Beginning with the 2017-2018 financial aid application cycle, the starting date for new applications has been moved up from the traditional January 1 date to October 1, nearly a full year before the beginning of the new school year. As before, U.S. citizens and permanent residents will submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting at the federal application site fafsa.gov. Students and parents who have Social Security Numbers will speed the processing of their applications using the new FSA ID, or federal student aid identification, that will serve as an electronic signature and speed the application process by up to two weeks. As in the past, the FAFSA is the only application needed for all aid awarded through the YVC financial aid office and for federal aid at any approved college in the country. Using the FAFSA, students can submit applications for multiple schools without any cost. Be sure to include Yakima Valley College, school code #003805 on the FAFSA.
Washington residents who are unable to submit a FAFSA due to Social Security, U.S. citizenship, or immigration concerns may be able to apply for Washington State Aid. Since Washington State aid has opened financial aid to non-U.S. citizens and permanent U.S. residents, hundreds of students have been served at YVC with financial aid each year. You may use the Washington Application for Student Financial Aid (WASFA) to apply for aid at any Washington college and you can apply at multiple schools with a single application. Vist the readysetgrad.org/WASFA website for more information and to complete your application.
After your application has been submitted and you have been accepted as a student through the admissions process, students monitor the status of their financial aid file by checking the Student Financial Aid Portal. Unlike the financial aid office webpages that have general information and policies, the student financial aid portal provides specific information about a student's own financial aid application, including current status, documents that must be submitted to complete the file, logs of documents requested and received, as well as some important correspondence including responses to appeals and revision requests.
Summer is the last term of the YVC aid year. Look for the summer aid application on our forms page beginning the second week in May. Aid is limited to Pell Grant (if you have not used a three full-time quarters of during the school year, and remaining Stafford Loan eligibility for the school year.) There may be a limited amount of grant funding for students graduating in summer.
Upon opening the student financial aid portal, students can verify that the new application has been received by using the drop down menu to select the appropriate school year. If documents are needed to complete the file, they will be listed in the section labeled What We Need From You. Once all the documents have been received and reviewed, your financial aid awards will be listed on the My Awards/Opportunity Pathways section of the portal. Opportunity Pathways is a phrase used in the State of Washington to identify financial aid that is offered to help fund your education.
Documents are reviewed by the financial aid staff by document type, in the order received, and priority is based on the application date and the date the file became complete. The priority application date is March 1, and early applicants have access to the all the types of funding that may be available for the school year. As funds are depleted, students are awarded on a funds-available basis. The final due date for any required financial aid document is a month prior to the last day of the student's enrollment within the award year. However, we recommend that all documents be submitted at least four months prior to the beginning of fall quarter (the first quarter of the award year at YVC). For starting in other quarters, completing your file at least two months before the start of the quarter is usually adequate.
A complete financial aid file means that any/all required documents have been submitted to and processed by our office (and the student is in good standing for receiving financial aid). Look for financial aid awards for the fall to be listed in the student financial aid portal beginning in summer. Although the Financial Aid Office works hard to have as much aid as possible ready at the start of Fall Quarter, later FAFSA and WASFA filers or late admits may receive a response later in the year and may not have aid ready by the beginning of fall quarter. We expect students to make reasonable decisions about enrolling and accepting financial aid. If your aid is not ready at the start of the quarter, if you are not able to purchase your books and be making progress from the first day, you may have a better start and a more successful career by waiting to begin the next quarter.