Financial Aid Process
Financial Aid Portal
Students utilizing federal financial aid (Pell grant and student loans) to help pay for their expenses must go through OCCC’s financial aid portal to complete all the requirements to receive a financial aid award/offer letter. This is a unique portal separate from Canvas and My.OregonCoast, although it is accessible through a student’s My.OregonCoast account by navigating to My Financial Aid within that portal. Or, students who have applied for admission already can use these instructions.
Financial Aid Portal Access
When a student is admitted into a financial aid eligible program, they receive an email with the direct link to the portal and instructions for creating their account. Once a student has created an account, there are four milestones to complete a financial aid file for each award year. The four pages are Apply for Financial Aid, ISIR Status, Complete Required Docs, and Package Status. On the Apply for Financial Aid page, students are provided information about filing a FAFSA and are directed to do so before continuing. The ISIR Status page is where students elect to take out student loans or not, estimate their enrollment levels for the year, and can report any outside scholarships they are receiving. The Complete Required Docs page is where students will submit any verification requirements or complete any additional forms needed to be able to disburse their financial aid. On the Package Status page, students will be able to check on the status of their file. The page will show that their file is either in queue to be reviewed, has been accepted, or has been denied. If accepted, the student can also receive their award letter from the Package Status page. If denied, the page will briefly explain to the student what needs to be resolved so the file can be moved to an approved status.
Cost of Attendance/How Financial Aid Offer Amounts are Determined
Visit this page to review information about OCCC’s Cost of Attendance and how financial aid offer amounts are determined.
Requesting Changes to your Award
Financial aid awards are based on a particular year’s taxes and the applicant’s FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education understands that students may have changes in their financial or family situations between the time of filing their taxes and the start of the academic year. For this reason, students with unique situations may request a “professional Judgment” that upon approval, could result in additional financial aid eligibility. Types of circumstances that warrant review are divided into two categories, special circumstances, and unusual circumstances. See examples below.
Financial Situations leading to changes to data elements in the cost of attendance or EFC calculation.
- Recent unemployment
- Being homeless
- Dislocated worker
- Changes to family income, assets, etc.
Conditions leading to changes in dependency status from dependent to independent.
- Human trafficking
- Refugee or asylee status
- Parental abandonment, incarceration, etc.
- Unable to contact parents
- Contact with parents poses risk
Unusual Circumstances do not include:
- Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency
- Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
- Parents will not provide information for the FAFSA or verification
- Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
To request a change in your award due to special and/or unusual circumstances, reach out to the financial aid office as soon as possible. We will guide you on what steps to take and what documentation will be required.
Financial Aid Verification Process
Verification is a part of the financial aid process where OCCC is required to confirm the accuracy of the information entered on your FAFSA. If your FAFSA is selected for Verification, you may need to submit documents relating to your federal tax information, legal identity, high school completion status, or other topics. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will tell you if you’ve been selected for verification. As part of the verification process OCCC will request documents from you.
Notification about the documents you are required to provide and submit will be in OCCC’s Financial Aid Portal. Follow the steps in the portal to submit your documents. Submit all documents as soon as possible or your financial aid offer and the disbursement of your financial aid will be delayed. After you have submitted all documents, the Financial Aid Office will alert you to any needed changes to your FAFSA or any additional documents are needed. If there are additional documents needed, you will receive an email alerting you to this. If there are no changes to be made, you will receive a confirmation email when your file was approved. Once your file has been approved, your financial aid dwill be ready to disburse.
Financial Aid Disbursements
Financial aid funds pay the balance on your student account first. Any remaining funds result in a credit balance refund which will appear as a stipend on your ledger card viewable in the My Finances area of the My.OregonCoast portal. Stipends are issued to students via their BankMobile refund preference. Stipends are issued beginning week 3 of each term. Questions about BankMobile should be emailed to Student Accounts or may be asked by phone, 541-867-8551.