Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to common questions the financial aid office receives.


How do I apply for Financial Aid?

Answer: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using the school code for the Baker College Campus that you plan to attend. Remember that you must apply for financial aid every year (new applications are available after January 1st each year). Always complete your FAFSA as early as possible. Also, we encourage you to have your taxes completed prior to applying. The FAFSA website allows you and/or your parent or guardian to link to the IRS website in order to retrieve their tax information.

Note: Students and parents of dependent students are required to apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to sign the FAFSA application electronically. Please visit www.pin.ed.gov for more information.


What is the Federal School Code?

Answer: Using the correct school code will ensure that the results of your FAFSA will be sent to the correct Baker College campus. A list of the Baker College school codes is available here.


How do I check the status of my Financial Aid?

Answer: To view the status of your financial aid:

  • Log into the SOLAR system at https://carina.baker.edu/solar
  • Select "STAR System"
  • Select "Financial Aid Office"
  • Select "Important Messages" to view additional information that may be required or
  • Select "Awards" to view your financial aid award notification
  • Select the appropriate financial aid year and click "Continue"

Note: To view your award notification click "View Financial Aid Awards" (this will open a new window), then click "View/Save/Print Financial Aid Awards"


How do I submit requested documents to the Financial Aid Office?

Answer: You may submit documents to the Financial Aid Office by fax, US Mail or by email (not recommended). Financial Aid documents will be accepted via email, but it is the responsibility of the sender to secure any personally identifiable information when using this method. Any message and attachments must be less than 10 MB to be accepted by Baker email servers. Contact information for your campus can be found here.


How do I know when I have been awarded?

Answer: Once the awarding process is complete, you will receive an award notification from the Financial Aid Office. If you are a new student, you will receive notification by postal mail. If you are a returning student, you will receive notification by email.


What are the minimum requirements to maintain Financial Aid eligibility?

Answer: Every award has unique requirements that must be maintained. In order to remain eligible for most types of Financial Aid, you must maintain an enrollment status of halftime or greater for each quarter. You must also continue to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.


What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and how do I use it?

Answer: The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows you to link your Federal Income Tax information to your FAFSA. For more information on this process please visit our IRS Data Retrieval webpage.


How is my eligibility for Financial Aid determined?

Answer: Eligibility is determined using data provided to the Financial Aid Office as a result of completing the FAFSA. This information is used to determine what is called financial need.Depending on your amount of financial need, you will be able to receive either needbased or non needbased financial aid (Examples: grants and student loans).


How do I apply for a Pell Grant?

Answer: Your FAFSA serves as an application for the Pell grant. If it is determined that you are eligible to receive a Pell grant, the award will be listed on your award notification.


How do I apply for a Student Loan?

Answer: Your FAFSA serves as an application for the Student Loan. If it is determined that you qualify for student loan funds, the eligibility amounts will be listed on your award notification. A student loan request form will also be included with the award package.

If you are a new student and would like to request student loan funds to help cover your educational expenses you will need to:

  • Complete the paper loan request form indicating the amount you would like to borrow
  • Sign and date the form
  • Return the form to the Financial Aid Office

If you are a returning student and would like to request student loan funds to help cover your educational expenses you will need to:

  • Log into the SOLAR system at https://carina.baker.edu/solar
  • Select "STAR System"
  • Select "Financial Aid Office"
  • Select "Loan Request"
  • Select the appropriate financial aid year and click "Continue"
  • Select the type of loan you would like to request and click "Continue"
  • Read the Stafford Loan Request Authorization information and click ‘I Agree"
  • Type in the requested dollar amount and click "Submit Request"

When do I receive my loan refund and where do I view my refund information?

Answer: To be eligible for a loan refund you must:

  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (if not previously completed)
  • Complete Entrance Loan Counseling (if not previously completed)
  • Start the required minimum amount of six credit hours for the current quarter
  • Maintain satisfactory attendance in current quarter classes
  • Meet the required delay for firstyear, firsttime borrowers

Refund dates vary: an email notification will be sent to you if a loan refund is available. You will then receive your refund through the option you selected when you activated your BakerOne Card.

