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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions


Why hasn't my financial aid been posted to my account?

You may not have fulfilled your financial aid student requirements; therefore, your file is not complete. Log into your MyMotlow account and click on the Financial Aid tab until you get to "student requirements." Once all requested documentation has been submitted, your file will go through two reviews (takes about two weeks), and then any aid for which you are eligible will be posted to your account. Check your MyMotlow account and student e-mail frequently, in case other information is needed.

Transcripts from other colleges which I attended have been sent to Moltow, so why is it still showing up under my outstanding requirements?

Your transcripts may have been received, but they have not been reviewed by the transcript analyst. Once the reviews are complete and your grades are posted, Financial Aid can continue to process your financial aid file. If you need further information about your transcripts, please contact Admissions & Records office.

When will I get my financial aid check and do I pick it up in your office?

Checks are generally issued by the 7th day of class and are available for pickup at the business office.

My check is smaller than what I am supposed to receive. Can you tell me why?

Your class engagement is closely tied to your financial aid. If your instructor has not confirmed your class engagement, then you will be paid based on the number of hours marked as engaged. Also, if you have a class that begins later in the semester, your final financial aid disbursement will not post until that class has begun. Please contact your instructors to make sure they have reported your attendance.

My parents want to check the status of my award; can you talk to my parents about my financial aid?

You must sign a FERPA release form giving Motlow permission to speak with your parents about your financial aid information. If the FERPA release is not on file, we will only be able to answer general questions. You can retrieve the form on-line at:

Types of financial aid opportunities:

The Federal Pell Grant Program awards grants to eligible undergraduate students as determined by a formula used by the Department of Education. An undergraduate student is defined as one who has not received a bachelor's or first professional degree in any area.

Students seeking a second degree are not eligible. Pell is an entitlement grant, so even if you miss the priority deadline, you will receive the grant if eligible.

The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation awards grants to eligible undergraduate Tennessee residents for a maximum of eight semesters (up to 4 semesters at a community college and up to 4 semesters at a university). Funds are limited and must be applied for early. Complete the FAFSA as soon after January 1st each year as possible and list Motlow as the first school of choice.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) Program gives grants to eligible undergraduate students. Awards depend on the availability of funds.

Students must be undergraduate, degree-seeking students with exceptional financial need. You must meet the priority deadline dates as well as the federal eligibility requirements. In order to apply, you must complete the FAFSA. These funds are awarded on a first come basis until the money in the fund has been depleted.

Motlow stopped participating in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program at the end of the spring 2015 term.

Motlow is no longer participating in the Federal Work Study Program.

Can I use my financial aid to pay for textbooks prior to class beginning?

Students eligible to charge textbooks using their estimated credit balance will be notified via Motlow e-mail on the day charges can begin. Generally, this program is not available during the summer semester.

It is always advised that students plan on making other arrangements for books in the event that they do not have enough of an estimated credit balance to allow for charges.

How will I be notified of my financial aid award?

Award notifications will be sent via Motlow e-mail. Awards may also be viewed on your MyMotlow account.

How will I receive the funds and pay my fees?

All grants and scholarship payments administered by the College will be applied to the cost of your tuition and fees. Any remaining funds will be issued as a check to you from the Business Office. You must be enrolled in school and begin classes before you actually receive your financial aid.

What kind of changes should I report to the financial aid office?

  • Name change
  • Change of address (or parent's address)
  • Dropping below half-time academic status
  • Changes in family financial situation due to death, divorce, marriage, disability, long-term unemployment, or low income
  • Withdrawal from school
  • Transfer to another school
  • Joining the military, Peace Corps, or VISTA

How many hours is my financial aid based on?

Financial aid amounts on your MyMotlow online account are based on full time enrollment (12 hours or more). If you plan to take less than 12 hours, the amount of your awards may change.

What happens after I review my awards on MyMotlow?

You must confirm your schedule. If the financial aid award is more than what you owe Motlow, you can confirm your schedule as soon as the award is posted on "MyMotlow". If your financial aid pays only a portion of your college bill, you need to pay the balance by the confirmation deadline to confirm your schedule.

How long does it take to be notified if I am awarded?

It really depends on the time of year. If you are submitting documents for fall in January, February or March, award information is usually posted on MyMotlow beginning in July once all the system upgrades have been put in place. If you are applying for aid when classes are already in session, the award information is usually posted within two weeks of submitting all your required documents.

