How it Works

How to Apply for Financial Aid

In order to receive Financial Aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When filling out the FAFSA, you will be asked to provide Helena College's school code (007570).

The priority deadline for applying for financial aid at Helena College is December 1st. The FAFSA will be available October 1st for the following academic year.

Helena College will receive a copy of your student aid report which helps determine your financial aid award. Most awards are based on enrolled hours. We calculate your award AFTER you are admitted.

Fill out FAFSA – Have the appropriate tax returns handy! If you are a dependent student, you will be required to have your parent’s tax information as well.

The form will require income information from the tax year two years prior and must be filed when applying for federal aid and need-based state aid.

When your award package is ready to accept, you will receive a postcard in the mail instructing you to login to My HC. How to accept your aid online

You may be instructed to provide additional materials. Refer to the Special Messages Tab when accepting your financial aid offer on My HC.

Many students think that once they accept their financial aid, it finalizes their registration bill. This is not true. Even if your balance is zero, you must either sign a printed copy of your registration bill and return to the cashier’s office OR wait 24 hours after accepting your aid package and then log-on to My HC to finalize your bill under Student Services--Payment & Account Information (NOT Financial Aid).

How to Create An FSA ID

How to Create An FSA ID

How to File the FAFSA

How to File the FAFSA

How to Make Corrections to the FAFSA

How to Make Corrections to the FAFSA

How Financial Aid is Disbursed

Aid will be disbursed to your account in the Business Office twice during each semester. You can review your account balance and when disbursements are posted to your account through your MyHC account under Student Services--Payment and Account Information.

Disbursement #1 will take place 7 – 10 business days after the 15th instructional day and will consist of:

  • All Grants for the term
  • All Scholarships for the term
  • ½ of Student Loans for the term

Note: If you are a first-time student loan borrower, your first loan disbursement will be 30 calendar days after the start of the term.

After all charges are satisfied on your Business Office account, you should receive the remainder in the form of a check in your mailbox. Please ensure your mailing address is up-to-date on your MyHC account.

Disbursement #2 will take place 7 – 10 business days after successful mid-term grades have been posted and will consist of:

  • ½ of Student Loans for the term

After all charges are satisfied on your Business Office account, you should receive the remainder in the form of a check in your mailbox.

*Note: All requirements must be completed and your bill must be finalized online. You can view the amount of your check on your MyHC account under Payment and Account Information. Ensure your mailing address is current in MyHC as checks are mailed to the address on file. Helena College is not responsible for mail issues.

How to find out if you qualify for a Special Circumstance or Professional Judgement

The Higher Education Act of 1992 allows financial aid administrators to make professional judgement decisions for special or unusual family or student circumstances. These circumstances must be documented and must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

The Director of Financial Aid can exercise professional judgement in different ways. One example is when the student or student’s family (if dependent) has experienced a hardship where the expected year income will be significantly less than the prior year income. In this situation, the aid administrator will request substantial verification of the circumstances and expected year income.

Due to the uniqueness of professional judgement decisions, specific required documentation may be extensive. It is left to the discretion of the Director of Financial Aid to request appropriate documentation. The documentation should substantiate the student’s situation. Professional Judgement forms are available under the Forms & Policies section.

The decision for using professional judgement will be made by the Financial Aid Officer. All decisions made by the Director of Financial Aid are final according to the Higher Education Act of 1992.

How to Maintain Financial Aid Eligibility

In order to continue to receive financial aid, you must:

  • Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) for the number of hours you have attempted, and
  • Pass at least 70 percent of the credit hours attempted, and
  • Complete a degree or certificate program in no more than 150% of the number of credits required for the degree program.

See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (PDF).

How to Appeal to Reinstate Your Financial Aid

Appeals for financial aid eligibility reinstatement must be received in the Financial Aid Office no later than two weeks prior to the start of the term for which the student desires aid. Appeals will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee on a case-by-case basis. There are no appeals accepted for financial aid reinstatement for the summer term. Please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) for further information.

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