Financial Aid

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for Financial Aid?
Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a Renewal FAFSA and submit it online as soon as possible AFTER January 1st.  Be sure to submit your FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA online in time for the Federal government and Athens Tech to process it (about four weeks) before your expected registration time. You must apply online by using FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Apply for financial aid at the same time, or even before, you apply for admissions into the college.

What is the Title IV School Code for ATC?
ATC's Federal Title IV School Code is 005600.  This number must be used when completing the FAFSA in order for Athens Tech to receive your financial aid application.

Do I need to reapply for financial aid each year?
Yes.  Each year you must renew your FAFSA for the appropriate academic year and submit the documents that are requested by Athens Tech.  You must also maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to qualify for aid each term.

Can the Office of Financial Aid estimate if I am eligible for Title IV Aid?
The Office of Financial Aid cannot determine the amount of your awards until the results of your FAFSA has been received from the federal processor.  Your eligibility is determined by your FAFSA's information you and your family supplied on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The Federal government determines your "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC) according to a formula supplied by the U.S. Congress and then forwards this information to the Office of Financial Aid.  Only then can the Office of Financial Aid begin to determine the amounts of your awards.  If you know your EFC from your SAR and your enrollment hours for the term, you can go to our Pell page to estimate that semester's award.

Why do I need to complete a Verification Worksheet and submit a copy of my Federal Income Tax Return?
Each year, the Federal Processor selects at least 30% of the financial aid applicants to a particular school for a process called verification.  The school must verify the information that the student provided on his or her FAFSA.  These documents are required to verify that information.  You can go to our Verification page for additional instructions and information.

Can a veteran receive both VA Benefits and federal/state financial aid?
It is possible, but some veterans' benefits require state aid to pay first.

How do I apply for the HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grant, or the Zell Miller Scholarship?
A student must complete a FAFSA application online in order to determine eligibility for HOPE.  If you are an Associate Degree student and have prior college credit or just out of high school, a Hope Evaluation Request should also be submitted.

Do I have to be full-time to receive HOPE?
There is not a minimum or maximum number of enrollment hours for a student to receive HOPE. A student will be paid HOPE according to the number of enrollment hours (capped at 15 hours). However, transients are only allowed up to a total of 15 hours per term, including hours at their home college and host college.

Why has my HOPE ‘maxed out’ or ‘capped out’?
Please refer to the Hope limits and checkpoints section on this site for an in depth explanation.

How many hours must I take to be classified as a full time student for financial aid purposes?
12 credit hours or more is required to be considered full-time status.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
Satisfactory Academic Progress is a set of federal, state, and institutional guidelines for students receiving financial assistance. If a student fails to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, he/she will be placed on warning or exclusion status.

Can I appeal my SAP status if I am suspended from financial aid for failing to maintain satisfactory academic progress?
Students who feel they have extenuating circumstances that have contributed to their failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress may appeal the status according to the guidelines established by the Financial Aid Office. This policy can be found in the ATC Student Handbook and Catalog or online under the Satisfactory Academic Progress section.

What happens to my financial aid status if I withdraw from school?
Students who withdraw from school while on financial aid may have their awards reduced.  Depending upon when you withdraw from school, your awards can be reduced and you may be required to repay a specified percentage of any aid you have received in the term in which you are withdrawing.  Check with the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from school to see if withdrawing could have an effect on your awards.

How can I get my financial aid transferred to another school?
Students transferring to another institution will have to make a correction to their current year FAFSA by adding the institutions Federal School Code (005600). Students must also contact the institution and complete any necessary forms to determine eligibility.

What type of financial aid can I receive as a transient student while I am a student at ATC?
A student wishing to take a transient class another TCSG College may be eligible to receive HOPE at the HOST school if the student is eligible for HOPE at Athens Tech. If the student is eligible for Title IV (Pell) aid, Athens Tech will need the HOST school to send Athens Tech an enrollment verification form after Drop/Add of the semester. This allows Athens Tech to award the students' Federal Aid at that time during the semester. Students will be required to pay for any fees or book costs that HOPE does not cover while a transient student. Athens Tech does not provide enrollment verifications for any Federal aid to non-TCSG institutions.

I probably don't qualify for aid.  Should I apply for aid anyway?
Yes. Students often think they do not qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving the financial assistance that is available. The Financial Aid Office offers a variety of financial aid programs with different eligibility requirements.

