Frequently Asked Questions

The information available here is general in nature and is not intended to be comprehensive. The requirements for individual types of aid do vary and students should contact the Financial Aid Office for details via phone (928-344-7634) or email.

General Financial Aid

Arizona Western College’s federal school code is 001071. This school code is good for all AWC campus locations.

FAFSA becomes available every October 1st. Priority processing and aid consideration are given to students applying for financial aid by February prior to the start of each academic year. Applications and processing will continue throughout the school year which end every June 30th but will be considered late. Students applying late may still be eligible, but should be prepared to cover most expenses up front with personal funds rather than financial aid as the Financial Aid Office will not guarantee that financial aid funds will be available before the beginning of the semester.

The various programs can be divided into four broad categories: grants, scholarships, loans and employment. These categories are described as:

Grants

Gift aid
Based on financial need
Does not require repayment

Scholarships

Gift aid
May be based on financial need
Usually awarded for academic or athletic ability
Does not require repayment

Loans

Available to students and parents
Usually based on financial need
May or may not be based on credit scores
Must be repaid with interest at a future date

Employment

Offered through the federal government as financial aid
Based on financial need
May be used toward account balances (tuition, fees, etc.)

The information issued here is intended to be a general idea of financial aid and is not a guarantee of award amount or eligibility.

The amount of Pell grant a student can receive is based on the EFC (Estimated Family Contribution), COA (Cost of Attendance) and the number of credits for which the student is registered. Click here for the EFC Calculator.

Pell grant awards are determined by a formula that is applied in the same manner to all applicants. This formula is revised and approved each year by Congress.  The Financial Aid Office at AWC does not calculate and is not responsible for determining student eligibility. The actual award a student receives depends on several factors including, but not limited to:

  • The cost of attendance (COA)

  • The family's financial situation

  • Family size

  • Student attendance (full-time or part-time)

All complete files will be awarded eligible funds for the school year based on assumed enrollment of Full-time status. Disbursement amounts will depend on a student's actual enrollment level per semester. All financial aid refunds are processed by the disbursement office. Refunds are sent via direct deposit to the personal bank account you specify on your AWC student account or a paper check will be mailed to the address on your AWC student account. Refer to the disbursement office for more information on disbursement dates.

Loans

A Direct Loan is a low-interest loan for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's post-high school education. The lender is the US Department of Education, though contact regarding the loan will be handled by a loan servicer. With Direct Loans the student:

  • Borrows directly from the federal government and has a single contact - the loan servicer - for everything related to repayment, even if loans are received from more than one school.
  • Has online access to the Direct Loan account information via the servicer's website.
  • Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower. The repayment plan can be changed as student needs change.

A student or parent of student who enters into an agreement regarding a Title IV loan will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System. A student is able to access this information by logging in to the NSLDS website. Guaranty agencies, eligible institutions of higher education also have access to information submitted to the NSLDS.

Direct Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized and a student can receive both a subsidized and unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment period. Students must meet all stated eligibility criteria before being eligible for a Stafford Loan.

Subsidized Loan

 

  • awarded on the basis of financial need
  • interest is not charged before beginning repayment or while in authorized deferment
  • federal government 'subsidize' the interest during these periods
Unsubsidized Loan

 

  • award not based on need.
  • interest will be charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.
  • interest that is allowed to accumulate while in school or during other periods of non-payment will be added to the principle amount of the loan
  • additional interest will be based on the higher amount

Students interested in receiving loans must meet all stated criteria.

  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A FAFSA must be on file and all necessary paperwork (verification's, etc.) processed before a loan will be reviewed. 
  • Meet all Title IV eligibility criteria including but not limited to U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen and high school graduate or equivalent.  Refer to 'Conditions of Awards' on the 'Policies' tab for more details.
  • Must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits) per enrollment period in classes that progress toward a degree or certificate program at AWC.
  • Must transfer credits from all other institutions attended.
  • Must meet the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress set by AWC Office of Financial Aid.  Refer to 'Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy' on the 'Policies' tab.
  • Complete all required application procedures within the acceptable timeframe.  Refer to 'What is the deadline to apply for a loan at AWC?' FAQ below.

