Continuing Education

FREQUENTLY ASKED FINANCIAL AID QUESTIONS

Q: What is financial aid?

Financial aid may include grants, student loans, work-study programs and some scholarships. Grants and scholarships are gifted aid.  Loans are considered self-help type of aid. Work-study programs consist of part-time employments which are mostly on-campus.

Q: How do I apply for financial aid?

To be considered for any type of financial aid (grants, loans, or scholarships from the federal government, state, or college), you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov 

The Three Rivers Code is Federal School Code is 009765

Q: Can I get assistance to complete my FAFSA?

Financial Aid Workshops are available to assist you to complete your FAFSA.  Please check the Financial Aid Workshop schedule (link). In addition, you may contact the Financial Aid Office at (860)215-9040 to ask any questions related to your FAFSA.

Q: When I went on FAFSA.com, there is a charge and it asked me for my credit card…

You should only complete FAFSA at www.FAFSA.ed.gov.  FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”, which should always be FREE to apply.  Other websites try to use the similar name to scam money out of students.

Q: What do I need to complete my financial aid application?

Please refer to the Resources “Apply for Aid”.

Q:  What is Three Rivers’ federal school code for FAFSA?                        

      009765

Q: What is the deadline for applying for financial aid?

The Financial Aid Office processes financial aid throughout the academic year.  In order to be considered for all types of aid, however, we ask you to apply before May 1 for the upcoming academic year.  Institutional grants often run out by early August.

Q: How long is the financial aid application “good for”?

A financial aid application is “good for” one school year, which starts in the fall semester and ends in the summer session.   A student is encouraged to apply for financial aid for the upcoming school year once their taxes are filed

Q: How do I “transfer” my financial aid from another college to Three Rivers?

If you transfer to Three Rivers during mid-school year, add the Three Rivers school code (009765) to your FAFSA under “school selection”.

Q: If I receive financial aid, should I bother to apply for scholarships?  

We encourage students to apply for the scholarships offered at Three Rivers Community College every January-April. The information is available at www.threerivers.edu

Q: Can a student with a Bachelor’s degree receive grant aid?

A student with a Bachelor’s degree is not eligible for a federal Pell Grant.  The student may be awarded the institutional grants if such funds are available.  It is important that the student completes the FAFSA early.  The college often exhausts all the institutional grant money by early August.

Q: What if I am not eligible for grant aid?

You have an option to cover your tuition and fees through the Payment Plan at Three Rivers Community College. The Cashier’s Office offers this plan which divides the cost of tuition into three equal payments.  Please contact the Cashier’s Office for more information on the Payment Plan at (860)215-9026.

If the payment plan does not work for you, you may also resort to a Federal Direct Student Loan to finance your tuition and fees.  For more information please contact the Financial Aid Office and visit www.studentloans.gov

Q: What will happen to my financial aid if I drop a course?

If you drop a class before the start of a semester or during the first two weeks, your financial aid will be recalculated based on the remaining credits enrolled.  Please note, this will also change the amount of bookstore money available to you.  Please check with the Cashier’s Office right after the drop.

Q: Do I need to pay back my financial aid?

Grant money does not need to be paid back.  (Exception: When a Pell Grant recipient withdraws from all classes before completing 60% of a semester, a portion of Pell Grant will have to be returned to the Federal Student Aid Program.  Please see the next Q&A about withdrawals.)

On the other hand, student loans must be paid back with interest.

Q: How does a withdrawal affect my financial aid?

Withdrawal may affect your future financial aid eligibility if you are not maintaining a minimum completion rate of 67%.

If you are a Pell Grant recipient, a complete withdrawal from all classes before the 60% point of the semester will also reduce your current semester’s financial aid.  In this case, you will incur a financial liability to the college.

Q: If I don’t pass a course, is it going to impact my financial aid?

If you do not pass a course, the “F” grade will factor into your grade point average (GPA), and also will lower your completion rate.  Financial aid students need to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and a minimum completion rate of 67% while receiving financial aid.  The completion rate is determined by comparing the completed credits vs. the attempted credits. 

Q: What is the difference between a financial aid “Warning” and “Unsatisfactory Progress”?

 If you are placed on a financial aid “Warning”, you are still eligible to receive financial aid for the semester, although you should consider a reduced course load and give 100% effort in completing your courses successfully.

(Please note, there are differences between financial aid “Warning” and “Unsatisfactory Progress” vs. academic “Warning”, “Probation” and “Suspension”.)

Q: If I need to repeat a course, would financial aid pay for it?

If you have a passing grade for the course already, you may only repeat it one time with financial aid.  If you do not have a passing grade for the course, you may repeat it two times with financial aid.

Q: How can a student get summer financial aid?

Summer financial aid is only available to a Pell Grant recipient who did not enroll full-time for both fall and spring semesters prior to the summer session.  In this case the student can use the remaining Pell Grant award.  The student should contact the Financial Aid Office to find out the exact amount of Pell Grant that’s available before registering for the summer courses.

Q: Does the financial aid cover the winter session?

    No

Q: How do I get a Work-Study job at Three Rivers?

You need to check with the financial aid office to see if you qualify for Work-Study award.  Work-Study is a need-based financial aid.  The Financial Aid Office will do our best to place a challenge student in a Work-Study position.  Unfortunately, there are more requests than available positions. 

If you are placed on an “Unsatisfactory Progress” status, your financial aid eligibility is suspended until you once again meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement. You may choose to appeal for a reinstatement of your financial aid if there was any special circumstance involved in your failure to succeed.  The appeal form is available at the Financial Aid Office.

Q: How much book money will be available to me?

You are given a bookstore line-of-credit if there is a remaining fund available in your financial aid award after covering the tuition/fee cost.

Q: How long does it take to be put on the bookstore credit list?

The bookstore credit list is often updated daily.  You must complete the Title IV Authorization on my.comment.edu before a credit can be made available to you.  Please check with the Cashier’s Office if you need an instruction to complete the Title IV Authorization.

Q: If I want to take a course at another CT community college, can my financial aid at Three Rivers pay for it?

If this course is required for your degree program, but is not currently offered at Three Rivers, or is offered at a time conflict with your schedule, you may take it at another CT community college through the Consortium Agreement.  With the Consortium Agreement, your financial aid at Three Rivers will be available to cover your tuition/fees at another institution.

To start a Consortium Agreement, please contact the Academic Dean’s Office, (860)215-9004 C213, to provide the information about your course.  (A memo will be sent from the Academic Dean’s Office to the Financial Aid Office)

You also need to visit the Financial Aid Office to fill out a Consortium Agreement form.