Financial aid is intended to help students finance their education when family and personal resources are not adequate to meet the total educational costs. Financial aid consists of grants and scholarships (non-repayable gift assistance), part time employment, and loans (must be repaid).
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is free assistance funded by the federal government. Recipients must be enrolled in an undergraduate program leading to a certificate or associate's degree and meet all other required eligibility criteria, including
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). To receive a Federal Pell Grant, an eligible student's EFC must be less than or equal to the maximum figure established by the federal government for the academic year. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award amount for the 2019-2020 award year is $6,195. Students may receive less than the maximum award depending not only on financial need but also on the estimated cost to attend school, full-time or part-time status, and intent to attend for a full academic year or less. Students with a Bachelor's degree may not receive the Federal Pell Grant.
Federal regulations limit the amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his lifetime to the equivalent of six years of full time funding. Since the maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant funding a student may receive each award year is equal to 150%, the six year equivalent equals 600%. Students may view their Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) at National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Financial Aid Cut-off Dates. Financial Aid Cut-off Dates are the dates that COTC will take a "snapshot" of your enrollment for the semester. The cut-off date will determine the total grant payment for the semester. To be counted toward the enrollment level for grant purposes, you must be enrolled in the classes as of the cut-off date even if the class(es) have a start date that is past the cut-off date. If classes are added after the cut-off date, they will not be counted for grant payment purposes. In general, aid will not be adjusted if classes are dropped after the cut-off date as long as all classes aren't dropped. However, dropping classes after the cut-off date will effect Satisfactory Academic Progress.
2020-2021 Financial Aid Cut-off Dates:
- Summer 2020: May 26, 2020
- Autumn 2020: September 9, 2020
- Spring 2021: January 26, 2021
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is free assistance funded by the federal government and awarded by COTC. Recipients must be enrolled in an undergraduate program leading to a certificate or associate's degree and meet all other required eligibility criteria, including
Satisfactory Academic Progress. SEOG is awarded to students with exceptional financial need, low Expected Family Contribution, and a Federal Pell Grant recipient.
To receive SEOG, the student must submit the FAFSA by February 1st and all verification materials by April 15. The maximum SEOG award for an academic year is $600 but is subject to change based on availability of federal funds. SEOG is distributed evenly over Summer, Autumn and Spring semesters (maximum of $200 each semester). The student may receive SEOG as long as he continues to meet all eligibility criteria.
State of Ohio Grants and Scholarships
Many types of grants and scholarships are available and awarded based on a number of factors including: areas of study, academic merit, financial need, military status, and more. For information regarding Ohio Grants and Scholarships, visit the
Ohio Department of Higher Education website which provides details about all the state programs.
Short-term Certificate Grants
This Ohio Department of Higher Education grant is designed to support students with demonstrated financial need in obtaining a certificate they can complete in less than one year while providing a one-time grant of up to $2000 (minus any grants, scholarship or outside aid) to assist with tuition in one of five approved short-term certificates. This is a limited fund that will be awarded until funds are exhausted. To be considered, students must submit and satisfy the requirements on the Short-term Certificate Grant Application.
Short-term Certificate Foster Youth Grants
This Ohio Department of Higher Education grant is designed to support students who are currently in or have existed the foster care system and have demonstrated financial need in obtaining a certificate they can complete in less than one year while providing a one-time grant of up to $2000 (minus any grants, scholarship or outside aid) to assist with tuition in one of five approved short-term certificates. This is a limited fund that will be awarded until funds are exhausted. To be considered, students must submit and satisfy the requirements on the Short-term Certificate Foster Youth Grant Application.
Education Training Vouchers for Foster Youth
The Ohio Education and Training Voucher Program offers funds to help youth who were in foster care to attend college. Students may receive up to $5,000 a year for qualified school related expenses. Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible students. Additional information and application is available at
COTC has two emergency grant programs that provide
financial assistance to students with an unexpected temporary emergency. The
TrueCore Federal Credit Union Emergency Grant, established by TrueCore Federal
Credit Union, and The McConnell Emergency Grant, established by Jane and William
McConnell, are limited funds for currently enrolled students. The
maximum grant amount is $500 and is awarded to an eligible student who is
enrolled at least 6 credit hours at the time of application. Students
will be required to explain why they cannot provide their own funds and submit
third-party documentation supporting the need for the grant. See a Financial Aid Advisor for information on the application process.
