Paying for College
There are Lots of Ways We Can Help You!
Apply for federal financial aid
All students are required to complete the FAFSA. There are three basic kinds of federal financial aid.
Click here for details.
- Pell Grant
- Federal or Private Student Loans
- Federal Work Study Program
- First things First! Request a FAFSA PIN from pin.ed.gov.
- Everyone should complete the FAFSA or add Polk State College to your existing FAFSA. Polk State College code is 001514. More on the FAFSA
- Read your Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal government. This tells you what you may qualify for in aid.
- Complete the financial aid application process at Polk State College. No aid without this. More on Polk State’s financial aid application process.
- Attend a Financial Aid Workshop. It helps you understand. Check the events calendar .
- Know if you have any red flags on your financial aid application in PASSPORT.
- Know if you have been selected for verification. More on verification.
- Know College deadline for submitting all required documents.
- Fall…………………………July 28, 2017
- Spring…………………… December 4, 2017
- Summer………………………April 20, 2018
- Submit high school transcripts if required. More on high school transcripts
- Refunds of unused financial aid are sent to your BankMobile Card or the account you designated.
Polk State College uses the financial services of BankMobile to manage student refunds and financial aid via the Vibe account which students must activate. For more information, click here.
- You can add classes until the first day of class or drop classes during the Drop period without consequence.
- Federal financial aid programs require you to “earn” your aid by attending classes. If you withdraw from classes, your aid “earned” will be adjusted. If you are reported as Never Attended by the professor, you will be dropped and your aid adjusted with a refund based on your full-time/part-time status change or schedule change. The Never Attended reporting period is within 10 calendar days from the start of the term. Talk to a Student Financial Services advisor at Polk State before making any changes in your schedule.
- Don’t simply stop going to class without submitting an official withdrawal! You could be required to pay back all financial aid!
Refunds for financial aid in excess of your semester tuition, books, and fees are processed about 14 days after the last Drop day each term. See the college academic calendar for dates. Late awards and refunds are processed weekly.
Funds will go to your BankMobile card or the account you designated.
If you fail to attend during the first 10 days of class and a professor reports you; you will be dropped from your classes, and your financial aid for the dropped class will not be awarded. If your full-time/part-time status changes, your award will be adjusted as well.
How Do I Complete The FAFSA for the Pell grant?
- Gather your information.
- Prior year’s W-2 forms
- Federal income tax returns (or estimates)
- Bank statements
- Your alien registration number (if you are an eligible non-citizen)
- Your federal student aid ID and password are required to electronically sign your FAFSA. You can set up your ID and password at www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Your parent’s information if you’re a dependent student
- Polk State College’s Code number – 001514
After you receive your information, check your PASSPORT and Polk State e-mail for instructions about further information that may be needed.
It is your responsibility to check your Polk State e-mail account regularly for important updates. For disbursement days, see the college academic calendar.
Go fafsa.ed.gov to complete the application.
How long will it take to receive notifications from the department of education about my FAFSA?
After submitting your FAFSA, it can take up to:
- By e-mail: 3 to 5 days
- By mail: 7 to 10 days
I just completed my FAFSA, but classes start in less than four weeks. What now?
- Be prepared to pay for your tuition, fees, and books out-of-pocket. Consider the Tuition Payment Plan.
- When your application is processed, and if you are eligible and receive an award, you can adjust your Tuition Payment Plan.
- Consider starting classes in the 12-week or Fastrack 2 session to give Financial Services time to process your aid application.
The FAFSA asks for my parents’ information, if I am dependent. How do I know if I am independent?
- You’re independent if you fit one of the following categories:
- Born before January 1, 1995
- Working on a master’s or doctorate program
- Serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Have children and provide more than half of their support
- Both of your parents were deceased since you turned 13
- Were in foster care since turning age 13
- Have dependents (other than children or spouse) who live with you and you provide more than half of their support
- Were a dependent or ward of the court since turning age 13
- Currently are or were an emancipated minor
- Currently are or were in legal guardianship
- Currently are homeless or at risk of being homeless
- If you’re NOT in one of these categories and feel you should qualify as independent, contact Student Financial Services at 863.297.1004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have drastically different financial circumstances than when I filed the FAFSA. What do I do?
- If you or your parents have experienced a significant difference in income, or have paid unusually large medical expenses this year, meet with a Student Financial Services advisor.
