Financial Aid FAQs

Here are some frequently-asked questions about financial aid at WPCC.

How do I apply for federal or state financial aid?

Students wishing to apply for financial aid must do so each year by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We suggest that you complete your application on line at: The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for the Pell Grant. For North Carolina residents, the FAFSA will automatically be used to determine eligibility for NC grant programs. No additional application is necessary.

Is there a FAFSA deadline at WPCC?

WPCC’s priority deadline is June 1st each year. Completing the FAFSA before June 1st will allow the Financial Aid Office time to process and award students prior to registration for the fall term.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes. Your eligibility for financial aid is based on information from the prior calendar year, which may change from year to year. In order to receive consideration for as many programs as possible, you should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year after your taxes are completed.

What is WPCC’s Federal School Code?

WPCC’s Federal School Code is 002982.  Enter this code on your FAFSA in order to have your information sent to WPCC.

Do I have to report my parents’ information on the FAFSA?

Yes, if you are a Dependent student.
No, if you are an Independent student.

To be considered an Independent student for the 2022-2023 academic year, at least one of the following must apply:

  • Date of birth before January 1, 1999
  • Married at the time of completing the FAFSA
  • Have dependents who live with you and for whom you provide more than half of their financial support for 2022-2023
  • Working on a master’s degree at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.
  • A veteran of the armed forces
  • A ward of the court; both parents are deceased
  • Currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training
  • Emancipated minor or in legal guardianship or was when he/she reached the age of majority in his/her state, or
  • At any time since July 1, 2021, was determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless

Students who do not meet the above criteria and are unable to provide their parents’ financial information should contact the Financial Aid Office.

If my parents are separated or divorced, whose income is reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

You should provide the information for the parent you live with on the FAFSA. If the parent you live with has remarried, information for that parent and their new spouse (stepparent) must be used. If you do not live with either of your parents, you should provide information for the one that supports you more financially.

What determines how much aid I will receive?

The Department of Education uses the information you report on the FAFSA to determine how much you and your family can expect to contribute toward the cost of your education. The FAFSA asks about your family size, the number of family members in college, and your family income and assets. To be fair to everyone, a standard formula (Federal Methodology) is used to calculate the expected family contribution (EFC). You and your family are expected to assume primary responsibility for financing your college education. If the EFC is not enough to cover your cost of education (or student budget), as determined by the College, you may be eligible for need-based financial aid.

Your student budget represents the amount of funds estimated by the College that you will need during the year to meet direct and indirect expenses. Direct expenses include tuition, fees, books, and supplies. Indirect expenses include room, board, transportation and personal expenses.

How will I know if I’m eligible for financial aid?

Approximately 2-3 weeks after you apply, the Department of Education will send a Student Aid Report (SAR) to your email or home mailing address. Your SAR will provide you with an estimated award amount for the Pell Grant. WPCC’s Financial Aid Office reviews your FAFSA information and will make the final award calculation.  Once this process is complete, WPCC’s Financial Aid Office will send you official notification of your award status to your WPCC email account. You will then be able to view your Financial Aid Award letter in your Pioneer Pass account.

What if my family’s financial situation has changed?

If you or your family’s financial situation has changed significantly from what is reflected on your federal income tax return (for example, if you’ve lost a job or otherwise experienced a drop in income), you may be eligible to have your financial aid adjusted. Complete the FAFSA questions as instructed on the application (including the transfer of tax return and income information), submit your FAFSA form, then contact the school you plan to attend to discuss how your current financial situation has changed. Note that the school’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.

How do I apply for scholarships?

The WPCC Foundation General and Merit Scholarship application is available online starting in February each year. The application deadline is June 1st. Scholarship opportunities currently available can be viewed at the WPCC Scholarships page.  Additional scholarship information can be found at

How do I pay for tuition and fees with financial aid?

Once you receive your Financial Aid Award Notice, your award amounts are credited to your student account and will automatically be used to cover tuition, fees, and bookstore charges.  Please review your award amounts to determine if the aid is sufficient to cover your tuition and fees.  Please note that financial aid awards are based on projected full-time enrollment and will be adjusted if you enroll less than full-time.  Please see a financial aid counselor for assistance with determining your awards(s) for less than full-time attendance. If your aid is not sufficient to cover your tuition and fees, please be prepared to pay the remaining balance by the published tuition payment deadline.

How do I buy my books?

Students with eligible financial aid funds may use those funds to charge their textbooks at the WPCC BookStore during the dates and times posted on the BookStore web page.  Students must present a photo ID and their registration statement when making purchases at the BookStore.

For additional information regarding book prices, purchasing books online or by fax, please visit the BookStore.

When will I receive my financial aid refund?

Students with remaining aid balances after tuition and fees are paid in full, and after bookstore purchases have been made, will receive the remaining balance in the form of a check mailed each semester. Prior to disbursing these remaining balances, the College must ensure that students have begun classes and have not been reported for non-attendance.  We then adjust aid for students who are less than full-time, and disburse the aid to pay charges.  Once charges are paid, any remaining credit balance is then prepared and mailed to the student.
After the initial disbursement dates at the beginning of each semester, the College will process new disbursements approximately every two weeks throughout the semester as awards are made.

See scheduled disbursement mailing dates.

Please note that remaining balances are mailed to the most current MAILING address posted with the WPCC Records Office.  Please ensure that your mailing address is current and valid. If your address has changed since you filled out an Admissions Application, you need to update your address immediately.

Are Pell Grants available for the summer term?

Yes, eligible students can now receive a Pell Grant for fall, spring AND summer terms. However, those students who have attended full-time both fall and spring terms MUST be enrolled in at least 6 semester hour credits to receive any additional Pell Grant for the summer.

How do I drop or withdraw from a class?

During Regular Registration day(s) students can drop or add courses through Pioneer Pass.
From the first day of the term through the 10% point of the semester the student must come to Student Services to complete the Official Course Refund Request Form. Refunds up to the 10% point of the semester will be 75% of tuition and fee charges.

After the 10% point of the semester, students must inform the course instructor, who will complete and submit the Withdrawal notification. There are no tuition refunds for any course withdrawals after the 10% point of the semester.

Please refer to dates published each term in the Semester Guide.  When in doubt about the proper procedure, contact Student Services at (828) 448-6046.

What happens to my financial aid if I drop a class?

Students who stop attending all classes prior to or on the 60% date of the semester may be required to pay back a portion of the aid received for the term.

  • Summer, 2022 – June 27, 2022
  • Fall, 2022 – October 25, 2022
  • Spring, 2023 – March 24, 2023
  • Summer, 2023 – June 27, 2023

Eligibility for financial aid in future terms can be affected by a student’s completion rate (must complete 67% of classes attempted), GPA, and Maximum Time Frame to complete a degree (150% of the credit hours needed to complete the degree).  Students should read and be familiar with the Student Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Policy.