Scholarships can come from different sources and have various awarding criteria. COTC offers numerous institutional scholarships for prospects and continuing students. COTC students also receive a wide array of scholarships from external donors and outside resources.
All awards are based on eligibility requirements that must be met at the time of initial offering. The student may receive the scholarship as long as he continues to meet all eligibility criteria, including
Satisfactory Academic Progress, and maintain at least half time enrollment status. As a scholarship recipient, it is the responsibility of each student to know and understand the eligibility requirements which are provided in the offer letter.
Click here for additional information regarding scholarships.
Federal Work Study
Working while in school is a great way to help keep loan debt down and to gain useful real-world work experience. Research indicates that many college students successfully carry a normal academic course load of 12 to 18 credit hours per semester while working on a part-time basis. Students may find that they are better able to manage their time as they fit their work schedule into classes, studying, and personal commitments. COTC provides Federal Work-Study (FWS), which is awarded based on need and availability of federal funds, and also posts regular wage positions.
Click here for more information about Student Employment.
To receive FWS, the student must submit the FAFSA indicating an interest in being considered for work study. The maximum FWS award for an academic year is $4,000 but is subject to change based on availability of federal funds. The student may receive FWS as long as he continues to meet all eligibility criteria, including
Satisfactory Academic Progress and maintain at least half time enrollment status.
Loans are a form of financial aid that many students use to help meet the Cost of Attendance that is not covered by scholarships, grants or other personal resources. When thinking about loans, keep in mind that, unlike grants and scholarships, loans accrue interest and
must be repaid even if the student does not complete the program and/or does not find employment in his area of study. It is important for students to understand the different loan programs available so they can make informed decisions about how much loan money they should borrow, if any, and which loan programs are best suited for their needs. When a student or parent enters into an agreement with COTC regarding a Federal Direct Loan, all loan data will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system. Additional student loan information published by the U.S. Department of Education is available at
Federal Direct Loans
Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's college education. With Direct Loans, the student and/or parent borrows funds directly from the federal government and has a single contact, the loan servicer, for everything related to repayment even if the borrower receives Direct Loans at different schools. There are several different options for repayment plans designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower. Additional information is available at
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (DLSUB) is a need-based federal loan awarded only to students who demonstrate financial need. Undergraduate students who have unmet financial need can be considered for this loan up to the amount of the students' borrowing limit. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, enrolled at least half time and meet all other eligibility requirements including
Satisfactory Academic Progress.
150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit
In 2013, the Department of Education implemented the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) which added a new provision to the Direct Loan statutory requirements that limits a first-time borrower's eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower's educational program. Depending on the situation, this provision could also cause first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150 percent limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans. A first-time borrower is defined as any student who has no outstanding balance on a FFEL or Direct Loan when receiving a Federal Direct Loan on or after July 1, 2013. The Maximum Eligibility Period is based on the length of the student's current academic program and is equal to 150% of the hours needed to graduate. Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have additional questions.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (DLUNS) is a non-need based federal loan that cannot exceed the educational cost of attendance minus other financial aid. Undergraduate students who are not eligible for any Subsidized Direct Loan or are eligible for only a portion of the annual loan limit for the Subsidized Direct Loan may be eligible for the Unsubsidized Direct Loan. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, enrolled at least half time and meet all other eligibility requirements including
Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Interest and Fees
The interest rate is fixed at 5.05% for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019.
Origination fees are deducted from the gross amount of the loans before the disbursement of the loans. For 2019-2020, the origination fee is 1.062% for loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2019. This fee is subject to change. Origination fees are deducted from the gross amount of the loans before the disbursement of the loans.
ANNUAL FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN LIMITS
(Maximum Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
Freshman and students in certificate programs ||
Sophomore* in an Associate's Degree program |||
(up to $3,500 may be subsidized)
(up to $4,500 may be subsidized)
(up to $3,500 may be subsidized)
(up to $4,500 may be subsidized)
*31 or more semester credit hours must be completed for sophomore status.
