Financial Aid FAQs

Hopefully you'll find answers to many of your questions on this page or some of our other pages. The Department of Education also has a list of FAQs for questions about filing your FAFSA electronically; check them out online: If you still have questions, contact the Student Financial Assistance Office by email at

 The Application Process

 Getting Your Money

 About Loans

 Withdrawal and Aid


When should I apply for financial aid?
You must apply for financial aid every year. The best time to apply is as soon as possible after January 1 prior to the school year for which you are applying for financial aid. If you apply early, you may be eligible for Federal Work Study, FSEOG Grants, and/or Oregon Opportunity Grants if you have a high enough need level. Even if you miss the timelines for priority consideration, you will still be considered for the aid programs with available funding (usually Federal Pell Grant and Federal Stafford Loan). Other processing timelines may apply so check with the Student Financial Assistance Office if you are unsure.

How do I apply for financial aid?
You can apply for financial aid (FAFSA) in several ways. We recommend that you apply on the Internet at As a part of completing the FAFSA on the Web, you will have to request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at You can do this prior to completing your FAFSA or you can do it as the final step of on line FAFSA.  You will be prompted to do it just before you submit  the application. 

  • If parent information is included on your FAFSA, your parent will also need to request a PIN at
  • Your PIN serves as an electronic identifier as is necessary for you and your parent (if applicable) to electronically sign the FAFSA on the Web.

If you filed a FAFSA the previous school year and have not changed your address since you reported it to the Federal Processor, you should receive a paper renewal application in January. You may use this paper application, rather than the Web, if you prefer.

If you haven't received a Renewal FAFSA by the end of January prior to the school year, you can also complete a regular paper FAFSA available at the BMCC Student Financial Assistance Office.

I don't live with my parents, they don't claim me on their tax returns, and they don't give me any financial support. Do I have to put down their information on my application?
If you cannot answer YES to any question in the "Dependency Status" section on the FAFSA, you MUST include parent information. In the on-line version of the FAFSA you will be prompted as to whether or not you will need to supply your parents information. 

Parent information is used because the U.S. Congress has said that families have the primary responsibility for funding college education. If, however, you feel that you have special family circumstances, you should contact a financial aid advisor before completing the FAFSA.

I already filed my application, but I'm now married. Can I be considered independent now?
Your marital status as of the day you applied is the status you will stay at during that aid year. Therefore, if you had to include your parent information when you applied, their information will be included throughout that aid year.

My stepparent is not willing to support me. Do I have to list his/her income under the parent section too?
Yes, if your "supporting" parent has remarried, his/her spouse's information must be included on the FAFSA.

My parents are divorced/separated, and I do not live with either parent. Whose income should I use?
The parent who supported you last is the person you should use. If that parent is remarried, you must also include the step-parent's income information.

I live with my grandparents/other relatives/guardians who support me. Should I put their income information on my aid application instead of my parents'?
No, you must put down your parents' information under the parent section. If, however, unusual circumstances exist, contact the Financial Aid Office before applying.

When they ask for my household size, who should I include?
Include yourself. If you are married, include your spouse. (If you are divorced, separated, or widowed, DON'T include spouse information). List the people for whom you (and your spouse if you are married) will provide at least half their support and who LIVE with you (children who are college students and would be considered "dependent" on the FAFSA should also be included). If you were required to include your (step)parent(s)' information, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT LIVE WITH THEM, include your (step)parents(s) and their dependents.

You're asking for my tax returns and W-2s. I didn't keep copies. What should I do?
You must contact the IRS (1-800-829-1040) and request copies. If you completed a 1040EZ or TeleFile, you can request "Letter 1722." Otherwise, you must request a full printout of your tax return or a transcript (Form 4506). If you had a tax preparer do your tax returns, you may want to contact him/her if you believe s/he keeps copies. For copies of W-2s, you can contact your employers or request a full printout of the information from the IRS.

You're asking for verification of my selective service registration. I never received anything. What should I do?
You must contact Selective Service at 1-847-688-6888 or to request a copy of your registration card. If it is determined that you have not registered, you must do so if you are still between the ages of 18 and 25 and bring us a copy of your registration card when you receive it. If you are not registered and over 26 years of age, you will need to request a letter from Selective Service showing your status and turn it in to us.

BMCC already has my financial aid application record, but I need to make some changes to my application. How should I make the changes?
If you have your pin number from the federal processor, you can make the changes at Click on "Entering a FAFSA" then "Make Corrections."
It depends on the type of changes you have as well as the time of the year. Contact BMCC’s Student Financial Assistance Office BEFORE making any changes. We will advise you on how to proceed.

I have some unusual circumstances that I need someone to know about when my application is reviewed. Should I send a letter with the FAFSA?
Do not send anything except the FAFSA, and fill it out according to the directions. Any other paperwork sent to the federal processor will simply be shredded. Contact the BMCC Student Financial Assistance Office about unusual circumstances you'd like considered.

What is untaxed income?
Students need to review worksheet A and B on their FAFSA instructions, which outlines what is to be included as untaxed income. Also, all amounts listed noted on your W-2 forms' items 12 a – d. codes D, E, F, G, H & S.

I don't understand Worksheet C on the Financial Aid Application. Please explain.
Question 1: Asks about "Education Credits" refers to credits that you may have claimed on your federal tax return as the result of the Tax Relief Act of 1997. This amount is listed on IRS form 1040 – line 50, or 1040A – line 31.
Question 2: Refers to child support PAID OUT by the student, or the parent if the student is still considered dependent under financial aid guidelines.
Question 3: Refers to the taxable Work Study funds that you earned that was included on your 2006 Federal Tax return.
Question 4: Refers to the amount of grant and scholarship aid you received that EXCEEDED the cost of tuition, fees, books, and required supplies that was reported on a 1040 income tax return, as well as allowances and benefits you received from the Americorps program.
NOTE: The amounts to include here should be ANNUAL amounts NOT monthly amounts.