When will I receive my financial aid refund? Will I get all my financial aid (monies) in one semester? Can I get my aid early?

All financial aid refunds are disbursed through the Business Office. Most financial aid is processed based on an academic year (i.e. fall and spring). Aid awards are therefore usually disbursed evenly between the fall and spring semesters.

Residual financial aid checks are not released prior to classes beginning. Funds that are posted to a student's account prior to the semester beginning will generally be released by the 7th day of class. Confirmation of class engagement is verified prior to a check being released. Funds posted after the semester begins will generally be released within 7 days of posting to your account.

What if I applied for financial aid but did not submit all my documents on time?

If you do not have all your financial aid documents in before the fee payment deadline you may apply for the installment plan during the fall and/or spring semesters (contact the Business Office for specific requirements).

Please note that even if you applied for financial aid, there is no guarantee that you will be eligible to receive aid once all your documents are in. NOTE: The installment plan is NOT available in the summer.

What is Motlow State Community College's school code?

MSCC's school code is 006836.

I haven't received my 1098-T form in order to file my income tax return. Can you mail that to me?

The Business Office processes the 1098-T forms and they are no longer mailing them. You can obtain your 1098-T by accessing your MyMotlow account under the Student Account tab.

What are my overpayments responsibilities?

Overpayments occur for several reasons. In some cases, students receive financial aid assistance in an amount that exceeds their "need" for financial aid. In other cases, students are inadvertently overpaid Federal Pell Grant funds. No matter what the reason, overpayments must be resolved. In some cases, the college is able to resolve overpayments by reducing awards for subsequent semesters during the same award year.

The Financial Aid Office will notify the student of an amount that must be repaid to a specific program. If the overpayment cannot be resolved by reducing subsequent awards during the same award year, students will be required to make immediate repayment. If the overpayment is due to student error, and if the student fails to repay the overpayment, the student will be ineligible for future financial aid assistance at all post-secondary schools. If the error is a result of fraud, it will be reported to the Office of the Inspector General.

If the overpayment is a result of institutional error and if the student fails to make repayment by a specified date, the college will be responsible for making the repayment. In such cases, the college will then bill the student and will place a "hold" on future registration. It should be noted that if a student unofficially withdraws from class (quits attending) and it is later discovered that Title IV funds were paid to the student for credit hours the student was not attending at the point Title IV funds were authorized to the student's account, an overpayment may exist. In such cases, the student will be billed for the overpayment.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

  • Go to the web site and apply for a FSA ID.
  • You will need to keep your FSA ID for future reference.
  • Go to the web site and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The application will be evaluated by the Department of Education. Within 3-5 business days an electronic SAR (Student Aid Report) will be sent to you and the Financial Aid Office.
  • The Financial Aid Office will evaluate the SAR to determine if your application was selected for verification. If you have been selected for verification you will need to supply the Financial Aid Office with necessary documents such as copies of Federal tax return transcripts, verification worksheets, etc. If your application has NOT been selected for verification we will determine if you are eligible for grants. We will notify you either way with an e-mail letting you know. We will have further documents for you to complete for financial aid, and you will need to log in to your MyMotlow account to access those documents. Once you turn them in, your file will go through two reviews in this office, and then an award can be posted (if you are eligible).
  • Motlow State Community College School Code is: 006836

How often do I apply?

Since your financial situation-as well as that of your family may change, you must fill out a new application for each academic year Fall-Spring-Summer.

Send in the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Do not wait until your taxes are done. Although it is better to do your taxes early, it is ok to use estimates of your income, as long as they aren't very far off from the actual values. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors later. If you wait too long, you might miss the deadline for state aid. You must update your FAFSA information after your taxes are completed if you estimated your information.

The renewal of financial aid is not automatic. Students must file a FAFSA each year and demonstrate satisfactory progress.

Should I pay for help to fill out my FAFSA?

No, you don't need to. If you apply using FAFSA on the Web at, you get online instructions for each question, and you can "chat" live online with a customer service representative. You can get free help by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at the telephone number(s) listed below.

Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC):
1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) (TTY 1-800-730-8913)


I'm going to have to withdraw completely this semester. Will I have to pay back the school for the award I received?

If you have completed less than 60% of the semester, then you will have to return a portion of the financial aid funds that you received. This excludes Lottery funds and scholarship funds.

Are there deadlines in applying for financial aid?

