Paying with Financial Aid

When does my Financial Aid pay for my courses?

The entire Financial Aid process must be complete in order for your award to pay for your courses. This would include:

  1. Applying online at
  2. Gateway received your FAFSA and there are no errors or corrections
  3. You turned in your tax returns (if selected for verification of information)
  4. You received your Financial Aid award (via myCommNet)

Since the College’s automated process to update the amount of your award is performed nightly, in most cases, you won’t be able to see the impact of today’s registration activity on MyCommNet until tomorrow morning.

How do I know I know I have completed the process?

You can check the status of your Financial Aid online at

How do I know if my Financial Aid will pay for all my courses?

You will need to compare the amount of your award against the cost of tuition and fees for the semester. For instance, if you are eligible for the full Federal Pell Grant, you would receive $2,775 for the semester ($5550 for the year) as a full time student. Tuition and fees for the semester $1,745. Thus, there would be remaining money to use to purchase books with your Financial Aid.

As long as the amount of your authorized financial aid or loan is higher than your account charges you will not be dropped from your courses for non-payment.

You are responsible for paying any portion of your bill that is not covered by your financial aid authorization or loan.  Additionally, you will be held immediately responsible for full payment of the total balance due regardless of when the change occurs for the following reasons:

  1. if your financial aid is not awarded; 
  2. if your financial aid authorization amount is lessened for any reason, including reducing your course load; or
  3. if your authorization is later rescinded.

If you are unable to adhere to the payment deadlines, please contact the Payment Window at the Bursar’s Office immediately to avoid being dropped.  Our Cashiers are happy to discretely explore alternative payment arrangements with you.

What if my Financial Aid is not complete when I register for courses?

If you have not completed the full Financial Aid process and received your Award by the time you register for courses:

  • If it is before the tuition due date, you will be required to cover the fees for courses to hold your classes. Once your Financial Aid is complete, you would receive a refund of your fees if your award covers the cost of your courses
  • If it is after the tuition due date, you will be required to cover the entire cost of tuition and fees to hold your classes, or sign up for an installment plan. Once your Financial Aid is complete, you would receive a refund of your fees if your award covers the cost of your courses 

What Happens if I Add or Drop Classes?

Please keep in mind that the formula for calculating your authorization amount takes into account the number of credits you are registered for and the authorization amount will be recalculated if you change your course load. Since it is not uncommon for a financial aid student to actually owe money to the college after dropping a course, you are also strongly advised to contact the Financial Aid Office before doing so.





Refunds are not issued until after the Bookstore financial aid process is complete. This is often four to six weeks into the semester. Refund checks are mailed directly to students' home address.