Definitions are intended to help you understand the terminology often used in the financial aid process.

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What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid refers to any funds available to students and/or their parents to help balance the cost of higher education. Funds come from private, government, and institutional resources.

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What types of Aid are there?

At WWCC there are various types of Aid available ranging from grants, loans, and scholarships to Worker Re-training and others depending on the students situation.  For more information on these funding sources designed to help you pay for college, click here. 

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Who should apply for aid?

Any student needing assistance with the cost of higher education should apply for financial aid. Because not all federal aid is based on need, we encourage all students to file the FAFSA, regardless of family income.

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What is SAR?

SAR stands for Student Aid Report and students should review the information on the SAR very carefully for accuracy or updates. If students need to change any information, contact the WWCC Office of Student Financial Aid for instructions. If no changes are required, no action is needed. Students should keep the SAR for their records.

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What is financial need?

Need is based on the following equation:

       Cost of Attendance*
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
=      Financial Need

The information you report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your EFC, which is a measure of your family’s financial strength. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The formula for the EFC calculation is established by law.


If your EFC is below a certain number, you may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements. The EFC is used to determine eligibility for other federal student aid programs, but there isn’t a maximum EFC eligibility threshold for those programs. 

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What is EFC and how is it determined and how does it affect my fin aid award?

The EFC is a calculated review of how much your family will be expected to contribute to your college costs. The EFC is subtracted from the cost of attendance at the college. The result is a calculation of the student's financial need or eligibility for financial aid. Aid eligibility at a particular college is a function of both the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution.

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What are grants?

Grants are gifts of money that do not have to be earned or repaid by the student.  This is the preferred way of many students to pay for college before they start taking out loans. For a complete list of grants at WWCC, click here.

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What are student loans?

Loans are need or non-need based funds that must be repaid with interest and require a loan application.  Students generally prefer to take out the smallest amount of loans and are usually the last resort.  For a list of loans available through WWCC, click here.

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What are Scholarships?

Scholarships like grants are funds that do not require repayment.  Students typically seek scholarships to fund their education rather than student loans.