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Frequently Asked Questions

1.    When will financial aid refunds be sent to students?

2.    Are there any scholarships available?  How do I receive my outside scholarship for my tuition/books?

3.    Am I eligible for LIFE scholarship? How do I receive it?

4.    What is OCtech’s school code for the FAFSA?

5.    How often do I have to fill out the FAFSA and what information will I need?

6.    Is there a deadline for filling out the FAFSA? Will FA pay my registration fee(s)?

7.    I filled out my FAFSA correctly; why have I been selected for verification?

8.    Will I receive FA in the summer semester?

9.    How do I obtain a copy of my FA Award letter?

10.    Does Lottery Tuition Assistance help with my fees/books/supplies?

11.    When can I use my FA to charge in the bookstore?

12.    What is a tax transcript? How do I get a copy of my tax transcript?

13.    When will I receive my 1098T tax form for 2015?

14.    How do I get off of FA Warning? FA Danger 1/2? FA Suspension?

15.    Will my FA change if I drop/withdraw from a class?

16.    How do I receive my VA benefits?

17.    How do I apply for a student loan?

18.    How do I apply for a private student loan?

19.    What is the difference between the Federal Direct Loan & a Private student loan?

20.    Am I eligible for work-study? How do I apply?



1.    When will financial aid refunds be sent to students?

Financial aid refunds/disbursements are mailed to students during the last week of the second month within the semester or thereafter. There are no specific dates set for refunds/disbursements as they may be received different timeframes depending on your student account status and/or current address.
Fall semester    Last week of September
Spring semester    Last week of February
Summer semester    Last week of June
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2.    Are there any scholarships available?  How do I receive my outside scholarship for my tuition/books?

Scholarships offered on campus to qualified students include LIFE scholarship and Foundation/Finish Line scholarships.  Foundation & Finish Line scholarship guidelines and applications are posted under Announcements on D2L each semester.
 

OCtech is notified of scholarships offered by outside entities and agencies throughout the year. Scholarship awards are generally placed on the student’s account.
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3.    Am I eligible for LIFE scholarship? How do I receive it?

LIFE Scholarship recipients must be SC residents who graduated from a SC high school, have a 3.0 Cumulative GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Scale, and enroll in at least 12 non-developmental credit hours. To continue eligibility as a LIFE scholarship recipient a student must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative college GPA and earn at least 30 credit hours per academic year.  If you do not qualify for the scholarship upon graduating from high school, you may earn eligibility by earning a 3.0 cumulative college GPA and earn at least 30 credit hours at the end of your first academic year.  Students attending a two-year college may only receive the LIFE Scholarship for up to 4 consecutive terms. More information regarding the LIFE Scholarship may be found at the following link: http://www.che.sc.gov/CHE_Docs/studentservices/life/FAQ-LIFE-3_2015.pdf​
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4.    What is OCtech’s school code for the FAFSA?

OCtech’s school code for the FAFSA application is 006815.
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5.    How often do I have to fill out the FAFSA and what information will I need?

Starting this Fall, you can submit a FAFSA application as early as October 1- three months earlier than ever before. This Fall, all students, new and returning - can use prior-prior year (PPY) tax information when reporting personal and family income. 
When completing the 2017-2018 FAFSA you will use your 2015 taxes (the same taxes that you used to complete your 2016-2017 FAFSA).

Because you will be using your 2015 income information, there is a greater chance that you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The DRT allows you to transfer your official IRS tax information into the FAFSA, reducing errors and speeding up completion time.

For more information regarding PPY, please visit this site:  https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/fafsa-changes-17-18.pdf 

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6.    Is there a deadline for filling out the FAFSA? Will FA pay my registration fee(s)?

The priority deadline to fill out the FAFSA is April 1st.  Some awards have limited funding and early applicants have a better chance of receiving the best package of aid available, if eligible.
Financial Aid may or may not cover the full amount of tuition/fees/books depending on the student’s eligibility if they are not full time (12 credit hours or more). If the student has enough Financial Aid left over, it may cover the late registration fees. However, Financial Aid will NOT cover the late application fee.
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7.    I filled out my FAFSA correctly; why have I been selected for verification?