I did not list BMCC on my FAFSA when I first applied. What should I do?
If you have your pin number from the federal processor, you can add BMCC over the Internet at To request a pin number, go to
If you have your Student Aid Report (SAR), you may also call the federal processor at 1-800-433-3243. Give them your name, social security number, the DRN number and transaction number off your SAR (in the upper right corner of the front page), and the name of the school you want to be added to your application (Blue Mountain Community College, Title IV School Code 003186). If you no longer have your SAR, call the federal processor for a duplicate SAR. When you get it, call the processor again to provide the needed information.

Can I still get aid if I filed late in the year?
Yes! Even if you missed the timelines for priority consideration, your application will still be considered for aid programs with available funding, usually Pell Grants and Stafford Loans as long as the federal processor receives your application by the deadline listed on the FAFSA and we receive a record of that application while you are still enrolled.

When will I get my Award Notification?
In general, it may take 2 to 3 months after you send your FAFSA in the mail before you find out what type of aid eligibility you have. Please keep in mind that this timeline may be lengthened, depending on the time of year and your individual situation.


How much aid will I get?
The information you provide on your FAFSA, as well as the other information you submit to our office, will allow us to determine what type of need level you have and, thus, what type of aid we can offer you. Funding availability, federal regulations, and "cost of education" will also be considered.

How much money can I earn and still be eligible for financial aid?
Your financial aid award will be based on a wide variety of factors. Therefore, it is extremely difficult, and usually impossible, to give an answer to this question without first going through the entire application and review process. Keep in mind, though, the Pell Grant is not the only form of financial aid. Even if it appears that you are not eligible for this grant, you may be eligible for other types of aid.

When are financial aid funds available?
Once your financial aid has been awarded by BMCC, it will be posted to your student account the week prior to the start of classes.  If the amount of aid you are eligible for EXCEEDS the amount of your tuition, fees and book charges (if applicable) you will be sent a refund check on the 8th day of classes.  Refer to the Dates and Deadlines page of the BMCC Financial Assistance website for exact dates each term.

How will I buy my books if my financial aid is not disbursed until the 8th day of classes?
Students that have financial aid that EXCEEDS the amount of their tuition and fees can obtain a "Book Voucher" at the Service Center to utilize for the purchase of required books and supplies in the BMCC Bookstore.  For the dates each term that Book Vouchers will be available, refer to the Dates and Deadlines page of the BMCC Financial Assistance website.

The amount students will be able to charge in the Bookstore will in NO case exceed the amount of aid available after tuition and fees charges have been applied to their student accounts.

  Financial Aid
  Tuition and Fees charges
  Available to charge in Bookstore (books and supplies only)
$ 500

NOTE: Financial aid will not cover late fees.

Can I use my aid to pay for other expenses?
Your federal financial aid (Federal Pell, Federal SEOG, Federal Stafford Loans) can be applied to:

  • Tuition
  • Most fees (can not be applied to late fees)
  • Required books and supplies

Your other forms of financial assistance (private scholarships, agency assistance, some BMCC talent and athletic scholarships) will also cover tuition and fees and in most cases will cover late fees charged to your account.

Should you have financial assistance over and above the cost of tuition and fees (with the exception of late fees in some cases) a refund check will be mailed to you. You may use your refund money to pay for other education-related expenses such as rent, groceries, transportation, child care, and other miscellaneous enpenses.


How do I apply for a student loan?
As student loans are also financial aid, you must first complete the financial aid application (FAFSA – as described above) and review process before your eligibility for a federal student loan can be determined. You will received information on “how to apply for a federal student loan” along with your initial award letter from BMCC.  The instructions are posted on the Loans page of the BMCC Financial Aid website.

What if I originally was not interested in a student loan when I filled out my FAFSA, but now I am?
The last day to apply for loans during each term is listed on the Dates and Deadlines page of the BMCC Financial Aid website.

I have a previous loan but am back in school. How can I defer my loan so that I don't have to make payments while I'm in school?
Most lenders automatically receive notification that you are enrolled through the National Student Loan Clearinghouse. BMCC sends a Student Status Confirmation Report to the Clearinghouse approximately 3 times per term. Your enrollment status is updated at that time.

What if I have defaulted on a student loan?
We cannot offer you financial aid if you are in default on a student loan. You must provide us with documentation that the default has been cleared or put into satisfactory repayment before we can consider you for aid eligibility. Contact your lender or servicer for additional information.


What if I have to drop out of ALL my classes, and I already received my financial aid?
You will be subject to the Policy on Return of Title IV Aid and may have to repay part of your aid. If this happens, the Financial Aid Director determines your last date of attendance and applies the regulations accordingly. You must also successfully complete a "Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal" in order to be considered for future aid at BMCC.

What do I do if I am not done with my classes at BMCC before my financial aid Time Frame Limit is reached?
You will have to successfully complete a Length of Time Appeal if you want to be considered for continued financial aid funding at BMCC. Otherwise, you must pay your educational expenses on your own. Please make sure to pay attention to the deadline dates to appeal.

What if I owe repayment on financial aid at another school?
We cannot offer you financial aid if you owe repayment of financial aid at another school. We must receive documentation from the school showing that you no longer owe repayment before we can consider you for aid eligibility. This does not pertain to the outstanding loans you borrowed while at that school.