Can I apply for a student loan?
Athens Technical College does not currently participate in any federal student or parent loan programs (e.g. Direct Loans, Stafford). Any student loan for which a student wishes to apply must be a private student loan which will disburse funds directly to the college. Private loans are for 'gap' financing or as a last resort to pay for educational expenses, such as outstanding tuition, fees, and books. The college does not certify loans for living expenses as it is our policy not to encourage students to incur additional debt for their college education. Students who have existing student loans will have to meet additional criteria to remain eligible for Title IV and HOPE funds.

If I don't attend class, what happens to the PELL Grant and HOPE Awards for the semesters listed on my award letter?
Your award notice does list awards for the entire award year. However, if you withdraw from school, do not attend class during a particular term, or not enrolled full-time, you cannot receive those estimated awards. Classes that are not eligible for financial aid are those you do not attend, do not make, do not start, or not required under your current program of study.

If I moved to Georgia less than 1 year ago, can I qualify for the HOPE Grant?
If you graduated from high school as a non-resident of Georgia, you must be a Georgia resident for 24 months prior to the first day of classes of the school term to be considered eligible for HOPE Grant.

If I get married after I complete my application, can I change my marital status?
No, the student's marital status is effective for the award year as of the date the application is submitted. During the Application Renewal period for the next award year is when a student can update his/her material status.

When will the Pell Grant refund checks be ready?
Pell Grant refund checks are made available at the cashier's window. The dates are available at the Financial Aid Office page.

What is an ISIR or SAR?
An Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) is the processed electronic copy of a student's financial aid application. The college receives a copy of the ISIR as long as the student has listed the school code on the application. The Student Aid Report (SAR) is the processed application the student receives either in the mail or by e-mail.

Why can't I receive Pell Grant for learning support classes?
Federal regulations require a student to be fully accepted into an eligible program of study before receiving Pell Grant. Applicants who are admitted on a learning support studies basis are ineligible to receive federal financial aid until they reach provisional admission status.

How much money do I have to make to qualify for Pell Grant?
The income limits vary from student to student. Eligibility is based on several factors including the number of family members, number in college, and family income.

I live on my own - why do I have to include my parent's income?
The federal aid application requires parent's income for students who are under 24 years of age unless the student:
already has a four-year degree or beyond
is married
has children
other dependents who receive more than half of their support from the student and live with the student
is an orphan or ward of the court
is active duty military or
is a U.S. veteran


Why can't I use my Pell money in the bookstore to purchase books?
Yes. One day prior to the start of the semester, you can use up to $450 (if available) at the Athens Tech's bookstore.

What is the difference between HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship, and Zell Miller Scholarship?
Georgia residents who are attending a Georgia public technical college to earn a certificate or diploma are eligible for HOPE Grant regardless of high school graduation date or grade point average out of high school. Other eligibility requirements may apply.

HOPE Scholarship is a merit-based program for Georgia residents who are attending a Georgia public technical college to earn an associate's degree. Click qualifications for the eligibility requirements.

Beginning 2011, the Zell Miller Scholarship is a merit-based program for Georgia residents who are attending a Georgia public technical college to earn an associate's degree. Click qualifications for the eligibility requirements.

HOPE Scholarship is for Georgia residents who are attending a Georgia public technical college to earn an associate's degree. To qualify the student must be a 1993 or later graduate of a Georgia high school and have a cumulative "B" average at the time of graduation (3.0 or 80 in college prep; 3.2 or 85 in technical curriculum track). The student must maintain the "B" average at each checkpoint.

How will dropping a class affect my financial aid?
If the course is dropped within the drop/add period (usually the first three days of the semester), the class is not counted for financial aid purposes.


Do I have to attend full time to receive the Pell Grant?
No, however, the amount of Pell Grant you receive each semester is based on your enrollment. For more information, go to our Pell page.

Why can't I take classes that are not listed in my program of study?
According to Federal and State Regulations, HOPE Grant and PELL Grant can only cover classes required for the program of study you are enrolled in. The curriculum is outlined in the college catalog (available to all students on-line at www.athenstech.edu ).

Students who are HOPE Scholars and enrolled in a DEGREE program are able to take any DEGREE level class and it will be covered by the HOPE Scholarship.

I never attended these classes, will I be charged?
Students who fail to show up for a class they signed up for are reported by the instructor to the Office of Registration & Records as a 'No Show'. As a result, the student is removed from the course and not charged for the tuition cost for that course. Being a 'No Show' will not affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress.

I totally withdrew from the college and now I have received a Pell check, is this money really mine?
Pell Grant is pro-rated based on the time actually spent in class when a student totally withdraws from school. Please see the Return to Title IV refund section of this website.