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How to Apply for Aid

Financial Aid Application

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your application for Federal and State* financial aid.

Most financial aid is not automatically renewable and a new application should be filed at the beginning of a calendar year, upon completion of the Federal Tax Return (if applicable).

It is free to file a FAFSA and you should not be prompted to pay upon completion of the application. Some websites will request payment – to ensure you are not charged, file your FAFSA at

Click here for more information on free workshops at Ocean County College to assist you in filing your FAFSA.

*You are required to complete additional information for State aid at the end of your FAFSA or directly at the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) website.

IRS Temporarily Suspends Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) for FAFSA Completion

As of March 16th, 2017 the Internal Revenue Service has temporarily suspended use of the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) which allowed for automated population of some fields on the FAFSA. Completing the FAFSA is still possible but will require extra effort from each applicant. Be sure to use data from your 2015 tax returns. Please note that any student’s application that is flagged for verification will be required to submit their tax transcript. It can take up to 10 days for you to receive a copy of your tax transcript. Therefore, HESAA recommends that all students who submit their FAFSA without the aid of the DRT should go ahead and request their 2015 tax return transcript now

Follow the steps below to apply for financial aid:

  • Student and at least one parent (if student is unmarried and under 24 years of age) must apply for a PIN (Personal Identification Number) in order to electronically sign the FAFSA.
    Electronically signing the FAFSA using a PIN reduces the amount of time it will take for the FAFSA results to reach your school of choice.
  • Once a PIN has been obtained, complete and submit your FAFSA online.
  • If you are completing your FAFSA to obtain financial aid at Ocean County College, you will need to provide our Federal School Code: 002624 in order for us to receive your application and determine your eligibility.
  • Complete an Application for Admissions at the College of your choice.*
    *In order for your selected College to receive your FAFSA, your Social Security Number must be on your admissions application.

If you cannot file online, you can complete a paper FAFSA and mail it to the U.S. Department of Education’s processor. To obtain a paper application, visit

It can take 4-6 weeks for your paper application to be processed and to receive a Student Aid Report (SAR).

You can get help completing your FAFSA by attending one of Ocean County College’s O.P.E.N workshops or by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center, who can offer help via the internet or telephone.

  • Within 3-5 business days of filing your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email (if you supplied an email address on your application) or in the mail which summarizes all the information you provided on the application. Your SAR will usually contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. An estimated award may be contained in the SAR.
  • If you reported Additional Information for State Aid, you will be mailed a New Jersey Student Eligibility Notice (SEN) within several weeks of filing your FAFSA notifying you of your eligibility for the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG).
  • Upon receipt of your FAFSA and completion of Federal Verification (if applicable) & resolution of any eligibility requirements, the Ocean County College Financial Aid office will post your award letter on WebAdvisor, which can be accessed through Ocean Connect.
    (Ocean Connect Login Instructions)

There are different filing deadlines for the Federal Government, State of New Jersey and Ocean County College. Please see below:

For more information regarding deadlines, you can visit FAFSA – Student Aid Deadlines.

The Federal Government selects a student for verification for different reasons. Verification is a process in which the Ocean County College Financial Aid office will collect several documents from you & your parent’s (dependent students) and submit any necessary FAFSA changes/corrections to the Federal Government. The verification process usually takes approximately 6-8 weeks from the date of receipt of all required documents.* In order to guarantee your schedule, all verification documents must be submitted to the Ocean County College Financial Aid office no later than 5pm on the above listed deadline date.

*Verification completion time can vary during peak processing times and due to volume.

Within 24 hours of receipt of a FAFSA selected for Federal Verification, the Ocean County College Financial Aid office will begin processing. This will include;

  • A Missing Information Notification & required documents will be mailed to the address in the College Database.
    If you have changed addresses, make sure you complete a Change of Information form with the Ocean County College Registration & Records office.
  • An email version of the Missing Information Notification will be sent to your Ocean County College email address.

The documents required to complete Federal Verification varies per student and you should pay special attention to your Missing Information Notifications for documents relevant to you.

To determine if you need to submit any documents to complete your financial aid application, please refer to the “My Documents” section of WebAdvisor, that can be accessed through Ocean Connect.

There is nothing you can do to guarantee you won’t be selected for verification as selection can be random, however, there are some steps you can take when completing your FAFSA that will minimize the chances of being selected;

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when prompted whilst completing your application.
  • Don’t leave anything blank – if a question does not relate to you, enter ‘0’.
  • Answer every question as accurately as possible – try not to guess your answers.
  • Make sure your application is signed by you and your parent (if applicable) using your PIN number(s).
  • If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to any of the dependency status questions, make sure you answer all parental information questions.
  • Return to your FAFSA online and add the School Code of the school you are transferring to/from under the relevant section.*
    *DO NOT change the order of your School Codes, add the new code underneath the others you already have listed – changing the order could result in your selection for verification and the cancellation of your financial aid awards.

Ocean County College’s School Code is 002624.

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