Paying for College
Financial Aid Consumer Information
As required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, below you will find financial aid-related consumer information for prospective and currently enrolled students.
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Applying for Financial Aid
At CF, a student must apply for financial aid for each academic year in which they attend school, as well as:
- Be degree-seeking or certificate-seeking in an eligible program at CF.
- Provide the Office of Enrollment Services with an official copy of the student’s high school transcript or GED and, if the student is a college transfer student, provide an official copy of your transcript from each institution attended. Transfer course work must be evaluated before an award can be made.
- After Oct. 1 each year, a student should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and submit it to the federal processor. CF’s federal school code is 001471. In order for CF to process a student’s financial aid, this school code must be included on the FAFSA. The student may submit the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov (allow at least two weeks for processing). Students who are submitting a FAFSA for the first time will need to create an FSA ID at https://fsaid.ed.gov prior to completing the FAFSA.
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Average Cost of Attendance
CF is among the top 1 percent of four-year colleges in the nation for affordability, as ranked by the U.S. Department of Education. To view current costs per semester, click the button below.
Financial Aid Eligibility
General Eligibility Requirements
All financial aid is dependent upon the availability of federal, state, local and institutional resources. To be eligible for financial aid, a student must:
- Be accepted as a degree-seeking student in an A.A., A.S, B.A.S. or B.S. degree program, or
- Be accepted as a certificate-seeking student in an eligible College Credit Certificate or Career and Technical Certificate program. Students who are conditionally admitted to a degree or certificate program are not eligible for financial aid until all admissions criteria have been met and they are fully admitted to the program.
- Make satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes.
- Be a U.S. citizen, national or eligible non-citizen.
- Enroll at least half-time (six credit hours) for most aid programs.
- Not be in default on a prior student loan.
- Not owe a repayment or overpayment of a federal grant.
- Be registered for Selective Service, if required.
- Have a standard high school diploma or GED. If enrolling in higher education for the first time on or after July 1, 2012, in order to be eligible for federal student aid, the student must have either a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent (such as a General Educational Development certificate, GED, or have been home schooled).
- As a college transfer student, upon admission to the college provide an official transcript from each previously attended institution. These are submitted to and evaluated by CF. 11. Not have been convicted for sale or possession of illegal drugs while receiving Title IV aid.
Eligible Coursework for Financial Aid Purposes
Coursework not required for a student’s declared degree or certificate program will impact a student’s enrollment status and eligibility. Students may not receive financial aid for coursework that is not required for their program of study and/or not among approved electives for their current program of study. If a particular course is required for a student’s program of study and the student must take prerequisites for the course, those prerequisite courses are considered “fundable.” If a student is taking coursework not required for his/her program of study, the student’s enrollment status will be adjusted for aid purposes.
Maximum eligibility for financial aid funding is based on a full-time enrollment status; however, part-time students may be eligible for financial aid. Financial aid is calculated by determining a student’s enrollment status in courses applicable in the student’s degree or certificate program at the College of Central Florida.
Enrollment status categories for aid are as follows:
- Full-time status is 12 credit hours or more;
- Three-quarter time status is 9-11 credit hours;
- Half-time status is 6–8 credit hours;
- Less-than-half-time status is 1–5 credit hours.
The following are examples of enrollment status* and financial aid eligibility:
Joe’s program of study is an Associate in Science in Business Administration (2305) and his fall 2020 schedule of 9 credits includes the 3 credit hour class SYG2000, which is not a required course for that degree. His enrollment status for financial aid is 6 credit hours (half-time).
Marian’s program of study is an Associate in Arts (AA) and she has completed all of her CF degree requirements (60 credits). During spring 2021, she is registered for 13 credit hours of prerequisite courses required for her admission to a baccalaureate program at a state university. Because her classes do not apply to her degree at CF, her financial aid enrollment status is zero and she is not eligible for federal aid.
*Note: The college enrollment status may differ from the financial aid enrollment status. A student’s enrollment status at the college includes all courses enrolled, even if those courses are not required for the student’s degree or certificate. Federal regulation only allows courses required for the student’s degree or certificate to be included in the enrollment status for financial aid purposes.
Determining Need for Financial Aid
After you submit the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will analyze the information you provided on your FAFSA and will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR may request additional information and/or will assign a number called an Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
The EFC is the amount you and your family should be able to pay toward your cost of education. Family Contribution consists of expected parental contribution and/or student contribution, depending upon the student’s classification as “dependent” or “independent.”
The federal need analysis formula used by the federal processor to determine the amount of each applicant’s expected family contribution takes into account the family’s/student’s income and assets, employment costs, living expenses, taxes, family size, and the number of family members in college. Dependent students must also help pay their educational costs from their resources, such as savings, prior-year income, benefits, and/or employment.
