Frequently Asked Questions
The following FAQ section has been added to help expedite finding answers to many of our commonly asked questions, such as:
How do I apply for Federal financial aid at GateWay Community College?
You may file your application electronically using one of the computers in the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) or use a personal computer by accessing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web at FAFSA.ed.gov. In addition, you may complete and submit the paper FAFSA. Be sure to list GateWay's school code (008303) in step 6. Our office will receive an electronic record of your application from the federal processor.
What records will I need to complete my FAFSA?
Generally, all you will need is your federal tax return (IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040 EZ). You may also want to have your w-2 forms and any other records of money earned in the tax year you are using to complete the FAFSA. This would include records of untaxed income, such as welfare, social security, AFDC or ADC, or veteran's benefits. You may also need to use current bank statement, business or farm records and any records of stocks, bonds or other investments.
How often do I need to complete a financial aid application?
You will need to complete a FAFSA every year for each academic year. An academic year is Fall, Spring and Summer terms. The FAFSA may be completed on or after January 1 for the upcoming school year.
When is the deadline to apply for Federal financial aid?
GateWay has a priority date of February 15 of the year prior to the school year you plan to enroll.
Example: If you plan to enroll in the fall of 2010, your priority deadline would be February 15, 2010.
This deadline enables you to receive the maximum available assistance by our office. However, you may apply for the school year that you are attending.
The Federal Processor should receive the FAFSA application by June 30 of the Summer Session for the academic year.
Example: If you attend Fall and Spring 2009-2010 and you are attending in the Summer of 2010, you can apply for aid for the entire year in the Summer of 2010.
What types of financial aid will I be considered for by applying with the FAFSA?
You will be considered for the Federal Pell Grant, Leap Grant and Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant. Grants are considered gift aid and do not have to be paid back as long as you remain eligible. You will also be considered for Federal Stafford loans and Work-Study that allows you to work part-time to assist you in paying for college.
How many credit hours do I need to take to be considered for federal financial aid?
- You will be considered for a Pell Grant when you take 1 or more hours.
- To be considered for other campus-based grants, you will need to take 6 or more hours.
- To be considered for federal loans, you need to be enrolled in 6 or more hours.
What happens after GateWay receives my information from the federal processor?
Our office will notify you that we have received your information from the processor through the online student center at My.Maricopa.edu.
May I attend 2 schools and receive federal financial aid for the courses at each school?
You may receive aid for the courses you are attending by completing a Consortium Agreement Form. If you are a GateWay student you will receive funds from our office. You must make payment arrangements at the participating school or you risk being dropped for non-payment.
Consortium Agreements are subject to approval and may not be granted if classes are not part of the students program of study on file, if the student has not maintained MCCCD academic progress or is not taking 6 or more credit hours at GateWay. Courses taken at other schools need to be at the 100 or 200 level and count toward student's degree. Stop by our office for assistance with this form.
How will I receive my financial aid funds?
Disbursement of excess financial aid funds starts approximately 20 days after the semester starts, except for first time borrowers for loans, in which case aid will be disbursed 30 days after the beginning of the semester. Financial aid funds are disbursed by the Cashier's Office. Please plan for the delayed disbursement.
What student eligibility requirements must be met in order to receive federal financial aid?
- Must be over 16 years old and not concurrently enrolled in high school, an elementary or secondary program or taking college credit to earn a high school diploma or GED.
- Have a high school diploma, GED or pass the approved ability to benefit test.
- Be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident of the U.S.
- Be enrolled in a degree or eligible certification program at GateWay.
- Cannot be in default on a federal loan or owe a repayment of a federal grant.
- If required, you must be registered with selective service
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress as outlined in our "Standards of Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility".
- Have not been convicted of certain drug related crimes.
What if my or my family's financial situation changes?
You can complete an Income Review Form and submit it to our office. You will need to attach a letter explaining your circumstances and supporting documentation.
How do I apply for Scholarships?
To apply for scholarships please visit our website at www.gwc.maricopa.edu/fa and click on scholarships. Our office post scholarships as they are received so you should check often. The private donor scholarships, amounts and deadlines vary however most have deadlines that are in the Spring Semester prior to the next academic year. One key to receiving a scholarship is to apply early.
How do I apply for Native American funds from my tribe?
Most tribes require you to first submit a FAFSA to the Federal Processor. In addition, you should contact the tribal office to obtain a tribal application.
Fall and Spring
Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.