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Apply for Financial Aid

How to Apply for Financial Aid

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by the federal deadline to be considered for federal and state financial aid as well as SCC need-based aid each academic year. Don’t Pay for the FAFSA® Form. Several websites offer FAFSA help for a fee, these sites are not affiliated with or endorsed by ED. We urge you not to pay these sites for assistance that you can get for free elsewhere. The official FAFSA site is

The FAFSA can be filed any time after Oct. 1 for the next school year. Select the correct academic year and use the SCC school code number of 007591 for all of our campuses and learning centers.

Priority filing deadlines for Federal Student Aid are:

  • Fall Term: April 1
  • Spring Term: August 1
  • Summer Term: January 1

Our Financial Aid Office will contact you via email if we need supporting documents to complete your file after we receive your FAFSA. Some documents we may need include:

  • Federal tax return transcripts
  • W-2s
  • Verification worksheets

Your financial aid will not be awarded until we receive all of your requested documentation. Once your file is complete, an award notification will be sent to you and direct you to access your award on the Financial Aid Self-Service page.

Financial Aid funds are transferred (disbursed) to a student's account no earlier than the 10th day of each term. Our Financial Aid Office will confirm your eligibility in order for you to receive your financial aid.

Your financial aid will first be used to pay your tuition, fees, books and any other appropriate outstanding charges. You may purchase educationally-related books and supplies from the Campus Store before funds are disbursed if your award is more than the cost of tuition and fees (and room and board on the Beatrice and Milford campuses). You can charge books and supplies up to the amount of excess financial aid to your student account. If you have funds remaining, it will be transferred to your student account no later than the 14th day of each term.

Federal Work Study students are paid once a month for hours worked the previous month.

Special Circumstance

Federal financial aid is based on a formula created by the U.S. Department of Education to determine a student’s Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) uses prior-prior year income information to determine your EFC and eligibility for federal financial aid (grants, loans, work-study). After filing the FAFSA, some families realize that their EFC may not adequately reflect the family’s current financial situation due to extenuating circumstances. The federal government allows schools to review a family’s unique financial circumstances, beyond the student’s/family’s control, to determine if the situation warrants special consideration.

This federal review process requires the applicant to substantiate the reported Special Circumstances with documentation including, but not limited to, current and past financial records, legal and court records, medical and/or business expenditure receipts, and signed statements. 

Please note that a request for consideration of a Special Circumstance appeal does not guarantee approval. In addition, even if approved a recalculation of FAFSA data does not always result in increased eligibility for the student.

Special Circumstances may include, but are not limited to:

  • Involuntary Loss/Change of employment
  • Death of a Parent/Spouse
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Declared States of Emergency or Natural Disaster

Circumstances NOT considered include, but not limited to:

  • Standard living expenses (utilities, car payments, rent or mortgage etc.)
  • Credit card/other personal debts
  • Elective surgeries
  • Reduction in 401K/investment values
  • Unwillingness to use federal student loans options
  • Expenses not related to the cost of attendance for completing degree/diploma

If you believe you qualify for a Special Circumstance review please follow the steps to Request a Professional Judgement.

Unusual Circumstance/Dependency Override

Your dependency status is determined when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are considered “dependent,” your financial aid eligibility is based on your income and assets plus your parents’ income and assets.

A student considered dependent may have family circumstances that warrant evaluation so that the student can be considered independent. The basis of a dependency appeal must be rooted in circumstances that are unusual or extenuating. These circumstances may include:

  • Abusive home environment
  • Parental Abandonment
  • Refugee or Asylee (legal status)
  • Parent death after FAFSA was completed
  • Parental Incarceration

The following situations do not, by themselves, qualify as unusual circumstances in order to grant an appeal:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency
  • Student and parents “don’t get along”

If you believe you qualify for a Dependency Override appeal review, please follow the steps to Request a Professional Judgment for your dependency status.

If you do not meet the conditions of a Dependency Override or if your appeal is denied, you must correct your FAFSA and add parental information as required to qualify for federal student aid.

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth/At-Risk Homeless Youth

A student under the age of 24, and experiencing homelessness on or after July 1st of the year specified on the FAFSA, and not in the physical custody of parents or legal guardians is considered an unaccompanied or at-risk homeless youth and could be determined to be an independent status student.  Examples of homelessness conditions include, but are not limited to staying:

  • with other people temporarily because you lost your housing or similar reason;
  • in a shelter
  • in a motel/hotel due to lack of alternatives
  • in a car or other unsheltered situation
  • living in a campus residence hall but otherwise would have nowhere else to go

You must provide an authorized official’s determination of your status for federal student aid purposes. Examples of authorized officials include:

  • McKinney-Vento liaison from high school or other educational agency
  • Director of a program or shelter that serves individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Director of a TRIO or GEAR UP program
  • Financial Aid Administrator at another institution who previously made a determination in the same or prior award year

If you believe you qualify for an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth review, please follow the steps to Request a Professional Judgment for your situation. 

If you do not meet the conditions of an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth or if your appeal is denied, you must correct your FAFSA and add parental information as required to qualify for federal student aid.

Steps to Request a Professional Judgement:

1. Select the application from the options below based on your situation. Contact Carlos Garcia, Associate Director, with questions about your situation.

Special Circumstances 2024/25 (Availalbe at a future date)

Unusual Circumstance 2024/25 (PDF)

Homeless Youth Circumstance 2024/25 (PDF)

2. Submit full and complete appeal documentation to the Financial Aid Office for review and determination.

3. Monitor your SCC email for any follow-up requests for information or documentation and proceed accordingly. Incomplete appeals are subject to denial.

4. Await the Financial Aid Office’s determination. Allow up to 60 days for the review process to be completed. You will be notified through your SCC email. Determinations are final and cannot be appealed.

Federal Student Aid videos are provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Please watch these videos to get an all-purpose understanding of federal student aid.