You may apply for financial aid at any time; however, priority dates and deadlines do exist depending on the type of financial aid you are seeking.

What is verification?

The U.S. Department of Education and our office randomly select students for verification of information submitted on the FAFSA. The Office of Financial Aid will notify you of the proper documentation to submit to our office.

I don't live with my parents, nor do they claim me as a tax exemption. Why am I not considered independent?

The federal guidelines determine dependency status. When you complete the FAFSA, you will be asked specific questions which determine your dependency status.

Why was I selected for verification?

The Department of Education selects at-least 30% of all applicants and requires the school to verify the information provided. Selection for verification does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong. In addition, colleges select students who appear to have left items blank or incomplete.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes, you are required to apply for financial aid every year.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):

What is the satisfactory academic progress policy?

Federal regulations state that all students who receive assistance from the Federal Financial Aid Programs will be required to make measurable academic progress toward a degree. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress will result in the termination of your financial assistance. You may re-establish eligibility for financial assistance when the minimum requirements of the policy are satisfied.

If you fail to meet the standards of the satisfactory academic progress policy, financial assistance will not be available to you until the required progress is met, or an appeal is approved. You may make up the deficiencies at you own expense. After completing the requirements it is your responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office. Eligibility may be continued, upon appeal, for students who, through no fault of their own, were unable to complete a semester under normal circumstances, e.g., accident, unexpected medical problems, or a death in the immediate family (brother, sister, mother, father, spouse, child).

Why do I have to turn in a financial aid appeal?

You can lose your eligibility for financial aid if you are not making satisfactory academic progress according to federal guidelines. First of all, you must have a minimum GPA for the number of cumulative hours attempted. Secondly, you must be completing at least 67% of ALL of the hours that you have attempted. And third, you must complete your degree within a reasonable length of time. If you are not meeting any one of these criteria, you will be placed on unsatisfactory academic progress and may file a financial aid appeal if mitigating circumstances exist. If the appeal is approved, you will receive your aid for the semester. If it is denied, you will not. Also, you must appeal for EACH semester that you wish to attend, until you are meeting the guidelines for satisfactory academic progress.

I turned in an appeal and still have not heard anything. Can you tell me if a decision has been made?

Please check your student e-mail for a response on your appeal. This is how you will be notified of a decision.

I received "F" and "W" grades this semester. Will this affect my financial aid eligibility?

"F" and "W" grades count in the calculation of your satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. If you have too many "F" or "W" grades, you fail these standards. Although you may submit an appeal as stated on the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals, your circumstances must be very unusual and have prevented you from completing your course.

We recommend that you talk with your instructor before withdrawing from a course to see if you might be able to complete it. Also, it is a good idea to meet with a counselor if you are uncertain you are prepared to take a course rather than withdraw or fail it.


What happens if I drop a class or withdraw completely?

If you completely withdraw or drop below half-time prior to receiving your aid, or prior to the beginning of classes, you are not eligible for your scheduled aid for that semester. If you drop a class or completely withdraw after receiving your disbursement, any balance of aid for that semester will be canceled. NOTE: Totally withdrawing prior to attending 60% of the academic term results in a calculation of "unearned financial aid" that MUST be repaid. 100% of financial aid is not earned until the student has attended at least 60% of the academic term.

What happens if I never attend some of my courses?

When you are awarded financial aid, it is intended to be used for attending your courses. If you are reported by your instructor or by yourself as NEVER HAVING ATTENDED at least one class of each course, you may be required to repay a portion of your financial aid. If this occurs, you will be contacted to repay the money. A "hold" will be placed on your record preventing you from receiving any services at the College. If you fail to repay the overpayment, you may be sent to Collections.


How do I apply for a Motlow scholarship and what are the application deadlines?

Review the scholarship information and directions for applying on the Motlow web site at

How do I apply for the Lottery Scholarship?

You need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. For additional information, please visit:

How do I get my Lottery Scholarship transferred to/from Motlow?

Go to the TSAC website at and sign in to the TSAC Student Portal and follow the links.

Why is my scholarship not listed online?

We have all the scholarship information our office has received posted on student accounts.

It is probable that we have not yet received information on your scholarship. For community or outside scholarships, for Motlow scholarship questions, or for questions about the HOPE scholarship please contact

I got an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the financial aid office?

Yes. If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from college or government sources, you must report the scholarship to the financial aid office.

The college will adjust your financial aid package to compensate this award if necessary.