Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is monetary assistance provided through various sources to help you meet your financial needs while attending college.

Video: What is Financial Aid?

What types of aid are available?

  • Grants - This is money that you do not have to repay.
  • Work Study - This is money you actually earn. The college provides employment opportunities that will help pay for college.
  • Loans - These are funds which are provided by a lender and must be repaid. This repayment usually includes interest. There are many types of low-interest loans such as the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans for dependent and independent students.

    There is also the Federal Parent Loan (FPLUS) for parents of dependent students.

  • Scholarships - These funds do not have to be repaid; however, there are often stipulations attached to the award. Contact the financial aid office for scholarship information and applications.

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applications are available on the World Wide Web at In order to be considered for state aid, as well as federal campus-based programs (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG and Federal Work-Study), the FAFSA must be received by the federal processor. The priority deadline for North Carolina applicants is by March 15. However, applications will still be processed after that date. It takes two to three weeks for the application to be completely processed by the Department of Education and then the college will receive the information electronically.  The college may request additional information to complete the award.  You will be notified through email what information is needed.  Awards may take up to 2 months to be completely processed.  The student does not have financial aid until they have completed an online financial aid workshop.  Craven’s priority deadline for processing of financial aid for fall semester is June 1 each year.  All information needed is required by this date to meet the deadline.

Video: How do I apply for Financial Aid?

How do I sign my FAFSA if I file it electronically?

Students are encouraged to obtain a PIN number in order to sign their FAFSA electronically. Parents of dependent applicants are also encouraged to obtain a PIN number. To obtain a PIN number, visit PIN numbers will be sent to you via the delivery mode you request.

What is Craven Community College's Title IV School Code?


In order for us to receive your application electronically, it is important that you include our school code on your application.

Do I have to reapply for Financial Aid each year?

Yes. Financial need is determined each academic year. Therefore, you must complete a new FAFSA each academic year. It is a good idea to complete your FAFSA when you complete your federal tax return.

Video: Do I have to reapply for Financial Aid each year?

Do I have to report my parent(s) income?

Financial aid is based on the principle that you and your parents have the primary responsibility for paying for your post-secondary education if you are a dependent student. This is why you may be required to report your parent(s)' income. However, the federal government will consider you independent of your parents if one of the following requirements is met: you are 24 years old, married, or enrolled in a graduate program (e.g., master's or doctorate), have legal dependents other than a spouse that you are supporting, are an orphan or ward of the court, or are a veteran.

Video: Do I have to report my parent’s income?

What is a Financial Aid package?

Your financial aid may come from a variety of sources and may contain a combination of the four types of aid available (grants, loans, scholarships, and work study). Once your FAFSA is submitted and processed, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be computed. This EFC is determined by considering the number of persons in the household, the household income, and the number of persons from the household in college. The EFC is then subtracted from the cost of attendance. The remaining amount is the Financial Aid Award Need. Some awards (e.g., Federal Stafford & Federal PLUS Loans) require supplemental applications.  Craven Community does not package loans and work study and the students will have to complete separate in-house applications.

Video: What is a financial aid package?

How will I know how much aid I have been awarded?

After all financial aid information has been received and the requirements for admissions completed, you should receive notification.  You will be able to review grant information on WebAdvisor.

What provision is made for special circumstances?

While the process of determining your financial aid eligibility is basically the same for all applicants, there is some flexibility for specific circumstances. Situations which might merit special circumstances include 1) unusual medical and dental expenses, 2) income reduction or nonrecurring income, and 3) a family and financial situation where a student normally considered dependent could be considered independent. If you feel you have any special circumstances that might affect the amount you and your family are expected to contribute, talk with the Director of Financial Aid after your financial aid has been processed by the Department of Education and the financial aid office has received their copy electronically.

Can I get Financial Aid if I attend less than full-time?

All Pell Grant awards are based on full-time status (12 credit hours or more). However, if you attend less than 12 credit hours, your Pell Grant will be prorated down to the number of hours you are attending. You could be eligible for a small Pell Grant even if you are enrolled less than six credit hours (depending on eligibility). You may also be able to receive Work-Study, SEOG and Stafford Loans if you attend less than full-time. You must enroll for at least six credit hours or more to receive a Stafford Loan.

Video: Can I get aid if I attend less than full-time?

When will I receive my Financial Aid funds?

If you have aid in excess of your tuition/fees and bookstore charges, a check will be mailed to you for the balance after all semester charges have been made. Refunds will be generated once enrollment has been confirmed and received in the Office of Financial Aid.  Disbursement dates are listed in the “Important Dates” on our website.

How do I qualify for summer Financial Aid?

Summer aid is limited to students who have remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility from the current academic year because of less than full-time enrollment during the previous fall and spring terms.  Students who are Pell eligible, have earned 24 curriculum hours fall and spring, and are attending at least 6 curriculum hours during the summer may qualify for additional summer Pell.

How does withdrawing from classes affect my Financial Aid?

Federal and State regulations require that students receiving financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress. One requirement is that you must complete at least 67% of the total cumulative credit hours attempted (e.g., 50 attempted credit hours, student must complete at least 33). A second requirement is that you maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA in all coursework. Therefore, withdrawals, failing grades, and incompletes will count against you. Also, if you completely withdraw from college before the 60% point of the semester, you may be required to return all or part of the aid awarded to you.

Can I apply for Financial Aid if I haven't applied for admission?

They should both be done simultaneously.   Since applying for financial aid is a very extended process, you need to begin applying as soon as possible. However, financial aid will not be awarded to students who have not been accepted to the college and completed all admission requirements.

Are all programs of study eligible for Financial Aid?

No. A program must lead to a degree or diploma in order to be eligible for financial aid. The BLET program is the only acceptable certificate program at Craven.  Special credit students are not eligible for financial aid. If you are unsure about aid eligibility and the program you are considering, contact the financial aid office for clarification.

How can I tell if a scholarship offer is a scam?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, unscrupulous companies guarantee or promise scholarships or grants. Some guarantee that they can get scholarships on behalf of students or award them "scholarships" in exchange for an advance fee. Most offer a "money back guarantee" - but include conditions that make it impossible to get the refund. Others provide nothing for the student's advance fee-not even a list of potential sources. Some companies ask for a student's checking account to "confirm eligibility," then debit the account without the student's consent. Even if the company does provide the student with an award source(s), most often the same information is available at the Financial Aid Office for free.

Why do I have to report my parent(s)' income?

Financial aid is based on the principle that students and their parents have the primary responsibility for paying for their postsecondary education. Merely living away from your parents is not sufficient for dependency purposes. However, the federal government will consider a student independent of their parents if one of the following requirements are met: you are 24 years old; married; enrolled in a graduate program (ex., Master's or doctorate); have legal dependents other than spouse; you are an orphan or ward of the court; you are active duty military; or you are a veteran.

Are adult high school or general education diploma (GED) students able to receive a Pell Grant?

You, the student, must have a HS Diploma, GED or Adult HS transcript and be accepted for admission into an approved college program of study in order to receive financial aid. You can not be in the GED or AHSD program taking college classes and receive Financial Aid. Once you earn your GED or AHSD, you are eligible to apply for financial aid including the Pell Grant.