NOTE: The maximum annual amount a student may borrow under the Federal Direct Loan Program must be reduced if:
• The student is in a program of study less than an academic year (2 semesters)
• The student is in the final period of study, which is shorter than an academic year (2 semesters)
• The student has borrowed student loan funds from another institution within the academic year
• The student has reached his annual and/or aggregate loan limits.
• COTC's policy is not to award more than ½ of the student's annual loan limits in one semester.
To receive a student loan, students must complete the FAFSA, verification, Entrance Counseling, and a Master Promissory Note. The loan must be requested and originated by the last scheduled day of class for the semester and the student must have maintained at least half time enrollment throughout the semester. Once the student has been awarded an estimated loan, he must "Accept" the loan through COTCconnect in order for the Office of Financial Aid to originate the loan. Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Notes are completed at
If Entrance Counseling and MPN are not completed before the loan is originated, the student will need to self-identify to have loans disbursed for prior semesters.
Remember, planning for tomorrow is important, so please borrow conservatively. Keep track of how much money is borrowed and how much Federal Loan payments will be after graduation. Review your student loan debt at https://nslds.ed.gov. It is important to repay your loans. Allowing your student loan to become delinquent or to go into default can have negative consequences, such as:
- lose eligibility for additional federal student aid,
- lose eligibility for loan deferment, forbearance and repayment plans,
- not eligible for certain types of employment,
- denial of a professional license (medical, engineering, etc.),
- additional charges, late fees and collection costs if turned over to a collection agency,
- wage garnishment,
- federal and state income tax refunds withheld and applied to your debt,
- you credit scored will be damaged and you will have difficulty qualifying for credit cards, car loans, and mortgages,
- difficulty signing up for utilities, getting car or homeowner's insurance, or getting a cell phone plan, and
- difficulty getting approval to rent an apartment.
Examples of Typical Standard Federal Direct Loan Repayments at 5.6% Interest
Principal to Repay ||
Monthly Payments ||
Total Interest Charge ||
Total Repayment |
1 For more details, see the U.S. Department of Education's Student Guide at www.studentaid.ed.gov. You may access the loan repayment calculator at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/mobile/repayment/repaymentEstimator.action. |
The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Parents may borrow funds to cover educational costs for dependent students. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Students must be enrolled at least half time and maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid eligibility. Parents can begin repayment when the loan is fully disbursed, with the first payment generally due within 60 days, or they can choose to begin repayment six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time or graduates. There is no financial need required to be eligible; however, total financial aid cannot exceed cost of attendance. The applicant's credit history will be evaluated in determining loan eligibility.
In order for COTC to certify a PLUS loan, the student must have a FAFSA on file and be file complete. The parent may apply for a PLUS loan by going to
https://studentloans.gov and completing the Parent PLUS application. Parents will use their FSA ID (same FSA ID used to sign the FAFSA) to login and request the Parent PLUS Loan and sign the MPN. Once the parent's loan has been approved, COTC will receive notification and originate the PLUS loan. Maximum eligibility for the PLUS loan is the Cost of Attendance minus any estimated financial assistance.
The interest rate is fixed at 7.60% for Federal Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019. For 2019-2020, the origination fee is 4.238% for loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2019. This fee is subject to change. Origination fees are deducted from the gross amount of the loans before the disbursement of the loans.
Scheduled Disbursements for Federal Direct Loans
Students receiving either a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized or Federal Direct PLUS Loan should be aware of their scheduled disbursement dates and amounts that are stated on the disclosure statements which the lender will mail once the loan has been guaranteed.
(The scheduled disbursement dates are not the same as the COTC refund dates.)
A student with a loan for only one semester will receive the loan funds in two disbursements within the semester. The first half at the regular disbursement date and the second half of the loan will be disbursed half-way through the semester. The student must maintain half time enrollment to be eligible for each disbursement.
