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Priority Deadlines: Students who submit their Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) and requested documentation on or before the following priority deadlines, and are eligible to receive benefits, will be held in classes. All documents must be received by the financial aid office no later than: 

Fall:  July 1 ST

Spring:  December 1 ST

Summer:  May 1 ST

After Priority Deadlines: Students who submit their Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) after the above priority deadlines should set up a payment plan with the Business Office to insure that their classes will not be cancelled on the day fees are due.  Students should allow 4-6 weeks for the processing of financial aid applications.

Glossary of Terms

Academic Year (Also referred to as Aid Year)

A period of time schools use to measure a quantity of study. East Central's academic year begins with the Fall semester (August) and ends with Summer semester (June).

Cost of Attendance (COA)

Each institution determines it's own cost of attendance or budget. The cost of attendance includes both direct educational costs (such as tuition, fees, books and supplies) as well as living costs (room and board, transportation and personal expenses). The Cost of Attendance can vary from student to student. At East Central College students are assigned a budget group based on dependency status and residency.


A block of time during which you can postpone repayment of a Federal Direct Student Loan.

Dependency Status

Students are classified as dependent or independentbecause federal student aid programs are based on the idea that students (and their parents or spouse) have the primary responsibility for their postsecondary education. Dependency status is determined by the following criteria:
  • 24 years of age or older as of December 31 of the current year
  • Married
  • Legal dependents other than a spouse
  • Veteran of the U. S. Armed Forces
  • Orphan/Ward of the Court/Emancipated Minor/Homeless (see FAFSA for Details).

Independent Student

Meets at least one of the categories listed above. Independent students are not required to provide parental income information.

Dependent Students

Does not meet one of the categories listed above. Dependent students are required to provide parental income regardless of whether or not the student lives with the parents or if parents are assisting in paying for the student's education.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The process used to determine a student's eligibility for financial aid is called need analysis. In this analysis, income and asset information from both the student and parent(s) is examined to determine the family's ability to contribute toward the cost of education.

Federal Work-Study

Financial aid that enables students to earn a portion of school costs through employment.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

This application is the starting point for virtually all federal and state aid programs. This application determines eligibility for federal grants, state financial aid programs, student loans and college work-study.


Grants are awarded to help undergraduate students pay for their education. Grants are based on demonstrated financial need as determined by the need analysis process. Earned grants do not need to be repaid. (Review the Federal Resources section for detailed information about grants available to East Central College students.)


Low interest loans are available to students to assist with meeting educational expenses. Loans do have to be repaid. (Review the Loans section for detailed information about loans available to East Central College students.)

Return of Title IV Funds

Students who have been paid federal financial aid funds are required to earn these funds by attending classes through at least 60% of the enrollment period. Students who do not earn the federal aid as described may be required to repay a portion of the funds.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

Once the FAFSA has been submitted the data will be processed and the student will receive a Student Aid Report. The SAR will report your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

A grant for undergraduate students with the lowest EFC.


A process by which Federal Student Aid applications are selected for review. Students are required to submit federal tax transcripts, W2’s and other materials used to complete the FAFSA for the purpose of comparison and to assure accuracy. Approximately 80% of all applicants are selected by the Department of Education for this process. 
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