)?

The FSEOG is a need-based grant. Students must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, have a completed FAFSA and be enrolled full-time.

Where can I find information about BSCTC scholarships?

Review our Scholarship web page for frequent scholarship postings.

How many credit hours are required to receive aid?

Generally, students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours for undergraduate and graduate students) in required coursework to receive most types of aid including Stafford Loans. However, a student may receive a Pell Grant for less than half-time enrollment.

My FAFSA was rejected because it is missing a signature. What do I do?

When you file the FAFSA, you can sign the form by using your US Department of Education PIN or by printing off the signature page and mailing it to the address listed on the printed page. If you (or your parents, if you are a dependent student) failed to sign the FAFSA, you can go back to the FAFSA website and sign the form electronically. Or, you may contact the Financial Aid Office and complete the verification process to have the missing signatures applied to your FAFSA.

I was selected for verification. What is that and what do I have to do?

Verification is the federal government's way of making sure students are correctly reporting their information on the FAFSA. You will need to fill out the verification form and submit IRS tax transcript documentation. If you are an independent student you must submit a copy of your and or your spouse’s 2011 IRS Tax Return Transcript. If you are a dependent student you must submit a copy of your and or your parents’ 2011 IRS Tax Return Transcripts. For further information on obtaining an IRS Tax Return Transcript, please see the Verification Instructions.

How much aid will I receive?

The amount of aid you are eligible to receive is determined by the information reported by your family on the FAFSA. The US Department of Education uses a formula to determine each student's EFC (estimated family contribution). The EFC is the amount of money the government has determined that a family can contribute to the student's educational costs. The EFC determines grant and loan eligibility.

Is there aid available for summer school?

If you did not attend full time during the Fall or Spring semester and where Pell eligible, you may have Pell Grant funds available for the summer term. Additionally, you may have remaining loan eligibility for the summer term, if you are enrolled in 6 credit hours or more.

How many credit hours must I be enrolled in order to receive a Pell grant?

Full time enrollment (12 credit hours) is required to receive the full Pell Grant award. Students with a semester course load of 1-11 credit hours may be eligible for a prorated portion of their Pell Grant.

What is the difference between a Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans?

For the need-based Subsidized Stafford Loan, the federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled at least half-time (six semester hours). However, for the non-need based Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, interest does accrue while the student is enrolled and must be paid by the student upon graduation or ceasing enrollment of half time status. Both types of Stafford loans have an interest rate that is capped at 8.25% Repayment begins six months after you graduate or you cease to be enrolled at least half-time (six semester hours).

When is KEES disbursed?

The KY KEES is usually received in late September by the school you are enrolled at for the fall and mid-February for the spring term. Until disbursement, this scholarship is considered anticipated aid towards your bill. Visit KHEAA's KEES FAQs webpage for more information. You do not have to contact KHEAA to receive the funds.

I have financial aid at another school, but I want to transfer to BSCTC. Can I transfer my aid?

Pell, CAP, FSEOG and KEES funds do transfer, however loans do not. You must confirm that BSCTC’s school code (001996) is on your FAFSA so that we can determine your financial aid eligibility. You will not have to fill out a second FAFSA. Once you have completed your application with the Office of Admissions, we will review your FAFSA. If any additional information is needed we will notify you as soon as possible via your BSCTC student e-mail account.

How do I update my FAFSA to include BSCTC as a school choice?

Go to the FAFSA website and click on "Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA" under "FAFSA Follow-up". Use your U.S. Dept. of Education PIN to submit a FAFSA correction that lists BSCTC’s school code 001996.

Where can I get financial aid forms?

Big Sandy Community & Technical College provides printable versions of the forms we use.

What happens after I apply?

If you apply online, your application will be processed in 10-14 days. You will receive a Student Aid Report via the e-mail account you provided on your financial aid application stating if you are eligible to receive financial aid for the year.

If you apply by mail, it will take about four weeks. Unless any problems arise, you will get a Student Aid Report in the mail stating if you are eligible to receive financial aid for the year.

How do education tax credits work?

Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning credits are subtracted from your taxes. They cover tuition and any costs you need to pay to enroll, except insurance, medical and health fees, room and board, transportation, or similar living expenses.

I’m a veteran. Do veterans get any special benefits?

If you are a veteran you may complete an application to see if you are eligible for benefits.