Financial Aid & Scholarships


Financial Aid & Scholarships

We’re here to help guide you through the financial aid process at Cochise College. First, find out the estimated cost for you to attend Cochise College. All students seeking financial aid and/or scholarships will need to fill out a FAFSA and follow the rules and procedures associated with it, to include completing orientation and maintaining satisfactory progress.

Douglas Campus | Student Services/1000 Building | (520) 417-4045

Sierra Vista Campus | Student Union/1000 Building | (520) 515-5417

Steps to Apply

Start the financial aid process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the FAFSA website. You may complete the form online (preferred) or by mailing it to the Department of Education (We do not recommend this option because it could add several weeks to the process). Students applying for federal financial aid must have earned their high school diploma or GED certificate.

To successfully complete your FAFSA application, you will need a copy of your most recent income taxes and possibly a copy of your parents’ income tax information. When determining your eligibility, consider that having a child does NOT make a student independent. A student must show that he/she has provided 51% of the support for the child. A student who has a child but does not work and is living with parents or sharing a house with a boyfriend/girlfriend will still be considered a dependent and need their parent’s tax information.

Cochise College’s school code is 001072.

Once an application is submitted, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), either by email or mail, from the Department of Education. (This NOT an award — you are not done yet.)

Once a student receives the Student Aid Report, it is the student’s responsibility to check their accounts in MyCochise and their Cochise College student email for any requirements needed to complete their file. Files that are not complete will not be processed. MyCochise and college email account is the only way financial aid will contact a student.

Submit requirements to complete your file and have it sent to processing. If your financial aid file is not complete, you will not receive a refund or be held in classes, until all documents requested by the Financial Aid Office are processed.

Students need to continually check, throughout the year, their MyCochise and college email accounts for any changes that could affect your financial aid. If you have questions, email them to financial aid from your college email account. Financial aid will not answer specific questions about your financial aid from any other email account.

Most often, this is all the information that we will need. Some FAFSA results are selected for verification. If you have been selected for verification, we will ask you to submit tax forms and complete a verification worksheet. We may need to ask for other information as well so that we can best help you through the verification process.

Award letters are found under Financial Aid within MyCochise. Awards are made by subtracting the student’s Expected Family Contribution from the student budget. Student budgets are an average based on the program of study, expected enrollment, and living arrangements. The following costs are included in each standard budget: tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, and board (students living with parents have board costs only), transportation, personal allowance, and loan fees. Some programs of study, such as nursing and aviation, may also have an additional allowance for lab fees, tools, flight time, etc. The following budget is an example for full-time students living off campus and registered in standard degree or certification programs. Budgets may vary from year to year.

Example budget:
Tuition and fees: $ 1,344
Books and supplies: $1,000
Room and board: $5,900
Transportation: $1,876
Personal expense: $1,350
Total: $11,470

Once the Expected Family Contribution is subtracted from the student budget, what is left is the unmet need. All financial aid is applied to the unmet need, with the goal of getting every student to zero unmet need. If a student’s unmet need reaches zero, no more federal aid can be granted.

All financial aid refunds are processed by the business office. Refunds are sent via Direct Deposit to your personal bank account on file or a paper check will be mailed to the address on file. The first refunds of the term will be produced for students who are registered for classes and have their aid award. These refunds, consisting of grant and scholarship funds, will be sent seven days before the start of the term. The next refunds will be processed and sent after the last date to add classes for the term. It is your responsibility to make sure that your direct deposit information and current mailing address is on file. Address changes should be submitted to the Admissions Office or the Records and Registration Office. Questions regarding your award amount should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office. The disbursement date seen on MyCochise portal is only an estimated date; it is not the date students will receive refunds.

You may ask for a hard copy of your tracking, award, or non-satisfactory progress letter by emailing fa@cochise.edu or finaid@cochise.edu and telling us which letter you are requesting, your name, student ID number (C number) and your current address. Allow 48 hours for processing and then mailing time.

