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Checklist

Financial Aid Checklist

Know the Priority Deadlines

Your financial aid file must be complete by the priority deadline to be reviewed for any applicable financial aid offers before the semester begins.

  • Electronically submit the FAFSA at fafsa.gov before the priority deadline. This will start the financial aid process and once it is complete, your financial aid amounts will be determined.  Be sure to include the GHC School Code of 009507 on your FAFSA.

Submit the FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) determines your eligibility for federal aid such as the Pell Grant, FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant), Subsidized Loans, Unsubsidized Loans, and the Parent PLUS loan.

Remember that you will never be charged for filling out this free application.  If a website requests payment, you are on the wrong site.  Leave the site immediately and go to fafsa.gov.

Click here for detailed instructions on filling out the FAFSA.

Click here for common mistakes students make on the FAFSA.

  • Once you submit the FAFSA, you will receive a confirmation email from the Department of Education at the email address you provided on the FAFSA indicating that it has been received and it is being processed.

This does not mean GHC has received your FAFSA.  You will need to follow up at finaid@highlands.edu within five to seven days after submitting the FAFSA to check the status.

To monitor the status of your FAFSA:

  • Monitor your SCORE account on the Check Financial Aid Status link to see if the FAFSA has been received.  Don’t forget to select the appropriate aid year (an aid year encompasses fall/spring/summer).
  • Monitor your Schedule/Bill for any applicable financial aid offers.
  • You can also email finaid@highlands.edu for updates.

Check for Verification

Sometimes a FAFSA will pull into our system from the Department of Education with a Verification requirement attached.  There are two ways to check for this requirement:

  1. Check your SAR (Student Aid Report) by logging into fafsa.gov.
  2. Monitor your SCORE account on the Check Financial Aid Status link to see if there is a Verification requirement.  Don’t forget to select the appropriate aid year (an aid year encompasses fall/spring/summer).

Click here for a detailed explanation of Verification.

Verification Steps

  1. Go to highlands.verifymyfafsa.com and log in with your GHC student email and password.
  2. Create an account (make sure to provide the first and last name you used on the FAFSA and remember when filling out the FAFSA that you should use the name which appears on your Social Security card).
  3. Fill out the electronic worksheet and upload any requested documentation at the link in step one.
  4. Monitor the link in step one for any further requests for documents and/or information.

Once all required documents and information are received, Verification can take up to two weeks to complete.

Click here for detailed instructions on completing Verification.

Click here for detailed information on Acceptable Tax Documents for Verification.

To monitor the progress of your Verification:

  • Monitor highlands.verifymyfafsa.com for any further requests for documents and/or information.
  • Monitor your SCORE account on the Check Financial Aid Status link to check for Verification completion and any applicable financial aid offers.  Don’t forget to select the appropriate aid year (an aid year encompasses fall/spring/summer).
  • Monitor your Schedule/Bill for any applicable financial aid offers.
  • You can also email finaid@highlands.edu for updates.

Applying for HOPE Scholarship

The HOPE Scholarship is a State Merit Award and is not based on financial need.  In most instances, students will need to fill out the following applications to apply for the HOPE Scholarship:

  • GSFAPPS (HOPE Scholarship application which is valid for five years after date of completion)

OR

  • FAFSA (good for one aid year-fall/spring/summer)

AND

Once all required applications, documents and information are received, the HOPE Review can take up to two weeks.

To monitor progress of a HOPE Review or HOPE Scholarship award:

  • Monitor your GHC student email account for notifications and/or requests for further information.
  • Monitor your SCORE account on the Check Financial Aid Status link.  Don’t forget to select the appropriate aid year (an aid year encompasses fall/spring/summer).
  • Monitor your Schedule/Bill for any applicable financial aid offers.
  • You can also email finaid@highlands.edu for updates.
Click here for a detailed explanation of HOPE Scholarship requirements, applications required, and processing timeframes.

Applying for GHC Institutional Scholarships

The GHC Foundation awards over $100,000 in scholarships every year.  The GHC Office of Financial Aid  encourages incoming and current students to apply for these scholarship opportunities that can help to finance their education.  Let the scholarship search engine do the work for you.  By creating an AwardSpring scholarship account, the search engine will provide a list of potential scholarships you might be eligible to apply for.

The following criteria must be met in order to qualify to apply for GHC Institutional Scholarships:
  • Must have a current year FAFSA on file with Verification complete (the current aid year for FAFSA encompasses fall/spring/summer).
  • Must have a completed AwardSpring Scholarship application on file
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above
  • Georgia Resident
  • US Citizen or equivalent

Upon completion of the AwardSpring Scholarship application, the system will suggest scholarships to apply for based on answers to questions on the application.

Applicants who are selected for GHC Institutional Scholarships will be notified through their GHC student email account (you will not be notified if you are not selected for a scholarship).

To monitor your account for a GHC Institutional Scholarship award:

  • Monitor your GHC student email account for notifications and/or requests for further information.
  • Monitor your SCORE account on the Check Financial Aid Status link.  Don’t forget to select the appropriate aid year (an aid year encompasses fall/spring/summer).
  • Monitor your Schedule/Bill for any applicable financial aid offers.
  • You can also email finaid@highlands.edu for updates.

Click here for the link to apply for GHC Institutional Scholarships.

Applying for Private Loans

Sometimes, students are not eligible for federal or state aid, or they need more funding than what they’re offered.  In other cases, they may be on financial aid suspension and are unable to receive federal or state aid (or institutional scholarships).  There are alternate funding options available.  The GHC Office of Financial Aid does certify loans from these lenders:

Sallie Mae

www.salliemae.com

Wells Fargo

www.wellsfargo.com

Discover

www.discover.com

SunTrust

www.suntrust.com

College Avenue

collegeavestudentloans.com

The GHC Office of Financial Aid cannot recommend a particular lender to you.  Information on applying for and securing a private student loan is available by going to the websites listed.

Transferring financial aid from one school to another

Financial Aid does not transfer from one school to another.

  • If you are a transfer student to GHC, you will need to cancel any pending financial aid offers for the upcoming semester at the school where you last attended
  • The GHC Office of Financial Aid will not be able to disburse any financial aid to you until/unless any pending financial aid offers for the upcoming semester are canceled at the school where you last attended.
  • After requesting cancellation of any pending financial aid offers at your previous school, please notify the GHC Office of Financial Aid at finaid@highlands.edu that all pending financial aid offers have been canceled.

The process can take up to 48 hours for financial aid offers to show as cancelled in the system once your previous school completes the cancellation.  This means that the GHC Office of Financial Aid won’t be able to view this cancellation until up to 48 hours after completion.