Financing a college education is a challenge in any economic environment, but it can be a particular challenge during difficult economic times.

No office is more aware of this than the Financial Aid Office. You can trust the CCA staff is committed to help you through the financial aid process.

About Reviewing Petitions

You may file only one petition for reevaluation. Once a decision has been made on your request, additional petitions for the same request are not permitted. Documentation supporting your request must be provided with your petition (i.e., tax returns, lay-off notices, receipts, bills, canceled checks, estimates from a service provider).

Financial aid petitions are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The earliest you can expect to hear about the action(s) taken is two weeks after submission. The Financial Aid Office will notify you of the decision in writing.

Continuing students submitting complete petitions for additional CCA assistance by May 2, 2014, will receive a response to by June 15, 2014. Petitions received after May 2 will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The absolute deadline for submitting a financial aid petition is 30 days prior to the completion of your last term (for example, April 10, 2015, for the 2014-2015 academic year).

Filing a petition or letter of special circumstance does not guarantee your request will be granted. Exceptional circumstances must be documented and must meet federal and/or institutional petition policies.

Appeals for additional financial aid will not be considered unless all forms of previously offered financial aid have been accepted (federal work-study, PLUS loans, etc.). Additional aid can only be awarded if funds are available.

The 2014-15 change of circumstances petition form will be available for download on the Financial Aid Forms page starting March 17, 2014, and the cost of attendance petition will be available June 1, 2014.

Estimated Annual Income

If you are requesting a reevaluation based on your current year's income, an estimate of your total income for 2014 and documentation of income loss (layoff, resignation, termination notice, including your last paycheck stub) are required.

Also required is a letter of explanation, a copy of your 2013 federal income tax return and W-2 forms, or your parents', or both.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office to inquire about any and all specific required documentation for your request.

Dependency Override

In a few extenuating cases the Financial Aid Office can override your dependency status if you fail to meet the federal guidelines required for legal independent student status.

In such cases the student is required to provide extensive documentation of estrangement from his or her parents, including providing the reason(s) why the student is self-supporting out of necessity, rather than voluntarily.

Allowable Budget Additions

Allowable budget additions can be used to supplement a student's estimated cost of education in order to increase loan eligibility. In general the total budget additions cannot under any circumstances exceed 60 percent of a student's standard budget and typically result in additional alternative loan eligibility.

Transportation: All public transportation to and from school and mileage expenses for commuting that exceed the standard transportation allowance. (Note: neither the cost of the vehicle itself nor any major repairs or insurance are applicable.)

Childcare: Reasonable allowance is made for childcare costs (transportation, lunches, etc.). Such costs pertain to children up to age 10 for weekday enrollment periods only. This budget addition can be accessed if both parents attend school full time or if one attends school full-time and the other is employed at least 25 hours per week. All expenses must be documented before they can be added as an additional expense.

Project Expenses: Project expenses can be considered with documentation of actual expenses over a two-month period, which determines a calculated average monthly expense that is applied to the student's enrollment period.

Medical, Dental, and Psychotherapy Expenses: Out-of-pocket expenses, not covered by insurance, can be added to the budget with adequate documentation. Expenses are intended to be for the student only, not family members, and can include costs of prescription drugs, medical insurance, glasses, psychotherapy, dental services, and pregnancy and childbirth.

The allowable expenses are applicable to periods of enrollment only. Complete documentation must be received by the Financial Aid Office before these costs can be added.

Additional Costs for Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities can have select additional expenses added to their standard budgets, such as additional books and supplies.

Contact the Student Affairs Office for more information.

Computer: Computer and peripheral costs can be added to the budget. Computer purchases are allowed once every three years.

Disallowable Budget Items

The following items cannot be allowed in a student budget:

  • expenses for family members (other than childcare, as described above)
  • legal fees
  • consumer debt (i.e., credit card payments)
  • pet expenses
  • vehicle purchase and vehicle repair
  • living expenses during a period when student is not enrolled