The Department of Education selects one out of every three students who complete the FAFSA for verification. If you are selected for verification, you will be asked for the following documents:

  • a signed copy of your federal income tax return
  • a copy of your parents’ federal tax return if you are a dependent student
  • a completed verification worksheet

Documentation of untaxed income will be required. If corrections are required, the Financial Aid Office will submit them electronically or ask the student to make the corrections online. Expect processing to be delayed approximately three weeks. All items reported on the FAFSA are verifiable. Financial aid may ask for additional documents throughout the academic year.

Grants & Loans

Grants

Grants are financial aid that don’t have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based and can come from the federal government, state government, college or career school, or a private or nonprofit organization.

The Pell Grant is awarded to traditional and nontraditional undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. Eligibility is based on information provided on your FAFSA, as well as your enrollment status. The U.S. Department of Education guarantees that each participating school will receive enough funding to pay the grants to all its eligible students. The Pell Grant does not have to be repaid.

The consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112‐74) significantly impacted the Federal Pell Grant Program. Students are now limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Federal Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. This change affects all students, regardless of when or where they received their first Federal Pell Grant.

If you have attended college for four years or longer and received the Federal Pell Grant each semester of attendance, you are likely to exhaust or have already exhausted your lifetime limit of 12 semesters of Federal Pell Grant eligibility during the 2012‐13 school year. If you have attended college for three years or less and received the Federal Pell Grant each semester of attendance, you will likely not surpass the lifetime limit during the 2012‐13 school year. Whether you have used all of your Federal Pell Grant eligibility or only half, be conscious about the lifetime limit of the Federal Pell Grant when changing majors and/or scheduling classes.

The percentages are based off of the annual award at full‐time enrollment status. For example:

  • A student attending in the academic year 2011‐2012 at full time status and receiving their maximum annual award, the percentage used for 2011‐2012 is 100%.
  • If the student attends only 9 credits (3/4 time) for each semester, the percentage used is 75%.
  • If the student attends only 6 credits (1/2 time) for each semester, the percentage used is 50%.

You can find your Lifetime Eligibility Used for the Federal Pell Grant by visiting the National Student Loan Data System for Students website (NDLDS) and creating a student account. The National Student Loan Data System tracks your lifetime Pell Grants, loan usage and overpayment status. If you have loans, you may also view how much you owe and to whom.

  • Step 1: Obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the U.S. Department of Education. Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records with the U.S. Department of Education systems. You can request a PIN via the U.S. Department of Education website.
  • Step 2: Access the NSLDS website and click Financial Aid Review
  • Step 3: Read the privacy statement on this screen. If you agree, click Accept to find your Lifetime Eligibility Used. A security configuration question may or may not prompt depending on your browser’s security configuration. If you are comfortable with your browser’s current security configuration, click Accept to continue. The Confirming Your Identity screen will appear after you click Accept.
  • Step 4: Enter your Social Security number (SSN), the first two letters of your last name, your date of birth, and your PIN to confirm your identity.
  • Step 5: View the Financial Aid Review screen listing your total Lifetime Eligibility Used.

For additional information on Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility contact ‐ Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC), call 1‐800‐4‐FED‐AID (1‐800‐433‐3243).

Student Loans

College does not automatically award student loans. Students must notify the Financial Aid Office of their need for student loans. Cochise College Loan Code of Conduct (PDF).

Student Loan Steps

  • Request a loan from Cochise College Financial Aid.
  • Be processed for financial aid at Cochise College.
  • Complete a Cochise College Financial Aid Orientation.
  • Be enrolled in at least six credits. We will certify current enrollment, satisfactory progress and verify that you do not have any other student loans in default. You must maintain at least half-time enrollment throughout the loan period to receive the funds. If you enroll in fewer credits than you originally planned, your loan eligibility may be reduced.

Loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized and are available to eligible undergraduate students. Eligible students may receive both subsidized and unsubsidized loans for the same enrollment periods. All students requesting loans must complete an Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note at the government student loans website.

A subsidized direct loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. Interest will not be charged before repayment begins or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government subsidizes the interest during these periods. You must complete a master promissory note, every year, in order to receive loan funds. All new students must complete an entrance interview before the loan is processed.

PLUS loans enable parents to borrow to pay the educational expenses of each child who is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time (six credit hours per semester). PLUS loans are credit contingent. Interest rates are variable (adjusted annually) but by law will not exceed 9 percent. PLUS loan payments begin 60 days after the loan has been disbursed. Both you and a parent must complete the application and promissory note for the federal PLUS loan. All new students must complete an entrance interview before the loan is processed.

An unsubsidized Direct loan is not awarded on the basis of need. Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students may choose to pay interest while still in school and pay less interest in the long run. If interest is not paid, it is capitalized – that is, the interest is added to the principal balance of the loan(s) and additional interest is then based upon the higher amount. This increases the amount that must be repaid. Interest rates are variable (adjusted annually) but will not exceed 8.25 percent. You must complete a master promissory note, every year, in order to receive loan funds. A loan must be repaid. All new students must complete an entrance interview before receiving a loan disbursement.

Scholarships

The Cochise College Foundation offers scholarships and grants for our students. Many of these scholarships are not based on family income, but rather on academic potential and major. The deadline for submission each year is mid- to late-March. Unless otherwise noted, the scholarships you apply for now will be awarded for the next academic year. Qualification criteria include financial need, academic performance, program of study, or some combination of qualifications specified by donors.

For those scholarships that are not offered through the Foundation (outside scholarships), if the donor does not specify how funds are to be paid, it is the policy of the Financial Aid Department that the funds be equally split between the fall and spring terms.

Three Ways to Apply

The foundation maintains a list of scholarships (PDF), criteria, estimated award amounts, and how to apply. Details are subject to change. The deadline to apply for most scholarships is March 31, with awards made the following fall semester. Deadlines are clearly published with application materials.

Because some scholarships require documented evidence of financial need, it is recommended that applicants complete the form on the FAFSA website by April 1, 2017, and register for the fall semester before May 1, 2017.

About 20 scholarships are available through an online application. Apply through the Cochise College Scholarship Portal to be matched up with the Cochise College Foundation scholarships for which you qualify based on your responses to a questionnaire. It is helpful if you do a few things in advance:

  • obtain your unofficial transcripts so that they can be uploaded at the time you apply
  • write or brainstorm thoughtful responses to short-essay questions: 1) Describe your academic and career goals; 2) Describe your financial situation and how a scholarship will help; and 3) Discuss your extracurricular or leadership activities.

Many applicants do not qualify for scholarships for the simple reason that they have not completed the application. When you reach the scholarship portal screen that recommends scholarships for which you may qualify, be sure to read this section and follow the prompts to further verify your qualifications for each recommended scholarship.

Scholarship applicants will be notified by email of their application status. Notifications will be sent to the email address you provide on the application, preferably your Cochise College email address. If you are notified that you have been selected to receive a scholarship, your scholarship funds will be awarded upon receipt of a thank you letter to the scholarship donor; the notification will include a deadline. Recipients who do not submit thank you letters forfeit their scholarship/s to another qualified applicant.

Writing a thank you letter

It’s important for donors to understand how important their scholarship contribution is to you. If you receive a scholarship, you are asked to write a thank you note that the Cochise College Foundation can forward to the donor. Your note goes a long way toward assuring donors that funds are being used to help students achieve their goals, while also ensuring their continued support of Cochise College students like you. Letters should be submitted to the Cochise College Foundation on the Douglas Campus.

The following pointers will be helpful when writing your thank you note.