All eligibility criteria must be met in order to be considered for loans. 

Enrollment Period Deadline
Fall 2017 November 13, 2017
Spring 2018 April 16, 2018
Summer 2018 June 4, 2018

The loan amounts available are listed below. Please remember that loan limits are enforced by the federal government. Students are not required to borrow the full awards shown, but are held to the limits listed.

Dependent Subsidized Unsubsidized Total
Freshman (0-29 credits) $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Sophomore (30+ credits) $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Independent
(as defined by FAFSA)
Subsidized Unsubsidized Total
Freshman (0-29 credits) $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore (30+ credits) $4,500 $6,000 $10,500

When the student has graduated, stopped attending or dropped below half time (6 credits) enrollment, it is necessary to complete Exit Counseling. With the completion of Exit Counseling, students become eligible to receive repayment incentives that may have otherwise been missed.

Also, once the student is no longer enrolled at least half time (6 credits) in an eligible program, a grace period of 6 months will be given on the Direct subsidized and unsubsidized Loans. You must begin repayment at the end of your grace period.

The student is responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if no repayment information is received from the lender. To obtain repayment and loan servicer information, visit the NSLDS website. Failing to make payments on your loan can lead to default as outlined in both your Entrance and Exit Counseling sessions. Click here for a loan repayment calculator.

Click here for more information regarding repayment, student responsibilities and contact information. Click here for information regarding payment plans that may work best for you.

We strongly encourage students to remain in contact with the lender and loan servicer. If there is an issue that prevents or creates a hardship with repayment, contact your lender as soon as possible. It is the student's responsibility to update the name, address, telephone number, email and other contact information.

Per federal lending guidelines, students registered in an eligible program at least half time (6 credits), are eligible for an In-School Deferment. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is not responsible for reporting student enrollment status to the lender. The In-School Deferment Request form must be completed by the Admissions and Registration Office and faxed or mailed to the lender.

Students having difficulty making payments should contact their loan servicer as soon possible. The staff will work to determine the best option available for the student. Options include:

  • Changing repayment plans
  • Deferment - if certain requirements are met
  • Forbearance - if certain requirements are met

Deferment - A deferment is a postponement of payment on a loan, during which interest does not accrue if the loan is subsidized. Students are required to contact the loan servicer for application of a deferment. Criteria for deferment eligibility include:

  • Enrolled at least half time (6 credits) in an eligible post-secondary school or studying full time in an approved disability rehabilitation program
  • Unemployed or meet the rules for economic hardship*
  • Qualifying active duty service in the US Armed Forces or National Guard

Economic Hardship - A Direct, FFEL or Federal Perkins Loan borrower may qualify for an economic hardship deferment for a maximum of three years if the borrower is experiencing economic hardship according to federal regulations. Loan borrowers must contact the loan servicer for more information.

Forbearance - Students unable to make scheduled payments, but not qualifying for a deferment may be able to obtain a forbearance. A forbearance allows students to temporarily stop making payments on the loan, temporarily make smaller payments or extend the time for making payments. Some common reasons for getting a forbearance are:

  • Illness
  • Financial hardship
  • Serving in a medical or dental internship or residency

The Financial Aid Office strongly encourages students to make contact with the loan servicer to avoid the serious consequences (wage garnishment, tax refund garnishment and ineligibility for future Title IV funding) of defaulting on your student loans(s). Loan servicer information can be found on the NSLDS website.

Default means that a student has failed to make payments on the student loan according to the terms of the promissory note (the binding legal documents signed upon acceptance of the loan). Default carries serious consequences and can affect many different aspects of everyday life:

  • The entire amount of the loan will be immediately due
  • The student may be denied a professional license
  • National credit bureaus can be notified of the default, which will harm the student's credit rating and make it difficult to buy a car or house
  • The student will be ineligible for additional federal student aid (Pell grant, SEOG, LEAP, loans)
  • Loan payments can be deducted from a paycheck by the federal government
  • State and federal income tax returns can be withheld and applied toward the amount owed
  • Late fees and collections costs will be added to the amount owed
  • The student can be sued
  • Students in default are not eligible for a deferment or forbearance

It is extremely important to keep in contact with the lender and loan servicer. By maintaining contact, the student is able to avoid default. It is the student's responsibility to update the name, address, telephone number, email address and other contact information with the lender and loan servicer.

