ACCC campus


What is FAFSA?

Learn about upcoming Hands-On Financial Aid WorkshopsFAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the application students fill out in order to determine their financial aid eligibility. FAFSA needs to be filled out each academic year. You can submit a FAFSA Online.


How do I apply for financial aid?

Follow the steps below to apply for financial aid:

Student and at least one parent (if student is unmarried and under 24 years of age) must apply for an FSA ID in order to electronically sign the FAFSA.

Electronically signing the FAFSA using an FSA ID reduces the amount of time it will take for the FAFSA results to reach your school of choice.

Once the FSA ID has been obtained, complete and submit your FAFSA online.

If you are completing your FAFSA to obtain financial aid at Atlantic Cape Community College, you will need to provide our Federal School Code: 002596 in order for us to receive your application and determine your eligibility.

Complete an Application for Admissions at the College of your choice.

Can I file a paper FAFSA?

If you cannot file online, you can complete a paper FAFSA and mail it to the U.S. Department of Education’s processor. To obtain a paper application, visit

How can I get help with my financial aid application?

You can get help completing your FAFSA by attending one of Atlantic Cape’s Hands-On FAFSA sessions or by contacting Financial Aid, who can offer help via the Internet or telephone.

How do I know if I qualify for financial aid?

What are the FAFSA filing deadlines?

There are different filing deadlines for the Federal Government, State of New Jersey and Atlantic Cape Community College. For more information regarding deadlines, you can visit FAFSA – Student Aid Deadlines.

How do I know if I qualify for financial aid?

Within 3-5 business days of filing your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email (if you supplied an email address on your application) or in the mail which summarizes all the information you provided on the application. Your SAR will usually contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. An estimated award may be contained in the SAR.

If you reported Additional Information for State Aid, you will be mailed a New Jersey Student Eligibility Notice (SEN) within several weeks of filing your FAFSA notifying you of your eligibility for the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG).

Upon receipt of your FAFSA and completion of Federal Verification (if applicable) & resolution of any eligibility requirements, the Atlantic Cape Community College Financial Aid office will post your award letter on Self Service.


What is verification?

The Federal Government selects a student for verification for different reasons. Verification is a process in which the Atlantic Cape Community College Financial Aid office will collect several documents from you & your parent’s (dependent students) and submit any necessary FAFSA changes/corrections to the Federal Government.  In order to guarantee your schedule, all verification documents must be submitted to the Atlantic Cape Financial Aid office no later than 5pm on the above listed deadline date.

How will I know if I'm selected for verification?

 Within 24 hours of receipt of a FAFSA selected for Federal Verification, the Atlantic Cape Community College Financial Aid office will begin processing. This will include;

A Missing Information Request will be sent to your Atlantic Cape Buccaneer email address and a secondary email address (if provided). If you have changed your home address, make sure you complete a Change of Information form with Atlantic Cape Enrollment Services. 

What documents will be required to complete verification?

The documents required to complete Federal Verification varies per student and you should pay special attention to your Missing Information Notifications for documents relevant to you.

To determine if you need to submit any documents to complete your financial aid application, please refer to the “Checklist” section of Financial Aid Self Service. 

Is there anything I can do to avoid being selected for verification?

Verification can be random, however, there are some steps you can take when completing your FAFSA that will minimize your chances of being selected:

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when prompted whilst completing your application.
  • Don’t leave anything blank – if a question does not relate to you, enter ‘0’.
  • Answer every question as accurately as possible – try not to guess your answers.
  • Make sure your application is signed by you and your parent (if applicable) using your FSA ID(s).
  • If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to any of the dependency status questions, make sure you answer all parental information questions.

How do I transfer my FAFSA to/from another School?

Return to your FAFSA online and add the School Code of the school you are transferring to/from under the relevant section. *

*DO NOT change the order of your School Codes, add the new code underneath the others you already have listed – changing the order could result in your selection for verification and the cancellation of your financial aid awards.

Atlantic Cape Community College’s School Code is 002596.

The FAFSA asks for my parent’s information, but I am on my own. What do I do?

 If you are over age 24, married, a Veteran of the armed forces, an orphan or ward of the court, or if you have dependents of your own that you support, you will not need to report your parent’s information. If you ordinarily would need to report parent information, but are unable to do so because of an unusual situation, you should visit the office of Financial Aid to discuss your situation and inquire about your options. You may be asked to document your situation in writing and fill out the Request for Independent Status Form available from our Forms page.

The FAFSA is based on prior-prior year's income, but I lost my job since then. Now I have no income. Do I have any options for having this considered?