  • It is not necessary to purchase a card. A letter typed or hand-written on plain paper is sufficient.
  • Know the name of the scholarship you received and include it in your letter.
  • Can’t think of anything to say? Start with some basics about yourself, including your area of study, why you selected it, and your plans for the future related to your education and career.
  • Describe specifically how the scholarship is helping you (for example, if it is helping you to focus on your studies rather than working extra hours to make ends meet).
  • Be sincere and thoughtful.
  • Don’t forget to say thank you!
  • Be sure to sign the note.

Students are encouraged to search and apply for scholarships that are available from a wide variety of organizations. When searching, consider:

  • Scholarships provided by professional or trade organizations associated with your desired career field. Organizations like these often have a website where scholarship information is available.
  • The things that make you unique — such as your gender, ethnicity, status as a first-generation college student, and other characteristics – may be used as helpful search terms.
  • Your employer, or your parent’s employer, as a possible source of scholarships.

Cochise College recommends using the following free scholarship searches.

American Association of University Women Website
Arizona Community Foundation Website
Bisbee Foundation Website
Cochise College Foundation website
College Board Website
College Funding Online Website
CollegeNET Website
Education Portal Website
FastAID Website
Fastweb Website
FinAid Website
First Things First College Scholarships Website
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Website
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships Website
National Debt Relief Scholarship Website
Nerd Scholar / Nerd Wallet Website
Niche / College Prowler Website

Plumbers Stock Scholarship Website

Remote DBA Scholarship Website
Sallie Mae Website
Scholarships.com Website
Scholarships4School Website
Southeastern Arizona Contractors Association Website
The Valley Foundation Website

Policies & Deadlines

Deadlines

Each year’s freeze dates are listed in the Financial Aid calendar of the Academic Calendar.

A student receiving financial aid must be registered in all classes for the semester by the listed freeze date. For example, if you are registering for full 16-week and/or first 8-week classes, you cannot add another second 8-week class after the posted freeze date. Any classes added after the freeze date will not be eligible for financial aid during that semester. If you are registering for only the second 8-week session, the freeze date will be the posted last-date-to-add for the second 8-week term.

Enrollment Period Loan Applications Accepted
Fall & Spring First day of registration through 30 days prior to the end of the semester.
Fall only First day of registration through 30 days prior to the end of the fall semester
Spring only First day of registration through 30 days prior to the end of the spring semester
Summer Session First day of registration for summer through the second week of June.

Forms

Summer Forms

The 2017 Summer Application will be available April 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cochise College’s federal school code is 001072. The FAFSA application lists the institution as Cochise College, Douglas, Arizona. This is correct; the school code is good for all Cochise College locations.

An award letter is a direct result of your completion of the financial aid process. Your financial need has been assessed using federally standardized calculations. Using these calculations, a “financial aid package” was established to assist you in covering normal costs at Cochise College. The award letter indicates the type and amount of funds you were awarded and contains important messages and instructions regarding these awards. You will receive your award letter through your Cochise College (CC) account.

All financial aid refunds are processed by the business office. Refunds are sent via Direct Deposit to your personal bank account on file or a paper check will be mailed to the address on file. The first refunds of the term will be produced for students who are registered for classes and have their aid award. These refunds, consisting of grant and scholarship funds, will be sent to via direct deposit or paper check approximately seven days before the start of the term.

The next refunds will be processed and sent after the last date to add classes for the term. It is your responsibility to make sure that your current mailing address is on file. Address changes should be submitted to the Admissions Office or the Records and Registration Office. Questions regarding your award amount should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office at  finaid@cochise.edu. Once a refund is processed, it can take up to 72 hours for it to show up in your personal account.

One of the common reasons why your financial aid can be suspended or denied is due to not meeting satisfactory progress requirements. Please see satisfactory progress requirements under policies above. Satisfactory progress is reviewed at the end of each semester. Your award also may be affected if you live on or off campus or if you change your enrollment status.