The Financial Aid Office will use the EFC to determine the amount of your financial assistance. Review the SAR and if changes are necessary, make corrections electronically using your FSA ID at: www.fafsa.ed.gov. The corrected SAR will be used to determine your aid offer for the Pell Grant and other need-based aid.
“Cost of Attendance” minus “Expected Family Contribution” equals “Financial Need”
Cost of Attendance includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, housing, meals, transportation, and personal items. A student’s EFC and the resulting financial need are used to determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid offers.
Enrollment Status and Aid
You will receive a tentative financial aid offer based on full-time enrollment. After the add/drop period has ended, your enrollment status (the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled) and your declared program of study are recorded and used to determine eligibility and your aid offer may be adjusted. The amount of your final aid offer depends on your actual need.
Federal Work Study
The federal work study program is for students with financial need. Students may be employed at a CF campus or in a community service position. Students must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, work on average 12 to 14 hours a week and meet Standards of Academic Progress.
Students may be offered work-study as part of the overall financial aid offer in their aid notification letter; however, if work-study was not offered, the student may wish to inquire about eligibility by visiting the Office of Financial Aid.
For more information view our Federal Work Study Handbook.
Financial Aid Disbursements and Refunds
Financial aid funds are disbursed after the add/drop period has ended and student attendance has been verified. Disbursements begin approximately three weeks after the beginning of the term. Refunds are processed according to each student’s refund preference selection.
Financial Aid Programs Available
General Eligibility Requirements
All types of financial aid have some kind of eligibility requirements. Financial aid from the State usually requires the student to be a resident of the state for tuition purposes. Some scholarships have specific criteria designated by the donor.
In general, to be considered for student financial aid a student must:
- be a citizen or an eligible non-citizen of the United States (as determined by the USDOE)
- Have a valid Social Security Number (name, social security number and date of birth MUST match Social Security Administration’s records)
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- register with Selective Service, if required
- be accepted to the college as a degree or certificate seeking student in an aid eligible program at CF
- be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a program of study according to the “Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients at College of Central Florida”
- not owe a refund on any grant or loan, not be in default on any loan, have made satisfactory arrangements to repay any defaulted loan, and have not borrowed in excess of the loan limits under Title IV Programs at any institution
- re-apply each academic year (after January 1)
Please note a drug conviction may affect aid eligibility.
Financial Aid Programs Available
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- Federal Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant
- Florida Student Assistance Grant
- College of Central Florida/Foundation Scholarships and Talent Grants
- Institutional Need Grant
- Postsecondary Adult Vocational Grant
- Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
- Other Scholarships Offered by the Florida Department of Education
- Outside Private Scholarships
Federal Work Study
Purchasing Books with Financial Aid
If you have been offered aid for a semester and you are enrolled in courses for that same term, you may be able to charge the cost of your books against your financial aid offer. Please log in to the MyCF student portal and select the Financial Aid tab to determine if you meet the guidelines for charging books. Book charge dates for each term are also available on MyCF.
The following guidelines apply to charging your books:
- You must complete the one-time bookstore authorization
- You must be registered for classes in the term for which you have been awarded
- You must have enough financial aid offered to cover your outstanding financial obligations to the college (tuition, etc.) and have enough remaining to cover the cost of your books.
Students must submit a one-time authorization to have CF deduct payments from Financial Aid for all non-tuition and fee charges. This includes books and supplies charged at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at CF. Financial Aid recipients will be prompted on MyCF to authorize their book charges. Students are not required to submit the authorization. However, if they do not submit one, they will not be eligible to charge towards their Financial Aid at the Bookstore. The authorization will remain in effect for the duration of the students’ enrollment at CF. Once a student has authorized charging, if a student wishes to unselect financial aid charging, they must do so by contacting the Financial Aid Office.
Students will be limited to only charging textbooks and required materials against their financial aid. There are limitations to what is allowed to be charged. Allowable items include textbooks, rental of textbooks, supplies, and required digital materials. Students will not be permitted to charge non-essential items including, but not limited to, clothing, food, drinks, and convenience items.
When charging books, you are responsible for payment of the books. If, for any reason, you do not receive financial aid, any unpaid bookstore charge owed to the college is subject to being turned over to outside collection agencies and the credit bureau. Additional collection costs owed to the collection agencies are your responsibility.
Financial Aid: Remedial and English as a Second Language (ESL) Coursework
- Florida statutes state that if a student is admitted into an eligible program and takes remedial coursework within that program, the student can be considered a regular student.
- Federal regulations place a credit hour limit on the amount of remedial preparatory course work for which a student can attempt and continue to receive financial aid.
- A student may receive federal student aid for up to 30 credit hours of attempted remedial coursework.