- You may be asked to provide detailed documentation to receive special consideration for a professional judgment about your circumstances. Contact Financial Services at 863.297.1004 or email@example.com.
Can I get help completing the FAFSA?
- Gather your information.
Does the College offer short term loans?
No. But we offer Federal Stafford loans.
What is a federal loan?
A loan is money borrowed that must be paid back with interest. If your grant/scholarship awards don’t cover your educational expenses, a low-interest federal loan is an option. There are two basic types of direct loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.
For more information regarding the Direct Loan Program, please visit studentloans.gov.
How do I get a loan?
You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found online at fafsa.ed.gov. The award letter you receive will let you know if you qualify for a loan. You must also complete a Polk State Request for Loan Award form, a master promissory note, and have an entrance counseling session.
Go to studentloans.gov and complete the master promissory note, complete the required counseling, and then submit your loan request form to Student Financial Services at Polk State.
How do I apply for Bright Futures?
Applications for Bright Futures are handled at the high school. Please contact your high school counselor for further information.
Bright Futures students will be responsible for the difference in the Bright Futures award and the cost of tuition and fees, which must be paid by the student’s due date.
Your award will show on the Financial Aid Recipient History screen of your application at floridastudentfinancialaid.org.
Where do I find Bright Futures award amounts for the current academic year?
See the current established award amount per credit hour on the Bright Futures website at floridastudentfinancialaid.org.
Do bright futures recipients have to repay the cost for courses withdrawn from at Polk State College?
Yes. Repayment for the cost of withdrawn courses is required to renew a Bright Futures award at the end of the spring term for a subsequent academic year. You won’t be able to renew your Bright Futures award until repayment or an arrangement to reimburse is made.
Do I have to be a full-time student to receive Bright Futures?
You aren’t required to enroll full time to receive Bright Futures funding. Part-time students must enroll in a minimum of 6 semester hours per term (or the equivalent). Part-time students must earn the required number of hours for which they were funded.
For more information, go to the state’s Bright Futures website.
The state of Florida offers a variety of aid and scholarships for students. Get more information on the Florida Student Scholarship and Grant Program site here.
How do I use my Florida prepaid card to pay for my fees?
You can do automatic self-authorization on Passport by clicking the View FL Prepaid icon on the homepage, select the term you are authorizing, and click continue. A message stating Coverage Accepted will appear on the screen and your authorization is successful.
I have Florida prepaid. Why do I have to pay part of my fees?
The type of fees that are covered by Florida Prepaid depend on the type of plan that was purchased and the year in which the contract was purchased. You pay for fees that are not part of your plan.
Florida Prepaid will always have a minimum fee that is not covered by the plan and must be paid by other means. If you carry an outstanding balance into a new term, you will not be able to register until it is satisfied. You will have a financial hold.
Also note that if a class is a third attempt Florida Prepaid will not pay the out-of-state portion of your fees.
Florida Prepaid paid for part of my classes last term, and I paid the difference. why am I getting a bill?
There are many reasons a bill may be generated. If you receive a bill after making your out-of-pocket payment, please refer to the contact information located on your bill or review your Florida Prepaid status here and log into MY Account.
What do I do if I have Florida Prepaid, but I cannot self-authorize or I get an error message?
Verify your account status with Florida Prepaid and that your Social Security number is correct in both FL Prepaid records and Polk State admission records.
The Polk State Foundation offers many scholarships to students from private funding sources. The application period is February 1 – March 15 each year.
Click here for more information.
Do I qualify for a state exemption of fees?
The state of Florida offers a variety of tuition and fee exemptions to persons who have experienced extraordinary challenges in their lives. Each exemption has specific criteria. The Admission Office can help you determine if you qualify.
Some common exemptions:
- Students adopted from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) after May 5, 1997
- Students who at 18 are/were in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)
- Recipients of the Purple Heart
- Spouse of a deceased state employee
- Persons found to be wrongfully incarcerated
- Children of fallen law enforcement officers
For all state exemptions, see the following Florida Statutes (1009.25, 1009.26, 961.061, 288.8175, and 112.19).
All exemptions must be applied to your record before the drop deadline.
How do I use my state employee education benefit?
Complete and submit the State Employee Tuition Waiver Program – Intent to Apply form which is available through your employer. Read and understand the guidelines for using your benefit at Polk State College. You may register anytime with an advisor or online.
Polk State uses a financial vendor to provide a tuition payment plan to students. For details, click here.
Visit our Veteran’s page here.