If you believe your financial aid award will not cover all of your educational costs, you may be eligible for a Stafford Loan. Another option may be the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), which is available to parents for dependent students. More information about these loan programs can be obtained at the Financial Aid Office or by looking at student loans on this website. If you have special circumstances that change your financial situation, we have an appeal process. All appeals are at the discretion of the financial aid director.

The asterisk is followed by a code, which means you have been selected for a process called verification. You must provide certain financial documents to the financial aid department. Check MyCochise for actual documents that we require. Until this process is completed, no financial aid can be paid.

A “C” means that there are problems with the financial aid application, which must be corrected before any financial aid can be processed. One of these problems is a social security number mismatch, which can happen if you get married but do not change your name with the Social Security Administration. Check MyCochise for what documents are needed for the correction.

Log back into your FAFSA and add Cochise College to your current student aid report. The Cochise College school code number is 001072. We should receive an electronic copy in about a week. Then, return to “Starting your Financial Aid Process” and go to step 2.

If you begin the year at another college or university and then wish to transfer to Cochise College, you need to notify the registrar or financial aid office at your prior school that you plan to transfer to Cochise College. Have your prior school cancel and verify awards that have not yet been paid. Have your prior school complete an Aid Clearance Form and return the form to Cochise College financial aid office. Then call (800) 4-FED-AID or (800) 433-3243 and request that they include Cochise College on your current student aid report. The Cochise College school code is 001072. We should receive an electronic copy in about a week.

Official academic transcripts will be required of all transfer students who display in NSLDS (National Student Loan Database System) that they have attended previous colleges and/or have substantial student loan debt. Transcripts will be evaluated and restricted enrollment enforced when applicable. Students who have not met our academic standards (2.0 CGPA and completion of 75% of classes attempted) at the prior colleges will be evaluated with the same probation and suspension standards currently in place for Cochise College students.

Students who consistently have received W and F grades will be required to complete a minimum of six credit hours with a 2.0 or better GPA using their own resources before federal aid will be approved.

  • You must declare both an eligible degree and a major to receive financial aid.
  • You will have to apply or renew your application for financial aid every academic year in order to continue receiving aid.
  • If you register for classes without having financial aid awarded in our computer system, you will be required to either pay your tuition or wait until your award is processed. Otherwise you will be dropped from classes for non-payment.
  • You are only paid for classes you are attending. If you are taking classes in the eight-week terms you will not receive financial aid funds until you are actually attending six credit hours. That means a student taking three credits in the first eight-week session and three credits in the second eight-week session will not receive any Pell refund payment until the start of the second eight-week session.
  • Financial aid awards are adjusted through the last day to add classes. If you have received an award and had a refund processed, any change in enrollment could affect your financial aid. If during the add drop period you drop a class that you have received money for, your award will be adjusted. If you have already received a refund for that class, you will owe the money for that class back to Cochise College. Example: If you were in 12 credits, and your semester award was $1,000 after tuition and fees were paid, and you dropped one three-credit class, then your award would be adjusted to $750. The overpayment of $250 would have to be returned to Cochise College. If the money is not returned to Cochise College, the overpayment will be reported to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). The overpayment will stop you from receiving any federal funds at any school until the money is repaid. If the overpayment is sent to the Department of Education for collections, the government may add a collection fee to the debt.
  • If qualified, some students who are registered in 1-5 credits may receive Pell Grants. These students do not qualify for any type of student loans due to less than halftime enrollment. Most students must be registered at least half time (6-8 credit hours) to qualify for aid.
  • Cochise College will not approve Consortium Agreements for students who are not meeting Cochise College’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress requirements.
  • Cochise College does not have a Leave of Absence policy for students.

Privacy Act Statement

No specific information about any financial aid awards or scholarships will be given over the telephone. This is to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws. Students wishing to know the amounts of their Pell awards or student loans should use the financial aid direct access button in MyCochise. There is a 100 percent picture ID requirement at all Financial Aid Offices.