Financial Aid Basics

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Financial Aid Basics

Financial Aid is any grant, scholarship, loan, or paid employment offered to assist a student meet college expenses. Financial aid can assist educational costs such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, and basic educational costs. There are four primary sources of financial aid: the federal government, the state, the institution/college, and private/outside agencies. Financial aid awards may include a combination of the various sources of financial aid.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Students interested in applying for financial aid assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To complete the financial aid application process, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) online at This PIN will allow you to electronically sign your FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need to apply for a PIN.
  2. Complete the FAFSA application. You have three options to complete the FAFSA:
    a. Login to apply online (Recommended) at
    b. Complete a PDF FAFSA (Must be mailed for processing) at
    c. Request a paper FAFSA by calling 1-800-433-3242; for hearing impaired contact 1-800-730-8913.
    d. Make sure you put R-CCC’s school code: 008613 on your FAFSA!
  3. Follow up. Approximately 4 weeks after filing your FAFSA, the federal processor will mail a Student Aid Report (SAR) to you at the address you listed on your FAFSA and/or email the SAR to the email address your listed on your FAFSA. It is YOUR responsibility to check the information carefully and make sure it is correct. The Financial Aid Office will NOT import your SAR until you have been accepted to R-CCC. Once you are accepted, the Financial Aid Office will use the SAR data to determine your financial aid eligibility.

Students must complete a FAFSA each academic year