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Financial Aid FAQs

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Academic Progress
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How do I check my financial aid application status?
• Log into my.parkland.edu.
• Navigate to WebAdvisor for Students.
• Select Financial Aid.
• Select My Documents.
• If a document is shown as pending, the Financial Aid Office has received your form and are processing your documentation.
• If everything is shown as completed, proceed to the Financial aid award letter to see if you have been awarded.

How do I get help filling out my FAFSA?
Bring your tax return copies and any other required paperwork to the Financial Aid Office. Normally, there will be someone to help you between 8 am - 5 pm.

I was selected for verification. What does that mean? Did I do something wrong?
The Department of Education is required to select 30% of all financial aid applicants for verification. If selected for verification, you will have to submit tax documents and other information to the Parkland Financial Aid Office. If necessary, our office will make corrections to the data, and when the corrected information is received, we will continue to process your financial aid application.

How will I know when and how much financial aid I will receive?
When your financial aid file is complete, and you’re eligible for financial aid, the full time amounts will be automatically offered to you. Once the awarding process is complete, you’ll be notified by paper letter and at your Parkland student email account notifying you to access your award amounts on my.parkland.edu. If you’re offered a Federal Direct Student Loan or Federal Work-Study, you must accept and/or reject these awards on  my.parkland.edu. If you don’t accept and/or reject these offers in a timely manner, they will be canceled.

How do I check to see if I’ve been offered financial aid?
• Go to my.parkland.edu and login.
• Navigate to WebAdvisor for Students.
• Select Financial Aid.
• Select Financial Aid award letter to view the amounts you have been awarded.
• If you see Federal Work-Study or a Student Loan, you will need to accept or reject them under Accept or reject my financial aid awards option. The ability to do that will show immediately on your screen.

Why am I only getting a student loan?
The types of financial aid that you’re eligible for are based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated based on the financial information you provided on your FAFSA. The higher your EFC is, the lower the amount and types of aid you’re eligible for. Students with higher EFC may only be eligible for student loans.

Can I use my financial aid to buy my books?
Financial aid can be used to buy books and supplies at the Parkland Bookstore. Approximately two weeks before the semester starts; If your financial aid has been awarded and it covers all of the charges on your Parkland student account, with money left over, a bookstore credit will automatically be available to you.

How do I check to see if I have a Bookstore Credit authorization for the Parkland Bookstore?

• Go to my.parkland.edu and login.
• Navigate to WebAdvisor for Students.
• Select Student Financial Information.
• Select View Account and Make Payments.
• Hover over Student Finance and select Account Summary.
• If the semester shows a negative balance (your aid exceeds your charges), you will be eligible for a bookstore credit of up to $1,350.  If your negative balance is smaller than $1,350, that balance is the amount you will be authorized to spend in the bookstore.
NOTE: The bookstore credit is NOT additional financial aid.  By charging items in the bookstore, you are reducing the amount you will receive in your refund.  We encourage you to spend wisely.

What do I have to do to make me independent from my parents for financial aid?
The Federal government has very strict standards that determine whether you are dependent or independent for financial aid. If you don’t meet their definition of independent for financial aid, our office can (in certain circumstances) make you independent of your parents. You must speak to a financial aid advisor in our office if you feel you have special family circumstances.

My parents are divorced. Do I have to list both of their incomes on the FAFSA?
If you’re considered a dependent student when you apply for financial aid, you give information for only the parent you live with, or lived with most recently. If that parent is remarried, you must include your stepparent’s information.

One of my parents died since last year’s taxes were filed. Do I have to list both of my parents’ income on the FAFSA?
If you’re considered a dependent student when you apply for financial aid, list information for only the living parent.

I’m a working adult. Will I be able to qualify for financial aid?
• Because financial aid eligibility is determined by the Department of Education, please complete a FAFSA to find out what aid you may receive.
• Almost everyone can qualify for student loans, even if you can't qualify for grants.

I’m an adult student with children of my own in college. Will I be eligible for financial aid?
• Because financial aid eligibility is determined by the Department of Education, please complete a FAFSA to find out what aid you may receive.
• Almost everyone can qualify for student loans, even if you can’t qualify for grants.

What do I do if I've had a reduction in income or my family has had a reduction in income?
If there has been a reduction in your family's income in the past year, you must speak with a financial aid advisor to see if you qualify for a Special Circumstance. NOTE: You should always complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and let us determine what you might be eligible for.

Are there scholarships for adult students?
Most scholarships don’t have an age requirement. If you go to the Parkland Scholarship Search on my.parkland.edu, you should be able to find a number of scholarships to apply for. Applications for Parkland Foundation scholarships should be obtained by printing the form linked through the Parkland Scholarship Search. You can also use the Fast Web scholarship search. You’ll answer a series of questions, and Fast Web will give you a list of scholarships you may be eligible to apply for.

How do I check to see if I’m making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes?
If you have any questions regarding satisfactory academic progress, you must see one of our advisors during walk-in hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00-11:30 AM or 1:30-4:00 PM).  You will be alerted at your Parkland Student email account if you enter financial aid warning, suspension, or are nearing your maximum time-frame for your degree.
 
I haven’t received anything in the mail from your office about my financial aid. When can I expect to hear from you?
We rarely contact a student via postal mail. After your initial award letter, we only contact you, the student, at your Parkland Student email account. If you haven’t activated your Parkland Student E-mail account yet, please do so, and check it regularly.

Why do I owe money back to Parkland?
There can be many reasons why you owe money to Parkland. For more information, please contact the Parkland College Business Office at 217-351-2233.

I looked up my information on my.parkland, but I don’t understand what it means. What do I do now?
• Take your time and read everything carefully.
• Click on any links to help clarify information.
• If you still don’t understand something, contact our office.

Why won’t you give my financial aid information to my parents or spouse?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects your rights. Under the law, we aren’t allowed to release any financial aid information to anyone other than students. We can only release information to students in person. We are not able to provide specific dollar amounts over the phone or through email.The only way we can release information to someone else is if you, the student, waive your rights under FERPA by filling out the Permission to Release Student Record Information form and providing a notarized signature. In order for us to be able to give information to the person you authorize, they must have a picture I.D. when they come to our office. NOTE: We can only give information to you, the student, or someone you authorize, in person and not over the telephone or by e-mail. You, the student, or your authorized representative must have a picture I.D. with them before we can give out any information.
 

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