If you or your parents have experienced a significant decrease in income, or have paid unusually large medical expenses this year, visit the Office of Financial Aid to discuss your situation and inquire about your options. You may be asked to provide detailed documentation of your situation in writing and fill out the request for Consideration of Special Circumstance Form available from our Forms page.

How can I appeal my suspension of aid due to not meeting SAP requirements?

 Once you are suspended from financial aid due to not meeting minimum SAP requirement, you cannot receive it any further unless you can prove that the reasons you couldn't meet the requirement were unusual, unavoidable, and beyond your control. To prove this, you may file an appeal with the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Approval of your appeal is not guaranteed.  It is up to you to convince the committee with your written appeal that your situation was truly mitigating. The committee will also look favorably on any proof you can provide that you now have your problems under control so they won’t happen again. Please note that only written appeals are accepted.

Withdrawals & TITLE IV (Federal) Refunds

Students who wish to withdraw from Atlantic Cape must do so in accordance with Atlantic Cape’s Academic Catalog and Student Handbook. A withdrawal in a course may impact Financial Aid awards and/or status.

A student’s award may be adjusted if the student chooses to totally withdrawal, officially or unofficially, from a term. The student’s financial aid award would be prorated to reflect the time the student attended.  If the student has not earned all the financial aid originally awarded they may incur a bill.  Awards can also change due to funding levels, but this is rare.

The federal financial aid programs require you to “earn” your aid by participating in classes. If you receive federal financial aid and withdraw from all of your classes, your aid “earned” will be prorated based on your last date of academic activity or official withdraw date. The rules are a bit complicated, so we encourage you to visit the Office of Financial Aid if you receive federal aid and need to withdraw.

If you officially withdraw or stop participating in all courses, you may be required to repay all or part of the financial aid disbursed to you for the term in which you withdraw.

When a student fails to earn a passing grade in any of their classes in which the student was enrolled, the student’s grades do not provide evidence that the student did not officially withdraw. Students who fail to earn a passing grade in one or all classes may be subject to a return of aid calculation.

Students receiving federal funds may be required to repay aid determined to be “unearned.” The earned/unearned calculation is based on the percentage of days attended during the term in which you withdrew. The amount you have earned is determined on a pro-rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of the term in which you withdrew, you have earned 30% of the federal aid you received. Once you have completed 60% of the term, you are considered to have earned all of your aid.

The difference between your earned federal aid and 100% equals the percentage of unearned federal funds that are subject to repayment.

Federal regulations require Title IV aid to be refunded in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans (other than PLUS loan)
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans (for parents)
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
  • Federal TEACH Grants
  • Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

 Atlantic Cape is required to return to the applicable federal program account the unearned percentage of institutional charges. Atlantic Cape may bill you for any funds returned on your behalf, including loan funds.

Atlantic Cape’s tuition refund policy is separate from the federal requirement to return unearned aid. Whether or not you receive a tuition/fee refund has no bearing on the amount you must repay under this formula.

If, as a result of withdrawal, cancellation, or termination of attendance, you are entitled to a refund of tuition/fees and you received aid for the same payment period, part of your refund will be returned to the appropriate federal Title IV or institutional account. Any amount remaining after federal program accounts from which you received aid have been reimbursed will be returned to you.

Can I charge books to my grant award in the College bookstore?

 Yes. If your financial aid program will cover book expenses, you will be able to charge your books during the posted bookstore charging times. We encourage you to make sure you have your final class schedule before buying your books.

When will I receive my refund check?

Checks for grant awards and electronically transferred loans that exceed any charges on your account will be processed at the end of the add-drop period each term, unless you are taking a class that begins later in a part-of-term.

Checks for late awards are processed as quickly as possible, usually within two weeks of the final approval of the program.

What if I can’t attend my classes or need to withdraw?

 Do not simply stop going to class without submitting an official withdrawal!  You could be required to pay back the entire amount of your financial aid! If you receive federal aid and you withdraw from all of your classes, you may be required to repay a portion of your financial aid.  We urge you to complete your classes if at all possible to avoid complications with your future financial aid. If you cannot attend a class, you should notify your professor as soon as possible and see an academic counselor about submitting a withdrawal form.

Important Dates:

August - Book Credits available for Fall Semester (Must have FAFSA and necessary documentation completed 10 weeks prior to the first day of classes to qualify)

  • October 1- Begin applying for FAFSA
  • November - Scholarship Applications available
  • January - Book Credits available for Spring Semester (Must have FAFSA and necessary documentation completed 10 weeks prior to the first day of classes to qualify)
  • March - Scholarship Application Deadline
  • April - Preferred FAFSA deadline date for Fall semester
  • June 1 - Returning student deadline date for State TAG grant