Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my financial aid money?

Your account will be credited as the funds arrive. If all of your financial aid paperwork is complete, funds will usually start arriving prior to the first week of school. However, the earliest financial aid refund checks will be available is after 2 p.m. on the first day of classes. Avoid delays by ensuring all of your forms are complete.

How do I pay for my books?

The Clarkson College Bookstore accepts cash, check or credit card. If receiving financial aid in excess of the cost of tuition, fees and on-campus housing (if applicable), you can use your refund check to help cover the cost of books.

What if my financial aid does not cover the full amount of tuition and fees?

If your financial aid does not cover the full amount of tuition and fees, the remaining balance is due by the end of the third week of classes each semester. A deferred payment plan is available. Contact the Student Financial Services department for more information or to set up payment arrangements. You may also want to consider other funding options.

What happens to my financial aid if I drop a class?

If you drop a class before the semester starts or during the first week of classes, financial aid that has been awarded or already disbursed to you may have to be adjusted. You should contact the Student Financial Services department before you drop a class to find out if your aid may be affected.

Will my financial aid change if I am a part-time student?

Clarkson College scholarships/grants and federal/state grants are prorated based upon your current enrollment status. Undergraduates enrolled in 12 or more credit hours are considered full-time. Students enrolled in 9–11 credit hours are considered three-quarter time. Students enrolled in 6–8 credit hours are half-time. For example, a student who has a $1,000 grant and is enrolled half-time will receive $500 for the grant.

How many credit hours do I have to take to be eligible for financial aid?

Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for financial aid. For undergraduate students, six credit hours is considered half-time. Three credit hours is considered half-time for graduate students.

Why do I have to use my parent's information on the FAFSA?

The definition of an independent student is very narrowly defined by law and impacts many students who consider themselves “independent.”

You must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered an independent student:

  • You are 24 years of age before Jan. 1 of the award year,
  • You are married, as of the day you completed the FAFSA,
  • You are working on a degree beyond a bachelor's degree,
  • You have children who receive more than half of their support from you,
  • You have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you,
  • You are an orphan or ward of the court, or
  • You are a veteran of active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

If the above conditions do not apply to you, you are a dependent student and must use your parents' information.

How is my financial aid determined?

We will use your FAFSA results to award your financial aid. The standard formula is: Cost of Attendance  (tuition/fees room/board, books/supplies, transportation, misc) – Expected Family Contribution (FAFSA results) = Your Financial Need. Your financial need determines the amount and type of financial aid you will receive.

What is the expected family contribution?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and indicates how much of your and your family’s financial resources (for dependent students) should be available to help pay for your education. The EFC is calculated from the information you report on the FAFSA.

Your EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s income (taxable and untaxed), assets and benefits (for example, unemployment or child support) are all considered in determining your EFC. Your family size and the number of family members who will be attending a college or career school are also considered.

Why is our family contribution so high?

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is based on your completion of the FAFSA. A formula established by the U.S Department of Education determines the EFC, which includes adjusted gross income, savings, retirement accounts, assets and business, etc. If you feel there has been a significant income or family change since you completed the FAFSA, a special circumstance form can be submitted with supporting documents. A committee will review the circumstance and rule on a decision.

How do I receive work study earnings?

Work-study students will be paid bi-weekly either by check or direct deposit.

How are student loan funds disbursed?

Most student loan funds are disbursed electronically and are automatically credited to the student’s account at the Student Financial Services department.

How do you determine my loan amount?

Loan amounts are awarded based upon grade level, degree program, dependency status, etc. If you are enrolled in an associate’s degree program, you can receive loan amounts up to the sophomore limit. Other loan amounts can change based on the number of transfer hours that Clarkson College accepts from your previous institutions.

How much can I borrow in a student loan?

Awards depend upon various factors, including grade level, dependency status, Stafford Loans previously borrowed and a variety of other causes.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?

Yes. You must complete a FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA each year. You are strongly encouraged to file online.