Appeal Process

  • Students placed on suspension are notified through their toro email account that they have the option to submit an appeal.
  • Students will be held responsible for information sent by email
  • Students required to appeal their financial aid status must be prepared to pay for all tuition and fees with personal funds at the time of registration until a decision is reached regarding the submitted appeal
  • Only one appeal approval may be granted during your attendance at Arizona Western College.
  • If you are denied a satisfactory academic progress appeal or cannot appeal due to not having an acceptable basis for appeal; your suspension status may transition to satisfactory status only after you raise your cumulative completion rate and GPA to meet the federal minimum standards by successfully completing courses at your own expense.  Federal minimum standards of academic success are as follows: Cumulative completion rate of at least 67%, cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, and must not have exceeded maximum timeframe for completion of degree/certificate (150%).  However, denial of an appeal for excessive credits will end further eligibility at AWC and further appeals will not be considered.

Federal regulations {CFR 668.32(f) and 668.34} require a student to move toward the completion of a degree or certificate within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. Specific requirements for academic progress for financial aid are applied differently than AWC Academic Standards.

Federal regulations require that Academic Progress Standards must include a review of all periods of enrollment regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.

Students are required to meet all of the following minimum standards to receive financial aid:

  • 2.0 minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Cumulative completion rate of at least 75%
  • Maximum number of cumulative credits does not exceed 96

These standards measure both qualitative and quantitative (see box below) progress. Students will be ineligible for federal and state financial aid if these standards are not met. Each student's progress will be reviewed every semester to determine eligibility for federal and state financial aid for the upcoming term.

Please note:

  • Transfer credits will be evaluated toward SAP requirements
  • Credits funded through a Consortium Agreement will be counted towards Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
  • A maximum 30 credits of developmental classes (including ESL courses) may be deducted from the maximum number of credits completed. These credits will not be charged against the total maximum credits allowed; however the student's whole academic record will be evaluated, including classes that were not successfully completed (F, W, I, NS).

Qualitative Standards
Completion of Credits

Students must maintain a cumulative completion rate of at least 75%. The formula is as follows:

Total Completed Credits / Total Attempted Credits

(Total Completed Credits (divided by) Total Attempted Credits)

To obtain the completion percentage, the number of a student's total completed credits will be divided by the number of a student's total attempted credits.

Please note: All AWC credits will be considered in the calculation; including multiple attempts in a course, regardless of grade earned (W,F, NS, or letter grade).

In addition to the qualitative standards above, students are also required to meet the quantitative standards of maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA.

The maximum time frame for completion of a degree or certificate is measured by the total number of credits a student attempts and eligible students may request funding up to 150% of the credits required for completion. This includes transfer credits and all semesters of enrollment (including summer semesters). This also applies to each degree or certificate pursued whether or not financial aid was received. Once the maximum number of credits is reached, the federal financial aid eligibility ends.

An Excessive Credits Appeal may be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office for those who wish to appeal their suspension status. Once the review process has been initiated, the student will be notified if further information is required for a decision. Submission of an appeal is not a guarantee of approval.  Denial of an appeal for excessive credits will end further eligibility at AWC and further appeals will not be considered.

Program Maximum Credit Hours*
Certificate variable
Associate of Applied Science 96
Associate of Art 96
Associate of Business 96
Associate of General Studies 96
Associate of Science 96

*150% of credits required by program

In order to ensure students are aware of the maximum timeframe before they reach it, a financial aid hold will be placed on students who have attempted 50+ credits.  Students will be asked to review their academic plan and submit the Maximum Timeframe Acknowledgement form to have the hold lifted.