You can view your account activity 24/7 by logging on to the Solar System.


My application was selected for verification. What does this mean?

Answer: The Financial Aid Office will review your FAFSA application to ensure the accuracy of information reported and make corrections, if needed. During the process, you and your parent (if applicable) will be required to submit specific documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office. If you are a new student, you will receive notification of the additional information that needs to be submitted by postal mail. If you are a returning student, you will receive notification of the additional information that needs to be submitted by email.


What makes me an independent student?

Answer: The Department of Education has developed a series of questions to determine whether a student can be considered ‘independent’ for financial aid purposes. Regardless of the amount of support you receive from your parents, you are still considered to be dependent for financial aid purposes unless at least one of the following statements is true:

  • I am over the age of 24
  • I am serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Since I turned age 13, both of my parents were deceased
  • I was a dependent or ward of the court since turning age 13
  • I am married
  • I am a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • I was in foster care since turning age 13
  • I am currently or I was an emancipated minor
  • I will be working on a master’s or doctorate program (e.g., MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, graduate certificate)
  • I have children and I provide more than half of their support
  • I have dependents (other than children or my spouse) who live with me and I provide more than half of their support
  • I am currently or I was in legal guardianship
  • I am homeless or I am at risk of being homeless

How do I complete my Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Loan Counseling or Exit Counseling?

Answer: For instructions on how to complete your Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Loan Counseling or Exit Loan Counseling, please visit our Student Loan information page.


When do I have to start repaying my student loans?

Answer: You are responsible for repaying the principal balance of your student loans after you have completed your degree or cease to be enrolled on at least a halftime basis (halftime enrollment for most undergraduates is defined as 6 credit hours per semester). Federal loans allow you a sixmonth grace period after you cease enrollment on at least a halftime basis before you have to begin repayment. Your lender will notify you when repayment is scheduled to begin. Be sure you keep your lender informed of any change in your permanent address so you will not miss this important communication.


I completed my FAFSA what happens next?

Answer: Once your FAFSA has been processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U. S. Department of Education. If you provided an email address on the application your SAR will be emailed to you. If no email address was provided on the application your SAR will be sent by postal mail. The information will also be sent to Baker College if you listed our school code when completing the FAFSA. Once we receive your FAFSA information, we will review your application and determine your award eligibility or we will request additional documentation if you are selected for verification. You must be enrolled in the college and meet all other eligibility requirements to receive a financial aid award.


Can I get financial aid during the summer?

Answer: It depends on what aid you already received during the academic year either at Baker College or another institution. Student loans that are received during fall, winter and/or spring quarters may affect your eligibility to receive loan funds for summer. If you are planning to attend summer quarter, and want to ensure you will have remaining loan funds available, you should borrow conservatively.


What is Workstudy and how do I apply?

Answer: Workstudy positions are part time jobs that you can apply for to help cover educational expenses. Most positions are on campus and the pay rate is established by the campus. You may apply for workstudy online at www.baker.edu. Eligibility for workstudy is determined through your FAFSA application.


I am considering withdrawing from a class. What must I do and how does it affect my financial aid?

Answer: Withdrawing from a class could result in a loss of financial aid. You should contact the Business Office, Financial Aid Office and Academic Office to determine how this may affect you.

You can withdraw from a class or classes by one of the following methods:

  1. Completing a Withdrawal Form (available at the Academic/Administrative Office)
  2. Mailing, faxing, emailing (Baker email account preferred) a letter requesting withdrawal and explaining the reason for withdrawal to your campus Academic Office

Exit Loan counseling (link to www.baker.edu/loans) is required if you have student loans and your enrollment status drops below halftime. Per federal regulations, Baker College must notify your loan servicer regarding changes to your enrollment status, which may cause your six month grace period to be activated.

The Baker College System
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