This year, the FAFSA application for the 2017-2018 school year will be available as of October 1, three months earlier than last year. In addition, you can file a 2017-18 FAFSA using 2015 tax returns. Take advantage of this opportunity to apply for financial aid. See the steps below for complete details about funding your education with the Maricopa Community Colleges using federal financial aid.
STEP 1 – The Application Process (FAFSA)
You must complete and submit an application for all forms of financial aid.
- Adhere to deadlines. The FAFSA application opens Oct. 1, 2016 for 2017-18 school year. Use 2015 tax returns to file your FAFSA.
- Sign and date all documents
- Verify the application is complete before submitting
Be sure to our tips page for more information on completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), create an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA electronically, or visit our Financial Aid webpages for more information.
STEP 2 – Verification (required documents)
Financial aid verification is a process to validate the data provided on the application.
The Federal government, college, or scholarship organization can require you to submit additional documents in order to continue processing your financial aid award (grant, scholarship, or loan).
STEP 3 – Awarding
After your financial aid application is reviewed and verified, and it is determined that you have met satisfactory academic progress requirements, you will receive an award notice from the Financial Aid Office.
- Check your Online Student Center for your Electronic Award Notification from the Financial Aid Office
STEP 4 – Disbursement
Disbursement is when your financial aid funds on your award letter are transferred (credited) to your account in the Cashier’s Office. Credited funds will pay the current semester’s tuition, fees, and books, first. Any remaining funds, will be distributed to you for other educational expenses.
When it comes to paying your tuition, you can balance the cost of tuition with other demands on your income by making use of the tuition payment plan. The tuition payment plan is open to all students but can be especially beneficial to those who cannot qualify for federal student aid or loans.
These payment plans enable you to make monthly payments throughout the semester from your checking account or with a credit card.
STEP 5 – Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Most, if not all, forms of financial aid have an academic eligibility requirement.
- Be aware of the academic requirements to maintain funding eligibility
- Note that evaluation of satisfactory academic progress can happen semester-by-semester and/or yearly
Financial aid is scheduled to credit to your student accounts near the end of the second full week of the standard term or the earliest class start date (whichever occurs the latest). Excess aid - the amount remaining after all tuition, fees, book advance, and any other related charges are covered - will be disbursed to you through the Maricopa Student Refund Program (MSRP). Students should not expect their funds any earlier than the following week and the timing is dependent upon the MSRP delivery method selected.
Financial Aid Forms
- Funding Your Education - A deep dive into Federal Student Aid.
- U.S. Department of Education Student Aid website - The complete resource on Federal Student Aid.
Not sure if you might qualify for Federal Student Aid? Use FAFSA4caster to estimate your eligibility.Please Note: only those with a lawful presence in the U.S. may qualify for Federal financial aid or Maricopa Community Colleges scholarships. Under Arizona law, any information provided about legal status when you apply for financial aid or scholarships may be subject to mandatory reporting to federal immigration authorities.