Students failing to meet the qualitative (cumulative completion %) or quantitative (cumulative GPA) will result in financial aid suspension.

Students receiving 0 credits due to withdrawing completely from all classes or receiving grades of "NS" or "F" will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Student who have exceeded the maximum timeframe (150%) will be placed on financial aid suspension for excessive credits.

Students placed on financial aid suspension will not be eligible for any Title IV funding.  This includes Federal Pell Grant, SEOG, and Federal Direct Student Loans.  Students desiring to appeal their financial aid suspension status will need to follow the appeal process.  The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal and the Excessive Credits Appeal can be found on the FA Forms section.

A student that has lost financial aid eligibility may appeal. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid Office using Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal or the Excessive Credits Appeal which can be found on the FA Forms section.  Submission of an appeal is not a guarantee of approval.

Typical circumstances you may base an appeal on include:

Personal illness or accident
  • Complete and submit the Satisfactory Academic Progess Appeal along with the following supporting documents:
  • Signed statement provided by student describing circumstances
  • Copies of documents regarding date and duration of illness/accident
  • If seen by a medical professional, need a letter indicating that issue has been resolved, student is healthy and able to continue classes with little to no interruption
Serious illness or death of immediate family
  • Complete and submit the Satisfactory Academic Progess Appeal along with the following supporting documents:
  • Signed statement provided by student describing circumstances
  • Copies of documents regarding the date and duration of the illness
  • If results in death, submit a death certificate or obituary notice listing student
Adjustment of developmental or military credits
  • Complete and submit the Excessive Credits Appeal along with the following supporting documents:
  • Program evaluation from your student planner account.

If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on financial aid probation. Students on probation are required to meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines (cumulative % and cumulative GPA), along with any other stated stipulations in subsequent semesters. Those students failing to meet the requirements will have financial aid suspended.

Please note: The condition that prevented the student from completing classes must be resolved and the student must be able to complete coursework successfully in order for an appeal to be reviewed. Incomplete or undocumented appeals will be automatically denied.

A student that has been suspended from receiving financial aid (including loans, LEAP, SEOG, etc.), whether for failing to earn your fundable hours or not meeting probationary requirements or exceeding the maximum number of credits must go through the appeal process.  Submission of an appeal is not a guarantee of approval.  Refer to appeal process above.  If you are denied a satisfactory academic progress appeal or cannot appeal due to not having an acceptable basis for appeal; your suspension status may transition to satisfactory status only after you raise your cumulative completion rate and GPA to meet the federal minimum standards by successfully completing courses at your own expense.  However, denial of an appeal for excessive credits will end further eligibility at AWC and further appeals will not be considered.

Summer Financial Aid

The FAFSA application determines financial need for a school year which consists of three terms of eligible funding.  Fall, Spring and Summer terms have a maximum entitlement of 50% each for a total of 150% each school year. Summer Pell Grant eligibility requires enrollment of at least 1/2 time if you have already used 100% during Fall and Spring.

No, for financial aid purposes, full-time enrollment requires a minimum of 12 credits during any semester including summer.

No, although it is encouraged to check your student account online or contact our office to confirm your availability of summer funds at the time you enroll for summer classes.

This is completely dependent on your specific eligibility. Please contact a financial aid representative for this information.  Summer Pell Grant eligibility requires enrollment of at least 1/2 time if you have already used 100% during Fall and Spring.

You may be eligible for summer loans only if you did not use 100% of your loan eligibility during the fall or spring semesters of that school year. Although, instances in which the summer semester is your only semester of enrollment during that school year will make you ineligible to request summer loans due to insufficient cost of attendance. All other loan eligibility requirements must also be met. Please refer to the student loans section of this website.

Students will not be eligible for federal student loans during any summer semester for which they did not attend AWC in at least one other semester (Fall/Spring) during that same school year.

Contact Info

Phone: (928) 344-7634
Fax: (928) 317-6420
Location: 3C - Top Floor
Hours:
  • Monday - Thursday: 7:00am - 5:00pm