The borrower has the right to cancel all or part of his federal loan disbursement for each semester and must submit a written request to the Office of Financial Aid within 14 days from the date he receives official notification that loan funds have credited to the student account, or before the first day of classes, whichever occurs last. Official notification will be sent from Fees & Deposits.
No interest will be charged and loan fees will be returned to the loan holder if the cancellation request is received within the 14-day period or before the first day of classes, whichever occurs last. Cancelling a loan disbursement could cause a balance due on the student's account which the student will be responsible for paying. This is more likely to be true if excess funds (credit balance) have already been distributed via a check or a direct deposit to a bank account.
The Office of Financial Aid must receive the borrower's written loan cancellation request with a signature (student or parent for PLUS) via U.S. Postal mail, in person, fax or from the student's COTC email account as an attachment.
Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program (NEALP)
The Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program (NEALP) is a state program for nursing students who, upon completion of their education, plan to practice nursing in the state of Ohio. Students must be admitted to the nursing program to be considered. The loan is based on financial need; therefore, the student must have a
FAFSA on file prior to application. After graduation, the student may be eligible for up to 100% loan forgiveness at the rate of 20% per year. The student must maintain at least half time enrollment status and continue to meet all eligibility criteria including
Satisfactory Academic Progress.
For more information, refer to the
NEALP website or call the Ohio Department of Higher Education State Grants & Scholarships Office at (614) 466-3561. NEALP application forms are available on the Ohio Department of Higher Education's website and are available beginning January 1 and must be submitted by July 15 of each year.
Private Education Loans
Before you apply for a private loan, you must file a FAFSA to determine if you are eligible for federal aid [grants, Direct Student Loans, and PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)]. The terms and conditions of a Federal Direct Student Loan may be more favorable than the provisions of a private education loan. COTC does not endorse any private educational loan lender or lending program. Borrowers may choose ANY eligible, participating lender.
Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form- Institutions are required to provide the Self-Certification form to a private education loan applicant. The applicant may print this form and bring to the Office of Financial Aid for completion of Section 2.
With respect to Private Education Loans, Central Ohio Technical College follows the Code of conduct for Education Loans which prohibits:
- Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
- Receiving gifts from a lender, guarantor, or loan servicer
- Contracting arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender
- Directing borrowers to particular lenders or refusing or delaying loan certifications
- Offers of funds for private loans
- Call center or financial aid office staffing assistance
- Advisory board compensation
Entrance/Exit Counseling and Master Promissory Note
Students who borrow from the Federal Direct Loan Program are required to complete Entrance and Exit Counseling. These sessions are required by Federal Regulations and offer information relating to the terms and conditions of the loan programs and a student's obligation when borrowing. The Office of Financial Aid is notified electronically when students have completed the required counseling.
Entrance Counseling is required for all first-time borrowers of a Federal Direct Loan while attending COTC. Failure to complete an Entrance Counseling session will prohibit the disbursement of student loan funds to the students' account. To complete Entrance Counseling, students should go to
https://studentloans.gov, choose "Complete Entrance Counseling", and follow the steps outlined
Once the Entrance Counseling is completed, students will be directed to sign the
Master Promissory Note (MPN) electronically. Students may choose to print the MPN to sign and mail to the U.S. Department of Education. (Choosing to print, sign, and mail the MPN could delay disbursement of student loans if the MPN isn't received by the Department of Education in a timely manner.)
Exit Counseling is required of all loan borrowers who graduate or drop below half time status (less than 6 credit hours). For Exit Counseling, go to
https://studentloans.gov, choose "Complete Exit Counseling", and follow the steps outlined. An Exit Counseling session will provide information concerning the terms of a student's loan, indebtedness, repayment and debt management.
Students who do not complete the Exit Counseling will not receive their diplomas or academic transcripts from COTC. Failure to complete Exit Counseling may also delay future disbursement of aid at COTC. If you prefer a paper copy of the Direct Loan Exit Counseling Guide, you may download the PDF version from the StudentAid.gov website. An alternative to fulfilling the Exit Counseling requirement electronically, you will need to read the guide, complete the Student Contact Information and Acknowledgment, and return it to the Office of Financial Aid.