- ESL courses do not count towards the 30 hours. Certain ESL courses are ineligible for funding.
- Students who have attempted 30 or more remedial hours will be flagged for review by the Financial Aid office.
- If a student enrolls in additional remedial courses beyond the 30 credit hours, those additional credits will NOT be eligible for federal student aid, regardless of whether the student received any financial aid for the previous remedial courses.
- The enrollment status each term will be calculated excluding remedial hours and the student will be paid based on the non-remedial hours for which he/she is enrolled.
- Remedial and ESL course work will be included in the determination of satisfactory academic progress.
- Detailed information on college preparatory course limitations is available in the Financial Aid Office.
Return of Unearned Financial Aid
REFUNDS & REPAYMENTS FOR TITLE IV FINANCIAL AID RECIPIENT
A Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation is required when a student does not attend all of the days the student was scheduled to complete within a payment period or period of enrollment. A student who does not complete his/her payment period is considered to have withdrawn whether or not any credits were earned. The R2T4 calculation is done to determine the amount of aid earned by the student.
Federal regulations require institutions to calculate the amount of federal financial aid a student earned if the student withdraws from all of his/her coursework in any given semester/term. In addition, at the end of a semester/term, if a student has not successfully completed any coursework, the institution must confirm that the student did attend the courses for which the student received financial aid.
When a student who receives a net disbursement of Title IV funds then ceases attendance prior to the 60 percent point in the payment period, CF will determine whether the student must repay a portion of the net disbursement. A statutory prorated schedule will be used to determine the percentage of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. Federal Work Study funds are excluded from the calculation.
If a student withdraws after completing more than 60 percent of the semester/term, all Title IV aid is considered earned and the student does not owe a repayment. However, withdrawing may affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress and eligibility for future financial aid.
Minimester Courses and Return to Title IV
A student who withdraws from a minimester course (A term or B term) within the semester must still be attending another class or is considered to be withdrawn, even if registered for future classes starting in the same semester. The student must – at the time of withdrawal from a minimester class, if not attending another class – provide documentation to the college indicating his/her intent to attend a future class within that semester. Otherwise the student is considered withdrawn and a Return to Title IV calculation must be completed. If the student provides documentation but doesn’t actually attend that future class, a Return to Title IV calculation is still required.
Return to Title IV Calculation
The amount of aid that must be returned is calculated using the last date of attendance as documented by faculty records (not student self-certification). The institution will determine the total number of calendar days completed in the payment period and the number of days the student was scheduled to complete in the payment period. Days attended are divided by the number of days scheduled to complete to determine that percentage completed. To determine the amount of aid earned, the percentage completed is multiplied by the total aid for which the student is eligible.
The institution will then determine the total institutional charges (tuition, fees, and books and supplies charged at the bookstore) and multiply the total institutional charges by the percentage determined in step 1 above in order to calculate the earned charges
The institution must return the amount of unearned aid, up to the maximum received, to each of the Title IV programs in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
- Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Academic Competitiveness Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The school determines the amount of unearned aid the student is responsible for returning by subtracting the amount returned by the school from the total amount which is unearned.
Once the institution determines the amount the student owes, CF will notify the student via USPS mail. Funds that must be returned by the student to the loan programs can be paid in accordance with the normal loan repayment terms. For grant funds that must be repaid, the amount due from the student is limited to half of the total Title IV grant funds received by the student. A student has 45 days to make repayment and does not have to repay a grant overpayment of $50 or less. Unpaid balances will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and reported to the U. S. Department of Education for collection. A student who owes an overpayment will be ineligible for further Title IV aid at any institution.
Note: This policy is separate from the institutional refund policy. The student is responsible for paying any balances due to CF.
Detailed information on repayments is available in the Office of Financial Aid. These policies are subject to change by action of the United States Department of Education.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Your financial aid is contingent upon maintaining SAP as follows:
- You must maintain a cumulative and CF 2.0 grade point average.
- You must make progress toward your degree each academic year. Minimum progress requires you to earn 67 percent of all cumulative credit hours attempted, including classes from which you withdraw.
- You must complete your degree, technical diploma or certificate within 150% of the credit hours designated for your program of study.
- Vocational clock-hour programs must complete their program of study in 100% of required clock hours.
For more SAP information contact the Office of Financial Aid, 352-873-5801 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or refer to the MyCF Portal or college catalog.
Student Loans/Federal Direct Loans
Students who qualify for financial aid may be eligible for direct student loans.
If you are interested in attending the College of Central Florida and want to receive financial aid while studying abroad, please contact the Office of Financial Aid: 352-873-5801 or email@example.com. Students participating in a College of Central Florida program to study abroad may be eligible to receive financial assistance for their academic credits approved by CF if the coursework is required for the students’ program of study at CF.