The financial aid process begins with the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the application that CCS uses to determine student eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid such as grants, loans and work study. In addition to completing the FAFSA, a student must be admitted to CCS to be considered for financial aid. File your FAFSA early! We recommend you file by March 1st for maximum consideration as some aid is awarded on a first-come first-served basis.
Complete your FAFSA application for Fall 2017 start term as early as October 1, 2016.
Starting with FAFSA applications for Fall 2017, the federal government will request details on the income reported two years prior to the application year (referred to as “Prior-Prior Year”). For the 2017-18 award year, that will be data from 2015.
Before you complete the FAFSA, it is recommended that you obtain an FSA User ID and password for the student and for at least one parent if the student is dependent. The FSA User ID and password act as your electronic signature and allow you to complete the FAFSA more efficiently by signing electronically. Once the User ID and password are created, it takes approximately 1-3 days before your identity is verified with the Social Security Administration and the ID is functional.
Once you’ve received confirmation that your ID and password are functional, you should visit the FAFSA website, to begin the financial aid application process. Bank and asset statements are also helpful. If you have questions while you are completing the FAFSA, look for the “Live Help” button on each page or you may contact the Federal Processor at 800.433.3243. Review your application very carefully for accuracy before submitting it to the Department of Education. Your FAFSA is not complete until it has been signed by BOTH the student and parent (if applicable). The FAFSA is signed with the FSA User ID and password discussed above, or by printing, signing and mailing a signature page.
Once your FAFSA has been submitted you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the information that was submitted on the FAFSA. If you listed CCS on the FAFSA and you are an admitted student, we will receive your FAFSA information approximately 2 - 3weeks after submission. TIP for Michigan residents: Michigan has some types of aid that are available only to students attending private colleges in Michigan. In order to be considered for eligibility, students must list a private Michigan college (example: CCS) in the first spot among their schools of choice. The order the schools are listed in does not otherwise affect aid eligibility and does not indicate interest in one school over another.
Once your FAFSA has been received by the Financial Aid Office, you will be notified in writing if any additional documentation is needed to complete your financial aid file. Once your file is complete, you will receive a financial aid award notice. Your financial aid awards are based on your FAFSA information and your admissions composite score.
If your financial circumstances have changed since you filed your FAFSA (job loss, divorce, etc.) please contact our office. We may be able to make corrections to your FAFSA that more accurately reflect your current situation.
New for 2017-2018!
Filling out your FAFSA will be even easier this year. For the 2017-2018 FAFSA, you will use your 2015 tax return information, which most students and families have already filed. This will let you file your 2017-2018 FAFSA earlier-starting October 1, 2016.
The government calls this change “prior-prior-year.” Instead of using the most recently completed calendar year, you will now report income and tax information for the year previous to that. So for…
2017-2018 Use your 2015 tax return information
2018-2019 Use your 2016 tax return information
..and so on.
Some important tips for both students and parents:
- While filling out your FAFSA, choose to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when prompted. It significantly decreases the possibility of errors and will reduce the amount of follow up documentation we will need to request if you are selected for verification.
- For students and parents who were not required to file a federal tax return under the federal tax filing guidelines for the applicable year the system is not changing – you can still report “Will Not File” on your FAFSA.
- Note that while you will provide the 2015 data for tax and income information, some items should be based on current or academic year information. That includes the number of people in your household, the numbers of college student in the household, the value of cash, checking, and savings accounts, as well as the value of assets, investments and businesses.
- For 2017/2018 the State of Michigan is keeping the March 1 (2017) priority deadline for their funding, so that is still considered your goal to complete the application. We will keep you informed of any updates we receive for future years.
- For 2017/2018 the target date for returning student awarding is not changing significantly, as we normally wait for final grades to come in before starting the awarding process. Award notifications are scheduled to start going out in mid-May, as opposed to early June.
You can now file your 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016. Early filing of the FAFSA will allow more time to follow up if additional documentation is needed for verification or to clarify an individual item on your application.
FSA User ID and Password: www.fsaid.ed.gov