Although you may have entered all of your information correctly on your FAFSA, students are randomly selected by the Department of Education for the verification process- a review of the information entered on the FAFSA.  There are some instances where corrections need to be made or information left out will need to be included.  If you are selected for verification, you will not receive your federal and need-based aid until verification has been completed.
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8.    Will I receive FA in the summer semester?

Financial Aid is usually awarded for Fall and Spring semesters only. Students attending summer semester must first check with the Financial Aid Office in order to determine, if any, amount of Financial Aid will be available to use in the summer term.
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9.    How do I obtain a copy of my FA Award letter?

Students who have completed the Financial Aid process receive an electronic copy of their Financial Aid Award Letter via OCtech Connect. It can be found through the Student’s menu under the Financial Aid header. 
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10.    Does Lottery Tuition Assistance help with my fees/books/supplies?

Lottery Tuition Assistance does NOT help with fees, books, or supplies.  Lottery will only apply to eligible students’ accounts if there are no other funds to cover the remaining tuition balance. LIFE scholarship students are ineligible to receive Lottery Tuition Assistance.
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11.    When can I use my FA to charge in the bookstore?

Students are usually allowed to charge in the bookstore with their Student ID card on the Wednesday or Thursday before classes begin.  The charge ending period varies based on semester. Please contact the bookstore for any questions regarding charge dates at (803)535-1252.
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12.    What is a tax transcript? How do I get a copy of my tax transcript?

Tax Return Transcripts are transcripts of tax returns provided by the IRS. You may obtain a copy by requesting a copy online at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript or by calling the IRS at (800)829-1040 to speak with an IRS representative in order to receive a copy via fax or mail.
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13.    When will I receive my 1098T tax form for 2015?

Students generally receive a 1098-T from OCtech’s Business Office by or after January 31st. Students who did not pay out of pocket tuition expenses will not receive a 1098-T form. For more information, please contact OCtech at (803)536-0311 and ask the operator for the Business Office.
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14.    How do I get off of FA Warning? FA Danger 1/2? FA Suspension?

Students who are on Financial Aid Warning Danger 1/2 are still able to receive the grants and funding awarded excluding Federal Direct Student Loans. Students who are on Financial Aid Suspension are not allowed to receive any federal student aid or tuition assistance until the suspension status is lifted. 
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15.    Will my FA change if I drop/withdraw from a class?

Your Financial Aid awards may recalculate when adding, dropping, or withdrawing from a class. Changes vary among students. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you will be affected by any schedule changes.
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16.    How do I receive my VA benefits?

Veteran Affairs students looking to use VA benefits to pay for their educational expenses here at OCtech, must provide their Certificate of Eligibility documents to the Financial Aid Office VA Representative. Further information may be required depending on the VA chapter being used.
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17.    How do I apply for a student loan?

In order to apply for a Federal Direct Student Loan at OCtech, all students are required to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  New students must attend a Loan Information Session.  Current/Returning students may be able to complete a Returning Borrower Loan Application if they have already attended a session at OCtech. If you are unsure of your borrower status, please contact Student Services and ask to speak with the Financial Aid Office at (803)535-1224.
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18.    How do I apply for a private student loan?

Students may apply for private student loans through any lender they may select. Instructions on how to apply may be found at the following link which includes a suggested lender list:  http://www.octech.edu/cost-financial-aid/private-loans
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19.    What is the difference between the Federal Direct Loan & a Private student loan?

A Federal Direct Loan is a Federal Student Aid loan that is made available to students who are eligible through their FAFSA and take the necessary steps to receive it. On the other hand, a Private Education Loan is a non-Federal Student Aid loan that is made to a borrower expressly for postsecondary education expenses, regardless of whether the loan is provided through the educational institution that the student attends or directly to the borrower from the private educational lender. 
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20.    Am I eligible for work-study? How do I apply?

Students must complete a FAFSA to determine if they are eligible to receive Federal Work-Study. If you have completed the FAFSA and Financial Aid process at OCtech, you may apply for work-study by clicking Apply Here at the following link: http://www.octech.edu/cost-financial-aid/workstudy
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